In the late seventies I began to meditate in the Soto Zen tradition with my first Buddhist teacher, Vajira Bailey in Birmingham. In August 1979 I underwent Jukai and committed myself to Buddhism as a Zen Buddhist at Throssel Hole Priory in Northumberland.
During this period I was living in Birmingham where a Burmese monk, Ven. Dr. Rewata Dhamma, had set up a Vihara. I began to visit and out of interest joined a course of meditation in the vipassana technique with Achaan Sumedho, now the Chief Monk of the Thai Forest Tradition based at Amaravati Buddhist Centre near Hemel Hempstead. That experience convinced me that Vipassana was to be the technique that most serviced my needs.
Soon after I met my core teacher, Sayadaw U Janaka of Burma (Myanmar). He is one of the main teachers in the Mahasi Tradition. I went to spend six months with him in Yangon. It had a deep effect upon me. I returned to my former job, but I began to have thoughts about joining the Sangha in order to do even longer periods of intensive meditation.
Bodhidhamma Bhikkhu, an English monk of the Burmese tradition, is now resident at Satipanya Buddhist Meditation Centre.
More articles by Bhante Bodhidhamma here.