More Retreat
Information

Sixty Day Retreat
Teachers
Style of Practice
  • The Eight Precepts
  • Satipatthana Meditation
Location
  • Accommodations & Meals
Daily Retreat Schedule
How to Apply
  • Cost
  • Dana
Online 60-day Retreat Form
Online Year-Round Retreat Form
Getting to Burma
  • Meditation Visas
  • Arrival Information
  • Accommodations
  • Expenses & Changing Money
Planning Your Trip
  • Climate
  • Electricity
  • Dress
  • What to Bring
Health
  • Pre-departure
  • First-Aid kit
  • Staying Healthy
  • Illness & Emergencies
  • Health Guidelines
Emergency Contact
in Burma

Practice at Tathagata, San Jose California
Monk Walking

Planning Your Trip

Climate
November through January is generally the most pleasant time to be in Myanmar. There is little or no rain, and the average mean temperature at the Forest Meditation Center is between 21C and 28C (70F and 82F). In December and January, the nights and early mornings can be cold, and you should come with suitable warm clothes, which are listed below. In February, the temperature starts to rise.

Dress

Outside the Forest Meditation Center, one should dress neatly. Short or long sleeve shirts are fine, as well as lightweight pants or longyis. A longyi is a wrap skirt made from an ankle-length tube of fabric. Men's longyis are generally designed with darker colors in various checkered patterns. Men fasten the longyi by tying a knot in front of the waist. Women wear solid colors or floral patterns that they wrap around the waist like a sarong and tuck in on one side. Longyis can be purchased in Burma very easily.
Do not wear sleeveless shirts, tank tops, shorts or short skirts. Quick-drying clothes are a good idea because they dry faster in the humid weather.

Always dress neatly inside the Forest Meditation Center or any monastery. The same general rules apply for both men and women. No shorts or sleeveless shirts are allowed, and both men and women wear longyis. Make sure you can either kneel or sit cross-legged in whatever you choose to wear.

Walking to LunchDuring the retreat, men and women should wear a white shirt or blouse. They can be short or long sleeved, but no T-shirts or tank tops. No one should wear blouses that are see-through. If you have a sheer blouse, then you will need to wear a layer underneath.

Women yogis must wear brown longyis. The center will provide longyis, or you can buy brown cotton fabric at home and have longyis made to fit once you arrive in Burma.

Footwear

Sandals (flip-flops) are the most practical shoes to wear, especially since you will need to remove them before entering religious compounds or homes.

Note: leather goods such as purses, wallets, and shoes, may get moldy in the humid weather.

Electricity

The standard electrical current runs at 230v, 50 Hz AC. Most electrical outlets are British-style wall plugs with three flat lugs in a triangle or 2 prongs. The center is on the electrical grid, but the power can be unreliable. They have a back-up generator to use if necessary. Yogis should bring a good LED flashlight or a headlamp.

Items Provided to You by the Center

The center will provide a mattress, blanket, pillow, pillow case, bedsheet, mosquito net, bucket (for washing your clothes and bathing--cold water only), thermos, clothes hangers, dustbin, broom, toilet paper, and laundry detergent.

What to Bring

The following is a general packing list. Of course, you may need things that are not listed. Please skip the things which you feel do not apply to you.

>> Download PDF Version

PACKING LIST

Meditation:
  • Meditation pillow (Most Burmese do not use a meditation pillow or zafu, so bring one if you use one to sit. Foam mats will be provided in the meditation hall)
  • Light shawl or thin blanket for meditating during the cooler hours (You cannot use the bed blanket in the meditation hall.)
Documents:
  • Passport, visas, 8-12 extra passport photos
  • Copies of all important papers and documents; pack the copies separate from the originals
Clothes:
  • 4- 5 white shirts, short or long sleeve
  • Silk or synthetic long-johns (e.g., Polypropylene or Capilene)
  • Light turtleneck
  • Warm sweater
  • Light jacket
  • A shawl or wrap
  • Light or thin gloves
  • 1 or 2 bandannas
  • Socks
  • 1 or 2 pair lightweight pants for travelling
  • 1 or 2 long skirts for travelling
  • Belt (for holding up a longyi in case you have a hard time tying it)
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun hat and a hat for warmth
Toiletries:
  • Toiletries bag, toothbrush and toothpaste, dental floss, soap, shampoo, razors, mirror, hair brush, nail clippers, light wash cloth and towels, tissues, and tampons

Laundry:

  • Laundry bag, clothespins (available in Burma), sewing kit, and safety pins
Miscellaneous:
  • Umbrella (for rain and sun), mosquito repellent, water bottle, lighter and/or waterproof matches, Zip-Lock bags, Swiss Army knife, and scissors
  • Flashlight, watch and alarm clock, camera and film, and extra batteries
  • Light weight, strong rope (enough for a clothesline and other possible uses)
  • Light sleeping bag (for the coldest nights; you can also get extra blankets from the center)
  • Airtight plastic containers for food (yogis are permitted to keep food in their room for a snack from after breakfast until 12 noon only)
  • Vitamin supplements and antibiotics
  • Vegetarians should bring protein powder and/or power bars to supplement your diet
Mailing and Writing Materials:
  • Duct tape, scotch tape, pens, and small notebooks for reporting in interviews


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