Webu Sayadaw

The Way to Ultimate Calm

The Way to Ultimate Calm

Webu Sayadaw was believed by many to have attained complete peace and happiness, the eradication of desire, anger and delusion. He was venerated by many in his lifetime and those who followed his instructions to practice given in these discourses benefited greatly.

Most of these discourses were given before large audiences during Webu Sayadaw’s travels in lower Burma. The person or persons answering Webu Sayadaw are lay-people sitting up front and close to him.

Because they were delivered extemporaneously, the discourses are repetitive and were edited slightly so that they lend themselves better to reading. Care was taken, however, to edit only obvious repetitions and only when they had merely rhetorical value. The reader may still find the discourses repetitive, but with some patience and “mindfulness” he will discover in them many insights into practical Buddhism.

Webu Sayadaw’s discourses are not meant for the person who prefers the study of Buddhist philosophy to the practice. His refreshing simplicity, his patience, his lovely sense of humour, and his humility — are revealed in the dialogues with his audience. Moreover, the statements of the people in the audience offer us a glimpse of how Buddhism is practised in Burma today.

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About Webu Sayadaw

Webu Sayadaw (17 February 1896 – 26 June 1977) was a Theravada Buddhist monk, and vipassanā master, best known for giving all importance to diligent practice, rather than scholastic achievement.

Webu Sayadaw was born in British Burma near Khin U township in modern-day Sagaing Division. He underwent the usual monk's training in the Pāli scriptures from the age of nine, when he became a novice, until he was twenty-seven. His monastic name was Kumārakassapa.

In 1923 (seven years after his ordination), he left the monastery and spent four years in solitude. He practiced (and later taught) the technique of Ānāpānasati (awareness of the in-breath and out-breath). He said that by working with this practice to a very deep level of concentration, one is able to develop vipassanā (insight) into the essential characteristics of all experience: anicca (impermanence), anatta (egolessness) and dukkha (unsatisfactoriness).

Webu Sayadaw was famous for his unflagging diligence in meditation and for spending most of his time in solitude. He was reputed to be an arahant (fully enlightened one), and it is said that he never slept.

You yourselves must strive, the Buddhas only point the way

Buddha, Dhp 276