Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – National League for Democracy (NLD) General-Secretary Aung San Suu Kyi will go on a three-day retreat in a Rangoon meditation centre from Friday to Sunday, according to Win Htein, the NLD office chief.
“Starting Friday she will spend three days in the meditation centre at the Shwetaunggone Pannita Yama Monastery to practise meditation,” he told Mizzima. The monastery has three branches in Rangoon and he declined to identify the monastery, but some observers said it is believed to be the Shwetaunggone Pannita Yama Monastery at “10-Mile Hill” in Rangoon. After her release from house arrest in November 2010, she donated food to monks in the Shwetaunggone Pannita Yama Monastery at “10-Mile Hill.”
Suu Kyi claims she was sustained during her long periods of house arrest by her Vipassana meditation practice, according to interviews with the media. Commenting on her long isolation, she said, “Isolation is not difficult for me. Maybe it’s because of my Buddhist upbringing.”
In an interview with the Shambhala Sun in the United States, she said she meditates because everybody, as human beings, “has a spiritual dimension which cannot be neglected. Overall, I think of myself as a very ordinary Burmese Buddhist who will devote more time to religion in my older years.”
Recently, Suu Kyi made a personal pilgrimage to Bagan, the ancient temple site in Central Burma, and was surrounded by several thousand local residents at a market. Large crowds routinely appear wherever she travels in public.