In the Buddha’s times the monastics would go to remote and secluded places to meditate, especially caves were popular as providing shade, with water normally found in springs nearby, and having the advantage of being cool in summer and warm in winter.
In the modern vipassanā movement there has been an attempt to recreate the conditions found in a cave by building separated rooms in a circle under a pagoda structure, something first done by U Ba Khin, it seems.
This is the story of how these pagodas came to be built first in Myanmar, then in India and then throughout the world, where they might be said to embody and identify the vipassanā movement to this day.
In the US it was impractical to build such heavy stone structures as are found in the east and so a new prefabricated fibreglass structure was designed and built in Myanmar and then shipped across the seas.
This film shows the work involved in preparing the pagodas, and the considerations that were made in adopting them.
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