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U Pyinya Zawta's Dharma Talks at East Bay Insight Meditation Community
U Pyinya Zawta
U Pyinya Zawta is Executive Director in Exile of the All Burma Monks’ Alliance, a leader of Burma’s Saffron Revolution in the autumn of 2007. In 2008, arriving in the United States with refugee status, he and three other exiled monks created a monastery in Utica, New York, where continues to live and organize. Born in 1960 in the Magwe District of central Burma, U Pyinya Zawta was ordained at the age of twenty. After years of study at monastic universities in Burma, he was appointed president of Rangoon’s Aloan Township Young Monks Union. Arrested and imprisoned several times from 1990 onward, in January 1998 U Pyinya Zawta was arrested and sentenced to seven years in Insein prison He moved to the Rangoon’s Maggin Monastery in 2005 and opened a study center and a unique HIV/AIDS patient support refuge. Pyinya Zawta helped form and lead the All Burma Monks Alliance, which in 2007 protested Burma’s repressive military rule. Tens of thousands of monks and nuns marched in the streets alongside countless civilians, chanting the Metta Sutta. But the demonstrations were fiercely repressed. U Pyinya Zawta escaped from Rangoon by taking on a variety of disguises. Unable to capture him, the Burmese military regime arrested his mother and siblings, who were not released until he surfaced in Mae Sot, Thailand in January 2008. Since moving to the U.S. Pyinya Zawta, along with his dedication to daily Buddhist practice and meditation, works tirelessly to support refugee monks inside and outside of Burma, and to build a free nation for all Burma’s people.

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