Mingalar Par

A blog by Tom Gale a new LGBTQ+ writer in Salford, England.

Like many people I have lived most of my life with only a casual relationship with the phenomenon known as Social Media. However since becoming a published writer I recognise that it is necessary evil. A tool that I must master to aid in developing my brand TomGaleWriter and putting into practice the first parts of my marketing strategy. I now have hard data to back up the work that I have done and the progress I have made. As my day job is Business Intelligence Analyst contractor for primarily NHS Trusts. I am no stranger to data and telling a story through the use of BI tools.

One of the most interesting and beautifully enriching developments has been the addition of Facebook Friends for such far flung parts of the world such as Myanmar. Formerly known as Burmah and was part of the British Empire. However after a couple of battles with their colonial rulers the country earned its place to independant. Adopting its new name of Myanmar in 1948.

Most of us will still remember the formation of the largest refugee camp seen in the 21st century in Bangladesh back in 2017. What may not be as fresh in a lot of minds is that the cause of this originated in Myanmar. Where the military, The Tatmadaw, under the rule of the Buddhist Ministry of Defence were accused of crimes against humanity. Committing genocide against a population of Muslim Rohingans. A million of whom occupied the camp in Bangladesh.

Britain has continued to provide support to The United Nations as it has marshalled support from Amnesty International, The US State Department and government officials from neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh, India, Thailand and Malaysia as the crimes are investigated fully.

I mention all of this to draw attention to the fact relations between Britain and Myanmar have not been smooth. However one of the decisions that I made in regard to my Facebook Page is that I would not turn down any request made for friendship to a page that celebrates me as a writer and my writing. Particularly as I recount how the influences of my Facebook Friends have IMHO others are available, made me a better writer.

Where have these friends come from? I’m not entirely certain. I believe partly from my expanding social network and partly from conversations held with with Uber drivers here in Salford. As they are a captive audience I have become brazen at bringing the conversation around to the fact that I am a writer and provide links to where they can learn more about me and my writing when they show an interest.

This is something that I did not expect to happen so soon and in such great volume. It has been challenging to say the least but also very rewarding as we share our stories.

This brings me back to the title of this blog. Which may have gotten a few of you scratching your heads trying to figure out where the hell is this man taking us now? Or something similar.

So as I understand it The Mingalar Par is the collective unconscious of ancient Buddhist writers and teachers adapted into Myanmar culture.

In Myanmar someone may be greeted with Mingalar Par which is greeting that puts the greeted person in the ‘now’ with the greeter. In that ‘now’ is encapsulated 38 extractions of the ancient writings. Which echo many of the things I believe I have come to an understanding of as I have faced up to and battled my personal dragons. As well as drawing closer to and learning to listen to my inner self.

Now I know that my admitting these things I will have lost some of you. For those of you that remain here are the 38 extractions.

  1. To avoid fools.
  2. To stay close to wise people.
  3. To honour those worthy of honour.
  4. To live in a suitable locality.
  5. To have accumulated merits of the past.
  6. To be rightly concentrated on oneself.
  7. To be possessed of vast learning.
  8. To be possessed of skill.
  9. To be well trained in discipline.
  10. To be pleasant and good in speaking.
  11. To support mother and father.
  12. To cherish wife and children.
  13. To have unconfused occupation.
  14. To gives alms.
  15. To live righteously (or) To practice dharma.
  16. To help relatives.
  17. To do blameless deeds.
  18. To avoid thinking sinful things.
  19. To avoid sins physically and verbally.
  20. To refrain from intoxicants.
  21. To be vigilant in righteous acts.
  22. Reverence.
  23. Humbleness.
  24. Contentment.
  25. To appreciate gratitude.
  26. Listening to dhamma at proper time.
  27. To be patient.
  28. To be obedient.
  29. To meet with holy persons.
  30. To discuss the dharma at proper time.
  31. To restrain against worldly pleasures.
  32. To live holy and pure life..
  33. To have in sight knowledge of four noble truths.
  34. To realise nibana for oneself.
  35. The mind that stands unshaken.
  36. The mind that stands unsorrowing.
  37. The mind that stands passionless.
  38. The mind that stands secure when touched by worldly conditions.

It is all of these extractions that are encapsulated in the Mingalar Par. A greeting in the Myanmar culture. I feel that these ancient writings and teachings have resonated with a deep part of me. I find myself humbled and filled with gratitude that many of the teachings expressed in this list are threads that weave through the memoir I have written. It is this realisation that spurs me on with an even greater and stronger belief in this book of mine.

There are two words that for me have stood out. I won’t say which as I will have to take time to understand them for myself. However they may become the titles of future blogs.

As always thank for being with me today. Be well and take care of one another until our paths cross again in the not too distant future I wish you Mingalar Par.

Why should you read my blog? Only one reason and that is to read my published short story here https://madmagz.com/magazine/1933351#/page/51

If something in that touches you then you should read my blog. If it doesn’t touch you then you shouldn’t read my blog as I don’t think it would serve you.

You can find my blog on my website https://tomgalewriter.com/

Or on my newly created Facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/Tomgalewriters-Blog-Page-105295965626523

It will also be published on my twitter account @tomgalewriter

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