Born in Australia in 1900, Marie Beuzeville Byles is best known to Vipassana meditators for her practice of meditation. In Journey Into Burmese Silence (George Allen & Unwin Ltd, 1962), she traces her own story as she first travels to Burma and comes in contact with Vipassana Meditation and then how she returns several times more later in her life to strengthen her practice. At the Maha Bodhi Meditation Centre in Mandalay, she became the student of U Thein who taught as a lay teacher in the tradition of Saya Thet Gyi. U Thein forms the centre of a group of devoted friends that sustain Marie in her struggle and lead her on a pilgrimage of meditation centres across Burma.
Byles’ book is a detailed account of the many Burmese practices going by the name ‘Vipassana’. It is a valuable and inspiring book for any true seeker.