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 From a village in Myanmar's Irrawaddy's Delta, to a meditation in Baldwin Park, the path of a Buddhist monk became a life dedicated to social services and serving others. © Gail Fisher for Los Angeles Times
 The Irrawaddy Delta region includes fishing communities in a vast area full of rivers and streams. © Gail Fisher for Los Angeles Times
 In Myanmar’s delta region, rice is the major item of commerce on the river. But cotton and other local commodities also make it’s way to local markets and Yangon for export. © Gail Fisher for Los Angeles Times
 The Irrawaddy Delta is the lowest expanse of land located in south western Myanmar where cultivation of rice and fishing communities thrive in a vast area of rivers and streams. © Gail Fisher for Los Angeles Times
  Ashin Gunissara was born into a poor family in Myanmar. He couldn’t pursue his dream of becoming a doctor, but trained to become a novice monk. © Gail Fisher for Los Angeles Times
 Ashin Sanda Zawti is a longtime friend and teacher of Ashin Guinissara. The two grew up together at Ma Soe Yein Monastery in Myanmar.  Zawti said Guinissara "was brighter and more clever than the rest of the boys.” © Gail Fisher for Los Angeles Times
 Ma Soe Yein Monastery, meaning “No worry monastery,” is located in the tiny Village of Taw Ku Gyi in Myanmar’s Irrawaddy Delta. © Gail Fisher for Los Angeles Times
 Ma Soe Yein Monastery , subjects such as English, science and mathematics are taught to more than 300 students. © Gail Fisher for Los Angeles Times
 A child reviews a lesson in the Ma Soe Yein Monastery. © Gail Fisher for Los Angeles Times
 The Ma Soe Yein Monastery offers children a free education to pursue their dreams. Donors such as Ashin Gunissara, who became a novice monk at the monastery, help cover the student’s expense. © Gail Fisher for Los Angeles Times
 Children at the Ma Soe Yein Monastery wear thanaka,  a natural sunscreen made from the bark of a tree. © Gail Fisher for Los Angeles Times
 Local village children are educated at Ma Soe Yein Monastery and some come from distant places who are housed, clothed and fed. © Gail Fisher for Los Angeles Times
 Students line up to wash hands before before a lunch of rice and vegetables. The cost of schooling and meals is subsidized by donors and the government of Myanmar. © Gail Fisher for Los Angeles Times
 Monasteries are establishments of social welfare in Myanmar, taking in orphans and the less fortunate. © Gail Fisher for Los Angeles Times
 Ashin Gunissara, a Buddhist monk who founded Dhammajoti Meditation Center in Baldwin Park, with the help of donors was able to build a school in the village of his birth place at the Ma Soe Yein Monastery where he grew up as a young boy. © Gail Fisher for Los Angeles Times
 USC student Robert Win Maw Min, 20, recently checked in for a three day stay at the Dhammajoti Meditation Center in Baldwin Park. His head is shaven by Ashin U Uttama as part of the experience. Flanking the young man are his parents, Dr. Tin A Than, left and Dr. Sanda Win. © Gail Fisher for Los Angeles Times
 Buddhist monk Ashin Gunissara shaves the head of Filbert Win Min Aung, freshman at Arcadia High School, as the 13-year-old begins his three day stay at the Dhammajoti Meditation Center in Baldwin Park. © Gail Fisher for Los Angeles Times   
 Ashin Gunissara shaves the head of Filbert Win Min Aung. The shaving of the head symbolizes giving up vanity. © Gail Fisher for Los Angeles Times
 Buddhist monk Ashin Gunissara, left, works with people from all walks of life including refugees, immigrants of several ethnicities of Burma and Americans of all color. © Gail Fisher for Los Angeles Times
 “Shaving my head gives up vanity and becoming a monk shows respect to my parents and giving thanks for bringing me on this earth.” said Filbert Win Min Aung, in foreground, a freshman at Arcadia High School. © Gail Fisher for Los Angeles Times   
 Through the teachings of Buddha, Ashin Gunissara, aims to continue his quest to help others cultivate understanding. As a monk, he is a teacher, counselor and spiritual mentor. © Gail Fisher for Los Angeles Times
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