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What do you really think of monks and nuns in the West (an anonymous survey)
I think they are crucial for the establishment of the Buddhadharma here, and have had good experiences 61%  61%  [ 59 ]
I think they are crucial for the establishment of the Buddhadharma here, even though I have had mostly bad experiences 3%  3%  [ 3 ]
I don't have an opinion one way or the other 8%  8%  [ 8 ]
I don't think they are necessary, because the dharma can be transmitted without monastics 15%  15%  [ 15 ]
I just don't think that Westerners are interested in supporting monasticism financially 12%  12%  [ 12 ]
Total votes : 97
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:35 pm 
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Malcolm wrote:
There are basically four forms of Buddhism spreading in the West:

1) Psychological & Secular Buddhism ala Batchelor, etc.
2) Technological Buddhism i.e. Vajrayāna, Bon, Dzogchen etc.
3) Contemplative Buddhism i.e. Vipassana, Zen, etc.
4) Evangelical Buddhism i.e. Nicherin, Pure Land, etc.

Speaking of Technological Buddhism:
http://preview.tinyurl.com/osvju5f

:shrug:

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:46 pm 
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Hey I've already got Tommy Davis patrolling this thread :P

Regarding what Indrajala mentioned about temples running guesthouses: Actually here in the Netherlands our centre is in an old hotel in the process of being refurbished, purchased for a pittance. We run Buddhist courses 3 weekends a month, but also host courses on Chinese Medicine, non-violent communication, Reflexology, Secular Mindfulness, Aryuvedic cooking etc. from outside groups. This leads to a good income for the centre which might help us eventually pay off the loans taken out to purchase the building.

So it is a feasible model.

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Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:19 pm 
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Well there you go, you're center is making income. Additionally JKhedrup I suggest you organize with your fellow Western Tibetan monastics and write to every fashionable Tibetan Buddhist in Hollywood and the IT industry to fundraise, make an album, get PR, and get an endowment going for your monastic institutions. People may click a 'support' button here in dharma wheel, but so far even before the worldwide global recession there has been minamal financial support from your community for Western Tibetan monastics. Find an Anathapindika; othewise be open to new forms of monasticism like Ven. Indrajala says.
gassho
Roey

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:30 pm 
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Not sure where the hostility is coming from but if I offended I am sorry. But you did come on pretty strong from the beginning saying you voted monks weren't necessary and advocate lay Buddhism, and I am a monk so you should be prepared for a good debate. Show me how the lay orientation of Japanese Buddhism has improved its prospects and growth. If it hasn't there is so basis for arguing it is a better system than the monastic one.
You didn't mince words and they sounded pretty unbending:
Quote:
I find it positively weird when people want to insist on forms that are 'traditional' when Buddhism is all about change. Usually the past tradition is highly sexist and hierarchical.


If the pole was hopeless I wouldn't bother. But it does seem a clear, large and silent majority here on DW sees the value in ordained monastic Sangha.

Also not sure where I criticized any of Ven. Indrajala's suggestions- like I said I am willing to throw in the towel actually if the form is either offensive, impractical etc.-quietly keep my ordination but not advocate monasticism.. My criticism of the Japanese model was because one can see that the decline in Buddhism in Japan is quite connected with the more and more secular presence of the priests/Sangha. But it is not a doctrinal or path judgement at all. Just a clear sign to me that we monks and nuns do have a role to play.

(Incidentally, these views were tempered by Japanese Buddhists themselves who came to India to seek initiation from one of my teachers. I asked them why they were looking to other traditions, which prompted my looking into the various factors in Japan connected to the decline of Buddhism. Modernity as well as lack of clear roles for clergy and laity are mentioned in many essays. We also see clearly in Japan the lay clergy system does not lead to more influential roles for women in the large Buddhist organizations that are still run by men- I think nunneries can be a far more powerful tool to address gender inequalities, actually).

I do think, whether one is pro or anti-ordination, most see the value in supporting full-time dharma people. Whether laypeople in long retreat, monks and nuns at a study centre, or people volunteering their lives to teaching, publishing and translating it is worthwhile. The path of dharma is so vast and takes such effort to master. To support people (whatever their clothing or precepts) to pursue it full time enriches the possibilities for us all.

I wasn't proposing that we deserved handouts, or should not be open to possibilities. Indeed, I outlined how most of my monastic friends work (in many cases more hours than a full time job). Even when I am here at the computer I am also working on layouts for our teaching publicity, bits and pieces of translation, and translating answers from Geshe la to students' questions. Most of the other monastics I know also don't stop. In short, we offer laypeople a valuable service. And I am not advocating some type of austere monasticism by any means, if I failed to make this clear in my posts I apologize.
:namaste:

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In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:15 pm 
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JKhedrup wrote:
The path of dharma is so vast and takes such effort to master.


Seven years, according to Sakya Pandita. Dharma is not rocket science, though we like to pretend it is.

M

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 12:34 am 
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Malcolm wrote:
JKhedrup wrote:
The path of dharma is so vast and takes such effort to master.


Seven years, according to Sakya Pandita. Dharma is not rocket science, though we like to pretend it is.

M


You can get pretty damn good at rocket science in seven years, if you devote yourself to it full time with no other distractions like Sapan is suggesting about dharma.

Visualizing all elements of the Kalachakra mandala in a perfect way may not be rocket surgery, but it's beyond the ken of most people.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:45 am 
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JKhedrup I'm not being hostile, I think it's a cultural gap; I"m Jewish and American we really do just get up and do things. I sincerely gave you my best advice, to organize to support Western monastics and fundraise off the wealthy.. If I did support monasticism I would support Western ones. I'm a friend of Ven. Indrajala. I'm not hostile to monastics, it's just think the modern sangha will do fine if by concentrating on helping the mass of people practice and not just the elite few.

As for your arguments about Japan, what do I care? Japanese Buddhism is doing superb work from the scholarly side, but it's culture and the fact that the gov't early on controlled ordinations and that priesthoods are inherited have stifled it. But it's not my problem, not my culture. I'm American and can take the message of Nichiren Buddhism, appreciate my priest and support what he's doing but I have no desire or interest to involve myself in Japanese hierarchies or sexist culture. So I have no argument for you. I don't want to argue. I think you're invested in Tibetan culture, I'm not invested at all in Japanese culture, But then Nichiren Buddhism can exist fine shorn of its cultural trappings can Tibetan Buddhism? I don't know, it's not an issue in my life or practice.
with gassho
Rory

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 2:25 am 
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Malcolm wrote:
JKhedrup wrote:
The path of dharma is so vast and takes such effort to master.


Seven years, according to Sakya Pandita. Dharma is not rocket science, though we like to pretend it is.

M


But it is akalika, not a matter of time.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 2:38 am 
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Apparently there is reason to believe that 'akalika' means "not connected with death" when it occurs in the Buddhist canon:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/106621391/Akalika-in-the-Buddhist-Canon-J-bronkhorst-Studien-Zur-Indologie-Und-Iranistik-10-1985

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 2:40 am 
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Malcolm wrote:
Shakyamuni is a historical teacher, and for my tradition, one of thirteen quasi-historical nirmanakāya teachers of great importance. But while important, he is not the most important teacher in my tradition.

That distinction belongs to a character known as "Garab Dorje" who hailed from Oḍḍiyāna. He was not a monk, had no Sangha, and a very small number of successors. He may in fact be entirely a Tibetan fiction, but no matter.

Why doesn't it matter?

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:35 am 
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rory, You've got a go-getter attitude, maybe for fund raising its a good thing? Yet everybody thinks they're are so spiritual - when this is the most cynical form of blatant capitalism yet. Greed and consumerism do their practice online. Well yes have a website and flog a pretend version of Eastern religion, Buddhism or tantra ...whatever!
I've seen quite a few Buddhist monks over the years and a gold coin at entrance should suffice, those that can afford more...wonderful! Of course retreats can be expensive and may need to be costed.
Too much talk of returns is the antithesis of Buddhism.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:43 am 
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rory wrote:
I'm not hostile to monastics, it's just think the modern sangha will do fine if by concentrating on helping the mass of people practice and not just the elite few.


Since when did "elite" become a pejorative? Is this an American thing? I don't know exactly where you live, but I don't see people busting down the door to practice seriously really anywhere. It's always an "elite few", either ordained or lay, that really take the practice to heart, put in the time and effort and liberate themselves. The mass of people are usually content with it being an interesting hobby, but not something they will give up career or family for. Doesn't the world have enough ersatz populism?

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:53 am 
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To my point of view, it is very valuable for there to be professional clergy.
But, one can be, in Tibetan Buddhist tradition, either red or White sangha.
Clearly not all Catholics are priests, let alone monastics, nor are all Christians or
Jews of any denomination.

Since Lord Buddha established a monastic system, it should be perpetuated, and
should be supported in the west, by westerners. Since Ngakpa dratsangs are part
of Tibetan tradition, they should also exist in the west where western clergy
of the White-robed Sangha are trained. Not only that, we westerners ought
to be funding drupdra facilities for three year retreatants who might be lay,
or ordained. If Buddhadharma is to develop in the west, such seminaries must
be developed-- not just monasteries.

Otherwise, in the future, we will always depend on Asian Lamas, if they exist.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:30 am 
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Yes, as an aside to this topic this is also a really important consideration.

Western people, whether monastic or householders, studying or practicing full time. The FPMT has the Masters Program but very few can afford it. Samye Ling has three year retreats, (now 4 year I think) but I am not sure how the funding for such endeavours is handled. If we were able to fund just a few people to years dedicated to study and retreat, they would become a resource "for the masses". In order to aid the masses people with knowledge and experience are the very best method. Making Dharma more accessible is great, but with inspiring examples of practitioners it is bound to me more effective.

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In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:05 am 
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Simple, I'm a Lotus Sutra Buddhist, actually it's probably the most influential sutra in Mahayana except for Tibetan Buddhism, read the following article by Jan Nattier in Tricycle:

"Though it has been tremendously influential in East Asia, the Lotus is rarely studied by Tibetan Buddhists...Thubten [a geshe] was caught in a classic Mahayana predicament. As a devoted Buddhist, he accepted the verdict of his tradition that all Mahayana scriptures were the word of the person we call the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni. But at the same time, it seemed quite clear to him that the Lotus Sutra conflicted with much of what he, as a Mahayana Buddhist monk, had been taught.


"Those familiar with secondary literature about Buddhism are likely to have the impression that the Mahayana emerged as a liberalizing movement within the Buddhist community, one that made the practice of Buddhism, and the attainment of awakening, available to a wider group than had previously been the case. Seen in this light, the Mahayana is often perceived as pro-laity, pro-family, even pro-women, and thus as a form of Buddhism particularly well adapted to the presumably more egalitarian societies of the world today. But it is becoming increasingly clear to scholars that this vision of the character of Mahayana Buddhism has been shaped by a very atypical text, namely, the Lotus Sutra ."
http://www.tricycle.com/special-section ... g?page=0,0
gassho
rory

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:25 am 
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But even those who uphold the Lotus Sutra come to very different conclusions. The character of Chinese Tian Tai Schools, for example, is markedly different from those of Nichiren. Interpretation plays a big role in the flavour of these schools, just as it does, for example, in the various "Tibetan Schools".

I have spent time in Tibetan (13 years), Chinese (1.5 years) and Thai Theravada (2 years) paradigms, and see very clearly across all these traditions that similar textual sources may be used but the great masters of those traditions have very different conclusions from those same texts. As an example, while staying at the City Of Ten Thousand Buddhas we studied the Lotus Sutra with a commentary by Master Hsuan Hua. It was very different in many ways than the commentaries I had read from Japanese scholars.

Quote:
But at the same time, it seemed quite clear to him that the Lotus Sutra conflicted with much of what he, as a Mahayana Buddhist monk, had been taught.


Not really a revelation. The various Mahayana sutras often have very different flavours and in some instances can seem contradictory to each other. In Tibetan literature there is a genre that develops methods to differentiate between Interpretable (drang don) and Definitive (ngedon) meaning. I am sure the Geshe would have been exposed to that. The parameters are ever evolving and people have different ideas- indeed, this is what makes Tibetan scholarship so vibrant.

The various schools within Chinese Buddhism seem to propose a hierarchy of Sutras, with various masters putting forth the Lotus as supreme, others holding it is the Avatamsaka, some saying it is the Pure Land Sutras and others the Shurangama Sutra.

Most of the Tibetan scholars I have met, seem to hold that the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras are definitive, but in terms of how the material in those Sutras is interpreted there is huge variance.

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In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:57 am 
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The question is really multiple: What do we think about celibacy and teetotalism? ...abstinance from secular employment? ...a full-time professional clergy? ...a religious hierarchy? ...particular programs of intensive religious education and practice?

Let me start with hierarchy. If there are going to be monks, then they will likely be accorded a status above that of mere laypeople (and perhaps also nuns, but that is a different issue). By this I mean that their opinions will be considered more important, lay groups will turn to them for leadership, and money will tend to flow in their direction. Since monks also have a hierarchy, the result is likely to be an authoritarian, leader-driven system with a vested interest in preserving various beliefs and practices (such as the notion that incarnations, or satori, can be identified by other leaders). This is in fact what we see in virtually all forms of "native" Buddhism. Figures like Thich Nhat Hahn and the Dalai Lama are received as liberals (by comparison) for relatively anemic steps, such as acknowledging that science, religious dialogue, and environmentalism are good (but somewhat less support for feminism and gay rights), while presiding over institutions characterized by a lack of equality, democracy, or openness to criticism and reform.

It is interesting to imagine how much would change if monks were replaced by some other elite group, such as graduates of Ph.D. programs or something like the FPMT Masters Program (which someone mentioned above) or Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche's Dharma Gar. In 19th century Japan, monks were essentially given government permission to marry, leading to the family-dominated systems we see today, but a more Protestant model is possible, with non-celibate Buddhist clergy job-hunting for the equivalent of suitable vicarages. (Tsem Rinpoche has experiemented with appointing Buddhist "pastors," but their credentials would mean little without his continuing support.) Another possibility would be a nonclerical system (like the nonprogrammatic Quakers). Could egalitarianism be possible with monks and nuns (or yogis, etc.) in the congregation, treated equally with laypeople? I don't see it, but I can imagine a dual system like Russian Orthodoxy, which has both monastic and married priests.

This is connected to the issues of education and practice, which monks (or other clergy) are supposed to undergo with more intensity. On one hand, Buddhism is heir to several very traditional and intricate systems of education, whose disappearance would be a great loss to the world. On the other hand, those same systems come with a rigidity which makes them less and less relevant to the world around them. It is a bit like the situation of Thomism in the Catholic Church. Is this really what we want? On the other hand, if everything is open to question, then everything may fall apart and the center may not hold, and who knows what charismatic figures will be slouching towards the dharma center. Another issue is excessive ritualism. How much chanting or meditation should be considered desirable?

Whoops, have to run. That's enough for now, anyway. I'll check back later.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:04 am 
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I am pro-everybody. Even people I disagree with for the most part. That wasn't an option on the list.
If they love the dharma then I should help them and cooperate as much as possible. If I can't/won't help them then I shouldn't try to make obstacles for them.

All that drama about hierarchies/institutions/my sect/your sect/my teacher/your teacher/history/myth/authentic/pure/lineage/traditional/fossilized/patriarchy/feudal/anachronistic- comes from our own minds. Not everyone has the same issues as we do and no one's delusional story is more or less delusional. IMHO- If it tastes of liberation then it is the dharma and I support liberative transformation in all it's myriad forms. It is essential for the transmission of the dharma that people make the dharma practice their number one, 100% priority in life. Whatever form that may be. I might be stating the obvious though? Or I have a minority belief, I can't really tell these days from some outside DW conversations.

Longer (stream of consciousness answer), to the OP:

Because of my delusions...reading this thread made me throw up a little in my mouth actually. I might be a little snarky. Trying not to. :(

I don't see anyone here (maybe one actually) that is offering a way of cooperation. Just saying how it isn't working but not "aaaand here is an idea we could try", "aaaaand here is possibility in line with the spirit of renunciation and that supports lay/renunciate practitioners alike". Not everyone is going to want to be a monastic, we all know this. Not everyone is going to want to be a lay person either! I don't care for babies or married couples or domesticity. Why exclude the option because the majority sees it as irrelevant to themselves? Instead of comparing it to a reconstructed past set in ancient India let's see how the principles can be applied and purpose retained in a different context.

Some people are more family-social others are more solitary/communal-ascetic. Is either the middle way? Monastic culture simply is to create a harmonious environment and situation in which people can focus their time and effort on spiritual practice. The lay people can do retreat more often and get away from the media and non-stop non-spiritual inundation of culture. The monastics can interact with the lay people more and use their extra time and low-cost of living to provide beneficial spiritual and social services or spaces. If some lay people don't want it, don't care about it...then they aren't forced to take/support it. If some monastics want to be independent and don't want to interact with lay people...then they can go do that. If lay people want to live in communes and spiritual communities too they can do that! They don't need monastics to make their own communities if they don't like being around celibate people. No one has to help anyone else if they don't want. So why the fuss? For me...it's America. We can redefine it however we want cuz we be doin' that anyway.

I try not to make trouble for people who love the dharma. They are rare. They will eventually become a Buddha and so will you- so we don't need to stress over the screw ups that occur in the learning process. Just cultivate ourselves and live honestly. EVERY community will have it's issues. Power dynamics in groups happen. Sometimes it helps, sometimes it really sucks. Fortunately it changes! Cool!

If only .5% of the population can be saved by a monastic culture then we need a monastic culture for those people. Because my method saves me doesn't mean we should discourage all previous methods. Even if my door now...is like...totally pure, directly from Buddha of the Woo Woo in so-and-so's vision and it says so in 13 sutras and 24 lineage holders traced back to big bang that it is the pure, buttery goodness of the Dharma right into your mouth teaching...if one dharma or one Buddha or one teaching could liberate everyone it would've already by now, right? So these grand claims about "having it" are often limited to time, place and people. Constant revelation!

I've seen all sorts of people, lay and monastic, that have been truly inspiring and truly disheartening. So it is with samsara.

What purpose does a Buddhist monastic serve? First of all this is silly. They serve by practicing the dharma! What purpose does a lay-householder serve? They serve by practicing the dharma! Secondly, instead of asking how it serves you (the you being a non-specific Buddhist lay person posing such a question) ask how it serves all the people you don't know. You've got the dharma practice. All the non-Buddhists out there? All the people deep in their own mind-muck and need to see someone with a clear vision? All the people who might be curious about Buddhism but do not know a Buddhist, couldn't tell one apart and might not know anyone to talk to about it? All the people who think Buddhism is about being "chill and zen" and "tipping is good karma"? All the people that just need to know there other people out there thinking positive thoughts about others? Monastics are valuable at the very least because they are symbols of Buddhism ( or whatever their religion) and offer the public a space to have dialogue about spirituality and world view. I don't see monastics (in the West) asking for handouts or that the "lay people owe me". I see a lot of other things but not that.

As a monastic- I find non-Buddhists have much to say and gain from me being a monastic. I am a symbol for something they might want to learn about and represent positive ideals. I might represent spiritual questing, inspiration or vision. I can also be a symbol for the abuses they've suffered due to organized religion and the contradiction present in any large institution with high ideals. I deal with their negative experiences too and try to accept it with non-judgement. If they got past their 'past' and knew me...they'd might learn I was a queer radical and have a particular distaste for hierarchies and hope to be a voice and ally and that I have my own share of drama from institutional failures. That I hope to transmit the spirit of renunciate culture into a relevant and transparent way for my own culture that aims in being one of cooperative and egalitarian spiritual practice.

I've found non-Buddhist lay people inspired by my commitment or curious about Buddhism and hopefully motivated to read a book, find a temple or consider their own world views. Some people see me as someone to open up to deeply and voice concerns that they might not have space for in their life or discussions about dying, suffering and the burden of life. Many more people are indifferent or just think I am sushi chef at Safeway.

As a convert Buddhist I can see some of the issues with the systems in place in Japan or Tibet or what have you. No Tushita heaven all the time. Having visited or talked to people from these systems I realize I am not interested in reproducing what they do or find much of it relevant. They have a 1000+ years to build it up to where it is now. They managed some good with the bad though so we can take some and leave some. Isn't that great? We can practice and pioneer the dharma here and are under no obligation to copy the screwed up part of the system. We can be respectful and emulate the beautiful parts until it is integrated...in oh... 500 years or something. (As an example of this future I have this one fantasy...I'd like see how seating arrangements done by when a person took their Bodhisattva vows and not by their social, monastic/lay, educational or leadership role might work out. Whoever is leading the practice or teaching should be in plain view. Everyone else sits according to the date regardless of any of other status/affiliations one may have.)

-byogen

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:27 pm 
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I had a hard time with the poll as well. On one hand, my experiences with monks and nuns have been mostly positive, and I recognize their central role that they have usually played in the religion. On the other hand, that does not mean that it has to be that way everywhere and always.

It is interesting to think about some of the groups which lack monks or nuns:

Bikkhu Bodhi (http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma13/challenge.html) and David MacMahan (in The Making of Buddhist Modernism) both mention Florida's Open Mind Zen center (http://www.openmindzen.com), which promises "no monks, no magic, no mumbo-jumbo." But its website does list several "sensei," and seated meditation is apparently not considered magic or mumbo-jumbo, so there are limits to their iconoclasm.

Aro gTer is led by ngakpa ("mantra-hurlers, i.e. lay tantrikas), and has no monks or nuns (or for that matter, any Tibetans or Mongolians or Himalayan people at all). They have also simplified the usually extensive ritual component.

I *think* Vietnam's Hoa Hao sect lacks monks or nuns. It started in the early 20th century, and simplified Buddhism to make it more affordable to peasant farmers.

The Unitarian Universalist Church has a Buddhist wing with no monks or nuns (though the church as a whole is led by Christian-style clergy). See http://www25.uua.org/uubf/

So, do any of these offer a plausible model for the future of Buddhism? On a much wider scale, many Chinese people call themselves "Buddhists" without being interested in monks or nuns. (Some would prefer to call them Daoists, or followers of the Chinese folk religion.) Organized Buddhist groups tend to think that there is something deficient about this type of religiosity, but then they would say that, wouldn't they?

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:28 am 
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Hello Folks! Having looked through the thread, it seems to be more of a Vajrayana thing and not being a Vajrayana practitioner, I can't comment much on where people are coming from.

From the little experience that I've had (and most of it has been within the Korean Chogye-style Zen) I am very grateful that monastics are still around. In Zen circles there is usually a massive difference in the extent, scope and depth of immersion monastic and lay teachers have had, for starters. The commitment itself speaks volumes and is a great encouragement. An extended period of deep dedicated practice has been the norm in Zen for centuries, though there have also been exceptions. The practical aspect of continuing a monastic lifestyle in the West is problematic for sure, and I don't have the answers there. Some large Theravada communities like Amaravati and Bodhinyana seem to do very well.

I'd really rather this not turn into the lay versus ordained debate as there can be brilliant lay teachers and no facile generalisation is going to resolve "which is better." But to me renunciates are one of the cornerstones of this path and a great beacon on it.


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