WOMEN ONLY PLEASE!

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WOMEN ONLY PLEASE!

Postby Namu Butsu » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:59 am

Okay, I am not a woman, but I would like for only women (preferably) to answer my question. I want to know how a modern practictioner of Mahayana buddhism (regardless of which sect) deals with some of the controversies surrounding Buddha's teachings and women. Such as women not necessarily being equal in terms of the nun compared to the monk etc... plus some statements attributed to the Buddha. How do you deal with these?

I appreciate your responses

Gassho
Namo Amida Butsu
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Re: WOMEN ONLY PLEASE!

Postby justsit » Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:42 pm

By observing the lives of the great women practitioners, and studying their teachings, it is readily apparent that there is no difference in the level of attainment between men and women. Seeing clearly, one sees beyond dependent arising.
The nature of mind does not differ for men and women. Therefore, mere human precepts do not hinder or prevent realization. My experience has been that women dedicated to serious practice who are fortunate to have an authentic teacher can find suitable opportunities. See, for example, this video.
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Re: WOMEN ONLY PLEASE!

Postby muni » Sat Mar 13, 2010 4:43 pm

Thank you so much for that wonderful video! The old Anila! Vajrasattva. :bow:

Guru Rinpoche: " It is not so that basic material for buddhahood is abundant in men and deficient in woman. You took woman birth and aren't prevented from attaining buddhahood."
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Re: WOMEN ONLY PLEASE!

Postby pickledpitbull » Sun Mar 14, 2010 4:41 pm

Personally, my take on it is that Shakyamuni lived in a man's world, and he was preaching to the masses. Additionally, the sutras and canon were written by men. For those who find the canon inflexible, they will continue to see men as superior to women in the heirarchy. Others find impermance in everything, including what is written.

Women have been the scapegoats for men's egos for milennia, and in many cultures they still are. Horrible things are allowed to happen to women, and men are not solely the perpetrators. If ALL the women said "NO MORE!", men would be powerless to stop them. So who is really guilty?

I see it as room for personal growth for both men and women. It allows all of us the opportunity to rise above it, and it takes all of our practice skills: loving-kindness, patience, understanding, compassion, etc.

Change is happening. It just happens slowly. Show your support for the women in your sangha and things will continue to move forward.

That's how I deal with it. Thanks for asking!

Donna
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Re: WOMEN ONLY PLEASE!

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:13 pm

I see gender as a very temporary condition. This life is a flash in the pan, incredibly short. So any issues that arise surrounding gender in Buddhism make their way past me very quickly (in a spiritual sense). I consider them to be social issues, since the only type of enlightened being I'm aware of that wouldn't be a female is a nirmanakaya.

Kindly,
Laura
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Re: WOMEN ONLY PLEASE!

Postby muni » Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:34 am

Ngawang Drolma wrote:I see gender as a very temporary condition. This life is a flash in the pan, incredibly short. So any issues that arise surrounding gender in Buddhism make their way past me very quickly (in a spiritual sense). I consider them to be social issues, since the only type of enlightened being I'm aware of that wouldn't be a female is a nirmanakaya.

Kindly,
Laura


Like that! :buddha1: Both cloudlike Sambhogakaya, rainlike Nirmanakaya are taking shape in the body-less Dharmakaya, the empty continuity.
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Re: WOMEN ONLY PLEASE!

Postby Indrajala » Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:41 am

This article might be useful:

Ven. Dr. Yifa’s Response to the Bhikkhuni Ordination at Perth
The Buddhist Channel, Dec 5, 2009

Los Angeles, CA (USA) -- Thirty years ago, I visited a Buddhist monastery for the first time in my life. Two weeks later, I decided to shave my head and become a nun. At the time, I was a student at the law school of National Taiwan University, and wanted to be a lawyer or even a politician. I had felt, since I was a child, great sympathy toward the suppressed classes in society and was attracted to fairness and justice. These have been the guiding values in my life.

The monastery I visited is called Buddha Light Mountain (Fo Guang Shan). Three decades ago, most of Fo Guang Shan’s members were women and most of them were young, in their twenties and thirties, and with a college education. The whole community was very dynamic and energetic, full of hope and life. The founder of the order, Venerable Master Hsing Yun, called for young and educated people to join the Sangha. During those two weeks, I myself had a personal transformation, and changed my path as a lawyer into that of a monastic.

I was very dedicated to learning and practicing the precepts (the Vinaya). One day, we students were invited by a devotee to stay in a hotel, where the bed in the room was high-up and large. One of the ten precepts is to restrain oneself from sleeping on such a bed. I asked the Venerable Master what I should do. “You need be able to sleep on either the small one or the big one,” he said. “Both are fine.” That was a wonderful lesson, because the reason I came to Buddhism was to look for liberation and not bondage, for the ultimate truth, and not just rules—and some rules in the Vinaya seemed to be unfair, especially the many ones for women.

Later, Venerable Master Hsing Yun encouraged me to go to abroad for my advanced education. With his support and Fo Guang Shan’s sponsorship, I finished a Master’s degree in philosophy from Hawaii University and the Ph.D. in Religion from Yale within eight years. For my dissertation, I decided to study the Vinaya and the monastic codes of India and China. When I finished my dissertation, I cried out, “Gotama!
This old man was so wise and kind.” I felt this to be so, because the Buddha left so much flexibility with the rules, so there were exceptions to particular rules whenever they created inconvenience in the Sangha.
The Buddha set up the rules after he attained enlightenment, and then proclaimed one after another; but he also responded to the thoughts of the benefactors of monks and nuns, and modified the rules he initiated. He was so wise, because as he kept reminding monastics to adapt to local customs, something that is repeated in the Vinaya texts again and again.

The Buddha’s most precious teaching concerned “causes and conditions.” Every day, I am aware that the temporal and special conditions where I live are different. The Internet, media, and transportation have reshaped the world and the younger generation is different from my time. As the Buddha taught, the world is changing.

It is hard for us to imagine today that a spiritual institution such as the Church initiated the Christian Inquisition beyond; it’s hard to believe now that suicide bombers carry out their brutality in the name of religion. Buddhism has been viewed as nonviolent; however, its suppression of women’s rights has caught Westerners’ attention. I believe that Buddha left his palace intending to find a solution to the suffering of all human/sentient beings, and not to build a religion called “Buddhism.”

In the twentieth century, Buddhism came to the West. Now, in the twenty-first, it is flourishing. But Buddhism is still strange to the West; those Westerners who leave their native faith to step into an Asian culture must have courage and face tremendous challenges. The system of sponsorship has yet to be built for the Western Sangha; many Westerners who seek the monastic life are still like orphans, with no parents (few teachers who understand they are different) and no home (few monasteries fit their culture). We need to adopt a forgiving and inclusive attitude to welcome them to the Sangha.

I attended a lecture given by one of my best friends, William Ury, co-founder of the Harvard Negotiation Project and author of the bestseller Getting to Yes. At the end of his talk, he quoted the American Poet Edwin Markham. I think there are no better words to fit this situation:

They drew a circle that shut me out,
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout!
But love and I had the wit to win
We drew a circle that took them in.

There is a simplistic impression that all Theravada monks are against women’s ordination. That is not true. Fo Guang Shan has given several international ordinations; they were all supported by different groups of Theravada monks. Is it possible to use a “humane” way to reconsider this issue rather than focusing on the letter of the law?

-------------
Bhikkhuni Yifa currently resides at the Hsi Lai Temple in Los Angeles, USA


http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php ... 72,0,0,1,0
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Re: WOMEN ONLY PLEASE!

Postby Devotee » Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:30 pm

Master Shih Cheng Yen of Tzu Chi is a woman, and she really embodies compassionate/humanistic Buddhism. Perhaps she's a woman, and thus possesses motherly instincts? :p

I took refuge under Master Wei Chueh of Chung Tai. However, the branch where I am is run by women; we have an abbess, not an abbot. But if it weren't for them, I wouldn't learn, and I wouldn't have had the chance to take refuge. I respect them as much as I respect any other member of the Sangha, male or otherwise.

Plus, I've seen them organize the temple like only women could--they have a knack for organizing what little space there is, they're adept in the kitchen, they have a keen sense of decoration when it comes to special events; these things would require more female lay volunteers, when the masters here were all male! :p
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Re: WOMEN ONLY PLEASE!

Postby Annapurna » Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:49 pm

Namu Butsu wrote:Okay, I am not a woman, but I would like for only women (preferably) to answer my question. I want to know how a modern practictioner of Mahayana buddhism (regardless of which sect) deals with some of the controversies surrounding Buddha's teachings and women. Such as women not necessarily being equal in terms of the nun compared to the monk etc... plus some statements attributed to the Buddha. How do you deal with these?

I appreciate your responses

Gassho
Namo Amida Butsu


Namu Butsu,

I don't really care I think....I'm not a nun, so I don't have to bow to a monk, or whatever is required, and in my private life, I am respectful to all.

(I would hope)

I read a nice text just before coming here:


Ages ago, in another world system long before our present solar system evolved, there appeared a Buddha named Turya, and there came into His august presence, a young princess named Jnanachandra who possessed supreme devotion to the dharma. The monks surrounding the Buddha admonished her, saying, "Due to your wholesome roots of meritorious karma, you can now be reborn in the body of a man and thus go on to attain enlightenment," but the royal princess replied, "In this proposal there is no wisdom. In reality there is no rebirth and no permanent self. These appellations "male" and "female" are hollow. Only fools are deluded by them. As for those who strive to attain enlightenment while relying upon rebirth as a man, there are many. Therefore, until samsara itself is exhausted, I shall work ceaselessly for the benefit of beings in the form of a woman." The Buddha Turya then delivered a prophecy that in a future age this princess would herself become a supremely enlightened Buddha in female form known by the name of “Tara, she who saves."

This was the great vow of the Bodhisattva Tara and since that distant time she has striven continuously to rescue and liberate all beings. Salvation is a process of crossing over the ocean of Samsara to safe refuge on the further shore. Tara is she who ferries (tarayati) and she is thus the savioress par excellance of all beings in the three worlds. As she herself said, "It is for the protection of the world that I have been called forth by the Jinas. In places of terror which bristle with swords and where dangers abound, when only my name is recalled, I will invariably come to protect beings. I will ferry them across (tarayisyami) the great turbulent flood of manifold terrors. Therefore, the great seers sing of me in this world under my name of Tara."

Although her manifestations in the world are myriad, the Great Goddess most commonly appears in her green form; the color green signifying that she is the embodiment in female form of the compassionate activity of all the Buddhas of the three times and the ten directions of space. In the hymns of praise to Tara, she is called the Savioress, the swift one who with infinite courage banishes all fear, defeats the boldest among the demons, and bestows whatever may be required. She removes poisons and contagious diseases. In particular, she protects humanity from the eight and sixteen great terrors, such as war, famine, plague and so on. One need only recall her holy name and she will come without fail.

According to the Sadhanamala, "Whoever meditates upon our Blessed Lady in a lonely mountain cave, he will behold her face to face with his own eyes. And the Blessed Lady herself will bestow upon him her inspiration and all else he would require. Indeed, she puts buddhahood itself, so hard to win, in the palm of his hand." And according to the Sragdhara-stotram of Sarvajnamitra, "She alone by herself effectively removes all evil by the mere event of her name being heard or recollected -- for her compassion flows out to all beings without partiality."


:namaste:
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Re: WOMEN ONLY PLEASE!

Postby Namu Butsu » Fri Apr 02, 2010 12:14 am

These are great comments. The buddhist way is so much different than the dogmatic systems such as Islam. I remember women talking about womens rights in Islam, and unfortunately, they really accepted the oppression as a duty that was biding on them. I find in Mahayana buddhism so much room for growth as impermanence can be a beautiful thing. This is one of the most attractive things about Buddhism. I recently read a book on Zen Women which was fascinating seeing women rise above their "traditional roles". Also it was great to see some men (monks) who were more enlightened to see that it did not matter what gender this flesh and bones are.

Annapurna, what sutra is that from?

Gassho
Namo Amida Butsu
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"Just say the nembutsu and be liberated" Shinran Shonin
"However hard it may be to bid farewell to this world, when the conditions that bind us to this saha [samsara] realm run out, we are powerless to do anything as the final hour arrives and we are swept away to that Land." -A Record in Lament of Divergences
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Re: WOMEN ONLY PLEASE!

Postby Clueless Git » Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:00 am

Ngawang Drolma wrote:I see gender as a very temporary condition. This life is a flash in the pan, incredibly short. So any issues that arise surrounding gender in Buddhism make their way past me very quickly (in a spiritual sense). I consider them to be social issues ...

Genuine wisdom there, imho! :bow:

.. since the only type of enlightened being I'm aware of that wouldn't be a female is a nirmanakaya.

Kindly,
Laura

oh ...

GET BACK IN THE KITCHEN !!!! :tantrum:



:tongue:

(I'm allowed to say things like that btw. Being a single dad kinda makes me an honourary mum ..)
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Re: WOMEN ONLY PLEASE!

Postby muni » Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:14 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgdzPKtA ... re=related
Compassion for those who cannot see equality by misperception. :group:
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Re: WOMEN ONLY PLEASE!

Postby justsit » Thu Apr 29, 2010 12:25 pm

Beautiful, Muni, thank you!

:bow: :bow: :bow:
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Re: WOMEN ONLY PLEASE!

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Thu Apr 29, 2010 3:52 pm

Clueless Git wrote:
Ngawang Drolma wrote:I see gender as a very temporary condition. This life is a flash in the pan, incredibly short. So any issues that arise surrounding gender in Buddhism make their way past me very quickly (in a spiritual sense). I consider them to be social issues ...

Genuine wisdom there, imho! :bow:

.. since the only type of enlightened being I'm aware of that wouldn't be a female is a nirmanakaya.

Kindly,
Laura

oh ...

GET BACK IN THE KITCHEN !!!! :tantrum:



:tongue:

(I'm allowed to say things like that btw. Being a single dad kinda makes me an honourary mum ..)


Clueless Git, you made me chuckle out loud. Don't fret, a nirmanakaya is one in a zillion. I don't happen to be that amazing one, I'm just part of the zillion. But we're all in that boat together, ordinary men and women alike!

Best,
Laura :)
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Re: WOMEN ONLY PLEASE!

Postby muni » Sat May 08, 2010 9:31 am

:namaste: Justsit, yes indeed: confidence.

"The innate Buddha-nature or Buddha-ness within each and every single sentient being is genderless, unborn, and undying-more akin to clear light than to our personalities – and timeless, untarnished, and incorruptible." Lama Surya Das.

Funny Clueless. :group:
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Re: WOMEN ONLY PLEASE!

Postby Potato » Sun May 23, 2010 7:09 pm

I simply cannot accept that Buddha, given what we know of him, would have been inclined to treat women as badly as has been alleged. Since it is well-known that the written teachings of several of the world's religions were edited by misogynists in their respective clergies years after the founders of those religions perished, there is no reason to assume that the same did not happen to Buddhist writings.
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Re: WOMEN ONLY PLEASE!

Postby Annapurna » Mon May 24, 2010 1:47 pm

Namu Butsu wrote:Okay, I am not a woman, but I would like for only women (preferably) to answer my question. I want to know how a modern practictioner of Mahayana buddhism (regardless of which sect) deals with some of the controversies surrounding Buddha's teachings and women. Such as women not necessarily being equal in terms of the nun compared to the monk etc... plus some statements attributed to the Buddha. How do you deal with these?

I appreciate your responses

Gassho
Namo Amida Butsu


Hello, I'm not a nun, and if I were a nun, I suppose I would largely be above such impermanent things....

My personal opinion, lately, about women is this, despite being one myself:

Nearly all arguments that I've seen arising (amongst non Buddhist females) were caused by women, being oversensitive, fussy, critical, OT, contentious, etc.

I couldn't help but wonder if that is why the Buddha recommended special terms for them.

I'm so sorry to say this, and explicitly exclude my female fellow Buddhists, -those were all Non-Buddhists.

Perhaps that is the difference and it is also only of late.
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