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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:33 pm 
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Buddhist monks and matchmaking services may sound like an unlikely combination, but many Buddhist sects in the country are now offering such services for their monks as their temples face a dearth of successors and possible integration with other temples.
One such sect is the Koyasan Shingon, headquartered on Mount Koya, Wakayama Prefecture...

Read on...

Expediency? Necessity? Fabulosity?

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:41 pm 
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Maybe if their seminary didn't cost US$10,000/year or more, they'd have more priests signing up.

To become a trained priest in Japan costs a lot of money.

I mean if you could sign up and receive all the training for free in exchange for service to the sangha and free accommodation, you might have enthusiastic youth from outside the fold enrolling.

The problem with Japan's hereditary priesthood is primarily that a lot of them don't want the job, it is just forced upon them.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:36 pm 
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There is a form of natural selection in religion too. Institutions that are not viable eventually die out.
In Europe one is free to join a Christian monastery or become a priest. But only few wants to, and not because it is expensive (it's mostly free).

BTW, are women allowed in Shingon to be heads of temple?

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 5:36 am 
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Well said Astus; institutions should die out that have no life. I do know that in Tendai there are abbesses of big important temples, they're nuns though. Just about all Japanese sects are run by men at the top levels. As for Shingon I don't know.

Huseng; Did you see the thread on the current Kalu rinpoche and the abuse he suffered in monasteries and his condemnation of them? Very interesting. Idealizing the vinaya gets you nowhere in Mappo.
with gassho
Rory

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 6:19 am 
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rory wrote:
Huseng; Did you see the thread on the current Kalu rinpoche and the abuse he suffered in monasteries and his condemnation of them? Very interesting. Idealizing the vinaya gets you nowhere in Mappo.
with gassho
Rory


I don't idealize the Vinaya. No need to insinuate that I do.

Having children in monasteries is something done more or less as a form of social welfare. In Tibetan communities when families have children they can't afford or want, sending them to a monastery is an easy solution. The same situation probably applies in other communities as well. Moreover, institutionalized monasticism lends itself to a lot of problems. It becomes a refuge for a lot of people who would otherwise not manage elsewhere rather than being a community of renunciates. If there is no means of weeding out unsuitable residents, then you're asking for trouble.

You're actually not supposed to be a monk or nun until adulthood or the age of 20. In Taiwan here they got it right. You don't have child abuse in monasteries because there are no children. Everyone is an adult who by their own volition signed up.

Monasteries should be for adults, not children. A religious education for children is good, but no need to put them in robes or have them living in a monastery. This won't change anytime soon unless the state can provide welfare for poverty stricken families and their children.

Actually a lot of monks I've met over the years entered monasteries as children because their families faced financial hardship.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 6:22 am 
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Astus wrote:
BTW, are women allowed in Shingon to be heads of temple?


As far as I know there is no formal rule prohibiting this, but in reality most Buddhist temples in Japan and the upper echelons of leadership are dominated by males.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 6:24 am 
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Astus wrote:
There is a form of natural selection in religion too. Institutions that are not viable eventually die out.


That's why intelligent reforms are necessary.

Matchmaking for priests is not intelligent.

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