Taego Order: 2011 Bikkhu Ordination

Taego Order: 2011 Bikkhu Ordination

Postby Jikan » Wed Dec 07, 2011 4:21 pm

I'm interested in the way this is becoming an international sangha, and fast. Two Americans among the new ordinands:

http://taegojong.blogspot.com/2011/12/2 ... ation.html
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Re: Taego Order: 2011 Bikkhu Ordination

Postby jrzen » Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:38 am

The Taego Order also discriminates against women, anyone of the age of 50, the disabled, and gay people.

Male monks can marry but female monks in the Taego Order must be celibate.

Gay & Lesbian people must never get married or have any relationships.

No one who has any kind of physical limitation may be a Taego monk.

And no one over the age of 50 is allowed, either.

Discrimination and double standards have no place in Western Buddhism.

You can read more about the discriminatory Taego Order at the two links below:

http://openskyzen.blogspot.com/2011/05/ ... -monk.html

http://zenmastermayhem.blogspot.com/201 ... r-its.html
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Re: Taego Order: 2011 Bikkhu Ordination

Postby Huifeng » Thu Dec 08, 2011 1:48 pm

jrzen wrote:The Taego Order also discriminates against women, anyone of the age of 50, the disabled, and gay people.

Male monks can marry but female monks in the Taego Order must be celibate.

Gay & Lesbian people must never get married or have any relationships.

No one who has any kind of physical limitation may be a Taego monk.

And no one over the age of 50 is allowed, either.

Discrimination and double standards have no place in Western Buddhism.

You can read more about the discriminatory Taego Order at the two links below:

http://openskyzen.blogspot.com/2011/05/ ... -monk.html

http://zenmastermayhem.blogspot.com/201 ... r-its.html


Well, this particular Order aside, a couple of points about the rules for bhiksus and bhiksunis of any tradition,
according to the Vinaya established by the Blessed One Himself:

NO bhikkhu can have any physical / sexual relationship, be it straight, gay, or otherwise.
That's the very first Vinaya rule, by the way. And for good reason.

Moreover, the original reason for having restrictions on physical limitations in the Sangha, is one of who is to look after those people?
While obviously this is not the general rule, it is unfair to expect other monastics to look after them when they themselves have dedicated themselves to the path.

Likewise for those who are elderly.

There is also the danger of people entering the Order simply for the sake of such assistance and help.

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Re: Taego Order: 2011 Bikkhu Ordination

Postby Jikan » Fri Dec 09, 2011 3:02 pm

I'm confused on the role of the Vinaya in the Taego ordination. From the links jrzen posted, it seems as though the Vinaya is relied on as an authority, but it is also clear that the ordinands are not bikkshus. Any insight on this will be appreciated.

EDIT: I should also say that the claims jrzen presents in those links should be examined with care. It would be most helpful if someone with an informed perspective could shed some light on these.
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Re: Taego Order: 2011 Bikkhu Ordination

Postby jrzen » Fri Dec 09, 2011 6:23 pm

<<<NO bhikkhu can have any physical / sexual relationship, be it straight, gay, or otherwise.>>

Yes, so by the Vinaya rules all of the Taego Order monks (including the Overseas Taego Order Bishop, Jongmae Park) are breaking vinaya rules.

Jongmae Park used to be a Chogye monk (they are a celibate order) yet was married for many years and has a grown child.

Taego order monks may ordain eventually as full Bhikkus, but may also continue to have sex, be married, etc. Unless you are a female or a gay person.

Feel free to ask anyone in the Taego Order directly and they will have to tell you the truth.
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Re: Taego Order: 2011 Bikkhu Ordination

Postby Jikan » Sat Dec 10, 2011 1:33 am

jrzen wrote:<<<NO bhikkhu can have any physical / sexual relationship, be it straight, gay, or otherwise.>>

Yes, so by the Vinaya rules all of the Taego Order monks (including the Overseas Taego Order Bishop, Jongmae Park) are breaking vinaya rules.


This would be so, if Taego ordinands are indeed ordained by & in the Vinaya. Are they? If so, which one?

Which precepts do these ordinands take?
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Re: Taego Order: 2011 Bikkhu Ordination

Postby jrzen » Sat Dec 10, 2011 6:40 am

That is an very, very good question -

When asked, Jongmae Kenneth Park says he bases his no-gays rule on the vinaya (which is inaccurate--all forms of sexuality are banned in the vinaya, gay, straight, and otherwise) so I'm not sure.

If asked I am sure someone from Taego would answer. I understand that they are reeling from all the bad publicity they are getting so they might not be forthcoming at first. This is what happened to me--I had to keep asking several people before getting a semi-clear answer, and only when I saw some articles online about the Taego Order did I realize they discriminate they way they do.
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Re: Taego Order: 2011 Bikkhu Ordination

Postby Tilopa » Sat Dec 10, 2011 8:43 am

Monks who have broken their root vows cannot validly ordain others so if the Preceptors of this order aren't celibate they're not transmitting Vinaya precepts anyway but if some members have received their vows from pure Bikkhus they are monks only so long as they remain celibate. With the transgression of this vow the ordination lapses.
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Re: Taego Order: 2011 Bikkhu Ordination

Postby jrzen » Sat Dec 10, 2011 2:10 pm

In terms of Zen this isn't necessarily the case. Many Zen priests are non-celibate.

The issue here isn't who is celibate or who isn't (look at how well that is working for the Catholic Church!) but that the Taego Order discriminates against certain groups of people.

In this day and age, none of that makes sense.
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Re: Taego Order: 2011 Bikkhu Ordination

Postby Jikan » Sat Dec 10, 2011 2:50 pm

jrzen wrote:In terms of Zen this isn't necessarily the case. Many Zen priests are non-celibate.

The issue here isn't who is celibate or who isn't (look at how well that is working for the Catholic Church!) but that the Taego Order discriminates against certain groups of people.

In this day and age, none of that makes sense.


It seems you are raising two separate issues here, one having to do with the vinaya, and the other with your sense that this order is discriminating unfairly in its decisions on who is to be ordained, and who is not.

On the vinaya issue, Tilopa is correct. It is true that many Zen priests are non-celibate (this is so in many Buddhist schools in which offer forms of ordination that are separate from the Vinaya). But this simply means that these priests are not bikkhus.

I don't know enough about the discrimination question to comment on it in a useful way.

I have reached out to some members of the Taego Order to get their perspective on these issues.
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Re: Taego Order: 2011 Bikkhu Ordination

Postby rory » Sun Dec 11, 2011 6:05 am

You'll find a similar situation with Won Buddhism. I've met the nuns locally. The men can marry, the women remain celibate. At the time I didn't ask them about gay/lesbian issues. I do remember that it was with the Japanese Occupation of Korea that the concept of married priests took hold. Are Bodhisattva precepts given as in Japan? I'd imagine so, but am not sure.

Huseng had this discussion on another thread, he rightly pointed out that the Buddha's followers weren't ordained in any tradition. I

A propos of women, the Korean nuns I met loved their life; they were educated, had travelled widely, were given responsibilities and promoted. Remember life for women in some cultures isn't so easy. I say this as a women and a feminist. As for gay discrimination, this is the bad taste of Confucian culture infecting Buddhism. I had social difficulties with the Fo Guang Temple, everyone assuming I'm straight & debating if I even want to go there. I ultimately belong to a Japanese Buddhist Nichiren Sect that in the US doesn't have this cultural baggage.
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Re: Taego Order: 2011 Bikkhu Ordination

Postby jrzen » Sun Dec 11, 2011 6:32 am

<<I just don't see the point of following a religion & philosophy that is all about change & clinging to a Vinaya that never changes according to the needs of the times & the place. But them I'm all about lay buddhism.>>

Excellent point--few, if any, actually abide by the vinaya and it was written on a case-by-case basis over 2,500 years ago. Trying to make it fit into today's world doesn't make any sense.

I had to check and double check with the Taego Order Overseas Parish before they finally admitted that as a female I could not ordain and be married even though men can.
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Re: Taego Order: 2011 Bikkhu Ordination

Postby rory » Sun Dec 11, 2011 9:25 am

jrzen;
shameful that Taego won't let you ordain & be married, really they should make it optional as they do in Japan. If someone wants to lead a celibate life they can, I believe most Soto nuns are celibate, their choice. Or who knows maybe they are gay, it's a tradition and cliche that Kukai who brought Shingon to Japan 'introduced' homosexuality to the Japanese. Abbots and monks in Japan had families. Today most sects still don't recognize marriage though Shinshu and Soto Shu do. I wish all this hypocrisy would end on sexual matters. And the vinaya.
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Re: Taego Order: 2011 Bikkhu Ordination

Postby Konchog1 » Sun Dec 11, 2011 9:44 am

jrzen wrote:<<I just don't see the point of following a religion & philosophy that is all about change & clinging to a Vinaya that never changes according to the needs of the times & the place. But them I'm all about lay buddhism.>>

Excellent point--few, if any, actually abide by the vinaya and it was written on a case-by-case basis over 2,500 years ago. Trying to make it fit into today's world doesn't make any sense.
Well, to be fair the Lord Buddha said the "unnecessary" rules could be dropped after he was dead but he didn't say what an unnecessary rule was so the sangha kept all the rules to be safe.
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Re: Taego Order: 2011 Bikkhu Ordination

Postby Indrajala » Sun Dec 11, 2011 3:39 pm

rory wrote:Or who knows maybe they are gay, it's a tradition and cliche that Kukai who brought Shingon to Japan 'introduced' homosexuality to the Japanese.


What is your source for this?
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Re: Taego Order: 2011 Bikkhu Ordination

Postby Astus » Sun Dec 11, 2011 4:37 pm

Huseng wrote:
rory wrote:Or who knows maybe they are gay, it's a tradition and cliche that Kukai who brought Shingon to Japan 'introduced' homosexuality to the Japanese.


What is your source for this?


Faure mentions this legend (or not just legend) of Kukai's part in introducing "male love" (but not lesbianism!) in his book "Red Thread".
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

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True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Taego Order: 2011 Bikkhu Ordination

Postby Indrajala » Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:23 am

Astus wrote:
Huseng wrote:
rory wrote:Or who knows maybe they are gay, it's a tradition and cliche that Kukai who brought Shingon to Japan 'introduced' homosexuality to the Japanese.


What is your source for this?


Faure mentions this legend (or not just legend) of Kukai's part in introducing "male love" (but not lesbianism!) in his book "Red Thread".


I've never heard of this in Japanese sources.
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Re: Taego Order: 2011 Bikkhu Ordination

Postby Astus » Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:39 am

Huseng wrote:I've never heard of this in Japanese sources.


You can start here:

Kukai and the Tradition of Male Love in Japanese Buddhism by Paul Gordon Schalow, in Buddhism, Sexuality, and Gender, p. 215ff
The Great Mirror of Male Love by Ihara Saikaku (tr. P. G. Schalow)
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Taego Order: 2011 Bikkhu Ordination

Postby Huifeng » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:22 pm

jrzen wrote:<<<NO bhikkhu can have any physical / sexual relationship, be it straight, gay, or otherwise.>>

Yes, so by the Vinaya rules all of the Taego Order monks (including the Overseas Taego Order Bishop, Jongmae Park) are breaking vinaya rules.

Jongmae Park used to be a Chogye monk (they are a celibate order) yet was married for many years and has a grown child.

Taego order monks may ordain eventually as full Bhikkus, but may also continue to have sex, be married, etc. Unless you are a female or a gay person.

Feel free to ask anyone in the Taego Order directly and they will have to tell you the truth.


They are only breaking those rules if they ordained with those rules in the first place.
If one ordains as a bhiksu, but engages in sexual intercourse, they are only a bhiksu in name only, ie. not a bhiksu at all.

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Re: Taego Order: 2011 Bikkhu Ordination

Postby Jikan » Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:44 pm

jrzen wrote:If asked I am sure someone from Taego would answer.


No luck as of yet. These issues around the Vinaya and around discrimination are of the first importance; it would be a shame to see them go unaddressed.
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