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Conducive place for women to practice Dhamma? - Dhamma Wheel

Conducive place for women to practice Dhamma?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
starter
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Conducive place for women to practice Dhamma?

Postby starter » Sat Nov 20, 2010 5:41 pm

Hello friend,

Since becoming a Buddhist practitioner about half a year ago, I’ve been wondering about the best option/place for female practitioners. The Buddha taught us that we need conducive conditions for our practice - quiet place, good support, and not too many duties to perform. As a lay practitioner working and living in a turbulent society, together with some often overstressed and trouble-making worldlings, I can hardly maintain such conducive conditions.

I thought about becoming a nun, but the advice given by a monk discouraged this attempt. He told me that the conditions in monasteries for nuns (and in fact, many monks, too) are not the most conducive. That is from the insider information that he has gleaned from his various nun contacts. According to him, the main problems are not chauvinist monks, but are due to 1) life with other women, 2) the western female Buddhist monasticism being highly politicized, which makes it very unsuitable for meditative practice and monastic training of junior monastics, and tends to attract people who are interested in such issues; for those over thirty years old, the monastic life is even more unsuitable because those people just tend to be too set in their ways for hardcore monastic training and mastering hundreds or thousands of regulations and clauses, and most teachers groan privately if they have to train somebody monastically who is entering their third decade or above. He advised me that many or most great woman lay practitioners who have battled with that question have decided on the lay life, since there are not many (or no?) ideal solutions out there.

Well, I surely trust him but I’d like to hear more opinions, especially from those “insiders” or who know the “inside information”. I'd greatly appreciate the answers to the following questions:

Are the nuns covered with medical insurance and etc.? Is there a more(if not the most) conducive place for women to practice Dhamma out there? Or should we just keep our struggle and wait until we retire to gain such conducive conditions (hopefully)?

Your kind help has been and would be most appreciated. Metta,

Starter

PS: "There is no perfect place in saṃsāra and as long as one is not liberated from mental defilements one will sooner or later start to find fault with a monastery which at first appeared to be great. There is no monastery which is perfectly quiet and where the monks are all arahants. So, this guide is not intended as a guide to find the perfect place, as a bible for restless monks. There was one user of this guide who went to many of the forest monasteries in this guide but still could not find the perfect conditions he was seeking. So rather than trying to find the perfect external place, which does not exist, it is more realistic to be content with an imperfect place and learn to deal with the defilements that come up in one’s mind. Nevertheless, there are particular conditions such as climate and food which affect each person differently and this guide can be used to find a place which matches one’s physical constitution and temperament. It can also be used when travelling or going on cārikā, a walking journey, so that one can walk from forest monastery to forest monastery or stay in other places with a reasonable vinaya practice." -- from Buddhist Forest Monasteries and Meditation Centres in Sri Lanka http://www.bps.lk/olib/mi/mi008.pdf
[Added on 07/21/2013]
Last edited by starter on Sun Jul 21, 2013 5:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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cooran
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Re: Conducive place for women to practice Dhamma?

Postby cooran » Sat Nov 20, 2010 8:05 pm

Hello Starter,

Entering into Monastic Life and Ordaining as a Bhikkhuni in Theravada Buddhism (This page has not been updated by google, so some links may not work)
http://groups.google.com/group/dhammadh ... hism?pli=1

Why not contact some Bhikkhunis directly via email with your questions:
Bhikkhuni Directory
http://sites.google.com/site/bhikkhunic ... idirectory

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Goofaholix
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Re: Conducive place for women to practice Dhamma?

Postby Goofaholix » Sat Nov 20, 2010 8:34 pm

I would think about joining the staff in one of the large meditation centres like IMS. You'd have to work sure but you'd have a lot of access to retreat time and good teachers.

Individual
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Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:19 am

Re: Conducive place for women to practice Dhamma?

Postby Individual » Sat Nov 20, 2010 8:53 pm

The best things in life aren't things.


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cooran
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Re: Conducive place for women to practice Dhamma?

Postby cooran » Sat Nov 20, 2010 9:04 pm

Hello Goof and Individual,

Starter has been a buddhist for six months .... are you seriously suggesting she should be a Teacher? And how easy is it for someone to just roll up, with no experience or academic quals, and be put on the staff at IMS?

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Conducive place for women to practice Dhamma?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Nov 20, 2010 9:10 pm

• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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cooran
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Re: Conducive place for women to practice Dhamma?

Postby cooran » Sat Nov 20, 2010 9:36 pm

---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Bhikkhu Pesala
Posts: 3670
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:17 pm

Re: Conducive place for women to practice Dhamma?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Nov 20, 2010 10:01 pm

Thanks for the update. It seems that she is still living in Burma. Chanmyay.net seems to have been taken over for inferior purposes. Chanmyay.org is currently not responding. I cannot even access nibbana.com at the moment.
• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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Goofaholix
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Re: Conducive place for women to practice Dhamma?

Postby Goofaholix » Sat Nov 20, 2010 10:05 pm


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cooran
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Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: Conducive place for women to practice Dhamma?

Postby cooran » Sat Nov 20, 2010 10:14 pm

Thanks for clarifying Goofaholix. :smile:

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Ben
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Re: Conducive place for women to practice Dhamma?

Postby Ben » Sat Nov 20, 2010 10:20 pm

Anyway...
Out of respect to starter, lets keep posts focused on her particular situation and not on tangents.
kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

Individual
Posts: 1970
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:19 am

Re: Conducive place for women to practice Dhamma?

Postby Individual » Sat Nov 20, 2010 10:45 pm

The best things in life aren't things.


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bazzaman
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Re: Conducive place for women to practice Dhamma?

Postby bazzaman » Sun Nov 21, 2010 12:36 am

.
Last edited by bazzaman on Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

starter
Posts: 875
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:56 pm

Re: Conducive place for women to practice Dhamma?

Postby starter » Sun Nov 21, 2010 1:33 am

Hello friends,

Many thanks for your very kind and warm-hearted help. I was too frustrated with some unjust treatment to look into my inner heart, my attachments and defilements, before posting this thread. Indeed I should have investigated internally "to the very heart of things:'What is the source of sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair? How do they arise?", instead of searching solutions to problems externally. I just used "handle problems" to search Google Suffron, and found the following paragraph of "SIMPLY THIS MOMENT! by Ajahn Brahm:

“People often think that they want to go here or go there, but wherever you go you take ‘you’ with you. You’ll go from one place to another but you will find out that whatever habits and character traits you have here, you’ll still have them somewhere else. Whatever obstacles you find here you’ll find elsewhere. That’s because you have the same defilements. It’s not because of …(the others), it’s because of the way you see … (the others). It’s not the place, it’s the way you see that place. You will take this wherever you go until you can be free from all of that (defilements).”

I shouldn't have blamed this turbulent world and those overstressed/trouble-making worldlings. I should have found my own attachments and defilements which have caused the distresses, and remove/abandon them.

I checked the job vacancies at IMS before, but didn't find a suitable job for me, or more precisely, a job I'm interested in. With my current position, I only need to work 9 months a year with 3 months free time in the summer. The IMS jobs probably demand more working time I suppose.

I appreciate the help and support of this Sanga very much. I'll check the other options offered by some other friends in response to my post. All the best,

Starter
Last edited by starter on Sat Dec 04, 2010 2:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Hanzze
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Location: Cambodia

Re: Conducive place for women to practice Dhamma?

Postby Hanzze » Sun Nov 21, 2010 2:35 am

_/\_
Just that! *smile*


BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Nate sante baram sokham _()_


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