Precepts in China and Japan

Re: Precepts in China and Japan

Postby JKhedrup » Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:30 pm

Sara,
That is the commentarial literature, which of course will give a more conservative interpretation as the text you mention was composed by a particularly strict (now disrobed) Wester Bhikkhu named Ariyesako. But if you look at the structure of the precepts themselves I think there are plenty of safeties to prevent the problems you mentioned.

For example the rule talking alone specifies (in the text you linked to):

Teaching more than six sentences of dhamma to a woman alone, except in response to a question, is an offence of confession unless a knowledgeable man is present.


In my case the woman approaches me with a question, in other words, she seeks me out for a dharma purpose. I do not, of my own volition (or attraction, what I think this is trying to prevent) go to her and make overtures to talk. This makes sure there is a dharma purpose. So as long as she comes with a question, it is not a transgression, even if a man is not present.

As I said, there are safeties built in. It is good to focus on the Vinaya itself rather than the commentaries because of course each community develops their own standards.

So I still hold me original position, it's better to stick with the Vinaya that come up with novel precepts in the name of expediency. Also, this is a light offence of confession so while it is good to be mindful it can certainly be completely purified through our posada ceremonies. :namaste:
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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Re: Precepts in China and Japan

Postby Sara H » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:12 am

JKhedrup wrote:Sara,
That is the commentarial literature, which of course will give a more conservative interpretation as the text you mention was composed by a particularly strict (now disrobed) Wester Bhikkhu named Ariyesako. But if you look at the structure of the precepts themselves I think there are plenty of safeties to prevent the problems you mentioned.

For example the rule talking alone specifies (in the text you linked to):

Teaching more than six sentences of dhamma to a woman alone, except in response to a question, is an offence of confession unless a knowledgeable man is present.


In my case the woman approaches me with a question, in other words, she seeks me out for a dharma purpose. I do not, of my own volition (or attraction, what I think this is trying to prevent) go to her and make overtures to talk. This makes sure there is a dharma purpose. So as long as she comes with a question, it is not a transgression, even if a man is not present.

As I said, there are safeties built in. It is good to focus on the Vinaya itself rather than the commentaries because of course each community develops their own standards.

So I still hold me original position, it's better to stick with the Vinaya that come up with novel precepts in the name of expediency. Also, this is a light offence of confession so while it is good to be mindful it can certainly be completely purified through our posada ceremonies. :namaste:


Right, but see, that's your interpretation of the vinaya, and that commentary is another's.

That's kindof the point.

The OBC doesn't want to do that I don't think.

They don't want to take any vows or precepts that they cannot fully, honestly keep, to the fullest extent and interpretation of the vows.

They don't want to have an exception here, a disclaimer there, a legalese loophole over here.

They want to be honest about it.

Part of that may be because as the commentary on that rule pointed out, is that part of the reason for these rules is so that monks can be beyond reproach in their conduct.

In keeping the spirit of that, the monks in the OBC may not want to participate in something they may not feel they can wholly keep, and then later have to explain why not, the rule doesn't apply in this situation etc.

The point is not to have to explain and justify and rationalize one's actions.

The point is to keep the Precepts. If you keep the Precepts you are generally following all these things anyway.

As was pointed out the vinaya is not a part of the Zen lineage, so in bringing monastic practice back to Soto Zen, they had an opportunity to study the ways and means that others do things and apply what works.

As Huseng pointed out, the vinaya has been less than adhered to in other parts of the world, and as you yourself have pointed out, loopholes and exceptions are necessary for you to feel comfortable following it.

I don't think they want to do that kindof thing, have to make legalese exceptions to things.

I think they're trying to do a middle path, it's like in meditation, too much effort is not good and is over exerting oneself and leads to strain.

not enough is just lazyness and goes flat.

A middle ground is needed that is just perfect.

All the precepts they take they take to keep fully.

If the Japanese were too lax about monastic practice, the other parts of the world have become too ridged.

Tibet fell apart from the Chinese invasion do in part to monastic rigidity there that didn't want change.

That kindof ridged adherence to Pali doctrine is considered kindof Hinayana to some people.

I believe that's exactly what they are trying to get away from.

In Gassho,

Sara H.
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: Precepts in China and Japan

Postby Jikan » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:46 am

Sara H wrote:
If the Japanese were too lax about monastic practice, the other parts of the world have become too ridged.

Tibet fell apart from the Chinese invasion do in part to monastic rigidity there that didn't want change.

That kindof ridged adherence to Pali doctrine is considered kindof Hinayana to some people.


Hi Sara,

Do you have any evidence to support your claim that other parts of the world have become too rigid in their practice of the precepts?

Or that Tibet's disintegration after the Chinese invasion was due in part to monastic rigidity about the precepts?

I'm not clear also on how "Pali doctrine" relates to either of these claims. Thanks for helping me understand your position.
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Re: Precepts in China and Japan

Postby Sara H » Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:09 am

Jikan wrote:
Sara H wrote:
If the Japanese were too lax about monastic practice, the other parts of the world have become too ridged.

Tibet fell apart from the Chinese invasion do in part to monastic rigidity there that didn't want change.

That kindof ridged adherence to Pali doctrine is considered kindof Hinayana to some people.


Hi Sara,

Do you have any evidence to support your claim that other parts of the world have become too rigid in their practice of the precepts?

Or that Tibet's disintegration after the Chinese invasion was due in part to monastic rigidity about the precepts?

I'm not clear also on how "Pali doctrine" relates to either of these claims. Thanks for helping me understand your position.


Friend it's perfectly common knowledge that bureaucracy, and the monastic institutions being inflexible and being unwilling to change their ways and listen to the warnings of the 13'th Dalai Lama led to the military destruction of Tibet.
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: Precepts in China and Japan

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:25 am

Tibet fell apart from the Chinese invasion do in part to monastic rigidity there that didn't want change.


Sara I understand you are very enthusiastic about OBC and in many threads you try to demonstrate why it is a cut above. I also love my tradition, but I am under no illusions to the fact it has problems, so I can accept some of your observations/criticisms when I feel they have merit. (Somehow, I don't feel it works both ways)

While part of your point is sound, I'd be careful about such broad statements. Certainly there were insitutional problems, and some of these came from monastic officials. But certain lay members of the government also blocked the 13th Dalai Lama's reforms. And these problems of "rigidity" had very little to do with the Vinaya. In fact, if the Vinaya had been upheld strictly you wouldn't have had monks in bureaucratic government positions anyway and some of the problems might have been avoided.

Also remember that inner Mongolia as well as several Muslim regions in the West were also overrun by the PLA. So obviously they are a formidable force, and even had the reforms of the 13th Dalai Lama gone through, it would have been no guarantee of success.


They don't want to take any vows or precepts that they cannot fully, honestly keep, to the fullest extent and interpretation of the vows.

They don't want to have an exception here, a disclaimer there, a legalese loophole over here.

They want to be honest about it.



Honest is a very heavy choice in words.

I think it is also honest to admit that we are not as realized as Lord Buddha and the beings who formulated the Vinaya so maybe don't have the wisdom to invent a new monastic code of conduct. It is also honest to keep the heaviest categories of vows with all our might, and recognize our shortcomings with the auxiliary precepts, and confess them in the Sojong/Posada ceremony, which was designed by Buddha and his monks for specifically this purpose. :namaste:
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
JKhedrup
 
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Re: Precepts in China and Japan

Postby Jikan » Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:35 pm

Sara H wrote:
Jikan wrote:
Sara H wrote:
If the Japanese were too lax about monastic practice, the other parts of the world have become too ridged.

Tibet fell apart from the Chinese invasion do in part to monastic rigidity there that didn't want change.

That kindof ridged adherence to Pali doctrine is considered kindof Hinayana to some people.


Hi Sara,

Do you have any evidence to support your claim that other parts of the world have become too rigid in their practice of the precepts?

Or that Tibet's disintegration after the Chinese invasion was due in part to monastic rigidity about the precepts?

I'm not clear also on how "Pali doctrine" relates to either of these claims. Thanks for helping me understand your position.


Friend it's perfectly common knowledge that bureaucracy, and the monastic institutions being inflexible and being unwilling to change their ways and listen to the warnings of the 13'th Dalai Lama led to the military destruction of Tibet.


Did the warnings of the 13th Dalai Lama have anything at all to say about any excessive rigidity in upholding the Vinaya?

Do you have anything to say about the other two questions I put to you?
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Re: Precepts in China and Japan

Postby Sara H » Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:24 am

Jikan wrote:Did the warnings of the 13th Dalai Lama have anything at all to say about any excessive rigidity in upholding the Vinaya?

Do you have anything to say about the other two questions I put to you?


Friend, I think you're completely dodging the point.
It's the attitude that's the the problem.
The attitude that fights against the law of change, when the law of change is one of the most basic tennants of the Buddhist universe.
The attitude that holds to the form and feel of a ritual or tradition, even when in some cases the practical purpose for the reason why those traditions existed and were implemented, no longer exists, as it simply doesn't apply in a different situation, has lived it's natural lifespan, or has been replaced with a better solution, or people themselves have changed as a modern society, and a particular safeguard is no longer needed in that particular area.

These things arnt some great mystery as to why they were made.

They were made in response to actual problems that may or may not exist any longer.

Some of them actually don't.

That's the problem with the vinaya, while much, most even of what is in it is still very helpful, tradition has made it an all or nothing affair.

So even if say, to invent a hypothetical number, 15 of those rules are simply no longer nessicary, or in some cases create practical problems by doing them in certain situations; tradition says you have to take all of them anyway.

That's just fighting change.

It makes no difference, to refuse to update the vinaya, when some of these things are no longer applicable in certain circumstances, than to refuse to update one's millitary and government, when the old ways of doing things are no longer applicable in the modern world.

It's the exact same attitude.


Some of these things do have a natural lifespan. And in the west, we have updated our gender norms, so we no longer have to worry about what someone thinks of the monks or monastery if a male monk gives sanzen to a female layperson, or if a male and female monk work side by side.

That rule in particular is obsolete in the west.

But if you don't even take one of them, then "you're not vinaya".

In fact, if they did take that rule, it would call their credibility into question, as people would constantly be asking why it didnt apply in everyday obvious circumstances. And if they answered with a bunch of rationalization, people would doubt the sincerity of their practice, and wonder how many other rules they considered "flexable".

Edit: (which of course, would go against the spirit of the original rule, which was to prevent a monk's character from being called into question)

Then what choice do people have in the west if they want to do what's practical and honest, other than to not be vinaya?

In Gasshō,

Sara H.
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: Precepts in China and Japan

Postby JKhedrup » Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:35 am

Sara,

Then what choice do people have in the west if they want to do what's practical and honest, other than to not be vinaya?


I find your trumphalism regarding OBC to be rather alarming, the constant use of the word honest has very nasty implications for other groups that don't conform to your vision of Buddhism. There are other more traditional groups that have a broader appeal in the modern world than the OBC, and still follow very traditionally the Vinaya.

Theravada:
www.ajahnbrahm.org/

www.santifm.org
forestsangha.org/

Mahayana:
www.drba.org

Vajrayana:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2h7PLOun1Q

Your argument sounds convincing, but when you look at the situation in the Buddhist world it doesn't hold water.

Also having done research the OBC is having problems keeping monks and nuns like every other Buddhist group, despite the revised precepts.
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
JKhedrup
 
Posts: 2324
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Re: Precepts in China and Japan

Postby Sara H » Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:51 am

People ask these questions like "well we've had these rules for a millennia, why should they change?"

The reason why they should change is because for over a millennia we haven't had women's rights, and now we do.

Social equality between men and women has made the difference and why these certain rules need to be updated and changed.
We now understand how to make that work, and function next to each other of the opposite gender.

In the past, that wasn't the case, the social environment of all cultures wouldn't allow it.

But the advent of birth control in the 60's changed that,
And as the internet spreads gender-equality to other countries, it will change there too. What has started in the west, will eventually spread elsewhere in lieu of the internet.

As people come to terms with the ramifications of this, and figure out how to sit next to someone of the opposite gender without either fearing or humping them, this will change elsewhere as well.
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: Precepts in China and Japan

Postby JKhedrup » Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:57 am

As people come to terms with the ramifications of this, and figure out how to sit next to someone of the opposite gender without either fearing or humping them


Everyone who doesn't want to dismiss the Vinaya and make up their own precepts falls into the category of fearing/wanting to hump the opposite gender? That is rather insulting, not just to me, but to every Buddhist monk and nun who tries to uphold the precepts.


This is basically just character assassination of people that try to honour the Vinaya of Lord Buddha.

Many of the greatest Buddhist teachers of today- HH Dalai Lama, HH Karmapa, Ajahn Brahm, Ajahn Sumedho, Bhikshuni Shen Yen and others are holders of Vinaya precepts.

Also the teachings of the Vinaya come from the Buddha and some of his greatest disciples so when you make such statements it is insulting the legacy of the monastic community which has preserved the Buddhist teachings for over 2,000 years.
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
JKhedrup
 
Posts: 2324
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Precepts in China and Japan

Postby Sara H » Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:05 am

JKhedrup wrote:
I find your trumphalism regarding OBC to be rather alarming, the constant use of the word honest has very nasty implications for other groups that don't conform to your vision of Buddhism. There are other more traditional groups that have a broader appeal in the modern world than the OBC, and still follow very traditionally the Vinaya.


No, you misunderstand.

What honestly works in a third world country, where people don't have women's rights or ready access to birth control (which women's rights depend on) is not the same as what honestly works where women's rights are common place.

You are assuming that what works one place, is good to do elsewhere, that's not the case.

And I'm not implying that some other group is being "dishonest" only that the OBC monks in a co-ed monastery would probably end up being if they took that rule.

You might have a different interpretation of that, and, perhaps some other people have come up with a different solution to the same problem, but this was their solution.

And they did it with a great deal of thought and care and mindfulness of what they were doing.

There are, sometimes more than one solution to the same problem in different areas and different places.

The problem is the assumption that change, in itself is wrong, which is not the case.

I notice you linked to a Theravadan group, but you notice that Theravadan practice isn't exactly spreading in the west.

Their attitude toward women has much to do with it.

Also, in regard to your last comment, coming up with one solution to one problem is not the same as coming up with a solution to all problems.

In Gassho,

Sara H.
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: Precepts in China and Japan

Postby JKhedrup » Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:07 am

Theravada practice is actually quite popular in the West.
Did you actually look at the link I posted?

Santi Monastery is a monastery for Theravada Bhikkhunis (fully ordained nuns)! The place is completely run by empowered, monastic women.

If you are going to respond to the links I post please at least read them first.
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
JKhedrup
 
Posts: 2324
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Precepts in China and Japan

Postby Sara H » Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:23 am

JKhedrup wrote:Theravada practice is actually quite popular in the West.
Did you actually look at the link I posted?

Santi Monastery is a monastery for Theravada Bhikkhunis (fully ordained nuns)! The place is completely run by empowered, monastic women.

If you are going to respond to the links I post please at least read them first.


Oh for Pete's sake.

Theravadan is not either very popular in the west.

They are a very small minority of western Buddhism.

And they freely acknowledge that they've had a lot of trouble overcoming traditional views on this problem.

Particularly when it came to ordaining women. There's no reason to act like it hasn't been a huge problem for them, or that there hasn't been stiff resistance to adopting reforms on this among traditional Theravadan practitioners worldwide
That's a matter of public record.

In Gassho,

Sara H.
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: Precepts in China and Japan

Postby Sara H » Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:35 am

And you know, I'm not trying to attack you, or your practice.

On the contrary that seems to be what you're doing.
By asserting that there's only one right way to do monastic practice.

Why don't you go spend some time with them and see for yourself how their practice is, I'm sure you would be invited. They practice the longstanding tradition of providing housing for monks visiting and traveling.

In Gassho,

Sara H.
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: Precepts in China and Japan

Postby JKhedrup » Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:39 am

You did not look at the link I posted and immediately criticized, I merely asked for the courtesy of looking at the links before completely dismissing what I said. (Which is expected and of course you are free to completely dismiss it, but I do ask for the courtesy that since we are having a discussion if you are going to argue against the points you at least check to see what I am posting.

You would be surprised at how many Western Bhikkhunis there are, and what a growing movement it is.

I am not denying that there is (unfortunately) some opposition.

But Theravada is really popular in the West- and many of its principles are being incorporated into for example psychiatric treatment.

I have seen you dismiss Tibetan Buddhism, dismiss Theravada Buddhism and promote the OBC ceaselessly on this forum.

If that is your agenda, fine, but I will argue for time tested, traditional forms that have brought realization to countless beings over an untested Western hybrid anyday.

So far, we have not had great success with Western developed Buddhist organizations.

In terms of the issue of women, the solution to me seems clear- continue to support and develop the bhikshuni tradition.

To advocate getting rid of the Vinaya is the first step in a long slippery slope of "adjusting" every bit of the Buddhist teachings we don't agree. What will be left after that process begins is for me a frightening prospect.
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
JKhedrup
 
Posts: 2324
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Precepts in China and Japan

Postby JKhedrup » Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:47 am

Sara,

You have criticized others' practice, look at your own postings- you keep on using the word honesty as well, which is a sort of way to poke at the integrity of monastics who choose to follow traditional guidelines instead of the hybrid practice of OBC:

As people come to terms with the ramifications of this, and figure out how to sit next to someone of the opposite gender without either fearing or humping them


Tibet fell apart from the Chinese invasion do in part to monastic rigidity there that didn't want change.

That kindof ridged adherence to Pali doctrine is considered kindof Hinayana to some people.

They don't want to have an exception here, a disclaimer there, a legalese loophole over here.

They want to be honest about it.
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
JKhedrup
 
Posts: 2324
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Precepts in China and Japan

Postby Astus » Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:48 am

Sara,

I don't see the connection between the legal equality of sexes and the practice of a monastic order. Yesterday the House of Commons approved same-sex marriage in England and Wales, but it does not force any religious organisation to perform such a ceremony. Why? Because there is freedom of religion. Also, legal equality of the sexes does not force religious organisations to accept women into their clergy. So in actual practice I don't see why you connect secular legal concepts to religious institutions. Bringing up contraceptive methods as relevant to a celibate order is another strange thing. And if by birth control you also mean abortion, that is clearly against the precept of not taking life.

The Vinaya has proven its validity in several different cultures over a long time. What makes it dysfunctional today? It is still practised by humans just like before. How does the material wealth of a country change the daily life of a mendicant group that upholds poverty as a defining practice? Just as before, people still have sexual desires, and many rules in the Vinaya are meant to help avoid improper actions or being accused of such. How is that a bad thing?
"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)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“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; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Precepts in China and Japan

Postby Sara H » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:45 am

JKhedrup wrote:Sara,

You have criticized others' practice, look at your own postings- you keep on using the word honesty as well, which is a sort of way to poke at the integrity of monastics who choose to follow traditional guidelines instead of the hybrid practice of OBC:

Tibet fell apart from the Chinese invasion do in part to monastic rigidity there that didn't want change.

That kindof ridged adherence to Pali doctrine is considered kindof Hinayana to some people.

They don't want to have an exception here, a disclaimer there, a legalese loophole over here.

They want to be honest about it.


Saying that doing a thing may not necessarily be honest in one circumstance is not the same as saying that doing a thing would be dishonest in another.

That was not what I was implying.

I'm saying it's relative, that it depends upon the circumstance. That it's not an across the board truth in all situations.
I apologize if misspoke. I was not saying that other's practice did not have integrity, I was saying that that is what might be the case in their specific circumstance.
I apologize if that didn't come across correctly.



As people come to terms with the ramifications of this, and figure out how to sit next to someone of the opposite gender without either fearing or humping them

In this I was referring to third world societies at large, not Buddhist traditions. I was meaning this conversation in the backdrop of society and social norms as a whole, not isolated specifically to Buddhist practice, but also how those social norms effect Buddhist rules in those practices.

This also ties in with Astus question about birth control. No, I was not referring to abortion, I was referring to The Pill. The Pill, is culturally significant. It's perhaps one of the most important cultural innovations of our day. Along with the internet. Without The Pill, there would be no women's rights movement as it exists today, as gender equality would not be possible without it. The last time we had widespread gender equality in the west, we also had birth control. It was in ancient Rome, where they had a specific plant that they used. They actually ate it to extinction. And ever since then, we havn't had gender equality in the west, as there was no other way to prevent unwanted pregnancies other than social fear against sex. On other cultures, this has been the same; of course you would ostracism a woman for being "lewd" in old cultures. If the woman ended up getting pregnant, there was a child that had to be cared for by either the family, or ended up starving or homeless or killed by the mother which was worse. It was very important to socially pressure women to only have sex if there was a man to take care of them, as what would happen to the child that might result.

This effects Buddhism, because a rule about being seen with women must be seen in this context; what if you have a horny young monk, and they consort with a woman, and a child results? They most now leave their vows and became a layperson to care for the child.

What if the woman was a bit free with her passes at men? If she had a reputation for being a bit of a harlot? If a young monk were to be seen in her company alone, people might get ideas, and then even if he did nothing whatsoever with her, if she got pregnant, by someone else, because of her free sexual habits, people might question whether the child belonged to the monk. After all, was he not seen privately together in her company? (it's not like they had paternity tests back then)

That could bring reputation consequences on the monastery as a whole, and of the leadership of the abbot, effect donations from wealthy lay sponsors, etc, etc, etc.

Buddhist history is full of just such stories of instances.

So having a rule that says don't be seen in the company of women, especially privately, without another person being present is, and was a good and practical rule about keeping the reputation of the monks and the monastery intact.

However, culturally, in the west, fast-forward to modern times, it's the culture that has changed, not laws.
The laws were changed as a result of the culture changing. The culture changed as a result of women asserting their equality, and they really had a final argument about that because of The Pill, there was no more reason for them to practice the old "chaste" ways. (obviously there were always exceptions, but that's beside the point)

As a result of women asserting themselves, people in the west have learned to exist side by side with both genders (not fearing, and not humping as I said) with respect, and without strict separation of social barriers between men and women. We've learned how to interact with each other in a normal, not-sepperate way.

So you see, this effects everything. It (the old rule) still applies in third world countries because they still don't have access to ready birth control, which hasn't in turn changed their culture yet.

The rule not to be seen in the company of women still applies, and is still probably a good idea until cultural change makes it unnecessary.

That's the answer to both your questions, it wasn't some diehard rule of supreme wisdom, that effects enlightenment, it was practical solution to an actual problem.

One that is culturally changing in light of updates.

So you see, I fully meant what I said, that it can be true and useful in one or some cases, and not in others.


In Gassho,
Sara H.

Anyway I'm going to take a break for now, I think I've said enough for one night.

I hope you all are doing well,

In Gassho,

Sara H.
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: Precepts in China and Japan

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:54 pm

Sara H wrote:This also ties in with Astus question about birth control. No, I was not referring to abortion, I was referring to The Pill. The Pill, is culturally significant. It's perhaps one of the most important cultural innovations of our day. Along with the internet. Without The Pill, there would be no women's rights movement as it exists today, as gender equality would not be possible without it.
So obviously you have never heard of pre-modern matriarchal societies then? Obviously not.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Precepts in China and Japan

Postby Sara H » Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:21 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
Sara H wrote:This also ties in with Astus question about birth control. No, I was not referring to abortion, I was referring to The Pill. The Pill, is culturally significant. It's perhaps one of the most important cultural innovations of our day. Along with the internet. Without The Pill, there would be no women's rights movement as it exists today, as gender equality would not be possible without it.
So obviously you have never heard of pre-modern matriarchal societies then? Obviously not.

A matriarchal society is no more gender-equal than a patriarchal one.
There may have been exceptions to that, but they were exceptions, historically, and not the rule.

There was still a separation of gender roles, and rules regarding where and when sex was appropriate, and where and when men and women could intermingle, such as primarily in marriage partnerships, family, or social gatherings.

Women over men is no more gender-equal than men over women. There's still a separation of genders socially on all levels of society. Gender-based hierarchy is but one form of that. The point is not the hierarchy aspect per-se, but rather the separation of genders socially. The strict social barriers that kept men and women separate, except in marriage, and in the company of more than two people, or family. It's these social gender barriers that are dissolving in the west.

We're becoming more of a gender-neutral single society with shared, or gender-irrelevant leadership, instead of two societies; men's and women's co-existing side by side with one gender taking the leadership role over the other.

So this doesn't go against the point that I was making.

In Gassho,

Sara H.
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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