Ajahn Sumedho ordains nuns?

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.

Ajahn Sumedho ordains nuns?

Postby Bankei » Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:51 am

I have just been reading an old article,
Rawlinson, Andrew 2001. "Western Buddhist Teachers", Journal of Global Buddhism, Vol 2

on page 130 it says:

In 1991, Ajahn Sumedho was
asked to be the upajjhaaya or preceptor in charge of the
ordinations — seven men and forty-five women, all of them
Eastern apart from one American man — at Hsüan Hua's
centre in California because Hsüan Hua himself was too ill.


Does anyone know any more about this interesting topic?

The article is available at http://www.globalbuddhism.org

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Re: Ajahn Sumedho ordains nuns?

Postby JackV » Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:31 pm

Yeah.
In 1979 shortly after Ven Ajahn Sumedho founded the Cittaviveka Monastery in Chithurst (UK) four women came to join the Sangha. They took the precepts and wore white robes and all that.
After a while I figure they thought it didn't seem fair to them and so in 1983 Ajahn Sumedho and Ajahn Sucitto (who is now the abbot of Cittaviveka) discussed the issue with the Thai Sangha and also met with senior Sri Lankan Sangha members. They gradually came to agreement and increased the number of precepts from 8 to 10 so that Nuns became "alms mendicants" akin to monks in the Vinaya. Then the Siladhara order of nuns was formed and they changed their robes from white to dark brown.

There are now quite a few nuns at both Cittaviveka and Amaravati.

Hope this helps
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Re: Ajahn Sumedho ordains nuns?

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:57 pm

I have never heard of this? but at face value it seams odd because it was a different tradition, so Ajahn Sumedho may not of been qualified to give the ordinations in that tradition, or so I would of thought??? he may of sat in on the ordination as Dharmagupta Bhikshus have done with theravadin ordinations but they have not been part of the basic number of monks needed for the ordination, they have been extra, so to speak.
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Re: Ajahn Sumedho ordains nuns?

Postby gavesako » Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:04 pm

Yes, it was during the time when Ajahn Sumedho and Master Hua were quite close and the issue of bhikkhunis in Theravada was not even discussed openly. Ajahn Sumedho respected the Chinese bhiksus and bhiksunis for their strict observance of the Vinaya, so he agreed to take part in the ordinations. However, the role of the senior monk in a bhiksuni ordination is not the same as the upajjhaya for a bhiksu. The monks merely confirm or acknowledge that the bhiksunis have been accepted into their sangha, which is what happened during that ceremony as well. I don't think he has had any contact with those nuns afterwards beyond some friendly visits.
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Re: Ajahn Sumedho ordains nuns?

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:32 pm

that does make sense for the Bhikshunis, but the monks ordination side??
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Re: Ajahn Sumedho ordains nuns?

Postby Bankei » Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:29 am

It seems Aj Sumedho has presided over many Bhikkhu ceremonies in the Chinese tradition

http://www.drbachinese.org/vbs/publish/ ... 59p039.pdf
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Re: Ajahn Sumedho ordains nuns?

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Jan 12, 2012 9:11 am

Bankei wrote:It seems Aj Sumedho has presided over many Bhikkhu ceremonies in the Chinese tradition

http://www.drbachinese.org/vbs/publish/ ... 59p039.pdf


Nice to know! like I said earler I didn't think it would of been likely with it being a different tradition and all that??? but :anjali:
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Re: Ajahn Sumedho ordains nuns?

Postby dhammaindia » Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:05 am

Hello friends,

First time posting on this dhamma wheel board. I was wondering if you would have any knowledge about Ajahn Sumedho's whereabouts in Thailand or from where we can find this information. A few of us, friends and family are planning to visit Thailand and have a keen interest in being in presence of Ajahn Sumedho when we are there. His talks have been very inspirational for us in our understanding of meditation and in general the spiritual life.

We have looked around on the web to find information on Ajahn Sumedho's whereabouts but with limited success. Perhaps there may be some way to find information on when it may be possible to meet him, perhaps at the Wat pah nanachat monastery, if he stays/visits there.

Any leads would be much appreciated.

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Re: Ajahn Sumedho ordains nuns?

Postby Mark1234 » Sun May 27, 2012 6:43 pm

The whole issue of Bikkhuni ordination has been hugely divisive in the Ajahn Chah monasteries. LP Sumedo did not support it. Ajahn Bramavamso in Australia, who did ordain women againt LP Sumedo's advice, was ex-communicated. One monk who then wanted to visit Ajahn Bram was himself threatened with ex-communication and cancelled his visit. The head nun at Chithurst wrote an angry letter to LP Sumedo and then disrobed. Three nuns left to set up their own establishment as Bikkuni's in San Francisco and two of them are still there; one returned.

Personally, I don't think the Thai Sangha would agree to it.
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Re: Ajahn Sumedho ordains nuns?

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun May 27, 2012 9:25 pm

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