The Time has Come: Bhikkhuni articles

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

The Time has Come: Bhikkhuni articles

Postby Bankei » Sat May 08, 2010 10:24 am

At http://sujato.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/the-time-has-come.pdf there are a collection of articles on the recent Bhikkhuni ordination controversy. They will be published in the summer 2010 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly magazine.

Including
The Time Has Come
The traditional “eight heavy rules” institutionalize women’s second-class status in Buddhist monasteries—women must submit to male leadership,senior nuns must take their place
behind junior monks—and in most Buddhist lineages women are denied full ordination. Former nuns Thanissara, Jitindriya, and Elizabeth Day look at new controversies that are focusing attention on this long-standing injustice and call on Buddhist leaders to engage in a genuine dialogue for change.

That Was Then, This Is Now
The eight heavy rules are the result of historical and social circumstances, explains Buddhist scholar Janet Gyatso—and times have changed. Equal status is critical, not only for those directly affected but also for the future of Buddhism in the West.

The Five Points
The following five-point agreement was drafted by Ajahn Sumedho and his senior monks last August and presented to the nuns at Amaravati and Cittaviveka monasteries in Britain. Agreement on the five points was a condition for future ordinations of women in the Forest Sangha community.


“I will do it”
Llundup Damcho reports on the Seventeenth Karmapa’s vow to reinstate full ordination for women in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition
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Re: The Time has Come: Bhikkhuni articles

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat May 08, 2010 3:55 pm

:thanks: Excellent articles! :clap:

All of it is good, but here are some important very good points:

The eight heavy rules need to be addressed both because of
their detrimental impact on the aura of the new bhikshunis and
for the harm they do to the reputation of Buddhism among civilized
nations everywhere. To do this would not mean that the
Buddhist leadership is acquiescing to popular trends and public
opinion. Rather, it is essential to realize that image, respect,
and prestige underlie the very nature of Buddhist monasticism
from the start. The Buddhist sangha was designed precisely
as an exemplar of the optimum religious lifestyle. Its survival
depends on the generosity of the lay, whose support fluctuates
in exact proportion to their conviction that the monastic community
is maintaining its purity and the highest standards of
behavior and wisdom. Indeed, the eight heavy rules themselves
are cast in the story as necessary precisely in order to assuage
the concerns of the Buddhist lay community.

The same is true now, except that lay expectations have
shifted: There are different sets of concerns in the global lay
community. We need to have a public pronouncement stating
that in the Buddhist sangha of the twenty-first century, despite
the technical inclusion of the eight heavy rules in the Vinaya
texts, bhikshus and bhikshunis will be considered to have
equal status and prestige, and be subject to the same rules of
seniority; there shall be in practice no difference based on sex
or gender alone. Buddhist leaders need to affirm that the eight
heavy rules had their time and place but their conditions no
longer remain. They need to do this to retain the respect and
support of the lay Buddhist world.
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Re: The Time has Come: Bhikkhuni articles

Postby SamKR » Sat May 08, 2010 8:34 pm

Bankei wrote:At http://sujato.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/the-time-has-come.pdf there are a collection of articles on the recent Bhikkhuni ordination controversy. They will be published in the summer 2010 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly magazine.

Including
The Time Has Come
The traditional “eight heavy rules” institutionalize women’s second-class status in Buddhist monasteries—women must submit to male leadership,senior nuns must take their place
behind junior monks—and in most Buddhist lineages women are denied full ordination. Former nuns Thanissara, Jitindriya, and Elizabeth Day look at new controversies that are focusing attention on this long-standing injustice and call on Buddhist leaders to engage in a genuine dialogue for change.


I am not a learned Buddhist but I always feel awkward when Buddhists themselves say that the rules set by Buddha are not relevant in the modern times, and they should be changed.

Whoever ordained as a monk or nun, do so for *renunciation*, not for *seeking* "justice", "equality", or any gains, etc., as understood in layman's terms.

I am a male, and not a Bhikkhu either. But if I were a nun I would very much welcome the "eight heavy rules". In fact, they are the precious gifts given by the Buddha to nuns (and alas! not for monks). They are gifts and precious because they help to reduce "ego" and defilements, and help to achieve the nibbana faster.

I believe that one should not become a monk or a nun to gain "equality" or "status", otherwise the very objective of being a nun would be null. The objective of becoming a monk or a nun is to renunciate, not to gain anything except egolessness.

The World of Buddhist monks/nuns is obviously quite different, where some logics of common people's world do not apply.

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Re: The Time has Come: Bhikkhuni articles

Postby cooran » Sat May 08, 2010 9:30 pm

Hello SamKR,

I believe that one should not become a monk or a nun to gain "equality" or "status", otherwise the very objective of being a nun would be null. The objective of becoming a monk or a nun is to renunciate, not to gain anything except egolessness.


There are millions of buddhists in the world who feel exactly this ~ the best thing to do is not to get into these debates.
---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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Re: The Time has Come: Bhikkhuni articles

Postby Bankei » Sat May 29, 2010 11:37 pm

Here is a link to some more articles, a new magazine called 'Present'.
http://bhikkhuni.net/present/index.html
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Re: The Time has Come: Bhikkhuni articles

Postby Lee_123 » Mon May 31, 2010 3:34 pm

Thank you for posting these links, Bankei. I appreciate your sharing these.

Very thoughtful writing!
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Re: The Time has Come: Bhikkhuni articles

Postby Maitri » Mon May 31, 2010 8:15 pm

Great resource, thanks for sharing! I am finding so much stuff to read lately that I haven't the time to digest it all :reading:

Right now I am working on Dignity and Discipline and it has some really great writing and is very thoughtful.

http://www.wisdompubs.org/Pages/display.lasso?-KeyValue=33091&-Token.Action=Search&image=1
May all beings be well, happy, calm, and at ease.
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