Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by Sanghamitta » Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:56 am

I am curious PInk Trike, why should the issue of Bhikkuni ordination be of interest one way or another to a "non religious practitioner...etc" ? Or is it for you a matter of gender politics ?
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Nov 23, 2009 9:43 am

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by Cittasanto » Mon Nov 23, 2009 10:39 am

bodhabill wrote:Hi Manapa

I'm confused, you say that the Thai Sangha
... is known for its strict interpretation of the vinaya
, yet in a question to you previously regarding the Five Point rules for Siladharas in the UK you advised that the Buddha didn't set this body up

If the Vinaya is followed so strictly how could the Thai Sangha allow the setting up of a body not in the Buddhas teachings and as far as I know not in the Vinaya

If I have misinterpreted you please feel free to correct me

With Metta
Bill
Wasn't refering to the Thai Sangha as a whole, Forest monks which comprise of the Ajahn Mun line (basically the Nikaya stems from him and a king of thailand while he was a monk) I can not remember the spelling Dhammayut may be? wiki has it as Thammayut Nikaya and the Ajahn Chah Line Maha-nikaya the two sets are two different nikayas or ordination lines within Thai Tharavada this issue happened in the latter which is a sub lineage closer to the former in style and practice, but the ordination line of Ajahn Chah is in the latter nikaya, although the Lineage of disciples of Ajahn Chah comprise of both nikaya forms of ordination.
Their are a few different stories about Ajahn Chah and his relationship with Ajahn Mun but the latest I heard was that AC asked to reordain under him and was told there was no need go and show that your line is just as capabe, another which says AC efused to change ordination line not seeing the point and the urging of AM's disciples although all have the length of time AC was with AM as three days there are a couple of variants

The Buddha has a default guide for the monks called the great standard so as the situation changed the monks could change allong with it, it has been sugested that Mahayana developed the vegetarian rules because of this, and why western monks tend to wear jackets even though it isn't allowed in the vinaya.
the great standard is
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Now at that time uncertainty arose in the monks with regard to this and that item: "Now what is allowed by the Blessed One? What is not allowed?" They told this matter to the Blessed One, (who said):

"Bhikkhus, whatever I have not objected to, saying, 'This is not allowable,' if it fits in with what is not allowable, if it goes against what is allowable, this is not allowable for you.

"Whatever I have not objected to, saying, 'This is not allowable,' if it fits in with what is allowable, if it goes against what is not allowable, this is allowable for you.

"And whatever I have not permitted, saying, 'This is allowable,' if it fits in with what is not allowable, if it goes against what is allowable, this is not allowable for you.

"And whatever I have not permitted, saying, 'This is allowable,' if it fits in with what is allowable, if it goes against what is not allowable, this is allowable for you."
The buddha never created a ruling body true but at present the monks have a greater need to be united and know what is going on in other monasteries, instead of going about changing the way things are done hap hazardly, so as a group including all the monasteries the vinaya would be applicable to them.
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by Cittasanto » Mon Nov 23, 2009 11:06 am

mikenz66 wrote:I tend to agree with Chris. This is my worst fear with this issue, that it becomes one-dimensional, two camps:
* You're for Bhikkhunis right now or you're sexist and obstructive.
* You're upholding the purity of the Sangha or you're schismatic.

I prefer to think that everyone is acting with the best of intentions according to their own analysis of the situation.

Metta
Mike
these are exactly why the Bhikkhuni debate needs kept away from brahm & sujaos actions as much as possible.
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He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by Anders » Mon Nov 23, 2009 11:12 am

mikenz66 wrote: The timing and approach.

As I said, I don't like to second-guess too much, since none of use really knows what Ajahn Brahm and the other Western Abbots are thinking. However, the way I would read it charitably on various sides is this:
1. Ajahn Brahm hoped he was famous enough that the Western Abbots and Wat Pah Pong would merely give him a bit of a telling off for rushing things. In that case he would have succeeded in making the ordination of Bhikkhuni's more acceptable.
2. The other Western Abbots presumably feel that such unilateral action would not go down well with the Thai Sangha, and could lead to a more entrenched position that will set back the acceptance of Bhikkhunis.

Metta
Mike
Hi Mike,

I ask again then: What then do you, or these theras, imagine is to be done then?

I honestly don't see the Thai Sangha changing its policies on its own accord anytime soon. There must be some kind of deviation, radical or moderate, from the western Sangha on this issue if a change is to be made.

In that light, what makes this point in time worse than 2, 5 or 10 (or 100) years from now?

And furthermore, I would say that now that the issue of bhikkhunis in the forest tradition is up in the air, the question of whether they personally foresaw developments happening on a larger timescale becomes less relevant. This is what I find disappointing - If there are theras who support the [eventual] ordination of bhikkunis then, regardless of whether one feels the circumstances were appropriate or not, the fact that it has happened is an opportunity to move some ground on this topic.

This is a scenario I think would have reflected better on the western sangha in this: Ajahn Brahms gets excommunicated, obviously. But the western sangha let it be known that although they do not agree with his actions because they were illtimed and in inappropriate circumstances, they nonetheless signal that they hope that all of this could eventually lead to a reintroduction of the bhikkhuni lineage under proper and harmonious circumstances.

That's a middle ground that is somewhat noncommital, in the sense that such an event is pending the wide acceptance of the Vinaya issues at stake in the Thai Sangha, but nonetheless is capable of moving opinions and consensus in the direction of reintroduction.

It is this kind of noncommital support I am missing. What we have seen instead are reactions that give off impressions moreso of how content they are never to change things at all. Which, unsurprisingly, is giving them a bit of a public relations problem at the moment.

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by Cittasanto » Mon Nov 23, 2009 11:21 am

There are right and wrong ways to do things if he had done it openly from the start allot more scrutiny on the whole process would of happened, which could be argued that it would of delayed the ordination but it would of got people and key people looking at it within the Thai sangha instead of bringing the polarised views as they have been called, to the ordination itself.
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He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by Anders » Mon Nov 23, 2009 11:23 am

mikenz66 wrote:I tend to agree with Chris. This is my worst fear with this issue, that it becomes one-dimensional, two camps:
* You're for Bhikkhunis right now or you're sexist and obstructive.
I don't think it is sexist, but I do think it is, however indirectly and inadvertedly, obstructive to not lend at least some moral support to the principle of bhikkuni ordination. This is an opportunity missed for those who are in favour of bhikkunis [eventually] to not try and soften the ground a bit on this stance.
Last edited by Anders on Mon Nov 23, 2009 1:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by Anders » Mon Nov 23, 2009 11:26 am

Manapa wrote:There are right and wrong ways to do things if he had done it openly from the start allot more scrutiny on the whole process would of happened, which could be argued that it would of delayed the ordination but it would of got people and key people looking at it within the Thai sangha instead of bringing the polarised views as they have been called, to the ordination itself.
Even Ajahn Brahms is willing to concede this point.

Debating what could or should have been in this regard is just not productive anymore. If anything, it derails the focus of the situation to dwell on it.

The question is what to make of the current situation.

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by Cittasanto » Mon Nov 23, 2009 11:29 am

when?
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He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by Cittasanto » Mon Nov 23, 2009 11:31 am

Actually debating what should of been the course of action is the point, this is so others don't make the mistake of sullying what should be a beautiful thing.

Edited to make clearer reading.
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He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by Anders » Mon Nov 23, 2009 11:41 am

Manapa wrote:when?
on the 13th.
May I suggest that we have a forgiveness ceremony as soon as possible. I am more than prepared to formally and sincerely publicly apologise on behalf of the Sangha and lay Buddhist community of Perth for the process that led up to the ordination,
Manapa wrote:Actually debating what should of been the course of action is the point, this is so others don't make the mistake of sullying what should be a beautiful thing.
He was too secretive and should have waited till after the conference where he could have aired his views and intentions and left the WPP sangha under more harmonious circumstances.

There. Done and dusted. AFAIK, only ve. Sujato has not openly conceded this point. What else is there to debate on this?

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by Cittasanto » Mon Nov 23, 2009 12:30 pm

Last Friday (the 13th!) Ajahn Brahm sent an email to the western Ajahns, once more explaining his acts, and very generously suggesting that they hold an Act of Forgiveness. Here are a few excerpts from the email.
I have put off blogging this, in the hope and expectation that we would get some replies. Alas, to my knowledge no-one has responded to this invitation yet. On the contrary, I have started to get reports of more of the ‘unwarranted penalties’ to which Ajahn Brahm refers. Again, I will delay blogging these for a little, as I would like to have more chance for the forgiveness option to gain traction. Hopefully these monks can decide that enough is enough and let go.
Sujato is unbelevable. Brahm has remained quiet but is far from without fault.
now they hope to force the WPP monastery to forgive them by making their generosity known, like they have made their supperior morality well known (or sujato has)! didn't occure to them that the Ajahns concerned may not be easily reached or anything!

the full issue that this has brought up, appart from the bhikkhuni issue, is the way Ajahns operate within a larger group, how there actions reflect on others, and how they show respect to the laity.

Like I have said earlier I am not a brahm fan, but his actions have had the result of even less but I will concied that in comparison he has been spotless compared to sujato, so all in all these two have shown a lack of respect for the tradition in which they belong the wider sangha of which they were vountary members, individuals within that sangha, laity, and the women who ordained as Bhikkhunis both now in the past and future (in all cases of groups), how would this level of disrespect be dealt with.

although I feel there has, or may have been some dissonance from me in this issue as to what I felt or expressed as the issue precicely.yes, no maybe ah slap the lot on :thinking: .
although the bhikkhuni issue has to be kept away from this - why? to keep any ordinations pure, beautiful, and worthy of a disciple of the noble ones
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He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by bodhabill » Mon Nov 23, 2009 9:15 pm

by David N. Snyder » Mon Nov 23, 2009 3:55 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
I tend to agree with Chris. This is my worst fear with this issue, that it becomes one-dimensional, two camps:
* You're for Bhikkhunis right now or you're sexist and obstructive.
* You're upholding the purity of the Sangha or you're schismatic.


I agree that it would be bad if it were only the two above extreme view camps, but fortunately I think most of us fall into one of the "middle" camps of:

B. Ajahn Brahm and his monks at his center followed correct protocol by holding the double-ordination ceremony. Theravada is a large and diverse school of Buddhism and other lineage traditions can choose a different schedule for bhikkhuni ordinations.
C. The bhikkhuni reinstatement is a good thing in principle, but they should have waited for the meeting in December in Thailand with WPP.
D. The bhikkhuni reinstatement may be a good thing in principle but should wait until further discussions and meetings of senior venerables.

(with the polarizing views represented by 'A' & 'E')

I think most fall into one of the above 3 views, with just a handful falling into one of the extreme positions quoted above.
Hi David

A sensible and rational summary

With Metta
Bill
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by bodhabill » Mon Nov 23, 2009 10:03 pm

Hi Manapa
Sujato is unbelevable. Brahm has remained quiet but is far from without fault.
now they hope to force the WPP monastery to forgive them by making their generosity known, like they have made their supperior morality well known (or sujato has)! didn't occure to them that the Ajahns concerned may not be easily reached or anything!
My friend you know there are some of us here that think that the Thai Sangha and the UK Sangha including Ajahn Sumedho are the unbelievable ones and actually believe that Ajahn Brahm and Bhante Sujato have done a wonderful correct thing in holding the Bhikkhuni ordination

I have met Ajahn Brahm on a few occasions including attending a meditation retreat, in my opinion he is one of the great Buddhist communicators in the world today bringing the Buddha's teachings to a wide and varied audience

I regularly attend Bhante Sujato's monastery and have never been in a place with so much harmony and metta amongst the monks, nuns, and lay people

In my observation both venerables act in an honourable, trustworthy, and principled manner

Can you substantiate your ongoing aggression toward Ajahn Brahm and Bhante Sujato, it obviously goes beyond the Bhikkhuni ordination

With Metta
Bill
Last edited by bodhabill on Tue Nov 24, 2009 4:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by mikenz66 » Mon Nov 23, 2009 10:43 pm

Hi bodhabill,
bodhabill wrote: My friend you know there are some of us here that think that the Thai Sangha and the UK Sangha including Ajahn Sumedho are the unbelievable ones and actually believe that Ajahn Brahm and Bhante Sujato have done a wonderful correct thing in holding the Bhikkhuni ordination.

I have met Ajahn Brahm on a few occasions including attending a meditation retreat, in my opinion he is one of the great Buddhist communicators in the world today bring the Buddha's teachings to a wide and varied audience
I've been to several talks and done a one-day retreat with Ajahn Brahm, and I've no doubt he is a sincere and skilful teacher.

I've been on retreats with Ajahn Tiradhammo (the latest one on the weekend of the excommunication - he chose to be with his students rather than travel to Thailand) and I've no doubt that he is a sincere and skilful teacher.

Clearly they have different views on the best approach to making Bhikkhuni ordination more acceptable and viable.

I would not like to guess which approach will be the most successful in the long term, but I am dismayed by the polarization of opinion that continues to occur.

Metta
Mike

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by Cittasanto » Tue Nov 24, 2009 12:02 am

Hi BB
if you think I think their actions have anything to do with Bhikkhunis you seriously need to look again.
and what am I finding unbelievable?

bodhabill wrote:Hi Manapa
Sujato is unbelevable. Brahm has remained quiet but is far from without fault.
now they hope to force the WPP monastery to forgive them by making their generosity known, like they have made their supperior morality well known (or sujato has)! didn't occure to them that the Ajahns concerned may not be easily reached or anything!
My friend you know there are some of us here that think that the Thai Sangha and the UK Sangha including Ajahn Sumedho are the unbelievable ones and actually believe that Ajahn Brahm and Bhante Sujato have done a wonderful correct thing in holding the Bhikkhuni ordination

I have met Ajahn Brahm on a few occasions including attending a meditation retreat, in my opinion he is one of the great Buddhist communicators in the world today bring the Buddha's teachings to a wide and varied audience

I regularly attend Bhante Sujato's monastery and have never been in a place with so much harmony and metta amongst the monks, nuns, and lay people

In my observation both venerables act in an honourable, trustworthy, and principled manner

Can you substantiate your ongoing aggression toward Ajahn Brahm and Bhante Sujato, it obviously goes beyond the Bhikkhuni ordination

With Metta
Bill
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by Cittasanto » Tue Nov 24, 2009 12:13 am

here is a clue of how to look
remove the Bhikkhunis from the eqsasion
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by BudSas » Tue Nov 24, 2009 1:23 am

Friends,

Perhaps we should take a break, and wait to see the outcome from the coming WAM (World Abbots Meeting) on December 7-9 at Wat Pa Nanachat, Thailand.

BDS

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by bodhabill » Tue Nov 24, 2009 1:44 am

Hi Manapa
what am I finding unbelievable?
here is a clue of how to look
remove the Bhikkhunis from the eqsasion
Well I'm at a loss

The entire debate is around the Bhikkhuni ordination:
Did Ajahm Brahm and Bhante Sujato do the right thing?
Did the Thai and UK Sangha do the right thing?
Should Bhikkhuni ordinations be allowed?
What will now happen in the future?
Is there a schism or a ripple in the pond?

All acceptable and rational discussion points

But wait

Are you hinting that there is some sort conspiracy theory surrounding Ajahn Brahm and Bhante Sujato?

Another hidden agenda?

Out with it, we need to know

With Metta
Bill
Last edited by bodhabill on Tue Nov 24, 2009 4:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by jcsuperstar » Tue Nov 24, 2009 4:02 am

i totally dont even know what youre talking about anymore Manapa... :shrug:

other than the Bhikkhuni issue what is there to be upset about? and why are you so upset about this issue (or at least coming off as upset, IDK the internet is a funny little thing at times), are you a woman who wanted to ordain but wasn't allowed? where one of these monks your teacher and you now feel betrayed by their actions? is there some direct effect on you?

all the time i read of monks doing despicable things, there was one who was using his female supporters to gather young girls so he could molest them, there was just a story about one who had to be taken to the hospital after he passed out while raping a dog, theres the big thing going on about the money issues at Wat Suthorn (sp?) right now, yet none of that seems to draw the kind of passion that this is...
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