Is Alliance for Bhikkhunis a support or a threat to the Bhikkunis order?

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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mikenz66
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Re: Is Alliance for Bhikkhunis a support or a threat to the Bhikkunis order?

Post by mikenz66 » Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:07 am

SarathW wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 3:07 am
I am a supporter of the Bhikkhuni ordination.
What I am not supporting is the distortion of the Vinaya by some nuns.
See the following video, Bhante Sujato is cherry picking the Vinaya code.
One point he said that he does not believe the Vinaya code to support his point and the next he uses the Vinaya to support another point.
...
Well, of course, it is possible to argue (as Robert and Zom have already in this thread) that the (Pali-Theravada-Vinaya) Bhikkhuni ordination is invalid because the lineage died out.

Those who support (Theravada) Bhikkhuni ordination have a different opinion on ordination requirements, so they are already in some disagreement with the Theravada orthodoxy. Of course, if one considers oneself an "Early Buddhist Text" follower, then there is no particular reason to favour the Pali Theravada Vinaya lineage over the Dharmaguptaka lineage of the Chinese Mahayana Bhikshunis.

It seems to me that any sort of support for Bhikkhunis could be argued to be cherry picking, especially by those who place high importance on the Theravada commentaries and tradition. The more traditional would argue that the Dharmaguptaka are a schismatic sect, so the ordinations are invalid.

I don't personally agree with that point of view. I support the ordination of Bhikkhunis, and I feel priviledged to have had a chance to meet a few of them, and I am also pleased to have met a (larger) number of Bhikshunis. However, I think that it is important to acknowledge that the arguments around the technical validity of the Theravada Bhikkhuni ordinations is not a simple matter.

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Re: Is Alliance for Bhikkhunis a support or a threat to the Bhikkunis order?

Post by DooDoot » Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:41 am

polarbear101 wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:26 am
I think it would be accurate to say that there are well over half a million theravadin bhikkhus on earth and less than 5,000 theravadin bhikkhunis.
Maybe. But those theravadin bhikkhus are primarily in Asia, where most perform a cultural & ceremonial function rather than seeking arahantship. Importantly, they teach things such as family values. I doubt Western Feminists are able to do this nor is it necessary in the West. The more Western materalism growns in these Asian societies, the less bhikkhus there will be; similar to the decline in the priesthood in the Catholic Church.
Monks Lose Relevance as Thailand Grows Richer



http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/19/world ... evant.html


:candle:
polarbear101 wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:26 am
If we're interested in a complete fourfold assembly then it seems obvious that we should support bhikkhunis even more than bhikkhus in the same way that a species conservationist would give precedence to supporting asiatic lions over supporting indian leopards.
When I worked for the government, there was a (left-wing) program to promote women to managerial positions on a non-merit basis; i.e., merely promote women because they were women rather than because they had the ability to do the job. It was a disaster & humiliating to many skilled educated workers (both male & female), who had to report to & be appraised by clueless managers. I treated my manager as though I was her manager & she was my subordinate (given this was the only way to do things efficiently & properly). She did not even have a university degree despite the highly technical & specialized nature of our work. After many years, she eventually was moved elsewhere.

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Re: Is Alliance for Bhikkhunis a support or a threat to the Bhikkunis order?

Post by Bhikkhu_Jayasara » Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:55 pm

I would say probably both, I am in full support of the continued revival of the Bhikkhuni order, and plan to be whatever help I can be in this regard if/when I become a senior monastic, however I have noticed a strong undercurrent of much political activism in much of the western Bhikkhuni ranks. I've also spoken with 4-5 women who want to ordain as Bhikkhunis, have been to the normal places in America, and do not wish to ordain there because they simply want to be monastics and practice Dhamma, not go out to protests with signs.

it's a complicated issue that has valid points on both sides, and I can see where the Bhikkhunis who are more politically active may be coming from, I at one point was a fair bit of a political activist myself(as an independent), and it is still early days for the revival of the Bhikkhuni order, with much work to be done, I just fall staunchly on the side of feeling all monastics, men and women, should be as a-political as possible, so the Dhamma does not become a tool of division.
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Re: Is Alliance for Bhikkhunis a support or a threat to the Bhikkunis order?

Post by SarathW » Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:35 pm

I just watched the videos in previous post.
It is funny that some Thai said that they respect the Buddha's statue more than the monks.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Is Alliance for Bhikkhunis a support or a threat to the Bhikkunis order?

Post by DNS » Sat Mar 31, 2018 3:44 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:41 am
polarbear101 wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:26 am
I think it would be accurate to say that there are well over half a million theravadin bhikkhus on earth and less than 5,000 theravadin bhikkhunis.
Maybe. But those theravadin bhikkhus are primarily in Asia, where most perform a cultural & ceremonial function rather than seeking arahantship. Importantly, they teach things such as family values. I doubt Western Feminists are able to do this nor is it necessary in the West. The more Western materalism growns in these Asian societies, the less bhikkhus there will be; similar to the decline in the priesthood in the Catholic Church.
Monks Lose Relevance as Thailand Grows Richer



http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/19/world ... evant.html


:candle:
Interesting videos, but in them it talks of the "decline of Buddhism" but it is actually referring to the decline in bhikkhus. Apparently not too many years ago there were about 300,000 monks in Thailand and now there are 70,000. That doesn't necessarily lead to the decline of Buddhism. Perhaps Buddhism just needs to adapt to the modern world. If there are less bhikkhus, there can still be Buddhist temples, perhaps fewer in number, but larger temples which needs less monks to officiate it; something similar to the mega-churches we have in the bible-belt. Or lay led groups which already are common in the U.S. and probably other Western nations. Don't get me wrong, I'm all in favor of the monastic institutions, bhikkhus and bhikkhunis, but if there are continuing declines in their numbers, Buddhism need not decline; it just needs to adapt.

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Re: Is Alliance for Bhikkhunis a support or a threat to the Bhikkunis order?

Post by DooDoot » Sun Apr 01, 2018 1:32 am

DNS wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 3:44 pm
If there are less bhikkhus, there can still be Buddhist temples, perhaps fewer in number, but larger temples which needs less monks to officiate it; something similar to the mega-churches we have in the bible-belt.
Maybe but the Thai culture will also be changed and the Buddhism might be similar to Protestantism, namely, without a focus on moral deeds but more a focus of self-affirmation by grace (Buddha's metta).
DNS wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 3:44 pm
Apparently not too many years ago there were about 300,000 monks in Thailand and now there are 70,000.
I think, soon enough, bhikkhunis could use abandoned monasteries in Thailand. It just requires an orderly transition because those devout Buddhists who support monks & will probably support bhikkhuni often still expect a certain level of virtue. Respect must be won rather than demanded. For example, American Pannavati Bhikkhuni had her monastery burned down in Thailand. Traditional Thai people engage strongly in judgments of the character of people, so for some foreigners ('farang') I would expect Thailand is unsuitable for Western social activism (masquerading as 'Buddhism').
On Apr. 3rd arson of their temple has forced Thai bhikkhunis to flee their headquarters and Temple at the International Women’s Meditation Center in Rayong. The bhikkhuni project was founded by Venerable Dr. Lee more than a decade ago and grafted into the US Theravadan order, Sisters of Compassionate Wisdom [of which Ven. Pannavati is a founding circle member]. A rescue plan is in operation. Right now, we don’t need money. Sufficient help is available through Taiwan monastic connections.

https://www.lionsroar.com/thai-bhikkhun ... -attacked/



Comment: As an American Buddhist myself, I am deeply concerned by the incorporation of socialist and progressive values into my religion by westerners who are only concerned with racial equality. Now, obviously, Lord Buddha would be very opposed to racism and bigotry, as it can lead to suffering for those who are the victims of it. However, the incorporation of Marxist and militant beliefs into Buddhism completely goes against the teachings of Lord Buddha. First of all, Buddhism has been extremely persecuted at the hands of socialist governments. In China, Mongolia, and Cambodia, Buddhism was completely destroyed by socialist oppression. Buddhists today in both Laos and Vietnam are still routinely persecuted by the ruling communist parties. In Burma, Buddhist monks were frequently beaten, arrested, and censored by the military junta, which for a time was devoutly communist, for speaking out against injustices. And let's not forget how the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, considered freedom fighters by many westerners and the Tamil community, would routinely massacre Buddhists in Sri Lanka during the country's civil war. My point is, Buddhism is about ending the suffering of all beings, but our religion does not promote what many westerners believe in and have tried to incorporate into our religion. I am a practitioner of Theravada Buddhism, and as a result I mostly practice Buddhism alongside immigrants and refugees from South and Southeast Asia. This has allowed me to experience Buddhism in its most authentic form I believe, and all of my teachers are Asian and are immigrants. All of this talk about "revolution" and militant action is totally alien to us in the Theravada Buddhist community. The main reason for this is because there are very few westerners who follow Theravada Buddhism. There are much more westerners who follow Mahayana and Tibetan Buddhism. Lord Buddha never spoke of these things, and western Buddhists involved in social justice activism should find more peaceful, inclusive, and non-divisive ways of addressing inequality. North American Buddhist Alliance should keep politics out of our religion. Perverting our religion to fit a political mentality is not the way of Buddhism. NABA sermons should be more focused on the Dhamma rather than politics.

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Re: Is Alliance for Bhikkhunis a support or a threat to the Bhikkunis order?

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Apr 01, 2018 5:07 am

DooDoot wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 1:32 am
Comment: As an American Buddhist myself, I am deeply concerned by the incorporation of socialist and progressive values into my religion by westerners who are only concerned with racial equality. ...
Whose comment is this?

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Re: Is Alliance for Bhikkhunis a support or a threat to the Bhikkunis order?

Post by Bhikkhu_Jayasara » Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:54 am

mikenz66 wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 5:07 am
DooDoot wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 1:32 am
Comment: As an American Buddhist myself, I am deeply concerned by the incorporation of socialist and progressive values into my religion by westerners who are only concerned with racial equality. ...
Whose comment is this?

:heart:
Mike
I would also like to know, while I don't agree with some of what the person says, I think this paragraph is pretty apt to what I am seeing in some western buddhist circles today.
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Re: Is Alliance for Bhikkhunis a support or a threat to the Bhikkunis order?

Post by Mr Man » Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:48 am

Bhikkhu_Jayasara wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:54 am
mikenz66 wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 5:07 am
DooDoot wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 1:32 am
Whose comment is this?

:heart:
Mike
I would also like to know, while I don't agree with some of what the person says, I think this paragraph is pretty apt to what I am seeing in some western buddhist circles today.
Hi Bhante
Why do you find it apt? Is it because you are a right wing libertarian? The view aligns with you disposition? Why is it okay to push that kind of position consistently?

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Re: Is Alliance for Bhikkhunis a support or a threat to the Bhikkunis order?

Post by Bhikkhu_Jayasara » Sun Apr 01, 2018 12:24 pm

Mr Man wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:48 am
Bhikkhu_Jayasara wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:54 am
mikenz66 wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 5:07 am

Whose comment is this?

:heart:
Mike
I would also like to know, while I don't agree with some of what the person says, I think this paragraph is pretty apt to what I am seeing in some western buddhist circles today.
Hi Bhante
Why do you find it apt? Is it because you are a right wing libertarian? The view aligns with you disposition? Why is it okay to push that kind of position consistently?
It is quite true I was a Libertarian in lay life, but never a "right wing" libertarian, nor a "left wing" one, two designations that are fairly new, I straddled the middle path ;) and never voted for either of the two parties in any election, always independent, and always misunderstood by those on either fringe. I know politics, activism, and how the system works, more then 90% of the people, as most people stay apathetic to it. I let go of these things years ago though, because I saw the futility of trying to change a world of greed, hatred, and delusion that has always been such a way, and always will be. I also saw how attachment to views cause so much strife, the Buddha's words showing their truth in my own experience.

I am no arahant of course, so the seed of these views are still within me, but the futility of getting into the fray of politics again would only cause my mind strife, If I have to speak out against something, it is only in relation to Buddhism and the Dhamma.

That being said, I can't see where I have ever pushed any kind of politics(if anyone has, please point it out so I can learn better for the future, as it's not my intent), If I have been consistent, it has been for being against weaponizing the dhamma for political ends, whether thats how horrid some monks have been acting in Buddhist countries, or activists here in America, like after the election where people were trying to say stuff like anyone who doesn't believe how they do couldn't possibly be a buddhist, using Buddhism as a tool of division and enhancing the "us vs them" divide, instead of using metta to close it.


If I stand anywhere, its that Dhamma is for all beings, everywhere, and is not beholden to any set of political views, I would share the Dhamma with anyone who wanted to listen, as it should be.
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Re: Is Alliance for Bhikkhunis a support or a threat to the Bhikkunis order?

Post by Mr Man » Sun Apr 01, 2018 6:17 pm

Hi Bhante

When you see "I am deeply concerned by the incorporation of socialist and progressive values into my religion by westerners who are only concerned with racial equality" as an "apt" comment, you are getting into the fray of politics and showing a bias.

Who are there Buddhists who are only concerned with racial equality? What are the socialist and progressive values that are being incorporated into Buddhism that you find concerning?

Why did you find that comment apt?

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Re: Is Alliance for Bhikkhunis a support or a threat to the Bhikkunis order?

Post by dharmacorps » Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:21 pm

I feel any comment underscoring the need to keep partisan politics out of Buddhism is "apt". Mostly in the USA/West, we see liberal/progressive/activist politics being melded with "Buddhism". This has nothing to do with the dhamma. The dhamma is there to liberate being from suffering, including the suffering from clinging to views and opinions found in politics as a whole. Which yes, is even present in whatever your preferred political view is.

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Re: Is Alliance for Bhikkhunis a support or a threat to the Bhikkunis order?

Post by DNS » Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:49 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 1:32 am
Comment: As an American Buddhist myself, I am deeply concerned by the incorporation of socialist and progressive values into my religion by westerners who are only concerned with racial equality. Now, obviously, Lord Buddha would be very opposed to racism and bigotry, as it can lead to suffering for those who are the victims of it. However, the incorporation of Marxist and militant beliefs into Buddhism completely goes against the teachings of Lord Buddha.
mikenz66 wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 5:07 am
Whose comment is this?
See the youtube video on youtube.com and it is one of the comments. The author of those comments is a youtube user responding to the NABA video.

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Re: Is Alliance for Bhikkhunis a support or a threat to the Bhikkunis order?

Post by Mr Man » Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:52 pm

dharmacorps wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:21 pm
I feel any comment underscoring the need to keep partisan politics out of Buddhism is "apt". Mostly in the USA/West, we see liberal/progressive/activist politics being melded with "Buddhism". This has nothing to do with the dhamma. The dhamma is there to liberate being from suffering, including the suffering from clinging to views and opinions found in politics as a whole. Which yes, is even present in whatever your preferred political view is.
Hi dharmacorps
I think you would need to give examples of socialist and progressive politics being melded with dhamma, which you feel to be negative.

Do you mean the "Alliance for Bhikkhunis" who call "organizing and mobilizing for a gender-balanced approach to Theravada monasticism."?

Who are the "westerners who are only concerned with racial equality"?

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Re: Is Alliance for Bhikkhunis a support or a threat to the Bhikkunis order?

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:01 pm

Thanks David. Yes, it's in the comments to the second video in this post:
viewtopic.php?f=30&t=31298&start=40#p465699
i.e.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G78t_supOXA

There's actually a short conversation of comment there...

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Mike

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