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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Dan74
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by Dan74 » Sun Jan 03, 2010 7:48 am

21 pages into this topic and I am wondering how people are finding it useful for their practice?

To me these kinds of disputes are disheartening for beginners and distracting for the rest.

But I am curious to hear other perspectives.

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by BlackBird » Sun Jan 03, 2010 7:50 am

Certainly hasn't benefited my practice.
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Jan 03, 2010 8:00 am

Hi Dan,

I agree. Not particularly helpful to anyone, as far as I can see.

What puzzles me is why those who have no confidence in the Thai Sangha in general and WPP in particular care what they do with regard to Bhikkhuni ordination, etc. Why not just ignore them and seek teaching from someplace else that you do have confidence in?

If I had no confidence in my teachers and my general support environment I would rather move on than generate negative mind-states over it.

Metta
Mike

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by bodhabill » Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:04 am

Hi Dan

LOL 22 pages now because of your post !!

Agree with you, but there are positive sides to everything and I have 'met' some very interesting and knowledgeable people here on this topic and been introduced to other teachers and teachings that I had not been exposed to before

Hi Mike
What puzzles me is why those who have no confidence in the Thai Sangha in general and WPP in particular care what they do with regard to Bhikkhuni ordination, etc.
Maybe because it is worth trying to correct perceived wrongs and ensure a balanced view is put forward

My perception is that the Thai Sangha has erred in its decision, yours is that it has not, both sides are valid and have been worth debating

My honest hope now is that both sides now can peacefully co-exist as they travel slightly different paths

This comment is not designed to flare the argument up again so anyone reading it should take it in the 'right speech' spirit it was written in

With Metta
Bill
"Complaining is finding faults, wisdom is finding solutions" Ajahn Brahm

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by BlackBird » Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:32 am

This raises another question however, and in this case it is mostly unrelated to the Bhikkhuni/WPP issue.

Do we not have a duty as lay people, to shore up bad behavior? Is not the Canon filled with examples of the laity complaining to the Buddha of monks behaving badly? Is not the laity a vital check and balance in ensuring the integrity of the Monastic community?

I think this relationship of symbiosis has fallen out of kilter.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by cooran » Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:47 am

Do we not have a duty as lay people, to shore up bad behavior? Is not the Canon filled with examples of the laity complaining to the Buddha of monks behaving badly? Is not the laity a vital check and balance in ensuring the integrity of the Monastic community?
No to each.
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by BlackBird » Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:33 am

Chris wrote:
Do we not have a duty as lay people, to shore up bad behavior? Is not the Canon filled with examples of the laity complaining to the Buddha of monks behaving badly? Is not the laity a vital check and balance in ensuring the integrity of the Monastic community?
No to each.
Why? Could you please provide some supporting evidence?
One of the lay responsibilities that shows up especially in Vinaya literature is that of keeping the monks in line. Or, to put it in a less vulgar and accusatory way, so many of the monastic rules are formulated not for the sake of training the monks, but instead of allow the lay community to have confidence in the Sangha.

While I am not going to speak out against having reverence for the Sangha, it is nice to think of respect as something precious and valued, and not a foregone conclusion. Perhaps you would see fewer “buddhist” teachers up to seriously shady business if this kind of respect had a few more strings attached.
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Having read the BMC a couple of times, I can see the author's point in the part I emphasized. I like the general gist of what the author is saying too, but I am prepared to question whether it is indeed what the Buddha intended, hence the question marks in my original post.

metta
Jack
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by bodhabill » Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:54 am

BlackBird wrote:This raises another question however, and in this case it is mostly unrelated to the Bhikkhuni/WPP issue.

Do we not have a duty as lay people, to shore up bad behavior? Is not the Canon filled with examples of the laity complaining to the Buddha of monks behaving badly? Is not the laity a vital check and balance in ensuring the integrity of the Monastic community?

I think this relationship of symbiosis has fallen out of kilter.
Hi Jack

An interesting topic and perhaps one that perhaps could be started in a new thread

The Buddhist community was and always has been the Fourfold Sangha consisting of bhikkhus bhikkhunis upasakas and upasikas

Imho the laity are not part of the Fourfold Sangha just to provide ongoing dana and robes once a year but to also actively participate in their monastic community

With metta
Bill
"Complaining is finding faults, wisdom is finding solutions" Ajahn Brahm

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by Cittasanto » Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:07 am

Paññāsikhara wrote:
manapa wrote: Who translated the transcript? http://www.alittlebuddha.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
does everyone immediately know who or what the dharmagupta are?
as the Vinaya line and Mahayana are linked together easier to use an immediately understandable word when translating.
Well, add an explanation then. Just say: "... Dhammagutta (one of the early Vibhajjavada Theravada / Sthaviravada schools) ..." Not hard, is it?

"mahayana" is not a translation of "dhammagutta".

They are related, by association, yes. But because in most Theravada countries they basically believe that the Mahayana is heretical, evil and whatnot, the term "mahayana" is not in any way an appropriate substitute in this context.

So, by saying that "mahayana" is an understandable translation of "dhammagutta", it is totally incorrect.
Their so-called "understanding" is of something totally different. So, it makes the confusion even worse.
I didn't say it was a translation of dhammagutta, I said it is understandable word to use instead of, in other words because of the link the translator may of altered the word used when translating so everyone knew who was being reffered to, the speakers could of used the term for the same purpose, this could of been because they wished it to be understood who was being refered to by everyone, but because Brahm (in the transcript) uses the word also and in light of what sujato has said in some of his research and on youtube it is in my opinion doubtful that it was used by at least one person there, unless it was for clarity of who was being referred.
it is a case of I'm giving them (all) the benefit of the doubt. look at the use of the term hinayana in use, it can stir up some very hurt feelings and emotional responses, as in this case the term mahayana can be used in the same way, it is better to give them all the benefit of the doubt than tar them all with the same brush of either ignorance or bigotry.
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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 …
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by Paññāsikhara » Sun Jan 03, 2010 12:14 pm

I've been trying to think of an analogy, and maybe this is as close as I can get:

A branch campus in Italy of a Jewish university in Tel Aviv is looking for a professor of the old testament. They already have great scholars with the Hebrew bible, but they know that this is insufficient. So, they decide that they need an old testament scholar who knows Greek and Latin, too. They have an applicant, from the United States, an old testament scholar. She is a Christian, but knows her old testament well. Once she studied Islamic interpretation of the New Testament, in the USA. So, the head of the branch campus in Italy hires her, and gives her the job. Soon, the main campus in Tel Aviv calls up the head of the branch campus, and demands an explanation: "Why have you employed a Muslim professor?"

It's not the perfect analogy, but if you actually have a good think about it...
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by Cittasanto » Sun Jan 03, 2010 12:38 pm

Bankei wrote:
Manapa wrote:
Bankei wrote:
Hi Manapa

I was just trying to point out that these monks live in a different world to the average Westerner and therefore have different views on women and Buddhism to most people so it may be a bit much to expect them to be over enthusiastic about women ordaining.

An yes, Mike, what I wrote was stereotypical and there are many exceptions out there. There are many educated and knowledgeable Thais out there (just not probably monks of the WPP group!).

Bankei
so you use derogatory stereotypes why?
What was derogatory?

It may be hard to imagine, for those who haven't lived in Thailand. The education level and general knowledge of the monks, especially those outside of bangkok, is very low by western standards. So don't expect too much!
OK. what you put here in this post and the other is another way of saying they are to stupid & backward to know better, because the length of time the western monks have been there they are essentially the same.
There is only one purpose I know of to use negative generalised statements or generalised statements in threads such as this, comparing two different cultures (one negatively), and that is to generate dislike for that culture, education level and the rest don't necessarily denote wrong view, of the local populus or people who live there!
I could say based on my experiance that people who commit adultery are not honest, although this would be based on fact it wouldn't be relevant to a thread on sexual misconduct, because it would be making the thread personal and not about the action or views.
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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 » Sun Jan 03, 2010 2:14 pm

Had computer problems then, so lost the original I was trying to post
I can see two possibilities here
1 - it is referring to Brahms excommunication from the Thai Sangha.
in this case it is don't hire (or accept a job) someone who doesn't agree with the rules of the organisation, this could be because the organisation has changed or the employee has, or the goals were not compatible from the start, be honest and don't accept the post or leave, voice the concerns but don't try and have your cake, with Ice-cream when ice-cream isn't available.
2 - be accurate with your words
three possibilities with this one in reference the the use of Mahayana
A - assuming it wasn't the transcriber changing it - as Ajahn Brahm is the first to use the term Mahayana, they were following his lead, and the closeness to hinayana use and derogatory meaning you point out is inferred by the reader.
B - assuming it was changed, my earlier remark "don't trust every translation" is still relevant, and would be relevant to 'A' as there are different ways the word can be understood, plus the word in itself does not automatically refer to a derogatory meaning in use to a group.
C - assuming it was used independently by each speaker, the context could be read in a non-representational manner, whether by the words used or the translators translation style, remember there were allot of hurt feelings about the way brahm went about this & Mahayana is and can be used with no derogatory meaning associated unlike the hinayana counterpart.

unless you have specific evidence that they used the term Mahayana in a derogatory manner, meaning to be derogatory to the Mahayana then this would just be circular.
Paññāsikhara wrote:I've been trying to think of an analogy, and maybe this is as close as I can get:

A branch campus in Italy of a Jewish university in Tel Aviv is looking for a professor of the old testament. They already have great scholars with the Hebrew bible, but they know that this is insufficient. So, they decide that they need an old testament scholar who knows Greek and Latin, too. They have an applicant, from the United States, an old testament scholar. She is a Christian, but knows her old testament well. Once she studied Islamic interpretation of the New Testament, in the USA. So, the head of the branch campus in Italy hires her, and gives her the job. Soon, the main campus in Tel Aviv calls up the head of the branch campus, and demands an explanation: "Why have you employed a Muslim professor?"

It's not the perfect analogy, but if you actually have a good think about it...
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 » Sun Jan 03, 2010 2:18 pm

Dan74 wrote:21 pages into this topic and I am wondering how people are finding it useful for their practice?

To me these kinds of disputes are disheartening for beginners and distracting for the rest.

But I am curious to hear other perspectives.

_/|\_
As already pointed out you made this 22 pages :juggling: :tongue:

but yes, I am.
if you look back earlier in the thread my (at best) wording was borderline, it is giving me a good practice of restraint, and practice of metta.
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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 roni » Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:05 pm

Has been useful (up to now), finding many people (mostly through the FaceBook page) who think of theravada (monastic and lay), social issues (getting involved or not), Aj Brahm etc. simillarly to how I do. A good friend is not only the half of holy life... :)

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Post by Bankei » Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:22 pm

Hi Manapa

I can't really understand what you are trying to say. But I didn't say WPP Thai monks are stupid, but that they come from a different world view with lower academic education levels than the general levels in the West. I don't think there is any dispute about this.

People growing up in different societies hold different views as well. In the West there is a general feeling of equality - although women are still disadvantaged to a degree. Thai society is a vertical society - the senior/junior, age and status are important as well as wealth, much more so that the in West.

Have you ever been to Thailand? If so ever been to Isarn?
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Bankei

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