Discouraging and Encouraging Bhikkhuni Ordination

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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AgarikaJ
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Re: Discouraging and Encouraging Bhikkhuni Ordination

Post by AgarikaJ » Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:44 am

DooDoot wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:26 am
[then she said she was part of a sect called 'The Forest Tradition of the West" and then said she has a Nyingma teacher. Thus it appears she has moved on or split-off from the so-called "lineage" that ordained her.
I think we had a thread a very short while ago that illuminated why the lineages split / had to split.
DooDoot wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:26 am
I think Thanissaro's argument has some validity, that in the Buddha's time, the Buddha taught those bhikkhunis. But today, the bhikkhunis can choose to follow an alien dharma.
With regard to your second quote, I fixed it thus:

"I think Thanissaro's argument has some validity, that in the Buddha's time, the Buddha taught those bhikkhus. But today, the bhikkhu can choose to follow an alien dharma." [and many do]

If I understand your point correctly, it really is: is this lineage truly Theravadan? And according to how literal one takes this term, your answer arguably could be either yes or no.

I am still unsure how this relates to the gender of those individuals.
The teaching is a lake with shores of ethics, unclouded, praised by the fine to the good.
There the knowledgeable go to bathe, and cross to the far shore without getting wet.
[SN 7.21]

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DooDoot
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Re: Discouraging and Encouraging Bhikkhuni Ordination

Post by DooDoot » Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:49 am

AgarikaJ wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:44 am
I am still unsure how this relates to the gender of those individuals.
Well, the Buddha referred to "his bhikkhus and bhikkhunis".
"For the Blessed One, O Lord, spoke these words to me: 'I shall not come to my final passing away, Evil One, until my bhikkhus and bhikkhunis, laymen and laywomen, have come to be true disciples — wise, well disciplined, apt and learned, preservers of the Dhamma, living according to the Dhamma, abiding by the appropriate conduct, and having learned the Master's word, are able to expound it, preach it, proclaim it, establish it, reveal it, explain it in detail, and make it clear; until, when adverse opinions arise, they shall be able to refute them thoroughly and well, and to preach this convincing and liberating Dhamma.'

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .vaji.html
Just because men exist as monks in alien dharmas does this mean we start alien female sects? At least, today, I have understood Thanissaro's argument. Nobody today is the Buddha. Therefore, no woman ordained can be deemed as such according to the Buddha's intention. Ajahn Brahm's bhikkhunis are not the Buddha's bhikkhunis. They are different. Are these new bhikkhunis going to start teaching the doctrine of Professor Ian Stevenson? Or preach Cultural Marxism (Feminism)? Or overtly support the nation & life destroying war mongers Obama & Hillary on their Facebooks? :shrug:
Never ordained... not an anonymous-online-bhikkhu or ex-bhikkhu...

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Zom
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Re: Discouraging and Encouraging Bhikkhuni Ordination

Post by Zom » Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:26 pm

Buddhism is a religion of equality
No, it is not. Equality is an idealistic (that is, far from reality) concept invented by western humanists. It is not intrinsic to Buddha's teaching, which is about reality (with all its inequalities) and not about equality. Even if we take bhikkhu/bhukkhuni topic, even here we can easily see the absense of equality, for example, in number of training rules.

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AgarikaJ
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Re: Discouraging and Encouraging Bhikkhuni Ordination

Post by AgarikaJ » Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:59 pm

Zom wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:26 pm
Buddhism is a religion of equality
No, it is not. Equality is an idealistic (that is, far from reality) concept invented by western humanists. It is not intrinsic to Buddha's teaching, which is about reality (with all its inequalities) and not about equality. Even if we take bhikkhu/bhukkhuni topic, even here we can easily see the absense of equality, for example, in number of training rules.
Gender differences, according to the world creation view of Theravada only came to be due to the cognitive state of greed, hatred and delusion of the Brahma (see: Aggaññā Sutta; http://www.palicanon.org/en/sutta-pitak ... cloak.html).

Which would mean, that gender differences are automatically overcome reaching a state of mind where greed, hatred and delusion are overcome; we call this enlightenment.

Having male and female attributes of body and mind pose no hindrance to reaching such an enlightened state and indeed it is merely a whispering of Mara that gender would pose a difference.

See the Soma Sutta: https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .bodh.html
What does womanhood matter at all
When the mind is concentrated well,
When knowledge flows on steadily
As one sees correctly into Dhamma.

One to whom it might occur,
'I'm a woman' or 'I'm a man'
Or 'I'm anything at all' —
Is fit for Mara to address.
Should we listen to Mara?
The teaching is a lake with shores of ethics, unclouded, praised by the fine to the good.
There the knowledgeable go to bathe, and cross to the far shore without getting wet.
[SN 7.21]

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DooDoot
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Re: Discouraging and Encouraging Bhikkhuni Ordination

Post by DooDoot » Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:42 pm

Zom wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:26 pm
Buddhism is a religion of equality
No, it is not.
Actually, Buddhism appears to be a religion of spiritual equality. AN 9.5 says the gift of dhamma is to make a non-Arahant equal to an Arahant, if possible, by teaching the gift of Dhamma.
This is the best of gifts: the gift of Dhamma. And this is the best of friendly speech: to teach again and again Dhamma to those who wish for it and who listen attentively. And this is the best of helpful acts: to arouse, instil and strengthen faith in the unbeliever; to arouse, instil and strengthen virtue in the immoral; to arouse, instil and strengthen generosity in the niggard; to arouse, instil and strengthen wisdom in the unwise. And this is the best bestowal of equity: if a stream-winner becomes equal to a stream-winner; a once-returner equal to a once-returner; a non-returner equal to a non-returner; and an arahant equal to an arahant. This, monks, is called the power of benevolence.

AN 9.5
But Buddhism does not have leadership, worldly or administrative equity. This is where the Western Feminists appear to be in error (such as in the video I posted of the Austrian nun). The women were "guests" into the male Sangha. The women asked to join the male Sangha. The Austrian lady in the video engaged in wrong view when she said at Amaravati in England the 10-precept nuns did not have equality. They had equality. They had equal food, clothing, shelter, medicine and meditation seats for the purpose of enlightenment.
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Seven77
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Re: Discouraging and Encouraging Bhikkhuni Ordination

Post by Seven77 » Wed Sep 26, 2018 5:00 pm

Hi,

I have been pondering questions surrounding Therevada nuns and the law of kamma. It seems to me that one would do wisely to look at ones own intentions in this matter. Weather or not you are for, or against Theravada nuns is not as important as why. This gives 4 categories instead of 2 (encouraging and discouraging).
  1. Encouraging with bad intention. Could be anything from don't liking monks, don't liking Thais, wanting women to be at the front of the food queue, etc. (Anything with intentions from greed, aversion, delusion basically).
  2. Encouraging with good intentions. Genuine metta for all humans regardless of gender, generosity, belief that it will benefit the Sangha. Any wholesome reason.
  3. Dicouraging with bad intentions. Hating women, aversion to feminists, craving women while being a samanera, having some sort of illusion or ulterior motives etc.
  4. Dicouraging with good intentions. Genuine belief that it is better to not have fully ordained Theravada nuns, not mixed with any bad intentions. Wanting to protect women, wanting to protect the Sangha.
These are all just examples of motives, there could be any number of them and combinations of different ones. It's not up to me to judge anyone for their view on this. But I feel it could be helpful to offer this for your reflection. Please look at your own motives and consider if you are making bad kamma for yourself.

:anjali:

thang
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Re: Discouraging and Encouraging Bhikkhuni Ordination

Post by thang » Wed Sep 26, 2018 7:50 pm

Seven77 wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 5:00 pm
I have been pondering questions surrounding Therevada nuns and the law of kamma. It seems to me that one would do wisely to look at ones own intentions in this matter. Weather or not you are for, or against Theravada nuns is not as important as why. This gives 4 categories instead of 2 (encouraging and discouraging).
  1. Encouraging with bad intention. Could be anything from don't liking monks, don't liking Thais, wanting women to be at the front of the food queue, etc. (Anything with intentions from greed, aversion, delusion basically).
  2. Encouraging with good intentions. Genuine metta for all humans regardless of gender, generosity, belief that it will benefit the Sangha. Any wholesome reason.
  3. Dicouraging with bad intentions. Hating women, aversion to feminists, craving women while being a samanera, having some sort of illusion or ulterior motives etc.
  4. Dicouraging with good intentions. Genuine belief that it is better to not have fully ordained Theravada nuns, not mixed with any bad intentions. Wanting to protect women, wanting to protect the Sangha.
These are all just examples of motives, there could be any number of them and combinations of different ones. It's not up to me to judge anyone for their view on this. But I feel it could be helpful to offer this for your reflection. Please look at your own motives and consider if you are making bad kamma for yourself.
:anjali:
Good post.
"Bhikkhus, whatever the Tathāgata speaks, utters, or expounds
in the interval between
the night when he awakens to the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment
and the night when he attains final nibbāna,
all that is just so and not otherwise"
;

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Sam Vara
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Re: Discouraging and Encouraging Bhikkhuni Ordination

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Sep 26, 2018 8:32 pm

Seven77 wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 5:00 pm
I have been pondering questions surrounding Therevada nuns and the law of kamma. It seems to me that one would do wisely to look at ones own intentions in this matter. Weather or not you are for, or against Theravada nuns is not as important as why. This gives 4 categories instead of 2 (encouraging and discouraging).
  1. Encouraging with bad intention. Could be anything from don't liking monks, don't liking Thais, wanting women to be at the front of the food queue, etc. (Anything with intentions from greed, aversion, delusion basically).
  2. Encouraging with good intentions. Genuine metta for all humans regardless of gender, generosity, belief that it will benefit the Sangha. Any wholesome reason.
    ...
    These are all just examples of motives, there could be any number of them and combinations of different ones. It's not up to me to judge anyone for their view on this. But I feel it could be helpful to offer this for your reflection. Please look at your own motives and consider if you are making bad kamma for yourself.
Many thanks for a relevant and thought-provoking post.

I've largely kept clear of the debate regarding Theravada nuns. In fact I was quite surprised some years ago to find that people I knew at the monastery and who never mentioned it were very actively campaigning on social media for full bhikkhuni ordination and getting very heated about it. Obviously, as this post says towards the end, ones own motivations are important, rather than the intentions of others. But I do wonder whether anyone's motives can be so neatly pigeonholed so as to fall into either (1) or (2) above.

Obviously, the people concerned - strongly encouraging bhikkhuni ordination - think that their intentions are genuinely good. It looks to me as if they are bandwagon-jumping, virtue-signalling, or just reacting due to prejudices they carry around. If it furthers the cause of female equality in any sphere whatsoever, then they are for it. This would presumably put them in (1). But it's also the case that they genuinely express their goodness, and concern for others, in such terms. For them, equality is perceived as an almost unmitigated good, akin to feeding the hungry or saving a drowning person, and it genuinely puzzles them as to why others don't see things in this way. Leaving aside the actual outcomes for a moment (i.e. splitting the Sangha, offending traditionalists, etc.) their intentions are as good as any others they have. They think they are helping women to make spiritual progress, developing the Sangha in a positive direction, and unlocking the potential of people who can become full monastics and help countless others.

They may well be wrong, of course. The law of unintended consequences might intervene and reveal them to be ignorant blunderers. But, according to their own worldview, their intentions are good.

thang
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Re: Discouraging and Encouraging Bhikkhuni Ordination

Post by thang » Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:09 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 8:32 pm
Obviously, the people concerned - strongly encouraging bhikkhuni ordination - think that their intentions are genuinely good. It looks to me as if they are bandwagon-jumping, virtue-signalling, or just reacting due to prejudices they carry around. If it furthers the cause of female equality in any sphere whatsoever, then they are for it. This would presumably put them in (1).

Leaving aside the actual outcomes for a moment (i.e. splitting the Sangha, offending traditionalists, etc.) their intentions are as good as any others they have. They think they are helping women to make spiritual progress, developing the Sangha in a positive direction, and unlocking the potential of people who can become full monastics and help countless others.

They may well be wrong, of course. The law of unintended consequences might intervene and reveal them to be ignorant blunderers. But, according to their own worldview, their intentions are good.
You are better than thought.
"Bhikkhus, whatever the Tathāgata speaks, utters, or expounds
in the interval between
the night when he awakens to the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment
and the night when he attains final nibbāna,
all that is just so and not otherwise"
;

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Sam Vara
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Re: Discouraging and Encouraging Bhikkhuni Ordination

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:44 pm

thang wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:09 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 8:32 pm
Obviously, the people concerned - strongly encouraging bhikkhuni ordination - think that their intentions are genuinely good. It looks to me as if they are bandwagon-jumping, virtue-signalling, or just reacting due to prejudices they carry around. If it furthers the cause of female equality in any sphere whatsoever, then they are for it. This would presumably put them in (1).

Leaving aside the actual outcomes for a moment (i.e. splitting the Sangha, offending traditionalists, etc.) their intentions are as good as any others they have. They think they are helping women to make spiritual progress, developing the Sangha in a positive direction, and unlocking the potential of people who can become full monastics and help countless others.

They may well be wrong, of course. The law of unintended consequences might intervene and reveal them to be ignorant blunderers. But, according to their own worldview, their intentions are good.
You are better than thought.
Sorry, I don't understand.

thang
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Re: Discouraging and Encouraging Bhikkhuni Ordination

Post by thang » Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:50 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:44 pm
thang wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:09 pm
You are better than thought.
Sorry, I don't understand.
Previously I thought you seem to be an extremist/modernist/marxist/feminist.
"Bhikkhus, whatever the Tathāgata speaks, utters, or expounds
in the interval between
the night when he awakens to the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment
and the night when he attains final nibbāna,
all that is just so and not otherwise"
;

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Sam Vara
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Re: Discouraging and Encouraging Bhikkhuni Ordination

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:56 pm

thang wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:50 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:44 pm
thang wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:09 pm
You are better than thought.
Sorry, I don't understand.
Previously I thought you seem to be an extremist/modernist/marxist/feminist.
Ah, I see! Well, you can scarcely imagine how happy your increased approval makes me! :anjali:

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DooDoot
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Re: Discouraging and Encouraging Bhikkhuni Ordination

Post by DooDoot » Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:48 am

thang wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:50 pm
Previously I thought you seem to be an extremist/modernist/marxist/feminist.
Being anti-extremist/anti-modernist/anti-marxist/anti-feminist does not mean Dhamma is understood. In the time of the Buddha, extremist/modernist/marxist/feminist did not exist but the Buddha said:
'This Dhamma that I have attained is deep, hard to see, hard to realize, peaceful, refined, beyond the scope of conjecture, subtle, to-be-experienced by the wise. But this generation delights in attachment, is excited by attachment, enjoys attachment. For a generation delighting in attachment, excited by attachment, enjoying attachment, this/that conditionality & dependent co-arising are hard to see. This state, too, is hard to see: the resolution of all fabrications, the relinquishment of all acquisitions, the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding. And if I were to teach the Dhamma and others would not understand me, that would be tiresome for me, troublesome for me.'

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
:smile:
Never ordained... not an anonymous-online-bhikkhu or ex-bhikkhu...

thang
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Re: Discouraging and Encouraging Bhikkhuni Ordination

Post by thang » Thu Sep 27, 2018 2:59 am

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:48 am
thang wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:50 pm
Previously I thought you seem to be an extremist/modernist/marxist/feminist.
Being anti-extremist/anti-modernist/anti-marxist/anti-feminist does not mean Dhamma is understood.
What about anti-anti-extremist/ anti-anti-modernist/ anti-anti-marxist/ anti-anti-feminist ??
Does being such a one mean Dhamma is understood ??
"Bhikkhus, whatever the Tathāgata speaks, utters, or expounds
in the interval between
the night when he awakens to the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment
and the night when he attains final nibbāna,
all that is just so and not otherwise"
;

Seven77
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Re: Discouraging and Encouraging Bhikkhuni Ordination

Post by Seven77 » Thu Sep 27, 2018 4:17 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 8:32 pm
They may well be wrong, of course. The law of unintended consequences might intervene and reveal them to be ignorant blunderers. But, according to their own worldview, their intentions are good.
"according to their own worldview" is the key here I think. In reality, which is almost never black and white, their intentions can be good, but not pure. Meaning not free from any kind of kilesas (bound up with greed/aversion/delusion) This is most often the case for us worldlings. If we are brutally honest with ourselves and look carefully, things might be different than we actually thought. I see this often in myself due to my progression on the spiritual path. Something I previously thought was purely good turned out to be mixed up with defilements. This is only natural since I am gradually developing right view.

When it comes to kamma the intentions needs to be good in a Buddhist sense (i.e. free from kilesas) to give good fruition in the future. This can often be different from good intentions in a worldly sense. For instance being attached to your parents is normally seen as good, but is in reality bad kamma. The same would apply to being attached to equality, anti-marxism or any other kind of worldly dhamma.

:anjali:

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