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Future Of Buddhizm By Women

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#1 animal



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Posted 31 August 2008 - 05:56 PM

I heard from several places, that Buddha said, that the future of Buddhism would shorten by women/nuns, and who simply follow Buddhist path. Is it true? And if it is true, what is its explanation?

#2 Simona


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Posted 01 September 2008 - 07:49 AM

I am not long in Buddhism, but what ever Teachings I have been read, studied or heard so far, none was referred or addressed specially to man`s or specially to woman`s mind.
As well, I understand, on the basis of Teachings, woman/man are rather supplementing phenomena, and not in dichotomy neither inherent by itself. Though, it`s clear, as soon as the phenomena are taken as dichotomy, it gives the ground to either pesimistic or optimistic evaluations to spring. Under and in accordance of concrete circumstances, in this or that period.

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 05:44 PM

I heard from several places, that Buddha said, that the future of Buddhism would shorten by women/nuns, and who simply follow Buddhist path. Is it true? And if it is true, what is its explanation?

It is from the Vinaya and refers to ordination of nuns. When Buddha Shakyamuni's aunt with other women requested Him for ordination, He first opposed the idea, but after Ananda's request, He accepted them, adding additional vows and prophesising that by the admission of women into sangha the Holy Dharma will degenerate 500 years earlier. (I doubt that just because nuns "simply follow Buddhist path". As far as i know it is not from the Texts.)

Of course, it was not an act of misogyny. It was in accordance to the culture of the time (single women were treated as prostitutes, and subordinating nuns to monks protected them, as well as respect towards the Buddha's Doctrine). On the other hand, subordinate position can be always seen as an antidote against pride, arrogance etc., practical for training the mind in discipline.

The topic also reminds me that the Gelongma ordination was lost in Tibet. Not because of men.

#4 Simona


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Posted 02 September 2008 - 04:46 AM

It goes for identifying a certain phenomenon (women) has, or can have two kinds of causes & results. First being social and the second being natural. Do we split a woman into social being, of which impact and role in mankind is often a subject of controversity :angel: & :[ , etc. and into natural being, but in that case a woman has to give up her gender in order to be accepted as natural being? What do we do? :sage:

#5 dani


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Posted 02 September 2008 - 12:57 PM

Well, Buddha is all knowing, right?...Thus, I would have to conclude his admitting women to the sangha and/or allowing us access practices was an act of wisdom rather than that of a pity for the poor little prostitutes looking for happiness in all the wrong places, who would eventually degenerate Dharma and lead it to an early end?

I could understand that due to projections of the unenlightened society of the time, the Dharma/karma of people/ignorant male practitioners could have been influenced negatively by the decision He made (Hurt pride? Frustration? Anger? Competition?...). Maybe putting women in subordinate position was used to caress the hurt pride of male practitioners, to shorten the negative impact their hurt pride might bring to Dharma from 1000 to 500 years :applause: ...probably only the Enlightened ones really know...but surely Buddha's equation had positive logical background...I would guess having an opportunity to practice in the (un)fortunate female body in this fortunate eon, though shortened by 500 years, countless more beings get to liberate themselves from Samsara...or whatever the reason, but surely Buddha did not waste 500 years (on prostitutes :no1: )...

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 04:39 PM

Any kind of emotional competition, based on ego looking for recognition is one more cause of the degeneration of the Dharma. As long as there will be this clear wish to bring one gender above the other, by means of fight and going into extremes, as it is the case nowadays, it will create a big unbalance.
When we see any kind of injustice in the society, it is possible to fight it without violence. But if we look at the history there has always been some kind of competition, which instead of being used to work on one's pride when in the hurting position, has been used to extreme promotion of one against another.

When the Buddha accepted women as being ordained, it was also after monks pleaded for it. The Buddha's answer to it was out of compassion, to accept this request, and out of wisdom to warn against degeneration.

Now 2500 years after there is more competition than ever, and while the society is changing and women should be happy to get more space, less gender difference in anything, more freedom, what we can see is the emerging of a new type of society, with less and less clear differentiation between genders, and where men and women do not know anymore where they should stand.
In the west, we can also see the aggressivity of some groups of women, creating themselves an even bigger difference by labeling things strongly as feminist/machist.
Where there are so many possibilities to make things clear and peaceful we see more and more emotional bursts.

From my personal experience it is difficult for many to accept differences coming from karma.

Personnaly, and I regret it, I rarely saw a peaceful and growing nun community. Many fights are happening between them, they are the first ones to speak about it. The mistake here would be to consider that women are not as good as men, or to analyze it negatively. It's more a question of energy linked with gender, which if pacified can bring to swift progress, but if not can generate some unstable situations.

Best regards,

#7 Michael John Smith

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Posted 03 September 2008 - 03:42 PM

Can you please add anything to the discussion Roles of Men and Women in Buddhism and Sexuality?

#8 tatjana


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Posted 04 September 2008 - 11:52 AM

Tashi Delek!

I think real communication between two people is possible only if it is based on equal terms and conditions. Respectful relationship between women and man is grounded by allowing women's to talk about their experiences, about their needs by herself. Me as a women, do not need a man for explaining me what should I feel or perceive as real/reality. It's no need, it's already there/here. When meal gender will stop talking instead of us and interpreted our state of mind, coloured with their projections, real communisation would start. I need to admitted, even not being a nun; it brings up some burning thoughts, when reading some noticeable observations about nun's communities. Do nuns really need supervisors for their way of expressing?
If I try to raise my female voice, I take a risk to be labelled as “aggressive, angry, with karmic influence, feminist ... It hurt's and it is sad, but somebody will say it brings some fuel for stronger practice. I'm wondering, is that never-ending sadness what women should transform in order to gain liberation? Nevertheless, beside the practice, we should react in a respectful manner and not putting down our own strength by not talking loudly with our own, female voice. We don't need to nourish men's projections in order to complete our karmic position, but in the meanwhile, just in case we can still secretly pray for fortunate rebirth in men's body.
With best wishes,

#9 drodeun



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Posted 04 September 2008 - 03:40 PM

When the unbalance occurs it would be good to have a dialog between differences. There is nothing wrong with competition as long as one can listen and talk, open and close eye or mouth or doors. For mutual understanding beside not to much monologues there is another important fact: if you don't share the information with your mates or co-workers or Budha-Dharma travelers, you can jump in the wrong conclusions.

And if you don't tell the woman that you dislike eggs or lemons or corn, she can try wery hard to make a delicious meal but it will be of no taste for someone with different preferences.
The same with gender balance. To respect means knowing divine pride and try to understand fallings on knee of the others. Compassion between all living beings for me is not to harm, try to understand first and react next but I agree, when degeneration is in question the reactions are stronger. Maybe in woman stronger than in a men because of helpless wish to protect (rather then nurish after the damage is done).

In my small "The Buddha" book is written: Central to the doctrine are the Four Noble Truths, though the teaching of Buddhism has never been rigid...
That made me to continue despite the silence of the clouds. In basics there is no difference between man and woman, lay or ordained, the light is made for travel the fastest way; we measure the distance (ie. time and space) with the light.
If we can reflect rays to the dearest, a lot of balance is sustained. Between the genders also, do you agree?

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 04:17 PM

Tashi Delek!

I'm wondering, is that never-ending sadness what women should transform in order to gain liberation?

I believe that the need for transformation relates to both, men and women, as it basically means giving up one's ego. As i understood, adverse circumstances, demanding stronger effort, can lead to quicker result on the path, when taken as an advantage (for the practice).
From my point of view the position of women is much better then women usually see it. There are inequalities, there have always been; but if we look to which extent they exist now, are there available tools to resolve them, and is there a general possibility for making decisions about one's own life, i see the situation as good.

When male gender will stop talking instead of us and interpreted our state of mind, coloured with their projections, real communication would start.

I agree that projections prevent true communication. Yet, i believe that they are not a matter of gender. I could not say that men are more judgmental then women (rather the opposite, as men tend to take things less personally, but it depends on each person, of course).

It seems that in this thread the personal and the social aspects are often mixed. I see no need to take everything gender-related as my personal problem, yet i see a need to take personally any stronger reaction that might arise in my mind, and to take care not to make generalizations from it, but rather deal with it by myself, using the proper antidotes.
From the social point of view, many inequalities have been corrected in the past. Nowadays women are in charge of their lives. Yet, women constantly complain. What for? Some people believe that women are never satisfied. A stereotype, of course, you can say chauvinistic, but i believe there is a grain of truth in it. Maybe women tend to relate to the others as the source of (un)happiness more then men, forgetting how to think freely, even though nobody prevents them from it. Many inequalities are maintained by women themselves (for example by disregarding men's role in a family). It seems that women inflict on themselves much more harm (unneeded limitations, unsatisfying roles, unwise emotional habits...) then men inflict upon them. For me this is much sadder then seeing that the top jobs are occupied by men.
From personal point of view, i find various small inequalities or injustices (seeming or real) very inspiring. Such things help me to sort the wheat from the chaff and upgrade my value system; they offer a possibility to practice equanimity and generosity (because i deeply believe that there are plenty opportunities to practice, develop, benefit and be benefited, in any possible position); and of course such situations mirror the level of my pride and self-centeredness, the level of my true willingness to benefit others. Personally i would not change these opportunities for perfect equality, even if i could, as they bring too much good, for too small prize. ;-)

and not putting down our own strength

I definitely see no need to put down one's own strength! I am sure that giving up a bit of one's ego, being a woman or a men, only increases one's inner strength and other abilities.

Wishing you all the very best,

#11 Guest_Ani.Chödrön_*

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 01:45 PM

There is nothing wrong with competition as long as one can listen and talk

Recently I've read that concepts are the king of Maras. Would you agree that they too often serve as ego's kingdom, preventing experiences beyond words? That they are too often used as a plaster for the mind that does not want to deal with its less flattering and less comfortable aspect, and thus prevent healing?

the light is made for travel the fastest way

I think something is faster. ;) The mind. :-) When opened and healed, delusion after delusion.
I am far from being versed with dealing with my mind, so not the best person to talk about it, but i do admire the better examples and i try to learn from them. I think it's a luxury to have this opportunity, together with the whole array of tools for mind training that are given at our disposal. :-// It's making our lives deeply meaningful. Would you agree?

#12 kunzang


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Posted 05 September 2008 - 10:01 PM

Dear Tatjana,

1. there is a strange contradiction in your post. But don't worry, the same contradiction, alas!, can be found in many cases of feminist discourse.

The contradiction goes like that:
a. at the level of the contents, there is an expression of a demand for a "respectful relationship between women and men",
b. however, the level of the form that is used to express this contents, NEGATES what is claimed and demanded and requested at the level of the contents. Why is that so?
"Respectful relationship between women and man is grounded by ALLOWING women's to talk about theri experiences, about their needs by herself. Me, as a women, do no need a man for expaining me what should I feel or perceive as real/reality."
There is the claim about women being autonomous with their needs and perception of reality. Great! But how it is expressed in language? It seems that DESPITE this autonomy, a women still asks somebody hierarchically higher than herself (a man? :-// ) to ALLOW HER to be autonomous. So the woman puts herself automatically in a lower position.
The language that was used shows how the chauvinist mentality with its forms remained untransformed, hidden at the bottom of the feminist discourse. A discourse that is structured in this way seems not only unconvincing and without real results; worse: it is autochauvinistic! It is as a women would would split in two, a woman that wants desperately to liberate herself from chauvinism, BUT using male chauvinist mentality for that end. She acts out of an idea or an ideal, but she tries to reach it with a wrong means/instrument/skill. In the end, she uses a male chauvinism against herself, BEING CONVINCED that she is going to liberate herself.
So she remains where she is. A standard woman mistake. And a very, very sad one. Because in such a position a woman (a contemporary woman!!! a high level of education and intelligence is not a guarantee for being liberated from it) ends up with lots of fear and frustrations. So, she gambles out her inner force. That is really sad.

What is possibly good in this situation: perhaps we simply don't have other choice but to use old language (old mental forms) while taking a step against all projected fears and pains, a step into a new land. That is a difficult period of "being in the process", of being on the Path. Only after such a step is done, we can reconstruct our mental forms. I wish that all beings had a tremendous force to take such a step, not only to rebuild more productive mental forms, but to take it completely!

2. I have also one more specifically Buddhist observation.

"We don't need to nourish men's projections in order to complete our karmic position..."

I agree... up to a certain point. There is no need to repeat what has been said about a male chauvinism that a woman uses and directs against herself.
There are two more points.
a. We don't need to nourish neither our own feminine projections... So, here the advise and guidance of a higher realised being, male or female, becomes extremely precious.
b. All what we experience is a karmically bound network. Whether I experience it as a woman or as a man, in any case it is suffering that is karmic and exists as dependant origination. One can imagine it as a special dish, women have one special dish, the men are specialists in making another special dish. Both kind of suffering-dishes are served in the restaurant called Samsara. So, what is the point of arguing which dish is better? And which one is tastier? :-//
Now, for each specific suffering a specific strategy (antidote) should be used. (At least, this is how I understand it. And I understand it, very theoretically.) This means what? for women, certain practices are needed, for men, other practices are needed. In the end, it's just the difference of instruments that have to be used for the same final goal.

Here comes what I find useful in Ani.Chödron's post. Whatever is experienced as suffering has the chance to be transformed into a practice of knowing, taming, transforming the ego (male or female one). The basic thing that she suggests is to change a perspective, a viewpoint: what was seen as painful to be taken as a 3D product of karma and transformed into a precious chance to practice... With the "middle way", it doesn't lead to the woman slavery, but to a certain autonomy or independence, even if it outwardly shows as humility that should not be mis-taken for inferiority and dependance. And yes, middle way is difficult, the right measure is difficult to find and to maintain. That is why we can rejoice the help of realized teachers. ;) :)) :bow:

All the best.

#13 kunzang


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Posted 05 September 2008 - 10:28 PM

One thing more. I will take an example from the Bible, one of the Gospels.

What does Christ say to Pilat? You are a slave of your crown...

So, slavery/inferiority has many faces and facets... exposed ones and disguised ones. Humility is something completely other.

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