Which Buddhist tradition has treated women the best?

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rory
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Re: Which Buddhist tradition has treated women the best?

Post by rory » Sun Dec 14, 2014 4:59 am

So are any women the heads or hold top positions in either Sakya or Nyingma. I pointed out that in modern Japan there is equal opportunity at the entry running a temple level, but once it comes to top power positions, it's all male.

I'd say the same for Fo Guang Shan, yes they have plenty of nuns and managers, but the top positions go to males. Isn't Huifeng a Dean now? And what about City of 10,000 Buddhas it's Ven. Heng Sure. Ven Cheng Yen of the Tzu Chi foundation runs a big org and Kosho Niwano are 2 modern powerful Buddhist women.
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Chih-I:
The Tai-ching states "the women in the realms of Mara, Sakra and Brahma all neither abandoned ( their old) bodies nor received (new) bodies. They all received buddhahood with their current bodies (genshin)" Thus these verses state that the dharma nature is like a great ocean. No right or wrong is preached (within it) Ordinary people and sages are equal, without superiority or inferiority
Paul, Groner "The Lotus Sutra in Japanese Culture"eds. Tanabe p. 58
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Re: Which Buddhist tradition has treated women the best?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Sun Dec 14, 2014 5:26 am

rory wrote:So are any women the heads or hold top positions in either Sakya or Nyingma. I pointed out that in modern Japan there is equal opportunity at the entry running a temple level, but once it comes to top power positions, it's all male.

I'd say the same for Fo Guang Shan, yes they have plenty of nuns and managers, but the top positions go to males. Isn't Huifeng a Dean now? And what about City of 10,000 Buddhas it's Ven. Heng Sure. Ven Cheng Yen of the Tzu Chi foundation runs a big org and Kosho Niwano are 2 modern powerful Buddhist women.
gassho
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Re: Which Buddhist tradition has treated women the best?

Post by yan kong » Sun Dec 14, 2014 6:26 am

rory wrote: And what about City of 10,000 Buddhas it's Ven. Heng Sure.
I've just come from CTTB and that's not at all true. Dharma Master Sure happens to be one of the members of that community who is most often in the public eye mostly because of his work with the Dharma Realm Buddhist university and his efforts to spread the DRBA's message to a wider public. He doesn't even live at CTTB, he is the Abbot of the Berkeley Buddhist monastery which is part of the Dharma Realm Buddhist association.

You can't assume just because someone is well known to the general Buddhist public that they hold high positions of power.

While it's true that the Abbott of CTTB is a monk the nuns still hold a lot of sway in the community. The power structure isn't as simple or straightforward as one would think.

I agree that women have lacked opportunity in Buddhism, but powerful positions and fame due to ones status in the clergy do not bring realization.
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Re: Which Buddhist tradition has treated women the best?

Post by rory » Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:05 am

Tenso:
Women everyday in third world countries being gangraped and stoned to death and you are worrying about a few managerial positions.
Tenso, the topic is about Buddhist traditions and women and or course powerful positions matter! If there had been powerful women in sects, women's lineages wouldn't have died out, no ridiculous Blood Pool Sutra, there would have been women only mountains equal to Mt. Hiei and Mt. Koya where women would learn esoteric practices and today with women at the helm who knows how Buddhism would be different/revitalized.
gassho
Rory

PS; Tenso go to Open Dharma and discuss whatever off-topic issue is on your mind there. The hostility to this topic by some speaks volumes though...
Namu Kanzeon Bosatsu
Chih-I:
The Tai-ching states "the women in the realms of Mara, Sakra and Brahma all neither abandoned ( their old) bodies nor received (new) bodies. They all received buddhahood with their current bodies (genshin)" Thus these verses state that the dharma nature is like a great ocean. No right or wrong is preached (within it) Ordinary people and sages are equal, without superiority or inferiority
Paul, Groner "The Lotus Sutra in Japanese Culture"eds. Tanabe p. 58
https://www.tendai-usa.org/

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Re: Which Buddhist tradition has treated women the best?

Post by Loren » Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:30 am

There are the Chinese mountain hermits--nuns and monks. I don't know if there's any positions of power but I think they are treated equally.

Red Pine wrote a book and I think there are some others.
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Re: Which Buddhist tradition has treated women the best?

Post by Ayu » Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:18 am

I removed two postings: one with a personal attack and one with provocative off-topic. Please keep this conversation on topic - women in Buddhist traditions.
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Re: Which Buddhist tradition has treated women the best?

Post by Malcolm » Sun Dec 14, 2014 2:24 pm

rory wrote:So are any women the heads or hold top positions in either Sakya or Nyingma. I pointed out that in modern Japan there is equal opportunity at the entry running a temple level, but once it comes to top power positions, it's all male.
HE Jetsun Kusho is the most senior women in Tibetan Buddhism.

Image
H.E. Sakya Jetsun Chimey Luding Rinpoche, the highest and most thoroughly trained female Buddhist teacher in the West, was born into the Drolma Podrang, or Tara Palace of the Sakya Khon family in 1938, the year of the earth tiger. She began her dharma studies at the age of five. His Holiness Sakya Trizin was born when she was six years old. According to the tradition in her family, she took novice ordination when she was "old enough to scare crows away" at the age of seven. When she was ten years old, she made her first retreat. She meditated on the form of Vajrapani known as Bhutadamara, and in one month completed one million recitations of the short mantra, HUM VAJRA PHAT, and one hundred thousand recitations of the long mantra. In her eleventh year, her father, Kunga Rinchen, sent her on her first teaching assignment. She spent the fourth through the tenth Tibetan months among the nomads on the northern plains of Tibet , giving transmissions and teachings on Phowa, or transference of consciousness, as well as conducting torma offerings, performing lhasang, or incense offerings, and giving other teachings and empowerments. The third woman in the history of Tibet to have transmitted the Lam Dre (the Path and Fruit) teachings, a fully accomplished guru and lineage holder, she is known for her teachings on Vajrayogini and is considered an emanation of that yidam of enlightened feminine energy.
http://www.sakya-retreat.net/sakya_he.html



There are very few Sakya lineage holders. She is one of them. Her younger brother his two sons, her own son and brother, as well as her brother in law, of her cousin, HH Dagchen Rinpoche, nad a couple of the grandchildren are the others.

Of course she has no say or interest in the monastic community, because she is a layperson. She has been acting as a lineage holder in the Sakya school since she was a teenager and gave the Lamdre teachings at Sakya.

The Sakyas have always trained promising young woman to be lineage holders. There have been many such women in the history of the Sakya School right down to Drogmi Lotsawa's own disciples in the 11th century.

There is the Shugseb lineage. This is a women's lineage connected with the Longchen Nyinthig once headed by Shugseb Jetsunma:

Image

She was nominally connected with the Drugpa Kagyus, but Shugseb is considered an independent lineage.
She founded the Shugseb nunnery, which is South west of Lhasa. There she established a firm body of disciples, lineage of teachings. She also encouraged the women to become ordained and be accomplished and mastered in Dzogchen realization. Her firm and main seat Shugseb and its nuns became a great example for all the female practitioner.
http://www.drukpa-nuns.org/index.php/shugseb-jetsun

There is also Khandro Rinpoche:
Image
Her Eminence Mindrolling Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche was born as the eldest daughter of Kyabje Mindrolling Trichen Gyurme Künzang Wangyal, the 11th throne holder of the renowned Mindrolling lineage, one of the six main Nyingma lineages of Tibetan Buddhism. Throughout its history, some of the greatest masters of their time have been born within the Mindrolling lineage including the unique lineage of female masters known as the Jetsünma line, a remarkable Mindrolling tradition.
http://www.khandrorinpoche.org/jetsun-k ... biography/

There are others too.
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[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Re: Which Buddhist tradition has treated women the best?

Post by Punya » Sun Dec 14, 2014 10:28 pm

muni wrote:Buddhism itself is not about appearances. And what others than appearances gets’ the characteristics of being woman, man? If Buddhism was about appearances, right ones, wrong ones, lower ones and higher ones, than Buddhism is teaching grasping/clinging. And so then Buddhism itself is looking down/up to this or that appearance.

We can ask the question what cultural or other habitual delusion treated women the best?
:good:
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Re: Which Buddhist tradition has treated women the best?

Post by Ayu » Sun Dec 14, 2014 11:53 pm

Topic temporarily locked for cooling and review.

Sorry for the inconvenience. :namaste:
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Re: Which Buddhist tradition has treated women the best?

Post by Ayu » Mon Dec 15, 2014 10:15 am

:namaste:
Now i could take time to read the topic more thoroughly, to understand what is going on.
I think, we all have to accept, that there are different point of views on a very controversial and delicate matter. Not everybody will agree to everthing.

As long as you beware of personal attacks and aggressive off-topics or injury of the ToS you can hold any opinion that is true in your eyes.
And if you don't agree, you can tell this in a respectful way without addressing the person but the facts.

Thread unlocked.
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Re: Which Buddhist tradition has treated women the best?

Post by Ayu » Mon Dec 15, 2014 10:31 am

Lindama wrote:... First, it is not so easy to distinguish culture from religion... and second, Buddhism is not the only tradition that should be included in the question. The fact is, most traditions, notably Christianity, Muslim, etc. do not hold women as true beings.
(...)
tho I'm happy for all those Buddhist householders who have lived a full and enlightened life. Vimalakirti and Master Pang, I believe, to name a few .... thank you!!!! They carry us forward.... the way showers.
I agree.

Lindama wrote:nobody is talking about inherent characteristics. I am not qualified to respond in detail about Buddhism, but it seems to me that the Buddhist realization goes beyond form... yet it is very much in form also. The OP was asking about how women are treated in Buddhism... let's get real here. The ultimate and the actual have not yet come together...
Agreed until here.

(...)this is so for all traditions and cultures. The ultimate realization is somewhat meaningless when ppl are involved with duality and oppression of all kinds. In fact, it is ultimately meaningless in the largest sense.
I don't agree - (if you are saying here the teachings how women should be recognized and treated are meaningless). No goal is meaningless if it is not achieved yet.
I find it very important to see, that the barriers are the result of culture and not the fruit out of the narrowness of the dharma.
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Re: Which Buddhist tradition has treated women the best?

Post by Punya » Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:13 am

Luke wrote:Which Buddhist tradition do you think has treated women the best over the last 500 years?
Just curious why you asked this question Luke.
We abide nowhere. We possess nothing.
~Chatral Rinpoche

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Re: Which Buddhist tradition has treated women the best?

Post by Punya » Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:15 am

I find it very important to see, that the barriers are the result of culture and not the fruit out of the narrowness of the dharma.
Good point.
We abide nowhere. We possess nothing.
~Chatral Rinpoche

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Re: Which Buddhist tradition has treated women the best?

Post by Luke » Mon Dec 15, 2014 8:02 pm

Punya wrote:
Luke wrote:Which Buddhist tradition do you think has treated women the best over the last 500 years?
Just curious why you asked this question Luke.
I have already explained my reasons twice yet some people still remain suspicious about my intentions. So I don't think that explaining this a third time would achieve very much. Please refer to my previous answers. Thank you.

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Re: Which Buddhist tradition has treated women the best?

Post by T. Chokyi » Mon Dec 15, 2014 8:26 pm

Besides
http://www.sravastiabbey.org/gallery/20 ... lnyc.shtml which was mentioned above.

There is "Khenmo Dolma" an enthroned Khenpo and an Abbot, she's highly respected by both ordained and lay practitioners of both sexes within Drikung Kagyu Lineage:

http://www.vajradakininunnery.org/nyima.html

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Re: Which Buddhist tradition has treated women the best?

Post by Luke » Mon Dec 15, 2014 8:53 pm

Here's an interesting article about women and Theravada Buddhism which I just found. After reading it, it does indeed seem that the situation of Buddhist nuns in most Theravadan countries isn't very good, but I still suppose there might be a few exceptions somewhere.

http://www.enabling.org/ia/vipassana/Ar ... drews.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Here's an interesting section of the article which describes a group of Theravadan women who basically live like nuns, but who are not officially nuns:
"Clearly, not all Sri Lankan women have been content to pursue nirvana only in the limited ways permitted by traditional lay life. By the end of the nineteenth century a group of women had appeared in Sri Lanka who had renounced the lay life and vowed to keep the ten precepts (the most basic of the monastic vows). These women are referred to as "Dasa-Sil-Maniyo," (DSM) or mothers of the ten precepts. As of 1984, there were approximately 2500 such women in Sri Lanka.

These women live very much as bhikkhunis used to. To most people's eyes they would appear to be bhikkhunis. They shave their heads and wear saffron colored robes, just as the bhikkhunis did. They spend much of their time teaching people about Buddhism, meditating, and participating in Buddhist ceremonies. However, both the DSM and the people of Sri Lanka insist that the DSM are not bhikkhunis, because they could not be properly ordained by ten bhikkhunis and ten bhikkhus, as was the custom.

Not being allowed proper ordination has made life difficult for the DSM. Traditionally, laity gain merit by donating to ordained monastics much more than they gain merit by donating to lay people. Therefore, the laity do not feel they have strong religious reason to help support the DSM. Consequently, the DSM are poverty stricken. According to one recent report,

"The majority have no proper dwellings, no means of subsistence, no provision for obtaining clothing and material for their robes, and . . . no opportunity is given them to improve their understanding of the religion."8

The government of Sri Lanka is making some attempt to rectify this unfortunate state of affairs. I do not know how much success this effort has had. "

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Re: Which Buddhist tradition has treated women the best?

Post by Vajrasvapna » Tue Dec 16, 2014 3:18 am

Luke wrote:Which Buddhist tradition do you think has treated women the best over the last 500 years?
Buddhism never exactly treated women badly; but only stated that the condition of women was a condition that put big obstacles to reach enlightenment. The life of monks and yogis involved long journeys and dangers that would be quite high for women, it is worth remembering that the Tibetan yogini Yeshe Tsogyal was a victim of rape. Another obstacle is a strong tendency that women have to attachment and emotional imbalance; since the goal of Buddhism is to end attachment and negative emotions.
Guru Padmasambhava curiously stated that,with a mind turned to Dharma, the condition of women would be the best, which reflex the superiority of femininity in the Tantric school. However it does not seem that many women have a mind turned to Dharma, my experience of emotional imbalance and anger of some female Western Buddhist teachers is a great proof of that.
Paul wrote:Chod?
Here the alleged words of Machik, as well as an excellent description of our times:
“In particular there will be all kinds of actions based on nonvirtue in whatever
form, difficult to identify exactly which is which; such a mix of so many
things that have never existed or been heard of on earth before now that it is
unfit to be told. For example, a patient with a congenital disease has never
experienced a time of not being afflicted by the disease. But when the disease
really hits, there will be a total reversal of the elements. When they eat sugar
it tastes bitter, and when they sleep in soft wool it will be extremely rough.
Even in very comfortable places they jump around in discomfort. Their
minds become disturbed from the disease, and they get upset even with very
loving relatives and doctors. Their bodies exude a bad smell due to the disease.
These are the signs of the disease’s disruption. Similarly, the final era of
the Buddhist doctrine will be even as I have now described—involved with
such bad behavior that even hearing about it with the ears or recalling it in
the mind is frightening. It will be like a mixture of blood and milk or a mixture
of cow hairs and horse hairs, or a mixture of dogs, goats, and pigs. It will
be bad like the quintessence of the vomit of a black dog, with no way to
clean it up. Everything will be chaotic and turbulent. No matter what action
or deeds are done, it all comes down to women and charlatans. Everything
will come under the power of women and charlatans. Women and charlatans
will rule the world.
Astus wrote:Thus, Westerners - at least those middle-class liberal people who are interested in Buddhism - want to see women as equal, and project that into the Buddha's teachings.
So I'm an exception for being a traditionalist with an interest in Buddhist philosophy and your vision was what someone in the past called signs of degeneration. Men and women are not equal. Female depression have increased since the 70's when the ideas of Marxist feminism came to dominate Western society. Meanwhile nobody seems to show much concerned about the male suffering, while men are the main victims of violence and having 4x higher indices of suicide than women.
"People these days use whatever little dharma they know to augment afflictive emotion, and then engender tremendous pride and conceit over it. They teach the Dharma without taming their own minds. But as with a river rock , not even a hair’s tip of benefit penetrates the other people. Even worse, incorrigible people [are attracted] to this dharma that increases conflict. When individuals who could be tamed by the Dharma encounter such incorrigible, their desire for the sacred Dharma is lost. It is not the fault of the Dharma; it is the fault of individuals." Machik Labdron prophecy.

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Re: Which Buddhist tradition has treated women the best?

Post by Punya » Tue Dec 16, 2014 8:28 am

Luke wrote:
Punya wrote:
Luke wrote:Which Buddhist tradition do you think has treated women the best over the last 500 years?
Just curious why you asked this question Luke.
I have already explained my reasons twice yet some people still remain suspicious about my intentions. So I don't think that explaining this a third time would achieve very much. Please refer to my previous answers. Thank you.
Sorry I missed your comments Luke.
We abide nowhere. We possess nothing.
~Chatral Rinpoche

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Re: Which Buddhist tradition has treated women the best?

Post by DNS » Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:45 am

Luke wrote:Here's an interesting article about women and Theravada Buddhism which I just found. After reading it, it does indeed seem that the situation of Buddhist nuns in most Theravadan countries isn't very good, but I still suppose there might be a few exceptions somewhere.
That appears to be an old article, although, yes the situation has improved quite a bit since then, there is still room for improvement. See my article here:
http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?tit ... ordination" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Which Buddhist tradition has treated women the best?

Post by Luke » Wed Dec 17, 2014 11:32 am

David N. Snyder wrote: That appears to be an old article, although, yes the situation has improved quite a bit since then, there is still room for improvement. See my article here:
http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?tit ... ordination" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
That's an interesting article. Thanks for sharing. But I would find it more interesting if it had timelines for bhikkhuni ordination in every Theravadan country. Right now, it mainly just talks about Sri Lanka.

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