Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.

Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby Bankei » Wed Dec 30, 2009 9:19 am

I wonder if branch temples of the WPP group are required to pay contributions to the headquarters in Thailand?
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:06 am

What press release is that? the article which isn't a press release and has completely different wordings to what has been seen previously, so should be taken with a grain of salt until we see an actual press release. disputable proof is still not proof even if it is spread around.


Vardali wrote:
suanck wrote:The English news, in the Bangkok Post, 30 Dec 2009 (also reposted in the Buddhist Channel website), on the recent WPP press conference:

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/30214/monks-target-western-clergy

Suan.


"Bitterness and animosity among the Wat Pah Pong monks against Ajahn Brahm is running high and they have accused him of mismanaging temples in Australia. They complain he has changed by-laws and appointed his supporters to run temples.

They are also unhappy about alleged negative comments Ajahn Brahm has made about Thai clergy and Thai Buddhism in his talks overseas.

If action is not taken, the council fears that more women could be ordained in the West.

"Sooner or later, we'll see female monks everywhere," said Phra Kru Opaswuthikorn. He added that the introduction of the Siladhara order, or 10-precept nuns, which was set up by the most senior Western monk, Ajahn Sumedho, as an alternative to female monks in Thailand was also unthinkable.

It would be difficult for the Thai public and the clergy to accept the Siladhara order, he said, because the presence of women creates unnecessary problems for the monks' vow of chastity."

I wanted to comment on this if it was indeed be confirmed, but after reading the press release, I feel everything has been said already.
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby bodhabill » Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:07 am

Hi Manapa

by Manapa » Wed Dec 30, 2009 9:06 pm
What press release is that? the article which isn't a press release and has completely different wordings to what has been seen previously, so should be taken with a grain of salt until we see an actual press release. disputable proof is still not proof even if it is spread around.


You are quite correct we are still waiting for an offical press release from WPP through either of their main sites http://www.dhammalight.com/index.html or http://www.watnongpahpong.org/indexe.php

The report which appeared as an english version in the Bankok Post 30/11/09 http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/30214/monks-target-western-clergy has been clearly confirmed as coming from the pen of Sanitsuda Ekachai an Assistant Editor (Outlook) of that paper

Sanitsuda Ekachai has confirmed that she was at the press conference and has a copy in Thai of the press release from WPP

The report has stirred up quite a strong reaction on a number of forums I visit and It would certainly be in the WPP's interest to confirm or deny this report and update and issue an english version of their press release soon as possible

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby acinteyyo » Fri Jan 01, 2010 11:10 am

I just read another report of the Bangkok Post on theravadablog.de about "Thai Buddhism and Ordaining Women as Nuns". If someone is interessted take a look here.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
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Sole dominion over the earth, going to heaven or lordship over all worlds: the fruit of stream-entry excels them.

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby BlackBird » Fri Jan 01, 2010 6:38 pm

bodhabill wrote:It would certainly be in the WPP's interest to confirm or deny this report and update and issue an english version of their press release soon as possible


If you shot yourself in the foot, would you rush around to let everyone know?
If it were false, they'd have denied right from the get go - Because it would be an Ace up the sleeve so to speak. But they haven't, which suggests to me that they're hoping this latest fiasco will just blow over.

On another note, could somebody who speaks Thai please tell me what the differences are between Dhammalight's English page and the Thai page? They seem to have a structural difference and I wonder if there isn't a difference in content?

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby cooran » Fri Jan 01, 2010 7:17 pm

Blackbird said: If you shot yourself in the foot, would you rush around to let everyone know?
If it were false, they'd have denied right from the get go - Because it would be an Ace up the sleeve so to speak. But they haven't, which suggests to me that they're hoping this latest fiasco will just blow over.


Not at all.
Bhikkhus of the Forest Sangha have no interest in being involved in a popularity contest, nor should they jump to the often misinformed views of newpapers columnists, or of those who mostly aren't even practising within the Forest Tradition.
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Jan 01, 2010 7:53 pm

Hi Bill, etc,
bodhabill wrote:The report has stirred up quite a strong reaction on a number of forums I visit and It would certainly be in the WPP's interest to confirm or deny this report and update and issue an english version of their press release soon as possible

I agree with Chris:
Chris wrote:Bhikkhus of the Forest Sangha have no interest in being involved in a popularity contest, nor should they jump to the often misinformed views of newpapers columnists, or of those who mostly aren't even practising within the Forest Tradition.

As I've said before, the unfortunate thing about this whole issue is how quickly some jump to assumptions about what various Ajahns think, or are trying to do. As we've discussed, Bhikkhuni ordination has been going on in a low key way for more than a decade, with a sort of quiet tolerance (or a quiet ignoring...). Presumably Ajahn Brahm went ahead with the ordinations in Perth with the good intention that he could use his status to push the issue a little. Some other Western Ajahn Chah Bhikkhus were clearly worried that this would inevitably cause problems because it would be seen as going too far, and set back the process of accceptance by forcing WPP to take some sort of action.

While, of course, everyone is entitled to an opinion, there is no reason for any Sangha to be concerned about the opinion of those who are not engaged with them.

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby bodhabill » Fri Jan 01, 2010 9:18 pm

I tend to agree with Jack's opinion

The argument that the WPP doesn't need to be involved in a popularity contest imho is not really valid, they did take that approach when booting Ajahn Brahm and Bodhinyana out, thinking that no one really cared, but when ongoing interest in the matter occurred and public opinion was mounting against them they were very quick to create the dhammalight website to put their side of the argument across

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:20 pm

Hi Bill,

bodhabill wrote:The argument that the WPP doesn't need to be involved in a popularity contest imho is not really valid, they did take that approach when booting Ajahn Brahm and Bodhinyana out, thinking that no one really cared, but when ongoing interest in the matter occurred and public opinion was mounting against them they were very quick to create the dhammalight website to put their side of the argument across


when did Sujatos blog start?
not too long before the ordination. "if you know you are going to war you prepare for war" & "you don't buy guns when you are preparing to farm" I believe these are military sayings. they were having accusations and insults thrown at them, of course they responded, they put up all the information they had, and let people read and decide for themselves.

Brahm knew the consequenses of Bhikkhuni ordination on his membership to the group, they were going in different directions so parted ways (both sides have said it was a parting of ways), but I certainly don't know if they thought people cared or not, I am sure they were not under the illusion that people didn't care about the ordination, but I am also sure they felt that deception was something which needed to be handled, and unfortunately was bound up with the ordination.
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby bodhabill » Fri Jan 01, 2010 11:05 pm

Hi Manapa

when did Sujatos blog start?
not too long before the ordination.

Bhante Sujato's blog as far as I can tell commenced 24/10/09, two days after the Bhikkhuni ordination which was held on 22/10/09

"if you know you are going to war you prepare for war" & "you don't buy guns when you are preparing to farm" I believe these are military sayings.

I don't know who you are attributing these quotes to

they were having accusations and insults thrown at them, of course they responded, they put up all the information they had, and let people read and decide for themselves.

This is the crux of the last few posts, the newspaper report imho has not shown the WPP is a very good light, in fact one could describe the comments reported as being totally out of touch with western Buddhism, not only Ajahn Brahm and Bhante Sujato but also the members of WAM

All I have said is that imho it would be in their best interests to confirm or deny what has been reported

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Jan 01, 2010 11:46 pm

bodhabill wrote:Hi Manapa

when did Sujatos blog start?
not too long before the ordination.

Bhante Sujato's blog as far as I can tell commenced 24/10/09, two days after the Bhikkhuni ordination which was held on 22/10/09

I believed it was set up before? but the same very quick to create argument could be used.
"if you know you are going to war you prepare for war" & "you don't buy guns when you are preparing to farm" I believe these are military sayings.

I don't know who you are attributing these quotes to

look at the actions leading up to the ordination, Brahm denying organising it, or attempring to act unilatterally, Sujato was building up evidence, for allowing ordination and if you read history of mindfulness, which also reference his view on the Thai sangha, and I remember watching a video of his talking about getting back to the original buddhism, could easily be claimed that he was preparing to fight with a covert propaganda warm up to sway opinion.
they were having accusations and insults thrown at them, of course they responded, they put up all the information they had, and let people read and decide for themselves.

This is the crux of the last few posts, the newspaper report imho has not shown the WPP is a very good light, in fact one could describe the comments reported as being totally out of touch with western Buddhism, not only Ajahn Brahm and Bhante Sujato but also the members of WAM

its not shown anything really, it has shown a rough summery of a press release which uses completely different wordings to what has been used previously. as it was a member of the press didn't she have the capability to transcribe the recording she must of done?
an alternative to Jacks thought may be - as people have already asked about the validity of this, WPP may be thinking; if people want to believe it, that is their priority, if they don't, that to is their priority, so aren't doing anything about it, because if you aren't playing a popularity game you aren't going to care about denying every single thing, but it is strange that it didn't come from WPP directly.
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby BlackBird » Sat Jan 02, 2010 3:29 am

Chris wrote:
Blackbird said: If you shot yourself in the foot, would you rush around to let everyone know?
If it were false, they'd have denied right from the get go - Because it would be an Ace up the sleeve so to speak. But they haven't, which suggests to me that they're hoping this latest fiasco will just blow over.


Not at all.
Bhikkhus of the Forest Sangha have no interest in being involved in a popularity contest.


I never said anything about a popularity contest. But I think it's clear if you weigh up the evidence, that there is a little more on these Bhikkhu's minds than just Dhamma, a good example of this is the Dhammalight website (which somewhat ironically, has little to do with Dhamma at all). Furthermore, I'm not sure if this generalization is helpful, please remember Forest Monks are human beings first and Monks second. Wearing brown robes does not mean one isn't prone to the same ego-troubles as a human being wearing a more vagriated wardrobe. To illustrate I once met a forest monk who was quite prone to getting worked up about US Politics, 9/11 etc... I think by that stage he'd spent a good 20+ years in the robes. Human nature is human nature, and it is my opinion that because of this, veneration and reverence should be based upon confidence and skillful judgement of character.

Hope you've had a good day Chris :)
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby BlackBird » Sat Jan 02, 2010 4:02 am

mikenz66 wrote:Presumably Ajahn Brahm went ahead with the ordinations in Perth with the good intention that he could use his status to push the issue a little.[/i] Some other Western Ajahn Chah Bhikkhus were clearly worried that this would inevitably cause problems because it would be seen as going too far, and set back the process of accceptance by forcing WPP to take some sort of action.


mikenz66 wrote:...assumptions about what various Ajahns think, or are trying to do.


Well yes, and as you've accidentally pointed out, it does seem to be our tendency. For my part, I'm sorry.

metta
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'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

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Jan 02, 2010 4:19 am

Hi there,
BlackBird wrote:Well yes, and as you've accidentally pointed out, it does seem to be our tendency. For my part, I'm sorry.

I was giving Ajahn Brahm the respect of assuming that he was acting the way he thought best. And giving respect to the other Ajahns who disagree with them by assuming that they are acting in the best possible way. I'm not presuming to know the details of the motivations of Ajahn Brahm, or the other Ajahns, merely assuming that they are doing what they think is best.

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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby BlackBird » Sat Jan 02, 2010 4:23 am

Do you think it's disrespectful to be of the opinion that they aren't acting in "the best possible way"?

metta
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sat Jan 02, 2010 4:39 am

BlackBird wrote:Do you think it's disrespectful to be of the opinion that they aren't acting in "the best possible way"?

metta
Jack :heart:


"the best possible way" or "what they believe to be the best possible way"?

In the spirit of acting in "good faith", I think it behooves us that if we are to make any assumptions at all, that we do so with some faith that people (particularly in the case of the Sangha) is acting in a manner which they believe to be best, best for the triple gem, and living beings in general.

If our default assumption is that others are up to no good, without really good evidence in support, then it may be best to introspect and check our own motivations and biases. At least, how would we feel if people were always assuming that our actions had some nefarious motivations behind them? How do we feel when others second guess our actions?
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Jan 02, 2010 4:42 am

Thank you venarable, for making so clear what I was attempting to express.
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby BlackBird » Sat Jan 02, 2010 5:29 am

Paññāsikhara wrote:If our default assumption is that others are up to no good,


Hi Bhante.

Speaking as one who has an opinion that there is unskillful actions going on in regards to this Bhikkhuni ordination/WPP scenario, I must express that it is by no means my default assumption, but an opinion that I have formed by weighing up what evidence is available.

I myself do not think that other's are up to no good, but perhaps rather I think that they might be out of touch with the real purpose. But this is just an opinion and I do not for the life of me go so far as to declare it to be the truth.

Onto another note:

The purpose of my dialogue Mike, was to arrive at the discussion of an assumption commonly held that because Bhante X is a forest monk, he must be acting in an upright and proper manner. This, I believe is the same assumption which (en mass) has contributed to the troubles that the Mahanikaya in Thailand now faces. I don't however assume that you yourself hold the belief that all monks should be treated with respect and reverence simply because they are monks, but the direction I had hoped to steer this was to find out what your position was, and then go from there.

On that note, as I have said in above posts, I think that reverence and homage are objects better borne of reasoned confidence than of an assumption that because someone is a monk, that they are ahuneyyo, pahuneyyo, dakkhineyyo and anjali-karaniyo. Again it's probably best that I reiterate that this doesn't mean I go around with the default assumption that people are up to no good, just that I tend to reserve my reverence until I can be sure the Bhante I am speaking to is the real deal.

The Buddha says in MN 95

"There is the case, Bharadvaja, where a monk lives in dependence on a certain village or town. Then a householder or householder's son goes to him and observes him with regard to three mental qualities — qualities based on greed, qualities based on aversion, qualities based on delusion: 'Are there in this venerable one any such qualities based on greed that, with his mind overcome by these qualities, he might say, "I know," while not knowing, or say, "I see," while not seeing; or that he might urge another to act in a way that was for his/her long-term harm & pain?' As he observes him, he comes to know, 'There are in this venerable one no such qualities based on greed... His bodily behavior & verbal behavior are those of one not greedy. And the Dhamma he teaches is deep, hard to see, hard to realize, tranquil, refined, beyond the scope of conjecture, subtle, to-be-experienced by the wise. This Dhamma can't easily be taught by a person who's greedy.

When, on observing that the monk is purified with regard to qualities based on greed, he next observes him with regard to qualities based on aversion: 'Are there in this venerable one any such qualities based on aversion that, with his mind overcome by these qualities, he might say, "I know," while not knowing, or say, "I see," while not seeing; or that he might urge another to act in a way that was for his/her long-term harm & pain?' As he observes him, he comes to know, 'There are in this venerable one no such qualities based on aversion... His bodily behavior & verbal behavior are those of one not aversive. And the Dhamma he teaches is deep, hard to see, hard to realize, tranquil, refined, beyond the scope of conjecture, subtle, to-be-experienced by the wise. This Dhamma can't easily be taught by a person who's aversive.

When, on observing that the monk is purified with regard to qualities based on aversion, he next observes him with regard to qualities based on delusion: 'Are there in this venerable one any such qualities based on delusion that, with his mind overcome by these qualities, he might say, "I know," while not knowing, or say, "I see," while not seeing; or that he might urge another to act in a way that was for his/her long-term harm & pain?' As he observes him, he comes to know, 'There are in this venerable one no such qualities based on delusion... His bodily behavior & verbal behavior are those of one not deluded. And the Dhamma he teaches is deep, hard to see, hard to realize, tranquil, refined, beyond the scope of conjecture, subtle, to-be-experienced by the wise. This Dhamma can't easily be taught by a person who's deluded.

When, on observing that the monk is purified with regard to qualities based on delusion, he places conviction in him. With the arising of conviction, he visits him & grows close to him. Growing close to him, he lends ear. Lending ear, he hears the Dhamma. Hearing the Dhamma, he remembers it. Remembering it, he penetrates the meaning of those dhammas. Penetrating the meaning, he comes to an agreement through pondering those dhammas. There being an agreement through pondering those dhammas, desire arises. With the arising of desire, he becomes willing. Willing, he contemplates (lit: "weighs," "compares"). Contemplating, he makes an exertion. Exerting himself, he both realizes the ultimate meaning of the truth with his body and sees by penetrating it with discernment.

"To this extent, Bharadvaja, there is an awakening to the truth. To this extent one awakens to the truth. I describe this as an awakening to the truth. But it is not yet the final attainment of the truth.

- http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

The essence of that I'm trying to say is that it's important to make a thorough investigation, rather than to make assumptions. While my opinions with regard to the WPP/Bhikkhuni ordination saga are in no doubt related to this note about investigation/assumption, I have meant to treat them as separate issues, and some confusion may have arisen out of this oversight, so I'm sorry.

metta, apologies, and thank yous
:bow:

Jack
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby BlackBird » Sat Jan 02, 2010 5:50 am

I guess this could all be turned upon it's head:

For one, it's inconvenient not to make assumptions when investigating Venerable X, or anything for that matter. My answer is that I guess my point is in regards to the degree and breadth of the assumptions being made.

For two, my opinion w/re to the WPP/Bhikkhuni ordination saga is at least partially based upon assumption itself. My answer is again that I consider it an acceptable amount of assumption, and again declare it as opinion.

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

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Jan 02, 2010 5:57 am

Hi Blackbird,

Thank you for your post. I have had the opportunity to observe Ajahn Brahm, and some of the other Forest Ajahns (Tiradhammo and Vajiro) and I think that they are all worthy of respect.

Regarding an "unknown" Bhikkhu, I bow (figuratively, unless in a formal occasion) to them as representatives of the Sangha.

If I decided that a monk was not worthy of my respect I would simply avoid him, and not support him.


Blackbird wrote:The purpose of my dialogue Mike, was to arrive at the discussion of an assumption commonly held that because Bhante X is a forest monk, he must be acting in an upright and proper manner. This, I believe is the same assumption which (en mass) has contributed to the troubles that the Mahanikaya in Thailand now faces. ...

This seems a rather broad and undefined statement. I've seen what seems to be some rather poor behaviour by monks in Thailand, and elsewhere, and some rather inspiring behaviour...

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