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 BlackBird » Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:41 am

Hi Chris

Thanks for the response, my understanding of 'shore up' was to drain. Thank you for the correction.

I will work on a more thoughtful response later, for now I'm gonna have a sit.

metta
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Jan 04, 2010 9:19 am

Paññāsikhara wrote:I am going to leave it here. I guess I am expecting too much from a Theravada forum.


So what were you expecting? and what do you think you have found?
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby cooran » Mon Jan 04, 2010 9:33 am

Hello Manapa,

Perhaps it would be better to discuss that with Ven Huifeng in a PM?

metta
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:07 am

Chris wrote:Hello Manapa,

Perhaps it would be better to discuss that with Ven Huifeng in a PM?

metta
Chris


possibly,
if he wishes to say via PM I would be happy with that.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby BlackBird » Tue Jan 05, 2010 3:18 am

Hi Chris

I guess the drift of my earlier posts was not to do with specific misdeeds, by specific monks, but rather than general trend of the Sasana. Safe to say Thai Buddhism in is a bad way, and needs some serious reform. However, it's the institution that needs reforming, and you're right it's not up to people like me to go around hauling individual monks up about their behavior, that is the business of a Monastic community and that's quite clear in the Vinaya.

Anyway, please have a read of Bhante Sujato's post on projection, if you have not already done so - If you wish to get a better understanding of where I am coming from on this

http://sujato.wordpress.com/2009/12/20/projection/

p.s. nothing to do with Bhikkhunis :tongue:

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 Dan74 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 3:46 am

I think Ven Sujato is doing good work in bringing it all down to earth, but for most of us before we are truly ready to embark on a critical examination of the Sangha and the institutions of Buddhism, we should get established in practice first.

Otherwise all this does is shore up the same old nihilistic doubt - "everything is corrupt anyway, might as well enjoy it!" This is a sad travesty that leads away from practice and into suffering.

I am not a Theravada practitioner and nothing more than an interested onlooker with some affinity for the issues and deep respect for the practice. But I would strongly encourage people especially beginners to focus on their practice and put all ideas of monks and institutions to the side. There are great monks out there, worth learning from, and besides worshipping the Sangha, we worship our own commitment to practice and give thanks for the preservation of the Dhamma.

So all the human and cultural accretions, all the hypocrisy and corruption, yep they are there, and we can focus on them and lose faith in the teachings and enthusiasm for practice, or we can take it as encouragement to proceed and not linger.

Surely in our own lives there is much that can be improved?


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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby BlackBird » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:09 am

Dan74 wrote:Otherwise all this does is shore up the same old nihilistic doubt - "everything is corrupt anyway, might as well enjoy it!" This is a sad travesty that leads away from practice and into suffering.


Hi Dan

What leads you to believe in the inevitability of nihilistic doubt for one not well established in practice?

What might lead a practitioner to make a sweeping generalization that because institutional Thai Buddhism is largely corrupted, that there isn't honest, diligent and realized practitioners in Thailand, or the world today that they might rely upon as teachers and friends? Furthermore, for one who has come to a rudimentary understanding of impermanence and dukkha - what is there to enjoy?

metta
Jack
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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 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:26 am

Hi BlackBird,
BlackBird wrote:What might lead a practitioner to make a sweeping generalization that because institutional Thai Buddhism is largely corrupted, that there isn't honest, diligent and realized practitioners in Thailand, or the world today that they might rely upon as teachers and friends?

I'm puzzled about this statement. Many of us know honest, diligent (I can't assess realised) practitioners in Thailand, or trained in Thailand, supported by Thai institutions and lay followers, that we do rely on as teachers. Without them we'd be nowhere...

Metta
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby BlackBird » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:51 am

mikenz66 wrote:Hi BlackBird,
BlackBird wrote:What might lead a practitioner to make a sweeping generalization that because institutional Thai Buddhism is largely corrupted, that there isn't honest, diligent and realized practitioners in Thailand, or the world today that they might rely upon as teachers and friends?

I'm puzzled about this statement. Many of us know honest, diligent (I can't assess realised) practitioners in Thailand, or trained in Thailand, supported by Thai institutions and lay followers, that we do rely on as teachers. Without them we'd be nowhere...

Metta
Mike


Hi Mike, that question you quoted was in response to this:

Otherwise all this does is shore up the same old nihilistic doubt - "everything is corrupt anyway, might as well enjoy it!" This is a sad travesty that leads away from practice and into suffering.


My pondering on this above quote was as follows:
1. Not everything is corrupt, there is still honest, diligent and realized practitioners in Thailand, or trained in Thailand, supported by Thai institutions and lay followers.
2. After coming to know the true state of institutional Theravada, and becoming disillusioned with it, what would lead a person who is not well established in practice to assume that "everything is corrupt anyway, might as well enjoy it". For nobody is stating that because there is widespread corruption in the Sangha, that honest, diligent, upright and realized practitioners don't exist within it.

I think the way this thread's panned out and particularly threads on Ven. Sujato's blog, may have answered my own question in that through all this talk of widespread corruption and scandal, perhaps we are not quick enough to remind new practitioners that there are plenty of realized beings still on this planet, plenty of honest and diligent practitioners in both Monastic and lay communities, plenty of people to turn to for advice and guidance on the spiritual path.

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 BlackBird » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:58 am

I'd also like to apologise to you Dan, in case it seems I am being nitpicky, re-reading your OP it seems we're of the same general opinion.

Sorry
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 Dan74 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:01 am

:thumbsup:

Good to hear!

I wonder though if we got a pretty skewed picture of Thai Buddhism from a thread like this...

It did nourish these very people that have now come in conflict with it (or some aspects of it).

I guess that Thai Buddhism can no more be called corrupt than Australians can be called racist or any other such generalization. As you say Jack, there are surely great monks in Thailand and even reading some of the discussion at WPP we see that there were quite different voices at work there. But in the end institutions have a strange character of their own, and it should not necessarily be imputed to all the individuals that comprise it.

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PS Just saw - no apology needed!!! :anjali:
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby Bankei » Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:50 am

A matter of being truthful
http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/sports/ ... g-truthful

Published: 7/01/2010 at 12:00 AM
Newspaper section: News

What do you do when you are accused of being untruthful, especially when the accuser is a monk?

I asked myself this question after reading the statement of the Wat Nong Pah Pong forest clergy at http://www.dhammalight.org, accusing my news report for "misrepresenting" their press conference, before introducing an entirely new explanation for the event.

I was first appalled, then angry.

What should I do?

As a Buddhist, my better self told me that the best thing to do is to watch my anger rise, to observe how it grows to engulf my whole body, before it finally dies down.

Honestly, it is not an easy exercise.

After subsiding for a moment, the emotions attacked me in successive waves while thoughts bubbled up to fan my dismay. Although I was boiling within, I took heart in the knowledge that this "dukkha" would not last. That this exercise of detached observation could teach me a bit more about the impermanence of emotion, thought, and eventually the futility of my own attachment to views and sense of self.

Any insight I would gain from this exercise I knew I owe it, too, to the person who has presented me with this challenge. At the end of the day, I am solely responsible for the cultivation of my equanimity. And he his.

As a journalist, however, I am glad that I have the temple's press release to back my news report: .

Following the excommunication of Ajahn Brahm, the abbot of Bodhinyana in Perth, Australia, for sponsoring full female ordination, the forest monk clergy of Wat Nong Pah Pong want the Council of Elders and National Buddhism to help them in exploring ways to get the "Thai temple" back to the "Thai people".

They also want the Council of Elders to issue rules on temple ownership and management to govern temples abroad to prevent Western monks from ordaining more women or violating other mandates from the Thai Sangha.

Nothing was mentioned about an intention to shift responsibility to the Council of Elders to decide about Bhodinyana Temple's ownership and the abbot status of Ajahn Brahm.

I only smelled blood at the press conference which was triggered by Wat Pah Pong's fury with what they saw as the ridicule of Thai monks and Buddhists by Ajahn Brahm during his talk in Singapore.

But being there was eye-opening. We might not agree with the Wat Pah Pong monks' fierce opposition to female ordination, obsession with punishment and control, the unquestioning submission to the feudal hierarchy against the original egalitarian spirit of the Sangha, or their deep attachment to ethnic Thai culture and nationalism.

But we cannot deny they are honest and open about their views and biases.

Come to think of it, how could they view things differently when they are - like most Thais - the products of an authoritarian, hierarchical, ultra-nationalistic culture?

The position of Wat Pah Pong's Thai elders also does not correspond with the portrayal of a rational clergy that upholds consensus decision-making and are open to gradual and timely changes for female monastics as painted in the Dhammalight website, run by Western monks. Obviously, there is a gap between the Thai and Western forest monks. While one is lost in the feudal world, the other is pressured to pacify the Western laity in the 21st century, struggling for balance.

I empathise with the Western monks who are caught between the two different worlds. But with due respect, projecting an inaccurate picture of the situation only compromises one's commitment to truthfulness. Here's the reality:

The Thai Sangha do not accept Bhikkhuni ordination and they have no qualms in crushing dissent.

But there is no stopping change.

The number of Bhikkhunis under the Sri Lankan Bhikkhuni Sangha in Thailand is growing. Their challenge now is to build nurturing, egalitarian communities of female monastics. To do so, it is crucial to face and undo the remaining patriarchal conditioning in one's psyche so as not to repeat the male Sangha's mistakes.

It is a spiritually demanding journey that will benefit many - the male clergy included.

Sanitsuda Ekachai is Assistant Editor (Outlook), Bangkok Post.
Email: sanitsudae@bangkokpost.co.th

Relate Search: Wat Nong Pah Pong, Ajahn Brahm, National Buddhism

About the author


Writer: Sanitsuda Ekachai
Position: Assistant Editor (Outlook)
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby Bankei » Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:58 am

Notice this quote from Santisuda above

Come to think of it, how could they view things differently when they are - like most Thais - the products of an authoritarian, hierarchical, ultra-nationalistic culture?


A Thai talking about fellow Thais.
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Jan 07, 2010 9:01 am

Where is the original press release to back her up?
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"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby Vardali » Thu Jan 07, 2010 2:38 pm

Manapa wrote:Where is the original press release to back her up?


She stated somewhere (Facebook!?) that it was a hardcopy handout. I am assuming that it was in Thai, though (as it was a Thai press conf).
Perhaps you can contact her or WPP if you want a copy of that.
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Jan 07, 2010 8:30 pm

Vardali wrote:
Manapa wrote:Where is the original press release to back her up?


She stated somewhere (Facebook!?) that it was a hardcopy handout. I am assuming that it was in Thai, though (as it was a Thai press conf).
Perhaps you can contact her or WPP if you want a copy of that.

I don't have to prove what she says, she does.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby Bankei » Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:17 pm

Manapa wrote:
Vardali wrote:
Manapa wrote:Where is the original press release to back her up?


She stated somewhere (Facebook!?) that it was a hardcopy handout. I am assuming that it was in Thai, though (as it was a Thai press conf).
Perhaps you can contact her or WPP if you want a copy of that.

I don't have to prove what she says, she does.


What a strange comment!
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby bodhabill » Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:55 pm

Hi All

Comment from Bhante Sujato on http://sujato.wordpress.com/

Wat Pah Pong press conference discussions
January 7, 2010 sujato Leave a comment
Those of you who have been following this blog will be aware of the press conference held on December 28, 2009 by senior Ajahns from Wat Pa Pong. This has generated a number of reactions, and I wanted to gather them all chronologically here.

First we received an account of the conference from Bangkok Post reporter Sanitsuda Ekachai. I posted this and made my own comments. This reported that WPP were accusing Ajahn Brahm of temple mismanagement; that Bodhinyana should be given to the Thai Sangha; and that the main issue was bhikkhuni ordination, which is unacceptable in Thailand, as is siladhara ordination.

The contents of the press conference were so shocking that some people initially questioned whether Sanitsuda was actually the author. Soon after, however, Sanitsuda soon published an article in the Bangkok Post.

The response to the conference was by now so bad that WPP had to step in. They posted an article under the name of The Administrative Committee of Wat Nong Pah Pong. This article claimed that while the matter was cleared up in the Thai newspapers, the English language press has misrepresented them. They mentioned two points, one claiming that they did not ask to take control of monasteries in the West; and they took issue with the phrase ’sooner or later we’ll see female monks everywhere’, saying it would be better translated as :

“If we (Wat Nong Pah Pong) had not taken any action, it would open the doors in the future for women to ordain as bhikkhunis within the Wat Nong Pah Pong western sangha, running into the same problem we have at the moment (breaking Thai law)”.

You can decide for yourselves whether this is any better; it seems to me it’s merely more wimpy than the original, which encapsulated with unusual clarity one of the dominant underlying fears driving this whole controversy.

But the more controversial issue was the takeover of monastery property. The WPP claim that they were misrepresented in the English language press was challenged by Dheerayupa, who pointed out that the Thai Rath and the Daily News in fact stated that:

“(I or the WPP sangha -> the subject was omitted as very common of the Thai language) want the Council of Elders and the Office of National Buddhism to find ways to bring the land of the Bodhiyana monastery to come under the ownership of Wat Nong Pah Pong because the said land was donated to Luang Phu Chah by Buddhists in Australia while he was visiting Perth.”

When this was sent to Dhammalight by Dheerayupa they admitted that the Thai language press had, after all, made the same mistake as the English articles. It seems they want us to believe that the same mistake was made by three separate newspapers. However, the reality is that the press simply reported what was contained in the WPP press release.

The same point was made by Sanitsuda herself, who defended her professional reputation in a personal and intelligent article. She made the following observations.

We might not agree with the Wat Pah Pong monks’ fierce opposition to female ordination, obsession with punishment and control, the unquestioning submission to the feudal hierarchy against the original egalitarian spirit of the Sangha, or their deep attachment to ethnic Thai culture and nationalism.

But we cannot deny they are honest and open about their views and biases.

The position of Wat Pah Pong’s Thai elders also does not correspond with the portrayal of a rational clergy that upholds consensus decision-making and are open to gradual and timely changes for female monastics as painted in the Dhammalight website, run by Western monks. Obviously, there is a gap between the Thai and Western forest monks. While one is lost in the feudal world, the other is pressured to pacify the Western laity in the 21st century, struggling for balance.

I might point out that I believe Sanitsuda is mistaken in saying that Dhammalight is run by Western monks. My understanding, which is based only on second-hand reports, is that it is operated primarily through a lay supporter of one of the branch monasteries. I don’t know how much involvement either WPP or the Western Ajahns have.

Nevertheless, the split she points out is very real. The international Ajahn Chah Sangha has negotiated this in the past by more or less just following a live and let live policy. This is pleasant enough as long as things run smoothly, but it is in no way adequate to address genuine and important changes, such as bhikkhuni ordination.


With Metta
Bill
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:13 am

Bankei wrote:
What a strange comment!


if someone makes a claim, they are the one who backs that claim up, nothing strange about that!
the necessity of proof always lies with the person who lays charges
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Bhikkhuni Ordination performed - by Ajahn Brahmavamso

Postby Vardali » Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:00 am

Manapa wrote:
Vardali wrote:
Manapa wrote:Where is the original press release to back her up?


She stated somewhere (Facebook!?) that it was a hardcopy handout. I am assuming that it was in Thai, though (as it was a Thai press conf).
Perhaps you can contact her or WPP if you want a copy of that.

I don't have to prove what she says, she does.



Well, you asked for the press release and I told you where I suggest you might find it, as it seems to be of relevance to you.
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