Bhikkhu monasteries that support bhikkhuni ordination?

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
neuume
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Bhikkhu monasteries that support bhikkhuni ordination?

Post by neuume »

I am interested in exploring the possibility of becoming a Theravada forest monastic, and I am trying to find bhikkhu monasteries that recognize and support the full ordination of bhikkhunis. At this point, I'm aware only of the monastic communities affiliated with Ajahn Brahm in Australia, Bhante G's Bhavana Society in West Virginia USA, and the less traditional Empty Cloud/Buddhist Insights Monastery in New Jersey USA. Can anyone provide suggestions of Theravada monasteries in Europe, North America, or Asia that I should look into further? Thank you so much.
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Re: Bhikkhu monasteries that support bhikkhuni ordination?

Post by DNS »

I believe Abhayagiri in Northern California accepts the bhikkhuni ordinations as valid too. It's a great place with nice mountain walking trails, nice weather.

https://www.abhayagiri.org/
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Re: Bhikkhu monasteries that support bhikkhuni ordination?

Post by neuume »

Thank you for the suggestion. I was aware of Abhayagiri, but I have been under the impression that they are not fully supportive of female ordination, given their affiliation with the international lineage that expelled Ajahn Brahm. If you have any additional information, or other suggested communities in America or abroad, I would be grateful. Thank you again either way.
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Re: Bhikkhu monasteries that support bhikkhuni ordination?

Post by dharmacorps »

Abhayagiri's affiliated bhikkhuni monastery operates independently and is a few hours away from Abhayagiri. They do their own thing.

As for your question, you would have to be very specific about what "fully supportive" of bhikkhuni ordination means.

If you mean supportive of nuns (8, 10, 12 precepts), then you have tons of options. If you mean supportive of resurrecting the defunct bhikkhuni order, and treating it as "equal" without procedural, social, or vinaya-legal considerations you have none I am aware of, even Brahm from my understanding.
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Re: Bhikkhu monasteries that support bhikkhuni ordination?

Post by JamesTheGiant »

dharmacorps wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 8:47 pm If you mean supportive of resurrecting the defunct bhikkhuni order, and treating it as "equal" without procedural, social, or vinaya-legal considerations you have none I am aware of, even Brahm from my understanding.
The Bhikkhuni order never died out. It has existed unbroken in China since the first times.
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Re: Bhikkhu monasteries that support bhikkhuni ordination?

Post by dharmacorps »

JamesTheGiant wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 9:07 pm
The Bhikkhuni order never died out. It has existed unbroken in China since the first times.
That would be a procedural/vinaya consideration as I mentioned. Theravada died out, Mahayana didn't.
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Re: Bhikkhu monasteries that support bhikkhuni ordination?

Post by Bhikkhu_Jayasara »

dharmacorps wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 8:47 pm Abhayagiri's affiliated bhikkhuni monastery operates independently and is a few hours away from Abhayagiri. They do their own thing.

Just a clarification here. There is no such thing as "abhayagiri's bhikkhuni monastery".

There is Dhammadharini, created by Ayya Tathaloka, which is a bit more traditional and has a good relationship with Abhayagiri, and also Aloka Vihara, who is more modern progressive and I'm not as familiar with. Neither of these is connected with or under any authority of, Abhayagiri or any other Thai Bhikkhu organization. As you say, they do their own thing.


as for the OP, when you say "support" do you mean that they believe it's ok to ordain, or that that specific place actually ordains Bhikkhunis?
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Re: Bhikkhu monasteries that support bhikkhuni ordination?

Post by mikenz66 »

dharmacorps wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 9:22 pm
JamesTheGiant wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 9:07 pm
The Bhikkhuni order never died out. It has existed unbroken in China since the first times.
That would be a procedural/vinaya consideration as I mentioned. Theravada died out, Mahayana didn't.
Dharmaguptaka Vinaya is used by monastics East Asia and Mulasarvastivada Vinaya in Tibetan circles. They are not "Mahayana Vinaya".

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Re: Bhikkhu monasteries that support bhikkhuni ordination?

Post by Bhikkhu_Jayasara »

mikenz66 wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 9:40 pm
dharmacorps wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 9:22 pm
JamesTheGiant wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 9:07 pm
The Bhikkhuni order never died out. It has existed unbroken in China since the first times.
That would be a procedural/vinaya consideration as I mentioned. Theravada died out, Mahayana didn't.
Dharmaguptaka Vinaya is used by monastics East Asia and Mulasarvastivada Vinaya in Tibetan circles. They are not "Mahayana Vinaya".

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This is still debated to this day, it is not settled as to whether doing so was actually legal, theres a camp that says it was and the Bhikkhuni order was restored, and there is a camp that has some legal basis for saying it wasn't. It's not quite as straight forward and simple as you say.
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Re: Bhikkhu monasteries that support bhikkhuni ordination?

Post by mikenz66 »

Bhikkhu_Jayasara wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 9:45 pm This is still debated to this day, it is not settled as to whether doing so was actually legal, theres a camp that says it was and the Bhikkhuni order was restored, and there is a camp that has some legal basis for saying it wasn't. It's not quite as straight forward and simple as you say.
Yes, I agree. It's certainly debatable whether having Dharmaguptaka Vinaya Bhikshunis from Taiwan giving ordination to Theravada Bhikkhunis is acceptable to Theravada. I was simply pointing out that those Bhikshunis are using a vinaya contemporary to Theravada, not a "Mahayana" one.

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Re: Bhikkhu monasteries that support bhikkhuni ordination?

Post by neuume »

Bhikkhu_Jayasara wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 9:35 pm
as for the OP, when you say "support" do you mean that they believe it's ok to ordain, or that that specific place actually ordains Bhikkhunis?
Thank you for your responses, Bhante Jayasara. In my original question, I meant that they believe it's OK or desirable for Bhikkhunis to be able to ordain fully, not that that specific place necessarily ordains Bhikkhunis. Given that clarification, are there other monasteries in America, Asia, or Europe that you think it would be good for me to know about? Thank you again.
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Re: Bhikkhu monasteries that support bhikkhuni ordination?

Post by dharmacorps »

Bhikkhu_Jayasara wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 9:35 pm
dharmacorps wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 8:47 pm Abhayagiri's affiliated bhikkhuni monastery operates independently and is a few hours away from Abhayagiri. They do their own thing.

Just a clarification here. There is no such thing as "abhayagiri's bhikkhuni monastery".

Sorry poor choice of words on my part. They have a (informal) relationship with another monastery but no formal link whatsoever, yes. I believe the extent of the relationship is referring female potential monastics to Dhammadarini or Aloka Vihara and maybe informal meeting once every few years.
mikenz66 wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 9:40 pm
Dharmaguptaka Vinaya is used by monastics East Asia and Mulasarvastivada Vinaya in Tibetan circles. They are not "Mahayana Vinaya".

I didn't say they were "Mahayana vinaya". They practice Mahayana Buddhism, not Theravada was my only point. Since the OP is asking on a Theravada forum regarding ordination of bhikkhunis and support of it, my assumption was he was asking about Theravada.
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Re: Bhikkhu monasteries that support bhikkhuni ordination?

Post by mikenz66 »

dharmacorps wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 6:38 pm
mikenz66 wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 9:40 pm Dharmaguptaka Vinaya is used by monastics East Asia and Mulasarvastivada Vinaya in Tibetan circles. They are not "Mahayana Vinaya".
I didn't say they were "Mahayana vinaya". They practice Mahayana Buddhism, not Theravada was my only point. Since the OP is asking on a Theravada forum regarding ordination of bhikkhunis and support of it, my assumption was he was asking about Theravada.
Sure, but this is one of the key sticking points in the whole bhikkhuni ordination controversy. Some argue that Bhikshunis following the Dharmaguptaka Vinaya are valid for ordination purposes for Theravada Bhikkhunis. This is somewhat related to the argument that we can learn from Early Buddhist Texts from all early sects. Others see any sect other than Theravada as schismatic, so it is invalid. And, from conversations I've had, some support ordination in principle, but felt that it would have been better to wait, for pragmatic reasons.

Some of history is on the Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhikkhun%C4%AB
After the ordinations at Ajahn Brahm's monastery in 2009 the Ajahn Chah group (Abhayagiri, Amaravati, etc in the west, and hundreds of monasteries in Thailand) expelled him from their group. Subsequently, a number of women left those monasteries and took full ordination. However, a number stayed, and are happy with the 10-precept ordination offered at Amaravati. Here is a recent talk and Q&A by Ajahns Candasiri and Amaro on the subject:
https://www.amaravati.org/audio/what-ha ... onks-nuns/

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Re: Bhikkhu monasteries that support bhikkhuni ordination?

Post by DooDoot »

mikenz66 wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 8:44 pm Subsequently, a number of women left those monasteries and took full ordination.
Sounds exaggerated. The token ordainee from Amaravati on that occasion, used for propaganda, disrobed soon after and, the last time i noticed, was making videos about affection, sex, getting touched by men, whatever.
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Re: Bhikkhu monasteries that support bhikkhuni ordination?

Post by BKh »

While I can see the value in not ordaining at a monastery that actively opposes ordination of women (like Wat Metta), in general it is not going to be a good way to know if the monastery will be good for you to ordain at.

One distinction that can be made is the difference between monasteries that support bhikkhuni ordination and monasteries that support bhikkhunis. For example, Tisarana in Ontario is part of the Ajahn Chah tradition and does not publicly advocate for Bhikkhuni ordination. But they are very good friends with the bhikkhunis at a monastery about 20 minutes away. During the lockdown Tisarana has been sending food prepared in their kitchen to the nuns when there was no one there to cook.
DooDoot wrote: Tue Jan 05, 2021 3:38 am The token ordainee from Amaravati on that occasion, used for propaganda,
OK, that's a ridiculous characterization.

The OP would get better information from posting on the forum for suttacentral, https://discourse.suttacentral.net/. There are many bhikkhunis who participate there, probably because it is not as hostile as this forum.

I hope the mods keep this thread on topic and don't let it become another endless thread about bhikkhuni ordination.
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