Tag Archives: bhikkhuni

Dreams of Bhaddā

Bhaddā was a true orig­i­nal. An as­cetic, a philoso­pher, and a mur­derer, who be­came one of the best-loved of all the bhikkhu­nis. Here is a vivid re-imagining of her story: a Buddhist nun like you’ve never seen be­fore.

Sikkhamana: The Two Years Training for Buddhist Nuns

The Buddhist monas­tic codes (Vinayas) in­clude a pro­vi­sion for a train­ing pe­riod of two years for can­di­dates for bhikkhuni or­di­na­tion. This is one of the few as­pects of bhikkhuni or­di­na­tion that has no par­al­lel in the or­di­na­tion for monks. The sikkhamana train­ing pe­riod is con­tro­ver­sial, and is of­ten not fol­lowed in mod­ern prac­tice. Santipada un­der­took a re­search project to bring to­gether, trans­late, and an­a­lyze the ma­jor pas­sages from all Vinayas that deal with the sikkhamana. While in­com­plete, this project still com­prises the largest re­source avail­able on this topic.

White Bones Red Rot Black Snakes

Enchanting, pow­er­ful, hor­rific, beau­ti­ful, wise, deadly, com­pas­sion­ate, se­duc­tive. Women in Buddhist story and im­age are all these things and more. She takes the signs of the an­cient god­dess – the lo­tus, the sa­cred grove, the ser­pent, the sac­ri­fice – and uses them in as­ton­ish­ing new ways. Her story is one of suf­fer­ing and great tri­als, and through it all an un­quench­able long­ing to be free. This beau­ti­fully il­lus­trated work is as lay­ered and sub­ver­sive as mythol­ogy it­self. Based di­rectly on au­then­tic Buddhist texts, and in­formed with in­sights from psy­chol­ogy and com­par­a­tive mythol­ogy, it takes a fresh look at how Buddhist women have been de­picted by men and how they have de­picted them­selves.

How to Grow a Nun

How monas­tics, es­pe­cially nuns, are trained at Santi Forest Monastery, in ac­cor­dance with the orig­i­nal Vinaya, and in­cor­po­rat­ing the best mod­ern prac­tices.

Bhikkhunis in Thai Monastic Education

In the de­bate about bhikkhuni or­di­na­tion, in­for­ma­tion plays a key role. We have made sub­stan­tial strides in our un­der­stand­ing of Buddhism in his­tory, the re­la­tion be­tween dif­fer­ent Buddhist tra­di­tions, and so on. Unfortunately, lit­tle of this in­for­ma­tion has per­me­ated into the tra­di­tion Sangha bod­ies. Century-old text­books are not cor­rected, not mat­ter how ob­vi­ous their mis­takes are.

The Tyranny of Transcendence

This es­say fo­cusses on saṅkhāra, the use of will. In spir­i­tual cir­cles, re­lin­quish­ing will is of­ten touted as the route to en­light­en­ment, whereas in fact it is an es­sen­tial part of healthy hu­man de­vel­op­ment.

Bhikkhuni Vinaya Studies

Although his­tor­i­cally mar­gin­al­ized, Buddhist nuns are tak­ing their place in mod­ern Buddhism. Like the monks, Buddhist nuns live by an an­cient sys­tem of monas­tic law, the Vinaya. This work in­ves­ti­gates var­i­ous ar­eas of un­cer­tainty and con­tro­versy in how the Vinaya is to be un­der­stood and ap­plied to­day.

Dark Matter

While dis­cus­sion on women’s role in the Sangha pro­ceeds, those who most need to take part in the dis­cus­sion – the monks – are con­spic­u­ously ab­sent. The is­sue is not so much a di­a­logue as a call to the dark­ness, for a sym­pa­thetic hear­ing that is just not there.

Now is the Time

Paper pre­sented at the dis­cus­sion panel with HH Dalai Lama on the fi­nal day of the First International Congress on Buddhist Women’s Role in the Sangha.

Full Acceptance

Ordination is more than a change in lifestyle. It is a fun­da­men­tal shift in the ori­en­ta­tion of one’s very be­ing. While de­nied bhikkhuni or­di­na­tion, women are for­ever ex­cluded from the heart of the Buddha’s com­mu­nity.