Monday, October 28, 2013

Women in Theravada Buddhism: A Perspective from Santi

by Justine McGill

When I first encountered the community of Santi Forest Monastery and its abbot’s aspiration to help revive full ordination for women in Theravada Buddhism, I had not thought very much about the intersection of Buddhism and gender issues. In 2007 this meeting point came about because I volunteered to speak at an interfaith evening on “the purpose of life,” organized to raise funds for the monastery. When I made the offer, however, I was under the impression that the fundraiser was for a different Buddhist monastery. To my considerable surprise, it turned out there were two monasteries on the outskirts of Bundanoon, a picturesque village in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales in Australia. So my first contribution to the cause of improving women’s status in Theravada Buddhism happened by serendipitous chance.

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Great Compassion: An Interview with Reverend Patricia Kanaya Usuki

by Jeff Wilson

Rev. Patricia Kanaya Usuki (photo: Koury Angelo)
Patricia Kanaya Usuki was born in Toronto, Canada, to an Anglican father and a Buddhist mother. Her parents brought her up in the United Church of Canada, one of the few Canadian religious institutions that welcomed people of Asian heritage.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

We invite you to contribute your photos to a visual story e-book that will illustrate the history and cultural diversity of ordained Buddhist women. This photo e-book will tell the stories of Buddhist women from all Buddhist traditions around the world. Though the book will focus on female monastics, stories of significant events involving laywomen would be a welcome and beautiful addition.

Monday, October 14, 2013

From Anti-religious to Buddhist Nun

by Lozang Khadro

When I was twenty-seven I ordained in the Mahayana Buddhist tradition. Being young and choosing to explicitly identify as a practitioner of faith is an interesting and worthwhile life journey. Despite my paternal family being Roman Catholic I didn’t subscribe to religion when I was growing up. In fact I was quite against religion and clung to a staunch aversion of Christianity, but that has now changed for the better.

Monday, October 7, 2013

It’s All Good

by Anne Carolyn Klein

Everything That Remains by Faryn Davis

Everything is either wisdom or a distortion of wisdom, says Anne Carolyn Klein. Once we see this, we can relax and allow the path to dissolve the disturbed energies that give rise to our habitual reactions.

The Sufi sage Rumi brings us a famous story-poem of adultery and wisdom. He describes a jealous wife who is so careful that for seven years her husband is never alone with their attractive maid. Then one day while out with her maid at the public baths, she discovers she has left her silver washbasin at home and sends the maid to fetch it. The maid eagerly runs to her task. No sooner is she gone than the wife realizes what is at stake and races home herself. Rumi sums up the narrative, saying:
The maid ran for love
The wife ran out of fear
And jealousy.
There is a great difference.
The mystic flies from moment to moment The fearful ascetic drags along month to month.
You can’t understand this with your mind. You must burst open!
— The Essential Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks and John Moyne