The 8th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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International Congress on Buddhist Women's Role in the Sangha
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The fourteenth Dalai Lama attended the final day of the conference and conclusions.
His letter of support is available to the public (see references below).
Other Bhikkshuni lineages which could be restored were also expected to be on the agenda.
After statements from the many bhikkus and bhikkshunis present, the Dalai Lama announced that, while he supported the case, he needed to discuss the matter with senior lamas representing the different schools of Tibetan Buddhism to gain a consensus view.
He added that from 2008 (or if possible 2007) nuns were to practice three monastic ceremonies, posadha, vassa and pavarana, as preparation for the establishment of a Bhikkhuni Sangha in the near future.
A full statement was issued by the Dalai Lama detailing this.
Bhikshuni and Yogini Tenzin Palmo -a member of the Committee of Western Bhikshunis- belonging to Drukpa Lineage of the Kagyu school in her statement A brief overview of the situation for nuns in the Tibetan Tradition elaborated that in spite of full Bhikshuni ordination monks had not to be afraid because according to vinaya they were going to keep their higher position.
The six member 'Committee of Western Bhikshunis' is an organisation of senior Western nuns supported by two Advisors from Taiwan (Ven. Bhiksuni Heng-ching Shih, Professor of Philosophy at Taiwan National University (Gelongma ordination 1975 in San Francisco) and Ven. Bhikshuni Wu-yin, Vinaya Master).
It was formed in the autumn of 2005, after His Holiness the Dalai Lama told Bhikshuni Jampa Tsedroen that the Western bhikshunis should be more involved in helping to establish the bhikshuni ordination in the Tibetan tradition.
To help establish the Bhikshuni Sangha (community of fully ordained nuns) where it does not currently exist had already been declared in 1987 one of the objectives of Sakyadhita, as expressed at its founding meeting in 1987 in Bodhgaya, India.
"(1) A bhikkhuni who has been fully ordained even for more than a century must bow down, rise up from her seat, salute with hands palm-to-palm over her heart, and perform the duties of respect to a bhikkhu even if he has been fully ordained only a day.
"(4) At the end of the Rains-residence, a bhikkhuni should invite (criticism both from) the Bhikkhu Sangha and the Bhikkhuni Sangha on any of three grounds: what they have seen, what they have heard, what they have suspected...
"(8) From this day forward, the admonition of a bhikkhu by a bhikkhuni is forbidden, but the admonition of a bhikkhuni by a bhikkhu is not forbidden. This rule, too, is to be honored, respected, revered, venerated, never to be transgressed as long as she lives.
Procedure of Women Ordination
Alexander Berzin states: "The ordination procedure involves asking the candidates a list of questions concerning impediments (bar-chad-kyi chos, Skt. antarayikadharma, Pali: antarayikadhamma) she may have that might hinder her from keeping the full set of vows.
Important quotations on equality of buddhist nuns
Equality of Full Ordination
For example, some people turn away from Buddhism saying, "The Buddha taught equality and equanimity for all beings, yet Buddhist institutions do not provide equal opportunities for women to ordain and practice." ”
Equality generally speaking
taken from Berzin Summary Report
Impacts of bowing
And while the Vinaya as a rational legal text does not grant the monks any power of command over the bhikkhunis whatsoever, the emotional surrender signified by the bow conveys an unmistakable submission.
Here the earlier mentioned dichotomy between the individual and institutional becomes fully apparent: on a personal level, the act of bowing is a graceful training in humility, but on an institutional level it serves the interests of power. ”
He says you need to keep the 14 precepts properly.
Sister Chan Khong