Wednesday, November 18, 2009

after some meditation

Some meditation in the solitude of my room was needed to see more cleary about the Bhikkhuni-ordination-question.
What happened so far:
I found a very nice Lady in Sri Lanka who wants to promote my aspiration for Bhikkhuni ordination but, said she I need letters of support to convince the elders to give me full ordination and accept my mae chii hood as the required samaneri time of 2 years. Which in exceptions can be done.
So far, so good. I cryed some tears of joy about this mail and started asking monks to give me letters. The first request already was torn down by some arguments I really understand and I was invited to come to america and help to set up a meditation center there. That was the first reason why I ordained and why I came to Thailand. So why not go to America to do it there?
I cried again, when my request for a letter was denied and needed to meditate and find equanimity.
It might be a bad moment to ask Thai monks to help me with Bhikkhuni ordination, so I stopped asking for letters for now and will wait for another moment. Patience … the waves after the happenings in the Thai sangha about full ordination of women have to calm down.
Many thoughts arouse. Yes, the keeping 8 precepts is a wonderful practice for laypeople. They are trainingrules and if one ever breaks one, it doesn’t matter so much. Just try to do it better next time. No commitments, no punishments, no other then self control. This would be really IT, if people would take it more serious and would really try to keep them. But actually nobody does and nobody expects that one does. I talked with Ajahn about eating in the evening of nuns (in general, not accusing anyone) he said “well, for them it’s ok, for us” – and I was very grateful that he seemed to include me in this – “it is not”. Some try to smash mosquitoes while giving precepts even. (I saw monks and nuns doing it)
I’m in a good mood to just disrobe and go somewhere to set up a small meditation center on my own, creating a new form of Buddhist followers, the Buddhamaggikapugalla (don’t know if this would be the correct pali word for people who follow the Buddhas path), people who honestly keep the rules which make sense to keep in modern life, for men and women same rules and same treatment in case of breaking – compassionate rebuking after confession.
I will leave Thailand for now, soon. But remain in robes … Hope to be able to go to Sri Lanka and spend some time with Bhikkhunis there. Then, if I will get a visa, I’ll set off for America and check if it’s true what I was told: there is not much of a difference between monks and nuns in treatment and support and that people willing to keep rules are needed there to give people who are open to Buddhism some faith.
Departure needs some preparation and it may take some time .

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

to all

After a few days of keeping silence about the bhikkhuni-trouble, even in mind, and after a trip to the monastery where i spent my first parivara, i'm back to town.
It was sooo good to be in the forest again. Before i went i got sick a little but there, in nature, it dissapeared.

There was a very, very sick dog. Don't know what kind of desease it got. So much suffering. It got blind and can't move the legs, moving must be painful. We fed it with the meat we received and it was so grateful. But at one point i thought for the poor being it would almost be better to be left alone, dying. trying it to keep it alife with this desease must be torture.

@ anonymus
May your practice and your keeping the 8 precepts lead you to the end of suffering. All the best for you.

@ budd tcw ha
Our connection seems to be quite good, i received your message before you've sent it and started to keep silence about this topic even in mind. Yes, too much opinion, too much akusala. May it be as it is and come what may.

Thank you, dear, understanding and good wishes are very much appreciated.

@tinh quang
I wait for your mail. on fb? And hope you are very well. How is not-self doing :o)

@ manfred
I wrote a looong answer to your comment but deleted it then. Enough i said. But thank you for you comment.
Hast du mal in einem der kloester ajahn chah's practiziert? Warst/bist du moench?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

robe and bowl

the following i wrote as an answer to a monk i know when he was suggesting to give nun robes and bowls. as it took me so long to write it on the mobile, i'll use it as a post here as well:

Your idea about giving us nuns bowls and robes is not bad, but ...
It's not suitable in real life. Monastic life runs on the conventional level, you have enough experiance with it. There is moha, dosa and lobha involved, it's being in samsara.
Generally nuns serve and work for the monks and after that they are allowed to give them merits.
Thai nuns do most times not want to have bowls and don't like, same as many monks, the aspect of having to go on almsround.
There are exeptions, of course, amongst Thaiwomen and foreign nuns - of which i'm one.
I have a bowl and wear a brown robes [both mae chi stile, this small zorro-cape-like and a monksrobe] and do go on almsround.
Presently i stay in a city monastery and go at least to one nun and the kitchen for alms. Outside is not allowed because even the monks don't go on pindabat outside the monastery.
My brown robe is accepted most times but the monksrobe has to be worn hidden. Outside of the monastery i'm in danger to be arrested if i wear it. Once i was rebuked by an hysteric monk for wearing brown. Your suggestion to just wear the robes is not realizable hear in thailand, unless you have good advocats and enough money.
I'm not the one who fights for female rights in buddhism the only fight fought by me shall be for nibbana.
Even if one could wear the same robes as monks - non of the monks would accept a nun as for anything else then now, to serve, work, making merits.
They would not want to loose some of their donators to the receivers side and to have to share their donations with women.
Why 8 precepts and not 10,?That would make nuns at least similar to novices. Then the nuns can't give merits anymore. Simple reason.
Again, there are exeptions, some monks are really understanding and helpful. That's why i'm still in robes.
The lay-people are ready for bhikkhunis out of my experiance, some of those i had the chance to talk with have high hopes that bhikkhunis can bring back monastic disciplin and they are upset and annoyed by the behavior of monks but do not dare to stop making merits to them.
I do have the aspiration to become bhikkhuni one day. But definately not for the prize of a split in the sangha, not for propaganda or feministic motives.
Just to live the holy life.
The life of which the Buddha said it leads to freedom from suffering.
Most monks do not see that the patimokkha is a juwel, they wear it like a burden, not like a crown. They have forgotten that meditation is to see clearly and to find liberation and not to get the missing hours of sleep [meditation during ceremonies] or just a little unconvenience that makes chanting longer then necessary.
some of the nuns and, yes, some of the monks as well, honestly strive for nibbana, try to be worthy ones.
The monks don't have to worry, they are supported, even if they break the rules.
But the nuns, ... we can use the soap and toothpaste monks leave behind ...
I was told be happy not to have so much bothering rules, to be happy with 8, because i'm allowed much more things to do. Then i was asked to do some gardening, like cutting branches and put flowers in earth.
But i deeply understand why the Buddha made the rules of not digging soil not breaking even grass and can't do tat anymore. I understand the danger of touching money and making bowlhords or storage of food.
And so on and so on.
Nuns are supposed to do all the things monks can not do. And when one doesn't do, one is a lazy parasite of the community.
So, how liberation should be possible for a nun?
There are lots of examples why just wearing monksrobes and having a bowl is not enough to grant the same chances to live the holy life for nuns.

It's very upsetting, that modern skilled monks like Dhammanando stick more to the letter then to compassion. I had hoped to find a supporter in him.

It seems, every rule can be broken without shame, except those which would enable a nun to live the holy life.
Maybe a new buddhist monastic lifeform has to be installed for those, men and women, willing to live according to the principles. Equal rights, equal obligations, equal rules, equal robes and equal treatment in case of breaking rules, then name it as you wish and let men and women who seriousely strive for nibbana live in seperate but not to far seperated communities and help eachother to live as the Buddha told.

Equality on conventional level is out of reach and equality on ultimate level is not necessary to be mentioned.

under shock

Some hours later ...
I happen to read about the latest ongoings after a bhikkhuni ordination took place in australia, with help of ajahn brahm and ajahn sujato.
I came to read ajahn sujatos blog, here is the link:

Ajahn brahm has been expelled from Wat pah pong for enabelling bhikkhuni ordination and the english branch of wat pah pong under ajahn sumedho has reacted in a blameworthy manner, well, and not to speak about the reaction of many thai ajahns at and related to wat pah pong, they were the initiators of the campain against ajahn brahm.

It was a sad day for the Buddhist world. A sad day. The Dhamma was mistreated. The women blamed.
The doors to development of a pure, openminded and modern buddhism in the west has been closed.

I'm not sure yet what to do. We do not belong to wat pah pong and the ajahn chah sangha.
Our ajahn is open to bhikkhuni ordination, although he cannot dare to openly promote it.
I feel like leaving thailand, disrobing and find a cave or a hut somewhere where i can practice true buddhism without getting involved with any monastics who are trampeling the lord Buddhas teaching with their feet.
I will wait for ajahn to come back to see his reaktion on all this.

If anyone who reads this knows a cave or a hut where i could stay and try to survive by going on almsround and teaching meditation, do not hesitate, let me know.
Ahh, no! Cave sounds great for a from-the-world-misunderstood little silly nun but is not suitable for a woman according to the Buddha. A hut then. or another place with door and lock.

I could ordain as katholic nun instead, they at least try to be open. :o)
And many of the dhammatalks for the lay i have the chance to hear are the same, if you do evil you go to hell, if you do good, you go to heaven.
No, i'm kidding!
at this center are no Dhammatalks, at least not for the foreigners unless i give one and mine are short and about meditation and mindfulness.
Yes, polemic.
The Dhammatalks given here for the laity in thai are quite profound - from what i'm translated.

I should close the door to my room again, through away my mobile and practice meditation until i can proof that a lay person who becomes an arahant dies within one day or seven days after attaining nibbana. King milinda asked about that ... And here in thailand is said 7 days after becoming an arahant one will die if one is not fully ordained.
My bet is: 'I' will die the very same day. And if the body is still alive or not is not so very important anymore then.
This is not the reason why i feel i need to be a bhikkhuni, i don't fear death so much, sickness and old age are much more inconvenient.
Dying is just one moment in a process of arising and ceasing of many diffrent processing sensations. But living ... Well, as said earlier, 'there is suffering'. And altough it is understood, it still is.
november 1st was a sad day for buddhists, for women, for the pure and genuine Dhamma.
may the ajahns of wat pah pong who created this shism in the sangha by chasing out ajahn brahm be reborn in thailand as women with the aspiration to live the holy life. and may the australien new independent sangha be growing in harmony.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Bhikkhuni ordination ...

For one happy day i had thought i had found someone who was willing to give me bhikkhuni ordination after 2 years being mae chii, which would be next summer, accepting my being mae chii as the samaneri-time.
What a joy at heart!
I was ready to pack my robe and bowl to leave to sri lanka.
Next morning the dream was over. It was just an illusion. As actually everything is. Disenchantment.
But disenchantment is kind of a helpful state for someone who wants to see clearly. One looks at situations as they really are.
This is a mens world. Monks are men. And most of them are too busy with other things and don't find the time to study the Dhamma, Abhidhamma and read the vinaya, so they are not to blame that they don't understand.
Just a stupid coincidence that they are in a position to rule and control womens affairs.

a break

Another break. Loi kratong, the light festival is over and i finished my retreat, so far.
For a week or so i will rest and meditate much less.
A funny story happend ...
A new monk is giving instruction to the foreign newcomers. I noticed a couple of differences between his instruction and the original of this temple and managed somehow to kindly tell this monk that he is not instructing according to the temples norms - without him getting angry.
Yesterday i gave my usual dhammatalk to the new people and was expecting the monk would come back afterwards but he didn't. so i kept on going with the next set of instruction the meditation and noticed another difference between the monks way of instructing walkingmeditation and the original. Next morning i informed the monk about the mistake.
He was sure he was right and i wrong and left me mildly smiling standing where i was.
Later he met me and angry asked if i showed it wrong to the new meditators and if so, i had to go to them, apologize and tell them to do as he said.
After meditating so much the last months i was rather unmoved by this and ready to go and apologize although i was 100% sure that i was right. But i had no intention to fight for it. So i said we should do it as ajahn sais and consult him when he is back from his trip. mildly smiling i went away.
Then, short later he had met another monk who did the job earlier and asked him about walking meditation. When we next met he admitted that he made a mistake.

P.s.: next morning. The monk came with some soap [which is very welcome] and asked for forgiveness.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

first noble truth

First noble truth
There is suffering, dukkha [pali].
Suffering has to be understood.
Suffering is understood.
This is the beginning of the buddhas first teaching after his enlightenment.
Suffering is inherent in everything - even in situations of happyness, because they are impermanent and not obedient to our will, out of control.
Sickness, old age and death are suffering.
Not to become what one wants, become what one doesn't want is suffering.
Not to have what one wishes to have, have what one does not wish to have is suffering.
To be away from people one wants to be with, to be with people one doesn't want to be with is suffering.
The range of suffering is wide, from almost not noteable to unbearable and everything in between.
One meets a beloved friend after a long time, pure happyness. ? One may not yet notice the suffering because one is busy taking pictures to always keep this moment in mind ,it's so sad to be away from each other after meeting ... Suffering, isn't it?
Of course there are grosser sufferings, then one cries, laments, gets angry, upset, sad, furious etc. accusing others or fate that it is as it is. These states we note easily and learned more or less to live with it. they are all dukkha.
Sometimes one is just overwhelmed by suffering. One yells, freaks out is loosing control, beats others, kills, suicides.
In any of these cases one is taking it personal. My fate, my anger, my unhappyness, my miserable situation ... i don't like, i just hate, i want, i wish i could ... I suffer! Always!
Is that so?
Here an example of latest insights:
5 m away from the room i stay in they are constructing since a month now. It is really noisy. I could have gone somewhere, where it's more quiet but decided to just keep practicing in my room as usual.
I could easy have felt anger and could have suffered because these workers bothered me so much.
But they didn't mean it personal.
It's just that workers were there, money for the salery was availible, tools, mashines and material was brought, the place was there - conditions that made a construction possible.
With or without me present. It has nothing to do with 'me'. There was a body noting rising, falling, sitting, hearing, a mind recognizing, thinking, acknowledging ... But that's another story.

That i was there as well, was a result of past karma. [and not really bad karma, i bet, because i was fortunate enough to learn out of this] again a nother story.

Construction sites are impermanent, tomorrow they finish.