Saturday, April 10, 2010

being female

at the new place, in this quiet environment politics were going on.
The secretary, when we were still at the Temple, dropped at one of the first days a comment by the way how much work she has and that the former woman that the Ajaan brought helped in the kitchen, and that now she had to do the work in the kitchen all alone.. It was said in a way that I understood clearly that she ment: "go to the kitchen and help".
for some reasons I didn't do so. As I eat almsfood myself, it doesn't seem proper to me to prepare any food, also I cannot serve monks and I'm not supposed to do chores for householders, according to the rules.
For her it was quite clear, "she is just a Mae Chii and Mae Chii's are supposed to work in the kitchen". When we went on alms round it was very hard for her to bow or kneel down giving food to me. She had the same problem that I have with certain monks when it comes to prostrate to them, it's like having swallowed a broomstick, the back doesn't want to bend.
She brought up the discussion, why I cannot serve myself with drinks, the Ajaan's attendant asked me later, because I keep the 311 Bhikkhuni rules and even if i were a Mae Chii, I were not allowed to take what is not given, that's why."
The attendant was superupset and worried and confirmed that he is standing there, backing me up.
When we moved to the new house I brought my luggage to a room downstairs, no window, not to lock, but anyway, I thought, it's just for some day's, so what. Then a nice old lady, which seemed to like me from the beginning, told me to take the perfect room, which I mentioned earlier. The perfect nuns room. I felt so sorry to take it because I thought it will come to trouble if I stay in there, but there was no way to talk with somebody to change it.
Two day's later the secretary saw me in this room and I heard her asking the attendant in Thai: "why does she stay in this room?". A day later there must have been a disscussion among the people again. The attendant bowed and prostrated when he gave me something to drink. "You don't need to do that", I said. Yes, but I respect you, he answered extra loud.
The next day a lot of people came to visit. It was the birthday of one of the women. After I received my alms food some people prostrated 3 times at my feet, the secretary stared at it in anger and tried to pull me away on my arm. instead of following her right away I stretched my arm out and waited until they finished prostrating, otherwise I would have been very impolite. I came out and wanted to clean my bowl and things I used, someone took it and said,"I'll take care of it." A woman came running to me and yelled: "Oh, when you did the blessing, I was so moved, you convinced me, I want to be like you, I want to be Mae Chii". After a second of hesitation she flung her arms around my neck. I asked her: "So, when will you ordain?" "Not yet, but I will, she was close to tears.
Then we went to see Ajaan. After a while she decided it was time to finish the visit and told everybody to prostrate. I didn't join in. Then one girl, whom I met only once before, folded her hands before her chest and said: "Krap Mae Chii", Prostrate to the nun". Some more then the half of the women did, the others didn't. I found it exaggerated and was happy that I said earlier that people don't have to prostrate to me.
Some people seemed to need to talk to Ajaan, so i decided not to stay and ask my questions, prostrated and went off.
Next day, which was my last but one day at the house before I went to my sister's, the nice old Lady told a woman not to kneel down when I give my blessing, she looked irritated, and the Lady explained in Thai that I'm not a monk. Same happened the last day, she told the attendant not to kneel. He brought a try with food to my room and prostrated and if it would have been possible he would have crept under the carpet, concerned and sorry as he was. "It's ok, I'm fine", I said. He could not look at me when he walked out.
Ajaan mentioned that I will have to stay in another place than the perfect nuns room in the quiet place, it might be needed for meditators. (Someone told me before that, the secretary will come and stay in that room beginning of May, so I was prepared to hear I can't stay.) But another solution is found and I could do all the visits that I wanted to do which would be just fine, I could go to Germany earlier or back to Thailand or whatever, I don't care so much to be honest. I hope to stay at a place where i will be accepted.
What knocked me off for quite some hours was that he suddenly said that I should stay with those people who ordain me if I go to get full ordination with someone. That's back to the beginning. I have to consider ...

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