somehow I got into the “outstanding women in Buddhisn award” preparation and ceremony as i took residence with my friend Sarani in We-train, a center for women’s education and support with orphanage, emergency house for women, hairdresser and massage school etc. etc., a big wonderful project. I met a lot of very nice, warmhearted, courageous women. And found out that Thailand has more Bhikkhunis than one might think, by meeting some of them.
When we came to we-train the award ceremony was about to be prepared by one Bhikkhuni. One I like very much, I have to say. She must be the one why people (monks) in Thailand say: “you want to be Bhikkhuni for feminism”. I never understood why the monks say that, there are other ways, more effective to lance feminism then by becoming a nun. But she did it. Her goal is feminism, equality of gender. I don’t understand why she became a nun, because there are more effective to lance feminism then by becoming a nun.
All these women were really lovely, that’s why I stayed and did what I could to support, although I have to admit, that this award thing is mere feeding defilements, on all ends. It’s good to have something like that, sure, in a country where feminism is about 35 years delayed, it will help the women to find a new identity. But it has nothing to do with Buddhism, it should not be organized by nuns, and as far I could see there was only one women really deserving this award, while 10 were receiving it. Inflation. Makes it nothing worth, in the end, that’s how inflation works.
And as it exist, this award, it should have audiance, which it might have, if it were organized by other people then nuns.
I’m disillusioned about Bhikkhunis now. I had high hopes that we could show the monks that we have a right to be female monks by being humble, keeping rules, behaving well as the Buddha requested it, kind of: we deserve it because we’re worth it. But that’s not the way the Bhikkhuni’s I met so far see it. They behave like monks, as bad as the bad ones. I must make one exception: Bhikkhuni Agganyani who imprisons herself to not break a rule.
Can’t there be a middle way? An honest intend to keep rules. An honest confession if it was not possible to keep. Forgiveness and try to do better?
As far as it seems there are loopholes, excuses, open offenses, hidden offenses, …
Not that I will be better. I will break rules. I break them now, I take teabags to brew a tea without having each bag given to me, I presently stay under the same roof with laypeople and even a man, I will look for loopholes, I will find excuses in case of breaking a rule (in the latter case: it’s a room I’m given, what can I do?). I’m wearing much more than my 5 parts of my robes (and still feel cold).
The rules are training rules and I slowly become a little bit more relaxed about them, they are training rules, after all. I’m not complaining anymore about people who don’t keep rules. I just wonder why rules are taken when there is no intention whatsoever to keep them. The intention makes the difference.
May I have enough effort to keep the 311 rules to it’s best, may I not lose the good intention to keep rules and may I grow into the holy life and be able to suppress wanting which seems to be the mayor reason for rule breaking.