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by Karma Lekshe Tsomo
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Social Sciences
  • Author:
    Karma Lekshe Tsomo
  • ISBN:
    0700712194
  • ISBN13:
    978-0700712199
  • Genre:
  • Publisher:
    Routledge; 1 edition (July 25, 2000)
  • Pages:
    354 pages
  • Subcategory:
    Social Sciences
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  • Rating:
    4.7
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    969
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Series: Routledge Critical Studies in Buddhism.

Series: Routledge Critical Studies in Buddhism. In one sense, it is a pity this book had to be written at all. The subtitle evinces the sense of frustration involved with being a woman, trying to win respect and recognition in the Buddhist world - which has, with a few notable exceptions, been characterised as a world in which the dominant voices are male. In fact, some Buddhist schools don't recognise bhikkuni (bhiksuni) ordinations - they are defined as quasi-ordinands. Not everyone adopts this parochial attitude. Some eminent Chinese Buddhists have been supportive and generous toward upasikas and bhiksunis.

Innovative Buddhist Women book.

Karma Lekshe Tsomo (born 23 September 1944) is a Buddhist nun, scholar and social activist. She is a professor at the University of San Diego, where she teaches Buddhism and World Religions. She is co-founder of the Sakyadhita International Association of Buddhist Women and the founding director of the Jamyang Foundation, which supports the education of women and girls in the Himalayan region and the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh

Routledge Critical Studies in Buddhism is a comprehensive study of the Buddhist tradition. The series explores this complex and extensive tradition from a variety of perspectives, using a range of different methodologies.

Routledge Critical Studies in Buddhism is a comprehensive study of the Buddhist tradition. The series is diverse in its focus, including historical, philological, cultural, and sociological investigations into the manifold features and expressions of Buddhism worldwide. It also presents works of constructive and reflective analysis, including the role of Buddhist thought and scholarship in a contemporary, critical context and in the light of current social issues.

Combines the voices of scholars and practitioners in analysing Buddhist women's history. 26 articles document the lives of women who have set in motion changes within Buddhist societies, with analyses of issues such as gender, ethnicity, authority, and class that affect the lives of women in traditional Buddhist cultures and, increasingly, the west.

Buddhism Human Rights Womens Rights. 302. Moving and Recreating Womens. Библиографические данные. Innovative Buddhist Women: Swimming Against the Stream Routledge Critical Studies in Buddhism. 312. Inner Transformation for World Peace. 1136114262, 9781136114267.

In Innovative Buddhist Women, the critical need for equal opportunities for education, ordination, and leadership for women in Buddhist cultures emerges as a common theme. From a variety of perspectives and disciplines, the authors examine Buddhist women's history anew. They document the lives of women who have wrought changes in traditional Buddhist.

26 articles document the lives of women who have set in motion changes within Buddhist societies, with analyses of issues such as gender, ethnicity, authority, and class that affect the lives of women in traditional Buddhist cultures and, increasingly, the west. Recently added by. boffies, Langri Tangpa Centre,, sfzclibrary, mkboylan, WSMA-ITP.

Empty Vision Metaphor and visionary imagery in Mahayana Buddhism David L. McMahan.

This article focuses on strategies and approaches to the study of women in Buddhism, women in early Buddhism . In: Karma Lekshe Tsomo (e., Innovative Buddhist Women: Swimming Against the Stream, pp. 61–71

This article focuses on strategies and approaches to the study of women in Buddhism, women in early Buddhism (particularly as represented in the Pāli canon), women in Mahāyāna Buddhism, and recent developments in the Buddhist women's ordination movement, particularly as manifested in the Theravāda cultures of Southeast Asia. 61–71.

Combines the voices of scholars and practitioners in analysing Buddhist women's history. 26 articles document the lives of women who have set in motion changes within Buddhist societies, with analyses of issues such as gender, ethnicity, authority, and class that affect the lives of women in traditional Buddhist cultures and, increasingly, the west.

LONUDOG
In one sense, it is a pity this book had to be written at all. The subtitle evinces the sense of frustration involved with being a woman, trying to win respect and recognition in the Buddhist world - which has, with a few notable exceptions, been characterised as a world in which the dominant voices are male. In fact, some Buddhist schools don't recognise bhikkuni (bhiksuni) ordinations - they are defined as quasi-ordinands.

Not everyone adopts this parochial attitude. Some eminent Chinese Buddhists have been supportive and generous toward upasikas and bhiksunis. Some adepts recorded in the Ch'an classics were women. There are moving Japanese stories of female Pure Land adherents who surely had Buddha-hearts. Even the highly conservative Theravada tradition has, in recent years, allowed women to occupy high profile teaching posts (Achan Naeb, is a case which comes to mind). Female adepts in certain Tibetan schools have also risen to prominence - but, in many respects, it has been - and still is - a case of 'swimming against the stream.'

How deeply ingrained this condescending attitude can be, became clear many years ago when a Canadian Buddhist friend in her early thirties, joined a Buddhist group in Canada. Still very 'Japanese' - ethnically speaking, the senior members of this group actually allocated her a place in the 'kids group' because (a) not only was she a woman - but (b) a 'foreign' woman at that. This was probably an extreme case, but it was instructive.

Whatever one thinks about such attitudes, they are going to be challenged - especially in the West. I know that, in her endeavour to address this situation, and supplementary to her purpose, Lekshe Tsomo has carefully examined all the variants of the Vinaya rules - bearing on the ordination of women, as found in the major Buddhist traditions. But these were all put together in another day and age, by people (men) living in highly conservative societies, some more generous than others. The big question here, of course, is the extent to which these rules and regulations can be said to owe their direct influence or inspiration to - the historical Buddha? The chances are that in their present formulation, they constitute a reworking of material in the hands of various Buddhist elders.

Various things stated outside the Vinaya, give the impression that initially, the Buddha was reluctant to admit women to the Sangha. But, as various sutras attest, such initial scepticism was replaced with a more generous outlook. In fact, several sutras (e.g. the Vimalakirti, Srimala, Saddharma Pundarika etc.)go out of their way to demolish the 'sexist' preconceptions held by some of the Buddha's contemporaries. Be that as it may,

'sexist' preconceptions and prejudice have survived in certain areas of Buddhism - and, without hysteria, this book endeavours to address the imbalance. One might be tempted to look upon the issue as an 'Asian' phenomenon, but the Western Buddhist community has spawned 'sexist' views of its own. Moreover, we might recall that the Roman Catholic Church and Anglican Church have also resisted the ordination of women priests, although the latter has gone some way to recognise the need for it.

We were all born from our mothers, who gave us tender, loving care, so let's not forget who sowed the earliest seeds of compassion in our hearts. Take Lekshe Tsomo and this book seriously - with a hefty dose of Metta!
Grotilar
Of the 3 Tsomo books I've read so far, I like this one best. Virtually all of the essays are high quality, interesting, and informative. They address positive actions and activities of Buddhist women, both lay and monastic, in numerous nations around the world. These include the unusual Elizabeth Harris' "Buddhism and the Media," Esther Bianchi's "Tiexiangsi: A Gelugpa Nunnery in Contemporary China," Masters & Tsomo's essay on Mary Foster in Hawaii, Thich Minh Duc's wonderful biography of Vietnamese Bhikkuni [fully ordained nun] Dom Luu, Tenzin Palmo's pithy and succinct description of Tonglen practice, and Bhikkuni Kusuma's brilliant essay "Inaccuracies in Buddhist Women's History" among others.

A major insight concerns Buddhist differences between East & West:

p. 327: Tsomo: "Western Buddhists tend to value lay practice, while Asian Buddhists value ordination. Due to their cultural backgrounds, practitioners East and West often understand Buddhism in very different ways."

pp. 298-9: Mushin Ikeda-Nash: "In forging an American Buddhism, we bring our national characteristics of energy and idealism, or core values of equity and democracy, to Buddhist teachings and practices that have come to us from ancient Asian cultures...The fact that the word `sangha' is now commonly used in the West to indicate any community of Buddhist practitioners, monastic or lay, reflects an increased validation of lay practice. In its original meaning, the term `sangha' referred to the community of ordained Buddhist monks and nuns."

p. 231: Tashi Zangmo: "Among Asian women the social norm is to believe everything a teacher might say. Penetrating questions are avoided."

p. 115: Thich Minh Duc quoting Dom Luu: "We must present the teachings in accordance with social conditions and the tastes of the population in that time."

This is a fine book well worth your time if you have any interest in the subject matter.