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Buddhadharma : Summer 2015
summer 2 0 1 5 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly 9 first thoughts moving Forward on women’s ordination The Karmapa lays out his plan to reinstitute full bhikshuni ordination for women in the Tibetan tradition. Many people might think I’m doing this because others want me to. But I’m not doing it to placate anyone or in response to anyone. No matter how others see it, I feel this is something necessary. In order to uphold the Buddhist teachings, it is neces- sary to have the fourfold community: fully ordained monks (gelongs), fully ordained nuns (gelongmas), and both male and female lay precept holders. As the Buddha said, the fourfold community constitutes the four pillars of the Buddhist teachings. This is the reason why I’m taking an interest in this. Over the last ten or twenty years, led by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, many of the masters of Tibetan Buddhism, includ- ing many high lamas, geshes, and khenpos, have engaged in discussions with good intentions. People have put great effort into this—I have seen and experienced this for myself. We’ve had a lot of talk and research into the words of the Buddha, the treatises by Indian masters, as well as the Tibetan scriptures. It sometimes seems that over the past twenty years, we’ve only had talk and research but we haven’t actually put any- thing into practice. It’s been like this for a long time. It seems to me that you can give the bhikshuni vows either through the single sangha or through the dual sangha. But the proper way—to have a well-recognized, legal bhikshuni ordination—it is best to have the dual sangha. For this to happen, if we begin next year, first of all we need to give the vows of going forth, then the novice or sramaneri vows. Following that are the shik- shamana, or training vows, which you then need to hold for the next few years. Finally, in the fourth year we’ll be able to give the bhikshuni vows. Once we have bhikshunis, it will then be another ten years before they will be able to give anyone else the bhiks- huni vows. So this will take a long time, and I’ll be in my forties when we get to the end of the process. FROM ThE KAGyu OFFICE, JANuARy 24, 2015 the impossible vow Vanessa Zuisei Goddard says her late teacher, John Daido Loori, still inspires her not to give up on her bodhisattva vow. I loved Daido Roshi with a fierceness that surprised me when he was alive but that, in retrospect, is perfectly natural. Roshi saw in me what I couldn’t see myself. He trusted my clarity long before I had even a smidge of it. He teased out a goodness I didn’t feel and could not act out of. He believed in my ability to wake up even when I was certain PAINTINg (DETAIlS) | michael newhall