Making a better world starts with making a better me. And making a better me involves some level of social action and/or service. The balance between inward and outward spiritual growth is challenging in any religion. My friend Peace Paul explores that well in this post.
Recently I read “In Search of Buddha’s Daughters” by Christine Toomey. It is a collection of interviews with, and accounts of, Buddhist nuns – many of them on the leading edge of reform. These are stories of strong women taking courageous stands against oppressive, often abusive, patriarchal institutions.
The stories of the brutality endured by some of the Tibetan nuns at the hands of the Chinese government is sickening. In Burma and Thailand the situation is a bit better, but there are still threats, social stigmatization, and violence against women seeking only the right to fully ordain as Buddhist nuns. Women are even blocked from full ordination in some Buddhist institutions in Europe and America. Often the resistance comes from the highest levels of the monastic orders – from the senior and supposedly most mature religious practitioners.
Toomey’s book reminds us that being a Buddhist does not automatically exempt one…
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