Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Vinaya Masters in the West ~ the USA

I'm pretty mature in monastic age entering the age requirement for a Vinaya master, but I am becoming known through my online presence and in my meetings with other Western and Eastern people in robes.  In my tradition, the Chinese Buddhist Sangha really considers more senior bhikshu and bhikshuni Vinaya masters of more than 20 rains years or exceptional younger ones.

For the myself being 11 rains as of this writing I'm among the younger ones.  I've been on a 2 year Vinaya retreat with the purpose of preparing for next year being my ordination giving age of 12 years as an upadhyayani [ooh-pah-dye-ni].

I'm serious about my training, very serious about the Vinaya and those who claim to uphold it while engaging in worldly matters.  I've been outspoken for years in favor of adherence to Vinaya over popularity.

The past 30 years has seen a decline of Western people in robes, many disrobing after years of being in robes.  Most often complaints in meetings are of lack of support from their communities both in training and in the 4 requisites.  The highest rate is claimed by the Western Tibetans, then the Western Thai/Sri Lanka Theravada monks.  It's rare to see it happen in other communities like those founded by Chinese, Korean or Vietnamese.

Resilience in the face of lack of support in those issues is not reason enough to disrobe, lacking renewed robes means you need to repair the old ones and investigate into making your own.

I know American bhikshuni who has lacked such and remained in robes more than 20 years already.
Not every Sangha member around the world whether they are from a well-funded temple or not is provided enough of the 4 requisites or treated fairly being sponsored for an education or leadership roles.

We are in 163rd year of existing in the USA through the Chinese Buddhist lineages.  That is young by their standards and ours.  Keep hoping and keep your precepts and all will be well.

Immortality Buddha!

I bow to Buddha!

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