Women in Buddhism


In this talk I read most of the opening chapter for Susan Murcott’s wonderful book First Buddhist Women on Mahapajapati. We discussed a bit the possible attitudes on motivations of the Buddha in reluctantly saying “yes” to a Buddhist nun’s order.

And then I read a section of Dogen’s essay Raihai Tokuzui from the Tanahashi / Levitt translation (they title it “Bowing to Receive the Marrow”) where Dogen says quite firmly that women teachers are just as good as men and should never been seen as inferior in any way.  Dogen thus refuting the first of the Buddha’s Eight Special Rules for women which do place women in an inferior position.

And we talked a little about bringing this home. How do we few gender and the messages we’ve received about it? How do we view the self? Can we be really aware of all of these attitudes and tendencies.

Listen on….

About Nomon Tim Burnett

Spiritual Director and Zen priest Nomon Tim Burnett has been a student of Zoketsu Norman Fischer since 1987 when he was a resident at San Francisco Zen Center's Green Gulch Farm. After sitting practice periods at Green Gulch and Tassajara Zen Monastery, Tim helped found the Bellingham Zen Practice Group in 1991. Tim was ordained as a Zen Priest by Norman in 2000 and received Dharma Transmission in July, 2011. A person of wide-ranging professional interests, Tim has been a botanist, carpenter, elementary school teacher, writer, and computer programmer. In addition to his work at the Spiritual Director of Red Cedar Zen Community, Tim is Executive Director of Mindfulness Northwest.
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