By Kim Gutschow
They might shave their heads, don easy gowns, and resign materialism and worldly wants. however the ladies looking enlightenment in a Buddhist nunnery excessive within the folds of Himalayan Kashmir continually locate themselves topic to the tyrannies of subsistence, subordination, and sexuality. eventually, Buddhist monasticism displays the very global it's speculated to surrender. Butter and barley end up to be as severe to monastic lifestyles as benefit and meditation. Kim Gutschow lived for greater than 3 years between those girls, gathering their tales, watching their methods, learning their lives. Her booklet bargains the 1st ethnography of Tibetan Buddhist society from the viewpoint of its nuns. Gutschow depicts a gender hierarchy the place nuns serve and clergymen direct, the place clergymen bless the fields and kitchens whereas nuns toil in them. Monasteries might maintain historic endowments and critical political and social strength, but worldwide flows of capitalism, tourism, and feminism have started to erode the stability of energy among clergymen and nuns. regardless of the hindrances of being thought of impure and inferior, nuns have interaction in daily different types of resistance to pursue their ascetic and private objectives. A richly textured photograph of the little recognized tradition of a Buddhist nunnery, the e-book bargains relocating narratives of nuns suffering from the Buddhist self-discipline of detachment. Its research of how within which gender and sexuality build ritual and social energy presents important perception into the connection among girls and faith in South Asia this present day. (20040501)
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Additional resources for Being a Buddhist Nun: The Struggle for Enlightenment in the Himalayas
After finishing his tale, Ngawang accompanied the nuns through Ganden’s chapels, explaining how the Tibetan ethicist Tsongkhapa had founded Ganden and the Great Prayer Festival they were soon to see in Lhasa. The nuns were relieved to hear they had reached Lhasa in time for the festival, when any merit they made would be multiplied a thousandfold. Ngawang suggested that they join an upcoming ordination ceremony which the abbot of Ganden would perform during the festival. When Yeshe protested that she was unworthy, Ngawang insisted that her merit would outweigh any ritual mistake.
Only a few short years after Yeshe’s journey, Chinese shelling reduced Ganden monastery— which housed over five thousand monks in 1959—to a pile of rubble while the Dalai Lama and thousands of Tibetans, including the abbot of Ganden, fled to India. Although a war between India and China closed the border in 1962, refugees have continued to make their way out of Tibet to join a community of exiles who live in scattered settlements across north and south India, including Yeshe’s home state of Jammu and Kashmir.
23 Merit is produced by a range of ritual acts which extend far beyond the standard list of ten virtuous deeds. In the Theravada ethics, demerit can never be undone, but can be balanced by the merit of positive deeds. In this view, murderers must suffer at least one rebirth in hell for their negative act. Yet Tantra offers a powerful antidote. It supplies purifying practices which wipe out the stain of negative karma before it takes effect. The ritual remedies which can eradicate negative karma include remorse, receiving teachings, reciting mantras, making images, making offerings, and even hearing the Buddha’s words.