Support the Nuns; Disappointing Responses

I spend some of my time each morning reading on a couple of Buddhist forums. Generally I find these forums to be very supportive toward my practice, but occasionally even these can result in disappointment.

ajahn_for_saleYesterday someone posted a link to a rather peculiar site which is advertising 7-days of Ajahn Brahm’s time in exchange for being the highest donating patron for a Nun’s monastery in Australia. Quite frankly, I found the whole thing to be rather amusing even if it may be a breach of certain monastic precepts (which I’m not necessarily saying it is — I’m not qualified to say really anyway).

Well the entire conversation devolved into “tail chasing” as one moderator called it, as the argument proceeded to go around and around. One side defended the Ajahn, saying that even if he’s committing some sort of monastic offense, he’s doing it for the right reasons, while the other side condemned the whole thing even if no rule was ever broken.

My disappointment doesn’t stem at all from what the Venerable Ajahn Brahm is trying to accomplish. I have a great respect for the fact that women have the same potential for awakening as men, but they still have fewer opportunities, even in countries like the United States where men and women are supposedly equal. In the US, the Dhammadharini community in California has been forced to relocate and is seeking the support of the lay community, but while the monks tend to have their needs met, financial support seems to be less forthcoming for nuns.

It is rather disheartening to see just how flippant people can be about something, anything really. Rather than simply trying to support the message, sometimes we spend all our time trying to find fault with the delivery system. I can only hope that Ajahn Brahm succeeds in his intentions, and any kamma he may produce, whether it be “good” or “bad,” may he transcend its bonds and blow out like a flame.

We all need to face the fact that our irritation, our views, and most importantly our belief that our view is so much more superior than that of someone else, is the real problem. It has nothing to do with what others are doing, it is about how we see it and that we feel compelled to force others to agree with us.

I hope this has all made a little sense (it has been rushed, I’ll admit, for which I apologize). Those who have the means, I strongly urge you to support whatever inspires you. There are many good and worthwhile causes in need of your time and resources, and I think we all know that we can spare a little so that others can have what they need.

Please be well, friends.

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9 comments

  1. puddlemonk · · Reply

    That pretty much sums it up. Well done.

  2. Thank you for saying so, friend.

  3. “We all need to face the fact that our irritation, our views, and most importantly our belief that our view is so much more superior than that of someone else, is the real problem.” I couldn’t agree more with this. Nicely articulated (even in a rush!!)

    1. I appreciate you saying so. 🙂 I try!

  4. Ajahn Brahm has many supporters, and also causes much debate. I believe he has been excommunicated for performing Bhikhunni ordinations. He has been instrumental in at least two nunneries that I know of – in Western Australia and NSW..so I know he’s not popular in all circles but I’d say he’s already been very successful in supporting Theravadan nuns (fully ordained) in Australia 🙂
    (by the way I’m not a Theravadan Buddhist myself but I know of his work and the great respect he has from his community)

    1. I’ve heard this about him being excommunicated, but I guess that doesn’t really matter much to those who support him both in Australia and abroad. Sometimes I suppose people just have to go against the grain! Ha!

      1. That’s true – he has followed his own principles and got a lot done..

  5. I just stopped by to quote—and thank you for—the same paragraph that vivjm did:

    “We all need to face the fact that our irritation, our views, and most importantly our belief that our view is so much more superior than that of someone else, is the real problem. It has nothing to do with what others are doing, it is about how we see it and that we feel compelled to force others to agree with us.”

    This spoke to an issue with which I’ve been grappling recently that has nothing to do with Buddhist monasteries and fundraising practices. It is a good reminder for when feelings of judgment and superiority arise in me. However, I’m not sure I know how to support a message without “finding fault with its delivery system.” I’m going to apply this idea to the issue in my life and see what comes up. Maybe it all comes down to intention (e.g., Is my intention connection or being “right”?).

  6. Given the right intentions, I’m sure you can come to the right conclusions. Thank you expressing your appreciation, and I certainly hope that my words helped somehow.

    Be well, friend. 🙂

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