The nuns’ Sangha update

A few years ago, I wrote an essay “What Did the Buddha Think of Women,” which has turned out to have had more hits than any other article I have posted on this blog. In this essay I propose that the Buddha’s intention from the beginning was to secure for women the same opportunities as men to live and practice as monastics and to progress toward awakening. The structurally unequal status of nuns in the early Sangha (exemplified, for instance, in the eight garudhammas)  is entirely accounted for as an expedient for coming close to realizing this goal in a patriarchal society that was not entirely sympathetic with this goal. The modern dilemma for us is that we live in a different society, one which has little sympathy for the structurally unequal status of nuns that has been carried along in the monastic rules since those early days.

Recently my weekly sutta discussion group, which meets Sunday afternoons at the Sitagu Buddha Vihara in Austin, TX USA, took up the discussion of women in Buddhism, beginning with my presentation of the thesis of my essay. The discussion was very fruitful and was recorded. Herewith I would like to share the recorded discussions with anyone who has an interest in these topics:


3 Responses to “The nuns’ Sangha update”

  1. Lottermoser Akincana Friedgard Says:

    The power of an apostrophe: are you writing about the nuns’ sangha, or the nun’s sangha? Just one nun or all nuns?


  2. Wamae Says:

    A fascinating discussion, and one that’s long overdue


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