Posted in Buddhist community activities, Buddhist Culture, Buddhist Health and Wellness, Conflicts in Buddhist Life, On the Path, Precepts Holders, Sangha Relationships

Crimes against Nuns recent reports

A nun is gangraped by a bus driver and his busload of men who drag her off the bus to commit the deed.  What were they thinking, a robed nun! Whats wrong with those men! What’s wrong with that society! Nepal is the birth place of the Buddha! where is the justice!

KATHMANDU, Nepal — A 21-year-old Buddhist nun was gangraped by five men inside a bus in eastern Nepal, media reports said Monday.  The victim, a resident of Bhojpur district in eastern Nepal, was travelling by bus when she was attacked by the group, which also included the driver of the bus.,10274,0,0,1,0

CHINATOWN — A Buddhist nun giving out prayer beads on Canal Street to raise  money to rebuild her burned down temple was arrested and detained for several  hours without an interpreter, she told DNAinfo.

Police charged Baojing Li, 48, with  acting as an unlicensed vendor, a misdemeanor. They claim she hawked costume  jewelry at the corner of Canal and Mott Streets on June 2 without a license from  the state Department of Consumer Affairs.

But the religious woman, who wears a traditional Buddhist robe and has a  shaven head, says she was not selling the 50-cent strands of prayer beads, but  handing them out to generous people who dropped donations in her collection  tin.

Read more:

Posted in Buddhist Culture, Chan - authentic Masters words, Chinese culture, Dharma Talks, Mahayana culture, On the Path, Precepts Holders, Sangha Relationships, Vinaya

Abbot, Bhikshu Ven. Hui Guang clear explaination of Chan transmission, lineage, ordination for monastics

Ven.Da Mo

His Facebook photo set has his photos during his retreat time, he is the present abbot of IBS in Taiwan. He has given us the clearest explanation I have ever seen regarding details of how this process of transmission really works.  It’s important to really get the correct teachings and from the correct teachers.  In the USA we are woefully deluded by the newness of Buddhism, over-reaching for levels or attainments that we do not need or deserve. I am quoting his exact post that appears on the Facebook link.  Let me know if it does not work. I only cut and pasted and hope for the best, I’m new to the blog world here.!/media/set/?set=a.182828165075325.43405.100000444276511

於2008年,我蒙 本換老和尚慈悲親自傳授,禪門正法眼藏,臨濟正宗法脈。此法法脈源流源自於釋迦牟尼佛,祖祖印心相傳,直到近代虛雲老和尚→本煥老和尚→慧光 (第45代臨濟正宗傳人)。
2008, I received the transmission of the Treasury of the True Dharma Eye in the Noble Linji Ch’an Dharma Lineage with the compassion of my  Master, Ch’an Master Ben Huan. This lineage of Dharma transmission trace all the way back to Sakyamuni Buddha. The ancient Masters have transmitted one after another until recent era to Ch’an Master Hsu Yun. Then the Dharma transmission is from: Venerable Master Hsu Yun→ Venerable Master Ben Huan→ Hueiguang (45th generation lineage holder of the Linji Ch’an).



這種法派,應該代代相傳,不可斷絕。此體系在習慣上,稱為剃度恩師,得戒本師,傳法尊師。中國佛教傳統上,出家是一回事,受戒是一回事,傳法又是一回事,並非一定都由同一位師父主持。又禪宗重在傳法,得法的人, 即稱為法子。當然在家也可得法,但畢竟是少數。出家得法的,多是已在別的師父那裡剃度及受戒。

In Chinese Buddhist tradition, there are 3 systems of transmission:

1. Tonsure system: a person become tonsured as a novice monastic under the Master’s school. He/she is given a Dharma name 法號 at the time of tonsure based on the Master’s lineage. This name is also called “the outer name 外號” because it is use by all people to address you. This name is used for life.

2. Ordination system: a novice will become fully ordained as a Bhikṣu monk/ Bhikṣuni nun with the Triple Platform Ordination (Observing the Śrāmanera, Bhikṣu and Bodhisattva precepts) . This ordination must be presided by 10 monks with at least 10 years of seniority with a pure practice in upholding the monastic precepts. In this ceremony, the 10 Masters represent the Triple Gem accepting the novice into the Sangha. At this time, another Dharma name 法名 is given. This name is also called “precept name 戒名 or inner name 內號” because it is use only by one’s Master. This name represents your precept lineage transmission.

3. Dharma transmission system: This system upholds the Treasury of the True Dharma Eye through the generations of transmission. This is the Mind to Mind seal of the Dharma that is beyond the scriptures. At this time, another Dharma name 法名 is given. This is also called “the inner name 內號” and use only by one’s Master. This name represents your Dharma lineage transmission. After receiving this name, one will use this name instead of the name received during precept ordination to write one’s Dharma name (Inner Name)(Outer Name). For example, my Dharma name is “Chang An Huei Guang 常安慧光”, where “Huei Guang” is my name given at tonsure and “Chang An” is given at Dharma transmission.

Therefore, these systems of transmission should not be ended.
It is customary to refer to one’s own tonsure Master as “Gracious Master”, precept Master as “Root Master” and Dharma transmission Master as “Venerable Master.” In Chinese Buddhism, these 3 systems are separate and are not performed by the same Masters. Moreover, due to the strong emphasis on the Dharma, when a person receives the Dharma transmission, he/she is recognized as that Ch’an Master’s Dharma son/daughter. Of course lay Buddhists may also receive this Dharma transmission, but there are very few incidences. Most of the monk/nun who received the transmission has already been tonsured and ordained by other Masters.

Posted in Buddhism, Buddhist community activities, Buddhist Culture, Buddhist Health and Wellness, Chinese culture, Conflicts in Buddhist Life, Mahayana culture, On the Path, Precepts Holders, Sangha Relationships, Theravada culture, Vinaya

Ex-Buddhists who ate bitterness with Sangha come back

I’ve jsut read another sad story from another Sangha member’s blog, a woman reply with bitterness over her disaster with her guru in Vajrayana. I just replied to her reply.  She was holding on to so much idignation, bitterness and was rejecting women’s roles, robes, and validitiy of Sangha at all.

Abused by her guru and his supporters finally she left. But had to endure hardships and kept biting that bitter nut of regret, rage and grief at her self and the guru.  Until she faces all the habits that kept her there and choices she made to not act for her own safety and hold him accountable she will not progess as rapidity as she would like.  Good therapy, resuming practice with a calmer, harmonious and peaceful Sangha community will help her.

Her failure to undestand her own power as a Buddhist practitioner and the system she was in led to this rotton situation.  It’s common for westerners and some easterners too;  to bitch at us or about us Sangha as being weak, as some of us for being women,  childlike, undeducated, dancing about with our wiles and without power or a sense of our empowerment as Sangha, or accusing us of not policing our Sangha leaders enough so abuses do not even arise at all.

Well in the West Buddhism is not controlled by the government. We do have laws that protect us and Sangha are not above the law.  We are mandated by our Vinaya to observe the laws and respect the government of the country in which we reside.

New Buddhist are just plain ignorant, often tossing their self-control, common sense, sense of right and wrong, memory of whose country they live in anyway, deluded greately by who is in control of them, have definite problems listening to their teachers advice, often fickle to Buddhist practice omiting key traditional practics cuz they don’t wanna, and toss whats left of their minds up in the air as far as they can forcing it all way up until by chance and gravity it is falling into the hands of frauds, politikers, and often well-meaning but really inexperienced with the Western ideas of teachers, saints, leaders and monastics are those small but sincere groups of foreign monks and nuns.  What a hideaous act!

If people when they approach Sangha wanting to learn would keep their heads, stop tossing their minds out for someone else to grab they would get along just fine and make progress they deserve.  It’s gone wrong for many idealistic or perhaps those that reject too much, or make that pick and choose style of Buddhist salada bar type who can’t settle into a practice or goes mental after sitting for days in meditation ‘cuz they heard Buddha Sakyamuni did so.  All of these types often reject Buddhism after trying to capture their minds again from bad practices they kept doing to themselves. Instead of moving on, correcting their mistake they blame.  So in the future they get to repeat the same pattern.

Here is is, what you did wrong perhaps.

The first action of all of these who suffer bitternness is to reject the sangha, temple or center entirely as too far, too much, can’t be bothered to get there, can’t understand them or they won’t undestand me.

2. pick up a book by a famous monk, nun or writer that starts everytime with a warning… do not undertake this practice without supevision of a master, a qualified teacher of the method being taught in this book….. then ignore it, undertake the practice on your own; get mental, get vulnerable, and can’t make the voices stop; can’t work, can’t ….can’t life stops and nothing is the same anymore. So they blame robes, centers, and of course Sangha.

3. have all the answers and sits for hours. at first ok, then for a year or so gets sensations, loves it. keeps going, gets to hear voices.  oh ! progress.  does continue ‘cuz the mind says to. Then oops no job ‘cuz all I wanna do is sit in blisss…yeah that’s the life.  Oops lost the family.   Ooops feel bad voices won’t stop.  Oh no! It’s still progress tho’. Nope I just don’t need sangha! I made it! Numerous visits to psych wards, lots of needed medications, now it’s really all Sangha’s fault!

4. Drugs the faulty test of bliss! It’s so real, vibrant, love to get high during chanting services. I made it! jhana aaaah! I’m expert I can teach this! Wow! fast track to Nirvana! Whoa, the man why he here! Oh, yeah.  Mutiple hospitalizations with freaky side effects. Blames Sangha for lack of progress.

5. Sex is bliss. perhaps you were empowered by your own sexuality or repressed. You know you.  Letting the leader touch you, that was fun or not. People said its a merit/better method/fast way to bliss what ever that is to be with him, a lie and you knew it but were swayed because they knew more than you or insisted you be in the bed with him. he cries to you, he shares intimate fears or worries with you. he clings to you. your hooked. well. if your not then your caught. Right.  But it gets bad, you want out but how? Still want that bliss? Yes so hopeful and  you stay. Then leave badly. Right time to blame Sangha. Despise us, why, why, why?  Why indeed did you not call the cops, consult lawyers, family or friends or leave?

6. Use Buddhism for medical care or mental health care. This is just wrong. It is not meant for this type of approach. The Buddha was not a doctor but sometimes referred to metaphorically as a healer. This is all that meant.  All of Buddhist practice is for well people to undertake.  There is some truth of some practices benefitting some conditions but not any of the modern definitions of serious psychiatric conditions.  I add this to make sure you get it;  IT WAS NOT MEANT FOR PSYCHIATRIC DISORDERS, none of it.  No matter how fancy of a pracice offered or by whom.

We live in times of adequate medical care and good therapists and much of Buddhist practice today as in the past is to be undertaken by well people. Mental health issues need to be faced properly and correctly. Most of what people can do for themselves is to do the best they can and not over reach for what they are not ready for or capable of.  Be Real about your issues and you will be more stable!  That is why the Buddha taught us to teach others according to their conditions and capability.  There is no generic Buddhist method to cure or eliminate disease beyond the knowledge of standard science and medicine. Buddhist measure their progress one by one; step by step; not by Proctor & Gamble mass produced pills or B & N books, etc.

At the core of this faulty mindset is this –  the lack of valuation or understanding of the the Triple Jewel.

There is a marked lack of attempt to join  and/or reject a real strong Buddhist community of laity that activly seeks out Sangha to improve their personal practice. And a total lack of common sense and deliberate refusal to put self-preservation first in the face of co-ercive or dangerous practices for what ever unerlying problems you already had coming into your efforts to practice some of the methods of Buddhist practice.

There is no sense of community in the above approaches, this faulty thinking has led many to disaster and ruined many a struggling community. However, all that being said just stop the blame.

Buddha taught us that our minds are our responsibility, it is ours after all and nobody elses.  We are responsible for walking on the path ourselves, not Buddha and not anyone else.

Embrace all of traditional Buddhist practices for they are already time tested with many checks and balances to help you progress.  Being a lone wolf type as many try to do simply does not work.

Sangha monastics know this, they work as a community and train together, they have moments to practice or study what interests them but really that’s only moments daily we are busy with our duties and meeting the community as a whole needs. The strength of our practice lies in our precepts, guided by the Vinaya, striving to study and learn as much Buddha dharma as we can staying withing our basic practices, renewing our selves in retrains, seeking elders in our community and outside our temples for improved understanding and our basic training forming our foundatin while with our tonsure master before we are accepted for full ordiantion.

Sangha are human beings, with all their skills and are still learning and still practicing. We are ahead of you on the path but not there yet to the final goal of enlightenment.  We are entitled to our flaws the same as you. However, we have guidelines that help us daily that’s called monastic discipline or the Vinaya.

Traditionally you are supposed to seek out the Sangha for dharma teaching. If you do not do this you will not make progress on the path yourself.  Sangha, me and others have learned a thing or two being left-home persons and if we  or I am skilled enough in communnications and I or others decide to agree to teach you upon your request then we can share what we know the best we can.

This key action on your part is what you need to do to be safe, to know what is exactly going on in practices and what is normal for Buddhists to do.  Please don’t give up on yourselves and throw your minds away like this it brings more suffering to you, your family mostly and to the sangha.

Have patience for Buddhists really gotta practice daily in order to progress. What makes generational traditional Buddhists miles ahead of you is just that, patience …  facing reality as it is, reading sutras/suttas; charitable acitons for the needy, doing their best to keep a sense of community with other Buddhists and seeking Sangha for more dharma teachings and counseling if they think of it, learning solid safe methods to improve their practices in a supportive environment that is safe for them to be in while studying.

Part two of this will give you real good examples of what lay people say to sangha and what the sangha respond to; appropriate teachings and laity guiding the Sangha in situations and conduct.

Posted in On the Path, Precepts Holders, Vinaya

More on Precept Levels See Sept 29

Thank you Lee for your questions about the precepts. Yes, there are a variety of choices regarding the precepts for laity and those interested in monastic life may consider variations on what level they want to achieve.


Beginners – 3 Refuges (in the Buddha, the Dharma, the Sangha)
and the 5 precepts (no killing, no stealing, no lying, to sexual misconduct, no intoxicants). This starts your offical life as a Buddhist…. and usually the temple offers both together and some may choose to wait until they study Buddhism more to accept the 5 precepts separately.

PERMIT me a RAMBLE…. This category of people are not automatically Buddhists: scholars of Buddhism, students of Buddhism, admirers of Buddha, people who know who Buddha is, tourists, members of Buddhist forums, friends of Buddhists, catholic priests and nuns, ex-monks, ex-nuns, temporary ordained for: a day, a hour, a week, a month, a year type layperson; those christian pastors/reverends who spent a days’ visit in a temple and are claiming expertise or ordination, one who meditates or used Buddhist methods, anyone confusing hari-krishna or hindu practice with being a buddhist monk or nun, anyone who reads Vinaya is NOT automatically Buddhist or ordained in anyway whatsoever by wish, thought or deed, etc. You need to take the 3 Refuges and the 5 Precepts to be considered Buddhist and seek out proper training on your role as Buddhist laity….and then progress under a great deal of real supervision by proper Sangha monks or nuns. Nothing is immediate; it’s all properly guided and in due time. UNramble.

Bodhisattva precepts – laity may take 48 precepts for guidance not for ordination, it means they get to use a blank robe (laity having taken the 8 precepts may be issued or not a 3 or 5 strip robe) depending upon the temple conferring the precepts… MOST just issue a blank robe with no strips at all…

Laity living in a temple

Must agree to observe the 6 harmony rules, may be offered 8 laity monastic precepts (Shegu-women, forgot the word for layman… foguang shan has this group). This group wears modest street clothes, or gray laity clothing as designated by the temple itself… not monastic wear nor may they be allowed to wear monastic shirts and trousers or vests or overcoats, they do not shave their heads nor look like monks or nuns; nor may they claim to be monks or nuns. They are more often stewards or liason officers for the general town or visitors.

10 precepts of novice are offered to laity after observing their life in the temple and by agreement of their division monastic leader or community vote of monastic sangha.

Monastic Life continues for the novice from this point

10 precepts and 6 harmonies are important to be able to get along as well as are the special temple rules set up by the common vote of the monastic resident sangha.

If the novice is not willing to or is unqualified to undertake higher ordination then they may with temple consent remain a novice for their monastic life. This is a case by case basis and determined by monastic consent of the temple.

Novices for life

This category of monastics are found in Theravada and Mahayana… they are special group of men and women who have realized they do not want to progress in their precepts nor return to lay life.

Due to lack of higher ordinations in Theravada orders for women you find there are novices of considerable years more than 10 many over 20 years before they cross into higher ordination due to unfavorable rulings by the Theravada councils against ordaining women after it was destroyed in 10th or 11th centuries CE, even this is largely unavalable to theravadan laywomen…

You find this also true for Tibetan Buddhist order in the Mahayana tradition as well.. In order for them to become ordained they must go to Taiwan, Korea or Vietnam for bhikshuni ordinatin.

Novices returning 10 precepts to 8 laity precepts or returning to laylife. Once one is done it’s done… Then the layperson can ask to become novice again in the same place or different place. Nobody will mind unless there is a fault of a major nature like breaking the 5 precepts, or being forced to leave the temple. The fault should not be hidden for that would be lying, so be sure to reveal any type of dismissal with the new temple or when seeking novice ordination at the same temple.

Higher ordination

This level is purely monastic Sangha level and gender based, preceptors are the sponsors for the male novice or the female siksmana (novice of 2 years study of bhikshuni precepts), application is formal and requested of a elder Sangha council (not the temple itself, unless it has enough qualified elder Sangha members to conduct the ordination) and by admission to the training program before the ordination itself takes place. During the training period, the candidate may be re-ordained as novice or not, may be dismissed for being unqualified or inappropriate during training, may quit the training and forfeit the ordination (this requires home temple to act whether they accept the candidate back or the candidate returns to laylife or remains a novice upon returning… DO not just quit like a job… risking expulsion from your preceptor. There are monastic helpers around during training if you find your confused or need help… quickly ask and they will guide you or contact your sponsor for you… don’t do it alone.. or you will be alone!)

If a novice doesn’t observe specific guidelines like separation from opposite sex: going with someone, even going for coffee or lunch is being with opposite sex person; this is the core of monastic protocol… we just don’t mix the genders due to the training rules and that includes in person conversations with opposite gendered persons including higher ordained Sangha members… If your meeting your classmates in mixed company then it’s seen as a potential flaw… you can’t continue to do this as a monk or nun without proper monastic companions.

OK HIGHEST ordained

Once you get your bhikshuni or bhikshu ordination no matter whether it’s Theravada or Mahayana; you get to keep it voluntarily for your life as long as your observing the vinaya precepts…

Exceptions… you know you don’t want to be a monk or nun anymore and want to give back your precepts… You can absolutely do this… Your not locked in for life unless you are capable and want to.

Parajika a defeat, is immediately upon the act and confession or revelation of the defeat.. Robes are surrendered, immediately returned to lay life and not able in this life to return as a monk or nun in any Buddhist Vinaya tradition.

Parajika learner a special unsual category of monastic who is defeated but wishes to avoid being disrobed declares an intention to become a parjika-learner to the monastic Sangha. This is a very serious matter that Sangha is required to review and decide whether it would be granted or not. I’ve not ever met anyone of this status in my young years as Bhikshuni. And I would think the person undergoing this status is under hardship and would remain humble in their community. I would think that this would be like being in living limbo… but the good karma of the parajika-learner would be an intensive lifelong study of Vinaya thus improving the next life chance for encountering Buddhism and hopefully a return to proper monastic conduct in the next possible life.

CHALLENGES to Higher Ordinatinon

This is done usually by temples or competing orders or due to lack of information or mis-information by Sangha members only. Protocol demands exploration into the history of newly arrived Sangha members or those requesting higher ordiantion… This is to protect the Sangha order, never is it done out of politics or spite…

A bhikshu or bhikshuni may challenge another’s ordiantion only to clarify and in cases where it will damange the Maha Sangha reputation, cause harm to the order, cause harm to the orginal ordination, in evidence of a crime, in cases where inapropriate claim of seniority, use of conflabulated titles, use of extrodinary claims of exceptional abilities, mental illness manifesting in a way that is immediately harmful to Sangha; lack of evidence of ordination having taken place, fakery of any kind, lack of qualifications in public and private conduct of the bhikshu or bhikshuni, obvious breaking of parjika precepts, criminal convinction requiring meetings about status. THIS IS SANGHA TO SANGHA NOT LAITY TO SANGHA EVER…

Sangha members are obligated to speak up to support their brothers and sisters it’s in our Vinaya precepts. Bhikshuni may address only bhikshuni/bhikkhuni and bhikshu may address only bhikshu/bhikkhu. Abbot/Abbess trumps everyone, and the legal system of your resident country trumps them.

IN THE WEST – There is no Country Sangha council in places like the USA… therefor the Sangha is not guided by anything other than Vinaya and their own best judgement in temples (guided by overseas national councils in their own countries culture) or monasteries or living in solitude doing dharma study or dharma work…. It’s still developing here.

There are new orders appearing in a new form of Theravada for bhikkhunis now, since 2009 there have been many sudden ordinations within the USA (three maybe four in 2010 alone) and in the western countries. This is an unsual trend and worth watching. It’s also encouraging that new statement by the Tibetan Karmapa to offer Tibetan Buddhist women a chance to ordain within the Tibetan Buddhist Vinaya…

Posted in Dharma Talks

Sangha led blog Welcome all!

This blog is offered to you to introduce you to Buddhist life, culture and arts from the traditional perspective of the monastics; ie, the ordained Sangha.

For example, I am a Bhikshuni ordained fully in the Dharmaguptaka Vinaya as a monastic (a monastic is celibate woman or man ordained in formal recognized trasmission of vows and ordination by a reputable traditional religious group).