Daughters of Buddha

buddha1

Here are some pictures of yesterday’s event at Buddhasavika center, a beautiful nunnery in Chonburi run by Maechee Narinrat, one of the outstanding women awardees. 

silananda-carolSensei Joan speaks about her work with post-tsunami victims in Sri Lanka. She trained Sri Lankan volunteers to be counsellors based on western psychotherapy and Buddhism. Sensei is a meditation teacher in Zen Buddhism. Next to her is Bhikkuni Silananda, a former awardee and one of the organizers for the award event and yesterday’s seminar.

audience1Bhikkuni Ratanavali, Zhazhi Zhouma Rinpoche, Bhikkuni Pannavati, Bhikkuni Dr. Lee, and the audience most of whom are nuns. It’s wonderful for me to be able to spend a day with him. Yesterday’s seminar will remain in my memory.

dr-leeDr. Lee, an American Bhikkuni who speaks Thai fluently. She organizes the event, moderate the sessions, as well as translates for Thai audience.

janice“In order for you to know about my master, you need to know about me.” Janice shares with us her childhood, how she feels about American dream, the conflict in her mind, and her teacher’s wisdom. She urges us not to take the relationship between master and student for granted. Do your best and open your heart to your teacher. (Story in Thai is in the previous post.)

udomAjarn Udom, a peace activist who has been leading numerous dharmayatras all over Cambodia. Her admirable efforts for peace make a great impact in my mind.

debraDebra talks about Lama Tsutrim’s teaching on “feeding the demons” based on the Chod principle. Demons are not outside us; they are our inner obstacles like  fear, which causes suffering. “Don’t be afraid of these demons. If we do and try to run away from them, it’s like we cut our own hand and arm.”

give-candleKhun Maechee Narinrat presented me a candle after my talk and my presentation of the Shanti Tara Maha Stupa project. May the candle mark a lamp of understanding among the three yanas of Buddhism. May it bring peace and love everywhere in the world!

Yesterday gave me a good opportunity to answer questions about Vajrayana Buddhism and its role in Thailand. I’m grateful to Bhikkuni Ratanavali for addressing the issues so that we can talk about them openly.

pannaBhikkuni Pannavati gives a lively and profound talk on how we should exercise our mind and cultivate the innermost type of wisdom. “Buddha teaches us to investigate and think for ourself. Don’t believe what others have said, or even what he has said. You must learn from your own experience. If any teaching does not lead you to liberty from suffering, there must be something wrong with that teaching. In that case, don’t waste your time by applying that teaching to your life. Go to the right teacher and the right teaching. Don’t blame others for the work that they don’t do for you. Instead of criticizing them, you do the work yourself. Conserve your energy for actions that lead to enlightenment. Don’t waste your time thinking about the past and the pain you’ve experienced.”

meditateNuns and Ubasakas/ubasikas do the evening chant.

The event inspired me a great deal. It gave me strength and confidence. I would like to thank Bhikkuni Dr. Lee, Bhikkuni Ratanavali, Bhikkuni Silananda for their hard work in bringing these great daughters of Buddha together.  


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3 Comments

  1. This story is so impressive. Like a garden decorated with flowers, it is so beautiful when women of wisdom gather together. Women are mothers of the world. In Sanskrit the word ‘wisdom’ is feminine. Mother Tara is the Buddha in female form. This assures that both men and women can become a Buddha for the sake of all sentient beings.

    The gathering of Bhikkhunis and Upasikas in this event, the wisdom and joy they shared to each other, reminded me to the Buddha’s word when he introduced Khema Bhikkhuni to God Sakka: “ภิกษุณีนี้เป็นธิดาของเรา ชื่อเขมา เป็นผู้มีปัญญามาก ฉลาดในทางและมิใช่ทาง” It seems to me that he was so ‘proud’ of his daughter!

    รู้สึกประทับใจทุกครั้งเมื่อได้ยินได้อ่านเรื่องที่ผู้หญิงทำงานร่วมกันด้วยปัญญาและสามัคคีธรรม งดงามประดุจสวนศรีที่ประดับประดาด้วยพรรณไม้หลากสี ผู้หญิงคือแม่ผู้ให้กำเนิดโลกนี้ ทั้งในส่วนของร่างกายและจิตวิญญาณ เป็นเรื่องสำคัญมากที่เราจะต้องส่งเสริมให้ผู้หญิงได้ตระหนักในความจริงข้อนี้ ในภาษาสันสกฤต คำว่า “ปัญญา” เป็นเพศหญิง และพระแม่ตารา คือ พระพุทธเจ้าในรูปลักษณ์ของผู้หญิง นี่เป็นการยืนยันว่า ไม่ว่าเพศสภาวะใดก็สามารถรู้แจ้งโพธิญาณ เป็นพระพุทธเจ้าเพื่อช่วยเหลือสรรพสัตว์ได้

    การมาชุมนุมกัน ร่วมแบ่งปันปัญญาและความสุขศานติ ระหว่างภิกษุณีและเหล่าอุบาสิกานี้ เตือนให้ระลึกถึงพระพุทธดำรัส ครั้งทรงกล่าวท้าวสักกะหรือพระอินทร์ว่า “ภิกษุณีนี้เป็นธิดาของเรา ชื่อเขมา เป็นผู้มีปัญญามาก ฉลาดในทางและมิใช่ทาง” คงไม่เกินจริงที่จะพูดว่า พระพุทธองค์ทรงภูมิพระทัยในธิดาของพระองค์!

    Reply

  2. Nyima, this is so beautiful. Thanks for sharing it with us. Yes, it’s the meeting that brought love, wisdom and joy.

    Reply

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