Sunday, 6 December 2009

Chithurst Visit and the Bhikkhuni Issue

Today, Sunday, the West Wight Sangha and the Newport Soto Zen group had planned another visit to Chithurst monastery. Unfortunately we had to cancel as we couldn't get enough people together to share out the ferry cost for the mini bus and make it individually affordable. That said there was some concern as to what the "atmosphere" at the monastery would be like given the on-going "Bhikkhuni Ordination" controversy.

Yesterday the subject was raised. I have joined the Facebook group "Women and the Forest Sangha" and Patrick Butler posted to it.......

"THAT" issue was finally broached at Chithurst Puja tonight. Ajahn Upekka, on a visit from her life out of the monastery was allowed to give the Dhamma talk by Aj Karuniko (sorry if I spell wrongly).

Never mind the subject matter, it was THE most moving talk I've ever heard from that chair. And the subject matter made it all the more powerful. Simply, after heartfelt thanks to the Sangha for her 24 years of learning and practice,the plea "please don't waste your time dividing people into men/women, us/them. Seek TRUE Dhamma, not adherence to superficial form. Strive for compassionate loving kindness for ourselves and all others.
Sadly some monks could not bring themselves to chant "Sadhu" . But there was electricity among the small and (coincidentally) mainly male lay audience.
Thank you to wonderful Aj Karuniko, for allowing this speech at a difficult time for the whole Sangha.

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