Saturday, March 10, 2012

Women and Buddhism? Just Give Up.

Women in Buddhism

A smart Buddhist will not fight pointless battles. Most battles are distractions anyhow. 

Young Buddhist nuns in Burma
There are many Buddhist women leaders who learn and teach and practice compassion joyfully. They are not militant. They know that Buddhism is an imperfect, ever-evolving, culture-bound tradition that still practices gender discrimination. They love the dharma, and can let go of worry and anxiety about Buddhist nuns being officially inferior to monks. They are experts in giving up, giving over, and letting go of peripheral concerns while clinging fiercely to core truths like the Four Noble ones.

There is plenty in Catholic teaching that is useful and beautiful and life-giving. The present Pope has issued stunningly incisive teachings on social justice, poverty and peace, but is dismissed because of his silly statements on birth control increasing AIDS in Africa. He is a great but very imperfect teacher. 

Just so Buddhism. It's discriminated against women,  almost everywhere it has blossomed. Buddhists, depending on where they live, are superstitious animists, rigid reactionaries, or (in the West) elitists. Sometimes.  So what?   Everyone I love has faults and imperfections.  Any religion does too.  Can a I learn from it and follow it's best teachings in spite of the warts?