“In the end, it’s not going to matter how many breaths you took, but how many moments took your breath away” – Shing Xiong

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Aloka Vihara

There is a lovely recent article in Tricycle Magazine that showcases the Venerables Anandabodhi and Santacitta. The beautiful photos and gentle speech paint an uplifting and inspirational portrait of modern Buddhist Nuns in America.

Stop there if you prefer to maintain a serene and pleasant state of mind.

Beyond this point I cross the threshold into a murky area where what is beneficial is unclear to me.

I admit to having a bit of a stomach ache from Sour Grapes. I do not begrudge them the limelight, they are welcome to it. The sad thing is what a powerful reminder to me this is that one should not judge a book by its cover. The article is a gorgeous book cover, quite like the magazine. But life experience has taught me critical thinking and I prefer frank discussion and transparency. I don't usually read this magazine but a friend brought it to our attention. Like a nurse, every once in a while she rips off the bandaid and airs out this wound, though we generally prefer to ignore it.

These are two of the Sangha who have shunned us and countless other women in order to secure their support and obtain the status that brings them such fine advertising. Its a dog eat dog world out there even within the Sangha. Reminds me of the childrens book about the caterpillar that becomes a butterfly, the story speaks more to adults who have learned about both sides of competition and goal seeking. For me it recalls the Israelis who suffered at the hands of the Nazis only to turn around and offer such treatment to the Palestinians. Doubtless this opinion offends someone, perhaps you.

Many members of the venerable Sangha believe it is invaluable to have a polished image in the public eye. Outward appearances have been the majority of their training and consume the values instilled in them. They may be 'right' in what they do, I am sure they think so, just as I think I am right in what I do.What's a nunk doing with such a soapbox? Wasting breath really, the path is better off without such concerns.

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