Buddhist Women in the 2020's
June 4th - 6th
Gender Perceptions in the Buddhist World in the 2020’s
As classic Buddhist teachings emerge in the global mainstream, it adapts to cultures where women enjoy relative equality with men. In such contexts many practitioners may naturally feel that women and men have the same opportunities to awaken.
Historically, however, birth in a female body was considered the result of bad karma, and the lowest and youngest monks enjoyed greater formal status than the most realized nun. Western women and men are unlikely to embrace this part of Buddhist tradition.
This confluence of cultures presents a transition ripe with opportunity. While there may be frustration, grief and rage about historical gender inequity in Buddhism, we can use Buddhist methodologies to transform these conflicting emotions into greater compassion and wisdom.
Furthermore, we can re-examine how different Mahayana and Theravadin practices—from Tantra to celibacy—can foster healthier sexuality. We can use sex scandals and discrimination as part of our practice, to cultivate more integrated views and relations among all genders. Along the way, we co-create what global spiritual awakening looks like in the 20th century.
Catherine Pawasarat Sensei, a contemporary dharma teacher, attendant, consort, co-teacher via Planet Dharma and co-founder of Clear Sky Retreat Center shares her unique views, experience, and practices regarding this contemporary and planetary Triple Gem.