RELS 223 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Consumerism, Vajrayana, Neuroplasticity

27 views5 pages
March 19 th
– Buddhism in the Modern West
-By the time Buddhism came to the west it had already gone through some
modification.
-The position/status/role of women in Buddhism. When the Shakyamuni Buddha
lived, these founders of religions set a president, particularly in the Theraveda
tradition. The Buddha set an example put precepts into place that are still being
followed.
-But the norm which is factored into Buddhism is impermanence. All things are
subject to change. Change is normative. Buddhism has never been static.
Impermanence is a factor that is inherent in Buddhism. Thus the role of women can
change over time! It changes because of what goes on in modern Buddhism in the
west.
-People think that western Buddhism isn’t the ‘real’ Buddhism, how do we measure
it?
-Chinese culture makes Buddhism it’s OWN. And that’s exactly what we’re doing in
the West.
These three factors are among the hallmarks:
Some feature of modernity are reason/rationism. The effect is the rise of
science.
Another hallmark is democracy. Beginnings of an egalitarian movement.
Begins with all men but embraces women.
oAlso the development of individual human rights. The rights of all
sentient beings. Ecology.
We also see secularization – the split between church and state.
Also could look at capitalism and consumer culture.
Women, Science and socially engaged Buddhism. ALL of these factors reflect the
idea of modernity. Borne out of this change that began in Europe in 1700s. Post-
modernity has not yet overridden modernity and al of its values and ideals.
Do women have full participation in Buddhism?
Women’s status in Buddhism is a primary subject of scholarship.
find more resources at oneclass.com
find more resources at oneclass.com
Unlock document

This preview shows pages 1-2 of the document.
Unlock all 5 pages and 3 million more documents.

Already have an account? Log in
The study of women in Buddhism is informed by gender studies.
Buddhism gives women a certain self expression but at what price? The 8
special rules that women had to abide by if they were going to be ordained.
Required them to be subservient no matter how long they’ve been in the
Buddhist tradition.
Traditional roles, however, in some cases have set a precedent and they have
also entrenched female practitioners in secondary roles (e.g. Theravada
Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism).
However, we recognize that images of women (everywhere) are socially
constructed they are not ‘divinely’ sanctioned although they often do have
the stamp of the historical Buddha (particularly in Theravada). We can
recognize that all identity is socially constructed.
Gender and gender roles in Buddhism are not divinely sanctioned.
The role of female practitioners typiccaly reflects the role of women in Buddhism
reflects the role of women China/Japan/Tibet for that given time.
Androcentric: male centred school of thinking.
All religions are androcentric.
Misogyny: male is superior. An inherent anxiety or tension or hatred toward
women on the part of men.
Buddhism is androcentric, but not misogynist. There have, however, been moment
or texts or teachers who have demonstrated some sort of flavour of misogyny.
Some important roles held by women/female:
Buddha’s mother – role of creator. Brings the male child into this World. That
was her role and then she’s no longer needed.
Aunt symbol of compassion. She becomes his mother. Shows the love the a
mother always shows.
Wife – symbol of sexuality.
Daughters of Mara sexual temptation, represent greed, delusion and lust.
Not mother, not aunt, not wife, represent an obstacle to the path of
enlightenment. Try to distract the Buddha from his path.
Therigatha (nuns) – symbol of renunciation and chastity.
Prajnaparamita symbol of wisdon in Mahayana. The Boddhisattva or
Buddha of wismdom – she is meditated upon.
Tara – symbol of the passionate bodhisattva, the ideal.
Kuan Yin – symbol of compassion.
Role of women in tantra? Female imagery abounds in tantra; we see images of
yoginis and dakinis with magical powers; bodhisattvas and consorts, even teachers
suggesting women participated in Vajrayana in more significant ways. But is this so?
Since it is also true that tantra is not open to equal status of women (ordained).
find more resources at oneclass.com
find more resources at oneclass.com
Unlock document

This preview shows pages 1-2 of the document.
Unlock all 5 pages and 3 million more documents.

Already have an account? Log in

Get access

Grade+
$10 USD/m
Billed $120 USD annually
Homework Help
Class Notes
Textbook Notes
40 Verified Answers
Study Guides
1 Booster Class
Class+
$8 USD/m
Billed $96 USD annually
Homework Help
Class Notes
Textbook Notes
30 Verified Answers
Study Guides
1 Booster Class