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Thread: Partnered Teachers

  1. #1
    Treeleaf Unsui Kyrillos's Avatar
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    Partnered Teachers

    Tomorrow ( February 10th) in my liturgical calendar is the commenoration of St. Scholastica, the sister, some say twin, of St. Benedict, the founder of our Order. She was also a great monastic in her own right. In our tradition we have a number of "partnered" saints of opposite sex, many of whom were monastics: St. Francis of Assisi & St. Clare; St. Augustine & St. Monica (his mother); St. Brendan the Navigator & St. Briga; St. Basil the Great & St. Macrina. Some of these "partnerships" were brothers and sisters, Parent and child, or close friends. The tradtion is that they supported one another in their spiritual and monastic pursuits.

    Are there any examples of such relationships in the Zen Tradition?

    Gassho,

    Kyrill-Seishin

  2. #2

    Re: Partnered Teachers

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyrillos
    Tomorrow ( February 10th) in my liturgical calendar is the commenoration of St. Scholastica, the sister, some say twin, of St. Benedict, the founder of our Order. She was also a great monastic in her own right. In our tradition we have a number of "partnered" saints of opposite sex, many of whom were monastics: St. Francis of Assisi & St. Clare; St. Augustine & St. Monica (his mother); St. Brendan the Navigator & St. Briga; St. Basil the Great & St. Macrina. Some of these "partnerships" were brothers and sisters, Parent and child, or close friends. The tradtion is that they supported one another in their spiritual and monastic pursuits.

    Are there any examples of such relationships in the Zen Tradition?

    Gassho,

    Kyrill-Seishin
    Hi Seishin,

    Gee, we barely had "women Ancestors" in the Zen traditions. Or, better said, they had to be hunted up. A new book on the subject ...

    http://www.amazon.com/Zen-Women-Beyond- ... 969&sr=8-1

    The problem was not "Zen" or "Buddhism" themselves, so much as the male dominated Asian cultures in which they existed.

    Various male and female actors appear in various Koan, but that is often a momentary interlude.

    Probably the closest to what you are thinking would be the traditional pairings of various Bodhisattvas and Buddhas in the Buddhist universe. Some are male or female. Here is an example, often found in Zen temples, of Shakyamuni (but in a more other worldly form) with Manjusri on the left and Fugen on the right (although, in this case, all male)



    This becomes much more intricate in the world of Esoteric Buddhism, such as in the relationships of the Mandala ...



    And many of the esoteric Buddhas have consorts ... (I am sure you have seen some of the statues of that!)

    But now, that topic is really outside the Zen tradition you asked about.

    Gassho, J

  3. #3
    Treeleaf Unsui Kyrillos's Avatar
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    Re: Partnered Teachers

    AH, Yes...um! I have seen the representations of the various Buddhas with their consorts ops: . I once asked a Tibetan Lama about that. Knowing he was a monk I wondered how they managed a meditation or visulaiztion of that particular Buddha and still "maintained" their monastic state...in tact. Of course the answer was involving archetypes and symbology, but somehow I just could not wrap my head around visualizing a 16 year old virgin on my lap!!!!!

    I realize that the Asian society may be more patriarchal than the West, but I would have thought that there would have been at least one or two women who broke out of the mold in the spiritual tradition. Is it really only now, and during the past 50 years or so that women have been able to do so, like Kennet Roshi or Pema Chodron. Well these are Western women who have perhaps pushed their way into the "club", so to speak.

    Gassho,

    Seishin

  4. #4

    Re: Partnered Teachers

    Well according to the purveyor of all truths, wikipediea, ...

    Quote Originally Posted by wikipedia
    It is generally accepted (in the Chinese community) that Guanyin originated as the Sanskrit Avalokite?vara (????????????), which is her male form. Commonly known in the West as the Goddess of Mercy[citation needed], Guanyin is also revered by Chinese Daoists (Taoists) as an Immortal. However, in Daoist mythology, Guanyin has other origination stories which are not directly related to Avalokite?vara.

  5. #5

    Re: Partnered Teachers

    Helloo everyone!

    Without wanting to open a whole new can of worms here, let me just briefly point to the fact, that the existence of female saints/goddesses in legend,lore , iconography etc. is absolutely no indicator for the degree in which a patriarchal society might disempower these same women. Otherwise one could think that southern European countries would surely qualify to be among the least patriarchal societies in Europe, due to an abundance of Mary worship and gazillions of Mary statues etc.

    Please allow me to recommend the following book: The Faces of the Goddess - by Lotte Motz


    Gassho,

    Hans

  6. #6

    Re: Partnered Teachers

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyrillos
    AH, Yes...um! I have seen the representations of the various Buddhas with their consorts ops: . I once asked a Tibetan Lama about that. Knowing he was a monk I wondered how they managed a meditation or visulaiztion of that particular Buddha and still "maintained" their monastic state...in tact.
    I see it as make or break. You have to transform your tendencies, you have no choice.

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesVB
    Well according to the purveyor of all truths, wikipediea, ...

    Quote Originally Posted by wikipedia
    It is generally accepted (in the Chinese community) that Guanyin originated as the Sanskrit Avalokite?vara (????????????), which is her male form. Commonly known in the West as the Goddess of Mercy[citation needed], Guanyin is also revered by Chinese Daoists (Taoists) as an Immortal. However, in Daoist mythology, Guanyin has other origination stories which are not directly related to Avalokite?vara.
    Yeah, but I like Red Pine's speculation that Avalokiteshvara arose out of representations of the Buddha's mother!

    Thanks all ... Scott (about to get on yet another plane)

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