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Thread: Norman Fischer Blog: For Full Inclusion of Women...

  1. #1

    Norman Fischer Blog: For Full Inclusion of Women...

    Hi all,

    I thought this article might be of interest to the sangha: ... 72357.html


  2. #2

    Re: Norman Fischer Blog: For Full Inclusion of Women...

    Very Interesting! Good to read about and have these changes planted, be nurtured and grow.

    Thanks for sharing this Dosho!


  3. #3

    Re: Norman Fischer Blog: For Full Inclusion of Women...

    Thank you, Dosho. Norman Fischer says what is true ...

    Yet we can't ignore that all the great religious traditions (Buddhism included) were created in feudalistic contexts, in which women were oppressed, gays and lesbians vilified and injustice of all sorts supported. These things have to be changed. Religion has to be updated drastically in order to be preserved, and it seems to me that the issue of full inclusion of women is pivotal in this process.

    In American Soto Zen (but certainly not in Japanese Soto) we have maybe for the first time in any continuous ancient religious tradition full inclusion for women. In American Soto, women can be fully ordained priests, abbots and Zen masters and can take their places side by side with men, sharing status and leadership equally. And now, finally, women's names are not only chanted in services but handed out on official lineage documents to all ordained Zen Buddhists -- men as well as women.
    I have been thinking for some time about greater recognition for our female Ancestors (of course, there is no "male or female" in a Buddha's eyes ... yet there are! Moreover, in the realities of this saha world, and its societies and institutions, males have tended to have a more prominent place in its churches ... including in Buddhist institutions through the centuries in conservative Asian countries). Last year, I began to chant in our Heart Sutra recitations that Dedication is made to all "Honored Ones throughout history, male and female Honored Ones, whose names have been forgotten or left unsaid".

    I think that we should also adopt certain Lineage papers that include and recognize female Ancestors (nobody says "Patriarchs" now in the west). These have been created and adapted by various Zen Sangha in the west.

    As well, once we complete the "Boys Club" that we are now reading in our Book Club (the "DENKOROKU" Lineage from Buddha to Dogen) ... we will be reading one of these two books on female ancestors (not decided yet) ...

    Grace Schireson's Zen Women: Beyond Tea Ladies, Iron Maidens and Macho Masters, Wisdom Press, 2010

    or (recommended by Stephanie) ...

    Sallie Tisdale's Women of the Way: Discovering 2,500 Years of Buddhist Wisdom

    Gassho, Jundo

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