Dignity & Discipline - Contributors

Reviving Full Ordination for Buddhist Nuns


352 pages, 6 x 9 inches


ISBN 9780861715886

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Bhikkhu Anālayo was born in Germany in 1962 and ordained in Sri Lanka in 1995. In the year 2000 he completed a Ph.D. thesis on the Satipaṭṭhāna- sutta at the University of Peradeniya (published by Windhorse in the UK). In the year 2007 he completed a habilitation research at the University of Marburg, in which he compared the Majjhima-nikāya discourses with their Chinese, Sanskrit, and Tibetan counterparts. At present, he is a mem- ber of the Center for Buddhist Studies, University of Hamburg, as a Privat- dozent (the German equivalent to an associate professorship), and works at Dharma Drum Buddhist College, Taiwan, as a researcher. Besides his aca- demic activities, he regularly teaches meditation in Sri Lanka.

Bhikkhu Bodhi
Bhikkhu Bodhi is an American Buddhist monk from New York City, born in 1944. He obtained a B.A. in philosophy from Brooklyn College (1966) and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Claremont Graduate University (1972). After completing his university studies he traveled to Sri Lanka, where he received novice ordination in 1972 and full ordination in 1973, both under the late Ven. Ananda Maitreya (1896–1998), the leading scholar-monk in Sri Lanka of recent times. From 1984 to 2002 he was the editor for the Bud- dhist Publication Society in Kandy, Sri Lanka, and lived for ten years with the elder German monk, Ven. Nyanaponika Thera (1901–94), at the Forest Hermitage in Kandy. He returned to the U.S. in 2002. He currently resides at Chuang Yen Monastery in upstate New York and teaches there and at Bodhi Monastery in northwest New Jersey. Bodhi has many important publications to his credit, either as author, translator, or editor, including A Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma (1993), The Middle Length Dis- courses of the Buddha (Majjhima Nikāya, 1995), The Connected Discourses of the Buddha (Saṃyutta Nikāya, 2000), and In the Buddha’s Words (2005). He is presently working on a complete translation of the Aṅguttara Nikāya, The Incremental Discourses of the Buddha.

Shayne Clarke
Shayne Clarke (Ph.D., UCLA) studied Buddhism and Asian languages in New Zealand, Japan, and the United States. He is currently an assistant professor at McMaster University, Canada. His research centers on Indian Buddhist monasticism, with particular reference to Buddhist monastic law codes (vinaya) preserved in Sanskrit, Tibetan, and Chinese. His recent publications include “The Case of the Nun Mettiyā Reexamined: On the Expulsion of a Pregnant Bhikṣuṇī in the Vinaya of the Mahāsāṅghikas and other Indian Buddhist Monastic Law Codes,” Indo-Iranian Journal (2008); “Monks Who Have Sex: Pārājika Penance in Indian Buddhist Monasti- cisms,” Journal of Indian Philosophy (2009); and “Locating Humour in Indian Buddhist Monastic Law Codes: A Comparative Approach,” Jour- nal of Indian Philosophy (2009).

Thubten Chodron
Thubten Chodron was ordained as a Buddhist nun in the Tibetan tradi- tion in 1977 and received bhikṣuṇī ordination in Taiwan in 1986. She stud- ied and practiced Tibetan Buddhism under the guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tsenshap Serkong Rinpoche, Zopa Rinpoche, and other Tibetan masters for many years in India and Nepal. She was resident teacher at Amitabha Buddhist Centre in Singapore and at Dharma Friendship Foundation in Seattle and was co-organizer of “Life as a Western Buddhist Nun,” an educational program in Bodhgaya in 1996. She is founder and abbess of Sravasti Abbey in Newport, Washington, one of the few Buddhist monasteries in the United States. Active in interfaith dialogue and prison work, she is also an author and teaches Buddhist philosophy, psychology, and meditation worldwide. Her books include Open Heart, Clear Mind; Buddhism for Beginners; Working with Anger; Taming the Mind; Cultivat- ing a Compassionate Heart; and How to Free Your Mind. More information at www.thubtenchodron.org and www.sravastiabbey.org.

Lobsang Dechen
Lobsang Dechen is a Tibetan nun who was born in India in 1960 just after her parents escaped from Tibet due to the communist Chinese invasion there. She became a nun at the age of thirteen, while she was in school; because there was no education available within the one nunnery in the Dharamsala area at that time, she stayed in the Tibetan Children’s Village, Upper Dharamsala, until class X, and then went to the Central School for Tibetans, Mussoorie, until class XII. She then attended St. Bede’s College in Shimla and earned a B.A., followed by a B.Ed. she received at Chandi- garh. With her teaching credentials, she returned to the Tibetan Children’s Village school, Lower Dharamsala, where she taught English and geogra- phy from 1984 to 1991. In 1992, she left teaching to work full-time for the Tibetan Nuns Project in order to advance its efforts to make educational opportunities available for nuns throughout the Tibetan Buddhist tradi- tion. While working for the Tibetan Nuns Project, of which she is a co- director, she was elected central executive member of the Tibetan Women’s Association for three years.

Dhammananda (Professor Emeritus Dr. Chatsumarn Kabilsingh)
Chatsumarn Kabilsingh spent thirty years teaching at Thammasat Uni- versity, Thailand. She was among 1,000 women who were nominated for the Nobel Prize in 2005; she was recognized as an Outstanding Bud- dhist Woman in 2004; and she was a member of the committee for the Niwano Peace Prize from 2002 to 2006. In 1987, she co-founded Saky- adhita: The International Association of Buddhist Women, and served as its president from 1991–2005. Since 1987, she has been the editor of Yasodhara: Newsletter on International Buddhist Women’s Activities. In 2001 she received ordination in Sri Lanka and now is the abbess of Songdhammakalyani Monastery, the only monastery for bhikkhunīs in Thailand. Chatsumarn Kabilsingh is also the first Theravāda bhikkhunī in Thailand.

Damchö Diana Finnegan
Damchö Diana Finnegan (a.k.a. Ven. Lhundup Damchö) received her Ph.D. in the fall 2009 from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, on Buddhist narratives in Sanskrit and Tibetan. As a Fulbright scholar in India, her doctoral research focused on ethics and gender in the narratives of the Mūlasarvāstivāda Vinaya. Born in New York, she was ordained as a śrāmaṇerikā in 1999 and now lives in Dharmadattā Nuns’ Community in northern India. Her next project is a book on the nuns’ stories found in the Mūlasarvāstivāda Vinaya.

Janet Gyatso
Janet Gyatso, Hershey Professor of Buddhist Studies, Harvard University’s Divinity School, has her B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from the University of Cali- fornia at Berkeley. She is a specialist in Buddhist studies with concentration on Tibetan and South Asian religious culture. Her books include Appari- tions of the Self: The Secret Autobiographies of a Tibetan Visionary; In the Mirror of Memory: Reflections on Mindfulness and Remembrance in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism; and Women in Tibet. She is currently completing a book on the intellectual history of traditional medicine in early modern Tibet. She has also been writing on conceptions of sex and gender in Bud- dhist monasticism and in Tibetan medicine. Previous topics have included visionary revelation in Buddhism; issues concerning lineage, memory, and authorship; philosophical questions on the status of experience; and auto- biographical writing in Tibet. She was president of the International Asso- ciation of Tibetan Studies from 2000–2006, and is currently co-chair of the Buddhism Section of the American Academy of Religion.

Tenzin Gyatso (His Holiness the Dalai Lama)
Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet, was born in 1935 in northeastern Tibet and was recognized as the incarnation of his prede- cessor at age four. He was ordained as a monk and completed the tradi- tional monastic scholarly curriculum as a young man before going into exile along with tens of thousands of his countrymen following the failed upris- ing against the Chinese occupation of his homeland in 1959. He is today renowned throughout the world for his efforts to bridge the divide between science and spirituality and to advance the causes of religious pluralism and nonviolence. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 and the Con- gressional Gold Medal of Honor in 2007. He lives in Dharamsala, India.

Jens-Uwe Hartmann
Jens-Uwe Hartmann, born in 1953 in Munich, studied at the university of Munich in the fields of Indology, Indian art, Tibetology, sinology, and ethnology; he received his M.A. in 1977. From 1978–79 he worked for the Nepal-German Manuscript Preservation Project in Kathmandu; from 1981–95 he held various positions at the Academy of Sciences and the Uni- versity of Göttingen. In 1984 he received his Dr. phil. at the University of Munich. In 1992 he held a habilitation at the University of Göttingen. From 1995–99 he served as Professor for Tibetology at the Humboldt State University in Berlin. Since 1999 he has been Professor of Indian and Iranian Studies at the University of Munich, and since 2001 he has been a member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences.

Ute Hüsken
Ute Hüsken was trained in Indian and Tibetan studies in Göttingen, Ger- many. In her dissertation she analyzed the Vinaya for Theravāda Buddhist nuns. For her habilitation on prenatal life-cycle rituals in South India she went to Heidelberg University, where she also joined the Collaborative Research Centre “Ritual Dynamics,” and started the project “Initiation, priestly ordination, temple festivals—ritual traditions in the south Indian temple city of Kancipuram.” Since 2007 she has been a professor of Sanskrit at the University of Oslo in Norway.

David P. Jackson
Until March 2007, David Jackson was a professor of Tibetan in the Asien- Afrika-Institut of Hamburg University. He is now a curator with the Rubin Museum of Art, New York. He received his doctorate in 1985 from the Uni- versity of Washington. His books include A Saint in Seattle (2003); A His- tory of Tibetan Painting: The Great Painters and Their Traditions (1996); and Enlightenment by a Single Means (1994). His current research interests include the representation of religious lineages in Tibetan paintings and the life of the late Chopgyé Trichen Rinpoché (1919–2007).

Petra Kieffer-Pülz
Petra Kieffer-Pülz, Ph.D., is at present lecturer at Martin Luther Univer- sity in Halle, Germany. Trained at the universities in Berlin, Basel, Bern, and Göttingen, she was research assistant at the Sanskrit-Wörterbuch der Turfan-Funde (Academy of Sciences in Göttingen) from 1984–96 and at the Martin Luther University in Halle from 2001–2007. She has pub- lished on the Buddhist traditions of India and Sri Lanka, especially on Buddhist law.

Gisela Krey
Gisela Krey worked as a high school teacher of classical languages and social sciences in Germany until 2000. Subsequently, she has been studying San- skrit and Pāli literature. She began her studies at the Ruhr-University in Bochum. There she also gave instructions in Sanskrit at the Department of Religious Sciences. Currently she is continuing her studies at the Depart- ment of Indology at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelm University in Bonn. Gisela Krey has published work in Iudicium Verlag and Hsi Lai Journal of Humanistic Buddhism.

Thea Mohr (editor)
Thea Mohr studied economics from 1974 to 1981 and was delegated to vari- ous Asian countries. From 1984 to 1988 she studied Indology, theology, and comparative religion at Frankfurt University. She completed her degree in Sanskrit studies at Lucknow University in India. From 1992–2001 she was author and director of numerous documentaries dealing with religious sub- jects, primarily Buddhism. Since 1994 she has been a lecturer for religious studies at Goethe University in Frankfurt. Her Ph.D. (2000) is a survey of Sakyadhita’s international conferences.

Jan-Ulrich Sobisch
Jan-Ulrich Sobisch has studied Tibetology, Indology, and philosophy at Hamburg University, where he received a Dr. phil. in 1999. In the follow- ing years he worked at Hamburg, Munich, and finally Copenhagen Univer- sity, where he has been associate professor for Tibetan studies since 2006. He has researched and published on Tibetan theories of harmonizing prātimokṣa, bodhisattva, and mantra vows (sdom pa gsum), documents of transmission (gsan yig), Tibetan manuscripts, and the literature on Heva- jra and the Path with Its Fruit (lam ’bras) teaching. He presently works on Tibetan indigenous tantric theories and the reception of Indian Buddhism in Tibet between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries.

Bhikkhu Sujato
Bhikkhu Sujato is an Australian monk who received full ordination in Thailand in 1994. He trained and practiced in the Thai forest tradition and spent three years with Ajahn Brahm in Bodhinyana, Perth. He is the abbot of Santi Forest Monastery near Sydney, which supports the fourfold assem- bly of bhikkhus, bhikkhunīs, laywomen, and laymen. In October 2009 he took part in the first bhikkhunī ordination in the forest tradition. Sujato is the author of a number of books, including A History of Mindfulness, Sects & Sectarianism, and Bhikkhuni Vinaya Studies. These and other writings can be accessed through santipada.org.

Karma Lekshe Tsomo
Karma Lekshe Tsomo is an associate professor in the Department of Theol- ogy and Religious Studies at the University of San Diego, where she teaches Buddhism, world religions, and comparative religious ethics. She studied Buddhism in Dharamsala, India, for fifteen years and received a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Hawaii, with research on death and identity in China and Tibet. She was president of Sakyadhita until 2009 and director of Jamyang Foundation, an initiative to provide educational opportunities for women in developing countries. Her research interests include death and dying, Buddhism and bioethics, Buddhist feminist eth- ics, peace studies, and Western adaptations of Buddhism. Her publications include Sisters in Solitude: Two Traditions of Buddhist Monastic Ethics for Women; Buddhist Women and Social Justice; Innovative Buddhist Women: Swimming Against the Stream; and Into the Jaws of Yama, Lord of Death: Buddhism, Bioethics, and Death.

Jampa Tsedroen (editor)
Bhikṣuṇī Jampa Tsedroen (Carola Roloff ), born in 1959, is a teacher of Buddhist philosophy at Tibetisches Zentrum in Hamburg and a lecturer and research fellow at Hamburg University, specializing in nuns’ ordination and women in Buddhism. She became a novice nun in 1981 and obtained full ordination in Taiwan in 1985. She studied Tibetan Buddhist theory and practice as well as Vinaya with the late Geshe Thubten Ngawang (1932– 2003) from 1981 to 1996, and then classical Indology and Tibetology at the University of Hamburg, where she received her M.A. in 2003 and her Ph.D. in 2009. In January 2010 she began a three-year research project at the University of Hamburg (DFG project) on the ordination of nuns in the Tibetan Buddhist canon and its presentation in the Tibetan commentaries. For more information, visit www.jampatsedroen.de.

Tashi Tsering
Ācārya Geshe Tashi Tsering was born in Tibet and took the upāsaka vow from the great mystic Phashok Lama in 1943; in 1947, he joined the village’s monastery and began his education. In 1956, he was transferred to Ganden Monastery and there pursued further studies in logic and other Buddhist philosophical studies. In 1958, he received śrāmaṇera ordination from His Eminence Ling Rinpoche. In exile he stayed in a monastery in Dalhaousie and pursued traditional monastic studies. In 1968 he received bhikṣu ordina- tion from His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama. In 1969 he completed ācārya graduation. In the year 1987, he received the geshé degree from Gan- den Monastery. The Department of Religion and Culture of the Tibetan government in exile entrusted him to do a study on “Comparative Analysis of Theravāda and Mūlasarvāstivāda Vinaya Traditions.” Though still pursu- ing the research today, he has been able to produce four theses related to the issue of the bhikṣuṇī lineage and its ordination in the Tibetan language, all of which were published in 2000 by the Department of Religion and Culture.