A discussion between Venerables Somā (Empty Cloud Monastery, NJ, USA) and Vimala (Tilorien Monastery, Belgium) at Tilorien iSangha on 31st July 2020, 19.00-20.30h CEST (see here for other time zones).
What does gender have to do with Buddhist practice? What does gender mean for us as Buddhists? How do we look at gender and work within ourselves and how should we deal with this changing environment within the Sangha? When we are born, we are either male or female. Or are we? This is the assumption on which our gender-binary world rests. How can we relate to concepts of masculinity and femininity? Does gender affect our spiritual capacities? How should we relate to each other’s genders? Why is there gender discrimination in Buddhism and what should we do about it? And how is the situation for LGBTIQA+ within Buddhism? Venerables Somā and Vimala discuss their perspectives and personal experiences of being a female monk in a patriarchal system.
Ayya Soma is an Italian Buddhist monk living at Empty Cloud Monastery in New Jersey. As the co-founder of Buddhist Insights, a non-profit organization connecting people with monastics, she has learned the Dharma through the perspective of monks of all different traditions, and incorporates aspects from all of them in her own practice. Her spiritual path is inspired by the social engagement of her preceptor, Venerable Paññāvati Bhikkhuni; by the knowledge and wisdom of Ven. Robina Courtin; and by the compassion of Khenmo Drolma.
For more information on Ven. Somā and Buddhist Insights / Empty Cloud Monastery, see http://buddhistinsights.
Ven. Vimala’s writings on Gender in Buddhism:
suttacentral.net/t/the- meaning-of-pa-aka-in-light-of- the-vedic-and-jain-scriptures/ 12894