Executive Summary of Meeting OutcomesAttendees and Venue:
In person: Bhiksuni Jampa Tsedroen (Coordinator), Bhiksuni Karma Lekshe Tsomo, Bhiksuni Thubten Chodron, Tenzin Palmo, Sramanerika Kunga Chodron .Absent: Bhiksuni Tenzin Palmo, Bhiksuni Wu-yin (advisor), Bhiksuni Heng-ching Shih (advisor)
Appreciation to the Following Sponsors/Benefactors
Who Made the Meeting and Recent CWB Activities Possible:
Primary Action Outcomes from the Meeting:
After careful deliberation, the Committee members unanimously decided to change the Committee’s name from Committee of Western Bhiksunis to Committee for Bhikshuni Ordination in the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition
in order to more clearly explain the goal and main focus of the Committee’s work. The new acronym will be CBO.A draft CBO website and logo were reviewed. The website is expected to be launched by the end of the Tibetan year.The Committee finalized the English text, reviewed the Tibetan translation, discussed distribution plans, and developed a review strategy for four booklets which the Committee is developing as part of a public education strategy requested by Mr. Gonpo Tsering at the Department of Religion and Culture, who recommended that the Committee develop materials to educate interested Tibetan scholars, monks and nuns on the bhiksuni issue in order to bring about its greater public acceptance. The booklets under development are:o A booklet written for Buddhist nuns practicing in the Tibetan tradition which provides information about the history and contemporary situation of bhiksuni ordination issue.
o A booklet that introducing the bhiksuni issue to monks and the general public.
o A booklet for Tibetan vinaya scholars on key points of the bhiksuni issue.
o A booklet containing the life stories of historically famous bhiksunis
o A booklet reprinting Revival of Bhikkuni Ordination in the Theravada Tradition
by Bhikkhu Bodhi
The Gustav Prietsch Foundation of Hamburg, Germany has generously donated $7000 for the printing of the above booklets, which the committee has reserved for this purpose. Other than these funds, the CBO has on hand only $791 for other purposes. During the meeting, the Committee made plans to apply for grants to fund distribution of the booklets.
The committee decided to hold Skype meetings every three months. The next in-person meeting has yet to be scheduled.
Executive Summary of Meeting Outcomes
Attendees and Venue:
In person: Bhiksuni Jampa Tsedroen (Coordinator), Bhiksuni Karma Lekshe Tsomo, Bhiksuni Tenzin Palmo, Sramanerika Kunga Chodron .Absent: Ven. Thubten Chodron, Ven. Pema Chodron, Ven. Wu-yin (advisor), Ven. Bhiksuni Heng-ching Shih (advisor)The meeting was held at the same time as the 11th
Sakyadhita Conference in Ho Chih Minh City. This venue was chosen because a majority of the active CWB members were already attending the Sakyadhita meeting.
Appreciation to the Following Sponsors/Benefactors Who
Made the Meeting and Recent CWB Activities Possible:
Foundation for Buddhist Studies
Mr. Dean Willard
Mrs. Gabriela Frey
Primary Action Outcomes from the Meeting:
The CWB made substantial progress on the public education strategy developed in response to a recommendation letter from Mr. Gonpo Tsering at the Department of Religion and Culture that the CWB develop materials to educate interested Tibetan scholars, monks and nuns on the bhiksuni issue in order to bring about its greater public acceptance. The Gustav-Prietsch Foundation (Hamburg) kindly agreed to sponsor the production of four booklets with an amount of EUR 7.500. The funds are handled by the Foundation for Buddhist Studies. During this meeting, CWB members:o Reviewed a draft booklet written for Buddhist nuns practicing in the Tibetan tradition which provides information about the history and contemporary situation of bhiksuni ordination issue.o Reviewed a draft booklet that introduces the bhiksuni issue to monks and the general public.o Developed a strategy for having the booklets reviewed by lineage holders and translated into Tibetan.o Developed ideas for a possible author and an outline for an illustrated booklet of the lives of famous historic and contemporary bhiksunis.CWB members offered two workshops at the Sakyadhita Conference titled: Ordination for Buddhist Women
and Future Directions for Bhiksuni Ordination in the Tibetan Tradition
. These workshops were well attended, and established helpful contacts with bhiksuni leaders in other Buddhist countries.The CWB developed plans for a website with information on bhiksuni ordination issues and CWB activities in order to more effectively communicate with the public. In parallel with the website, a logo and stationery will also be created.Plans were laid for CWB members to host lectures and other events to promote the book Dignity and Discipline: Reviving Full Ordination for Buddhist Nuns
, edited by Thea Mohr and Jampa Tsedroen, forthcoming spring 2010 from Wisdom publications. This is a collection of materials from the International Congress on Buddhist Women's Role in the Sangha, that took place July 18 to 20, 2007 at the University of Hamburg. All active members of the CWB had taken part in the conference, which had been partly sponsored by funds, HH Dalai Lama had personally given to the CWB. Events will take place in the USA, Europe, and Australia. Fundraising at these events will help to further the public outreach work of the CWB.
The CWB is currently raising funds for the development and implementation of the website (estimated $5,000 US) and for airline tickets for 4 CWB members to attend the next meeting.
If funds can be raised in time, the next meeting will be held at Shravasti Abbey in Newport Washington, hosted by CWB member Venerable Thubten Chodron August 27-30, 2010.
July 27-28, 2009
Executive Summary of Meeting OutcomesAttendees:
In person: Bhiksuni Jampa Tsedroen (Coordinator), Bhiksuni Heng-ching Shih, Bhiksuni Karma Lekshe Tsomo, Sramanerika Kunga Chodron (new member appointed by H.H. Sakya Trizin to replace Ven. Ngawang Chodron)Participating by Skype and E-mail: Ven. Thupten Chodron, Ven. Tenzin PalmoAbsent: Ven. Pema Chodron, Ven. Wu-yin (advisor)
Primary Action Outcomes from the Meeting:
CWB Coordinator Bhiksuni Jampa Tsedroen sent a reply to a letter from Mr. Gonpo Puntsok of the Department of Religion and Culture (DRC) of the Tibetan Government in Exile. Mr. Phuntsok’s letter provided information on the current inconclusive state of discussions concerning bhiksuni ordination and requests for information on the Chinese Dharmagupta lineage. Venerable Jampa Tsedroen’s reply provided information in response to Mr. Phuntsok’s questions, based on CWB member input provided at the meeting.The CWB developed a draft public education strategy on the bhiksuni issue in response to a recommendation in the letter from Mr. Gonpo Tsering that the CWB develop materials to educate interested Tibetan scholars, monks and nuns on the bhiksuni issue in order to bring about its greater public acceptance. This educational campaign would be designed to reach out to scholars who teach vinaya in Tibetan religious colleges, and to Tibetan nuns, monks, and the general Tibetan public. These materials would include:o An appeal to monastic scholars that includes justification for full ordination for nuns in the Tibetan tradition based on precedent and citations of vinaya
and other religious texts.o A booklet designed for Buddhist nuns practicing in the Tibetan tradition which provides information for those who might consider taking full ordination in the future.o A booklet that introduces the bhiksuni issue to monks, nuns, and the general public.o An illustrated booklet of the lives of famous women described in the sutras who were fully ordained
Other non-action matters discussed
Various options, and pros and cons, of three methods of arranging for the bestowing of bhiksuni ordination in the Tibetan tradition suggested by the DRC were discussed.(1) A Mulasarvastivadin bhikshu assembly alone might give bhiksuni ordination based on the male ordination ritual.(2) Ordination by an assembly of Mulasarvastivada bhikshus and Dharamagupta bhiksunis using the Mulasarvastivadin female ordination ritual.(3) Ordination by an assembly of Mulasarvastivada bhikshus and Dharamagupta bhiksunis using the Dharmagupta female ordination ritual.One committee member reported requests by a number of nuns to receive siksamana
precepts which according to all vinaya traditions needs to be given by a sangha of bhiksunis, but according to one exception contained in all traditions can also be given by a bhiksu sangha. The various possible methods of arranging the bestowing of such precepts and the pros and cons of arranging such an ordination ceremony by bhiksunis were discussed, but no action was taken.
According to the treasurer’s report, the CWB budget now has on hand only $700 US dollars remaining from the start-up grant by His Holiness Dalai Lama. Hence, fundraising for future CWB activities has become a high priority. Committee members drafted an application to raise approximately $15,000 US by January 2010 to cover costs for the next meeting and development of booklets for a public education campaign. CWB members are striving to raise these funds from a variety of sources.
If funds can be raised in time, the next meeting will be held December 28 to January 3 in
, in conjunction with the Sakyadhita Conference. This venue will lessen costs as half of the CWB will already be in attendance. Agenda items will include detailed plans for an educational outreach strategy, and methods of raising funds to execute that strategy.