Women Ancestors

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their their identity it was not a description of historical reality from a sociologist perspective but it was a description of their religious experience and that was the story than i was most interested in
so i wanted to know where did they these women today in japan soto zen nuns today where did they get this positive view of themselves and in a book that they
it said it's edited by this man but the people who actually did the work with the nuns this is not an unfamiliar story but
them or put people who did the work to compiled material and the book called une soci where the nuns and they recount the history as they see it and it begins with the part of history that's not included in most historical texts dealing with the introduction of what
islam to japan
which is that the first ordained buddhists in japan where women in five eighty four c e the first woman ordain her ordination name was then she me and i i have to apologize that you've gotten this hand out and
when i came
prepared to do one thing with some embellishments and then after i got here realize what be more valuable and they'd started scribbling i'm not sure my scribbles help much and i can run on the board for anything that's not clear
the first handwriting then she me
just don't have the spelling there and she's the first ordained buddhist not the first or day non first ordained buddhist in japan japanese
and later was followed by two other nuns enzo knee and as any the three of them went off so this is where the soto's and nuns in japan start if you want to call it they didn't use these terms but this is where they start their lineage with the forest or day
in buddhist nuns in japan for showed and buddhist in japan being nuns
and they went to what is now korea
to get the full video
and beach the ordination they've as you perhaps know you need a quorum of ten and they came back just a quorum of three
and so they could not pass on the lineage directly to women in japan
but japanese buddhist male and female alike because of the japanese worldview attention to the venial regulations and oh and that's often the determining factor of what lineage or in where did you get your video regulations from
which line of vimeo regulations this has not been a very important aspect of japanese buddhism for men and women
so nuns in buddhist nuns and other traditions sometimes don't even recognize japanese buddhist nuns as beach

perspectives ah it's not such a big problem and ah
the fact that the first ordain buddhists were women is also that that is not an anomaly for japanese buddhist history
because women during that time period in japanese culture war at the center of the religious sphere the religious and political sphere was not
clearly distinguish like the words in english are very clear but the words in japanese
the the person with the power is a religious person and was usually a sharpness and so that the first ordained buddhist or women is just to recognize that that was the natural to choose a woman to be ordained was was natural for this time period it would have
been more unusual if the first person had been a man actually from what i could tell from the history but then to make a long story short
the mail
influence coming i think from confucianism
coming over from china women were men started not recognizing women as with it having higher powers and them or even having equivalent power to them as as referred to earlier they were not allowed up to the main monastery where the or
ordination platform was held in tendai buddhism on mount egg
and this was another clue what little there has been on japanese buddhist history of japanese buddhist nuns have interpret this while the fact that the nuns could not go if they couldn't women could not go up and get ordained this temple tells us they were inferior and am
they but some scholars have recognized that they had a form more nation called both that's kind ie or bodhisattva vow know which is a sixteen bows and this is something that men also started doing at the time and they cite this is proof that women are inferior
but i look at that same data and see it's proof that they were creative that they were not going to let the male dominated institution tell them you can't get ordained and so you they developed the boss outs kind ie ordination and did their own practices
and here this is a this is a poem that i think suggests the attitude of women from this time period this is we're talking
tenth eleventh century
with the scent of just one flower as my guide won't i to see all the numberless brothers
so this attitude of not seeing obstacles but seeing opportunities being creative in responding to the situation but not letting the situation take away their power
and then i'm jumping on now to the thirteenth century
with dogan the nuns ah underdog and you can see on your sheet here where it gets into the type penises from the book
he had several disciples female disciples and
his disciples her name is joan and me the own in and she's attributed with being the primary influence
aren't organs most explicit teaching on the equality of male and female practitioners in the fast called the bend oh wow
and she became his disciple a month before he wrote this facile and other writings that he gave you can tell me do you want to hear the names of all these texts that are proof be wanting okay
i'm so he writes
in the a cold or who die hace whole goal you're really starting to wonder ali's
that he she was a nun who was she was a person deeply devoted to the great way of the buddha's and that she had peerless bodhicitta
in the a hey kotoko in the tenth chapter we also find that he's written a poem upon her death with a reference to snow suggesting she must have died in the winter the fact that he wouldn't stop to write a poem about her also tells us that she was an important disciple
men's hands and g are also right in the tahoe kenzie key code okazaki that dog and had a disciple called beyond and big money which he used the fall or ordination title she was apparently an elderly woman
when she came under his tutelage and is remembered for practicing intensely and making great strides in her understanding of the dharma
she said to have known the the then from the marrow of her bones and was compared to a prominent none that dogan had heard about in china masa leone and knee they were both highly respected in their own spheres and as service
proof that women are capable of realizing ultimate enlightenment
and there are two interpretations of go again that suggest he changed his mind about women once he moved to a hey g
that are from all that i can determine are supported on attacks the shop k codelco in one line towards the end of the text that all these same scholars agree has been edited after dog
ben's death
the attacks that i hadn't counted out before i don't remember now but has numerous references early throughout the whole text about positive use of women even citing vow and on a one hundred and three or something of shocking mooney of a woman ever if someone interferes is an obstacle to a woman's practice blondie
then at the very end there's a sentence that says that
the enlightenment in a female body is not the true enlightenment
now i don't think it takes a slow
to imagine that if you're going to try and added a text and trying to assert that someone thought something differently than was
in the text the easiest thing to do perhaps stupid but the easiest thing to do is just a tag it on the end it does not is not at all integrated in the whole text which is very positive about women duggan's views of women and this is the basis for scholars
saying that women go again changed his mind about women's ability to practice
and attain enlightenment and the soto's and nuns today to not
buy this at all
there's another nun her name is show goggles and me who do we find her recorded in a hey so-and-so gill gilkey and she there were many female patrons and she donated the funds to construct the dharma hall at call shoji duggan's first a monastery
and ah this is she was ordained and on september third and twelve twenty five an hour i wanna visited oh shoji i haven't gone back to check maybe someone knows
they they have an addition to all the people in the lineage they also add the people specific to that temple who've been very important in the morning services and her name is not there and so i asked why her name was not there since she was the one who provided an initial
funds granted the temple has burned down since then an actual building is not the same one from you know the twelve hundreds
they were a little bit embarrassed but i don't know if they'd fix that
another not who was under the discipleship of dog and is ashes be gooey we find her and volume two of the a hey kotoko and in this section where she's mentioned he's written duggan's written about death in general and apparently gave a survey
as in memory of her father also this tells us something that door hit again was not as anti ritual or against memorial services is sometimes it has been suggested
then another nun a guinea was originally a dot on my mushroom none and
was a disciple of kako on
who was a disciple of dining to no need the founder of the gonna my shoe chic first met dogan and twelve thirty four at kosher g and were made under his tutelage moving with him to edges and again proving that dogan did not change his mind upon moving or over ag
also cited in volume private a cold kotoko and the reason i went through and got all these i don't like this kind of research where you've got a tit for tat this text and now these little details but on this photos and scholarship of course
in order to hear the voice of these women even with with all this data
buddhist zen buddhist scholars on the whole a reluctant to admit both in japan in the u s
dogan was so involved in supporting women's practice but any case in in violent crime that a kotoko
perhaps on an occasion where there was a memorial service for dog and mother
he cites her being present and
eggy me
was the dharma sister of econ agile and eso and you probably not least agile
this makes her the dharma and of di chi
she spent twenty years with go again and near the end served as a
the person to take care of him when he was ill which some have suggested oh yes there's women's work i was at a conference they are and someone said scholar said that and clearly did not did did not know the dynamics within a monastery that the master
his people are competing to be close to the master and for someone to see the master in a very vulnerable condition being very ill is not something you just regulate to a woman but it is reserved for a person that the master trusts and is competent
so i don't see the fact that of her serving at a sick bed as and another suggestion of women have him not respecting women but as more proof that he trusted eggy me
she remained important figure in soto's and throughout the next generation
at being the dharma sister of agile the next air
then moving on to case on the there are other nuns here but
i want to jump to case on
who had many female disciples his inspiration for having so many female disciples was his mother
her name is con die she dying circa thirteen fourteen and he says that he learned his religious devotion from his mother and records indicate that she was the abbess of a temple called joe joe g yeah
in thirteen o nine
and then in thirteen twenty three k's on build a temple in honor of his mother and a moderator or nuns temple called whole g h old too long hours whole g and this is recognized as the first soto sect a there
import in the sorrento set
i'm in thirteen or two thousand and three he appointed his mother's nice his cousin case on cousin meal she me as the abbess of this temple
and then again on may twenty third thirteen twenty five at this point case on his fifty eight he vowed to help women in the three worlds and ten directions in memory of his mother a con die she and in the joke he has gone mon case on mrs quote
praised air con his mother for having dedicated her life to teaching buddhism to women case on inherited her dedication his disciple queue was the first not known to have received a soto dar motrin transmission the other nuns were actually more filled with daughter my shoe and even though there
underdog and
to help her overcome the difficulties of chinese case on rewrote joe gans explanation of the precepts in the japanese phonetic syllabary
and records indicate that case on his head has about thirty nuns under his leadership and
i don't have the full details of all of the nuns at some of the names though i'll talk about two and particular sony me and simeoni but there's also i mentioned a kuni ah there's neosho knee mean chi ne sheen jony jony ne ne ne
i am so if you want include all these in the lineage
well i don't have the whole list of thirty but perhaps i can help dig them out
the none sony knee and this may be of interest to you case on ah
was ugh
he spoke about a kind of shook k of the heart vs shook k of the body dogan did not accept this distinction
shook cave the body referring to being celibate and shook k of the heart that being
leaving the home in ah in your heart but you could still have a family and ah
he ordained sony sony me with her husband in thirteen twelve case on that is ordained them and then on january fourteenth of thirteen two thousand and two another husband and wife took ordination under case on at yoko g and this new
none his name she ching muni
it it suggests that she was in an advanced age when she took ordination
it mentions her husband's age at the time which was eighty three
so case on the soto's and nuns today recognize case on as
a major figure in their own history in supporting women
and demonstrate the equality of men and women in practice so there's a fondness about case on
that those photos and nuns have today then jumping to the tokugawa period
manal and
sixteen late sixteen hundred seventeen hundreds there's a nun named eshoo me which i didn't get on your photocopy i don't think
which is probably hard to read anyways but as sunni as as a h u and hyphen and i as knee
is an example of a nun in the tokugawa period a feudalistic time period are lots of strictures put on lots of people not just women
and there's a temple in odawara japan in ottawa dog just outside of tokyo g tokyo called psychology or more commonly known as die use on and there's no
a statue of her that people worship the story is that
she wanted to get ordained but her brothers forbid her because of her peerless beauty
but unflinching in her resolve to commit her life to the dharma she again you know western feminists would
be appalled at her method but it was effective at getting the final goal which was hurt what was important to her
is she burned her face in a hibachi stove
and then they let her get ordained uncontested again die
excuse me
her dates seventeenth century
i have the specific dates somewhere but not here yeah you can go and light a candle and incense to her in older to die use on it's beautiful beautiful temple with in the mountains with lots of great cedar trees and missed and
the image to her is it's a stone carving where you see the outline of a non and then
flames coming out from her
am of course referring to the
her act or growing
no there there's more than one none who's burned her face yeah
and then jumping up to the twentieth century or just before it
women find themselves in a lot of strictures the regulations are very unfair the highest level that a none can attain is lower than lowest monks which also then keeps nuns from entering there for at least three different levels
of temples and nuns can't even get into the temple level there and what were called hermitage as or on they couldn't even get you know again and temple level they could only wear black robes which are the robes of novices
regardless of their amount of time practice or their attainments
they were not supported at all in a formal todos or monasteries i'm keeping them out of getting higher levels of education
they couldn't study at any of the buddhist universities
that's where they started and let me tell you about the first non
in this history that goes from this complete inequality structurally
to complete parity at least on paper structurally
there's a non called concord knee and she lived in kyoto
and she is the teacher of the for women who founded the nunnery in nagoya the ig send montney sold all that some of you have visited
well where are the advices aoyama soon though the author of same seeds
konkani she did something as hired from raising great disables she did something that i think was very insightful there is a ritual and again this tells us more about the japanese women's way of negotiating through difficulties
cancun konkani
looked into a ritual that had not been practiced called the anon the ananda is the man that the legend says women maha prajapati spoke to and he intervened on behalf of the women to shock your money to let allow with
men to be ordained and aoyama senses take on this is that when ananda
involved that he although she was a prajapati was her stepmother his stepmother she still was not well as the person who raised him she her interpretation is the final reason why in the legend
shakyamuni buddha gives in to ananda his plea to allow women to be ordained is that he invokes that he is your mother and you need to respect her and that's
tells us
perhaps something historically although i don't completely by the story the legend
but it tells us something at least about what aoyama sensei thinks is important
the role of mothers in now in buddhist practice now this anon coach tea ceremony where i'm gonna show a little bit of a short version of it called the on time tomorrow and i'll give you more an analytical explanation of it and how it's worked in the nuns history but in short i think it's no coincide
students that the nun who revitalized the ceremony is the teach her of the nun who was actively a founding an institution for nuns to practice in even before the sector administration it
hertz they decided to take her own practice and education into their own hands
the reachable is a ritual of gratitude and in short the way i see it functioning is it it sounds very indian
two japanese ears and perhaps the your ears you can hear tomorrow tell me what you think
and so it transports you back to india where maharaja party and shocking mooney and ananda lived and what that does is it establishes the
lineage connection between the women at that time or whatever they're doing it today even the women today and the first or dangerous woman the ritual has that power to do that so any question of legitimacy or authenticity evaporate
because the women have established in the power of the ritual their connection and in and it involves esoteric chanting that
even the most advanced people can't understand
if you want to see you can see some of that that part of the ritual to it's in the long which will not the short one
and what that does is a demonstrates the women don't have to say we're advanced we can handle these complicated things it just demonstrates that they have this power and therefore for them to claim authority is just a natural step
it's all done in the guise of gratitude oh thank you ananda
so they don't go out and say we deserve this they just bow and say thank you and this
it has been the all of these buddhist nuns as i can see them
they find non combat of ways to get exactly what they want in a very short or long time
and in so doing they don't lose the side of their buddhist path
it did the whole issue of nuns be getting a valentine status within the sec regulations was not are really contentious battle
the woman who was responsible for dealing with i've only a five minutes left
i have more good how many more
that will affect how many stories are okay the woman who's responsible for dealing with the nuts and bolts of getting the regulations
ah changed in the salt or sector administration her name is called him my kendo
she's down there repaired lot of us began scribbling third line second person in everyday to eighteen ninety eight nineteen ninety five
yes that we slept side by side she was giggling
she would ride to give you a sense of what she was like she would ride the trains between nagoya and tokyo all night long standing this is we're talking on or even machine concert today it's two hour ride and so huge that she was basically standing all night long in a crowded train of course and
standing because there's no seating room
all night long to get to assault offset administration meeting and she told me how sometimes she was embarrassed but not not really she just had to say she was embarrassed that she would find yourself pounding on the tables
and realize that here she was the only woman in the room of all these very high ranking
and she was the first among the first nuns to enroll at our university the main photoset university she
basically her life story which i outlined in the book is a story of
how in this middle generation of the twentieth century how the nones got the right to do
all the things that they wanted to do but they use the language of reclaiming their rights which i thought was very interesting they don't see that they're just getting it new they they really believe and the historical documentation suggest and from go again that they are just trying to inch
to what dogan said that the none should have and they have a very clear vision of this
and i think having that clarity and being able to articulate it is what helped make made soto set administration is to come to their every demand and
there was a nun though when you're talking about lineage again like marrow same to branch out there the nuns in the official public lineage but i would hope also to include the nuns who never held an official post
that made it possible for those other women to be out riding the trains and pounding the tables and one very important on through the twentieth century through most of the twentieth century
who supported kadima candles and say in a another teacher the abbess of i just send my nice odo for many years in the middle of century here kondo sensei is her name
there was a nun who can help down the fort never took a title her name was no gummy sanyo and
she lived in this little temple in nagoya
living the to teachings of dogan with her entire body when she's swept the floor or pick the weaves from the white stone garden and she would chant the phrase that to you bowl dice sitting guy stands
and the nun who told me this critique you sensei would say that she said there's all the time to everybody but it was clear that she was most strict about herself and when she said it she meant to do everything to perfection to the best of your ability that that's new guy
guy sitting guy standing and perhaps many of you know how the death posture has sometimes been used to recognize someone whether they were fully enlightened or not the tooth favorite postures are dying and full lotus and dying standing
not too many stories of people dying standing in the literature this none in nineteen eighty
which i have been studying these nuns for a while i went to this temple twice a week for seven months very coat there's no no i was working on a book on the their history was only just before i left that she told me this story which told me
how they're not out trying to impress people with their own accomplishments in history and that it took so much involvement to get the story of how nagar me send me all
she was ninety seven years old still just wearing black cotton robes entirely non pretentious
never taking any titles
and she was walking to the hondo to where the the buddha hall where
there's a buddha shakyamuni buddha image sitting in full lotus and she shouted sat out of the you ball
and critique he said say that the teacher her disciple
went running thinking that this sounds different than usual in time to see that she
finished evening out her feet to be together and died facing the brother
and creaky sensor just showers held her and shouted or met at all or congratulations you did it
he died standing
and i can't help but think how
you know why didn't they tell me this story when i first got there
it's because they're more interested in the practice and in the external
bells and whistles and in the current hotels in am
but i suppose i don't know they never put you in a lineage if you're still alive
the to other nuns that are in this lineage that are carrying it on now the person in front in public in a bigger way than any other perhaps any other japanese none in history has been is aoyama soon dose and say it was written i don't i've lost track of how it books she's written
and speaking of two places all over the country all the time not just to dharma groups but she was even she tells the story of how she was asked to speak it the cosmetic company she say though and they asked her you know what's the secret to her beauty and and she said way
with water
exactly what a cosmetic company wants to hear
she's on the television she is on the radio she is all over the place and there are several teachers in the monastery
i just i'm on nice although who are in the background that are holding down the fort and and my favorite one is hitoshi ocean course and say she is the one that i met in india
i was a bit cynical of buddhism in japan i'll admit before i met her and because of what's called funeral buddhism there's so much money to be made and doing funeral rituals and
i was disappointed
and then when i met her i wasn't that there's someone still really really concerned with living the buddhist teachings you know i'm sure i was sure that they were there were many others i just hadn't met them and then i met her and she lived the teachings she's you know
has a way of making you feel comfortable and welcome matter who you are what you're wearing what you're doing
she she knows how to be with you and comfort you make you laugh and she's always in the background but i also learned that
in the nunnery granted when the abbess as they are not there is that it makes huge difference when she's there everyone
is much more disciplined and when she leaves that's when everything starts to leak but
i but because when she's not there though the other teachers come in to stay the night and i didn't realize this for a long time because once it's lights out i thought you couldn't you couldn't believe the rome
and then i discovered that you could
and that what the nuns were doing were lining up to go talk to this teacher when she came to visit with other problems and so behind the scenes the making of all these nuns as with his great abbess
but also these other teachers who would get left off even a lineage charge including women and because they're not in palermo ah positions
these women are essential to training the nuns and i'll leave you with the image i have of her and this is the image the nuns were hold out for themselves and that is a plum blossom from blossoms bloom in the winter
the end of winter and so often times the snow will still fall in a very delicate little pretty blossoms
and this is their image to be strong enough to be gentle and harry


as well and i have a
by recovery
what we would probably go
going insane
right to grab of place but she was no longer desire and i think there's that says a lot about who's desires
and also and the contrast maybe hooking controllers
and i've asked on the internet i think it's really interesting of that were anonymous beauty was instruments tj and was encouraged
people have told stories with this a heartbreaker his etchings beauty was problematic
and difficult and we really allows that that ghost stories
i'm very sorry don't remember the scholars name's someone who did a careful analysis the terracotta teddy gotta and she shows how the metaphor same metaphor is used for men and women how women use it differently
and she comes up with these figures that nine percent of the men in the ten a gotta have attained enlightenment and guess how many percent of the women
as she comes up a two thousand and three percent
i'm dead
there's something about turning it in on yourself not blaming not putting a condition out there that women in the tenor gotta always seen as the snap my maras snare and they are the bait and their the reasons why the men have problems
but the women trying on say yes i am the bait and i was wrong
and in so doing that for there's their practice they get rid of their ego
and so i hear what you're saying
but again when i take the perspective of if you take the woman seriously in her practice her goals and that she has found methods this is yes it's a statement about the external culture and why she had to do it that way but that's not the end of the story
she didn't let it stop her and that's what i keep wanting to
point out i am so
i found myself
grab like was present us to say okay here's a look who's going to just get out
i don't have an attached to that that
i'd rather on the other hand the party that demonstrators you know how them how could you i'll continue to pander to them that way or does that way you know i mean an and you know me and even as the video store as various day i brought an honor and that's why it's such you know why the
it brings it gives you a ride results in there
more about that desire because in a certain way or even
we haven't been the object of desire which domain addresses and right
whoever said this was not
but there's the patricia
during her work about women
by her homework she didn't want that she said before the ninth century and you can even had more
came back and order again
by the time buddhism or rotting in and around the ninth century when power was decreasing because of the attic
that women are objects of desire and he kept away from this is the man's perspective for the women that the women's perspective of them crowd
buddhism it came from china that the power of the women now and then from the ninth century or on condemning having can
and both sides are so important
do something which is the practice or now
i am the arctic incredible
know we can offer case
and though twentieth century is a wonderful demonstration of how they linens took it upon themselves and change the entire system
she said yeah
guy sitting guy standing
tabatha do you ball
yeah she didn't make it
but i came across
and many others your theme is this sutra and for
it administration extra layer against administration or to protect you for the rebirth in menstrual blood and noticed i was wondering if you came across any pets
i asked about that and the so the non critique he that who's now in our eighties she's heard that when she was young it was going out of circulation
so early nineteen hundreds early nineteen hundreds
been any
gotten occasion of men in their own as our allies to read the suffering that when i'm sure there had to have been men in the photoset administration who are supportive their one major zen master who was a
support of nuns was that
abbot of values on
there is there haven't met pay fans nj here
so i didn't stop to get all their names together but they are there and they're probably more than i know of because
the voting members in the soto sector are primarily men and so they had to
local residents
when suspects in their roles were some of the past
to help
i don't know

what was the radically
religion spirituality
he addressed as that was this notion of as office
desire pointing out that there's a deep distrust the
in and members call themselves
at all
way them
get them remain
look at against reading only one buddy
yeah yeah good point thank you
i found her
and like know
henri a
but as of good day
i was treated with more
there's real respect
i was not anticipating that a great surprise

part of that is your case
because this
i guess
because when you started privacy
me neither

because you over