By Karma Lekshe Tsomo

Students and practitioners from numerous Buddhist cultures, philosophical traditions, and educational disciplines examine very important dimensions of the hot cross-cultural Buddhist women's circulate: the prestige and reports of girls in Buddhist societies, feminist interpretation of Buddhist tenets, and the connection of girls to Buddhist associations. Buddhist ladies throughout Cultures files either women's fight for spiritual equality in Asian Buddhist cultures in addition to the method of constructing Buddhist feminist id throughout nationwide and ethnic barriers as Buddhism profits realization within the West. The booklet contributes considerably to an realizing of girls and faith in either Western and non-Western cultures.

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Additional resources for Buddhist Women Across Cultures (S U N Y Series in Feminist Philosophy)

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It is common for Buddhist women to denigrate their own potential and abdicate responsibility for their spiritual life to men, praying for rebirth as a man in the next life. A major revaluing of women in the tradition is crucialboth a renewed affirmation of women's spiritual worth and an increased appreciation of women's spiritual practice. In the Buddhist worldview, spiritual practice and helping living beings are accorded the highest value, but it is unrealistic to expect women to serve others if their own basic needs are not being met.

For a description of the differences between these two types of precepts, see my article, "Buddhist Ethics in Japan and Tibet: A Comparative Study of the Adoption of Bodhisattva and Pratimoksa Precepts," Buddhist Behavioral Codes and the Modern World, ed. Charles Wei-hsun Fu and Sandra A. Wawrytko (Greenwood Press, 1994), pp. 123-38. Ordinarily, both types of precepts are received in a formal ordination ceremony. A person who assumes the precepts without formally receiving them, as occurred in early Chinese and Japanese Buddhist history, for example, may be termed self-ordained.

The ten precepts of a novice nun or monk are to abstain from: (1) taking life; (2) taking what is not given; (3) engaging in sexual activities; (4) telling lies; (5) taking intoxicants; (6) taking untimely food; (7) singing, dancing, and watching entertainments; (8) wearing garlands, jewelry, and cosmetics; (9) sitting on high seats and beds; and (10) handling gold or silver. The eight precepts are: (1) to (6), (7), and (8) combined into one, and (9). The difference, then, between one who holds eight precepts and one who holds ten precepts is that the latter refrains from handling gold and silver, ordinarily interpreted as money.

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