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Week #11 Discussion Café

Due for full credit by April 9; reduced credit by April 16.

In this Discussion Café, read over the Week #11 Reading Reflection postings by other class members responding to the second set of articles in Buddhist Women On The Edge. There are also some comments made by class members in the Class Community Posts from April 2 that you might have responses to.


In response to Elena K: I enjoyed the discussion in our readings on forgiveness as well. I find it very true what the author says about how forgiving isn’t easy but it makes your own life better. I know that it can more often than not be very difficult to forgive a person for what they have done, like in the case of what the men in the author’s childhood did to her, but I do believe that it is possible and that forgiving others does indeed make our own lives better. To me, it is so stressful and such a burden to carry around a grudge in my heart for someone. It’s constantly on my mind bugging me, worrying me, and tempting me to do something to correct the problem. I lose sleep and have to deal with other side effects of stress. When I let it go of what’s troubling me in my own heart, I stop stressing so much, even if the relationship between myself and that person is not repaired, it’s a relief knowing that even though I was hurt by someone, life goes on and I do not have to let what that person did bother me. When it is hard for me to forgive someone, I think about the fact that we are all human and make mistakes and that just because I forgive someone doesn’t mean that I have let that person back in my life to do more harm. It just means that I have released stress from my life. It also helps to remember that just because I’m thinking about someone doesn’t mean they are thinking about me. That person might not even know that they upset me. I find the principle of forgiveness that Buddhism as well as Christianity teaches very helpful in my own life.

In resonse to Mike G. When I read about the Buddhist monk that used his position to try to sleep with his students I completely agreed that it was creepy and also very inappropriate in religion. However, when it was explained later how Rinpoche would do things specifically to create chaos for his students and that it was typically the other students that made people feel bad about someone not wanting to sleep with him it made me think twice about it. She even stated that "the one predictable thing about him was that he would continually pull the rug out no matter what. that's how he was." After reading further into the article and seeing how one can't get rid of their "habitual patterns" without being forced to let go of them completely, I can't say that there is anything wrong with him doing this. For some women there are quite a few "habitual patterns" that they develop, especially concerning sex. By him giving them an invite for it, this may have been the chaos that some of these women needed in order to get rid of those habitual patterns.

Granted I don't know if that was the thinking behind the invitation, but just another thought on possible reasoning.

So if gender is an illusion, were these teachers also sexually propositioning male students? If not and the goal was to create chaos then wouldn't that be equally or even more effective with male student?

In response to Wendy, it is astonishing that we as human beings will always try to get rid of our own suffering by blaming someone else. Like you said it is so ingrained in us that sometimes we are unable to recognize or notice when we do it. We must always find a reason for everything especially when it is bad so it is easy to blame it on someone else.

I can most suddenly see why also according to Thubten Chodron it is better and easy to follow spirituality as opposed to folowing an institution. It makes it mush better becuase most times when one follows an institution, there are a lot of things tha come with. There are regulations, policies and the like some which do not make sense.