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I think by this point you all know that I've been reading some books on women and Buddhism.

I'm returning Turning the Wheel to the library today. I found the introduction really helpful, as I wrote in a previous post, and I also read a significant chapter called "Secrets," which was on the problem of male Buddhist teachers in America having inappropriate sexual relationships with female students. It seems that most texts do not mention anything about this, and it's hushed up in many communities for a variety of reasons.

Read more... )

Anyway. This has made me think a little bit about things, and my conclusion is that it's not okay for religious leaders to ask for sex from their followers. It's too hard for people to say no to someone who they see as the key to their dreams. Dude, find some other religious leaders to have sex with. Or stick with your partner(s).

I think I've gotten everything I need from this book, at this point, and I'm returning it to the library.
snugglekitty: (Default)
I'm not done with my crazy reading up on women and Buddhism. However, I figured something out today.

Source and background )

Disclaimer: this is what makes sense TO ME and how I understand these concepts. I would definitely invite those with more knowledge than myself to share their interpretations.
Other Disclaimer: Yes, I know this is public, and it may not be relevant or make sense to a lot of people, but it was such a Eureka! moment that I wanted to share with a wide audience.

Taking refuge in the Buddha is taking refuge in the Enlightened Mind. For a pagan, this would be taking refuge in the Goddess, more specifically, in the part of the Goddess that is in you, your Higher Self.

Taking refuge in the Damma is taking refuge in the Way, the teaching of the Buddha. For a pagan, this would be taking refuge in your path, whatever your path is. (Or possibly your tradition, if you have one. I don't, so I can't speak to that.)

Taking refuge in the Sangha is taking refuge in the community of the enlightened. This one doesn't translate as exactly, at least not for a solitary witch like me, but I'm choosing to understand it as taking refuge in the spirits - familiar animals, guides, etc.ETA: Actually, I think that "taking refuge in your spiritual ancestors," in the way that we call on them at Samhain, makes more sense here, now that I've had some more time to think it over.

The Four Divine Abodes also translate well. Lovingkindness could be seen, from a pagan perspective, as recognizing that the divine is in everyone. For a while, I thought there was no pagan equivalent to the doctrine of Compassion, and then I realized it was grokking. Sympathetic Joy (probably Mudita in the original) could be seen as Empathy. (You could also flip this pairing - in paganism we're not as focused on suffering as in a lot of other religions.) And Equanamity, or serenity, fits in well with my understanding of a pagan state of grace - you could also call it trusting the Goddess (in a more than an intellectual way).

Gosh, this stuff is neat. I wonder if there are any Buddhist pagans out there. I'm not looking to become one, but it would be fascinating to talk to some.

Now that I've achieved this understanding, time to take a break. No point in straining the brain, and I want a chance to integrate this, too.


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August 2011

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