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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Asalha Puja, Khao Pansaa and Forest Dhamma

From Jul 7, 2012
Being a bit burned out on floods, politicians, Ministers of Yogurt, Bhikkhu with wads of cash and whatever else I have decided to give the Tourism Authority of Thailand and the Ubon Candle festival a bye. Asalha Puja threre will probably be something going on in Sakon Nakhon. Early morning Asalha Puja is also the day that samana take full ordination, always an inspiring ceremony. I'll either go to wat Pa Suttawat or time and weather allowing I'll go out to Wat Pa Phurrithat, wher Ajahn Mun spent wis final years, befor traeling into Sakon Nakhon to die and be cremated.
An acquantance of mine is a Buddhist Nun, So obviously not Thai Theravadan and she asked if I knew where she could get a copy of the "Mae Chee Kaew" book by Bhikkhu Dick Silaratano and was glad to direct her to Forest Dhamma, where that and many other are available in PDF form for free.
Anyhow the conversation brought to mind a comment in the introduction that I find quite pertinent to wholw Bhikkhu, Bhikkhuni controversy, especially here in Thailand where there is a real scarcity of people both in the Sangha and out who are spreading Sila, Samadhi or Panna.
So here's the qoute, I hope you find it interesting
"The separation of men and women has become so deeply in-grained in most cultures that it is quite natural to experience it in a religious context. But gender is transient, it comes and goes; con?ditioned by past karma, it is a kind of destiny. The essence of one’s being is without name and without form, and thus without characteristics of male or female. This is a fundamental tenet of Buddhism: that the attributes of self-identity are devoid of intrinsic essence — everything that makes a person unique changes continually and eventually disintegrates. Each personality is constantly ceasing to be what it was and becoming something new. Those factors one tends to conceive of as “self ” are impermanent and fleeting. Everything about bodily form, and the mind’s thoughts and feelings, is without intrinsic worth and bound to dissolve. For that reason, clinging to body and mind is a major source of pain and suffering. 
Realization that the essence of mind, stripped of all external characteristics, has no inherent gender, rank or status, liberates us from the concepts of separate or common identities that hinder our progress and limit our freedom. All such conventional distinctions must be transcended if we are to sever the bonds that bind us so tightly to the cycle of birth and death. In this respect, all human beings stand on an equal footing because of the fundamental delusions of mind that must be overcome are essentially the same for everyone. "