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Nun’s Education and Conduct in Modern Times

On October 18th, 2008, His Holiness the Gyalwang Karmapa was invited to preside over the second all-night debate session of the fourteenth Jamyang Guncho for nuns, which was held at Jamyang Choling Institute in Dharamsala. Over two hundred nuns from seven different nunneries were present. The following presents the main points of the remarks which His Holiness gave on that occasion.

These days many friends from abroad with a modern viewpoint are giving help and direction to Tibetan nuns and laywomen and I would like to thank them for their help. But I think we need to begin from within our own Tibetan society to find a particular Tibetan way of being modern. The reason for this is that other viewpoints and Tibetan culture are sometimes incompatible, and as Tibetan culture is already endangered, insisting too strongly on imposing other ways of doing things could very well weaken what we are working hard to preserve.

There are quotations in the scriptures and treatises which say that ordaining women as nuns will make the Buddhist teachings disappear five hundred years earlier than otherwise. Some people cite these passages to scare you. Others try to explain them away, saying they should not be taken literally. In any case, I don’t think it is necessary to do either. The reason is Read the rest of this article