The Female Buddhist Community
The Karmapa has, for many years, taken a deep interest in the female Buddhist community, as well as being a voice that regularly encourages equal rights and opportunities for women. His Holiness has, in particular, taken the responsibility to restore full ordination for Tibetan nuns stating.
“Many people might think I’m doing this because others want me to,” the Karmapa explained. “But I’m not doing it to placate anyone or in response to anyone. No matter how others see it, I feel this is something necessary. In order to uphold the Buddhist teachings it is necessary to have the fourfold community (fully ordained monks (gelongs), fully ordained nuns (gelongmas), and both male and female lay precept holders). As the Buddha said, the fourfold community are the four pillars of the Buddhist teachings. This is the reason why I’m taking interest in this.”
Each year the Karmapa also hosts the Arya Kshema winter gathering where nuns receive special teachings, instructions and gather to debate Buddhist philosophy so as to further increase their opportunities for a traditional education.