quinta-feira, 15 de julho de 2010

Monges, monjas e sacerdotes (?!) no zen ocidental

Among the listservs to which I belong is one for Zen teachers in the West. Right now there is a bit of a debate going on over the usage of monk (nun) or priest for those ordained within the Japanese inheritance. This is a bone of contention because "normative" ordained Buddhist leadership follows the vinaya tradition established by the Buddha himself. A heavy claim and a heavy load for those who believe there are other reliable models of leadership on the Buddha way.

Principal among the upstart traditions are the Japanese ordination models, which built upon a set of precepts found in the Brahmajala, a Chinese apocraphal sutra that had and actually continues to have an enormous following throughout East Asia. In much of East Asia these vows are taken by monks, nuns and laypeople. However through a somewhat complicated set of circumstances variations on these vows become, first how monastics were ordained in Japan, starting from the thirteenth century, and, as the essay below details, morphed into what I suggest is best called a priestly model. Those ordained in this model defend their ordination (I should say we who are ordained in this model defend our ordination) as fully equal to monastic ordination.(1) In my book Zen Master Who? I explore this a bit further. The relevant chapter is copied below...

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