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Institute of Buddhist Studies Podcast

Everything tagged with Women

Cleaning Cloths, Poetry, and Personal Buddhas: Laywomen’s Healing Practices in Contemporary Japan

Domestic Dharma: Beyond Texts, Beyond Monasteries, Numata Symposium 2012 Keynote Address by Prof. Paula Arai.

Creativity, flexibility, and accessibility are qualities characteristic of the Buddhist practices that women in contemporary Japan engage in as they weave healing activities into their daily life. Home-made ritualized activities, which draw upon and innovatively adapt age-old traditions, include common greetings turned into healing events, cleaning cloths performing medical mysteries, and poetry writing. In addition, this domestic Dharma often sees a loved one transformed into a Personal Buddha upon death, bestowing wise counsel and compassionate support.

Originally recorded on 22 September 2012
(c) 2012 The Institute of Buddhist Studies and Paula Arai

An audio-only version of this talk is also available.

Cleaning Cloths, Poetry, and Personal Buddhas: Laywomen’s Healing Practices in Contemporary Japan, audio

Domestic Dharma: Beyond Texts, Beyond Monasteries, Numata Symposium 2012 Keynote Address by Prof. Paula Arai.

Creativity, flexibility, and accessibility are qualities characteristic of the Buddhist practices that women in contemporary Japan engage in as they weave healing activities into their daily life. Home-made ritualized activities, which draw upon and innovatively adapt age-old traditions, include common greetings turned into healing events, cleaning cloths performing medical mysteries, and poetry writing. In addition, this domestic Dharma often sees a loved one transformed into a Personal Buddha upon death, bestowing wise counsel and compassionate support.

Originally recorded on 22 September 2012
(c) 2012 The Institute of Buddhist Studies and Paula Arai

A video version of this talk is also available.

Play

Nuns at Home, Nuns as Homebuilders: Rethinking Ordination and Family in Medieval Japan

Domestic Dharma: Beyond Texts, Beyond Monasteries, Numata Symposium 2012 Keynote Address by Prof. Lisa Grumbach.

An exploration of the roles of ordained women within the social and familial structures of medieval Japan. Focusing on the reasons women became nuns, their age at ordination, and the work they performed as nuns, Prof. Grumbach argues that women used ordination as a way to build and maintain homes rather than as a way to “leave home.” Autobiographical writings by women, historical and biographical information about nuns, and medieval literature are used to show that ordination and family life were not opposing categories for many women, suggesting that we need to revise our understanding of what it meant to be a “nun” in medieval Japan.

Originally recorded on 22 September 2012
(c) 2012 The Institute of Buddhist Studies and Lisa Grumbach

An audio-only version of this talk is also available.

Nuns at Home, Nuns as Homebuilders: Rethinking Ordination and Family in Medieval Japan, audio

Domestic Dharma: Beyond Texts, Beyond Monasteries, Numata Symposium 2012 Keynote Address by Prof. Lisa Grumbach.

An exploration of the roles of ordained women within the social and familial structures of medieval Japan. Focusing on the reasons women became nuns, their age at ordination, and the work they performed as nuns, Prof. Grumbach argues that women used ordination as a way to build and maintain homes rather than as a way to “leave home.” Autobiographical writings by women, historical and biographical information about nuns, and medieval literature are used to show that ordination and family life were not opposing categories for many women, suggesting that we need to revise our understanding of what it meant to be a “nun” in medieval Japan.

Originally recorded on 22 September 2012
(c) 2012 The Institute of Buddhist Studies and Lisa Grumbach

A video version of this talk is also available.

Play

Making Sense of the Blood Bowl Sutra: Gender, Pollution, and Salvation in Buddhist Sermons from Early Modern Japan

Sometime during the late fourteenth or early fifteenth century, several variants of an indigenous Chinese sutra known as the Xuepenjing 血盆経 (“Blood Bowl Sutra,” Jpns. Ketsubonkyō), were transmitted to Japan. Emphasizing the impurity of women’s reproductive blood, this short scripture teaches that women are fated to fall into a special hell known as the “Blood Pond Hell” (chi no ike jigoku 血の池地獄) in retribution for the sin of polluting the earth with blood. By the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, temples throughout Japan actively promoted the cult of the Blood Bowl Hell as a method of saving women. In this cult, disgust for the female body, first emphasized in Buddhist texts as a means of encouraging celibate monks to remain distant from women, is directed not to celibate monks, but to a new audience of lay men and women. My talk will explore two early modern commentaries on the text in an effort to understand how priests presented the teachings of the Blood Bowl Sutra to this audience. 

An audio-only version of this episode is also available.

Originally recorded April 22, 2011 at the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley, Ca.
Copyright © 2010 Lori Meeks

Making Sense of the Blood Bowl Sutra: Gender, Pollution, and Salvation in Buddhist Sermons from Early Modern Japan

Sometime during the late fourteenth or early fifteenth century, several variants of an indigenous Chinese sutra known as the Xuepenjing 血盆経 (“Blood Bowl Sutra,” Jpns. Ketsubonkyō), were transmitted to Japan. Emphasizing the impurity of women’s reproductive blood, this short scripture teaches that women are fated to fall into a special hell known as the “Blood Pond Hell” (chi no ike jigoku 血の池地獄) in retribution for the sin of polluting the earth with blood. By the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, temples throughout Japan actively promoted the cult of the Blood Bowl Hell as a method of saving women. In this cult, disgust for the female body, first emphasized in Buddhist texts as a means of encouraging celibate monks to remain distant from women, is directed not to celibate monks, but to a new audience of lay men and women. My talk will explore two early modern commentaries on the text in an effort to understand how priests presented the teachings of the Blood Bowl Sutra to this audience. 

Originally recorded April 22, 2011 at the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley, Ca.
Copyright © 2010 Lori Meeks

Play

Being Female, Being Buddhist: Obstacle or Inspiration?

In the summer of 2008, the Institute of Buddhist Studies, in conjunction with the Tri-State Denver Buddhist Temple, hosted a conference on Women in American Buddhism: Blending Tradition, Community, and Family. Dr. Judith Simmer-Brown of Naropa University delivered the keynote address.

In her Keynote Address, Dr. Simmer-Brown discusses the obstacles and opportunities women have as women in the Dharma.

For more information on this confernece, see the full Denver video page here

Originally recorded August 29, 2008
© 2008 Judith Simmer-Brown

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