A Letter from Bhikkhuni Yifa

Check out a letter on the Buddhist Channel by Ven. Yifa on the October bhikkhuni ordination in Australia. Although also a scholar of the Vinaya, she couches her words in a different framework than the legalist exchanges that have dominated much recent discussion among Theravada monastics. She also includes a quote from Edwin Markham, whose words are particularly apt.

They drew a circle that shut me out,
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout!
But love and I had the wit to win
We drew a circle that took them in.

She closes by saying, “There is a simplistic impression that all Theravada monks are against women’s ordination. That is not true. Fo Guang Shan has given several international ordinations; they were all supported by different groups of Theravada monks. Is it possible to use a ‘humane’ way to reconsider this issue rather than focusing on the letter of the law?”