Monday, July 27, 2015

Social Dynamic of Theravada; Katy Perry

Ven. Thanissaro (accesstoinsight); Ashley Wells, CC Liu, Crystal Quintero Wisdom Quarterly
The Buddha taught a "forest tradition" for the end of suffering and gaining of enlightenment.
Social Dynamic of Theravad Buddhist Practice
Pure and Simple (Kee Nanayon)
Upasika (devout female layfollower) Kee Nanayon, also known by her penname K. Khao-suan-luang, was arguably the foremost female Dharma teacher in 20th-century Thailand.
Born in 1901 to a Chinese merchant family in Rajburi, a town west of Bangkok...Her mother was a very religious woman and taught her the rudiments of Buddhist practice, such as nightly chants and the observance of the precepts, from an early age.
In later life she described how, at the age 6, she became so filled with fear and loathing at the miseries her mother went through in being pregnant and giving birth to a younger sibling that, on seeing the newborn child for the first time -- "sleeping quietly, a little red thing with black, black hair" -- she ran away from home for three days.

This experience, plus the anguish she must have felt when her parents separated, probably lay behind her decision, made when she was still quite young, never to submit to what she saw as the slavery of marriage.

During her teens she devoted her spare time to Dharma books and to meditation, and her working hours to a small business to support her father in his old age.

Her meditation progressed. It went well enough that she was able to teach her father meditation with fairly good results in the last year of his life. After his death she continued her business with the thought of saving up enough money to enable herself to live the remainder of her life in a secluded place and give herself fully to the practice.

Her aunt and uncle, who were also interested in Dharma practice, had a small home near a forested hill called Khao Suan Luang ("Royal Park Mountain") outside of Rajburi, where she often went to practice.

In 1945, life disrupted by World War II had begun to return to normal, so she gave up her business, joined her aunt and uncle in moving to the hill, and there the three of them began a life devoted entirely to meditation.

The small retreat they made for themselves in an abandoned monastic dwelling eventually grew to become the nucleus of a women's practice center that has flourished to this day.
Life at the retreat was frugal, in line with the fact that outside support was minimal in the early years. However, even now that the center has become well-known and well-established, the same frugal style has been maintained for its benefits in subduing greed, pride, and other mental defilements, as well as for the sublime forms of pleasure (piti and sukha) it offers by unburdening the heart.

The women practicing at the center are all vegetarian and abstain from such stimulants as tobacco, coffee, tea, and betel nut.

They meet daily for chanting, group meditation, and discussion of the practice. In the years when Upasika Kee's health was still strong, she would hold special meetings at which the members would report on their practice, after which she would give a talk touching on any important issues that had been brought up. It was during such sessions that most of the talks recorded in this volume were given.

Charts from the teachings of the Thai Living Buddhist Master Ajahn Jamnian
In the center's early years, small groups of friends and relatives would visit on occasion to give support and to listen to Upasika Kee's Dharma talks. As word spread of the high standard of her teachings and practice, larger and larger groups came to visit, and more women began to join the community.

When tape recording was introduced to Thailand in the mid-1950's, friends began recording her talks and, in 1956, a group of them printed a small volume of her transcribed talks for free distribution.

By the mid-1960's, the stream of free Dharma literature from Royal Park Mountain -- Upasika Kee's talks and poetry -- had grown to a flood. This attracted even more people to her center and established her as one of the best-known Dharma teachers, male or female, in Thailand.
Upasika Kee was something of an autodidact (self taught). Although she picked up the rudiments of meditation during her frequent visits to Thai Buddhist monasteries in her youth, she practiced mostly on her own without any formal study under a meditation teacher.

Most of her instruction came from books -- the Pali canon and the works of contemporary Buddhist teachers -- and was tested in the crucible of her own relentless honesty.

Her later teachings show the influence of the writings of Ven. Buddhadasa, although she transformed his [teaching] concepts in ways that made them entirely her own. More

Royal Katy Perry (a.k.a. silly Catty Purry) is a tabloid  "princess" (
Does Katy Perry want to be a nun?
"You skank, you can't buy our convent! I mean, we already sold it to this guy for less money, and the greedy Vatican can't stop us. And, by the way, you and your music suck!" -- this is the subtext, but the real story goes like this:

According to TIME, Two nuns want to stop Katy Perry from buying their convent.
"We feel we are being forced to violate our canonical vows"

July 21, 2015
World Premiere Screening Of "Katy Perry: The Prismatic World Tour"
Katy Perry (Axelle/Bauer-Griffin-FilmMagic)
A couple of nuns are making Katy Perry’s life very difficult these days. The pop star wants to purchase an 8-acre property in Los Angeles, on which the nuns’ convent happens to be sited.

But the nuns, who are among five remaining members of an order known as the Sisters of the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, are having none of it. In court documents released on Friday, they say the sale would go against their sacred vows.
Perry has been competing with L.A. restaurateur and developer Dana Hollister for the property, which also includes a retreat house for priests, the New York Times reports.
Journey of One Buddhist Nun
Perry is offering a $10 million all-cash deal, with an additional $4.5 million to purchase a new retreat house for priests to replace the current one. Hollister is also willing to pay $10 million and an additional $5.5 million to buy out the lease on the priests’ house.
The Times says that the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles favors the Perry deal and claims to have control over the property, while the nuns prefer the Hollister arrangement.

“In selling to Katy Perry, we feel we are being forced to violate our canonical vows to the Catholic Church,” Sister Catherine Rose Holzman wrote to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in a May 22 letter. The letter, among others, was revealed in court documents the nuns filed on Friday, CNBC uncovered.
The nuns said their objection to the sale to Perry had nothing to do with her risque performance style, the Times reports. Instead, they reportedly favor the Hollister deal because it would keep the convent open to the public. More

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