|The following article is from the Autumn, 1990 issue of the Snow Lion Newsletter and is for historical reference only. You can see this in context of the original newsletter here.|
International Association of Buddhist Women
Sakyadhita (Daughters of the Buddha) is an alliance of women devoted to the practice of the Buddha's teachings. This international organization was founded at the conclusion of the First International Conference of Buddhist Nuns in Bodhgaya, India, in February of 1987. It seeks to unite Buddhist women of various countries and traditions, to promote their welfare, and to facilitate then-work for the benefit of humanity.
Some of the aims of Sakyadhita are: to create a network of communications among the Buddhist women of the world; to promote understanding among the different Buddhist traditions; to encourage and educate women as teachers of Buddhadharma; to provide guidance and assistance for Buddhist nuns and those aspiring to ordination; to conduct research into the Buddhist texts, especially those on monastic discipline (Vinaya); and to foster world peace through the practice of the Buddha's teachings.
Although it is impossible to give an exact count, we estimate that there are some 130,000,000 Buddhist women world-wide, including at least 60,000 nuns. These numbers indicate tremendous potential for transforming our worldphysically, economically, socially, and spiritually. If Buddhist women cooperate to activate and encourage this potential, humanity may be benefitted in significant ways.
At present the Buddha's guidelines for creating inner peace and social harmony are in the process of being transmitted to new countries, and new ways of applying them in the chaotic modern world are being explored. The attitudes and efforts of women, both East and West, are crucial to this process. Buddhist women can help make this planet a gentie, sane place to live.
Sakyadhita is developing national branches and local chapters so that members may gather for discussions and undertake projects with women in their own areas. Groups have already met on the national level in England, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the United States and West Germany; members in Australia, Canada, Holland, Italy, and Poland are also active and plan to meet in the near future.
An International Conference of Buddhist Women is being planned for Bangkok, Thailand, from October 25 to 29, 1991. Women from various parts of the world will meet to discuss the special opportunities and problems they experience in their practice. This will be a rare opportunity to become more aware of the diversity of traditions, and to explore such topics as socio/cultural factors affecting Buddhist women, the relationships between lay and ordained practitioners, understanding Buddhist texts from a woman's perspective, helping women to qualify to become teachers of Dharma, and the prospects for the monastic life in modern societies. A tour of some of the wonderful temples of Bangkok will be arranged in conjunction with the conference.
The Sakyadhita .newsletter keeps members up-to-date on activities in different countries, and provides a forum for sharing different experiences and ideas. It includes Dharma talks, interviews, information about practice and study centers, gatherings both national and international, ordinations, publications, and other issues relevant to women in Buddhist practice.
Sakyadhita is a non-profit organization incorporated in the state of California. It welcomes members, regardless of creed, nationality or gender. The research, educational, and publication activities of Sakyadhita will require generous support. Donations are tax-deductible and may be directed to specific projects, in accordance with the wishes of the donor.
Please send U.S. $10.00 for a one year membership to: Sakyadhita, 400 Hobron Lane, #2615, Honolulu, HI, 96815.Back to all Snow Lion Articles