Episode 21 :: Rita Gross :: Roles of Women in Buddhism

| July 16, 2010 | 0 Comments

Rita Gross

Although early Buddhism certainly acknowledges the equality of women in ability to attain liberation, and even went so far as to start an ordination for women as monastics, the actual equality of women is, in practice, something which has suffered from cultural biases and age-old views. Nuns, even those with tremendous experience and knowledge to share, find themselves relegated to a role of subservience to even the most inexperienced of their male counterparts. Recent events regarding the ordination of Bikkhunis has brought into sharp focus how deeply these divisions lie, and how equality of capability does not correspond to equality of responsibility.

Is this changing? Certainly there is more attention to it. And, hopefully, venues like this podcast can help move things in a direction more in keeping with modern views of equality and partnership.

My guest today is author and Buddhist scholar, Rita Gross. Rita specializes in bringing together the values and perspective of academic research, and Buddhist teachings, and is internationally known for her innovative work on gender and religion.

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Music for This Episode

Shakuhachi Meditations

Shakuhachi Meditations

The music heard in the middle of the podcast is from Rodrigo Rodriguez’s CD, Shakuhachi Meditations. The tracks used in this episode are:

  • Shunyata

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Category: The Secular Buddhist Podcast

Ted Meissner

About the Author ()

Ted Meissner is the host of the podcast Present Moment: Mindfulness Practice and Science. He has been a meditator since the early 90’s, has been interviewed for Books and Ideas, Mindful Lives, and The Whole Leader podcasts, spoken about mindfulness with various groups including Harvard Humanist Hub, and has written for Elephant Journal and The International Journal of Whole Person Care. He is the Executive Director of the Secular Buddhist Association, host of the SBA’s official podcast The Secular Buddhist, and is on the Advisory Board for the Spiritual Naturalist Society. Ted’s background is in the Zen and Theravada traditions, he is a regular speaker on interfaith panel discussions, and is interested in examining the evolution of contemplative practice in contemporary culture. Ted teaches Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care & Society, where he is the Manager of Online Programming and Community Development.

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