Cambridge Insight Meditation Center
Buddha hand

Behold, O desciples, I exhort you! Subject to change are all conditioned things. Strive on with diligence.

—The Buddha

About CIMC: Ordination of Women

We are in support of women’s ordination.

The Buddha taught that the path of awakening rested in the practice of the four fold sangha which includes monks (bhikkhus), nuns (bhikkhunis), laywomen, and laymen. As the dharma spread from India into the rest of Asia, both men and women were ordained and the sangha of lay practitioners thrived. In the West today, monks, laywomen, and laymen are all still thriving.

However, between the time of the Buddha and now, the bhikkhuni order died out in India for a variety of cultural and political reasons, though it continued in China, Taiwan, and Korea. Today there is a deep interest on the part of many practitioners in reestablishing the bhikkhuni order in the Theravadin tradition.

In the dharma establishing its roots firmly in the West, in cultures that welcome and respect all practitioners regardless of gender, it is incumbent on us to encourage and support bhikkhuni ordination. The teaching of awakening and freedom would only be diminished by the marginalizing of any sincere aspirant.


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