This view may be common however I doubt the reality is something exclusively from the male side (as the statement appears to infer).
My experience of living in monasteries is that women can certainly be hindrances to male practise from the aspect of women psychologically attaching themselves to a male figure when they start to live in the monastery. In other words, men seem to (at times) ‘carry women’ psychology in the monastery (similar to the Zen story about the monk carrying the lady over the stream).
I once lived in a monastery (as a layman), where there was a 10-precept nun who was “useful” to the place. The nun appeared to be getting lonely because her co-Western monastics had departed. The Thai Abbott approached me & said: “Both of you are Australian; I expect you would be friends”. I looked at the Abbott incredulously & silently walked away. A few months later, the nun disrobed.
I recall listening to an audio talk by a recently ordained bhikkhuni (about sex & love), where the bhikkhuni shared her experience as a new nun at Amaravati. The bhikkhuni said a monk helped her with some significant problem & the immediate thought that arose in her mind was: “Marry me”. I was pleased to know the bhikkhuni got through that transitional phase with the monk’s compassionate help.
In summary, the problems related to monastic practitioners that have not yet reached a state of psychological independence (‘viveka’) is a two-way street; just like worldly sexual activity is a two-way street. The natural urges & weaknesses arise from both sides, that is, from both the male & female sides.
[quote=“Brenna, post:3, topic:3209”]
Most of the bhikkhunis in the West that I’m aware of do not keep the Eight Garudhammas, because, as you mentioned, it creates inequality.[/quote]
I personally believe (however it is mere belief since I have no evidence) the Buddha spoke the Eight Garudhammas because, in general, men & women can have different tendencies, which can be observed in the secular workplace.
In my experience, in the secular workplace, the minority of female bosses are considered competent and the majority of female workers prefer male bosses because female bosses have a tendency to act very personally. I (as a ‘male’) have had female bosses and generally have felt they behave towards me subjectively as though I am their husband (since I am Mr Reliable) rather than as though I am an employee.
My impression of the suttas is they state ‘a woman’s ideal is domination’ (AN 6.52) and 'a husband is to give his wife authority in the home’ (DN 31). My mother & father, although not being Buddhists, certainly had this dynamic. Given women are (generally) designed by nature to bear children & nest-build, I have no doubts what the suttas say is accurate for the household life. If I was a married man, I would certainly be prepared to serve my wife with the attitude that the family life of children, money, sex, etc, revolve more around her rather than around me.
But, alas, the monastery is not the household. At least to me, the monastery is not the place for women to domineer and treat the monks like their sons, lecturing them about their minor or major faults.
Personally, I find most of the Eight Garudhammas to make perfect sense. Bhikkhunis are not to teach monks or criticise them because these are inherent characteristics of worldly women who are searching for the best quality mate or, otherwise, expressing motherly tendencies. I suppose if a bhikkhuni was a confirmed arahant, there could be an exception.
The above sexist rant spoken, personally, I have no personal issues about monks & nuns living in the same monastery. Those that have the natural urges simply pair-up & disrobe, as they probably should. Nothing like a novel monastic romance story to share with the grandchildren.
I never heard about this monastery before. As a householder, I just provided a donation.