On a couple of supposed Vinaya rules regarding monks and women and trans people


If you have these qualities in yourself you might perhaps rethink your criticism me for being harsh? Afterall, it’s a difficult position to be in if you judge people harshly for those qualities we actually have in ourself!

You’re forgiven. Please also forgive me .

Please continue to try to understand the meaning behind my posts.


Of course you’re right :wink: I’m considering that I’m too harsh because I really DON’T KNOW what to think about this situation and my posts are only about asking questions and not about giving answers. I also don’t know if I am right or wrong. Perhaps I was too harsh indeed, and I could write that in PM and that is part of harsh speech there I think. So I am deeply sorry about what I’ve did.

You’re forgiven. Please also forgive me .

Thank you for your generosity :slight_smile: :anjal: I of course forgive as well.

Please continue to try to understand the meaning behind my posts.

I will contemplate on them much more.

I come from country where these matters discussed are like a warzone and this subjects creates tons of conflicts (even actual violence), and I observe this political issues with very immature behaviors from both sides. Of course right winged people are much much worse, but left winged sometimes do very stupid and extremely provocative things as well. It is like both sides were actually feeding on that conflict, instead of trying to make peace with each other, and this is why I’m so reserved in taking side in this subject which in my country is very related to issue of LGBTQIA+ aswell. But I am considering it deeper and deeper so thank you for that Bhante :anjal:


Dear Bhante,

I of course understand your good intentions but how it reads right now is confusing and hurtful to a group of people. The right terminology you are looking for, as Ven. @Akaliko pointed out, is ‘intersex’.
Could you please change this? Thank you!


Hello there,

I’ve wrote this in PM to Bhante Akaliko more than week ago, but I wanted to publicly deeply apologise Bhante Akaliko and everyone else for my post and my harsh speech in it, I felt and feel terrible about what I’ve wrote, and the way that I’ve put my statements. Shame on me.

I’m sorry that this post probably created some unpleasant feelings in many people, especially Bhante @Akaliko.

I hope to never commit such harsh speech again and I undertake the training of working on my right speech with much more care than before.

I could have stated my mind in totally different way and I feel really sorry about this.

After giving it more thought, on the subject, all I wanted to actually express (and I know it is just my opinion, and I really hope it will no offend anyone), is that I believe that all people should have same rights, and I treat everyone equal no matter of their gender, race, orientation etc. it is very natural for me. Human being is a human being and everyone should be treated good.

Just due to some political movements I was observing I just don’t support treating any group “extra special” due to their gender/race/orientation etc., even if they’re a minority. And I just got fearful impression that perhaps sometimes in trying to defend someone, we could go too far and in trying to protect minority we can give them special treatment instead of equal treatment, and it is something that from my actual perspective I see as not a good solution: firstly because it can make them feel superior than majority and create unhealthy psychological mechanisms, and secondly, when we give someone special treatment instead of equal treatment, the opposision starts to be really aggressive and it can backfire and create unnecessary conflicts and tensions.

I don’t say that such situation was taking place here, but just that I was worried about it could due to some my social conditioning (like reading extremist left wing vs extremist right wing discussions that were going on in my country). I also don’t say that such solutions even if they were real, are inherently wrong, because perhaps they’re good, but they do not resonate with me at this moment.

I’m no specialist on the subject, so I’ll try to stay out of discussions about this issue. Just wanted to state my mind so no one takes me against LGBTQIA+ or something, I’m just for equality, good treatment, understanding and progress for/of all. :anjal:

Hope you will forgive me my former harsh speech. :anjal:


Many thanks @Invo. It takes real courage and strength to sincerely acknowledge our faults and apologise like this for our actions. And it demonstrates real spiritual growth to do so. Well done. Sadhu X 3.

May we all keep abandoning our unskilful qualities and keep growing our skillful qualities! (Me included!)

Best wishes.


My two baht on all of this is to suggest that D&D has done a pretty excellent job of being a safe space and a space where people of goodwill have assembled and expressed differing views, with a degree of good faith, patience, and understanding. That is a rare thing!

To me, a part of what is great about the EBT / Forest tradition is that this approach is a departure from traditional Theravada, and a chance to truly educe and study what the Buddha’s true intent on issues of importance is. What’s being done here is not to validate old “fire and brimstone” rules, laws and views, but to really take a hard look at the ancient texts and determine their meaning and intent, and then to go beyond that an determine how these texts can be correctly applied to our Path today. I am not aware of any other forum where such a broad discussion of important issues in this Dhamma and Vinaya Path can be discussed so openly, with such wisdom, and with such a relative degree of respect for differing opinions.

I work in a profession where people disagree, advocate and argue opposing views, in a controlled environment. One aspect of this kind of exchange is the hope that some form of truth and justice arises. We have to be able to be expressive, open, and disagree.

In terms of how to approach difficult questions of Vinaya, I always go back to something that Bhikkhu Bodhi once said about these issues, when the Vens. Thanissaro/Analayo exchange was occurring over Bhikkhuni ordination. Ven. Bodhi stated to the effect that when there is a dispute over Vinaya or a rule, that one should always err on the side of the most compassionate view. If we always view an issue with the idea of not “what does the rule mean?” but, what might this Vinaya rule or precept mean when viewed through the most compassionate and wise lens,? we might then arrive at a perspective that matches the wisdom and nuance of the Buddha’s Dhamma.

There’s already enough “bible thumping” and “fire and brimstone” in Theravada already. Let’s take this EBT and Forest perspective, and use this online assembly of good and compassionate minds to really suggest the wisest and most compassionate way forward on issues such as the thread of discussion, above. This whole thread, to me, proves how valuable and important D&D is to 21st century Buddhism, and the potential for some circles within the EBT /Forest tradition to carve out its own wise and compassionate path, entirely consistent with the Dhamma/Vinaya.


Is the rule for them to join the sangha of their sex, or their gender?


For those of us who want to try and get our terminology sorted, I found a useful site (and checked in first with Ven @Akaliko that it’s acceptable. :upside_down_face:)
It’s the Comprehensive* List of LGBTQ+ Vocabulary Definitions and since the owner of the site says that the list of terms gets updated it will helpfully/hopefully be useful for a while in this changing area. :pray:

One thing worth noting is that “trans” can short for a number of different terms - transgender, transition / transitioning, transexual are all different, and there are still more trans- words on the list. So we need to write it with thought, and when we read be sensitive to the possible intention of the writer. :slight_smile:


My only response to this is caution:
You appear to be a white male, presumably heterosexual, as am I, and therefore we have little to no actual accurate perspective on this issue by virtue of our privilege being raised in the dominant culture of our respective countries.

Right now, bigotry and discrimination exist, and are still deeply entrenched in our political, social and cultural systems - and so there is no such thing as “special” rights for any minority. Granting “equal” rights actually feels “special” to some because we aren’t used to it.
In the USA we had the BlackLivesMatter movement, which to some seemed like elevating people of color above whites - when in point of fact, it was demonstrating that black lives are being taken by racist police at a rate higher than that of white lives. Not BETTER than, but EQUAL to, but also needing to be treated as “special” because right now they’re NOT equal.

I find the “equal not special” argument to be based in a type of ignorance of the actual reality of the world, one used mostly by straight white males who think that racism and bigotry no longer exist and therefore we don’t even need to have this discussion.