Buddhist women, including nuns, have faced harsh discrimination by Buddhist institutions in Asia for centuries.There is gender inequality in most of the world's religions, of course, but that's no excuse.The Buddha admitted there was no reason a woman could not be enlightened."Women, Ananda, having gone forth are able to realize the fruit of stream-attainment or the fruit of once-returning or the fruit of non-returning or arahantship," he said. Some historians argue that this story was an invention written into scriptures later, by an unknown editor.And better yet, you don't have to ask them if they like the same books or movies you do -- it's all there on display!
Each week in this column we look at what it might be like if Siddhartha was on his spiritual journey today. Every other week I'll take on a new question and give some advice based on what I think Sid, a fictional Siddartha, would do.Let's begin at the beginning, with the historical Buddha.According to the Pali Vinaya and other early scriptures, the Buddha originally refused to ordain women as nuns.The only time I ever meet cute women who are interested in dating me is when I'm giving a lecture. She literally began looking over my shoulder to see who else was around. Apparently there are a lot more single women in NYC, and a lot more single men in LA, which probably helps to explain why we're having these kinds of experiences. But anyway, here's how I handled that woman: I finished my sentence, said good-bye, and I walked away.I go to parties here in Los Angeles and they run away screaming! ME: I'm not taking pleasure in your misfortune, but I must say, it's good to be reminded that even men go through interactions like that. There was no point in continuing the interaction if she didn't want to be a part of it.