Next Topic: Women (Gender Equality) in Buddhism

April 14, 2014

This Sunday I would like to finish the topic of Happiness Here and Now. A number of people have expressed interest in the topic of Women in Buddhism, which I think is hugely important in the Western context, since gender equality has been somewhat elusive in Buddhist history. I therefore propose that we spend a couple of weeks on this, starting April 27. In fact, I wrote an essay that takes this issue back to Early Buddhism. Please read this in the next couple of weeks if you can as a beginning point for the discussions:

Also, please invite anyone you would like who has an interest in Women in Buddhism.



Burmese New Year (Water) Festival (Thingyan)

April 12, 2014


Water Festival, Burmese New Year
Sunday April 13, 2014, 10am – 4pm
Sitagu Buddha Vihara, 9001 Honeycomb Dr. 78737
Food – Burmese Dancing and Singing – Family Fun – Splashing

For those of you who are coming to the Water Festival (Thingyan) scheduled for this Sunday, I would like to suggest that you spend some time enjoying the festivities, entertainment and food, but that you also use this as an opportunity to learn about the monastery and meet the monks, and talk with me.

AustinSitaguThingyan220The monks do not participate in the festivities (except we do eat), but are available in the background for anyone to meet with. I would like to declare 9:30 in the morning to be good group time: I will conduct a tour at that time, starting at the pagoda, and be available for answering questions. Entertainment will probably get started around 10-ish, so you can slip away as required. I will generally be available all day, for tours, Dhamma discussions or whatever. You can ask anyone who looks like he or she might know for “the American monk” to find me.

Specific things scheduled beside entertainment that I suggest you come to are:

Sometime between 11 and 11:30: food offering to the monks (and probably one nun). It is a simple group-participation ritual. Even kids like it. Monks eat before noon. Lay folks will begin eating shortly after the monks.

At 1:00 (Burmese time, which is usually later than Zen time, but you never know) there will be a (hopefully) short Dhamma program, taking precepts and a Dhamma talk. You might find this interesting, but I suggest sitting kinda near the door, in case it gets long-winded. It is also likely to be primarily in Burmese, though the abbot always speaks partly in English.

Definitely bring kids if you have any.



No Class April 13

April 7, 2014

Our class at the Zen Center will not meet on Sunday April 13 because of the Water Festival at Bhante’s monastery. But everybody in the class, and their families, is invited to join the festivities.

Water Festival, Burmese New Year
Sunday April 13, 2014, 10am – 4pm
Sitagu Buddha Vihara, 9001 Honeycomb Dr. 78737
Food – Burmese Dancing and Singing – Family Fun – Splashing


Please come. You will have fun. You can see Bhante’s monastery. Look for me and I will give you a tour, or we can talk Dhamma.


New Topic Begins March 16

March 15, 2014

We are back at the Zen Center. We will begin the chapter “The Happiness Visible in this Present Life” in In the Buddha’s Words, pp. 105-142. This concerns the Buddha’s advice on developing social harmony and well-being, in the householder life, in monastic life and in nations.

Class Moved March 9

March 5, 2014

Our class has been preempted again by another event at the Austin Zen Center, this time by a weekend retreat led by a wonderful Zen master, Reb Anderson. However an alternative venue has been graciously offered by Corey in south Austin for such eventualities. Therefore the Sunday March 9 meeting looks like this:

Austin Words of the Buddha
March 9, 2014, 2:00-3:30pm
Cory’s, 2107 Eva St., Austin 78704, TX

This is in South Austin near Congress and Oltorf. A map is HERE. Please bring cushions. Contact Cory at: 512-373-2179 or Please come. There will be … coffee.


No Class on February 9

February 4, 2014

Our class will be preempted by another event at Austin Zen Center, a five-day “Genzo-e” retreat with Shohaku Okurmura Roshi. We will meet again on February 16 at the usual time. Thank you for your patience.

On patience. In the middle of our construction phase at the Sitagu monastery, the head electrician, a burley Romanian, once expressed his regret at the inevitable delays during construction.

“I bet you anxious you move into new cabin,” he said.

“I’m patient,” I replied.

“Buddhist not be patient like Romanian not drink Wodka.”


Invitation to Ceremony Honoring Ashin Ariyadhamma

January 23, 2014

Originally posted on News from Sitagu, Austin:

Dear Dhamma Friends,

You are cordially invited to the ceremony honoring our abbot Bhaddanta Dr. Ashin Ariyadhamma who is bestowed the title “Mahasaddhammajotikadhaja” by the Ministry of Religious Affairs of the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar on January 4, 2014 for his outstanding Theravada Buddhist missionary work.

Please see the attached files for details.

Schedule :

Date : Saturday, January 25, 2014
Time : 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
Place : Sitagu Buddha Vihara
9001 Honeycomb Dr.

Austin, TX 78737

On behalf of Theravada Dhamma Society of America,

Dr. Thane Kyaw Win Bo

Chairman Secretary


View original

Happy New Year Greeting from Sitagu Sayadaw

January 1, 2014

new Card (3)

Women in Buddhism

December 31, 2013

This topic was brought up in yesterday’s class. Let me give you the link to an essay I wrote on this important topic about a year ago:

What Did the Buddha Think of Women?

This essay is concerned with the status of women primarily in Early Buddhism and not directly with the history of women in Buddhism, nor with modern issues.

As for history, most of Asia, like most of the West, has a legacy of patriarchy that historically has often undermined the opportunities of women for practice and the recognition of accomplished women as teachers, in spite of what I hope to have shown were the Buddha’s pure intentions. For example, until very recently the sangha of fully ordained nuns (bhikkhunis) that the Buddha created has been missing in both the Theravada and the Tibetan traditions.

As for modern issues, this is changing even in Asia largely through Western influence. I think this is not so much because the West has itself totally changed its patriarchal ways, as that those Westerners who come to Buddhism tend demographically to be among the kind of educated and socially and politically progressive elements that have been most supportive of gender equality.

Here is a link that will take you to more information on the modern bhikkhuni movement:

New Essay by Bhante

December 19, 2013

The Cushion or the World?

Bhikkhu Cintita Dinsmore

There is a pervasive disagreement in Western Buddhism. Those whom we can call the traditionalists see virtue in adhering rather strictly to Buddhist practices as they have been transmitted by our Asian teachers, particularly focusing on stringent meditation practice. Those whom we can call the modernists feel the necessity of integrating into their practice new features more relevant to their modern daily household and professional lives, to their relationships, to their jobs, and to their social engagement, generally by mixing in everything from psychotherapy to performance art. These two factions sometimes exchange epithets like “stuck in the mud,” “stuffed robe,” “patriarchal,” “new-agey,” “touchy-feely” and “watered down.”





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