Here’s the paper I presented at the recent Sakyadhita conference in Yogyakarta. It may be the last piece of writing I publish for a while, so enjoy.
Nuns exist only in the imagination. When I close my eyes, and focus on what is real, there are no nuns there. Nor, for that matter, are there any monks, or lay people, or anyone else. So if we are to talk about any of these kinds of people, we are telling a story—a story that has some relation to fact, we hope, but where the facts are filled in with copious amounts of imagination.
We imagine a past and call it “history.” We imagine a future and call it “vision.” We imagine the present and call it “reality.” Or, to be sadder but more accurate, in Buddhism we mostly just imagine a past and say that’s “the way it is,” and we…
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