Author Topic: The Anila who wanted to leave  (Read 10937 times)

negra orquida

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 205
The Anila who wanted to leave
« on: June 24, 2012, 12:33:10 PM »
Want to share with everyone this interesting true story of a nun who got "kicked out" of her Mahayana nunnery and came back as a Nyingma sangha.

Recently I met a nun who was ordained in the Mahayana tradition in her early teens.  After some time in the nunnery, she became disillusioned with all the politics and backstabbing and bitching among the nuns. She felt very upset and depressed for she had come into the sangha wanting to practice and benefit others, and not be concerned about having this or that monastery, pleasing certain people or politicking. She went to bed many nights with tears streaming down her face.

When she was around 18 years old, she couldn't take the culture of the nunnery anymore and told her master that she wanted to return her 300 Bikhunni vows and disrobe. But the master could see that she has the karma to live as a sangha and refused to grant her request. So he said that he won't accept her return of the vows, but she can leave the monastery and "see the world" and come back whenever she wanted to. She did just that: she grew her hair, wore lay clothes, and work in various jobs. She did this for about 10 years.

One day, she bumped into a Rinpoche from the Nyingma tradition while working.  They had never met each other before, but the Rinpoche took one look at her and said "have you had enough of seeing the world? time to put back on your nun robes and continue your real work" At first she pretended to not know what he was talking about.... she was like: what robes? Then finally she had a good talk with the Rinpoche.  Before meeting the Rinpoche she had actually dreamt that she was wearing back her nun robes.  when she woke up, she told her mom that it is time for her to go back to the monastery.  however she was in a dilemma: she didn't want to go back to the first nunnery, but she didn't know what robes to wear.  Rinpoche told her, how about the Nyingma robes? You can try it out. Which she did.

Now she is a happy nun running an orphanage, where she teaches her children Buddhist practices as part of their education.

AnneQ

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 73
Re: The Anila who wanted to leave
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2012, 01:32:02 PM »
Thank you negra orquida for this inspiring story of a nun. In this case, the nun was meant to leave her monastery for a greater good in the end. She had started very young and was probably too immature to handle all the 'politics' of her original monastery. She needed to grow and learn more about the ways of the world before she could finally settle down to spread dharma with a more enlightened mind to benefit others.

sonamdhargey

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 406
Re: The Anila who wanted to leave
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2012, 02:08:38 PM »
Interesting post I must say. I supposed that once you have the Karma to be a Sangha no matter how you want to avoid you will still be a Sangha. It is good that she found her purpose by becoming a nun again and at the same time running an orphanage to benefit the orphans with the dharma, I rejoice!

Dorje Pakmo

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 129
Re: The Anila who wanted to leave
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2012, 02:23:06 PM »
Thank you for sharing this story. I personally think if the nun ran away from the nunnery due to the politics and gossips of other nuns, then probably at that point of her life, she wasn’t prepared to be a nun. But I feel it IS her Karma to be a nun, since her master did not accept her request to return her Bikhunni vows instead allow her to “see the world”. One may need time away to understand and to see things better. In this case, it took her 10 years and a Rinpoche to confirm that. Well, what matter most is she’s happily living her life now for the benefit of others. I rejoice for her. :)
DORJE PAKMO

yontenjamyang

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 733
    • Email
Re: The Anila who wanted to leave
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2012, 04:20:57 PM »
Interesting. I recently read a story of a high Lama who also encountered politics in the monastery. It intrigue me that even in monasteries there are politics. But then it occurred to me that the reason could be that even in monasteries, most of the monks are still in samsara ie, still human beings who have karma. Hence, habituations of many lifetimes surfaced. Also, due to intensive practice, these negative karma surfaced more easily to be exhausted under guidance of their Gurus. So politics in the monasteries or nunneries should not be surprising but should be understood better.
Again this is a reminder to me that we have many wrong perceptions of how things should be. Most often, the reality surprises us and these realities can be powerful learning experiences for us.

negra orquida

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 205
Re: The Anila who wanted to leave
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2012, 04:58:33 PM »
The nun also told us how Avalokiteshvara answered their prayers promptly many times... once they ran out of rice, the nun told Avalokiteshvara in her morning prayers that they had no more rice. an out of nowhere, someone delivered bags of rice to them in the afternoon on the same day. another incident is when they had no more eggs. someone appeared and got them eggs.

Dhiman

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 37
Re: The Anila who wanted to leave
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2012, 12:34:47 PM »
This is a very interesting story about karma and how it controls our life instead of the other way round - which most people assume its the correct way. It is indeed important to have great merits and the karma to learn and practise the Dharma. Therefore, in our optimum human rebirth, it is crucial for all who wishes to uphold the Dharma to collect vast merits so that we do not stray away from our Dharmic route in future lifetimes.

Quote
When she was around 18 years old, she couldn't take the culture of the nunnery anymore and told her master that she wanted to return her 300 Bikhunni vows and disrobe.
At first she pretended to not know what he was talking about.... she was like: what robes?

Life in the Dharma is not a bed of roses in a secular perception. However, when we switch this perception, we'd realize how the conditions meet conducively for us to understand and apply the Buddha's teachings - by putting the worst situations right in front of us. It is hard to practice in the secular world simply because it is difficult to see the need for Dharma when we indulge in a world of fake comfort.

Quote
But the master could see that she has the karma to live as a sangha and refused to grant her request. So he said that he won't accept her return of the vows, but she can leave the monastery and "see the world" and come back whenever she wanted to.

Merits are also important for us to reconnect to our great teachers. In the story, both her teachers are undoubtedly highly trained masters in their respective sects. If the nun did not have the karma to return as a sangha when she left, the teacher will use all his means to stop her from making the wrong decision.

Great story that I can relate and contemplate.

Vajraprotector

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 610
Re: The Anila who wanted to leave
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2012, 01:37:56 PM »
Thank you for sharing this story. I personally think if the nun ran away from the nunnery due to the politics and gossips of other nuns, then probably at that point of her life, she wasn’t prepared to be a nun. But I feel it IS her Karma to be a nun, since her master did not accept her request to return her Bikhunni vows instead allow her to “see the world”. One may need time away to understand and to see things better. In this case, it took her 10 years and a Rinpoche to confirm that. Well, what matter most is she’s happily living her life now for the benefit of others. I rejoice for her. :)

I agree with Dorje Pakmo above, probably she wasn't ready to face all the politics and gossips and her mind or determination was not strong enough.

Also, it just shows how sad we are in this degenerate times, even nuns are full of politics and gossips. I am sure it i not one of two cases that causes her to feel disappointed and hence went away.

However, there are many stories of inspiring nuns like Tenzin Palmo, a remarkable woman who spent 12
years alone in a cave 13000 feet up in the Himalayas  :)  There are also many remarkable nun like the founder of Tzu Chi, Venerable Cheng Yan whose organisation is a global force and brings benefits to many.

ratanasutra

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 345
Re: The Anila who wanted to leave
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2012, 02:47:31 PM »
This is very interesting story, thank you for sharing it.

From this story i learn that, what we feel and what we think might not be the correct every time as our mind are still full with delusion, no wisdom so we only can see things just at right in front, not able to see far and wide.
Therefore in the spiritual path, Guru is the most important as he has wisdom and knows beyond us and he will always guide us to the right path especial when we are engage in the higher practice.

Luckily that this nun still has karma to become a nun and with wisdom of the master who let her to go outside to get experience on her own until she realize and return to the nun again, otherwise she will just wasting her time and her life with outside world and gain nothing. I believe there are many other cases out there that unfortunate like this nun.

 

Tenzin K

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 835
Re: The Anila who wanted to leave
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2012, 04:10:23 PM »
Obviously she has a strong karma being a nun but at the very young age facing all this samsaric political pressure not that any young teenager able to endure. But I must say that she definitely has a good motivation. Being 10 years out there she definitely had seen enough the outside world and able to see the benefit being ordained. When the right time comes and the right person approach her karma ripens again for her to reconnect.

I strongly believe in generating positive karma and merits. If we don’t have these to support we are unable to continue our spiritual journey. So it’s important for us to generate as much merits as possible for our future.

bambi

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 722
Re: The Anila who wanted to leave
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2012, 04:52:43 PM »
I did the same too, swaying in and out of Dharma, one day I want to do more, the next day I just want to quit. Walk away and never look back no matter what happens.

Surrendering to my laziness, ignorance, pride, ego, etc. People around me couldn't understand my feelings for Buddhism, how much I eagerly want to learn more but they were always telling me that I am wasting my time doing something so 'holy'. They break me and make me slip further because I believe them. And then there are so called Dharma friends who criticize, gossip, backstab, favoritism, etc. So I totally understand how the nun feels except I don't hold 300 vows and wear a robe. ::)

Her Guru understood the difficulties she was going through and He let her go out into the world to learn that it is worse out there. People go to Dharma centers to learn and becoming a nun is truly someone whom I respect as they give up so much, they may not be perfect now but they are still learning and becoming better.

The Rinpoche she met gave her hints and advice for her to wear her robes again and encouraging her. It doesn't matter what color her robes are but her practice to become more understanding, tolerant, forgiving towards people is what matters. And running the orphanage, teaching all the love, kindness, etc are the best ways to raise them.

I am so happy there is a happy ending to her story. Thank you!  ;D

biggyboy

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 250
Re: The Anila who wanted to leave
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2012, 05:30:13 PM »
The young nun's mind was most probably not stable enough to brace through backstabbing, politics and bitching in the nunnery along with her expectations on how the sanghas or a nunnery should behave/act or managed.  Well, isn't this happens in many centres around the world.  Come on, who else is not.  Everyone who steps into any have different motivations hence, different perception and expectation.  Likewise, I am not surprise that the young nun wanted to leave the nunnery for she could not take anymore of the hypocrisies in the nunnery. 

Glad that she has the karma to be a nun and when suitable and right condition arises, she's fortunate to have met with a Rinpoche of Nyingma lineage to guide her. Of which she has sincerely took it up to learn, practise and to find the ultimate peace and happiness for the sake of others.

Big Uncle

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1995
Re: The Anila who wanted to leave
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2012, 05:38:33 PM »
This is beautiful story. She is very fortunate to have the strong merit to be lead back to her vows. Perhaps, her previous life affinity had been with the Tibetan Nyingma tradition and not the Chinese Mahayana tradition. However, it is always beautiful to see a person with today's distraction pursue the monastic way of life. It takes a special kind of merit to go against the tide of materialism and pop culture in order to be monk or nun.

However, I am curious what does Nyingma robes look like? I know all nun and monk robes in the Tibetan tradition are maroon but I just wanted to make sure because it is mentioned specifically Nyingma robes. I heard that the Nyingma tradition also have something called red and white skirt Sangha. I believe that the red skirts are the monastics who hold monk or nun vows while the white skirts are lay Tantric practitioners. I suppose she would belong to the red skirt practitioner in this case.

dsiluvu

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1272
Re: The Anila who wanted to leave
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2012, 06:27:43 PM »
You can learn so much from this simple beautiful story! TQ negra orquida.

When I find most interesting is that if you have the potential to be some one, do some thing, it will always be your destiny - karma, merits and affinity plays those roles. I think this beautiful nun experienced what she had to experienced in the 1st nunnery and while she was outside working and seeing the world as both are lessons in life which one can learn from. Her Dharma practice must have been consistent and strong, otherwise her karma could have change and the karma to continue doing Dharma or becoming a nun would have changed. So while she was outside, I am sure she still keep up her practice.

It also tells me that the concept about what she expected in the 1st nunnery was false and she did not have the strength and wisdom at that time to see it through or could it be it wasn't the right nunnery for her in the first place? Hence the change. But her affinity connection towards Dharma was still strong hence she met the Nyingma Lama. The nuns in Nyingma tradition's robes are below... see attached pix ;)

pgdharma

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1055
Re: The Anila who wanted to leave
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2012, 02:57:03 AM »
Thank you for sharing, negra orquida. I am glad that after going through all the experiences she is now an Anila. It is not easy for a young teenager to become a nun if there are no proper guidance and especially if the nunnery is involved in politics, backstabbing and bitching. As a young teenager, she is curious and want to experience the outside world. These experiences made her a stronger person and when she met the Rinpoche she is more matured and prepared to be a nun and happily running an orphanage.