“That one thought birthed hope and power. Not power over others or the way they perceive my growth, but power over my own path.” -TUM
This morning was an interesting one. It began bright and early with a short meditation, a cup of green and some much needed rest. I threw on Netflix and was excited to see a documentary on the Dalai Lama. Although intrigued by Tibet and Buddhism in the past, I had not really dug into the subject prior.
The documentary peeked my interest. I found myself researching Buddhism on my phone as the Dalai Lama was interviewed in front of me. As I dug deeper, my excitement grew.
Just then, in the midst of my glee, the instinct to google “Women in Buddhism” grew heavy. I typed in the words and started to read.
Growing up in Catholic schools, we were taught girls are less than. They never said this to us, but of course actions speak louder than words. Those actions screamed “you can never make it to the top”. As a young girl, you don’t know any different. You don’t question it. It is what it is. You suck it up and really don’t pay attention. Little do you know, you store those feelings deep down, later to announce themselves in this way and that.
So there I was, in the depths of the internet desperate to find an answer as to why, with all of their so called enlightenment, Buddhists do not send their little girls to monasteries and of course no female has ever been pronounced the next Dalai Lama. I read, according to Buddhism, it is impossible for a female to reach Nirvana. This of course was all written by man, such as the bible. With that I know it is skewed, but will my daughter? Will she face the same road blocks I have, no matter which path she takes?
Prior to this research, I had the assumption Buddhism was “better than” Catholicism. An inclusive belief founded upon self discovery for all. One in which there is no gender, race or economic status. Disappointed in my findings, I became sad. Very sad. “I’m going to prove those fuckers wrong.”
But just then, another thought sprouted. The realization that the only thing holding me back now is the limitations and conditioning put forth in my early years. These can only take hold if I myself believe them. I can chose to hold onto said beliefs, passing them down to my future offspring, generation after generation. Or I can work on it. I can make a conscious effort to allow my unconscious to rid my being of such teachings. That one thought birthed hope and power. Not power over others or the way they perceive my growth, but power over my own path.
So thank you “man made ” religion for bringing to light my own self fed limitations.
There is work to be done,