temple diaries

by 伊凌 yi ling

From the hills of east Taiwan now 🙂 I’ve moved to the “women’s” practice center. Had a moment of affirming in queerness when the master said to my mother that he couldn’t expect to teach me like a woman because I thought in vaster/“more masculine” ways. Capricorn influence perhaps? Experiencing reconfigurations of queerness in spirituality. I’m mostly studying, everything is in Mandarin Chinese so I feel left between languages most of the time. The lucky thing is quite a few of the monks are younger 20-30ish and from other countries like Malaysia, China, Hong Kong, and one of them is Taiwanese who lived in New Zealand and Japan (she’s so funny and able to speak with me in English and had a career in psychology in Japan before taking these vows. She empathizes with my doubts of whether or not this path is out of our childhood vocation/family influence/Buddhist organization participations or true calling). I enjoy asking and hearing how these women came to this lifelong commitment while re-understanding what it could look like for myself. I don’t see myself here sealed off forever, definitely thinking daily of my friends in the west who could really benefit from being able to connect with this vaster cosmology of Northern Chinese, more progressive Mahayana Buddhism with deeper methods that emphasizes the Bodhisattva practice compared to the shallower capitalist commercialized forms of western Buddhism.

Today learned that monks don’t bow to emperors or kings or parents…radical. And mowing the wide fields and lawn, carrying the machines, badass nuns.