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To be a priest and not plus update on Buddhist education and life

I was listening to transgender and the church i am transsexual female; I am not Abrahamic but a tibetan buddhist. Anyways they are talking at one point a female priest and a Sunday school teacher saying this female Sunday school teacher was not a priest but in fact by the female priest seen as a priest. A priest but not a priest.

I am no longer seeking chaplaincy until grad school is free . I won’t put myself in extreme debt. Anyways I rejoined fpmt online program. I am taking discovery of Buddhism so I can take basic Buddhism program. I need to go to Maitripa university to take masters program. The tuition at Maitripa university is awesome only 5000 $ a year for master of divinity though if I was monastic person with 3.5 gpa it’s free. I am a lucky to be 2.0-2.5 student. Though I want my lay vows. I have to stay in the dorms that’s 35,000$ a year. I might as well do Naropa university online program which is a option for the fpmt online or in person masters program. The problem with Naropa masters program is that it’s tuition is 20,000$ plus each semester for first year is week long retreats. I have 2 cats I don’t wanna give up my parents said during retreat they take care of them. Chaplain pay is awesome but I couldn’t afford losing my cats Maitripa is out. Naropa is idea . But I am looking at 10,000$ over salary.

I am reminded of priest not being a priest. With the basic fpmt program I can teach online. Just keep my job. Is their a way to make that 10,000 $ back and still work as a chaplain. It be hospital job.

That being said as a janitor at a undisclosed site meaning government I am helping sciencetist healthy and carefree. So in that sense just being kind and imparting undisclosed my beliefs I am giving myself and others good karma.

I just want to be a chaplain. If I get my bachelors I can do volunteer work as a chaplain but I don’t know how the basic program of fpmt would fly. I can afford part time and disability pay as I live in income based apartments. It be my next car a problem . I live rural from my big city but I could always move to big city income based apartments but I still need a car. Bus you can’t rely on and it’s in a area we’re I can’t catch bus or walk.

I am still taking the discovery of Buddhism and then basic course. But if I stay we’re I am at I couldn’t do masters program. Plus I only have 30 credits that plus my college previous debt is 30,000 plus 20,000 $ is 50,000 $ at the moment it’s in on hold yearly reapply. If I finish school I don’t know if I can defer my student loans. Plus chaplain internship to volunteer I couldn’t do with current job. I could try teaching at uua church. But again it’s a basic program I don’t know how that apply.

In theory my parents would buy me a new car but I couldn’t let my parents do that. In theory if my loans are deferred and I stay at 4 hrs I could afford a car. But that would constraint my budget.

I really think teaching either at uua or online would be my best bet. My car will last ten yrs if I take care of it. It just a hard life wether I go back to school or stay we’re I at. I am taking fpmt course ms not be a teacher but have a practice and be a part of the lineage.

Imparting my self as a undisclosed layperson in Buddhism and influence people with morals and kindness brings people to Buddhism in next life and good karma. I guess that’s what I take from being a priest without being a priest.

If I wanted to do a sabbatical with a government job as a subcontractor in a company that hires disabled would I be paid and could I. I am thinking of the 1 credit internship to be a volunteer chaplain.


  • JeroenJeroen Do it with a smile Netherlands Veteran
    edited May 14

    Paska have you considered people’s reactions to a transgender chaplain? It strikes me that many lay buddhists may have some questions about being guided by someone in that situation, to put it mildly. You could try teaching a lay circle first for a while, to see how people respond, without immediately committing to a long study. I’m not sure how it might turn out, but it might be wise to try it.

    I have been in a few of these circles over the years and there are a wide variety of people in them, often a substantial portion are just members of the public who have wandered in. You do find a somewhat more thoughtful cross section of society there, just because they are people interested in Buddhism, but I think a certain degree of life experience is expected from the leaders, the circles I have encountered have been led by fairly senior lay teachers.

    I was just looking at these snapshots of Buddhist chaplains and it seems that a lot of these people have lengthy histories in Buddhist communities. Not a short or easy path.

  • paskapaska Explorer

    Being transgender has nothing to do with being a Buddhist chaplain Jerome. I do agree on a whole most Buddhist chaplains should be practice if for 10 yrs before chaplain school. But I have to reminded you i did a unaccredited cult leaning practice for at least 5 yrs. but I am starting at the beginning because I feel the need to understand Buddhism before I stretch my legs.

    I resent the fact you brought up transsexual identity as a possible negative and the reaction as a Buddhist chaplain. Buddhism has no correlation with anti LGBT matters unless your ordained monastic monk but then all monks and nuns should be celibate. Kerome this borders on sexism and bigotry of LGBT. Now I am not saying your a bigot or implying bigotry but I am emphasizing what you said depending on persons stat of mind could be seen that way.

    In fact though irritated that it was brought up my judgment wasn’t a possible bigot ideology but concern as for me my well being in success as a chaplain. Wether I decide or not to be a chaplain is up to karma and if I decide to do it. Right now I probably won’t do it but stick to a circle if buddha allows it lol stole that from Christians.

    Be well kerome and buddha bless have a blissful and successful practice. Just watch how language could hurt someone feelings which might be a vow breaker if you have vows.

  • JeroenJeroen Do it with a smile Netherlands Veteran

    Hmm, no harm was intended, I have a number of gay friends and have no problems with them. But I think how you cope with these situations is a topic that should be discussed, it’s bound to come up. People tend to have certain expectations of spiritual mentors.

  • paskapaska Explorer

    Yes it’s like my name paska in one Language it means crap in another it’s a Buddhist reference from a Christian source. Translation is communion bread it means not perfect but getting their. So I did not assume anything just irritated this lgbt issue came up. Yes I agree to a point. Some Buddhist sects see lgbt similar to fundamentalism Christian. I understand the world will never see me as perfect but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt. That some people would view transsexual chaplains in a bad way I guess it’s karma.

  • howhow Veteran Veteran
    edited May 14

    Cheater noodle notes for potentially balancing a practice, whether as a monk or as laity.

    Most active Buddhist practitioners demonstrate consistent foundational leanings towards one of the three categories of practice. These categories are meditation, faith/service/devotional and scriptural study .
    When questioned about this, practitioners will typically say that their practice is a actually a combination of at least two or more of these categories, even though they will demonstrate a consistent preference for leading from one category over the others.

    Because each category offers it's own pro's and conns in practice, knowing which one is our current category choice gives us a head up for where each of us could probably be paying more attention to.

    One example of these categories' pros & conns can be.....

    Meditation offers self reliance but with equal risks of becoming attached to that same self effort.
    Faith/service/devotional offers a fast track to a wider expression of selflessness but tends to gloss over ones personal delusions.
    Scriptural study offers undeniable truths but when compartmentalized, restricts them to mentalities that miss the heart and limit their applications.

    While it is a common idea in the world to pay most of our attention to our strengths, it is in attending to our weaknesses that we usually ignore, that allows for fundamental transformations in our practices.

  • paskapaska Explorer

    I don’t follow how

  • howhow Veteran Veteran

    The road to suffering is paved with all of our attachments.

    One way of figuring out if we are just replacing one form of suffering for

    Track out and identify which of these 3 methods of practice is yours.

    Watch out for the expressions of the human condition that relate to and tend to get exasperated by that particular practice.

    Attend as closely to the limitations inherent in such a practice as it's benefits.

  • JeroenJeroen Do it with a smile Netherlands Veteran

    @paska said:
    That some people would view transsexual chaplains in a bad way I guess it’s karma.

    I’m not even sure if it’s ‘in a bad way’, but I think many people on encountering a transsexual chaplain will ask, how does what you are affect your practice? Do you accept yourself? Has your road through life made you wise?

    There are traditions around the world where transsexuals have a role and a place in spiritual practice, among the shamans in some places, or in the temples in India. But I think among western Buddhists it is rather unusual. I guess that means it is up to you to define your path.

  • paskapaska Explorer

    Kerome it more like the Christian Job that I am gifted with gifts such as my moms dog who is envisioned as a teacher (because of a past life of being his teacher and he my student by a dream and that was confirmed by a waking dream of a puppy turning into baby human student and back to puppy. At least my teacher in Aci Buddhism though I left and trust this idea I still believe it buddha enamination of dog because I needed a dog at the time because I was depressed a spiritual friend. My karma gave me a spiritual friend. ) and that I suffer because of karma and boy do I suffer what did I do. Did I inappropriately teach lol but I believe maybe. I am not a tulku in that sense no no and will never be recognized. What I am is a connection good and bad to tibetan Buddhism as the dog and me in that dream tibetan buddhist due to clothing. Though of course I take this with a grain of salt as I have psychosis/depression and survived a supposed cult. But tulkus of dharma temple dogs and home pets exist so why not enamination of buddha for me and him.

    Baron the dog his name used to be wise in his younger days but now he’s suffering a lot through sulking I am babysitting him parents are on vacation he says house is uninhabitable because my cats lol. He does things like refuse to come in lay in the yard even though he hates rain and you hear thunder. What he imparted on me was how to live right not as a monk/layperson or a congrent of Buddhism but a good loving person. Now he hates my child heart off hugs and kisses as if he were my baby hymen’s brother and I was 6 yrs old; he’s family he deserves love specially to be picked on like a little sis would lol. I do get carried away but he’s a gift of karma of buddha. From Aci Buddhism he’s bad because of my karma it the way how I treat the guru teacher as in visualization as if he were in Aci Buddhism anybody can be that doesn’t mean they are but implies tantric angels exist. And I Job Just suffer extremely because the spiritual realm ie I see supposed deities pretended to be k-12/ university teacher and not as deity but I know who they are ; this of my dream realm and practice.

    I wouldn’t say my dream realm has static too meaning psychosis in my dreams lol. It appears as false things but I learned what may be true and what isn’t. When I had a teacher through Aci Buddhism I had a friendship with my teacher and empart my dreams to them now I don’t have a teacher and all that is in jeopardy.

    Am I wise like the dalia lama and antainments of spiritual gifts to be noted to the public as wrong and they polity say no no I don’t have a gift no no I am not enlightened yet. That’s a hell no for me. Do I have potential hell yes : given me opportunity of being taught and maturing my student status. Yes I am wise but am I enlightened no can I use this wisdom I don’t know.

    My practice well lgbt should be accepted because buddha did. All the anti LGBT rhetoric in Buddhism is culture of foreign religion influence. It effects me because I need to be recognized as who I am a future teacher, a future student and a congrent of tibetan Buddhism and not a evil being because culture religion says I am evil. It hurts it feeds into my personality. But I take it in stride. I am not sure if it’s a imprint of being a woman in most my lives as a transsexual woman or just this life. Regardless I am a trans woman no a woman.

    I was told by a temple of fpmt that theirs a nun whose m2f transsexual woman it’s not unusual in western Buddhism. Theirs a lot us in many dharmic buddhist traditions. Look it up online. It will be therevada Thai Buddhists and Abrahamic fundies that will see as a no no wether being a Buddhist chaplain alone or with as transsexual.

    Your assumption that being transsexual will effect others as a future teacher and or chaplain it’s on them their karma and understanding of wisdom and teachings. Your assumption that does it matter for me or others is ignorant and wrong. Wisdom doesn’t pick a person wether a deadly thief to a regular person. You don’t know who might be a buddha in disguise. I believe that a Aci Buddhism idea. And should not judge others potential due to karma and negative experience

  • JeroenJeroen Do it with a smile Netherlands Veteran

    It’s a difficult and touchy subject which I am sure most would rather avoid, and I applaud you for not sidestepping it. I think in the end it comes down to the qualities of the person involved, regardless of what their orientation or past problems may be. I wish you all the best @paska.

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited May 17

    @Kerome said:
    It’s a difficult and touchy subject which I am sure most would rather avoid, and I applaud you for not sidestepping it. I think in the end it comes down to the qualities of the person involved, regardless of what their orientation or past problems may be. I wish you all the best @paska.

    (My Bold emphasis.)
    I will remember this comment, the next time there's a discussion on the value of a teacher's teachings if we know they have a black mark against them for dubious behaviour.
    I guess it comes down to the 1st precept, in all and every case.

  • JeroenJeroen Do it with a smile Netherlands Veteran

    @federica said:
    I will remember this comment, the next time there's a discussion on the value of a teacher's teachings if we know they have a black mark against them for dubious behaviour.

    It’s difficult, isn’t it? The best way to know what a person is really like is knowing them at close quarters for an extended period. But often with teachers we often make snap judgments, based on reputation and maybe one or two misdeeds. It’s easy to fall from a pedestal.

    It reminds me of what happened with Nico Tydeman Roshi at the Zen Center of Amsterdam. He had an extramarital affair with a senior student for a number of years, and this caused a ruckus on revealing it, but in the end his relations with his wife and the rest of his teaching circle were strong enough that he stayed on as the senior teacher there.

    So I am inclined to say that if those closest to him still accept him as a spiritual teacher, then for me that weighs heavily, and I will go along with that.

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    When his only misdeed was flouting the 3rd precept, in that light, it's not so bad.

    Personally, I think this sex/infidelity thing is grossly overrated. With however-many billion people on the planet, you're only supposed to have sex with one? Really?

    But that's a whole different ball-game.
    If you'll pardon the pun.

  • paskapaska Explorer

    Senpai teacher kerome rules are apart of my disability .westerners expect preflect teachers, teachers still have karma I believe even though teachers are seen as manifestation of buddha in tibetan Buddhism.

    I just got out of a sangha with a questionable breaking bad grandmaster. I am no beginner and at same time I am am. I have a past too . Am I blacklisted.

  • howhow Veteran Veteran
    edited May 17

    Simply don't have sexual interactions with members of your own sangha!

    I think sexual interactions with disciples and even fellow sangha members is simply saying that you hold your own sexual needs in greater esteem than the spiritual health of that partner. This is not a slight harm. This is actually the complete opposite of the core of the Buddha's teachings.
    Think about how many sexual interaction you've ever had in life. Consider the inertia of potential negative karma that would have been created if the majority of your former lovers felt obliged to leave & change their own sangha's when those relationships inevitably ended. If you actually wanted to harm a fellow sangha member, can you think of a crueler way of eventually doing so?
    It is one thing for a present sexual partner to eventually join the same Sangha as you.
    It is an entirely different thing to deliberately interact with a present member of one's sangha in a way that introduces a potential sexual interdependence. Not only does it declare how little you actually care for that members spiritual health but because of the power differences usually found in the average Sangha, it can often be better described as spiritual pedophilia than as anything else.
    Sangha's are littered with such victims.

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Thank you @how that puts matters into a much better perspective. Nice to be led to a different way of thinking...

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    To be a priest …

    As a Dudeist priest
    I know a thing or three or even next to Nothing about Priesthoodies:

    • Sangha Robes can be visualised over your daywear
    • Most priests are driven sane by maddening flock/practitioners/delusions of karma
    • Laity Rulz
    • Priesthood is a state of mind

    and now back to better advice …

  • JeroenJeroen Do it with a smile Netherlands Veteran
    edited May 18

    I don’t think dudeism counts as a serious expression of priesthood since it somewhat lacks a flock. It’s more a fun thing to play with if you are a fan of The Big Lebowski.

    You could consider that priesthood is a state of mind, but I think it is one that is always influenced by the community around the priest. For a monk it is different, a monk can be alone. But it seems to me the priest mostly serves the community.

    I loved the robot priest @lobster…

  • paskapaska Explorer

    I decided if I do good in the fpmt Buddhism beginner and basic course I will go back to university finish my 1 yr left in bachelors and do the online program for chaplaincy.

    One thing after leaving Aci Buddhism they resigned me up for course 1 of geshe program they rather retrain you then loose you . I respect them because their only pushing a cult and have some good qualities in Buddhist education but this was really disrespectful after the fact I just survived a car a potential car crash. I have more trouble on another issue please give me some good thoughts in prayer buddhist style. I need them my karma boy I have a lot bad karma but at least I have a good family including buddha dog lol.

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