The purpose of this project was to learn about Buddhism and Monasticism, specifically Thai Buddhism and the woman’s role. This Portfolio begins with a relatively concise explanation of the fundamental ideas and history of Hinduism and Buddhism, including Upanishadic Monism, Buddha’s life and influence, the theory Samsara, the theory of All Suffering, the theory of Emptiness, and the three main types of modern Buddhism: Theravada, Mahayana and Tantra.
The second part of this portfolio contains information on the current status of women in Thailand. It examines the differences between Bhikkhuni and Mae-Ji and explains the political and social repercussions. Finally, it discusses, without conclusion, the possible factors of these differences.
The third part of this portfolio deals with my own personal experience imitating the Monastic lifestyle of a Bhikkhuni and the experiences of the students in Professor McDaniel’s class (a class on the monastic lifestyle in a University setting).
Also included is a timeline of important events starting from Buddhas birth, a glossary of words, and examples of Thai-Tantra Buddhist sites with pictures that I took during my year abroad.
All information in this Portfolio should be understandable to someone who has never studied Buddhism before. With this portfolio I hope to educate and interest my reader, and I challenge him or her to consider how what they learned here might apply to their own life.