Feeling for Fate: Karma and the Senses in Buddhist Nuns’ Ordination Narratives
By Sara Ann Swenson16 pages
In Vietnam, the decision for young women to ordain as Mahayana Buddhist nuns is navigated through careful interpretations of feeling. Nuns state their decisions to “go forth” (đi tu) in youth were precipitated by feelings of peace and comfort in monasteries even before they understood Buddhist teachings. Such feelings are interpreted as indicators of past-life karmic bonds, which create “predestined affinities” in this life (nhân duyên).