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Ani-La: The Nuns from Redna Menling
Ani-La: The Nuns from Redna Menling
By:J. van de Belt
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The Bon religion is often seen as a part of Tibetan Buddhism but its bond is actually far more complex and has its own origin in the history of Tibet. The role of women worshipping in Bon and in Tibetan Buddhism is quite different. And although there are studies on Buddhist nuns, there is hardly any research available on nuns in the Bon tradition. This pioneering study vividly portrays the nuns of the Redna Menling monastery in Dolanji (India), the headquarters of the Bon religion, in exile. It focuses on the developments of the Bon in exile, the specific context in which Bon nuns live and how the monastic tradition takes shape. It provides interesting insights into the monastic community in exile, the historic context of the Bon religion as well as the personal motives to become a nun.
Being a Buddhist Nun: The Struggle for Enlightenment in the Himalayas
By: Kim Gutschov
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They may shave their heads, don simple robes, and renounce materialism and worldly desires. But the women seeking enlightenment in a Buddhist nunnery high in the folds of Himalayan Kashmir invariably find themselves subject to the tyrannies of subsistence, subordination, and sexuality. Ultimately, Buddhist monasticism reflects the very world it is supposed to renounce. Butter and barley prove to be as critical to monastic life as merit and meditation. Kim Gutschow lived for more than three years among these women, collecting their stories, observing their ways, studying their lives. Her book offers the first ethnography of Tibetan Buddhist society from the perspective of its nuns.
Being Bodies: Buddhist Women on the Paradox
By: Friedman, Leonore, ed.
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The relationship between body and mind has always been a topic of speculation, and spirited discussion.The authors of the pieces contained in this anthology address be problem from the unique dual perspective of being women and being students of Buddhism. 'We spend our lives in bodies, and if we realize anything: we care to call 'enlightenment, it's in our bodies; ln this book we wanted to address a tendency we've both observed for spiritual seekers to leave be body behind.
Bhikkhuni Patimokkha of the Six Schools
By: Kabilsingh
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In Vinaya Pitaka, Patimokha has been accepted as one of the oldest texts of the Buddhist canon.  Patimokkha (Skt. Pratimoksa) is a list of rules or courses of training to be observed by the bhikkhus and bhikkunis.
Blossoms of the Dharma
By: Thubten Chodron
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Living as a Buddhist Nun
In recent years Buddhist nuns from Asia and the West have met together to become more active in improving their status in the female sangha. At " Life As a Buddhist Nun," the 1996 conference in Dharamsala, His Holiness the Dalai Lama supported this effort of Buddhist nuns to clarify their purpose in taking vows, widening their context, broadening community beyond their own abbeys, and supporting one another on their quest to to achieve greater equality with men in liturgical matters, especially ordination. They received concentrated teachings on the bhikshuni precepts, discussed their lives and Dharma practice, and compared traditions and precepts in different lineages.
Buddha Mom
Buddha Mom, The Path of Mindful Mothering
By: Kramer, Jacqueline
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In Buddha Mom Jacqueline Kramer beautifully illuminates the ways in which motherhood can be intricately woven into the spiritual life. Drawing on her twenty-five years as a practicing Buddhist, and on many other wisdom traditions from around the world, she offers powerful insights into cultivating a more spiritual attitude toward parenting.
Buddha's Daughters:
Buddha's Daughters: Spiritual Journeys of Early Women of the Dharma
By: Kate Blickhahn
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Historical fiction; "Buddha's Daughters" presents the stories of fifty Buddhist women and their spiritual achievements dating from the Buddha's time to the twelfth century C.E. The Buddha welcomed women from all castes and circumstances as equals into his group of followers, despite the mores and traditions of the patriarchal, even misogynistic Brahmin culture into which he was born. His teachings, his instructions for attaining enlightenment, were essentially gender-neutral. As Buddhism evolved, however, into its many forms, strong cultural forces gave this and other major world religions and spiritual paths a heavily patriarchal overlay.
Buddha's Daughters: Teachings from Women Who Are Shaping Buddhism in the West  <br> Edited by: Andrea Miller and the Editors of the Shambhala Sun
Buddha's Daughters: Teachings from Women Who Are Shaping Buddhism in the West
Edited by: Andrea Miller and the Editors of the Shambhala Sun
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Buddhism, like all world religions, has been largely shaped and defined by men. Yet despite the challenges, women have diligently practiced since the days of the Buddha. A hallmark of Western Buddhism is the prominent role that women teachers play. Buddha's Daughters showcases women teachers who have been pivotal in shaping Western Buddhism and reveals the incredible diversity of their teachings. The pieces in this book touch on universal truths as well as illuminate Buddhist concepts and practices, such as meditation, tonglen, loving-kindness, cultivating gratitude, and social action as seen through a Buddhist lens.
Buddhism After Patriarchy, A Feminist History, Analysis, and Reconstruction of Buddhism
By: Rita Gross
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This book surveys both the part women have played in Buddhism historically and what Buddhism might become in its post-patriarchal future. The author completes the Buddhist historical record by discussing women, usually absent from histories of Buddhism, and she provides the first feminist analysis of the major concepts found in Buddhist
religion. Gross demonstrates that the core teachings of Buddhism promote gender equity rather than male dominance, despite the often sexist practices found in Buddhist institutions throughout history.
Buddhism through American Women's Eyes
Buddhism through American Women's Eyes
By: Karma Lekshe Tsomo, ed.
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The Buddha's path to human transformation declares women and men equally capable of spiritual realization, yet throughout history most exemplars of this tradition have been men. Now, as Buddhism is transmitted to North America, women are playing a major role in its adaption and development. The conversation presented here takes place among practioners from the Theravada, Japanese Zen, Shingon, Chinese Pure Land, and Tibetan traditions, who share their thoughts on Buddhist philosophy, its practical application in everyday life, and the challenges of practicing Buddhism in the Western world.
Buddhist Nuns and Gendered Practice
Buddhist Nuns and Gendered Practice: In Search of the Female Renunciant
By: Nirmala S. Salgado
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Based on extensive research in Sri Lanka and interviews with Theravada and Tibetan nuns from around the world, Salgado's groundbreaking study urges a rethinking of female renunciation. How are scholarly accounts complicit in reinscribing imperialist stories about the subjectivity of Buddhist women?
Buddhist Nuns in Taiwan and Sri Lanka: A Critique of the Feminist Perspective
By: Wei-Yi Cheng
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Taking a comparative approach, this fieldwork-based study explores the lives and thoughts of Buddhist nuns in present-day Taiwan and Sri Lanka. The author examines the postcolonial background and its influence on the modern situation, as well as surveying the main historical, economic, and social factors which influence the position of nuns in society.
Buddhist Women Across Cultures
By: Karma Lekshe Tsomo, editor
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Scholars and practitioners from a variety of Buddhist cultures, philosophical traditions, and academic disciplines analyze important dimensions of the new cross-cultural Buddhist women's movement: the status and experiences of women in Buddhist societies, feminist interpretation of Buddhist tenets, and the relationship of women to Buddhist institutions. Buddhist Women Across Cultures documents both women's struggle for religious equality in Asian Buddhist cultures as well as the process of creating Buddhist feminist identity across national and ethnic boundaries as Buddhism gains attention in the West. The book contributes significantly to an understanding of women and religion in both Western and non-Western cultures.
Buddhist Women and Social Justice
Buddhist Women and Social Justice
By: Karma Lekshe Tsomo
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Looks at Buddhist women's activism for social change from the time of Buddha to the present day. This book on engaged Buddhism focuses on women working for social justice in a wide range of Buddhist traditions and societies. Contributors document attempts to actualize Buddhism's liberating ideals of personal growth and social transformation.
Buddhist Women Saints of India
By: Bhattacharya, Bela
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Women of India occupy high position in the society throughout the ages from the Vedic period down to the Buddha and afterwards; whether as faithful wife and spiritual companion of husband, as dignified mother of heroic sons or as obedient daughters. Indian women are ideal and full of respect and veneration. They not only conduct their household life but also devote themselves to search for truth and advancement of spiritual life.
Cave in the Snow
Cave in the Snow
By: Mackenzie Vickie
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Tenzin Palmo's Quest for Enlightenment
How a Westerner, the daughter of a fishmonger from London's East End, has become a Buddhist legend and a champion of the right of women to attain spiritual enlightenment.á
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Choosing Simplicity
Choosing Simplicity: A Commentary on the Bhikshuni Pratimoksha
By Bhikshuni Wu Yin
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Choosing Simplicity discusses the precepts and lifestyle of fully ordained nuns within the Buddhist tradition. The ordination vows act as guidelines to promote harmony both within the individual and within the community by regulating and thereby simplifying one's relationships to other sangha members and laypeople , as well as to possessions, food, clothing, and shelter. More than a handbook for a Buddhist monastic life, this text offers guidelines to all who wish to conduct their day-to day lives more mindfully. Those who have not chosen to dwell in a religious community still need to live peacefully with their neighbours. Being clear about boundaries, motivations, and how actions may be interpreted by others can be helpful.
Courtesans and Tantric Consorts: Sexualities in Buddhist Narrative, Iconography, and Ritual
By: Serinity Young
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The wisest teachings of Buddhism say that one must move beyond gender. But, as Serinity Young shows in this enlightening work, the rhetoric of Buddhist texts, the symbolism of its iconography, and the performative import of its rituals, all tell different, and often contradictory, stories. In Courtesans and Tantric Consorts, Serinity Young takes the reader on a journey through more than 2000 years of biographical writings, iconographic depictions, and ritual practices revealing the colorful mosaic of beliefs that inform Buddhist views about gender and sexuality.
Dakini Power
Dakini Power: Twelve Extraordinary Women Shaping the Transmission of Tibetan Buddhism in the West
By: Michaela Haas
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Many of us dream of exchanging our day-to-day responsibilities for a heartfelt life full of purpose, but few of us ever get around to doing something about it. The women featured in Dakini Powercontemporary teachers of Tibetan Buddhism, both Westerners and Asians, who teach in the Westare the exception. All twelve women followed their intuition against all odds, made dramatic and unusual decisions, and sometimes had to fight for their survival in order to lead the lives they envisioned. All were criticizedfor being too conservative or too rebellious, too feminist or not feminist enoughyet they pulled through with immense determination and bravery. Today all are recognized as accomplished practitioners and brilliant teachers.
Dakini's Warm Breath: The Feminine Principle in Tibetan Buddhism
By: Simmer-Brown, Judith
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The Feminine Principle in Tibetan Buddhism
This book length discussion of dakinis the "sky-dancer" semi wrathful spirit woman shows how the dakini, within the context of tantric practice, is both the practitioner's ultimate guide and innermost spiritual subjectivity. This text should supersede all previous explorations of the dakini principle. Demonstrates how the dakini symbolizes levels of personal realization: the sacredness of the body, both female and male; the profound meeting point of body and mind in meditation; the visionary realm of ritual practice; and the empty, spacious qualities of mind itself.
Daughters of Emptiness
Daughters of Emptiness: Poems of Chinese Buddhist Nuns
By: Grant, Beata
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Women played major roles in the history of Buddhist China, but given the paucity of the remaining records, their voices have all but faded. In Daughters of Emptiness, Beata Grant renders a great service by recovering and translating the enchanting verse -- by turns assertive, observant, devout -- of forty-eight nuns from sixteen centuries of imperial China. This selection of poems, along with the brief biographical accounts that accompany them, affords readers a glimpse into the extraordinary diversity and sometimes startling richness of these women's lives.

Dharma in Women
By: Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche
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[...] This teaching was scheduled for the Mother's Day weekend because I have been very impressed with the observance of Father's Day and Mother's Day in this part of the world, which is new to me. [...] This celebration of Mother's Day is very much in accordance with the Buddhist tradition. If you are familiar with Buddhist prayers, they often begin with something like "May all sentient beings, my mothers, who are lilmitless like the sky, experience happiness. May all sentient beings, my mothers, who are limitless like the sky, experience total joy and be separated from suffering."  We always emphasize "mothers, who are limitless like the sky" in our prayers. At the end of prayers, as well, we also share, or dedicate the merit, so that our mothers, who are kind and to whom we feel such gratitude, may experience total enlightenment through sharing this virtue of merit." [...] excerpt from page 1.
Dignity and Discipline: The Evolving Role of Women in Buddhism
Dignity and Discipline: The Evolving Role of Women in Buddhism
By: Thea Mohr & Jampa Tsedroen
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Many of the issues surrounding bhiksuni (nun) ordination in Tibetan Buddhism are shared by other parts of the Buddhist world. While some regard the bhiksuni ordination movement to be largely driven by Western Buddhist converts, efforts to revive the female order have actually been initiated by various progressive Asian monks and nuns over the last century. New bhiksuni groups at various sites, including Korea, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, are now at varying stages of maturity. All of these groups are participating in an ineluctable movement across Buddhism, one that is ultimately to be connected to larger shifts in our contemporary global civil society. This is a collection of essays taken from a global conference on bhiksuni ordination from all traditions that took place in Hamburg, Germany. The essays in this book cover the breadth of Buddhist traditions and convey the history and the vision for the future of the role of women as ambassadors and curators of the ordained Buddhist community. This book shows a shift toward granting women full ordination in all traditions of Buddhism.
Feminine Face of Buddhism
By: Gill Farrer-Halls
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This book celebrates the contribution of women to Buddhism. From Mahamaya, the Buddha's mother, to contemporary Buddhist women, this book honors Buddhist feminine archetypes and acknowledges women's teachings and experiences. It also documents the critical role they have played, and are playing, in the development of Buddhism through their lives, their work, their meditation and Buddhist practice, and their art.
Feminine Ground: Essays on Women and Tibet
Feminine Ground: Essays on Women and Tibet
By: Willis, ed.
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Essays on Women and Tibet
In this volume six western women scholars and practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism come together to explore the issues of "women" and of "the feminine' in Tibet.
In a group of critical and provocative essays, they discuss female role models, the nun's life, and gender and role identity as they have manifested in the context of Tibet. These essays thus help to fill a gap in this important area of study; and the volume makes a valuable contribution to several disciplines, including Buddhist studies, comparative studies and womens' studies.
First Buddhist Women, Poems and Stories of Awakening
By: Susan Murcott
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First Buddhist Women traces the journey of the wives, mothers, teachers, courtesans, prostitutes, and wanders who became the first female disciples of the Buddha. Susan Murcott's lively translation and commentary of the Therigatha, the earliest known collection of women's religious poetry, is surprisingly timeless, addressing issues of spiritual enlightenment and societal expectations that are still relevant today.
Garland of Feminist Reflections
Garland of Feminist Reflections: Forty Years of Religious Exploration
Rita M. Gross
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Rita M. Gross has long been acknowledged as a founder in the field of feminist theology. One of the earliest scholars in religious studies to discover how feminism affects that discipline, she is recognized as preeminent in Buddhist feminist theology. The essays in A Garland of Feminist Reflections represent the major aspects of her work and provide an overview of her methodology in women's studies in religion and feminism. The introductory article, written specifically for this volume, summarizes the conclusions Gross has reached about gender and feminism after forty years of searching and exploring, and the autobiography, also written for this volume, narrates how those conclusions were reached. These articles reveal the range of scholarship and reflection found in Rita M. Gross's work and demonstrate how feminist scholars in the 1970s shifted the paradigm away from an androcentric model of humanity and forever changed the way we study religion.
Hidden Lamp: Stories from Twenty-Five Centuries of Awakened Women
Hidden Lamp: Stories from Twenty-Five Centuries of Awakened Women
By: Zenshin Florence Caplow (Editor) , Reigetsu Susan Moon (Editor) , Zoketsu Norman Fischer (Foreword)
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The Hidden Lamp is a collection of one hundred koans and stories of Buddhist women from the time of the Buddha to the present day. This revolutionary book brings together many teaching stories that were hidden for centuries, unknown until this volume. These stories are extraordinary expressions of freedom and fearlessness, relevant for men and women of any time or place. In these pages we meet nuns, laywomen practicing with their families, famous teachers honored by emperors, and old women selling tea on the side of the road.
Himalayan Hermitess, The Life of a Tibetan Buddhist Nun
By: Kurtis R. Schaeffer
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Himalayan Hermitess is a vivid account of the life and times of a Buddhist nun living on the borderlands of Tibetan culture. Orgyan Chokyi (1675-1729) spent her life in Dolpo, the highest inhabited region of the Nepal Himalayas. Illiterate and expressly forbidden by her master to write her own life story, Orgyan Chokyi received divine inspiration, defied tradition, and composed one of the most engaging autobiographies of the Tibetan literary tradition. The Life of Orgyan Chokyi is the oldest known autobiography authored by a Tibetan woman, and thus holds a critical place in both Tibetan and Buddhist literature.
If Each Comes Halfway" Meeting Tamang Women in Nepal, CD with original Tamang songs
By: Kathryn S. March
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For twenty-five years, Kathryn S. March has collected the life stories of the women of a Buddhist Tamang farming community in Nepal. In If Each Comes Halfway she shows the process by which she and Tamang women reached across their cultural differences to find common ground. March allows the women's own words to paint a vivid portrait of their highland home. Because Tamang women frequently told their stories by singing poetic songs in the middle of their conversations with March, each book includes a CD of traditional songs not recorded elsewhere. Striking photographs of the Tamang people accent the book's written accounts and the CD's musical examples.
Innovative Buddhist Women; Swimming Against the Stream
By Karma Lekshe Tsomo
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This book combines the voices of scholars and practitioners in documenting and analyzing Buddhist women's history. It addresses many gaps in the documentation of Buddhist women's experience. The 26 articles--written by a range of Asian, Asian American, and western Buddhists--document the lives of women who, individually or collectively, have set in motion changes within Buddhist societies.
Meeting Faith, The Forest Journals of a Black Buddhist Nun
By: Faith Adiele
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Reluctantly leaving behind Pop Tarts and pop culture to battle flying rats, hissing cobras, forest fires, and decomposing corpses, Faith Adiele shows readers in this personal narrative, with accompanying journal entries, that the path to faith is full of conflicts for even the most devout. Residing in a forest temple, she endured nineteen-hour daily meditations, living on a single daily meal, and days without speaking. Internally Adiele battled against loneliness, fear, hunger, sexual desire, resistance to the Buddhist worldview, and her own rebellious Western ego.
Meeting the Great Bliss Queen: Buddhists, Feminists, and the Art of the Self
By: Anne C. Klein
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Despite barriers of language and culture, Buddhism and contemporary feminism have much to say to each other. Both appeared on the Western intellectual scene at about the same time, both focus on self and identity, and both are dedicated to the fruitful interaction of theory and experience in regard to those questions. The ritual of the Great Bliss Queen, an important Buddhist figure of enlightenment, unifies the book, modeling practices that can help us to be both at one with ourselves and open to engagement with others.
Meetings with Remarkable Women
By: Friedman, Lenore
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Buddhist Teachers in America
Meeting with Remarkable Women celebrates the flowering of women in American Buddhism. Lenore Friedman profiles seventeen distinguished female teachers who have taught in the United States. The women she writes about vary in background, personality, and form of teaching, but together they represent the growing influence of women in American Buddhism - a development that will surely affect Buddhism in the West for years to come.
Monastic Discipline for the Buddhist Nuns
Monastic Discipline for the Buddhist Nuns
By: Hirakawa
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Opening the Lotus: A Woman's Guide to Buddhism
By: Boucher, Sandy
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Part primer, part personal history, part guide to spiritual practice, this book opens the door to an understanding of buddhist spirituality, which engages more and more Westerners as the millenium approaches. Through personal anecdotes, lively explanations, and thoughtful discussions, Sandy Boucher presents a female perspective on fundamental Buddhist teachings such as compassion, detachment, and enlightenment.
Out of the Shadows: Socially Engaged Buddhist Women
By: Karma Lekshe Tsome (editor)
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Since the time of the Buddha, women have played significant roles in Buddhist societies, but until recently their contributors have often gone unrecognized. In the past two decades, the landscape has shifted dramatically. Buddhist women have come out of the shadows and begun to take active roles, both in the spheres of religion and social transformation.
Portraits of Buddhist Women
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A fascinating collection about Buddhist women translated from the thirteenth-century Sinhala Buddhist text, the Saddharmaratnavaliya, these stories provide insights into the social status and roles of women in medieval India and Sri Lanka and the Buddhist doctrinal ideal.
Power of Denial: Buddhism, Purity, and Gender, Bernard Faure
Power of Denial: Buddhism, Purity, and Gender
By: Bernard Faure
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Innumerable studies have appeared in recent decades about practically every aspect of women's lives in Western societies. The few such works on Buddhism have been quite limited in scope. In The Power of Denial, Bernard Faure takes an important step toward redressing this situation by boldly asking: does Buddhism offer women liberation or limitation? Continuing the innovative exploration of sexuality in Buddhism he began in The Red Thread, here he moves from his earlier focus on male monastic sexuality to Buddhist conceptions of women and constructions of gender. Faure argues that Buddhism is neither as sexist nor as egalitarian as is usually thought. Above all, he asserts, the study of Buddhism through the gender lens leads us to question what we uncritically call Buddhism, in the singular.
Sisters in Solitude
By: Karma Lekshe Tsomo
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Provides the first English translation of the Tibetan and Chinese texts on monastic discipline for Buddhist nuns and presents a comparative study of the two texts. An important contribution for studies of women's history, feminist philosophy, women's studies, women in religion, and feminist ethics.
Songs and Lives of the Jomo
Songs and Lives of the Jomo: Nuns of Kinnaur Northwest India. Women's Religious Expression in Tibetan Buddhism
By: Linda LaMacchia
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Jomos are nuns, celibate Women devoted to the practice of Buddhism. Kinnaur is a Himalayan tribal district on the Tibet border in Himachal Pradesh, India. This ground-breaking book tells the story of Kinnauri Jomos in their own voices through their two Song genres-Kinnauri and Tibetan-and their self-narrated lives.
Structure of The World Compared to a Bubble
By: Anne Walden
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The Stupa of Borobudur in Java is one of the architectural wonders of the world,designed as both a mandala and as an aid for the Buddhist pilgrim that can be read as a holy book. It has inspired Anne Waldman to create a work which is at once a walking meditation, a “cultural intervention,” a “recovery” of a sacred site, and a take on contemporary reality and how the busy “monkey brain” (as it is called in Buddhism) works and travels. Exploratory and meditative, even playful at times, it expands the sense of invocation  of the theme, including literary, religious, sociological, and anthropological dimensions.

Turning the Wheel
Turning the Wheel, American Women Creating the New Buddhism
By: Sandy Boucher
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American Women Creating the New Buddhism
"Essential reading for anyone wanting to understand feminism, Buddhist practice in America today, and where and how these two movements meet."
-Susan Griffin, author of Woman and Nature
Weavers of Wisdom: Women Mystics
By: Bancroft, Anne
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When a Woman Becomes a Religious Dynasty: The Samding Dorje Phagmo of Tibet
By: Hildegard Diemberger
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In the fifteenth century, the princess Chokyi Dronma was told by leading spiritual masters of her time that she was the embodiment of the ancient Indian tantric deity Vajravarahi, known in Tibetan as Dorje Phagmo, the Thunderbolt Female Pig. After suffering a great personal tragedy, Chokyi Dronma renounced her royal status to become a nun, and, in turn, the tantric consort of three outstanding religious masters of her era. After her death, some of Chokyi Dronma's masters and disciples recognized a young girl as her incarnation, the first in a long line of powerful and influential female reincarnations. Today, the twelfth Samding Dorje Phagmo leads the Samding Monastery and is a high government cadre in the Tibet Autonomous Region.
Woman Awake: Women Practicing Buddhism
By: Christina Feldman
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Traditionally women are socialized to embrace values based on conformity, passivity, and surrender of the self, which can eventually contribute to feelings of low self-worth and powerlessness. Using the central tenets and practices of Buddhism, Woman Awake offers readers an opportunity to break out of negative belief systems and move toward increased self-acceptance, strength, and vitality. Through a thoughtful selection of exercises and reflections, readers are guided to expand their awareness of life and its connectedness to all things, as well as their own dignity and place within the universe. For those women new to Buddhist meditation, Christina Feldman offers sensitive and valuable guidelines on breathing and relaxation, using an approach that encourages readers to overcome their social conditioning and appreciate their own qualities in new and significant ways.
Women in Buddhism
Women in Buddhism
By: Paul, Diana Y.
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Images of the Feminine in the Mahayana Tradition
This book breaks new ground in offering a number of Buddhist texts concerned with Mahayana Buddhism, a mine of information on women. The author has chosen this material, which has come down to us in Sanskrit and Chinese, with an eye to maintaining a high level of interest. The source material, nineteen episodes, of which nine are translated here for the first time, forms part of the great corpus of Buddhist literature.
Little Buddhas: Children and Childhoods in Buddhist Texts and Traditions
Women in Early Indian Buddhism Comparative Textual Studies
Edited by Alice Collett
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The path of practice as taught in ancient India by Gotama Buddha was open to both women and men. The texts of early Indian Buddhism show that women were lay followers of the Buddha and were also granted the right to ordain and become nuns. Certain women were known as influential teachers of men and women alike and considered experts in certain aspects of Gotama's dhamma. For this to occur in an ancient religion practiced within traditional societies is really quite extraordinary.
Women in the Buddhist Legends
By: Bibhuti Baruh
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This title is a vast collection and compilation of 97 important legends relating to nature and character of women in Buddhist canonical and non-canonical literature which produced a marvellous impact on ethical values of women of all classes, who were moved by the attractive spiritual power of the Buddha's dhamma and renounced the world to lead a pious life in the expectation of a happy rebirth or in order to amiability of rebirth altogether. There were a number of courtesans who led saintly lives after listening to Buddha. Ladies of the Sakya family were naturally the earliest women to come under the influence of the new creed. The women appear to have enjoyed a greater amount of independence and free thinking among the Sakyas than among the peoples of the plains perhaps owing to the same scarcity of women that forced them to enact a law prohibiting multiple marriages. The Therigatha and its commentary tell us in what light the monastic life presented itself to women in the days of Gautama Buddha.
Women in the Footsteps of the Buddha: Struggle for Liberation in the Therigatha
By: Blackstone
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A detailed exploration of the quest for liberation on the part of the early bhikkhunis. The issue is considered not only on the basis of previous historical studies based on the complicated symbolism of texts, but also in order to unearth the attitudes and assumptions inherent in the text, and to examine the terms, images, events, and situations insofar as they reveal  the feminine perspective of the bhikkhunisangha. The author's careful analysis of the language and imagery in the texts allows her to postulate some bold new conclusions.
Women in Tibet; Past and Present
By: Janet Gyatso and Hanna Havnevik
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Filling a gap in the literature, this volume explores the struggles and accomplishments of women from both past and present-day Tibet. Here are queens from the imperial period, yoginis and religious teachers of medieval times, Buddhist nuns, oracles, political workers, medical doctors, and performing artists. Most of the essays focus on the lives of individual women, whether from textual sources or from anthropological data, and show that Tibetan women have apparently enjoyed more freedom than women in many other Asian countries.
Women of Buddha: Nuns in Bhutan
Women of Buddha: Nuns in Bhutan
By: Marie Veno Thesbjerg
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Buddhist nuns in Bhutan, high up in the Himalayas, far away from Western realities and ideals. A really different and thought-provoking life.
 "It has been such a privilege to look into a new world. The women embraced me with curiosity and let me interview them, take pictures and be part of their everyday-life. They opened my heart to their life and practice, and I hope the book reflects the peace, harmony and joy I have met in this simple, meaningful way of life."
Women of the Way : Discovering 2,500 Years of Buddhist Wisdom
By: Sallie Tisdale
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It is tradition in Zen monasteries to chant a lineage of male teachers from the Buddha's time to the present day. As Buddhism took root in the West, increasing numbers of American Buddhists began to ask: "What about the women?"

Scholarly research has uncovered accounts of extraordinary women Buddhists, many of whom were recognized by their contemporaries for their powerful practice but excluded from their place in history. Drawing on these discoveries, several Buddhist centers have created women's lineages of their own, and it is this bright thread of untold legend that Sallie Tisdale follows in this groundbreaking work.
Women of Wisdom
By: Tsultrim Allione
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Women of Wisdom is an exploration and celebration of the spiritual potential of women as exemplified by the lives of six Tibetan female mystics. These stories of great women who achieved full illumination, overcoming cultural prejudices and a host of other problems that male practitioners do not encounter, offer insight and inspiration to everyone on the spiritual path.
Women on the Buddhist Path
Women on the Buddhist Path: Inspiring Stories from Contemporary Buddhist Women
By: Batchelor, Martine
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Inspiring Stories from Contemporary Buddhist Women
In Women on the Buddhist Path, Martine Batchelor weaves together the stories and experiences of Buddhist women from the East and the West.
Women's Buddhism; Buddhism's Women
Women Practicing Buddhism: American Experiences
By: Peter N. Gregory (Editor), Susanne Mrozik (Editor)
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Individually and collectively, today’s female practitioners are changing the face of Buddhism today, as surely as Buddhist practice is transforming each one of their lives.

In Women Practicing Buddhism, you'll meet a diverse sampling of contemporary Buddhist women, from those who are crucial to the community's organizational fabric to others who infuse their art and activism with the Dharma.


Women Under Primitive Buddhism
By: I.B. Horner
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Laywomen and Almswomen
The book is an attempt to present the position of the laywomen and the almswomen in historical focus. Here, for the first time, we read of women of sincere aspirations and earnest will, seeking the more, the better, in life.
For the study of the laywomen the author has exploited the material found in the Canonical literature, the Commentaries thereon, the Jatakas and the Milindapanha, while most of the material for the account of the almswomen is gathered from the Vinayapitaka (especially the Bhikkhuni Khandhaka and the Bhikkhuni-Vibhanga), the Therigatha and the Commentaries. References scattered throughout Pali literature have also contributed to this account.
The book is divided into two parts bound in one Vol. Part I (Chs. 1-5) depicts the laywomen as the mother, daughter, wife, widow and worker. Part II (Chs. 1-5) deals with the almswoman, her admission into the order, the eight chief rules, Therigatha, life in the order, while chs. 4 and 5 of this part are further divided into parts or sections.
The study reveals the spiritual experiences of some of the lay-and almswomen. It throws light on the various social conditions prevailing during the life-time of Buddha and shortly after.
Women's Buddhism; Buddhism's Women
Women's Buddhism; Buddhism's Women
By: Findley, Ellison, ed.
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Tradition, Revision, Renewal
Throughout Buddhism's history, women have been hindered in their efforts to actualize the fullness of their spiritual lives: they face more obstacles to reaching full ordination, have fewer opportunities to cultivate advanced practice, and receive diminished recognition for their spiritual accomplishments.
Here, a diverse array of scholars, activists, and practitioners explores how women have always managed to sustain a vital place for themselves within the tradition and continue to bring about change in the forms, practices and institutions of Buddhism. In essays ranging from the scholarly to the personal, "Women's Buddhism, Buddhism's Women" describes how women have significantly shaped Buddhism to meet their own needs and the demands of contemporary life.