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Buddhist Women Masters

Edited by
Karma Lekshe Tsomo, University of San Diego, USA

Buddhism has produced realized beings, both female and male, for over 2,500 years. Many accounts of the lives and achievements of countless Buddhist women masters have been lost in the shoals of time, however, for lack of acknowledgment and appreciation. This collection attempts to redress this history of neglect by documenting the lived experience of remarkable women from a variety of cultural milieu, who mastered both the Buddhist teachings and their own lives and also triumphed over social expectations of women. The papers recount the enlightening stories of highly accomplished women – lay and ordained, recorded in texts, oral histories, and personal memories – and their unheralded contributions to world culture.

  1. Research

    Women Buddhist Masters

    The aim of this paper is to two fold—first, to set forth a definition of "mastery" as it is understood across diverse Buddhist traditions. Secondly, using verses from the Therigatha, I argue that the first female...

    Nona Olivia

    International Journal of Dharma Studies 2017 5:8

    Published on: 27 March 2017

  2. Research

    Illustrating the Way: The Life and Times of Bhikṣuṇī Shig Hiu Wan

    Bhikṣuṇī Shig Hiu Wan was a Buddhist master in more than one sense of the word. She was not only a highly accomplished practitioner, teacher, artist, and poet, but she was also a feminist pioneer in higher edu...

    Karma Lekshe Tsomo

    International Journal of Dharma Studies 2017 5:5

    Published on: 31 January 2017

  3. Review

    Tenzin Chodron: a scholar nun of post-Soviet Buryatia

    Tenzin Chodron (b. 1951) is a scholar nun who has opened up new pathways for Buddhist women in the Republic of Buryatia. The paper describes how, at a critical juncture in the political and religious transitio...

    Zhargal Aiakova

    International Journal of Dharma Studies 2016 4:9

    Published on: 28 September 2016

  4. Research

    Buddhist women masters of Kinnaur: Why don’t nuns sing about nuns?

    In Kinnaur—a Himalayan tribal district of Himachal Pradesh, India, on the Sutlej River and at the Tibet border—Buddhism has been practiced, along with indigenous local Hinduism, for at least a thousand years. ...

    Linda J. LaMacchia

    International Journal of Dharma Studies 2016 4:5

    Published on: 9 May 2016

  5. Research

    Going with the flow and yet controlling the Flow: the Early Life, Education, and Scholarship of Takatsukasa Seigyoku, Current Abbess of Zenkōji’s Daihongan Convent

    Takatsukasa Seigyoku (b. 1929) is the current abbess of Daihongan convent, which is one of the two administrative heads of the popular Japanese pilgrimage temple Zenkōji. In this paper, I analyze Takatsukasa’s...

    Matthew S. Mitchell

    International Journal of Dharma Studies 2016 4:1

    Published on: 6 February 2016