Women of the Way
Discovering 2,500 Years of Buddhist WisdomBook - 2005
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. By rescuing some of the most significant and inspiring tales from obscurity, Tisdale traces women Buddhist masters and teachers across continents and centuries. She draws upon historical, cultural, and Buddhist records and her own Buddhist practice to bring to life these narratives of ancestral Buddhist women. Women of the Way offers timeless wisdom and little-known stories that invigorate our understanding of women's contribution to Buddhism.
"In meditation, we place ourselves on the Buddha's seat. I believe that there we can recite any lineage in gratitude -- with awe, bewilderment, humility, and love. As long as we practice, none of our ancestors are dead -- our fathers are alive, our mothers are alive. The breadth and depth of teaching is seen when we expand our ancestry this way. Every line is our line, all ancestors are our ancestors." -- from the introduction