Bhikkhu Analayo spent many years poring through the voluminous discourses of the Pali canon, trying to unravel an enduring mystery. What, he wondered, was the Buddha’s true view on the ordination of female monastics, or bhikkhunis?
Entries in Women and Buddhism (4)
A quiet movement to reshape our understanding of Zen lineage and history is bringing attention to the forgotten names and voices of women in the tradition. Grace Schireson explains how the Women Ancestors Document came into being and what it means for practitioners.
Three contemporary women teachers shine new light on centuries-old stories of women and awakening.
By the time this article reaches you, I will have been empowered as an independent teacher in the Zen tradition through a ceremony and process called dharma transmission. While Zen has flourished in the West long enough to bear witness to the passing of pioneering teachers who have, in turn, seeded a substantial network of second- and third-generation teachers in America, my own rite of passage remains noteworthy for dubious reasons. As the second African-American woman—and only the third black person in America-ever to receive this empowerment in Soto Zen Buddhism, I am acutely aware of the conflicting viewpoints with which I hold it.