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Buddhist Women on the Edge: Contemporary Perspectives From the Western Frontierby Marianne Dresser
Synopses & Reviews
As Buddhism is assimilated into the West, it is imperative that women reshape its patriarchal structures and carve out a fully legitimate, empowering position for themselves. Marianne Dresser brings together the likes of Pema Chodron, Tsultrim Allione, and bell hooks, 30 women in all, who are doing just that. Writers, nuns, scholars, priests--even a martial arts master and a private investigator--discuss women in Buddhism in a range of essays. Several pieces question the suppression of emotion required for selflessness, appealing to the undeniable reality of day-to-day living. Others discuss their experiences as women in Buddhism, whether as nuns or as lay practitioners. Still others address the history of women in Buddhism, racial questions, meditation, poetry, compassion, social activism, and sexual orientation. Most of these writers have been in Buddhism for two or three decades and offer a wealth of experience and insights, targeted at women readers but no less valuable to men.
Buddhist Women on the Edge presents the voices of American women on their experiences of Buddhist practice. In thirty thoughtful and provocative essays, a diverse range of contributors - Dharma teachers, scholars, monastics, practitioners, and sympathizers - explore the challenges and rewards of integrating Buddhist practice in the West. Contributors include Tsultrim Allione, Sandy Boucher, Pema Chodron, Rita M. Gross, Jane Hirshfield, bell hooks, Anne C. Klein, Miranda Shaw, Sallie Tisdale, Kate Wheeler, Jan Willis, and many others. The essays explore issues of gender, race, class, and sexuality; lineage, authority, and the accessibility of Buddhist institutions; monastic, lay, and community practice; the teacher-student relationship; psychological perspectives and the role of the emotions; crosscultural adaptation and appropriation; and how spiritual practice informs creativity, personal relationships, and political/social activism.
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