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Buddhadharma : Winter 2015
winter 2015 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly 79 rarer still. Love and Liberation, a welcome addition to the small collection of books exploring the lives and subjectivities of women practitioners in the Tibetan Vajrayana tradition, offers translated autobiographical passages as well as author Sarah Jacoby’s own commentary and analysis. As the book’s title implies, the chief themes of Sera Khandro’s writing are her own liberation and the love between herself and her consort. Born to an elite family in Lhasa, Sera Khandro appeared destined for the conventional life of a woman in her station, with a Chinese education and an arranged marriage ahead, but she expressed her disinclination for such a role at a young age. From girlhood, she had a sense of mission about her life but frequently felt thwarted at being able to fulfill it because of her sex. At age fourteen, she spotted her future chief consort and love of her life, Drime Ozer, a highly regarded lama many years her senior, while he was on pilgrimage to Lhasa from Golok, in eastern Tibet. Sera Khandro left her family a short time later and followed his party back to Golok. Once there, she was largely unwelcome, especially by Drime Ozer’s consort. eventually, Drime Ozer and his teacher’s son, Gara Gyelse, decided that Sera would live with Gyelse, even though both men acknowledged that she and Drime Ozer belonged together. This was only one of several occasions when men arranged among themselves whom her consort should be. eventually, Sera Khandro and Drime Ozer man- aged to live together, which she describes as the happiest time of her life; after a few years, however, Drime Ozer died during a plague that also took her young son. Sera Khandro’s path to success as a terton was arduous. While Drime Ozer regarded her as his equal, Gyelse did not recognize her gifts and forbade her to receive any more “treasure texts,” telling her that since so few women had ever been recorded as tertons, it was unlikely she was one. She frequently complained about the impediment of her “infe- rior female body,” historically a standard view of women in Tibetan Buddhism and a refrain common among the few other Tibetan women who wrote autobiographies. There is little accurate information about “consort prac- tices,” even though it seems that such practices may have been quite common, especially for more elite leaders and teachers in the Tibetan Buddhist world (not so for ordinary monks or nuns). It is widely held that being a successful terton requires love and liberation: autobiographical Writings of the tibetan buddhist visionary sera khandro by sarah Jacoby columbia, 2015 456 pages; $35 (paperback) see entire calendar, teachings, & more at upaya.org santa fe, new mexico 505-986-8518 www.upaya .org firstname.lastname@example.org Tis acclaimed and innovative program focuses on the relationships between technology, complex systems, contemplative practice, and experience to illuminate the extended mind. With Roshi Joan Halifax, PhD; Richard J. Davidson, PhD; Al Kaszniak, PhD; Evan Tompson, PhD; John D. Dunne, PhD; Elissa Epel, PhD; and Martha Herbert, MD, PhD 14 CEUs for Counselors, Terapists, and Social Workers. Early registration is advised for this popular event. zen brain Complexity and Connectivity - Perspectives from Buddhism, Medicine, and Cognitive Science february 4 - 7, 2016 upaya zen center q www.festivalmedia.org view the catalog and trailers online the best buddhist cinema on dvd With Special DVD-Only Bonus Features