using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Buddhadharma : Winter 2010
33 winter 2 01 0 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly 33 winter 2 01 0 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly When I think about women and Buddhism, the first thing that always comes to mind is the story of Tara’s vow. This story expresses our situation so clearly and applies equally well to both ancient and modern times. It is a story that originated when Mahayana was integrating with tantra, ultimately forming what became Vajrayana in India. It is emblematic of a wave of stories that followed about powerful women who valued themselves as women within Buddhism. Many of the stories from that era in India (around 700–800 CE) tell us what was happening both sociologically in the culture, and develop- mentally in Vajrayana. During this period, for the first time Buddhism had women teaching men. It was also the dawn of female buddhas and the feminine wisdom principle, which began with Prajnaparamita, the “Mother of All the Buddhas,” in the Mahayana period. The story tells us that Tara was a princess named Wisdom Moon, who was very devoted to the dharma and had a deep meditation practice. She was close to enlightenment, raising the intention to reach enlightenment for the benefit of all beings, when a monk approached her and said what a pity it was that she was in the body of a woman, because she would have to come back as a man before she could become enlight- ened. The princess answered back brilliantly, demonstrating her understanding of emptiness and absolute truth, saying, “Here there is no man; there is no woman, no self, no person, and no consciousness. Labeling ‘male’ or ‘female’ is hollow. Oh, how worldly fools delude themselves” (Taranatha, Origin of the Tara Tantra). She went on to make the following vow: “Those who wish to attain supreme enlightenment in a man’s body are many, but those who wish to serve the aims of beings in a woman’s body are few indeed; therefore may I, until this world is emp- tied out, work for the benefit of sentient beings in a woman’s body.” From that time onward, the princess dedicated herself to realizing complete enlightenment. Once she accomplished that goal, she came to be known as Tara, the Liberator. I like to say that Tara is the first “Women’s Libber” and that Green Tara is the spiritual leader of the Green Party, guardian of the forest, fast acting and compassionate, with one foot in the world and one foot in meditation; a place where many of us find ourselves. As a practitioner of Buddhism, I don’t think about myself in terms of gender. I try to cut through such concepts and rest in the true condition of unborn and unceasing luminous emptiness, the ground of being. However, I have continued to be committed to the reemergence of the sacred feminine in the Buddhist tradition. I don’t see any conflict or disso- nance in these two views. This commitment has manifested at Tara Mandala, my retreat center in southern Colorado, where we have built a three-story mandala temple dedicated Lama Tsultrim Allione in 1971 after being ordained as a getsulma Tara Temple, at the Tara Mandala retreat center in Pagosa Springs, Colorado bObSpencer LAmA TSULTrIm ALLIoNe is the founder of the Tara mandala retreat center in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, and author of Women of Wisdom and Feeding Your Demons. In 1970 she became one of the first American women to be ordained in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. She was a 2009 recipient of the outstanding Women in Buddhism Award. Lauriepearcebauer