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
buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly winter 2 0 10 34 whether these stories are historically accurate or whether, as some Buddhist scholars suggest, they were written later by androcentric and patriarchal monks. To the credit of my teachers in my early days as a nun, I never felt any misogynist tendencies and had full confidence that I would have complete access to the teachings whenever I was ready for the next step. My first awakening to sex- ism in Buddhism came when I went to attend a three-month series of empowerments in India given by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche in Tashi Jong near Dharamsala in 1973. When Ani Jinpa, a Dutch nun, and I were looking for seating, we were told that we had to sit behind all the monks, including the recently ordained, six-year-old squirming little monks who could not yet read. I was surprised and a little disappointed in my adopted religion. For three months, we sat way at the back of the temple, squeezed between the child monks and the constantly chatting laypeople surrounded by their children. It got me thinking. That same year, I decided to disrobe—not because of the sexism I saw in Buddhism, but because I could see no future for myself as a nun. I was the only Buddhist nun in the Tibetan tradition in America, which was where I was trying to live and study with Chögyam Trungpa. At one point, I asked Trungpa Rinpoche for a text on the feminine principle in Buddhism, and he gave me a big Tibetan volume on Prajnaparamita. I never managed to do anything with this text because I was soon to become a mother of three. I really became interested in looking at the stories of women in Buddhism when I lost a child in the spring of 1980. She was the twin of my son Costanzo and succumbed to sudden infant death syndrome when she was two months old. After to the twenty-one Taras, all various aspects of the enlightened feminine. The interior of the temple is home to life-size golden statues of these Taras circling the ground level, similar to the ancient goddess temples of India. Having come from a family of accomplished women who were respected and valued equally to men, I never felt that there were certain things a woman couldn’t or shouldn’t do. So when I began studying with the Tibetans in 1967, I had no particular awareness of gender prejudices. After my ordina- tion by His Holiness the Sixteenth Karmapa in Bodhgaya in January 1970, I set out on my life as a Buddhist nun. Because of the lack of available transla- tions, I had only a general idea of the vows I had taken, and lived blissfully unaware of the histori- cal inequalities between monks and nuns for several years. I had been ordained as a sra- manerika (getsulma in Tibetan), or novice, with just thirty-six vows, and didn’t learn until later that the Buddha had given extra rules of discipline to fully ordained women. According to some Vinaya traditions there are 311 vows for fully ordained women bhiskunis, or gelongma, compared with 227 vows for men who become bhikshus. Many of the extra vows have to do with nuns’ subordination to monks. According to stories in the Vinaya, Gautama Buddha refused to admit women to the monastic order several times before he finally agreed to do so at the persistent request of his stepmother, Mahaprajapati, and the strong intervention of his cousin Ananda on her behalf. Mahaprajapati was not just any woman asking to become a nun. She was his own mother’s sister, and had nursed and raised the Buddha from the moment of his mother’s death shortly after he was born. When he opened the sangha to women, it is said that the Buddha also made it more difficult for them to be ordained and made them subordinate to all monks. Supposedly, he also predicted that admitting women to the sangha would shorten the life of the sangha by five hundred years. However, it’s not known After my daughter Chiara succumbed to sudden infant death syndrome, I felt a deep need for the stories of women in my tradition. I needed to know their lives. The biographies of men weren’t helping me. Lama Tsultrim with Apho Rinpoche, 1972 LauriepearcebauercourtesytaramandaLa