Meeting the Great Bliss Queen

WAiB Pages


Women and the female
in Buddhism

The following is a selection of books about women, the "divine feminine", and the female influence in Buddhism.  Most of the books are by women, although male authors are also included.  Where possible the number of pages and ISBN is also provided.  (All quotations are from the publisher's description, unless otherwise identified.)

Please note that, where the author has an ordained name, the last of these is read as a "surname".  This is not correct usage, strictly speaking, but this is how these texts are likely to be catalogued by librarians and publishers.

Other bibliographies on women and Buddhism may be found on our Miscellaneous page.

New since the last site update...

Boucher, Sandy.  Hidden Spring: A Buddhist Woman Confronts Cancer.  Somerville, MA: Wisdom, 2000.  ISBN 0-86171-171-8 (224 pp.). In 1995, Sandy Boucher - a well-known Buddhist and feminist writer - was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer. In vivid prose, she describes her year-long encounter with the disease, and reveals how meditation techniques and her understanding of Buddhist principles prepared her to meet the mental and physical challenges of her illness.  Read an excerpt here.
Findly, Ellison Banks (editor). Women’s Buddhism, Buddhism’s Women: Tradition, Revision, Renewal.  Somerville, MA: Wisdom, 2000.  ISBN 0-86171-165-3 (498 pp.).  A diverse array of scholars, activists, and practitioners explore how women are bringing about change in the forms, practices, and institutions of Buddhism.  Read an excerpt here.
Khema, Ayya.  Be An Island: The Buddhist Practice of Ayya Khema.  Somerville, MA: Wisdom, 1999.  ISBN 0-86171-147-5 (160 pp.).   "Ayya Khema's latest offering guides us along the path of Buddhist meditation with direct and practical advice, giving us contemplative tools to develop a healthy sense of personal being. Be an Island is at once an introduction to the teachings of Buddhism and a rich continuation of Ayya Khema's personal vision of Buddhist practice."  Read an excerpt (Chapter 8) from the book.
Maiden, Anne Hubbell and Farwell, Edie.  The Tibetan Art of Parenting: From Before Conception Through Early Childhood. Somerville, MA: Wisdom, 2000.   ISBN 0-86171-129-7 (224 pp.).  "An invaluable guide for anyone interested in anything from holistic healthcare to the myths, legends, and child-rearing practices of the Tibetan people."  Read an excerpt here.
Marshall, Steven D.  Rukhag 3: The Nuns of Drapchi Prison.  London: Tibet Information Network (TIN), October 2000.  "The deaths of five imprisoned Tibetan nuns in June 1998 can be seen as a culmination of the harsh treatment administered over the past decade to a group of female political prisoners held in Drapchi's Rukhag (Unit) 3 over the past decade. Rukhag 3: The Nuns of Drapchi Prison provides the most comprehensive documentation so far of a pattern of resistance and repression over an unbroken period of eight years (1992-99) inside the two sections of Unit 3, where all inmates are female and most are political prisoners."  The book is accompanied by a CD-ROM which includes the full text of Rukhag 3 and all the photographs, most of them in colour. The CD-ROM also contains the fourteen songs recorded by nuns in Drapchi in June 1993 (a tape of the songs was smuggled out of the prison and a copy obtained by TIN).
Sherrill, Martha.  The Buddha From Brooklyn. New York/Toronto: Random House, 2000. ISBN 0-679-45275-3 (392 pp.). An enthralling, often disturbing study of the Tibetan Buddhist community of Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo (Catharine Burroughs), a well-known teacher and reincarnate lama based in Poolesville, Maryland.
Tromge, Jane (Chagdud Khadro).  Ph'owa Commentary: Instructions for the Practice of Consciousness Transference as revealed by Rigdzin Longsal Nyingpo.   A commentary on the transference of consciousness, by the wife and teaching partner of H.E. Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche.
Williams, Angel Kyodo.   Being Black: Zen and the Art of Living with Fearlessness and Grace.  Viking Press, 2000.  ISBN 0670892688 (200 pp.). Review: "In this exquisite primer on Zen Buddhism, author and ordained Zen priest Angel Kyodo Williams is not trying to convert African Americans into a new religion. Instead, she is simply presenting Zen principles and practices that emphasize living a life of grace and self-acceptance. Having faced the daily challenges of growing up black in America, she is especially adept at showing how these Zen principles apply to the African American experience."   Read more about the book on Angel's site,

Books on women and Buddhism...

Aitken, Molly Emma, ed.  Meeting the Buddha: On Pilgrimage in Buddhist India.  Riverhead Books (Tricycle), 1995 (370pp).
Allione, Tsultrim.  Women of Wisdom.   London: Arkana, 1984 / New York: Arkana, 1986. ISBN 0-14019-072-4 (282pp).  A selection of life stories of great Tibetan women teachers, with a delightfully lengthy introduction to the topic of women and the female principle in Tibetan Buddhism.
Ama Adhe. Ama Adhe: The Voice That Remembers -- The Heroic Story of a Woman's Fight to Free Tibet. Boston: Wisdom, 1997.  ISBN 0-86171-130-0.  " 'I am free now. There are no guards outside my door.  There is enough to eat ... I feel my heart remains with the memories of my family and friends whose bones have become part of a land now tread by strangers.'  Thus begins Adhe Tapontsang who spent 27 years in Chinese labor camps for participating in the resistance to China's occupation of Tibet.   She survives to tell the stories of the torture, starvation, and degradation that countless Tibetans continue to endure.  Her story speaks powerfully to modern Tibet's tragic saga of occupation, genocide, and cultural destruction."
Ani Pachen and Donnelley, Adelaide.   Sorrow Mountain: The Journey of a Tibetan Warrior Nun.  London/New York: Kodansha International/Doubleday, 2000. ISBN 1568362943.  "Pachen was imprisoned for 21 years by the Chinese because of her resistance to their invasion of her country. Fearful of recapture following her release in 1981, she escaped to India, where she practices her religion and advocates for Tibetan causes. In this book, she recalls a carefree girlhood as the only child of a Tibetan chieftain. When her father died, shortly after the Chinese invasion began, Pachen tried to merge her need to fulfill the duties of her father's only heir--to assist the resistance effort--and her personal spiritual needs. She helps assemble an army and plots resistance strategy. And although it is against Buddhist principles, she vows to kill, if necessary, to resist the Chinese invasion. When it comes, Pachen must flee her village and is later captured and imprisoned. Through her religion, she was able to separate the spiritual from the physical and thus endure brutal torture. Pachen intersperses the account of her life and spiritual journey with Buddhist prayers and dreams that show a desire for peace and enlightened spirituality." (Vanessa Bush, Booklist)
Bartholomeusz, Tessa.  Women under the Bo Tree: Buddhist Nuns in Sri Lanka.  New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994.
Batchelor, Martine.  Walking on Lotus Flowers: Buddhist Women Working, Loving and Meditating.  London: Thorsons/Harper Collins, 1996.  ISBN 0-7225-3231-8.
Batchelor, Martine and Brown, Kerry, eds.  Buddhism and Ecology.  Cassell, 1992. ISBN 0304303756 (114pp.).
Beck, Charlotte Joko . Everyday Zen: Love and Work. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1989.  ISBN 0-06-060734-3.
Beck, Charlotte Joko.   Nothing Special: Living Zen. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1994.  ISBN 0-06-251117-3 (277 pages). See also the review by Fumyo Mishaga.
Benard, Elisabeth. Chinnamasta: The Aweful Buddhist and Hindu Tantric Goddess.  Motilal Banarsidass, 1995.
Beyer, Stephan. The Cult of Tara: Magic and Ritual in Tibet.  Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973.   A study of Tibetan beliefs and practices concerning Tara, the female Buddha of compassionate activity.
Blackstone, Kathryn R.  Women in the Footsteps of the Buddha: Struggle for Liberation in the Therigatha.   Curzon Critical Studies in Buddhism.  Richmond, Surrey, UK: Curzon Press, 1998.  ISBN 0-7007-0962-2.  See also the Journal of Buddhist Ethics review of this book (by Nancy J. Barnes).
Blakiston, Hilary.  But Little Dust.  Cambridge: Allborough Press, 1991.
Blofeld, John. Bodhisattva of Compassion: The Mystical Tradition of Kuan Yin.  Boulder: Shambhala, 1978.   A study of Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, in the female forms of Kuan Yin (Chinese) and Tara (Tibetan).
Boucher, Sandy.  Discovering Kwan Yin, Buddhist Goddess of Compassion: A Path Toward Clarity and Peace. Boston: Beacon Press, 1999.  ISBN 0-8070-1340-4.  "A women's book of chants, prayers, and ruminations honoring Kwan Yin."
Boucher, Sandy.  Opening the Lotus: A Woman's Guide to Buddhism.  Boston: Beacon Press, 1997.   "An introduction to Buddhist philosophy and practice for women."   ISBN 0-8070-7308-3 (hardcover), list $18.00 U.S.
Boucher, Sandy. Turning the Wheel: American Women Creating the New Buddhism (387pp).  San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1988.  An extensive and highly fascinating series of interviews with women active in North American Buddhism.
Byles, Marie B. Journey into Burmese Silence. London: George Allen & Unwin, 1962.  Byles, a practising lawyer and one of Australia's first Buddhists, visited Burma in 1953 and learned first-hand about the practice of vipassana meditation.  This book can't seem to decide whether it is a diary of self-discovery or an Aussie memsahib's travel journal; but the author is endearingly sympathetic on behalf of the nuns of Burma.  A fascinating read.
Cabezón, José Ignacio, ed. Buddhism, Sexuality, and Gender.  Albany: State University of New York Press, 1992.
Campbell, June. Traveller in Space: In search of female identity in Tibetan Buddhism.  London: Athlone Press, February 1996.  ISBN 0-485-11494-1 (236pp.)
Changchub, Gyalwa and Namkhai Nyingpo.  Lady of the Lotus-Born:  The Life and Enlightenment of Yeshe Tsogyal.  Boston: Shambhala, December 1998.  ISBN 1-57062-384-8 (cloth).  "The biography of the 'first lady' of Tibetan Buddhism, a great eight-century teacher who was instrumental in establishing Buddhism in her homeland -- a dramatic spiritual adventure."
Chayat, Roko Sherry, ed. Subtle Sound: The Zen Teachings of Maurine Stuart, with a foreword by Edward Espe Brown.   Boston: Shambhala, 1996. ISBN 1-57062-094-6.  A collection of teachings by the late female Roshi Maurine Stuart -- a principal American student of Soen Nakagawa Roshi and a teacher at the Cambridge Buddhist Association.
Ching, Yu-ing.  Master of Love and Mercy: Cheng Yen.  Nevada City: Blue Dolphin Publishing, inc., 1995.  A biography of Cheng Yen (Chen Yuan -- see the Activists page), the founder of the Tzu-Chi Foundation.  ISBN 0-931892-27-9, list $24.95.
Chödron, Pema. Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living.  Boston: Shambhala, 1994.  The author is the abbess of Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia, Canada, and a senior student of the late Ven. Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.
Chödron, Thubten. Open Heart, Clear Mind.  Ithaca (NY): Snow Lion Publications, 1990.  Thubten Chödron is the seniormost female teacher within the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), a Tibetan Buddhist organisation founded by the late Lama Yeshe.
Chödron, Thubten. Taming the Monkey Mind.  Lutterworth, Leicestershire: Tynron Press, 1990.
Chögyam, Ngakpa with Khandro Dechen. Spectrum of Ecstasy: Embracing Emotions as the Path of Inner Tantra.  New York and London: Aro Books, 1997.  Was previously published as Rainbow of Liberated Energy: Working with Emotions through the Colour and Element Symbolism of Tibetan Tantra (Longmead: Element Books, 1986).
Chonam, Lama and Sangye Khandro (trans.)  The Lives and Liberation of Princess Mandarava:  The Indian Consort of Padmasambhava.  Introduction by Prof. Janet Gyatso.  Boston: Wisdom Publications, 1998.  ISBN 0-86171-144-0 paper (224 pp.).  "This traditional biography of the Indian Princess Mandarava recounts her struggles and triumphs as a Buddhist master over many lifetimes.   Counterpart of the Tibean saint Yeshe Tsogyal, Mandarava is a role model for practitioners of tantric Buddhism whose lifestory will entertain and inspire."
Coleman, Rev. Mary Teal (Ven. Tenzin Yeshe). MONASTIC: An Ordained Tibetan Buddhist Speaks on Behalf of Full Ordination for Women (99pp).
David-Neel, Alexandra. Magic and Mystery in Tibet (321pp).
Dowman, Keith. Sky Dancer: the secret life and songs of the Lady Yeshe Tsogyel.  London: Arkana, 1989; originally London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1984.  ISBN 0-140-19205-0 (379pp).   A sacred biography of the Tibetan yogini Yeshe Tsogyel, consort of Padmasambhava and regarded in her own right as a great mystic, teacher and lineage-holder.
Dresser, Marianne, ed.  Buddhist Women on the Edge: Contemporary Perspectives from the Western Frontier.  North Atlantic Books, 1996.  ISBN 1556432038 (321 pages).  The CIIS Bookstore said of this book: "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; crossscultural adaptation and appropriation; and how spiritual practice informs creativity, personal relationships, and political/social activism."
Drolma, Delog Dawa. Delog: Journey to Realms Beyond Death.  Padma Publishing, 1995.
Edou, Jérôme. Machig Labdrön and the Foundations of Chöd (244pp).  Ithaca (NY): Snow Lion Publications, 1995.   A wonderful book about chöd in Tibetan Buddhism, a practice founded by the great female mystic Machig Labdrön.
Ehrlich, Gretel.  Questions of Heaven: The Chinese Journeys of an American Buddhist.  Boston: Beacon Press, 1997.  "A haunting pilgrimage to one of China's holy mountains."  ISBN 0-8070-7310-5 (hardcover), list $20.00 U.S.
Feldman, Christina. The Quest of the Warrior Woman: Women as Mystics, Healers and Guides.  London & San Francisco: Aquarian, 1994.  ISBN 1-85538-323-3 (239 pp).  The author co-founded Gaia House, a retreat centre in Devon, England.  She is also an international adviser to the Buddhist Peace Fellowship.
Feldman, Christina.  Woman Awake: A Celebration of Women's Wisdom (155pp).
Friedman, Lenore. Meetings with Remarkable Women: Buddhist Teachers in America.  Boston: Shambhala, 1987.
Friedman, Lenore and Moon, Susan. Being Bodies: Buddhist Women on the Paradox of Embodiment.   Boston: Shambhala, 1997.  ISBN 1-57062-324-4.   "Contributors include Charlotte Joko Beck, Pema Chodron, Toni Packer, and Rita M. Gross -- on subjects ranging from eating disorders to motherhood."
Galland, China.  The Bond Between Women: A Journey to Fierce Compassion.   New York: Riverhead Books, 1998.  (344 pp.)
Galland, China. Longing for Darkness: Tara and the Black Madonna (392pp).  New York: Viking, 1990.
Goldberg, Natalie.  Long Quiet Highway: Waking Up in America.   New York: Bantam (New Age), 1993.  ISBN 0-553-37315-3.  The personal account of a 15-year Zen Buddhist writer.
Grimshaw, Anna. Servants of the Buddha: Winter in a Himalayan Convent.  London: Open Letters, 1992.  A woman from Lancashire visits a Ladakhi Buddhist convent.
Gross, Rita M. Buddhism After Patriarchy: A Feminist History, Analysis, and Reconstruction of Buddhism.   Albany: State University of New York Press, 1993.
Gross, Rita M.  Soaring and Settling: Buddhist Perspectives on Social and Theological Issues.  New York: Cassell & Continuum, 1998.  ISBN 0-8264-1113-4 (190 pp.).  "Rita Gross explores how Asian wisdom traditions transform our lives and are themselves transformed by contact with the wisdom of the West."
Gyatso, Geshe Kelsang. Guide to Dakini Land: A Commentary to the Highest Yoga Tantra Practice of Vajrayogini. London: Tharpa, 1991.  A guide to the Highest Yoga Tantra practice of the female Buddha Vajrayogini.
Gyatso, Janet.  Apparitions of the Self: The Secret Autobiographies of a Tibetan Visionary (Princeton, 1998).   A biography of the great Nyingma terton Jigme Lingpa.  Princeton University Press, 1997.
Hadley, Leila.  A Journey with Elsa Cloud.  Turtle Point: Books and Co., 1997 (600 pp.).  Another Tricycle book, and here's their write-up.   "Leila Hadley meets up with her estranged daughter Veronica, a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner and scholar, in New Delhi in the early Seventies.  The two embark upon a journey to Buddhist and Hindu shrines and temples throughout India and Nepal that culminates with a meeting with the Dalai Lama.  This is the story of the renewal of a lost relationship on the road to Dharamsala.  An accomplished travel writer, Hadley's descriptions of the Indian landscapes are stunning."
Halifax, Joan. The Fruitful Darkness: Reconnecting with the Body of the Earth.  New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1993.  ISBN 0-06-250369-3 (240pp).  A personal and very moving journey in which Halifax "weaves diverse themes of deep ecology, shamanism and Buddhism into a colorful literary tapestry" [Andrew T. Weil].  An appendix includes the Precepts of the Order of Interbeing, composed by Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh.
Havnevik, Hanna. Tibetan Buddhist Nuns.  Oslo: Norwegian University Press, 1990.  The definitive work on the subject.
Hopkinson, Deborah, Michele Hill, and Eileen Kiera, eds. Not Mixing Up Buddhism: Essays on Women and Buddhist Practice.   Fredonia (NY): White Pine Press, 1986.
Horner, Isaline B. Women Under Primitive Buddhism.  London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1930 (reprint Delhi: Motilal Barnasidass, 1975).
Janson, Eva.  The Book of Buddhas.  New York:  Samuel Weiser Inc., 1998.  ISBN (paper) 90-74597-02-5.
Kabilsingh, Chatsumarn. A Comparative Study of Bhikkhuni Patimokkha.  Chaukhambha Oriental Research Studies, vol. 28.  Varanasi: Chaukhamba Orientalia, 1984.  On the vows and rules of fully ordained nuns (bhikkhuni [Pali] or bhikshuni [Sanskrit]).
Kabilsingh, Chatsumarn. Thai Women in Buddhism.  Berkeley: Parallax Press, 1991.
Kalyanavaca (ed.). The Moon and Flowers: A Woman's Path to Enlightenment.  London: Windhorse, 1999. ISBN 0-904766-89-6.  "A collection of essays by nineteen women who have been ordained within the Buddhist tradition. It paints a vivid and richly textured portrait of what it means to follow the Buddhist path as a woman in the modern world."
Khema, Ayya.  Being Nobody, Going Nowhere.  London: Wisdom Publications, 1987. An introduction to Buddhist practice by a German-born bhikshuni (fully ordained nun) of the Theravada tradition.
Khema, Ayya.  I Give You My Life:  The Autobiography of a Western Buddhist Nun.  Boston: Shambhala, 1998.  ISBN 1-57062-415-1 (cloth).   "From Germany to China to Australia -- to the monastery she founded in Sri Lanka, the story of the first modern Western woman to become a Theravadin nun."   42 photos.
Khema, Ayya.  When the Iron Eagle Flies: Buddhism for the West.  London: Arkana, 1991.
Khema, Ayya. Who is My Self? A Guide to Buddhist Meditation.  Boston: Wisdom, 1997.  "Author of the best-selling Being Nobody, Going Nowhere, Venerable Ayya Khema explains the Buddha's own words on self and consciousness from the Potthapada Sutta in this modern guide for both beginning and advanced meditators."
Khong, Chan. Learning True Love: How I Learned and Practiced Social Change In Vietnam.  Berkeley: Parallax Press, 1993.
King, Sallie B., trans. Passionate Journey: The Spiritual Autobiography of Satomi Myodo.  Boston: Shambhala, 1978.
Klein, Anne C. Meeting the Great Bliss Queen: Buddhists, Feminists, and the Art of the Self (307pp).  Boston: Beacon Press, 1995.  A wonderful book - one of my favourites.
Kunsang, Erik Pema. Dakini Teachings: Padmasambhava's Oral Instructions to Lady Tsogyal.  Boston: Shambhala, 1990.  ISBN 0877735468 (189pp.).
Kunsang, Erik Pema. The Lotus-Born: the life story of Padmasambhava.  Composed by Yeshe Tsogyal.   Boston: Shambhala, 1990.  ISBN 0877738696 (321pp.).
Larkin, Geri.  Stumbling Toward Enlightenment.  Berkeley, Calif.: Celestial Arts, 1997.  ISBN 0-89087-849-8 paper.  A wonderful book on "Dharma from the heartland" by a teacher at the Ann Arbor Buddhist Temple and Chicago Zen Buddhist Temple.  Honest and very funny, this is the best book I've read in a long time on how to practise Dharma in daily life.
Law, Bimala Churn. Women in Buddhist Literature.  Varanasi: Indological Book House, 1981.
Levine, Norma. Blessing Power of the Buddhas (155pp).  Describes observable physical manifestations, e.g. relics and other sacred objects, of the Buddhas' blessings.
Macy, Joanne and Molly Young Brown.  Coming Back to Life: Practices to Reconnect Our Lives, Our World.  Boston: New Society Publishers, 1998.   ISBN 0-86571-391-X (240 pp), foreword by Matthew Fox.
Mackenzie, Vicki.  Cave in the Snow: A Western Woman's Quest for Enlightenment.   New York: Bloomsbury (St. Martin's Press), 1998.  ISBN 1-58234-004-8.  The story of Ven. Tenzin Palmo, the first Western woman to do a 12-year  retreat in the Himalayas according to Tibetan Buddhist tradition.
Majupuria, Indra. Tibetan Women (Then and Now).  Lashkar, India: M. Devi, 1990.
Murcott, Susan. The First Buddhist Women: Translations and Commentaries on the Therigata (219pp).   Berkeley: Parallax Press, 1991.
Neumaier-Dargyay, Eva K. The Sovereign All-Creating Mind -- The Motherly Buddha: A Translation of the Kun byed rgyal po'i mdo.  Albany: State University of New York Press, 1992.
Norberg-Hodge, Helena. Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh.   Vintage, 1991.  Preface by H.H. the Dalai Lama, introduction by Peter Matthiessen.
Norman, K.R., trans. The Elders: Verses II: Therigatha.  London: Pali Text Society and Luzac & Company, 1971.
O'Halloran, Maura. Pure Heart, Enlightened Mind.  Riverhead Books (Tricycle), 1994.  Lovely story of a young Irishwoman who became a recognised Zen master in Japan.
Palmer, Martin and Ramsay, Jay with Kwok, Man-Ho. Kuan Yin: Myths and Prophecies of the Chinese Goddess of Compassion.   London/San Francisco: Thorsons (HarperCollins Publishers), 1995.  ISBN 1 85538 417 5 (226pp).
Pao-Ch'ang, Shih. Lives of the nuns: biographies of Chinese Buddhist nuns from the fourth to sixth centuries.   Trans. by Kathryn Ann Tsai.  Honolulu: Univ. of Hawaii Press, 1994.  ISBN 0824815416 (188pp).
Paul, Diana Y. Women in Buddhism: Images of the Feminine in Mahayana Buddhism.  Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985; formerly Berkeley: Asian Humanities Press, 1979.
Rhie, Marylin M., and Robert A.F. Thurman. Wisdom and Compassion: The Sacred Art of Tibet.  New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1991.  An excellent large-format book of sacred art (statues and paintings) from Tibet (from the art exhibit of the same name).
Rhys-Davids, C.A.F. and Norman, K.R., translators. Pitakas/Khuddaka: Poems of Early Buddhist Nuns (Therigata).   Headington, Oxford: Pali Texts Society, 1989.  ISBN 0860132897 (233pp).
Roberts, Bernadette. The Experience of No-Self.  Boulder, Colorado: Shambala, 1984.  A practising Catholic's experience of anatta or no-self.
Rosenzweig, Rosie and Sylvia Boorstein.  A Jewish Mother in Shangri-la.  Boston: Shambhala, 1998.  ISBN 1-57062-353-8.   "A current joke tells of a middle-aged Jewish woman who treks to the Himalayas to seek an audience with a guru sitting in seclusion on a mountaintop. When at last she comes before him, she implores: 'Sheldon, come home!'   Rosie Rosenzweig is that woman — but in real life, the story has a different ending. Instead of asking her Buddhist son, Ben, to come home, Rosie accepts his invitation to learn about Buddhism firsthand..."
St. Paul, Diana.  Sitting: A Guide to Buddhist Meditation.  New York: Penguin/Arkana, 1998.  First published in 1993 by the Buddhist Publishing Group under the title Experience Beyond Thinking.
Salzburg, Sharon. A Heart as Wide as the World: Living with Mindfulness, Wisdom, and Compassion.  Boston: Shambhala, 1997.  ISBN 1-57062-340-6.  "The author's more than twenty-five years of teaching and practicing meditation are here distilled into a book that offers genuine aid and comfort for anyone on the spiritual path."
Salzburg, Sharon. Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness (193pp).  Shambhala.
Savvas, Carol D. A Study of the Profound Path of gCod: The Mahayana Buddhist Meditation Tradition of Tibet’s Great Woman Saint Machig Labdrön.  Ph.D. dissertation: University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1990 (493 pp).  A detailed study of the origin and practice of chöd with translations of many essential texts and commentaries.
Seneviratne, Maureen. Some Women of the Mahavamsa and Culavamsa.  Colombo: H.W. Cave & Co., 1969.
Shaw, Miranda. Passionate Enlightenment: Women in Tantric Buddhism.  Princeton (NJ): Princeton University Press, 1994.  ISBN 0-691-03380-3 (291 pp).  A riveting look at the little-known role of female teachers and lineage-holders in the Vajrayana tradition.  Essential reading for Tibetan Buddhist women.
Shin, Nan (pseud.). Diary of a Zen Nun: Every Day Living.  New York: E.P. Dutton, 1988.
Sidor, Ellen S. A Gathering of Spirit: Women Teaching in American Buddhism.  Cumberland (R.I.): Primary Point Press, 1987.
Smith, Jean (ed.).  Breath Sweeps Mind: A First Guide to Meditation Practice.  New York: Riverhead, 1998.  ISBN 1-57322-653-X.  A Tricycle book.
Smith, Jean (ed.).  Everyday Mind: 366 Reflections on the Buddhist Path.   New York: Riverhead, 1997.  ISBN 1-57322-633-5.  A Tricycle book.  To quote Tricycle:   "With selections from ancient texts and contemporary teachers, Everyday Mind is a solid source for the fundamentals of Buddhism. It introduces the novice to precepts such as mindfulness, meditation, and dharma, and it serves as a 'Best of Buddhism' collection for those more familiar with Buddhist practice."  OK, but one quibble:  I do wish Tricycle would open up the field to contributors outside their usual top 20 (Gary Snyder, Pema Chodron, Stephen Batchelor, Thich Nhat Hanh and so forth).  There are other teachers in the west!
Subhuti (Alex Kennedy). Women, Men and Angels.  Birmingham: Windhorse Publications, 1996.  An exposition of the provocative views of Sangharakshita, the founder of the Western Buddhist Order/FWBO, on women and men in the spiritual life.  (Subhuti/Alex, by the way, is a man.)
Tharchin, Sermey Khensur Lobsang.  Sublime Path to Kechara Paradise: Vajrayogini's Eleven Yogas of Generation Stage Practice as Revealed by the Glorious Naropa.  Howell, New Jersey: Mahayana Sutra and Tantra Press, 1997.  A new commentary to the Highest Yoga Tantra practice of the female Buddha Vajrayogini.
Tiyavanich, Kamala.  Forest Recollections:  Wandering Monks in wentieth-Century Thailand.  Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 1997.
Tomlinson, Carole (ed.).  Big Sky Mind: Buddhism and the Beat Generation.   New York: Riverhead, 1995.  ISBN 1-57322-501-0.  A Tricycle book.
Tromge, Jane (Chagdud Khadro).  Ngondro Commentary: Instructions for the Concise Preliminary Practices of the New Treasure of Dudjom.   A commentary on the preliminary practices of Nyingma by the wife and teaching partner of H.E. Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche.
Tromge, Jane (Chagdud Khadro).  Red Tara Commentary.  Junction City (CA): Padma Publishing, 1994.  ISBN 1-881847-04-7.  This book was written as a companion to the concise English Tara practice, Red Tara: An Open Door to Bliss and Ultimate Awareness.  It leads the practitioner through the practice text step by step, explaining its meaning and offering detailed instructions.   Of particular value to those new to Vajrayana Buddhism and deity practice.
Tsomo, Karma Lekshe, ed. Buddhism Through American Women's Eyes.   Ithaca (NY): Snow Lion Publications, 1995.  ISBN 1-55939-047-6 (180 pp).   A selection of essays "by practitioners from the Theravada, Japanese Zen, Shingon, Chinese Pure Land, and Tibetan traditions, who share their thoughts on Buddhist philosophy, its practical application in everyday life, and the challenges of practicing Buddhism in the Western world."
Tsomo, Karma Lekshe, ed. Sakyadhita: Daughters of the Buddha.   Ithaca (NY): Snow Lion Publications, 1989.  Lekshe is a bhikshuni (fully ordained nun) in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and is Secretary of Sakyadhita International.  She founded the Jamyang Chöling Institute for Buddhist Women in India and is currently in the Philosophy Department at the University of Hawai'i.   This book is a collection of essays and presentations by women who attended the first international conference of Buddhist women, with significant content relating to the ordination of nuns.  (Now out of print; so if you happen to see it in a bookshop, snap it up!)
Tsomo, Karma Lekshe. Sisters in Solitude -- Two Traditions of Buddhist Monastic Ethics for Women -- A Comparative Analysis of the Chinese Dharmagupta and the Tibetan Mulasarvastivada Bhiksuni Pratimoksa Sutras. New York:  SUNY Press, 1996.  ISBN 0-7914-3090-1 (paperback) or 0-7914-3089-8 (cloth), 192 pp.  This landmark book is the first translation into English of two versions of the Bhikshuni Pratimoksha Sutra, the precepts and rules of conduct for fully-ordained Buddhist nuns.
Tulku, Tarthang, trans. Mother of Knowledge: The Enlightenment of Ye-shes mTsho-rgyal, by Nam-mkha'i snying-po, ed. Jane Wilhelms.  Berkeley: Dharma Publishing, 1983.  Another translation (see Dowman, above) of the sacred biography of the Tibetan yogini Yeshe Tsogyel.
Willis, Janice D., ed. Feminine Ground: Essays on Women and Tibet.  Ithaca (NY): Snow Lion Publications, 1989; reprinted 1995.  An excellent and wide-ranging collection of papers.
Willson, Martin. In Praise of Tara: Songs to the Saviouress.  London: Wisdom Publications, 1986.
Wilson, Liz. Charming Cadavers: Horrific Figurations of the Feminine in Indian Buddhist Hagiographic Literature.   Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.

WHAT'S NEW | Activists | Teachers | Scholars  | Women's ordination | Events calendar | Dharma teachings online
Projects & groups | Bibliography | Female Buddhas | Periodicals & audiovisual resources | Ecumenical links
Past "treats of the month" | Famous Buddhist women | Other resources | Small print | Submit a link to WAiB

Return to WAiB Homepage
Return to the WAiB Homepage

This page was last amended on 1 January 2001.
If you'd like to contribute to these links (or offer any corrections), please use our online form.  Thank you!