Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Buddhist Studies | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


Understanding North American Buddhist Women from a global perspective is a daunting task because of the enormous diversity of both North American and Asian Buddhist women. The fist question is, What does it mean to be a Buddhist? For some, to be a Buddhist means formally going for refuge in the Buddha, dharma, sangha. In other cases, a person is born Buddhist and lives her whole life as a Buddhist, without any special ceremony. Differences like theses make it impossible to generalize about Buddhist women's experiences.


Table of Contents

Preface | ix

Peter N. Gregory

What does Buddhist Practice Mean to American Women? | 1

Susanne Mrozik

North American Buddhist Women in the International Context | 15

Karma Lekshe Tsomo

Moving Beyond Gender | 33

bell Hooks

Buddhism and Creativity | 41

Jane Hirshfield, Meredith Monk, Pat Enkyō O' Hara (moderator)

Women Changing Buddhism: Feminist Perspectives | 67

bell hooks, Sharon Suh, Karma Lekshe Tsomo, Susanne Mrozik (moderator)

Just Power | 91

Helen Tworkov

Engaged Buddhism | 101

Virginia Straus Benson, Diana Lion, Eve Marko, Hilda Ryūmon Gutierréz Baldoquín (moderator)

A Jewish Woman and Buddhism | 125

Shelia Peltz Weinberg

Race, Ethnicity, and Class | 141

Hilda Ryūmon Gutiérrez Baldoquín, Sharon Suh, Arinna Weisman, Carolyn Jacobs (moderator)

Fashioning New Selves: The Experiences of Taiwanese Buddhist Women | 159

Carolyn Chen

Growing up Buddhist | 175

Alice Unno

Women Dharma Teachers' Forum | 189

Thubten Chodron, Pat Enkyō O'Hara, Yifa, Carol Wilson

Acknowledgments | 223

Contributors | 229


Original Publication Information:

"North American Buddhist Women in the International Context." In Peter N. Gregory and Susanna Mrozik (Eds), Women Practicing Buddhism: American Experiences. Boston: Wisdom Publications, 2007, pp.15–31.