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


In this volume, stories about the experiences of women in remote regions like Mongolia and Zangskar appear alongside essays on philosophy and history. The fact that so many different voices are included and valued is profound testimony to Buddhist women’s diversity in terms of their educational background and approach to social concerns. It is an immense privilege to honor the hard work that these women are doing to benefit society, even against great odds. We are pleased to highlight these achievements, so that readers can learn more about the Buddhist traditions and the vibrant communities of Buddhist women practitioners around the world. We are especially pleased to include the voices of women who may not have a voice in their own societies. The variety of these articles reflects the diversity of the contributors, which is the strength of the Buddhist women’s movement. Each writer shares a glimpse of wisdom, offered in a spirit of compassion, from her own corner of the world. Their words express the vitality of the Buddhist traditions that have endured for centuries to support the spiritual and intellectual development of millions of people.


Table of Contents



Buddhist Women and a Compassionate Society | 3

Martine Batchelor

Buddhism in Kinnaur and in the Lives of Kinnauri Women | 9

Tenzin Norzin

Buddhist Women in Zangskar | 11

Chopa Tenzin Lhadron

Buddhism in Mongolia and Mongolian Women’s Practice | 14

Gantumur Natsagdorj

The History of a Buddhist Women’s Datsan in Buryatya | 16

Zorigma Budaeva

The Quiet Movement of Buddhist Women in Cambodia | 19

Peou Vanna

A Woman’s Place is in the Home: Master Yinkuang’s Letters on Women and Childrearing | 22

I-li Yang

Gender and Social Reality in Nepal: Implications for Buddhist Nuns and Social Change | 30

Sumon Tuladhar


Reconstructing Yaśodhara’s Life Narrative: From Siddhārtha’s Wife to Daughter of the Buddha | 39

Shu-hui Tsai

Women Regaining a Lost Legacy: The Restoration of the Bhikkhunī Saṅgha in Sri Lanka |42

Hema Goonatilake

Nuns and Laywomen of the Chinese Teaching of the Three Levels: An Historical Perspective on Lay Status | 49

Claudia Wenzel

Korean Buddhist Nuns: An Historical Review | 54

Gyehwan Sunim

Activities of Korean Buddhist Laywomen: An Historical Review | 60

Changsook Lee

Nun Palmo: A Legend Across Tibetan Communities | 66

Ivette Vargas


Teaching Dharma to Children | 79

Eliana Morris

Buddhist Education for Children | 83

Daewon Kwon

Education of the Vietnamese Bhikkhunī Saṅgha in Modern Times | 89

Thich Nu Nhu Nguyet

A Different Dharma? Teaching Buddhism at Universities in the United States | 94

Karma Lekshe Tsomo


Dhamma in Everyday Life | 105

Anne Mahoney

Dhamma in Daily Life: How to Deal with Anger | 110

Bhikkhunī Lieu Phap

Guidelines for Dhamma Practice in Everyday Life | 120

Amita Dhakwa Shakya

Food of Dharma: Rituals at Meals and in the Kitchen, A Case Study of Dongein Imperial Nunnery of Japan | 120

Shobha Rani Dash

Healing Buddhist Women: Ritual, Interrelatedness, and the Core of Buddhist Healing | 124

Paula Kane Robinson Arai


Samatha and Vipassanā Meditation in the Theravāda Tradition | 133

Iljung An

The Meaning of Nonduality in the Practice of Compassion |139

Sookyung Hwang

Is Karuṇā an Emotion? A Comparison of Asian and Western Approaches |142

Thea Mohr


Education and Training for Women at the Time of the Buddha: Implications for Today | 159

Thich Nu Dong Anh

Buddhist Women and Discipline: An Historical Perspective | 164

Thich Nu Gioi Huong

The Training and Education of Nuns in Sri Lanka | 168

Ranjani de Silva

Ordained Women in Yellow Robes: An Unfamiliar “Tradition” in Contemporary Thailand | 172

Tomomi Ito

Discipline and Practice of Buddhist Women in Korea: Past and Present | 176

Kwangwoo Sunim

The Art of Self-Cultivation | 181

Malia Dominica Wong


Basic Training for Korean Buddhist Nuns | 187

Iljin Sunim

Bodhisattva Kśitigarbha and Buddhist Nuns in Contemporary Taiwan | 192

Yuchen Li

Master Yinshun and Buddhist Women in Taiwan: Fayuan and Yitong Nunneries, Disciples of Guanyin in Northwest Taiwan | 199

Stefania Travagnin

Seon Practice and Seon Monasteries for Bhikkhunīs in Korea | 212

Wunweol Sunim

Crossing Over the Gender Boundary in Gray Rubber Shoes: A Study on Myoom Sunim’s Buddhist Monastic Education | 219

Inyoung Chung (Sukdham Sunim)

Pomunjong and Hanmaûm Sônwôn: New Monastic Paths in Contemporary Korea | 229

Hyangsoon Yi


A Silent Undercurrent: The Significance of Mae chiis’ Socially Engaged Buddhist Practice in Thailand | 239

Monica Lindberg Falk

Buddhism and Social Welfare in Korea | 245

Sangduck Sunim

The Buddhist Women’s Movement for Social Change | 252

Insook Kim

Buddhist Nuns as Community Mentors | 256

Junya Pookayaporn

Mapping the Trajectories of Engaged Buddhism from China to Taiwan and Vietnam | 262

Elise Anne DeVido

Volunteer Activities of Korean Buddhist Nuns | 281

Jihong Sunim

Engaged Buddhism and Community Action | 285

Trina Nahm-Mijo


Practice of the Precepts: Lay and Monastic | 291

Tenzin Palmo

Settling the Debate on Bhikkhunī Ordination in Thailand: Why is It So Difficult? | 293

Varaporn Chamsanit

Bhikṣuṇī Ordination | 302

Jampa Tsedroen

Saṅgha: The Enlightened Group of People | 307

Shoyo Taniguchi


Practice as a Path to Crosscultural Religious Understanding | 321

Anne Carolyn Klein (Rigzin Drolma)

On the Equality of Beings in Buddhist Ecology | 327

Oksun An

Buddhist Nuns on Radio and Television: Disseminating Buddhism the Mass Media in Korea | 334

Jinmyong Sunim

When Legal Norms and Buddhist Practices Collide: Australian Lessons on Dealing with Differences | 340

Diana Cousens

Buddhist Women’s Contributions in the West | 346

Karuna Dharma

Buddhist Women as Leaders and Teachers: Gender Bias and Democratization | 349

Rita M. Gross




Original publication information:

Tsomo, Karma Lekshe (Ed.). Out of the Shadows: Socially Engaged Buddhist Women. Sakyadhita 2019, 2019, pp. 3-386.