As Buddhism is assimilated into the West, it is imperative that women reshape its patriarchal structures and carve out a fully legitimate, empowering position for themselves. Marianne Dresser brings together the likes of Pema Chodron, Tsultrim Allione, and bell hooks, 30 women in all, who are doing just that. Writers, nuns, scholars, priests–even a martial arts master and a private investigator–discuss women in Buddhism in a range of essays. Several pieces question the suppression of emotion required for selflessness, appealing to the undeniable reality of day-to-day living. Others discuss their experiences as women in Buddhism, whether as nuns or as lay practitioners. Still others address the history of women in Buddhism, racial questions, meditation, poetry, compassion, social activism, and sexual orientation. Most of these writers have been in Buddhism for two or three decades and offer a wealth of experience and insights, targeted at women readers but no less valuable to men.
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"A superb collection. Not only does this book fill a long-vacant gap, but the quality of work is astonishingly high." -San Francisco Chronicle
"As this collection reveals, women’s perspectives are significantly expanding the American Buddhist agenda. A path-breaking anthology." -Shambhala Sun
"Dresser has astutely laid out the parameter of contemporary Buddhist thought. This book is important reading regardless of your spiritual tradition or perspective. These essays pose questions at the very heart of existence, morality, and prosperity for thoughtful Americans living into the 21st century. Don’t miss this one!" -Bloomsbury Review