"A fascinating biography of Freda Bedi, an English woman who broke all the rules of gender, race, and religious background to become both a revolutionary in the fight for Indian independence and then a Buddhist icon. Freda Bedi (1911-1977) was one of the most remarkable and iconoclastic figures in Buddhism's movement to the West. Born in England, educated at Oxford, and married to a Sikh, she became a major force both in shaping modern-day Buddhism and Indian history. In her life she had many roles--political freedom fighter, spiritual seeker, scholar, professor, journalist, author, social worker, wife, and mother of four children (one of whom is a well-known actor). Vicki MacKenzie's lively biography captures what a trailblazer Bedi was in both the secular and spiritual realms. She studied meditation with Burmese meditation masters. She was the first English woman to be accepted by Gandhi into his elite band of Satyagrahi, delivering rousing speeches to thousands of Indians urging them to revolt, and then was imprisoned for subversion. She was asked by Nehru to help resettle Tibetan refugees, and she aided the Dalai Lama when he went into exile. Bedi established a school for young Tibetan lamas and also a nunnery, which still exists, to provide nuns equal religious opportunities. She was also the first woman, of any nationality, to receive the full Bikshuni ordination, making her the highest-ranking Tibetan Buddhist nun in India. MacKenzie, a well-known journalist in Britain, has forty years of experience writing about Buddhism in the West. For this book, she traced Bedi's footsteps and conducted many in-depth interviews with those who knew her, including friends, family, government officials, lamas, and nuns. She also drew heavily from Bedi's own writings, diaries, and recordings--all provided by Bedi's family--and the book includes many photographs"--
A fascinating biography of Freda Bedi, an English woman who broke all the rules of gender, race, and religious background to become both a revolutionary in the fight for Indian independence and then a Buddhist icon. She was the first Western woman to become a Tibetan Buddhist nun—but that pioneering ordination was really just one in a life full of revolutionary acts. Freda Bedi (1911–1977) broke the rules of gender, race, and religion—in many cases before it was thought that the rules were ready to be challenged. She was at various times a force in the struggle for Indian independence, spiritual seeker, scholar, professor, journalist, author, social worker, wife, and mother of four children. She counted among her friends, colleagues, and teachers Mohandas Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and many others. She was a woman of spiritual focus and compassion who was also not without contradictions. Vicki Mackenzie gives a nuanced view of Bedi and of the forces that shaped and motivated this complex and compelling figure.
What drives a young London librarian to board a ship to India, meditate in a remote cave by herself for twelve years, and then build a flourishing nunnery in the Himalayas? How does a surfer girl from Malibu become the head of the main international organization for Buddhist women? Why does the daughter of a music executive in Santa Monica dream so vividly of peacocks one night that she chases these images to Nepal, where she finds the love of her life in an unconventional young Tibetan master? The women featured in Dakini Power—contemporary teachers of Tibetan Buddhism, both Asians and Westerners, who teach in the West—have been universally recognized as accomplished practitioners and brilliant teachers whose life stories demonstrate their immense determination and bravery. Meeting them in this book, readers will be inspired to let go of old fears, explore new paths, and lead the lives they envision. Featured here are: • Jetsun Khandro Rinpoche (This Precious Life) • Dagmola Sakya (Princess in the Land of Snows) • Jetsun Tenzin Palmo (Diane Perry) (Into the Heart of Life) • Pema Chödrön (Deirdre Blomfield-Brown) (When Things Fall Apart; Start Where You Are) • Khandro Tsering Chödron (most familiar to readers as the late aunt of Sogyal Rinpoche, author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying) • Thubten Chodron (Cherry Greene) (Buddhism for Beginners; Taming the Mind) • Karma Lekshe Tsomo (Patricia Zenn) (Buddhism Through American Women’s Eyes) • Chagdud Khadro (Jane Dedman) (P’howa Commentary; Life in Relation to Death) • Sangye Khandro (Nanci Gay Gustafson) (Meditation, Transformation, and Dream Yoga) • Roshi Joan Halifax (Being with Dying) • Lama Tsultrim Allione (Joan Rousmanière Ewing) (Women of Wisdom; Feeding Your Demons) • Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel (The Power of an Open Question)
This book tells the remarkable story of Soname's triumph over adversity, told against the backdrop of a turbulent and dangerous Tibet. Soname was born in the harsh Tibetan countryside during the Chinese occupation. When she was just sixteen Soname risked death in a freedom trek across the Himalayas, finally arriving in Dharamsala, home in exile of the Dalai Lama. Even after managing to escape from Tibet, she faced further dangers and heartache in India, being forced by destitution to give her daughter away. Soname later managed to reach England, where she met and married an Englishman and came to live in Brighton. Her hidden talent was discovered when she sang a traditional Tibetan song at a wedding reception, unaware that a member of a famous band was a guest. Concerts followed. Tracing her long-lost daughter has long been Soname's preoccupation, and it is hoped that her daughter will finally join her in England later this year. Hers is a story of immense will, unbelievable courage and, above all, an indomitable soaring free spirit.
Author: Ogyen Trinley Dorje Karmapa
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2017-02-28
Plucked from a humble nomad family to become the leader of one of Tibet’s oldest Buddhist lineages, the young Seventeenth Karmapa draws on timeless values to create an urgent ethic for today’s global community. We have always been, and will always be, interconnected—through family, community, and shared humanity. As our planet changes and our world grows smaller, it is vital we not only recognize our connections to one another and to the earth but also begin actively working together as interdependent individuals to create a truly global society. The Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, is uniquely positioned to guide us in this process. Drawing on years of intensive Buddhist training and a passionate commitment to social issues, he teaches how we can move from a merely intellectual understanding to a fully lived experience of connection. By first seeing, then feeling, and finally living these connections, we can become more effective agents of social and ethical change. The Karmapa shows us how gaining emotional awareness of our connectedness can fundamentally reshape the human race. He then guides us to action, showing step by step how we can change the way we use the earth’s resources and can continue to better our society. In clear language, the Karmapa draws connections between such seemingly far-flung issues as consumer culture, loneliness, animal protection, and self-reliance. In the process, he helps us move beyond theory to practical and positive social and ethical change.
Author: Dalai Lama
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2017-07-11
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
The Sixth Ling Rinpoch� (1903-83) was a towering figure in Tibetan Buddhism. Combining great learning with great humility, he was ordained by the Thirteenth Dalai Lama and went on to serve as the head of the Geluk tradition and as the senior tutor to the present Dalai Lama. In temperament and wisdom, he was a singular influence on the Dalai Lama's spiritual development, and he became a steadying presence for His Holiness during the chaotic changes that defined the Tibetan experience of the twentieth century, with the invasion of their county by Communist forces and the subsequent rebuilding of their culture in India. Ling Rinpoch�'s extensive travels among exiled communities abroad and across India buoyed the spirits of the Tibetan diaspora, and the training and activities of this consummate Buddhist master, here told in the Dalai Lama's own words, will inspire and amaze. Fiftyfive colour and seventyfive blackandwhite archival photos bring the text to life.
A brief meeting with a Buddhist nun in India made a deep impression on Christine Toomey. It sent her on a two year, 60,000-mile odyssey to learn more about the contemporary women choosing in their thousands to become part of a long tradition of female spirituality that stretches back through the centuries and now embraces the radical possibility that the next Dalai Lama could be female. In The Saffron Road, Toomey follows in the footsteps of earlier generations of Buddhist nuns to trace the routes by which the philosophy has spread from a solitary order in a remote area of India in the 5th century BC, via 1950s San Francisco where Zen was popularised by the Beat generation, to the globally-renowned practitioners of mindfulness of today. Beginning her journey in the Himalayas, close to the birthplace of the Buddha, Toomey travels from Nepal, to India, through Burma, Japan and on to North America and Europe, along the way visiting contemporary nunneries to meet the women who practise there. Amongst those she talks to are a group of "kung fu" nuns, an acclaimed novelist, a princess, a concert violinist, a former BBC journalist, and a one-time Washington political aide. Through these conversations, the daily reality of the Buddhist existence is gradually revealed, together with the diverse spiritual paths leading these women towards nirvana. Combining travelogue, history, interviews and personal reflection, The Saffron Road opens the door to a rarely glimpsed world of ritual, discipline and enlightenment.
Author: Miranda Eberle Shaw
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 2006
"Beautifully written and erudite, this book fills a need in the growing literature about goddesses in Buddhism. The goddesses are meticulously researched and brilliantly analyzed. Destined to become a classic in the field, Buddhist Goddesses of India leaves no doubt that goddesses have been central, not peripheral, to Buddhism, even from the earliest traceable beginnings of the tradition."--Susan L. Huntington, author of "The Art of Ancient India" "A jewel. A very significant contribution to the field."--Adalbert J. Gail, Freie Universitat Berlin "Miranda Shaw comprehensively demonstrates the importance of the feminine divine in Buddhism. She draws together art, scripture, myth, and ritual to bring these goddesses and female Buddhas alive, producing a definitive resource for scholars of Buddhism and of women's spirituality. With her eloquent translations and scrupulous analyses, Shaw has given us a treasure of religious insight into the sacred feminine."--Patricia Monaghan, Depaul University, author of "Goddess Path" "This work is a masterpiece. Shaw's fascinating study deepens our understanding of the divine feminine in South Asia. Her luminous writing carries the reader through an amazing terrain that is rich with historical discoveries and vivid portraits of a remarkable female pantheon."--Graham M. Schweig, author of "Dance of Divine Love: India's Classic Sacred Love Story" and "Bhagavad Gita: The Beloved Lord's Secret Love Song""
Author: Vicki Mackenzie
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Release Date: 2001-04-01
Genre: Body, Mind & Spirit
Why Buddhism? is a series of interviews through which Vicki McKenzie (author of Cave in the Snow) explores the reason for Buddhism's growing appeal in western society. Through personal examples, this book will reveal what Buddhism means to a wide range of people in the UK, Australia and US. The interviews are inspiring and informative, covering the process each person went through in becoming involved in Buddhism, as well as the effect it has had on their lives and any difficulties they've encountered. The subjects interviewed in Why Buddhism? range from the famous, like composer Phillip Glass, actor Tracy Mann, and author/teacher Robert Thurman, to the heroic, such as the nun who brings Buddhist teachings to hardened criminals in jail, the extraordinary - like the Buddhist diamond merchant, and the ordinary made remarkable - like the woman Queensland woman dying a good Buddhist death. Popular rather than scholarly in tone, Why Buddhism? should appeal to those of us who are keen to know more about a religion that is much talked about but little understood.
Author: Vicki Mackenzie
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Release Date: 2008-12-26
Genre: Body, Mind & Spirit
This is the incredible story of Tenzin Palmo, a remarkable woman who spent 12 years alone in a cave 13,000 feet up in the Himalayas. At the age of 20, Diane Perry, looking to fill a void in her life, entered a monastery in India--the only woman amongst hundreds of monks---and began her battle against the prejudice that had excluded women from enlightenment for thousands of years. Thirteen years later, Diane Perry a.k.a. Tenzin Palmo secluded herself in a remote cave 13,000 feet up in the Himalayas, where she stayed for twelve years. In her mountain retreat, she face unimaginable cold, wild animals, floods, snow and rockfalls, grew her own food and slept in a traditional wooden meditation box, three feet square. She never lay down. Tenzin emerged from the cave with a determination to build a convent in northern India to revive the Togdenma lineage, a long-forgotten female spiritual elite. She has traveled around the world to find support for her cause, meeting with spiritual leaders from the Pope to Desmond Tutu. She agreed to tell her story only to Vicky Mackenzie and a portion of the royalties from this book will help towards the completion of her convent.
The man with the gun pushed me down onto the carpet. I tried to cower to make my body curl smaller, instinctively covering my head. 'Oh God, please don't kill me.' My words clung to my teeth and now my whole body was so cold. All I had left were these words. 'Please. Please don't kill me. Jesus. God. Please.' I wanted to live and I knew it with absolute certainty. I don't want to die. Emma Slade was a high-flying debt analyst for a large investment bank, when she was taken hostage in a hotel room on a business trip to Jakarta. She thought she was lucky to come out of it unscathed, but over the ensuing weeks and months, as the financial markets crashed, Emma became her own distressed asset as the trauma following the event took hold. Realising her view on life had profoundly changed she embarked upon a journey, discovering the healing power of yoga and, in Bhutan, opening her eyes to a kinder, more peaceful way of living. From fast-paced City life to the stillness of Bhutan's Himalayan mountains, Set Free is the inspiring true story of Emma's astonishing life lived to extremes and all that that entails: work, travel, spirituality, Buddhism, relationships, and the underlying question of what makes a meaningful life.
Author: Thupten Jinpa
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2017-11-07
Explore the nature of our material world in a unique sourcebook, conceived by the Dalai Lama, collecting the scientific observations found in classical Buddhist treatises. Under the visionary supervision of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Science and Philosophy in the Indian Buddhist Classics brings together classical Buddhist explorations of the nature of our material world and the human mind and puts them into context for the modern reader. It is the Dalai Lama’s view that the explorations by the great masters of northern India in the first millennium CE still have much that is of interest today, whether we are Buddhist or not. Volume 1, The Physical World, explores of the nature of our material world—from the macroscopic to the microscopic. It begins with an overview of the many frameworks, such as the so-called five aggregates, that Buddhist thinkers have used to examine the nature and scope of reality. Topics include sources of knowledge, the scope of reason, the nature and constituents of the material world, theories of the atom, the nature of time, the formation of the universe, and the evolution of life, including a detailed explanation of the early Buddhist theories on fetal development. The volume even contains a brief presentation on early theories about the structure and function of the brain and the role of microorganisms inside the human body. The book weaves together passages from the works of great Buddhist thinkers like Asanga, Vasubandhu, Nagarjuna, Dignaga, and Dharmakirti. Each of the major topics is introduced by Thupten Jinpa, the Dalai Lama’s principal English-language translator and founder of the Institute of Tibetan Classics.