Articles & Essays

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From The Perfection of Wisdom

· Articles & Essays · ,

translated by Edward Conze

The Venerable Subhuti, by the Buddha’s might, said to the Lord: The Lord has said, ‘Make it clear now, Subhuti, to the Bodhisattvas, the great beings, starting from perfect wisdom, how the Bodhisattvas, the great beings go forth into perfect wisdom!’ 

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The Great Mother Prajnaparamita

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by Judith Simmer-Brown

The Tibetan understanding of the feminine principle as mother was drawn from a variety of sources within the Buddhist tradition. The most important source was the Prajnaparamita-sutras of Indian Mahayana, which date from the second century B.C.E. and continued their influence in Tibet until the present day.

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From The Gospel of Mary of Magdala

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by Karen L. King

Few people today are acquainted with the Gospel of Mary. Written early in the second century CE, it disappeared for over fifteen hundred years until a single, fragmentary copy in Coptic translation came to light in the late nineteenth century. Although details of the discovery itself are obscure, we do know that the fifth century manuscript in which it was inscribed was purchased in Cairo by Carl Reinhardt and brought to Berlin in 1896.

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From Right View, Red Rust, White Bones

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A Re-examination of Buddhist Teachings on Female Inferiority

by Allison Goodwin

In the Tripitaka and later sutras, the Buddha repeatedly establishes standards for evaluating spiritual teachings and practices—including his own—before one accepts them. He makes clear that his teachings are often misremembered, misrepresented, or misunderstood: This is one of his main reasons for outlining terms for investigating spiritual doctrine. He also warns that false and inaccurate teachings are among the conditions that will lead to the decline and disappearance of the Dharma.

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Letter To My Mother

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by Barbara Kingsolver

Imagine you putting on your glasses to read this letter. Oh, Lord, what now? You tilt your head back and hold the page away from you, your left hand flat on your chest, protecting your heart. “Dear Mom” at the top of a long, typed letter from me has so often meant trouble. Happy, uncomplicated things—these I could always toss you easily over the phone: I love you, where in the world is my birth certificate, what’s in your zucchini casserole, happy birthday, this is our new phone number, we’re having a baby in March, my plane comes in at seven, see you then, I love you.

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Hate, Love, and Perfect Wisdom

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by Edward Conze

Though the teachings of the Prajnaparamita have on the whole been set out quite clearly, this has been done in a terminology which one has slowly to get used to. Psychological considerations may, however, give some assistance in leading on to a better understanding of these texts. This is no mere concession to the interests of the present day. Centuries ago already has the metaphysics of the Prajnaparamita been rounded off by a profound psychological system, known as the Tantra. In this article I offer two brief psychological observations.

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From In Search of Buddha’s Daughters

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by Christine Toomey

I know already from her biography that Tenzin Palmo was born Diane Perry, the daughter of a fishmonger in London’s East End; as a teenager she had long blonde curly hair, wore stilettos, loved jazz clubs, dancing and Elvis Presley; she had boyfriends, several marriage proposals and a personality described as ‘bubbly’.

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Facets of the Jewel

· Articles & Essays, Open Access · ,

A Conversation with Women Teachers in the Mountains & Rivers Order

Jody Hojin Kimmel, Osho, and Vanessa Zuisei Goddard, with Danica Shoan Ankele

Shoan: I wanted to speak to you as women teachers within what has historically been a very patriarchal tradition. As you know, some spiritual paths speak about spiritual development in terms of balancing “the masculine” and “the feminine” within us. I’d like to begin with a question I heard recently that has been nagging at me: “Where is the feminine in Zen?”

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Welcoming All of Our Ancestors

· Articles & Essays, Open Access · ,

by Shannon Shinko Hayes, MRO

The Mountains and Rivers Order sangha has recently been formally introduced to our women ancestors. For several years our Sunday morning program has included a service at the Mahapajapati altar during which we chant a short list of names. We now begin a new tradition, chanting a long list of the names of women ancestors, at the Monastery and Temple every other Sunday, alternating with chanting the list of our lineage—all male ancestors—that has been part of the Sunday service for the past 35 years.

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Receiving the Marrow by Bowing

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by Eihei Dogen

In the practice of unsurpassable, complete enlightenment, what is most difficult is to find a guiding teacher. The guiding teacher should be a strong person, regardless of being a male or female. The teacher should be a person of thusness, with excellent knowledge and wild fox [transformative] spirit, whether living in the past or present. This is the face [essence] of attaining the marrow, the guiding virtue. This is “not ignoring cause and effect,” and “You and I are just this.”

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