Feminism Awakens In Himalayan Buddhist Art and Meditation

January 31, 2015 10:55 AM

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On the left is Mahapajapati Gotami, the Buddha's stepmother and aunt and the first woman to request and receive ordination from the Buddha. In the mural seen here and immediately below she is accompanied by some of the first Buddhist nuns (bikshunis). It is believed that the Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery and Temple founded by Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo is the first Himalayan Buddhist temple to have installed depictions of these first nuns.

In mid-January the popularly-esteemed, British-born Buddhist nun, Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo -- the closest thing we have to a Thomas Merton figure today -- spoke before a sold-out audience at the Rubin Museum of Himalayan Arts in Manhattan. Accompanying her and providing art historical support was the a...

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