Feb 20

Recommended Reading – The Sacred Feminine

In celebration of the upcoming weekend virtual retreat Returning to Our Roots – Voices of the Sacred Feminine in Early Buddhism with Wendy Garling, we share with you a few books and recommended readings on the Sacred Feminine.

Browse these books below. To learn more about Wendy’s retreat, also read below, or click here.

Stars at Dawn

By Wendy Garling
Retelling of the ancient legends of the women in the Buddha’s intimate circle, focusing first on laywomen from the time before the Buddha’s enlightenment – his birth mother and stepmother, his co-wives, and members of his harem when he was known as Prince Siddhartha – then moving on to the Buddha’s first female disciples, early nuns, and to female patrons. Interspersed with original insights, fresh interpretations, and bold challenges to the status quo, the stories are both entertaining and thought-provoking, some may even appear controversial … Read more »

The Woman Who Raised the Buddha

By Wendy Garling
The first full biography of Mahaprajapati Gautami, the woman who raised the Buddha–examining her life through stories and canonical records. Garling reveals just how exceptional Mahaprajapati’s role was as leader of the first generation of Buddhist women, helping the Buddha establish an equal community of lay and monastic women and men … Read more »

First Buddhist Women

By Susan Murcott
Author Susan Murcott traces the journey of the wives, mothers, teachers, courtesan, prostitutes, and wanderers who became leaders in the Buddhist community. A readable, contemporary translation of and commentary on the enlightenment verses of the first female disciples of the Buddha. The book explores Buddhism’s relatively liberal attitude towards women since its founding nearly 2,600 years ago, through the study of the Therigatham, the earliest know collection of women’s religious poetry … Read more »

Books by Lama Tsultrim Allione on the Sacred Feminine

Women of Wisdom

Explores and celebrates the spiritual potential of all women, as exemplified by the lives of six Tibetan female mystics. These stories of great women who have achieved full illumination, overcoming cultural prejudices and a host of other problems which male practitioners do not encounter, offer a wealth of inspiration to everyone on the spiritual path. Includes Lama Tsultrim’s own extensive autobiographical preface and introduction speaking directly to the difficulties and triumphs of women in the West who pursue a spiritual life … Read more »

Wisdom Rising: Journey into the Mandala of the Empowered Feminine

Through her own story of loss and spiritual seeking, paired with mandala meditations and rituals, Lama Tsultrim teaches you how to embody the enlightened, fierce power of the sacred feminine – the tantric dakinis. You will explore a mandala of these dakinis, with a specific dakini in each direction of the mandala, each representing a “family” of encumbered emotions and characteristics to transform this energy into wisdom. In Lama Tsultrim’s own words from the book: “Take your time with each family — maybe focus on one family at a time for a week or a few days, in order to really feel the energy of it. The idea is to eventually embody each wisdom dakini, so that you feel, see, and sense her presence within you and all around you.”Read more »

Returning to Our Roots – Voices of the Sacred Feminine in Early Buddhism

With Wendy Garling • March 25 – 26

Drawing from early Mahayana and Pali texts from multiple Buddhist traditions, this retreat will offer practitioners from all Buddhist schools the opportunity to learn about our shared foremothers – the first daughters, mothers, sisters, and wives on their spiritual journey as the Buddha introduced his teachings twenty-five hundred years ago, often supported by the wisdom and animated presence of goddesses or yakshis in the natural world … Read more »

We hope you can join us for this retreat with Wendy Garling, as we immerse ourselves in the world of Buddhist women and the voices of the Sacred Feminine that live through stories, teachings, and the natural world.

~With Blessings,
Tara Mandala

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