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    Lost Stories Paid Member

    My sangha chants a lineage of female ancestors, alternating day by day with our traditional lineage. When we began doing this a few years ago, it was like harvesting fruit from a very old tree. The seeds were planted when Mahapajapati became the first female Buddhist monk and leader of a thriving women’s monastic community in ancient India. From the beginning of my Soto Zen practice, I’ve known both male and female monks, priests and lay students, and have seen men and women holding equal ranks. In my own sangha, men and women serve in varying roles without gender distinction. More »
  • The Religion of Science Paid Member

    The Gospel of Buddha is a relatively small volume of passages culled from the Buddhist canon and arranged, like the biblical gospels, into “chapter and verse.” First published in 1894, by the turn of the century this collection was probably the single most popular Buddhist catechism in the world. By 1915 it was in its thirteenth English edition, with versions having appeared in Japanese, Chinese, German, French, Spanish, Dutch, and Urdu. Its broad acceptance among Asian Buddhist leaders of the time was unprecedented: the Zen Master Shaku Soyen wrote that the Gospel which was then being used as a reader at Tokyo Imperial University, served the needs of Japanese students of Buddhism better than did the Buddhist scriptures themselves. More »
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    Dragon Wisdom Paid Member

    As the wife of a prominent Chicago attorney she had had a great deal of experience at entertaining," wrote Mary Farkas in a 1967 obituary of Ruth Fuller Sasaki that appeared in the monthly newsletter Zen Notes. Sasaki, who during her first marriage to a corporate lawyer had been Ruth Fullcr Everett, had joined the Buddhist Society of America in 1938 on the same night as her friend Mary Farkas. In the obituary, Farkas seemed to speak with genuine admiration of this early incarnation of Mrs. Sasaki and of virtues that sound quaint today but were not in the 1920s, when Everett was a young woman. "There was no dish she wouldn't try to make, no problem of gardening, decorating, or construction she wouldn't undertake to solve," wrote Farkas. More »
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    The Second Buddha Paid Member

    Image: Nagarjuna receives the Perfection of Wisdom scripture from a nagini. Beside him is Aryadeva, who elaborated his teaching. In the sky, astride a lion, is the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, Manjushri, in human guise.  More »
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    The Second Buddha Paid Member

    IT HAS BEEN SAID THAT, after the Buddha, the single most important figure in the entire Buddhist tradition was a monk named Acharya Nagarjuna, sometimes called the Second Buddha. As is the case with many religious giants, we know little about the historical Nagarjuna. Scholars usually place him sometime in the late second century C.E., but he may have lived a hundred years before or after that period. According to tradition, Nagarjuna was a scholar-monk� More »