ancestors

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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 »
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    Alexandra David-Niel Paid Member

    Alexandra David-Niel lived 100 years. She was born in France in 1868, the period of la belle epoque, and died there in 1969, soon after the student riots in Paris. In between she spent fourteen years studying Buddhism in Asia and, at the age of 55, became the first Western woman to enter the Tibetan city of Lhasa. It is tempting to think that she was born too soon, but so free and bold a…Alexandra David-N�el lived 100 years. She was born in France in 1868, the period of la belle epoque, and died there in 1969, soon after the student riots in Paris. More »
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    The Bodhisattva of Rock Creek Cemetery Paid Member

    But we, who cannot fly the world, must seekTo live two separate lives: one, in the worldWhich we must ever seem to treat as real;The other in ourselves, behind a veilNot to be raised without disturbing both. —Henry Adams, 1891 In the northeastern quadrant of Washington, DC, there is an old cemetery named Rock Creek. The area surrounding it was once an affluent leafy suburb overlooking the often sweltering city, but the neighborhood that now presses at the cemetery’s iron fence is working-class. Behind that fence, for whatever it may be worth to the tenants, a genteel atmosphere endures. Rock Creek’s hundred rolling acres are covered with traditional burial works from the last three centuries - an impressive landscape of obelisks and angels, twining laurel, and weeping willow. 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 »