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Dakini Power: Twelve Extraordinary Women Shaping the Transmission of Tibetan Buddhism in the West [Paperback]

Michaela Haas
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

7 Jan 2013
How 12 Tibetan Buddhist Teachers Succeed in Merging East and West - including Pema Chödrön, Joan Halifax, and Thubten Chodron, among others

Personal reflections and life stories from 12 contemporary female Tibetan Buddhist teachers, both Westerners and Tibetans, who share insights into how they discovered their true calling, overcame barriers, and developed the courage, determination, and wisdom to progress on the spiritual path.

What drives a young London librarian to board a ship to India, meditate in a remote cave by herself for twelve years, and then build a flourishing nunnery in the Himalayas? How does a surfer girl from Malibu become the head of the main international organization for Buddhist women? Why does the daughter of a music executive in Santa Monica dream so vividly of peacocks one night that she chases these images to Nepal, where she finds the love of her life in an unconventional young Tibetan master?

The women featured in Dakini Power—contemporary teachers of Tibetan Buddhism, both Asians and Westerners, who teach in the West—have been universally recognized as accomplished practitioners and brilliant teachers whose life stories demonstrate their immense determination and bravery. Meeting them in this book, readers will be inspired to let go of old fears, explore new paths, and lead the lives they envision.

Featured here are:

   • Jetsun Khandro Rinpoche (This Precious Life)
   • Dagmola Sakya (Princess in the Land of Snows)
   • Jetsun Tenzin Palmo (Diane Perry) (Into the Heart of Life)
   • Pema Chödrön (Deirdre Blomfield-Brown) (When Things Fall Apart; Start Where You Are)
   • Khandro Tsering Chödron (most familiar to readers as the late aunt of Sogyal Rinpoche, author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying)
   • Thubten Chodron (Cherry Greene) (Buddhism for Beginners; Taming the Mind)
   • Karma Lekshe Tsomo (Patricia Zenn) (Buddhism Through American Women ’s Eyes)
   • Chagdud Khadro (Jane Dedman) (P ’howa Commentary; Life in Relation to Death)
   • Sangye Khandro (Nanci Gay Gustafson) (Meditation, Transformation, and Dream Yoga)
   • Roshi Joan Halifax (Being with Dying)
   • Lama Tsultrim Allione (Joan Rousmanière Ewing) (Women of Wisdom; Feeding Your Demons)
   • Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel (The Power of an Open Question)

Frequently Bought Together

Dakini Power: Twelve Extraordinary Women Shaping the Transmission of Tibetan Buddhism in the West + Into the Heart of Life + Cave in the Snow: A Western Woman's Quest for Enlightenment
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Snow Lion Publications (7 Jan 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1559394072
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559394079
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 15.2 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 125,301 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book re Female Path 21 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
There should be no did fence between male or female with regards to the Buddhist path, enlightenment and Buddhahood - but culturally there are enormous obstacles - this book is an inspiration to all of us that follow the path and that everyone should read this book about women practitioners who have overcome enormous issues.
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5.0 out of 5 stars ILLUMINATING! 6 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A truly fascinating and very well writen book! I just hope that Ms Haas might consider bringing out a second volume!
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  37 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, Not Only For Those Interested in Tibetan Buddhism 14 April 2013
By L. Erickson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
While this book is a compilation of 12 profiles of women teachers and authors within Tibetan Buddhism in the West, it is not just for practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism. These 12 women have led fascinating lives by any measurement, and their stories and wisdom will be of interest to anyone interested in female biography, spiritual memoir, Asian culture, or religious history. The author Michaela Haas is a journalist (as well as being a longtime practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism) and does more than tell these women's stories and ask them polite questions about their faith and teachings. She broaches many subjects in her interviews that will resonate for anyone of any faith: What is the relationship between culture, language, and religion? How much/should a tradition adapt when introduced to a new culture? What does it mean to advance women's rights within a spiritual context?

Of course if you are interested in Tibetan Buddhism, and particularly if you are yourself a practitioner, this book offers a goldmine of insight. Many key topics are discussed, including the role of lineage, the nature of the teacher/student relationship, rebirth, and how to reconcile Buddhist beliefs with other faiths. The discussions of these topics aren't pedantic - the women profiled share their personal stories and struggles. They also share the biggest challenges of their lives and their spiritual journeys - struggles getting their families to accept their decisions (especially those who took monastic vows), struggles in their marriages and raising children, struggles with grief, illness, and injury. The Tibetan women profiled share the stories of their escapes (or their families) from Tibet upon the Chinese occupation, and the challenges of resettling in the West. All of them speak of how these life experiences shaped their spiritual path, and how their Buddhist practice shaped their response to them.

As for the women featured, this book is a treasure trove of female Buddhist teachers. Of course there is Pema Chodron, probably the world's best-selling Buddhist woman author, and several others who are well-known (at least in Buddhist circles) - Tenzin Palmo, Tsultrim Allione, Thubten Chodron, Roshi Joan Halifax (actually a Zen teacher now, but with a Tibetan Buddhist background.) I have read books by and about these women before, but still found many new insights from and about them here. However, I really enjoyed the other profiles - the three Tibetan women included, Jestun Khandro Rinpoche, Dagmola Kusho Sakya, and Khandro Tsering Chodron (profiled movingly posthumously), and other Western-born women who I was not personally as familiar with but who I loved learning from and about - Sangye Khandro, Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel, Chagdud Khadro, and Karma Lekshe Tsomo. This is truly an amazing group of wise women, and I highly recommend this book!
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than power 9 Jun 2013
By Mary Margaret Funk - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I've never met Michaela Haas, but have met many of the Buddhist women she shares in her book, Dakini Power. This book is a "must read" for those of us in the interfaith dialogue. While it presumes some facility with the Tibetan Culture she takes great care to footnote, to provide s a glossary and add a list for further reading. More than power of these individual women is the frank conversation about sex, gender and sexism.

Being a Catholic nun we are now immersed in a tense conversation with the Vatican. I was in Tibet in the 90's and as part of Monastic Interreligious Dialogue visited many of the monasteries cited in this book, but one of my most challenging dialogues was with Geshe's that were appointed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama to study the lineage problem for Tibetan nuns. As much as HHDL wanted to establish women as equals he could not authorize it. So, in reading this book I have a bigger view of how huge is this patriarchy. Sexism covers over many, if not all, current cultures. However long it's going to take, it is time to raise up these realized, enlightened women who recently shared our world stage.

Sister Meg Funk
Benedictine Nun
Beech Grove, Indiana
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating life stories! 12 April 2013
By 1-4peace - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Highly recommend it! I love biographies and have a bit of interest in Buddhism so this was perfect for me. I was curious by the trailer about a London librarian who moves to India and spends ten years in a cave! How does this happen? I found all the stories really interesting. I was also surprised at how substantial the book was. It is such a great read, I couldn't put it down! There were so many surprising things in there - I had no idea that women were not allowed to study some of the teachings the men study. My favorite life story is the one of Dagmola Sakya - the first Tibetan woman ever to immigrate from Tibet to America. What a life! She was raising 5 kids while working a full-time job and still finding time to meditate and build a monastery in Seattle. Am really impressed!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Candidly written 19 May 2013
By Honey Lover - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There are 12 super interesting biographical accounts of women who chose Buddhism as their spiritual path. What I liked most is that it presented their spiritual teachers with their strengths as well as their flaws and how the Dakinis chose to deal with this.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting Stories of Twelve Incredible Life Adventures 17 April 2013
By B. W. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you enjoy well-told stories about women who have embarked upon incredible life adventures, I highly recommend this book. I was initially intrigued by the wildly diverse backstories of the twelve women profiled -- from the young British librarian who sailed to India to meditate in a cave for twelve years to the Malibu surfer who became the head of an international organization of Buddhist women. At a time when so many of us are facing profound challenges and questioning the very essence of our lives, I found this book truly inspiring.

While the author clearly has a deep understanding of Buddhism, she writes with gripping style that engaged me throughout. Whether you are a student of Buddhism or, like me, a layperson who is generally interested in philosophy, world religions, sociology and all of the other subjects that offer windows to the human condition, you'll enjoy this read on many levels.

I hope this is the first in a series by Michaela Haas!
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