8/25/2013 – Women Buddhist Poets

Joey led our exploration of women Buddhist poets, from 2500 years ago forward, drawing principally from two in-print anthologies (Women in Praise of the Sacred, ed. Jane Hirschfield; and Voices of Insight, ed Sharon Salzberg) as well as The Therigatha <> available on line.  The Therigatha contains 75 poems by early Buddhist nuns, with approaches ranging from  “What bliss — free at last from my shameless husband!”  to

Sleep, little theri, sleep comfortably,       wrapped in the robe that you’ve made,               for your passion is stilled        — like a pot of pickled greens boiled dry.

Poets from 8th century Sri Lanka to medieval Japan and commentaries from Carol Wilson and Sharon Salzburg rounded out the presentation, followed by an engaged discussion, in which, among other things, was mentioned the teachings of the highly revered contemporary Thai lay woman teacher Upasika Kee, whose remarkable teachings are available on line as well as in print.  <;