Despite the daunting barriers of geography and language that separate them, Buddhism and contemporary feminism have much to say to each other. Buddhist practices such as mindfulness (in which calm centering and keen awareness of change coexist) and compassion (in which the self is recognized as both powerful in itself and interdependently connected with all others) can be important resources for contemporary women, while feminism can expand the traditional horizons of Buddhist concerns to include social, historical, and psychological issues. The image and ritual of the Great Bliss Queen, an important Buddhist figure of enlightenment, form the unifying theme of the book modeling the practices and theory that can assist each of us in being at one with ourselves and fully engaged with others.
Anne Carolyn Klein
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Just a technical note to say, from what I can tell this appears to be no different that the 1996 edition which is still available and much cheaper.
A fascinating analysis of Tibetan Buddhism through the eyes of contemporary Western feminist theory. Klein is indeed a scholar and the writing is heavy, but the work is fascinating once the ideas settle in. Most interesting to me is how Western women have a sense of self based on identity, feelings, personal narrative, and individualism that simply doesn't exist in the cultural history of Tibetan Buddhism. The sense of "self" in Tibetan Buddhism is based on an idea that is completely different than our current, contemporary, Western concept of "self." So, when Western women attempt to approach Tibetan Buddhism as a means of self-help, self-searching, self-analysis, etc., there's a lot in the transition/translation that can get lost, simply because what they're searching for doesn't exist there.
There's a warning in Klein's analysis, too: It can be easy for women to use Buddhism as a means of escape, as a way to discard personal history in the name of non-attachment. (Note...
A Western feminist analysis of Tibetan Geluk & Nyingma Buddhism emphasizing selfhood & with Yeshey Tsogyal as focus, this book is difficult reading-having obtuse, expressionistic language, subtle philosophical points, occasional moot reasoning, & explicit feminist orientation. As the author states: pp. 191-2: "Cixous' work, like much of feminism, is directed at healing various kinds of internal divisions, especially those that separate women from their bodies, feelings, and female selves." But, the author argues convincingly for cultural/psychological differences between Tibetans & Westerners, even in childhood: p. 37: "In modern cultures, unlike traditional ones, the chasm between childhood & adulthood roles is enormous. The road to adulthood & personhood is marked by a range of choices unknown in traditional societies, & the individual's responsibility for those choices is great," p. 40: "Although karmic theory emphasizes that actions and their effects accrue to particular...
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