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Women and Buddhism
Dates: Oct 08, 2021 - Oct 13, 2021
Days: Fri - Wed (5 Nights)

Instructor(s): Jan Willis

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The Buddhist community has always consisted of men and women practitioners, of monks and nuns, laymen and laywomen, in that order, largely in deference to the social and cultural structures and conditions of its birth. However, the question of women's place and standing within Buddhism has remained a problematic and often contentious one. In this program, we will investigate why this has been so and explore the complex and changing status of women–in relationship to Buddhist literature, doctrine and practice. In addition, we will look at some women practitioners themselves with the aim of understanding the ideals and concerns which sustain, drive and empower them. This course is open to and welcomes people of all genders.

Noble Silence and Mindful Speech: 

Noble silence will be observed following the evening session through breakfast the following morning.

Experience Level:

Suitable for both beginning and experienced practitioners.

  • Jan Willis, BA and MA from Cornell University and PhD from Columbia University, is currently Professor of Religion Emerita at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut and Visiting Professor of Religion at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA. Willis studied with Tibetan Buddhists for five decades and has taught courses in Buddhism for over forty-five years. In 2000, TIME magazine named Willis one of six “spiritual innovators for the new millennium.” Her latest book, Dharma Matters: Women, Race and Tantra--Collected Essays, will appear in April 2020.