This short series of communal readings and discussions will lift up and illuminate the depiction of women as teachers in Buddhist texts preserved in the Pali language. This is is part of an ongoing collective project that focuses on presentations in Buddhist literature about “The Women in the Buddha’s Life.” This short series anticipates a residential program at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies in August 2023 that will continue the work of the Women in the Buddha’s Life project: “Mothers, Sisters, Seekers, Friends: Stories of Struggle and Transformation.”
We will read together selected stories about women as Buddhist teachers, participate in group activities, and share experiences. The texts for communal reading and reflection selected for this short series are all drawn from the Pali literature of the Pali traditions, although generally the programming of “The Women in the Buddha’s Life” project has lifted up materials drawn from multiple Buddhist traditions. Reading, discussing, and learning from these stories about women as teachers helps us to see them better and to listen to them, opening up new depths in the Buddha’s teachings and presenting unfamiliar angles of vision on our own practice and lives, whatever our practice or our gender. These stories of the women in the Buddha’s life who were also teachers of his message are engaging resources for reflection and insight and are particularly relevant to our troubled world.