Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Where Are the Women?

In preparation for my upcoming two-week retreat with Ruth Denison, and fact that I will not be able to post on this blog during that time, I went to YouTube, looking for videos of inspiring women teachers to feature in my absence. The pickings were slim, to say the least, and I had a hard time coming up with enough videos to cover the whole fifteen days. The Tibetans seem to be best at getting their voices out, with Pema Chodron as leader of the pack, followed by Thupten Chodron and Tenzin Palmo. The Theravada and Zen sisters less so . . . 

This is in contrast to their male counterparts who appear to be more bold about letting themselves be seen and heard in the Buddhist online world. 

Yet another instance of detrimental feminine shyness! Contemporary Buddhist women teachers need to leverage the power of online and video technologies to let their voices be heard beyond just the limited audiences of their local sanghas.


  1. You might want to take a look at Jademountains.net. Reverend Mugo posts videos occasionally and even though they are short, they contain surprising, sometimes quietly startling, teachings and insight.

  2. Thank you Helmut, for adding to the pot! I will make sure to check her out. I overdue for a visit at your blog :)

  3. Facebook response from Tanya McGinnity, fellow blogger at: http://www.fullcontactenlightenment.com

    I think all the lady Buddhabloggers need to record a video - either of ourselves or interviewing a female teacher in our region to post online.

    Up for the challenge? Let's put it out there.

  4. My response:

    Great idea Tanya . . . I just bought latest version of Flip camera, hoping to record a few videos of Ruth Denison while I am on retreat with her next week and after.

  5. From Twitter:

    @ZenOutlaw: Not just shyness, I believe. But the historical context of religious & spiritual life - the roles of women & patriarchy.

    @ReformedBuddha: Loved your post, its a good question you raise!

  6. My response to @ZenOutlaw:

    Agree with you. With consciousness comes freedom to choose different path, as one suggested by Tanya above.

    Let us grab our cameras and record, record, and upload on YouTube. Thinking of starting a channel, to gather all videos that will be collected.

  7. You are right, we need more visibility of female teachers.
    A few thoughts... I'm not sure it is shyness, so much as humility on the part of some female teachers.
    Also, I wonder how many of the teachings on sites like Youtube were posted by the teachers themselves, and how many were posted by enthusiastic students.