DAKINI POWER

Extraordinary Women Shaping the Transmission of Buddhism in the West

Dakini Power honors contemporary female Buddhist teachers and practitioners.

Venerable Thubten Chodron (Cherry Greene)

You are the servant of others
— Venerable Thubten Chodron

Resilience in Robes

Why a Jewish "California girl" started one of the first and most innovative Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the United States

Venerable Thubten Chödron is the author of Buddhism for Beginners and founding abbess of Sravasti Abbey in Washington State.  She is renowned for her extraordinary ability to present even the most profound spiritual teachings simply and directly to Western audiences. With her characteristic warmth and humor, she skilfully weaves together traditional teachings with practical advice for modern Western women and men. In Dakini Power she speaks about her upbringing as a "nice Jewish girl", her years of exploring the counterculture of the Seventies, her prison work and her dedication to using the Buddha’s teachings on how to work with emotions in a contemporary context. She is faced with the irony that she is perceived as a  liberal in traditional Tibetan circles, while some Westerners automatically see her as part of the “hierarchical” monastic institution because of her robes. “Curiously, while women’s issues are at the forefront of discussion in Western Buddhism, once a woman becomes a monastic, she is seen as ‘conservative and traditional,’ qualities disdained by some Westerners who practice Buddhism,” Chodron comments, unfazed. “You learn to live with whatever people happen to think of you and then continue to live your life and practice the dharma.”


An introduction to Sravasti Abbey: