In this series, Pamela Weiss, author of A Bigger Sky: Awakening a Fierce Feminine Buddhism, shares stories of Buddhist women past and present that illuminate how feminine energy can support people of all genders in their practice. These often-overlooked figures not only exemplify qualities cultivated on the Buddhist path but provide an important counterbalance to the historically patriarchal tradition. Weiss tells the stories of Mahapajapati, the Buddha’s aunt and foster mother, and her dual capacity for nurturing compassion and fierce advocacy for women’s inclusion in the sangha. Prajnaparamita, the archetypical figure of “Perfection of Wisdom,” invites us to embrace the unknown and the wisdom it contains. And Yasodhara, the wife the Buddha left behind, offers an example of integrating our practice and mundane daily responsibilities. 

Pamela Weiss led a live meditation, dharma talk, and Q&A session on Thursday, November 19th. See the recording here.

Pamela Weiss has been practicing Buddhism since 1987, including several years of Zen monastic training. She serves on the Spirit Rock Teachers Council and was the founder of Appropriate Response, an organization dedicated to bringing mindful awareness to the workplace. She is the author of A Bigger Sky: Awakening a Fierce Feminine Buddhism (2020).