The Buddha's path to human transformation declares women and men equally capable of spiritual realization, yet throughout history most exemplars of this tradition have been men. Now, as Buddhism is transmitted to the West, women are playing a major role in its adaptation and development. The conversation presented here takes place among experienced practitioners from many Buddhist traditions who share their thoughts on the Buddhist outlook, its practical application in everyday life, and the challenges of practicing Buddhism in the Western world. Thirteen women contribute a wealth of thought-provoking material on topics such as bringing Dharma into relationships, dealing with stress, Buddhism and the Twelve Steps, mothering and meditation, the monastic experience, and forging a kind heart in an age of alienation.
"Bravo! This book is so engaging so readable and so genuinely helpful I read it in one sitting. These are wonderful voices brimming with life experience and practical, on-the-ground advice. A treasure trove of advice for all practitioners."—Jan Willis, author of Dreaming Me
"A refreshing, experientially based, and enriching contribution of American women to Buddhism in the West."—Thubten Chodron, author of Buddhism for Beginners
"There are such loving, truthful, practical voices in this collection. . . . The writers lucidly express themselves on the Dharma and how it applies to their daily lives. . . . The challenges and the solutions are many and varied. Buddhism emerges as a practical way for women to deal with their complex lives."—Mandala Magazine, Editor's Choice
"As Western women in particular are increasingly able to experience Buddhist practices and teaching, their involvement with and contributions to the spiritual tradition are increasing. The time is certainly right for a book like Buddhism Through American Women's Eyes. It is a book of conversations for and about women. It arises from the grassroots movement which is working to make women better able to fully participate in Buddhist spiritual practice. Issues like the mixed signals sent to women about practicing Buddhism, the relationship of the spiritual practice to everyday life, and the lack of access to female interpretations of the teachings are explored by women who are struggling with those issues on a daily basis."—New Age Retailer
"Contributors do an excellent job of framing Buddhist philosophy within an everyday Western context, giving readers examples of Buddhism in practice, ranging from meditation to grief and death to relationships to abortion, among other topics. In addition to presenting the female voice within Buddhism, this book effectively illustrates Buddhist philosophy so that readers may fully comprehend the practical aspects of difficult concepts. A particularly nice chapter relates the experiences of several of the contributors as ordained priests and nuns in various Buddhist traditions."—Choice magazine