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Buddhist Women We Should Know

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
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 Buddhist Women We Should Know

1. Mahaprajapati
2. Nancy Wilson Ross
3. Elsie Mitchell
4. Maurine Stuart
5. Zenkei Blanche Hartman
6.Eijun Linda Ruth Cutts
7. Pema Chodron
8. Sharon Salzberg
9. Karma Lekshe Tsomo
10. Emila Heller

Notoriously missing are Asian Buddhist women like Rev Cheng Yen of Taiwan and many others.

It is interesting to know the few from zen tradition having brought Buddhism to elite schools such as Cambridge for the great minds. These are pioneers and is inspiring to read about them as they have in their own rights furthered buddhism and has played a major role for buddhism to take roots in their own countries.

I'd like to add to the list the few names come to mind which inspires me :

-Dorje Pakmo - third highest ranking in hierarchy after the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama
- Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo, the first Western woman to be recognized as a tulku (reincarnate lama) in 1987
- Ven. Tenzin Palmo - (You must read her book "Cave in the Snow")

1. Samding Dorje Pagmo: In the fifteenth century CE, Princess Chokyi-dronme was recognized as the embodiment of the meditation deity and female Buddha in the Vajrayana tradition, Vajravarahi. Chokyi-dronme became known as Samding Dorje Pagmo and began a line of female tulkus, reincarnate lamas. At present, the twelfth of this line lives in Tibet.

2. Shugseb Jetsun Rinpoche (c. 1865–1951): A female tulku lineage that began in the late nineteenth century CE. While she received teachings of all the Tibetan schools, Shugseb Jetsun Rinpoche was particularly known for holding a lineage of Chöd, the meditation practice of offering one's own body for the benefit of others. At the start of the twentieth century, Shugsheb Jetsun Rinpoche - also called Ani Lochen Chönyi Zangmo - founded the Shuksep or Shugsep nunnery located thirty miles from Lhasa on the slopes of Mount Gangri Thökar. It became one of the largest and most famous nunneries in Tibet.

3. Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo: a Tibetan Buddhist nun, author, teacher and founder of the Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery in Himachal Pradesh, India. She spent twelve years living in a remote cave in the Himalayas, three of those years in strict meditation retreat.

1. Ernestine Anderson - jazz singer
2. Laurie Anderson - performance artist
3. Kate Bosworth - actress
4. Susan Blackmore - parapsychologist, Zen Buddhist, ghost buster, professional skeptic
5. Cora L. E. Christian - Black female doctor who was an independent candidate for Governor of U.S. Virgin 6. Islands, 2002.
7. Dadon Dawadolma - singer, actress
8. Diane di Prima - Feminist poet
9. Nathaniel Dorsky - filmmaker
10. Goldie Hawn - Oscar-winning actress
11. Becky Johnston - author, screenwriter
12. Jennifer Lopez - singer, actress
13. Joanna Lumley - actress
14. Melissa Mathison - screenwriter
15. Tano Maeda - filmmaker
16. Me'shell Ndegeocello - musician, songwriter
17. Patti Smith - rock star
18. Renee Tajima-Pena - filmmaker
19. Tina Turner - singer
20. Uma Thurman - actress
21. Babeth VanLoo - filmmaker
22. Alice Walker - author, The Color Purple
23. Ruby Wax - actress, comedienne
24. Sharon Stone - actress

They are famous Yogini teachers from India and Tibet. One is Niguma, the sister of Naropa, who was famous for her 6 yogas of Niguma)] and the other is Machig Labdron. She founded the Tantric Chod tradition. Machig Labdron is very significant because she started a whole Tantric system that was indigenous of Tibet and her system was debated and checked upon in the monasteries of India.

1. The Princess of Thailand Maha Chakri Sirindhorn
2. Michelle Yeoh of Malaysia
3. Aung San Su Kyi of Burma
4. Lilian Too of Malaysia
5. Queen of Bhutan Jetsun Pema
6. Faye Wong of China
7. Karina Lau of Hong Kong SAR

Historical influential Buddhist women were:

1. Empress Wu of China
2. Prajapati (The 1st Buddhist nun who was Shakymuni Buddha's step mother)
3. Princess Wencheng of Tang Dynasty
4. Princess Kuan Yin of China

1. Dorje Pakmo
2. Khandro Rinpoche
3. Tsultrim Allione
4. Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo
5. Master Cheng Yen
6. Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo
7. Pema Chodron
8. Thubten Chodron

The above ladies were and are influential in different areas of their community.