Compiled by Holy Heretic/Freelance Agent Benjamin Silas Foster
“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.’” — Venerable Thubten Chödron
Entering this life in 1950 as Cheryl Greene in the Los Angeles area to “non-religious Jewish” parents, Thubten Chödron would go on to become a teacher, author, American Tibetan Buddhist nun, and the abbess and founder of the only Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in the United States, Sravasti Alley. Before attaining her Dharma name, Cheryl would leave her teaching position in the Los Angeles city school system in 1975 after sitting in on a meditation hosted by Lama Thubten Yeshe to journey to the Kopan Monastery in Nepal to further delve into Buddhist study. In 1986, Thubten Chödron was fully ordained as a Buddhist nun, and became one of the central figures in the reinstatement of the ordination of women in Tibetan Buddhism, something she has written about at length and expounded upon the path of Tibetan Buddhism from a woman’s perspective.
Studying under a host of renowned Buddhist teacher’s including the 14th Dali Lama, Thubten Chödron was given the unique opportunity of learning from some of the most advanced students of Buddhism at the time. After becoming one of the first nuns ordained after the reinstatement of the practice, Thubten Chödron, took it upon herself to showcase Buddhism as a religion that embraces femininity. As an instrumental part of organizing the 2007 International Congress on Buddhist Women’s role in the Sangha, and her membership on the Committee for Bhikshuni Ordination, or the ordination of nuns, Thubten Chödron has devoted her spiritual life to progressing the role of women in Tibetan Buddhism. Thubten Chödron has co-authored a book with the Dali Lama, Buddhism: One Teacher, Many Traditions, and is a major proponent of interfaith dialogue amongst all religions.
Daily Action: Cheryl Greene gave up her life as an American school teacher to follow her calling and become the Venerable Thubten Chödron. Today, let’s focus on our own call. Are we following it to the upmost ability? What can we do to further develop our faith to follow the call we feel on our own lives.
Daily Sharing: Share the ways you plan on developing your faith to follow your call. Tell us about it on the Fellowship of Heretics page at facebook.com/holyhereticzine.
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