The Millions

Unsung Women: Buddhist Women’s Poetry and the Revival of the Female Teaching Lineage

One of the holiest forms of practice in Zen is the chanting of names of one’s Buddhist ancestors and teachers. In Japan, China, and Korea, prayers reciting one’s teaching lineage are a common part of the rituals, soaring back in Japanese, Korean or classical Chinese through the venerable line of monks, masters and saints, all the way back to , the monk credited with bringing Buddhism from India to China. Every Zendo has a different founder and thus a different lineage; teachers proudly recite these chains as pedigrees of legitimacy and power. The thing all these traditional teaching lineages have in common is that they are made up almost exclusively of men. Women have participated in Buddhist traditions as far back as the time of the , but they exist only tenuously in the stories, poems, and songs: a nun in a folktale here, a relative

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Millions

The Millions7 min read
Storytelling Should Never Be Confused with Sociology: The Millions Interviews John Domini
John Domini’s new novel concludes his trilogy set in Naples after a fictional earthquake, engrossing readers in a gripping mystery. The post Storytelling Should Never Be Confused with Sociology: The Millions Interviews John Domini appeared first on T
The Millions5 min read
October Preview: The Millions Most Anticipated (This Month)
André Aciman. Zadie Smith. Ben Lerner. Saeed Jones. Jeanette Winterson. It's October and brand new books are dropping like beautiful fall leaves. The post October Preview: The Millions Most Anticipated (This Month) appeared first on The Millions.
The Millions3 min read
We’re in a Rough Place in History Right Now: The Millions Interviews Carmen Maria Machado
The award-winning author of ‘Her Body and Other Parties’ on writing fiction for today, the tyranny of genre, and reading outside of our comfort zones. The post We’re in a Rough Place in History Right Now: The Millions Interviews Carmen Maria Machado