Hidden Lamp: stories from twenty-five centuries of awakened women
The Hidden Lamp is a collection of one hundred koans and stories of Buddhist women from the time of the Buddha to the present day. This revolutionary book brings together many teaching stories that were hidden for centuries, unknown until this volume. These stories are extraordinary expressions of freedom and fearlessness, relevant for men and women of any time or place. In these pages we meet nuns, laywomen practicing with their families, famous teachers honored by emperors, and old women selling tea on the side of the road.
Each story is accompanied by a reflection by a contemporary woman teacher—personal responses that help bring the old stories alive for readers today—and concluded by a final meditation for the reader, a question from the editors meant to spark further rumination and inquiry. These are the voices of the women ancestors of every contemporary Buddhist.
Contributors include Natalie Goldberg, Jane Hirshfield, Sylvia Boorstein, Christina Feldman, Bobby Rhodes, Joan Halifax, Wendy Egyoku Nakao, Thubten Chodron, and many more!
“An amazing collection. This book gives the wonderful feel of the sincerity, the great range, and the nobility of the spiritual work that women are doing and have been doing, unacknowledged, for a very long time. An essential and delightful book.”
—John Tarrant, author of Bring Me The Rhinoceros And Other Zen Koans That Will Save Your Life
“How beautiful and strong, the voices of these wise women, made intimate and modern in this ancient Zen form.”
—Jack Kornfield, author of The Wise Heart
“The Hidden Lamp is a gift to all Dharma students, men and women. In this magnificent and fresh compilation, we learn about the feminine and its central place in Buddhist teachings and practice.” —Pilar Jennings, author of Mixing Minds
“A treasure. Earthy, challenging, often irreverent, always inspiring the reader to dig deep for the truth that leads to awakening. Not only for women, this collection presents the rich feminine perspective for all sincere dharma practitioners.”
—James Baraz, cofounding teacher Spirit Rock Meditation Center, author of Awakening Joy: 10 Steps to Real Happiness
“The hundred core stories of Buddhist women from India to America are stirring, and keep echoing. But what is most revelatory, a cause for celebration, is the depth and sheer vitality of the commentaries by all the wonderful modern women teachers and practitioners herein. This book clearly exposes how the Dharma is now blessed to be in an golden age of brilliant women guides, some teaching openly, some quietly shining in sanghas near you.”
—Taigen Dan Leighton, author of Zen Questions
“You will return to this collection again and again for a dose of its abundant insight, encouragement, steadfastness, warmth, and wit.”
—Colleen Morton Busch, author of Fire Monks
“Teachings leap off these pages - a wake-up call for the 21st century.”
—China Galland, author of Love Cemetery
“An important contribution to Buddhist literature that provides a more complete understanding of Buddhism and Buddhist history.”
—Steve Hagen, author of Why the World Doesn't Seem to Make Sense
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Florence Caplow is a Soto Zen priest, field biologist, and writer. She has been practicing Vipassana and Zen for more than twenty-five years. She is an itinerant monk who can generally be found somewhere west of the Rocky Mountains, driving a biodiesel car called the Metta Jetta. She recently co-edited an anthology of nature writing, Wildbranch, and her essay blog is Slipping Glimpser: Zen Wanderings and Wonderings.
Reigetsu Susan Moon has been practicing in the Soto Zen tradition for 35 years, and is a lay teacher with the Everyday Zen Sangha. Her previous books include the cult classic The Life and Letters of Tofu Roshi and This is Getting Old: Zen Thoughts on Aging. For many years she edited Turning Wheel, the journal of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship. She teaches writing workshops, is a serious student of photography, and an enthusiastic grandmother.