While Buddhism's arrival and arising in the West has many problems, I think its most important achievement might be the prominence of female teachers. In Zen retreats, we chant the lineage of ancestral teachers, and, egregiously, women don't appear on the list except in Western sanghas with recently dead teachers. As Norman Fischer explains in this article, some sanghas are now correcting this.
In our sangha, we end that chant with words written by John Tarrant Roshi (who has ordained some great, still living, women as teachers: Deb Saint Sensei, Joan Sutherland Roshi, Susan Murphy Roshi, Rachel Boughton Roshi, Alison Atwill Roshi, Rachel Mansfield-Howlett Roshi):
All the unknown women, centuries of enlightened women, who hold our zazen in their arms, dai osho
The only person I've thus far ordained to teach independently, Daishin Stephenson Sensei, is a woman.
Subscribe to my newsletter and get a free e-book of your choice
dogo barry graham
author, poet, journalist, zen buddhist monk in glasgow. socialist, for scottish independence.