January 26 2011 Buddhism Newsletter
Tara - Female Buddha of Compassion
Tara is a popular female deity within both Buddhist and Hindu traditions. She is sometimes referred to as the 'first feminist' Buddha, due to her vow to work in the body of a woman to benefit all sentient beings.
Book Review - Sex, Sin and Zen by Brad Warner
In his latest book, outspoken Soto Zen Priest Brad Warner explores Buddhism's attitudes towards gender and sexuality, in an explicit and humorous way.
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In closing, here's a translation of Tara's vow to incarnate in a woman's body for the benefit of all sentient beings:
"...there is no man, there is no woman, no self, no person, and no consciousness. Labeling 'male' or 'female' is hollow. Oh, how worldly fools delude themselves...Those who wish to to attain supreme enlightenment in a man's body are many, but those who wish to serve the aims of beings in a woman's body are few indeed; therefore may I, until this world is emptied out, work for the benefit of sentient beings in a woman's body."
Lisa Erickson, Buddhism Editor
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