Life as Buddhist nun in the West

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A presentation given at the 1996 “Life as a Buddhist Nun” conference in Bodhgaya, India, an international conference of Buddhist nuns. The talk was the basis for a chapter in Blossoms of the Dharma: Living as a Buddhist Nun.

  • Being a Buddhist fundamentalist in the beginning
  • Growing as a new nun with difficulty and pain. Learning from mistakes
  • Discovering what it meant to practice and work with the mind
  • The value and difficulty of living in monastic community
  • Deep seated individualism of western culture makes it difficult to live in a spiritual community
  • Lessons learned at ordination in Taiwan
  • What is culture and what is Dharma. Copying an external cultural form, imitating external behavior is not necessarily practicing the Dharma
  • Making peace with our past religion and our own culture
  • The prevalence of low self-esteem for westerners is a hindrance on the path
  • A shortage of role models for Buddhist nuns
  • Taking responsibility for the lineage and future nuns
  • Living alone as a bhikshuni versus living in a community

Experiences as western Buddhist nun (download)

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