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Women Making History



"At Vajra Dakini the full woman's lineage, the most fragile aspect of Tibetan Buddhism, is coming to a land in which women's capacities are fully respected."


At this very wonderful moment we have the auspicious circumstances to create a foundation for women's spiritual experience to be explored thoroughly and preserved for future generations in the Tibetan tradition. It may be the only time in history that women are widely literate, have the opportunity to practice and have the resources to create a safe place dedicated to practicing and preserving feminine wisdom teachings. Pema Sangzin Khandro Ven. Dhyani Ywahoo (Ven. Dhyani Ywahoo Pema Sangzin Khandro) is founding a nun's community with a female abbess, Khenmo Drolma. This is a first!

Khenmo Drolma was the first Bhiksunni, or fully ordained nun, in the Drikung Kagyu tradition. She was also and the first westerner, male or female, to be installed as an abbot.

Due to geographical isolation the full ordination of women never reached Tibet. Courageous women in this era have traveled to China and Taiwan to obtain full ordination and establish full participation of women in the Tibetan Sangha. With our contemporary understanding of women's potential there is an open door at Vajra Dakini to create a culturally western nun's community that prepares women to fully carry the teachings like their brothers. Furthermore the bhiksunni tradition encoded in the Vinaya Vinaya (code of conduct) particularly focuses on community life because nuns from earliest times lived in community while the monks wandered the forests. The bhiksunni Vinaya includes some of the oldest teachings on community harmony. Making these teachings available is one of the gifts Vajra Dakini will offer.



"With Vajra Dakini we can insure that the teachings of Enlightened Women will be practiced and preserved for future generations, expanding the cannon canon for women and men to experience."


Under the guidance of Pema Sangzin Khandro Ven. Dhyani Ywahoo (Pema Sangzin Khandro Ven. Dhyani Ywahoo), Vajra Dakini will be a space for women to explore the ancient heritage of Lady Yeshe Tsogyal, an 8th Century Tibetan female Buddha. Yeshe Tsogyal was one of Tibet's greatest practitioners and was a historical being who became a Buddha in her lifetime. We have her story but not her full teachings and practices.

It is said in Tibetan philosophy that special teachings called termas can be revealed if all the circumstances arise; the right teacher, the right time and the right place. In Pema Sangzin Khandro we have a living teacher who wishes to give these practices. We can create a community to practice and accomplish with them so they become a living legacy now and for the future.


Photograph Courtesy of Katherine Marielle
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