Tibetan Buddhist nuns make history with Geshema Degrees (Doctorates in Buddhist Philosophy)

From the Tibetan Nuns Project: Seattle, WA: Twenty Tibetan Buddhist nuns have just made history, becoming the first Tibetan women to successfully pass all the exams for the Geshema degree, equivalent to a Doctorate in Buddhist philosophy. Exam results were announced by the Department of Religion and Culture of the Central Tibetan Administration. All 20 candidates for the degree passed.Their success fulfills a longstanding wish of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and marks a new chapter in the … [Read more...]

As North Carolina backslides on LGBT rights, we revisit our interview with the creators of transbuddhists.org

In spite of the many advances made in recent years in the United States and around the world toward greater awareness and acceptance of the variety of genders and sexual orientations and expressions in the human species, there will always be setbacks. One such setback was seen in North Carolina this week, where the most anti-LGBT law in the U.S. has been passed. A backlash of businesses, politicians, rights groups, individuals, and more have already spoken out. For our part, we'll remind o … [Read more...]

The Tibetan Feminist Collective: an interview with co-founder Tenzin Pelkyi

Last month I shared two wonderful guest posts by researchers looking into race in American Buddhism ("Race Matters..." and "The Dukkha of Racism..."). I also noted the change, which occurred early in 2015, of the blog's title from the singular "American Buddhist Perspective" to plural "Perspectives" in recognition that more perspectives than my own were being shared here and as an aspiration that this growth and diversity continues to flourish. Today I'm honored to share an interview that has be … [Read more...]

Dalai Lama in hot water over “sexist” comments – again

In May the Dalai Lama told the UK’s Sunday Times that he might come back as a “mischievous blonde woman” adding that “then her face must be very attractive” or “nobody pay much attention.”That didn't seem to upset too many people, but a fellow Patheos blogger picked it up, calling the Dalai Lama sexist, and I followed up with some context, opening the incident up for conversation with readers.I also inserted a (non-scientific) poll asking readers if they felt his comments were outrageous … [Read more...]

Dalai Lama’s ‘Sexist’ Snafu?

Over the weekend, the Dalai Lama spoke about his prospects for reincarnation, telling the UK's Sunday Times that he may come back as a “mischievous blonde woman" adding that “then her face must be very attractive” or “nobody pay much attention.”Fellow Patheos writer Elizabeth Scalia responds: Got that? The Dalai Lama says if a woman isn’t pretty, no one will pay attention to her. Her looks are her passport to credibility. And no one is screaming of fainting about it. This on her Catholi … [Read more...]

Remembering Kindness: Happy (all) Mothers Day

Throughout the day I've seen messages of gratitude, comfort, and joy, as well as discontent, despair, and derision. All over a holiday dedicated to mothers.Granted, these feelings all come from authentic experiences and true hearts. Yet the effort to expand our celebration of motherhood seems to me far wiser than either blindly praising an exclusive 'in-crowd' of nuclear families, an ideal of a bygone era, or turning one's back on it all.Today at the Unitarian Universalist fellowship I at … [Read more...]

In supporting same-sex marriage, Buddhists are #1 (sort of)

Today the Supreme Court heard arguments about gay marriage, and so, in a timely update on the climate of same-sex marriage acceptance across religions, the Public Religion Research Institute posted an article last week creatively titled Attitudes on Same-sex Marriage by Religious Affiliation and Denominational Family.The outcome of the study was that, "The most supportive major religious groups are Buddhists (84 percent), Jews (77 percent), and Americans who select “Other religion” (75 percen … [Read more...]

Book Review: “The Way of Tenderness: Awakening Through Race, Sexuality, and Gender”

THIS IS A BOOK THAT CAN TEACH US ALL.These words grace the back cover of The Way of Tenderness: Awakening Through Race, Sexuality and Gender.And Tanya McGinnity of Full Contact Enlightenment put it equally well when she wrote:"This book by Zenju Earthlyn Manuel is essential reading for all Buddhists. Essential."Both statements are absolutely true.As are the several lines of advanced praise in the book's opening pages, from American Buddhist greats including Jan Willis, author … [Read more...]