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Dakini Power: Twelve Extraordinary Women Shaping the Transmission of Tibetan Buddhism in the West
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Dakini Power: Twelve Extraordinary Women Shaping the Transmission of Tibetan Buddhism in the West

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  208 ratings  ·  20 reviews
What drives a young London librarian to board a ship to India, meditate in a remote cave by herself for twelve years, and then build a flourishing nunnery in the Himalayas? How does a surfer girl from Malibu become the head of the main international organization for Buddhist women? Why does the daughter of a music executive in Santa Monica dream so vividly of peacocks one ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published April 9th 2013 by Snow Lion
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4.27  · 
Rating details
 ·  208 ratings  ·  20 reviews

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Mar 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography-memoir

Michaela Haas, a reporter, lecturer, and consultant has been practicing Buddhism for twenty years. A visiting scholar in Religious Studies at UC Santa Barbara, Haas profiles twelve impressive women whose efforts are having tremendous influence in the spread of Buddhist philosophy and the inclusion of women in a male dominated hierarchy.

The stories of these twelve women are interesting and inspirational, and following the paths they have taken provides a fascinating look at the way these differen
Gwendoline Van
Jul 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I loved the forays into the women trailblazers paving the way for Buddhism in the West. I loved the lessons. I loved the stories.

I just plain loved it.

- Jetsun Kahndro Rinpoche
- Dagmola Kusha Sakya (Seattle, OR)
- Jetsunman Tenzin Palmo
- Sangye Khandro (Ashland, OR)
- Pema Chodron (Colorado, Crestone)
- Chagdud Khadro
- Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel (Crestone, CO)
- Karma Lekshe Tsomo
- Thubten Chodron (Newport, WA)
- Roshi Joan Halifax (Ojai Foundation, Upaya, Mind & Life Institut
Alis Anagnostakis

Amazing book about women who transform the world by transforming themselves. I found it so empowering and inspirational- regardless of whether you are attracted to buddhism or not. Their lessons are universal.
Tanya McGinnity
Apr 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I was so very excited to read of this book as I am an avid ‘devourer’ of books written to express the experiences of fellow sisters on the Buddhist path. From Women of the Way: Discovering 2,500 Years of Buddhist Wisdom by Sallie Tisdale to Women Of Wisdom by Tsultrim Allione and several other books that rest on both my physical and digital bookshelves, this book has now become a treasured guide to help inspire me through its presentation of strong, determined and steadfast feminine energy.

In he
Julie G
Mar 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Dakini(Skt), khandro(Tib): Female embodiment of enlightenment

Ms. Haas begins her book with the story of how she came to embrace Tibetan Buddhism and the "questions, challenges and demands" that drove her to seek out other women in similar circumstances. As she explains in the foreword:
"To meet these women gave me courage and inspiration, new insights and enthusiasm. I hope that by meeting them in this book, you will be inspired in the same way: to let go of old fears, explore new paths, and list
Mar 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was by far, one of the most enjoyable books I've read in a long time. It was a real pleasure to follow the very varied biographies of these amazing female practioners and actually, quite inspiring given that I'm currently a young Mum trying to squeeze in Buddhist practice while raising a young child.

Each of the twelve biographies were written very well and quite easy to read. What I really treasured was the varied backgrounds and personalities of the twelve female teachers. So often, we rea
Harry Allagree
Sep 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Author Michaela Haas early on sets the tone of the book: "A female embodiment of enlightenment is called a "dakini" in the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit. But what exactly is a dakini? Dakinis are elusive and playful by nature; trying to nail them down with a neat definition means missing them, since defying narrow intellectual concepts is at the core of their wise game. I listened to the teachers in this book when they shared their understanding."

I found Haas' book -- descriptions of &
Feb 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I've come to particularly trust teachers and teachings that aim to radically cut through our self-clinging and attachment. I feel this is one of the highest forms of compassion for us as practitioners on the path.

So, I like that Michaela shared Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche's point to Pema Chödrön when he said to her essentially, "..there's no way you could have so much fame with out it puffing you up." and the discovery of her arrogance and the feeling of being ignored while she performed her retrea
May 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book was very inspiring. I think that this book was much better than other biographies that I have read in the same vein. I felt that the stories were very varied and many made me want to read more. Like Sangye Khandro, I grew up LDS and have faced the same issues explaining my change of religion to my family. All the stories were interesting to read and makes the text easily accessible to people who aren't familiar with Tibetan Buddhism. I'm so glad someone took the time to bring these nar ...more
Apr 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommend it! I love biographies and have a bit of interest in Buddhism so this was perfect for me. I was curious by the trailer about a London librarian who moves to India and spends ten years in a cave! How does this happen? I found all the stories really interesting. I was also surprised at how substantial the book was. It is such a great read, I couldn't put it down! There were so many surprising things in there - I had no idea that women were not allowed to study some of the teaching ...more
Kirsten Baker
Jul 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fascinating read on 12 female masters in the Tibetan Tradition including both Tibetans and westerners. The Tibetan stories give insight into pre-Chinese invasion Tibet - a highly religious, patriarchal and hierarchical society. There is a great mix of women featured here - including Western born nuns who have criticized the patriarchy they see (as college educated westerners)in traditional Tibetan Buddhism and are actively working with the support of the Dalai Lama towards rectifying this, espec ...more
Laura B
May 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful, wonderful book.
Wolfgang Nitzsche
Ein wichtiges Buch, weil Frauen im Buddhismus in der bisherigen Geschichte zu wenig eine Rolle gespielt haben. Wertvoll, weil es einen persönlichen Zugang zur Frauenpower im Buddhismus gibt, den kaum jemand in der Tiefe und Qualität selbst erfahren kann - noch nicht, aber hoffentlich bald (auch durch das Wirken solcher Bücher). Wertvoll auch deshalb weil es einen breiten Einblick in die buddhistische Welt für an Buddhismus interessierte "Westler" ermöglicht. Sehr zu zu empfehlen, sicher und insb ...more
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Interviewer interviewed well which help to make this a solid introductions of 12 women who, through their efforts, bought Buddhism to the West. The impact each of these women have had is significant bringing a refreshing insight to what could have been a mistakenly patriarchal religion bound to die in western culture. Instead we have a breath taking experience of a lineage beginning with the "Dakini
Power" and now integrating all of us into a culture of equanimity.
Leanne Gibz
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is incredibly insightful, taking on both women of Tibet and women from the "west." It takes on the past and the present.
Marsha Altman
Dec 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: india, tibet
This was a great survey of the important women in Tibetan Buddhism working primarily in the West. It seems to be about split between Westerns who became nuns and fought for more education and Tibetan women who had access to higher level Buddhist studies because they married an important teacher. The transmission of Buddhism through women has come a long way, but it has a long way to go.

On a cultural note, I found it amusing that the Western, non-Buddhist-born women were so seemingly confused tha
Jan 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is so inspiring! I dream one day to be like the wonderful women in this book.

The stories of the women who challenge patriarchalism in Tibetan Buddhism, who set up nunneries in the Himalayas and teach nuns to read, the women who are sharing the teachings that were kept from the world for centuries are all examples of the world changing. That, we are at the cusp of a new age where the masculine and feminine may be balanced. They also show how much work needs to be done. I find these wom
Martin Edic
Apr 11, 2013 rated it did not like it
I'm halfway through this and am having a serious issue with two profiles of women who are entirely focused on their own achievements and who are having sexual relations with their teachers. Both are western. The writer seems to think this is perfectly alright.
It is a weird double standard when compared to someone like Tenzin Palmo who teaches that we should be very critical of potential teachers and watch their non-public actions, including sexual activity with students. This hurts the image of
Lori A.Snyder
May 12, 2015 rated it really liked it

If you have ever wondered what it might be like to be a Buddhist nun then this will be a fascinating read. Each chapter focuses on the story of twelve dynamic nuns who are spiritually inspiring and fiercely loving in their practice, telling their background stories that brought them to Buddhism and what they are doing now to help everyone become liberated from suffering. It is also very revealing about the female role and perspective in Buddhism.
Sep 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Incredible, inspiring stories told with great passion and finesse.
rated it it was amazing
Feb 03, 2014
Michaela Haas
Nov 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Roger Tribble
rated it it was amazing
Apr 01, 2015
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Jul 06, 2016
rated it it was ok
Aug 04, 2017
Helen Mallon
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Apr 12, 2015
Kim Roberts
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Jan 02, 2019
Amanda Vigil
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Jan 07, 2016
Erik Andersson
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Feb 24, 2016
Grace Martineau
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Sep 03, 2018
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Michaela Haas, PhD, is a reporter, resilience researcher, and consultant. She is the author of Bouncing Forward: The Art and Science of Cultivating Resilience (Atria/Enliven, 2015), the first mainstream book about posttraumatic growth from a survivor's perspective, Dakini Power: Twelve Extraordinary Women Shaping the Transmission of Tibetan Buddhism in the West (, Shambhala, 201 ...more