Reimagining Buddhism through a feminine lens: A powerful memoir of healing, strength, and spiritual awakening. Like all true spiritual teachings, Buddhism offers a radical shift: from me to we, fracture to unity, and fear to love. But like most institutionalized religions, Buddhism developed under systems of hierarchy, patriarchy, and power that have become interwoven into its structure. Written by the first layperson to receive full Dharma Transmission in the Suzuki Roshi Soto Zen lineage, A Bigger Sky explores what it means to fill the gaps of a Buddhism created by and for men, to navigate the seemingly contradictory domains of secular and spiritual life, and to walk a path through the heart of the world. Reorienting Buddhist practice through a wider, more inclusive feminine lens, Pamela Weiss's personal and spiritual journey speaks to the bits of brokenness in us all, shining a light on the different pathways we can walk to become whole. Blending memoir, Buddhist practice, and cultural observation, Weiss explores the illness that led her to seek healing and brought her to Buddhism; life at Tassajara Zen Mountain monastery; feelings of helplessness amidst the legacy of intergenerational trauma; her husband's near-fatal accident; her work translating mindfulness and Buddhist principles to a broad lay audience; and stories of Buddhist women, past and present. Through beautifully crafted prose, Weiss shares what it means to be an ordinary Bodhisattva--describing how the Buddha's profound vision of freedom can be lived outside of institutions and rule-bound practice, and supporting us in deepening our connection--with ourselves, each other and the planet. A Bigger Sky illuminates how integrating a more feminine approach to Buddhist teachings can be applied in spiritual practice, in community, in relationships, and in day-to-day life.
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