Sunday, 8/13: The Women in the Buddha's Family with Jane R

August 11, 2023

Sunday, 8/13: The Women in the Buddha's Family with Jane R

Dear Community,

Sunday 10am Community Practice & Discussion with Jane R.

The Women in the Buddha’s Family

Last week I (Jane) participated in a retreat/course honoring the women in the Buddha’s life. It included his mother, Maya, who died seven days after his birth; his aunt, Mahapajapati, who raised him and then became the first Buddhist nun; and his wife, Yasodhara, who pursued her own spiritual path after the Buddha left the family.

Deepening my understanding of these women’s lives and their sometimes-complicated relationship to the Buddha has made the Buddha and his teachings more accessible and meaningful for me.

Vanessa Sasson, a Professor of Religious Studies at Marionopolis College in Westmount, Quebec, in an interview with Tricycle Magazine, states that she was not happy with the idea of stripping the Buddha of his family. She told Tricycle “You can’t do that!  These messy, difficult stories are part of what make the tradition great. For too long we’ve tried to strip Buddhism down to just being about the Buddha alone. It’s much more than that.”  

I agree with Dr. Sasson, learning about the role these women had in the Buddha’s life is important.  These stories can help us appreciate how our own (sometimes complicated) relationships are a significant and meaningful part our practice.

We hope that you can join us this Sunday to practice together and explore these fascinating stories. Here’s the link  : Registration and Zoom information available here

With Metta,

Minneapolis Insight