Meeting the Great Bliss Queen: Buddhists, Feminists, & the Art of the Self

Meeting the Great Bliss Queen: Buddhists, Feminists, & the Art of the Self

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Author: Anne Carolyn Klein
Publisher: Motilal Banarsidass
Year: 2009
Language: English
Pages: 307
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9788120834071


Despite the daunting barriers of geography and language that separate them, Buddhism and contemporary feminism have much to say to each other.

Buddhist practices such as mindfulness (in which calm centering and keen awareness of change coexist) and compassion (in which the self is recognized as both powerful in itself and interdependently connected with all others) can be important resources for contemporary women, while feminism can expand the traditional horizons of Buddhist concerns to include social, historical, and psychological issues.

The image and ritual of the Great Bliss Queen, an important Buddhist figure of enlightenment, from the unifying theme of the book, modeling the practices and theory that can assist each of us being at one with ourselves and fully engaged with others.


“Takes on crucial issues and makes superb sense of them”
— SANDY BOUCHER, author of turning the Wheel: American Women Creating the New Buddhism

“An astute and absorbing exploration of the interface between Buddhism and feminist perspectives.”
— TSULTRIM ALLIONE, founder of Tara Manala and author of Women of Wisdom

“A work of great erudition and sensitivity. A must read for anyone interested in the dialogue between Buddhism and feminism.”
— JOSE IGNACIO CABEZON, Iliff School of Theology

“In this highly personal reflection about the construction of identity in Tibetan and Western cultures… Anne Klein’s well-wrought work challenges traditional understandings of Buddhist textual and interpretive traditions, as well as a number of feminist assumptions.”
— BRENARD FAURE, Stanford University

“This book is a breakthrough in feminist cross-cultural reflection on self and subjectivity… The conversation constructed around the Great Bliss Queen is artful, elegant, and of importance to anyone interested in feminist theory, Buddhist religious philosophy in America, and different meanings of the self.”
— NANCY K. FRANKENBERRY, Dartmouth College

“A groundbreaking and important book. Klein is one of the few scholars in the Buddhist studies field who has devoted serious attention to the literature of Western feminism; likewise, her long experience in the field of Tibetan Buddhist study and practice provides her with the solid grounding necessary to speak for that tradition.”
— JAN NATTIER, Indiana University



1. Introduction: Opening the Conversation and Meeting the Great Bliss Queen
2. Persons: Then and Now, Here and There

3. Mindfulness and Subjectivity
4. Gain or Drain? Compassion and the Self-other Boundary
5. Self: One Exists, the Other Doesn’t

III. Women and the Great Bliss Queen
6. Nondualism and the Great Bliss Queen
7. Becoming the Great Bliss Queen: Her Ritual
8. Inconclusion

Notes Glossary