January 18, 2014, The Women Around the Buddha: New Perspectives on Early Buddhist History and Modern Practice with Rita M. Gross

Saturday, January 18, 2014
9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
at the Insight Meditation Center
108 Birch St.
Redwood City, CA

Early Buddhist history and the legendary lives of Siddartha Gautama are important for and fascinating to Buddhists of all orientations. However, in many accounts, the stories of the women central to the Buddha, especially his foster-mother and his wife, are obscured or forgotten.  A great deal of Buddhist story-telling has grown to fill out our impressions about the lives of these women.  We will focus especially on these stories in this daylong workshop.

This focus will also allow us to explore how historical memories are created, the importance of creative story-telling to a living religious tradition, and changing ideas about gender in early Buddhism. The day will end with an exploration of how the implicit and explicit views of men and women appear in the stories and the practice of people practicing Buddhism in our modern world.

Known as a warm, humorous and very clear teacher, Rita M. Gross teaches with a rare combination of academic and dharmic perspectives.  She is internationally known for her innovative work on gender and religion.  She alsohas extensive training and experience as a professor of comparative studies in religion and is a Buddhist dharma teacher, appointed to that position by Her Eminence Jetsun Khandro Rinpoche.