Geshe Kelsang Wangmo

Geshe Kelsang Wangmo

Geshe Kelsang Wangmo

Geshe Kelsang Wangmo~ Little Darling.

One may consider it a win for women that after over 2,500 years Tibetan Buddhists recognize women as equals in ordination. Or it could be considered a win/win, as women finally being elevated to their due status can be perceived as gain for groups who find and feel themselves oppressed, and for those of faith and tradition to welcome in practice what they preach.

What makes Wangmo’s situation even more exciting is not only is she to be the first woman in history to be granted the degree, “Geshe,” the Tibetan equivalent of Ph.D., but that she is also of Western decent.  She is a German nun who has been teaching at the Institute for Buddhist Dialectical Studies (IBD) in Dharamsala, India for over five years.

I chose Wangmo for several reasons. The first, and most obvious reason, is that she is the first woman who has achieved this status in the Buddhist tradition.

A woman who studies faithfully for decades with no guarantee that her efforts will even be recognized.  Yet, she studies only to gain the knowledge for herself and to pass it on to willing students.  This energy, this openness makes a greater teacher than any who teach for title, or recognition.

Secondly, a woman who continues to keep her dignity, faith, and trust in the face of repression is a hero in my eyes. So often, women fold under the pressures of their cultures, only to succumb to the beliefs that bind them in an eventual spiral into self-deprecation.

Thirdly, she is a warrior.  A warrior because she stays her course, not holding on too loosely to the reins as to stray off her path, yet not holding on too tightly, that she may be unable to bend around the many barriers that spring up to meet her.  She gently rocks somewhere near center; passing through the eye of the needle, where her memory has come to meet her.

May our hearts become balanced; I hope she is proud of herself.

(Special nod to Tenzin Palmo, and of course, H.H. Dalai Lama)

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~ by Joy Suzanne Grazer on May 31, 2011.

2 Responses to “Geshe Kelsang Wangmo”

  1. this is great. the world needs more people (women) in leadership roles

  2. she really is an inspiration. nice choice

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