Autumn is in the air and many new leaves have fallen into our library this month, especially on Buddhist Nuns and how the Dharma came West.

The new Nuns’ page contains a number of works covering unordained forms of renunciation as well as highlighting the reformers who are “fighting” the patriarchy to reestablish full ordination for women.

The story of how the Dhamma came West is probably best exemplified by The Chithurst Story, in which one man’s sincere intention and faith led to the founding of England’s first forest monastery. The importance of individual efforts is also highlighted in Bhante Dhammika’s profile of Mary Foster: an unsung supporter of Anagarika Dhammapala, who, for his part, did much to advance the position of Buddhism by appealing to American and British Protestant sensibilities.

Thanks to early advocates like them, Buddhism is still seen as an anodyne, positive influence in the West today, though that view often whitewashes the contributions of Asians in the West. In her poem, “A Year Dot”, dg nanouk okpik addresses that gap by beautifully paying homage to one of her own Asian-American teachers.

And, yes, all of the above links are highly recommended! So go check them out!

I hope this summer/rains treated you kindly and I’m happy to welcome you back to OBU for the 2022/23 school year.

If you’d like to have a short sutta delivered to your inbox every day this term, sign up for the Daily Sutta Readings from our friends over at ReadingFaithfully. The theme for November will be “generosity,” about which Dogen instructs the cook:

Putting the mind of the Way to work, serve

Respectfully yours,
Khemarato Bhikkhu
Chief Librarian at The Open Buddhist University