Tenzin Palmo

Modern Women on the Path to Enlightenment


Tenzin Palmo is a truly extraordinary person. One of the first Western women to be ordained as a Buddhist nun, she lived, studied, and practiced in monasteries for over twenty years—including twelve years of intensive retreat in a Himalayan cave. Today she is an articulate and inspiring example for spiritual aspirants around the world. In this exclusive interview for WIE Unbound, Tenzin Palmo speaks with Jessica Roemischer specifically about the opportunities, advantages, and unique challenges for women today on the path to enlightenment.

Having had to break through and then transcend a traditionally male-dominated Tibetan Buddhist system in order to pursue her own spiritual aspirations, Tenzin Palmo has discovered and explored many unique aspects of a women's path to liberation. Acknowledging that for a fully realized person the distinctions of male and female ultimately fall away, she nonetheless applies her hard-won knowledge and understanding of the intricacies of her own gender's social conditioning in order to help a new generation of women excel in their pursuit of freedom. With so many women able to exercise an unprecedented degree of autonomy, Tenzin Palmo says, they must learn to use that freedom to break the limiting and divisive boundaries of their own culture and biology. “Not to become second class men,” she states, “but to become first-class women.”

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Tenzin Palmo
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Recorded on: 2/28/2007


Women and Spirituality


Modern Women on the Path to Enlightenment

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