Theravada Buddhist Writings By Women

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Karen Andrews


Sylvia Boorstein

Sylvia Boorstein is a vipassana teacher with the IMS.


Dr. Lily DeSilva

Dr. Lily de Silva is Professor of Pali and Buddhist Studies at the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka. A regular contributor to Buddhist scholarly and popular journals, she is also the editor of the Digha Nikaya Tika, published by the Pali Text Society. Her previous BPS publications include One Foot in the World (Wheel No. 337/338), The Self-Made Private Prison (Bodhi Leaves No. 120), and Radical Therapy (Bodhi Leaves No. 123).

Swarna DeSilva

Dr. L.S. Dewaraja

Dr. L.S. Dewaraja is an associate professor of history at the University of Colombo Sri Lanka.
Dorothy Figen


Elizabeth J. Harris

Elizabeth J. Harris studied Buddhism in Sri Lanka from 1986 to 1993 and obtained a Ph.D. degree from the Postgraduate Institute of Pali and Buddhist Studies, University of Kelaniya. She is now Secretary for Inter-faith Relations in The Methodist Church in London.

Susan Elbaum Jootla

Susan Elbaum Jootla was born in New York City in 1945 and obtained B.A. and M.A. degrees in Library Science from the University of Michigan.  She is married to an Indian, Balbir S. Jootla, with whom she lives in the Western Himalayan hill station of Dalhousie.  They have both been practicing Vipassana meditation in the  tradition of the late Sayagyi U Ba Khin of Burma since 1970 and are now students of his leading disciple, Mother Sayama, who directs the International Meditation Centres in England and Rangoon.  Her previous BPS publications are "Right Livelihood: The Noble Eightfold Path in the Working Life" in The Buddhist Layman (Wheel No. 294/295) and Investigation for Insight  (Wheel No 301/302).  Her book Buddhism in Practice, about the meditation tradition of U Ba Khin, is scheduled for publication by Motilal Banarsidass of India.


Sister Ayya Khema ( Ilse Ledermann; 1923-1997 )

Sister Khema was born in Germany, educated in Scotland and China, and later became a United States citizen. She lived  at Wat Buddha Dhamma Forest Monastery near Sydney Australia, which was established in 1978 on land purchased and donated by her. In 1979 she ordained as a Nun in Sri Lanka, and in 1982 she established the International Buddhist Women's Centre near Colombo.

Sister Ayya Kheminda

Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi  is A Burmese activist and a Nobel Prize winner.


Dr. Friedgard Lottermoser

Friedgard Lottermoser was born in Berlin in 1942 and spent her childhood in what was then known as East Germany. She moved to West Germany when she was ten and spent threeyears in Burma, where her stepfather worked for a German firm. In 1965, she received a B.A. in Pali from the University of Rangoon, then earned an M.A. in Pali at the University of Mandalay. While in Burma, she studied Vinaya with the bhikkhu (fully-ordained monk)scholar Sayadaw Shin Janakabhivamsa and meditation with the well-known lay teacherSayagyi U Ba Khin. From 1973 on, she helped organize the first meditation courses of the U  Ba Khin tradition to be held in Europe and has been actively involved in establishing several   Buddhist centers there. In 1979 she received a Ph.D. for her work in Pali and has been  working on a critical Pali dictionary since then. Dr. Lottermoser attended the International  Conference on Buddhist Nuns in Bodhgaya in 1987 and serves as a member of the Sakyadhita  Vinaya Research Committee.


Michelle McDonald


Upasika Kee Nanayon (K. Khao-suan-luang) (1901-1979)

Upasika Kee Nanayon, who wrote under the penname, K. Khao-suan-luang, was one of the foremost woman teachers of Dhamma in modern Thailand. Born in 1901, she started a practice center for women in 1945 on a hill in the province of Rajburi, to the west of Bangkok, where she lived until her death in 1979. Known for the simplicity of her way of life, and for the direct, uncompromising style of her teaching, she had a way with words evident not only in her talks, which attracted listeners from all over Thailand, but also in her poetry, which was widely published.   The collected selections below make up the contents of the book :An Unentangled Knowing: The Teachings of a Thai Buddhist Lay Woman
  Dr. Elizabeth K. Nottingham

 Catharine Reeve

  Sylvia Boorstein: Meditation and Spirituality by Catharine Reeve ( 3 Pages).


Sister Siripanna

Sharon Salzberg

Sharon Salzberg is an insight meditation teacher with the Insight Meditation Society.

Eileen Siriwardhana

Mrs. Eileen Siriwardhana graduated from the University of Ceylon in  English, Singhalese and Pali. She is now the Principal of Visakha Vidyalaya, the premier Buddhist Girl's School in Colombo.  She is also a distinguished writer in Singhalese


Dr. Thynn Thynn

Dr. Thynn Thynn is a medical doctor-turned-artist from Burma and a Dhamma teacher. She is the mother of two and currently lives in California where she runs a  Meditation Center. She published a book in Burmese in 1978 about her experiences in Buddhist meditation. She is the author of many articles on Buddhism, childhood education and health related issues, published in Thailand and Burma. Dr. Thynn's focus is on gaining spiritual insight through keeping mindfulness alive in the midst of our busy daily lives


Nina Van Gorkom

Nina Van Gorkom is a Dutch Buddhist who first encountered Buddhism in Thailand.   A keen student of theAbhidhamma, she is the author of Buddhism in Daily Life and Abhidhamma in Daily Life.

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