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The Hidden Lamp: Stories from Twenty-Five Centuries of Awakened Women (Paperback)

The Hidden Lamp: Stories from Twenty-Five Centuries of Awakened Women By Zenshin Florence Caplow (Editor), Reigetsu Susan Moon (Editor), Zoketsu Norman Fischer (Foreword by) Cover Image
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The Hidden Lamp is a collection of one hundred koans and stories of Buddhist women from the time of the Buddha to the present day. This revolutionary book brings together many teaching stories that were hidden for centuries, unknown until this volume. These stories are extraordinary expressions of freedom and fearlessness, relevant for men and women of any time or place. In these pages we meet nuns, laywomen practicing with their families, famous teachers honored by emperors, and old women selling tea on the side of the road.

Each story is accompanied by a reflection by a contemporary woman teacher--personal responses that help bring the old stories alive for readers today--and concluded by a final meditation for the reader, a question from the editors meant to spark further rumination and inquiry. These are the voices of the women ancestors of every contemporary Buddhist.

About the Author

Zenshin Florence Caplow is a Soto Zen priest in the Suzuki Roshi lineage. She has been practicing Vipassana and Zen for twenty-five years, and is a dharma teacher, field botanist, essayist, and editor. She is an itinerant monk, generally found somewhere west of the Rockies. She recently coedited and contributed to an anthology of nature writing, Wildbranch, and her essays can be read in Tricycle, Inquiring Mind, and on her blog, Slipping Glimpser: Zen Wanderings and Wonderings.

Reigetsu Susan Moon has been practicing in the Soto Zen tradition for 35 years, and is a lay teacher with the Everyday Zen Sangha. Her previous books include the cult classic The Life and Letters of Tofu Roshi and This is Getting Old: Zen Thoughts on Aging. For many years she edited Turning Wheel, the journal of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship. She teaches writing workshops, is a serious student of photography, and an enthusiastic grandmother. She lives in Berkeley, CA.

Zoketsu Norman Fischer is a Zen priest and abbot, a husband, father, poet, and a teacher with wide-ranging interests and passions. Norman retired as abbot of the San Francisco Zen Center in 2000. He continues his involvement with the Center as a senior dharma teacher. In 2000 he founded the Everyday Zen Foundation, a network of Zen (and other) groups and partnerships dedicated to sharing the Zen teaching and practice widely in the world ( He works with conflict resolution professionals, Google engineers, lawyers, caretakers for the dying, and many others to bring meditation practice to bear on the lives we are actually living every day. He continues his active practice of writing dharma books, essays, and, especially, poetry. His most recent collection is Conflict. Norman lives overlooking the sea at Muir Beach, California, with his wife, Kathie, who is a science teacher and scuba diver. They have two grown sons and a grandson.

Praise For…

"An amazing collection. This book gives the wonderful feel of the sincerity, the great range, and the nobility of the spiritual work that women are doing and have been doing, unacknowledged, for a very long time. An essential and delightful book."
— John Tarrant, author of Bring Me The Rhinoceros And Other Zen Koans That Will Save Your Life

"Record of the Hidden Lamp is a gift to all Dharma students, men and women. In this magnificent and fresh compilation, we learn about the feminine and its central place in Buddhist teachings and practice."
— Pilar Jennings, author of Mixing Minds

"A treasure. Earthy, challenging, often irreverent, always inspiring the reader to dig deep for the truth that leads to awakening. Not only for women, this collection presents the rich feminine perspective for all sincere dharma practitioners."
— James Baraz, cofounding teacher Spirit Rock Meditation Center, author of Awakening Joy: 10 Steps to Real Happiness

"How beautiful and strong, the voices of these wise women, made intimate and modern in this ancient Zen form."
— Jack Kornfield

"This is an invaluable resource for practitioners and seekers everywhere. These are treasures unearthed."
— Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Happiness

"You will return to this collection again and again for a dose of its abundant insight, encouragement, steadfastness, warmth, and wit."
— Colleen Morton Busch, author of Fire Monks

"Teachings leap off these pages - a wake-up call for the 21st century."
— China Galland, author of Love Cemetery

"An important contribution to Buddhist literature that provides a more complete understanding of Buddhism and Buddhist history."
— Steve Hagen, author of Why the World Doesn't Seem to Make Sense
Product Details
ISBN: 9780861716593
ISBN-10: 0861716590
Publisher: Wisdom Publications
Publication Date: November 5th, 2013
Pages: 440
Language: English