So it seemed good to have Green Tara here to keep us company for this conversation. You've seen her before if you pop by here on a regular basis. Tara is regarded as the female Buddha of Compassion. Green Tara, specifically, is recognized as a protector against fear (I have some experience with this!)
I have never really thought about it but at a recent art show (and on several other occasions) people have commented that my Buddhas have a very female look. I was surprised by this when it was first pointed out but could see it immediately. One idea of the spiritual life that I like, is that we are energy having a human experience. And if we're born here as women well then some of us are having a more feminine experience of that energy. We all have masculine and feminine energy and perhaps it's simply a continuum and each of us lie somewhere along the scale. But for me, there are definitely differences in this energy. And I don't think this stands against equality in the social/political realms. We can be different but have equal opportunity.
So it is interesting to look at the Buddhist women blogs and explore the differences (and similarities) in our practices. A couple of observations, I have made in my short life as a blogger : I have noticed that about 90% of the comments left on my blog are by women, as are the little pictures of those who sign on as followers. So I assume that what I say has more interest to women?
Personally I also notice (as my daughter would describe it) that my eyes glaze over when the discussions of Buddhism become more theoretical or move away from an everyday life focus. I have wondered if this was a male/female difference or just a personal difference. I've always regarded it as a bit of a personal obsession on my part. I don't really know the answer to that one. I know I am strongly drawn to any Dharma that explores how it relates to everyday life.
When I think about the gender thing in relation to my own Buddhist practice experiences I notice that The Zen teacher that I studied with for 4 years was a woman. Some of my favourite Dharma books are from Joko Beck, Pema Chodron, Tenzin Palmo and Lama Tsultrim Allione, all women. I must say that Ezra Bayda and Tarthang Tulku are also big favourites of mine and last time I checked they were both still men! As a slightly interesting aside, someone told me they'd heard that Dzongsar Kyhentse Rinpoche was seen wearing nail polish and quoted as saying he was coming back next time as a woman (is this hearsay or gossip?).
So in the spirit of exploring, I am reposting Marguerite's list of Buddhist Blogs By Women. I know I'm putting on my invisible hiking boots and packing a bag of cyber gorp for the trip. Enjoy!