What I find most inspiring about accomplished Buddhist teachers is how they live Buddhist wisdom in everyday life, how they carry themselves not only on the teaching throne, but in personally challenging situations, how they deal with the messy stuff. What can we learn from them?
Jetsun Khandro Rinpoche's position in the Buddhist world is entirely unique. She is one of the very few fully trained female incarnations in the Tibetan tradition. Why are there not more women like her, not more female Tibetan Buddhist teachers?
Pema's teachings are a rare gift, and what I love most about her is that her success is surely also grounded in the fact that she herself embodies her own advice. "The first step is to develop unconditional friendship with yourself," she taught at a weekend in the Bay Area.
If the next Dalai Lama is a woman, would she offer the same grounding wisdom? Inspire compassion within people of all cultures? Properly navigate Tibet's troublesome relationship with the Chinese government?
In American Soto Zen, we have, maybe for the first time in any continuous ancient religious tradition, full inclusion for women, who can now be fully ordained priests, abbots and Zen masters side by side with men.