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The Hidden Lamp: Stories from Twenty-Five Centuries of Awakened Women par Zenshin Florance Caplow


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.

Commentaire Amazon :

This book is worth the read just for the koans. They are a lovely assortment, ranging across countries, time periods, and types of Buddhism. Seldom in one place have I seen such an excellent collection. Highly recommend!

A commentary by a modern/living woman accompanies each koan. These commentaries are not entirely helpful. I understand that the commentaries are attempting to relate the koans, many of them ancient, to modern life. Excellent idea. But many of the commentaries are too pedestrian in nature. Rather than elucidating in modern terms the timeless depth and truths of the koans, the commentaries tend to contract them down to everyday trifles. On occasion it even seems as if the particular woman writing a given commentary doesn’t really understand the stunningly simple yet profound truth of the concomitant koan.

Again, read the koans!! They are wonderful. And certainly read the commentaries, but don’t depend solely on them to understand the koans’ meanings. Explore your own wisdom and insight. You have full potential for comprehension within you.