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Khmer Women in Divine Context

One of the best websites out there about the Angkor civilisation is also dedicated to understanding the role of the feminine in its history.

Angkor Wat Apsara & Devata: Khmer Women in Divine Context seeks to research into the following questions:

  • Why do images of women dominate the largest religious monument on Earth?
  • Who are the women of Angkor Wat?
  • Why are images of women immortalized in the largest temples the Khmer civilization ever built?
  • What did these women mean to the Khmer rulers, priests and people?
  • How does the Cambodian dance tradition relate to the women of Angkor Wat?
  • Do the women of Angkor Wat embody information important to us in modern times?

Here are some photos I took of the Apsaras at Angkor in 2010. More can be found on the Angkor Wat page of my Photo Dharma website.

Apsaras

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Alliance for Bhikkhunis Magazine

Here is a link to Present which is a magazine available online prepared by the Alliance for Bhikkhunis, which is a great resource for people interested in the subject.

It always has many interesting articles on the Bhikkhuni Sangha, their past, present and future, written by various authors. It is editied by Susan Pembroke.

To whet your appetite here is a list of contents for the present issue (archives of previous issues are also available):

4…If You Honor Me, Honor My Mother Gotami
With the revival of the Bhikkhuni Sangha, it is enriching to look back at the stories of the early bhikkhunis. We start this issue of Present with a fresh look at the story of the mother of bhikkhunis.
By Jacqueline Kramer

9…The 1st Annual International Bhikkhuni Day September 17, 2011 Meditation Pledge-A-Thon
FAQ on International Bhikkhuni Day.

11…Honoring and Celebrating Bhikkhunis and Laywomen
Why recalling the stories of laywomen and female monastics matters.
By Susan Pembroke

13…New Turns Toward Ancient Paths: the Ordinations in California
A kammacarini reflects on her experiences at two recent historic U.S. bhikkhuni ordinations.
By Ven. Bhikkhuni Sobhana

16…Bhikkhuni Education Today: Seeing Challenges As Opportunities
Education is essential if bhikkhunis are to become Dharma leaders.
By Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi

21…Venerable Kusuma and the Power of Literacy Education
A pioneering bhikkhuni taps her education and language skills to reach across cultural differences and create the future for female monastics.
By Janice Tolman

24…Turning Back Towards Freedom
November 2007: The First Recitation of the Bhikkhuni Patimokkha within the Theravada Bhikkhuni Lineage in North America
Bhikkhunis who participated in this historic recitation talk about why the
Patimokkha remains vital in this day and age
By Roseanne Freese

33…Wearing White in the West
An intimate recounting of how taking eight precepts and wearing white
transformed a woman’s practice.
By Carudhamma Jo Ferris

37…Bhikkhunīsaṃyutta
Connected Discourses with Bhikkhunīs

The Outstanding Women in Buddhism Awards Website

This website has lists of their previous award winners according to year, which provide a good overview of the sort of projects laywomen and nuns are making to the Buddha Sasana. It is a great resource for anyone interested in the subject.

Here is a statement of their objectives.

1. Mobilize public opinion and international action to promote the role and status of Theravada Bhikkhunis in southeast Asia, thereby directing assistance to disadvantaged groups of women and girls.

2. Uplift the good deeds of Buddhist women so that others may know.

3. Provide good role models for society.

4. Encourage the award recipients.

5. Promote sorority in the overcoming of obstacles.

6. Promote information of the award recipient’s role in developing her own life, that of her community, her nation and the world.

7. Training, research and the collection of sex-segregated data on the role and status of ordained women in Buddhism.

8. Encourage a movement which uplifts the role and status of Buddhist women within the Buddhist faith.

9. Promote telling the herstory of women in Buddhism.

10. Promote a network of accomplished Buddhist women, ordained and lay.