The Hidden Lamp - Praise

Stories from Twenty-Five Centuries of Awakened Women


440 pages, 6 x 9 inches


ISBN 9780861716593

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eBook Bundle (PDF, epub, mobi)


ISBN 9781614291336

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The Hidden Lamp is a book for all times and a full practice. It is good medicine.”—108 Zen Books

“Rich with the voices and years of practice of these hundred living women and two and a half millennia of women forebears, known and unknown.”—Catherine Gammon, San Francisco Zen Center

“Among all the fine modern books on women in Buddhism, The Hidden Lamp sparkles like a bright pearl. The hundred core stories of Buddhist women from India to America are stirring, and keep echoing. But what is most revelatory, a cause for celebration, is the depth and sheer vitality of the extended commentaries by all the wonderful modern women teachers and practitioners herein. Their comments include, “The practice is not about suppressing desire or destroying our humanity, but about allowing it to flow out to everything,” and a scene of a modern woman teacher behind a bush wetting passing students with her squirt gun. Florence Caplow and Susan Moon have clearly exposed how the Buddha dharma is now blessed to be in an golden age of brilliant women guides, some teaching openly, some quietly shining in sanghas near you.”—Taigen Dan Leighton, author of Zen Questions

The Hidden Lamp is 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—it’s a heartening change from having to shrug and say “Well, most of the women’s voices didn’t get recorded.” An essential and delightful book.”—John Tarrant, author of Bring Me The Rhinoceros And Other Zen Koans That Will Save Your Life

“How refreshing to read a dharma book that lifts up women's voices from the past and present! In this magnificent and fresh compilation of Buddhist stories about Buddhist women and their wonderfully diverse journeys of awakening, we learn about the feminine and its central place in Buddhist teachings and practice. Record of the Hidden Lamp is a gift to all Dharma students, men and women. It offers the wisdom of our current female Buddhist teachers, as they respond to the many unknown female teachers who have come before us. This is a treasure trove of Dharma—playful and incisive stories told by the Dharma holders who have kept this tradition alive. What a joy to discover these enchanting stories through the eyes and insights of our contemporary teachers, women who have lived and embodied these stories of human struggle and awakening. This is a book that begs to be read by every American Buddhist.”—Pilar Jennings, author of Mixing Minds

“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

The Hidden Lamp is a treasure. This collection of leading female contemporary voices from all traditions illuminates seemingly inscrutable koans in a way that's both personal and universal. The commentaries are 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. It is tremendously important to read the stories of the women who have gone before us on the path. These are treasures unearthed.”—Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Happiness

The Hidden Lamp illuminates the stories of twenty-five centuries of awakened women by bringing them vividly to life. It does this intimately, by engaging with the teachings within the lived experience of contemporary women practitioners. The editors conceive of the stories as gifts—“from one woman ancestor to you.” Their open, inclusive, and direct approach will have you returning 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: Zen Mind Meets Wildfire

“Teachings leap off these pages! They radiate humor and shimmer with wisdom. The shell of their short form cracks and explodes into insight page after page. Don't be fooled by their brevity, their intensity is electric! You'll love the shock they deliver - a wake-up call for the 21st century. Teachers themselves, author Sue Moon and Florence Caplow give us the best of both worlds—ancient wisdom told by today’s practicing women teachers. Norman Fischer’s introduction is a jewel, illuminating the great teachings to be found in these pages for men and women alike! Everyone will want to read these stories culled from Sue and Florence’s years and depth of study and practice.”—China Galland, author of Love Cemetery and Longing for Darkness

“Too many people these days see Buddhism as a male thing. The stories we often hear rarely involve women and often seem rugged and macho. But the tradition is full of great female teachers and has been since its very beginnings. The Hidden Lamp shines a light on some of the great women teachers of the past and present. Even better than that, it's entertaining and fun to read.”—Brad Warner, author of Hardcore Zen

Serious dharma students will perhaps best appreciate the context and gravitas of this long-awaited volume, but seekers from any tradition (or none) can find illumination from this generous source of light.”—Spirituality and Health