Tuesday, September 13, 2005

23. Padmasuri

There are two books by female FWBO order members. Srimala's Breaking Free is aptly titled, "Glimpses of a Buddhist Life". I wanted to find out how she meditated with two children, but she never told me. Similarly Naghabodhi wrote about India in his book Jai Bhim! Dispatches from a peaceful Revolution. While the two previous books are worthy in their own way, I found Padmasuri's book But Little Dust: life amongst the 'ex-untouchable' buddhist of india topped both in their project by going deeper.

Padmasuri's book is in 3 sections. There was the time she worked there as a nurse and acclimated herself to some degree. There is a middle section of fiction, that perhaps conveys a woman's life in India. And in the final section she is a Dharma teacher, traveling all over India.

I particularly wanted to know more about a retreat she briefly describes, how she came to the decision not to have children. I also wanted her to update the book, because the first edition was in 1990, the second in 1997.

But what she gave me was rich and provoked me to more thought. I've been corresponding with Anil in Pune, and quite enjoyed getting more information about his conditions there. There are no other books like this one, I searched on Amazon. I liked her description, too, of the project of taking Buddhism to India. Or rather supporting it in India. She called it a coals to Newcastle project.

I also quite enjoyed her description of a trip to a cave where Padmasambhava meditated.

I'm going to see if Alyssa wants to borrow it.

1 comment:

Nicholas Meister said...

I just finished I reading "but little dust." I agree it is a book worth reading. I haven't been to India but I've been to Nepal. There were definitely some similarities.
I also would have liked to hear about her retreats, perhaps even one of her talks.
I'd also like to know if Vimilasuri ever made it to England!