Anita Hill is a Bodhisattva: Quote and Book Review


We must all understand that there is great merit in sacrificing for others and that by so doing we live the full life.

Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize Winner

Aung San Suu Kyi is considered a bodhisattva in her country.  I would consider Anita a bodhisattva in the USA.  Both have led full lives of compassionate giving.  Below is my book review of Hill’s book from goodreads.

Anita Hill tells her story with courage and heart. Her incise arguments to every sexist and racist claim made against her had me riveted. Her stories were both moving and offered insight into several generations of an African-American family meeting degradation with strength and unrelenting dignity. The recent documentary film, Anita, is a great compliment to her writing and helps us understand the tenor of the Hill-Thomas hearing of 1991 by the power of it’s visual impact. We also have the opportunity to see the continuation of her impactful work against sexual harassment two decades after the event. Although the book was published in 1998, I found it vital in describing a historical event, Anita Hill speaking truth to power, that has changed the lives of women worldwide.

Light of Consciousness: Journal of Spiritual Awakening

Light of Consciousness Magazine

Light of Consciousness Magazine

This wonderful magazine, Light of Consciousness, has a five page article, including seven photos, that I wrote on Visions of The Female Buddha.  Please check it out!


Learning to be kind to ourselves, learning how to respect ourselves, is important.  The reason it’s important is that, fundamentally, when we look into our own hearts and begin to discover what is confused and what is brilliant, what is bitter and what is sweet, it isn’t just ourselves that we’re discovering.  We’re discovering the universe.

Pema Chodron.


3dbuddha small_lzn

Chiyo-ni, Haiku Master and the Watermoon

Watermoon Guanyin, Sanyi, Taiwan

I also saw the moon

and so I say goodbye

to this world


In Japanese poetry the moon is often a reference to enlightenment.  In this death poem by Buddhist nun Chiyo-ni, she expresses her final words to the world and her experience of awakening.  Is it a glimpse?  A continuous state of mind?

As one of the great haiku poets of her time, Chiyo-ni expresses a sense of wakefulness in all her poems with sublime beauty and metaphor.  She wrote her first poem at age six and spent her life devoted to the arts of 18th century Japan.

In my garden

starflowers bloom

come and see.

Chiyo-ni, age 6

While her choice to become a Buddhist nun came later in her life after the death of her husband, the temple near her home was purported to be a strong influence in her life.  Her devotion to the wonder of the world and freshness of vision is apparent in all her works.

Chiyo-ni studied in the tradition of Basho and is considered to be one of the great haiku masters of all time.  She studied with many masters in his lineage and is one of the few women recognized for her work in her lifetime.

Patricia Donegan and Yoshie Ishibashi translated her voice in 1998 with precision and care in Chiyo-no: Woman Haiku Master. While the book is already out of print and only available used or as a rare copy it is still sought after by those who love her work.

I’ve paired my photograph of the Watermoon Guanyin with her poem as the reference to the ephemeral reflection of the moon in the water is a commonly used metaphor in Buddhism to represent impermanence.  It seems the arts best captures the exquisitely luminous quality of our fleeting experience.


3dbuddha small_lzn



             Boulder, CO     Feb. 9-10, 2013      $185

             Sat. 9:30 – 12:30, 2 – 5, &  Sun. 9:30 – 1

Deborah will share stories & slides of Guanyin and we will connect the dots to her inspiration and our lives through personal reflection & sharing. Contemplations on the images & quotes in The Female Buddha: Discovering the Heart of Liberation and Love bring us closer to the wisdom and compassion of Guanyin.

Click here for more information.


Contribute & Receive Photos, Books & Gifts

She is on her way!

CLICK HERE to receive The Female Buddha book and other lovely gifts with you donation to The Female Buddha campaign.

Book image

The Indiegogo campaign runs today until Dec 10 and offers you the opportunity to receive a signed copy of the Female Buddha book, lovely notecards, photographs, a workshop, consulting or other generous rewards for your donations.  In the first 24 hours of the campaign we have already met 25% of our goal with $1200 in contributions.  Everybody is expressing the value they receive for what they give.  Please join us today in bringing her quotes and photographs to an audience eager for her wisdom, compassion and beauty.

Thanks so much for your interest and please, check her out!

The Female Buddha

“The Female Buddha is beautiful and inspiring. The photos and the quotations both remind us of our own inner capacity for love and freedom.”

                             Sharon Salzberg, Lovingkindness 

Just had to show off.  Here’s the cover of my new book coming out this December. Let me know what you think!

see more at



The Treasure Within: Reflections on No River to Cross


“Spiritual practice means having faith that there is a great treasure within your mind, and then finding it.  Learning to discover the treasure within you is the most worthwhile thing in the world.  If you can put this into practice, you can live freshly, with a mind open like the sky, always overflowing with compassion.  What could be better than this?”

– Daehaeng Sunim

Blogging last week I shared about discovering images of the female Buddha in Vietnam.  This week I want to share my encounter with the female Buddha inside the pages of a book by an astounding Korean Zen master, Daehaeng Sunim.

I discovered her googling: women, Buddhism and Asia. I was looking for quotes by genuine women teachers from the countries where I was photographing the female deity of compassion, Guanyin.

To my delight, the book, No River to Cross, popped up on my screen thanks to the translation of her work by Robert Buswell of UCLA.  If you’re a Buddhist, a feminist or enthralled by a good adventure story this is a must read.

For the adventurous in spirit, her tale unfolds on both outer and inner levels.  First we read about her life in the woods from age six after her family home is destroyed and they are forced to hide in exile from the Japanese occupation.

Also escaping her father’s rages, Sunim begins to meander farther and farther from the rudimentary hut her parents construct in the forest.  She sleeps on the ground and eats grass to fill her stomach. More than once she narrowly escapes death in the dark of night when she intuitively stops herself from walking over the edges of cliffs.

Over the next several years her isolated wanderings become the setting for extraordinary transpersonal experiences.  Sunim connects to a universal father and experiences an overwhelming sense of love and wholeness.  She later comes to understand this loving figure as symbolic of the basic goodness within us all.

A lifetime pursuit of questioning began during her early years of transience.  Her quest became more refined when she encountered a friendly monk who offers her food and guidance.  It is only later that she discovers he is the most venerated teacher in Korea and has the opportunity to formally receive him as her spiritual guide.

After committing to the rigorous training to become a nun, Sunim throws it off for something more difficult, twelve additional years of solitary wandering working with the questions arising in her heart.  Later she returns to complete her training astounding her teachers with a treasury of understanding.

The amazing details of her story are only a small part of No River to Cross.  Even better yet are the wise and celebratory reflections she offers in her teachings. I’ve passed this book to Buddhist colleagues who are thrilled to discover a new and passionate voice.  My mystic Christian friends resonate with the accessibility of her insight.

For the first time in the history of Korea, monks are becoming the students of a nun, Daehaeng Sunim.  Twenty-five centers of study have sprung from the organization she founded over thirty years ago.  Her clarity resonates with scholars and lay people alike.

“Just get rid of ignorance and delusions, and you will know that you are a Buddha and that you are already complete as you are.  If you awaken to this, you will burst out laughing at how much effort you spent in order for you to become yourself.  This is the laughter of peace and joy.”

-Daehaeng Sunim