Gloria Steinem + Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo
The feminist icon Gloria Steinem and British-born Tibetan Buddhist nun Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo engage on questions of faith, the wellspring of belief, and Tenzin Palmo's pilgrimage to India that led her to sequester herself in a "Cave in the Snow" for twelve years.
This event is part of The Road That Teaches series that complements the exhibition Pilgrimage and Faith: Buddhism, Christianity and Islam (July 1, 2011 - October 24, 2011). The Road That Teaches is a Wednesday evening conversation series, exploring the nature of faith and pilgrimage, between two people from different walks of life or differing spiritual experiences. To view more conversations in this series, click here.
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Gloria Steinem is a writer, lecturer, editor, and feminist activist. She travels in this and other countries as an organizer and lecturer and is a frequent media spokeswoman on issues of equality. She is particularly interested in the shared origins of sex and race caste systems, gender roles and child abuse as roots of violence, non-violent conflict resolution, the cultures of indigenous peoples, and organizing across boundaries for peace and justice.
In 1972, she co-founded Ms. magazine, and remained one of its editors for fifteen years. In 1968, she had helped to found New York magazine, where she was a political columnist and wrote feature articles. Her books include the bestsellers Revolution from Within: A Book of Self-Esteem, Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions, Moving Beyond Words, and Marilyn: Norma Jean, on the life of Marilyn Monroe. Her writing also appears in many anthologies and textbooks, and she was an editor of Houghton Mifflin's The Reader's Companion to U.S. Women's History. In 1993, her concern with child abuse led her to co-produce and narrate an Emmy Award winning TV documentary for HBO, "Multiple Personalities: The Search for Deadly Memories." Ms. Steinem has been a prime motivator of many organizations including the Women's Action Alliance, the National Women's Political Caucus, Voters for Choice, Choice USA, the Ms. Foundation for Women, and the Take Our Daughters to Work Day, a first national day devoted to girls that has now become an institution here and in other countries. She now lives in New York City, and is currently at work on Road to the Heart: America As if Everyone Mattered, a book about her more than thirty years on the road as a feminist organizer.
Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo left her native England for India in 1964, and at the age of twenty was one of the first Westerners to be ordained as a Buddhist nun. Vicki Mackenzie's international bestseller Cave in the Snow chronicles her twelve years of seclusion and meditation practice in a remote cave in the Himalayas. During more than forty years of Buddhist practice, she has witnessed how women are neglected in spiritual communities and often forbidden to receive the highest teachings. Deeply concerned with the plight of Buddhist nuns, she established the Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery in 2000 in northern India. A residential and academic center, the Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery is a visionary new model for the spiritual training of young women. Jetsunma is the author of Reflections on a Mountain Lake. Her new book, Into the Heart of Life, has just been released by Snow Lion Publications.