Thursday, March 4, 2010

Outstanding Women In Buddhism 2010

In conjunction with this year UN's International Women's Day, 11 women will be honoured by the Outstanding Women In Buddhism for their contributions to the advancement of Buddhism and spiritual life of women. The awards presentation ceremony will be held at the Association for the Promotion of the Status of Women in Don Muang, Thailand on the March 5, 2010.

1. Bhiksuni Dr Zhiru Ng ( Singapore )
Bhiksuni Dr Zhiru Ng is an associate professor and chair of Religious Studies at Pomona College in California. An expert in Mahayana Buddhism in China, her interdisciplinary research includes the Dizang cult of the mediaeval Chinese period, or the Tzu Chi movement of the modern age.

2. Bhikkhuni Dhamma Vijjani ( Thailand )
A former architect, Bhikkhuni Dhamma Vijjani, 51, teaches meditation at her retreat centre, Dhamma Abode, in Uthai Thani province. Fluent in English, French and German, she is also active in many translation projects for Buddhism.

3. Maechee Aree Kieatthubthew ( Thailand )
Maechee Aree Kieatthubthew, 50, is a well respected meditation teacher. Her positive approach to life, as well as her excellence in teaching meditation and yoga have brought her international reputation. Now, Maechee Aree lives and practises in the northeast of Thailand on a mountain, along with other female practitioners.

4. Ms Sato ( Japan )
Ms Sato is now raising five children at a small temple in the mountains of her hometown, and uses her spare time to paint, write books and compose music to celebrate the peaceful spirit of Buddhism. Her paintings have been displayed at the Olympic Museum in Xiamen City, China.

5. Asst Prof Nartruedee Dendoung ( Thailand )
Asst Prof Nartruedee Dendoung, 54, teaches Health Sociology and Feminism at the Faculty of Social Sciences & Humanities at Mahidol University. She has also been active in policy advocacy for gender equality, as well as being personally engaged in many projects to improve the health and livelihoods of marginalised women and children in remote areas.

6. Bhiksuni Dr Karuna Dharma ( US )
Bhiksuni Dr Karuna Dharma was ordained in 1976, making her the first fully-ordained woman in the US. Together with her teacher, Vietnamese Bhiksu Dr Thich Thien-An, they have established the International Buddhist Meditation Centre in Chua Vietnam - the first Vietnamese/US temple - as well as the University of Oriental Studies. She is also a founding president of Sakyadhita, an organisation that supports the revival of Theravada Bhikkhuni ordination. An abbess of the International Buddhist Meditation Centre, she has written several books on Buddhism and is active in inter-faith and inter-sectarian Buddhist work.

7. Bhiksuni Ming Yu ( Taiwan )
After many years of sharing Buddhist teachings with youths as well as counselling juvenile prisoners, Bhiksuni Ming Yu was fully ordained in 2006. Given her long-standing dedication and high integrity, she was elected as president of the Taipei Bodhi Buddhist Society, and later as the secretary-general of the Chinese Young Buddhist Association.

8. Dr Tashi Choedron ( Malaysia )
Dr Tashi Choedron, an environmental sociologist and Tibetan Buddhist nun, has coordinated several social development/sustainable livelihood projects for indigenous communities. She balances her spiritual life with volunteer work in service of conservation and Buddhism. She has written two books and several articles on community-based conservation.

9. Dr Varaporn Chamsanit ( Thailand )
Dr Varaporn Chamsanit conducts research and has written extensively on women in Buddhism in Thailand, as well as on human rights for the marginalised. Apart from being acting director of the Office of Human Rights Studies & Social Development at Mahidol University, Dr Varaporn is also a board member of the Foundation for Women and the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women.

10. Supaporn Asavachaichan, Thailand
Supaporn Asavachaichan teaches Buddhist economics at Silpakorn University and is highly respected for her use of Buddhist perspectives to analyse the roots of economic problems, particularly the current global economic crisis.

11 Vanerath Sornprasit ( Thailand )
Born and raised in southern Thailand, Vanerath Sornprasit taught at university level and became a business woman before being ordained as a white-robed nun in her quest to seek the true meaning of life. After finding the answers in the teachings of the late philosopher, Krishnamurti, she returned to a lay life, co-founded the Anveekshana Foundation to disseminate Krishnamurti's works, as well as set up the Stream Garden Retreat in the lust woods as a place for group and individual contemplation.