Program Details

Recovering Women's Stories in Buddhism - Public Program

with Holly Gayley
October 4 / 7:00 PM - October 5 / 6:00 PM

Open to all!

On Friday night, we explore the lives of women practitioners at different times and places in Buddhist history. Their stories of resilience and accomplishment can give us insight into how to use challenge, disappointment and loss as fuel along the path of liberation. Through recovering their voices and experiences, we can reimagine our own approach to the spiritual journey as an individual and as a community.

Saturday will focus on the classic Mahayana teachings of emptiness and compassion, evoking the great mother Prajnaparamita and the female bodhisattva Tara. We will engage in compassion practice, stories and dialogues, and movement exercises in order to understand how we have been shaped by social conditioning, foster healing and resilience, and connect us to the play of open space.

At a time when we are all, personally and as a community, facing questions about our own roles in systems that are systemically dismissive, harmful, and abusive toward women, the exploration of the feminine principle and voices of women practitioners and teachers in the Buddhist tradition can help us see beyond structures and identities that both trap us, and perpetuate aggression and harm.

About the Teacher:

Acharya Holly Gayley completed her M.A. in Buddhist Studies at Naropa University (2000) and Ph.D. in Tibetan and Himalayan Studies at Harvard (2009). Her research into contemporary Buddhist literature and its lived contexts has taken her to eastern Tibet on research trips since 2004. Currently, she is Associate Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Boulder Colorado, where she teaches courses on Tibetan Buddhism, Women in Buddhism, Gender in Hagiography, Buddhist Ethics, and Transnational Buddhism. She has been a member of the Shambhala community for over twenty years and regularly leads meditation workshops.

Her writings can be found at:


Love Letters from Golok: A Tantric Couple in Modern Tibet (Columbia University Press, 2016)

A Gathering of Brilliant Moons: Practice Advice from the Great Rimé Masters of Tibet (Wisdom Publications, forthcoming)

Register and pre-pay early to reserve your spot.

Cancellation & Refund Policy

Patron Price: Please register with the Patron Price if you are able. By offering a little more, you help make programs accessible to participants with less financial means. Thank you!

Sustaining Price: This price is the amount per participant required for the Shambhala Center to cover the costs of the program.

Subsidized Price: This price allows people with less financial means to attend programs at a discounted rate, supported by the contributions at the ‘Patron Price’ level.

Generosity Policy: Our Generosity Policy is an option for participants in unique situations for whom none of the above options are appropriate, and helps make programming available to all those who wish to participate. If the subsidized rate is prohibitive for you, the Generosity Policy allows you to offer as much of the fee as you can based on your individual circumstances. Please consider the value of the program and practice generosity at the level appropriate for you. To utilize the Generosity Policy, please email the Registrar at [email protected] before the program. We cannot accept Generosity Policy registrations at the door, so please make arrangements in advance.

If you have questions, please contact us at [email protected].

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