Could the Next Dalai Lama be Female?


Today in the Huffington Post, author Michaela Haas has a wonderful article asking why there isn't a female Dalai Lama and what is being done to address the sexism underlying the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. 

Like many women studying in this tradition (including me), she writes,  "After studying Buddhism for a decade in India and Nepal I couldn't fail to notice that all my teachers were men. Where were all the women? If Buddhism is based on the equality of all beings and gender didn't matter, why then was there such a huge imbalance?"

Ms. Haas concludes by stating that she feels that "Any organization that categorically excludes 50 percent of their brightest, most capable and compassionate people from its leadership suffers and won't be able to escape change forever."  But, while the Dalai Lama has said again and again that females must be given the same opportunities and training as males, there doesn't seem to be a plan in place for it to happen.  The full article can be read here:

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Yes, Tenzin Palmo has said something similar, that though she knows HHDL to be sincere, there is no structure to support a woman leader. A vast majority of the monks in his lineage would simply not accept a female, there is no system in place to allow for it.

how would they find one?

The Dalai Lama has said this, but I don't think it will happen soon. I think institutional Buddhism wouldn't know how to go about having a female leader -- or finding one, for that matter. I think it would lead to a split and you'd end up with three Dalai Lamas -- the one the Chinese name, the one traditionalists name, and the female.

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