I admire the approach of the author, Wendy Garling. She uses incisive analysis of sacred texts to discover lesser-known stories of influential women in the early days of Buddhism. She then integrates these tales into Buddhism's founding story, effectively rendering a more balanced and truthful account of the Buddha's life.
After I wrote the review, I was thinking about how I could do something similar on a personal level. If I were to assess my past—to delve deep into my own biographical account—surely I could remember many influential women who saved me in countless small ways. There were women who encouraged me to pursue writing, to take vacation time, to climb mountains, to save more money, to breathe more steadily, to set goals and seek out parks and really look deeply at trees and birds and waves. There were women who asked me to say what I really mean, to tell the truth with my voice, because that is the most important thing. There were women who trusted me, who asked me to trust them. There were also women who disappointed me and, in doing so, helped me learn how to embrace disappointment and realize that I could come through the other side of challenges relatively unscathed. These lessons are also influential.
I was happy to read and consider the teachings in this book. I learned so much. Enjoy the review here.