📙 The Gathering: A Story of the First Buddhist Women, by Vanessa R. Sasson


Publisher ‏ : ‎ Equinox Publishing Ltd (1 June 2023)
Language ‏ : ‎ English
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 290 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1800503407
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1800503403
Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 15.6 x 2.01 x 23.39 cm

Website includes an annotated table of contents. It’s available in hardback, paperback, and ebook.

From the publisher:

An excerpt printed in Tricycle:

From the excerpt:

Author bio from her website:


I found out about this through the publisher’s Mastodon post: EQUINOX PUBLISHING LTD: "Just published! Info & order at 25% off quoting …" - mas.to

Now I realize that there is a discount code for 25% off:


Awesome, thanks for posting. Vanessa’s work is great, she writes with imagination and empathy, and a deep knowledge of her subject.

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Brilliant! Thank you Ven :pray:t4: :tulip:

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Wondering if anyone has had a chance to get a hold of this book and give it a read.

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I’ve started reading it and am still in the earlier sections. So far, I’ve enjoyed it very much.

Professor Sasson’s writing is clear and expresses her love of the Dhamma through the inspiring stories of the Bhikkhunis.
I enjoy reading the book shortly before bedtime. The heart is inspired.


Look at what’s just arrived! will report back :pray:t4: :sunflower:


OMG such a pretty cover!


From the start, the story inspires as the women walking to see the Buddha dispense with pettiness and social restrictions – powerful determination without added distractions and nonsense.

A brief excerpt from The Gathering:

"What was with these women? First one, then the other, no one worrying about the mess her social status necessarily generated.
Vimala said…“My presence would be stain on their honor. I cannot travel with them. The likes of me with the likes of them…”

“You know nothing of the Royal Family or their intentions”, Baddha Kundalakesa admonished her. "The Queen Mahapajapati and Princess Yasodhara are not on this journey to make judgements. They are going to ask the Buddha for liberation. Titles and social hierarchies are being left behind. All we are now is a group of women and we are traveling together. All of us.

“Queens and prostitutes together?” Vimala whispered. “But that’s madness.”

“There is worse madness in the world than that. Shall we get going?”

And on they go…


What a fantastic line!


It’s really hard to get into the world view of people from so long ago. But we do get a parallel for the monks with the going forth of the 6 Sakyan princes when they requested to have Upāli ordained before them so that they would be required to pay respect to him.

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