Adhimutta, Bhikkhuni

  • My Going Forth the first Kiwi bhikkhuni, a samaneri when this was written, discusses the current monastic landscape and the experience of going forth into homelessness.

Anālayo, Bhikkhu

Andrews, Karen


Artinger, Brenna

  • An Interview with AFB’s Founder, Susan Pembroke In 2007, Susan Pembroke founded the Alliance for Bhikkhunis. Susan shares her experiences of founding the organization as well as her observations on the growth of the bhikkhuni sangha in this in-depth interview with Brenna Artinger.

Bianchi, June

Bodhi, Bhikkhu

Boucher, Sandy

Bricker, Saccavadi

  • Buddhist Discrimination Against Women in Modern Burma
    Saccavadi was one the of first two modern Burmese woman to ordain as a bhikkhuni. In this Present exclusive, she offers an inside look at her experience in robes, and at the discrimination ordained women face in Burma.

Candasiri, Ajahn

  • Going Forth – for Liberation This article by Ajahn Candasiri describes her journey to become a 10-precept Siladhara. Inspired by Ajahn Sumedho’s teachings, she began her monastic training at Chithurst as one of the first four anagārikās.

Chu, Dr. William

Conover, Nathan Robnet (son of former Alliance for Bhikkhunis board member, Sarah Conover)

Conover, Sarah (former Alliance for Bhikkhunis board member)

Culavedalla SuttaMN44

  • Culavedalla Sutta (MN 44), in which Bhikkhuni Dhammadinna instructs her former husband in the Dhamma.

Dewaraja, Dr. L.S.

  • The Position of Women in Buddhism A fascinating research paper on how womenenjoyed more equality with men in many Buddhist countries until the arrival of the British Empire.

de SilvaSwarna

Dhammananda Bhikkhuni

Dhammadinnå, Bhikkhuni

Ekachai, Sanitsuda

Ferris, Carudhamma Jo

  • Wearing White in the West.
    An intimate recounting from a bhikkhuni supporter, of how taking eight precepts and wearing white transformed a woman’s practice.

Freese, Roseanne

GrossRita M.

  • How American Women are Changing Buddhism American women are taking Buddhism away from its patriarchal past, participating confidently as practitioners, teachers, and leaders. The job is not finished, says Rita M. Gross, one of Buddhism’s leading feminist thinkers, but the role of American Buddhist women is unprecedented and may change Buddhism forever.

Gunasari, Bhikkhuni

Hecker, Dr. Hellmuth

  • Buddhist Women at the Time of the Buddha An exploration of the Therigatha (Verses of the Elder Nuns) from the most prominent German writer on Theravada Buddhism, chronicler of the history of Buddhim in Germany, and leading translator of the Pali Canon.

Horayangura, Nissara (now Munissara Bhikkhuni, below)


Jayantā Shirley Johannesen

  • Interview with Ayya Medhanandi, founder of Sati Saraniya Hermitage in Canada

Jootla, Susan Elbaum

  • Inspiration From Enlightened Nuns Exploring poems composed by the ancient arahant bhikkhunis (Therigatha), and viewing these poems as springs of inspiration for contemporary Buddhists.

Kramer, Jacqueline

Kusuma, Bhikkhuni

Lottermoser, Dr. Friedgard

Lee, Yu Ban

Mallar, Margo

Marajina, Samaneri (formerly and currently Marcia Pimentel)

McCarthy, Donna

Medhanandi, Bhikkhkuni

Mokashi, Dr. Rupali

Mrozik, Susanne

Munissara Bhikkhuni (formerly Nissara Horayangura, above)

Murcott, Susan (translator)

Nirodha Bhikkhuni

Orr, Mary Grace

Pembroke, Susan

Pimentel, Marcia (formerly Samaneri Marajina, above)

Samma Samadhi, Bhikkhuni

Santacitta, Bhikkhuni

Schultz, Kathy Jean

Schwab, Bonnie

Sharrin, Ron


Sobhana, Bhikkhuni



Sudhamma, Bhikkhuni

  • Longing to Ordain Tracing the origin of contemporary Buddhist ordination of women to Queen Anula, Sri Lanka’s first bhikkhuni, the author recounts her experiences when visiting the Queen’s stupa.
  • Personal Perspective on Vinaya An exploration of Vinaya shows that it contains many hidden treasures waiting to be found by those with the patience and faith to give them a try.
  • Smoothing the Way is her personal journey to ordination.
  • The Reading Habits of One Bhikkhuni
    A list of inspiring writing and authors, both for pleasure and Dhamma study.

Sujato, Bhikkhu

  • A Painful Ambiguity An essay on the construction of bhikkhunis as embodied in the early scriptures. The life of the Buddha is designed as a hero myth, and this frames the the origin story of bhikkhunis in mythic, rather than historical, terms.
  • Bhikkhuni FAQ Facts about bhikkhunis and bhikkhuni ordination.
  • Bhikkhuni Vinaya Studies Exploration of issues confronting fully ordained nuns (bhikkhunis) in modern Buddhism. Includes detailed textual analysis based on comparison of the original Vinaya texts (PDF 1.3mb).
  • Bhikkhunis in Theravada A submission to the ongoing dialogue on bhikkhuni ordination in the three main traditions, prepared for the Tibetan Committee of Western Bhikkhunis (PDF 36kb).
  • Dark Matter A special investigation look at the slow progress of bhikkhuni ordination.
  • Full Acceptance The participation of women in the renunciate life.
  • Now is the Time Paper presented at the discussion panel with HH Dalai Lama on the final day of the First International Congress on Buddhist Women’s Role in the Sangha.
  • Vutthapana and Upasampada A technical discussion of Vinaya terminology regarding bhikkhuni ordination, suggesting that certain aspects of the bhikkhuni Vinaya texts were preserved in the oral tradition of the bhikkhunis themselves, separate from the main redaction tradition of the bhikkhus.
  • Who Trains for Two Years? It is often assumed that all women must spend two years training as a sikkhamānā (trainee) before ordaining as a bhikkhuni. This article looks at what this really means.
  • Now Is the Time Paper presented at the discussion panel with HH Dalai Lama on the final day of the First International Congress on Buddhist Women`s Role in the Sangha.

Tathaaloka, Bhikkhuni Theri

  • The Greatest Gift: “For Our Long-lasting Benefit and Happiness” – published on Buddhistdoor Global. This is the final article in Buddhistdoor’s yearlong special series “Planetary Healing: Buddhism and World Ecology”.
  • Part II of The Re-making of the Bhikkhunī Saṅgha in Transcultural Contexts
    “Coming Into Our Own”
    Perspective of a Bhikkhunī Preceptor on Discipline, Agency and Inquiry Amidst the Renascent Theravāda Bhikkhunī Saṅgha/s
  • Honoring Those Worthy of Honor, Contributions of the Late Ven. Dr. Havanpola Ratanasāra and Other Early Preceptors Reviving the Theravāda Bhikkhunī Sangha through Early Preceptor Reviving the Theravada Bhikkhuniī Sangha through the Groundbreaking Ordinations of Buddhist Women in th 1980s
  • Women of Wisdom, Women of Power Commemorative reflection by Tathālokā Therī on the lunar anniversary of the Parinibbāna of Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī Therī, founding mother of the bhikkhunī sangha
  • Lasting Inspiration  A look into the guiding and determining mental and emotional states of liberated arahant women in their path of practice and its fulfillment as expressed in the sacred biographies of the Therī Apadāna.
  • Beyond Ambiguity: Going Beyond Gender Ambiguity in Theravada Forest Tradition In modern times, with open public access via the World Wide Web to the Buddha’s teaching, in ways that may have only had parallel in the Buddha’s lifetime – if ever at all in Buddhist history – the seeming ambiguity of the Buddhist Sutta and Vinaya texts related to gender has become a phenomena of which there is a global awareness. And with the ambiguity, in our modern cultural context, there arises doubt and a substantial amount of suffering, along with waves of attempts at clarification and reconciliation.
  • Saffron and Green in the Clear Forest Pool The Buddhist monastic community is founded upon, and well endowed with, effective practices of honest self-reflection and introspection, an eye for the inter-relatedness of conditions that lead to either our harm or welfare, and a heart of great and compassionate caring sensitivity for humanity and all living beings.
  • Entering Monastic Life and Ordaining as a Bhikkhuni in Theravada Buddhism Dear friend interested in Theravadan Buddhist monastic life…. this page is written with deep appreciation for your aspiration, and the goodness that can come in its fulfilment.
  • Dipavamsa Bhikkhuni Highlights Selected exerpts with summeries and comments from The Dipavamsa: An Ancient Buddhist Historical Record, translated by Hermann Oldenberg and compiled by Ayya Tathaaloka Bhikkhuni.
  • The Amazing Transformations of Arahant Theri Uppalavanna
  •  Is Buddhism Patriarchal?
  • The Great Inquiry: An Interview with Venerable Ayya Tathaaloka
  • Earth Day Earth Witness 
    A teaching on becoming grounded in the elements and caring for our world
  • Forum from the Lion’s Roar
    What Is Enlightenment?
    Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, Ayya Tathaaloka, Setsuan Gaelyn Godwin, and David Matsumoto explore their traditions’ different perspectives on awakening.
  • Public radio interview of Ayya Tathaaloka with Stars At Dawn author Wendy Garling on the Mystical Positivist
  • Video of dhamma talk and discussion on “PRACTICING WITH PAIN: Beneficial & Blessed Ways of Approaching and Practicing with Pain on the Path of Awakening” with Ven. Tathālokā Therī

Amma Thanasanti (formerly Thanasanti Bhikkhuni)

Thanissara Mary Weinberg

  • Take It or Leave It and the Ground Between Recent events have charted the discrimination against female renunciates in Ajahn Chah’s Forest Tradition. Thanissara, one of the first women to ordain as a siladhara, examines Awakening and calls for an authentic dialogue for change.
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Tolman, Janice

Tsomo, Bhikshuni Karma Lekshe

    • The History of Buddhist Monasticism and Its Western Adaptation An examination of the role of women in the transmission of Bhuddhist monasticism and its adaptation in Western Cultures.
    • Speech on Vimeo. Venerable Lekshe Tsomo explores the origins and extraordinary implications of the contemporary Buddhist women’s movement from her perspective as co-creator of Sakyadhita, the most influential global network of Buddhist women, and as convener of bi-annual international conferences on Buddhist women where scholars, practitioners, artists, and activists exchange ideas and inspiration. Here she examines the most recent gathering, on “Buddhism at the Grassroots”, to illustrate the growth of this unprecedented movement.

Upasika Kee Nanayon, Thanissaro Bhikkhu (trans.)

Zeki, Mel

Zlotnick, Mindy

    • A PowerPoint presentation, entitled “I Will Not Pass Away….Reinstating the Buddha’s Vision of the Four-Fold Sagha” has been developed about the history of Bhikkhunis from the time of the Buddha until present day, using the Aloka Vihara Forest Monastery nuns as an example of a group of pioneering women who are helping to revive the lineage.The presentation can also be seen on YouTube.
    • A 2600 Year Journey, A History of the Bhikkhuni Order
      This article is co-authored with Donna McCarthy and was written at the beginning of a year-long commemoration of the 2600 year anniversary of Mahapajapati’s going forth into monastic life. This marked the founding of the Bhikkhuni Sangha, as well as laying the groundwork for all women in robes.

On 22 October 2009, several sincerely practicing nuns received full ordination into the Australian Thai Forest Sangha, in Perth. As a result of this historically significant ceremony, four fully ordained Theravadan Bhikkhunis joined the worldwide Bhikkhuni order. May the new Bhikkhunis soon be joined by many more.

Relevant Articles from Periodicals

Note: Some of these publications require registration and a subscription or fee to view the entire article

Articles by Sanitsuda Ekachai on the Thai bhikkhunis’ situation:

Article by Martin Seeger on the Thai bhikkhunis’ situation: