Omar Wani

March 22, 2021

Poems of the first Buddhist Women

Translated by Charles Hallisey


I think it is important not to be lost in the reasons of the three important things, or the four noble truths, or seven times of such-and-such, or nine bows. It is important to recognise that material renunciation does not mechanically, or automatically, ascertain silence of the mind. That is a different experience altogether.

Charles Hallisey's translations provide access to beautiful verses stated by Buddhist Women. Their stories, reflections, experiences, and the inspiration that they have received all are beautifully captured.

Today I collected alms,
head shaved, covered with the outer robe,
now seated at the foot of the tree.
What I get has nothing to do with the schemes.

All ties are cut, whether divine or human,
I have thrown away all that fouls the heart,
I have become cool, free.


It is not only theirs, but also ours: the constant endeavor to attain a glimpse. Structures formalise methods and seldom deliver. It's the work within that counts. That is a journey in itself and worth taking!

'Where do we go from here' is a question we all answer for ourselves.

Gold and money do not lessen
the depravities that ooze out from within,
urges that come from our senses are enemies,
butchers, foes who bind us with robes.