The Revolutionary Life of Freda Bedl

British Feminist, Indian Nationalist, Buddhist Nun

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Vicki Mackenzie
  • Boulder, CO: 
    Shambhala Publications, Inc.
    , March
     2017.
     208 pages.
     $16.95.
     Paperback.
    ISBN
    9781611804256.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.

Description

She was the first Western woman to become a Tibetan Buddhist nun—but that pioneering ordination was really just one in a life full of revolutionary acts. Freda Bedi (1911–1977) broke the rules of gender, race, and religion—in many cases before it was thought that the rules were ready to be challenged. She was at various times a force in the struggle for Indian independence, spiritual seeker, scholar, professor, journalist, author, social worker, wife, and mother of four children. She counted among her friends, colleagues, and teachers Mohandas Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and many others. She was a woman of spiritual focus and compassion who was also not without contradictions. Vicki Mackenzie gives a nuanced view of Bedi and of the forces that shaped and motivated this complex and compelling figure.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Vicki Mackenzie is a professional journalist and author who has written for the national and international press for over 40 years. Her articles have appeared in The Sunday Times, The Observer, The Daily and Sunday Telegraph, the Daily Mail, and many national magazines. She has written extensively on Buddhist topics and was the first person to publish an interview with the Dalai Lama for The Sunday Times. She has been studying and practicing Buddhism since 1976.

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