The First Buddhist Women

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The First Buddhist Women
with Tracy Cochran and Wendy Garling
Saturday, March 30th, 2019 | 10:00am-5:00pm

This daylong retreat will share little-known stories of the first Buddhist women, including the mother, stepmother, wife, and harem of the historical Buddha.

Present from the beginning but long suppressed by patriarchy, these women’s stories are like carefully hidden termas, or teachings, emerging now to guide and inspire us in a challenging time.

They offer a more engaged, emotionally alive and gender-balanced Buddhism, filling gaps we have sensed but haven’t named.

Join Wendy Garling, author of Stars at Dawn: Forgotten Stories of Women in the Buddha’s Life, and New York Insight teacher Tracy Cochran for a day of contemplation and exploration, alternating silent meditation with storytelling and writing exercises designed to explore relevant themes and questions.

This retreat is open to anyone who identifies as a woman or loves women. Beginners and advanced meditators are welcome.


The registration fee includes teacher support. If you wish to give more in addition to the registration fee, the total (registration fees and additional contributions) will be shared between NYI and the teacher(s).

Note About Registration:

If you have questions about your registration (cancellation policy, membership discount, email confirmation, etc.), please read our FAQs. If your question is not addressed in the FAQs, please email

New York Insight Meditation Center is offering a new structure for registration. Members receive 15% off of the Sustaining Rate via a code provided in the membership email confirmation.

NYI is committed to ensuring that our programs are available to all, regardless of ability to pay. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. No financial assistance application is needed when registering for a program.

We offer new sliding scale fees, and ask that you choose the highest fee you are able to afford based on your financial means. The Sustaining rate represents the actual program operating cost. If you can afford this level or higher, you assist our efforts to offer reduced rates and support ongoing financial assistance. If you are unable to pay the Base Fee, you can set up a payment plan or let us know how much you are able to pay at this time by emailing



Tracy Cochran

Tracy CochranTracy Cochran is an editor of Parabola magazine. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Boston Review, O: The Oprah Magazine, New York Magazine, Publishers Weekly, Psychology Today, and other publications. Her stories have been included in anthologies including The Best Spiritual Writing series; Writing for Their Lives; and Sacred Voices: Essential Women’s Wisdom Through the Ages. In addition to working in publishing and in the film industry, she is certified as a Community Dharma Leader by the Spirit Rock Meditation Center, teaching mindfulness meditation and mindful writing retreats in the greater New York area.

“All conditioned things are impermanent’ — when one sees this with wisdom, one turns away from suffering.” The Buddha

Wendy Garling

Wendy Garling is a writer, mother, independent scholar, and authorized dharma teacher with a BA from Wellesley College and MA in Sanskrit language and literature from the University of California, Berkeley.

She is the author of Stars at Dawn: Forgotten Stories of Women in the Buddha’s Life, (2016, Shambhala Publications), a groundbreaking new biography of the Buddha that relates his journey to awakening through the stories of Buddhism’s first women.