born 1943

For her 21st birthday, Tenzin Palmo received a gift many young women like her had never even heard of: a Guru. But, this fishmonger's daughter from London's East End had spent her short life searching for answers + a place to belong, and in 1964, she found them in Tibetan Buddhism.

She was catapulted to relative fame in the West when she emerged from a 12-year seclusion in a remote Himalayan cave to begin teaching and speaking about her quest for Enlightenment. Today, her work continues to help overcome centuries of inequality between women and men in Buddhist practice while guiding scores of young women ~ so often marginalized ~ on their own search for inner spark.

bio bits

her quotes

all quotes by Tenzin Palmo (8)

"I have made a vow to attain Enlightenment in the female form—no matter how many lifetimes it takes."

Cave in the Snow | september 1998

"My life has been like a river, it has flowed steadily in one direction."

Cave in the Snow | september 1998

"Only we can save ourselves. God is inside, it's not something out, sitting in the sky pulling the strings. And you have to rediscover your own inner spark of the divine."

Cave in the Snow | october 2002

"Being a mother and a wife is very much dharma practice if one uses one’s intelligence. Where do you need generosity, patience and so on, more than when bringing up a child?"

Lady Buddha | july 2006

"If all we want is to be happy, then we may wish to be born in our next lives as a poodle!"

full bloom: A profile of Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo | june 2009

"In our modern society, self-aggrandizement is regarded as a virtue. This is a fundamental delusion."

Waking Up | 2011

"Whether you're high caste or low caste, you're all breathing the same air."

Tenzin Palmo: The Nature of the Mind | april 2014

"It's very important that we should also acknowledge the goodness in ourselves and not always be endlessly flagellating our selves about that which is wrong."

The Art of Impermanence | april 2014
  • Quotabelle profile
  • Tenzin Palmo

curated with care by Meghan Miller Brawley {june 2014}