Budding Lotus in the West

Buddhism from an Immigrant's Feminist Perspective

Budding Lotus in the West

Buddhism from an Immigrant's Feminist Perspective

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Available September 24, 2024

A thought-provoking and critical exploration of Buddhism's adaptation in America from Vietnamese immigrant and debut author Nhi Yến Đ Trn.

Born into a family legacy of Buddhist spirituality in Việt Nam, Trần immigrated to the US at age ten. Budding Lotus in the West follows her journey and unveils the complexities of how Buddhist teachings are used in America. With raw authenticity, Trần shares personal anecdotes, weaving together the mosaic of her own experiences with Buddhism, and provides readers with a fundamental understanding of key Buddhist concepts and traditions. Trần examines the interplay between ancient wisdom and contemporary challenges, inviting spiritual seekers and curious minds to engage critically with Buddhism in a way that resonates with contemporary life.

For example, what would the Buddha say about abortion, gun, and LGBTQIA+ rights? Or about prejudice, discrimination, and gender equality? How can practitioners more skillfully navigate romance in the sangha community? Whether you are a longtime Buddhist practitioner or just beginning to explore the religion, Budding Lotus in the West offers a critical examination, providing wisdom, inspiration, and a path toward a more balanced and inclusive understanding of Buddhism in the modern world.


Nhi Yến Đỗ Trần gives us a precious gift: clarity that is born of her deep spiritual practice, scholarship, and humanity. She reveals a spirituality in its purest form--stripped of the same toxic additives that the Buddha rejected. Nhi welcomes us into her own uneasy journey toward enlightenment and compels us to see clearly by removing our egos--the egos that have, over centuries, extinguished many aspects of the female form. Whether you are curious about Buddhism or a devout follower, this book will motivate your desire to seek truth in everything.

Inger Piena Brinck, Staff to President Clinton's Advisory Council on Ending Violence Against Women, Speaker at World Bank Women's Peace Conference, Former Cabinet Member of Washington State Governor Jay Inslee

In this powerful and timely collection of insights, Nhi Yến Đỗ Trần examines centuries of Buddhist doctrine through a contemporary feminist lens. With intelligence, compassion, and wry wit, she interprets the Buddha's teachings as they relate to current issues such as abortion, gun rights, and gender equality. Nhi combines scholarly analysis with personal experience and a dash of skepticism, handling her topics with both the firm hand they warrant and a light touch that makes for compelling and approachable reading. What results is an engaging and refreshing perspective on Buddhist philosophy for committed followers and a fresh and intriguing insight for the curious.

Lisa Manterfield, Author of All Our Lies Are True

Budding Lotus in the West offers a timely look at modern issues and concerns in light of traditional Buddhism, illuminating Buddhism from a personal and cultural perspective. Nhi intertwines her personal story of being raised in a traditional Buddhist family with a necessary new understanding of ancient Buddhist texts and teachings.

Eileen Kiera, Dharma Teacher & Founder of Mountain Lamp Community

A captivating, engaging, and insightful journey--I couldn't put it down and find myself eager to share it with my Buddhist friends. Nhi's rich experience and personal accounts add a unique dimension, bridging traditional Buddhist practice with the contemporary American context. Her approach of treating ancient wisdom as hypotheses to be validated through individual experiences offers a refreshing perspective. Budding Lotus in the West is an invaluable guide for anyone navigating the complexities of modern spirituality.

Jeremy Sherman, Member of Cherry Blossom Sangha & Former Buddhist Monastic Aspirant

Regardless of your familiarity with Buddhism, Budding Lotus in the West brims with smart insights and a nuanced analysis of a globally revered religion. In our polarized world, Nhi's perspective is a breath of fresh air--firm yet kind, imbued with the heartfelt sincerity of a dedicated Buddhist. Beyond its depth, her personal narrative is endearing, relatable, and delightfully witty.

Julie Pham, PhD, Creator of the 7 Forms of Respect, CEO of CuriosityBased.com, Co-owner of Northwest Vietnamese News

Budding Lotus in the West is an essential, thought-provoking addition to Buddhist literature. It provides a deep dive into the Buddha's teachings, blending them with engaging stories of his disciples and Nhi's insightful, occasionally hilarious personal anecdotes. Equally instructive and entertaining, it addresses modern issues like abortion, marriage equality, and racism. This book is needed for our world, and everyone--Buddhist or not--would benefit from reading and reflecting on its many helpful and timely lessons.

Vu Le, Creator of NonprofitAF.com & Founding Board Member, Community-Centric Fundraising

Product Info

  • Publisher Broadleaf Books
  • Format Hardcover
  • ISBN 9781506495149
  • eBook ISBN 9781506495156
  • Dimensions 5.75 x 8.75
  • Pages 266
  • Publication Date September 24, 2024