Some of you may know that a big storm erupted online around the book “The First Free Women”. These poems are dear to my heart, and I have put many hours of love and care into helping the book come into being, working alongside the author of the poems, Matty Weingast. Through unclear marketing by the publishers, and my own lack of clarity in presenting the poems, some people have been misled into thinking that this book is a literal translation of the Therigatha. It is not and was never intended to be that.
I would like to apologize to anyone who has been misled by my presentation of the poems and for any confusion that has resulted from this. The publishers have retracted the book and will reissue it as “original poetry” in June 2021. It is important to clarify that this book is not a literal translation of scripture, but a free interpretation of the poems of the early Buddhist nuns (Therigatha) by Matty Weingast.
Unfortunately, along with concerns about the title and categorization of the original version of the book, accusations of profiteering, racism and sexism were also made in regard to the book and its author. I address these accusations in “Returning to Our Core Values” HERE.
If you would like to study the original poems of the Theris, there are several translations of the Therigatha listed HERE on Ayya Sudhamma’s website. May they lead you ever deeper in the Dhamma. For an artist’s impression of the 13 Foremost Arahant Bhikkhunis, you can find a gallery of drawings HERE.
May we find a way to meet across our differences.
With much metta,