Advance Praise for The Buddha’s Wife
“A brave and life-changing book, The Buddha’s Wife speaks to perhaps the greatest challenge of our time, our false sense of separateness. For all people of all faiths, The Buddha’s Wife shifts perception and thus opens us to possibility. It touched me deeply.” Frances Moore Lappe
“The Buddha’s Wife is a gripping telling of an amazing 2500-year-old story, followed by a collection of contemporary inspirational stories, and specific reflections and practices collected from the lives and work of ‘relational activists’ all over the world. Shem and Surrey brilliantly show how, by deep listening to one another and through ‘Circles of Care’—faith and spiritual groups of any kinds, Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-Step groups, grief-support groups, relational therapy, and our vital social movements—any of us can start on the path of healing together, bringing us through the suffering of isolation to the healing power of good connection—in couples, communities of all faiths and kinds, and efforts to tend to our troubled world. A great read and a practical guide for anyone who wants to ‘wake up’ and walk a path of healing with others.” Martin Sheen
“This long-untold story, a truly provocative teaching tale—timeless and timely, perfect for our disenchanted era—will prove useful and enlightening to those who seek to find freedom within relationships. Here is a whole fresh take on the well-tilled field of the historical Gotama Buddha’s life and teaching.” Lama Surya Das
“The Buddha’s Wife is a riveting tale that will move your heart and shift your focus to the precious beings around you. In our world, where the social fabric is torn by violence, greed, and neglect, this visionary story offers us an alternative path beyond individualism and self-preoccupation. Drawing on the deep wisdom of relational and spiritual practices that Surrey and Shem have studied, created, and engaged in over decades, this timeless and beautiful narrative shows us what deep attunement to ourselves and to one another looks like, as well as the means by which we can work to manifest it.” Mary Watkins
“The Buddha’s Wife is a visionary work of profound insight, imagination, compassion, and scholarship. In telling the lost story of Yasodhara, Surrey and Shem give us a lamp for our troubled times, illuminating new paths and practices for all relationships.” Susan M. Pollak
“Told with wisdom, clarity, and imagination, this remarkable story of the Buddha’s wife is relevant to all relationships and particularly important for women. This valuing of the spiritual path of many women as represented by She Who Stays is a gift to us all. In contrast to the individual focus of many spiritual practices, the focus on connection in relationship in this story illuminates how healing, growth, and the deepening of life occur in mutual relationships. In addition to this tale of a woman’s spiritual growth-in-connection, there is a Reader’s Companion to help illuminate the spiritual principles and practices reflected in Yosodhara’s story.” Stephanie S. Covington, Ph.D.
“Through a delightfully imaginative retelling of the Buddha’s story from the perspective of his wife and others left behind, this innovative book brings alive relational Buddhism—the possibility of awakening through connection with others. Filled with practical insights and practices, it invites us to reflect on the origins of what we often take for granted in Buddhist teaching. This book is essential reading for anyone wishing to live a richer, happier, more connected life.” Ronald D. Siegel, Psy.D.