Geshema Kelsang Wangmo: Becoming the First Female Geshe

In this episode of the Wisdom Podcast Daniel Aitken traveled to Dharamsala, India to meet Geshema Kelsang Wangmo, a German-born nun who in 2011 made history by being the first woman to receive the prestigious geshe degree among Tibetan Buddhists. She shares with us extraordinary experiences in her scholastic journey, from the challenges she experienced as a Westerner and woman to the joys of studying her favorite subjects and the kindness of her teachers. Geshema Wangmo goes into detail about the rigorous program of study she completed over the course of seventeen years and discusses how beneficial studying can be as a tool for transforming the mind. She also looks to the horizon at what’s next for women in the tradition and speaks to the responsibility she feels to others as the first female geshe.

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Geshema Kelsang Wangmo is a German-born nun in the Geluk tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. A scholar and teacher, she was the first woman to receive the prestigious geshe degree—the equivalent of a PhD in Buddhist philosophy—from the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics in 2011.