This biography of one of the few women in her generation to devote herself entirely to the pursuit of meditation also includes Dipa Ma’s spiritual teachings, which have made her a major figure in contemporary Buddhism.
A study of the life and teachings of Nani Bala Barua—the Indian saint more commonly known by her affectionate nickname, Dipa Ma (1911–1989). The book begins with a swift but engaging outline of Dipa Ma’s life, including her marriage at age 12, her struggle as a single mother to practice meditation, her mastery of such “supernatural powers” as mind reading and time travel and her eventual establishment in a tiny Calcutta apartment as a gentle, playful and world-renowned teacher of mindfulness—indeed, Dipa Ma deeply influenced such American Buddhist heavyweights as Sharon Salzberg and Jack Kornfield, who provide the foreword and afterword, respectively.
Next the book highlights a number of Dipa Ma’s teachings, such as “the mind is all stories”; “you can do anything you want to do”; and despite strongly patriarchal economic and religious systems, “you should not think that women are helpless.”
It rounds out the book by exploring Dipa Ma’s continuing legacy, including how many of her students continue to experience her presence even after her death. It is a compelling tribute to a beloved teacher whose “combination of gentleness, no pretense, and power” continues to inspire many interested in the Buddhist path.