The Exceptional Tare Lhamo: Transcending Gender Through Agentive Means

This is a chapter analysis from Holly Gayley’s Love Letters from Golok: A Tantric Couple in Modern Tibet (2016). Chapter one is titled “Daughter of Golok: Tare Lhamo’s Life and Context.” I wrote this chapter analysis and thought it would be useful to think with other Tibetans who are especially interested in considering gender in Tibetan Buddhism. This is a continuation of my project to engage historic female figures of Tibet. Tare Lhamo is especially interesting because she was born before China’s invasion of Tibet, she lived through the invasion, followed by Culture Revolution until its end, and was part of the religious cohort in Tibet who began reviving Tibetan Buddhism from the destruction of Culture Revolution. She becomes an important figure to consider when we think about different subjectivities of Tibetan women in Tibetan history. I hope you’ll find the following analysis useful and tempt you to read the book yourself.

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