Roshi Ilia Shinko Perez’s recent publication “The Zen Priestess and the Snake” is the powerful true story of a woman inspired by her visions of the Sacred Feminine. Her experiences of encountering the Mother Goddess gave her the strength to overcome the challenges she faced as a woman in the Zen hierarchy, until finally she overcame patriarchal barriers to find her true home as an American Zen Master.
Roshi Shinko steps outside the conventions of traditional Zen Buddhist books to share her personal journey from her colorful childhood in Puerto Rico through her upbringing in Fascist Spain to her role as co-founder and Abbess of the Maitreya Abbey retreat center in Colorado. She also shares her research and her spiritual insights and practices, inviting the reader to consider an awakened feminine viewpoint on Zen in America. Shinko makes a case for bringing the wisdom of the Sacred Feminine back into Buddhism and leads us through centuries-old practices derived from the Mother Goddess tradition, teaching us how to incorporate these practices into contemporary spiritual life.