I wrote my May Buddhistdoor column on the transitions between monastic and lay life for Buddhist women, and the balancing act between wanting a family and wanting a life of spiritual transformation. Here’s a quote from my interview with Kaira Jewel Lingo, formerly Sister Jewel:
Leaving the monastic order was not easy. First and foremost, Lingo loved being a nun. Monastic life was a “very strong container of practice and mindfulness energy. Anyone who came in contact with it was transformed by it,” she says. “It was so inspiring to me.” In addition, she took her vows seriously. The expectations of her order were that she would remain a monastic and serve all beings, as she had vowed to do; but the desire to start a family stayed with her. Finally she could no longer ignore it. “If I’m suppressing this desire [in order] to meet others’ expectations, I won’t be a very good nun,” she thought to herself.