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Freda Bedi's Big Life

Updated: Nov 3, 2018


Mandala: What inspired you to write this book?

Vicki Mackenzie: I never met Freda Bedi. It was such a shame. But from my earliest days in the Dharma, I heard about her. I went to Kopan in November 1976 for my first course there, and she had just visited. There was a buzz because Lama Yeshe had brought her into the gompa, into “the Tent” as it was then called, and put her on the throne. He made three full-length prostrations to her. Unfortunately, she died shortly afterwards, in 1977.

Then when I was writing the book Cave in the Snow, I heard about her from Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, who had helped her at her Young Lamas Home School. Tenzin Palmo said she was such an extraordinary woman, a powerhouse. She had an incredible life, a big life, many lives in one lifetime. So my ears pricked up. And after Cave in the Snow, Tenzin Palmo kept saying, you really must write a book about Freda Bedi, women need inspirational role models. But I wasn’t interested then because I didn’t want to write a book on another British woman who had become a Tibetan nun! She kept pushing though. And then I got a letter from Ranga Bedi, Freda Bedi’s eldest son, saying we’re looking for someone to write a book about our mother. He said the Dalai Lama thought a book should be written. His Holiness didn’t specify me, but I thought, “Well, if His Holiness thinks a book should be written … I’ll take it on.”  Read more...



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