The Story of a Nun from Tilokpur: Tenzin

My name is Tenzin Palmo and I was born in 1969 outside of Wangdu, Bhutan. I lived on a farm three hours by foot from the village. There were no buses near my home; we had to walk everywhere. The area was flat with few trees, cold in the winter and grassy in the summer. We grew rice, barley, and wheat and we raised cattle.

I was never able to attend school in Bhutan. I worked on our farm with my brothers and sisters. My parents, my three sisters, and two brothers still live in Bhutan. Both of my brothers are monks.

Ever since I was a small child, I wanted to be a nun. I used to wear nuns’ clothes even before I was ordained. In my village, 15 and 16-year-old girls were already being married off by their parents. I didn’t want my parents to do that to me, so at 15, I told them I was going to a teaching in Darjeeling. When I arrived at the teaching, I asked to be ordained, and received my first and second ordinations from Jamgon Rinpoche. Then I returned to Bhutan and lived with my parents for some time. Later, I went to live with a nun who was a hermit. I lived in a cave with her and she taught me to read and write Tibetan prayer books.

I came to Tilokpur Nunnery in March of 1994. I like it here and I want to practice Buddhism all my life.