On March 25th, the Indian Prime Minister ordered 1.3 billion people to stay home in a 21-day lockdown to fight COVID-19.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama shared a special message regarding the coronavirus pandemic on March 30th.
Update on the Health and Safety of the Nuns
We don’t have news from all the nunneries, but here’s what we know about the health and safety of the nuns to date.
In Himachal Pradesh, the India state where five of the seven nunneries we support are, there is a curfew as well as the lockdown. On Thursday, His Holiness the Dalai Lama wrote to the Chief Minister to express support for his efforts to control the coronavirus.
In Kangra district, home to Dolma Ling, Shugsep, Tilokpur, and Geden Choeling nunneries, people were allowed out to buy essentials from 7 to 11 am. But the local vegetable shops near Dolma Ling were completely closed. When the Tibetan Nuns Project staff called a local vegetable vendor, he told them to stay indoors and not to risk breaking the curfew.
The good news is that Dolma Ling and Shugsep nunneries had already prepared and bought rations to last a month.
The nunneries may need to get a special permit from the government to use their jeeps for shopping. Under the lockdown, the use of vehicles is completely stopped.
The nuns are more prepared for the pandemic thanks to many past projects you’ve helped us complete. These include the tofu-making facility, the food storage lockers, the cowshed, and the trucks for both Dolma Ling and Shugsep. Thank you!
On Sunday, the nuns at Dolma Ling sprayed chlorine in all nunnery buildings to sanitize the area.
Classes, morning assemblies, and pujas are all stopped. The nuns no longer eat together in the dining halls. Instead, nuns and staff bring their dishes down to collect food and then eat their meals in their rooms.
Prayers and Mantras
Unfortunately, to stay safe and to comply with government recommendations, the nuns can no longer perform group pujas or prayers.
The nuns have sent mantras. You might find them helpful.
The first is the Tāra mantra: OṂ TARE TUTTĀRE TURE SVĀHĀ
The nuns have a special connection to Tara, the female Buddha who embodies the wisdom and the compassion of all enlightened beings. The Tibetan for Tara is “Dolma” and Dolma Ling means “Place of Tara”.
We’ll update this page with more mantras over time.
Update from the Seattle Office
Although the physical Seattle office is closed, we are working remotely. You can contact us by email at email@example.com or by phone at 206-652-8901.
It is still possible to order products, but not to order Pujas (prayers). We will ship product orders as soon as possible, but we cannot give you an exact date.
On March 12, we announced the safety precautions the Tibetan Nuns Project is taking with orders. These included disinfecting the entire office and using gloves when packaging products.
We thank you so much for your continued support of the Tibetan Nuns Project during these challenging times.
We wish you all good health.