Giving thanks: What our supporters say about the Tibetan Nuns Project

Through our online survey many people from around the world have shared their stories about how they learned about the Tibetan Nuns Project. They’ve also told us why the nuns and the Tibetan Nuns Project are important in their lives.

5 Tibetan Buddhist nuns hold a thank you sign in Tibetan and EnglishWe are so grateful to everyone who have shared their thoughts and ideas with us. Many of you have given us permission to share your words with a wider audience.

So today, in honor of US Thanksgiving, we give thanks to all our supporters around the world and share a small selection of their stories and words of kindness.

Sue in Alaska wrote: “My husband and I have been very pleased with the Tibetan Nuns Project as an organization over the years… We were fortunate to be able to travel to Dharamsala in 2006 with the Tibetan Nuns Project. It was an extraordinary trip and being able to meet the nun we had been sponsoring for over 8 years was an awesome experience. She showed us her room at the old Shugsep Nunnery and we shared photos from our home in Alaska with her. We really appreciated the work that TNP did to make the trip possible. In December 2010, we returned to Dharamsala for the inauguration of the new Shugsep Nunnery, presided over by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. It was for us a once-in-a-life time experience. I support the Tibetan Nuns Project because my husband and I have seen the incredible work that TNP has done to benefit the nuns and the larger Tibetan refugee community of India. With a modest number of staff, TNP has accomplished so much, including the beautiful new nunneries of Dolma Ling and Shugsep.”

Inauguration ceremony 2010 of Shugsep Nunnery

Inauguration of Shugsep Nunnery and Institute December 7 2010. Photo courtesy of Susan and Carl Shrader

Shirley in Vancouver, BC said: “I already feel connected to the nuns. I am so happy that they are safe and able to study the dhamma with such wonderful teachers such as His Holiness the Dalai Lama and also to be further educated in language and computer skills needed in the world. It is wonderful that they are also charging ahead in managing their production of food and the relationship to the environment. They are an inspiration to us.”

Anna in Warsaw, Poland said: “I support Tibetans with all my heart. Their struggle for freedom and for dignity in everyday life especially of Tibetans living in Tibet. I find it difficult to accept the fact that Tibetans are forced to leave their homes and walk the mountains for any amount of freedom and education. I believe those who did that should be given the best care, education and opportunities for their new life. I would like to support the education of nuns as I find it a basic freedom and most important possibility for improving the life of the people from remote and poor communities. Equality of women is also one of most important issues for me.”

Mary in Fernie, BC Canada said: “Since my teen years I’ve been attracted to the contemplative, monastic life but did not take the opportunity to select that path for myself. Helping another woman to practice as a nun, whether it is a result of her choice or her circumstance, brings me joy.”

Tibetan Buddhist nun sitting examsDebi in Boynton Beach, Florida told us:  “A very dear, now departed, Buddhist friend who would eventually become my spiritual teacher mentioned the Tibetan Nuns Project to me in passing one day, and as I began to learn more about Buddhism from him, I asked how I could contribute to the Buddhist community being so detached from any sort of Buddhist group (the closest temple I know of is a few hours away). That’s when my friend reminded me of the Tibetan Nuns Project, and it has been my pleasure to support the project ever since. It gives me great pleasure to know that I can support a program that helps young Buddhist women live and educate themselves in a safe environment.”

Shelley in Australia told us: “The Dharma needs to be nurtured and spread across the globe every moment that we have the chance. If my contribution assists a special nun to do this, then it motivates me to study more and practice loving kindness wherever I can. I have all my needs met; I believe everyone deserves this also. My heart breaks for the inhuman treatment of many sentient beings, if I’m able to assist one, then that is one more than none. There is much wisdom in the Dharma, and more people need to hear and practice this. 🙂 xx I have also loved receiving mail from Tashi. This gives me so much joy when I see her mail in my letter box xx Two women living completely different lives, but being able to connect though the Tibetan Nuns Project 🙂 xx”

Tibetan Buddhist nuns performing puj

Tibetan Buddhist nuns performing puja at Dolma Ling Nunnery. Photo courtesy of Brian Harris

Laura in Nanaimo, BC Canada wrote: “I have a great deal of compassion for the Tibetan people and the struggles that they endure. Sponsoring a nun through the Tibetan Nuns Project, purchasing products made by them, and making a donation for pujas is my simple way of saying that I care. I am committed to the education and support of these women. Thank you to the Tibetan Nun’s Project for being the liaison.”

Bonnie in Orangevale, California said: “In the mid-1990s I had an opportunity to see the Dalai Lama in Santa Barbara and felt such pain for the plight of Tibet. When I saw the ad in Tricycle for sponsoring a Buddhist nun, I knew this could be one way to give back something for all that I was given to be born and raised in the US. A most powerful reward is to get a handwritten letter from one of “my” nuns which always moves me to tears. I don’t know why I love the Tibetan people so much but they seem to be so filled with love and depth and so deserving of being allowed to live in freedom and peace.”

Tenzin in Long Beach, California said: “Nuns hold a special place in my heart. As a layperson, I am in a position to support the nuns. My support means they can focus on their studies and practices. That is the most important thing. The heritage and tradition of female practitioners and teachers must continue for the benefit of the world and the flourishing of the Dharma.”

Tibetan Buddhist nun studying in classroom Tibetan Nuns Project

Tibetan Buddhist nun studying at Dolma Ling Nunnery. Photo courtesy of Brian Harris

Robert in Canmore, Alberta Canada wrote: “I firmly believe if we are going to save this planet and its creatures that the Tibetan Buddhist teaching and culture will be critical to our mission. By sponsoring a nun it sets an example for my children to follow. Helping those that are less fortunate helps me to fulfill my life’s destiny.”

Constance in Seattle wrote: “The Tibetan Nuns Project provides opportunity to directly impact women’s lives who have endured a lot to get to this hopeful situation. From a Tibetan Buddhist perspective, there is no greater virtuous effort than supporting those who dedicate themselves to studying and teaching the path to ‘awakening’.”

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