Dolma Ling Nunnery and Institute in northern India is a special place.
Here are the latest photographs from Dolma Ling’s media nuns. We hope they bring you joy and help convey the impact of your support.
Dolma Ling was established by the Tibetan Nuns Project to educate and empower nuns of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition as teachers and leaders, and to sustain Tibetan religion and culture. It is now home to about 250 nuns. Most nuns have sponsors, but new sponsors are always needed.
The nunnery is unique because it offers a 17-year curriculum of traditional Buddhist philosophy and debate, as well as modern courses in Tibetan language, English, basic mathematics, and computer skills. The nuns also receive training in the ritual arts such as sand mandalas and butter sculpture.
The nuns helped to build the nunnery and they work hard to maintain it. The large campus is near Dharamsala at the foothills of the Indian Himalayas, one of the wettest areas in India. In the summer of 2023, the monsoon rains were very intense.
The academic year begins in early spring after Losar, the Tibetan New Year. Throughout the year, the nuns have exams and quizzes as they pursue their degrees. The Tibetan Nuns Project aims to elevate the educational standards and the position of women within the monastic community.
The ultimate goal is to empower the nuns to become teachers and leaders in their own right and to help preserve Tibet’s unique culture and religion.
In September, Sikyong Penpa Tsering, the political leader of the Central Tibetan Administration, visited three nunneries supported by the Tibetan Nuns Project: Dolma Ling, Shugsep, and Geden Choeling Nunnery. His visits were part of his assessment tour of the Tibetan refugee community in India.
The curriculum is divided into two parts: (1) secular subjects such as Tibetan language, Tibetan history, English, social sciences, mathematics, and science and (2) monastic education. The nuns have quizzes and exams and are now able to proceed through a degree-granting program.
In September, students from Upper TCV school (the Tibetan Children’s Village) visited Dolma Ling and learned about monastic debate from the nuns. These photos show the growing role of nuns as teachers and leaders in the Tibetan exile community.
Debating is an essential part of monastic education in the Tibetan tradition and combines logical thinking with a deeper understanding of Buddhist philosophy.
In late October, dozens of nuns set off for the holy city of Bodh Gaya to attend the annual Jang Gonchoe Inter-Nunnery debate. In Bodh Gaya, they will join hundreds of nuns from nunneries in India and Nepal. The costs are funded by our Jang Gonchoe Endowment Fund. We are now fundraising for our Long-Term Stability Fund.
Thanks to your support, the Tibetan Nuns Project has created a ground-breaking education system to preserve Tibetan culture and equip and empower these dedicated women to become leaders in the modern world.
“The Buddhist philosophy of tolerance and compassion has something very important to offer in a world full of intolerance and hatred… As a Tibetan, I feel it is very important that an organization like the Tibetan Nuns Project makes it possible for nuns to study and practice their religion and thus contribute to the preservation of Buddhism and the unique Tibetan culture,” said Tseten Phanucharas, TNP Board Member. Thank you for your support!