At the end of October 2013, thanks to the generous support of Tibetan Nuns Project donors and to the hard work of the nuns themselves, the construction, furnishing and landscaping of 8 permanent retreat huts at Dolma Ling Nunnery and Institute near Dharamsala, India was completed.
Retreats are a core part of Buddhist practice and these huts will allow the nuns to develop their own insight and knowledge in complete privacy. This is the first time that retreat facilities have been available at Dolma Ling Nunnery, home to about 250 nuns.
Each hut consists of a simple room with a bathroom and kitchen area. They are each furnished with a bed, a storage cupboard, a table, a prostration board, provisions for the small kitchen area and supplies for the small bathroom. One solar panel per hut provides light, power and warm water so that the huts are sustainable and ecologically sound.
The nuns themselves worked hard to help build the huts, carrying heavy loads of bricks and other building materials to the work site. They also helped in the construction of the stone and cement walkways and, this autumn, in the landscaping of the areas around the huts, planting bamboo and other ornamental plants.
The Tibetan Nuns Project would like to thank its supporters for their acts of acts of kindness and generosity in helping the nuns on their spiritual path. These donors have practiced the paramita (perfection) of generosity and it is said that, “The merit from supporting one who walks the Noble path is great, especially one who renounces the world on the spiritual path, enabling them to devote their time fully to the practice and study of the Dharma, and ensuring that the precious teaching of the Buddha will be preserved, ultimately bringing great benefits to all sentient beings!”
The Story of Dolma Ling
Dolma Ling Nunnery and Institute is set in a serene area of the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh at the foothills of the Himalayas. Construction of Dolma Ling began in 1993 and the major parts of the nunnery were completed in 2005. Dolma Ling was officially inaugurated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on December 8, 2005. It is now home to about 250 nuns and is open to those from all schools of Tibetan Buddhism. It is the first institution of its kind to offer this sort of education to Tibetan women. Dolma Ling was built through the generous contributions of Tibetan Nuns Project donors.
The retreat huts at Dolma Ling are among the final 3 big construction projects at the nunnery. The other two are:
- the debate courtyard roof which was completed on Oct 3rd 2013 in time for the annual Jang Gonchoe debate session but which has yet to be fully funded;
- the new Media Center building and nuns’ café which is a major project for which the Tibetan Nuns Project will be fundraising in 2013 and 2014.