Great news! This project is fully funded! Thank you to all the generous donors. You are keeping the roofs at Shugsep Nunnery and Institute from leaking and ensuring a healthy place for the nuns to live and study.
In the spring of 2018, we launched a special fundraising campaign to paint the metal roofs throughout the entire campus at Shugsep Nunnery and Institute in northern India.
Painting the roof of the nunnery is a huge job. The nunnery complex, which functions as a kind of Nyingma university, has 43,208 square feet of roofing. These roofs protect dormitories, classrooms, the dining hall, the prayer hall, and much more.
The roof is the most critical part of any building. If the roof leaks, living conditions quickly become unbearable (even dangerous because of mold) and the whole building can be destroyed.
Shugsep Nunnery and Institute was re-established in exile almost 10 years ago. Due to the extreme climate in northern India, including searing heat and torrential monsoon rains, substantial maintenance work needs to be done.
Without being properly sealed, the metal roofs will rust and leak. While the painting is being done, we will check all the roofs and do any necessary repair work.
Roof Painting Project
Making sure the roof is protected takes both preparation work and several coats of special paint. The roof painting project involves:
- Cleaning and sanding the tin roofing sheets and metal facias (the bands under the roof edges),
- Priming with one coat of top-quality red oxide paint to prevent rusting; and finally
- Painting with two coats of green enamel paint for the roofs and black enamel paint for the facias.
Unfortunately, all of the work needs to be done by hand with a brush, since spray equipment is not available anywhere in the area. We would like to start this important work in the fall of 2018, after the monsoon.
Thank you to all the donors to this big project! We will report back as soon as possible with news of the completed project.
To donate to another project or Area of Greatest Need, you can:
- Make a gift online – see below.
- Call our office in Seattle, US at 1-206-652-8901
- Mail a check to:
The Tibetan Nuns Project
815 Seattle Boulevard South #216
Seattle, WA 98134 USA
- Donate securities.
About Shugsep Nunnery
Shugsep Nunnery is the home and study center for about 85 nuns of the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. The nunnery was inaugurated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on December 10 2010.
The Shugsep nuns were forced to live in damp, moldy and overcrowded conditions before the new nunnery was built. Many of the Shugsep nuns escaped from Tibet en masse in 1991, arriving in India with nothing.
They came from the original Shugsep Nunnery in Tibet, an ancient seat of learning re-established over 100 years ago by the great hermit Topden Rinpoche. He taught Shugsep Jetsun Rinpoche, one of the most illustrious female practitioners in Tibetan history. She was the abbess of Shugsep Nunnery.
Here is a video made in 2006 telling the story of Shugsep Nunnery in Tibet and how it was re-established in India by the Tibetan Nuns Project. Note the roofs in the early days.
Because of the political situation in the late 1980s, many nuns fled to India and Nepal in search of freedom, safety, and the opportunity to study. Initially around 20 nuns settled in Dharamsala under the care of the Tibetan Nuns Project. That number quickly increased to over 80. The Tibetan Nuns Project helped set up a regular study program, following the 9-year Nyingma course developed at Namdroling Monastery in Bylakkupe, South India.
Around 40 nuns have now graduated, some of whom are teaching in other nunneries, many are in retreat in Nepal, and others remain at Shugsep nunnery in positions of responsibility, running the nunnery and training the younger nuns.