Send messages of support to Geshema candidates

When you’re facing big challenges, it feels great to know that people are wishing you good luck. You can send a message of support to the Geshema candidates by writing a comment on this blog.

From August 15-26 2018, 45 Tibetan Buddhist nuns will sit various levels of their Geshema exams. To attain the Geshema degree, the nuns must take four years of exams. (Earlier we reported that there were 46 nuns, but one of the nuns taking first-year exams had to postpone and return home to care for her ailing mother.) The Geshema exams take place over 4 years and are the culmination of a rigorous 17-year course of study.

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Nuns reading messages of good luck and support from other nuns prior to the 2016 Geshema candidates. We’re collecting messages from support from you and will send them to the nuns taking their exams in August 2018.

The Geshema degree (or Geshe degree for monks) is roughly equivalent to a PhD in Tibetan Buddhism. Until recently, this degree was only open to men. In the last two years, 26 Tibetan Buddhist nuns have made history and earned this degree. Geshes and Geshemas are the most educated monastics, carrying much of the responsibility for preserving the Tibetan religion and culture.

Here’s a little video about the 2018 Geshema exams. [Can’t see the video? Click here.]

The nuns taking their exams this year gathered at Dolma Ling Nunnery and Institute on July 15th to make their final preparations and studies.

In August 2018 there will be:

  • 12 nuns taking their first-year exams
  • 15 nuns doing their 2nd year
  • 8 nuns doing their 3rd year
  • 10 Geshema candidates doing their fourth and final year of exams. All being well, there will be 10 new Geshema graduates this fall.
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A Tibetan Buddhist nun takes her Geshema exams in 2017. Photo by the Nuns’ Media Team

The Geshemas are paving the way for other nuns to follow in their footsteps. This degree will make them eligible to assume various leadership roles in their monastic and lay communities reserved for degree holders and hence previously not open to women.

On December 22, 2016, His Holiness the Dalai Lama awarded 20 Tibetan Buddhist nuns with Geshema degrees at a special graduation ceremony at Drepung Monastery in Mundgod, South India.

We are seeking donations to help to cover the costs of travel for the Geshema candidates to and from Dolma Ling Nunnery and for their food during their 6-week study and exam period. You can donate here.

In November 2017, another 6 nuns graduated with their Geshema degrees. They received their degrees in a special ceremony on November 5th. The six new Geshemas had the opportunity to join the Geshemas who received their degrees in December 2016 in a groundbreaking new Buddhist tantric studies program. This two-year program at Dolma Ling Nunnery started in November 2017 and is funded by generous supporters through the Tibetan Nuns Project.

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Tibetan Buddhist nuns had in their exam papers during the Geshema exams in 2017. Photo by the Nuns’ Media Team

54 thoughts on “Send messages of support to Geshema candidates

    1. Penelope A. Tarasuk

      I send my deepest respect for your studies and your devotion to evolving wisdom. I celebrate your coming initiation that occurs in this examination process. May you find the courage, strength, and capacity to focus in this very special moment of your life. Namaste,
      Penelope Tarasuk

  1. Michelle Schulz

    Hello to you from Canada! I wish all of you taking exams the very best of luck, but even more, the heartfelt wish for you to shine. It is very important for you, and for people around the world, that you are able to preserve and protect the precious teachings you have studied. May you all excel, and blessings radiate for all.

    Much metta to you,

  2. Timothy Powell

    All the best, all my prayers, and all the best of luck to all of you. You all make the world shine and a better place. You got this!!

  3. Carole

    To All the Geshema Candidates,
    You are an inspiration. Beings have already benefited from your study.and dedication. Thank you
    for your efforts. You help insure the survival of the Dharma. May you all successfully complete
    your exams. May the benefits of your accomplishments be universal.

  4. Moondil Jahan

    I was delighted when I learned the news that the nuns can earn Geshe degree! What remarkable milestone in the history of Tibetan Buddhism! All the very best to all the nuns who will be taking the exam this year!

    with a lotus,

  5. Teresa

    Much love and light, ladies. Good luck on your upcoming exams. Sending prayers and encouragement from Indiana ❤.

  6. Nick R

    I am proud of all of you for your studies, diligence, and continuing growth.
    Best wishes on your exams!

    May you continue to inspire others and make the world a better place!

  7. Erika Suderburg

    Love and success to all our sisters! What a wonderful thing. Thank you for studying the Dharma so well! And sharing it!

  8. Tenzin Norgyun

    Best wishes on your exams! I am so happy for all of you that you have studied so hard and made it this far. You are an inspiration to all women in the Dharma all over the world. You can do it!!!!

  9. Nathan Chen

    As a PhD in science and a long-time supporter of TNP, I am delighted by the news and admire the perseverance of the nuns. May Buddhism long live!

    1. julia pigeon

      Sending best wishes to you all from the UK , you are an inspiration to all women who seek a better future, and the Buddha”s teaching is safe in your hands

  10. Ani Chonid

    As a western woman in my 60’s who was just ordained last year, I am deeply appreciative for all of you who have dedicated your lives to Dharma from an early age, and very proud of you for the many years of study towards your Geshema degrees. Congratulations!

  11. janis

    love and blessings to you all! what extraordinary courage, strength and superior commitment you are all engaged in. showing us how dedication to the Dharma life can be done and the happiness derived from such actions. you are paving the way for the rest of us. THANK YOU!!!
    i have often thought of becoming a buddhist nun…

  12. Anisha D

    All the best to you all for the upcoming exams! You are truly benefiting so many sentient beings by studying and practicing the dharma.
    Thank you so much!

  13. Anisha Dhungana

    All the best to you all for the upcoming exams. You are benefiting so many sentient beings by studying and practicing the dharma.
    Thank you so much!

  14. Anisha D

    All the best to you all for the upcoming exams. You are benefiting so many sentient beings by studying and practicing the dharma.
    Thank you so much!

  15. Eva Hassel Afzelius

    I wish you all the best of luck.
    I will think of you this days and pray for you to have the clearest mind and the best awareness.
    Thank you 🙏 ❤️

  16. Mags

    Dear Esteemed Buddhist Teachers & Leaders,

    Your students await you now and in tbe future. May your practices and insights strengthen and sustain your dreams of liberation and freedom. We are cheering all ways for your success and happiness.

  17. Alexa Saunders

    Such joy in learning is inspiring. May your efforts bring you joy and a future of teaching and further learning.

  18. Peggy Sue McRae

    You have studied hard now your work will show happy results. Blessing and love to you as you go into your exams.

  19. Stephen Kruidenier

    Blessings to all the nuns! Homage to your vows, compassion and desire to be of benefit to all of us stuck in ignorance. May the Bodhisattvas guide and assist you in your studies and exams.

  20. Barbara Haines

    Good luck with your continuing studies! We will all be thinking of you and wishing you the best, in great appreciation of your diligence and hard work!

  21. James M. Calderone

    Many Blessings to all! We will hold you ion prayer at the St. Martin Luther Kimng, Jr. Pastoral Outreach Center in Pennsylvania, USA.

    Peace and All Good.

  22. Paula Hamje

    All the best to you during this examination period. What a wonderful opportunity for you – access to this education that will sustain you for a lifetime. Learning is fun and you’ll never forget this blessed time of your life. And you are such a blessing to this world. Good luck!

  23. Michelle Powell

    Thank you my peers for studying so much to share the dharma in the future with others who will benefit

    Certainly women are the same as men. Especially in intellect and dharma capability. Thank you for making that so obvious now that the opportunity has been made available!!

  24. Kathleen Herron

    Wishing you joy , patience and courage in your exams. Thank you for all your efforts to bring Dharma peace and wisdom to this troubled world.

  25. Marianne Kenady

    Dear Sisters, Your dedication to Dharma studies is breathtaking ! I wish you the greatest success in your exams and great satisfaction in your achievements and in all you do in life.

  26. Craig Hase

    All of the world all of us are inspired by your efforts. Thank you for studying deeply for the benefit of all of us!

  27. Sandy Gougis

    To All the Geshema Candidates,
    Hello from Southern California. You are an inspiration to women everywhere. Thank you for taking on such a challenging path. Best of luck to you on your exams!

  28. Carolyn Treadway

    Your dedication to your studies and to your Tibetan culture is simply awesome. Thank you for your contributions to your branch of Buddhism and to our world. All best wishes for your soon forthcoming exams. I will be holding you in my prayers.

  29. Cecilia kc

    Your persistent efforts are sure to be rewarded. Our prayers for your success! Rejoicing for your opportunities to be tested & to achieve your degrees; may all who seek educational opportunities be so blessed! Congratulations!

  30. Lyn Francis

    Wishing you all the best for your examinations. Lots of love and light on this journey!! Lyn from Australia

  31. Karen Dorton

    Good luck to you all. The nun I sponsor was one of the first group to become a Geshema and I am so proud of her and I know that you all will make your own nunneries, families, friends and most particularly His Holiness proud of you when you pass your exams!

  32. Victoria

    Dear candidates, you study and practice Dharma so intensively, you are the saviours of sentient beings, thank you for your kindness.

  33. Alison

    Very best wishes to everyone for success in your exams, and much joy on the road! You are all an inspiration to women around the world.

  34. Poke

    Congratulations to all the Geshema candidates at all levels for achieving so much knowledge, previously not made available to the women. May it all be reflected in your exam results, and may you carry on to be blessings to every being you encounter, in whatever role and relationship.

  35. John Mullins

    We’re delighted to know you’ve come so far with your education. You have a cheering section here for you under our roof. What a tremendous accomplishment lies ahead. We wish you the very best during your testing and attaining the degree.

  36. marsha jinen gransee conway

    Venerable Tenzin Dolma and all who are taking the exams;

    You are guiding lights and sources of inspiration and hope for so many. Many, many beings bow with gratitude and support all your efforts.

    Love and good wishes!

  37. Wayne and Marylynne

    To the Venerable Lobsang Choedon and all of the exam candidates, please know that we are so proud of all of your past accomplishments, and know that this is just the beginning for you. We wish you the best of luck in your exams, and know that we strongly support your efforts. With our best wishes,

  38. Emilia Della Torre

    Tashi delek! Good wishes for your successful studies. I am so happy for each and every one of you. Emilia from Australia


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