On October 4th, 208 Tibetan Buddhist nuns from 8 nunneries in India and Nepal gathered at Dolma Ling Nunnery and Institute near Dharamsala, India for the start of the month-long Jang Gonchoe debate session.
The nuns have just sent the following photographs showing the start of the event.
The nuns have come from the following nunneries:
- Khachoe Gakyi Ling Nunnery in Nepal
- Thukje Choling Nunnery in Nepal
- Nangchoe Teney Nunnery in Kinnaur, northern India
- Dhongyue Gatseling in Tashi Jong, India
- Jamyang Choeling Nunnery in Dharamsala, India
- Jangchub Choeling Nunnery in Mundgod, south India
- Geden Choeling Nunnery in McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala, India and
- Dolma Ling Nunnery and Institute, near Dharamsala, which is the host nunnery for this year’s annual Jang Gonchoe debate session.
This brings the number of nuns at Dolma Ling Nunnery to over 450 for this very special month-long event.
The chief guest for the Jang Gonchoe is Mr. Pema Chonjor, Kalon (Minister) of the Department of Religion for the Tibetan Government.
Monastic debate is of critical importance in traditional Tibetan Buddhist learning. Through debate, the nuns test and consolidate their classroom learning with the motivation of ending suffering for all sentient beings.
The Jang Gonchoe debate session provides a tremendous opportunity for the nuns to practice this ancient form of learning and for many, it an essential component of working towards their Geshema degree, equivalent to a PhD in Tibetan Buddhism.
As you can see from the photos, the debate courtyard at Dolma Ling nunnery is a wonderful space where the nuns can debate year-round, regardless of the weather and the season. The photos clearly show the new metal roof that will protect the nuns from the hot Indian sun, the torrential monsoon rains and the other extreme weather in the region.
The Tibetan Nuns Project is extremely grateful to all our supporters who have helped make this event possible through the funding of scholarships to enable nuns to attend, the funding of the creation of the debate courtyard space and also the funders for the debate courtyard roof.
The former soft-cover roof for the courtyard was destroyed in extreme weather. In order to have a new roof in place in time for the start of this event, the Tibetan Nuns Project took out a loan and rushed to create a permanent metal roof for the courtyard.
As with all the construction projects at Dolma Ling Nunnery, such as the retreat huts and the roof of the debate courtyard, the nuns themselves work tirelessly. This is one of many photos showing the nuns working to get the new permanent roof ready for the start of the Jang Gonchoe debate session on October 4th.
We are still seeking support for both scholarships and the roof fund.
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A Tibetan Buddhist nun helps build roof for debate courtyard at Dolma Ling Nunnery. To complete the project in time for the annual debate event, the Tibetan Nuns Project had to take a loan. We are seeking donations to help with our roof fund.
The Tibetan Nuns Project was established over 2 decades ago to support a tremendous influx of nuns escaping from Tibet in search of religious and educational freedom. Ranging in age from early teens to mid-80s, they come from all parts of Tibet and from many different backgrounds. Many nuns suffered severely from their long, arduous and often dangerous escape to India. In most cases, the nuns have arrived without money or possessions to a community already struggling to support itself. These women wish nothing more than to live, study, practice, and teach in accordance with their spiritual beliefs.