Tag Archives: kitchen

How you are helping accomplish great things at Dolma Ling Nunnery

In the spring of 2016, we launched a campaign called “Sustaining Dolma Ling Nunnery” that outlined six projects that the nuns at Dolma Ling Nunnery asked for help with.

projects at Dolma Ling NunneryDolma Ling is a non-sectarian nunnery in northern India near Dharamsala that is home to almost 250 Tibetan Buddhist nuns.

Although the nunnery has a number of income-generating initiatives like the nuns café and the nunnery shop, like other religious communities around the world, the nuns rely on the generosity of a caring community.

Today we’d like to report back to you on progress on all six of the Sustaining Dolma Ling projects. We’re happy to report that three of the six are fully funded and another two are nearly funded.

We really hope that all six can been fully funded and completed by the end of March 2017.

1. Butter Sculpture Workshop

Tibetan butter sculpture, Tibetan Nuns Project, butter sculptureONLY $167 NEEDED TO COMPLETE THE PROJECT
We are almost there! Only $167 is needed to complete the funding to create a workshop room where the nuns can learn how to make butter sculptures, a sacred Tibetan art that has been practiced in Tibet for over 400 years. Like so much of Tibetan culture, the practice of making butter sculptures is under threat. The nuns at Dolma Ling have an excellent teacher, but they’ve been using a makeshift space. Please help us complete this project.
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2. New Cow Shed

PROJECT FULLY FUNDED – THANK YOU!
The nuns at Dolma Ling Nunnery and Institute have kept cows for the past 20 years and currently have 14 cows in their small herd. The cows provide the nunnery with milk and also manure for the gardens. Prior to the completion of this project, there wasn’t enough space for all the cows to be protected when the weather was too harsh for them to be out grazing, such as during the torrential monsoon rains. Thanks to five generous donors – Alix, Anna, Bob, Cindy, and Stuart – the cow shed is now complete. See the full report and more photos here.

3. Clean Water Project

clean water project, Tibetan nuns, Dolma LingPROJECT FULLY FUNDED – THANK YOU!
Twenty-one generous donors came forward to support this project to increase the amount of clean drinking water at the nunnery. Thanks to our global family of supporters, the nuns have now been able to purchase and install three additional water filtering machines at different parts of the nunnery to provide safe, clean drinking water for over 280 nuns and staff residing at the nunnery, as well to build a simple shed to provide hot boiled water. The nuns have made a short video showing the new water boiler in action.

4. Painting Dolma Ling Nunnery

Dolma Ling Nunnery, Tibetan Nuns Project$7,150 NEED TO COMPLETE THE PROJECT
This is a huge project that the nuns really need help with. This year they need to paint the main prayer hall, one of the nuns’ housing wings and the staff quarters. Dolma Ling Nunnery is a large complex of buildings, like a monastic university, that needs repainting every five years. The harsh climate in this part of northern India take its toll on the nunnery buildings and it is essential to regularly repaint and maintain the buildings to avoid more costly repairs in the future.
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5. Tables and Stools

tables, Dolma Ling NunneryPROJECT FULLY FUNDED – THANK YOU!
Thanks to seven generous donors, we have fully funded the project to provide 15 tables and 2 stools for the nuns’ rooms at Dolma Ling Nunnery and Institute in northern India. View more photos and our full report here.

6. Furnishing and Equipping the Kitchen

$1,668 NEEDED TO COMPLETE THIS PROJECT

Last year a new kitchen was constructed at the nunnery because the nunnery population had more than tripled since the nunnery kitchen was built and the nuns had outgrown the space. Now the nuns need help to equip and furnish the new space including these items:

  • An enclosed vegetable storage and chopping area to keep birds and animals out.
  • Environmentally responsible sorting bins for recyclables, compost, waste food suitable to feed to the cows and trash.
  • A large pot rack for heavy pots, steamers and utensils
  • A heavy-duty and hygienic wall drainer for washing up
  • A wall-mounted utensil rack, and
  • Large metal storage containers for grains such as rice and flour.

If you can help support the completion of the kitchen, we would be very grateful.

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THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

An updated, larger kitchen for the nuns at Dolma Ling Nunnery!

The nuns who live at Dolma Ling Nunnery and Institute near Dharamsala, India now have an expanded kitchen facility thanks to the generosity of some very special donors.

The old kitchen at the nunnery was initially built in 1993 when there were just 82 nuns. Slowly, over time, the number of nuns more than tripled to 240 plus 40 staff so it was no longer large enough to adequately prepare food for that number of people.

To try to cope, the nuns, in 2001, took over a ground floor classroom as a vegetable storeroom and cutting room. The space was very cramped and the classroom that served as a kind of kitchen extension was sorely needed by the expanding education program.

Enter some very generous donors who made the nuns dream of a new kitchen a reality. We’re excited to show you these photos and a little video.

Dolma Ling kitchen

The front of the new kitchen showing the solar panels for hot water. By extending the kitchen forward into the courtyard, an additional 750 square feet of functional space was added.

In the spring of 2015 we sought funding for the kitchen extension project. Our donors have helped the nuns solve many problems at once. Not only do the nuns have much more space for preparing and storing food, but by moving the solar panels and water tanks the nunnery has been able to solve problems with maintenance and leakage.

Dolma Ling Nunnery kitchen

The ground floor of the kitchen extension is a purpose-built space for the storage and preparation of vegetables and supplies. The nuns follow a vegetarian diet.

The nuns also make tofu each week to supply the nunnery kitchen and to sell to other monastic institutions and local people to raise some funds for the nunnery.

thumb_nuns working_1024

Nuns working in the spacious new kitchen at Dolma Ling. The nuns have 3 meals a day and all the cooking is done by the nuns themselves.

The head cook is always busy and the kitchen is kept spotless. The nuns rotate in and out of kitchen duties so everyone participates. Breakfast preparations begin as early as 3 a.m. Lunch is the main meal of the day and is often rice, two kinds of vegetables, dal, and sometimes fruit. Dinner is often a noodle soup and maybe a steamed bun.

See this blog post showing the old kitchen space at Dolma Ling and giving a recipe for dal.

ktichen at Dolma Ling

A dream come true. A view into the new kitchen space at Dolma Ling Nunnery. Our deepest thanks to the donors who made this possible.

From the Nunnery Kitchens: Tibetan Nuns Making Tofu

There’s something special cooking in the kitchens of Dolma Ling Nunnery and Institute in northern India.

For the past several years, the nuns at Dolma Ling have made tofu once a week to supply the nunnery kitchen for meals. There are a lot of mouths to feed at the nunnery, so being able to make tofu in-house is very important. Currently there are over 230 Tibetan Buddhist nuns who live at Dolma Ling Nunnery and there are also teachers and visitors. The nuns follow a vegetarian diet and tofu is a nutritious and protein-rich part of their weekly menu.

Tibetan nuns making tofu

Nuns in 2013 making tofu at Dolma Ling Nunnery. Photo courtesy of Brian Harris.

The nuns also sell any extra tofu to visitors and the local community to help support the nunnery. This generates a bit of income for the nunnery but, so far the demand for tofu has  outstripped supply because the nuns’ had a limited capacity to make tofu due to the size of their tofu kitchen and the capacity of their tofu-making machine.

Here’s a video made in 2012 by the nuns showing tofu making at the nunnery: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgygQy9SaOE&feature=share

It has been the nuns’ wish for several years to purchase a larger tofu machine and to have a new tofu kitchen so that tofu could be made and sold on a larger scale. There is a great demand for tofu from nearby communities so the income from tofu sales will help to support the nunnery.

The new facility for making tofu was built a while ago but the donor who had originally offered to provide a special tofu-making machine was unable to raise the necessary funds to purchase and ship the machine to India. So the project was delayed by almost two years.

We are delighted to tell you that this spring, Norman Steinberg, a generous donor from Canada, has helped fulfill the nuns’ long-term wish by funding the purchase of a much larger and more efficient tofu-making machine and by helping to establish a special tofu kitchen at the nunnery. We are extremely grateful for his support.

A big advantage of the recent donation is that it has allowed the Tibetan Nuns Project to purchase an Indian-made machine, so we’ve avoided the costly customs and shipping costs and it will also be easier to service and repair in the future.

Once the new machine is up and running and the tofu kitchen is firmly established, we’ll post another blog with photos.

Making tofu is somewhat similar to making cheese, but rather than curdling milk you are curdling soy milk. The first step in the process is to soak the dried soybeans and mix them with water to produce soy milk.

Tibetan Buddhist nun making tofu

Soybeans are being prepared in the old tofu kitchen at Dolma Ling Nunnery. This photo was taken in 2013 by Brian Harris.

Next the nuns add enzymes or acid to curdle the soybean liquid. Then they press the liquid to remove the liquid whey. Once there are just curds remaining they can be pressed into forms and cut into blocks.

The Tibetan Nuns Project is extremely grateful to Norman Steinberg and another private donor from Canada, as well as other individual donors from around the world who made the new tofu-making facility possible.

If you would like to learn more about how the nuns are moving towards greater self-sufficiency, or to help fund these efforts, please contact us at info@tnp.org or donate at https://tnp.org/youcanhelp/donate/.

Tibetan Buddhist nuns stirring to make tofu

Photo taken in 2013 by Brian Harris at Dolma Ling Nunnery and Institute in India