Shugsep Nunnery and Institute in northern India was built and is fully supported by the Tibetan Nuns Project. It is now home to about 100 Tibetan Buddhist nuns.
For many years, the nuns have wanted a path where they can practice kora, traditional Tibetan walking meditation. Kora (བསྐོར་བ།) or circumambulation is the act of walking around a sacred place or object such as a temple. Walking around a sacred space generates religious merit and cultivates bodhicitta, the awakened or enlightened mind.
In 2023, the nuns asked for help to build a kora path. Now, thanks to the generosity of 65 Tibetan Nuns Project supporters, the path is finished.
The nuns tell us with big smiles how much they love their new kora path. Each morning, the younger nuns follow the Khenpo five times around the nunnery for exercise!
Here’s a video tour for you. (Can’t see the video? Click here.)
Work on the circumambulatory path began in early 2023 and was completed in October. The sloping terrain and harsh monsoon posed challenges for construction, but the workers did an excellent job and the nuns helped to prepare the land. Railings and steps are important features of the path. The stone steps have been made with iron front edges to ensure that they do not chip and crumble. The new boundary wall at the top of the nunnery provides the nuns with excellent privacy.
The kora path is good for the nuns’ physical and mental health. There was no safe area near the nunnery where the nuns could walk. The main road has no sidewalks and it is not safe for girls and women to be walking in these areas because crimes against women are common.
Our deepest thanks to all those who supported this huge project and made the nuns’ dream a reality!
For a list of Current Needs from the Tibetan Nuns Project, visit: https://tnp.org/current-needs/
Here’s a slideshow of the path being built. (Can’t see the slideshow? Click here.)
About Shugsep Nunnery and Institute
A Nyingma nunnery, Shugsep traces its rituals and practices to some of the most illustrious female practitioners in Tibetan history. In the previous century, Shugsep Nunnery was home to one of the most famous teachers of her time, Shugsep Jetsunma.
Following the Cultural Revolution in 1959, Shugsep Nunnery in Tibet was destroyed. Although the nunnery was partially rebuilt in the 1980s by the nuns themselves, the nuns there faced frequent harassment by Chinese authorities.
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.
Many of the nuns at Shugsep in India came from the original Shugsep Nunnery in Tibet. The Chinese authorities expelled them for their political activities and they escaped from Tibet over the Himalayas to freely practice their religion in India.
Shugsep Nunnery was re-established in India in 1992 and the new nunnery was inaugurated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in December 2010. It is one of two nunneries built and completely supported by the Tibetan Nuns Project. The other is Dolma Ling.