Tag Archives: Sponsorship of a nun

Giving thanks

Scientists have confirmed that expressing gratitude and giving thanks makes us happier and healthier.

Here at the Tibetan Nuns Project, we are very grateful for our global family of supporters who care deeply about the nuns and who have joined with us to help these brave and dedicated women.

Many of our supporters have told us via our survey that, by giving to the Tibetan Nuns Project, they also feel happier and are grateful for this opportunity to help.

Today, with their permission, we’d like to share some of their stories and words.

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Peggy in Washington says, “It is heartfelt when I exchange letters with my nun! It is precious to hear about the journey of her education and spiritual development. She says she prays for me daily!!”

Jane in Los Angeles wrote and told us: “I care about supporting the peacemakers in the world—those who embody and teach compassion and peace. It is important to further both inner wisdom and compassionate action. A person who lives this not only lights the path for others, but lights their candle also.”

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Elizabeth in California told us her story. She said, “I taught the nuns from 1994-1996 when their nunnery at Dolma Ling was new. In fact, it was not even finished when the nuns moved into the buildings. My admiration for the nuns grew by leaps and bounds when I was teaching them and I was honored in sharing their lives. In the years since, I am always amazed by their dedication, perseverance and reverence towards their studies and values. The life of a nun is not easy. It is marked by tremendous sacrifices. In spite of it all, the nuns keep on. ‘Never give up,’ said the Dalai Lama. They never have. They deserve my support, and yours.”

Felix in Ohio told us, “I support the Tibetan Nuns Project because they, as individuals, are very important. The nuns do incredible work like teaching and praying for others in need. They need our help and anyone else who can come forward to help. There are many nuns and just not enough money to support them. That’s why we are helping. Each month we will be able to sleep better knowing that our contribution of $30 a month for the Tibetan Nuns Project is going to good use. Thank you so much for this great opportunity.”

A donor said, "As a practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism I feel I've been given a gift I will be unwrapping for the rest of this life (and future lives!). It's such a good feeling to be able to give back, even if it's just a little, for the support and programs for the nuns. These women and girls have so much potential and it's wonderful to be able to help them realize that potential."

A donor said, “As a practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism I feel I’ve been given a gift I will be unwrapping for the rest of this life (and future lives!). It’s such a good feeling to be able to give back, even if it’s just a little, for the support and programs for the nuns. These women and girls have so much potential and it’s wonderful to be able to help them realize that potential.” Photo by Brian Harris

Sondra in Texas said, “I am acutely aware of the displacement of Tibetans and the pain it has caused. Especially for the monks and nuns. I live in a society that has an overabundance of material goods. I am a retired nurse and would like to share some of my good fortune with these women.”

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Laura in Canada wrote, “I have a great deal of compassion for the Tibetan people and the struggles that they endure. Sponsoring a nun through the Tibetan Nun’s Project, purchasing products made by them, and making a donation for pujas is my simple way of saying that I care. I am committed to the education and support of these women. Thank you to the Tibetan Nun’s Project for being the liaison.” Photo by Brian Harris

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A taste of life at Dolma Ling Nunnery – with dal recipe

We wanted to give you a taste of life at the nunneries by sharing details of the nuns’ meals and also send you a delicious recipe for dal, Tibetan style, that you can try at home.

Tibetan Buddhist nuns making breakfast at Dolma Ling Nunnery. Tibetan Nuns Project

You have to get up VERY early to prepare breakfast for 230 nuns. Canadian photographer Brian Harris arrived in the kitchen of Dolma Ling Nunnery at about 3 am and found the nuns already at work making hundreds of parathas, an Indian dish of potato-filled fried bread. A typical breakfast for the nuns might be a piece of flatbread, cooked mixed vegetables, and tea.

Tibetan Buddhist nuns in kitchen at Dolma Ling Nunnery. Tibetan Nuns Project

All the food is vegetarian and is prepared by the nuns themselves. The head cook is always busy and the kitchen is spotless. The nuns rotate in and out of kitchen duties so everyone participates.

Lunch is the day’s main meal and is often rice, two kinds of vegetables, dal, and sometimes fruit. According to Brian, there’s also a knock-out nunnery hot sauce. Dinner is often a noodle soup and maybe a steamed bun.

A high-pitched gong sounds 3 times a day to announce meals.The senior nuns enter the dining hall first as the younger nuns, holding their bowls, cups and spoons, wait their turn. The dining hall also doubles as a place for the nuns to memorize the scriptures.

Tibetan Buddhist nuns chopping onions at Dolma Ling Nunnery - Brian Harris copy

Due to rapid inflation, rising food and fuel prices in India are putting a lot of pressure on all of the nunneries. In the last month, the price of onions has doubled. The price of cooking fuel – which was already expensive – has increased 5-fold in a year. The Tibetan Nuns Project is seeking more sponsors and supporters as we struggle to keep up with rising costs.

In July we launched a campaign to increase both donations and the number of sponsors. Thank you and welcome to our 34 new sponsors! To help with this campaign, with either a single gift or as a sponsor, please visit https://tnp.org.

Now here’s a recipe from our friends at Yowangdu Tibetan Culture for how to cook dal (or dal bhat) Tibetan style.

Dal bhat is a traditional Nepali or Indian food consisting of lentil soup (dal) served with rice (bhat), which Tibetans began to cook after coming into exile. Traditionally Tibetans in Tibet don’t cook dal, but it is a very common dish of Tibetans who live outside our country, especially those who live in India and Nepal.

Dal Bhat Recipe

Preparation time: 40 minutes (2 People)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup red lentils (masoor dal) (other types of dal can take much longer to cook)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ingredients for dal1 small red onion, chopped small
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric*
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds*
  • ½ teaspoon coriander powder*
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • ½ tablespoon butter or ghee (optional, but it gives a nice flavor)
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro and/or green onion, chopped, for garnish
  • water, to make soup
  • basmati rice (or any kind you wish)
  • Indian chutney or pickle (achar) of your choice. We love Patak’s lime pickle. You can also find Patak’s at many other large grocery stores.
  • Optional: add pepper of your choice, or red pepper flakes.
  • If you prefer, you can use Shan Dal Curry Mix, or garam masala instead of the turmeric, cumin and coriander.

Preparation

  • Wash the lentils and rinse a couple of times. Be careful to remove any stones. If you have time, soak the lentils in water as long as you can, up to overnight, before you cook. They get very soft and can cook faster.
  • Begin preparing the rice any way you like so it will be ready when you’re done cooking the dal.
  • Chop your onion, and mince the garlic and ginger and set aside.
  • Chop the tomato and set aside.
  • Wash your cilantro and or green onion. Chop for garnish and set aside.
  • Heat oil on high for a minute or two.
  • Add ginger, garlic and onion, and stir fry on high until the onion is a little brown on the edges, 1-2 minutes.
  • Stir in cumin seeds, salt, turmeric, mustard seed and coriander powder. Turn the heat down to medium (6 out of 10 on our stove), and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often.
  • Note: The stove’s temperature will remain at medium (6/10) for the rest of the cooking process, and you will stir occasionally.
  • Add tomatoes and butter. Stir, cover with lid and cook for 4 minutes.
  • After 4 minutes, stir in the lentils, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  • After cooking for 5 minutes, add one cup of water, cover with lid and cook for 5 more minutes.
  • When the 5 minutes are up, stir in 2 more cups of water, as the water will begin to decrease as you cook.
  • Continue cooking on medium for 10 minutes.
  • Now your dal is ready. Turn off the stove and sprinkle the chopped cilantro and/or green onion on top.

cooked dal Tibetan Nuns Project recipe

Serve

Serve with rice. Many Tibetans like to serve the dal in a small soup bowl, beside a plate of rice. Some people like to ladle the dal over the rice and mix it up to eat. Indians and Nepalis often eat dal baht with their hands, as do some Tibetans, but many of us also use a spoon.

Add some Indian chutney or pickle (achar) or hot sauce. We can’t more highly recommend the Patak’s Lime Pickle or relish, which is just heavenly and is perfectly complementary with this dal bhat. You can get it medium or hot. Medium is more spicy in a flavorful way than a hot way The hot has some bite!

(This recipe has been slightly edited for length. To see the full recipe and photos, as well as recipes for other Tibetan dishes such as momos and thukpa, visit Yowangdu Tibetan Culture’s website.)

Enjoy!

The Tibetan Nuns Project could not do what it does without the generous support of a caring community. Thank you again for your support.

To learn how you can help nourish the nuns bodies and minds with a single gift or as a sponsor, please visit https://tnp.org.

The nuns need your help

The following is a message from Rinchen Khando Choegyal, Director and Elizabeth Napper, Co-Director of the Tibetan Nuns Project.

Due to rapid inflation in India, our sponsorship program is unable to keep up with the rising cost of living for the nuns. For instance, the cost of a tank of cooking gas has more than doubled in the past year, putting a huge strain on all the nunneries.

The Tibetan Nuns Project sponsorship program currently supports over 700 Tibetan Buddhist nuns living in 7 nunneries in northern India, as well as numerous nuns living on their own.

For less than $1 a day, you can help provide a nun’s basic necessities including shelter, food, education, and health care.

By becoming a sponsor you will also help:

  • Build self-sufficiency through skills training opportunities
  • Train nuns to take leadership and service roles within their communities
  • Improve the level and status of ordained Buddhist women 

100% of your sponsorship money goes directly to the nunneries in India. 

Your gifts will help nuns like Kelsang, age 78 from a village in Amdo, the eastern province of Tibet.

Here is Kelsang’s story:

My family belonged to a farming community. We grew barley, wheat, peas, buckwheat and different kinds of vegetables. We also kept yaks and sheep. Until the age of 20, I remained with my family helping them in the fields. This I guess was perhaps the best part of my life. Then the Chinese came. Continue reading

Bird song and prayers at Buddhist nunneries

A special post by photographer and Tibetan Nuns Project supporter, Brian Harris.

My wife Paula and I spent five weeks photographing at four Tibetan Nuns Project nunneries in India in April 2013.

It was an experience full of beauty I will never forget. What I recall most vividly are the lovely songs of the many birds in the morning accompanied by the soft murmuring sounds of the nuns reciting prayers and scriptures. (You can listen to exactly what Brian is writing about by clicking his audio recording of the bird song and prayers at http://tmblr.co/ZeUSItheHrQj)

Tibetan nun standing reading outside in India

In the foothills of the Himalayas, Tibetan Buddhist nuns pursue their studies. Photo courtesy of Brian Harris.

Continue reading

A Tibetan Buddhist Nun’s Story

The following story was originally printed in the Winter 2012/2013 Tibet Foundation Newsletter. The nun’s name was changed to protect her and her family. The nun was born in Dhir in Kham in 1986 and is now living and studying at Dolma Ling Nunnery and Institute in India. This nunnery was founded and is supported by Tibetan Nuns Project donors.

My name is Dolma and I was born and brought up in Dhir in Kham Province in eastern Tibet. My family consists of my father and two brothers and three younger sisters. My mother died 13 years ago after giving birth to my youngest brother. She had complications during her delivery.

Tibetan Buddhist nun's colourful waist sashes

My eldest brother is married and is living with his wife at our house. One of my younger sisters is going to a school in Lhasa and the other two sisters are at home. They help our father in the fields as well as with household work. Continue reading