Tag Archives: Tibetan Nuns Project

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.

sponsor card copy

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.”


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

DSC09921 copy, giving thanks, Tibetan Nuns Project, Buddhist nuns

Life at Sherab Choeling Nunnery in Spiti

In the remote Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh in northern India, lies Sherab Choeling Nunnery, currently home to 42 Tibetan Buddhist nuns, many of whom are sponsored by Tibetan Nuns Project supporters.waterfall in Spiti Valley

group of nuns at Sherab Choeling Nunnery in Spiti

Sherab Choeling nuns in 2006

The nunnery is very secluded and lies in the village of Morang (between Manali and Tabor) at 4,000 meters altitude. It was built in 1995 by 20 nuns and their teacher with the intent of addressing the problem of the inadequate education of women in the region. The nunnery was consecrated in 1995 by His Holiness the Dalai Lama who encouraged the nuns to study. There is a main building, a prayer hall, a classroom, an office, a kitchen and a storeroom. In 2006, Sherab Choeling Nunnery approached the Tibetan Nuns Project to help develop their institution and we accepted them into our sponsorship program.

Earlier this year we received lots of photos of daily life at the nunnery that we wanted to share with sponsors of the nuns and with all the Tibetan Nuns Project donors worldwide.

Although the area of Lahaul-Spiti is part of India, ethnically, the people are descended from Tibetans and the majority are devout Buddhists. They have preserved an ancient Tibetan culture, speaking an old dialect of the Tibetan language, as written in Tibetan scriptures.

Sherab Choeling nun teaching a woman in Spiti

Sherab Choeling nun teaching a woman in Spiti

Sherab Choeling Nunnery was the first religious educational project for Spiti women. Traditionally women in this region have suffered from many social and educational disadvantages. Many have been deprived of any kind of education, and this institute is the first in Spiti to provide women with the opportunity to overcome these disadvantages.

Sherab Choeling is a non-sectarian nunnery that recognizes the beauty and value in all Buddhist traditions. The nuns at follow a 17-year study program. The curriculum is designed to educate the nuns in Buddhist philosophy, meditation, Tibetan language and literature, in addition to a basic education in English, Hindi and math. The broad education is intended to provide the nuns with necessary skills to educate future generations of nuns and the communities from which they come.Buddhist nuns studying outdoors Sherab Choeling 2014

Many young girls seek admission to Sherab Choeling, but due to lack of facilities and sponsors, it is not possible for all to gain entrance. The Tibetan Nuns Project helps by raising awareness, finding sponsors for the nuns, and helping them to fundraise for the further development of the institute.
Young Tibetan Buddhist nuns in class

young Buddhist nuns debating Spiti

This year started with 14 new nuns in the nunnery including three 5-year-olds. Along with Tibetan classes, the younger nuns are also taught mathematics and Hindi up to 5th standard, after which the nuns are introduced to English language classes.

young Tibetan Buddhist nuns at Sherab Choeling Nunnery in Spiti 2014

Tibetan Buddhist nun in snowfall at Sherab Choeling NunneryThe nuns have difficult living conditions. They often face long harsh winters and heavy snowfalls. During winter the region is cut off from neighboring villages so the nuns must stock up their daily supplies well before the onset of cold weather.Tibetan Buddhist nun working in kitchen

During the coldest months, the nuns hold their classes, prayers and meetings in the kitchen because it is warmer and helps to save wood.building prayer hall Sherab Choeling Nunnery

This year, the nuns were able to do more work to complete the new prayer hall. Construction of the prayer hall began several years ago but was suspended in 2012 for lack of funds. The new prayer hall is nearly finished with plans to turn the old nunnery block into a small 3-room retreat center for the nuns.Tibetan Buddhist nun working in greenhouse Sherab Choeling 2014

Several years ago, people from the nearby village donated a piece of land to the nuns where the nuns can grow spinach, beans and potatoes. With help of volunteers, the nuns have been able to set up three greenhouses where they mostly grow spinach. The head nun has also donated her share of a field to the nunnery so the nuns have been able to grow peas and wheat.

The nuns take a one-month annual holiday, during which most return to their families in nearby villages.

We’d like to thank all our sponsors of nuns at Sherab Choeling for their support. We still need more sponsors. To sponsor a nun please visit https://tnp.org/youcanhelp/sponsor/nuns and rainbow at Sherab Choeling

Nine nuns receive nursing training at Delek Hospital

On October 31, 2013 nine nuns from 7 different nunneries formally completed one and a half month’s of nursing training at the Tibetan Delek Hospital in Dharamsala, India and were honoured at a special closing ceremony at the hospital.

closing ceremony 9 nuns at receive nurse training at Delek Hospital

The participants with health secretary Sonam Choephel Shosur and Mr Dawa Phunkyi, member of parliament and chief administrator of Tibetan Delek Hospital.

The training was organised by the hospital as part of its programme to improve public health. The nine nuns taking part in the training came from Dolma Ling, Gaden Choeling, Jamyang Choeling and four other nunneries.

The chief guest at the closing ceremony was Health Secretary Sonam Choephel Shosur. Speaking at the event, Mr Shosur said that this training was an innovative way of empowering Tibetan women, in line with the 14th Kashag’s three principles of unity, innovation and self-reliance. Continue reading