The nuns of Tsoknyi Gechak Ling Nunnery
Each year we hear about dozens of worthwhile projects supporting Buddhist practitioners around the world. Our close lineage teachers, sons of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche: Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, Tsoknyi Rinpoche and Mingyur Rinpoche, are all engaged in projects worthy of our support. However, there’s one project that has captured our hearts, and which we’re tremendously fortunate to be involved in.
For each of the past 7 years, our community had donated $5000 to support Tsoknyi Rinpoche’s nun’s in Tibet. This year, Tsoknyi Rinpoche has asked us to support the nuns of Tsoknyi Gechak Ling Nunnery located in Chobar, in the hills outside the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal. The training of Gechak Ling nuns to become holders of the wisdom tradition of Tibetan Buddhism is an extraordinary development in a world where the education and training of nun’s has often been overlooked. We know of no other project as worthy of our care and support as this one, and one where a small contribution can make a great difference. It’s our great good fortune to have this opportunity to help these remarkable women.
The lineage of Tsoknyi Rinpoche has supported nuns and establishing nunneries since the mid-1800s when the first Tsoknyi Rinpoche asked his disciple Tsang-Yang Gyatso Rinpoche to establish Gechak Gompa in Nangchen, Eastern Tibet for female practitioners. Tsoknyi Rinpoche is maintaining this tradition by expanding opportunities for nuns to practice at his two nunneries in Nepal - Tsoknyi Gechak Ling, and Tsoknyi Gargon Chumig Dechen Choling in Muktinath, in northern Nepal. The spiritual and material support he provides for these nuns in Tibet and in Nepal is an extraordinary aspect of Tsoknyi Rinpoche’s life and work.
“Why are these nuns so important?” (comments by Tsoknyi Rinpoche) - here
Down from the mountains
In 2010, Tsoknyi Rinpoche and Mingyur Rinpoche returned to their home village, Sama, in the Nubri region, high in the mountains in northern Nepal, just 3 miles from the border with Tibet. Sama lies at the base of Mt. Manasalu, the 8th highest mountain in the world, a very remote and poor region of Nepal. Sangha member, Mark Helle, was on that trip and formed a lasting connection with the children in the village by giving them all socks, (Smartwools no less). During that visit, Tsoknyi Rinpoche invited the young girls of the village to come to Kathmandu to be trained as nuns. Upon his request, 80 young girls have come to Gechak Ling nunnery, and there’s a waiting list of over 100 girls from all over Nepal that want to join.
Along with the young nuns who have recently arrived from Nubri, there are 23 older nuns who have come from Tsoknyi Rinpoche’s nunneries in Eastern Tibet. Still other nuns come from his nunnery in Muktinath in the winter season.
The nuns of Tsoknyi Gechak Ling Nunnery
In 1999 a group of nuns from Eastern Tibet (having practiced for decades without a spiritual guide) walked with great hardship, personal risk and great devotion, from Eastern Tibet to Kathmandu to meet their guru, Tsoknyi Rinpoche III. Upon their arrival, Rinpoche established the Gechak Changchub Nuns Meditation Retreat Center (sister nunnery to Gebchak Gonpa in Tibet) in Pharping, a small village just outside the Kathmandu Valley. Here he created the opportunity for 23 nuns to complete a strict three-year retreat in a farmhouse. The nuns practiced just as they did in Tibet, sitting in meditation all day and practicing dream yoga throughout the night.
In November of 2010 Tsoknyi Rinpoche and his family, together with Mingyur Rinpoche, their mother and grandfather, Lama Tashi Dorje, led a pilgrimage up the Nubri Valley to their birthplace, Samagaun which lies a mere 3 miles from the Tibetan border. Subsequently 82 young girls sought the refuge and guidance of Tsoknyi Rinpoche by trekking for up to 8 days from Nubri to Parping. There are now more than 100 nuns in the community.
For more information about the Tsoknyi Nepal Nuns, please go here
How we can help
Our community has been supporting Tsoknyi Rinpoche’s nuns for the past 13 years, starting with our sending fleece jackets to his nun’s in Muktinath (in the Annapurna region of Nepal), and reading glasses to his nuns in Nangchen, in eastern Tibet. In each of the past 5 years, we’ve donated over $5000 to help his nuns in Nangchen. Julie Green, from the Steamboat sangha, has been instrumental in helping Tsoknyi Rinpoche in his desire to support the nuns from Nagchen, Tibet, and now the nuns of Gechak nunnery. Our support of the nuns of Gechak nunnery in Nepal, will help in every aspect of their their daily lives, providing food, clothing, books, fuel and medical care. Please join us in support of this wonderful endeavor.
Please help support these wonderful nuns. Leave a note, if you would like to earmark your donation.
Please help. You can make a difference!
When making a donation you can indicate that the donation is for the nuns, by clicking the link that says ‘add special instructions for the seller’ on the PayPal page. You can contribute on that page with a credit card, or through a PayPal account.
You can also send a check written to:
The Buddhist Center of Steamboat Springs
PO Box 770701
Steamboat Springs, CO, 80477
Send along with this Pledge Card - here
If you have questions, please contact:
970 846 1016 - firstname.lastname@example.org