His Holiness the Dalai Lama with the Nuns of Jamyang Choling
2012 Nuns of Jamyang Choling Nunnery
Jamyang Choling Institute (JCI) is an innovative education project that nurtures the spiritual and intellectual potential of Buddhist women.
Operating under the auspices of the Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Department of Religious & Cultural Affairs of Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), JCI was founded by Ven. Karma Lekshe Tsomo (an American Buddhist nun) in 1988 to educate Himalayan Buddhist nuns and laywomen who would otherwise have no opportunity to receive any formal secular or spiritual education.
JCI staffed by its nuns from the very beginning and since the year 2000 the nuns took full responsibility of planning of the Institute's future, raising fund and communicating with sponsors and friends in addition to the day to management.
Currently there are 126 students and 7 teachers at JCI. The students range in age from 12 to 54 and come from various parts of the Himalayan region, including Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, Ladakh, Zanskar, Lahaul, Spiti, Kinnaur, Garhwal, Darjeeling, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh. The Institute has a program that requires over 17 years of intense study to complete and is equivalent to the program of study required for a doctorate in Buddhist philosophy. The program not only covers Buddhist philosophy but also includes courses in meditation, Tibetan, English, Hindi, and computer and administration skills.
Jamyang Choling Institute currently has 126 students. In 2003 Jamyang Choling increased the number of students, admitting 22 new nuns and 3 lay students. In 2006 an additional 26 nuns and 4 lay students were admitted and in April 2009 Jamyang Choling Institute again admitted 28 new nuns and two lay students bringing the current total of nuns to 118 and lay students to 7. Great progress has been made in building living facilities and creating a suitable environment for the Institute. We are very grateful for the kind support received from Tibet Support Groups, individual donors and volunteers from around the world. The basic facilities for our main Institute at Gharoh are completed.
The nuns have been participating in the annual nuns' debate every year since 1995. The 2005 and 2008 debate took place at JCI (Gharoh) and around 250 nuns attended, coming from 8 different nunneries from India and Nepal. This was a wonderful opportunity for nuns to share knowledge and wisdom, also to deepen our understanding of the Buddhist teachings. The senior nuns are completing of their degree in Buddhist philosophy from JCI this year, 2009. The nuns have been undertaking primary health training and computer literacy training. Nuns also cook healthy vegetarian meals, participate in the daily prayers, and help out with the chores, such as gardening, cleaning and taking care of the cows.
ŠJamyang Choling Institute, Dharamsala, India.
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