An extraordinary aspect of Tsoknyi Rinpoche’s life and work is the spiritual and material support he provides for a large number of nuns in Tibet and in Nepal.
There are two main strands to this – the nuns from Nanchen in Tibet, some of whom are now in Nepal, and the nuns from Muktinath in the Mustang area of North West Nepal, who also now have a base in the Kathmandu Valley. Both these communities of nuns were in a precarious situation when Rinpoche took his seat, but Rinpoche has been working hard to secure their situation now and for the future.
Tsoknyi Gechak Ling
The highly regarded Nanchen Nuns in Eastern Tibet were established by the first Tsoknyi Rinpoche and follow Dzogchen practices and the Four Yogas of Naropa, unusual for nuns at that time to receive such high teachings. They also follow the practices of the Tsoknyi Lineage. (see the film ‘Blessings’ by Victress Hitchcock)
There are several communities of these nuns in Tibet, and Rinpoche has established an endowment fund to support their ongoing costs now and in the future. A group from this area made their way to Nepal in the 1990s to seek Rinpoche’s help and are now established in the Chobar region on the edge of Kathmandu where much new building is taking place – the Tsoknyi Gechak Ling Nunnery.
A school for young nuns has recently been inaugurated there (see separate post) and a new three year retreat centre, a shrine hall and shedra (a 9 year monastic degree) buildings are now in progress. An international retreat centre is also planned for the site.
Rinpoche feels that the training of women monastics as teachers, meditation instructors and philosophers is essential at this time. This is the only monastic community following the Tsoknyi Lineage practices outside of Tibet. These projects are supported by Pema Chodron and Roshi Joan Halifax. If you would like to help with a donation, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Building nunneries is a support to holy beings. It is a source of merit that benefits the donor in this and future lives, and helps towards the ultimate goal of Buddahood. Tsoknyi Rinpoche III
This group of Drukpa Kagyu nuns had a very dilapidated ancient gompa in the remote Western area of Nepal on the edge of Mustang. They were without a Lama and came to Kathmandu to ask Rinpoche to undertake their spiritual support as he held the Drukpa Kagyu lineage. (Rinpoche was trained by Khamtrul Rinpoche at Tashi Jong Monastery) Of course he agreed and and huge progress has been made in the care of these nuns. As well as being supported spiritually and in their physical wellbeing, they now have new nunnery buildings in Muktinath with shrine hall, a clinic for them and the local village, and sleeping accommodation. They also now have a base in Kathmandu where they receive teachings and health care.