Alliance of Non-Himalayan Nuns
who has left home in trust,
take delight in friends.
Cultivate good qualities
to gain peace.
Verses of the Elder Nuns from the Pali Canon c. 600 BC
“Communities exist for Non Himalayan Nuns worldwide, but in reality there are few. Here you can find more information on existing communities as well as information on communities planned for the future.
Those wishing to join such communities, for the most part, are required to provide their own financial support. There is great scope for these communities to flourish. As we become increasingly aware of their unique value within our societies comes the recognition that we can support them also, just as the traditional monastic communities have benefitted from our support.
Naturally, the traditional models differ, in accordance with the needs of the monastic communities they serve and in response to the society they serve – increasingly global.
Women ordaining from modern societies, are generally mature, independent and self motivated and for some, living in community is not always the best option. Nonetheless, the needs remain the same – to enable monastics, wherever they are placed – be it in Community, Dharma centre, Retreat setting and so on – to have their basic needs met, so their main focus can be on engaging in study and practice, that they may all the more quickly progress, stablilize their minds and benefit others.
Buddhism needs to embrace and serve the diversity of situations wherever monastics are found and so it must display great flexibility and open-mindedness in meeting the needs of its community – wonderful qualities to cultivate as we walk the path together.”
~ from “Nuns Communities“
Throughout history there have been individual nuns who rose to eminence,
beginning of course with Mahaprajapati.
Whatever other qualities they may have had,
these women revealed remarkable determination and courage.
They were single-minded in the pursuit of their chosen goal,
without regard for encouragement or disappointment.
I urge you, both as individuals and communities, to adopt a similar approach.
~ His Holiness the Dalai Lama
We at Dharma Eye deeply support Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo’s vision for establishing much needed support for Nuns in Non-Himalayan contexts. There is much awareness raising to be done for those raised outside these cultural contexts to directly experience the immense benefit of monastic communities, and especially women dedicated full-time to the spiritual path, for societies and the world at large.
Following the immense support of establishing her Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery for Himalayan Nuns that provides an almost unprecedented support for women for education and practice, we are excited to see what Jetsunma’s efforts bring to the wider world. These Western Nuns have so much to give. There just needs to be a dedicated base of support.
We will keep a close eye on the activities of the just founded Alliance of Non-Himalayan Nuns over the years to come!
I am your daughter,
Your true child,
Born of your mouth.
My mind is free of clinging.
My task is done.
Sundari; Verses of the Elder Nuns from the Pali Canon c. 600 BC
The Alliance of Non-Himalayan Nuns is Dharma Eye’s Featured Organization of the Month in August 2015.