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Dolma Ling Nunnery from India

Artisan Dolma Ling Nunnery

Dharmasala, India is home to the Tibetan government in exile, as well as the Dolma Ling Nunnery -- a refuge for Tibetan Buddhist nuns living in exile. Run by the sister-in-law of the Dali Lama as part of the Tibetan Nuns Project, it provides humanitarian support and education for hundreds of nuns living in exile from their homeland. There, the nuns produce beaded necklaces and prayer flags in a time-honored manner, blessing the items before sending them out into the world.

Founded in 1987 to provide humanitarian aid and an education to refugee Buddhist nuns, the project began as a response to 66 nuns who found themselves ill and exhausted with nowhere to go after a two year pilgrimage over the Himalayas from eastern Tibet. Emergency assistance was provided to meet their basic needs, but more was needed, and the Tibetan Nuns Project began actively seeking a more long-term solution for the problems of secure housing, medical care, and education. A sponsorship program was created which reached out to individuals and organizations around the world, supplementing the income-generating projects that the nuns themselves have instituted.

Now joined by five other nunneries as part of the Tibetan Nuns Project, the refugee nuns at Dolma Ling are able to work on mission with a sense of security and hope. This includes improving standards of living, a self-sufficient future through education and training, training for leadership and service roles within the community, improving the level and status of ordained Buddhist women in their culture, assisting recently arrived refugee nuns from Tibet, and the continued establishment of further facilities for nuns in need.

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