After the tragic event of 2010 flash flood and the subsequent recovery time of almost one year, this year has been a time to rejoice and to pay gratitude to Three Jewels for being able to sustain the hardship and the struggle to keep our efforts towards the welfare of nuns in Ladakh and the people as a whole. There has been an increase in the number of visitors to our various centres.
We are thankful to all our supporters especially to Mr. C. Somboon (Moo), General Secretary of International Network of Engaged Buddhism (INEB), Thailand, who shared his views on the future development of LNA. It has been a great inspiration for all the nuns and provided immense support and encouragement to strengthen the will-power to continue our work and efforts.
The school reopened in March and all of the students were excited and enthusiastic to be back. This time the students are supported by convenience facility from nunnery to their respective schools. They are studying in three different schools; Lamdon Model Higher Secondary School at Leh, the Central Institute of Buddhist Studies at Choglamsar and Siddhartha School at Stok. The Director of the Central Institute of Buddhist Studies has kindly accepted our request to send their bus to pick up our nuns from Leh.
Work on the wooden flooring in the multipurpose hall started in March and it took almost one and half months to complete. After that we decided to paint the interior in the traditional way. Three painters were employed and within two months they had completed all the walls and the shelves.
We had the opportunity to attend ten days of teachings at the Gumay Monastery by the Most Ven. Gaden Tripa Rezong Rinpoche, who is also LNA’s patron, from the third to the nineteenth of June. On the 11th of June Rinpoche la visited our nunnery and performed the blessing ceremony and gave teachings to the Sangha and the public in the morning. In the afternoon we held a meeting to receive Rinpoche’s advice in regard to the future of LNA. We presented the three year account report and the activities report. All of the nuns were able to attend the meeting. Rinpoche also gave a ten-day teaching in the Main Temple in Leh where all of the nuns attended his discourse.
From August 4 to August 7 the nuns participated in the discourse by H.H. the Dalai Lama. It was really a great inspiration for all the people having the great opportunity to attend the teachings.
On the Buddha Jayanti (June 4) day celebration at Leh, all the LNA nuns participated and they sang the Vandana at the beginning of the Ceremony. Thirty nuns sang in the centre of the Leh Polo ground and they blessed the days. Five nuns also participated in a debate with their school class mates during the Buddha Janti day. This is the first time in the history of Buddha Jyanti in Ladakh that the nuns and students were given the opportunity to share the sublime teachings of the Buddha
with the public through debate. It is an honour for all the nuns in Ladakh that they have started receiving this broader support and recognition from the public. Ven. Jigmat Chorol received second prize in the Inter School Essay Writing Competition in Bhoti Language and three nuns also received consultation prize from the Chief Guest Shri. Rigzen Spalbar, Chief Executive Councilor, LAHDC.
Above: LNA students chanting on Buddha Jayanti at Leh
Above: Dr. Marguerite Theophil inaugurating Children’s library
Dr. Marguerite Theophil from Mumbai visited LNA and inaugurated the children’s library for the younger nuns in the nunnery.
She brought many books which she collected with the help of her friends.
All the nuns are very excited and happy to read books with many interesting stories.
Above: Captain S.Balasu inaugurating the Divine Bal-Gurukul
Dr. Theophil’s friend Mrs. Bala and her friends visited LNA and they spent half a day with the students. They helped to initiate the free tuition program for the weaker nuns within the LNA.
Captain Bala inaugurated the program, known as the “Divine Bal Gurukul“, a joint activity of the Indian Development Foundation and the Ladakh Nuns Association on August 28.
All the Amchi nuns and the students again helped in the annual herb collection, spending four days in the Changthang and Karnak Valleys. The nuns made three visits to the high pass of Khardong la. Most of the students participated in the collection.
This year a nun from Basgo village joined LNA. Venerable Bhikkhuni Ishey Angmo has a fascinating story: she spent seven years in Taiwan where she received the full Bhikkhuni ordination and five years in Kolkata helping in the Centre. She is now interested in learning Amchi medicine so she has decided to stay in Ladakh.
Currently there are six nuns studying the basic health care program under the guidance of Amchi Dorje Youdon, Amchi Thubten Dolma and Amchi Palmo. The Amchis gave treatment within the nunnery for women’s diseases: five elderly women received treatment from the nuns using the medicinal water therapy. All of them recovered. One elderly monk, 81 years old,also received the medicinal water treatment. He had partial paralysis for one year and nine months. He is steadily improving. His attendant monks were at LNA to care for him and to learn from the Amchis.
Above: Nuns collecting medicinal herbs
We would like to thank Bioligo for continuing their support of the Amchi training program. Six nuns are already receiving basic training in the health care program. Eight nuns had the great opportunity to receive free tuition from the Dreung Loseling Pethub Khangtsen Education Society, Leh.
The Bhutan Nuns Foundation organized a trip to Ladakh. There were representatives from thirteen of the twenty-six nunneries in Bhutan. The Director, Dr. Tashi Zangmo, and four member of the foundation also participated in the one-day exchange workshop with the LNA nuns.
It was really a great opportunity for all the nuns of Ladakh and Bhutan to share information about mutual problems and exchange their ideas and views regarding the future. Both groups agreed to have more exchange workshop in the future. Dechen la was the representative of UNFPA, which funded the nuns’ visit to Ladakh.
Above: Dr. Tashi Zangmo with her Bhutanese nuns during their visit at LNA nuns.
The nuns gave medical consultation for two international groups of patients in July and August. The group was satisfied and happy to meet the nuns and receive advices on mental and physical health. The group has contributed to the seed fund for the medicines.
We are highly grateful to Paticia Beaudeau and Thierry Beaudeau of Association Docteur Trogawa Rinpochey, who guided the group to us, for giving the nuns the opportunity and encouragement towards their medical and treatment skills.
Dr. Cornelia visited with her group and encouraged us to repair the roof so that it can withstand heavy rain. They donated a sum of Rs. 100,000; we are very thankful to the group.
Heather Crotts from America visited and shared her experience with the nuns. Isolde Walter, a member of the Tibet Support Group from Kempten, Germany, visited for one day. Her sponsored nuns, Tashi Dolkar and Rigzen Angmo accompanied her on a trip to the Whaka Jampchubling Nunnery. The two students gained experience in esharing their knowledge and experiences of being a nun.
Yeshe Khando and Dolma, the LNA coordinators from France, visited and spent a day with the nuns.
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