[Bhutan] The First International Buddhist Nuns Conference

Project Summary:
The 1st International Buddhist Nuns Conference was organised by BNF to provide an important platform for discussion and dialogue, so as to inspire and empower the Bhutanese nuns and enhance their informed and active participation in their religious lives and within their communities.

Period: December 2013

Project Description:
Due to the remoteness of many nunneries, it is not unusual for nuns in Bhutan to feel isolated and vulnerable. Their harsh living conditions and environment are often challenging and the future seemingly bleak as they often do not have the resources or means to improve their situation. The opportunity to come together as a community of Buddhist nuns, to share and dialogue is a precious one, uplifting their spirits and morale, and giving them the motivation and strength to overcome the many difficulties they encounter .

The 1st International Buddhist Nuns Conference was a significant milestone with the many esteemed invited guests and speakers who served as role models, opening the minds and hearts of the Bhutanese nuns to the many possibilities the future holds, offering them hope, inspiration and empowerment. FFM assisted with partial support to enable nuns from remote nunneries to attend the conference.

The Chief Guest Her Majesty the Queen Mother, Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck opened the event. Along with many Bhutanese nuns as speakers, overseas speakers included:
Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, Founder of Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery, Tashi Jong, India who spoke on the Roles and Responsibilities of Nuns in Post Modern Societies
Venerable Karma Lekshe Tsomo, Professor, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, University of San Diego and the Founder of Jamyang Choling Nunnery in Dharamsala, who spoke on the Challenges Buddhist Women and Nuns Face in Today’s World
Venerable Bhikshuni Chuehmen, Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Order who spoke on Living in the Sangha
Rinchen Khandro Chogyel, Director, Dolma Ling Nunnery (also Known as Tibetan Nuns’ Project), Dharamsala, India (President of the Tibetan Women’s Association) who spoke on the Importance of Education for Nuns

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