Meet some of our nuns

The thought of children leaving home and joining an institution such as a nunnery is quite foreign to most families in the West. In East Asian countries, traditionally the children might be sent to a monastery or nunnery for some time. In some Buddhist tradition such as in Thailand, this is usually limited to a set period of time. In other traditions such as the Tibetan tradition, the commitment is usually for life. The young nun can decide at any time to leave the monastic community and return to lay life.

Meet some of our nuns, some of them are still studying, some have already graduated. Find out what motivated them to become nuns.

     
 Lobsang Saldon Lobsang Dekyong  Thubten Lhamo
Lobsang Rigsel Losang Tseyang Lobsang Kunlek

 

The thought of children leaving home and joining an institution such as a nunnery is quite foreign to most families in the West. In East Asian countries, traditionally the children might be sent to a monastery or nunnery for some time. In some Buddhist tradition such as in Thailand, this is usually limited to a set period of time. In other traditions such as the Tibetan tradition, the commitment is usually for life. The young nun can decide at any time to leave the monastic community and return to lay life.

Meet some of our nuns, some of them are still studying, some have already graduated. Find out what motivated them to become nuns.

     
 Lobsang Saldon Lobsang Dekyong  Thubten Lhamo
Lobsang Rigsel Losang Tseyang Lobsang Kunlek

 

Lobsang Dhekyong

Lobsang Dhekyong

Ordained name:  Lobsang Dhekyong

22 years old

Lobsang Dekyong  is my ordination name given to me by late Lama Lhundrup Rigsel, (My name means – Clear Mind spreading happiness)

I joined the nunnery in 2010 at the age of 12. I am the youngest child in the family. I have two older brothers and one older sister. My parents live in Kathmandu.

I was just a normal school girl before joining the nunnery. I already knew when I was 10 that I wanted to be a nun. I was very inspired by my cousin who was already a nun. As the youngest in my family, it took some time to convince them to let me ordain. After joining the nunnery I started learning and practising Buddhism. In the beginning it was pretty tough for me to adapt to the new environment with a new language new people, and new rules and regulations. Once I got used to it I started enjoying and liking the simple and stress free life of a nun.

My normal day involves prayers, classes in English, Tibetan, Buddhist philosophy and debate. I can see now I have changed a lot in my behaviour, and thinking. Learning new things has always been my favourite thing to do, which helps me tremendously with my Buddhist study. In addition to the busdhist studies we also learn about other subjects such as math and science, which makes us well educated. Since I became a nun I always felt that being kind and helping is more important than just to be educated.

Our teachers have taught us to be kind whenever possible and it is always possible. A kind and educated person can be more beneficial to society.

As monastic students our goal is to achieve the Geshe ma degree in Buddhist Philosophy. This is a great opportunity for any nun. His Holiness Dalai Lama created this degree just a few years ago, which is empowering the current generation of nuns to become highly qualified teachers in the future.

I am very grateful of having this wonderful opportunity, thanks to my kind teachers and lamas and the monastic community.

Lobsang Kunlek

Lobsang Kunlek

Ordained name : Lobsang Kunlek

36 years

My name is Lobsang Kunlek. I am from Tibet from a village called Penpo. I have seven members in my family: my parents and four sisters.

My mother passed away when I was 9 years old, then my father raised all of us.

I went to a village school for one year, then, when my mother passed away, I had to stay at home to help my family. I worked hard every day. Every day it was the same work and lifestyle, and I was not satisfied with this. I wanted to do something more, I wanted to study. One of my sisters was already at Kopan Nunnery, so I went with her to Nepal and became a nun in 2007.

I am very happy getting this very special education here at the nunnery. Right now I am studying philosophy (prajnaparamita class).

My future plan is to complete my studies first. Then I am very eager to go back to Tibet and teach in my village. I would like all of them to get educated. Education is very important for a better life and Buddhist practice. In this way I like to give make some contribution for a better life to my village people in Tibet. 

Lobsang Rigsel

Lobsang Rigsel

Ordained name : Lobsang Rigsel

31 years

My name is Lobsang Rigsel. I was born in 1989. My family lived a simple live in the countryside in India, but it was also very happy because we were very content with what we had.

In India there are so many religions of all kinds in the same society. I was raised in a mixed Buddhist and Hindi family, which made it very complicated for me to choose a path. The imprints of my past karma led me to focus on Buddhism. When I was in primary school, at the age of seven, I wished very strongly to become a nun. This wish first arose when I was visiting my aunt for two months: During that visit my aunt and I visited a Buddhist monastery called Choekoling where I saw a large number of monks doing prayers, rituals, and fasting practice. Seeing this made me think that the life of monks and nuns were extremely peaceful. That was exactly how I wanted my life to be.  Although my mother was supportive, my father did not want me to become a nun, being his only daughter. But I never gave up on the thought. The loss of my father when he died in an accident a few years later completely changed my outlook on life, recognizing that no-one lives for ever and nothing lasts. At that time a strong feeling came from my heart to renounce wordly life and to become a nun. My mother later gave me permission to go to Kopan with some relatives who were already studying there.

Now I am studying philosophy and ecstatic to be here and fully satisfied by my decision. When people ask what I am planning for my future, I always say: I like to be a simple nun, working for sentient beings.

Lobsang Saldon

Lobsang Saldon

Ordination name: Lobsang Saldon

Age: 24

I came to the nunnery when I was 14 years old. The thing that influenced me to become a nun was the silence and calmness I used to find whenever I used to go to Shechen Monastery and other monasteries I used to visit for teachings etc. so one evening I told my parents that I want to become nun, and they said: Okay, are you sure? As long you understand that this is a lifelong commitment. And I said I am sure, and a week later I came to the nunnery.

My whole family joined me in the celebration when I got my ordination name from our late abot, Geshe Lhundrup Rigsel.  I asked teacher what is the meaning of my name and she said it means bright star illuminating the darkness.

I usually wake up around 4.30 am, make water offerings on my altar, then go to puja till 7.30 am. We get breakfast during the puja. Then I study in my room for  one hour before going to class for the whole day before going to bed at 10.30 pm.

My aim in life is to be a teacher in the nunnery – I choose this as my goal as I like interwacting with  kids and teach them what I know, and serve the nunnery in that capacity at the same time.

Losang Tseyang

Losang Tseyang

Ordained name: Losang Tseyang

22 years

My Name is Lobang Tseyang, I was ordained the late abbot of Kopan, Lama Lhundrup.

I was born in Taksindu, Solu Khumbu, and have two older sisters and brothers and one younger sister.

I was ordained in 2005 at the age of 7, and became a nun by my own choice. Coming from a Buddhist family, my mother used always take me to empowerments and watch lama dance in the local villages, and I received a good imprint. Thus I was influenced by the chanting and the sacred music; when I was small I even used to copy the lama dance the monks were performing.

One of my cousins was already a nun at the Kopan nunnery, I used to get quite excited when she and seven of her friends came to visit our house occasionally. One of my brothers is a monk at Kopan, and one day he asked if I want to become a nun or prefer going to school. I happily accepted to become a nun.

Due to his encouragement I am now at the nunnery, learning the essence of what Dharma, studying philosophy. In the future I would like to become a teacher, to spread the knowledge of all I have learned here, introducing people to the Buddha’s teachings and showing them the path that will lead them out of suffering into real happiness.

Thubten Lhamo

 Thubten Lhamo

Ordination name: Thubten Lhamo

21 years

I was named Thubten Lhamo  by or late Abbot Geshe Thubten Rigsel. My journey to the nunnery started in 2008. I was influenced to be a nun by my uncle Tsultrim, who is a senior monk in Serkong Monastery in svoyambunath. It was not easy for my mother to agree to the idea of sending me to a nunnery. At that time I had no idea if being a nun would make for a bright future for me, but now I am happy I became a nun.

So in 2008, at the age of 9, I become part of this beautiful Kopan Nunnery, so very different from her normal home to school to home days.

In the beginning it was not easy to get along with this new monastic environment. As I grew up, I started to feel the joy of being a nun, where life is all about learning about Buddhism, learning about the practice of transforming the mind, developing kindness and patience.  Thanks to our great teachers and the sangha family around me I have become a better person every day.

 During a normal day we are attending pujas (prayer sessions), attend classes in normal school subjects, and language such as English, Nepali and Tibetan, with the main subject Buddhist Philosophy. In the evening we attend debate.

I have always considered myself lucky and blessed to be part of Buddhism and as such train to be always helpful and kind, to be beneficial to the world.

It is my wish to follow the path of peace and kindness now and in the future, with the help of my teachers and the sangha community.