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What led you to become a Buddhist nun?

I was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. I attended Greystone Heights Elementary School and Walter Murray High School. In my last year of high school I encountered Buddhism when my father invited me to see a performance by some Tibetan lamas. I found the performance interesting and it started me reading books about Buddhism. I discovered that Buddhism provided answers about life which felt true to me.
As a graduation gift, I was able to visit Vancouver, and I took that chance to formally become a Buddhist by taking refuge.
A few months later I met Venerable Karma Lekshe Tsomo, the founder of Sakyadhita, she gave me the opportunity to teach English at Jamyang Choling Monastery for Women in Dharamsala, India. I taught English at Jamyang Choling for 4 months in 1999. I greatly admired the life the nuns led. They seemed very pure hearted, joyful, and free of worldly concerns.
Although I wished to become ordained immediately, there didn’t seem to be a community where I could live, and there were other obstacles, so I returned to Canada. It turned out to be very beneficial to wait a few years before ordaining. I was able to consider the decision deeply, and help my family become comfortable with the idea.
I came to Namdroling Monastery in South India in 2001. I received the ceremony of ‘going forth’ from Khenchen Pema Sherab. In May of 2002, I received novice vows from His Holiness Penor Rinpoche, the abbot of the monastery. I have been living at Namdroling since that time. In 2004 I joined the nuns philosophical college (shedra), Tsogyal Shedrup Gawa’i Tsal.

5 thoughts on “What led you to become a Buddhist nun?

  1. I just found your blog. Thanks for linking to mine. I’ll be sure to link to yours. I think the opportunity you have in wonderful. I wish I could study in India, but student loans force me to be in an accredited program here in the U.S. or out in the world working. I’m looking forward to reading more about your experiences in India.With Metta…Gyatso

  2. Ani-la!How MARVELOUS you’re blogging about this. Our ordained sangha at KPC, all of whom were ordained by HH Penor Rinpoche, will be intensely interested in following your adventure. I’m sending your link to all of them. Please give details of your life and learnings there, and post lots of pix. Most of us haven’t been since ’96. It’ll be sweet to see it through your eyes, esp. the nuns’ lives. I was at Namdroling in ’91 when the first nuns came to HHPR out of Tibet. They were wretched — sick, exhausted — and of course he did everything to help them. And now look!BTW, at least three of our Anis maintain blogs — check A Stupa Success, Daramusing, and Dakini Valley.Where can you connect online there these days? At the temple, or in Kushalnagar?

  3. Thanks for your kind comments. Konchog, I connect to the internet in my room. I have a wireless dialup connection via a PMCIA card in my laptop. If I had to go to an internet cafe, I’m sure I wouldn’t have time to blog.

  4. Thank you for the blog! I’m another Canadian who took refuge and I’ve been lucky enough to find a Lama in London ON who is a westerner as well. As a layperson, I enjoy living vicariously through those who have decided to ordain. Drop by my blog if you have the time. Thanks! Kal

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