Monastic Life

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The Buddhist community includes monastics and lay people. Both are necessary for the preservation of Buddhism. However, monastics choose a life of vowed simplicity, a life directly related to the preservation and dissemination of the Dharma to benefit others. They are the core of that lifestyle that all Buddhist practitioners are committed to. In the articles here, Venerable Chodron shares with us the joys and difficulties of being a nun and the special challenges of being a Western Buddhist nun. As His Holiness the Dalai Lama notes, all Buddhist nuns have a unique role to play in the evolution of Buddhism where the universal principle of the equality of all human beings takes precedence. If you've ever wondered what it would be like to be a monastic, you'll find these articles intriguing and stimulating.

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The Committee of Western Bhikshunis
Last updated Sep 17, 2006

The Committe of Western Bhikshunis was formed in the autumn of 2005, after His Holiness the Dalai Lama told Bhikshuni Jampa Tsedroen that the Western bhikshunis should be more involved in helping to establish the bhikshuni ordination in the Tibetan tradition. We are in frequent contact via email and met once, in March, 2006, at Sravasti Abbey in the USA, to research the manner of giving bhikshuni ordination and to prepare a paper which was circulated at the meeting of Vinaya experts in Dharamsala in May, 2006. This paper and its Tibetan translation are both on this website.


  1. Ven. Bhiksuni Tenzin Palmo, India (Getsul ordination in 1964, Gelongma ordination in Hongkong 1973.)
    Address: Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery, Vill. Lower Mut, PO Padhiarkhar via Taragarh, Distt. Kangra, H.P. 176081, India.
    Ph: +91-1894-242617, Mobile +91-9816134032.

  2. Ven. Bhiksuni Pema Chodron, Resident teacher/ director (abbess) of Gampo Abbey, USA (Getsul ordination 1974, Gelongma ordination in Hongkong 1981). Details: Address: c/o Gampo Abbey, 1533 Pleasant Bay Road, Pleasant Bay, Nova, Scotia  B0E 2P0, Canada (until the end of March)

  3. Ven. Bhiksuni Karma Lekshe Tsomo, President of Sakyadhita International, Assistant Professor in San Diego, USA (Getsul ordination 1977, Gelongma ordination in Korea and Taiwan 1982).
    Address: Theology & Religious Studies, University of San Diego, 5889 Alcala Park, San Diego, CA 92110-2492, USA.
    Ph: (619) 260-4600, Fax: (619) 260-2260.

  4. Ven. Bhiksuni Thubten Chodron, USA (Getsul ordination 1977, Gelongma ordination 1986).
    Address: Ven. Thubten Chodron, Sravasti Abbey, 692 Country Lane, Newport WA 99156, USA,
    Tel: 509  447-5549 (fax for the Abbey is the same as the phone (1-509 447-5549), but you have to call first so that they can turn on the fax machine)

  5. Ven. Bhiksuni Jampa Tsedroen, Tibetan Centre Hamburg (Getsul ordination 1981, Gelongma ordination 1985).
    Address: c/o Tibetisches Zentrum e.V., Hermann-Balk-Str.106, D-22147 Hamburg
    Tel. +49-172-900-8989, Fax 49-89-1488-153529)

  6. Ven.  Reverend Ani Kunga Chodron, Secretary/Treasurer at Tsechen Kunchab Ling Temple, Seat of His Holiness Sakya Trizin in the U.S. and Assistant Professorial Lecturer at The George Washington University Department of Religion. (Getsul ordination 1987).
    354 Prelude Drive , Silver Spring MD  20901 USA . Tel: 301-906-3378. e-mail:


Ven. Bhiksuni Heng-ching Shih, Professor of Philosophy at Taiwan National University (Gelongma ordination 1975 in San Francisco).
Some Details on her work:
Address: 14-5F, 16, Lane 167, Cheng-kung Road, Nei-hu, Taipei 11457, Taiwan.
Phone number: 886-2-2790-4120, fax number: 2793-3447.

Ven. Bhikshuni Wu-yin, Vinaya Master.
Address 1: Hsiang-kuang Temple, 49-1 Hsi-chou, Nei-pu Tsun, Chu-chi Hsiang, Chia-yi County, TAIWAN  604.
Address 2 (different transliteration): 49-1 Xizhou, Nei-pu, Zhu-qi; Jia-Yi Xian Taiwan 604.
Email address:;


Some of the  members at a meeting in Sravasti Abbey in March 2006.

Old friends who have known each other for decades happily meet once again. (from left to right: Ven. Chodron, Ven. Heng-Ching Shih, Ven. Lekshe Tsomo,and Ven. Jampa Tsedroen).

[ Click here for more pictures of the committee at work. ]


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