WONDERFUL NEWS. Tibetan Geshemas on the way!
From a letter from Rinchen Khando Choegyal, Director of the Tibetan Nuns Project:
“On behalf of the Tibetan Nuns Project and the over 700 nuns that we support in India and Nepal, it gives me great pleasure to announce that this year there will be a formal ceremony to mark the graduation of the first ever Tibetan Geshemas.
The event is scheduled to take place in Dharamsala on October 3 in a function at Thekchen Choling, main temple in Dharamsala (Update: Now December 22, 2016 in South India with His Holiness Dalai Lama). We are extremely grateful to the Department of Religion and Culture of the Tibetan Exile Administration, which is graciously organizing the function. His Holiness the Dalai Lama will personally bestow the degrees on the nuns who have earned them.
This event marks a very important milestone in the history of Tibetan Buddhism and in the education and empowerment of Tibetan Buddhist nuns. For the first time ever, Tibetan nuns will receive the Geshema degree, equivalent to a doctorate in Tibetan Buddhism.
The opening up of this opportunity for nuns would not have been possible without the unwavering support and vision of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and from the Tibetan Department of Religion and Culture, and from high lamas and teachers.
The 20 degree candidates have just completed the final round of examinations at Geden Choeling Nunnery in Dharamsala, and test results will be released in early July. The Geshema examination process is a rigorous one that takes place over four years and is the culmination of the nuns’ 17-year course of study.
Attaining the Geshema degree will mark a turning point for the nuns. The degrees will make them eligible to assume various leadership roles in the monastic and lay communities reserved for degree holders and hence previously not possible for women to attain.
The nuns’ achievements are all the more remarkable because some of the women sitting the doctoral exams were totally illiterate when they escaped from Tibet. Some could not even write their own names.
We are extremely grateful to our supporters around the world for your compassion for the nuns and your generosity. This dedication from our global family of supporters has made it possible for the nuns to fulfill long-held aspirations that at one time seemed only dreams.”
Full Interview at: The Yogini Archives.
*Source and images: Tibetan Nuns Project.