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Himalayan communities better placed to preserve Buddhism: Dalai Lama

May 17, 2009

By Phurbu Thinley
May 16, 2009

Dharamsala, May 16 -- His Holiness the Dalai Lama
on Saturday said Buddhist nuns from Himalayan
regions had an important responsibility in
preserving Tibetan Buddhist traditions, which he
said was facing an uncertain future in its homeland.

The highly evolved Tibetan Buddhist tradition is
facing an uncertain future in Tibet and it is
time for the Buddhist nuns from Himalayan regions
to also play an important role in preserving this
rich and unique spiritual tradition, the Dalai Lama said.

"So I always emphasize that people in the
Himalayan regions now have a special
responsibility to safeguard and preserve the
ancient and rich Buddhist tradition that is
deeply rooted in the Tibetan and Himalayan culture,” His Holiness added.

The Tibetan spiritual leader was speaking at the
Jamyang Choling Institute at Garoh near Dharamsala.

His Holiness was attending a religious ceremonial
function to consecrate and inaugurate a new
Assembly Hall of the institute for Buddhist nuns,
the majority of whom are from Himalayan regions of India, Nepal and Bhutan.

Representatives from the Tibetan
Government-in-Exile, including Kalon (Minister)
Tsering Phuntsok, of Department of Religion and
Culture, Minister for Department of Security Mr.
Dhonchung Ngodup and Deputy Speaker of the
Tibetan Parliament-in-exile Gyari Dolma, attended the function.

Commending the works of the nunnery in imparting
spiritual education for Tibetan Buddhist nuns
from the Himalayan regions, His Holiness urged
the centre to continue to strive for excellence in spiritual practice.

The Dalai Lama went on to insist that the primary
focus of Buddhist monasteries and nunneries
should be on the quality of the education and
spiritual practice, and not on the number of monks and nuns in the campus.

"Quality should be the priority. Number is not important," His Holiness said.

Jamyang Choling says one of its primary missions
is to "train nuns as spiritual leaders, teachers,
community workers and mentors for others in
remote Himalayan regions and elsewhere when feasible."

Prior to attending the inaugural ceremony, His
Holiness paid a quick visit to Thösamling
Institute for International Buddhist Women and
Nyingtop Ling, a home for the physically
challenged Tibetan children, both located in
Sidhpur near Dharmsala, which serves as the base
for Tibet's Government in exile.
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