After the Chinese occupation, nuns from Tibet chose to accept the challenge of crossing the perilous, snow-covered peaks and treacherous ascents of the 22,000 foot Nangpa La to seek asylum at Deboche and be with Deboche’s head nun and spiritual leader, Ani Ngawang Pema. Ani Pema was a well-known Buddhist practitioner who spent some 51 years in solitary retreat. She accumulated great merit and powerful wisdom from decades of meditation and ministry to fellow nuns and the wider international and local communities.
The nuns of Deboche are considered ceremonial nuns who perform ‘pujas’ or religious ceremonies throughout the Khumbu. They start each day with prayers for the well being of all sentient beings..that they may find happiness through compassion and loving kindness. The nuns have voiced a desire for further monastic training so that they may become teachers and learned mediators. By rebuilding Deboche and creating a teaching/meditation facility, we are working to enable these nuns and other dedicated students to achieve lifelong goals and preserve their Tibetan/Sherpa culture and Buddhist traditions.
Photos by Dana Berenson