The Gyalwang Karmapa Speaks About The First Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering for Kagyu Nuns

This year we have the good fortune of convening the first Nuns’ Winter Dharma Gathering at the sacred site of Bodhgaya. We have given this event the name “Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering.” 

The reason to call it this is that when the Buddha was alive, just as he had an ordained male student who was “the wisest of the wise”—Shariputra—there was also Kshema, who was the wisest of the wise among his ordained women followers. The Buddha said that Kshema was the most confident and wisest of his female disciples, so we have named the Winter Dharma Gathering after her with the intention that this will cause nuns to become more confident and better educated.

The community of nuns has been present in Tibet since Dharma first spread there, but historically female monastics have not had the same facilities for studying, contemplating, and meditating as male monastics.

But the times have changed and we are now in an age in this world when it is important that women are equal and that everyone is given the same educational opportunities. So in this time, we must take this opportunity. I think it will be extremely good to give nuns all of the facilities for studying, contemplating, and meditating as well as supporting them fully in their traditional and modern educations.

Thus we are having this special gathering and I hope this is a cause for the nuns to become more confident and also for them to understand how important it is to study, contemplate, and meditate and to practice the three trainings.

It is not enough in becoming a nun to just change your name and wear monastic robes, and I am delighted to have such a gathering where nuns can come to understand this. I hope and pray that in the future we can continue to have these gatherings annually and that among the nuns there will come to be many great beings who uphold the teachings through both ancient and modern education, and also that there will be many great women who will be able to serve society. 

Thank you.

Read More:
Announcing the Ārya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering for Kagyu Nuns


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