Women's Freedom and Spiritual Liberation:
Women's Freedom and
Beginning in April 1999, ten nuns from the Kopan Nunnery in Kathmandu will present sacred music, chants, dance and art in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition during a nine-month tour of the United States and Canada.
The tour is dedicated to cultivating an awareness of the unique civilization of the Tibetan people, its cultural heritage, its Buddhist religion and its political tradition.
The nuns will visit more than hundred cities offering their Buddhist cultural performance, undertaking speaking engagements and presenting the sacred art of making sand mandalas.
The nuns come from a nunnery which has almost two hundred nuns. For the nuns and the nunnery the tour is a way of fundraising for their nunnery. Funds raised in the course of this tour will go towards building additional housing, so that more nuns may be accepted into the nunnery, to provide medical care and for the creation of a food fund for the nuns.
Khachoe Ghakyil Nunnery, also known to many as the Kopan Nunnery, has almost 200 nuns and is one of a new generation of nunneries established in exile. It was founded in 1979 in the infinite kindness and compassion of the late Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche, the Spiritual Director of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition. The nuns of KGN have had the doors of the full range of a variety of personal spiritual expression opened to them, including classical Buddhist education of philosophy and debate, and training in the ritual arts of music, dance, thangka painting and sand mandala construction in the grand tradition of the Tibetan monastic culture.
The North American Tour of the nuns of KGN typifies the remarkable efforts made by the Tibetan people to preserve and reconstitute their rich culture following the takeover of Tibet by the Communist Chinese. From the beginning of their exile, the preservation of religion and culture was identified by His Holiness the Dalai Lama as the foremost task confronting the exile community in India and Nepal. But the Tibetan people have not merely chosen to preserve the fixed forms of their ancient traditions, but to regenerate and adapt them to the new world in which they find themselves.
It is this dynamic union of pure tradition with the creative innovation that has empowered the Tibetan community in exile, and has inspired so much admiration and interest from the rest of the world.
The tour of the KGN nuns is a perfect example of this vital process of innovative cultural preservation.
In order to invite and host the tour in your area in the presentation of their cultural performance or the healing and purification prayer ceremonies or for the making of the sacred art work of the sand mandalas, we request an honorarium in the approximate range of $3,000 to $5,000 (three to five thousand dollars).
We would like you to know that this tour is a means of fundraising for the nuns and the nunnery, where access to resources are extremely limited, especially for the nuns. Part of the honorarium will also goes toward covering the costs of flying the ten nuns from Nepal, expenses involved in the organization of this tour, the tour vehicle, equipment for the tour, the various forms of insurance, the travel expenses within North America - these are a few of the things that we mention here for your information. Whatever money is left over after these expense will go completely to the nunnery in Nepal.
Your fundraising efforts will be of great benefit for the nuns in the support of their secular and spiritual education programs, the food fund, medical care, the preservation of Tibetan culture, and other programs and goals of the nunnery.
If the above-mentioned honorarium is too much for your community, please do not let that notion deter you from inviting the nuns into your area. The other option that we would be happy to accept is whatever amount of money is generated from the sale of the tickets to the performance, prayer ceremonies or any other events by the nuns. We would like to request and emphasize the importance of advertising well the various events by the nuns so that the entire venture and experience is of great benefit and worth the time and efforts of yourself and the nuns.
There will be thirteen people travelling in the group: the ten nuns from Nepal, the tour co-ordinator, and two drivers. Eleven of them will be Tibetan nuns from the monastery and two Americans.
Everyone will be travelling with their sleeping bags, so the preparation in the way of accommodation would be mattresses and pillows at the very least. You can house them in private homes. If everyone could be accommodated into one residence that would be great. But we do understand that this is not always possible and so the group can be split up into groups of two or more but not as single individuals.
The nuns are also happy to cook for themselves as a group in order to keep to a diet that they are used to in their travel around the US.
Download a BANNER to promote the tour!
performance | Ritual music | Sand
mandalas | The nuns of KGN | Image
CD recording | European tour itinerary (in German) | Info for organizers | Support the nuns! | Related links
© Khachoe Ghakyil 1999-2002
Web custodian Julia Milton
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