Drikung Acharya Nuns Leadership Fellowship

Empowering nuns with 21st century skills

The Drikung Acharya Nuns Leadership Program  is a year long fellowships for Tibetan Nuns from India providing skills for international leadership and future growth of Samtenling Nunnery and its graduates. Upon her return to India the fellow will design courses and workshops to share her skills. The program was developed by the Acharya nuns in conversation with an international team and is supervised by Mrs Taklha, former director of Samtenling Nunnery and Khenmo Drolma, Abbess of Vajra Dakini Nunnery.

The areas of interest and study may include:

  • Intensive English and computer classes
  • Participation in Sakyadita, the International Buddhist Women’s Organization with assistance in preparing and presenting a paper for the annual Conference
  • A variety of modular experiences, tailored to the interests of the participant
    • education programs
    • hospice
    • small medical clinics
    • publishing books
    • GO Green projects

This program is designed to empower the 90 nuns of the Drikung Samtenling Nunnery. Like their brothers, the monks who serve internationally, they are essential as future leaders in the Drikung Kagyu lineage.

The first year of the fellowship in the United States will contain beneficial studies, skill building and a major exploration of the full potential of the fellowship.  Each fellowship year will focus on a project defined by the visiting nun with the team of experts to clearly define acquisition of skills that can affect both the younger nuns and the new graduates. Over time, the full population of the nunnery would benefit from the studies acquired during the fellowship.  As  the Acharya nuns assess current and future goals, we will tailor the program to prepare them with skills. Many of the challenges at Samtenling are also being faced by other monasteries and nunneries in India, thus the skills of the Fellow could have a very wide application.

As the first Fellow in the Acharya Nuns Leadership program, Acharya Ani Yeshe will spend 4 to 6 months at Vajra Dakini Nunnery Samtenling’s affiliate in in Maine. She is an Acharya or graduate of the rigorous philosophy program at Samtenling. Currently she is on their teaching faculty, working with the youngest nuns. Arriving in August 2018, her work will begin at VDN’s Liberation House in Portland, Maine, where she will be immersed in English language education, assist in Dharma classes and interfaith activities and visit other nunneries as she refines her individual Fellowship project. This year, we will emphasize planning, team building working with interfaith groups and development of training modules. Following her residency in Maine, she will attend month long training modules in Florida, Iowa and New York.  These modules will be coordinated by individual experts and or centers in various cities during her visit.

Your donation will go directly for her travel and support. Vajra Dakini is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.  VDN will post a financial report on this program annually and you will be able to follow her activities on VDN’s Facebook page. Our draft budget includes:

  • Travel to the US and centers offering training, travel to significant buddhist nunneries
  • Health insurance
  • Small monthly stipend for the Fellow’s personal expenses
  • Visa expenses
  • Contribution to hosting centers if budget permits
  • Participation in Sakyadhita, International Buddhist Women’s Conference if budget permits