Drikung Acharya Nuns Leadership Fellowship

The first year of the Tibetan Himalayan Fellowship Program with Acharya Yeshe was blessed by HH Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche and supported by the US Drikung Foundation and numerous donors

Listen to Acharya’s Dharma talk”Taming the Mind” in English, after a year in our Leadership Program for Tibetan Himalayan Nuns

The Tibetan/Himalayan Nuns Leadership Program is a year-long Fellowship for Drikung Nuns, based at Vajra Dakini in Portland, Maine that provides skills for international leadership and the empowerment of Tibetan Buddhist nuns as they lead their nunneries into the future. 

The Leadership Program was developed by the Acharya nuns at Samtenling Nunnery (DKI) in India,with Khenmo Drolma, Abbess of Vajra DakiniNunnery (Samtenling’s affiliate in Falmouth, Maine)and Mrs. Taklha, former Director of SamtenlingNunnery, and advisors from multiple centers. Thisprogram is designed to benefit the over 100 nuns ofDrikung Samtenling. Each year a Fellow is selected to spend a year in the United States, undergoing acourse of study designed to strengthen her skills and develop new areas of interest. She then agrees to present a workshop to her fellow nuns upon he rreturn, and to use her new skills to benefit Samtenling for at least 3 years after her residency.

The first Fellow in the program is Acharya Ani Yeshe. A graduate of the rigorous 9-year philosophyprogram at Samtenling, Acharya Yeshe is on the teaching faculty there, and guides the youngestnuns. Acharya’s work began at Vajra Dakini’s Liberation House, where she was immersed in Englishlanguage and computer classes in Portland. Throughout the year, Acharya has continued her studies,assisted in Dharma classes and interfaith activities, visitedother nunneries in the United States, and participated infurther training modules in Iowa and New York.

As her yearhere draws to a close,Acharya is workingwith Khenmo to explore the full potential of the program,and to create a plan for sharing her newly-acquiredknowledge and skills with her sister nuns at Samtenling andbeyond.

As the Acharya nuns assess current and future goals, wetailor the program to prepare them with additional skills,which may include education programs, hospice work, small medical clinics, book-publishing, and GoGreenprojects. Many of the challenges experienced at Samtenlingare also being faced by other nunneries in India, thus theknowledge and skills gained here, will have an even widerapplication.

Empowering nuns with 21st century skills

This program is designed to empower the 100 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. 

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. Expenses include:

  • 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