Tenzin Palmo: The Spiritual Journey of Diane Perry

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Friday, 7 December Bougainvillea and magnolias were in full bloom, brightening up the dominating green of the region.


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The weather was already hot when our taxi dropped in front of the open gates at Dongyu Gatsal Ling, a community of ninety Buddhist nuns founded by Tenzin Palmo nearly fifteen years ago. Straight away we wondered what pushed Diane Perry, a young English woman who had grown up in London, to leave everything behind for India, shaving off her lovely chestnut curls to become the second Western nun in the history of Tibetan Buddhism.

Now known as Tenzin Palmo, she is over 70 and what she has accomplished has become a living source of inspiration. We arrived at the convent door. She greeted us with a large smile and a firm, generous handshake.

She modestly agreed to talk about herself. Young Diane was born in and was a solitary child. She was unusually fascinated by Asia.


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  • During adolescence, themes on suffering, ageing, and death haunted her. She remembers being thirteen, watching a bus pass in front of her, and observing the people in it talking and laughing. In February , she embarked on a cargo boat for a two-week journey that took her to Bombay and then went on to Northern India, where she found a position as an English teacher in a school for young lamas.

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    Just at that time, the headmistress of the school received a letter from the eighth Khamtrul Rinpoche, recently exiled to India from Tibet. When he arrived at the school a few weeks later, she hurried to greet him, without daring to look at him directly.

    And he knew immediately that I was his disciple. The young nun learned that while in Tibet, her guru lived among the Togdenma the female Togden , though they did not survive the Chinese Cultural Revolution.

    Cave in the Snow

    He was so happy. Tenzin Palmo was only twenty-six when the Khamtrul encouraged her to go on a retreat and sent her to Lahaul, near Keylong. The cave she chose for her purpose was situated at an altitude of meters, difficult to access. She would spend twelve years there. One winter, after seven days of continuous driving blizzards, Tenzin Palmo discovered that the height of snow had covered the openings of her cave and that she was imprisoned. After long, terrifying minutes, she finally reached outside air. And for me this was a source of great joy.

    Cave in the Snow (Audiobook) by Vicki Mackenzie | wonoxasutume.tk

    But, these highs and lows are natural. The real test of our Buddhist practice happens not on the cushion or in the protected space of retreat, but moment-to-moment in daily life, particularly when we find ourselves in uncomfortable situations.

    How do we respond? In this book, Jetsunma offers insights with a well-grounded understanding of how the timeless Buddhist teachings apply to the demands and challenges of modern life. Reflections on a Mountain Lake.

    The contemporary ground of women’s spirituality.

    This sparkling collection of Dharma teachings by Tenzin Palmo addresses issues of common concern to Buddhist practitioners from all traditions. Personable, witty, and insightful, Tenzin Palmo presents an inspiring and no-nonsense view of Buddhist practice.

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    These Teachings are delivered in plain language, seasoned with plenty of audience participation. Each subject is discussed with humour, liveliness and compassion. Tenzin Palmo has the great gift of showing how the Dharma can be integrated into every part of our everyday lives. The women featured in Dakini Power —contemporary teachers of Tibetan Buddhism, both Asians and Westerners, who teach in the West—have been universally recognized as accomplished practitioners and brilliant teachers whose life stories demonstrate their immense determination and bravery.