Tharpa Choeling Nunnery

 TCN Snow
 Fig 1. Tharpa Choeling Nunnery

Tharpa Choeling Nunnery is located in a small town in the District of Mustang, within the Himalayan mountains, 3802 m above sea level on a site occupied by the ruins of the former nunnery built by the first Shangpa Rinpoche.

This is the one of the places where the first Shangpa Rinpoche stayed and turned the wheel of Dharma in a previous life. He was also responsible for the building of many monasteries and stupas in that area. Many of the older practitioners and lay devotees were his past life disciples including the Mustang King Jigme Palbar Bista.

Under the invitation of the Mustang King and some of his disciples, Rinpoche made his first trip back to Muktinath in March 1994. This trip was a blessing. Many auspicious signs and omens emerge during the trip. Rinpoche's devotees, especially his past life disciples have a deep respect and profound devotion to him. Hoping that he would continue turning the wheel of the Dharma here, they donated a piece of land at Muktinath to him, where the Nunnery now stands.

 
 Fig 2. TCN Shrine Hall

The Nunnery consists of the Shrine hall, a stupa, nuns' quarters, kitchen and dining room, a school building with a library, guest rooms and a retreat room for Rinpoche. The ground breaking ceremony was held on 13 July 1995. The opening ceremony was held on the 4 October 2000.

Presently, there are about 24 Anis - nuns staying at this nunnery. Despite the hard living condition, the nuns maintain a simple and disciplined life. Retreat lamas are sent to teach the nuns traditional ritual practices as well as to give instruction for retreats. The nuns are also taught to read and write various languages including Tibetan and English.

All the nuns have to first complete the Four Foundations practice before they can proceed with other studies on the teachings.

   
 Fig 2. TCN Nuns

Fig 3. Samadhi Incense 

In order to be self-sufficient, the nuns are manufacturing incense by the brand name of Samadhi Incense. The factory is located in the Kagyu Institute for Buddhist Studies in Kirtipur, Nepal. All the incense are made by natural and holy substances. Most of the manufacturing process is by hand. Only the pressing of the incense mixture into long sticks is done by machine. If you would like to order the fragrant incense made by the anis, please email to samadhincense[a.t.]gmail.com.

To find out more about Samadhi Incense, please visit its page in Facebook.