Dongyu Gatsal Ling Initiatives, Inc.
Tayul Gonpa, where Jetsunma spent six years of her life before entering into retreat in the cave, is one of the oldest Drukpa Kagyu monasteries in the Lahaul-Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh. (Tayul in Tibetan means “chosen place”). Situated six kilometers above the Satingiri Village, Tayul Gonpa houses a 400-year-old statue of Padmasambhava and two of his protectors, and contains in its library precious scriptures (Kangyurs) and thangkas portraying the life of Lord Buddha.
Tayul Gonpa is a two-mile walk from the main road in Lahaul, which, historically, supported a spiritual culture that is now on the decline as the population in the area decreases and the gonpas empty out as its nuns age and die. Tibetan Buddhist nuns have an important role preserving their unique, spiritual legacies. Supporting the gonpas is critical so that the nuns may continue their spiritual lives, and sustain and pass along particular sacred traditions.
The monastery at Tayul Gonpa is not currently self-sustaining and cannot support the wellbeing, nutritional and medical needs of its nuns who spend six months of the year in deep retreat. Two of the four nuns at Tayul Gonpa are in their 80s; another in her 70s; and the youngest, 58. As time passes, they and other nuns like them will need more support. At present, the nuns at Tayul Gonpa are acting as a conduit, sharing offerings from donors with their sisters, nuns from the hermitages of Lama Gonpa and Lapchang Gonpa that reside in the same valley of Lahaul and are also in dire need of assistance.
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