Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo

Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo is a featured contributor to our book, The Power of Love. She was born as Diane Perry in London, England, went to India at age twenty, and became one of the first Western women to be ordained a Tibetan Buddhist nun and the first to carry out the traditional meditation retreat in a Himalayan cave, which she did for twelve years under the direction of her Guru, His Eminence the 8th Khamtrul Rinpoche. Her life story and experience became widely known through the book Cave in the Snow,published in 1998 by Vicki MacKenzie. Palmo faced entrenched bias from male monks who viewed her quest for enlightenment as hopeless because she was a female. She stayed the course, advocating for full ordination for nuns and their access to Buddhist training. On direction of her lama, she founded a nunnery, Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery (“Garden of the Authentic Lineage”), located in the region of the Dalai Lama’s residence in Dharamsala and close to Tashi Jong, monastic home to many great Buddhist adepts and teachers. The DGL nunnery gives a rare opportunity to women for traditional training in Buddhist practice, philosophy, and spiritual excellence. The nunnery completed its temple in 2013, a traditional religious space and the first to feature sacred feminine imagery drawn from Buddhist iconography. Palmo is the chief administrator and visionary of the nunnery, and speaks worldwide on issues of women’s concerns, Buddhist practice, and peace in troubled times. To learn more about Palmo and the DGL Nunnery, visit their website.

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