Buddhist nun | founder of the Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery
For her 21st birthday, Tenzin Palmo received a gift many young women like her had never even heard of: a Guru. But, this fishmonger's daughter from London's East End had spent her short life searching for answers + a place to belong, and in 1964, she found them in Tibetan Buddhism.
She was catapulted to relative fame in the West when she emerged from a 12-year seclusion in a remote Himalayan cave to begin teaching and speaking about her quest for Enlightenment. Today, her work continues to help overcome centuries of inequality between women and men in Buddhist practice while guiding scores of young women ~ so often marginalized ~ on their own search for inner spark.
dedication | 50 years as Buddhist nun, in pursuit of enlightenment
teaching | lectures and leads workshops worldwide
service | provides education, skills, training + encouragement for young nuns
1964 | ordained a Tibetan Buddhist nun
1988 | emerged from 12-year retreat in a Himalayan cave
2000 | founded Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery in India
from | to
a young spiritual seeker | Tibetan Buddhist nun who's inspiring the next generation of female spiritual leaders
June 30, 1943
Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo
~ reverend lady ~
~ a former housemaid ~
~ a fishmonger, he passed away when Tenzin was 2 years old ~
1 older brother | Mervyn
grew up in
Bethnal Green, London's East End, England
Teesdale Street Primary School
John Howard Grammar School
her guru | His Eminence the 8th Khamtrul Rinpoche Dongyu Nyima
bringing equality to spirituality
creating opportunities for women to study, debate and meditatecollapse bio bits
"I have made a vow to attain Enlightenment in the female form—no matter how many lifetimes it takes."Cave in the Snow | september 1998
"My life has been like a river, it has flowed steadily in one direction."Cave in the Snow | september 1998
"Only we can save ourselves. God is inside, it's not something out, sitting in the sky pulling the strings. And you have to rediscover your own inner spark of the divine."Cave in the Snow | october 2002
"Being a mother and a wife is very much dharma practice if one uses one’s intelligence. Where do you need generosity, patience and so on, more than when bringing up a child?"Lady Buddha | july 2006
"If all we want is to be happy, then we may wish to be born in our next lives as a poodle!"full bloom: A profile of Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo | june 2009
"In our modern society, self-aggrandizement is regarded as a virtue. This is a fundamental delusion."Waking Up | 2011
"Whether you're high caste or low caste, you're all breathing the same air."Tenzin Palmo: The Nature of the Mind | april 2014
Outside the Cave
Tenzin Palmo standing alongside the cave in which she spent 12 years in spiritual retreat.
Dongyu Gatsal Ling
The logo of Tenzin's Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery ~ founded in 2000 ~ depicts the Victory Banner of the Khamtrul Rinpoches, leaders of the Buddhist lineage to which the nunnery belongs, as well as a Dharma Wheel, symbolizing study and practice, and the dragons of the Drukpa Kagyu "Dragon" lineage.
Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery
Finding Our Voice - Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery
Tenzin Palmo tells the story of the founding of the Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery, where women of the Drukpa Kagyu lineage learn and practice according to Dharmic principles. The nuns hope to reestablish the neglected tradition of the yogini and women's place in the pursuit of enlightenment.
In this interview, Palmo describes the struggles modern people face against the ego and greed, our desperate desire for happiness, and her faith in human potential.
Global Oneness Project