Gebchak News, June 2011

NEWS FLASH – another earthquake – June 25, 2011! Many of you may have heard of a recent earthquake of magnitude 5.2 shaking the region of Gebchak Gonpa! There is no word of any deaths or serious injuries, but many homes were damaged in Nangchen village as well as other villages nearby Gebchak Gonpa. The Nunnery’s kitchen was damaged, now with a quirky lean. Since Saturday (June 25), all the nuns are crowding into a few tents, sleeping outdoors, yet all is well. At the time of this post Wangdrak Rinpoche is with the orphans in the Yushu capital of Jyekundo. Rinpoche reported to us on Sunday, June 26th, that they are all safe and sound. Read more about the earthquake.

Welcome to our new website! It is laden with information about our projectsabout Gebchak itself and its nuns. Enjoy going through it:) For practitioners, we highly recommend the interviews with the nuns themselves. There are many new additions including photos and video streams here. In time, our volunteers will upload more so please return to this website.

Outreach is vital and we appreciate it if you could recommend this website to your sympathetic circle of friends.


Nuns at the completion of their 3-year retreat.

The Nuns: April 2011 was an important month for all the Gebchak nuns. The democratically-elected leadership roles of disciplinarian, bursar etc. were chosen by the nuns for a new 3-year term. Often those chosen go through a bit of shock as they face three years of giving up their quiet meditation and yoga focus for a new kind of Dharma practice. To honor the new and old leaders there was a festive picnic – and Tibetan nuns know how to enjoy a good picnic! Also in April the last 3-year retreat concluded with 25 seasoned nuns emerging, leaving space for a new group of nuns who began their retreat on the same day. The old nuns will  join one of the 16 retreat divisions and continue familiarizing themselves with their practice for the rest of their lives.

The old temple's pillars.

The temple: In May, with the boon of warmer weather, the old main temple was demolished to make way for a new one. The old temple was hallowed for the nuns as it was blessed by many great lamas and prayer ceremonies over the years. It was with great sentiment that they watched the walls of the old temple come down. By next spring, 2012, the aim is to complete construction of the new ground floor. Meantime, the nuns will crowd in a smaller shrine room for their prayer ceremonies. Check out more demolition photos of the temple here.

A nun watches the old temple come down.

Wangdrak Rinpoche & the orphans: Wangdrak Rinpoche has been primarily at Gebchak Nunnery since April and is extremely busy looking after Nunnery affairs and the 34 orphans in Yushu. The orphans are healthy and going to school, while the youngest stay around the tent homes and enjoy play in the summer weather. Wangdrak Rinpoche thanks you all for your support and reminds you that the nuns keep you in their daily prayers.  The orphans have a new page too on the website.



Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, the inspiration behind DGLI, with Gebchak Gonpa helpers, Cat & Chozom, New York City, June 2011.

Offer support! Dongyu Gatsal Ling Initiative’s partnership with Gebchak Gonpa has been a powerful support helping the Gebchak nuns and the Yushu orphans in Tibet. Through the Dongyu Gatsal Ling Initiative (DGLI) website, sponsors and donors throughout the world can make secure online donations. For those in the USA all donations are fully tax-deductible. Read more about this relationship on our website.

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With warm wishes and prayers,

Gebchak Gonpa helpers (on behalf of the Gebchak nuns and lamas)

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