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Some news from the Nuns at Lama Tsong Khapa Institute
Venerable Tsultrim reporting from Italy

In 2014 the community of nuns shrank to about a small group due to the completion of two study programs, the Basic and Masters Program. Some of the nuns left to undertake a one-year retreat while others returned to their homelands, waiting to return for upcoming programs at the Institute.

A peak of 2014 was the visit of His Holiness during the summer. His Holiness stayed at the Institute for 3 days and also participated in large public events. The sangha were especially grateful for His Holiness’s visit to the future monastery land, and through his blessing we hope to receive the building permit soon.

Following this, we had the great fortune of two weeks with our most kind, Kyabje Zopa Rinpoche. Many of you joined these wonderful events and offered much support – A big THANK YOU! One day, Rinpoche invited all of the Sangha for Lunch and after which we recited many mantras blessing water to be added to the sea, in order to bless all the living creatures. It was a vey moving moment.

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From January thru March 2015, we have the rare opportunity to study “Rig Lam,” Paths of Reasoning, in multiple languages: English, Italian, and Tibetan with Geshe Graham Woodhouse, from England, and with Geshe Jampa Gelek, our resident teacher. This includes two debate sessions per day, with the traditional format, symbolic gestures and all. It challenges our minds and twists our tongues, but we’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. We are often exhausted from the rigorous mental gymnastic but, at least, have come to see the tremendous benefit of analyzing the nature of matter (not to mention, COLORS!), permanent phenomena, perception etc., and the benefit of seeking out a reason for any assertion, always asking, “why?” and determining the pervasion. Our dreams at night are filled with: “ It follows it is not, because…,” “which pervades which…,” “posit the possibilities between…”

At the end of March, another six-year Masters Program will begin. We look forward to the rare opportunity to study the root texts and commentaries in order to deepen our understanding of the Dharma in an investigative manner that accords with the advice of His Holiness. More nuns will come to attend the Basic Program beginning in the autumn of this year as well. We look forward to this growth in the community, and welcome you to join us.