"Exhibiting You" - Story

Future Ground

By: Mimi Kuo-Deemer
Submitted: 04/09/2010

Bright eyed and intelligent, Karma Tsulmo is one of 95 nuns at the Pema Choling Nunnery and Institute for Buddhist studies and may be among the first women in Bhutan to receive the equivalent of a masters degree in Buddhist philosophy. Here, she is standing on the future site of her classroom. At present, the Pema Choling Institute is the only academy in Bhutan that currently offers a full university equivalent course (shedra) in Buddhist philosophy to women. The conditions for learning at the Institute, however, are deplorable. Shortly after this photo was taken, construction of a new learning facility began, but funding soon ran out, and the building site remains unfinished. Many nuns continue to learn without a formal classrooms and live in temporary quarters, and access to running water and medical facilities limited. Despite these outward challenges, however, Karma Tsulmo hopes one day that she will graduate from her studies and become a respected dharma teacher. This photo was taken as part of a project titled "Women in Pursuit of Spiritual Enlightenment."

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