Engaged Buddhism: Ven. Pomnyun Sunim and JTS Korea support Buddhist nunneries in Bhutan

- through Henry Oudin

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All images courtesy of JTS

Revered Korean Dharma Master and Buddhist activist Venerable Pomnyun Sunim (법륜스님) and volunteers from Buddhist humanitarian aid organization JTS Korea conducted a collaborative project from December 2023 to March 2024 to support female monastics in the isolated Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan.

In collaboration with the Bhutan Nuns Foundation (BNF), which operates under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Yangdoen Wangchuck to educate and empower Buddhist nuns in Bhutan, Ven. Pomnyun Sunim and the JTS team prepared winter supplies for distribution to national authorities. bhikshuni training institutions to help the women who live and practice there cope with the rigors of the winter climate.

Fri. Pomnyun Sunim created the humanitarian aid organization Join Together Society (JTS) as an expression of the compassion of engaged Buddhism and based on the principle that helping others is the best way to enrich one's own life. Charged with bringing hope, empowerment and self-reliance to disadvantaged communities in developing countries, JTS is led and operated by unpaid volunteers, who ensure that all donations benefit marginalized communities. JTS carries out relief operations in countries suffering from humanitarian disasters and has engaged in humanitarian projects in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines and Sri Lanka. The humanitarian organization has also been granted special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

Above: Ven. Pomnyun Sunim in Bhutan. Right: Ven. Pomnyun Sunim meets Dr. Tashi Zangmo, Executive Director of the Bhutan Nuns Foundation

In close cooperation with the BNF, JTS supported 1 young nuns in 585 convents, providing them with basic necessities, including 36 winter jackets, 590 pairs of socks, 500 blankets and 500 pairs of shoes. JTS also provided sports equipment to support the physical well-being of the young monks.

In addition to seeing bright smiles light up the faces of the young Buddhist nuns thanks to their help, Ven. Pomnyun Sunim and JTS also received many messages of gratitude for their efforts.

“Thank you for providing winter blankets to the nuns,” said Ani Pema of Neylung Convent. “I am happy that they help protect us against the cold season. We are grateful to everyone who helped the sisters.

Isolated, landlocked and perched in the rarefied air of the eastern Himalayas, the Kingdom of Bhutan, sandwiched between two political and economic powers that are India and China, is the last Vajrayana Buddhist country in the world. The ancient spiritual tradition is embedded in the very consciousness and culture of this remote country, where it has flourished with an unbroken history dating back to its introduction from Tibet by Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rinpoche, in the eighth century.

“For the past four years, we wanted to purchase sports equipment such as table tennis sets, but we were unable to do so due to financial constraints,” observed senior monk Khenpo Namgyel at Karma Leksheyling Shedra, in the town of Paro. “We are grateful to JTS for providing sports equipment to our young nuns.”

Ani Wangmo from Samdrup Jongkhar in Bumthang said: “There was no one to sponsor winter and sports equipment. JTS has been of great help to nuns living in remote areas. This sports equipment will help maintain their health and contribute to an active daily life. We thank Ven. Pomnyun Sunim for her warm support.

In a message shared with BDG, JTS said it plans to “continue its continued support of the educational environment for Buddhist nuns in Bhutan.”

Fri. Pomnyun Sunim is a highly revered Korean professor, author, and social activist. He has founded numerous organizations, initiatives and projects around the world, including: JTS Korea, an international humanitarian aid organization working to eradicate poverty and hunger; Jungto Society, a volunteer community founded on the teachings of the Buddha and dedicated to solving modern social problems that lead to suffering; Ecobuddha, an organization focused on environmental ethics and sustainable living based on the teachings of the Buddha; and Good Friends, which promotes reconciliation and cooperation between North and South Korea and provides humanitarian aid to North Koreans. Fri. Pomnyun Sunim also works closely with the International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB).

In October 2020, the Niwano Peace Foundation in Japan presented the 37th Niwano Peace Prize to Ven. Pomnyun Sunim in recognition of his international humanitarian work, intensive environmental and social activism, and tireless efforts to build trust and goodwill among communities of different faiths and cultures, towards the goal of world peace .*

* Buddhist monk Ven. Pomnyun Sunim receives the 37th Niwano Peace Prize (BDG)

See more

Jungto Company
JTS Korea
JTS America
The Bhutan Nuns Foundation

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The article Engaged Buddhism: Ven. Pomnyun Sunim and JTS Korea support Buddhist nunneries in Bhutan appeared first on Buddhadoor Global.

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Henry Oudin

Henry Oudin is a Buddhist scholar, spiritual adventurer and journalist. He is a passionate seeker of the depths of Buddhist wisdom, and travels regularly to learn more about Buddhism and spiritual cultures. By sharing his knowledge and life experiences on Buddhist News, Henry hopes to inspire others to embrace more spiritual and mindful ways of living.

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