Formed in 1994, Pundarika Foundation’s primary mission is to support the teaching activities and humanitarian work of Tsoknyi Rinpoche. As best said from their website, Pundarika is a volunteer organization that relies on the generosity of students’ time and commitment. It has the support of over 2,000 students throughout the world who attend retreats, practice Dharma under the inspiration of Rinpoche and contribute time, money and prayers to its success. It’s primary goals are:
• Keeping alive the wisdom of the Dharma
• Sustaining practitioners who preserve the teachings of the Buddha as a vital tradition
• Helping people experience inner peace, to better face the challenges of modern life with compassion and serenity
The Nangchen Nuns are part of a wisdom tradition that was preserved in Tibet for many centuries. Tsoknyi Rinpoche the First (who flourished in the 19th century) designed and developed a system of practices for the transformation and enlightenment of female practitioners in Tibet. This continues with the current Tsoknyi Rinpoche. In a culture where female practitioners have struggled to gain respect, these nuns have risen to a high level of status, with many monks and lamas seeking their teachings and instruction.
Not only is the power of their practice evident in the atmosphere of harmony and cooperation within the nunneries, but also there is a profound impact on the surrounding villages. These communities have noted marked declines in violence, alcoholism, excessive drinking, and smoking. Even harsh speech becomes rare.
The nuns also serve the community through spiritual support and counseling, helping with religious ceremonies, coping with death, giving love, compassion and emanating peace directly into people’s lives. This is a tangible example of the power of spiritual influence. The values that nuns have–peace, love and compassion–affect an entire community and continue to branch out to the rest of the world.
The Global Bridge Foundation has provided periodic grant/monetary support to Pundarika and the Nuns over the past few years.