For the first time, two Tibetan Buddhist nuns with geshema degrees, the equivalent of a PhD in Tibetan Buddhist philosophy, have been hired to teach at Dolma Ling Nunnery and Institute in Dharamsala, India. In the past, these topics were taught exclusively by monks.
In a message to supporters, Elizabeth Napper, the board chair and US founder of the nonprofit Tibetan Nuns Project, announced that Delek Wangmo and Tenzin Kunsel are the first nuns to teach other nuns Buddhist philosophy. Training for Tibetan Buddhism’s highest degree, which has historically been limited to monks as the geshe degree, only became available to female monastics in recent decades. At least 37 women in the exile community have earned the title of geshema, after completing a course that involves at least 17 years of intensive study.