About Tsoknyi Gargon Ling Nunnery

Tsoknyi Gargon Ling is located high in the Himalayas at the sacred pilgrimage site of Muktinath, known to the Tibetans as Chumig Gyatsa, the place of a hundred springs. Both Buddhists and Hindus come to bathe in the holy water there. Sacred to the worship of Lord Vishnu, Muktinath is a place where all the elements come together, where fire blazes on earth, on rock and on water. For Tibetan Buddhists, it is considered a place of Dakinis and a sacred supreme field for the accumulation of merit. Guru Rinpoche and many mahasiddhas visited and blessed the area. Sacred signs and imprints are visible in the rocks and hillsides.

The nunnery at Muktinath has been in existence for at least 400 years, but about 70 years ago, it was destroyed in a devastating fire, leaving the nuns without a home. In addition, after their lama had passed away, the nuns had to struggle for years to maintain their gonpa without the guidance of a lama and without any basic material support. Despite these difficulties, they continued praying as best they could in their rapidly disintegrating shrine room. In 1991, hearing of a great Tibetan lama of their own lineage, three senior nuns walked hundreds of miles over mountainous terrain to Kathmandu to request the spiritual and material help of Tsoknyi Rinpoche.

Rinpoche’s first visit to Tsoknyi Gargon Ling led to the immediate construction of 10 small rooms to accommodate some of the nuns. Since then, the nunnery has continued to be repaired and enlarged,adding a medical clinic, kitchen and dining hall. In a joyous celebration, during the full moon in October, 2011 a grand new shrine hall was completed and inaugurated. Currently, the Muktinath anis divide their time between Muktinath and Tsoknyi Gechak Ling at Chobhar, where many study in the shedra or elementary school, and others practice in the Gargon Ling branch hermitage at Sitapaile, which will soon be used for 10 nuns to carry out the traditional 3-year retreat practice.

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