Bhutan’s Women of Buddha

“Compassion – I was just about to buy potatoes from an old lady at the market in Bhutan’s capital Thimphu when a woman pointed to the ground. My foot was close to stepping on a rat!  I let out a stifled scream in disgust at the animal. It had rolled to one side, breathing heavily, its body moving up and down in great jerks.  The tiny heart was beating like crazy while the rat fought for its life. Without hesitation, the woman started pouring water to the rat’s mouth, helping it, like this was the most natural thing in the world for her to do. She demonstrated the essence of Buddhism: compassion for all living beings. “  – excerpt from “Women of Buddha” by Marie Thesbjerg.

When Marie first went to Bhutan in 2008, she wanted to write about the Buddhist nuns in Bhutan.  Like most people, she’d heard of Buddhist monks in Bhutan but as a woman, she wanted to know about women’s roles in Buddhism. Unfortunately she didn’t find any resources or information about the nuns but her journey to discover their world first began with finding the Buddhist nuns of Bhutan.

Marie’s stories and her books take you on a journey into what has been known as Shangri La, the mythical earthly paradise in the mountains of the Himalayas.  Marie and Mémé Watanabe who volunteer with the Bhutan Nuns Foundation invite you to hear about Bhutan and some of the challenges faced by many Buddhist nuns such as lack of running water, limited nutrition and their need for better spiritual training. In July Marie will be coming to England from Denmark to give a talk at the Buddhafield Festival on 18th July 2015.  And during the whole month of July, her stunning photos of the nuns in Bhutan will be on display at La Terre Café in the heart of Glastonbury town.


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Photo courtesy of   (c) Marie Thesbjerg

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