Buddhist Nun in Israel to Teach Meditation

October 20, 2006

Author: Ryan Nadel

Source: The Buddhist Channel


The Upper Galilee's natural tranquility has been enhanced recently by the presence of Venerable Tenzin Palmo, one of the first Western women ordained as a Buddhist nun.

The Dharma Friends of Israel, an Israeli network of individuals who study and practice Buddhism and meditation, regularly brings teachers of Buddhism to the country. Tenzin, originally from London, came for the first time at the end of September to teach courses and lead retreats for three weeks. The lectures and retreats were held in various locations across the country, most of them at Kibbutz Tuval in the North.

The final retreat began this week, focusing on a meditation study program directed at understanding the nature of the mind as the basis of all our experiences. The retreat, which lasts for five days, is held in complete silence.

Tenzin, who speaks with a soft British accent and gently emphasizes her words with delicate hands, expressed a familiarity with Judaism and an excitement to be in Israel, "I was brought up in a Jewish district of London and my sister in law is Jewish. It is interesting for me to finally see the places you hear about," she said.

Her journey to the Buddhist nunnery began during her teenage years. "As a child I knew I always needed more," she said. "I tried reading the Bible and the Koran, but I realized that I was not theistically inclined."