Dulmaling Nunnery

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The Dolmaling Monastery adress:
Дулмалин хийд
Bayanzurkh district, 12th khoroo
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

This text is based on the content of official leaflet of the monastery (2004) and on my research (2006 – 2007).


Two old pillars in Dulma Lin monastery

Two old pillars in Dulma Lin monastery, 2007

One of the most important projects of FPMT Mongolia was the re-establishment of the Dolma Ling Nunnery in 2001 by Lama Zopa Rinpoche, who is the Spiritual Director of FPMT Mongolia. It was one of his contributions in the revival of Buddhism in Mongolia.

The Dolma Ling Nunnery eventually became the permanent home for a small group of dedicated women who were ordained by the Abbot of Sera Je Monastery. Presently, the Dolma ling Nunnery and its nuns are the only community of ordained women in Mongolia (2004).

Historically, the original temple buildings were a present to the Mongolians from the Manchu Emperor. The fifteen temples were surrounded by triple walls and beautifully decorated in the architecture of the time.

For many years, with the temple walls, Dharma activities were often performed until the 1930´s when the buildings were desecrated in the storm of Communist religious destruction that plagued Mongolia.

In the early 1990´s when Mongolia quietly reclaimed democracy, the right to follow one’s own spiritual and religious path was guaranteed by the new Constitutional Law. As a result, Lama O. Sodnom, disciple of the Gandantegcheling Monastery together with his disciple Badamkhand, began Dharma activities in of the badly damaged temple buildings.

In the spring of 2001, Lama O. Sodnom and Badainkhand offered the remaining temple and the grounds to Lama Zopa Rinpoche. The 16 newly ordained Getsulma nuns took up residence and have remained alone with two senior Tibetan nuns from Kopan Monastery in Nepal. The Mongolian nuns study Tibetan language, Buddhist philosophy and perform many daily rituals and pujas. In addition, one Mongolian nuns now studies at Kopan Monastery to intensify her studies.

Gate of Dulma Lin hiid

Gate of Dulma Lin hiid with Mongolian and Tibetan name, 2007

Sadly, an essential Buddhist study material in the Mongolian language continues to be sorely lacking. Despite the many additional hardships, these dedicated new nuns embrace these challenges, understanding that they are the pioneering generation of female Dharma practitioners in the newly liberated Mongolia.

Indeed our young Anis are at the very core of Mongolia’s restoration of Buddhism. Their studies and practices will be passed on to a growing number of Mongolian Dharma lay practitioners. Moreover, they are the future teachers for the next generation of Mongolians.

Bodhicitta White Stupa

The Bodhicitta White Stupa was built in June, 2004. During his visits to Mongolia in 2002 and 2004, Lama Zopa Rinpoche had given teachings at Dolma Ling Nunnery and had many times blessed the Nunnery for the sake of spreading the Dharma.

In June 2004 during the Enlightenment Experience Ceremony, Choden Rinpoche consecrated and blessed our Bodhicitta White Stupa.

Twin Pillars, blessed by White and Green Taras

Historical building in Dulma Lin hiid

Detail of historical building in Dulma Lin hiid, 2007

Two, 230 year old, 11 meter high granite stone pillars remain at Dolma Ling Nunnery. Beautifully carved forms of human, animals and Buddhist scripts adorn the pillars. They are unique in that there are no other cultural monuments of their kind in Mongolia and are therefore protected by the Mongolian Government as a heritage sight.

On the right pillar the script “I will liberate all sentient beings of many worlds from temporary pain and suffer” is carved. On the left pillar “I will save the ten thousands of sentient beings by the great compassion” can be read.

Nuns and visitors alike circumambulate and make prostrations to these White and Green Tara blessed pillars.

The Dolma Ling Nuns perform the Tara Puja on the 8th day of each Tibetan calendar month. They recite the Tara Praises 108 times. An extensive Medicine Buddha Puja is performed on the 15th Lama Chopa is performed on the 10th and 25th.

In addition many different prayers and texts are performed on request between 9am and 8pm.

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