Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo among the 100 most influential women of 2023
Buddhistdoor Global (BDG)

Tenzin Palmo among the 100 most influential women of 2023

Jetsunma , an 80-year-old nun and activist, has been named among the BBC’s 100 most inspiring and influential women for 2023.

Her retirement in 2022 was met with congratulations from her fans around the world.

Palmo was born Diane Perry in England in 1943 and was inspired by her mother’s spiritualist practices to pursue truth and spiritual meaning.

In 1964, she left her job as a librarian in London and traveled to after reading John Walters’ The Unshaken: A Modern Approach to (Rider 1961).

Palmo went to and joined a community, where she started working with at a school for young reincarnated .

On her 21st birthday, she encountered the Eighth , whom she recognized as her and expressed her wish to become a nun.

Eventually, in 1964, she became the second Western woman to be ordained in the tradition, taking on the name Drubgyu Tenzin Palmo, which means “Glorious Lady who Upholds the Doctrine of the Practice Succession”.

She was only ordained as a novice nun (sramaneri) as the full for nuns (bhikshuni) had not yet been established in the Tibetan tradition.

Palmo’s commitment to achieving , which included spending 12 years in a secluded cave, was the subject of ’s book Cave in the Snow: A Western Woman’s Quest for Enlightenment (Bloomsbury 1998).

In addition to her spiritual pursuits, she is also renowned for her to promote gender equality within .

As part of this effort, she founded the in Himachal Pradesh, India, which provides a safe haven and educational opportunities for more than 120 nuns.


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