“I think what you learn from nuns is strong determination, and to never give up,” says Tsoknyi Rinpoche III—a Tibetan Buddhist teacher popular with Western students and the abbot and patron teacher of a number of thriving nunneries in the remote nomadic region of Nangchen in Eastern Tibet.
The new documentary “Blessings” tells the story of these 3,000 resilient and dedicated nuns who practice an ancient yogic tradition of Tibetan Buddhism in those nunneries and the surrounding retreat caves and hermitages. Despite near extinction during the destruction of Mao’s Cultural Revolution, these remarkable practitioners have emerged to rebuild their monasteries by hand, stone by stone. Now, their wisdom tradition is once again vital and growing. In 2005, Tsoknyi Rinpoche led a small group of his western students to meet these remarkable women.