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Thread: Kung Fu Nuns & Shaolin Nuns

  1. #46
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    pix

    Luv the berets...
    Everybody likes Kung Fu Fighting, including nuns

    The 12th Gyalwang Drukpa, Jigme Pema Wangchen, (L) poses with Kung-Fu trained nuns accompanying him at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Meyrin near Geneva.
    Reuters
    Tuesday, Nov 20, 2012

    SWITZERLAND - A dozen kung fu nuns from an Asian Buddhist order displayed their martial arts prowess to bemused scientists at The European Organisation for Nuclear Research (Cern) this week as their spiritual leader explained how their energy was like that of the cosmos.

    The nuns, all from the Himalayan region, struck poses of hand-chops, high-kicks and punches on Thursday while touring the research centre where physicists at the frontiers of science are probing the origins of the universe.

    "Men and women carry different energy," said His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa, a monk who ranks only slightly below the Dalai Lama in the global Buddhist hierarchy. "Both male and female energies are needed to better the world."

    This, he said, was a scientific principle "as fundamental as the relationship between the sun and the moon" and its importance was similar to that of the particle collisions in Cern's vast "Big Bang" machine, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

    The nuns, mostly slim and fit-looking teenagers with shaven heads and clad in flowing burgundy robes, nodded sagely.

    But the 49-year-old Gyalwang Drukpa, head since the age of four of one of the new independent schools of Tibetan Buddhism centred in India and Nepal, stressed that their visit to Cern was not just scientific in purpose.

    By taking the nuns around the world and letting people of other countries enjoy their martial displays, he told physicists and reporters: "I hope to raise awareness about gender equality and the need for the empowerment of women."

    The nuns themselves, who star on Youtube videos, have benefited from this outlook, he said.

    For centuries in Tibet , incorporated into communist China since 1951, and its surrounds, women were strictly barred from practicing any form of martial art.

    In his homeland Himalayan region of Ladakh, the Gyalwang Drukpa said, women were mainly servants, cooks and cleaners to monks.

    About three years ago he decided to break out of this pattern and improve the health and spiritual well-being of women by training them in kung fu and even allowing them to perform sacred rites once also restricted to men.

    "And a very good thing too," declared Cern physicist Pauline Gagnon, who recently wrote a blog study pointing to the low, although growing, proportion of women in scientific research around the world.

    The visit to Cern, whose director general Rolf Heuer recently sponsored a conference of scientists, theologians and philosophers to discuss the tense relationship between science and religion, was not the first by a top religious leader.

    In 1983 the sprawling campus on the border of France and Switzerland hosted the Dalai Lama, Buddhism's most revered figure, who argues that most scientific discoveries prove the truth of the view of the cosmos expounded by his faith.

    Pope John-Paul II preceded him in 1982 and the present Pope Benedict has a standing invitation from Heuer.
    Gene Ching
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  2. #47
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    More in the wake...

    What I love about this article? In the end, the The Bachelor: Shaolin link comes right back here. Thanks for that, Mr. Campbell!
    Physicists And Kung Fu Nuns
    By Hank Campbell | November 22nd 2012 10:35 AM

    What can Kung Fu Nuns teach CERN scientists about cosmic energy?

    To start with, they would have to convince CERN scientists that 'cosmic energy' actually exists, and they recently got a chance to do that when the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) hosted Drukpa Buddhist's Spiritual Head, His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa.

    In western academic culture, we always see people call Buddhist leaders 'His Holiness' because that is the title but referring to a Catholic Pope as Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church and Primate of Italy is frowned upon - instead we just see griping about Galileo and gay pederasts whenever a Roman Catholic is mentioned. Contrast that to the Being Human conference I went to earlier this year, which had zero western religious speakers though you could have created a drinking game built around how many times the psychologists and sociologists there mentioned meeting His Holiness The Dalai Lama - and they even had some Buddhist speakers. It sucks being a Buddhist in actual Tibet but since these guys are instead all over the West meeting and greeting the social sciences, it seems to be a pretty sweet life.

    Anyway, CERN, WHO, WWF, the Green Cross and others invited His Holiness The Gyalwang Drukpa to talk about how scientists and spiritual leaders can play together nicely in promoting global well-being. That means encouraging eastern religion to accept some science so invoking cosmic energy was odd.

    Global well being is nice and all but what is really cool is that His Holiness The Gyalwang Drukpa brought along a group called The Kung Fu Nuns. Sort of cool, anyway. They sound like they should be starring in a Quentin Tarantino movie but it seems they mostly work in hospital clinics and hold the world record for tree planting rather than ass-kicking, which seems rather tame for a sect whose name means 'Dragon'.

    His Holiness The Gyalwang Drukpa said,"The spiritual community should be working with the scientific community to tackle today's global problems instead of resisting science. While we may use a different language, we are talking about the same thing and heading in the same direction."

    That seems obvious and he is doing his part for gender equality, since the Kung Fu Nuns are women and Asian culture is generally still in the 19th century regarding treatment of women. In an American society that worries if math classes are only 48% women and calls an invitation for coffee in an elevator a rape threat, it's difficult to see why so many in academia embrace Eastern religious leaders, but His Holiness The Gyalwang Drukpa has bucked tradition and is a proponent of gender equality and that is to be applauded. Four years ago he brought Kung Fu to their nunnery and doesn't make them just wash the dishes and stuff any more.


    Expecting a hot Nunja? You will be disappointed. But unlike the Western military, Kung Fu nuns don't get their own special self-esteem-based scoring system for physical tests. They still have to shave their heads just like the men too. Credit: Drukpa sect

    We're a science site and we want to learn new things, so if you are a Kung Fu Nun in training and have learned to do that Chöd-Dance, please send a video.

    If they really want to be embraced by the West, they should create a television show called The Bachelor: Shaolin:
    Gene Ching
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  3. #48
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    ttt 4 2013

    Look Who is Kung Fu Fighting
    Geeta Gupta : New Delhi, Sun Sep 15 2013, 05:48 hrs


    Under an elemental blue sky, with rugged mountains framing them, a group of 20-odd Buddhist nuns, clad in maroon robes and with their heads shaven, punched the air with clenched fists. They were practising kung fu. Even three years ago, that would have been a sight unseen at Naro Photang nunnery in Shey, near the Ladakh capital Leh. It was a privilege reserved for men, for the monks.

    Among the women was Jigme Wangchuk, a 15-year-old Buddhist nun from a monastery in Kathmandu, who was in India to attend the annual Drukpa Council that concluded last week at the Hemis monastery in Ladakh. Before she stepped out for kung fu practice, Wangchuk spoke about how she was barely six, a Class II student in Bhutan, when she realised she wanted to be a nun and practise "dharma". Her mind, she said, was firmly made up to give up the "material" life — even against the wishes of her parents. While it is common for some Buddhist families to "give away" children born after their second child to "dharma", Wangchuk insisted her parents loved her too much to agree. "They were sad and told me I was too young to lead the tough life of a nun. But I was sure," said the young girl, who is fluent in English, Hindi, Nepali and the Bhutanese Drukpa language, and showed a remarkable confidence for her age. "It is very difficult to be a nun. We have to prove ourselves. For me, it was difficult to concentrate while meditating; but then it got better, and I found meaning," she said.

    The perfection of a nun would be attained if she achieved the highest levels of "concentration" and when she knew "everything about dharma", she said. She was equally kicked about mastering the ancient martial art. "I love kung fu. It makes me feel healthier and it helps in improving my concentration," Wangchuk said. The morning after the kung fu session, she led the dragon dance at the Hemis monastery — which too, till 2009, was a male preserve.

    Like her, other nuns have benefited from a new line of thinking in the Drukpa sect. Consigned so far to the domestic chores of washing and cleaning, and told to live with the belief that they were meant to serve the men so that they could be reborn as monks and gain "enlightenment", women had little avenue for growth in the spiritual hierarchy. "Women, even nuns, have always been considered secondary and it needs to change now. There is an improvement in the nuns' life with promoting gender equality, and that gives me great encouragement," said the 12th Gyalwang Drukpa, spiritual head of the nearly 1000-year-old Drukpa lineage, which follows the Mahayana Buddhist philosophy. The sect was established in 1206 and has followers across Tibet, Bhutan, China, Nepal and India.

    The Gyalwang Drukpa visited Vietnam in 2008, and was inspired by Vietnamese nuns engaged in combat training. He decided to introduce the martial art and invited a Vietnamese master to the Druk Gawa Khilwa monastery in Kathmandu. At the nunnery in Leh, the martial art was introduced in 2010, and about 400 nuns learn kung fu at the two monasteries now. While training and practice will soon turn them into instructors, for now the nuns are trained by Dang Dinh Hai, a third generation Vietnamese kung fu master.

    Over the last five years, in Ladakh and Kathmandu, nuns have been encouraged to step out of the nunnery and the confines of a wholly domestic life. They were a part of the massive tree plantation drive initiated after the flash floods of 2010 washed away several villages in Ladakh. They also work as volunteers at the SNM district hospital in Leh.

    Jigme Rigme Lhamo, 36, who came to the order in 1999, said kung fu training has made the nuns more confident, though the many moves to ensure gender equity in the order faced staunch resistance. "A lot of people complained before they reached an understanding and got helpful. When we first performed the dragon dance, the keepers of dharma did say the world was coming to an end," she said.

    Lahmo studied till Class IX "in one of the best schools in Ladakh". She lived with her family in Nubra Valley before becoming a nun. While her parents wanted her to become an engineer, Lahmo was inspired by Mother Teresa and wanted to "help people". "My parents didn't want me to become a nun; they were very unhappy with my decision. But I am happy being a nun. If I had stayed back with my parents, I would have been able to only help them. Now I can help more people," she said. The nuns, who start their day at 3 am with a dose of kung fu and two hours of meditation, said that the tough physical exercise sustained them through the day's routine, which, besides cleaning and cooking, includes meditation, prayers, learning Tibetan grammar, Buddhist philosophy, English and computer classes.

    While it was discomfiting to see a 15-year-old lead the life of an ascetic when girls her age are occupied with ambitions, games, and toys of a different order, Wangchuk was dismissive of such concerns. She chuckled and said she loved her "dharma friends". "There is nothing lacking in this life. I get to learn the scriptures and I will only get better. I play cricket and football too. I watch a lot of movies. I have seen all the kung fu movies," she said.
    This thread is like the Shaolin Soccer for real thread - it keeps coming back. And given the last quote, maybe they will combine someday.
    Gene Ching
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  5. #50
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    More nuns

    This is one of those stories that just pops up again every once in a while...

    Kathmandu’s sweet but deadly kung fu nuns
    December 9, 2013

    10Kathmandu, Dec 9 (IANS) Their smiling faces and calm demeanour mask a roaring sea of immense energy and strength. These inmates of the Druk Amitabha nunnery in Kathmandu are also deadly kung fu fighters, being trained in the martial art as part of a strict regime, which also includes yoga and meditation, to promote gender equality.

    “We do it as part of meditation and also to remain physically fit. Your spiritual well being depends a lot on your physical well being,” says Wangmo, 28, who trains the kung fu nuns.

    Hailing from a small village in Lahul-Spiti in northern India’s Himachal Pradesh state, Wangmo has been in the nunnery for the last seven years and has been practising kung fu for four years. “I enjoy it very much,” she says as she wipes the sweat off her brow after a demonstration of her skills.

    The nuns are allowed to visit their parents and home only once in about four years.

    The nunnery was established by the Gyalwang Drukpa – the highest spiritual leader of the Drukpa lineage of Buddhists across the world – more than a decade ago to honour the will of his late guru. The objective was to train nuns at par with men – and that’s exactly what happens here.

    “The uplift of women and gender equality are the causes close to my heart,” says the Gyalwang Drukpa. “I introduced kung fu as part of their training regime to give them strength, both inner and outward, as martial arts are also about meditation,” he added.

    “Recently, a Saudi Arabian princess asked me about the kung fu nuns and their training regime. She was interested in it because they are also trying to bring in gender equality in their society,” Drukpa added.

    “The kung fu nuns are my idea of gender equality… it’s interesting,” Drukpa smiled.

    A kung fu nun’s work starts at 3 a.m. and ends at 10 p.m. First on the list is meditation till 4.30 p.m., followed by prayers at 5 a.m. And breakfast at 8 a.m.

    After a half-hour break, it’s again time for meditation till 10 a.m., followed by classes to learn the Tibetan language.

    Lunch – strictly vegetarian – is served at 12.30 p.m., after which the nuns are allowed an hour’s to rest before they troop in for an English class.

    At 4 p.m., it’s tea time followed by recreation. Evening prayers are at 5 p.m and between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. the nuns practise kung fu.

    “It’s a life that we have chosen for ourselves and I am quite happy with it,” says Wangmo.
    Gene Ching
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  6. #51
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    A photo too

    The Oman Observer also published this story, and added a photo.

    Gene Ching
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  7. #52
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    More from the Druk Gawa Khilwa Nunnery

    Kung Fu nuns wow all at performance in the capital
    Alisa Schubert Yuasa, TNN | Mar 15, 2014, 11.30PM IST

    NEW DELHI: A woman screams as a sledgehammer arcs down on the 25kg slab kept on a nun's maroon-clad knees. The stubble-headed nun, still in her teens, doesn't wince. She's a kung fu trainee from the Druk Gawa Khilwa Nunnery in Tia, Ladakh, and part of a movement towards gender equality and self-empowerment.

    The Kung Fu Nuns, so named by His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa, who heads the Drukpa Buddhists and established the monastery in 1992, put up a spectacular performance of martial arts at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts on Saturday. They were a group of 100, all aged 15-21 years, petite, and mostly five-foot-nothing, but their moves were electric.

    None of them has trained for more than five years. "I introduced kung fu to my nuns five years ago to give them strength, both inner and outward," said the Gyalwang Drukpa. "Kung Fu Nuns is my little action and contribution to support women and gender equality."

    Before the performance, the nuns gathered under a tree's shade, whispering among themselves. Daechen, 21, whose hazel eyes crinkle in the corners as she grins with guileless charm, said she loves kung fu. She has been training since she was 18, practising 2-4 times a day.

    The sweet and bashful facade melted the instant they took the stage. Jogging into formation with military precision, the nuns settled into the first stance with grace, confidence and concentration. Clean swipes and high kicks were executed in total unison. Each routine used different props-swords, flags, spears. The effortless flow of their routine masked the lethality of each move. The nuns also performed the dragon dance, which is not only immensely difficult but has been traditionally reserved for Buddhist monks.

    The Druk Gawa Khilwa Nunnery has grown over two decades from a strength of 15 to more than 500, of whom more than 200 learn kung fu. They are trained in spiritual development, higher Tantric yoga as well as humanitarian work. The nuns come from all backgrounds, from affluence to orphanages, but have chosen to take ordination vows with the Gyalwang Drukpa. Why? They do not give a straight answer, but the pride and grace with which they perform says more than words: it shows a tranquility and happiness with their choices in life.
    petite + sweet + bashful = gender equality?
    Gene Ching
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  8. #53
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    Okay, wassup with the sledgehammers?

    Kung fu nuns teach city women self-defence moves
    Yogesh Kumar,TNN | Dec 1, 2014, 03.56 AM IST

    GURGAON: Appearances can be deceptive. Which is why when a group of eight nuns took the stage at Raahgiri on Sunday, not many Gurgaonites would have expected them to put on a demonstration of martial arts they would not forget soon.

    Equally adept with swords and sticks, the women all belonging in the 18-23 age-group, are part of the Kung Fu Nuns, so named by His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa, who heads the Drukpa Buddhists.

    The movement, which aims to spread the message of gender equality and self-empowerment, has been touring across the country to conduct kung fu demonstrations and teach women self-defence.

    A 20-year-old soft-spoken nun from Himachal Pradesh, who did not wish to be named, said she has been practising for the last two years. "Our goal is to spread the message of women empowerment. We want to teach some important tricks to women so that they can protect themselves in case of an emergency," she said.

    Wielding swords, sledgehammers and sticks, the nuns left onlookers in awe with their strength, agility and grace. Himani Chawla, a 19-year-old visitor said it was an unusual sight. "I did not expect high kicks and clean swipes to be demonstrated by nuns," she said.

    A 21-year-old nun, who was one of the performers, said that kung fu is significant not only for self-defense, but it also helps develop physical, mental and emotional strength needed for meditation.

    She said platforms like Raahgiri were essential to bring about a change. "It is hard to get such platform in cities, where people come not only to enjoy activities, but to learn about social causes. Our experience at Raahgiri has been very good," she said.
    ...because wielding sledgehammers is one of the most important tricks for women's self defense...
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  9. #54
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    What? No mention of sledgehammers?

    Meet the ‘Kung Fu Nuns’ who can break bones and chant with equal ease


    They are trained in stunts such as breaking wooden planks and bricks They are trained in stunts such as breaking wooden planks and bricks
    Written by Debesh Banerjee | New Delhi | Posted: November 27, 2014 12:00 am | Updated: November 27, 2014 11:59 am

    Appearances can be deceptive which is why Jigme Konchok Lhamo’s angelic smile should not be taken at face value. She walks calmly on to the stage with her hands folded in meditation, and breaks out into a wide stance in a flash. A Buddhist nun from Ladakh, Lhamo is adept at kung fu and breaking bones comes naturally to her. Her smartest trick is with the Chinese hand fan. On Monday evening, she performed stunts with her hand fan accompanied by six other girls from the nunnery at the closing of the Inner Path Festival in Delhi. “I usually like to perform with more girls but this was a smaller demonstration,” she says. At the Alliance Francaise, the girls performed with sticks, swords and hand fans to the background music of Buddhist hymns and chants.

    The “Kung Fu Nuns”, a term coined by the international media, from the the Drukpa lineage of Buddhism, were initiated into Chinese martial arts by the Holiness the 12th Gyalwang Drukpa Jigme Pema Wangchen in 2011. Wangchen began teaching girls martial arts at various centres of the nunnery to prove that they were at par with monks. “Kung fu empowers us. It gives us confidence and makes us feel independent,” says Lhamo, who is from Keylong, Himachal Pradesh and shuttles between the nunneries in Ladakh and Himachal, where she learnt martial arts for five years.

    At the nunnery, girls between the ages of 15 to 26 are taught kung fu, even as they cook, clean, meditate and study. “We wake up at 3 am every day. We devote two hours to learning kung fu,” says Lhamo. Their free time is spent watching martial arts films, usually Jackie Chan re-runs on TV. “He has the most authentic kung fu,” she says.

    They have been on a 800 km pad yatra since November 1, from Varanasi to Lumbini, which involves walking 8 to 10km daily and cleaning up villages along their route.
    I hope they come to the U.S. someday. I'd love to feature them.
    Gene Ching
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  10. #55
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    Nice first person account

    I like the approach of this site's reporting.
    First Person: ‘I set up kung fu classes for nuns’
    As told to Jeremy Taylor by Gyalwang Drukpa


    His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa and kung fu nuns: “Their routine is quite spectacular”©Tereza Cerveňová

    I am the spiritual leader of the Drukpa school of Buddhism, the 12th reincarnation in a lineage that dates back more than 1,000 years. We approach modern-day problems using ancient Buddhist philosophy. I believe most people think nuns spend their lives in learning and quiet contemplation. In the region of the Himalayas where I live, their traditional role was always subservient. For centuries, they simply cooked and cleaned for their monk colleagues.

    They were also barred from taking part in martial arts but now I’ve helped change that. In 1992, I established the Druk Gawa Khilwa Abbey in Ladakh, India, and then six years ago I decided the time was right for the nuns there to start learning kung fu.

    When I first broached the idea of teaching nuns kung fu, my advisers didn’t like it at all. I had a difficult time persuading them because it was a break from tradition. They didn’t understand.

    Finally they agreed and one day in 2009 I put the word out that we were going to have kung fu lessons. I was in my mid-forties then and I hadn’t practised martial arts since I was a boy. However, as we didn’t have a proper teacher at the time, it was down to me to train them.

    I remember that day very well. I was extremely nervous and quite scared because I didn’t want my project to fail. Suddenly I found myself standing in front of 102 nuns, all of them dressed in their robes and waiting for me to show them what to do.

    I think we had a lot of fun. There was stretching and many arm movements but I soon realised that if the nuns were going to progress, they needed a proper kung fu master instead of me.

    Now we have a core group of 70 nuns practising four times a day. They get up at 3am and have their first lesson an hour later. It’s often still dark and you can hear their yelps as they kick and punch through their exercises together in the courtyard.

    It wasn’t long before word of the kung fu nuns got out and people wanted to come and see them train. We decided it would be good to send the nuns out into the world, to give displays and spread the message to other women.

    Their routine is quite spectacular to watch and has drawn large crowds. They swirl flags and spears, making their high kicks in unison. They also perform the dragon dance, which is extremely difficult and usually reserved for monks.

    Some of the nuns can break several bricks with a single strike from their hand or head. Another part of the show involves a nun sitting with a 25kg slab of concrete on her knees. It is then broken in half with the swing of a sledgehammer.

    In the past few years the nuns have visited Hong Kong, Malaysia, London and most of Europe. They were invited to America but it was cancelled because we couldn’t get them visas.

    I think it is marvellous for them because some of the nuns come from very difficult backgrounds. Some of them were orphans and others were homeless. They had very low self-esteem but kung fu has helped boost their confidence. Their spiritual practice is obviously very important but physical exercise like this can only do good.

    Some of the nuns left good careers to join the nunnery in Ladakh. One was about to start a job in marketing and another was a counter-terrorism agent. The nunnery is so popular now that we actually have a waiting list.

    I’m hoping that this is just the start for the Drukpa nuns. I have a lot of innovative ideas, including setting up a tennis team. Who knows where that will lead? Maybe one day you will have a nun as Wimbledon champion too.

    Photograph: Tereza Cerveňová
    Gene Ching
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  11. #56
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    The Nepal Nuns are standing firm

    These nuns kick ASS.

    Kathmandu's Kung Fu Nuns Have Refused To Be Evacuated - They're Staying Back To Help Victims
    Kunal Anand
    April 30, 2015



    300 women have refused to be flown by plane and chopper out of an earthquake ravaged Nepal. Clearly, they aren't ordinary women - they are nuns of the Ladakh-based Drupka order.


    buddistdoor

    Or, as the world calls them, 'Kung-Fu Nuns'. These women have grown up learning kung fu and meditation their entire life from a Kathmandu nunnery, and now they're planning to stay back and use their strength to help earthquake victims here.


    buddhistdoor

    In fact, their leader, the 12th Gyalwang Drukpa expected them to be shaken, like the rest of Nepal. He told the Daily Mail: “I was expecting the nuns over there to be under trauma. Many people were saying that they should be evacuated but they decided to stay back and help others."


    balticreview

    "It’s raining continuously, earthquakes are repeatedly happening, the walls are falling and none of them can go back to their rooms so they have had to camp in the garden.


    huffpost

    Despite all these problems, they are willing to help.”


    simondetreywhite

    According to him, these disasters show nature’s unhappiness with mankind's greed.: “From a spiritual point of view, we should not blame God but, instead, work with nature and respect it. Some people say that the earth is a mother. I don’t necessarily say that one should worship.


    bccl

    Respect, instead, means not being destructive. Scientists also say that,” he says.



    What he says is correct - Nepal has been built like a dangerous maze of poorly constructed buildings without concern for earthquakes.
    Gene Ching
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    Respect !

  13. #58
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    More on the Druk Amitabha Mountain nuns and the Nepal quake

    This is real Kung Fu.

    How Kathmandu’s ‘kung fu nuns’ sprang into action after the quake


    The kung fu nuns of Kathmandu are helping remove the rubble in the nearby Kalabari village devastated by the deadly earthquake that hit Nepal a week ago. (Pradeep Bashyal/For The Washington Post)
    By Rama Lakshmi May 2

    RAMKOT, Nepal — The earthquake shook the sprawling Buddhist nunnery near this village in the western valley of Kathmandu so violently that the nuns jumped through shattered glass windows, smashed open rattling doors and dived over a collapsing staircase.

    They are, after all, the “kung fu nuns of Kathmandu.” And they have been training for about four years to react with just such speed and agility.

    “None of us shrieked in fear or crouched on the floor crying. We moved quickly, dodged falling pieces of the wall and escaped,” said Jigme Konchok, 21, showing the broken hall where she and her fellow nuns used to assemble for their daily kung fu sessions at the Druk Amitabha Mountain nunnery.

    The nuns began learning kung fu from a Vietnamese teacher in defiance of accepted gender codes in the Buddhist monastic system. But over time, they have harnessed the ancient Chinese martial art for meditation, community work, edgy campaigns against toxic waste, and for women’s empowerment and walkathons against the prevalence of plastic products in everyday life.

    Now they are using their skills and energy in providing relief to victims of the earthquake that hit Nepal a week ago, killing more than 6,800 people. After assessing the structural damage to their sanctuary, the nuns quickly recovered and refocused when they saw the large-scale death and destruction in the villages outside their walls.


    Jigme Wangchuk, 17, and Jigme Konchok, 21, perform drills at the Druk Amitabha Mountain nunnery, which is a unique example of gender reversal in a rarefied world of monasteries. (Pradeep Bashyal/For The Washington Post)

    “Community duty is also a form of spiritual exercise, and our strong limbs are now trained to work hard and for long hours,” said Konchok, who oversees the Internet and sound system at the nunnery.

    Every day, the maroon-robed nuns trek to nearby villages to help remove the rubble from people’s homes, salvage and return buried objects, and clear pathways. They also distribute rice and lentils during the day and help pitch tents for night shelters.

    The 26-year-old nunnery is a unique example of a gender reversal in the rarefied world of monastic life, where monks often occupy positions of power, leaving nuns the menial chores. But here in Ramkot, the kung fu nuns learn the skills that men do: plumbing, electrical fitting, computers, riding bicycles, the English language and, of course, praying.

    “In many monasteries, women are not given a chance to rise up the hierarchy. Nuns are typically made to cook, clean and serve food, while the monks take big decisions and run the administration — just like it is in many of our families,” said Jigme Yeshi Lhamo, 26, an office administrator who fled her home in India to join the nunnery a decade ago.

    On Saturday, the nuns climbed a pile of debris that was once Nirmaya Tamang’s house in Kalabari village. Wearing masks to protect against swine flu, the nuns removed the stones with their bare hands and retrieved pots and cooking oil jars from Tamang’s kitchen.

    “I lost my daughter and my husband in the earthquake. My house is destroyed. I have nothing left,” Tamang said, standing under a pear tree. “The kung fu nuns said they will give me a hand because I have no older person in my family now to help. I did not ask them for help; they came on their own.”

    For the nuns, the community work is an extension of their kung fu training.


    The kung fu nuns of Kathmandu look over their kung fu practice hall at the Druk Amitabha Mountain nunnery, damaged by the earthquake in Nepal a week ago. (Pradeep Bashyal/For The Washington Post)

    “Kung fu is not meant to attack people or fight with them. It prepares you for enduring difficult situations, like this earthquake,” Lhamo said. “It is also a form of meditation because it helps us concentrate, keep our minds still and body nimble and light.”

    After the earthquake, the nuns repaired the solar panels at the nunnery, laid new tiles in the front yard and are rebuilding their broken compound wall. During the day, the older nuns pray for the souls of the villagers who lost their lives in the earthquake. By night, they patrol the streets outside the nunnery, even as the younger nuns sleep in tents on the lawn.

    “Our teachings say that nothing is permanent,” Lhamo said, looking at the destroyed kung fu practice hall. “We feel sad because the earthquake damaged something that was so dear to us. At least we have a roof over our heads and food to eat, and we are in a position to help others. That is important.”

    Pradeep Bashyal contributed to this report.



    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  14. #59
    Join Date
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    Another story

    Glad this is getting press. These nuns are heroines.

    Meet the Kung-Fu Nuns and others who protected Nepal
    Posted by: Pallavi Sengupta Updated: Monday, May 4, 2015, 14:39 [IST]

    Bengaluru, May 4: The ill-fated Nepal earthquake that struck the country on April 25, killing over 7,000 people, has taught us many a stories-of humanity, courage and love for others.

    Many heart-warming pictures have been swarming the Internet where helping hands reach out to the people in distress, be it their own family members or their neighbours.



    Thanks to these people who stood by Nepal in its time of need:

    Red Cross and other agencies: Organizations ranging from the Red Cross, teh World Bank, International food organization, etc have all ectended a hand of help to the victims of Nepal. Needless to say, aide from China, US and the UK have reached the country within hours of the damage and the destruction.

    The NDRF, the Nepal army and the Chinese army have worked together to pull out the victims from the rubble and rehabilitate them temporarily.



    The alternatives: It is estimated that close to 3,400 volunteers have reached Nepal to assist the government agencies. Indian agencies like Goonj have joined hands in sending aide material, comprising medicines, blankets, food material, candles and matchboxes to help the homeless.

    Google People Finder too has stepped on gas to locate the victims under the rubble or those who have separated from their families.

    Kung Fu nuns: A story of amazing agility and strength, these nuns saved themselves from the earthquake with their skills. Now, they are using their skills to serve their people.



    "Community duty is also a form of spiritual exercise, and our strong limbs are now trained to work hard and for long hours," said Konchok, who oversees the Internet and sound system at the nunnery. Every single day, nuns trek to nearby villages to help remove the rubble from people's homes, salvage and return buried objects, and clear pathways. After distributing rice and lentils during the day and help pitch tents for night shelters.

    OneIndia News
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  15. #60
    i want to marry a kung fu nun. like shi yan ming and his ladies but in reverse.

    25th generation inner door disciple of Chen Style Practical Wombat Method
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    grandmaster instructor of Wombat Combat™®LLC Practical Wombat Method. international academy retreat

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