Tenzin Palmo keeps a vegetarian diet since 40 years. She
was raised in London and whilst in her teens she became a Buddhist.
In 1964, at the age of twenty, she decided to go to India to pursue
her spiritual path. There she met her Guru, HE the 8th Khamtrul
Rinpoche, a great Drukpa Kagyu lama, and became one of the first
Westerners to be ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist nun.
In February 2008 Tenzin Palmo was given the rare title of Jetsunma,
which means Venerable Master, by HH the 12th Gualwang Drukpa, Head
of the Drukpa Kagyu lineage in recognition of her spiritual achievements
as a nun and her efforts in promoting the status of female practitioners
in Tibetan Buddhism.
spends most of the year at Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery and occasionaly
tours to give teachings and raise funds for the ongoing needs of
the DGL nuns and Nunnery. In 2009 she visited the Netherlands and
had an interview with Shabkar.Org on Buddhism and vegetarianism.
Several subjects were addressed:
- The attitude
of meat eating Tibetan Lamas regarding their non-vegetarian diet
- The excuse
of non-veg Buddhists that Buddha did not forbid his begging monks
to eat meat (watch here).
- The increased
awareness amongst Tibetan Buddhists that meat eating is wrong
- The (absence
of a) relationship between keeping a veg diet and enlightenment
To find out
more about Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo's life, read Vicki Mackenzie's
biography Cave in the Snow published by Bloomsbury, and see the
'Cave in the Snow' DVD directed by Liz Thompson.