Friday, September 16, 2011

The Singing Buddhist Nun of Nepal (video)


Anna Chan, News Anchor: Rather than just relying on prayer, a Buddhist nun is using her voice to help needy Nepalis in one of the world's poorest countries. The nun is funding her school for orphans by singing her way into the international charts.

Ani Choying Dolma, a 37-year-old Tibetan-Nepali known as Nepal's "singing nun," has soared to global fame with her eight albums of Tibetan and Sanskrit meditation songs. She has performed more than 50 concerts in Europe, Asia, and the United States, and more are lined up for 2008 in Germany.

Sanskrit Ganesha Mantra

[Ani Choying Dolma, Singing Nun]: "The singing part comes just somehow. I did not really plan for it, but somehow it came up. It happened and then once I realized the benefit of using my own skill or whatever I'm blessed with and to be able to use it for the benefit of others. So I feel more productive."

ATS Children Activities Arya Tara School activities (

The income from her CD sales has helped Dolma build the Arya Tara School, which has 58 students drawn from poor Nepali families, including some from neighboring India and Tibet. They study Buddhist philosophy, Tibetan language, English, and mathematics. Young nuns also learn the art of Thangka wall painting.

Dolma was later encouraged to sing by an American musician who was impressed when he heard her humming. But since her debut in 1998, Dolma has never turned back. Her CDs included "Cho," "Dancing Dakini," "Choying," "Moments of Bliss," "Selwa," "Smile," and her most recent, "Inner Peace." Some of her songs have also featured in the well-known "Buddha Bar" collection.

Ani Dolma walking through Kathmandu (

[Ani Choying Dolma, Singing Nun]: "That CD actually established me in the international music field. I should say, as a Buddhist nun, as a singer. 'The singing nun,' as they call me."

All of the proceeds from Dolma's record sales and performances go directly into the Nuns Welfare Foundation.

Dolma also longs for peace in Nepal, which is just emerging from a decade-long Maoist civil war and years of political unrest.

Sanskrit Mantra of Great Compassion