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A Journey through Aesthetic Realms

The Venerable Ani Choying Drolma: Nepalese Singing Star Nun

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The country of Nepal is the ancient land where the venerated Lord Shakyamuni Buddha was born, as was respected Buddhist nun, humanitarian, and internationally renowned singing star Ani Choying Drolma. Young Choying did not have a lot of freedom and often suffered beatings from her father, who had an unstable temperament. Due to her father’s mistreatment, and the gender inequalities she experienced in the society, Choying decided to avoid marriage and become a nun.

At the age of 13 she entered the Nagi Gompa nunnery, which sits on a mountainside high above the Kathmandu Valley. There she began her spiritual journey, learning Buddhist meditation, chants, rituals, and ceremonies. At the nunnery, the head Lama Rinpoche recognized Ani Choying’s gift for singing and taught her sacred chants that were traditionally passed down from teacher to student. Ani Choying soon developed a passion for singing and quickly advanced to the position of chanting master. She realized that music could facilitate a process of healing and was eager to uplift others through her chants. After one of her songs, “Phool Ko Aankha Ma” or “In the Eyes of a Flower” from the 2004 album “Moments of Bliss,” was ranked as one of the Top Ten Nepali songs of the year, Ani Choying became known as the “rock-star nun.” Awarded as the Best Devotional Album at the Tibetan Music Awards held in Delhi in 2005, the song “Phool Ko Aankha Ma,” teaches that everything depends on our own perceptions.

The Venerable Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche was a great inspiration to Ani Choying. His unconditional guidance and mentorship helped Ani Choying find her path as a nun, musician, and humanitarian worker. She uses the profits from her music sales to fulfill her dream of providing a better future for young girls and underprivileged people in Nepal. Ani Choying Drolma has participated in numerous conferences around the world promoting women’s rights and social justice…

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