Editor’s Note: The Following was written by Tashi Namgyal about Ven. Sonan, whom we featured in this blog a couple of weeks ago, when she won an Outstanding Woman in Buddhism Award. It was originally published in Bhutan Today (Thurs, April 12, 2012), and is reproduced here by permission.
From a 16 year novice nun, to a master practitioner, and finally, to setting up a first dharma retreat and practice center in Phuntsholing, this is a story of a 34 year old Bhutanese nun, who despised all the materialistic cravings and ventured out to practice “Dharma” as her sole purpose in life, a destination, in today’s modern world is seldom sought and achieved by a Bhutanese women.
Ani SonamWangmo (Venerable Tenzin Dadon), as she is known to the outside world’s quest for spiritualism began when set on the journey of her life, forgoing attending college to join the religious community in 1993 after graduating high school when other girls of her age were fancying going to college, getting a job, getting married, owning houses and cars, and all the glitz and glamour attached to it.
Although being bred in the capital city, Thimphu, for most part of her life, she did not have a slightest inclination towards leading a bureaucratic and aristocratic life as a layman. Instead, she was adamant to pursue her goal at such a young age despite some initial resistance from her family.