• There is no path to happiness. HAPPINESS is the path - Buddha

    Date of Birth: 17 May 1970
    Sex:     Female
    Education:  Monastic Education for 12 years
    Languages:  English, Nepali, Hindi, Tibetan
    Nationality:  Nepali

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    Choying Drolma was born in Kathmandu, Nepal to Tibetan refugee parents in 1971. From the age of five, she did not have a day went by without beating to her mother and herself by her father. Seeing lots of sufferings and pains in life, in order to get rid of the tragic destiny of a women in male dominated society which she saw vividly in her own family, the 13 years old Ani Choying Drolma decided to leave home alone to join a Tibetan Buddhist monastery named Nagi Gompa on Shivapuri Mountain on the northern slope of the Kathmandu valley which was lead by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche.

    Up to date, she has launched 16 albums, and performed for hundreds of events around world. Ani Choying Drolma is not only a world renown singer but also a humanitarian. She is appointed as the first UNICEF National ambassador Nepal. She described her singing ability as her magic wand that manifests numerous successful projects, including education, health, children’s right and women empowerment projects.

    CHO in 1997 for Worldwide release by an American CD Company, Rykodisc.
    DANCING DAKINI in 1999.
    CHOYING in 2000
    SELWA worldwide released in United States American in 2004. Manufactured by Six Degrees Records Ltd.San Francisco, CA
    MOMENT OF BLISS in the year 2004, produced by Music Nepal (P) Ltd.  Anamnagar, Kathmandu, Nepal.
    SMILE released in 2005 by Music Nepal (P) Ltd. Anamnagar, Kathmandu, Nepal.
    INNER PEACE I in 2006 and Manufactured & Marketed by SAC Music International, Kathmandu, Nepal.
    TIME album released in the year 2007 and produced by Music Nepal (P) Ltd. Anamnagar, Kathmandu, Nepal.
    AMA in 2009 and produced, marketed and distributed by Ani Choying Dolma, Kathmandu, Nepal.
    MATAKALA in 2009 and produced, marketed and distributed by Ani Choying Dolma, Kathmandu, Nepal.
    ˜INNER PEACE II is the second part of INNER PEACE I, released in 2010, Manufactured & Marketed by SAC Music International, Kathmandu, Nepal.
    MANGAL VANI in October 12th, 2011, Manufactured & Marketed by SAC Music International, Kathmandu, Nepal.Â
    “KARMAPA KHYENNO” in 2011
    “LAMA KHYENNO” in 2012
    “HEART SUTRA” in 2016
    “NAMO BENZI” (Chinese compilation) in 2016

    2013 Concert tour in Europe
    Concert tour in Ahmadabad and New Delhi, India

    Performed at The Third Tibetan Culture Week at Spain

    Performed at The DSC Jaipur Literature Festival, India

    Performed at World Tour Exhibition of Jade Buddha for Universal Peace in Malaysia

    Concert in Bhutan

    Performed for MTV Coke Studio with A.R. Rahman in Mumbai, India

    Concert tour in Mumbai, India

    Performed at Quanzhou Buddhist Soul Music Concert in Fujian, China

    Performed at International Buddhist Confederation (IBC) in New Delhi, India

    Performed at International Festival of Buddhist Heritage of Ladakh, India

    Performed at the Navdanya‟s Annual Bhoomi festival (Earth Day Celebration) in Delhi, India

    Performed at Shanghai World Music Festival in Shanghai, China

    Performed at Buddhist Art and Culture Festival in Indonesia

    2014 Performed at Wuji Ensemble‟s Concerts in Hong Kong
    Performed at Moment of Inner Journey in Bilbao, Spain

    Concert Tour in Germany and Netherland

    Performed at Sounds of Contemplation in Singapore

    2015 Charity performance for “Support Mila’s Tower” in Hong Kong.
    Concert in Taiwan

    Performed in Hong Kong

    Love for Nepal Concert in Singapore

    2016 Performed for the charity concert in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    Performed for United Nation for International Day of Happiness in New York

    Concert tour in USA

    Concert in Hong Kong

    Performed at Meredith Monk Concert in New York

    Performed at Governing Council Meeting, Thailand

    Performed for UNICEF fund raising Gala event in Germany

    Concert in Koln

    Concert in Taiwan

    Concert in Yushu, Qinghai Tibetan Autonomous Administrative Region, China

    2017 Tour in USA
    Tour in Europe

    BuddhaFest in LA, USA

    Concert in Taiwan

    Concert in Yushu, Qinghai Tibetan Autonomous Administrative Region, China

    Performed in “Voice of Thousand Years” charity concert in Singapore

    Performed in Jahan-e-khusrau Concert in Delhi, India

    Performed in Freedom Award Ceremony in the Atlantic Council, Warsaw, Poland

    Year Projects
    1999 Founded Nuns’ Welfare Foundation (NWF) .
    2000 Arya Tara School (ATS)
    2006 Completed drinking water project, Setidevi, Pharping
    2007 Thangka painting school
    2010 Founded Aarogya Foundation and established a Kidney Hospital
    (Aarogya Foundation Kidney Hospital)
    2010 Founded Red Tara Travels & Tours
    2012 Arya Taya Pre-school (ATPS)
    2015 Started the Star of Hope Schooling Program.
    2015 Started Rebuilding School Project

    • World Women’s Conference, Beijing Plus Five (2000), U.N. Headquarters, New York
    • Sakyadita 6th International Conference of Buddhist Women (2000), Lumbini, Nepal
    • Women of Peace Conference (2001), Torrino, Italy
    • Harvard University Bridge Builders Conference (2003), Cambridge, Mass., US.
    • World Social Forum, Mumbai, India.(Jan 2004)

    United Nations Women’s Organization of Nepal present certificate for recognition as Honourable Member of UNWO by United Nations Women’s Organization – September 2004.
    Awarded the Image Channel award for the Best Female Vocal performance for her song “Phoolko Aankhama” from her album, “Moments of Bliss”. The song was also awarded the best song of the year – May 2005.
    Awarded Best Devotional Album by the Tibetan Music Awards held in Mcleod Ganj(Delhi) – October 22 2005.
    Nepal Appreciative Inquiry National Network (NAINN) presented Peace Award – 2007
    Advisor for Nepal Buddhist Federation 2011 – 2011
    Good will Ambassador of N-Peace Network to support women peace and security – 2012
    The Freedom Award by the Atlantic Council – 2017
    Suprabal Jansewashree by Government of Nepal from Honorable President Shree Vidya Bhandari of Nepal – 2017

Ani Choying Drolma was barely 13 when I first knew her. Irrepressibly bright-eyed and intelligent, she spent as much time as she could IMGworking on her English with Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche’s foreign disciples–the “Injis”–at Nagi Gonpa. We called her “ani chewing gum” affectionately. How did this bright and lively young nun who loved to sing and dance become such a force for good in the world, spreading blessings and joy with her voice and her songs, all the while working tirelessly for the education not only of the nuns at her own Arya Tara School, but also for other poor children?

As Ani herself will tell you again and again it is all due to the great power and blessing of our Tsawe’i lama, our root guru, the late master Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche. I met Rinpoche when I was 28 and he absolutely changed my life; Ani met him when she was 10, and he completely shaped hers. Rinpoche inspired his students to be the best people they could, and to do all in their power to work for the benefit of others.

He did this by accepting us completely, thereby enabling us to accept ourselves, to find our strengths and use them.
My first connection with the Nun’s Welfare Foundation and the Arya Tara School came when both were mere dreams of Ani’s. I say “mere” with some hesitation because Ani’s dreams and goals appear to have a life of their own–but only because of the energy and faith she brings to all of her work. She called me one evening and asked whether she could come over right away because she needed to write a proposal.

It had to be delivered that same night to an American consular officer who was going to present it to IMG_0042someone the next day. Even now it doesn’t sound possible, but somehow we did it. Ani described to me her dream and I managed to convert it into a plausible project proposal in a couple of hours: her ideas, back then my words.  Did I think this dream of hers would get anywhere? Frankly, I didn’t, but I loved Ani Choying and had watched her grow up into a remarkable young woman, and so it never even occurred to me to say no. As it turns out that proposal didn’t make much of an impression, or at least not a big enough one, on whoever it was written for, but as we can now see it was simply the beginning of something much larger than I had ever thought possible. Visiting the school last week for the first time in a couple of years, I was astonished. Not simply at the size and beauty of the buildings, but because of the details: the 50+ nuns of all ages and sizes in their school uniforms of nun’s robes and knitted caps, the clean and orderly classrooms, the well-equipped computer lab and, as a final delightful surprise, the thanka painting school. Ani tells me she is still dreaming–of ani thanka painters, ani khenpos and Anis who return to their home villages to educate the people there, teaching them about hygiene and good health and telling them to send their girls to school.

Ani no longer needs my help with her words; her eloquence and natural intelligence never cease to amaze me. Many years ago, we attended some talks on women’s empowerment at the regional UNICEF office. There were lots of words she didn’t understand, which she wrote down and asked me about later, but she grasped the concepts intuitively, and grasped as well how to give such talks herself. Not long after that she was invited to a conference at Harvard University, and that time Judith Amtzis it was my husband who helped with her presentation. He made her write it herself, ignoring all protestations that she couldn’t, and then helped get the final product ready.
The remarkable thing about Ani Choying is that she is still learning, still striving to do better, to be more, and to expand the range of her work and her experience. Now that the Arya Tara School has been built, complete with fields for growing organic vegetables, she is working on building a kidney hospital, and has dreams for a retreat centre. And we know about Ani’s dreams: she won’t stop until they all come true.

 

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