our budget

Living Expenses

Annual  expenses for entire community:


Housing            $150 per month      $1,800 per year

We rent three rooms on one floor of a quiet and sunny house, next door to Drolmaling Nunnery near Dharamsala, India. The owners are Tibetans living in New York who plan to retire here one day. The other floors of the house are vacant, asnd pur s[pace includes a large open roof space and several terraces.

Food                     $150 per month     $1,800 per year

We take turns cooking simple but nutritious vegetarian meals. For breakfast we have Indian porridge (upama) or oatmeal. Lunch is usually rice, vegetables and either dal, beans or a tofu dish. We fast in the evenings.

Communication   $90 per month     $1080 per year

We are committed to remaining connected to others, even as our life as Buddhist monastics entails renouncing ordinary social and family life. We maintain blogs, such as the one you are now reading, and remain in touch by phone or e-mail when possible.

Transportation      $75 per month    $900 per year

We travel twice a month up to His Holiness the Dalai Lama's temple in McLeod Ganj for monastic confession ceremony, and twice weekly to Gyuto Monastery, the residence of our main teacher His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, for teachings and public audiences.

Health Care                                              $1240 per year

Our estimated medical costs assume no major health issues, but medical, gynecological and dental exams annually and new eyeglasses as needed. Fairly high-quality health care is available in India at far lower costs than in the West, but not in the area we live, so this budget includes as well the cost of travel by overnight bus to Delhi, where such care is available.  This includes vitamins and medicine  for the ongoing health glitches that are part of our life in India. 

One-Time Annual Costs

Apart from our recurring monthly expenses, we have a number of annual events that we consider important and valuable but that (unlike our food, housing etc.) are optional, and thus could be skipped if we do not receive support for these activities. 

Pilgrimage, Winter Debate and Monlam Prayer Festival                                                        $1,500 per year

Every winter in the most sacred Buddhist site of Bodhgaya, Buddhists gather from around the world for all-day prayers, teaching and initiations called the Kagyu Monlam. The event is preceded by a winter debate session with teachings on such topics as philosophy and monastic training (vinaya), also led by His Holiness the 17th Karmapa. We find this to be an important way to connect with the larger Buddhist community and to offer our prayers, presence and translation services to support its aspirations. 

Special Teaching Events                         $500 per year

Several times a year, His Holiness the Dalai Lama gives public lecture series on various subjects in his monastery in Dharamsala, India. Our costs are approximately $10 per day for all of us to attend these teachings.  In addition, several high lamas give annual public teachings in various locations around India. As and when other important teachings take place in India, this fund would allow us to take advantage of those opportunities. Although admission to such events is free of cost for monastics, we must cover our own travel, lodging and food costs.

Visa Renewal                                 $1200 per year

Several of our community members are able only to receive short-term visas for India, and most leave the country one to three times a year, to Nepal or other country, to apply for new Indian visas. This is an unavoidable and costly part of our community life.

Total Recurring and One-Time Expenses for Our Community's Life                                   $10,020 per year

 To donate by credit card or Paypal, please follow the link to the right of this page. 

Checks in US$ payable to Diana Finnegan may be sent to:

Nuns Community
PO Box 1651
Studio City, CA 91614-0651.

You may also contact us for other payment

Thank you so very much.

“By the merit of this act,
and of all I have done and not done,
may all beings have
unsurpassable bodhicitta.

Like earth, water, fire, and air,
like medicine and trees in the wilderness,
may I always be available to all beings
for them to use as they wish.

May I cherish beings like life itself.
May I cherish them more than myself.
May their wrongdoing ripen for me.
May all my virtue ripen for them.

As long as any beings
remain unliberated,
even if I have attained
unsurrpassable awakening, may I remain.”

- Nagarjuna