** This interview about life in Tibet was conducted by the Tibet Oral History Project. This non-profit organization aims to preserve the history and culture of the Tibetan people by interviewing elderly Tibetan refugees about life in Tibet before and after the Chinese invasion. Learn more at http://www.TibetOralHistory.org.
** Interview Summary: Jetsun Kushok Chimey Luding was born in Sakya near the border of Sikkim. She is the eldest of four children, two of whom died in childhood, and her younger brother is His Holiness the Sakya Trizin, head of the Sakya sect of Tibetan Buddhism. She describes the Khon lineage and how it is passed on from father to son and any daughters must become nuns. After her mother passed away, she and her brother were raised by her aunt, who was herself very religious. Jetsun Kushok Chimey Luding gives an insight into her education, her teachers, meditation and memorization of ritual prayers. She explains the different kinds of ritual practices and their merits. She recounts the various teachings, the different retreats and practices she undertook. She went into her first retreat with her teacher at the age of 11 which lasted for one month. She completed a 7-month retreat at the age of 16 and also studied for two years at Ngor Monastery. At the age of 12 Jetsun Kushok Chimey Luding was instructed by her father to travel to nomadic regions where she gave long-life empowerments and performed other rituals for the nomads. When they heard about His Holiness the Dalai Lama's escape to India, her aunt took Jetsun Kushok Chimey Luding and her brother to Sikkim. She was unable to remain a nun as a refugee in India and was sent to study in a missionary school. She recounts the situation that led to her to Canada and how her brother asked her to teach the dharma.