Bodhicitta Foundation

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Bodhicitta Foundation
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Bodhicitta Foundation

Main School Vajrayana
Sub School Tibetan, Sakya
Affiliation Bodhicitta International Socially Engaged Buddhist Community
Contact person(s) Ven. Sister Yeshe
Founder(s) Ayya Yeshe
Teacher(s) Ven. Sister Yeshe
Spiritual Director His Holiness Sakya Trizin
Contact Infotmation
Address 3 Leon Ave
Georges Hall
New South Wales 2198
Country Australia
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Phone (02) 9727 2679

The Bodhicitta foundation NGO was founded by an Australian Tibetan nun, Ayya Yeshe, who has spent over 8 years in the slums in Nagpur, India, working with people from the community previously known as ‘untouchables’. Bodhicitta Foundation NGO works in India and other developing countries to empower mainly women and children with education, job skills, human rights, health and wellbeing. We have a range of projects such as women's job training, girl's home and education facilities and so forth.

The Indian community we work with are largely people who have been held back by the Caste System. Women and children often fall prey to domestic violence, harsh and exploitative work, child marriage, disease and often struggle to just survive. Ayya Yeshe with her locally trained staff are striving to help them overcome discrimination, reclaim their human dignity and help them realize their potential.

Bodhicitta International Socially Engaged Buddhist Community

Are a separate but affiliated organisation in Australia and India who offer Mahayana Buddhist teachings, retreats, spiritual activism and who work to create meaningful spiritual connections between Buddhist Practitioners and a sense of connectedness with the wider community through chaplaincy, couselling and Sunday Schools. We aim to take Buddhist compassion and teachings into the world. We are only teach those people who come to us or are already Buddhist. We also:

  • Support Non Himalayan monastics,
  • to empower and train women and future Buddhist teacher
  • stay connected to issues of social justice in the world and engage where possible with compassion and practical action to relieve the suffering of the world

Our founder


Ayya Yeshe Bodhicitta ordained as a nun in 2001. She discovered Buddhism whilst travelling in Nepal and India at the age of 17 on a search for the meaning of life. Coming back to Australia after a year of study and practice in monasteries, she helped run a Buddhist Centre in Sydney and trained with her teacher Khenpo Ngawang Dhamchoe for five years whilst working as well.

Upon ordaining as a nun at the age of 23 Venerable Yeshe, found like the majority of Western monastics before her that there was very little care or support for Western monastics, people preferring to access Tibetan Lamas who are already trained. She had no where to live and had to beg on traditional alms round to get food, she stayed with various friends and in garden sheds. She engaged in teaching Dharma in HIV hospices, schools, drug and alchohol rehab centres and trained as a yoga teacher.

Coming to India in 2004, Venerable Yeshe studied for two years in a monastery, but felt a need to make Buddhism accessable and socially engaged, whilst still trying to maintain her contemplative way of life. She met Indian Buddhists in 2005 and has been working with them ever since. Her teachers are Sakya Trizen (the second highest Lama in Tibetan Buddhism) and Ven Thich Nhat Hanh, the nobel peace prize poet and peace activist.

Ayya Yeshe Bodhicitta is the author of 'Everyday Enlightenment' published by Harper Collins and is featured in the documentaries 'life beyond the begging bowl' and 'Through the Eastern Gate'. She is also made a Buddhist chanting CD with one of Australia's top world music groups - India Jiva called 'Dakini'.