Ani Chöying Drolma—sometimes dubbed Nepal’s “rock star nun” in the media as a result of her successful career singing Buddhist chants, sutras, and songs—will offer a benefit concert in Madrid in December at the invitation of the Centro de Retiros budista Arya Tara (Buddhist Retreat Center Arya Tara).
“We are very pleased to announce Ani Chöying’s visit to Madrid in response to an invitation from the Centro de Retiros budista Arya Tara, Madrid,” the center’s president, María Drolma, shared with BDG. “Ani Chöying Drolma will come together with three Nepalese musicians. We have organized for her two benefit conferences and a benefit concert on 2–4 December.”
Ordained in the Tibetan Vajrayana tradition and renowned for her numerous humanitarian activities, which include the education of young girls, care for the elderly, and medical services for the underprivileged and dispossessed, Ani Chöying’s haunting, Dharma-inspired musical performances of Tibetan Buddhist chants and songs have made her one of the biggest musicians in her native Nepal—a talent that is also garnering her a fast-growing international following. Her fans include such global music icons as Tina Turner, singer-songwriter Tracey Chapman, and blues guitarist Bonnie Raitt, whom Ani Chöying also cites as one of her own musical influences growing up.
“We are delighted that Ani Chöying Drolma will hold her benefit concert “Mantras del Corazón” (“Mantras from the Heart”) with three other nepalese musicians on Saturday, 3 December at the Auditorio UGT (Avda. de América 25, Madrid). Tickets can be purchased online via Entradas.com,” Maria Drolma noted. “The benefit conferences will be held in Espacio Ronda on 2 and 4 December. The benefit concert will be held in Auditorio UGT, Avendia de América 25 on 3 December.
Born in 1971 in a poverty-stricken refugee neighborhood of Kathmandu that she describes as “a mini-Tibet in exile,” Ani Chöying’s early life was a far cry from that of the celebrated singer and revered monastic she has become. From the age of five, she recalls, life was a struggle, with daily beatings from an abusive father, who “was someone who exhibited some unpleasant qualities of men. . . . Somehow he was able to . . . develop a lot of my negative qualities, which led to a lot of anger, frustration, and bitterness.” Ani Chöying still carries the scars, both mental and physical, from that chapter of her life. “My back was always covered in bruises, I was always bent over, but he seldom drew blood,” she writes in her autobiography Singing for Freedom (Pier 9, 2009). (BBC, Post Magazine)
“The Centro de Retiros budista Arya Tara is a non-profit association (registration number: 40052) and receives no funding private nor public,” María Drolma explained. “We are organizing all events as ‘benefits,’ so the proceeds will all go toward Ani Chöying Drolma’s humanitarian projects.”
Centro de Retiros budista Arya Tara is a non-profit association in Madrid. The first Buddhist retreat center in Madrid, it is named “Arya Tara” after arya, a Sanskrit word meaning venerable and Tara, the manifestation of the feminine Buddhist aspect. As a non-sectarian Buddhist retreat center, Centro de Retiros budista Arya Tara is open to all traditions and branches of Buddhism. The center can be reached by email at [email protected].
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