Origin the name of Dè Shema

Bumo Dè Shema (བུ་མོ་བདེ་བྱེད་མ) as “bumo bde byed ma”

The name of our organization is drawn from the inspiring life story of princess Bumo Dè Shema, mentioned in Buddha’s core teaching, Khagyur.

Bumo Dè Shema was born in a kingdom that was constantly at war with its neighbor. Shortly after she was born, her parents prearranged her marriage to the newborn son of the rival kingdom, hoping that this would bring peace, joy and prosperity between the two and put to rest forever their longstanding rivalry. She was named Bumo Dè Shema suggesting that she would become a female peace-builder, leader, innovator, and creator of health, happiness and prosperity. In time, she grew up into a strong, inspiring princess, filled with insatiable curiosity about knowledge and wisdom. She was passionate about traveling, helping and bringing people together and in no time immersed herself in the study of Buddhist science and ethics, practiced limitless compassion and committed herself in taking care of those in need. With these deeds, her courage became more alive, everything became an achievable possibility for her, difficulties simply turned into invitations to further practice and enhance her inner and outer beauties and her heart reached a new rhythm of noble trust and clarity of wisdom. 

Eventually, she rejected the arranged marriage and instead chose to become an activist for spreading education far and wide. Today, she is known as the first female and one of the only two in Buddhism who earned the highest honor or title (ཤེས་རབ་བུ་མོ-girl of wisdom), a direct reference to the dissemination of Buddha’s vast wisdom and compassion.

Her name-Bumo Dè Shema has a profound meaning that reflects the entire essence of what our organization-Dè Shema envisioned to do and achieve in rural communities in China and also around the world. It has an inherent feminine nurturing strength and a recall of the importance of female leadership in social change. Her life story also celebrates the talents and potentials of women as a whole. Least of all, Bumo Dè Shema’s life story carries a profound insight, meaning and reflection of the fiercely independent, courageous, intelligent and above all compassionate female character daring enough to renounce fame, challenge the tradition, and spark the flame of hope for women’s empowerment, lit new and exciting pathways for women leadership in the society.

Bumo Dè Shema’s life story speaks to many of us personally in a profound way, the message being that — when our true desire and capacity to excel come alive, it is just like new wells spring up in parched ground; difficulties become an invitation to improve oneself while benefiting others at the same time. Rather than striving against the grain of our nature and giving up all avenues of self-improvement, once in the company of knowledge and wisdom, we fall into a rhythm that corresponds to our deepest urgency and passion to shape a better future.