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Paubha (Thangka) Painting Course for Tergar Osel Ling Monks in Swayambhu, Kathmandu

Name of Project: Paubha (Thangka) painting course 

Project Period: 2019 to 2021

Location: Tergar Osel Ling Monastery - Swayambhu, Kathmandu, Nepal

As 2021 is coming to a close we take a look back at projects we completed this year and successfully handed over to the partner organisation. Abiding Heart Education set up for Tergar Osel Ling Monastery, in Swayambhu/Kathmandu, a Paubha painting course for their monks, a project which we established in 2019. The project was handed over to the monastery to continue to run in early 2021 and it continues to thrive. 

Paubha is a Newari Buddhist style of Thangka painting originated in India as early as the 12th century. Such a style of painting can be seen in monasteries in Upper Mustang, Nepal, Ladakh, India, and variations of such styles in Tibet before the 16th Century. 

Abiding Heart’s dedicated Thangka teacher, Sudarshan Suwal, has been teaching thangka painting since the beginning and developed a close relationship with his monk students. With Sudharshan’s close guidance, the monks have built skills such as sketching and drawing, crushing semi-precious stones into pigments, making canvas and other skills of this beautiful Buddhist art. 


Sudarshan demonstrating: how to make the canvas for the Paubha painting (photo 1) and how to sketch the main deity (photo 2)

Paubha pigments are natural. Sudarshan teaches the students how to crush and make pigments from Turquoise, Lapis Lazuli, seashells, etc, as you can see in the second photo above.

Sudharshan is a dedicated teacher who loves and cares very much for this group.  Besides the painting classes, he takes time to organise excursions for the monks to Newari Buddhist sites of his community in the old city Patan.


The monks visiting Sudharshan’s studio in Patan (Photo 1) and Newari Buddhist sites of his community in this ancient city (Photos 2 and 3)

By the time Abiding Heart handed over the project to the monastery, the monks had learned to paint Shakyamuni, Green Tara, White Tara, Vajrasattva, Manjushri, Five Buddhas and started a complex painting project depicting the life of Gautama Buddha. 

Having a Newari Buddhist style painting course in a Tibetan monastic environment is another wonderful way to continue to build bridges between these two special Buddhist communities and their ancient traditions. 

A big thank you to Dr Robert Roeser, Marianna Bauko and Dr Susan Davidson for their generous donations that paid the thangkha teacher’s salary for the duration of the project, and for Mingyur Rinpoche’s contribution for managing the transition at the end of the project period of equipment and natural pigments.

By now, Karma, Sudharshan’s first student, is sketching and painting complex and big projects

Sudharshan and some of his monks students with a painting of the Five Buddha they worked on

As we conclude this successful project we make aspirations that this project continues to flourish for many years to come! 

New courses starting in July 2023

A Short Paubha Art Course

Starting 31st July 2023

Abiding Heart Education will offer a new Thangka painting course on 18 February 2022 with full scholarship for monks and nuns from the Himalayan region.

We are accepting lay and monastic students who wish to study Paubha as part of personal and professional development. Classes will be offered in our centre in Boudha. There is also the option to join this class online (live streaming). Classes will be held once a week for three hours during semester time. For more information, please click here or contact us at or by WhatsApp at (+977) 9746235508.

Full Time Training in Paubha Art with Buddhist Studies

Starting 31st July 2023

Abiding Heart is now offering a specialised training route for those interested in full time training in paubha painting. This new and unique course brings together intensive training in Buddhist paubha painting anchored in the Buddhist View and Meditation. For more information about our Paubha Art Course or our Experiential Buddhist Foundation Course , please click here or contact us at or by WhatsApp at (+977) 9746235508.

Abiding Heart's Primary Teacher Training with Pedagogical Paubha Art

Starting 5 February 2024

Paubha art is an integral part of our kindergarten and primary full-time teacher training courses (Diploma or Certificate) as part of trainees' personal development. In addition, our Primary teacher training also includes a one year pedagocial paubha course. In Pedagogical Paubha Art  training course you will learn how to teach our unique Paubha art curriculum for class 1-8.

In the Abiding Heart's primary curriculum for class 1-8 we developed a pedagogical paubha art curriculum teaching children in a developmental appropriate and a gradual way the skills, techniques, and knowledge of painting a paubha. This includes, drawing, tracing, colouring, brush stokes and fine brush work, making a canvas and pigments out of natural minerals, sewing a brocade to frame the painting and the embroidery that goes with it. The curriculum also include learning the meaning behind each deity and motif in the paubha and learn the rituals, and sadhana or meditative practice beloning to that deity. 

For more information about out primary teacher training course, please click here or contact us at or by WhatsApp at (+977) 9746235508.



2020 Abiding Heart’s students painting Shakyamuni Buddha, as part of the Buddhist Foundation Studies semester

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