Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Spiritual Director
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Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Spiritual Director

"The way to solve problems in your life is to open your heart to others and think differently." — Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche

 

Lama Zopa Rinpoche, the spiritual director of The Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), is the reincarnation of the Sherpa Nyingma yogi Kunsang Yeshe, the Lawudo Lama. Rinpoche was born in 1946 in Thami, not far from the cave Lawudo, in the Mount Everest region of Nepal, where his predecessor meditated for the last 20 years of his life. While his predecessor had belonged to the Sakya tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, the Lawudo Lama himself had been a great master of the complete tantric teachings of the Nyingma tradition.

 

Rinpoche left Thami when he was about 4 years old and was put in a Monastery that was very close to the border of Nepal and Tibet. Rinpoche stayed at this Monastery for several years until he went to Tibet and took getsul ordination in 1958, and continued his studies in Domo Geshe's monastery in Phagri, Tibet.

 

In 1959, Rinpoche escaped from Tibet and continued his studies in Sera Jhe monastery in Buxa Duar, in the north of India. This is where the Indian Government housed the monks from Sera, Ganden and Drepung Monasteries who wanted to continue their studies, along with monks from the other sects. It was at Buxa Duar that Rinpoche became the disciple of Geshe Rabten Rinpoche and then of Lama Thubten Yeshe. Frida Bedi then invited him to join her school for incarnate lamas in Dalhousie where they were given the chance to learn English for 6 months. Upon the completion returned to Buxa Duar and his studies.

 

Lama Yeshe and Zopa Rinpoche's contact with Westerners began in 1965 in Darjeeling, when they met Princess Zina Rachevsky from Russia. She became the Lamas' first Western student. In 1969, they founded the Nepal Mahayana Gompa Center at Kopan, above Boudhnath Stupa in Kathmandu, Nepal. At the insistence of Zina Rachevsky the Lamas started to teach courses on Buddhism for Westerners at Kopan.

 

In 1971, Rinpoche took gelong ordination from His Holiness Ling Rinpoche in Bodh Gaya. By 1975, 12 centers had started. In 1976, the growing worldwide organization was named by Lama Yeshe "The Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition" or FPMT. FPMT is an organization devoted to the transmission of the Mahayana Buddhist tradition and values worldwide through teaching, meditation, and community service. 

 

For more about Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche or FPMT, please visit: http://fpmt.org and http://www.lamayeshe.com.

 

Photo used with permision from Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive. Biography Source: FPMT.

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The Guhyasamaja Center is affiliated with The Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition; Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Spiritual Director

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We follow the Gelug tradition, the same lineage as His Holiness The Dalai Lama

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