Lama Thubten Yeshe - Founder of the FPMT
Lama Thubten Yeshe was born in Tibet in 1935. At the age of six, he entered Sera Monastic University in Tibet where he studied until 1959, when as Lama Yeshe himself has said, "In that year the Chinese kindly told us that it was time to leave Tibet and meet the outside world." Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, together as teacher and disciple since their exile in India, met their first Western students in 1965. By 1971 they settled at Kopan, a small hamlet near Kathmandu in Nepal. In 1974, the Lamas began touring and teaching in the West, which would eventually result in The Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition. Lama Yeshe died in 1984.
They began giving teachings to Westerners at Kopan Monastery on the outskirts of Kathmandu in 1965. Gradually their students, wanting to continue their studies at home, invited the Lamas on teaching tours of the West.
Together the two Lamas inspired and guided a growing network of meditation and retreat centres and monastic communities around the world. Since its beginnings in 1971 the FPMT has grown to more than 160 Centres/Projects/Services in 56 countries.
Lama Yeshe, Yucca Valley (Photo from LYWA collection)
"Buddhism is not saying that objects have no beauty whatsoever. They do have beauty. The craving mind, however, projects onto an object something that is beyond the relative level, which has nothing to do with that object. That mind is hallucinating, deluded and holding the wrong entity.
– Lama Thubten Yeshe
The person recognized as the incarnation of FPMT’s founder, Lama Thubten Yeshe, was in his early life known as Lama Osel. Today he prefers to be called simply “Osel”. Osel is completing a course of Western studies in Europe, at which he is doing extremely well.
Photo courtesy of Osel.
Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche - Spiritual Director of the FPMT
Lama Zopa Rinpoche was born in 1946 in Thami, in the Mount Everest region of Nepal, not far from the Lawudo cave where his predecessor had meditated for the last 20 years of his life. Lama Zopa Rinpoche is now the Spiritual Director of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition and oversees all of its activities.
"Death could come any minute so transform your life into Dharma."
–Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Rinpoche met His Holiness in Deer Park, USA. July 2008. Photographer Ven Roger Kunsang
In April 2011 whilst leading a retreat in Bendigo, Australia - Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche manifested a stroke. All FPMT students around the world were shocked and saddened by this and many heartfelt wishes for Rinpoche's speedy recovery were received. Rinpoche is recovering and able to give short teachings. You can keep up with his progress:
Other Lama Zopa Rinpoche links:
Advice from Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Includes downloadable prayers and practices related to world events and FPMT current events
Anecdotes about Lama Zopa Rinpoche (PDF)
Biographies and Articles read more about Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Follow Rinpoche's activities on Facebook and TwitterLife on the Road with Lama Zopa Rinpoche – News and stories from on the road with Lama Zopa Rinpoche authored by Ven. Roger Kunsang, CEO of FPMT and attendant to Lama Zopa Rinpoche.
How to Contact Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Mitrugpa Practice for Rinpoche's Long Life (2009)
News about Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Updated Monthly (News Archives)
Photo Gallery, featuring photos of Lama Zopa Rinpoche past and present.
Prayers for Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Rinpoche LaughingSchedule for Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Teachings from Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Teachings from Lama Zopa Rinpoche in the Lama Yeshe Wisdom ArchiveWatch Recorded Video Webcasts from the 2010 Light of the Path Retreat on the FPMT Media Center from September 13th to September 26th 2010. Also watch, listen or read Rinpoche’s teachings during the 2009 Light of the Path Retreat.
Watch Rinpoche - Short Video Clips