Thubten Zopa Rinpoche

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Thubten Zopa Rinpoche
Kyabje Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche December 2008 Kopan monastery Nepal.jpg
Born1946 (age 7374)
Thangme, Nepal
Region Tibetan Buddhism
School Gelug

Thubten Zopa Rinpoche (Tibetan : ཐུབ་བསྟན་བཟོད་པ་, Wylie : Thub-bstan Bzod-pa; 1946 Thangme, Nepal [1] as Dawa Chötar) is a Nepali lama from Khumbu, the entryway to Mount Everest. [1]



Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, also called Lama Zopa Rinpoche has an extensive biography of him in the book The Lawudo Lama by Jamyang Wangmo. [2]

Early in life, he was recognized as the reincarnation of the Lawudo Lama Kunzang Yeshe, from the same region (hence the title "Rinpoche"). He took his monastic vows at Dungkar Monastery in Tibet where he travelled in 1957. [3]

Lama Zopa met Choekyi Gyaltsen, 10th Panchen Lama, in Nepal in 1986 and in Tibet. [4]

Lama Zopa is most noteworthy as the co-founder, with Lama Thubten Yeshe, of Kopan Monastery and the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT). In 1972 he along with Lama Yeshe founded Tushita Meditation Centre near McLeod Ganj at village Dharamkot in Himachal Pradesh. [5] Since the 1984 death of Lama Yeshe, Lama Zopa has served as the FPMT's spiritual director. FPMT is involved with a number of activities including "under Rinpoche’s guidance, FPMT plans to build two large statues of the future Buddha, Maitreya, in Bodhgaya and Kushinagar in India; The Sera Je Food Fund, which offers three vegetarian meals a day to all 2,500 monks studying at Sera Je Monastery in south India; Animal Liberation events around the world, at which creatures, big and small, are freed from immediate harm or blessed every year– the total number of animals liberated to date (by Lama Zopa Rinpoche or those inspired by him) is over 200,000,000 and counting!" [6]

Lama Zopa Rinpoches's books are published by Wisdom Publications and Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive. Free transcripts of some of his teachings are available from the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive. [7]

Lama Zopa Rinpoche has requested some Tibetan lineage holders to support his Dharma work by being available to travel to teach at FPMT centers, projects and services. [8] In 2019 one of the touring Lamas, Dagri Rinpoche, was accused of sexual harassment while on a flight from Delhi to Gaggal, followed by another accusation via a video of molestation at his residence at Namgyal Monastery in McLeod Ganj in 2008. [9] Dagri Rinpoche was suspended as an FPMT Touring Lama. [10] Lama Zopa Rinpoche offered spiritual advice to students of Dagri Rinpoche on how to relate to their teacher. [11] [12]


Lama Zopa Rinpoche is a Gelugpa lineage holder, having received teachings from many of the great Gelugpa masters. [13] His Root Guru is HH Trijang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso since he was a young boy studying in Buxa, India. Lama Zopa Rinpoche is a devoted student of the 14th Dalai Lama and has outlined that offering service to the Dalai Lama as much as possible and to be able to fulfill his wishes is the highest priority for the FPMT organization. [14]

Published books

Lama Zopa Rinpoche has a number of books published by Wisdom Publications and Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive including the following titles:

See also

Related Research Articles


The Gelug is the newest and currently most dominant sect of Tibetan Buddhism. It was founded by Je Tsongkhapa (1357–1419), a philosopher and Tibetan religious leader. The first monastery he established was named Ganden. The Ganden Tripa is the nominal head of the school, though its most influential figure is the Dalai Lama. Allying themselves with the Mongols as a powerful patron, the Gelugpa have emerged as the pre-eminent Buddhist school in Tibet and Mongolia since the end of the 16th century.

Lamrim is a Tibetan Buddhist textual form for presenting the stages in the complete path to enlightenment as taught by Buddha. In Tibetan Buddhist history there have been many different versions of lamrim, presented by different teachers of the Nyingma, Kagyu and Gelug schools. However, all versions of the lamrim are elaborations of Atiśa's 11th-century root text A Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment (Bodhipathapradīpa).

Thubten Kunga Ling Center (TKC), is a Buddhist Center in Deerfield Beach, Florida. TKC follows the Gelugpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, which is the lineage of the Dalai Lama. The center offers classes on meditation and Buddhist philosophy. The resident teacher is Venerable Lhundub Tendron.

Thubten Yeshe

Thubten Yeshe (1935–1984) was a Tibetan lama who, while exiled in Nepal, co-founded Kopan Monastery (1969) and the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (1975). He followed the Gelug tradition, and was considered unconventional in his teaching style.

Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition

The Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT) was founded in 1975 by Lamas Thubten Yeshe and Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, who began teaching Buddhism to Western students in Nepal. The FPMT has grown to encompass over 160 Dharma centers, projects, and services in 37 countries. Since the death of Lama Yeshe in 1984, the FPMT's spiritual director has been Lama Zopa Rinpoche.

Kopan Monastery

Kopan Monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery near Boudhanath, on the outskirts of Kathmandu, Nepal. It is a member of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), an international network of Gelugpa dharma centers, and once served as its headquarters.

Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje

Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje, and known as Dudjom Rinpoche was the second Dudjom Rinpoche. He was recognized as a direct incarnation of Dudjom Lingpa (1835–1904) and is a highly respected Vajrayana master with the rare honor of the title "His Holiness". During the early 1960s, to protect Tibetan Buddhist teachings and Tibetan culture, he was appointed as the first supreme head of the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism by the fourteenth Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration.

Thubten Chodron

Thubten Chodron , born Cheryl Greene, is an American Tibetan Buddhist nun, author, teacher, and the founder and abbess of Sravasti Abbey, the only Tibetan Buddhist training monastery for Western nuns and monks in the United States. Chodron is a central figure in the reinstatement of the Bhikshuni ordination of women. She is a student of the 14th Dalai Lama, Tsenzhab Serkong Rinpoche, Lama Thubten Yeshe, Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, and other Tibetan masters. She has published many books on Buddhist philosophy and meditation, and is currently co-authoring with the Dalai Lama a multi-volume series of teachings on the Buddhist path, The Library of Wisdom and Compassion.

Thubten Shedrup Ling is the first Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Australia. It is situated near Bendigo, Victoria, and is a member of the International Mahayana Institute of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT).

Nicholas Ribush was one of the first Westerners to be ordained as a monk in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. A founder of Wisdom Publications, Ribush is today the director of the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive, a collection of thousands of teachings by Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche, who pioneered the teaching of Tibetan Buddhism in the West.

Amitabha Buddhist Centre

Amitabha Buddhist Centre is a Buddhist institution in Geylang, Singapore. It is affiliated with the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), an international non-profit organisation, founded by Lama Thubten Yeshe.

Zong Rinpoche was a Gelug Lama and disciple of the third Trijang Rinpoche, junior tutor of the 14th Dalai Lama. He was famous as a sharp analyst and master of philosophical debate, as well as a powerful Tantric practitioner. He was the Abbot of Ganden Shartse monastery.

Robina Courtin

Robina Courtin is a Buddhist nun in the Tibetan Buddhist Gelugpa tradition and lineage of Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche. In 1996 she founded the Liberation Prison Project, which she ran until 2009.

Thekchen Choling is a registered Buddhist organisation in the Republic of Singapore. The organisation was started in 2001 by Namdrol Rinpoche and a group of his initial disciples. The organisation promotes non-sectarian Buddhism, emphasizing understanding of Theravada and Mahayana teachings.

Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa

The Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa (ILTK) in Pomaia, a village in Tuscany, in Italy is a branch of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), an international network of Gelugpa dharma centers. It is named for Tsongkhapa, founder of the Gelugpa monastic order of Tibetan Buddhism. The Dalai Lama has taught there on several occasions.

Trijang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso

The Third Trijang Rinpoche, Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso (1901–1981) was a Gelug Lama and a direct disciple of Pabongkhapa Déchen Nyingpo. He succeeded Ling Rinpoche as the junior tutor of the 14th Dalai Lama when the Dalai Lama was nineteen years old. He was also a lama of many Gelug Lamas who taught in the West including Zong Rinpoche, Geshe Rabten and Lama Yeshe. Trijang Rinpoche's oral teachings were recorded by Zimey Rinpoche in a book called the Yellow Book.

Geshe Lhundrup Rigsel

Geshe Lhundrup Rigsel was abbot of Kopan Monastery in Nepal. He was born in 1941 to a poor peasant family in Tibet, and joined Sera Monastery as a boy. In 1959 he fled from the Chinese invasion of Tibet and went to India. - In Buxa, a refugee camp in Northern India, he met Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Zopa. In the late sixties he journeyed to South India to start the clearing of land for the new Sera Monastic University. He received his Doctor of Divinity in Buddhist studies from Sera.

The Young Lamas Home School was a school established by the 14th Dalai Lama and Freda Bedi in 1960. Its funding was provided by Christopher Hills and its early abbot was Karma Thinley Rinpoche.

Tushita Meditation Centre

Tushita is a centre for the study and practice of Buddhism from the Tibetan Mahayana tradition in Himachal Pradesh in northern India. It is located in the forested hills above the town of McLeod Ganj in village Dharamkot. The centre offers Introduction to Buddhism Courses and intermediate level courses for those who have already taken one of these introduction courses besides conducting Group Practice Retreats for practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism.

Kyabje Rinpoche

Kyabje Khensur Kangurwa Lobsang Thubten Rinpoche, was a Buddhist monk, Abbot of Sera Jey Monastery, and the founder of Tibetan Buddhist Institute (Adelaide). Khensur means "former abbot" and Rinpoche means "precious teacher."


  1. 1 2 "The Official Homepage for Lama Zopa Rinpoche". Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition . Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  2. Jamyang Wangmo (2013). The Lawudo Lama: Stories of Reincarnation from the Mount Everest Region. Wisdom Publications. p. 20. ISBN   978-0-86171-890-0.
  3. Wangmo, Jamyang (2013). The Lawudo Lama: Stories of Reincarnation from the Mount Everest Region. Simon and Schuster. p. 314. ISBN   9780861718900.
  4. Wangmo, Jamyang (2013). The Lawudo Lama: Stories of Reincarnation from the Mount Everest Region. Simon and Schuster. p. 314. ISBN   9780861718900.
  5. "Tushita Meditation Centre".
  6. "The Official Homepage for Lama Zopa Rinpoche - FPMT". Retrieved 2017-07-05.
  7. "Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive" . Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  8. "Touring Lamas - FPMT".
  9. "Tibetan Lama Dagri Rinpoche faces "Me Too" allegations .:. Tibet Sun".
  10. "Update Regarding Dagri Rinpoche - FPMT".
  11. "Lama Zopa Rinpoche's Advice to Students of Dagri Rinpoche - FPMT".
  12. "Lama Zopa Rinpoche's Additional Advice to Students of Dagri Rinpoche - FPMT".
  13. "Lama Zopa Rinpoche's Teachers - FPMT".
  14. "Lama Zopa Rinpoche's Vast Visions for FPMT - FPMT".
  15. "How to Enjoy Death". The Wisdom Experience.
  16. "The Four Noble Truths". The Wisdom Experience.
  17. "Bodhichitta". The Wisdom Experience.
  18. "Dear Lama Zopa". The Wisdom Experience.
  19. "Ultimate Healing". The Wisdom Experience.
  20. "The Door to Satisfaction". The Wisdom Experience.
  21. "Transforming Problems into Happiness". The Wisdom Experience.
  22. "The Heart of the Path Book". 29 January 2015.
  23. "Teachings From the Medicine Buddha Retreat Book". 23 February 2015.
  24. "Sun of Devotion, Stream of Blessings Book". 8 August 2016.