Profile cover photo
Profile photo
The Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition
The Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition

FPMT's posts

Post has attachment
Nalanda Monastery's Five-Year, Full-Time Basic Program
The FPMT Basic Program is an in-depth Buddhist education program designed by Lama Zopa Rinpoche and developed by FPMT Education Services. In-depth Program Coordinator Olga Planken reports on the success of the Basic Program held at Nalanda Monastery in France:

The formal studies of the second full-time, five-year Basic Program (BP) at Nalanda Monastery were completed at the end of April with a joyous three months of review and a very successful final exam. The review was facilitated by two of the students: Ven. Dorje, who also interpreted the BP into French, helped with facilitating the first half of the review; and Yael Altaratz, who will be the teaching assistant for the next BP,  took care of the participants for the entire three months. They and ten others will graduate upon completion of the three-month lamrim retreat that has just started at Nalanda.

Building on their expertise from implementing two successful BPs, Nalanda Monastery will be offering its third Basic Program starting in 2018. Resident teacher Geshe Jamphel Gyaltsen’s BP teachings have been received with praise and enthusiasm, and Geshe-la is looking forward and committed to offering the BP subjects again from 2018 to 2022.

The third Basic Program at Nalanda will be excellently staffed by a team that consists of outstanding interpreter, Katy Fradet; experienced BP coordinator Ven. Rigchog; and teaching assistant, Yael Altaratz, soon-to-be graduate of Nalanda’s current BP.

Both monastics and lay students are welcome to take part in the program. The monastic environment offers inspiration for a balanced approach including study, meditation, discussion, and retreat. Students also benefit from the  supporting presence of a Masters Program, currently in its fourth year at Nalanda, regular visits by highly regarded lamas, summer retreats, and extra-curricular teachings by Nalanda’s abbot, Geshe Lobsang Jamphel. 

A unique feature of Nalanda’s BP is that it is scheduled in its entirety, including the three-month review, final exam, and  three-month lam-rim retreat. This supports students to aim at program completion and graduation, and after five years of study to become eligible for teacher registration and various functions within the greater FPMT organization. 

The following is feedback from Nalanda’s review participants: 

“I would like to take this opportunity to let you know how much I appreciate to have done this three-month review. It was very good and interesting to take all these months to review everything and also to discover new comprehension. I enjoyed very much learning and making links among the subjects. I am very enthusiastic to see the understanding starting to emerge!”

“The group study was most beneficial. We could go into depth over points, learn about different points of view, and receive more information then I could find on my own. We had good atmosphere and supported each other in  topics that were more complicated.”

“I have very much appreciated the review period. I noticed how I could relate different topics in a way that I could not do while studying the separate subjects. I really enjoyed that. Now when I read a Dharma book on any topic, which I found difficult to follow before, I can easily and enthusiastically follow it after the BP. This is veeeeery important. Now I can enjoy a much wider variety of the Dharma texts.

“The review has been absolutely wonderful. I feel at last that I can see the structure and the overview rather than a mass of isolated facts. Studying with a group was so beneficial; it caused me to study in a disciplined way, and I could confidently admit my ignorance, and listen to the patient explanations of others.”

For more information and the registration options for Nalanda’s forthcoming 2018-2022 BP, please check Nalanda’s Basic Program web pages.

Through comprehensive study programs, practice materials, training seminars, and scholarships, FPMT Education nourishes the development of compassion, wisdom, kindness, and true happiness in individuals of all ages.

Caption: Nalanda’s resident BP teacher Geshe Jamphel Gyaltsen

Post has attachment
Watch Lama Zopa Rinpoche Teach Live from Moscow
You can watch Lama Zopa Rinpoche teach live from Moscow starting on Saturday, May 27. The teachings run from May 27 through June 3 and will be live-streamed. Details can be found here:

Rinpoche’s teachings in Moscow—organized by Ganden Tendar Ling Center—will be streamed on FPMT’s YouTube channel, on Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s Facebook page, and on FPMT’s Facebook page. The live-streamed teachings are scheduled for 7 p.m. local time each evening as follows:

May 27-June 3, 7 p.m. local time (GMT+3)Watch here on FPMT’s YouTube channel:

Rinpoche has been teaching in Elista, the capital of Kalmykia, Russia, May 20-24, where he has been hosted by Telo Rinpoche, an important spiritual leader of the Kalmyk people. Kalmykia is a traditionally Buddhist region in Russia.

Rinpoche last visited Ganden Tendar Ling Center in Moscow in 2015 when he taught on the “Three Principal Aspects of the Path.”

PLEASE NOTE: Live webcasts of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s teachings are now on YouTube. We will no longer be streaming Rinpoche’s teachings from Please bookmark this YouTube link for live video of the teachings in Mongolia and Rinpoche’s other future live-streamed teachings:

Rinpoche’s schedule of teachings can be found here:

Lama Zopa Rinpoche is the spiritual director of the Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), a Tibetan Buddhist organization dedicated to the transmission of the Mahayana Buddhist tradition and values worldwide through teaching, meditation, and community service.

Caption: Lama Zopa Rinpoche greeted by Telo Rinpoche in Elista, Kalmykia, Russia, May 2017. Photo by Сохраним Тибет via Facebook.

Post has attachment
Sponsorship of Light Offerings to Holy Objects
Lama Zopa Rinpoche often explains the benefits of offering to holy objects and encourages extensive offerings around the world. “We are not aware of the limitless skies of benefits we achieve from the practice of offering, what we can achieve and enjoy from life to life,” Rinpoche explains in Extensive Offering Practice to Accumulate the Most Extensive Merit. “Even while you are in samsara, you enjoy good rebirths, wealth, and every happiness. Even just the samsaric perfections are amazing, without adding all those incredible realizations that allow us to offer deep benefit to sentient beings, liberating them from oceans of samsaric suffering and its cause, delusion and karma.”

We’d like to invite you to rejoice in just some of the extensive light offerings which Lama Zopa Rinpoche sponsors through the FPMT Puja Fund. 

Bodhgaya, India: Recently while in Bodhgaya, Lama Zopa Rinpoche was pleased with the extensive light offerings arranged on the roof of the apartment he occupies when there. The electricity for the offerings has now been sponsored for the entire year so they can remain on at all times. 

Chailsa, Nepal: The cost of butter for one year was recently sponsored to a light offering in front of a very special Guru Rinpoche statue in Chailsa, Nepal. 

Mongolia: The electricity for lotus light offerings is offered to all the holy objects on the altar at Idgaa Choizinling College in Mongolia. The lights are offered 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Among the holy objects on this altar is an incredible Most Secret Hayagriva statue.

Garsha, India: All the butter is offered to keep alight a brass butter lamp in front of a holy self-emanating image of Chenrezig in a cave in Garsha, India.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s residences in USA: Extensive light offerings are made daily by the Sangha at Rinpoche’s residences in California and Washington State. Additionally, many other daily practices are offered at Rinpoche’s residences including animal liberation practice, flower and water bowl offerings, and protector practices.

Please rejoice in these offerings and also feel very free to use them in your own practice by mentally offering these light offerings. 

The Puja Fund was established by Lama Zopa Rinpoche to provide resources for pujas and offerings dedicated to the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and to the success of all the FPMT centers, projects, services, students, benefactors and those serving the organization in any way. You can learn more about the Puja Fund, or FPMT’s other extensive charitable activity.

Caption: Lama Zopa Rinpoche with the large light offering to Guru Rinpoche statue in Chailsa, Nepal.

Post has attachment
Rinpoche Explains the ‘Lung’ or Oral Transmission [Video]
A lung (pronounced loong) is the oral transmission of a text, mantra, or practice by an authorized holder. Lama Zopa Rinpoche explains more about lungs in a video below.

In Tibetan the word for oral transmission is spelled lung (ལུང་). It should not be confused with a different word that sounds similar, lung meaning “wind,” spelled rlung (རླུང་) in Tibetan.

In the video, Lama Zopa Rinpoche emphasizes that lungs come in an unbroken lineage from the Buddha or Lama Tsongkhapa, which gives them blessings. He also mentions that he thinks practices are more effective after we receive a lung—especially if we pay attention while receiving them!

Calling lungs “powerful,” Rinpoche talks in this 9-minute video about the meaning and benefits of lungs and how to receive them. The video is an excerpt from his teachings at the 2016 Light of the Path retreat.

Subtitles of Rinpoche’s words appear in the video if you click “CC” in the bottom right corner, for “Closed Captions”.

Watch Lama Zopa Rinpoche on YouTube as he gives a short talk on lungs:

The complete teachings from the 2016 Light of the Path retreat can be found here:

Register for the 2017 Light of the Path retreat here:

Lama Zopa Rinpoche is the spiritual director of the Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), a Tibetan Buddhist organization dedicated to the transmission of the Mahayana Buddhist tradition and values worldwide through teaching, meditation and community service.

Caption: Lama Zopa Rinpoche giving an oral transmission from a Mahamudra text by Panchen Losang Chokyi Gyaltsen, Nalanda, India, January 2017. Photo by Ven. Losang Sherab.

Post has attachment
Twenty-Four Kopan Monks Receive Management and Communication Training
In March 2017, twenty-four Kopan Monastery monks who also serve in staff positions at the monastery received coaching and training for six days in management, communication, and leadership from French student Bertrand Beauregard, director of Institut International de Coaching Humaniste (IICH). Bertrand offered the tailored training—”Efficient Communication and Excellence in Management”—as part of his service to Lama Zopa Rinpoche.

Using role play, the monks learned and practiced skills in management, cross-cultural communication, and leadership. Also, the monks practiced teamwork building exercises and even got exposure to Myers-Briggs (MBTI) personality profiles to help them relate to others more effectively.

“I would like to thank Bertrand for coming at Kopan Monastery to teach us and share his knowledge,” said attendee Geshe Thubten Chyangchup. “I learned new words and how to communicate with others cultures. I really liked learning how to be a leader, how to use motivational drivers, how to say ‘no,’ and how to give feedback.” 

“This training was beyond my expectation,” added Geshe Thubten Jinpa. “I didn’t think it would be before class started, but it fascinated me. I learned so much. It is a bodhisattva action to implement these skills.”

Bertrand was also grateful for the experience. “For me, to train and coach in such an auspicious environment has been a really precious and interesting experience,” Bertrand beamed. “When I’m at Kopan, I’m used to receiving teachings and bowing down to my Dharma teachers—so this was quite different! The students were really open-minded and we could go really deep into communication, management, and teamwork building.”

Bertrand continued, “I was really grateful to share my passion and offer my skills to FPMT. Like in life, it is all about giving and receiving at the same time. We learned so much form each other and I realized, because I was training in a religious organization, that belonging is probably one of the most basic human needs. I would like to thank the entire Kopan family, especially Ani Fran and Vens. Mukhiya and Zoksang, for accommodating me. This has been a great example of compassionate, passionate, and patient teamwork.”

Bertrand will offer “Efficient Communication and Excellence in Management” to the staff of Kopan Nunnery and follow up with the Kopan monks in the next few months.

Mandala brings you news of Lama Zopa Rinpoche and of activities, teachings and events from over 160 FPMT centers, projects and services around the globe. If you like what you read in Mandala, consider becoming a Friend of FPMT, which supports our work.

Caption: Bertrand Beauregard with some of the “Efficient Communication and Excellence in Management” course graduates, Kopan Monastery, Kathmandu, Nepal, March 2017. Photo courtesy of Bertrand Beauregard.

Post has attachment
May 2017 FPMT International Office e-News Out Now!
We invite you to read our May 2017 FPMT International Office e-News. This month you’ll find:

a new, dynamic photo album chronicling Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s beneficial activities during March–April 2017 in Nepala thank-you message to all who have started doing practices for Rinpoche’s long, healthy lifea collection of revised protector prayers recommended by Rinpocheupdates on FPMT International Office’s Supporting Ordained Sangha Fund “The Benefits of Monasteries and Nunneries,” Mandala‘s newest online feature storya list of the award recipients for the International Merit Box 2017… and more!

The FPMT International Office News comes from your FPMT International Office. Visit our subscribe page to receive the FPMT International Office News directly in your email box.

Caption: Lama Zopa Rinpoche in the main cave at Maratika, Nepal, April 2017. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.

Post has attachment
Nyung Nä Practice on Saka Dawa, June 9
Saka Dawa is one of the four great holy days of the Tibetan calendar, commemorating Shakyamuni Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and passing into parinirvana. During Saka Dawa, karmic results are multiplied by one hundred million, as cited by Lama Zopa Rinpoche in the vinaya text Treasure of Quotations and Logic. It is a very powerful time to practice. 

The nyung nä retreat is a two-day intensive practice associated with Chenrezig that includes taking the eight Mahayana precepts for twenty-hour hours, with the addition of complete fasting and silence on the second day. The purifying power of nyung nä makes it an excellent practice to engage in over Saka Dawa. 

In Abiding in the Retreat: A Nyung Nä Commentary, a new book by Lama Zopa Rinpoche forthcoming from the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive this year, Rinpoche explains:

“Nyung nä is a practice that is very easy to do and yet has unbelievable power. There is extraordinary benefit in doing nyung näs. Everybody should definitely attempt to do nyung nä practice, this powerful method of purification. You shouldn’t regard nyung nä practice as unimportant and be careless about it. You must practice it, and from your heart you must recite OM MANI PADME HUM.

“Doing this practice is an unbelievably powerful way to collect the most extensive merit and to purify the negative karmas collected during beginningless rebirths. Doing that is a most powerful way to develop realizations, especially compassion for sentient beings. Doing Chenrezig meditation-recitation can really purify any negative karma and is the quickest way to achieve enlightenment. Don’t miss the opportunity to do this practice. And the harder you find it to do, the better it is, because you will purify more negative karma. As well as bringing powerful purification, however, it helps you to develop so much compassion for sentient beings. Nyung nä practice is also very effective in healing sicknesses, even those that are difficult to cure, where other methods have been tried and haven’t helped. By confessing to the guru, reciting the Chenrezig mantra and doing nyung näs, people have been cured of such sicknesses. Nyung nä is very powerful.”

This year, Saka Dawa is on June 9. FPMT Education Services would like to remind you about some nyung nä materials available to you:

Nyung Nä ebookNyung Nä PDF   Nyung Nä printed versionNyung Nä merit field posterLama Zopa Rinpoche has also recommended other practices for special multiplying days such as Saka Dawa, including reciting the Sutra Remembering the Three Jewels. 

Mandala magazine will publish “The Benefits of Nyung Nä Practice,” an excerpt from Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s new 2017 book Abiding in the Retreat: A Nyung Nä Commentary, in its upcoming issue, out June 21. Get the next issue of Mandala as a Friend of FPMT.

Through comprehensive study programs, practice materials, training seminars, and scholarships, FPMT Education nourishes the development of compassion, wisdom, kindness, and true happiness in individuals of all ages.

Caption: The nyung nä

Post has attachment
'Zina Was Unlike Other People': Rinpoche Hears First-Hand Account
In the late 1960s, Zina Rachevsky requested Dharma teachings from Lama Yeshe—and that was the beginning of Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche teaching Westerners and the planting of the seed that became FPMT. The story is told in detail here. In 1973, Zina Rachevsky undertook a retreat in Nepal near Junbesi, in the Solu Khumbu District. During the retreat, she fell sick, and despite taking medicine, died within a few days. 

While visiting lower Solu Khumbu in April 2017, Lama Zopa Rinpoche went to Thubten Choling, the monastery founded by Trulshik Rinpoche, which was very close to where Zina did her final retreat and passed away. There, Rinpoche heard a first-hand account of Zina’s passing. Rinpoche met with Ven. Bu Norbu, an elderly monk from Thubten Choling who was there at the time. He told Rinpoche about how he had been a friend of Zina and helped her when she was staying above the monastery with her daughter Rhea. He was present when Zina died.

Vens. Roger, Tenzin Legtsok, and Ailsa Cameron were able to walk with him up to the site where Zina’s hut had been, although it is no longer there. A new retreat house is under construction on the same site, with a spectacular view of forested hillsides stretching down to the river valley far below.

With Ven. Legtsok translating, Ven. Bu Norbu told the story of Zina’s passing. This is what he shared as recorded by Ven. Ailsa Cameron: 

Ven. Bu Norbu, who was around thirty years old at the time, knew Zina and her daughter, Rhea, well. Zina would shave Bu’s head, and Rhea would tease him by sneaking up on him while he was reading his text and scattering the pages. When Zina suddenly became ill with stomach pain, Trulshik Rinpoche was away in Tengboche, in upper Solu Khumbu. When contacted, Rinpoche sent a message that Zina should take medicine for her illness. Zina had a plentiful supply of Western medicine, which she took, but her condition rapidly deteriorated over the following two days.

Shortly before Zina died, the military police, who had heard that Zina was seriously ill and close to death, came to the retreat house to ask what would be done with Zina’s money and possessions. Rhea, only seven years old at the time, spoke nicely to the police, explaining that there was nothing to worry about as everything had already been given to two Western monks (one of them the American monk, Ngawang Chötak) staying at the monastery. Bu said about Rhea, “She was very brave and clear when she spoke to the military police.” 

Bu explained that Zina died sitting up, reciting mantras, and holding a mala in one hand and Rhea’s hand in the other. He added, “Zina was unlike other people.” After Zina’s breath stopped, she remained in meditation for three days, still sitting upright. Bu said that during that time she looked alive.

After three days Zina’s face sagged and its color changed, and her body began to smell. Her body was then carried across the valley to be cremated at Thubten Choling’s consecrated cremation site, which has a mandala etched on a large stone and earth brought from many holy cemeteries in India.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche is the spiritual director of the Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), a Tibetan Buddhist organization dedicated to the transmission of the Mahayana Buddhist tradition and values worldwide through teaching, meditation and community service.

Caption: Lama Zopa Rinpoche and others walking toward Trulshik Rinpoche’s monastery, Thubten Choling, Nepal, April 2017. A little above the monastery, where retreat huts are visible, is where Zina Rachevsky did her retreat. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.

Post has attachment
The Sera Je Food Fund’s New Chapter: Self Sustainability and Ongoing Support to Sangha
An Incredible Accomplishment: An Endowment Supporting the Monks of Sera Je Monastery Long into the FutureFor the last ten years FPMT International Office has been building an endowment large enough to support the long-term health of the Sera Je Food Fund, whereby the interest from the endowment would cover the annual costs associated with offering three nutritious meals daily for all the monks of Sera Je Monastery, for as long as the endowment remains.

Amazingly, due to the kindness of so many generous donors, we have now reached our targeted amount for the endowment fund. This is a monumental achievement and we could not have done it without all of the kind, generous, and ongoing support that has been offered to the Sera Je Food Fund for the last twenty-six years. Thank you!

This is an incredible accomplishment for the entire FPMT organization. Lama Zopa Rinpoche started the Sera Je Food Fund in 1991 on the occasion of Tenzin Ösel Rinpoche entering Sera Je Monastery. Rinpoche wanted to make an offering to the whole monastery, not just one time, but continuously.  At the time it seemed like such an ambitious plan to offer meals to every monk studying at Sera Je Monastery every day of every year. In 2017 this amounts to an incredible 700,000 meals per year, 2,900 meals per day.

Thanks to the support of so many people, this fund operated without interruption for twenty-six years. In the beginning we were only able to offer a small amount of money to each monk for their midday meal. Then we started to provide a cooked meal that was served to every monk. Later we added dinner, and then breakfast. We built a kitchen and catered to the thousands of monks every day with special attention given to maintaining a hygienic environment for meal preparation, and a balanced offering of nutritious food.

When Rinpoche first mentioned his wish to start this project, we had no idea how we were going to make it happen. Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Ven. Roger Kunsang were the main fundraisers for so many years. Then slowly FPMT International Office took on the entire responsibility so Rinpoche didn’t have to personally raise the funds. In addition, a few centers were key in helping with fundraising and tens of thousands of supporters over the years have also been inspired to donate. Each year we covered the annual costs and eventually were able to create an endowment fund so the project could continue to run on the interest accrued each year.

At the beginning of this year, the abbot and monks of Sera Je Monastery offered a long life puja to Lama Zopa Rinpoche to thank Rinpoche and the FPMT organization for this incredible offering made over a quarter of a century. At that time we discussed with the monastery that the endowment and the ongoing management of the food fund now be managed entirely by Sera Je Monastery.

FPMT has always had a close connection with Sera Je Monastery. Most of our resident geshes come from this highly respected monastery and we are very happy to make such a substantial offering. It’s also wonderful that the monastery is now able to manage this next chapter.  

We are working to ensure that this transition is smooth and that the endowment and ongoing interest raised will be exclusively used for the food fund. The official handover of the project began in May 2017 and the endowment will be transferred over a period of a few years.  Therefore the Sera Je Food Fund is no longer an FPMT charitable project. 

Please rejoice in this incredible offering, the benefits of which will continue long into the future. Every person who has contributed to the Sera Je Food Fund — whether with donations, time, or prayers — all of this incredible merit of offering to the Sangha will continue to grow and benefit.  

The Next Chapter in Supporting Sangha Supporting monks and nuns has always been one of the highest priorities for Lama Zopa Rinpoche and the FPMT organization because the preservation of the Buddhadharma is dependent on the existence of Sangha.

We invite you to please join us in developing the Supporting Ordained Sangha Fund which is offering support to monasteries, nunneries, and individual monks and nuns for food, accommodation, health care, education and practice.  

This fund is not limited to any one institution and able to benefit many nunneries, monasteries and Sangha in need.

From our hearts we sincerely thank you for helping to actualize this incredible offering. May the food fund and endowment continue to grow and benefit the Sangha at Sera Je Monastery for as long as space endures and as long as sentient beings remain.

“Offering even one cent to the Sangha community brings uncountable benefit and merit. As long as the Sangha community exists your merit exist. It will not be exhausted.” — Lama Zopa Rinpoche

You can learn more about the Supporting Ordained Sangha Fund and the ways it supports monasteries and nunneries.

Caption: The monks of Sera Je Monastery.

Post has attachment
New Photo Album: Lama Zopa Rinpoche in Nepal, March-April 2017
New photo albums have been added to Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s Photo Gallery, where you can see Rinpoche in action as he travels around the world! Visit FPMT’s website to see a new photo album showing Rinpoche’s March-April visit to Nepal. Albums from 2017 can be found at:

Rinpoche spent the beginning of the year in India, visiting Root Institute, Maitreya School, and Maitri Charitable Project in Bodhgaya; going on pilgrimage to the ruins of Nalanda University and the stupa at Sarnath; and being offered a long life puja at Yulo Koepa (Tara Temple) in Sarnath, which is a project of Kopan Nunnery. In late February, Rinpoche returned to Kopan Monastery in Nepal for Losar (Tibetan New Year) and the March enthronement of Thubten Rigsel Rinpoche, the reincarnation of Khensur Rinpoche Lama Lhundrup. 

Rinpoche then spent time at Thubten Shedrup Ling Monastery, which is a branch of Kopan Monastery and next to Sagarmatha Lower Secondary School, in lower Solu Khumbu District. Rinpoche blessed the children who are students at the school, which is overseen by Kopan Monastery and supported by FPMT’s Social Service Fund. Rinpoche made a visit to Thubten Choling Monastery in Junbesi. Then he went to Maratika Caves in Khotang District.

Rinpoche has most recently been teaching in Mongolia. [Please see “CORRECTED–Lama Zopa Rinpoche in Mongolia: Update,” to read the corrected version of this post on Rinpoche’s Mongolia visit.]More information, photos and updates about FPMT spiritual director Lama Zopa Rinpoche can be found on Rinpoche’s homepage. If you would like to receive news of Lama Zopa Rinpoche via email, sign up to Lama Zopa Rinpoche News.

Caption: Lama Zopa Rinpoche with Geshe Lozang Rinchen and dogs in front of Thubten Shedrup Ling Monastery (a branch of Kopan Monastery), Solu Khumbu, Nepal, March, 2017. Photo by Ven. Lobsang Sherab.
Wait while more posts are being loaded