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All about the FPMT...

His Holiness the Dalai Lama consecrating the site for two new stupas at Istituto Lama Tsong Khapa, Italy, 1990.

The Buddhism of Tibet flourished in its homeland for more than a thousand years but was virtually unknown beyond its Himalayan borders. However, because of the enforced exile of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and so many of his people since the Communist Chinese incursion, this living spiritual tradition is now open and accessible, and grows anew in the rest of the world.

For forty years Tibetans have been rebuilding the infrastructure of their religion in India and Nepal, and it is there that thousands of people have met and studied with Tibetan masters and made the Buddhist way of life their own.


Lama Thubten Yeshe (1935-1984) and Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, together as teacher and disciple since their exile in India, met their first Western student in 1965 and by 1971 had settled at Kopan, near Kathmandu in Nepal. Due to demand they began teaching Buddhist philosophy and meditation to increasing numbers of travellers. who in turn started groups and centres in their own countries.

In 1975 Lama Yeshe named this fledgling network the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition. Now, more than one hundres centres and other activities make up the FPMT, and it grows yearly.

Lama Thubten Yeshe (r), founder of the FPMT, and Lama Zopa Rinpoche (l)
Photo: Robin Bath

Lama Thubten Yeshe

So long as space remains,
So long as sentient beings' suffering is there, I will be there
To serve as much as I can.
- Shantideva


"This organization," said Lama Yeshe in 1975, "is for all mother sentient beings. Its main aim is to help Dharma knowledge-wisdom to develop in the human consciousness. This is its only reason to exist".

The 'Dharma knowledge-wisdom' that Lama Yeshe refers to is a state of utter clarity and contentment, and according to Mahayana Buddism this irreversible and continuous experience of inner liberation, coupled with boundless altruistic love and compassion, is the potential of every living being.

Attempting to help human beings fulfil this potential are the individuals, meditation groups, monasteries, retreat centres, communities, health and healing centres, publishing houses and businesses that are the FPMT. Lama Zopa Rinpoche is now the Spiritual Director of the Foundation and oversees all of its activities. In its efforts to work for the benefit of others, the FPMT strives to follow the example and inspiration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in his compassionate service to humanity.
The old Gompa at Kopan

The old gompa, Kopan monastery,
Kathmandu, Nepal

Lama Osel (L) and Lama Zopa (R) in Bodhgaya, 1991
Lama Tenzin Osel Rinpoche (l) and Lama Zopa Rinpoche (r) at Bodhgaya, India in 1991.

Two years after Lama Yeshe passed away, a Spanish child, Osel Hita Torres, was recognised as his reincarnation. Born in February 1985 to students of Lama Yeshe, and ordained as a novice monk by the Dalai Lama at the age of three, Tenzin Osel Rinpoche has now commenced his studies and training as a monk and future master, to prepare him to continue the work he started in his previous life.

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