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Kopan Nunnery Spiritual Leaders
Lama Thubten Yeshe

Lama Thubten Yeshe

Founder of 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, his reincarnation Lama Tenzin Ösel Rinpoche was born to Spanish parents in 1985.

Kyabje Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche

Kyabje Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche

Spiritual Director of 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.

Khenrinpoche Lama Lhundrup Rigsel

Khenrinpoche Lama Lhundrup Rigsel

Abbot of Kopan Monastery & Nunnery

Geshe Lhundrup Rigsel was born in Tibet in 1941, to a poor peasant family. He joined Sera Monastery while still a boy, and in 1959 fled from the Chinese invasion to India. In Buxa, the refugee camp in Northern India where many of the monks were sent by the Indian government, he met Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa, an studied with the great masters such as Geshe Rabten and others.