Lama Zopa Rinpoche was born in Thami, Nepal, in 1946. At the age of three he was recognized as the reincarnation of Sherpa Nyingma yogi, Kunsang Yeshe, the Lawudo Lama. Rinpoche’s Thami home was not far from the Lawudo cave, in the Mount Everest region of Nepal, where his predecessor meditated for the last twenty years of his life. Rinpoche’s own description of his early years may be found in his book, The Door to Satisfaction (Wisdom Publications). At the age of ten, Rinpoche went to Tibet and studied and meditated at Domo Geshe Rinpoche’s monastery near Pagri, until the Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1959 forced him to forsake Tibet for the safety of Bhutan.
Rinpoche then went to the Tibetan refugee camp at Buxa Duar, West Bengal, India, where he met Lama Yeshe, who became his closest teacher. The Lamas went to Nepal in 1967, and over the next few years built Kopan and Lawudo Monasteries. In 1971 Lama Zopa Rinpoche gave the first of his famous annual lam-rim retreat courses, which continue at Kopan to this day.
In 1974, with Lama Yeshe, Rinpoche began traveling the world to teach and establish centers of Dharma. When Lama Yeshe passed away in 1984, Rinpoche took over as spiritual director of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), which has continued to flourish under his peerless leadership. More details of Rinpoche’s life and work may be found on the FPMT website.
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View a photo montage on YouTube of Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche prepared by David Zinn for the 2009 Parliament of World Religions.
For more information about Lama Zopa Rinpoche and his work, see Lama Zopa Rinpoche's page on the FPMT website.
Thousands of pages of Rinpoche's teachings have been made available as transcripts, books and audio by the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive, and most are freely available on the Archive website.
Rinpoche’s other published teachings include Wisdom Energy (with Lama Yeshe), Transforming Problems into Happiness, Dear Lama Zopa and others available from Wisdom Publications, and many prayer and practice booklets available from the FPMT Foundation Store.