Thubten Zopa Rinpoche
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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. There he "took getsul ordination in 1958, continuing his studies in Domo Geshe's monastery in Phagri, Tibet." He had to flee Tibet due to the Chinese army's severe treatment of monks after the 1959 Tibetan uprising. Thubten Zopa learned English at the Young Lamas Home School. Lama Zopa has received teachings from many high lamas. He "continued his studies in Sera Jhe monastery..." and "...became the disciple of Geshe Rabten Rinpoche and later Lama Thubten Yeshe."
Lama Zopa met Choekyi Gyaltsen, 10th Panchen Lama, in Nepal in 1986 and in Tibet.
Lama Zopa is most noteworthy as the co-founder, with Lama 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. Since the 1984 death of Lama Yeshe, Lama Zopa has served as the FPMT's spiritual director. FPMT states that, "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!"
Zopa's books are published by Wisdom Publications. Free transcripts of some of his teachings are available from the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive. There is an extensive biography of him in the book The Lawudo Lama by Jamyang Wangmo.
Lama Zopa supports — apparently in accordance with the dying wish of Lama Yeshe — the Maitreya Project, a planned 152 metres (499 ft) high Maitreya statue in Kushinagar, North India. If built, it will be one of the largest Buddha statues in the world, only one meter shorter than the Spring Temple Buddha in Henan, China.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche holds the Gelugpa lineage and has received teachings from many of the great Gelugpa masters. His Root Guru is HH Trijang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso since he was a young boy studying in Buxa, India. Lama Zopa Rinpoche is also considered as the heart son of the 14th Dalai Lama and diligently works to establish all of His Holiness's wishes.
- "The Official Homepage for Lama Zopa Rinpoche". Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
- "LPP | Lama Zopa Rinpoche". www.liberationprisonproject.org. Retrieved 2017-07-05.
- Lawudo Gompa - Lama Zopa Rinpoche's Teachers
- "Tushita Meditation Centre".
- "The Official Homepage for Lama Zopa Rinpoche - FPMT". fpmt.org. Retrieved 2017-07-05.
- "Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive". Retrieved October 25, 2015.
- Jamyang Wangmo (2013). The Lawudo Lama: Stories of Reincarnation from the Mount Everest Region. Wisdom Publications. p. 20. ISBN 978-0-86171-890-0.