Our Lineage


Venerable Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche

Spiritual Director of FPMT

Portrait of Lama Zopa Rinpoche, 2010. Photo by Roger Kunsang. Courtesy of Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche was the Spiritual Director of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT). Born in the Mount Everest region of Thami in 1946 he was recognized soon afterwards as the reincarnation of the great yogi Kunsang Yeshe, the Lawudo Lama. After leaving Tibet, Rinpoche was taken under the care of Lama Thubten Yeshe. Together they began teaching courses on Buddhism to Westerners and founded several centers around the world that eventually became the building blocks of the FPMT.

Rinpoche was a source of inspiration and the living embodiment of love, compassion and kindness, which are achievable to us all by means of Buddhist practice. His vast vision and ongoing philanthropy are legendary.

Rinpoche was utterly dedicated to fulfilling the wishes of His Holiness the Dalai Lama wherever and whenever possible.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche passed away in April 2023.