History of FPMT Mongolia

1999 – Lama Zopa Rinpoche visited Mongolia for the first time. FPMT Mongolia is registered as a Mongolian Religious Organization. Two unfinished buildings were bought; one for the headquarters and the Dharma Center and the second to produce rental income to sustain FPMT Mongolia’s activities.

2000 – Buildings were completed in the fall. Lama Zopa Rinpoche returned to teach and ordained future monks. Idgaa Choizinling monks requested Rinpoche to help them rebuild their monastery which was destroyed during the purges of 1937. The name of Ganden Do Ngag Shedrub Ling was given to the Dharma Center in Ulaanbaatar.
FPMT Inc. began the production of the 24 episodes of the TV series “The Path to Enlightenment”. Ven. Gyatso taught at the Center and Pethub monastery.

2001 – The TV series was dubbed in Mongolian and aired by the National TV. The huge, unexpected success led the National TV Channel to re-air the whole series again and several episodes were aired multiple times.

2002 – The building of Idgaa Choizinling commenced

Construction at Idgaa Choizinling Dratsang, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, 2003. Photo by Ueli Minder.

within the Ganden Monastery compound in Ulaanbaatar. Dara Ekh monastery was bought and became Dolma Ling nunnery with 20 nuns. Renovations were started. Dolma Ling Community Center building commenced, for the purpose of hosting the Soup Kitchen, The Health Clinic, and the Children’s Development Program. A resident Geshe was invited from India.

Historic columns in front of Drolma Ling Nunnery in 2002, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Photo by Ueli Minder.

2003 – Dolma Ling Nunnery building renovation was finished. The Community Center opened in June. Lama Zopa Rinpoche returned and travelled to Darkhan. Idgaa Choizinling building was completed and handed over to the monks. The Mongolian Sangha Fund was created for the purpose of sponsoring the monks’ food. This fund is still continuing to this day.

2004 – The Enlightened Experience Celebration IV was hosted in the summer. Dema Locho Rinpoche, Choden Rinpoche and Lama Zopa Rinpoche gave teachings on different subjects to about 3-4 hundred Mongolian people and approximately 100 Westerners. The Golden Light Sutra Center in Darkhan was formed. All the activities of the Dolma Ling Community center were regrouped under a new entity called: “Lamp of the Path NGO”.

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama during a visit to Ganden Do Ngag Shedrup Ling, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, 2006. Photo by Ueli Minder.

2005 – The Stupa Café opened to the public and the Stupa outside the Center was built and became a landmark of the city of Ulaanbaatar. The Children’s Development Program began under Lamp of the Path NGO.

2006 – HH the Dalai Lama visited the Center.

2007 – The teachings at the Center continued with Ven. Chantal.

2008 – FPMT Mongolia helped organize the International Sakyadhita conference, a meeting of women engaged in Buddhism.

2010 – Lama Zopa Rinpoche returned to participate in the International Conference for the Preservation of Mongolian Buddhism. The Mongolian President awarded Rinpoche, the Medal of the Order of the Polar Star, the highest honor bestowed upon a foreign person.

2013 – the first 100 Million Mani Retreat was hosted by FPMT Mongolia from 1st until 30th August with Lama Zopa Rinpoche attending for the final 2 weeks. Since then, the 100 Million Mani Retreat has become one of the major annual Buddhist events in Mongolia. Hundreds of Mongolian people are involved every year.