Our Teachers

Lama Thubten Yeshe
FPMT’s founder

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 Yeshe and Lama 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, Tenzin Ösel Hita, resides in Spain.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche
FPMT’s Founder and Spiritual Director

Lama Zopa Rinpoche was born in 1945 in Thami, in the Mount Everest region of Nepal, not far from the Lawudo cave where his predecessor had meditated for the last twenty 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 spiritual activities.