His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Inspiration and Guide of the FPMT
His Holiness the 14th the Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso, is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. He was born Lhamo Dhondrub on 6 July 1935, in a small village called Taktser in northeastern Tibet. Born to a peasant family, His Holiness was recognised at the age of two, in accordance with Tibetan tradition, as the reincarnation of his predecessor the 13th Dalai Lama, and thus an incarnation of Avalokitesvara, the Buddha of Compassion.
Lama Thubten Yeshe
Spiritual Founder of FPMT
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 Thubten Yeshe and Lama Thubten 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, Lama Osel Rinpoche was born to Spanish parents in 1985.
Kyabje Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche
Spiritual Director of FPMT
Lama Zopa Rinpoche, FPMT’s Spiritual Director, is the reincarnation of the Sherpa Nyingma yogi, Kunsang Yeshe, “The Lawudo Lama”. Rinpoche was born in 1946 in Thami, not far from the cave at Lawudo, in the Mount Everest region of Nepal, where his predecessor meditated for the final 20 years of his life. From time to time whilst giving teachings at various centres around the world, Rinpoche would tell stories of his childhood, in Thami, then in Tibet, where he went when he was ten, and finally India, where he first met Lama Thubten Yeshe, with whom he would remain as heart disciple until Lama passed away in 1984.
Geshe Thubten Rabten
Atisha Centre’s Resident Teacher
Geshe Rabten, joined Sera Jey Monastery in 1978 at the age of fourteen. In 1980 he received novice ordination from Ling Rinpoche and in 1984 full ordination from His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
In 1999 Gen-la received his Geshe Lharam degree and in 2000 he undertook tantric studies in Gyume Tantric Monastery, successfully completing his tantric studies examination in 2002.
Following that, Geshe Rabten held various teaching and other important positions in Sera Jey Monastery including “Disciplinarian” and “Master of the Debate Ground”, where he supervised and guided the monks whilst they were debating.
Venerable Thubten Gyatso
Director of Thubten Shedrup Ling Monastery and teacher at Atisha Centre
Born in Melbourne in 1946, Adrian Feldmann graduated from the University of Melbourne with a degree in medicine. After practising medicine in Australia and overseas, he travelled for several years through Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, eventually finding his way to a Tibetan monastery in Nepal. After much study and soul-searching, he became ordained in the 1970s by Lama Thubten Yeshe as the Buddhist monk, Thubten Gyatso. Since then he has run a free medical practice in Nepal, taught Buddhism and meditation in Nepal, Mongolia, Taiwan, USA, France, New Zealand and Australia, establishing monasteries in France and in Bendigo. He was one of the first Westerners to become a monk in the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. He is an FPMT veteran who has been instrumental in establishing a number of Dharma centres in France, Taiwan, Australia and Mongolia. As well as teaching extensively around the world, Gyatso is the author of two books.