Thubten Norbu Ling is blessed to have the spiritual guidance of the following Tibetan Buddhist Lamas.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama
His Holiness the 14th the Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso, is the former head of state and current 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 recognized at the age of two, in accordance with Tibetan tradition, as the reincarnation of his predecessor the 13th Dalai Lama, and thus an incarnation Avalokitesvara, the Buddha of Compassion. To learn more about His Holiness: www.dalailama.com
Lama Thubten Yeshe, Founder of the FPMT
Lama Thubten Yeshe was born in Tibet in 1935. At the age of six, he entered Sera Monastic University in Tibet where he stuided 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 Zopa Ripoche, 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, they 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 Tenzin Osel Rinpoche was born to Spanish parents in 1985.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Spiritual Director of the FPMT
Lama Zopa Rinpoche, the spiritual director of The Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition, 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 Lawudo, in the Mount Everest region of Nepal, where his predecessor meditated for the last twenty years of his life. While his predecessor had belonged to the Sakya tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, the Lawudo Lama himself had been a great master of the complete tantric teachings of the Nyingma tradition.
Rinpoche left Thami when he was about 4 years old and was put in a Monastery that was very close to the border of Nepal and Tibet. Rinpoche stayed at this Monastery for several years until he went to Tibet and took getsul ordination in 1958, and continued his studies in Domo Geshe's monastery in Phagri, Tibet.
In 1959 Rinpoche escaped from Tibet and continued his studies in Sera Jhe monastery in Buxa Duar, in the north of India. This is where the Indian Government housed the monks from Sera, Ganden and Drepung Monasteries who wanted to continue their studies, along with monks from the other sects. It was at Buxa Duar that Rinpoche became the disciple of Geshe Rabten Rinpoche and then of Lama Thubten Yeshe.
Lama Yeshe and Zopa Rinpoche's contact with Westerners began in 1965 in Darjeeling, when they met Princess Zina Rachevsky from Russia. She became the Lamas' first Western student. In 1969 they founded the Nepal Mahayana Gompa Center at Kopan, above Boudhnath Stupa in Kathmandu, Nepal. At the insistence of Zina Rachevsky the Lamas started to teach courses on Buddhism for Westerns at Kopan.
In 1971 Rinpoche took gelong ordination from His Holiness Ling Rinpoche in Bodh Gaya. By 1975, twelve centers had started. In 1976, the growing worldwide organization was named by Lama Yeshe: Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT). The FPMT is an organization devoted to the transmission of the Mahayana Buddhist, with over 150 Centers and projects around the world. www.fpmt.org