Inspiration and Guide of the FPMT
His Holiness is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. He frequently states that his life is guided by three major commitments: the promotion of basic human values or secular ethics in the interest of human happiness, the fostering of inter-religious harmony and the welfare of the Tibetan people, focusing on the survival of their identity, culture and religion. You can read more about His Holiness the Dalai Lama here.
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 passed away in March 1984 and Tenzin Osel Rinpoche (born 1985 in Spain) was recognised as his incarnation by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. You can read more about Lama Yeshe here.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche was born in 1946 in Thami, in the Mount Everest region of Nepal, not far from the Lawudo cave where his predecessor had meditated for the last 20 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 activities. You can read more about Lama Zopa Rinpoche here.
Stephan Wormland, born 1965 in Germany, has studied and practiced meditation in multiple traditions for over 25 years. He has a master’s degree in clinical psychology, trained in Gestalt therapy and worked in a psychiatric hospital. He lived as an ordained monk in the Tibetan tradition for 11 years and, during that time, served as the director of Nalanda Monastery in the south of France and spent a total of 4 years in group and solitary retreats. Currently he is the resident teacher of the Center for Visdom og Medfølelse in Copenhagen and teaches meditation in Buddhist Centers around Europe. Since 2009 he has been studying Radiant Mind with Peter Fenner and completed the Nondual Teacher Training. Together with his partner Jetthe Fabioola he offers courses in Natural Mindfulness & Mindful Dreaming and he is a senior trainer and program advisor of the Potential Project.
You can read more about Stephan Pende on his blog, on this website, and on he and Jetthe’s website.
17-19 august 2012Ordained since the late 1970s, Robina Courtin has worked full time since then for Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s FPMT. Over the years she has served as editorial director of Wisdom Publications, editor of Mandala magazine, executive director of Liberation Prison Project, and as a touring teacher of Buddhism. Her life and work with prisoners have been featured in the documentary films Chasing Buddha and Key to Freedom.
Venerable Robina’s teachings are unrelentingly challenging, hard-hitting, serious, funny, visceral, inspiring and empowering. She specialises in applying the wisdom of Tibetan Buddhism to contemporary city life, using examples from TV, magazines and film. She has taught meditation to prisoners all over the world, developing a particularly close connection with people with life sentences in the USA. She is founder and director of the Liberation Prison Project, and the subject of an award-winning Australian documentary called Chasing the Buddha.