This season (2023-24)
Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche
Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche is the reincarnation of Tsenshab Serkong Rinpoche, a highly accomplished lama born in Tibet in 1914. In 1948, having received his Geshe Lharampa degree, Tsenshab Serkong Rinpoche was appointed one of the seven tsenshab, or master debate partners to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Tsenshab Serkong Rinpoche, who passed away in 1983, served His Holiness in this capacity for the rest of his life and imparted to His Holiness many lineages, initiations and oral transmissions.
The FPMT website has inspiring information about Rinpoche's past incarnation, who also had a strong connection with our spiritual guide, Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, and early FPMT students, which continues in his new incarnation.
In this incarnation, Rinpoche was born in the Spiti Valley in India in 1984.
This season: Overcoming the Eight Worldly Concerns (3:30 – 5:30 pm, 2 January, 2024)
Venerable Geshe Dorji Damdul
Venerable Geshe Dorji Damdul is one of the most popular teachers of the Tibetan Buddhist Nalanda tradition and a distinguished Buddhist scholar whose interest lies in the relation between Buddhism and science, especially in physics. Geshe la is currently the Director of Tibet House, New Delhi, The Cultural Centre of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He has a Geshe Lharampa degree (equivalent of a PhD) from Drepung Loseling, in Mundgod, Karnataka, and was an interpreter for His Holiness for five years.
This season: Bodhicitta Retreat (Nov 14 to 20, 2023)
Venerable Joan Nicell
After completing several ten-day vipassana retreats in Thailand, Ven. Joan Nicell did her first course in Tibetan Buddhism at Kopan Monastery, Nepal, in November 1987. She received ordination as a nun from His Holiness the Dalai Lama in early 1989. She then spent more than twenty years living and working at Lama Tzong Khapa Institute, a large Buddhist center, in Italy before returning to Kopan Monastery in 2013, which is where she is now based and where she regularly teaches courses. She very much enjoys meeting new people of all ages, cultures, and backgrounds and having the opportunity to share the Buddha's teachings with them.
This season: Introduction to Buddhism and Meditation (October 26 to 30, 2023)
Venerable Lhundup Jamyang
Venerable Lhundup Jamyang, originally from the Netherlands, first came into contact with Tibetan Buddhism in 1997 at Tushita Meditation Centre in Dharamsala. She soon realised that she had a strong connection with both Tibetan Buddhism and Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Over the next few years, she did several retreats and was ordained in 2000 at Kopan Monastery in Nepal. She has studied extensively and has completed the five-year Basic Programme at Chenrezig Institute, Australia and the seven-year Masters Programme in Advanced Buddhist Studies at Instituto Lama Tzong Khapa in Italy, including the one-year retreat requirement. In between these studies she worked at Buddha House in Australia as both an SPC and a teacher during 2007–2009.
Venerable Tenzin Namjong
Born and raised in Hawaii, Venerable Tenzin Namjong studied and trained in Zen and Theravada traditions before embracing the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, due mainly to the kindness of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Lama Zopa Rinpoche. He holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Princeton University and has been part of the 19-year Geshe study program at Sera Je Monastery in Bylakuppe, India since 2007. Venerable Namjong is a registered teacher of the FPMT and teaches regularly in FPMT centers in India and the rest of the world.
This season: The Heart Surta (Nov 6 to 12, 2023)
Venerable Gyalten Lekden
Ven. Gyalten Lekden was born and raised outside of Boston. He first started studying and practicing Buddhism during his undergraduate schooling, and after completing BAs in Theatre and Religious Studies he continued on to complete his Masters of Divinity in Buddhist Ministry at Harvard Divinity School. Ven. Lekden started leading Buddhist communities while an undergrad, and has studied, served, and taught at various Dharma centers since then. In 2012 he joined Sera Je Monastery in southern India, where he continues to study and practice. Ven. Lekden is a registered teacher in the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition, and has given Dharma talks and meditation instruction in India and the USA.
Kabir Saxena was born to an English mother and an Indian father and raised in both Delhi and London, attending Oxford University where he studied History.
He met his main teachers Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche in 1979 and has been living and working in FPMT Centres almost ever since, including helping to establish Root Institute in Bodh Gaya and serving as its Director for many years. He is currently the Spiritual Programme Coordinator of Tushita Delhi.
Kabir ji has been teaching Buddhism to Westerners and Indians in India and Nepal since 1988 and presents the Dharma in an appropriately humorous and meaningful way for modern students.
Shanti la served as the director of the FPMT Centre in Bangalore, Choe Khor Sum Ling for nearly eight years and has attended numerous teachings from highly esteemed Buddhist teachers, including His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche. She recently completed the Nalanda Masters Course on Buddhist Philosophy under the guidance of Ven. Geshe Dorji Damdul, at Tibet House, New Delhi.
Shanti is also a software engineer with over twenty two years of experience in the industry and currently lives in Bangalore, India.
This season: The Path to Happiness (October 21 to 24, 2023)