Education News

mbSickness and poor health are experiences shared by all regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, age or any other markers of identity that can separate one from another.

When it comes to advice for combating sickness and poor health, Lama Zopa Rinpoche always recommends Medicine Buddha practice, and advises using “sickness for the path.

FPMT Education has compiled some resources for students around the world who either suffer from physical or mental obstacles to their health or want to help others facing these challenges.

More Medicine Buddha resources can be found on the FPMT Foundation Store

Bodhgaya2580Golden Light

Lama Zopa Rinpoche reciting the Sutra of Golden Light at Mahabodhi Stupa,  Bodhgaya, India, March 2014, Photo by Andy Melnic.

Chokhor Duchen, one of the four great holy days of the Tibetan calendar, is just around the corner. Also known as the Festival of Turning the Wheel of Dharma, Chokhor Duchen commemorates the anniversary upon which Shakyamuni Buddha first began teaching the Dharma. For seven weeks after his enlightenment, the Buddha did not teach. After this period, Indra and Brahma offered a dharmachakra and a conch shell and requested Shakyamuni to teach. Accepting, Buddha Shakyamuni turned the Wheel of Dharma for the first time at Sarnath by teaching on the Four Noble Truths.


Chokhor Duchen takes place this year on Thursday, July 31. As a Buddha Multiplying Day, karmic results of actions on this day are multiplied one hundred million times. This amazing result is sourced by Lama Zopa Rinpoche to the vinaya text Treasure of Quotations and Logic.

You can find Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s recommended practices for this special day here (on Rinpoche’s Advice page, under Buddha Multiplying Days), and a calendar of all the holy days here.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche with FPMT Sangha at the Light of the Path Retreat, NC, USA, May 2014.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche with FPMT Sangha at the Light of the Path Retreat, NC, USA, May 2014.

Chokhor Duchen also commemorates FPMT’s TWELFTH INTERNATIONAL SANGHA DAY

Here is how you can celebrate monastics on Sangha Day, July 31, 2014:

  • Show respect for and appreciation of Sangha
  • Generate deeper awareness of the Sangha jewel
  • Donate to the Lama Yeshe Sangha Fund

Please keep in mind: According to Ven. Choden Rinpoche, one of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s teachers, observation of auspicious days should be according to the date in India, not the date in one’s home country. Therefore, when Lama Zopa Rinpoche is not in India, Rinpoche celebrates Buddha Days and other auspicious dates according to the time in India.

Special thanks to the Liberation Prison Project for preparing the Tibetan Calendar.

If you choose to recite the Sutra of Golden Light on this special day, you might like to report your recitations using the facility on the FPMT website – which you can find on the Sutra of Golden Light reporting page. You can also find many other sutra texts available for free download on the FPMT Education Services’ Sutras page.



FPMT Education Services offers a wide variety of essential prayer and practice manuals.


In accordance with the wishes, guidance, and advice of Lama Zopa Rinpoche, FPMT Education Services creates high quality study programs suitable for all levels which are available in FPMT centers, as homestudy materials, or via our Online Learning Center; publishes various practice materials in hard copy and digital formats; and works with a global network of educators, trainers, translators, and publishers to develop valuable training programs and translations.  

FPMT Education has been called “the heart” of the FPMT organization.



Without understanding how your inner nature evolves, how can you possibly discover eternal happiness? Where is eternal happiness? It’s not in the sky or in the jungle; you won’t find it in the air or under the ground. Everlasting happiness is within you, within your psyche, your consciousness, your mind. That’s why it’s important that you investigate the nature of your own mind.

—Lama Yeshe

FPMT is unbelievably fortunate that we have many qualified teachers who are not only scholars but are living in practice. If you look, then you can understand how fortunate we are having the opportunity to study. With our Dharma knowledge and practice we can give the light of Dharma to others, in their heart. I think that’s the best service to sentient beings, the best service to the world.

—Lama Zopa Rinpoche

To help students access all that is available to them, we have been working to restructure the pages, links and downloads on the FPMT Education Services sections of Please take a look at all that is available to you and let us know if you have further suggestions for our continued improvement of the FPMT Education pages.


Lama Zopa Rinpoche with an Om Mani Padme Hum hat. CPMT meeting, France, 2009.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche with an Om Mani Padme Hum hat. CPMT meeting, France, 2009.

It is officially summer in North America and everyone could use a little shade from the sun.

This charming OM MANI PADME HUM hat was designed by Lama Zopa Rinpoche and is covered with beautifully embroidered mantras.

mantra hatYou can order your own mantra hat at the FPMT Foundation Store.

Just by wearing this hat when you go out in public, not only when you play golf but anywhere, in the street, on the beach, in the market, where many people are shopping – anywhere that animals or people can see you – you are liberating others. If any flies or other insects go under or around your hat (with mantras on), or maybe a person walks around you on the way to another shop, all the time you are liberating so many sentient beings who are suffering. – Lama Zopa Rinpoche


Lama Zopa Rinpoche giving the oral transmission of the Vajra Cutter Sutra on Vulture’s Peak, Bihar, India, March 2014. Photo by Andy Melnic.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche giving the oral transmission of the
Vajra Cutter Sutra on Vulture’s Peak, Bihar, India, March 2014. Photo by Andy Melnic.

In response to a query by a student who was advised to sponsor a recitation of the Kangyur
(the teachings of Buddha) but could not afford it, Lama Zopa Rinpoche dictated two
powerful names of buddhas to recite. By reciting these names one receives the same benefit of having read the Kangyur and of having read and listened to all the Buddha’s teachings of sutra and tantra.

You can download this practice for free.



Wisdom Publications is happy to make available, after many years out of print, The Essential Nectar, translated by Martin Willson.  The root text, by Yeshe Tsondru, is one of the 18 great Lam-rim texts.  This book contains the root text and a commentary by Geshe Rabten, one of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s gurus.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche recommends The Essential Nectar to be used in one’s daily Lam-rim meditation cycle. Rinpoche has offered advice about setting up a daily practice utilizing this text.

Exploring crucial points on the path to enlightenment, “Stages of the Path” literature continues to hold its place as one of the great treasures of Buddhist thought. In this volume, Geshe Rabten presents a structured explanation of the popular and practical text, The Essential Nectar of Holy Doctrine, by the eighteenth-century scholar Yeshe Tsöndrü. Geshe Rabten’s teachings reveal how we may see life’s great value and, by taking up the profound practice described herein, make the most of its abundant opportunity.

The FPMT Foundation Store is delighted to carry this most precious book.


Rinpoche circumambulating the stupa in the back yard of Kachoe Dechen Ling, California, USA.

 FPMT Education Services is pleased to release two new essential advices from Lama Zopa Rinpoche:

Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s Advice on Circumambulation is a short practice that can be done to make one’s practice of circumambulating holy objects as powerful as possible.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s Advice on Guru Devotion is a short and poetic composition in which Lama Zopa Rinpoche outlines the essence of guru devotion, including a beautiful dedication.

Both of these new advices are vailable through the FPMT Foundation Store as free downloads.



Lama Zopa Rinpoche teaching at the Light of the Path Retreat, Black Mountain, North Carolina, US, May 2014. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.

Living in the Path, an FPMT study program, is continually evolving with course materials drawn from Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s “Light of the Path” retreat teachings, an annual event hosted by Kadampa Center in North Carolina, USA. The initial courses are organized around edited transcripts and short video clips from these teaching events.

FPMT Education Services is happy to announce we have a new free module available to you! The Seven Limb Prayer module is comprised of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s precious teachings about the benefits related to each limb and how to practice each of the seven limbs in the most effective way. The seven-limb prayer is found in almost every practice text, particularly those related to guru yoga. This concise and powerful method was taught by the Buddha as a means to accumulate merit and purify negativities, creating the causes for success in practice, service, and daily life.

These teachings are extracted from the Light of the Path Retreat, September 2010, and from a letter of personal advice from Lama Zopa Rinpoche to a student dictated in March 2012.

To Access the Free Seven Limb Prayer Module (LP Instruction 03)

1. Go to the Online Learning Center website.

2. If this is your first time using the site, you will need to create a login account for accessing the Online Learning Center. Instructions on how to do this can be found in the “Getting Started Guide.”

3. If you already have a login account, or after you have created a new account, you can then enroll in LP Instruction 03 using the enrollment key of: preliminary07

4. You can access the course here.

5. The “Getting Started Guide” also contains useful information on the technical requirements for the site, information on updating your profile and setting your user preferences and on navigation within the site.

6. Please contact the site administrator at if you have any questions or queries.

Please also note that as a Friend of FPMT at the Dharma Supporter level or higher, one can receive access to all programs and content on the Online Learning Center.

We hope you enjoy the online course!





Geshe Jampa Gyaltsen and Ven. Yonden performing the Nolsang incense puja at Kopan Monastery, Nepal.

FPMT Education Services is delighted to make available an important incense offering ritual (nolsang) which is a translation of Padmasambhava’s The Divine Blue Water Clearing Away Contamination. This practice has been made available at the request of Lama Zopa Rinpoche for students who need it.

The ritual is used to purify contaminations that arise from ignorance, broken commitments, disturbing thoughts and emotions, as well as a variety of other negativities which cause obstacles, illness and misfortunes to oneself, others and the environment.

Available in eBook, a4 and letter booklet formats.


Lama Zopa Rinpoche at Buddha Amitbha Pure Land, WA, April 2014. Photo by Ven. Thubten Kunsang

Lama Zopa Rinpoche at Buddha Amitbha Pure Land, WA, April 2014. Photo by Ven. Thubten Kunsang


Light of the Path Retreat 2014, which takes place Sunday 3pm, May 4 to Sunday Noon, May 18, 2014, at YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain, NC, is the third of a 5-year series of teaching retreats led by Lama Zopa Rinpoche based on Lama Atisha’s text, Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment.

You can enjoy all of these teachings in real time on live streaming video!

Please do take advantage of this opportunity to experience this retreat, even if you are unable to make it to North Carolina to attend in person.

Additionally, many resources and materials have been developed from the previous precious retreat teachings:

  • All  teachings from the 2009, 2010 and 2014 are available on the FPMT Online Learning Center.
  • MP3 audio and mp4 video files are available for download in the Light of the Path Retreat Materials 2010: text, audio, video course. This course also contains the root text and other information associated with the retreat, including reviews, guided meditations, and the complete transcript of the retreat.
  • The Living in the Path online program has been created from the Light of the Path retreat teachings of 2009 and 2010. Organized into structured modules you will find this, and other, programs on the FPMT Online Learning Center.