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His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Inspiration and Guide of the FPMT

His Holiness the 14th the Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso, is the head of state and 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.

Official website of Tibetan Government in Exile and His Holiness the Dalai Lama for ANZ and SE Asia: http://tibetoffice.com.au/


Last Updated on Thursday, 16 April 2009 17:02

Lama Thubten Yeshe


Lama Thubten YesheLama Thubten Yeshe was born in Tibet in 1935. At the age of six, he entered the great Sera Monastic University in Lhasa, where he studied until 1959, when the Chinese invasion of Tibet forced him into exile in India. Lama Yeshe continued to study and meditate in India until 1967, when, with his chief disciple, Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, he went to Nepal. Two years later he established Kopan Monastery, near Kathmandu, in order to teach Buddhism to Westerners. In 1974, the Lamas began making annual teaching tours to the West, and as a result of these travels a worldwide network of Buddhist teaching and meditation centres—the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition—began to develop. In 1984, after an intense decade of imparting a wide variety of incredible teachings and establishing one FPMT activity after another, at the age of forty-nine, Lama Yeshe passed away. He was reborn as Osel Hita Torres in Spain in 1985, recognized as the incarnation of Lama Yeshe by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 1986.

Some of Lama Yeshe's teachings have also been published by Wisdom Publications. Books include Wisdom Energy; Introduction to Tantra; The Tantric Path of Purification; and (summer, 1998) The Bliss of Inner Fire. Transcripts in print are Light of Dharma; Life, Death and After Death; and Transference of Consciousness at the Time of Death. Available through FPMT centres or at Wisdom Publications.

Lama Yeshe on videotape: Introduction to Tantra, The Three Principal Aspects of the Path, and Offering Tsok to Heruka Vajrasattva. Available from the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive.

Lama Tenzin Osel Rinpoche was born in 1985 as Osel Hita Torres in Spain. He was recognized as the incarnation of Lama Yeshe by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 1986. Lama Osel likes to be known as Osel Hita.  Please see www.fpmt.org/teachers/osel/ for more information.

Osel Makes a Special Appearance

Osel Hita wowed everyone by turning up at Vajrapani Institute on Big Love Day for the consecration of Lama Yeshe’s new stupa and commemoration of Lama’s life. It was a special occasion which drew many of the FPMT’s early students.

Following that, Osel attended all three days of the FPMT Board’s meetings in Portland, Oregon where he mainly re-acquainted himself with the organization. Rinpoche and the other Board members were thrilled that he turned up, and invited him back with great enthusiasm. On his part, Osel said he would – if the timing fits.

In an interview with Mandala, Osel talked about his reconnecting with the FPMT:

“I turned 25 not so long ago, so it is time to return the help that was given me. It is time I returned the kindness. I feel it is time to get involved in the organization more. I want to learn more about everything because I haven’t been keeping up over the last few years. That could take some time...

People are starting to accept me for who I am, so it made it easier.”

Carina Rumrill’s full interview with Osel is in the July – September 2010 print issue of Mandala, which goes out on June 9. A report on Big Love Day will appear online as part of Mandala’s online exclusives.


Last Updated on Thursday, 01 March 2012 11:52

Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche

Spiritual Director

Lama Zope Rinpoche

Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche was born in Thami, Nepal, in 1946. At the age of three he was recognized as the reincarnation of the Lawudo Lama, who had lived nearby at Lawudo, within sight of Rinpoche's Thami home. Rinpoche's own description of his early years may be found in his book, The Door to Satisfaction (Wisdom Publications).

At the age of ten, Rinpoche went to Tibet and studied and meditated at Domo Geshe Rinpoche's monastery near Pagri, until the Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1959 forced him to forsake Tibet for the safety of Bhutan. Rinpoche then went to the Tibetan refugee camp at Buxa Duar, West Bengal, India, where he met Lama Yeshe, who became his closest teacher. The Lamas went to Nepal in 1967, and over the next few years built Kopan and Lawudo Monasteries.

In 1971 Lama Zopa Rinpoche gave the first of his famous annual lam-rim retreat courses, which continue at Kopan to this day. In 1974, with Lama Yeshe, Rinpoche began travelling the world to teach and establish centres of Dharma. When Lama Yeshe passed away in 1984, Rinpoche took over as spiritual head of the FPMT, which has continued to flourish under his peerless leadership.

More details of Rinpoche's life and work may be found on the FPMT Web site. Rinpoche has published many other teachings including Wisdom Energy I & II (with Lama Yeshe), Transforming Problems, as well as a number of transcripts and practice booklets.

Last Updated on Sunday, 05 April 2009 10:33

Venerable Geshe Doga

Resident Lama

Geshe Doga

The Venerable Geshe Lobsang Dorje Doga arrived in Australia on January 1, 1983.  He had been invited by FPMT’s founding Lama and spiritual head, Lama Yeshe to become the resident teacher at Atisha Centre (our sister centre near Bendigo).  Much work had been done to get the Centre in working shape for Geshe Doga’s arrival.  Over sixty people came to the welcoming party that was held at the house of Kevin and Bernice Smith and were granted the joy of seeing that wonderful and now famous smile.

“What you are doing is a very rare thing,” Geshe Doga said at the time.  “To give your time to establish a Buddhist centre is rare and precious and takes much courage.”

Geshe Doga was born in July 1935 in a small village called Khamze, situated in a valley in the remote Kham region of North-East Tibet.

His family was a large one of ten children.  The parents were devout Buddhists and from an early age Geshe Doga was fascinated by the nearby monastery.  From the age of three he would beg to go there to watch the monks debating and conducting their pujas.  So it was with great happiness that at the age of seven he went with his parents to be admitted to the local monastery.

The Abbot of the monastery predicted that the boy would become a Geshe and so ordained him as a novice monk.  Geshe Doga was to study there for the next 10 years.

After this preliminary training it was compulsory in Kham that young monks attend one of the three main monasteries of Tibet for at least 3 years.  Then they could decide whether to return to their local monastery or continue their studies towards the ultimate goal of becoming a Geshe.

So, aged 17, the young monk undertook the dangerous three month journey on horseback and on foot from Kham to Lhasa.  As a number or raging rivers had to be crossed in Kham, it was said that only the good swimmers got to Era!

For most Tibetans it was considered fortunate to be able to make at least one pilgrimage to the sacred city of Lhasa, the seat of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and known as “The Pure Land”.  This was a wish come true.

At Sera Monastery he met his main teacher the Venerable Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey, also a Kham-pa who was later to become the main teacher at the Tibetan Library in Dharamsala where he introduced many Westerners to the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

The young monk now studied three of the five major areas of learning – the Paramitas, Madhyamika philosophy and Pramanavatrika.  He stayed there until he was 24 years old, when, in 1959, he was forced to flee Tibet.

While escaping, some monks disguised themselves in lay clothes but Geshe Doga refused to do so.  At one point their party was detected by the Chinese army.  Some of the Tibetans ran for cover behind rocks and were picked off by the Chinese.  The young Geshe Doga stood his ground, saying “How can rocks give protection when the only protection is Buddha, Dharma and Sangha?”  Though the Chinese mowed the party down with a volley of bullets, miraculously Geshe-la escaped with his life.

His family remained trapped back in the village in Kham which was close to the Chinese border.  It was particularly difficult for them to flee.  Subsequently all have died except for one sister whom Geshe-la has not seen since that time.

Two hundred Sera monks survived the journey to India.  They arrived at the height of summer.  The Tibetans were used to high altitudes and had little resistance to many diseases.  But physical hardships were nothing compared to the sadness they felt at being forced to abandon their sacred homeland.

Geshe Doga stayed at the refugee camp at Buxa for 8 years where he studied the two remaining major treatises, the Vinaya and Abidharma with his Guru, the Venerable Gyume Khensur Urgyen Tsetan who visited Tara Institute in 1988.  Thus Geshe-la completed the entire studies for the Geshe Degree.

Following the period at Buxa, Geshe Doga was one of 13 monks chosen by the Indian Government out of 1000 to complete Sanskrit studies at Varanasi University.  Their task was to translate Buddhist texts for the Indians and help restore the great Mahayana tradition to its homeland. This work earned deep respect of the Indian academic community.  It added nine years of study onto what was already a lifetime of concentrated learning.  Geshe Doga was conferred the Indian university degree of “Acharya”.

Following his university years, Geshe Doga spent one more year studying at Sera Monastery which had been re-established in southern India.

In March 1982 he passed his final exam for the highest monastic degree of Lharampa Geshe following an exhaustive series of examinations by the greatest living scholars.  He passed with such distinction that his exam performance is still remembered.

He was now faced with a big choice, for once a monk has become a Lharampa Geshe he is in much demand as a teacher.  But he can also choose to go into solitude and meditate.  Geshe Doga decided to teach.

Exactly at this point, Lama Yeshe, founder of the FPMT (Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition), and a colleague at Buxa, invited Geshe-la to teach young monks at Kopan monastery in Nepal.

Geshe Doga taught there for three years where for the first time he had contact with Western students.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama blessed Kopan’s pioneering work with Western students and Lama Yeshe requested Geshe Doga to go to Atisha Centre in Australia.  Geshe-la was happy as he had heard Australia was very beautiful.  He said “I will teach according to the students.  I will know what is best to be taught.  The main aim is to benefit the minds of the students.”

Accompanied by his translator Sonam Rigzen, Geshe Doga immediately began giving regular teachings to a small dedicated contingent of Atisha Centre students.  Major texts taught over 1983-’04 included Atisha’s famous “Lamp of the Path”; “37 Practices of all Buddha’s Sons” and the “Graduated Path to Enlightenment”.

In April-June 1984, while the resident teacher Venerable Geshe Dawo was visiting India, Geshe Doga taught for the first time at Tara Institute.  He conducted a five-day Easter Retreat on the Four Noble Truths as well as teaching on “Bodhicitta”; the “Wheel of Sharp Weapons” and “Supplement to the Middle Way”.

The Venerable Geshe Dawo gave his last weekend course at Tara Institute on 22/9/84.  A farewell dinner was held for him on October 7th as he was returning to India.  Geshe Dawo was responsible for creating a stability at Tara Institute that has been built on to this present day.

Geshe Doga accepted FPMT’s request to follow Geshe Dawo as resident teacher at Tara Institute in September 1984.  His first teachings were from Shantideva’s “Guide to a Bodhisattva’s Way of Life” and “Lo Rig” or mind and its functions.

Geshe Doga’s decision to forfeit his Indian papers and take out Australian residency in 1987 and then Citizenship in 1989 expresses the extent of his deep concern for us.  While visiting Sera in 1985 Geshe Doga was repeatedly begged by the young monks for teachings but he politely declined because he said there was little point giving only a few teachings: “It’s best to teach to students who can study with you over a long period of time”.  Somehow we have collectively accumulated that very karma so the challenge is ours.

Over the years Tara Institute has grown enormously.  The confidence to shift from Crimea Street with its tiny gompa (sitting a maximum of fifty) to our present beautiful building with massive gompa (it has sat 550!) and residential community of around 36 is certainly due to the confidence that Geshe Doga’s patient and lucid guidance gives us.  Every time Lama Zopa Rinpoche visits he asks us to treasure Geshe Doga and to heed his advice.

We now have increasing numbers of students studying, meditating and training as Dharma teachers whilst countless numbers have found their lives transformed through contact with Tara Institute.  Sometimes the contact consists of nothing more than a flash of that famous smile.  One student saw a photo of Geshe Doga in a Tara Institute newsletter found lying on a coffee table and that was it!  Another met the Buddha’s teachings while Geshe Doga was strolling in a park.  Her child ran up to him and demanded an introduction.

I’m sure each of us has our own stories to tell of how much Geshe-la means to us.  For my part I clearly remember His Holiness the Dalai Lama saying during teachings in 1985 in Dharamsala – “Although I am teaching you now, it is the teacher you live with daily and who guides you in a gradual process who is more kind.”  Knowing my daily habits this struck me as undoubtedly true!

Written by Sönam Jampa in 1990 (now Dr Ross Moore).


Last Updated on Thursday, 24 June 2010 14:28

Venerable Michael Lobsang Yeshe

Translator and Teacher

Ven Michael at the beach

Born in London in 1966 to a Greek father and a Belgian mother, Venerable Michael Lobsang Yeshe was raised up in Kopan Monastery in Nepal and has been a monk in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition since the age of 7. At age 13, he entered the Sera Jhe Monastic University in South India where he spent the next 18 years studying Buddhist Philosophy.

Since 1996, Ven Michael Yeshe has been invited to Buddhist centers in America, Singapore, Malaysia and Holland as a translator and teacher. He is currently residing at the Tara Institute in East Brighton where he serves as translator for The Tibetan Buddhist master The Venerable Geshe Doga.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 March 2012 09:52

Venerable Tsering Dorje

 Geshe Doga's Attendant

Venerable Tsering was born in Nepal in 1975.  He was ordained at Sera Jhe Monastery when he was eleven years old where he began studying Buddhist philosophy.  However, Tsering spent a lot of time looking after his teacher and other monks and wasn’t able to devote much time to his studies.  Higher lamas always told him to serve monks as the best way for him to make merit.  He studied up to the Madhyamika level at the monastery.  When he was around 24 years old he came to Australia to study English but ended up becoming Khensur Rinpoche attendant in Adelaide where he spent almost three years.  At the end of 1999 Venerable Tsering moved to Tara Institute to become Geshe Doga’s attendant where he remains to this day.

Last Updated on Sunday, 05 April 2009 10:34

The Lineage of Our Teachings


Guru Shakyamuni Buddha

Lineage of Extensive Deeds


Lineage of Profound View

Vidyakokila the Elder
Vidyakokila the Younger

Lam-Rim Lineage


Namkha Senge
Namkha Gyälpo
Senge Zangpo Gyälsä
Namkha Gyältsän

Classical Lineage

Lhalung Wangchug
Göpo Rinpoche
Chökyab Zangpo

Instruction Lineage

Chän Ngawa
Tsultrim bar
Zhönue ö
Namkha Gyälpo
Senge Zangpo
Gyälsä Zangpo
Namkha Gyältsän

Gelugpa Lineage

Jampel Gyatso
Kädrub Rinpoche
Chökyi Dorje
Gyälwa Ensapa
Sangyä Yeshe
Lozang Choekyri Gyältsän (First Panchen Lama)
Könchog Gyältsän
Lozang Yeshe (Second Panchen Lama)
Purchog Ngagwang Jampa
Lozang Nyaendrag
Yöntän Ta-yä
Tänpa Rabgyä
Lodrö Zangpo
Lozang Gyatso
Jinpa Gyatso Tenzin
Kädrub Lozang Lhündrub
Gyatso Jampa Tenzin Trinlae Gyatso (Pabongka Rinpoche)
Lozang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso (Trijang Rinpoche)

HH Trijang Rinpoche

HH Trijang Rinpoche

Last Updated on Saturday, 14 November 2009 22:38

Teaching with Geshe Doga followed by Family Picnic in Landox Park

November 29th at10.30am

Family Picnic at midday

Please join us.

Introduction to Buddhist Meditation

Philosophical tools to help you deal with everyday challenges - suitable for beginners and older students alike

Mondays ~ 8pm to 9pm
•2, 9, 16, 23 & 30 November

GesheDogaSmilingThroneStudy Group

An in-depth study into classical Buddhist texts; suitable for those with a reasonable understanding of Buddhist philosophy.

Tuesdays ~ 7.45pm to 9.45pm

Last teaching for 2015 is on December 1st - resumes 9th February 2016

GDoga 02abAn Evening with Geshe Doga

Practical instructions for daily life
The Middle Lam Rim—a text by Lama Je Tsong Khapa -Suitable for everyone

Wednesdays ~ 8pm to 9pm

Last teaching for 2015 is on Wednesday 2nd December - resumes 3rd February 2016


Lama Zopa Rinpoche's talk given at Tara Institute in November 2014



practising generosity


Dharma Quote

I believe that the purpose of life is to be happy. From the moment of birth, every human being wants happiness and does not want suffering.  Neither social conditioning nor education nor ideology affect this.  From the very core of our being, we simply desire contentment.

XIVth Dalai Lama