A Remarkable Artwork of Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche – Artist Dom Briggs

Thanks to the generosity of Dominique Briggs, a talented artist deeply devoted to Lama Zopa Rinpoche, this stunning piece is now offered as a complimentary postcard at the Jamyang London Buddhist Centre for all of you to cherish. Join us as we delve into the captivating journey of Dom and the story behind this awe-inspiring artwork, which beautifully encapsulates the wisdom and tranquillity of Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Dom, a gifted artist with an unwavering passion for his craft, has recently bestowed upon the world a remarkable work of art: a breathtaking depiction of Lama Zopa Rinpoche, now available as a free postcard for all to cherish.
In his own words below, Dom unveiled the story behind the painting of Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Dominique Briggs’s process for Lama Zopa Painting

“I had recently made a trip to New York City following a retreat led by Osel Hita in Mexico, named The Clear Light Retreat – Habit Alignment Course. While in New York, we visited the famous MET Museum of Art at Central Park where I saw a painting by Fredrich Church,The Aegean Sea‘, depicting a beautiful and dramatic rainbow. Later we went to the Rubin Museum which had a Buddhist collection where I was reminded of the Dalai Lama’s Secret Temple at Potala Palace with wall murals of yogic postures and esoteric visions. I was inspired to paint a modern version of a Buddhist saint based on one of the murals with a rainbow halo. Then, sadly, Lama Zopa Rinpoche suddenly passe, and I was moved to depict him in this inspiration for a painting.

The previous year, in October, I had spent a month in Nepal, where we trekked to Lawudo in a group with Venerable Robina Courtin. For people who don’t know Lawudo is where Lama Zopa’s previous incarnation lived, Kunzang Yeshe. Lama Zopa was also born very close by in Thame and recognised as Kunzang Yeshe’s reincarnation. We stayed several nights at Lawudo where Rinpoche’s presence is strongly felt. Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s sister Ani Samten, still lives there.

The final painting contains mountains in the background that surround Lawudo. The two figures to the bottom left represent Lama Zopa and Lama Yeshe together as a generation now past. To the right the monastery represents Kopan, one of the many accomplishments of Lama Zopa and Lama Yeshe. Rinpoche sits in the middle with a serene smile based on a photo of Rinpoche seated on a throne. The rainbow halo symbolises the rainbow body, which rests lightly above Rinpoche’s head. Finally, the moon was added, which reminds me of the night sky of the Himalayas and of the moon disk of Bodhichitta.

The first set of cards printed I took to Shantideva Center in Brooklyn, New York, when Khadro-la taught there in June. I had left several cards on a table. I was told Khadro-la paid particular attention to these cards, lifting them above her crown to bless them. It was an honour for me that there was a similarity enough of Rinpoche in the painting for Khadro-la to do that.

At the bottom, it was added the title Bodhichitta Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche’, as I cannot think of any Lama who so unfailingly represents Bodhichitta as Lama Zopa Rinpoche. As the Dalai Lama‘s prayer to Lama Zopa Rinpoche states, “You wore the armour of patience (Zopa) that is never discouraged“.

More about the painting

The painting of Lama Zopa Rinpoche was painted by hand using a Wacom Art Tablet and Photoshop. 

Dom generously offers the artwork, which is downloadable here.

If anyone would like to donate anything, please support Lawudo by donating to a GoFundMe page created for Lawudo Gompa, which is always in need of better facilities and repairs. For more information about the postcard, please email Dom directly at: [email protected] 

More about Dom

Dominique Briggs – Dom, is a member of Jamyang Leeds Buddhist Centre and kindly offered to the FPMT centres some postcard prints of Lama Zopa Rinpoche not long after he passed. Dom has also recently handed them out in June when Khadro-la visited Shantideva Center in New York.

Born in the North West of the U.K., Manchester area. Met the Dharma at age 18. A long-term member of Jamyang Buddhist Centre Leeds and student-friend of Geshe Tashi Tsering. For over a decade, he has helped run websites for FPMT centres and design marketing material. Also helped with the initial fundraising for Land of Joy Retreat Centre in Northumbria. More recently, he helped to raise money for repairs at Bodhichitta Land Retreat Cabin in the Pyrenees, France, connected with Nalanda Monastery.