His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the FPMT

On April 26, two weeks after the sudden passing of our beloved and incomparably kind Guru, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, the FPMT Board was able to have an interview with His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Present for the interview and in the photo, were four of the five Board members, Khen Rinpoche Geshe Chonyi (Abbot of Kopan), Venerable Roger Kunsang, Dale Davis, and Karuna Cayton. Two senior monks from Kopan, Venerable Tenpa Choden, Director of Kopan Monastery; and Venerable Thubten Kunken, Office Manager, were also present.

Source: article from fpmt.org

We are pleased to share a video and translation of our meeting, where His Holiness very clearly offers the important guidance and essential advice we sought. The three areas we sought advice on were concerning Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s reincarnation, how the organization will be led, and advice to the students of Lama Zopa Rinpoche.

While Rinpoche’s passing is beyond comprehension and heartbreaking for many of us, His Holiness offers a bright light of hope and solace.

We kindly request you to read the full translation below and watch the video below, which has a brief simultaneous translation by His Holiness’s translator Tenzin Tsepak.

FPMT Board of Directors 

Transcript of the Meeting with FPMT Board of Directors and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, April 26, 2023

His Holiness the Dalai Lama
: Lama Zopa Rinpoche was really a trustworthy Dharma friend. He really did his best. I’m now in my mid-eighties and I see myself living another 10-15 years. As Lama Zopa Rinpoche was a close, intimate Dharma friend, from my side I am praying, and have great hope to see a young reincarnation continuing to benefit the Dharma and sentient beings.

According to the occurring signs it seems that I will be able to live over a hundred years. Therefore at that later stage of my life I think I will be able to see the young reincarnation of Lama Zopa Rinpoche as a young child at about this height [His Holiness indicates with his hand at the height of his chest].

Ven. Roger Kunsang: We would like to request Your Holiness to guide us to find the correct reincarnation.

His Holiness: Yes, definitely. First I will do a divination to check whether it is the time now to search for the reincarnation or not. If it indicates that it is the right time to search for the reincarnation, then I’ll do a more refined divination to check as to where to look for the reincarnation – India, Nepal, Tibet, or other countries.

I have fond feelings for dear Rinpoche. He was so loyal and good to me. Therefore, I have the responsibility to find the unmistaken reincarnation of Lama Zopa Rinpoche so that the reincarnation will continue to benefit the Dharma. If the reincarnation of Lama Zopa Rinpoche happens to be naughty I can discipline the child myself! [Laughter]

Ven. Roger: Rinpoche mentioned a number of times that when he passes away there would not be any one teacher to lead the organization. But what he [Lama Zopa Rinpoche] thought was between his office and the FPMT board, some members are here, and the abbot of Kopan Monastery [who is a member of the board], they will lead the organization.

His Holiness: That’s very good. Wonderful.

Ven. Roger: Does His Holiness have any advice for the students of Rinpoche at this time?

His Holiness: My dear friend Lama Zopa Rinpoche, he really took great responsibility for preserving the Dharma and the sangha community. So now it is important to continue to fulfill the wishes Lama Zopa Rinpoche had while he was alive.

From my side I will continuously offer every possible support as if dear Lama Zopa Rinpoche is right beside me.

Tashi Delek, is that all?

Khen Rinpoche Geshe Chonyi: The FPMT board is committed to follow sincerely whatever His Holiness says.

His Holiness: Thank you. Thank you very much.

Well, from my side I don’t have any commands or orders. It is important for you to analyze the facts of a situation. Through your discussions, and after coming to an agreement, you can bring it to me and I can offer my support. I’m fond of democracy. I’ve already relinquished the position of the Dalai Lama holding authority. I have given the power to the Tibetan people. Now the Tibetan administration is run under the parliamentary system.

You have a better understanding and experience of the situation [of the FPMT]. So, first you have good discussions among yourselves then you can ask me and I’ll offer support.