Kopan Monastery

Location: Budhanilkantha Municipality, Kathmandu

Founded: 1969

Type: Tibetan Buddhist

Number of monks: 365

Coordinates: 27°44’ 32”N 85°21’51”E

Kopan Monastery was established by the Foundation for the preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT). It is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery near Boudhanath. Kopan Monastery has also recently become a popular recreation destination for Kathmandu. Kopan has become especially famous for teaching Buddhism to visiting Western Foreigners. Thubten Yeshe and Thubten Zopa Rinpoche is the lama, who bought the property from Nepal’s royal astrologer in 1969. Its name comes from the name of the hill on which it was built. Kopan is committed to helping all beings develop their full potential of infinite wisdom and compassion as taught by the founder, Lama Thubten Yeshe, and spiritual director Lama Zopa Rinpoche.

Kopan Hill rises up out of the terraced field of the Kathmandu Valley and is visible for miles. It was once the home of the astrologer to the King of Nepal but now the same hill is the home of Kopan Monastery. The view across the valley is magical. It is the home of three hundred sixty monks, lamas, teachers and workers. The monks come from all areas of Nepal and Tibet.  They have devoted their lives to the study and practice of the teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni. The founder of Gelug Lineage gives a special emphasis on the teachings of Lama Tsong Khapa. Kopan is a peaceful, calm and relaxing place to spend a few hours, days or weeks. The mission of Kopan Monastery is to preserve and transmit the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition as the path to ultimate happiness and freedom from suffering to all.

Kopan Monastery is affiliated with the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition. FPMT provides integrated education through which people’s minds and hearts can be transformed into their highest potential for the benefit of others, inspired by an attitude of universal responsibility. It is an organization devoted to the transmission of the Mahayana Buddhist tradition and values worldwide through teaching, meditation, and community service. A high priority for all Buddhist is preservation and flourishing of the pure teachings of the Buddha is the source of all happiness. The Sangha is the Traditional keeper of these teachings, and making offering to the Sangha is an important part of maintaining and cherishing these teachings. The merit from offering to a Sangha community remains as long as the Sangha Community exists.

The monastery the Gompa is vigorously cleaned, ritual objects as well as statues, including the chandeliers high up on the ceiling. The Monastic year is marked by a series of rituals and ceremonies that remind the community in many different ways of their shared path and goals. There are some of the events which are directed by the Tibetan culture. Monlam is the great prayer festival. In 1409, the great prayer festival was established by the founder of the Gelug Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, Lama Tsong Khapa. He is also known as Losang Drakpa. Kopan Monastery has been hosting annual Prayer Festival, with thousands of monks and nuns as well as large numbers of lay people attending the daily prayers and teachings.

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