Lama Zopa Rinpoche to visit Penang

By ANTHONY CHEW, The Star, May 18, 2007

Penang, Malaysia -- THE Buddhist fraternity can look forward to the visit of Lama Zopa Rinpoche, founder and spiritual director of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), to Penang at the end of this month.

<< Lama Zopa Rinpoche:FPMT founder and spiritual director.

He will conduct the Eight Verses of Thought Transformation at 8pm on May 28 and the Medicine Buddha Initiation at 8pm on May 29, both at the Caring Society Complex in Jalan Utama. Admission is free.

Organised by Chokyi Gyalsen Centre (CGC) at 157 Kelawei Road, the visit is significant because Lama Zopa Rinpoche is no ordinary Tibetan Buddhist master. He is the reincarnation of the Sherpa Nyingma Yogi Kunsang Yeshe, the Lawudo Lama. 

Followers claimed that the unique thing about Rinpoche is that “he has never slept for more than 20 years!” 

His teachings usually start from 7pm or 8pm and can continue until 5am or 6am the following day.

Centre co-ordinator Dr Daniel Yeoh urged Penangites to attend the teachings, which would bene- fit them spiritually and their per-sonal life.

Dr Yeoh said before the Medicine Buddha initiation, devotees should try to go on vegetarian and avoid food such as meat, fish, sesame seeds, lentils and dhal, eggs, leek, onions, garlic and radishes. 

He said the Eight Verses of Thought Transformation, composed by the 11th Century Tibetan meditation master Geshe Langri Tangpa, offered wisdom on how to transform difficult situations into opportunities for spiritual growth, and pain into joy and happiness. 

The Medicine Buddha Initiation is a transmission received from a tantric master allowing a disciple to engage in the practices of the Medicine Buddha. Also referred to as an empowerment, the initiation or the permission to follow the teachings also includes an oral transmission of the deity’s mantra.

Medicine Buddha is one of many Buddhas who have attained the state of perfect enlightenment. 

Tibetan Buddhists consider the Medicine Buddha practice to be the most powerful blessing for healing, dispelling sickness and for awakening the innate healing wisdom that lies within every in-dividual. 

The benefits of practising Medicine Buddha are not confined to healing, but also creating the merits and conditions for success, prosperity, and powerful purification, as explained by Lama Zopa Rinpoche. 

FPMT is an organisation devoted to the transmission of the Maha-yana Buddhist tradition and values worldwide through teaching, meditation and community service. As of March, there are 147 FPMT centres and projects worldwide, including CGC, Penang. The sister centre of CGC in Kuala Lumpur, Losang Dragpa Centre (LDC), has been a great success with over a thousand members, led by Lillian Too. The FPMT Kasih Hospice centre in KL is devoted to do community hospice services.

Some of the projects that the Rinpoche has founded are Sera Jhe food fund – which offers breakfast, lunch and dinner every day to 2,700 monks.  One of the most important projects is the 500ft Maitreya Statue in Bodhgaya, India. Other projects include construction of schools, hospitals and leprosy clinics.

For details on the two events, call 012 428 2929/ 012 428 5528 or email