Thubten Zopa Rinpoche
Thubten Zöpa Rinpoche (Tibetan: ཐུབ་བསྟན་བཟོད་པ་, Wylie: Thub-bstan Bzod-pa; born 1946) is a lama from Thami, a village in the Khumbu region of Nepal. Early in life, he was recognized as the reincarnation of the Lawudo Lama, from the same region (hence the title "Rinpoche"). He took his monastic vows at Dungkar Monastery in Tibet where he travelled in 1957, but he had to flee due to severe treatment on monks inflicted by the Chinese army after the 1959 Tibetan uprising. Instead of continuing in Tibet, his spiritual teacher, Geshe Rabten, entrusted him to the care of Lama Thubten Yeshe. Thubten Zöpa learned English at the Young Lamas Home School. Lama Zöpa has received teachings from many high lamas.
Lama Zöpa met the previous Panchen Lama in Nepal in 1986 and in Tibet.
"Lama Zöpa" is most noteworthy as the co-founder, with Lama Yeshe, of Kopan Monastery and the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT). Since the 1984 death of Lama Yeshe, Lama Zöpa has served as the FPMT's spiritual director.
Zöpa's books are published by Wisdom Publications. Free transcripts of some of his teachings are available from the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive. There is an extensive biography of him in the book The Lawudo Lama by Jamyang Wangmo.
Lama Zöpa supports—apparently in accordance with the dying wish of Lama Yeshe — the Maitreya Project, a planned 152 m (500 ft) high Maitreya statue in Kushinagar, northern India. If built, it will be one the largest Buddha statues in the world, only one meter shorter than the Spring Temple Buddha in China's Henan province.