Lama Thubten Yeshe
was born in Tibet in 1935. At the age of six, he entered the great Sera
Monastic University, Lhasa, where he studied until 1959, when the Chinese
invasion of Tibet forced him into exile in India. Lama Yeshe continued
to study and meditate in India until 1967, when, with his chief disciple,
Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, he went to Nepal. Two years later he established
Kopan Monastery, near Kathmandu, in order to teach Buddhism to Westerners.
In 1974, the Lamas began making annual teaching tours to the West, and
as a result of these travels a worldwide network of Buddhist teaching
and meditation centers — the Foundation
for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition — began to develop.
In 1984, after an intense decade of imparting a wide variety of incredible
teachings and establishing one FPMT activity after another, at the age
of forty-nine, Lama Yeshe passed away. He was reborn as Ösel Hita Torres
in Spain in 1985, recognized as the incarnation of Lama Yeshe by His Holiness
the Dalai Lama in 1986, and, as the monk Lama Tenzin Osel Rinpoche, began
studying for his geshe degree in 1992 at the reconstituted Sera Monastery
in South India. Lama’s remarkable story is told in Vicki Mackenzie’s book,
The Boy Lama (Wisdom Publications, 1996).