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January 02, 2007

Brief Background

Born in 1975 in the village of Tsum located at the foothill of Himalaya, Geshe Tenzin Zopa (Geshe) is the eldest of seven siblings in his family. They lived a simple but happy life with their parents being farmers and nomad. Even from his birth, Geshe has extraordinary event happening to him. Due to complication in delivery, his mother has to swallow a butter (on advise from Geshe Lama Konchog) before he was able to be born. There are still remnants of butter at the head of Geshe when he was delivered!

Geshe is best known for his affinity with the late Geshe Lama Konchog. Ever since Geshe started crawling at the age of 3, he likes to be with the late Geshe Lama Konchog in his cave. He would stay warm in the thick blanket and got good tsampa (simple food) from the late Geshe Lama Konchog.

The late Geshe Lama Konchog taught Geshe Tibetan alphabets at the age of 2 and he continues to teach Geshe different Buddhist prayers and also looked after him more than his own parents.

In 1984, at the age of 9, Geshe was ordained in Kopan Monastery where he started to study Buddhist Philosophy, Tibetan language, grammar, English, Nepali, art, lama dance, puja etc. Before Geshe entered Sera Jhe Monastic University, he followed the late Geshe Lama Konchog for a retreat back in the cave in Tsum for 6 months.

Geshe officially started his life in Sera Je Monastic University in 1990 and lived there until 2006. In between his studies, Geshe also attended to the late Geshe Lama Konchog and traveled with him to Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Europe, India and the various Himalayan region to spread the teaching of Buddha. Despite his busy schedule, the late Geshe Lama Konchog will always spare at least 1 hour to discuss the teaching of Buddhist philosophy with Geshe.

The worst day of Geshe’s life was the day when Geshe Lama Konchog passed away. As his heart disciple, he never wanted to be separated from him, only want to serve him in accordance with the wishes of all the Buddha.

To remember his kindness, Geshe decided to build a stupa to commemorate the late Geshe Lama Konchog in Kopan where he was cremated and also good place for all his students from all over the world to visit. Building the stupa would also related to quick and safe unmistaken reincarnation of Geshe Lama Konchog.

This was probably one of the most challenging task undertaken by Geshe at that moment. He was very worried about how to finance the project and he went round to Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan for several months to raise funds. Many times, he nearly gave up and even cried several times feeling lonely and misses the late Geshe Lama Konchog.

Due to strong guru devotion and also blessings and prayers of Geshe Lama Konchog, Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Khen Rinpoche, continuous effort from Gelek Gyatso Rinpoche, Ven Tenpa Choden and Ven Thubten Lhundrup and many others students, friends and benefactors, the project to build the Thousand Buddha Relic stupa of Geshe Lama Konchog was materialize in one year and also continues to expand to include the Vajra Yogini Pure Lan Park, Retreat houses, building to house Kopan’s Tantric College etc.

With the blessing of all his gurus and teachers, as well as Geshe's own effort and sincerity to complete all the studies of Buddhist philosophy all these years, Geshe la was not only the top student in all the examinations of debate, writing and memorization in Sera Je, he also completed his studies and graduated with flying colors as "Geshe" in 21st March 2007.

Despite his vast knowledge, skills and experiences in giving Buddhist teaching and consultation, Geshe la's skills in performing observation by invoking the holy beings' guidance has also benefited many people who are in need of help. Geshe la speaks fluent English, Tibetan, Nepali, Hindi and a little Mandarin.

Currently Geshe la is the project director of a number of monastery and nunnery in the Tsum Valley. He is also undertaking the important responsibility of overseeing the physical, mental and spiritual development of Tulku Tenzin Phuntsok Rinpoche, the unmistaken reincarnation of the late Geshe Lama Konchog.

In February 2007, after numerous detailed checking’s done by Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Losang Dragpa Center has the great honor to host Geshe Tenzin Zopa as the Center's resident teacher, appointed by Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche.

Geshe is truly the modern 21st Century “Geshe”. Despite his younger age, he exudes deep wisdom and understanding of various issues mainly due to his own practice of contemplating. Advices from him are very practical and often related to common practices which can be adapted to daily life. Geshe is also well known for his good public relation skills and is very fond by his student and also general public. His interest to know people more and also make effort to communicate with them is exemplary to other members.

Geshe is also well known for giving easy to understand teachings. Feedbacks from members who vouch for are that we will be addicted to Geshe teaching. One will feel extremely satisfied, liberated and happy when attending Geshe classes.

Geshe adapts well and can blend into multi cultural environment. Despite his busy schedule, Geshe loves to meet people, travel to new area and participate in team event and spicy food.