Boudhanath- A village just outside Kathmandu that is built around the Boudhanath Stupa, a famous Buddhist pilgrimage site.
Buddhist (Tib: nang-pa)- One who has taken refuge in the Three Jewels of Refuge: Buddha, Dharma and Sangha and who accepts the philosophical world view of the “four seals”: that all composite phenomena are impermanent, all contaminated phenomena are in the nature of suffering, all things and events are devoid of self-existence, and nirvana is true peace.
Dharma (Skt; Tib: chö)- The second refuge jewel. Literally, “that which holds or protects (us from suffering)” and hence brings happiness and leads us towards liberation and enlightenment. In Buddhism, absolute Dharma is the realizations attained along the path to liberation and enlightenment and conventional Dharma is seen as both the teachings of the Buddha and virtuous actions.
Kopan Monastery- The monastery near Boudhanath in the Kathmandu valley, Nepal, founded by Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche.
Kyabje Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche (b. 1946)- Born in Thangme, near Mt Everest, and recognized as the reincarnation of the Lawudo Lama, Lama Zopa Rinpoche became the heart disciple of Lama Thubten Yeshe, the founder of the FPMT. He is now its spiritual director.
Lama Yeshe (1935–1984)- Born and educated in Tibet, he fled to India, where he met his chief disciple, Lama Zopa Rinpoche. They began teaching Westerners at Kopan Monastery in1969 and founded the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT) in 1975.
Nyung-nä (Tib)- A two-day Thousand-arm Chenrezig retreat that involves fasting, prostrations and silence.
Puja (Skt)- Literally, offering; a religious ceremony, usually used to describe an offering ceremony such as the Offering to the Spiritual Master (Guru Puja).
Sangha (Skt; Tib: ge-dün)- Spiritual community; the third of the Three Jewels of Refuge. Absolute Sangha are those who have directly realized emptiness; relative Sangha are ordained monks and nuns.
Sherpa- A native of the Everest region of Nepal. Two famous Sherpas are Sherpa Tenzin, the first person to climb Everest, and Lama Zopa Rinpoche.
Solu Khumbu- The area in north-eastern Nepal, bordering Tibet, where Lama Zopa Rinpoche was born; populated by the Sherpas.
Stupa (Skt)- Buddhist reliquary objects ranging in size from huge to a few inches in height and representing the enlightened mind.
Zina Rachevsky (1931–1973)- Lama Yeshe’s and Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s first Western student, she helped them to establish Kopan Monastery and died in retreat in Solu Khumbu.