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Kopan Monastery Travel Report

Another Kopan Monastery Experience

When I came to Kopan for the November course in 1991, I came here to get ordained at the suggestion of Lama Zopa Rinpoche. I remember that November course only as a blur - many people, and myself totally absorbed in my thoughts and feelings, and what I was about to experience. I can't even remember how many people were in that course, must have been around 160. And I never forget the first sentence that Lama Zopa said in his first teaching that time: The purpose of our life is to work for others! that was it for me, that made it all clear.

Click here for more information about the Kopan Meditation Retreat Video and soundtrack CD. Help support this site and Kopan Monastery by ordering a CD or video!

Photos were taken by Sandra Galistan, who attended the November 2003 course at Kopan Monastery in Nepal. The words are written by a Kopan retreat participant.


Someone said...

Ven. Marcel was leading the course, with Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche teaching every day. It was intense.

What I do remember is the kindness of the people I met here at Kopan. How helpful Lama Pasang was when he helped me with getting my robes straightened out during the ordination. The incredible atmosphere, sitting there in the Chenrezig gompa (just barely finished) with so many monks and lamas receiving initiations from Lama Zopa Rinpoche. At that time there were about 140 monks here and may be 25 nuns. It was a small small village.

Now the village is much bigger, a village in the true sense. There are now 320 monks living here, getting schooling, training in the geshe studies, receiving training in tantric rituals. Now there are solar showers, there is a cyber cafe, a restaurant, a shop, there is a clinic with overnight facilities. What a place.

And what a mixed bunch of people come here every year. Over the past ten years the attendance in the November course has slowly increased till two years ago we had 230 people here for one month. Then due to the general security situation in the world and in Nepal specially the attendance dropped to this year's 180. Kopan is a truly international community throughout the year and more so during November.

This year we had 180 people from more than 32 countries, with a largest group coming from Australia and USA. One person came from Czechoslovakia, and one from Poland, South Africa.

The ages ranged between 18 and 65, with most people in their mid to late thirties. In another huge difference to earlier years, when most of the students were young people in their twenties, quite a few middle aged people make the journey to Nepal with the intention to meet Buddhism, meet teacher, and receive teachings. In another very interesting trend now the children of these very early students are coming back to do the November course, just like their parents did twenty or so years ago. about a third of the students this year had been at Kopan before. They attended one of the 10 days courses, or even a one month course, and are coming back ready for more and deeper experiences.

From talking to many of the participants, the Kopan experience is still there, still working its magic. The Kopan experience is of course the experience meeting Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Lama Lhundrup; witnessing their compassion in action, their true and deep faith in the Buddha Dharma, and meeting the monks and nuns, whose life is dedicated to the Dharma.

Click here for more info about the Kopan Meditation retreat film and the 30 Days to Enlightenment CD. Please show your support by ordering a CD or video!




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