GESHE TENZIN ZOPA WINS WORLD PEACE CONGRESS PRIZE
On the 18th February 2019, the eve of Chotrul Duchen, the Day of Miracles, and the completion of Monlam Chenmo, Geshe Tenzin Zopa – FPMT Touring teacher – was awarded the prestigious Global Peace Leadership and Excellence Award, in Mumbai, India.
The World Peace Congress brought together over 130 countries to celebrate leadership in building a better society and a peaceful world. A jury of leaders in the fields of sustainable development, education and world peace from around the world chose Geshe Tenzin Zopa for the award for his leadership and contribution to society.
Geshe Zopa was invited to give a presentation which was titled, Peace As A purposeful Goal and Sustainable Peace Effort. In it he spoke of the need for secular ethics to be taught in our educational institutions, our interconnectedness and the need to cherish others, universal responsibility, and the need to develop love and compassion. He referred to how His holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet can inspire us to see that individuals can resolve problems and how we can all contribute to global peace.
Following the ceremony, Geshe Zopa said, ‘If you ask me how I feel about this acknowledgment? I would answer this. It is truly due to the blessing of my Gurus and all the sentient beings’ immeasurable compassion and kindness to me. When I got the invitation and information about this award, at first I thought it was a scam and didn’t believe it right up until the booking of the flight which was just a few weeks before I arrived in Mumbei from Sydney after my teaching tour.’
He went on, ‘In fact, until it was my turn to be called up to the stage, I was still thinking ‘I’m here for the conference only but not as a recipients of the award’, because whoever went on to the stage for the awards are all great leaders of Corporate Social Responsibility from around the world with big profiles and great works that they have achieved, and I am not in that category at all.’
‘Anyway, it was a very auspicious surprise and I was humbled to start a year knowing that in the larger community of no dharma they are paying great attention, noticing and appreciating one simple Buddhist monk and offering this award as acknowledgment encouragement and inspiration to work harder for the greater cause of peace and happiness of humanity to one’s best ability.’
Geshe-la added, ‘It was surprising and humbling to know that it still counted and was appreciated by many who love peace, as long as it is an effort for peace and harmony, even if it is coming from a nobody like me who is no different from an ant. This event made me realise that the work I have been acknowledged for, in fact has not been done yet. But I pray to do these acknowledged works of peace for the happiness of humanities unconditionally for the rest of my life to the best of my ability as long as it is the cause for the peace and happiness of humanity and all living beings. Whatever has happened and whatever is going to happen is all due to the blessings of the Guru Buddhas and all mother sentient beings. So, I pray and make aspirations for the life as Shantideva said, ‘For as long as sentient being remain, may I too remain to dispel their sufferings.’
Geshe Tenzin Zopa wishes to dedicate his award as follows: ‘I sincerely dedicate this award and any virtuous deeds in relation to this event for the perfect health, long life and fulfillment of all holy aspirations of His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama, Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche and all the gurus. And also may it be the complete cause of temporary and ultimate happiness of all living beings.’
Biography of Geshe Tenzin Zopa
Geshe Tenzin Zopa was born in 1972 in the Tsum Valley in Nepal and is a Tibetan Buddhist monk of the Mahayana tradition. He is known by the title Geshe, which is Tibetan for professor of Buddhist philosophy. He entered Sera Jey University in 1990 to undertake extensive studies in Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and graduated as a Geshe in 2007.
The highly esteemed late Geshe Lama Konchok, became Geshe Zopa’s spiritual and temporal guardian when Geshe-la was three. From that time Geshe Lama Konchok gave Geshe Zopa commentaries on various important Buddhist sutra and tantra texts. Geshe Tenzin Zopa became Geshe Lama Konchok’s closest disciple and was his assistant and translator until his teacher’s death in 2001. The multi award-winning documentary ‘Unmistaken Child’ covers his search over 5 years for the recognised reincarnation of his late master.
Geshe-la entered Kopan Monastery in 1984 and was ordained as a monk. At Kopan he studied Tibetan language, English, Nepali, art, lama dance, ritual, puja, and Buddhist philosophy. He became close to, and received teachings from many high lamas across many different lineages. During his adult life Geshe Tenzin Zopa has worked for his close teacher, Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, as an international touring Geshe within Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT). He has taught extensively across the world in Europe, the Indian sub-continent, Asia, and Australia and was the longest serving Resident Teacher of Losang Dragpa Centre, Malaysia. In Malayasia Geshe-la further served as the Dharma advisor to Kasih Hospice Care Society and retreat centre Rinchen Jangsem Ling Dharma Society; both FPMT centres.
Projects undertaken by Geshe-la include taking responsibility for the temporal and spiritual development of Rachen Nunnery and Mu Monastery, Tsum, Nepal and supervising the completion of the 1000 Buddha Relics Memorial Stupa at Kopan Monastery, Nepal.
Geshe Tenzin Zopa was the first Buddhist monk invited to offer peace dialogue for the Palestinian-Israeli Combatants of peace in Jerusalem in 2016. He was the key speaker of the first Borobodur International Buddhist Conference to promote world peace in 2016 which led to successful peace conferences in the coming years. He was a speaker for World Peace Day Interfaith Conference 2017 in Australia , promoting world peace and religous harmony. He taught at Oxford University in 2018 under the ‘Visitorship for Traditional Scholars’ in the Tibetan and Himalayan studies program.
A prolific teacher, Geshe-la is the author of 12 books, “Buddha Nature and Preliminary Prayers and Their Explanations”, “Karma & the 12 Links”, “Ask the Geshe – Ancient Wisdom for Modern Times”, “Mirror to Your Life”, “Whose Truth?”, “The Yamantaka Short Sadhana Practice”, “Meditation”, “A concise commentary to the Lamp on the Path to Enlightenment”; “Lam Rim – Graduated Path to Enlightenment” and “Buddhist Tenets – A commentary on Chokyi Gyaltsen’s A Presentation of Tenets” , “The Thousand Buddha Relic Stupa”, “The Holy Child of Kopan” and 3 more are in the pipeline “37 Practices to Enlightenment”, “Commentary on the Bodhicaryavatara” and “Buddhist Tantra – The Practice of Purity”. Click here
Geshe Tenzin Zopa is undertaking the important responsibility of overseeing the physical, mental and spiritual development of Tulku Tenzin Phuntsok Rinpoche, the unmistaken reincarnation of the late great mahasiddha Geshe Lama Konchog.
He is currently based in Australia and has extensive commitments worldwide, as he follows the advice of Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche in his work for the FPMT, helping students to understand and put into practice the teachings of the Buddha internationally.