The Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition is an international, non-profit organization, founded in 1975 by Lama Thubten Yeshe (1935-84), a Tibetan Buddhist monk. The Foundation is devoted to preserving and spreading Mahayana Buddhism worldwide by creating opportunities to listen, reflect, meditate, practice and actualize the unmistaken teachings of the Buddha and based on that experience spreading the Dharma to sentient beings.
FPMT provides integrated education through which people’s minds and hearts can be transformed into their highest potential for the benefit of others, inspired by an attitude of universal responsibility and service. We are committed to creating harmonious environments and helping all beings develop their full potential of infinite wisdom and compassion. The organization is based on the Buddhist tradition of Lama Tsongkhapa of Tibet as taught to us by FPMT’s founder Lama Thubten Yeshe and spiritual director Lama Zopa Rinpoche.
FPMT’s International Office, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, coordinates communication between Lama Zopa Rinpoche and the organization, and provides support and services to FPMT’s 161 centers, projects, and services in 41 countries worldwide.
The North American Region of the FPMT is comprised of centers, projects, and services within the United States and Canada. Shantideva Meditation Center is an active member and works with our sister centers to host teachers touring the region and to collaborate on initiatives that strengthen our collective Dharma community service.
Shantideva Meditation Center is incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit religious organization in New York and is affiliated with FPMT. As an FPMT affiliate center, we are responsible for our own governance and finances as well as for developing strategic program and fund development plans that respond to the unique needs and potential of our community.
Around the world, in FPMT Dharma centers and projects, in its policies and educational programs, there is an organizational culture infused with the wisdom and compassion of our founders, Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Here are the key points of the FPMT Wisdom Culture:
- Openness and breadth in presenting the Dharma. Lama Yeshe’s teaching style was non-traditional, yet completely pure in source and content. In this way, we make the Dharma accessible according to the culture and needs of our students.
- Detail and depth of instruction. Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s teaching style emphasizes how to practice and make each moment deeply meaningful through bodhichitta and emptiness. Education in FPMT is rigorous and emphasizes regular meditation, retreat, and practice.
- Experiential lam-rim teaching methods and Kopan-style courses (the annual November lam-rim course taught at Kopan Monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal since 1975). We encourage realization of the lam-rim teachings in the heart, not just intellectual study.
- Constant practice of merit accumulation and purification, essential to bringing temporal happiness and preparing the mind for realization.
- Reliance on tantra; encouraging students to have spiritual confidence.
- Respect and support for ordained Sangha, considered essential to the tradition.
- Cultivation of a close family feeling. FPMT is a worldwide family of practitioners, united by our culture, devotion to our teachers, and standard practice materials.
- Thinking big. We cultivate the wish to be of great benefit to countless beings, and then put that wish into practice!
- Big love. Cherishing others. Imparting a universal love for all beings.
Photo top: Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive