Kopan Monastery in Nepal

Kopan is a now a thriving monastery of over 300 monks, and a spiritual oasis for hundreds of visitors yearly from around the world.Regular 10 day introductory courses are held throughout the year. The courses give an introduction to Tibetan Buddhism, teach meditation skills and include a two day analytical and single pointed meditation retreat. The courses are led by Western sangha, with daily teachings from a Tibetan Lama. If you are just interested in Buddhism, or experience problems in your life such as uncontrolled emotions, dissatisfaction, etc – this course will give you some skills to address these problems and make your life more fulfilling and meaningful. The daily schedule consists of sessions of meditation, teachings and discussion groups. The course leader as well as the Tibetan Lamas of the monastery are available for personal guidance.

Monks and nuns from the age of seven come from all over Nepal and the Himalayan countries such as Tibet, India, Bhutan, Sikkim, and even Mongolia to attend this Gelugpa monastery, one of the best in Kathmandu valley, to receive a classical monastic education.

The students receive extensive training traditional philosophical subjects as debate. A small tantric college under the supervision of teacher from Gyumed college in South India was established some years ago, where rituals subjects such as torma making, chanting, and ritual dance are taught and tantric texts are studied. Additionally the monks and nuns assemble twice a day for prayers dedicated to the well-being and happiness of all sentient beings.Not all monks are interested in pursuing a scholastic career. After finishing grade ten in the monastery school, some of them continue their monastic life by offering service to the monastery in a variety of ways. Those who wish to dedicate their life to the pursuit of religious activities may do so under the guidance of qualified teachers and meditation masters.

The yearly cycle of ceremonies and rituals at Kopan includes the observance of the annual rains retreat during the summer months, and the observance of other monastic disciplines and rituals. In this way the tradition of the Buddhas teachings on monastic discipline (Vinaya) are upheld and preserved.

The commemoration of the Buddha’s holy deeds through prayers and spiritual practice is performed on the respective days according to Tibetan calendar: The 10 Days of Miracles, Saka Dawa, Chokar Duchen, and Lha Bab Duchen.

Purification rituals mark the end of the Tibetan year, culminating in a day of prayers and ritual dances, while the negative actions of the year are symbolically burned in a huge bonfire. In December the anniversary of Lama Tsong Khapa, the founder of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism is commemorated with a procession of lights.