November Course Leader  Ven.Yarphel

The November course teacher is appointed by Lama Zopa Rinpoche personally. This year's course will be taught by Ven Yarphel, from USA. Ven.Yarphel has been a student of Lama Zopa since 1977. Here is what  says about himself:

I am now 74 years old. In 1969 I graduated, barely, from the University of Colorado with a degree in political science.  I began working full time as a carpenter in 1968.  That was my trade and passion for my entire working career and continued working as a carpenter throughout this time, remaining self employed until my retirement in 2002.

I met the Dharma in 1973 in Boulder, Colorado, USA.  I met my first teacher Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen in December of 1976 and took refuge from him on Jan. 1, 1977.   I met Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche two months later on March 3, 1977 at the month long Yucca Valley meditation course.  During this course land was offered for Vajrapani Institute and in May of 1977 I moved together with my family to this new land.  I spent the next 20 years living there and taking part in the establishment of Vajrapani Institute with the responsibility for the development of the land and buildings.  Following Rinpoche's advice I was most fortunate to take full ordination as a gelong in 2002.  In 2003 I moved to Buddha Amitabha Pure Land, Lama Zopa Rinpoche's personal retreat land in Washington state.  After building two major additions to Rinpoche's house I moved to a small cabin at the top of the property in 2008.  I have tried to stay in retreat since then.

 I have accumulated about seven years of solitary retreat done in 3-6 month segments during the past ten years.  My retreat has been focused on an experiential practice of the Lam Rim.  I have been guided by Lama Zopa Rinpoche during this time. The one thing that I have come to understand during my solitude is how little Dharma I actually understand and practice. I have had the opportunity to teach here at the Pamtingpa Center In Washington state in 2004-5.  I stopped teaching when I felt I had reached the point where I was just giving book reports and not teaching from experience.  In 2011, 2012 and 2016 I was asked to teach at Root Institute and did so with a feeling of satisfaction that I was able to communicate a bit of my experience, finding that it was beneficial for those attending the courses.

I can say that I have received teachings from many highly qualified lamas and have carefully studied and meditated on the lam rim during my solitary retreats gaining some small understanding.  My only wish has been to continue doing so until I am capable of benefitting others with my efforts.  It looks like we are going to find out if that is possible.


Kopan Monastery
(Nepal Buddhist Mahayana Center Gompa)

Kopan Monastery is affiliated with FPMT
(Foundation for the preservation of the Mahayana Tradition)