Home | Donate | Site Map | Tell-a-Friend | Contact Us
Programme | Basic Study Program | November Course | November FAQs | Book Now

Annual November One Month Meditation Course

11th November - 11th December 2012

Important Information about this Course

Information and Registration 

The course is based on the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha, which form a complete and gradual spiritual path (Lam Rim), leading to ultimate happiness and enlightenment. Through cultivating an awareness of our present conditions we gain an understanding of the nature of our dissatisfaction and unhappiness, the causes of these states of mind and how we can overcome them. We can then direct our energy to deal effectively with any situation be it positive or negative.

The course follows the Tibetan Gelug Tradition of Buddhism.and is based on Lama Tsong Khapa's Graduated Path to Enlightenment. It will cover many important topics such as, to name just a few, the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha,  the Four Noble Truths, Conventional and Ultimate Truth, Twelve Links of Dependent Origination, Bodhicitta and the Six Perfections. Additionally important topics such as consciousness and buddha nature will be introduced, and there is also a section on thought transformation so as to learn how to deal better with problems in daily life.

The approach to the different topics will be many-sided, analyzing their profound meaning as well as explaining their day to day applications in normal Western life. As such this course is suitable for both beginners and older students. It is an excellent introduction to the theory and practice of Tibetan Buddhism as well as an opportunity for more advanced students to deepen one's understanding and acquire more experience of the teachings.

Many of the ideas presented will be new and contrary to Western beliefs. We request you to come with an open mind and a willingness to analyze, question and contemplate the teachings as well as one's own beliefs

Please note that the course is not based on Vipassana or Insight meditation.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche has not yet announced the teacher for this November course.

Course structure

The course is structured to provide the most beneficial environment for receiving teachings and for meditation. The goal is to provide as much direct experience as possible into the nature of our mind. To this purpose silence is kept for half of the day, usually from n10 pm to after lunch. The meals are taken in silence, and all participants are strongly requested to follow the course discipline. The day starts with morning meditation, followed by lecture and meditation after breakfast till lunchtime. In the afternoon the discussion groups are followed by lectures again and more meditation on the topics studied during the day. The day concludes with an evening meditation.

The course schedule is very strict; there is no break day during the one month duration of the course. This creates an intense learning environment where every moment of the day can be used to practice what was studied during the day. We can observe our behavior, thoughts and feelings and apply the new methods taught in the lectures and meditations, getting to know our mind deeply, leaning how to change our mind's habits - and through that our life - in theory and practice.

Daily schedule

5.30 am - Prostration
6.00 am - Morning tea in the dining room
6.30 am - Morning Meditation
7.30 am - Breakfast
9.00 am - Teachings
11.30 am - Lunch
2.00 PM - Discussion groups
3.00 PM - Break for 1/2 hour
3.30 PM - Teaching
5.00 PM - Tea
6.00 PM - Guided Meditation
7.00 PM - Dinner
8.00 PM - Guided meditation, question/answer

^ Top of Page

Conditions of Attendance

Meditation requires the development of inner discipline. Keeping some simple rules is essential to achieve this goal. To make the course as beneficial as possible we request you to consider the points below before registering.

We request applicants to check very carefully the sincerity of their wish to attend this course, as it entails commitments to discipline they might feel uncomfortable with.

By signing the registration form, you agree to abide by the rules as set out below.

The monastery reserves the right to ask students that do not follow the discipline or prove to be disturbing in other ways to leave the course.

Part time Attendance:The course is designed as a one-month course, during which the complete Lam Rim will be taught. Attendance of the full course is therefore required. If you cannot attend the whole course, please contact the course administrator for consideration of your case. In special cases, it is possible to attend the first two weeks of the course.

^ Top of Page


  1. 1. Attendance at all session is required. If you are sick, or cannot attend for any other reasons, please inform your group leader.
  2. 2. We keep silence part of the day, every day. Meals are eaten in silence. This practice helps to focus one's attention and to develop outer and inner awareness.
  3. 3. You are requested to stay in the monastery grounds throughout the course. Please complete all business such as visa extension, flight confirmation/booking and writing letters before the start of the course.
  4. 4. No visitors will be allowed during the course. Please ask your friends to visit you on the last day of the course, when we have a picnic for everybody.
  5. 5. What not to bring:
    • Mobile phone are not allowed during the course, and you will be requested to deposit them in the reception safe.
    • Your computer any other digital communication devices including i-pad etc. need to be deposited in the safe at our reception. You may use an audio recorder (with no internet capability) for recording the teachings.
    • Do not bring any non-dharma reading material
    • Mail, phone or fax will not be available during the course except in urgent cases. There is no public access to email at the monastery.
    • Email will not be available during the course, and there will be no internet access for course participants. For emergencies, please give the email address of the monastery to your family etc. We will then inform you of any emergency.
    • 6. Men and women are accommodated in separate quarters. Please do not visit the rooms of the opposite sex. There are plenty of other areas available where people can meet.
    • 7. If you are attending as a couple, we request you to sit separately in the meditation hall and in the dining room.
    • 8. Please respect the monks and their vows. Do not distract them from their studies. To visit the monks' rooms and invite them into your room is asking the monks to break the house rules monastery.
    • 9. Keep the five precepts: no killing, stealing, lying, sexual conduct, no tobacco, alcohol or other mind altering substances.
    • 10. Participation in the 8 Mahayana Precepts during the second half of the course is mandatory. During the last two weeks of the course, the 8 Mahayana Precepts will be taken daily before sunrise. These are special vows in which we promise to keep the following precepts: To refrain from killing, lying, stealing, sexual activity, taking intoxicants, sitting on high beds, playing music, wearing jewelry and perfume, taking more than one meal during that day. This practice allows you to experience that abstaining from unwholesome actions is the basis for developing many positive qualities. The 8 Mahayana Precepts include the vow of eating only one meal a day. Students with medical problems can ask for exception after discussion with the course leader.

^ Top of Page


Accommodation during courses is allocated according to registration number and availability. The students are accommodated mostly in dormitories. Also available are some single, double and triple rooms with private or shared bathrooms. Please refer to our accommodation booking page for more details.

During this course, tent accommodation will also be available - you can also bring your own tent, if you wish for more privacy.

Pillows, blankets and sheet are included in rooms with attached bathrooms. For other rooms, a pillow and bed sheet is provided.

It is highly recommended to bring a warm sleeping bag if you are booked for dormitory accommodation. Some blankets can be hired from our reception.

Tents are equipped with a ground sheet and mattress - you need to bring your own sleeping bag and pillow.

Please note: Some rooms are reserved especially for people with serious medical conditions and for old people. If you feel you belong into this category, please contact us and explain your situation.

No correspondence will be entered into about accommodation allocation.

The final allocation of rooms is done approximately two weeks before the start of the course - please do not ask us to confirm your booking.

^ Top of Page


** Registration for the course starts on 1. July 2012 Nepal time (-5 hours GMT)
Please do not send registration form or deposit before this date, as we cannot accept it.

Your registration should be accompanied by proof of deposit of US $75. The full amount can be paid later, upon confirmation of your attendance.

Proof of deposit is the payment receipt or credit card payment, or photocopy of bank draft or check sent to FPMT International Office.

Make checks and international Money orders payable to FPMT Inc, mark them as: ?deposit for one month course Kopan? and send to:

1632 SE 11th Avenue,
Portland OR 97214-4702
Phone 1 + 503.808.1588
fax 1+ 503.808.1589

We will confirm your registration with your registration number. Please allow several weeks for processing. Make sure to give a current mailing address on the form.

Note: Please do not send any payments to the Nepal - we cannot cash international checks or bankdrafts.

Book and Pay Your Deposit 

^ Top of Page

Course fee and Cancellation Policy

The cost of the course will be set at a later date.

The cost of the course includes dormitory accommodation, all meals, course material and a course administration fee, which covers travel for teachers, course preparation and material, and administration expenses.

Extra charges apply to accommodation other than dormitory or tent. Please check the booking form for details on the extra charge.

Payment conditions:

The course fee is to be paid in local currency in full (minus your deposit)on arrival, latest on the third day of the course.

Please do not pay the full amount on registration, but pay only the required deposit of 75 US$. We prefer to receive the remaining payment in cash or by credit card payment on arrival at Kopan.

Sangha receives a discount of 30% on the the total course cost. To receive this discount, Sangha is requested to stay in the accommodation provided for them. No discount is given for other accommodation.

Credit card payments:

Kopan reception now accepts credit card (master card, visa card), and you can make your final payment here with your credit card.


Refund of deposit - Your deposit (minus a 25$ administration fee) is refundable for cancellations received up to October 25. No refunds can be paid for cancellations received after this date. However, we are always happy to give you credit for next years' course.

Refund of course fee

All participants have three days after arrival in which to decide if they wish to continue with the course. If a course participant leaves within these three days, the course fee will be refunded minus an administration charge of 50 US$, and food and accommodation for the days you stayed at the monastery. If you decide to leave the course after the first three days, only a partial refund will be given (food and accommodation) The course administration fee will not be refunded.

Be aware that all bookings must be accompanied by proof of payment of deposit.

^ Top of Page

Seven Day Retreat

Date: December 14th - 22nd

An intensive meditation retreat will follow the one-month course. This retreat is open to all who have completed one of the one month Lam Rim courses. It is not recommended for new students who have not previously attended a November course.

The retreat will focus on the topics studied during the one-month course, and will be guided by experienced teachers, Western monks and nuns. We are hoping that Lama Zopa Rinpoche will teach some time during the retreat. The retreat will be conducted in silence, with 6 meditation session a day. With your registration you commit yourself to attend all sessions and follow the strict discipline of the retreat.

The length of the retreat will be between seven and ten days, depending on the participants. You can attend part of the retreat, but must attend a minimum of 3 days, starting from the beginning of the retreat.

Ven. Namgyel

Retreat Cost and Accommodation

The cost of the retreat will be 50 US$ for the 7-day retreat, including food and accommodation in dormitory.

Accommodation will be allocated according to availability and date of registration, and will be mostly in dormitories and tents. Date of departure after the retreat is the 24th December, or later, as you wish.

There is no need to book for the retreat now. All course participants will be accepted for the retreat. 

^ Top of Page