Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Ven. Roger Kunsang, and Markus Igel walking to subway in Vienna, Austria, September 2017. Photo by Lobsang Sherab.

In late September, Lama Zopa Rinpoche visited Panchen Losang Chogyen Gelugzentrum in Vienna, Austria. This was Rinpoche’s first official stay in Austria and his first visit to the FPMT center that was started nearly thirty-three years ago. There Rinpoche gave teachings, refuge, and the Great Medicine Buddha initiation.

Center founder and current spiritual program coordinator Andrea Husnik and center director Stefan Seidler were in attendance for Rinpoche’s monumental visit. The teachings were supported by a team of hard-working volunteers—many of whom had taken a week off work—who forewent meals and sleep, and gave their all in order to deliver incredible hospitality to Rinpoche and all participants.

Following the Light of the Path retreat, and a long flight from North Carolina, United States, to Austria, Rinpoche rested for a number of days with the Igel family at their home in Vienna. During his stay, Rinpoche was offered an apple strudel, which the mother of the family had made. The dish was so good that Rinpoche asked if he could be shown how to make the dessert. During the filming of an instructional video (see below), Rinpoche offered advice on how to cook for the benefit of others.

Rinpoche took a number of walks in the city parks, taking every opportunity to bless the dogs that he passed. While using the subway on his way to a restaurant, Rinpoche saw a homeless man to whom he made offerings. Throughout his stay, while Rinpoche walked through the streets of Vienna, he recited OM MANI PADME HUM out loud, blessing and benefiting everyone that he encountered. 

Watch “How to Cook Apple Strudel and Actualize the Path to Enlightenment” on YouTube

Rinpoche’s recorded teachings in Vienna, Austria, are available as a part of Rinpoche Available Now:

View a gallery of images from Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s visit to Austria:

More information, photos, and updates about FPMT spiritual director Lama Zopa Rinpoche can be found on Rinpoche’s webpage on If you’d like to receive news of Lama Zopa Rinpoche and FPMT via email, sign up to FPMT News.