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Membership in IMI

With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.

HH Dalai Lama

The IMI is a community of monks and nuns within the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana (FPMT) mandala. FPMT is based in the tradition of Lama Tsongkhapa as taught by our founder, Lama Thubten Yeshe and spiritual director, Lama Zopa Rinpoche. As members of the IMI community we accept the guidance of the Abbott and Spiritual Director of the IMI and FPMT, Lama Zopa Rinpoche.

The monks and nuns of the IMI community are spread throughout the world. Generally, the community includes students of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, teachers within the FPMT mandala of centers, and teachers of Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Many, but not all, members of the IMI community reside at or work for an FPMT center, FPMT projects or within an IMI monastic community.

The IMI welcomes monastics who hold full (gelong/gelongma), novice (getsul/ getsulma) or rabjung ordination practicing or studying within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

The IMI is committed to taking care of its community by ensuring that:

  • IMI sangha are educated in Vinaya and Buddhist philosophy as a foundation for their spiritual development as well as in their role as spiritual guides to the larger Buddhist community.
  • IMI sangha have appropriate accommodation
  • IMI sangha have proper food and nourishment
  • IMI sangha have proper medical care
  • IMI sangha have the advice and guidance of senior sangha members
  • IMI sangha have a supportive environment and conditions for retreat
  • IMI sangha are cared for when sick and elderly
  • IMI sangha have supportive communities where their spiritual practice can be developed

If you hold full, novice or rabjung ordination, and practice or study within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, your are welcome as a member of the IMI monastic community. In becoming a member you agree to:

  • Accept the guidance of the Abbot and the Spiritual Director of the IMI and FPMT, Lama Zopa Rinpoche.
  • Maintain ordination vows.
  • Abide by the rules for the sangha as established in the local community (center), monastery, or nunnery.
  • Follow the guidelines established by the IMI.
  • Provide service and support for other monks and nuns within the IMI family according to one’s capabilities.
  • Benefit the larger Buddhist (and nonBuddhist) community with your practice and your service.
  • Maintain communication with IMI staff, providing information as requested.
  • Commit to follow the guidance of your teacher and stay in a conducive environment that supports your ordination.
  • Participate in the activities of the IMI and FPMT communities.

Beginning in 2009, all newly ordained monks and nuns will be considered provisionary members in IMI until completing monastic training.

If you are interested in becoming a member, please complete a membership application form in the IMI Members Area. For any questions concerning IMI membership, please contact IMI at