Foundation Service Seminar

September 22, 2021

- September 26, 2021

Brief Description

🇫🇷  Informations en français (PDF)


FPMT service seminars provide support and training to those offering service, and those wishing to offer service, within FPMT centers, services, and projects. The seminars help develop a shared understanding of the FPMT mission set out by Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche, and a firm basis to serve joyfully and effectively within the organization 

We offer a variety of service seminars developed for directors, spiritual program coordinators, board members, registered teachers, coordinators, staff, volunteers, and anyone interested in offering service to Lama Zopa Rinpoche and the FPMT organization.

The Foundation Service Seminar (FSS) is the ‘FPMT immersion retreat’. It provides essential information and nourishment for all serving, or wishing to serve, in the FPMT organization. As it is so important, it is the foundation for each other specialist FPMT service seminar, for example the Teachers’ Development Service Seminar (TDSS)

The FSS retreat is a five day retreat. We explore our relationship to resources – both material and human; effective communication; team building; ways to maintain and develop our personal practice in the midst of service; skilful people development and management; and methods to prevent and cure burnout. We discuss service in terms of guru devotion, karma, compassion, and emptiness, and how to draw strength, inspiration, wisdom, and guidance from these practices. 

While fulfilling our larger purpose to benefit sentient beings, FPMT is also a family of Dharma practitioners. Lama Thubten Yeshe used to refer to the importance of cultivating a “family feeling” within FPMT. The Seminar Series, and particularly the Foundation Service Seminar, emphasizes our connections to each other, and how to keep those connections harmoniously. 

The FSS retreat will be facilitated by François Lecointre and Annelies van der Heijden.

Covid policy during FSS

  • The pandemic is not over, and the proposed policy might be subject to change due to the situation (infection rate, hospitalisations, mutations, advice and policies of governments).
  • The proposal for the policy for the FSS in the Autumn below is based on the current situation on 4th of July (low infection rate).
  • Besides possible governmental policies, we also will evaluate the Vipassana retreat in August, and we might apply recommendations from that evaluation.
In general:
  • Please bring with you proof if you have been vaccinated or tested positive in 2021 and recovered and a self test (you can buy them in pharmacies, etc..).
  • If you live outside of Nalanda we recommend that you do a self-test before the seminar. If the pandemic worsens in France this will be obligatory.
  • If you have not been vaccinated, a test or self-test is obligatory.
  1. All Nalanda residents can participate (self-test is not obligatory, but appreciated).
  2. Local Buddhist students of Nalanda and IVY, including those living at IVY: if vaccinated, a self test is recommended, especially if you have doubts due to family life or a busy social life. If someone is not vaccinated, a (self) test is obligatory. If possible, keep social distance the week before and during the seminar (outside of Nalanda).
  3. If you arrive with your own car (France, surrounding countries) while keeping social distance, the same policy is applied as for local Buddhists.
  4. If you use public transport (buses, trains, airplanes), we advise you to arrive four days in advance of the seminar and then do a self test. You have to wear a mask and keep social distance during four days, especially in closed spaces, but with a negative test result you can participate in the seminar freely. If it is not possible to arrive four days in advance, you will have to wear a mask all the time during the first four days at Nalanda especially in closed rooms during the training in the gompa & keep social distance and then do a (self) test. (For your information: if someone is contaminated while traveling, a reliable test can only be done after four days. People who travel collectively will be exposed to many other people, so the risk is considerable).
If there are financial obstacles to being four days longer at Nalanda or IVY, please contact Nalanda’s director: and we will find a solution.

Registration is closed

About the Teacher

François Lecointre

François has been studying and practicing Buddhism in FPMT centres since 1994 after meeting the Dharma during the Kopan course. He was the director of Kalachakra Centre in Paris (France) from 1997 to 1999. He then became Spiritual Programme Coordinator in Institut Vajra Yogini in 2001. From 2002 to 2020, he has been directing Institut Vajra Yogini (IVY), managing this busy residential center in southwest France. In June 2020, François joined the International Office as Teacher Services and Communications director. He is a senior FSS facilitator.

Annelies van der Heijden

Annelies has a professional background as dietician, yoga teacher, shiatsu therapist and mindfulness trainer.  She has been actively involved as a student in the FPMT organization, and specifically Maitreya Institute, The Netherlands, since 1998. Annelies was the FPMT Europe Regional Coordinator from 2010 – 2013. She completed the Basic Program at ILTK, Italy in 2012. Annelies is an FPMT Foundational Buddhism registered teacher and Living in the Path facilitator, and completed the requirements to become a registered FSS facilitator in 2018.