Our Mission Statement

Nalanda's Sangha with Ganden Tripa - supreme head of the Gelug School

Nalanda Monastery provides a supportive environment in the West for monastics of Tibetan Buddhism in the tradition of Lama Tsongkhapa as taught by the founders of the FPMT organization — Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche, to study, practice, serve and inspire all sentient beings under the guidance of our Spiritual Director, Kyabje Zopa Rinpoche. Nalanda aims to bring about progress in universal wisdom, altruism and compassion through an example of moral conduct and by upholding the teachings of the Buddha. Nalanda seeks to offer a warm welcome, service or guidance to everyone who interacts with its community.


Abbot Geshe Lobsang JamphelNalanda Monastery, is a unique community for Western monks in the Tibetan Gelug tradition. It offers an ideal environment to live and combine practice and study in an appropriate lifestyle. Currently, around 28 monks, 5 nuns and 40 lay people form the core of the community.

Nalanda is located close to Lavaur, about 40 km from Toulouse in the Tarn district of Southwest France. Located on the river Agout and with its own gardens, the monastery is surrounded by farmers' fields, enjoying a peaceful and quiet environment. Nearby are our sister dharma centre - Institut Vajra Yogini and newly established Dorje Pamo Nunnery - only 8km away from Nalanda.

Alongside the monks, lay men can also stay at Nalanda while women have the opportunity to stay in the local area. We also extend a warm welcome to all visitors - they are especially welcome every Sunday between 14:00 and 18:00, or by appointment outside these times.

"Nalanda is well kept and in a good state. I hope that then the number of monks will increase. As Lama Yeshe wished that the number of monks would be 50 at minimum, that would be very good. That is my sincere innermost wish. Like the historic Nalanda, at that time very big in India, I hope that in future there will be 10,000 monks here. It's clear that great places go down and end up in ruins, and that some small places will grow. What we should do from here onwards is protect and keep a vision for the future: to change this whole place into a very large university-style monastery where many people will come to live and study."

Abbot of Nalanda - Geshe Lobsang Jamphel

Lineage & Teachers

Lama Zopa Rinpoche is the Spiritual director of Nalanda and together with his teacher, Lama Yeshe, founded Nalanda in 1981 as the first Western monastery of the FPMT. Geshe Lobsang Jamphel is the current Abbot. Additionally, we are fortunate to welcome other distinguished teachers and recognized lamas throughout the year. Ven. Tendar, current director of Nalanda, coordinates the day-to-day running of the monastery, while other monks take roles such as study program coordinators, translators, disciplinarian and book-keeper.

Conducive Environment

Birds view of Nalanda Monastery in FranceNalanda aims to offer a protective and conducive environment for monks to train in philosophy, monastic discipline and retreat. As ambassadors of the Buddha's teachings and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Nalanda's Sangha aim to inspire others through example and behaviour. Nalanda's community contributes to world peace as well as individual spiritual growth by keeping the Buddha's teachings alive in Western society, and inspiring others with values of ethical behaviour, tolerance, compassion and wisdom.

For 30 years, the monks of Nalanda Monastery have tirelessly helped to bring the Buddha's teachings throughout FPMT projects worldwide as teachers, retreat leaders, project directors, program coordinators, and counsellors. Nalanda's responsibility to carry out the wishes of our teachers - Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche, is only possible through the kind generosity of sponsors.

Our Ethical Policy

Nalanda Monastery is committed to maintaining and fostering a safe and supportive environment for Buddhist practice. Nalanda is affiliated to FPMT Inc., and applies the FPMT Ethical Policy as a standard of conduct. While on Nalanda property, everybody is asked to follow the FPMT Ethical Policy, that includes:

  1. Living according to the principles of the five precepts. This includes no killing, stealing, engaging in sexual misconduct (in the context of Nalanda this means abstaining from sexual conduct completely), lying or taking intoxicants (alcohol, recreational drugs or tobacco).
  2. No discrimination, such as on the basis of race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, age or disability.
  3. No harassment, such as sexual harassment, intimidation, bullying or retaliation to those who raise concerns.
  4. Avoiding gossip, harsh or abusive language.

It is particularly advised that any person in a position of authority of Nalanda Monastery — teachers, the director, board members, program coordinators and managers, uphold these principles and demonstrate harmonious and respectful behavior that is safe for all and supportive of Dharma practice.

If Nalanda management know or suspect that someone is treated in a discriminating, harassing manner; or is not respected; or is at risk of any kind, it will be ensured that the ethical policy is implemented swiftly. Nalanda’s grievance procedure will be followed in these cases.

If you suspect someone to be at risk or have a grievance yourself, please contact the director of Nalanda. If the complaint involves the director himself, please contact any of the board members.

You can request that your concerns remain confidential. Nalanda is committed to protecting the privacy of everyone at the monastery, within the restrictions of French law.

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