"... to be able to spread Dharma, with that motivation, to spread Dharma, to translate Dharma, that has the greatest benefit, not only in your life, but the greatest benefit for sentient beings, that’s the best gift for sentient beings."
Lama Zopa Rinpoche talking to LRZTP5, Surya Hotel, McLeod Ganj, August 10th, 2010
Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT). Its main aim is to provide qualified interpreters for Dharma centers worldwide. The program consists of two years of study in Dharamsala, India, followed by two years of onsite training at a center as an apprentice interpreter under a Tibetan teacher. LRZTP1 started in McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala, in 1996, and since then 22 students have succesfully completed the four year program. The first half of LRZTP5 began in Dharamsala, India on November 3, 2008, and finished on October 15, 2010. Ten students, out of 22 initially, completed the first two years of the program. Of those ten, five have already started working as interpreters.
The next edition, LRZTP6, will start in October 2012. Twenty students will have the opportunity to join the program.
LRZTP is located in Dharamsala, in Himachal Pradesh. Dharamsala became the new home to His Holiness the Dalaï Lama and the Tibetan Government in Exile in 1960 when the prime minister of India granted the land to exiled Tibetans. It has now become a center for Tibetan activity with numerous organizations, monasteries and nunneries, schools, and over 8,000 resident Tibetans. Although the central government offices are closer to Dharamsala, McLeod Ganj, slightly higher in elevation and nestled on the ridges of the foothills of the Himalayas, is the true hub of Tibetan life. Numerous hotels and restaurants cater to the lively tourist industry, and a host of organisations and groups find their headquarters in this former British hillstation.
The school is hosted in the Rato Chuwar Labrang, in Gangchen Kyishong, the lower area of Mac Leod Ganj, where the Tibetan Library of Works and Archives, the Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institute (Men Tsee Khang) and the Central Tibetan Administration are located. It is quieter than Mac Leod Ganj itself, though being 15 minutes walk away, and very pleasant place to study.