Founder and Spiritual Director of the New Kadampa Tradition
Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso is a world-renowned Buddhist meditation master who has pioneered the introduction of modern Buddhism into contemporary society.
The Founder of the New Kadampa Tradition – International Kadampa Buddhist Union (NKT-IKBU), he has established over 1,200 meditation centers and groups throughout the world and trained Buddhist teachers to teach at them.
His profound personal experience of the entire path to enlightenment is revealed in the 21 authoritative books on Buddhism and meditation he has written.
His deep wisdom, clarity and ability to convey even the most subtle teachings of Buddha to the people of the modern world are revealed in the thousands of inspiring teachings he has given worldwide in the last 36 years.
His boundless compassion for this and future generations is revealed in the extensive charitable activities of the International Temples Project that he founded.
Study and retreat
From the age of eight, Geshe-la studied extensively in the great monastic universities of Tibet and earned the title ‘Geshe’, which literally means ‘spiritual friend’. Under the guidance of his Spiritual Guide, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, he then spent the next 18 years in meditation retreats in the Himalayas. In 1977, he accepted an invitation to teach at Manjushri Kadampa Meditation Centre in England, where he lived and taught for many years, giving teachings and guidance to an ever-growing group of students.
Teaching in the West
Geshe Kelsang knows the problems faced by modern people very well, and explains with uncommon clarity how these can be solved through the timeless scientific methods taught by Buddha. Geshe-la’s oft-repeated phrase, ‘simple, but very profound’ perfectly encapsulates his special presentation of modern Buddhism.
Over 30 years, Geshe Kelsang has transmitted a complete lineage not only of pure teachings and insights, but also of prayers, ritual practices, sacred art and music, all appropriate to the needs of the people of this world, and delivered in the language specific to each country. He has established a vibrant ordained community and trained hundreds of qualified lay and ordained Kadampa teachers. Geshe Kelsang’s kindness also appears outwardly as more than 1,200 meditation centers and groups in over 40 countries. Additionally, he has founded the International Temples Projectwith the intention to establish Temples in various forms throughout the world.
Although Geshe Kelsang has now formally retired as Spiritual Director, even at the age of 81 he continues to work tirelessly to spread the precious teachings of Kadampa Buddhism internationally.