The founder of Buddhism in this world was Buddha Shakyamuni who lived and taught in India some two and a half thousand years ago. Since then millions of people around the world have followed the pure spiritual path he revealed.
Buddha explained that all our problems and suffering arise from confused and negative states of mind, and all our happiness and good fortune arise from peaceful and positive states of mind.
He taught methods for gradually overcoming minds such as anger, jealousy and ignorance, and developing positive minds such as love, compassion and wisdom. Through this we will come to experience lasting peace and happiness.
These methods work for anyone, in any country, in any age. Once we have gained experience of them for ourselves we can pass them on to others so they, too, can enjoy the same benefits.
The Buddhist way of life – peace, loving kindness and wisdom – is just as relevant today as it was when Buddha appeared in ancient India.
The Old Kadampa Lineage up to the present New Kadampa Tradition
Kadampa Buddhism is a Mahayana Buddhist school founded by the great Indian Buddhist Master Atisha (AD 982-1054).
His followers are known as ‘Kadampas’. Ka refers to Buddha’s teachings, and dam to Atisha’s special Lamrim instructions known as ‘the stages of the path to enlightenment’. Kadampas, then, are practitioners who regard Buddha’s teachings as personal instructions and put them into practice by following the instructions of Lamrim.
The Kadampa tradition was later promoted widely in Tibet by Je Tsongkhapa and his followers, who were known as the ‘New Kadampas’.
Transforming Daily Activities into the Path
By integrating their knowledge of all Buddha’s teachings into their practice of Lamrim, and by integrating this into their everyday lives, Kadampa Buddhists are encouraged to use Buddha’s teachings as practical methods for transforming daily activities into the path to enlightenment.
The great Kadampa Teachers are famous not only for being great scholars but also for being spiritual practitioners of immense purity and sincerity.
The lineage of these teachings, both their oral transmission and blessings, was then passed from Teacher to disciple, spreading throughout much of Asia, and now to many countries throughout the western world.
Buddha’s teachings, which are known as ‘Dharma’, are likened to a wheel that moves from country to country in accordance with changing conditions and people’s karmic inclinations.
The external forms of presenting Buddhism may change as it meets with different cultures and societies, but its essential authenticity is ensured through the continuation of an unbroken lineage of realized practitioners.
Through the activities and dedication of the renowned Buddhist Master, Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Kadampa Buddhism has spread to many countries in recent years.
Geshe Kelsang has worked tirelessly to spread Kadampa Buddhism throughout the world by giving extensive teachings, writing many books on Kadampa Buddhism, establishing the International Temples Project and founding the New Kadampa Tradition, the International Kadampa Buddhist Union.
The New Kadampa Tradition
Our meditation center is a member of the New Kadampa Tradition – International Kadampa Buddhist Union (NKT-IKBU).
This is a Mahayana Buddhist tradition founded by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso that is derived from the Buddhist meditators and scholars Atisha and Je Tsongkhapa.
NKT is an association of study and meditation centres dedicated to helping people everywhere find meaning and purpose in their lives, and to the developing of genuine inner peace and happiness.
Putting Buddha’s teachings into practice in the context of our family and work commitments, we discover they are unsurpassed methods to resolve daily difficulties and problems.
Rapidly growing, our Kadampa community is an international family, offering support, inspiration and encouragement for this joyful and profound spiritual path at centres around the world.
For more information please see the main Kadampa website.
Our Founder (Geshe Kelsang Gyatso)
Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso is a fully accomplished meditation master and internationally renowned teacher of Buddhism. Geshe-la,as he is affectionately called by his students, is primarily responsible for the worldwide revival of Kadampa Buddhism in our time.
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 Trijang Rinpoche, his Spiritual Guide, he then spent the next eighteen years in meditation retreats in the Himalayas.
Teaching in the West
In 1977 he accepted an invitation to teach at Manjushri Kadampa Meditation Centre in England, where he lived for many years giving teachings and guidance to an ever-growing group of disciples. Geshe-la has continued to teach on Kadampa Buddhism in many countries around the world, and published a series of remarkable books on Buddhist thought and meditation. He has established three unique study programmes and over 1000 meditation centres around the world, trained qualified teachers and a flourishing ordained community, and created a project to build Buddhist Temples in every major city in the world.
Teaching from example
In his teachings Geshe Kelsang emphasizes the importance of meditation and how to apply it in daily life, the need to be truly happy, and how to cultivate a good heart to help others and he demonstrates these qualities perfectly in his own life. This remarkable teacher inspires so many people from so many different countries because he teaches from example. He is a humble Buddhist monk dedicated to helping people throughout the world find true happiness in their hearts.
International Temples Project
“Whenever anyone, Buddhist or not, sees a Temple or an image of Buddha they receive blessings.” – Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
The International Temples Project was founded by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche with the vision to create a Kadampa Buddhist Temple in every major city in the world. Its aim is to introduce the Buddhist Faith of the New Kadampa Tradition publicly and in particular to exemplify Buddhist practice through public service.
Kadampa Buddhist Temples take many forms. Some are custom built according to a special design developed by Geshe Kelsang based on traditional Buddhist architecture, such as the Mother Temple at Manjushri Kadampa Meditation Centre in England and the Temples in New York, and São Paulo. Others are adapted from existing buildings acquired for Kadampa Meditation Centers around the world, such as the Temples in Toronto, Le Mans, Berlin, Zurich, Texas, and Melbourne.
Whatever form they take, Kadampa Temples are holy places open to everyone to enjoy. They are Pure Lands in our troubled world – offering doorways to inner peace for all who visit them.