Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche – Founder and spiritual director of NKT
From Buddha Shakyamuni, our lineage passed through great masters such as Atisha and Je Tsonghkhapa to our present Spiritual Guide, Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.
Geshe-la, as he is affectionately called by his students, is primarily responsible for the worldwide revival of Kadampa Buddhism in our time. He is a humble Buddhist monk dedicated to helping people throughout the world find true happiness in their hearts through the practice of meditation.
Venerable Geshe-la is a fully accomplished meditation master and internationally renowned teacher of Buddhism. In his teachings, he emphasizes the importance of meditation and explains how to apply it in daily life, be truly happy and cultivate a good heart. He demonstrates these qualities perfectly in his own life.
Venerable Geshe-la has created the tradition of NKT International Buddhist Festivals where he has spent many years giving teachings and empowerments to thousands of people from all over the world.
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.
Modern Kadampa Buddhism
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 Kelsang has founded over 1100 centres around the world, created three unique study programmes, trained hundreds of qualified teachers and established a flourishing ordained community. He has inspired a project to build Buddhist Temples for world peace in every major city in the world and published a series of remarkable books on Buddhist thought and meditation.
All of this activity is united within the New Kadampa Tradition – International Kadampa Buddhist Union (NKT-IKBU), an entirely independent Buddhist tradition with no political affiliations. The NKT-IKBU has a presence in over 30 countries across five continents.
The goal of Kadampa Buddhism is to integrate Buddha’s wisdom into contemporary daily life. This allows these timeless teachings, and the joy they provide, to become accessible to everyone. To make these teachings widely available, Geshe-la established the International Temples Project. Profits from all NKT-IKBU activities are donated to this inspiring project building Temples for world peace throughout the world