Buddha & Buddhism

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.

Lasting Peace & Happiness

Buddha taught methods for gradually overcoming negative states of mind 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, at 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 New Kadampa Tradition

The New Kadampa Tradition (NKT) is an international association of Mahayana Buddhist study and meditation centres founded by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso to offer the practical wisdom of Kadampa Buddhism to the people of the modern world.

The NKT follows the pure tradition of Mahayana Buddhism handed down in an unbroken lineage from Buddha Shakyamuni through the ancient Kadampa teachers Atisha and Je Tsongkhapa and introduced into the West by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.

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

Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche

Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche is the founder of the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT-IKBU). He is a remarkable and 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, how to practise 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.

Born in a remote village high on the Tibetan plateau he ordained as a Buddhist monk at the age of eight and spent the next twenty years studying the teachings of Buddha in the great Tibetan monasteries. After concluding his studies he entered a life of meditation, engaging in deep retreat at first near the Nepali border and later in the mountains of northern India, where he soon developed a reputation as a great meditator, with many coming to regard him as a modern day Mahasiddha.

After almost twenty years in retreat, in 1977 at the behest of his own Spiritual Guide, Kyabje Trijang Dorjechang, Geshe Kelsang 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 programs, 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 22 highly acclaimed books on Buddhism 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.

Though he has now formally retired as Spiritual Director, even at the age of eighty-four he continues to work tirelessly to spread the precious teachings of Kadampa Buddhism throughout the world, with the intention that each and every living being will eventually experience the supreme permanent mental peace of enlightenment.

General Spiritual Director

Gen-la Kelsang Dekyong, the General Spiritual Director of NKT-IKBU and Principal Resident Teacher at Manjushri KMC, is a modern Buddhist nun dedicated to helping people from all walks of life attain lasting happiness through developing inner mental peace.

She has been a student of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso for thirty years and is a highly experienced Buddhist Teacher who has taught at many different centres internationally.

Before her appointment as General Spiritual Director she was the National Spiritual Director of the USA. She is a very powerful Teacher able to make Buddha’s teachings easily accessible and to show through her example how to integrate these teachings into daily life.

Gen-la has dedicated her life to helping spread Kadampa Buddhism throughout the world by developing meditation centres and Temples in many countries, and she provides enthusiastic support and encouragement to everyone engaged in these projects.