Kadampa Buddhism

What is Buddhist meditation?

Meditation — or familiarising yourself with positivity — is at the heart of Buddhism. 

Buddha’s main teachings were about how to protect our mind through training ourselves in meditation to let go of negative states of mind (delusions) and instead cultivate positive states and feelings. 

These negative states, such as anger, confusion and craving, give rise to unpeaceful experiences. Our practice of meditation trains us to identify and let go of these painful states and also to develop peaceful states of mind such as love, patience and compassion.  

In essence, it's about training the mind to be peaceful, until we have a peaceful mind all the time.

Anyone with a mind can do this, regardless of their background, culture or even belief system.

Buddha Shakyamuni

Buddhism is the study and practice of the teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni

Download our free ebooks

Modern Buddhism

Download our free ebook to find out more about modern Buddhism in the Kadampa tradition

How To Transform Your Life

Transform your life with this free ebook from Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

What is Kadampa Buddhism?

Buddhism for modern life

The essence of Kadampa Buddhism is offering tools to help us grow our good qualities and deal with the challenges of life until, ultimately, we achieve a lasting state of inner peace. It's therefore very suitable for modern life

Auspicious Fish Symbol

The lineage meditation masters

Kadampa Buddhism is a Mahayana Buddhist school founded by the great Indian Buddhist master Atisha (AD 982-1054), practised fully and passed down the generations through great spiritual masters, including Je Tsongkhapa (AD 1357-1419), to the present day meditation master Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.

Modern Kadampa practitioners

A Kadampa practitioner is anyone who regards Buddha’s teachings as personal instructions and puts them into practice by following the instructions of Lamrim (a special sequence of meditations). In this way we can learn to transform all our daily activities and experiences – relationships, work, good times, bad times, etc. — into the path to mental freedom and enlightenment.

The meditations taught at Kadampa Meditation Centres are suitable for everyone. The instructions are relevant to everyday experiences and therefore immensely helpful and practical, regardless of whether you're Buddhist or not.

The New Kadampa Podcast

Tune in to Kadampa podcasts

Listen to extended teachings from Kadampa teachers from around the world on Kadampa.org.

My Living Meditation - Kadampa Blogs

Read Kadampa blogs

Inspiring stories by Kadampa practitioners sharing how meditation has changed their lives.

New Kadampa Tradition

NKT-IKBU Logo

Kadampa Buddhism in the West

To provide a vehicle for promoting Kadampa Buddhism throughout the world, in 1991 Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso founded the New Kadampa Tradition – International Kadampa Buddhist Union (NKT-IKBU).

What is the NKT-IKBU?

The NKT-IKBU (New Kadampa Tradition – International Kadampa Buddhist Union) is an international organisation of study and meditation centres that follows the pure tradition of Mahayana Buddhism. This tradition was derived from the Buddhist meditators and scholars mentioned above, and introduced to the West by the Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.

What is the purpose of NKT-IKBU?

The NKT-IKBU is dedicated to helping people everywhere find meaning and purpose in their lives, and to the development of genuine inner peace and happiness.

International Buddhist community

Rapidly growing, our Kadampa community is an international family, offering support, inspiration and encouragement for this spiritual path at centres around the world.

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

Who was the founder?

Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, or Geshe-la as he was affectionately called by his students, was primarily responsible for the worldwide revival of Kadampa Buddhism in our time.

Buddhism without politics

The NKT-IKBU is an entirely independent Buddhist tradition and has no political affiliations. The NKT-IKBU is an international nonprofit organisation registered in England as a charitable company.

Kadampa Festivals

Find out more about the Kadampa International Festivals

Our founder: Geshe Kelsang Gyatso (Geshe-la)

Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, founder of NKT-IKBU, was a truly remarkable person. Born in a remote village high on the Tibetan plateau, he was ordained as a Buddhist monk at the age of eight and spent the next 20 years studying the teachings of Buddha in the great Tibetan monasteries.

After concluding his studies and being awarded the title ‘Geshe’, which means ‘virtuous spiritual friend’, he entered a life of meditation, engaging in deep retreat. First, near the Nepali border and later in the mountains of northern India, where he soon developed a reputation as a great meditator. Many started to regard him as a modern day qualified and accomplished meditation master.

In 1977, after almost 20 years in retreat and requested by his own spiritual guide, Kyabje Trijang Dorjechang, Geshe Kelsang graciously accepted an invitation to travel to the West. He began teaching at Manjushri Kadampa Meditation Centre in the Lake District in the UK.

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

Geshe-la’s work in the West

Since that time, Geshe Kelsang gave thousands of teachings. Many of these have been published in 23 highly acclaimed books on Buddhism and meditation.

He was a great believer in the universal applicability of Buddha’s teachings. He presented them in such a way that everyone, regardless of nationality, age or gender, can put them into practice in their daily lives and begin to experience true inner peace.

Over the years, Geshe Kelsang founded more than 1,000 meditation centres and groups in over 40 countries.

He established three study programmes – the General Programme, the Foundation Programme and the Teacher Training Programme – to be taught continuously at these centres.

He trained hundreds of teachers and ordained scores of monks and nuns. When doing so, he transmitted a complete lineage, not only of teachings and insights but also of prayers, ritual practices, sacred art and music, all tailored to the needs of the modern world.

Towards the end of his life, Geshe Kelsang formally retired as Spiritual Director and spent time helping, guiding and encouraging those he had placed as his successors.

40 years of kindness – Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

Only love can bring world peace – Geshe Kelsang Gyatso 

Affectionate love – Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

General Spiritual Director: Gen-la Kelsang Dekyong

Gen-la Kelsang Dekyong is a Buddhist nun and a senior disciple of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.

Gen-la Dekyong is the General Spiritual Director of the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT-IKBU). She travels internationally, giving meditation courses in the many Kadampa centres throughout the world, as well as international festivals, national festivals and dharma celebrations. She's also the resident teacher at Mother Centre of NKT, Manjushri Kadampa Meditation Centre in Cumbria.

Gen-la Dekyong is an inspiring teacher who's been studying and practising Buddhism for over 30 years. She's able to teach with humour and incisive insight and present complex ideas in an accessible and down-to-earth manner. Her sincerity in putting Buddha’s teachings into practice in her own life, and her compassion for others, makes her a perfect example of a modern day Buddhist practitioner.

Gen-la Kelsang Dekyong

For further information on Gen-la Dekyong, and the events she'll be teaching this year, please visit Manjushri Kadampa Meditation Centre.

Meditation and mindfulness: why we need meditation – Gen-la Kelsang Dekyong

Correctly identifying our enemy – Gen-la Kelsang Dekyong

Two things we need to do – Gen-la Kelsang Dekyong

Stay in the loop

Sign up to our email list to hear about our latest classes, courses, special events, blog posts and other news from the centre