Our Founder

Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

 

Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, founder of NKT-IKBU, is a truly remarkable person. 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 and being awarded the title ‘Geshe’, which means ‘virtuous spiritual friend’, 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.

 

After almost twenty years in retreat, in 1977 at the behest of his own Spiritual Guide, Kyabje Trijang Dorjechang, Geshe Kelsang graciously accepted an invitation from Manjushri Centre to travel to the West and become the Resident Teacher at what was then a fledgling Buddhist centre that had recently acquired Conishead Priory as its base.

Since that time Manjushri Centre has been Geshe Kelsang’s spiritual home, where he has given thousands of teachings. Many of these teachings have been published in 23 highly acclaimed books on Buddhism and meditation, including his latest title, The Mirror of Dharma.

Geshe Kelsang is a great believer in the universal applicability of Buddha’s teachings and presents 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.

He understands the problems faced by modern people and shows how we can solve them through simple scientific methods taught by Buddha. But though his teachings are extraordinarily clear and easy to understand they contain the entire profound lineage of ancient wisdom he holds. Geshe-la’s oft-repeated phrase, ‘simple, but very profound’ perfectly encapsulates his uncommon presentation of modern Buddhism.

While at Manjushri Centre Geshe Kelsang designed and oversaw the construction of the first Kadampa Temple for World Peace, and inaugurated the International Temples Project with the intention to establish Buddhist institutions such as Temples throughout the world.

Over the years, Geshe Kelsang has founded more than a thousand meditation centers and groups in over forty countries, and has established three study programs – the General Program, the Foundation Program, and the Teacher Training Program – to be taught continuously at these centers.

 

He has trained hundreds of teachers and ordained scores of monks and nuns, and 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.

Though he has now formally retired as Spiritual Director, even at the age of eighty six 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.

Kadampa Meditation Center Madison

Year at a Glance

 

October

Noontime Meditation | Wednesdays and Fridays October 2-30 12:00-12:30 PM

Sunday Morning Series: Compassion and Wisdom: Meditations for a Happy Life | Sundays, October 6-27 10:00-11:30 AM

Meditation for Kids | Sundays, October 6-27 10:00-11:30 AM

New! Thursday Morning Class: Basic Buddhist Meditations for Busy People | Thursdays October 10-31 10:00-11:15 AM (No Class Thursday, October 3 due to Fall International Festival)

Happiness from the Inside Out: A Meditation Workshop | Saturday, October 26 10:00 AM- 1 PM

 

November

Noontime Meditation | Wednesdays and Fridays November 1-29 12:00-12:30 PM (No Class Friday November 15 due to Midwest Dharma Celebration)

Sunday Morning Series: Compassion and Wisdom: Meditations for a Happy Life | Sundays, November 3, 10 & 24 10:00-11:30 AM (No Class Sunday, November 17 due to Midwest Dharma Celebration)

Meditation for Kids | Sundays, November 3, 10 & 24 10:00-11:30 AM (No Class Sunday, November 17 due to Midwest Dharma Celebration)

New! Thursday Morning Class: Basic Buddhist Meditations for Busy People | Thursdays November 7-21 10:00-11:15 AM (No Class Thursday, November 28)

A Life Without Anger Meditation Workshop | Saturday, November 9 10:00 AM-1:00 PM

Midwest Dharma Celebration | Friday, November 15-Sunday, November 17

 

December

Noontime Meditation | Wednesdays and Fridays December 4-28 12:00-12:30 PM (No Class Wednesday, December 25)

Sunday Morning Series: Compassion and Wisdom: Meditations for a Happy Life | Sundays, December 1-22 10:00-11:30 AM  (No Class December 29)

Meditation for Kids | Sundays, December 1-22 10:00-11:30 AM (No Class December 29)

New! Thursday Morning Class: Basic Buddhist Meditations for Busy People | Thursdays December 5-19 7 10:00-11:15 AM (No Class Thursday, November 28)

Streams of Purifying Nectar: Vajrasattva Purification Retreat | Saturday, December 14 9:00 AM-4:00 PM

New Year's Eve Candlelight Meditation for World Peace | Tuesday, December 31 7:00-8:30 PM

January

Long Life and Wisdom Amitayus Retreat| Wednesday, January 1 10 AM-3 PM

New Year, New You: Learn to Meditate in Half a Day | Saturday, January 4 10 AM-1:15 PM

Lamrim Meditation Retreat |Saturday, January 11-  Tuesday, January 14

Blue Sky Mind: Finding Peace Weekend Retreat with Guest Teacher Kadam Kyle Davis, January 24-26

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