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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

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

Noontime Meditation | Wednesdays and Fridays January 3-31 12:00-12:30 PM (No Class Friday, January 24 due to Special Weekend Retreat)

New! Sunday Morning Series: Happy Regardless: The Power of a Wise Heart | Sundays, January 5-19 10:00-11:30 AM 

Meditation for Kids | Sundays, January 5-19 10:00-11:30 AM 

New Year, New You: Meditations for Relaxation Retreat | Saturday, January 4 10:00 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

Special Friday Night Lecture: Happiness from Within with Guest Teacher Kadam Kyle Davis |  Friday, January 24 7:00-8:30 PM

Staying Inside our Blue Sky Mind Retreat With Guest Teacher Kadam Kyle Davis |  Saturday, January 25 10:00 AM-3:00 PM

Special Sunday Class: A Blue Sky Mind in Daily Life with Guest Teacher Kadam Kyle Davis|  Sunday, January 26 10:00 AM-11:30 AM

February

New! Sunday Morning Series: Happy Regardless: The Power of a Wise Heart | Sundays, February 2-23 (Special Sunday Class February 16) 10:00-11:30 AM

Meditation for Kids | Sundays, February 2-23 (Special Sunday Class February 16) 10:00-11:30 AM

Noontime Meditation | Wednesdays and Fridays February 5-28 12:00-12:30 PM (No Class Friday, February 14 Due to Weekend Retreat)

New! Thursday Morning Class: Basic Buddhist Meditations for Busy People | Thursdays February 6-27 7 10:00-11:15 AM 

Transform the Way You Love: A Special Weekend with Gen Kelsang Gomlam | February 14-16

Special Friday Night Lecture: Love, Desire, and Relationships with Gen Kelsang Gomlam | Friday, February 14 7:00-8:30 PM

Transform the Way You Love Saturday Retreat with Gen Kelsang Gomlam | Saturday, February 16 10:00 AM-3:00 PM

Special Sunday Class: Love Without Pain with Gen Kelsang Gomlam | Sunday, February 16 10:00 -11:30 AM

Highest Yoga Tantra Blissful Path Vajrayogini Retreat | Saturday, February 29 9:30 AM-4:30 PM

March

New! Sunday Morning Series: Happy Regardless: The Power of a Wise Heart | Sundays, March 1-29 10:00-11:30 AM

Meditation for Kids | Sundays, March 1-29 10:00-11:30 AM

Noontime Meditation | Wednesdays and Fridays March 4-25

Thursday Morning Class: Basic Buddhist Meditations for Busy People | Thursdays March 5-26

Part 1: Friday Night Lecture Silencing the Inner Critic | Friday, March 13 7:00-8:30 PM

Part 2: Connecting with Our Pure Potential Meditation Retreat | Saturday, March 28 10:00 AM-4:00 PM

April

Noontime Meditation | Wednesdays and Fridays April 1-29

Thursday Morning Class: Basic Buddhist Meditations for Busy People | April 2-23 (No Class April 30) 

New! Sunday Morning Series: Happy Regardless: The Power of a Wise Heart | Sundays, March 1-29 10:00-11:30 AM

Meditation for Kids | Sundays, March 1-29 10:00-11:30 AM

Compassion Fasting Retreat | Saturday, April 11 6:30 AM-4:00 PM

Friday Night Lecture: Overcoming Anxiety and Depression: A Buddhist Perspective | Saturday, April 17 7:00 PM-8:30 PM

 

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