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 22 highly acclaimed books on Buddhism and meditation, including his latest title, The Oral Instructions of Mahamudra.

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

2018 at a Glance

 

January

Free Meditation and Talk: The Power to Be Happy | Thursday, January 18 7:00-8:00 PM

Just Meditate | Saturday, January 20 10:00-10:45 AM

35 Confession Buddhas Purification Practice and Commentary | Tuesday, January 23 7:00-9:00 PM

Clear Mind Retreat Weekend with Kelsang Zamling | Friday, January 26-Sunday, January 28

Friday Night Lecture with Kelsang Zamling: Limitless Mind Limitless Life | Friday, January 26 7:00-8:15 PM

Clear Sky Mind Retreat with Kelsang Zamling | Saturday, January 27 9:00 AM- 4:00 PM

Special Sunday Morning Meditation: Moving Beyond Limitations with Kelsang Zamling | Saturday, January 28 10:00-11:30 AM

 

February

Just Meditate | Saturday, February 3 10:00-10:45 AM

Balance Your Life Through Meditation | Thursdays February 1-22 7:00-8:30 PM

Choose Love Half-Day Course | Saturday, February 10 1-4 PM

Stillness in a Shaken World: Developing Confidence in the Power of Our Mind: A Weekend with Kadam Lucy James | Friday, February 23- Sunday, February 25

Friday Night Lecture with Kadam Lucy: Our Power for Lasting Change | Friday, February 23 7:00-8:15 PM

Meditation Retreat with Kadam Lucy: Experiencing Our Limitless Mind in Meditation | Saturday, February 24 9:00 AM- 4:00 PM

Special Sunday Morning Meditation with Kadam Lucy: Staying Connected to Our Pure Potential | Sunday, February 25 10:00-11:30 AM

 

March

Free Book Talk at Barnes and Noble West: How To Solve Our Human Problems | Saturday, March 3 2-3 PM

Loving Difficult People | Thursdays March 1-29 7:00-8:30 PM (No Class Thursday, March 15)

A Heart of Loving Kindness: Healing a Hurting World: The Blessing Empowerment of Buddha Maitreya | Saturday, March 17 9:00 AM-5:00 PM

Just Meditate | Saturday, March 24 10:00-10:45 AM

Friday Night Lecture: Say Goodbye to Guilt | Friday, March 30 7:00-8:15 PM

 

April

NKT Day Open House and Free Meditation | Saturday, April 7 12:00 PM- 2:00 PM

Wisdom in Modern Times: Teachings on Heart Jewel | Thursdays April 5-19 7:00-8:30 PM

Compassion Fasting Retreat | Saturday, April 14 6:30 AM-4:00 PM 

Just Meditate | Saturday, April 21 10:00-10:45 AM

US Festival KMC New York | April 27-May 2

 

May

Just Meditate | Saturday, May 5 10:00-10:45 AM

Overcoming the Inner Enemy of Distraction | Thursdays May 10-31 7:00-8:30 PM

Mindfulness Meditation Retreat | Saturday, May 12 9:00 AM-4:00 PM

Friday Night Lecture: Imagine Yourself Without Worry | Friday, May 18 7:00-8:15 PM