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

April

Noontime Meditation | Wednesdays & Fridays, April 1-29 | 12-12:30 PM

Thursday Morning Meditation | April 2-23 | 10-11:15 AM

Making Every Moment Meaningful: Free Public Talk & Special NKT Day Event | Saturday, April 4 | 1-2:15 PM

Happy Regardless Sunday Series: Resilience through Meditation | Sundays, April 5-26 | 10-11:15 AM

Living from the Inside Out Monday Night Class: Letting Go of Anger and Resentment| Mondays, April 6-27 | 7-8:15 PM

Buddha's Enlightenment Day: Special Talk with Gen Gomlam | Wednesday, April 15 | 7-8:15 PM

Friday Night Lecture: Overcoming Anxiety and Depression: A Buddhist Perspective | Friday, April 17 | 7-8:15 PM

May

Abiding at the Heart: Blessing Empowerment of Je Tsongkhapa Introduction | Friday, May 1 | 7-8:30 PM

Abiding at the Heart: Blessing Empowerment of Je Tsongkhapa| Saturday, May 2 | 9 AM-5 PM

Abiding at the Heart: Blessing Empowerment of Je Tsongkhapa Special Sunday Class and Retreat| Sunday, May 3 | 10 AM-5 PM

Happy Regardless Sunday Series: Escape to Reality| Sundays, May 3-31 | 10-11:15 AM

Living from the Inside Out Monday Night Class: Letting Go of Anger and Resentment| Mondays, May 4-18 | 7-8:15 PM

Noontime Meditation | Wednesdays and Fridays May 6-29 | 12-12:30 PM

Thursday Morning Meditation | May 7-28 | 10-11:15 AM

Part 1: Friday Night Lecture: Calm Mind in a Crazy World| Friday, May 15 | 7-8:15 PM

Part 2: Saturday Meditation Retreat: Finding the Solution Within| Saturday, May 30 | 10 AM-3 PM

June

Noontime Meditation | Wednesdays & Fridays, June 3-30 | 12-12:30 PM

An Evening of Benefit and Bliss: KMC Madison Benefit Dinner| Saturday, June 6 | 5-8 PM

New! Sunday Series| Sundays, June 7-28 | 10-11:30 AM *No Class on June 14

Meditation for Kids | Sundays, June 7-28 | 10-11:30 AM *No Class on June 14

A World of Loving Kindness: Empowerment of Buddha Maitreya and Teachings on Loving Kindness | US Festival at KMC New York | June 12-17

Special Away Retreat with KMC Chicago & KMC Madison: Awakening the Heart: A Weekend Retreat on Loving Kindness | Friday, June 26 - Sunday June 28 at Siena Retreat Center in Racine

July

Part 1: Friday Night Lecture Silencing the Inner Critic | Friday, July 10 | 7-8:30 PM (Rescheduled from March 13)

Part 2: Connecting with Our Pure Potential Meditation Retreat | Saturday, July 18 | 10 AM-4 PM (Rescheduled from March 18)

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