Geshe Kelsang Gyatso is the founder of the New Kadampa Tradition, an international union of Kadampa Buddhist Centers with over 1100 Centers and branches worldwide. Geshe Kelsang is primarily responsible for the worldwide revival of Kadampa Buddhism in our time.
Born in a remote village high on the Tibetan plateau in 1931 and ordained as a Buddhist monk at the age of eight and spent the next twenty years studying the teachings of Buddha in the great monastic universities of Tibet and earned the title “Geshe”, which literally means “spiritual friend”, under the guidance of Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, his Spiritual Guide..
After concluding his studies, he left Tibet in 1959 and spent the next eighteen years engaging in deep meditation 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, with many coming to regard him as a modern day Mahasiddha.
After almost twenty years in retreat, in 1977 at the behest of Kyabje Trijang Dorjechang, Geshe Kelsang graciously accepted an invitation from Manjushri Kadampa Meditation 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 home.
Since arriving in the UK, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso has worked tirelessly to establish Buddhadharma in the West and to fulfill the wishes of those who wish to practice Buddhism.
During these years he has given extensive teachings on major Mahayana Buddhist scriptures. These teachings, which are exceptionally clear and easy to understand, have been published as a number of highly acclaimed books that bridge perfectly the ancient wisdom of Buddhism and contemporary life.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso currently divides his time between Europe and North America, where he continues to teach and guide thousands of disciples.
He has established three unique study programs and over 1100 Centers and branches around the world, trained qualified teachers and a flourishing ordained community, and created a project to build Buddhist temples in every major city in the world.
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 yet profound methods taught by Buddha. Although his teachings are extraordinarily clear and easy to understand they contain the entire lineage of ancient wisdom he holds. Geshe-la’s oft-repeated phrase, ‘simple, but very profound’ perfectly encapsulates his uncommon presentation of modern Buddhism.
In his teachings, Geshe Kelsang emphasizes the importance of meditation and how to apply it in daily life, the need to be truly happy, and how to cultivate a good heart to help others. He not only demonstrates these qualities perfectly in his own life, he inspires so many people from so many different countries because he teaches by example. He is a humble Buddhist monk dedicated to helping people throughout the world find true happiness.