Our Founder

Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

 
Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’s life is an inspiring story, and his accomplishments to benefit this world are remarkable.

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 engaged in deep retreat – at first near the Nepali border, and later in the mountains of northern India, where he become renown as a great meditator.

In 1977, after almost twenty years in retreat, at the request of his Spiritual Guide, Kyabje Trijang Dorjechang, Geshe Kelsang accepted an invitation from Manjushri Buddhist Centre to travel to England and become the Resident Teacher at Conishead Priory.

Since then, Manjushri Centre (now Manjsuhri Kadampa Buddhist Center, or Manjushri KMC) has been Geshe Kelsang’s spiritual home, where he has given thousands of teachings to his international students. Many of these teachings have been published by Tharpa Publications in 22 highly acclaimed books on Buddhism and meditation, including his latest title, Modern Buddhism.

Geshe Kelsang knows the problems faced by modern people very well, and explains with uncommon clarity how these can be solved through the timeless scientific methods taught by Buddha. Geshe-la’s oft-repeated phrase, ‘simple, but very profound’ perfectly encapsulates his special presentation of modern Buddhism.

So that Kadam Dharma can flourish in the hearts of his students and throughout the world, founded the International Kadampa Buddhist Union (IKBU) in 1991. The main activities of the IKBU are provided through three unique study programs – General Program, Foundation Program, and Teacher Training Program – that reveal the entire Buddhist path of compassion and wisdom, leading to enlightenment

Over 30 years Geshe Kelsang has transmitted a complete lineage not only of pure teachings and insights, but also of prayers, ritual practices, sacred art and music, all appropriate to the needs of the people modern world and delivered in the language specific to each country. He has also established a vibrant ordained community and trained hundreds of qualified lay and ordained Kadampa teachers.

Geshe Kelsang’s kindness also appears outwardly as more than 1100 meditation centers and groups in over 40 countries, including three extraordinary Kadampa Buddhist World Peace Temples located at Manjushri KMC, at KMC New York, and KMC Brasil, and a number of City Temples under construction.

Additionally he has established Kadampa Hotels and World Peace Cafes as contemporary avenues for people to make comfortable, convenient contact with Kadampa teachings, and he has founded the International Temples Project with the intention to establish Temples in various forms throughout the world.

Although Geshe Kelsang has now formally retired as Spiritual Director, even at the age of 80 he continues to work tirelessly to spread the precious teachings of Kadampa Buddhism everywhere.

Upcoming Events

Aug
18
Sat
8:00 am Old Fourth Ward: Meditations in ...
Old Fourth Ward: Meditations in ...
Aug 18 @ 8:00 am – 8:30 am
Sometimes we need to skip a Saturday due to weather or other special circumstances. Please refer to our Facebook page or Events Calendar to confirm all event dates.Join us each Saturday morning this summer for Morning Meditations in the Park! These meditations are perfect for beginners and advanced meditators alike. What a great way to get your weekend off to ...
Aug
19
Sun
10:30 am Sandy Springs Meditation Class
Sandy Springs Meditation Class
Aug 19 @ 10:30 am – 11:45 am
Please join us every Sunday as we look at various aspects of Buddhist psychology, providing practical advice for our busy modern world. We begin each class with a short meditation to relax and prepare our minds, followed by a practical teaching perfect for both beginner and advanced meditators. We then end the session with another brief meditation based on the ...
Aug
21
Tue
7:30 pm Poncey Highlands Meditation Class
Poncey Highlands Meditation Class
Aug 21 @ 7:30 pm – 8:45 pm
Ancient wisdom for modern times! Join us for a special series exploring the practical advice found in the famous Buddhist text, Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, by meditation master Shantideva. These ongoing drop-in classes are designed so that you can join us at any point in the series and not feel left out. Each class contains two meditations ...
Aug
22
Wed
12:00 pm East Atlanta Public Library – Lu...
East Atlanta Public Library – Lu...
Aug 22 @ 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm
Meditation causes peace of mind, the source of true happiness. You can use it throughout your daily life to free your mind from negativity such as anxiety, anger or accumulated stress, and to help you be the person you want to be in every relationship, creating harmony at home and on the job. These meditation classes include a short introduction ...
6:00 pm Florence AL – Introduction to Me...
Florence AL – Introduction to Me...
Aug 22 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
With Kadampa Meditation Teacher Bonita McCay. Learn or refine your meditation skills with this highly qualified meditation guide! All are welcome. Just drop in…no advance registration needed. Please call (256) 412–5734 if you need any additional information. Class Fees: ° General & Foundation Program Members: Free ° Benefactors: Free ° Non-Members: $7 per class Please see our Membership page at ...
Aug
25
Sat
8:00 am Old Fourth Ward: Meditations in ...
Old Fourth Ward: Meditations in ...
Aug 25 @ 8:00 am – 8:30 am
Sometimes we need to skip a Saturday due to weather or other special circumstances. Please refer to our Facebook page or Events Calendar to confirm all event dates.Join us each Saturday morning this summer for Morning Meditations in the Park! These meditations are perfect for beginners and advanced meditators alike. What a great way to get your weekend off to ...
Aug
26
Sun
10:30 am Sandy Springs Meditation Class
Sandy Springs Meditation Class
Aug 26 @ 10:30 am – 11:45 am
Please join us every Sunday as we look at various aspects of Buddhist psychology, providing practical advice for our busy modern world. We begin each class with a short meditation to relax and prepare our minds, followed by a practical teaching perfect for both beginner and advanced meditators. We then end the session with another brief meditation based on the ...
Aug
28
Tue
7:30 pm Poncey Highlands Meditation Class
Poncey Highlands Meditation Class
Aug 28 @ 7:30 pm – 8:45 pm
Ancient wisdom for modern times! Join us for a special series exploring the practical advice found in the famous Buddhist text, Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, by meditation master Shantideva. These ongoing drop-in classes are designed so that you can join us at any point in the series and not feel left out. Each class contains two meditations ...
Aug
29
Wed
12:00 pm East Atlanta Public Library – Lu...
East Atlanta Public Library – Lu...
Aug 29 @ 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm
Meditation causes peace of mind, the source of true happiness. You can use it throughout your daily life to free your mind from negativity such as anxiety, anger or accumulated stress, and to help you be the person you want to be in every relationship, creating harmony at home and on the job. These meditation classes include a short introduction ...
6:00 pm Florence AL – Introduction to Me...
Florence AL – Introduction to Me...
Aug 29 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
With Kadampa Meditation Teacher Bonita McCay. Learn or refine your meditation skills with this highly qualified meditation guide! All are welcome. Just drop in…no advance registration needed. Please call (256) 412–5734 if you need any additional information. Class Fees: ° General & Foundation Program Members: Free ° Benefactors: Free ° Non-Members: $7 per class Please see our Membership page at ...