The New Kadampa Tradition
The New Kadampa Tradition – International Kadampa Buddhist Union (NKT-IKBU) is an international association of Mahayana Buddhist study and meditation centers founded by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso in 1991 to offer the practical wisdom of Kadampa Buddhism to the people of our modern world.
Through Geshe Kelsang’s tireless activities and kindness, there are now over 1100 centers and groups offering Buddha’s wisdom advice to people in 40 countries across the world.
The NKT-IKBU follows the pure tradition of Mahayana Buddhism handed down in an unbroken lineage from Buddha Shakyamuni through the ancient Kadampa teachers Atisha and Je Tsongkhapa and introduced into the West by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche.
The purpose of the NKT-IKBU is to increase the Buddhist faith throughout the world. It is an entirely independent Buddhist tradition that has no political affiliations.
The NKT-IKBU is an international non-profit organization registered in England as a charitable company.
Ven. Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
Modern Kadampa Buddhism is a special, practical presentation of Buddha’s teachings that is particularly suited to the modern day. It was introduced into contemporary society by the world-renowned meditation master and scholar Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche.
Modern Kadampa Buddhism preserves the meaning and intention of Buddha’s original teachings while presenting them in a clear and systematic way that anyone of any nationality, age or gender can easily understand and put into practice.
In the word 'Kadampa', ‘Ka’ refers to Buddha’s teachings and ‘dam’ refers to Atisha’s instructions on Lamrim (the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, also known as Kadam Lamrim). ‘Kadam’ therefore refers to the union of Buddha’s teachings and Atisha’s instructions, and sincere practitioners of Kadam Lamrim are called ‘Kadampas’.
There are two Kadampa traditions, the ancient and the new. Practitioners of the ancient Kadampa tradition appeared to emphasize the practice of Kadam Lamrim of Sutra more than the practice of Tantra. Later, Je Tsongkhapa and his disciples emphasized the practice of Kadam Lamrim of both Sutra and Tantra equally. This new tradition founded by Je Tsongkhapa is called the new Kadampa tradition.
After Je Tsongkhapa, the New Kadampa lineage flourished for hundreds of years, reaching the present day through immensely pure lineage Gurus such as Je Phabongkhapa and Vajradhara Trijang Rinpoche.
In recent years, this precious lineage has been preserved and promoted throughout the world by the contemporary Buddhist Master, Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche, the present day lineage holder.
The dawn of modern Kadampa Buddhism
In 1981 Venerable Geshe-la's Spiritual Guide, Vajradhara Trijang Rinpoche, encouraged him to develop a new presentation of Kadampa Buddhism for the modern world that everyone throughout the world could easily understand and practice. Thus, Modern Kadampa Buddhism was born.
Since that time Venerable Geshe-la has worked tirelessly to develop and promote the precious gift of Modern Kadampa Buddhism. This new presentation faithfully preserves the original meanings of the lineage of Kadampa Buddhism all the way back to Buddha himself while presenting them in a contemporary and easily accessible way.
Above all it is an international presentation open to everyone, not anchored in any specific country or culture.
Gen-la Kelsang Dekyong
General Spiritual Director | NKT- IKBU
Gen-la Dekyong is the General Spiritual Director of NKT-IKBU and the Resident Teacher of Manjushri KMC, the Mother Center of the NKT. She teaches extensively at major events around the world.
Gen-la has studied and practiced Kadampa Buddhism for over 40 years under the guidance of her Spiritual Guide Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.
As one of Venerable Geshe Kelsang’s close disciples, Gen-la Dekyong’s teachings, humor, and kindness exemplify the essence of the Buddhist way of life. She is a perfect example of a Kadampa Teacher.
Each year, Gen-la Dekyong teaches at the International Festivals, National Festivals, and Dharma Celebrations throughout the world.
Gen-la Kelsang Jampa
Deputy Spiritual Director | NKT- IKBU
Gen-la Jampa is the Deputy Spiritual Director of NKT-IKBU and Resident Teacher at IKRC Grand Canyon.
Having taught internationally for many years he is greatly admired for his warm personality and clear, inspiring teachings.
Gen Kelsang Rigpa
Western US National Spritual Director
Gen Kelsang Rigpa is the Western US National Spiritual Director of the NKT-IKBU and the Resident Teacher at Kadampa Meditation Center LA.
Through his clear presentation and heartfelt teachings, he is able to help students easily integrate Buddha’s timeless teachings into our modern world, in a way that makes everyday life joyful and meaningful.