Founder of the New Kadampa Tradition
Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche
Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche is a fully accomplished Buddhist meditation master, renowned teacher, and author. ‘Geshe-la,’ as he is affectionately called by his students, is primarily responsible for the worldwide revival of Kadampa Buddhism in the modern era. From the age of eight Geshe-la studied extensively in the monastic universities of Tibet and earned the title ‘Geshe’, which literally means ‘spiritual friend’. Under the guidance of his Spiritual Guide, Venerable Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, he then spent the next eighteen years in meditation retreats in the Himalayas. In 1977 he accepted an invitation to teach in England. Seeing that there was much interest in Kadam dharma, and having received many requests to continue to teach, he agreed to remain in England. He has written many remarkable books that explain both basic Buddhism and the most advanced practices that lead to enlightenment. Geshe-la strongly emphasizes the importance of transforming our daily worldly activities into the spiritual path.
Geshe-la has established three unique study programs and over 1100 centers and groups around the world. He has also trained hundreds of qualified teachers, including a flourishing ordained community, and created the International Temples Project [ITP] whose mandate is to build Buddhist Temples in every major city in the world.
In August of 2009, Geshe-la retired as General Spiritual Director and no longer gives regular teachings. This duty is now fulfilled by the current General Spiritual Director, Gen-la Dekyong and the Deputy Spiritual Director, Gen-la Jampa. Jointly, they lead the International Kadampa Festivals, where thousands of people from all over the world come to listen to the healing and inspiring teachings of Buddhadharma. The Canadian National Spiritual Director, Gen-la Khyenrab teaches at Kadampa Meditation Centre Canada, in Toronto. He a senior disciple of Geshe-la and we are most fortunate to receive his guidance and experience.