KMC Chicago is part of a worldwide network of Kadampa Buddhist centers. Over 1,300 of them in 40 different countries, all presenting authentic Buddhist wisdom for people living busy, modern lives.
Kadampa Buddhism is a time-honored tradition that for centuries has made Buddha’s teachings and meditation practices available to people throughout the world.
Buddhism has a timeless and universal relevance, and can be practiced by anyone in any culture, regardless of race, gender, or age.
Through training in meditation and other Buddhist practices you can improve the quality of your life by developing inner peace, compassion, and wisdom.
Kadampa Buddhism is a Mahayana Buddhist school founded by the great Indian Buddhist Master Atisha (AD 982-1054). In the word ‘Kadampa’, ‘ka’ refers to Buddha’s teachings, and ‘dam’ to Atisha’s special Lamrim instructions. Kadampas, then, are practitioners who regard Buddha’s teachings as personal instructions and put them into practice by following the instructions of Lamrim.
By integrating their understanding of all Buddha’s teachings into their practice of Lamrim, and by integrating their experience of Lamrim into their everyday lives, Kadampas use Buddha’s teachings as practical methods for transforming daily activities into the path to enlightenment.
The great Kadampa Teachers
After Atisha, the Kadampa lineage was passed down through a succession of great Kadampa Teachers including Dromtönpa, Geshe Potowa, Geshe Sharawa, and Geshe Chekhawa. These precious Teachers were not only great scholars but also spiritual practitioners of immense purity and sincerity. They placed particular emphasis on the practice of Training the Mind (Lojong) by which all our daily life experiences, and especially all our problems, suffering, and difficulties, can be transformed into the spiritual path.
The New Kadampas
The Kadampa lineage passed from generation to generation until the fourteenth century when it reached the great Buddhist Master Je Tsongkhapa (1357-1419). Je Tsongkhapa clarified all the teachings of Kadam Dharma and made them very accessible to the people of that time. In particular, he showed how to combine Lamrim and Lojong with Mahamudra Tantra in a unified daily practice. Just as the union of study and practice was a hallmark of the early Kadampas, so the union of Sutra and Tantra was to become a hallmark of the New Kadampas, as the followers of Je Tsongkhapa became known.
Modern Kadampa Buddhism
After Je Tsongkhapa, the New Kadampa lineage flourished for hundreds of years, down to the present day. In recent years, it has been promoted widely throughout the world by the contemporary Buddhist Master, Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. By founding the New Kadampa Tradition - International Kadampa Buddhist Union, Geshe Kelsang has created a truly global infrastructure to preserve and promote Kadampa Buddhism for many generations to come.
2020 Kadampa Buddhism Worldwide brochure
The New Kadampa Tradition
To provide a vehicle for promoting Kadampa Buddhism throughout the world, in 1991 Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso founded the New Kadampa Tradition, the International Kadampa Buddhist Union (NKT–IKBU).
It is an international association of study and meditation centers that follow the pure tradition of Mahayana Buddhism derived from the Buddhist meditators and scholars Atisha and Je Tsongkhapa and introduced into the West by the Buddhist Teacher Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.
The purpose of the NKT–IKBU is to increase the Buddhist Faith throughout the world.
The New Kadampa Tradition is an entirely independent Buddhist tradition and the NKT–IKBU has no political affiliations.
The NKT–IKBU is an international nonprofit organization registered in England as a charitable company.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche is a fully accomplished meditation master and internationally renowned teacher of Buddhism. Geshe-la, as he is affectionately called by his students, is primarily responsible for the worldwide revival of Kadampa Buddhism in our time.
Study and retreat
From the age of eight Geshe-la studied extensively in the great monastic universities of Tibet and earned the title ‘Geshe’, which literally means ‘spiritual friend’. Under the guidance of his Spiritual Guide, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, he then spent the next eighteen years in meditation retreats in the Himalayas. In 1977 he accepted an invitation to teach at Manjushri Kadampa Meditation Centre in England, where he lived and taught for many years, giving teachings and guidance to an ever-growing group of disciples.
Teaching in the West
Geshe-la has given many teachings and empowerments at the International Kadampa Festivals, which are attended by thousands of people from all over the world. He has published a series of remarkable books on Buddhism and meditation, from basic introductory books to advanced philosophical texts and meditation manuals. Geshe-la has established three unique study programs and 1,300 centers and groups around the world, trained hundreds of qualified Teachers and a flourishing ordained community, and created a project to build Buddhist Temples in every major city in the world.
Teaching from example
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 — and he demonstrates these qualities perfectly in his own life. This remarkable Teacher inspires so many people from so many different countries because he teaches from example. He is a humble Buddhist monk dedicated to helping people throughout the world find true happiness in their hearts.
International Spiritual Directors
General Spiritual Director,
Gen-la Kelsang Dekyong
Gen-la Kelsang Dekyong is the General Spiritual Director of the NKT-IKBU. She is also the Resident Teacher at Manjushri Kadampa Meditation Center in England, the Mother Center of Kadampa Buddhism.
Gen-la Dekyong has studied and practiced Kadampa Buddhism for many 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.
Deputy Spiritual Director,
Gen-la Kelsang Jampa
Gen-la Kelsang Jampa is the Deputy Spiritual Director of the New Kadampa Tradition – International Kadampa Buddhist Union (NKT-IKBU) and Resident Teacher of International Kadampa Retreat Center Grand Canyon. He is an American Buddhist monk dedicated to helping people solve their daily problems by developing the capacity of their mind through the practice of meditation and modern Buddhism.
Gen-la Jampa has been a student of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso for many years. Under Geshe-la’s guidance, he has taught at many centers and events around the globe. Gen-la is well-loved for his clear and inspiring teachings, and his ability to touch people’s hearts through his sincerity and loving-kindness.
Tharpa Publications is NKT-IKBU’s publishing company and the exclusive publisher of books by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Besides books by Geshe Kelsang, Tharpa also produces a wide range of Buddhist audio recordings, prayer books, and art.
Tharpa also has production, distribution, and sales offices in many other countries, including the UK, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Mexico, Hong Kong, South Africa, Spain, and Switzerland. Tharpa books are available in many languages.
All the profits received by Tharpa are donated to the International Temples Fund, and these proceeds constitute a major part of the funds used to build Kadampa Temples around the world.
So every time you make a purchase from the Tharpa website or from a Kadampa Center bookstore, you are contributing to the development of Kadampa Temples worldwide.