Download the 2024 Kadampa Worldwide Brochure

Highlights the international and national Kadampa festivals, as well as the regional celebrations for 2024.

Features the NKT Founder, Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche, as well as the Senior Kadampa Teachers and National Spiritual Directors. Shows the more recent development of NKT temples, centers and Tharpa publications worldwide.

To view or download the brochure

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.

Unbroken Lineage

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.

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.

Visit - NKT-IKBU official website

Founder & Spiritual Guide of the New Kadampa Tradition

Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche

The Founder and Spiritual Guide of Heruka KMC is Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche, a contemporary Buddhist meditation master and world-renowned teacher and author.

Venerable Geshe-la’s entire life has been dedicated to the development of world peace. His heart teaching is that peace in the world comes from peace in the heart, and that modern people can find this inner peace through the teachings of Buddha.

After spending his early years studying Buddha’s teachings in depth in the monasteries of Tibet, he spent the next twenty years or so in meditation retreat in the Himalayas before being invited to the West in 1977 to become the Resident Teacher at Manjushri Center in the English Lake District.

Since that time he has devoted himself tirelessly to giving teachings, composing books and establishing a global infrastructure of modern Buddhist Temples and meditation centers to make the teachings of Buddha available in a modern form to all people, regardless of nationality, age, gender or faith.

Venerable Geshe-la opening the Kadampa Temple for World Peace in New York, 2006
Venerable Geshe-la opening the Kadampa Temple for World Peace in Brazil, 2010

Our Spiritual Directors

NKT-IKBU General Spiritual Director

Gen-la Kelsang Dekyong

Gen-la Kelsang Dekyong, the General Spiritual Director of NKT-IKBU and Principal Resident Teacher at Manjushri KMC, is a modern Buddhist nun dedicated to helping people from all walks of life attain lasting happiness through developing inner peace.

Gen-la Dekyong teaches at our International Festivals and trains the Resident Teachers of our tradition through the ongoing Special Teacher Training Program. She has inspired many thousands of people through her sincere reliance on her Spiritual Guide, her tireless dedication, and her clear and accessible teachings. In all her varied activities as General Spiritual Director, Gen-la Dekyong is dedicating her life to helping Kadam Dharma flourish throughout the world.

Gen-la Dekyong opening the new Kadampa urban temple in Mexico City,  at the 2023 Mexico National NKT Festival

NKT-IKBU Deputy Spiritual Director

Gen-la Kelsang Jampa

Gen-la Jampa is  the Deputy Spiritual Director of the NKT-IKBU and the Resident Teacher of the International Kadampa Retreat Center Grand Canyon in Arizona. Gen-la Jampa is well-loved for his clear and inspiring teachings and his ability to touch people’s hearts through his sincerity and loving-kindness.

Western US National Spiritual Director

Gen Kelsang Rigpa

Gen Kelsang Rigpa is the Western US National Spiritual Director of the NKT-IKBU and the Resident Teacher at Kadampa Meditation Center LA. He travels throughout the Western US, visiting NKT Centers and teaching regional NKT celebrations, such as our very own Southwest Dharma Celebration. He is very appreciated for his clear presentation and heartfelt joyful teachings.

Kadampa Podcasts:  "Living Clarity"

Now, you can listen to extended teachings from Kadampa Teachers from around the world, all in one place. These Kadampa podcasts are now available on popular streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music.

The Kadampa podcast channel, LIVING CLARITY, is dedicated to sharing inspiring and informative talks suitable for both beginners and seasoned practitioners alike. Two new episodes are released every week. Simply search for Living Clarity on your favorite app and hit "play."

The Three Kadampa Study Programs

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso has designed three study programs of Buddhist teachings. These programs are the General, Foundation and Teacher Training Programs. They form the very core of the NKT-IKBU, and are what distinguishes the New Kadampa Tradition from other traditions.

General Program

Foundation Program

Teacher Training Program

Learn more about these study programs by clicking here

The Lineage of Kadampa Buddhism

Kadampa Buddhism is a Mahayana Buddhist school founded by the great Indian Buddhist Master, Atisha (AD 982-1054). His followers are known as “Kadampas.” “Ka” refers to Buddha’s teachings, and “dam” to Atisha’s special Lamrim instructions known as “the stages of the path to enlightenment.” Kadampas are practitioners who regard Buddha’s teachings as personal instructions and put them into practice by following the instructions of Lamrim.

Venerable Atisha

The great Indian Buddhist Master Atisha (982 to 1054 AD) was responsible for reintroducing the entirety of Buddhism into Tibet.

Although Buddhism had been introduced into Tibet some 200 years earlier by Padmasambhava and Shantarakshita, Buddhist practice in the country had largely degenerated during the anti-Buddhist purges of the Tibetan king, Lang Darma (circa 836 AD).

Invited by Jangchub Ö, a ruler of Ngari in western Tibet, Atisha was asked to present a Dharma that everybody could follow and that would show how all the paths of Sutra and Tantra could be practiced together.

Read Advice from Atisha’s Heart

In response, Atisha wrote Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment, the original stages of the path to enlightenment or Lamrim text, which has served as the basis for all subsequent Lamrim instructions. In this way he was largely responsible for the successful revival of all Buddhist teachings of Sutra and Tantra in Tibet.

Je Tsongkhapa

Je Tsongkhapa was a famous 14th century Tibetan Buddhist Master whose appearance in Tibet had been predicted by Buddha Shakyamuni himself. Je Tsongkhapa (whose ordained name was Losang Dragpa) widely promoted and developed the Kadampa Buddhism that Atisha had introduced three centuries earlier.

Je Tsongkhapa patiently taught the Tibetans everything they needed for their spiritual development, from the initial step of entering into a spiritual practice through to the ultimate attainment of Buddhahood.

This was a golden age in Tibet, and thousands of Tibetans were inspired by Je Tsongkhapa’s immaculate example of pure moral discipline, compassionate way of life, and profound, liberating wisdom.

His followers became known as the ‘New Kadampas’; and to this day Kadampa Buddhists worldwide study his teachings and strive to emulate his pure, compassionate example.

All the books studied at Kadampa Buddhist Centers are inspired by and based on the teachings of Je Tsonghapa, which in turn are based on the teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni and Venerable Atisha.

Venerable Geshe-la

Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso 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.

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 number of students, including at many International Festivals.

From 1977 to the present day, he has founded over 1200 centers for Kadampa Buddhism around the world and trained up hundreds of modern Buddhist teachers.

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Heruka Kadampa Meditation Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit. A member of the New Kadampa Tradition - Internationals Kadampa Buddhist Union.