Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche
Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, founder of NKT-IKBU, is a truly remarkable person. 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 almost twenty years in retreat, in 1977 Geshe Kelsang graciously accepted an invitation from Manjushri Centre to travel to the West and become the Resident Teacher at what was then a fledgling Buddhist centre that had recently acquired Conishead Priory as its base.
Since that time Manjushri Centre has been Geshe Kelsang’s spiritual home, where he has given thousands of teachings. Many of these teachings have been published in 22 highly acclaimed books on Buddhism and meditation, including his latest title, The Mirror of Dharma with Additions.
Geshe Kelsang is a great believer in the universal applicability of Buddha’s teachings and presents them in such a way that everyone, regardless of nationality, age or gender, can put them into practice in their daily lives and begin to experience true inner peace.
He understands the problems faced by modern people and shows how we can solve them through simple scientific methods taught by Buddha. But though his teachings are extraordinarily clear and easy to understand they contain the entire profound lineage of ancient wisdom he holds. Geshe-la’s oft-repeated phrase, ‘simple, but very profound’ perfectly encapsulates his uncommon presentation of modern Buddhism.
While at Manjushri Centre Geshe Kelsang designed and oversaw the construction of the first Kadampa Temple for World Peace, and inaugurated the International Temples Project with the intention to establish Buddhist institutions such as Temples throughout the world.
Over the years, Geshe Kelsang has founded more than a thousand meditation centres and groups in over forty countries, and has established three study programmes – the General Programme, the Foundation Programme, and the Teacher Training Programme – to be taught continuously at these centres.
He has trained hundreds of teachers and ordained scores of monks and nuns, and transmitted a complete lineage not only of teachings and insights but also of prayers, ritual practices, sacred art and music, all tailored to the needs of the modern world.
Though he has now formally retired as Spiritual Director, even at the age of eighty eight he continues to work tirelessly to spread the precious teachings of Kadampa Buddhism throughout the world with the intention that each and every living being will eventually experience the supreme permanent mental peace of enlightenment.
Gen-la Kelsang Dekyong
Gen-la Kelsang Dekyong, the General Spiritual Director of NKT-IKBU and 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 mental peace.
She has been a student of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso for thirty years, during which time she has inspired thousands of people around the world through her sincere reliance on her Spiritual Guide, taking his teachings to heart and putting them into practice in every aspect of her life.
She is a very powerful Teacher able to make Buddha’s teachings easily accessible and to show through her example how to integrate these teachings into our daily life.
Gen-la has dedicated her life to helping spread Kadampa Buddhism throughout the world by developing meditation centres and Temples in as many countries as possible, and she provides enthusiastic support and encouragement to everyone engaged in these projects.
But busy as she is, she never loses her connection with the people she is dedicated to helping and always has a kind word and wise counsel for whoever she meets.
Gen Kelsang Dema
Gen Kelsang Dema, resident teacher of Chenrezig Kadampa Buddhist Centre, has been a disciple of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso for 16 years.
She teaches in a very practical, clear and down-to-earth manner enabling people to easily apply newly gained knowledge in their daily life. Her good sense of humour and a relaxed manner come through in her illuminating teaching style.