Celebrating the Life of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche, the Yogi

May 31, 2021

This week, as Venerable Geshe-la turns 90, we’ll be celebrating his life by taking a look at some of his remarkable accomplishments that have contributed to the flourishing of Modern Kadampa Buddhism throughout the world.

Venerable Geshe Kelsang’s actual birthday falls auspiciously on June 4th, Turning the Wheel of Dharma Day, and for hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world, he turns the Wheel of Buddha’s teachings for them.

Thank you, Geshe-la from the depths of our hearts, for your great service that has given all of us a path to inner peace and authentic happiness, and finally to full enlightenment.

Venerable Geshe-la, the Yogi

Venerable Geshe-la’s life story is one of a modern day mahasiddha; a Tantric yogi.

From the age of 8, he studied extensively in the great monastic universities of Tibet, eventually earning the title ‘Geshe’ which means ‘spiritual friend’.
After many years of formal study and under the guidance of his principal Spiritual Guide and mentor, His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, Geshe-la went on to spend an astonishing 18 years in solitary meditation retreat in the Himalayas and later, the mountains of northern India.

In 1987, ten years after arriving in England, he embarked on a three-year retreat at the first International Kadampa Retreat Center, Tharpaland.

It is of no surprise that in all of his teachings, Venerable Geshe-la emphasizes the importance of meditation practice and retreat, as instrumental tools for gaining spiritual realizations and finally the attainment of enlightenment. Although he engaged in extensive solitary retreat, in his Modern Buddhist presentation he shows how we can attain profound realizations through simply combining our daily life with daily meditation practice and occasional retreats.

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