Geshe Kelsang Gyatso is the founder of the New Kadampa Tradition, an international union of Kadampa Buddhist Centers with over 1200 Centers and branches worldwide.
Geshe Kelsang is primarily responsible for the worldwide revival of Kadampa Buddhism in our time.
Born in Tibet in 1931 and ordained a Buddhist monk at the age of eight, Geshe Kelsang then studied extensively in the great monastic universities of Tibet and earned the title “Geshe”, which literally means “spiritual friend”, under the guidance of Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, his Spiritual Guide. After leaving Tibet in 1959, he spent the next eighteen years in meditation retreats in the Himalayan region and northern India.
In 1977, he accepted an invitation from Manjushri Buddhist Centre in Ulverston, England, to take up residence as their Spiritual Teacher, and in 1982 he became a naturalized British citizen. Since arriving in the UK, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso has worked tirelessly to establish Buddhadharma in the West and to fulfill the wishes of those who wish to practice Buddhism.
During these years he has given extensive teachings on major Mahayana Buddhist scriptures. These teachings, which are exceptionally clear and easy to understand, have been published as a number of highly acclaimed books that bridge perfectly the ancient wisdom of Buddhism and contemporary life.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso retired from formal teaching in 2009. He continues to work tirelessly writing new books and updating previous titles and helping to establish new Dharma centers throughout the world.
He has established three unique study programs and over 1100 Centers and branches around the world, trained qualified teachers and a flourishing ordained community, and created a project to build Buddhist temples in every major city in the world.
Geshe Kelsang first visited Chakrasambara Center in 1997 when the center was still located in Brooklyn and later in November 2001, he formally opened the center at its previous Chelsea location in Manhattan. In 2006 he taught at the International Kadampa Festival upstate New York (also opening the temple there), the fourth festival he has taught at in the United States.
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. He not only demonstrates these qualities perfectly in his own life, he inspires so many people from so many different countries because he teaches by example. He is a humble Buddhist monk dedicated to helping people throughout the world find true happiness.