Our Founder, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

Geshe Kelsang GyatsoVenerable 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 concluding his studies and being awarded the title “Geshe”, which means “virtuous spiritual friend”, he entered a life of meditation, engaging in deep retreat at first near the Nepali border and later in the mountains of northern India, where he soon developed a reputation as a great meditator, with many coming to regard him as a modern day Mahasiddha.

After almost twenty years in retreat, in 1977 at the behest of his own Spiritual Guide, Kyabje Trijang Dorjechang, 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, Modern Buddhism.

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.

Over the years, Geshe Kelsang has founded more than a thousand meditation centers and groups in over forty countries, and has established three study programs – the General Program, the Foundation Program, and the Teacher Training Program – to be taught continuously at these centers.

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-two 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.

Our Spiritual Directors

Gen-la Kelsang Dekyong

International General Spiritual Director

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.

Before her appointment as General Spiritual Director she was the National Spiritual Director of the USA. 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 Kelsang Jampa

Gen-la Kelsang Jampa

Deputy Spiritual Director

Gen-la Kelsang Jampa is the Deputy Spiritual Director of the New Kadampa Tradition – International Kadampa Buddhist Union (NKT-IKBU) and Resident Teacher of Kadampa Meditation Center Texas. 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 internationally. 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.

Kadam Morten Clausen

Kadam Morten Clausen

U.S. East Coast Spiritual Director

Kadam Morten Clausen is the Eastern US National Spiritual Director of the New Kadampa Tradition and Resident Teacher at the Kadampa Meditation Center New York City. For over 30 years he has been a close disciple of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, who gave him the title “Kadam,” indicating that he is a senior lay teacher of the Kadampa Tradition.

Kadam Morten has been teaching in the US for more than 20 years. He is greatly admired as a meditation teacher and is especially known for his clarity, humor and inspirational presentation of Dharma.