Our Founder, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso—affectionately known as Geshe-la—has devoted his entire life to the study, practice, and flourishing of Kadampa Buddhist teachings throughout the world. After coming to the West in 1977, he worked tirelessly to establish a modern presentation of the Kadampa lineage of teachings, with the blessings and encouragement of his own precious spiritual guide, Trijang Dorjechange Rinpoche. Geshe-la’s presentation, retaining the pure meanings and insights of Buddha’s original teachings, is accessible and suitable for modern-day practitioners. Through his great dedication and skill, everyone—regardless of race, nationality, culture, age, or gender—has the opportunity to practice scientifically proven methods for solving the problems of daily life that ultimately lead to true and lasting happiness.

"I understand through my own experience that Kadam Dharma is the supreme protection from suffering, the real method to solve human problems. Our intention in teaching Dharma is not just to spread Buddhism; we are trying to help people of this world by giving them special methods to solve their daily problems and to achieve the permanent happiness of liberation."

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 18 years in solitary meditation retreats in the Himalayan region and northern India. In 1977, encouraged by his own Spiritual Guide, Geshe-la accepted an invitation to come to Manjushri Centre in England to teach Buddhism to the people in the West.

"I can truly say that meeting Trijang Dorjechang made my life meaningful. Through him I came to understand the real meaning of Dharma. My entire ability to teach and all the help I give comes from this Lama."

In 1991, Geshe-la founded the New Kadampa Tradition ~ International Kadampa Buddhist Union (NKT~IKBU), which now has around 1400 Kadampa centers and branches in cities as far afield as Perth, Australia, Queretaro, Mexico, and Durban, South Africa. It also has a number of retreat centers around the world, including in Spain, Germany, Switzerland, and USA.

"For Buddhadharma to flourish throughout the world and the wishes of all living beings to be fulfilled depends totally on the development of qualified Dharma centers. Only Dharma centers provide Dharma teachings, study programs, Dharma books, and other necessary conditions. Without qualified Dharma centers there is no possibility of pure Buddhadharma developing."

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso retired from formal teaching in 2009. He continues to work very hard writing new books, updating previous titles, and helping to establish new Buddhist centers and temples throughout the world.

He has written 24 books, founded over a thousand meditation centers, established modern Kadampa study programs adaptable to different countries, trained thousands of qualified teachers, established a flourishing ordained community, and created the Temples for World Peace project to build a Kadampa Buddhist temple in every major city in the world.

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.

Not only does he demonstrate these qualities perfectly in his own life, but 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.

"My books are commentaries to Lama Tsongkhapa’s teachings and his teachings are commentaries to Buddha's teachings. So these books are Buddha’s teachings. People may say that I am the author of Joyful Path of Good Fortune but in reality it is Je Tsongkhapa’s teaching. Dharmapala Dorje Shugden gave encouragement and energy to produce such a book, and helped to gather the necessary conditions and dispel obstacles, but the teachings themselves came from Je Tsongkhapa’s wisdom."

Geshe-la has written 24 authoritative books and composed over 50 sadhanas (prayer booklets), which have been translated into many different languages.

Find the class that's right for you!

Weekly Classes

We offer a wide variety of weekly classes, most of which are drop-in and suitable for all levels of practitioner. Our Resident Teacher Kadam Lucy James teaches on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. These wonderful classes include guided meditation and practical teaching. We also have a Tuesday evening class with LJ Aaen and a Sunday afternoon class with Dylan Jordan, which are excellent classes for all levels.

Weekend Events

Our weekend program includes beginners’ workshops—which are ideal for making some headway into meditation—, special one-time courses, and mini-retreats covering particular Buddhist themes. These are usually open to all levels of practitioner, but check each event’s page for details. These practical courses and workshops allow us to delve deeper into different areas of Buddha’s teachings and meditations.

Meditation Retreats

We offer meditation retreats that range from half day retreats on Saturdays, to full weekends, and also away retreats where we stay at retreat centers in the mountains. These relaxing and often profound retreats help us create the space to more deeply contemplate and meditate on specific teachings and gain deep experience.

Simply Meditate

Looking for a relaxing, short and peaceful guided meditation? Our simple 30-minute meditations are an enjoyable way to ease into meditation. These are currently offered on Tuesdays afternoons and Wednesday mornings and are free or by donation. We also have on-demand 30 minute meditations with Kadam Lucy James you can access anytime you wish!

Study Programs

For those wishing to go deeper by studying and practicing more systematically, KMC CO offers the Thursday In-Depth Series, Foundation Program, and Teacher Training Program. These require enrollment and regular attendance.

Meditation Prayers

We also offer regular sessions of meditation prayers throughout the week, each comprising prayers in English and silent time for meditation. All the essential practices of Kadampa Buddhism are included in a series of sadhana booklets prepared by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso and published by Tharpa Publications.

Kids Meditation Class

Currently on hold, when we start up in-person classes again, we will continue to offer a Kids Meditation Class (5 – 12 years old)! Kids learn how to meditate and are introduced to foundational Buddhist concepts, through teachings and fun crafts and stories, like: how to connect to a sense of inner peace, how to identify with their astounding potential, how to develop compassion and gratitude for others, and how to let go of agitating states of mind such as anger.

All Over Colorado

When we can meet again in person, we hope to continue offering drop-in classes at branch locations in Cap Hill, Lakewood, Boulder, Colorado Springs, and Evergreen; as well as public talks at places such as the Wash Park Boathouse and Denver Art Museum. 

Kadampa Festivals

Every year the New Kadampa Tradition ~ International Kadampa Buddhist Union (NKT~IKBU) organizes regional and worldwide Kadampa festivals—gatherings on Buddhism and meditation that explain how to apply Buddha’s teachings (Dharma) to modern life. These include International FestivalsNational Festivals, and regional Dharma Celebrations

© 2021 KMC Colorado is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
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