Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
The US Festival is inspired by the fully accomplished meditation master and internationally renowned teacher of Buddhism, Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Geshe-la, as he is affectionately called by his students, is the Founder of the New Kadampa Tradition – International Kadampa Buddhist Union.
From the age of eight Geshe-la studied extensively in the great monastic universities of Tibet and earned the title ‘Geshe’, which literally means ‘spiritual friend’. Under the guidance of his Spiritual Guide, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, he then spent the next eighteen years in meditation retreats in the Himalayas.
In 1977 he accepted an invitation to teach at Manjushri Kadampa Meditation Centre in England, where he has lived and taught ever since, giving teachings and guidance to an ever-growing group of disciples.
He has published a series of remarkable books on Buddhism and meditation, from basic introductory books to advanced philosophical texts and meditation manuals.
Geshe-la has established three unique study programs and 1200 centers and groups around the world, trained hundreds of qualified Teachers and a flourishing ordained community, and created a project to build Buddhist Temples 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 — and he demonstrates these qualities perfectly in his own life.
This remarkable Teacher inspires so many people from so many different countries because he teaches from example. He is a humble Buddhist monk dedicated to helping people throughout the world find true happiness in their hearts.