Venerable Geshe Kelsang’s wish is that Buddhism may be practiced by anyone, in any culture, in any country.
To realize this wish he has trained hundreds of qualified Western teachers who are making Buddha’s teachings available to people in their own language, according to their own culture.
This program entails the study of twelve subjects based on Geshe Kelsang’s books, various meditation retreats, and a commitment to follow the Buddhist way of life sincerely and purely.
These teachers hold the lineage blessings of Kadampa Buddhism and are able to teach all of Geshe Kelsang’s books. They are also available to give personal meditation advice.
To have such experienced and supportive teachers who can give encouragement and advice in our own language is a completely new development in Western countries.
It is one of Geshe Kelsang’s most precious gifts.
The importance of Teacher training
In a talk on the benefits of the Kadampa Study Programs, Geshe Kelsang says:
‘Buddhadharma is beneficial to others only if there are qualified Teachers. Without Teachers, Dharma texts alone are of little benefit. To become a qualified Dharma Teacher requires special preparation and training.
It is not easy to become a Dharma Teacher because special qualities are needed: wisdom, correct view, faith, conviction, and pure conduct as an example to others. Also a Teacher needs an inexhaustible reservoir of Dharma knowledge and experience to teach from, otherwise he or she will dry up after one or two years.
If a Teacher lacks qualities such as wisdom, experience, faith, and pure motivation, it will be difficult for others to develop faith in them or their teachings, and there will be little benefit. Also, without proper training and preparation there is a danger of Teachers mixing worldly, samsaric activities with their teaching activities. Therefore we definitely need to train well if we wish to be a genuine benefit to others.’