Kadampa Buddhism

The New Kadampa Tradition - International Buddhist Union
Founded by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

NKT-IKBU International Fall Festival, France – 5 weeks to go!

NKT-IKBU International Fall Festival, France – 5 weeks to go!

KMC France will, for the first time, host the International Fall Festival. If you have never visited KMC France, or perhaps never been to an International Festival, now is the perfect opportunity.
Receive Inspiring and Life-Changing Teachings

One of the most powerful methods Buddha taught to purify our mind is the meditation and recitation of Vajrasattva. Through this practice, we can swiftly and joyfully cleanse our mind of all impurity and eventually become a pure being, abiding in a pure world with the power to draw others to the bliss of perfect freedom.

Gen-la Kelsang Dekyong, NKT-IKBU General Spiritual Director, has been a disciple of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche for over 30 years. She regularly teaches at major events throughout the world and is known for her good heart, powerful teachings and sincere, inspiring, example. Gen-la Dekyong will grant the blessing empowerment of Buddha Vajrasattva and give teachings on how to purify our mind and our world.

Enjoy a Meaningful, Spiritual Holiday

KMC France is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing, meaningful and spiritual holiday in the company of like-minded friends. This traditional French chateau is surrounded by extensive woodlands, with tranquil walks through the surrounding countryside.

Accommodation is offered both at the Chateau itself, and at nearby hotels. Daily transport is offered for those staying in offsite Festival hotels.

France’s excellent high-speed rail network means that KMC France is only 1.5 – 2 hours from Paris’ main airports.

Get Involved!

All aspects of the Festival are run by volunteers. What better way to know what makes our International Kadampa Festivals unique than by getting involved; a great opportunity to meet with people from all around the world. As well as getting involved during the Festival, there are also opportunities to help both before and after the Festival. Visit volunteer at the Fall Festival for more information.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

http://kadampafestivals.org/fall

Summer Festival 2015: Day 16

Summer Festival 2015: Day 16

In accordance with the wishes of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso the festival concluded with a special presentation of the Life of Buddha on DVD. This play, inspired by Venerable Geshe-la and his teachings, visually captures the essence of Buddha Shakyamuni’s life. Based on the twelve principal deeds of Buddha, it shows in a clear and entertaining way the essential characteristics of a spiritual life. The perfect way to assimilate the many spiritual lessons we have received during this festival.

See you all at Fall Festival in France! http://kadampafestivals.org/fall

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Summer Festival 2015: Day 15

Summer Festival 2015: Day 15

Final Retreat Day on Vajrayogini

This is the final full day of the Summer Festival 2015. Tomorrow Saturday the Festival will conclude with the annual screening of The Life of Buddha. The Festival is winding down, slowly dissolving back into the emptiness from which it arose a mere two weeks ago.The taxis are lining up to take people to the station or to the airport. There are less tents in the woods, and the lines at the cafes and the food vans are smaller. It’s a dream disappearing but what a blissful and meaningful dream it’s been!

For the many still remaining there is more space in the temple and the marquees, This last day of retreat feels very relaxed and enjoyable. Gen Ananda guides the actual self-generation meditations on divine pride, clear appearance, and the union of non-dual appearance and emptiness. In other words, we are training in dissolving our ordinary self into emptiness and then imputing ourselves upon an imagined pure body and mind. We are imagining ourselves as Buddha Vajrayogini, a manifestation of all Buddha’s wisdom and compassion. This act of pure imagination, based on wisdom, enables us to develop the qualities of an enlightened being swiftly.

As Gen Ananda points out, quoting Venerable Geshe-la’s book Modern Buddhism:

We have changed our basis of imputation countless times … (but) we have never changed our basis of imputatin from contaminated aggregates to uncontaminated aggregates. Only through relying on Buddha’s Tantric teachings can we accomplish this.

To be meditating on Vajrayogini’s mandala inside our Kadampa temple that itself is based on the design of Buddha Heruka’s celestial mansion feels extraordinarily blessed.

It is a day of glorious sunshine. People are deeply enjoying their final days here. The departures are not sad, but joyful. Our time together has been so meaningful. And our practice keeps us all unified as we head off to support our own Dharma centers back home. We know we will meet up at another Festival or Dharma Celebration soon … and especially at next year’s Summer Festival to receive the transmission on The Oral Instructions of Mahamudra. Till then, bon voyage and happy practicing!

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Summer Festival 2015: Day 14

Summer Festival 2015: Day 14

Second Retreat Day on Vajrayogini

The focus for today’s sessions are the body mandala of Vajrayogini. Gen Ananda presents this profound practice a little bit at a time, building up our understanding with each session. This subtle and extensive practice can seem complicated, but Gen Ananda encourages us all to meditate on it in a simple manner. In particular he emphasizes that we meditate lightly and gently. Quoting Venerable Geshe-la, he says:

“Simply have faith the body mandala is there and naturally allow it to arise.”
And from Gen-la Dekyong:

“It’s our responsibility to make the meditations work and to learn to enjoy them.”

A laid-back energy permeates the Festival. In between sessions, people are enjoying the remainder of their time with their spiritual friends. It’s clear the Festival is drawing to a close. They walk to the beach, through the sun-illuminated leaves on the woodland path, absorbed in fully enjoying this wonderful place … and the inner mandala in their minds. Everyone is talking about how amazing and life-changing the experience of being here has been. And how much they now have to work with. With only one more full day of Festival left, people are also having to plan their departures. Some are heading home; others will be heading to the post-festival retreats that many centers are holding throughout the world. Kadampas are amazing! There is so much sincere practice. People so appreciate what Venerable Geshe-la has given us, and so wish to repay that kindness by gaining actual realizations.
Tomorrow we meditate on the actual self-generation practice. The riches keep coming, right to the end of the Festival. One thing is clear: it has been a wonderful time.

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Summer Festival 2015: Day 13

Summer Festival 2015: Day 13

First Day of Retreat on Vajrayogini Quick Path to Great Bliss

After the power of the empowerments and the impact of the commentary, it’s time to shift gears. It’s time to create the space to absorb into the rich beauty of Vajrayogini’s sadhana and gain actual experience, actually taste the liberating quality of the practice. Gen Ananda, in his quiet, relaxing way, sets up structure of the retreat. Rather than trying to gain experience of every facet of this expansive practice, we will focus on three essential practices over these three days. On this first day the emphasis will be on the three bringings, especially the first bringing, bringing death into the path to the truth body. Tomorrow we will focus on the body mandala, and on the third day, the actual self-generation.

People apply themselves with great dedication. Every session is packed and during the periods of deep meditation an atmosphere of focus pervades the temple. It is an exceptional opportunity to gain familiarity in the extensive practice of Vajrayogini, and to be doing it among such a huge ‘assembly of good fortune’ as Gen-la Dekyong called us is wonderful indeed.

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Summer Festival 2015: Day 12

Summer Festival 2015: Day 12

It was another gorgeous start to a day at Manjushri KMC: thousands of practitioners enjoying Quick Path to Great Bliss prayers together in the World Peace Temple. It is so powerful to be engaging in this practice together with so many other Kadampas.

Throughout the day we received more precious commentary from Gen-la Dekyong on the 11 Yogas of Vajrayogini. Gen-la explained so clearly how we engage in the Quick Path to Great Bliss sadhana composed by our lineage Guru Je Pabongkhapa, the root Guru of all the greatest Gelugpa spiritual masters of the Twentieth Century. Gen-la who so clearly delights in this practice, shares her enthusiasm and experience so we are all inspired and encouraged to do the practice wholeheartedly.

In the afternoon Gen-la also gave commentary to the body mandala practice of Buddha Heruka from the sadhana The Yoga of Buddha Heruka.

Gen-la said what a wonderful example of Kadampa Buddhism in practice festival goers show because despite some challenging conditions like the inclement weather, still, we are able to maintain happy minds and cherish each other.

She ended by reminding us of the beautiful message from our Root Guru and the Founder of Modern Kadampa Buddhism Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche in which he encouraged us to encourage ourselves to do these practices. He said “In this way you can accomplish the ultimate goal of human life.”

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Summer Festival 2015: Day 11

Summer Festival 2015: Day 11

It was an extraordinary sight in the Temple early this morning, with thousands of people engaging in Quick Path to Great Bliss prayers. The melodious sound of thousands of voices singing together with faith pervaded the Priory and grounds!

From then on the day kept getting better, with Gen-la Dekyong illuminating the instructions of Vajrayogini Tantra to everyone: some of us new to these teachings and others with more experience – everyone wishing to deepen their understanding and experience of this most profound practice. Gen-la explained how to integrate Vajrayogini practice easily into our daily activities and make it a part of our life. She said that with mindfulness and a positive motivation we can create powerful mental habits that bring us closer and closer to Dakini Land. How wonderful!

Throughout the Festival as a whole you meet people striving for the development of a supreme good heart – not only through listening to and contemplating the blissful teachings in the Temple but everywhere you go. The event is run entirely by volunteers. It’s incredible to see people happily cleaning up, serving and helping others as part of their Festival experience!

As Gen-la Dekyong said, our Spiritual Guide knows just how to create World Peace – by everyone practising kindness, compassion and wisdom in daily life. With over three thousand Kadampas together all sincerely trying to do this, we can understand how peace is not far away.

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Summer Festival 2015: Day 10

Summer Festival 2015: Day 10

This morning as we entered the Temple to receive the Empowerment, eyes were drawn to the Vajrayogini Empowerment shrine where the offerings looked exquisite; an abundance of redcurrants, plump cherries, delicate petit fours and dark red flowers were laid out on satin cloth and gold lace.

Gen-la Dekyong began the ceremony by explaining that Buddha Vajrayogini is a female Enlightened Deity of Highest Yoga Tantra, a manifestation of the wisdom of all the Buddhas, whose main job is to lead everyone to Dakini Land – the state of permanent world peace and happiness. Gen la said that although we cannot see Vajrayogini directly at the moment, through our faith she will quickly guide us to behold her beautiful face and accomplish the supreme state of Buddhahood. Gen-la reminded us about the power of our wish or intention, and asked: do we wish to see Vajrayogini’s face with all our heart?

As Gen-la guided us through the empowerment, she encouraged us continually to deepen our connection with Buddha Vajrayogini and gain experience of the practice; in this way we will increase our wisdom and compassion and draw closer to the state of Buddhahood ourselves.

In the Question and Answer session in the afternoon, Kadam Morten emphasised how we can share the benefit of our practice of these precious and profound teachings with others as our practice naturally manifests as loving kindness so we show an example of leading a happy and pure life.

Just as the adults are learning about loving kindness in the Temple, this year there are over 200 children sharing this experience, learning and enjoying together at the Festival. Their delight at being in such a beautiful and impressive setting is obvious, singing and laughing as they walk around the Priory. Hearing the sound of their laughter it’s easy to feel that this really is a pure land!

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Summer Festival 2015: Day 9

Summer Festival 2015: Day 9

Assembly of Good Fortune

3500 people from all over the world gathered together in the World Peace Temple, the largest gathering since Venerable Geshe-la last taught here in 2009. As General Spiritual Director, Gen-la Dekyong said it was truly an assembly of good fortune as together we received the rare and precious Empowerment of Heruka Body Mandala.

Sitting in the Kadampa Temple at Manjushri KMC surrounded by the global Kadampa family it is easy to imagine you are sitting in Buddha Heruka’s celestial palace; the beautiful Temple, is built on the traditional design of Heruka’s mandala making it the most extraordinary and fitting place to receive these profound blessings. Gen-la Dekyong gently and clearly guided us through the meditations; it was a truly magical experience. Once you’ve been here and experienced it for yourself, it’s not hard to see why people fly across the world to be here every summer.

Gen-la’s reminders to maintain our pure motivation, the supreme good heart of Bodhichitta, supported by sound reasoning is truly inspiring and also life changing. How wonderful when this assembly of good fortune fulfil their virtuous wishes. We are definitely creating the causes!

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Summer Festival 2015: Day 8

Summer Festival 2015: Day 8

Kadam Morten prepared us for the Highest Yoga Tantra empowerments by guiding meditations on the Three Principal Paths, helping us to generate renunciation, bodhichitta and the correct view of emptiness following the instructions we received from Gen-la Dekyong previous night.

During session breaks every expanse of lawn throughout the Priory was covered with people relaxing, discussing and contemplating. It is heartwarming to be in such a harmonious and happy environment. People who felt like quiet contemplation sat comfortably alone next to large groups chatting – everyone joyful and peaceful.

In the afternoon, we began our spiritual journey into Dakini Land with the Heruka Empowerment Preparation. Gen-la clearly and beautifully guided us through the stages of preparing to enter the mandala and receive the empowerments.

Explaining that the Bodhisattva and Tantric vows are the foundation of Tantric attainments, Gen-la said if we want to make progress we need to give our mind a job to do by training in the intention to keep the commitments purely. This vow makes our life meaningful and with this intention we will be able to directly benefit each and every living being every day and this, she said, is why our commitments are our best friends and the real wishfulfilling jewels.

Gen-la told us how love is the real protector and encouraged us to encourage ourselves to transform our minds and become pure beings. At this Summer Festival with thousands of people practising love it becomes so much easier to imagine a pure world inhabited by pure beings.

At twilight the Temple was a truly magnificent sight, thousands of practitioners wholeheartedly singing protector prayers and making offerings, how wonderful!

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Summer Festival 2015: Day 7

Summer Festival 2015: Day 7

The Lake District showed off today with the most glorious sunny warm weather.

On this postcard perfect day, Buddhists from all over the world relaxed and recharged and thousands more began to arrive for the second week of the Summer Festival.

Many wandered out into the beautiful Cumbrian countryside with packed lunches whilst others descended on the town of Ulverston. It was a leisurely day and an adventure for hundreds who attended the first week of the Festival. Meanwhile Manjushri KMC was a hive of activity with teams of volunteers preparing to welcome an additional 2000 people for the second week of the Festival.

A highlight was the ritual set up of a blissful shrine created for the Empowerment of Heruka and Vajrayogini with shades of blue, crystals, flowers and many other beautiful offerings.

By the late afternoon Conishead Priory had transformed into a family reunion of epic proportions as the largest Festival in recent years came alive with laughter echoing from every corner of the Priory. Even people who have come along for the first time are swept along by the energy and delight of the place.

General Spiritual Director of the New Kadampa Tradition, Gen-la Kelsang Dekyong welcomed everyone in her introduction and said “there is room here for everybody!”

She also said, “please feel Manjushri KMC is your spiritual home”.

This is truly what so many people feel and why so many come back year after year.

As the teaching began everyone was delighted as Gen-la gave us a message from Venerable Geshe-la. Venerable Geshe-la thanked everybody for joining our spiritual holiday. Our precious Spiritual Guide said, “This spiritual holiday gives you the opportunity to listen to and practise the holy Dharma of Highest Yoga Tantra through which you will fulfil your temporary and ultimate aims, there is no greater meaning than this. Please encourage yourself, to sincerely practise the common paths, training in renunciation, the supreme good heart of Bodhichitta and the correct view of emptiness and the uncommon paths training in generation stage and completion stage of Heruka and Varjayogini.”.

Gen-la taught on the Three Principal Paths as preparation for the Highest Yoga Tantra empowerment. She emphasised the wisdom of forward thinking – in particular planning for our own future lives. She said we should not be satisfied with temporary happiness but instead aim for pure happiness for ourselves and develop the ability to protect all living beings from suffering. Empowered with this wisdom and compassion, only then will we strive to realise emptiness and become a Buddha. Gen-la said that Buddha teaches us that all phenomena are merely imputed and that this view will free us from all suffering. Gen-la’s introduction was a powerful and engaging start to the Festival. Next stop, Dakini Land!

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Summer Festival 2015: Day 6

Summer Festival 2015: Day 6

Retreat day 1. It’s an amazing sight. More than 1500 people gather together in the temple meditating on Kadam lamrim. Where else does this happen in the world? It’s an amazing experience. The air of concentration pervades the temple. The silence during the sessions is breathtaking.

Gen Rabten leads the retreat with great clarity. He sets out the structure of each session, and explains the main points for us to meditate on. In each session we establish a peaceful mind before beginning the Heart Jewel prayers preparing us for the meditation. As we sit absorbed, Gen Rabten reads out the appropriate section from Venerable Geshe-la’s How to Understand the Mind describing the actual meditation. And then he leaves us to it.

In the second session on Precious Human Life, he describes how this contemplation and meditation will help us to develop self-confidence. It’s easy to get discouraged if we focus on our faults and delusions. We think of our delusions as unstoppable monsters but he reminds us how our Spiritual Guide is not at all intimidated by our delusions. Everyone who ever got enlightened was deluded. We can do the same!

During the breaks, the cafes are filled with the buzz of people discussing the meanings of lamrim, relishing this precious opportunity to meditate together. People drink their coffees and teas on the lawn or wander about enjoying the grounds … and the welcome return of the sun.

Not to belabour the point but … how fortunate we are!

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Summer Festival 2015: Day 5

Summer Festival 2015: Day 5

Retreat day 1. It’s an amazing sight. More than 1500 people gather together in the temple meditating on Kadam lamrim. Where else does this happen in the world? It’s an amazing experience. The air of concentration pervades the temple. The silence during the sessions is breathtaking.

Gen Rabten leads the retreat with great clarity. He sets out the structure of each session, and explains the main points for us to meditate on. In each session we establish a peaceful mind before beginning the Heart Jewel prayers preparing us for the meditation. As we sit absorbed, Gen Rabten reads out the appropriate section from Venerable Geshe-la’s How to Understand the Mind describing the actual meditation. And then he leaves us to it.

In the second session on Precious Human Life, he describes how this contemplation and meditation will help us to develop self-confidence. It’s easy to get discouraged if we focus on our faults and delusions. We think of our delusions as unstoppable monsters but he reminds us how our Spiritual Guide is not at all intimidated by our delusions. Everyone who ever got enlightened was deluded. We can do the same!

During the breaks, the cafes are filled with the buzz of people discussing the meanings of lamrim, relishing this precious opportunity to meditate together. People drink their coffees and teas on the lawn or wander about enjoying the grounds … and the welcome return of the sun.
Not to belabour the point but … how fortunate we are!

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Summer Festival 2015: Day 4

Summer Festival 2015: Day 4

Kadam Bridget sets the tone for the day with a heart enriching meditation on relying on the Spiritual Guide.

Gen-la Kunsang is full of encouragement on this final day of teaching. Describing a new Tharpa Publications card depicting the principal Kadam Lamrim Lineage Gurus, such as Atisha and Je Tsongkhapa, she recommends we contemplate it so as to increase our faith. But, she adds, our faith isn’t passive: Venerable Geshe-la’s plan is that we ourselves become lineage Gurus.

She continues with her encouragement:

Every day rejoice in our good qualities, develop gratitude towards our Spiritual Guide and our precious lineage, take the precious nectar of Kadam Lamrim, and become truly human (instead of a bad-tempered monster!)

And, of course, rejoice in others virtues and good qualities. “Our Buddha nature wants to be free,” she says. “It’s just waiting to sprout.” She says that through focussing on our present peace we will naturally want to experience this peace all the time. How? Through Kadam Lamrim.

In the final teaching Gen-la says, If a mother saw her child drowning she wouldn’t just think, ‘wouldn’t it be nice if my child didn’t drown’. Instead she jumps right in to save the child.

At the Festival, we learn to jump right in … right in to the Bodhisattva’s path to enlightenment. Just being here is powerful encouragement to fulfil our spiritual potential It’s a full on immersion in the Bodhisattva’s way of life, the 6 perfections, as explained today by Gen-la. Naturally we end up giving, being kind and patient, giving joyful effort, training in concentration and wisdom.

And because the International Kadampa Festival has arisen through the universal compassion of our Spiritual Guide, the wish to benefit the whole world and all living beings permeates everywhere. The Festival feels like a launch pad to enlightenment.

At the end of the teaching, we realise that, amazingly, Gen-la has taken us through the whole Lamrim and set us up perfectly to receive the empowerments. How wonderful! Thank you Gen-la! We conclude, with deep gratitude, with the long life prayer for Venerable Geshe Kelsang.

Tomorrow we enter into retreat.

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Summer Festival 2015: Day 3

Summer Festival 2015: Day 3

As Gen-la Kunsang reminds us today, death can come at anytime …and in the Lake District so can the rain! Festival goers get out their raincoats, umbrellas and rubber boats, and scarves and hats come out to ward off the cold. But the smiles on everyone’s face are as warm as ever, and the Festival remains full of delight.

Gen-la Kunsang tells a story from a previous Festival in Portugal, when nearly 10,000 Kadampas descended on the tourist town of Cascais for a week. Towards the end of the week a taxi driver, who no doubt had had a busy week, told one of the festival goers, “Please say thank you to the organisers from us. We have learnt so much from you. We now know that it is possible to live in peace.”

Gen-la Kunsang, teaching on the individual lamrim meditations of the initial scope, asks us to imagine what our lives would be like if we actually believed ‘I may die today’, as the meditation on death states. She says we would naturally find the time to practice Dharma without laziness; we would naturally avoid negative actions and engage in positive ones, we would naturally focus on things beyond this one life, freeing ourselves from worldly concerns.

Imagine that.

It would be like being at the Festival! Everyone is volunteering to be of service for everyone else. Serving food, providing security, cleaning, cooking, directing cars etc etc. all with kind smiles, even if the volunteers are standing in the chilly rain, naturally practicing Dharma and directly experiencing the benefit of that practice manifesting all around us. Yes, a peaceful life is possible, and a meaningful one, creating future peace for ourself and others, creating liberation and enlightenment.

A few quotes from Venerable Geshe-la, given to us today by Gen-la:

Please understand the preciousness of the jewels I am giving you. I am giving you diamonds and you think it’s glass. I am giving you gold, you think it’s metal.

The Festival helps us to begin to experience the preciousness of these Dharma jewels. Come rain or shine.

 

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Summer Festival 2015: Day 2

Summer Festival 2015: Day 2

The perfect start to the day: a simple meditation on the breath, guided by Kadam Bridget, that allows us all to settle deeply into a peaceful experience at our heart. After all the travelling and sorting out accommodations etc it is just the ticket.

It is a beautiful clear, sunny day here in the Lake District and Gen-la Kunsang begins the teachings on The Treasure Vase of Kadam Dharma by sharing with us a message from Geshe-la:

“During these five days you will especially enjoy the precious nectar of Kadam Lamrim. How fortunate you are. May I become like you.”

We are all stunned. Did Geshe-la just say May I become just like you? Gen-la reads the message again and gives us her analysis that Geshe-la is letting us know that to have the opportunity to receive and practice Kadam Lamrim in such an easy accessible manner is unprecedented. Our conditions are better than those Geshe-la had in Tibet. How fortunate we are!!

She encourages us to contemplate this message throughout the day, to keep reflecting on Kadam Dharma as precious nectar, a treasure vase, a jewel, and to recognise that it has the power to fulfil our deepest wishes for freedom and lasting happiness, so that we develop a strong wish to practice and take it deeply to heart.

In the afternoon class, Gen-la Kunsang continues to expound on this theme. She explains how effort in our practice depends upon this wish. This wish in turn depends upon faith, especially the faith of relying upon our Spiritual Guide as being the same nature as Buddha Shakyamuni. She quotes from Modern Buddhism: Faith in Buddha is our spiritual life. Because we view our Spiritual Guide as the same as Buddha, she says, faith in our Spiritual Guide is our spiritual life and pervades every aspect of it.

As we walk around the Festival grounds enjoying the extraordinary kindnesses that Venerable Geshe-la has given us – the temple, books, teachings, teachers, sangha, Manjushri KMC, this wonderful Festival, the precious nectar of Kadam Lamrim – it is easy to see how faith in our Spiritual Guide pervades our spiritual life and to feel fortunate and blessed. We are so lucky even Geshe-la says he wants to become like us! How fortunate we are!

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Summer Festival 2015: Day 1 – Introduction

Summer Festival 2015: Day 1 – Introduction

Arriving for the Festival is always an amazing experience. If it’s your first visit, you are stunned by the grandeur and sheer size of Conishead Priory, home of Manjushri Kadampa Meditation Centre, and the beauty of the temple and the grounds. If you are festival veteran, it’s a fiesta of greetings, as you reconnect with your international sangha family, hugging friends from the US, from South Africa, from Brazil, from Europe, from Hong Kong, and the list goes on and on.

Gen Togden in his heartfelt introduction to the Festival said that there are more than 40 countries represented here at the Festival, and proceeded to read out the names of each one, giving us a strong sense of a global family, and bringing the point clearly home: this is an international festival! It’s moving to contemplate how everyone here is striving for authentic and pure happiness, and at some level working to help Dharma flourish in their areas and countries.

“Why are you here?” Gen Togden asked. He said that first timers are probably arriving with great curiosity and a sincere wish to engage. But those who have been before – in some cases many times – perhaps have less focused intentions. As he said, the answer ‘because I always come’ isn’t very qualified. He said, ‘Please think: what do I need from this Festival to help me with my spiritual life? What do I want to take back to others? And then sincerely wish, ‘I will get that.” Gen Togden stressed the need for confidence – confidence that pure happiness, enlightenment and even world peace are possible. And related from his own personal experience how it was only after he attended his first Summer Festival that he realised that these attainments actually are possible.

After the teaching, with an extraordinary red sky as backdrop to the temple, people filed out, a sense of optimism and anticipation filling the air. The Festival has begun!

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For more information on Kadampa Festivals visit – http://kadampafestivals.org

Ordination Day – Summer Festival 2015

Ordination Day – Summer Festival 2015

The Temple was filled with a sea of yellow as ordained Sangha from all over the world came to attend the 2015 ordination ceremony. Gen-la Kelsang Kunsang granted ordination to 21 Kadampas from Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, UK, and US. The smiles were irrepressible from the group who delighted in the start of their new life. Everyone rejoiced in the appearance of our new Sangha and in their own opportunity to receive teachings and renew their ordination vows. Outside friends and family were waiting to greet the newly arisen monks and nuns and find out their new names.

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Turning the Wheel of Dharma Day

Turning the Wheel of Dharma Day

Buddha appeared in this world to fulfill his compassionate wish to benefit each and every living being every day. Accordingly he demonstrated the manner of attaining enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya.

After attaining enlightenment, Buddha remained absorbed in meditative equipoise, but although a living Buddha was now present in our world human beings were unaware of what had taken place.

Buddha knew that even though he could teach a complete path to enlightenment, unless living beings made a request from their side they would not be able to receive the teachings within their minds.

Happily, the gods Brahma and Indra could see the presence of this enlightened being. Out of kindness, they wished to create the causes for the people of this world to meet Dharma. This is why, forty-nine days after Buddha attained enlightenment, the gods came to make this request:

“O Buddha, treasure of compassion, living beings are like blind people in constant danger of falling into the lower realms. Other than you there is no protector in this world. Therefore we beseech you, please rise from meditative equipoise and turn the Wheel of Dharma.”

As a result of this request, Buddha arose from meditation and began to give teachings to the people of this world, beginning in the Deer Park in Sarnath near Varanasi where he delivered his first teaching, The Sutra on the Four Noble Truths.

Buddha then spent the rest of his life travelling throughout India giving eighty four thousand verses of Dharma teaching. Through his immaculate example he clearly demonstrated the stages of the path to great enlightenment, to a life beyond sorrow.

Buddha promised that after he passed away, he would continue to emanate in this world to help all living beings, both Buddhists and non-Buddhists. The supreme way would be as a Spiritual Guide. Even today, there are numerous Spiritual Teachers who appear as ordinary beings, but who are in fact actual emanations of Buddha guiding others along the liberating path.

The anniversary of Buddha’s first teaching in this world, which is called ‘Turning the Wheel of Dharma Day’, is celebrated on June 4 by Kadampa Buddhist throughout the world. It is an extremely auspicious day during which the karmic effect of our actions is greatly multiplied.

This day also marks the birthday of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, the Founder of NKT-IKBU, who was born on Turning the Wheel of Dharma Day in 1931.

We dedicate all merit to Venerable Geshe-la’s continued long life, good health and the success of all his activities. Out of immeasurable kindness he has revealed the path to liberation and enlightenment, so we now have the opportunity to experience real happiness and freedom from suffering. By taking his advice to heart may we be able to fulfil his perfect vision of bringing Dharma to every country throughout the world.

Spring Festival 2015 – Intro to Kadampa World (Video and photos)

Spring Festival 2015 – Intro to Kadampa World (Video and photos)

In his Introduction to the International Spring Festival 2015, Gen-la Khyenrab declared “the Festival is the best way to find out what’s happening in the Kadampa world.” How true. Journeying to the Festival on the train from Manchester to Ulverston, I found myself in conversation with Kadampa practitioners and teachers from the USA, Spain, Italy, Germany, Hong Kong, and even the UK! As we enthused about our flourishing Centers and Dharma activities, it was clear the Festival was already unfolding right here on the train … and that it truly is international!

Arriving at the Festival grounds, it is wonderful to see the golden vajras of the Temple and behind them the spires of Conishead Priory, home of Manjushri Kadampa Meditation Centre. Here we are in the mother centre of the New Kadampa Tradition, our spiritual home, where Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso gave so many of his teachings.

While we have been busy travelling here, many people have been busy preparing for our arrival. Immediately we are greeted by stewards and friendly registrars, directed to the dining tent where servers hand us the food prepared by the cooks. Later we deliver the plates to the washing up crew, Temple stewards guide us to our seats etc. etc. We are truly in the web of kindness of our International Sangha, everyone altogether serving each other. With people from so many different countries gathering together, it’s clear how important and powerful are these International Festivals. Simply by attending our mind is lifted to not just an appreciation of, but an actual experience of ‘Kadampa world’ … and hence to an understanding that the good karma and virtue we create here will literally be felt around the world.

In his evening teaching, in our Kadampa Temple for World Peace, Gen-la Khyenrab skilfully encouraged us to meditate on death, renunciation and bodhichitta. People from all over the world, together in our World Peace temple, developing the wish to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings in all worlds…. Big minds and powerful actions indeed! And this is just the first day.

kadampafestivals.org/spring

Follow live updates on Facebook. Watch videos from the festival on YouTube.

Preparing for Spring Festival

Preparing for Spring Festival

Spring Festival 2015 is only 10 days away.

Gen-la Kelsang Khyenrab be granting the blessing Empowerment of Medicine Buddha and giving Teachings at this year’s Spring Festival. Please enjoy this video Gen-la Kelsang Khyenrab giving an Introduction to last years’ Summer Festival.

Our Festival set up volunteers have come from Switzerland, Germany, Finland, Belgium, Italy, Czech Republic, ….Liverpool and Yorkshire!

We had a great first day; the Temple awnings are now beginning to take shape and the Festival ‘burger bar’ was moved into position.

It wasn’t all work however, the volunteers took some time in the middle of the day to watch the video on the history of Conishead Priory and enjoy a guided meditation in the Kadampa World Peace Temple.

Only 11 days to go until we begin our 21st NKT Spring Festival.

Book Now!

Follow live updates on the NKT-IKBU Facebook page.

2015 Fall Festival – Booking now live!

2015 Fall Festival – Booking now live!

October 2 – 8

Kadampa Meditation Centre France

Blessing Empowerment of Buddha Vajrasattva, and Teachings on purification practice with Gen-la Kelsang Dekyong.

Through the practice of Buddha Vajrasattava, we can swiftly and joyfully cleanse our mind of all impurity and eventually become a pure being, abiding in a pure world with the power to draw others to the bliss of perfect freedom.

Don’t miss out! Book Now.

kadampafestivals.org/fall

1000 Dorje Shugden statues arrive at Manjushri KMC

1000 Dorje Shugden statues arrive at Manjushri KMC

1000 Dorje Shugden statues arrived at Manjushri KMC this morning, in time for the Spring Festival.

A willing group of volunteers eagerly awaited its arrival, unloading the container in record time!

Gen-la Dekyong was there to help, and opened the first box, sharing her delight at the arrival of the Wisdom Protector.

Thank you Venerable Geshe-la!

Summer Festival Week 2 – Additional Accommodation

Summer Festival Week 2 – Additional Accommodation

Additional offsite accommodation has been reserved at the YMCA National Centre, Lakeside for the nights of Thursday 30 July – Saturday 8 August (9 nights) – must be booked for whole period.

Approximately 25 minute drive from MKMC, accommodation is mainly in twin rooms with a few singles (ensuite and shared options are available).

summer_ymacShuttle buses will transport you between the YMCA Lakeside and Manjushri KMC each morning and evening. These must be booked separately.

Breakfast is included. All linen and towels are included.

Single (ensuite) £55 per person/night
Single (shared facilities) £45 per person/night
Twin (ensuite) £45 per person/night
Twin (shared facilities) £40 per person/night

Shuttle bus: £6 per person/day

Other Offsite Accommodation

We tried to block book rooms at the following hotels, in Barrow in Furness, however, we were not able to secure a good rate, and so finally it is cheaper for individuals to book themselves online. We will offer shuttle buses however from these 2 hotels – these can be booked through the Festival booking form (for new bookings), or through the ‘add option’ facility in the booking cart (existing bookings).

Shuttles will be available for week 2, beginning in the evening after the Introductory Teaching on Thursday 30 July. They will run daily until Saturday morning 8 August.

Travel Lodge, Barrow in Furness

summer_travel_lodge

Travel Lodge is a basic hotel chain. The rooms have recently been refurbished.
Twin rooms accommodate a maximum of 2 adults.
Family rooms can accommodate up to maximum 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 children.
The hotel has a Dominos Pizza at the edge of the car park. Also, there is an Asda supermarket 5 min walk away click here for opening times.
Shuttle bus: £6 per person/day.

Premier Inn, Barrow in Furness

 

summerfestival_premierinn

Rooms can accommodate maximum 2 adults.
Family rooms up to 2 adults and 2 children
The hotel is a 2 minute walk from Tesco Supermarket, click here for opening times. It is also a short walk from numerous eating places in Barrow.

Shuttle bus: £6 per person/day

http://kadampafestivals.org/summer

2015 Fall Festival website now live!

2015 Fall Festival website now live!

October 2 – 8: Pure Mind, Pure World
Blessing Empowerment of Buddha Vajrasattva and Teachings on Purification Practice with Gen-la Kelsang Dekyong.
Kadampa Meditation Centre France

During the Fall Festival, Gen-la Dekyong will grant the blessing empowerment of Buddha Vajrasatta and give teachings on purification practice. Through this practice, we can swiftly and joyfully cleanse our mind of all impurity and eventually become a pure being, abiding in a pure world with the power to draw others to the bliss of perfect freedom.

Chateau de Segrais a typical French Chateau surrounded by a moat and  peaceful woodland,  is home to Kadampa Meditation Centre France. Opened by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche in 2008, this peaceful, spiritual, oasis, is only 2 – 2.5 hours from the Paris airports and 30 mins from Le Mans, and is easily accessible both for domestic and international guests alike.

Everyone welcome!

Booking Opens: May 7  (1pm UK)

More information about the Festival including programme, fees and accommodation is now available online:  kadampafestivals.org/fall

International Kadampa Festivals News

International Kadampa Festivals News

Medicine Buddha Empowerment and Teachings on
Healing the Mind with Buddhist monk and international Meditation Teacher, Gen-la Kelsang Khyenrab
Manjushri KMC, UK

Teachers at the festivalAt International Festivals we have the opportunity to receive Empowerments and Teachings from the General Spiritual Director, Deputy Spiritual Director and Retired General Spiritual Directors. Senior Kadampa Teachers from various countries guide the meditations and lead the retreat.

This year at the International Spring Festival, Gen-la Kelsang Khyenrab, retired General Spiritual Director and Resident Teacher at KMC Canada, will grant the blessing empowerment and teachings on the practice of the ‘Buddha Doctor’ – Medicine Buddha. By relying sincerely upon this practice, we can cure our own principal sickness; the sickness of our inner delusions and thereby be free from sickness forever.

Gen-la Khyenrab is known for his powerful and penetrating teachings, and for his pure example, reflecting his many years of reliance upon his Spiritual Guide, his study and meditation practice, and his ability to unify Kadam Dharma with his busy life.

Kadam Neil Elliott, Resident Teacher at KMC London and Special Teacher Training Programme Teacher, will then guide a day and a half of retreat based on Gen-la Khyenrab’s commentary. Kadam Neil is renowned for his ability to present the deep meaning of the Teachings in a way that is easy to integrate into daily life.

Meditations throughout the Festival will be led by Gen Kelsang Sangden, Resident Teacher at KMC Mexico.

Information about the Festival Teachers, and general Festival information including programme, fees and accommodation options is available online:

Book Now – kadampafestivals.org/spring

 

International Kadampa Festivals – Your Spiritual Holidays
Kadampa Festivals are meaningful spiritual holidays suitable for the whole family.

A volunteer-led programme of family activities suitable for children, teens and adults alike is organised daily.  Check out this video to find out more about these activities:

Summer

‘The main thing we are doing for families at this Festival is trying to help them
to have a fantastic time’
Family Programme Co-ordinator

‘There is a lot of peace, a lot of promotion on being kind to one another,
looking after one another, something you don’t always get in other places’
Parent

‘I can’t imagine one year if I didn’t come here, what I will do’
Festival ‘teen’, France

Book Now –  kadampafestivals.org

 

KMC France – Pure Mind, Pure World

Blessing Empowerment of Buddha Vajrasattva and Teachings on Purification Practice with Gen-la Kelsang Dekyong
Gen-la

Save the Date!  Booking Opens:  May 7
Website live – very soon!

In a little over three weeks booking will open for the Fall Festival in France. Gen-la Dekyong will grant the blessing empowerment of Buddha Vajrasattva and explain how through this practice, we can swiftly and joyfully cleanse our mind of all impurity and eventually become a pure being, abiding in a pure world with the power to draw others to the bliss of perfect freedom.

KMC France is a stunning venue to host the 2015 Fall Festival. Only 2.5 hours from Paris, it is easily accessible from all European countries, and also worldwide destinations. Fast ‘TGV’ trains link the main international Paris airports directly with Le Mans (30 mins from KMC France). Festival airport shuttle buses will also be offered.

More Info – kadampafestivals.org/fall

 

Fall

Kids at the Festival – Feature Video

Kids at the Festival – Feature Video

Kadampa Festivals are meaningful spiritual holidays suitable for the whole family.

A volunteer-led programme of family activities suitable for children, teens and adults alike is organised daily.

‘The main thing we are doing for families at this Festival is trying to help them to have a fantastic time’
– Family Programme Co-ordinator

‘There is a lot of peace, a lot of promotion on being kind to one another, looking after one another, something you don’t always get in other places’
– Parent

‘I can’t imagine one year if I didn’t come here, what I will do’
– Festival ‘teen’, France

Visit KadampaFestivals.org

Happy NKT Day 2015!

Happy NKT Day 2015!

The first Saturday in April is set aside to commemorate the founding of NKT-IKBU by Venerable Geshe Kelsang in 1991.

Learn more about NKT Day…

New NKT Center Search
To celebrate this NKT day we would like to announce the release of a brand new NKT center search. Search over 1200 centers and branches in 40 countries around the world.

Try the new center search…

2015 Summer Festival – Booking now live!

2015 Summer Festival – Booking now live!

July 30 – August 8

Week 2: Heruka Body Mandala and Vajrayogini Empowerments and Commentary with Gen-la Kelsang Dekyong
Week 1: The Treasure Vase of Kadam Lamrim – with Gen-la Kelsang Kunsang

Don’t miss out! Book Now.

2015 Spring Festival – Booking now live!

2015 Spring Festival – Booking now live!

Medicine Buddha Empowerment and Teachings on Healing the Mind with Gen-la Kelsang Khyenrab, May 22 – 27

Book Now

2015 Summer Festival website now live!

2015 Summer Festival website now live!

July 24 – 29 : Treasure Vase of Kadam Lamrim
July 30 – Aug 8: Heruka Body Mandala and Vajrayogini Empowerments & Commentary

This Summer we have a very precious opportunity to receive Empowerments, Teachings, and to engage in retreat, on the very essence of Buddha’s Sutra and Tantra teachings.

In week 1, Gen-la Kelsang Kunsang will encourage us to take the precious jewels of wisdom and compassion from the treasure vase of Kadam Dharma, the inner wealth of spiritual realisations that never deceive us and bring the peace and happiness we desire. This experience of Kadam Lamrim is the perfect preparation to receive Highest Yoga Tantra empowerments.

In week 2, Gen-la Kelsang Dekyong will grant the empowerments of Heruka Body Mandala and Vajrayogini, The teachings of Tantra are the rarest and most precious of all Buddha’s teachings, the path by which we can attain actual Buddhahood. Following the empowerments, Gen-la Dekyong will give practical teachings on how to enter and make progress on this blissful, quick path to enlightenment.

Save the dates!

Booking Opens: April 1 (1pm GMT)

More information about the Festival including programme, fees and accommodation is now available online: kadampafestivals.org/summer

Information on the 2015 International Spring festival is available at kadampafestivals.org/spring

2015 Spring Festival website now live!

2015 Spring Festival website now live!

In May, Manjushri KMC, UK will host the 21st International Spring Festival.

During the Festival, Gen-la Khyenrab will grant the blessing empowerment of Medicine Buddha and teach how by relying upon this Buddha Doctor we can be cured of the inner sickness of the delusions and heal our mental continuum. We will then be free from sickness forever and become an actual Buddha Doctor ourselves.

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