Kadampa Buddhism

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

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.

View the full 2015 Summer Festival Galleries

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.

 

View the full 2015 Summer Festival Galleries

 

 

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!

View the full 2015 Summer Festival Galleries

 

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!

View the full 2015 Summer Festival Galleries

View the video playlist

Follow daily updates from the summer festival 2015 on FacebookTwitterYoutube, the Kadampa Gallery and Instagram.

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.

View the full 2015 Summer Festival Galleries

Follow daily updates from the summer festival 2015 on FacebookTwitterYoutube, the Kadampa Gallery and Instagram.

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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