The founder of Buddhism in this world is Buddha Shakyamuni who lived and taught in India approximately two and a half thousand years ago. To this day, millions of people around the world follow this spiritual path of meditation to experience a deep and unchanging peace of mind, enlightenment.
Buddha explained that all our problems and suffering arise from confused and negative states of mind, and all our happiness and good fortune arise from peaceful and positive states of mind.
He taught methods for gradually overcoming minds such as anger, jealousy and ignorance, and developing positive minds such as love, compassion and wisdom. Through this we will come to experience peace of mind from within…independent of external circumstances, people and things.
These methods work for anyone, regardless of age, culture, or lifestyle. Meditation is a universal tool that is used for training the mind in positive states. Once we have gained experience of these positive states ourselves we can pass them on to others so they, too, can enjoy the same benefits.
The Buddhist way of life – peace, loving kindness and wisdom – is just as relevant today as it was when Buddha appeared in ancient India.
Kadampa Buddhism is a Mahayana Buddhist school founded by the great Indian Buddhist Master Atisha (AD 982-1054).
His followers are known as ‘Kadampas’. ‘Ka’ refers to Buddha’s teachings, and ‘dam’ to Atisha’s special Lamrim instructions known as ‘the stages of the path to enlightenment’. Kadampas, then, are practitioners who regard Buddha’s teachings as personal instructions and put them into practice by following the instructions of Lamrim.
The Kadampa tradition was later promoted widely in Tibet by Je Tsongkhapa and his followers, who were known as the ‘New Kadampas’.
The lineage of these teachings, both their oral transmission and blessings, was passed from Teacher to disciple, spreading throughout much of Asia, and now to many countries throughout the western world.
Buddha’s teachings, which are known as ‘Dharma’, are likened to a wheel that moves from country to country in accordance with changing conditions and people’s karmic inclinations.
The external forms of presenting Buddhism may change as it meets with different cultures and societies, but its essential authenticity is ensured through the continuation of an unbroken lineage of realized practitioners.
Through the activities and dedication of the renowned Buddhist Master, Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Kadampa Buddhism has spread to many countries in recent years.
Geshe Kelsang has worked tirelessly to spread Kadampa Buddhism throughout the world by giving extensive teachings, writing many profound texts on Kadampa Buddhism and founding the New Kadampa Tradition.