The New Kadampa Tradition – International Kadampa Buddhist Union is an international association of Mahayana Buddhist study and meditation centres that follow the Kadampa Buddhist tradition founded by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.
'The kindness of our own Spiritual Guide, Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche.' With this subject Gen-la Kunsang introduced the annual Swiss Dharma Celebration at Kailash IRC this weekend.
Gen-la Kelsang Kunsang a retired Deputy Spiritual Director of NKT-IKBU, National Spiritual Director of Switzerland, Austria and Italy and Resident Teacher at KMC Edinburgh is deeply loved and admired for the power and sincerity of her teachings.
Gen-la granted the empowerment of Buddha Maitreya, the Buddha of loving kindness, and gave teachings on the three types of love.
She showed us how our Spiritual Guide appears in many different aspects to lead us to pure happiness – full enlightenment. He is our best friend who never deceives us. He only wants us to be happy. He is like a father or mother who is always connecting with our potential and our beauty.
Connecting with the pure love of Buddha
He appears as Buddha Maitreya so that we can connect with the pure love of Buddha and develop it in our own hearts. How lucky we are to have such a friend. This is very rare.
Through understanding the nature of samsara we can develop pure renunciation in our heart. With this pure intention, we can follow the explanations about the three types of love and by contemplating and meditating on it find real inner peace that comes from within our hearts.
This is the beginning of world peace – because if we all develop it in our own heart, we can share it with others until everyone can practice pure love.
We all have Buddha-nature – we all have the potential to be as pure as Venerable Geshe-la - we just need to practice continuously with a joyful heart. How wonderful!
What people said
'Follow the path of loving kindness to enlightenment'. Kelsang Sila
'Very powerful and inspiring teachings and a beautiful atmosphere within the Sangha'. Kelsang Chitta
'The loving kindness Gen-la taught could be felt throughout the whole festival - because people took it to heart and put it into practice.' Katja Hotz
'A great place to develop inner peace. Everything is so pure here – it’s the pure land.' Kelsang Ani
'It was a very light and harmonious experience here at Kailash - and great entertainment in the kitchen =)'. Gregory
A chance to catch up on some of the other news stories from recent days
NEW YORK | TAIWAN | MELBOURNE | BERLIN | SINTRA | SARASOTA i WASHINGTON DC
KMC new york
Just a few days now to the start of the US National Festival at KMC New York with Gen-la Jampa, who will grant Medicine Buddha empowerment and give teachings on How to Solve Our Human Problems by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche.
Gen Gomlam Resident Teacher at KMC Madison will give the Friday night introduction, Gen Menla Resident Teacher at KMC Texas will guide the meditations and Gen Samten Resident Teacher at KMC New York will guide the retreat. What a treat!
This weekend, people from Taiwan, Hong Kong and China gathered at KMC Taiwan in Taipei to receive the blessing empowerment of Buddha Vajrapani and teachings on Increasing our Spiritual Power from Gen Kelsang Tonglam. Gen Tonglam explained what spiritual power actually is and how we can increase it through practicing the teaching in our formal practice and in our daily life.
All the prayers were chanted in Mandarin including the first ever, The Yoga of Buddha Vajrapani. It was a very blessed event enjoyed by all.
A few nights before the Australian Dharma Celebration, 250 people gathered in Melbourne to hear our National Spiritual Director Gen Rabten give an inspiring public talk entitled 'Who Am I: Find the Meaning of Your Life'.
Gen Rabten explained how to move beyond the ordinary and discover the true and unlimited nature of our self. It was a wonderful evening!
At KMC Deuachen we completed a concentration retreat this weekend under the guidance of Resident Teacher Gen Rigden, who gave teachings on the Kadampa Way of Life and integrating meditation into daily life.
Gen Rigden advised us to make the whole world a temple because the borders between spiritual life and normal life are mental and so not exist truly and can be dissolved.
Let this challenge begin and let everything be auspicious! We appreciate everyone's presence - thank you.
Our 'A Life Less Distracted' weekend retreat at KMC Florida with visiting teacher Gen Kelsang Khedrub, Resident Teacher KMC Washington in Seattle WA, has been clear and profound! Spending this time learning, and developing, our concentration by means of tranquil abiding meditation is an incredibly important way to tap into the stillness and inner peace of our mind.
Both new and experienced meditators engaged this weekend retreat. We hope it has a wonderful impact on everyone's mind.
A team at Tharpa UK in Manjushri KMC have been busily preparing the two sets of the collected works of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche ready to ship to KMC Washington DC, where the new city Temple is being prepared.
Recently a shipment of statues and Temple art produced at Kadampa Art Studio at Manjushri KMC was also shipped to the new Temple in DC.
Here is the latest update on the Arizona Temple project:
The upper roof is completed
The five-color impregnated glass for the upper level windows was delivered
The crowning vajra has arrived from Kadampa Art Studio in the UK
The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system is now installed and inspected
The can lights are installed
The fire sprinkler system is installed
Away from the Temple, in the main building the rooms nearest the Temple have been converted into a bathroom block, which is now tiled and painted.
Art studio report
Meanwhile, in the Art Studio, volunteers continue to arrive to help with gilding. Daniella from New Jersey, Kat from Long Island, Karen from New Mexico and Cecile from France are all hard at work. 27 vajras and 4 auspicious symbols are completed. The panels for below the lantern next to be gilded.
This Easter there are seven major regional events at Kadampa centers around the world:
The Spanish Festival with Gen-la Dekyong
The French Festival with Gen-la Khyenrab
The Swiss Dharma Celebration with Gen-la Kunsang
The UK Dharma Celebration with Kadam Bridget
The Australian Dharma Celebration with Gen Rabten
The German Dharma Celebration with Gen Ananda
The Chilean Dharma Celebration with Gen Sangden
These events are part of the NKT-IKBU annual program of regional Festivals and Dharma Celebrations.
Regional Festivals are taught by Gen-las and Dharma Celebrations by the National Spiritual Director for the region. These special gatherings enable people to come together with others from their area and enjoy a few days of empowerments, teachings and meditations - and most important meaningful discussion. Sharing with and inspiring others in this way is an important part of modern Kadampa way of life and makes our individual practice strong and stable.
We will be covering each of these events in subsequent posts, for now enjoy some preliminary photos from the introductory session of the Chilean Dharma Celebration with Gen Sangden that started last night at KMC Chile in Santiago.
Gen Sangden will grant the empowerment of Buddha Amitayus and give teachings on how to increase our wisdom and compassion.
For the past several months, the focus at KMC NYC has been on exposing the truth about anger. Venerable Geshe-la says that of all the delusions anger is the most harmful - and yet so much of our modern society honors it and even encourages it.
We decided to start with a public talk and follow with a five-week series called A Life Beyond Anger. We wanted to create publicity that really got people rethinking their views on anger. To achieve this, we designed a series of brightly colored posters that each featured a provocative question about anger.
We made eight different posters/postcards in all and displayed them in cafes and delis throughout NYC. We also distributed widely on social media pictures of our Sangha holding these messages, and devoted a large amount of space inside our center to showcasing them.
We used email to great effect. For many weeks in the lead up to our event we used our newsletter as the forum to advance the ‘anger conversation’ further.
Three hundred New Yorkers keen to stop anger
On March 18, more than 300 New Yorkers descended on the center in Chelsea for our big kick-off event.
During the evening, Kadam Morten inspired us to become ‘scientists of our minds’ and to see for ourselves the extent to which anger controls our minds and our lives, and how deeply it penetrates. He explained how anger is the source of so much of our suffering and how we can start using the practice of meditation to reduce our reliance on anger and eventually eradicate it from our minds altogether.
Our five-week series, designed to give people a deeper understanding of Buddha's teachings on anger, is going strong! Since that opening event we've had over 200 people join us each week on Monday nights and around 50 on Tuesday mornings when Kadam Morten teaches a repeat of the same topic. Many of these people are completely new to our New York City center.
Dharma is flourishing in NYC, and by virtue of this, anger is not!
Yesterday evening, Buddha’s Enlightenment Day, saw the special weekend of purification retreats and celebrations come to a close, with many centers engaging in a special puja of thanksgiving and dedication.
Here we show some photos of the Offering to the Spiritual Guide puja at Manjushri KMC the mother center, and a more images of the nyungnay retreats at Mexico City, Paris, Oslo and Metz.
It has been such a privilege to spend this time reflecting on the great kindness of Buddha in demonstrating all the stages of the path to enlightenment in our world, and striving to become just like him by purifying our minds and improving our mind of compassion.
Thank you Venerable Geshe-la for bringing Buddha into our lives and providing everything we need to engage in this precious practice.
Most of the news this week is devoted to the special fasting and purification retreat practiced at hundreds of centers around the world at this time during which we make offerings, prostrations and requests to Thousand Armed Avalokiteshvara the Buddha of universal compassion.
Here is a selection of posts from centers with some quotes from participants sharing what the experience means for them.
'With his thousand arms and thousand eyes Buddha Avalokiteshvara looks out for and cares for all the beings of this world. He is the very embodiments of compassion, and I love to prostrate to him.'
'I love this practice because it really increases my compassion and as a result my mind feels very pure.'
'For me it is a collective impulse. We often meet to meditate but not necessarily to do prostrations. Fasting is not always easy, but I find that it is afterwards that we reap the benefits of the retreat and it all makes sense. It increases my faith.'
'I love this retreat: combining prostrations with beautiful chanted prayers and starting with the precepts early morning, recalling our bodhichitta motivation - such a wonderful way to purify our body, speech and mind.'
'This purification retreat is a powerful heart-opener. I'm grateful for this opportunity to clean up past negativity - and inspired to improve.'
'This recent Buddhist fasting retreat, nyungnay, was a powerful opportunity to purify negative karma and accumulate merit. It opened the door to bring greater joy, compassion and ease into my everyday life as well as to deepen my spiritual practice.'
'Nyungnay purification is not austere, it's a practice that helps align all our actions, to accomplish our deepest wishes.'
'The power of this practice really shows me what my mind turns to in order to escape painful feelings!'
'I think day two is really where the power of this practice lies - with no one or nothing to distract you from receiving the powerful blessings from a most powerful source - Arya Avalokiteshvara's Compassion. You get a glimpse of your potential to become just like him. Like it's just you and him and he is there with you carrying you to his enlightened world.'
'I love the Nyungnay puja. Especially the prayer we say as we prostrate about the thousand arms and eyes of Avalokiteshvara watching over us. This is especially beautiful. It is very empowering to consider the depth of purification at least once per year that the Nyungnay retreat offers us.'
'One of the reasons I like this retreat so much is because of the beautiful prayers we do that sometimes keep resonating in my mind for weeks after the end of the retreat. I also like how light and clear my mind feels at the end of the retreat.
Nyungnay is an incredible purification retreat that really helps you to dedicate a very pure practice for yourself or others ... and helps us to understand and feel huge compassion for those suffering throughout the world.'
'While doing the prostrations I definitely felt that I received the blessings of Guru Avalokiteshvara the Buddha of Compassion, feeling a sense of lightness and peace. Although at times it was physically challenging, it is helpful to know this is all part of our purification practice. It means so much to be part of such a wonderful Kadampa family and I will happily take part in this practice in the future.'
'A profound, transforming, and meaningful practice. The fasting made me feel light and made my mind strong during the retreat. My thoughts became stable and it was easy to connect with the meaning of the prayers.'
'This practice was a very blessed experience. The fasting made me realize my daily attachment to everyday things. On the other hand, the practice made me realize, once again, how our beloved Geshe-la Guide and the Buddhas, give us their blessings all the time. Thank you very much for your great kindness, Geshe la!'
Over two nights this week, 1,000 people gathered at St George’s Hall in Liverpool for back-to-back sold out public talks on Letting Go of Anxiety with Gen-la Kelsang Kunsang, retired Deputy Spiritual Director of NKT-IKBU and Resident Teacher at KMC Edinburgh, and Paul Jenkins, Resident Teacher at Tara KMC.
During the teachings, we explored the causes of increasingly common problems in modern life: anxiety and worry. We were encouraged to ask ourself honest questions about our anxiety and investigate their causes in our mind.
We were then introduced to some tools to ‘let go’ of our anxiety. We felt very inspired to look within and take responsibility for our own negative minds instead of turning to and blaming the people and things around us.
Everyone left feeling motivated and ready to take this precious advice to heart and practise it in daily life.
WHAT PEOPLE SAID
'A fascinating public talk arranged by KMC Liverpool tonight at the stunningly beautiful St George’s Hall.'
'Inspired after last night’s public talk on anxiety by KMC Liverpool.'
'Inspiring message that meditation is self-care and that by practising it we can become more peaceful, calmer people who are able to give more of ourselves to others.'
The three International Festivals are precious opportunities to receive teachings and empowerments from the Gen-las, and this experience is greatly enhanced if we can spend some time after the Festival in retreat improving our understanding of the teachings and taking their meaning to heart.
Post-festival retreats are organised by Kadampa centers around the world after each of the three International Festivals. Stay up-to-date with the latest information on the post-festival retreat web page.
Here are some of the retreats planned for post Spring Festival 2019:
Kadampa Meditation Centre France
May 31 – Jun 5
A pure mind, a pure world
with Kadam Morten Clausen, National Spiritual Director of NTK in the Eastern United States and Resident Teacher at KMC New York City and Kadampa Bodh Gaya Buddhist Center Bayside, Queens. More information
Kadampa Meditation Centre Spain
May 31 – Jun 2
Pure mind, pure life
with Gen Kelsang Sangden NKT National Spiritual Director of Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Nicaragua. More information
Kadampa Meditation Centre Australia
Jun 8 – 10
Spring Festival Review & Retreat
with Gen Kelsang Dornying Resident Teacher at KMC Australia More information
Vajravarahi KMC, Preston, UK
May 31 – Jun 2
Purifying the past – post festival retreat on Vajrasattva
with Gen Pagpa – Resident Teacher at Vajravarahi KMC More information
Nagarjuna KMC Thornby
May 31 – Jun 2
True happiness from within
with Gen Dornying, Resident Teacher at KMC Australia More information
Kailash International Retreat Centre
May 30 – Jun 5
Enjoying Everything as Pure
with Gen Losang Kelsang, Resident Teacher at KMC Switzerland More information
Tharpaland International Retreat Centre
May 30 – Jun 4
Vajrasattva – A Profound Purification Practice – Silent Retreat
with Kadam Bridget Heyes, UK National Spiritual Director and Resident Teacher of Nagarjuna Kadampa Meditation Centre, Northants. More information
Bodhisattva Kadampa Meditation Center, Brighton
May 31 – Jun 5
Pure Mind, Pure Life
Gen Kelsang Tonglam Resident Teacher of Kadampa Meditation Centre Hong Kong, Kadampa Meditation Centre Taiwan and NSD for East Asia More information
Tara Kadampa Meditation Centre, Derby
May 30 – Jun 2
Complete Purity – Realising Our Potential
with Gen Kelsang Rigpa, National Spiritual Director for Western USA and the Resident Teacher at KMC Hollywood. More information