Kadampa tradition - Kadampa Meditation Centre CPH

Practical methods to use in everyday life

What is Kadampa Buddhism?

Here you can learn about the history and lineage of Kadampa Buddhism – a Mahayana Buddhist school founded by the great Indian Buddhist Master Atisha (AD 982-1054). “Ka” refers to Buddha’s teachings, and “dam” to Atisha’s special, structured presentation of Buddha’s advice. “Pa” means person. By integrating their studies into their everday lives, Kadampas use Buddha’s teachings as practical methods for transforming their daily activities into the path to liberation and enlightenment.

An unbroken connection from Buddha to the present day

The Kadampa Tradition and Lineage

The Kadampa Tradition was principally formed by Buddha Shaykamuni, Atisha and Je Tsongkhapa. The teachings given at the Centre are connected in an unbroken lineage that goes back to Buddha Shakyamuni.

Buddha Shakyamuni is the founder of Buddhism in this world. He demonstrated the attainment of full enlightenment and how to awaken from the sleep of ignorance and cyclic rebirth. His teachings, or Dharma, then passed in an unbroken lineage through to the ancient Kadampa teachers Atisha and Je Tsongkhapa.

Buddha Shakyamuni

The great Indian Buddhist Master Atisha (982-1054 AD) was responsible for reintroducing pure Buddhism into Tibet. There, he was asked to present a Dharma that everybody could follow and show how Sutra and Tantra could be practised together. Atisha wrote "Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment" or "Lamrim", which is a structured approach to the practising all Buddha's teachings.


Je Tsongkhapa was a great 14th century Tibetan Buddhist Master who promoted and developed the Kadampa Buddhism that Atisha had introduced three centuries earlier. His followers became known as the ‘New Kadampas’, and to this day New Kadampas worldwide study his teachings and strive to follow his pure example.

Je Tsongkhapa

The Founder

Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche

Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche is a fully accomplished meditation master and internationally renowned teacher of Buddhism. From the age of eight, Geshe-la studied extensively in the great monastic universities of Tibet and earned the title ‘Geshe’, meaning ‘spiritual friend’. Under the guidance of his Spiritual Guide, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, he spent the next 18 years in meditation retreats in the Himalayas. In 1977 he accepted an invitation to teach at Manjushri KMC in England, where he lived and taught until 2009, giving teachings and guidance to an ever-growing group of disciples. Having formally retired as General Spiritual Director, Geshe Kelsang, now in his nineties, continues to work tirelessly to spread Kadampa Buddhism throughout the world. He has published a series of 23 books on Buddhism and meditation, established 1400 centers and groups around the world, trained hundreds of qualified Kadampa Teachers and created a project to build Buddhist Temples in every major city in the world.

General Spiritual Director

Gen-la Kelsang Dekyong

Gen-la Kelsang Dekyong is the General Spiritual Director of the NKT-IKBU and the Resident Teacher at Manjushri KMC, the Mother Center of Kadampa Buddhism. Gen-la Dekyong has studied and practiced Kadampa Buddhism for many years under the guidance of her Spiritual Guide, Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche. She is a perfect example of a Kadampa Teacher and her humour and kindness exemplify the essence of the Buddhist way of life. Each year, Gen-la Dekyong teaches at the International Festivals, National Festivals, and Dharma Celebrations throughout the world where she inspires thousands of disciples with her pure example and wisdom.

Inspiration to develop

Various Buddhas help us in various ways

The Buddha we are probably most familiar with is Buddha Shakyamuni, but there are actually countless Buddhas. Buddhas are teachers and role models who help us develop our inner qualities. Different Buddhas help us develop different aspects of our self. Every detail of a Buddha’s image has a meaning.

Buddha Shakyamuni is the founder of Buddhism in this world. In general, ‘Buddha’ means ‘Awakened One’, someone who has awakened from the sleep of ignorance and sees things as they really are. A Buddha is a person who is completely free from all faults and mental obstructions. Every living being has the potential to become a Buddha.

Buddha Shakyamuni

Founder of Buddhism

The Wisdom Buddha is called Buddha Manjushri and is the manifestation of all the Buddhas’ wisdom. Through relying on Manjushri we can develop our wisdom.

Buddha Manjushri

Wisdom Buddha

The Compassion Buddha, the embodiment of the universal compassion of all enlightened beings. By relying upon Avalokiteshvara we naturally increase our own compassion.

Buddha Avalokiteshvara

Compassion Buddha

Buddha Green Tara can help us very quickly. She is known as the ‘Great Liberator’ who pacifies all sickness, poverty, misfortune, fighting and quarrelling, and causes the Dharma and all good fortune to flourish. Her right leg extended also indicates her readiness to help others.

Buddha Green Tara

Great Liberator

Buddha Vajrasattva is the Buddha of Purification. The practice of meditation and recitation of Buddha Vajrasattva is a powerful method for purifying our impure mind and actions.

Buddha Vajrasattva

Purification Buddha

Medicine Buddha is the Healing Buddha, or Buddha Doctor, whose function is to release living beings from outer and inner sickness. Through relying upon Medicine Buddha with faith we develop a special power of body, speech and mind, which we can then use to help others through healing actions.

Medicine Buddha

Medicine Buddha

The great Tibetan Buddhist Master, an emanation of the Wisdom Buddha Manjushri, who spread a very pure Buddhadharma showing how to combine the practices of Sutra and Tantra.

Je Tsongkhapa

Wisdom Buddha

The Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden in an emanation of the Wisdom Buddha Manjushi. His main function is to avert the inner and outer obstacles that prevent practitioners from gaining spiritual realizations, and to arrange all the necessary conditions for their spiritual development

Dorje Shugden

Wisdom Buddha

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