Buddhism is Buddha’s teachings and the inner experiences or realizations of these teachings. These have a timeless and universal relevance and can be practiced by anyone in any culture, regardless of race, gender, or age.
Protection from suffering and problems.
By practicing Buddha’s teachings, or Dharma, we protect ourself from suffering and problems. All the problems we experience during daily life originate in ignorance, and the method for eliminating ignorance is to practice Dharma.

Practicing Dharma is the supreme method for improving the quality of our human life because the quality of life depends not upon external development or material progress, but upon the inner development of peace and happiness.
Unbroken lineage
Buddha first gave his teachings over two and half thousand years ago. Since that time they have been preserved in a pure form and passed down from Teacher to disciple in an unbroken lineage that is still alive today.

Thanks to the kindness of these previous Teachers, we are able to listen to and practice exactly the same Dharma as Buddha originally taught.

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Kadampa Buddhism is a Mahayana Buddhist school founded by the great Indian Buddhist Master Atisha (AD 982-1054).

In the word, ‘Kadampa’, ‘Ka’ refers to Buddha’s teachings, and ‘dam’ to Atisha’s special Lamrim instructions. Kadampas, then, are practitioners who regard Buddha’s teachings as personal instructions and put them into practice by following the instructions of Lamrim.

By integrating their understanding of all Buddha’s teachings into their practice of Lamrim, and by integrating their experience of Lamrim into their everyday lives, Kadampas use Buddha’s teachings as practical methods for transforming daily activities into the path to enlightenment.

After Atisha, the Kadampa lineage was passed down through a succession of great Kadampa Teachers including Dromtönpa, Geshe Potowa, Geshe Sharawa, and Geshe Chekhawa. These precious Teachers were not only great scholars but also spiritual practitioners of immense purity and sincerity. They placed particular emphasis on the practice of Training the Mind (Lojong) by which all our daily life experiences, and especially all our problems, suffering, and difficulties, can be transformed into the spiritual path. The Kadampa lineage passed from generation to generation until the fourteenth century when it reached the great Buddhist Master Je Tsongkhapa. Je Tsongkhapa clarified all the teachings of Kadam Dharma and made them very accessible to the people of that time. In particular, he showed how to combine Lamrim, and Lojong with Mahamudra Tantra in a unified daily practice. Just as the union of study and practice was a hallmark of the early Kadampas, so the union of Sutra and Tantra was to become a hallmark of the New Kadampas, as the followers of Je Tsongkhapa became known.

After Je Tsongkhapa, the New Kadampa lineage flourished for hundreds of years, down to the present day. In recent years, it has been promoted widely throughout the world by the contemporary Buddhist Master, Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. By founding the New Kadampa Tradition, the International Kadampa Buddhist Union, Geshe Kelsang has created a truly global infrastructure to preserve and promote Kadampa Buddhism for many generations to come.

The New Kadampa Tradition – International Kadampa Buddhist Union (NKTIKBU) is an international association of Mahayana Buddhist study and meditation centres that follow the Kadampa Buddhist tradition founded by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. These Centers all follow the three New Kadampa Tradition Study Programs (see below) and are guided by a common code of moral discipline called the Internal Rules of the NKTIKBU.

To bring them together under the auspices of a legal entity, every NKTIKBU Centre is a member of an international Buddhist charity with the same name ‘New Kadampa Tradition – International Kadampa Buddhist Union’.

The charity is incorporated in England, and its constitution is completely democratic, sharing authority between a General and Deputy Spiritual Director, a team of managers and the member Centers themselves. At general meetings of the charity, each NKTIKBU Centre is represented by its Resident Teacher.

The NKTIKBU maintains an ‘International Temples Project’, whose aim is in general to introduce the Buddhist faith of the New Kadampa Tradition publicly, and in particular to exemplify Buddhist practice through public service.

To accomplish this aim the NKTIKBU continually emphasizes the development throughout the world of:

  • Local Kadampa Buddhist Centers.
  • Regional Kadampa Meditation Centers.
  • International Kadampa Buddhist Temples.
  • International Retreat Centers.
  • National publication departments. (Tharpa editorial).
  • Hotel Kadampas.

The NKT is a legally independent Buddhist tradition, and the NKT–IKBU does not have any political affiliation.

With 1100 Kadampa Buddhist centers and groups around the world, there are thousands of people now practicing Kadampa Buddhism under the guidance of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. This worldwide Kadampa community is like a global spiritual family who help us progress in our practice. The support of Sangha, or spiritual friends who inspire us by their example, assist us in our practice, and encourage us to follow correct paths is central to the Buddhist way of life.
Types of spiritual community
There are different types of spiritual community, or Sangha, which are distinguished by the type of vow one takes.

Those who take Pratimoksha ordination as monks or nuns choose to follow a life bound by moral discipline so that they can focus on their spiritual development for the benefit of others. Within the Kadampa community there are 700 monks and nuns.

There are also Pratimoksha vows that lay people can take. Those who take Bodhisattva vows promise to follow the Bodhisattva’s way of life to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all living beings. Tantric vows are given during Tantric empowerments. See the section on Tantra for more information.

Within the New Kadampa Tradition, it is possible for one person to take all three vows.

Happiness is a state of mind, therefore the real source of happiness lies in the mind, not in external circumstances.

If our mind is pure and peaceful we shall be happy, regardless of our external conditions, but if it is impure and unpeaceful we shall never find happiness, no matter how much we try to change our external circumstances.

Meditation enables us to cultivate those states of mind that are conducive to peace and well-being, and eradicate those that are not.

To meditate successfully we first need to listen to authentic teachings from a qualified Meditation Teacher and study qualified meditation books.

Through study and meditation we develop three types of wisdom:

1- Wisdom arisen from listening.
2- Wisdom arisen from contemplating.
3- Wisdom arisen from meditation.

When fully developed, these wisdoms completely eradicate all negativity and all confusion from the mind.

Success in study and meditation depends upon creating the right inner conditions, specifically receiving inspiring blessings, purifying negative karma, and accumulating meritorious energy.

We achieve these through supporting practices such as relying upon a qualified Spiritual Guide, making offerings, reciting prayers, etc.

This section is designed to introduce such practices. and to give you a taste of the beneficial experiences they lead to. However, if you wish to learn to practice correctly and progress along the Buddhist path, you should try to attend teachings from a qualified teacher at a Kadampa Buddhist Center.