Meditation means familiarizing ourself with positive and happy ways of thinking and overcoming negative habits of mind that cause unhappiness. Buddhist meditation is open to everybody who wants to learn it, it doesn’t belong to Buddhists. It resonates with a lot of people these days because it provides very practical methods for finding peace, happiness, and meaning in the midst of busy modern daily lives.
Kadampa Buddhism is the same as modern Buddhism – presenting the unbroken lineage of Buddha’s ancient wisdom dating back 2500 years in a way that can be applied in people’s modern lives.
“Buddhism is the practice of Buddha’s teachings, also called Dharma, which means ‘protection’.” ~ Modern Buddhism, p. 3 (click on the link for a free eBook!!)
Meditation — or familiarizing ourself with positivity — is at the heart of Buddhism. By practicing Buddhist meditation we are protected from the suffering caused by our so-called ‘delusions’ – unpeaceful, uncontrolled states of mind such as anger, attachment and ignorance that give rise to nothing but suffering. We also learn how to develop and maintain our peaceful, positive states of mind such as patience, love and wisdom, and in this way fulfill our innate potential for happiness and freedom, including the ability to help others. Anyone with a mind can do this, regardless of their background, culture or even belief system.
“In general, all Buddha’s teachings, the Dharma, are very precious, but Kadam Dharma or Lamrim is a very special Buddhadharma that is suitable for everyone without exception…. This is because Kadam Dharma accords with people’s daily experience; it cannot be separated from daily life.” ~ Modern Buddhism, p. 22-3
Kadampa Buddhism is practical, applied Buddhism. It is a Mahayana Buddhist school founded by the great Indian Buddhist Master Atisha (AD 982-1054), practiced fully and passed down the generations through great spiritual masters, including Je Tsongkhapa (AD 1357-1419), to the present day.
In the word ‘Kadampa’, ‘Ka’ refers to Buddha Shakyamuni’s teachings, and ‘dam’ to Atisha’s Lamrim (or “stages of the path to enlightenment”) instructions. So a Kadampa is anyone who regards Buddha’s teachings as personal instructions and puts them into practice by following the instructions of Lamrim. This way we can learn to transform all our daily activities and experiences – relationships, work, good times, bad times etc — into the path to mental freedom and enlightenment.
New Kadampa Tradition / International Kadampa Buddhist Union
To provide a vehicle for promoting Kadampa Buddhism throughout the world, in 1991 Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso founded the New Kadampa Tradition ~ the International Kadampa Buddhist Union (NKT-IKBU).
The NKT-IKBU is an international association of study and meditation centers that follow the pure tradition of Mahayana Buddhism derived from the Buddhist meditators and scholars Atisha and Je Tsongkhapa, and introduced into the West by the Buddhist Teacher Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.
The NKT-IKBU is an association of study and meditation centers dedicated to helping people everywhere find meaning and purpose in their lives, and to the developing of genuine inner peace and happiness.
Putting Buddha’s teachings into practice in the context of our family and work commitments, we discover they are unsurpassed methods to resolve daily difficulties and problems.
Rapidly growing, our Kadampa community is an international family, offering support, inspiration and encouragement for this joyful and profound spiritual path at centers around the world.
The NKT-IKBU is an entirely independent Buddhist tradition and has no political affiliations. The NKT-IKBU is an international nonprofit organization registered in England as a charitable company.