Kadampa Buddhism is a Mahayana Buddhist Tradition founded by the great Indian Buddhist Master Atisha (AD 982 – 1054). ‘Ka’ refers to Buddha Shakyamuni’s teachings, and ‘dam’ to Atisha’s special Lamrim instructions known as ‘The stages of the path to enlightenment’. By integrating their knowledge of all Buddha’s teachings into their practice of Lamrim, and by integrating this into their everyday lives, Kadampa Buddhists learn to use Buddha’s teachings as practical methods for transforming their daily activities into the path to enlightenment by improving their love, compassion and wisdom.
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 Lojong or ‘Training the Mind’ 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. He clarified the teachings of Kadam Dharma and made them 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 and his practitioners became known as ‘new Kadampas’.
After the time of Je Tsongkhapa, the new Kadampa lineage flourished for hundreds of years, down to the present day.
In recent years, it has been revived and promoted widely throughout the world by the contemporary Buddhist Master, Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. By founding the New Kadampa Tradition – International Kadampa Buddhist Union, Geshe Kelsang has created a truly global infrastructure to preserve and promote Kadampa Buddhism for many generations to come.
Rapidly growing, our Kadampa community is an international family, offering support, inspiration and encouragement for this joyful and profound spiritual path at Centres around the world.