Kadampa Buddhism is a time-honored tradition that for centuries has made Buddha’s teachings and meditation practices available to people throughout the world. Buddhism has a timeless and universal relevance, and can be practiced by anyone in any culture. Through training in meditation and other Buddhist practices you can improve the quality of your life by developing inner peace, compassion, and wisdom.
The Kadampa tradition 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 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 Rinpoche.