About the Centre
Vajrapani Kadampa Buddhist Centre was founded in 1997 by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso – an accomplished meditation master, born in Tibet, who has been living and teaching in the West since 1977. The purpose of the Centre is to help anybody who wishes to, find greater inner peace through the practicing and meditating on the advice given by Buddha. Vajrapani Centre is part of an international union of around 1000 centres in 40 countries around the world – the New Kadampa Tradition – International Kadampa Buddhist Union (NKT-IKBU). The NKT-IKBU is a charity registered in the United Kingdom and presents the lineage of Buddha’s teachings according to the great masters Atisha and Je Tsongkhapa. All centres are run on a charitable and voluntary basis where no-one receives payment for their services. All activities are dedicated towards the realization of world peace.
What to expect at our classes
The classes are based on a special presentation of authentic Buddhist teachings that have been made relevant for modern people. You will learn practical meditations that you can immediately apply in your daily life. In each class there are two guided meditations and a presentation of an aspect of Buddhist philosophy. These classes are meant for everyone so it’s not at all necessary to be a Buddhist to attend. You don’t need to sit cross legged on a cushion we offer ordinary chairs and no special clothing is necessary. The first guided meditation is generally a relaxation and breathing mediation. It lasts about 20 minutes. The presentation lasts about 45minutes and there is a chance to ask questions.Then the final meditation, which is related to the talk, lasts about 15 minutes. To conclude the evening we offer light refreshments with a opportunity to discuss and socialise.
Buddha and Buddhism
The founder of Buddhism in this world was Buddha Shakyamuni who lived and taught in India some 2,500 years ago. Since then millions of people around the world have followed the pure spiritual path he revealed. Buddha explained that all our problems and suffering arise from confused and negative states of mind, and all our happiness and good fortune arise from peaceful and positive states of mind.
Lasting peace and happiness
Buddha taught methods for gradually overcoming minds such as anger, jealousy and ignorance, and developing positive minds such as love, compassion and wisdom. Through this we will come to experience lasting peace and happiness.
These methods work for anyone, in any country, of any age. Once we have gained experience of them ourselves we can pass them on to others so they can enjoy the same benefits.
The Buddhist way of life – peace, loving kindness and wisdom – is just as relevant today as it was when Buddha appeared in ancient India.
Kadampa Buddhism is a Mahayana Buddhist school founded by the great Indian Buddhist Master Atisha (AD 982-1054). His followers are known as ‘Kadampas’. Ka refers to Buddha’s teachings, and dam to Atisha’s special Lamrim instructions known as ‘the stages of the path to enlightenment’. Kadampas, then, are practitioners who regard Buddha’s teachings as personal instructions and put them into practice by following the instructions of Lamrim.
The Kadampa tradition was later promoted widely in Tibet by Je Tsongkhapa and his followers, who were known as the ‘New Kadampas’.
The lineage of these teachings, both their oral transmission and blessings, was then passed from Teacher to disciple, spreading throughout much of Asia, and now to many countries throughout the western world.
Buddha’s teachings, which are known as ‘Dharma’, are likened to a wheel that moves from country to country in accordance with changing conditions and people’s karmic inclinations.
The external forms of presenting Buddhism may change as it meets with different cultures and societies, but its essential authenticity is ensured through the continuation of an unbroken lineage of realized practitioners.
Modern Kadampa Buddhism
Through the activities and dedication of the renowned Buddhist Master, Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Kadampa Buddhism has spread to many countries in recent years.
Geshe Kelsang has worked tirelessly to spread Kadampa Buddhism throughout the world by giving extensive teachings, writing many books on Kadampa Buddhism, establishing the International Temples Project and founding the New Kadampa Tradition – International Kadampa Buddhist Union.