Kadampa Blogs, Questionnaires and Videos

As it says on the homepage of our website, the aim of the NKT is to introduce practical methods that can help people of all backgrounds solve problems and find happiness. As Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, the Founder of the NKT, says:

“Our intention in teaching Dharma is not just to spread Buddhism. We are trying to help the people of this world by giving them special methods to solve their daily problems and to achieve the permanent happiness of liberation. In itself, the flourishing of Buddhadharma is not important unless it benefits others. This is the main purpose of Buddhism.”

There are a growing number of personal blogs by Kadampa Buddhist practitioners talking about how they integrate Kadampa Buddhism into their daily lives and use it to solve their own and others’ problems. For example: This Mountain, That Mountain and I Love Kadampa Buddhism.

Also, on a few NKT Center websites you can find questionnaires of Kadampa students who talk about how they first got interested in Kadampa Buddhism and then answer some interesting questions. For example: Meditation in San Francisco Questionnaires (since 2006)

There are also some short internet teachings that give a sense of the accessibility of Kadampa Buddhism available on the main Kadampa website.

These blogs and so on* offer a small taste of a large variety of NKT students from all different walks of life. Tens of thousands of Kadampa Buddhists are scattered all around the world, East and West – some living in Centers, most living outside and working regular jobs – and all trying their best to integrate Buddha’s teachings into daily life to find inner peace, control their minds, and help others.

If you have any helpful experiences you’d like to share, please feel free to post them to the comments section of this article.

(*Please note that New Kadampa Truth does not take responsibility for the contents of unofficial blogs and so on.)

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10 Responses to Kadampa Blogs, Questionnaires and Videos

  1. Gail says:

    Those questionnaires are heart-warming and honest, and some of them are even pretty funny 😉

    Thank you for starting the ball rolling on positive NKT testimonials. There’s got to be hundreds of thousands of them out there, way more than the negative ones we keep running into over and over again on the Internet (I think I know them all off by heart by now! But probably that just shows i spend too much time on the Internet ;-()

    Okay — so reading happy, positive accounts of how to apply Dharma to one’s daily life may not always be as instantly gripping as gossip and criticism, but it sure makes you end up feeling a lot better 😉

    As for me, I’ve been in the NKT for a couple of decades give or take. My words are inadequate to describe how valuable I find the teachings, the Buddhas, the Sangha. After years of even half-hearted practice I am now finding that every sentence of Kadampa Dharma has the power to alleviate pretty much any regular problem I may be having, providing I bother to apply it. This is a real freedom.

    One example. As part of Geshe-la’s Lojong teachings in the summer, he explained how to transform any difficulties into the spiritual path by using them to remind ourself of the far greater suffering experienced by other living beings. That way, compassion arises, your own problem magically disappears, and you make spiritual progress (and become, of course, a nicer person). It is a win win.

    Anyway, I got sucked into an infomercial called “Feed the Children” the other day — harrowing tales of children in Kenya who didn’t have anything to eat — some had AIDS, some had rickets, none had a future, many had the most beautiful smiles. This program was pretty effective at getting people to call up and make donations (well, when I called up, the phone lines were full and i had to wait ages, which in itself was inspiring). Later, I was thinking of Geshe-la’s teaching in the Summer and I thought that if I had to sit down and explain my problems to one of those children…. well, I mentally imagined doing it, and the problem just slunk away. Context is everything. Compassion gives us such liberating context.

    Anyway, enough raving! Thanks for posting the blogs and questionnaires.

  2. Chodor says:

    This article has been written to share with you the positive experiences I have had within the NKT over the last 11 years. Most people that know me know that I like to stay fairly quiet but I felt compelled to write this because I found a lot of the material on the internet is anti-NKT with the NKT Truth team busily refuting allegations. I felt strongly that people need to contribute their positive stories about the NKT in order to help change peoples perception and align it with the truth. The truth that the NKT is a perfectly reliable, trustworthy, sincere and pure Tradition.

    There are two other reasons why I wrote this article. The first reason was to help nourish the faith and admiration of those who already consider themselves to be members of the NKT. It is my sincere wish that thousands of people throughout this world will follow suit and write about their story about life within the NKT, how it has benefited their lives, and brought benefit to those around them. I request you, the reader, please share with the world your good experiences and stories. I can only play my part and I hope you (and your friends) will play yours. This will create such a repository of inspiring stories. What better way to spend your coffee breaks or ‘downtime’ than reading the positive stories and experiences of thousands of other members within the NKT? This would be a banquette of delight for our minds of faith!

    The second reason I wrote this article is to hopefully inspire faith, trust, and admiration in those unsure about the NKT. I was like you to begin with – unsure whether the NKT organisation was trustworthy or reliable. In this day and age it’s important that we investigate because who wants to get on a ship that’s going in the wrong direction? Over the last eleven years I’ve become more and more aware of the purity of intention behind both the New Kadampa Tradition and its Spiritual Director Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Having experienced the beneficial effects myself I feel completely confident that I’m being guided in the right direction. For those unsure I hope this article will at least inspire you to check out what’s on offer. You might want to stay longer than you think! Most people do, as I’m sure our stories will reveal. Please enjoy.

    My story starts in April 1997 during a trip to the local Deli shop. I used to visit this shop quite often during the breaks from my daily routine working in an IT support environment at a local High Street Bank. I noticed a poster in the window advertising Buddhist meditation classes and thought that this was quite a coincidence having recently read a book on Buddhism and the importance of having a teacher if you were serious about making progress in meditation! How fortunate! And these classes are with a Buddhist Monk too!

    Before attending the class I pondered over many questions such as what would the classes be like? Would the people be weird? Will we all be sitting in a circle holding hands chanting “OM”? I hesitated but intrigue got the better of me! I decided I’d have to play it cautious for the first class. My strategy was to turn up just before the starting time and sit right at the back where I would be safe. No-one would be behind me and I’d be close to the exit. Perfect! If all else fails – I can run for my life.

    However (as with everything in life) things didn’t quite turn out the way I planned. Unfortunately (or fortunately) on the night the only seats left in the classroom were the ones right at the front. I’d already committed to paying so it was too late! My plan had failed and no escape. Oh well, too late now! After being seated I waited in anticipation for the Buddhist Monk to arrive & begin his talk. Once he arrived and began to teach I immediately began to feel a sense of calm and ease. This was my first experience of a teaching within the NKT. My initial reaction was – hey, this guy is actually quite down to earth. He seems very calm and at peace with himself (which was quite a refreshing change from working in a stress filled IT environment). I was also very impressed that the teacher didn’t try and convert, or “recruit”, the audience, into becoming a Buddhist. The teacher simply offered us something that he personally had found very beneficial and wanted to share with us. It was left to our own analysis and assessment whether we accepted, practised, and took on board what he taught. Another thing that left an impact on my mind was that the teacher was not trying to prove himself or be anything other that what he was. This again was a refreshing change from working in a business environment where people are always trying to prove themselves, guard their reputation & status, and seem unable to be themselves for fear of being seen as faulty or losing their reputation. The teacher also had a deep love, faith, and sincerity for what he practised and I found this infectious and naturally became interested in what he had to teach. I found the teachings made immediate relevance to my daily life and taught me how to view situations in a different way, a positive way, in order to help me maintain a peaceful mind in my daily activities.

    After the class ended I felt very inspired and developed a keen interest to learn more. I recall meeting some of the other people who attended the class and found, to my surprise, that these people were, well, how should I put it – normal! They were kind, thoughtful and considerate. There were people from all different backgrounds attending the classes – dentists, doctors, nurses, professional businessmen, students, retired people, old people, young people, and even the ex-mayoress of Windsor! It was great relief to meet with like-minded people who obviously had a spiritual outlook on life. I remember thinking – this meditation stuff is for everyone! (and a few years later I had this confirmed when “Mel B” aka “Scary Spice” phoned our centre interested in personal meditation tuition – but keep that a secret!).

    I continued to attend the introductory Buddhist meditation classes for about 18 months. During this period I didn’t feel ready to take my study of Buddhism any further or commit to a particular group or tradition. However, one of the things that impressed me about the NKT was that I was never “pressured” into attending additional classes or even attending the local residential centre. I was always “Captain Cautious” when it came to religious organisations anyway so I appreciated this approach. I remember, at the meditation classes, the group was often invited to different day courses and other centre events but it was always done so politely! From seeing this example my trust naturally developed in the NKT and I felt more inclined to want to take my studies a step further by attending day courses etc.

    After 18 months I decided to join Foundation Programme at my local centre. It took me a while to pluck up the courage! The local centre was just starting the study of “Heart of Wisdom” and this seemed a natural progression from the General Programme classes. At the time I felt I needed a more structured and systematic approach to my practice. The introductory classes were self-contained, very beneficial, and would cover many different topics but I felt I needed more clarity about the overall path to enlightenment. It seemed important to get a clear framework in my mind of the complete Buddhist Path to Enlightenment and find direction in my spiritual practice. I found that Foundation Programme was perfect for this. The programme was not offered on a “drop-in” basis and involved making more of a commitment but I was happy to accept this because I understood the benefits of studying on a more structured and systematic programme. The teacher and Sangha were very supportive and helped to provide the perfect conditions for me to deepen my understanding and experience of Buddhist teachings. I remember thinking “It’s so much more useful to study one book in depth and 1000 books superficially”. I still believe this to this day.

    One of the criticisms I had heard about NKT Centres was that they only studied Geshe Kelsang Gyatsos books. I was happy studying these books because I didn’t believe in mixing traditions and I new from my own experience that it can lead to greater confusion and misunderstanding. I had met people who had done this and they lacked direction & clarity in their practice because, having been introduced to many different practices, they were unsure which ones to practice and in what order to practice them. I felt mixing traditions would destroy the power of all traditions involved – A bit like mixing sweet and sour (Chinese) with vegetable madras (Indian) and destroying the taste of each!

    I thoroughly enjoyed my Foundation Programme studies and my commitment and trust in the NKT continued to grow. In the 3.5 years I’d been attending my local Dharma Centre I was never pressurised to give any money, study with only one teacher, study only Kadampa Buddhism books, disassociate with my family, get ordained or do anything that appeared “cult like”. I was never asked, or expected, to put my study or centre commitments above my work or family commitments. With respect to my family, I found the special techniques for developing cherishing love brought me closer to my family (and others) in a way I’d never experienced before. I was more accepting, patient and compassionate which benefited my relationships a great deal. For me personally, and I believe for most members of the NKT, their commitment to the NKT is not about sacrificing their family – it’s about their family. It’s about being committed to cherishing your immediate family, your Sangha family, and your extended family (all living beings) in the wisest way.

    Geshe-la never encourages members of the NKT to abandon our jobs, family, friends, possessions etc. and become hermits isolated from the rest of the world. He always encourages us to emphasise changing our internals and not our externals. We have a commitment to “Remain natural whilst changing your aspiration”. Kadampa Buddhists integrate into society by taking Buddhas teachings as personal advice and integrating them into their daily life. That means their family, jobs, friends, work colleagues etc. are their practice.

    My experience has been that some people, when they are new to Buddhist teachings, have an amazing enthusiasm that leads them to (unwisely) act in ways that can disturb those they are close to. i.e. by spending too much time at the local Buddhist Centre! This can happen to anyone coming into contact with something new that they enjoy i.e. a sport, a hobby, or even socialising down the ‘local’ pub. People can get obsessed about anything and it’s this obsession, motivated by self-cherishing, that causes them to behave in unskilful ways. The fault is not the local Buddhist Centre (or local sports centre, hobby club or local pub). None of these places can be blamed for some-ones obsessive behaviour! This fault lies in their mind. In my experience the NKT has never encouraged me (or anyone) to neglect my family and quite the opposite. Actually, the principal object for us to neglect is our self-cherishing and self-concern. It’s self-cherishing that is the real ‘cult’ that all of us subscribe to and follow unquestioningly. If we abandon self-cherishing, which is definitely encouraged at all NKT centres, we will naturally avoid obsessive behaviour and act in the most skilful way that avoids disturbing others and brings benefit to them.

    After three years of studying with the NKT I decided to finally move into a Dharma Centre and help as a full-time volunteer. I’d saved some money whilst working and, although I had considered travelling, after meditating on death and rearranging my priorities, I made the wise decision to use my finances to support a spiritual life within a Dharma Centre. I never ever look back on making this decision. This has been the best decision of my life to date. Life in the Dharma Centre was very conducive to spiritual practice with regular pujas, meditations, classes, retreats and contact with the local Sangha community. Internally I was accumulating a huge amount of merit through helping the Dharma Centre. This was great for my practice.

    Over the next four years I continued to enjoy my life living within the NKT and, sure, there have been some challenging times! i.e. when I was asked to lead my first FP discussion, make announcements, become an education programme coordinator, teach for the first time, organise courses etc. but these have all been a part of the journey of growth. Whenever we meet a challenging situation in life, or some difficulty, we instinctively blame the outside world – the weather, the government, the management, the centre, the teacher, the Sangha, the NKT etc. but at such times we have to honestly assess our mind to see if we are responsible for what we are experiencing. I always found that after honest introspection and analysis it was always something within my own mind I needed to work with in order to overcome the discomfort in my mind. We have a choice – blame the world and make a run for it or change our mind. If you run, you never change. Things are challenging for everybody, everywhere, in a world – even in Dharma Centres and for with those committed to a spiritual path. For as long as we have a contaminated deluded mind it’s going to hurt wherever we go. However, the challenges we meet and transform on the spiritual path are taking us closer to our goal. They are a means to and end and I found through putting the NKT teachings into practice all these challenges can by transformed into pure spiritual food that nourishes the mind.

    Over the years there has been some ups and downs in our tradition. Most notably several senior ordained people disrobing due to breaches of moral discipline. However, like everyone (believe it or not), NKT practitioners have delusions. Unlike everyone they are sincerely trying to control their delusions. Like everyone, sometimes their delusions get the better of them. We’re not perfect but personally I try to focus on the fact that people are trying and, even though some fall, collectively the battle is, and will be, won against our delusions.

    Four years ago I was asked to become Resident Teacher at a centre within the NKT. I found this a tremendous kindness especially as this was the guy who used to tremble and quake at the thought of making an announcement at the beginning of a GP class and, if he made a mistake, spent the whole class dwelling on that mistake! Also, the guy whose pulse rate went to 180 whilst awaiting to teach his first GP class (this shows you how bad my self-cherishing was) and the guy who spent 18 months plucking up the courage to make the 1st telephone call to the local NKT centre! However, due to the kindness of the New Kadampa Tradition, it’s teachings, and the inspiring example of the Sangha, what was once thought impossible can (and does) become the possible and this is the experience of thousands of people within the NKT.

    As a Resident Teacher, I’m never pressurised to attract more members, open more branches, raise more money etc. The emphasis in the NKT is doing things correctly and, most importantly, purely. This has been taught again and again at the ITTP (International Teacher Training Programme) run by the NKT each year for Resident Teachers. For example, it’s better to have less people at your centre and your motivation be pure & sincere than have hundreds of people at your centre and your motivation is impure. Pure motivation is everything. Without it we have nothing. From my experience, this has always been the teaching of the NKT and its Spiritual Director.

    At the moment our Sangha in Manchester are working very hard to establish a pure Kadampa Buddhist Centre near the city. We work with a loving and compassionate intention and strive continuously to improve our wisdom. We work joyfully together and we are so happy carrying out this meaningful work. This opportunity has been given to us through the kindness of the NKT. From an outside perspective it may seem that practitioners are working very hard. Some people may criticise us saying, “you all work so hard – always give, give, give to the NKT.” But, if you see from an internal perspective we take, take, take so much from this tradition and that just makes us want to give even more!

    So, I’d like to conclude as I started – if you have a positive experience or inspiring story please share it with the world. If you are unsure about the NKT then all I can say is that, from my experience, becoming a part of the NKT has been the best decision of my life so why not give it a try!

    I dedicate any merits from this so that all traditions of all religions live in perfect harmony throughout the world,

    Love, Chodor.

  3. Praises to an Ocean of Good Fortune says:

    Title of this is (name) I used here
    This is my Praise to Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche,

    his name Translated directly is Precious Ocean of Good Fortune
    Rinpoche in the title means Precious,while Geshe is a degree given through a traditional Tibetan Buddhist Monastery..an equivalent to a western PhD.

    The New Kadampa Tradition;though not actually new..it represents a new presentation of Buddha’s teachings for the West.
    Geshe-la established this in the early 90’s after seeing and contemplating how to truly help the west with Buddhism.

    Although there are many Traditions from many countries..I believe we all have different paths to finding enlightenment..and for me this is the NKT.
    I have read a little about most traditions and find many interesting and wonderful things about each,but I believe there are only a few truly western Traditions being formed..one is the Tradition I follow.

    Many people criticize the NKT because it’s breaking off from Tibetan culture and venerating a specific Saint which the Dalai Lama now condemns is a Demon,this to me is very ordinary human and political problems and have no relevence in Buddhist thought at all.
    I will not go into the whole issue because it’s quite publicized all over the web..both sides of the story.

    Back to the NKT, it’s origins and Founder…
    Geshe Kelsang Gyatso wanted to build a tradition of Buddhism based off of the Tibetan approach to this philosophy of the great Enlightened Siddharta Guatama.
    Taking the philosophical texts,transmissions,icongraphy and meditative practices along with some ritual elements into the western world.

    Having been trained and having experienced decades of retreat throughtout his life he did the great and brave deed of establishing himself outside of the Tibetan Societal and Governing world.

    I appreciate and believe keeping traditions and culture is very important..so don’t get the wrong impression here.I just believe when it comes to establishing religions it can be a univeral transition..going beyond human cultural and ethnic boundaries.

    It being a Tibetan tradition it can be a sensitive subject considering Tibet’s history,even before the invasion Tibet was particularly a solitary country with very strict border patrols.

    What Geshe-la has done is break the mold,he’s tryng to establish a truly Western Tradition of Buddhism of the Indian and Tibetan practices.
    Other traditions in the west have also adopted part of their presentation to a more western audience but in my opinion I believe Geshe Kelsang has done a particularly good job in the Tibetan side of Buddhism in the west.
    Usually I’ve witnessed in Tibetan Buddhist centers and classes a more ‘classic tibetan’ aprroach to the buddhist path..which is fine to those with the karmic inclinations to follow a foreign path.
    But not everyone..especially westerners wish to adapt to an eastern lifestyle in order to practice..or even learn a 2nd language!
    Personally,I love the tibetan side of Buddhism as well as Japanese..and find the presentation and Astheticism very appealing..but then I evaluated my motivation and it’s mostly superficial and motivated by the need to try something foreign and exotic.
    With Geshe-la’s Dharma he took out most of the traditional Tibetan Customs and presentation and replaced it with a western approach.
    Of course some aspect of the path is kept in it’s Indian and Tibetan roots..IE Mantras,Icongraphy,Monastic Robes and a few other aspects..but overall it’s been the most westernized Buddhist Organization i’ve ever seen.

    And extremely non-political.

    read the Internal Rules here

    Ven. Geshe Kelsang has written and supervised some of the most clear buddhist writing i’ve ever read.When you read certain buddhist articles and books of other paths..sometimes it can get a little overwhelming or down right confusing unless you know Literature and English very well.
    This is no fault to the teacher and or the editor because Buddhist Texts are very profound and some people are more inclined toward the Scholarly approach to reading..others are not.
    I’m not saying Geshe Kelsang hasnt written complicated books either..the Book ‘Ocean of Nectar and Understanding the Mind’ for example are some of the most complicated Buddhist Philosophical Texts ever written and though there are a few other non NKT translations of these Texts out there..they are also very difficult to digest without deeply studying them.

    Also as far as establishing Study programs,Ordaining and Training students and teachers…he’s done a superb job making it very accesible to westerners to go deeply into the path without leaving their country or family.

    This ends part 1 …part 2 coming soon.

    I just wanted to express my deep gratitude and love for the founder of this most pure tradition…may he live for a very long time.
    Om guru Sumati Buddha Heruka Sarwa siddhi Hum

  4. Stuart says:

    I am an ordinary person. I was attracted to the NKT by the quality and clarity of Geshla’s books.

    Without his books and teachings on them, I never would have changed my negative habits or tried to benefit others.

    Geshla’s presentation of Je Tsongkapa’s and others’ works is so clear, they must be based on experience. Therefore, one can only conclude he is a very special person.

    There are thousands of Buddhist books out there and many good teachers. I am glad to have a set of books using consistent terminology which encourages shared understanding.

    I am acutely conscious that having good teachers and texts are vital now, otherwise I would be creating problems for the future – a bad teacher and texts affects you beyond this lifetime.

    As Geshe Chekawa says,

    ‘Rely on a happy mind alone’

    I am happy through trying to help others – what more can I say?

    May all living beings have the opportunity to practice accurate dharma that helps them to realise the marriage of karma (infallible) and emptiness (inexpressible) – then they can change too.

    Tayata, Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi, Soha
    Tayata, Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi, Soha
    Tayata, Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi, Soha
    Tayata, Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi, Soha
    Tayata, Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi, Soha
    Tayata, Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi, Soha
    Tayata, Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi, Soha

  5. Debbs says:

    It’s so cool to hear how people came to Dharma teachings in the first place.
    I started going to NKT mediattion classes about 11 years ago because I’d reached a point in my life where I had alot of material success and yet I was thoroughly miserable and an emotional wreck (panic attacks, depression etc, etc). Luckily, I had enough wisdom to realise that I needed to sort out my mind if I wanted to be happy and have some meaning in my life – so I went along to meditation classes. From the first simple, breathing meditation I just knew that there was something in this training the mind lark that was going to work for me. I started using the meditation techniques and the practical methods taught in the classes and over about 6 months the panic attacks gradually ceased, my mind started to lift and I began to look at my life in a much more positive way. Since then, I’ve been studying and practising Dharma at NKT Centres and have found that my mind is becoming more peaceful, my relationships with others are improving (hopefully my husband would vouch for that!), I have more time and energy for others because I’m not so obsessed with myself, I have more confidence and I can cope much better when things go wrong. This Dharma definitely works – it does what it says on the tin!
    My family and friends are so grateful for me finding Dharma when I did – in fact whereas before they were constantly worried about me, the roles have reversed and they come to me for support and advice. I never thought I’d see the day…

  6. Hobson says:

    I would be interested to explore your reference to tools:

    “The aim of the NKT is to introduce practical tools that can help people of all backgrounds solve problems and find happiness”

    That sounds like a very engineered phrase. Tools? That’s a term used by software salesman and Scientologist (yeah, them!).

    Geshe-la actually refers to ‘methods to solve…daily problems’ in the quote used.

    Methods are more relavant and easy to understand than tools. They refer to actions action, rather than instruments.

    Nice to have a site that tries to address the more caustic accusations made against NKT out there on the web, but easy on the self-help manual lingo.

    Peace and Love

  7. simon says:

    My view. Tibet , the politics of Tibet, Dalai Lama,Ambasader for world peace that he is,temporary thing that may be. has no bearing on of Geshe Kelsang. One is world politics the other the path to enlightenment.

  8. Jeremy says:

    Browsing the New York websites the other day, I came across the write-up of NKT teachers on this page (I don’t know any of them personally):

    http://www.meditationinessex.org/meditation_teachers_at_dharmachackra_buddhist_center.html

    Such a big variety of backgrounds, some of these teachers highly educated and clearly very thoughtful, living their own lives while putting Buddha’s teachings into practice, and all doing practical things to help their community. I know some people like to label the NKT a “cult” because Newsweek called them the “Shugden cult” back in the 1990s, based on misunderstanding, and people have run with that label. However, this page struck me that this is just one small sample of the huge population of NKT practitioners who could not be less cult-like!

  9. Here are some amazing photos from a recent Kadampa teachers’ visit to the Zulu rural lands in South Africa:

    http://www.meditateincapetown.org/gallery.html

    Gen Pagpa said:

    ‘It was so inspiring to meet and listen to the local people describing how they are taking the Dharma advice to heart and finding it to be so beneficial in overcoming their daily problems – they are really open to receiving the teachings as personal medicine immediately – the teachings and guided meditations empower them with hope..’

    Here is a short account of the trip from Gen Sangdak:

    Here are some pics for you to enjoy from my very recent visit to the rural areas of Zululand. Pagpa flew over from Cape Town to accompany me this time.

    The venues are very different in different areas. This time one of the two venues was a tin-shack that they use as a church when it rains. They apologized for the simplicity and poverty, but I explained that everything depends upon the mind…, towards the end of the teaching and meditation everyone felt it was like a Pure Land, very beautiful. We also chant the “Prayers for Meditation” in Zulu each time. Afterwards they sang songs and danced out of gratitude and as an offering. The trumpets you see in the pictures (and their sound) are very similar to the Tibetan thungchens that we used to play at Madhayamaka Centre! Strange co-incidence…! The people are very, very grateful for the Dharma, they can immediately understand how true and practical it is. Young and old, even Christian priests are coming to listen and wish to learn.

    In their families and communities they have many, many problems. There is so much poverty, sickness, AIDS, death, jealousy, anger, desire, laziness, and confusion. From their immense suffering they see the urgent need for practical spiritual teachings that help them solve their daily problems. They absorb these teachings like a dry sponge. And they request for more, in more and more areas. The publicity is just word of mouth, but it spreads fast.

    For me it is very rewarding to have the opportunity to teach Kadamdharma to these people and I very much love this job. This is only due to Venerable Geshe-la’s immeasurable kindness! It is his compassionate heart that brings the holy Dharma to all areas of the world, – how kind he is!

    Let me hear how you are keeping. Hopefully you can join me for one of these visits one day…??

    with lots of love,

    Sangdak

  10. Choma says:

    I’ve been around the NKT for 18 years, involved with quite a number of Kadampa Buddhist Centers in the US and a few in England. For my family (most of whom are not Kadampa Buddhists of course) this has been very positive (they say I am not only calmer but more fun!), for myself it has been more than wonderful.

    When I first met the NKT, I had been studying in another tradition for many years.
    That tradition was beautiful but, for me, a bit harsh and I was happy and relieved to find a tradition (the NKT) that offered such remarkably clear texts, where there were well organized programs to study the texts, and where I could talk casually with both the teachers and fellow students. I also appreciated that there was a diverse group of people from different backgrounds involved.

    Now I feel like my daily life is a beneficial spiritual adventure and that I have an international family of friends that I get to seeing at spiritual festivals and celebrations every year. My life has improved considerably with much less stress and there is real joy in practice and study, as well as frank and supportive relationships with sangha friends. My life also feels meaningful. Although we are all human and make many many mistakes, I have been impressed with the sincere effort I’ve seen people in the NKT make to be considerate, practice loving-kindness and try to gain wisdom. I hope everyone will find such a fulfilling spiritual path.

    with best wishes,
    Chöma

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