Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
Odiyana Center was founded in 1996 by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. “Geshe-la,” as he is affectionately called by his disciples, is a fully accomplished meditation master and internationally renowned teacher of Buddhism and is primarily responsible for the worldwide revival of Kadampa Buddhism in our time.
Ordained a Buddhist monk at the age of 8, Geshe-la studied extensively in the great monastic universities of Tibet and earned the title ‘Geshe’, which literally means ‘spiritual friend’. Under the guidance of his Spiritual Guide, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, he then spent the next eighteen years in meditation retreats in the Himalayas.
In 1977 he accepted an invitation to teach at Manjushri Kadampa Meditation Center in England, where he has lived and taught ever since, giving teachings and guidance to an ever-growing group of disciples.
Each year, Geshe-la gives teachings and empowerments at the International Kadampa Festivals, which are attended by thousands of people from all over the world.
He has published a series of remarkable books on Buddhism and meditation, from basic introductory books to advanced philosophical texts and meditation manuals.
Geshe-la has established three unique study programs and 1100 centers and groups around the world, trained hundreds of qualified Teachers and a flourishing ordained community, and created a project to build Buddhist Temples in every major city in the world.
In his teachings Geshe Kelsang emphasizes the importance of meditation and how to apply it in daily life, the need to be truly happy, and how to cultivate a good heart to help others — and he demonstrates these qualities perfectly in his own life.
This remarkable Teacher inspires so many people from so many different countries because he teaches from example.
He is a humble Buddhist monk dedicated to helping people throughout the world find true happiness in their hearts.