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Information for Beginners

About Buddhism, Meditation & Our Classes

Where do I start?

We may have a wish to learn how to meditate, or to find out about Buddhism, but where do we start?

The General Programme (GP) Classes at Kadampa Meditation Centre Glasgow and its branches are the perfect place. We may have begun our exploration of Buddhism through reading books on our own, but actually training our mind through meditation depends on guidance from a qualified instructor. It is also invaluable to have the support of fellow practitioners.

The classes are designed both as a series and as stand-alone classes, so you can attend any class even if the series has already started.

What to Expect at a Class

Our classes and courses generally have three elements:

Simple Guided Meditations

Classes begin with a simple guided breathing meditation to reduce stress, tension and distractions. There is guided meditation at the end of the class to help us gain deeper experience of the subject of the class.

Buddhist Teaching

A talk on how to incorporate meditation and Buddhist principles into daily life. This may include topics such as improving relationships, developing confidence, gaining peace of mind, coping with stress and dealing with anger.

Discussion, Q&A

The class concludes with discussion, question and answers, giving you the opportunity to clarify any points.

What will I gain from these classes?

The classes will allow you to unwind your mind and return home relaxed and refreshed. They will provide you with new tools for dealing with stress, anxiety, and problems. They will also help you to overcome negative states of mind such as anger and jealousy, and to cultivate positive minds such as patience and love.

The talks and guided meditations will provide you with the foundation for developing a powerful meditation practice. A regular meditation practice has many benefits:

  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Brings inner calm and a feeling of well-being
  • Gives clarity to solve our problems
  • Helps us deal with challenging people and situations
  • Numerous health benefits including improved blood pressure
  • Increased academic performance and creativity

Who are these classes for?

Our meditation classes are for everyone who is interested in learning how to meditate, regardless of background or belief. They are designed to give a broad introduction to Buddhist meditation, teachings, and practice. Everyone is invited to use whichever aspects of the teachings they find helpful and to not worry about the rest!

Ongoing Practice

Having learned some methods for improving our mind, we can then continue to train in these meditations and practices on our own. If we put these methods into practice we will experience our mind gradually becoming more peaceful, our problems diminishing, and our relationships improving.

What is Meditation?

Meditation is a way of calming and training our mind to be happy. It is easy to do, and something everyone can learn. Through meditation and by practising mindfulness in our daily activities, we can control our feelings and emotions, gain inner strength, let go of stress and start truly to relax.

When we take a close look at our life, we discover that essentially most of our time and energy is devoted to mundane activities, such as seeking material and emotional security, enjoying sensory pleasures, establishing a good reputation and so forth.

Although these things might make us happy for a short time,  we need to ask if they are providing the deep lasting contentment that we long for.  Is this as good as it gets? Sooner or later, we find that these moments of temporary happiness turn right back into dissatisfaction and once more we find ourselves engaged in the pursuit of more worldly pleasures.

And so goes the cycle.

This is where meditation practice can be so extraordinarily helpful.

If true fulfillment cannot be found in the externals, then where can it be found? The answer: within. In our own mind. With meditation we come to understand that happiness is a state of mind. Therefore, the real source of happiness lies there, and not in external circumstances. If our mind is pure and peaceful, the world we experience will be pure and peaceful. That’s the goal.

This is what we do at the Kadampa Meditation Centre Glasgow.

Every class at KMC Glasgow includes guided meditations on topics ranging from love, compassion and wisdom, through to the most profound meditations. We also have day courses and retreats at our Centre through which we can deepen our experience of meditation.

KMC Glasgow not only provides clear instruction on the practice and an ideal environment in which to practice it, it also allows us to connect to a community who are all working to improve their minds and their lives. Being part of a supportive spiritual community is an essential part of maintaining a daily meditation practice.

Everybody is welcome.

About Buddhism

Buddha Shakyamuni

Who is Buddha and what is Buddhism?

The founder of Buddhism in this world was Buddha Shakyamuni who lived and taught in India some two and a half thousand years ago. Since then, millions of people around the world have followed the pure spiritual path he revealed. The Buddhist way of life—of peace, loving kindness, and wisdom—is just as relevant today as it was in ancient India.

Buddha explained that all our problems and suffering arise from confused and negative states of mind, and that all our happiness and good fortune arise from peaceful and positive states of mind.

Lasting Peace & Happiness

He taught methods for gradually overcoming our negative minds such as anger, jealousy, and ignorance, and developing our 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, at any age. Once we have gained experience of them for ourselves, we can pass them on to others so they too can enjoy the same benefits.

Buddhism in the UK

With the fast pace and high stress of modern life, many people, including medical doctors, are becoming interested in the peaceful philosophy of Buddhism. In particular, there is a very deep interest in learning how to meditate both to overcome stress and anxiety, and to deepen one’s spiritual experience. In response to this growing interest, Kadampa Buddhism offers many different ways of learning about Buddhism and practicing meditation. Kadampa Buddhism was first introduced to the West in 1976 by the renowned Kadampa Buddhist Master, Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.

Since then Geshe Kelsang has worked tirelessly to provide all the conditions necessary to support contemporary practitioners. He has written over twenty books on Buddhism that are now being translated into many different languages.

Geshe Kelsang has also established a worldwide network of over 1200 Kadampa Buddhist centres, such as KMC Glasgow, in over 36 countries around the world where people of all cultures can train in meditation and other Buddhist practices.

Each centre has qualified local teachers and offers introductory classes, courses and events, structured study programs, and meditation retreats. All Kadampa Centres are open to the public.

Modern Kadampa Buddhism

venerable geshe kelsang gyatso

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 profound texts on Kadampa Buddhism and founding the New Kadampa Tradition. One of his latest books, Modern Buddhism, presents the very essence of the Kadampa Buddhist path, both Sutra and Tantra, in an accessible manner that can be easily integrated into our modern lives. Modern Buddhism is available as a free e-book.

Kadampa Buddhism

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 are practitioners who regard Buddha’s teachings as personal instructions and put them into practice by following the instructions of Lamrim.

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 are practitioners who regard Buddha’s teachings as personal instructions and put them into practice by following the instructions of Lamrim.

Later in the 14th century the Kadampa tradition was promoted widely in Tibet by Je Tsongkhapa and his followers who were known as the ‘New Kadampas’.

Transforming daily activities into the path

By integrating their knowledge of all Buddha’s teachings into their practice of Lamrim, and by integrating this into their everyday lives, Kadampa Buddhists are encouraged to use Buddha’s teachings as practical methods for transforming daily activities into the path to enlightenment.

The great Kadampa Teachers are famous not only for being great scholars, but also for being spiritual practitioners of immense purity and sincerity.


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 encounters different cultures and societies, but its essential authenticity is ensured through the continuation of an unbroken lineage of realised practitioners.

Find out more about Kadampa Buddhism here.

Spiritual Directors

Gen-la Kelsang Dekyong
Our General Spiritual Director (GSD)

Gen-la Kelsang Dekyong, the General Spiritual Director of NKT-IKBU and Principal Resident Teacher at Manjushri KMC, is a modern Buddhist nun dedicated to helping people from all walks of life attain lasting happiness through developing inner mental peace.

She has been a student of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso for over thirty years, during which time she has inspired thousands of people around the world through her sincere reliance on her Spiritual Guide, taking his teachings to heart and putting them into practice in every aspect of her life.

Gen-la Dekyong is a highly experienced Buddhist Teacher who has taught at many different centres internationally.

Before her appointment as General Spiritual Director she was the National Spiritual Director of the USA. She is a very powerful Teacher able to make Buddha’s teachings easily accessible and to show through her example how to integrate these teachings into our daily life.

Gen-la has dedicated her life to helping spread Kadampa Buddhism throughout the world by developing meditation centres and Temples in as many countries as possible, and she provides enthusiastic support and encouragement to everyone engaged in these projects.

Gen-la Kelsang Jampa
Deputy Spiritual Director, Gen-la Kelsang Jampa

Gen-la Kelsang Jampa is the Deputy Spiritual Director of the New Kadampa Tradition – International Kadampa Buddhist Union (NKT-IKBU) and Resident Teacher of Kadampa Meditation Center Texas. He is an American Buddhist monk dedicated to helping people solve their daily problems by developing the capacity of their mind through the practice of meditation and modern Buddhism.

Gen-la Jampa has been a student of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso for many years. Under Geshe-la’s guidance, he has taught at many centers and events internationally. Gen-la is well-loved for his clear and inspiring teachings, and his ability to touch people’s hearts through his sincerity and loving-kindness.

Our National Spiritual Director (NSD)

Kadam Bridget Heyes is the UK National Spiritual Director of the New Kadampa Tradition and Resident Teacher of Nagarjuna Buddhist Centre in Northamptonshire. She is a senior disciple of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso and has been practising for over 25 years. Kadam Bridget is known for her powerful teachings, compassionate heart and deep understanding of Buddha’s teachings. As a mother of two, she has special insight into how to bring meditation alive to meet the demands of busy modern life. She shows an inspiring example for anyone interested in developing their mind.

Keep up-to-date with Kadampa Meditation Centre Glasgow