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Our Teachers

Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche - Founder of the New Kadampa Tradition

The Founder and Spiritual Guide of the New Kadampa Tradition  is Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche, affectionately known as ‘Venerable Geshe-la’. Since 1977 he was resident in the UK for over 30 years. He returned at the end of 2021, and showed the manner of passing away at Manjushri Centre in September 2022.


A world-renowned meditation master and T eacher, he is a truly international Teacher who presents Buddha’s teachings in ways
that anyone, regardless of nationality, culture, or age, can easily understand and apply to their modern daily lives.


Through helping people to integrate the pure and life-transforming teachings of Buddha into their daily experience, Venerable Geshe-la has enabled them to solve their personal problems and to discover a deep and lasting inner peace and  happiness.

Gen-la Kelsang Dekyong - General Spiritual Director of the NKT

Gen-la Kelsang Dekyong is the General Spiritual Director of New Kadampa Tradition - International Kadampa Buddhist Union (NKT-IKBU) and Resident Teacher at Manjushri KMC. She is an ordained Buddhist nun who has been a student of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche for over thirty years, sincerely training under his guidance in all aspects of Kadam Dharma. She is recognized as a fully-qualified Dharma Teacher of both Sutra and Tantra. Besides teaching at Manjushri KMC, Gen-la also teaches at major events throughout the world.

Gen-la Kelsang Jampa - Deputy Spiritual Director of the NKT

Gen-la Jampa is an internationally-renowned Buddhist ordained teacher and the Deputy Spiritual Director of the NKT-IKBU and Resident Teacher of the International Kadampa Retreat Center Grand Canyon in Williams, Arizona.​ 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. We are fortunate to have Gen-la giving teachings at the nearby retreat center and periodically in Tucson.

Gen Kelsang Rigpa - US Western National Spiritual Director

Gen Kelsang Rigpa is the Western US National Spiritual Director and the Resident Teacher at KMC Hollywood. His heartfelt and practical teachings are presented with warmth and humor, making them accessible to everyone. He shows the joy of living a spiritual life and is an inspiring example of Buddhism in practice. Through his clear presentation, he is able to help students discover for themselves how to integrate these timeless teachings into our modern world, making everyday life joyful and meaningful.

Gen Kelsang Lingpur - Resident Teacher, KMC Arizona

Gen Lingpur is the Resident Teacher of Kadampa Meditation Center Arizona in Tucson. She has been a student and disciple of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche for over 28 years. Gen Lingpur has been ordained as a Buddhist nun for many years and has taught in the New Kadampa Tradition in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Mexico. Having benefited greatly herself from the study of Buddhadharma, she is happy to give back by sharing her love of Buddha’s teachings. With a down-to-earth style, Gen Lingpur helps us to look at our situation in a new light and to transform negative minds into positive ones.

Arlene Naughton has been studying & practicing Dharma at KMC Arizona for over 15 years and is currently a student in the Foundation Program. Arlene loves how Buddhism has brought great meaning to her life, and she enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience of the Dharma through teaching and leading meditations.

Kelsang Wangmo is the Education Program Coordinator at KMC-AZ. She began studying Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso ’s teachings in 2007,and ordained in 2022.  Through study and practice, Kelsang Wangmo has learned how to connect with Sangha and enjoys bringing Dharma to the Tucson community.


Jacqueline Young is a Kadampa Buddhist who has had the joy of practicing in the Tucson and Seattle Kadampa centers since 1998.  She also had the good fortune to receive teachings from Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche. Jacqueline is delighted to share her understanding, experience, and love of Dharma with others.

Michele Waletitsch has been a disciple of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche for approximately 15 years. Her practice has been enriched by studying in the Foundation Program under Gen Lingpur, volunteering at the Center and being supported by Sangha. Michele is grateful to be a Kadampa Buddhist!

Esmeralda Aguirre has been studying at KMC for 4 years, 2 in Dallas and 2 in Tucson. She has found joy in Kadampa Buddhism, practicing, studying in the Foundation Program, volunteering, and discussing Dharma in ways that she hopes are relatable and helpful to others.

Cynthia Elwood remembers very clearly her first Buddhist teaching from Gen Lingpur in 2008 on “ all living beings are our mothers”. She remembers thinking “This changes everything!” She now hopes to share her mind/heart opening experience of dharma with other students through teaching and meditation.

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