Vajradhara Meditation Center (VMC) is a community of practitioners and volunteers in Brooklyn, with a long and rich history – and is one of 1,400 New Kadampa Tradition (NKT) locations worldwide.
VMC was established in 2005 by Venerable Geshe Kelsang with Gen-la Kelsang Dekyong as our first Resident Teacher. The Center started out in a rented townhouse in Fort Greene with five residents. Gen-la Kelsang Jampa once served as the Education Program Coordinator.
(Gen-la Dekyong is now the General Spiritual Director of the New Kadampa Tradition and Resident Teacher at Manjushri Kadampa Meditation Center in Ulverston, UK.)
Kadam Matthew Riechers took over as Resident Teacher in 2008 and in 2014, VMC found its current central, convenient location to make it easier for every Brooklynite to learn and practice Kadam Dharma. Our tight-knit, friendly Sangha is eager to welcome new students at any level.
New Kadampa Buddhism is a special presentation of Buddha's teachings designed especially for the people of the modern world. All the practices come from Buddha Shakyamuni and have been preserved over the centuries by an unbroken lineage of fully realized Teachers.
Kadampa Buddhism is a Mahayana Buddhist school founded by the great Indian Buddhist Master Atisha (AD 982-1054). After Atisha, the Kadampa lineage was passed down through a succession of great Kadampa Teachers including Dromtönpa, Geshe Potowa, Geshe Sharawa, and Geshe Chekhawa. These precious Teachers were not only great scholars but also spiritual practitioners of immense purity and sincerity. The Kadampa lineage passed from generation to generation until the fourteenth century when it reached the great Buddhist Master Je Tsongkhapa. Je Tsongkhapa clarified all the teachings of Kadam Dharma and made them very accessible to the people of that time. In particular, he showed how to combine Lamrim, and Lojong with Mahamudra Tantra in a unified daily practice. Just as the union of study and practice was a hallmark of the early Kadampas, so the union of Sutra and Tantra was to become a hallmark of the New Kadampas, as the followers of Je Tsongkhapa became known.
After Je Tsongkhapa, the New Kadampa lineage flourished for hundreds of years, down to the present day. In recent years, it has been promoted widely throughout the world by the contemporary Buddhist Master, Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. By founding the New Kadampa Tradition, the International Kadampa Buddhist Union, Geshe Kelsang has created a truly global infrastructure to preserve and promote Kadampa Buddhism for many generations to come.
Venerable Geshe-la’s presentation retains all the meanings and insights of Buddha’s original teachings, while offering them in a fashion that is accessible and suitable for modern-day practitioners. Through this great kindness everyone – regardless of nationality, culture, age or gender – now has the opportunity to follow practice scientifically proven methods for solving the problems of daily life that ultimately lead to true and lasting happiness.