Our Founder, Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

Our founder, Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso is the inspiration behind the California Dharma Celebration. He is a fully accomplished meditation master, internationally renowned teacher of Buddhism, and founder of the New Kadampa Tradition – International Kadampa Buddhist Union. He has written more than 22 authoritative books on Buddhism and meditation and has helped to found hundreds of Buddhist Centers, Festivals and Celebrations throughout 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.

Gen Kelsang Rigpa

Gen Kelsang Rigpa is the Western US National Spiritual Director of the NKT-IKBU. He is also the Resident Teacher at Kadampa Meditation Center Hollywood. He will grant the empowerment of Buddha Vajrapani and give teachings on refuge.

Gen Rigpa’s heartfelt and practical teachings are presented with warmth and humor, making them accessible to everyone. 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 Chöma

Gen Kelsang Chöma is a senior Kadampa Buddhist nun and the Resident Teacher at Kadampa Meditation Center San Francisco. She has studied and practiced under the guidance of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso for over 25 years and has taught throughout the United States. People find Gen Chöma’s teachings clear, warm and encouraging.

Gen Chöma will be guiding the meditations on Saturday and Sunday morning.


Kadam Rebecca Gauthier

Kadam Rebecca Gauthier, a Western lay practitioner, has been studying and practicing Kadampa Buddhism under Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’s guidance for over twenty years. Her heartfelt teachings are presented with clarity and humor that make them accessible to everyone. Kadam Rebecca will be giving the Intro Talk on Friday night.