New Kadampa Buddhism: Uni Glos RPE.
26th March 2022
First year Students from the Religion, Philosophy and Ethics course at University of Gloucestershire were offered a real insight in to the New Kadampa Buddhist tradition when they visited the Akanishta Kadampa Buddhist Centre in Cheltenham (meditationincheltenham.org.uk – Meditation and Modern Buddhism in Cheltenham). We were ushered in by Osel, nun and the centre’s communication and education manager, who took us into the beautiful meditation room where we joined by the resident senior teacher of the centre Gen Kelsang Opel. The next half and hour or so was spent immersed in the teachings and meditation techniques as developed by the traditions founder Geshe Kelsang Gyatso and a wonderful experience it was, as testified by the students afterwards. We were then offered refreshments as we moved to the reception centre and lounge to discuss the tradition, its place in Cheltenham and the kind of meditation programs that it engaged with. We also discussed the nature of the centre in terms of its spiritual and religious significance before finding out that we had run out of time, way before we had expected and so with a little regret but a feeling of uplift we made our way back to the university. This was a great experience and one that I fully recommend to those seeking some kind of spiritual counter to the pretty dark times that we are all either experiencing or watching unfold in the world today.