In 2008 I attended a Convention in Singapore for followers of the New Kadampa Tradition of Buddhism, introduced to the West by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso in 1977. He now resides at the mother centre in the UK. These festivals are annual events, and I was a novice, trying to understand in more depth what this form of Buddhism is all about. The master, in this case Geshe-la, teaches highest meditation practices and gives empowerments, which must be handed down in a “pure” state by the teachers of the tradition. The title of “Geshe” means “Spiritual Friend” and he is known as “Geshe-la” by his followers.
Monks and nuns of this tradition devote their whole lives to meditation and sacrifice to the spiritual needs of their followers.