Buddhism teaches that to find lasting happiness and meaning in our lives we need to follow a spiritual path.

To follow this path it is important to have a close connection with a qualified teacher who can give us personal advice and encouragement, to listen to pure Dharma teachings, and to belong to a strong spiritual community. These enable us to penetrate deeply into the meaning of Buddha’s teachings, to maintain a daily meditation practice that is both focused and powerful, and to make genuine spiritual progress.

Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche, the founder of the New Kadampa Tradition, has designed three special spiritual programmes for the systematic study and practice of Kadampa Buddhism that are especially suited to the modern world:


The General Programme (GP) is open to everyone regardless of previous experience or background. These classes provide a basic introduction to Buddhist teachings and meditation and are suitable for beginners and those who wish to deepen their understanding. The purpose of these classes is to help people gain a personal experience of inner peace, overcome daily problems, and find real lasting happiness from within.

General Programme classes take place at our meditation centre in Island Bay and at our branch locations throughout Greater Wellington. In addition to these drop-in meditation classes, the General Programme also consists of our meditation courses and retreats.


The Foundation Programme offers a structured approach to learning Buddhist meditation through the study of a particular book. Through in-depth study and practise, it helps us close the gap between the inspiring teachings we hear at the Centre and practising them in our daily life. We learn how to integrate all the meditation practises and wisdom advice from Buddha into our normal daily life. In this way we gradually find a deep inner peace and happiness in our lives.

The Foundation Programme is open to everyone and you can join at any point in the year. The classes consist of guided meditation, teachings and discussion. By studying on this program we shall gain great confidence in meditation – from simple Buddhist techniques for developing inner peace, to the profound insights which lead to lasting wisdom and joy.

At Kadampa Meditation Centre Wellington in Island Bay we have two separate Foundation Programmes: one runs on Wednesday evenings and the other on Sunday afternoons.

with Resident Teacher Kelsang Shechog
Wednesdays 6.45 – 8.45pm

Studying The New Eight Steps to Happiness
New Section begins August 21: Reality Check – Emptiness for Beginners

The New Eight Steps to Happiness, is an inspiring explanation of one of Buddhism’s best-loved poems, reveals essential methods for developing universal love, compassion and wisdom, the source of true happiness for both ourself and others.

Now, as we explore verse eight, we have the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of Buddha’s most liberating and inspiring teachings, the teachings on emptiness, the true nature of reality. According to Buddha, our reality is not as solid and fixed as it appears. By recognising the true nature of things we can solve all our problems and fulfill our potential for lasting happiness, freedom and the power to benefit others.

with Resident Teacher Kelsang Shechog
Sundays 4 – 8pm

Studying Meaningful to Behold

Meaningful to Behold is a commentary to the inspiring poem by Shantideva, Guide To The Bodhisattva’s Way Of Life. This book focuses on six spiritual trainings – giving, moral discipline, patience, effort, concentration, and wisdom. By integrating these into our daily life all our activities become beneficial and meaningful, swiftly advancing us along our spiritual path.


By joining the Foundation Programme, you will enjoy all the benefits of a Study Programme member. This entitles you to free access to events at the Centre and classes around Wellington. The Foundation Programme fee is $80 per month.


You must register to participate on the Foundation Programme. You can join the programme at any time throughout the year. Please contact our Education Programme Coordinator if you would like more information about the Foundation Programme.


The Teacher Training Programme offers the opportunity to train as a qualified meditator and teacher of Kadampa Buddhism. This involves the study of twelve texts under the close guidance of a qualified teacher.