A Moral Discipline Guide: The Internal Rules of The New Kadampa Tradition – International Kadampa Buddhist Union

The NKT-IKBU

§1. The New Kadampa Tradition - International Kadampa Buddhist Union is defined as the union of Kadampa Buddhist Centres, the international association of study and meditation centres that follow the pure tradition of Mahayana Buddhism derived from the Buddhist meditators and scholars Atisha and Je Tsongkhapa, introduced into the West by the Buddhist teacher Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, the Founder of the New Kadampa Tradition - International Kadampa Buddhist Union; and that follow the three New Kadampa Tradition Study Programmes; and that are guided by the code of moral discipline called The Internal Rules of the New Kadampa Tradition - International Kadampa Buddhist Union set out in this document.

§2. Throughout this document, the name ‘New Kadampa Tradition - International Kadampa Buddhist Union’ is abbreviated to ‘the NKT-IKBU’; and the title The Internal Rules of the New Kadampa Tradition - International Kadampa Buddhist Union to ‘the Internal Rules’.

§3. The New Kadampa Tradition shall always be an entirely independent Buddhist tradition and the NKT-IKBU shall have no political affiliations.

§4. The purpose of the Internal Rules is to provide guidelines:
• To help maintain and improve the spiritual development of all Dharma Centres of the NKT-IKBU, generation after generation;
• To help maintain a close and supportive relationship between all Dharma Centres of the NKT-IKBU;
• To help resolve any dispute that might arise within any Dharma Centre of the NKT-IKBU; and
• To help facilitate the daily running and spiritual management of the NKT-IKBU.

§5. Nothing in these Internal Rules may be inconsistent with anything contained in the governing document of the NKT-IKBU Charity or in the constitution of any Dharma Centre of the NKT-IKBU.

1. Member Centres of the NKT-IKBU

1§1. Each and every Dharma Centre of the NKT-IKBU shall always follow the pure tradition of Mahayana Buddhism derived from the Buddhist meditators and scholars Atisha and Je Tsongkhapa, as introduced into the West by the Buddhist teacher Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, and shall always remain a member Centre of the NKT-IKBU and always follow and act in accordance with these Internal Rules.

1§2. The Spiritual Director of each and every NKT-IKBU Dharma Centre shall always be the person who is the duly elected General Spiritual Director of the NKT-IKBU (‘the GSD’).

1§3. In a way consistent with the requirements of its country’s laws, the constitution of each and every local NKT-IKBU Dharma Centre shall contain essential articles of protection as set out in a model Dharma Centre constitution maintained by the Education Council Representatives in the NKT-IKBU Central Office. Because of the international function of NKT-IKBU Kadampa Meditation Centres (‘KMCs’) and main Retreat Centres, the constitution of each KMC and International Retreat Centre (‘IRC’) shall contain further special provisions, again as set out in model constitutions maintained by the Education Council Representatives.

1§4. In order to bring them together under the auspices of a legal entity, each and every NKT-IKBU Dharma Centre shall be a member of the international Buddhist charity called the ‘New Kadampa Tradition - International Kadampa Buddhist Union’, registered in England with company number 2758093 and charity number 1015054 (throughout this document called ‘the Charity’). At general meetings of the Charity, each NKT-IKBU
Dharma Centre shall be represented by its Resident Teacher.

2. The Education Council of the NKT-IKBU

2§1. The NKT-IKBU shall always maintain an Education Council (‘the Education Council’). The purpose of the Education Council shall be to provide general spiritual assistance to all NKT-IKBU Dharma Centres and to ensure the purity and authenticity of the New Kadampa Tradition.

2§2. The members of the Education Council shall be the Resident Teachers of all NKT-IKBU Dharma Centres except Manjushri KMC, the Mother Centre of the NKT-IKBU.

2§3. In particular, but without limiting its general purpose as stated above, the Education Council shall have the authority:

• on behalf of the Charity, to authorise new NKT-IKBU Dharma Centres to use the three NKT Study Programmes;
• to oversee the general standard of examinations for both the Foundation Programmeand Teacher Training Programme of all NKT-IKBU Dharma Centres, and to award certificates to practitioners who become qualified teachers of Kadampa Buddhism;
• to act as the first arbiter in any dispute concerning NKT-IKBU Dharma Centres and their spiritual purity, ensuring that the spiritual tradition of the New Kadampa Tradition is maintained purely;
• to act as the arbiter in any dispute between NKT-IKBU Dharma Centres;
• to ensure that all NKT-IKBU Dharma Centres act in accordance with these Internal Rules; and
• to ensure that the General and Deputy Spiritual Directors, National Spiritual Directors and Resident Teachers act in accordance with these Internal Rules and do not cause division among the students.

2§4. For the daily functioning of the Education Council, there shall always be thwo representatives of the Education Council (the ‘Education Council Representatives’), working in the Central Office of the NKT-IKBU and serving as the Secretary, the Deputy Secretary of the NKT-IKBU.

3. International Temples Project

3§1. The NKT-IKBU shall maintain an ‘International Temples Project’ (‘the ITP’), whose aim shall be in general to introduce the Buddhist Faith of the New Kadampa Tradition publicly, and in particular to exemplify Buddhist practice through service to the public. To accomplish this aim the NKT-IKBU shall continually emphasise the development throughout the world of:
• local Kadampa Buddhist Centres;
• regional Kadampa Meditation Centres (KMCs);
• international Kadampa Buddhist Temples;
• international Retreat Centres;
• Tharpa Publications;
• Hotel Kadampas; and
• Kadampa companies.

4. Development and Management of the NKT-IKBU

Main executive officers

4§1. The daily central administrative tasks of the NKT-IKBU shall be carried out by the four main executive officers of the NKT-IKBU, working together in the ‘NKT-IKBU Central Office’ at the Mother Centre of the NKT-IKBU. These officers shall be:
• the Secretary;
• the Deputy Secretary;
• the Secretary of the GSD; and
• the Treasurer.

4§2. The main responsibilities of these four officers shall be:
• to carry out the daily administrative business of the NKT-IKBU; and
• to emphasise and promote the financial development of the NKT-IKBU.

4§3. At the end of each month, the General Secretary shall organise a meeting to be attended by these officers together with the GSD, the Administrative Director and Education Programmer Co-ordinator ('EPC') of Manjushri KMC, the Director of Tharpa Publications UK and the accountant of the Charity.

4§4. The purpose of these meetings shall be:
• to give each officer the opportunity to present an essential report of the work he or she has done in the month;
 • to discuss how to prevent any waste or misuse of NKT-IKBU funds throughout the world; and
• to discuss how to improve NKT-IKBU income from every source.

4§5. The four main executive officers must each possess the following three qualifications:
• be a student of an NKT-IKBU Dharma Centre;
• be skilled in maintaining public relations; and
• cherish the NKT-IKBU.

4§6. The Directors of the Charity shall be responsible for the appointment and (if necessary) removal of the four main executive officers. The term of office of the four main executive officers shall be four years, but at the end of any term of office such officer shall be eligible for re-appointment.

4§7. When one of these main executive offices becomes vacant for any reason then the Directors of the Charity shall appoint a replacement through prior discussion with the continuing main executive officers.

4§8. The General Secretary shall also serve concurrently as the company secretary of the Charity.

4§9. In general, financial decisions concerning the daily running of the Charity shall be made by the Treasurer with the approval of the GSD. More important financial decisions concerning the running of the Charity shall be made by the GSD with the approval of the Temple & KMC Development Committee. 

Education Council Representatives

4§10. In their capacity as Education Council Representatives, the function of the General Secretary and Deputy Secretary shall be to act on behalf of the Education Council in furtherance of the general and particular purposes of the Education Council set out in rules 2§1 and 2§3. Their main duties shall include:

• to promote the development of the education programmes of NKT-IKBU Dharma Centres;
• to take responsibility for legal matters on behalf of the Education Council;
• to prepare constitutions for new NKT-IKBU local Kadampa Buddhist Centres, KMCs, IRCs, Hotel Kadampas and Kadampa comanies;
• to ensure that NKT-IKBU Dharma Centres do not break their constitutions;
• to ensure that NKT-IKBU Dharma Centres and practitioners do not break these Internal Rules; and
• to ensure the resolution of any legal problems that may arise in connection with NKT-IKBU Dharma Centres.

Finance Committee

4§11. Major financial decisions of the Charity shall be made by the Directors of the Charity through consultation within the NKT-IKBU Finance Committee. The Finance Committee shall be composed of the Directors of the Charity and the four main executive officers.

4§12.  The responsibilities of this Committee shall be:
• to consider and advise how best to improve and protect the finances of the NKT-IKBU and all its branches throughout the world, including all KMCs, international Kadampa Buddhist Temples, IRCs, Tharpa Publications, Hotel Kadampas, Kadampa companies and so forth; and
• to establish new KMCs, international Kadampa Buddhist Temples, IRCs, Tharpa Publications, Hotel Kadampas and Kadampa companies throughout the world. 

4§13.  Every six months the General Secretary shall organize a special meeting for all members of the NKT-IKBU Finance Committee. The purpose of this meeting shall be:
• to discuss how to improve the financial status of the NKT-IKBU, including the financial status of all KMCs, international Kadampa Buddhist Temples, IRCs, Tharpa Publications, Hotel Kadampas, Kadampa companies and so forth throughout the world; 
• to discuss how to prevent any waste or misuse of NKT-IKBU funds throughout the world; and
• to discuss the development of new KMCs, international Kadampa Buddhist Temples, IRCs, Tharpa Publications, Hotel Kadampas and Kadampa companies throughout the world. 

Temple & KMC Development Committee

4§14. Responsibility for day-to-day management of the international finances and business of the NKT-IKBU shall be delegated by the Finance Committee to the Temple & KMC Development Committee, which shall be composed of the GSD, the DSD, the Secretary of the GSD and the Treasurer.

4§15. Important day-to-day financial decisions regarding Temple and KMC development shall be made by the GSD through discussion within the Temple & KMC Development Committee. The GSD shall report all essential matters fully and promptly to meetings of the Finance Committee.

4§16. The Secretary of the GSD shall organize a meeting of the Temple & KMC Development Committee each month. The purpose of these meetings shall be:
• to discuss day-to-day business activity relating to current Temple and KMC developments;
• to discuss the status of ITP funds throughout the world;
• to discuss the financial development of the KMCs, IRCs, Tharpa Publications, Hotel Kadampas and Kadampa companies throughout the world; and
• to discuss the financial development of the local Kadampa Buddhist Centres.

4§17. The routine daily business activity of Temple and KMC development shall be the responsibility of the GSD together with his or her Secretary. In this capacity, the main responsibilities of the GSD shall be:
• to manage and oversee the financial, material and administrative development of all KMCs, international Kadampa Buddhist Temples, IRCs, Tharpa Publications, Hotel Kadampas and Kadampa companies throughout the world; and
• to emphasize and monitor the financial development of all local NKT-IKBU Kadampa Buddhist Centres and  all NKT-IKBU International Temples Project accounts throughout the world.

4§18. Large KMCs, IRCs, Tharpa Publications, Hotel Kadampas and Kadampa companies throughout the world should make all their important daily financial decisions through discussion with the GSD. Any KMC, IRC, Tharpa Publications department, Hotel Kadampa or Kadampa company which owns its land and buildings (not needing to pay rent) shall be regarded as ‘large’.

4§19. Administrative and Managing Directors of the respective large KMCs, IRCs, Tharpa Publications, Hotel Kadampas and Kadampa companies should conscientiously apply this rule 4§18 practically.

4§20. Each month the Secretary of the GSD shall organize a separate meeting (by telecommunication, as necessary) with the respective Administrative Director of every large KMC, to discuss the daily business activity of the KMC; and he or she shall then report any essential matters to the GSD.

4§21. The Secretary of the GSD should know clearly the monthly income and expenditure of all the large KMCs, IRCs, Tharpa Publications, Hotel Kadampas and Kadampa companies throughout the world, receiving copies of their monthly bank statements, including statements of their International Temples Project account and savings account, (by email or otherwise) for this purpose. He or she shall report fully to the GSD every three months.

4§22. When a GSD vacates his or her office for any reason, the serving Secretary of the GSD shall remain in office and automatically become the Secretary of the new GSD. In this way the Secretary’s knowledge and experience of NKT-IKBU finances and business shall be available to the new GSD. 

4§23. The GSD and the Education Council Representatives shall have authority to choose and (if necessary) remove:
• the Administrative Director of each KMC, including Manjushri KMC; 
• the Administrative Director of each IRC;
• the Director of each Tharpa Publications department, including Tharpa UK;
• the Managing Director of each Hotel Kadampa; and
• the Managing Director of each Kadampa company.

5. General and Deputy Spiritual Directors

5§1. The NKT-IKBU shall always have a General Spiritual Director and a Deputy Spiritual Director (‘the GSD’ and ‘the DSD’), who shall each carry the title ‘Gen-la’.

5§2. The GSD shall be the Resident Teacher of the Mother Centre of the NKT-IKBU during his or her term of office.

5§3. The GSD and DSD shall each be an ex-officio Director of the Charity.

5§4. The principal responsibilities of the GSD shall be:
• to lead individuals and society in general into the pure spiritual paths of the New Kadampa Tradition;
• to prevent NKT Teachers and students from breaking these Internal Rules;
• to oversee and improve the spiritual development of all NKT-IKBU Dharma Centres throughout the world;
• to establish and name and authorise new NKT-IKBU Dharma Centres, on behalf of the NKT-IKBU;
• on behalf of the NKT-IKBU, and acting jointly with the Education Council Representatives, to appoint the Resident Teachers of all NKT-IKBU Dharma Centres; and
• to give the Education Council a summary report of his or her activities each year, during the UK Summer Festival at the Mother Centre of the NKT-IKBU. 

5§5. Only the GSD and DSD shall have the authority to grant ordination within the NKT-IKBU. Because of this, it is necessary that the GSD and DSD themselves shall always be ordained.

5§6. The GSD and DSD shall share responsibilities as follows:
Festival teachings and empowerments. These should be taught by repeated rotation of the following four-year scheme:

FESTIVAL
FESTIVAL TEACHERS
YEAR 1
YEAR 2
YEAR 3
YEAR 4
UK NKT-IKBU
International
Spring Festivals
GSD
DSD
GSD
DSD
UK NKT-IKBU
International
Summer Festivals

(each SD leads one week)
GSD & DSD
GSD & retired GSD (Heruka & Vajrayogini)
GSD & DSD
retired GSD & DSD
NKT-IKBU
International Festivals
outside the UK
DSD
GSD
DSD
GSD
(Heruka &
Vajrayogini)
National Festivals
outside the UK
GSD or DSD
DSD or GSD
GSD or DSD
DSD or GSD

If in any Year 2 or Year 4 there is no retired GSD available to teach, then their place shall be filled by the DSD or GSD as appropriate.

Empowerments of Heruka and Vajrayogini. These should be granted once every two years, at one of the NKT-IKBU International Festivals as shown above.
Ordination Ceremonies. NKT-IKBU ordination vows shall be granted by the GSD one year and then by the DSD in the following year. This cycle should be maintained continually.
International Teacher Training Programme (ITTP). This should be taught by rotation of the GSD and DSD, as shown in rule 8§7 below.

This rule 5§6 became effective 1st August 2009. Its main purpose is to give the DSD the opportunity to make public relationships throughout the world. This will make the future GSD’s function effective.

5§7. The term of office of the GSD and of the DSD shall be eight years. At the end of his or her term of office, a person serving as the GSD or as the DSD shall be eligible for re-election to the same office only once more.

5§8. At the end of his or her term of office, a retired GSD shall normally return to his or her previous Dharma Centre, to serve as the Resident Teacher there once again. Retired GSDs may be invited to give NKT-IKBU international teachings and/or empowerments, as set out in rule 5§6.

5§9. If the office of GSD becomes vacant for any reason (including the exceptional circumstances described in rule 7§1 below), the serving DSD shall automatically become the new GSD and vacate the office of DSD.

5§10. If the office of DSD becomes vacant for any reason, then a new DSD shall be recommended to the Members of the Charity by the continuing Directors and the main executive officers of the Charity.  If the Members are happy with the recommendation and understand that such person: 
•  is an NKT-IKBU National Spiritual Director or a qualified NKT-IKBU Resident Teacher of any country;
•  is qualified to teach both Sutra and Tantra;
•  is skilled in maintaining and improving harmony and good communication within the NKT-IKBU, and good relations with the general public; 
•  is publicly respected; and
•  cherishes the NKT-IKBU
then the nominee should be elected by majority vote of the Members of the Charity. 

5§11. The DSD shall maintain positions as a Resident Teacher and (where applicable) a National Spiritual Director until he or she takes the office of GSD.

5§12. Elections for the offices of GSD and DSD shall be organised by the General Secretary.

6. National Spiritual Directors

6§1. With the joint recommendation of the GSD and DSD, the Resident Teachers of each country (acting on behalf of their Centres) shall elect a Spiritual Director for their country from among their number. This person shall be called the ‘NKT-IKBU National Spiritual Director’ (‘the NSD’) for that country, and shall be the spiritual representative of the NKT-IKBU in that country.

6§2. The principal responsibilities of each National Spiritual Director shall be:
• to lead individuals and society in general within their country into the pure spiritual paths of the New Kadampa Tradition, by giving public teachings such as Dharma Celebrations;
• to oversee and improve the spiritual development of all NKT-IKBU Dharma Centres within their country, including visits to individual NKT-IKBU Dharma Centres;
• to prevent NKT-IKBU Resident Teachers, Centre officers, Dharma Centres and students within their country from breaking these Internal Rules; and
• to send an annual report to the GSD and Education Council Representatives, in time for the UK Summer Festival.

6§3. On the instruction of the GSD, National Spiritual Directors may also grant the empowerments of Heruka and Vajrayogini within their country.

6§4. The term of office of the NSD shall be four years but at the end of any term of office any NSD shall be eligible for re-election. The General Secretary shall organise the elections, which shall be held every four years at the Mother Centre of the NKT-IKBU.

7. Removal of a General, Deputy or National Spiritual Director

7§1. If a GSD:
• sets a bad example, such as by breaking his or her ordination vows; or
• intentionally breaks these Internal Rules; or
• shows no interest in working for the development of the NKT-IKBU; or
• causes the NKT-IKBU to degenerate (such as by following other spiritual traditions),
then the two elected Directors and four main executive officers of the Charity may by majority agreement recommend to the Members of the Charity that the GSD be removed. The Members shall then have the authority to remove the GSD by majority vote.

7§2. The same rule shall apply to the DSD, except that the corresponding recommendation to the Members of the Charity shall be made by majority agreement of the GSD and the two elected Directors and four main executive officers.

7§3. If the officers or Members of the Charity ignore these rules 7§1 and 7§2, particularly while understanding at any time that a General or Deputy Spiritual Director has performed any of the above inappropriate actions, then it will be recognised publicly that the NKT-IKBU is spiritually impure. Therefore to protect the NKT-IKBU society from such impurity the officers and Members of the Charity must apply effort to maintain these two rules.

7§4. If a National Spiritual Director:
• sets a bad example, such as by breaking his or her Pratimoksha vows (whether lay or ordained); or
• intentionally breaks these Internal Rules; or
• shows no interest in working for the development of the NKT-IKBU; or
• causes the NKT-IKBU to degenerate (such as by following other spiritual traditions),
then the GSD and DSD shall have the joint authority to dismiss him or her.

8. Resident Teachers

8§1. The Resident Teachers of all NKT-IKBU Dharma Centres shall each be appointed jointly by the GSD and the Education Council Representatives.  New Resident Teachers shall be chosen only from those practitioners who are qualified to teach Kadampa Buddhism, who have completed or are following the NKT Teacher Training Programme, who follow the New Kadampa Tradition purely, and who have good moral discipline. The function of the Resident Teacher is to lead the students of his or her Centre into the pure spiritual paths of the New Kadampa Tradition.

8§2. The GSD and the Education Council Representatives shall be jointly responsible for the removal of any Resident Teacher of the NKT-IKBU.

8§3. The Resident Teacher’s commitments shall include:
• to keep pure moral discipline and good behaviour;
• to cherish and care for their Dharma Centre;
• to teach only subjects that form part of the three NKT Study Programmes;
• to apply continual effort to increase the number of students and branches of their Centre; 
• to send an annual progress report about their Centre to the GSD and to the Education Council Representatives; 
• to respect other spiritual traditions and try to maintain good relations with them, but the Resident Teacher shall not mix his or her teachings and spiritual practices with those of other spiritual traditions;
• to act in accordance with these Internal Rules;
• to make effort to attend the annual International Teacher Training Programme held at the Mother Centre of the NKT-IKBU, until he or she has completed the programme successfully;
• to be the authorised representative of their Centre at all general meetings of the Charity (or to be an Individual Member of the Charity, if their Centre is not yet incorporated); and
• to be a member of and participate in meetings and decisions of the Education Council.

8§4. The Resident Teacher shall be responsible for the appointment and removal of other teachers at his or her Centre, branches and so forth; and (except at the Mother Centre of the NKT-IKBU) for the appointment and removal of the Education Programme Co-ordinator (‘the EPC’) at his or her Centre.

8§5. At KMCs and IRCs, the GSD and the Resident Teacher shall be jointly responsible for the appointment and removal of the Centre EPC.

8§6. NKT-IKBU ordained Resident Teachers who have taught successfully for four years shall carry the title ‘Gen’, and NKT-IKBU lay Resident Teachers who have taught successfully for four years shall carry the title ‘Kadam’. Certificates shall be awarded to these Teachers to certify that they are qualified Kadampa Buddhist Teachers.

8§7. The International Teacher Training Programme (ITTP) for NKT-IKBU Resident Teachers shall comprise seven texts, taught in repeated rotation according to the following sixteen-year study scheme:

STUDY TEXT
PERIOD
OF STUDY
TEACHER
Joyful Path of Good Fortune
3 years
GSD
Understanding the Mind
2 years
DSD
Tantric Grounds and Paths
2 years
GSD
Mahamudra Tantra
2 years
DSD
Great Treasury of Merit
2 years
GSD
Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life
2 years
DSD
Ocean of Nectar
3 years
GSD

When a Resident Teacher has attended the classes given and passed the examinations on each text, he or she shall be deemed to have completed the programme successfully and shall receive a certificate to that effect. This rule 8§7 became effective on 1st August 2009.

9. Books

9§1. To prevent the development of confusion and disagreement among NKT students, no NKT-IKBU Teacher or Spiritual Director shall write books or other material that contain elements of traditions that differ from the New Kadampa Tradition or that in any way contradict NKT Dharma books.

9§2. After the author passes away, no-one shall change the meaning or presentation of the content, in any format, of the Dharma books used in the three NKT Study Programmes, unless there are valid reasons for doing so unanimously approved by the members of the Education Council and the Education Council Representatives. 

9§3. The same rules shall apply to all NKT sadhanas.

10. Withdrawal of authorisations

10§1. If any present or former NKT-IKBU Dharma Teacher separates from the NKT-IKBU and establishes a spiritually independent organisation, or follows another spiritual tradition, then he or she can no longer hold the lineage and spiritual tradition of the New Kadampa Tradition. In particular he or she cannot:
• teach any of the three Study Programmes: General Programme, Foundation Programme, or Teacher Training Programme, that are related to the NKT tradition;
• grant the empowerments of Lower or Highest Yoga Tantras that are related to the NKT tradition;
• grant ordination vows that are related to the NKT tradition; and
• use any spiritual name received from the NKT tradition, such as his or her ordination name or any special title such as ‘Gen-la’, ‘Gen’ or ‘Kadam’.

10§2. Each and every NKT-IKBU Resident Teacher should sign the NKT-IKBU 'Agreement for Resident Teachers' declaring that they agree to the above rule 10§1, and this declaration should be countersigned by a witness.

11. Members of NKT-IKBU Dharma Centres

11§1. In NKT-IKBU Dharma Centres, no student or Teacher shall be permitted to take illegal drugs, drink alcohol, smoke tobacco or perform any disturbing action that may cause disharmony or damage people’s faith. Dharma Centres shall always provide only vegetarian food.

11§2. If any ordained person breaks his or her ordination vows, then he or she cannot live in an NKT-IKBU Dharma Centre for at least one year. After one year, with some conditions, he or she can return to live in a Dharma Centre, but cannot thereafter teach Dharma or participate in the NKT Teacher Training Programme, (even if he or she later takes ordination for a second time). During the year of probation, he or she cannot participate in any of the three daily Study Programmes of a Dharma Centre, but (at the discretion of the Centre managers and Resident Teacher) may attend occasional Centre classes as a visitor. He or she may attend NKT-IKBU Festivals and Dharma Celebrations.

11§3. Since it is heavy negative karma to do so, practitioners of Kadampa Buddhism shall not sell images of Buddhas (such as statues, posters, or cards), stupas, Dharma books or booklets or audio/visual recordings, for their own business and personal profit.

11§4. Audio and/or visual recordings or broadcasts of teachings, guided meditations or chanting by NKT Teachers and students shall be produced and sold publicly (whether within or outside NKT-IKBU Dharma Centres) only by Tharpa Publications with the support of the GSD and the Education Council.

11§5. This rule applies to teachings etc. presented on websites or the internet, and to recordings of music based on NKT pujas and puja tunes.

11§6. This rule 11§4 does not apply to audio recordings used for GP, FP and TTP Correspondence/Home Study programmes. Audio recordings can be made available to students who attended the teaching or meditation recorded.

11§7. There are three main reasons for this rule concerning recordings:
• to avoid the danger of Dharma being used for business;
• to avoid the danger of such recordings interfering with the main study programmes; and
• to avoid the difficulty of monitoring the accuracy of the content of the recordings.

11§8. In this way NKT-IKBU Dharma Centres shall always remain as pure societies in peace and harmony.

12. Development of NKT-IKBU Dharma Centres

12§1. Each and every NKT-IKBU Dharma Centre shall emphasise its development in the following ways:
• increasing the number of students, through caring for people with kindness and by making good publicity;
• improving the qualifications of Dharma students so they become qualified Dharma practitioners and Teachers;
• maintaining the Centre as a pure, peaceful and harmonious society;
• increasing the number of branches of the Centre; and
• gradually transforming the branches into independent NKT-IKBU Dharma Centres having their own charitable and financial status and their own Resident Teacher.

12§2. To help ensure the purity of the New Kadampa Tradition, the Secretary and Deputy Secretary shall act as the NKT-IKBU ‘moral discipline guides’, on behalf of the members of the Education Council.

12§3.  As the moral discipline guides, the Education Council Representatives shall concentrate on the following three steps: 
(a) becoming aware of any breach of moral discipline or of these Internal Rules which has occurred, principally regarding (i) Dharma Centres, (ii) ordained Sangha, (iii) Resident Teachers and (iv) practitioners living in NKT-IKBU Dharma Centres. When any such problem is recognised, the Education Council Representatives should: 
(b) ask and encourage the Dharma Centre or individuals involved to stop their inappropriate behaviour. If they do not agree to change their behaviour accordingly: 
(c) report the problem to the GSD, and then implement any practical solution that the GSD and Education Council Representatives may together require. 

12§4. In circumstances where it is recognized that the GSD or DSD has broken his or her moral discipline or these Internal Rules, then the Education Council Representatives should report the problem to the two elected Directors and the other two main executive officers of the Charity in accordance with rules 7§1 and 7§2.

13. Meetings

13§1. Every year during the UK Summer Festival at the Mother Centre of the NKT-IKBU, the Resident Teachers, EPCs and Administrative Directors of each and every NKT-IKBU Dharma Centre shall make every effort to gather together. Reasons for non-attendance should be given to the GSD or to the General Secretary.

13§2. The Secretary shall organise separate meetings for:
• the Education Council;
• the General, Deputy and National Spiritual Directors;
• the EPCs of NKT-IKBU Dharma Centres; and
• the Administrative Directors of NKT-IKBU Dharma Centres.
The four main executive officers shall also attend these meetings.

13§3. The purpose and function of these meetings shall be:
• to improve the development of Kadampa Buddhism throughout the world; and
• to prevent any obstacles to the development of Kadampa Buddhism.
Following these meetings, any recommendations concerning the finances or administration of the NKT-IKBU shall be reported by the General Secretary to all members of the Finance Committee.

13§4. On behalf of the Board of Directors and in good time for these meetings, the General Secretary shall send an annual financial and progress report about the development of the NKT-IKBU to each meber of the Education Council and of the NKT-IKBU Finance Committee.

14. Festivals and Dharma Celebrations

14§1. NKT-IKBU Festivals and Dharma Celebrations can be organised in any country. Festivals shall be taught by the GSD or DSD as set out in rule 5§6, and Dharma Celebrations by the NSD of the country where the Celebration is held.

14§2. NKT-IKBU International Festivals held in the UK shall be organized and managed by the ‘UK Festival Committee’. NKT-IKBU International Festivals held in other countries shall be organized and managed by the Secretary of the GSD and the NKT Treasurer together with the Mother Centre of the country and the Resident Teachers of the country where the Festival is held, and together with any other helpers that may be needed.

14§3. The organizing committee for NKT-IKBU National Festivals and Dharma Celebrations should be composed of the Administrative Director and Treasurer of a legally incorporated KMC of the country where the event is held, together with the Secretary of the GSD and the NKT Treasurer. 

14§4. In a country where there is not yet a legally incorporated KMC, the organising committee for an NKT-IKBU National Festival or Dharma Celebration should be composed of the Secretary of the GSD, the NKT Treasurer and the Resident Teacher of the Centre hosting the actual event.

14§5. Following each International Festival in the UK, the Treasurer and Secretary of the Charity shall promptly send an essential financial report to the Finance Committee.

14§6. Following all other Festivals and Dharma Celebrations in any country, the Administrative Director of the Centre hosting the event shall promptly send an essential financial report to the GSD, the Secretary of the GSD and the NKT Treasurer.

14§7. All funds generated through NKT-IKBU Festivals and Dharma Celebrations are public funds and are dedicated solely to the development of the NKT-IKBU International Temples Project. They shall be used only for this purpose.

14§8.  Because of this, funds generated from any Festival or Dharma Celebration shall not be used for making gifts or offerings to individuals, including the Teachers who lead the Festival or Dharma Celebration.

15. The Education Programme of the NKT-IKBU

15§1. The Education Programme of all NKT-IKBU Dharma Centres shall consist only of the three New Kadampa Tradition Study Programmes: the General Programme, Foundation Programme, and Teacher Training Programme.

15§2. These programmes form the very core of the NKT-IKBU, and are what distinguishes the New Kadampa Tradition from other traditions.

15§3. The General Programme (GP) The purpose of the General Programme shall be to introduce basic Buddhist view, meditation, and action, and various other teachings and practices, all within the Mahayana Buddhist tradition of Atisha and Je Tsongkhapa, that help the practitioner deepen his or her knowledge and experience of Buddhism. The Programme shall be based on the commentaries by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.

15§4. The Foundation Programme (FP) The purpose of the Foundation Programme shall be to provide a systematic presentation of particular subjects of Mahayana Buddhism to enable practitioners to deepen their knowledge and experience of Buddhism. The Programme shall comprise the following five subjects based on Buddha’s Sutra teachings and the corresponding commentaries by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso:
• The Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, based on the commentary Joyful Path of Good Fortune;
• Training the Mind, based on the commentaries Universal Compassion and Eight Steps to Happiness;
• The Heart Sutra, based on the commentary Heart of Wisdom;
• Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, based on the commentary Meaningful to Behold; and
• Types of Mind, based on the commentary Understanding the Mind.

15§5. The Teacher Training Programme (TTP) The purpose of the Teacher Training Programme shall be to provide a more extensive presentation of particular subjects of Mahayana Buddhism, to enable practitioners to deepen their knowledge and experience of Buddhism, and to train as qualified New Kadampa Tradition Teachers. The Programme shall comprise the following twelve subjects, based on Buddha’s Sutra and Tantra teachings and the corresponding commentaries by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso:
• The Stages of the Path to Enlightenment,based on the commentary Joyful Path of Good Fortune;
• Training the Mind, based on the commentaries Universal Compassion and Eight Steps to Happiness;
The Heart Sutra, based on the commentary Heart of Wisdom;
• Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, based on the commentary Meaningful to Behold;
• Types of Mind, based on the commentary Understanding the Mind;
• Guide to the Middle Way, based on the commentary Ocean of Nectar;
• Vajrayana Mahamudra, based on the commentary Clear Light of Bliss;
• The Bodhisattva’s Moral Discipline, based on the commentary The Bodhisattva Vow;
• Offering to the Spiritual Guide, based on the commentaries Great Treasury of Merit and Mahamudra Tantra;
• Vajrayogini Tantra, based on the commentary Guide to Dakini Land;
• Grounds and Paths of Secret Mantra, based on the commentary Tantric Grounds and Paths; and
• The Practice of Heruka Body Mandala, based on the commentary Essence of Vajrayana.

15§6. A practitioner shall be deemed to have completed the Teacher Training Programme if he or she:
• Has attended the classes related to each of the twelve subjects;
• Has memorised all the required materials;
• Has passed examinations in all twelve subjects and received a certificate to that effect; and
• Has completed the required meditation retreats.

15§7. None of the subjects in any of the three Study Programmes may be changed.

16. Rituals and Retreats

16§1. All NKT-IKBU Dharma Centres shall follow the same tradition regarding rituals, retreats, pujas, and granting and receiving empowerments.

16§2. To prevent Dharma being used for political aims or worldly achievement, no NKT-IKBU Dharma Centre shall follow any tradition of recognising and relying upon oracles, or follow any system of divination.

17. Charitable Status of NKT-IKBU Dharma Centres

17§1. As soon as practicably possible, all NKT-IKBU Dharma Centres shall become government-registered charities (or similar, non-profit-making organisations) belonging to and dedicated to the benefit of the general public. Until a branch Centre itself incorporates as an independent charity, it shall remain a part of its parent Centre, both legally and financially.

17§2. The Founder of each NKT-IKBU Dharma Centre shall always be recorded simply as being ‘the GSD of the NKT-IKBU‘, and never as being a named individual person.

17§3. In a way consistent with the requirements of its country’s laws, each and every NKT-IKBU Dharma Centre shall state within its constitution that the specific purpose for which the Centre is established is the promotion of the Buddhist Faith under the spiritual guidance of the duly elected GSD of the NKT-IKBU principally through the activities of teaching, study, practice, and the observance of moral discipline all within the Mahayana Buddhist tradition of Atisha and Je Tsongkhapa, as taught by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, the Founder of the NKT-IKBU, through the continuous implementation of the three New Kadampa Tradition Study Programmes: the General Programme, Foundation Programme and Teacher Training Programme. These NKT-IKBU Centre constitutions shall also include the definition of the three NKT Study Programmes as set out in rule 15 above.

17§4. The decision voluntarily to dissolve any NKT-IKBU Dharma Centre can only be made with the written approval of the Directors of the NKT Charity, acting with the support of the Education Council Representatives.

18. Resources of NKT-IKBU Dharma Centres

18§1. Since the purpose of opening NKT-IKBU Dharma Centres is to spread NKT Kadampa Buddhism, all the assets of these Dharma Centres shall be used only for this aim. The annual profits made by each local NKT-IKBU Kadampa Buddhist Centre in any country shall be used for the development of that Centre, including improvements to accommodation and so forth, and any remaining profit shall be donated to the designated NKT-IKBU International Temples Project account of that country.

18§2. At the end of the financial year each local NKT-IKBU Kadampa Buddhist Centre shall send a copy of their annual financial report to the GSD, to the NKT Treasurer and to their NSD.

18§3. The GSD together with the Education Council Representatives shall have the authority to prevent the misuse of the assets of any NKT-IKBU Dharma Centre.

18§4.Annual profits made by the KMCs, IRCs, Tharpa Publications, Hotel Kadampas and Kadampa companies in each country throughout the world must be donated to an NKT-IKBU International Temples Project account.

18§5. At the end of each financial year the Administrative Director of each KMC and each IRC, the Director of each Tharpa Publications and the Managing Director of each Hotel Kadampa and Kadampa company shall send a detailed financial report to the GSD and to the NKT Treasurer.

18§6. All the funds in the NKT-IKBU International Temples Project accounts throughout the world must only be used for the NKT-IKBU International Temples Project and cannot be used by individual Dharma Centres or for any other purpose.

18§7. Unless approved by the Directors of the NKT Charity and the Education Council Representatives, no NKT-IKBU Dharma Centre, Teacher or student shall raise money in NKT-IKBU Dharma Centres for the development of non-NKT-IKBU organizations or projects, or for non-NKT-IKBU private individuals.

18§8. No NKT-IKBU Spiritual Director or Charity officer, and no Resident Teacher or manager of any NKT-IKBU Dharma Centre, shall use the name, resources or activities of any NKT-IKBU Dharma Centre, or the position given to them by the NKT-IKBU, for their personal material benefit, either directly or indirectly. 

18§9. If any NKT-IKBU Dharma Centre is wound up or dissolved for any reason whatsoever, then after paying or adequately providing for the debts and obligations of the Centre, the remaining assets of the Centre shall be distributed to one or more than one other Member Centre of the NKT-IKBU in the same country, or be given to the NKT-IKBU International Temples Project. The Members of the closing Centre shall choose the recipient beneficiary (or beneficiaries), in consultation with the GSD. 

19. Observance of the Internal Rules

19§1. Observance of these Internal Rules shall be monitored by all the members of the Education Council, who shall take responsibility for reporting any non-observance to the GSD and Education Council representatives.

19§2. For the purpose of monitoring observance of the Internal Rules in general, the GSD, DSD and the Education Council Representatives shall hold a special meeting every six months.

19§3. These Internal Rules shall only be changed by unanimous decision, made in writing and confirmed by individual hand signatures on paper, of each Director of the Charity, each of the four main executive officers, and each and every member of the Education Council, acting on behalf of his or her Centre. 

© New Kadampa Tradition - International Kadampa Buddhist Union 2010.