Who is Buddha?

Who is Buddha?
DATE: Sunday 5 May
TIME: 10 am – 1 pm
Cost: $30 ($15 unwaged)


A Buddha has developed his or her mind to such an extent that he experiences everlasting happiness and freedom from suffering, with the ability to benefit each and every living being every day.

In general, “Buddha” means “Awakened One,” someone who has awakened from the sleep of ignorance and sees things as they really are. A Buddha is a person who is completely free from all faults and mental obstructions. There are many people who have become Buddhas in the past, and many people will become Buddhas in the future.

Eventually, through meeting an emanation of Buddha in the form of a Spiritual Guide, everyone will have the opportunity to enter the path to liberation and enlightenment. As the great Indian Buddhist scholar Nagarjuna said, “there is no one who has not received help from Buddha”.

In this course we will look at the statue of our Spiritual Guide Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche, or Geshe-la, as he is known affectionately by his students. Buddha statues are used as a reminder of Buddha’s teachings and as an aid to meditation. They represent the qualities of the Buddha, such as compassion, wisdom, and inner peace.

We will look at the different parts of Geshe-la’s statue and discover the meaning of the symbolism behind each of them, bringing us closer to our Spiritual Guide.


Coffee, tea and snacks are provided.


Amitabha Kadampa Buddhist Centre
174 Albert Street, Palmerston North
Phone: 06 355-3524

Resident Teacher, Birgit Saunders

Kadam Birgit Saunders, Resident Teacher of Amitabha Kadampa Buddhist Centre

Kadam Birgit has been a student of Kadampa Buddhism since arriving in New Zealand over twelve years ago. Birgit began teaching with Kadampa Meditation Centre in Wellington where she was also Admin Director (AD) for three years.

Since moving to Palmerston North in 2016 she worked closely with Gen Kelsang Demo as the Education Programme Coordinator (EPC) for the Centre and teaching classes in Dannevirke, Feilding, at the Cancer Society and Massey University, while also working at the Cancer Society.

Birgit was appointed Resident Teacher of Amitabha Kadampa Buddhist Centre at the beginning of 2020, and brings sincerity, bubbly enthusiasm and kindness to her teaching. She is always looking for ways to make Dharma practical, relevant and meaningful so that students are able to see how to use Dharma and meditation to make positive changes in their lives.