Our Teachers

Resident Teacher Gen Kelsang Mila

Resident Teacher Gen Kelsang Mila

Gen Kelsang Mila is Vajrapani Kadampa Buddhist Centre’s resident teacher. A native of Durban, she became part of the New Kadampa Tradition in 2005 at Mahasiddha Kadampa Meditation Centre where she participated in the Foundation and Teacher Training programmes. She served as Mahasiddha Centre’s education programme coordinator and taught meditation classes at this centre’s branch locations throughout Durban for several years.

Gen Mila was ordained in 2010 and has been based in Johannesburg as Vajrapani Kadampa Buddhist Centre’s resident teacher since September 2010. She directs our educational programming and special events/retreats, and represents our centre at community gatherings throughout the greater Johannesburg area.  She is a great spiritual friend who inspires others with her enthusiastic teachings and devotion to Kadampa Buddhism. 

In addition to her busy schedule at our centre, Gen Mila has studied on the NKT’s International Teacher Training Programme since 2011 and the Special Teacher Training Programme since 2014. To date, she has attended more than 20 international NKT festivals worldwide to benefit from their teachings and blessings.

Mark Berry

Mark joined the New Kadampa Tradition in 2004 while backpacking through the United Kingdom. He spent time at the Madhyamaka Kadampa Meditation Centre in England before returning to South Africa to join our centre. He currently teaches in Broadacres and substitutes for our Resident Teacher, Gen Mila, at her drop-in meditation classes. Mark has received teachings and empowerments from Venerable Geshe-la, as well as from other senior international teachers within our spiritual tradition. He studies on the Teacher Training Programme at our Craighall Park location.

Mark is an IT support engineer managing the support services for Computer Den, an IT firm based near Melrose Arch, and handles on-site support for their clients. He also manages our centre’s IT support.

Our Teachers
Our Teachers

Colinda Linde

Colinda has been part of the New Kadampa Tradition since 2004 when she began attending General Programme classes at our Centre. From there, she joined our Foundation Programme in 2005, the Teacher Training Programme in 2007, and began teaching meditation classes in 2008. She leads our weekly meditation class in Blairgowrie, co-leads our monthly Meditation for Children programme, and teaches at several special courses annually. She also currently serves as Chair of Vajrapani Kadampa Buddhist Centre’s Board of Directors.

Colinda has enjoyed the wonderful fortune to attend several festivals at the NKT’s Mother Centre, Manjushri Centre, in England, and to receive empowerments and teachings from Venerable Geshe-la.  She is a practicing clinical psychologist whose two teenage children have been attending many of our Centre’s classes, pujas, empowerments and events since 2004.

Leigh Ponsonby 

A longtime member of Vajrapani Kadampa Buddhist Centre, Leigh teaches our drop-in meditation class on Wednesday evenings at Craighall Park. With a great love for Dharma and a teaching style that helps everyone calm their minds and feel relaxed, Leigh’s classes are renowned for their joy, laughter and kindness.

Leigh previously participated in our Foundation Programme and is now studying on the Teacher Training Programme. She has traveled to New Kadampa Tradition festivals in England, Singapore, Brazil and Portugal. A graphic designer, Leigh provides our Centre with immeasurable support beyond her teaching role with her creative design expertise in our marketing initiatives.

Our Teachers
Our Teachers

Kelsang Phuntsog

Kelsang Phuntsog is a Buddhist monk, who was ordained in 2008, and taught meditation in Durban for many years, is now living in Johannesburg.

He is a humble, kind example of a modern day Kadampa practitioner, providing clear explanations of Buddha’s teachings,  giving us the confidence to practise them in our daily life.

Claudia Steinert

An attorney by profession, Claudia has been part of the New Kadampa Tradition and Vajrapani Kadampa Buddhist Centre for more than 10 years. She has enjoyed the opportunity of traveling to many NKT international festivals and retreats for teachings and empowerments by Venerable Geshe-la and other senior teachers.

Claudia began studying on the Foundation Programme upon becoming a member of our Centre and from there joined the Teacher Training Programme. She previously taught drop-in meditation classes at our branch locations for many years and currently leads the Monday evening Foundation Programme course in Craighall Park.

Our Teachers

Kirsi Bottomley, Sue Malfeld, Laurie Parr

Kirsi participates in the NKT’s distance learning Special Teacher Training Programme, while Sue and Laurie both study on the Foundation Programme. They are among our Centre’s newest teachers who provide invaluable support to our educational programming at the Colony and in the Pretoria area.

Kirsi serves as a substitute teacher for our drop-in meditation classes, Sue teaches our Sunday meditation class in Menlyn, and Laurie co-leads our monthly Meditation for Children programme.

Kirsi Bottomley
Kirsi Bottomley
Sue Malfeld
Sue Malfeld
Laurie Parr
Laurie Parr