Gelong Thubten is a Buddhist monk, meditation teacher, and author from the UK. Gelong is a title meaning ‘senior monk’.
He was educated at Oxford University, and then became an actor in London and New York. In 1993, he suffered a life-threatening burnout, and he decided to go to a monastery to learn meditation. Initially planning to only stay a year, he ended up ordaining for life as a Tibetan Buddhist monk – at Samye Ling in Scotland, Europe’s oldest and largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery, where he is now one of the most senior monks. He has spent over six years in intensive meditation retreats, the longest of which was 4 years (with five months of silence). He has been trained by some of the world’s greatest masters of meditation. He represents an ancient, traditional and authentic training in meditation and Buddhist philosophy, and yet he is able to translate that knowledge into a non-religious format which can be of benefit to all in this hectic modern world.
Thubten specializes in teaching mindfulness meditation internationally, in businesses, hospitals, schools, universities, prisons, and addiction counseling centers. He has been teaching for over 20 years and is now regarded as one of the UK’s most influential meditation teachers. He was a world pioneer in the mindfulness movement, as he was teaching in these sectors many years before mindfulness became popular.
He works with major clients such as Google, LinkedIn, Lloyds Bank, Barclays Bank, Deutsche Bank, Siemens, Deloitte, Accenture, and Clifford Chance. He has lectured at Facebook’s London offices, Linklaters, and many other global companies. He often trains staff at companies on an ongoing basis, visiting their offices regularly throughout the year providing talks, workshops and training programs for staff of all levels. He has been an integral part of Google’s European head office for a number of years, and recently they filmed Thubten as part of the famous talks@google series.
His work is often featured in the media, and he is well known for bringing mindfulness into the workplace, teaching people how to integrate it into their busy lives. He himself leads a busy life and he understands the stresses of the modern world. He has done numerous TV, radio, and print interviews.
Funds raised from his work go to charity, to build mindfulness training centers and retreats which benefit many people. He has brought mindfulness to some of the most deprived areas of the UK.
Thubten was the meditation consultant on the set of Marvel’s movie Dr. Strange, where he trained Benedict Cumberbatch and Tilda Swinton in meditation techniques while they were filming.
Thubten lectures in schools and universities, as well as delivering keynote speeches at many large events such as Me-Convention (Mercedes Benz), which was Europe’s first SXSW Festival, and LinkedIn’s Talent Connect event in LA. He also lectures for the United Nations and at Oxford University.
He is a speaker for Mindvalley, a major online learning platform, and he has spoken for them at events in Jamaica, Barcelona, and Estonia.
Thubten designs and delivers 12-week mindfulness programs for 4th-year medical students at the National University of Ireland each year.
Thubten collaborated with Ruby Wax on her book How to be Human, and he is the author of his own book, the Sunday Times bestseller A Monk’s Guide to Happiness, Meditation in the 21st Century.Download Bio
A MONK'S GUIDE TO HAPPINESSMeditation in the 21st Century
St. Martin's Essentials
A Guide to Meditation and Mindfulness for the Modern Day. In our never-ending search for happiness we often find ourselves looking to external things for fulfillment, thinking that happiness can be unlocked by buying a bigger house, getting the next promotion, or building a perfect family. In this profound and inspiring book, Gelong Thubten shares a practical and sustainable approach to happiness. Thubten, a Buddhist monk and meditation expert who has worked with everyone from school kids to Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and Benedict Cumberbatch, explains how meditation and mindfulness can create a direct path to happiness.
Gelong Thubten is interviewed by New Scientist exploring the most exciting things he’s worked on, and overcoming challenges in life.
Thubten speaks to Jean West from The Times about what we can all learn from meditation.
Check out the launch of his book A Monk’s Guide to Happiness in Scotland on the banks of Loch Ness.
Thubten chats about his new book A Monk’s Guide to Happiness with BBC Radio London’s Tim Arthur.
Read Thubten’s interview with the Evening Standard.
Thubten is interviewed for The Times on dealing with stress and the importance of meditation and mindfulness
Check out the interview with County & Town House as Thubten talks about his extraordinary story of self-discovery.
Watch Thubten speak on how to be thankful in all circumstances.
ITV’s This Morning interviews Thubten about his life and new book, and he leads a short meditation.
Check out his personal website.
—Robert Manson, Head of Occupational Health and Wellbeing, Morrisons
“Should be part of regular life of every Googler, make it part of onboarding, trainings, team meetings, everything!”
Praise for A Monk's Guide to Happiness "Thubten is a very generous and kind monk who writes with the lived honesty and humour of someone who has experienced the wisdom he shares. His writing is full of inspiration but also the pragmatism needed to form a sustainable practice. His book clearly illustrates why we all need meditation and mindfulness in our lives."
- Benedict Cumberbatch
"Thubten is able to explain meditation using clear language and an approach which really speaks to our modern tech-infused lives. With openness, humility and humour he delivers a deep message that will resonate in our modern culture."
- Rami Jawhar, Program Manager at Google Arts & Culture
"Gelong Thubten's book is as warm, wise and generous as the man himself. We've never needed a voice like his more."
- Melanie Reid, The Times
"Compelling to read, yet full of profound wisdom, this wonderful book rationally describes how our mind functions and how we can cultivate the habit of happiness."
- Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice President for Research, National University of Ireland
"Gelong Thubten's wonderful book provides a bracing challenge to our search for instant gratification and 'instant' happiness, and a lucid, practical, step-by-step path to contentment and a genuine and lasting peace of mind."
- Mick Brown, journalist for The Daily Telegraph