Gelong Thubten 

Buddhist monk



Handbook for Hard Times: A monk's guide to fearless living
recently Published
Handbook for Hard Times: A monk's guide to fearless living
About Thubten

Gelong Thubten is a Buddhist monk, meditation teacher, and author from the UK. ‘Gelong’ means ‘senior monk’. Thubten was educated at Oxford University and then became an actor in London and New York. At the age of 21, severe burnout led him to join a monastery. He ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist monk in 1993 at Kagyu Samye Ling Tibetan Buddhist Monastery. He has trained there under some of the world’s most accomplished teachers of meditation and has spent six years in intensive meditation retreats, the longest of which was four years.

Thubten specializes in teaching mindfulness meditation internationally in a diverse range of settings that include businesses, hospitals, schools, universities, prisons, and addiction counseling centers. He gives keynote speeches at major events around the world. He has been teaching for over 20 years and is a world pioneer in the mindfulness movement, having taught in these areas many years before the current trend.

He works with major clients such as Google, LinkedIn, Deloitte, Deutsche Bank, Siemens, Accenture, and Clifford Chance. He has lectured at Facebook’s London offices, Morrisons and McCain head offices, Linklaters, and many other global companies.

Thubten has designed and delivered 12-week mindfulness programs for 4th-year medical students at the National University of Ireland, as part of their degree. He has also lectured at the Universities of Oxford, Cardiff, and Helsinki, as well as for the United Nations.

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 has done numerous TV, radio, and print interviews.

Thubten has spoken at many large events such as Wisdom 2.0 Europe, Me-Convention (Mercedes Benz), which was Europe’s first SXSW Festival, LinkedIn’s Talent Connect event in Los Angeles, Fifteen Seconds Festival (Austria and US), WOMAD Festival, Oxford Literary Festival, Gibraltar Literary Festival, Hay Literary Festival, and Tech Open Air, Berlin.

He is an author for Mindvalley, a major online learning platform, and has spoken for them at large events in Jamaica, Barcelona, and Estonia.

He was the meditation consultant on the set of Marvel’s movie Doctor Strange, where he trained Benedict Cumberbatch and Tilda Swinton in meditation techniques while they were filming.

Thubten is the Director of Kagyu Samye Dzong Scarborough, Yorkshire. He is a Trustee of ROKPA International, an international humanitarian aid organization with medical, education, and cultural projects in some of the world’s poorest regions. He is also a Director of Samye Foundation Wales, a mindfulness and wellbeing charity.

Thubten collaborated with Ruby Wax and Ash Ranpura on the best-selling book How to be Human. His own book, A Monk’s Guide to Happiness, published in June 2019 by Hodder & Stoughton, became a Sunday Times top ten bestseller in the UK and is now available in more than 12 countries worldwide. His latest book, Handbook for Hard Times, was published in 2023.

Image source: Paulius Staniunas,