After his escape from Tibet to India in 1959, Venerable Geshe Kalsang Damdul studied at the Central School for Tibetans in Mussoorie, India. In 1973 he continued his education at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics in Dharamsala where he studied all the major Buddhist texts. He received his Master of Prajnaparamita (Perfection of Wisdom Sutra) degree and was also awarded the Master of Mahdyamika degree.
Geshe la has received various empowerments, lineal transmissions, and teachings from His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Gaden Tripa Lobsang Nyima, Denma Lochoe Rinpoche and many other great Tibetan spiritual masters and teachers. Besides these, he received his Bhikkhu ordination from His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.
Since 1987, Geshe la has served as Assistant Director for the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics under the direct administration of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.
In 1995, he received his Geshe Degree (the equivalent of a PhD in Buddhist Philosophy) from Drepung Loseling Monastery in South India. He has taught at Portland State University as a visiting Tibetan scholar and was Spiritual Director at the Northwest Tibetan Cultural Association. In 2003, he founded the Shakyamuni Tibetan Buddhist Center in Portland, Oregon.