The Old Man Nobody Wants

Jul 22, 2012 | Views: 1,446
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I’ve always loved animals. My love for birds started when I was given my first bird as a child. It was a grey female cockatiel, given to me by Anila (a nun) named Carmen in America. Since then I have had more pets, including birds, dog, fishes…

I usually go and liberate birds…. I like to liberate fishes and Kechara Care now does monthly animal liberations. I encourage animal liberation for a variety of reasons – to give the animals some blessings by blowing the Medicine Buddha mantra on them, and to give them a chance of freedom. Another reason is to create the causes for our Kechara Animal Sanctuary (KAS) which we urgently need to help abandoned, abused and injured animals. So just a few days ago, I decided to adopt more birds. I just like animas free, happy, fed and unhurt.

What inspires me to do this? During Buddha’s time, there was a bird that flew over Lord Buddha and his droppings fell on Buddha’s robe. This create the causes, hundreds of years later, for this bird to become a scholar of Buddhism. All because he had made a connection with the Buddha. That is why I had the idea of placing Buddha images inside bird cages and aviaries so that the birds can make a connection and be blessed by Buddha.

If we do not start taking care of more birds now, how are we going to take care of more animals in future? Everything we do has to start somewhere small first. Some people ask why I buy animals from shops, and whether that just encourages those involved in the live animal trade to continue doing what they do. What I say is, the amount we buy is insignificant. And even if we stop, it will not stop people from catching the birds and selling them. But, by us buying the birds from them and letting them know we are going release them and/or take care of them, we will be an example of being kind to animals.

When I buy birds, or any other animal, I do not see them as pets, they are not for my pleasure or entertainment. Instead I try to give them the best food, environment and care that I can provide. I plant seeds in their mindstream by reciting mantras and blowing on them. That is the best I can do for them while they are in the animal realm.

In any case, while I was shopping for some birds I noticed a slow and shy African Grey. The shop had two African Greys, the younger was friendly energetic and cute and would be purchased super fast. But the older African Grey has been in the shop for FOUR YEARS. He is 45 years old and nobody wants him. The African Grey species can live up to 65 years old. The previous owner left the bird in the shop on consignment as he was having issues with his grandson bullying the bird. Later, his wife made him choose between the bird or his grandson and of course, he had to choose his grandson. However, the previous owner still drops by very often to visit the bird after giving him away.  He cares a lot about him as he had the bird for 30 years. The bird was isolated in a small cage, all alone in the shop because the other birds often bully him due to his age. He just eats and sleeps because he is old…poor old thing. It broke my heart. I had to adopt him… and he arrived at the ladrang a few days ago. We will recite mantras to him, give him good food, fresh outdoor air and new friends….Maybe he will be happy again. I like the animals that no one else wants. I know how it is to be not wanted or cared about because of something you cannot help…..As Lady Gaga sings, I was born this way…..I know how it is not to be wanted or loved for something you cannot change…well Aki will be loved, cared for and taken care of. He will be outside in a large, gree, spacious aviary…He will be fed nice food and fresh fruits too….May Aki never suffer again…or abandoned…

Nobody wanted Aki and he lanquished for four years in a pet shop waiting for a new owner…it broke my heart on the spot. I said to myself immediately, I want you. I want you and I will take care of you. You will have fresh air, friends, greens and nice environment. I want you to come home with me Aki….As I wiped the tear from my eye…I arranged for his transport to his new home…

I found out his name is Aki but we have nicknamed him ‘Old Man’. He has been placed in a new and bigger cage in the Ladrang’s aviary, which is solely for him alone. We will observe him and see if he is being bullied by other birds and how he is adapting to his new environment. So far so good, no complaints.

I’ve also asked the Ladrang to create a manual on how to care for Aki and this can also be applied to all birds in the aviary. I want everyone to learn how to care for them. Animals cannot speak for themselves or tell us what is wrong with them. They are defenseless and it is our responsibility to ensure their every need is well taken care off and that they are happy and well…

Tsem Rinpoche



45 year old African Grey arrives in Tsem Ladrang…this is the cage he arrived in..he will be transferred to a much larger place so he can stretch and have new friends, air and greens…

Isn’t Aki very cute hehe…

Aki eats very slowly and gently. He will be well taken care of in the Ladrang with lots of love…

May the Buddha bless him and all animals that see His image… The aviary in Tsem Ladrang has Medicine Buddha or White Tara statues in it to plant seeds in the birds’ minds so that they will take a good rebirth and come across the Dharma in future.




1. Cage/Bird House Position:

Ensure Aki’s house is placed half in an area where there is sunlight and half sheltered from it. This is so that he can go towards the sun when he feels cold and go back in the shade when he feels too hot. The cage should also not be too near the areas where rain could easily splash in and get him wet.


2. During the rainy season, ensure that there are lights or heaters in the aviary to keep the birds warm.


3. Food/Fruits that Aki likes:
– Sunflower seeds 
- Corn 
– Apples
– Banana 
– Papaya

Always ensure fresh food and water are given daily. Containers must be washed and green algae build up should be scrubbed off. Bird feces on perches must also be scrubbed/washed away to prevent of any skin problems or ailments for the birds. In the wild it is okay because the rain washes the feces away but it different in an aviary.


4. Transferring Aki to another cage:-
– Place the cage you wish to transfer him to beside the one he is in. Open both cage doors, placing them facing each other so that there are NO GAPS between the two cages. Slowly coax him to cross over to the other side. Talk quietly to him and encourage him with hand gestures, tapping on the cage he is in gently to persuade him to go into the other cage you want him in. Never shout or make sudden loud noises or hit the cage hard!

- If this fails then use a towel to gently wrap him up and quickly transfer him to the new cage.

- If this fails, then you may try to catch him by slowly encouraging him on to your hands. Make sure you always have your hand in the shape of a fist when approaching him as he can bite your fingers off! This should be done by Bird experts/Justin/BK only.


5. Adapting to the new environment (big aviary):
– Observe Aki for 2-3 weeks to see how he is adapting and reacting to his new environment.

- Reactions we should look out for:

  1. Is he shying away?
  2. Is he acting nervous, is his heart beating very fast, is he moving about vigorously?
  3. Is he making fearful screaming noises?
  4. Is he being aggressive, wanting to attack when other birds come near him OR is he comfortable, staying still, moving around happily and making friends?

- If he is comfortable and showing signs of wanting to play/come out from his cage after 2-3 weeks of observation, then we can open his cage door and observe another 2-3 weeks to see if he comes out to explore. Ensure food and water are placed inside the cage and outside near his cage as well so that it is easily accessible. Always leave his cage door open.

- If he is comfortable in the big aviary and has no problem finding food, is eating well and getting along with other birds, then it is a good sign which means he is ready to be in the aviary. However, we should still leave his cage in the aviary and the cage door open, for at least 3 weeks. It is his home and security for whenever he feels like returning home. We can remove Aki’s cage only if he does not go back to it at all.

- Always observe birds in their own cage first for 2-3 weeks before introducing/releasing them in a new aviary/environment.


6. Introducing an African Grey to Cockatoos is not a problem according to our bird expert. They usually get along.


7. When it is a very hot day and we see birds breathing with their mouths open, we should shower water lightly on their backs avoiding their nose area. We must be very careful to ensure that water does not get into their noses as this may cause them to get a chill or fall sick. Alternatively a bird bath can be placed in aviary and must be washed daily and fresh water replenished.



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47 Responses to The Old Man Nobody Wants


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  1. lisa simone on Jan 21, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    glad to find your blog, your words you speak my mind, thank you

  2. VInnie Tan on Sep 15, 2013 at 1:45 am

    I am really happy that Aki can now have a nice home to stay and even fly around in KFR aviary. It is just great to know that animals can too get a new home and will not be left alone like that ever again.

  3. Lucas Roth on May 7, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    i am so happy that Aki was adopted by Rinpoche and is now in the aviary with friends, at least hats what i hear currently. i think that he deserves a second chance and nobody wanted him, poor thing. please live long Aki and enjoy your life.

  4. beatrix ooi on Feb 6, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    Thank You for adopting Aki Rinpoche. He is so lucky to have the people that care for him and love him around him. He didn’t deserve to be treated the way he used to be treated. I’m so happy for Aki, he is home.

  5. [...] in the pet shop for so long in a small cage, with no hope for a good life. Without much thought, I decided to adopt him. Now he is happily living with the other birds in the [...]

  6. Julien Roth on Oct 23, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    I’m so happy that Rinpoche chose to adopt this bird. He is very cute. But its just sad that he had to spend four years inside a small cage in a pet shop.

    I hope that Aki is having an amazing time an Tsem Ladrang, may he be happy in his new home. He doesn’t know how lucky he is to be staying in the Ladrang. And i was surprised when i was reading through the article that African Greys could live up to 65 years! Thats fantastic!

  7. pavara lam on Sep 16, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    Aki is definately very cute. we went to ladrang 2 to 3 weeks earlier and we saw him aunty joy and bryan explained to us about all the birds in the aviary. and bryan said that Aki was abused at the pet shop. i was so glad Rinpoche bought him from the pet shop.

  8. Yvonne Yap on Aug 17, 2012 at 3:44 am

    Aki will be very happy stay with Rinpoche,because Rinpohe’s love and compassion.
    Aki will have the fresh air,fresh fruits and lot of new toys.
    I like feed birds, i got an experiences feed the birds at tambun’s “Lost World” is fun !! i like it !the birds like me too !(cos i got foods)

  9. sockwan on Aug 4, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    Rinpoche loves animals, when Rinpoche goes to a pet shop to buy animals, he will choose the old or sick ones because no one will buy them and most of the time they are not treated very well. Rinpoche will study the habituation of the animals very well, create an environment that is suitable for the animals and make sure they are very well taken care of. Rinpoche always says animal are weak and helpless in comparison to a human being, we cannot take advantage of them and ill-treat them. Of course from a Buddhist view, it is because that animal might be our mothers, family many lives time ago.

  10. Wendy Loh on Aug 3, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    I am happy to read that Aki has found love again after being abandoned for 4 years. I am sure the previous owner, after spending 30 years with Aki will miss him very much too. I hope that he is able to find this post and learn where Aki is and know he is doing well under the care and love of Rinpoche. And perhaps even pay his good old buddy a visit. _/\_

  11. Karen C. on Aug 2, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    The sad truth is, when we “buy” or adopt pets, we often look for the young, cute and healthy one, we rarely will take any old and abandoned animals into consideration because we want pet as companion or rather entertainment?

    A truly kind and compassionate person like Rinpoche would rather adopt the old and weak one like Aki, which is being paid lesser attention and care. We seem to forget we will get old and less fit one day eventually and we have no control of this natural process, how would we feel if we get abandoned and despised? We believe in Karma but if we don’t put the virtue in action, merely believe doesn’t benefit us.

  12. PhillisChin on Aug 2, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Hmmmm…. Poor Aki and the previous owner = ( They must be miss each other very very much = ( Hope Aki will be happy after this = ( And thank you Rinpoche for always rescuing the animal, especially those “stuck” in a pet shop for a time. Thank You.

  13. Irene Lim on Jul 31, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Rinpoche’s love for animal and humans are alike. His love is genuine without agenda and is unconditional.

    • justin cheah on Aug 2, 2012 at 2:14 am

      i agree to you Irene, i have never met such a loving and caring person in my life like Rinpoche. Totally amazing!

  14. jennifer on Jul 28, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    I am so so happy for Aki !
    As long as the animal, bird, fish, reptile, insect have breath, they all have feelings ! And we, being the supposedly most evolved and intelligent of all the mammals, have the responsibility to care for all these wonderful beings.
    Thank you Rinpoche for rescuing Aki and giving him a good and loving home. Aki may just be a bird, but i read somewhere that birds are highly intelligent beings especially the parrot family who also has a strong sense of loyalty. I can’t possibly imagine how poor Aki must have felt being abandoned by his human family after staying with them for 30 years !
    I’m sure Aki is happy now. As an ‘Old Man’ , he may take some time to settle in , but i’m sure with all the tender loving care he is given , he will be one happy bird !

  15. Wan Wai Meng on Jul 27, 2012 at 2:59 am

    Aki is a lovely bird, very gentle and sweet and wants social contact.

  16. EricLee KHJB on Jul 26, 2012 at 2:46 pm


  17. Lim (KH JB) on Jul 24, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    Aki have very good Karma that make he / she can meet Rinpoche. Rinpoche is truly compassion against all sentient beings. We notice that Rinpoche always care and love to his students and friends hence Rinpoche show us a very good example to care for all sentient beings.

    Thanks Ladrang teams for always taking good care to Aki…

  18. Uncle Eddie on Jul 24, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Ignoring and overlooking the sufferings and pains animals so obviously experienced do not make us good human beings. Cruel acts make us unwanted, hated and avoided. We dont deserve that, so dont create the causes for it. The numbness we developed in hurting animals makes us inhuman – heal ourselves by healing and caring for others – especially for animals, they have no control over their lives and to the terrible ordeals of their sufferings. Rinpoche has always taught by examples as shown in this blog, and we should take heed, learn and follow. Thank you Rinpoche for your enlightened teachings.

  19. DR on Jul 24, 2012 at 11:02 am

    This blog post reminds me of Gizmo, the 9 year old Shitzu that Jean Mei, Ethan and Bryan saved from an animal shelter. He was to be euthanised three days before he was saved. Today, Gizmo goes to work daily with his ‘new owners’ to Tsem Ladrang, gets to see Buddha images everyday and even gets to listen to mantras. Looking at Gizmo and how his fate/karma took a 180 degrees change must have been the results of someone somewhere planting a good karmic seed in him in one of his previous lives and when the conducive condition arose, he was saved.

    I am sure Aki is the same and may more beings who are unable to fend for themselves be blessed and have some dharma imprint for their future lives.

  20. Mei Fong on Jul 24, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Rinpoche shows so much compassion for pets that people do not want. I think everyone wants to buy young cute lovely pets but Rinpoche doesnt buy them for entertainment or leisure as stated above but to care and give the best to the animal. Felt happy for ‘Old Man’ to be cared for by Rinpoche as i am sure it will have the best under Rinpoche’s care

  21. Cynthia Ng on Jul 23, 2012 at 11:04 pm


  22. Han on Jul 23, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Through Rinpoche’s compassionate love and care , AKI the old man was save from the pet shop. He is such a fortunate bird that received blessing from Rinpoche. May Aki live long and always healthy.
    I am so happy for Aki!

  23. Judy Lam on Jul 23, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Aki is very very lucky to ‘meet’ Rinpoche, otherwise I would not dare think of what would happen to him. It is normal human behavior to look for the best and seek perfection in everything, and by reading this kind act by Rinpoche, we really do have to look at things differently and change our perspective.

  24. HelenaC on Jul 23, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Aki the “Old Man” is such a beauty :) He is fortunate to meet Rinpoche and have taken under good care by Tsem Ladrang Team. Thank you Rinpoche for adopting this sweet little old man.
    I never knew there is so much knowledge of taking care a bird :) Thank you Rinpoche for sharing. May Aki be happy and well always.

  25. patsy on Jul 23, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Even though Aki is born in the animal realm yet he has the merits to receive Rinpoche’s love, care and blessings for him to take a better rebirth. Now Aki does not have to be in a small cage, he has more space in the aviary and well taken care of by Rinpoche and the Ladrang team.

  26. tenzin llhamo on Jul 23, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    It sad to read about Aki being stuck in a cage for 4 years. I cannot imagine myself in a cage for 4 hours! I believe that Aki and the rest that came across Rinpoche is truly a BLESSING! Yes, their karma to be born in the animal realm is not good but they have the merits to see and here Rinpoche. I would like to say thank you, Rinpoche for instilling the kindness of rescuing and feeding the strays. I love feeding them whenever I see them now. I am truly blessed as well.

    • tenzin llhamo on Jul 23, 2012 at 1:11 pm

      Sorry. here Rinpoche = hear Rinpoche

  27. Sofi on Jul 23, 2012 at 1:15 am

    Aki may have the karma to be in the animal realm, but he had the merits to meet with a compassionate buddha who takes care of him. His is a good example of the Lamrim teaching of throwing karma and completing karma. Being reborn in the animal realm is the nonvirtuous throwing karma but being taken care of by Rinpoche is the virtuous completing karma. Thank you Rinpoche for leading by example.

  28. Milly on Jul 23, 2012 at 12:05 am

    Aki is very fortunate to be rescued by Rinpoche. Animals have feelings too and they feel sad when neglected or abused. Its great that Aki who is now in his twilight years will receive good care and love in the Ladrang. My pet dog is 11 years old and almost blind. It breaks my heart to see him knocking himself when he moves around and occasionally he gets epilepsy in the middle of the night. We should not abandon our pets when they grow old and sickly. Luckily, we have Lord Manjushri’s pendant conceived by Rinpoche for our pets to wear. May KAS manifest soon so that we can do our part in helping these poor animals.

  29. Patricia Scrabeck on Jul 22, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    I enjoyed your story about “The Old Man.” I was given a African Grey by an elderly friend who no longer could care for him. I am a bird person with two other parrots and felt I would have no problems with him. Well, it took a whole year for “Butch” to fully accept me and not bite. His bites were unbelievably severe–to the bone if you could believe that. My fingers were bandaged for a whole year as I constantly had new bites. Now he is quite sweet and we have a wonderful relationship. He tells me constantly how much he loves me and I believe it is true. Thank you for taking this elderly bird in–once you get him to trust, you will have a wonderful life together.

  30. Low ksjc on Jul 22, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,
    Thank you for the sharing. I am glad that Aki was very fortunate to meet up with our dear Guru.It is true compassion to choose the weak over the young and beautiful one, when you are given a choice.But in doing so, we must take on the true responsibility to make sure we could care for the weak and sick properly.If we go half the way and neglect the well being of the bird then after we purchase it, then we are in fact shortening the birds life.
    True Compassion must come with Wisdom,thank you for the kind reminder.

  31. tfreon on Jul 22, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,
    Thank you for sharing. To me, it is not an easy task to take care any animals. Taking care animals needs lots of time and be patient with them. From this sharing, i realised that it is true, animals can’t tell us what is wrong with them, and, they are harmless for us. May i be more mindful when come across taking care any animals.

    Thank you Rinpoche for showing me the basic compassion that i should have as a human towards an animal.

  32. MayOng on Jul 22, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    There are six realms that beings can take rebirth into. Aki or other animals may have been a human in previous lives. Its a possibility. So how we treat Aki now is related to how we treat human too. Thank you, Ladrang and Rinpoche for saving Aki and give him better life.

  33. Rita van der Wijden on Jul 22, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    How is Aki doing now! After more than a year??
    His gift to all of us -who read this story- is that he gives us the opportunity to open up our heart. So please thank his for this and I wish him a very comfortable and healthy happy old day, may he be well and be in contact with the Dharma always.

  34. Sheryl KH (JB) on Jul 22, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    It is coming to slightly more than a year since Aki arrived at Rinpoche’s place. I wonder how is Aki doing now.

    It is so true that it feels very hurt when we are abandoned for factors that we have no control over, such as age and sickness. If we only talk about animals in the pet shops, surely younger and stronger ones will be bought first. Everyone wants healthy animals which don’t bring troubles.

    It must have been sad for Aki in those four years to have to be stucked in a small cage seeing his friends leaving him one by one. Deep inside his heart he must have been feeling very sour, yet he couldn’t speak it out.

    He was fortunate to have met Rinpoche, who rescued him out of sadness. If Aki is still in the ladrang, I feel that he must be living a much happier life.

  35. KC TAY on May 20, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    “During Buddha’s time, there was a bird that flew over Lord Buddha and his droppings fell on Buddha’s robe. This create the causes, hundreds of years later, for this bird to become a scholar of Buddhism. All because he had made a connection with the Buddha. That is why I had the idea of placing Buddha images inside bird cages and aviaries so that the birds can make a connection and be blessed by Buddha.”

    I have see a few videos in youtube where they put Buddha status in aquariums however many have told me that it is irrespectful to do so as the aquarium is too dirty for us to place a Buddha in there.
    What is your opinion on this?

    • tsemtulku on May 20, 2011 at 9:01 pm

      Place it in is ok..the benefits outweigh the disbenefits. TR

  36. Lim Han Nee on Apr 12, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,
    I like very much the schedule you have prepared on how to take care of Aki. It shows how much you love this ‘Poor Old Man’ who has been cast aside and left to languish in a pet shop for four years. It is the same love and care you show Mumu and Oser.

    Aki is very blessed to be with Rinpoche.

    Thank you, Rinpoche, for showing by your fine example, what it means to have true compassion. May Kechara Animal Sanctuary manifest quickly for the sake of all animals who are being thrown away, neglected and abused.

  37. Grace Leu -KSJC on Apr 12, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    “Some people ask why I buy animals from shops, and whether that just encourages those involved in the live animal trade to continue doing what they do”
    Thanks for sharing , i also encounter the same question from friend and we don’t have much conclusion on this, i can share the view to my friend.It touching to see the schedule to take care Aki, it show true love and care to animals.

  38. Wendy Ho on Apr 12, 2011 at 1:55 am

    True compassion is when you do something to ease the suffering of other beings who cannot express their appreciation or thanks to you. You do it because you really care from the depths of your heart. That’s how Rinpoche is like. Always caring for animals and doing all he can to make their lives better. Aki is just one of the many countless beneficiaries of Rinpoche’s kindness.

  39. Dee Dee Quah on Apr 11, 2011 at 9:16 am

    Rinpoche, you show such love and care for those whom nobody wants. This is an inspiring story.

  40. Fay on Apr 10, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    Very nice to hear such loving care.

  41. Katrina on Apr 10, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    A new friend Aki in the ladrang, and poor Aki. Now he will be taken care with love and a big space to fly around with new friends.

  42. Cathy on Apr 10, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Aki is very blessed to have been adopted by you. May the blessings of the Buddha wash over him. African Greys are very good talkers so you could train him to say a short mantra. If you played a mantra by him in no time would he pick it up and repeat it, bringing him even more blessings while he blessed others by saying the mantra. May the rest of Aki’s life be happy.

  43. Suzan on Apr 10, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Oh, Dear Aki,

    I am so happy for you!! Try not to be too afraid in your new home. Everyone loves you so much.

    This is a very big change for you and it might take you longer than what Tsem Tulku thinks. You just take all the time you need. If you start pulling out your feathers, or you begin rocking back and forth, or sitting on the bottom of your cage all puffed up, tell them this is because you are nervous and afraid and maybe sick, and I bet you will get a nice blanket over your own cage so you can hide and good seeds so you can be healthy.

    My real hope is your dear friend who had to give you up will come and play with you, and the other birds will be happy friends you can enjoy. Your name is in my heart, and I will always remember you, Aki.

    I am so very happy for you! Scream loudly! Tell everyone how happy you are when you become happy!

    Tsem Tulku loves you very very much. I hope I hear many good stories about you for many many years to come.

    And I know you are not a very old man! You are in middle age! Not very old at all for a beautiful gray. You are very handsome indeed.

    Much much love my dear friend. I hope someday I can come and you will sit on my hand or my shoulder and you can walk around outside with me, even visit the gompa to get a refuge name!

    I love birds very very much, especially you, Aki.

    Mingyur Pema Yeshe Wangmo

    and Pema Rinchen Tsering, who is an old man too. He is almost 25 years old! He is a cockatiel like Tsem Tulu’s first bird.

  44. tsemtulku on Apr 10, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    Nobody wanted Aki and he lanquished for four years in a pet shop waiting for a new owner…it broke my heart on the spot. I said to myself immediately, I want you. I want you and I will take care of you. You will have fresh air, friends, greens and nice environment. I want you to come home with me Aki….As I wiped the tear from my eye…I arranged for his transport to his new home…Tsem Rinpoche

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Here is the latest news and pictorial updates, as it happens, of our upcoming forest retreat project.

The Kechara Forest Retreat is a unique holistic retreat centre focused on the total wellness of body, mind and spirit. This is a place where families and individuals will find peace, nourishment and inspiration in a natural forest environment. At Kechara Forest Retreat, we are committed to give back to society through instilling the next generation with universal positive values such as kindness and compassion.

For more information, please read here (english), here (chinese), or the official site:


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  • Pastor Yek Yee月谊讲法师
    Sunday, Nov 29. 2015 02:19 AM
    President Vladimir Putin opened his visit to Buryatia by visiting Ivilga Datsan, the main monastery of the Buddhist Traditional Sangha in Russia. (
  • Lucy Yap
    Sunday, Nov 29. 2015 01:37 AM
    2015 Tsongkhapa Day Light Offering Package

    Be the first to review this product
    Celebrate the kindness of Lama Tsongkhapa with offerings of light on Tsongkhapa Day this 5th December 2015. Making offerings on such auspicious days multiplies the benefits and merit accumulated from virtuous deeds, which can be dedicated to the fulfilment of one’s wishes and the flourishing of Lama Tsongkhapa’s holy teachings.

    Choose from three packages of 21 candles, 49 candles or 108 candles, all available at a promotional price for a LIMITED TIME only. Promotion ends 12am GMT +8, 3rd December 2015.
  • Lucy Yap
    Sunday, Nov 29. 2015 01:33 AM
    The Wheel of Sharp Weapons, a basic text for the Mahayana training of the mind, was composed by the great yogi Dharmarakshita. It was brought to Tibet by the great Indian Pandit Atisha (982-1054) and was translated from Sanskrit into Tibetan by Atisha and his main disciple Upasaka Drom Tonpa. Watch Rinpoche gave a very clear and powerful commentary on this classic text. Although the text was composed 1000 years ago, Tsem Rinpoche showed us how it is still very much applicable today, simply amazing…
  • jillyam
    Sunday, Nov 29. 2015 01:07 AM
    Giving a rescue dog a home will not change the world, but for that one dog, their world will change forever.
  • jillyam
    Sunday, Nov 29. 2015 12:57 AM
    My Childhood In Taiwan. Read who and how this special lady help and love me when I was a young boy – H.E. The 25th Teem Rinpoche.
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 05:52 PM
    There are many disturbed people out there…..See this 6 min video. How this guy is caught with overwhelming evidence, yet can still lie, stay cool and stay calm. He is a very good liar and has no feelings for others at all.Their purpose is to harm, take advantage and use others for their own purpose. If they cannot use, they harm.They have no feelings nor capable of feelings for others. Their sole purpose is for themselves as the detriment of others and they look so ordinary, so innocent but have no feelings:
  • Cynthia Ng
    Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 02:44 PM
    What is integrity? Integrity basically means that you honor what you promised. You honor your word. You honor your commitments. So whatever you say from your mouth you do it. Whatever you promised, you do it. Whatever you have committed to, you do it. And you know, unless it’s a life and death circumstance, then you can’t do it, or if it’s a very powerful extenuating circumstance that you can’t do it, all right. And you go and explain, and you tell, and you share and you say why you can’t do it but otherwise, you gotta get it done.
  • Cynthia Ng
    Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 02:35 PM
    Dharma work is something of a blessing, privilege and honour. We should never do Dharma work thinking we are doing the centre, our guru, others and Buddha a favour.

    Dharma Work & TDL (附中文字幕) read more here:…
  • xuliang
    Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 10:21 AM
    Ideals in any form are an escape from the understanding of what is. Ideals, however noble and however fine, have no reality: they are fictitious. It is more important to understand what is than to pursue or to follow an ideal or an example or a pattern of action. We have innumerable ideals – peace, nonviolence, nongreed, etc. – within which our minds are enclosed; they are not really factual, they are nonexistent. Since they are nonexistent, of what value are they? Do they help us to understand our conflict, our violence, our greed? Are they not a hindrance to such understanding? Will this screen of ideals help us to understand arrogance and corruption? Can a violent man be nonviolent through the ideal of nonviolence? Must we not put aside the screen of ideals and examine violence? Will the ideal help to bring about understanding? Is evil understood through the ideal of good? Or is evil transformed – not through the ideal, not through the pursuit of its opposite – but in facing it without resistance and understanding it. Does not the ideal in any form prevent the understanding of what is?
    Surely, we have each one tried the pursuit of the opposites and are caught in the conflict bred by the opposite. We are familiar with the constant struggle of the opposites, of the thesis and of the antithesis, and hoping to arrive at a synthesis – capitalism in conflict with the left – hoping to arrive at a synthesis, that synthesis again creating its own opposite, and again producing a synthesis, and so on and on. We are familiar with this state.
    Now, is this struggle necessary? Is not this struggle unreal? Is not the opposite itself unreal? What is the real, the actual? The opposite is fictitious, not real. The actual is greed. The ideal of nongreed is nonexistent; it is the creation of the mind giving it an opportunity to escape from what is.
    If we have no ideals, will we collapse, will we fall apart? Are our ideals acting as a dam against evil and unkind action? Is our ideal of nonviolence preventing us from being nonviolent? Obviously, it is not. So, ideals are nonexistent except in theory, and therefore valueless. An idealist is really a man who is escaping, avoiding direct action with regard to what is. By removing the ideals, will the weak-minded be thrown off their feet? The weak-minded are thrown off their feet anyhow by the politicians, by the gurus, by the priests, by the innumerable ceremonies and exploitations, but the man who is strong anyhow disregards the ideals and pursues what he wants. So, neither the weak nor the strong pay any attention to ideals. The ideal is a convenient easy cover for false and thoughtless action. The ideal of the opposite is a hindrance to the direct understanding of what is. We can understand what is only when we are not escaping from it through the fantasy of an ideal. The ideal prevents we from looking at it, examining it, and dealing with it directly. As we do not want to deal with it directly, we invent the ideal and so what is can be postponed.
    So, our problem is how to transcend, to go beyond that which is – not how to go beyond the opposites which the mind has created. Obviously, what is can be understood completely, wholly, when we are aware of the whole psychological significance of what is. We understand what is only when all escapes have ceased. To acknowledge what is, whether it is greed or it is a lie, requires an honesty of awareness. To be aware that one is greedy is already the beginning of freedom from greed. Seeing the truth in the false and truth as truth is the beginning of understanding. It is the perception of truth that liberates, and not the pursuit of the opposite or of the ideal.
  • Lucy Yap
    Friday, Nov 27. 2015 02:44 PM
    Russian leadership supports Buddhism: Putin in Siberia to salute Buddhism and the religion’s important role in…
    Tsem Rinpoche.
  • xuliang
    Friday, Nov 27. 2015 11:20 AM
    In order to observe the movement of our own mind and heart, of our whole being, we must have a free mind. Not a mind that agrees, taking sides, disputing and disagrees in an argument over mere words, but rather, following with an intention to understand – a very difficult thing to do because most of us don’t know how to look at or listen to our own being anymore than we know how to look at the beauty of a river or listen to the breeze among the trees.
  • Lucy Yap
    Friday, Nov 27. 2015 10:00 AM
    Magnificent and Glorious Buddha Goddess Singdongma the Lion Faced lady who dispells all fear from the ten directions for those who invoke upon her fercocious and volcanic like power. Praise to this wrathful lady that burns all gnosis and projections! Remover of all that harms and obstructs and trampled under her feet. Tsem Rinpoche- To learn more about Singdongma:
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Friday, Nov 27. 2015 02:04 AM
    This is beautiful and with the meditating monk:
  • Lucy Yap
    Friday, Nov 27. 2015 12:33 AM
    Advice from someone with unlimited wisdom:
  • Lucy Yap
    Friday, Nov 27. 2015 12:05 AM
    The offering of the mandala is one of the four main preliminary practices in Vajrayana Buddhism. This is one of the fastest ways to accumulate vast amounts of merit to sustain and advance in our spiritual practice in order to gain realisations.
    In this dharma talk, Pastor David Lai will explain the correct way of engaging in the Mandala Offering of the 37 Heaps, the significance of each offering and the accompanying visualisations. He will also be talking about various aspects of correct Dharma attitude and how to cultivate this type of mind. Please RSVP your attendance via [email protected] or +603 7803 3908 by 3 December 2015. Seating is limited and availability is on a first come first serve basis. Read more

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »


Concept: Tsem Rinpoche
Technical: Lew Kwan Leng, Justin Ripley, Yong Swee Keong
Design: Justin Ripley, Cynthia Lee
Content: Tsem Rinpoche, Justin Ripley, Pastor Shin Tan, Sarah Yap
Writer: Pastor Loh Seng Piow
Admin: Pastor Loh Seng Piow, Beng Kooi

I must thank my dharma blog team who are great assets to me, Kechara and growth of dharma in this wonderful region. I am honoured and thrilled to work with them. I really am. Maybe I don't say it enough to them, but I am saying it now. I APPRECIATE THESE GUYS VERY MUCH!

Tsem Rinpoche

What Am I Writing Now


The Unknown

The Known and unknown are both feared,
Known is being comfortable and stagnant,
The unknown may be growth and opportunities,
One shall never know if one fears the unknown more than the known.
Who says the unknown would be worse than the known?
But then again, the unknown is sometimes worse than the known. In the end nothing is known unless we endeavour,
So go pursue all the way with the unknown,
because all unknown with familiarity becomes the known.
~Tsem Rinpoche

Photos On The Go

Click on the images to view the bigger version. And scroll down and click on "View All Photos" to view more images.
2 weeks ago
Please see the WONDERFUL NEW PHOTOS taken just this morning (November 13, 2015) here: (Be sure to scroll to the bottom until part 2 to see the pictures)
2 weeks ago
We at Kechara Forest Retreat had the honor to have a visit from Yang Dipertua Mohammad Shahid bin Ismail who is the Head of the Bentong Municipal Council. We thank him for taking the time as he was very busy. Thank you very much. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
Pastor David giving a well received talk on the practice of Black Manjushri
2 weeks ago
Found a green patch of land to spend with friends...
2 weeks ago
Nice to see our fellow Modern Buddhist Fellowship members engaged in Dharma.
2 weeks ago
Manjushri-ghosha, Kumara (English: Youthful Prince, Melodious Voice)
3 weeks ago
Wonderful certificates of our Kechara pastors..meaningful and touching.
3 weeks ago
This office table has something interesting on it.
3 weeks ago
Powerfully true
3 weeks ago
To have kind and caring people in our lives is a blessing
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago
I really wanted to share this incredible picture of the Tibetologist Alexandra David-Neel outside of her retreat cave in Tibet. She's one of the first non-Tibetans who penetrated Tibet to engage in the practice of Tibetan Buddhism. She really practiced and even wrote books on Buddhism and Tibet which are still available now. ~Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
A photo taken by Pastor Shin of Tsem Rinpoche's Dorje Shugden traditional mask. This is on Tsem Rinpoche's shrine. Very nice photo.
3 weeks ago
At Chin Swee Temple with my long time friend Dato' Wira Eric.
3 weeks ago
Amogha-pasa Avalokitesvara
4 weeks ago
I love small quaint towns in Japan. No matter how rural or small any village is in Japan, it is still kept very clean and asthetic matching nature. 
4 weeks ago
Left to right: Gekula (disciplinarian), Abbot Geshe Konchok Tsering, Tsem Rinpoche, H.E. Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche-We are inviting Kensur Rinpoche for tenshug. Tenshug is grand puja to request Kensur Rinpoche to live long. This is in Gaden and we are inviting him to the prayer hall to perform the tenshug. Tsem Rinpoche is the requester and sponsor.
4 weeks ago
This is a nice picture
4 weeks ago
Kyabje Lati Rinpoche and Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen
4 weeks ago
Kyabje Lati Rinpoche and Kari Kensur Rinpoche of Gaden Shartse Monastery
4 weeks ago
Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, H.H. Zong Rinpoche & Kyabje Lati Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
Kyabje Lati Rinpoche makes offerings to H.H. Trijang Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
Kyabje Lati Rinpoche makes offering to their Holinesses Kyabje Ling and Trijang Rinpoches
4 weeks ago
Lady Buddha Janguli who protects from snakes and venom poisoning.
1 month ago
If there is a blind man walking towards a well and he can fall in, whose fault is it if he falls in? This can be related back to those in dharma should act to guide others by example otherwise you let everyone fall into the well. If they do fall in samsara's well, whose fault is it? Have the courage, integrity and fortitude to practice dharma and bring dharma to others to help them.~ Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
This group in Kechara Forest Retreat completed a Singdongma retreat on October 28, 2015.
1 month ago
Magnificent and Glorious Buddha Goddess Singdongma the Lion Faced lady who dispells all fear from the ten directions for those who invoke upon her fercocious and volcanic like power. Praise to this wrathful lady that burns all gnosis and projections! Remover of all that harms and obstructs and trampled under her feet. Tsem Rinpoche--To learn more about Singdongma:
1 month ago
Xiaqiong Monastary, Qinghai, Tibet, China. Over 100 meters tall Lord Tsongkapa statue. The only one of it's kind. Totally amazing. Picture 2
1 month ago
Xiaqiong Monastary, Qinghai, Tibet, China. Over 100 meters tall Lord Tsongkapa statue. The only one of it's kind. Totally amazing. Picture 1
1 month ago
This was taken in Kechara House. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
This was taken in Gaden Shartse Monastery on the day of my enthronement as Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
I think I was in Sera Mey Monastery when this was taken over 18 years ago. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
1 month ago
Many times we hear great Vajra Yogini practitioners when cremated, their fire pyres appear in the form of Vajra Yogini. We hear this many times as a sign they went to Kechara Paradise, gained high realizations or enlightened by Vajra Yogini's path. Although this picture does not depict a funeral pyre of a great practitioner, but the fire looks curiously like Vajra Yogini. Enjoy and may all be blessed by Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
1 month ago
When you work hard and produce results, everyone is silenced and those who make noise is just noise and society allows you some freedoms. You have to have the integrity to finish what you started and what you promised. Do it for others, those concerned and for yourself.~Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
You can work with me and we finish the dreams. You can leave citing any reasons you may have. You may join back again with me and my arms are open to you. Or you may go away as an enemy or remain friends. However you do I will accept. I dream big and work hard and sometimes it's hard for you, others and me, but if we finish, there is great satisfaction. Satisfaction doesn't come free. But one thing for sure, I will finish what I have started with or without you. Too many depend on it and many have hopes in it. We need to remember our words, our promises and our hopes we gave others and not shatter it. Sometimes we need to put our personal feelings aside and just get it done with a bang and be happy about it because in the end letting others down is not a way of life. Be kind, have integrity, don't make excuses, don't justify but just complete the works that make the dreams materialize and in the process you fulfill the dreams of many others. Others is always the key. Others and oneself are intertwined. Life is then fulfilled. That is life. Life is like that.~Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Please click on picture to see this special mantra
1 month ago
Long Manjushri mantra: Namo Manjushriye Kumara Bhutaya Bodhisattvaya Maha-sattvaya Maha-karuni-kaya Tayatha Om Aradzey Biradzey Shuddhey Bishuddhey Shodaya Bishodayey Amaley Bimaley Nirmaley Dzaya-varey Ruru-tsaley Hung Hung Hung Phet Phet Phet Soha!
2 months ago
Love is.....
2 months ago
Very powerful. Must click on picture and read and share.
2 months ago
Some people just work quietly in the background and do their best in their own way to benefit others. They don't say much but work super hard. I must say Pastor Dr. Lanse is one of them. She does not need attention, she does not complain and she does not ever create problems. She is independent and yet kind. She is our wonderful translator who works very hard to get translations of many dharma teachings into Chinese. This is just something short and sweet to let everyone know how much I appreciate Pastor Lanse and enjoy being with her work and her. Because of her and several other vital and lovely people, much practical dharma is in the Chinese speaking world. I thank Pastor Dr. Lanse from my heart. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
Materialism is prevalent because the societal norms teaches people to be consumers at a young age. Buying things we don't need all to feed the ego. You can drive an expensive vehicle, but at the end of the day its still just a car. You can buy a flashy watch, but in reality all it does is tell time. People are more concerned with image and feeding their egos than being a beneficial person to society. Investing money on the outside to appear a certain way to others, yet forgetting to invest in yourself to becoming a better person. People spend their whole lives working to attain materialistic things using their accumulation of materialism to validate their existence, but when you die you can't take any of it with you. Don't let this system turn you into a vanity slave, realize you're worth much more than that. Feed your soul not your ego.-from Dr Asky (Powerful words of wisdom even from the secular point of view)
2 months ago
I love little Dharma boy.
2 months ago
Lord Tsongkhapa's holy retreat house in Tibet. Huge pilgrimage spot.
2 months ago
Lama Tsongkhapa footprint as a child
2 months ago
Kedrub Je's personal statue of Yamantaka
2 months ago
Prince Siddhartha with his maternal aunt Queen Mahaprajapati Gotami
Click on "View All Photos" above to view more images

Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • -
    2 months ago
    HH the Dalai Lama prays with HH Trijang Rinpoche and HH Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. Such a beautiful video of His Holiness Dalai Lama, His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and His Holiness Dilgo Kyentse Rinpoche (Very exalted high Nyingma lama) are all praying together. In the background you see a young Kyabje Lati Rinpoche too. So beautiful. This is how it was before the ban. All the sects and high lamas were superbly harmonious. After the Dorje Shugden ban things changed for the worse. May the ban be released soon. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Nice Dorje Shugden rock painting
    3 months ago
    Nice Dorje Shugden rock painting
  • His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche teaches the truth of life and our impeding death.
    3 months ago
    His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche teaches the truth of life and our impeding death.
  • A kind message from Mr. Tsering Wangchuk to me. Thank you so much. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 months ago
    A kind message from Mr. Tsering Wangchuk to me. Thank you so much. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Mr Chatreng Yeshe's message to me (Part 1)
    3 months ago
    Mr Chatreng Yeshe's message to me (Part 1)
  • Mr Chatreng Yeshe's message to me (Part 2)
    3 months ago
    Mr Chatreng Yeshe's message to me (Part 2)
  • His Holiness Trijang Rinpoche accepts Long Life puja
    4 months ago
    His Holiness Trijang Rinpoche accepts Long Life puja
  • Dorje Shugden/Kache Marpo makes offerings to Tsem Rinpoche
    4 months ago
    Dorje Shugden/Kache Marpo makes offerings to Tsem Rinpoche
  • My good friend Justin Ripley
    5 months ago
    My good friend Justin Ripley
  • -
    6 months ago
    I requested Choji Lah to do a trusol, rabney and soongdroop for our large DS and Buddha. In this video, he is performing trusol which is ritually 'bathing' the environment and blessing all those who come to visit our Wisdom Hall and Dorje Shugden. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Bigfoot arrives!!!
    6 months ago
    Bigfoot arrives!!!
    Tsem Rinpoche is an avid follower of the paranormal such as bigfoots. For more interesting writings and posts on the subject, please go to
  • Mumu Loves Snack!
    6 months ago
    Mumu Loves Snack!
  • -
    6 months ago
    For H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche, a blog post is not just a blog post but Dharma work that generates merits which should be dedicated. Click here to find out what blog post Rinpoche was dedicating the merits for when he recited this prayer: ~Ani Lobsang Pema
  • -
    6 months ago
    Panchen Lama in Beijing on CCTV - China's official news. The respect and position they give His Holiness Panchen Lama is great.
  • Magical fish tank with Buddha statue
    6 months ago
    Magical fish tank with Buddha statue


A section for you to clarify your Dharma questions with Kechara’s esteemed pastors.

Just post your name and your question below and one of our pastors will provide you with an answer.

Scroll down and click on "View All Questions" to view archived questions.

View All Questions


8 hours ago
Pat is always so kind and she was volunteered to help us with the preparations of set up for Halloween event. A very big Thank You to Pat. Victoria KSDS
8 hours ago
The kids of group teens were volunteer themselves to help us and enjoyed baking at sponsor's house. Victoria KSDS
8 hours ago
Guess what were they doing? Teacher Kien was webbing the web effects at Tara Walk. Victoria KSDS
8 hours ago
Behind the scene of KSDS Halloween workmanship hard work for decorations. Victoria KSDS
8 hours ago
An Sutra Story groups from KSDS were ready for the performance cum Graduation 2015. Victoria KSDS
9 hours ago
10 hours of tormas making for pujas today by team. By Puja House 28 November'15
11 hours ago
Medicine Buddha puja is one of the most popular puja ordered by sponsors to heal their beloved. By Puja House 28 November'15
11 hours ago
Dorje Shugden Puja conducted today for Sponsor to clear the obstacles that might arise for her medical treatment. By Puja House 28 November'15
18 hours ago
28 November 15 If you think you are poor, if you think life is unfair to you, if you always lament at your own misery, think again. Picture: Batri the Kathmandu Rickshaw Wallah, his wife, 2 teenage sons and 2 young daughters, total 6 persons, are staying in this room, 3 on bed and 3 on floor. - Pastor Antoinette
18 hours ago
Preparation for the wedding function at Kechara Oasis Viva Home outlet. Guat Hee
19 hours ago
KSDS- We are ready for our very first concert
19 hours ago
KSDS Graduation & Concert - Listen team, briefing time. Lin Mun KSDS
19 hours ago
KSDS Graduation & Concert- Visual and graphic team. Lin Mun KSDS
19 hours ago
KSDS Graduation & Concert- our MCs did a good job. Lin Mun KSDS
19 hours ago
KSDS Graduation - I got my certificate
19 hours ago
KSDS Graduation and Concert - Getting ready to perform
19 hours ago
28 November 2015 When in need of wisdom and understanding one can count on the blessings of Buddha Tsongkapa. Timeless and Sacred!
22 hours ago
Nice weather and fresh air in the morning in Kechara Forest Retreat. :) Wahying
22 hours ago
Young Adults of Kechara (YAKS) is doing some farming at Kechara Forest Retreat. Wahying
Dorje Shugden Puja at Kechara House Penang. Pastor Patsy
Urgent Menlha conducted today for Sponsor's beloved who are ill. By puja House 27 November'15
Gossip Cutting Puja conducted today. 27 November'15
Every day Kent Kok will check and Repair Gompa facilities. By Puja House 28 November'15
2 days ago
On June 14, 2015 Kechara marked another milestone with the opening of Kechara House Penang. Located in the northern island state of Penang, the opening of Kechara House Penang is the result of many years of hard work by my student Pastor Patsy Gooi. H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche - Pastor Antoinette
2 days ago
This is a campaign that aims to raise funds for food for the rescued birds in the aviary of Kechara Forest Retreat. Please help us to take care of the birds nobody wanted. - Pastor Antoinette





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Click to watch my talk about Dorje Shugden....