Fo Guang Shan monastery

Oct 8, 2012 | Views: 6,251
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Today, my personal assistant and good friend, Liaison Pastor Loh Seng Piow showed me a few pictures of Fo Guang Shan monastery in Taiwan. I have heard about this monastery before, but these pictures beautifully highlights the sheer scale of the monastery and what if offers.

In 1976, Master Hsing Yun founded Fo Guang Shan, the largest temple in Taiwan. The temple sits on 30 hectares (74 acres) of land in Ta Shu township, Kaohsiung county in Taiwan. 30 hectares… that’s the size of 50 international football fields!

Take a look at these beautiful pictures below… I have also added a 12-part video which goes through the overview of the temple complex, from the temple’s carpark, main entrance to their main prayer hall.

I truly rejoice that Fo Guang Shan is still thriving today, and continues to spread the Dharma… may their beautiful work continue to grow.

Many in the West and even East do not know of the sheer size, benefit and active curriculum these Monasteries have because it is all in Chinese language. It is very encouraging for many to know there are modern, large, functioning Monasteries in Taiwan where Dharma is very strong. Where people can get a full dharma education with degree. I do encourage many to visit this vast and beautiful Monastery. May it last 10,000 years! I rejoice so much in this place.

Tsem Rinpoche

 


Index

About Fo Guang Shan

History

Fo Guang Shan Monastery Temple Grounds

Abbots and directors

Location Map

Pictures of Fo Guang Shan


(Extracted from source: https://www.fgs.org.tw/en/)

About Fo Guang Shan

Venerable Master Hsing Yun founded Fo Guang Shan in 1967. The once bamboo forest of Kaohsiung county now lies the largest Buddhist monastery in Taiwan. It houses more than two dozen temples, two Buddhist colleges (one for men and one for women), 4 community colleges, many primary and secondary schools, kindergartens, meditation rooms, a Japanese-style calligraphy hall, gardens and a recycling center. There is currently 400 monks and nuns who live on the hills. Presently, Fo Guang Shan has over 200 branch temples throughout the world carrying out the goals of propagating Humanistic Buddhism and establishing a Pure Land on earth.

The objectives of Fo Guang Shan are to promote the principles of Humanistic Buddhism and to foster peace and harmony among all peoples of the world. The founder, Venerable Master Hsing Yun, has guided this effort by providing educational opportunities, sponsoring cultural events, engaging in community service, and by extensively writing and teaching about the Buddhist path of wisdom and compassion. Venerable Master Hsing Yun emphasizes not needing to “go some place else” to find enlightenment (paradise), for we can realize our true nature right here and now, within this precious human birth and this world. When we actualize altruism,joyfulness,and universality, we are practicing the fundamental concepts of Humanistic Buddhism. When we give faith, hope, joy, and service, we are helping all beings, as well as ourselves.

For nearly half a century, Venerable Master Hsing Yun, founder of Fo Guang Shan, has devoted his efforts in transforming this world, through the practice of Humanistic Buddhism. He reminds us that to transform our world, we must be actively engaged in it. “Community transcends the individual,” he says, “and in doing so, fulfills the individual in the most complete way possible.” Wherever he goes, he encourages people to unite both the local and global communities into a world of complete equality, joyfulness, and perfect peace.

The goal and its aims are to promote Humanistic Buddhism around the world by the four founding principles:

  • To propagate Buddhist teachings through cultural activities.
  • To nurture talents through education.
  • To benefit societies through charitable programs.
  • To purify human hearts and minds through Buddhist practices.

 

Social & Medical Programs

Based on the Buddha’s teaching of loving kindness and His desire to rid the world of suffering, the Fo Guang Shan Compassion Foundation assists the poor, the sick and the homeless by providing free medical care at the main monastery and by dispatching mobile clinics to remote villages. It distributes clothing and food supplies to the rural poor through the annual relief campaign. It encourages the release of captured living creatures, and advocates organ donation. The Compassion Foundation has facilities to take care of anything from birth and old age to sickness and death. The Tatzu Children’s Home was set up for the needy and orphaned children from Taiwan and other countries. The nurturing of constructive thinking ,self-esteem, and positive appreciation plays an important role in the daily upbringing of these children. The Fo Guang Shan Retirement Home was established to provide a peaceful and quiet environment for retired devotees while the Lan Yang Senior Citizens Home has given shelter to more than 820 chronically ill and destitute seniors over the age of 70 for the past 30 years.

 

Educational Programs

The educational programs of Fo Guang Shan include four Buddhist colleges, two universities in Taiwan and one in the United States. The Chinese Buddhist research institute is further subdivided into four separate departments; a college each for men and woman ,an international and an English Buddhist studies department. Tuition fees and lodging are provided by Fo Guang Shan, free of charge. Besides the many colleges and universities, Fo Guang Shan also operates a high school in Taipei, which provides a regular curriculum for high school students, as well as nursery schools, kindergartens and Sunday schools for children. There is approximately 180 lecturers and they offer a wide variety of courses such as art, instructions, architecture, social sciences, Chinese literature, philosophy, technology, Language, Economic, Bachelors in culture and history of Philosophy, Meditation, and Calligraphy.

 

Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Practice

Based on a sense of gratitude towards the Buddha, the country, the parents, and all living beings, resident monastics and many lay devotees at Fo Guang Shan get up at 5:30am daily to conduct and participate in the morning services of chanting and prostration. In addition, one-day, three-day or seven-day retreats are held frequently at meditation centres affiliated with Fo Guang Shan for both monastics and laity.

Throughout the year there are regular, scheduled and special ceremonies that include, but not limited to, services involving Amitabha, Bhaisajya-guru, Shakyamuni Buddha’s Birthday, Great Compassion Chanting, and the Peaceful Lantern Festival. The programs of Sutra recitation and lectures associated with these various ceremonies assist the attendants in their diligent practice of Buddhism, the cultivation of self-imposed attitude, the establishment of roots of benevolence and the generation of wisdom. Also there are often organized pilgrimages to Fo Guang Shan from all over the world. During these visits devotees will receive Dharma lectures and classes in Buddhism in the hope of achieving an inner spiritual transformation.

 

The Fo Guang Shan Mottoes

Offer others faith.
Offer others joy.
Offer others hope.
Offer others convenience.

 

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History

May 1967

In order to glorify the Dharma, Master Hsing Yun purchases more than 30 hectares in Ta Shu Township, Kaohsiung County as the site for the construction of a monastery. During the groundbreaking ceremony at Fo Guang Shan on May 16, Master Hsing Yun establishes the following objectives for the monastery: spread the Dharma through culture; cultivate human talents through education; benefit society through philanthropy; and purify the mind through cultivation. Construction of dormitories for Eastern Buddhist College begins.

   
July 1967 Master Hsing Yun takes over responsibility for the Lan Yang Institute for the Poor, previously run by an Ilan Christian organization. He takes into his care more than 100 destitute senior citizens. Plans are immediately made for the construction of Ching-she Retirement Home and Great Mercy Children’s Home.
   
October 1967 Shou Shan Buddhist College moves to Fo Guang Shan, changing its name to Eastern Buddhist College. At the college’s first graduation ceremony 20 students graduate, among them are Venerables Tzu Chia, Tzu Yi, Hsin Ju, and Yi Yen.
   
December 1968 The dormitories for Eastern Buddhist college are completed.
   
March 1969 Venerables Tzu Hui, Tzu Chia, and Tzu Yi go to Japan to pursue advanced degrees, becoming the first Fo Guang Shan disciples to study abroad. Since then, Fo Guang Shan monastics have attended colleges and universities in Japan, Korea, India, America, England, France, and Brazil. 
   
December 1970 Opening ceremony takes place for Great Mercy Children’s Home, established by Master Hsing Yun and Hsu Huai-sheng, manager of Chiao-Tung Bank. Under the directorship of Venerables Tzu Jung, Tzu Chia, Tzu Yi, Yi Chieh, Yi Lai, and others, the home has given shelter to orphans from around the world, and has been in the forefront of improving orphanage management and education.
   
April 1971 The Great Compassion Shrine is built and the image of Kuan Yin is consecrated, marking the completion of the mountain’s first temple. Treasure Bridge, the Kuan Yin Release Pond, Dragon Pavilion, and Hsiang Guang Pavilion are all completed. The Maitreya Buddha image is also consecrated at the same time. About 100,000 people participate in the ceremonies. On this occasion, the Five-Precepts and Bodhisattva Precepts for lay people are administered on the mountain for the first time.
   
May 1972 Prime Minister Li Guang-yaw of Singapore and his wife visit Fo Guang Shan.
   
September 1973 Founding of Fo Guang Shan Tsung-lin University, the country’s first Buddhist university. Later, the name is changed to Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Research Institute.
   
March 1975 Venerable Tzu Hui becomes the publisher of Awakening the World, the Fo Guang Shan periodical for devotees founded in 1957. Beginning in 1995, the magazine is issued monthly rather than every ten days. More than 400,000 copies are printed for each issue.
Buddha’s Light Scholarly Journal publishes its first issue. It eventually becomes a leading periodical for the scholarly research of Buddhism.
   
May 1975 Construction begins on the Fu Shan Temple in Changhua. This is the first branch temple opened by Fo Guang Shan. Its first abbot is Venerable Hsin Ping.
   
October 1975 Master Hsing Yun gives a lecture on Buddhism in the National Arts Hall. This is the first time that a lecture on Buddhism is given in the halls of government. 
   
November 1975 The Great Buddha is consecrated on the Eastern slope of Fo Guang Shan. At 120 feet high, it is the tallest Buddha statue in Southeast Asia.
   
June 1976 The founding of the Fo Guang Health Clinic at Shou Shan Temple in Kaohsiung. After moving to Fo Guang Shan, where it is renamed the Fo Guang Medical Clinic, medical services will be provided for Fo Guang Shan and the local community.
   
July 1976 Master Hsing Yun heads a delegation of Chinese Buddhists to visit the United States. There, he participates in the U.S. bicentennial festivities.
Founding of Pu Men High School. Venerable Tzu Hui is its first principal.
   
January 1977 The “Concert of Buddhist Chanting” takes place at the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Taipei. This is the first time that Buddhist music is performed in a national hall.
   
August 1977 Master Hsing Yun receives an Honorary Doctorate in Philosophy from the University of Oriental Studies (Los Angeles, U.S.A.). He establishes the first overseas Fo Guang Shan branch – Hsi Lai Temple, located in the suburbs of Los Angeles.
   
November 1977 Master Hsing Yun establishes the Fo Guang Shan Committee for the Editing and Publishing of the Buddhist Tripitaka. This committee is gradually editing and annotating the Buddhist canon so that it can effectively meet the needs of both specialists and the general public.
First Triple Platform Ordination is held. This is regarded throughout Taiwan as the model for monastic ordination.
   
August 1979 Over 3000 children participate in the first children’s summer camp. There will also be annual winter camps for youth and summer camps for mothers and teachers.
   
October 1979 Founding of Universal Gate magazine.
   
April 1980 Master Hsing Yun composes Ode to the Triple Gem and The Song of Fo Guang Shan. Professor Wu Chu-che of a technical school in Taipei writes the melody. The Master’s refined lyrics, together with Professor Wu’s beautiful melody, express the spirit and wisdom of the Buddhist tradition.
   
May 1980 Upon establishing the Research Institute of Indian Studies, the Chinese Cultural University asks Master Hsing Yun to serve as the institute’s president. This is the first Buddhist research institute to receive accreditation from the government.
   
February 1981 The Pure Land Cave is opened at Fo Guang Shan. Visitors to the cave enjoy scenes of the Western Pure Land as described in the Amitabha Sutra.
   
December 1981 Completion of Great Hero Hall coincides with Fo Guang Shan’s 15-year anniversary.
   
October 1982 Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Nobel-laureate in literature, visits Fo Guang Shan.
   
November 1982 Fo Guang Shan, in cooperation with organizations from Japan and Korea, sponsors “The Fifth International Buddhist Scholars Conference.” Several dozen scholars from Japan and Korea participate.
   
January 1983 Opening ceremony of the Museum of Buddhist Culture takes place. This museum specializes in preserving and exhibiting Buddhist art from around the world.
   
September 1983 Under the direction of Venerable Tzu Yi, Fo Guang Shan’s Buddhist Tripitaka Editorial Committee publishes its first work, the “Agamas.” In 1987 the “Historical Timeline of Buddhism is published.”
   
November 1983 Longevity Hall and Ksitigarbha Hall are completed. Fo Guang Shan is committed to serving people throughout their lives: through sickness, old age, and from birth to death.
   
July 1984 Following the Master’s idea of “extending medical care to remote areas, and having the wealthy attend to the medical care of the poor,” the Fo Guang medical team is formed. A medical van is purchased from Japan, allowing for mobile health care.
   
July 1985 The World Buddhist Youth Conference originally founded in Bangkok, for the first time holds their conference at Fo Guang Shan. Master Hsing Yun presides.
   
September 1985 In accordance with Fo Guang Shan regulations, Master Hsing Yun retires, passing the abbotship on to Venerable Hsin Ping. By emphasizing “respectful adherence to Buddhist regulations, the continual transmission of learning from master to disciple, the management of affairs according to the rules, and the establishment of leadership,” Master Hsing Yun reaffirms the democratic nature of Fo Guang Shan.
   
December 1986 The World Sutric and Tantric Buddhist Conference takes place at Fo Guang Shan. The theme of the conference is “The Integration of Sutric and Tantric Buddhism and the Development of World Culture.” More than 300 scholars from around the world participate, as do four Tantric Dharma masters.
   
March 1987 In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the opening of Fo Guang Shan, a month-long, 600 kilometer “Taiwan Pilgrimage” is organized. The objective of the pilgrimage is to “give witness to the country’s prosperity, Buddhism’s magnificence, the people’s uprightness, and the devotees’ faith.”
   
May 1987 Master Hsing Yun and Chao Pu-chu, President of the Chinese Buddhist Association of mainland China, meet one another in Bangkok for the first time.
   
July 1987 Master Hsing Yun and 1200 others celebrate their sixtieth birthdays together.
   
August 1987 Venerable Yi Hua, who had received a master’s degree in comparative religion at the Indian International University, becomes the abbess of the Chinese Buddhist Temple, Sarnath, India.
   
March 1988 Master Hsing Yun leads a delegation to spread the Dharma and provide medical care in northern Thailand. While there, he establishes the Fo Guang Shan Association to Aid Northern Thailand.
   
June 1988 The Fo Guang Shan Cultural and Educational Foundation holds its first alms-round fund raising event. Under the leadership of Venerable Tzu Hui the foundation actively promotes Buddhist culture and education.
   
July 1988 The Fo Guang Shan audio-visual center is established. This center produces movies, videos, and cassettes so that the propagation of the Dharma need not rely entirely on the written word.
   
September 1988 Large-scale Dharma functions entitled, “Revival of the Buddha’s Time” is held at Chiang Kai Shek Stadium in Kaohsiung. Master Hsing Yun delivers to a total of 120,000 devotees his message on giving people faith, joy, hope, and convenience.
   
October 1988 After ten years of diligent work, the Fo Guang Encyclopedia is published.
   
November 1988 The 16th World Fellowship of Buddhists is held at Hsi Lai Temple in the United States. This is the first time that the fellowship has held a conference in the Western hemisphere. It also provides the first opportunity for Buddhist organizations from Taiwan and mainland China to participate in the same conference.
Construction of Hsi Lai Temple in the United States is completed on November 26th. The News media hail it as the largest Buddhist monastery in America. Venerable Tzu Chuang serves as the temple’s first abbess. Three hundred monastics from 16 different countries participate in the Triple Platform Ceremony held at the temple.
   
December 1988 Master Hsing-Yun is invited by the California Legislature to perform purifying services to start the session. This is the first time that a Buddhist master has performed such a service in America. The master will eventually conduct such services in New York and Chicago.
   
January 1989 Senator Al Gore of the United States visits Fo Guang Shan.
   
July 1989 His Holiness the Dalai Lama visits Hsi Lai Temple. This marks a new chapter in the bringing together of esoteric and exoteric Buddhism.
   
August 1989 Approximately 8000 people register for Fo Guang Shan’s first Short-term Renunciation Retreat; over 1000 are accepted. This is the first time in Chinese history that a short-term ordination is offered for lay people.
   
February 1990 The Fo Guang Shan Religious Affairs Committee begins its second session. Venerables Hsin Ping, Tzu Chuang, Tzu Hui, Tzu Jung, Tzu Chia, Tzu Yi, Hsin Ting, Yi Heng, and Yi Kung are elected to serve. The process of election follows the rules established in the Fo Guang Shan Constitution.
   
May 1990 Fo Guang Shan choir performs a three-day concert in the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, called “Concert to Spread the Dharma through Buddhist Chanting.”
   
July 1990 Hsi Lai Temple successfully applies to have Hsi Lai University accredited as a religious university. This is one of the first Buddhist institutions of higher education established in the West.
Mr. Arkell, Alderman of Wollongong, Australia donated 26 acres to Fo Guang Shan. Plans were immediately made to construct Nan Tien Temple.
   
November 1990 The Fo Guang Shan Cultural and Educational Foundation holds a “Worldwide Buddhist Examination.” More than 200,000 people on the continents of Asia, North Americans, and Australia participate in the test.
   
December 1990 Fo Guang Shan sponsors the “International Buddhist Academic Symposium.” Professors’ Akira Hirakawa of Japan and Lewis Lancaster of the United States give the plenary addresses. More than 40 scholars and professors from Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, mainland China, Canada, and the United States present papers.
   
February 1991 A meeting is called on February 3rd at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall in Taipei to establish the Buddha’s Light International Association, R.O.C. Master Hsing Yun is named as president, Venerable Tzu Jung as secretary. President Li Teng-hui sends a telegram of congratulations. Minister of the Interior Hao Pai-tsun, Minister of National Defense Chen Lu-an, former Ministers of the Interior Hsu Shui-te, Chiu Chian-huang and Wu Po-hsiung as well as Hsiao Tien-tsan and Chung Jung-chi all attend. Master Hsing Yun encourages all in attendance with the BLIA motto: “May kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity pervade the entire universe. May all people and heavenly beings benefit from our blessings and friendship. May our ethical practice of Chan and Pure Land help us achieve universal tolerance. May we undertake the great Mahayana vows in humility and gratitude.” There are 326 sub-chapters established in Taiwan.
   
March 1991 A Triple Platform Ordination Ceremony is held at Fo Guang Shan over a three-month period. More than 500 novices from all over the world participate. This ordination is the longest and most rigorous in Chinese history.
Dr. Hennir Senekal of South Africa visits Fo Guang Shan to request that a temple be established in Johannesburg. This is the first step toward the founding of Nan Hua Temple. Venerable Hui Li oversees the temple’s construction.
   
July 1991 Construction of the Devotees Hall is completed. The facilities include an auditorium, dining hall, offices, meditation hall, and seminar rooms. It provides devotees with a place to relax, meditate, watch videos, hold meetings, eat, and learn more about the Dharma.
   
December 1991 The Academy of Social Sciences of mainland China sponsors a special three-month exhibit on “Science and Technology in Ancient Tun Huang” at Fo Guang Shan. The exhibit runs for three months in the Cultural Exhibition Hall. The exhibit attracted 500,000 people to come to the mountain’s Cultural Exhibition Hall to view the artifacts. The show promotes cultural and religious interaction between mainland China and Taiwan.
   
January 1992 The Fo Guang Shan Chuan-Teng Monastic College is established. This is a college for training the monks and nuns of Fo Guang Shan.
   
February 1992 President Li Teng-hui and Provincial Governor Sung Chu-yu, the General-Secretary of the Central Committee of the KMT visit Fo Guang Shan to worship at the Great Hero Hall.
   
April 1992 BLIA chapters established in Paris and London.
   
May 1992 The First General Conference of the BLIA is held at the Performance Center of Los Angeles. The theme of the conference is “Joy and Harmony.” More than 4000 attend. Master Hsing Yun is selected to be the conference chairperson. Mr. Chiang Kuo-liang, mayor of Monterey, CA proclaims May 16th as “International Buddha’s Light Day.”
   
September 1992 The mayors of Austin and Houston, Texas (USA), honor Master Hsing Yun as a Friendship Ambassador. Fo Guang Temple of London, England was established.
   
October 1992 Fo Guang Shan hosts the 18th World Congress of the World Fellowship of Buddhists. The opening ceremony is held at Sun Yat-sen Hall on Yangming Mountain in Taipei. Master Hsing Yun gives the plenary address on the conference’s theme: “Development through Harmony and Cooperation.” The Master is honored as an honorary life president of the WFB.
Chung Tian Temple in Brisbane, Australia is completed. Preliminary planning and construction has been under the guidance of Venerable Yung Chuan. After the temple is opened, Venerable Yi Lai serves as abbess.
BLIA, Switzerland Chapter is established.
   
February 1993 Fo Guang Shan holds its first reunion for monastics and their family members.
In order to promote communication and cooperation worldwide between Buddhist organizations, the IBPS holds the first “International Monastic Seminar.” Bhiksus and devotees from five continents and 16 countries participate.
Fo Guang Shan sponsors the Second World Conference of the BLIA. The opening ceremony takes place at the Chiang-Kai Shek Stadium in Taoyuan.
Some 30,000 people attend the conference whose theme is “Integration and Co-Existence.” After the closing ceremony, Mr. Lu, Spain’s government representative to Taiwan, and five lay people of African descent from South Africa all take the Three Refuges under Master Hsing Yun.
   
October 1993 The Education Department grants Fo Guang Shan permission to establish Fo Guang University. Venerable Tzu Hui takes responsibility for its planning and construction. Mr. Kung Peng-cheng is named as university president. A site for the campus is found in Ilan county.
BLIA establishes a system of lay teachers and preachers.
Fo Guang Shan establishes formal relations with the Dharmakaya Foundation of Thailand. This provides a major step forward in facilitating communication between Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism.
   
April 1994 The Meditation Hall and Meditation College are formally established, with Venerables Hsin Ting as hall supervisor and Hui Jih acting as the assistant hall supervisor.
   
August 1994 Fo Guang Shan provides massive relief for victims of flooding in Taiwan, donating NT$10,000,000 to the Kaohsiung County government.
   
September 1994 The Third International Conference of BLIA is held in Vancouver, Canada. Its theme is “Integration and Co-Existence.”
The second annual International Monastic Seminar, sponsored by IBPS was held in Vancouver, Canada.
Fo Guang Shan Srimala Buddhist College admits its first class of students. Twenty young women travel around the world to conduct Buddhist studies.
   
October 1994 Master Hsing Yun tonsures ten monastics of African descent at Nan Hua Temple. This is the first time in African history that native Africans are ordained. It is an important milestone in the development of Buddhism on the continent.
   
December 1994 The Fo Guang Shan Tripitaka board publishes the 51-volume edition of the Chan Canon. Venerables Yung Ming, Yung Chin, and dozens of others have taken part in the editing. The following year, the Fo Guang Shan Cultural and Educational Foundation will donate one thousand full sets of the Chan Canon to universities, libraries, monasteries, and scholars.
   
January 1995 “Handing Down the Light,” the biography of Master Hsing Yun by Fu Chi-ying is published by the World Cultural Publishing Co. It immediately becomes a best seller, making Miss Fu the most popular female author in Taiwan.
   
March 1995 The Fo Guang Shan Educational and Cultural Foundation establishes the Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery in Taipei. This is the first art gallery in Taiwan specializing in Buddhist works. Such art galleries are also established at Hsi Lai Temple (USA), Nan Tien and Chung Tien Temples (Australia), the Paris Branch Temple (France), Tung Chan Temple (Malaysia), and the branch temples in Tainan and Ping Tung (Taiwan).
The auditorium in Tathagata Hall is completed. An estimated 300,000 pilgrims come to Fo Guang Shan during the Chinese New Year, many of whom fill the new hall during its opening festivities.
   
April 1995 On April 7, Venerable Hsin Ping, the second abbot of Fo Guang Shan passes away. The Religious Affairs Committee selects Venerable Hsin Ting as his successor.
Because Master Hsing Yun is experiencing an irregular heartbeat, he undergoes heart surgery on April 25 in Taipei. Dr. Chang Yen performs the surgery.
   
June 1995 Under the supervision of the Education Department, more than 800,000 students at 2000 elementary and middle schools and 300,000 adults participate in the Fo Guang Shan World Buddhist Examination. For the first time, a cartoon version of the exam is available for children. More than 1,000,000 people worldwide take part in the test, which has been translated into ten languages.
   
July 1995 The opening ceremony of the first “Pro Dialogo: Buddhist-Christian Colloquium” is held in Tathagata Hall at Fo Guang Shan. Venerable Hsin Ting presides and Cardinal Arinze addresses the more than 2000 people in attendance. The four-day conference draws Catholic and Buddhist representatives from around the world, including the United States, Japan, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Italy, and Spain.
   
September 1995 The ten-volume Buddhist text, compiled by Master Hsing Yun, is published and distributed free of charge to devotees, monastics, lay preachers, and benefactors. It serves as a resource for both self-cultivation and spreading the Dharma.
   
October 1995 Venerables Yi Jung and Man Chien then supervise the process, which reaches completion in 1995. The Prime Minster of Australia and other high officials offer congratulations. Nan Tien is judged to be largest Buddhist temple in the southern hemisphere. The Fourth International Conference of BLIA is held there, with the theme, “Respect and Tolerance.”
The Third International Monastic Seminar sponsored by IBPS is held in Sidney, Australia.
   
April 1996 In celebration of the Buddha’s Birthday BLIA, R.O.C organizes two Bathing the Buddha Dharma functions, one in the Chiang Kai-Shek Stadium of Taoyuan, the other at the Sun Yat-sen stadium in Kaohsiung. A total of 60,000 people participate.
BLIA, Malaysia chapter and the Malaysia Buddhist Association jointly sponsor a large-scale Triple Refuge Ceremony and Lamp Offering and Prayer Dharma function at the Salaam Stadium, Port Kelang. Master Hsing Yun is invited to lecture on “Humane Essays on Humanistic Buddhism.” Some 80,000 people attend the event, making it the largest Buddhist gathering in Malaysian history.
Vice President Al Gore, USA attends a banquet at Hsi Lai Temple.
   
May 1996 A series of special events commemorate Fo Guang Shan’s Thirtieth Anniversary. A benefactors conference is held, as well as the opening of a special exhibit at the Fo Guang Shan Cultural Exhibition Hall. At the same time, a memorial celebrating the history of Fo Guang Shan and an inscription wall that includes the calligraphy of 100 famous artists and Buddhist monastics is unveiled. President Li Teng-hui donates a plaque on which is inscribed “Transmitting the Light Throughout the World.” More than 5000 people participate in the ceremonies.
   
August 1996 The Fifth International Conference of the BLIA is held at the International Center of Le Paris de Congres on August 3. Messages of congratulations are received from President Li Deng-hui of the R.O.C, President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore of the United States and President Jacque Chirac of France. Master Hsing-Yun presides over the conference and gives the keynote speech, entitled “Equality and Peace.” Over 4000 representatives from 63 branches and from more than 100 countries and cities participate.
The groundbreaking ceremony is hosted for a Fo Guang Shan temple in Holland, this country’s first Chinese Buddhist Temple.
   
September 1996 The Fo Guang Religious Affairs Committee publishes a trial CD version of the “Fo Guang Buddhist Encyclopedia.”
The premiere of Fo Guang Shan Commemorative Video is presided over by Master Hsing Yun, Chiu Shun-chin, the manager of Chung-Yang Movie Company, and director Wang Tung.
Master Hsing-Yun presides over the tonsure and “Vow to be a celibate lay disciple” ceremony for 142 disciples, including Shih Kuo-liang, the highest-ranking artist in mainland China. Master also writes about the attitude of “Joyful Renunciation.”
   
October 1996 As part of Fo Guang Shan’s 30-year Anniversary Celebration, BLIA and FGS Religious Affairs Committee, sponsor “The First International Conference of Outstanding Buddhist Women.” More than 500 women from 15 countries participate in the four-day event.
   
January 1997 Hsi-Lai Temple and BLIA host a “1997 Dharma Function for World Peace.” The more than 2000 people who participate in the prayer service – including Buddhist, Protestant, Catholic, Mormon, and Muslim representatives – exemplify the spirit of “Equality through universal respect, and peace through universal well-being.
   
February 1997 Master Hsing-Yun and Pope John Paul II meet at the Vatican for inter-faith dialogue and to pray for world peace.
   
March 1997 On the Tibetan spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s first Dharma propagation tour in the R.O.C, the first stop is to visit Fo Guang Shan. In the Main Shrine Hall, Fo Guang Shan Abbot Venerable Hsin Ting, the Dalai Lama, and 5000 monastics recite sutras in Chinese and Tibetan. Venerable Hsin Ting presents a set of the Chan Canon to the Dalai Lama and invites him to address the public.
   
May 1997 Fo Guang Shan Religious Affairs Committee hosts the Closing Ceremony of Fo Guang Shan Headquarters and Ascending Rites for the Third Fo Guang Shan Abbot, Venerable Hsin Ting.
   
January 1998 Handing over the presidency of BLIA, ROC to the newly elected president Mr. Wu Po-hsiung.
   
February 1998 The first time to hold the International Triple Platform Ordination for monks and nuns and the Three Refuge and Five Precepts Ceremony for lay people in Bodhgaya.
   
April 1998 Master Hsing Yun and a group of delegates went to Thailand to bring the Buddha’s Tooth Relic to Taiwan.
   
June 1998 The first graduation ceremony was held at Hsi Lai University.
   
June 1999 During the purifying and groundbreaking ceremony for the temple in Houston, Texas, USA, the mayor of the city proclaimed the 20th of June as “Venerable Master Hsing Yun Day.”
   
August 1999 Republic of China President Lee Teng-hui came to Fo Guang Shan on the day before Venerable Master Hsing Yun’s 73rd birthday to announce that the Buddha’s Birthday would be a national holiday in Taiwan and would be celebrated on April 8th. He also presented the national flag to the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Music Choir that was leaving for their European performance.
   
September 1999 Master Hsing Yun led the group of Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Music Choir to begin their European tour of Buddhist music to a number of European cities. During the tour a massive earthquake hit Taiwan and Master Hsing Yun not only lead the group in a ritual ceremony to bless the deceased but also called for all Fo Guang people to set up earthquake centers to do relief work.
   
March 2000 International Full Ordination held at Fo Guang Shan for 53 days.
   
April 2000 The first issue of the daily newspaper the “Merit Times” was published on April 1st.
   

 

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Fo Guang Shan Monastery Temple Grounds

 

Five Hundred Arhats Garden (Vulture Peak)

Behind the Non-Duality Gate are five hundred white jade arhat statues. Each sculpture appears lifelike with different features and expressions. This is Fo Guang Shan’s Vulture Peak. There are two rows of bodhi trees whose branches and leaves seem to dance and their trunks tower into the sky. The flowers and trees contrast each other in such an interesting way.

 

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Mountain Gate

On March 7th 1970, the mountain  gate was built along with the Avalokitesvara Pond, Serenity Pavilion and Precious Bridge. Fo Guang Shan emulates the Buddha’s spirit of equality in “Cultivating loving-kindness without conditions and ground compassion in oneness.” Following the virtuous examples of the ancient in being kind and loving to all animals, a thirty-six thousand square feet Avalokitesvara Pond was constructed. At dusk, when the sun shines over the Avalokitesvara statue, it is like the great compassionate and efficacious Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva who liberates the suffering from distress, has arrived to save the endless sentient beings in the water. In this beautiful scene, one can tell the hardships in building the pond back then.

The construction of the Avalokitesvara Pond was done n the hot summer. Although the torrent rains repeatedly washed away the construction, Venerable Master Hsing Yun and his disciples risked themselves to save the pond. They used cotton beddings to cover the ground and worked undauntingly with Fo Guang Shan’s Dharma protectors Chen Wang-shi, Fan Hsiao-yue, and Dong Rong-fang to stop the flooding water. Finally, the soil and water was conserved and the construction could be completed.

In the pond is a small island named Peace and Love Island. The island commemorates a lay female Buddhist known as “Aigu” (loving aunt). She later renounced and became a bhiksuni with the Dharma name Wei He (fine harmony). The island was thus named because of her compassion and enthusiastic support in the construction of the pond. Before she passed away, she donated all her properties for the construction of the pond.

 

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Fo Guang Senior Citizens Home

To enhance the traditional spirit of filial piety, improve harmony in family ethics and to let the elders live a peaceful and happy life, Venerable Master Hsing Yun established the Fo Guang Senior Citizens Home. It is a retirement home that provides care for the elderly. Neighbours with Pu Men High School, it is located on a hill of the west mountain of Fo Guang Shan, where the scenery is beautiful. Construction began in October 1974. There are three apartment buildings each with two stories – Wisdom and Purity Building, Clear Mind Building, and Knowledge and the Way Building. On October 1st, 1976, the home was inaugurated. Currently, a few of the residents are monastics; while the majority are lay Buddhists who have taken refuge in the Triple Gem including retired government workers, professors, officers, lawyers, and businessmen. They all have wonderful families. However, they used their own savings to stay at the senior citizens home to seek a different life in “renunciation” and cultivation. Naturally, the elderly have many illnesses. Hence, with the spirit of compassion and the love of a Bodhisattva, the staff patiently look after the elderly. When there is a small illness, they are sent to the Fo Guang Shan Clinic. If it is serious, then they are sent by ambulance to a hospital. Hence, every elderly living in the senior citizens home are well cared for, so that their family can be at ease and not worry of bringing trouble at home.

 

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Tsung Lin University

Since the establishment of Shou Shan Buddhist College in 1965 in the city of Kaohsiung, the number of students who enrolled continuously increased. In October 1967, Tsung Lin University was thus founded in where Fo Guang Shan Monastery is located today. Shou Shan Buddhist College was then renamed Eastern Buddhist College. 

To accommodate the needs of the time and of the students, a three-tier system was established in 1989. The first tier is the Chinese Buddhist Research Institute, aimed at fostering teachers and researchers of Buddhism. The second tier is Fo Guang Shan Tsung Lin University. Accepting college level students, it aims at fostering talents for cultural, educational, charitable, and Dharma propagation programs. The third tier is Eastern Buddhist College. Accepting junior high to high school students, it aims at cultivating moral qualities in teenagers and introducing them to Buddhism. 

Over the years, Fo Guang Shan Tsung Lin University has developed a well-rounded Buddhist education that has a parallel emphasis of Buddhist teachings and practices. Also there are a line-up of excellent teachers, abundant library resources, an international exchange program, scholarships, and job offers, all while experiencing a traditional monastic life in a monastery. Hence, many local and worldwide youths have come to study at the university, including countries from the U.S.A., Canada, Australia, South Africa, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Burma, Sri Lanka, Nepal, India, and many other countries. 

Domestic and overseas Buddhist colleges have also been established in Hong Kong, Malaysia, India, Australia, and South Africa. These Buddhist colleges continue to nurture Dharma teachers with true religious faith and to realize Venerable Master Hsing Yun’s ideal of letting the Buddha’s light shine universally, and the Dharma stream flow across the five continents.

 

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Pure Land Cave

The Fo Shan Pure Land Cave was created by Venerable Master Hsing Yun for the purpose of teaching Humanistic Buddhism for the purification of people’s hearts and minds. Construction began on the 5100 square meters caves on the slopes to both sides of the Non-duality Gate in November 1972, and after eight years of work, it was completed on February 5th 1981. Based upon the content of the Amitabha Sutra and Sutra of the Visualization of the Buddha of Infinite Life, it uses the styles of cave architecture at Yungang, Longmen and Dunhuang, combined with Buddhist art and sculpture, to manifest the scenes of the Western Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss. It is complete both in his artistic and educational value.

During the outset of construction, people asked Venerable Master: “Why don’t you construct scenes from the eighteen hells, and frighten people so that they will not dare to do evil deeds?” Venerable Master replied: “I want to build the excellence and beauty of the Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss to make people want to go this pure and perfect place. Isn’t that a more positive thing to do?” This was to turn most people’s negative feelings of fear into bright and positive concepts.

Within the Cave are the great Bodhisattvas of the Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss, as well as the great Arhats, the Buddha’s ten great disciples and others, each figure carved in a most lifelike fashion. In the central passageway one can see descriptions of how the depth of one’s meditation practice, vows and merits, will lead a practitioner to rebirth in different stages within the Buddha’s Pure Land. In addition are the three saints of the Pure Land, heavenly maidens playing music, lotus ponds with multicolored lotus flowers, the seven rows of trees, “water of eight virtues features of the Pure Land. After remaining here for some time, one will certainly have the personal feeling of being within the Buddha’s realm, and one’s mind will ascend to a higher and purer state.

 

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Pilgrims Lodge

The Pilgrims Lodge is Fo Guang Shan’s guest accommodation, which was completed and open for use on March 16th, 1974. Its external design is a blend of Chinese and Indian styles, and the interior is replete with modern faculties to give people convenience and joy. It caters for the dining and accommodation needs of devotees.

Divided into an upper and lower level, the lower floor contains not only dining areas for one thousand guests, but also two meeting rooms, that may be used by organizations for meetings or conventions. The upper floor has 50 suites, divided into separate wings named Wisdom, Light, Bodhi, Love & Compassion, and so forth. There are also larger shared rooms, which can house 500 guests.

There is a verse, “The steam’s sound is the Buddha’s long, broad tongue, the mountains are nothing but his pure body”, as well as descriptions in the Amitabha Sutra of how the majestic buildings and architecture in the Western Land of Ultimate Bliss, and the water, birds, flowers and grass all teach the Dharma. At the Pilgrims Lodge, the daily life from eating and dressing, to walking and standing, also teach the Dharma to visiting devotees. We hope that everyone may stay and eat here with a happy heart. But apart from that, we hope they can also get spiritual satiation from meditation and the taste of the Dharma!

 

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Great Compassion Shrine

Construction of the Great Compassion shrine commenced on December 15th, 1968. It covers an area of 800 square meters and is 20 meters in height. Within the shrine stands a six-meter high image of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva (Guan Yin) in white, who gazes upon all living beings with eyes of love and compassion.

The Thousand-hand-thousand-eye Great Compassion Heart Dharani Sutra states that Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva has already attained Buddhahood countless eons ago, and is known as Saddharmaprabasa Tathagata, the Buddha of True Dharma Light. Because of deep mercy and compassion for the living beings of the Saha world, Avalokitesvara made vows to overcome the sufferings and pain of all living beings, and thus manifests countless transformation bodies to heed the cries of this world and liberate all. Thus she is known as the great compassionate one.

The four walls of the Great Compassion shrine are replete with many smaller images of Avalokitesvara in the style of the Dunhuang Caves. It is Taiwan’s first shrine to be built in the “palace hall” style. Outside the shrine are the coupled verses:

Filling the Saha world, The countless transformation bodies of the thousand hands, thousand eyes one. Traveling through every nation, Liberating Limitless living beings, with great kindness and great compassion.

It describes the loving and merciful spirit of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, who responds to every cry, and never abandons a single life. The outer walkway on four sides depicts twelve deeds of Avalokitesvara as recorded in the Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus sutra. The beauty and splendor let one feel as though they were truly within a Buddha Land.

While under construction, in front of the shrine was the dormitory of Tsung Lin University, and the eastern wing was built up from rock and earth to a height of some 30 feet. At the time, construction materials were poor and difficult to access, especially when typhoons struck. However, Venerable Master Hsing Yun and all the disciples of Fo Guang Shan were fearless and never gave up. In April 1971, Fo Guang Shan’s first shrine hall was finally completed.

 

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Gate of Padmagarbha

If one ascends the stairs at the Pilgrim’s Lodge, directly before the Main Shrine, one will reach a four columned gate called the Gate of Padmagarbha – the Entrance into the Profound. The Entrance into the Profound indicates complete and unobstructed knowledge of the nature of the universe, from which he may enter into the Flower Treasury Universe of the Avatamsaka Sutra.

The Padmagarbha of Flower Treasury universe is a world of unlimited potential and unlimited light. Here, the great is not necessarily great, and the small is not necessarily small; the pure is not necessarily pure, and the impure is not necessarily impure; the existent does not necessarily exist, and the non-existent does not necessarily not exist; the sage and common person are equal, the Buddha and living beings are equal; oneself and others are the same, mind and matter are the same. The living beings who live in this world have realized that there is no duality between oneself and others, friend and foe are one, and thus they have no contentions with others or afflictions, due to understanding this principle of harmony. Everyone uses there limitless compassion and endless vows to mutually accept, respect and benefit one another, which leads to illumination and unhindered unity, the Flower Treasury Pure Land.

From the Gate of Padmagarbha to the Main Shrine, one finds the broad courtyard paved with many square concrete slabs, four hundred and sixty-four in total. Upon them are 27840 lines, engraved with a steel ruler by the disciples of the Founder Venerable Master Hsing Yun. Each of the slabs is surrounded on four sides by grass, giving the overall impression of green fields. This is a metaphor, explaining how on the path to Buddhahood, one must sow the field of merit to nurture and cultivate ones spiritual life. It is hence named the Way to Buddhahood.

From the Main Gate to the Arhat Garden, entering the Gate of Padmagarbha and crossing the Way to Buddhahood into the Main Shrine, the path is an analogy for the process of spiritual cultivation from the stage of a common person to that of a Buddha.

 

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Main Shrine

Fo Guang Shan’s Main Shrine was personally designed by the Founder Venerable Master Hsing Yun. The foundation stone was sourced from India, in a location where the Buddha himself taught the Dharma, the stone of the Diamond Throne. The intention was to “continue the Buddha’s teaching of Dharma, and begin a new standard”.

Above the frame for the magnificent main door, are the four Chinese characters of ‘Da Siong Bao Dian’, or ‘Great Hero Jeweled Shrine’. To the sides are the twin verses of the Founder Venerable Master Hsing Yun: ‘The indestructible diamond Throne from Tusita to the Saba world, and the two Dharma Kings to left and right.’

The wide and peaceful Main Shrine covers 3570 square meters, and is 30 meters in height. Enshrined within are three Buddha images, each of which is 7.8 meters high, the calm and dignified figures gaze down with kindness on those within. In the center is Shakyamuni Buddha of this the saha world, to the left is Bhaisajaguru Buddha (Medicine Buddha) of the Eastern Lapiz Lazuli world, and to the right is Amitabha Buddha (Buddha of Infinite Light) from the Western Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss. The interior four walls are filled with Dunhuang style stone niches enshrining 14800 smaller images of Shakyamuni Buddha. There are no columns within the Shrine to hinder peoples viewing, and it can thus house one thousand people for morning and evening chanting or Buddhist religious services. In November 1977, the Fo Guang Shan Triple Platform Ordination ceremony was held here, which became known as the most majestic and model precept ordination ceremony in Taiwan.

Before the Buddhas are the worlds two tallest Light Jewel Pagodas, each nine meters in height in seventy-two layers, and containing 7200 Buddha images. They represent the light of the Buddha Dharma radiating universally upon humanity and the universe, the light of wisdom, which can break through the darkness of ignorance and bring hope and peace to the world. To the left and right are the largest Buddhist bell and drum in all of Taiwan. The bell is from pure beaten copper, and weighs 3.8 metric ton, which took two years and two castings to complete.

 

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Sutra Calligraphy Hall

The Sutra Calligraphy Hall was specially built in 1994 by the founder of Fo Guang Shan, Venerable Master Hsing Yun, in order to let devotees increase their wisdom, for the purpose of cultivating character and mind.

The Sutra Calligraphy Hall with its classical Chinese architecture can hold up to seventy people. It is located to the left of the Main Shrine in the West Pure Land Building. The windows on the right of the Sutra Calligraphy Hall look out upon the Way to Buddhahood, and outside the windows to the left is an historical bamboo forest park. The lower floor is a hall used to invite precept instructors, teach and pass on the precepts, and listen to Dharma teachings.

As the sutras state: “Of all offerings, the offering of the Dharma is supreme.” One can purify the mind and develop character from the practice of calligraphy, letting one’s body and mind become righteous and true. This tradition is a creation and strong feature of Chinese Buddhism. The Sutras also state: “From transcribing the Sutras one is able to accomplish great goals.” When transcribing the Sutras, one writes each stroke, each letter, each word and each sentence with a heart of utmost sincerity. With full commitment of body and mind, and total concentration, one enters into a state of single mindedness.

The Sutra Calligraphy Hall is open to the public daily, and apart from devotees who come and transcribe the Sutras, it is also open for schools and other organizations to come and arrange activities. It is certainly a center for both spiritual cultivation and education.

 

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Fo Guang Yuan Cultural Exhibition Hall

Fo Guang Yuan Cultural Exhibition Hall is situated directly behind the Main Shrine. Going past the wall plaques depicting famous Buddhist practitioners, one can see the graceful traditional Chinese calligraphy and pictures depicting classical Buddhist verses, scenes of compassionate acts, images of great Buddhist Patriarchs, and other Buddhist artwork carved on lustrous, black granite.

Fo Guang Yuan cultural Exhibition Hall was established in December 1991, and first held the Dunhuang caves exhibition, which lasted for three months, after which a cultural exchange was started between Taiwan and Mainland China. The name Fo Guang shan Cultural Exhibition Hall was first chosen in October 1992, and then the name Fo Guang Yuan Cultural Exhibition Hall was officially adopted on May 5th 1996.

Containing exhibitions from both the spheres of Buddhism and the arts, the items on display are not restricted to religion, origin, ethnic group or nationality. Its emphasis is on art as education, by using the beauty of the visual arts and sculpture to raise people’s spiritual and aesthetic values. The Hall covers about 2000 square meters. It houses mainly modern works that are on display for two to three months for educational purposes.

Designed within the gallery is a Waterdrop teahouse, the name of which is taken from the saying: “A drop of gratitude is repaid with a gushing fountain.” Venerable Master Hsing Yun hopes to encourage all those who visit Fo Guang Shan to cherish and be grateful for both other people and things within our lives. We also hope that all our visitors can have a comfortable and friendly place to sit down, have a cup of tea, and contemplate the beauty of art and literature.

 

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Meditation Hall

The Fo Guang Shan Cultivation Centers was Founder Venerable Master Hsing Yun’s contribution to the great numbers of devotees, a permanent location for meditation retreats, Amitabha recitation retreats, and Sutra transcription. They are centers to develop the virtue and raise the spiritual level of both monastic and lay practitioners, in order to benefit society and purify people’s hearts. And the Meditation Hall is one of such centers.

The Meditation Hall is situated behind Fo Guang Shan’s Main Shrine, on the third floor of the Tathagata Building. After five years of design and three years of construction, it was finally completed in 1993. The Meditation Hall measures 27 meters in length and 17 meters in width, and has a total capacity for over 400 practitioners.

Divided into an inner and an outer meditation hall, the center of the outer meditation hall features a Buddha niche with an image of Sakyamui Buddha, copies of the Chan Canon, and an image of the Chan Patriarch Linji, which represent the blessings of the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha, the Triple Gem within the Meditation Hall. The west and east wings of the outer meditation hall hold seats designated for the Abbot and Master of the Hall, which are known in the Chan School as the niche of purity. Situated on the four sides of the hall are seats for the meditators, with the center of the hall left as a large open space for walking meditation sessions. The bell board beside the door, the meditation staff on the table, as well as the wooden fish, gong and small bell, are all used as signals during meditation, indicating to the practitioners the time to practice, to rest, and other actions within the hall.

The inner meditation hall contains long alcoves, wherein practitioners eat, sleep, and sit in their meditation practice. This hall truly has he real style and flavor, the rigor and seclusion, of the Chan sect of old!

In order to spread the practice of meditation, and mental and spiritual health, the Cultivation Center has designed a complete system of meditation retreats. All these are in order to draw in all manner of people from society to come and experience Buddhist meditation, to achieve the aim of purifying both body and mind.

 

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Museum of Fo Guang Shan History

The Museum of Fo Guang Shan History is located on the second floor of the Tathagata Hall, and was established on May 16th 1997, in time for the 30th Anniversary of Fo Guang Shan.

The first thing that fills one’s sight on walking into the museum is a bird’s eye view map of Fo Guang Shan. From this one can see the five peaks of Fo Guang Shan, which is described in the verse: “One mountain with five peaks is rare to see, two colleges and the sevenfold assembly is rare to behold”. This also represents the spirit of compassion, wisdom, vows and practice as shown by the Avalokitesvara, Manjusri, Ksitigarbha and Samantabhadra Bodhisattvas.

Inside one can see the history of Venerable Master Hsing Yun’s over fifty years of propagating the Dharma. During the forty years of Fo Guang Shan, he has used the Four Objectives of: “propagating buddhism through culture, fostering talent through education, benefiting society through charitable programs, purifying human minds through buddhist practice” The museum is thus divided into sections of literary publications, educational activities, charitable works, the Dharma mission of the Founder Venerable Master, Buddha Light International Association, and the Dharma lineage of the Fo Guang Shan order. It includes historical photographs, memorial artifacts, and many displays showing the contributions of Fo Guang Shan to society, the nation, and world Buddhism.

For example, the gold medal winning Fo Guang Buddhist Dictionary, the new annotated Fo Guang Buddhist Dictionary, international academic conferences, the world Buddhist examination, many journals and periodicals including Awakening the World, Pumen Academic Journal and Merit Times, and the over one hundred translations of Venerable Master’s writings from the International Translation Center.

In the display dedicated to Buddhism and creativity, one can see many history making innovations used by Venerable Master during his time of propagating the Dharma. For example, the first Buddhist LP, fine class publication of Buddhist books, and taking traditional Buddhist chanting onto the international stage.

There are Venerable Master’s manuscripts, pictures and calligraphy. A chart showing the layout of the organization of Fo Guang Shan and structure of the Buddha Light International association (BLIA) clearly indicates the equal cooperation between the monastic and lay bodies in the teaching of Buddhism. One can also see Venerable Master’s international spirit in his exchanges and friendship with other religions.

In summary, the Museum of Fo Guang Shan History clearly shows the process of Buddhism as it moved from India to China to Fo Guang Shan, and Venerable Masters ideal of Humanistic Buddhism to create a Pure Land for humanity. We hope that the aim of “the Buddha’s light shines upon the world, the Dharma waters flow across the land” may come true.

 

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Bamboo Garden Lodge

Originally the location of Fo Guang Shan was a thick, wild, jungle covered mountain overgrown with bamboo named Mazhu Yuan Zai. After founding Fo Guang Shan, Venerable Master Hsing Yun organized devotee seminars to educate devotee supporters, and built a multipurpose building which was given the old name of the mountain itself, Mazhu Yuan, or Bamboo Garden.

Construction began in late 1983 on the site, which was initially in a ravine, the bottom of which could not be seen! However, after over 5000 truck loads of sand and rock for landfill, and it opened for use in February 1985.

It covers 8300 square meters and is five floors in height. The first floor holds the Jetavana Meeting Hall, guest rooms, reception area, and a Dining Hall that can hold 1000 people. The second to fifth floors are accommodation suites for devotees, including Western and Japanese style suites, the Dynasty suite, as well as the Double Bliss and Three Harmonies meeting rooms. On the fifth floor, the Dharma Wheel Conference Room is a large hall of international standards, with a capacity of 160. The 1985 International Buddhist Youth Conference, the 1986 Esoteric & Exoteric Buddhism Forum, the 1995 International catholic Buddhist Exchange Convention, and the 2003 Northern & Southern Buddhist Discussion Forum, were all held in the Dharma Wheel Conference Room.

The Bamboo Garden Lodge’s most important function is to provide education and classes for devotees, as well as receiving guests to Fo Guang Shan, providing them with comfortable and relaxing accommodation facilities. Even until today, the “Devotees Seminar” (信眾講習會) sign still remains above the door.

 

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Great Wisdom Shrine

The Great Wisdom Shrine is located on the east ridge of Fo Guang Shan, situated within the men’s quarters next to the Great Buddha Land. Construction commenced in 1974, and was completed in November 1975.

Within the shrine itself is an image of the Dharma Prince himself Manjushri Bodhisattva of Great Wisdom, who holds aloft the sword of wisdom and rides upon a golden lion. The sword represents the wisdom that cuts through ignorance, and the lion symbolizes the powerful energy of the lion’s roar, the teaching of the Dharma. It is in this shrine that the students of the Men’s College conduct their morning and evening chanting, to increase in themselves the Prajna wisdom of Manjushri Bodhisattva.

Beneath the Great Wisdom Shrine is the Zongyang Memorial Hall, in commemoration of Venerable Master Zongyang from the first year in the formation of the Republic of China. Venerable Master Zongyang is a 44th generation Patriarch of the Linji Chan Sect. When the hall was opened, Venerable Master Hsing Yun stated: “He was a true hero who displayed all the Buddha’s vows in liberating the world. As a young man, I learnt his valor and love of the nation.” We hope that all fellow practitioners who pay respects here, can also, like the Venerable Master Zongyang, practice the spirit of the great Bodhisattva path to liberate living beings through vows of compassion and kindness.

 

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Great Buddha Land

The Great Buddha is located on the eastern side of Fo Guang Shan next to the Great Wisdom Shrine. The Great Buddha is 36 meters in height, and is the highest standing Buddha in Southeast Asia. Situated in a high and prominent position, the compassionate face of the Buddha can be seen from many kilometers away. The body is golden in color and faces Mount Dawu looking along the Gaoping River.

When the Great Buddha Land was officially opened in 1975, Venerable Master Hsing Yun recited a Dharma verse:

With sand and rock from Gaoping, and spring water from the West, With the efforts of all Taiwan, we have built the highest Great Buddha.

It is surrounded by 480 smaller images of the receiving Buddha. The right hand is raised up, giving forth light, like a light house, as a guide to the living beings ,in this dark world. The left hand is lowered in a gesture of receiving, like a kind mother, receiving living beings and leading them to the Pure Land.

Beneath the Great Buddha’s lotus stand is the Thousand Buddha Land, wherein verses of repentance are inscribed on the walls, along with images of the thirty five jade Buddhas of the Vinaya, the five Dhayani Buddhas, Amitayus Buddha (the Buddha of Infinite Life), Four Armed Avalokitesvara, White Tara, Green Tara, flying and dancing celestial beings, and Vajra Dharma protectors, all depicted in the most lifelike spirit of the Buddhist Dunhuang Caves. There are also images in the style of the Longmen Grotto of Vairocana Buddha, Manjushri and Samantabhadra, as well as Mahakasyapa and Ananda. This is a real union of the Northern and Southern traditions, the esoteric and exoteric. In the center is a large mirror which reflects all, making one feel as though in the Padmagarbha universe. Beneath the base of Mount Sumeru in the center is the “Dharma Words of the Great Buddha”, which is an opportunity to let devotees grow in wisdom.

While walking in the Great Buddha Land, one can watch the sunrise and sunset in this tranquil setting. Looking out over the Gaoping River towards the mist covered mountains, one feels as though one were in a classical Chinese landscape painting. When clear, it is truly inspiring, a hairs breadth from living in a Pure Land, where the difference between ignorance and enlightenment lies only in a realization of the present moment.

 

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Great Vow Shrine

From the Fo Guang Shan Pilgrims’ Path, through the Main Gate following the stone outcrop, one makes one’s way to the Great Vow Shrine. Within the center of the shrine is an image of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva of Great Vows. In addition are 750 medium sized bodhisattva statues and 1500 smaller figures. Outside the shrine one can see standing statues of the kind and gentle Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, giving forth rays of the light of love and compassion. These graceful and dignified images attract countless devotees.

Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, holding a monk’s staff in his right hand and a wish fulfilling pearl in his left, rides upon a unicorn named chanting. His name means ‘earth treasury’, as he is “stable and un-moving like the great earth, meditating with depth and seclusion like a secret treasury”. He made great vows that “as long as the hells are not empty, I will not become a Buddha; only when all living beings are saved, will I myself attain enlightenment”. He was instructed by the Buddha that during the interim period between Sakyamuni and Maitreya Buddha, he should protect and liberate all beings from the ocean of suffering, and vow to become a Buddha.

A good luck bell has been positioned within the shrine, where devotees can strike the bell and pray for good fortune. According to the Sutras, when those in the hells hear the bell, they are freed from pain and find happiness. When other living beings hear the bell, their worries decrease and their wisdom grows. When the shrine was completed on November 27th 1983, Venerable Master Hsing Yun stated: “With the first strike of the bell, the devotees are given good fortune. With the next strike, living beings in the hells feel respite from pain. With the next strike, living beings in the hells feel respite from pain. With the third strike of the bell, everyone in the world attain peace.” This is the great compassion and great vows of Bodhisattvas for the sake of all living beings.

 

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Great Practice Shrine

Fo Guang Shan is built upon five mountain peaks that form the shape of a lotus flower. Situated on Emei peak, the highest in Fo Guang Shan, is the Great Practice Shrine, which looks out across the other peaks below.

Although construction on the Great Practice Shrine was completed in 1985, it was officially opened in 1987. Venerable Master Hsing Yun specially named it the Qixia Chan Garden, in memory of his own monastic lineage from Qixia Temple, with the verse: “From Qixia Monastery, a new lamp for Taiwan, that the Buddha’s light may eternally shine, and the Dharma waters forever flow.”

Samantabhadra Bodhisattva is one of the four great Bodhisattvas, and is one of Sakyamuni Buddha’s attendants along with Manjusri. Manjushri representing wisdom appears to the left riding a lion, and Samantabhadra as practice is to the right upon a white elephant. Samantabhadra’s virtue manifests his pure magnanimity everywhere, and as such his name means universal virtue.

This Bodhisattva rides on a six-tusked white elephant. The six tusks signify the six perfections, and the white elephant represents gentleness, cooperation and great strength in traditional Indian Buddhist thought. This is a metaphor that Samantabhadra Bodhisattva uses the great strength of loving-kindness to practice and put the six perfections into action. While on the stage of cultivation, he made ten great vows, which are a role model for the practice of the Bodhisattva Path. In Mahayana Buddhism, Samantabhadra symbolizes action and vows.

The interior of the shrine houses 892 holy images. The winding path leads one up to the mist covered heights, where one can view from afar the vistas of Fo Guang Shan as far as the eye can see, and enjoy its revitalizing effect on the spirit.

 

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Abbots and directors:

Venerable Master Hsing Yun (1967–1985)
Most Venerable Hsin Ping (1985–1995)
Most Venerable Hsin Ting (1995–2005)
Most Venerable Hsin Pei (2005-2013)
Most Venerable Hsin Bao (elect)

 

Location Map

Opening hours: 8.30 am to 5.30 pm

Contact: (07) 6561921 ext 6211

Directions:

Drive on your own:

No. 1 National Highway (國道一號): Qishan Interchange (旗山交流道) -> No. 186 County Road (186縣道) -> Linkou (嶺口) -> No. 31 Provincial Highway (台21線) -> Linkou Bridge (嶺口橋) -> Fo Guang Shan Monastery (佛光山)

By Bus:

1. Take Kaohsiung Bus (高雄客運) bound for Qishan (旗山), Meinong (美濃), Jiaxian (甲仙), or Liugui (六龜) to Fo Guang Shan Monastery (佛光山).

2. Take Fo Guang Shan Monastery shuttle bus from Fo Guang Shan Taipei Vihara (佛光山台北道場) or Pumen Temple (普門寺) to Fo Guang Shan Monastery (佛光山). Please contact Fo Guang Shan Monastery in advance for shuttle service hours.

By Train:

Board a HSR train (bullet train) at Taipei Main Station to Zuoying Station in Kaohsiung (terminal station).

 

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Pictures of Fo Guang Shan

 

 The beautiful walkway taken from the entrance towards their main temple…

 

 

Day time – the view from the temple complex towards the entrance.

 

 

 At the main entrance of Fo Guang Shan.

 

 

This building is called the Buddha Memorial Center. The architecture is a nice mix of Egyptian, Indian, Japanese and Chinese.

 

 

 At night, the memorial center beautifully lights up the surrounding stupas and the large Buddha statue.

 

 

 The Buddha statue is big enough to be in view for all in the surrounding land…

 

 

 An aerial view of the temple complex.

 

 

 The whole aerial view of Fo Guang Shan monastery… look at the size and how well-planned the temple complex is! A lot of care was put into the layout…

 

 

This is a simplified map of Fu Guang Shan monastery.

 

 

The Non-Duality Gate in Fu Guong Shan temple that leads to the main prayer hall.

 

 

The large compound at the Non-Duality Gate is the area where frequent performances is held.

 

 

After the Non-Duality Gate, visitors will come to the Vultures Peak. If you see closely, you will see many beautifully carved sculptures of Arhats along the passageway… it is also known as the 500 Arhats Garden.

 

 

 Statues of Arhats can be found throughout the landscape.

 

 

 Wow… so many Arhat stone figures in the garden… 

 

 

 Look at how well-maintained they are… 

 

 

At the end of Vulture’s Peak is the Pilgrim Lodge. This is where visitors can stay during their visit to Fo Guang Shan. Besides here, there is another visitor’s quarters called the Bamboo Garden Lodge which can accommodate thousands of visitors at one time.

 

 

Visitors needs to climb a flight of stairs to reach the Padmagarbha Gate.

 

This wide area is called The Way to Buddhahood. Everyday, this place will be packed with visitors, coming up to the Main Shrine to make offerings and prayers.

 

 

 The main altar in their prayer hall. Three large Buddha statues for people to pay homage to, (left to right) Amitabha Buddha, Buddha Shakyamuni and Medicine Buddha.

 

 

Look at their main prayer hall! What a beautiful and different design.

 

 

 Electrical lights illuminating the Buddha statues…

 

 

Thousands of Buddha statues in the prayer hall…

 

 

Passing the Main Shrine is the Fo Guang Shan Art Gallery where the temple showcases images of different types of Buddhism.

 

 

 Behind the Main Shrine is the Tathagata Building.

 

 

In the Tathagata Building, on the 4th floor is the Buddha Tooth Relic Shrine. Visitors can join in the briefing that is held in this hall anytime they wish.

 

 

On the 3rd floor, there is the Meditation Hall. It is also used to house volunteers in certain times of the year.

 

 

Next to the Tathagata Building is the Jade Buddha Hall.

 

 

On the 7th floor of the Jade Buddha Hall is the Amitabha Chanting Hall.

 

 

Breakfast and lunch is served in the Cloud Dwelling Building within the Jade Buddha Hall, which can accommodate at least 2,000 people at one go.

 

 

There’s meal etiquette that one needs to observe while having a meal in Fo Guang Shan… this is to practice one’s mindfulness.

 

 

The Lumbini Garden, a very peaceful space for people to relax and stroll around.

 

 

 Cute stone Buddhas are seen dotted around the gardens.

 

 

The Exhibition Area of the Buddha Memorial Center. Here, they have a large Thai designed Buddha at the entrance.

 

 

The Buddha Museum is a very large complex… it take 15 minutes to walk to the other end or more than 1 hour if you visit every single exhibition.

 

 

One of the unique room within the complex is the room with mirrors which depicts the vast and infinite Buddhas and Boddhisattvas. 

 

 

The Dragon Pavilion is a place where visitors can sit and rest to have some drinks. Fo Guang Shan have an abundant of resting areas with drinks for their guests.

 

 

Thousands of Buddhas line the wall at the base of the Great Buddha.

 

 

In the Pure Land Cave, Buddha Amitabha embraces all who enters the exhibition area.

 

 

The 10 great Arhat disciples of the Buddha in the Pure Land Cave.

 

 

A rainbow bridge.

 

 

In the Great Compassion Shrine there is a morning prayer session.

 

 

Many light offerings in the Great Compassion Shrine.

 

 

The Fo Guang Shan Cultural and Educational Promotion Center. There are many seats and tables for visitors to sit and read books or watch the shows on air.

 

 

 Kuan Yin standing gracefully in the middle of a lake…

 

 

 Beautiful landscaping such as this water feature are great compliments to Fo Guang Shan.

 

 

 Kuan Yin is very well loved in Taiwan… there are many Kuan Yin statues in Fo Guang Shan…

 

 

 Very detailed architecture… I like how the place still looks so beautiful after so many years. It shows how well the caretakers maintain sangha property…

 

 

 What a beautiful fish pond… the fishes must be very happy in this environment. I would love for Dorje to have such a nice pond like this to swim and play in…

 

 

 Boddhisattvas lined up along the walk way, blessing all who walks pass…

 

 

 Beautiful details… Boddhisattvas displaying different mudras…

 

 

The great Buddha statue (40 m height) is surrounded by 480 smaller Buddha statues. The right hand is raised to symbolize guidance while the left hand is lowered as a gesture of receiving.

 

 

 Holders of the Dharma…

 

 

 Beautiful Kuan Yin in gold… sitting in the middle of a pond.

 

Photography credits: Vincent (http://vincenttraveljournal.blogspot.com/2010/03/fo-guang-shan-sights-1702-2002.html


 

Videos of Fo Guang Shan

 

Part 1

Or view the video on the server at: http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/Kaohsiung-Buddha-Memorial-Hall-1.flv

 

Part 2

Or view the video on the server at: http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/Kaohsiung-Buddha-Memorial-Hall-2.flv

 

Part 3

Or view the video on the server at: http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/Kaohsiung-Buddha-Memorial-Hall-3.flv

 

Part 4

Or view the video on the server at: http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/Kaohsiung-Buddha-Memorial-Hall-4.flv

 

Part 5

http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/Kaohsiung-Buddha-Memorial-Hall-5.flv

Or view the video on the server at: http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/Kaohsiung-Buddha-Memorial-Hall-5.flv

 

Part 6

Or view the video on the server at: http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/Kaohsiung-Buddha-Memorial-Hall-6.flv

 

Part 7

Or view the video on the server at: http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/Kaohsiung-Buddha-Memorial-Hall-7.flv

 

Part 8

Or view the video on the server at: http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/Kaohsiung-Buddha-Memorial-Hall-8.flv

 

Part 9

Or view the video on the server at: http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/Kaohsiung-Buddha-Memorial-Hall-9.flv

 

Part 10

Or view the video on the server at: http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/Kaohsiung-Buddha-Memorial-Hall-10.flv

 

Part 11

Or view the video on the server at: http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/Kaohsiung-Fo-Guang-Shan-11.flv

 

Part 12

Or view the video on the server at: http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/Kaohsiung-Fo-Guang-Shan-12.flv

 

 

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21 Responses to Fo Guang Shan monastery

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  1. Alexis Soh on Jun 29, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing, I visited the place with my family last June after reading it in your blog. The place is truly breathtaking and magnificent.

  2. Joy on Feb 23, 2013 at 3:09 am

    What an amazing temple this is…so grand, it feels like we’re entering the pure land of Amitabha Buddha! I truly rejoice in seeing beautiful Dharma centres such as this manifest and grow. Whoever built or sponsored to build this temple sure collected heaps of merits.

    I so like their cute little stone Buddhas dotted around the garden and the standing Kuan Yin on the lake. It reminds me of a wishing pond I used to visit in the temples of Ipoh, where many people would throw coins to make their heartfelt wishes.

    Although seeing this beautiful enormous Dharma centre is breath taking… I wonder if there is Dharma teachings? Having flocks of tourist visiting is one thing, but I wonder how many people actually get real teachings. It would some how be such a waste if a centre is huge and beautiful, but there’s no Dharma or real practitioners… it would be like an empty shell which is also quite pointless. That is why Rinpoche has always stressed it is very important a centre have Dharma so it can benefit more people well in to the future like Rinpoche’s vision for KFR http://blog.tsemtulku.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/kechara-forest-retreat.html

  3. sarahyap on Jan 18, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    Wow! It looks so pretty in the pictures and videos, I’m sure it will look even grander and nicer in real life!

    The monastery complex is so huge! And I like the fact that these are the type of temple where people don’t just go to pray for their own, but the Dharma is pretty much alive in here… with their own Sangha members learning the Dharma.

    I like the history behind Fu Guang Shan. It’s nice to see that the temple has survived after so many decades and still look so well up kept.

    Thank you for sharing this post with us. It is no wonder that Fu Guang Shan is one of the top Buddhist destinations in China

  4. Erickksiow on Dec 22, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Fo Guang Shan monastery is so Beautiful, rejoice for Master Hsing Yun. In future, in Malaysia will have KFR and KWPC too.

    Regards : Erickksiow

  5. bengkooi on Nov 11, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    I’m sure these pictures do not do the monastery juctice. The Buddha memorial center looks incredible, and I hope I have the opportunity to visit someday. I feel that one of Fo Guang Shan’s great achievements is to have established so many educational institutions, all based on Buddhist philosophy. One of Kechara’s full time staff, Adeline Woon, recently graduated from Dharma Drum University in Taiwan, and her knowledge of Buddhism surpasses many of us who only met the dharma recently.

    It is inspiring to read about and see the results of the work of other buddhist masters and centers. I hope Kechara will achieve the same someday soon, and under Rinpoche’s guidance, I am sure Kechara Forest Retreat will also be a place of great benefit to all.

  6. Alan Chan ( KHJB ) on Nov 5, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche to share with us the Fo Guang Shan Monastery , It is very details, I wish KWPC , KFR will be manifest as soon as possible which to benefit all being like Fo Guang Shan Monastery.

  7. PhillisChin on Oct 30, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    This is a~w~e~s~o~m~e ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Thank you Rinpoche to search so many details on Fo Guang Shan monastery, very details ^^, Thank You ^^,

  8. Lim Han Nee on Oct 25, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Fo Guang Shan Monastery – an awesome place, filled with huge Buddha statues, shrines, prayer and meditation halls,walks, rows and rows and a whole sea of lovely statues, and lovely landscaped gardens coming out of the Buddhist scriptures.

    It’s a very holy place for prayer and meditation. It’s a most wholesome place to relax in and just enjoy taking in the breathtaking beauty and serenity of the place. Hence it draws crowds of tourists.

    The Dharma is spread and taught here in a humanistic way with education and culture and a senior citizen’s Home thrown in as part of the whole background.

    Wouldn’t it be great if KFC and KWPC were to manifest on a similar scale? Imagine the huge number of pilgrims and tourists coming!

  9. Adrian Chow on Oct 24, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche, I can just imagine how fortunate for those who visited the temple. Does not matter if they are Buddhist or not the seeds have been planted. I rejoice for those people. I especially admire for those who started casting a stone in the lake to create such beneficial ripple. It requires a lot of hard work, planning and dedication in order to keep this temple running smoothly. I particularly loves the room with mirrors, it had such an stunning effect depicting the infinite Buddhas and Boddhisattvas.

    With folded hands, may KV, KFR and KWPC manifest swiftly and soonest so that Kechara will bring much more Dharma to a lot more people in the near future.

  10. Milly on Oct 22, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    Fo Guan Shan Monastery is soooo beautiful and breathtaking. Shows a lot of careful planning in its construction and constant maintenance to keep the place so clean. I like the meal taking etiquette to practice mindfulness. Thank you Rinpoche for your zealous effort to always share great articles with us. May KFR and KWPC be like this monastery to benefit many.

  11. Mei Fong on Oct 19, 2012 at 11:28 am

    What a great detailed architecture. I will definitely visit the place when i am in Taiwan. Fo Guang Shan aerial view on being in the mountain reminds me about how KWPC will be in the very near future. So happy that our lama have the ideology to built similar monastery here in Malaysia. Thank you Rinpoche. KWPC shall be as famous as Fo Guang Shan to the entire world

  12. [email protected] on Oct 18, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    Fu Guang Shan Monastery is truly beautiful. Wish to visit it one day. It is hope that one day, KFR & KWPC will also draw many tourists and Malaysians to visit the place as by word of mouth, the Dharma can spread far and wide. For people who are not Buddhist, they can also enjoy the facilities and benefits of just being in a serene and back-to-nature environment. Thank you for sharing, Rinpoche.

  13. ERIC LEE KHJB on Oct 15, 2012 at 9:56 am

    佛光山,是位于台湾的一个很有系统化与现代化的大乘佛教组织。他们发展的很好,他们甚至是世界第一个把佛教传到南非的组织。我个人觉得,他们是一个很好的借镜,让我们好好的学习,能把仁波切的佛法与理想,无远梻届的传杨下去

  14. AdelineTan on Oct 12, 2012 at 1:52 am

    Wow! Look at these pictures of Fo Guang Shan monastery,they are so breathtaking and magnificent,may their good and virtuous work will continue to flourish and bring benefits to all sentient beings.So as our KV, KFR and KWPC will manifest swiftly and smoothly and the world will be a better place to live in, peace and harmony.

  15. Wan Wai Meng on Oct 11, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    Amazing and breathtaking, the amount of merits this places creates for the people who were involevd in making this place happen. An long may this place bring peace and learning to many others. We also wish KFR and KWPC will be places of such a nature to benefit many beings for many years to come.

  16. Ong Moh Mei on Oct 11, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    WOW! Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these amazing and spectacular Dharma buildings and work from other countries. It is humbling and encouraging what FGS has built and established. May this be an inspiration for KV, KFR AND KWPC.

  17. Uncle Eddie on Oct 9, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    Like Rinpoche, many marvelled at the vastness and beauty of Fo Guan Shan Monastry. The once bamboo forest of Kaohsiung country, now housing the largest Buddhist monastry in Taiwan, built upon five mountain peaks that form the shape of a lotus flower, magnificiently enhanced by the existence of the tallest Buddha statue in Southeast Asia standing therein, with a body golden in colour. Fo Guan Shan Monastry now have more than two dozens temples, two buddhist colleages (one for men and one for women), 4 community colleages, a Japanese style calligraphy Hall, gardens, a recycling centre and many others amenities too. World-wide, Fo Guan Shan has over 200 branch temples outside Taiwan to promote the principles of Humanistic Buddhism, and to foster peace and harmony among all peoples of the world. By the blessings of the wondrous buddhas and bodhisattvas, and by unstainted power of pure minds, may the aim of their prayers soon be accomplished.

  18. grace leu(KHJB) on Oct 8, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    in year 2009 i have been visit Fo Guang Shan monastery when travel in Taiwan..even though is only two hours there but we unable to finish the area..but it really grand and peace, especially the Lumbini Garden really nice, sitting insidelet us felt calm.wishing our KFR can manifeast soon…

  19. lewkwanleng on Oct 8, 2012 at 11:42 am

    This place is very well maintained and look at the amount of tourists that come to this place everyday! So many people are blessed with Buddhas! Although many of the tourists amy not be Buddhist, but it is OK, because they can treat the temple as a place with many nice art pieces and seeds of Buddhas still get planted.

    I wish to visit this place one day..

  20. Carmen Lin on Oct 8, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Magnificent monastery can becomes a tourist attraction and as well a place to spread the Dharma. In this degenerating age, what we can do is build magnificent and amazing monastery not only just to attract people to visit but as well to understand and learn Buddhism or just simply humanism. It can also be a place for the hectic people to relax and meditate.In my humble opinion, I think religious building is a preservation method for religion studies, else it’ll just eventually disappear with the slipping time. Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these amazing pictures of Fo Guang Shan Monastery. With folded hand _/\_ I’ll pray for KFR,KWPC,Kechara Village and many more projects to manifest soon.

  21. daisy sun on Oct 8, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Speechless, looks very organized one! Humbly thank you to rinpoche to read/compiled/shared this beautiful scenery, chronology with us. _/\_ Really breathtaking to read/see the great sharing of great dharma buildings. Shall we together make the dream come true  KFR.

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  • Stella Cheang
    Thursday, Mar 30. 2017 12:34 AM
    Wonderful good news to learn about this first of its kind progressive campaign to help the stray animals in Malaysia by the Sultan and Permaisuri of Selangor. While stray animals can be a nuisance to the public at large but bear in mind, the strays do not have a choice, and we have a role to play. Neutering strays is a humane and compassionate ways of resolving the program of stray animals in the long run because it largely reduces the numbers of strays on the streets. Neutering and proving proper shelters to strays can prevent thousands of animals from being born, only to suffer and struggle to survive on the streets, be abused by cruel or neglectful people, or be euthanized inhumanely. I have read somewhere that says spaying and neutering makes a big difference: Just one unaltered female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 puppies in only six years. In seven years, one female cat and her offspring can produce an incredible 370,000 kittens!

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/stray-free-selangor.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Thursday, Mar 30. 2017 12:15 AM
    Humans and animals, as well as other sentient beings within the six realms of samsara, are subjected to the law of cyclic of existence. Karma or generally known as the law of cause and effect will determine where we take our next rebirth. It is extremely rare for sentient beings to take the form of a human body and in perfect condition. Hence we must not let this precious lifetime go to waste by indulging in silly actions and harmful ways. If we are born in the animals realms or lower, there is close to zero way for us to collect merits and get out of that realm.

    From the stories above, I find the story about Dalawong most unusual because he seemed to be able to determine the destination of his next rebirth after he was being killed as a snake. After he had taken rebirth in human form, he continued to remember the incident in his past life. Amazing!

    Thank you, Rinpoche, for sharing these researches with us.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/do-animals-reincarnate-back-as-humans.html
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Wednesday, Mar 29. 2017 09:42 PM
    If we are kind, we lose less of ourselves-Tsem Rinpoche
  • Lin Mun
    Wednesday, Mar 29. 2017 03:50 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article about tsa tsa. Didn’t know there are many steps and holy materials used in making a tsa tsa. In addition, the maker of tsa tsa would need to do prayer in the morning depending of what tsa tsa they are making on the day, for example, the maker will do Dorje Shugden practise before making Dorje Shugden tsa tsa.

    Only by knowing the process, we will appreciate the items more. Tsa tsa is a precious item.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/tsa-tsas-are-nice.html
  • Pastor Shin Tan
    Wednesday, Mar 29. 2017 09:28 AM
    Dalawong: A Child Recalls a Past Life as a Cobra in Thailand

    This case was actually researched by the late Francis Story, a British citizen who was fascinated with Buddhism and spent many years in Asia. He was also very interested in the topic of reincarnation and assisted Dr. Stevenson in investigating a number of very important reincarnation cases in Burma and Sri Lanka. Francis interviewed the subject of this case, a Thai boy named Dalowong, along with his father, mother and sister. He also had access to a pamphlet that was previously published regarding the case, which was also summarized in an article in the Bangkok Times.

    Dalawong actually claimed two past animal incarnations. He recalled a past lifetime as a deer, which he said was killed by a hunter. Subsequently, he stated he was reincarnated as a snake, more specifically, as a cobra.

    As the snake, Dalawong remembered that he was in a cave when two dogs entered and attacked him. A ferocious struggle ensued between the cobra and the dogs. The owner of the dogs then entered the cave and killed the snake. Apparently, the snake was able to bite the human invader on the shoulder, prior to succumbing to death.

    The human took the cobra’s body back home, where the snake was cooked for a meal. This man shared the snake meat with an acquaintance, who would become Dalawong’s father in the near future. The man who killed the cobra had the name Mr. Hiew.

    Read more here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/do-animals-reincarnate-back-as-humans.html
  • Alice Tay
    Tuesday, Mar 28. 2017 08:40 PM
    谢谢Paul Yap 为我们介绍马来西亚彭亨州文东必定参观的地方之一~克切拉禅修林。就如照片显示,克切拉禅修林的确是一个环境清幽、山明水秀以及令人有宁静舒适的感觉。

    如果有机会到马来西亚游玩,千万不要错过由Paul Yap介绍克切拉禅修林里的几个优美与神圣的地方,包括:
    1. 金泽”财王”
    2. 金刚瑜伽母佛塔
    3. 绿度母石雕像
    4. 药师佛山
    5. 梦幻文殊菩萨
    6. 詹仁波切的货柜屋
    7. 文殊山
    8. 智慧堂(释迦摩尼佛像和多杰雄登像)

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/go-bentong.html
  • Alice Tay
    Tuesday, Mar 28. 2017 08:09 PM
    The sculpture of Kuan Yin in Macau is simple but elegant. Most importantly, this big Kuan Yin in Macau is built to bring peace, harmony and prosperity to the people.

    I remember Rinpoche mentioned before a big Buddha statue will have positive impact on the environment and plant the Buddha’s seeds in all sentient beings that not only humans but also including animals and many others. Therefore, the bigger Buddha statue the more beneficial to all sentient beings where they can see and be blessed by this big Buddha statue from far.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/kuan-yin-of-macau-city.html
  • Lin Mun
    Tuesday, Mar 28. 2017 03:29 PM
    Krishnan’s effort and hard work in contributing to the society is very inspiring. He is willing to let go of his high paying job to Switzerland and staying back in India to operate a soup kitchen for homeless. On top of that he is willing to accept the hardship of financial restraint every month in maintaining his service for the people living in the street. I hope his good work will bring more awareness and sponsors for him especially when CNN showed the video of his work and awarded him with top 10 CNN heroes.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/chef-turned-hero.html
  • Pastor Shin Tan
    Monday, Mar 27. 2017 06:42 PM
    According to the Buddhist teachings, we all have a unique blend of karma that determines where we are born, the circumstances of our birth and the quality of our life. Naturally, this is due to the actions that we performed in previous lives. Karma also dictates our characteristics and traits that determine how we act throughout our lives, which in turn leads to certain outcomes in this life and a determination of where we will take rebirth in the future.

    Karma, however, is not set in stone. We can change our circumstances through our own efforts – purification of karma and accumulation of merit. Tibetan astrology, based on these Buddhist principles, provides us the methods to ensure success in this life and a good rebirth in the future. Tibetan astrology can also predict what will happen to us in this life and our next rebirth based on the time of our birth.

    Discover your traits according to the Mewa, or Magical Square system of Tibetan astrology below, and find out how to purify your negative karma to improve your life!

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/tibetan-astrology/tibetan-astrology.html
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Monday, Mar 27. 2017 05:24 PM
    Very interesting:


    Radin explained in his book: “For a Western-trained academic, the mere existence of, say, telepathy would be considered supernormal and thus wildly extraordinary. But for an experienced yogi, it’s just a boringly normal minor siddhi [a Sanskrit term for a meditation attainment, or power]. A skeptical scientist, not having the benefit of thousands of hours of practice in yoga and meditation, would require repeatable, rigorously obtained experimental data showing odds against chance of a gazillion to one. The yogi merely requires his own experience.”


    Very interesting read: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/2157904-supernormal-abilities-developed-through-meditation-dr-dean-radin-discusses/?sidebar=morein
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Mar 27. 2017 01:45 PM
    Its indeed a beautiful place …..away from the city hectic life to visit and could stay over night too.Just to get away from work to relax ,get some fresh air ,do meditation and so forth .At Kechara Forest RetreatI,Bentong is where the largest Dorje Shugden statue in the world situated and we can receive blessing,make offering to the Buddhas as well as enjoy the tranquility of the beautiful gardens.I have recomended my friends and relatives to visit such a beautiful place at Bentong.
    Thank you Paul Yap for sharing.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/go-bentong.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Mar 27. 2017 01:15 PM
    Well…all pendants are beautifully designed,hand crafted to match each and every sacred images on it to suit all occasion for the wearer.I can see a lot of hard work for those involed in desgning and making of it.
    All pendants are very unique, modern, timeless and also sacred ,thats all i could describe it.Hope more people will be wearing these beautiful pendants to get connected with the Buddhas.Thank you Rinpoche for sharing and Kechara’s Louise Lee for creating Dharma art in in the form of jewelry
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/timeless-and-sacred.html
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Monday, Mar 27. 2017 12:41 PM
    This Mahasiddha is Kukkuripa (the dog lover). He loved dogs so much. When he meditated in the cave he had his doggie with him. She had kept him company for years in his cave. They shared bedding, food, water and company. When he gained high attainments, the Dakinis came to take him to Kechara Paradise. He was hesitant to go but the Dakinis insisted and he went with them.

    He arrived at Kechara (Paradise/Buddha abode of Heruka and Vajra Yogini) and enjoyed teachings and feasts up there and they asked him to stay longer if not forever…. But he kept thinking about his doggie left alone in the cave. He felt guilty and missed her. Kukkuripa would use his psychic powers to see his poor doggie alone and hungry waiting for him at the cave while enjoying the attention of the Dakinis and feasts. The cave was dark and had no food. The doggie had to go out and find small tiny scraps of food and was getting skinny. Kukkuripa saw this and it pained him. Worried she was not getting enough food. He use to share the offerings of food he would get from people with her. Doggie and him would delightfully eat the food together. Kukkuripa had no attachments to ‘clean’ or ‘dirty’ in regards to sharing food with his dog. He had overcome this in his meditations. In ancient India, people would not co-habitate with a dog. It was considered unclean and filthy, but Kukkuripa had cast away those notions and loved his dog as she loved him. But he felt guilty to leave her alone while he was ‘enjoying’ himself in Kechara and could not stop thinking about his beloved dirty smelly dog in his cave alone…so he left Kechara Paradise and all it’s ‘delights’ for his doggie. He couldn’t abandon her. The Dakinis implored him to stay, but he was firm to return. The Dakinis said you will give up this paradise here for a mere dog???!! You can advance further in your meditations if you stay in Kechara and then help the dog later they attempted to persuade him. But Kukkuripa would not stay, he was loyal to his little dog as she had kept him company for many years in the lonely dark cave. She was loyal to him and how can he abandon her now. He couldn’t and he wouldn’t listen to the Dakinis. He left to join doggie. He never forget her companionship and loyalty. All the wonderful things in Kechara could not tempt him against his loyal friend the little doggie. He left everything for her.

    So he finally left Kechara to the Dakinis dismay and went back to his cave to be with his dog so she won’t be alone. Doggie was delighted to see her master and wagged her tail so much!! She licked him and he hugged her! She was skinnier for not eating well these few days he noticed. He fed her and hugged her and loved his doggie…He went back to his routine of meditation, receiving food offerings and sharing his food with doggie. They were happy together. One day, when he was scratching her in her favorite place and she licked him so his eyes were closed, when he opened his eyes she had suddenly turned into a Dakini shimmering with lights! The brilliance of the lights lit up the whole cave in front of Kukkuripa!! Kukkuripa was astonished to behold the splendourous lady in front of him! Of course this Dakini must be the Queen Herself he realized, as Vajra Yogini which was Kukkuripa’s main Yidam he had meditated on her for years in the cave. And She said to Kukkuripa, “Well done, you gave up paradise to be with just a dog..it shows you have given up attachements and projections of pleasant and unpleasant, now your Dakini will give you the final paradise (enlightenment)!”

    Kukkuripa attained full enlightenment blessed by Vajra Yogini by releasing the final subtle attachment to the non-existent self! After enlightenment his fame and name grew and many came to see him and he gave teachings to countless and benefitted many before he finally ascended to Kechara the second and final time. He was forever known as Kukkuripa the dog lover.

    I love him so much!!! This is one of my favorite Mahasiddhas along with Badrapa, Shantideva, Ghantapa and a few others. I wanted to share this story with you. I wanted you to know that there are many great true stories like this one about Kukkuripa that are true and can be applied to our lives. To inspire us.

    Tsem Rinpoche
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Monday, Mar 27. 2017 12:29 PM
    The great and illustrious master Sonam Tsemo at the end of his life was described by an old woman who witnessed Sonam Tsemo depart. Standing on a rock at the holy spring near Sakya area known as Chumik Dzingka, his body ascended gracefully into the sky, still holding his dog. He loved his dog very much. Even today the footprints of Loppon Sonam Tsemo and the dog can be clearly seen in the rock, left for the benefit of living beings as a field from which to accumulate merit. It is a sign of a holy being when they can leave their footprints in stone for future generations to witness and make offerings on that spot to collect merits. This holy site was decorated by the great master Mantradhara Ngawang Kunga Rinchen later on. Other accounts say that he ascended from Gorum Library near Chumik Dzingka spring. A stupa containing his holy relics was erected there. Sonam Tsemo was a powerful practitioner of the Lady Buddha Vajra Yogini and at the end of his short life he ascended with his very body to Kechara paradise. He was 40 years old. Kechara is the sanksrit name of the special abode of Vajra Yogini. Those who practice Vajra Yogini to the highest level can ascend her paradise with their very bodies. Sonam Tsemo the great master of sutra and tantra was seen by an old woman flying off holding his beloved dog to ascend Kechara paradise. No one every found his body and his room was empty.
  • Lin Mun
    Monday, Mar 27. 2017 12:27 PM
    Congratulations to Mitra for his first dharma teaching in Nepali to the expats. So glad that Dorje Shugden practise can reach out to many in various languages and to different people. Mitra has done a good job in introducing Lama Tsongkhapa lineage and guided them on the benefit and iconography of Dorje Shugden.

    May Lama Tsongkhapa lineage and Dorje Shugden practise continue to grow and benefit more people.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/mitra-teaches-bhagwan-dorje-shugden-in-nepali.html

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

CREDITS

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

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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.
If we are kind, we lose less of ourselves-Tsem Rinpoche
8 hours ago
If we are kind, we lose less of ourselves-Tsem Rinpoche
My Mumu boy didn\'t want to eat. Eating is not one of his favorite activities throughout his life. So I talked to him to let him know why he needs to eat and keep his strength up when this photo was taken. He was listening intently and after my talk with him, he ate. Tsem Rinpoche
12 hours ago
My Mumu boy didn't want to eat. Eating is not one of his favorite activities throughout his life. So I talked to him to let him know why he needs to eat and keep his strength up when this photo was taken. He was listening intently and after my talk with him, he ate. Tsem Rinpoche
This is so true. Click to enlarge and understand more about unpleasant people.
12 hours ago
This is so true. Click to enlarge and understand more about unpleasant people.
This mahasiddha Kukkuripa is easy to identify as he is accompanied by a small dog whom he loved very much.
3 days ago
This mahasiddha Kukkuripa is easy to identify as he is accompanied by a small dog whom he loved very much.
Mumu taking a rest in the turquoise room. Over the years, I always feel very satisfied when I see him covered with a blanket, safe and sleeping. I always wanted to make sure he was safe from harm, illness and distress. I wanted him to have a happy and loved life. Tsem Rinpoche
3 days ago
Mumu taking a rest in the turquoise room. Over the years, I always feel very satisfied when I see him covered with a blanket, safe and sleeping. I always wanted to make sure he was safe from harm, illness and distress. I wanted him to have a happy and loved life. Tsem Rinpoche
I wrapped my little Mumu boy up in my blanket and propped him up on my bed. He didn\'t move or wiggle and just looked at me. He is one funny entertaining little guy. Tsem Rinpoche
3 days ago
I wrapped my little Mumu boy up in my blanket and propped him up on my bed. He didn't move or wiggle and just looked at me. He is one funny entertaining little guy. Tsem Rinpoche
March 2017-Coaxing my little Mumu boy to eat his meal. He was not well and therefore not hungry. Tsem Rinpoche
3 days ago
March 2017-Coaxing my little Mumu boy to eat his meal. He was not well and therefore not hungry. Tsem Rinpoche
Click on picture to enlarge and see what Milarepa says. Profound.
1 week ago
Click on picture to enlarge and see what Milarepa says. Profound.
We are always trying to get somewhere, try something new, find some friends, get some entertainment and in the end we end up in the same place. Time to really practice Dharma seriously and stop wasting time we don\'t have. ~Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
We are always trying to get somewhere, try something new, find some friends, get some entertainment and in the end we end up in the same place. Time to really practice Dharma seriously and stop wasting time we don't have. ~Tsem Rinpoche
March 20, 2017-Mumu is just so adorable with his bright eyes.
1 week ago
March 20, 2017-Mumu is just so adorable with his bright eyes.
More and more people inviting Lord Dorje Shugden home to connect with on their shrines. I am so happy to see this as it will benefit them and their families so much. That is the purpose to be alive which is to benefit others as much as possible. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
More and more people inviting Lord Dorje Shugden home to connect with on their shrines. I am so happy to see this as it will benefit them and their families so much. That is the purpose to be alive which is to benefit others as much as possible. Tsem Rinpoche
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
2 weeks ago
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
2 weeks ago
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
The Japanese are very innovative. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
The Japanese are very innovative. Tsem Rinpoche
Read this as it will be interesting
2 weeks ago
Read this as it will be interesting
Recite this before any meal or drinks for blessings of abundance. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
Recite this before any meal or drinks for blessings of abundance. Tsem Rinpoche
This sacred statue of Buddha is in Nepal brought originally from Tibet and has spoken on many occasions. Very blessed to see this holy image and keep a picture...bless you always. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
This sacred statue of Buddha is in Nepal brought originally from Tibet and has spoken on many occasions. Very blessed to see this holy image and keep a picture...bless you always. Tsem Rinpoche
I love Mumu boy tremendously. We went through so much together for so many years. You are a great being to be with. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
I love Mumu boy tremendously. We went through so much together for so many years. You are a great being to be with. Tsem Rinpoche
Dear everyone, I am sharing this beautiful and modern altar to Dorje Shugden in Malaysia. I am glad to see more and more people creating sacred spaces. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
Dear everyone, I am sharing this beautiful and modern altar to Dorje Shugden in Malaysia. I am glad to see more and more people creating sacred spaces. Tsem Rinpoche
Lhamo Karmo, a female buddha form visualized above the crown of one\'s head at the time of death, to encourage consciousness to leave the body via the crown aperture. From my book \"The Female Buddhas.\"- Glenn Mullin
3 weeks ago
Lhamo Karmo, a female buddha form visualized above the crown of one's head at the time of death, to encourage consciousness to leave the body via the crown aperture. From my book "The Female Buddhas."- Glenn Mullin
The Tibetan female tulku Dorje Pakmo, from a fresco on the wall of the Dorje Pakmo monastery (Samding) in Tibet, near the Turquoise Lake. In Tibet the Dorje Pakmo was ranked with the Dalai Lama, Panchen Lama and Sakya Trizin as the four highest lamas in the country.-from Glenn Mullin
3 weeks ago
The Tibetan female tulku Dorje Pakmo, from a fresco on the wall of the Dorje Pakmo monastery (Samding) in Tibet, near the Turquoise Lake. In Tibet the Dorje Pakmo was ranked with the Dalai Lama, Panchen Lama and Sakya Trizin as the four highest lamas in the country.-from Glenn Mullin
Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl checking out the scene..cute
1 month ago
Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl checking out the scene..cute
My Dharma boy has such a cute expression here. He is a good boy!
1 month ago
My Dharma boy has such a cute expression here. He is a good boy!
February 9,2017-My Mumu boy and Oser girl are just relaxing together..super cute
2 months ago
February 9,2017-My Mumu boy and Oser girl are just relaxing together..super cute
Click on the picture to enlarge and see what Suzy from Hawaii commented on the Dorje Shugden issue after much research. She is very candid and honest. Refreshing. Original is posted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl-4lIwxph4
2 months ago
Click on the picture to enlarge and see what Suzy from Hawaii commented on the Dorje Shugden issue after much research. She is very candid and honest. Refreshing. Original is posted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl-4lIwxph4
This is a good one to read
2 months ago
This is a good one to read
Mumu is silly and cute and funny
2 months ago
Mumu is silly and cute and funny
Mumu\'s hair is messy and he looks funny
2 months ago
Mumu's hair is messy and he looks funny
I am in the process of creating beautiful Dorje Shugden and Kechara Forest Retreat watches at this time. So we can take precious protector and Kechara Forest Retreat wherever we go and be blessed everytime we see what time it is. 
I am perfecting the designs with a great team and will update when done but these are just some samples that arrived. 
Feast your eyes! 

Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
I am in the process of creating beautiful Dorje Shugden and Kechara Forest Retreat watches at this time. So we can take precious protector and Kechara Forest Retreat wherever we go and be blessed everytime we see what time it is. I am perfecting the designs with a great team and will update when done but these are just some samples that arrived. Feast your eyes! Tsem Rinpoche
                        Pick the practice, devotion and precepts of Vajra Yogini\'s path over everything and anything in samsara. Samsara has nothing of value and nothing lasting to offer. You are born in suffering, live in suffering, die in suffering and enter bardo and future lives expecting more sufferings. This is not a negative way of looking at things but the truth. If the truth is negative, so it is the truth. Devote oneself to the guru, dharma work, dharma practice and bringing dharma to others compassionately. Choose to practice Vajra Yogini now with the preliminaries. You can start right now: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/starting-on-vajra-yogini-now.html  Much care, Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
Pick the practice, devotion and precepts of Vajra Yogini's path over everything and anything in samsara. Samsara has nothing of value and nothing lasting to offer. You are born in suffering, live in suffering, die in suffering and enter bardo and future lives expecting more sufferings. This is not a negative way of looking at things but the truth. If the truth is negative, so it is the truth. Devote oneself to the guru, dharma work, dharma practice and bringing dharma to others compassionately. Choose to practice Vajra Yogini now with the preliminaries. You can start right now: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/starting-on-vajra-yogini-now.html Much care, Tsem Rinpoche
Message to Tibetans in English
3 months ago
Message to Tibetans in English
Message to the Tibetans
3 months ago
Message to the Tibetans
Left to right: Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, 101st Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal. Great lamas of Gaden Shartse Monastery
3 months ago
Left to right: Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, 101st Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal. Great lamas of Gaden Shartse Monastery
A beautiful Indian rendition of Gyenze Dorje Shugden manifesting in wealth form
3 months ago
A beautiful Indian rendition of Gyenze Dorje Shugden manifesting in wealth form
This is my thoughts and determination to share with you. Please open and read. Thank you for your time. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
This is my thoughts and determination to share with you. Please open and read. Thank you for your time. Tsem Rinpoche
Nepalese King Birendra receives His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche in Nepal
4 months ago
Nepalese King Birendra receives His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche in Nepal
Guess what Zava Damdin Rinpoche did in Mongolia recently with 7,800 people??? Very interesting and it is a must read:  http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116206
4 months ago
Guess what Zava Damdin Rinpoche did in Mongolia recently with 7,800 people??? Very interesting and it is a must read:  http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116206
This huge Buddha in Korea is magnificent
4 months ago
This huge Buddha in Korea is magnificent
The very first oracle of Dorje Shugden in trance statue. I have commissioned this.
4 months ago
The very first oracle of Dorje Shugden in trance statue. I have commissioned this.
Such a old and ancient thangka painting of Dorje Shugden. He has been around in Tibet practiced for hundreds of years.
4 months ago
Such a old and ancient thangka painting of Dorje Shugden. He has been around in Tibet practiced for hundreds of years.
One of the "Four Exalted Brothers" Avalokiteshvara statues, Phagpa Wati of Kyirong, which is now with H.H. the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala.
4 months ago
One of the "Four Exalted Brothers" Avalokiteshvara statues, Phagpa Wati of Kyirong, which is now with H.H. the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala.
Kyabje Zemey, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Kyabje Pabongka Choktrul Rinpoche
4 months ago
Kyabje Zemey, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Kyabje Pabongka Choktrul Rinpoche
My Oser girl and Mumu boy are so adorable
4 months ago
My Oser girl and Mumu boy are so adorable
Wow this meditator in his cave in front of a painting of Yamantaka draped with a white khata of respect. He sits among bones to remind him of impermanence and our future. The bones inspire him strongly to let go of all attachments in this life and focus on dharma, meditation and liberation and he is doing so. Very beautiful and inspirational. Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
Wow this meditator in his cave in front of a painting of Yamantaka draped with a white khata of respect. He sits among bones to remind him of impermanence and our future. The bones inspire him strongly to let go of all attachments in this life and focus on dharma, meditation and liberation and he is doing so. Very beautiful and inspirational. Tsem Rinpoche
Tenzing Norgay found this in Nepal. Guess what it is?
5 months ago
Tenzing Norgay found this in Nepal. Guess what it is?
Sir Edmund Hillary
5 months ago
Sir Edmund Hillary
Halloween is my favorite holiday. Wild natural plants and flowers are my favorite offering. Buddha\'s teachings on meditation and Yidam practice bring the ultimate results and happiness. ~Tsem Rinpoche
5 months ago
Halloween is my favorite holiday. Wild natural plants and flowers are my favorite offering. Buddha's teachings on meditation and Yidam practice bring the ultimate results and happiness. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Click on "View All Photos" above to view more images

Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
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    Japan's greatest modern day artist, Yayoi Kusama
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  • Lady saves puppy from potential abuser
    2 weeks ago
    Lady saves puppy from potential abuser
  • Mr. Denzel Washington is a very intelligent man. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 weeks ago
    Mr. Denzel Washington is a very intelligent man. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Dear friends, please see this educational video on suffering for the sake of others.
    3 weeks ago
    Dear friends, please see this educational video on suffering for the sake of others.
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    3 weeks ago
    A very neat footage of Bigfoot captured by Patterson-Gimlin.
  • [11/02/2017] Mumu darling is a very good boy.
    2 months ago
    [11/02/2017] Mumu darling is a very good boy.
  • [11/02/2017] Mumu wants to go bye bye!
    2 months ago
    [11/02/2017] Mumu wants to go bye bye!
  • [11/02/2017] I love you mumu boy
    2 months ago
    [11/02/2017] I love you mumu boy
  • [11/02/2017] Mumu and Oser eating together.
    2 months ago
    [11/02/2017] Mumu and Oser eating together.
  • Great spiritual rock carving in Tibet
    2 months ago
    Great spiritual rock carving in Tibet
  • You will Never be Ready
    3 months ago
    You will Never be Ready
    Dear friends, watch this video and ready, if we keep waiting till we are ready, that day will never come. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Stop asking for Easy
    3 months ago
    Stop asking for Easy
    This video is powerful because it's the truth. It applies to anything. It applies to our dharma practice. Watch the video and share it. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Must Watch this Video!
    4 months ago
    Must Watch this Video!
  • Sacred Tibetan Incense - Nyimo County, Lhasa, Tibet
    5 months ago
    Sacred Tibetan Incense - Nyimo County, Lhasa, Tibet

ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

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.

  • March 28, 2017 09:11
    Lia asked: If the ushnisha is actually supposed to be a bump, then do we change the visualization of the top knot and replace it with a bump covered in hair or do we keep the ushnisha as the thangkas show?
    No reply yet
  • March 27, 2017 04:19
    Dongho asked: I have been reading on the tunes of certain sects and would like to ask on this. From what I've read, there are certain tunes to each sect and school of certain chants. Exactly where can I find the sheet music for these percussion and horns with the chants, such as to the one for invoking Kache Marpo or Dorje Shugden? Would it be possible to use school instruments for this?
    pastor answered: Dear Dongho, Thank you for your question, it is good to see you back and asking more questions. Yes you are right, there are differences in the tunes and chants between the lineages. The differences can vary significantly between the traditions, for example the Gelugpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism is known for its extremely deep throat singing which is very powerful and is characterised by a low, booming voice, in contrast to the other traditions. Even within a particular tradition, there can be slight variations as to the manner in which the chants and tunes are performed. For example those monasteries are which are affiliated with Gyume will have one way of throat singing, where those affiliated with Gyuto will have another. As far as I am aware there is no professional sheet music for the rituals, most probably because the music is actually an integral part of the ritual itself. Therefore the music, tunes, and chants are all taught at the same time the ritual and prayers are. The tunes, and use of the instruments all have specific meanings, because they are considered to be offerings to the deities in the form of sound. The monasteries would not have copies of sheet music either, because sheet music is western practice. The use of ritual music within Tibetan Buddhism is more of one based on memory. In the Kechara organisation, the puja team was trained in such ritual instruments at the same time they learnt the particular ritual from monks from the monastery, such as the puja of Dorje Shugden. From what I saw of the training, the musical tunes, and use of instruments was not written down but taught experientially at the same time as the chanting. I have not come across any other instruments being used in pujas apart from the traditional ritual instruments, because even the instruments themselves have a specific meaning. That is not say that school instruments cannot be used. This is because, as long as the offering is sincere, the Buddhas and enlightened deities will accept it, and in turn you will generate great amounts of merit. Offerings should be made to the best of our ability, therefore if you do not have access to the ritual instruments, or do not know how to play them, but you know how to play other instruments, and use these instruments as offerings to the Buddhas during pujas, the amount of merit you generate will be the same. This is because you are sincere with your offering. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • March 26, 2017 02:14
    Kunga asked: Does the Gelug have Begtse a protector? If so, could you please provide a sadhana for him here?
    pastor answered: Dear Kunga, Yes the Dharma protector Begtse exists within the Gelug tradition. He is also known as Chamsing. Begtse’s practice stems from India and was introduced to Tibet and therefore Tibetan Buddhism by the translator Nyen Lotsawa. Marpa Lotsawa also practiced Begtse, and so the practice exists in the Kagyu traditions. This practice was eventually transmitted to Sachen Kunga Nyingpo, the first of the five patriarchs of the Sakya tradition, who were the founding fathers of that tradition. Over time the practice of Begtse was incorporated into the Gelug tradition, founded by Lama Tsongkhapa, and was notably practiced by the 1st and 2nd Dalai Lamas. Over time the practice gained popularity within the lineage, especially when it spread to Mongolia. There the practice became an important one within the lineage as upheld there. Begtse is also affectionately known as the Dharma protector of Mongolia, because his practice is so popular there. If I am not mistaken, there is an oracle of Begtse in Mongolia as well. There is a mistaken account that the practice originated around the time of the 3rd Dalai Lama, with the subjugation of a Mongolian war god, but Begtse was definitely practiced before that time in the Gelug, Kagyu and Sakya traditions. While the practice of Begtse is very effective, I have not come across the practice of Begtse in my personal practice, therefore I do not have access to the Begtse sadhana to provide to you. Instead Begtse is propitiated in prayers that incorporate many other Dharma protectors, and Begtse is also considered one of the nine protectors of the Hayagriva (Tamdrin) cycle of tantric teachings. Therefore Begtse is included in the Dharma protector sections of the Hayagriva tantras. Surrounding Begtse are his sister, Sing Ma, and his main minister, Le Khan Mar Po. His inner retinue comprises of eight butchers who wield copper swords in their right hands and skull-cups full of blood in their left hands. They are portrayed as naked and are very ugly. His outer retinue comprises a further twenty-one butchers, who hold copper swords in their right hands, and this time, the entrails of butchered enemies. They wear the skins humans and oxen as clothes, with ornaments made from human bone. While this may seem violent, Begtse is actually a very powerful and beneficial protector, who helps practitioners clear their obstacles and create conducive conditions for their spiritual evolution. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • March 24, 2017 20:12
    Azair asked: Venerable Rinpoche, I am doing a study in Kalachakra Tantra and I've heard from most of the lama's too that if you practice the Kalachakra Tantra, you'll be able to take control of your next rebirth. Ofcourse, it has been said that we will get our rebirth according to our Karma and desires but whether those dreams will get fulfilled will depend upon the actions that we take in this life. Thus, practicing the Kalachakra(till the end) after initiation will give you the opportunity to take rebirth anywhere you desire regardless of your Karma. My question is that, is there some truth in this statement.? Does this statement hold true for other tantra practices, such as Vajrayogini Tantra, Ghuyasamaja Tantra, Heruka Tantra, etc. I would really really like to know. Thankyou in anticipation, regards, Azair
    pastor answered: Dear Azair, Thank you for your question. Yes there is truth to this statement, both from a scriptural perspective and also by example, as the great masters have shown us. This is a unique feature of all Anuttarayoga Tantras or Highest Yoga Tantras, which Kalachakra, Vajrayogini, Guhyasama and Heruka are all examples of. This category of tantric practice can actually lead a practitioner to full enlightenment in this very lifetime. Even if enlightenment is not reached, very high levels of attainment can be reached nonetheless. This includes the ability to take control over your next rebirth. This is primarily engaged in so that the practitioner is born in an environment where they can eventually pick up their practice and further their spiritual path to enlightenment, or in order to be born in a place where they can benefit sentient beings the most, as part of the spiritual journey over many lifetimes. One of the reasons such an ability is very necessary on the spiritual path, is that usual death and rebirth occurs at the mercy of ones karma, specifically what is known as the ‘throwing karma’ or the karma that dictates what sort of rebirth a person is going to take. This opens up at the time of ordinary death, which most people have no control over. During the death process, many of our disturbing emotions will arise. Whichever of these is the strongest at the point of death triggers open a latent karmic potential, which becomes the ‘throwing karma’ and dictates where we are going to take rebirth and if that life will generally be full of suffering or not. Within Anuttarayoga Tantra, one of the key points of practice is to prepare for one’s death. This is done by simulating the dying process during one’s meditations, so that one becomes familiar with it. At the most pivotal part of this process, one practices achieving either the rainbow body or great bliss (in the case of the father tantras); or clear light (in the case of mother tantras). The tantras themselves are not defined in terms of the gender of the central deity, but by the method used to gain enlightenment. This is either the rainbow body/great bliss (classified as male, therefore labelled ‘father’) or clear light (classified as female, therefore labelled ‘mother’). Non-dual tantras such as the Kalachakra tantra can employ either of the two methods, a mixture of both, or alternate methods. In the case of superior practitioners, due to the power of their practice, they can achieve either of these two methods in their current body. Since they have familiarised themselves with the dying process, and a particular method of practice, they can also achieve enlightenment during their physical death. The great Lama Tsongkhapa is said to have achieved enlightenment at the moment of physical death, using the second of these. For other practitioners, they may not be able to achieve this either in their meditations while they are alive, or during the death process. However because they have familiarised themselves with the dying process, they remain in complete concentration at the time of death, not allowing any disturbing emotions to arise. Due to this level of concentration, meditation and awareness during the dying process, they are able to control where they next take rebirth. This is evident in the tantric scriptures themselves, and the life stories of many masters, who can state exactly where, when and to whom they will take their next rebirth, as they are in full control of the dying and rebirth process. There is a type of meditation called ‘thukdam’ which has been translated into ‘death meditation’. This is a final meditation some masters choose to engage in. During this meditation, the master themselves consciously begin the physical dying process themselves, engage in the meditation of dissolving the winds into the heart centre and remain in the most pivotal part of the death process, the mind of clear light of death. During this point they engage in meditations, either the methods of the father or mother tantras as mentioned previously, and or consciously choose where they are to next take rebirth. They can remain in this death meditation for long periods of time, days at an end, in which their consciousness has not yet left their body, although for all intents and purposes they are dead according to medical science, e.g. they have no heartbeat. At the end of their meditation, a drop of blood will be emitted from their nostril, and their head will slump over a little. Masters who engage in this meditation usually sit in full meditation posture, and their body remain supple and soft even though they have passed away from a medical point of view. I hope this brief explanation helps. Thank you.
  • March 23, 2017 23:01
    Brad asked: What is the significance of offering the Seven precious emblems of royalty to the Buddhas and enlightened Dharma Protectors? What are we symbolically offering up?
    pastor answered: Dear Brad, Thank you for your question. The ‘saptaratna’ or seven precious emblems represent on the one hand the ultimate state of temporal power, and on the other hand the ultimate spiritual attainments that we can achieve. By offering these to the Buddhas, we are actually creating the causes to achieve what they represent. Therefore it is good to know the meaning of each, so we can understand what we are creating the causes for by offering them up: Please see below for an explanation of the seven royal emblems: 1. The Precious Wheel: a thousand spoked wheel, representing the universal power of the Buddhas, as well as the teachings of the thousand Buddhas of our aeon. It is represented by the Dharmachakra, symbolising the ‘turning of the wheel’ or teaching of the Noble Eightfold Path. It is a symbol of a universal emperor’s spiritual and temporal power. It is also represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect mindfulness, especially that of our own mind, thoughts, delusions and afflictions. 2. The Precious Jewel: an eight sided wish-granting gem, which fulfils all the needs of a universal emperor. This jewel has eight special qualities: it illuminates the night sky for hundreds of leagues; it is cooling when the temperature is hot and warming when the temperature is cold; it makes manifest whatever the holder wants; when thirsty it causes a fresh-water spring to appear; it has the ability to control the nagas, and other supernatural beings, as well as preventing natural disasters such as storms, floods, etc.; it gives off multi-coloured lighted which heals the various mental and emotional afflictions; it cures all illnesses; and it ensures that one dies a natural death, not an untimely one. It is a symbol of a universal emperor’s spiritual and temporal power. It is also represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect mindfulness, or perfect discrimination, so one knows what to abandon and what to keep in the mindstream during the spiritual journey to enlightenment. 3. The Precious Queen: the most beautiful and virtuous of all women. She is described as a goddess who is the epitome of someone: with devotion; without jealousy; who is the embodiment of fertility; who works for the welfare of all beings; who possess feminine wisdom; speaks the truth; not attract to sensual pleasures or material possessions; and does not have false views. She is adored by all. She also represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect effort. This is necessary to keep meditating until one gains spiritual attainments. 4. The Precious Minister: who has sharp intelligence, patience, and the ability to give wise counsel to the emperor. He is so attuned to the emperor that even before the emperor has spoken, the minister is already carrying out his command. He only wishes to support the Dharma, help sentient beings, and is an excellent strategist. He also represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect joy. This is also akin to the attainment of the first bodhisattva level, because you have come to an understanding of your own mind, which is like pouring ice-cold water into boiling water. The water stops boiling, as does the thoughts, projections, and delusions in the mind. He represents the path of the bodhisattva. 5. The Precious Elephant: who has the strength of a thousand normal elephants. He is white, with the perfect features that an elephant could have. He is majestic, graceful, and gentle, but in battle is fearsome, fearless and unyielding. He communicates with the emperor through a telepathic link. He represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect adaptability. This is important, as one needs to be able to adapt to the various mental afflictions as they arise, and suitably counter them. 6. The Precious Horse: who has all the marks of a celestial horse. Known as wind-horse, he is able to travel extremely fast, and can circumambulate the entire universe three time in just a single day. He is never fearful or startled, never makes a sound when galloping, and has extremely soft hairs on his body. He represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is single-pointed concentration. This is important because without this form of concentration, once cannot engage in the analytical meditations that lead to an understanding of emptiness, and therefore enlightenment. 7. The Precious General: who has mastered the arts of war and always wins in battle. He wears battle armour and holds many different weapons. He tries to avoid battle, but when necessary fights, and never gives up until he has won. He is fearless, and courageous in carrying out the emperors commands and ensures the emperors army carries out their duties. He represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect equanimity. This is because he overcomes all warfare, which is akin to the battle between things were are attached to and things we have an aversion for in our minds. In short, what you are offering up is the highest of all temporal treasures and abilities, as well as the entire path of the Dharma. Doing so creates the causes for you to receive all of this on your spiritual journey towards enlightenment. I hope this helps. Thank you.
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Pastor Yek Yee assisted by Puja Team blessed and conducted a puja during an outcall house blessing. Lucy Yap
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Pastor Yek Yee assisted by Puja Team blessed and conducted a puja during an outcall house blessing. Lucy Yap
Butterlamp offering to Lama Tsongkhapa in Kechara Forest Retreat
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Butterlamp offering to Lama Tsongkhapa in Kechara Forest Retreat
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Kechara Sunday Dharma School teachers and volunteers outing session. Stella,
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Dorje Shugden the powerful World Peace Protector taking full trance in an oracle.
Visitors have the opportunity to pay respect to this holy statue, in Kechara Forest Retreat, Wisdom Hall!
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Visitors have the opportunity to pay respect to this holy statue, in Kechara Forest Retreat, Wisdom Hall!
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Group photo of Kechara Sunday Dharma School teachers and trainer after the Teachers Training program in 2016. Stella, KSDS
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Kechara Sunday Dharma School teachers attended the weekly Blogchat Dharma sharing session every Monday. Stella, KSDS
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Teacher Stella together with WOAH Camp young participants to check the broken egg. Alice Tay, KSDS
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Great to see Dian and Wen Xin tried to do breath meditation slowly. Alice Tay, KSDS
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Happy faces of Teacher Irene together with KSDS's youngest age group. Alice Tay, KSDS
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Most of the KSDS students like drawing and discuss about their drawing. Alice Tay, KSDS
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The yearly gotong royong event on Malaysia Day. Great day to contribute back to the society. Lin Mun KSDS
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KSDS students, parents and teachers participated in food packaging for Kechara Soup Kitchen. Lin Mun KSDS
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