Sky Burial of Tibet (Warning-Viewer Discretion is advised)

Feb 19, 2013 | Views: 43,317
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 October 23, 2010

This is not meant to shock, or scare you or frighten you. It is to enlighten you on a Cultural practice for EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY.

This practice is happening in Tibet now and for Tibetans it is accepted. It might not be accepted by other cultures and that is OK, but that does not mean how the dead are dealt with in Tibet is better or worse than any other cultures.

The zoroastrians of Bombay also have sky burials, where the bodies are left in a huge open air building for the birds to consume slowly.


WARNING: The pictures are very graphic so viewer discretion is advised.



I extracted this from a website originating in Taiwan, here:!kGRWihqBRULUqIx59PXpTFU-/article?mid=3018.

This depicts a Tibetan system with dealing with corpses. After prayers have been done by the Monks, the cemetery workers will slice up the body of the dead, mix it with barley flour and with prayers scatter it to the vultures. It is the last act of giving for the person who has eaten flesh themselves their whole lives.

It reminds us that our bodies are borrowed and VERY TEMPORARY. It is not a good idea to attach so much to our bodies, but more to our minds. Our minds will leave the bodies and whether we bury, cremate or feed it to animals, we will have to leave it. We have left our bodies so many times in our previous lives and we have no memory of it and neither does anyone else. Some people might find it disrespectful to feed the bodies to the animals, but our bodies will be eaten by insects/maggots anyways when buried. What we do with the dead doesn’t so much affect the dead. It is more for the living. But then the living quickly becomes the dead anyways and then everything is forgotten.

So what is important, is to take care of the mind. Start now. Whenever you feel like quitting, remember your mortality and all the karmas you have accumulated. Nothing is harder than to control one’s negativities and fears, but death doesn’t stop anything, it is just carried over into future lives. So deal with yourselves now and overcome now. THERE’S NO ESCAPE FROM THE SELF.

Tsem Rinpoche

P.S.  I don’t know what is written in Chinese below the pictures. I don’t read or understand Chinese. So this is my disclaimer please.


















































































































































































50.當肉送到一定地時候,禿鷲便會飛來食肉 我們離天葬台越走越遠了,




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153 Responses to Sky Burial of Tibet (Warning-Viewer Discretion is advised)


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  1. Beatrix Ooi on Dec 10, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    Some of us may find this gruesome, but this reminded me of impermanence. We can have all the fun we want, spend most of out time chasing after money and material possessions but at the end, we all still have to die. We either die accomplishing nothing in life or we die knowing we have done things that have benefited others and ourselves. Most of us may find it hard to give up all the “fun”, I’m not saying to abandon all these immediately and go meditate in a cave, it’s impossible. But if we could cut off our “obsessions” one by one, slowly, we will then be spending less time on doing activities that are not beneficial. All these time we have wasted could have been used to help others or even save someone’s life.

  2. joseph ferrante on May 21, 2015 at 9:09 am

    Thats nice they skin them then feed them to the birds like theyre some kind of bird feed. What do they do with the bones, bring them back in and make soup out of them?

  3. Phil on Mar 28, 2015 at 2:26 am

    Was on one of the cable shows years ago.

  4. […] thành một phần của thiên nhiên xung quanh. Những phương pháp khác Thiên táng Thiên táng được thực hiện bởi một số người theo đạo Phật ở Tây Tạng hay Mông Cổ. […]

  5. […] Sky burials are performed by some Buddhists living in Tibet and Mongolia. The soil in the region is too hard to dig a grave, and the resources required to make a wooden casket just aren’t worth it as most of Tibet does not have trees. […]

  6. Bilha Sharan on Mar 28, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    U do not have right to insulate the humans body’s like this. this is totally wrong. that person was human not animal whom u treat like this by cutting their parts and showing the world.

  7. Carol on Mar 26, 2014 at 11:49 am

    What is initially unpleasant and perhaps disturbing to western sensibilities I find quite beautiful after some thought. I can understand how many would find it disturbing or distressing, many are attached to the physical body and burial, while it seems a “nicer” option is really just a waste of resources and good land. In time you feed the earth and the worms and insects anyway, why not just let go and give yourself over to nourish other lives rather than filling a bit of land with your decaying corpse where otherwise someone might plant a garden? Cemeteries are monuments to human insecurities and vanity nothing more.

  8. Andrea on Mar 8, 2014 at 8:33 am

    There is beauty in Death. When I see a dead animal I always pray, go to Source and then I ask for it to become food for something that needs to eat.
    This is good……Beautiful and Peace Filled
    Thank You for this post and its love

  9. Andy on Feb 17, 2014 at 4:05 am

    This is an interesting article. Thanks for posting this.

  10. Jacinta Goh on Feb 7, 2014 at 12:33 am

    Speechless… Thanks Rinpoche for sharing this! I read this few months ago but it is still stunning, by just looking at the pictures. It reminds me of the four basic meditation foundation in our spiritual journey (so that we will not deviate from this path)
    1. Impermanence
    2. Death
    3. Suffering
    4. Precious Human Birth

  11. Al on Feb 6, 2014 at 4:02 am

    I have a question about reincarnation. Is it believed that there is a limited number of souls that continue to reincarnate? Or are new souls ever created?

    I apologize for my ignorance. I appreciate this page… it is very informative and eye opening!


  12. Pankaj Goyal on Jan 10, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    It is very horrible to chop a family member body. Very horroribal ritual.

  13. Boon on Jan 1, 2014 at 12:23 am


  14. Terry on Nov 3, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    I do not find this barbaric at all, although I don’t understand why cutting up the body is necessary. The vultures will take it all. Worms in the ground is better? I find a certain beauty in this ritual; I would rather know some of me gets to fly the skies after I’m gone. That carcass on the ground would only be an empty shell.

  15. Carmen Lin @ KMP on Oct 14, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    This is really good to contemplate on death and how we are nothing. We are nothing but an empty shell. I think I’m sick wanting to go to see the actual progress. I would like to print these pictures to remind myself everyday what to do and the purpose of my life. Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this.

  16. Colleen Kincaid Smith on Sep 30, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    It is my understanding at this point that disposing of the body in this way is one of the best ways to gain merit as the flesh of your body helps to feed some of the creatures on this planet and therefore is a very good way, and meritorious way to deal with the body after death, because your act of giving selflessly continues even after death.

  17. Beatrix Ooi on Sep 29, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    To be frank, the pictures are a little ‘not so good looking’ but it’s the truth, so Thank You for sharing Rinpoche. After the time of our death we don’t own our bodies anymore. I personally think that this is a way to practise not to grasp on our bodies after we are dead, because after our death, this is the least we can do, feed the vultures with our bodies. If i’m gonna be dead tomorrow, I actually don’t mind having this cause after all, my body is either gonna be buried or cremated, so might as well just feed those birds.It makes not difference when you’re buried or cremated, cause you’re still gonna be eaten by maggots and another one, in that case, fire..

  18. Rae on Sep 16, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    Translated from Bing, all the chinese text… easier to follow procedure….. and to note that burial started this was because the ice made it difficult to bury and they would not decompose……what seems odd to us makes a lot of sense.

    Burial often embodied in the idea of murals (photo taken in the baiqoi Monastery). Ice burial in Tibet is not easy, and remains difficult to rot;
    Cremation costs a lot of wood, resources were scarce on the plateau, did not apply.
    Burial due to the unique environment, is the most suitable way for people dealing with the remains, monks passed away for cremation or burial-

    Fear of burial in fact simply the result of fear of death, and the practice of physical love. Regardless of the way in which the body, the human body will eventually disappear, Burning flames of burial with cremation, insect drill will be not “cruel”, Eyes is simply to avoid betting on flesh destroyed. –

    You could see the sky burial is a kind of belief and customs requires reverent State of mind to look at. Could I have your attention, is eating or being eaten by a friend, please look again after eating, so as not to waste food.
    Please note, we don’t hurry down, in a few minutes after images can show all the time. In Tibetan folk, burial is a more common form of a funeral. For burial, folk have many taboos, including taboo watch strangers. Together we unlock the mystery burial here today.

    In guoluo area of celestial burial platform jingdui (Mani), carved in stone, “mantra”.

    01. in guoluo area, under the hand of the celestial burial platform (manijingbu), using both “mantra” verse printed on the cloth.
    02. the old “hot bar” has finished a bottle of white wine, want to smoke cigarettes and then ascends the dead
    03 the first knife.
    04. Ridge knife, male left, female right. This is a man’s body, so that the first knife to cut open on the left. This is the first cut after the opening of the part, you can clearly see the knife effects.
    05. the first cut is the continuity of a strong, not a piece of cut up,
    And it has to cut into the foot end.
06 so you can clearly see the situation after the first cut and before the first cut at 1 knot in the neck. This rope has several functions, one fixed body, the second is prevention of abdominal gas, food spills, Third, religious significance. This knife looks different from the weekday, is special.
    07. from this picture you can clearly see “hot bar” after the first piece of meat cut of the deceased, Then cut into pieces.
    08. cut the meat into pieces after the next action program is the left leg off.
    09. the leg bones after removing (after also taking) cut second site opened again from the opposite direction. #sthash.rPJKON2S.dpuf

    10. a second knife to the thigh of the year.
    11. the second knife procedures and methods, to keep cutting to the soles of the feet can be stopped only after a knife. Relaxation, which is cut to the root of the situation.
    the decomposing body of order should begin with calf and knee. Shanks has been set up, ready to break down.
    see more clearly, legs twisted into this perspective easily.
    “hot bar” skillfully separate calf and foot.
    decomposition of femur and pelvis are not very easy to do.
    down to their thighs and pelvis separated
    in order to detach from the acromion began to flesh.
    . a knife in the end, it is very clear to see
    also a knife, has been cut off.
    . it is open, the chest and abdomen cut after seeing flesh

    • Rae on Sep 16, 2013 at 1:03 pm

      21. this knife opened.
      22. pull all offal.
      23. name associated with the visceral peritoneum
      24. cutting the peritoneum.
      25. to pull the five Zang-organs aside in order to check the
      26. “hot bar” is not the normal Anatomy, and are responsible for checking the victim’s death. This is the “hot bar” deceased relatives hit the five Zang-organs of the deceased.
      27. the relatives of the deceased and “hot bar” in the situation after the country observe the internal organs of the deceased.

      28. every single organ was to delegate each of the family of the deceased to check.
      29. check after the next program is off my pelvis.
      30. the lumbar spine is first on the meat separated from the lumbar spine.
      31. the lumbar spine severed.
      32. it was separating the pelvis and the body.
      33. the pelvis is large, you need to cut into several pieces.
      34. the program shall meet the spine and ribs.
      35. has broken ribs.
      36. both sides have been cut, is divided into three pieces.
      37. after removing the ribs but also cut into small pieces,
      But watch head now only connected to the cervical spine.
      38. the roots of the neck and spine from the neck cut open.
      39. use a knife to cut the ligaments attached to the spine.
      40. Remove spine preparation separated into small pieces.
      41. the clearance cut into small pieces.
      42. This is the final part, first cut the rope (without the knot).
      43. the flesh of the skull are very tight difficult to separate from such a large knife, It seems “hot bar” is difficult to start.
      44. this “hot bar” is really not difficult separating the first knife is from here.
      45. the progressive opening cut from between the cheeks.
      46. after the dough is cut, to continually cut down.
      47. This is a cut down pretty good head. “Hot bar” ready to smash it.
      during the process of bone crushing hit, to mix the noodles in the flesh, so one can adhesive role to prevent blood can also lure Vulture’s appetite.
      when a dead body is carried to the burial, vultures fly. They are also applied and was buried with great concern.To see the vultures are concentrated.
      50. when the meat to a certain point, predator the vultures will be flying away from the celestial as we were walking away, What will stay there after they left?

  19. Tong sunsun on Sep 7, 2013 at 5:39 pm


  20. Lucas Roth on Aug 26, 2013 at 12:48 am

    in my opinion this is good because you feed animals with your body that will not be used again and besides it will rot or be eaten by maggots in the soil of which it is buried. but this is a very interesting topic. thank you for sharing Rinpoche

  21. Girlie Ooi on Mar 7, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    I went through the above pictures just as I finished my bowl of soup and I felt like throwing up. I feel queasy at the sight of blood. It took me a long time to go through all the pictures and I still have not gotten over that feeling.

    Being brought up in this country where the main disposal of the dead are by cremation and burial, this really opened my eyes to the teaching that at death, we can still benefit others.

  22. Cliff on Mar 6, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    As a former meat eater myself, i couldn’t agree more to the reason behind a sky burial. All that is left of our bodies is a decay of skin and bones left for maggots and insects to feed on. I once ate meat whats the difference between animals eating my body after I have passed. It is a very enlightening topic to me, helps me realise the shortness of our lives. I wouldn’t want my family and friends having to suffer and go through the trouble of having to prepare a burial etc. when the time and money spent could have been used to help others that are in need. Though I have to admit, those men whom prepare the sky burial must have very strong stomachs to go through that haha.

    Thank you for sharing Rinpoche.

  23. Sheryl KH (JB) on Mar 5, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    Real things are usually hard to be accepted. Looking at these pictures really brings uneasiness.

    Nevertheless, we all know that death is certain, it is just a matter of time…For those of us who count ourselves fortunate to have met the Dharma, we truly need to collect as much merits as possible so that we don’t go through this life in meaningless way.

    I feel that humans have this natural habit to be so inclined to do things at the last minute, very much like students study just few days before exams. We do many things which does not contribute positively to our human lives and our karma bank. We tend to regret what we did not do when we were much younger by the time when we have not much time and energy left. This is scary.

    Time and again I have to always remember that while I will leave my body at my last breath, karma follows me like shadows.

  24. Sean Wang on Feb 28, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    When I pass away, I wish I could have a sky burial. In the end, our bodies are just sacks of meat waiting to decompose. I think it is better to have my body put to good use and let me give my last offering to animals.

    When we die, we create so much problems for our families and friends because they have to arrange for funerals and such. When I die, I do not want a funeral, I do not want m body to wasted by the flames of a pyre or be rotting away underground. It is a waste of money. Even though sky burial costs a bit, I would love to do it as the money is not wasted. Even if I cannot get to do sky burial, it would be great to donate my body to science so that people can learn more about the human body and they can test things on my carcass and not test on live animals.

  25. Ong Moh Mei on Feb 27, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    This is a shocking yet powerful post. The practice appears to be cruel and inhumane but the meaning behind it is profound. Why are we still attached to our body after we have passed. The body is going to rot one way or the other. Is it not better to make one last act of giving at death, something we may not have even done while alive.

  26. Soon Huat on Feb 26, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    i really can not finish reading it. in fact, life is short and body is meaningless to us if you did not fully make use our life in the right way

  27. Milly on Feb 25, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    Selfless deed of a true Dharma practitioner. There is no attachment to the physical body and even in death, the act is to benefit other beings. If we are not up to this, it will be meritorious that we donate our organs. Millions of sick people are queuing up for organ transplant. Our death can give hope and life to several people by just donating our organs.

  28. Lucas Roth on Feb 24, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    honestly i would not mind to sky bury, think about it, you will not need the body anymore so why not feed some animals. we eat them so when we are gone why not feed the hungry, it will bring good merits that will benefit you when you when you are going to be reborn. think about it.

  29. Sharon Saw on Feb 22, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    i think this is a wonderful way of giving back our physical bodies after we die. After all, we have no further use for it, i don’t see why we should be squeamish about it. Even if we are buried as is the norm, our bodies will just be eaten by worms. It is better than cremating i think because cremation is not good for the environment. Personally i would sign up for organ donation so that if any of my body parts are usable, at least it can help someone after my death.

  30. Felix Kong on Feb 22, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Wow , this is first time know about “Sky Burial” . Thank you Rinpoche sharing this interesting Tibet culture .Yup, we are just borrow a body to this world , after dead we need return body also . I can accept sky burial of Tibet because can saving place and money $$… Nowadays , land is getting lesser and expansive too , not everyone can affort it….

  31. […] received a lot of interest in the earlier photoset of the sky burial I posted a while back. I recently came across another one, this one is done in a different more hands on style. There is a lot more work with the caretaker really dismembering the body. Still fascinating to […]

  32. Chandra Golay on Feb 20, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    My my, these pictures send quite a shock to my ignorant mind. Even without much dharma knowledge and understanding I can comprehend that all our lives the body is our main focus. At least I think I am the body, and without dharma teachings it is easy to fall prey to the delusion that the body is IT. Like so many have mentioned in their posts, from birth everything is tended to care for the body, clothes, food, washing and grooming. Then with adolescence caring for it by looking into fashion and as a focal point to attract everyone. Tending only to the body’s needs really seems pointless at the moment of death. The media and fashion industry are up to no good then? Or perhaps my point of view makes me suffer so much when I don’t have the possessions I desire! It’s really sad where we can end up in life and death if we don’t have a good and reliable source of inspiration like the dharma. Even better to understand and apply and be better, sounds like a good life plan for me. And I also want to thank all the lovely Kecharians for preserving Tsem Rinpoche’s dharma teachings by living them and inspiring blog fans like me. You guys are my inspiration and of course Rinpoche for showing us a different way.

    • sarahyap on Feb 22, 2013 at 1:02 am

      It’s true what you said here. The first time I saw these pictures was truly shocking! If I did not know any better, I probably thought it was cannibalism! lol! Of course, that’s far from it and the truth behind having a sky burial is as a final offering to benefit other beings with this very body that we’re born into.

      Many of us are very very attached to our bodies… so much so that the plastic surgery industry or aesthetics industry is so lucrative. I know people that would intentionally lie to their doctors just so that they can get their ‘beauty’ injections even if they know the treatment may be life threatening at certain points. It truly is sad that people would value their beauty over their health or even their lives in certain cases.

      When I see the sky burial, it tells me that the body is just our vehicle in this life… there is no reason to be attached to it either than to use this body to be of benefit to others. Why make all the effort just to nourish something that will decay in just a few years… this state of impermanence tells us to make full use of time urgently.

      What you said is true… everything is pointless at the moment of death especially if we never did anything much to benefit others while we are healthy. I say healthy because many people think they can start ‘doing good’ when they have reached retirement age… but let’s all be honest, as we get older, we really can do only so much because of our physical limitations. When we see how short life is and we’re only a few years away to becoming a corpse, hopefully with great merits we will want to use our lives for benefiting and not for increasing our attachments.

      • Chandra Golay on Feb 26, 2013 at 6:05 am

        Thanks for the feedback Sarah. I’m learning so its nice to get feedback from someone who knows more.

  33. Lim Han Nee on Feb 20, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    At least, in this sky-burial the dead is performing an act of giving:giving their flesh as food to the animals. A reversal of roles indeed. When alive, these humans had been gorging mindlessly on the meat that had been the result of killing these animals for their flesh. Indeed, Picture 38 above, where the dead man has been stripped of all his flesh and body parts, leaving only his head and his ribs, reminds me of the way I see people attacking a fish on their dinner plate. They, likewise, strip the fish of all the flesh, leaving its head and bones.

    When we die, our bodies will disintegrate one way or the other. The only thing that does not disappear are the karmic imprints that we carry in our mental continuum from this life to the next and the next and the next. The overwhelming negative imprints will determine the misery and suffering of our future lives.

    Hence, we need to deal with these negativities now and take control of them.

  34. Jessica Yap on Feb 20, 2013 at 3:33 am

    At first I was shocked to see these gruesome images. But this is necessary to remind us that time is not on our side.. Everybody will die. What’s most important is that we do our best I’m Dharma while we are still alive.. Because once we say ‘byebye’ only our karma follows us like a shadow.

    This blog post is powerful and important for us to contemplate on our death.. Thank you for sharing, Rinpohe!

    • Jessica Yap on Feb 20, 2013 at 3:39 am

      Sorry, I meant *Rinpoche.

  35. jennifer on Feb 19, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    I personally think Sky Burial is a beautiful way of finally leaving this lifetime.
    Afterall what is the use of this physical body that is dirty and smelly even before we die, and decaying and decomposing every minute after we die ?
    Sky Burial is beautiful because it’s our last act of giving something back to Nature – the vultures , insects , worms, maggots.
    However i feel before we give away our dead bodies to Nature, we should sign up to donate all our organs that can benefit living people, in all the various transplants that medical science can now achieve to save many people . Family members must be made aware of this dying wish so they can immediately contact the hospitals to quickly come to collect the body, to harvest whichever organ that is still usable , that is not diseased or already decayed.
    This is something that i strongly advocate as we really really do not need our kidneys, heart, eyes, liver, spleen, skin etc etc. Then whatever that is left, cremate and throw into the sea to feed the fishes ( i don’t know if creatures of the sea eat ashes or bone remains or not). If i’m in Tibet, i would have opted for sky burial.

  36. Steve on Feb 19, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    At first I thought….no, the world is not ready for this, they will view our practice as barbaric, and this will affect our reaching them with the dharma. But I think, in retrospect, the world is very adult and grown up, and it is a hard hitting statement that we waste valuable time and energy on these smelly aggregates, dressing them elaborately, primping and preening, when we could be adding value and being of service, and this reinforces the fact that it is just a vehicle to be left behind. I love the fact that unfortunate beings benefit from the flesh of those passed, it is a natural and beautiful conclusion to this particular rebirth. Thanks for your bravery at taking this risk for the enlightenment of all beings, Rinpoche.

  37. Lafayette on Feb 19, 2013 at 6:56 am

    correction: wanted to say, may tsonkhapas teaching live forever.

  38. Lafayette on Feb 19, 2013 at 6:54 am

    Once in ‘life’, in the least, is necessary to see ‘death’.
    Thats the nighmare we live into, we carry on, in which we seek and want love/ to be loved. Long live the everlasting Buddhas, my Tsonkhapas teachings light forever our darkest pit.

  39. Preston tudlong on Feb 3, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    it is good that they feed the vultures with the human body parts, respect the nature and help the birds to survive but why dont they use the body parts like the kidney, liver, eyes, heart etc to donate help the other people to survive and use their organs to help other people to live. I respect this culture but why do they use it for the living people because many living people need this organs this days but I still respect this culture and that’s only my own opinion.

  40. Joy on Jan 31, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    Looking at this old post now gives me a different perspective. Perhaps in the past it was all too gruesome. Well that shows me my state of mind at that time hu? It is still actually gruesome but the deeper meaning behind this is what strikes me most!

    Imagine using your temporary body you whole life just indulging in the self deception of happiness and then die. At least with the Sky Burial practice you actually have the opportunity to give something back to mother nature. If we think about it really funerals are more for those who is alive, to allow them closure to the reality, to allow them to grieve more then the deceased, which is quite selfish when I think about how people spend hundreds of thousands of dollars and the huge dramas and fuss that goes along with the funeral.

    We’re better off using that money to build a temple for the deceased or do a puja…at least this way you help the one who passed continue to collect merits even after they have left their shell. So glad that I have Dharma to understand and have this perspective… with this perspective we become lighter knowing you can do something for the love one that is gone still and they can benefit from it. No point cryong over a spill milk. How did you treat the person when he/she was alive and why when he/she is gone you cry to cows come home, that is so hypocritical and I cannot believe that in some Chinese funerals they actually pay people to cry :-O

  41. Paris on Jan 28, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    I don’t know why I haven’t commented on this blog post yet, though I have seen the images and heard about these burials many times since joining the dharma. It is one of the most striking set of pictures i’ve ever seen and possibly the most impressive kind of burial I have ever heard of

    I remember that when I first heard of this I really took to this idea that our very last act in this life can also be used to benefit others – what else would we do with that body anyway? It makes so much sense and is such a wonderful act to be able to use every last bit of ourselves for someone else, even when we’re not around anymore. I have never resonated with the idea of building elaborate graveyards, “booking” a place for our ashes in a collabarium – what for when our mind will never know of this and when a few generations down won’t even know what we looked like, our names or who we were. The idea of investing so much into our bodies while we’re alive is absurd as it is; even more absurd to think of how much we would invest into our bodies when we’re dead and don’t even get to see where we are!

    And so, there was one day I was talking to Rinpoche about this. He had asked me what I was doing, so I replied to say I was eating lunch, after having come back from the traditional cheng meng prayers, where we visit our ancestors’ graves. I told him the idea of sky burials appealed so much more to me, for the fact we could at least feed some beings with our body, as a last act of giving. Rinpoche replied, “If you really want to collect a lot of merit in that last instance, then you had better make sure you eat a lot more doughnuts and become really fat so you can feed more vultures” hehehehe So yes, perhaps it is time to stop obsessing about losing weight, for even the things that we are most “upset” about can be turned into something positive for someone else. The vultures would have a party on all my wobbly bits.

    Jokes aside though, I don’t think practices like this would really be allowed in a country like Malaysia. The neighbours would be horrified to see my chopping up my grandmother in the front yard, a smile on my face as I tell them that it’s to “feed the birds”. But I do think this idea is beautiful and helps us contemplate constantly on the idea that this is where we go in the end – back to the earth and the beings who inhabit it. That really, this body is just like everything else we use and discard.

  42. Ethnocentrism | Eastern Sierra Anthropology on Aug 24, 2012 at 3:21 am

    […] Video: Tibetan Sky Burial Images: WARNING – These are very graphic, and here. […]

  43. June Tang (KH-JB) on Jun 28, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Thank you RINPOCHE for the teaching.
    Although the sky burial prosedures look very scary but it is the tradition for Tibetans.I must admit that realy difficult to look at the pictures.This picture reminded us–our body is temporary,dun attach to our body!when we dies,we have no different from others.we won’t bring anything but only karma can bring dun waste time,start now to learn dharma and do dharma work for benefit more others!!

  44. Bryan on Jun 24, 2012 at 6:35 pm


  45. Pastor Susan on Jun 22, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    Reality straight in the face. And why not? Why should we believe in a lie…all our lives about who we are… only to be betrayed at the end by our body if we think that is who we are to begin with. How we will be betrayed is if we spend most of all our resources in our whole life just to take care of the body.

    There must be more to life.. and i appreciate buddhism very much in teaching about the mind. I do not claim to have mastered the topic of the mind but the little I know, i find so much more meaning to using this body instead to develop the mind…which will never be chopped up and disappear.

    I had the fortune to visit our monastery in India, Gaden Monastery together with Rinpoche many years back with a group of other students. We had opportunities to meet Rinpoche’s friends and teachers over there and also to ask questions.

    I was very new to Buddhism then and I asked the monk “what would be the quickest way to help lay people like me who works in the corporate world in a modern society with all its distractions to learn and practice buddhism.”

    The monk smiled and said to meditate on death. It resonated and made a lot of sense but I did not have much knowledge how to..

    I have since learnt more about this topic from my spiritual teacher, Tsem Rinpoche.

    You might find this teaching of great benefit to you too.

  46. TENZIN CHIME on Jun 22, 2012 at 4:49 am


  47. So Kin Hoe on Jun 20, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this precious teaching and thank you to everyone who has posted in this blog. Today, in this very hour i have really waken up from my deluded life with the fact that our body is impermanent. If we exchange the time we have spent to keep our body looks good with doing something meaningful such as Dharma works, we can even achieve more in spirituality and able to benefit many people around us. Time is really running short as our body is weakening day by day, minute after minute as our body lifespan is clocking towards the death.

  48. Karen C. on Jun 20, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    我有朋友每个月花费几千块钱在美容,美发及置装。当他们看了这篇文章及血淋淋的图片后,不知还会不会花那么多钱在一个空的躯壳上?这些血汗钱拿去帮助慈善团体不是更有意义?姑且不谈慈善机构,以个人利益来说,花钱上课充实自己,丰富内在品质,通过佛法了解生死的意义。 我们对美丽的外表无止尽的最求,这些执着对我们临终那一刻,根本没帮助。

  49. David Lai on Jun 19, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    I always thought that if I see enough of these images, I would be numbed to the blood and gore but it doesn’t work that way. I think it is indeed a reflection of how attached I am to my body and ego.

    It makes sense considering or that I have achieved or rather not achieved because I am afraid or because I was lazy. I read that the Buddha recommends monastics to meditate upon bones and corpses because it helps us to gain the realisation of impermanence. I think these images are perfect for us to view again and again.

    I just saw on Facebook a line of Theravaden monks in their saffron robes, sitting and witnessing an autopsy being done on a dead corpse. Even the monks does this as part of their practice. It would be good for us to do it not as a festish but as a reflection to realized the illusory nature of our biggest attachment – our bodies.

  50. Li Kheng on Jun 18, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Thank you, Rinpoche for these realistic images. The ones that made most impact are the images that capture the last few steps of the ceremony where only the head and rib cage remain. The human head is the part of our body that commonly gives us our identity. Our major organs within the rib cage area form the core “engine” that keeps our body’s functioning. Seeing these images where we are no different than animal carcasses is a humble reminder that this precious human life can be no better than that of a beast if we do not use it to develop an attained/enlightened mind.

    Besides our physical body, this process hits directly at our self-cherishing and ignorant mind. It is a glaring message for us to realize the wasted energy and resources we put to prevent or delay the inevitable aging and death. This does not mean that we should act irresponsibly towards our human form that is the best form of rebirth. Instead, we should care for this body with the motivation that it will serve us well as we work on developing our minds. This is what I understand to be cherishing our precious human life.

    Thank you again Rinpoche for always conveying preciously honest teachings even though they can be “ugly” and challenging to our ignorant perceptions.

  51. grace (KSJC) on Jun 18, 2012 at 12:58 am

    It really difficult to finish reading and viewing this blog, very scary.however it is truth of the life, once death, it only a body which no more under our control,we should cherish every moment NOW to do good things and keep mind transform before negative karma ripen.

  52. Lim KH (JB) on Jun 17, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    Thanks Guru for sharing such inspiring pictures for us. It maybe use for our Death Meditation if we unable to do the visualization.

    Just imaging when we death and we are seeing our lended body being process like this what we can do at the moment? Is that we still consider the hair is messy? The nose is flat? Or the stomach too big?

    So i thinks is better follow the GPS of enlightenment (LamRin) as much as possible to dun let this situation appear in front of us again…

  53. June Kang on Jun 17, 2012 at 1:49 am

    When reading this article, two things come to my mind:-

    1. if we keep this body to benefit others, it is worth to do so.
    2. if we keep this body for our own benefits, we need to keep remind ourselves that we would end up as the picture showed, and it is something wasting effort and time for our life.

  54. Yvonne on Jun 16, 2012 at 12:40 pm


  55. JP on Jun 16, 2012 at 3:30 am

    It’s reality in our face. Death is inevitable. I cringed when I saw the corpse’s face and how the coroner chopped the body. It’s a reflection of my strong attachments to my body and the illusion of the self.

    A body is not good anymore when it’s dead. So it makes sense to use the body as a last offering. It is logical to develop the mind and focus less on the body coz the body is only a temporary vessel for this life. Contemplating on this helps me let go of many of my self created limitations and neurosis.

  56. Sock Wan on Jun 16, 2012 at 12:27 am

    Our body is temporary, mind is the one that will take rebirth again and again. A dead body, this is what we are when we are dead, nothing more than that. No matter how much we make, how famous we are, we will not be able to bring with us at the moment of death. Do not be too attached to our appearance, it is like a piece of clothes, we change it every 75 years or so if we are lucky.

  57. KYC on Jun 16, 2012 at 12:24 am

    In Bombay, the corpses are left on top of towers for the vultures to eat. I think in Tibet it is a faster and cleaner method. Recently, in Bombay, there are less vultures due to the birds dying because of pollution. This caused a lot of distress to family members because the bodies were left on the tower to rot.

    In the sky burial, there is religious significance in offering the body to the scavengers. As Rinpoche said, it is the last act of giving. It is like repaying one’s debt of meat to the animals since we have been flesh eaters when we were alive. I also think that the workers in the charnel grounds are very brave and compassionate. Not everyone can do this type of work.

  58. PhillisChin on Jun 15, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Mmmmm….. It is cruel, barbaric if just by viewing the photo. But by understanding the meaning behind, cultural, geographical and religion background of Tibet is, that’s totally not cruel at all! Very meaningful and is much, much better than getting cremated. Although donating our organ to people who needs it is great too, but I rather feed other sentient beings. We all are just RENTING a human form, we got to RETURN back ANYTIME without any notice.

    Although I have heard little of Sky Burial, but I don’t know what is all about, I was like, so cruel and ewwwwww!And now I understand the meaning behind.

    Thank You Rinpoche to share, explain what is all about Sky Burial, and also giving us knowledge.

  59. Victor Phang on Jun 15, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Dear Rinpoche:
    Before come to Kechara, I dare not see these kind of pictures simply because I didn’t have sufficient Dharma knowledge to understand life. But now I accept and understand that nothing is permanent including our own body which accompanies us 24/7 for the whole life. Therefore personally I don’t mind how other people want to handle my body after I finish “using” it but it would be best to donate the left-over usable organs to other people who may need it so I became an official organ donor last year. I hope the recipient(s) will use the organ(s) wisely to learn and practice Dharma. hehe…
    Thanks for sharing. Take good care.
    With love,

  60. wah ying on Jun 15, 2012 at 1:43 am

    For some, sky burial seems barbaric, but by understanding cultural, geographical and religion background of Tibet, you will find out actually it tells Tibetan Buddhist’s view on life and death; and also on paramita, giving the alms to the birds. It demonstrates also the ecology view which did not spend money and effort on getting fire woods to cremate the body or making coffin.

    The post teaches me that we should preserve/protect or safe guard our mind, not the body which will disappear any how after our death but mind travels with us. Strive to leave good imprints on our mind rather than on our body.

  61. Christine Wang on Jun 15, 2012 at 12:04 am

    I did hesitate a bit if I should watch those pictures or not at midnight alone before sleep. I was too curious anyway. The pictures were not as bad as I thought but my stomach feels a bit funny now. 🙂

    Well, I saw how pork was cut in the market before and I ate ribs before and enjoyed. But when you see a human body, it felt very different but think deeper, it’s the same. The “re jia ba” cut the human body just like the butcher cuts the pork. When the mind is gone, the body is nothing. It’s a piece of meat.

    After we are dead, nothing matters anymore. Fame, money, friend, career etc etc means nothing. We are lucky we are alive today but did we just waste a day.. again?

    Rinpoche mentioned before that our body is the biggest betrayer. You clean it in the morning, it gets dirty at night; you invest so much money on cream to rub into your skin, it gets winkled anyway. Doesn’t matter how well you treat it, it will get old and ugly anyway–no one can escape. Yet we attach to it.

    I will be ugly and winkled and after I am dead, my body will smell and rotten. I will be a corp just like the one in the pictures. The only thing lasts is our mind. If we train our mind, the effort won’t be wasted.

    Thanks Rinpoche for teaching us and leading us to the right direction in life! I read my words again and I know I wouldn’t think the same way if I didn’t meet Rinpoche. Rinpoche, you are saving us! Thank you!

    Christine SH

  62. Andrew HIbberd on Jun 14, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    if you see only butterflies i think it is wisest

  63. Andrew HIbberd on Jun 14, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    42 is the last part of the first rope break (puzzled knot).believe it or not ?

  64. Andrew HIbberd on Jun 14, 2012 at 6:55 pm




    26 “hot A Pakistani” there are not the normal anatomy, but also responsible for checking the death of the deceased.

    This is the “hot A bar called the deceased relatives of view of the five internal organs of the deceased

  65. Andrew HIbberd on Jun 14, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    The burial of the idea often expressed in the mural (photo taken in Palkor).Ice and snow in Tibet burial is not easy, and the remains of non-perishable;Cremation need to spend a lot of wood, does not apply in the highlands of the lack of supplies.For burial should be unique environment is the most suitable way ordinary people deal with the remains, the monk passed away for cremation or tower,,,天葬的理念常表現於壁畫中(攝於白居寺)。
    因應獨特環境產生的天葬,才是最適合老百姓處理遺體的方式,高僧圓寂則進行火葬或塔 if you dont understand chinese i think it is wiser to learn it if you have the capacity if you do not have the capacity do not

  66. Andrew HIbberd on Jun 14, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    do not mis understand me whilst im good with this means i konw it is happening , who the perpertrators are, who is often asked to carry out the work, the money they are paid for the work and the hope they have for the occupation and education of their own children , everything is impemanent, yet however everythings is cyclic, unless intervention to the circle of demise is replaced with hope not to say though that our bodies should be wasted in ashes , when they have far more value served to the buzzards in the interem

  67. Andrew HIbberd on Jun 14, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    believe it or not dear justin and dear tulku

  68. Andrew HIbberd on Jun 14, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    im okay here too

  69. Wei Theng on Jun 14, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    I remember i first saw the sky burial documentary in a Buddhist retreat more than 10 years ago. Venerable Kai Zhao showed it to us and reminded us that do not attached so much to our body and death is anytime.

    Now, i understand further that this is the last generosity act of the deceased, giving the last bit of what we have in this life – our body to provide food for other living beings. This is very meaningful. The 「熱甲巴」and all the family and worker also treat the body with respect.

    Seeing the pictures again, remind me that at the end of our lives, there will be nothing left except for our karma, not even our body that is so dear and close to us. everything will be gone… so, why do i still so attached to my body?

    i have to use my this remaining life to learn and practise Dharma and take care of my mind.. at the end, it is the Karma that will be follow me forever, so, i better create more good Karma while i can.

    Thank you Rinpoche for the teaching.

  70. nicholas on Jun 14, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Looking at the pictures really show that whatever we do to our body will just gone upon death. Time and money spend to pamper our body will just go to waste because we can’t bring it over after we died. Whatever we do to our body after we died either it goes to the coffin for buried or cremation it doesn’t make any different, it just a method to dispose our body.

    It’s very important to realize now that we should use our body as a vessel to benefits others. Use our body to create more merits because this is what we can bring over to our next life.

  71. Leann Lim on Jun 13, 2012 at 3:59 pm





  72. ECheah on Jun 13, 2012 at 11:55 am

    OMG it’s done with bare hands. How compassionate that these people who perform the ritual are kind enough to have to deal with the ugly filth we leave behind. It’s a strong reminder that our bodies are no different than beef, chicken, pork. It’s just a temporary shell.

  73. mitra on Jun 13, 2012 at 11:29 am

    nepal also in tibetian camp they doind same thing they cut death body and give to animal or bird.i ask why you have to do this?? they say if animal or bird eat his or her meet can get some marit. body is emty his mind not there balance only body.before he not do any good thing and after death body give to animal so that he can get some of this true ???i ask in my mind.but i realy dont know is true or not.

  74. su_zan on Jun 13, 2012 at 3:43 am

    This articles are pretty shocking to most people thank you for the warning prepares a person before reading.

    Our body serve as just vehicle for our soul. At the end of our journey we dont have any remain, we cant bring anything along so hence nothing is permenent.

    Thank you for posting.

  75. Su An on Jun 13, 2012 at 2:29 am

    Somehow these images reminds me of the Kawang section of Setrap’s prayer… why is it that when alive we see the body is beautiful, we love it so much, but when when it is dead we can’t even bear to look at it; we cut it up, the stuff that comes out of the body makes us retch (but if it were the body of a cow instead, probably it makes non-vegetarians hungry? eew).

    Tsem Rinpoche had in his previous post ( recommended that we do 10 minutes of meditation of death everyday. watch a video teaching on death meditation here

  76. Thierry on Jun 12, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    Furthermore than watching these images, and as we are at it, let’s visualize that it is us there being dismembered and fed to the vultures.

    Let’s visualize it is this body of ours, that we treasure so much that we keep free from even a pimple or a wrinkle, that we diet for, that we exercise for and pay fees to the gym for, that we apply make up on, that we dress up and make beautiful.

    This body that we want to keep from pain, that we want to use for pleasure, pleasure of the stomach, pleasure of the ears, pleasure of the touch, pleasure of viewing nice things, pleasure of smelling beautiful scents, sensual pleasures, pleasure of hearing praises, bias pleasure of being looked at with envy (even jealousy)…

    That body we have to leave behind, we have to let go of at the time of death, this body: one of our strongest attachment.

    We have built-up with this body a whole nice looking little story we tell ourselves: I won’t die today, I won’t decay today, not today, NEVER today. To think that is to deny we ever die, because tomorrow never exist, only today exist, only now.

    And when that moment comes, only then do we realize how foolish we’d been thinking, only then do we truly realize that time is short FOR REAL!

    But this body is perishable, it was made to fail. If we could we should sue the manufacturer because it has very short life span, it is prone to diseases and illnesses, it fattens easily, it requires so much maintenance, and costly maintenance, it smells quickly, it is very expensive to dress, it procures pleasure but so much pain too.

    This body that we have to feed, that we have to house, that we must park in plane seats to go and “see places”. This body that we must move in cars, sit in restaurants, expose to being recorded on tape, maybe go on TV, even on the silver screen.

    That body that is us being exposed to others, to their judgment, to their bias looks, to their despises or jealousy (is there anything between the two?).

    This body, in the second part of the story, and even way before the end is giving up on us, it does not support us, it creates problems, it becomes more expensive, harder to maintain.

    But really what are we attached to when we are attached to this body?

    Everyone has seen vampire movies.
    One thing I never could understand as a child watching these vampire movies is this: on one side there are the humans terrified at the idea of becoming a vampire, and on the other side we have the vampires terrified at the idea of burning in the sun.
    What is the difference really?
    Same fear, different bodies, but same fear.
    The fear of loosing our physical support and great attachment to what we think the support is.
    So, as a child, I was wondering: wouldn’t it be wonderful to become a vampire and live much longer without getting old? Well maybe the blood drinking was not very appealing, but human body has many unappealing aspects too… So I never got to understand or be frightened by vampire movies…

    So what’s the point of looking at these images of sky burial…
    Is it to get depressed about the failing nature of our bodies?
    Of course not, that would have no other effect than getting depressed and that’s good for nothing, absolutely nothing.
    I think the point is in this: let’s be real about the nature of our body, about the fragility of our body, about the fact that we may die anytime, young or old, and stop the delusion of building up a life around our body, because these images demonstrate clearly: this construction will fail us just as it failed the person in the pictures, and that person could be me.

    So what then? Well, this: we can use this body to alleviate the suffering of others; we can use this body to alleviate our own suffering, because despite all its defects, it does allow us to understand what the F#@$* is going on and get a good look at reality and even touch the truth, it allows us to engage in a spiritual practice and not get attached to failing mental constructions. It gives us that opportunity!

    And for that reason, we should exercise, we should respect our body, we should eat healthy, we should look our best, we should maintain it, dress it up, this body is us, it is a product of my karma and it is me, but it is to fail and be let go off at one point, so there is no positive aspect arising from getting attached to it (it only gets worse), but it is our vehicle to gain greater understanding of existence and extinguish our suffering and inspire/help others to do the same.

    Some say “my body is my temple”. Indeed, but there is no need to get attached to a point of grasping and great suffering arising from grasping. The “temple” means that it is my vehicle for betterment, and “betterment” can only be spiritual, for the body will decline and the intellect will decline, only the spiritual will sustain.

  77. HelenaC on Jun 12, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Thanks for the sharing Rinpoche, i have never think of this before. In our life we have consume so much meat and when we die, we want respect for our body, hmm i think is pretty great to feed the birds after our death or perhaps to donate our organs to the people who waiting for survive.
    Rinpoche explained very well, easy for me to understand. We need to be more attached to our mind and not body. although this post is very disturbing but it is the fact that we will leave our body anyways.

  78. pat on Jun 12, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    Although the sky burial prosedurs looks very brutal but it is the tradition for Tibetans and it is not an easy thing to comprehend.I would prefer to be cremated….If i can’t be fed to the hungry birds at least will try to save a life by donating out my organs.

  79. nani on Jun 12, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    i also see in nepal after people dia meet give to egal .i realy scare.

  80. abby F on Jun 12, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    看到天葬的实际情况,我不禁联想到,我们吃动物的肉,情况其实也不就是一样的吗? 为什么家里的母亲斩鸡肉时,菜市场的人们宰鸡宰羊时我们就不会觉得可怕呢? 大概是因为我们实质上根本没有将它们视为生命,而纯粹是给我们“果腹”的食物吧!


  81. Doreen on Jun 12, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Our human body form is just a vessel that we stay on when our consciousness mind is as one with the body. Once the mind has left, it is just an empty vessel. The sky burial benefits others sentient being, as food for their stomach. This is the last thing that we can contribute to others. I also look at the sky burial as sometimes when we human killed animals for food, and they are still alive…..and cannot even look at it when a human is been cut into pieces as a corpse.

  82. yenpin on Jun 12, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    看起来第一个感觉是非常恶心的天葬,这就是西藏当地的独有的风俗。当人死了什么都没留下。其实生命无常,我不知道何时自己闭上眼睛后就与世长辞了,在生命里,不是我们拥有什么,而是我们做个什么。让生命更有意义 。在有生之時,能与佛法结缘,是很好的缘份,让我们把这个缘份变得更有意义,不要白白浪费我们的时间。

  83. MayOng on Jun 12, 2012 at 11:11 am

    Our human body is one of the physical form which we may put to good use or abuse it when we have it. What I think is more important is the ‘mind’ that resides in this body. It is given our body will live, get sick and die and leave us with decayed flesh and bones to be fed to the birds but what do we do with the ‘mind’ that was left behind, does not stay stagnant but moves on to the next phase/realm of existence.

    Do we choose to train and challenge our ‘minds’ further now with the use of the body to carry on improvements in ourselves so we can reach enlightenment or do we let this ‘mind’ remain the same, unchallenged or even glorify this body while we have it …

  84. Mei Fong on Jun 12, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this post. I found it very gruesome. All our materialistic will be nullify when we die. Dharma is the only thing we can bring along with us after our death.

  85. Jeffrey Yee on Jun 12, 2012 at 2:58 am

    It is so true that when we die, we leave everything behind: our gross form, material wealth, friends and families and all the things we perceive as important in this very lifetime. Instead of being scary, gruesome and disgusting, the pictures here plays a meaningful role in reminding us about the impermanence of life and how we live in more than just one lifetime.

    To me, all the various methods used to ‘dispose’ the body of a dead person are the same, only whether consideration is put into whether the body can be put to better use to benefit others. I think the best method for me is to harvest our organs to be donated and to feed animals with our rotting flesh by sky burial. Then on, I feel it is a great honor to have our bones made into musical instruments for rituals or even ornaments like bone malas, very meritorious indeed.

  86. AdelineTan on Jun 11, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    It’s very scary and gruesome when you look at those pictures, if you don’t know Tibetan buddhism and their cultures you might think it’s an act of cruelty and have no respect for the dead or they can’t afford a coffin, but after studying Rinpoche’s blog and Tibetan buddhism and their cultures, this is the last act of generosity by offering up our dead bodies as foods for the vultures.

  87. Ksjc Leu Chong Hin on Jun 11, 2012 at 7:58 pm


  88. Julia Tan on Jun 10, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    This is an eye opener to me seeing body being chopped off like this. It was started when the corps were hard to dispose or rot away in this snow mountain and also hard to buried under the ground. To discriminate will cost a lot because it needs a lot of woods which is also hard to find in Tibet. Hence they came up with this idea which is very spiritual.

    I like the idea of people eat meant for their whole life and now when they are dead, they give back their flesh to the mother nature. But i still prefer the idea of putting my ash inside a big stupa or buddha statue.

  89. Paul Yap on Jun 10, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    This is a very good teaching and reminder of non-attachment to our body, cos at the end, when we dies, we are no different from any other, even animals. Burial inside a coffin does not make us any different, cos the process of dying is still the same, the only thing is no one can see what is happening inside the coffin when the decomposing process taking place, which is no less gross than sky burial.

    So while we alive, grap the chance creating more merit. The wrong focus is when we keep on talking what to do with a dead body.

  90. Jasline Tay (MBF) on Jun 10, 2012 at 4:13 am

    Very true indeed.
    When a person dies, what left behind is his body.
    Why go for cremation where his/her body will be burn to ashes?
    Burial is good, at least it benefit the maggots and worms, a source of food to the other sentient beings it also acts as a fertiliser to the soil.
    Same goes for sky burial. The only difference is that one do not see how a body decompose inside a coffin.
    At the very least, it is the last act of kindness when we die to benefit other sentient beings.

  91. Jace Chong on Jun 10, 2012 at 2:38 am





  92. Low ksjc on Jun 9, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this piece of educational footage of sky burial with us.This serve as a reminder to us as not to waste any time in gathering wealth that we could not bring with us when our time is up. Even our greatly cherish mortal body must be left behind when we draw our last breath.
    Let’s put our precious human life to good use while we can to practice dharma,there is no certainty what we might end up next time,maybe the Vulture in the last photo.

  93. pastor ngeow on Jun 9, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    This is the acid test of how much one is attached to one’s body. One of the 4 foundation of mindfulness is the impermanence of one’s body and to meditate on its ‘ugliness’ through contemplation. However, nothing creates a bigger imprint and realism than seeing one’s body reflected in this sequence of pictures of the dead man’s body being disposed of.
    Working so hard for the sake of our body is futile .We should use our body to do what really benefits us before we are reduced to bits and pieces of meat.

  94. Siong Woan on Jun 9, 2012 at 11:31 am

    I must admit I could not watch past the first photo…

    Rinpoche’s blog post taught me the following:

    (1) Not to be attached to our bodies
    (2) If we cant watch the picture of human body to cut into pieces, we should just STOP inflicting the same cruel act onto our fellow sentient beings. Hence we should stop eating meat

    I will always keep the above in mind.

  95. Lim Han Nee on Jun 9, 2012 at 10:22 am

    What is being done to the human corpse here is no different from what butchers and slaughterers of animals do to the animals. Only, in the case of animals, they were alive and kicking and wanted as much to live as we, humans, want to live. The Tibetan system of feeding the human corpse to the vultures is a small way of repaying a karmic debt to the animals that they (the humans)have slaughtered for their meat. For those of us who ate meat and continue to eat meat, how, I wonder, are we going to pay our karmic debt to the animals who had been slaughtered for the meat we demanded/demand as our food?

    Yes, our bodies, we cling to so desperately in life, will betray us at death. Our minds will, however, continue into future lives carrying all our karma and imprints and delusions(our negativities and our fears). Thank you, Rinpoche, for reminding us yet again about the impermanence of our bodies and this life. Thank you for reminding us to focus on taking care of our minds.

  96. Han on Jun 9, 2012 at 8:39 am


  97. Fiona ng on Jun 9, 2012 at 1:02 am



  98. Valentina Suhendra on Jun 8, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    The pictures above really reveals what we are in actuality. The countless hours and money spent for grooming and decorate our bodies will bear no results in the end if our motivation is just ordinary (e.g., to make us feel good, etc.). What we can do is to enggage in those activities with higher motivation.

  99. Pastor Yek Yee on Jun 8, 2012 at 8:59 am




  100. Tom on Jun 7, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    Now thatit’s shown to the public, it is no longer a SACRED ritual anymore. It must be sanctioned by Tibet

  101. claire Briard on Jun 7, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    no comment. that a teaching by itself. a real good one. 🙂 thank you rinpoché.

  102. Irene Lim on Jun 7, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    Developing and transforming our minds are beneficial and lead to everlasting happiness in this life and future lives. Developing attachment to our body and graspings to this life that lead us to a moment of pleasure has no purpose and meaning that passes away in a wink. Why wait any longer if you understand the vicious circle of life for there is a qualified Buddhist Master in Tsem Rinpoche to guide us to permanent peace and happiness? Why wait any longer when you understand the nature of life circle, Tsem Rinpoche is here to help us transcend mortality?

  103. JG Jayce Goh on Jun 7, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    Agreed with Janice ” what we do for the dead affects not so much the dead, but the living. ” , For the death, No matter being chopped in pieces or being buried completely, not much different. Is just a rottten body !! We all have to prepare for it and accept it, the chopped bodies could be anyone of us in the past or in the future.

    This post reminded us we all are having a shell which will be rotten anytime. Death, is unavoidable. Do not fear…!! Things are impermanent, remind us not to be lazy , think complicated or affected by any others anymore. Open to learn and transform, do not include too many other factors but learn.

    Thank you Rinpoche !!

  104. Sock Wan on Jun 7, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    I have seen a documentary about sky burial when I was quite young, but not explicit. It did not show the whole process but only the part where the bird came to eat the meat. No matter how beautiful, how successful, how wealthy we are, when we die, it is nothing more than a piece of dead meat. We cannot bring anything with us, we become the food of someone else. It makes me think what is the purpose of life, what is the use of chasing after money and fame knowing that we are going to die anyway.

  105. DR on Jun 7, 2012 at 9:57 am

    I was going through the photos and thinking what a ugly corpse I will be. When my time comes, i will want my head to be chopped up first and set aside. Eeeew coz I will be so uuuugly! Yes, even at death still must look good (for a person so attached to the body hahaha).

    I had often told my family members that i do not want any wake and funeral procession. What a waste of money, time and energy. Just a cremation straight out from mortuary, wrap up the ashes and throw them away in a bin. But after meeting with Rinpoche and Dharma, my perspective has changed. Why waste the flesh when it can be used to feed another being? At least that can be my last act of giving and hopefully add to my merit bank for a better rebirth.

    • Andrew HIbberd on Jun 14, 2012 at 7:03 pm

      Chris Tan, on Jun 7, 2012 at 3:44 amThank Rinpoche to share with us what is burial. At first I thought the so-called sky burial of a body carried to the mountain and then to the vultures to eat on the line, the original is not the case. These photos are not terrorist or loss of appetite, but when you see that part of the decomposition of the head but with fear.We should not be too obsessed with our appearance to our body. We spent so much time to do the fitness so my hair or appearance of a robust body or maintenance beauty. Once death comes, all this is no longer belong to us. Loss we have spent so many years of meticulous maintenance is not the end for “betraying” We can not leave with us. Instead, prior to the hour of our death, let us even more obsessed with their own body, do not want to leave this world.This is why when someone just died, we need at the top of his head Baihui pull pull their hair, and then tell or remind the dead Do not stay here to leave its body. Then with his lifetime own deity or Buddha Bodhisattva

  106. Chris Tan on Jun 7, 2012 at 3:44 am


    我们不应该太过执着于我们的样貌我们的身材。我们花了那么多的时间来做健身以让得到一副健壮的身材或保养美容我的头发或样貌。一旦死亡来临时,这一切都不再是属于我们了。亏我们用了那么多年的时间无微不至保养它们,到头来还不是 ”出卖“ 了我们并不能与我们一同离去。反而在我们临终之前,让我们更加执着于自己躯体,不舍得离开人世间。


  107. Albert Ratchaga on Jun 7, 2012 at 12:08 am

    We come with nothing, we go with nothing left, we can’t even keep our body properly, what more about the material belonging, nothing belong to us, not even our body, ourselves. whether we are ready or not, willing or unwilling, when death come, we still have to let go everything. No prior notice, no time delay, no room for discussion, death is with immediate effect…

  108. cindy on Jun 6, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    For me, i’ll not accept the fact that my body being chop into pieces after my death. Is it better i donate all my organs to people who are in need.
    Anyway thank you posting this, its’ guite scary, i hope i’ll not have a bad dream tonight

    • Bengkooi on Jun 18, 2012 at 3:15 am

      Hi Cindy. Yes, if your organs are usable after death, it would be more beneficial to donate them to someone in need. But what of the rest of your body? Not everything can be donated, so would you consider having the rest of your body chopped up and offered as food for carrion eaters as another final act of giving?

      There is no difference between a butcher chopping up a chicken or cow for our consumption, after all.

  109. lewkwanleng on Jun 6, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Seeing the photos reminds me of a documentary film called 今古奇观. Has anyone seen this documentary before? I still remembered watching this in a cinema when I was very young and it has left a pretty strong memory in my mind. The documentary was not too detail about it, but I remembered the vultures came and eat the flesh. Of course at that time, I don’t understand what it meant.

    I must admit that it is not easy to look at the photos. It just show how attached I am and unwilling I am to let go of my body. If I truly believe in reincarnation and that we are just borrowing a body and my mind can go to next body, why am I still so attached? It only shows that I only accept reincarnation on an intellectual basis, but still not living it…

    It also amazes me how different races or religions handle death, and how I am so used to my culture and sometimes judging other cultures.

    I took on the spiritual path after the death of a very close friend. May be this post set as an alarm to me that death can come anytime…

  110. Datuk May on Jun 6, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    Decades ago, when I was in Hongkong there was a documentary movie of Sky Burial in Tibet and with everyone who had seen saying how gruesome the movie was, out of fear I never saw it.

    Now having learnt some Dharma and looking at the pictures posted by Rinpoche, I kind of feel how giving this form of burial is, to be beneficial even in Death and also non attachment to our physical form.

    Recently, Rinpoche gave a wonderful teaching on the evergreen mind which never dies and forever learning and rejuvenating, makes me realize more and more that the very importance of paying so much attention to our physical form is by nature a delusion and futile clinging on. Instead we should pay attention to transforming our minds to a higher level each and every moment while we are alive.

    At the same time with further reflection even if the body by natural process will age and decay even when you are alive, it is imperative to keep our physical form in tip top condition. However if the motivation is to attract attention to this physical form is most unnecessary but if the motivation to maintain our physical form well so that it will not slow us to serve others is commendable. At the same time keeping our physical form in good condition will also prevent our loved ones the burden of looking after us. That too is a way of benefitting our loved one.

  111. Uncle Eddie on Jun 6, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    At today’s era, creamation and in-the-ground burial have become more ethical and responsible method of practice of disposing dead bodies, though “space” has become more scarce for the living than the dead. Human culture, beliefs and wants, have compel at least a simple or memorable service according to one’s affordability or means. Accordingly, whether by burial or cremation, as a rule of governmental law, dead bodies must be disposed off in an acceptable and ethical manner, so as to avoid unnecessary infectious diseases to be spread or sourced from careless or undesirable burials, not according to its ministry directives. Rituals have given us a concrete shape to the strong spiritual ideals and our belief that whatever comes from dust shall be returned to dust.

  112. Joe Ang on Jun 6, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Seeing the picture above, it reminds me of our “rented”, body. This form that we cherish so much, shampoo, soap, wash, perfume and make up to look good, will one day be an empty shell.

    Yes, the pictures are quite disturbing. It is disturbing because many of us are taught not to talk about death, taught that it’s inauspicious to talk about death and are protected from this thought since very young (because our parents love us, but they don’t know how to share with us the process of dying, hence they think they are protecting us by avoiding this topic). It’s not their fault, but because they are brought up that way by their parents too.

    But if we study Buddhism and understand the law of Karma and reincarnation, we will look at Death in a different way. We will understand that this life, being in this body (is a blessing and very fortunate), should be used wisely to cultivate good habits, do as much good as possible to benefit others and train our MIND to reduce as much negative thoughts possible. Our MIND, are deeply habituated with negativities due to the Karma we created from many lifetimes.

    It will be a waste if we have found a way, to learn and to train it but choose to convince ourselves instead that it’s ok and enough if we do not harm others and have a clear conscience we’ll end up in heaven (that is very stupid and IGNORANT). If it’s that easy, not many will be left here on planet earth. It is easier to stay in Samsara. Hence many embrace it.

    Do cherish this fortunate rebirth and start transforming and break away from the vicious cycle of uncontrolled death and rebirth. Yes, we can’t control the time of our death. But if we identify our self cherishing mind that deludes us into permanency, we will learn to cut down our ATTACHMENTS to illusions and the “things”, we see as so precious, we cannot live without.

    When our thoughts are clear on how impermanent things are(which is the true nature of life),we will not waste precious time, we will not be LAZY and CHOOSY to learn, train and transform our mind.
    Death, is unavoidable. Only thing is, are we preparing our MIND for it? We must clear all DOUBTS and prepare the MIND by cultivating goodness, creating good Karma by practising, doing our Sadhanas,and having deep faith in our practice and strong Guru devotion. We can choose to leave this body in FEAR or in PEACE. It is up to us.

    Thank you Rinpoche for your kind teaching.


    • Mc on Jun 19, 2012 at 5:10 am

      Joe, thank you for an insightful comment. We are indeed fortunate to occupy this vessel we call our body, for a short period of time. But we are only fortunate if we know how to use this physical instrument to perform virtuous acts. Otherwise it becomes a mere instrument with which we express and actualize venomous thoughts and create more negative karma.

      By the time I got to picture 34 I had to ask, Where now is the mind that used to occupy the body. That is the most important question.

  113. tenzin llhamo on Jun 6, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    There is nothing shocking nor scary about the pictures. Its the same as watching the butchers cut the meat of animals in any other place. Everything we do end up with the same ending – death. The body that we have now is just a shell, we cannot take with us when we die. I don’t mind if my family do a sky burial for me when I die.
    Thank you Rinpoche for always reminding us time in and time out about how short life is and do more.

  114. william on Jun 6, 2012 at 2:20 am

    The photos are very graphic and gory but with the understanding of death and impermanence being taught by Rinpoche, they do not seem to be so frightening anymore. Before learning more about Dharma, I would feel sick and disgusted by these photos. Now, it is something done in a different culture and after death our mind stream leaves our body. We are no longer our body and therefore we do not feel anything anymore towards that body. And it is definitely a god thing to feed the vultures the meat as it is the last meritorious act that could be done by the dead person.

  115. Milly on Jun 5, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    The pictures are gory and perhaps scary to some. This is a very good way to shake us up from our slumber and make us realise that death is certain and our body is just a vehicle that houses the mind which is like the engine of a car. So it is this “mind” that will lead us to our next rebirth and the body is just a shell. It is also a very selfless act by the deceased or family members of the deceased to offer the body to feed to the vultures. Shows their deep faith in the Dharma and no attachment to their body.

  116. David E on Jun 5, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    From nothing we came, from nothing we return to. And thus we shall continue, until we liberate ourselves.

  117. Avantika on Jun 5, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    The vultures are vanishing in those parts of Bombay, Rimpoche where the Parsi’s feed the birds’ the dead bodies. Diseased, old body maybe not a good offering, Rimpoche.

  118. Todd Limle on Sep 26, 2011 at 12:05 am

    very good…here now..gone anytime

  119. joanne murison on Sep 15, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    Thank-you for the educational pics, I do belive that this is the most productive way to deal with your self’s

  120. Mercedes on Sep 14, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,of course I agree with you that it is gross but it is no different when people chop off an animal like a cow or anything else. The Tibetans do it for a purpose and that purpose is for the cycle of life to continue. Why waste when animals can get their nourishment through bodies that would decompose anyway. Now I don’t know if this practice would work the same if they let the whole body out in the open so for the animals and insects to feed instead of choping it off lol Thank you for posting these very very interesting. As always much love and respect to you!! Blessings!!

  121. freon on Sep 14, 2011 at 1:05 am

    Am thinking when i die how people should “take care” my body. I remember i signed up as a organ donor 12 years ago. In the column they asked, what are the organ you wanna donate out, i thick all the columm, that time i think we die already; what is our body going to use for? In Malaysia,we do not have this kind of meaningful ceremony, thus, by donate out the organ i guess is the same. Well, certainly i do not want to be buried and kept underground, i rather burn and my ashes put to the sea or gone with the wind. Anyway, Please do organ donation.

    • Paris on Mar 4, 2013 at 5:09 pm

      Hey Freon, that’s a fantastic idea to to do organ donation. That would be the next best option for people who aren’t in a country that would allow sky burials. I guess the purpose would be the same – that you leave your body (or as many parts of it as possible) to benefit other beings, as your last act when you die. All of us are going to die anyway, so we might as well make something good of it, that it could help another life or go towards medical / scientific research to help countless more lives in the future.

      Thanks for the reminder 🙂 Here’s more info for all Malaysians:

  122. taquet on Jun 16, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    On n’est bien peu de chose , c’est mon amie la rose qui me la dit ce matin…

  123. yoke fui on Mar 24, 2011 at 11:26 am

    If we can’t bear to see the pictures of a dead human body being cut up, imagine how the animals feel in the slaughter house – watching their families and friends being butchered alive and knowing their turn is just next in line !!!

    • Jhon XI Subion on Feb 4, 2013 at 10:38 pm

      I agree to your post yoke fui.

    • David Lai on Feb 23, 2013 at 10:41 am

      Oh dear! That’s quite true. A lot of the farm animals when they see their friends get slaughtered one-by-one will go into a frenzy and some would be so dejected, they would just cry. This shows that they have affection for each other and they can feel the same emotions that we humans experience as well. The only difference is the fact that animals are unable to verbalize their feelings. It is really sad because we as humans with the superior intellect chooses to ignore and even disassociate ourselves from what these animals are feeling.

      This negative energy would eventually catch up with us either in the form of karmic retribution. This is not punishment but a natural order of the universe in which we receive the same energy we put out into this world. If you believe in karma, we create tremendous causes to either be reborn as animals or receive the same sort of treatment. If we don’t believe in karma, the chemicals and hormones that gets released into the body of these animals that die in fear is apparently toxic. The years of eating meat will built up in our bodies where some experience cancer and other deadly diseases.

      That’s what I have read and just looking at these pictures evokes the same sort of revulsion we should have towards the slaughtering of animals for our food. If we can feel like that towards a dead old man being cut up, why can’t we feel it towards a LIVE animal being cut up, right? So, the choice is ours. To ignore this and disassociate ourselves from the suffering of animals or to just go vegetarian.

  124. Eric on Dec 16, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    Very nice to see what the organs really look like. In cadavers the color changes due to preservation methods, so I haven’t seen this before. These pictures would be horrifying if it were someone I was attached to, I figure when I see death in people I don’t know it will bit by bit prepare my mind for when people I love die.

    Thank you Rinpoche

  125. Koh Hee Peng on Nov 14, 2010 at 1:08 am

    Dear Rinpoche,

    Why the family members are asked to see the organs that are taken out from the deceased’ body?

  126. Elvira on Nov 4, 2010 at 7:13 am

    Thank you so much Rinpoche. Thank you for allowing us to see this sacred ritual. I am amazed how compassionate those people’s faces are to be doing such a difficult task with prayer and respect. It does require special people, and they are not even wearing the gloves. Thank you.

  127. Rachell Ohnstad on Nov 3, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    not sure I concur with every little thing, then again you mention some good issues.

  128. Sean Wang on Oct 28, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    This is better than getting buried or getting cremated. I really would want to get to have a sky burial when I die because I would be in a way helping a sentient being even after my death by feeding them my flesh.

    The human body is actually just like a zombie. We are walking corpses. The body is just a vessel for our mind. When we die, we just get reincarnated into another vessel, either in hell or as a ghost, animal, human, demi-god or god.

    I personally also do not know Chinese but I can slightly understand how sky burial is done from the pictures.

  129. mima on Oct 26, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    Your blog is so useful and so helpful to understand what is really important to work on now, in this life.
    With my deepest gratitude!

  130. Josh Akers on Oct 26, 2010 at 8:26 am

    This ritual is better than cremation, and equal to burial in a coffin, in my opinion. Cremation doesn’t allow the flesh to feed other beings, what a waste! At least the maggots and worms can eat you if you’re buried in a coffin! I don’t want to be cremated… I want to feed animals with my corpse. Much better than wasting the flesh in the incinerator to preserve my ‘honor’. Look I’m dead, DEAD, I don’t need honor, I need to help end suffering of other beings hungry belly by feeding them!

    I guess if it makes my family feel nice and comforted to burn my corpse and stick me in a jar, whatever. Whatever helps the beings who are still alive is okay, because I will be long gone.

    It’s a win-win situation really. Although I will guarantee you, the Tibetan method is the most cost-effective, and burdens your living relatives in the least possible way!

  131. Janice Kwok on Oct 25, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    It is very difficult to watch esp the first time. This posting and the posting on the monks helping to cremate the dead after the earthquake gives a strong message that what is certain is death, uncertain is time of death. The difference in the two posting is that the sky burial is a decision made by the dead individual or the family members. Both postings shows naked body, a shell we leave behind when we die. It is also believed that the sky burial is practiced in Tibet because trees are scarce and the ground is hard, so cremation or burial is difficult to arrange and that in offering the body to the vultures represent the final offering. This teaching is esp poignant as Rinpoche has chosen to share this on his birthday.
    Thank you very much Rinpoche for this teaching.
    with folded hands,

  132. patsy on Oct 25, 2010 at 2:24 am

    We humans cut up bodies of animals, we seasoned and prepared their meats in my different ways and we say that the meats are delicious, nutritious and tasty. If animals can be sent to slaughter houses when they are alive to be killed for our consumption, at least in this case, our bodies are only cut up when we are dead. We will not feel any pain or fear as compared to the animals as our consciousness had already left our body and what remains is just a piece of junk.

  133. Lili ng on Oct 25, 2010 at 12:16 am

    I used to not being able to stand seeing this kind of pictures at all but I managed to scroll down all the way from top to bottom.The explanations which Rinpoche wrote before the pictures began really helps,thinking that this body or our body for the matter of fact is really not ours to have permanently,we are just bones and flesh in the end,borrowed temporary to do something useful or not will be our choice,what matters most is our mind.Thank you very very much Rinpoche for this wonderful teaching.

  134. koh hee peng on Oct 24, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    I’ve seen corpses before in funeral and in documentaries. Most of them are much intact, other than those in wars (e.g. vietnam wars, etc) whereby only parts of the bodies remained intact. This is my first time viewing the sky burial process in this life time, and the process sends a very strong message of impermanance. Our body is nothing but pounds of flesh after death. It contradicts most of the ads run in tv nowadays, that induce and influence people to indulge and cherish their bodies more as they age, without realising that our bodies are not meant to last forever.

  135. dasa on Oct 24, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    All this pictures reminds me on Impermanence. Everything will vanish,our body, possesions, family, friends,… So we are attached and are sufferning from something which is not even ment to last. How sad.

  136. Jen on Oct 24, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    It makes no sense to cut them up. Simply leave them to the birds, the maggots, etc…

    Cutting them up is grotesque and disgusting. It’s like promoting murder in sense and does seem disrespectful for your last memories of them to be their head rolling across some rocks as some birds devour them… its more something you see in cases of war when civilians and military bodies are left to rot in the sun.

    • tsemtulku on Oct 24, 2010 at 3:05 pm

      They are cut up, pulverized and mixed with barley flour and then fed to the birds. The reason for that is that the Vultures do not get a taste of ‘direct’ human flesh hence perhaps attacking children later. Also pulverizing the bodies leaves no remains behind for animals to drag to villages.

      • Adam Andrews on Jun 6, 2012 at 12:20 am

        The practice mirrors the the mahamudra chod practice- what they do here is a physical manifestation what normally can only be done in meditation: the process of giving the flesh of the body- which is chopped up by dakinis in the meditation practice–to be fed in a banquet to benefit the spirits. It is a complex way of taming your attachments and inner demons by breaking attachment to the body and cultivating the habit of generosity and kindness and compassion, even in the face of great terror and evil (even the scary spirits are objects of your compassion in the practice). You can’t do the practice literally while living- but as a funeral practice it works. So the chopping up also has deeper spiritual meanings which are important and which have deep roots.

    • Mrs S on Apr 4, 2013 at 8:09 pm

      I don’t see how it promotes murder at all. This process is something these people have agreed upon to happen after their natural death and is deeply ingrained in their culture. The western practice of pumping a body full of chemicals to preserve it is much more disturbing to me, even though that is my culture.

  137. Anila on Oct 23, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    At 1st glance at the pictures of dead bodies being chopped up looks so grouse. And I can feel like my body is being chopped up into pieces too. You will have to look again contemplate and analyse deeper with Tibetan Dharma teachings in mind. Then you don’t see it so bad after all. The logic is there and its understandable. Tibetans practice this culture and its alright for their people. I don’t think cultures of other races in the world can accept this type of practice. The Chinese believe in cremation and burial for their loved ones which has to be done properly as a sort of respect for the dead and not cut their bodies up to be fed to the birds.

    • Janice Kwok on Oct 25, 2010 at 2:05 pm

      Dear Anila, please allow me to share this. Even in cremation, what is left behind is the bones and the skull cap. The immediate family members have to go after the cremation, each family “collect two bones” and put it in a vase. Once all the family members have done that, the cemetery worker will pick up the rest of the bones and the ashes, the skull cap last and if all doesnt fit in the vase, it is crushed and then the lid closed on top of the vase. As Rinpoche says what we do for the dead affects not so much the dead, but the living. Thank you

  138. Justin Ripley on Oct 23, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Very, very, very grounding post Rinpoche. I thank you for these images that show us the true result of our lives in the end.

    Even in death we can cause soo much suffering for our families and loved ones, with our sometimes elaborate procedures of funeral parlours, coffins, time off work, catering, etc… just because someone has died. Yes they may have had a great life when they were living but now its just a shell we are looking at.

    What a way to go out? chopped up and fed to the birds. Compared to highly attained beings whose bodies either don’t decompose, or emit odours or even sometimes totally disappear.

    There is truth to the uncontrolled rebirth when we see soo many of these recorded masters of the past who showed us the complete opposite. I know i’ll probably have your typical funeral with all the expenses. But to have something like above would be a tribute to the fact our lives are impermanent, and our bodies are just carcasses after we have departed.

    What sticks out is being the person who cuts up the bodies, day in day out… We are just like the many animal videos Rinpoche has posted before showing humans cutting up cows, chickens, pigs.

    Here we are above, what makes us soo special.
    Thank you Rinpoche

  139. Michelle Espinosa on Oct 23, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Excellent! Nothing like seeing that the body is just meat. It is a vehicle while alive and food for the worms or the vultures once we are through with it. How better to truly understand how precious and temporary life is!

    Thank you for posting this.

    I am especially grateful that you headed with a respectful warning. I hope you might do the same for the dog eating video?

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

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

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


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  • Stella Cheang
    Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 03:28 AM
    Beautiful Mother Tara had arrived in the holy land of Kechara Forest Retreat. It is very auspicious to have Mother Tara here, through the blessing of His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche to grace us. She is very famous and popularly known for her ability to save people from different disasters. Mother Tara is also known to be efficacious in removing eight fears, namely : Fear of fire (anger, Fear of imprisonment (avarice), Fear of lions (pride), Fear of floods (attachment), Fear of elephants (wrath), Fear of demons (doubt), Fear of snakes (envy) and lastly, Fear of robbers.

    I wish that many people will pay a visit to venerate Mother Tara in Kechara Forest Retreat as well as to get blessing from her.
  • Stella Cheang
    Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 03:18 AM
    Beautiful Mother Tara had arrived in the holy land of Kechara Forest Retreat. It is very auspicious to have Mother Tara here, through the blessing of His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche to grace us. She is very famous and popularly known for her ability to save people from different disasters. Mother Tara is also known to be efficacious in removing eight fears, namely : Fear of fire (anger, Fear of imprisonment (avarice), Fear of lions (pride), Fear of floods (attachment), Fear of elephants (wrath), Fear of demons (doubt), Fear of snakes (envy) and lastly, Fear of robbers.

    I wish that many people will pay a visit to venerate Mother Tara in Kechara Forest Retreat as well as to get blessing from her.
  • sonny tan
    Friday, Jul 22. 2016 11:09 AM
    sonny tan on Jul 22, 2016 at 11:08 am
    Thank you Wei Tan for this invaluable insight on happiness, it is rather very subjective because happiness can be experienced and felt at different levels. For instance happiness when seeing your child becomes a champion in a race may differ from jumping with joy when one strikes a lottery. The intensity, reason and degree are however difficult to equate perhaps it is the depth and how long it last and the exhilarating factors following this eruption of happiness.
    Happiness is an intangible commodity when heightened by jubilation would linger on in a different manner and the underlying factors surrounding it and the continuity of it may perhaps differs on the time, place, temperament, environment and the people one is sharing the happiness with. Therefore, happiness is hard to define in terms of language but can only be felt momentarily.
    What is happiness then? It is just a fleeting pleasure of the mind; one cannot grasp it in the hand and hold it for long, it would ultimately dissipates and the after effect depends on one’s mental frame of mind. However, on another note it would generate positivity which would bring about a healthier mind and body.
  • Joy
    Friday, Jul 22. 2016 07:03 AM

    This is a rare and precious opportunity for candles to be offered on your behalf at the private residence of His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche. The offering of light to the Three Jewels has great benefits for one’s mind including gaining clarity and intelligence, the acceleration of realisations, and greater understanding and wisdom. This exclusive light offering is also ideal for those who do not have a personal altar or are unable to make light offerings themselves.
  • Joy
    Friday, Jul 22. 2016 07:02 AM
    CHECK OUT >>>PHOTOS ON THE GO<<>> Venerable Geshe Puntsok speaks so well in both Tibetan and English: and
  • Joy
    Friday, Jul 22. 2016 07:01 AM
    NEW BLOG POST>>> Gyara Rinpoche Gives Dorje Shugden Sogtae

    Yangting Dechen Ling, also known as Shugden Monastery, is thriving under the leadership of its current abbot, Venerable Geshe Tenzin Peljor, and has produced many illustrious and eminent scholar-monks including H.E. Zemey Rinpoche, Venerable Geshe Tendar Rinpoche and H.H. Yongyal Rinpoche.

    Daocheng County has a population of 32,450 of which 70%-80% are Dorje Shugden practitioners. There are many Dorje Shugden lamas and geshes in Yading too. Therefore, it is no surprise that through word of mouth, many flocked to attend Gyara Rinpoche’s teachings in Yading.

    ***Note: The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) has on many occasions stressed that Dorje Shugden practitioners are a minority. Looking at the thousands of Tibetans who gathered at Yangting Dechen Ling Monastery, it is not difficult to spot the glaring inaccuracy of the CTA’s claim!***

  • Jason
    Friday, Jul 22. 2016 02:52 AM
    This inspiring articles show that many nuns did contribute their compassion, kindness and love to society by applying Buddhism practices. Buddhism practices can be adopt by everyone without limitation on age,sex, races and etc. I feel fortunate because can know so many nuns or female practitioners who I never heard before.Everyone has Buddha nature and practice Buddha’s teachings will lead us to enlightened.
    Thanks Rinpoche for sharing such informative and wonderful article.

    With folded hands,
  • Stella Cheang
    Friday, Jul 22. 2016 12:13 AM
    Very heartwarming to see lovely and hardworking Kecharians demonstrated the teaching of His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche. We see Rinpoche’s loving kindness through these virtuous actions. Thank you Kecharians.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing with us the good work of Kecharians.
  • Stella Cheang
    Friday, Jul 22. 2016 12:06 AM
    I am no expert in art but the display of painting skill by this artist is truly mesmerizing. He successfully depicted different expressions of Buddha at different circumstances. The ones that capture my attention most are (1) as Buddha shaved his hair, (2) as Buddha practiced asceticism, and (3) as Buddha gave his first teaching to the 5 disciples.

    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing that brings images of Buddha vividly alive.
  • Stella Cheang
    Thursday, Jul 21. 2016 11:47 PM
    Absolutely encouraging to read the stories of 24 nuns and female practitioners, who break through or circumvent the religious traditions built for a patriarchal world. Aside from the biological difference, female possess the exact same (if not better) tenacity when it comes to will power and determination. And the 24 stories here show us exactly how far women can go against all odds to demonstrate the strength of their spiritual conviction. It is truly inspirational for me and I hope it is too for other fellow female.

    Thank you Rinpoche for this collection of inspiring personalities for us to look up to.
  • Lin Mun
    Thursday, Jul 21. 2016 11:15 PM
    The Art showing the story of Budddha Shakyamuni is so beautiful. Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this piece of art with us.
  • Pastor Shin
    Thursday, Jul 21. 2016 05:12 PM
    “Let go of all attachments.

    Let go of identity to family, name, race and country.

    Let go of anger because there is a cause and you created it.

    Let go of fear because until we leave samsara, fear never ends.

    Be kind to everyone.

    Be kind to those who work hard to benefit others.

    Do not let small things detract the mind.

    Work hard and achieve within the dharma.

    ~ Tsem Rinpoche”
  • samfoonheei
    Thursday, Jul 21. 2016 03:17 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche and Martin for sharing.
    Well i remember when i was young i used to follow my mother to temples.I dont really understand anything at all just follow what she does. Really not sure if prayers do work but as i grow older i got a chance to understand through reading more Buddhism books and Rinpoche blog. I begin to know that prayers does work when we have the karma or merits. I can understand more too through Rinpoche’s teachings, pujas , Sadhanas and Dharma Work.There is still a lot more to learn as i am new to it.
    Thanks again with folded hands.
  • sonny tan
    Thursday, Jul 21. 2016 12:05 PM
    sonny tan on Jul 21, 2016 at 12:05 pm
    It’s indeed heartwarming to see Pastor Yek Yee and some Kecharians responding to the plight of the government workers during such trying times. It is reflective of the so many years of tutelage, guidance and love from Rinpoche’s teaching that we witness events now culminating in efforts being extended without being asked and doing it effortlessly and wholeheartedly.
    Kecharian Pastors are our hopes of our many future generations to come and we pray that this compassionate duty, care and love can be emulated by all regardless of race, creed or color. I would like to take this opportunity with my palms closed together in front of my heart humbly bow and pay homage to Rinpoche for your selfless, caring, compassionate love towards all of mankind. And it is our fervent hope that Rinpoche would continually guide us and we wish you a very, very long life and pray that you would continue your stay here with us in Malays
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Thursday, Jul 21. 2016 02:08 AM


    A rare and precious opportunity for candles to be offered on your behalf at the private residence of His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche. The offering of light to the Three Jewels has great benefits for one’s mind including gaining clarity and intelligence, the acceleration of realisations, and greater understanding and wisdom.

    This exclusive light offering is also ideal for those who do not have a personal altar or are unable to make light offerings themselves.

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

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

Tsem Rinpoche

What Am I Writing Now


The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

Click on the images to view the bigger version. And scroll down and click on "View All Photos" to view more images.
Never forget to do our Vajra Yogini practice. We can lose our money, we can lose our friends, we can lose our position, we can lose our family, we can lose our wife, we can lose our husband and we can lose our materialistic possession because in the end we will lose all outer objects anyway, but NEVER lose our Vajra Yogini practice. Everything lost is meant to be lost because we are in samsara and whatever we enjoy in samsara will not last and will be lost. It is their nature. Never waste time, energy and keep procrastinating, but do our Vajra Yogini practice intensely and strongly and be firm. Samsara never grants permanence and happiness, but Vajra Yogini's practice will hand the universe and all the joys within it to you.-Tsem Rinpoche
4 days ago
LADRANG LIGHT OFFERING FUND A rare and precious opportunity for candles to be offered on your behalf at the private residence of His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche. The offering of light to the Three Jewels has great benefits for one's mind including gaining clarity and intelligence, the acceleration of realisations, and greater understanding and wisdom. This exclusive light offering is also ideal for those who do not have a personal altar or are unable to make light offerings themselves.
4 days ago
Nice friends who help each other in Dharma works.
5 days ago
Venerable Geshe Puntsok speaks so well in both Tibetan and English: and
5 days ago
Beautiful image of Avalokitesvara who has spoken before. Housed in Ladakh
5 days ago
Our Panglung Kuten taking trance of Dorje Shugden in Tibet where he is greatly sought after
5 days ago
Beautiful painting of Atisha
6 days ago
Beautiful Tara has arrived in Kechara Forest Retreat. See many more pictures:
1 week ago
Gorgeous Buddha carved into the mountain in China
2 weeks ago
Beautiful Dorje Shugden Gyenze statue by Kechara available at
2 weeks ago
I like this Buddha image very much
2 weeks ago
Beautiful Buddha in the Bodhgaya enlightenment stupa
2 weeks ago
Pastor Lanse, contact her if you have questions..she is kind and helpful.
2 weeks ago
2 weeks ago
Buddha sat under this tree when he gained enlightenment
2 weeks ago
Buddha Goddess Dukkar. Beautiful image.
2 weeks ago
Such a nice retreat house for extended meditations and prayers.. ..incredible. With trees, sunshine, pond, lotus leaves and purple flowers. I love this whole setting. Even creepers growing on the roof of the house. How perfect this place is for me.
3 weeks ago
Tsem Rinpoche brings home Dharma and this was his first day home.
3 weeks ago
White Tara mantra in Sanskrit
3 weeks ago
Beautiful thangka of Buddha of wisdom Saraswati
3 weeks ago
Beautiful image of Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen in Kechara
3 weeks ago
A beautiful and blessed Dharma family. May Lord Manjushri guide, bless and keep them close to Him in this and all lives. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
One of the things I love about my Guru is that his teachings are never dry and far from boring. Rinpoche would joke, poke fun and tease but there is always an insightful, if not profound, teaching in each joke or teasing. I consider myself very blessed to have found a Guru who has the skillful means to drum some Dharma into this numbskull of mine. -From Sharon Ong
3 weeks ago
I really like outdoor Buddhas.
3 weeks ago
Dorje Shugden takes trance of the senior Choyang Dulzin Kuten in Gaden Monastery.
3 weeks ago
His Holiness Kyabje Zong Choktrul Rinpoche sitting on my lap during a teaching in Dharamsala. I am so happy to hold the reincarnation of my precious teacher. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
This is a beautiful picture of Choktrul Zemey Rinpoche. May he bless all of us and manifest the teaching of Tsongkapa's doctrine again.
3 weeks ago
This is really nicely done. Welcome!
3 weeks ago
Good friends with good motivation coupled with a kind heart to be of benefit to others is time worth spent. Life is over so fast and anytime it can be snuffed out, so therefore do dharma, practice dharma, and engage in dharma. Tsem Rinpoche.
1 month ago
Sacred Manjushri Kumara 9th Century Pala Dynasty India
1 month ago
This sacred White Tara is on the Bodhgaya enlightenment stupa marking the very spot Lord Buddha achieved enlightenment.
1 month ago
Myself at the sacred lake at Dromo Geshe Rinpoche's residence
1 month ago
Myself at Dromo Geshe Rinpoche's house where there is a sacred lake on his property. The Five Sister Protector Goddesses abide at this lake. I am making offerings to the divinities in the lake here. Many contractors or workers who come to do work often observe 'Asian ladies' dressed very well walking around the perimeter of the lake and there are no Asian ladies living nearby at all. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Myself sitting at a lake where Bigfoots are often sighted in Willow Creek, California. This area in Northern California is a hot spot for Bigfoot sightings for hundreds of years till present day. We spent the afternoon there and we did our sadhanas and enjoy the BEAUTIFUL cool/dry weather (no humidity) and you don't sweat. The water was clear and sparkling. It is one of the most beautiful places I have been too and I can easily live there in this area. It was hard to leave this place. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Such a beautiful conservatory. How I would love to have a room like this among woodlands.
1 month ago
Another beautiful Gyenze statue arrives made by Kechara
1 month ago
My Mumu boy is super duper cute. I love you Mumu.
2 months ago
Pastor Adeline leads a holy and beneficial Tsongkapa retreat group in Kechara Forest Retreat today. Very nice to see this. I like it when our Pastors and senior students encourage, nurture others into the dharma. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
Images of the Buddha are always a great blessing
2 months ago
Beautifully painted Shakyamuni the Buddha
2 months ago
Nice painting of Lord Tsongkapa
2 months ago
Beautiful painting of His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche the omniscient.
2 months ago
This is a traditional thangka painting of the Karma Gadri style, which was especially commissioned by Tashi Mannox on the rarely depicted great calligrapher and scholar Thönmi Sambhota. Sambhota is a historical figure responsible for developing the foundation of the Tibetan writing systems in the seventh century A.D, which form the basis of the Tibetan language today.
2 months ago
Spectacular outdoor Tsongkapa in Mongolia
2 months ago
BEAUTIFUL Tara statue! Magnificent
2 months ago
Vajradharma. In Vajra Yogini's tantra, we always visualize our root teacher in this form. We should see him in his divine form. 
2 months ago
These are the tantric implements that a Tantrika must carry with them everywhere they go as part of their commitment
2 months ago
Myself walking with my teacher the then abbot fo Gaden Shartse Monastery. H.E. Kensur Rinpoche Jampa Yeshe and I was leaving the main prayer hall of Gaden Shartse and walking through the debate courtyard.
Click on "View All Photos" above to view more images

Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • Dorje Shugden oracle taking trance in China
    2 months ago
    Dorje Shugden oracle taking trance in China
  • Dorje Shugden oracle taking trance in China
    2 months ago
    Dorje Shugden oracle taking trance in China
  • Taking Trance
    2 months ago
    Taking Trance
  • See what humans can do
    5 months ago
    See what humans can do
  • Shocking undercover video shows animal abuse at 'humane cert
    5 months ago
    Shocking undercover video shows animal abuse at 'humane cert
  • Video reveals what goes on inside 'humane slaughterhouse' in
    5 months ago
    Video reveals what goes on inside 'humane slaughterhouse' in
  • People can really live their lives to save others. This is a good way to live. Beautiful video.
    5 months ago
    People can really live their lives to save others. This is a good way to live. Beautiful video.
  • -
    7 months ago
    All beings have feelings and do not want pain, to be hurt or harmed. Therefore we must respect this and not harm animals. See this video how this man has made good friends with a special fish who comes when he rings for the fish. Touching. Tsem Rinpoche
  • -
    10 months ago
    HH the Dalai Lama prays with HH Trijang Rinpoche and HH Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. Such a beautiful video of His Holiness Dalai Lama, His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and His Holiness Dilgo Kyentse Rinpoche (Very exalted high Nyingma lama) are all praying together. In the background you see a young Kyabje Lati Rinpoche too. So beautiful. This is how it was before the ban. All the sects and high lamas were superbly harmonious. After the Dorje Shugden ban things changed for the worse. May the ban be released soon. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Nice Dorje Shugden rock painting
    10 months ago
    Nice Dorje Shugden rock painting
  • His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche teaches the truth of life and our impeding death.
    11 months ago
    His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche teaches the truth of life and our impeding death.
  • A kind message from Mr. Tsering Wangchuk to me. Thank you so much. Tsem Rinpoche
    11 months ago
    A kind message from Mr. Tsering Wangchuk to me. Thank you so much. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Mr Chatreng Yeshe's message to me (Part 1)
    11 months ago
    Mr Chatreng Yeshe's message to me (Part 1)
  • Mr Chatreng Yeshe's message to me (Part 2)
    11 months ago
    Mr Chatreng Yeshe's message to me (Part 2)
  • His Holiness Trijang Rinpoche accepts Long Life puja
    1 years ago
    His Holiness Trijang Rinpoche accepts Long Life puja


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

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

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

View All Questions


8 hours ago
Another Special Birthday Cake From Customer with 4D - Chin Kia
8 hours ago
Tonight Charity Banquet Event @ 50 Tables - Chin Kia
21 hours ago
Most of the kids are enjoyed for the singing session. KSDS, Alice Tay
21 hours ago
Besides the dharma teachings, there was also an outdoor activity for the KSDS students age 9-10 years old. KSDS, Alice Tay
21 hours ago
KSDS students are happy and excited to participate the animal liberation. KSDS, Alice Tay
21 hours ago
Nice dharma sharing by Teacher Lai. KSDS, Alice Tay
21 hours ago
The youngest group age 2-4 KSDS students are allowed by the teacher to draw on the floor. Clean up the place after the drawing. This is one of the training to the kids to follow the teacher's instructions strictly. KSDS, Alice Tay
3 ladies are preparing the menu cover. #function #events #fullmoon #birthday #wedding #celebration ~ ~ Guat Hee
Helping the guest to prepare the candle holder for tomorrow event. #fund raising #buddhism #merit #vegetarian ~ ~ Guat Hee
Tonight wedding dinner event @ PERFECT HAPPINESS - Chin Kia
Green Curry Spaghetti + Drink Of The Day Only "RM 16.90++" Valid at Kechara Oasis Viva Home - Chin Kia
birthday cake from customer ~ is so colored full - Chin Kia
Manjushri Retreat in Kechara Forest - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Manjushri Retreat in Kechara Forest Retreat - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Puja house staffs and volunteer doing social media and blog chat at Wisdom Hall, Kechara Forest Retreat (23/7/16) - Jill Yam
【Gyenze Puja 金泽法会】 宝胜雄登/金泽,多杰雄登的“增长”相,全身黄色,骑宝马。 恳求金泽,我们就能够祈请增长力量来到我们生活中 – 例如财富、寿命以及所有善德。 (Cynthia Ng 23/7/16)
【企业土地加持】 企业土地加持不仅来自于讲法师个人的能力, 在上师詹杜固仁波切的加持下,更能够祈请一切诸佛菩萨和护法给予所有有情众生赐予祝福及加持。 法会的法本仪轨念诵,坛城摆设等等 都是根据数百年历史的西藏寺院传统进行。 联络: 03-78033908 / 09-2215600 Mobile: 012-9873908 (Cynthia Ng 23/7/16)
Please have Love to animals and passionate against their harm, torture and abuse. Animals cannot express their pain and we don’t need to add to their sufferings. Be kind to them, don’t hurt them, stop their abuse and don’t eat them. (Cynthia Ng 23/7/16)
2 days ago
Expression of love in an artistic form done by children of age 7-8 for parents day. Lovely :) Lin Mun KSDS
2 days ago
Teachers always insist children to take turns when asking questions & respect others during Sunday dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
2 days ago
Teacher Jesvin leading an engaging outdoor session during Sunday dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
2 days ago
Discovering the creativity of children in Sunday dharma class, beautiful piece of art. Lin Mun KSDS
2 days ago
Interesting activities set up for children during Sunday dharma class. Come join us to learn dharma in a fun & interesting way. Lin Mun KSDS
2 days ago
Beautiful Corporate Land Blessing to bless, promote the health, peacefulness and productivity of the land performed by Puja Team led by Pastor Yek Yee. Lucy Yap
2 days ago
Dorje Shugden Gyenze puja altar set up at Wisdom Hall, Kechara Forest Retreat - (22/7/16) - Jill Yam





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