Three True Stories you must read!

May 15, 2015 | Views: 7,337
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Dear friends,

As humans we are always inspired to read what others have done and perhaps it gives us the hope we can too.  We all need hope very much. We like to set limits on ourselves projecting them as solid, permanent and fixed when in actuality they are just easily changeable. We put limitations on ourselves for many reasons. Sometimes for comfort zones, fear, face, competition, fear of losing, and many other reasons. The reasons may be valid and sometimes not valid. The bottom line is, limitations limit what we can do. If we have limits, then how to become awakened? What we can achieve is far more gratifying then just regrets. I was told by one of my teachers in Gaden that reading the life stories of accomplished beings will uplift my spirit, motivate my practice and is even helpful when I am feeling down. It is really true.

Well here are three real genuine stories of practitioners who endured much hardship and gained accomplishments. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND EVERYONE SHOULD READ AND SHARE THESE STORIES WITH ALL YOUR FRIENDS. Don’t just read this real life stories once, but many times.

I posted the stories here with the pure motivation to let you know that commitment and being steadfast in our spiritual goals do bring powerful results. Read these please. They will inspire you as they did me tremendously. I only wish everyone the best through these stories. Good luck always. And remember, spiritual practice is the only activity that truly brings us lasting happiness.

Tsem Rinpoche

 

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NANGSA OBUM

 

The story of Nangsa is set in the 12th century in central Tibet, at place called Gyantse. It has been enjoyed by generations of Tibetans around smoky hearths on winter nights and undergoing countless variations and embellishments in the telling. Our version is a tale of a time, long ago, when a pretty dakini called Nangsa, was born as a human. So now, pay attention and I’ll begin.

In a village called Zhangpei Kurnangpa near Gyantse there once lived an old man named Kunsang Dechen and his wife Nyangtsa Seldon. They were simple country people, who had only one sorrow, which was that they had no children. Day and night they prayed to the Goddess Tara for a child and, at last, after completing the recitation of 100,000 prayers, Nyangtsa Seldon had a wonderful dream. A beam of light came from the letter at the goddess Tara’s heart and passed through her crown into her own heart. Then a lotus grew within her body and dakinis appeared and made offerings to it. From every directioin, bees came to enjoy the nectar of the lotus. On hearing of his wife’s dream, Kunsang Dechen knew that it foretold the birth of a baby girl and they made offerings and gave alms to the poor in gratitude. In the course of time a girl child was born, who at once made an offering of her mother’s milk to the goddess Tara and prayed that she would be able to use her life to benefit all sentient beings. She was an extraordinary child possessing all qualities: strength and health, sweetness and gentleness, intelligence and beauty. More like a dakini than a human being, she became the apple of everybody’s eye. As she grew up, not only was she conscientious and devout, but she also mastered the practical arts of farming, weaving, cooking and so on. Through her industry the family prospered and by the time she had reached the age of fifteen she was famous throughout central Tibet. Many rich and handsome men came to win her hand in marriage, but Nangsa had no interest in choosing a husband, preferring to lead a religious life.

At this time there was a powerful lord of the region named Dagchen, whose noble lady had died leaving two children, a daughter and a son. His son, Dakpa Samdup, had just reached the age of eighteen, and now, considering it time to find a pretty girl of good lineage as a bride for him, Dagchen, his family and retinue dressed in their finest clothes and set off for the annual Nenying Sungtuk festival which was about to take place. Everyone, young and old, rich and poor, ordained and lay people were going to attend the festival. And so Nangsa too, though she had never been to the summer festival before, thought to go and take part in the activities. Willingly, her parents allowed her to dress in her most elegant clothes and she set out with Zompa Kyi, her maid servant carrying a basket of delicious food.

Nangsa joined the sea of people paying homage at the holy places and receiving blessings from the lamas, and then she watched the dancing. In the crowd she shone like the moon amongst the stars, and so attracted the attention of the lord Dagchen. Once he had set eyes on her he could no longer enjoy the dancing, but, captivated by her grace and beauty, watched her every movement and, at last, sent his squire to bring her to him. Poor Nangsa was caught as a kite catches a sparrow and was brought before the mighty lord. He, seized with fear that this unearthly creature might suddenly elude him, grasped hold of the hem of her cloak with his left hand and, offering her his beer with the other said,

‘Oh, lovely lady, endowed with the five qualities of a perfect maid, beauty, fragrance, sweetness, softness and melody. I cannot tell if you are the daughter of a human being or a goddess. Whatever you are, tell me frankly: what is your name and where is your family and birthplace? I am Dagchen, the renowned lord of Rinang. My son Dakpa Samdup, the jewel of my house, has reached six times three years. Would you not consider taking him as your husband?’

Nangsa was dismayed for she had not taken human form in order to become engaged in worldly activities. Therefore she replied to the lord with candour and humility,

‘I prostrate to mother Tara, look on me, a humble girl.

Heed me lord Dagchen, lend me your ears.

My home is in Gyantse, my house in Zhangpekur.

My father is Kunsang Dechen and my mother Nyangsta Seldon.

I am but the child of a simple family.

Though the flower of a poisonous plant is beautiful,

You cannot make offerings with it.

Though a green stone is bright,

It cannot compare with the real turquoise.

So, Nangsa may be pretty,

But how can she be a noble lady?

Kindly leave me to follow the Dharma.’ 

At this the squire quietly advised the lord to quickly seal the engagement by placing the turquoise and the five coloured flag on her head, for she would surely never agree to the proposal willingly. The lord did accordingly and addressed Nangsa saying,

‘Are you a lhamo that you have bewitched my eyes?

Listen carefully to me lovely girl,

Like the name of the dragon, Lord Dagchen resounds,

For I am more powerful than any on earth.

If you choose not to heed your lord’s command,

Though you seem wise, you would be foolish.

You shall not turn away and follow the Dharma,

Nor shall I let you remain at your home.

The sun rides high in the sky,

The lotus sits low on the ground.

Despite the great distance between them,

Through actions they may be united.

The ocean is endlessly vast,

And the silver scaled fishes so small.

Despite their great difference in size,

Through actions they may be united

The powerful lord Dakpa Samdup,

And the simple farmer’s daughter, Nangsa,

Despite their difference in possessions and power,

Through actions they may be united.’

He then announced to the crowd that Nangsa was engaged to his son Dakpa Samdup,

‘From this time on, the powerful cannot take her by force, the weak cannot kidnap her and those who are neither may not woo her.’ So, it was publicly declared that Nangsa was to be the noble lady in the lord’s house. Sadly, Nangsa and Zompa Kyi hid the five colour flag and the turquoise and returned home and said nothing to her parents about what had happened.

A few days later, Nyangtsa Seldon’s attention was attracted to the window and when she saw the great lord and squire knocking at their gate, she ran to her husband in alarm. He was reluctant to let them in, fearful of why they had come and sent his wife to say that he was not at home and to try and find out their purpose. When she returned with the news that the lord had come to claim their daughter’s hand in marriage, the father’s fears turned to joy and he threw open his gates and entertained the guest with home made beer. The lord explained how he had been entranced by Nangsa at the festival and that she had submitted to his proposal. He declared,

‘Henceforth this lady is my son’s bride and nothing can prevent it. No one can say she has flown away into the sky or hidden under ground. No one can say she has been taken away by force. Even you, her parents may not stop her and she herself cannot refuse. Five hundred horsemen will come in three days to receive the bride, so prepare to send her to my house without delay.’ With that, the lord asked Nangsa to bring the five colour flag and the turquoise, which he had put on her head at the festival and he again placed them upon her head. Greatly distressed, Nangsa appealed to her parents to not let her be married, for worldly pleasures are impermanent and her only desire was to follow the everlasting Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. Frightened, her parents begged her to submit for if she did not, they would surely all be killed. Such a powerful lord would not be thwarted. At last, realizing the hopelessness of her position and the harm she might bring upon her parents, Nangsa was compelled to agree to their request and sadly began to prepare for her wedding day.

The bridegroom’s party came to fetch Nangsa at the appointed time and were properly entertained by her parents. They gave their beloved daughter a valuable dowry and in their parting advice they instructed her,

‘Respect the lord and his son;

Devote yourself to your husband and love him;

Show no partiality to any of the servants and direct them compassionately;

Do not sleep late and go to bed early,

Above all, pray that we may often meet again.’

Then Nangsa and her maid servant Zompa Kyi set off with the groom’s party to face a new life.

The bride was received at the lord’s house with a great display of singing and dancing and the wedding ceremony was a grand affair. Seven years sped by, and then their house was blessed by the birth of a baby boy. He was named Lhawo Tarpo and an elaborate birth celebration was held for him. Everybody at the lord’s house praised Nangsa’s virtues and she was so cherished by both the lord and the son that it seemed that they could not bear to part with her even for a minute. On this occasion they decided to take back the keys of the storerooms from Ani Nyimo, the lord’s daughter and give them to Nangsa to keep.

Now, Nangsa did her best to respect Ani Nyimo in the same way that she respected the lord and her husband, but her sister-in-law was jealous of her and always tried to find fault with her in front of the servants, making trouble whenever there was a chance. She was very resentful of losing her position as mistress of the house and did not give all the keys to Nangsa. She kept the good food and the warm clothes separately for herself, leaving only the spoiled food and worn clothes for Nangsa. But Nangsa did not complain, for she thought that it would only cause trouble in the household to tell tales about Ani Nyimo’s cruel behaviour, and that to cause friction between father and the daughter would not be right. All she could do was to shed tears when she was alone with her baby in her room. Cradling the child in her lap, she lamented that he had ever been born, for if he had not she could have retreated to a hermitage.

One day, Nangsa took the baby into the garden to play and Dakpa Samdup, her husband, joined her there after washing his hair. As he lay next to her with his head on her lap, the sight of the autumn leaves and the bees buzzing among the last flowers of the year made Nangsa recall her home and her dear parents. Tears of sadness filled her eyes and one drop fell into her husband’s ear and woke him up. Astonished he begged her to tell him honestly why, since she was the mistress and possessed everything anyone could want, she was shedding tears?

Caught off her guard, Nangsa thought that perhaps there was no harm in telling her husband a little about Ani Nyimo’s unkind behaviour and that it might help in the future. So she related some of the incidents that had occurred between them and also confessed that she was feeling homesick. Realising that she had indeed not seen her parents for years, Dakpa Samdup sympathized and suggested that she should visit her home after the harvest had been taken in and stored. As for Ani Nyimo’s bad attitude, he would investigate and if it were true, he would advise her to treat Nangsa better. Three days later the harvesting began so Nangsa and her sister-in-law went to the fields to direct the labourers. While they were hard at work, two yogis arrived and begged Nangsa for alms. They gave teachings on the impermanence of all conditioned things and exhorted her to use her human life to do something meaningful. But of course Nangsa had nothing to give them and asked them to go to Ani Nyimo. When they approached her, she angrily scolded them saying, 

In the summertime you want white alms (dairy products)

In the wintertime you want sour (chang)

When you’re in the mountain you don’t practice

When you’re in town you don’t work.

All you’re waiting for is the chance to thieve.

You yogis are leading a meaningless life,

Continually lying and being dishonest.

If you want alms, go over there.

See there, the lady as pretty as a peacock,

As melodious as a song bird, as radiant as a rainbow,

She with the power to move mountains,

There is Nangsa, the mistress of the lord’s house.

I am just her servant.

You go and beg alms from her!

The yogis returned to Nangsa who had, by this time, set aside seven bundles of the harvested barley which she gave them with the request that they pray that she might be able to spend the latter part of her life in retreat.

The yogis thanked her and told her how they had come from Mount Kailash and were disciples of the great yogi Milarepa. They were going to central Tibet in order to find patrons which would be a source of great merit for both parties. By giving them offerings with such a noble wish, Nangsa had certainly created a cause to practice the Dharma in the latter part of her life. When she heard this, her heart was filled with joy and she prostrated before the yogis, offering them three more bundles of the harvested barley. They gave her their blessings and left content.

Seeing that Nangsa had shown great kindness towards the yogis, Ani Nyimo fell into a rage and furiously attacked her saying,

‘So many so-called yogis wander this land; do you intend to beggar our household by handing out gifts to all of them?’ But Nangsa gently replied,

‘It is for the sake of the reputation of our noble lord that I give, for yogis travel far and wide and will tell of the treatment they receive. Moreover, logic dictates that the more offerings we make, the more we shall receive, therefore why should you not rejoice in giving? Those yogis were disciples of the great yogi Milarepa, therefore we should fear to call them beggars and thieves.’

At this, Ani Nyimo’s anger was doubled and she accused Nangsa of not giving the alms with a good motive, but because she found the yogis attractive.

‘Just because you are a mother you feel that you can do as you please, disregarding the rest of the household. But you are only a member of this family by marriage, whereas I have the true blood of the lord. So far I have not punished you, but now the time has come.’

Forthwith she beat poor Nangsa with a stick most cruelly. As she grew tired, she began to worry about what explanation she should give to her brother. She therefore pulled out some of Nangsa’s hair and putting in her pocket went crying to Dakpa Samdup. Showing him the hair, she told him that Nangsa had pulled it out because she had discovered her about to be unfaithful to him.

‘While we were in the field this morning two yogis came. Nangsa stopped her work to speak to them and was obviously attracted by them for they were handsome and had sweet voices. But for my intervention she would have been a fallen woman. Yet in her shameless anger she attacked me and pulled my hair and beat me.’ She begged her brother to be fair and punish his wife. Dakpa Samdup thought that his sister would not have come to him without reason and accepted the hair as proof of her story. Thinking that if he was not strict with his wife she would continue to behave badly, he set off to find Nangsa. He discovered her crying in the corner of the courtyard and, grabbing her by the hair, dragged her about, kicking her and beating her with the flat of his sword. When roughly questioned by her husband, though Nangsa wanted to tell the truth she realized the trouble it would create between brother and sister and kept quiet. Taking her silence as an admission of guilt, her husband beat her even more severely until her body was a mass of blood and three of her ribs were broken. Only there did she cry out loud and the servants persuaded her husband to stop.

Now at this time there lived a lama in Yalung monastery, called Shakya Gyeltsen who, through clairvoyance, knew what was to come of Nangsa and that she would become of great benefit to all sentient beings. In order to provide the circumstances for her to turn towards the Dharma he now transformed himself into a handsome young beggar with a monkey and stood beneath her window. There he sang a song about the uselessness of wasting one’s precious human life in worldly activities and begged her for alms.

Nangsa was delighted to hear him but, although she wanted to give to him, she didn’t dare ask Ani Nyimo’s consent to take something from the store. All she had that was her own was a piece of jewellery which she had been given by her parents. Intent on giving him this and hoping that he might be able to tell her the whereabouts of a lama, she called him secretly into her room. He told her how he had traveled the length and breadth of Tibet and found every monastery good and filled with excellent lamas, but, of all of them, Sera Yalung monastery where lived lama Shakya Gyeltsen was the nearest. The moment she heard his name, from deep within her welled an ardent faith in the lama and tears streamed down her cheeks.

Now, the sound of the conversation between Nangsa and the young beggar was overhead by the lord who, realizing that the man’s voice was not his son’s peeped in through a crack in the door and saw Nangsa giving her jewellery to a beggar. Convinced that his daughter Ani Nyimo had been proved right and Nangsa was indeed shameless, he flung the door open and rushed into the room as the young beggar disappeared through the window. Furious, the lord grabbed Nangsa and beat her unrestrainedly, though the wounds of her previous beating had not yet healed. That night, separated from her son, Nangsa suffered a heart attack and died. All night long the poor child was wakeful, crying for his mother but when, the next morning, Zompa Kyi secretly took him to her she found her lady dead. Immediately there was uproar in the house; the lord and his son rushed to her room and tried to revive but her body was cold and they were filled with sorrow and remorse.

According to custom, offerings were made and an astrologer consulted about the cremation. He told them to put the body on the eastern mountain and not to move it for seven days. Then he would see whether they should cremate it, throw it into the river, or give it to the vultures. So it was that they wrapped Nangsa’s dead body in a white shroud and laid it in a cave on the eastern mountain, stationing some servants there to guard it.

While all this was going on Nangsa came before the Lord of Death and saw him sending those who had accumulated merit during their lifetimes to the place where bliss prevails, and those who had amassed non virtue to the 18 different stages of hell. In the hot hells living beings were being tortured in molten iron and in the cold hells they were tormented by freezing cold. Seeing the unbearable sufferings in hell, Nangsa was frightened and she knelt before the Lord of Death saying,

‘Oh lord, when I was in the world I had no opportunity to follow religious practice, but I did try to be kind to others. Realizing that death is at the end of our life I was not attached to my beautiful body, realizing that all accumulated possessions are temporary, I made offerings; realizing the worthlessness of hatred I never hated those who were unkind to me’. The Lord of Death looked in his mirror and judged her to be pure and blameless and seeing that she came from the lineage of a good dakini, told her to return to the world and practice the Dharma. Delighted, she prostrated before him and her consciousness returned to her body, and she came to life once more.

Nangsa found herself sitting wrapped in a white shroud in the cave on the mountainside. As she prayed to the Buddhas and to the assembly of dakinis it began to rain and a magnificent rainbow appeared in the sky. The servants, hearing a voice, came to see what was happening and when they saw Nangsa sitting up in her shroud they were afraid. Some said the apparition was not Nangsa but a zombie and would not go near it, others determined to stone her. But then she spoke, telling them not to be frightened for she was no zombie but Nangsa resurrected and they were filled with wonder and joy. A messenger was hastily sent to report to the lord.

At home the little prince had not eaten or slept since his mother’s death. He asked Zompa Kyi to take him onto the roof of the house and show him where his mother’s body was, for he wanted to pray to be reunited with his mother in the pure land of dakinis. The maid servant pitied the child and with tears in her eyes she pointed out the mountain far in the east. Shielding his eyes with his hand he gazed in that direction lamenting,

‘My father ended my dear mother’s life.
Like an abandoned little bird I was left behind.
What joy would be mine if my dear mother could hear me
Look there, Zomkyi!
No vultures or crows fly over that mountain,
See the bright rainbow!
Please take me to the eastern mountain,
Where my mother’s body lies’.

Just then the messenger arrived and broke the news that Nangsa, the mistress of the house was alive again.

The lord and his retinue hastened to the mountain and seeing Nangsa in her shroud begged her forgiveness for their cruel treatment. They requested her to return with them and resume her position as mistress of the house. But Nangsa, resolved not to become involved in worldly activities, refused, singing, 

‘Lord of Rinang listen to me.
When I was alive, I lived in comfortable chambers
When death overcame me, I was left in a cave on this mountain.
So I reject worldly abodes.
When I was alive, my family and retinue surrounded me
When death overcame me I was left alone.
So I reject my family and worldly companions.
When I was alive, I wore beautiful ornaments
When death overcame me, I was left naked,
So I reject earthly ornaments.
When I was alive, I ate sumptuous food
When death overcame me, there was no place for food
    and possessions, even my body was left behind.
So I reject worldly possessions.
When I was alive, you lords took others’ words as the truth
When death overcame me, you pretended remorse,
So I reject men.
When I was alive my husband treated me harshly
When death overcame me, he merely made offerings for me,
So I reject my husband.
When I was alive, I worked hard to care for my little prince,
When death overcame me, he became a string binding me to the world
So I reject even him.
Therefore, great Lords find other beautiful brides to take my place,
For I am going to a hermitage.’
The lord and his son realizing the truth in Nangsa’s words and regretting that they had been unfair to her could not reply but wept silently. At that moment the little prince rushed to his mother and seating himself of her lap sang a song of request to her,
‘Dear mother, good dakini,
You passed away once and came back to life.
How can I know if it is real or a dream?
Oh, how sad if it is a dream, but how glad I shall be if it is true.
If you are a zombie then kill me, if you are real than sustain me.
Though he practices the Dharma, it is hard to achieve Buddhahood.
A mother and son should not be parted.
Without you mother, I am like a bird with clipped wings,
Trying to soar high, it plummets to the ground.
A mother and son should not be parted.
Without you mother, I am like a barren desert stripped of water and grass,
Like a leper, I am shunned by everyone,
Oh Mother, you must come home’.

Nangsa felt pity for her son, but she knew that to return home as he wished would do no good, but would only an obstacle to her practice. Therefore she replied,
‘Do not fear, I am no zombie but really have come back to life. This is no dream but the truth, so you may be happy.

But not everybody comes back to life once they have died. And I do not know when death will take me if I do not follow the Dharma, therefore:
Do not cling to me as the green-maned snow lion does to the snow mountain,
Like the snow, I will be melted by the sun.
Better you rely on Mount Kailash.
Do not cling to me as the skilful eagle does to the high ledge of a rocky mountain
Like the mountain ledge, I will be destroyed by thunder.
Better you rely on Mount Sumeru.
Do not cling to me as the antlered deer does to the wide grassland,
Like the grass, I will be destroyed by frost.
Better you rely on richer pastures.
Do not cling to me as the swift fish does to a lake,
Like the lake I will dry up in the drought.
Better you rely on the ocean.
Do not cling to me as the song bird does to the willow garden,
Like the willows I will fall in the autumn.
Better you rely on the spacious park.
Do not cling to me as the silver winged bee does to a holly-hock,
Like the holly-hock I will be destroyed by the hail.
Better you rely on the lotus.
Do not cling to me, your resurrected mother,
For death will soon overcome me.
Better you rely on these great lords.’

But the little prince was not satisfied and again pleaded with her,
‘How could I have become the string to bind you to the world unless you my parents had sown the seed?
If I don’t depend on the snow mountain, the blizzard cannot harm me,
But the lion will never grow strong.
I beg the mountain to remain until the lion is old enough.
Then let us, the mountain and lion follow the Dharma together.
We can call upon the evening shade if the snow mountain is melted by the sun.
If I don’t depend on the high ledge of a rocky mountain, the thunder cannot harm me,
But the eagle’s wing will never stretch.
I beg the high ledge to remain until the eagle learns its skills.
Then let us, the high ledge and eagle follow the Dharma together.
We can call upon sorcerers if the high ledge is threatened by thunder.
If I don’t depend on the wide grassland, the hunter cannot harm me,
But the deer’s graceful antlers will never grow.
I beg the wide grassland to remain until the deer follow the Dharma together.
We call upon the south wind if the grassland is threatened by frost.
If I don’t depend on the willow garden, the kite cannot harm me,
But the little bird will never learn how to sing.
I beg the willow garden to remain until the birds’ singing is sweet.
Then let the song bird and willow garden follow the Dharma together.
We can call upon the spring if the willow is threatened by the seasons.
If I don’t depend on the lake, the hook cannot harm me,
But the fish will never learn to swim swiftly.
I beg the lake to remain until the fish become agile.
Then let the fish and lake follow the Dharma together.

We call upon the rain if the lake is threatened by drought.
If I don’t depend on the holly-hock, the birds cannot harm me,
But the bee’s silver wings will never shine.
I beg the holly-hock to remain until the bee has gathered enough nectar.
Then the holly-hock and the little bee follow the Dharma together,

We can call upon the hail for protection if the holly-hock is threatened by it.
If I don’t depend on you, your death cannot harm me,
But I shall never grow into a man.
I beg you, mother, to remain until I am old enough, then let us follow the Dharma together.
We can call upon the lama to give us long life initiation if you are threatened by death.’

Everybody there wholeheartedly joined the prince in his plea; even Ani Nyimo came forward and sincerely apologized to Nangsa for her past behaviour. Persuaded by the youth of her son and thinking that she might have a beneficial effect on the minds of the family and the servants of the household, Nangsa finally agreed to return for a while. She put on pretty clothes and jewellery once more, but applied herself to giving teachings on the difficulty of obtaining human life, the logic of the law of cause and the effect, the sufferings of the world, and the benefits of nirvana. Her advice, however, failed to touch the hearts and minds of her family, so she felt dejected and unhappy.

When asked the cause of her unhappiness, she said:

 

‘I am not unhappy because I lack good food, pretty clothes or fame in this life. I am not troubled by some illness or disturbance. It is not only that you do not follow the Dharma, but that you do not let me do so either. For this reason I am dejected. Beautiful chambers, no matter how heavenly cannot please me, good food even if it taste like nectar cannot satisfy me. Neither could my family delight me even were they divine children. Therefore, allow me to follow the Dharma, and if you will not, then at least let me return to my parents’ house’.

Although the lords had no wish to lose her they could see no other way of pleasing her, and hoping that perhaps her parents might influence her to return to their house, they finally agreed to let Nangsa go. As she journeyed home, accompanied by Zompa Kyi and the little prince, she gave teachings at all the villages on the way. When they reached her birth place, Zhangpei Kurnangpa, they were greeted by her parents who offered them scarves and sang a song of greeting,

 

‘How fares the snow lion?
A long time has passed since we have seen you.
We are grateful for the lion’s return
Before the snow mountain is melted by the Sun.
How fares the eagle?
A long time has passed since we have seen you.
We are grateful for the eagle’s return
Before the rock is destroyed by the thunder.
How fares the deer?
A long time has passed since we have seen you.
We are grateful for the deer’s return
Before the pasture is destroyed by the frost.

How fares the fish?
A long time has passed since we have seen you.
We are grateful for the fish’s return

Before the lake is dried in the drought.
How fares the song bird?
A long time has passed since we have seen you.
We are grateful for the bird’s return
Before the green leaves begin to fall in the square willow garden.
How fares our daughter?
A long time has passed since we have seen you.
We are grateful for your return
Before death comes over your parents.’
Nangsa sang in rely
‘The snow lion is well,
Though a little hurt by the rain, snow and wind.
The lion delights to see the snow mountain again.
The eagle is well,
Though a little hurt by the arrow.
It flew high in the sky to escape,
And delights to see the rock again.
The deer is well,
Though a little hurt by the hunting dogs.
It defended itself with its horns,
And delights to see the spreading pasture again.
The fish is well,
Though a little hurt by the hook.
Saved by its swift movement,
It delights to swim in the lake again.
The song bird is well,
Though a little hurt by the kite.
Helped by its sweet voice,
It delights to be in the willow garden again.
I, your daughter Nangsa, who died, but came back to life again
Am overjoyed to see my parents again’.

Then they entered the house and talked at length of all that had happened: about Nangsa’s life at the lord’s house and her sister-in-law’s jealousy, of her untimely death and how the Lord of Death had sent her back into the world. Sometimes during the tale her parents felt the urge to laugh and sometimes to cry.

Time passed until, one day, she saw the unfinished weaving she had started before her marriage. Thinking to complete it she sat down to the work. As she wove, some of her childhood friends came to her with gifts. The girls sat together talking of their likes and dislikes and of their husbands. But Nangsa told them of her desire to follow the Dharma which made them laugh and gently tease her, not believing that she was serious. In order to convince them that this was her chosen way of life she sang a song,

‘Human life is very difficult to find’
If we do not follow the Dharma at once,
It will be over, like a flash of lightning.
Our lives are like dew drops; they disappear with the slightest misfortune.
Even without you, my childhood friends, I will go to a hermitage.
Our lives are like rainbows, they quickly fade
Even without you, my childhood friends, I will go to a hermitage.
Our lives like animals in the hands of the slaughterer soon die.
Even without you, my childhood friends, I will go to a hermitage.
Our lives are like rays of the setting sun, soon sinking
beyond the western mountain
Even without you, my childhood friends, I will go to a hermitage.
Our lives are like festivals, they are soon over.
Even without you, my childhood friends, I will go to a hermitage.
Our lives are like the beauty of young girls, not remaining forever.
Even without you, my childhood friends, I will go to a hermitage.

Overhearing this, Nangsa’s mother was worried and begged her daughter not to follow the Dharma. When she paid no heed to her words she became annoyed and thought that because Nangsa was the chief lady of a noble house she had been treated too gently and become willful. Feeling it was now time to use harsh words to make her change her mind, she sang,

‘If you will not listen to me, who cared for you as a babe,
What use is there in having a daughter?
Like the sprouts in the field, well nourished and watered, you grew,
Will you have no regret when frost and hail destroy you?
If you are sick yet consult not the doctor nor take medicine,
Do not grieve when you leave the world forever
Nangsa, my pretty child,
If you will not be the lord’s lady or an obedient daughter
Do not grieve when you are neither a householder nor a nun’.

She rushed at Nangsa throwing ashes in her face and beating her with the stick. The other girls at once came between them, but her mother drove her out into the night and she was obliged to beg a room from a friend.

That night she saw the opportunity she had been waiting for to cast off worldly concerns to follow the Dharma. At midnight, she secretly left the village and set out for Sera Yalung. As she was passing over the Tsetchen bridge the full moon rose over the eastern mountain. This she saw as an auspicious sign and made an offering with the water from the Nyiangchu river. In the morning, as the first brilliant rays of sun rose over the mountain, she arrived at Sera Yalung and rejoicing made her way straight to Lama Shakya Gyeltsen’s door.

His attendant demanded to know who she was and why such a pretty girl had come. Nangsa replied,

‘I have come from Nyiangto Rinang, but I am going nowhere. I am the daughter of a simple village family. My husband is the lord’s son, but I have nothing. Rejecting worldly life I came here in order to follow the Dharma. Please permit me to meet the lama.’

Doubtful of her intentions the attendant tried to persuade Nangsa to go home, but eventually, unable to move her he spoke to the lama and she prayed,

‘I pray to the lama who has realized the natural state of emptiness to let me meet him, for I reject every aspect of the world. In this tranquil place, Sera Yalung, you are the only lama on whom I can depend. Do not cast me out like dust, but hold me fast by the hook of your compassion.’

Then the lama replied,

‘A mere girl cannot practice unless se is an emanation of Tara. Though you may think you want to practice now, in time you’ll change your mind and when your parents see you without your ornaments they will come and make trouble for me. It is better therefore, if you go back home’.

In desperation Nangsa vowed that if she could not become his disciple she would kill herself and proceeded to unsheathe her knife. Finally, accepting her sincerity the lama allowed her to be his disciple. A small room was built for her next to the lama’s and he initiated her into Tantric path and gave her detailed instructions on meditation. After three months of concentrated practice she gained some realization.

When Kunsang Dechen and Nyangtsa Seldon had searched and failed to find Nangsa they reported her disappearance to the Rinang lords. They too looked everywhere and months later they come to know that Nangsa was living at Sera Yalung monastery. Immediately they gathered an army and set out at its head with the intention of destroying the monastery, killing the lama and bringing Nangsa home. When they arrived and surrounded the buildings some of the monks came out and fought to defend their monastery. A great battle ensued in which many monks were killed. The soldiers captured the lama and brought him before the lords. Seeing all the killing and destruction Nangsa emerged from meditation and approached the lords begging them not to harm the lama and to leave her alone in her practice. The sight of Nangsa without her ornaments and wearing a plain yogi’s robe filled them with fury and they said,

 

‘How dare you, Lama Shakya Gyeltsen ravish our lady, dressing her in that yogi’s cloth and stealing her jewels? You have gone too far! Though there are countless stars in the sky none can compete with the sun and the moon. Though there are many lords in Central Tibet nobody can stand against Rinang lords. We should have put an end to you before now!’

The lord aimed his arrow and his son raised his sword, but suddenly, the lama rose from the ground and moved the eastern mountains to the west and the western mountains to the east. Through his power, the wounded monks were healed and the dead ones came back to life. He addressed the lords saying,

‘The mind’s of beasts in the bodies of men are the lords,
As, in eclipse, the sun and moon compete.
So I, opposing the great lords, took Nangsa away.
Listen and you shall hear why it was so:
How useless not to adorn the altar with the lotus while it is blooming,
What shame when it decays in the foul mud without being used.
How useless not to gallop the horse on the wide plain when
it can race with the wind,
What shame when it grows old in the stable without being ridden.
How useless not to allow Nangsa to practice when she was human.
What shame if she remains in the house of the unholy lords
without following the Dharma.
I meant not to show you my magic power, but to subdue the enemies of
Dharma I have revealed it’.
Then he invited Nangsa to reveal her own powers, which she did, singing,
‘The lords presumed to keep a snow lion at home like a dog.
But it will not stay, even if you tie it up.
The lion sports its green mane among the mountains.
The lords presumed to keep a wild yak as a domestic animal.
But it will not stay, even if you put a ring in its nose.
The wild yak flaunts its horns on the high plateau.
The lord presumed to clasp a rainbow.
But how could they catch it?
The lords presumed to use the white clouds as cloaks.
But how can it be?
The lord presumed to have Nangsa as their mistress all their lives.
But how could I stay?
High in the sky, I will demonstrate my feats’.

Overawed by the unique power of the lama and amazed at the results of Nangsa’s three months’ practice, the lord and his men laid down their weapons and prostrated to the lama and his disciple. They sincerely regretted their misguided behaviour and many, including the lord and Ani Nyimo remained to follow the Dharma under the guidance of these excellent spiritual teachers. The young lord, Dakpa Samdup returned home until his little son was fifteen years old and could take charge of the family house and lands. Then he too followed the Dharma.

The whole region buzzed with the news of change that had come over the Rinang lords. When Nangsa’s parents heard about it, they too became practitioners and for the rest of their lives the little prince supplied them all with the necessities of life.

Translated by Dorjey Tseten with Dominic Wynniatt-Husey, edited by Philippa Russell, drawings by Gangzey Tashi Gyaltsen.

[Extracted from: http://ebookbrowse.com/36-nangsa-obum-doc-d421560247] 

 


 

A MODERN-DAY YOGINI

Victoria Huckenpahler

 

 

In December 1978, a 28 year old American woman, Suzi Joy Albright (ordained as Karma Wangmo), entered a twelve-year solitary retreat in a small hut, she had helped build with her own hands in the grounds of Karma Triyana Dharmachakra, His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa’s monastery in Woodstock, New York. She had already accomplished three retreats of Ngöndro or preliminary practices and two hundred days of Nyungney fasting practice. In an interview published in Chö Yang 3, the present Tai Situ Rinpoche referred to her as ‘the best practitioner’.

That a Westerner would have the courage and single-mindedness to accomplish such a long retreat, rare even among Tibetan practitioners, necessarily gave rise to much curiosity. Occasional word would slip out through Monastery staffers indicative of the intensity of Wangmo’s practice. Khenpo Karthar, the resident Abbot and Wangmo’s Retreat Master had likened her to Milarepa; no matter how difficult the practices given her she never complained, but responded only with joy. Nonetheless, by late 1990 as the time grew near for Wangmo to end her retreat, many people wonder what kind of person would emerge?

Wangmo tall and sturdily built, with hands and feet that are more workman-like than feminine, she nonetheless gives an overall impression of grace. But perhaps her most striking feature is her emotional independence. Her detachment is so total that it is disconcerting.

When I remarked, for instance, that it might be difficult for her to do her daily practices before strangers during the three-day bus journey on which she embarked immediately following this interview, she dismissed the subject swiftly with the remark: “Yes, but a commitment is a commitment, that’s all.” The finality of her tone was a reminder of how often most of us let worldly considerations sideline Dharma practice.

 

Your path has been highly unusual, especially for a Western practitioner. Did you receive any religious training, Christian or other, as a child?

My family wasn’t affiliated with any religious organisation at all. In Arizona where I grew up the only exposure I had to religion was through the Mexican population and the Mormons. But the sight of crucifixes and of people going door-to-door preaching didn’t appeal to me. My impression of religion was that it was a blue collar thing based on superstition. There was nothing inviting about it.

 

Did you at least have personal spiritual leanings at that time?

I remember in grammar school I got into this religious bent and felt the need for prayer and a sense of higher power, but it only lasted a short time. I don’t know what brought it on.

 

As a child, did you think a lot about helping others?

I don’t think noticeably more than anyone else. What did interest me was always the mind, how it functioned and what caused it to dysfunction. When I eventually went to the University (Arizona State) I majored in psychology but in my junior year I left to travel with the intention of being away one semester. As it turned out, I kept travelling for three years.

 

Did you go to the East because you were already interested in Buddhism?

No, at that point it was just for the adventure. I love to travel, being a nomad at heart, so I went around the world through Europe, North America, Asia, the South Pacific and so on. While I worked in Australia, a friend with whom I had gone overland through Asia went back to Nepal where she became involved with the Buddhists. I had no interest in Buddhism, but after finishing my degree at Arizona State I went to Lama Thubten Yeshe’s centre in Kopan just to see her. This was in 1974.

When I arrived, I was completely turned off by the whole scene. Many people there seemed unhealthy mentally and physically. I remember asking my friend, “Is this Buddhism?”, and thinking, “If this is what meditation is about, who needs it?” Nonetheless, I attended the month-long course in Kopan taught by Lama Zopa. At the time my attitude was that I was strictly an attendee, I was no way involved as a participant. For this reason, I was slow to start prostrating. It just seemed to be one more trip these people were into. But when Lama Yeshe walked in, I swear he was just glowing. You immediately sensed that this person knew something that most people don’t. My father was a university professor, so I had met a lot of people who were educated, but none who were wise. But Lama Yeshe was as wise as one could ever get. His compassion and wisdom were so overt that you were really struck by his presence. A lot of people can talk Dharma, but they don’t have that effect on you. I always regarded him as a Buddha. If he weren’t a Buddha, I don’t know what could be. It was after he came that I began making prostrations.

 

When did you decide to take refuge?

Lama Yeshe was giving refuge and lay precepts at the end of that Kopan course, but I had no intention of making commitments. However, one day I was taking this Tibetan mastiff for a walk, and along came another huge dog who leaned up against me, as if seeking protection. The three of us were standing there overlooking the beautiful valley with a herd of water buffalo. It was like a Disney scene. All those animals seemed to be looking at me, reminding me of fortunate human rebirth, so that I felt the obligation to take refuge and one vow: not to kill.

When I ran back and asked to take refuge, I was told I had to take two vows. That immediately broke my stride! I had no intention of disrupting my lifestyle to that extent. Up until then I had led the life of a happy hedonist. Growing up in the sixties you had all the options in terms of sense pleasures. I immediately ruled out vowing not to take intoxicants and not to engage in sexual misconduct, and instead settled on vowing not to steal, as I had never particularly enjoyed it! But it was the animals who inspired all this. They have always had a big impact as far as motivating me to do the practice – more so than most people.

I hate to think why I have such close contact with animals; maybe we were even closer in our last lives! When I later did Nyungne for seven months in a tree house not far from Woodstock, I had a huge Persian cat with me. He was deaf, so when I did Chenrezig practice he would sit on my lap and I would play my bell over his head without bothering him.

 

How did you come to take nun’s vows?

It all happened rather rapidly. After I attended that first Kopan course in November 1974, I did a Lam Rim group retreat for several months, then a solitary Vajrasattva retreat in Dharamsala for three months. In fact, since that time I have been in retreat almost constantly with only brief spells in between. In November 1975 I returned to Kopan and received ten vows and robes from Lama Yeshe with the thought that I would go to Dharamsala and take ordination in the Gelugpa tradition with the Dalai Lama. But around March 1976 the Karmapa came to offer a month-long cycle of Kagyu wangs. I attended that with Lama Yeshe’s blessing, and decided to be ordained by the Karmapa in the Kagyu tradition.

So in one year’s time you went from not wanting even to take two vows to being ordained. Was it difficult to make so radical a transition in so short a time?

We don’t know where we have come from before this life, but I am sure many of us have very strong Buddhist connections from the past. Obviously, in other lives I was very connected with the Dharma, so there was really no conscious decision on my part. Situations and circumstances just arose so that the retreats were there and I was there, and everything fell into place as far as my doing them. So I was propelled to follow in this direction, and there were no particular obstacles. I didn’t feel myself especially worthy of all this, but I was aware that I was meant to be doing it. When I was in retreat it was the only time that I felt I was doing what I should be doing with my life. It even transcended contentment because it’s so natural. With contentment there is a certain amount of self-consciousness involved, but with the retreat situation it was a natural thing to be doing. Maybe this seems odd coming from the place I was in, but in another sense, being obsessive-compulsive about sense pleasures can be helpful if you’re doing practice. What has driven you in one direction can be redirected.

Beyond this, I am the cold turkey type. I cannot move in moderation. I remember Lama Yeshe using the phrase, “Integrate Dharma into your life.” In my life that would be like mixing tar and water. So I would either have to give up the one to do the other, or I would have to forget the Dharma. And there was a side of myself which would have preferred that! But the Dharma takes all the fun out of samsara. You’re left with ignorance, but knowing enough to make you miserable. I never wanted to be a nun, but ordination seemed part of the process. Milarepa said, “If you want to do something useful with your life, follow in my footsteps.” I really believe that. So that is what determined my path. But I still don’t relate to being a nun. I see other ordained people, and I think of them as nuns, but I don’t particularly relate to that. I could never live in a monastic setting. I’m basically a loner, an extroverted introvert.

 

There were several tragic events in your family: your father’s suicide and your brother’s death in Vietnam. Did these have any bearing on the life you have chosen?

I don’t think that was a determining factor. Ordination was something that transcended this particular lifetime. But it gave the teachings more impact. It’s true of everyone that when tragedy hits close to home, the idea of attachment and death becomes clear. You see the futility of relationships whether they were very attached or unpleasant. They all end. We waste such tremendous energy on things so short-lived.

 

Do you care to share your impressions of Gyalwa Karmapa, who became your root Lama?

Nice situations happened, but it is probably better not to discuss them because if you do, they lose their significance. But it was always easy to be near him, literally and otherwise. Actually, I didn’t see him that often, but he always appeared at the exact moment when you needed direction. For instance, he came to my retreat hut KTD when I was considering how long I should stay in retreat. I thought, five minutes with His Holiness, and I can get this settled. And that was about how long it took for him to give me permission to stay in retreat for twelve years.

 

What was your motivation for entering a twelve-year retreat?

In December 1978 I went in with the intention of doing a three-year retreat. Khenpo Karthar, KTD’s Abbot, had told me, “You build a hut, and I will teach you.” So I worked as a health aide at Woodstock while doing my third Ngöndro, and the money I earned from that, plus contributions, made it possible for me to build a hut with the help of volunteers for just a few hundred dollars. As far as extending the time for twelve years, there is a twelve-year cycle in the Tibetan calendar, and Milarepa meditated in retreats for twelve years. I felt that, given the opportunity and KTD’s kindness in supporting me, it would be a wonderful thing to do. On some other level I’m sure it was in the game place long before it surfaced in my mind, because His Holiness seemed to have the same thing in view.

 

During that time did you experience any of the inner or outer obstacles many yogis normally encounter in retreat?

In all honesty, no. I was very fortunate because I was never really ill, which is unusual over a twelve-year period. Physically I was fine, and mentally everything went as well as I could hope [this with a laugh]. Of course, I could hear the Monastery being built from day one, but the noises weren’t a problem because they become so familiar. I also want to say that anyone who, like myself, has Khenpo Karthar as a Retreat Master is very fortunate, and need look no farther. The man is about as pure as anyone could possibly be, and about as wise as anyone could hope to find in a teacher.

 

Along more general lines, you have told me things indicating that you had an unusual turn of mind even before you were involved in Buddhism – for instance, that you always looked on the idea of a limitless lifespan with distaste. Was this view brought on by experiencing a great deal of personal suffering?

Death always seemed like a great relief to me. Old age was obviously not an appealing situation to be in because the body fails. And I’ve always had the relationship with my body that when it fails on me it’s incredibly frustrating. I admire people who have lost legs or are quadriplegic, yet who cope. I would find that excruciating. On the other hand, staying young forever would also be boring, like California weather. No seasons, all sunshine. But it wasn’t suffering that made me feel this way. I’m not one of those who say that life is miserable, because it certainly isn’t. Life can be wonderful, people can be happy, there is love, and that type of thing. You don’t have to suffer if you don’t want to. If you move fast enough, you can have sense pleasures out of your ears! But that just becomes constant input; people who live like that become zombied out. And anyway, the highs are so short-lived. So the main thing that gave me pause was, what is the purpose of life? Each of its phases is so temporal, and anyhow you wouldn’t want any of them lasting forever.

 

Out of your long years of retreat experience, do you have any realisations you can share in the areas of emptiness and One Taste?

The realisation has to be something experienced. All the talk in the world won’t help someone understand what emptiness is about; only meditation will. It can be more of a hindrance than a help to understand emptiness intellectually. There has been a lot said about emptiness, but obviously very little experienced because there are few enlightened beings.

 

 

After being in retreat for so long, which involved a commitment not to see anyone or be seen, you emerged in December 1990 to find many people present, some of whom had come from afar to attend the ceremony that was given for you. Could you describe your feelings about such a radical change of situation?

During retreat, Khenpo Karthar had said, “Pretend you are a thief hiding.” So for twelve years I was attuned to that. I remember seeing my reflection once in the burner of my stove dodging, thinking I had seen someone. Occasionally I would by accident catch sight of a foot or arm of someone coming to leave food at the hut door, but that was all. There is a necessary intensity in maintaining that sort of solitude for retreat practices. Then, suddenly, you come out and see all those people and they see you! It was a blatant antithesis to the way I had been living, yet not wholly unfamiliar. You just adopt to situations as they arise. Being in solitude so long, however, results in your identity becoming very rarefied. Many people living at KTD when I came out had not been there when I went in. Their only contact with me was my dirty dishes and laundry left on my doorstep. I knew that I could drop dead and the only way they would know is that the dishes wouldn’t have been left outside! Probably a lot of people who had been feeding this thing were curious as to what it was that would emerge.


You strike me as the most detached person I ever met. Was this the cause of your moving comfortably into retreat situations, or is it the result of long years of solitary practice?

Growing up, I was as socially occupied as anyone, but I was always comfortable alone. The only thing uncomfortable about it was that you felt you shouldn’t be comfortable! I was never particularly needy in relationships. People were usually more attached to me that I was to them. I was never attached to anyone that I couldn’t leave – very easily. I consider attachment to people worse than attachment to vices because with the former you are hindering others, dragging them down. It becomes difficult for them to do Dharma practice if they are tied by relationships.


While in retreat, did you feel at some level connected to the world, or were you sufficiently in another space that re-emerging was a shock?

I always felt that being in retreat was a group project. I occasionally received moving letters from people saying how inspired they were to know I was doing the practice, and that it was helpful. I’ve never taken any personal interest in my practice. The twelve-year retreat hopefully inspired others to do it. It didn’t matter that it was I, or how poorly I was doing it. The point was that it was being done. I knew that for twelve years nothing must interfere I felt I had to do this. It was just a minor contribution to the cosmos, for what it’s worth. But it was not just something I was doing; we were all rooting for one another. Those people who supported me while I was in retreat were also creating good karma.


But socially speaking, was it a shock to see how crime, for instance, had increased since you went in?

Actually, I’m impressed with the qualities I see in people who aren’t even Buddhist. They have a tremendous amount of compassion, more in many cases than a lot of people who have been Buddhist longer than they should admit. I think that in many cases there aren’t more problems than there used to be, but that people are more aware of them. H. H. the Dalai Lama made a good point [at the recent Kalachakra initiation given in New York] that the fact that people are so shocked by the news is an indication of how compassionate we all are. We blare headlines about these atrocious nightmares because people are disturbed by it. For that reason it sells papers. But there’s hardly a problem, no matter how far in left field it might be, that doesn’t have its own support group. Every issue that could possibly come up is being addressed.


You have chosen not to be called Ani-la. What is your reason for this?

Ani simply means nun. Among Tibetans it is not disparaging, but just as people don’t like being called ‘boy’ or ‘girl’, I don’t like being called Ani. I regard it as sort of demeaning, but that’s just my take on it. Anyway, I never really related to being a nun. Wangmo is the shortened version of the name I was given at ordination. I’m not into titles. I think it’s perfectly all right to call someone by their name rather than a title. That’s comfortable with me.


How do you view the status of women practitioners?

I think there are more women practicing in the West than in the East, and that their situation is very good. No one is going to stop anyone from obtaining enlightenment. All that’s necessary is that one be able to receive the teachings, and that one’s own karmic situation be favourable as far as having one’s own body and mind together enough to be able to practice. It’s up to the individual; no one is going to be enlightened by proxy. If someone wants to put forth the effort in the hope of benefiting all sentient beings and attaining enlightenment, no one is going to stop them. Some of the strongest practitioners I’ve met are women because everything is telling them that they don’t really have to do it. So the women who say they are going to do it are usually very determined and diligent.


Do you have any sense of your role in the Dharma in the future?

Lama Yeshe told me in a special moment, “You are going to teach. Expect that.” So I anticipated that, though getting up in front of a group of people and lecturing is not my thing. I never received the formal training one gets in a monastic setting where you go to school for many years, so I probably know a lot less about Buddhist philosophy than most people who walk into the room. Therefore, who am I to be lecturing? But I do feel obliged to do something. When you’ve been at this for twelve years, people need you to be available in whatever capacity. Before coming out of retreat, I did ask Khenpo Karthar if I could stay in retreat for the rest of my life. He said, “You can if you want to.” I knew I should come out, though, because my elderly mother wanted to see me, and maybe some other people would want to have me around for whatever reason. Also, I am one who basically likes to expose sentient beings to Dharma. If a fly lands on my leg, I think it’s auspicious for both of us, and I say, let’s make the most of this situation.

There will soon be a three-year retreat starting at KTD’s new retreat centre, and it seems I’ll be helping in some capacity.


During your retreat years you had a sign on the door of your hut reading: Buddha or Bust. Do you care to comment on how far you’ve gone towards that goal?

That’s still the slogan! I don’t by any means pretend to be enlightened, but even intellectually you know what the goal is, you can see that developing. I may be a fool, but at least I have enough sense to keep practicing. You never get to a state where you say, “I’m too impure to practice.” You’re not too sick to take medicine! When I met Kyabje Sakya Trizin, he said, “You must be realised since you did a twelve-year retreat.” I replied, “I just keep practicing.”


Is there anything you would particularly like to say to people who might read this and other practitioners?

Only as a sort of pep talk to all people practicing all over the cosmos who sometimes feel removed, especially women, who can feel a little estranged from the Buddhist male hierarchy, there is room for everyone, and it is important that everybody practice and that no one be estranged from anyone. There are people who can relate to whatever problem you are experiencing. It is helpful to stay in touch with one another, network if necessary. If you remember that your motivation is to benefit all sentient beings, you cannot go wrong. If you’re doing it for yourself you can get bored with it, or decide it’s a hobby you don’t want to pursue anymore. As long as you’re clear in your heart, it doesn’t matter how poorly you’re doing it, just keep doing it and everything else will eventually fall into place.


Do people find you greatly changed since you have come out of retreat?

When I returned from India as a ‘meditator’ in 1976, my sister said she expected these profound changes, but it was just the same old fool that had come back! That’s the secret, of course.

 

[Extracted from: http://ebookbrowse.com/23-a-modern-day-yogini-doc-d145417270]

 


The Story of a Tibetan Yogini

Shungsep Jetsun 1852-1953

Prepared by Kim Yeshi & Acharya Tashi Tsering
With the assistance of Sallie Davenport & Dorjey Tseten


 

Shungsep Jetsun was born Lochen in Tso Pema, a holy place associated with Padmasambhava in the hills of north-west India. Her life, characterized by incessant wanderings throughout the Himalayan regions of India, Nepal and Tibet, emulated those of Tibetan yogis who had roamed these regions, meditating and teaching, for hundreds of years. She is probably one of the last examples of this lifestyle, which came to an abrupt end in the 1950s, with the Chinese invasion of Tibet.

Lochen’s childhood was marked by the domestic difficulties and squabbles of her wandering parents. Her father, Dondrup Namgyal, was quarrelsome and inclined to drink. Originally from the U province of Central Tibet, he was sent away as an adolescent to serve his nephew, an incarnate lama called Yandro Yonten Tulku, at his monastery. He soon quarrelled with the local people and left both the monastery and the area, telling his nephew, “You are like a wolf and your monastery a wolf’s lair.” He did not return home, but wandered here and there, ending up in Bhutan.

There he met a local lama by the name of Khanden and was taken into his service. The Swayambu stupa in Kathmandu had been under Bhutanese care until it was lost to the Nepalese a few years before.  Shortly after Dondrup Namgyal’s arrival, Khenden Lama went to Kathmandu and managed to regain custody of the stupa. Feeling that Dondrup Namgyal had bought him good fortune, he told him, “Your name may be Namgyal, but I’m going to call you Thong,”(which meant good luck like Tashi in Tibetan).


The Early Years

Dondrup Namgyal stayed in Khenden Lama’s service for several years, then went to serve another Bhutanese lama, Kalwar, in the monastery of Thong Hago. Kalwar Lama was old and passed away soon afterwards, leaving his young wife, Tsentsar Pemba Dolma, who originally hailed from Nepal, alone and childless. Pemba Dolma was much grieved by her husband’s death. Declaring that she found cyclic existence quite meaningless, she planned to renounce the world and spend the rest of her life visiting the pilgrimage places of Western Tibet, India and Nepal.

Taking Dondrup Namgyal with her, she wandered from place to place, leading the life of a pilgrim, begging and falling back on the resources left her by Kalwar lama. A relationship eventually formed between them and Pemba Dolma, who had regretted remaining childless, began to follow the advice of the older village woman on an infallible method for bearing a male heir. It involved her collecting stones from holy places and carrying them on her back. She went about lugging increasingly heavy loads until she began to have unusual dreams and felt her wish had been fulfilled. In one particular dream, she was standing by a crowd of women washing their hair in a spring. She suddenly looked up and saw staring down at her someone attired like the deity Heruka. In another, she was returning from Tibet and came across women wearing ornaments who told her, “You bathe first and when you are finished, you can look after our ornaments while we bathe.”

Pemba Dolma was convinced that the dreams were special signs concerning the child she had conceived. She felt very happy and announced that the infant in her womb must be a lama or at least some special being.

On the fifteenth day of the first month of the wood ox year (1852), Pemba Dolma gave birth in Tso Pema to a female child. The delivery was painless, accompanied by a slight earth tremor and a rain of flowers. Voices were heard reciting manis, the six-syllable mantra of Avalokiteshvara. It is said that the child was born cross-legged, her arms crossed on her chest in the gesture of holding a bell and vajra and that many heard her say, “Om mani padme hum.”

Though most people who witnessed these events were filled with respect and awe, Dondrup Namgyal remained unimpressed. The birth of a daughter made him feel that he had somehow been cheated and he directed his discontent at his wife, sneering, “You said you were giving birth to a lama and you had only a girl. Throw her out!” He continually mocked her for her previous dreams and statements concerning the child. After Lochen’s birth, things went from bad to worse between her parents, her father drinking and mistreating her mother. When Lochen was a few months old and they were staying in Gashar, in the Indian Himalayas, he sold mother and child to some chang sellers, probably in payment for drink. For Pemba Dolma he took three silver rupees, and for Lochen two. The incident was reported to the local official, who objected to such transactions under his jurisdiction and ordered Lochen and her mother to be returned to Dondrup Namgyal. When she heard the official’s decision, Pemba Dolma begged him just to let her go, for she had no wish to stay with her cruel husband. Hearing this, Dondrup Namgyal was filled with remorse and broke down in tears. He asked the official at least to give him custody of his daughter. Trying to resolve the dispute, the local people advised Dondrup Namgyal to treat his family better and made him promise not to beat his wife. Pemba Dolma finally agreed to stay with him and they left together for Spiti, with Lochen strapped to her mother’s back.

On the way, they came to a large river, on the banks of which they found a sword. Pemba Dolma, worried about the future for herself and Lochen, felt this was a special sign. Picking up the sword she prayed, ‘If my daughter is to be of benefit to the doctrine and beings, may we cross that river. If not, let the water carry us both away.’ There was neither bridge nor ferry, but Pemba Dolma resolutely entered the water and began to ford the river. Due to the strong current, she soon lost her balance and mother and daughter were nearly drowned. Suddenly, a woman appeared out of the sky and grabbed hold of Pemba Dolma’s hand. When they reached the other side she disappeared and Pemba Dolma was unable to find her though she looked everywhere. Some people said they had seen a woman flying away.

Although apparently fond of his daughter, Dondrup Namgyal continued to drink and was often short of money. One day, he sold Lochen to a merchant for a handful of silver. Pemba Dolma had to wait outside the merchant’s house until she came out, when she picked her up and ran off with her. Coming to the hot springs in Kulu, they found Dondrup Namgyal there before them. After he promised never to sell either of them again, they were reconciled once more.


The First Teachings

One day, when the family was living in a tent, Dondrup Namgyal came home drunk and told his wife he wished to leave her. He proposed that since they had only one daughter, they should cut her in half so they could each have their share. Lochen was listening outside and ran away, terrified, to hide under some thorny bushes. Crouching in her hiding place, she suddenly felt very light and heard melodious voices all around her.  

Immersed in physical and mental bliss, Lochen did not notice time go by and one week passed without her knowledge. Her family and all the local people had searched high and low and failing to find her, concluded that she had been eaten by wild animals.

When she finally emerged from her hiding place, Lochen was greeted by many children who, bewildered at seeing her alive, prostrated to her, blew trumpets and asked her for teachings. Sitting on an elevated spot, she recited this verse,

In order to lead all sentient beings to Buddhahood,
One must accumulate merit
And with great motivation one must listen (to the teachings).

She taught refuge and other basic practices. Stating that Tibet’s protective deity was Avalokiteshvara, she instructed her young listeners to meditate on him and to recite his mantra, OM MANI PADME HUM, saying it was the essence of the Buddha’s doctrine. At that time, many took refuge in the three jewels as well as making commitments to recite the mantra.

When this took place, Lochen was about four and still drinking her mother’s milk. Many people criticized her, saying it was wrong to preach at so young an age, but a mani master called Gonkar defended her, saying she was either an emanation of Tara or Machig Labdron. He gave her many transmissions on ways of reciting Avalokiteshvara’s mantra and said that when she reached six, Lochen would be a mani lama in her own right, having mastered all the necessary transmissions and ways of reciting the texts.

Dondrup Namgyal was never really kind to his wife, but he learned to love his daughter. When Lochen was five, he felt she should learn to read and took her to a former government official, who having become a devout practitioner, the local people respected as a lama. He taught Lochen to read and write and she learned quickly and easily.

At the age of six, Lochen began to give teachings. She had a patron, a Khampa merchant called Tashi who asked her to travel from town to town, explaining the meaning of mani. People would assemble in the marketplaces by the thousands to hear her. Tears sprang from the eyes of the crowd as they watched this tiny figure standing on tiptoe to point an enormous stick at an even larger thangka, teach and comment faultlessly on the stories concerning Avalokiteshvara’s mantra.

Slowly, her fame spread and while travelling in the Western Tibetan area of Rampur, the local king asked her to teach. She inspired such faith that people started referring to her as dakini. In a place called Tsondarong, people offered her money and valuables, sheep and goats. She returned the former and left the few sheep and goats to her mother.

One cold, rainy morning, when the family was staying in a straw hut, Lochen heard a voice singing from the roof. She was busy lighting a fire and looking up, saw a bearded Indian sage. He sang, “Father who sells his child eats his own flesh, drinks his own blood.” He remained there, singing about Lochen’s father. Next day, the sage returned, bringing a partly burned rosary. He showed it to Lochen and asked, “How did this happen?” Her father who had been eyeing the sage curiously replied for her with a flow of insults and the sage disappeared. Later, while the father and daughter slept, the fire from the stove suddenly spread through the hut until the flames were licking their feet. Both awoke in pain. The sage appeared, picked up Lochen and carried her to the river where he dipped her burned feet into the cool water. They were instantly healed.

Thinking the sage had stolen his daughter, Dondrup Namgyal ran out of the hut shouting, “Don’t take my child!” When he reached the river bank, he found Lochen alone. The sage had disappeared.

Lochen continued to travel and teach throughout Western Tibet and the adjoining areas of Ladakh. At Pitu monastery during the cham festival, she saw the ritual dances and had visions of many gods riding dragons about to speak to her.

One New Year, the family came to Tso Pema. Dondrup Namgyal continuing to drink heavily, threatened to burn down a local house. Outraged, the people beat him with burning sticks until Lochen begged them to stop. When they asked her for teachings, some pointed out that it was ludicrous on the one hand to beat up the father and on the other to ask the daughter for teachings and they promised to let him alone, however unpleasant he might be. They mused, ’The father is like a devil, the girl like a goddess, where can these people be from?’

Lochen liked to save animals from slaughter and often spent money given to her on buying sheep and goats, especially in the nomad areas. She kept a large female goat on which she rode. It was so tame that it would get down on its knees so Lochen could mount it without difficulty. She travelled throughout Western Tibet riding that goat. When they encountered difficulties, they were helped by the protectors. In one dangerous place, full of wild animals, they could find no water. Lochen spotted a raven flying above them and following it, found a spring where they all quenched their thirst.

Lochen’s parents continued to accompany her on her travels, and though her father’s mood and behaviour had its up and downs, he didn’t really change. Once when they were in Purang, he fell in love with a woman called Doltso, and decided to stay with her. Thinking it wiser to let him have his way, his wife and daughter left him there and went to Nepal. A few days later, he joined them where they were staying. He asked where they planned to go, but before they answered, added, “If you go east, I will go west.” He is mentioned no more in Lochen’s biography.


Lochen Finds Her Root Guru

When Lochen was thirteen and travelling through Tso Pema, she met a lama of King Sawor who told her, “Ani Dolma, my uncle Pema Gyatso is a disciple of Shalikar Rinpoche. He lives in Kyirong (Western Tibet). You should go there a meet him.” Hearing the name ‘Pema Gyatso’ though she had never met him, Lochen felt very moved and determined to find this lama, wherever he might be. She took several months to reach Kyirong, where she heard that Pema Gyatso was staying in a cave a few hours walk away. Lochen and her mother had prepared offerings and were about to set out to meet him, when they heard there was an epidemic in the area. Pema Dolma decided to stay behind, but Lochen went ahead, though night was coming on.

That night, she slept under the stars and at daybreak had an auspicious dream about the lama she was going out to meet. She awoke in a very joyful mood, bought a clay pot full of milk from some nearby nomads to give as an offering, and set off towards the cave. On the way she saw a nun collecting water from the river. The nun stopped and looked her up and down. Later Lochen said that meeting this nun holding a vessel filled with water was an auspicious sign of her future fame. She asked the nun, whose name was Tsultrim, where the lama was to be found, and if she could meet him. Tsultrim offered to show her the way.

Lochen met the lama in his cave, made her offerings and paid her respects. It is said that as a result of Lochen’s  offering of a vessel of milk to her lama, many years later someone offered a cow to her nunnery at Shungsep. And though it bore no calf for eight years, it provided milk continuously.

Pema Gyatso blessed her and told her that if she were willing to observe the ascetic precepts known as the Ten Innermost Jewels of Kadam, he would accept her as his disciple. She decided there and then that whatever might happen, she would put all her heart into these practices and told the lama so. Pema Gyatso began to explain the meaning of the Six Causes and One Result method for generating the altruistic mind of enlightenment. It was difficult and Lochen was unable to grasp the meaning. Her lack of comprehension bought tears to her eyes and she begged for further explanations. Those present were amazed to see such a young girl paying such close attention to religious teachings.

Lochen stayed a few days with Ani Tsultrim and was soon joined by her mother. They built a small house of bamboo in the mouth of a cave and Lochen attended the lama’s teachings during the day. They were rarely over before dark, and her mother would wait for her outside the lama’s cave with a bamboo torch. Lochen received transmissions of Kunzang Lama and all the empowerments. Transmissions and explanations of Longchenpas’ Heart’s Drop instructions of the Dzogchen or Great Completion, as well as one hundred initiations of Chö, the ritual for severing the ego.

One day, as Lochen went begging for alms, she came to a small nunnery where a young nun was churning milk. The nun welcomed her and offered her a bowl of milk. It was poisoned and Lochen became violently ill. She prayed hard and practised the Vase-liked Wind meditation with the result that she threw up the milk riddled with snakes.


Training and Hardship

Lochen had met her lama in the summer. In winter, he moved from his cave to another small nunnery nearby, where he gave extensive teachings and got their food begging alms and wherever Lochen went, people showed her great respect and generosity. Close by was a lama who received far fewer alms than Lochen and consequently highly resented her popularity. Finally, feeling he could bear it no longer, he went to see Pema Gyatso and told him that Lochen received a great deal of offerings. Pema Gyatso asked what was wrong with that and he replied, “Nothing, but she goes around saying she is an incarnation of Dorjey Phagmo.” Pema Gyatso said nothing, but when Lochen appeared before him a few days later with offerings she received, instead of accepting her gift, he grew very angry and accused her of lying and pretending she was an incarnation of Dorjey Phagmo. As she stared at him in disbelief, he grabbed her offerings. He climbed up to the roof of the nunnery and flung them down at her along with his boots. Though Lochen was hurt, she crouched down to pick up the boots, and placed them on her head as a mark of respect.

After this incident, Lochen continued to attend her lama’s teachings though he ignored her. One day, he gave each of his disciples a clay statue of Machig Labdron, but when Lochen came to receive hers, Pema Gyatso told her sarcastically that being either an incarnation of Machig Labdron or Machig Labdron herself, she didn’t need one.

Lochen began to meditate on the psychic channels and energy winds at the age of seventeen. From the outset she consulted her lama who consented to guide her and gave her a text. The following day, he called her back and asked her to return the book. He explained that he had had a bad dream and consequently felt she shouldn’t be doing this practice. Instead he taught her the practice of the Vase-liked Wind for a few days and stopped there. Since they were receiving no teachings, Lochen and a few companions decided to go begging for alms. While they were away, Pema Gyatso gave his remaining disciples an explanation of the way to meditate on the channels and winds, a prerequisite for the practice that Lochen was so much aspiring to. When she returned and found out that she had missed the teaching, she was very upset, but nonetheless decided to ask her lama to give it to her as well. To her joy, he agreed and she immediately went to buy the meditation band and white shawl required to do the practice following the initiation.

The twenty-first day of that month was an auspicious date, and Pema Gyatso assembled all his disciples to bestow on them once more the explanation of the practice of wind and channels. Some days earlier, Lochen had come to know that Ani Tsultrim, the nun who had originally shown her the way to the lama’s cave, had stolen some corals. Shocked and upset, she had mentioned it to several people. Pema Gyatso caught wind of the rumour and called Lochen in to see him. He told her in a dry and cutting tone, “You have three faults. You criticize the Ani Umzey, you lie by pretending the incarnation of 
Dorjey Phagmo, and you accused your friend of stealing. I cannot have you here any longer, you are not fit to be given these precious teachings.” He then stamped her forehead with a seal representing a dog and ordered her to leave both the nunnery and the locality immediately and go to a place called Pomdra in Nepal.

Miserable and deeply humiliated, Lochen begged her lama to let her stay. Her pleas failed to move him and feeling totally dejected, she packed her belongings and left with her mother and two friends, who insisted on accompanying her.

After some distance, they came to a crossing. Pondering which path to follow, a nomad suggested the right as the other led to a region stricken with disease. They followed his advice, though with little joy, for the road was steep and rocky, which made travelling difficult. Finally they reached a village, set in a narrow valley, where the people spoke a dialect they could barely understand. No one offered them a roof  for the night, so they slept out in the open and were bitten by insects. In spite of such hardship, Lochen clung on to her faith in her lama and did not forsake her compassion for all beings. That night she had a very clear dream of him giving teachings. She woke feeling sad and sang,

I prostrate to the great yogi Pema Gyatso,
The exalted Heruka,
All-encompassing Lord Vajradhara
Of all infallible objects of refuge
I, Mani Lochen, am just a beggar
Vowed to accumulate merit
And purify and purge my sins for three years
Near the mirror-like rock hermitage.
Amidst the Hai mountains, in the western direction.
Father-like holy root guru
Following your instructions, I meditate on this life
As a free and fortunate human being
And the stages of the path without any mental distraction.
And when I meditate with undivided attention I experience (the following):
Ordinary appearances having simply ceased,
(Intuitive awareness) appears vividly to my mind
Yet is inexpressible by speech.
When mind is relaxed, I experienced that beyond mind
In my experience of peace, I ecstatically uncovered non-conceptual reality
I meditated on that which is neither continued nor reversed,
Earlier or later not just once, but again and again.
I burst into natural laughter
Upon seeing the self-nature and self’s spontaneity,
I can definitely ascertain there is no more to look for.
Thus this offering of the mode of appearance of a beggar
I offer to the Victorious Ones and their Sons.
Through the kindness of my lama
I sing a song of spiritual experience
And dedicate my virtues to all mother sentient beings.
May this be a cause for realizing the Great Completion (Dzogchen).   

Unfortunately, an attendant of the local king overheard her song and misinterpreted it as criticism of his master. He reported that a young nun was singing strange verses about him. The king was annoyed and sent out men to punish her. Unable to find Lochen, they caught her friend Tsering Gyalmo and locked her in prison. Lochen, her mother and Kador, their other companion, pleaded before the king, but he remained unyielding. Lochen then decided to go with Kador begging for tsampa, leaving her mother to look after her imprisoned friend. They came to a frail rope bridge over a broad river. Kador was crossing first when one of the ropes suddenly snapped. With a jerk, Kador fell straight into the torrent below.

Observing her friend from the edge of the precipice, and pondering a few seconds over her bad luck – of her two companions, one was in prison, and the other in the river below – she made up her mind. Praying to her lama, she meditated on the Vase-like Wind and wishing that all sentient beings be freed from cyclic existence, she jumped down into the water. She landed near Kador who was struggling for breath and managed to pull her onto a large rock. Local people, who had been watching from the river bank, concluded she must be a dakini and reported what had happened to the king. Realizing his mistake and filled with regret, he summoned Lochen, her mother and Kador and had Tsering Gyalmo released immediately from prison. Then bowing before Lochen, he begged her for religious instruction and offered her many gifts. She gave him teachings on the meaning of Avalokiteshvara’s six syllable mantra and how to practise it.

A few weeks passed and Lochen and her companions decided to return to the nunnery and Pema Gyatso, hoping his anger has abated. For her part, Lochen knew that despite the ill treatment she had received from him, her faith in her lama remained intact and she was more willing to face his anger than to stay away. Upon reaching the nunnery, she prostrated before Pema Gyatso and told him that she and her companions had been to the place he had instructed and had now returned. He seemed to be pleased, though not particularly impressed when they related the incident at the river.

Soon after this, Pema Gyatso, accompanied by Lochen and other disciples set out on a pilgrimage through Western Tibet. They first went to Penchen Pema Wangyel’s monastery in Ngari, visiting the holy sites and viewing the many stones naturally adorned with mantras. When they came to a cavern, Pema Gyatso instructed Lochen to strike a large boulder with her staff. She obeyed and to everyone’s surprise, excrement came pouring out. The lama then struck it and a large piece detached itself, revealing a natural image of Avalokiteshvara’s mantra. More and more pieces fell off, creating a shower of naturally formed mani stones. Lochen gathered them up and built a mani wall. As they performed the consecration ceremony, she realized that her lama was clairvoyant.

In the years that followed, Lochen continued to wander throughout Tibet, giving teachings and begging for alms. Sometimes she and her companions came to wild places where, like Milarepa, they lived on nettle soup. In inhabited areas, local people readily offered them food. Once somebody gave them a brick of tea. Having never seen one before they mistook it for a kind of vegetable. Lochen cooked it and carefully removed all the juice before eating the leaves.

At a place called Nagtsel Monastery, Lochen entered a three year retreat on the Heart’s Drop and Accomplishment of the Guru Milarepa. During this retreat, she had visions of girls wearing beautiful ornaments beckoning her to visit their land. She had an urge to write and thought of gathering tree bark. Then with the feeling that she was in a pure land, she remained some time in a state of bliss. When she emerged, she found her lap strewn with strips of bark covered in writing. Before she had time even to read them, the nun who was directing Lochen’s retreat, Chu Sang, came into her cell and saw these Hidden Treasures, which had been revealed to her. Seizing the strips of bark, she said these were not for anyone to see. When Lochen tried to retrieve them, she hit her on the head and burned them all. From that moment, Lochen’s realizations disappeared and she was beside herself with regret and disappointment. One of her friends, Ani Woser, tried to console her saying, “Don’t worry, although there is much doctrine in this world, it is very difficult to attain any kind of realization. You may not have been able to spread these Hidden Treasures, but they are safe in the dakini’s land, so please don’t worry.” At the end of her retreat, Lochen reported her experiences to her lama, adding that she had felt great bliss while meditating. He said nothing but ‘Hetta’, meaning that her view on emptiness was correct.

Sometime later, Pema Gyatso and his disciples, including Lochen; went on a pilgrimage to Nepal and many holy sites in Tibet. At Swayambu in Nepal, they repainted the stupa and Lochen gave teachings on Avalokiteshvara’s mantra. Her main aim was to educate the local people in the correct method of practising Buddhism and to put a stop to the doings of a local lama called Ja Lama who, mixing Buddhist and Hindu teachings, sacrificed buffaloes and offered their heads on Buddhist altars. Lochen’s instruction had a positive effect and the sacrifices stopped. Ja Lama said that he regretted his actions and promised to change his behaviour.

At Sakya they met Dagtri Rinpochey. A Phurbu dance was in progress at the monastery and they remained for the whole duration. Lochen had visions of rainbows and rains of flowers and felt that Sakya was a pure land. Sakya Dagmo inspired her with great faith, and throughout her stay, she prayed that she might benefit all sentient beings.

In Tashi Lhunpo, Lochen circumambulated the monastery each morning, reciting a special text. She had a very beautiful way of singing the verses and it is said the Gesheys listened to the melodious sound with great pleasure.

In Lhasa, they met lama Kyabgon Dharma Sengey who lived in retreat in Lhasa Phumba-ri. With him, they had an audience with the Thirteenth Dalai Lama. They offered him a mandala and he gave them the transmission of the Hundreds of Deities of the Land of Joy and teachings on the Migtsema prayer to Jey Tsongkhapa. Then, they visited all the holy places in Lhasa.

When she arrived at Ganden monastery wearing her thin cotton robe, many of the monks, having heard that a yogini had come, crowded round to see her, staring and whispering to each other. She sang the following verses to them,

Father, revered guru Pema Gyatso
Acharya in Sanskrit and Naljorpa (yogi) in Tibetan
I prostrate to you, who have realized the true nature of the mind
When I arrived at Ganden monastery,
Hearing that there was a yogini,
Many gathered in crowds to stare at me.
I examined myself (to see) whether I was a yogini or not
And it seems you are right (in implying I am not).
The white yogi is Padmasambhava
Who taught the entire doctrine of sutra and tantra,
The white yogi is Tsogyal (Padmasambhava’s consort)
I am just a beggar who is only their follower.
Atisha was the multicoloured yogi
Who has spread the Dharma wide in India and Tibet
And from whom emerged the new and old traditions of 
The mother Tara is the many coloured yogini,
I am just a beggar who has received her blessing.
The black yogi is the father Dampa,
Who taught the doctrines of peace and of Chö.
I cut off the self-grasping consciousness and realized emptiness.
The black yogini is mother Labdron
Ugly though I am, I preserve her doctrine
All that I hear, see and feel
Are the blessings of three yogis.
May I be the liberator of all mother sentient beings
And may the Dharma shine like the sun.

Lochen and her lamas stayed in Lhasa for some time, Pema Gyatso and Dharma Sengey residing at Tsechok Ling monastery on the other side of the Tsangpo. From Dharma Sengey, Lochen received the teachings of the essence of the Yuthok Chö and initiations for the transference of consciousness, as well as instructions on averting harm from Nagas and harmful spirits. Following these teachings, she made a Chö fire offering and fell sleep while performing it. Dharma Sengey hit her on the head with the butter pourer. Many people were present and Lochen was both frightened and embarrassed by the incident, though the next day her mind felt sharp and clear. The lama asked if she had felt ashamed at his rebuke and although at first she denied it, she finally admitted she had.

One day, Pema Gyatso became very ill after eating pork at a patron’s house. She did her very best to help him, but he never recovered. When he passed away at Banashu, an area of Lhasa, Lochen saw many rainbows overhead.

After her lama’s death, Lochen ceased wandering and settled down. In the winter she stayed in a cave at Sangyey Drak and in the summer at Shungseb, which became her nunnery. It stood near Lhasa, on a pine-covered slope, from which it got its name. She also dwelt in caves on the rocky mountain Thogar-yag. There she taught the Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life one hundred times to men, spirits and gods and spent the rest of her time in retreat, meditating on her personal deity.

One day, as she meditated, the yelp of an animal was swiftly followed by a dog trembling with fear, which ran into her cave and took refuge on her lap. Soon after, a leopard thrust in its head and was about to pounce on the dog. Lochen firmly meditated a few moments on great compassion, then she gestured to the leopard to sit, thinking there was no need for fear for all phenomena are like illusions. The leopard slowly crouched and sat on her right. From then onwards, both animals stayed near her cave, fearless and harmless, and Lochen preached to them, feeling that the seeds of the altruistic mind of enlightenment had been implanted in their mindstreams.

While in six months retreat in the Sangyey cave, Lochen passed away for three weeks, after which she revived once more. The shock of returning to life made her suddenly remember her lama, and she called his name out loud. Her special faith in him made her spend days and nights in tears and she expressed praises of him and the dharma in the following verses:

Supreme guide, O my root guru,
Look on the sufferings of sentient beings
Who have no dharma,
Have mercy on unfortunate yogini,
Her body moving in different positions
As if she were doing a religious dance.

These came to her spontaneously out of her great faith and the immeasurable compassion she felt for sentient beings. She recited the six-syllable mantra for a long time to a slow tune and through the blessings of Arya Avalokiteshvara, water emerged from the rock. This spring was so abundant that all the lamas and disciples who had gathered in the area used to draw their drinking water from it. They gave her the nickname, Chudon Kushog, ‘the master who extracted the water’.

Lochen’s behaviour at that time was so odd that people wondered if she were mad. Her mother, who was most worried of all, asked Taglug Matrul Rinpoche for a divination. He told her, “Let your daughter do whatever she feels like doing. She is completely different from ordinary people and will be successful.”

At that time, Lochen was practising the initiation and commentary of The Wishfulfilling Gem of Liberation, which she had received from Drupai Tenpai Gyeltsen. As a result of her practice, she achieved some feats and no matter on what object she placed her mind, it remained there undisturbed. The various beings of the six realms spoke to her in their own tongues and she could perceive the beings in the three realms of desire, form, and formlessness as clearly as if they were in the palm of her hand.

Experiencing great physical well-being and mental bliss, she never stopped singing, her hands always performed mudras, her mind was ever in samadhi, and her deep awareness was unobstructed and free of extremes. She had many such experiences at this time.

She reached the stage at which the winds enter the central channel and she spontaneously and unrestrainedly started jumping, dancing, producing various sounds and running ceaselessly in and out of her cave. Once, while in the midst of such an experience, she suddenly fell. Her physical heat dwindled away and her breath stopped. Only her subtle mind remained, totally concentrated, abiding on its object. Her mother and her friends decided she had passed away and prepared for her funeral, crying and lamenting.

Though there was no movement in her body, her increased awareness was nine times sharper and clearer than normal. After some time, a one-eyed lady with green hair appeared before her and asked, “Lady, do you want to go to Padmasambhava’s Pure Land?” Lochen assented and the strange woman took her, without their feet touching the ground, to the realm of an elaborately roofed celestial mansion. There, she came face to face with the great Padmasambhava. His face smiling, white and radiant with a tinge of red, his peaceful aspect with a hint of wrath, like a white conch shell with a light red hue. On his head, Padmasambhava wore a hat marked with a vulture’s feather, the sun and the moon. In one hand he held a vajra and in the other a vase of the nectar of immortality and a scarf. He was dressed in tantric regalia, a blue robe over the three robes of a monk, and was sitting in the regal posture, one leg outstretched and the other withdrawn. He was surrounded by all the great Indian and Tibetan Mahasiddhas and scholars, including his twenty five main disciples in Tibet. All these great beings held different attributes in their hands, and though there seemed to be no space between them, each of them was very clearly defined. Padmasambhava spoke to her, calling her the mind manifestation of the Dakini of Shining Blue Light. He then conferred all the four initiations on her. Out of great faith Lochen sang verses of praise and Padmasambhava placed a long-life arrow on her head, granting her special blessings.

Then Lochen felt she was returning to an ordinary level of perception. She visited the heavens, saw Brahma and Indra, all the kings and the demi-gods and the realm of the hungry ghosts. Wherever she went she practised the exchange of self and others. Visiting the hells, she saw unbearable suffering. In the hot hells were red-hot iron houses full of molten metal and burning floors, beings whose bodies were of one entity with fire, others being boiled and cut to pieces. All the while, she felt as if she were experiencing these sufferings herself.       

In the cold hells were snow and blizzards, beings with bodies as blue as utpala flowers with blisters cracking into a hundred different pieces. In other hells, Lochen saw beings being eaten away by worms, being pierced by weapons, having their hearts torn out, dreadful birds describing and picking up their eyes, dogs gnawing their flesh, molten liquids being poured upon them and others being pressed down under stupas, books and statues. The sight of so much suffering was unbearable to Lochen. Tears of compassion sprang from her eyes and she sang many verses of prayers.

Suddenly the dakini with an iron hook in one hand and a lasso in the other appeared before her with Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion who relieves the sufferings of beings in the six realms. They said,

“Om Mani Padme Hum, please listen to me compassionate dakini. You have from your previous lives, the seeds of the two minds of enlightenment, and those seeds have been moistened by the collection of merit and purification, you are now like a plant, accomplishing the welfare of beings. You should practise all the great qualities of Avalokiteshvara, expressed in his six-syllable mantra which alleviates the sufferings of beings in the six realms. You should also meditate on the seven causes and one result mind training precepts which are:

  • Recognising all sentient beings as one’s mother
  • Remembering their kindness
  • Repaying their kindness
  • Love
  • Compassion
  • The Special Resolve, and
  • Mind of Enlightenment”

Lochen immediately meditated in the way and saw fire and ice, sharp weapons, and cauldrons gradually melt away. The hell beings’ shrieks and screams slowly quietened down until all became silent and they sat still with their hands folded, an infinite crowd of beings, stretching as far as Lochen’s eyes could see. The dakini then taught her the use of Avalokiteshvara’s six syllable mantra and told her to meditate on it. This Lochen did and gradually the remaining sufferings of beings before her vanished and they uttered the verse for taking the refuge.

The same dakini also taught her the nature of all phenomena, which are totally devoid of an inherent self. Receiving these teachings and meditating simultaneously on the four immeasurable wishes, immeasurable love, compassion, joy and equanimity and the perception of their ultimate nature, all the remaining parts of the hells turned into a land of happiness and the former hell’s beings were transformed, gained faith and were able to take refuge. Lochen prayed and meditated even harder and many of the creatures appeared before her died and took birth in better realms. She felt infinitely grateful to the dakini who had taught her how to help sentient beings.

Suddenly, Lochen felt she should meet Shinjey, the Lord of Death and King of Hells. She found herself in a radiant cave, at the end of which appeared sixteen fearful buildings without doors. In one of them, standing on a sun, moon and lotus seat, trampling a human corpse, was the Lord of Death, with a dark brown body, holding a slate in one hand and a mirror in the other. He was clothed in shrouds and performing the nine wrathful dances. Accompanied by his retinue of grimacing monsters, he came up and asked in a booming voice, “You have come before the time of your death, while everyone else comes after. Can you explain the meaning of this?” In response, Lochen requested that he release all the beings in the hells from their suffering.

Meanwhile, Shinjey’s attendants were busy searching for her name in their records. They told her, “There is nothing on you here which justifies your presence. Please proceed to one of the heavens.” Lochen replied, “It would be shameful for me to leave for the heavens alone, while all mother sentient beings remain in the hells. We should all go to the happy realms together, and you, King of the Hells, should help me to bring this about.” The King replied, “Listen, that has been tried before. Avalokiteshvara, the god of compassion himself, with his unique disposition to help beings came and three times attempted to transform the hells. It didn’t really help. In spite of all his good will, beings continue to accumulate the negative karma which brings them here. After that, the dakini Yeshey Tsogyal came, and she also transformed the hells once. But again, it didn’t help. After a while, the hell-beings start coming again and the hells are filled up once more. There is no end to the karma which continues to ripen and bring about the miseries of beings. No one can transform the fruits of other beings’ good and bad actions, so what can you do?”

There was a silence, and the Lord of Death resumed, “Before doing anything else, religious guides and teachers should examine themselves. As community leaders they should be truthful and observe the laws they prescribe. Ordained monks and nuns should avoid transgressing their vows. Tantric practitioners should be well-versed in the two stages of generation and completion. Those who have attained powers should use them carefully and not be misled by circumstances. Realized persons should not chase conceptual thoughts and practitioners on the path should not run after the appearances of duality. Practitioners of Chö should not see one thing as the devil and another as divine. Learned scholars should not be satisfied merely with words. Tantric practitioners should not change to the Hinayana path, and those whose realization is gradual should not be satisfied merely with hearing teachings, but must generate experience. Men should avoid lustful actions and women should not be misled or mislead others through deception. Religious patrons should not feel that they have done something splendid and religious practitioners should not chase after offerings from the lay community. Holders of the doctrine should keep their lineages pure and not mix them up with others.”

The hells around her disappeared and Lochen’s mind re-entered her body. She resumed a normal life and remained in Namkha Dzong, giving an oral instruction entitled The Garland of Flowers. She had other experiences in which she saw the ten directions becoming filled with tigers. She was afraid, not knowing where to hide. Then her body took the form of a syllable HUM and she flew away.

Lochen also did a twenty-one day retreat in darkness under Trulshig Rinpochey’s guidance.  When she emerged she felt her mind was very clear and found that just by thinking about a place, she could actually be there. She realized this when one day she strongly felt that she should go to meet Karmapa Khakhyab Dorjey. Though it was a feeling, it took her to him and she received teachings without any of his attendants knowing. Meanwhile, her companions thought she was still in her retreat cave.

Eventually, Lochen’s eccentric behaviour, death-like states and mystic experiences worried her mother who decided she needed the constant and direct guidance of a lama. She packed a yellow cloak and they set off for the dwelling of a famous adept called Semnyi Rinpochey. Prostrating before him and offering him the cloak, Pemba Dolma told him that so far she had been looking after her daughter in her retreat, but now she wanted to pass the responsibility to him. She pleaded that he would not let her indulge in strange behaviour and that whenever she was not attending teachings, she should be made to stay in retreat. She said that if she was not controlled, the two mad lamas, Ragshar Jetsun and Taglung Matrul Rinpochey would make her daughter go here and here and her practice would not lead her anywhere.

Thus, Pemba Dolma left Lochen in the care of Semnyi Rinpochey. Though she was an ordinary woman, she devoted the rest of her life to religious practice and said ten million Amitabha mantras. Lochen had said that if her mother remained at Shungseb Nunnery she would suffer from defilement which would harm her practice so she dwelt in a cave below the nunnery. She lived to the age of ninety-nine, becoming smaller and smaller. When the dakinis saw that she would not remain on the earth much longer, they prepared to welcome her to their realm. On the eighth day of Sagadawa, while praying to Amitabha and facing to the west, she passed away.  

From then on, to pray for her mother, every year in the fourth month Lochen would perform eight sets (sixteen days) of the fasting retreat, a practice which entails taking only a vegetarian meal every other day in conjunction with reciting manis.

Soon after the death of her mother, Lochen became very ill and made up her mind that she was going to die. To that end she did the practice of generating a feeling of disgust for cyclic existence through body, speech and mind, meditated on the winds and channels and applied the Six Yogas of Naropa. These made her feel as light as a piece of wool. In the morning and the evening she performed highest practices of Dzogchen, watching the sun and rising and just setting, and perceived all phenomena as heavenly appearances.

In the dog, pig and bird years, Lochen was often very seriously ill.  Her disciples became worried and bought a doctor to see her. After taking her pulse, the doctor declared that Lochen’s illness was definitely not due to a disorder of the elements. He advised her disciples that instead of giving her medicine they should offer her long-life prayers to drive away the dakinis, who were trying to take her to their pure lands. They followed his advice and Lochen soon recovered.

Spiritual guidance of the Shungsep nunnery relied very much on Lochen, who came to be known as Shungsep Jetsun. One day a young girl came to see her and asked her to be ordained. She was accepted as a novice and named Urgyen Chözom. Soon after she had begun the preliminary practices, everyone realized she was exceptionally gifted and hard-working. In a short time, she had memorized one of the principal Dzogchen texts, Tri Kunzang Lama Shelung by Patrul Rinpoche.  She rapidly became capable of leading the classes on all the texts and the lama at Shungseb began to hope that this girl would succeed him as throneholder.

Because of Urgyen Chözom’s increasing responsibilities, Shungsep Jetsun had more time for retreat. She spent one year meditating on White Tara, after which she gave a series of oral transmissions which included, the brief, intermediate and extensive Perfection of Wisdom Sutras in twelve volumes, the collections of precious sutras and tantras known as Sungdu and the Seven Treasures of Longchenpa, and its commentary, the Songs of Milarepa and the Songs of Shakpar Rinpoche. Following these transmissions, she would break down the ritual cakes that had been offered, roll them into small pellets and put them in her soup. This is what she mostly lived on, boasting that it was tastier than the noodle soup of the Lhasa aristocracy.

In the Autumn, following a Phurba retreat, she gave her annual teachings, mainly on some of preliminary practices of the Nyingma. These teachings involved trying to separate and clearly identify, the worldly and the transcendental aspects of one’s own mindstream. These techniques, which can be taught from texts, are the best explained from experience. Mastering these doctrines is the most useful at the time of death. If the practitioner is unable to discriminate between the various appearances that arise at death, then he will be led by his karma and winds to another existence. By clearly identifying and recognizing what appears before him, he has a chance of becoming liberated. Shungsep Jetsun had great mastery over these techniques and was particularly capable of experiencing and teaching them simultaneously. That year, as she was giving such teachings she suddenly became seriously ill and died. Her teacher Semnyi Rinpochey was about to perform the transference of consciousness, when a lama called Sargu Rinpochey advised that it was not yet appropriate, as there was still some warmth at her heart.

During that short period of death, Lochen had an opportunity to sharpen her practice of the subtle primordial awareness. She then suddenly returned to life and her disciples requested Semnyi Rinpochey to perform long-life rituals for her. He became very angry and chose to give her the wrathful aspect of Guru Rinpochey, Garuda, and Hayagriva, and performed the long-life ritual of the essence of the five Buddha families. Placing the vase on Shungsebma’s head and the vajra in her hand, he said scoldingly, “If you don’t live long your disciples will accuse me of killing you! They will wage war against me!” Then he appealed, “You must stay for a period of 100 years, like Machig Labdron.” Since this was her guru’s order, she had no choice but obey, and her illness disappeared.

The mistakes of some of his followers caused Semnyi Rinpoche to fall ill one winter. Though he usually opposed long life rituals, he consented to let his disciples do one for him, and he recovered after a month. However, his recovery was short lived, and two months later, on the first of the third month, he passed away.

Every year Shungseb Jetsun performed many prayers and rituals for her deceased lama. She had two stupas erected, one made of silver and one made of clay. The silver stupa was given to Yarlun Tsering Jong in accordance with the lama’s last instructions. The clay stupa and an image of Semnyi Rinpochey made by Sagur Rinpochey became the main objects of worship in Shungsep nunnery.

Now that her lama had passed away and her mother had died, Shungsep Jetsun thought that she should make a pilgrimage to Kailash as Trulshig Rinpoche had instructed her sometime ago. She made secret preparations, consulting only her closest disciples. Just as she was about to leave, Sagur Rinpochey and some of Semnyi Rinpochey’s other disciples came to know of her plans. They refused to allow her to go, saying that Semnyi Rinpochey had held the special seat of Longchen Rabjampa and that she should help them preserve the monastery’s tradition and agree to be his heir. She conceded and accepted the position. She gave many teachings and the number of disciples increased. Though the monastery had 300 residents, nuns and some monks, thousands came to attend her teachings.

In the year of the iron sheep (1930), the Dzogchen Abbot Ngawang Norbu came to serve the general doctrine of the Buddha, and the doctrine of Longchen Rabjampa in particular. He gave extensive teachings to the local people advising them that the best way to ensure the flourishing of the doctrine was to become ordained and many agreed to take vows. Shungsep Jetsun made several religious robes from yellow cloth she had and gave them to the poorer disciples. After the ordination the Abbot told them that merely taking vows as not enough, disciples should know and understand the vows, how they should be kept and preserved. He then explained Ngari Penchen Pema Wangyel’s Clear Realization of the Three Vows.

Urgyen Chözom had become a learned and highly realized nun, sharing many of the virtuous qualities of Shungsep Jetsun. Unfortunately, she suddenly fell seriously ill and died. Shungsep Jetsun sang many songs lamenting the death of one so young and well qualified.

Sometimes when she was in retreat, disciples visited her, seeking special teachings. One, Tenzin Yeshe, came to perform self-initiation after completing a retreat meditating on Avalokiteshvara. Although the cave had walls, he could only feel empty space and walked right through them. While performing the self-initiation he saw Shungsep Jetsun in the form of Avalokiteshvara with one thousand arms, and thought, ‘What are all those arms for?’ Returning to his own retreat house, for nearly a week his mind never turned towards food or mundane activities. Everywhere he looked the space was filled with deities and he found himself speaking religious words he had never thought of before. His mind remained in a clear and blissful nonconceptual state and he experienced happiness as if he were in a pure land. He felt that anything could appear if one’s vision was pure.

After the young reincarnation of Semnyi Rinpochey had been found, Shungsep Jetsun gave him a Chö initiation and some objects that had belonged to him in his previous incarnation.

Not much later, Shungsep Jetsun again fell ill and died for one night. During that time, she experienced the full appearance of the 100 peaceful and wrathful deities. She found herself in a happy valley, where she met someone with a human body and a horse’s head, who said he was the king of the Gandharvas. ‘Where is this country?’ she asked. He said ‘This is hell,’ pointing to the empty throne of the Lord of Death.

The next day, while she slept she had a vision of many beautifully adorned women who lifted her up and carried her away through different pure lands. She had one hundred silver coins with which she intended to build a stupa. The Lama Arapatsa came and with one of her disciples he built a stupa which disintegrated after one month. They then invited a Geshey from Drepung to make a victory stupa. Many non-human beings made offerings and some of them made prophecies. One, adopting a human aspect, said there were great obstacles to the building of the stupa, and great danger in attempting to erect it again. Shungsep Jetsun made strong prayers, but even so two or three times people were buried by rocks, although they were uninjured.

Due to these visions, she realized that to attain Buddhahood one must collect great merit and purify unwholesome deeds. And unless one has a very firm understanding of emptiness, all these virtues alone will not give rise to liberation. She realized that a practitioner’s degree of realization can decline. She told herself, ‘I shouldn’t possess all these worldly things and be so involved with composite phenomena.’ She encouraged herself in a series of verses:

As a novice I determined
To follow Mila and Gyalwa Longchenpa
In cutting off the self-centred mind
For the sake of enlightenment.

I wandered everywhere begging for alms in my youth
And engaged in worldly activities as I grew old.

The desires of patrons had to be fulfilled inadvertedly
When they made offerings of their worldly possessions.

Though I meant to accumulate merit
I was unsure whether I did virtue
Unless I realized the nature of unconditioned phenomena.

Slack and lazy though I may be
In my religious practice,
Through the power of my master’s blessings
May I overcome all obstacles.

One day, in the earth tiger year (1938), Shungsep Jetsun’s disciples received a message that the Regent of Reting Rinpochey wished to meet her. Because he was the Regent, they advised that she should call on him, rather than let Reting Rinpochey call on her. She was old and ailing and needed to be carried on someone’s back. While they were preparing to leave for Lhasa, Reting Rinpochey appeared at the door by himself. He asked her, ‘How long have you been here? How old are you?’ She told him, ‘When I came I had a mouth full of teeth and a head full of black hair. Now all the hair has turned white and my mouth empty.’ Then he asked, ’What is the core of your practice?’ ‘The core of my practice is ‘ra-don’,’ accidentally slipped out of her mouth. It was a very sarcastic remark, ‘ra’ for Reting and’ don’ for devil and she wondered whether she should repeat it if he asked. That she had unintentionally uttered this comment was an evil premonition concerning Reting Rinpochey. When the troubles at Sera took place, she realized that that was what she had been referring to.

During the iron-snake year (1941) Shungsep Jetsun was visited by the official Manager of the Great Prayer Festival, Dorjey Damdul and his wife Namgyel Dolkar. They asked to remain at the nunnery and receive her teachings. She replied, ‘The three great monasteries Sera, Drepung, and Ganden are full of great bodhisattvas. Why are you so helpless that you ignore them and come to me with this request? You are being foolish behaving in this way,’ and sent them away. They regularly returned to visit her and renew their request. Telling her they felt worldly life to be senseless, impermanent and unpredictable, they begged her to help them to make best use of their lives.

She finally replied that, although she had no qualities to help people, she could not refuse an earnest request. She said she would pray Tara and see what would be best for them to do. She saw that if they began religious practice it would be very successful, like the sun rising out of darkness and told them, ‘I will pray to the Jo-wo Norbu (the Shakyamuni statue in the Jokhang in Lhasa) to help me fulfil your wish. Please offer this scarf on my behalf and then begin your religious practices. You should know beforehand that there are many obstacles, so don’t ask your father what to do and don’t rely on your mother’s advice; make the decision yourself. Since this is a personal matter, you must decide on your own. You must have courage to follow in the footsteps of the holders of the tantric doctrines.’

In due course, Dorjey Damdul and his wife resigned their duties and abandoned their possessions to come to her and totally dedicate their lives to religious practice. Shungsep Jetsun became their teacher, and gradually gave them all the teachings according to the incapacity. They were very good vessels and she found that whatever she taught was suitable for them. They engaged in intensive meditation at several hermitages and gradually attained high realization.

Shungsep Jetsun had a special karmic relation with Drupchen Rinpochey and saw him in very unique ways. Once, as he was teaching the root text and commentary of Nagarjuna’s Letter to a Friend, serpents appeared behind his head and he took on the appearance and the voice of Nagarjuna himself. Sometimes, she saw him as having a body made of light and though she could touch his clothes, his body seemed totally insubstantial. On the occasion she received the initiation for trying to identify the nature of your own mind, a special and difficult Dzogchen practice, she had an enduring vision of the 100 deities of the mandala clearly outlined on Drupchen Rinpochey’s body.

When the 16th Karmapa visited her, he told her, ‘Since you are the real Machig, please give me a long-life initiation.’ She replied, ‘If you want to achieve immortality, you should first realize the deathless nature of your own mind.’ The Karmapa replied, ‘Please help me to recognize my own mind.’ She told him, ‘Naropa, it is not appearances which bind us, but rather the grasping nature of the mind, and grasping desire. There is nothing to be meditated upon. Since there is no object of meditation, there is no object of distraction either. Hold on to this nature of non-grasping, my heart-son.’ Then she offered him an initiation of White Tara and asked him to put on the Black Hat three times. The Karmapa offered her a long-life initiation in return.

Shungsep Jetsun was also visited by the father of the 14th Dalai Lama. She offered him the oral transmission and explanation of the mani. On another occasion, Sera Kelda Tulku came and they offered Tsok together. Then she gave him the principal practice of Shabkar Rinpochey on the deities Hayagriva and Vajra Varahi, and an explanation of the permission of the Wishfulfilling Jewel empowerment. She advised him to go into retreat for three years and keep out of trouble. He was unable to do this and returned to Sera, from where he was eventually expelled following the monastery’s rebellion against the government.

Dharma Sengey had willed that certain of his possessions should be given to Shungsep Jetsun. But when he passed away, his disciples put them into a shop to be sold instead. Years later, due to the links of karma someone bought them and offered them to her. There were thangkas, an ivory damaru, a long-life vase, and a vajra and bell. Receiving these objects that had belonged to her guru made her deeply happy and she prayed that she could uphold Machig’s sacred doctrine over many lifetimes.

One of her disciples, Genyen Tsangmo, always saw a white man accompanying Shungsep Jetsun, wherever she went. She finally told Jetsunma, who had no explanation to offer, when suddenly, a white man appeared to her. Surprised, she asked who he was. He replied, ‘Don’t you know me? I have been with you all these years, like a servant, helping you accomplish your good deeds.’ Jetsunma realized she was speaking to Tamchen, one of her protectors.

The biographies stop in 1950, although Shungsep Jetsun lived three years longer. She mainly followed Nyingma lineages, but she was remembered by all as a true practitioner of the non-partisan, Rimey, tradition, having given and received teachings from teachers of all traditions and given them to disciples of all backgrounds. People who visited her at Shungsep remember a very small woman – they say she became smaller and smaller – who could no longer walk at the end of her life. Whoever attended the rituals at her nunnery say everyone was welcome, whether laymen, women and children and all were entitled to a share of the offerings.

[Extracted from: http://www.migtsema.com/blog/?p=241]

[Yeshe, Kim, et al. 1991. “The Story of a Tibetan Yogini, Shungsep Jetsun 1852-1953.” In Chö-yang Vol. 4 1991. Eds. Pedron Yeshi and Jeremy Russell.]

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42 Responses to Three True Stories you must read!

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  1. CindyH on Jun 16, 2016 at 12:02 am

    What stood out for me most amongst the 3 inspirational tales is that for all 3 of them, the obstacles thrown at them only served to strengthen their resolve for the Dharma which appear to stem from the deep believe and faith in the Dharma and the Guru. From the harsh treatments, false accusations to the great injustice (even if manifested by the Guru), they steadfastly believed in their Guru and stayed on the Dharma path. Their path towards Dharma was extremely challenging and interestingly, the external obstacles appearing therein (despite the different timelines) are relatable even to current times. Thus, the fact that all 3 successfully attained their spiritual goal and overcame such adversities armed primarily with their strong conviction in the Dharma and the Guru, actually serves to remind us that it can be done and even lays out the formula to apply.

  2. Chris Chong on Nov 24, 2015 at 12:23 am

    Dear Rinpoche,

    Thank you for sharing these three inspiring stories.

    These three women is truly amazing with their Guru devotion, perseverance, integrity and compassion for all sentient beings. This shows that for us to gain any attainments from our spiritual practice, Guru devotion is extremely important. Without the Guru, there will be no attainments. These three women has went through high and low with their Gurus and not a single time they have the thought of leaving.

    Perseverance is one of the six perfections that these three women had in them. They persevere through hardships that they face and went all the way in their practice. The quote from Victoria Huckenpahler : ” Yes, but a commitment is a commitment, that’s all.” left an impact in me. How she can be so firm in committing to her practice without a doubt or slight negative emotions about it.

    Chris

  3. Wan Wai Meng on Nov 2, 2015 at 1:13 am

    Three ladies from various time periods, showing gender and the cultural norms of the day are no barriers for spiritual practice and success in it. very inspiring stories of 3 ladies in the tradition of the 84 Indian Mahasiddhas.

  4. Jacinta Goh on Oct 27, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    At first I was drawn by the first two stories and especially the story about Karma Wangmo as I found that her modern-day Yogini story happened in our time and hence, we can more or less relate her story with our current circumstances such as the pride of having obtained a high level of education which is the pursuit of general people nowadays and the freedom to travel in order to taste the ‘real’ life! Her 180 degree of U-Turn in her life is unexpected just like some of the Kecharians now. For the third one, I couldn’t even imagine if I do have the courage to continue on even though the Guru never seemed to be satisfied with her or accepted her. Guru devotion and the fact that we must see our Guru as the Buddha himself are the core practices here. Her result of her practice has somehow paid off.

    However, usually when I read the biography of past masters/ nuns, I will tend to apply or relate back to my own circumstances. That’s how I gotten the strength to move on as sometimes it can be quite lonely to journey the Dharma path, especially when others do not know how we feel or what we truly wanted. Hence, the first one where Nangsa has to go through tremendous hardship just to pursuit Dharma is a very good point for me to ponder. Sometimes attachment especially by having family members can be a hindrance rather than encouragement. If we truly examine our mind, I think if we were to drop our Dharma pursue, we will usually think that we can at least fall back to where we were, i.e. Family. This is somewhat ‘laziness’ in disguise and also a limitation that we have unconsciously set in our mind. To truly appreciate renunciation, we must somehow move beyond what we have now. But to move beyond that, many things will pull us back and fear is one of them.

  5. Sonam Yangchen on Sep 6, 2015 at 10:08 pm

    Rinpoche, it always gives me immense happiness to read and contemplate what rinpoche writes for us la. Thank you for sharing and bringing precious teachings and sacred stories alive, it gives us so much strength, blessings, energy to practice dharma to our best ability la.
    May Kechara shine like the sun, showing the path to enlightenment.

    Thank you Tsem rinpoche, Thank you KECHARA. OM MANI PADME HUNG

  6. Pastor Moh Mei on May 18, 2015 at 12:48 am

    All three stories are inspiring. Despite the three stories are from different time and different era, the dharma path remains the same – guru devotion, integrity, selflessness and compassion towards other beings.

    Nangsa Obum and Shungsep Jetsun specially went through extreme hardship in their dharma path. Despite all the wrong accusations, cruel treatments and unhappiness they have to endure, they never lost faith in their Guru, never gave up their dharma path, never blame/hate/plot against those who wronged them, never stopped being selfless and compassionate towards others.

    If I have to pick one part that is most memorable to me from all three stories, it would be what Karma Wangmo said about relationship and attachment to people.

    “I consider attachment to people worse than attachment to vices because with the former you are hindering others, dragging them down. It becomes difficult for them to do Dharma practice if they are tied by relationships.”

    When I read that it was like wow! I never really thought about it that way. I don’t think the statement is detached or cold per say but requires extreme compassion because the motivation behind it is to not hinder the other person from dharma practice. As human I think we are extremely drawn to relationship be it friendship, companionship, romantic relationship etc but inherently to fulfill some form of selfish needs. To be able to see relationship not just as a hindrance to one own practice but to the other party involved is very selfless and compassionate.

    • Charmine on May 21, 2015 at 9:14 pm

      The stories are inspiring. We born as human to learn how to be a better human being. We can be enlightened even though when we are still human being. In buddhism everybody can be a buddha as long as we put effort on building a solid foundation on attitudes, perspectives of life and karma. That’s where living with dharma helps us to attain the highest level of life. Death is a promotion. If we die light we are light so we can go to heaven. If we die heavily then we might go to hell. Nangsa is a compassion woman. I salute her courage and determination to practice dharma. However, I don’t quite agree she leaves her son to practice dharma. The first thing we should do before dharma is fulfilling the household responsibilities. It is easy to give birth to a kid but it is hard to educate the kid about good values. The kids’ journey would be more smoother if they being educated the right values when they are in between 1-5 years old. Everybody has their own will in life. I like the last two stories. It shows us the determination.

  7. Sean Wang on Jan 1, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    Myy favourite story amongst the three is the story of Nangsa Obum. The amount of devotion she places in her Dharmic path is very amazing. I really want to become like her.

    All the tales are proof of the existence of Karmic seeds. Rinpoche always speaks about planting the seeds of enlightenment in others.

  8. Joy on Dec 16, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    The three stories were very inspirational reads…

    From these three beautiful stories there were similarities and one most significant one was their commitment to the Dharma and their Guru(s). However, each story highlighted certain qualities the practitioner showed strongly…

    The first story on Nangsa was about renunciation. The story also showed determination and forgiveness. Even though she possessed a beauty every girl wished, a rich and powerful husband, a good life as one would consider, she saw it all as delusions of samsara that kept her in prison. Although she encountered cruelty from her in-laws who beat her and wronged her,she never fight back and always forgave them and tried her best to do as they wish, suffering quietly like a bird in a golden cage. However, she never gave up her deep wish to practice the Dharma and kept on finding ways to get out of it until one day she did. He longing to renounce and to learn Dharma was deep in her, it never faltered and when the time was right she found the opportunity to get away in search of a spiritual guide. Finally gaining realizations, she inspired her entire family in to the Dharma path.

    The second one was about Karma Wangmo’s 100% commitment. Once she set her mind on something she went all the way with it. And she did by entering a 12 years retreat no other western nun at that time was known to have done so. It also showed her discipline, pure devotion, trust in her Guru and the Dharma. To many it may seem like such a quick or drastic change from not really seeking anything spiritual, and in one year’s time she went from not wanting even to take two vows to being ordained. The radical change was very natural and organic for her. When asked how did all this suddenly just happened, she simply answered “Obviously, in other lives I was very connected with the Dharma, so there was really no conscious decision on my part.” This indicated that she must have practised very strongly in her previous life to be able to continue in this way.

    The 3rd story is my favourite of them all… it is almost like a myth and Dharma fairy tale coming to life. Shungsep Jetsun I believe is definitely no ordinary Lady, and in her story, one thing that stood out most was her Guru devotion. Even though her Guru “stamped her forehead with a seal representing a dog and ordered her to leave both the nunnery and the locality immediately and go to a place called Pomdra in Nepal.”, she never once lost faith in her Lama. She clung on to her faith in her lama and did not forsake her compassion for all beings…. the rest of the story showed us her attainments of a highly enlightened being, one with Machig Labdron/Vajravarahi.

    These amazing and inspiring true accounts, show us the way to practice Dharma, and how with these type of qualities, attainments blessed by the Guru is achievable. It also show us that practising Dharma is not all rosy, but all part and parcel of the training to transformed ones mind, to be able to identify our real delusions and to gain Compassion, Emptiness and hence Enlightenment is not a far fetched tale.

  9. So Kin Hoe on Dec 11, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing the three true stories! These stories are important for everyone to read and check with ourselves if we have done enough for Dharma.

  10. Julia Tan on Dec 9, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,
    Thank you very much for sharing these three very inspiring articles with us. Among all I especially like the story about Karma Wangmo. I think she can relate to me most. The reason is because she is very simple and very ordinary lady, she live a life like anyone of us. Her thought and her reactions about dharma from the beginning was just like many of us here. One day she decided to go into retreat without thinking much but with her simple and pure motivation of benefiting all sentient beings. She went into that little hut without seeing anyone nor talking to anyone for twelve years! Without having the strong faith into her Lama and Buddha, I do not think she can actually made it. It was also because she was having this strong thought of doing it not for herself that’s why she can continue doing it happily everyday. I believe what she mentioned about emptiness is an experience.That is why very few people actually understand what emptiness is about. Only through meditation that we can experience it. That’s why retreat is so important for practitioners. I hope to have enough merits and a stable, strong and focus mind like Ani Wangmo; to do my retreat at Kechara Forest Retreat soon.

  11. wei theng on Dec 5, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing the stories of the three yoginis.
    Nangsa Obum is very inspiring and gave me a lot of impact. She was willing to give up all her family and son for spiritual practice. Despite all the hardship that she has been through, she always hold Dharma dear to her heart. She also very compassionate that she is willing to give up her practices to avoid creating more harms to others.

    Wangmo is determined, strong minded and when decided something, she will go all the way. Her determination to practice and meditation is very strong. Once she is set to do retreat for 12 years, she just go all the way.

    As for Lochen, her guru devotions and the determination to learn and practice Dharma very strong..

    From the three stories, it really shut me out from giving any more excuses on practicing Dharma. The three yoginis’s determination and dedication and willing to give up all for their spiritual practice. How can I give any more excuse??

    May i have the strength and will power as them and be like them to be very determine and serious in learning Dharma so that can benefit others.

  12. Shin Tan on Dec 5, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    Thank you for sharing these 3 stories inspiring stories of women practitioners, of how these great Yoginis do not let difficult situations become hindrance for them to embrace and practise the Dharma.

    These great Yoginis seemed to defy the culture or norm, for example, Nangsa Obum who just wanted to practice Dharma and not be involved in getting married and family life, Karma Wangmo being a lady from the West who entered a traditional 12-year retreat, and Shungsep Jetsun who due to her guru devotion and perseverance became a highly attained female who offered a White Tara initiation to the Karmapa. These great yoginis also showed that their spiritual needs and capacities are as great as men’s.

    What I learnt from these stories are:
    1. Previous lives do exist. These great yoginis have strong imprints that drive them to go on their spiritual path and lead a higher life of contemplation, meditation and serving others.

    2. Even with strong imprints, it is important to continue the path in this life, else one lifetime will be wasted on worldly affairs, things will turn out very differently if Nangsa Obum had chosen to just be a wife and mother, if Karma Wangmo just went to pursue a career after she completed her degree, and if Shungsep Jetsun never met her root Lama.

    3. Great yoginis also faces tremendous hardship. They take on the hardship willingly, because they know that only the Dharma path will lead to illumination/enlightenment, realising that only this is worthwhile to spend time and energy on when we have the precious human body. We too can become like them if we choose the right focus. As Karma Wangmo advised: “If you remember that your motivation is to benefit all sentient beings, you cannot go wrong. If you’re doing it for yourself you can get bored with it, or decide it’s a hobby you don’t want to pursue anymore. As long as you’re clear in your heart, it doesn’t matter how poorly you’re doing it, just keep doing it and everything else will eventually fall into place.”

  13. Sharon Saw on Dec 5, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    Thank you for sharing these stories. All three stories are amazing in their own way – but what is inspiring in all three is that they are courageous in the Dharma, and their tenacity and perseverance no matter what obstacles come in their way. Pretty much a reminder of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche.

    I guess the most relatable is the American Ani in the modern day yogini, where she was not born with auspicious signs and did not have a strong inclination to Dharma at a young age, yet she could simply just commit to Dharma and develop Guru Devotion almost instantaneously. Although one could say that she probably had dharma seeds from previous lives which opened when conducive conditions appeared. This is also what is happening to all of us who have the good fortune to be near Tsem Rinpoche – conducive conditions have appeared for us to meet Rinpoche’s teachings, whether in real life or in cyberspace – here on the blog, but what are each of us doing about it aside from admiring the wisdom within Rinpoche’s teachings.

  14. Siong Woan on Dec 4, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    Of the three, Obum’s story was the most touching for me, I like her determination to be engaged in spiritual practice and yet, she managed the situations (e.g agreed to marry the prince to avoid her parents being killed) with the pure motivation not to harm anyone. I would consider this the highest virtue because her care and kindness do not discriminate, she loved and cared for her loved ones as well as those who tortured her. she truly is an shining example of ‘compassion’.

    The scarify that she made for people around her, is actually her real practice. To walk the talk of Buddha dharma. Her life, even though not what the way of life she had wanted, was a life well spent in serving others.

  15. judy lam on Dec 3, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    Karma Wangmo (Victoria Huckenpahler), a western woman, who commit herself into doing a 12 year retreat is very inspiring. It is not something that anyone can do. She described her retreat experience as ‘pretending you are a thief hiding’ and adapted to the situation. Victoria even contemplated on doing the retreat for the rest of her life, but remembers her elder mother and thought she should come out of her retreat. I admire practitioners like her who still current despite her intense Dharma practice.

  16. deborah on Dec 3, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    I may not understand the dharma context of all the stories but in summary the generic message throughout is perseverance, willpower and faith to see such commitment through to the end. It is therefore a good motivation for anyone today to try and be half of what these women were/ are.

  17. AdelineTan on Dec 3, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Very touching and inspiring stories. In Dharma path there is no short cut or easy way out,must have strong will and work very hard in order to achieve our goals.

  18. Joe Ang on Dec 3, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,
    Thank you very much for sharing with us these 3 very inspirational stories. All 3 stories told of people who with unwavering faith in the Dharma, practised diligently,followed and trusted their Guru all the way are able to achieve so much greatness in their lives and help so many along the way.

    These stories are very powerful and tells of how much one is willing to go through for the sake of the Dharma. It makes me feel that whatever that is bothering me are actually very insignificant and it again reminded me to stay strong and be consistent with the work that I am doing.

  19. William on Dec 3, 2012 at 1:37 am

    The three stories are very interesting a are from different eras and different locations. These stories showed me that practicing Dharma needs patience and one should never give up in any circumstances. All the stories, they do not give up when they are faced with obstacles but they continued on and never stop. They serve as an inspiration to me

    The incredible story of Shungsep Jetsun where she had such a strong mind to overcome all the obstacles to benefit so many people. With all the ups and downs in her life since childhood until the day she dies, she never gives up on her practice. Even though she died a few times and came back stronger and influencing more people who comes her way.

    Thank you RInpoche for sharing these stories.

  20. Andrew Boon on Dec 2, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Stories of a frivolous nature are mere tales of an imaginative mind, however stories that inspire and act like mirrors for our soul are teachings in themselves.

    These 3 stories are indeed wonderful and profound teachings! Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these three beautiful accounts of real life dakinis.

    For one to choose a better story over another is almost impossible as all three are equally beneficial and inspiring! However due to my own inclinations, obscurations and delusions, I am more drawn, in a manner of relativity, to the lives of Nangsa Obum and Karma Wangmo.

    What strikes me is how strong my own attachments and ‘clinging on’ are in a mirror like comparison (reflective opposite) to Nagsa Obum, and how I deal with self justifications and my own stubbornness in stark contrast to that of Karma Wangmo.

    This realization does not leave me dejected but rather even more inspired, that even though I dare not compare myself to such great beings, I know there is hope in their kind example!

  21. Carmen K. on Dec 2, 2012 at 1:56 am

    I didn’t know the stories were so long, until I looked at the time and realised I took quite a while to read all 3 stories. All the stories were so inspiring and captivating that I had focused and concentrated thoroughly on it.

    Nangsa Obum’s story left me in wonders. Her great compassion and supremely kind-heart strung a chord deep in me. Carrying on strong Dharmic imprints from her previous life, she had a strong inclination to practise Dharma at such a young age (same goes for Shungsep Jetsun!), and never once let go of that want. She “sacrificed” her relationship with her husband, son, and parents, but in the end, brought them onto the path of Dharma through her pure attainments and realizations that aroused from her sincere practise. Even her son, at such a young age, had an abundance of wisdom in him.

    Her determination and not giving up no matter how hard the situation towards her was is uplifting. When treated badly, she didn’t complain, when others mistreated her, she held no grudge against them. Pure practise of the 8verses to Mind Transformation!

    All three yoginis are pure examples and inspiration for us to take heed from. I will continue to read this post again and again to learn more.

    Thank you for this post, Rinpoche.

    Love,
    Carmen

  22. Henry Ooi on Dec 1, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    Nangsa Obum, Victoria Huckenpahler and Shungsep Jetsun are three great practitioners in their own time. They had their share of hardship but with great perseverance they are able to show by their exemplary practice what true dharma practice means. They represent other great female dharma practitioners showing me that great attainments can be achieved with great resolve regardless of one’s gender.

  23. jamiekhoo on Dec 1, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    These stories continue to astound and amaze me, no matter how many times I have come across them – Nangsa Obum’s story especially. I remember that Rinpoche had so kindly personally sent me these stories a while ago, at a time that I was feeling very low. He gave me the same message, to read and contemplate the lives of spiritual masters as inspiration to get myself back on my feet.

    I think most inspiring is to see how these women transformed every experience into a positive one and used it as fodder for their spirituality. It does seem so much “easier” to wallow or act out of our disappointments, sadness and pains but at the end of the day, it just makes us more miserable. How often do we fail to really see that? Practitioners like these show us that every opportunity can be one for practice and prove to us that if they can achieve this then so can we, for at some point or other, they would have been at the very same “place” that each one of us are at right now.

    I have loved the story of the nun Tenzin Palmo too, in the book “Cave in the Snow” which chronicles her spiritual journey and her now famous 12-year retreat in a cave. It’s quite amazing to think of just how little support she would have had when she first started her journey. There were very few Tibetan Buddhists in England and even fewer nuns (if there were any at all). In spite of all the obstacles, she remained determined and is now among the most well known nuns in the world, bringing tremendous benefit to people in the world. Goes to show – whether something creates pain or success for us is really only up to us to decide for ourselves.

  24. Lim Han Nee on Dec 1, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    Of the three yogins, I find Shungstep Jetsun the most inspirational.

    Her devotion to her Guru is just so amazing. I feel the pain of severe rejection for her when Pema Gyatso made a heartwrenching exception of her by refusing to give her the complete teaching on a practice (related to the psychic channels and energy winds)that she had so yearned for, and, instead gave it to the rest when she was out of the nunnery. The final blow of having her carefully collected offerings for him thrown away and of her being asked to leave both nunnery and locality would have been so utterly difficult to bear for another.

    Yet, she bore all that with a stout and devoted heart. Even away from her beloved Guru, she was always uttering words of prayer to him. The incident that impresses strongly on me is that of her trying to rescue her friend who had fallen into torrential waters. “She prayed to her Lama, meditating on the Vase-like wind and wishing that all sentient beings be freed from cyclic existence, she then jumped into the water’. She succeeded in rescuing her friend Kador. Outside people, watching the whole incident , thought that she was a dakini! Here was the perfect practice of Guru Devotion and Bodhicitta.

    In the end, she was reconciled with her Guru. She became highly attained. But even as a young child, she was already fascinating people around her. She gave her first teaching at the age of four to a group of children who sensed that she was different and special.

    As a most compassionate being, her teachings and practice revolved around Avalokiteshvara and the Mani mantra. She was told to practice all the great qualities of Avalokiteshvara, as expressed in the Mani mantra. She also meditated on the 7-cause and One Result. While she was doing a related meditation and visualization practice, she actually visited the other samsaric realms. Practicing the exchange of self for others, she was able to experience the tremendous suffering of the Hell Realm! Her attainments included being able to communicate with all realms’ beings in their own tongue!

    This great and most admirable yogin lived to be a hundred!

  25. Lim Han Nee on Dec 1, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    Modern-day yogini, Victoria Huckenpahler, strikes me by her non-attachment to the things and vagaries of this life. She says:

    “Life can be wonderful , people can be happy, there is love… You don’t have to suffer if you don’t want to.(Yet) the highs in life are so short -lived…Each of (life’s) phases is so temporal, and anyhow you wouldn’t want any of them….lasting forever”.

    I feel as though she can as easily shrug off both the good and bad times. She sees into the heart of things:

    “It is true of everyone that when the tragedy hits home, the idea of attachment and death become clear. You see the futility of relationships whether they were very attached or unpleasant. We waste such tremendous energy on things that are so short-lived.”

    “The Dharma “, she says, ” takes the fun out of samsara. You’re left with ignorance, but knowing enough to make you feel miserable.”

    Her twelve-year retreat shows that here is a lady with very sharp, single-minded focus and overwhelming mental-discipline, and I revere her for it.

  26. Tat Ming on Dec 1, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Thank You Rinpoche for these truly inspiring stories.

    Nangsa Obum, Victoria Huckenpahler and Shungsep Jetsun had clearly demonstrated the paths to liberation and enlightenment. What follows are some of the essential points to contemplate on and take to heart.

    Nangsa Obum’s song about the preciousness of our human lives. If we don’t practise Dharma now we will miss the opportunity as our human lives are impermanent.

    Victoria Huckenpahler had emphasised the motivation of our practice is to benefit all sentient beings. We must be clear about this motivation and perservere in our practice no matter what happens in the course of our spiritual journey. She had also shared that emptiness must be realised through doing meditation and not through intellectual understanding.

    Shungsep Jetsun highlighted that one must accumulate vast amount of merits and purify one’s negative karma to accomplish Buddhahood. If one does not have a firmed understanding of emptiness, all the virtues accumulated alone cannot bring liberation. She had also indicated that our realisation can degenerate if we are too caught up with samsara.

  27. Lim Han Nee on Dec 1, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    The sweet and lovely Nangsa of the first story may, at first glance, seem to be merely a demure being who was afraid to offend any one. However, if one looks closely at this most lyrical story with much poetry, one must surely see a selfless being whose main aim was to benefit others with little or no regard for self.

    Although her dream from the start was to follow the Dharma, yet the strong-willed and overbearing men thwarted her dream by binding her to a marriage with his son. Then came a baby boy, which saw the dream grow distant. Then followed abuse in the hands of sister-in-law and husband. Jealousy drove them to great cruelty towards her, which culminated in her death.

    But then the Lord of Death saw her virtuous record and sent her back to life so that she could fulfill her dream. However, her young son now lay claims on her as a young child needing a mother’s care, with the powerful truth:
    “How could I become the string to bind you to the world unless you, my parents, had sown the seeds?”

    Yet the dream to follow the path of Dharma reaffirmed itself, as Nangsa sang to her friends:

    “Human life is very difficult to find
    If we do not follow the Dharma at once
    It would be over, like a flash of lightning”.

    This time she finally acted upon her words and left to follow the Dharma .

    In the end, the people, whom Nangsal had not been able to persuade to allow her to follow the Dharma,became convinced, by the power of the highly attained Lama Shakya Gyeltsen and the fruits of the three months’ Dharma practice on Nangsal, that Dharma was the way.

    They all became Dharma practitioners. So the happy ending of this true story does prove that Nangsal’s selflessness and pure motivation had succeeded where words and other means had failed.

  28. David Lai on Dec 1, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    I read through all 3 inspirational stories and I think they were profound stories of 3 beautiful yoginis, each with their out set of qualities worth emulating. Nangsa Obum leads a most interesting life and there are many parallels between her life and that of Rinpoche’s life. Both Nangsa Obum and Rinpoche had from a very young age were not attached to family life and wanted to pursue Dharma.

    They loved their family very much but saw the trap in pursuing a lay life. Both faced tremendous obstacles from family but it did not deter them from practicing and both were unhappy in worldly situations. Both found their Lama and despite how the Lama manifested, it did not deter them from practicing. I love the ending of Nangsa Obum’s life, she managed to subdue her family and place on the path of Dharma much like the great mahasiddhas of old. I know personally, Rinpoche would very much like to do that for his parents but circumstances are different.

    I think Karma Wangmo (the 2nd yogini’s story) was impressive because she was very difficult towards the Dharma initially but when she opened her heart, she went all the way with her practice. I think that’s very much a powerful inspiration because she has many obstacles culturally and coming from a time when Dharma was little-understood in the west, she brave through all and emerged as a wonderful and beautiful practitioner.

    The last yogini story, Jetsun Shungsep was an extensive hagiography to a definitely one of the greatest attained yoginis of the last century. Love her story, difficult childhood, tenacity, devotion, crazy wisdom, mystical experiences and how much she had done to benefit her students and monastery. Even her mother passed away in an auspicious manner.

  29. KYC on Dec 1, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    The stories are about three very determined women practitioners who never gave up no matter what. Although they belonged to different periods and backgrounds, they all have the propensity to engage in dharma which is obviously a result of past life practice and aspirations. I find their stories very inspiring and have learned that guru devotion is the main element in their practice. It is true that all happiness and goodness come from one’s guru.

  30. Wah Ying on Dec 1, 2012 at 10:41 am

    The story of Nangsa doesn’t seems like real story, but with the real emotions and actions of people in this world will do and react. The story was dramatic and I can see many episodes that did happen in actual life. It shows me how Nangsa sees through luxury life, relationship with family and son, in attempt to look for eternal happiness.

    The story of Victoria Huckenpahler shows she is a single minded person that follow her heart. Does whatever fall in front of her without much unnecessary thoughts. She just does them all.

    The special faith and guru devotion of Lochen is really something to learn from even it seems not easy.

  31. Martin on Dec 1, 2012 at 3:27 am

    Vicoria Huchenpahler:

    I thoroughly enjoyed Victoria Huckenpahler’s story! Reading her interview is like finding a box with so many goodies in it and every few sentences she says something so profound but in such a by-the-way manner.

    A few things about Anila made an impression in my mind:

    1. Anila did not fill her mind with expectations of one thing or another; she doesn’t box herself into norms and descriptions. When I read about her, I get this image of a mist that doesn’t demand a definition and yet keeps filling up whatever space is available to her. The way she thinks is different and her mind does not have preconditions and is like a clear vessel that allows as much Dharma to go in, as there is Dharma. Nor does she interrupt her mind to wonder how much knowledge she has gained and as such wasn’t particularly bothered how much Buddhist philosophy she has. Bottom line is, realization counts for a lot more than intellectual knowledge.

    2. I appreciate her self-honesty and wasn’t about to take vows she could not keep and yet was not resisting what Dharma was doing in her. What comes though clearly is her strong sense of the present, neither getting stuck in the past or stumbling on her expectations of what is suppose to happen.

    3. There is so much practical wisdom in her one-liners “What has driven you in one direction can be redirected”; “you just adopt to situations as they arise”; “every issue that could possibly come up is being addressed”

    4. How instinctive Dharma is to her. A fly landing on her leg is an opportunity!

    5. And I find this statement about Dharma practice to be particularly encouraging “ As long as you are clear in your heart, it doesn’t matter how poorly you’re doing it, just keep doing it…”

    There is so much more in what she says that I will have to keep reading this story over and over again.

  32. justin cheah on Dec 1, 2012 at 1:18 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these inspiring stories of strong minded women. I especially admire their tenacity towards their practice despite all the difficulties they have encountered. Their relentless effort in contributing towards the Dharma is highly commendable.

  33. Martin on Dec 1, 2012 at 1:18 am

    The Story Of Nagsa Obum

    There is so much to think about just in Nagsa’s story alone. First Nagsa’s parents advice to her reflects how parents even with good intentions fail to consider the importance of Dharma in the child’s life and teaches only worldly wisdom which doesn’t go far. Ani Nyimo’s rebuke of the yogis although unwarranted is also a mirror of human being’s misplaced values.

    Nangsa’s song upon returning from the state of death is a beautiful renunciation of worldly pursuits telling us that if only we could see ourselves from the other side of life, we too would realize that we are using our lives in quests of futile things though they may appear to be necessities when we are alive. The beautiful exchange between Nangsa and her son sounds very much like the excuses we give ourselves to delay our commitment to practice Dharma but everything we regard as important will pass into nothingness. Nangsa counsels us not to depend on anything worldly but everything Dharmic.

    Lama Shakya Gyeltsen’s words pointedly tell us how foolish we are not to practice Dharma as early as the opportunity arises instead of waiting until decay has almost completed its job on us. Those of us who have come across the opportunity to fully embrace Dharma and yet do not, reduce ourselves into lowly beings.

    The story of Nangsa is also a story of persistence in our Dharma journey because it is very rare to be able to meet and practice the Dharma.

  34. lewkwanleng on Nov 30, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for taking the time to extract these stories to us. Like Rinpoche said, reading such stories will definitely inspire us.

    The story of Victoria Huckenpahler is easiest to relate for me because she is in the same “era” as us. Her interview seems simple but her Guru devotion is so strong (and yet subtle).

    While I was reding Shungsep Jetsun story, I keep reflecting my experience with Rinpoche and other incidents related to me by Rinpoche’s students. There are so much similarities! This story reaffirms that I am following a real Lama with great compassion to guide us out of Samsara.

  35. bengkooi on Nov 30, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    Of these stories, my favourite is the story of Nangsa Obum. Her dedication to follow a dharma path at all costs, and also her selflessness of giving up that dharma path to avoid creating harm is very inspirational. I aspire to be like her.

    Furthermore, the tale of Nangsa Obum as well as the others are proof of the power of dharma seeds. Tsem Rinpoche always speaks about planting the seeds of enlightenment in others, human or non human. I appreciate the power of dharma seeds much more now, knowing that when they open, the pull towards the dharma is great.

  36. Wan Wai Meng on Nov 30, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    This was a very inspiring collection of stories by three very strong women who overcame society, conventions to do what they feel they needed to do. They needed to get the best out of their human lives hence they worked hard at practicing and relied on their Guru who showed them the way. Nangsa Obum reminded me of the Buddha who could have gotten all she wants at anywhere and at anytime, it was for her to choose and she choose to be involved in dharma ultimately as she saw that there was no essence to the life she led.

    For the Western lady well she is truly an amazing example or future practitioners. I felt she was not an ordinary person, she could just in a matter of months after receiving teachings make a commitment to stay in retreat, probably her level of detachment was an indication of the level of practice she had achieved in previous lives. She did meet Lama Yeshe who is still a tremendous force even listening to the recordings of his voice after many many years.

    Lastly I read the last story this is the 2nd or 3rd time now and this time it made an impact on me I felt she is like the great lamas like Trijang Rinpoche or Pabongka Rinpoche, these beings were always working with people and always helping to develop people, teaching, sharing and making things better for others. I liked the last story the most.

  37. sweekeong on Nov 30, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Nangsa Obum inspires me not to give up to seek the opportunities to practice Dharma wherever possible. She was very kind accommodating to all the close kins who have treated her badly showing great compassion. As a woman her determination to seek and practice Dharma is stronger than many men.

    Victoria Huckenpahler inspires me to be very single minded in practicing of Dharma, and give it your all attitude. Be very consistent and complete it till the end. She showed that woman can do it, secluded in meditation retreat for many years.

    Shungsep Jetsun inspires me not to give up my lama. She kept learning more and more Dharma, practiced the Dharma and taught the Dharma to others non-stop and constantly. She is very humble and pay great respect to his root lama. She inspired many others to the Dharma with her teachings and abilities, a great example of woman who has given up everything to practice Dharma. I admired her mother as well for following her all these years.

  38. Ethan Hoo on Nov 30, 2012 at 9:15 am

    Thank you, Rinpoche for sharing these 3 inspiring stories. Despite the hardships they have to go through, these 3 nuns never give up on their practices and their deep guru devotion. Truly inspiring and examples for all of us to follow.

  39. Leann Lim on Nov 30, 2012 at 4:10 am

    谢谢仁波切的分享,一直陷入好像在看神话故事,但这的确是真实无序的人生故事,真的很精彩…很喜欢第三个故事Shungsep Jetsun, 致敬!! 即使她经历了不愉快的童年,修行路上招人嫉妒为她带来麻烦,但她的意志坚定,她的慈悲,对上师一心的皈依,让她赢得了所有人的尊敬!!也好像Nangsa 一样影响身边的人开始修习佛法,明白世间无意义,只有佛法才是永恒的~

    印象很深刻的是因为真实的慈悲心,就连动物们:豹和狗也因此可以种下佛的种子,而一想到这是真实的故事,心里不禁的升起很大的信心。而即使在悲惨的地狱,她也想尽办法的想帮助地狱终生,但可惜的是即使慈悲之母——观音菩萨也无能为力,因为众生一直在累计业障…这虽让人沮丧,但却是无可避免的事实!

    这些故事让我想起轮回,我们一直在世间法里打滚,常常被愤怒,贪心和生老病死折磨等等…即使是拥有伟大的上师,随手可得的佛法,我们却不愿意去跟随,反而觉得‘无意义;,常听到的:来世的事来世才来烦呗!!但经常在克切拉’打滚‘后,开始明白为什么修行那么重要,为什么注重来世,来来世是重要的…因为开始明白轮回的存在。

    而克切拉禅修林的成立,将会利益很多众生,从听法到修行都可以在这一一实现。或许一天我们可以效仿这些伟大的修行者在这进行闭关,开始觉悟呢 :)可能我也是女子吧,所以看到这三篇女修行者的故事,特别感动,感触…从古代毫无地位的女性到今时今日的女强人,好像挺不容易的..更何况是想利益众生的女修行者!!

    再次谢谢仁波切无私的关爱和费尽心思为了让大家明白和学习更多佛法而这一篇篇的分享和指导,谢谢您~~愿您身体安康,佛法弘扬

  40. Jace Chong on Nov 29, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Thanks Rinpoche for sharing with us these 3 interesting truth stories. They shows that the will to practice Dharma in female will also drive to enlightening results.

    I especially like the last one, Shungsep Jetsun / Lochen’story. It’s rather long and “dramatic” but I am really touched by her will to benefit sentient beings could bring her to hell and spoke to Shinjey to empty the hell.

    But unfortunately, like what the Lord of Death, Shinjey says, even if he empty the hell, the sentient beings will still come back due to the bad deeds we do.

    But Shungsep Jetsun never stops, she did her very best to realize more, so to benefit all sentient beings to understand more.

    In our generations, beside Rinpoches and great practitioners, this kind of determination to benefit others is hardly find among us. Most of us were born and educated to only taking after our own needs and pleasure, with this it will keep us circling in Samsara. As the truth is, there’s no way out but Dharma, we should eliminate the will to seek only self pleasure, and cultivate the will to give others happiness.

    For me, it’s the reason we need to work hard for Kechara Forest Retreat, as it’s a place for others to transform their mind, and gain happiness ultimately.

    Thank you Rinpoche. _/\_

  41. joey wong on Nov 29, 2012 at 10:00 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for posting these inspiring stories. It is always heartfelt to hear about how people would not give up their Dharma practice no matter what happens. It did made me reflect on myself and how weak i am compared to them, and i do hope to have their mental strength as to not be distracted or give up with situations and conditions get difficult. Really hope that one day I have their determination and Rinpoche’s determination also to benefit others.

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Blog Chat

BLOG CHAT

Dear blog friends,

I’ve created this section for all of you to share your opinions, thoughts and feelings about whatever interests you.

Everyone has a different perspective, so this section is for you.

Tsem Rinpoche


SCHEDULED CHAT SESSIONS / 中文聊天室时间表

THURSDAY
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9 - 10PM (GMT +8)
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(除了每个月的第一个星期五)
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11AM - 12PM (GMT +8)
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SUNDAY
9:30 - 10PM (GMT +8)
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UPCOMING TOPICS FOR FEBRUARY / 二月份讨论主题

Please come and join in the chat for a fun time and support. See you all there.


Blog Chat Etiquette

These are some simple guidelines to make the blog chat room a positive, enjoyable and enlightening experience for everyone. Please note that as this is a chat room, we chat! Do not flood the chat room, or post without interacting with others.

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Remember that these are real people you are chatting with. They may have different opinions to you and come from different cultures. Treat them as you would face to face, and respect their opinions, and they will treat you the same.

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Give the room a chance to answer you. Patience is a virtue. And if after awhile, people don't respond, perhaps they don't know the answer or they did not see your question. Do ask again or address someone directly. Do not be offended if people do not or are unable to respond to you.

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Please let this be a conducive space for discussions, both light and profound.

KECHARA FOREST RETREAT PROGRESS UPDATES

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: retreat.kechara.com.

Noticeboard

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  • Jason
    Monday, Feb 20. 2017 02:46 AM
    Before this, I really doubt on reincarnation but after I watched the video above, it make me believe on reincarnation stuff which is happen to many high Lama. Reincarnation can’t totally explain by scientists but it reallly exists in this world.
    Thanks Rinpoche for sharing this and it open up my view on reincarnation topic.

    Jason

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/film-tv-music/reincarnation-true-or-false.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Sunday, Feb 19. 2017 09:10 PM
    At this day and age, it is indeed surprising for leaders of faith to apply a heavy-handed technique to oppress nonbeliever or the deviant. It is hard to accept because we have been educated by the history of painful examples where discrimination and persecution were usually man-made because of intolerance, lack of acceptance and ignorance. I wish the Baha’i faith grow and shine, and may harmony and love pervades the community.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/sanctuary-for-a-persecuted-faith.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Sunday, Feb 19. 2017 08:46 PM
    Thank you, Rinpoche for sharing with us here online the very rare and holy image of Pabongka Rinpoche in Tantric dress. He is the lineage master of Tibetan Buddhism that His Holiness Dalai Lama is teaching today. I am very fortunate to be able to meet with Tsem Rinpoche whose teaching traced back to Pabongka Rinpoche unbroken. May more people realize the weight of unbroken lineage in Buddhism and hence see the importance of Guru Devotion, which is the cornerstone of pure lineage in many ways.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/kyabje-pabongka-rinpoche-in-tantric-dress.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Sunday, Feb 19. 2017 08:34 PM
    Thank you, Rinpoche for the interesting article. We get to learn more about preventing snakes the natural way. It ‘s nice to know that we can rely on plants to repel snakes, and some of these plants are suitable to be planted in Malaysia. Garlic paste sounds not trying to make and a natural way to repel snakes. I wonder if it works to keep lizards away too?

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/how-to-prevent-snakes-in-your-backyard.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Sunday, Feb 19. 2017 08:22 PM
    This is a very nice sharing by Cindy Dinh. Rejoice to your keen interest in Buddhism in spite of being at an age where spirituality is not a common topic of interest. Please continue to explore the many teachings and topics here on the blog. And thank you, Cindy for writing to show your appreciation. It is a great testimony to the good work by Rinpoche and the team and will be a motivation for the rest of us too.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/etc/thanks-cindy.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Sunday, Feb 19. 2017 08:07 PM
    Thank you, Rinpoche for this advice, which gives depth to what it means by living with parents versus living on our own. The key takeaway is taking responsibility for our own life hence making our own destiny. Camping in our comfort zone for too long will not fuel us to do better or be stronger and more independent. At the end of the day, our attitude determines our actions, and our actions determine our success. Go for it, everyone! You never try, you never know. ��

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/students-friends/living-at-home-the-real-reasons.html
  • Lin Mun
    Sunday, Feb 19. 2017 08:03 PM
    This is a very beatiful Buddha Manjushri painting. Rejoice for Wylfred and team for taking effort to making this painting and offered it to Rinpoche.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/students-friends/look-what-the-postman-brought.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Sunday, Feb 19. 2017 07:41 PM
    Brown is an example of knowing the purpose of his life and actually doing it. I can imagine his passion and drive in growing food to feed the poor. Money is not everything in life. I wish Brown’s example will be the inspiration to more people who will focus more on serving the needs of others and less on self. May Brown continues to be the beacon for the less fortunate. Thank you, Rinpoche for this sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/he-rejected-the-37-million-contract-to-do-what.html
  • Joy Kam
    Sunday, Feb 19. 2017 12:55 PM
    What’s Next…

    Dharma Protector practices are regarded as essential does not negate the importance of other practices. It certainly does not suggest that Dharma Protector practices can or should be practised in isolation to replace all of the Sutric and Tantric systems of Buddhism. Why? Because the ultimate protection comes in the form of extinguishing all our karma. When we have extinguished all our karma, we no longer possess the causes to be harmed or affected by negative beings and interferences. In relying upon the stainless Sutric and Tantric systems of Buddhism, we can accomplish this extinguishment of our karma…learn more >>> http://www.dorjeshugden.org/practice/whats-next
  • Joy Kam
    Sunday, Feb 19. 2017 12:20 PM
    Did you know that you can “Request A Prayer” here http://www.dorjeshugden.org/request-a-prayer

    It is a section where you can make a special request prayer to make someone’s life better by including them in our this request a prayer section. Someone will include them in their daily sadhana (prayer) when you request. Just fill in the form in this section. You will know when someone has prayed on your behalf as it will be indicated at the bottom. DO CHECK this Interesting feature on dorjeshugden.org out and help someone in need.
  • Lin Mun
    Saturday, Feb 18. 2017 11:25 PM
    This is a very interesting article. We are know that pollution is bad but not to the effect that it affect dementia too. Many of us may not know or experience the effect as it will only comes in later in our life. While some occupation would require us to live in the city and expose ourself to polluted environment, this is a good study to help the government and project developer to plan the township in order to alleviate such incident in the future.

    I also feel happy for success of the Hen project. It does gives the elderly a chance to utilise their time beneficially and to get to know their neighbourhood. May there be more such interesting project for the elderly.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/does-living-near-busy-roads-develop-dementia.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Feb 18. 2017 01:41 PM
    Thank%20you%2C%20Rinpoche%2C%20for%20this%20profound%20%2C%20precious%20teachings.%0ANever%20deceive%20our%20Guru%2C%20have%20trust%20an%20faith%20always%20in%20our%20Guru%20to%20be%20blessed%20and%20protected.%20Practicing%20the%20Dharma%20and%20transforming%20ourselves%20to%20be%20a%20better%20person.%0AThanks%20for%20sharing%20the%20video
    [no sender]
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Feb 18. 2017 01:41 PM
    Thank you, Rinpoche, for this profound , precious teachings.
    Never deceive our Guru, have trust an faith always in our Guru to be blessed and protected. Practicing the Dharma and transforming ourselves to be a better person.
    Thanks for sharing the video…a good watch to understand better
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/deceiving-our-guru.html
  • Lin Mun
    Friday, Feb 17. 2017 09:26 PM
    This is a very interesting article and for me to learn the history of my own culture. Chinese in Malaysia indeed have gone through many different phases of colonisation by various government to be who they are today. The cultures of Malaysian are very rich and unique. For example Chinese in different state of Malaysia have different cultures and language.

    Although Malaysia have so many races, religion and cultures. I think it is by understanding each other that we can all come together to live in a peace and harmony environment. Irregardless whether we are Malays, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan, or Iban, we are all Malaysian and therefore should live in harmony and be united.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/chinese-in-malaysia.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Feb 17. 2017 04:32 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this beautiful article and story of the uneducated farmer having recited mantra devotedly to achieve an astounding level of realiz.ation. Its a inspiration to all of us ,and encouraging .We can recited any mantra thoroughly,sincerely and devotedly and it will bear great results
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/a-true-account-of-an-accomplished-practitioner-of-the-vajra-guru-mantra-in-recent-times.html

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CREDITS

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

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

Tsem Rinpoche

What Am I Writing Now

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Animal Care Fund
  Bigfoot, Yeti, Sasquatch

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.
February 9,2017-My Mumu boy and Oser girl are just relaxing together..super cute
2 weeks ago
February 9,2017-My Mumu boy and Oser girl are just relaxing together..super cute
Click on the picture to enlarge and see what Suzy from Hawaii commented on the Dorje Shugden issue after much research. She is very candid and honest. Refreshing. Original is posted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl-4lIwxph4
2 weeks ago
Click on the picture to enlarge and see what Suzy from Hawaii commented on the Dorje Shugden issue after much research. She is very candid and honest. Refreshing. Original is posted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl-4lIwxph4
This is a good one to read
3 weeks ago
This is a good one to read
Mumu is silly and cute and funny
3 weeks ago
Mumu is silly and cute and funny
Mumu\'s hair is messy and he looks funny
3 weeks ago
Mumu's hair is messy and he looks funny
I am in the process of creating beautiful Dorje Shugden and Kechara Forest Retreat watches at this time. So we can take precious protector and Kechara Forest Retreat wherever we go and be blessed everytime we see what time it is. 
I am perfecting the designs with a great team and will update when done but these are just some samples that arrived. 
Feast your eyes! 

Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
I am in the process of creating beautiful Dorje Shugden and Kechara Forest Retreat watches at this time. So we can take precious protector and Kechara Forest Retreat wherever we go and be blessed everytime we see what time it is. I am perfecting the designs with a great team and will update when done but these are just some samples that arrived. Feast your eyes! Tsem Rinpoche
                        Pick the practice, devotion and precepts of Vajra Yogini\'s path over everything and anything in samsara. Samsara has nothing of value and nothing lasting to offer. You are born in suffering, live in suffering, die in suffering and enter bardo and future lives expecting more sufferings. This is not a negative way of looking at things but the truth. If the truth is negative, so it is the truth. Devote oneself to the guru, dharma work, dharma practice and bringing dharma to others compassionately. Choose to practice Vajra Yogini now with the preliminaries. You can start right now: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/starting-on-vajra-yogini-now.html  Much care, Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
Pick the practice, devotion and precepts of Vajra Yogini's path over everything and anything in samsara. Samsara has nothing of value and nothing lasting to offer. You are born in suffering, live in suffering, die in suffering and enter bardo and future lives expecting more sufferings. This is not a negative way of looking at things but the truth. If the truth is negative, so it is the truth. Devote oneself to the guru, dharma work, dharma practice and bringing dharma to others compassionately. Choose to practice Vajra Yogini now with the preliminaries. You can start right now: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/starting-on-vajra-yogini-now.html Much care, Tsem Rinpoche
Message to Tibetans in English
2 months ago
Message to Tibetans in English
Message to the Tibetans
2 months ago
Message to the Tibetans
Left to right: Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, 101st Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal. Great lamas of Gaden Shartse Monastery
2 months ago
Left to right: Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, 101st Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal. Great lamas of Gaden Shartse Monastery
A beautiful Indian rendition of Gyenze Dorje Shugden manifesting in wealth form
2 months ago
A beautiful Indian rendition of Gyenze Dorje Shugden manifesting in wealth form
This is my thoughts and determination to share with you. Please open and read. Thank you for your time. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
This is my thoughts and determination to share with you. Please open and read. Thank you for your time. Tsem Rinpoche
Nepalese King Birendra receives His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche in Nepal
2 months ago
Nepalese King Birendra receives His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche in Nepal
Guess what Zava Damdin Rinpoche did in Mongolia recently with 7,800 people??? Very interesting and it is a must read:  http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116206
2 months ago
Guess what Zava Damdin Rinpoche did in Mongolia recently with 7,800 people??? Very interesting and it is a must read:  http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116206
This huge Buddha in Korea is magnificent
3 months ago
This huge Buddha in Korea is magnificent
The very first oracle of Dorje Shugden in trance statue. I have commissioned this.
3 months ago
The very first oracle of Dorje Shugden in trance statue. I have commissioned this.
Such a old and ancient thangka painting of Dorje Shugden. He has been around in Tibet practiced for hundreds of years.
3 months ago
Such a old and ancient thangka painting of Dorje Shugden. He has been around in Tibet practiced for hundreds of years.
One of the "Four Exalted Brothers" Avalokiteshvara statues, Phagpa Wati of Kyirong, which is now with H.H. the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala.
3 months ago
One of the "Four Exalted Brothers" Avalokiteshvara statues, Phagpa Wati of Kyirong, which is now with H.H. the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala.
Kyabje Zemey, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Kyabje Pabongka Choktrul Rinpoche
3 months ago
Kyabje Zemey, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Kyabje Pabongka Choktrul Rinpoche
My Oser girl and Mumu boy are so adorable
3 months ago
My Oser girl and Mumu boy are so adorable
Wow this meditator in his cave in front of a painting of Yamantaka draped with a white khata of respect. He sits among bones to remind him of impermanence and our future. The bones inspire him strongly to let go of all attachments in this life and focus on dharma, meditation and liberation and he is doing so. Very beautiful and inspirational. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
Wow this meditator in his cave in front of a painting of Yamantaka draped with a white khata of respect. He sits among bones to remind him of impermanence and our future. The bones inspire him strongly to let go of all attachments in this life and focus on dharma, meditation and liberation and he is doing so. Very beautiful and inspirational. Tsem Rinpoche
Tenzing Norgay found this in Nepal. Guess what it is?
4 months ago
Tenzing Norgay found this in Nepal. Guess what it is?
Sir Edmund Hillary
4 months ago
Sir Edmund Hillary
Halloween is my favorite holiday. Wild natural plants and flowers are my favorite offering. Buddha\'s teachings on meditation and Yidam practice bring the ultimate results and happiness. ~Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
Halloween is my favorite holiday. Wild natural plants and flowers are my favorite offering. Buddha's teachings on meditation and Yidam practice bring the ultimate results and happiness. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Previous lives do resemble current lives especially if they are a recognized incarnation. If notice how similar the previous and current Trijang Rinpoche looks. The eyes, bone structure, expression, long neck, thin and overall look. Beautiful. I\'ve seen this phenomena over and over in many Rinpoche incarnations. Especially when you compare them with pictures of previous and current lives at around the same ages. Something powerfully karmic about this. Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
Previous lives do resemble current lives especially if they are a recognized incarnation. If notice how similar the previous and current Trijang Rinpoche looks. The eyes, bone structure, expression, long neck, thin and overall look. Beautiful. I've seen this phenomena over and over in many Rinpoche incarnations. Especially when you compare them with pictures of previous and current lives at around the same ages. Something powerfully karmic about this. Tsem Rinpoche
It\'s nice to have monks visitors and resident monks in Kechara
4 months ago
It's nice to have monks visitors and resident monks in Kechara
                         Taken in Lake Champlain in Canada. A huge water monster...neat...
4 months ago
Taken in Lake Champlain in Canada. A huge water monster...neat...
Beautiful! His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang has always been good friends with His Holiness Karmapa. No wonder H.H. Karmapa never spoke against Dorje Shugden. Two reasons perhaps: One is he knows the qualities of Trijang Rinpoche who is a attained being. And Karmapa himself has clairvoyance to perceive the true nature of Dorje Shugden directly. I love to see great beings like this manifesting closeness. When I see, I just want to prostrate to them and thank them for sharing such good examples to someone like me. Praise to the ego-less mind! Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
Beautiful! His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang has always been good friends with His Holiness Karmapa. No wonder H.H. Karmapa never spoke against Dorje Shugden. Two reasons perhaps: One is he knows the qualities of Trijang Rinpoche who is a attained being. And Karmapa himself has clairvoyance to perceive the true nature of Dorje Shugden directly. I love to see great beings like this manifesting closeness. When I see, I just want to prostrate to them and thank them for sharing such good examples to someone like me. Praise to the ego-less mind! Tsem Rinpoche
Serkong Dorje Chang on the left and his son Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche on the right.
5 months ago
Serkong Dorje Chang on the left and his son Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche on the right.
High lamas in France September 2016
5 months ago
High lamas in France September 2016
༧གོང་ས་ཆེན་པོ་སྐུ་འཕྲེང་བཅུ་བཞི་པ་མཆོག་དང་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན། - Interesting relationship between 14th Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden:   http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109757
5 months ago
༧གོང་ས་ཆེན་པོ་སྐུ་འཕྲེང་བཅུ་བཞི་པ་མཆོག་དང་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན། - Interesting relationship between 14th Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109757
Dalai Lama Says We Can Practise Dorje Shugden Finally! Read more on this development--- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109777
5 months ago
Dalai Lama Says We Can Practise Dorje Shugden Finally! Read more on this development--- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109777
More time spent in dharma work is more karma collected to be happy and more time spent in non-dharma works is more karma collected to be unhappy.~Tsem Rinpoche
5 months ago
More time spent in dharma work is more karma collected to be happy and more time spent in non-dharma works is more karma collected to be unhappy.~Tsem Rinpoche
All Dorje Shugden prophesizes will come to pass,
 Those who generate refuge and merits will trust, 
 By trusting one will see the good results of his pronouncements,
 By seeing the good results, one\'s path becomes more clear, 
 The path of practice, purification and siddhic results, 
 This would eliminate the samsara within our minds.
 ~Tsem Rinpoche
5 months ago
All Dorje Shugden prophesizes will come to pass, Those who generate refuge and merits will trust, By trusting one will see the good results of his pronouncements, By seeing the good results, one's path becomes more clear, The path of practice, purification and siddhic results, This would eliminate the samsara within our minds. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Large Dorje Shugden statue built by the 5th Dalai Lama and housed in Trode Khangsar. Sock Wand and Mdm Chuah took this picture in Lhasa, Tibet 2016
5 months ago
Large Dorje Shugden statue built by the 5th Dalai Lama and housed in Trode Khangsar. Sock Wand and Mdm Chuah took this picture in Lhasa, Tibet 2016
Our own Kecharian Mdm. Chua with the oracle of Dorje Shugden Gen Tenzin Tsultrim in Lhasa, Tibet 2016
5 months ago
Our own Kecharian Mdm. Chua with the oracle of Dorje Shugden Gen Tenzin Tsultrim in Lhasa, Tibet 2016
Our very own Kecharian Mdm Chua standing in front of holy Trode Khangsar-the Chapel to Dorje Shugden built 400 years ago by the Great 5th Dalai Lama-Tibet 2016
5 months ago
Our very own Kecharian Mdm Chua standing in front of holy Trode Khangsar-the Chapel to Dorje Shugden built 400 years ago by the Great 5th Dalai Lama-Tibet 2016
Our very own Kecharian Mdm Chua standing in front of holy Gaden Monastery, Tibet 2016
5 months ago
Our very own Kecharian Mdm Chua standing in front of holy Gaden Monastery, Tibet 2016
                         This is the oracle of Dorje Shugden in Lhasa, Tibet. His name is Gen Tenzin Tsultrim of Sera Monastery in Tibet.
5 months ago
This is the oracle of Dorje Shugden in Lhasa, Tibet. His name is Gen Tenzin Tsultrim of Sera Monastery in Tibet.
Ms. Sock Wan, Oracle of Dorje Shugden in Tibet Gen Tenzin Tsultrim, Mdm Chuah and Mr. Tashi in Tibet 2016
5 months ago
Ms. Sock Wan, Oracle of Dorje Shugden in Tibet Gen Tenzin Tsultrim, Mdm Chuah and Mr. Tashi in Tibet 2016
Mahasiddha Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche, H.H. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Ven. Rabten Choktrul Rinpoche 2016
5 months ago
Mahasiddha Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche, H.H. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Ven. Rabten Choktrul Rinpoche 2016
His Eminence Mahasiddha Gangchen Rinpoche and the official oracle of Dorje Shugden Panglung Kuten Choji lah in Italy together September 2016
5 months ago
His Eminence Mahasiddha Gangchen Rinpoche and the official oracle of Dorje Shugden Panglung Kuten Choji lah in Italy together September 2016
My thoughts on Malaysia. Thank you. Tsem Rinpoche
5 months ago
My thoughts on Malaysia. Thank you. Tsem Rinpoche
Beautiful thangka of Vajra Yogini. Look at the details where she appears in visions and also takes people to Kechara.
5 months ago
Beautiful thangka of Vajra Yogini. Look at the details where she appears in visions and also takes people to Kechara.
Left to right:

His Holiness the Gaden Throne holder Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche (very young) and His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche in Gaden Shartse Prayer Hall during prayers.
5 months ago
Left to right: His Holiness the Gaden Throne holder Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche (very young) and His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche in Gaden Shartse Prayer Hall during prayers.
 It\'s nice when families support the spiritual journeys of their children. This is one beautiful family of Pastor Niral of Kechara
5 months ago
It's nice when families support the spiritual journeys of their children. This is one beautiful family of Pastor Niral of Kechara
Jog Falls a power place of Vajra Yogini and Heruka: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=108652
5 months ago
Jog Falls a power place of Vajra Yogini and Heruka: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=108652
Don\'t wait for the perfect group. Don\'t wait for the perfect person. Don\'t wait for the perfect situation. Don\'t expect yourself to be perfect. Don\'t even look for perfection at least in our realm as it does not exist or time will run out. Just get going and keep doing good. It\'s between you and yourself. Tsem Rinpoche
5 months ago
Don't wait for the perfect group. Don't wait for the perfect person. Don't wait for the perfect situation. Don't expect yourself to be perfect. Don't even look for perfection at least in our realm as it does not exist or time will run out. Just get going and keep doing good. It's between you and yourself. Tsem Rinpoche
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Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • [11/02/2017] Mumu darling is a very good boy.
    1 week ago
    [11/02/2017] Mumu darling is a very good boy.
  • [11/02/2017] Mumu wants to go bye bye!
    1 week ago
    [11/02/2017] Mumu wants to go bye bye!
  • [11/02/2017] I love you mumu boy
    1 week ago
    [11/02/2017] I love you mumu boy
  • [11/02/2017] Mumu and Oser eating together.
    1 week ago
    [11/02/2017] Mumu and Oser eating together.
  • Great spiritual rock carving in Tibet
    4 weeks ago
    Great spiritual rock carving in Tibet
  • You will Never be Ready
    2 months ago
    You will Never be Ready
    Dear friends, watch this video and ready, if we keep waiting till we are ready, that day will never come. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Stop asking for Easy
    2 months ago
    Stop asking for Easy
    This video is powerful because it's the truth. It applies to anything. It applies to our dharma practice. Watch the video and share it. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Must Watch this Video!
    3 months ago
    Must Watch this Video!
  • Sacred Tibetan Incense - Nyimo County, Lhasa, Tibet
    4 months ago
    Sacred Tibetan Incense - Nyimo County, Lhasa, Tibet
  • Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche on Samaya
    4 months ago
    Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche on Samaya
    ཁྱེད་ཀྱི་བཀའ་སློབ་དོན་སྙིང་དེ།།གང་གི་རྣ་བར་བདུད་རྩི་མོད།།འོན་ཀྱང་འགའ་ཡི་རྣ་ལམ་དུ།། བྲག་ཆ་བཞིན་དུ་འགྱུར་སྲིད་མོད།། ཚང་མས་ཚར་རེ་གཟིགས་རོགས།། Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche telling people that it is important to have guru samaya. It use to be that way in the great monasteries. We should not create problems and schisms. If we want to practice a protector, then do so, if not it's okay, but don't make trouble. One should just practice the Buddha Dharma well. To do good practice. If you have faith in Dorje Shugden and trust all the way, he will definitely help you. But most important is to practice the dharma. This is his advice in short here. It's good to let more Tibetans hear this holy speech and appeal by this very senior Rinpoche. TR
  • His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Propitiating Protectors & Oracles
    4 months ago
    His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Propitiating Protectors & Oracles
    This was on FB and I came across it. His Holiness said in Tibetan institutions there is a lot of propitiating protector/oracles and this is not what Buddhism is about. So they are putting Nechung/Tema oracles within the video to say what is he talking about when he does it himself. This is confusing is the message to his people. TR
  • -
    4 months ago
    Look how this crab eats a cherry.. Incredible and cute... Never seen this before. They have feelings too. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This is Sarah. Do you have 30 seconds for her? Her life in just 30 seconds!
    5 months ago
    This is Sarah. Do you have 30 seconds for her? Her life in just 30 seconds!
  • See what is your fortune today!
    5 months ago
    See what is your fortune today!
  • Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche recites offering stanza to Dorje Shugden Septemeber 2016
    5 months ago
    Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche recites offering stanza to Dorje Shugden Septemeber 2016

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CHAT PICTURES

On Sunday morning, we had an animal liberation event , in which we will save the lives of birds. Pastor Han Nee led a beautiful prayer before the birds were released. bit.ly/2ahl6Yv Lucy Yap
7 hours ago
On Sunday morning, we had an animal liberation event , in which we will save the lives of birds. Pastor Han Nee led a beautiful prayer before the birds were released. bit.ly/2ahl6Yv Lucy Yap
Kenny Loh from Ipoh has offered lights and incense on behalf of KISG before the start of our short Mother Tara retreat. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
17 hours ago
Kenny Loh from Ipoh has offered lights and incense on behalf of KISG before the start of our short Mother Tara retreat. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Through the blessings from Rinpoche, KISG has completed our short Mother Tara retreat today in Ipoh. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
17 hours ago
Through the blessings from Rinpoche, KISG has completed our short Mother Tara retreat today in Ipoh. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Join Self Defense Classes in Kechara Forest Retreat on Saturdays
yesterday
Join Self Defense Classes in Kechara Forest Retreat on Saturdays
Lantern Festival Bazaar was one of the event organised by KSDS. Alice Tay, KSDS
yesterday
Lantern Festival Bazaar was one of the event organised by KSDS. Alice Tay, KSDS
Light offering to Lama Tsongkhapa by the WOAH Campers. Alice Tay, KSDS
yesterday
Light offering to Lama Tsongkhapa by the WOAH Campers. Alice Tay, KSDS
Teachers and children are enjoyed for being stayed together for 2D1N of WOAH Camp 2016. Alice Tay, KSDS.
yesterday
Teachers and children are enjoyed for being stayed together for 2D1N of WOAH Camp 2016. Alice Tay, KSDS.
KSDS students were taken refuge before the lesson start. Alice Tay, KSDS
yesterday
KSDS students were taken refuge before the lesson start. Alice Tay, KSDS
Fun time in self-defense section during Woah Camp 2016. Alice Tay, KSDS
yesterday
Fun time in self-defense section during Woah Camp 2016. Alice Tay, KSDS
Dharma sharing with Pastor David Lai about the Secret of Relationships i Wisdom Hall
2 days ago
Dharma sharing with Pastor David Lai about the Secret of Relationships i Wisdom Hall
Group picture of KSDS team upon completion of Graduation 2016. Lin Mun KSDS
2 days ago
Group picture of KSDS team upon completion of Graduation 2016. Lin Mun KSDS
Students from SRJK (C) Bukit Tinggi making khata offering to Rinpoche in KFR. Lin Mun KSDS
2 days ago
Students from SRJK (C) Bukit Tinggi making khata offering to Rinpoche in KFR. Lin Mun KSDS
Winners of the Riddles contest part 1 during the recent Grand Dorje Shugden Puja. Lin Mun KSDS
2 days ago
Winners of the Riddles contest part 1 during the recent Grand Dorje Shugden Puja. Lin Mun KSDS
Teacher Kien and teacher Jenni leading the Mitsegma recitation before the start of Sunday Dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
2 days ago
Teacher Kien and teacher Jenni leading the Mitsegma recitation before the start of Sunday Dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
Teacher Grace briefing the students on the activity during WOAH camp 2016. Lin Mun KSDS
2 days ago
Teacher Grace briefing the students on the activity during WOAH camp 2016. Lin Mun KSDS
Dharma Talk tomorrow Saturday in Kechara Forest Retreat with Pastor David Lai - join us!
3 days ago
Dharma Talk tomorrow Saturday in Kechara Forest Retreat with Pastor David Lai - join us!
May the students of Kechara Sunday Dharma School be equipped with Buddha Dharma that can guide them through the manmade world and be protected by the Three Jewels always. Stella, KSDS
6 days ago
May the students of Kechara Sunday Dharma School be equipped with Buddha Dharma that can guide them through the manmade world and be protected by the Three Jewels always. Stella, KSDS
Teacher Jayce leading the mantra chanting for KSDS senior student class. Stella, KSDS
6 days ago
Teacher Jayce leading the mantra chanting for KSDS senior student class. Stella, KSDS
Kechara Sunday Dharma School focuses on giving bite size dharma to children and young adults. Stella, KSDS
6 days ago
Kechara Sunday Dharma School focuses on giving bite size dharma to children and young adults. Stella, KSDS
KSDS senior students listening patiently to Dharma sharing by Teacher Lin Mun. Stella, KSDS
6 days ago
KSDS senior students listening patiently to Dharma sharing by Teacher Lin Mun. Stella, KSDS
Kechara Sunday Dharma School youngest class led by Teacher Zhen Yue. Stella, KSDS
6 days ago
Kechara Sunday Dharma School youngest class led by Teacher Zhen Yue. Stella, KSDS
Yr 2 Lamrim class in session in Kechara House, sharing on the greatness of the Dharma that is the Lamrim.PHanNee
1 week ago
Yr 2 Lamrim class in session in Kechara House, sharing on the greatness of the Dharma that is the Lamrim.PHanNee
Brochures of Dorje Shugden were distributed to Ms. Kiang's family for blessing and protection. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
1 week ago
Brochures of Dorje Shugden were distributed to Ms. Kiang's family for blessing and protection. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Ms. Kiang's brothers and her son were here at Gunung Lang, Ipoh for the animals liberation activity today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
1 week ago
Ms. Kiang's brothers and her son were here at Gunung Lang, Ipoh for the animals liberation activity today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Ms. Kiang & her family came all the way from Taiping to join us for the animals liberation activity at Gunung Lang, Ipoh. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
1 week ago
Ms. Kiang & her family came all the way from Taiping to join us for the animals liberation activity at Gunung Lang, Ipoh. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
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Dorje Shugden
Click to watch my talk about Dorje Shugden....