Attitude When Receiving Offerings

By | Dec 8, 2016 | Views: 668
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As Buddhists, we are taught that making offerings generates tremendous merits to be dedicated towards our spiritual progress. Not only are we encouraged to make offerings to the Three Jewels – the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha – but even more so, we are encouraged to make offerings to our gurus, considered the most precious of all because they connect us with the Three Jewels. Hence, our connection with our teachers ultimately provides us with the knowledge and blessings we need to liberate ourselves from samsara and lifetime after lifetime of suffering.

Rinpoche took a photo with some of the flowers offered, thanking everyone for their generosity.

Rinpoche took a photo with some of the flowers offered, thanking everyone for their generosity.

On 25 October 2014, Tsem Rinpoche gave us a teaching on the attitude one should have when receiving offerings. This teaching came the day after Rinpoche’s birthday, when Rinpoche received a lot of offerings from students and friends. They flooded the Ladrang, filling every available flat surface. Looking at the flowers and gifts everywhere, Rinpoche said he rejoiced in everyone’s generosity, not because he was the recipient but because it reflected on so many people’s progress in their practice of generosity. Rinpoche then set about giving us the teaching, saying that he had received it from His Eminence Denma Locho Rinpoche when Denma Locho Rinpoche was giving teachings in Drepung Monastery. Two years later on 29 May 2016, Rinpoche was kind enough to reiterate this teaching to many of us present, even giving us a visualisation we can engage in when receiving the offerings.

According to Denma Locho Rinpoche, when a devotee makes an offering, the recipient should rejoice in the person’s generosity. Making the offering took away from something else they could have spent their money or time on. Making the offering was therefore the giver’s practice of cutting their attachments to what they desire. With this in mind, it is the responsibility of the recipient to help the giver create as much merit as possible by offering it to the Three Jewels first.

Left to right: Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, His Eminence Denma Locho Rinpoche and His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche on pilgrimage in Bodhgaya

Left to right: His Eminence Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, His Eminence Denma Locho Rinpoche and His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche on pilgrimage in Bodhgaya

Denma Locho Rinpoche said that when we rejoice in the giver’s generosity, the recipient also reinforces their own spiritual practice because rejoicing is the direct antidote for jealousy. Getting into the habit of rejoicing for good things in general trains us to rejoice when good things happen to others, instead of to ourselves. This therefore attacks the self-cherishing mind that falsely leads us to believe we are someone worthy of making offerings to.

Hence, Denma Locho Rinpoche also had a word of caution for those who are in positions of spiritual authority and respect, who may become recipients of offerings. Denma Locho Rinpoche said that these individuals must take even greater care to avoid the ‘pitfalls’ of being in such a position. The pitfalls Denma Locho Rinpoche was referring to are opportunities to reinforce ego. Denma Locho Rinpoche stressed that when one rejoices in receiving offerings, it will help the recipient to cut their attachment to the item.

Some of the flower offerings Rinpoche received on his birthday. At the time, we were living in Los Angeles so many people in Malaysia made an effort to have these flowers delivered on time for Rinpoche's birthday. It was this effort that inspired Rinpoche to give the teachings.

Some of the flower offerings Rinpoche received on his birthday. At the time, we were living in Los Angeles so many people in Malaysia made an effort to have these flowers delivered on time for Rinpoche’s birthday. It was this effort that inspired Rinpoche to give the teachings.

This is important because if our attitude of receiving offerings is not correct, the offering can become a cause for us to generate more attachment and negative karma (instead of merit). Some people, for example, may be attached to the sight of beautiful flowers and feel proud when they receive such offerings, thinking, “Yes, I am worthy of these offerings.” Denma Locho Rinpoche questioned the wisdom of this. Cut flowers last for one or two days before they begin to rot. In those one or two short days, is it logical for us to allow the impermanent flowers to deepen our pride and self-cherishing mind, or will the flowers become a cause for us and the giver to generate merit?

With all this discussion about rejoicing, Tsem Rinpoche asked us if this means we should rejoice for bad things. In short, the answer is ‘no’ because when we rejoice in bad things, for example our rivals and competitors losing, we may be rid of them temporarily but the real consequences are more far-reaching. Although our physical competitor may be gone, we have just reinforced our real enemies – jealousy, anger and other afflictive emotions which are the true causes for our suffering.

According to Denma Locho Rinpoche therefore, when one’s duties are carried out properly and without ego, being in a position of spiritual authority can become a vehicle for benefiting others. When the position is abused however, it can be detrimental spiritually even for the teacher. So how does one rejoice when receiving offerings? What is the recommended procedure of receiving an offering to ensure the action becomes a merit-making act for both giver and receiver?

 

Visualisation

If you have not received initiation, you can generate Lama Tsongkhapa or your yidam (meditational deity) on the crown of your head. At this point, visualise the offerings being made to the deity on the crown of your head, and the merits generated being dedicated to the person who made the offering.

If you have received initiation, Denma Locho Rinpoche said one should self-generate as the yidam and make the offerings to yourself as the yidam, dedicating the merits thus collected back to the person who made the offering.

An alternative meditation is to visualise the energy of generosity being offered up to the Three Jewels. Alternatively, you may also visualise the offerings transforming into the Eight Auspicious Signs and those being offered up to the Three Jewels on behalf of the person who made the offerings to you.

The reason such a dedication is made, is for the giver to create a connection with Dharma and to meet with teachers in future lifetimes so that they may further their practice until Enlightenment. Only after this dedication is made should the offerings be enjoyed or used ‘properly’.

 

Conclusion

Since Tsem Rinpoche received this teaching from Denma Locho Rinpoche, Rinpoche has practised it whenever someone generously makes an offering. I have seen this take place countless times with my own eyes. Each time offerings are presented to Rinpoche, Rinpoche recites a short prayer for the person and has the offerings displayed on the altar for a period of time, for the giver to accumulate merit.

Tsem Rinpoche reciting prayers and offering candles upon hearing about His Eminence Denma Locho Rinpoche's passing into clear light on October 23, 2014. Just two days later, Rinpoche would deliver to us a teaching Denma Locho Rinpoche had given to him in Drepung.

Tsem Rinpoche reciting prayers and offering candles upon hearing about His Eminence Denma Locho Rinpoche’s passing into clear light on October 23, 2014. Just two days later, Rinpoche would deliver to us a teaching Denma Locho Rinpoche had given to him in Drepung.

Although we may not be in positions of spiritual authority whereby we are frequent recipients of offerings, we can apply the same logic and teachings presented by Denma Locho Rinpoche any time someone does something nice for us. Just replace the word ‘offerings’ with ‘gifts’, and the teachings instantly become relevant to our everyday lives. Thus, although we may not be gurus or teachers, we cannot deny that we experience generosity and receive gifts from others. So when someone is generous or shows us some kindness, practising Denma Locho Rinpoche’s teachings on the correct attitude when receiving gifts will result in a merit-making interaction between giver and recipient.

 

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Writer. Blogger. Non-conformist and contemporary. Kechara’s youngest Buddhist Pastor. The smiling nun-to-be. Proud student of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche. Lover of cheese and bad puns. You can find more of her writing at www.elenakhong.com.
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26 Responses to Attitude When Receiving Offerings

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  1. Freon on Jan 27, 2017 at 3:05 am

    From this article, i am able to learn that, the kindness of a Guru, whom always think to give the best to the students and to peoples, particularly for the students or people to connect to Dharma.
    Through this article, i have learned that i can help people who care and love me and give me gifts to connect to Dharma, and they are protected by the Three Jewels, even have chances to connect to Dharma.

    I feel so wonderful to have Dharma knowledge. From these knowledge, we are able to help more people and be more skillful in helping people to get close to Dharma. Instead of becoming more ego when receiving gifts. We can help the person who give us gifts to have more merits.

    Thank you Rinpoche for giving us Dharma
    Thank you Pastor Jean Ai for writing down.

  2. wan wai meng on Jan 23, 2017 at 1:46 am

    A powerful article that shows us, how a gift to a spiritual teacher is used to benefit the student and teacher alike. All the gifts and offerings the most optimal usage of such actions, is to generate merit for the recipient and the giver.

    Thank you for the visualisaiton as well that went with this article.

  3. Lew on Jan 8, 2017 at 11:28 pm

    Thank you Pastor Jean Ai for this simple yet complete visualisation of receiving offerings or gifts. Most of Tsem Rinpoche’s students have received gifts from Rinpoche which are being offered to Rinpoche. It is good to know the meaning behind the practice of generosity as well we the visualisation of receiving gifts so that we don’t fall into the trap of inflating our ego further.

  4. Judy Chen on Dec 22, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    Thank you, Pastor Jean Ai on this sharing of Attitude When Receiving Offerings.
    Yes, we need to cut down our attachments and our ego greatly in order to pursue generosity. On top of that we also need to learn how to rejoice for the person who is offering. As it is part of our spiritual practice and also antidote to jealousy is to rejoice for someone who does any offerings to the Three Jewels.
    The sharing of the visualisation is appreciated and knowledgeable.
    With folded hands
    Thank you

  5. So Kin Hoe (KISG) on Dec 22, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Jean Ai for sharing the beautiful Dharma teaching of correct attitude when receiving the offerings and gifts from others, especially visualizing our yidam on the crown of our head (if we are not given the initiation) to help the person who have made the offerings to generate merits and at the same time, we can prevent ourselves from developing attachments, ego and self-esteem within our minds.

    I believe no one has never received any material gifts, offerings, kindness, help, compassion, love or care from our parents, relatives, loved ones, superiors, colleagues, friends and other people around us, thus, we can learn from this posting and practicing the visualization as taught by Denma Locho Rinpoche to help the people around us to be connected to the 3 Jewels and collect the merits.

    May more and more people able to learn and practice generosity, giving, compassion and kindness towards all sentient beings, and for those who receive the offerings, will offer up to the 3 Jewels for the benefits of both the givers and receivers.

    Thank you with folded hands,
    kin hoe

  6. CindyH on Dec 15, 2016 at 12:55 am

    Being really accustomed to environment where there is no such thing as a “free lunch” or where “everything comes with a price” is prevalent; receiving gifts especially when there is no “reason” or “justification” for such gifts have always been quite uncomfortable for me and honestly can be a struggle at times. Such teaching on what to do after receiving gifts has given me another perspective and allowed me to better reconcile my concerns and anxieties relating to this. It is also definitely a better way of giving back the giver by working towards enabling the giver to create as much merit as possible by us rejoicing in the giver’s generosity and offering the gifts received to the Three Jewels first.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Jean Ai for sharing this method which can be easily adapted and adopted by us (when receiving gifts) in order to ensure the action becomes a merit-making act for both giver and receiver.

  7. Julia Tan on Dec 14, 2016 at 8:20 am

    Such a precious Dharma teachings and practice that we can do daily for anyone who has given to us gifts even kindness.

    whenever we receive gift or kindness, we shall rejoice or happy, not for what we get but in the giver’s generosity. By rejoicing we cut off our jealousy. This also trains us to rejoice when good things happen to others. Never cherish our ego of thinking we are someone worthy of giving gifts or kindness to.

    Then we make a dedication by offering up the gifts or kindness to the three jewels. I like this very much and I think this is a way of me repaying the giver’s kindness by connecting the givers with Dharma and to meet with teachers in future lifetimes so that they may further their practice until Enlightenment.

    And I must always remind myself, ONLY AFTER this dedication is made then only I can enjoy or use the gifts.

  8. Andrea Lai on Dec 14, 2016 at 8:02 am

    Making offerings to the 3 jewels is to received merit, blessings and attachment. Therefore we should practice dharma by cultivating a habit of being patience, compassion and showing kindness to all sentient beings. Besides, showing respect to people with higher attainment is a very good habit we should learn. It’s a culture we have to imprint into our mind.
    I sincerely thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Jean Ai for sharing this short and wonderful article.

  9. Mingwen on Dec 14, 2016 at 7:39 am

    It’s extremely beneficial & important for us to have and bulid up the correct attitudes of giving gifts to a lay person and during making offerings to the Guru, Budhha, & Sangha.

    The correct attitudes are to be
    1) selfless(Do not keep good stuffs for only oneself, but look at the a bigger picture which if we give something away it might benefit more people),

    2) eliminate the ego within us(Oh, I’m a person with high social status and hence, people around me should send me gifts and it’s not necessary for me to takr care of them),

    3)gift without expectations but purely hope it will benefit the receiver( when we send a gift to a person, it’s good to not expect that person will return with a gift, because this expection could be destructive for the relationship and also for ourselves( because when the person is not able to fulfill our expectations, anger will arise and take place.

    To have and construct the correct attitudes of receiving and giving gifts are equal to dharma practice, they are extremely beneficial for us and those who around us, positive energies will spread all over and pass on and on

    It’s difficult, but nothing is impossible.

  10. Pastor Antoinette on Dec 14, 2016 at 4:06 am

    Thank you for sharing this meaningful practice with us. We receive so much kindness every day and this practice can be applied in daily life for the benefit of many people. We definitely want the Dharma to grow and our dedication to the three jewels, the person who made something nice for us will gain merits. In the way, the gift was trully beneficial for both, the giver and the receiver. Our attitude and motivation is most important. With the correct attitude even small things can become very powerful and beneficial. On the other hand, without the correct motivation, even big things may not generate such merits.

  11. nicholas on Dec 14, 2016 at 1:53 am

    I’m blessed to personally witness when Rinpoche received gifts from someone Rinpoche will recite prayers for the person for them to accumulate merit. A genuine Lama will always find ways to benefits people in anyway.

    Rinpoche never hope for any gift but it’s an act of cutting our attachment on something that we offered to the object of refuge. The teaching of making and receiving offering in this blog is a good education for us to set a right motivation to support our spiritual path. Thank you Rinpoche for giving us the opportunity collect merits and transform our mind.

  12. Eric kksiow on Dec 14, 2016 at 1:31 am

    Here, we are offering the best of ourselves to something higher than us – so that we can one day, aspire to become like that too!

    The act of offering is an act of dana – an act of generosity. So it’s an emotional and physical expression of our reverence:

    To the Buddha himself – the Perfectly Enlightened One
    To the Dharma – the Truth – sometimes we place holy Sutras and Mantras on altars to pay our respects to the wisdom elucidated within those sacred teachings.
    To the Noble Enlightened Ones like the Bodhisattvas – like Gwan Yin Bodhisattva who is a symbol of Great Compassion

  13. Pastor Henry Ooi on Dec 14, 2016 at 1:04 am

    Learning the dharma and practising it is so powerfully enriching for they always have positive results. Just to think of it, making offerings to our spiritual gurus allows us to collect merit. And when we receive gifts from others helps us to cut our ego and attachments when we set good motivation. Thank you Rinpoche for the teaching, and Pastor Jean Ai for sharing the significance of making offerings to the gurus, Buddhas, and sangha.

  14. pammie yap on Dec 14, 2016 at 12:49 am

    This teaching is very easy to understand and the points made clear.
    Direct antidote for jealousy and the attitude in offering are some of the points that hit me. And how true it is when we can spend our money on making offerings to collect merits rather than spending it on more attachments. I especially like the part of visualising when receiving offerings. In the future, when I receive gifts from family and friends, I can visualise them being offered to the 3 Jewels and dedicate the merits to them and make the connection.

  15. Pastor Albert on Dec 13, 2016 at 11:59 pm

    This is a great sharing from Pastor Jean Ai, I think not just offering, when we received any gift from anyone, it is such a great blessing for us to visualize the Yidam sitting on the crown and people are actually giving gift to the enlightened beings and not us, then in this way, we will not take the gifts for granted as it is been offered to the Buddha and not us.

    We often feel proud when receiving gifts especially during special occasion, like our birthday, some anniversary dates, etc, we will be so super excited when there are tons of gifts on the table(s), but then, it is just for the moment of feeling proud, because after the event ended, most of the gifts not suitable to use or some even being kept in the box for many years. So why deepen our ego for something that is not useful at all..

    Thank you Pastor Jean Ai for showing the picture of Rinpoche doing prayers dedicating to the people who made offering to Rinpoche, I has witnessed it myself many years ago in 1 occasion, after Rinpoche receiving the gifts from his students and friends, he did prayer and dedicate back the merits to the givers, then only he give instruction to his assistant to keep all these gifts nicely in the gift room, so that in future when Rinpoche came across anyone who needed that item to help in their spiritual practice, then Rinpoche will give it to them.

    Rinpoche’s compassion and motivation has never changed since the first day, he never keep any of these gifts for him selves, Rinpoche always give it to others to encourage their spiritual path.

    That is why I like this blog so much, even just giving gifts, there are so much for us to learn.

  16. Stella Cheang on Dec 11, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    As Buddhist, it is a common practice to make offerings towards the Three Jewels – the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. When we study the dharma, we will learn that it is even more important to make offerings to our Gurus. As Pastor Jean Ai aptly points out that “…our Gurus are the most precious of all because they connect us with the Three Jewels. Our connection with our teachers ultimately provides us with the knowledge and blessings we need to liberate ourselves from samsara and lifetime after lifetime of suffering.”

    Therefore, it is an eye opener to learn from Denma Locho Rinpoche through the sharing by H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche and Pastor Jean Ai on the attitude when receiving offerings; and understanding that this attitude can be applied to our daily life. The teaching emphasizes on real compassion and gratefulness on the part of the recipient, for “the recipient should rejoice in the person’s generosity. Making the offering took away from something else they could have spent their money or time on. Making the offering was therefore the giver’s practice of cutting their attachments to what they desire. With this in mind, it is the responsibility of the recipient to help the giver create as much merit as possible by offering it to the Three Jewels first.”

    The recipient can help the giver generate merits by visualizing the offerings being made to the YIDAM or the Three Jewels, and the merits generated being dedicated to the person who made the offering. Thank you very much, Rinpoche for this sharing.

  17. Datuk May on Dec 11, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    The teaching in this article illustrates to me the true meaning of appreciation and gratitude in receiving gifts from other people. To visualise such that the giver gains merits in their gifts and presents is a powerful way of returning goodwill for the gifts and obligate us from feeling obliged that the gifts must be returned in some way or the other. Merits gained is priceless in nature.

    I was once told that in not receiving gifts or help and assistance, the person is a “taker” taking away from the giver the pleasure of giving. How much truth rings in this statement.

    Here with the narration of Denma Locho Rinpoche’s teachings, I understand the grace of receiving and the benefit to be dedicated to the generosity of the giver.

    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Jean Ai for this gift of learning.

  18. Lin Mun on Dec 11, 2016 at 8:00 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for the teaching and thank you Pastor Jean Ai for sharing. I think it is a very important teaching for all. By offering and giving to 3 Jewels and Guru, we practice generosity and reduce our attachment and self cherishing mind. This is also a way to connect us to the 3 Jewels.

    So wonderful to rejoice and create merits for the givers and sponsors. Appreciate the visualisation method. I will learn and apply it daily.

  19. Wylfred Ng on Dec 11, 2016 at 1:58 am

    谢谢仁爱讲法师的分享。

    上师五十颂说过, 供养上师就是等于供养于十方三世诸佛, 可以让我们累积功德。 原来是上师在收到供养后都会先把供品供给三宝, 再把功德回向给供养者。

    供养上师也可以培养我们的慷慨心, 不会对物质执着。

    当然, 这也不局限于高僧或上师收到供养而已, 在我们凡人的立场, 如果我们收到礼物也是可以利用这个机会把我们收到的礼物供养给三宝, 让送给我们礼物的人与三宝结缘。
    我们如果也可以趁着这个机会随喜送给我们礼物的人的慷慨心也可以对治我们的妒忌心, 实在是一举两得。

    非常谢谢仁爱讲法师的分享, 让我们了解更多做供养的好处。

    谢谢

  20. Soon Huat on Dec 10, 2016 at 7:07 pm

    Thank You Rinpoche for the teaching and Thank You Pastor Jean Ai for sharing the powerful article. I love this technique taught by Denma Locho Rinpoche. This can be practiced daily to cut down my inner three poisons.I always worry that the three poisons grows in our mind without me realizing it. I particularly like the visualizing the yidam in crown receiving the offering the offering and creating the merit to givers to be closed with Guru in future. I thought it might be another good way of spreading the Dharma to others. Thank You Rinpoche for walking the talk to remind us and re-instill the teaching to our mind. Thank You with folded hands.

  21. Vivian Ong on Dec 10, 2016 at 12:28 am

    Thank you Pastor Jean Ai for sharing this article with us. It is indeed a good practice that we should cultivate whenever someone gives us gifts. I feel that the more Dharma work you do, the more unexpected gifts that you will receive from others for example treating you to a nice dinner, sponsor your pilgrimage trip, give Dharma books and other items. As the saying goes, the more you give the more you will receive.

    With folded palms,
    Vivian

  22. Pastor Han Nee on Dec 9, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    Thank you, Pastor Jean Ai, for sharing this teaching on the correct attitude to have when receiving offerings.

    It is important to remember to consistently make offerings to the Three Jewels,and to our Spiritual Guide, who is the embodiment of the Three Jewels. It is our Spiritual Guide who provides us with the blessings and the knowledge to liberate us from samsara and lifetimes of suffering.

    In accordance with Denma Locho Rinpoche,it is important to have the correct attitude in receiving the offerings from a giver or it might lead to an ego trip (as the recipient thinks they are worthy of the offering)and to collecting negative karma instead. The correct attitude of the recipient in receiving offerings is to:

    1) rejoice at the generosity of the giver, who has overcome their attachment in order to present the offering
    2)help the giver collect as much merits as possible.

    Rejoicing is a way of not only cutting off attachments, but it also prevents deepening our self-cherishing . When we divert our thoughts from ourselves and our worthiness to receive the offering, and instead direct them to rejoice over the generosity of the giver, this rejoicing can be an antidote to jealousy, and will help cut off our jealousy.

    To help the giver get as much merits as possible, the recipient can make an offering of their offerings to the Three Jewels. The recipient can visualise Lama Tsongkhapa on the crown of their head and making offerings to him or visualise themselves as the Yidam receiving the offerings.Then they dedicate the merits to the giver.

    The reason for making such a dedication is for the giver to create a connection with the Dharma and to meet with teachers in future lifetimes so that they may further their practice until Enlightenment.

    The recipient is reminded to make this dedication first before the offerings are enjoyed or used ‘properly’.

  23. Fong on Dec 9, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    “merit-making interaction between giver and recipient.”

    I like your closing sentence, Pastor Jean Ai. I never thought that any gift that I received, i could also dedicate the merits. This is such an eye-opener.

    The thought was always one way, i.e. I get greedy and make offerings for merit which in its own way is no merit since the motivation was for merits. Confusing, isn’t it?

    So, thank you very much for this sharing.

  24. Choong on Dec 9, 2016 at 11:33 am

    By carrying out this a practice, you will change the whole landscape of receiving gifts.

    By visualizing an enlightened deity and making it the object of the generosity, the giver gains merits.

    Simultaneously, the receiver transmutes the conventional self into a non-inherent self which attacks the ego.

    It’s a win-win situation.

  25. Samfoonheei on Dec 9, 2016 at 10:58 am

    Wonderful teachings on attitude when receiving offerings.I learned some important points here.Always dedicate the merits to the one who give or when someone does something nice for us.When we makes an offering, the recipient should rejoice in the person’s generosity. Its a good teachings and a reminder for us.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Elena Khong Jean Ai for sharing the teachings on the attitude when receiving offerings.

  26. Lum Kok Luen on Dec 8, 2016 at 11:22 pm

    Dear Pastor Jean Ai,

    Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful teaching on receiving offerings or gifts in this secular world.

    Frankly, if not for this sharing, many of us, including myself, would have this “Cloud 9” feeling when we get gifts particularly on our birthdays. Now I know who I should react and dedicate the merits to the giver.

    Conversely, it is also applicable when we receive annual bonuses from our company that we work for. We should express gratitude and repay the kindness of management with dedicated work in return. And of course, we have to dedicate the merits to the entire leadership team in the organization that we work for.

    Thanks so much Pastor for this sharing and Dharma teaching from Rinpoche.

    Humbly yours,
    Lum Kok Luen

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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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  • Alice Tay
    Thursday, Mar 30. 2017 10:01 PM
    This is really great news for having SFS campaign to help the stray dogs. Other than to urge and educate the public to treat the stray dogs with compassionately, SFS campaign encourages for all quarters to work together to spay or neuter stray animals which is an effective method to control the amount of stray dogs. Indirectly, this may reduce the suffering of stray dogs from being abused or die because of starvation.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/stray-free-selangor.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Mar 30. 2017 10:00 PM
    Good news finally Selangor becaome the first state free from stray dogs. With the support of the royalties and the Selangor Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) organised the campaign to make
    the state free of stray dogs and create the awareness of compassionate love towards stray animals.They are working work towards a radical change,thats a worderful news.
    Well ,do hope more states will follow Selangor to replace the inhumane way of dealing with stray animals too.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this wonderful news.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/stray-free-selangor.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Thursday, Mar 30. 2017 05:29 PM
    These iconographically correct Buddha images set in precious gemstones are one of its kind and unique in every sense of the word. And the designs are versatile to suit any apparels and occasions, redefining the Buddhist sense of fashion in a big way. Thank you, Rinpoche and Louise for this sharing. I hope the pendants will bring protections to the wearer and connections to the Buddha to those who admire it by sight.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/timeless-and-sacred.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Mar 30. 2017 03:29 PM
    Very inspiring true story of a monk…Master Xuyun after going through many hardships and illness to pursue what he wanted to be. What he did was amazing travelling in harsh conditions to so many places just to preach chinese buddhism from one country to another. Master Xuyun has spent his entired life devoted to the Dharma,During the war many monasteries and holy sites was destroyed but somehow Master Xuyun managed to restore once again.Because of him ,those monasteries and holy sites were till today. He was a household name at that time and have inspired many modern spiritual seeker to strive along the path towards enlightenment.
    Thank you Pastor Adeline Woon for such an interesting and inspiring article.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/empty-cloud.html#tabs-7
  • Lin Mun
    Thursday, Mar 30. 2017 11:47 AM
    It is ironic that Dalai Lama would have given a remarks to discourage country such as Germany to accept refugees and that refugees should return to homeland and to build the country. I think this is really a callous statement to be mentioned. Dalai Lama being the Tibetan Buddhist leader should portray compassion and extending help to those in need. All these refugees are running away for their life because their own country is not safe to stay anymore. Just like what Tibetan has encountered in the late 1950s.

    This kind of contrary statement is also very obvious in the Dorje Shugden ban. Dorje Shugden have been practised by many high lamas since 400 years ago and also by Dalai Lama’s Guru but it is ban by Tibetan leadership.

    Dalai Lama is a high lama and is believed to be the emanation of Chenrezig. Although his statements were contrary sometimes but I believe he would have the reason that we may not understand yet. Hopefully all the issues would be resolve in peace.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


    Very interesting read: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/2157904-supernormal-abilities-developed-through-meditation-dr-dean-radin-discusses/?sidebar=morein

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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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The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

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

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

Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • Japan's greatest modern day artist, Yayoi Kusama
    yesterday
    Japan's greatest modern day artist, Yayoi Kusama
  • Please watch this video, it's heartbreaking to see how people have to suffer.
    2 weeks ago
    Please watch this video, it's heartbreaking to see how people have to suffer.
  • Lady saves puppy from potential abuser
    2 weeks ago
    Lady saves puppy from potential abuser
  • Mr. Denzel Washington is a very intelligent man. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 weeks ago
    Mr. Denzel Washington is a very intelligent man. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Dear friends, please see this educational video on suffering for the sake of others.
    3 weeks ago
    Dear friends, please see this educational video on suffering for the sake of others.
  • A very neat footage of Bigfoot captured by Patterson-Gimlin.
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ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

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

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

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

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