Blue Jean Buddha

By | May 15, 2016 | Views: 305
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Hello, how are you? It’s Edward here again, today I would like to share about a book that I have recently read, entitled “Blue Jean Buddha”.

The main reason why I love this book is because it consists of short stories written by various people, talking about how they came to know about Buddhism and the one event that struck them so deeply that they began to develop a strong faith in Buddhism. I believe the words they use and the way they express themselves through writing attracted me to read more and more. The one thing that differentiates this book from the previous ones that I have read is that it allows us to look at Buddhism in different ways, from different perspectives. For example in the book, some of the personas were born in families that practice Buddhism strongly, some were exposed to Buddhism during their college years, some were heading down the wrong path and were introduced to Buddhism by family members or by friends and that changed their lives. Buddha Shakyamuni has taught 84,000 different methods to enlightenment to various people based on their individual needs so that they can absorb the teachings better.

Just as I have mentioned earlier, there is a lot of short stories written in this book and I would like to share some of them with you.
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1. Climbing with Tara by Ben Galland

It was a classic High Sierra day in late August: warm sunshine, long days and cool nights. I was up in the Tuolumne Meadows area backpacking with my mom. We camped at a lake at the base of the Matthes Crest rock formation. This rock formation rises straight out of the ground about 1,500 ft and is sheer on both sides. It looks like a monolithic shark’s fin- a really big piece of rock. My mom and I were doing a little climbing in the area, and today was a rest day for my mom. When I woke, I saw her doing her morning meditation, and I was inspired to do some sort of meditation for myself, too.

I decided to go climb the fin. I grabbed a little daypack and threw in some snacks and a water bottle. I didn’t know how long it was going to take me, but I figured I would be gone for just a few hours. I headed up the hill from the lake to the base of the cliff. There I stood with no ropes, at the base of this 1,500 ft monolith thinking to myself, good morning. I had climbed without ropes before so I knew what I was getting myself into. I had to really be in the present moment and not think about anything else but the handhold I was grabbing and the foothold I was stepping on. I practiced some rounds of controlled, deep breathing to get in my body, I had some experience with meditation from growing up close to a Zen center and having a mother who meditated every day. As a little boy, my mom occasionally encouraged me to meditate in the mornings before I went to school.

I began to climb up the cliff, grabbing onto a handhold and squeezing it gently enough to hold on but not too hard as to clutch it. With every step I took and hold I grabbed, I would take a deep breath and try to relax. I slowly made my way up the cliff using the movement of each hold as a stretch for my body. I would put one foot way out to the left and then would sit on it for a second and stretch out in that position for a breath cycle. This technique made me slow down and helped me relax.

I slowly made my way up this apron of rock with the sun shining warmly on my back. The wind blew gently, and the air was fresh and crisp. I continued to follow the cracks, little paths to the top of the cliff. After an hour of climbing, I really began to feel the exposure of this piece of rock. I was about a thousand feet off the ground when I got to some looser rock on the route. I had to slow down even more because I didn’t want to grab anything that could come off in my hands and send me whipping over backward to the ground. O-o-o-k-a-a-a-y, deep breath out. I was beginning to get a little scared. Everything I was grabbing or stepping on was loose, and I realized that my holds could slide out from under me at any second. The higher I got, the worse the rock got. With 1,400 ft of air below me, I should have just turned back, but I was so close to the top that I really wanted to just get there.

I reached for another hold, but it broke off in my hand. Fortunately, I had tested the hold before putting all my weight on it. I took the hold and threw it down the cliff below me. I watched it fall for about 800 ft and then blow up into a million pieces as it smashed into the side of the cliff below. I was definitely scared at this point, and I began to freeze up. Everywhere I looked for a hold the rock was crappy. The granite was grainy and old, what climbers call “chaossy.” But I was only fifty feet away from the summit, and I really didn’t want to turn around. I was thinking that if I got to the top, I could climb down a safer way.

I grabbed a few more awful holds and threw them off the cliff, trying to clean out the rock from where I had just removed the hold, but it all just turned to sand. I would have to make do with what I had and pick my holds with great attention. Some of the holds I grabbed were loose, but I just eased onto them and didn’t put a lot of weight on them. I grabbed for the last hold and pulled myself up onto the summit block of the shark’s fin.

The view and the exposure were both spectacular and terrifying. I usually love to feel like I am sitting on top of the world, but not when the world could crumble down from underneath me. I looked down over to the lake below, and I could see my mother still doing her meditation. I then realized that I was in trouble. There was no way down. I looked off the other side of the cliff, and there was nothing but very steep, overhanging cliff. The only way down was to go back the way I came. I was not happy but I was in no hurry. I began to pray like my mom had shown me as a kid, for when times get tough or just to say thanks for what we had.

I got into a lotus position on the summit of this 1,500 ft pillar granite, at 10,000 ft in the High Sierra back country. I took a deep breath. I looked to the west and let the sun shine into my eyes and warm my face. I felt a breeze blow against my face and stir my hair. Then I remembered a teaching that a Buddhist teacher once gave me when I was practicing meditation a few years back. “Let your thoughts be like clouds, and let them pass across the sky with the wind.” I breathed deeply to let go of horrible fear that was churning in my stomach. Thoughts were running through my head, even though I was totally safe at the present moment where I was sitting. I would have a moment of clarity, then I would stress again about my situation, and then I would catch myself and try to breathe deeply. I tried to let the wind blow my frantic thoughts across the sky and out of my mind. I knew that I needed to be totally present, calm, and grounded if I was going to make it to the bottom, so I sat in meditation until I got there- and sat, and sat some more.

The sitting helped but it wasn’t complete. Suddenly, I flashed back to my mom’s altar, and I saw her statues and images of deities. I asked Tara, the goddess of compassionate action, to come into my life and help me out. “Help me down off this mountain and help me to focus and help me let go of my fears right now so that I can be totally present for the descent,” I prayed.

I closed my eyes and took more breaths, and then I saw an image of the goddess Tara hovering over my body and the mountain, and she was smiling at me. As the wind blew and I took more deep breaths, her smile began to fill my belly with a warm, fuzzy feeling. I took another breath from this place in my stomach and as I exhaled, I began to smile myself. With every breath I took I began to smile more and more until my smile stretched across my face and I began laughing myself.

It was at that point that I felt ready for the descent; my mind was settled and calm. It felt like I was dreaming as I moved over to the edge of this 1,500 ft cliff and turned around backward to climb down. My feet went right to the solid parts of the rock and so did my hands, I didn’t even have to think; I felt like I was a river, flowing down the side of the mountain, around and over the rocks in the way. One foot behind the other and one hand behind the other. I kept breathing and moving down, and before I knew it, I was through the roughest section of loose rock. I got back to the ground and was still smiling. My face hurt from the intensity of the smiling, which I had been doing the whole way down and hadn’t noticed. On the solid earth, I was so happy to still be alive and in the present moment.

I’m not sure what would have happened if I hadn’t taken time to calm my mind. But the one thing I do know is that Tara and meditation gave me serenity in the midst of a very scary situation that could have been fatal. Without a calm mind, maybe Tara wouldn’t have been able to appear, to help me become that river flowing down the side of the cliff. Nevertheless, as a result of that experience, my mindfulness practice and belief in Tara is stronger than before. Whether she really exists is not important; Tara saved my life.

( This story is one of the best I have read so far. He spoke about his early lifestyle with Buddhism, how he felt about it and most importantly, he now believes in Dharma and has strong faith in it. )
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2. In My Father’s Footsteps by Hojo Tone

I was born and raised in one of the Shin Buddhist temples of Wakayama, Japan. Although my older brother has inherited responsibility for the leadership of the Tone clan as a Shin Buddhist minister, I also decided to become a Shin Buddhist minister.

I was born and raised a minister’s child. From the day I could talk, I learned to follow Shin Buddhist practice, reciting Nembutsu- “Namu Amida Butsu”- and studying, learning, following and practicing the Buddhist way of life, without having any doubts or questions about it. As a child, I merely recited the Nembutsu without any depth of understanding. In chanting, I always asked for something, such as, “May I pass the test!” “May I have good luck!” I thought that Amida Buddha, Buddha of Immeasurable Light and Life, would grant my wish. The Nembutsu was always emphasized throughout my upbringing, but with the passing of years, many questions arose within me. Why do I recite the Nembutsu? Is it just because that’s what I’ve been taught? Do I really need to recite Nembutsu sincerely and wholeheartedly? I discovered I needed to answer these questions for myself.

Then, in high school, something happened that changed my life and began the journey to answer these questions. My father suddenly had a heart attack. He was forty-nine years old. As soon as I heard the news, I hurried to the hospital. The doctor told me that it was doubtful that my father’s life could be saved. Shocked by what I had heard, I went home to my temple, not knowing what to do. So, I put my hands together and bowed. I said, “Please help my father,” and recited, with all my heart, “Namu Amida Butsu, Namu Amida Butsu, Namu Amida Butsu…” I had regarded Amida Buddha as a superman, and at that time my thought was only to rely on Amida Buddha as the ultimate power. Several days after the heart attack, somehow my father regained his health.

Around that time, I was fortunate to be selected as a member of the YBICSE (Young Buddhist International Cultural Study Exchange) delegation from Japan. That was the last time I saw my father. My father died on the day I left for the United States, but I didn’t know that then. When I came back to my family temple in Japan about three weeks later, I was informed of his death for the first time. Suffering and in pain, my heart was heavy with grief. For me that experience truly seemed like Hell.

For some time I found it difficult to get over the loss of my father. For the first time I began to consider seriously the question of what it means to be a human being. I also began to think deeply about the meaning of Amida Buddha and the Nembutsu in my life. Half a year after my father died, my mother showed me my father’s last words written moments before he died. I carefully read the page by page. On the last page my father had written, “Namu Amida Butsu.” And in his last breath he has said to my mother, “Amida Buddha came for me; I will go back to the Pure Land of Amida Buddha. See you again.” Regarding me, away in the U.S as an exchange student, my father instructed my mother, “Do not call him back, because he has his own future.” Hearing these words, his deep faith, I was inspired to become a minister.

So although I was born and raised a minister’s child, and had “practiced” the Nembutsu from my earliest childhood. I began actually living the life of Nembutsu only thirteen years ago. I learned from Shinran Shonin, the founder of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism, what the Nembutsu truly is, and I became determined to become a minister. While I was a student in Ryukoku Daigaku, the Shin Buddhist University, I received a scholarship for two months of overseas research on temple activities on the U.S. mainland and Hawaii. During my visit, I spent about two weeks at Honolulu Honganji under the guidance of the head minister, Rinban Reverend Hoashi. At that time, I met a woman, a member of the Women’s Organization of Honolulu Honganji, who kindly offered me to return to Hawaii when I became a minister. As strange as it may seem in retrospect, it was the conversation I had with her that made me decide to do just that.

On February 20, 1996, I arrived in Honolulu to become a Honganji Buddhist minister, and I came to Hilo Honganji on May 21, 1996 upon receiving my assignment from Bishop Chikai Yosemori. When I came to Hilo Honganji, I had an interview with Dharma School children. They asked me why I became a minister.

I told them that I think that the Buddha’s teaching is crucial to developing and forming our character and our way of living. A true encounter with the Buddha’s teaching means we are growing up and living in the path of Nembutsu, Namu Amida Butsu. Namu is my isolated, solitary self, and Amida Butsu mean I am embraced by boundless compassion. My life, thus, is a gift that is granted me, and I want to share the gift of well-being for all people through ministry.

Ever since I lost my father I have been seeking the deep meaning of the Buddha’s teaching. But for many years my studying to seek spiritual knowledge was only at my desk, through my intellect. It was only through meeting my teachers and through the influence of many others like my father that I could realize my inner truth. As a minister, I want to embody the Buddha’s teachings and affect the lives of others as I have been affected by such dear friends. Ever since I received Namu Amida Butsu from my father, I have found my true self, or awakened to myself, through that teaching. Namu Amida Butsu is my life.

 

What I Have Learnt From These Stories:

  1. We may have experienced great loss in life, but no matter how we feel or what position we are put into, there’s no reason for anyone of us to be involved in negative activities such as drugs, gambling and so on. Yes we may be depressed, but it’s potent to not let our emotions take charge. Everyone has to go through this particular process and that’s why we are in samsara. What would make a huge difference is how we decide to deal with the problems.
  2. It matters if we start practicing Dharma now to benefit sentient beings. We may have a lot of people who disagree, but it’s our choice. Ultimately, we know that we are doing something beneficial. People who practice Dharma since young tend to be more caring and loving to others and therefore I believe that Dharma is a strong and positive foundation for ourselves and our kids. Love is what is lacking in society nowadays.
  3. Meditation is one of the best methods to calm our mind so that we are able to absorb more knowledge and have better concentration on all the things that we do, in other words, it creates self-awareness.
  4. Whenever we find ourselves anxious, angry, depressed or even overly excited, we should sit down in a comfortable position, with our back straightened and focus only on our breathing. This is called breathing meditation. I have tried this myself,  after doing this, I find myself calmer and able to think logically.
  5. Drugs are highly addictive and yes we have fun, but is it really worth it for that short span of ‘happiness’? We gain nothing but only pain and in some cases, even a lifetime of remorse. I’m just taking doing drugs for an example, other negative indulgences such as gambling, drinking, smoking and so forth are of no benefit to us. Imagine all the money we have spent on all these? They could have been used to feed the homeless and stray animals. These are the actions that bring us and others true happiness.
  6. The most important thing we can ever give a child is Dharma. There’s a saying that goes like this: “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” (Not that I encourage fishing.) I would say that this is applicable in Dharma as well.
  7. I have learnt that a good writer does not only need to have the knowledge to write, he/she also has to be sensitive and mindful with the words they use in the writings. This is very important because it also helps the readers to understand the content better. Understanding this, it enables me to improve my writing skills as well.
  8. We often ignore the fact that environment plays a huge role in building up a person’s personality. There are people who have a beautiful family, Dharma is being instilled in them since young but because of a few friends they meet outside, their mind switches. It is not anyone’s fault and no one is to be blamed. It is very important that we practice Dharma single-pointedly, just knowing the Dharma is not good enough.
  9. Taking on a vegetarian diet does not only help to keep our body healthy but it’s also a good exercise to practice compassion for other sentient beings. Quite a number of celebrities have taken on a vegetarian diet and most of them are of course due to health concerns. But nonetheless, they are saving a lot of animals from being slaughtered, this is the truth. Studies have proven that vegetarians tend to have a healthier body and they have a longer life span.
  10. We must always be grateful to our teachers, parents, siblings, friends and even our enemies who make us who we are today, a better and wiser person. Our enemies may have said or done something that hurts us but it is because they are humans too, we all make mistakes. The reason why we like or love someone is because they are nice to us and they say nice things to us. You see how strong our sense of like and dislike is? How our perception changes with our emotions? We know the Dharma so we should instead be kinder, wiser and tolerant to forgive others.

 

About the Book

Author: Sumi Loundon (Editor) and Jack Kornfield (Foreword)
Publisher: Wisdom Publications
Paperback: 233 pages
ISBN: 978 086 1711 77 2
Product dimensions: 22.9cm (H) x 15.2cm (W) x 2cm (D)
Weight: 363g

You can purchase the book here.
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Edward Ooi

About Edward Ooi

Edward Ooi is like any ordinary high school boy who enjoys his share of movies, comics, and video games. Through his parents, Edward crossed paths with H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche from the moment he was born, and grew up with the guidance of Dharma in every important juncture of his developing years. Brought up to view the world with infinite possibilities, at 17 years old Edward chooses to spend his weekends volunteering in Kechara Soup Kitchen and have developed a strong interest in the field of paranormal and mystical beings.
Edward Ooi

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15 Responses to Blue Jean Buddha

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  1. Wan Wai Meng on Oct 8, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    Buddha taught continuously with words and examples, after he attained Buddhahood, the entire corpus of his teachings is suited to a variety of minds and inclinations. Hence depending on the level and experience of the practitioner one relies on the Buddha ever so differently. So I think this book presents, various people’s how they relate to the Buddha and what do the Buddhist teachings mean for them.

  2. Karen on Jul 9, 2016 at 12:03 am

    Hi Edward,

    I like all 10 points you listed down from what you’ve learnt from the book. I must say you’re very fortunate to have met Rinpoche and started your Dharma practise at such young age as you mentioned at point 6 “The most important thing we can ever give a child is Dharma. There’s a saying that goes like this: “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” (Not that I encourage fishing.) I would say that this is applicable in Dharma as well.”

    Keep up the good work and please continue to share your book review with us here. Be an inspiration for all young people who’re new to Dharma 🙂

  3. Sofi on Jun 22, 2016 at 12:14 am

    Thank you Edward for sharing your review on the book you have read “Blue Jean Buddha”. The book sounds interesting through your account given and definitely worth a read. What impresses me the most is that at your young age, you gave a very good write up, especially with the 10 points of your observation from the stories read. Yes you are right, Dharma is the best thing we can give our children. You are a fine example of this as your parents involved you in dharma from the moment you were born. I rejoice for your parents at their right choice as you and your sister, Beatrix will have the solid foundation to stand on as both of you go through life. Kudos and hope to read more articles by you.

    Thank you Rinpoche for making the invaluable Dharma so easily available for us and our children.

  4. Pastor Antoinette Kass on Jun 21, 2016 at 11:13 am

    Dear Edward,

    I have very much enjoyed the story of the climber who was saved by Tara. It reminds me how quickly we can be in trouble and even in lifetreathening situations. We must treasure what we have as we don’t know how long we have this opportunity.

    Buddhas do exist and they are ready to help us. We have to improve ourselves so that we can also help others in our small abilities. And this will help and encourage others to do the same.

    I love that Ben was so lucky to have a spiritual mother who taught him to pray and ask for divine help. We need to remember that everything we do, can influence someone else for the better.

    Thank you for sharing with us this intereting book!

  5. Fong on Jun 13, 2016 at 11:12 am

    “Ever since I lost my father I have been seeking the deep meaning of the Buddha’s teaching. But for many years my studying to seek spiritual knowledge was only at my desk, through my intellect. It was only through meeting my teachers and through the influence of many others like my father that I could realize my inner truth”

    That was what struck me most. That we can read and try to understand intellectually, but the depth and truth of the Dharma can only be reached with the aid of the teacher, the Guru. Therefore, Ashvagosha’s 50 Stanzas on Guru Devotion is what we should hold close to our hearts if we want to progress on the spiritual path.

    Thanks, Edward for putting it all in point form for on what you have gained from the book. It sure acts as a good focal point for many of us as I think do lose sight of it every now and then.

  6. Pastor Shin Tan on Jun 10, 2016 at 5:29 am

    Thank you Edward for another book review. I am happy to know that you learnt so much from each book and are sharing your thoughts with us.

    Your sharing from vegetarian diets to breathing meditation is really good. It’s heartwarming to know young people like you thought about money spent that could have been used to feed the homeless and stray animals.

    Do continue to share with us more and I look forward to reading more of your writings.

  7. Pastor Moh Mei on Jun 7, 2016 at 9:46 am

    Dear Edward,

    Thank you for your review on this book and sharing your insight from the perspective of a young modern day Buddhist. I agree we should have an open mind to look at Buddhism in different ways, from different perspectives because even Buddha taught 84,000 different methods to enlightenment. Buddha saw and understood there are different minds and yet do not judge nor discriminate but instead out of deep compassion and wisdom, gave us different teachings from various angles but leading to the same end goal.

    Our emotions both positive and negative, be it anger, fear, sadness, joy, excitement can easily cloud our judgement. Having the means and methods to calm our mind and have the right focus will help us maneuver the many challenges in life that we are sure to face.

    You are privileged to have known dharma from a young age. Being in dharma will not totally spare us from the struggles of samsara or our karma but it we embrace dharma, it can give us the tools and methods to better handle what life throws at us.

    May you continue to grow in this spiritual journey.

  8. Boon on May 31, 2016 at 12:03 am

    Thank you Edward.

    This I think would be a good read because it is not too heavy, with simple concepts and stories that we could easily understand. It touches many aspects of Buddhism but at the levels that we could easily grasp, so that if we want to know more about certain aspects that interest us such as meditation, we can then go find other books which are focused on that particular topic.

  9. Pastor Elena Khong Jean Ai on May 30, 2016 at 3:07 am

    Edward,

    Blue Jean Buddha is one of the first books about Buddhism I ever read, given to me by Rinpoche. What I liked about the book was that it showed such a big cross-section of people who have benefited from Buddhism. At my age, I thought that if these people who are so cool and do such cool things can be Buddhist and benefit from it, it’s definitely a really cool religion hehehe I know, so shallow 😛

    You are right, the environment we surround ourselves with is very important. Hence we should be careful about the friends we choose. We can have non-Dharma friends, sure and there is nothing wrong or bad about them. However, if they encourage us to engage in bad habits, we have to ask ourselves if it is the best choice we are making for our spirituality. Are we strong enough to resist the temptations from them? Are our friends dragging us down, or am we pulling them up?

    If we are not strong enough to pull our friends up, we have to meditate on why. Usually, the answer is that we are not compassionate enough to practise so strongly that everyone around us is influenced to spirituality too.

    What I am talking about is exactly why there is such a concept as ‘toxic friends’ in Buddhism. We have to be careful about who we are friends with because the wrong friends can influence us badly. On the other hand, the right friends can influence us in a good way and that is why monasteries exist. It is also why Rinpoche always encourages practitioners to live together so that people who are serious about their spirituality can surround themselves with other likeminded individuals who will support their spiritual goals (instead of samsaric friends who pull them away from spirituality).

    This is not unusual or strange. Even in the secular world, let’s say someone comes out of a drug rehabilitation program or substance abuse program. The trainers and doctors will always tell the patients they must be careful about who they are friends with, and that if they go back to their old friends then they will restart their drug-taking habits.

    Anyway, I’m very happy you have had the opportunity to read it too because as anyone can see, you are learning a lot by doing these book reports. What you are learning are lessons that schools and regular teachers will never teach you 🙂

  10. Pastor Niral Patel on May 28, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    Thank you for this book review Edward. When i lived in the UK i would often see this book on the shelves of many book shops. But for some reason i never managed to get myself a copy. I’ve seen it advertised online in many places as well, and now i know why, because it contains such inspirational stories about Buddhist practices.

    I really like the story of Climbing with Tara as you shared above. The story is really inspiring, about overcome all odds, despite how we may feel, the enlightened energies of the Buddhas (in this case the incomparable Mother Tara), and the various effects of Buddhist practices – calming the mind. This last section is something that really speaks to me as i have some experience meditating. It is amazing how much we can achieve when we engage it actions with a calm and relaxed mind. Since most of us do not have such a mind naturally, meditation in any form can help us to achieve this.

  11. Lew Kwan Leng on May 26, 2016 at 11:38 pm

    After reading this mini review from Edward, I am inspired to get the book and let my daughter read these short stories. It is like the modern version of Jataka Tales with stories which are easier to relate in this modern days.

    I particularly like what Edward wrote towards the end of the article, about what he learnt from the stories. What he wrote is way more mature than a 17 years old man.

    It is indeed very important to plant the Dharma seeds onto the younger generations, especially these days because the samsara world has just got too much “traps”, what Dharma is the best foundation we can give to our kids to prepare them when they grow up.

    I look forward to more reviews from Edward 🙂

  12. Heng meng kiat on May 26, 2016 at 8:39 am

    Nice write up Edward, u explain so lively trigger me want to read this book more, your write up not only inspire young people but also old man like me 😉 . Please write more, u never know your write up can benefit a lot of people. Thanks for your effort

  13. Wan Wai Meng on May 26, 2016 at 3:26 am

    I really enjoyed these stories, thank you Edward. If i go on a holiday I would want this book too to accompany me.

  14. Sarah Yap on May 26, 2016 at 2:37 am

    Wonderful write up, Edward.

    Blue Jeans Buddha was one of the first Buddhist books I read before I knew about Kechara, and I must say that it’s quite a well compiled book about stories of young Buddhists who face their challenges and developing spirituality at a younger age, which was some what pretty unconventional in Malaysia.

    Before I met Kechara, learning Buddhism and engaging in prayers was something that you do when you’re retired. How absolutely wrong that thought was… now that I know better. But reading this book actually soften my ‘shock’ when I first got to know Kechara, and it helped me to feel more comfortable and integrated with the youths (who are no longer youths… we’ve all aged lol) in the group.

    It is wonderful that you’re exposed to Dharma and have the guidance of the lama at such a young age. When I was your age, I only had books as a guide, but reading Dharma books was one of the fuels that got me more interested in Buddhism as time passed, even to this day.

    Looking forward to read more about your Buddhist book reviews!

  15. Jutika Lam on May 25, 2016 at 10:16 pm

    Thank you Edward for once again doing another wonderful review on this Dharma book!

    I myself love reading short stories as you get to read the opinions and experiences of a few writers all in one book.

    I really like the 1st story you shared above (“Climbing with Tara”), it describes how the Buddha always has our back and is always protecting us wherever we go, climbing up the cliff alone is scary indeed and if anything went wrong it wouldn’t have turned out good.

    Thank you also for sharing what you learned from these stories, I agree with what your opinions and I’m sure many would feel the same after reading the stories in this book

    Keep it up Edward!

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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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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
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 03:07 AM
    This year Wesak Day fall on 10 of May. This day is very special and meaningful to me because I will visit Kechara Forest Retreat(KFR) to join some meritorious event there.
    For me, Wesak is a day to commemorate Buddha Sakyamuni in three aspect( Birth , Enlightened, Nirwana).
    While we celebrate Wesak, we must remind ourselves to learn from Buddha teachings and practice it in order to gain attainment.
    Thanks Rinpoche and Pastor Seng Piow for sharing in order to create more understanding on Wesak Day.

    Jason

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/wesak-day-special-on-rtm-2.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Wednesday, Apr 26. 2017 06:10 PM
    OMG! This is very touching. To see a doggie who never left go of his owner in spite of death. Way more powerful than many who proclaimed “till death do us part.” Just like the human, not all doggies are as loyal as this tear-jerking pet, but I truly believe almost all doggies offer unconditional love to the person who feeds and cares for them. Even when they are stray animals. There was a stray dog who will run two streets from the entrance of the “Taman” until the car stops in front of the house, just to greet me. You can imagine the warm and conviction in my heart that these beings are more than capable of loving than many of us, human! Thank you for this lovely sharing. I miss my doggie, Sherab.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/faithful-dog-chases-deceased-owner.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Wednesday, Apr 26. 2017 06:00 PM
    Thank you, Pastor Seng Piow, for this amazing sharing. There is no doubt about the ability of our Guru, His Eminence the 25th Tsem Tulku Rinpoche. His incarnations have been compassionate and taken rebirth to return and spread the dharma so that sentient beings can benefit and learn some dharma in our short life.

    We shall never doubt our Guru; but must see that He is one with our Yidam and Protector, an attained being. Even if our Guru does not demonstrate clairvoyance abilities, we must never contest our Guru, for he holds the key (dharma) that can liberate us from eternal suffering in samsara.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-1-2.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Wednesday, Apr 26. 2017 05:50 PM
    Thank you, Pastor Seng Piow, for the illustrated miracle story on how Rinpoche guided Cynthia and Marici away from danger through protector’s practice. The unseen exist, whether we like it or not. Some of them are malicious and have the affinity or karma with some of us. Hence they can cause harm and disturbance. By engaging in Protectors’ practice like Dorje Shugden and Setrap that have been practiced by the high lamas of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism, we are protected and guarded against harm.

    Rinpoche is compassionate and only want the best for us. His teachings are not meant to show off the power of the divines but offer us a way out from our desperate samsara conundrum that binds us from engaging in deeper spiritual practice. Rinpoche always teaches us to focus on mind transformation and Tsongkhapa practice. How fortunate we are to have met Rinpoche in this lifetime. We must not let this rare and precious opportunity go to waste.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-12.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Apr 26. 2017 04:30 PM
    Miracles do happen,when we have faith and trust in our Guru.What is important is to follow Rinpoche’s advice and do as instructed by our Guru to clear the osbtacles all the way.Angie and Herry were so fortunate to have meet Rinpoche.Its because of Rinpoche ‘s compassion and caring for his student Angie’s life was saved.Infact Rinpoche has helped many people through his intervention, advice and instructions.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Loh Seng Piow for sharing miracles stories which i enjoyed reading.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-2.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Apr 26. 2017 02:45 PM
    WOW….interesting a miracles true story. Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Loh Seng Piow for sharing.Reciting mantras by family members and doing 20 pujas done at the monastery to help the baby. These proved that pujas, which have been done for hundreds of years in the monasteries are very powerful methods for us to overcome difficulties, create huge amounts of merit and for protection, good health and long life.This show us how powerful pujas can help us when we have trust and faith in our Guru.And with Rinpoche divination,the baby was born and now a healthy boy.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-1-2.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Apr 26. 2017 12:47 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these powerful teachings.Its a privilege
    to do Dharma work to benefits other,do it with motivation and a good attitude when engaging ourselves It will be guide line for me.When we serve others to do Dharma work together at Kechara Forest Retreat ,we will improve ourself , purify our negative karma and to benefit others too.I will be sponsoring to the healings bricks soon and i will cherish every moment in supporting KFR.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/dharma-work-attitude-tdl.html
  • Lin Mun
    Wednesday, Apr 26. 2017 11:06 AM
    Bigfoot is just another beings living in this world although not commonly seen and live in the deep jungle in high mountains. There were many evidences that people from many parts of the world sighted this beings. Whatever shape they are I think importantly we are all sharing this world and therefore need to have mutual respect and not intervene each others.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/its-in-the-scriptures-they-exist.html
  • Alice Tay
    Tuesday, Apr 25. 2017 04:26 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Adeline sharing this interesting post about Bodhidharma, a great master favoured meditation and introduced the Lankavatara Sutra to Chinese Buddhism.

    Here are a few points I have learned from this post:
    1. Bodhidharma had strong imprints of Dharma from the past and therefore he is interested in Buddha’s teachings and show his great wisdom. at a very young age.
    2. His strong guru devotion and determination in learning and spreading the dharma based on meditation though he confronted with difficulties such as Emperor Wu Di was not impressed by his teachings, being ostracized and rejected and lived as a beggar for many months. Notwithstanding, he continued and never give up to practice meditation in complete silence for nine years in cave wall when he was not accepted by Shaolin Monastery at the beginning .
    3. When Bodhidharma was allowed enter to the monastery, he had put a lot of efforts to help the monks in improving their physical body as well as their mind through the meditation. Then, Bodhidharma continued to develop a system of 18 dynamic tension exercises which were printed as Yi Gin Ching (Changing Muscle/Tendon Classic) in 550 CE. It is known as the Luohan (arhat) 18 Hand Movements today which serves as the basis of both Chinese Temple Boxing and the Shaolin Martial Arts.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/bodhidharma-the-founder-of-gongfu.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Tuesday, Apr 25. 2017 04:10 PM
    Thank you, Grace, for sharing with us the many tips on how to care for and maintain our hair. Personal grooming is important because when we care for our appearance, we are respecting the people who have to deal with us. Caring for our hair, making sure that it is neat and clean should be something we need to take care of since young as it is part of personal grooming. The key is not to be attached to our body and outer-images, that results in spending much time and resources just to make ourselves look good.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/guest-contributors/how-much-do-you-know-about-hair.html
  • Alice Tay
    Tuesday, Apr 25. 2017 03:00 PM
    Thank you for sharing these wonderful and significant photos showed that Kechara Pastors’ tireless efforts to bring dharma to many others and do the blessings whenever is necessary.

    Basically, the pastorship role was conceptualized by our precious guru, H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche, to preserve the Dharma and to give laypeople an opportunity to commit to benefiting others. Kechara Pastors are fully dedicated and selflessly serving others especially in spiritual growth and therefore this is good for us to support the Pastors so that they can focus and spend more of their time and effort to serve others and most importantly Buddhist teachings can be spread and shared to many others. The supports to Pastors including food, lodging, transportation, items necessary for their work, such as ritual items or spiritual gifts for those in need and many others. (If you are interested to know more about Kechara Pastors, please have a good read at http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/support-the-kechara-pastors.html)

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/10-amazing-house-blessings-by-kechara-pastors.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Apr 25. 2017 02:13 PM
    Its such a great blessing for all of us to hear the holy voice recordings of H.H Kyabje Zong Rinpoche a great master..His profound teachings ,got to take seroiusly,more as an important advice on Dorje Shugden’s practice.H.H Kyabje Zong Rinpoche’s explaination was very clear before any of the practitioner’s commitment and receive sogtae.They must keep the lineage practice and teachings no matter what ever happen.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing with us on the important advice by a great master.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/kyabje-zong-rinpoches-advice-on-dorje-shugdens-practice.html
  • Lin Mun
    Tuesday, Apr 25. 2017 11:50 AM
    Thank you Pastor Han Nee for your sharing your thoughts and review about the book “Be Happy” written by Rinpoche. It is indeed not easy to be happy as we all have various expectation in every situation and people.

    We may think having a big house, lots of cash and good career is happiness but this is the wrong perception. Being happy is not about material and everything about ourselves. It is only when we can do more for others and focus out that we gain happiness. I never realised this until I joined Kechara. I think we have such a fixed mindset of what happiness is and when our expectation is not met, we are unhappy.

    Rinpoche has pointed out many ways for us to rectify our thoughts and methods to be happy. Now it is for us to take initiative to change and transform our mind if we want to be happy.

    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Han Nee for this article.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/be-happy.html
  • Lin Mun
    Monday, Apr 24. 2017 12:30 PM
    Many people do not believe in reincarnation and only relates it to certain religion such as Hinduism and Buddhism. However, there were many instances and signs that proven reincarnation exist. As Buddhist we will believe in reincarnation and karma. It is by understanding that everything has its cause and effect that we should learn to live life in the correct attitude and mindset. Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this interesting articles to remind us of karma and the importance of doing dharma practise.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/interesting-signs-of-reincarnation.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Apr 23. 2017 08:29 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for your teachings.
    Always be generous and kind in what ever we could do even its little help.It’s the little things in life that bring the greatest happiness. Its between us and our Buddha ,so we would not bother what the receipient thinks and say of us. What ever was said ,should not deter our motivation to do Dharma work.
    (It will change people’s lives in one way or another. It will change your life for the better.)….well said by Rinpoche.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/its-not-between-you-and-the-recipient.html

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Messages from Rinpoche

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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.
Holy Lady Buddha Vajra Yogini\'s blessing can be found when we decide to focus out to others instead of in to only ourselves.
~ Tsem Tulku Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
Holy Lady Buddha Vajra Yogini's blessing can be found when we decide to focus out to others instead of in to only ourselves. ~ Tsem Tulku Rinpoche
His Holiness Vajradhara Kyabje Zong Rinpoche of Gaden Monastery who is the refuge of countless, gives a clear explanation of Dorje Shugden. One is able to hear his holy voice and translation by Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen! Please see here and share: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=122352
2 weeks ago
His Holiness Vajradhara Kyabje Zong Rinpoche of Gaden Monastery who is the refuge of countless, gives a clear explanation of Dorje Shugden. One is able to hear his holy voice and translation by Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen! Please see here and share: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=122352
: This picture says it all. Click on it to enlarge and read and please share.
2 weeks ago
: This picture says it all. Click on it to enlarge and read and please share.
This is a simple chart showing the three main psychic channels used in tantric meditations to control the winds, raise tummo (fire energy), gain higher consciousness and insight and also for gaining siddhis. These channels are used in meditations for controlling the mind, when the mind ejects from the body (phowa) and one\'s death. These three channels are very important. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
This is a simple chart showing the three main psychic channels used in tantric meditations to control the winds, raise tummo (fire energy), gain higher consciousness and insight and also for gaining siddhis. These channels are used in meditations for controlling the mind, when the mind ejects from the body (phowa) and one's death. These three channels are very important. Tsem Rinpoche
I think my cute doggie Oser is actually Tintin\'s dog Snowy!
3 weeks ago
I think my cute doggie Oser is actually Tintin's dog Snowy!
Great Masters of Gaden Shartse Monastery. From left to right: His Eminence Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, His Holiness Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, H.E. Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, H.E. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, His Holiness 101st Gaden Tripa throne holder Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal.
3 weeks ago
Great Masters of Gaden Shartse Monastery. From left to right: His Eminence Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, His Holiness Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, H.E. Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, H.E. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, His Holiness 101st Gaden Tripa throne holder Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal.
 Left to right: Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl. The three of them are my beautiful and loved Schnauzer dogs. They loved looking through the window to see traffic, people and movement. They loved the smells that drifted through their little noses. I love seeing the three of them together like this. I love them. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Left to right: Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl. The three of them are my beautiful and loved Schnauzer dogs. They loved looking through the window to see traffic, people and movement. They loved the smells that drifted through their little noses. I love seeing the three of them together like this. I love them. Tsem Rinpoche
Little Mumu boy...he loved balloons. When he saw them, he wanted to get close and perhaps bite them. Cute. I love this picture of Mumu reaching for the balloons. He was young and healthy! This picture captures his energy, enthusiasm, curiosity and high energy. I love this picture of him chasing the balloons. His pictures are always so nice....He was not a pet but family to me. I love him tremendously and always will. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Little Mumu boy...he loved balloons. When he saw them, he wanted to get close and perhaps bite them. Cute. I love this picture of Mumu reaching for the balloons. He was young and healthy! This picture captures his energy, enthusiasm, curiosity and high energy. I love this picture of him chasing the balloons. His pictures are always so nice....He was not a pet but family to me. I love him tremendously and always will. Tsem Rinpoche
Little Mumu boy and myself.. He was not a pet but family to me. I love him tremendously and always will. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Little Mumu boy and myself.. He was not a pet but family to me. I love him tremendously and always will. Tsem Rinpoche
2017-His Holiness the 101st Gaden Tripa, Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal is doing well and 90 years old. His Holiness Lungrik Namgyal is a powerful master of sutra and tantra and practitioner of Dorje Shugden. Currently residing in France.
3 weeks ago
2017-His Holiness the 101st Gaden Tripa, Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal is doing well and 90 years old. His Holiness Lungrik Namgyal is a powerful master of sutra and tantra and practitioner of Dorje Shugden. Currently residing in France.
One of the most sacred statues of Avalokitesvara made of sandalwood housed in Lhasa, Tibet. He has shown miracles also. Every pilgrim wishes to make offerings to this Lord of Compassion.
3 weeks ago
One of the most sacred statues of Avalokitesvara made of sandalwood housed in Lhasa, Tibet. He has shown miracles also. Every pilgrim wishes to make offerings to this Lord of Compassion.
 Sacred Avalokitesvara statue in Nepal. Thousands come to worship this special Buddha as it has conferred wishes in the past.
3 weeks ago
Sacred Avalokitesvara statue in Nepal. Thousands come to worship this special Buddha as it has conferred wishes in the past.
Tsem Rinpoche\'s Vajra Yogini statue and offerings
3 weeks ago
Tsem Rinpoche's Vajra Yogini statue and offerings
Two of my teachers from Gaden Shartse Monastery in South India. Left side is Most Venerable Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen whom I lived with for 8 years in Los Angeles where his centre Thubten Dhargye Ling is located. On the right is the abbot emeritus H.E. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche the scholar and yogi. I was very fortunate to have them in my life and learn so much dharma from them. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Two of my teachers from Gaden Shartse Monastery in South India. Left side is Most Venerable Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen whom I lived with for 8 years in Los Angeles where his centre Thubten Dhargye Ling is located. On the right is the abbot emeritus H.E. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche the scholar and yogi. I was very fortunate to have them in my life and learn so much dharma from them. Tsem Rinpoche
 It is so wonderful to be kind to people, be caring, feed them, make sure they are healthy and share dharma if they are interested with them for their future. But simply to be nice to others is worth getting up and being alive...otherwise why be alive to hurt/use/distrust and hate others? No point living that way..must change that..... It is nice to live our lives to benefit others and be patient even if we have been hurt before because by caring we can heal the hurt and \'defeat\' the ones that hurt us because we don\'t become bitter..... Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
It is so wonderful to be kind to people, be caring, feed them, make sure they are healthy and share dharma if they are interested with them for their future. But simply to be nice to others is worth getting up and being alive...otherwise why be alive to hurt/use/distrust and hate others? No point living that way..must change that..... It is nice to live our lives to benefit others and be patient even if we have been hurt before because by caring we can heal the hurt and 'defeat' the ones that hurt us because we don't become bitter..... Tsem Rinpoche
Tsem Rinpoche\'s heritage in China. Must read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=120499
3 weeks ago
Tsem Rinpoche's heritage in China. Must read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=120499
Thank you Buddhist Pastor Chia for sharing your story on how you met His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche over 20 years ago. We can learn much from your story.~Admin  Please read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116928
3 weeks ago
Thank you Buddhist Pastor Chia for sharing your story on how you met His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche over 20 years ago. We can learn much from your story.~Admin Please read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116928
Mumu boy is incredibly photogenic. He is beyond cute. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Mumu boy is incredibly photogenic. He is beyond cute. Tsem Rinpoche
 (left to right) Rabten Tulku, Gonsar Rinpoche, Gyume Kensur Rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche, H.H. Gaden Trisur Rinpoche (France)
4 weeks ago
(left to right) Rabten Tulku, Gonsar Rinpoche, Gyume Kensur Rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche, H.H. Gaden Trisur Rinpoche (France)
Beautiful 200 roses arrived today for me as a gift from Su Ming. Very kind and thoughtful of her as usual. Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
Beautiful 200 roses arrived today for me as a gift from Su Ming. Very kind and thoughtful of her as usual. Tsem Rinpoche
It\'s good to be with kind and sincere people.
4 weeks ago
It's good to be with kind and sincere people.
If we are kind, we lose less of ourselves-Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
If we are kind, we lose less of ourselves-Tsem Rinpoche
My Mumu boy didn\'t want to eat. Eating is not one of his favorite activities throughout his life. So I talked to him to let him know why he needs to eat and keep his strength up when this photo was taken. He was listening intently and after my talk with him, he ate. Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
My Mumu boy didn't want to eat. Eating is not one of his favorite activities throughout his life. So I talked to him to let him know why he needs to eat and keep his strength up when this photo was taken. He was listening intently and after my talk with him, he ate. Tsem Rinpoche
This is so true. Click to enlarge and understand more about unpleasant people.
4 weeks ago
This is so true. Click to enlarge and understand more about unpleasant people.
This mahasiddha Kukkuripa is easy to identify as he is accompanied by a small dog whom he loved very much.
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month ago
March 2017-Coaxing my little Mumu boy to eat his meal. He was not well and therefore not hungry. Tsem Rinpoche
Click on picture to enlarge and see what Milarepa says. Profound.
1 month ago
Click on picture to enlarge and see what Milarepa says. Profound.
We are always trying to get somewhere, try something new, find some friends, get some entertainment and in the end we end up in the same place. Time to really practice Dharma seriously and stop wasting time we don\'t have. ~Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
We are always trying to get somewhere, try something new, find some friends, get some entertainment and in the end we end up in the same place. Time to really practice Dharma seriously and stop wasting time we don't have. ~Tsem Rinpoche
March 20, 2017-Mumu is just so adorable with his bright eyes.
1 month ago
March 20, 2017-Mumu is just so adorable with his bright eyes.
More and more people inviting Lord Dorje Shugden home to connect with on their shrines. I am so happy to see this as it will benefit them and their families so much. That is the purpose to be alive which is to benefit others as much as possible. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month 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!
1 month 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!
1 month 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
1 month ago
The Japanese are very innovative. Tsem Rinpoche
Read this as it will be interesting
1 month ago
Read this as it will be interesting
Recite this before any meal or drinks for blessings of abundance. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
2 months 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
2 months 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
2 months 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!
2 months 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
3 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
3 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
3 months ago
This is a good one to read
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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.

  • April 20, 2017 10:45
    Ronnie asked: Dear Rinpoche and Pastors, I'm studying abroad and very far away from home, seeking guidance and advice as I have no one else I can talk to about this. Please read with an open mind, I don't know where else to go for help. I'm pregnant and it's an unplanned pregnancy. I'm stuck between keeping it or letting it go. I'm young and having a child at my age in the society we live in now would be considered taboo. The father of the child thinks I should let it go because it may cause a setback to both our careers and cause major family issues. He thinks we aren't ready to raise a child especially since we're both still in university and his parents think badly of me even though they've never met me or tried to get to know me. I'm sure no one would ever have the heart to take away a heartbeat but it seems like it isn't the right time to have a child now and if we did go through with it, the child probably won't be able to have the best things life can offer looking at where we are now in terms of finance and maturity. I'm lost, confused and unsure what the right thing to do is now. Any advice at all would be helpful right now. Thank you so very much for taking time to read my story.
    pastor answered: Dear Ronnie, I’m sorry to read that you are going through this situation. I can understand that this situation is tough to go through. You are always more than welcome to come here to ask questions. May I suggest that you talk to either someone in your family or your friends to help you come to an appropriate solution? This is because, what you feel, what you are going through, will change from time to time and you would need someone to talk to, someone that you can lean on through this situation you are facing. Depending on where you are in the world, professional help can also be sought to help you make a decision, which will be the best option for you seeking help. From a Buddhist perspective, the taking of a life is not considered a positive act, therefore those on the Buddhist path, would normally abstain taking a life if possible. However, that being said, one must always weigh the decision oneself. Everything we do in life, necessarily involves karma both positive and negative. That is why Buddhists try to overcome samsara in general. Your situation is complicated because you are abroad, but if possible you should really open up to someone you are close to in order to help you through making this decision on a personal basis. When you talk to someone, whom you are able to express yourself more, you may able to come to better decision that is right for you. There may be other options open to you if you seek help. I personally know women who have been in similar situations. One of these women, let the child go and the other went through the pregnancy and then gave the child up for adoption. You may or may not have thought of this option, but it is one that could be open to you, depending on where in the world you are. Any decision we make in life, however big or small it may seem, has far reaching consequences whether in this life, or in future lives. This is just a part and parcel of life within samsara. However, we should weigh the decisions we make clearly given the situation we are in. We cannot always do this weighing ourselves, but need to talk about our options with others we can rely on such a friends, family or professionals. You should consider doing this, which will help you greatly emotionally, and may give you the grounding you need to make the correct decision for you. I hope this helps.
  • April 19, 2017 04:57
    Dongho asked: What is a nyung ne practice? According to Lama Zopa Rinpoche, it's a purification sadhana. However, what are the instructions for this? I'm guessing it's to Chenrezig, but how does it work? Also, from what I have read, Vajrasattva practice is only for broken vows while Akshobhya is for regular misdeeds. Does that mean one has to take the Akshobhya practice to purify bad karma from this life and previous instead of Vajrasattva? As for the purification practices, are some like Vajrasattva and Chenrezig only to purify the bad karma and let it come quickly or is it to prevent it from coming? I am confused in it. As for signs, I recited a mantra of White Yangchenma that a Sakya lama, Lama Kunga Thartse Rinpoche, gave me with the Sakya visualizations I read on, and after one mala, I heard some lady call my Korean name even though no one in my neighborhood knows of my name and my family members weren't in the area. What does this mean?
    pastor answered: Dear Dongho, Thank you for your questions, it’s nice to see you back here again. Nyung Ne practice is a purification practice that centres around Chenrezig. It is a very beneficial practice that stems from a holy nun named Gelong-ma Palmo. It is a two and a half day practice that can be repeated many times over and over again to intensify the purification and build a closer relationship with Chenrezig. As well as its purification aspect, the practice is known to generate vast amount of merit, and also compassion, as the practice centres around Chenrezig, the Buddha of compassion. The practice involves taking the eight Mahayana precepts for the duration, fasting, meditating, prostrating and praying. The practice usually entails empowerment into the practice of Chenrezig, therefore the exact meditations, prayers can only be explained to those who have the empowerment. Vajrasattva practice is not necessarily only for repairing broken vows, etc. That’s why it is advised that you engage in the practice at the end of the day, to repair any vows that you may have broken during that day, as well as stopping any negative karma you created that day from multiplying. This would entail reciting the mantra 21 times, together with the four opponent powers. However, if you engage in this practice more intensely, it definitely has the capability to purify all sorts of karma. That is the reason why in Ngondro, or preliminary practices one engages in before tantra, the practice of 100,000 Vajrasattva mantra recitation is an integral part. You can read more about Vajrasattva and his practice here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/prayers-and-sadhanas/an-important-purification-practice.html. Within purification practices, some of the karma will be purified completely, so you do not feel its effects at all, but when purifying other karma you will need to feel its effects somehow. For example if you have the karma to be in a car accident and get seriously injured, and you are engaging in any practice, but especially the purification practice, since you have purified most of the karma, you will only experience being in a very minor car accident, with only very superficial injuries. Therefore, in this case, the karma has been purified to the extent that it does not affect you as much, but you still need to feel part of its effect. In regards to any signs that you receive which engaging in the practices given to you by one of your specific gurus, you should report the happenings to that particular guru. He will be able to give you more of an accurate answer, as it may be related to the particular practice that he gave to you. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • April 17, 2017 07:06
    Thomas asked: Dear Pastors, When a serkyem set has been used so much and one is ready to get rid of it and replace it with a new one. What is a respecful mode of disposal?
    pastor answered: Dear Thomas, Thank you for your question. Your question shows that you have a lot of respect for offering items, which is very good. If possible, you should try to repair the item if within your means, and doing so make embellishments to make it a better offering item, which can still be used. If this is not possible, then you should dispose of the item with a good motivation. You should think that this item has been used to make offerings to the enlightened beings, but now that it is broken or unusable, you are going to dispose of it, and replace it with a new one. Since it itself is not a receptacle of energies of the enlightened beings, such as a statue, tsa tsa or thangka, it does not require a special dissolution before being disposed of. However since it was used to make offerings, it still requires some form of respect when disposing, and this comes from one’s motivation and the way in which you dispose of it. Usually, when disposing of items in this way, make the motivation that you have used it and that it is now time to dispose of it, and replace it with a new one. When you do this you can dispose of it in a respectful manner. For example, if you are going to throw it away, you do not simply open the trash can and throw it in. You wrap it up in something, like a bag or newspaper and dispose of it respectfully. Another method you can dispose of it is to recycle the object, if the material it is made from can be recycled. That way you are more conscious of the environment as well. I hope this explanation helps. Thank you.
  • April 16, 2017 22:38
    Curious asked: Dear pastors In a recent youtube video something like paying respect to deceased ones, pastor Nirel Patel explained that merits are like the interest and good karma is like the principal sum. So merits always regenerate themselves and hence do not get used up but good karma is like the principal sum so it gets used up. So my question is what are practices that generate merit? And can we turn a mundane daily activity into a meritorious one? Maybe can you provide an example?
    pastor answered: Dear Curious, Thank you for your question. First, to clarify a point, in regards to good karma, you are right, it is like a principal sum in a bank account, but you take away from it when you experience something good in your life, and you add to it when you do good deeds. Merit on the other hand, once accrued never diminishes, therefore when something is based on merit, it is based on the energies of this never diminishing sum, which you could say is like interest. In short, the principal sum when talking about karma is always added to and subtracted from. However, when talking about merit, once you have it, there is no way to destroy it, you will always benefit from it. There are various ways to explain how to generate merit. I will explain a way that I find easiest to understand. In normal life, when we go about performing any sort of activity, be it ‘good’ or ‘bad’ we do so out of ignorance of the true nature of existence, and it is usually self-motivated. For example, we work our entire lives to generate monetary income, so that we have enough money, resources, and materials goods to be comfortable. This is self-motivated, but it is the accepted way the world works these days, and is part and parcel of being bound to samsaric life. On the other hand, the act of merit making can be categorised into three parts: i) motivation, ii) the act itself, and iii) dedication. Let’s start with motivation, when engaging in various virtuous acts, we should have the motivation that by engaging in the act, we have the motivation to alleviate the suffering of someone else, and that may we gain enlightenment so that we can benefit them in the future. The second is the act itself. The third is to dedicate the energy of the virtuous act to gaining enlightenment. These three are what make merit. This may be a little confusing, so let me give an example: giving help to a homeless person. Whereas in ordinary life, this is something praised as a very good deed, it does not create merit without motivation and dedication. In order for this to become merit, one must set the motivation that one is giving help to the homeless free of the eight worldly concerns, to alleviate their suffering and also making the motivation that you will achieve enlightenment for the sake of the person or people you are helping. Then after you have helped them, you dedicate the energy created to the spiritual journey towards full enlightenment to help all sentient beings, while at the same time benefiting as many sentient beings as possible on the way there. This transforms the act into not only a virtuous action but also one that generates merit. On the other hand, if you were to help the homeless without these, you are creating good karma, which although beneficial, keeps you bound to existence within samsara. As it is the goal of Buddhist practice to overcome the cycle of samsara, a Buddhist would want to generate merit instead of good karma. I hope this explanation helps. Thank you.
  • April 13, 2017 11:38
    D.A. asked: If Begtse Chan is not from Mongolia, what are his real origins or story exactly? And which lamas offer his empowerment? As for Manjushri Nagarakshasa, which lamas specifically offer his empowerment and practice?
    pastor answered: Dear D.A. Thank you for your question. Begtse, is also known as Chamsing, or Jamsaran in Mongolian. As mentioned in an earlier sharing with someone who also asked a question about Begtse, the practiced was introduced to Tibet from India by the translator Nyen Lotsawa, and is considered one of the main protectors of the Hayagriva cycle of tantras. According to the scriptures that derive from the Sakya tradition, who incorporated the practice from the translators, and in which tradition Begtse became a very important protector, Begtse in a previous life was born many eons ago. In that particular life, he was born as the younger prince in a royal family. His name was Drag Gye, and his older brother’s name was Drag Den. Over time both princes developed differing religious beliefs, to the point where they could not get along with each as they both held their own religious views strongly. As was the custom during that time, they decided to settle their differences through logical debate, with the loser having to convert to the winner’s religion. This custom was also prevalent in ancient India, and there are many stories of such debates occurring between the great masters of the past and those of other faiths. Drag Gye lost the various debates, but ran away instead of converting to his older brother’s religion. Drag Den caught him, and tried to punish him for breaking the rules of debate and going back on his promise. Drag Gye told his brother that even if he was killed he would not give up his religion, however if Drag Den let him go, that in the future when Drag Den became enlightened, he would protect his teachings. With that Drag Den let him go, and gave him a set of copper armour, a stick, and a bow and arrow. Drag Den also gave Drag Gye a new name: Sog Dag Yam Shi Mar Po. After this incident the two brothers never saw each other again in that lifetime. Many lives after that Drag Den was reborn as Prince Siddharta, who eventually became enlightened and is now known as Buddha Shakyamuni. Drag Gye, or Sog Dag Yam Shi Mar Po, was reborn in a cemetery in the North West direction. His parents gave birth to two eggs, one was a coral-like colour and the other was an agate-like colour. These two eggs flew high into the sky and reached the heavenly realms, there they subdued the gods. Then flying back down to earth, they subdued many nagas. Eventually they even came to threaten their own parents. The parents petitioned the Dharma protector Ekajati for her help, who threw her own staff (khatvanga) at the eggs, and broke them apart. From the coral-like coloured egg came a ferocious man with yellow hair, he proclaimed that his name was ‘Sog Dag Yam Shi Mar Po’. When he emerged he was wearing a set of copper armour, wielding a stick, copper sword, and a bow and arrow. From the agate-like coloured egg came a female who was blue in colour, her teeth were like shells, she had turquoise eyebrows, and her hair was made of fire. She emerged wielding a copper knife, ritual dagger (phurba), rode a terrifying bear and wore an intricate necklace made of agate and lapis lazuli. It was then that Ekajati once again took action, and subdued them, after which they became Dharma protectors. The male figure became known as Begtse, and the female as his sister. When you propitiate Begtse, his sister is automatically included and aids practitioners as well. As for which lama offer his practice and empowerment, most lamas do not advertise which teachings or practice they hold. Therefore you should respectfully approach lamas and ask them if they have the practice and can bestow it, or if they know of any lamas that have the practice, depending on how much you want to practice Begtse. Similarly, this applies to those lamas who have the practice of Manjushri Nagarakshasa. However, this practice is included in the Rinjung Gyatsa series of empowerments. This unique cycle of teachings, includes all 4 classes of tantric practices, and includes the practice of Manjushri Nagarakshasa. Therefore those lamas who have received the complete transmission, and have kept their commitments for this practice, are qualified to pass this on to others. I hope this explanation helps. Thank you.
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CHAT PICTURES

Art expression using chalks and papers is an avenue for young children to cultivate positive perspective of life and connect with their artistic or creative side. Stella, KSDS
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Dorje Shugden
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