Guru Serum, Not Guru Syndrome

By | Dec 31, 2015 | Views: 810
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“Why do you Tibetan Buddhists have this Guru syndrome whereby you emphasise so much on your teacher?”. I often hear this judgmental statement expressed in the form of a question whenever I confirm that I am a Buddhist of the Tibetan tradition.

“You should just take refuge in the Three Jewels as this was the path of the Buddha himself.” This is yet another generous piece of “advice” that I receive.

Well, allow me to put it this way: I don’t have a Guru syndrome. Rather, I recognise the potency of the Guru Serum for efficient and effective spiritual learning, practice and progress. Additionally, during this degenerate age as foretold by Lord Buddha, less time and effort will be spent on spirituality. Hence, less opportunity for people to collect the merits to see or learn Dharma directly from the Buddha.

I choose to be direct in my sharing because, why write another diplomatic and polite piece of work that is so sugar-coated that not only do we miss the point but also get “diabetes” as we fill ourselves with pleasantries that boost our ignorance, ego and anger. These are the three poisons that become the source of our suffering. Yes, we all suffer even if we are holding a Louis Vuitton. So, this is why we should allocate and invest resources into understanding some fundamentals to begin an empowering, engaging and fulfilling spiritual journey.

I believe a more constructive question to ask is, “Why not tap into the qualities of the mind?” The scriptures liken our mind to water and its eight qualities. If a Guru can be the bridge between you and the Three Jewels until you reach a level of spiritual awakening that enables you to reconnect directly, would it not be sensible to cross this bridge? The need to be practical is especially necessary when we are not following the footsteps of the Buddha who dedicated his life in search of the answers to alleviate suffering from sickness, old age and death.

Also, we get all caught up in this Guru conversation but should someone pose the question, “What exactly is a Guru?”, I believe most would fall silent almost immediately. Guru is short for ‘Guna Ruchi‘ which translates to ‘a collection of good qualities’. A Guru is not confined by gender, racial background or religious faith but distinguished by his or her consistent code of conduct and impact on the community and society. Who we regard as our Guru will be based on our observations and freedom of choice.

H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche offers a butterlamp to H.H. Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche

‘Syndrome’ is a word which generally refers to a condition or disorder that “happens to you”. It is an invisible trap that limits us to a type of conduct that we believe benefits us, and then it becomes something we need and soon it is something we cannot live without. An addiction. A typical Malaysian syndrome is the “Maid Syndrome”, where we are conditioned from young to depend on maids for our meals, our laundry, our housekeeping, our groceries… and the list continues. Most interestingly, I consistently hear households with maids complain endlessly about their helpers to no avail and with no solution in the foreseeable future. Months later, they are still complaining about their helpers but they simply cannot live without them. This is a syndrome that nobody seems to challenge or question.

A Guru liberates us as he or she sheds light on the path to make the spiritual journey easier with clarity, support and encouragement. For those of us with stubborn and deeply ingrained negative habits, tough love like that of a mother may be necessary to create any mind shift and spiritual progress. Tough love is nothing new and it is what keeps the younger generations in check to become functional and sustainable adults. I draw this conclusion from the frequency in which the adult population labels their kids “spoilt”.

It is easy to see why tough love is important. The Tiger Mother phenomena was a hit in the global scene a few years back because it created successful results. Similarly, the “boss from hell” often turns out to be the leader from whom we learned the most and who helped us set our career in the right direction… in hindsight, of course. However, society seems to believe that spirituality doesn’t need such tough love.

Why is that so? Is it because society does not see the value of spirituality? Is it not worth it to suffer for spiritual awakening? Yet, if one observes the great successes that are wholesome, sustainable and remain legendary over the years and across the oceans, they have a distinct note of spirituality to them. Spirituality is like the soul food that adds depth and humanity to worldly activities and material accomplishments while the Guru is the “serum” that boosts this nourishment.

Like the Tiger Mum, a Guru “does not give us the fish but teaches us how to fish”. The ability, skills and knowledge we learn from the Guru will lead us to clarity, contentment and ultimate freedom. This in turn enriches all that we do based on the transformation in the way we perceive surrounding phenomena through understanding. This is spiritual awakening and unlike the material wealth we dedicate time, sweat and tears to accumulate, this cannot be taken away, stolen or broken against our will. Spiritual awakening is something that we can truly own without fear of losing it. It is valuable… it is worth the pain to gain.

H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche

The empowering teachings of the Guru is brought to an even higher level by H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche who makes Dharma knowledge abundantly available to the global public on his blog, www.tsemrinpoche.com. Only when students are ready (which is determined through close observation) does Rinpoche confer practices that are especially tailored to suit each student’s karma dynamics. As we have read in the Lamrim, Dharma is the medicine that will cure our spiritual illnesses. Hence, having a Guru is likened to having medicine prescribed specifically for our illnesses, living conditions and era.

I have witnessed and experienced the miracle of having a Guru and his kind and generous “prescriptions”.  Rinpoche’s direct advice on spiritual practice has saved lives, kept families together, removed spirit disturbances and even provided guidance for successful business dealings. Some may prefer the view that these are the miraculous powers of the Buddha, Shiva, Jesus etc. However, for the sake of common decency and to keep the doors open to these “higher forces”, it serves everyone to practise gratitude and in this case, it is towards the Guru who showed you the door to peace, happiness and liberation. Be grateful always as that nurtures our capacity to be happy. Grateful people remember what they have, appreciate it and this becomes the power of source for more good things to come our way.

 

Devotion is Powerful Protection

“When Milarepa meditated in the mountains, he was alone for a long time. In spite of this, he always felt that he was inseparable from Marpa because his devotion was so powerful. Milarepa sang his vajra songs in solitude but, through devotion, was always connected to his lama. Devotion to the lama is a powerful protection from negative thoughts and nonvirtuous actions. It is also a special protection that allows us to properly practice meditation. Our awareness of enlightened beings and our knowledge of how to take care of our mind protect the mind so that it doesn’t flow in a wrong direction. Through these joyous practices we develop a feeling of appreciation of how fortunate we are, and we cease feeling lonely or depressed. When we are committed to our Guru, less negative thoughts arise. When less negative thoughts arise, then we can survive another day and become better. Therefore genuinely devote to one’s lama and forget about all the other confusions we are used to.”
~ Khenchen Konchog Gyaltshen Rinpoche

The great Mahasiddha Milarepa, famed for his accomplishments through his practice of Guru devotion

The practice of Guru devotion forms the foundation of many Dharma communities and centres that remain strong today, even after the passing of the Guru. Good examples of those who practice Guru devotion and enjoy the fruits of this tradition are the lineage holders of Chogyam Trungpa who founded Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado.

 

Awareness of the Teacher

As a dharmic person, a practitioner, you also have awareness of the teacher and of other realized people whom you are studying with. The idea is to be without shyness and to be able to relate with your teacher, who in the hinayana tradition is an elder. You relate to the teacher as somebody who has accomplished the path already. Because you are without shyness, you can relate with the teacher and emulate him or her properly and fully. You have a sense of appreciation that you are and will be part of a certain tradition, a certain discipline. You have as an example a teacher who is behaving in a way that you should behave, and you have some sense of sacredness in studying and listening to the teacher.
~ Chögyam Trungpa

 

If not for my Guru, I would still be busy trying to become a better person on the basis that the current “me” is not good enough. Today, I have learned to be at peace with more aspects of myself while recognising the long road of growth and development ahead. Guru Serum has literally and metaphorically made me more comfortable in my own skin and that is the greatest gift one can ever receive. So, I end with this: Open your hearts to dare to pursue your higher potential. Spiritual awakening is not about changing but expanding yourself. If you keep adding pure water to a contaminated vessel, the contamination will be diluted with time. With more time and a larger vessel to contain more pure water, the contamination becomes non-existent. 

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Phng Li Kheng
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About Phng Li Kheng

Born and raised in Malaysia, Li Kheng was a successful hotelier and businesswoman in Hong Kong and China, joining the opening team of Hong Kong's Metropark Hotel and turning around an almost bankrupt Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf franchise in Shanghai.

Today, Li Kheng is the Green Project Manager at Kechara Forest Retreat where she has the opportunity to contribute to a space where people get to ReConnect with themselves through Nature.
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27 Responses to Guru Serum, Not Guru Syndrome

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  1. Wan Wai Meng on Jun 3, 2016 at 4:25 am

    Thank you Li Kheng for the really apt sharing, that Guru’s job if you can call it a job is one that ensures that as a minimum we can get a better rebirth next life.

  2. heng meng kiat on Feb 13, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    Nice write up !!! and the title is also catchy
    Guru is fundamental and crucial in our spiritual path, without Guru we cant learn the Dharma effectively, for instance when we first time facing Add Math in secondary school if we don’t have guidance from add math Teacher, we sure will surrender and lose faith in add math subject.end up we will failed the subject, same thing apply in spiritual path
    Some people may always depending on Guru ( Guru Syndrome ) because Guru always can answer his/her requests and needs, this kind of students can perceive as ( Using Guru ) as a tool. if long term no benefits in spiritual path.
    i like the Serum analogy that describe by Li kheng, Serum is kind of antidote for our bad habits, habituation, and etc. If we get the serum from our Guru and we apply immediately, we can transform to better person. In most case, students know the power of serum but don’t really apply 100%, including me
    In our Prayer always do prostration to our Guru first ( Namo Guru Beh ) then follow by Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. From the sequence we can realize that the role of Guru is important in spreading the Dharma

    Thanks Li Kheng for this good write up

    Much Love
    Meng Kiat

  3. Uncle Eddie on Jan 26, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    “Yes, a Guru truly liberates us by shedding the light on us to make our spiritual journey easier with clarity in support.” Spiritual awakening is something that we can truly own without the fear of losing it. It is valuable….. it is worth the pain. As the Guru said,”He does not give us the fish but teaches us how to fish”. One’s true spirituality is a precious crystal, as pure as like the jewel of a Guru’s serum that prescribes specially for the cure of our ilnessess, living conditions and era.” It is passed on to us by our compassionate widomised Guru who understands the word “bliss” as in blissfulness. So hanker not for this nor that, nor for the opposite! As said, “Gurus are serum that boost this nourishments, and most gurus of today are incarnations of rebirths from highly attained beings, choosing to come back again to benefit more sentient beings!” How fortunate can we be! Om Mani Padme Hung.

  4. freon on Jan 24, 2016 at 8:33 am

    I like this title “Guru Serum, not Guru Syndrome.” We often treat a phenomena to have or to learn under a Guru as a Syndrome. Thus, we do not recognize the importance of Guru Devotion. As Ms. Li Kheng mentioned in the article – the connection. Guru connect us, set us right in our spiritual path.
    This article got me to contemplate a lot on my attitude towards Guru Devotion. The way i think about what is spiritual path.
    Seems- I have a Guru Syndrome. Which mean, my Guru devotion is set on wrong motivation and think that Guru should helps me to resolve my daily problems. Very selfish thought. This is really wrong thought. of cause Guru have helps me a lot on daily life, but most important is the dharma that our Guru give that helps in resolved my own mistake, the karma that i myself have created. Without Rinpoche, i could not even recognise the actions is harmful and wrong.
    I thanks Ms. Li Kheng for this articles.

    And Yes, it set my mind now thinking, Guru is an essential food for my spiritual path. And, i am lucky to have a Guru to shed light on the path and set me free from my bad unending karma.

    I thanks Rinpoche for the guidance and the dharma. With Love, bowing to Rinpoche’s lotus feet. Freon.

  5. Mingwen on Jan 23, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    Thank you Li Kheng for sharing! =)
    Totally agreed with Li Kheng & Grace,

    “Guru Serum, Not Guru Syndrome.” – Li Kheng

    “We have a Guru/teacher for most of everything we have to learn from young……why not have a Guru in our Spiritual endeavours ? Seems very logical to me to have a teacher to guide us through.” – Grace

    I really feel blessed to be a part of Kechara to serve and learn. I’ve yet to have the honour and merits to meet the 25th Tsem Rinpoche. May his holiness be well and good health

    • Li Kheng on Jan 23, 2016 at 5:57 pm

      Hey Ming Wen, thanks for taking time to read my sharing. I am moved to see a young individual like you display courage, sincerity and ease to walk a path different than most.

      Rinpoche has shared that sometimes it is better to walk down the right path alone than to join the crowd towards a destination you don’t want to be in.

      I wish you continued tenacity to learn in the dynamic space of Kechara Forest Retreat and the nurturing leadership of Pastor Henry Ooi. I thank you for your display of care and diligence and also wish for you to one day have the great honor of meeting H.E the 25th Tsem Rinpoche.

  6. Jason on Jan 21, 2016 at 10:12 pm

    Thx Li Kheng for sharing. Before I join Kechara I am just a person who pray Buddha without Guru.Now I know why Guru so important to us. After I met Tsem Rinpoche I really change a lot in my lifestyle.His teachings really awaken my spiritual. He always provide us many channels to learn dharma and ask us to share dharma with others as well.i always take Rinpoche teachings as my guideline in my daily life.Thx Rinpoche.

    • Li Kheng on Jan 23, 2016 at 6:06 pm

      Hello Jason,

      Thank you for your sweet message. A choice to express appreciation is not always common! 🙂 Yes, we are very lucky to have a Guru. I know Dharma students out there who do not have the patient guidance of a Guru and despite years of diligent study, their Dharma practice is limited. Dharma knowledge differ from practice in the sense that knowledge that is not transformed into action remain to be concepts.

      Sometimes, too much concept can actually hinder/stop our dharma growth. Like in the case of Naropa who is the epitome example of Guru Devotion practice: he was a great scholar and was highly revered to be a top Dharma master. Yet, when Tara disguised as an elderly lady asked him if he truly understood what he was studying, he hesitated with his respond. It was only when Naropa studied under Tilopa that Naropa tapped fully into his spiritual potential and remains a legend till today.

  7. Miriam Pia on Jan 11, 2016 at 4:07 am

    I thought it was good. It is nice to have teachings one can just use any time, but I think it is also a good experience when people have an actual and direct relationship with a spiritual teacher outside of the self.

    • Li Kheng on Jan 23, 2016 at 6:11 pm

      Thank you Miriam for your comment! Yes, having a Guru is a great support to ultimately empowering ourselves to progress spiritually. I truly appreciate my spiritual journey because Rinpoche sets us on a direction but we have the freedom to venture onto this adventure of discovery, liberation and creation ourselves.

      I wish you a beautiful journey and look forward to receiving more communication from you 🙂

      Have a great weekend ahead!

  8. Chris Chong on Jan 8, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    Thank you Li Kheng for sharing such an important topic and aspect of Tibetan Buddhism. Gurus are highly revered and respected in Tibetan Buddhism because Gurus are one who will keep dharma alive and pass it down to their students.

    When we look at the Buddha’s image or read a dharma text, we definitely will get blessings for sure. However, is it possible for the buddha image to teach us dharma ? It is possible for us to fully understand and realise the contents of the dharma book? Of course not. We need a Guru to explain and to teach us the dharma. Without a Guru, our dharmic progress will be painfully slow and our life might ended before we gain any realisations. Without the Guru and Sangha community, dharma will not spread. This is how important Guru is.

    CHris

    • Li Kheng on Jan 23, 2016 at 6:37 pm

      Chris,

      Completely agree with you. I made attempts to read the Lamrim and due to my own “monkey” mind that jumps around as well as obscurations from karma and lack of merits, I found it impossible to understand the generous teachings of Pabongka Rinpoche as recorded by Trijang Rinpoche, both of whom are lineage masters.

      However, only after listening to video teachings of Rinpoche such as “No more empty words” that kindly relates some teachings in the Lamrim to us in a relatable manner, was i able to understand the teachings in the lamrim. This is just a simple illustration of how a Guru is serum to the potent knowledge contained in the Dharma text.

  9. Pastor Patsy on Jan 7, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    In Tibetan Buddhism, much emphasis is placed on Guru Devotion because with guru devotion, it becomes easier to follow the advice given by the Guru. We take refuge in The Three Jewels but it is our Guru that teaches and guides us in our spiritual journey.

    If we see a Buddha statue, we feel happy and a sense of peace so when we see our Guru, we should have the same feelings and emotions because our Guru is a Living Buddha who can use skilful methods to tame our deluded minds. We should rejoice that we are fortunate to have met a Guru.
    Material gifts can be bought but spiritual gifts are earned. Guru devotion is one of the quickest ways for us to collect extensive merits, to clear obstacles for our spiritual practice to grow.

    Thank you, Li Kheng, for sharing this article with us and Thank you, Rinpoche, for choosing to be here with us!

  10. Louise on Jan 6, 2016 at 10:25 pm

    谢谢 LiKheng 的分享。

    从 Milarepa, Tsem Rinpoche 的故事里我可以看到 Guru devotion 如何的重要, 而不是一般人所说的盲从的跟。

    Likheng 也为我们分析了如何观察一位上师, 让我对 Tsem Rinpoche 更加的有信心。

    我记得有一次仁波切告诉我一些他从印度来到新加坡,马来西亚的一些经历,让我很痛心。仁波切现在的一切都得来不易的,仁波切因为上师告诉他出来弘扬佛法,坚持着一步一步学习。

    我们都是个霸王,只要有人说我们不爽的东西,都会生气或离开,仁波切也为了教导我们这群霸王,学习如何用不同点方式与大家沟通。

    仁波切花了许多心思去把我们带入佛法,我们没有失去什么,我们从来就给不了仁波切些什么。 只要我们好好的 changing our mind and practice 这就是给仁波切最好的礼物。

  11. graceleong on Jan 6, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    We have a Guru/teacher for most of everything we have to learn from young; in school, to learn a musical instrument, to learn dance or simply to learn a sport. In fact, in some circumstances when we choose to excel in a particular area we go far and wide and spend lots of money to engage a coach or coaches to ensure we achieve our goals.
    Hence why not have a Guru in our Spiritual endeavours ? Seems very logical to me to have a teacher to guide us through. Many have learn the Dharma without a Guru, good for them. But for some having a Guru is the better way. Each its own. There is no need for others who does not have a Guru to criticise others who choose to have one.
    Next common question is : Why so much devotion to your Guru ?
    The answer :- What are you in search of embarking on spirituality ? To achieve longer states of calmness, peace and happiness in our minds ! These values are not available on the supermarket shelves; our parents may not have the answers; some guidelines are available in Google but they are merely words !! Exactly how can we achieve more joy and happiness in our own lives and those we love ?
    We can read a book or watch a video and try to follow some of the guidelines. But honestly and truly nothing like having a Guru who specialises in this field to chart the path and give the instructions which we have to humbly follow. Most times we prefer to do what we like instead of following someone else’s advice. But it will usually not get us very far. If we need to train for the Olympics, the path cannot be easy. Hence, we would need a Guru who has the correct qualities and skills to help us achieve our goals. Doubt not the intention of the Guru. Look around him and see how much good he has done to all beings. Rejoice in our fortune to have met such a precious person, whose sole objective in life is to benefit others !!
    Thank you Li Kheng for such a wonderful sharing.
    Thank you Rinpoche for choosing to be here with us to guide us, to love us, to help us be better beings . With folded hands grace

  12. Datuk May on Jan 4, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    It is often that Buddhists of other doctrines find Vajrayana’s “Namo Guru” quite baffling and beyond their capacity to comprehend.

    Buddhism is a very profound philosophy and religion, depth of which really cannot be read and understood until experienced. Without a Guru to guide us through and see (like a mirror) the flaws of samsara and our relationship with it, it is not easy to realise the true nature of things. Which empty of inherent value.

    Guru devotion is the only magnet that enables practising Buddhists to hold on to the perfectness of the Dharma, which is by nature the opposite of what is norm and being indoctrinated in this world.

    I agree with LiKheng, our Guru is the serum that enhances our practise and shower us with the ability to have an open and vast mind.

  13. Yeo Kwai Gin on Jan 4, 2016 at 2:17 am

    DEAR LI Kheng,

    很感谢您发表了这篇文章,您说出了现代的人对于物质的执着,小孩对佣人的依赖, 三毒:贪·嗔·痴的烦恼,对于上师的疑问 !

    在还没进入KECHARA认识仁波切之前,我对“佛教”只是抱着别人拜拜我也跟着拜拜的心态,还有一直抱着为自己祈求的心态,完全执着着“我” !

    自从成为上师詹仁波切弟子后,我对于佛教和佛法看法完全改观 !仁波切时常提醒我们,心识转化是那么的重要,因为在面对着现在的人·事·物, 往往都会让我们烦恼生起,心事转化就是一把“珍贵的钥匙”,把所有所谓的“问题”以宽容的心消化掉 !而且,上师运用各种不同的管道,如克切拉13个不同部门,如香积厨KSK,KECHARA PARADISE,KSA,KO等等部门,让大众参与,为了让大家参与佛法事业,累积功德!

    还有上师一直的在用心和不间断的提醒与鼓励我们,多参与佛法活动和开始“四加行前行”,让我们在修行的路上得到成就!上师依止心对修行者极为的重要,就如密拉日巴尊者对祂上师的依止心而证得佛果!

    上师就是一把“珍贵的钥匙”,让修行的人以正确和快速的途径,在修行的道路得到成就 !

    • wooishen on Jan 10, 2016 at 4:39 pm

      Before I join Kechara…

      I totally know nothing about guru….
      why Guru so important…

      Thanks for ur sharing…

  14. Pastor Moh Mei on Jan 3, 2016 at 9:25 am

    The concept of guru devotion is not one that is easy to grasp and yet makes a lot of sense. That is one of the reason why Tibetan Buddhism is so appealing to some.

    I have heard people gave many of their own definition what is guru devotion to them. Everyone has their own versions of what guru devotion entails. For me the most comprehensive guide to guru devotion that I have read is Ashvagosha’s Fifty Stanzas of Guru Devotion. Someone once told me when they read the 50 stanzas of guru devotion, it scared them but there are others who found these verses beautiful.

    Serum vs syndrome, a matter of perspective. Our perception is what determines something to be negative or positive. So what is the truth? I think no matter what is being said about what is the truth, for most of us we only have the capacity to grasp what our mind and awareness can comprehend at the time. Hence truth for us is merely based on our perception which is ever-changing.

    I think we often ask ourselves the wrong questions hence we often give ourselves the wrong answer. Whatever the guru ask you to do, stop focusing on what you like or doesn’t like, what offends you or pleases you, what you have to gain or lose, instead focus on does it harm you or those around you. I think if we can sincerely ask this question and answer it, we will know what is the right thing to do.

    • Li Kheng on Jan 23, 2016 at 6:49 pm

      Thank you Pastor Moh Mei for your comment!

      I know what you mean about some people being scared by the 50 stanzas of Guru Devotion. Many people come up with the excuse that they are not ready to practice Guru devotion … that they are not capable of it … etc.

      Actually, each and everyone of us are already practicing Guru Devotion. In fact, we have even mastered it. The good question is WHICH GURU DID WE TAKE REFUGE IN? Have we not been so devoted to a particular object that despite the pain it caused us, we remain loyal and committed? For example, is our ego, not a “guru” we devoted ourselves to almost all our lives? We are willing to do anything to protect and serve our ego despite the lack of long-term contentment we derive from it.

      We are all capable of practicing Guru Devotion here and now. It is a matter willingness.

      This is good news 🙂

  15. Soon Huat on Jan 2, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    Thank You Li Kheng for the great article which I learnt more in depth about Guru Devotion (at least I am better of now to explain to others about the crucial of Guru Devotion).

    I like your statement: “Spirituality is like the soul food that adds depth and humanity to worldly activities and material accomplishments while the Guru is the “serum” that boosts this nourishment.” I have received question such as why not rely on Buddha instead of Guru as it is dangerous. A lot of us always do not see thing in bigger picture or we always focus or see the spot on leopard instead of seeing full leopard body. We thought we understand Dharma but a lot of us have wrong understanding on Dharma without realizing it, that is dangerous. We will end up practice on wrong view and drifting away from Dharma. Hence, as stated in Lamrim that we should observe and choose our Guru carefully, once we have made up our mind, then we should follow His instruction and teaching all the way without any doubt or being selective.

    Thank You again Li Kheng.

    • Li Kheng on Jan 23, 2016 at 7:06 pm

      Dear Soon Huat,

      I agree with you that we should study a Guru carefully before taking the crucial step of establishing a Guru-Disciple relationship. This is one relationship that can last over several lifetimes and lead us to peace and liberation from the vicious and uncontrolled cycle of samsaric life.

      We have secular relationships that we would invest a lot of time and effort in. Including relationships that has made us miserable, more angry and defensive. So, why not put effort in finding the “perfect” Guru for our spiritual relationship and growth?!?

      In this era where Cyber Lamas like Tsem Rinpoche manifest, everyone in search of a spiritual guide has access at the click of a finger. This potent serum is made available to all at no cost except a commitment to enrich oneself spiritually.

      This is the power of the information age 🙂

  16. Joy on Jan 2, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    “If a Guru can be the bridge between you and the Three Jewels until you reach a level of spiritual awakening that enables you to reconnect directly, would it not be sensible to cross this bridge?”
    OR Would it not be sensible to have that bridge and then use it to help us get across?! Yes that is exactly what Rinpoche has always mentioned that a real Guru will always use himself to help the students change their perspective and transform their mind.

    The Guru will always help us in our spiritual growth and improvements, creating awareness on our bad habits in thoughts and actions that we may otherwise previously without even realising, is the cause for all our suffering. For instance a Guru is the only one who dares to challenge us, to point out our misconceptions, bad habituations, ugly behaviours which no one else dares. “Tough love” as Li Kheng mentioned in the post! Only a genuine Guru who truly cares for our enlightenment would love us enough to take the ‘risk’ of being ‘hated’ because He only wishes for us to have less suffering due to our negative habituations which got us no where or in trouble in the first place. A Guru who is genuine would even allow sinners, thieves and psychopaths a chance to redeem themselves, if only they were sincere and request for the chance, and the Guru will still give equal love and opportunity to them to become better albeit a different method!

    If we are truly “happy” and everything is “perfect” then why do we need a “Guru” for or even bother to seek for one? It is obviously because we know we need some guidance. The Guru is the doctor and we the patient, hence there must be something we’re not happy about in ourselves or situation that has led us to seek spiritual help.

    On the other hand a fake or superficial Guru who has ulterior motives besides our “enlightenment” may very well shower us with compliments so that you are happy and keep the donations flowing in. That is very easy for any Guru to do, they just do not point out the ugly truth about us and keep on saying we’re good. Therefore we have to ask ourselves, most importantly is why do we want a Guru for? And Li Kheng pointed it out… the Guru is the bridge that connects us back to our true nature, to our inner Guru… until we’ve achieved that stage, we rely on a spiritual friend ~ The Guru.

    Yes I do agree the word “syndrome” has a negative connotation and if we are relying on the Guru in this manner, we have certainly got the concept wrong, however Li Kheng perspective of Guru serum is definitely the right attitude we should have towards one’s Guru. And to know and appreciate this one must remember all the kindness the Guru has shown us and done for us, even the scoldings for our bad behaviours which helps us stop creating ugly memories and negative karmas for ourselves.

    Spirituality is like the soul food that adds depth and humanity to worldly activities and material accomplishments while the Guru is the “serum” that boosts this nourishment.

    Thank you Li Kheng for this great down to earth article on Guru Devotion and the best part is you walk the talk 🙂 Thank you, I really enjoyed reading it and your sincere devotion.

  17. Lin Mun on Jan 1, 2016 at 11:26 am

    Li Kheng, thanks for your article.

    It is simple to understand and most importantly help me understand the meaning of Guru. You provide good examples and quotes.

    Some of the points I learned :

    1) A Guru liberates and guide us to make the spiritual journey easier with clarity, support and encouragement.

    2) Guru is the one who love and cares for us unconditionally and he is willing to put so much effort just so that we are on the right spiritual path.

    3) Though the method of ‘tough love’ is not easy to be accepted by many especially on spiritual path but it is effective. There is no easy way out for things and especially when our mind are so polluted.

    I hope more people would understand Guru Devotion after readding this article and follow the “prescription” given by our Guru.

    Thanks.

  18. Stella Cheang on Dec 31, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    I can relate to Li Kheng’s article because I was asked similar question by friends and families when they found out I practice Tibetan Buddhism; “Why do you Tibetan Buddhists have this Guru syndrome whereby you emphasise so much on your teacher?”. Therefore it is resounding for me to read that “Spirituality is like the soul food that adds depth and humanity to worldly activities and material accomplishments while the Guru is the “serum” that boosts this nourishment.” The Guru is the one who liberates us, gives us clarity and leads us on the path of spirituality. The Guru’s love for his student is akin to the love of parents to their children; unconditional. And just like any parents, firm and strict teaching is necessary to ensure the children grow in the right way. I like how Li Kheng put it; “tough love”.

    Some of us may not agree to the “tough love” approach. But I’d like to think that the Guru can choose the easy way out. Does the Guru get anything when we are successful in our spiritual path? It is something worth pondering about.

    Thank you Rinpoche and Li Kheng for this article that provide us with a deeper perspective towards the meaning of Guru Devotion.

    Humbly, bowing down,
    Stella Cheang

  19. Edwin Tan on Dec 31, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    Dear Li Kheng,

    Thank you for the wonderful article and your insights on Guru Devotion. I love the examples and quotes you mentioned in the article.

    What you wrote is clearly what most of us are searching for and not understanding it. We have a Living Buddha to guide us, teach us, scold us, love us, bringing us 1 step closer to enlightenment.. yet we often do not cherish the knowledge, the wisdom and words of love of our Guru.

    Thank you for opening my mind to think deeper, and also to explain to others why I need my Guru 🙂

  20. Sarah on Dec 31, 2015 at 7:59 am

    Thank you for this article. I like the quotes on guru devotion from Khenchen Konchog Gyaltshen Rinpoche and Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Here is a quote from H.E. Tsem Rinpoche which I like very much: “I have been scolded by my Gurus many times, sometimes in public and very fiercely. I never justified or tried to explain or try to look good. I never tried to explain myself to recover ‘face’. I folded my hands, apologized and prostrated if space allowed. I looked deeper into my teacher’s scoldings and there was no need to fb it or tell others, but just internalize it. When you can do that, then you deserve a guru, otherwise we are just parrots parroting the Buddha’s teachings. Going through the motions and fooling ourselves to think we are doing dharma when we are even using dharma to enhance our neurosis. When you have a guru, there will be real progress as statues and thangkas at our levels can never correct or teach us. It’s what we really want deep down inside which determines our conviction and guru devotion.” Tsem Rinpoche (2014)

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  • nut4HE25TRinp!o
    Sunday, Apr 30. 2017 01:54 AM
    @tsemtulku
    My favorite Mahasiddha is Naropa….Let explain few !from4incarnation DRUKPAone MADe split!forTWO!!DRUKPA(HEMIS-ladakh)&SHABDRUNG(relung monastery Tibet site) .later SHABDRUNG split for3 body speach MIND! ( i m not certain order) SHABDRUNGS ARE!!! NamkhaiN0rbu RINPOCHE YES!! HH SHABDRUNG controversial in BHUTAN home jail!by urgyen trinley can!idDAYE&TaklungShabrung .. Recently with Dalai our monk seen !
    [no sender]
  • Alice Tay
    Sunday, Apr 30. 2017 12:16 AM
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this and I was touched by this story very much. I personally think that this faithful dog must has very close karmic connection with its owner and it know that the owner is died. Furthermore, animals are very sensitive to our energies and mind states. So, if we are loving kindness and compassion, they can feel our love and care.

    As such, we must treat the animals like humans too. Not to harm them because humans can be reborn as animals and animals can be reborn as humans. We have to accept that humans and animals are interconnected and just like a family.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/faithful-dog-chases-deceased-owner.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Saturday, Apr 29. 2017 11:49 PM
    Spiritual practice is definitely much more than doing good for others. When we practice “spirituality” without religion and from our own understanding, how sure are we that we are on the right track? When we practice spiritual with the guide of religion, we will certain progress and much easily to attain higher levels. Thank you, Rinpoche for this teaching.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/can-we-just-be-spiritual-but-not-religious.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Saturday, Apr 29. 2017 10:56 PM
    When we truly love and care for another being like a family, whether this other being is a dog or cat, a child or a stranger, it will break our heart when it is gone. Many people may not be capable of this emotion towards a pet but as we evolved, we will realize we are capable to develop such feelings for animals. It is common in the west to have pets cemetery because of this reason. Thank you for this article, Rinpoche.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/why-losing-a-dog-can-be-harder-than-losing-a-relative-or-friend.html
  • Lin Mun
    Saturday, Apr 29. 2017 03:09 PM
    Interesting info and article about werewolves. I never knew about its origins and the various wolves existence until I read this. I have thus far know about werewolves only from the movies and the famous twilight show. But one thing I noticed from the articles is the gruesome manner in killing the person (or suspected werewolves). Some were cursed to be a werewolves. There just so much anger, violence and killing in the whole process, which probably the reason why werewolves are known to kill and hurt human and other animals.

    Anyway, whether we believe the existence of werewolf is true or not, I believe that there are other forms of beings in world. And we should not handle or deal with other beings with violence and anger.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/paranormal/werewolves-the-shapeshifters.html#comment-744320
  • Lin Mun
    Friday, Apr 28. 2017 04:00 PM
    Everything we offer to Buddha is a form of mind transformation and practise our mind to be focus even when doing water offering. When pouring the water into the bowl we have to recite Om Ah Hum (3 times), think positively and pouring it slowly so it does not spill and leaving the space of a grain of rice before reaching the top. After offering we also have to clean the bowls properly without leaving stain. All this is to train our mind.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing the many benefits and water offering in a simple to understand article.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/making-water-offerings-to-the-buddhas.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Apr 28. 2017 03:38 PM
    Trolls are assiociates as beings of Scandinavian folklore.A large number of different mythological creatures continue to live on in Scandinavian folklore.They have different shapes,habitat and filthy features . There are also numerous tales of trolls told and retold.Trolls are also believed to have the magigal powers, which were folktales ,posses capabilities that are beyond human .What ever it was a remnant of a long-lost reality for sure. I do believe that there’s a very high chance trolls had existed in the past.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing ,i do enjoyed all the stories in these article even though it just folk tales.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/the-hidden-nature-of-trolls.html
  • Jason
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 11:54 PM
    People always expect return on some contribution being done especially in charity events. When the return was under their expectations then they will feel sad or unhappy.
    As Rinpoche said, Dharma is a teachings to transform our mind to become bodicitta or selfless to benefit others without condition. Once we practiced selfless mind, our mind will not be affected by others people reaction.
    What will be my legacy? I think this is not really important to me anymore once I know Dharma teachings from Rinpoche.
    Thanks Datuk May for sharing to benefit more people.

    Jason

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/guest-contributors/what-will-be-your-legacy.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 08:56 PM
    Amazing miracles true story …of how Rinpoche helped. With Rinpoche blessing during the children baptismal ceremony,this little boy who had not spoken since 9 years old was able to speake again.Incredible….
    Chef Au truly believes been a vegetarian has help him to collects merits for his son.Rinpoche’s care and compassion has benefited many more people.Through these stories hope more people will be inspired to achieve the state of compassion and attainments.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Loh Seng Piow for this sharing.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-4.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 07:51 PM
    Having fully trust and faith in Rinpoche ,Fat monk’s mother was well again, after been diagnosed with cancerious tumour at the liver.
    Following instructions given by Rinpoche, his mother recited mantras and Fat monk did a series of pujas as told,his mother recovered then.
    Amazing……Miracles do happen.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Loh Seng Piow for sharing.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-3.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 05:27 PM
    We are no strangers to the creatures called Werewolves. They are often depicted as the Jekyll-and-Hyde-like monsters in movies who are unable to control their animal instincts when they shift from human form to a wolf-like creature, usually during the full moon. Together with the Vampires who can transform into bats, are my childhood imagery villains, who triggered my curiosity on mythical creatures during younger days. They still do, lol.

    It is gruesome to learn that real life werewolves are actually brutal even when they are in human forms. It is a far depict from the movies and fictions, where they are civil and level headed when in human form. I hope one day science or technology can provide more proves the existence of werewolves, and debunk the reason of this mystical shapeshifter.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/paranormal/werewolves-the-shapeshifters.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 05:07 PM
    The miraculous power of Protectors’ practice can heal and shield us from negative karma from ripening. Through the blessings of our Guru, coupled with strong faith and trust, the practices will take effect swiftly and effectively. Rejoice to Steven Lee. May he be guided by the Three Jewels always. Thank you, Pastor Seng Piow for sharing the true story with us.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-10.html
  • Lin Mun
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 03:57 PM
    This is a very touching article. I totally agree that dog is a man’s best friend. They are always so loyal to the owner. However it is sad that not all pet owners are such. Some will only treat them literally as an animal and therefore do not take good care of them. Dogs or any other animals are beings that have feeling. There should not be neglected and be abused by us. This article reminds us to always care for all beings and respect them.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this heartwarming article.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/faithful-dog-chases-deceased-owner.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 02:21 PM
    Its a heartfelt touching article of this faithful dog.Cannot imagine this ,such a wonderful relationship between that dog and the deceased owner.The greatest fear dogs know is the fear that we will not come back for them That i noticed from observing from my pet poodle.In this case this faithful dog knew his owner won’t be back.
    Dogs are loyal, patient, fearless, forgiving, capable of pure love and have feelings too.He must have missed the owner badly that he wanted to accompany the owner all the way to the resting place.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing. May that faithful dog ,continue to serve and well taken, love by the other family members.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/faithful-dog-chases-deceased-owner.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 01:46 PM
    Werewolves are known to be mythical creatures found in fiction instead of lurking in the dark woods,In various parts of the world there were few cases who have gone down in history as real life werewolves Interesting to read it from these post..How far it was true or just legends.,no one really know . Many myths and legends surrounding werewolves .To become a werewolf, it is necessary to be bitten by a werewolf in their form at the time of the full moon. Thats what all of us knew from the movies and from fiction told. Reports of werewolf sightings continued even till this century but mostly in between 1428 and 1447 .The most recent sighting of werewolf sightings in 1972. was in Ohio .but eventually subsided .
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these interesting article which i do enjoyed reading it,
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/paranormal/werewolves-the-shapeshifters.html

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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

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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.
3 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
3 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
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 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
1 month 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
1 month 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.
1 month 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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Besides young Karlson and Ern Ern, there are new faces in Kechara Sunday Dharma School 2-4 years old. Stella, KSDS
Kechara Sunday Dharma School students 5-6 years old making prostration to Lama Tsongkhapa at the beginning of the class every Sunday. Stella,KSDS
5 days ago
Kechara Sunday Dharma School students 5-6 years old making prostration to Lama Tsongkhapa at the beginning of the class every Sunday. Stella,KSDS
@KecharaHouse tonite, 48 puja attendees filled the air with a loud chorus of prayer n mantra 2 Dorje Shugden n Setrap!  PHNee
5 days ago
@KecharaHouse tonite, 48 puja attendees filled the air with a loud chorus of prayer n mantra 2 Dorje Shugden n Setrap! PHNee
A big Thank You to the kind volunteers and to Jace Chong!
5 days ago
A big Thank You to the kind volunteers and to Jace Chong!
Make your weekend meaningful! Contact Jace Chong to volunteer in Kechara Forest Retreat for the aviaries.
5 days ago
Make your weekend meaningful! Contact Jace Chong to volunteer in Kechara Forest Retreat for the aviaries.
Thank you to our young volunteer to improve the life of the birds in our aviary!
5 days ago
Thank you to our young volunteer to improve the life of the birds in our aviary!
English Level 2 Dharma Class, Pastor Han Nee started the Day 5 Lamrim, which is the Seven-Limbed Prayer with Homage and Prostration( 35 Confessional Buddha )  was extensively covered. -  Yew Seng
6 days ago
English Level 2 Dharma Class, Pastor Han Nee started the Day 5 Lamrim, which is the Seven-Limbed Prayer with Homage and Prostration( 35 Confessional Buddha ) was extensively covered. - Yew Seng
Sunday Dharma class kids learning to take refuge with teacher Alice. Lucy Yap
6 days ago
Sunday Dharma class kids learning to take refuge with teacher Alice. Lucy Yap
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Dorje Shugden
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