Herbert Guenther – Master of Languages & Buddhism

Jul 31, 2017 | Views: 248
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Professor Herbert Guenther was a German-born master of languages and great philosopher who taught Buddhism to many people. Click to enlarge.

Professor Herbert Guenther was a German-born master of languages and great philosopher who taught Buddhism to many people. Click to enlarge.

Professor Herbert Guenther, also known as Professor Herbert Vighnantaka Gunther, was a brilliant translator, philosopher, and practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism. His impact on Buddhism, especially in the west, was tremendous and his works have shaped the minds of many western Tibetan Buddhist scholar-practitioners today. His depth of Buddhist understanding and practice led him to fearlessly address many modern philosophical issues faced by contemporary man from a transformative Buddhist perspective. While the everyday Buddhist practitioner may not know his name, his legacy is vast; his works are of philosophical importance, and as such, invaluable to the avid Buddhist practitioner today.

 

Early Life and Education

Born March 17, 1917, in the city of Bremen, Germany, Herbert Guenther was the only son of sculptor Reinhold Guenther and his dear wife Dorothea Guenther. From a young age, it was evident that his fascination with the east was overwhelming. He had a distinct yearning to learn more about the cultures of Central and Southeast Asia, to the extent that he could be found wondering through the Asia section of Bremen’s Ethnographic Museum, and spent his time reading books on the history or exploration of these areas that he bought using most of his pocket money.

Bremen's Ethnographic Museum as it stands today

Bremen’s Ethnographic Museum as it stands today

Having a loving father who encouraged him in his passions, even as child, he began to study Mandarin at the age of nine from a visiting Chinese exchange student. At the age of ten, he was tutoring visiting Russian sailors in German, in exchange for lessons in the Russian language. He had also learnt the Indian Sanskrit language on his own by the time he had completed his secondary schooling in 1936, through books on Sanskrit grammar he had been gifted from a school professor. All of this was alongside the usually languages taught in school at that time: English, Latin, Hebrew, and Greek.

As his proficiency in languages began to grow, his family found it easier to answer the question “What languages does he know?” with the answer “It’s better to ask which languages he doesn’t know!” By the time he enrolled at Munich University, he was already fluent in both Mandarin and Sanskrit, and had even published papers on the Sanskrit language and Indian philosophy. He had also managed to translate some Chinese stories, ready for publication. He had taught himself Persian, Arabic, French, and Swedish during this time as well.

Determined to pursue higher study, Guenther graduated with a Ph.D degree in Munich in 1939. He did so well there that he studied Pali, Prakrit, and Sinhalese under Professor Wilhelm Geiger, in addition to the usual Vedic Sanskrit and Iranian Studies under Professor Walter Wuest. After four years of post-doctoral research in Vienna, Guenther was awarded the Dr. habil degree in 1943. This post-doctorate degree gave Guenther a habilitation teaching qualification, allowing him the title and position of professorship under various European education systems.

 

Renowned Tutors

Professor Guenther had many tutors from all over Europe that greatly influenced his formative academic career. These included the likes of:

 
Professor Wilhelm Geiger (1856 – 1943)

Professor Wilhelm Geiger was so influential in his work that he appeared on a postal stamp in Sri Lanka

Professor Wilhelm Geiger was so influential in his work that he appeared on a postal stamp in Sri Lanka

Wilhelm Geiger was a prominent professor during his time, known for his mastery of Indo-Iranian languages, Iranian history, and the history of Sri Lanka. He was adept in the Pali and Sinhala languages, and the Dhivehi language of the Maldives. He first travelled to Sri Lanka, then known as Ceylon, in 1895 to study language. His impact there was so great, his image even appeared on a postal stamp in 1989. His works were influential, especially his publications of the Sri Lankan chronicles known as Mahavamsa and Culavamsa, which were published with both the original Pali text and his English translations. The famous physicist Hans Geiger, who invented the Geiger counter to measure ionizing radiation, was his son.

 
Professor Walter Wuest (1901 – 1993)

Walter Wuest was a renowned scholar of the Vedas, the earliest known Hindu scriptures written in ancient Sanskrit. He served as both Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy in Munich in 1935 and later as Rector of the University from 1941 to 1945. Unfortunately, Professor Wuest was drawn to Nazi ideals, and joined the SS (German: Schutzstaffel, literally translated as “protection squadron”) in 1936. This was the major paramilitary organisation under Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party. It was responsible for some of the most horrendous crimes against humanity during World War II.

Professor Walter Wuest was a genius but succumbed to Nazi ideology. Click to enlarge.

Professor Walter Wuest was a genius but succumbed to Nazi ideology. Click to enlarge.

He worked his way up within the organisation due to his knowledge and background in Vedic literature and philosophy, eventually being appointed the President of the Research Institute of Ahnenerbe, set up to research the archaeological and cultural history of the Aryan race. The Nazis believed that the Germanic peoples were the most racially pure, as descendants of the Aryan master race, and that all other peoples were inferior. They used this fact to justify their actions. Unfortunately, Professor Wuest propagated this idea, and even tried to prove it through scientific research methods. He played a key role in this research organisation that tried to justify Nazi hatred towards others. Once World War II ended, he stood trial in 1949, during the denazification process and was officially branded an offender and accordingly punished for his part in the war.

 
Professor Wilhelm Maria Hubert Havers (1879 – 1961)

Professor Havers was a German-Austrian linguist. He graduated in 1903 from the University of Münster, and had devoted himself to the study of philology and linguistics. He received his post-graduate and then his habilitation degree at the University of Strasbourg, earning him the title of professor. He was conscripted as a lieutenant of the reserve for war service, but was wounded towards the beginning of World War II. In 1937 he was appointed professor of General and Indo-European Linguistics, where he tutored Herbert Guenther. Even though he was an appointed professor during the Nazi regime, he did not belong to the Nazi party, somewhat suggestive of his distance to the Nazi party and their ideals.

 

Academic Career

With his firm grounding in philosophy, language, and learning as his springboard, coupled with his love for the East, Professor Guenther went on to become a Buddhist scholar. Having studied under some of the greatest professors of his time, his genius was sure to have flourished. While in Vienna, he was lucky to have had Professor Havers as his main teacher, and it was under the watchful eye of Professor Havers that his ability for mastering languages blossomed. He studied Pali, Sinhalese, Sanskrit, Tibetan, Chinese, Japanese, English, German, Russian, and Hindi. In addition to this incredible repertoire, he also studied Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Arabic, Spanish, and Italian simply because he loved learning languages.

His exceptional ability at mastering languages crossed over to his teaching ability. It was at Vienna University that he progressed to teach, from 1943 to 1950. But Guenther left the university in 1950, after the war had ended, as he refused to serve under ex-Nazis. Erich Frauwallner, a Nazi who had been rehabilitated under the denazification process had had his academic chair returned to him, a fact that Herbert Guenther could not condone after seeing the horrors of World War II. He was in fact, opposed to all forms of militarism, had a strong dislike for political manipulation, and was overall a Humanist.

A zeppelin airship over Bremen. Professor Guenther survived World War II, the horrors of which left an indelible mark on him. He came to despise the military and atrocities based on mistaken ideologies.

A zeppelin airship over Bremen, Germany. Professor Guenther survived World War II, the horrors of which left an indelible mark on him. He came to despise the military and atrocities based on mistaken ideologies.

 

Moving to India

Kailas Nath Kaul was a great scholar-herbalist, who was also the uncle of Indira Gandhi. Click to enlarge.

Kailas Nath Kaul was a great scholar-herbalist, who was also the uncle of Indira Gandhi. Click to enlarge.

When Professor Guenther left Vienna in 1950, he travelled to India, where he accepted a position teaching Russian at Lucknow University, Uttar Pradesh, until 1958. He and his wife had realised that for Professor Guenther to really understand Sanskrit, Pali, and Tibetan, he needed a deeper understanding of the philosophical values hidden in the languages. Therefore they relocated to India, where he could engage in his research more thoroughly. While there he developed a close and lasting friendship with the Indian scholar Kailas Nath Kaul, known for his work as a horticulturalist, herbalist, agricultural scientist, botanist, and naturalist. Kailas Nath Kaul was the maternal uncle of Indira Gandhi, who would become India’s first and only female Prime Minister, and instilled in her a deep consciousness of environmental issues.

In Lucknow, Professor Guenther was able to visit Professor Surendranath Dasgupta on a daily basis, aiding him to complete his magnificent five-part work entitled A History of Indian Philosophy. Professor Dasgupta was half blind at the time, so Professor Guenther helped him to recite out aloud various Sanskrit texts, take notes, and aid him in any other way he could. He also aided Acharya Narendra Deo and Pandit Jaganath Upadhyay in authoring an insightful commentary to the great Buddhist master Vasubandhu’s Abhidharmakosha.

The great Buddhist master Vasubandhu, who wrote the seminal text Abhidharmakosha, dealing with the Buddhist view of wisdom

The great Buddhist master Vasubandhu, who wrote the seminal text Abhidharmakosha, dealing with the Buddhist view of wisdom. Click to enlarge.

Following this, he continued his extensive teaching career as the Head of the Department of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies at the Sanskrit University in Varanasi from 1958 to 1963. In 1964 he moved to teach at the International School of America. Professor Guenther especially loved the three-month summer vacations, a time when he and his family would get away from the scorching Indian heat by joining one of the many trading caravans that journeyed over the Rothang Pass from Manali to Lahul. His family would stay as the guests of the local ruler or at the Shashur Monastery, belonging to the Drukpa Kagyu tradition. There he was able to indulge himself in his passion, learning from scholars in the surrounding area or burying himself in texts in the library. He would often even meticulously copy the holy texts there by hand, which many years later he had made into microfilms.

While at the Sanskrit University, the government of India invited five learned Tibetan Buddhist masters there as research fellows, and around 30 younger Tibetan Buddhist scholars from Tibet were allowed to both study Sanskrit and assist with research there. This followed the exodus of Tibetans fleeing their homeland and seeking refuge in India. Working together with these monks, Professor Guenther was able to further his understanding even more.

Lucknow University, India, as it stands today

Lucknow University, India, as it stands today

Shashur Monastery in Lahul, India. Professor Guenther stayed at this monastery burying himself in various texts to learn more about the Tibetan language and Buddhism

Shashur Monastery in Lahul, India. Professor Guenther stayed at this monastery burying himself in various texts to learn more about the Tibetan language and Buddhism

Sanskrit University in Varanasi where Professor Guenther furthered his knowledge of Buddhism

Sanskrit University in Varanasi where Professor Guenther furthered his knowledge of Buddhism

 

Encounters with Buddhist Masters

Although Professor Guenther was already quite well versed in Buddhist philosophy, the time he spent in India brought his understanding and practice of the religion to new heights. It left an indelible mark on his mind, especially since he had the great fortune to study under some of the most renowned masters of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, especially from the Nyingma and Gelug lineages. These masters included:

Professor Guenther's importance in Buddhism's spread in the west, is just as foundational as works by other great scholars such as Alexandra David-Neel

Professor Guenther’s importance in Buddhism’s spread in the west, is just as foundational as other great scholars such as Alexandra David-Neel

It was through his vast learning and experience under such great masters, that Professor Guenther excelled at authoring books related to Buddhist philosophy and practice. These books added to other foundational works laid by earlier Buddhist explorers such as Walter Evans-Wentz, Alexandra David-Neel, and Ekai Kawaguchi. While extremely informative and practical, dealing with some of the most contemporary of issues surrounding Buddhist practice, there are those claim that his works are quite difficult to read due his use of highly specialised language. Those who support his works however, cite the fact that his background in European philosophy which over the centuries built up a rich vocabulary and conceptual systems, meant that any synthesis with eastern thought, would necessarily have been difficult, hence some of his works are dense and tough reading. That being said, the sheer breadth of his publications is evidence of his broad and encompassing understanding of Buddhist philosophy. He has authored over 30 books and 90 articles published in scholarly journals.

 

Later Life

In 1963, he relocated to Canada, where he became the Chairman of the Department of Far Eastern Studies at the University of Saskatchewan. It was there that he developed the reputation for being a strict but thought-provoking teacher. He would critique any work not based on original sources, and dismissed the ‘self-help’ industry, but was generous in sharing his knowledge with others. The relationships he forged with his students created strong life-long friendships, as they realised what he cherished the most was respecting intellectual accomplishments, even if they differed from his own views or were in other fields of study. He offered his students the correct advice they needed to succeed, either through encouragement or constructive criticism as needed.

“Guenther was a man of principle and integrity. He was not political nor would he succumb to any political persuasions. He was brilliant beyond recognition, forthright in his opinions, and knife-cutting with his honesty. He encouraged me on more than one occasion to speak with the same integrity as he spoke in presenting my own research. This was not always easy for me and on occasion I shied away from his encouragement, as I knew I did not have the same sources of his past experiences from which to draw upon, his intellectual acumen, nor did I have the mastery of the original languages from which to debate my arguments.”

– Jodi Reneé Lang, Ph.D. in Herbert Guenther, The Man

Before retiring, he was still a sought after lecturer, even acting as a visiting professor at the University of Toronto, Yale University, Harvard University, Toronto University, and at the Saybrook Institute in San Francisco. During his retirement, he continued his life’s work by writing more books and articles until his hospitalisation due to diabetes. In 1974, he travelled to Japan, just another country to add to his list of adventures. He not only continued to work, but taught Buddhist philosophy in both Canada and the United States, to both scholars and Buddhist practitioners alike.

 

Family Life

Professor Guenther married Dr. Ilse Rossrucker, a classics scholar, in 1944 while in Vienna, amidst the oppressive Nazi regime’s rule. The loving couple had two daughters, Edith Kimbell and Nora Szederkenyi. Instead of pushing his daughters to follow in his footsteps, he encouraged them to pursue whatever direction they wanted, whatever interests they had, without the slightest disappointment. The eldest daughter, Edith, who later moved to Stockton, California, once received a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship for her studies and graduated with a Master of Arts from the University of Saskatchewan, while his second daughter, Nora, studied music at Brandon University in Canada. Nora’s love for music was one that the whole family shared. As well as being a renowned linguist, Professor Guenther was also a flautist, and his wife, Ilse, played the piano. Nora herself plays the viola.

 

Death and Legacy

The great professor of Tibetan Buddhism, Herbert Guenther, passed away peacefully in his sleep on March 11, 2006, from complications caused by diabetes, following a three-month period of physical weakening brought on by old age. Shortly before passing away, he had expressed his happiness that his interest in Tibetan Buddhism would continue at Naropa College of Buddhist Studies, founded by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche in 1974, as the college prepared itself to offer a BA Hons course in Buddhadharma Studies.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Professor Guenther left behind a great legacy of published works, still studied today, as well as inspiring many of his students to fulfil their potential. Some of his most prominent works include Dawn of Tantra (1975) co-authored with Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Buddhism in Western Perspective (1977), and Teachings of Padmasambhava (1996). His most famous translation works include the Jewel Ornament of Liberation by Gampopa (1959), The Life and Teachings of Naropa (1963) and Mind in Psychology: A Translation of Ye-she rGyal-mtshan’s “The Necklace of Clear Understanding” (1975). His last known work to have been published while he was alive was an article entitled The Homology of Emotionality and Rationality, based on the work of the famous Tibetan Buddhist poet Longchen Rabjampa.

Professor Herbert Guenther’s importance within the sphere of Tibetan Buddhist studies cannot be underestimated. Both his scholarly students and those practicing Buddhism have benefited from his treasure house of knowledge and learning. His unique ability to tackle contemporary issues through the ancient Buddhist perspective greatly influenced the lives of many, and will continue to do so even though he has passed away, for his words, intelligence, and warm-heartedness stand the test of time through his many published works.

 

Professor Guenther’s Buddhist Items

HerbertGuenther-13 HerbertGuenther-14 HerbertGuenther-15
Thangka of Mahakala Panjaranatha or Mahakala of the Tent. Click on picture to enlarge. Thangka of Buddha Shakyamuni. Click on picture to enlarge. Thangka of Lama Tsongkhapa. Click on picture to enlarge.
HerbertGuenther-16 HerbertGuenther-17 HerbertGuenther-18
Statue of Chenrezig. Click on picture to enlarge. Statue of Manjushri. Click on picture to enlarge. Statue of Green Tara. Click on picture to enlarge
HerbertGuenther-19 HerbertGuenther-20
Small altar to White Tara. Click on picture to enlarge. Small altar to Buddha Shakyamuni. Click on picture to enlarge.

 

Selected Publications

HerbertGuentherCreativeVision HerbertGuentherTantricViewofLife HerbertGuentherTheLifeandTeachingofNaropa
The Creative Vision (download PDF) The Tantric View of Life (download PDF) The Life and Teaching of Naropa
(download PDF)
HerbertGuentherTheTeachingsofPadmasambhava HerbertGuentherTibetanBuddhisminWesternPerspective HerbertGuentherTibetanBuddhismWithoutMystification
The Teachings of Padmasambhava (download PDF) Tibetan Buddhism in Western Perspective (download PDF) Tibetan Buddhism Without Mistification (download PDF)

The texts above were sourced from legitimate book-hosting services offering these texts for free download. They are made available here for purely educational, non-commercial purposes.

 

Books by Professor Herbert Guenther

Book cover

Book title

HerbertGuentherTantricBib-01 Tantric View of Life, (Chowkhamba Sanskrit Series Office, 1952)
HerbertGuentherTantricBib-02 The Jewel Ornament of Liberation, (Shambhala Publications., Inc., 1986)
HerbertGuentherTantricBib-03 The Royal Song of Saraha: a Study in The History of Buddhist Thought, (Shambhala Publications Inc., 1973)
HerbertGuentherTantricBib-04 Kindly Bent to Ease Us, Part 1: Mind, (Dharma Publishing, 1975)
HerbertGuentherTantricBib-05 Kindly Bent to Ease Us, Part 2: Meditation, (Dharma Publishing, 1976)
HerbertGuentherTantricBib-06 Kindly Bent to Ease Us, Part 3: Wonderment, (Dharma Publishing, 1976)
HerbertGuentherTantricBib-07 Tibetan Buddhism In Western Perspective, (Dharma Publishing, 1986)
HerbertGuentherTantricBib-08 The Life and Teachings of Naropa, (Oxford: Clerendon Press, 1963)
HerbertGuentherTantricBib-09 Tibetan Buddhism without Mystification: The Buddhist Way from Original Tibetan Sources, (Brill, 1976)
HerbertGuentherTantricBib-10 Buddhist Philosophy in Theory and Practice, (Penguin, 1971)
HerbertGuentherTantricBib-11 The Dawn of Tantra, with Chogyam Trungpa, (Shambhala Publications., Inc., 1975)
HerbertGuentherTantricBib-12 Philosophy and Psychology in the Abhidharma, (Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, 1974)
HerbertGuentherTantricBib-13 Mind In Buddhist Psychology: The Necklace of Clear Understanding by Yeshe Gyaltsen, (Dharma Publishing, 1975)
HerbertGuentherTantricBib-14 Looking Deeper: A Swan’s Questions and Answers, (Timeless Books, 1983)
HerbertGuentherTantricBib-15 Matrix of Mystery: Scientific and Humanistic Aspects of rDzog-chen Thought, (Shambhala Publications Inc., 1984)
HerbertGuentherTantricBib-16 Creative Vision: The Symbolic Recreation of the World According to the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition of Tantric Visualization Otherwise Known as The Developing Phase, (Lotsawa, 1987)
HerbertGuentherTantricBib-17 From Reductionism to Creativity: rDzogs-chen and the New Sciences of Mind, (Shambhala Publications Inc., 1989)
HerbertGuentherTantricBib-18 Meditation Differently: Phenomenological-psychological Aspects of Tibetan Buddhist (Mahāmudrā and sNying-thig) Practices from Original Tibetan Sources, (Matilal Banarsidass, 1992)
HerbertGuentherTantricBib-19 Ecstatic Spontaneity: Saraha’s Three Cycles of Doha, (Asian Humanities Press, 1993)
HerbertGuentherTantricBib-20 The Teachings of Padmasambhava, (Brill, 1996)
HerbertGuentherTantricBib-21 Wholeness Lost and Wholeness Regained, (State University of New York Press, 1994)

Sources:

  • http://herbertguenther.com/
  • http://www.interdependentscience.com/resources/guenther.html
  • https://shop.dharmapublishing.com/collections/books-great-masters/herbert-guenther
  • http://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Herbert_V._Guenther
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbert_V._G%C3%BCnther

 
For more interesting information:

 

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4 Responses to Herbert Guenther – Master of Languages & Buddhism

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  1. wan wai meng on Aug 13, 2017 at 12:29 am

    It is so true that Professor Gunther is a humanist and he did it so, by unearthing and bringing to light buddha’s teachings that were stored in languages that were not commonly used in the world at that time.

    He is no ordinary person to have the passion and tenacity to master many languages. I wonder if he could have been a reincarnation of a buddhist scholar or translators as he was so adept in languages and quick to pick up languages as well.

    I have had the good fortune to read his book on the Life And Teaching of Naropa also, which was given to me by Rinpoche. I am grateful to Rinpoche to have the access to such a dharma text about the life of Naropa one of the greatest buddhist saints.

  2. Choong on Aug 6, 2017 at 11:44 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for introducing us to this precious geshe/lotsawa and his works. I have downloaded his book “The Life and Teaching of Naropa” and begun browsing.

    I can see that with his mastery of the ancient and modern languages; total immersion in the study of philosophy and existentialism; his receiving direct teachings from various traditions in “Tibetan” Buddhism (including collaboration with precious jewel the 11th Trungpa Rinpoche), and combined with his unclouded lense as professor and academic, he is endowed with and has produced extremely powerful and comprehensive explanations of the practice of tantra.

    Though leaning towards a more modern professorial style of explanation, I do like his ability to jump back-and-forth between the likes of Buddha Je Tsongkhapa and western-style philosophical thoughts to explain the theoretical foundations of the practices. I also like the fact that he cannot be labelled as Nyingma or Kagyu or Gelug, as it should be in Dharma. He is Professor Guenther.

    I look forward to delving further into the book which I have downloaded.

    Once again I thank you Rinpoche with folded hands.

  3. Datuk May on Aug 3, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    In one of the verses of my prayer book it is stated that one should aspire, in the pursuit of Dharma, to be able to comprehend and master many languages both of Gods and Man. As such Professor Herbert Guenther was blessed with imprints of his previous lives in order to be able to master so many languages.

    Professor Guenther’s skill in languages was also well used to leave a legacy of books to help many people who aspire to learn the Dharma.

    It is awesome to be so gifted and in his life to have used his talents to benefit many.

    It also through his knowledge of the Dharma of compassion and loving kindness that Professor Guenther was not drawn to the Nazi ideology which prevailed during his time in history, although some of his teachers were. Amazing grace.

    As a Buddhist, I am grateful for Professor’s contribution to Tibetan Buddhism and I shall definitely acquire some of his book for my study.

  4. Samfoonheei on Aug 1, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    Herbert Guenther was a German Buddhist philosopher, a pioneer in the field of Tibetan studies.He was one of the first translators of the Vajrayana and Dzogchen teachings into English.As a child, he was fascinated from a very early age by the Asian cultures and interest in Buddhism.He was a genius studied Sinhalese, Sanskrit, Tibetan, Chinese, Japanese, English, German, Russian, and Hindi.Fantastic not easy to master at one go.But he did it somhow.His work is well known for being difficult to read.
    Amazing his published works have been translated into numerous languages and has inspired many of his students.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these interesting and inspiring post of a great philosopher.

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  • Stella Cheang
    Tuesday, Aug 22. 2017 10:58 PM
    Danny Bowman’s case is extreme, more of a mental problem instead of a vanity issue. However, many people around us are addicted to taking selfie. Even though it might be just showing off their beauty to gain attention, it should not be dismissed lightly. Because of their excessive love for themselves, they lack the empathy for others. This is the real issue. When someone place all the attention on themselves and expect others to do the same, it is against the practice of Bodhicitta. And if it not corrected at early stage, it will become a habituation and strong imprint that will also affect them in their next life.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/selfie-addiction-is-no-laughing-matter-psychiatrists-say.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Tuesday, Aug 22. 2017 05:59 PM
    Thank you, Rinpoche, for this sharing on Dr. Joona Repo’s work. In his book “Phabongka Dechen Nyingpo: His Collected Works and the Guru-Deity-Protector Triad,” Dr. Joona Repo’s impartial recollections of Pabongka Rinpoche serves to debunk certain perception people have towards this erudite master, who was brought into question because of his emphasis on Dorje Shugden and what was deemed as sectarianism practices.

    Through presenting the vastness and diversity of the works by Pabongka Rinpoche and records of his teaching against sectarianism, this book empirically presents a balanced view of Pabongka Rinpoche against those baseless allegations. The fact that Pabongka Rinpoche wrote extensively about Vajrayogini and had visions of Heruka proved that he is no ordinary Lama.

    Pabongka Rinpoche was, in fact, the reincarnation of a well-known scholar Changkya Rolpay Dorje who was the Royal Tutor to the Chinese Emperors. Because of this sensitivity, Pabongka RInpoche was not recognized his lineage by the power of the day. This in itself is a hint that there are more than meet the eyes.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/the-collected-works-of-h-h-pabongka-rinpoche.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Aug 22. 2017 12:24 PM
    Very inspiring and powerful quotes for us to have a deep thought of it. Which we will need to remember at all times in our spiritual journey.
    I do loves these quotes…
    Remember, if we wish to make an offering to our teacher, no offering is greater than that of our own dharma practice..~Geshe Tsutrim Gyeltsen

    Never abandon your spiritual teacher no matter how many inner obstacles you need to overcome……~Tsem Rinpoche

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing all these powerful quotes which will change our lives and should not be ignored.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/quotes-that-should-not-be-ignored.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Aug 22. 2017 12:23 PM
    Wow beautiful and meaningful this precious poem wrote by Rinpoche.And the lyrics of the song made from the poem below by Gavin Gooi is fabulous. Could not beliveve it from a poem to a lovely songs. Nice to hear and i love listerning each and every words said….very touching poem from sadness to happiness expressed .Rinpoche’s Guru Devotion and the love for His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche .
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing .

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/a-poem-to-my-teacher.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Aug 22. 2017 12:22 PM
    Its a interesting post with 2 giants countries discussing over movie market. Hollywood producers who are increasingly looking to tap the country’s fast-growing box office into China market.However there is restriction .They hopes China will increase the quota and the share of revenues more in line with international markets. And even has openly criticized China on trade.China is likely to raise the quota of imported films as part of recent trade talks.
    China are trying to protect its growing domestic film industry from Hollywood domination. The most best measure is the strict quota limiting the number.
    Brad Pitt was back in China nearly 20 years after being baned over a film about Tibet .Time has changed China policy on celebrities entering China.
    Thank you Pastor Loh Seng Piow for sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/china-raises-movie-quota-hollywood-on-best-behavior.html
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Tuesday, Aug 22. 2017 10:05 AM
    You won’t believe what this former Citibank vice president has to say. One of the most powerful and inspiring speeches you will ever hear in your life! Plse take a few moments to listen to this. It is worth it.-
    https://www.facebook.com/mercyforanimals/videos/10152917764269475/?hc_ref=ARTTZV6szVgZXaepZJFJ_-wCZ1U-SiyFA3jzC20EoNgCNwsOyTV_ELImvK3Lq_IgBBQ
  • Lin Mun
    Monday, Aug 21. 2017 09:48 PM


    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these precious pictures. It shows so much about Guru Devotion and a very close Guru and student relationship. The love and care of a Guru to his students are unlimited.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/gurus-love-their-students.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Monday, Aug 21. 2017 07:53 PM
    This article reminds me of how, in general, people understand the need to have a strong and fit psychic body but rarely willing to take action to go through the training. Let alone Dharma training of the mind which is much more tougher. Because our habituation has conditioned us to perceive and think a certain way, and the need to unlearn and relearn is not part of our program.

    To me, understanding the need to be trained and having the courage to go through the training is a process in itself. The mind has to be conditioned to understand the need of the training which is to eliminate the “i” and the importance of the training which is to speed up the journey of crossing the ocean of samsara.

    Most importantly, we must recognize it is very rare for us to be in a perfect human condition, meet the dharma and the perfect Guru, therefore, we must not imagine that we have time by thinking there will always be tomorrow. Actually this is the conversation in my mind sometimes… lol.

    Thank you, Rinpoche, for this article.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/training-shouldnt-be-optional.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Aug 21. 2017 10:54 AM
    A beautiful true story shared, I have seen patients suffered under cancer treatment ,at times I felt sad for them and lost of words at times. Most practitioners I have come across thinks of their profit but did not take a real effort to understand their patients pain. When we care for our patients, encourage them really makes a big difference in their life. In my line of duty I have seen many patients suffered in pain, fear, anxiety and very emotional. When we are in the patients shoe,, we can understand and feels the pain as well. As a health provider its only my duty to provide words of encouragement, help and care for them.
    Dr.Richard Teo spoke the very truth ,to inspire the younger generations of furture doctors when embark on their journey to be in health professioner ,to think of others too. Do agree with Dr.Richard Teo in private practice doctors made lots of money but at the end of the day they are not happy in life. We go through life attaching to things, wanting them to last forever. But they don’t last anyway. .Over time, we just came to accept that all good things in life must end. Nothing is impermanent
    Since we all know death is inevitable. To Live a meaningful life till to the fullness to learn and practice Dharma ,to transform ourselves, lighten up and makes us a better person.If you want happiness for a lifetime, helping, caring for others can change our life. We should always appreciate people when they are alive.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these inspiring post and hope more people will be inspired . Saluting Dr Richard Teo, who have touched the lives of thousands on views of life at the end of his lives.At the time of writing he has passed away since in 2012.May he have a swift rebirth.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/this-will-change-your-life.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Aug 21. 2017 10:53 AM
    Amazing worth travelling there to see for myself such a holy place. Being there will be a tremendous blessing as it is one of the places where Manjushri the Buddha of Wisdom’s energy abides.Wow ….As a natural reserve it is the home of China’s three holy mountains, which are Jampelyang, Chenresig and Chana Dorje.Looks very beautiful and the scenic views were just amazing to be there.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing ,i would like to travel there someday to enjoy the beauty of these Holy mountains.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/travel/excellent-travelogue-of-holy-places-in-tibet.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Aug 21. 2017 10:52 AM
    The former N.B.A. player Stephon Marbury has become a beloved celebrity since playing for professional basketball in China. Marbury was able to change China’s basketball culture.From NBA to CBA …he lead the team to national victory, winning three Chinese Basketball Association.
    A 300-square foot museum dedicated to Stephon Marbury’s career was opened in China, where the former NBA star has flourished since deciding to play there.He was given a Green card for his outstanding contributions.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this inspiring…Never give up even though he failed with the NBA but he found success after playing for CBA.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/stephon-marbury-embraces-china.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Aug 20. 2017 03:09 PM
    Beautiful ,meaningful songs if you listern and reading the lyrics.
    In the stillness of remembering What you had,And what you lost…,And what you had…and what you lost …..well said i love this part.
    Fleetwood Mac was not my favourite singer though yet i enjoyed this oldies songs.
    Since now i have Dharma in me i do like to listern to Buddhist songs example of Tsongkhapa’s blessings songs and Tibetan music.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this meaningful song for relaxing after a stressful day.
  • jason
    Sunday, Aug 20. 2017 02:56 AM
    Past few years, my grandmother,Aunty, Uncle passed away. I feel sad but this also create awareness to me that death is the final destination of everyone in samsara. Practicing of Dharma really help me in knowing that we must achieve final liberation and no more rebirth.
    Besides that, we must appreciate the moment we gather with anyone and share Dharma to them.
    Thanks Datuk May to remind me that to spend more time with the love one. I really grateful to my family and friends.

    Jason

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/guest-contributors/a-generation-gone.html
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Sunday, Aug 20. 2017 01:03 AM
    For steven d –

    Dear Steven, Thank you for your question. I appreciate your wish to become better, improve your health and to continue your journey.

    In regards to your question, there are many dimensions that need to be addressed in order to ‘assign’ a specific Buddha’s practice for a person. Some of the factors are:

    1. Temperament
    2. Malady
    3. karmic affinity
    4. Immediate pressing needs
    5. Long term needs
    6. If the person has been in dharma and understand dharma well
    7. How much time a person has daily or in general for practice/what other practices they have
    8. Living conditions (has space and quiet or with busy family)
    9. If the person is willing to take vows as there are ‘higher’ and more in-depth practices if vows can be taken
    10. How many or what other sadhanas/practices is already being done. Sometimes we can intensify one of the practices the person is already doing.

    These are a few of the factors I would examine before I suggest a practice for someone.


    Remember to always go for a qualified medical treatment in your country or place of residence and then with this treatment you can apply various spiritual practices in addition to the medical treatment.

    Spiritual practices can help heal as they purify the karma fueling the problem but medical treatment takes care of the problem that is karmically already opened. So important to do both. By doing practice you can ‘lessen’ the problem either by intensity or duration. and sometime get well. If you ask me to give a general sweeping answer for the general crowd or for a person I don’t know much about, I would suggest these practices:

    1. Black Manjushri http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=70674
    2. Avolokitesvara (Chenresig) (four armed, thousand armed, etc)
    3. Loma Gyonma http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=64691
    4. Medicine Buddha http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=44277

    Any of the the above four practices is helpful in general and overall. You don’t have to do all but just one would suffice and according to your tradition of Buddhism. You do not need initiation or take on vow commitment but you can do these practices daily and or in full retreat. Would be good to be vegetarian with good motivation as less harm done to other sentient beings directly and indirectly will help the healing process. Read up on the practices well before starting. Much information on the internet.

    It is good to learn up on the 9 round breath meditation daily also. Take 20 minutes daily to do this breath meditation. You can do the breath meditation first and then any of the four practices you choose or just breath meditation alone. (Theravadin Buddhist can just do the 9 round breath meditations daily and be consistent with this practice and you will see your mind release, open up and become calmer. You can do this breath meditation no matter who you are and if you are ill or healthy. This meditation has many benefits you can research and learn up. No ill effects with this meditation even if done ‘wrongly’.) Breath meditation is highly recommended by me for all persons both spiritual or not, young or elderly, Buddhist or otherwise as using the breath powerful and can be done anywhere and anytime. Breath is fundamental and we must breathe, so this is using meditation to manipulate the breath to heal our bodies and bring some peace to our minds. Done daily is highly beneficial.

    I hope this sincerely helps you. I send you my good wishes and for your healing. We all need healing. May you be happy, well and achieve your goals, Tsem Rinpoche
  • steven d
    Saturday, Aug 19. 2017 10:28 PM
    Namaste,

    Thank you for sharing all this beautiful buddha images, prayers and information for so many to learn from and be guided.

    Question for Rinpoche:

    What practice, prayer or deity (‘s mantra) would you advise for the uninitiated in regards to healing the causes of trauma, ptsd, dissociation and grounding into your physical body?

    I got diagnosed with PTSD 6 yrs ago, at age 29, right after my spiritual awakening after which all the past rauma revisited me in the course of 2 weeks.

    I wasn’t under the guidance of a lama or teacher at that time and still am not.

    Are there any practices you would advise? As there are so many people with trauma and PTSD (10% of the population in Western countries) , there would be so many to benefit from your wise words.

    I have read that certain deities have more affinity for certain diseases/imbalances. Are there any deities that are specifically related to releasing trauma or the above-mentioned afflictions/asymptoms.

    In love

    Steven


1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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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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I pity men who occupy themselves exclusively with the transitory in things and lose themselves in the study of what is perishable, since we are here for this very end- that we may make the perishable imperishable, which we can do only after we have learned how to approach both.~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

(This quote is very powerful from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. He seems to be a powerful thinker and can think beyond daily and ordinary thoughts. Like I shared, only the study of dharma is going to lead to the imperishable. Any other studies of this world only are temporarily beneficial which is perishable. Of course he is not referring to dharma, but he realized ordinary pursuits leads to perishability. If he knew dharma, he would see the vastness of Buddha\'s omniscience.  Tsem Rinpoche)
2 days ago
I pity men who occupy themselves exclusively with the transitory in things and lose themselves in the study of what is perishable, since we are here for this very end- that we may make the perishable imperishable, which we can do only after we have learned how to approach both.~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (This quote is very powerful from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. He seems to be a powerful thinker and can think beyond daily and ordinary thoughts. Like I shared, only the study of dharma is going to lead to the imperishable. Any other studies of this world only are temporarily beneficial which is perishable. Of course he is not referring to dharma, but he realized ordinary pursuits leads to perishability. If he knew dharma, he would see the vastness of Buddha's omniscience. Tsem Rinpoche)
One of the nicest Taras I\'ve seen. I like her shade of green and the lotus on the left which is lower as her hand is lower so it\'s very balanced looking. Her face looks young, motherly, kind and yet regal.
2 days ago
One of the nicest Taras I've seen. I like her shade of green and the lotus on the left which is lower as her hand is lower so it's very balanced looking. Her face looks young, motherly, kind and yet regal.
(1st photo) Kyabje Lati Rinpoche in the centre and Ven Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende on the extreme right. After the unfair ban against Dorje Shugden practitioners was forcibly instituted by Tibetan leadership onto the people and monasteries, the monasteries split. Over 600 monks from Gaden Shartse Monastery left and set up Shar Gaden Monastery. The Tibetan leadership did their best to get the authorities to close Shar Gaden Monastery but Shar Gaden had registered so there was nothing Tibetan leadership can do. It was very sad. Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende left Gaden Shartse Monastery to be the abbot of the newly formed Shar Gaden Monastery in South India where they can continue Dorje Shugden practice. Prior to the ban Lati Rinpoche and Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende can meet up, share and be close as they all had been very close. After the ban this was not allowed anymore. Dorje Shugden and non-Dorje Shugden people had to be segregated. They cannot mix. The previous prime minister of the Tibetan exiled government said that Dorje Shugden people and non Dorje Shugden people are like the mustache and the mouth and it has to be separated. Tsem Rinpoche
4 days ago
(1st photo) Kyabje Lati Rinpoche in the centre and Ven Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende on the extreme right. After the unfair ban against Dorje Shugden practitioners was forcibly instituted by Tibetan leadership onto the people and monasteries, the monasteries split. Over 600 monks from Gaden Shartse Monastery left and set up Shar Gaden Monastery. The Tibetan leadership did their best to get the authorities to close Shar Gaden Monastery but Shar Gaden had registered so there was nothing Tibetan leadership can do. It was very sad. Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende left Gaden Shartse Monastery to be the abbot of the newly formed Shar Gaden Monastery in South India where they can continue Dorje Shugden practice. Prior to the ban Lati Rinpoche and Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende can meet up, share and be close as they all had been very close. After the ban this was not allowed anymore. Dorje Shugden and non-Dorje Shugden people had to be segregated. They cannot mix. The previous prime minister of the Tibetan exiled government said that Dorje Shugden people and non Dorje Shugden people are like the mustache and the mouth and it has to be separated. Tsem Rinpoche
You can see in this 2nd photo, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche blessing a child and Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende standing next to the child. The monasteries were happy, united and had good samaya with each other prior to the ban. The ban destroyed everything and unity and harmony. It is very sad to see this. These pictures are from Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende\'s collection. Tsem Rinpoche
4 days ago
You can see in this 2nd photo, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche blessing a child and Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende standing next to the child. The monasteries were happy, united and had good samaya with each other prior to the ban. The ban destroyed everything and unity and harmony. It is very sad to see this. These pictures are from Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende's collection. Tsem Rinpoche
His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche on the throne, His Eminence Lati Rinpoche (next to Zong Rinpoche) and below Lati Rinpoche is Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche (sitting below Lati Rinpoche). This is a puja in Gaden Shartse Monastery. A rare and blessed photo and nice to save. Tsem Rinpoche
4 days ago
His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche on the throne, His Eminence Lati Rinpoche (next to Zong Rinpoche) and below Lati Rinpoche is Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche (sitting below Lati Rinpoche). This is a puja in Gaden Shartse Monastery. A rare and blessed photo and nice to save. Tsem Rinpoche
ou can save this rare thangka of 1,000 armed Heruka. I\'ve never seen this thangka or any of this form before and it\'s the first time. You can print out or keep or use. I found this online and it\'s beautiful. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche mentioned this Heruka 30 years ago to us and since then I have never seen this in painting or statue at all till now. He has many legs and many faces too. Very special and unique. Seeing Heruka or thinking of Heruka plants the seeds of enlightenment in our mindstream. Tsem Rinpoche
4 days ago
ou can save this rare thangka of 1,000 armed Heruka. I've never seen this thangka or any of this form before and it's the first time. You can print out or keep or use. I found this online and it's beautiful. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche mentioned this Heruka 30 years ago to us and since then I have never seen this in painting or statue at all till now. He has many legs and many faces too. Very special and unique. Seeing Heruka or thinking of Heruka plants the seeds of enlightenment in our mindstream. Tsem Rinpoche
This is Venerable Lhakpa Tsering from Tibet. He has passed away a few years back of natural causes and as he was older. He was one of the high ranking and official oracle of Dorje Shugden, Namka Barzin, Kache Marpo and several other high protectors. He was famous in Tibet for his correct trance of Dorje Shugden and extremely powerful clairvoyance advice of Dorje Shguden. He has been taking trance since Tibet. In 1959 he left Tibet for India and settled in Kalimpong. He continued to take trance in Kalimpong of Dorje Shugden for government officials, local persons, high lamas, monasteries, nuns, monks and even foreigners. For over 40 years his wonderful oracular ability to take trance and give advice and prophecies has benefited so many people. He was trained and blessed as an oracle by the previous Dromo Geshe Rinpoche of Sera Jey Monastery. I\'ve had a chance to stay at his house, meet him and see him in trance. It was a great blessing and amazing experience. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
This is Venerable Lhakpa Tsering from Tibet. He has passed away a few years back of natural causes and as he was older. He was one of the high ranking and official oracle of Dorje Shugden, Namka Barzin, Kache Marpo and several other high protectors. He was famous in Tibet for his correct trance of Dorje Shugden and extremely powerful clairvoyance advice of Dorje Shguden. He has been taking trance since Tibet. In 1959 he left Tibet for India and settled in Kalimpong. He continued to take trance in Kalimpong of Dorje Shugden for government officials, local persons, high lamas, monasteries, nuns, monks and even foreigners. For over 40 years his wonderful oracular ability to take trance and give advice and prophecies has benefited so many people. He was trained and blessed as an oracle by the previous Dromo Geshe Rinpoche of Sera Jey Monastery. I've had a chance to stay at his house, meet him and see him in trance. It was a great blessing and amazing experience. Tsem Rinpoche
Why seek anything else when you have the illustrious practice of Vajra Yogini from the lineage of the Crazy Wisdom Mahasiddha Naropa? Nothing in samsara created by ordinary men can surpass the practice of Vajra Yogini elucidated to us by the Buddha. Nothing in samsara’s knowledge no matter how incredible can surpass the knowledge embodied in the dharma by the Buddha. Samsara knowledge is limited. When we study Buddha’s knowledge (Dharma) it guarantees our future with no limitations. Spend more time studying dharma than samsaric knowledge. Why even compare? Surrender samsara as death and loss are it’s only results and engage in Dharma practice all the way. Vajra Yogini is dharma and dharma is Vajra Yogini. Give everything for Vajra Yogini’s practice. Start now as a preliminary practice even without initiation (blog article: Starting on Vajra Yogini Now- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=4395). Humbly, Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Why seek anything else when you have the illustrious practice of Vajra Yogini from the lineage of the Crazy Wisdom Mahasiddha Naropa? Nothing in samsara created by ordinary men can surpass the practice of Vajra Yogini elucidated to us by the Buddha. Nothing in samsara’s knowledge no matter how incredible can surpass the knowledge embodied in the dharma by the Buddha. Samsara knowledge is limited. When we study Buddha’s knowledge (Dharma) it guarantees our future with no limitations. Spend more time studying dharma than samsaric knowledge. Why even compare? Surrender samsara as death and loss are it’s only results and engage in Dharma practice all the way. Vajra Yogini is dharma and dharma is Vajra Yogini. Give everything for Vajra Yogini’s practice. Start now as a preliminary practice even without initiation (blog article: Starting on Vajra Yogini Now- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=4395). Humbly, Tsem Rinpoche
The young Tsem Rinpoche with his cousin Sada Andreyev. She visited him in Los Angeles. Taken in Tsem Rinpoche\'s room in Thubten Dhargye Ling Dharma centre.
3 weeks ago
The young Tsem Rinpoche with his cousin Sada Andreyev. She visited him in Los Angeles. Taken in Tsem Rinpoche's room in Thubten Dhargye Ling Dharma centre.
Young Tsem Rinpoche with his cousin Sonia Waskin. She visited him in Los Angeles, California.
3 weeks ago
Young Tsem Rinpoche with his cousin Sonia Waskin. She visited him in Los Angeles, California.
Pictures of the teenage Tsem Rinpoche with his two cousins Sonia and Sada. Taken outside of Thubten Dhargye Ling Buddhist Centre where Tsem Rinpoche was living. Los Angeles, California, USA
3 weeks ago
Pictures of the teenage Tsem Rinpoche with his two cousins Sonia and Sada. Taken outside of Thubten Dhargye Ling Buddhist Centre where Tsem Rinpoche was living. Los Angeles, California, USA
Pictures of the teenage Tsem Rinpoche with his two cousins Sonia and Sada. Los Angeles, California, USA
3 weeks ago
Pictures of the teenage Tsem Rinpoche with his two cousins Sonia and Sada. Los Angeles, California, USA
The young Tsem Rinpoche with his parents Boris and Dana Bugayeff. And on the extreme right is Tsem Rinpoche\'s cousin Toktun Gugajew. This was in Howell, New Jersey, USA
3 weeks ago
The young Tsem Rinpoche with his parents Boris and Dana Bugayeff. And on the extreme right is Tsem Rinpoche's cousin Toktun Gugajew. This was in Howell, New Jersey, USA
Tsem Rinpoche attending the wedding of Carmen Kichikov\'s brother. Tsem Rinpoche is 2nd from the right and in his adolescence. Howell, New Jersey, USA
3 weeks ago
Tsem Rinpoche attending the wedding of Carmen Kichikov's brother. Tsem Rinpoche is 2nd from the right and in his adolescence. Howell, New Jersey, USA
When my adorable Dharma boy came home to me. I love you Dharma boy. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
When my adorable Dharma boy came home to me. I love you Dharma boy. Tsem Rinpoche
Tsem Rinpoche in Taiwan as a baby where he was born
3 weeks ago
Tsem Rinpoche in Taiwan as a baby where he was born
Tsem Rinpoche as a baby holding an umbrella
3 weeks ago
Tsem Rinpoche as a baby holding an umbrella
Think about this...
3 weeks ago
Think about this...
Our frustrations have meaning when it\'s for others and a greater cause.
3 weeks ago
Our frustrations have meaning when it's for others and a greater cause.
It is much better to be doing good things for others than just for ourselves.
3 weeks ago
It is much better to be doing good things for others than just for ourselves.
Contemplate this please...
3 weeks ago
Contemplate this please...
Is there life beyond the grave? If the soul exists, does it survive death? If so, when did the belief first arise that the soul may reincarnate, to be born anew in another physical body? Before we unlock the future we must find the keys to the past. I’m Leonard Nimoy. Join me and open the door to ancient mysteries beginning now, here on A&E. Continue reading here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=37831
3 weeks ago
Is there life beyond the grave? If the soul exists, does it survive death? If so, when did the belief first arise that the soul may reincarnate, to be born anew in another physical body? Before we unlock the future we must find the keys to the past. I’m Leonard Nimoy. Join me and open the door to ancient mysteries beginning now, here on A&E. Continue reading here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=37831
It was a great honour for myself and Kechara to have His Eminence Kensur Rinpoche Jetsun Lobsang Phende visiting us. He is a courageous and extremely brave abbot emeritus of the monastery during it\'s most difficult time.~Tsem Rinpoche - Please read more here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=132602
4 weeks ago
It was a great honour for myself and Kechara to have His Eminence Kensur Rinpoche Jetsun Lobsang Phende visiting us. He is a courageous and extremely brave abbot emeritus of the monastery during it's most difficult time.~Tsem Rinpoche - Please read more here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=132602
This is a powerful picture of Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen, Kensur Kyabje Lati Rinpoche and the current incarnation of Trijang Rinpoche meeting together in the year 2000 when Trijang Rinpoche was 18. All three lamas are Dorje Shugden practitioners. In fact Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen was the one that first encouraged my practice of Dorje Shugden when I was 16 years old when I joined his beautiful Thubten Dhargye Ling centre in Los Angeles. I lived with Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen for 8 years before proceeding to Gaden Monastery in South India. Later Kyabje Zong Rinpoche came to our Los Angeles centre and granted sogtae (permission ceremony) to practice Dorje Shugden for life as requested by Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen. Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen had tremendous faith in Trijang Rinpoche. 

Kyabje Lati Rinpoche was innovative, dedicated and very much focused on bringing dharma to many. He had tremendous faith in Dorje Shugden as I had the honour to meet him many times. He would seek advice from Dorje Shugden many times via the oracle of Gaden Monastery. Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen and Kensur Kyabje Lati Rinpoche have since passed away while the current Trijang Rinpoche is a perfect lineage holder and practitioner of Dharma while he keeps Dorje Shugden as his personal protector as he has done so for many lifetimes. 

This is a powerful and beautiful picture of three great lamas of Buddha’s lineage and also of Gaden Monastery. ~Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
This is a powerful picture of Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen, Kensur Kyabje Lati Rinpoche and the current incarnation of Trijang Rinpoche meeting together in the year 2000 when Trijang Rinpoche was 18. All three lamas are Dorje Shugden practitioners. In fact Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen was the one that first encouraged my practice of Dorje Shugden when I was 16 years old when I joined his beautiful Thubten Dhargye Ling centre in Los Angeles. I lived with Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen for 8 years before proceeding to Gaden Monastery in South India. Later Kyabje Zong Rinpoche came to our Los Angeles centre and granted sogtae (permission ceremony) to practice Dorje Shugden for life as requested by Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen. Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen had tremendous faith in Trijang Rinpoche. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche was innovative, dedicated and very much focused on bringing dharma to many. He had tremendous faith in Dorje Shugden as I had the honour to meet him many times. He would seek advice from Dorje Shugden many times via the oracle of Gaden Monastery. Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen and Kensur Kyabje Lati Rinpoche have since passed away while the current Trijang Rinpoche is a perfect lineage holder and practitioner of Dharma while he keeps Dorje Shugden as his personal protector as he has done so for many lifetimes. This is a powerful and beautiful picture of three great lamas of Buddha’s lineage and also of Gaden Monastery. ~Tsem Rinpoche
A beautiful photograph of a path walking down from Manjushri Hill in Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia.
1 month ago
A beautiful photograph of a path walking down from Manjushri Hill in Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia.
This picture is of KB lovingly holding Mumu while he tries to stand up. I was in the room with them and someone else took this picture. It is a very sad and poignant picture because just a short while after this picture was taken, Mumu passed away with all of us present. This was the last picture of my little Mumu alive. We immediately did puja for Mumu and he is sorely missed by many as he touched our lives deeply. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
This picture is of KB lovingly holding Mumu while he tries to stand up. I was in the room with them and someone else took this picture. It is a very sad and poignant picture because just a short while after this picture was taken, Mumu passed away with all of us present. This was the last picture of my little Mumu alive. We immediately did puja for Mumu and he is sorely missed by many as he touched our lives deeply. Tsem Rinpoche
For years I have been doing this everywhere I go, no matter where or what country I am in. Always be kind to animals.
1 month ago
For years I have been doing this everywhere I go, no matter where or what country I am in. Always be kind to animals.
Practising makes you better at something. If you keep practising in laziness, that is what you will become good in. If you keep practising generosity, that is what you will develop. Keep practising in what you want to become good at.
1 month ago
Practising makes you better at something. If you keep practising in laziness, that is what you will become good in. If you keep practising generosity, that is what you will develop. Keep practising in what you want to become good at.
Real spirituality is kindness.
1 month ago
Real spirituality is kindness.
Our time on this earth in this lifetime is short. It\'s our choice what will look back on when we are in our final moments.
1 month ago
Our time on this earth in this lifetime is short. It's our choice what will look back on when we are in our final moments.
Materialism, desire and greed never result in happiness.
1 month ago
Materialism, desire and greed never result in happiness.
Never ever eat our friends. Go vegetarian.
1 month ago
Never ever eat our friends. Go vegetarian.
It is a privilege to serve the Dharma and to serve others. Real freedom comes in serving others.
1 month ago
It is a privilege to serve the Dharma and to serve others. Real freedom comes in serving others.
Compared to humans and all other sentient beings, animals have just as much right to happiness and freedom.
1 month ago
Compared to humans and all other sentient beings, animals have just as much right to happiness and freedom.
Dharma is not something I engage in as something separate from me. Dharma has been me since young.
1 month ago
Dharma is not something I engage in as something separate from me. Dharma has been me since young.
How much we are willing to suffer is how compassionate we are.
1 month ago
How much we are willing to suffer is how compassionate we are.
Dharma is the medicine of the mind prescribed by the Buddha.
1 month ago
Dharma is the medicine of the mind prescribed by the Buddha.
How much effort we are willing to put into our practice, is how much results we will get.
1 month ago
How much effort we are willing to put into our practice, is how much results we will get.
What do you worship on your altar, meat or compassion? One develops coldness and encourages lack of empathy, and one choice encourages attainments.
1 month ago
What do you worship on your altar, meat or compassion? One develops coldness and encourages lack of empathy, and one choice encourages attainments.
Where does patience come from? Think about it closely
1 month ago
Where does patience come from? Think about it closely
Indian sadhus and mendicants also very happy to receive Bhagwan Dorje Shugden
1 month ago
Indian sadhus and mendicants also very happy to receive Bhagwan Dorje Shugden
Tsem Rinpoche with the great Geshe Namgyal Wangchen of Drepung Loseling Monastery. Read more: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=132495
2 months ago
Tsem Rinpoche with the great Geshe Namgyal Wangchen of Drepung Loseling Monastery. Read more: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=132495
Some of my favorite people
(1st row) Alexandra David-Neel, Nicholas Roerich, Helena Roerich, Anagarika Govinda
(2nd row) Walter Evans-Wentz, John Blofeld, Bill Porter (Red Pine), Ekai Kawaguchi
2 months ago
Some of my favorite people (1st row) Alexandra David-Neel, Nicholas Roerich, Helena Roerich, Anagarika Govinda (2nd row) Walter Evans-Wentz, John Blofeld, Bill Porter (Red Pine), Ekai Kawaguchi
Do share this message and create more awareness. Thank you
2 months ago
Do share this message and create more awareness. Thank you
All that we want in samsara is just fleeting and illusionary and we are tired of chasing something that is so short lived, Lady Buddha Dakini Vajra Yogini, please embrace me as you did Naropa with great affection and lift me to your Kechara Paradise in my rainbow body. ~Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
All that we want in samsara is just fleeting and illusionary and we are tired of chasing something that is so short lived, Lady Buddha Dakini Vajra Yogini, please embrace me as you did Naropa with great affection and lift me to your Kechara Paradise in my rainbow body. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Lady Buddha Diamond Dakini Vajra Yogini, you appear in so many forms, guises and methods out of great compasion to bring me to your paradise of Kechara heaven. Bless me to waste no more time and engage in my spirituality thoroughly and may I see your coral visage soon. Bless me that I surrender all my games, attachments, projections and endless chasing of all that is futile in samsara now.... Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
Lady Buddha Diamond Dakini Vajra Yogini, you appear in so many forms, guises and methods out of great compasion to bring me to your paradise of Kechara heaven. Bless me to waste no more time and engage in my spirituality thoroughly and may I see your coral visage soon. Bless me that I surrender all my games, attachments, projections and endless chasing of all that is futile in samsara now.... Tsem Rinpoche
Sri Lanka is one of the most beautiful places I have visited. There is so much to explore. I have compiled 20 MUST VISIT places for you to see in Sri Lanka. Enjoy the post and the great pictures! Enjoy: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=127234
3 months ago
Sri Lanka is one of the most beautiful places I have visited. There is so much to explore. I have compiled 20 MUST VISIT places for you to see in Sri Lanka. Enjoy the post and the great pictures! Enjoy: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=127234
 http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/wp-content/gallery/chat-pictures/chat-8yzmaqog68754.jpg Sacred and holy Lady Buddha Vajra Yogini being escorted from the Vajra Yogini temple on the streets on festival day to bless the masses. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/wp-content/gallery/chat-pictures/chat-8yzmaqog68754.jpg Sacred and holy Lady Buddha Vajra Yogini being escorted from the Vajra Yogini temple on the streets on festival day to bless the masses. Tsem Rinpoche
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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.

  • August 22, 2017 01:55
    jason asked: what is the significance of a solar eclipse in terms of sadhana practice besides multiplying merit
    Pastor Niral Patel answered: Dear Jason, Thank you for your question. It is good to see you here. As you have rightly pointed out, during solar eclipses the merit from engaging in virtuous actions are greatly multiplied. Therefore there are many prescribed practices one can do during these times to generate a lot of merit, such as engaging in prayers, making abundant offerings, animal liberation, taking precepts for the day, etc. In terms of sadhana practice, the main benefit here would be the multiplication of merits generated. However on a tantric level, since the movements of the planets are linked to the movement of energy within the universe, and therefore one’s body, there would be subtle changes in the psychic winds within the body as well. On the whole, the patterns of the universe are mirrored within the psychic winds in the body as well. The tantric system that deals with these movements in the most detail is the Kalachakra Tantra, which you can read more about here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/tibetan-astrology/introduction-to-tibetan-astrology.html In the Kalachakra Tantra it is said that when a solar eclipse occurs, merit is either multiplied a thousand, ten-thousand times, or a hundred-thousand times. The sun and the moon are linked with the psychic winds, channels and drops with tantric practice. According to the Kalachakra Tantra everyone breathes 21,600 time every day and our minds are said to ride on the winds within our bodies. The majority of the winds within out body are karmic winds, in that they come about and are affected by karmic tendencies. During an eclipse however, more wisdom winds are said to prevail in the body. As these circulate in the body, doing Dharma practice, especially tantric practices in which you use these winds, one can achieve spiritual attainments at a speed that would not normally be possible. In traditional mythology, there is a celestial body known as Rahu. This isn’t actually a physical planet, but a node on the orbit of the moon. When Rahu appears, he is said to swallow the sun for some time, this is the ancient explanation of a solar eclipse. Rahu is also known as the “dragon’s head”. Within the Kalachakra Tantra, practitioners use Rahu to bring the sun and the moon under control. As the sun is associated with psychic channels on the right side of the body, and the moon with psychic channels on the left side of the body, what this means is that the practitioner controls these energies and brings them into the central psychic channel instead. Thereby the solar eclipse is said to mirror a tantric yogi’s ability to bring the psychic energies of the left and right side into the central channel. Once in the central channel the yogi can engage in the higher psychic energy meditations in order to gain spiritual attainments and even enlightenment. For an everyday practitioner therefore, the main benefit of practicing during a solar eclipse is the multiplication of merit. For a tantric practitioner however, it is a time that they can make use of the energies of nature to boost their practices. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • August 18, 2017 01:27
    Todd asked: Does Rinpoche have any information on the deity Rakta Yamari, who is believed to be an emanation of Manjushri?
    Pastor Niral Patel answered: Dear Todd, Thank you for your interesting question. Rakta Yamari is indeed a wrathful emanation of Manjushri, in the form of a yidam or meditational deity belonging to the Anuttarayoga, or highest tantra, class of deities. The practice has been incorporated into all four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism: the Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya and Gelug. Generally speaking some of the wrathful forms of Manjushri can be classified into three groupings, the Rakta (blood-red), Krishna (blue-black), and Vajrabhairava (adamantine terrifying). Since Rakta Yamari is therefore a classification of deities, it would be hard to give information here on all of them. The specific forms of Rakta Yamari differ in how the main figure appears and the number of other deities in the mandala. Of particular note, is that each of these forms and their practices has their own lineage of practice as well. Whilst there are forms of all three classifications within the four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism, certain lineages place more emphasis on a particular form than others. For example, within the Gelug lineage emphasis is placed on Vajrabhairava Yamantaka, of which there are two forms in particular that are practiced: 13-deity Yamantaka, and Solitary Hero Yamantaka. In fact Vajrabhairava Yamantaka is one of the three main Anuttarayoga Tantra deities practiced in the Gelug lineage, which we follow, alongside the Akshobhyavajra variant of Guhyasamaja and Chakrasamvara. There are two important lineages of Rakta Yamari practice: the 13-deity Rakta Yamari, and the 5-deity Rakta Yamari practice. Both of these practices can be traced back to an important lineage holder, the Indian Mahasiddha Virupa. In the case of the 5-deity Rakta Yamari lineage, he was taught the practice by a wisdom dakini. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • August 17, 2017 19:26
    Aldric Wilson DuXing asked: How can the alleged "DiSanShr" "Dorje Chang Fo" Yi Yun Gao be the actual incarnation of Buddha Dipankara Buddha?
    Pastor Niral Patel answered: Dear Aldric Wilson DuXing, Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, I do not know much about Yi Yun Gao to be able to comment on this. However, within Buddhism we do believe that the Buddhas, out of their compassion appear in human form to help sentient beings in whatever way they can. Within Tibetan Buddhism there is a long history of recognising great masters as the physical body emanations (also known as tulkus) of the Buddhas. The logic behind this is that the Buddhas are all compassionate and so help sentient beings in any and all means that they can. This would obviously include taking the physical form of a human. To say that the Buddhas cannot or do not do this, would be limiting the abilities of the enlightened beings, which goes against the scriptures. In fact, in the scriptures it states that Buddhas can emanate out in countless different forms at the same time. This includes animate beings, such as humans, animals, etc., and also inanimate objects such as bridges, or other things. These emanations, or incarnations if in human form, can be recognised by those who have the ability to perceive the enlightened beings, such as highly attained masters or other emanations themselves. That is why you see only the highest masters within the Tibetan Buddhist traditions recognise others as incarnations of the Buddhas. Other methods of confirming this can include checking with an enlightened Dharma protector, such as Dorje Shugden, when in trance of a qualified oracle. Those who really are emanations of the enlightened beings do not actually need to be recognised as such, as they will always help others no matter if they are recognised or not. However the recognition of such beings is more for us, as practitioners to gain merit by helping them achieve their goal of helping other sentient beings. But as I mentioned earlier, these beings do not self-proclaim themselves but are recognised as such by other highly attained masters who are trustworthy and really work for the cause of helping others by upholding and practicing the holy teachings of Lord Buddha. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • August 16, 2017 00:47
    Anonymous asked: Sorry about the link not working. They can be found at dharmawheel.net and then looked under Tibetan Buddhism and then under topics which are under all the other lineage topics. Since this is recent, the title "Crazy Scandal somewhat related to Gelug hitting Taiwan" should come up. But anyway, here are the sources in that case: https://ladakh2017blog.wordpress.com/2017/08/12/mary-jin-gebis/ https://maisonneuve.org/article/2013/06/18/when-monks-come-town/ https://ladakh2017blog.wordpress.com/2017/08/14/bw-dorje-shugden/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ad355FqDQuo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzvPhv_eldk http://www.blisswisdom.org/statement/1854-1006 https://ladakh2017blog.wordpress.com/2017/07/24/dalai-lama-speaks-to-chinese-devotees-about-bliss-and-wisdom/
    No reply yet
  • August 15, 2017 01:43
    Anonymous asked: Hi, although this is not a question, I would like to bring awareness towards a particular cult in China and Taiwan that has been having scandals with their leader, Mary Jin. The cult has been defaming the Dalai Lama and has begun supporting Shugden here even though that's not really bad. However, I would like to bring attention so they may not begin corrupting the Buddhists here. Even though I used a dharmawheel website, it has links to its sources: https://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=40
    pastor answered: Dear Anonymous, Thank you for bringing this to our attention, however the link you provided does not work. I do not know anything about this particular person or their organisation, so I really can’t say much. However, there are some people out there who use religion for their personal gain, and twist the teachings to suit their greed. These sorts of people are often embroiled in scandals and the like and often have views that go against common sense. That is why it is very important to check that a teacher is qualified, is practicing, and is teaching the Dharma as it should be according to the scriptures. All students are encouraged do to so and this in mentioned clearly in the scriptures themselves. The actions of a teacher should be in line with actions laid out in the scriptures and their views should match the logic laid out in the scriptures as well. Once we see a teacher’s qualities, and we have made sure that what they practice is real and genuine, we can devote ourselves to that person fully. We at Kechara, following the teachings of His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche, think very highly of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, as he is the emanation of the Buddha of compassion, Chenrezig. Similarly, we also believe that Dorje Shugden is the emanation of the Buddha of wisdom, Manjushri. For us, both are enlightened beings, and many practitioners all around world follow this belief as well. We are saddened to see or hear when others talk badly about either, since both are enlightened beings capable of benefiting the world tremendously. Thank you.
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Dorje Shugden Puja in Wisdom Hall, Kechara Forest Retreat. You can order a Puja through Kechara House or www.vajrasecrets.com
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Dorje Shugden Puja in Wisdom Hall, Kechara Forest Retreat. You can order a Puja through Kechara House or http://www.vajrasecrets.com
Kayene, 5 years old, from Kechara Sunday Dharma School. Stella Cheang
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Kayene, 5 years old, from Kechara Sunday Dharma School. Stella Cheang
Chern Chern, 4 years old, from Kechara Sunday Dharma School. Stella Cheang
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Chern Chern, 4 years old, from Kechara Sunday Dharma School. Stella Cheang
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Charmaine, Zi Xuan and Hulbert are practicing a dance performance during Kechara Sunday Dharma School. Stella Cheang
All students of Kechara Sunday Dharma School gather together to do performance practice for the upcoming Mooncake Festival Charity Event. Stella Cheang
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Performance by students from Bentong school during Grand Dorje Shugden Puja. Lin Mun KSDS
Teacher Laura guided the students did short prayer before the class started. Alice Tay, KSDS
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Teacher Laura guided the students did short prayer before the class started. Alice Tay, KSDS
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Teacher Jayce and Teacher Lin Mun guided the children to do an experiment with mixing colours that represents life experiences. Alice Tay, KSDS
The students worked together to find the answer. Alice Tay, KSDS
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The students worked together to find the answer. Alice Tay, KSDS
These students are well behaved and give support to those are participated in the competition. Alice Tay, KSDS
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These students are well behaved and give support to those are participated in the competition. Alice Tay, KSDS
KSDS students gathered together for the song practice. Alice Tay, KSDS
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KSDS students gathered together for the song practice. Alice Tay, KSDS
Pastor Yek Yee led weekly Thursday Dorje Shugden puja ( Chinese) at Bentong Puja House. Lucy Yap
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Replenish the table numbering for the out coming event ~ kecharaoasis.com ~ Guat Hee
5 days ago
Replenish the table numbering for the out coming event ~ kecharaoasis.com ~ Guat Hee
Waiting for the dinner to server #birthday #vegetarian #family #banquet ~ Guat Hee
5 days ago
Waiting for the dinner to server #birthday #vegetarian #family #banquet ~ Guat Hee
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