Integrity – a talk at the Floating Market in Thailand

Apr 24, 2013 | Views: 10,450
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 (See below for video transcript)

Last night we went to this wonderful night Amphawa Floating market. It’s opens only on Fri 3pm-10pm and Sat-Sun 12pm-10pm. We rented a boat for 600 baht (cheap) and can fit twenty on the boat easily. The boat takes you on a 17 kilometer ride through the market, firefly areas and to generally enjoy the calmness of the river. Afterwards, I decided to speak on integrity… If you don’t want to rent a whole boat, then per person is 60 baht…

Amphawa Floating market is 1 hour from Bangkok with no traffic. With traffic it will take you 2 hours. It is a must visit place for anyone visiting Bangkok. Also they have chalets or houses at the edge of the river you can rent and in the morning go to make offerings to monks also. It’s a very nice place. On either side of the river is many shops, stores, restaurants, eateries, pubs, stalls and other interesting things to see and buy. I really liked the place very much.

Thailand is amazing for sure… so many things to see and do…

Tsem Rinpoche

 

 


TRAVEL FACTS:

Amphawa Floating Market

Amphawa Floating Market  is located on a canal that flows into the Mae khong River in Samut Songkhram Province, about 80 km and 1 hour drive from Bangkok Central.

The floating market only opens on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  3 pm – 10 pm Friday, 12 pm – 10 pm on weekends.

There are numerous stalls, shops, restaurants, temples and resorts on both sides of the river bank from street fashion, household items, handcrafted toys, authentic Thai food and art.

The Boat ride costs 60 baht per person, and to rent a whole boat is 600 baht.  It takes you on a ride to explore the market and stop at places with fireflies.  The whole journey is about 17 km, you can stop the boat anytime if you want to stop to shop or to eat.

Address:  Samut Songkhram province, Amphawa

Distance:  80 km from Bangkok Central

By Car:  1 Hour

By Van:  Take the skytrain and get off at Victory Monument.  Find the bus terminal nearby and hop on to a van going to Amphawa. Fare is around 70 baht per pax.

Make sure to tell the driver or operator that you’re getting off at Amphawa Floating Market. It will take approximately 2 hours.

Admission:  Free

Hours:  3 pm – 10 pm (Friday)
12 pm – 10 pm (Saturday and Sunday)

Directions:  Come from Samut Songkhram City and drive straight through the city, you will find the junction leading to Amphawa Market with a clear sign on the junction,  then turn left and go straight across a cement bridge, continue driving for about a couple kilometer, you would find Amphawa Floating Market junction on the left. The Amphawa Community located next to King Rama II Memorial Park and Wat Amphawan Chetiyaram.

 


Transcript of Integrity : Dharma talk at the floating market

 

Hi, I’m at the Amphawa Floating Market. This is the second floating market that we’ve been to. It has been a much…. There was another one that we went to that was original and that one is much smaller, and it’s quaint, and it’s nice but this one is huge, so you have to come about 2 hours from Bangkok to get over here and it’s in Amphawa.  It’s a huge tourist destination and everybody will know about it.  It’s a pretty commonplace to go and if you’re a tourist in Bangkok, you gotta come here, all right?

 

During the…On Friday, it is open 3pm to 10pm and on Saturday and Sunday it is open from 12pm to 10pm but if there is not a lot of business they close up at night around 9pm, all right? When you get to the parking lot, you walk in, there’s a whole bunch of stalls and a whole bunch of things that you can buy, lot of interesting things to see, and then when you get to the actual river, the pier area, this is where we are, the pier, there are a lot of boats to rent, you can re…you can rent a boat for about 600 baht or if you’re gonna go per person, you can go 200 per person if you’re a foreigner and 100 if you’re Thai, all right, that’s bahts. The river runs along shops and a lot of interesting little cafes and places where you can stop and eat, a lot of interesting things to see and then the boat goes one big round, takes about an hour, an hour and a half and they show you fireflies along the way. It’s a peaceful, quiet, calm kind of setting.

What is integrity? Why do you need integrity?

Anyways, today, the floating market here, I would like to talk about integrity. Integrity basically means that you honor what you promised. You honor your word. You honor your commitments. So whatever you say from your mouth you do it. Whatever you promised, you do it. Whatever you have committed to, you do it.  And you know, unless it’s a life and death circumstance, then you can’t do it, or if it’s a very powerful extenuating circumstance that you can’t do it, all right. And you go and explain, and you tell, and you share and you say why you can’t do it but otherwise, you gotta get it done.

 

So basically, what you promised people and what you tell people you’re gonna do and what you say what you’re gonna do, and the timeline that you give that you say you’re gonna do, you gotta get it done, you gotta do it. Everybody was raised differently and everybody kind of thinks differently, but I think anywhere in the world, if you keep your promises and you keep your commitments and you keep your words of honor, I think you’ll be a person that is respected, ,anywhere you go. And I think that anywhere you go, people will believe you and trust you and you develop a powerful, nurturing kind of relationship with people. I mean what you send out is what you’re gonna attract.  So if you’re gonna send out kinda of an energy that whatever you say doesn’t really matter, whatever you promise you don’t really keep, you know, and if you say something and whether you do it or not it’s up to your convenience. If that’s the kind of  energy you send out, that’s the kind of energy you’re gonna get back.  That’s the kind of people you’re gonna attract, that’s the kind of…that’s the kind of character you’re gonna get out of people, that people won’t take you seriously and also people won’t believe you or trust you and it’s…and it’s not worth it to go through life for people not to trust you, because when people don’t trust you, you can’t get things done. You can’t accomplish things. You can’t fulfill what you want to do because whatever you want to do, you need someone else’s help. You need people to, you need their assistance, you need their help, you need them to back you up in one way or another and if people don’t trust you they’re not gonna back you up.

 

Have you come across situations where people actually say they’re gonna do something and you believe it and you rely on it, and they don’t and how did it feel? Well that’s the kind of feeling we give other people if we don’t have integrity. I don’t wanna judge anyone or I don’t wanna put anyone down but I’ve come across quite a few bunch of people who didn’t live their life keeping their words and promises to others and it kinda changed at different junctures and it kinda changed in different situations and it kinda changed according to sometimes their convenience, I am sorry to say, and it’s very disappointing.

 

So, as an ordinary person, to deal with family, the example you give to your kids, to deal with friends, to deal with co-workers, integrity is very important. I mean kids trust us. You know our kids or kids trust us and if we tell them we’re gonna do something, we don’t, and we disappoint them. We kinda send a message to them that it’s okay to just say anything for the moment, and you don’t have to mean it, and they grow up kinda talking and acting like that and that’s not a good message to send to kids. If that’s the kind of message we send to co-workers, or to our partner or to our wives and husbands, the relationship is not gonna be based on truth. The relationship is not gonna be based on truth. The relationship is not gonna be based on honesty, and when the relationship is not based on honesty, is it a real relationship?  You know, so that ‘s what we have to check out for ourselves, it’s not for me to check out but for ourselves to check out and so it’s kinda hard sometimes for people, for some people, to do what they promised, to do what they say, and it’s.. it makes people suffer. People who are around us and if we don’t have integrity, we make them suffer. We make them filled with anxiety. We make them not like us and not respect us and we make it very difficult for them to work with us and after a while they kind of shun us.  After a while they kind of avoid us and we may have the best justification in the world for not fulfilling our commitments but you know if it’s once too many times, it’s once too often, they will experience the results, the karmic results, you know, the emotional results which is people shun us and people avoid us and people don’t wanna do things with us.

 

When we don’t have honor and we don’t have integrity, and we don’t have the commitment to fulfill our promises, eventually we’ll feel a sense of loneliness. Eventually we’ll feel a sense of sadness. Eventually we’ll feel a sense of isolation because people don’t want to be around us and people don’t want to be with us, and when they don’t want to be with us, how do we feel? We can’t blame other people. We can’t say its other people’s fault. It’s our fault. So in ordinary secular life, whether it’s with family, with friends, with co-workers, with kids, with you know, business partners, whatever it is, it is extremely important at all costs to keep our promises, keep our commitments and 100% keep to our timeline. If we do that, we will find that it’s easier to work with people. People will find that it’s easier to work with us. We’ll find that our relationships become better. We find that people start to you know…respect us and people like us, and when people respect us and like us, it’s a good feeling. Who doesn’t want to be respected and liked? Who doesn’t? And in everyday life, that type of practice of integrity is extremely important for a happy, harmonious existence.

 

 

How do you integrate integrity in Dharma? Why do we take vows?

Now, when we get into Dharma practice, when we get into tantric practice, when we get into meditational practices, integrity is the basis of all attainments. Why is that? Because in order to enter the door of Buddhism, you need to take on the Refuge vows. The Refuge vows recommend for you what to do and what not to do and in order for you to break negative habituations, in order for you to start on positive habituations. The purpose we take on the vows is to break negative habituations. The vows are not something to torture us. The vows are not something to hurt us or to bind us or to imprison us. The vows are actually something to help us transform our negative habituations to the positive and if we study the vows very well, and we study it carefully, and we check it very carefully, and we understand them, we will notice that the vows do not imprison us and when we take these vows, we are in front of the 3 jewels – the Guru-Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha and we, from our heart, willingly take on the Refuge vows and every single day that we hold on to the Refuge vows, we collect the merit of whatever vows that we have taken and we create the merit to counter the negative habit related to that vow.

 

 

The Basis for taking Vows and the merits for taking vows

For example, if everyday you don’t steal, everyday you don’t steal, it’s neutral, you’re not stealing. But if you take a vow that you don’t steal, that you will never steal, that you will not steal, every single day that you exist, holding that vow and you don’t steal, you collect the merit of not stealing. The merit of not stealing is to have a very powerful personality in the future where when people listen to you, when people listen to what you say and they listen to what you have to share, it will be a very powerful impact on their minds and also when you don’t steal, in the future when you do business or you do agriculture or you do work, the work will be fulfilled more easily as a result of this merit.

 

So what happens is that when you don’t steal, and you promise or you take a vow not stealing according to Refuge vows, then every single day you live, you will collect the merit of not stealing as opposed to if you don’t have a vow and if you don’t steal it is just neutral, just totally neutral, nothing happens. For example, a baby doesn’t steal. A baby doesn’t take, a baby doesn’t rob, a baby is not able to but the baby doesn’t collect the merit of not stealing. Similarly if you take the vow of not lying, and everyday you don’t lie, you collect the merit of not lying as opposed if you don’t have the vow and you don’t lie. So, on that basis, you can relate that to all the vows and the vows are taken by the power of the object, the subject and the motivation, object being the 3 jewels, Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, the subject being oneself, being of sound mind, understanding the power of the vows and the motivation is to attain the highest enlightenment for all sentient beings, to bring the most benefit for all sentient beings, to bring the most relief to all sentient beings. In order to accomplish that, we need to become a fully enlightened Buddha. In order to become a fully enlightened Buddha and all the stages that we need to achieve to become a fully enlightened Buddha, then one must be able to start somewhere and that somewhere is holding the vows.

 

The Importance of Holding Vows

The Refuge vows came from Lord Buddha. It isn’t something made up. Then on top of the Refuge vows, you have, on the basis of the Refuge vows, you have the monk vows, the nun vows. On top…on the basis of the Refuge vows, you have the Bodhisattva vows. On the basis of the Refuge vows, you have the Tantric vows. So in order to take monk vows or nun vows, you must have the Refuge vows. Without the Refuge vows, you cannot have any other vows because the Refuge vows are the basis, all right? So, the Refuge vows teach you to control your body, speech and mind at a certain level, then when you take the Bodhisattva vows, it teaches you to generate altruism to another level. Then, when you take on the Tantric vows, you have the vows of transforming your perception of the world around you to another level, to that of enlightenment, okay.

 

So therefore, when you take the Refuge vows, it is to help you change your ordinary habituations from negative to positive. When you take your Bodhisattva vows, it helps you to refrain from actions and take on actions that generate altruistic motivation and thought and activity and when you take the Tantric vows, the vows help you to change your ordinary perception. So when you take the Tantric vows, it helps you to change your ordinary perception to a tantric or higher perception of the world around you. So in other words, it grants you full enlightenment.

 

So the three sets of vows are Refuge, Bodhisattva and Tantric. Ordinary vows, again I repeat, because there was a lot of noise just now, ordinary vows is to transform our ordinary habituations of body, speech and mind, to train up for the next step. The Bodhisattva vows are to help us to attain altruistic action, altruistic motivation, altruistic thinking, bodhicitta. Then the next set of vows is higher vows as tantric vows, which teaches us to view the world around us in a extraordinary way, in a clear, concise and very purified manner to help us attain emptiness, to help us attain full enlightenment.

 

So the Tantric vows, which are vital to become a Buddha, the Bodhisattva vows which are vital to become a Buddha and the Refuge vows which are vital to become a Buddha, if those are not taken, you cannot become a Buddha. If you do not take those vows, whatever yidam or meditational practices you do will not bear fruit quickly to become an enlightened being. So without those vows, can you make offerings? Sure you can. Without those vows, can you meditate and recite mantras and do sutras and study? Sure you can, but with those vows, by the power of those vows, the result is multiplied, the merits are multiplied, its swiftness and the quickness is multiplied. For example, if you want to catch a thief, if you catch a thief with the uniform of a policeman on or with no uniform on, it would be quicker with the uniform. Just as a hypothetical kind of example.

 

So like that, when you have your vows, whatever action you do it is multiplied, it is quickened, and the results are quickened on the basis of those vows. Remember, these vows originated from Buddha himself, so therefore there could be nothing but benefit from these vows. Once we take these vows, we have to honor them. We can go online and search the Refuge vows, the Bodhisattva vows and the Tantric vows. We can learn from them, we can memorize them, we should recite them daily or weekly until we are familiar and we should familiarize ourselves with those vows until it becomes second nature and it will become second nature because it is just re-habituation.

Those vows are not saying you’re a bad person. Those vows are not saying you’re an evil person. Those vows are saying you need to think and go in this direction to achieve full enlightenment. So, if you have practiced integrity in your daily life, you kept your promises, then holding on to vows will be very simple. If normally you don’t hold on to integrity, then holding the vows will be difficult and if we break these vows, or if we have an infraction on these vows, it does create negative merit. If we hold the vows and it creates positive merit at a quicker speed, then by breaking the vows, you collect demerit at a quicker speed and more powerful. I mean, it’s obvious, you know if you’re gonna go on a speedboat, if you’re gonna go really quick, if you have an accident, it’s gonna be a more severe accident as opposed to a rowboat that’s not going very fast. So, when you take the vows, you shouldn’t be afraid of vows and think “ Well, these vows can make me go to the 3 lower realms or it’s gonna collect a lot of negative karma”, what’s making you collect a lot of negative karma is not the vows. What’s collecting negative karma is you not having integrity. You not training yourself to hold the vows and to familiarize and to transform your habituations. Whether you have the vows or not will not determine if you go to the 3 lower realms. Your action’s motivated and your motivations is what creates the causes for the 3 lower realms.

 

So, whatever actions you are doing is the causes for you to go to the 3 lower realms, higher or lower. That’s up to you. The vows do not make you go to the 3 lower realms. You make yourselves go to the 3 lower realms. So if you wish to engage in Yamantaka, Vajrayogini, Cittamani Tara, Vajrakilaya, Avalokitesvara, Manjushri, if you wish to engage in Tara, Kalachakra, Guhyasamaja, Heruka, Hevajra, how to say…. any of the tantric practices that is expedient in becoming attained, then all those practices and all those initiations you must take vows. Don’t simply go for an initiation and think that “Oh, I don’t have to hold on to my vows. I can just take the initiation and recite the mantras.” According to His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, all attainments arise from your vows and your words of honor. That’s why Vajrasattva’s practice is very important, that we need to do Vajrasattva’s practice every single day if we have tantric commitments. Why? It stops and purifies the broken vows and occasionally and due to past habituations, we will break our vows sometimes, that I mean, we’re normal human beings, but it should lessen over time, all right.

 

Once you take the vows, you don’t become perfect but once you take the vows, you strive towards perfection. When you take the vows, you don’t become perfect, but you strive towards perfection. So therefore, it’s very important that we, if we wish to accomplish higher meditations, higher practices, higher accomplishments, higher results in Buddhism, it is on the basis of our vows. It is on the 100% basis on the vows. If we don’t hold our vows, and we break our vows, we cannot gain the results that we wish to attain through a particular practice. If we wish to become a monk and because we take on the vows of a monk, if we throw our vows to the wind and we have no deference or no respect towards our vows, and we break our vows, then the results of becoming a monk will not be fulfilled, will not be fulfilled.

 

How can we wear tantric clothes, or wear spiritual clothes but not hold the vows of the clothes that we are wearing, that the clothes represent. So therefore, if we wish to have any higher attainments and higher results, we need to hold the vows. Without the vows, taking initiations will not bring results. Taking initiations and not holding the vows will not bring results. In fact, taking initiations and not holding the vows, it will generate even more demerit. So, we shouldn’t think that it’s a smorgasbord of initiations, this lama is giving that initiation, this lama is giving this ritual, this lama is giving that kind of practice and I should run to get all of it and just take any vows inordinately and arbitrarily, and as and when I like, you know, it doesn’t matter. No, it does matter. It does matter. If you take your practice seriously, you get serious results. So therefore, holding the vows are the roots of spiritual attainments and in tantra according to the Buddha Vajradhara, holding the vows and words of honor are the roots of us gaining higher attainments, higher realizations, higher abilities to benefit others and the very reason we hold our vows is out of compassion for others. When we have compassion for others, we hold our vows. When we hold our vows, we gain experience, we gain results from our meditation, we gain special abilities to be of more service to others. So holding our vows is out of compassion for others, so holding vows arises from the simple, secular practice of integrity. If we have integrity, then other people respect us. If other people respect us, we can do more for them. We can accomplish more with them. We can do much more for others if we have integrity.

 

So therefore, I think without having to take higher initiations and higher practices we should start today with what? We should start today immediately with having integrity. If we are a person with integrity, then it’s okay. If we are a person in the past we have slipped all the time on our promises and commitments, we gotta start today. We gotta change today. Having integrity gives us peace of mind. Having integrity gives people around us peace of mind. Having integrity makes people like us and respect us and it’s easier for us to get along with our friends. Having integrity attracts people of the same quality and the same characters who can either accomplish more works with you or just be good friends. Having integrity and friends with integrity is real friendship. Having a partner or a wife or husband that you have integrity with, you share integrity, it’s a real relationship, it’s a real joining of good people and having integrity is a great example to our children and they grow up to be people with integrity.

 

So today, in the beautiful floating market here, in Amphawa, I wanted to give you a little talk on integrity with all the wonderful people walking by and the boats and the river and some of the stores open. Nice people, nice boats, nice rivers happening outside, nice scene for you, but I do sincerely hope everybody will practice integrity and keeping your promise because it is really 100% the correct route to go, whether you’re spiritual or not and if you want to go to higher spiritual practices and results, integrity is the key. Thank you and good night.

 

Transcribed by Joey Wong


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24 Responses to Integrity – a talk at the Floating Market in Thailand

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  1. Pastor Albert on Feb 9, 2017 at 3:42 am

    Rinpoche has explained very clearly about integrity, not only in Dharma, wherever we go, integrity is very important as it shows what type of people we are, and that create the impression others has to us, to our customers, to our friends, to our families, or to anyone, integrity is the priority.

    In Dharma, integrity should be priority, because it is the bases of our spiritual attainment, when we took our refuge vows, Boddhisattva vows or even higher vows, it means we have promised to carry on certain practice, but when we break the practice due to lack of integrity, we will create more negative karma which will lead us to break more promisesw in the future and the negative karma will get heavier and heavier. Hence, integrity holds a very important role in our spiritual practice and we should honour our promise no matter how long it takes for completing it.

  2. Vinnie Tan on Mar 1, 2015 at 11:41 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for reminding us that it is very important to keep up with what we have promised unless there is a very good reason to why we cannot do it. With that, we should then explain and share why we are not able to do it, otherwise we should have integrity and keep to our promises.

    I agree with what Rinpoche said about how we would be attracting similar people with the energy that we would be sending out to people. I think this is very important as not always we like somethings to be done to us, however, we are always doing that to others. Personally, I feel that we never treasure and appreciate enough those people that keep their promises to us and do things meant for us. Till we lose them, then only we realise that we have lost a gem in our lives. However, not many of us are that gem, we do not keep up to what we have said.

    When we do not show integrity to children, it tells them an indirect message that it is alright to just say things for the moment. I agree with this statement fully as children are who they are learning the adults behaviour. When we show them it is alright to lie, they would then in future lie all the time. If we show them it is alright to be committing crimes as long as we have “valid reasons” behind it, later when they grow up, they would also be doing the same thing. With that, we would be installing ideas to the children that not having integrity is alright, things can just change to their convenience, and it would be a very disappointing or even bad habit to have as it not only affects them, but the people around them as well.

    “When we don’t have honour and we don’t have integrity, and we don’t have the commitment to fulfil our promises, eventually we’ll feel a sense of loneliness.” I feel that this is very correct as with the wrong values we would be pushing people away from us, and not attracting anyone new. Hence, we would have the empty feeling in us that we are not able to understand why so. Then, we would be feel negative and behave in negative ways that would only make us more miserable then we already are. however when we keep to our promises and word, we would be attracting more people as they do have a good relationship with us that would help us to be a more cheerful person as well.

    I really like the fact that when we take a vow for something we do not do, vowing that we would not do it would help us to collect merits. Otherwise, it would just be a neutral stand. It is really interesting like how we can turn a neutral thing into something so only that would be able to help us collect merits.

    Thank you Rinpoche for explaining to all of us here what each type of vow would help us in our spiritual path. Like how Refuge vows would teach us the control of our body, speech, and mind, Bodhisattva vows would teach us to generate altruism to another level, and Tantric vows would help us to transform our perception of the world around us to another level to that of enlightenment.

    Thank you Rinpoche for reminding us that to reach enlightenments or even attainments is not just based on reciting of mantras and doing of prayers. Attainments arise from our vows and also the words that we honour. This shows us again the importance of having integrity.

    I cannot agree more that we would only be able to help more and do more things for people when they have respect and faith in us. To achieve that to have integrity and keeping our promises are very important, only then we will be able to do more.

    I cannot thank Rinpoche for this post enough. It has reinforced the importance of integrity for me as it not only let the people around have a peace of mind, but also for people to like and respect us, allowing us to get along with others easily as well. Thank you Rinpoche!

  3. sokun on Apr 26, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    very good I want to know some knowledge from Buddhism

  4. grace (KHJB) on Apr 25, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Thank you for the teaching, it give me a strong impact on the important of integrity and the purpose of taking vows. this is precious to know the reason and we have to keep it in mind so that we practice it correctly and continuously .

  5. Joy on Mar 30, 2013 at 12:17 am

    Integrity also mean applying our refuge vows which many of us often forget. For example: NO HARSH SPEECH… and boy yes… do I know this one well lol. Well, if our very own refuge vows is being compromise for our ego and pride… what do we expect? Why is our happiness being severed by our own self? How we are so self-destructive and don’t even realise it… I know this… I did it before and I am the one cutting myself and then I cry, how funny, how silly, how stupid hu?! Rinpoche has always given us real life logic… all we need to do is try it out… and trust me just follow your GURU’s instructions and everything else will just fall in to place

    And Yes for “some” tragedies, falling down in to that dark pit, sometimes do help to “wake” us up. Then it becomes a blessing in disguise… x

  6. wansan on Mar 28, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    Thank You Rinpoche for giving this teaching at the floating market in Thailand. Such a wonderful place! And invaluable teaching!
    Integrity does play a very important role in our everyday life. Without integrity, the world will not be as beautiful as we see it now. How we treat people is exactly how people will treat us. In that case, if we always break our promises then we shouldn’t be angry at those who break their promises to you. But most of us do not think that way. Like what Rinpoche says, what you send out is what you attract. So don’t blame others but yourself. Breaking someone else’s promises seems like a tiny bit thing, but in fact it isn’t. It shows the way you carry yourself and how your character is. By having integrity, many things can be done easily like holding our vows and commitments.
    Once again, thank you Rinpoche and May you have good and stable health.
    wansan

  7. So Kin Hoe on Mar 28, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for giving us a precious teaching about having integrity, holding our vows, keeping promises and complete every committed items within timelines. Having integrity is the foundation of everything in both spiritual and secular practices. We need to make ourselves trusted before we expect people to trust us.

  8. David Lai on Mar 28, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    This is a wonderful talk at a most exotic of locations. Rinpoche looked healthier at that time. I like the fact that the vows and words of honor can restrict us from harming ourselves and if we practice it with a lot of sincerity and awareness for others, it can be a part of us. The vows are meant to bring us to reach a certain state of mind where our priority is that of others and not ourselves. All of us definitely have very strong morality.

    At the moment, our morality and integrity is channeled towards our comfort and selfish needs but that can be changed as we take on the vows and enact the vows through our practice and keeping of promises and commitments. At the moment, this teaching comes at a timely period when everyone is busy with projects and conflicting interests, we can sometimes lose track of what are our priorities. Whatever it is, all our actions should have to be geared towards fulfilling of our vows and commitments. That’s of topmost priority for now.

  9. Erickksiow on Mar 28, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    Integrity is so important in our living life, when we said something out, we must DO IT and show the results.

    Thank You Rinpoche for the important teachings.

    Best Regards : Eric kksiow

  10. Sharon Saw on Mar 28, 2013 at 8:06 am

    “My word is my bond” seems a sadly archaic phrase today. Now we need contracts to ensure that people keep to their agreements. Trust and reliability is something that we should develop – whether in Dharma or Samsara. When we keep our word – our promises – then people will trust us and respect us. When we keep breaking promises, people get disappointed and if we are in Dharma, people will even think negatively about Dharma practitioners – and wonder why do we break promises. People who love you will forgive you once or twice but when it happens over and over and over again, they will stop even asking you because your word means nothing.

    Integrity is a vital quality to have and is amply described here why. In Dharma, it is in relations to the vows and commitments we should keep in order to receive higher practices which lead to higher attainments. However, caveat emptor: “if you’re gonna go on a speedboat, if you’re gonna go really quick, if you have an accident, it’s gonna be a more severe accident as opposed to a rowboat that’s not going very fast.”

  11. Martin on Mar 27, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    The importance of having integrity applies overall and provides benefits not only on a secular and practical level but also on a spiritual level. Rinpoche has always stressed the importance of keeping our word so as to develop a good habit that will facilitate attainments though the successful practice of higher practices. Both Zong Rinpoche and Tsem Rinpoche have said that if we were to accomplish our higher meditations and practices, it can only be by the keeping of our vows.

    So if we are not in the habit of keeping our word as are quite lackadaisical about it as a matter of habit, how can we expect to suddenly be able to keep our vows. Both the determination to keep our vows and keeping our word comes from having integrity. A good indication of how ready we are to take the Bodhisattva vows and tantric vows is how much integrity we have in keeping our word of honour presently.

    This is a great video and should go a long way towards explaining why it is important for Rinpoche that all his students keep their word. At the most basic level Rinpoche is already training us and building foundations for higher our practices.

  12. Andrew Boon on Mar 27, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    The very thing that we all want is to be respected and looked up to… However we fail to earn it. A simple way is to have integrity and to keep our promises. It seems “easy” but why most of us cannot seem to keep to that is quite bizarre.

    Perhaps its conditioning and from a lifetime (or lifetimes) of habituation and “taking” that we forget the fundamental “rule”, that we need to earn it.

    So start now… start keeping those promises and have integrity… in the long run we WILL benefit from it.

  13. Thank you for sharing this wonderful talk on Integrity Rinpoche.

    When we have no integrity, when we can’t honor our words, loneliness creeps in, leading to eventual sadness & isolation. People would not want to be around us.

    Fact: When we have integrity & keep our promises(Eg to:Family,Friends,Spouse,Children,Co-workers etc.) and abide by our refuge vows and take them seriously, others will respect, like us & love to be around us.

    I’m definitely looking forward to the day when i take my refuge vows through you Rinpoche. _/\_

    Please do take great care of yourself Rinpoche & hope You’re feeling better now.

    Tayata om bekandze bekandze maha bekandze Radza Samudgate soha

  14. benji on Mar 27, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Thank you very much, Rinpoche – your precious teaching on integrity and vows puts many important issues in perspective. “Kamsiah che-che!”

  15. Julia Tan on Jul 7, 2012 at 2:25 am

    I have been in the jewelry business for years. Knowing that integrity is very important in the jewelry deal because people in the same industry will trust each other or their customers for millions of stock with just their words. This is integrity. But in the younger generation, words has been taken lightly. Hence now the culture is like “no money no deal”. This is just an example. I think it has become our attitude which we do not see the value of our words. Most of the time we are trying to get away from problems and do not want to push ourselves to even keeping a simple promise.

  16. Sock Wan on Aug 24, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    Integrity is important in our daily life even if we are not spiritual. We tend not practice when it is not in our convenience.

    But with spiritual practice we learn to be consistent in putting good virtues into practice. Thus, making us a better person as time goes by.

  17. yek yee on Aug 24, 2011 at 1:00 am

    Dear Rinpoche,
    Thank you so much for the teachings shared to us. It is wonderful teaching. After listen to the teaching like self-reflection to myself. Thank you!!!

  18. Uncle Eddie on Aug 23, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    We have been propelled into a cycle of suffering by our delusions and the actions they create, known as Karma. As a result, we spend our lives enduring all sorts of ups and downs, in trouble and confusion. When we are able to eliminate delusions and Karma by realising the natural purity of our mind, total peace can follow, and thus we can gain the complete freedom from the cycle of sufferings. Like our Guru has constantly taught, if we can do good deeds, such as saving the lives of animals under threat of death and undertake serious practice of Dharma, the condition necessary for gaining a good rebirth, or at least to plant the seedsfor a favourable future rebirth is sown. At this auspicious juncture as said by our honourable Dalai Lama, when we are free of obstacles to hearing and practicing the Dharma, we must not let this rare opportunity passed away! Thank you, Rinpoche for your kind concern and always caring attitude for your invaluable teachings.mablici

  19. Chin Fei on Aug 22, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for giving such a short but invaluable dharma teaching with all the natural setting- the river, boat, shops, people running around.. It’s indeed dharma on the go! It teaches us whenever we are, dharma should not be forgotten. Even we’re on holiday.

    Everybody knows what does integrity mean, but how many do really apply it to themselves? Bad habituations arise from our ignorance, desire, negative thoughts etc..Taking vows is one of the methods for us to transform our negative habituations to positive. How people treat you is kinda like a reflection of how you treat others, what you’re experiencing right now is much to do with the cause. If you believe in cause and effect.

    Body, speech and mind have to go aligned. No point we read and understand Lamrim or any dharma teachings and don’t apply those teachings into actions. You lose respect from others if you keep giving empty promises and don’t fulfill it.

  20. henry ooi on Aug 21, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    Thank you, Rinpoche, for this teaching. The natural setting for this is a change from the norm from Kechara House gompa.

    I shall direct friends and people who ask about the why, how and when of holding Buddhist vows by going to Rinpoche’s blog and You tube.

  21. Nicholas on Aug 21, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    Thanks Rinpoche for this wonderful teaching.

    Honoring our words/promises is really important and I feel that it is the basis of any relationship (i.e family, friends, husband/wife, children, colleagues, etc…..)

    Just like what Rinpoche said, people will just leave us if we break our promises continuously.
    We can’t even help ourselves don’t have to mention others.

    Keeping our promises, honor our word is so important and even a basis for us to do anything.
    If people trust us we are able to accomplish so many things to help others and people will want join us together to benefits more people.

    It’s also the basis in holding our vows for higher practices and realization.

    For the children, it’s important to set a good example from young. For them to practice at the early age will make them habituate and as part of their daily attitude. How wonderful.

    Almost everything starting from this quality.

    Thanks to Rinpoche again for this precious teaching.

  22. Cheryl Craig on Aug 20, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    I love this teaching setting.
    Thank you for this pure teaching on the the Vows and how integrity plays it’s important role.
    Remembering the benefit from keeping the Vows from Lord Buddha is inspiring. I appreciate that reminder.
    I appreciate the reminder that Practice Integrity is very important… Holding our vows comes from honoring the goal to help others.
    Positive merit is dedicated to the enlightenment of all sentient Beings. But that cannot happen if we do not hold with honor, the vows.
    YES- Honor and integrity help us accomplish the higher attainments.
    Thank You for your integrity!

  23. Lim Han Nee on Aug 20, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    Thank you for this powerful teaching(from Bangkok’s Amphawa Floating Market) on the importance of integrity, keeping our promises, honoring our words and, above all, holding our vows.THe benefits of integrity are tremendous. People will respect us and we will have beautiful and harmonious relationships with our friends,loved ones and the people around us.People who find themselves being shunned or isolated should know that these are the results of not keeping our promises and time-lines and of not showing integrity.

    Keeping our promises and practicing integrity will lead us to hold our vows and commitments well. Holding our vows and commitments well will lead us to higher realizations and attainments.Actually, practicing integrity and holding our vows firmly stem from compassion for all mother sentient beings.

    Thank you Rinpoche for presenting the importance of integrity and holding our vows in such an unmistakably clear and logical manner for the benefit of all of us.

  24. Joyce Hobby on Aug 20, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    Intention is EVERYTHING! Intention begins with the heart and influences mind and actions. Thank you for sharing your wonderful wisdom.

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  • 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
  • Valentina
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 01:11 PM
    Join our blog chat session this Saturday 11AM – 12PM (GMT +8) on the topic of:

    Twenty-Four Holy Places & Eight Great Charnel Grounds part 2 – (focus topic: Eight Great Charnel Grounds)

    At one time there was a god by the name of Rudra who was originally part of Mahadeva’s retinue. He was a very fierce being who also had many of his own consorts. Together with his consorts he began to oppress sentient beings, and promoted violence and unethical behaviour. At that time, Heruka once again arose, and in a dance of great compassionate wrath, liberated Rudra and his consorts from their physical bodies, sending their minds to pure lands. The places where Rudra’s body parts fell became charnel grounds. …read more by clicking the following link:

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/twenty-four-holy-places-eight-great-charnel-grounds.html
  • Jason
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 03:07 AM
    This year Wesak Day fall on 10 of May. This day is very special and meaningful to me because I will visit Kechara Forest Retreat(KFR) to join some meritorious event there.
    For me, Wesak is a day to commemorate Buddha Sakyamuni in three aspect( Birth , Enlightened, Nirwana).
    While we celebrate Wesak, we must remind ourselves to learn from Buddha teachings and practice it in order to gain attainment.
    Thanks Rinpoche and Pastor Seng Piow for sharing in order to create more understanding on Wesak Day.

    Jason

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

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

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

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

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

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-12.html

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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
3 weeks ago
Two of my teachers from Gaden Shartse Monastery in South India. Left side is Most Venerable Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen whom I lived with for 8 years in Los Angeles where his centre Thubten Dhargye Ling is located. On the right is the abbot emeritus H.E. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche the scholar and yogi. I was very fortunate to have them in my life and learn so much dharma from them. Tsem Rinpoche
 It is so wonderful to be kind to people, be caring, feed them, make sure they are healthy and share dharma if they are interested with them for their future. But simply to be nice to others is worth getting up and being alive...otherwise why be alive to hurt/use/distrust and hate others? No point living that way..must change that..... It is nice to live our lives to benefit others and be patient even if we have been hurt before because by caring we can heal the hurt and \'defeat\' the ones that hurt us because we don\'t become bitter..... Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
It is so wonderful to be kind to people, be caring, feed them, make sure they are healthy and share dharma if they are interested with them for their future. But simply to be nice to others is worth getting up and being alive...otherwise why be alive to hurt/use/distrust and hate others? No point living that way..must change that..... It is nice to live our lives to benefit others and be patient even if we have been hurt before because by caring we can heal the hurt and 'defeat' the ones that hurt us because we don't become bitter..... Tsem Rinpoche
Tsem Rinpoche\'s heritage in China. Must read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=120499
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
4 weeks ago
If we are kind, we lose less of ourselves-Tsem Rinpoche
My Mumu boy didn\'t want to eat. Eating is not one of his favorite activities throughout his life. So I talked to him to let him know why he needs to eat and keep his strength up when this photo was taken. He was listening intently and after my talk with him, he ate. Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
My Mumu boy didn't want to eat. Eating is not one of his favorite activities throughout his life. So I talked to him to let him know why he needs to eat and keep his strength up when this photo was taken. He was listening intently and after my talk with him, he ate. Tsem Rinpoche
This is so true. Click to enlarge and understand more about unpleasant people.
4 weeks ago
This is so true. Click to enlarge and understand more about unpleasant people.
This mahasiddha Kukkuripa is easy to identify as he is accompanied by a small dog whom he loved very much.
1 month ago
This mahasiddha Kukkuripa is easy to identify as he is accompanied by a small dog whom he loved very much.
Mumu taking a rest in the turquoise room. Over the years, I always feel very satisfied when I see him covered with a blanket, safe and sleeping. I always wanted to make sure he was safe from harm, illness and distress. I wanted him to have a happy and loved life. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Mumu taking a rest in the turquoise room. Over the years, I always feel very satisfied when I see him covered with a blanket, safe and sleeping. I always wanted to make sure he was safe from harm, illness and distress. I wanted him to have a happy and loved life. Tsem Rinpoche
I wrapped my little Mumu boy up in my blanket and propped him up on my bed. He didn\'t move or wiggle and just looked at me. He is one funny entertaining little guy. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
I wrapped my little Mumu boy up in my blanket and propped him up on my bed. He didn't move or wiggle and just looked at me. He is one funny entertaining little guy. Tsem Rinpoche
March 2017-Coaxing my little Mumu boy to eat his meal. He was not well and therefore not hungry. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
March 2017-Coaxing my little Mumu boy to eat his meal. He was not well and therefore not hungry. Tsem Rinpoche
Click on picture to enlarge and see what Milarepa says. Profound.
1 month ago
Click on picture to enlarge and see what Milarepa says. Profound.
We are always trying to get somewhere, try something new, find some friends, get some entertainment and in the end we end up in the same place. Time to really practice Dharma seriously and stop wasting time we don\'t have. ~Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
We are always trying to get somewhere, try something new, find some friends, get some entertainment and in the end we end up in the same place. Time to really practice Dharma seriously and stop wasting time we don't have. ~Tsem Rinpoche
March 20, 2017-Mumu is just so adorable with his bright eyes.
1 month ago
March 20, 2017-Mumu is just so adorable with his bright eyes.
More and more people inviting Lord Dorje Shugden home to connect with on their shrines. I am so happy to see this as it will benefit them and their families so much. That is the purpose to be alive which is to benefit others as much as possible. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
More and more people inviting Lord Dorje Shugden home to connect with on their shrines. I am so happy to see this as it will benefit them and their families so much. That is the purpose to be alive which is to benefit others as much as possible. Tsem Rinpoche
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
1 month ago
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
1 month ago
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
The Japanese are very innovative. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
The Japanese are very innovative. Tsem Rinpoche
Read this as it will be interesting
1 month ago
Read this as it will be interesting
Recite this before any meal or drinks for blessings of abundance. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Recite this before any meal or drinks for blessings of abundance. Tsem Rinpoche
This sacred statue of Buddha is in Nepal brought originally from Tibet and has spoken on many occasions. Very blessed to see this holy image and keep a picture...bless you always. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
This sacred statue of Buddha is in Nepal brought originally from Tibet and has spoken on many occasions. Very blessed to see this holy image and keep a picture...bless you always. Tsem Rinpoche
I love Mumu boy tremendously. We went through so much together for so many years. You are a great being to be with. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
I love Mumu boy tremendously. We went through so much together for so many years. You are a great being to be with. Tsem Rinpoche
Dear everyone, I am sharing this beautiful and modern altar to Dorje Shugden in Malaysia. I am glad to see more and more people creating sacred spaces. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Dear everyone, I am sharing this beautiful and modern altar to Dorje Shugden in Malaysia. I am glad to see more and more people creating sacred spaces. Tsem Rinpoche
Lhamo Karmo, a female buddha form visualized above the crown of one\'s head at the time of death, to encourage consciousness to leave the body via the crown aperture. From my book \"The Female Buddhas.\"- Glenn Mullin
2 months ago
Lhamo Karmo, a female buddha form visualized above the crown of one's head at the time of death, to encourage consciousness to leave the body via the crown aperture. From my book "The Female Buddhas."- Glenn Mullin
The Tibetan female tulku Dorje Pakmo, from a fresco on the wall of the Dorje Pakmo monastery (Samding) in Tibet, near the Turquoise Lake. In Tibet the Dorje Pakmo was ranked with the Dalai Lama, Panchen Lama and Sakya Trizin as the four highest lamas in the country.-from Glenn Mullin
2 months ago
The Tibetan female tulku Dorje Pakmo, from a fresco on the wall of the Dorje Pakmo monastery (Samding) in Tibet, near the Turquoise Lake. In Tibet the Dorje Pakmo was ranked with the Dalai Lama, Panchen Lama and Sakya Trizin as the four highest lamas in the country.-from Glenn Mullin
Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl checking out the scene..cute
2 months ago
Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl checking out the scene..cute
My Dharma boy has such a cute expression here. He is a good boy!
2 months ago
My Dharma boy has such a cute expression here. He is a good boy!
February 9,2017-My Mumu boy and Oser girl are just relaxing together..super cute
3 months ago
February 9,2017-My Mumu boy and Oser girl are just relaxing together..super cute
Click on the picture to enlarge and see what Suzy from Hawaii commented on the Dorje Shugden issue after much research. She is very candid and honest. Refreshing. Original is posted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl-4lIwxph4
3 months ago
Click on the picture to enlarge and see what Suzy from Hawaii commented on the Dorje Shugden issue after much research. She is very candid and honest. Refreshing. Original is posted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl-4lIwxph4
This is a good one to read
3 months ago
This is a good one to read
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ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

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

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

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

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