On the Importance of Relating to Unseen Beings

Dec 23, 2016 | Views: 757
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This short but well rounded article is a great read for everyone, whether you are new or have been exposed to Buddhism for a long time. It sums up the core concepts of Tibetan Buddhism succinctly enough for the beginner Buddhist to grasp, yet is deep enough to hint at the wisdom required to fully understand the true meaning of non-duality.

While the article primarily refers to a western audience, it is excellent reading for people who come from environments where Dharma is scarce or weak.

From my years of teaching, I have found that it is highly possible for communities to label themselves Buddhist and yet have little to no knowledge of the Buddhadharma. This leads to superficial practices amounting to mechanical offerings of incense, water, tea or candles. This is very unfortunate as such practitioners have sufficient faith and trust to make the effort to “practice” but lack the knowledge and guidance to take it to the next level in order to reap the full benefits of true spiritual practice.

The author has carefully highlighted various aspects of Tibetan Buddhism, from philosophical to spiritual and ritual. I encourage everyone to read this article a few times and understand it well. By understanding the value of Buddha’s teachings, you will find the inspiration to revisit topics such as Karma, the Twelve Links of Dependent Origination, the Power of Prayer and Ritual, etc. with much vigor and enthusiasm.

I would like to thank Professor Reginald Ray for writing such a powerful article and I wish everyone great success in your spiritual endeavors.

Tsem Rinpoche

 


 

On the Importance of Relating to Unseen Beings

BY REGINALD RAY | JANUARY 1, 2001

While Westerners have tended to view unseen beings as superstition or mere symbolism, Reginald Ray argues that communication with unseen beings through ritual is at the very heart of tantric Buddhist practice.

Tshechu, a religious festival in Bhutan. Photo by Arian Zwegers.

Tshechu, a religious festival in Bhutan. Photo by Arian Zwegers.

Truth makes little sense and has no real impact if it is merely a collection of abstract ideas. Truth that is living experience, on the other hand, is challenging, threatening, and transforming.

Tibetan Buddhism is a way of experiencing the world. In many ways, it is quite different from the dominant trends not only in the West, but in the “modern, technological culture” that is now rapidly encircling the globe. There are many parts of the traditional, conservative, medieval culture of Tibet that we will never be able to appreciate or understand. But there are other parts, particularly its Buddhist heritage, that can help us see with new eyes the limitations and possibilities of our own contemporary situation.

Buddhism is a particularly interesting tradition because it has one foot in the past and one in the present. On the one hand, it arose at a time when India was undergoing transformation from a more primitive to a “high” civilization. Buddhism has the same literacy, scholasticism, professional elites, institutionalization, hierarchies, political involvements, and monetary concerns as do the other “high religions” that evolved after the invention of agriculture and that we now largely identify as our own ways of being religious.

At the same time, the Buddha claimed, “I follow the ancient path,” and by this he meant to show a “way back” to a more fundamental experience of human life than the one evolving in his day. Tibetan Buddhism, perhaps more than any other form of Buddhism, has retained the raw and rugged experience of this “primordiality” as the basis of its spirituality. In this sense, it is concerned not with truth that is fixed and dead, but with truth that is alive and constantly emerging.

Traditional Tibetans lived in a world that is, in many respects, quite different from the one assumed in modern Western culture. It is not so much that the classical Tibetan worldview contradicts the findings of modern science, but rather that it emphasizes different things and has a different overall shape and configuration.

Most importantly, in the classical Buddhist view, the world is defined not only by what we can perceive with our physical senses and think about rationally. It is equally made up of what cannot be seen, but is available through intuition, dreams, visions, divination, and the like. The senses and rational mind provide access to the immediate physical world, but it is only through the other ways of knowing that can one gain access to the much larger context in which this physical realm is set. Can modern people have experience of this traditional Tibetan cosmology? Tibetans will tell you that their experience of the universe is accessible to anyone who cares to know it. If you know where to look and how to look, they say, you will see for yourself what we are talking about.

The Tibetan cosmos is a vast one, beginningless and endless in terms of time, and limitless in extent. Worlds, each inhabited by sentient beings, extend on and on throughout space, with no end. This context of infinite space and time, with innumerable worlds, provides the arena for samsara, cyclic existence. Samsara refers to the condition of beings who have not yet attained liberation, whose existence is still governed by belief in a “self” or “ego.” Those still within samsara are thus blindly driven, through the root defilements of passion, aggression, and delusion, to defend and aggrandize the “selves” that they think they possess. This action produces results or karma, that become part of who they are. When samsaric beings die, they are subsequently reborn in the same or another realm, in accordance with their karma. Normally this process, and the cycles of pain and pleasure that it entails, goes on without end. The various samsaric worlds are known as “impure realms,” that is, places where the condition of samsara prevails among the inhabitants.

The situation is not hopeless, however, for there are other realms of being that stand outside of samsara. These are the “pure realms,” characterized by enlightenment, the abode of the “realized ones,” those who have attained liberation from samsara and who dwell in various pure lands. These beings are: the celestial buddhas with their various manifestations; the yidams (personal deities), male and female, also called wisdom dakinis and herukas; the great bodhisattvas such as Avalokiteshvara and Tara, who will come to the aid of beings; the dharmapalas (dharma protectors), who watch over and guard the dharma itself and those on the path; the enlightened men and women who have passed beyond this world, and others. These various enlightened ones represent a state of realization that is available to suffering sentient beings. In fact, according to the type of Buddhism followed in Tibet—Mahayana Buddhism—the state that they embody is the ultimate and final destiny of all humans and other sentient beings. All sentient beings are on the path that will one day lead to the attainment of the complete and perfect enlightenment of a fully realized buddha.

Although the “home” of the buddhas and high-level bodhisattvas is outside of samsara, they appear in our world to help us enter the path of liberation and follow it to its conclusion. The human Buddha Shakyamuni thus appeared twenty-five hundred years ago, bringing the dharma to this world for the first time and founding a lineage of the study and practice of the teachings. Likewise, the celestial buddhas, bodhisattvas, protectors, dakinis and departed teachers appear in our world in various ways, bringing blessings, protection, and guidance on the path.

The Tibetan cosmology, then, is not meant to present a disembodied, abstract “scientific” picture. It rather shows us the realms of potential experience that make up this cosmos. It describes the various realms of being—only one of which is human—that are possible and exist within the totality of being. Some of these modes of being are defined by the suffering of samsara, while others represent liberation from samsara. Traditional Tibetan cosmology, then, contrasts with modern conceptions of the universe that are essentially rationalistic, gained by ignoring all experiential data except ones that conform to limited physical criteria such as matter, extension and motion, and that can be proven to any observer through logical demonstration. The Tibetan picture has been gained through different means and includes different “data.”

There are now many Tibetan teachers who understand very well the kind of universe that is described by modern science. Their response to our ideas is, “Yes, but all of this is just the human world. There are other realms, and these are outside of and beyond this human realm. You cannot see them by using scientific instruments.”

Moreover, even this realm has more dimensions and subtleties than modern people usually ascribe to their world. In the traditional Tibetan view, the animate and inanimate phenomena of this world are charged with being, life and spiritual vitality. These are conceived in terms of various spirits, ancestors, demigods, demons, and so on. Every river and mountain has its spirit embodiment or inhabitants. Each human habitation has a spiritual presence as part of its own being. As this variety suggests, spirits appear with various levels of development and motivation. Some are malevolent; some are neutral, and others are generally beneficent.

These traditional cosmological perspectives create a uniquely powerful environment for the practice of Tibetan Buddhism. The boundless temporal and spatial vistas reveal the fragility, brevity and ultimate futility of human life, taken on its own terms. The view of the phenomena of this world as spiritually charged allows intimacy, relationship and mutuality with the relative world. The understanding of samsara as the endless repetition of life followed by death followed by life, all governed by karma, suggests that lasting happiness in the ordinary sense is not attainable. The introduction of buddhahood as standing outside of samsara provides an alternative to this daunting and frightening prospect. The fact that buddhahood is not only available but is the ultimate and final destiny of all instills fundamental optimism and a sense of the value of life. And the limitless time frame in which this can be achieved enables people to relax and to take their spiritual journey at its own pace. In this way, Tibetan Buddhism has achieved the seemingly contradictory goals of revealing the radical inadequacy of samsara, leaving its adherents little option but to look to a spiritual path, while at the same time rousing them to a sense of confidence, joy and well-being at their human condition and its literally infinite possibilities.

To what extent can the contemporary Western Tibetan Buddhist practitioner dispense with some or all of these unseen, nonhuman beings? From the Tibetan point of view, relationships with the unseen world are essential to a full and successful human life. Ignoring one’s relationships with the whole world of unseen spirits and spiritual beings is, in fact, as senseless and counterproductive as ignoring the people and conventions of one’s own immediate human society. It is simply not possible to live in such a way.

Buddhism is normally thought of as a nontheistic tradition, and this raises the question of how such spirits, gods, and deities are to be understood within the Tibetan Buddhist framework. Certainly in Tibetan life, whether it is a question of the malevolent mamos, the potentially beneficent hearth god, the deities of the god realms, or the dharma protectors or tantric yidams, the nonhuman beings are understood at least on one level as more or less independent, objective entities. They are beings with whom one must be in constant relation, even though they are nonhuman and usually not visible.

At the same time, however, from the point of view of the philosophical and meditative tradition, all such nonhuman beings are ultimately seen as aspects of one’s own mind and not separate from it. But what does this actually mean? Frequently, particularly in the West, this standard Buddhist assertion is taken to indicate that such spirits and deities, taken as external beings by ordinary Tibetans, are not really external at all; that in fact they are mistaken projections of psychological states. This, then, becomes a justification for treating them as nonexistent and provides a rationale for jettisoning them from Western adaptations of the tradition. The problem with this approach is that it reflects a misunderstanding of what is meant by the statement that such entities are aspects of mind and inseparable from mind.

The deities are more properly said to be aspects of one’s own innate mind, or reflexes of one’s awareness. For example, the buddhas, although apparently objectively existing beings, are fundamentally nothing other than our own enlightened nature. The protectors are representations of the wrathful and uncompromising energy of our own awareness. And the gurus are objectifications of the teaching and guiding principle as it exists within each of us. In a similar manner, the various samsaric spirits and demons may be seen as embodiments of peripheral states of one’s own mind. These apparently externally existent beings, then, are false bifurcations of the primordial nondual awareness that lies at the basis of all experience.

So far, so good; but here is the really critical point: it is not only the beings of the unseen world that have this status, but all of the phenomena of duality. In the Tibetan view, ourselves, other people, trees, mountains and clouds—indeed all of the phenomena of the entire so-called internal and external universe—are nothing other than false objectifications and solidifications of nondual awareness.

To say this is not, however, to discount their external and “objective” existence within the relative world of apparent duality. The samsaric beings of the six realms, as well as the Buddhist deities existing in the state of nirvana, initially make themselves known to us ordinary, unenlightened people as external, objectively existing beings. In fact, on this level, they can appear as significantly more real, vivid and powerful than the ordinary physical universe that surrounds us. On one level, then, such beings certainly do exist and are important co-inhabitants of our cosmos. Thus to say that they are aspects of mind is not to deny their existence on the relative level. Nor does it obviate our responsibility to deal with them and relate to them on their own level and as they present themselves to us.

What, then, does it mean to say that these unseen beings are all aspects of mind? It means simply that the way we experience and conceive of them has to do with our own psychology and level of awareness. Ultimately, the apparent duality of subject and object is not given in reality. It is a structure that we, out of fear and ignorance, impose on the world. When we see the phenomenal world truly as it is, we realize a level of being that precedes the subject-object split. This is the true nature of “experience,” “awareness,” or “nondual mind,” understood at this point as interchangeable categories. When Tibetans say that the spirits, gods and deities are aspects of mind and nothing other than mind, they mean it in this sense, that their fundamental nature—as indeed the nature of all phenomena—is nondual awareness.

We humans, then, are just one part of a vast, interconnected web of relationships with all other inhabitants of the cosmos, both those still living within delusion and those who are awakened. An awareness of these relationships is critical because, to a very large extent, who we are as humans is defined by this network of relations. From the Tibetan perspective, to live a genuinely human and fruitful life, we need to discover our relation with all these various beings of samsara and beyond, and to act in ways appropriate to our connection. The way we do this is through ritual.

Ritual is action that expresses a relationship. It is the vehicle of communication with another and is itself that communication. In Tibetan Buddhism, ritual is used in relation both to the seen and the unseen worlds, and the essence of Tibetan Buddhism is communication with the awakened ones—departed masters, bodhisattvas, buddhas, and so on. We call them to mind, open our hearts to them, and receive their blessings.

In revered teachers, a state of realization is embodied in human form. In the celestial buddhas and high-level bodhisattvas, however, the embodiment is more ethereal and not within the human realm. Nevertheless it is not only possible but essential that, as we go along the path, we also discover and deepen our sense of communication with these nonmaterial, awakened ones. According to Tibetan tradition, in fact, as we mature, the “sky draws closer to the earth,” so to speak, and the celestial buddhas and bodhisattvas seem more and more our ever-present protectors, mentors, and guides.

One of the most common ritual means for communicating with the realized ones is the sevenfold offering of mahayana Buddhism: one visualizes the being or beings in question, then [1] offers salutation, [2] makes real and imagined good offerings, [3] confesses one’s shortcomings and harm of others, [4] rejoices at the existence of the awakened being or beings who are the beloved object(s) of devotion, [5] requests them to teach, thus expressing one’s openness and longing for instruction, [6] asks them to remain in connection with suffering samsaric beings and not disappear into nirvana, and [7] dedicates whatever merit or goodness one has accumulated to the welfare of all beings. In this simple, brief rite, one makes a link with the transcendent ones, affirming and actualizing a specific kind of relationship with them.

The reason that we can do this in the first place is that the buddhas, bodhisattvas, and departed masters already represent who we most essentially are and must in fact become. This is why, in Tibetan Buddhism, even the most devotional supplication to the most seemingly external being is not finally theistic. For, in truth, we are longing to meet our deepest selves face-to-face, and we are supplicating our own hidden being. The path to this goal is first, to discover our innermost being in the other, the awakened one, and then, through relationship with him or her, gradually to come to awareness of that transcendent nature within ourselves.

In Tibetan Buddhism, there are many ritual stages along this path to awakening. What they share is visualization. We create a mental picture of a departed teacher, a high-level bodhisattva, or a buddha. Then we carry out a ritual in which we open ourselves and communicate with this being in various ways, ritually participating in his or her awakening. In this way, we cultivate our own awakened state.

This process of visualization is a powerful one. For example, in our ordinary life, what we do not visualize as existing does not exist for us. If we do not see another person as human, then for us their humanity does not exist. The same is that much more true for beings who live in nonmaterial forms outside of samsara. We may be surrounded by buddhas and bodhisattvas all the time, but until they have a shape and a name, we do not see them or have access to a relationship with them. For us they might as well not exist. But the moment we give them a form in our mind and begin to communicate with them, they exist, and their wisdom, compassion, and power can enter into our own systems.

It is the many ritual forms of Tibetan Buddhism that enable us to do this, and within traditional Tibet, the reality of ritual is simply accepted as a matter of course. It is assumed that just as there are forms by which to relate to other human beings, so there are other forms that are used to communicate with the nonhuman and nonmaterial realms.

The status of ritual among Western followers of Tibetan Buddhism is, however, more in question. Many have felt unable to entertain the ideas of reincarnation or of the six realms. For them, many of the traditional Tibetan rituals dealing with other beings and other realms do not make sense. Sometimes this extends to thinking that even talk of nonmaterial buddhas, bodhisattvas and protectors is “symbolic,” and that there is nothing that really corresponds to these designations. In that case, many of the Tibetan liturgies are seen as directed to no real object, but are rather understood as psychological ploys to bring about certain effects.

Even if we Westerners do pay lip service to the traditional Tibetan cosmological ideas, often, as Jeremy Hayward has argued, we remain at heart what he calls “scientific materialists.” In other words, while we may accept the idea of other realms and other beings within and outside of samsara, we do not actually believe in them. Instead, we live as if the world were dead and this reality the only one that exists.

This attitude is reflected in many Westerners’ difficulties with Tibetan ritual. Among Western practitioners, there is frequently a kind of dead feeling in ritual, and many of us fall back on the idea that rote repetition, without any particular engagement or feeling, is sufficient. We fall back, in other words, on attitudes to ritual learned in our upbringing, where simply to be physically present was all that was required. In order to survive the many meaningless rituals we may have been subjected to, we also learned to disengage ourselves psychologically and to occupy our time with thinking about other things. What is missing here is the understanding that ritual is a way of communicating with beings who, on the relative plane, really are there and really are important to us. This lively and compelling sense of ritual is, at present, sometimes hard to come by in Western adaptations of Tibetan Buddhism.

Through ritual, genuinely undertaken, one is led to take a larger view of one’s life and one’s world; one experiences a shift in perspective—sometimes subtle, sometimes dramatic. This shift feels like a diminishing of one’s sense of isolated individuality and an increase in one’s sense of connectedness with other people, with the nonhuman presences of our realm, and with purposes that transcend one’s usual self-serving motivations.

Ritual is a way of reconnecting with the larger and deeper purposes of life, ones that are oriented toward the general good conceived in the largest sense. Ironically, through coming to such a larger and more inclusive sense of connection and purpose, through rediscovering oneself as a member of a much bigger and more inclusive enterprise, one feels that much more oneself and grounded in one’s own personhood. Through ritual, one’s energy and motivation are roused and mobilized so that one can better fulfill the responsibilities, challenges and demands that life presents.

 

ABOUT REGINALD RAY
Reginald A. Ray, Ph.D., was Professor of Buddhist Studies at Naropa University and a teacher-in-residence at the Rocky Mountain Shambhala Center. He is the spiritual director of the Dharma Ocean Foundation and author of Secret of the Vajra World: The Tantric Buddhism of Tibet.

Source: http://www.lionsroar.com/on-the-importance-of-relating-to-unseen-beings/

 
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24 Responses to On the Importance of Relating to Unseen Beings

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  1. Joy Kam on Jan 12, 2017 at 5:12 am

    I think what Professor Reginald Ray is trying to present here is the subject on non-duality, our interconnections with everything and how tantra in Tibetan Buddhism is the path that could lead us there and for us to become fully awakened, just like the Buddha.

    I found this post very profound on many levels and if we have some Dharma knowledge we can appreciate it even better. Basically Professor Reginald is trying to educate the non-believers and the sceptics, where the majority are from the West, on Tibetan Buddhism and it’s esoteric rituals and concepts. What I like most is what he said about how connected we are to the Buddhas and Boddhisattvas if only we open up and allow their blessings to flow through. And this is done through the power of VISUALISATION which is in every aspect of Tibetan Buddhist practice. We are always asked to visualise, to use our imagine, to allow ourselves to enter into another realm, the realm of the “unseen”.

    It reminds me of tantra and how yes everything is based on one’s motivation and visualisation. And to most people this seems to be hard because they are so use to seeing something solid. Now I understand why Rinpoche always encourage us to have huge Buddha statues, because this would help us visualise better.

    It is true what he said “We may be surrounded by buddhas and bodhisattvas all the time, but until they have a shape and a name, we do not see them or have access to a relationship with them. For us they might as well not exist. But the moment we give them a form in our mind and begin to communicate with them, they exist, and their wisdom, compassion, and power can enter into our own systems.” So the moment we let go of all our projections and concepts, and open up ourselves, we allow the Buddha’s blessings to enter us.

    Another thing that stood out for me was this paragraph which actually describes they intricate connectivity between, the Guru and the yidam; “The reason that we can do this in the first place is that the buddhas, bodhisattvas, and departed masters already represent who we most essentially are and must in fact become. This is why, in Tibetan Buddhism, even the most devotional supplication to the most seemingly external being is not finally theistic. For, in truth, we are longing to meet our deepest selves face-to-face, and we are supplicating our own hidden being. The path to this goal is first, to discover our innermost being in the other, the awakened one, and then, through relationship with him or her, gradually to come to awareness of that transcendent nature within ourselves.” Which is exactly what Rinpoche has taught us, that the outer Guru helps us to find our inner Guru which is lost inside many layers. So the outer Spiritual Guide is here to help remove those horrid layers we have over the years, and guide us in tapping in to our real Guru, our own awakened mind. It is definitely not an easy task for the Guru but without fail they return again and again to show us the way back to true nature.

    Very profound and so many good point. I will return to read through it again. Thank you Rinpoche for sharing such precious teachings.

  2. Pastor Han Nee on Jan 11, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    Although buddhas and high-level bodhisattvas abide outside of samsara, they appear in our world to help us enter the path of liberation from suffering and samsara and follow it to its conclusion. These awakened beings , be they celestial buddhas, bodhisattvas, protectors, dakinis or departed teachers – appear in our world in various ways, bringing blessings, protection, and guidance on the path.

    The Tibetan cosmology describes various realms of beings — only one of which is human.Some of these beings’ existences are characterised by the suffering of samsara, while other beings -the awakened ones – have gained liberation from samsara. Many Tibetan Masters understand clearly the kind of universe that is described by modern science – a universe that is based on rationality and perceived through the physical senses. Their response to this scientifically construed idea of a universe is, “Yes, but all of this is just the human world. There are other realms, and these are outside of and beyond this human realm. You cannot see them by using scientific instruments.”

    In Tibetan Buddhist cosmology, the unseen also includes the spirits and demons existing within samsara.

    We humans, then, are just one part of a vast, interconnected web of relationships with all other inhabitants of the cosmos, both those still living within delusion and those who are awakened.

    From the Tibetan Buddhist perspective , in order to live a truly meaningful and fruitful life as humans, we need to discover our relation with all these other various beings of samsara and beyond, and to act in ways appropriate to our connection. The way to relate to them and connect with them is through ritual. Ritual is a form of spiritual engagement and action by which we express our relationship with these other beings. It is a “vehicle of communication” and “is itself that communication” .

    The essence of Tibetan Buddhism is thus this communication with the awakened ones such as the departed teachers, bodhisattvas and buddhas. We communicate with them by invoking them or calling them to mind, and opening our hearts to them to receive their blessings. This relationship that we develop and reinforce through the whole process of prayer,ritual, visualisation and meditation make these awakened celestial beings come alive in our minds, and deepen the connection with our inner Buddha potential.

  3. Pastor Albert on Jan 11, 2017 at 8:07 am

    Either Buddha or Ghost or any celestial beings, they do exist, I have no doubt on that, because in the past years, there are already many testimonial that proved the existence of the unseen beings and reincarnation, what scientist could not find out does not mean they don’t exist, it is because we do not have the ability to find out yet.

    Possession is real, it explains the spirit realms, Reincarnation is real, it proves the cause and effect and the suffering we are facing, and the enlightenment is real too, it shows the end of the suffering.

    Many people claimed that we are being negative when we say we are suffering and when explain to them the cause of our suffering, but that is just being ignorant, because even when we are enjoying our life, that is just temporary and the more we enjoy our life, the greater our suffering will be when we lose it one day. So Buddhism is not about superficial but it is to understand and realize the truth and wanting to liberate them.

    I like how this article was written, there is no argument on what he is written because it is the fact and we are all going through it. Thank you Professor Reginald for written this article and thank you Rinpoche for sharing

  4. Pastor Chia on Jan 11, 2017 at 6:17 am

    Reading through Professor Reginald Ray article about unseen beings is very informative and interesting. like most of the people only believe of being existing through seeing their physical form existing only except ‘them” existing. Lord Buddha has spoke clearly about six realm existing and explain due to their own karmically to reborn as formless beings existing within this world.

    I am grateful to study Tibetan Buddhism under qualify lama who teach me dharma according lord Buddha teaching to develop and self improve our own mind. In my learning path,i also get to learn about buddhist ritual to contact with higher realise being for blessing to led me not focus of one’s life and one’s world or “myself” only. This sense of isolated individuality and an increase in one’s sense of connected with other being within six realm, and with this purposes that transcend one’s usual self-serving motivations.For example, when we do puja with visualisation, our close one seat next to me or surrounding us in human form to received same blessing from the wisdom being in my visualisation. By doing this,myself can serving other free from suffering and not just focus to ‘Me” benefiting. This is why like about buddhist ritual when you experiencing of it. Buddhist teaching are profound and make as more humanity respect of others being existing without seeing them.

  5. Mingwen on Jan 11, 2017 at 3:06 am

    I’m feeling grateful that I don’t have difficulties to have faith and believe in what I can’t see physically, in other words, I’ve full trusts on the teachings of Buddhas, my guru and in Buddhism with small amount of efforts. People might think that, “Hey! How can you believe such belief that you could never “see” physically?” “Have you done researches about it?”

    What make me have faith in Buddhism is that it make me feel comfortable, not that type which make us to be lazy, but to be comfortable to the teachings and changing continuously. Most of us assume that Buddhism is all about chanting mantras, ringing bells, praying to Buddha statues , make offerings like fruits, incenses and candles. It’s not true and it’s way more deep, far and wide. Ultimately, it’s about mind transformations and seek for truths in life. To eliminate ego, selfishness, greediness, laziness and anger within ourselves to be a better a person and able to benefit another beings in life is not an easy task.

  6. June Kang on Jan 11, 2017 at 12:46 am

    This article provided very good information about Tibetan Buddhism and for those who would to know more about do the deities exist or how they exist in Tibetan Buddhism. Furthermore the explanation of the use of ritual is very informative. Reginald A. Ray ended the article saying that “Through ritual, one’s energy and motivation are roused and mobilized so that one can better fulfill the responsibilities, challenges and demands that life presents” is very well say. Hope those who read this article must have a open mind to accept so that you can experience what it says in the article.

  7. Andrea Lai on Jan 11, 2017 at 12:39 am

    I truly believe of existing of unseen being, whether it’s a Buddha or spirit. On certain occasion I dreamed of deities which some mediums told me that I have faith with them. There were one time, I dreamed of my late grandfather where he insisting me to buy a lottery number!Hence I’m interested into spirituality.

    This article is interesting, an eye opening for me to understand more on the difference of Western and Eastern opinion over spiritual believes. Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article.

  8. Pastor Henry Ooi on Jan 10, 2017 at 11:45 pm

    I read this good informative article three times as I find it very interesting and also to understand more of the contents. Also it was discussed among the KFR team so as to further learn and understand it better. As Malaysian Buddhists we subscribe to the unseen beings that the author wrote of. And it is in our culture and belief to always respect the unseen regardless of who or what they are. Hence we do not need science to prove their existence on earth and on other universes or realms of existence.

    Thank you Professor Reginald Ray and thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article

  9. pammie yap on Jan 10, 2017 at 11:01 pm

    I may not understand the whole post that Reginald Ray wrote but I do enjoy reading it. Especially if someone is a non Buddhist, be it a westerner or a non believer. It may not be easy for them too, but the way it was written shows how carefully ‘important’ points were put in from the beginning till the end and explained based on Buddhism (that I have learned so far).

    I particularly like this part “Through ritual, genuinely undertaken, one is led to take a larger view of one’s life and one’s world; one experiences a shift in perspective”. Yes, how true. I am sure many of us here, can attest to that statement because I have experienced and still experiencing the shift from the ritual. And that is why this is also very true, “ritual is a way of communicating with beings who, on the relative plane, really are there and really are important to us.”

  10. nicholas on Jan 10, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    This article by Reginald Ray really give an sight of what many people would not see and understand in Tibetan Buddhism. What mentioned is relevant and very true. Tibetan cosmo is vast and as mentioned it’s beginingless and endless in term of time and limitless in extent. Each inhabited by sentient beings extend on and on throughout space with no end. What we can’t see or perceive is just our limitation but doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. As mentioned by Reggie that ritual is the way to communicate or an action to express a relationship and this doesn’t limit them if they willing to learn and just exactly as mentioned modern people can have the experience of this traditional Tibetan cosmology if they cares to know it.

    I like how Reggie described about samsara as ‘refers to the condition of beings who have not yet attained liberation, whose existence is still governed by belief in a “self” or “ego.” Those still within samsara are thus blindly driven, through the root defilements of passion, aggression, and delusion, to defend and aggrandise the “selves” that they think they possess. This action produces results or karma, that become part of who they are.’ He relate our delusion with samsara very well and is the truth. If we can let go our “self “ & “ego” we will keep coming back within the 6 realms until we realise it’s a delusion that we hold on.

  11. Pastor Han Nee on Jan 10, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    In the classical buddhist view, the world is not defined by what we can perceive with our senses or what we can rationally conceptualized. The world is also made up of the unseen or what is available through our intuition, dreams, visions,divination and the like.

    The Tibetan Buddhist cosmos is vast – beginningless and endless in time and space.In this vast context of limitless time and space, samsara’s six realms of cyclic existence play themselves out.Samsara refers to the condition of beings who have not attained liberation and are still under the influence of belief in “I”, blindly driven by our delusions and grasping at self. Beings thus create karma through actions fueled by a delusory mind. They thus go through endless cycles of pain and pleasure .

    The situation is not hopeless. Outside of samsara are “pure realms”, abode of realized beings who have achieved peace or freedom from suffering and enlightenment . These beings are the Buddhas , and Yidams. These enlightened ones represent a state of realization that is available to suffering sentient beings. In fact, according to Mahayana Buddhism(Tibetan Buddhism is a form of Mahayana Buddhism)—the state that they embody is the ultimate and final destiny of all humans and other sentient beings. All sentient beings are on the path that will one day lead to the attainment of the complete and perfect enlightenment of a fully realized buddha. The Buddhas are aspects of our innate mind ; fundamentally , they are nothing other than our own enlightened nature.

    The essence of Tibetan Buddhism is communication with the awakened ones—departed masters, bodhisattvas, buddhas, and so on. We call them to mind, open our hearts to them, and receive their blessings.Rituals is the vehicle of communication with another .In Tibetan Buddhism,ritual is used in relation both to the seen and the unseen worlds.

  12. Soon Huat on Jan 7, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    Thank You Rinpoche for sharing this powerful article with us. I agreed with Rinpoche for the statement; “From my years of teaching, I have found that it is highly possible for communities to label themselves Buddhist and yet have little to no knowledge of the Buddhadharma. This leads to superficial practices amounting to mechanical offerings of incense, water, tea or candles.”. We are easily fall in the ritual traps (someone might be hoping to gain supernatural power or merits from the ritual). They tends to ignore the ultimate goal is to learn Dharma and reach the Buddhahood to help others. The rituals are tools for us to connect to liberated beings such as Buddha, Bodhisattva, Protectors etc, to receive their blessing and impart their blessing and wisdom to us.
    I particularly like these statements:”Buddhism is a particularly interesting tradition because it has one foot in the past and one in the present. ” and “At the same time, the Buddha claimed, “I follow the ancient path,” and by this he meant to show a “way back” to a more fundamental experience of human life than the one evolving in his day. Tibetan Buddhism, perhaps more than any other form of Buddhism, has retained the raw and rugged experience of this “primordiality” as the basis of its spirituality.”. Buddhism is timeless. It should not be constrained by time. It is teaching applying to both pass and present time and it should not be constrained by technology or science. In fact, scientists slowly proof that there is other beings in the universe or the prophecy of Buddhathrough modern technology. Buddhism is teaching should not be constrained by races, geougraphy, time and even religion. Thank You Rinpoche.

  13. paul yap on Jan 3, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    The article wrote by REGINALD RAY “On the Importance of Relating to Unseen Beings” has gives many insights to the beginners of what Tibetan Buddhism all is about. I like what was mentioned by him in his article “The Tibetan cosmos is a vast one, beginningless and endless in terms of time, and limitless in extent”. I do feel the same most of time. Since young, I always thought that the universe is far more wider and advance than what science could imagine and reached. There are many beings existed which could not perceived by science. There are many possibilities in the universe and within us, it just waiting for us to explore the universe within us.

  14. Sofi on Dec 30, 2016 at 4:49 am

    Professor Reginald A. Ray’s article explains the existence of the formless and how our mind perceive their being. Maybe in the Asian culture or native cultures that has strong community sharing, stories of experiences are strongly featured and passed from generation to generation. Thus it is easier for us to accept the formless or unseen whereas Western culture rely more heavily on technology & scientific proof and even “ghost-hunting” can be measured by equipments. If the equipments recorded “ghostly events” then yes the ghost exist but if not, then probably don’t. With many Asians being educated in the West, I think we may also guilty of “scientific materialists”. I believe in the 6 realms of existence but had never really given much thought of it applicable to the realms beyond the boundaries of earth. Rinpoche had taught many times and also we have Mother Tara who came from beyond. I guess she would be considered “Alien” in our worldly term.

    It is interesting that he explained that ritual is a way of connecting with the unseen as Rinpoche recently gave us short teaching during the December monthly Protector Dorje Shugden puja. Rinpoche explained how methods of chanting were lost during the exodus out of Tibet to India and in his meditation, HH Kyabje Zong Rinpoche recorded the chantings of the puja taught by the Dakinis which was authenticated by Tibetan Masters who still remembered. This article together with Rinpoche’s explaination certainly help to elevate my awareness of pujas and its rituals to another level.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this interesting article that reinforced what you had taught us.

  15. Datuk May on Dec 28, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    When there is faith, many students of Tibetan Buddhism would follow guidance to their spiritual path by their Guru. Whatever that is mystical or without full comprehension by the practitioners, will slowly evaporate as they practised what was instructed to them. Because while in practice, realisations will occur during the performance of prayers, offerings, rituals and visualisations.

    Personally there were many rituals and deities that were introduced to me, I just did what I was told and have found clarity for what I have been doing. My Guru told me to do Dorje Shugden retreats that is good for me. As I have been doing since 2 years ago, I do feel a closer bond to my protector as Rinpoche had said that it would happen.

    This write up by Dr. Reginald A Rey, though intended for Westerners is a clear explanation on how we can overcome our ignorance of the world of existence beyond our mind stream.

    Thank you for this clarity as to why we do our sadhanas, our offerings, rituals and visualisations to lead us successfully on our path to attainments and hopefully enlightenment.

  16. Pastor David Lai on Dec 27, 2016 at 3:17 am

    This is a powerfully clear article on a very delicate subject that attempts to cross between the boundaries of Western and Buddhist worldviews. This is between the material and the spiritual and between the world that is observable with our ordinary senses and the unseen world, perceivable with the clairvoyant eye that is available only to a few. This difference is why most Westerners face trouble accepting the other end of the Buddhist spectrum.

    Westerners would traditionally find it difficult to accept what cannot be perceived by our ordinary senses and usually relegated to superstition or to the imagination. However, the incredible aspect of Buddhism is that even if we do not accept the unseen beings, we can still practice the teachings. That’s a testament to Buddha’s incredible skill in delivering the teachings to suit our minds.

  17. Judy Chen on Dec 26, 2016 at 5:06 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for this interesting articles.
    It dwells in the deep understanding of the Mahayana Buddhism of existence to the 6 realms, the form and formless, buddhas, bodhisattvas and even protectors.
    After the lessons learned from classes in Kechara and also from our Guru, Tsem Rinpoche, it is much easier to understand the whole article.
    This article may give the Westerners a deeper insight to Tibetan Buddhism and also the understanding of reincarnation, visualisation and the rituals in communciation with the realised beings, the awakened ones, buddhas and bodhisattvas.
    With folded hands
    Thank you, Rinpoche

  18. Echeah on Dec 25, 2016 at 1:30 am

    It is interesting to read that in western cultures, the ritual aspect which is part and parcel of eastern religions, may seem difficult to perform with conviction. These rituals are taken as nothing more than symbolic. I can probably figure that daily rituals that a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner does like, making water bowl offerings, offering light and incense, prostrations, mantra recitation might seem mindless an it would be easy to question the use of doing such rituals. Perhaps they would be done just for the psychological effect.

    Tangible benefits or an immediate effect is probably what they look for to confirm efficacy. They become very scientific and theoretical. Everything needs a logical explanation and proof. The academic aspect becomes more appealing than the practice and application.

    What I find so appealing about Kechara and Tsem Rinpoche’s method of teaching is that the dharma that is conveyed is well balanced. It is good that one is a philosopher and deep thinker of Buddhist doctrine and can write profound treatises, but if the application and practice is absent, then there is only text book knowledge and one is nothing but a scholar.

    In Kechara, study and knowledge are foremost, then we should not stop there. The practice and application must follow and this is done by dharma service and transformation of the mind, supported by purification practices. That way, we first understand what and why we are doing what we are doing and obstacles along the way are cleared. It is dharma in action.

  19. Vivian Ong on Dec 24, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article. We should always pay our utmost respect to the unseen beings. They may be the Buddhas or ghosts. We cannot see them through our bare eyes. One of the way to pay our respect to the unseen beings is through ritual. Ritual is a way of communicating with beings who really are there and are important to us. And through ritual, our energy and motivation are roused and mobilized so that we can better fulfill the responsibilities, challenges and demands that life presents.

    With folded palms,
    Vivian

  20. Choong on Dec 24, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    I love this article. It is so well put together by an obviously deep spiritual thinker. Thank you Professor Ray.

    The conundrum that the article tackles and explains ever so clearly is the one about how is it that the formless Dharmakaya takes on a specific form for a specific Buddha, Bodhisattva, ghost, spirit, god, asura, hell being, animal or indeed any one of the countless beings and how an ordinary being would be able to come in contact with them.

    We understand through cause and its effect that there is the possibility that all these beings do exist but just what do they look like in our gross mind or projection? What are we to project? After all we are not attained enough and would have forgotten how these beings are to appear.

    This is where we have to rely on the visual forms that have been handed to us by attained beings.

    To me, this is much like the wooly mammoth. By being able to touch, see and hear so many different animals in this planet, most people would agree that there is a strong possibility that there exists or once exist a large elephant-like animal who would have had a wooly coat to keep it warm in the ice age. But without having an idea of what wool or an elephant looks like, how would we have been able to imagine a wooly mammoth?

    But guess what? Scientists have discovered the remains of the wooly mammoth and using their scientific projections given us a very good idea of how they look like. Why is this important? It is important because we now have a picture of the wooly mammoth in our gross minds and when we come across them, we would be able to identify them. That’s how important it is.

    Now attained beings have not only given us the visuals of these many beings but also a method of connecting with them.

    I would conclude that we should be ever so happy that there are attained beings who have brought to life these beings and through carrying out what they taught us (visualizations, rituals, etc.), we will eventually have the purity of mind to come into contact with them just like the wooly mammoth. And when we do, we will know that they really exist and we have come closer to finding our Buddha nature.

  21. Jacinta Goh on Dec 24, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    I hope I have understood this article correctly. It’s about on how we ‘perceive’ the Enlightened Beings and how we perceive other things as well, be it entities or any inanimate objects. The ritual, in this case -our daily sadhana is actually extremely beneficial. A time where we actually ‘connect’ with others ( examples Yidam, Bodhisattva or Dharmapala) and especially with our own true nature. Sadly, for most of us (me included) will ‘carry out’ this ritual rather superficially. We are constantly being reminded actually Buddhas are there and They will be there once we called upon Them, but do we actually ‘think’ so?

    This is where visualizations come into picture. It helps us to focus and again, how many of us can actually follow that to a tee. Our mind constantly drifted away. Besides, it is said that, when we do puja or perhaps like tsog, it is extremely powerful and yet, how many of us feel the same? Or just coming together as to fulfill one’s commitment or just as a show, showing others that we do participate rather than thinking to really energise one’s body so that we can use this body to continue the path and use it well?

    I hope I will be able to read it again for a better understanding in future.

    Thank you Rinpoche.

  22. Pastor Antoinette on Dec 24, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    This is a very interesting article as Reginald Ray shares about the importance and impact rituals can have on ourselves and our purpose in life. What he points out is unfortunately very true. Somehow in the upbringing of many Westerners we have learned to be only physically present and maybe we are thinking of something else instead. But if we engage fully and understanding the ritual as a way to communicate and connect with the awakened ones in Tibetan Buddhism, it will be a very different and powerful experience.

    Another point that stands out for me is about visualization. “..the moment we give them a form in our mind and begin to communicate with them, they exist, and their wisdom, compassion, and power can enter into our own systems.” How beautiful to engage in the practice and be connected to Manjushri!

    Thank you for sharing this powerful article with us.
    Indeed it is most important to gain the knowledge and be guided so that we can gain the full benefits of true spiritual practice.

    Humbly,
    Pastor Antoinette

    • Pastor Antoinette on Jan 11, 2017 at 6:10 am

      What stuck in my mind after reading and discussing about this very profound article again is that we should keep the unseen beings always in our mind. They are always around us and we should keep good relations with them. As I did grow up in the West this was not part of my culture but learning about Tibetan Buddhism this makes perfect sense.

      Thank you

  23. Stella Cheang on Dec 23, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    It is fortunate to read the explanation of Unseen Beings by Professor Reginald Ray, of Buddhist Studies at Naropa University.This paragraph is particularly assertive in highlighting that Tibetan cosmology embodies the many realms that co-exist versus the modern conceptions of the universe – the one we are taught.

    “The Tibetan cosmology, then, is not meant to present a disembodied, abstract “scientific” picture. It rather shows us the realms of potential experience that make up this cosmos. It describes the various realms of being—only one of which is human—that are possible and exist within the totality of being. Some of these modes of being are defined by the suffering of samsara, while others represent liberation from samsara. Traditional Tibetan cosmology, then, contrasts with modern conceptions of the universe that are essentially rationalistic, gained by ignoring all experiential data except ones that conform to limited physical criteria such as matter, extension and motion, and that can be proven to any observer through logical demonstration. The Tibetan picture has been gained through different means and includes different “data.”

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article that makes sense and very logical for us to read and learn from.

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  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Jan 18. 2017 03:34 PM
    Wonderful….can try this method to repel insects in our house using peppermint plants. I did not know much benefits of peppermint till i read this article.Its really good way to repel insects other then using the ingredient in our kitchen.Keeping the garden and surroundings clean to reduce opportunity for insects too.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this easy and harmless ways to keep insects away.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/try-this-to-repel-insects-in-your-house.html
  • Lin Mun
    Tuesday, Jan 17. 2017 08:31 PM
    If it is not Guru’s compassion and kindness we would not have the chance to learn and practise dharma in Kechara. Guru is very important because he is a person who will guide and lead us to enlightenment. He choose to be with us so we can transform our mind. Hence we must always appreciate our Guru and change our mind to be better.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/choose-your-guru-always.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Tuesday, Jan 17. 2017 01:07 PM
    We are the only family to the senior pets, how cruel it is to abandon them when they are old and helpless. It is a time our pet needs us most because they are in pain or suffering from discomfort, and we should be more sensitive to their needs. Very heartwarming to read a list of ideas to shower the raging pets with some tender loving care. Thank you Rinpoche.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/dont-abandon-senior-pets.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Tuesday, Jan 17. 2017 01:02 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing. Every time I read story of incredible loyalty shown by animals, I’d be marvelled at how more faithful, loyal, humane and selfless they are compared to us. Captain put us to shame. Many of us cannot even be faithful and loyal to the person sharing the same bed, let alone a dead someone… for six years! May we be inspired to be loyal and faithful to people who matter to us and who had benefitted, like our guru and our parents.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/loyal-dog-guards-his-owners-grave-for-6-years.html
  • Lin Mun
    Monday, Jan 16. 2017 09:49 PM
    Wow the 3 places are so beautiful. Very nice scenic, clean and so natural. Really wish I can visit Japan and any one of the places above. So calm to be able to live there.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/3-amazingly-attractive-villages-in-japan.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Jan 16. 2017 04:57 PM
    Beautiful and powerful short prayer to Dorje Shugden composed by Rinpoche. This prayer is short yet very powerful and easy to understand, visualize suitable for all us and for those who are new to Tibetan Buddhism.Thank you Rinpoche for this beautiful and powerful prayer.May Rinpoche always healthy to continue teachings and guiding us all.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/a-short-prayer-to-dorje-shugden.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Monday, Jan 16. 2017 01:56 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing with us this very beautifully composed prayer to Dorje Shugden. The prayer abridge the complete path to enlightenment complete with the powerful holy mantra Om Benza Wiki Bitana Soha. May Datin MJ and everyone who recites this daily be blessed on their spiritual journey and their faith in Dorje Shugden grow forever more.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/a-short-prayer-to-dorje-shugden.html#comments
  • Stella Cheang
    Monday, Jan 16. 2017 01:32 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for this very important teaching. It is simple logic; working on our mind will last us in our future life (long term investment) while focusing on our body only last us as far as this lifetime (short term investment and often time without return), if the body does not already give way part by part, prematurely. Therefore, utilise our precious time on earth to invest in our mind. Every pleasure that derives through this body is short-lived anyway.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/stop-dancing-with-the-corpse.html
  • Lin Mun
    Sunday, Jan 15. 2017 09:33 PM
    This is very sad. In the new modern business environment I am shock that this is happening in India. This brick kiln management has clearly abuse the labour and has no qualm in admitting that they are treating the labour as slave.

    How can the worker work for 12 to 18 hours in this harsh place. Furthermore, they were not provided any safety gear and have to endure the heat in the kiln. The more scary thing is that they allow children in this dangerous work place.

    Thankfully, the United Nations and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has taken steps in providing new guidelines. I hope the multinational companies there will adhere to the regulations and guidelines to stop this abuse.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article and a reminder that how fortunate are we living in much better condition.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/you-have-to-see-this.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Jan 15. 2017 01:53 PM
    Dementia is a general term for loss of memory and other mental abilities severe enough to interfere with our daily life. It is caused by physical changes in the brain.So scientists did discovered that people living near busy roads have a higher chance of developing dementia.Its the air-pollutants can get into the brain via the blood and which lead to neurological problems.
    Elderly monks live a very quiet life in the monastery, far away from the city do not develop dementia as Rinpoche noticed.The air is clean and healthy that leads them to live longer.
    Rinpoche have made a good choice to have KFR at Bentong in a natural forest environment. Whereby all of us can have a healthy.quiet and peaceful mind to do meditation,learn and practice Dharma.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/does-living-near-busy-roads-develop-dementia.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Jan 14. 2017 08:23 PM
    Learn and practice Dharma,work for Dharma before its too late.Try not waste our precious time ,as we won’t know what will happens next. So wasting time on samsaric activities that bring comfort and pleasure to the body is of no use .what will benefit us now and at the time of death is to cultivate our mind with dharma and dharma activities. Stay healthy have a healthy body , mind and have Dharma close to us .
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this powerful teachings
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/stop-dancing-with-the-corpse.html
  • Lin Mun
    Saturday, Jan 14. 2017 05:24 PM
    This is a good article on Serkym offering and Kawang. Earlier when I just joined Kechara I do not understand why we have this rituals and why some of the offering materials are so expensive. Now I understand that we are making offering to the enlightened beings so we should offer the best.

    Thank you Bradley for your sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/students-friends/bradley-kassian-share-on-kawang-and-serkym.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Jan 14. 2017 03:06 PM
    Malaysia is a beautiful multi-racial country with beautiful traditional clothes each different race and culture.That i am proud of it as i love our traditional chinese cheongsum and nyonya kebaya.There are many different cultures in Sarawak too with many variations of tribal dress in different styles. Many of these groups have their own style and colour which caught my eyes by looking at those beautiful pictures shared. Here we can live happily with many different groups and can have religious freedom.But not so lucky for others whereby they attacked .injured each other like the Dorje Shugden issue in Tibet.I do hope the ban on Dorje Shugden will be lifted soon.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/traditional-clothes-of-malaysia.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Saturday, Jan 14. 2017 01:35 PM
    Without a doubt, it is the miraculous power of the enlightened Dharmapala, Dorje Shugden, who worked this magic and saved life. The deep faith in Dorje Shugden let the young Chin Wei suffered only minor injuries despite the collisions resulting in severe damage to the car. May Chin Wei recover swiftly and may his faith in Dorje Shugden be forever strong. Thank you Pastor Seng Piow for sharing this with us.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/saved-by-dorje-shugden-多杰雄登保佑!.html
  • Victor.Choi
    Saturday, Jan 14. 2017 11:07 AM
    Good Morning Rinpoche, Moderator,Pastors and everyone in the chatroom. 🙂

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I must thank my dharma blog team who are great assets to me, Kechara and growth of dharma in this wonderful region. I am honoured and thrilled to work with them. I really am. Maybe I don't say it enough to them, but I am saying it now. I APPRECIATE THESE GUYS VERY MUCH!

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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 am in the process of creating beautiful Dorje Shugden and Kechara Forest Retreat watches at this time. So we can take precious protector and Kechara Forest Retreat wherever we go and be blessed everytime we see what time it is. 
I am perfecting the designs with a great team and will update when done but these are just some samples that arrived. 
Feast your eyes! 

Tsem Rinpoche
6 days ago
I am in the process of creating beautiful Dorje Shugden and Kechara Forest Retreat watches at this time. So we can take precious protector and Kechara Forest Retreat wherever we go and be blessed everytime we see what time it is. I am perfecting the designs with a great team and will update when done but these are just some samples that arrived. Feast your eyes! Tsem Rinpoche
                        Pick the practice, devotion and precepts of Vajra Yogini\'s path over everything and anything in samsara. Samsara has nothing of value and nothing lasting to offer. You are born in suffering, live in suffering, die in suffering and enter bardo and future lives expecting more sufferings. This is not a negative way of looking at things but the truth. If the truth is negative, so it is the truth. Devote oneself to the guru, dharma work, dharma practice and bringing dharma to others compassionately. Choose to practice Vajra Yogini now with the preliminaries. You can start right now: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/starting-on-vajra-yogini-now.html  Much care, Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Pick the practice, devotion and precepts of Vajra Yogini's path over everything and anything in samsara. Samsara has nothing of value and nothing lasting to offer. You are born in suffering, live in suffering, die in suffering and enter bardo and future lives expecting more sufferings. This is not a negative way of looking at things but the truth. If the truth is negative, so it is the truth. Devote oneself to the guru, dharma work, dharma practice and bringing dharma to others compassionately. Choose to practice Vajra Yogini now with the preliminaries. You can start right now: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/starting-on-vajra-yogini-now.html Much care, Tsem Rinpoche
Message to Tibetans in English
3 weeks ago
Message to Tibetans in English
Message to the Tibetans
3 weeks ago
Message to the Tibetans
Left to right: Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, 101st Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal. Great lamas of Gaden Shartse Monastery
3 weeks ago
Left to right: Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, 101st Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal. Great lamas of Gaden Shartse Monastery
A beautiful Indian rendition of Gyenze Dorje Shugden manifesting in wealth form
3 weeks ago
A beautiful Indian rendition of Gyenze Dorje Shugden manifesting in wealth form
This is my thoughts and determination to share with you. Please open and read. Thank you for your time. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
This is my thoughts and determination to share with you. Please open and read. Thank you for your time. Tsem Rinpoche
Nepalese King Birendra receives His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche in Nepal
1 month ago
Nepalese King Birendra receives His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche in Nepal
Guess what Zava Damdin Rinpoche did in Mongolia recently with 7,800 people??? Very interesting and it is a must read:  http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116206
1 month ago
Guess what Zava Damdin Rinpoche did in Mongolia recently with 7,800 people??? Very interesting and it is a must read:  http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116206
This huge Buddha in Korea is magnificent
2 months ago
This huge Buddha in Korea is magnificent
The very first oracle of Dorje Shugden in trance statue. I have commissioned this.
2 months ago
The very first oracle of Dorje Shugden in trance statue. I have commissioned this.
Such a old and ancient thangka painting of Dorje Shugden. He has been around in Tibet practiced for hundreds of years.
2 months ago
Such a old and ancient thangka painting of Dorje Shugden. He has been around in Tibet practiced for hundreds of years.
One of the "Four Exalted Brothers" Avalokiteshvara statues, Phagpa Wati of Kyirong, which is now with H.H. the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala.
2 months ago
One of the "Four Exalted Brothers" Avalokiteshvara statues, Phagpa Wati of Kyirong, which is now with H.H. the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala.
Kyabje Zemey, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Kyabje Pabongka Choktrul Rinpoche
2 months ago
Kyabje Zemey, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Kyabje Pabongka Choktrul Rinpoche
My Oser girl and Mumu boy are so adorable
2 months ago
My Oser girl and Mumu boy are so adorable
Wow this meditator in his cave in front of a painting of Yamantaka draped with a white khata of respect. He sits among bones to remind him of impermanence and our future. The bones inspire him strongly to let go of all attachments in this life and focus on dharma, meditation and liberation and he is doing so. Very beautiful and inspirational. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
Wow this meditator in his cave in front of a painting of Yamantaka draped with a white khata of respect. He sits among bones to remind him of impermanence and our future. The bones inspire him strongly to let go of all attachments in this life and focus on dharma, meditation and liberation and he is doing so. Very beautiful and inspirational. Tsem Rinpoche
Tenzing Norgay found this in Nepal. Guess what it is?
3 months ago
Tenzing Norgay found this in Nepal. Guess what it is?
Sir Edmund Hillary
3 months ago
Sir Edmund Hillary
Halloween is my favorite holiday. Wild natural plants and flowers are my favorite offering. Buddha\'s teachings on meditation and Yidam practice bring the ultimate results and happiness. ~Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
Halloween is my favorite holiday. Wild natural plants and flowers are my favorite offering. Buddha's teachings on meditation and Yidam practice bring the ultimate results and happiness. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Previous lives do resemble current lives especially if they are a recognized incarnation. If notice how similar the previous and current Trijang Rinpoche looks. The eyes, bone structure, expression, long neck, thin and overall look. Beautiful. I\'ve seen this phenomena over and over in many Rinpoche incarnations. Especially when you compare them with pictures of previous and current lives at around the same ages. Something powerfully karmic about this. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
Previous lives do resemble current lives especially if they are a recognized incarnation. If notice how similar the previous and current Trijang Rinpoche looks. The eyes, bone structure, expression, long neck, thin and overall look. Beautiful. I've seen this phenomena over and over in many Rinpoche incarnations. Especially when you compare them with pictures of previous and current lives at around the same ages. Something powerfully karmic about this. Tsem Rinpoche
It\'s nice to have monks visitors and resident monks in Kechara
3 months ago
It's nice to have monks visitors and resident monks in Kechara
                         Taken in Lake Champlain in Canada. A huge water monster...neat...
3 months ago
Taken in Lake Champlain in Canada. A huge water monster...neat...
Beautiful! His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang has always been good friends with His Holiness Karmapa. No wonder H.H. Karmapa never spoke against Dorje Shugden. Two reasons perhaps: One is he knows the qualities of Trijang Rinpoche who is a attained being. And Karmapa himself has clairvoyance to perceive the true nature of Dorje Shugden directly. I love to see great beings like this manifesting closeness. When I see, I just want to prostrate to them and thank them for sharing such good examples to someone like me. Praise to the ego-less mind! Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
Beautiful! His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang has always been good friends with His Holiness Karmapa. No wonder H.H. Karmapa never spoke against Dorje Shugden. Two reasons perhaps: One is he knows the qualities of Trijang Rinpoche who is a attained being. And Karmapa himself has clairvoyance to perceive the true nature of Dorje Shugden directly. I love to see great beings like this manifesting closeness. When I see, I just want to prostrate to them and thank them for sharing such good examples to someone like me. Praise to the ego-less mind! Tsem Rinpoche
Serkong Dorje Chang on the left and his son Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche on the right.
4 months ago
Serkong Dorje Chang on the left and his son Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche on the right.
High lamas in France September 2016
4 months ago
High lamas in France September 2016
༧གོང་ས་ཆེན་པོ་སྐུ་འཕྲེང་བཅུ་བཞི་པ་མཆོག་དང་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན། - Interesting relationship between 14th Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden:   http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109757
4 months ago
༧གོང་ས་ཆེན་པོ་སྐུ་འཕྲེང་བཅུ་བཞི་པ་མཆོག་དང་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན། - Interesting relationship between 14th Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109757
Dalai Lama Says We Can Practise Dorje Shugden Finally! Read more on this development--- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109777
4 months ago
Dalai Lama Says We Can Practise Dorje Shugden Finally! Read more on this development--- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109777
More time spent in dharma work is more karma collected to be happy and more time spent in non-dharma works is more karma collected to be unhappy.~Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
More time spent in dharma work is more karma collected to be happy and more time spent in non-dharma works is more karma collected to be unhappy.~Tsem Rinpoche
All Dorje Shugden prophesizes will come to pass,
 Those who generate refuge and merits will trust, 
 By trusting one will see the good results of his pronouncements,
 By seeing the good results, one\'s path becomes more clear, 
 The path of practice, purification and siddhic results, 
 This would eliminate the samsara within our minds.
 ~Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
All Dorje Shugden prophesizes will come to pass, Those who generate refuge and merits will trust, By trusting one will see the good results of his pronouncements, By seeing the good results, one's path becomes more clear, The path of practice, purification and siddhic results, This would eliminate the samsara within our minds. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Large Dorje Shugden statue built by the 5th Dalai Lama and housed in Trode Khangsar. Sock Wand and Mdm Chuah took this picture in Lhasa, Tibet 2016
4 months ago
Large Dorje Shugden statue built by the 5th Dalai Lama and housed in Trode Khangsar. Sock Wand and Mdm Chuah took this picture in Lhasa, Tibet 2016
Our own Kecharian Mdm. Chua with the oracle of Dorje Shugden Gen Tenzin Tsultrim in Lhasa, Tibet 2016
4 months ago
Our own Kecharian Mdm. Chua with the oracle of Dorje Shugden Gen Tenzin Tsultrim in Lhasa, Tibet 2016
Our very own Kecharian Mdm Chua standing in front of holy Trode Khangsar-the Chapel to Dorje Shugden built 400 years ago by the Great 5th Dalai Lama-Tibet 2016
4 months ago
Our very own Kecharian Mdm Chua standing in front of holy Trode Khangsar-the Chapel to Dorje Shugden built 400 years ago by the Great 5th Dalai Lama-Tibet 2016
Our very own Kecharian Mdm Chua standing in front of holy Gaden Monastery, Tibet 2016
4 months ago
Our very own Kecharian Mdm Chua standing in front of holy Gaden Monastery, Tibet 2016
                         This is the oracle of Dorje Shugden in Lhasa, Tibet. His name is Gen Tenzin Tsultrim of Sera Monastery in Tibet.
4 months ago
This is the oracle of Dorje Shugden in Lhasa, Tibet. His name is Gen Tenzin Tsultrim of Sera Monastery in Tibet.
Ms. Sock Wan, Oracle of Dorje Shugden in Tibet Gen Tenzin Tsultrim, Mdm Chuah and Mr. Tashi in Tibet 2016
4 months ago
Ms. Sock Wan, Oracle of Dorje Shugden in Tibet Gen Tenzin Tsultrim, Mdm Chuah and Mr. Tashi in Tibet 2016
Mahasiddha Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche, H.H. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Ven. Rabten Choktrul Rinpoche 2016
4 months ago
Mahasiddha Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche, H.H. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Ven. Rabten Choktrul Rinpoche 2016
His Eminence Mahasiddha Gangchen Rinpoche and the official oracle of Dorje Shugden Panglung Kuten Choji lah in Italy together September 2016
4 months ago
His Eminence Mahasiddha Gangchen Rinpoche and the official oracle of Dorje Shugden Panglung Kuten Choji lah in Italy together September 2016
My thoughts on Malaysia. Thank you. Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
My thoughts on Malaysia. Thank you. Tsem Rinpoche
Beautiful thangka of Vajra Yogini. Look at the details where she appears in visions and also takes people to Kechara.
4 months ago
Beautiful thangka of Vajra Yogini. Look at the details where she appears in visions and also takes people to Kechara.
Left to right:

His Holiness the Gaden Throne holder Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche (very young) and His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche in Gaden Shartse Prayer Hall during prayers.
4 months ago
Left to right: His Holiness the Gaden Throne holder Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche (very young) and His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche in Gaden Shartse Prayer Hall during prayers.
 It\'s nice when families support the spiritual journeys of their children. This is one beautiful family of Pastor Niral of Kechara
4 months ago
It's nice when families support the spiritual journeys of their children. This is one beautiful family of Pastor Niral of Kechara
Jog Falls a power place of Vajra Yogini and Heruka: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=108652
4 months ago
Jog Falls a power place of Vajra Yogini and Heruka: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=108652
Don\'t wait for the perfect group. Don\'t wait for the perfect person. Don\'t wait for the perfect situation. Don\'t expect yourself to be perfect. Don\'t even look for perfection at least in our realm as it does not exist or time will run out. Just get going and keep doing good. It\'s between you and yourself. Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
Don't wait for the perfect group. Don't wait for the perfect person. Don't wait for the perfect situation. Don't expect yourself to be perfect. Don't even look for perfection at least in our realm as it does not exist or time will run out. Just get going and keep doing good. It's between you and yourself. Tsem Rinpoche
Kind people are to be treasured. They make life worth living. ~Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
Kind people are to be treasured. They make life worth living. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Don\'t you love her bag? She\'s stylish and at one with the universe. OM Shanti. ~Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
Don't you love her bag? She's stylish and at one with the universe. OM Shanti. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Beautiful Manjushri carved in China
4 months ago
Beautiful Manjushri carved in China
Sent from Samsung tablet.
5 months ago
Sent from Samsung tablet.
We must loyal to our guru. How to be loyal? To always do the teachings and practice he gave us and to conquer our laziness. We must make our gurus more important than our ego. So it is important to always let our guru win and not our ego. If our ego wins, many will suffer and we will suffer. If our guru wins, temporarily we suffer, but long term we will be happy and many around us will be happy. You see, the guru is always on the look out to give us methods and teachings that we can engage in to bring us happiness. The biggest happiness is overcoming our ego and it\'s traces and the guru always directly and indirectly focuses on that. Our guru will always love and help us, but we must meet our guru half way too. Tsem Rinpoche
5 months ago
We must loyal to our guru. How to be loyal? To always do the teachings and practice he gave us and to conquer our laziness. We must make our gurus more important than our ego. So it is important to always let our guru win and not our ego. If our ego wins, many will suffer and we will suffer. If our guru wins, temporarily we suffer, but long term we will be happy and many around us will be happy. You see, the guru is always on the look out to give us methods and teachings that we can engage in to bring us happiness. The biggest happiness is overcoming our ego and it's traces and the guru always directly and indirectly focuses on that. Our guru will always love and help us, but we must meet our guru half way too. Tsem Rinpoche
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Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • You will Never be Ready
    4 weeks ago
    You will Never be Ready
    Dear friends, watch this video and ready, if we keep waiting till we are ready, that day will never come. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Stop asking for Easy
    4 weeks ago
    Stop asking for Easy
    This video is powerful because it's the truth. It applies to anything. It applies to our dharma practice. Watch the video and share it. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Must Watch this Video!
    2 months ago
    Must Watch this Video!
  • Sacred Tibetan Incense - Nyimo County, Lhasa, Tibet
    3 months ago
    Sacred Tibetan Incense - Nyimo County, Lhasa, Tibet
  • Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche on Samaya
    3 months ago
    Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche on Samaya
    ཁྱེད་ཀྱི་བཀའ་སློབ་དོན་སྙིང་དེ།།གང་གི་རྣ་བར་བདུད་རྩི་མོད།།འོན་ཀྱང་འགའ་ཡི་རྣ་ལམ་དུ།། བྲག་ཆ་བཞིན་དུ་འགྱུར་སྲིད་མོད།། ཚང་མས་ཚར་རེ་གཟིགས་རོགས།། Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche telling people that it is important to have guru samaya. It use to be that way in the great monasteries. We should not create problems and schisms. If we want to practice a protector, then do so, if not it's okay, but don't make trouble. One should just practice the Buddha Dharma well. To do good practice. If you have faith in Dorje Shugden and trust all the way, he will definitely help you. But most important is to practice the dharma. This is his advice in short here. It's good to let more Tibetans hear this holy speech and appeal by this very senior Rinpoche. TR
  • His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Propitiating Protectors & Oracles
    3 months ago
    His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Propitiating Protectors & Oracles
    This was on FB and I came across it. His Holiness said in Tibetan institutions there is a lot of propitiating protector/oracles and this is not what Buddhism is about. So they are putting Nechung/Tema oracles within the video to say what is he talking about when he does it himself. This is confusing is the message to his people. TR
  • -
    3 months ago
    Look how this crab eats a cherry.. Incredible and cute... Never seen this before. They have feelings too. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This is Sarah. Do you have 30 seconds for her? Her life in just 30 seconds!
    4 months ago
    This is Sarah. Do you have 30 seconds for her? Her life in just 30 seconds!
  • See what is your fortune today!
    4 months ago
    See what is your fortune today!
  • Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche recites offering stanza to Dorje Shugden Septemeber 2016
    4 months ago
    Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche recites offering stanza to Dorje Shugden Septemeber 2016
  • Flying the flag proudly
    4 months ago
    Flying the flag proudly
    Just like the rays of the sun, Dorje Shugden's blessings shines on all
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    4 months ago
    These skydivers have a little surprise...
    Let them spell it out for you
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    4 months ago
    Taking to the skies
    The sky's the limit for TsemRinpoche.com!
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    4 months ago
    What you need to wake you up on your morning commute
    Make your commutes a little more interesting with an article from TsemRinpoche.com
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    4 months ago
    The blog that gets you addicted in a good way
    There's something for everyone, any time of the day at TsemRinpoche.com

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CHAT PICTURES

Pastor Gim Lee perform prayers for a sponsor during her beloved pet dog's funeral. Lucy Yap
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Pastor Gim Lee perform prayers for a sponsor during her beloved pet dog's funeral. Lucy Yap
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Another New Dorje Shugden Chapel at Bentong. YEO KWAI GIN ( KKSG )
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Another New Dorje Shugden Chapel at Bentong. YEO KWAI GIN ( KKSG )
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Jian dui (煎堆) is a type of fried Chinese pastry made from glutinous rice flour ~ kecharaoasis.com ~ Guat Hee
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Penang team after food distribution. P.Patsy
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Penang team after food distribution. P.Patsy
Preloved clothing for our homeless clients. P.Patsy
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Preloved clothing for our homeless clients. P.Patsy
Penang team food distribution tonight. P.Patsy
3 days ago
Penang team food distribution tonight. P.Patsy
Getting ready for food distribution. P.Patsy
3 days ago
Getting ready for food distribution. P.Patsy
Chinese Lunar New Year is around the corner! Enjoy the yummy Vegetarian New Year Menu with the finest ingredients at Kechara Oasis!
3 days ago
Chinese Lunar New Year is around the corner! Enjoy the yummy Vegetarian New Year Menu with the finest ingredients at Kechara Oasis!
Teacher Alice's sharing with the class in Mandarin on January 15, 2017. Stella, KSDS
3 days ago
Teacher Alice's sharing with the class in Mandarin on January 15, 2017. Stella, KSDS
Teacher Victoria's sharing with the class on January 15, 2017. Stella, KSDS
3 days ago
Teacher Victoria's sharing with the class on January 15, 2017. Stella, KSDS
Presentation by the students is an active way to engage the young minds with Dharma. Stella, KSDS
3 days ago
Presentation by the students is an active way to engage the young minds with Dharma. Stella, KSDS
Kechara Sunday Dharma School 's first class for 2017. Here're the teacher & students for class 13-14yo. Stella, KSDS
3 days ago
Kechara Sunday Dharma School 's first class for 2017. Here're the teacher & students for class 13-14yo. Stella, KSDS
Kechara Sunday Dharma School 's class for 2017, here're teachers Kien and Jenni with atudents of 7-8yo. Stella, KSDS
3 days ago
Kechara Sunday Dharma School 's class for 2017, here're teachers Kien and Jenni with atudents of 7-8yo. Stella, KSDS
Dato' Colin Tan shared yesterday his secrets to success in a talk entitled Inviting Wealth and Good Fortune in Kechara Forest Retreat - picture by Li Kim Phng
4 days ago
Dato' Colin Tan shared yesterday his secrets to success in a talk entitled Inviting Wealth and Good Fortune in Kechara Forest Retreat - picture by Li Kim Phng
Kenny Loh has blessed the catfish after the Medicine Buddha and Rinpoche's long life mantra recitations in Gunung Lang, Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
4 days ago
Kenny Loh has blessed the catfish after the Medicine Buddha and Rinpoche's long life mantra recitations in Gunung Lang, Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Through the blessings from Rinpoche, Kechara Ipoh Study Group has completed our monthly animals liberation activity in Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
4 days ago
Through the blessings from Rinpoche, Kechara Ipoh Study Group has completed our monthly animals liberation activity in Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Eight members of the puja team conducted a #MedicineBuddha puja at Kechara. Lucy yap
5 days ago
Eight members of the puja team conducted a #MedicineBuddha puja at Kechara. Lucy yap
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