Silence is Good For the Brain

Sep 16, 2016 | Views: 844
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As many of you may know, Kechara Forest Retreat regularly organizes Inner Peace Retreats. I came across the article ‘Why Silence is So Good for Your Brain‘ and I wanted to share it so that those who are planning to attend these retreats in KFR can harness the full benefits of the program.

As people begin to realize the increasing importance of meditation and looking within, more places are offering meditation courses, and scientists are conducting studies on the effects of meditation. While some may claim that meditation is a phenomenal discovery, in reality meditation has always been a tool used by various yogis in the past and also Buddhists.

As a Buddhist, reading about these scientific discoveries does not excite me at all, simply because I already know the effectiveness of meditation. I have seen how my holy teachers have used meditational methods and gained much attainments from it. However, I do understand that others may not have this type of exposure and as such, scientific studies offer us the opportunity to appreciate the effectiveness of meditation.

As a Buddhist teacher, I would very much like my students to understand that meditation is not a means to an end as some modern adaptations have made it out to be… but it is in actuality a tool to further our spiritual practices. Meditation programs are often marketed as a form of stress relief or to help us deal with depression, etc. While these are genuine, beneficial side effects of meditation, they are however not the goal of a Buddhist practitioner. As we progress on the Buddhist path, our meditations should be more focused on our actual goal — Enlightenment — instead of these temporary benefits.

Therefore, meditation is a technique that we should integrate into our lives. What is the point if we only feel at peace while engaging in short retreats in KFR, but revert back to our anxious and stressed mental states at work? In this case, we have not applied what we have learned as it did not help us in our day to day life. So, we should always make it a point to practice meditation whenever we can.

Some may think that it is impossible, but in fact we are meditating at every moment. The only difference is that the object we are meditating on doesn’t contribute to our inner peace! For example, we may be thinking deeply about our anger towards someone, that’s a form of meditation; we may be wondering if our children are doing well at school, that too is a form of meditation. So, do not think for a moment that you are unable to accomplish this… after all, what you meditate on is based on what you are habituated to, so start changing your focus today.

I hope this short sharing will help you to be more focused when engaging in any form of meditation and meditational retreats. I wish everyone the best and may you continue to apply what you learn in your lives continuously.

Tsem Rinpoche

 


 

Why Silence is So Good For Your Brain

by Carolyn Gregoire, syndicated from huffingtonpost.com, Mar 14, 2016

silence-the-mind

We live in a loud and distracting world, where silence is increasingly difficult to come by — and that may be negatively affecting our health.

In fact, a 2011 World Health Organization report called noise pollution a “modern plague,” concluding that “there is overwhelming evidence that exposure to environmental noise has adverse effects on the health of the population.”

We’re constantly filling our ears with music, TV and radio news, podcasts and, of course, the multitude of sounds that we create nonstop in our own heads. Think about it: How many moments each day do you spend in total silence? The answer is probably very few.

As our internal and external environments become louder and louder, more people are beginning to seek out silence, whether through a practice of sitting quietly for 10 minutes every morning or heading off to a 10-day silent retreat.

Inspired to go find some peace and quiet? Here are four science-backed ways that silence is good for your brain — and how making time for it can make you feel less stressed, more focused and more creative.

 

1. Silence relieves stress and tension

Florence Nightingale, the 19th century British nurse and social activist, once wrote that “Unnecessary noise is the most cruel absence of care that can be inflicted on sick or well.” Nightingale argued that needless sounds could cause distress, sleep loss and alarm for recovering patients.

It turns out that noise pollution has been found to lead to high blood pressure and heart attacks, as well as impairing hearing and overall health. Loud noises raise stress levels by activating the brain’s amygdala and causing the release of the stress hormone cortisol, according to research.

An unpublished 2004 paper by environmental psychologist Dr. Craig Zimring suggests that higher noise levels in neonatal intensive care units led to elevated blood pressure, increased heart rates and disrupted patient sleep patterns.

Just as too much noise can cause stress and tension, research has found that silence has the opposite effect, releasing tension in the brain and body.

A 2006 study published in the journal Heart found two minutes of silence to be more relaxing than listening to “relaxing” music, based on changes in blood pressure and blood circulation in the brain.

 

2. Silence replenishes our mental resources

In our everyday lives, sensory input is being thrown at us from every angle. When we can finally get away from these sonic disruptions, our brains’ attention centers have the opportunity to restore themselves.

The ceaseless attentional demands of modern life put a significant burden on the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which is involved in high-order thinking, decision-making and problem-solving.

As a result, our attentional resources become drained. When those attention resources are depleted, we become distracted and mentally fatigued, and may struggle to focus, solve problems and come up with new ideas.

But according to attention restoration theory, the brain can restore its finite cognitive resources when we’re in environments with lower levels of sensory input than usual. In silence — for instance, the quiet stillness you find when walking alone in nature — the brain can let down its sensory guard, so to speak.

 

3. In silence, we can tap into the brain’s default mode network

The default mode network of the brain is activated when we engage in what scientists refer to as “self-generated cognition,” such as daydreaming, meditating, fantasizing about the future or just letting our minds wander.

When the brain is idle and disengaged from external stimuli, we can finally tap into our inner stream of thoughts, emotions, memories and ideas. Engaging this network helps us to make meaning out of our experiences, empathize with others, be more creative and reflect on our own mental and emotional states.

In order to do this, it’s necessary to break away from the distractions that keep us lingering on the shallow surfaces of the mind. Silence is one way of getting there.

Default mode activity helps us think deeply and creatively. As Herman Melville once wrote, “All profound things and emotions of things are preceded and attended by silence.”

 

4. Getting quiet can regenerate brain cells

Silence can quite literally grow the brain.

A 2013 study on mice, published in the journal Brain, Structure, and Function, involved comparing the effects of ambient noise, white noise, pup calls and silence on the rodents’ brains. Although the researchers intended to use silence as a control in the study, they found that two hours of silence daily led to the development of new cells in the hippocampus, a key brain region associated with learning, memory and emotion.

While preliminary, the findings suggested that silence could be therapeutic for conditions like depression and Alzheimer’s, which are associated with decreased rates of neuron regeneration in the hippocampus.

Source: http://www.dailygood.org/story/1237/why-silence-is-so-good-for-your-brain-carolyn-gregoire/

 

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32 Responses to Silence is Good For the Brain

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  1. Wan Wai Meng on Dec 7, 2016 at 12:12 am

    I suppose silence allows our brain to relax and regenerate.

    And why not, when our attention span is preoccupied, our minds latched onto all all the things that are distracting us, like sights and sounds, and being silent and not just constantly grabbing hold of sights and sounds will help our brains to recover from constant stress.

  2. Anne Ong on Nov 27, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    I do agree that silence is really good for the brain. We are able to think clearly and focus what we are doing. I myself is becoming more and more sensitive to noise these days. And i prefer to do my stuffs with mantra songs on from my computer to have some peace while i’m doing online stuffs. And KFR is wonderful place to getaway from all the stress and noise in the city and work once in a while to do meditation and retreats. Thank you very much Rinpoche for sharing this article on how to relieve stress and have some silence for the mind _/\_

  3. Andrea Lai on Nov 25, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    I do agree that silence is good for the brain. As I’ve been leaving at the centre of KL for the past 4 years, life is hectic. My home to my work place is only 10mins walking distance. Every morning I have to listen random sound of the trains,car honks etc.It’s irritate me cause I hardly find a real peace of mind though I practice meditation.
    Since I joined in KFR, I feel more relieved and I’m getting adapt to peace and silence surroundings. It’s like turning on a new leaf.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article.

    With folded palms,
    Andrea

  4. So Kin Hoe (KISG) on Nov 8, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing the article describing the benefits of silence for our brain as well as Rinpoche’s explanation about silence. Last time I used to switch on the loud speakers for songs and music as part of temporal entertainment to relieve stress and tiredness. However, the loud sound of music did not have a long good effects or solutions for me and it could only increase my attachments to music and entertainment.

    I truly agree with the article as it mentions the needless sounds can cause us high blood pressure, heart attacks, impairing hearing, increase the stress and tension level, distraction and mentally fatigued. As I continue to learn the Dharma, I have started to realize that silence can even shape our mind to be more focused and alert without easily getting mentally tired even after working for long hours. Silence is a kind of self-healing method to many of our human’s problems, which sometimes medicine cannot help too.

    Thankfully, through Rinpoche’s blessing and compassion, Inner Peace Retreat is made available as part of Dharma activities in Kechara Forest Retreat so that many people can gain the opportunities to learn the right method of meditation and at the same time, able to tap into the blessed energies in Kechara Forest Retreat.

    Thank you Rinpoche with folded hands,
    kin hoe

  5. Datuk May on Nov 6, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    Once I was told by a Master of Silence Meditation that “IT IS EASY TO SILENT THE OUTER NOISE BUT CAN WE STOP TALKING TO OURSELVES FOR EVEN 30 SECONDS AND WE WILL SEE A BRIGHT LIGHT IN OUR MIND”. That level of meditation results in great bliss.

    Meditation is also good to clear us of our afflictions and habituations of worries and unnecessary expectations of events and circumstances which we constantly create in our minds.

    It is very kind of HE the 25th Tsem Rinpoche to have created Kechara Forest Retreat and the Inner Peace Retreat for us to have a repose from our mundane existence even for a short moment of time.

  6. shelly tai on Nov 2, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this write up with us. I think all the benefits that listed in the research is just good for the gross level of our mind and our physical well being the most important when we medicated like what Rinpoche said we must try to contemplate the Buddha teaching because our ultimate goal is not about just one life time as a buddhist our ultimate goal is to achieve enlightenment .

  7. Ron Wong on Oct 30, 2016 at 12:05 am

    Before reading this article, I never actually heard about so many beneficial effects of silence practice, but the study of how it can help the brain to generate new cells that associated with learning, memory & emotion is really amazing. While silence is a method to calming the mind & relieve stress, what really matter is the meditation of looking inwardly our inner thoughts, a reflection on our actions & how these actions have changes our emotional states. Meditation is to train & transform the mind to have awareness & mindfulness of our actions so that while we are out of the meditation session, we are aware of our actions & be able to apply the practice of mindfulness & integrate in our lives.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this interesting article.

  8. Chu Li Min on Oct 29, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    Thanks for the great sharing Tsem Rimpoche.

  9. HelenaC on Oct 29, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for the clear explanation on meditation. Its true that all the scientific fact has proven meditation heals anxiety, depression and stress. But in Buddhism goal, enlightenment is the path.
    Its very interesting statement that Rinpoche has mentioned. We are already meditate most of the time, anger, frustration, happy, unhappy…blah blah blah…all these are another form of meditation, we just need to be focus but in a positive way hehehe… very cool and clear article. Good read for me. Thank you Rinpoche.

  10. pammie yap on Oct 28, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    I agree! Silence is good for the brain and also physically and mentally. Having live in KFR most of the days in a week, when I get back to the city, I find everything loud and noisy, which I actually find annoying. It makes me feel stressful and not calm. But in KFR, its peaceful and calming, and it keeps me on my toes in everything I do especially while doing some light gardening. It gives me ‘alone’ time to analyse situations and do some thinking. I find it a very good way to just think ‘straight’ and make decisions. Imagine being in a short retreat sometimes or silence(few hours a day, everyday) and just focusing on peace and quietness. It would definitely help habituate our brain to be alert and mindful.

  11. Joy Kam on Oct 26, 2016 at 3:00 am

    “When the brain is idle and disengaged from external stimuli, we can finally tap into our inner stream of thoughts, emotions, memories and ideas. Engaging this network helps us to make meaning out of our experiences, empathise with others, be more creative and reflect on our own mental and emotional states.”

    This is very true. It is when in silence are we able to truly go deep and tap into our emotions and in Dharma we would tap into the roots of either our problems or potential. Most of the time I realise we do not dare go beyond the surface, and being in silence, especially in long retreats, alone, you will no choice but to face yourself, in all its ugliness and also all its beauty. It is at this moment that you truly discover who you truly are. And when we have the Dharma and Rinpoche’s teachings in our hearts, this is when the real test comes, which voice do we want to give in and listen to, the positives or the negatives. Which one do we dwell on to the most, how our mind jumps and play tricks, bringing us up and then back down again. We become a slave to this if we do not catch ourselves and snap out of it.

    So yes silence or silent meditation brings us a different realm, the realm within ourselves, our own imaginations, our fears, hopes, regrets, happiness, attachments and everything one may think of. But like what Rinpoche says if meditation is used only to help us relief ourselves from the temporary problems, to just feel good and at peace for that period of time, but the moment we are back in samsara, we forget everything we’ve experienced and learnt, then the meditation becomes useless because it’s main purpose was not fully utilised. And the main function of it is that it is in actuality a tool to further our spiritual practices, but we mistaken it for another quick fix for the moment practice.

    I do hope that one day I have the fortune to go into intense meditation, to face myself, to be truly self reliance like Tenzin Palmo being alone in a cave. I do not know if I am just kidding myself, day dreaming or what, but ever since I read her book, that has been a tempting experience to explore one day. I guess it is to see if I can really truly endure those hardships. Maybe yes, maybe no, who knows, I will only know when I am in it I suppose. However, the goal should be — Enlightenment — instead of these temporary benefits.

    Thank you Rinpoche, this was a short but very good meditation read, makes one think deeper and more.

  12. June Kang on Oct 23, 2016 at 7:15 am

    HE the 25th Tsem Rinpoche mentioned in this article that “what you meditate on is based on what you are habituated to” giving me a very strong impact. It told me that the situation i am having now is because of the daily focus i have in my mind. Mostly the focus is more on oneself which doesn’t bring any spiritual grow and pull me far away from the path of enlightenment. Moreover, i realized focus on Me actually bring stress to myself. So, now the focus of mind has to be change to focus on how to benefit others. And meditation is the way for us to aware of what our mind is focus on.

  13. Sofi on Oct 13, 2016 at 2:38 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article with us on value of silence. I have always enjoyed the moments of silence as they are rare in the world of technology that we are currently in. From the moment we wake up, we are assailed by noises. I think the noisiest of them are the thoughts that goes on in our minds. Constantly focusing on external stimuli which creates stress in us rather than dwelling in the minds of peace within us. I had not really thought of our thinking being a type of meditation until Rinpoche pointed it out. I wonder if we were to take away the times we spend on “meditating” on work, family, food, daily routine, etc. how much had we actually spend of meditating without the “I”. “My” and “Me”. As Rinpoche said, spending the time in retreat and yet remain in dwelling within our “self”, we will be just going right back in to stress again after the retreat is over. With scientific proof backing what the yogis and Buddhists had practicing, the benefits of meditation should encourage more to take that daily break of peace. We should habituate the meditation of benefiting others and dwell within the happiness of others.

  14. Stella Cheang on Oct 5, 2016 at 2:23 am

    We live in a world where sound and noise envelop us in both the physical world as well as in our inner world. Even when we shut off noise and sound from the physical world and lock ourselves up in a quiet room, we cannot stay still because our mind hang on to the same noise and sound that keep us busy in the physical world. It is therefore very important yet rare to allocate time to quiet down and meditate. Finding a conducive environment to meditate, a place like Kechara Forest Retreat where the outer noise is at the lowest possible is equally important. Now that we have scientific proof on how silence can benefit us, we shall cleverly utilize the power of silence to boost our mental capacity through proper meditation program (e.g. Inner Peace) or adding meditation time as an extension to our daily sadhana. Thank you very much for this good read.

  15. graceleong on Oct 2, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    Multi tasking has been labeled as progressive and a crucial talent for success. Hence many will strive to multi task in their daily lives, setting high goals for themselves and meeting expectations. When doing so the brain may get over stimulated and emotions gets stretched. Over time disappointments may set in and we feel all unhappy and completely burnt out. This mostly is a result of unrealistic views and actions. This is so common in this generation.
    For those who have learnt meditation, it will come in very handy to control these negative emotions. For those who meditate with a higher motivation, the mind can transform and the total outlook in life and existence will change to a higher platform and the goal will be nothing short of Enlightment for the purpose of benefiting others.

    Thank you Rinpoche for this teaching on Silence is good for our brain. In particular the fact that we are meditating all the time – even the times that we are holding on to anger, thinking of someone in an angry manner, is also a form of meditation. This sort of meditation we can do without. We should mindfully change the focus from anger to boddhicitta for the benefit of all.

  16. Chris Chong on Oct 1, 2016 at 10:51 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    Thank you for sharing the benefits of silence to us. I don’t think silence is being appreciated enough in today’s world. Silence would be labeled as boring and awkward by people nowadays. With all the noise and sensory inputs that we give ourselves, we tend to lose focus of what we are doing and sometimes who we really are.

    I agree that when we remove all these noise from our mind, we will have clarity. We will be aware of things that we are not aware before. It will trigger the spiritual side of us.

    Humbly,
    Chris

  17. Vinnie Tan on Sep 28, 2016 at 1:31 am

    These days we are wired and hooked up in so many different ways that sometimes when we do not have the noise around us we feel lost and helpless. It i s so because we are not able to calm ourselves down and we are consistently looking for new excitement unknowingly. It is actually pretty sad that we have trained our minds to do this instead of meditating, shutting out all sorts of noise and sounds.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article on the scientific research about meditation. It is amazing how it links back to the teachings. With the information that is being taught in Buddhism to us being researched and verified using science is just great news as it helps those that do not believe to have faith and believe as it is logical and scientifically proven.

    I agree that when we shut out all sounds and noises that we can experience we will learn more about ourselves. It gives us a moment to think deeper on what is going on so that we give our brains a break to focus on ourselves to make it improve based on our reflections. It is the best way to improve and know what is wrong with ourselves.

  18. Pastor Han Nee on Sep 27, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    So scientific research has shown so many benefits from silence, including silence being therapeutic in effect and relieving stress and tension .

    Noise on the other hand has so many negative effects on our mental health and creativity and higher thinking skills and capacities.Higher noise levels raise blood pressure, increase heart rates and disrupt sleep patterns of people who are sick and who are recuperating from sickness.

    Noises cause us to be distracted and mentally fatigued, and in the end our higher level of brain activity of focusing, solving problems and coming up with new ideas is disrupted.

    With the absence of noise, we can tap into our inner stream of profound thoughts, emotions, memories and ideas. This helps us to make meaning out of our experiences, empathize with others, be more creative and reflect on our own mental and emotional states.

    A long period of silence of two hours will lead to the regeneration of new cells in a key brain region associated with learning, memory and emotion. Studies so far also suggest that silence could be therapeutic for conditions like depression and Alzheimer’s.

    However, by far the most powerful benefits are the spiritual benefits of silent meditation , which is a prerequisite for achieving concentration and mental quiescence and then wisdom to finally realize enlightenment.

  19. Echeah on Sep 25, 2016 at 8:43 pm

    Nowadays we are all wired and there is too many stimuli. Our minds and eyes and ears need to be stimulated and entertained all the time. If we’re on a train or have a few seconds to spare, we must look at our smart-phones. We can’t sit still and do nothing. We get bored. Today we had a Sunday dharma sharing by Pastor Niral on Developing Mental Quiescence, Day 21 Lamrim. It is necessary to develop mental quiescence up to the 9th state then switch over to the Wisdom path in our quest to gain enlightenment. KFR would be a conducive environment that we could begin to train our minds.

  20. Sock Wan on Sep 25, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing with us the benefits of doing meditation. Living in this modern era, we cannot be alone all the time, it is impossible to be out of the hassle and bustle of the city most of the the time because we are living in this environment. Therefore, it is important to integrate the meditation technique into our lives, not meditate only when we are in a mountain or away from the city.

    Meditate on enlightenment, meditate on death, meditate on impermanence, when we meditate on these, we will be able to let go of our anger, develop compassion and be free of emotional burden.

  21. Colin Tan on Sep 24, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Most people feel uncomfortable in silence either alone or with people around. Therefore many people feel the need to fill the void of silence with needless chatter, with TV, with music, with noise of some kind. When there is silence, it’s time for introspection, to focus on our true self and feelings. That’s why sometimes it’s a bit scary for some people, to be with their true feeling, e.g. loneliness, helplessness, sadness, etc. It’s much easier to turn outward for some entertainment, chatting, rather than face our inner vulnerability. But we don’t realize that by avoiding our inner world, we will gradually lose touch with our true self, our intuition, our creativity.
    It’s good to know from this article that there are so many benefits being in silence especially when our lives become more stressful and our outer environment becomes louder and louder. We indeed require the silent moments to quiet our thought, to tap our deepest potential and to get more relaxed, more focused and more creative in life. Let’s spend some time each day in silence, be it in our room alone, out in the nature, or when we are in group or even in argument with people. See the wonder that silence can bring to us!

  22. Fong on Sep 20, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    Thank you, Rinpoche for this gem of an article. As Rinpoche mentioned, most will think of meditation as a destination and not a means to en end.

    Getting started, in itself is quite a feat for most of us. Getting that 10 minutes to ourselves without anything pressing can seem like a luxury. Merely tuning out the thought of the next appointment seems like a task.

    But, once I was able to get to that 10 minutes of quiet time, I had to keep going. Once, there’s a break in that daily ‘spa’ I just lose the momentum and find it difficult to pick up where I left off. I then have to start from square one, struggling to sit down for the 10 minutes without even thinking of struggling to keep an eye on the monkey mind of mine.

    The times when I could sit quietly was so revitalizing and serene. So, I’m sure it is as Rinpoche said, “it is in actuality a tool to further our spiritual practices” and that attainments can be gained from meditation.

  23. Dear Rinpoche,

    This was a very interesting article to read, as I am also incorporating a bit of Buddhist teachings into my projects here in the UK. Thank you for posting this; it is comforting to know that science is slowly progressing and catching up to what Spiritual teachers have taught years ago. 🙂

    Your student,
    Keng Hwa.

  24. Pastor David Lai on Sep 20, 2016 at 2:57 am

    I find this article fascinating nonetheless, although I already know the benefits of meditation and solitude, which are particularly emphasized in the Buddhist contemplation practices. I myself am not particularly a fan of quietude and solitude but I still appreciate the quietness that comes with doing my sadhana and engaging in a retreat.

    Somehow and despite the feeling of being tired from mantra recitation and keeping the mind in focus during retreat always seemed to be somehow refreshing mentally. Now I know why with this enlightening article, I get it that silence, quietude and solitude helps the brain especially the part of the brain that has to do with higher thinking. This is incredible to know…

  25. Pastor Antoinette on Sep 19, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    Nowadays we have constantly access to TV, radio or Internet and some people may like to have the TV running in the background.

    This article proves that silence is very beneficial and instead of being distracted, silence and meditation have a positive effect on our mind and on our life as a whole.

    The manyfold opportunities that the Internet offers should be used in to improve our mind and and to benefit ourselves and others instead of distracting ourselves.

    Thank You

  26. DavidFong on Sep 18, 2016 at 10:59 pm

    感谢仁波切分享这篇章文
    在现在的社会里太多人承受了太大的压力也很难静下心来,沉默可以缓解压力和紧张。
    我们可以学习保持沉默创造一个平静心态。

  27. freon on Sep 18, 2016 at 3:28 am

    Dear Rinpoche,

    Thank you for sharing this important article. By reading this article, I come to understand the benefit of staying silent and focus always.
    I can learn to be focus and stay silent to create a mind that calm and focus through my daily life also. My advantage is i am working in Puja House, where most of the time, we have to do puja and do set up for various puja . These actions have create a “silent” moment for me to train my mind.

    Thank you

    Love,
    Freon

  28. Choong on Sep 16, 2016 at 11:16 pm

    For those who cannot tune out from the noisy world we live in, perhaps these will help, they are from the pioneers of noise-cancelling headphones:

    https://www.bose.com/en_us/products/headphones/earphones/quietcomfort-20i-acoustic-noise-cancelling-headphones.html

  29. Mingwen on Sep 16, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    Indeed, human beings in this current era are drowned by overwhelming noises from all directions. Etc, colleagues, city, friends, family members, technology, inner-self and more.

    According to some researchs, noise, precisely, White noise could actually help certain people to sleep better. However, it’s depending on an individual’s living habits and spiritual pratice.

    We should start looking for the correct way to pratice and meditate to find inner peace within ourselves.

  30. Aw Wei Ling on Sep 16, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    尊贵的仁波切,
    谢谢您的分享关于这一则文章 !
    读完这编文章后, 让我有点感触, 因为在我生活中一直面对不同的挑战, 每当遇到不同的挑战和事故时, 我就会想起一面湖水, 每当石头掉进湖和湖水混浊时, 就需要时间和平静的状况才可以再让湖水平静下来。我的挑战也一样, 平静的心态和冷静已经时常在我脑海里用于面对所面对的问题 !

    感恩合十
    AW WEI LING

  31. Samfoonheei on Sep 16, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    Silence is good for the brain…thats wonderful. Thanks Rinpoche for sharing and reminding us.A very clear explanation and whats all about the benefits and importance of retreat especially for me to know.I can understand better now.. the reason why we needed a retreat and why Rinpoche always encourage us to go for the retreats.I do hope i will have the opportunity to do one in the near future.
    With folded hands.

  32. sonny tan on Sep 16, 2016 at 10:07 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for constantly reminding us the importance of retreats, I have often asked myself repeatedly why and what is the purpose of a retreat and the result I hope to achieve. I had the opportunity to participate in retreats locally and outside Malaysia for many years, the longest was twelve days I would say that it has changed me in many ways.
    After having been exposed to various kind of retreats I am aware now that the quick, bad and ill-tempered in me has toned down considerably, my senses are more sensitive and the ‘me, me me, I, I, I, mine, mine, mine’ that I have always being shrouded with have been noticeably reduced.
    The mind habits that I have unconsciously been feeding to my brain over the years of growing up so much so that it comfortably sit in and became me and however hard I tried in engaging the mind with other altering modalities it was not too successful.
    Recently, I attended an inner peace retreat from Aug 27 to 28 with my wife and daughter at Kechara Forest Retreat and throughout the session Pastor Tat Ming reminded us that it is a silent retreat. During the sunrise morning meditation at Manjusri hill I noticed that my hearing was so sharp at that moment that I could hear so clearly the sound of one leaf that fell from a tree to the ground. It was a very refreshing experience meditating in the mist shrouded hillside where the senses of hearing intensified considerably.
    It also helped my daughter to opened up during our group sharing on how misguided she was in our relationship with her and admitted that this retreat had somewhat opened her eyes and made her more grounded. Though my life aspirations has not been completely achieved yet but I believe that opportunities in Kechara are abundantly available for me to further elevate my spiritual attainments.

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Blog Chat

BLOG CHAT

Dear blog friends,

I’ve created this section for all of you to share your opinions, thoughts and feelings about whatever interests you.

Everyone has a different perspective, so this section is for you.

Tsem Rinpoche


SCHEDULED CHAT SESSIONS / 中文聊天室时间表

THURSDAY
10 - 11PM (GMT +8)
5 - 6AM (PST)
星期五
9 - 10PM (GMT +8)
4 - 5AM (PST)
(除了每个月的第一个星期五)
SATURDAY
11AM - 12PM (GMT +8)
FRIDAY 7 - 8PM (PST)
SUNDAY
9:30 - 10PM (GMT +8)
4:30 - 5AM (PST)

UPCOMING TOPICS FOR APRIL / 四月份讨论主题

Please come and join in the chat for a fun time and support. See you all there.


Blog Chat Etiquette

These are some simple guidelines to make the blog chat room a positive, enjoyable and enlightening experience for everyone. Please note that as this is a chat room, we chat! Do not flood the chat room, or post without interacting with others.

EXPAND
Be friendly

Remember that these are real people you are chatting with. They may have different opinions to you and come from different cultures. Treat them as you would face to face, and respect their opinions, and they will treat you the same.

Be Patient

Give the room a chance to answer you. Patience is a virtue. And if after awhile, people don't respond, perhaps they don't know the answer or they did not see your question. Do ask again or address someone directly. Do not be offended if people do not or are unable to respond to you.

Be Relevant

This is the blog of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche. Please respect this space. We request that all participants here are respectful of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche and his organisation, Kechara.

Be polite

Avoid the use of language or attitudes which may be offensive to others. If someone is disrespectful to you, ignore them instead of arguing with them.

Please be advised that anyone who contravenes these guidelines may be banned from the chatroom. Banning is at the complete discretion of the administrator of this blog. Should anyone wish to make an appeal or complaint about the behaviour of someone in the chatroom, please copy paste the relevant chat in an email to us at [email protected] and state the date and time of the respective conversation.

Please let this be a conducive space for discussions, both light and profound.

KECHARA FOREST RETREAT PROGRESS UPDATES

Here is the latest news and pictorial updates, as it happens, of our upcoming forest retreat project.

The Kechara Forest Retreat is a unique holistic retreat centre focused on the total wellness of body, mind and spirit. This is a place where families and individuals will find peace, nourishment and inspiration in a natural forest environment. At Kechara Forest Retreat, we are committed to give back to society through instilling the next generation with universal positive values such as kindness and compassion.

For more information, please read here (english), here (chinese), or the official site: retreat.kechara.com.

Noticeboard

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

    Jason

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Han Nee for this article.

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

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

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Messages from Rinpoche

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CREDITS

Concept: Tsem Rinpoche
Technical: Lew Kwan Leng, Justin Ripley, Yong Swee Keong
Design: Justin Ripley, Cynthia Lee
Content: Tsem Rinpoche, Justin Ripley, Pastor Shin Tan, Sarah Yap
Writer: Pastor Loh Seng Piow
Admin: Pastor Loh Seng Piow, Beng Kooi

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

Tsem Rinpoche

What Am I Writing Now

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  Bigfoot, Yeti, Sasquatch

The Unknown

The Known and unknown are both feared,
Known is being comfortable and stagnant,
The unknown may be growth and opportunities,
One shall never know if one fears the unknown more than the known.
Who says the unknown would be worse than the known?
But then again, the unknown is sometimes worse than the known. In the end nothing is known unless we endeavour,
So go pursue all the way with the unknown,
because all unknown with familiarity becomes the known.
~Tsem Rinpoche

Photos On The Go

Click on the images to view the bigger version. And scroll down and click on "View All Photos" to view more images.
Holy Lady Buddha Vajra Yogini\'s blessing can be found when we decide to focus out to others instead of in to only ourselves.
~ Tsem Tulku Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
Holy Lady Buddha Vajra Yogini's blessing can be found when we decide to focus out to others instead of in to only ourselves. ~ Tsem Tulku Rinpoche
His Holiness Vajradhara Kyabje Zong Rinpoche of Gaden Monastery who is the refuge of countless, gives a clear explanation of Dorje Shugden. One is able to hear his holy voice and translation by Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen! Please see here and share: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=122352
2 weeks ago
His Holiness Vajradhara Kyabje Zong Rinpoche of Gaden Monastery who is the refuge of countless, gives a clear explanation of Dorje Shugden. One is able to hear his holy voice and translation by Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen! Please see here and share: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=122352
: This picture says it all. Click on it to enlarge and read and please share.
2 weeks ago
: This picture says it all. Click on it to enlarge and read and please share.
This is a simple chart showing the three main psychic channels used in tantric meditations to control the winds, raise tummo (fire energy), gain higher consciousness and insight and also for gaining siddhis. These channels are used in meditations for controlling the mind, when the mind ejects from the body (phowa) and one\'s death. These three channels are very important. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
This is a simple chart showing the three main psychic channels used in tantric meditations to control the winds, raise tummo (fire energy), gain higher consciousness and insight and also for gaining siddhis. These channels are used in meditations for controlling the mind, when the mind ejects from the body (phowa) and one's death. These three channels are very important. Tsem Rinpoche
I think my cute doggie Oser is actually Tintin\'s dog Snowy!
3 weeks ago
I think my cute doggie Oser is actually Tintin's dog Snowy!
Great Masters of Gaden Shartse Monastery. From left to right: His Eminence Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, His Holiness Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, H.E. Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, H.E. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, His Holiness 101st Gaden Tripa throne holder Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal.
3 weeks ago
Great Masters of Gaden Shartse Monastery. From left to right: His Eminence Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, His Holiness Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, H.E. Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, H.E. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, His Holiness 101st Gaden Tripa throne holder Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal.
 Left to right: Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl. The three of them are my beautiful and loved Schnauzer dogs. They loved looking through the window to see traffic, people and movement. They loved the smells that drifted through their little noses. I love seeing the three of them together like this. I love them. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Left to right: Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl. The three of them are my beautiful and loved Schnauzer dogs. They loved looking through the window to see traffic, people and movement. They loved the smells that drifted through their little noses. I love seeing the three of them together like this. I love them. Tsem Rinpoche
Little Mumu boy...he loved balloons. When he saw them, he wanted to get close and perhaps bite them. Cute. I love this picture of Mumu reaching for the balloons. He was young and healthy! This picture captures his energy, enthusiasm, curiosity and high energy. I love this picture of him chasing the balloons. His pictures are always so nice....He was not a pet but family to me. I love him tremendously and always will. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Little Mumu boy...he loved balloons. When he saw them, he wanted to get close and perhaps bite them. Cute. I love this picture of Mumu reaching for the balloons. He was young and healthy! This picture captures his energy, enthusiasm, curiosity and high energy. I love this picture of him chasing the balloons. His pictures are always so nice....He was not a pet but family to me. I love him tremendously and always will. Tsem Rinpoche
Little Mumu boy and myself.. He was not a pet but family to me. I love him tremendously and always will. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Little Mumu boy and myself.. He was not a pet but family to me. I love him tremendously and always will. Tsem Rinpoche
2017-His Holiness the 101st Gaden Tripa, Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal is doing well and 90 years old. His Holiness Lungrik Namgyal is a powerful master of sutra and tantra and practitioner of Dorje Shugden. Currently residing in France.
3 weeks ago
2017-His Holiness the 101st Gaden Tripa, Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal is doing well and 90 years old. His Holiness Lungrik Namgyal is a powerful master of sutra and tantra and practitioner of Dorje Shugden. Currently residing in France.
One of the most sacred statues of Avalokitesvara made of sandalwood housed in Lhasa, Tibet. He has shown miracles also. Every pilgrim wishes to make offerings to this Lord of Compassion.
3 weeks ago
One of the most sacred statues of Avalokitesvara made of sandalwood housed in Lhasa, Tibet. He has shown miracles also. Every pilgrim wishes to make offerings to this Lord of Compassion.
 Sacred Avalokitesvara statue in Nepal. Thousands come to worship this special Buddha as it has conferred wishes in the past.
3 weeks ago
Sacred Avalokitesvara statue in Nepal. Thousands come to worship this special Buddha as it has conferred wishes in the past.
Tsem Rinpoche\'s Vajra Yogini statue and offerings
3 weeks ago
Tsem Rinpoche's Vajra Yogini statue and offerings
Two of my teachers from Gaden Shartse Monastery in South India. Left side is Most Venerable Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen whom I lived with for 8 years in Los Angeles where his centre Thubten Dhargye Ling is located. On the right is the abbot emeritus H.E. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche the scholar and yogi. I was very fortunate to have them in my life and learn so much dharma from them. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Two of my teachers from Gaden Shartse Monastery in South India. Left side is Most Venerable Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen whom I lived with for 8 years in Los Angeles where his centre Thubten Dhargye Ling is located. On the right is the abbot emeritus H.E. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche the scholar and yogi. I was very fortunate to have them in my life and learn so much dharma from them. Tsem Rinpoche
 It is so wonderful to be kind to people, be caring, feed them, make sure they are healthy and share dharma if they are interested with them for their future. But simply to be nice to others is worth getting up and being alive...otherwise why be alive to hurt/use/distrust and hate others? No point living that way..must change that..... It is nice to live our lives to benefit others and be patient even if we have been hurt before because by caring we can heal the hurt and \'defeat\' the ones that hurt us because we don\'t become bitter..... Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
It is so wonderful to be kind to people, be caring, feed them, make sure they are healthy and share dharma if they are interested with them for their future. But simply to be nice to others is worth getting up and being alive...otherwise why be alive to hurt/use/distrust and hate others? No point living that way..must change that..... It is nice to live our lives to benefit others and be patient even if we have been hurt before because by caring we can heal the hurt and 'defeat' the ones that hurt us because we don't become bitter..... Tsem Rinpoche
Tsem Rinpoche\'s heritage in China. Must read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=120499
3 weeks ago
Tsem Rinpoche's heritage in China. Must read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=120499
Thank you Buddhist Pastor Chia for sharing your story on how you met His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche over 20 years ago. We can learn much from your story.~Admin  Please read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116928
3 weeks ago
Thank you Buddhist Pastor Chia for sharing your story on how you met His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche over 20 years ago. We can learn much from your story.~Admin Please read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116928
Mumu boy is incredibly photogenic. He is beyond cute. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Mumu boy is incredibly photogenic. He is beyond cute. Tsem Rinpoche
 (left to right) Rabten Tulku, Gonsar Rinpoche, Gyume Kensur Rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche, H.H. Gaden Trisur Rinpoche (France)
4 weeks ago
(left to right) Rabten Tulku, Gonsar Rinpoche, Gyume Kensur Rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche, H.H. Gaden Trisur Rinpoche (France)
Beautiful 200 roses arrived today for me as a gift from Su Ming. Very kind and thoughtful of her as usual. Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
Beautiful 200 roses arrived today for me as a gift from Su Ming. Very kind and thoughtful of her as usual. Tsem Rinpoche
It\'s good to be with kind and sincere people.
4 weeks ago
It's good to be with kind and sincere people.
If we are kind, we lose less of ourselves-Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
If we are kind, we lose less of ourselves-Tsem Rinpoche
My Mumu boy didn\'t want to eat. Eating is not one of his favorite activities throughout his life. So I talked to him to let him know why he needs to eat and keep his strength up when this photo was taken. He was listening intently and after my talk with him, he ate. Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
My Mumu boy didn't want to eat. Eating is not one of his favorite activities throughout his life. So I talked to him to let him know why he needs to eat and keep his strength up when this photo was taken. He was listening intently and after my talk with him, he ate. Tsem Rinpoche
This is so true. Click to enlarge and understand more about unpleasant people.
4 weeks ago
This is so true. Click to enlarge and understand more about unpleasant people.
This mahasiddha Kukkuripa is easy to identify as he is accompanied by a small dog whom he loved very much.
1 month ago
This mahasiddha Kukkuripa is easy to identify as he is accompanied by a small dog whom he loved very much.
Mumu taking a rest in the turquoise room. Over the years, I always feel very satisfied when I see him covered with a blanket, safe and sleeping. I always wanted to make sure he was safe from harm, illness and distress. I wanted him to have a happy and loved life. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Mumu taking a rest in the turquoise room. Over the years, I always feel very satisfied when I see him covered with a blanket, safe and sleeping. I always wanted to make sure he was safe from harm, illness and distress. I wanted him to have a happy and loved life. Tsem Rinpoche
I wrapped my little Mumu boy up in my blanket and propped him up on my bed. He didn\'t move or wiggle and just looked at me. He is one funny entertaining little guy. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
I wrapped my little Mumu boy up in my blanket and propped him up on my bed. He didn't move or wiggle and just looked at me. He is one funny entertaining little guy. Tsem Rinpoche
March 2017-Coaxing my little Mumu boy to eat his meal. He was not well and therefore not hungry. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
March 2017-Coaxing my little Mumu boy to eat his meal. He was not well and therefore not hungry. Tsem Rinpoche
Click on picture to enlarge and see what Milarepa says. Profound.
1 month ago
Click on picture to enlarge and see what Milarepa says. Profound.
We are always trying to get somewhere, try something new, find some friends, get some entertainment and in the end we end up in the same place. Time to really practice Dharma seriously and stop wasting time we don\'t have. ~Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
We are always trying to get somewhere, try something new, find some friends, get some entertainment and in the end we end up in the same place. Time to really practice Dharma seriously and stop wasting time we don't have. ~Tsem Rinpoche
March 20, 2017-Mumu is just so adorable with his bright eyes.
1 month ago
March 20, 2017-Mumu is just so adorable with his bright eyes.
More and more people inviting Lord Dorje Shugden home to connect with on their shrines. I am so happy to see this as it will benefit them and their families so much. That is the purpose to be alive which is to benefit others as much as possible. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
More and more people inviting Lord Dorje Shugden home to connect with on their shrines. I am so happy to see this as it will benefit them and their families so much. That is the purpose to be alive which is to benefit others as much as possible. Tsem Rinpoche
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
1 month ago
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
1 month ago
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
The Japanese are very innovative. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
The Japanese are very innovative. Tsem Rinpoche
Read this as it will be interesting
1 month ago
Read this as it will be interesting
Recite this before any meal or drinks for blessings of abundance. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Recite this before any meal or drinks for blessings of abundance. Tsem Rinpoche
This sacred statue of Buddha is in Nepal brought originally from Tibet and has spoken on many occasions. Very blessed to see this holy image and keep a picture...bless you always. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
This sacred statue of Buddha is in Nepal brought originally from Tibet and has spoken on many occasions. Very blessed to see this holy image and keep a picture...bless you always. Tsem Rinpoche
I love Mumu boy tremendously. We went through so much together for so many years. You are a great being to be with. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
I love Mumu boy tremendously. We went through so much together for so many years. You are a great being to be with. Tsem Rinpoche
Dear everyone, I am sharing this beautiful and modern altar to Dorje Shugden in Malaysia. I am glad to see more and more people creating sacred spaces. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Dear everyone, I am sharing this beautiful and modern altar to Dorje Shugden in Malaysia. I am glad to see more and more people creating sacred spaces. Tsem Rinpoche
Lhamo Karmo, a female buddha form visualized above the crown of one\'s head at the time of death, to encourage consciousness to leave the body via the crown aperture. From my book \"The Female Buddhas.\"- Glenn Mullin
2 months ago
Lhamo Karmo, a female buddha form visualized above the crown of one's head at the time of death, to encourage consciousness to leave the body via the crown aperture. From my book "The Female Buddhas."- Glenn Mullin
The Tibetan female tulku Dorje Pakmo, from a fresco on the wall of the Dorje Pakmo monastery (Samding) in Tibet, near the Turquoise Lake. In Tibet the Dorje Pakmo was ranked with the Dalai Lama, Panchen Lama and Sakya Trizin as the four highest lamas in the country.-from Glenn Mullin
2 months ago
The Tibetan female tulku Dorje Pakmo, from a fresco on the wall of the Dorje Pakmo monastery (Samding) in Tibet, near the Turquoise Lake. In Tibet the Dorje Pakmo was ranked with the Dalai Lama, Panchen Lama and Sakya Trizin as the four highest lamas in the country.-from Glenn Mullin
Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl checking out the scene..cute
2 months ago
Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl checking out the scene..cute
My Dharma boy has such a cute expression here. He is a good boy!
2 months ago
My Dharma boy has such a cute expression here. He is a good boy!
February 9,2017-My Mumu boy and Oser girl are just relaxing together..super cute
3 months ago
February 9,2017-My Mumu boy and Oser girl are just relaxing together..super cute
Click on the picture to enlarge and see what Suzy from Hawaii commented on the Dorje Shugden issue after much research. She is very candid and honest. Refreshing. Original is posted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl-4lIwxph4
3 months ago
Click on the picture to enlarge and see what Suzy from Hawaii commented on the Dorje Shugden issue after much research. She is very candid and honest. Refreshing. Original is posted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl-4lIwxph4
This is a good one to read
3 months ago
This is a good one to read
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ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

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

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

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

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

Art expression using chalks and papers is an avenue for young children to cultivate positive perspective of life and connect with their artistic or creative side. Stella, KSDS
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Senior students of the children class of Kechara Sunday Dharma School had their class in the ghompa every Sunday. Stella, KSDS
Besides young Karlson and Ern Ern, there are new faces in Kechara Sunday Dharma School 2-4 years old. Stella, KSDS
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Kechara Sunday Dharma School students 5-6 years old making prostration to Lama Tsongkhapa at the beginning of the class every Sunday. Stella,KSDS
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Kechara Sunday Dharma School students 5-6 years old making prostration to Lama Tsongkhapa at the beginning of the class every Sunday. Stella,KSDS
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Dorje Shugden
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