Snakes, Roosters and Pigs by Tsem Rinpoche

By | Jun 10, 2016 | Views: 820
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Why are we still unhappy?

We have everything but are still not satisfied. We keep looking and looking and looking for fun, friends, entertainment and places to go. The more we get, the more dissatisfied we feel. All the possessions we have – houses, cars, clothes – are supposed to make us happy, and yet we are still not happy.

Why are we not happy? Because these things are just distractions – one distraction after another. They take us away from the real purpose of why we are here. They take us away from finding who we are.

In ‘Snakes , Roosters and Pigs’, H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche uses Buddhist philosophy and psychology to skilfully guide us in plumbing the depths of our mind to determine who we really are inside, and what is wrong with us. When we are armed with that knowledge, he then guides us to move from this pervasive state of dissatisfaction to a state of stability and peace.

This is a journey of training the mind to move ultimately to that state, where no distraction or anything will disturb it. For this journey, we need a Spiritual Guide. Tsem Rinpoche, who has achieved that mind after lifetimes of vigorous training, guides us in this teaching to reach that ultimate level of an Enlightened Mind. He uses his astute and incisive wisdom to reach out to us at the level where we can relate well to what he says, and find meaning and relevance for us to live our lives well.

 

What touched me the most in ‘Snakes, Roosters and Pigs’

What touched me most in this book is the extraordinary compassion of Tsem Rinpoche’s Guru, Kensur Rinpoche. I believe that this extraordinary compassion is reflected in the actions and deeds of all great Lamas, including Tsem Rinpoche. Hence, it moves me beyond words how a living Bodhisattva can send waves of blessings and inspiration to all who know him or hear about him.

People from the villages around would come to the monastery and request loans from Kensur Rinpoche for their business. Kensur Rinpoche gives them the money and more often than not, he loses the money and does not get it back. Kensur Rinpoche always said to Tsem Rinpoche, “Never mind, it’s okay.” These villagers came and tricked him over and over again or they thought they had successfully tricked him! A Bodhisattva like Kensur Rinpoche will never refuse anyone, even if they are being tricked. Moreover, even when they have been tricked, they will react differently from how we would react. They react with forgiveness.

By this connection with you – even if it is by a negative association – they have hooked you together with them for the next lives to help you when the time is right. A Bodhisattva thinks like this. They may not be able to do something good with you now so they let you do something bad with them because they believe that this is better than nothing at all. They make the connection for you, for your future lives. Many of these high masters, through their clairvoyance, can look into the future and know that no one else can help you for a long, long time. They will sacrifice themselves to help you so even if they are cheated or if something is taken away from them, they consider it an offering towards your liberation. Advanced and holy beings do know if you are trying to take advantage of or cheat them; they do know it. But they will give in to you and let you have what you want as their offering to you for your liberation!

 

The Five Things I Learned From ‘Snakes, Roosters and Pigs’

1. Understanding who we are and what is wrong with us – understanding our self-grasping mind and our three root mental delusions

The first step we have to take in this journey of training our mind towards achieving a state of peace and happiness is to understand and accept who we really are, as well as know and accept what is wrong with us and what needs to be improved. This is probably the most difficult part of all for us. In ordinary life, even admitting to making mistakes is itself difficult for us. Nonetheless, we have to face and accept ourselves as we really are, including our faults and weaknesses. We have to accept what needs to be done to remove the causes of our unhappiness and pervasive dissatisfaction that are within us, painful as this may be, just as we have to accept that we need to undergo surgery to remove a malignant growth, as well as accept the inevitable pain that comes with the surgery.

With our self-grasping mind, we create negative karma or the causes for suffering all the time, so that even existing is collecting negative karma.

(i) I’m a good person

We have heard this before – “I don’t drink, I don’t sleep around, I don’t kill, I don’t eat meat and I don’t lie. I don’t do these things and I’m a good person”. To anyone out there who hears this and listens to you, yes, you do sound like a good person. However, to someone with higher knowledge, like our Spiritual Guide, that may not necessarily be the case because what they view and consider as ‘good’ is different to what we think is good.

(ii) You are not? Why not?

Because every day and every minute, you are existing out of your self-grasping mind.

Even doing nothing and sitting there within a mind-frame that is self-grasping, you are collecting negative karma on a very subtle level. This karma creates the causes for negative experiences of unhappiness and suffering for you. So even though you don’t kill, you don’t steal, you don’t lie, and you are just hanging around at home watching television, you still collect negative karma because you are existing out of a self-grasping mind – me, me, me, me. In fact, doing nothing reinforces your self-grasping mind. This is why the Buddha says that the minute you achieve your human body, suffering begins.

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(iii) You are your delusions

Happy, sad, lonely, angry, frustrated, depressed…these are all states of our mind. These are the states of mind we experience all the time. If we examine our minds, these states of mind are caused by three basic delusions that are the root cause of our unhappiness and for us to stay in samsara (cyclic existence of suffering). Every day, in fact every minute of each day, there are three delusions raging inside us – hatred, pride or desire and ignorance. These three are represented by the snake, the rooster or chicken and the pig respectively. Because of the countless lifetimes we have been living like this, there are millions of these three animals inside us. Think about it: there are all these chickens, pigs and snakes inside us, making all the noise. Pride, ignorance and hatred screaming at us from the inside.

Suffering arises out of these three root delusions. When, for instance, the object that we hold on to, or we engage with, does not fulfil us in the way that we projected or expected it to, then we will experience unhappiness and suffering. When this happens, it reinforces and increases the three root delusions – desire, hatred, ignorance.

The root delusion is ignorance. Out of ignorance (because of not studying and knowing the Dharma, not knowing the way things really exist and not understanding people), we have a strong sense of “I” or ego, that always tells us to think we are right and everyone else, including our Guru, is wrong! WE always want to be right! This grasping at “I” pervades our mind. This is why every day, we incessantly react to things, people and situations and to all our experiences out of this self-grasping mind.

Because of the three delusions, we are incessantly drawn to actions that we think will benefit us at the expense of harm to others, and we turn away from actions which are ultimately good for us or will benefit others, and which will ultimately benefit us. We are drawn to acquiring things and pursuing activities that we think will benefit us and keep us happy, regardless of whether others are being harmed or hurt in the process. We turn away from the study of Dharma, from meditation and retreats, and from holding our vows which are good for training our mind for peace and happiness. Instead, these three delusions – desire, hatred and ignorance – incessantly tell us to do the opposite of what is really good for us.

We thus exist out of a self-grasping mind, with its three root delusions, all the time, and create negative karma or the causes of suffering all the time.

 

2. Negative karma and purification of negative karma

(i) Why we must purify negative karma

It’s not that we are bad. It is just that we are programmed or habituated to think that if things don’t go our way, we must act or react in a certain way out of our mind of self-grasping and delusions. Actions and reactions from a self-grasping mind and from our delusions collect negative karma for us. Even doing nothing from this mind collects subtle negative karma.

Hence we are collecting negative karma, every minute of every day. This negative karma will sooner or later manifest for us in the form of obstacles, problems, difficulties and unhappy and sad experiences. Therefore, it stands to reason why we need to purify our negative karma.

(ii) Experiencing negative karma

a) Purifying negative karma by experiencing it with acceptance, patience and compassion

When we practise Dharma, we may experience more difficulties or obstacles. These are actually all our negative karma arising to be purified. Because we are doing Dharma practices, these practices actually protect us. When we are doing Dharma Protector practices, they not only protect us but guide us through until the karma is purified.

When we are practising the Dharma, and bad karma manifests in the form of a difficult experience, we purify the negative karma by accepting the experience (recognising that it is the result of our negative karma) and practising patience and compassion throughout the experience. Once it is purified, and the experience is over, we will not experience it again.

b) Experiencing negative karma and collecting more negative karma

However, if a negative karma manifests, and you react towards it in anger, hatred and with all your negative habituation, and negative karma backing you up, you actually don’t purify that karma. By your negative reaction, you create more negative karma.

Hence people who do not engage in spiritual practices to purify their negative karma, and leave things as they are, and let things manifest on their own, are wrong to say that they are purifying their negative karma and that since it’s all coming out, they’ll be okay. They are not okay. They have not purified the negative karma for that bad experience to arise. Instead, with their habituated negative reaction, they would have created more and more negative karma. Indeed, there are different levels of grasping that allow us to continue collecting negative karma which we may not even be aware of.

Anyway when bad experiences happen, like a relationship breaking up, most of the time, we react negatively. We become depressed and angry and sometimes even contemplate taking our lives.

(c) Purifying negative karma by being reborn in the lower realms?

Negative karma is not purified by your being reborn in the Lower Realms. When you are reborn as an animal, like a snake, you will live out your existence as a snake, killing, eating, stalking and harming. You will be creating more and more negative karma that sinks you lower and lower in samsara. How then can rebirth as an animal, like a snake, be seen as purification of negative karma?

(d) Negative action brings “negative” results!

When you have committed negative acts like cheating and stealing, it is unlikely for you to enjoy the ‘fruit’ of your cheating or your theft. The money you get will create even more negative karma in you to ultimately not enjoy it! More likely the negative karma you have created will, in the future, result in your losing more and more money in some way, or your not getting the money you had expected to get at all!

The karma of cheating a holy and attained being is very heavy. Even though the holy being forgives you easily, you will still have to bear the heavy consequences in the form of tremendous suffering in this or future rebirths.

(iii) The importance of purifying negative karma through purification practices

We have created countless negative karma from countless past lives. The great Buddhist saint, Lama Tsongkhapa did a long retreat to engage in purification practices, during which he did 3.5 million prostrations to the 35 Confessional Buddhas! After that he received direct visions of Manjushri, who told him that he had purified all his negative karma and obscurations.

We can engage in purification practices like prostrations, Vajrasattva meditation with sadhana, and circumambulations around holy sites or Buddha images. When we purify our karma through these practices, we are purifying the karma of that action directly and, with that, we don’t create further karma. In fact, we also gain merit.

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When we engage in practices like prostrations to a Buddha statue, we may experience pain or some form of physical suffering. However, this is good for us. This purifies the karma of our body immediately. At the same time we collect merit to support our spiritual practice.

Sometimes, during a long and intensive purification practice or retreat, you may receive direct purification from your Guru in the form of a scolding and the like. He may even ask you to do your whole practice again after you have completed it. He will deliberately create “difficulties” for you as a form of ‘purification’ within that purification practice. This is how your Guru helps you to make the most of your purification retreat so that you get the maximum benefit of purifying your negative karma. You may even get nasty dreams and nasty experiences, and your Guru will be deliberately ugly and mean to you.

The Guru is treating you this way to push you to overcome your negative mind. A retreat is meant to give your negative mind a break – to stop it from thinking negatively.

Purification practices are very important. You purify your negative karma and will not experience it again. You will gain merits and attainments. The merit will help you grow your understanding of the Dharma, your narrowness of mind will open up, you will achieve depth of realisation, your mind will be firmer and more solid. Your compassion and your ability to forgive and other qualities of your mind will arise naturally. Even your diseases will lighten or be cured.

Purification practices will help you clear the inner and outer obstacles to your learning the Dharma and practising it. Dharma is the only means by which you can free yourself ultimately from all unhappiness and suffering. The more purification retreats you do, the more karma is purified.

Do not take the attitude of not wanting to do purification practices and doing nothing about purifying your negative karma. When negative karma manifests, you will, more often than not, react negatively. This is because you are habituated to do and create more negative karma. You are grossly mistaken to think they are automatically purified by your experiencing the bad experience that arises with the manifestation of negative karma.

(iv) Knowing the Dharma and practising it

Listening to the Dharma, studying it and practising it through mind transformation will ultimately lead you to liberation from all unhappiness and suffering. However, your different levels of karma will impact your receptiveness of Dharma teachings, your understanding of them and whether you will be able to put them into practice.

 

3. Training your mind with Dharma to move from illusion to reality

From a mind that is mired in self-grasping, delusions and negative karma, it is difficult to see life as it truly is and yourself as you truly are. In fact, from our mind of self-grasping, delusions, obscurations and negative habituation, and from our heavy load of negative karma, we are actually seeing life and ourselves as an illusion. Seeing everything in an illusion, but yet to us is so real, leads us to pursue things and activities that, in actual fact, are distractions. These are distractions because they distract us from the true meaning and purpose of life – the pursuit of the truth that will lead us to real happiness.

“I’ve got to survive”

Our being perpetually distracted from the real purpose of life is epitomised in the daily obsession of most people with their frenetic pursuit of careers, wealth, and security because “they have got to survive”! Businessmen and working people (whether their income is $1500 a month or $15,000 a month or whether they have $50mil dollars in the bank) tell you they cannot attend Dharma talks because they have to attend meetings or work late as they have got to survive!

Survival is when the bombs drop around you and your house has been shelled because it is in a war zone! BUT real survival, says Tsem Rinpoche, is when you learn the Dharma and you transform!

“We are scared of being alone”

We go around distracting ourselves 24 hours a day, running after fun, entertainment, food, clothing, relationships, and needing a companion for every meal, because we live in a delusion thinking that we must get away from being alone and being left on our own. After all this running around, chasing one distraction after another, and searching for a good relationship, we end up getting depressed. Our friends, who know no better, believe us and commiserate with us. But when we talk to our Guru, he will tell us the opposite. He will tell us that running around is a distraction because we cannot bear to be alone.

In reality, loneliness is a state of mind; loneliness is not about who we are with or not with. Loneliness is a state of mind where we do not accept who we are inside and what we need to improve. We therefore need to be distracted with other people to make us look away from ourselves.

The Dharma

The Dharma is the precious teachings of Lord Buddha, which shows you how to train your mind and transform it from a self-grasping mind (with all its delusions and negative habituations) to a mind of enlightenment, that is free of karma and delusions, and hence free of any disturbance, distraction or suffering.

The Dharma is the truth that cuts through all your delusions and illusions, and shows you the realities of life and who you truly are. That is why listening to the Dharma, understanding it, applying it by engaging in Dharma practice and transforming your mind is the way to go to achieve liberation and ultimate peace and happiness.

Tsem Rinpoche says that the Dharma may seem harsh but it tells you the truth. It is the only thing that tells you the truth. So we should do something about it! When we let samsaric pursuits push our pursuit of Dharma knowledge to the backseat, and give all kinds of excuses to not even attend a Dharma talk, it shows that we don’t love ourselves that much the right way.

You need a Guru to teach you the Dharma

i) What is a Guru? He or she is someone who shares with you the beautiful, clear, golden unadulterated teachings of Lord Buddha, freely with love and compassionately to you. That is what a Guru is.

The main reason why your Guru is here is to impart the precious teachings of Lord Buddha – the Dharma – with love and compassion. Tsem Rinpoche brings us teachings that come from a pure lineage of unbroken transmissions all the way from Lord Buddha. His teachers were among the great lamas, teachers and scholars of this century, the last of the generation of masters to have been raised and educated in and come directly from Tibet.

ii) The Guru skilfully uses the Dharma to cut through our illusions and delusions so we can see the Truth or Reality.

The main reason why we endlessly chase after the things in this life, which at best only bring temporary happiness, is because we mistake illusions and delusions for reality, and we mistakenly think that the pursuit of distractions is the pursuit of a meaningful and happy life. It is only the Guru that can skilfully use the Dharma to cut through the illusions and delusions so that we can see the truth or the reality.

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It is the Guru who points out to us that the things we pursue daily – money, possessions, fun, entertainment, relationships – are all distractions to distract us from the real purpose of life and from who we really are. He tells us that we have to face and accept ourselves for who we really are and go beyond all that to become better people and to live our lives with correct intent and purpose.

Teaching the Dharma to different types of people with different minds

Dharma is so important that compassionate Gurus will teach all kinds of people with different types of minds, and use all kinds of methods to give the Dharma and plant seeds of Enlightenment in their minds.

There are people who will even use the Dharma to get money and respect. They use the holy Dharma to get things from other people. But then again, don’t they also deserve liberation? Don’t they also deserve a chance? Don’t they deserve the Dharma?

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Since there are all types of people, there are all types of Gurus and all types of manifestations of the Dharma. Gurus or highly developed people manifest in different ways to go to the level of their students. These highly attained beings act at the level of their students not because they are attached to these attitudes or ways of behaving; they go to their level to be “one of them” so they that are able to teach them and help them transform their minds.

 

4. Breaking the preconceived and wrong projections of the mind

When you have a fixed perception of how something should be, no other view can enter because you hold on to thinking and feeling that something must be in this way: this person has to be this way or that way. When you have such a fixed perception and you hold on strongly to how things should be, no other information can come through to you. You lose (as you can see from the example below). Your bad experiences arise only from your own wrong projections.

You have been programmed or habituated many lifetimes with this fixed perception and wrong projections of how things should be, and holding on to them. It is the Guru who teaches us that there is no “this way” or “that way”, beginning with our wrong fixed perception and projections of the Guru himself.

Breaking preconceived ideas and wrong projections of your Guru

If you believe your Guru should be this way, act this way, do things this way or that Dharma should be this or that way, you are actually the one who is wrong because there is no “this way” or “that way”. There is only intent that arises from many lifetimes of habituation and practice.

John Riley Perks, the devoted student of Chogyam Trungpa

John Riley Perks, the devoted student of Chogyam Trungpa

When you know and realise this fully, you will trust the actions your Guru takes in relation to you and all his students. You see his every action as arising from an intent that came from many lifetimes of habituation and practice. Every task he gives you, every teaching you receive from him, every seeming negative action of his towards you is given with an intent (or comes from an intent) that arises from many lifetimes of habituation and practice. This intent has been shaped by the practice of love and compassion for many, many lifetimes.

If John Riley Perks had realised that his Guru, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, had let him go after having him as a personal attendant for seven years, out of his love and compassion and acting from an intent that came from many lifetimes of practice and habituation, he would not have reacted with anger and hurt. This negative response came from his many lifetimes of negative habituation of a fixed preconception and wrong projections of how things should be.

He was reacting from a fixed perception of how his Guru should act. According to this perception, his Guru should treasure him for his devoted service to him and keep him with him. So by asking him to leave, he saw his Guru as behaving in an unfair way to him. So he concluded that his Guru was a monster.

Fortunately, he had merits and had made a good connection to the Guru. Hence, he was able to realise, before it was too late, how kind his Guru had actually been to make him independent. His Guru had taken him in and compassionately trained him for seven years, put the Dharma in his mind and set him free so he could become independent, transform and prepare for his old age. Just as his Guru had wanted him to be, he is now a great Dharma teacher.

Hence, if you believe that your Lama is training you, let him train you. If you fight back, you will keep fighting samsara, life after life after life. Gurus will use unusual methods to train people up. If a student were wise, if a student remembers the pure compassionate motivation of their Guru, a motivation that had been cultivated from many lifetimes of practice and habituation, they will have full faith and confidence and accept and keep quiet. Then they will get the results. We may not see the benefits immediately. But they will come. We cannot give up. We have to persevere like John Riley Perk did.

When we react angrily or negatively to a difficult or challenging situation, the reaction is immediate. This shows that all these negative reactions arise from having preconceived ideas in our minds that have been habituated over many many lifetimes. We need to break the hold that preconceived ideas and wrong projections have on us. We need to rehabituate with the good qualities of compassion, patience, forgiving and the like. Knowing and realising this is the only way we can break our personal samsara and begin to live a life of real meaning, with right intent and purpose.

 

5. Living our lives well with intent and purpose

(i) Cultivating good intent – it’s not the action that makes something negative, but the intent. The difference between an action that comes from good or positive intent and an action that comes from bad or negative intent

Chogyam Trungpa was known to be an unconventional teacher who worked to break his students' fixed perception and wrong projections of how things should be. In Tibetan Buddhism, this is known as 'crazy wisdom' and it is a skilful means employed by compassionate teachers to open their students' minds.

Chogyam Trungpa was known to be an unconventional teacher who worked to break his students’ fixed perception and wrong projections of how things should be. In Tibetan Buddhism, this is known as ‘crazy wisdom’ and it is a skilful means employed by compassionate teachers to open their students’ minds.

Chogyam Trungpa was known for his consumption of alcohol, with a preference for sake. Is that a negative action? No. What if we do the same? Then our action is negative? Yes. Why is there a difference between us and Chogyam Trungpa? The difference is that Chogyam Trungpa has been practising the Dharma for many, many, many lifetimes and purified so much negative karma, so his seemingly negative action cannot affect him negatively, as they can affect us; at the same time, he does not collect any negative karma. This is because his intent for drinking the sake is very different from our intent. There is a huge difference.

Chogyam Trungpa was a completely unconventional teacher. Why? Because not everybody is conventional and a strict adherent to social norms. There are people out there who engage in sex not for the conventional purpose of procreation, and people out there who sleep with multiple partners. There are people out there who cheat on their partners, break vows of love and break their partners’ hearts. There are people out there who lie and cheat others of their money. There are people out there who go against their parents and even use them for money! There are people out there who are seemingly nice on the outside, but are actually not nice. There are all types of people out there.

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche recognised that he lived among these unconventional types of people. Simultaneously, he had a very compassionate intent to bring Dharma to them at their level, acted at their level to be “one with them”. So whether he was drinking sake all day long or sleeping with two women at the same time, he was teaching them Dharma and helping them transform their minds. He was planting seeds of Enlightenment in the men with whom he was drinking sake and the women he was sleeping with, and the people there.

When Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche enacts actions similar to ours, which appear negative, the results will be different. This is because where his intent is positive and compassionate, ours are negative and arises from desirous attachment.

With Chogyam Trungpa there was no attachment to the sex or the drinking of the sake. For him, it was more about what the students were attached to at that point in time. Unlike Chogyam Trungpa, if we were to engage in similar acts, with attachment or desire as our motivation or intent, these acts will be negative and we will collect negative karma that will lead us to the lower realms.

People who were Chogyam Trungpa’s contemporaries, who did not understand the intent behind his seemingly crazy actions, have criticised him for being late for teachings and then teaching all night until 6 or 7 the next morning. Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, though unconventional in style, was teaching them the concept of non-attachment, and to move beyond the rigidity of timing and how things should be, so necessary to practise for people of this modern age where the prevailing delusion or afflictive emotion is desire.

(ii) Cultivating good positive habituation by holding our vows

a) Good intent must be backed up by good habituation

Intent is important to determine whether the action is positive or negative. However, it is not just the intent but also the habituation from which the intent arises that makes the action positive or negative. With Chogyam Trungpa who had cultivated positive habituations over many lifetimes, whether he slept with two or 500 women, these women would have seeds of Enlightenment planted in them. Hence they would eventually ascend to Vajrayogini Paradise. On the other hand, if, after we have engaged in a lifetime of cheating others, and we suddenly go up to some people, give all our money away to them and say, “I have good intent”, who is going to believe us? Who would believe that our intent is good? We do not have the force of habituation to keep our intent real and alive.

b) We need to cultivate good positive habituation by holding our vows

Hence, habituation is a powerful force and we need to cultivate good positive habituation. Good habituation arises from keeping our vows. Holding our vows well depends on our collection of merits, which is also what ensures our getting higher attainments. At the same time, purification of our negative karma will stop us from breaking our vows. The strength of our purification is dependent on our holding our ethics, morality and vows well. Thus, upholding our vows strongly is important for us to re-habituate our minds with good positive habituation. So if we wish to develop powerful positive habituation, we need to constantly do purification practices so as not to break our vows.

Holding vows does not imprison us. Just think of how Chogyam Trungpa, by holding his vows well over many lifetimes, released himself because he had created the actual causes for himself to enjoy the objects to which he appears to be attached (but actually does not have any attachment to), without collecting negative karma.

c) How we cultivate positive habituation by holding our vows

For instance, when you take the refuge vows before the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, you collect a lot of merits when you hold your vows. Every day that you don’t kill, steal, cheat or lie, etc., you will collect the merit for not doing it. Then you re-habituate yourself not to kill, steal, cheat or lie, etc. until it becomes natural not to do those negative things. At the same time, you collect the merits to support you to re-habituate. So the vows are double-fold in effect.

d) How do you ultimately know if an action is good or not? Results are an indisputable testimony

That actions are good or not can be checked by the results. If people who have been with you are positively impacted by your actions – they are happier, have more positive attitudes towards life and relationships with people, have Dharma knowledge and wisdom – these results show that your actions are good. This is the case with the great master and Guru, Chogyam Trungpa. Despite the controversy created by his unconventional methods, Chogyam Trungpa left a powerful legacy of achievements for the Dharma. The Naropa Institute at Boulder, a world-renowned accredited college, and the Shambala Publications, dedicated to the publication of his works are testimony to his achievements.

Even though his methods are not normal, we have no right to criticise him. He has benefited countless people with his method of teaching and spreading the Dharma. At the heart of it all, he operates from a non-grasping mind.

He is one of many great masters who have attained this Enlightened mind with its habituations of positive qualities of compassion, commitment and wisdom. His works and deeds to teach and spread the Dharma, all stemming from the compassion of a living bodhisattva, are also being enacted by other great Masters and Gurus. One of these is Tsem Rinpoche himself.

When you have a highly attained Spiritual Guide like Tsem Rinpoche who will show you how to cultivate and train your mind to achieve a state of non-grasping, and how to develop good habituations to live your life with right intent and purpose, you should hold him and the Dharma he teaches you with great reverence and devotion. Thus you will have shown that you have learnt to truly love yourself the right way.

 

Conclusion

Reading ‘Snakes, Roosters and Pigs’ gives you a sense of immediacy, a sense that you are also reading about Tsem Rinpoche, as a Guru, who has used all methods that have to be used to reach out to all types of people at their level. Though he does not use the same unconventional methods as Chogyam Trungpa, his unique multifaceted approach to reach out to people and spread the Dharma can be seen by the world through his blog.

You feel a strong sense of conviction that this teaching of ‘Snakes, Roosters and Pigs’ gives you the know-how to train your self-grasping mind which has been so deeply habituated through many lifetimes to react negatively and spontaneously to situations. In a precise and accessible manner, Tsem Rinpoche details how you can get out of this negative habituation and re-habituate yourself for ultimate peace and happiness. Here is an experienced Spiritual Guide showing you why you must do it and how to do it. He has done it all and has achieved that mind of Enlightenment – a mind of no more self-grasping, no more delusions, no more negative karma, no more disturbance or distraction.

 

A book I strongly recommend

‘Snakes, Roosters and Pigs’ is a must-read because it helps us to understand how we have been programmed to react from a self-grasping mind, with its three root delusions, every single day. It also shows us how we have been programmed to have fixed preconceived ideas and projections about how things should be. From these preconceived ideas and projections, we are habituated to react mindlessly and immediately in anger and with all kinds of negative reactions, when things don’t happen in the way we expect them to happen. Living out of these negative mind-sets, all our actions and reactions are inevitably motivated by negative intent, which leads to our collecting negative karma.

Next, we are shown how to cultivate a mind that is clear of negative karma (because it is negative karma that creates our unhappiness and suffering). We are also shown how to habituate our mind with positive habituations and develop good qualities like compassion, care, patience and forgiveness. Most of all, the book gives clear insights into how a highly realised Spiritual Guide reaches out with different methods to teach the Dharma to all kinds of people. Whether the recipient is ‘good’ or ‘bad’, they do it because from their compassionate mind, everyone needs the Dharma, to liberate themselves from suffering.

 

The benefits

Reading this book and gaining a better understanding of our mind helps us to avoid negative actions because we know they will bring negative consequences – problems, difficulties and suffering.

  • On a daily basis, the book makes us aware and watchful of our mind to see when the three poisons of hatred, desire and ignorance arise, and equips us with the tools to avert them. This requires patient practice and training. Nonetheless, if we care for ourselves, we will undertake this training straight-away.
  • We will consciously train ourselves to avoid negative actions of body, speech and mind, so as not to create negative karma which will lead to only problems and suffering.
  • Whenever a difficult situation or experience arises which brings suffering, as this book has explained, we will practise reminding ourselves that it is a manifestation of our negative karma. Thus, to avoid creating more negative karma, we will train our mind to avoid reacting in anger or complaining and blaming others. If we react instead with compassion and patience, we will also create merits.
  • As we have an overwhelming abundance of negative karmic seeds in our mindstream from countless past lives and we don’t know when any one will manifest in the form of a horrendous experience for us, we need to learn up purification practices and practise them daily.
  • ‘Snakes, Roosters and Pigs’ shows us how important and beneficial it is to take and hold vows, like the Refuge Vows so as to re-habituate our mind with positive qualities.
  • ‘Snakes, Roosters and Pigs’ also shows us how imperative and beneficial it is for us to have a Spiritual Guide (Guru). With a qualified and experienced Guru, we have the benefit of receiving Dharma teachings from him, and his guidance and his training of our mind, using methods that are tailored to our needs.

 

Some quotes from the book:

THESE THINGS ARE ALL JUST DISTRACTIONS THAT TAKE US AWAY FROM FINDING OUT WHO WE ARE. It’s just one distraction after another, after another. These are all distractions BECAUSE THEY TAKE US FROM THE REAL PURPOSE OF WHY WE ARE HERE.

Loneliness is a state of mind, it is not who you are with or not with. LONELINESS IS A STATE OF MIND WHERE WE DO NOT ACCEPT WHO WE ARE INSIDE AND WHAT WE NEED TO IMPROVE. We therefore need to be distracted with other people to make us look away from ourselves.

Living our lives with Intent and Purpose.

Our PERCEPTION of the object and how it functions and our REACTIONS towards its function is how SUFFERING arises and how our hatred , desire and ignorance increase.

When the object we are engaged with doesn’t fulfil us in the way that we projected or expected it to, OUR SUFFERING arises.

We just always want to be right. We are right, we are right! The Guru is wrong; … Everybody is WRONG and only we are RIGHT – we have the BIGGEST WISDOM.

We are PROGRAMMED to think that if things don’t go our way, we must act or react in a certain way.

Existing out of the self-grasping mind – even existing is collecting negative karma.

 

About the Book

Author: H.E Tsem Rinpoche
Publisher: Kechara Media and Publications
Paperback: 94 pages
ISBN: 978-9675365317
Product dimensions: 13.21cm (H) x 12.7cm (W) x 0.25cm (D)
Weight: 22g

Available on VajraSecrets

 

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Pastor Lim Han Nee

About Pastor Lim Han Nee

A teacher for 30 years, it is no surprise that Pastor Lim Han Nee's life long passion was reading philosophical books to quench her thirst for knowledge. Upon meeting her Spiritual Guide H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche, she was amazed by the brilliance of the Dharma, and began to immerse herself in Buddhist Philosophy through countless of hours listening and studying the Dharma.
Pastor Lim Han Nee

14 Responses to Snakes, Roosters and Pigs by Tsem Rinpoche

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  1. Anne Ong on Mar 29, 2017 at 11:01 pm

    Thank you very much Pastor Han Nee for your beautiful and very indetailed article. I always believe that whatever happens and how we are being treated by others is a blessing in disguise,and everything happens for a reason. I’m not good with the ignorance,hatred and desire as we can’t really see our own weak points. But I’m the type who prefer to get down to basics. Do whatever our Guru says. Try our best to help others. Find ways and means to bring more people to dharma and help them overcome their sufferings. Not for the sake of collecting merits but the great and true satisfaction i feel at the end of the day that puts a smile on my face when i go to sleep everynight brings me true joy and happiness. My main focus right now is to do more social media and quickly help bring down the DS ban, and end the sufferings for all DS practitioners and continue to bring dharma to people. _/\_

  2. Wan Wai Meng on Oct 24, 2016 at 3:12 am

    The book Snakes, Pigs and Rooster gives us an insight on how the mind works. That the real suffering we have is due these invisible creatures afflicting our mindstream lifetime over lifetime.

    With these ‘creatures’, we can’t help but keeping creating our karma, and karma is what brings us further away from enlightenment and deeper into samsara. By collecting and creating merit, it helps us to develop the very causes for enlightenment.

  3. Jayce Goh on Jun 28, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    Thank you Pastor Han Nee for the book review.

    Human have a lots of ego and self-centered recognition which is “I” or “me”. Human tend to emphasize on all the benefit on ownself. All the statement and attachment start from “I” example “yes, I like it” and it interpret in our mind that we really need it , from here the suffering begins.

    Desire is also a stepping stone to hatred .when i like this object and chasing for it . when someone took it away then we get hatred on them.

    From the poisons of ignorance, desire, and ego , it cause our mind get complicates and filled with delusion.

    Thanks Rinpoche and pastor Han nee for this great book sharings.

  4. Carmen Koo on Jun 27, 2016 at 4:08 am

    What a fantastic review on a highly insightful book that aims to transform the way we think, act, behave to reduce our suffering.

    Our suffering is a result of our fixed views, as I myself has had a fair share of them. Reading through this book review, made me go “oh yea”, many times, because it is precisely what I do that creates my own suffering! And because we don’t change our views out of ignorance, the cycle continues, and the suffering continues.

    If what we were doing all these while was indeed correct, then why are there so many around us, and ourselves included, so unhappy, and constantly affected by our emotions and feelings? When I visit the monasteries, I saw many old, senior monks, and even though some have lost their sight, or their mobility, their mind is sound and they remain in a state of tranquil, happiness and contentment. Why is that? Because their whole lives were dedicated to the Dharma, which transformed their minds, and purified their negative karma which blocked the obstacles that would pull them away from practising towards gaining enlightenment.

    This review sounds so simple, yet putting it into practice is so profound. When we are faced we obstacles, some of us give up, some of us look at it as so much work to overcome, some leave it…but how often do we look at it as an opportunity for us to purify our aeons of negative karma? Almost zilch, for me. So this perspective was powerful, that stood out for me also.

    People say that ignorance is bliss, but if our ignorance keeps giving us suffering, and results in our roller coasters emotion, then obviously it isn’t really bliss.

    Thank you Pastor Han Nee for a great piece of writing. Eventhough you are of a more senior age, that does not stop you from your Dharma practice and your works towards serving others. Thank you for inspiring me with your commitment and your review. Keep them coming!!

    Carmen

  5. shelly tai on Jun 24, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    Thank you Pastor Han Nee for this well explain about this book. There is few things that highlight intros book that we as a practitioner must really contemplate like self cherishing , habituation, and correct motivation because of self cherishing we will collect a lot of negative karma even without us realise it that why our guru is so kind to remind us about helping others by helping others actually is a way of purified our negative karma and the more we do it actually it will become a habits for us and helping others become much more easy to sum it up this is a good book for everyone of us to read because it can explain to us why we are always unhappy about our life and always feel dissatisfaction about everything that happen to us.

  6. Sock Wan on Jun 23, 2016 at 7:07 pm

    Thank you Pastor Han Nee for this very comprehensive summary of the book. It makes me want to read the book!

    What strikes me is the part where it is said that a highly attained being even though knows that someone is cheating him but he will ‘let’ them cheat. We think it is very stupid to be cheated when we know their intention already, but little did we know this is so that a connection is established between the highly attained being so that these people can be helped. Rinpoche said before, whether the connection is made due to negative action or positive action, it is still a connection that will lead to good result eventually.

    Rinpoche was also cheated by many people before, including students. One would ask if Rinpoche has clairvoyance, won’t he know that? Of course he knows, but out of compassion he lets them cheat him so that he can help them in their future lives. If we still have doubts on this, that’s probably because of our negative karmas that wrong view arises. So we better do more purification practice.

  7. Wylfred Ng on Jun 22, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    Thank you Pastor Han Nee for the wonderful review of this book.

    The summary by Pastor Han Nee is very easy to understand. Snakes, Roosters and Pigs represent our 3 poisons that make us suffer.

    I also understand the significance of the refuge vows in Buddhism. It is to stop our self to further creating more bad karma that may lead us to endless suffering.

    Thank you

  8. William Chua on Jun 22, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    Our PERCEPTION of the object and how it functions and our REACTIONS towards its function is how SUFFERING arises and how our hatred , desire and ignorance increase.

    We create our world through the way we think and act. And through this we feel a certain way because of our reaction to the situation. Thank you Pastor Han Nee for this article as you have explained very clearly the effects of our karma and that we need to purify our negative karma so that we can generate merits when the negative karma is purified. Also the ways the guru uses for each student is different because each student has a different mindset. Due to the Guru’s wisdom, the guru will teach the student using ways which is easy to relate to. And of course “crazy wisdom” where normal people could not comprehend the action because of ignorance but the guru knows better because he can see further in many many lifetimes ahead.

    The main purpose of the guru is to plant Dharma seeds into our mind stream so that when the time is right or the karma ripens, then we can start our Dharma journey to enlightenment. Our Guru is the most precious because he can liberate us. We need to persevere and to be consistent in our Dharma work so that we can purify negative karma and generate merits. Practicing and keep on reminding ourselves of it will keep our mind strong and eventually be transformed.

  9. Sofi on Jun 21, 2016 at 1:30 am

    Thank you Pastor Han Nee for a clear extract of the essence of Rinpoche’s book “Snakes, Roosters and Pigs”. I agree that this book is a must read. As described by Pastor Han Nee, Rinpoche teaches us to understand our mind that is creating the causes for our unhappiness. Once we understand then Rinpoche teaches us how to overcome and prevent further causes for unhappiness.

    Due to the EGO within ourselves, we constantly seek to fulfil the insatiable “I”, “ME” and “MINE”. Our expectations and perceptions are all geared towards our own needs. So whenever situation does not meet our expectations or as we perceived it should be, then we get upset and angry. Once we realise the cause, then we are able to learn to let go of our anger, frustration or sadness and may instead turn the negative situation around to one that is positive.

    Most of us will definitely need a Guru that is kind and compassionate enough to keep teaching and guiding us to overcome our habituated attachments, which could have been developed from countless pass lifetimes. An attained Guru like H.E. the 25th Tsem Tulku Rinpoche and Chogyam Trungpa are able to foresee the downfalls we are heading for due to our ego and constantly find ways to help us overcome our deep negative habituations. When our ignorance are strong, we may even resist the kindest of Gurus and view them negatively. Therefore this book is a very good read and time should be spent on contemplation of Rinpoche’s teachings to realise the existence of your ego and prepare yourself to receive effective guidance.

    Thank you Rinpoche for being that kind and compassionate Guru for me and may I be able to let go of all my self-grasping mind to be a benefit to others.

  10. Stella Cheang on Jun 20, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    Pastor Han Nee gives indepth review on Rinpoche’s book that makes it easy for readers like me to understand the essence of Rinpcohe’s teaching.

    The quest to seek for happiness is an innate nature of all sentient beings. However no one seem to be have the magical formula that grant permanent happiness. If we read this book, we will realize that it is because of our self-grasping mind that arise from delusions out of ignorance. Since we are ignorant of our willful ways, we perpetuate the same mistakes and create the cause (karma) for more negative experiences, henceforth the downwards spiral.

    From my understanding, to recognize our ignorance is the first step to acknowledging what is wrong with us. Hence we can take steps to rectify it. One of the steps being purifying the negative karma accumulated from our countless previous lives. Due to our negative actions in the past, we now suffer the consequences, which is delaying us from embracing Dharma, the weapon to cut through our ignorance.

    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Han Nee for this penetrative teachings on the 3 poisons. I like the youtube teaching on this topic very much because of Rinpoche’s candid and witty approach.

    Humbly, bowing down,
    Stella Cheang

  11. Uncle Eddie on Jun 20, 2016 at 11:12 am

    As with his usual clarity and dynamic teachings Rinpoche, has shown us how we are the author of our own happiness, sadness or failures, and upon realization, how we can make a practical and immediate turnover in our precious lives for the better! A beloved expertise in his unconventional approach to Dharma, Tsem Rinpoche is said to bring more than 2,500 years of Buddhist wisdom and teachings to today’s modern spiritual seekers. He is capable of expertedly connecting the ancient World with today people’s cultures, attitudes and lifestyles! Our deep heartfelt gratitude and thanks to H.E. The 25th Tsem Tulku Rinpoche, not forgetting of course our beloved kind pastor Lim Han Nee for the sharing of this intersting and beneficial post.

  12. sonny tan on Jun 20, 2016 at 10:33 am

    Thank you Pastor Han Nee for this invaluable insight and illustrative view on the subject of snakes, roosters and pigs. I would like to offer some of my views regarding this matter on giving.
    Kensur Rinpoche has illustrated that though he has given out alms many times he knew that he was misled by some recipients because their purpose is not noble despite knowing of this matter he continually extended help.
    Yesterday at our dharma class on supporting the sangha, a student raised up a question what if someone who donned the monk robes outside the temples and ask for donations, should we offered money to them.
    It was answered that we should offer them food instead of money because we do not know whether that monk in question is really a genuine monk and not a bogus one. Let’s assume that that monk in question is genuine offering food is a very good choice but assuming that if ten persons were to offer food, where would the rest of the food goes to? Maybe this good monk which we are not able to distinguish whether bogus one or not needed money for medical expenses, to buy some needed worn out slippers, toothpaste etc. Therefore by offering food serve no purpose.
    On the other hand if he is not a genuine monk by giving money and he turned out to be bogus monk then would we have committed a crime in helping him cheat others? My perception here is I am in no position to judge whether he is a bogus monk or he may be a Buddha but I would still offer him money because in my mind I am practicing giving unless I know that this monk is a crook then I would refrain from giving him anymore money.
    There was a story it happened at the famous Kuan Yin temple in Penang where one would see beggars lining at the entrance of the temple. There were two beggars one very old and sitting next to him a young one. Naturally, what comes to our mind when giving money, is why give to this young guy when he can easily find jobs we would then offer some money to the old beggar. What we did not know or see after that is really an eye opener to us is that whatever money the old beggar received he gave half to the young beggar. One may question the rationale behind, apparently the young beggar has cancer and only months or days to live but do not have money for treatment, medicine etc. It was out of compassion from this old beggar that he parted half of his money to him. While on our part we have misjudged because of this perception that we continually built this up in our mind because of our conditioned perception, we need to let this perception go and perhaps allow ourselves not to make any comparison the next time we give aid but just give be it out money, food etc. spontaneously from our heart.

  13. Jayce Goh on Jun 16, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    This is a nice article and video . I love this video very much, it helps us to transform to be a better person by overcome our ego , desire and ignorant. It build a better cushion for us to go thru the life time after we transformed. We accept better when negative karma arise and we change our-self instead of blaming. With knowledge, Knowing and realization this is the only way we can break our concept on live well selfishly or live selflessness. we break through the customized concept in samsara since born and begin to live a life with real meaning, with right intent and leave the comfort zone in samsara to enlightenment .

  14. May Ong on Jun 12, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    Tsem Rinpoche and Chogyam Trungpa are both living Bodhisattvas in human form to be near to us whose sole intent was to bring dharma into the lives of anyone who seeks to find the truth or reality. Often as dharma students, we find it hard and struggle within ourself trying hard to break those negative habituation accumulated through many lifetimes.

    A guru points out to us our weaknesses and areas for improvements. If we are in acceptance and open to their unconventional methods, then we improve. It is an uphill battle to beat these three root delusions and we often find these unconventional methods ‘strange’. But over time, like what Pastor Han Nee has pointed out, it will take time for students to make adjustments to these ‘unconventional’ methods but with love, patience and acceptance with an open mind, we find our self ‘changed’ or ‘transformed’ without us knowing of it.

    I have witnessed long time students who changed for the better over time or years and this is the ‘real true’ dharma that has worked and produced results in us. I always remind myself as dharma student we are so fortunate to have a living Buddha sharing these knowledge with us in this age. As Pastor Han Nee said here, this is a MUST get book to read and re-learn from time and time again to review our purpose in life and methods to purify to become better for now and future.

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  • 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
  • Lin Mun
    Sunday, Apr 23. 2017 07:16 PM
    Thank you Grace for this interesting articles about hair. There are just so much info which we do not know previously. Most of the time we may neglect the details, thinking as long as we clean our hair everyday it is sufficient. But there are so many things we need to know for example types of hair, scalp condition, our environment and our physical condition which may affect our hair. Great tips.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/guest-contributors/how-much-do-you-know-about-hair.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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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!
2 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)
3 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
Click on "View All Photos" above to view more images

Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
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    2 weeks ago
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  • Tsem Rinpoche's beautiful Vajra Yogini shrine which is a portal to Kechara.
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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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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
Children as long as 2 years old are ready to learn up skills and attitude that will help them shape their life. When else will be best to instil them with good Dharma values if not since young? Stella, KSDS
2 days ago
Children as long as 2 years old are ready to learn up skills and attitude that will help them shape their life. When else will be best to instil them with good Dharma values if not since young? Stella, KSDS
Senior students of the children class of Kechara Sunday Dharma School had their class in the ghompa every Sunday. 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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Besides young Karlson and Ern Ern, there are new faces in Kechara Sunday Dharma School 2-4 years old. Stella, KSDS
Kechara Sunday Dharma School students 5-6 years old making prostration to Lama Tsongkhapa at the beginning of the class every Sunday. Stella,KSDS
2 days ago
Kechara Sunday Dharma School students 5-6 years old making prostration to Lama Tsongkhapa at the beginning of the class every Sunday. Stella,KSDS
@KecharaHouse tonite, 48 puja attendees filled the air with a loud chorus of prayer n mantra 2 Dorje Shugden n Setrap!  PHNee
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@KecharaHouse tonite, 48 puja attendees filled the air with a loud chorus of prayer n mantra 2 Dorje Shugden n Setrap! PHNee
A big Thank You to the kind volunteers and to Jace Chong!
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A big Thank You to the kind volunteers and to Jace Chong!
Make your weekend meaningful! Contact Jace Chong to volunteer in Kechara Forest Retreat for the aviaries.
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Make your weekend meaningful! Contact Jace Chong to volunteer in Kechara Forest Retreat for the aviaries.
Thank you to our young volunteer to improve the life of the birds in our aviary!
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Thank you to our young volunteer to improve the life of the birds in our aviary!
English Level 2 Dharma Class, Pastor Han Nee started the Day 5 Lamrim, which is the Seven-Limbed Prayer with Homage and Prostration( 35 Confessional Buddha )  was extensively covered. -  Yew Seng
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English Level 2 Dharma Class, Pastor Han Nee started the Day 5 Lamrim, which is the Seven-Limbed Prayer with Homage and Prostration( 35 Confessional Buddha ) was extensively covered. - Yew Seng
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Sunday Dharma class kids learning to take refuge with teacher Alice. Lucy Yap
One of the outdoor activities for KSDS students is to exercise the drawing that near to the nature. Alice Tay, KSDS
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One of the outdoor activities for KSDS students is to exercise the drawing that near to the nature. Alice Tay, KSDS
Teacher Jesvin explained the camp rules and regulations to the camper. Alice Tay, KSDS
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Teacher Jesvin explained the camp rules and regulations to the camper. Alice Tay, KSDS
KSDS teachers and the young participants of WOAH  Camp played & have fun together for this game, Self defense and attack. Alice Tay, KSDS
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KSDS teachers and the young participants of WOAH Camp played & have fun together for this game, Self defense and attack. Alice Tay, KSDS
The younger group of KSDS were happy because they're given chance to feel,touch and play the slime. Alice Tay, KSDS
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The younger group of KSDS were happy because they're given chance to feel,touch and play the slime. Alice Tay, KSDS
Teacher Laura guided the students do meditation. Alice Tay, KSDS
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Teacher Laura guided the students do meditation. Alice Tay, KSDS
Day break at Kechara Forest Retreat! Sunrise meditation during Inner Reflection Retreat, April 2017
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Day break at Kechara Forest Retreat! Sunrise meditation during Inner Reflection Retreat, April 2017
Inner Reflection in April 2017 with guests from USA, Singapore, China and UK! Join our upcoming meditation programs!
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Inner Reflection in April 2017 with guests from USA, Singapore, China and UK! Join our upcoming meditation programs!
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Visitors in Kechara Forest Retreat, circumambulating the holy Vajra Yogini Stupa. Picture credit Pastor Gimlee
Students are getting ready to do prostration in Gompa following a Teacher Kien and Teacher Zhi Yan instruction. Lin Mun KSDS
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Students are getting ready to do prostration in Gompa following a Teacher Kien and Teacher Zhi Yan instruction. Lin Mun KSDS
Teacher Callista & Teacher Irene were sharing with children on the topic of courage. It is good to instil dharma knowledge from young. Lin Mun KSDS
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Teacher Callista & Teacher Irene were sharing with children on the topic of courage. It is good to instil dharma knowledge from young. Lin Mun KSDS
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Children are learning how to recite mantra from teacher Alice and teacher Laura. Lin Mun KSDS
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Students were all so excited listening to the process of making slime as they are going to make one themselves. Lin Mun KSDS
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Robey, Natalie and Lauren doing sharing on how to make slime. A great exercise for them to learn leadership & public speaking. Lin Mun KSDS
Beautiful tormas was offered during Gyenze Puja at Kechara Forest Retreat. Lucy Yap
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