The Importance of Rebirth

Feb 10, 2016 | Views: 709
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Dear friends,

I thought this is a helpful and short extract from Dr. Berzin that might benefit your thoughts and dharma practice. This is reproduced here for strictly educational purposes. Thank you so much.

There are many areas in the Dharma teachings that are not quite completely transferred to the west. Even Great Enlightened Teachers would avoid going into details on some of these subjects when transferring Dharma to the west as yet. The reason is that ‘Newbies’ in Buddhism are not quite ready to understand and accept these teachings that were also given by the Buddha.

This article is a bold step taken by DR. ALEXANDER BERZIN to bridge the gap between the Teachings that are usually avoided and the presently taught Teachings suited to the limited scepticism of ‘Newbies’. Most of us know Dr. Alexander as one of the most leading authorities in introducing Dharma to the west.

May you always be well.

Tsem Rinpoche

 


 

“DHARMA-LITE” versus “THE REAL THING” DHARMA

by Dr Alexander Berzin

 

The Importance of Rebirth

Tibetan Buddhism follows the Indian tradition and all Indian traditions take for granted belief in rebirth. Even if traditional Buddhist seekers do not have a deep understanding of what takes rebirth or how rebirth works, still they have grown up with the idea of rebirth as a cultural given. They need merely to have their understandings refined, but do not need to become convinced in the existence of rebirth. Therefore, texts on the graded stages of the path (lam-rim) do not even mention the topic of gaining conviction in the existence of rebirth.

Without rebirth, the discussion of mind having no beginning and no end becomes meaningless. Without beginningless and endless mind, the entire presentation of karma falls apart. This is because the karmic results of our actions most frequently do not ripen in the same lifetime in which we commit the actions. Without the presentation of karmic cause and effect over the span of many lifetimes, the discussion of the voidness of cause and effect and of dependent arising likewise falls apart.

Moreover, in terms of the three scopes of lam-rim motivation, how can we sincerely aim for benefiting future lives without belief in the existence of future lives? How can we sincerely aim for gaining liberation from uncontrollably recurring rebirth (samsara) without belief in rebirth? How can we sincerely aim for enlightenment and the ability to help others gain liberation from rebirth without belief that rebirth is a fact?

In terms of bodhichitta meditation, how can we sincerely recognize all beings as having been our mothers in previous lives without believing in previous lives? In terms of anuttarayoga tantra, how can we sincerely meditate in analogy with death, bardo, and rebirth to purify ourselves of uncontrollably experiencing them if we do not believe that bardo and rebirth occur?

Thus, it is clearly evident that rebirth is a cornerstone for a large and crucial portion of the Dharma teachings.

 

“Dharma-Lite” and “The Real Thing” Dharma

Most Westerners come to Dharma without prior belief in rebirth. Many approach the study and practice of Dharma as a method for improving the quality of this lifetime, especially in terms of overcoming psychological and emotional problems. This attitude reduces Dharma to an Asian form of psychotherapy.

I have coined the term Dharma-Lite for this approach to Buddhist Dharma, analogous to “CocaCola-Lite.” It is a weakened version, not as strong as “The Real Thing.” The traditional approach to Dharma – which includes not only discussion of rebirth, but also the presentation of the hells and the rest of the six realms of existence – I have termed The Real Thing Dharma.

 

Two Ways to Practice Dharma-Lite

There are two ways to practice Dharma-Lite:

  1. We may practice it with acknowledgment of the importance of rebirth in Buddhism and the sincere intention to study the accurate teachings on it. Thus, we aim to improve this lifetime with the Dharma methods merely as a steppingstone on the way to working to improve our future rebirths and to gain liberation and enlightenment. Thus, Dharma-Lite becomes a preliminary step on the graded path to enlightenment, a step prior to the initial scope. Such an approach is completely fair to the Buddhist tradition. It does not call Dharma-Lite “The Real Thing.”
  2. We may practice it with the recognition that Dharma-Lite is not only the actual Dharma, but also the most appropriate and skillful form for Western Buddhism to take. Such an approach shortchanges and is grossly unfair to the Buddhist tradition. It easily leads to an attitude of cultural arrogance.

Therefore, we need to proceed with great care if we find that, at our present level of spiritual development and understanding, Dharma-Lite is the drink for us.

 

Schematic Summary of Dharma-Lite

Buddhism becomes Dharma-Lite when

  • the aim is to improve only in this life;
  • the student has little or no understanding of the Buddhist teachings on rebirth;
  • consequently, the student has neither belief nor interest in future lives;
  • even if the student believes in rebirth, he or she does not accept the existence of the six realms of rebirth;
  • the Dharma teacher avoids discussion of rebirth or, even if he or she discusses rebirth, avoids discussion of the hells. The teacher reduces the six realms to human psychological experiences.

 

Schematic Summary of The Real Thing Dharma

The Real Thing Dharma is the authentic traditional practice of Buddhism, in which

  • the student at least acknowledges the importance of rebirth on the spiritual path and has the sincere wish to gain a correct understanding of it;
  • the student aims either for liberation from uncontrollably recurring rebirth or for enlightenment and the ability to help all others gain liberation;
  • even if the student aims for improving future lives, this is merely as a provisional step on the path to gaining liberation or enlightenment;
  • even if the student aims for improving this life, this is merely as a provisional step on the path to improving future lives and gaining liberation or enlightenment.

 

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18 Responses to The Importance of Rebirth

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  1. Tek lee on Apr 14, 2017 at 1:41 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article. Yes, it is difficult for “newbies” to believe in rebirth. Especially for people who never came across it before. Most of the Asian, especially Chinese grow up hearing about rebirth. Even can know it from the Hong Kong series / movies which most of us got influenced from. But for the Western countries, and their culture, is totally opposite. Thus, Dharma-Lite is suitable to introduce Dharma for them. I believe in karma and rebirth. There are even a few cases happened in the west that proved rebirth. There was a boy in England, solved his own previous life murder in this life through the imprint he still have in this life. These are the miracle things that proved that is rebirth. But as a start, Dharma-Lite is definitely in used. Just like many Dummies books in the market. Everything must have a simple beginning, then only drill in to detail. Dr Berzin is smart, as he out this detail in concern. So that, many people who are interested in Buddhism, won’t get scared when they hear about rebirth. Thank you Rinpoche _/\_

  2. Lim Han Nee on Apr 12, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    Thank you Dr Berzin.

    I would personally choose to adhere to the Real Thing Dharma, rather than a mere belief that this life is the be-all and end-all.

    Believing only in this life,as in Dharma-Lite , is so superficial and so myopic in vision. Not believing in future lives nor in the existence of the six realms, bounds us to a complete focus on this life as the reason for our existence. Then it makes us revolve around our this-life existence only. There is the frenzy to get the most out of this life. Most unrealistic, for as we hasten to our end, we will definitely become disillusioned , if we are perceptive people. We don’t even pay attention to the consequences of our actions, and become irresponsible and callous.

    When we believe in the Real Thing Dharma, and realize the truth of rebirth and future lives, we will then be concerned about our actions and about not harming others, as we will have to bear the karmic consequences in our future lives.

    We will focus on our evolution, through many lifetimes, toward full liberation and enlightenment so as to be able to help others gain their own liberation and enlightenment. What a magnificent vision!

  3. Samfoonheei on Sep 8, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    Thank you for sharing Rinpoche……very interesting and informative for all of us .Its good to know better whats about death and rebirth.Whats goes around ,comes around…i do believe in karma and believe the existence of rebirth.Have a strong faith and practice Dharma sincerely.Its a good explanation and good teachings about “Dharma-Lite” and “The Real Thing” Dharma.
    Thanks again Rinpoche a good teachings .

  4. yikming on Jul 18, 2016 at 11:03 am

    The concept of rebirth is a logical piece that is coherent with Karma and explain our existence in this samsaric world, where there is lots of inequality in conditions we are born and succumbs to. As we exist in this world is to exhaust our Karma, we aspire to be able to “jump out” of this cyclic effect. However, most common detractors are that we can feel this world, we can see this world, we can touch this world, we can taste this world NOW. But we cannot remember the past currently and in future too, so the “NOW” looks more “real”. This is the part that faith & belief takes precedence in determining our action is aligning to what we say we have faith and belief in. An analogy is credit card, we know we have to pay at some point of time, but the enticing marketing for the latest gadgets, latest fashion, latest lifestyle may blind us to overspend without one making the right decision for the future if one can pay off the “debt”, so we need to stay motivated on the goal at the end of the day, not to sway. Rinpoche, Thanks for sharing this article

  5. CindyH on Jun 14, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    Rebirth does play a prominent role for providing the context for understanding the meaning and purpose of the four noble truths. It is quite logical, we tend to act recklessly when we do not see repercussions and tend to be more cautious when informed of risks. It further emphasizes the principle that actions really do have results and if we focus directly on the actions within the mind that cause suffering those actions can be abandoned which in turn brings the suffering to an end.
    In addition, considering the complexity of the law of karma (especially where the results of good and bad actions do not always appear in the here-and-now), Lord Buddha found it necessary to disclose his knowledge that there are lives after death and he had to include the perspective not just of one lifetime after death, but of many. Thus, inclined to think that the inclusion of the full perspective of lives after death is to drive home the true understanding of the consequences of actions. And that is why Buddha used this perspective when trying to induce a sense of heedfulness in others, so that they would be motivated to practice Dharma. The challenge lies with not just treating this as information but rather to take its significance to form the strong conviction to practice Dharma accordingly.
    Thank you Rinpoche for always teaching about the “Real Thing”.

  6. Kb thapa on Apr 3, 2016 at 1:02 am

    Karma brings us ever back to rebirth, binds us to the wheel of births and deaths. Good Karma drags us back as relentlessly as bad, and the chain which is wrought out of our virtues holds as firmly and as closely as that forged from our vices.Thank you Rinpoche for the article…

  7. Frederick Law on Mar 4, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    Rebirth is an interesting topic that Western Culture and Easter Culture discusses about. Either you believe it or not, it exist.

    Many people view rebirth differently, as those who are new to Buddhism takes rebirth as a way to improve this current life, to heal their emotion, depression and life.

    Yet, to understand the whole concept of Dharma, you need to take rebirth seriously because the mind, karma and rebirth is interlink, without Rebirth, there will not be mind/ consciousness exist, without the mind Karma does not exist.

    What ever obstacles or Karma that we face in this life, stems from the cause that we have created in the past, maybe not this life, but our previous lifes, the karma does not ripen immediately, but carries over from life to life. We may take rebirth as human, or animal, or we might take rebirth as Devas or we become hungry ghost. The sentient being of the 6 realms exist, and where which realms we take rebirth in depend on our current human life.

    Dharma help us realize that taking rebirth in the 6 realms of samsara only brings suffering and no pleasures, as we constantly create the karma conciously or unconciously to suffer.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this interesting post

    Sincerely,

    Frederick Law

  8. Sarah Yap on Mar 3, 2016 at 11:40 am

    Very interesting and informative article. Thank you for sharing Rinpoche.

    It is true that most Asians would have quite a solid view that rebirth or reincarnation is the natural course of life and death. While some religions that may not believe in reincarnation would believe that the deceased is in a better place, I come from a background that involve ancestral worshipping… and before Dharma, I have always wondered, why do we always assume the worst that our deceased ancestors are either in hell or became a ghost lol! Because every year, my grandmother would burn ‘hell money’ as offerings to our ancestors. And I found that very strange. For some reasons.

    1) Even if the deceased is in hell, how does burning hell money works? Can they bribe the ‘hell guards’ so that they can have some break time?
    2) And what is the point of burning this hell money? Can our deceased ancestors ‘buy’ their way out with this hell money? And if they cannot, then what’s the point of burning them?

    With these few questions that no one can answer me at that time, made me not want to be involved with ancestral worshipping lol. I’m not saying its wrong or right, just that it wasn’t the thing for me.

    Of course, these were questions I had prior to knowing a little Dharma. I wish I knew Dharma earlier, then I could have made offerings to the Buddhas and dedicate the merits to my deceased ancestors for their swift rebirth or may they meet the Dharma if they have taken rebirth in a fortunate human body.

    What’s my point of saying this? As Alexander Berzin mentioned that rebirth is accepted as a cultural given, the concept, idea and understanding is not there, for most who have not met the Dharma. And sometimes being born in such dogma can be quite a challenge to break the perception causing many to fall into practising the Dharma-Lite version.

    Ultimately, I think it is up to the individual. Whether one is born into a culture that supports reincarnation or not, has no advantage over the other. Only learning will benefit them.

  9. Li Kheng on Feb 24, 2016 at 12:34 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for this blog post on rebirth.

    It is true, many Asians including myself grew up with a natural acceptance of rebirth. Concepts like rebirth and karma are as natural and, in some ways, taken for granted as the sun rises in the east and sets on the west.

    However, with study that opens our minds to more knowledge about rebirth, we can begin to identify the signs of it in our daily lives and with the people we interact with. There are phenomena in life that can only be explained with previous lives and rebirth.

    The acknowledgement of rebirth and previous lives are also gaining support from men of science like Dr Brian Weiss and Dr. Ian Stevenson who dedicate their life work to shedding light on this topic with logic, reason and scientific study.

    May more people have the courage to be direct and up front about rebirth because the global citizen of the 21st century is an informed one and sincere, honest and substantiated presentation can win much support.

  10. Nicholas on Feb 23, 2016 at 12:01 am

    Just as described in the post that it’s important to believe the existence of rebirth else the entire logic of karma or cause and effect will be hard to explain.

    Personally for me just knowing about rebirth is just like reading a story from a book. What important is not just acknowledge but what is the action after realising it. What are we going to do now to make a positive change for our future rebirth?

    We can take a step at a time to make a change but we must start now because knowing there is a rebirth we should also realise we can die anytime due to our karma for taking rebirth.

    Our spiritual learning and practice is important to prepare us to meet the unexpected and preparation for our future lives.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this post. It may sound scary for some people that always avoid talking or even thinking of death but this post is a alarm clock to wake us up to face the reality.

  11. Pastor Han Nee on Feb 15, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    In this article on “Dharma-lite” and “The Real Thing Dharma”, DR. ALEXANDER BERZIN astutely “bridges the gap between the Teachings that are usually avoided and the presently taught Teachings suited to the limited scepticism of ‘Newbie

    Having read and reflected on the 2 approaches, I feel strongly about the need to be engaged in “The Real Thing Dharma”.A firm conviction in Karma and Rebirth must form the basis of our path of Dharma practice so that we can attain complete Liberation from Suffering and uncontrolled rebirth and Ultimate Peace and Enlightenment. Without the presentation of karmic cause and effect over the span of many lifetimes and rebirths, it will be difficult to see how karma works out and develop a conviction about it. If we practice Dharma without this conviction about karma and rebirth, it becomes merely “ a method for improving the quality of this lifetime, especially in terms of overcoming psychological and emotional problems”.

    Again,”(h)ow can we sincerely aim for enlightenment and the ability to help others gain liberation from rebirth without belief that rebirth is a fact?

    This ‘Dharma-lite’ approach , unless it is seen as “a stepping-stone on the way to working to improve our future rebirths and to gain liberation and enlightenment”, is an approach that short changes for the ultimate supreme goal that we seek, and gives us instead something so short-term and temporal as just to help us cope better with this life.

  12. YEO KWAI GIN on Feb 14, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    感谢仁波切的分享 !
    佛法~~是非常奇妙的,它可以融入和用在任何事情状况,人际关系,教学,任何人无论在于他或她信不信佛教等等。。。

    仁波切以上谈到Dharma-lite一群,虽然他们有些不相信因果或相信因果但不相信轮回,或相信因果轮回但不想提及地狱,但佛法依然可以在心灵上的心识转化,为他们解决事物上·人际上和感情上帮得上忙!还有,很多人还大多数以“无事不登三宝殿”的心态才接触佛法,遇到困难,才寻找佛法为他们解决问题。虽然这样的事情时常发生,但这是一个好的“开始”,第一次的接触,就有机会让他们继续了解佛法,直到证得更高的成就!

    我是非常的幸运,可以遇见上师您,还有这含有丰富佛法教育和知识的部落格,让我从中学习佛法 !

    感恩 合十
    YEO KWAI GIN

  13. Lin Mun on Feb 13, 2016 at 10:47 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    Thank you for sharing Dr Berzin’s article.

    As a Buddhist it is very important to believe the existance of rebirth. Without rebirth then there will be no beginingless, endingless and karma which is being stressed in Buddhism. It is by believing rebirth that we will improve our self, practise dharma and follow the path that leads to enlightenment.

    The existance of Dharma-Lite and The Real Thing attitude is due to different level of understanding in Buddhism. Since Dharma-Lite group may not have full understanding of Buddhism hence they practise Dharma with a limit for their ‘convenience’. Their motivation is driven for the benefit of themselves rather that focusing outside to all sentient beings.

    While The Real Thing attitude will practise dharma for the benefit of others as this is the way that lead to liberation. We here are very fortunate to be given this opportunity to practice the Real Thing with proper guidance in Kechara.

    Again thank you Rinpoche for creating this opportunity for us.

    With folded hands,
    Lin Mun

  14. Jason on Feb 13, 2016 at 10:27 pm

    Thx Rinpoche for sharing. At first I know Buddhism, I’m in Dhama Lite category because what we want is the real and instant result from what we had scarify or contribute.People are more concern this life rather than future lives.Dharma lite is steppingstone for us to become a real dharma practitioner.
    Belief in karma is a must in either Dhama lite or Real Thing Dharma to make us create more positive actions.Once the more good cause we created we are in the path to be good rebirth or liberation of rebirth and towards enlightenment path.
    Rinpoche blog is the source for me to become a good person(good action), especially in spiritual awaken.

  15. Chris on Feb 13, 2016 at 12:32 am

    Dear Rinpoche ,

    Thank you for sharing this very simple yet spot on article. In this article, the author had mentioned about the two attitude when it comes to practice dharma. Dharma-lite or the real thing.

    Dharma-lite is the attitude where the practitioners only wanted to use dharma to improve their current life. They does not believe in rebirth or not informed of the concept of rebirth in Buddhism. In my opinion, most modern days practitioner have this kind of attitude. They just come to the temple or institute to find ways to improve their business, their family relationships, or their current mental state. When they get what they want, they will just do the minimum effort to maintain their current state without having the aspiration to go deeper into Buddhism.

    Real thing dharma is where the practitioner will aim to be liberated from samsara to benefit all sentient being by achieving enlightenment. I believe Rinpoche had created Kechara to nurture practitioners with this kind of attitude. Rinpoche always advice us to see far, do more and transform our mind. By transforming our mind, we will be able to move closer towards the goal of enlightenment.

    Humbly,
    Chris

  16. Pastor David Lai on Feb 12, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    I think this article points out a very fundamental aspect of the Buddha’s teachings that many casual Buddhist practitioners fail to realize. We do not have sufficient conviction of previous and future lives and that we don’t even have conviction in the other realms of existence. Dharma lite or the real things, it largely depends upon our understand and eventually realization of the teachings.

    Some of us may profess to be a Buddhist and is holding the view of the ‘real thing’ but is that reflected in our practice and actions. Do we have conviction that we would transform our lives and the way we think to fit our understanding and realizations and not the other way round… These thoughts come to mind as I was reading the article.

  17. So Kin Hoe (KISG) on Feb 12, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing the article written by Dr Alexander Berzin. In this article, Dr Alexander Berzin has pointed out a very important key item to me that if one does not have deep understanding of what takes rebirth or how rebirth works, one’s practice will not be sincere and only becomes a worldly concern aiming to improve oneself in this lifetime rather than practicing Dharma to benefit others and gaining self liberation from samsara. Understanding and knowing the importance of rebirth deeply is part of building a strong basic foundation to prepare oneself before moving forward for higher teachings in Dharma. By remembering the rebirth, it also links to the topic of death which is unavoidable and we should not take death for granted before we are running out of time to purify our karma and generating merits while we are still in one piece.

    Thank you Rinpoche for your kindness to provide endless Dharma teachings to all sentient beings from every corner of the world.

    With folded hands,
    kin hoe

  18. Stella Cheang on Feb 10, 2016 at 11:17 pm

    Buddhism is truly an omniscient religion, where it can be applied by people of various level of understanding and acceptance. If Buddhism is being practiced accordingly, practitioners will benefit no matter which level one dwells in. At the minimum level, which Dr Alexander Berzin had graciously called it Dharma-lite, one can improve the condition of this life even though one has little or no understanding of Buddhist teachings especially on rebirth. Of course, Dharma-lite cannot represent the true essence of Buddhism because without the understanding or acceptance of rebirth, one will have no belief on the existence of the six realms, hence, unable to apprehend the concept of mind that transcend time. If one has no belief in rebirth, one may not be motivated to be liberated, consequently severely crippled the drive to be a Boddhisattva.

    On the other hand, we are really fortunate and I am very thankful that Rinpoche had always emphasizes and teaches us the “Real Thing”. Rinpoche had given profound teachings on Karma, and our Mind on Youtube since many years ago. As a result we are not unfamiliar with the “Real Thing” and able to appreciate the importance of rebirth, karma and the working of our mind. Some of Rinpoche’s teaching on Karma and Mind e.g.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/the-mind-and-lama-tsongkhapa.html
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/discovering-yourself-a-teaching-on-karma-mindstream.html

    Thank You very much, Rinpoche, for sharing this article for our learning.

    Humbly, bowing down,
    Stella Cheang

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

    Jason

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Han Nee for this article.

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

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

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Messages from Rinpoche

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CREDITS

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

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

Tsem Rinpoche

What Am I Writing Now

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The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

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

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    2 weeks ago
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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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