The Mind and Lama Tsongkhapa

Sep 29, 2015 | Views: 9,978
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Dear all,

I gave a Dharma talk to a few of my students in my residence a while ago and I thought I’d share this on my blog for everyone to listen. In this video, I talked a little about the vastness of our mind, how our mind shapes our present condition and how it’s interlinked with our spiritual practice. 

I hope that this short teaching will help you understand more about the true nature of our minds and how we can transform our minds to be more stable and understand the Dharma clearer through Lama Tsongkhapa’s practice. I received these teachings from my gurus, and I hope it will benefit you as it did me. 

Do watch this short video and let me know your feelings. Thank you.

Tsem Rinpoche

 

 

Transcript

Transcribed by: Gift Team

Checked by: Pastor Khong Jean Ai

 

[OPENING]
So let’s get another girlfriend again, let’s get another boy, let’s move to another country. Let’s get a new car, and then we do the same thing over a third time, a fourth time, a fifth time until we say, “You know, I think I want to kill myself. I think I’ll just get a job that keeps me very busy so I don’t have to think about all this anymore.” Alright? That’s what happens, my dear.

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In Buddhism, we call the consciousness or mind, sempa. And what happens is this, is our mind is connected to our body, but it’s not a part of it. And it can separate, it is separate, but it temporarily abides in it. Now, our mind, there are two types. There is the gross mind and there is the subtle mind. G-R-O-S-S. The gross mind is an extension of the subtle mind. The subtle mind is the ultimate mind that is you. Now, this mind that is the subtle mind is what travels from one life to another. It is you but you are not defined by it. But it creates who you are. So the meaning of that is, that it, when clouded by ignorance, is where we are right now. When it is clouded by ignorance, creates actions that further the ignorance, creates the body, the speech, the functions, the environment, the friends, the people to increase the ignorance. So therefore this mind – that’s the subtle mind – appears three times. It appears to you when you are in the deepest part of sleep. It appears to you when you are having an orgasm, but it’s very quick at that time and usually when people are having orgasm, it is something that’s very quick and they don’t focus on that, they focus on the physical pleasure. The third time is at the time of death. This is when this mind appears.

Now, during orgasm this mind appears, is at the height of orgasm, you’ll see some darkness or some redness. You blank out, it’s… and people say, “Oh, because it blew my mind it’s so good,” actually it’s not that. It’s you actually. Your physical constituents are forcing you to go back to your real mind through orgasm. So that’s why ancient, ancient tantric practitioners of Hinduism, Tantrism, Tantra and Buddhism, they don’t use sex as a measure or a vehicle for pleasure. It’s a vehicle to get to the mind. Real Tantra. But corrupted tantra, there is always about beautiful women, it is about sex, it’s about having as much fun as you can, and “I am a monk but I can have that because I am doing Tantric practice”. No. No. There are many, many strict rules to follow before you can engage in that type of practice. But it’s available. So that is out of our hands.

When you are dreaming, you can see, you can hear, you can feel, you can taste, touch, and it’s so real. But what are you using? You are not using your eyes but you can still see, smell, and very real. Some people get premonitions in their dreams, dreams of the future. You can hear, what are you hearing? You can taste, what are you tasting? So this ability to taste, touch, see and feel without your physical aggregates, your body, proves to you your mind is separate from your body. Think about that for a moment, just for a second.

It proves to you and this was written by the great Indian pandits of the past in the Buddhist monasteries of India, this is not from Tibet. These are all spoken and taught by the Indian great masters. Because they don’t sit there and say, “Just pray!” They teach you. Now, what the great Indian pandits had told us, the great Indian masters, incredible, Dharmakirti, Nagarjuna, Chandrakirti, Shantideva, Aryadeva, Arya Asangha, these Indian masters, just fully enlightened. In any case, the Tibetan people went there to sit at their feet to learn and bring the Dharma back to Tibet from India.

Now, they said that this subtle mind works on a secondary basis, meaning very fast. If you have a moment, you have a prior moment and you have a following moment. You have a pre- and post-moment. Without the following moment, you can’t have the next moment. Without creating the post-[moment], you cannot have this one, so it’s continuous. So it’s like a film reel. Now, right now, let’s say you are 25 years old, and you are who you are. The fact that you are existing right now, 25 years old, means you existed at 24. Do you need to prove to me you existed at 24 by pictures and dates?

Audience: No.

I look at you and I know you existed. And if I say, “No, prove it to me”, forget it just go home. This guy is ridiculous right? So do you need to prove to me you existed at 12?

Audience: No.

Correct. But did you look, do you look like you at 12? No. You’re completely different.

Audience: Right.

Correct, but if I say to you, “Prove to me that’s you,” it’s silly. It’s you. Now, if you existed at 25, you existed at 12. If you existed at 12, you must exist at birth. If you existed at birth, you must have existed 9 months in your mother’s stomach.

If you existed the 9 months of your mother’s stomach, you must have existed at conception. If you existed at conception, you must have existed 1 minute prior to conception. If you existed 1 minute prior to conception, you must have existed 1 hour prior to conception, 1 month, 1 day, 1 year, 10 year, 100, 1000 years. Because if you didn’t exist 100 years prior to conception, you cannot exist at conception, you cannot exist now and you will not exist tomorrow. Therefore it’s a continuation. On that basis you can subjectively say reincarnation exists.

Well, you have done two things, okay now? One is you’ve identified the mind is separate from the body; second is you’ve identified that the mind exist before, after and current. So you’ve identified the mind existing in two ways, so you can indirectly perceive that reincarnation can exist because if your mind does not exist separate from your body and then where is your mind? Where is your mind? That’s what the great Indian masters told us and we meditate on. This comes from India, the birth place of two great religions in the world. This comes from the great Indian masters of Bodhgaya, Nalanda, Odivisha and uh… khasi warey… oh, those monasteries, where they studied Buddhist teachings for thousands of years. That’s why I say when I am sharing Buddhism with you, it’s not about “pray. You don’t accept, you go to hell”. No, I am explaining to you how it works and the way I explain to you, the way, is “if you don’t accept you are wrong”? No! This is the explanation, you take it. That’s why Buddhism never condemns. Never. So, either that or you believe in the God theory.

And the God theory is this – God created you in His image. Which race? God controls your life, in what way? But you have freedom of thought. God is merciful and therefore, everything comes from him, everything is pre-destined and everything is pre-packaged for you. So why is it that you have to suffer and the other doesn’t? And if you suffer, what does God get, what does anybody get? “Oh but that wasn’t God’s plan.” God’s plan was for you to suffer? “But he is compassionate.” So if you take the God theory, your spectrum of faith has to be very great without too much logic behind it. You can’t think too much, you can’t question, you just have to believe. So for a lot of people today – because Buddhism is the fastest-growing religion in America now – for a lot of people in America today where the education is very kinda high, we can’t accept that anymore. It’s it… they can’t accept.

So they say, “Look, if you believe in the God theory, there are all these loopholes that you’re going to have to just, say, take on faith. But the reincarnation there are too – loop holes – but it will be less.” Now, if your mind is separate than your body and your mind continues from life after life, if that is the case, what determines where you take rebirth? How you take rebirth? The circumstances and your experiences? Well, that comes completely from one’s own action, that’s how karma plays. Karma is not black or white, there are many types. There is throwing karma, environmental karma, group karma, individual karma, there is relational karma. There are many types that Buddha explained. Now, in a nutshell, actions that are created from contamination, meaning actions that the motivation is totally for the self, creates further samsara, creates the causes for you to take rebirth. If you think about it carefully, and you put away all this new age stuff… if you think about it carefully, from the time you are born to the time of your death, it’s pure suffering. For others, for yourself, no matter how beautiful you put it. “Oh my god I had the husband, I had the kids” – you know what? The husband is pure suffering and the kids are pure suffering. You love the kids, no disrespect, they are pure suffering. They were suffering for your body, they were suffering when you gave birth, they were suffering to raise them, they were suffering for you to teach them and when they grow up, will they be good people? And that’s another suffering.

Alright, so actually kids are pure suffering. Having kids, bearing kids is pure suffering. Having a husband is pure suffering. You lose your freedom, you lose your identity. You got to do it this way, you got to do what they want, what they don’t want; they might turn out to be a good person, a bad person. You know, they might become deluded, they might be compassionate, you don’t know. And… and if they turn out to be great and you stay with them, in the end you have to… you have to fear that they’re gonna die and you’re gonna be alone and still they are suffering, alright. And then you say, “Okay, if I get a job then I am happy. I don’t get married and I don’t have kids.” No, you look for wealth, you got to pay bills, you got to deal with the heat, you got to deal with the sickness, you got to get old. You know, you got to deal with nasty people, you got to deal with talk. From the beginning of your birth till the end it is nothing but suffering and that is not meant to be taught to you to make you depressed but to make you see the truth so that you can rise above it and say, “Okay, what is the solution?”

When you believe in reincarnation, the ball is in your court. You take control and you have no right to be depressed or hurt people or push responsibilities onto others. When you believe in a theory of a creator, you push all the responsibilities away. You expect that person or that being or that god to do it, you don’t have to do anything because you prayed what. So in fact you lose control. This is not about control, this is about taking responsibility.

Audience: Accountability.

Accountability, responsibility. You see, accountability is being tolerant of what you have gone through because you have created the causes to experience it and responsibility is not to further them. So that means if she slaps me, I’m accountable because I must have slapped her before. Alright, and so when I take responsibility, I don’t slap her back. Okay, that karma is finished. You got me, I got her; it’s done. So accountability and responsibility arises when you accept reincarnation. Does that make sense? Okay, now you relax and think for a moment. If reincarnation is the case, the immediate reaction anyone has is, you take responsibility and you stop blaming others.

So does it make sense to make wars on others? Does it make sense to blow them up if they don’t believe in your religion? Does it make sense to condemn others? Or does it make sense to be tolerant because you know that’s their karma? Hence when Buddhism believes in reincarnation, it creates a race of people, a group of people that are peaceful, that take responsibility, that don’t blame it on others. Okay, so that means our luck in life is no one’s fault, the world owes us nothing. What’s better? To think that the world owes you everything or to think that you create the causes?

Audience: Much better, or easier.

Well, I think I think it’s not easier or better but I think it makes less trouble for everybody who’s here. So then you say, “Well, it could be a formula for total depression because I created all this ugliness, I created all this karma.” The good thing about karma is it’s malleable. It’s changeable. It’s purify-able. It is not permanent and not stagnant and you are creating karma every minute you exist. So karma doesn’t make you stuck. Karma gives you hope. And to meditate and contemplate and reflect on your life in suffering, contrary to making you depressed, it gives you hope to say, “I want better.” Now, when we believe in karma, when we accept karma and reincarnation, first thing that comes to our mind again is you take responsibility, you don’t blame others. We stop blaming our mothers for being horrible to us, if they were. We stop blaming the world, we stop blaming everybody. You say, “But what could this innocent child have possibly done to deserve this? Ah, their previous life.” What could this innocent child have done? He’s only been alive for a few years and he’s just a… well, it must be there’s a cause. That’s why in Buddhism, it says the cause resembles the result. The result resembles the cause. Doesn’t that make a lot more sense for the moment? So when we accept that, that our life, we will reincarnate, we will come back…

Now, Buddha described six specific realms in which we can reincarnate and three planes of existence. The three planes of existence are form, formless and desire. Within the desire realm, we have six categories: human, gods, demi-gods and uh, animals and uh, spirit and hell realms. But the hell realm is not in the monotheistic sense that once you go there, it’s forever. It is a temporary place that once the karma has finished, you come out. Where does the hell come from? Our own karma. Where does everything around us come from? Karma. Perhaps the very reason we are meeting is a prayer you made in a previous life, that’s fruitioning now. Meaning what? Maybe in a previous life, you have meditated, you have prayed and said, “In the future, when the times are degenerate, may I come across a situation where I am trained to promote something that is beneficial, peaceful and helpful to bring some relief to others. And may that situation come.”

So meeting me is not your savior in disguise… savior in disguise. Meeting me is a fulfillment of your prayer perhaps. Not meeting me is your fulfillment but what we are going to do is a result of your prayer. Not me, I’m not the God here. You get what I mean?

Audience: Yes.

So, perhaps that’s why when you heard this job, you were instantly attracted. It’s not so much me, it’s perhaps your own wishes. What is prayer? Prayer is generally your wish and when you make a prayer, you plant the seeds for that wish and the seeds are planted and it will open in the future. It’s called a karmic seed. Seeds never go away till they open up. They are planted in a vault.

So when we practice Dharma… Dharma is the correct conduct, what Buddha taught. Correct conduct, ethical conduct. When we practice correct Dharma, the Dharma is meant to give you knowledge into what I explained to you, more in depth. It also teaches you how to re-habituate your habits because our mindset is what created us to be in our situation. So to have the same mindset to leave would be impossible. We have to have a different mindset to leave what we created. To have that different mindset, you need knowledge. You need understanding, you need contemplation, you need belief, you need trust. How will that come? That’s where you seek a Dharma teacher, a Dharma book, a Dharma community. A community that can give you this knowledge. So when you get this knowledge, you absorb it, you do the meditations, you think about… What’s meditation? To familiarize you with your self and to stop and to look at it from different angles, to find loopholes and to be confident about it. That’s what meditation is about.

Meditation is not about ‘you have to accept and if you don’t you are wrong’. No. Meditation is to be a proponent and an opponent. Either way. So therefore, what I… what I have shared with you just now, you go back with it. You don’t say, “Eh wow, that was great, I love it, it’s fantastic, I believe in it.” You can’t say that. You say, “No, I’m going to check it out more.” Why? The more you check it out, the stronger your faith. Faith in what? In something that is operating in the universe that you were not aware of. Reincarnation wasn’t created by the god heads of Hinduism or Buddha. Buddha recognized its operation and taught it to us and said, “It’s like that.” It’s like scientists who say, “Hey there are atoms and molecules.” They didn’t create it but we call them the father of blah blah blah blah blah… right, atom bomb or whatever. But they didn’t create the atom. They recognized it. So Buddha is incredible because Buddha doesn’t tell you, “I created the karma. I created the rules. I created the six realms. I created reincarnation and if you don’t follow, if you don’t go along, you’ll be punished.” Buddha says, “No, I didn’t create any of that. That was existent. But I am the Buddha who has seen that with my awakened mind to come back and let you know it is like that so you can transcend.”

So the difference between Buddha and a God, or a savior or prophet is this: it is that Buddhas don’t claim the creation of what is. Buddhas recognize and share. So why is it you need a Buddha to recognize? Obviously you need to be awakened to recognize something that is so universal, so powerful, so broad and so technical. A teacher. Now, the good thing about Buddha is he doesn’t sit on the throne and say, “Well, you sit on the floor, and you are to worship me for recognizing the truth and I tell you the truth and this is the way the universe operates so you are indebted to me.” Buddha says, “Yes, you should respect me. Yes, I am alright for you to worship. Yes, you may offer flowers and garlands and all that to me, and you will collect merit, you will collect good luck. Yes, but that’s only temporary because the goal is for you to be a Buddha. For you to become enlightened, for you to sit here, with me.” That is the goal of the Buddha. And Buddha recognized the gods; the gods are in another realm where beings exists for thousands of years. The Buddha recognized the hells. The Buddha recognized the ghosts, recognized the spirits. Definitely he recognizes there are different states of existence. He even recognizes other dimensions. He also recognizes, in the text, UFOs and all these beings because why? They’re just other beings. To us, it’s like, “Wah, UFO, little green men.” No. To the Buddha, it’s like, “Yeah, they’re little green men but they’re also places where we can reincarnate.” They’re considered humans, by the way. So therefore, the Buddha tells us these are the places where we can reincarnate, these are the places where we can experience what we have experienced and that all came from us.

So if you run around, stealing and stealing and stealing and stealing and stealing, and next life you come back very, very poverty stricken, and how hard you work, how much effort you put it, how much time you put in, you still can’t make the money… don’t start taking a machine gun and shooting people on campus. Okay? Don’t start blaming your parents – your father is a gambler – don’t start… well, you created the karma to be born in a gambler’s family, to have the environment to grow up to be a loser. You know that was created by you initially. So then you say, “Well, it’s created by me, I’m stuck.” No. You’re in this situation now but you can change it. Create different karma. So hence, we have different mantras. We have different meditations, we have different deities. We have different practices. We have different Buddhas. The Buddhas and the various forms of Buddhas are representations of the path to enlightenment. For example… Lama Tsongkhapa.

The Buddha Lama Tsongkhapa sits in this posture with his legs crossed, wearing monk robes and smiling, white in colour, pink body, holding two lotuses. The iconography is that of a gentle smiling Buddha with a yellow hat, blessing you with lights coming from heaven. But the meaning behind it is very profound. Why? When you meditate on the form of Lama Tsongkhapa, everything on his body – the symbology, the colour, the iconography – represents a facet of the enlightened mind which when you meditate on, opens up that potential within you. So what you’re doing is when you pray to a Buddha, you are opening up that facet within you, opening the Buddha in you. So it’s worship but not in the sense of ‘give me everything’ worship. It’s more of a worship, of a respect of an end product of which you are engaging to accomplish. You are worshipping an end product of what you will engage in accomplishing. So you are worshipping your result.

Why do we need to worship at all? Well, there are enlightened beings that, if we associate with, there are big blessings. So when we meditate on Lama Tsongkhapa and we focus on Lama Tsongkhapa and we recite his mantra and we do the meditation, the immediate benefit is the counter of depression. Now, when we do Lama Tsongkhapa’s practice, the immediate effect – meaning over a period of time, there are higher attainments and normal attainments – is we relieve our depressions, we relieve our mind of the feeling of senselessness, loneliness and the feeling of purposelessness. And when we meditate on Lama Tsongkhapa and recite the mantra further, we gain wisdom, seven types of memories. We gain clarity, we gain sharpness of the mind and as we age, we don’t become dumb, retarded and forgetful. You know why? Because when you recite Lama Tsongkhapa’s mantra, you move the energies in the body to increase the flow of wisdom, prana, chakras, chi – different languages for the same thing. So you move the chi of your body, so that you become alert. Haven’t you seen very old Chinese people, 90 or 100 years old, they are very alert? Haven’t you seen old Hindu people in India, 110 year old man doing yoga? They are very alert, very healthy because they are using their energies to keep up their mind. Definitely. These two ancient cultures are very powerful.

Now when you do Lama Tsongkhapa’s mantra, meditation and practice, you also purify the actions you’ve done in your previous lives that creates further sufferings in this life. Very powerful. Now, Lama Tsongkhapa’s hands is like this. Lama Tsongkhapa’s hands is like this; this represents turning the wheel of Dharma. The outer meaning is, “I will convey the Dharma to you so that you may gain wisdom”, that’s what I am doing with you right now. The inner meaning is to absorb the Dharma and to learn it, to apply it and get the result. Result is what? Happy mind, a mind of hope, a mind that has wisdom, a mind that can share wisdom with others. So this is the mudra. ‘Mudra’ is Sanskrit for ‘hand position’. Okay? Now Lama Tsongkhapa also holds a stem of a lotus that goes up here and another stem of lotus that goes up here. Two stems of lotuses opens up, on one side is a sword. A sword represents penetrative wisdom. Meaning? A sword is meant to what? Cut. This is meant to cut your selfishness. How do you cut it? By wisdom. What is wisdom? Knowledge. You get that from your teacher. The right side is a Dharma text. The Dharma text is actually knowledge. So the mediums and the methods that you actually learn. So what does that mean when Lama Tsongkhapa holds this? When he holds this and you worship him, you are getting the blessings of penetrative insight and knowledge.

Then he wears the three robes of a monk. He wears the robes of a monk representing what? It represents ethics, morality and holding onto commitments, integrity. So when we see the robes of Lama Tsongkhapa, when we meditate and think about it, it reminds us have integrity, hold your vows well, keep your promises, don’t disappoint people from laziness and selfishness, and simply being flippant. It reminds you. Then Lama Tsongkhapa’s legs is crossed. It is crossed because that is the leg posture of meditation. So what does it mean? To achieve what I have just described, one has to practice; there is no God who can hand you enlightenment on a plate. You have to achieve it on your own. So therefore, the legs in meditative posture means by your daily persistent, consistent, determined practice, you will gain the same qualities of Buddha Tsongkhapa, which is compassion, wisdom, skillfulness.

Now his flesh is white in colour with a tinge of red, representing what? White is the colour representing compassion, red is the colour representing wisdom. So by meditating on Lama Tsongkhapa’s Buddha body, you are going to gain wisdom and compassion. And white is the colour of the father’s creative juice, red is the colour of the mother’s creative juice. So, when the father and mother’s two juices combine, you have a child. Well, in this case, you are born into… in a Buddha, you are born as a Buddha. So when you meditate on Lama Tsongkhapa, he is your father and your mother and you will come back as a Buddha. You will not be that lost soul anymore. Alright. And he wears a yellow hat. The yellow hat originated in India which was red. Red represents subjugation because there were a lot of people that came to debate with the great Buddhist masters and Buddhism cannot use violence or pain to overcome. We can’t kill them and say, “Oh, if you don’t convert, we are going to kill you.” But they debate with them. And they teach them. And when they lose the debate, they become Buddhist. So last time, they wear red. The pandits of India, all the great Indian masters that were great masters, they wore red hats during special ceremonies, to represent the power to debate, the power of knowledge and the power of talk, speech. In Tibet, everybody was already into Dharma so there was no changing people into Dharma, it was more increasing Dharma. So the hat turned to yellow. The point on the hat represents the highest point that we can achieve which is Buddhahood. The two flaps that come on the side is like two wings of a bird, compassion and wisdom, will bring us to enlightenment.

So when Lama Tsongkhapa wears the hat, it represents He has all the qualities of the Buddha. If you worship, if you believe, if you trust, and if you pray to Lama Tsongkhapa, you will be just like Him. So you are not praying to Lama Tsongkhapa to take you to heaven. You are not praying to Lama Tsongkhapa to give you a son – not that we want one – and we are not praying to Lama Tsongkhapa for mercy, for purification, for Him to give you paradise. You are praying to Lama Tsongkhapa to purify your negative karma and to develop great compassion, so that you can be of the utmost benefit to others because by benefiting others you will be a Buddha. That’s what you’re worshipping Lama Tsongkhapa for.

So every day you can do a puja, you can do a short beautiful puja. Puja is what? ‘Puja’ literally means ‘clear obstacles’. We can do a short puja to Lama Tsongkhapa, do a short chanting, short prayer. That is wonderful, that can be 15 minutes a day, but what’s more important is not so much the puja, the mantras and the worship. It is the study of the mind. It is the learning of the Dharma. It is the comprehension of the Dharma; it is understanding, comprehending, applying and getting the results. Because when you get the results, the results arise in your mind, and it’s your mind that travels, not your body.

Hence, if we spend all our lives acquiring, accumulating for our body, we have wasted our time because we can’t take them. So therefore in Buddhism, they tell you to acquire by the mind. Work, pay your bills, take care of your responsibilities, yes don’t be a bum, but don’t put all your energies into that and say, “That will bring me happiness” because if you put all your energies into work, passion, money, fun, entertainment, love, partners, girlfriend, boyfriend, sex, clothes – if you put all your attention into that, you will become depressed. You will become lost, you will become disenchanted because you realised you’re unhappy. So you go get another girl, you get another boy and maybe another marriage, a new job, maybe you go back to school. So why would doing the same thing the second time around bring you the first time’s mischievous non-existent unhappiness? So let’s get another girlfriend again, let’s get another boy, let’s move to another country, let’s get a new car. And then we do the same thing over a third time, a fourth time, a fifth time, until we say, “You know, I think I want to kill myself. I think I’ll just get a job that keeps me very busy so I don’t have to think about all this anymore.”

Audience: Yeah.

Alright. That’s what happens, my dear.

So Buddhism is a way of life, but it’s not just “a way of life”. It is a way to revolutionize your thinking so you eliminate all the qualities of depression, unhappiness, lack of self-worth, emptiness, purposelessness permanently for your life. Because when you die, your eye consciousness, your ear consciousness, your nose consciousness, your taste consciousness – all your consciousness – touch consciousness will dissolve into your mind, and your mind will leave the body. And as you’re leaving your body, you will see the perennial light at the end of the tunnel. But that’s not the light at the end of the tunnel, that’s your consciousness leaving your body. Alright? Then once you leave your body, not karma takes over, karma continues to function.

So whatever was predominantly your last actions in life, will take you to the next birth. Let’s say your last actions in life was just totally bourgeois, women, wine, song and fun. You will probably take rebirth as an animal. Why? You have the karma to take rebirth as anything, but that karma predominantly opened up. But if you spend your life predominantly helping others, being of benefit to others, then you will probably take another human body near a spiritual master. And from a very young age, you hear this thought, you hear this teaching and so you don’t waste your whole life into that again, and you start spiritual practice younger now. Why? Because your previous life was predominantly doing that. So if your previous life was predominantly doing spiritual work for others, beneficial work for others, compassion, helping, animals, equal, vegetarianism, all of that, then you have developed these qualities as part of your mind. Along with the mind, by doing those activities, you created good karma. So the karma supports this mind to go further, as opposed to go backwards. So when you take rebirth as the next human being, instead of waiting 40 years to meet your guru, 40 years to meet the truth, the Dharma or to hear these words, you maybe hear it when you’re 10. What’s the benefit? You don’t waste 40 years. Does that make sense? That’s right, my dear.

I tell this to all the people who I feel have potential within this lifespan. You created the karma. I’m not the God, I’m not the savior, and my words are truthful and hits you very hard, because you heard this before. So when I tell you, it rings through your mind but you need to go through what you went through in this life, so you don’t have to go through it for the rest of your life and your next life.

What else are you going to do? Everything ends up the same place. You’re smart enough to figure all that out. You know all this ends up in the same place; emptiness, loneliness, senselessness, what’s the purpose? Whatever job you did – and you told me earlier and I believe you – whatever job you would have done, you would have had paid your bills, owned a house, had a nice car, you would’ve travelled, eaten, met the best people, you would have done that anyway. Cause money is just money to you and you would have done any job to make that money, because you’re good at what you do, because you’re determined. That’s not the issue. The issue is that whatever you have done, whatever you could have done or will do or have done, will end up in the same state you are now, with respect, no use. Even in your apartment, you feel lonely. Emptiness. What have you achieved, you keep telling yourself. Yeah you can tell the Tom Dick and Harry, “Oh I did this, blah blah blah” and they go, “Wow!” You’re not impressed with them being impressed at you. And if they’re impressed, you are not impressed anymore. Am I not right? You like me because I’m not impressed. Mmmhmmm… I know. Because I’m not. Now, and I’m not impressed not because I’m arrogant, you know that. I’m not impressed because you know I know more and you know more. I know how you observe people up and down. I know how you size them up because if you didn’t, a lot of people would have been in trouble. Yeah, you have to size them up. You are not being a judge but you have to profile them so you know what to do. Otherwise your boss will be in trouble. That’s your job.

Now, since karma is behind everything, it behooves us to learn as much Dharma as we can so we know how to transform our body, our speech, our mind, our thinking, our motivation, our actions, so that all the karma that we create becomes a source of happiness, not a source of pain. That’s where you need Dharma. So, when we take refuge in the Buddha, it’s saying, “I am a Buddhist.” “I am a Buddhist” is not something to run around and proclaim to the world that you found the right way and did something with it. “I am a Buddhist” has nothing to do with that. When you take refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and Sangha what you’re saying is, “I take refuge in the outer Buddha”, which means He has eliminated all sufferings from his mind and the causes that He can never suffer again. And “I also take refuge in the Buddha potential inside of me.” And that’s the important part, that you can become Buddha. See in Buddhism, is not about worshipping an all-knowing God for the rest of your life. It is about becoming an enlightened being. You never liked the guy in the sky controlling you, because you never thought he was really there. You just went along with it because why ruffle feathers? But deep down inside your incredibly quick mind, you said, “No. Cause if I believe that, a lot of things won’t make sense.” To you. But there are people it makes sense to and it’s fine. If that’s what makes you do good things, fine. In the end, you still create good karma. Let’s say this person says, “I do it because I am afraid of God, so I don’t kill people, I don’t hurt animals, I’m good to children, I take care of my parents, have respect, and I do charities, and I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t philander, I go home to my wife, and I take care of my kids, I did that because of fear of God.” That’s beautiful. Do you know why? Because the karma is the same, no matter what the motivation is. That’s why Buddhists don’t argue with them. So then, she does the same thing for fear of karma and then retribution of karma. In the end when you get these two people in the room, the Christian and the Buddhist who have the different fears but they end up to be beautiful, responsible citizens. So why argue? So this person wants to be a Catholic and say that is what makes them a good person, that’s beautiful. That’s why Buddhists don’t argue. You see the logic behind it? It isn’t just respect based on respect, it is respect based on some logic behind it.

Now, but that’s a little too simplistic for you. It is. It is a little too simplistic for you. You need something that answers more questions, not some questions. So therefore, why do we seek a teacher? A teacher is supposedly someone who has the seeds of enlightenment in her mind, in his mind. And therefore, from a very young age they have already dedicated their lives to pursue spirituality. So their determination is itself already a good, a good sign. Along with that they have studied, along with that they have practiced, they have held the vows, and they hold their morality, ethics, and they have become a person that is kind, that is generous, that does take care of others but based on this philosophy. It isn’t just kindness, it’s based on this philosophy and they practice it. So, when you come across that type of person and also has the knowledge to develop you to become that type of person, we consider that our Guru. Okay, Guru is just like the Malay word, ‘guru’ means teacher. Okay, a guru is not God, okay? A guru is someone that knows more about this than you so you respect because in life, knowledge is what frees us. So the person that gives us knowledge we show him respect. And the very simple reason we give him that is not because he is a god; it is because he gave us the knowledge to become a Buddha. Literally salvation. Then once we find such a person, then we show the proper devotions. We show the proper respect, and we show the proper loyalty, and we stick with the person, we’re very loyal. And if we follow the person’s instructions, that’s after we check the person out. And then when we follow instructions and we talk to this person, and this person has benefited us in this way, we wish to bring this person to others. And that’s when we do Dharma work. That’s what they think they’re doing. Dharma work. And that’s how it works in our organisation. That’s on a deeper level. Alright, but we don’t need to explain that to CNN.

Now, for someone like you, it is very wonderful. You have everything except happiness. You have everything that should make you happy. Everybody says you’re happy, you tell yourself you’re happy, and you think you’re happy, but somehow you are not, and it is not because you are a bad person, but there’s something itching, and dying, and gnawing inside of you, telling you that, “I’m not really happy and I have no reasons for it so I can’t tell you. Because they ask me why, I don’t want to say I don’t know, it sounds ridiculous. Just say I’m happy.” And that’s why you repeat it for the last four hours. “I have a car, I have this, I have that, and this, and I love my job…” but when I look at her, I say, “Oh, she is very unhappy.” Not in a discouraging or negative or put-down way. You have all the classic symptoms of everybody else that needs spirituality. And you have reached the point in your life, without spirituality you will start declining. How? Not your abilities, not your work. Inside, you will start dying. Do you know why? You’ve looked everywhere and it is all the same, and it’s all the same all the time. And for someone so intellectual and you don’t (unintelligible 43:48). You’re not the person that says “I have to be able to tell (unintelligible 43:51)” For someone as intellectual and quick as you, you will start dying inside. Why? When the answers are not there and it remains mindlessly, it is not you and that’s what you’ve been feeling. Not earlier in your life. Earlier, you were all, you know, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, you know, you can be (unintelligible 44:15). As you became mature and you became older, it became more prominent. Whatever I am telling you, hits you very deeply, it goes deep. Do you know why? Because a lot of it has touched upon what you already thought about. You just didn’t have the answers yet. And I noticed how when you talk, you protect yourself all the time. Why do you protect yourself? It is not against me and I don’t take offense. Everything has been disappointing you. Everything.

So therefore, reincarnation does exist. It explains things much better. That’s why one parent, one set of parents can have four kids. This one can be a loser, a winner, mediocre, nothing. But it’s the same genes, same parents, same everything. How come they’re different? Their mind is different. Since their mind is different, they come from another life. So how did they come to this? They came to this, they created the karma to have this environment. It makes much more sense. And it helps you forgive people better too, or when you get hurt, cheated, lied to. “Why did God allow it?” God didn’t allow anything, it was your karma that created it. “When did I create this negative karma?” You’ve had thousands of lives, thousands and thousands of unlimited lives. Why? If you existed now, you must have existed a thousand years ago. Likewise, you will exist a thousand years later. Unless you are enlightened. And how you exist is up to your behavior now. And how you behave, to know it’s good or bad will be dependent on how much Dharma you know. So how much Dharma you know is how much you study. How much you study is how much you apply. How much you apply is how much you transform. How much you transform is how you will affect your karma, you’re the creator of it. So it behooves you not to say, “Oh yeah, that sounds great Rinpoche, and I’m… from now on, I’m just going to watch my karma.” No, you have to study Dharma. You have to get the books and study, you have to ask your teacher questions, you have to investigate, you have to learn more, more, more, more. So that this change in you is not philosophical, intellectual or just a fad. It becomes your fibre. When it becomes your fibre, you affect your karma. When you affect your karma, you affect your future. Because you see, no god can give you what you want. If a god could, it would’ve already. If it didn’t, what kind of God is that? It is a cruel God that teases us. So either he exists and he doesn’t, or he doesn’t exist, or he exists and he is cruel. All three is kind of difficult for me. Not wrong; difficult.

 

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25 Responses to The Mind and Lama Tsongkhapa

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  1. graceleong on Apr 3, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    This is a thought provoking teaching !! Different subject matters skilfully linked and mapped out to show the full puzzle. How the mind is NOT part of the body, but yet it has FULL CONTROL of the body. The mind then, is the core source of our Karma. So if we want to only create good karma and eliminate bad karma, we will have to ensure the MIND is working CORRECTLY. This is only possible if the Mind has the correct knowledge to control the body. This knowledge comes from the Buddha’s teachings because the Buddha himself has observed how the mind works and have found the methods to wire the mind correctly so that it will only create good karma.
    As Rinpoche very bluntly explained that there is no point to know this philosophically or intellectually, believe in it but not act on it. There are no short cuts. The only way to wire the Mind correctly is to follow the Buddha’s teachings to the core. Study the Dharma and put it into practice every second of our lives until it becomes “our fibre”. That is extremely difficult! The very thought of it has made me breathless ! But, thats the only way out of sufferings !
    Thank you Rinpoche for this straightforward and powerful teaching of the Mind. Thank you also for giving us powerful methods to re-wire our minds. We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to meet the teachings and blessings of Lama Tsongkhapa to help us overcome our obstacles and guide us on the path to Enlightment.
    With folded hands

  2. Tan Soon Huat on Apr 1, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Thank You Rinpoche for sharing this wonderful and powerful teaching. I really need to put nutrition (Dharma knowledge) to our mind for future lives. Human being is always short sighted and we only care of current situation and tend to ignore the future or past.

    I rememnbered when my very first time joining blog chat. Datuk May corrected me that the most poisonous out of 3 poisons is ignorance. I did not get it but I do now after years of learning from blog. We do need a lot of merit to learn and accept Dharma.

    I particularly like the meaning of “meditation = opponent/proponent for strengtening the faith”, “workship for Buddhahood as our goal”, “puja for purification”. We need all these for our good future lives to be near to Dharma and Guru in future.

    Thank You Rinpoche. The blog chat and blog articles do help me a lot in Dharma path

  3. So Kin Hoe (KISG) on Mar 31, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for giving us the profound teaching of how our mind works and determines our next reincarnation after our death in this current life. This is my first time to learn and understand that our mind is separated from our body at all times and this has proven that our body does not belong to us permanently. As such, we have to take responsible and accountability of our current living conditions, happenings and so on… as well as our next rebirth because what we are experiencing now is because of our past karma and what we will experience in our next rebirth will be determined based our current actions and karma or merits that will be tagged along in our mind at the point of death.

    By learning the powerful practice of Lama Tsongkhapa, we can gain many benefits which can help our mind to engage with Dharma practice and purify our past karma so that we can take better rebirth in our next lifetime. Buddhism is not only ways of life but more importantly provides us methods and practice which can alleviate our sufferings and lead us to ultimate happiness by gaining attainment and achieving enlightenment.

    May Lama Tsongkhapa practice reach to many people with Buddhadharma spread to the 10 directions for world peace and lasting happiness.

    Thank you Rinpoche with folded hands,
    kin hoe

  4. Stella Cheang on Mar 21, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    This is a very profound teaching. Thank you, Rinpoche, for sharing it here with us. I learn a great deal from the youtube along with the transcript.

    In my limited ability in trying to make sense of this Dharma teaching, I understand how the mind works, in relation to our body. I also understand why incarnation makes sense and how it works. It makes sense because we do not just exist out of nowhere. By the logic of continuous existence; we exist now because we existed a moment ago, and as we exist now, we will exist later on. What determines our experience and condition are a result of the law of cause and effect, a.k.a. karma. If we believe in reincarnation and karma, we therefore should take responsibility of our destiny. The law of Karma empowers us to make the changes to achieve what we want for ourselves. Where we are today is a result of what we had done in the past. What we are doing today will result in where we are in the future. I also come to the understanding that all things in samsara exist to bring sufferings. For example, the desire and need to have a family and children, is the source of many sufferings. Yet because of our ignorance, we keep ourselves entrench in this perpetual cycle of bad existence. Hence, we must gain wisdom from the Buddha who had trialled and tested the path to liberation. When we pray to Buddha to purify our negative karma and to gain the qualities of the Buddha (to benefit others unconditionally) so that we can eventually be liberated from all the sufferings too.

  5. Jason on Jul 13, 2016 at 8:47 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for putting this beneficial lecture online. I learned a lot.

    One thing that I had a hard time understanding was the comment about the mind being separate from the body and how if we exist now, we must have existed at the time of conception and before. This was hard for me because everything I thought I understood is that consciousness ends at the time of death. However, if you apply the law of energy conservation to consciousness, reincarnation is the most logical thing in the world.

    The Law of Energy Conservation states that energy cannot be created nor destroyed it can only be transferred from one form to another. If you view consciousness as you in energy form, modern science fits perfectly with Buddhist teachings. This is absolutely amazing how Buddhist understood this long before science realized it.

    Also, I love what Rinpoche stated about the God theroy and how it doesnt make sense. If there were a creator God and we are created in his image, why are there so many different, beautiful races on Earth? If we were all created in the image of God, then we would all look the same. Furthermore, the notion that God controls your life, yet you have free will has always been contradictory to me. A being cannot control your life and give you free will at the same time, it just does not work that way, either you are controlled or you are free.

    I would love to comment on all the points made in this video, but this comment would be much longer and people that read it would get tired of reading it.

    I am so blessed to have found Rinpoches teachings online. His words have touched my heart like no other. I only wish that I had the karma to have found the teaching earlier instead of when I am in my 30’s. I will not let this opportunity to learn Dharma from such a compassionate being pass me by.

    Thank you so much again Rinpoche.

    I hope that my words benefit all that read them.

    • Pastor Shin Tan on Jul 14, 2016 at 3:26 am

      Dear Jason,
      Thank you for sharing what you have learnt. Don’t worry about the comment being long 🙂 Indeed there are many salient points so this is a video that you can always return to watch after a period of time.

      One of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s focus is always to widen the reach of Buddhadharma. Our online platform started with a simple website for the Dharma centre, and later on Youtube videos. You can find many of Rinpoche’s teachings videos from as long as 9 years ago. Many around the world have benefited from Rinpoche’s teachings online, and we are glad that hear that you too are blessed to have come across Rinpoche’s teachings.

      To help bring Rinpoche’s teachings to more people and to keep the blog going, you can support us through charitable giving at: http://www.vajrasecrets.com/tsem-rinpoche-blog

  6. Ros on Sep 29, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    Thank you Tsem Rinpoche.

  7. [email protected] on Aug 11, 2015 at 1:06 am

    Great lecture very beneficial.Claudio Cipullo

  8. Jamiyandorj on Dec 16, 2014 at 10:22 am

    thank you
    This is very good teach us.

  9. ganga ram on Dec 3, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    Great,,,,

  10. Michael C. on May 6, 2014 at 8:42 am

    Sounds similar to a Dharma book i am (i attend a Nyingma School Dharma center locally) slowly reading by His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche entitled “A Torch Lighting the Way to Freedom: Complete Instructions on the Preliminary Practices” i like this title because somebody has to hold the Torch. This part at the end of Your video especially(paraphrased)- “How I behave to know if it is good or bad is dependent on How much Dharma I know. How much Dharma I know is dependent on how much I study. How much I study is how much I apply. how much I apply is how much I transform. How much I transform is how much I effect my karma for this life and future lives. Change not intellectual or a fad but deep in my bones.” thank You.

  11. graceleong on Jul 2, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    Love all of Rinpoche’s teachings relating to the MIND . The mind needs so much transformation in order for us to be really happy. The ignorance of what really makes us happy or unhappy. The attachments we have to all the things which actually don’t make us happy.All the wrong views we have relating to theories like reincarnation and karma which result in us not having the right goals in life. All the delusions created in our minds becomes obstacles to us for achieving real happiness.
    Prayers and meditation on Lama Tsongkhapa can help us so much to transform our minds. It is simple and all encompassing. The perfect practice for the modern world !
    Thank you Rinpoche for this wonderful teaching !

  12. Joy on Jul 1, 2013 at 2:27 am

    I love this teaching on Lama Tsongkhapa… I never get tired of listening to Rinpoche’s clear, detailed, precise explanation on Lama Tsongkhapa. What I love most is the visualisation part that we can meditate on daily and the white cord that connects you to Maitreya/Tushita Heaven!

    It is comforting to know that if you do Tsongkhapa dissolution well and become an expert with it that at the time of death… you do this visualisation, it can pull you up to Maitreya’s pure land. That to me is amazing!

    Another thing which I love about Tsongkhapa is how He is a Buddha of the Mind, for all different mind boggling problems we may have, He is the perfect Buddha to have as a Yidam and his mantra is so soothing. Having 3 Buddhas as one:

    1. Chenrezig = all of the Buddhas Compassionate nature
    2. Manjushri = all of the Buddhas’ Wisdom mind
    3. vajrapani = powerful and skillful means to protect and ward away negative energies

    What more can you ask for? It is said if one is to hage a Lama Tsongkhapa in one’s house… one’s family will never be hungry/experience poverty. One’s family/environment and surroundings will be calm and they will be harmony in the family. How rare, special and precious to have great blessings!

  13. Lim Han Nee on Jun 24, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for this profound teaching on Lama Tsongkhapa and the mind.

    The cultivation of the mind is so important.The mind carries the store of positive and negative imprints from all our previous lives ,since beginningless time. To train, cultivate and transform the mind, we need to study and know the Dharma and apply it.

    Contemplating on the iconography of Je Tsongkhapa, and realizing that everything of Je Tsongkhapa represents every facet of the Enlightened Mind , will help us to understand that when we pray to Je Tsongkhapa,we are making aspirations and prayers for the end-product of what we are engaged in accomplishing – Enlightenment.

    Praying to Je Tsongkhapa will eventually help us to gain the 7 types of wisdom that he embodies, as well as the mind of bodhicitta that he has realized.Furthermore,just reciting the Migstema will purify our past negative karma of previous lives.

    Belief in karma and reincarnation is what fuels our practice of Dharma to gain Enlightenment and full freedom from suffering for all beings.When we take Refuge, we take outer refuge to eliminate all suffering and its causes, and inner Refuge to realize the inner Buddha within us.

  14. Jane on Jun 24, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Thank you, I know even more now than I had imagined, that I am on the right path. I have wondered for many years why my artwork has reflected an asian theme. These works have never been of my choosing but they chose me to be the vessel in which they came through. I am creating lighted miniature scenes, like bonsai tree gardens. No matter how much I try to deviate from this theme I always come back to the same things. Please do me justice by visiting my site and looking at the miniatures section of my site. Please enlighten me as to the meaning this has for me, the world, my spirituality. I want to share and bring these works of art to beings that will understand and appreciate them.
    Thank you
    Jane

  15. shelly tai on Jun 23, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Shelly tai on 23 June at 415pm
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this teaching with us. After listening to this teaching it make me understand reincanation and karma more in depth therefore we should not blame others for whatever nagative thing happen to us, we should accept it and resolve this problem. In this way we will feel more in peace rather then feeling unfair.

  16. Choongs on Jun 21, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    OK finished. One last question came to me while digesting, how do the souls occupying say an animal, a lizard for example, find their Guru? Do they? How do these souls then move towards the path of enligtenment?

    Does chance or luck have a place in Buddhist philosophy?

    Thank you very much from the bottom of my heart to Rinpoche for the lesson and for his wisdom in making sure that it was recorded and now available to many.

    Technology is an equaliser and there is no doubt in my mind that this will allow all of us to move faster towards enlightenment.

    P.S. will someone please try to attempt to answer some of the questions that I have? Please? Need to learn, fast!

  17. Choongs on Jun 21, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    24:00 minutes – I want, I do, so I become?

  18. Choongs on Jun 21, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    I’m about halfway thru the video now and I have a sudden and strong need to ask a question / get someone else’s insight. Seems to me that perhaps the whole Buddhist philosophy is a great exercise in logic. But even logic can go wrong. Reminds me of another joke: statistics tell us that 80% of people die in bed, so if you don’t want to die, try to stay out of bed. 🙂 Please help.

  19. Choongs on Jun 21, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Back again. At 19:17 minutes, touching on scientists who study the physical world. I can’t agree that scientists are said to have created atoms, rather they have been given recognition for discovering atoms. More interesting, as we live now in the 21st century, you would (or wouldn’t) be amazed at how Buddhist understanding and scientific understanding are coming together. Google “biocentric universe” to find out more about Robert Lanza, an expert at cloning, who has suggested this concept.

  20. Choongs on Jun 21, 2013 at 11:11 am

    At 11:17 minutes (slow progress listening as I’m supposed to be working, need a pair of stealth earphones 🙂 I must say that starting a family i.e. get a spouse, extended family, then kids is not all suffering. I learn from them everyday and hopefully they learn from me too. To me, family is about the sharing of spirits.

  21. Choongs on Jun 21, 2013 at 10:44 am

    At 10:53 minutes now and need to add a joke often heard at weddings. When a guy gets married, he will have to get 3 rings. Yes 3 rings. First is the engagement ring. Next is the wedding ring. Then he will get suffeRING!

  22. Choongs on Jun 21, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Just finished the first 7:14 minutes and just wanted to say that human cloning proves that the mind and body exists seperately. If Einstein were cloned, there will be a very small chance that he would become a scientist again though his body would be made up of the same DNA.

  23. justin cheah on Jun 20, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche this teaching and for sharing this.

    This is a very good teaching for people who are new to Dharma. I will share this with my friends who is interested and have questions in their lives. This video will be able to clear doubts of many because Dharma gives logic and not just blind faith. The explanation on reincarnation and karma is very clear and it teaches one to take responsibility of our current and future lives.

    The purpose of listening and learning Dharma is to be able to change our own condition/destiny (karma) that we have created ourselves in for the better. By learning Dharma and applying what we have learnt, we will be able to avoid creating further unnecessary sufferings for ourselves and the most important point is that we are in control of our own destiny by start cultivating ourselves from our bad habits.

    Hence it is vital for one person to have Dharma in them and live it as a way of life to create a better world that we are living in.

  24. katerina on Jun 20, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    no comment

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KECHARA FOREST RETREAT PROGRESS UPDATES

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

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

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

Noticeboard

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

    Jason

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Han Nee for this article.

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

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

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Messages from Rinpoche

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CREDITS

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

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

Tsem Rinpoche

What Am I Writing Now

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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
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This is a good one to read
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ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

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

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

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

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