8 Holy Buddhist Pilgrimage Sites – Part 1

Jul 4, 2016 | Views: 2,207
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Dear readers,

Buddhism is not only an established religion, but also a way of life. Buddhists visit temples and sacred places to obtain blessings, look within themselves and be inspired by their potential to gain higher realisations. Sacred Buddhist sites are typically places where highly realised beings were born, turned the Wheel of Dharma (which means to teach the Buddhist teachings), engaged in extensive retreats, attained enlightenment, or entered Mahaparinirvana when an enlightened being leaves their physical body). They can also be places where enlightened beings are known to reside, for example Wu Tai Shan, which is known as the abode of Manjushri, the Bodhisattva of Wisdom.

Buddha Gautama, more commonly known as Buddha Shakyamuni, is said to have identified four most worthy pilgrimage sites for his followers. He indicated that in these places, practitioners will be inspired on their spiritual path:

  • Lumbini – the birthplace of Prince Siddharta Gautama who would later be known as Buddha Shakyamuni
  • Bodh Gaya – the place where Prince Siddharta Gautama reached enlightenment
  • Sarnath – the place where Buddha Shakyamuni turned the Wheel of Dharma for the first time
  • Kushinagar – the place where Buddha Shakyamuni entered Parinirvana

In addition to the four holy places mentioned above, many countries that are predominantly Buddhists or who have a rich Buddhist history have very remarkable pilgrimage sites. I hope by visiting these places, people will be inspired to the spiritual path and gain realisation. Through this article, I would like to share with all of you just eight of these sites.

Novka Kuaranita

 


 

1. LUMBINI, NEPAL

Lumbini, the birth place of Prince Siddharta Gautama

Lumbini, the birth place of Prince Siddharta Gautama

Lumbini is the place where Prince Siddharta Gautama was born in 563 BCE. One day, the pregnant Queen Mayadevi, the wife of King Suddhodana of Kapilavastu, was enjoying the marvelous landscape of Lumbini when she suddenly felt labour pains. She held on to a branch of a sal tree and gave birth to a baby, Prince Siddharta Gautama. This historical moment can be seen in a depiction of the event on a bas-relief in Lumbini.

The Mayadevi Temple in Lumbini

The Mayadevi Temple in Lumbini

The Ashokan Pillar

The Ashokan Pillar

The holy site of Lumbini is surrounded by many monasteries. On its east side there are Theravadan monasteries and on its west side, Mahayana and Vajrayana monasteries. In addition to the monasteries of various Buddhist traditions, Lumbini is known for its sacred Bodhi tree, Mayadevi Temple, an Ashokan pillar and an ancient bathing pond. This beautiful archaeological site is also a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site.

Situated in the foothills of the Himalayas, the scenery around Lumbini is breathtaking. Undoubtedly this place has become a very strong magnet for countless pilgrims and also nature lovers.

 

How to get there?

Lumbini is about 300 kilometers south-west of Kathmandu. From Kathmandu or other major cities, visitors can take buses or flights to Siddharthanagar (previously known as Bhairawa), which is approximately 22 kilometers from Lumbini. Getting to Lumbini from Siddharthanagar is relatively easy as there are many transportation services available.

 

Nepali visa requirements

To obtain tourist visas to visit Nepal, you can apply for a visa in the Nepalese Embassy or Consulate in your country of residence prior to your visit. Alternatively you can also purchase a tourist visa upon arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu or if travelling by land, at border entry points such as Kakarvitta, Jhapa District.

 

2. BODH GAYA, INDIA

The Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya

The Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya

Bodh Gaya is an important site relating to Prince Siddharta Gautama’s journey to attain Buddhahood. This is the place where he attained supreme Enlightenment. Before moving to Bodh Gaya, he had been practising austerities for six years with five other ascetics at the banks of the Nairanjana River. However, he did not obtain the results he was hoping for through his self-imposed suffering. Therefore, he abandoned that place and the austere ascetic practices.

The great Buddha Shakyamuni statue in Bodhgaya

The great Buddha Shakyamuni statue in Bodh Gaya

Upon leaving the banks of the Nairanjana River, Siddharta Gautama met a Brahmin girl who offered him rice-milk and a grass-cutter who gave him the gift of kusha grass to use as his meditation mat. Then, under a pipal (Ficus religiosa) tree, Gautama sat cross-legged and entered deep meditation. During the course of that night, he attained full enlightenment and reached Buddhahood. Enlightenment is the state of being in which one has purified all negative karma that leads to suffering and uncontrolled rebirth within the Six Realms of existence. It is free of all delusion (e.g. ignorance, attachment and anger), in which one realises the true nature of existence, and is marked by Bodhicitta (ultimate compassion) and the understanding of Shunyata (the empty nature of all phenomena).

Buddha Shakyamuni statue at the Mahabodhi Temple

Buddha Shakyamuni statue at the Mahabodhi Temple

The pipal tree became known as the Bodhi (enlightenment) tree. The Bodhi tree which flourishes inside Bodh Gaya’s Mahabodhi Temple complex is the most sacred spot for Buddhists. In addition, there are many monasteries and temples in that area.

Usually, from November to March Tibetan pilgrims come down from Dharamsala and other Tibetan settlements in India to visit Bodh Gaya. The high season is from December to January. This is also the period when His Holiness the Dalai Lama often visits the site.

 

How to get there?

The nearest airport is Gaya, approximately of 17 kilometers distance from Bodh Gaya. There is a road that connects Gaya to the town of Bodh Gaya. The second nearest airport after Gaya is Patna, about 135 kilometers away from Bodh Gaya. There are tourist organisations that operate bus services from Patna to Bodh Gaya. Apart from Patna, bus services are also available from Nalanda, Rajgir, Varanasi and Kathmandu.

If you want to take a train, the nearest station is Gaya Junction, 13 kilometers away from Bodh Gaya. Bodh Gaya is well-connected to other major Indian cities through the railway network. Once you arrive at Gaya Junction railway station, you can reach the holy town by using a local taxi.

 

India visa requirements

To enter India, foreign nationals are required to possess a valid international travel document (i.e. passport) with a valid visa obtained from an Indian Embassy or Consulate before travelling to India. Currently, the Indian government offers two types of visas for tourists, a traditional tourist visa or an electronically issued e-tourist visa.

 

3. SARNATH, INDIA

Chaukhandi Stupa in Sarnath

Chaukhandi Stupa in Sarnath

Sarnath is the place where Buddha Shakyamuni turned the Wheel of Dharma for the first time after attaining enlightenment. The main reason Buddha Shakyamuni traveled from Bodh Gaya to Sarnath was to find his former companions, the ascetics who practised austerities with him. He found these men and preached his first discourse to them in the deer park there. As a result, these men also became enlightened. It also marks the founding of the first community of monks, known as the Sangha.

The ruins of an ancient Buddhist monastery near Dhamekh Stupa in Sarnath

The ruins of an ancient Buddhist monastery near Dhamekh Stupa in Sarnath

In Sarnath, Buddha Shakyamuni taught the Four Noble Truths: suffering exists, suffering has its causes, there is an end to suffering and the way out of suffering is to practise the Dharma. Buddha Shakyamuni also prescribed the Eight-Fold Path to remove the causes of suffering:

  • The Wisdom Group – right view and right resolve
  • The Moral Virtues Group – right speech, right action and right livelihood
  • The Meditation Group – right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration
Dhamekha Stupa

Dhamekha Stupa

Several Buddhist structures were built in Sarnath between the 3rd Century BCE and the 11th Century CE. The museums and temples in Sarnath are all within walking distance from one another. Pilgrims and visitors should not miss visiting the most impressive structure in Sarnath: Dhamekha Stupa, the great stupa to commemorate the first turning of the Wheel of Dharma to Buddha Shakyamuni’s first five disciples. Many devoted Buddhists circumambulate the structure. Visitors can also visit Chaukhandi, the monuments to mark the meeting of Lord Buddha with his five former companions, the Ashokan Pillar that contains the edicts of King Ashoka, the monasteries and the Digambar Jain temple, the temple that depicts the life of Lord Mahavira.

The Ashokan Pillar

The Ashokan Pillar

How to get there?

Sarnath is located 12 kilometers from the holy Hindu city of Varanasi where many transportation services are available. Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport or Varanasi International Airport is located 24 kilometers from Varanasi and 29 kilometers from Sarnath.

The nearest major railway station is Varanasi Cantt, which is connected to most major cities in India. Long-distance buses usually arrive at the station situated across from Varanasi Cantt. From this station, you can either transfer using a local bus to Sarnath or take a taxi or rickshaw.

 

India visa requirements

To enter India, foreign nationals are required to possess a valid international travel document (i.e. passport) with a valid visa obtained from an Indian Embassy or Consulate before travelling to India. Currently, the Indian government offers two types of visas for tourists, a traditional tourist visa or an electronically issued e-tourist visa.

 

4. SRAVASTI, INDIA

Anathapindika Stupa in Sravasti

Anathapindika Stupa in Sravasti

Depiction of Buddha Shakyamuni’s miracles in Sravasti

Depiction of Buddha Shakyamuni’s miracles in Sravasti

Sravasti is the place where Buddha spent much of his monastic life, gave discourses and engaged in debates. He also began to perform a series of miracles to convince non-believers in this place. One of his most compelling miracles is when he levitated on a 1000-petalled lotus, caused flames to flare up from his shoulders and water to pour down from his feet. He then multiplied himself into an infinite number of manifestations.

There are some attractions for both pilgrims and tourists in Sravasti. Many devotees meditate under the Ananda Bodhi tree. There is a belief that by doing so, they will be blessed by the Buddha himself. It is said that when Jetavana hosted Buddha Shakyamuni and his disciples, Ananthapindika covered the ground of the park with gold coins. Buddha Shakyamuni used these coins to build a vihara (monastery) in Sravasti.

Ananda Bodhi Tree

Ananda Bodhi Tree

How to get there?

Lucknow is the nearest airport and located approximately 151 kilometers from Sravasti. From here, one can either choose a train, bus or taxi as a mode of transportation to reach the destination. If you want to take the train, the nearest railway station is in Balrampur.

 

India visa requirements

To enter India, foreign nationals are required to possess a valid international travel document (i.e. passport) with a valid visa obtained from an Indian Embassy or Consulate before travelling to India. Currently, the Indian government offers two types of visas for tourists, a traditional tourist visa or an electronically issued e-tourist visa.

 

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24 Responses to 8 Holy Buddhist Pilgrimage Sites – Part 1

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  1. Wan Wai Meng on Nov 13, 2016 at 1:13 am

    Pilgrimage places are power places for one to put the spark into our spiritual practices, to inspire us to be really convicted to do dharma practice and really get some results from spiritual practices.

  2. Alice Tay on Nov 10, 2016 at 10:39 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche and Novka Kuaranita sharing this interesting article about holy places to visit and how to go there.

    By visiting these 4 important and holy places, Lumbini, BodhGaya, Sarnath and Kushinagar, may the people will be inspired to the spiritual path and gain realisation.

  3. Anne Ong on Sep 28, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    Very beaautiful pilgrimage sites!!.Some of the sites that got me attracted are… 4. SRAVASTI, INDIA,3. SARNATH, INDIA,1. LUMBINI, NEPAL.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these wonderful places and information for pilgrimage. 🙂 _/\_

  4. Samfoonheei on Aug 24, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    Wow…beautiful and informative article on these Holy Buddhist Pilgrimage Sites .Its great to know all about these places …a must visit for all Buddhist As these places where highly realised beings were born,engaged in extensive retreats, attained enlightenment to mention a few.May more people able to visit all the holy places , be blessed and benefited. I have not been to any of these yet ,hoping in the near future.
    Thank You RInpoche and Novka Kuaranita for sharing this wonderful post.

  5. Eric kksiow on Aug 5, 2016 at 10:10 am

    From very young age, these few holy places ( India, Tibet and Nepal ) i would like to visit for this lifetime, to do prayers and circumambulate to all the holy Buddha statues and stupas.

    Thank You RInpoche and Novka Kuaranita for the excellent information.
    _/\_

  6. Jace Chong on Aug 4, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    Thanks RInpoche and Novka Kuaranita for sharing this article about the sacred pilgrimage sites.

    I really love pilgrimages no matter the trips go to which religions’ sacred sites. It’s inspiring to read about the stories and what happened at that location spots.

    The 4 sites that mentioned in this post, I yet to visit Sravasti, the place were Buddha spent most of his monastic life there. I have the fortune to visit Lumbini, Bodh Gaya and Sarnath. The place I feel very connected to and would like to go back if I have chance is Bodh Gaya.

    After Buddha enlighten, the Buddha then spent the succeeding seven weeks at seven different spots in the vicinity meditating and considering his experience. Several specific places at the current Mahabodhi Temple relate to the traditions surrounding these seven weeks.

    The place is fulled of sincere visitors from all over the world come to experience the powerful energy that Buddha left behind.

    Thanks again. May I able to visit all 8 Holy Buddhist Pilgrimage Sites in my life _/\_

  7. Pastor Chia on Aug 4, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    I had fortunate visited Bodhgaya twice and Sarnath at Varanasi. Both palaces are lord Buddha Shaykiamuni enlightenment place and Buddha first turn the dharma wheel. At such holy place havd blessed with enlighten being aspiration player,you felt peaceful and calm when you arrived at the holy place. H.E.Tsem Tulku Rinpoche has advised us when we visit holy palace, Is good we can do purification practices,like recite 35 confessional buddha sutra, recite Vajrasattva mantra, do prostration ,circulate stupa able to help us quickly purify our body,speech and mind negative karma.

  8. June Kang on Aug 4, 2016 at 9:42 am

    《法华经》里说;“若人散乱心,入于塔庙中,一称南无佛,皆共成佛道。”所以只要曾经留有佛菩萨的圣迹,能力许可,身为佛教徒我们都应前往朝圣这些圣地,感悟佛菩萨足迹和教化及感受圣地的加持。

    对我个人来说,能够前往印度朝圣来说比任何地方更重要一点。因为是佛陀“成佛之道”的地方,希望能完成这个心愿。

    感谢这篇文章的作者提供了重要的信息和简要说明以及如何到达那里。

  9. nicholas on Aug 4, 2016 at 6:46 am

    8 Holy Buddhist Pilgrimage Sites – Part 1

    It’s interesting to be able to visit the holy places especially places where the Buddha had left his imprint of his deeds. It’s such a blessing where one visited and is an inspiration for one to gain the same potential as the holy being.

    It’s good for one to know the background of the holy place and we can set a great motivation before we go and also do some prayer when we are at this place. I understand many people would do meditation, retreat or even purification practice at such places for blessing and purification. It’s beneficial for our spiritual practice.

    This articles gave a brief explanation of the 4 important historical info and how we can get there. Very informative and beneficial article.

  10. Khoo Hou Haw on Aug 4, 2016 at 4:12 am

    Thank you for this useful article of the Holy places for pilgrimage with information of how to get there as well. I came across what Buddha had said about 4 holy places for pilgrimage and would like to share it here:

    “Lord Buddha said:

    Monks, after my passing away, if all the sons and daughters of good family and the faithful, so long as they live, go to the four holy places, they should go and remember: here at Lumbini the enlightened one was born; here at Bodhgaya he attained enlightenment; here at Sarnath he turned twelve wheels of Dharma; and here at Kushinagar he entered parinirvana.

    Monks, after my passing away there will be activities such as circumambulation of these places and prostration to them.

    Thus it should be told, for they who have faith in my deeds and awareness of their own will travel to higher states.

    After my passing away, the new monks who come and ask of the doctrine should be told of these four places and advised that a pilgrimage to them will help purify their previously accumulated negative karmas, even the five heinous actions.”

    Thank you

  11. Mingwen on Aug 3, 2016 at 11:41 pm

    These holy spots are definetely “must visit” spots, regardless of one’s religious. These places are where a great being, Buddha Shakyamuni, borned and spent his times. Personally, I would like to visit the other great beings’ dedicated places, such as Jesus Christ, Nabi Muhammad S.A.W and more. Know more about the other religious’ history, their teachings, reasons behind doing something, has no harm, but it would create an understanding among the practitioners, especially in Malaysia, a diverse country with bunch of religions. Understanding is the key to peace.

  12. Julia Tan on Aug 3, 2016 at 11:14 pm

    Back to 2600 years, Buddha took rebirth in India, gave up everything, went through all the hardship, overcome all the obstacles achieved enlightenment. Because Buddha taught the holy Dharma for 40 over years, hence Buddhism exist today. Since then countless people benefited and many became enlightened. Hence we are now being able to meet our guru, H.E. the 25th Tsem Tulku Rinpoche one of the enlightened gurus and learning Dharma from him.

    All these places are extremely holy and powerful for blessings and healing because from here the holy Dharma had spread to the world. Hence it’s very beneficial and meritorious to be able to lay our hands there.

    I was very fortunate to visit Lumbini with my daughter and a few Dharma brothers and sisters. It was the most meaningful and blessed trip. May I be able to visit Bodh Gaya, Sarnath and Sravasti in my life to receive the blessings.

  13. Pastor Antoinette on Aug 3, 2016 at 11:07 pm

    These are so holy places and a must for every Buddhist to visit. I have not yet been at any of these places but they are for sure on my list. I rejoice for the beautiful pictures and the many details and information to find it easy to organise one’s trip.

    Buddha’s life story is very inspiring and together with being at the same place and doing meditation and aspirational prayers is very meritorious.

    Thank you Novka Kuaranita for the article and thank You Rinpoche for giving us Dharma and providing this blog so that we can improve and improve the life of others.

  14. Pastor Henry Ooi on Aug 3, 2016 at 10:55 pm

    I have visited Lumbini twice, once by car and the other time, by air. I would highly recommend you to take a plane unless you wish to travel 7 hours on the road. And that was in a comfortable, air conditioned car driven by a Nepalese friend. The roads in Nepal are pretty ‘interesting.’ Let’s say you don’t need to go for a massage when you travel by road in Nepal. Do not visit in summer, it is scorching hot. Lumbini is a must visit holy site.

    It is the same if you plan to visit Bohdgaya, not in summer or during the rainy season. I heard the place has improved a lot since my last visit, years ago. I have also visited twice. I heard from some monks who were with me on my first visit that Bihar, the state where Bohdgaya is in, was notorious for bandits in the olden times. But not now anymore. Bohdgaya must be added into your bucket list if it still is not.

  15. pammie yap on Aug 3, 2016 at 10:54 pm

    Thank you Novka Kuaranita for such an informative post. Especially the traveling tips for people who would like to visit, like myself.

    I must say, it’s a must to visit the places mentioned above at least once in this lifetime. To be able to go there to make strong aspirations, circumambulate, meditate, prostration and most of all, to get the blessings.
    The places look so inviting and peaceful in the photos. And I am sure it is more beautiful if one is there physically.

    We are lucky that these places are well maintained and preserved after so many years. It is such an inspiration for many who are on their spiritual path.

    We are so blessed that we have Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia (http://retreat.kechara.com) to also do meditation, prostrations, circumambulations and many more.

    May all these spiritual places be well preserved and grow for many generations to come.

  16. Pastor Ong Moh Mei on Aug 3, 2016 at 10:38 pm

    Whether one is a believer or not, most people cannot deny the powerful presence and pull of historical sacred places of pilgrimage. These places seem to contain a certain energy that remained from the presence of a holy being or from the occurrence of an incident of holy nature such as Buddha achieving Enlightenment. Some people believe that visiting these sacred places can deepen one’s faith, others believe it can trigger a person’s imprint and open up certain karmic seeds that are beneficial towards one’s spiritual path.

  17. So Kin Hoe (KISG) on Aug 2, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    Thank you Novka Kuaranita and Rinpoche for sharing the important details about the holy Buddhist pilgrimage sites at Lumbini, Bodh Gaya, Sarnath and Sravasti. These information are very helpful for those pilgrims who have yet to visit the holy places. The background of each holy site is clearly described to give us the profound insights of Buddha’s teachings and historical events happened during Buddha’s time.

    May many people able to visit all the holy places and receive the blessings from Buddha to gain spiritual attainments and develop stronger aspirations to work more for Dharma.

    Thank you Rinpoche for giving us so much opportunities to learn the Dharma and Buddha’s teachings through the Dharma works carried out by Rinpoche. May Rinpoche lives long with stable health to continue to turn the wheel of Dharma to benefit many sentient beings. With the Dharma teachings continue to exist, more sentient beings can be saved from samsara.

  18. So Kin Hoe (KISG) on Aug 1, 2016 at 11:07 pm

    Thank you Novka Kuaranita and Rinpoche for sharing the important details about the holy Buddhist pilgrimage sites at Lumbini, Bodh Gaya, Sarnath and Sravasti. These information are very helpful for those pilgrims who have yet to visit the holy places.

    May many people able to visit all the holy places and receive the blessings from Buddha to gain spiritual attainments and develop stronger aspirations to work more for Dharma.

    Thank you Rinpoche for giving us so much opportunities to learn the Dharma and Buddha’s teachings through the Dharma works carried out by Rinpoche. May Rinpoche lives long with stable health to continue to turn the wheel of Dharma to benefit many sentient beings. With the Dharma teachings continue to exist, more sentient beings can be saved from samsara.

    Thank you with folded hands,
    kin hoe

  19. Sharon Ong on Jul 29, 2016 at 12:35 am

    From this post, I learnt that Buddhists visit temples and sacred places to
    1) obtain blessings
    2) look within themselves
    3) be inspired by their potential to gain higher realisations.

    Four most worthy pilgrimage sites for Buddhists where Buddha indicated that practitioners will be inspired on their own spiritual path when visiting these places:
    * Lumbini – the birthplace of Prince Siddharta Gautama who would later be known as Buddha Shakyamuni
    * Bodh Gaya – the place where Prince Siddharta Gautama reached enlightenment
    * Sarnath – the place where Buddha Shakyamuni turned the Wheel of Dharma for the first time
    * Kushinagar – the place where Buddha Shakyamuni entered Parinirvana
    Another worthy mention is Wu Tai Shan, Manjushri’s abode in China.

    Thank you for sharing this, Rinpoche. May I be able to make a trip to all these places one day soon.

  20. Pastor KH Ng on Jul 14, 2016 at 10:21 am

    Wow! These sites are a wonder to visit for Buddhist and none Buddhist alike! Lots of history and they are very beautiful.
    As Buddhists, these are places that inspires our practice and places of positive energy.
    I visited Sarnath and Bodghaya and was AMAZING!

  21. Stella Cheang on Jul 11, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    It is very auspicious for Buddhist to venerate holy sites where Buddha Shakyamuni was born, reached enlightenment, first turned the wheel of Dharma and entered Parinirvana. These four holy sites are important because Buddhism practitioners can make connection with Buddha and be inspired to gain enlightenment, and attain the qualities of the Buddha. Buddhist should, if possible, at least make a trip to these holy sites in one lifetime to plant the seed for Buddha nature to ripen.

    Thank you Rinpoche and Novka Kuaranita for this article.

    Humbly, bowing down,
    Stella Cheang

  22. Sofi on Jul 10, 2016 at 12:40 am

    Thank you Novka Kuaranita for these Buddhist holy sites for pilgrimage. I was fortunate to have the merits to visit except for Lumbini. I personally would recommend for Buddhists if they have the opportunity, to visit and make strong aspirations as we walk the sites. The Mahabodhi Temple was especially offers such an incredible sense of peace even with so many pilgrims and activities going on.

    I agree with Sock Wan and now Kechara Forest Retreat is fast becoming a place for pilgrimage, with our holy Guru and all the many holy Buddha statues around. Where an enlightened Guru lives, teaches and where dharma activities are held, it becomes holy by virtue of the merits generated within. Thanks to our Guru, H.E. the 25th Tsem Tulku Rinpoche for providing the merit field for our practises.

  23. Sock Wan on Jul 9, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    There are many holy Buddhist sites around Asia where one has to visit to get the blessings. Many holy beings were here before and thus these places are full of positive energy. When we visit a holy site, we must make strong aspiration, this will help to plant a strong seed in our mind. Rinpoche explained very well in the this article why we should visit holy places. http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/nepal-pilgrimage-full-videos.html

    Do you know a Lama’s resident is also a very holy site? Why? Because the works a Lama does in his residence is not secular nor mundane, they are to bring benefit to all sentient beings. It is a place full of positivity. A Lama’s organisation is like a holy Mandala, whatever work we are doing big or small, if done with the right motivation will generate merits for our spiritual practice. We are very fortunate to have Kechara in Malaysia where we can do Dharma work and progress in our spiritual practice.

  24. Fong on Jul 4, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    Going to visit these holy places would be like walking the path of the Buddha Shakyamuni. This was his journey to enlightenment 2,500 years ago. And, these places are still around meaning to say that people revere the places and path of the Buddha.

    His teachings has benefited many and that’s why people are following his teachings and paying homage to the places that he has taught. Just reading this article, has made me think about a pilgrimage to these 4 holy places.

    But then again, I think, to even be able to go on these pilgrimages require merits. I remember a trip to Nepal and we tried for 2 days to get a flight to Lumbini. Unfortunately, the weather at Lumbini was such that no planes were allowed to land. So, we had to return home without visiting Lumbini.

    So, now I think I better concentrate on my daily practices before even thinking of another pilgrimage. But, that does not mean that I do not aspire to it.

    Thank you for sharing about these holy places. It renewed an aspiration.

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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.

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  • Lin Mun
    Friday, Apr 28. 2017 04:00 PM
    Everything we offer to Buddha is a form of mind transformation and practise our mind to be focus even when doing water offering. When pouring the water into the bowl we have to recite Om Ah Hum (3 times), think positively and pouring it slowly so it does not spill and leaving the space of a grain of rice before reaching the top. After offering we also have to clean the bowls properly without leaving stain. All this is to train our mind.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing the many benefits and water offering in a simple to understand article.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/making-water-offerings-to-the-buddhas.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Apr 28. 2017 03:38 PM
    Trolls are assiociates as beings of Scandinavian folklore.A large number of different mythological creatures continue to live on in Scandinavian folklore.They have different shapes,habitat and filthy features . There are also numerous tales of trolls told and retold.Trolls are also believed to have the magigal powers, which were folktales ,posses capabilities that are beyond human .What ever it was a remnant of a long-lost reality for sure. I do believe that there’s a very high chance trolls had existed in the past.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing ,i do enjoyed all the stories in these article even though it just folk tales.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/the-hidden-nature-of-trolls.html
  • Jason
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 11:54 PM
    People always expect return on some contribution being done especially in charity events. When the return was under their expectations then they will feel sad or unhappy.
    As Rinpoche said, Dharma is a teachings to transform our mind to become bodicitta or selfless to benefit others without condition. Once we practiced selfless mind, our mind will not be affected by others people reaction.
    What will be my legacy? I think this is not really important to me anymore once I know Dharma teachings from Rinpoche.
    Thanks Datuk May for sharing to benefit more people.

    Jason

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/guest-contributors/what-will-be-your-legacy.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 08:56 PM
    Amazing miracles true story …of how Rinpoche helped. With Rinpoche blessing during the children baptismal ceremony,this little boy who had not spoken since 9 years old was able to speake again.Incredible….
    Chef Au truly believes been a vegetarian has help him to collects merits for his son.Rinpoche’s care and compassion has benefited many more people.Through these stories hope more people will be inspired to achieve the state of compassion and attainments.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Loh Seng Piow for this sharing.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-4.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 07:51 PM
    Having fully trust and faith in Rinpoche ,Fat monk’s mother was well again, after been diagnosed with cancerious tumour at the liver.
    Following instructions given by Rinpoche, his mother recited mantras and Fat monk did a series of pujas as told,his mother recovered then.
    Amazing……Miracles do happen.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Loh Seng Piow for sharing.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-3.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 05:27 PM
    We are no strangers to the creatures called Werewolves. They are often depicted as the Jekyll-and-Hyde-like monsters in movies who are unable to control their animal instincts when they shift from human form to a wolf-like creature, usually during the full moon. Together with the Vampires who can transform into bats, are my childhood imagery villains, who triggered my curiosity on mythical creatures during younger days. They still do, lol.

    It is gruesome to learn that real life werewolves are actually brutal even when they are in human forms. It is a far depict from the movies and fictions, where they are civil and level headed when in human form. I hope one day science or technology can provide more proves the existence of werewolves, and debunk the reason of this mystical shapeshifter.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/paranormal/werewolves-the-shapeshifters.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 05:07 PM
    The miraculous power of Protectors’ practice can heal and shield us from negative karma from ripening. Through the blessings of our Guru, coupled with strong faith and trust, the practices will take effect swiftly and effectively. Rejoice to Steven Lee. May he be guided by the Three Jewels always. Thank you, Pastor Seng Piow for sharing the true story with us.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-10.html
  • Lin Mun
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 03:57 PM
    This is a very touching article. I totally agree that dog is a man’s best friend. They are always so loyal to the owner. However it is sad that not all pet owners are such. Some will only treat them literally as an animal and therefore do not take good care of them. Dogs or any other animals are beings that have feeling. There should not be neglected and be abused by us. This article reminds us to always care for all beings and respect them.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this heartwarming article.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/faithful-dog-chases-deceased-owner.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 02:21 PM
    Its a heartfelt touching article of this faithful dog.Cannot imagine this ,such a wonderful relationship between that dog and the deceased owner.The greatest fear dogs know is the fear that we will not come back for them That i noticed from observing from my pet poodle.In this case this faithful dog knew his owner won’t be back.
    Dogs are loyal, patient, fearless, forgiving, capable of pure love and have feelings too.He must have missed the owner badly that he wanted to accompany the owner all the way to the resting place.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing. May that faithful dog ,continue to serve and well taken, love by the other family members.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/faithful-dog-chases-deceased-owner.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 01:46 PM
    Werewolves are known to be mythical creatures found in fiction instead of lurking in the dark woods,In various parts of the world there were few cases who have gone down in history as real life werewolves Interesting to read it from these post..How far it was true or just legends.,no one really know . Many myths and legends surrounding werewolves .To become a werewolf, it is necessary to be bitten by a werewolf in their form at the time of the full moon. Thats what all of us knew from the movies and from fiction told. Reports of werewolf sightings continued even till this century but mostly in between 1428 and 1447 .The most recent sighting of werewolf sightings in 1972. was in Ohio .but eventually subsided .
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these interesting article which i do enjoyed reading it,
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/paranormal/werewolves-the-shapeshifters.html
  • Valentina
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 01:11 PM
    Join our blog chat session this Saturday 11AM – 12PM (GMT +8) on the topic of:

    Twenty-Four Holy Places & Eight Great Charnel Grounds part 2 – (focus topic: Eight Great Charnel Grounds)

    At one time there was a god by the name of Rudra who was originally part of Mahadeva’s retinue. He was a very fierce being who also had many of his own consorts. Together with his consorts he began to oppress sentient beings, and promoted violence and unethical behaviour. At that time, Heruka once again arose, and in a dance of great compassionate wrath, liberated Rudra and his consorts from their physical bodies, sending their minds to pure lands. The places where Rudra’s body parts fell became charnel grounds. …read more by clicking the following link:

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/twenty-four-holy-places-eight-great-charnel-grounds.html
  • 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

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Messages from Rinpoche

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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.
3 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
3 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
4 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
4 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
4 weeks ago
Mumu boy is incredibly photogenic. He is beyond cute. Tsem Rinpoche
 (left to right) Rabten Tulku, Gonsar Rinpoche, Gyume Kensur Rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche, H.H. Gaden Trisur Rinpoche (France)
4 weeks ago
(left to right) Rabten Tulku, Gonsar Rinpoche, Gyume Kensur Rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche, H.H. Gaden Trisur Rinpoche (France)
Beautiful 200 roses arrived today for me as a gift from Su Ming. Very kind and thoughtful of her as usual. Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
Beautiful 200 roses arrived today for me as a gift from Su Ming. Very kind and thoughtful of her as usual. Tsem Rinpoche
It\'s good to be with kind and sincere people.
4 weeks ago
It's good to be with kind and sincere people.
If we are kind, we lose less of ourselves-Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
If we are kind, we lose less of ourselves-Tsem Rinpoche
My Mumu boy didn\'t want to eat. Eating is not one of his favorite activities throughout his life. So I talked to him to let him know why he needs to eat and keep his strength up when this photo was taken. He was listening intently and after my talk with him, he ate. Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
My Mumu boy didn't want to eat. Eating is not one of his favorite activities throughout his life. So I talked to him to let him know why he needs to eat and keep his strength up when this photo was taken. He was listening intently and after my talk with him, he ate. Tsem Rinpoche
This is so true. Click to enlarge and understand more about unpleasant people.
4 weeks ago
This is so true. Click to enlarge and understand more about unpleasant people.
This mahasiddha Kukkuripa is easy to identify as he is accompanied by a small dog whom he loved very much.
1 month ago
This mahasiddha Kukkuripa is easy to identify as he is accompanied by a small dog whom he loved very much.
Mumu taking a rest in the turquoise room. Over the years, I always feel very satisfied when I see him covered with a blanket, safe and sleeping. I always wanted to make sure he was safe from harm, illness and distress. I wanted him to have a happy and loved life. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Mumu taking a rest in the turquoise room. Over the years, I always feel very satisfied when I see him covered with a blanket, safe and sleeping. I always wanted to make sure he was safe from harm, illness and distress. I wanted him to have a happy and loved life. Tsem Rinpoche
I wrapped my little Mumu boy up in my blanket and propped him up on my bed. He didn\'t move or wiggle and just looked at me. He is one funny entertaining little guy. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
I wrapped my little Mumu boy up in my blanket and propped him up on my bed. He didn't move or wiggle and just looked at me. He is one funny entertaining little guy. Tsem Rinpoche
March 2017-Coaxing my little Mumu boy to eat his meal. He was not well and therefore not hungry. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
March 2017-Coaxing my little Mumu boy to eat his meal. He was not well and therefore not hungry. Tsem Rinpoche
Click on picture to enlarge and see what Milarepa says. Profound.
1 month ago
Click on picture to enlarge and see what Milarepa says. Profound.
We are always trying to get somewhere, try something new, find some friends, get some entertainment and in the end we end up in the same place. Time to really practice Dharma seriously and stop wasting time we don\'t have. ~Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
We are always trying to get somewhere, try something new, find some friends, get some entertainment and in the end we end up in the same place. Time to really practice Dharma seriously and stop wasting time we don't have. ~Tsem Rinpoche
March 20, 2017-Mumu is just so adorable with his bright eyes.
1 month ago
March 20, 2017-Mumu is just so adorable with his bright eyes.
More and more people inviting Lord Dorje Shugden home to connect with on their shrines. I am so happy to see this as it will benefit them and their families so much. That is the purpose to be alive which is to benefit others as much as possible. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
More and more people inviting Lord Dorje Shugden home to connect with on their shrines. I am so happy to see this as it will benefit them and their families so much. That is the purpose to be alive which is to benefit others as much as possible. Tsem Rinpoche
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
1 month ago
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
1 month ago
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
The Japanese are very innovative. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
The Japanese are very innovative. Tsem Rinpoche
Read this as it will be interesting
1 month ago
Read this as it will be interesting
Recite this before any meal or drinks for blessings of abundance. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Recite this before any meal or drinks for blessings of abundance. Tsem Rinpoche
This sacred statue of Buddha is in Nepal brought originally from Tibet and has spoken on many occasions. Very blessed to see this holy image and keep a picture...bless you always. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
This sacred statue of Buddha is in Nepal brought originally from Tibet and has spoken on many occasions. Very blessed to see this holy image and keep a picture...bless you always. Tsem Rinpoche
I love Mumu boy tremendously. We went through so much together for so many years. You are a great being to be with. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
I love Mumu boy tremendously. We went through so much together for so many years. You are a great being to be with. Tsem Rinpoche
Dear everyone, I am sharing this beautiful and modern altar to Dorje Shugden in Malaysia. I am glad to see more and more people creating sacred spaces. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Dear everyone, I am sharing this beautiful and modern altar to Dorje Shugden in Malaysia. I am glad to see more and more people creating sacred spaces. Tsem Rinpoche
Lhamo Karmo, a female buddha form visualized above the crown of one\'s head at the time of death, to encourage consciousness to leave the body via the crown aperture. From my book \"The Female Buddhas.\"- Glenn Mullin
2 months ago
Lhamo Karmo, a female buddha form visualized above the crown of one's head at the time of death, to encourage consciousness to leave the body via the crown aperture. From my book "The Female Buddhas."- Glenn Mullin
The Tibetan female tulku Dorje Pakmo, from a fresco on the wall of the Dorje Pakmo monastery (Samding) in Tibet, near the Turquoise Lake. In Tibet the Dorje Pakmo was ranked with the Dalai Lama, Panchen Lama and Sakya Trizin as the four highest lamas in the country.-from Glenn Mullin
2 months ago
The Tibetan female tulku Dorje Pakmo, from a fresco on the wall of the Dorje Pakmo monastery (Samding) in Tibet, near the Turquoise Lake. In Tibet the Dorje Pakmo was ranked with the Dalai Lama, Panchen Lama and Sakya Trizin as the four highest lamas in the country.-from Glenn Mullin
Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl checking out the scene..cute
2 months ago
Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl checking out the scene..cute
My Dharma boy has such a cute expression here. He is a good boy!
2 months ago
My Dharma boy has such a cute expression here. He is a good boy!
February 9,2017-My Mumu boy and Oser girl are just relaxing together..super cute
3 months ago
February 9,2017-My Mumu boy and Oser girl are just relaxing together..super cute
Click on the picture to enlarge and see what Suzy from Hawaii commented on the Dorje Shugden issue after much research. She is very candid and honest. Refreshing. Original is posted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl-4lIwxph4
3 months ago
Click on the picture to enlarge and see what Suzy from Hawaii commented on the Dorje Shugden issue after much research. She is very candid and honest. Refreshing. Original is posted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl-4lIwxph4
This is a good one to read
3 months ago
This is a good one to read
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ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

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

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

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

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

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