Buddha Bar?

Jul 6, 2013 | Views: 578
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Dear all,

I found this interesting piece of news about a bar in Sabah (one of the 2 states located in East Malaysia) named Buddha Bar. A few weeks ago, it came onto mainstream media that the name of the bar displeased the public as they served alcoholic beverages. They found the name to be disrespectful towards Buddhism…

I just wanted to share this news with everyone so that we know how much most Malaysian people and the government respect Buddhism. It truly is a blessing to live in a country where there is mutual respect for the different religious beliefs that we have.

Always appreciate what we have and look at the positive parts of our lives. 

Tsem Rinpoche


Buddha Bar renamed, its owner apologises for controversy

by Amy Dangin, Borneo Post, June 20, 2013

KOTA KINABALU, Sabah (Malaysia) – The Buddha Bar Sabah, which was opened recently, was forced to have its controversial name changed after the Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia (YBAM) urged the City Hall to revoke its licence.

Ethan Chung

MCA Publicity Bureau chief Datuk Heng Seai Kie supported the Association’s call as the choice of name for the club where alcoholic drinks are served was deemed to be “blasphemous against the holy Buddha”.

Its young owner, Ethan Chung, had since renamed the establishment to ‘Peacock Garden’ on June 17 and apologised for the controversial name that he initially chose.

“I have chosen to respect the City Hall’s order and chosen ‘Peacock Garden’ as the new name for our establishment, hoping that it would re-establish peaceful harmony among the community we operate with.

“There was no intention of offending anyone when we chose that name in the first place. More importantly, we practised what we thought would emulate Buddha’s honoured teachings whereby we dedicate Wednesdays to children with disabilities and orphans by donating 10 per cent of Wednesday’s profits to selected charitable organisations.

“We also reserve four employment positions for people with disabilities and four positions for weekend part-time jobs, especially for students.

“These were some of the things that we did at the Buddha Bar and will continue to do after we re-open the establishment as the Peacock Garden,” Chung said.

Having lost some of its employees following the controversy, Peacock Garden is now hiring, opening its doors for walk-in interviews from Monday to Friday, 5pm to 6pm.

On June 18, Heng issued a statement condemning the outlet for using ‘Buddha’ in its name, calling it an insult to the Buddhist community in Malaysia.

“As a devout Buddhist, the name ‘Buddha Bar’ is not only disrespectful to the revered Buddha but even more detrimental to the holiness of Buddhism.

“By putting ‘Buddha’ in the bar’s title, they had placed Buddha next to the unhealthy substance, alcohol, linking the two as equals. Drinking alcohol is not only a violation of the Five Precepts of Buddhism, it also goes against five thousand years of Buddhist culture,” she said in a statement.

“I urge the Kota Kinabalu City Hall to take prompt action to withdraw the establishment’s operating permit,” Heng added.

However, her outrage received mixed reactions.

One commenter wrote, “Buddha Bars exist all over the world. And again…, only in Malaysia it will incur the wrath of a deity. There must be something else very wrong with the way Malaysia treats its religions, when it makes ALL gods so angry over minor, minor things.”

Another wrote, “Leave them alone for God sake….why the politician always fuss something…there a lot of crimes need to be taking care of…Just do your bloody attention to more important things instead of creating unnecessary issue… People do charity…they have their own way…..It’s not your family business…unless the person want to have under table share is it? Buddha Bar is proper name…Sushi Bar…Burger Bar….Do those politicians understand or not the meaning of Bar…”

[Extracted from: http://buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id=56,11503,0,0,1,0#.UcqOovn-KuK]

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26 Responses to Buddha Bar?


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  1. Tshering on Oct 1, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    i think this articles sums up why it is offensive for the Buddha bar and we should be respectful to the buddhist images http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id=70,12476,0,0,1,0#.VgyyAo-qpBc

  2. pavara on Aug 3, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    Its good to know that Malaysians have respect for the Buddhist people.
    It is really obvious that they are putting down the Buddhist name.
    If they call that restaurant Buddha bar and serve meat and alcoholic beverages means that Buddha is just some sort of normal person who just do what normal people do.
    Its great that our Malaysian people took action against the name of the restaurant.

  3. Felix Kong on Jul 30, 2013 at 4:56 pm


  4. Wan Wai Meng on Jul 27, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    The Malaysian constitution protects the religious rights of all its citizens I am thankful that I live in the country whereby the rights and freedom to believe is uphold. Not only that it ensures that disrespect to one’s faith is not tolerated.

    Our belief system is personal to us and it really matters to us. For Buddhist to associate intoxicants to the Buddha is like associating certain meats to certain faiths. It is saying the total opposite of what the faith represents.

  5. abby f on Jul 23, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    very interesting post and I think some people really over-reacted. Yes it is disrespectful but it is not too harmful. But to consider the conditions in Msia where religion is quite sensitive, the ownder should have consider this before he made any choice.

    It is very creative of him to choose the name, but to sell alcohol in the bar which named Buddha bar, it shows also how ignorance he is. If he sells non-alcohol drinks/foods or vegetarian food, then this Buddha bar will get famous and it matches very well with the bar.

    This reminds the youngsters who try to be different and creative, that they should study and research more before doing something, think deeper and longer to make this society a cuter place with variety of opinions and voices, along with keeping the society a harmony happy place.

    • Sharon Saw on Aug 2, 2013 at 12:47 am

      I think that is a great idea, Abby – to have a Buddha Bar which doesn’t serve alcohol and serves healthy wholesome food! Hmmmm a possible business idea :)

      Personally i think there was an overreaction to the Buddha Bar too. Buddha Bars overseas are very classy joints. I guess people can develop wrong view about Buddhist images if they see them in non-virtuous environments, but a Buddhist imprint is still a Buddhist imprint and those who are at the bar may be the least likely people to go to a temple. What if they didn’t call the Buddha bar by that name but had Buddha images within the premises. Would there be a similar uproar?

      And going back to if it was another religion – like a Jesus Bar, or a Krishna Bar or a Mohammed Bar, there would be probably even more of an uproar! If only we could be more respectful as well as less sensitive about religions, i think that there would be less wars in the world.

  6. Cliff on Jul 11, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    This is a very interesting topic. It can be a very controversial issue for some people. I am not sure how I feel about this issue, on one end I wouldn’t have taken notice nor would I have bothered about the name but on the other I can understand people’s dismay about naming a bar after Buddha whilst serving alcohol. There are many other bars which doesn’t necessarily serve alcohol yet are still called a bar. In any case it is still wonderful to know the government does act on respecting the religion in Malaysia, but it got me confused because I swear I could have recalled seeing another Buddha Bar in Kuala Lumpur. It is also still great to know Ethan Chung had gladly made the decision to change the name and also conducted some PR work to resolve the issue rather than to retaliate and cause an even bigger issue.

  7. Edward ooi on Jul 11, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Dear Rinpoche, I still don’t get why did Ethan Chung named his bar “Buddha Bar”. I understand that he wanted to spread Buddhism but the part is why does he want to use an alcohol place to spread Buddhism? I hope that Ethan named this bar for a good reason.

  8. Julien Roth on Jul 10, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    In my opinion, i think the Malaysian Government did the right thing by complaining about the name. This shows that Malaysia actually cares for all religions that they do not want to name of that religion to be abused, or used in the wrong way. This makes me more comfortable to be a buddhist. I now know that my country, not only supports their own religion, but others as well.

  9. Lucas Roth on Jul 10, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    I think it is a bit disrespectful and i am glad it got renamed. How some people are, it is just rude and disrespectful.It was good that the owner changed the name and apologised because at least that shows that he understands.thank you Rinpoche for sharing this.

  10. Jessica Yap on Jul 10, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    I think we shouldn’t be so fixated on the aspects/labels of respect towards a Buddha statue. Of course we should respect ALL Buddha statues, but that doesn’t mean that naming a bar after a Buddha statue is disrespectful to Buddha.

    Although drinking is discouraged in Buddhism, naming a bar after Buddha doesn’t condone drinking.

    When our motivation is set right and the plan isn’t to harm people or any living beings, names are just labels, in my humble opinion.
    We can name a school Buddha School but if the people in the school are behaving lewdly, does that mean it is better?

    But all in all, kudos to the locals whom displays such respect towards Buddhism.

    Thank you for sharing, Rinpoche!

  11. Jamzo on Jul 10, 2013 at 4:43 am

    I live in North America, and here it has become quite common to see Buddha statues in bars and lounges etc. In fact most home furniture sell some form of Buddha or Buddha head statue as well.

    I’ve always asked myself those questions, for example seeing a Buddha statue plans seeds in people’s minds, but also reducing a Buddha statue to the level of being a decorative object is not treating it with proper respect.

    Overall, it is best to have the proper respect towards Dharma representations, in fact respect that is something all Buddhists must contemplate continuously to increase their practice. But we can’t control other people’s minds (in fact many times we can’t even control our own mind) so if they act in improper way toward holy objects we should just feel sorry for them. Even then it still plants a seed in their minds for later.

    I remember there is one Sutra where Shariputra was teaching a group who were all going to become Arhats, then Manjushri arrived and taught them the Mahayana instead and the whole group became very angry and left despising Buddhism. When Shariputra asked Manjushri why he did that, Manjushri replied that even thought there were all going to become Arhats, he foresaw that by teaching them the Mahayana he would plant the seed that would eventually allow them to reach full enlightenment.

  12. mitra on Jul 9, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    It is good to see that Malaysians are embracing the Buddhist culture. but i dont like this way to sale meat and alcohol.have good thing and bad thing .

  13. beatrix ooi on Jul 9, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    I’ve read about it about 1-2 weeks ago, from my point of view, I think that there’s no right or wrong. But to some typical Buddhists(no offense), they think that the bar’s name is an insult to The Buddha. Just like what Bryan has stated, alcohol itself is neutral, it’s just the way we use it. Some people use it for medical purpose and some for entertainment purpose, as long as the intention behind is positive.
    Thank You for sharing Rinpoche.

  14. Tenzin Losang on Jul 9, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    I think many Buddhists in Malaysia have over-reacted towards this issue. Ethan was not planning to run a bar full of vice, gangsters, hard drugs and prostitution with strip shows. His intention was to set up a bar that feels chic and trendy, a place where even families can come dine in. And if i’m not mistaken, he also had plans to organize social charity events and activities at his bar. Although the bar serves alcohol, one must understand that alcohol when consumed in a controlled manner, won’t lead to any harm.

    There is nothing inherently evil about liquor, it is merely liquor. Even Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche used alcohol to spread Dharma. I also agree with what others are saying here that having Buddha images in a bar can help plant positive imprints on its patrons. Being too sensitive and over-reacting towards this Buddha Bar issue only creates the impression that Buddhists are somewhat fanatical, narrow-minded and intolerant. What are your impressions of people who go to the streets in massive protests, burning the flags of other countries, screaming holy war or start chanting death to the one who insulted their god/prophet/saint in something trivial such as a joke or cartoon?

    Although Ethan did not face something as extreme as death threats or violence, my point is that the reaction he got was still excessive. Such over-zealousness will not attract people to Buddhism but merely drive them away. Instead of coming down hard on Ethan, these people should have used a more diplomatic approach. Perhaps engaging Ethan in a positive way and working together with him to help transform the bar into one that operates with Buddhist ideals in mind, if he is to continue using the “Buddha” theme. I’m sure Ethan would have complied well to such an approach. He seems to be a nice guy.

    Buddhism can benefit greatly if its followers act in ways that inspire and touch others.

  15. Andrew James Boon on Jul 8, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    Classic example of misinformation and misinterpretation. I believe it is not wrong to put the name Buddha as part of an establishment that serves alcohol. This is because, the Buddha image itself is beyond the negative perception. It is merely our own deluded thoughts and perceptions that makes an association with the image and the so called negative element that is supposedly alcohol.

    As Bryan said, alcohol in itself is NOT negative… how we respond or act after ingesting the substance is the problem. Having a the name Buddha or an image of a Buddha in such an establishment in my mind is a good thing as it will plant imprints on people that otherwise would not have access to such blessings.

    It however has to be done in a tasteful and respective manner though. Just my two cents worth! ;)

  16. Edern on Jul 8, 2013 at 11:46 am

    Dear rinpoche i am very sorry for not doing the social media anymore, please please forgive me.
    The commenters are so selfish, how sn they think that malaysia did a bad job by forcing the buddha bar to close down and deities and buddhas are getting angry over minir things. they call this minor? And this is also important to do, it is the government’s choice to do this action not yours. Yes i understand the meaning of bar but it is named after buddha. How about i name it with other religion they would of course do the same.

  17. Louise Lee on Jul 7, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    其实我觉得在这些场所里摆放佛像, 没有什么问题! 一位这里的人都是一些只顾享乐的人。 这些可怜的朋友是非常需要佛法!


    坦白说, 是有点不尊敬!但是也要看他们的出发点!

  18. Bryan Ho on Jul 7, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    Agreed with Helene, I don’t think it’s good nor bad to put “Buddha” as part of their name, but the motivation have to be pure.

    As a bar, which open to public, it will attract many different people from many different background, some are Buddhist, some are not. By opening this “Buddha Bar” might be able to bring in Buddha imprint to people who are not interested in Buddhism at all. But at the same time, it might also bring negative image of Buddhism to those who have not deep understanding in Buddha teaching.

    Alcohol itself have no good or bad karma, as it’s neutral, by depends how we use it. For example, in some traditional Chinese medicine, alcohol is wide use to get rid of negative wind in one’s body which is positive. But we also heard news that one have violence actions towards another after alcohol, so it’s still depends how we use it.

    Well, but in a multi cultural country like Malaysia, the conservative way always work out better.

  19. MayOng on Jul 7, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    Its so inappropriate to name a bar “Buddha Bar” along with display of Buddha images associated with liquor and alcohol. Malaysia is a country tolerant of proper religious practice, so it was good the owner was sensitive enough to change the bar’s name to Peacock Bar instead, after public sentiments were against the original name.

  20. Eric Lee KHJB on Jul 7, 2013 at 8:11 pm


  21. tenzinkhenchen on Jul 7, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    It is good to see that Malaysians are embracing the Buddhist culture. Even though they were using Buddhism as a form for a bar, at least there are some imprints given to those who are not Buddhist. If people think that meat and alcohol is good, then the image of Buddha will lead to their pleasure and imprints will be achieved.

  22. Lim (KH JB) on Jul 7, 2013 at 11:04 am

    In this Era most of us degenerate Buddha teaching so there is some good points that we should have more and more Buddha images surrounding us to recall our imprints or planted more seeds in our mind.

    But at the same time we should respect to the holy words we use, this is a simple respectful attitude. We must avoid to misused the holy words…

  23. lewkwanleng on Jul 6, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    There are quite a number of bars in Kuala Lumpur where they have Buddhas images/statues in their restaurant while serving meat and alcohol, but there were no actions taken against them. I mean, if the authorities want to implement the same policy, then it should be fair across the board.

    I would agree that the authorities focus on solving other issues like crime instead of this.

    To me, I feel that we are in the age of degeneration, and if we have Buddha statue in more places, it can at least plant some imprints. I don’t feel that putting Buddha in a bar is not respecting. Whether or not we place the Buddha in the bar has nothing to do with respect. If the Buddha statue is well clean, full of offering, etc, it is well respected, regardless where the statue is placed. There are many ppl who have Buddha statue and yet drink alcohol and consume meat, does it mean not respecting? My point is that we just need to be fair…

  24. Vinnie Tan on Jul 6, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    This is just so selfish. They do not know what Buddhism is about and people just criticize saying that The Buddhists should let it go. But if we were to flip the situation around and name the bar with other religious figures the rest of the people would just make a fuss as well.

    We should never use another religion’s characters of main teaching materials and use it in ways that just goes against what the religion practices. We should have mutual respect to each other.

    But I think that it is nice to see that the Malaysia government stepping in for this situation.

  25. HelenaC on Jul 6, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    For what I think it is a good news to know Malaysian has the respect of religion but I think the motivation behind of choosing the name has to be positive too. There is no right nor wrong.

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  • Lucy Yap
    Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 12:24 PM
    When statues are consecrated, the actual Buddhas are invited to reside within these holy objects. This sacred statue of Vajra Yogini in Tibet has spoken to sincere practitioners on several occasions. Tsem Rinpoche.
    (More to read on Vajra Yogini here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpo…/…/vajra-yogini)
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    Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 12:20 PM
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    Tsem Tulku Rinpoche.

    Our Spiritual Advisor H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche has been rescuing animals since he was a young child in the USA. His mission to save animals has continued in Malaysia on a larger scale, beginning with the rescue of Drolkar, a sulphur-crested cockatoo, to whom Rinpoche made a promise to find her a good home.
    Read more http://www.kechara.com/…/…/donate-rm2-to-feed-a-hungry-bird/
  • jillyam
    Tuesday, Nov 24. 2015 11:07 PM
    Kechara Soup Kitchen – Hunger Knows No Barriers

    What first began with 20 packets of hot food and a teaching to students on empathising with the difficulties of the less fortunate has grown into a charitable cause that has made a tremendous difference in people’s lives. Inspired by Rinpoche’s vision to help the homeless, Kechara Soup Kitchen has not only set up a permanent soup kitchen building in Kuala Lumpur, but also spread its helping hands to the homeless in several states in Malaysia as well as Jakarta, Indonesia! While KSK has grown tremendously in the past few years, we will continue to improve and expand so that we will be able to serve our homeless clients better, by improving their quality of life.
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    Tuesday, Nov 24. 2015 08:33 PM
    【多杰雄登:关于我们的故事】 在尊贵的第廿五世詹杜固仁波切身处马来西亚的这些年来,无数海内外信众都曾向仁波切请示各种大大小小的事宜,请求仁波切的指引、协助或紧急帮忙,而这些请求至今从不间断。如上所述,人们都因各种问题而寻求仁波切的帮助——有的人请仁波切为他们的修行给建议;有的面对邪灵干扰,致使日常生活受影响;有的则为家庭、健康及财务的世俗问题找寻出路。对于此类的求助个案,仁波切会召唤其佛教护法多杰雄登,透过占卜及其他管道,请祂提供解决方法,以及帮助那些有需要的人们。 http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/%e5%a4%9a%e6%9d%b0%e9%9b%84%e7%99%bb%ef%bc%9a%e5%85%b3%e4%ba%8e%e6%88%91%e4%bb%ac%e7%9a%84%e6%95%85%e4%ba%8b.html
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    Monday, Nov 23. 2015 11:18 PM
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  • xuliang
    Monday, Nov 23. 2015 11:06 AM
    Is it not the nature of the mind to acquire, to absorb? Or rather, the pattern it has created for itself is one of gathering in; and in that very activity the mind is preparing its own weariness, boredom. Interest, curiosity, is the beginning of acquisition, which soon becomes boredom; and the urge to be free from boredom is another form of possession. So the mind goes from boredom to interest to boredom again, till it is utterly weary; and these successive waves of interest and weariness are regarded as existence.
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    Monday, Nov 23. 2015 01:16 AM
    I like this from H.E. Tsem Rinpoche ~ “I think my mind can change because it has changed. Based on it’s changes, I know further changes in the right direction can happen.” Nothing is permanent in samsara.
  • xuliang
    Sunday, Nov 22. 2015 08:31 PM
    Truth is much too serious to play with; it is much too dangerous to have one part of our heart in the temple of truth and another part in the temple of unrealities and half-truths. For that way is the way of sorrow, is the way of contention, is the way of vain beliefs which shall decay. If we have not that white flame, which comes from understanding, which is born out of patience, we will not enter into that kingdom where Truth abides. As a sweet flower that decays and perishes, so shall be he who merely holds to sweet enjoyments, but if we would be as the tree that withstands every storm and dances in every breeze, we must delight in truth and walk in the light of truth.
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Sunday, Nov 22. 2015 06:57 PM
    The Chinese have a 10 year old orange skin (peels) tea. They take the skin of oranges or tangerines and dry it and age for ten years. When you brew tea from this, it is said to be very healthy and excellent for the body. It reduces thirst, increasing saliva, detoxifies, clears flem and also boosts immune system. You can drink it all day and everyday and it’s excellent. The best are from Hong Kong. But mostly can import. I have been drinking this and it’s very good. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Pastor Adeline
    Sunday, Nov 22. 2015 02:12 PM
    From Blog Chat

    1 day ago
    Tsem Rinpoche: Good to see many on chat, learning, reading, sharing, discussing. When we do this weekly, we learn the dharma and with dharma knowledge we apply and our minds will become better in so many ways. When our minds become better than we see the result of Buddha’s teachings….teachings should never remain written, but manifested in our actions so always make the effort to learn and be here. That is the whole point of being here. Tsem Rinpoche :) :)
  • Pastor Adeline
    Sunday, Nov 22. 2015 02:08 PM
    “I think the article was referring to a statement the Dalai Lama made about the result of the recent elections in Bihar state. The Dalai Lama mentioned that “the majority of Hindu believe in religious harmony.” And in saying that implied that BJP party is religiously intolerant. This is seen as a veiled attack on the BJP party (ruling party of India) that lost in Bihar state elections. Apparently, BJP has a reputation of not curbing religious intolerance on a few high-profile occasions. So, BJP is downplaying the Dalai Lama’s statement because I think it makes them look bad and they are obviously not too happy with the Dalai Lama for saying that but they can’t get the Dalai Lama because he didn’t mention names”.~DLKY

  • Pastor Adeline
    Sunday, Nov 22. 2015 02:08 PM
    President Putin opened his trip to Buryatia by visiting Ivolga Datsan, the main monastery of the Buddhist Traditional Sangha in Russia.

    He highlighted the long and important history of Budhism in Siberia, and spoke of how he valued his relationship with the head of Russian Buddhists, Pandito Khambo-lama Damba Ayusheyev.

    ‘Russia is probably the only country in Europe where Buddhism is an official religion’, he said.

  • xuliang
    Sunday, Nov 22. 2015 11:08 AM
    Is not all substitution another form of escape? When one particular form of activity is not satisfactory or brings further conflict, we turn to another. To replace one activity by another without understanding escape is rather futile, is it not? It is these escapes and our attachment to them that make for conditioning. Conditioning brings problems, conflict. It is conditioning that prevents our understanding of the challenge; being conditioned, our response must inevitably create conflict.
    Attachment to our work is our escape. There are escapes at all the levels of our being. We escape through work, another through drink, another through religious ceremonies, another through knowledge, another through God, and still another is addicted to amusement. All escapes are the same, there is no superior or inferior escape. God and drink are on the same level as long as they are escapes from what we are. When we are aware of our escapes, only then can we know of our conditioning.
    Conformity is gratifying; it assures security to the disciple, and gives power to the disciple as well as to the teacher. Through conformity there is the strengthening of authority, secular or religious; and conformity makes for dullness, which they call peace. If one wants to avoid suffering through some form of resistance, why not pursue that path, though it involves a certain amount of pain? Conformity anaesthetizes the mind to conflict. We want to be made dull, insensitive; we try to shut off the ugly, and thereby we also make ourselves dull to the beautiful. Conformity to the authority of the dead or the living gives intense satisfaction. The teacher knows and we don’t know. It would be foolish for us to try to find out anything for yourselves when our comforting teacher already knows; so we become his slave, and slavery is better than confusion. The teacher and the disciple thrive on mutual exploitation. We really don’t go to an organized religious centre for freedom, do we? We go there to be comforted, to live a life of enclosing discipline and belief, to worship and in turn be worshipped – all of which is called the search for truth. They cannot offer freedom, for it would be their own undoing. Freedom cannot be found in any retreat, in any system or belief, nor through the conformity and fear called discipline. Disciplines cannot offer freedom; they may promise, but hope is not freedom. Imitations a means to freedom is the very denial of freedom, for the means is the end; copy makes for more copy, not for freedom. But we like to deceive ourselves, and that is why compulsion or the promise of reward exists in different and subtle forms. Hope is the denial of life.
  • xuliang
    Sunday, Nov 22. 2015 11:01 AM
    When we ask the way, we become a follower. Because there is this ache of solitude, we want help, and the very demand for guidance opens the door to compulsion, imitation and fear. The`how’ is not at all important, so let us understand the nature of this pain rather than try to overcome it, avoid it, or go beyond it. Till there is complete understanding of this ache of solitude, there can be no peace, no rest, but only incessant struggle; and whether we are aware of it or not, most of us are violently or subtly trying to escape from its fear. This ache is only in relation to the past, and not in relation to what is. What is has to be discovered, not verbally, theoretically, but directly experienced. How can there be discovery of what actually is if you approach it with a sense of pain or fear? To understand it must you not come to it freely, denuded of past knowledge concerning it?
    Must we not come with a fresh mind, unclouded by memories, by habitual responses? do not ask how the mind is to be free to see the new, but listen to the truth of it. Truth alone liberates, and not our desire to be free. The very desire and effort to be free is a hindrance to liberation.
    To understand the new, must not the mind, with all its conclusions, safeguards, cease its activities? Must it not be still, without seeking a way of escape from this solitude, a remedy for it? Must not the ache of solitude be observed, with its movement of despair and hope? Is it not this very movement that makes for solitude and its fear? Is not the very activity of the mind a process of isolation, resistance? Is not every form of relationship the mind a way of separation, withdrawal? Is not experience itself a process of self-isolation? So the problem is not the ache of solitude, but the mind which projects the problem. The understanding of the mind is the beginning of freedom. Freedom is not something in the future, it is the very first step. The activity of the mind can be understood only in the process of response to every kind of stimulation. Stimulation and response are relationship at all levels. Accumulation in any form, as knowledge, as experience, as belief, prevents freedom; and it is only when there is freedom that truth can be.
    Do we understand anything through struggle, through conflict? Does not understanding come when the mind is utterly still, when the action of effort has ceased? The mind that is made still is not a tranquil mind; it is a dead, insensitive mind. When desire is, the beauty of silence is not.

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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


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.
2 weeks ago
Please see the WONDERFUL NEW PHOTOS taken just this morning (November 13, 2015) here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=81688 (Be sure to scroll to the bottom until part 2 to see the pictures)
2 weeks ago
We at Kechara Forest Retreat had the honor to have a visit from Yang Dipertua Mohammad Shahid bin Ismail who is the Head of the Bentong Municipal Council. We thank him for taking the time as he was very busy. Thank you very much. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
Pastor David giving a well received talk on the practice of Black Manjushri
2 weeks ago
Found a green patch of land to spend with friends...
2 weeks ago
Nice to see our fellow Modern Buddhist Fellowship members engaged in Dharma.
2 weeks ago
Manjushri-ghosha, Kumara (English: Youthful Prince, Melodious Voice)
2 weeks ago
Wonderful certificates of our Kechara pastors..meaningful and touching.
2 weeks ago
This office table has something interesting on it.
2 weeks ago
Powerfully true
2 weeks ago
To have kind and caring people in our lives is a blessing
2 weeks ago
2 weeks ago
I really wanted to share this incredible picture of the Tibetologist Alexandra David-Neel outside of her retreat cave in Tibet. She's one of the first non-Tibetans who penetrated Tibet to engage in the practice of Tibetan Buddhism. She really practiced and even wrote books on Buddhism and Tibet which are still available now. ~Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
A photo taken by Pastor Shin of Tsem Rinpoche's Dorje Shugden traditional mask. This is on Tsem Rinpoche's shrine. Very nice photo.
3 weeks ago
At Chin Swee Temple with my long time friend Dato' Wira Eric.
3 weeks ago
Amogha-pasa Avalokitesvara
3 weeks ago
I love small quaint towns in Japan. No matter how rural or small any village is in Japan, it is still kept very clean and asthetic matching nature. 
3 weeks ago
Left to right: Gekula (disciplinarian), Abbot Geshe Konchok Tsering, Tsem Rinpoche, H.E. Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche-We are inviting Kensur Rinpoche for tenshug. Tenshug is grand puja to request Kensur Rinpoche to live long. This is in Gaden and we are inviting him to the prayer hall to perform the tenshug. Tsem Rinpoche is the requester and sponsor.
3 weeks ago
This is a nice picture
3 weeks ago
Kyabje Lati Rinpoche and Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen
3 weeks ago
Kyabje Lati Rinpoche and Kari Kensur Rinpoche of Gaden Shartse Monastery
3 weeks ago
Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, H.H. Zong Rinpoche & Kyabje Lati Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Kyabje Lati Rinpoche makes offerings to H.H. Trijang Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Kyabje Lati Rinpoche makes offering to their Holinesses Kyabje Ling and Trijang Rinpoches
4 weeks ago
Lady Buddha Janguli who protects from snakes and venom poisoning.
4 weeks ago
If there is a blind man walking towards a well and he can fall in, whose fault is it if he falls in? This can be related back to those in dharma should act to guide others by example otherwise you let everyone fall into the well. If they do fall in samsara's well, whose fault is it? Have the courage, integrity and fortitude to practice dharma and bring dharma to others to help them.~ Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
This group in Kechara Forest Retreat completed a Singdongma retreat on October 28, 2015.
4 weeks ago
Magnificent and Glorious Buddha Goddess Singdongma the Lion Faced lady who dispells all fear from the ten directions for those who invoke upon her fercocious and volcanic like power. Praise to this wrathful lady that burns all gnosis and projections! Remover of all that harms and obstructs and trampled under her feet. Tsem Rinpoche--To learn more about Singdongma: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=31904
4 weeks ago
Xiaqiong Monastary, Qinghai, Tibet, China. Over 100 meters tall Lord Tsongkapa statue. The only one of it's kind. Totally amazing. Picture 2
4 weeks ago
Xiaqiong Monastary, Qinghai, Tibet, China. Over 100 meters tall Lord Tsongkapa statue. The only one of it's kind. Totally amazing. Picture 1
1 month ago
This was taken in Kechara House. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
This was taken in Gaden Shartse Monastery on the day of my enthronement as Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
I think I was in Sera Mey Monastery when this was taken over 18 years ago. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
1 month ago
Many times we hear great Vajra Yogini practitioners when cremated, their fire pyres appear in the form of Vajra Yogini. We hear this many times as a sign they went to Kechara Paradise, gained high realizations or enlightened by Vajra Yogini's path. Although this picture does not depict a funeral pyre of a great practitioner, but the fire looks curiously like Vajra Yogini. Enjoy and may all be blessed by Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
1 month ago
When you work hard and produce results, everyone is silenced and those who make noise is just noise and society allows you some freedoms. You have to have the integrity to finish what you started and what you promised. Do it for others, those concerned and for yourself.~Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
You can work with me and we finish the dreams. You can leave citing any reasons you may have. You may join back again with me and my arms are open to you. Or you may go away as an enemy or remain friends. However you do I will accept. I dream big and work hard and sometimes it's hard for you, others and me, but if we finish, there is great satisfaction. Satisfaction doesn't come free. But one thing for sure, I will finish what I have started with or without you. Too many depend on it and many have hopes in it. We need to remember our words, our promises and our hopes we gave others and not shatter it. Sometimes we need to put our personal feelings aside and just get it done with a bang and be happy about it because in the end letting others down is not a way of life. Be kind, have integrity, don't make excuses, don't justify but just complete the works that make the dreams materialize and in the process you fulfill the dreams of many others. Others is always the key. Others and oneself are intertwined. Life is then fulfilled. That is life. Life is like that.~Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Please click on picture to see this special mantra
1 month ago
Long Manjushri mantra: Namo Manjushriye Kumara Bhutaya Bodhisattvaya Maha-sattvaya Maha-karuni-kaya Tayatha Om Aradzey Biradzey Shuddhey Bishuddhey Shodaya Bishodayey Amaley Bimaley Nirmaley Dzaya-varey Ruru-tsaley Hung Hung Hung Phet Phet Phet Soha!
1 month ago
Love is.....
1 month ago
Very powerful. Must click on picture and read and share.
1 month ago
Some people just work quietly in the background and do their best in their own way to benefit others. They don't say much but work super hard. I must say Pastor Dr. Lanse is one of them. She does not need attention, she does not complain and she does not ever create problems. She is independent and yet kind. She is our wonderful translator who works very hard to get translations of many dharma teachings into Chinese. This is just something short and sweet to let everyone know how much I appreciate Pastor Lanse and enjoy being with her work and her. Because of her and several other vital and lovely people, much practical dharma is in the Chinese speaking world. I thank Pastor Dr. Lanse from my heart. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Materialism is prevalent because the societal norms teaches people to be consumers at a young age. Buying things we don't need all to feed the ego. You can drive an expensive vehicle, but at the end of the day its still just a car. You can buy a flashy watch, but in reality all it does is tell time. People are more concerned with image and feeding their egos than being a beneficial person to society. Investing money on the outside to appear a certain way to others, yet forgetting to invest in yourself to becoming a better person. People spend their whole lives working to attain materialistic things using their accumulation of materialism to validate their existence, but when you die you can't take any of it with you. Don't let this system turn you into a vanity slave, realize you're worth much more than that. Feed your soul not your ego.-from Dr Asky (Powerful words of wisdom even from the secular point of view)
1 month ago
I love little Dharma boy.
2 months ago
Lord Tsongkhapa's holy retreat house in Tibet. Huge pilgrimage spot.
2 months ago
Lama Tsongkhapa footprint as a child
2 months ago
Kedrub Je's personal statue of Yamantaka
2 months ago
Prince Siddhartha with his maternal aunt Queen Mahaprajapati Gotami
Click on "View All Photos" above to view more images

Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • -
    2 months ago
    HH the Dalai Lama prays with HH Trijang Rinpoche and HH Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. Such a beautiful video of His Holiness Dalai Lama, His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and His Holiness Dilgo Kyentse Rinpoche (Very exalted high Nyingma lama) are all praying together. In the background you see a young Kyabje Lati Rinpoche too. So beautiful. This is how it was before the ban. All the sects and high lamas were superbly harmonious. After the Dorje Shugden ban things changed for the worse. May the ban be released soon. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Nice Dorje Shugden rock painting
    2 months ago
    Nice Dorje Shugden rock painting
  • His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche teaches the truth of life and our impeding death.
    3 months ago
    His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche teaches the truth of life and our impeding death.
  • A kind message from Mr. Tsering Wangchuk to me. Thank you so much. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 months ago
    A kind message from Mr. Tsering Wangchuk to me. Thank you so much. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Mr Chatreng Yeshe's message to me (Part 1)
    3 months ago
    Mr Chatreng Yeshe's message to me (Part 1)
  • Mr Chatreng Yeshe's message to me (Part 2)
    3 months ago
    Mr Chatreng Yeshe's message to me (Part 2)
  • His Holiness Trijang Rinpoche accepts Long Life puja
    4 months ago
    His Holiness Trijang Rinpoche accepts Long Life puja
  • Dorje Shugden/Kache Marpo makes offerings to Tsem Rinpoche
    4 months ago
    Dorje Shugden/Kache Marpo makes offerings to Tsem Rinpoche
  • My good friend Justin Ripley
    5 months ago
    My good friend Justin Ripley
  • -
    6 months ago
    I requested Choji Lah to do a trusol, rabney and soongdroop for our large DS and Buddha. In this video, he is performing trusol which is ritually 'bathing' the environment and blessing all those who come to visit our Wisdom Hall and Dorje Shugden. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Bigfoot arrives!!!
    6 months ago
    Bigfoot arrives!!!
    Tsem Rinpoche is an avid follower of the paranormal such as bigfoots. For more interesting writings and posts on the subject, please go to http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/category/yeti-bigfoot-sasquatch
  • Mumu Loves Snack!
    6 months ago
    Mumu Loves Snack!
  • -
    6 months ago
    For H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche, a blog post is not just a blog post but Dharma work that generates merits which should be dedicated. Click here to find out what blog post Rinpoche was dedicating the merits for when he recited this prayer: http://bit.ly/1KiXWf9 ~Ani Lobsang Pema
  • -
    6 months ago
    Panchen Lama in Beijing on CCTV - China's official news. The respect and position they give His Holiness Panchen Lama is great.
  • Magical fish tank with Buddha statue
    6 months ago
    Magical fish tank with Buddha statue


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.

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10 minutes ago
Puja member preparing tea during an Outcall puja. By Puja House 25 November'15
10 minutes ago
Puja member preparing offering for tonight puja. By Puja House 25 November'15
10 minutes ago
Tonight we have double protector puja, Dorje Shugden and Setrap puja which will be conducted in mandarin. By Puja House 25 November'15
7 hours ago
Step by step...we can finally cut down our attachment on food. -NgJesvin~KSDS
7 hours ago
Thanks all papa, mama, daddy, mummy and granny for joining our graduation concert. ~NgJesvin.KSDS
7 hours ago
Sometimes they moody and sometimes they as good as angel. Well done my lovely kids. NgJesvin~KSDS
7 hours ago
8 hours ago
Taking vegetarian is about the mind transform and cut down the attachment of food. ~NgJesvin KSDS
22 hours ago
Gratitude makes us happier. H.E. The 25th Tsem Rinpoche. http://on.fb.me/1NthEpL Lucy Yap
Dorje Shugden: The Protector Of Our Time! This unique full-colour graphic novel brings to life the history, lineage and miraculous activities of Dorje Shugden, the special protector of the 600-year-old Gelugpa lineage founded by Lama Tsongkhapa. http://www.vajrasecrets.com/dorje-shugden-the-protector-of-our-time-english
Big Dorje Shugden puja conducted this morning to clear Sponsor's obstacles on her cancer treatment. By Puja House 24 November'15
Sponsor sponsored offering for weekly puja . By Puja House 24 November'15
Team making torma for today's puja. By Puja House 24 November'15
2 days ago
Open register from now. Hurry! Grab the early bird price. Asyley Chia KSDS
2 days ago
I am not alone ! From:June Tang(Khjb)
2 days ago
Never give up ! From:June Tang(Khjb)
2 days ago
Stop segregation ! ~Tsem Rinpoche From:June Tang(Khjb)
2 days ago
Face the truth ~Tsem Rinpoche From:June Tang(Khjb)
2 days ago
Respect our religious freedom. From:June Tang(Khjb)
2 days ago
Create peace now ~Tsem Rinpoche From:June Tang(Khjb)
2 days ago
Let me be me. ~Tsem Rinpoche From:June Tang(Khjb)
2 days ago
Consider this.. ~Tsem Rinpoche From:June Tang(Khjb)
2 days ago
When to stop? ~Tsem Rinpoche From:June Tang(Khjb)
2 days ago
CTA help. ~Tsem Rinpoche From:June Tang(Khjb)
2 days ago
We want harmony. ~Tsem Rinpoche From:June Tang(Khjb)





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Click to watch my talk about Dorje Shugden....