Do women make good Buddhist Pastors?

Jul 22, 2012 | Views: 1,032
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DO WOMEN MAKE GOOD PASTORS??
 
I created a system within Kechara where ‘ordinary’ people of all backgrounds, genders, orientation and lifestyles can share or teach the dharma to others. They are called Pastors. To me I chose the word Pastor because it is wonderful that lay people wish to do more but are not monks/nuns. Although labels are not necessary to teach dharma, being a Pastor will help others to identify a committed person who shares dharma. Nothing more and nothing less.
 
Almost gone are the days where only monks, men in big hats and titles can efficiently teach the holy dharma. I think there are people with bills to pay, kids to raise, family obligations to complete and who are just fallible human beings who can share dharma from their hearts based on learning and experience. Who are good people. I think the monks/nuns are great and they are an inspiration, but sometimes hard to achieve for many of us. We do have our defilements, attachments and neurosis, but we also have compassion, care, love, life experiences too that can benefit others. So to me Pastors are people who are just people but take the special responsibility to share the dharma along with the responsibilities they have to fulfill or committed to even before they met the dharma.
 
I feel all people can be a great inspiration, great teacher and a great model of pastorship to bring dharma to others. Being a Pastor you take on special Pastor’s vows I have composed, and you engage in dharma studies and practice too. (http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/first-ever-buddhist-pastor-ordination.html )
 
I have had all types of thoughts within the Malaysian Buddhist community that Buddhist Pastors shouldn’t give refuge and how could they replace monks/nuns. They are not replacing the monks/nuns. They are just increasing the chances of many others who are not monks/nuns but qualified to teach and can teach Dharma. They help to bring Dharma to many others. Also just because you are a monk or nun does not mean you are qualified to teach either.
 
I think it is very important to have Buddhist Pastors of all backgrounds and genders to bring dharma to others simply because it would suit many different types of people. I think everyone is the same.
 
I have heard doubts regarding women doing this and I do not see a distinction. I think some women are are much more powerful than men and vice versa. I think the age of discrimination against women or anyone should come to an end.
 
What do you think? Please share your thoughts to help others understand better. Knowledge helps us overcome ignorance. It makes a difference to hear different opinions… 
 
Can women be ‘as’ spiritual as men? Will they be as respected in a spiritual role which is ‘traditionally’ dominated by men? Will women be accepted? Why or why not? If not, how can women become accepted in this? Any sources in history of powerful spiritual women? Is it necesary to have women as Pastors and spiritual leaders?
 
CAN WOMEN MAKE GOOD PASTORS?
 
Tsem Rinpoche
 
 
 

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Pastor Responsibilities/vows in Kechara
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63 Responses to Do women make good Buddhist Pastors?

  1. Seng Piow on Jul 22, 2012 at 6:51 am

    Eastern religions translated into English do not have sufficient words. Pastor is another word associated with Judeo Christianity, but not wholly owned by this faith. It can be used by anyone pertaining to any faith if chosen. So why not use a word that has been popularized and mainstream to describe a job that can be done by any person of any religion pertaining to THEIR FAITH, instead introducing another word and lose the point of the job. People do not need to get stuck on the word, but just think of the job.

    So do not get stuck with the word Pastor, the issue is can women be Buddhist Pastors? Why or why not?

    • Zla'od on Jul 23, 2012 at 10:23 am

      “Pastor” (Greek for “shepherd”) is not so much associated with “Judeo Christianity” as with Christianity in particular–and in modern times, even more specifically with Protestantism. This is why it is greeted with some amusement by people outside of Kechara. (If there can be Buddhist pastors, why not Buddhist rabbis or imams?)

      There is some precedent for other religions borrowing Christian titles: “monk”, “nun”, “priest”, “even “His Holiness” for the Dalai Lama (as a translation for kundun, lit. “physical basis,” nirmanakaya). Of course this obscures the many important differences between bikkhus and Christian monks, Shinshu priests vs. Catholic priests, the pope and the Dalai Lama, etc. New religious movements such as Scientology often adopt “Christian” sounding language in order to blend in, and seem more mainstream than they really are.

      One important consideration has to do with the “pastor’s” role. In Protestantism, a pastor would normally lead a church (there can also be associate pastors); in Kechara this does not seem to apply. In some churches he (or depending on denomination, she) would be appointed by the denominational hierarchy and answerable to them; in others, they would be voted in by the congregation and supervised by a vestry committee. Kecharaian “pastors” primarily exercise duties (such as teaching or spiritual counseling) associated with the diaconate (the ministry of deacons), and answer to Tsem Rinopoche–who seems to have assumed the role of “bishop,” and who probably has the power to “defrock” pastors at will. An important difference is that deacons do not normally lead life-cycle ceremonies such as baptisms, weddings, or funerals.

      I agree with the poster who suggested “Dharma Teacher” as a better term. I also cringe at Kechara’s references to “Buddhist baptism” and the like.

      • Sharon Saw on Jul 23, 2012 at 1:23 pm

        As one of the researchers who worked on Tsem Rinpoche’s biography, I visited Rinpoche’s hometown, Howell, New Jersey, in the United States. Interestingly, i found that the Mongolian community in which Rinpoche spent his childhood (from 7-15 years old), referred to their temples/Dharma centres as “Churches” and the monks were called “priests”. I just think that the references used are simply naming conventions and does not take anything away from what they actually are, which Buddhists would know are very different.

        Tsem Rinpoche is the spiritual guide of Kechara – he is not nor has he assumed the role of a bishop. I may be wrong but I would presume that you would know the role of a guru at a Dharma centre which follows the Vajrayana tradition.

        • Zla'od on Jul 24, 2012 at 11:10 am

          The English word “priest” is a little confusing, because it is usually applied to religious professionals who lead rituals (including pre-Christian or non-Christian ones). However, it comes from a Greek word that simply means “elder.” (presbyteros). “Church” is also confusing, since the English word comes from Gk. Kyrios (“The Lord”), but translates other Greek words (ecclesia synagogos)meaning “assembly.”

          I compare Tsem Rinpoche to a bishop because in Orthodox and Catholic ecclesiology, the bishop–though appointed–is technically the highest religious authority (the pope is technically the bishop of Rome), and within his parish, represents the whole church. To be out of communion with the bishop is to be out of communion with the entire church (i.e. denomination). In the same way, Kecharan pastors remain dependent on the Tsem Rinpoche’s continuing endorsement.

          • David Lai on Oct 11, 2012 at 5:31 pm

            I think it is totally inappropriate to make comparisons to Christian equivalent of a Pastor. Tsem Rinpoche is not a Catholic Bishop and the Pastors are not spreading Christianity. They will be Buddhist pastor and strangely people have huge bias against these terms. They are after all just a word like what Sharon says below this. You know Zla’od, it would be nicer if you have something nice to say for a change…

        • Zla'od on Jul 24, 2012 at 11:17 am

          PS The locus classicus of Buddhist adoption of Christian religious trappings would be the Buddhist Churches of America (which have pews and sing hymns).

          • Sharon Saw on Sep 2, 2012 at 11:23 pm

            I have been to the temples of Rashi Gempil Ling and Nyitsan in Howell, New Jersey, which have been referred to as churches and they look just like Tibetan temples, and nothing like the Christian church. In that sense, they are not like the churches you mention.

            Therefore, i still think it is a question of pedantics…. words are words.. they evolve with time depending on culture and circumstance. Rinpoche has explained in a very straightforward manner why the pastors came about and their function.

  2. tsemtulku on Jul 22, 2012 at 6:55 am

    Feminine wisdom contains power, love, growth, and awakening. Worshipping the feminine energy and showing respect to it’s awesome power is revered in the Buddhist tantras taught by Buddha. Tsem Rinpoche

  3. Seng Piow on Jul 22, 2012 at 7:02 am

    Likewise, priests, priestess, nuns, monks are all words in English, but the actual words in Eastern languages are different and the meanings are different also, therefore it is the same here with the word “pastor”, so we don’t have to get caught up with the technical term as long as we understand the meaning it wants to convey.

    • Zla'od on Jul 23, 2012 at 10:32 am

      One difference is that “pastor” carries specifically Christian connotations (Christ as the good shepherd, Christians as his flock), which cause the Buddhist borrowing to sound humorous or even offensive.

  4. keng tan on Jul 22, 2012 at 7:23 am

    Gone are the days of discrimination be it of age, gender, race or creed. Life is too short for people to pick on some groups of people just because they do not feel ‘comfortable’ around them. We should make the most out of the resources we have today, so if someone has the knowledge and ‘knack’ to impart that knowledge, it really doesn’t matter who or what they are, so long as it benefits the masses. In this modern era, to be spiritual is like facing an uphill challenge due to life’s many distractions. Time is of the essence and we do not need to await for a fully fledged monk/nun to teach. As long as a qualified spiritual teacher has identified the appropriate individuals who can teach/share the ‘knowledge’ that is good enough.

  5. Joy on Jul 22, 2012 at 8:33 am

    Pastor is just another word that defines – A layperson having spiritual charge over a person or group/ a spiritual overseers. I find this idea of Female Buddhist pastors really refreshing! In fact it is about time because there is a lack and women are mothers, they are naturally great nurturers, cup with Dharma… what do you get? Tara :) Possessing so much positive energy and strength. If she can share this energy together with Dharma, it would be so powerful and why not??? Women in Tibetan Buddhism has always been revered as supreme. The feminine wisdom contains power, love, growth and awakening and is revered in the tantras taught by Lord Buddha. Hence we have Tara and Vajra Yogini… who is most supreme in helping us achieve our full potential in a single life time. And the fascinating part is that she is ever more so efficacious during this degenerate time. The more degenerate it gets, the more powerful her practice becomes. So yeah… I definitely support this idea, not just because I am a woman myself but well hey EQUANIMITY right?!

  6. patsy on Jul 22, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Anyone irrespective of gender who is trained, have the knowledge and take the responsibility to share the dharma are qualified to be pastors. A pastor does not be a monk or a nun. There are many monks and nuns who do not have the qualifications to teach. In this modern age, there should not be any discrimination against women. In fact, there are women who are more powerful, respectable and inspirational than men in this age and time. As a woman myself who believes in equality and equanimity, women can be good pastors.

  7. Tenzin Losang on Jul 22, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Just a little over 200 years ago, having female presidents and heads of states was something almost impossible to even think of. But these days, it’s the norm. We even have female corporate leaders. So people who think that women cannot teach Dharma have a mindset that is just so outdated. They need to update themselves.

  8. Sheryl KH (JB) on Jul 22, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    I believe that both men and women are equally capable of being good pastors. It is discrimination lied within our hearts and minds that make things hard and impossible for women. Nuns of Gebchak Nunnery have already given us very good examples. In the eyes of buddhas, there is no difference between men and women. Spirituality depends on the upbringing, the background, the experiences and the attitudes that a person has, it is not about gender.

    Discrimination kills off many opportunities. At the end we all suffer, because those good ones are ripped off golden chances to do things which they can excel in.

    We all have to open up our hearts, to accept what we see/feel as oddity. Something that looks strange to us does not mean that they cannot perform.

    Women, however, tend to have more emotions than men. It is important that those who aspire to become pastors need to constantly remind themselves that they need to have a well balance of compassion, objectivity and rationality. If women can have a well balance of both emotion and rationality they can make good pastors. Women have this natural inborn ability to relate to people with great compassion, which is a valuable trait in any spirituality works.

  9. Lim (KH JB) on Jul 22, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    We should accept and respect women capability, most of women is more compassion, passion and more mindful. So women sure can be “as” or “more” spiritual as men.

    As Rinpoche comment below “Feminine wisdom contains power, love, growth, and awakening. Worshipping the feminine energy and showing respect to it’s awesome power is revered in the Buddhist tantras taught by Buddha. Tsem Rinpoche” so female is suitable and welcome to be Pastor just like Pastor Susan and Pastor Yek Yee.

  10. Grace ( KSJC ) on Jul 22, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    Regardless man or women, it depend on how your sincerity & determination to achieve the objective. it depend on individual capability, behavior,attitude..some women also can become president!it is our heart whether want to make things happen, not our gender..

  11. MayOng on Jul 22, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Any person, regardless of gender – with good intention, sincerity, kind, strong faith, commited, spiritually inclined, well-trained, can help anyone or anything, especially the role of Pastors. The name “pastor” is a label we created. As long as the “pastors” are qualified to teach, given blessings to do so and disciplined – female “pastors” are ok also.

  12. Grace Leong on Jul 22, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    Mother Teresa and Master Cheng Yen are great examples of women “pastors” . Though they were not called “pastors”, they shared wisdom and compassion in everything that they did in their respective organizations . They were very committed to their faith and work , inspiring many around the world . From very humble beginnings , they persevered through trials and tribulations to bring love and care to as many as they could . During their times , women had even less recognition and freedom to “lead”. Women today are generally treated at par with men in most parts of the world . Hence , having more women pastors and spiritual leaders will be a very natural progression and certainly very welcomed by all !

  13. tfreon on Jul 22, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    Before Tzu Ji become an international charity organisation like today. Most of the people don’t look up on Nun. Looking around Chinese Buddhist history, mostly monks are the more famous one, i can’t recall any famous nun. To me nuns are very “passive” i am not sure it is because they are a woman thus nothing much can be done.
    This thoughts changed When Master Zheng Yan have done so much to help millions of people. She is a nun, but she did a lot to help others who is in need, she work with many people to make things success. She have many projects that she supervise or gave advise directly.
    The question do women make a good pastor? i personally feel is not the matter the person is a girl or boy. The question is how much you willing to share the Dharma knowledge to other, how much compassion does the person have that she/ him determine to do more for other. Gender can’t be a reason to stop the person from doing anything if she want to.
    Pastorship- Looking at today’s world. Who can truly be a monk or nun? Not easy, but it doesn’t mean that the person not compassion. To be a pastor is a “form” of renunciation or a ‘reminder” that the person needs to do more; to learn seriously more than others; in order to hold the lineage properly. A ‘layman” form of nun and monk is sometimes more convenient to get close to people.
    Thus to me, a pastor, or whether the person is a girl or boy in pastor is not a problems.
    I thanks Rinpoche for providing us a change to learn properly in Buddhism. Not only people from Malaysia but in the future around the world people who are serious to be in Buddhism can be a pastor.

  14. Yvonne on Jul 22, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing, for me what i think for a pastor is the person willing to sharing,willing to learn, willing to spend the time for other, willing the listen for other , willing to do more.
    Can women be ‘as’ spiritual as men? of course ! now a day, women is strong then a men,and characteristics of women is , when she want the things, she will follow until the end !!!This is what is think.

  15. Datuk May on Jul 22, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    In the context of Kechara, a Pastor is ordained by Rinpoche to give us lay people who had missed the chance to be a monk or nun to impart Dharma to others holding onto Pastor vows.

    As such would we not say Pastors are Dharma Teachers. Can you imagine if there are no female teachers in the world.

    To my mind, Teachers are people who imparts knowledge with Passion, Love and Care and therefore if there is such a person who would do so, would it matter on Gender?

    I think women can make good Buddhist Pastors and whatever is to be considered, in the congregation of practitioners there are male and female, why not the female Pastors and male Pastors too.

    Whether any Pastor would be good or not, depends not on Gender but his or her knowledge and passion in spreading the Dharma and love for all sentient beings to be better off in their lives.

  16. Chin on Jul 23, 2012 at 12:07 am

    What makes a good pastor is not an issue of gender. It is rather an issue on how well a person conducts himself/herself, as this person will be looked upon as a role model. The name pastor is but just a title. However when a title is tagged to a person, expectations comes naturally. The bigger the title, the heavier the responsibility. And who are we to say who is qualified to teach and who is not?

  17. Julia Tan on Jul 23, 2012 at 2:31 am

    I think no matter women or men Pastors, they do have many job functions to carry out and they play a very big role in Kechara. Other than teaching Dharma, they pray and do puja, they counseling people, they examine and give advice on cases and issues when people come to them for help. I personally think that women can do a better job especially to help those who are facing domestic problems. Woman pastors normally are more attentive, more intimate, softer etc. They can comfort and accommodate others better especially women.

  18. NadiaG on Jul 23, 2012 at 3:10 am

    Women make excellent pastors in my opinion. We have the natural ability to be compassionate without worrying about what society thinks of us. Our maternal instincts make us natural teachers especially when it comes to nurturing others. In this day and age where society is more evolved women are breaking boundaries…..only because they didn’t have the same opportunities then as they do now….however that is probably more secular in nature. In religious organizations globally, women still take a back seat to men. I am blessed to be in a Sangha that empowers women. Not only do we embrace the idea, it proves how truly progressive we are as an organization. We are truly blessed to have Rinpoche guide us through this in this day and age. If there is one thing that defines us as an organization, I would say that we are extremely progressive in nature.

  19. Ethan Chu on Jul 23, 2012 at 3:20 am

    Men, women alone created so many problems together. We give each other labels, but nothing seem to have a meaning behind. Whether or not Pastor is a label or it is a man or a woman, more importantly is the wonderful meaning behind it. Like I said earlier, we have enough human problems but if there are people who stepped up and do the job to help another sentient being, there is nothing more beautiful than that.

    I thank Rinpoche for being so modern and creating such new legacy in serving the people. As far as I know, there are many powerful well respected female icons throughout the decade. Even in Tibetan Buddhism there are many dakinis, female buddhas emanation and I think it suited the whole spiritual job perfectly with these kind of energy. Besides that, I also hope that there are more different genre of pastors like gays and lesbians, the single mother, the abused ones, the poor one, the beautiful ones, the unwanted in the society. Why? Because they will represent true human voice in the world because even though we are made of men and women, but we come in different kinds. This is what religion is all about, true acceptance.

  20. Jace Chong on Jul 23, 2012 at 10:23 am

    I think the function of pastor is not affected by the gender. In fact, I think it’s good to have pastors of different gender, race and background, they can relate and connect to different type of people to help them.

    For me, seeing Pastor Susan and Pastor Yekyee is very inspiring. They are going all out to help people with their knowledge; there’s no different with male Pastor, like Pastor Chia.

    I have very good experience with Pastor Yekyee, whenever my friend has problem, I will immediately call her up, and she is always be there to help.

    Recently, I have a friend, Shane Lee, her mother had accident and was coma in the hospital. Pastor Yekyee arranged her time to visit her mother a few times, to do prayer. She also taught Shane what to do to dedicate merits to her mom by doing puja, offerings, animal liberation etc. Shane follows the instructions, a few weeks, the mom is awake, everything is ok beside the eyesight yet to recover, but for a coma patient, it’s very good improvement.

    Shane appreciates Pastor Yekyee’s help very much, and would like to bring her mom from Melaka to visit Kechara, and to thank Pastor Yekyee personally.

    Shane read about a similar case of her mom happened to a girl in Penang, who’s coma after accident. She sent a FB message to the girl family and told them what she knew, what to do as taught. The girl gets lots of spiritual support and she is awake now.

    This is one of the example of how a pastor relief one’s from fear and sufferings, and the benefits continue to spread. Thank you Pastor Yekyee and all the pastors in the world, giving your life to serve others. _/\_

  21. Zla'od on Jul 23, 2012 at 10:52 am

    In the comments here I see a lot of reductionist language about gender, e.g. that women are naturally more compassionate than men, or that they possess a special kind of feminine wisdom, etc. To me this kind of rhetoric is as much of a distortion as the belief that women are naturally weak and subordinate.

    As a real-world political matter, Thai Buddhism strongly resists proposals to re-establish the bikkhuni lineage–there are even laws enforcing this. There is a lay class of white-clad dharma practitioner which anyone can join; it confers no special privileges. Tibetan Buddhism does have nuns, but remains male-dominated. It is hard to imagine this changing.

    Taiwan is really the only country where a female Buddhist leader has managed to effect fundamental changes. For example, nuns far outnumber monks now, and tend to be more respected. However, Master Zhengyan is in many ways a very traditional Confucian, who urges women to obey their husbands. Her own role is rather unique, since within the organization she is held to be a manifestation of the bodhisattva Guanyin. Ordinary women in Tzu Chi (Ciji) would not experience the organization as especially feminist, and other major Buddhist organizations continue to be led by men.

  22. Mei Fong on Jul 23, 2012 at 11:35 am

    I think women are fine to be Pastors as we currently already have two in Kechara house and they are absolutely fantastic. There are more girls / women pastor in training currently and i am happy for that. There are certain issues girls could touch and not by men and vice versa. I am thinking sex discrimination should no longer exist in this era where we are moving from the non-technological era to a more advance technological era where the amount of information is the key to success. Last but not least, would like to thank Rinpoche for initiating such a beautiful position of Pastors to reach out to more needful people

  23. Judy Lam on Jul 23, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    There are so many women who are inspiring figures such as Mother Teresa, Lady Diana, Master Zheng Yan, Aung San Suu Kyi and Oprah Winfrey. I do believe women can do great things. Women has a natural ability to bond with people and a motherly instinct to care for and nurture people. Others skills like hardwork, commitment, passion, knowledge & experience can be acquired regardless whether you are male or female. Therefore, I am convinced that women will make good pastors.

  24. Valentina Suhendra on Jul 23, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    Dear Lama

    Thank you for giving this assignment. Please find my response below.

    Can women be ‘as’ spiritual as men?

    Yes. Women can be as spiritual as men because being spiritual is in the mind not in the physical appearance. Tara has proven this by vowing that she will take woman form to achieve enlightenment.

    Will they be as respected in a spiritual role which is ‘traditionally’ dominated by men? Will women be accepted? Why or why not?

    The term “traditional” in here implies custom. Just because many people follow a certain custom, it does not imply that it is correct. History has proven time and time again that custom can be changed. A good example is foot binding custom in China.

    Yes. Women will be accepted. We are currently living in the world where substantial progresses to recognize women rights have been made.

    If not, how can women become accepted in this? Not applicable. See above.

    Any sources in history of powerful spiritual women? Is it necesary to have women as Pastors and spiritual leaders?

    Several examples of powerful spiritual women in history: Holy Mary – Jesus’s mother, Mother Theresa, Aung San Suu Kyi, Mr. Cheng Yen from Tzu Chi, Machig Labdron, and many others. Information about them can be easily available in the internet.

    CAN WOMEN MAKE GOOD PASTORS? YES

  25. Ong Moh Mei on Jul 23, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    Do women make good pastors? Yes. Can women make good pastors? Yes. Men and women may be biological and physically different. The mind or consciousness is not bound to sex/gender. So men and women equally make good pastors.

  26. Lim Han Nee on Jul 23, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    I agree with Seng Piow. The word ‘pastor’ as in ‘Buddhist pastor’ is defined by the roles and functions of a Buddhist pastor as has been clearly delineated already. We should not dwell on its connotative meaning or the conventionality of using the word.We should not try to define it as used in a Christian context.

    The two lady pastors in Kechara are fine examples of very committed, dedicated and caring pastors, who have performed their roles and functions very well. In a recent bereavement,for instance, where one of our Dharma brothers lost his only daughter of nineteen( who drowned while on a turtle rescue mission), the two pastors rallied around him and his family instantly. One of the pastors was with them all the way, day and night, right until the cremation and burial and afterwards.

    Having said that, I think, that any person can make a good pastor, be they a man or a woman.Not only must they be good as Dharma teachers, they must also at all times fulfill their pledge of serving others in any of the following capacities- as counsellors, nurturers, and giving solace and support in times of need – with an attitude of humility, care and great empathy and compassion.

    Pastors in Kechara have a ‘role model’ in their midst; and this is our Guru. At 3am of the morning of Saturday 21st July, Rinpoche visited the family in bereavement over their daughter and sister who had drowned. He comforted each of them, counselled and advised and put their minds at ease. When he saw the mother of the decease crying inconsolably, he hugged her and cried with her and said(as he always does),”May all your pain and suffering come to me”.

  27. Pastor Yek Yee on Jul 24, 2012 at 12:34 am

    DO WOMEN MAKE GOOD PASTORS??

    Yes, I totally believed that a woman can done a good as a pastor! The role or function of a pastor is help or benefit others. So, to me that is no gender differential. A man or a woman will done a great job while they really do what they are suppose to do.

    Woman more detail, sensitive, soft, easy to approach, skillful, patient and friendly than a man. The qualifies be a good pastor sometime woman will be more powerful than man.

    Who can done a good job depends of the motivation! That is not differentiate between woman or man, only the care, love and compassion you willing to offer…

  28. henry ooi on Jul 24, 2012 at 12:52 am

    I agree with the majority that women can be as spiritual as men. I view spiritually as one who has studied, contemplated and had spiritual experiences that have changed one to be a happy person and not judge one because of their gender. 100 years ago it was almost unheard of that women could be a leader, a politician, an astronaut, an engineer, an architect, and so on. Times have changed and women of today are intellectually smart, passionate, committed and have the experiences in fields that men are excelled in. I have met women with strong mind and I have met men with weak mind. Hence it is not the gender, color or creed of the person but the mind of the person.

    So, it is not a question whether to have women as Buddhist pastors and spiritual leaders or not, it is about that person having the knowledge and experiences, care and kindness and practicing compassion, integrity, passion, and wanting to go all the way to share and teach dharma and to benefit others. After all, a Buddhist pastor or dharma teacher is the same, just the names differ.

    The former presidents of Kechara were women, so is the current president. And Kechara is a spiritual organization.

  29. william on Jul 24, 2012 at 2:59 am

    Why so stuck with the term “pastor”? Does it really matter what name we use and the term pastor is not exclusive to the Christian faith only, just because it is used more widely in that area. In the context of this post, it means lay people who are empowered to teach dharma and help others.

    Coming back to the question of whether female males good pastors? I think they do because women now are as knowledgeable as men and are worldly people. The role of pastors are to teach and help people but there are some people who prefers to open up to a female. So, female pastors will fill this gap in society.

    Women are also just as strong, compassionate and intelligent as all human race. So why discriminate in this modern age.

    The current 2 lady Pastors in Kechara, Pastor Susan and Pastor Yek Yee, has been very good examples of strong women who are compassionate and kind. THey are always there for the members when they need her. They are also available to perform pujas and counseling to members. On that note, I think there should be more pastors (male or female) so that more people could be served.

    • Zla’od on Jul 25, 2012 at 6:53 am

      Can you name another religion other than Christianity (and Kechara) which uses the term “pastor”?

      • Carmen on Aug 3, 2012 at 5:19 am

        I don’t see why using the word ‘pastor’ for a Buddhist disturbs others so much.

        From the Collins dictionary, one of the meanings of a pastor is : “a person who exercises spiritual guidance over a number of people”.

        A pastor is a role, it is a function, like any other roles/functions that one can have. Therefore, since it is a role or a function, it applies across genders, across religion, across creed, race, wealth. Regardless of these defining minor characteristics, the fundamental role remains the same: to be a pastor; a person who gives spiritual guidance to others. Spiritual, can be in relation to any religion, which relates to the wellbeing of the spirit or soul of someone.

        Therefore, the context of pastors or how it is use does not matter and requires no need for debating. How well the role is exerted should be of more importance than in what context it is used in.

  30. Mic on Jul 24, 2012 at 5:13 am

    Whether you like it or not, we are still living in a patriarchal society and discrimination against women still exist. Thus, I have no surprise there are people who still doubt about the capability of women and these people are not just limited to men. Most of the societies are still practising gender inequality without realising it. It is very difficult to unwind the perception, norm and culture of the people. Societies are still suppressing women in order to secure the position and power of men.

    At anytime, women can be as spiritual as men. Women are smart, wise, caring, committed, strong, responsible, etc as any other men. Women sometimes have to keep low profile in order to make their male boss, husband or partners feel comfortable. I have no doubt women will definitely make good pastors. Whether the society can accept that, it will be a different story.

    Whether women will be respected in a spiritual role which is traditionally dominated by men, this will really depend the perception of the society. Whether you like it or not, there will be still a certain degree of discrimination exist. Just imagine, if HH Dalai Lama was a female, how would the buddhists world perceive the female HH Dalai Lama? Will she still gain the equal respect as compare to the current HH Dalai Lama? Imagine the Bishop of Rome, Pope Benedict XVI was a women? Imagine the Muslim Imam was women? Will the world accept them? I personally feel that women will definitely be accepted as a spiritual leader but NOT the highest level. Women like Mother Teresa, Mata Amritanandamayi and Mary Baker Eddy were few of the example of women spiritual leaders, but could they hold the highest position in the religion like HH Dalai Lama and Pope?

    It is necessary to have women to be spiritual leader as they can understand women better, understand better the human’s need, show by example to the women that women are as important as men in spiritual practise , to nurture the women to be more spiritual, and to show the religion itself is not bias that the religion itself does not discriminate women.

    Women can make good pastors.

  31. Zla'od on Jul 24, 2012 at 11:26 am

    The Gelugpa monastic order is male-dominated. If women and men are equally capable of spiritual leadership, then does this mean that the Gelugpa hierarchs are unenlightened?

    But perhaps their good intentions are constrained by the wider sexism of their host societies. In that case, when do you suppose that female Rinpoches will begin to appear in Gelugpa circles?

  32. Leann Lim on Jul 24, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    I think women can be a good pastor, as responsibility of Pastor is to teach and spread the Dharma knowledge, is not affect by the physical form. I was thinking about mother Tara that to correct there wrong views from the mind of certain beings and determination forever be reborn as a female! “Therefore until this world is emptied out, may I be able to serve the aims of beings with none but a woman’s body” by Tara. can see the Tara story here : http://arya-tara.blogspot.com/

    And look at to Mother Teresa – winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979; the vows is to give “Wholehearted and Free service to the poorest of the poor”. And Lady Amma – Free hugs lady that has given over 31 million hugs and blessing to the world. I did not see any doubt of why women cannot as spiritual as man, and gain respect from people. For me if the person is sincerity, great knowledge, love, caring, compassion,think for others, humble, she or he can be a good Buddhist pastor, no matter of the gender and no different each of this.

    Like Kechara 2 female Pastor : Pastor Yek Yee & Pastor Susan, they are great Pastor, through their spiritual practice that always giving their help without day and night, just hope to plant the Dharma seeds in people they meet and hope the suffer will be reduce of the blessing. Thank you Pastor and Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

  33. Milly on Jul 24, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Women can make good Buddhist pastors. Women are born with motherly instincts and have a lot of compassion in them. In difficult situations, mothers persevere in hardships to bring up their children and family. Some big corporations are now being helmed by women. In some countries, women are head of state or ministers. Society has now accepted women holding top positions or other male dominated positions. Hence, if a woman chooses to study the Dharma well and become a pastor, I believe they will be able to benefit many. Just like some women feel more comfortable to consult a female gynaecologist, hence female pastors can reach out to the category of women who feel they are able to relate better with their own gender.

  34. Irene Lim on Jul 24, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    This is what my friend James Brady commented:

    Hi Irene. I tried the link you sent with the same result. here is my view on Women Pastorrs. The breakthrough for women Pastors was started in the Church of England. There was adversity to it, but now part of the church daily life. Why should there not be women pastors. Should there not be equality for all women at all levels of Life. In Buddhisim, you have Nuns, why not as Pastors. They gave there life to there calling In life, and for the belief they share in the Buddha. I agree with Women Pastors in Buddhisim. Whe ever said it was a Gentlemans Clum. With Women Excluded. Namaste. James. <3

    • Irene Lim on Jul 24, 2012 at 5:49 pm

      Yes, women are equally spiritual as men. Women are equally important as men. There is no more or less in their role in gaining spirituality and nurturing spirituality in Buddhism or other religions. In fact they both compliment each other to bring spirituality to greater heights and accomplishment. Both ‘yin and yang” energy are required in this world system to make the entire world go round and to bring goals to accomplishment. Every man are born out of women; Buddhas are born from woman. Hence, there should never be any discrimination of women and this question of whether women make good Buddhist Pastors should never arise.

  35. Han on Jul 24, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    Regardless of gender, woman can be a good Buddhist pastor too.
    In history, woman was rare to be ordained as a Buddhist pastor. In today world, woman can be a spiritual leader as much as man.

    The two wonderful female pastors from Kechara, Pastor Yekyee and Pastor Susan they are equally good as the male pastor.
    They teach dharma, they nurture newbie, perform pujas etc.
    They take up the responsibility and learn up dharma and share with others compassionately, they selflessly choose dharma as to benefit others, regardless of gender, definitely true enough that woman can be a good Buddhist Pastor.

    I like what Rinpoche mentioned,
    “Feminine wisdom contains power, love, growth, and awakening. Worshipping the feminine energy and showing respect to it’s awesome power is revered in the Buddhist tantras taught by Buddha.”

  36. sockwan on Jul 24, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    Gender should not become a limitation for someone who understand and practice Dharma well to teach Dharma with the intention to benefit others.

    It is so true that in our world today, it is not easy to find monks or nuns. Let’s face it, it is not a path that most parents would like their children to pursue. If we only rely on monks/nuns to give Dharma teachings, Dharma would eventually disappear.

    Laypersons who are passionate and practice Dharma well will be able to deliver Dharma easily to other laypersons because their experiences can be easily related to.

  37. Thierry on Jul 24, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    To say that a woman would not make a good pastor is to say that they could not get enlightened and is to contradict the posit that a human being can achieve enlightenment.
    If a woman can get enlightened, then she can make a good pastor.
    Simple, shirt, logical.

  38. Karen C. on Jul 25, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Stereotyping social roles based on gender is not unusual in the society. However the fact that the society now is getting more women-dominated has made gender discrimination invalid. There are so many female leaders in the world, Ang Su Kyi is one of the foremost female leaders who radiates the powerful potent female energy. Her spiritual practice has brought tremendous results in her life.

    I strongly believe that female can be good pastor. Why not? Personally I respect Pastor Yek Yee of Kechara a lot. She is always available 24/7 to help others and she never make any complaints. She dedicates her life to Dharma and benefitting others. She is beautiful in all aspects…

  39. NadiaG on Jul 26, 2012 at 3:27 am

    I find it a little condescending to say the word Pastor is borrowed. What if it was? Is there a point here? We live in an age where English is the language to communicate in globally….and here in Malaysia, where there are four main race and many other indigenous peoples…English is probably the best language to communicate in. The word Pastor is eaily recognized. I doubt when Christianity first arose the word Pastor was the first word on their minds. it might have even been a hebrew word to begin with. Buddhism is 500 years or more older in origin that Christianity…if anyone’s borrowed anything….it’s probably semantics.

  40. Veron Tung on Jul 27, 2012 at 9:11 am

    I would say definitely Yes Yes Yes that women can too make good Buddhist Pastors. Why not? Gender should not be an issue to define whether a person is compassion or tolerate. As a matter of fact, women somehow is compassionate, as it is their nature instinct to nurture others. I do believe that pastors should be from different background, gender, races & languages. It would be easier for them to connect to different people who needs their guidance.
    Our lady Pastors in Kechara has always be a very good model role to all of us. They are compassion, responsible, loving & caring, which is equally as good as male pastors. To me, “pastor” is just a form and labelling, a word that is easy to let people seek for comfort, guidance and help from them. Normal ladies like Aung San Sung Khi and Mother Teresa is humble, sincere, great knowledge, loving, caring, compassion,always thinking for others, they also qualified with the word “pastor”.

    Hence, YES! Definitely Women can make good Buddhist Pastors!

  41. Uncle Eddie on Jul 28, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    “Feminine Wisdom containing power, love, growth and awakening. Worshipping the feminine energy and showing respect to its “Awesome Power” is revered in the Buddhist Tantras taught by Buddha.” As shared by Rinpoche with us in the mentioned-teachings of Lord Buddha, women can and will certainly make make good Buddhist pastors as what what have been disclosed. Thank you Rinpoche for your kind thoughts that “discrimation against women or anyone should come to an end”. Buddhist pastors of all backgrounds and genders can definitely help to bring Dharma to many others, as what they already have been doing and fine too! Many find it easier to listen to women speakers than men in respect of their feminity and gentleness.

  42. jennifer on Jul 28, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    I believe that women can do anything that a man can do. In fact women have a stronger sense of intuition, are less ego orientated and feel more deeply.
    I don’t like labels. Labels are man made ( no disrespect nor pun intended here ). It’s just a name placed upon someone or something , more as a point of reference. So if one is called a pastor,a nun, a monk, a priest , be the person male or female, as long as that person has the knowledge, commitment , compassion and ability to bring Dharma to all, to relief suffering of others , then the label of ‘women pastor’ or ‘male pastor’ is irrelevant.
    Kechara’s Pastor Susan and Pastor Yek Yee are wonderful examples of women pastors performing their duties with so much conviction, i truly respect them, as i respect pastor Chia and all the other members who put in their whole heart and mind in bringing the Dharma to the world.

  43. lewkwanleng on Jul 30, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Though male and female are different both physically and emotionally, I strongly believe that women and man can both do the Pastor duty well.

    Female Pastor will also be respected if they do their duty well. Just look at Mother Theresa as one of the many examples.

    One of the duties of Pastors are giving counselling, and to me, women are generally better listeners than man. Actually, when it comes to the concept of compassionate, people are easier to relate to female figures because mother are usually kinder and closer to us especially when we are young.

    One of the things I am proud about Buddhism is that it does not discriminate on gender, and having women Pastors is a solid proof that Buddhism does not discriminate.

  44. Carmen on Aug 3, 2012 at 5:33 am

    Yes, I don’t see why woman cannot be as spiritual as men, as it does not require any physical strength (which of course men in general will surpass women in that case) to be spiritual. The spirit and mind of one is independant of any physicalities, thus independant from gender. Like there are good male prime ministers, there are good female prime ministers (otherwise how do they get voted into that role anyways?), like there are good male doctors, there are good female doctors and so on and so forth. Therefore, yes, women can be as spiritual as men.

    I don’t know if they will be as respected in a spiritual role, as people’s mindsets are hard to change. But with any changes, when there are results, people will tend to support and respect, so even if they are not as respected to begin with, it can be and will be earned. Acceptance will be dependent on results and consistency, but initially, I think people will give the benefit of doubt, as in today’s society, gender equality is getting more prevalent.

    Yes I feel it is necessary to have women as Pastors and spiritual leaders because, like the reason there are so many emanations of Buddha/enlightened beings, having women as Pastors may attract a different audience than men Pastors. Therefore, if it reaches people who otherwise might never seek spirituality, why not! Every avenue to spread spirituality should be necessary to make it (and anything else) successful.

  45. sweekeong on Aug 3, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    I feel women do make good pastors. Caring, helpful, discipline, good conduct, perseverance, persistence, optimistic, realistic, and humane, qualities people whould look up to. Women have these qualities too to some degrees or even better than men. Pastorship is about committing more to Dharma as compared to previous duties, doing more, taking the responsibility to help others by many means, continuously, working on your own weaknesses.

    Does this mean anyone can be a pastor? Yes, everyone, women and men, young and old. The qualities of the person make him or her to a be good pastor, people would look up to her for guidance and advice when they are having difficulties, and the person to go to for learning Dharma knowledge.

    Ultimate it is up to the individual to take up the responsibility as lay out in the pastors vows. At the end day no matter what is gender, or race of the teacher the student is the one who would benefit the most is what matters most.

  46. Paris on Aug 7, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    This is amusing. The point of the post, I think is not about the term of “pastor” – that’s just a matter of words / language and I don’t think we should get caught up in that. I think the point of the post is about women in spirituality and whether or not we think that women are just as capable – well, OF COURSE.

    I think there is no denying that physically, women do suffer more than men, and I think that’s probably what it means when they say that men “have more merit” than women. This is probably because it’s just easier for men to move around, it’s safer for them, they’re stronger and they don’t have to suffer the pains of things like childbirth. But that’s just on a physical level. The question I think is whether or not men and women have the same emotional, mental, intellectual and spiritual capacity to be spiritual and gain attainments.

    Logically, of course, men and women are equal in this sense. This is clear just in the way we consider reincarnation. We’re not just born as females over and over and over again in every lifetime. We may be women now, but we may have been men in a previous time, and vice versa. So would that mean that we’re more “capable” in one life than another? Surely not, since the mind itself is genderless and moves across incarnations. You don’t suddenly just become less attained because your gender changes from one lifetime to another.

    Another perspective, and something Rinpoche just mentioned the other day: that women have to suffer more, either physically or in the way that societies are set up and “function”. When we suffer more, we become stronger, gain more attainments – in this way, women have a greater capacity for practice as they have a stronger level of tolerance and endurance. (Having said that of course, there are many, many men who go through an equal amount of suffering. This isn’t specific just to women).

    I think it is also useful to study the story of Tara, and how she championed the way for women the universe over to gain true equality in our spiritual practices. Rinpoche has given an account of this here, in a beautiful story I never tire of hearing (well of course not, it’s all about girl power!) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtYVQH1oKz0

  47. EricLee KHJB on Aug 14, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    对于女人的能力,我从来多没有怀疑过,只是有很多时候,她们会比较情绪化和比较难以拥有持续性。但是,只要她们拥有佛法的加持,能身体力行佛法,我相信不管是任何人,都能够胜任讲法的责任。而且,只要她的动机是为了利益大众,我相信她们也能和任何人一样,把讲法师的责任担当的很好。

  48. likheng on Sep 4, 2012 at 5:14 am

    Based on the principal of reincarnation, i am certain that our mind streams have been male and female thousands if not millions of times. Thus, gender is really not important until defined and confined by society. As an example, in animal kingdom such as that for the lion, the “bread winner” are the lionesses.

    It is mostly out of fear that some individuals impose restraining definitions upon other members of society. Limitations are also introduced as a consequence of the desire to control, manipulate and benefit from others based on the belief that we are unable to practice the act of willful giving.

    As our world continues to degenerate, it is of great importance that we do not get distracted by the petty reasons that causes a separation within our society. Instead, we should focus our intelligence and effort on matters that pull us together because harmony is the key to long term success.

    Thus, I believe women can be great pastors just like men can be because we are much the same and extremely capable of complimenting each other as pastors.

  49. Jessica Yap on Apr 17, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    I think we shouldn’t focus so much on the title here.
    According to dictionary.com , one of the meaning of Pastors are: a person having spiritual care of a number of persons.. So the term Pastor is just a mere label that was used by other religions for years and years.. They could be labeled headmasters or doctors or anything, so long they are helping others.
    To me, so long the Pastor is someone who is able to help and guide us and answer our questions on our spiritual path, that is the most important factor to me. I am not saying that the gender and the title isn’t important but it’s just another label. This is just my opinion.

    Thank you dearest Rinpoche for making it possible for laypersons to be trained up as Pastors.

  50. Vinnie Tan on Nov 28, 2013 at 4:33 am

    Definitely women can be as spiritual as men, or in fact, some maybe even more spiritual then men as for women, once they have a direction in life, they would go all the way to fulfil that goal.

    I do not believe that only men can be better at doing spiritual things, there are nuns out there that are as good as some monks, or even better. It would definitely be good that there are female pastors as well as they too can benefit and help others, just like how Pastor Yek Yee has benefited and helped so many people. She is also a female, and it has proven that as a female, the females too can do magical things to help and benefit others.

  51. jerry_sito on Nov 28, 2013 at 11:30 am

    感恩仁波切的开示与教诲

    佛法最终抵达的是菩提心与空性,那么无论是什么性别,只要精进地修学佛法,并严守戒律,待持修得了完全的菩提心与空性,那么不都一样能证悟成佛吗?

    金刚瑜伽母,绿度母及21度母,同样的以女性的形象来渡化众生,那么无论讲法师是以什么性别,他们都是秉着诸佛菩萨的慈悲心识,无论是什么性别,他们的目的就只是,弘扬佛法及救渡一切有情众生,那不是一样吗?

    感恩尊贵的仁波切您,成立了讲法师制度,并在您慈爱与祝福下,让我们有更多的机会,修学与分享佛法,一切有情众生无论性别还是其他,您都用您的大爱包围着我们,教导我们佛法,让我们迈向证悟

    感恩仁波切,祈愿您长驻在世,常转法轮

  52. Alice Tay on Dec 12, 2013 at 9:42 am

    众生皆有佛性。简单说,众生皆能成佛,只不过这是要看个人的坚持,能耐与修持心。。

    既然众生皆能成佛,那么如果讲法师是女儿身或是男儿身也不是重点了。。。

    般若波罗密心经有提到,舍利子,色不异空,空不异色。色即是空,空即是色,受想行识,亦复如是。
    简单说,女儿身或男儿身只不过是个形体上的差别。我们不需那么执著于不一样的形体,因为到最后也是空。。

    因此,一位授予讲法师 ,他(她)必需有一定的佛法知识和最重要的是由上师詹杜固仁波切所确认的。。。既然已经选择追从上师仁波切的教导,那么仁波切所做的一切也是为了达成目的,利益众生。。。

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  • tsemtulku
    (Thursday, Jul 31. 2014 09:48 AM)
    There are more Buddhist Priests, Ministers and Pastors now. This is a wonderful trend. Do see what a great job Rev Christina Yanko is doing in Canada: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=52129
  • tsemtulku
    (Wednesday, Jul 30. 2014 06:57 PM)
    EXCITING NEW POST on anyone interested in Tsongkapa. Lots of good information here. Read it and do share with others as it will help them: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=52024
  • Pastor Jay Jae
    (Wednesday, Jul 30. 2014 09:12 AM)
    For Josselynn – Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experience regarding your FIL’s demise. I rejoice that during these difficult times you are able to use the Dharma which you have learnt and put it to practice. However much merit you have collected in life, will definitely be dedicated to your loved ones. When you have time, please do come visit Kechara House and attend our Dharma classes and pujas to help you make your spiritual journey a better one. Much Prayers,
    PJJ
  • Pastor Yek Yee
    (Wednesday, Jul 30. 2014 12:39 AM)
    Dear All, please join Kechara Animal Liberation Day on this coming Sunday(3/8/2014) in different venues: KL, Kuantan, Ipoh and Johor.

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10203493064821499&set=a.1255513382184.39311.1060057013&type=1&theater
  • Pastor Adeline
    (Tuesday, Jul 29. 2014 10:29 AM)
    If you love someone, tell them & don’t hold back. Tsem Rinpoche @tsemtulku on Twitter
  • Pastor Adeline
    (Tuesday, Jul 29. 2014 10:29 AM)
    Love is not something easy to get, so treasure it if you have it. Tsem Rinpoche @tsemtulku on Twitter
  • Pastor Adeline
    (Tuesday, Jul 29. 2014 10:28 AM)
    H.H. 10th Panchen Rinpoche was a great teacher & inspiration. Tsem Rinpoche @tsemtulku on Twitter
  • Pastor Adeline
    (Tuesday, Jul 29. 2014 10:28 AM)
    Clearing our impules may not be easy, but easier then cleaning up their results. Tsem Rinpoche @tsemtulku on Twitter
  • Josselynn
    (Tuesday, Jul 29. 2014 09:35 AM)
    Dear Tsem Tulku Rinpoche

    I am new but 3 days ago I attended my father in law’s (FIL) Christian funeral which he converted 4 years ago. We got to know only now during my sister in law speech who was a Christian pastor. although he was baptised to Christian but he has never mentioned to us at all. I remembered my FIL told me but not the son that; one day when I die he wish to be cremated with his ashes to be thrown to the sea only. Yes he was cremated yesterday. On the first day of the wake service I couldn’t feel any peace, on the 2nd day I brought 7 lotus candles offered to Buddha and lit up with my children and told them chant OM MANI PADME HUNG and a bouquet of flowers too. I must share with you the candles light from what I learned from Rinpoche is the light of WISDOM yes I can find peace then. I chanted 20 malas on the 3rd day and my feeling of sadness was calmer yes, I understand Buddhism more about death & reincarnation again from your blog & transcript so the feeling of sadness was more calm then before. I am more accepting about Rebirth, Old aged, sickness & death. I understand about human suffering. My deepest appreciation from your Buddhadharma talk it really changed my life. It’s a miracle and magic I guess, one fine day I just needed to go Kechara Paradise to invite Je Tsongkapa home early this year without realising it was actually Tsongkapa day. In no time I think 10 days I can memorised Migstema so well. I do my chanting when my mind disturb and I am still on medication for my depression. Migtsema indeed calm my mind…. Every night if I am disturb again I will plug on my earphone and listen to your voices of Buddhdharma talk on YouTube to find peace and I can sleep rather I rely on the one medicine that put me to sleep.
    That’s wonderful for me too.
    We were grateful to have attended the children baptism on Wesak day and the children were officially baptised by Rinpoche’s blessing. I was afraid someone will convert my children if I don’t do something. They chant OM Ah RA Pa SA NA DHIH and wearing the Manjushri chakra too. I got them Tsongkapa box set each for (body speech & mind) and a stupa too.

    Warmest regards
    Josselynn
  • Josselynn
    (Tuesday, Jul 29. 2014 05:15 AM)
    Dear Rinpoche

    I want you to know from the bottom of my heart that your teachings have changed my life a lot. First of all, is your inspiration book “Why You Make Yourself Unhappy” how this book can changed my life. It’s amazing! I sincerely want to find out more about you and in depth towards Buddhism. Along the journey finding about Rinpoche I went into YouTube learning what I want to know about Buddhism. It’s so awesome as if I am there listening to you. I decided to find out about Kechara. My first visit I bought Tara pendant, immediately the 2 box sets of Tsongkapa & Setrap prayers but never approach anyone yet for a year. Until last September, I decided to write a mail to you personally and here I am since January 2014 I became member. Of course, when I first came to Kechara I request to meet you unfortunenately you have gone to US.

    Kind regards
    Josselynn
  • Pastor Adeline
    (Monday, Jul 28. 2014 10:51 PM)
    Offering lights to the Buddha creates causes for wisdom. Tsem Rinpoche @tsemtulku on Twitter
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/butterlamps.html
  • Pastor Adeline
    (Monday, Jul 28. 2014 10:49 PM)
    We are only free when we expel the samsara within us. Tsem Rinpoche @tsemtulku on Twitter
  • Pastor Adeline
    (Monday, Jul 28. 2014 10:49 PM)
    Give me enlightenment on a silver platter please? Tsem Rinpoche @tsemtulku on Twitter
  • tsemtulku
    (Monday, Jul 28. 2014 05:47 PM)
    Dear Chuah Su Ming,
    You are naturally a kind person. You can think deeply and give yourself to those around you. You are super intelligent with high IQ and EQ..rare combination. I didn’t teach you anything about kindness. It was in you already. You are naturally caring, naturally responsible and naturally a loyal person. Anyone who has the good fortune to be your friend will find a true friend in you. Even when people play mind games with you, you are forgiving and let it be. You have a huge capacity to forgive beyond ordinary mortals. You always give people a chance and focus on their strong points.

    You never ask anything from people for yourself. You have contributed to the growth of dharma, the benefits of those around you very much. You always take care of those around you without ever showing anything but true love. I’ve witnessed this again and again. You are a very good representative of kindness, strong woman, good human being, good Buddhist and excellent example of a Kechara member.

    You have benefitted me and my life very much beyond a doubt. I often reflect on so much you have done and I am indebted to you. I mean every word.

    You are one of the best persons I have met in my whole life. I am very honored to have you as a friend, family and student. I wish to have a pure and good relationship with you for the rest of my life. Gold like you must be kept. Not easy to find solid gold among the rocks. In you I can trust and believe in you, because we are living in a world that trusting others is a difficult thing to do. Whenever I think of you, only warm and grateful thoughts arise in my mind.

    Thank you for really absorbing the dharma within your being because dharma just made you even more beautiful than you already naturally are. You are a stunning person because you choose to care about others. You have genuine compassion with action coupled with results. You are always results orientated and very good example to those around you.

    You have my good wishes, loyalty, care and genuine love. Much respects and fondly, Tsem Rinpoche
  • Pastor Adeline
    (Monday, Jul 28. 2014 01:18 AM)
    Visit Kechara outlets in Sunway Paradise, 1 Utama, SS2, Viva Home & Penang for this month’s irresistible promotion now!

    http://on.fb.me/1psiD9s

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CREDITS

Concept: Tsem Rinpoche
Technical: Lew Kwan Leng, Justin Ripley, Yong Swee Keong
Design: Justin Ripley, Cynthia Lee
Content: Tsem Rinpoche, Khong Jean Mei, Justin Ripley, 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 I am writing now

Scroll down and click on "older messages" to view archived chit messages. Use 'prev' and 'next' links to navigate between pages

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.
There are more Buddhist Priests, Ministers and Pastors now. This is a wonderful trend. Do see what a great job Rev Christina Yanko is doing in Canada: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=52129
10 hours ago
If everyone can realize this would eliminate so many problems.
yesterday
This is one of the best Avalokitesvara thangkas I have ever seen. I rarely see an Avalokitesvara that draws me or I really like. I am very particular about thangka paintings. But this one is really done by a super skilled artist. The eyes are perfect and the gaze is the correct angle of calm/contemplativeness. The lips, nose and proportions are stunning. The coloring and feel is regality and serenity with great compassion. He feels alive. I would love to get a copy of this very much. Tsem Rinpoche
3 days ago
Look at this massive thangka of the Lord of Wisdom Manjushri in Tibet. The bigger the thangka it is believed, the more blessed the area will be. See all the people congregated around it to pay homage and make offerings. Amazing. May you all be blessed by this too and be connected to Manjushri. Tsem Rinpoche
3 days ago
There is a devil there is no doubt, but is he trying to get into us or trying to get out? ~Tsem Rinpoche
3 days ago
These fresh tomatoes just plucked from our garden here in our USA Ladrang. Tomatoes are some of my favorite foods. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
We had some very special guests come to volunteer at Kechara? Guess who they were? And they turned out to be very humble in their works that night. Please see the love and care: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=51852
2 weeks ago
This is so true. When teach dharma to some and ask them to change or explain why, they reject and become unhappy and speak ill. 
2 weeks ago
If my endurance of so much suffering these past years have benefitted you and took some away from you, then it was not in vain and I am content and I would take more.~Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
A sketch by a eye witness in California-1987
3 weeks ago
Existing is not true existence but mere labelling because the causes removed, we are empty.~Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
People from different parts of the world who have no prior obvious connections can connect to do dharma together. This is wonderful because what we did in the past together can manifest in the present again to continue where we left off. Tsem Rinpoche 
3 weeks ago
ELEPHANT WEEPS AFTER RESCUE: A 50-year-old elephant that had spent much of his life shackled in chains, wept when he was finally freed from captivity. "Raju" had tears streaming down his face, as wildlife rescuers released him. SHARE this amazing story. -Details of Raju's rescue: http://kiro.tv/AmazingElephantStory
3 weeks ago
This is profound and the secrets to our success or failure. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Are you the sign of the pig? Do you want to know more about yourself? It would be interesting: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=23608
3 weeks ago
Vegetables harvested from our garden in our USA residence today...nice. TR
4 weeks ago
See who are in these nice pictures and how they are connected to me please....I just posted the Gratitude series #2...do take a look: See: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=51490
4 weeks ago
Powerful!!
4 weeks ago
Having a healthy strong body is important so we can take care of the people and animals around us, to do our dharma practice and to be able to contribute to society. Practices like Je Tsongkapa and Amitayus are very helpful for extending our life energies and healing from within. I spoke about it: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=29398
4 weeks ago
There are over 75,182 views of this post already! It's on horoscopes and how compatible you are with someone or not compatible and why. Perhaps it would be good to understand why someone so close could have or not have conflicts with you. Find out about yourself and understand your character: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=24905
4 weeks ago
Dear friends, This is a very good documentary on bigfoot. It is very scientific and examines a new footage of a bigfoot running very fast. Examines and gives you reasons why this cannot be a man or a person in a suit..very nice. I've not seen this one before. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zUhKhv3Z-I
4 weeks ago
Please click and enlarge the picture. This is something I strongly feel. Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
This will be my gratitude series where I share all that I am grateful for. This is my first post: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=51490
4 weeks ago
Mr. Lai, the proud dad of Pastor David Lai. Mr. Lai has expressed how proud he is of his son and what he is doing for others. Mr. Lai is very happy his son David is a Pastor of Kechara and rejoices in the Dharma shared with others. Mr. Lai himself is a very kind and steady person and an important member of Kechara also who always keeps his promises. Many in Kechara respect and love Mr. Lai. Like father like son. Kind people. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
I agree with what Martin T. Bosnev says about Pastor David. Martin is a very intelligent person, so when he compliments, he has thought it through. I appreciate Martin's input. Pastor David always teaches Dharma from his heart and with enthusiasm. He truly believes in what he shares. He has been blessed by Tsongkapa to speak because he is sincere. Many enjoy listening to the Dharma from him very much. Please see what Martin is talking about: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=4197
1 month ago
This may be short, but it's one of my favorite documentaries also you have to take a look. Very good. I wanted to share with you all: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUDjCmg4awI
1 month ago
Our group who went on a spiritual pilgrimage in the holy places of Kathmandu, Nepal.-June 2014. I rejoice for them. These trips have infinitely so much more meaning than the usual vacations.  Tsem Rinpoche 
1 month ago
Burning eyes? A special story for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e548MkrkGWk
1 month ago
Do you know what is a Wenatchee? Let me share: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUm3ldZhZIU
1 month ago
Beautiful Sampheling Monastery. The home monastery of H.H.Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche. This is a place to visit!
1 month ago
Dear friends, Are you ready to witness something extremely brutal but with a happy ending? See here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=50488 (Viewer discretion is advised as very graphic)
1 month ago
Dear friends, Did you know there are three holy mountains of Avalokitesvara, Manjushri and Vajrapani in Yating, Kham -Tibet??!! It's not that difficult to get to either. I have just finished blogging about this. I watched a travelogue earlier and was AMAZED at the footage they showed of certain holy places in Tibet that I have heard of from senior monks but never seen. You MUST watch this excellent travelogue and enjoy. Tsem Rinpoche See here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=50824
1 month ago
Zamkar, Dharma, Mumu and Oser are always smiling and super cute. Tsem Rinpoche 
2 months ago
New book from Kechara just launched! http://Www.vajrasecrets.com
2 months ago
I've always tried my best to escape secular dreams because it's all a big wheel of disappointment. Get me out of samsara! Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
Look at my Mumu boy. You can never take a bad picture with him. He is super cute from any angle. I love you Mumu. Tsem Rinpoche 
2 months ago
Please remember this. A dog is not a pet but a part of your family. Tsem Rinpoche 
2 months ago
Lineage lamas and root lama in Vajra Yogini's tantra. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
This is excellent! Must read and share. Tsem Rinpoche 
2 months ago
When on the hospital bed nearing our last breath, nothing matters except for the practice and transformation we have done in dharma in our lifetime. Our money, wishes, houses, clothes, jewelry, reputation, spouses, desires, dreams, greed, anger, possessions, explanations will be of no use at all. It will in fact even be a hindrance scratching at our mind's energy to let go and we cannot. Since they are no use at that momentous event, we should continue that thought now and understand what we should truly cultivate now. This thought must translate into action not just scholastic thoughts and meanderings of the mind for self deception or imitation spiritual satisfaction. This is what I think daily and everyday as part of my meditations on death and impermanence according to first chapter of Lam Rim. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
I totally agree with this. Some vent out their anger, get attention or want to send messages to people and justify by saying it's their space their posting on and they can post what they want. Be it so, your space is seen my hundreds and it's public domain and you know that. So if others post otherwise to your views, why get upset? You invited it. Maybe that is what you wanted? Attention? LOL.Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
Wow. How perfect is this. This is exactly how I feel when I shared dharma with some people. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
I like this one. I just found it. Wonderful and simple for those who have to seek either one. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
H.H. The 14th Dalai Lama in Yong He Gong temple in front of the beautiful Tsongakpa main altar in Beijing, China.
2 months ago
Another must read and must have book. I ordered it last week and it arrived today. So very much looking forward to reading/studying it. Dharma knowledge is something that should not remain stagnant. We must improve and apply upon it always. Applying it is the secret. I have so much more to learn. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it--always. Mahatma Gandhi
2 months ago
Look at my cheeky and cute Mumu boy!! The camera loves him! I love him. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
It would be wonderful if everyone can obtain a beautiful Vajra Yogini statue like this and it's available at http://www.vajrasecrets.com. Would you have Her body red painted or just copper color or brass colored? Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
Click on "View All Photos" above to view more images

Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • 14th Dalai Lama with Mrs.Indira Gandhi , Delhi INDIA 1966
    14th Dalai Lama with Mrs.Indira Gandhi , Delhi INDIA 1966
    2 months ago
  • The Girl Who Couldn't Cry - Water is Life
    The Girl Who Couldn't Cry - Water is Life
    It's really hard to educate a generation of people born in conditions where they take things for granted. A simple slogan campaign that says, "Save water, It's precious" isn't sticky enough to make inroads. That's exactly where this video steps in: to make people realize how precious water actually is. A brilliant video that follows the heartbreaking story of a young girl that cannot cry. Sounds like fiction? Sadly, it is not.
    3 months ago
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    Dear everyone, All sentient beings deserve to live, be happy and not hurt, including animals. We should never hurt them or eat them. Look how much this chicken welcomes a hug and love. Observe carefully. Don't eat beings who can feel pain because the karma comes back. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 months ago
  • The appreciation shown here is so deep and touching.
    The appreciation shown here is so deep and touching.
    Dear friends, See this incredible video. This chimp was found in captivity for many years. Dr Jane Goodall released him into the wild. Look how he comes back to thank her with deep apprecition. It's amazing. Animals have such strong feelings of pain and happiness just like us. We should never hurt them and share with others to not hurt them. Tsem Rinpoche http://www.tsemrinpoche.com
    3 months ago
  • Aki drinking some water in the aviary
    Aki drinking some water in the aviary
    Aki is a rescued bird, he now lives in Kechara Forest Retreat Aviary
    5 months ago
  • Jamyang enjoying some fresh corn
    Jamyang enjoying some fresh corn
    Jamyang is one of our rescue birds that live in Kechara Forest Retreat Aviary
    5 months ago
  • The Cute Mumus Practising Dog Orchestra at Kechara Forest Retreat
    The Cute Mumus Practising Dog Orchestra at Kechara Forest Retreat
    Today the Mumus (dogs) decided to do a dog orchestra rehearsal together with the Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR) dogs.
    5 months ago
  • Incredible footage you must see!
    Incredible footage you must see!
    Description
    6 months ago
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    Gongkar is our new bird for Kechara Forest Retreat's aviary. Gongkar never had friends and the original owner could not bring him to his destination. Now he is with us and assimilating in his cage within the aviary for a few weeks then released into aviary. Look at how much he wants attention from the other birds. Cute. Tsem Rinpoche
    9 months ago
  • Mumu, Oser and Dharma running and having a good time. I love seeing them playing. Tsem Rinpoche
    Mumu, Oser and Dharma running and having a good time. I love seeing them playing. Tsem Rinpoche
    9 months ago
  • Mumus running at Kechara Forest Retreat
    Mumus running at Kechara Forest Retreat
    10 months ago
  • Kechara Forest Retreat panorama, September 2013
    Kechara Forest Retreat panorama, September 2013
    11 months ago
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    Dechog our cockatoo at Kechara Forest Retreat grabbing long beans which he loves. Nice bird. We love him. Tsem Rinpoche
    1 years ago
  • The mumus having outdoor evening stroll!!!
    The mumus having outdoor evening stroll!!!
    1 years ago
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    17 May 2013, heavy rain at Kechara Forest Retreat from 7am-8am (1 hour). Water overflowed the existing drain and also opened up a much wider new "route" for itself.
    1 years ago
  • Must see video from Rajendra on our disciplined dogs
    Must see video from Rajendra on our disciplined dogs
    1 years ago
  • -
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    Dato' Ruby won the Bella Awards!
    1 years ago
  • -
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    This is a wonderful video for Moh Mei because she is sleeping in the KECHARA FOREST RETREAT CONTAINERS all alone...ehehehhehe...this is a new friend to keep her company....tsem rinpoche
    1 years ago
  • -
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    Answer to Jo
    1 years ago
  • -
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    The 2 tortoises in Tsem Ladrang, Kadro and Menlha are enjoying their fresh veggie meal.
    2 yearss ago
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    Organic vegetables at Kechara Forest Retreat
    2 yearss ago
  • -
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    This is Dorje our friendly fish that lives with us. He captured my attention the first time because he was exceptionally friendly. TR
    2 yearss ago
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    Mumus go bye bye!!!
    2 yearss ago
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    SP's mom said that she is from Penang. This is her first trip to bodhgaya, and she truly finds bodhgaya is very holy and spiritual.
    2 yearss ago
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    Very touching video...Buddha said it was very important to visit the four holy places associated with Him before our deaths. Remembering this, I had instructed Paul to take this senior group to Bodhgaya and make sure they are able to plant imprints. When this life of 'fun', money, parties and socials are over, we cannot leave empty handed. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
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    Our two rescued tortoises who live at Tsem Ladrang happily and will be transferred to Kechara Forest Retreat where they will have much more space to roam and run. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
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    Aki is the old African Grey that was abandoned by his owner. Because he is old, no one wanted him. Well we wanted him and we took him and in and love him. He is in a big aviary and he likes his cage. We leave his cage open at all times so he can go in and out as he likes. His cage is his security blanket. Cute. He gets nice food and sunshine daily and also we play monks chanting for him to be blessed. We love you Aki. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
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    Meal time for all the cute mumus!
    2 yearss ago
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    Dear james, very nice video of Kechara outlet and the activity led by Kien. You must always make more videos. Thank you. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
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    This little birdie was at a pet shop. He has maimed leg, permanent damage to his wing and cannot fly and also one eye blind. I don't think anyone would want the poor thing, so I adopted him and keep him safe, fed and with lots of fresh air. He's also in a large aviary so he can be with other birds and not be alone. He is alert, active, and has a good appetite. I like him very much and will make sure he is safe, happy and has a good life. I name him Lucky. Lucky will always be safe now. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago

ASK ME A QUESTION

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My Blog in Chinese:
zhandugu.blog.163.com
My website:
www.tsemtulku.com
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www.kechara.com





CHAT PICTURES

Stay tune for our new menu in August! Testing new organic coffee at Kechara Oasis. Nice! Pastor Adeline
18 minutes ago
生平第一次的大眾演講圓滿結束!感恩上師尊貴的詹杜固仁波切、克切拉媒體出版社、大眾書局(馬)有限公司、星洲日報等給予這麼好的機會分享宗大師的佛法! 祈願宗大師的法傳播到世界每一個角落,永無止盡! 照片攝於第九屆海外華文書市“ 閱讀‧圓夢”。Pastor Adeline
2 hours ago
More questions after the end of the talk. I'm humbled by the experience and the kindness these people have to learn dharma for others. Thank you Abby for the pictures! Pastor Adeline
2 hours ago
Ullambana tablets beautifully and neatly arranged for blessing at Kechara House gompa .Join us for Setrap Puja on the 4/8/14 (E) and 6/8/14 (C).Time 7.30pm-10pm. Lucy Yap
3 hours ago
Free Mobile Phone Repair
5 hours ago
ISO 27001:2013 (ISMS) LEAD AUDITOR Training Programme (IRCA)
8 hours ago
PRIME COMMERCIAL PROPERTY FOR SALE
11 hours ago
Attendees work together to prepare and clear before and after the session 8 of Setrap Retreat at Kechara (JB). From: June Tang (Khjb)
19 hours ago
We received cartons of Nutella from a sponsor who wished to remain anonymous last week and all were distributed to our homeless clients last Saturday. Thank you very much for the thoughtful donation Mr Anonymous! Justin@KSK
20 hours ago
Pastor Adeline was sharing Dharma knowledge during Setrap Puja on 30 July 2014_PB
20 hours ago
Sometimes all we have is faith left, so keep it (Tsem Tulku Rinpoche)_PB
21 hours ago
Fresh and modern designs from our in house florist shop https://www.facebook.com/pages/BLOOMS-enriched-by-Kechara/1419157221683958_PB
21 hours ago
According to Shantideva our mind is one stream life after life, so don't look at our current age as limitation to do dharma. ~Tsem Rinpoche From: June Tang (Khjb)
yesterday
If u wish happiness then always attempt wholeheartedly to bring happiness to others.~Tsem Rinpoche From: June Tang (Khjb)
yesterday
If you wish suffering then mistreat others.~Tsem Rinpoche From: June Tang (Khjb)
yesterday

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