Sometimes What I Am is Not Me

Aug 27, 2016 | Views: 13,431
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Dear friends around the world,

I came across this interesting article on my Facebook news feed. I read it and realised that it is something I should share with others. What caught me is the author’s realisation:

“My self-deception was exposed for the sham that it was, and what was revealed was what had always been there at the bottom of it all. My total insecurity.”

Like many of us, the author identified and put value in something that had no inherent or permanent value to who he really is or should be within himself. Without knowing who he is and where his real value came from, his ego attached itself to something external and even superficial. He realised this. This realisation came from his teacher. This is a must-read story. Not too long yet if contemplated is very beneficial to see how the mind works within our own samsara. We want name, title, labels, careers, brands to identify our self worth when we they are empty of any worth and we even hide behind them at times not facing ourselves. We are actually above that and beyond the material. We have to realise this. Through the powerful teachings of his monk teacher, he came to realise this. We all need to realise this. When we have spiritual protection, all other forms of protection is irrelevant already. Whatever we work at, or try to achieve and whatever goals we have become not important anymore. With spiritual protection, we are safe. Safe from the world, safe from our ego and safe from our pain.

I recommend everyone to read this story at least two times and contemplate. It is penetrating, deep and we need to apply it in our own lives. I am reproducing here strictly to benefit others on the path of self-realisation and happiness.

Good luck.

Thank you Mr Miles Kessler for sharing this and my humblest obeisance to Sayadaw U Pandita who passed away this year 2016 at the age of 94. He is and was a great monk master of the highest calibre. May we be blessed by him and pure sangha always.

Sincerely,
Tsem Rinpoche

 


 

When You Have Spiritual Protection, You Don’t Need Martial Protection

August 25, 2016 | Miles Kessler

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It was early 1998 and I had just finished an eight year phase of life, living in Japan. I had been studying Aikido full time with my teacher Morihiro Saito Sensei, at the famous Iwama dojo. Even though I had achieved a sense satisfaction in what I had accomplished during this time, there was also a subtle itch of wanting something more, something I wasn’t finding in my Aikido life in Japan.

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When I left Japan at the end of 1997 I was told by Saito Sensei to return to the U.S., open a dojo and start teaching Aikido. In many ways I was ready for this commitment. I had been training intensively in Iwama for eight years, was in my mid-thirties, had gotten my 4th dan, had become fluent in Japanese, and I was even translating for Sensei. I had learned much about Japanese culture from the inside, and I had been teaching Aikido two times a week in Japan for three years. I felt confidence in who I had become and this confidence served as a solid foundation upon which I had built my identify. However, beneath all my confidence I could not deny that there was something missing. I had a spiritual calling that could no longer ignore and it was this calling that became the guide for my next move in life.

“I had a spiritual calling that could no longer be ignored and it was this calling that became the guide for my next move in life.”

It seemed that all of my growth and development, as valuable and beautiful as it was, was only touching one dimension of my existence, spreading out nicely on the surface, but not penetrating to the core of my being. So I decided to travel for a year to seek out spiritual teachers and undertake formal spiritual practices.

During the last three years in Japan I had taken on regular practices which included “A Course in Miracles”, and daily 30 min. meditations. These were all informal self practices done without a teacher, or guide. I was largely inspired by the many spiritual books that I was reading at the time. Two of the books that had a particular impact on me, were by American Vipassana teachers; Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfeld. Both of them had practiced in Burma and from all the teachers they spoke about in their books, one name kept catching my attention. He was the Burmese meditation master Sayadaw U Pandita. In fact, when I first read his name, U Pandita, it had the karmic effect of working its way deep into my consciousness. I really connected with the method of practice that they taught and with that inspiration I decided to make my way to Burma, to find U Pandita and to practice Vipassana meditation.

Even though I was quite sure I wanted to commit to a formal spiritual practice I was still quite attached to my own ideas (and baggage) about Aikido being a ‘spiritual path’. After all, O Sensei’s life was a testament to the classic spiritual journey. So when I began my own spiritual journey I managed to pack the ‘Spiritual Aikido’ ideal tightly into my traveler’s backpack. I did this by conveniently planning that my visit to Burma would coincide with an Aikido seminar that a Japanese teacher friend of mine would be leading. My plan was to do a 10 day retreat, then the one-week Aikido seminar, followed by another 10 day retreat. Spiritual practice and Aikido practice. I had arranged things nicely so I could have my cake and eat it too. Perfect! Or so I thought…

After a two month teaching stint in New Zealand, and some rest and relaxation in Thailand, I decided it was time to get on track with the main purpose of my trip, meditation in Burma. I caught a plane to Rangoon and made a bee-line to the Panditarama Meditation Center, and to U Pandita himself.

“I was sure U Pandita would be impressed. After all, who wouldn’t be.”

Upon arriving at the center I was told that Sayadaw U Pandita was away for the day and wouldn’t get back until the evening and that I should check into a hotel and come back the next day. I explained that I had come a long way, and that I was there to meditate, so they allowed me to sit and wait in the office until U Pandita got back. He eventually did return after seven hours, and when he was told I had been waiting to see him he glanced over his shoulder at me (I had a sense that he was sizing me up), and he agreed, with a slight sense of irritation, to interview me. I was quite confident I could overcome what seemed to be U Pandita’s first impression of me. Having learned much about discipline and proper etiquette while living in Japan I did my best to showcase these qualities to him. In fact, I was sure U Pandita would be impressed. After all, who wouldn’t be.

When I entered U Pandita’s quarters I was immediately struck by his strong presence. It completely dominated the room, indeed the whole meditation center. I also had an uneasy sense that he saw a part of me that I wasn’t seeing. So whilst there was an immediate feeling of trust, I also felt exposed and unsettled in a very subtle way. Nonetheless, I did my best to make a favorable impression while answering through the translator several questions from U Pandita.

He asked about my background in meditation (self practice for the past two years), my purpose for coming to meditation (spiritual liberation), and why Panditarama (I wanted to train in the Mahasi tradition). U Pandita also asked me about my plans in Burma and I made a feeble attempt to explain that I planned to do a 10 day retreat, then leave to attend the Aikido seminar for a week, after which I’d come back for another ten days of meditation practice. He briefly asked what Aikido was, but it seemed that this got lost in translation and I didn’t think he got it. Nonetheless, it didn’t feel like the right time for further explanation, but I was sure that if the opportunity ever arose again to have a conversation about Aikido and spirituality, then all would be well. For now all that mattered was that U Pandita agreed to allow me to stay and practice on probation. I was in!

“I knew that here, in this teacher, I could place my absolute trust.”

During the next ten days of practice, I received daily interviews and Dharma talks with U Pandita and I soon understood why he had such a renowned reputation. Here was the master I had been seeking my whole life. Having been a monk for over 70 years and a meditation teacher for 50, his wisdom and skillful guidance was like nothing I had ever encountered before. But even more impressive was his presence as a spiritual warrior. I had never experienced in another person, such complete fearlessness, confidence, uncompromising determination and skill in teaching. I didn’t really have the capacity to understand it fully, but U Pandita had a strength that was unshakable. It would take me many, many months of practicing on retreat, indeed a few years, before I began to understand the source of that unshakable strength. Here was a man deeply grounded in the absolute truth, the ‘Dhamma’ of ultimate reality, and it literally made everything in me that was relative, feel extremely limited. I knew that here, in this teacher, I could place my absolute trust.

The irony did not escape me. I had spent much of my life in the martial arts seeking for the warrior ideal. Now here I was meeting that ideal in the form of a simple monk. A man who was deftly wielding the sword of truth and the shield of concentration together with a heart of loving kindness and compassion.

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U Pandita taught that 100% of all the suffering in the world had its source in the mind. The world, he said, is full of external enemies, but it is the internal enemies that are far more dangerous. These enemies come in the form of mental impurities and the purification of the mind is where all true battles must be fought. In this he was uncompromising and relentless. He would be brutally direct when necessary. The Buddha, he taught, was like a doctor, who knew exactly which medicine was needed to cure, or awaken the patient. All the medicines he gave fell into two types; sweet medicine (loving kindness, compassion and support), and bitter medicine (truth, discipline and challenge). U Pandita unapologetically proclaimed that he gave the bitter medicine. Sooner or later all yogis got to experience a full dose of his tough love, and if that didn’t scare them off then they also had the experience of it’s cure. I had finally found the teacher I wanted to be practicing with, the practice I wanted to be doing, and the place I wanted to be practicing. This was it! I just had to go and attend an Aikido seminar and then I’d be right back.

So when the first ten days were finished, I packed my backpack and headed off the seminar. On my way out I stopped in the center’s office to let them know that I would be back in one week. The office staff member stepped out to pass on my news and upon returning I was told, much to my surprise, that in fact, I could not come back. Of course there must have been some misunderstanding. With full confidence that I could clear this up I insisted on meeting with U Pandita to explain my situation and get permission to return.

“So there we all were, on some sort of cosmic-karmic threshold. The incoming Buddha, the ever present U Pandita, and the outgoing me.”

I was asked once again to wait, and sat in U Pandita’s interview room meditating, and in my mind working out the story I would tell him, so that I could come back. After about three hours I was finally taken to see U Pandita, as he was overseeing the unloading of a new Buddha statue to the monastery. In another moment of irony, I thought to myself “the Buddha has just arrived, and I am leaving”. So there we all were, on some sort of cosmic-karmic threshold. The incoming Buddha, the ever present U Pandita, and the outgoing me.

U Pandita gave me half of his attention and asked what I wanted. I explained my situation with the Aikido seminar and that I would be back in a week for more practice. He told me that I had done well but I couldn’t come back until the next time I was in Burma. I agreed that I hadn’t planned things well and apologized for this, but explained that I had to go to the Aikido event. I apologized for this and said I was sorry that I was leaving in the middle of my stay, and told him that I really wanted to come back and continue the practice in a week. Yet, somehow, U Pandita didn’t seem moved by my display of sincerity.

I was beginning to feel that my reasons for leaving were perhaps a little weak, but I was convinced that this was a legitimate excuse. If I could just convey that to U Pandita surely he would understand. After all, we were talking about Aikido, a spiritual martial art, and it was just a matter of convincing him. So I told him I wasn’t planning another trip to Burma and I wanted to meditate more on this trip. He responded with a glance and deafening silence. My steadfast confidence began to waiver and I suddenly had a sense that I was standing on thin ice. I further explained that I was going to be the translator for the whole event and that I was a key person for the seminar. More silence silence from U Pandita and an uncomfortable feeling that I was sliding further out onto the thin ice. I continued in a somewhat desperate manner to explain that the Aikido seminar was planned months ago and that I had already committed to going. Then U Pandita asked me again “What is Aikido?” (This wasn’t the Aikido conversation I had envisioned). Somehow it was translated as a ‘martial art’. As I stood there hat in hand, there was something profoundly unsettling about the way U Pandita was looking at me. He was quite generously giving me all the rope I wanted. I was methodically wrapping it around my neck. The intensity of U Pandita’s silence was like a mirror and the reflection was undeniable and unsettling. I was slowly beginning to understand that I was choosing to leave a 2,500 year-old practice of spiritual liberation to go practice a ‘martial art’…for my ego. The ice began to crack.

“When you have spiritual protection, you don’t need martial protection.”

Then, turning on me with full presence, U Pandita looked me in the eye and in English said, “When you have spiritual protection, you don’t need martial protection.” It is hard to describe the effect these words had on me in that moment. Up until then I had invested many years in the belief that Aikido was a ‘spiritual’ martial art. O Sensei was proof of this. I loved the martial training and had dedicated my life to its perfection. I assumed that it would naturally lead me to the spiritual if I ‘just kept training’. An unquestioned promise of a future enlightenment if I just kept doing my technical Aikido training. But I was attached to the martial and I wasn’t willing to let it go to move into the spiritual aspect that was in fact, my heart’s deepest desire. Indeed, this was the very reason why I had come to Burma. But in this unbareable moment of truth, the uncomfortable fact was that I wanted to have my cake and eat it too. I was clinging to years of investment in Aikido as I understood it at that time, and it was the very thing that was holding me back.

“My self-deception was exposed for the sham that it was, and what was revealed was what had always been there at the bottom of it all. My total insecurity.”

My future and past were all hanging in the balance in that very moment with an unbearable intensity. Then with U Pandita’s words, “When you have spiritual protection, you don’t need martial protection,” the ice suddenly gave way and I fell into the abyss. My knees buckled and the ground seemed to become unstable. In a moment, with one perfectly placed zen whack, I was stripped of my identity. I was totally disoriented and was left with nothing to hold on to. My self-deception was exposed for the sham that it was, and what was revealed was what had always been there at the bottom of it all. My total insecurity. I was at a complete loss as to what to do, so I grasped for the only thing that was left. I gave in and surrendered. In that moment I told U Pandita I wouldn’t go to the seminar. With tears in my eyes I begged him to let me stay and practice. He then did something I never even conceived as being possible. He unceremoniously told me “No” and sent me away like a schoolboy.

I couldn’t believe this was happening. I had been dismissed. I was thrown out. Completely disoriented I hefted my backpack, (which was suddenly very heavy) and stumbled out of the monastery in a daze. I found my way to a taxi and about half an hour later I was sitting in a Japanese restaurant in downtown Rangoon drinking a beer with my Japanese friend. It was totally surreal, and utterly meaningless. Still in a daze from this ego destroying encounter with U Pandita, I did my best to put on a good front and engage my Japanese friend in Aikido talk. He on and on about how great the coming seven-day Aikido seminar was going to be. Of course it wasn’t.

When the time came to leave Burma I stopped by the monastery on the way to the airport to ask U Pandita if I could return to practice on my next visit to Burma. U Pandita gave his permission and six months later I was sitting my first three month intensive Vipassana retreat with him. My ‘year of travel’ turned into eight, and I spent each winter returning to Burma for meditation retreats.

You may be wondering why I am sharing this story as one of my significant, if not my most significant Aikido experience. This was the point that all of the false ideas that I had built about Aikido were unpleasantly exposed. I was sure of Aikido’s spiritual depth but I was looking for it in the wrong place. The spiritual is not to be found in the physical, nor does it exist in the martial. It can be expressed in these realms but its source is beyond. My attachment to Aikido was the very thing that prevented me from realizing this. And this encounter with U Pandita was the beginning of correcting that mistaken view.

It was a hard lesson, but it changed my path in Aikido. Indeed it changed the direction of my whole life. Because it was only after I managed to let go of what I had made important in Aikido, that Aikido’s deeper value began to emerge.

And it happened with the words of a simple monk:

“When you have spiritual protection, you don’t need martial protection”.

[Source: http://www.theintegraldojo.com/single-post/2016/08/25/When-You-Have-Spiritual-Protection-You-Dont-Need-Martial-Protection]

 

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30 Responses to Sometimes What I Am is Not Me

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  1. Wan Wai Meng on Nov 30, 2016 at 12:40 am

    “When you have spiritual protection, you don’t need martial protection.” –

    This statement points to me that, what leads us to suffer is our very own karma. As long as we have negative karma, we can attract external enemies. If we have no more delusions, or karma seeds, we cannot attract external enemies. The real enemy is within, if we overcome the enemy within, external enemies will fall away.

  2. Echeah on Oct 25, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    In today’s modern, materialistic world, you may want to prove that you are self-sufficient, you are self-made, everything you achieved, you did so on your own and are proud of it.

    You don’t need any external help and turning to any religion or “spiritual practice” is old-fashion and a sign of weakness. You don’t follow a set order, other people’s rules, you make your own. Only people in desperate circumstances need divine help. It is something you might remotely consider doing only when you run out of options.

    The end result is a “successful, accomplished” society that is spiritually empty. Being an atheist or nihilist is something to be proud of.

    It is rare these days that people seek out spirituality or spiritual practice on its own merit.

  3. Jason on Sep 12, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    Very inspiring write up. At first, Miles Kessler belief that Aikido is a spiritual path for him to practice until he met U Pandita, a medidation master in Burma, then his spiritual life change.

    He know spiritual is not in physical nor martial.He did learn about letting go on Aikido after he met U Pandita.
    Miles Kessler finally found a Guru of his real spiritual path.

    This inspired us to be devoted to my Guru, Tsem Rinpoche.Rinpoche know the way to train us in our spiritual path.
    Thanks Rinpoche for sharing.

  4. Pema Thinley on Sep 8, 2016 at 1:28 am

    This is moving story Rinpoche _()_. I cannot explain how but spiritual practices are the great antidotes to all the problems as they are created by our unfiltered thoughts. How beautiful and inspiring. May we be blessed by the masters like U Pandita. Thank you Rinpoche _()_

  5. Sharon Ong on Sep 6, 2016 at 2:09 am

    This is a powerful read about how when the right teacher comes along and when the student is ready to go all the way, he will gain realisations that will allow his spiritual path to grow.

    “When you have spiritual protection, you don’t need martial protection”.

    Love this quote by U Pandita. I totally agree with this one. Who can beat the divine protection of enlightened beings?

    May we all be spiritual warriors who will fearlessly fight our personal enemies and have a successful Dharma path!

  6. Su Ming on Sep 5, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    Reading this article reminds me of the stories about Milarepa and Makpa and also stories I have heard of high lamas and their students. It also reminds me of how my lama, Tsem Rinpoche has trained majority of his close students in letting go of our expectations and what we are so attached to.

    In a lot of ways, it reminds me of my own spiritual path. In actual fact, by letting go of our expectations and attachments that we will truly embrace happiness which we so often seek for. And the method which U Pandita used on Miles was exactly the same skillful method my own lama had used on me and many more students.

    Is amazing how skillful high lama/ practitioners are with their students to let go of their attachments and eventually achieve the happiness / enlightenment we have been seeking for , for years and also llife time after life time.

  7. Datuk May on Sep 4, 2016 at 10:25 am

    On reading the story of Mr. Miles Kessler, I reflected on my personal spiritual journey and how I hang onto the perception of who I am, sad to say, a tough and shrewd business person. How I have resisted the many different manners and methods, my Guru, HE the 25th Tsem Rinpoche has handed to me both with the loving kindness ways and the tough love ways.

    Resistance to what is the best for me is the reason why I will persist in the vicious circle of samsara. From my recent encounter with a medical condition, it is for a fact that whatever obstacles and difficulties we may encounter with spiritual protection, we need nothing more and all difficulties can be overcome. And all will fall in place.

    With spiritual protection, we are protected now in this life and in the future lives. May we always be “obedient” to our Guru’s guidance and the best of all aspects will be with us.

  8. Joy Kam on Sep 1, 2016 at 11:57 pm

    This was a profound read. I liked the honesty of Miles Kessler and I believe many of us have had similar experiences as he had encountering when meeting his Guru. The energy he felt in the presence of his Guru U Pandita was similar to what I experienced when meeting Rinpoche the first time. “When I entered U Pandita’s quarters I was immediately struck by his strong presence. It completely dominated the room, indeed the whole meditation center. I also had an uneasy sense that he saw a part of me that I wasn’t seeing. So whilst there was an immediate feeling of trust, I also felt exposed and unsettled in a very subtle way.” It is interesting how when you meet a genuine spiritual teacher, their energy in boundless and as he described it.

    I like how he shared his realisations and how U Panditi totally broke all his concept of Akido, and all his plans while being in Burma and most of all his solid concept of identification. Indeed this is the same for many of us and in which Rinpoche has personally knocked it out of us many times, shaking our the very solid identity of who we thought we are but in reality we are not.

    I rejoice in Miles realisation and I hope the Dharma will continue to grow in him as it continues to grow in us. Definitely will read this again!

  9. Pastor Han Nee on Sep 1, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this most illuminating article

    For Miles, despite his expressing his wish for a deeper dimension to his life that spirituality would give him, he was still so attached to his achievements in Aikido that he let it rank as equal or even more important than his spiritual pursuits. He allowed himself to hide behind his ego, which was actually being used like a shield to hide his deep-seated insecurities.

    I agree that our Guru, Tsem Rinpoche , and Sayadaw U Pandita share the outstanding qualities of a good Teacher, whose role is to assassinate our ego, which lies behind the charade of our self-deception – the qualities of complete fearlessness, confidence, uncompromising determination and skill in teaching. Just as U Pandita saw through the sham, so must Rinpoche have so often seen through the sham of our self-deceit.

    How could Sayadaw U Pandita be impressed with Aikido ? How could Martial Arts stand up against the power of Spiritual Practice as our unwavering protection? Our real enemies are within us and not outside of us. Only our spiritual practice can act as a shield against our real enemies – our negative afflictions and delusions, the root cause and creator of our karma and suffering. Only our Guru, with great compassion and wisdom, can tailor a course of spiritual practice as protection according to our needs. The best spiritual protection as our Guru has reminded us again and again is our mind transformation.

  10. Pastor Han Nee on Sep 1, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this most illuminating article. I agree that our Guru, Tsem Rinpoche , and Sayadaw U Pandita share the outstanding qualities of a good Teacher, whose role is to assassinate our ego, which lies behind the charade of our self-deception – the qualities of complete fearlessness, confidence, uncompromising determination and skill in teaching. Just as U Pandita saw through the sham, so must Rinpoche have so often seen through the sham of our self-deceit.
    How could Sayadaw U Pandita be impressed with Aikido ? How could Martial Arts stand up against the power of Spiritual Practice as our unwavering protection? Our real enemies are within us and not outside of us. Only our spiritual practice can act as a shield against our real enemies – our negative afflictions and delusions, the root cause and creator of our karma and suffering. Only our Guru, with great compassion and wisdom, can tailor a course of spiritual practice as protection according to our needs. The best spiritual protection as our Guru has reminded us again and again is our mind transformation.

  11. Samfoonheei on Sep 1, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    Very interesting and inspiring article. This man (Miles Kessler) who had finally made the right choice after realizing and understand the meaning of “When you have spiritual protection, you don’t need martial protection”. Miles Kessler went back to continue his spiritual journey after a long hard lesson, that changed the direction of his whole life. Because he managed to let go of what he had made important in Aikido’s deeper value.Well we learned from our mistakes to be a better person and having a good spiritual Guru is also very important.
    Thanks Rinpoche and Miles Kessler for sharing.

  12. shelly tai on Sep 1, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing with us this inspiring write up by Mr Miles Kessler. It is very true our human perception toward a point of view like what is right or wrong there is always a mistake or I should said in most time is wrong or is not bringing any benefits to us, it only serve to feed our ego, so the only way to correct to wrong view is to engage in spiritual practice and look for right guru to guide us and to cut off our deluded mind.

  13. Sofi on Sep 1, 2016 at 12:41 am

    As I read through the article, these “struck by his strong presence”, “had an uneasy sense that he saw a part of me that I wasn’t seeing” and “immediate feeling of trust, I also felt exposed and unsettled in a very subtle way”. Haha, this reminds me so strongly of my own experience with Rinpoche. Even in the audience of hundreds, the feeling that Rinpoche knows my thoughts is quite daunting.

    This spiritual journey written by Miles Kessler certainly shows us that no matter how well we think we have achieved success in our physical world, if we do not seek internally, we will never have the peace within us. His spiritual master, Sayadaw U Pandita is a great Teacher to be able to directly look into his mind and apply the “medicine” to his real needs. Certainly having spent 8 years studying and reaching the 4th Dan level in Aikido is something to be proud of and the confidence from this achievement is being at almost the top of the pinnacle not many can reach. However as many successful people feels, Miles realised something is still missing which samsaric achievements cannot fill. I rejoice that he recognised his needs, seek and found his Guru who so skilfully cut through his mental deception with that one sentence “When you have spiritual protection, you don’t need martial protection”. And most importantly, when exposed, he did not run away but realised the greatness of his Guru to return and practised.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing Miles’ spiritual journey which gave us teachings of how spiritual attainments is our protection within Samsara, how a great Master will train us by exposing our weakness/delusions and most importantly for us to realise the greatness of our Guru and to go all the way without ego hindering our path.

  14. Pastor KH Ng on Aug 31, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    What I am! …..Is this me or not me???

    What I think it that the “I” is transient. It exist but there is something more as this is only one of many lifetimes we had and will continue to have unless we practice the Dharma to extricate ourselves from this uncontrolled cyclic existence.

    This is what the Buddha taught; that we should spend this life to practice the Dharma of selflessness as an antidote to countless lifetimes of selfishness. As this article said, the Buddha gave this as the medicine but it is up to use to take this medicine that will lead to the cure to selfishness and uncontrolled sufferings.

  15. Pastor KH Ng on Aug 31, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    What I Am is real?…….Or is it not?

    What I am is real and not at the same time for the real nature is this “I” is transient. One of the many “I” that we have lived before and will continue to live in a cyclic of existence.
    That is what the Buddha taught, so that we can realise this and to extricate ourselves from this uncontrolled cyclic existence. That we should spend this life to do what is the most beneficial to us; that is to practice the noble path of Dharma to realise the nature of this existence and how it works and beyond that what really is the nature of this existence.

    Further, the best antidote to this attachment and clinging to the self of “I” is to work for others and a method to dilute and further our detachment to this “I”. Hence, all sufferings and resistance to benefitting others are from lifetimes of habitual selfishness; and are to be taken as signs and benefits of selfless practice. In the end, this “I” is diluted into the oceans of dependently arisen phenomena.

  16. chris chong on Aug 30, 2016 at 11:28 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    Thank you for sharing this with us. This is an interesting story of a man’s struggle to seek spirituality and how he was challenged by his spiritual guide. Rinpoche always says: ” The moment you meet a genuine spiritual guide or Guru, he is already challenging your ego”. This is very true when we look at Miles personal encounter with his spiritual guide. By using profound way and challenges, U Pandita had trained Miles without him even knowing it. This is what a genuine Guru is like.

    Mr Miles had associated his own identify closely with Akido and his accomplishment in it. It was his ego. When U Pandita forced him to make a decision between Akido and spiritual practice, he realise that clinging on Akido is not because he “needs” to do it, its because he “wants” to do it because it is feeding his own ego, his own feeling of self worth.

    This article had given me an insight of how ego works where we built up our own sense of identity and we do whatever it takes to protect it. However, the identity itself is unreal and its just a delusion that we create to feel important. The identity is empty.

    Humbly,
    Chris Chong

  17. Alice Tay on Aug 30, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    随喜Mr Miles Kessler,因为他最终了解到灵修的目标并非追求外在的东西。之前,Mr Miles Kessler 一直以为他利用了这么长时间在合气道(武术之一)包括他自己的训练与教导学生,就是在填埋他的心灵上的那一块。但其实并不是这样。

    后来,当他遇到这位来自缅甸的禅修大师,Sayadaw U Pandita,启发了他并告诉他“当你的心灵上得到安全/保护,你是不需要利用武术来保护自己”。Mr Miles Kessler才了解原来灵修的目标并非追求外在的一切,就比如他喜欢的合气道。他明白如果继续执著于合气道(武术),将会阻止他领悟心灵上更深层次的价值。而这位禅修大师Sayadaw U Pandita,就是在帮助他纠正之前所产生错误的想法。Mr Miles Kessler认为这是一个艰苦的经历。但也因为这样却能改变他对合气道的执著心甚至改变他整个人生的方向。因为他选择放下“自我”也就是他一直引以为荣和认为合气道的重要性,然后选择了拥有2,500 年之久的佛学智慧与真理。

    感谢仁波切分享这篇激励性的博文。我个人非常喜欢这篇博文,希望会有更多人可以从这篇博文里的得到一些启发。

  18. CindyH on Aug 30, 2016 at 1:40 am

    We truly are our own worst enemies. It is scary how our thoughts shape our lives yet we really hardly have a grip on our mind. As Kessler’s experience has illustrated, at any given moment we could be going around with our blinkers on and yet be unaware of such blinkers. And we would have already structured our lives around such tunnel vision but thinking we have it all figured out.

    Then, if we have the good fortune to be shown that we have gotten it wrong, we are then faced with the difficult challenge of admitting and coming to terms that we were wrong about it all along.

    After that we need to battle out the instinct to revert to our usual way of dealing with things and have to vigilantly ensure that we do not regress and also to apply the (proper) different approach. This can be quite difficult considering that we will be doing things contrary to our usual way of dealing with things and at times, we might even find ourselves stumped as to what to do.

    Recognizing what is not working in our life is not pleasant at all and can be downright painful, yet only by eliminating what is not working that we have the clarity to refocus our attention and efforts towards what is working or will actually work.

    The silver lining in all this is that everything is really our choice and we are always in a position to change the outcome for the better if we want to.

  19. sonny tan on Aug 29, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche and Mr. Kessler for sharing this very inspiring event that made Mr. Kessler rethink and reevaluate his life’s destination. His notion that Aikido is spiritual was probably a misconception that was imparted to him wrongfully.
    He was torn between his wants in life and his spiritual yearnings and when Sayadaw Pandita said ‘No’ to him was actually helping him to realize his wrong concept between spirituality and martial arts. It is just like a soft slap on his face pretty much telling him ‘ hey wake up to reality’ Sayadaw saw through his inflated ego and wanted to help him diminish it, in addition Sayadaw could see that Mr.Kessler was carrying unnecessary baggage and was trying to help him offload it. He knew Mr. Kessler has purity in his heart and on that basis accepted him back later on to the meditation center.
    Enlightened gurus, masters, lamas has the abilities to see through pretty much all our faults, strength, weaknesses and characters and therefore would probably let us go through tough assignments to bring up our strengths, running us down to ground levels to deflate our egos. When once these are minimized then perhaps the actual teachings would gradually start and finally help and guide us to realize the true nature of self.

  20. Lew on Aug 29, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    Rejoice to hear the realisation of Mr Miles Kessler, and his merit for being able to study and learn under a great master Venerable U Pandita.

    I feel most if not all of us hide behind our ego and not willing to face ourselves. It takes courage to sit down and meditate (on our mind), and takes even more courage to fight our ego. I feel these great masters are very direct when it comes to fighting our ego. I have heard Tsem Rinpoche talking about how his Guru Zong Rinpoche’s method, and I have also seen Tsem Rinpoche’s method, and now I hear the Venerable U Pandita’s method, their methods are “fierce”, and I feel, there is no other way to it. Most of the time, the “sweet medicine” doesn’t work, and “bitter medicine” needs to be applied. I feel we are all very lucky to meet teachers who are willing to give “bitter medicine”. Why? Because the teacher is risking their student will leave the teacher, but yet, for the sake of the benefits of the students, they are willing to be the bad guy. Instead of just saying nice words to the students, so that the students can further “enrich” their ego, authentic teachers do not care about their own image and give “bitter medicine” with the hope that the students can be awaken, just like Mr Miles Kessler. That is the quality of an authentic teacher.

    I pray that there are more authentic teachers in this world to keep turning of the Dharma wheel, for we are now in a world full of desires and material, and many of us (me included) are nurturing our ego everyday, and we need teachers to “wake” us up so that we can continue our practice.

  21. Stella Cheang on Aug 28, 2016 at 10:59 pm

    Thank you Mr Miles Kessler for the insightful sharing of his spiritual journey. What I found meaningful is Kessler’s realization of the unfound attachment to Akido (it can be anything, e.g. possession, fame, or social status, etc). And when this unfound attachment is being examined under the scope of Dharma; quoting Kessler’s own words “…My future and past were all hanging in the balance in that very moment with an unbearable intensity.” Once we are stripped naked of what we falsely hold on to as a cover to the true us, we will feel exposed and vulnerable. For that reason, we must always be grounded to Dharma as the bearing of our life to and to nurture our mind according to the 3 Baskets.

  22. Fong on Aug 28, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    Miles Kessler mentioned that his identification with Aikido as himself and core of his being is his ego and false sense of worth.

    U Pandita informing Miles Kessler that “When you have spiritual protection, you don’t need martial protection” made him realize the deeper, spiritual meaning of Aikido which he had missed in his previous years of training. Aikido, the physical act is irrelevant in the bigger picture where every pain and joy originates from the mind.

    The silence of U Pandita was a point when Kessler had to reflect and decide whether he wanted to commit to a spiritual practice, whether he’s just creating excuses for what he wants to do rather than what he needs to do on the spiritual path.

    What Kessler wrote in this sharing applies to many and I can relate to many aspects of it.

    Thank you, Rinpoche for sharing the article for our benefit.

  23. Anne Ong on Aug 28, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    This is a very good article. Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this profound story with us. i believe nothing and no one can give us any better protection than Spiritual Protection. Who else can protect our delusional minds and karma besides our Guru and Protector? All we need is have strong faith and full trust in our Guru and Dharma Protector. I came to Kechara with an open mind and trust and i will live with this for the rest of my life.

  24. Martin on Aug 28, 2016 at 4:31 am

    This is a short and honest article but with so many important insights against which we can measure our own mind.

    1.The author spoke of “growth and development” that spread out nicely on the surface, but not penetrating to the core of his being. I think it is important to ask if our dharma practice is like that as well – something we get involved in but resist it taking over our lives. Do we plan our Dharma practice around our Samsaric objectives and intentions? The Dharma is meant to break us free from our prisons, not adorn the prison while we remain within;

    2. The author realised after meeting U Pandita, that everything about his life is ‘relative’ and therefore ‘limited’. This itself is an important discovery of how transient and ethereal we really are and we consume so much time and energy in trying to defend something so incredibly passing as something fixed and tangible. He referred to his life as a sham. And that reminded me of the sham I called my life before surrendering to Rinpoche’s teachings. We spend a lifetime trying to support this phantom we conjure up and being scared all the time that if we were to stop for only a moment, this phantom and hence our life would just evaporate. The truth is this – confidence in our self comes only at the end of dissolving this phantom away, and this self that we discover is unafraid of anything.

    3. Spiritual protection versus martial protection itself is such an all encompassing find. At is most basic, I read that to mean, take refuge in the Three Jewels and nothing else. No martial art protects us from our karma. In addition, the ultimate ‘protection’ is in realizing that there is ultimately no ‘self’ to be harmed so what need is there to protect that which is the most harmful to ourselves?

    When we think about it carefully, we are all ‘Miles Kesslers’.

  25. Li Kheng on Aug 27, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    Thank you so much Rinpoche and team for this blog post. It is very honest and real. It also lets me see how samsara is so perfectly designed to keep us distracted. All the nice restaurants, cosmetics, entertainments…and even the substantial “things to accomplish” are distractions to keep us busy until one day we become old, sick or incapacitated to hide behind all the activities.

    It is in these moments of vulnerability that we know what truly matters and I do pray that more people have the chance in their youth and health to make “investments” that enrich them spiritually to face these moments with grace and dignity.

    In the recent surgery of my mum, I was very grateful for the spiritual protection from Rinpoche and Dorje Shugden. Although the surgery was supposed to be straightforward and simple, the procedure took triple the time due to unforeseen circumstances. Despite unexpected challenges that arose, all went well and mum healed swiftly and well. Witnessing how everything went, deep inside I know it is the protection and blessing of our Guru, Tsem Rinpoche, and our Protector, Dorje Shugden.

    I hope that more will have this form if protection but also clearly say that protection can only be offered to those willing and committed to receive.

    Again, thank you Rinpoche for your kindness to always share wisdom and salvation.

  26. Soon Huat on Aug 27, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    Thank You Rinpoche for sharing the great article. I am not a good writer but I will try my best to write up some comment here. I particularly like this statement:“My self-deception was exposed for the sham that it was, and what was revealed was what had always been there at the bottom of it all. My total insecurity.”. We like to label ourselves from our fame, experience,status, wealth etc to cover our weakness. In fact, this exposed our three poisons; desire, anger and ignorance. Sometimes, we will response very aggressively when it is challenged.

    I personally think the “Trust” to your Guru is very important so that you can empty the water in my mind to receive the pure Dharma nectar. Mr. Miles Kessler has been practicing Aikido for years and I believe he is a master level instructor in Aikido. If he can not empty up his status and no Trust to U Pandita, he will not transform and have enough wisdom to appreciate the deeper value of Aikido. Dharma embrace all; “When you have spiritual protection, you don’t need martial protection”. We need to put down our ego to learn the greater wisdom.

    Thank You Guru. I will read it again tomorrow.

    Cheers,
    Soon Huat

  27. Jacinta Goh on Aug 27, 2016 at 11:39 am

    Dear Rinpoche,
    I wonder if realisation will only come through hard way? The realisation that he has in someway has hit me about two years ago. Having Dharma is like my best protection, I do not need any other protection. Even seeking the refuge from parents or our children couldn’t spare us from death. There’s no greater refuge than own and the advice from Guru. The best protection is to continue what Rinpoche has taught in all the YouTube teachings. Also it changes on how I see life and Dharma. It’s inseparable. If I found it hard to practice, how about others? So, there’s no difference from me and others. I put a lot of expectation on what is life and what is Dharma. I should just put down and just continue.

    Thank you Rinpoche.

    Thank you Rinpoche.

    • Pastor Elena Khong Jean Ai on Aug 27, 2016 at 4:22 pm

      Hi Jacinta,

      Your comment leads me to recall a quote by Einstein: “We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.”

      So my understanding is that realisation doesn’t have to come through difficulties. However, most of the time, it BECOMES a difficulty because these realisations are contrary / opposite to the way we have always thought and done things. It’s a difficulty because it’s hard for us to accept that how we did things before was wrong.

      These realisations can only come about when we do something in the opposite way we have always done things. If we always do things the same old way, how can we expect a different result?

      Hence when we do things in a different way, we can see things in a different perspective. When we see things in a different perspective, we understand that our previous way of acting, thinking and speaking was harmful.

      That’s why some people find Dharma very painful and difficult, because it is opposite to the way we have always behaved and acted in samsara for many lifetimes. But after a while, it isn’t so painful anymore and in fact, we find guru devotion and Dharma to be very liberating and soothing because Dharma teaches a way of life that is in harmony with the natural ways of the universal.

      • Jacinta Goh on Aug 27, 2016 at 10:17 pm

        Thanks Pastor Elena for your reply. You have actually put forth a very good reasoning. We find it hard when the realisation is contrary to what we have taught or done. We just keep hitting the same old spot! Yes, Dharma is very liberating. The only reason I am still fighting the way up the stream. When I said I am ‘fighting’, means I am still thinking the same old way (lol). When I read back your reply again, I am honoured that you have given me a different perspective to see my life now. Thanks again Pastor.

  28. JP on Aug 27, 2016 at 11:06 am

    Mr Miles Kessler’s article is very profound. He’s very fortunate to have found such a great Buddhist master. His tenacity and determination in seeking the spiritual truth helped tremendously as it showed his sincerity. Letting go our ego to request our teacher to guide us is the first step to learning and practising spirituality.

    “When you have spiritual protection, you don’t need martial protection”. This is a very powerful statement that breaks down all delusions of our projections that we think give us security. All our problems arise from the mind. So to solve them, we need to work on the mind. Hence, no martial arts can be greater than spirituality.

    U Pandita reminds me very much of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche. Both are dedicated to teaching the truth as taught by Lord Buddha. And both have, as Mr Kessler puts it, “complete fearlessness, confidence, uncompromising determination and skill in teaching”. By being around a genuine teacher, one will be very fortunate to gain deeper insights to the phenomenon of life that will completely change the perception of ourselves and our environment. This in my opinion is true spirituality.

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  • nut4all
    Sunday, Apr 30. 2017 07:03 AM
    and stopped animal sacrifice at these temples. http://www.drukpa.com/about-us/our-yogis/the-three-divine-madmen 99%ppl focus on jab jum DrukpaKunley…
    [no sender]
  • nut4HE25TRinp!o
    Sunday, Apr 30. 2017 01:54 AM
    @tsemtulku
    My favorite Mahasiddha is Naropa….Let explain few !from4incarnation DRUKPAone MADe split!forTWO!!DRUKPA(HEMIS-ladakh)&SHABDRUNG(relung monastery Tibet site) .later SHABDRUNG split for3 body speach MIND! ( i m not certain order) SHABDRUNGS ARE!!! NamkhaiN0rbu RINPOCHE YES!! HH SHABDRUNG controversial in BHUTAN home jail!by urgyen trinley can!idDAYE&TaklungShabrung .. Recently with Dalai our monk seen !
    [no sender]
  • Alice Tay
    Sunday, Apr 30. 2017 12:16 AM
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this and I was touched by this story very much. I personally think that this faithful dog must has very close karmic connection with its owner and it know that the owner is died. Furthermore, animals are very sensitive to our energies and mind states. So, if we are loving kindness and compassion, they can feel our love and care.

    As such, we must treat the animals like humans too. Not to harm them because humans can be reborn as animals and animals can be reborn as humans. We have to accept that humans and animals are interconnected and just like a family.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/faithful-dog-chases-deceased-owner.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Saturday, Apr 29. 2017 11:49 PM
    Spiritual practice is definitely much more than doing good for others. When we practice “spirituality” without religion and from our own understanding, how sure are we that we are on the right track? When we practice spiritual with the guide of religion, we will certain progress and much easily to attain higher levels. Thank you, Rinpoche for this teaching.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/can-we-just-be-spiritual-but-not-religious.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Saturday, Apr 29. 2017 10:56 PM
    When we truly love and care for another being like a family, whether this other being is a dog or cat, a child or a stranger, it will break our heart when it is gone. Many people may not be capable of this emotion towards a pet but as we evolved, we will realize we are capable to develop such feelings for animals. It is common in the west to have pets cemetery because of this reason. Thank you for this article, Rinpoche.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/why-losing-a-dog-can-be-harder-than-losing-a-relative-or-friend.html
  • Lin Mun
    Saturday, Apr 29. 2017 03:09 PM
    Interesting info and article about werewolves. I never knew about its origins and the various wolves existence until I read this. I have thus far know about werewolves only from the movies and the famous twilight show. But one thing I noticed from the articles is the gruesome manner in killing the person (or suspected werewolves). Some were cursed to be a werewolves. There just so much anger, violence and killing in the whole process, which probably the reason why werewolves are known to kill and hurt human and other animals.

    Anyway, whether we believe the existence of werewolf is true or not, I believe that there are other forms of beings in world. And we should not handle or deal with other beings with violence and anger.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/paranormal/werewolves-the-shapeshifters.html#comment-744320
  • Lin Mun
    Friday, Apr 28. 2017 04:00 PM
    Everything we offer to Buddha is a form of mind transformation and practise our mind to be focus even when doing water offering. When pouring the water into the bowl we have to recite Om Ah Hum (3 times), think positively and pouring it slowly so it does not spill and leaving the space of a grain of rice before reaching the top. After offering we also have to clean the bowls properly without leaving stain. All this is to train our mind.

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

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

    Jason

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

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

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

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

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this heartwarming article.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/faithful-dog-chases-deceased-owner.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 02:21 PM
    Its a heartfelt touching article of this faithful dog.Cannot imagine this ,such a wonderful relationship between that dog and the deceased owner.The greatest fear dogs know is the fear that we will not come back for them That i noticed from observing from my pet poodle.In this case this faithful dog knew his owner won’t be back.
    Dogs are loyal, patient, fearless, forgiving, capable of pure love and have feelings too.He must have missed the owner badly that he wanted to accompany the owner all the way to the resting place.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing. May that faithful dog ,continue to serve and well taken, love by the other family members.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/faithful-dog-chases-deceased-owner.html

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The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

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


Ask the Pastors

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

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

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

  • April 20, 2017 10:45
    Ronnie asked: Dear Rinpoche and Pastors, I'm studying abroad and very far away from home, seeking guidance and advice as I have no one else I can talk to about this. Please read with an open mind, I don't know where else to go for help. I'm pregnant and it's an unplanned pregnancy. I'm stuck between keeping it or letting it go. I'm young and having a child at my age in the society we live in now would be considered taboo. The father of the child thinks I should let it go because it may cause a setback to both our careers and cause major family issues. He thinks we aren't ready to raise a child especially since we're both still in university and his parents think badly of me even though they've never met me or tried to get to know me. I'm sure no one would ever have the heart to take away a heartbeat but it seems like it isn't the right time to have a child now and if we did go through with it, the child probably won't be able to have the best things life can offer looking at where we are now in terms of finance and maturity. I'm lost, confused and unsure what the right thing to do is now. Any advice at all would be helpful right now. Thank you so very much for taking time to read my story.
    pastor answered: Dear Ronnie, I’m sorry to read that you are going through this situation. I can understand that this situation is tough to go through. You are always more than welcome to come here to ask questions. May I suggest that you talk to either someone in your family or your friends to help you come to an appropriate solution? This is because, what you feel, what you are going through, will change from time to time and you would need someone to talk to, someone that you can lean on through this situation you are facing. Depending on where you are in the world, professional help can also be sought to help you make a decision, which will be the best option for you seeking help. From a Buddhist perspective, the taking of a life is not considered a positive act, therefore those on the Buddhist path, would normally abstain taking a life if possible. However, that being said, one must always weigh the decision oneself. Everything we do in life, necessarily involves karma both positive and negative. That is why Buddhists try to overcome samsara in general. Your situation is complicated because you are abroad, but if possible you should really open up to someone you are close to in order to help you through making this decision on a personal basis. When you talk to someone, whom you are able to express yourself more, you may able to come to better decision that is right for you. There may be other options open to you if you seek help. I personally know women who have been in similar situations. One of these women, let the child go and the other went through the pregnancy and then gave the child up for adoption. You may or may not have thought of this option, but it is one that could be open to you, depending on where in the world you are. Any decision we make in life, however big or small it may seem, has far reaching consequences whether in this life, or in future lives. This is just a part and parcel of life within samsara. However, we should weigh the decisions we make clearly given the situation we are in. We cannot always do this weighing ourselves, but need to talk about our options with others we can rely on such a friends, family or professionals. You should consider doing this, which will help you greatly emotionally, and may give you the grounding you need to make the correct decision for you. I hope this helps.
  • April 19, 2017 04:57
    Dongho asked: What is a nyung ne practice? According to Lama Zopa Rinpoche, it's a purification sadhana. However, what are the instructions for this? I'm guessing it's to Chenrezig, but how does it work? Also, from what I have read, Vajrasattva practice is only for broken vows while Akshobhya is for regular misdeeds. Does that mean one has to take the Akshobhya practice to purify bad karma from this life and previous instead of Vajrasattva? As for the purification practices, are some like Vajrasattva and Chenrezig only to purify the bad karma and let it come quickly or is it to prevent it from coming? I am confused in it. As for signs, I recited a mantra of White Yangchenma that a Sakya lama, Lama Kunga Thartse Rinpoche, gave me with the Sakya visualizations I read on, and after one mala, I heard some lady call my Korean name even though no one in my neighborhood knows of my name and my family members weren't in the area. What does this mean?
    pastor answered: Dear Dongho, Thank you for your questions, it’s nice to see you back here again. Nyung Ne practice is a purification practice that centres around Chenrezig. It is a very beneficial practice that stems from a holy nun named Gelong-ma Palmo. It is a two and a half day practice that can be repeated many times over and over again to intensify the purification and build a closer relationship with Chenrezig. As well as its purification aspect, the practice is known to generate vast amount of merit, and also compassion, as the practice centres around Chenrezig, the Buddha of compassion. The practice involves taking the eight Mahayana precepts for the duration, fasting, meditating, prostrating and praying. The practice usually entails empowerment into the practice of Chenrezig, therefore the exact meditations, prayers can only be explained to those who have the empowerment. Vajrasattva practice is not necessarily only for repairing broken vows, etc. That’s why it is advised that you engage in the practice at the end of the day, to repair any vows that you may have broken during that day, as well as stopping any negative karma you created that day from multiplying. This would entail reciting the mantra 21 times, together with the four opponent powers. However, if you engage in this practice more intensely, it definitely has the capability to purify all sorts of karma. That is the reason why in Ngondro, or preliminary practices one engages in before tantra, the practice of 100,000 Vajrasattva mantra recitation is an integral part. You can read more about Vajrasattva and his practice here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/prayers-and-sadhanas/an-important-purification-practice.html. Within purification practices, some of the karma will be purified completely, so you do not feel its effects at all, but when purifying other karma you will need to feel its effects somehow. For example if you have the karma to be in a car accident and get seriously injured, and you are engaging in any practice, but especially the purification practice, since you have purified most of the karma, you will only experience being in a very minor car accident, with only very superficial injuries. Therefore, in this case, the karma has been purified to the extent that it does not affect you as much, but you still need to feel part of its effect. In regards to any signs that you receive which engaging in the practices given to you by one of your specific gurus, you should report the happenings to that particular guru. He will be able to give you more of an accurate answer, as it may be related to the particular practice that he gave to you. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • April 17, 2017 07:06
    Thomas asked: Dear Pastors, When a serkyem set has been used so much and one is ready to get rid of it and replace it with a new one. What is a respecful mode of disposal?
    pastor answered: Dear Thomas, Thank you for your question. Your question shows that you have a lot of respect for offering items, which is very good. If possible, you should try to repair the item if within your means, and doing so make embellishments to make it a better offering item, which can still be used. If this is not possible, then you should dispose of the item with a good motivation. You should think that this item has been used to make offerings to the enlightened beings, but now that it is broken or unusable, you are going to dispose of it, and replace it with a new one. Since it itself is not a receptacle of energies of the enlightened beings, such as a statue, tsa tsa or thangka, it does not require a special dissolution before being disposed of. However since it was used to make offerings, it still requires some form of respect when disposing, and this comes from one’s motivation and the way in which you dispose of it. Usually, when disposing of items in this way, make the motivation that you have used it and that it is now time to dispose of it, and replace it with a new one. When you do this you can dispose of it in a respectful manner. For example, if you are going to throw it away, you do not simply open the trash can and throw it in. You wrap it up in something, like a bag or newspaper and dispose of it respectfully. Another method you can dispose of it is to recycle the object, if the material it is made from can be recycled. That way you are more conscious of the environment as well. I hope this explanation helps. Thank you.
  • April 16, 2017 22:38
    Curious asked: Dear pastors In a recent youtube video something like paying respect to deceased ones, pastor Nirel Patel explained that merits are like the interest and good karma is like the principal sum. So merits always regenerate themselves and hence do not get used up but good karma is like the principal sum so it gets used up. So my question is what are practices that generate merit? And can we turn a mundane daily activity into a meritorious one? Maybe can you provide an example?
    pastor answered: Dear Curious, Thank you for your question. First, to clarify a point, in regards to good karma, you are right, it is like a principal sum in a bank account, but you take away from it when you experience something good in your life, and you add to it when you do good deeds. Merit on the other hand, once accrued never diminishes, therefore when something is based on merit, it is based on the energies of this never diminishing sum, which you could say is like interest. In short, the principal sum when talking about karma is always added to and subtracted from. However, when talking about merit, once you have it, there is no way to destroy it, you will always benefit from it. There are various ways to explain how to generate merit. I will explain a way that I find easiest to understand. In normal life, when we go about performing any sort of activity, be it ‘good’ or ‘bad’ we do so out of ignorance of the true nature of existence, and it is usually self-motivated. For example, we work our entire lives to generate monetary income, so that we have enough money, resources, and materials goods to be comfortable. This is self-motivated, but it is the accepted way the world works these days, and is part and parcel of being bound to samsaric life. On the other hand, the act of merit making can be categorised into three parts: i) motivation, ii) the act itself, and iii) dedication. Let’s start with motivation, when engaging in various virtuous acts, we should have the motivation that by engaging in the act, we have the motivation to alleviate the suffering of someone else, and that may we gain enlightenment so that we can benefit them in the future. The second is the act itself. The third is to dedicate the energy of the virtuous act to gaining enlightenment. These three are what make merit. This may be a little confusing, so let me give an example: giving help to a homeless person. Whereas in ordinary life, this is something praised as a very good deed, it does not create merit without motivation and dedication. In order for this to become merit, one must set the motivation that one is giving help to the homeless free of the eight worldly concerns, to alleviate their suffering and also making the motivation that you will achieve enlightenment for the sake of the person or people you are helping. Then after you have helped them, you dedicate the energy created to the spiritual journey towards full enlightenment to help all sentient beings, while at the same time benefiting as many sentient beings as possible on the way there. This transforms the act into not only a virtuous action but also one that generates merit. On the other hand, if you were to help the homeless without these, you are creating good karma, which although beneficial, keeps you bound to existence within samsara. As it is the goal of Buddhist practice to overcome the cycle of samsara, a Buddhist would want to generate merit instead of good karma. I hope this explanation helps. Thank you.
  • April 13, 2017 11:38
    D.A. asked: If Begtse Chan is not from Mongolia, what are his real origins or story exactly? And which lamas offer his empowerment? As for Manjushri Nagarakshasa, which lamas specifically offer his empowerment and practice?
    pastor answered: Dear D.A. Thank you for your question. Begtse, is also known as Chamsing, or Jamsaran in Mongolian. As mentioned in an earlier sharing with someone who also asked a question about Begtse, the practiced was introduced to Tibet from India by the translator Nyen Lotsawa, and is considered one of the main protectors of the Hayagriva cycle of tantras. According to the scriptures that derive from the Sakya tradition, who incorporated the practice from the translators, and in which tradition Begtse became a very important protector, Begtse in a previous life was born many eons ago. In that particular life, he was born as the younger prince in a royal family. His name was Drag Gye, and his older brother’s name was Drag Den. Over time both princes developed differing religious beliefs, to the point where they could not get along with each as they both held their own religious views strongly. As was the custom during that time, they decided to settle their differences through logical debate, with the loser having to convert to the winner’s religion. This custom was also prevalent in ancient India, and there are many stories of such debates occurring between the great masters of the past and those of other faiths. Drag Gye lost the various debates, but ran away instead of converting to his older brother’s religion. Drag Den caught him, and tried to punish him for breaking the rules of debate and going back on his promise. Drag Gye told his brother that even if he was killed he would not give up his religion, however if Drag Den let him go, that in the future when Drag Den became enlightened, he would protect his teachings. With that Drag Den let him go, and gave him a set of copper armour, a stick, and a bow and arrow. Drag Den also gave Drag Gye a new name: Sog Dag Yam Shi Mar Po. After this incident the two brothers never saw each other again in that lifetime. Many lives after that Drag Den was reborn as Prince Siddharta, who eventually became enlightened and is now known as Buddha Shakyamuni. Drag Gye, or Sog Dag Yam Shi Mar Po, was reborn in a cemetery in the North West direction. His parents gave birth to two eggs, one was a coral-like colour and the other was an agate-like colour. These two eggs flew high into the sky and reached the heavenly realms, there they subdued the gods. Then flying back down to earth, they subdued many nagas. Eventually they even came to threaten their own parents. The parents petitioned the Dharma protector Ekajati for her help, who threw her own staff (khatvanga) at the eggs, and broke them apart. From the coral-like coloured egg came a ferocious man with yellow hair, he proclaimed that his name was ‘Sog Dag Yam Shi Mar Po’. When he emerged he was wearing a set of copper armour, wielding a stick, copper sword, and a bow and arrow. From the agate-like coloured egg came a female who was blue in colour, her teeth were like shells, she had turquoise eyebrows, and her hair was made of fire. She emerged wielding a copper knife, ritual dagger (phurba), rode a terrifying bear and wore an intricate necklace made of agate and lapis lazuli. It was then that Ekajati once again took action, and subdued them, after which they became Dharma protectors. The male figure became known as Begtse, and the female as his sister. When you propitiate Begtse, his sister is automatically included and aids practitioners as well. As for which lama offer his practice and empowerment, most lamas do not advertise which teachings or practice they hold. Therefore you should respectfully approach lamas and ask them if they have the practice and can bestow it, or if they know of any lamas that have the practice, depending on how much you want to practice Begtse. Similarly, this applies to those lamas who have the practice of Manjushri Nagarakshasa. However, this practice is included in the Rinjung Gyatsa series of empowerments. This unique cycle of teachings, includes all 4 classes of tantric practices, and includes the practice of Manjushri Nagarakshasa. Therefore those lamas who have received the complete transmission, and have kept their commitments for this practice, are qualified to pass this on to others. I hope this explanation helps. Thank you.
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Total of 10 members and friends participated in Kalarupa Puja in Kechara Ipoh chapel on Saturday evening. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
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Total of 10 members and friends participated in Kalarupa Puja in Kechara Ipoh chapel on Saturday evening. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Pastor Gim Lee was explaining the offerings on the altar prior to the start of Kalarupa Puja in Kechara Ipoh chapel. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
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Pastor Gim Lee was explaining the offerings on the altar prior to the start of Kalarupa Puja in Kechara Ipoh chapel. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
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KSDS students age 5-6 doing prostrations to Lama Tsongkhapa. Alice Tay, KSDS
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Teacher Alice guiding students of class 5-6 yrs old to do breathing meditation. Good way to calm our mind. Lin Mun KSDS
Teacher Mien always encourage students to participate in class. Lin Mun KSDS
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Teacher Mien always encourage students to participate in class. Lin Mun KSDS
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Appreciate all the great photographers who spend their time on Sunday dharma class to help us capture the nice moment. Lin Mun KSDS
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Group activities during dharma class. The older students lead the younger ones. Good exercise to train their public speaking skills . Lin Mun KSDS
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Pastor Gim Lee assisted by Kechara Puja Team, conducted a Dorje Shugden puja and blessings at a premise. Lucy Yap
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