The New York Times on Tibetan elections

By | Mar 24, 2016 | Views: 424
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A Tibetan in exile praying at the Tsuglagkhang Temple near Dharamsala, India, on Saturday, the day before the vote. Credit Tsering Topgyal/Associated Press

Mudslinging Trumps the ‘Middle Way’ in Tibetan Exiles’ Election

By GEETA ANAND | MARCH 23, 2016

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/24/world/asia/dalai-lama-tibet-dharamsala.html

DHARAMSALA, India — It is often said that the lower the stakes, the more vicious the politics. And so it might be said of the just-concluded campaign for political leader of the Tibetan government in exile, which, given the exalted status of the Dalai Lama, was a bit like voting for the vice president to a sitting president.

The final round in the second election for a leader of the Central Tibetan Administration, as the exiled Tibetan government is known, concluded last weekend, though the results will not be known until April. Still, the proceedings showed just how hard it is to build a democracy under the leadership of a man who, though 80 years old, semiretired and dedicated to democratic principles, is revered as a Godlike figure by Tibetans.

Largely absent from the discussion in the campaign was the question of how to win freedom for the nearly six million Tibetans living in China, an issue that has consumed the exiled Tibetan community for almost six decades. It is viewed as disrespectful to the man the Tibetans call His Holiness to question the “middle way” strategy that he set in motion nearly 30 years ago, in which he softened his demand for independence, instead seeking self-governance within the Chinese government. It has been an effort to draw China into a dialogue that by most accounts has failed.

Instead, the election devolved into mudslinging and sycophancy. The hot topics were the audacity of the current political leader, Lobsang Sangay, who is running for re-election, to have his portrait displayed in the Washington office, and the drinking habits of his opponent, Penpa Tsering, the speaker of the exiled parliament.

Dhardon Sharling, who was labelled "anti-Dalai Lama" for daring to speak up against the way the elections have been conducted

The campaigns “have been tearing each other apart, harping on petty, trivial issues,” said Dhardon Sharling, 34, a member of the parliament, “when all we should be talking about is how we will resolve Tibetan’s issues, how we’ll take the Sino-Tibetan dialogue forward.”

Mr. Sangay, 48, was on the defensive from the start of his re-election campaign, forced to answer at every stop why he had put his own portrait on the wall of the group’s new Washington office instead of a picture of the Dalai Lama. It did him little good, it seemed, to explain that his portrait had been hung in the basement, and that there were 13 other pictures of the Dalai Lama in the Washington office.

The current Dalai Lama, who is part of the lineage of spiritual leaders of the Tibetan people that dates back to the 14th century, has been championing the cause of democracy for his people since he fled to India in 1959 after China claimed Tibet and began a campaign to repress its religion and culture. (He has refrained from commenting in this campaign, and few people know how closely he was following the dialogue on the elections. His secretaries did not respond to requests for interviews.)

He set up his residence and an exiled government outside of Dharamsala, in northern India. And as he promoted the cause of freedom for the people he had left behind, he gradually relinquished his own political authority. An exiled parliament was set up, a cabinet, and finally, in 2011, the job of an elected political leader, known as the sikyong, a role similar to prime minister.

Even as he gave up his political role, the Dalai Lama retained his position as the spiritual and cultural leader of the Tibetan people. A democratic election for a people without a country is a complicated affair, with voting in more than 40 locations in India, and dozens more around the globe. Registered voters number about 88,000, fewer than in most mayoral elections in the United States.

Mr. Sangay, in an interview in his Dharamsala office, where a life-size picture of the Dalai Lama hangs behind his desk, lamented the endless controversy over the portraits in Washington. “It’s the number one question I’m asked, the number one issue I clarify,” Mr. Sangay said.

In an interview, Mr. Tsering, 50, criticized Mr. Sangay for allowing his own portrait to be displayed, saying his opponent had been “brought up in a very Western style,” in which “image is very important.”

Mr. Tsering blamed his opponent’s supporters for circulating a picture of him at a book party years ago, drinking with friends. “They made it seem like I am always drinking, creating the impression I have a problem,” he said. Someone demanded at a campaign event that he pledge to give up alcohol if elected political leader, which he refused to do, he said, because he does not have a drinking problem.

Even as the free-for-all ensued in the election, a 16-year-old killed himself in early March by settling himself on fire in Dehradun, India, an eight-hour drive from Dharamsala, a reminder of the deep frustration in the exiled community over the lack of progress in winning any measure of freedom in Tibet. One hundred and forty-four Tibetans have killed themselves in this way during the past 20 years.

Despite the absence of their candidates in the election final, there is a vocal minority of voters who refuse to support the middle way strategy, favoring a fight for full independence.

Lukar Jam Atsok, former Sikyong 2016 candidate who was excluded from the elections via rules arbitrarily imposed by the Election Commission

Lukar Jam Atsok, 44, a writer who was imprisoned in China before escaping into India years ago, ran in the preliminary contest for political leader, arguing that the Dalai Lama could be considered a traitor for having given up full independence for Tibet in his negotiations with the Chinese.

“If a person does not believe in independence, whether he’s my father or the Dalai Lama, I do not agree with that person,” he said in Tibetan in an interview. “I am not saying the Dalai Lama is a traitor, but if you consider the political history, then he is one.”

But far from promoting a dialogue, Mr. Atsok’s comments prompted his public condemnation from Mr. Sangay and Mr. Tsering, and he was removed from the final vote. The election commission announced the day after the preliminary ballot that only the top two candidates would remain in the final election, eliminating Mr. Atsok. Sonam Choephel Shosur, the chief election commissioner, said that the only concern was to make the final a two-way runoff, and that the commission had decided on that before the votes were counted in the preliminary round.

Ms. Sharling, the lawmaker, said regardless of the motivation, the election commission’s behavior “made the election smell foul.” She said that Mr. Atsok had gone too far in his criticism of the Dalai Lama, but that pro-independence voices needed to be heard.

“This is binary thinking and is wrong,” said Ms. Sharling. “I fight against it and I get labeled anti-Dalai Lama.”

 

Dear friends,

The New York Times recently published this article providing succinct coverage of the ongoing Tibetan elections. Unlike the Reuters special report, the New York Times coverage was accurate and balanced, using easily identifiable sources of information to highlight aspects where the Tibetan electoral process has fallen short.

The way in which the campaigns have been carried out reflects the petty nature of those involved. Instead of focusing on real issues which affect the Tibetan people, for example education and the preservation of Tibetan culture, the campaigns degenerated into exercises of character assassination.

One would expect that an event of such importance for the Tibetan people would be conducted with some decorum. If however an event of such importance can degenerate into mud-slinging and name-calling, where none of the pertinent issues were discussed, do we need to wonder how day-to-day proceedings in the Tibetan parliament are conducted? Do we need to question why the Tibetan leadership have failed to achieve any of their socio-political objectives over the last 60 years, and have failed to secure the welfare of their people?

Supporters of the Tibetan leadership may argue that democracy is new to Tibetan society, hence the struggle to implement it among their people. If we examine this statement from another angle however, it can also be said that the current state of Tibetan politics reflects an ongoing pattern of corruption and scandal that was brought over from Tibet. After all, pre-1959 Tibet was hardly a model of democracy and there are reports aplenty of a feudally-led, medievally-minded system of punishment and justice.

Hence in the 21st century, the Tibetan leadership are still unable to implement any markers of democracy – for example, elections – without incorporating some aspect of corruption. The chief election commissioner, Sonam Choephel Shosur’s statement is evidence for this – he stated that his only concern is to ensure a two-way runoff, where his real concern should actually be to ensure free and fair elections.

The New York Times article was also a platform for those who have been silenced by the Tibetan leadership. The article highlighted what is probably the most damaging accusation that can be directed against any Tibetan – anything that does not match the views of the establishment is labelled as anti-Dalai Lama, and therefore deemed evil, disloyal and unfit to succeed or lead.

The most prominent example of this is the case of Lukar Jam Atsok who had run his campaign on a platform of full independence for Tibet. This was in stark contrast to the other candidates, who made it known they supported His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Middle Way Approach. After the preliminary ballots, Lukar Jam was removed from the election race, having already been publically condemned by the other candidates as being anti-Dalai Lama.

Similarly, Dhardon Sharling, an incumbent member of parliament, spoke about her experience in speaking up against the election commission’s behaviour. She too noted that she had been labelled as anti-Dalai Lama for daring to speak up against their rulings. Even the incumbent Sikyong himself, Lobsang Sangay, experienced this when it was intimated he is anti-Dalai Lama for not hanging His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s portrait in his Washington office.

(Left to right): Penpa Tsering, Lobsang Sangay and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Appearing in photos with His Holiness is a sure sign of approval by the Tibetan leadership. Those labelled 'anti-Dalai Lama' however, face public condemnation, ridicule and ostracization as Lukar Jam experienced when campaigning to be Sikyong

In countries with a more mature understanding of democracy, this portrait topic would be a non-issue, being so small, insignificant and irrelevant to the welfare of the people. So the fact Lobsang Sangay even had to defend himself on this point, saying he had 13 other portraits hanging elsewhere in the office, is ridiculous. It speaks for the lack of maturity in the Tibetan leadership’s understanding of democratic principles, that such a petty topic could be used by the candidates to distract their people from the lack of discussion of the real issues. It was nothing more than a manipulation of the Tibetan people’s loyalty for His Holiness the Dalai Lama, exploiting this loyalty against them so they would be distracted from asking tough questions like “What are you actually going to do for us and our wellbeing?”

Ms Sharling’s experience also suggests a potentially growing internal conflict among members of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile. Ms Sharling’s criticism is not the first by an incumbent member of parliament. Another recently-former member of parliament, Kalon Dicki Chhoyang, recently resigned from her position as Minister of Information and International Relations so that she could freely express her dissatisfaction and opinions with the way the elections were being conducted. Ms Chhoyang’s feelings towards the elections, her passion for the Tibetan people’s future and her lack of faith in the leadership were all so strong that she felt she had to RESIGN from the leadership in order to speak freely!

For anyone to feel obliged quit so that their views can be taken seriously, and so their views can make a difference, is not a good reflection of the state of the Tibetan leadership.

Given this understanding of the state of the Tibetan leadership, it is clear to see that there is little future for the Tibetan people in exile after His Holiness the Dalai Lama enters clear light. Broad-minded, well-spoken candidates like Ms Chhoyang do not want to get involved with the establishment and do not want to run for the leadership position; those who are broad-minded, well-spoken and DO want to become a leader like Lukar Jam are ostracised and rudely denied the opportunity.

During the preliminary election rounds, it is alleged that the Tibetan leadership pressured various monasteries, groups and individuals to cancel Lukar Jam's speeches and deny him the ability to speak on their premises. It was to send a clear message to the Tibetans that this candidate did not have the support of the Tibetan leadership and the establishment, and the people should therefore not vote for him

So what is in it for Lobsang Sangay and Penpa Tsering then, since other intelligent and broad-thinking individuals are opting out of the race? Why do they cling so hard to the potential to become leader of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile? One cannot help but consider the possibility of benefits and kick-backs from being in the Sikyong position, benefits which Lobsang Sangay and Penpa Tsering apparently value more dearly than other incumbent members of the Tibetan leadership-in-exile.

It would certainly explain why these two fight so hard to retain and / or acquire the Sikyong position, to the point of employing tactics like arbitrary rules designed to exclude other candidates from running. Their motivation is not for the welfare of Tibet and her people. Unlike Ms Chhoyang who quit the leadership to make an impact with her intelligent, incisive speeches to HELP the Tibetan people to decide, Lobsang Sangay and Penpa Tsering continue to fight tooth and nail for the position, strangely without ever uttering a word about what they will do for the Tibetan community!

As the New York Times points out, their manifestos and what they will do for the Tibetan community has been sidelined by petty issues like Lobsang Sangay’s lack of Dalai Lama portraits and Penpa Tsering’s supposed alcoholism. This is also how the welfare of the Tibetan community has been sidelined by the Tibetan leadership for the last 60 years. After all, if there were no perks to the position, the focus would have been the Tibetan people’s welfare. And had their welfare (and not the perks) been the focus, the Tibetan communities throughout India today would not continue to languish after 60 years with poor literacy rates, employment opportunities, and medical and social welfare.

Supporters of the Tibetan leadership should keep in mind that all of this is the result of their investment in the leadership for the last 60 years. Is it wise to continue investing in a regime that has made such little progress in their political and social goals, and a leadership that continues to malign, suppress and ostracise their own people who are deemed to be against the status quo like Lukar Jam, Ms Sharling and Shugden practitioners? If the Tibetan leadership continues to approach divergent views with hostility (much less apprehension and suspicion), they will soon find their supporters decreasing in number, virility and influence.

 

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11 Responses to The New York Times on Tibetan elections

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  1. Chris Chong on Mar 30, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    Dear Rinpoche and Pastor Jean Ai,

    Thank you for sharing this article. It is sad to see that religion had been used as a weapon in political affairs. Due to the selfishness of those people, innocent and faithful devotees have to suffer.

    Tibetans have to have a sense of logical thinking and not blindly follow their faith. Because of their ignorance of what is actually happening around them, this gives those despicable people a chance to manipulate them.
    Ay Dorje Shugden Ban be lifted as soon as possible.

    Chris

  2. Jason on Mar 29, 2016 at 2:53 am

    Thanks Pastor Jean Ai for sharing. From the articles, I found out that CTA really no democracy at all.Mr Lukar jam Atsok been removed from election after he said Dalai Lama is traitor in political. Lukar Jam Atsok always promote independence of CTA .
    From the New York Times, it show that Tibet leadership can’t bring much welfare to Tibetan but corruption is getting higher.why tibetan still trust on Dalai Lama?i wish Tibetan will have a better future by change of leadership .

  3. Datuk May on Mar 28, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    It is clear to note from the observations of the New York Times report on the democratic election of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) there is no choice for the Tibetan people in exile. My opinion is based on the following points:

    1) No one except those who are supposed to be supportive of the existing policies are allowed to be candidates for election to office.

    2) Both Lobsang Sangay and Penpa Tsering are sitting high level officers of the existing government.

    3) Any new candidates that have a notion of what can be different from the last 60 years are not allowed to stand for election.

    4) No news of the real manifesto of the candidates are known except of their personal lack of good conduct. If good conduct is to be considered a virtue for public office, these 2 will probably not qualify.

    5) Resignation of clear thinking Tibetans from the government as they are not impactful in what is right for way forward in negotiations with China.

    Democracy is non existent in this whole pretence of free election and I believe the plight of Tibetans in exile will be soon be an issue that the world will see as just an excuse for corruption and disorder. History will repeat itself and Tibetans in exile will have a future as they have seen of the last 60 years. Very sad.

  4. Uncle Eddie on Mar 28, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    Tibetan elections are said to still reflect an ongoing pattern of corruptions, scandals and character assasination, purportedly brought over from Tibet since pre-1959. Tibet was seen to be hardly a model of democracy, but said to be still having feudally-led medivally system where no election exists without incorporating some aspects of corruptions and unnecessary conflicts. It is said that China is seen moving towards an excellent direction and needs time to work out her democractic principles according to her culture, and not that of the West. China it seems in the past had been accused of suppressing religion, but now seems to give freedom to practise any religion, including our powerful Dharma Protector, Dorje Shugden, which is said to be totally a free and private matter for religious followers or practitioners! China being the biggest economy in the World, officially is known to be an atheist country, but moving towards a more open stance on the liberty of religious practice! Openly shown, 1.2billion people of China have the freedom of religion, with no suppression to whoever they want to practise, even our great protector, Dorje Shugden if anyone so wish. But here on our side, the Ban still exist! Nevertheless, the whole world’s attention is now centered to see a good transformation of Tibet. With China’s awakening and compassionate intentions, Tibet will have a good chance to be restored back to its normalcy, with more autonomous civil rights than before! With such good hope and expectations,may the ban on Dorje Shugden be lifted and end soonest possible for the benefits of all beings! Om Benza Wiki Bitana Soha.

  5. graceleong on Mar 26, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    Lobsang Sangay has been the Sikyong since 2011 and despite all the promises he made to free Tibet, there is yet any sign of such possiblity. As for Penpa Tsering, he was the Speaker of the Tibetan government and most of the news surrounding him is, his alleged personal vices. No wonder the New York Times have to be so forthwright with their report on this current elections. Plus all these undemocratic methods of labelling others “Anti Dalai Lama”. If the Tibetan government and the Dalai Lama truly want to benefit Tibetans then there should open discussion on all the possible issues that are wrong and hence not helping the Tibetans acquire their freedom . There should be no ego protecting tactics like the ones they are using now by not allowing people to express their opinions.
    If mistakes were ignorantly made in the past, amend them. Make positive changes to remove all these high handed methods of pretending they have the solutions and power but in actual fact not.Be humble. Do not discriminate against others like the Dorje Shugden practitioners. Do not create confusion by recognising double Panchen Lamas and double Karmapas. What politics is there that the CTA can play when their representation is but a speck of dust on this Earth !! Be real and do the real things to help your fellow Tibetans know the truth that they have to learn to move on in the best possible manner and NOT LIVE IN THE PAST !! I feel sorry for those who still hold on to the hope of physically having Tibet “free”.
    The freedom is in the mind. The trap is self made. I hope and pray the Tibetans understand this and free themselves from the trap they created for themselves.
    As for the CTA, please have mercy on your people. If you cannot do good the least is please do not add on more sufferings for your people. I am glad the New York Times wrote an honest piece of news to share with the world that will make people think deeper instead of just sympathizing ignorantly.

    With folded hands.

  6. Abby Foo on Mar 26, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    A good analyzing article by New York Times. I hope the exiled Tibetan government remain calm and not labeling New York Times as another “Chinese-paid-media”.

    What we can see from one election for a leader of the exiled Tibetan government:

    1. There is lack of democracy within the exiled Tibetan government, or even authoritarianism is exist within the system as we can see people who questioned or expressed their disagreement towards the governance, like Dhardon Sharling and Lukar Jam Atsok are labeled as “anti-Dalai Lama”

    2. Lukar Jam Atsok, former Sikyong 2016 candidate had been excluded from the elections via rules arbitrarily imposed by the Election Commission because of his daring comments on Dalai Lama’s “Middle Way” policy. There is NO FREEDOM OF SPEECH or FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION.

    3. In order to freely express dissatisfaction and opinions with the way the elections were being conducted, a recently-former member of parliament, Kalon Dicki Chhoyang, recently resigned from her position as Minister of Information and International Relations.

    4. In the whole process of this election campaign, there’s NO MENTION of how to win freedom for the nearly six million Tibetans living in China, an issue that has consumed the exiled Tibetan community for almost six decades. Whether it is full independence or self-governance within the Chinese government, this is not the main point, important issues for example the welfare and future prospects of their own people are not being addressed, but petty, trivial issues are being “debate”, such as Lobsang Sangay’s photo is hung on the wall instead of Dalai Lama’s picture; Penpa Tsering’s drinking habit.

    These 4 points above show the lack of democracy within the exiled Tibetan government and how authoritarianism is being practiced when there are punishments towards the people who disagree or even merely questioning their governance as their governance does not bring results but bring worries to the Tibetans in exile.

    People always see Dorje Shugden issue is just a religion issue, yes it is a religion issue BUT IT IS ALSO A POLITICAL ISSUE. As we can see the pattern of how the exiled Tibetan government will “punish” people who have different view or stance.

    Thus we see the exiled Tibetan government allowing the discrimination and segregation towards Dorje Shugden practitioners and even implementing the unethical ban on Dorje Shugden practice. Yes, the Dalai Lama may “advise” people not to practice Dorje Shugden, but it DOES NOT MEAN the exiled Tibetan government is free to use this as a mean to oppress their own people, as a government to all people, they should protect all of the people regardless their religion and belief.

  7. Sarah on Mar 26, 2016 at 8:17 am

    I agree with Pastor Jean Ai that there is a “lack of maturity in the Tibetan leadership’s understanding of democratic principles”. Well said. The election campaign was reduced to mud-slinging and name calling. Reminds me of the current preliminary election campaign in the U.S., especially on the Republican side. When political leaders avoid the real issues and focus on attacking their rivals on a personal level, it shows their motivation.

  8. Pastor Henry Ooi on Mar 25, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    It is crystal clear the Tibetan leadership use their power to put down anyone whom they deem as not toeing the line,  like for example, Mr Lukar Jam Atsok. Another example is the ridiculous ban on the practice of Dorje Shugden. In the latter case, it is not only one person the Tibetan leadership put down, but hundreds of thousands of innocent people. And for what? Just because these people refused to stop their religious practice.

    Lukar Jam being a writer was too vocal against the Tibetan leadership and too close for comfort. Hence his political career was abruptly ended. I hope Lukar Jam has started planning for a political comeback.

    The Tibetan leadership has given the impression to the world that they only want candidates who are apple polishers, candidates who would not squeal on them. The Tibetan leadership want loyal candidates who kowtow to their demands, and who are immoral to want a slice of the big creamy cake.

    Tibetans can forget what their leadership can do for them, the leadership are too busy taking care of themselves. The people may close an eye if the Tibetan leadership get fatter but the least they can do is to do more to benefit their people instead of dividing them especially with the Dorje Shugden ban.

    Madam Dicki Chhoyang publicly said she will speak more after the elections. I wonder will she? And when?

  9. Stella Cheang on Mar 25, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    A couple of points came to mind:

    The Tibetan exile community consist of not more than 200,000 population whereas there are about 6 million Tibetan people in Tibet, China. It is somewhat unclear to me how a movement that sits outside of Tibet China and have not yield any form of progress in world stage in the past 6 decades, can be considered as still taking the fight for the freedom of 6 million Tibetans seriously. Perhaps this explain the silence on the Sino-Tibet issue.

    While the democracy process could be rather new to the Tibetan in exile community, the trivialness of the election campaign is mind-blogging. To think that this is a body empowered to bring 6million of Tibetans to freedom, but does nothing to secure the welfare of Tibetans. To make matter worse, the election process is tainted by mudslinging. In a nutshell, it is not hard to summarize that the election process and the demonstration of democracy by having a Sikyong is to revere the spiritual and culture leader, HHDL himself.

    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Jean Ai for sharing the insights on the on-going Tibetan election. This New York Times report seems more analytical and neutral by comparison to the Reuter’s piece.

    Humbly, bowing down,
    Stella Cheang

  10. Joy on Mar 25, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    Finally a newspaper reporting on REAL NEWS! Unlike Reuters, NY Times really highlighted the truth about what is really happening with the exile Tibetan leadership and giving us a lot of identifiable examples as evidences. This is just a glimpse of how the Tibetan Leadership have been operating and how they have been manipulating their people, using the Dalai Lama’s name and exploiting people’s loyalty to the Dalai Lama as a means to control and influence them for their own benefit. It really tells us a lot about their ruling and their mindset which is NOT democratic at all and with this kind of leadership, it is no wonder they lost their country. Sorry to say this, but I doubt even if Tibet got her independence back, she would be ruined with this lot running the country as one defends about putting his picture on the wall and the with his alcoholic gatherings. Great examples.

    One good thing that’s coming out of this ridiculous ‘undemocratic’ corrupted election is that Tibetans ARE SPEAKING UP and they now DARE to. Perhaps this is a good thing and why the Dalai Lama stepped down as a political/secular leader and started implementing the Sikyong position. I suppose more and more people are fed-up, especially those who are educated, the youths, the newer generation, those living abroad, they will stand up now because…
    1) they know the Dalai Lama is not going to live forever (sorry to say, but this is reality)
    2) they’ve already lost everything, what more can they lose?
    3) they are already in exile and are refuges, and some migrated to other parts of the globe hence they are already not ‘Tibetan’ citizen, hence they have more freedom of speech
    4) they’ve come to the realsiation that the future of Tibetans lies in their own hands, the choices they make now and the kind of life they wish to live and the kind of leaders they choose to lead them will either bring them down or bring them up… and so far sorry to say they’ve failed in all areas and on top of that they continue to DIVIDE their own people by
    1) banning people’s religious practice (Dorje Shugden)
    2) condemning, suppressing (and perhaps even threatening) those who have an opposing view from the Dalai Lama or anyone who dare to speak up for that matter like Mr. Lukar Jam and Ms Sharling as stated in this article.

    Now the world can get a clearer picture of the so called “compassionate” “democratic” Tibetan Leadership and perhaps from this really help look into the the corrupted leadership and really help Tibetans. Hopefully a change will come soon as more and more dare to speak up, and with that broad minded fair leaders will arise to genuinely work for their people and help preserve their culture.

  11. Frederick Law on Mar 25, 2016 at 2:56 am

    The New York Times article on the Tibetan election is written with broader view of the whole issue plaguing Tibetan, a non bias reporting and with sources that is more credible, compared to Reuters report on Dorje Shugden and China issue which is biased and full of personal agenda of the journalist.

    The recent Tibetan Election of the Sikyong, Tibetan version of Prime Minister is marred by charachter assasination, name calling between two Sikyong candidates. what makes it even worst is the way the electoral system that is being conducted in unfair manners, where the candidate such as Lukar Jam who is consider Anti- Dalai Lama was removed from the election, having publicly condemned His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.

    You see, the two running candidate Penpa Tsering and Lobsang Sangay who are vying for the Sikyong post uses immature manner to tarnish the name the other. They are too focus on their own personal agenda, forgotten the fight for the rights of their own community, how to improve the education and welfare of the Tibetan people in exiled.

    These are the people who uses their authority to their own people, suppress the religious freedom of Dorje Shugden practitioners. Who never find methods to resolve the 19 years old issue on the ban on Dorje Shugden. 60 years in exile, 60 years of bad governance that has torn the Tibetan community apart, and continue to degenerate the beauty of Tibetan Buddhism due to their own selfish agenda.

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KECHARA FOREST RETREAT PROGRESS UPDATES

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

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

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

Noticeboard

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  • Stella Cheang
    Tuesday, May 31. 2016 03:56 PM
    First of all, this is really an important article that Dorje Shugden practitioners of trying times should read and understand. It provides the background on Dharma Protector, the ranks of Dharma Protector, as well as their relationship with the secular State governance.

    Secondly, and more importantly, this article draws parallel between Nechung and Dorje Shugden, which allow us to realize how lucky we are through the blessing of our Lama to be able to rely on enlightened Dharmapala, Dorje Shugden.

    I would like to share the few points that stood out to me:

    1. Dharma Protector’s role is to protect the Buddha’s teachings and its religious institutions against adversaries, to preserve the integrity of its teachings. It will also provide conducive circumstances and methods for practitioners to overcome inner enemies, negative emotions and outer difficulties.

    2. In our belief, Dharmapala are divided into 2 groups: a) supramundane protectors; who are usually emanations of enlightened beings and are beyond the six-realms of existence, naturally they are higher ranking than those of mundane nature. And, b) mundane protectors; who are resides within the six-realms of existence.

    3. Supramundane protector can appear in 2 forms: a) supramundane form such as Kalarupa, Palden Lhamo, Mahakala, and b) those who manifest in mundane forms like Setrap, Kache Marpo and Dorje Shugden.

    4. Pehar Gyalpo was originally from ancient Persia, he was bound by an oath to protect Tibetan Buddhism by Guru Rinpoche together with various other spirits. Pehar Gyalpo was installed as the guardian of the first Buddhist monastery in Tibet, Samye monastery.

    5. Dorje Dragden is Pehar’s main minister, and through him Pehar began to communicate with the Tibetan government and its subjects through a medium who became known as the Nechung Oracle.

    6. Nechung Oracle is the State Oracles to the Tibetan government. Since the 16th century, State Oracles like Nechung have served as advisors to the Dalai Lamas and provided counsel on important decisions, especially those that concerned national security or religious expansion.

    7. Nechung Oracle has a track record of inaccurate predictions and there is a general belief that the trances by the Nechung Oracle are not really of Pehar Gyalpo or that Pehar Gyalpo’s pronouncements cannot be relied upon.

    8. René de Nebesky-Wojkowitz in his book Oracles and Demons of Tibet gave a clear indication that Pehar Gyalpo, through his many centuries of serving HHDL, he will achieve full enlightenment no longer stand as the chief of worldly Dharma Protectors. When he step downDorje Shugden will then take over his role, rising to be the next great protector of our time and the ‘chief Dharmapala of Tibet’ which means that he will be the most prominent Buddhist protector of the Tibetan Buddhist lineages.

    As such, all thies feud that was created for Dorje Shugden is really unnecessary. We should take a step back and realize that Dorje Shugden has become extremely popular the world over despite the controversy. As the Dalai Lama bans Dorje Shugden, he is still being worshipped in centers worldwide and especially growing in China. It could be true that Nechung and Dorje Shugden are working hand-in-hand for the sole purpose to protect the Dharma, especially the special teachings of Lama Tsongkhapa’s lineage.

    Thank you very much Rinpoche and Pastor Adeline for bringing this important piece of teaching to us in an organized and easy to understand manner.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/nechung-the-retiring-devil-of-tibet.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Tuesday, May 31. 2016 03:05 PM
    This is a truly amazing deck of fun facts about animals. I enjoy reading it very much as well as learning a great deal about animals that I never knew before. For example:
    1. Sharks cannot develop cancer – wow! I hope this is NOT the reason why people love shark fins.
    2. Oyster can change gender – what an ability!
    3. Octopuses have 9 brains – I wish we can too, then we can multitask better.

    Thank you Rinpoche and Beatrix for this article. It is very entertaining.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/amazing-things-you-didnt-know-about-them.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Tuesday, May 31. 2016 02:56 PM
    This is truly a good beginning for a new chapter for animals. I rejoice that New Zealand is the first country in the world to recognize that animal, like us, human, are worthy of respect. By passing amendment on New Zealand’s Animal Welfare Bill, now New Zealander officially recognize all animals as sentient beings; i.e. have feelings in the same way that we, human, do. New Zealand had also passed bill on making it illegal for animal cruelty & abuse, animal research & testing, as well as all form of hunting and capture of wild animals.

    Congrats to New Zealander! You have brought humane and compassion to a new level in human history.

    Thank you Rinpoche for bringing this meaningful news to us. I hope more countries will follow New Zealand’s footstep, especially countries like China, South Korea, Vietnam, Spain who condone animal cruelties just to satisfy the human enjoyment or taste bud.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/new-zealand-officially-recognizes-all-animals-as-sentient-beings.html
  • sonny tan
    Tuesday, May 31. 2016 10:28 AM
    sonny tan on May 31, 2016 at 10:27 am
    Thank you Pastor Antoinette, your article on rats, mice is indeed very intriguing and absorbing. I remembered way back that some people uses cages to trap the rats and when captured they pour hot water over the rats. It is actually a very inhuman and very cruel way of disposing these rats. Your article illustrate some very good preventive method which hopefully can be adopted so that less killing can be seen and karma not created. I have on many occassion disallowed it whenever I come across such methods being used by my own household people. I would volunteer to take this cage with the rats in it and release it somewhere faraway. By doing so it will also prevent them from creating unnecessary karma for themselves.
  • Yeo Kwai Gin
    Tuesday, May 31. 2016 01:11 AM
    Yeo Kwai Gin on May 30, 2016 at 10:11 pm
    财王金泽乃是多杰雄登的“增长”相,全身黄色,骑宝马。
    诚心恳求金泽,我们就能够祈请增长力量来到我们生活中,例如财富、寿命以及所有善德。
    克切拉禅修林的财王庙,现在已经开始有来自马来西亚各州的游客和新加坡的游客到来参观和祈福。修行上的人,诚心念诵心咒和祈愿文,有效地为他们解除生活上的障碍,累积资粮,让他们在修行的道路上更加精进与顺利。
    感谢詹杜固仁波切把财王带给我们,让每一个人都可以得到祂的加持与庇护。

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/students-friends/gyenze-chapel-chinese.html
  • Lin Mun
    Monday, May 30. 2016 09:26 PM
    Thank you Pastor David for sharing the Cittamani Tara in detailed.

    My understanding from this article is as follows :

    1) Cittamani Tara is a one of the tantric practice.
    2) A tantric practice is a transmission of a pure lineage and with guru devotion.
    3) All Buddhist practices, including tantric practices are built on and depend on the keeping of one’s refuge vows.
    4) I do not agree on the accusation that Dorje Shugden is a demon. It is a practice that is transmitted from the a pure lineage, so how can it be wrong. It does not make sense that all high lamas that practice Dorje Shugden is wrong because it is being transmitted from their Guru.

    I hope more people will understanding that the ban on Dorje Shugden is not right and the accusation is wrong.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/cittamani-tara.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Monday, May 30. 2016 09:20 PM
    Cittamani Tara is an important practice, not because of the mere status of the teaching that belongs to the highest yoga tantra, but also because of the lineage masters. In order for Cittamani Tara’s tantric practice to lead to attainments, practitioner has to invoke the blessing of all the lineage Gurus. But since some of the lineage Gurus practice the teaching of Dorje Shugden, who had been nullified by HHDL and the Tibetan in Exile leadership, then the Cittamani Tara lineage teaching will not be valid. If the teaching of Cittamani Tara is invalid, then why would HHDL and high lamas Gelugpa School went around the world to give initiation of Cittamani Tara? This is something serious for us to ponder on.

    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor David for this rich article; it is thought provoking when we draw parallel with Dorje Shugden practice.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/cittamani-tara.html
  • Pastor Adeline
    Monday, May 30. 2016 04:08 AM
    Such an interesting post, Beatrix. There are so many interesting facts that never crossed my mind and I am glad you share them with us. I always remember that goldfish have a short memory few seconds, that’s why they can live in a small glass tank amusing themselves with the views which always seems new and interesting for them. I mean few seconds of memory means things are always new to them. Hence, we always use “a goldfish memory” on someone who had a bad memory, hehe! Thank you kindly for sharing with us.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/amazing-things-you-didnt-know-about-them.html#comment-717341
  • Jason
    Monday, May 30. 2016 02:49 AM
    I heard Toyols very long time ago especially from Thailand. Some says Toyols can help the master to bring more business or wealth .I really don’t agree with those take advantage of Toyols. S/he is in spirit /ghost realm, we should help them to transcend spirit realm. The jobs given by their master will create more negative karma because most of the job are self benefits.
    Thanks Pastor Shin for the clear write up and let us know the way to tame s/he and protect ouself from Toyols by recite Dorje Shugden mantra.

    Jason
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/toyols-the-child-spirits.html#comment-717318

  • Lin Mun
    Sunday, May 29. 2016 09:00 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article.

    I respect the Markham government in enforcing laws to make the ban on Shugden illegal. This law is against those who use the conflict of the practice of Protector Dorje Shugden to incite religious discriminations, create social conflicts, destroy national unity, and attempt to split the motherland.

    It is extremely important to have this law. Everyone has human rights and religios freedom. The segregation and discrimination have bring lots of suffering to Dorje Shugden practioners.

    With more of this article being shared via social media, I hope more people are aware of this unfair treatment and will help lift the ban.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/markam-illegal-to-create-conflict.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Sunday, May 29. 2016 07:43 PM
    Thank you very much for your kind comment. We are really appreciative of your continuous support to Kechara Dharma Sunday School. Many parents are not aware of the importance of letting young children receive Dharma values at the onset of life, to develop a proper sense of values that emphasis on self-effort, self-control, and respect for others. And it is precisely these sets of values that I have observed from your 3 beautiful, kind and gifted children. From time to time, I noticed they are not shy to focus out and help others during lessons and after classes. They are also polite and have good manners. Even the more timid little one has become cheerful and participates in activities.

    On the other hand, Kechara Sunday Dharma School will not cease to bring Buddha’s Dharma that the teachers learnt from His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche to children in an innovative and unconventional manner. Learning Dharma can be fun and enjoyable too.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/volunteer-as-pre-school-dharma-teacher.html
  • Vijaya K Pandji
    Sunday, May 29. 2016 05:28 PM
    Hello,
    I have watched Rinpoche talk on commitments after receiving Vajrayogini initiation and he mentions making available a tantra implement sheet ..!!! Can you tell me where I might find this on your blog? Or could you send me a email with an attachment of this sheet?
    Thank you very much
    Vijaya
  • Alice Tay
    Saturday, May 28. 2016 11:45 PM
    这是一篇很特别的博文有关夏威夷女神~Pele的故事。非常感谢仁波切的分享,因为这是本人第一次接触与知道Pele女神的存在。

    据说Pele女神在夏威夷是非常著名以及备受人崇拜。每当游客想从夏威夷那里收集或取走一些石块或泥土等等,Pele女神就会让他们发恶梦或陷入一些困难的情况,直到他们回来,然后放回去他们当时拿走的东西为止。除此,夏威夷人还特别安排的一些仪式来向Pele女神祈祷。因为他们相信Pele女神是非常快速和有效的回应。

    虽然Pele女神或是当地的土神,山神等等都不是证悟者,但我们也必需要尊重他们。因为他们就像护法神一样,有重大的责任那就是保护他们的地区不受外界来的破坏或毁灭。

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/pele-hawaiian-goddess.html
  • samfoonheei
    Saturday, May 28. 2016 06:15 PM
    Dear Beatrix Ooi
    Thanks for sharing this interesting article.I didn’t know at all till i read it.
    Do agree with you that kindness is the greatest wisdom.
    Thanks again.http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/amazing-things-you-didnt-know-about-them.html
  • sonny tan
    Friday, May 27. 2016 10:31 AM
    sonny tan on May 27, 2016 at 10:26 am

    Thank you Pastor Han Nee for this review I bought this book on the advice of Pastor Tat Meng as I was guru hopping for quite sometime not knowing what’s guru devotion. I purchased this book at KP Sunway even though it was a browsing copy.
    Rinpoche indepth explanation clearly define the objectives, repercussion and advice of this important step we take in defining our religious pursuit.
    Pastor Adeline also advise me on the importance of lineage when seeking a guru, this important and pretty much overlooked aspect did not crossed my mind when I requested to be a disciple with my previous master. Upon acceptance by my previous master, vows were made as it is a prerequisite to discipleship. I mentioned to Pastor Adeline that I am keen to seek refuge in Rinpoche and ask her whether I am eligible knowing my predicament she advise me to seek blessings from my previous master to offically release me.
    I went through several steps and measures to seek my previous master blessings and also request a official release letter and finally after about two months they officially requested back my discipleship card and release me as a disciple.
    Though I have not been granted a refuge by Rinpoche up to this moment but I remembered he says that if my devotion is from my sincere heart it can be done by just with folded palms silently wish for a refuge at the altar.
    Coming from a Hinanaya background whenever I do my prayers and meditation the first salutation I do is to seek refuge in Lord Buddha followed by his dhamma and sangha. Thank you, Sadhu, sadhu, sadhu

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CREDITS

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

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

Tsem Rinpoche

What Am I Writing Now


 

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.
yesterday
Vajradharma. In Vajra Yogini's tantra, we always visualize our root teacher in this form. We should see him in his divine form. 
yesterday
These are the tantric implements that a Tantrika must carry with them everywhere they go as part of their commitment
2 days ago
Myself walking with my teacher the then abbot fo Gaden Shartse Monastery. H.E. Kensur Rinpoche Jampa Yeshe and I was leaving the main prayer hall of Gaden Shartse and walking through the debate courtyard.
2 days ago
Emperor Kangxi's official state seal
2 days ago
Such a beautiful Yamantaka Statue
3 days ago
Grand looking painting of the Gelug Savant His Holiness Chankgya Rolpai Dorje
4 days ago
My shrine in Los Angeles back in 2014. I just came across this picture from: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/etc/look-what-i-found.html
4 days ago
Very unique art work of Dorje Shugden
6 days ago
Beautiful 7ft Tara arrives today. See the beautiful picture and video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Okk8P3WIWFo
1 week ago
35 Confessional Buddhas
2 weeks ago
Please do not hate us
2 weeks ago
Beautiful statue [image: Inline image 1]
2 weeks ago
Such a stunning White Tara!
3 weeks ago
Neerja's mother accepting the highest award in India on behalf of her daughter. Her daughter's bravery saved 300 people. Her strength, compassion and presence of mind during great tragedy earned Neerja a deep place in our hearts forever. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Goddes supreme, with a wave of your right hand the 84,000 demonic interfering beings are repelled. With the powerful umbrella you hold in your left grants supreme protection upon your devotees. Although beautiful to behold you are fully attained and beyond samsara and a perfect refuge. Grant us protection, love and wisdom with your sacred mantra powerful Dukkar Goddess. ~Tsem Rinpoche 
3 weeks ago
I love Japan so much. The water is so blue and clean. The landscape is so magical. It's such a beautiful country and a great place to engage in meditational retreats.
3 weeks ago
A good meme by Pastor Seng Piow!
3 weeks ago
Gaden Jangtse Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Chojor together with Tsem Rinpoche in Gaden Monastery
3 weeks ago
May 31, 1990, the day Tsem Rinpoche was enthroned formally in Gaden Shartse Monastery
3 weeks ago
Panglung Oracle in trance back in 1925
3 weeks ago
More lamas/Tibetans are speaking up. This has nothing to do with Dorje Shugden ban although it helps the Dorje Shugden cause because there is more unrest and disharmony from many sectors within Tibetans showing the world so many are unhappy with the leadership.-Lodreu Rabsel Rinpoche's strong letter to the Dalai Lama regarding giving religious freedom within the Karma Kagyu sect of Buddhism is a MUST READ- and he is applauded as courageous for writing this: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=99364
4 weeks ago
The beautiful truth
4 weeks ago
Manjushri notes
4 weeks ago
Karma Kagyu’s Lodreu Rabsel Rinpoche asks the Dalai Lama for Religious Freedom-This is explosive-Must read! http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=99364
4 weeks ago
The place where Lord Tsongkapa's holy remains are housed for pilgrims to visit in Gaden Monastery Tibet.
4 weeks ago
How death is so near, yet I cherish my ego more than my guru, more than his instructions and my protector. They are the only ones significant at death for me and yet I still think I have time. Tsem Rinpoche 
1 month ago
Would be so nice to live in an area where Bigfoot is prevalent and sighted. That would include mountains and lakes too.
1 month ago
Because of the ban against Dorje Shugden followers started in 1996, 700 monks had to cut from Sera Mey Monastery and start this new monastery. This new Serpom Monastery located in South India still suffers tremendous hatred and prejudice, but the brave monks continue their practice and lineage.
1 month ago
Vietnamese monk who self immolated hoping to bring change in his country. He sacrificed his life and sat still during the immense pain of his body burning.
1 month ago
Protector of the Sakya School of Buddhism, Gonpo Gur or Mahakala Panjarnata
1 month ago
Such a wondrous place to be with such a view that heals the soul. Why live in a city where it is unnatural and polluted. Everyday in the city is a day away from where we belong. We belong among the greens, forest, mountains and clean air. We belong in such a place and doing our retreats, sadhanas and mantras to find the ultimate place of belonging and peace....the ultimate place is within us with a developed spiritual mind. Hard to achieve among distractions in the city. 
1 month ago
This is the five foot Arya Avalokitesvara statue I have offered Gaden Shartse Monastery many years ago. It still graces the main prayer hall of Gaden Shartse Monastery.
1 month ago
Painting of 31st Sakya Trizin Kunga Lodro- Did you know that 7 of the great throneholders of the Sakya lineage of Tibetan Buddhism practiced Dorje Shugden and even composed extensive prayers to him? Take a look here and see what you can learn: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=98227
1 month ago
This is a good motto to work by within a team.
1 month ago
Beautiful painting of Pandit Naropa
1 month ago
Beautiful painting of Lord Buddha's miraculous birth.
1 month ago
Beautiful image of Tara.
1 month ago
This is a good read. Evocative and memory filled: http://www.davidlai.me/2015/04/20/memory-of-the-vw-van/
2 months ago
Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche and Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
It was nice to meet them.
2 months ago
Good friends came to visit me. I was happy to see them as they have brave hearts and pure samaya. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
Lef to right: Cousin Tsagan, dad, Aunt Meda, mom, sister Lidshma, cousin Liz, Aunt Elena, friend from France and Susie in Green dress. People whom I am fond of from the distant past..
2 months ago
Some friends went on a spiritual pilgrimage to Nepal recently and when they returned they gifted me with these wonderful books on Yeti/Bigfoot which I don't have. Wow! I like to thank Ms. Yee Lee, Mr. Swee Keong, Ms. Phoebe Yong, Mr. CK Siah & Ms. Wei Theng for their generosity and indulging me in my bigfoot hobby. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
The famous 5th Panglung Oracle
2 months ago
Mysterious print of Pelden Hlamo the Goddess protector
2 months ago
This is a thangka of Cittamani Tara where her body mandala appears clearly. This image was circulated back in Thubten Dhargye Ling when HH Zong Rinpoche taught her sacred practice which was a pure vision of Thapu Dorje Chang. Thapu Dorje Chang received this practice in a pure vision. He was the guru of Pabongka Rinpoche.
2 months ago
Beautiful article on the Drigung Kagyu Achi Chokyi Drolma: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=94766
2 months ago
Tsem Rinpoche making offerings of robes to Lord Buddha in Bodhgaya
Click on "View All Photos" above to view more images

Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • Dorje Shugden oracle taking trance in China
    2 weeks ago
    Dorje Shugden oracle taking trance in China
  • Dorje Shugden oracle taking trance in China
    2 weeks ago
    Dorje Shugden oracle taking trance in China
  • Taking Trance
    2 weeks ago
    Taking Trance
  • See what humans can do
    3 months ago
    See what humans can do
  • Shocking undercover video shows animal abuse at 'humane cert
    3 months ago
    Shocking undercover video shows animal abuse at 'humane cert
  • Video reveals what goes on inside 'humane slaughterhouse' in
    3 months ago
    Video reveals what goes on inside 'humane slaughterhouse' in
  • People can really live their lives to save others. This is a good way to live. Beautiful video.
    4 months ago
    People can really live their lives to save others. This is a good way to live. Beautiful video.
  • -
    6 months ago
    All beings have feelings and do not want pain, to be hurt or harmed. Therefore we must respect this and not harm animals. See this video how this man has made good friends with a special fish who comes when he rings for the fish. Touching. Tsem Rinpoche
  • -
    8 months ago
    HH the Dalai Lama prays with HH Trijang Rinpoche and HH Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. Such a beautiful video of His Holiness Dalai Lama, His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and His Holiness Dilgo Kyentse Rinpoche (Very exalted high Nyingma lama) are all praying together. In the background you see a young Kyabje Lati Rinpoche too. So beautiful. This is how it was before the ban. All the sects and high lamas were superbly harmonious. After the Dorje Shugden ban things changed for the worse. May the ban be released soon. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Nice Dorje Shugden rock painting
    9 months ago
    Nice Dorje Shugden rock painting
  • His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche teaches the truth of life and our impeding death.
    9 months ago
    His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche teaches the truth of life and our impeding death.
  • A kind message from Mr. Tsering Wangchuk to me. Thank you so much. Tsem Rinpoche
    9 months ago
    A kind message from Mr. Tsering Wangchuk to me. Thank you so much. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Mr Chatreng Yeshe's message to me (Part 1)
    9 months ago
    Mr Chatreng Yeshe's message to me (Part 1)
  • Mr Chatreng Yeshe's message to me (Part 2)
    9 months ago
    Mr Chatreng Yeshe's message to me (Part 2)
  • His Holiness Trijang Rinpoche accepts Long Life puja
    10 months ago
    His Holiness Trijang Rinpoche accepts Long Life puja

ASK A PASTOR


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.

  • May 30, 2016 00:06
    Thorim asked: Is there a pratice to deal with social anxiety/ "bad" inhibition? Yet it is really hard for me to enjoy party and people with this anxiety that arise when I'm in public, it also make it difficult to help people with compassion in public, for example if a person fall and that there is a lot of people around, I have a really big "freeze" because of the social anxiety. Thanks
    No reply yet
  • May 29, 2016 05:01
    Lukas asked: What would happen if such a thing like everyone is nice and passionated about his "opponent" would become "reality" on this earth? Obviously theoretically lol My narcistic mind forces me to put reality and opponent in quotes duality you know. I'm a wise human being so (*word removed by admin*) reflected hah PS: I like you but seem a bit crazy try some of my western medicine my doctor is very patient about my neuroses and anger managment attempts...
    No reply yet
  • May 28, 2016 04:05
    Bradley asked: On page 43 of the Diamond Path. It states DS's emenations are endowed with the 27 enlightened activities, may I ask what are the 27?
    pastor answered: Dear Bradley, Thank you for your question. The verse you are referring to is the first verse of the Praise to Dorje Shugden:
    “Though gone to the state of the Sugatas countless aeons ago, In order to benefit the teachings and migrators, as whatever tames beings, Your hundreds of emanations are endowed with the 27 enlightened activities; Praise to the pervading lord, mighty Dorje Shugden.”
    These twenty-seven enlightened activities are enumerated in the last verses of Chapter Eight of the Abhisamayalankara taught by Maitreya to Arya Asanga. It is commonly called the Ornament of Clear Realisation in English. This text is of great importance to most Tibetan Buddhist lineages and in the Lam Rim Chenmo, or Great Stages on the Path to Enlightenment, Lama Tsongkhapa actually states that it is the root text of the Lam Rim tradition as founded by Jowo Dipamkara Atisha. This text is still one the five great texts studied by monks in the Geshe programme throughout Gelug monasteries. A thorough explanation of these twenty-seven points is a topic of intense philosophical study, however I have listed them below:
    1. The enlightened being performs deeds that appease beings in the Six Realms (God Realm, Demi-god Realm, Human Realm, Animal Realm, Hungry Ghost Realm and Hell Realm).
    2. Bringing sentient beings to the Dharma using four ways: generosity, using good speech, training them according to their level of intelligence and in stages, and by practicing what they teach.
    3. Having the understanding of what defilements are and the methods of purifying them.
    4. The true character of their activities for the benefit of all sentient beings, which is from the basis of realising that all sentient beings do not exist inherently.
    5. The practice of the Six Perfections: generosity, morality, patience, joyous effort, concentration and wisdom.
    6. Teaching the virtuous path to Buddhahood, which is the abandonment of the 10 non-virtues: killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, divisive speech, harsh words, idle talk, covetousness, ill-will and wrong view.
    7. The practice of insight into the emptiness of all phenomena.
    8. The non-dual nature of all phenomena.
    9. The understanding that all dharmas as being merely conventional symbols.
    10. The insight into the absence of a basis in all dharmas.
    11. The maturing of living beings along their spiritual path through skilful means.
    12. The path of a Bodhisattva.
    13. The systematic effort to block all inclinations to make realistic assumptions.
    14. The attainment of enlightenment.
    15. A residence in various Buddha-fields.
    16. Displaying the form of a being who is to take only one more rebirth, thereby ensuring the attainment of enlightenment.
    17. Working tireless for the benefit of all sentient beings in cyclic existence.
    18. The virtuous acts which consist in looking after all beings.
    19. The limbs of enlightenment.
    20. The condition in which the fruits of his actions are never lost, diminish or extinguished.
    21. The vision of true reality, knowing all phenomena of experience.
    22. The forsaking of all perverted views.
    23. The cognition which allows the understanding of the method which allows him to forsake the perverted views assuming the absence of all entities.
    24. The state of complete purity.
    25. The ability to have various forms to engage in various activities, which results from his pure condition.
    26. The comprehension of the non-distinction between conditioned and unconditioned phenomena.
    27. Nirvana – full and complete enlightenment.
    When listing them out completely, it can get somewhat overwhelming to understand how this relates to us as practitioners. In order to make them more relatable, they have been categorised into three parts, which make us understand them better:
    1. Activities through which the Buddhas bring beings to the Dharma.
    2. Activities through which the Buddhas help sentient beings to practice the Dharma.
    3. Activities through which the Buddhas help sentient beings to achieve enlightenment.
    In essence, all the emanations of Dorje Shugden display the above twenty-seven activities. In brief these bring people to the Dharma, help beings practice the Dharma and ultimately help beings gain full and complete enlightenment themselves. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • May 27, 2016 02:34
    T asked: Is there a teaching to deal with insomnia and fatigue?
    pastor answered: Dear T, Both insomnia and fatigue can be caused by a worried or stressed mind, if not from physical exhaustion. In this case, one needs to calm the mind and relax the body in order to ease insomnia and fatigue. There are many techniques that can help with this. I’ll mention two here. The first is mental quiescence meditation or single pointed concentration meditation. Even with this there are many methods you can use, but to make it simple, you can use the breath as your focus. This is known as breathing meditation. To practice this, sit in a quiet place either cross legged or in a chair if you prefer. And simply become aware of your breathing, concentrating on the space between your upper lip and your nose. Gently become aware of breathing in and out. If any thought comes into your mind, do not get carried away with the thought, but simply bring your focus back to your breathing and let the thought disappear by itself. There are other more advanced methods once you are familiar with breathing meditation, which can be found in texts such as Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand by Pabongka Rinpoche (Day 21), which concentrates on a visualised image of Buddha Shakyamuni instead of the breath. But one things to remember is that meditation can be difficult for people, so it is better to start with short sessions, not longer than 5-10 minutes at first. Gradually over time you will be able to increase this time frame. The key to meditation is to consistently engage in it every day. This shouldn’t be difficult because it is only 5-10 minutes long. The second is to engage in the Guru Yoga of Lama Tsongkhapa, concentrating on the recitation of the Mig Tse Ma mantra. This is an extremely beneficial practice as it invokes upon the energies and blessings of Lama Tsongkhapa, and helps to significantly calm the mind, even if we are not consciously aware how troubled our mind is. Concentrating on the mantra recitation also acts as focus for single pointed concentration as well. You can watch a commentary to this practice by His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/tsongkapas-daily-practice-video-commentary.html. If you are interested in this practice, there is a box set which can help you start the practice available here: http://www.vajrasecrets.com/tsongkhapa-boxset-english and a written commentary available here: http://www.vajrasecrets.com/tsongkhapa-a-simple-guide-to-a-powerful-practice. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • May 26, 2016 04:00
    Thori asked: Thanks for your answer. But when you say "This can be coupled with various visualisations during the mantra recitations as well."what visualisations should I do, for example for the sadhana "DISSOLVING JE RINPOCHE INTO OURSELVES"? Other question, can the Sadhana be recitated in english? Andn we must recite them with high voice or can it be recitated simply in the mind? Thanks!
    pastor answered: Dear Thorim, For the visualisations of the Guru Yoga of Lama Tsongkhapa, during which you recite the Mig Tse Ma mantra, His Eminence 25th Tsem Rinpoche has given a very good commentary on the practice, available to watch here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/tsongkapas-daily-practice-video-commentary.html The most common forms of visualisations for this practice can be found in the book ‘TSONGKHAPA – A Simple Guide to a Powerful Practice’ which is available at any Kechara Paradise outlet in Malaysia, or can be invited only here: http://www.vajrasecrets.com/tsongkhapa-a-simple-guide-to-a-powerful-practice. This includes the visualisations on gaining the Seven Wisdoms, as well as other visualisations. These visualisations are excellent, as they not only help a person achieve meditative stabilisation, but invoke the blessings and energy of Lama Tsongkhapa. As for the Sadhana, it does not need to be recited in Tibetan. It can be recited in English or any other language. In fact, I would suggest, as you start your practice that you recite in the language you are familiar with, as you will be able to understand the words and meaning of each verse clearer. Later on, if you want, you can start reciting in Tibetan. Sadhanas and especially mantras should be recited out aloud, but softly. Sadhanas and mantras are not recited in the mind, but spoken. For mantras as they are the form of the Buddhas in sound, they should be softly vocalised. I hope this helps.
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