The New York Times on Tibetan elections

By | Mar 24, 2016 | Views: 464
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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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About Pastor Elena Khong Jean Ai

Writer. Blogger. Non-conformist and contemporary. Kechara’s youngest Buddhist Pastor. The smiling nun-to-be. Proud student of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche. Lover of cheese and bad puns. You can find more of her writing at www.elenakhong.com.
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14 Responses to The New York Times on Tibetan elections

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  1. Tsem Rinpoche on Sep 15, 2016 at 3:14 am

    Trode Khangsar Chapel in Lhasa, Tibet

    Over 400 years ago a great and learned lama Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen was famed in Mongolia, Tibet, Nepal and China for being very saintly and compassionate. He resided in his residence (Zimkhang Gongma Ladrang) in Drepung Monastery. His root guru was H.H. the Omniscient 4th Panchen Lama and his close dharma brother was the 5th Dalai Lama.

    The 5th Dalai Lama and Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen had a very close and dharmic relationship and often went to receive teachings together from the 4th Panchen Lama. They were close in age. They both became very learned and well known. During this time, the Dalai Lama was enthroned as a Dharma King of Tibet. But more people went to see Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen for teachings, initiations and divinations. This made the attendants of the 5th Dalai Lama feel threatened that Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen’s fame might usurp the power of the 5th Dalai Lama. So they had a khata forced down his throat. At that moment, Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen dissolved his psychic winds and generated the wish to be a great guardian of Buddha and Tsongkapa’s teachings. As his consciousness dissolved, he entered ‘bardo’ as a dharma protector of the highest order (jikten depey sungma). Many signs were seen throughout Lhasa at this time and the earth was said to have shaken in Lhasa. This event was already predicted to Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen’s previous incarnation when he was one of the 8 main disciples of Lord Tsongkapa the Supreme Master and he served Tsongkapa directly by building Gaden Monastery.

    When the 5th Dalai Lama heard what his scheming and power-hungry attendants had done, he was very distressed. He was very sorry Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen was murdered and dishonored as he was a great dharma master. The 5th Dalai Lama composed an apology to Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen. In Lhasa, tens of thousands gathered for the cremation of Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen’s holy body. During the cremation, the 5th Dalai Lama’s apology was read out at which flames spontaneously arose from the body of Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen commencing the cremation. From the body, during cremation, a powerful whirlwind of smoke tunneled into the sky for all to see as this was an indication Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen’s consciousness has arisen as the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden. The Dharma Protector Setrap immediately recognized this new protector Dorje Shugden and ‘enthroned’ him as a powerful Dharma Protector in the realm of the Buddhas. From this, Setrap and Dorje Shugden are closely connected and very close working hand in hand always. After the cremation, the great 5th Dalai Lama built a Dorje Shugden chapel on the spot the cremation took place and named it Trode Khangsar. The 5th Dalai Lama commissioned the statue of Dorje Shugden in this chapel and had monks installed in the chapel to do continuous propitiations to Dorje Shugden. Trode Khangsar Chapel was a commemoration to Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen who was wronged and also a celebration of his consciousness arising as the World Peace Peace Protector Dorje Shugden.

    This Trode Khangsar Chapel still exists now in Lhasa where many make pilgrimages there. It is in good condition and was recently renovated. It is over 400 years old and a testimony to the respect the Great 5th Dalai Lama had to Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen who arose as Dorje Shugden.

    I have visited this holy chapel in Lhasa years back. I’ve never heard of it till I was in Lhasa and by chance, I was told about it which I was happy to visit. I could not find the place but strangely a bunch of pilgrims from Amdo told me they would show me how to get there in Lhasa.

    This short video is a short clip of this holy Trode Khangsar Chapel in Lhasa today commemorating Dorje Shugden, built by the great 5th Dalai Lama. The great 5th Dalai Lama even composed a prayer to Dorje Shugden which is still available today and we can recite to invoke the blessings, protection, and assistance of World Peace Protector Dorje Shugden.

    Tsem Rinpoche


    Read more: Trode Khangsar – A 400-year-old Dorje Shugden Chapel in Lhasa
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/trode-khangsar-%E2%80%93-a-400-year-old-dorje-shugden-chapel-in-lhasa.html

    Short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTybDwTeLAM

    __________________________________

    The 5th Dalai Lama’s Prayer to Dorje Shugden

    HUM
    Though unmoving from the sphere of primordial spontaneity,
    With wrathful turbulent power, swifter than lightning,
    Endowed with heroic courage to judge good and bad,
    I invite you with faith, please come to this place!

    Robes of a monk, crown adorned with rhinoceros leather hat,
    Right hand holds ornate club, left holds a human heart,
    Riding various mounts such as nagas and garudas,
    Who subdues the mamos of the charnel grounds, praise to you!

    Samaya substances, offerings and torma, outer, inner and secret,
    Favourite visual offerings and various objects are arranged.
    Although, previously, my wishes were a bit dense,
    Do not stop your powerful apparitions, I reveal and confess!

    Now respectfully praising with body, speech, and mind,
    For us, the masters, disciples, benefactors and entourages,
    Provide the good and avert the bad!
    Bring increase like the waxing moon in spiritual and temporal realms!

    Moreover, swiftly accomplishing all wishes,
    According to our prayers, bestow the supreme effortlessly!
    And like the jewel that bestows all wishes,
    Always protect us with the Three Jewels!

    From: http://www.dorjeshugden.org/practice/the-5th-dalai-lamas-prayer-to-dorje-shugden

    Tibetan prayer from: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/the-14th-dalai-lamas-prayer-to-dorje-shugden.html

  2. Wan Wai Meng on Aug 21, 2016 at 2:54 am

    It is in the best ‘self’ interest of the people within CTA to keep their people, the Tibetans in exile who are ignorant and not aware of the reality of how dire their situation truly is.

    There are no high levels or low levels negotiation between, China and CTA, so what kind of hope is there for the Tibetans in exile?

    I also think, there is a calculated reason why the 2 candidates did not have clear manifestoes of how they wish to benefit the Tibetan, they have no idea and no method to benefit and make things better for the Tibetans in exile, sixty years of being in exile and nothing to show for it.

    Not only that, the CTA creates more difficulties for the Tibetans with the Dorje Shudgen issues, the 2 Karmapa Issues, and more recently issues with Drukpa Kagyus monasteries being taken over Karma Kagyus, the list goes on and on. Relying on CTA is just going to be a bigger and deeper hole for the Tibetans in exile. Unless and until we do away with the CTA, Tibetans in exile will have no hope and no peace.

  3. Shane Jayasuriya on Jun 20, 2016 at 1:34 am

    Dear Pastor Jean thank you for this article, Its sad to see corrupted selfish minds within the exiled Tibetan government doing harm to its people and Buddha dharma. Om Benza wiki bithana soha

  4. 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

  5. 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 .

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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?

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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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Blog Chat

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Everyone has a different perspective, so this section is for you.

Tsem Rinpoche


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  • Stella Cheang
    Friday, Dec 9. 2016 05:04 PM
    Thank you so much for the sharing, Pastor Patsy. Reading this sharing reaffirms that Rinpoche’s teaching transcend time and space. What Rinpoche taught 20 years ago, he teaches us today. Rinpoche’s teaching is monumental to us, of the pervasiveness of Buddha’s Dharma that is the truth and wisdom in the purest form. He is the Bodhisattva who practices infallible Buddha’s way of compassion, wisdom and renunciation. Rinpoche infuses dharma knowledge onto everyone and showers people who he comes across with loving kindness and generosity tirelessly, since 1995! We are really so lucky to have Rinpoche here to continue turn the wheel of Dharma.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/students-friends/how-dharma-changed-my-life.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Dec 9. 2016 11:14 AM
    Wonderful post ..from from TheBuddhism.Net a good sharing.
    I like these ( Every good action must be done with a good, pure motive; so when we give, pure motive means our generosity should be pure generosity, without hoping for any return or reward for what we do. )
    well said.
    Good reminder……
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/external-article/generosity
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Dec 9. 2016 10:58 AM
    Wonderful teachings on attitude when receiving offerings.I learned some important points here.Always dedicate the merits to the one who give or when someone does something nice for us.When we makes an offering, the recipient should rejoice in the person’s generosity. Its a good teachings and a reminder for us.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Elena Khong Jean Ai for sharing the teachings on the attitude when receiving offerings.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/attitude-when-receiving-offerings.html
  • Jason
    Friday, Dec 9. 2016 03:45 AM
    Very sacred Guan Yin images. Mostly Chinese temples in Southeast Asia did worship Guan Yin.This meant Guan Yin already penetrated as a most popular deity. Most of Guan Yin statue appeared in female forms yet origin is male forms. Anyway, Guan Yin can manifest whatever forms to help all sentient beings.

    I really like thousand arm Guan Yin. She look very fascinated and magnificent. This can’t be expressed by words but I just got the strong feelings when I saw Thousand arms Guan Yin.

    Thank you Rinpoche shared the Guan Yin article. This is very informative articles.It really gain extra knowledge on Guan Yin after read this article.

    Jason

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/guan-yin-day.html?nomobile
  • Alice Tay
    Friday, Dec 9. 2016 12:38 AM
    We should have compassionate thought as all of these dangerous animals deserve our respect. Human beings do not have a privileged to take other beings’ lives and it is better to lose one’s own life than to kill another being.

    Thank you Rinpoche and Shakila for sharing this meaningful article.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/the-worlds-most-dangerous-animals-in-danger-themselves.html
  • Lin Mun
    Thursday, Dec 8. 2016 11:41 PM
    Most of the time we will only say how dangerous and cruel the animals nature in killing or hurting human but we never thought that human kill them hundreds or thousand more times just so we can satisfy our taste bud and enjoyment.

    Human are in fact more cruel and terrible as we will use and abuse animals without caring if animals will suffer or not.

    Therefore creating awareness to love, care and not kill animals should be instilled since young. When we have a loving and caring society, we can sure help reduce unnecessary killing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/the-worlds-most-dangerous-animals-in-danger-themselves.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Dec 8. 2016 05:13 PM
    Amazing to know what Dorje Shugden Wangze can help us.,control and exert positive influence our own minds. I am glad to understand and learned some new knowledge from this wonderful post.Wangze is an emanation of Manjushri and will only assist us if our motivation is genuine.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these teachings and the wonderful dedication for those who practice Dorje Shugden as Wangze or any other Dorje Shugden emanation.
    May Rinpoche be blessed with good health always.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/dorje-shugden-wangze-for-power-and-influence.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Thursday, Dec 8. 2016 02:59 PM
    Thank you so much, Rinpoche, for sharing this post that shows us great work by the team, who worked behind the scene tirelessly, representing the good name of His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche to help Khensur Rinpoche Jetsun Lobsang Phende get medical checkup. The thoughtfulness and level of details carried out by the team was exemplary. The team also demonstrated meticulous and excellence work not only in taking care of Khensur Rinpoche and his attendants for eight days, but also in sharing the good works by His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche in Malaysia and USA. This is a good example for us to learn up in serving others.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/students-friends/whats-a-meaningful-pilgrimage.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Dec 8. 2016 11:19 AM
    Wonderful and interesting post.Its good to know more about Mount Wutai.The history, Tibetan influence and so forth really interesting to read….i do enjoyed reading and learned more.
    Mount Wutai is considered to be one of the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage sites for Buddhists around the world.Its now a tourist attraction and listed as UNESCO World Heritage site.
    Thank you Valentina for sharing this lovely post.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/mount-wutai-the-earthly-abode-of-lord-manjushri.html
  • Lin Mun
    Wednesday, Dec 7. 2016 10:05 PM
    Thank you Dato’ Colin for sharing your journey in dharma and your method in applying dharma in a corporate world.

    I always think that it is difficult to practise dharma in corporate as everyone only have the same mindset that is to gain more profit at the fastest pace and therefore lots of greed and selfishness. But you have showed us that as long as we are perseverance and hold our principal and dharma strongly, we can apply it no matter which segment we are, be it corporate or not.

    Most importantly, is to set the right mindset and hold on to dharma principles. Continue to strive no matter how many challenges we have.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/guest-contributors/how-to-grow-your-business-with-buddhist-principles.html
  • Lin Mun
    Wednesday, Dec 7. 2016 09:54 PM
    Thank you Pastor Patsy for sharing your dharma journey. It is a great encouragement for many as you show that determination will surely bring result.

    It is important to practise dharma and to always focus out. When we keep practising this our mind will slowly transform to benefit others instead of feeding ourselves with all the greed, anger and selfishness.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/students-friends/how-dharma-changed-my-life.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Wednesday, Dec 7. 2016 01:13 PM
    So happy to see the YAK – Millennials of Kechara – were learning to become an entrepreneur, be proactive and independent with good motivations. These practical experience will lay the foundation for leadership qualities, lateral thinking as well as a creative and innovative mindset. I wish to see more success for our Kechara YAK and looking forward to their upcoming activities! Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/students-friends/yak.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Dec 6. 2016 10:22 PM
    Good sharing and informative blogs of Kuan Yin temples in Malaysia.
    Origins of Kuan Yin been explained too. I do not know so much about it till i read these post…i only knew Kuan Yin as Goddess of Mercy.When i was young i used to follow my mother to temple to pray without knowing much..just as one one of a deity.On Guan Yin’s birthday, devotees observe a vegetarian diet in remembrance of her compassion and kindness.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these beautiful post .
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/guan-yin-day.html
  • Alice Tay
    Tuesday, Dec 6. 2016 09:16 PM
    This is very auspicious that 2 great masters meet together and talk about dharma works for the benefit of all sentient beings.

    I am humble to see our precious guru to pay respect and prostrate to his friend, H.E. Kyabje Yongyal Rinpoche , who is a very learned scholar, master of tantra, always focused his time on teaching hundreds of students in Sera and in in-depth personal practice. This is a good example for us to follow and practice.

    Thank you Rinpoche for this wonderful sharing attached with the beautiful photos.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/meeting-kyabje-yongyal-rinpoche-in-new-york.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Dec 6. 2016 07:04 PM
    Very informative blog post that remind us.
    As human consume fish ,prawns and so forth from the sea laced with harmful chemical, toxins build up that lead to health problems in long term.Sad to know environment is so bad when some people do not care much about it.Sooner or later our oceans will be filled with rubbish,plastic if we are not doing enough to protect the environment.The plastic accounts for 15 per cent of the chick’s body weight…that is shocking.
    I do hope more people are aware of the truth behind the crisis destroying our seas.
    Thank you Rinpoche its a good sharing.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/how-plastic-destroys-our-seas.html

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

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

Tsem Rinpoche

What Am I Writing Now

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The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

Click on the images to view the bigger version. And scroll down and click on "View All Photos" to view more images.
This huge Buddha in Korea is magnificent
1 week ago
This huge Buddha in Korea is magnificent
The very first oracle of Dorje Shugden in trance statue. I have commissioned this.
1 week ago
The very first oracle of Dorje Shugden in trance statue. I have commissioned this.
Such a old and ancient thangka painting of Dorje Shugden. He has been around in Tibet practiced for hundreds of years.
2 weeks ago
Such a old and ancient thangka painting of Dorje Shugden. He has been around in Tibet practiced for hundreds of years.
One of the "Four Exalted Brothers" Avalokiteshvara statues, Phagpa Wati of Kyirong, which is now with H.H. the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala.
2 weeks ago
One of the "Four Exalted Brothers" Avalokiteshvara statues, Phagpa Wati of Kyirong, which is now with H.H. the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala.
Kyabje Zemey, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Kyabje Pabongka Choktrul Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
Kyabje Zemey, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Kyabje Pabongka Choktrul Rinpoche
My Oser girl and Mumu boy are so adorable
3 weeks ago
My Oser girl and Mumu boy are so adorable
Wow this meditator in his cave in front of a painting of Yamantaka draped with a white khata of respect. He sits among bones to remind him of impermanence and our future. The bones inspire him strongly to let go of all attachments in this life and focus on dharma, meditation and liberation and he is doing so. Very beautiful and inspirational. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Wow this meditator in his cave in front of a painting of Yamantaka draped with a white khata of respect. He sits among bones to remind him of impermanence and our future. The bones inspire him strongly to let go of all attachments in this life and focus on dharma, meditation and liberation and he is doing so. Very beautiful and inspirational. Tsem Rinpoche
Tenzing Norgay found this in Nepal. Guess what it is?
1 month ago
Tenzing Norgay found this in Nepal. Guess what it is?
Sir Edmund Hillary
1 month ago
Sir Edmund Hillary
Halloween is my favorite holiday. Wild natural plants and flowers are my favorite offering. Buddha\'s teachings on meditation and Yidam practice bring the ultimate results and happiness. ~Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Halloween is my favorite holiday. Wild natural plants and flowers are my favorite offering. Buddha's teachings on meditation and Yidam practice bring the ultimate results and happiness. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Previous lives do resemble current lives especially if they are a recognized incarnation. If notice how similar the previous and current Trijang Rinpoche looks. The eyes, bone structure, expression, long neck, thin and overall look. Beautiful. I\'ve seen this phenomena over and over in many Rinpoche incarnations. Especially when you compare them with pictures of previous and current lives at around the same ages. Something powerfully karmic about this. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
Previous lives do resemble current lives especially if they are a recognized incarnation. If notice how similar the previous and current Trijang Rinpoche looks. The eyes, bone structure, expression, long neck, thin and overall look. Beautiful. I've seen this phenomena over and over in many Rinpoche incarnations. Especially when you compare them with pictures of previous and current lives at around the same ages. Something powerfully karmic about this. Tsem Rinpoche
It\'s nice to have monks visitors and resident monks in Kechara
2 months ago
It's nice to have monks visitors and resident monks in Kechara
                         Taken in Lake Champlain in Canada. A huge water monster...neat...
2 months ago
Taken in Lake Champlain in Canada. A huge water monster...neat...
Beautiful! His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang has always been good friends with His Holiness Karmapa. No wonder H.H. Karmapa never spoke against Dorje Shugden. Two reasons perhaps: One is he knows the qualities of Trijang Rinpoche who is a attained being. And Karmapa himself has clairvoyance to perceive the true nature of Dorje Shugden directly. I love to see great beings like this manifesting closeness. When I see, I just want to prostrate to them and thank them for sharing such good examples to someone like me. Praise to the ego-less mind! Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
Beautiful! His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang has always been good friends with His Holiness Karmapa. No wonder H.H. Karmapa never spoke against Dorje Shugden. Two reasons perhaps: One is he knows the qualities of Trijang Rinpoche who is a attained being. And Karmapa himself has clairvoyance to perceive the true nature of Dorje Shugden directly. I love to see great beings like this manifesting closeness. When I see, I just want to prostrate to them and thank them for sharing such good examples to someone like me. Praise to the ego-less mind! Tsem Rinpoche
Serkong Dorje Chang on the left and his son Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche on the right.
2 months ago
Serkong Dorje Chang on the left and his son Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche on the right.
High lamas in France September 2016
2 months ago
High lamas in France September 2016
༧གོང་ས་ཆེན་པོ་སྐུ་འཕྲེང་བཅུ་བཞི་པ་མཆོག་དང་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན། - Interesting relationship between 14th Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden:   http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109757
3 months ago
༧གོང་ས་ཆེན་པོ་སྐུ་འཕྲེང་བཅུ་བཞི་པ་མཆོག་དང་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན། - Interesting relationship between 14th Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109757
Dalai Lama Says We Can Practise Dorje Shugden Finally! Read more on this development--- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109777
3 months ago
Dalai Lama Says We Can Practise Dorje Shugden Finally! Read more on this development--- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109777
More time spent in dharma work is more karma collected to be happy and more time spent in non-dharma works is more karma collected to be unhappy.~Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
More time spent in dharma work is more karma collected to be happy and more time spent in non-dharma works is more karma collected to be unhappy.~Tsem Rinpoche
All Dorje Shugden prophesizes will come to pass,
 Those who generate refuge and merits will trust, 
 By trusting one will see the good results of his pronouncements,
 By seeing the good results, one\'s path becomes more clear, 
 The path of practice, purification and siddhic results, 
 This would eliminate the samsara within our minds.
 ~Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
All Dorje Shugden prophesizes will come to pass, Those who generate refuge and merits will trust, By trusting one will see the good results of his pronouncements, By seeing the good results, one's path becomes more clear, The path of practice, purification and siddhic results, This would eliminate the samsara within our minds. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Large Dorje Shugden statue built by the 5th Dalai Lama and housed in Trode Khangsar. Sock Wand and Mdm Chuah took this picture in Lhasa, Tibet 2016
3 months ago
Large Dorje Shugden statue built by the 5th Dalai Lama and housed in Trode Khangsar. Sock Wand and Mdm Chuah took this picture in Lhasa, Tibet 2016
Our own Kecharian Mdm. Chua with the oracle of Dorje Shugden Gen Tenzin Tsultrim in Lhasa, Tibet 2016
3 months ago
Our own Kecharian Mdm. Chua with the oracle of Dorje Shugden Gen Tenzin Tsultrim in Lhasa, Tibet 2016
Our very own Kecharian Mdm Chua standing in front of holy Trode Khangsar-the Chapel to Dorje Shugden built 400 years ago by the Great 5th Dalai Lama-Tibet 2016
3 months ago
Our very own Kecharian Mdm Chua standing in front of holy Trode Khangsar-the Chapel to Dorje Shugden built 400 years ago by the Great 5th Dalai Lama-Tibet 2016
Our very own Kecharian Mdm Chua standing in front of holy Gaden Monastery, Tibet 2016
3 months ago
Our very own Kecharian Mdm Chua standing in front of holy Gaden Monastery, Tibet 2016
                         This is the oracle of Dorje Shugden in Lhasa, Tibet. His name is Gen Tenzin Tsultrim of Sera Monastery in Tibet.
3 months ago
This is the oracle of Dorje Shugden in Lhasa, Tibet. His name is Gen Tenzin Tsultrim of Sera Monastery in Tibet.
Ms. Sock Wan, Oracle of Dorje Shugden in Tibet Gen Tenzin Tsultrim, Mdm Chuah and Mr. Tashi in Tibet 2016
3 months ago
Ms. Sock Wan, Oracle of Dorje Shugden in Tibet Gen Tenzin Tsultrim, Mdm Chuah and Mr. Tashi in Tibet 2016
Mahasiddha Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche, H.H. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Ven. Rabten Choktrul Rinpoche 2016
3 months ago
Mahasiddha Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche, H.H. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Ven. Rabten Choktrul Rinpoche 2016
His Eminence Mahasiddha Gangchen Rinpoche and the official oracle of Dorje Shugden Panglung Kuten Choji lah in Italy together September 2016
3 months ago
His Eminence Mahasiddha Gangchen Rinpoche and the official oracle of Dorje Shugden Panglung Kuten Choji lah in Italy together September 2016
My thoughts on Malaysia. Thank you. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
My thoughts on Malaysia. Thank you. Tsem Rinpoche
Beautiful thangka of Vajra Yogini. Look at the details where she appears in visions and also takes people to Kechara.
3 months ago
Beautiful thangka of Vajra Yogini. Look at the details where she appears in visions and also takes people to Kechara.
Left to right:

His Holiness the Gaden Throne holder Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche (very young) and His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche in Gaden Shartse Prayer Hall during prayers.
3 months ago
Left to right: His Holiness the Gaden Throne holder Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche (very young) and His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche in Gaden Shartse Prayer Hall during prayers.
 It\'s nice when families support the spiritual journeys of their children. This is one beautiful family of Pastor Niral of Kechara
3 months ago
It's nice when families support the spiritual journeys of their children. This is one beautiful family of Pastor Niral of Kechara
Jog Falls a power place of Vajra Yogini and Heruka: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=108652
3 months ago
Jog Falls a power place of Vajra Yogini and Heruka: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=108652
Don\'t wait for the perfect group. Don\'t wait for the perfect person. Don\'t wait for the perfect situation. Don\'t expect yourself to be perfect. Don\'t even look for perfection at least in our realm as it does not exist or time will run out. Just get going and keep doing good. It\'s between you and yourself. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
Don't wait for the perfect group. Don't wait for the perfect person. Don't wait for the perfect situation. Don't expect yourself to be perfect. Don't even look for perfection at least in our realm as it does not exist or time will run out. Just get going and keep doing good. It's between you and yourself. Tsem Rinpoche
Kind people are to be treasured. They make life worth living. ~Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
Kind people are to be treasured. They make life worth living. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Don\'t you love her bag? She\'s stylish and at one with the universe. OM Shanti. ~Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
Don't you love her bag? She's stylish and at one with the universe. OM Shanti. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Beautiful Manjushri carved in China
3 months ago
Beautiful Manjushri carved in China
Sent from Samsung tablet.
3 months ago
Sent from Samsung tablet.
We must loyal to our guru. How to be loyal? To always do the teachings and practice he gave us and to conquer our laziness. We must make our gurus more important than our ego. So it is important to always let our guru win and not our ego. If our ego wins, many will suffer and we will suffer. If our guru wins, temporarily we suffer, but long term we will be happy and many around us will be happy. You see, the guru is always on the look out to give us methods and teachings that we can engage in to bring us happiness. The biggest happiness is overcoming our ego and it\'s traces and the guru always directly and indirectly focuses on that. Our guru will always love and help us, but we must meet our guru half way too. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
We must loyal to our guru. How to be loyal? To always do the teachings and practice he gave us and to conquer our laziness. We must make our gurus more important than our ego. So it is important to always let our guru win and not our ego. If our ego wins, many will suffer and we will suffer. If our guru wins, temporarily we suffer, but long term we will be happy and many around us will be happy. You see, the guru is always on the look out to give us methods and teachings that we can engage in to bring us happiness. The biggest happiness is overcoming our ego and it's traces and the guru always directly and indirectly focuses on that. Our guru will always love and help us, but we must meet our guru half way too. Tsem Rinpoche
Tsem Rinpoche with holy Mt Shasta of Northern California in the background: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=107430
3 months ago
Tsem Rinpoche with holy Mt Shasta of Northern California in the background: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=107430
We had a nice visit at Mt Shasta, a holy area in Northern California and did a good puja there: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=107430
3 months ago
We had a nice visit at Mt Shasta, a holy area in Northern California and did a good puja there: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=107430
I get requests from all around the world to do prayers. For certain individuals it\'s really dire, so I make special candle offerings to the Buddhas for them at my private residence. These are the candles that was offered recently for a very ill young little girl. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
I get requests from all around the world to do prayers. For certain individuals it's really dire, so I make special candle offerings to the Buddhas for them at my private residence. These are the candles that was offered recently for a very ill young little girl. Tsem Rinpoche
This is powerful and true. When someone disappoints you so many times, it cannot be an accident anymore. You need to have compassion for them to not do more negative karma and not allow it anymore and we need need to have compassion for ourselves too and not let them hurt us again.. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
This is powerful and true. When someone disappoints you so many times, it cannot be an accident anymore. You need to have compassion for them to not do more negative karma and not allow it anymore and we need need to have compassion for ourselves too and not let them hurt us again.. Tsem Rinpoche
Ra Lotsawa\'s personal sacred image of Yamantaka Vajrabhairava. Said to be housed in Samye Monastery, Tibet.
3 months ago
Ra Lotsawa's personal sacred image of Yamantaka Vajrabhairava. Said to be housed in Samye Monastery, Tibet.
Message from Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
Message from Tsem Rinpoche
This Tara has such a beautiful face...artwork on this is nice
3 months ago
This Tara has such a beautiful face...artwork on this is nice
This is the road that leads to my house in the mountains. I have a small house and a lake nearby the house and I live there on vegan foods with my pets-Mumu loves running around the meadows. I have a large outdoor Vajra Yogini statue made of stone and we make offerings of juniper leaves burned to her daily as sang. I love living in the mountains away from the senseless repeating of actions in urban life. Urban life with its various pollutions do not connect us to who we are inside. I love this walking path to my retreat home where I will live for the rest of my life and on the way home, I pluck some flowers for my shrine to offer to the Buddha...thank you for allowing me to live here. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
This is the road that leads to my house in the mountains. I have a small house and a lake nearby the house and I live there on vegan foods with my pets-Mumu loves running around the meadows. I have a large outdoor Vajra Yogini statue made of stone and we make offerings of juniper leaves burned to her daily as sang. I love living in the mountains away from the senseless repeating of actions in urban life. Urban life with its various pollutions do not connect us to who we are inside. I love this walking path to my retreat home where I will live for the rest of my life and on the way home, I pluck some flowers for my shrine to offer to the Buddha...thank you for allowing me to live here. Tsem Rinpoche
 Rinpoche\'s quote is on my mom\'s final resting place. It was chosen by my dad and at that time he said it is the best one for both of them. My dad would be interred next to her when his time comes in the distant future. Pastor David Lai
3 months ago
Rinpoche's quote is on my mom's final resting place. It was chosen by my dad and at that time he said it is the best one for both of them. My dad would be interred next to her when his time comes in the distant future. Pastor David Lai
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Videos On The Go

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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.

  • December 9, 2016 02:09
    Harold Musetescu asked: Is there a practice text for the Dharmapala "Methar"?
    No reply yet
  • December 6, 2016 00:34
    Sipra asked: Dear Pastors, For past 5 month or so I have been suffering from fear and anxiety. It has become difficult to live my daily life. I am mother of young child. Please help me.
    pastor answered: Dear Sipra, I'm sorry to read that you are going through this fear and anxiety, and i can understand that it has been effecting your daily life. You should seek professional help as this fear and anxiety can worsen if you don't get help and can deteriorate fast. Coupled with this, but by no means an alternative, you can engage in the daily practice of Lama Tsongkhapa and Dorje Shugden, which you can find here: http://www.dorjeshugden.org/practice/diamond-path-a-daily-sadhana-of-dorje-shugden Lama Tsongkhapa's practice is very well-known to calm the mind from depression, fear and anxiety so will be very beneficial for your situation. When engaging in the practice, please concentrate and focus on the mantra of Lama Tsongkhapa. Dorje Shugden's practice on the other hand is very good for alleviating any obstacles we may be facing in life. Therefore, this may have to overcome the obstacles in life that are causing the fear and anxiety or even remove obstacles for professional help to be even more effective, so you can overcome your situation. The cause of this situation may be deeply rooted, therefore i would like to advise you to do both methods, find professional help and engage in the daily practice. Coupled together they have a better chance of solving your situation, than by themselves. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • December 3, 2016 23:25
    Fluxor asked: I am in a relationship with someone. I want to leave her, so i can give more time for social work and considering monastic life and being ordained in the future. I want to break up and do it gently, but I know she will be very mad and angry with me. Is it okay to leave her without notice? I will make a letter and arrange time to talk few days later when she is more stable emotionally. I think, it will be calmer way. Or should I talk to her first before I leave? I know this way she can be very mad and might do some abusive acts right away. But people say I need to respect her with talking to her first. I'm confused. I want to do it in a gentle and loving way that I don't want to bring her more suffering. Warmest metta, Fluxor
    pastor answered: Dear Fluxor, This is something that is a very difficult thing to do. If you have thought about this carefully and thoroughly, then you should do what feels right. However we must remember that the other person in the relationship may be reliant on you in some way. That being said, we can also hurt another person if we are not open and truthful about the situation. Instead we should go about the situation in the best possible manner to minimise harm and also to not create negative karma in the process, which is all too common when breaking up with someone, and this leads to more suffering in the future. You know the person who you are in a relationship with the best, however the method which you have mentioned may not be the most appropriate course of action. Rather than doing this, you should sit down with your partner and talk about the situation in calmer manner. This is the better approach, if you want to do this. You do need to respect her as a person with her own feelings, and in order to do the right thing in this situation, you should do so face to face and calmly. Following the method that you described may cause even more pain. If you do it calmly, respecting and honouring her as someone who has their own feelings, you are doing your best given the situation. Please remember that you don’t have to take monastic ordination in order to practice the Buddhist path. In fact within Kechara, Tsem Rinpoche has even started the tradition of lay pastors, who are lay people that have dedicated their lives to the practice of Dharma and the service of others. If you change your mind for any reason, Rinpoche has given a very good teaching on transforming a relationship to make it successful. You can find the video teaching here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/students-friends/ingredients-for-a-successful-relationship.html. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • December 2, 2016 09:44
    Tashi asked: Dear pastors, What are the mantras and sacred syllables of the 12 Tenma Goddesses? I'm trying to find one to the bodhisattva Dorje Yudronma and goddess Tahsi Tseringma. Who is Shiptak Gyene exactly and what is his mantra and purpose? Is simply putting "Namo" and then the name of the Buddha or bodhisattva work? Also, is there a mantra for pimples or near sightedness?
    pastor answered: Dear Tashi, As Dorje Yudronma and Tashi Tseringma are not enlightened protectors but worldly deities who have been subdued to protect the Dharma, their mantras and practices are not free available to all practitioners, according to the Gelug tradition (I am unsure if they are available freely in other traditions). Usually, to engage in these practices one must have first received empowerment into a yidam or meditational deity practice, after which one can request the spiritual teacher to teach the practice. The functions of these protectors are also embodied in other protectors who are enlightened, and whose practices are readily available. As embodiments of enlightened beings, they can also help along the spiritual path to enlightenment rather than just providing material needs and removing obstacles. These include the various emanations of Dorje Shugden, for example Shize Dorje Shugden who is excellent for pacifying diseases and lengthening one’s life, just like Tashi Tseringma and the Long Life Sisters. However as an emanation of Manjushri, Shize can also grant beneficial imprints and help to overcome the inner obstacles of negative emotions and habituations that we all face in life. Shiptak Gyene is a protector specific to the Gelugpa tradition. He was a layman who lived in Lhasa during the time of Lama Tsongkhapa. Whenever Lama Tsongkhapa would travel to Lhasa, Shiptak Gyene would be there, ready to serve Lama Tsongkhapa as best as he could and receive teachings on the Dharma. He was very devoted to Lama Tsongkhapa and arose a protector to help those with material needs if they are sincere pracitioners of the Dharma. As such, he holds a bowl of jewels to represent that he can aid pracitioners in this regard. You can see a picture of Shiptak Gyene here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/archive/deitypics/highres/Shiptak_Gyene.jpg. The word ‘namo’ means ‘I prostrate’, hence when you add the word before the name of a Buddha or bodhisattva, it basically means that you are prostrating to that being. While this has tremendous effect, as you are verbalising the prostration towards an enlightened being and therefore generating some merit, it does not have the same effect as a mantra. This is because a mantra itself in the essence of that particular being, in the form of sound. If you repeat that mantra over and over again, you bring the energies associated with that particular enlightened being into your life. For example if you recite the Medicine Buddha mantra, you bring healing energies into your life. But if you only add ‘namo’ to the beginning of their name, you are simply making prostration. It would be much more beneficial to recite the proper mantra for the particular enlightenment being you are propitiating. As for pimples, I have not come across a specific mantra for this in my own practice. However two very good mantras that you could recite are Black Manjushri or Hayagriva. These two deities are very well known for curing skin diseases of all types, and therefore may help in the situation. You can find out more about Black Manjushri practice here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/prayers-and-sadhanas/a-black-manjushri-sadhana-self-healing-meditation-and-exercises.html. The Hayagriva (a wrathful emanation of Chenresig) mantra is recited as: HRI PEMA DATRI HAYAGRIVA HULU HULU HUNG PHET. For nearsightedness, you can engage in the practice of Migchey Chrenrezig, which is an excellent practice for those with eye problems. You can find it here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/blessing-eye-problems.html. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • November 30, 2016 18:56
    Angela Yo asked: These past few months, I can't stop myself thinking about being ordained to be a nun. I don't know where to begin. I don't know if it suits me or not. But I really want to make this lifetime meaningful. Thank you.
    pastor answered: Dear Angela Yo, I rejoice to read that are thinking about become ordained as a nun. This is a very good aspiration to have and follows the example of the holy Buddha Shakyamuni. He showed us the way to make our life meaningful by becoming a Buddha to benefit others. If you have not already done so, you should join a Dharma centre and find a guru. By following the advice of a qualified guru, you can train yourself to hold the ordination vows in the future. Here at Kechara, those who have the aspiration to become members of the holy sangha, first become a Pastor, which is in between a lay practitioner and an ordained monk or nun. This way, we can train ourselves to understand and live by the vows before become ordained. As ordination is very special and holy, it is better that we are prepared before we take the vows. This way we can make the most use of holding the sacred vows on our spiritual journey to enlightenment. As you engage along this path, first you should study and understand the most basic of vows, which are the refuge vows. All other vows, whether ordination, bodhisattva or tantric vows are based on the refuge vows, and the keeping of these vows are the root cause of gaining enlightenment. In fact, all other vows are extensions of these vows. Therefore it is very important that we have a firm basis for our practice by understanding and living by these vows properly. As you progress on your practice, you can learn the teachings such as the 50 Verses of Guru Devotion, the Lam Rim and the Wheel of Sharp Weapons. All these teachings will aid you on the path to become an ordained nun in the future. If this is truly your wish, then during your daily practices you should make strong aspirational prayers that you are able to fulfil this. At the same time you should create the causes for this to occur. The way to do this is by supporting the sangha, you can do this by making any form of dana offering to them, from food, clothing, material assistance or anything else that they would need your help with. While doing this, you should generate the strong aspiration that you can become a member of the sangha. As the sangha are one of the Three Jewels, any offerings that you make to them, especially in terms of your time and effort, will generate a lot of merit because they are holding the holy vows. I hope this helps, and I make the prayer that your auspicious aspiration is fulfilled, that you make your life meaningful by holding the vows of an ordained nun. Thank you.
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Join us on Sunday for posy arrangements and Xmas-themed posies!
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Join us on Sunday for posy arrangements and Xmas-themed posies!
Group pictures with stunning results! Well done!
yesterday
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Be the light in Kechara Forest Retreat with Li Kim!
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Learn to do your own flower arrangement next Sunday with beautiful people!
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Do your own flower arrangement in Kechara Forest Retreat! Join us next Sunday!
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Do your own flower arrangement in Kechara Forest Retreat! Join us next Sunday!
Beautiful flower arrangement by Sharon and her son!
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Beautiful flower arrangement by Sharon and her son!
Dorje Shugden puja performed in Wisdom Hall at Kechara Forest Retreat. For puja requests see here : bit.ly/lTqQKg Lucy Yap
yesterday
Dorje Shugden puja performed in Wisdom Hall at Kechara Forest Retreat. For puja requests see here : bit.ly/lTqQKg Lucy Yap
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Dorje Shugden
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