The Life of Yul Brynner (1920 – 1985)

By | Nov 9, 2016 | Views: 538
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Yul Brynner (1920 - 1985)

Yul Brynner (1920 – 1985)

Yul Brynner was an actor most famous for his portrayal of King Mongkut in Rodger and Hammerstein’s musical, ‘The King and I’. Writing this article brought back many fond memories of my childhood. When I was a child, my parents let me watch the old 1956 version of ‘The King And I’ and I was held spellbound by Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr’s performance, especially when they sang ‘Shall We Dance’.

http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/ShallWeDance1.flv

Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/ShallWeDance1.flv

After researching Yul Brynner’s life, I had mixed feelings about him. I knew he was talented and successful but I also discovered that he had a hidden past which he kept secret for quite a while. However in spite of all that, he was passionate in helping others. He used his fame to champion the plight of refugees and took up the position as Special Consultant for Refugees with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Even when he was dying of lung cancer, he made it a point to bring awareness to the very cause of his cancer – smoking.

I deeply rejoice that he used his fame to lessen other people’s suffering. At the end of the day, no matter how successful we are, nobody can escape death. Therefore, we should use our time wisely.

I hope you enjoy reading this short article about this multi-talented actor, author, singer, activist and photographer who played the role of King Mongkut an incredible 4,625 times!

Valentina

 


 

The Beginning

The statue of Yul Brynner in Vladivostok, Russia

The statue of Yul Brynner in Vladivostok, Russia

Born on 11 July 1920 in Vladivostok, Russia, Yul Brynner was given the name Yuli Borisovich Briner. His father was a mining engineer named Boris Yuliyevich Briner of mixed Swiss-German and Russian descent. His mother was Marousia Dimitrievna of Russian descent. Yul Brynner was named after his paternal grandfather, Jules Briner. He also inherited the Buryat-Mongolian ancestry through his paternal grandmother, Natalya Yosifovna Kurkutova.

During his lifetime, very few people knew about Yul Brynner’s background. He liked to tease people by keeping his real ancestry a secret. At one time, he claimed to be a half-Swiss and half-Japanese man by the name of Taidje Khan and born on the island of Sakhalin. Yul Brynner remained a private person as he declared:

“People don’t know my real self, and they’re not about to find out.”

The closest he came to revealing his background was when he briefly mentioned his Mongolian ancestry,

“I am just a nice clean cut Mongolian boy.”

According to his friend J. Lee Thompson, Yul Brynner did not reveal much about his childhood or his parents, but

“…we [his friends] knew that somewhere there was something that had hurt him in days gone by. Here was this man who was the king, who overpowered everybody that he came in contact with, and yet you would see him sometimes sitting down and a glimpse of tears would come to his eyes and he would be thinking deeply about something. I knew that Yul with all his bombast was also a very human person who had been hurt and had largely succeeded in covering up those wounds.”

It was not until the publication of the biographies, ‘Yul: The Man Who Would Be King’ and ‘Empire and Odyssey’ by his son, Yul “Rock” Brynner II (“Rock Brynner”), that the public got a glimpse of the earlier part of his life.

Book covers: ‘Empire and Odyssey’ and ‘Yul: The Man Who Would Be King’

Two books written by Rock Brynner: ‘Empire and Odyssey’ and ‘Yul: The Man Who Would Be King’

In 1923, when Yul Brynner was just three, his father had an affair with another woman, Katya Kornukova, an actress at Moscow Art Theatre, and soon abandoned his family. Perhaps, the emotional scars remained with him and made him into this brooding and intensely private person. After her husband left her, Marousia took her children Yul and Vera Brynner to Harbin, China where they attended a YMCA school.

Harbin, China in the 1930s

Harbin, China in the 1930s where Yul Brynner spent part of his childhood

In 1932 (some sources state 1934), sensing the rising tensions between Japan and China, Marousia moved her family to Paris, France in order to avoid the impending war. Although he was enrolled at an exclusive school in France, Lycée Moncelle, Yul Brynner was not interested in school. He instead wanted to be in the performing arts. He dropped out of school and subsequently worked as a trapeze artist in a famous circus, Cirque d’Hiver. It was during this time that Yul Brynner developed an appreciation for Gypsy folk songs and culture. In the documentary ‘Yul Brynner: The Man Who Was King’, his agent Guy McElwayne said:

His Gypsy background, which he was very proud of, gave him incredible sense of belonging wherever he was. When he was in America, he was an American. When he was in France, he was French…

Cirque d’Hiver

Cirque d’Hiver where Yul Brynner used to work as a trapeze artist

During his 5th year in the circus, Yul Brynner suffered a back injury and his career as a trapeze artist came to an abrupt end. Subsequently, he played the guitar, primarily Gypsy songs, at various Russian nightclubs in Paris. In 1938, Marousia was diagnosed with leukaemia and the family briefly moved back to Harbin, China.

 

The Successful Career of Yul Brynner

Vera Brynner

Yul Brynner’s sister, Vera Brynner

In 1940, Yul Brynner and his mother decided to emigrate to the United States. They arrived in New York City on 25 October 1940 and were greeted by his sister, Vera, who had emigrated before them and worked as a singer on Broadway.

Michael Chekov

Yul Brynner’s acting mentor, Michael Chekov

Yul Brynner worked as a French-speaking radio commentator for the US Office of War Information during World War II where he broadcasted into German-occupied France. Around the same time, he studied under the tutelage of multi-talented Russian-American actor, Michael Chekhov. In December 1941, Yul Brynner performed his first Broadway show as Fabian in Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’. Subsequently, he worked in the television series ‘Mr. Jones and His Neighbors’ and another Broadway play, ‘Lute Song’ with actress Mary Martin. Although Yul Brynner only won mild acclaim for his work in ‘Lute Song’, his friendship with Mary Martin would later bring him the biggest acting role in his career.

In 1944, Yul Brynner married his first wife, actress Virginia Gilmore, and began his career as a film and television director at CBS. His directing debut was ‘Life with Snarky Parker’ (1950), a children’s puppet show. The show aired for eight months before it was cancelled. He eventually established himself as a successful director after directing the films ‘Studio One in Hollywood’ (1948), ‘Danger’ (1950) and ‘Omnibus’ (1952).

Mary Martin

Mary Martin, who convinced Yul Brynner to audition for the role of King Mongkut in ‘The King and I’

In 1950, Mary Martin encouraged Yul Brynner to audition for the role of King Mongkut of Siam in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s new musical, ‘The King and I’. Although he was initially reluctant to return to the stage, he became fascinated with the character of King Mongkut and eventually agreed to join the cast for the original Broadway production in 1951. Yul Brynner was asked to shave his head for the role and he agreed. Since then, he kept his head shaved and his bald head became his most notable trademark.

Yul Brynner was sensational as King Mongkut and he won two Tony Awards. Throughout his career, he reprised the role 4,625 times. He also played the role of King Mongkut in the 1956 film version of ‘The King and I’ and won an Academy Award for Best Actor. In his acceptance speech, he famously said:

I hope this is not a mistake, because I won’t give it back for anything in the world. Thank you very much.

Yul Brynner won an Academy Award in the Best Actor category

Yul Brynner won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in the film version of ‘The King and I’

The film version of ‘The King and I’ was launched in the same year as Yul Brynner’s two other blockbuster films, ‘The Ten Commandments’ in which he played the role of Ramesses II and ‘Anastasia’ in which he played the role of General Bounine. ‘The Ten Commandments’ is considered one of the most commercially successful films of all time. After the success of these three films in which he played the leading roles, Yul Brynner achieved worldwide fame and became one of Hollywood’s A-list leading men. One year later on 8 February 1960, he received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in California.

 

Yul Brynner in ‘The Ten Commandments’

http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/TenCommandment.flv

Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/TenCommandment.flv

 

Yul Brynner in ‘Anastasia’

http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/Anastasia.flv

Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/Anastasia.flv

 

For the next two decades of his career, Yul Brynner continued to be highly successful in Hollywood and starred in over 40 other films including ‘Solomon and Sheba’ (1959), ‘The Magnificent Seven’ (1960), ‘Taras Bulba’ (1962) and ‘Kings of the Sun’ (1963). Due to his exotic good looks and macho appearance, he was typically cast in strong leading roles such as kings, an Egyptian Pharaoh and a Western gunslinger.

 

The Other Talents of Yul Brynner

Yul Brynner was an accomplished photographer

Yul Brynner was an accomplished photographer

In addition to being an actor and director, Yul Brynner was also an accomplished photographer, author and guitarist. He actively took many photographs of friends, family members and refugees whom he met while serving as the Special Consultant on Refugees for the UNHCR.

Yul Brynner wrote two books, ‘Bring Forth the Children: A Journey to the Forgotten People of Europe and the Middle East’ (1960) and ‘The Yul Brynner Cookbook: Food Fit for the King and You’ (1983). Victoria Brynner, his daughter, compiled the photographs he took during his lifetime and published a book entitled ‘Yul Brynner: Photographer’.

Books written by Yul Brynner: ‘Bring Forth the Children: A Journey to the Forgotten People of Europe and the Middle East’ and ‘The Yul Brynner Cookbook: Food Fit for the King and You’

Book covers: ‘Bring Forth the Children: A Journey to the Forgotten People of Europe and the Middle East’ and ‘The Yul Brynner Cookbook: Food Fit for the King and You’

 

The Philanthropic Work of Yul Brynner

Yul Brynner was serving as Special Consultant on Refugees for UNHCR

Yul Brynner served as Special Consultant on Refugees for UNHCR

Yul Brynner was passionate about refugee issues which arose from his interest in collecting United Nations Refugee stamps. This led to him taking up the post as Special Consultant on Refugees for the UNHCR. He took the job seriously and used his fame to bring awareness to the sufferings of refugees around the world from Asia to the Middle East. Although there were times when entering a refugee campsite was risky business with patrolling local armies, Yul Brynner remained fearless. His friends believe that it was his Gypsy background that made him so. He also made two documentaries to highlight refugee issues.

 

The Personal Life of Yul Brynner

Yul Brynner and his first wife, Virginia Gilmore

Yul Brynner and his first wife, Virginia Gilmore

Yul Brynner’s personal life was not ordinary. He had numerous love affairs with many women and was married a total of four times, to:

  1. Virginia Gilmore (1944 – 1960; divorced; 1 child – Rock Brynner)
  2. Doris Kleiner (1960 – 1967; divorced; 1 child – Victoria Brynner)
  3. Jaqueline de Croisset (1971-1981; divorced; 2 adopted children – Mia and Melody Brynner)
  4. Kathy Lee (1983 – 1985; his death)

He had an interesting opinion of women in general. One of his famous quotes about women was:

Girls have an unfair advantage over men: if they can’t get what they want by being smart, they can get it by being dumb.

Yul Brynner: and his second wife, Doris Kleiner

Yul Brynner and his second wife, Doris Kleiner

Yul Brynner, his third wife, Jaqueline de Croisset, and one of their adopted daughter

Yul Brynner, his third wife, Jaqueline de Croisset, and one of their adopted daughters

Yul Brynner also had a daughter, Lark Brynner, with German actress Frances Martin and was godfather to French actress Charlotte Gainsbourg. One of his daughters, Victoria Brynner is a successful businesswoman in her own right. She founded her company, Stardust Visions and Stardust Celebrities, a photo-production company in Los Angeles, California in 1992. Actress Audrey Hepburn was her godmother.

 

The Death of Yul Brynner

Yul Brynner began smoking at the age of 12 and chain smoked until he kicked the habit in 1971. In 1983, he found a lump in his throat and decided to go for a medical checkup. He received his test results several hours before his 4,000th performance in ‘The King and I’. The test results revealed that although his throat was fine, he was suffering from inoperable lung cancer and given three months to live.

Yul Brynner took several months off to undergo therapy which made it difficult for him to sing or speak. Therefore, during some performances, his son Rock Brynner would dub his voice from the seat beside the conductor. During one of these performances, Rock Brynner came to see him during the intermission. Yul Brynner embraced him and whispered:

You must play the king older now Rock. I am older. You are playing it like a 30-year-old. You are now, and I was then. But now it is an older king.

Although he was sick, Yul Brynner decided to continue to work and therefore ‘The King and I’ tour resumed. He ended the 4,625th show and his last performance as King Mongkut on 30 June 1985.

The tombstone of Yul Brynner

The tombstone of Yul Brynner

Acting gave him something to look forward to and Yul Brynner ended up living for two years after his initial cancer diagnosis. Aware that he was dying from a disease caused by smoking, he accepted an interview on Good Morning America in which he spoke of the dangers of smoking.

Yul Brynner passed away from lung cancer on 10 October 1985. He was cremated and his ashes were buried in the Abbey of Saint-Michel de Bois Aubry, France. Several days after his passing, the anti-smoking public service announcement that he recorded prior to his death was aired on all major television networks in the United States and other countries. In the commercial, he poignantly said:

Now that I’m gone, I tell you: Don’t smoke, whatever you do, just don’t smoke. If I could take back that smoking, we wouldn’t be talking about any cancer. I’m convinced of that.

http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/Anti%20Smoking%20Commercial.flv

Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/Anti%20Smoking%20Commercial.flv

Yul - 20

 

More Pictures of Yul Brynner

Yul Brynner at the set of 'The Magnificent Seven'

Yul Brynner on the set of ‘The Magnificent Seven’

Yul Brynner in 1957

Yul Brynner in 1957

Yul Brynner in 'The West World'

Yul Brynner in ‘The West World’

Yul Brynner in 'The Ten Commandments'

Yul Brynner in ‘The Ten Commandments’

Yul Brynner in 'The Magnificent Seven'

Yul Brynner in ‘The Magnificent Seven’

Yul Brynner and Patricia Morison in 'The King and I'

Yul Brynner and Patricia Morison in ‘The King and I’

Yul Brynner and his first wife, Virginia Gilmore

Yul Brynner and his first wife, Virginia Gilmore

Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr in 'The Journey'

Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr in ‘The Journey’

Yul Brynner accepted his Academy Award from Actress Anna Magnani

Yul Brynner accepted his Academy Award from Actress Anna Magnani

 

Filmography

Acting Roles

Year Title Roles
1949 Port of New York Paul Vicola
1956 The King and I King Mongkut of Siam
1956 The Ten Commandments Ramesses
1956 Anastasia General Sergei Pavlovich Bounine
1958 The Brothers Karamazov Dmitri Karamazov
1958 The Buccaneer Jean Lafitte
1959 The Journey Major Surov
1959 The Sound and the Fury Jason Compson
1960 Once More, With Feeling! Victor Fabian
1960 Testament of Orpheus L’huissier / Court usher
1960 Surprise Package Nico March
1960 The Magnificent Seven Chris Larabee Adams
1961 Goodbye Again Extra in nightclub scene
1962 Escape from Zahrain Sharif
1962 Taras Bulba Taras Bulba
1963 Kings of the Sun Chief Black Eagle
1964 Flight from Ashiya Sgt. Mike Takashima
1964 Invitation to a Gunfighter Jules Gaspard d’Estaing
1965 Morituri Captain Mueller
1966 Cast a Giant Shadow Asher Gonen
1966 The Poppy is Also a Flower Colonel Salem
1966 Return of the Seven Chris
1966 Triple Cross The Double Man
1967 The Double Man Dan Slater/ Kalmer
1967 The Long Duel Sultan
1968 Villa Rides Pancho Villa
1969 The File of the Golden Goose Peter Novak
1969 Battle of Neretva Vlado (Vladimir Smirnov)
1969 The Madwoman of Chaillot The Chairman
1969 The Magic Christian Transvestite cabaret singer
1970 Adiós, Sabata Sabata/ Indio Black
1971 The Light at the Edge of the World Jonathan Kongre
1971 Romance of a Horsethief Captain Stoloff
1971 Catlow Catlow
1972 Fuzz The Deaf Man
1972 Anna and the King King Mongkut of Siam
1973 Night Flight from Moscow Col. Alexei Vlassov
1973 Westworld The Gunslinger
1975 The Ultimate Warrior Carson
1976 Future World The Gunslinger
1976 Death Rage Peter Marciani

 

Selected Directing Roles

Year Title
1953 15 Million Men Without a Country
1953 Omnibus (Documentary)
1953 Omnibus (TV Series) (2 episodes)
1950-1953 Danger (TV series) (5 episodes)
1950-1951 Sure As Fate (TV series) (4 episodes)
1950 Starlight Theatre (TV Series) (3 Episodes)
1950-1951 We Take Your Word (TV Series)
1950 Actor’s Studio (TV Series) (2 Episodes)

 

Selected Stage Work

Year Title
1941 Twelfth Night (Broadway)
1946 Lute Song (Broadway and US national tour)
1951 The King and I (Broadway and US national tour)
1976 Home Sweet Homer (Broadway)
1977 The King and I (Broadway, London and US national tour)
1985 The King and I (Broadway)

Sources:

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yul_Brynner
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNjunlWUJJI
  • http://www.biography.com/people/yul-brynner-9542628
  • http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000989/bio
  • https://www.rottentomatoes.com/celebrity/yul_brynner/biography
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prWyqhOSjLM

For more interesting information:

 

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About Valentina Suhendra

Valentina met H.E. the 25th Tsem Tulku Rinpoche in year 2006 and became his student one year later. Prior to joining Kechara, Valentina was an advisory director at one of the big four accounting firms.

Currently, Valentina is the chairwoman of Yayasan Kechara Indonesia, a foundation working on social community projects to benefit the community. Read more of her writing on her blog: www.valentinasuhendra.com
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13 Responses to The Life of Yul Brynner (1920 – 1985)

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  1. wan wai meng on Dec 28, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    Well there you have it, smoking can get you to have a shorter life.

    • wan wai meng on Dec 28, 2016 at 4:37 pm

      To add on to that, Yul Brynner is one of many few actors and actresses who have reached the pinnacle of success yet still gives time for humanitarian causes. They use their fame and influence to do good, in this case for the Children that are usually one of the first casualties of war.

  2. Samfoonheei on Nov 22, 2016 at 10:17 pm

    Inspiring biography of Yul Brynner (1920 – 1985).I do not know much of him other then watching his show Anna and the King many years back.He was a talented actor and director, Yul Brynner was also a good photographer, author and guitarist as well.He was a Special Consultant on Refugees,Even though he was sick he try to bring awareness of smoking bad for health in all major television networks in the United States and other countries..A beautiful quote by him…..We are born alone, we live alone, we die alone, everything in between is a gift .Very true.
    Thank you Valentina a very inspiring post.

  3. Stella Cheang on Nov 16, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    It is an enjoyable read on the biography of Yul Brynner, who played the role of King Mongkut. It is little known that Yul Brynner had a sad past and that he was multi-talented; in addition to being an actor and director, he was also an accomplished photographer, author, guitarist and philanthropist. He put his past behind him and wooed the world with his excellent acting is something we can learn from. Thank you Valentina for this article.

  4. freon on Nov 16, 2016 at 12:45 am

    Dear Valentina,

    I remembered i watched the movie ‘The King and I’ when i was very young. Yul Brynner have leave an impression on the King’s image that he cast in. It is quite shocking that a person can play the same role for over 4000 times! His determination and consistency is incredible.

    Thank you for writing this story

  5. shelly tai on Nov 15, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    Thank you Valentina for this inspiring post . I don’t really know about this actor but after reading his life story he is a wise man and intelligent man I personally like the quote that he said ‘we are born alone, we live alone, we die alone, everything in between is a gift , to me this quote sound very Dharma this is what happen to all of us.

  6. Sharon Ong on Nov 12, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    “The King and I” is one of those classics that will not fade into obscurity with time. I remember watching the black and white version and was utterly enthralled with the famous epic dance scene where Yul Brynner waltzed with Deborah Kerr. Years later, when I watched the musical, although the lead actor was good, I felt that the role of the King of Siam belonged to Yul alone and no one would come close.

    It is such a pity that his life and acting career was cut short due to his cancer. But what he did towards the end of his life is inspiring. Not many people would do what he did. His passion and dedication to his art made him rise above his illness and he gave his all, even after he lost his voice.

    His poignant anti-smoking commercial is probably one of his best performance. Spoken from the heart, honest and brave. Kudos to Yul for using his illness and fame to speak about the ills of smoking.

    Thank you for this interesting read, Valentina.

  7. Adeline Tan on Nov 12, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    Yul Brynner was a multi-talented actor, singer, author and photographer with a kind heart. He used his fame as Special Consultant for Refugees with the United Nation High Commissioner to look into the plight of refugees from Asia and the middle east. He even risked his life by entering the campsites and he also made two documentaries to high the refugees issue.
    Before he died of lung cancer he spoke of the danger of smoking.
    Thank you Velentina for sharing the great actor Yul Brynner’s life with us. I really enjoyed his show ‘The King and I’ and also ‘The Ten Commandments.’
    I also saw the remade of “The King and I’ with Chow Yun Fatt, the Hong Kong famous actor as the King and part of the location was done in the states, of Perak and Penang.

  8. Fong on Nov 12, 2016 at 1:46 am

    A man who showed strength of character, he refused to talk about his sad past. It did not diminished him as a person, instead made him stronger and kinder. From as painful past he learnt to care for others in his work with the UNHCR as Special Consultant on Refugees.

    And, back when people did not talk about their illness, he championed a disease that still affects millions today – lung cancer. He stood up and voiced his concern and advised smokers to mend their ways. There was no hint of bitterness is these acts of his.

    Hats off to man who used his influence and stature for the betterment of others and not let his paind affect what he became.

  9. Pastor Han Nee on Nov 11, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    Yul Brynner was a man of many talents and accomplishments -acting, photography and writing. One of the two books he wrote was a cookbook! Yes,the world remembered him best as the King in the film “King and I” and also for the famous dance scene in “King and I”. He won an academy award as best actor for the film. He had a great passion for acting and continued to act despite being very sick and until the last few months of his life.

    His humane side is seen in his work as a special consultant on Refugees for the United Nations, where he bought the suffering of Refugees to the knowledge of the world. He was brave too, going into dangerous refugee camps possible to see for himself the actual situation.

    It is good for him to have spoken up against smoking and to show the world that it was smoking that had caused his cancer and would kill him.

    Yes Yul Bynner is a remarkable person. I admire him for his courage to speak up and let the world know about two big issues -the suffering of refugees and the terrible consequences of smoking.

  10. Joy Kam on Nov 11, 2016 at 3:14 am

    The King and I is perhaps one of the best classics that is ever green until today. And it was one of my favourite movies when I was growing up as a kid. But like many people, we did not know much of this actor Yul Brynner, well at least I did not know right up until now.

    It is interesting and inspiring to see how he continues to work even though he had cancer he carried on working. But what is most inspiring is that he used this illness of his to spread more awareness on cancer and the risk we take when we smoke. I am glad due to Rinpoche’s instructions I have quite smoking. Cancer is actually in all of us, it what we do that would trigger it from opening up like eating etc. Hence we so our very best to ensure it does not happen.

  11. May Ong on Nov 10, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    When we asked people if they remembered the movie “The King & I”, we will get the reply, Oh! They remembered Yul Brynner as the Siam (Thai) king singing and dancing around with the English school teacher and governess to his children.

    That scene has remained as one of the most popular memories for many. Yul Brynner was literally the icon of the movie “The King and I”, as with Elizabeth Taylor, the actress to the movie “Cleopatra” as the female pharaoh of ancient Egypt.

    Most of us knew of Yul Brynner as a famous actor but wasn’t aware that he was a strong supporter of the UN to help to bring relieve of sufferings of refugees around the world from Asia to the Middle East. Reading about his autobiography is an eye opener to many for he had strong presence as an actor as well as being a humanitarian activist.

  12. Sofi on Nov 9, 2016 at 11:28 pm

    Thank you Valentina for writing this article. It evoked many memories of younger years when I sat glued to watching his movies on videos. I actually read the book “The King and I” before I watched the movie. The movie made the imagination from reading comes through although many parts were left out in the movie due to time constraint. Yul Brynner was good in his role as the King as his reserved manner matches the command of a King and at the same time you see his emotions bubbling behind his demeanour. It is nice to learn that he was an avid humanitarian volunteering at UNHCR using his fame to lend clout to the care of others. He had always seemed to have very deep thoughts and very private. Now with this article we learn more of him and his achievements. A good visit in memory of a famous actor who is more than his fame & fortune.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Jason

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

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

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

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

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this heartwarming article.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/faithful-dog-chases-deceased-owner.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 02:21 PM
    Its a heartfelt touching article of this faithful dog.Cannot imagine this ,such a wonderful relationship between that dog and the deceased owner.The greatest fear dogs know is the fear that we will not come back for them That i noticed from observing from my pet poodle.In this case this faithful dog knew his owner won’t be back.
    Dogs are loyal, patient, fearless, forgiving, capable of pure love and have feelings too.He must have missed the owner badly that he wanted to accompany the owner all the way to the resting place.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing. May that faithful dog ,continue to serve and well taken, love by the other family members.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/faithful-dog-chases-deceased-owner.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 01:46 PM
    Werewolves are known to be mythical creatures found in fiction instead of lurking in the dark woods,In various parts of the world there were few cases who have gone down in history as real life werewolves Interesting to read it from these post..How far it was true or just legends.,no one really know . Many myths and legends surrounding werewolves .To become a werewolf, it is necessary to be bitten by a werewolf in their form at the time of the full moon. Thats what all of us knew from the movies and from fiction told. Reports of werewolf sightings continued even till this century but mostly in between 1428 and 1447 .The most recent sighting of werewolf sightings in 1972. was in Ohio .but eventually subsided .
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these interesting article which i do enjoyed reading it,
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/paranormal/werewolves-the-shapeshifters.html

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Messages from Rinpoche

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Technical: Lew Kwan Leng, Justin Ripley, Yong Swee Keong
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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

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The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

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


Ask the Pastors

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

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

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

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