Why Are Roshi Jiyu Kennett’s Disciples So Reclusive?

May 25, 2016 | Views: 297
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Dear friends around the world,

People like Roshi Jiyu Kennett are truly inspiring, they would abandon their worldly concerns and attachment in determination of practicing the Buddha’s teachings completely.

With all due respect, for a woman like her who comes from a western country, it’s very hard to integrate into the Asian-Zen culture of spirituality and devotion, I rejoice very much for her determination and and strong will to pursue her path in spirituality. Yet she did integrate and also brought Buddhism to many people in the West. She practiced fully the dharma she was devoted to for the rest of her life. She is one of the great pioneers who introduced Buddhism to many others in her spiritual journey. Even now after her passing she is still a great inspiration and blessing to read about.

Tsem Rinpoche

 


 

Why Are Roshi Jiyu Kennett’s Disciples So Reclusive?

Seikai Luebke | April 6, 2013

In 1969 Roshi Jiyu Kennett left Japan, where she had spent most of the decade of the 1960s training at Sojiji monastery, and running her own small temple. Arriving in San Francisco, she stayed briefly with Suzuki Roshi, who was teaching Zen to young, idealistic baby boomers, hungry for authentic teaching from the mystical Far East, especially if it included talk of enlightenment and meditation practice – zazen. She was willing to teach that, and more, to this generation of enthusiastic seekers. In so doing, she established herself among the first wave of Zen teachers to leave China, Japan and Korea, and take the risky plunge of teaching Westerners.

Now more than 40 years have gone by, and Jiyu Kennett, like most of that first wave of Zen teachers, has been dead for some time – 16 years in her case. Her books were never wildly popular in the way that The Three Pillars of Zen and Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind were; books which were read by anyone even remotely interested in what Zen had to offer in those early years. But she attracted a loyal following, and there was a general awareness of her presence within the Zen community in America.

There were two ways in which she did, however, make an impact on the transplanting of Zen – or for that matter Buddhism in general – into Western society and culture. One was the fact of her being female, and as a female, was able to gain all the qualifications necessary to teach as a fully independent Zen Master; this was new for women. Over the years I have heard many times, from female Buddhist practitioners, that Jiyu Kennett’s story, as recorded autobiographically in her book Wild White Goose, was a major inspiration to them. If she can do it, I can do it, too.

The other thing she did which made an impact was to start a monastery as opposed to a Zen Center or a Dharma Center. Herein lies the answer to the question “why are her disciples so reclusive?” Shasta Abbey, which she founded in 1970, evolved into a place for Zen training wherein the main focus was on being a monk, and training as a monk, rather than on Zen practice as being for everyone. This has also been inspirational for those Buddhist teachers arriving in America intending to establish monastic practice within their tradition – but ironically not so much in the Zen tradition. Many of those teachers who have wanted to establish a Buddhist monastery have paid a visit to Shasta Abbey to see what Jiyu Kennett did that has, at least for now, survived the first few difficult decades.

Jiyu Kennett’s approach was to establish monastic training first, with the hope that, having trained up a generation of monks capable of teaching in their own right, creating a larger Sangha of lay practitioners would be the natural evolutionary outcome of doing so. Most of the Zen teachers and roshis who came to America looked at it the other way around: train up lay people first, cast the net wide, and you’re bound to produce a few monks and/or priests in the process. A few teachers, like Maezumi Roshi, ordained a fairly large number of people as Zen priests; one difficulty that has existed, however, is a lack of clarity concerning lay ordination and priest ordination, which are distinct levels of ordination and training, despite the fact that the same set of 16 precepts are taken in both ceremonies.

There is a certain logic in both approaches, but Jiyu Kennett herself changed so much in the process of teaching monks that her initial vision was never realized. Initially, she had the idea of creating a three year training program to produce Zen priests capable of leaving the monastery and establishing some sort of temple, Zendo or practice center (she used the old English word priory). To her mind, this would have reflected what existed in Japan when she lived there, and as it happened, some of her disciples did establish small temples or priories. But a profound shift happened before this idea could be brought to any kind of fruition: the adoption of celibacy. And the adoption of celibacy at Shasta Abbey came about as a result of the spiritual awakening accompanied by a long series of visions which she had in 1976. Her book How to Grow a Lotus Blossom or How a Zen Buddhist Prepares for Death was her accounting of that awakening.

Within the space of a few years, the focus at Shasta Abbey shifted from being a seminary, where one could be trained to do the job of a Zen priest, to a monastery, where one stayed put and lived the life of a monk. Jiyu Kennett decided that it took longer than three years to adequately train someone to be a priest. Plus, she would rather have her disciples stay in the monastery than leave it for the purpose of establishing a temple; her focus turned almost entirely inwards, within the tiny mandala of Shasta Abbey. This inward focus still exists there, and partially explains why none of her disciples have any kind of public presence or are well-known Zen teachers, with the notable exceptions of Kyogen and Gyokuko Carlson and James Ford, who is also a Unitarian minister. And the three of them all were gone from Shasta Abbey by the early 1980s. (The situation is a bit different in Jiyu Kennett’s native country, England, where a few of her disciples have a higher profile.)

Reverend Master Jiyu-Kennet asking a question in a ceremony called Shosan.

Having entered the community of Shasta Abbey in 1977, I was witness to most of these changes as they unfolded. Jiyu Kennett changed the name of her newly founded order from Zen Mission Society to Reformed Soto Zen Church, and then to Order of Buddhist Contemplatives (OBC)— the last change being for the explicit purpose of removing the word Zen from the name, thus distancing herself from the rest of the Zen community in America, for which she did not have a high regard. It could be confusing knowing what was a policy versus what was an actual rule on the books. According to Kyogen, who was the Executive Secretary at Shasta for some time, “JK would occasionally decide that at some meeting in the past we had decided such and such a matter, and then have me record it as if I were recording it at the time. Most of the time these “decisions” had not really been made at all, although there would have been some discussion of the issue at hand. We all just went along with this. I think all of this led to uncertainty as to what rules really meant, and which ones might apply at any point in time. There was a caveat in place that said that the application of any rule was subject to the “discretion” of the abbot. That meant, in effect, that the abbot could pretty much rule arbitrarily. No wonder there was confusion.”

This latter issue – concentration of power in the hands of one human being, and the inevitable tendency to abuse power or wield it gratuitously – is one that many Zen organizations in America have had trouble with. Apparently it works in the context of Japanese society, but I’ve come to the conclusion that in America, with its democratic and egalitarians ideals, we need to find a better way of doing things, one which works well for Americans. The fact that we all went along with it at the time speaks to the huge power differential that existed then, that it was virtually impossible to challenge or openly question a teacher like Jiyu Kennett.

In the late 70s and early 80s there was a relatively small group of her disciples who had been ordained as Zen priests and trained as monks, but who were also married. They had to choose between living celibate lives in the monastery or as couples elsewhere. Some people who were caught in the middle of this change have said that Rev. Master Jiyu advised them to either “dissolve their marriage” – i.e. not live as a couple – or get a divorce, making it possible for them to train as monks under vows of celibacy rather than marriage. She may very well have done this – I don’t know. The split which Kyogen and Gyokuko Carlson made from the OBC in 1986 centered more specifically on the definition of discipleship and the dynamics of that relationship; their marriage, which happened a few years earlier before celibacy had been codified in the rules for the whole OBC, was not the central issue. In a larger context, however, the problem was that Rev. Master Jiyu had changed course, the change directly affected the lives of people who had trained with her, and she hadn’t always been totally clear about what her expectations were, what was and was not allowed, and what was an actual rule versus what was a policy which might ultimately prove to be temporary. The adoption of celibacy for all priest ordained trainees in the OBC, regardless of where they lived, took place in 1985.

The mid-1980s was a time of upheaval within Shasta Abbey, just as it was at the San Francisco Zen Center in the wake of the dismissal of Richard Baker as the abbot there. Several senior monks at the Abbey were unhappy with the way Rev. Master Jiyu had steered the community in the direction of strict authoritarian leadership, very tight discipline, and isolation from the world. The outcome of this unhappiness was the departure of a number of people who had been training there for in most cases 10 to 15 years. And Rev. Master Jiyu’s response to those departures was to turn increasingly inwards and to doing progressively less teaching as time went on.

This progression of changes was reflected in the use of titles within the monastery. In the 70s, Jiyu Kennett was referred to simply as “Roshi”, same as many other Zen masters and teachers in America then, and no doubt still today. That changed to the title “Rev. Zenji”, which in Japan would be used as a very honorific title only for very high ranking priests (Eko Little, her successor at Shasta Abbey, put through that particular change). A few years later, ‘Rev. Zenji’ was dropped in favor of “Rev. Master”, which she decided was an appropriate translation of ‘roshi’. That title is still used for monks of the OBC who have been qualified as Zen Masters as a result of sufficient years of training and depth of understanding.

From the early 80s onward, Rev. Master Jiyu spent relatively little time and energy teaching a lay audience. She would spend one week during the summer teaching at UC Extension in San Francisco, but that was about the extent of it. She rarely spoke to lay people within the monastery as well, leaving that task to her most trusted senior monks. I think she wanted her monks to become capable teachers of Zen who could then potentially reach out to a larger audience; the only problem was that she really didn’t have the energy or inclination to teach monks how to teach. One learned through a process of osmosis, which meant that her disciples have inadvertently copied some of her personality traits, and have also made the mistake of trying to teach lay people who have wives, husbands, partners, children, careers and busy lives in a manner that would be more suited to teaching novice monks.

Diabetes, a disease which she developed during her years in Japan, took an increasing toll on Rev. Master Jiyu’s health as the years passed, and helps to explain why she was unable to do more in the way of teaching herself, or teaching others to teach. The last six years of her life were spent in relative seclusion, as she lost the ability to walk and needed progressively more and more personal care. One of her doctors remarked that the reason she lived as long as she did was due to the intensive, tender loving care provided by the circle of disciples that was always around her, and made attending to her needs their first priority. It also meant that, as a community, Shasta Abbey didn’t have the collective energy to spend on traveling, teaching, cultivating a wider Sangha, or any of the things necessary to have a recognizable public presence in the larger Zen community in America.

Over the past 16 years since she died, it has seemed to me that although some attempt was made initially to reach out to a larger audience, on the whole the habit energy of how things were done for so long has stayed with Jiyu Kennett’s disciples. We were trained to be monks, first and foremost, who lived a relatively secluded, cloistered existence. Our attention was always focused inwards, both on the level of personal practice, and within how the monastery existed. The adoption of vows of celibacy had a large impact with respect to how members of the OBC have related to the rest of the Zen community in America. It set Shasta Abbey and the OBC apart as an organization that was doing something radically different by the standards of the Zen world.

The existence of a non-celibate Zen priesthood is something which extends back in time only a bit over a century, to the second half of the 19th Century. It was a profound shift, made during the Meiji Restoration, which was an attempt to diminish the power of the Zen priesthood, making them subject to the power of the Emperor and not just faithful to the Buddha. In most of the rest of the Buddhist monastic world, celibacy is still the norm – it was, after all, required by the Buddha – which means that in the eyes of most Buddhist monks and nuns, Zen priests and priestesses are, essentially, lay people unless they live celibate lives. This state of affairs has meant that the disciples of Rev. Master Jiyu feel more comfortable being with monastics of other Buddhist traditions – Chinese, Vietnamese, Theravada, and so on – as opposed to Zen people, who are by and large not bound by vows of celibacy.

I am no exception to this. Every year a group of Western Buddhist monastics has a gathering held at one of the handful of monasteries large enough to accommodate a group of 40 or so monks and nuns: The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, The City of the Dharma Realm, the Vajrapani Institute, Shasta Abbey, and most recently the Deer Park Monastery near San Diego. I try to attend these gatherings if I possibly can, and have made a number of friends within the Buddhist monastic world by doing so. There have been a handful of other Zen practitioners over the years, but they are few and far between. I wish it were otherwise, but meanwhile a question remains for all of us who were Jiyu Kennett’s disciples, namely, to what extent do we wish to have significant contact or dialogue with other Zen organizations and practitioners, if at all?

As some people in the larger Zen community are aware, the monk who succeeded Rev. Master Jiyu as abbot of Shasta Abbey, Eko Little, resigned his post and returned to lay life in 2010. This turn of events was accompanied by some unhappiness over his conduct as abbot which revolved around abuse of power issues. His undoing did involve crossing the line of what is now being more carefully defined as inappropriate conduct on the part of a teacher in the context of a teacher-student relationship or a master-disciple relationship.
That there is a serious effort being made in the Zen community to establish clear cut guidelines as to what constitutes sexual misconduct and violations of appropriate boundaries in personal relationships is a trend which all of Rev. Master Jiyu’s disciple would applaud. I certainly do. She would have been horrified by the conduct of one of her closest disciples, Eko, had she been alive to witness it. And the community of Shasta Abbey has had enough of a taste of the damage that this kind of thing can cause to want to make sure it doesn’t happen again. The spiritual lives of completely trusting, sincere human beings can be thrown into a chaotic mess which is no small thing to sort out. To rebuild the trust necessary to engage in any kind of deeper spiritual practice and training in the wake of these episodes of power abuse and sexual predation is not a simple matter, requiring time, patience and, above all, human love and understanding for the people who have been abused.

As for Jiyu Kennett, there was never any question of sexual misconduct on her part, but depending on who you talk to, some people feel that she did abuse power to some extent. She had a huge, charismatic personality. Hers was a tiger personality: she could roar, swat, pounce, and chew your head off. She could also purr and be a pussy-cat in the most generous sense of the term. She wrote a column in the Abbey journal entitled News from the Tiger’s Lair. She was enormously inspirational to many people. In short, she was a very complex human being who had many facets to her personality, and she was always very sure of herself. It has been observed over the course of time that when such a person appears on the face of the earth, and they cultivate a following, usually a fairly substantial one, those people have a rough time of it following the death of the great leader, politician, teacher, Indian chief.

I think the reason for this lies in the magnitude of the great leader’s personality. No one can ever really fill their shoes, because no one with a similar personality would ever end up as the disciple of such a one; the vast majority of those who do, in fact, become followers or disciples of a great leader are people willing to be led, and are not, themselves, much inclined to lead. Of course there are always exceptions, but in this case, as it has happened, the two close disciples of Rev. Master Jiyu, who were handpicked by her to take over the reins of Shasta Abbey and the OBC are both gone. Daizui MacPhillamy, her successor as head of the OBC, died of cancer in 2003; Eko Little, as I mentioned, disrobed in 2010.

I have often thought of myself that I had all normal human ambition pounded out of me as a result of being Rev. Master Jiyu’s disciple for 18 years. It was necessary in that environment to give up ideals and ambitions, and sacrifice yourself to a perceived higher, collective good. There is a certain freedom in doing so because you are relieved of a larger sense of responsibility to look at the bigger picture, decide to undertake something big or far-reaching, or even just to step out on your own. But that, to my mind anyway, is the primary reason why Jiyu Kennett’s disciples are a reclusive group of people. We weren’t taught to be teachers; we were taught to be monks, plain and, hopefully, simple. But needless to say, we are all complex human beings, and one doesn’t need to have a huge personality for that to be so. All it takes, seemingly, is to be a human being alive in the 21st Century.

At this point I don’t know to what extent Jiyu Kennett’s legacy has made a mark on the collective consciousness of Zendom in America. In the late 90s, after her death, I was the guest master at Shasta Abbey for a few years. People would visit the monastery, saying they had studied at the Zen Mountain Monastery with the late John Daido Loori in Upstate New York. I found out later that he had included some of Rev. Master Jiyu’s teachings in the curriculum he developed for the study of Zen. That may have been an isolated case, but whatever the case, from a larger perspective, her legacy is probably as complex as she was. She left behind some visionary, radically different teachings; she created a Buddhist liturgy using Western church music; she founded one of the first Buddhist monasteries outside Asia, with men and women training side by side, and did so by means of sheer willpower and force of personality. And she left behind a substantial group of disciples, predominantly British and American, who live almost entirely under the radar.

Source: http://sweepingzen.com/why-are-roshi-jiyu-kennetts-disciples-so-reclusive/

 

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6 Responses to Why Are Roshi Jiyu Kennett’s Disciples So Reclusive?

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  1. Pastor Lim Han Nee on Jan 27, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    Roshi Jiyu Kennett will remain an inspiring spiritual leader, who was able to transplant Buddhism, especially Zen Buddhism, into Western society and culture.And this was in the 1970s. What was most inspiring about her was her renunciation of all worldly concerns and pursuits to devote her life entirely to practising Lord Buddha’s teachings. She also founded a monastery in US in the 1970s – Shasta Abbey , no mean feat, and she set about training a group of Western men and women to become monks and nuns. She had hoped that they would become teachers and spread the Dharma.

    Though, she was not successful in producing both lay and sangha members to go out and teach and spread the Dharma in every direction, she did produce a group of Western monks and nuns who were totally committed to the vinaya vows of a monastic , and were content to live and practise in anonymity within the cloistered walls of the monastery or seminary.

    When we look at these reclusive monks and nuns, we have to look into the heart of renunciation to understand why they chose to be reclusive.
    Renunciation requires a monastic to give up all the eight worldly concerns, which include fame and power. The worldly concerns of fame and power have the most insidious and treacherous tentacles even around a monastic who has renounced the world to serve others.

    Hence, when Seika Luebke, one of the reclusive students of Roshi Jiyu Kennett wrote: “I had all normal human ambition pounded out of me as a result of being Rev. Master Jiyu’s disciple for 18 years. It was necessary in that environment to give up ideals and ambitions, and sacrifice yourself to a perceived higher, collective good”, her words resonate well with anyone who has decided to give up every worldly concern to become selfless and totally immersed in a cloistered life, in order to serve and benefit others.

  2. Wan Wai Meng on Oct 12, 2016 at 2:18 am

    Roshi Jiyu Kennett setting up a monastic system in the US is no small feat at all. It went against other Zen traditions that sought to develop lay students and hopefully from there see if there are students who will want to embrace the monastic tradition.

    For her case she went all the way, to set up the monastic tradition. As the training and expectation for monks and nuns are generally harder as we are not dealing with an established tradition furthermore it was being planted new country. Roshi Jiyu went all the way and managed to create a unique Zen tradition in the US.

  3. sarah yap on Jun 30, 2016 at 6:31 am

    It is never easy to introduce the Dharma in a new land, where Dharma have never or are scarcely practiced. Although Buddhism, in it’s own ways is incredibly flexible in allowing different cultures to adapt it’s philosophies, it can be also very rigid. The point where Buddhism integrates into one’s culture is just an indication that those from different cultural background are not forced to adopt a foreign culture (in this case Asian culture since Buddhism did after all originated from the East) just because they decide to study Buddhism. I can only imagine the difficulties and opposition that Roshi Jiyu Kennett must have faced in her lifetime of trying to make the Dharma grow in the West.

    Zen Buddhism have always been of interest to me. If I have not decided to explore Tibetan Buddhism first, Zen or Nichiren Buddhism would be the form of Buddhism I’d practice now, so I find this article fairly fascinating and interesting. Some of the most admirable, determined and wise Buddhist practitioners come from this tradition, and I have admired them.

    It is quite surprising that the initial plan was to have a 3 year program to train Zen teachers and have them teach outside… 3 years of study program is never sufficient for a practice that one may not even see the depths of it even after practicing for one’s whole life time.

    Roshi Jiyu certainly took things into her own hands and implemented core Buddhist principles that are not practiced widely within her own tradition, such as celibacy. While in this article it was written that the vow of celibacy was removed due to what it seems like ‘political’ reasons, I have also read in various article that the vow was removed to also encourage people live their life as a priest in the many temples that dot across Japan. Also, some temples are passed down by generations, which ensures that the temple always has a future priest to take over which was groomed from a young age. Of course, this information I read could have been heavily censored by their government, which I wouldn’t know.

    However, this concept of having a future priest for the temple is not all that strange or foreign as even smaller temples in Malaysia, the nuns or lay priests would adopt orphaned children and raise them to be caretakers of the temple in the future.

    One thing that is unfortunate in the case of the successor of the Abbey, was that two of Roshi Jiyu’s hand picked successor wasn’t able to fulfill her vision, as one passed on too early, while the other disrobed. Fortunately the Abbey is still doing ok and running smoothly despite this crisis. But I am not surprise that this is how some monasteries or temples meet their end, as it only takes one generation of ‘bad’ practitioner to destroy years of hard work that was put into building the monastery.

  4. CindyH on Jun 20, 2016 at 11:34 pm

    Reading about Roshi Jiyu Kennett’s journey with her inspirational works and strong commitment towards practising Dharma, it is clear that she embodied renunciation having understood that true and lasting happiness cannot be found in the possession of material wealth, power or fame. Not only was she living her life abandoning the attachment to materialism, she even created a viable environment for like-minded people who simply live to pursue Dharma practice. Yet, she was practical enough to understand worldly materials can be instrumentally useful when skilfully used in to further spiritual practices or purposes.

    Based on how her disciple had described her character, there is also a sense of fearlessness in her pursuit driven by the motivation to benefit others. For example, she had no reservations departing from the normal “behaviour” that people usually associate Zen Buddhism with, composing Buddhist liturgy using Western church music and even started a monastery (instead of the usual Zen Dharma centre) one of the first Buddhist monasteries outside Asia, with men and women training side by side.
    There is also an element of flexibility adopted in the manner she deals with things. She easily adapted to changes which best served her goal to benefit others instead of dogmatically sticking to her earlier plan. For example, she started out with a radical idea of focusing to create teachers capable of teaching in their own right (so as to be able to reach out to more people eventually) but changed her approach after assessing the level and situation at hand.

  5. Brad Penney on Jun 18, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    Thanks for posting. Power abuse is an important issue. There is a tendency among some people to go on their own ego trip, and try to take others along for the ride. The result can be spiritual hi jacking. They become so focused on being the leader that other people’s needs become secondary.

    Then there are the cases like Diamond Mountain. HH Dalai Lama had to write a missive over that, encourage people to report and publish abuses. Thanks for bring these issues up.

  6. Stella Cheang on Jun 2, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    This is a recount of Roshi Jiyu Kenneth’s legend through the lenses of her disciple, Seikai Luebke of 18 years. The story is inspiring for Roshi Jiyu Kenneth had, in her own way, “transplanted” Buddhsim through Zen into the western world. Here’s why I find it so:
    1. Start up a monastery instead of a Zen center. While the place is for Zen training but the main focus was on being a monk, and training as a monk, rather than on Zen practice as being for everyone.
    2. By establishing monastic training first, then she can systematize a generation of monks capable of teaching in their own right, and thus creating a larger Sangha of lay practitioners.
    Eko Little succeeded her as Abbot of Shasta Abbey after Roshi Jiyu Kenneth’s passing. But he was later disrobed in 2010 due to some scandal.

    But what really resonates with me from this article is what Seikiei Luebke had written in one of her concluding paragraphs:
    “… It was necessary in that environment to give up ideals and ambitions, and sacrifice yourself to a perceived higher, collective good. There is a certain freedom in doing so because you are relieved of a larger sense of responsibility to look at the bigger picture, decide to undertake something big or far-reaching, or even just to step out on your own. But that, to my mind anyway, is the primary reason why Jiyu Kennett’s disciples are a reclusive group of people. We weren’t taught to be teachers; we were taught to be monks, plain and, hopefully, simple. But needless to say, we are all complex human beings, and one doesn’t need to have a huge personality for that to be so. All it takes, seemingly, is to be a human being alive in the 21st Century.”

    This, to me, is the summary of the paradoxical conflict that each and every one of us have to overcome before we reach the milestone of renunciation.

    Thank you very much Rinpoche for this astute article that gives us perspective on spiritual journey.

    Humbly, bowing down,
    Stella Cheang

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  • 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
  • Valentina
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 01:11 PM
    Join our blog chat session this Saturday 11AM – 12PM (GMT +8) on the topic of:

    Twenty-Four Holy Places & Eight Great Charnel Grounds part 2 – (focus topic: Eight Great Charnel Grounds)

    At one time there was a god by the name of Rudra who was originally part of Mahadeva’s retinue. He was a very fierce being who also had many of his own consorts. Together with his consorts he began to oppress sentient beings, and promoted violence and unethical behaviour. At that time, Heruka once again arose, and in a dance of great compassionate wrath, liberated Rudra and his consorts from their physical bodies, sending their minds to pure lands. The places where Rudra’s body parts fell became charnel grounds. …read more by clicking the following link:

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/twenty-four-holy-places-eight-great-charnel-grounds.html
  • Jason
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 03:07 AM
    This year Wesak Day fall on 10 of May. This day is very special and meaningful to me because I will visit Kechara Forest Retreat(KFR) to join some meritorious event there.
    For me, Wesak is a day to commemorate Buddha Sakyamuni in three aspect( Birth , Enlightened, Nirwana).
    While we celebrate Wesak, we must remind ourselves to learn from Buddha teachings and practice it in order to gain attainment.
    Thanks Rinpoche and Pastor Seng Piow for sharing in order to create more understanding on Wesak Day.

    Jason

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/wesak-day-special-on-rtm-2.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Wednesday, Apr 26. 2017 06:10 PM
    OMG! This is very touching. To see a doggie who never left go of his owner in spite of death. Way more powerful than many who proclaimed “till death do us part.” Just like the human, not all doggies are as loyal as this tear-jerking pet, but I truly believe almost all doggies offer unconditional love to the person who feeds and cares for them. Even when they are stray animals. There was a stray dog who will run two streets from the entrance of the “Taman” until the car stops in front of the house, just to greet me. You can imagine the warm and conviction in my heart that these beings are more than capable of loving than many of us, human! Thank you for this lovely sharing. I miss my doggie, Sherab.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/faithful-dog-chases-deceased-owner.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Wednesday, Apr 26. 2017 06:00 PM
    Thank you, Pastor Seng Piow, for this amazing sharing. There is no doubt about the ability of our Guru, His Eminence the 25th Tsem Tulku Rinpoche. His incarnations have been compassionate and taken rebirth to return and spread the dharma so that sentient beings can benefit and learn some dharma in our short life.

    We shall never doubt our Guru; but must see that He is one with our Yidam and Protector, an attained being. Even if our Guru does not demonstrate clairvoyance abilities, we must never contest our Guru, for he holds the key (dharma) that can liberate us from eternal suffering in samsara.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-1-2.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Wednesday, Apr 26. 2017 05:50 PM
    Thank you, Pastor Seng Piow, for the illustrated miracle story on how Rinpoche guided Cynthia and Marici away from danger through protector’s practice. The unseen exist, whether we like it or not. Some of them are malicious and have the affinity or karma with some of us. Hence they can cause harm and disturbance. By engaging in Protectors’ practice like Dorje Shugden and Setrap that have been practiced by the high lamas of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism, we are protected and guarded against harm.

    Rinpoche is compassionate and only want the best for us. His teachings are not meant to show off the power of the divines but offer us a way out from our desperate samsara conundrum that binds us from engaging in deeper spiritual practice. Rinpoche always teaches us to focus on mind transformation and Tsongkhapa practice. How fortunate we are to have met Rinpoche in this lifetime. We must not let this rare and precious opportunity go to waste.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-12.html

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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

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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
3 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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