Growing Up With Rinpoche

By | May 7, 2016 | Views: 864
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If I examine my life honestly, I can safely say that all of the good things that have happened to me have been the result of my teacher, as well as any good qualities that may have scratched their way just a little bit through the mud.

I first met Rinpoche in 1997, when he came to visit us in our apartment and over the years, I have been fortunate enough to be exposed to such a person. Let’s not even talk about ‘guru’ for now but about Rinpoche as a person, as someone who is overwhelmingly kind, fiercely loyal, unbelievably caring, extremely sharp and hilariously funny. Anyone would be fortunate to have such a friend in their lives. What more is there to say about having such a person who possesses Bodhicitta motivation as one’s spiritual guide?

Now having known Rinpoche for more than half my life (18 years!), you can be sure that such a conclusion was not developed overnight, free from any kind of observation. Such a conclusion has come from years of observing Rinpoche both in public and in private, always in action to assist and benefit anyone in need, even if they themselves do not realise at the time that they needed his help.

I can also tell you that 18 years means a lot of pictures and as I was going through my archives (as I often do, apparently!), I realised that except for 1999, 2006 and 2008 to 2010, I pretty much have one photo with Rinpoche for every year I have known Rinpoche…which is kind of cool 🙂

What comes to mind when I look at these pictures? Good memories, no doubt but I am definitely reminded of impermanence. Impermanence in appearance, for sure and not to hang on to it. It is a foolhardy endeavour to hope that our permanent happiness can be based on our impermanent appearance, or our impermanent-anything for that matter because everything that exists beyond attainments in our mind will never be permanent.

It also strikes me that through it all, I never realised how much I changed. I know, you would think, “How can you not realise that you have changed in 18 years?! Two decades is a long time!” but that is the delusion we are all under. As we live out our lives, we generally fail to actively observe it and as a result, we abide in the delusion that we have always been the same. Think about it – how self-aware were you as a 5-year old? And how self-aware were you as a 15-year old, a 25-year old, etc.? Did your level of self-awareness change? Did you spend more moments in awareness, or did you just go through life taking it as it comes? For most people, it is safe to say that we generally abide in the latter state which is why, when we apply hindsight, you hear statements like, “Gosh! How quickly time flies!” Time flies quickly because we were never truly aware of what we were doing, and how time was passing and upon examining it, realised how much time we have lost.

So instead of losing even more time, why not apply a remedy to the situation so we don’t have the same kind of epiphany 10 years down the line, having wasted even more time? This kind of thinking, the one where we lack self-awareness, is dangerous and it would benefit us to develop awareness through, for example, meditation practices. Why? Well, instead of relying on hindsight to examine how different we are, would it not make more sense to try and always be aware of the change? That way, we can move beyond dealing with the consequences of change, and progress into being in control of the change itself.

When I look back, I am most definitely not that kid who first met my teacher 18 years ago. My life has taken twists and turns I could never possibly have imagined but at every major intersection and point of my life, my guru has always been there, lighting the path and guiding me along the way and for that, I will always be very grateful to him.

1997 - in the Burmese Temple, Penang. My first picture with Rinpoche.

1998 - in one of the early Dharma centres that Rinpoche established. I am in the white shirt on the right. It was around this time I realised if I'm going to be dragged to a Dharma centre every weekend, I might as well make an effort to understand what was being taught than sit there with a forever-bored look on my face!

2000 - in Royal Selangor Club, Bukit Kiara at an appreciation dinner for flea market volunteers. Everyone was having severe financial difficulties during this time and some senior students, led by Pastor Henry, organised a flea market to raise funds for Rinpoche's living expenses. Rinpoche organised this dinner to thank everyone who helped.

2001 - in Jurong Reptile Park, Singapore receiving refuge from Rinpoche.

2002 - in Eastin Hotel, when Rinpoche organised a surprise birthday party for my mother. I remember this was at a time when everyone was still doing very badly financially. Despite these worries, Rinpoche still brought everyone together and organised the surprise for her.

2003 - in SS22, in our family home.

2003 - in a Javanese restaurant behind Jalan Bukit Bintang, celebrating my aunt's birthday after we had just invited a 3ft Lama Tsongkhapa statue into my family home. Taken just a few months after the previous picture!

2004 - in Kechara House 1, just after I (accidentally!) tipped a whole monk's bowl of fruit all over Rinpoche. I was mortified but Rinpoche very kindly laughed and said that this spillover was a good sign that I would be doing more Dharma work in the future.

2004 - in Colombo, Sri Lanka on our way to Bodhgaya. Rinpoche was scouting Sri Lanka and Bodhgaya so he could lead a group of 62 pilgrims on pilgrimage the following month. Rinpoche has always taken a personal and deep interest in every aspect and activity of Kechara, to ensure everyone has the best opportunity for spiritual advancement.

2005 - in Dagom Ladrang, Kathmandu during an audience with His Eminence Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche. I had no idea he was a Dorje Shugden lama; to me, he was just a powerful being that my guru told me is one with Yamantaka. If I recall correctly, Rinpoche presented me as someone who wishes to become ordained in the future. I was immensely lucky to meet him because Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche passed away just a couple of years later.

2005 - in a cafe in Sunwaymas, at an appreciation dinner for Kechara Paradise directors. If I recall correctly, I was about to leave Malaysia to attend university in England, hence the khata around my neck – it would be the last time I would see Rinpoche for months.

2007 - in Bangkok with His Eminence Gangchen Rinpoche and Venerable Lama Michel, after attending the cremation of His Eminence Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche.

2011 - in the Samsung store in Gardens Mall, checking out some phones.

2012 - at the Chamang Waterfall, after recovering from a long period of illness. I was in the hospital for a month recovering from a laparoscopic appendectomy which normally takes three days to recover from. After being discharged, Rinpoche put me in a Shize retreat because I was still extremely weak. This photo was taken the day I finished my retreat, which took exactly 100 days, and the first day I felt well enough to leave the house. Rinpoche had no idea I was finishing my retreat that day; I got the call to join everyone just as I finished reciting my dedication prayers.

2013 - in Cahaya Suria, Chow Kit, Masjid Negara, Pudu and Jalan Bukit Bintang distributing face masks and eye drops to the homeless suffering from the haze.

2014 - in Topanga, USA looking at beautiful properties.

2014 - in the US Ladrang, in front of the sponsors' appreciation shrine. Rinpoche wanted this shrine to be created, to generate merits for everyone who has been so generous to Kechara's work over the years, in thanks for their kindness.

2015 - in Kechara Forest Retreat, Bentong after Rinpoche took pictures of our 24-foot Dorje Shugden statue for the first time.

2016 - in Tsem Ladrang, in front of the main altar. The elaborate offerings on the altar is to generate merits and resources for the great works we need to accomplish throughout the Kechara Organisation. As the Ladrang is the heart of the organisation, it's the Ladrang's responsibility to generate these merits.

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Pastor Elena Khong Jean Ai
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About Pastor Elena Khong Jean Ai

Writer. Blogger. Non-conformist and contemporary. Kechara’s youngest Buddhist Pastor. The smiling nun-to-be. Proud student of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche. Lover of cheese and bad puns. You can find more of her writing at www.elenakhong.com.
Pastor Elena Khong Jean Ai
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22 Responses to Growing Up With Rinpoche

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  1. Anne Ong on Jan 5, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    Thhank you for this post Pastor Jean Ai for sharing your personal experiences of Rinpoche. To have met Rinpoche at such a young age is a great blessing. Your life is really a culmination of merits from a previous life and the keeping of samaya that you are always by your teacher and that he guides you. What makes this post even more beautiful is the knowledge that this relationship will continue well into the next life. I feel so happy to see those sweet and happy pictures of you and family taken with Rinpoche when you were a little girl until now 🙂 _/\_

  2. Jacinta Goh on Dec 16, 2016 at 1:24 am

    Dear Pastor Jean Ai,

    Thanks for your sharing above. What makes your story even livelier is the few other comments below. Those who have commented really sum up who Rinpoche is. This is one of the ways on how we can recall the kindness of a Guru and especially beneficial for those who are not able to serve Rinpoche in person. Once again, thanks!

    With love,
    Jacinta

  3. Sock Wan on Jun 17, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    Dear Pastor Jean Ai,
    Thank you for sharing with us your personal experience growing up with Rinpoche. Many people made negative comments on Rinpoche, then funny thing is they do not even know Rinpoche personally, they have not even spent a second with Rinpoche. It puzzled me on what basis do they have to make such comments.

    Rinpoche’s love, care and compassion is very genuine, he has never asked for anything in return. His wish for us is to be happier and better. Wealth to Rinpoche is not for personal indulgence, getting more clothes, house, car etc, but to use the wealth to benefit another person. Whatever Rinpoche has, he gives it away for those in need, to relieve another person’s suffering.

  4. Edward Ooi on Jun 13, 2016 at 8:01 am

    Similar to Pastor Jean Ai’s life, Rinpoche has played a major role in my life. If it is without Rinpoche, my whole family would have been crumbled by now. My parents first came to meet Rinpoche at around 1999, when my mother was pregnant with me for two months. At that point of time, Rinpoche came to Dato Ruby’s house to give a dharma talk, my parents were invited to join the talk by Dato Ruby and that is how my parents met Rinpoche.

    Rinpoche has definitely helped our lives to become better for example: My mother was about to pass away in 2004 and Rinpoche compassionately saved her life (If it wasn’t for Rinpoche, I cannot imagine how difficult life would be for my family), my parents used to argue a lot because my father had gambling issues, that was also solved by Rinpoche (my father made a promise to Rinpoche to never gamble again), my uncle almost pass away due to brain cancer, the tumor grew to 2/3 size of his and Rinpoche definitely helped my uncle to go through it. Above are some of the few things Rinpoche has helped my family with.

    To me, Rinpoche is indeed more like a parent to me that he is a just a spiritual teacher. He has taught to me to be compassionate and helpful to every sentient being in this world regardless if they are humans or not, what matters is that they all have emotions. Thank You Rinpoche for these many years of care and love.

    • Pastor Elena Khong Jean Ai on Jun 14, 2016 at 6:47 am

      Edward, you are very lucky to have Rinpoche’s presence and guidance in your life and it is something you should never take for granted. When I was your age, I knew Rinpoche was nurturing me towards something good but I didn’t know what it was. I just went along with it because even though I didn’t know much Dharma then (and I still don’t), my childish mind really liked Rinpoche for his generosity, kindness, care, consistency and integrity. I trusted Rinpoche for those qualities and I still do.

      Now that I am older and I look back on my life, I can see how the nurturing and time that Rinpoche kindly spent on me helped me to deal with the ‘difficulties’ and disappointments in my life. If I hadn’t had Rinpoche’s care and teachings, I think I would have dealt with those things in a much more destructive manner.

      So I dare say this to you based on my own experience – when Rinpoche gives us advice and assignments, it may look ‘trivial’ and mundane and simple, but in reality they are teaching us skills that are beyond our understanding, that will help us in the future 🙂 I hope you will remember this next time you are fortunate enough to get some assignments from the teacher who has been so kind to your family and to mine too! 🙂

  5. Grace Tan on Jun 12, 2016 at 11:16 pm

    Dear Pastor Jean Ai,

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful growing up story as well as your spiritual journey with Tsem Rinpoche with us. You are indeed very lucky to be born in a family that have faith in Tsem Rinpoche and Rinpoche’s dharma teaching. Like what others commented, you must have created a lot of merits in your previous life to be able to connect to Rinpoche and Dharma again at a very young age this life.

    I have seen children age from 2 years to 16 years old attending the Kechara Sunday Dharma classes and I felt rejoice for these children as well as they have the merits to be connected to Tsem Rinpoche’s teaching just like pastor Jean Ai. I hope pastor Jean Ai’s story and experiences will continue to inspire and motivate more people to plant the dharma seeds in their children at young age.

  6. Liang Jing on Jun 12, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    Rinpoche is really a good person, he is kind to people on the street who are strangers. Rinpoche has estableshed Kechara Soup Kitchen to feed the homeless. Rinpoche gives me teachings and gifts from time to time. And daily prayers for me to do. Rinpoche doing all these to benefit others, including me, not for his own interest. He is selfless. Thank you Pastor Jean Ai for sharing.

  7. Frederick Law on Jun 4, 2016 at 3:15 am

    Dear Pastor Jean Ai,

    Dear Pastor Jean Ai, Thank you for sharing this beautiful personal experience of Rinpoche. To be able to meet a Guru who is so kind and compassionate,and care for the well being of the student is really awesome.

    From this post, it shows that Rinpoche is a very kind and genuine Guru, whose compassion is unrival, no matter if it is 20 years back, or 20 years later, H.E Tsem Rinpoche Bodhicitta and care is the same. I rejoice in the merits you had collected in previous life, to be able to meet Rinpoche at such a young age, and whom instrumental in you development over the years 🙂

    Thank You,

    Frederick Law

  8. JP on May 13, 2016 at 12:06 am

    Dear Pastor Jean Ai,

    Thank you for sharing your personal experiences of Rinpoche. To have met Rinpoche at such a young age is a great blessing. Rinpoche’s influence in your teenage years must have been tremendous. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be where you are now.

    I rejoice in your endeavours to transform and take Rinpoche’s teachings and guidance to heart. Do share more with us as your stories will inspire others for the better.

    Best regards,
    JP

  9. Pastor Antoinette Kass on May 11, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    Dear Pastor Jean Ai,

    To know Rinpoche since your childhood is indeed a huge blessing. As stated in the article and by many comments Rinpoche’s qualities and virtues are even higher that those of our parents. How rare is it to find such a person.

    I rejoice for Pastor Jean Ai who has created the causes to meet her Guru at such an young age in a previous life. At her young age, she is on her way to become a nun and does work tirelessly in the Ladrang, for long hours every day.

    Thank you for writing and pictures about your journey protected by Rinpoche. It is most precious to be so close to your Guru.

  10. Pastor Elena Khong Jean Ai on May 9, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    Something Pastor Seng Piow said below really encapsulated something I had been thinking but could not find the right words to say: “one can truly see the qualities and virtues of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche. It is easy to care for a person for a short period of time, but to care and love someone for decades throughout their growing up lives, only our parents can do that.”

    Genuine care for someone does not wane or ebb over time. If it was fake, if it was forced and not genuine, it would swing and change according to one’s mood. But Rinpoche’s love and care for all of us remains steady and constant.

    The story I write above has been replicated many times over with so many more of Rinpoche’s students and I hope that one day, all of them will share their story and let people know through their own experiences the qualities and accomplishments of our beloved lama.

  11. Valentina Suhendra on May 9, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    PJA’s relationship with Rinpoche have gone a long time. From reading Rinpoche’s various biographical article and being in Kechara for over 10 years, I know that Rinpoche has been working hard and facing many challenges. So for PJA to be able to stay for that long really proof her loyalty.

  12. Lester on May 9, 2016 at 11:51 am

    Dear pastor, gurus can be found in many places these days. But to find one that clicks, and with whom faith can sustain and grow is the most fortunate karmic merit. I wish you many realisations and attainments in every life. 🙂

  13. Beatrix Ooi on May 9, 2016 at 10:25 am

    Very beautiful article Pastor Jean Ai, I like how you laid out those little interesting stories that happened along the way. Meeting Rinpoche or a guru in this case, is one of the most fortunate things that could ever happen to someone.

    I can easily say that Rinpoche is the kindest person I have ever met, all he ever does is solely to benefit others and not himself, even if it means staying up for days and falling sick. This is how kind Rinpoche is and which is not something everyone will know because Rinpoche has humility and he doesn’t like to take credits.

    H.E Tsem Rinpoche is a great combination of both compassion and wisdom, a great example of sanghahood and a great model of guru devotion. I’m very fortunate and grateful to have met such a great and compassionate Guru.

  14. Pasto Loh Seng Piow on May 9, 2016 at 9:51 am

    Really beautiful story, with this kind of stories that span over the years and even decades, one can truly see the qualities and virtues of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche. It is easy to care for a person for a short period of time, but to care and love someone for decades throughout their growing up lives, only our parents can do that. And thus Rinpoche is exactly like our parents and even more. Some one with selfless compassion who loves us without condition. Besides our parents, that person could only be a Bodhisattva.

  15. Martin on May 9, 2016 at 5:04 am

    Thank you for this post Pastor Jean Ai. Those of us who have experienced Rinpoche’s great love, and benefitted from Rinpoche’s teachings and all-embracing presence in our lives, have at some made made the prayer that we meet with our Guru again early in the next life. And that is what makes this post special in my opinion – it is as if the pictures above reflect one one chapter of a incredible book.

    I see how Rinpoche and PJA were, in the pictures when PJA was just a child and I see how they are now almost daily and I am again reminded how steadfast and completely abiding Rinpoche’s love is. Everything else is so ethereal.

    What makes this post even more beautiful is the knowledge that this relationship will continue well into the next life. In our lives we will encounter many significant relationships that will change us but truly, there is no greater relationship than that of a Guru and his student.

  16. Pastor David Lai on May 9, 2016 at 4:44 am

    Dear PJA,
    What a beautiful post and your life is really a culmination of merits from a previous life and the keeping of samaya that you are always by your teacher and thathe guides you. Your life is a perfect example with all the perfect conditions to continue in one’s practice.

    All of us have a previous life and that we had perform innumerable merits to be able to meet the Dharma so young and able to do so much. May I and everyone else have the merit to be so close to the Dharma and especially to be close to the teacher in every lifetime especially in a life.

  17. kb thapa on May 9, 2016 at 12:08 am

    Thank you Pastor Jean Ai sharing your story with everyone around the wrold.. your spiritual journey with Rinpoche very nice with pictures and written very vell. It will benefit many girls like u to do dharma. u have started your spiritual journey with Rinpoche in a very early age guiding you and gave blessing. This is because u have been doing dharma work from fast life now u have connected to the dharma again.. soon u going to be a nun what fortunate and blessed u r.. i can’t wait to see u in maroon robs…

  18. Joy Kam on May 8, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    What a very very fortunate and colourful life you’ve had with an enlightened being – Tsem Tulku Rinpoche and much rejoicing in your great merits to have the seed of dharma ripened at young age and met Rinpoche. Lovely sharing… I remembered some of the events that took place in these photos and indeed for each one of us it is a precious treasure.

    Sometimes in life I often wonder how one did we manage to cross path with an enlightened being, to find a Guru amongst the abyss of samsara… think about what are the odds and chances… literally 0.0000000001%? I don’t know but it is really quite a miracle in itself to be able to connect with Tsem Tulku Rinpoche and I guess we must have done something right in our previous life to be able to return again in this life and somehow reconnect? This part about Buddhism, karma, merits, affinity is what really blows my mind.

    I love how you shared the many different phases of your life with Rinpoche in pictures, as they say a picture paints a thousand words. And we can tell from that smile on your face, you were a very happy person when you are with Rinpoche as if it is meant to be… an old student meeting her Lama again perhaps 🙂 and I remembered right from the start (or at least when I was around) Rinpoche had always very good wishes and hopes for you to do dharma work.

    It is also admirable to see such a young person so attune and interested in he dharma, many would only be just on the surface, and in the end samsara still rules them. But I am glad your determination and passion for dharma was stronger than samsara’s enticing calls and somehow you overcame your anger, doubts, frustration and wrong perceptions and hence here you are… a great nun in the making. I am certain you will go on to inspire many young souls seeking spirituality and being in the same position and going through the same tribulations as you, and you would guide them well with your kindness and wisdom as you have thread those very path. Rejoice for you have come a long way Pastor Jean Ai and happy for you 🙂

  19. Vinnie Tan on May 8, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    Thank you Pastor Jean Ai for sharing your personal growth story with all of us here and your spiritual journey with Rinpoche guiding you all the way. You are definitely very fortunate to have met Rinpoche at such a young age and can pursue dharma all the way since then. Definitely there were obstacles for you, yet you persevere and made it through. With these ups and downs it has made you into this very beautiful person that you are right now.

    I believe that once we have set our minds to change and transform, we will be able to do it. We will have improvements that makes a difference each day. We may not see it immediately, but after a period of time, we will be able to see that change that we have. The people around us will feel and see that change that we have.

    In my opinion, the easiest way to judge if our minds have transformed is that when the people that use to go away from us starts becoming our friends and people do not keep a distance like they used to do so, it will mean that we have changed. Another way is that we are much lighter and happier.

    Thank you PJA for such a great story of your experiences. There are definitely more stories like that. I just cannot wait to read more about it.

  20. Pastor Niral Patel on May 8, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    Thank Pastor Jean Ai for sharing with us your long and varied history in knowing His Eminence 25th Tsem Rinpoche. You are very fortunate in knowing Rinpoche for so long, both you and your family are very blessed to have had Rinpoche in your lives for such a long time. How you’ve changed over the years, I could hardly recognise you in the earlier photographs! But I guess, as you mention, this is also a teaching of impermanence for us.

    Your long experience with Rinpoche has led you, over the years, to come to your own conclusions about Rinpoche despite what others may say, and this is brilliant. Sharing your experiences with Rinpoche is another testament to the qualities that Rinpoche embodies and those are the qualities that the enlightened beings teach us we must practice and emulate. They are the qualities of love, compassion and wisdom, not just towards those we love but towards every all beings. Thank you for sharing this will us.

  21. Li Kheng on May 8, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    Thank you Pastor Jean Ai for sharing the beautiful images. It is very generous of you because, truly, not everyone would welcome others to view their personal lives. However, I believe you shared because you believe that it will benefit many people.

    Having a friend like Rinpoche is your life is truly a blessing. An individual who is kind, generous, wise, courageous, tirelessly for others is a beacon of light as society gets darker with modernization. To top this off, a friend who can expound the pure Dharma through an unbroken lineage is a humungous bonus!!! Yes, greedy talking here 😉

    I am glad that through journey’s like your, a path is opened to more kids today through Kechara and its various youth programs like Manjushri Kid’s Class and YAK. Dharma does nurture an aspect that is often neglected or even discouraged by the worldly society.

    Lastly, it was fun to see a little girl grow up into a courageous woman and nun-to-be. Thanks again!

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  • Alice Tay
    Thursday, Mar 30. 2017 10:01 PM
    This is really great news for having SFS campaign to help the stray dogs. Other than to urge and educate the public to treat the stray dogs with compassionately, SFS campaign encourages for all quarters to work together to spay or neuter stray animals which is an effective method to control the amount of stray dogs. Indirectly, this may reduce the suffering of stray dogs from being abused or die because of starvation.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/stray-free-selangor.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Mar 30. 2017 10:00 PM
    Good news finally Selangor becaome the first state free from stray dogs. With the support of the royalties and the Selangor Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) organised the campaign to make
    the state free of stray dogs and create the awareness of compassionate love towards stray animals.They are working work towards a radical change,thats a worderful news.
    Well ,do hope more states will follow Selangor to replace the inhumane way of dealing with stray animals too.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this wonderful news.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/stray-free-selangor.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Thursday, Mar 30. 2017 05:29 PM
    These iconographically correct Buddha images set in precious gemstones are one of its kind and unique in every sense of the word. And the designs are versatile to suit any apparels and occasions, redefining the Buddhist sense of fashion in a big way. Thank you, Rinpoche and Louise for this sharing. I hope the pendants will bring protections to the wearer and connections to the Buddha to those who admire it by sight.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/timeless-and-sacred.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Mar 30. 2017 03:29 PM
    Very inspiring true story of a monk…Master Xuyun after going through many hardships and illness to pursue what he wanted to be. What he did was amazing travelling in harsh conditions to so many places just to preach chinese buddhism from one country to another. Master Xuyun has spent his entired life devoted to the Dharma,During the war many monasteries and holy sites was destroyed but somehow Master Xuyun managed to restore once again.Because of him ,those monasteries and holy sites were till today. He was a household name at that time and have inspired many modern spiritual seeker to strive along the path towards enlightenment.
    Thank you Pastor Adeline Woon for such an interesting and inspiring article.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/empty-cloud.html#tabs-7
  • Lin Mun
    Thursday, Mar 30. 2017 11:47 AM
    It is ironic that Dalai Lama would have given a remarks to discourage country such as Germany to accept refugees and that refugees should return to homeland and to build the country. I think this is really a callous statement to be mentioned. Dalai Lama being the Tibetan Buddhist leader should portray compassion and extending help to those in need. All these refugees are running away for their life because their own country is not safe to stay anymore. Just like what Tibetan has encountered in the late 1950s.

    This kind of contrary statement is also very obvious in the Dorje Shugden ban. Dorje Shugden have been practised by many high lamas since 400 years ago and also by Dalai Lama’s Guru but it is ban by Tibetan leadership.

    Dalai Lama is a high lama and is believed to be the emanation of Chenrezig. Although his statements were contrary sometimes but I believe he would have the reason that we may not understand yet. Hopefully all the issues would be resolve in peace.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/dalai-lama-says-too-many-refugees-in-europe.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Thursday, Mar 30. 2017 12:34 AM
    Wonderful good news to learn about this first of its kind progressive campaign to help the stray animals in Malaysia by the Sultan and Permaisuri of Selangor. While stray animals can be a nuisance to the public at large but bear in mind, the strays do not have a choice, and we have a role to play. Neutering strays is a humane and compassionate ways of resolving the program of stray animals in the long run because it largely reduces the numbers of strays on the streets. Neutering and proving proper shelters to strays can prevent thousands of animals from being born, only to suffer and struggle to survive on the streets, be abused by cruel or neglectful people, or be euthanized inhumanely. I have read somewhere that says spaying and neutering makes a big difference: Just one unaltered female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 puppies in only six years. In seven years, one female cat and her offspring can produce an incredible 370,000 kittens!

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/stray-free-selangor.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Thursday, Mar 30. 2017 12:15 AM
    Humans and animals, as well as other sentient beings within the six realms of samsara, are subjected to the law of cyclic of existence. Karma or generally known as the law of cause and effect will determine where we take our next rebirth. It is extremely rare for sentient beings to take the form of a human body and in perfect condition. Hence we must not let this precious lifetime go to waste by indulging in silly actions and harmful ways. If we are born in the animals realms or lower, there is close to zero way for us to collect merits and get out of that realm.

    From the stories above, I find the story about Dalawong most unusual because he seemed to be able to determine the destination of his next rebirth after he was being killed as a snake. After he had taken rebirth in human form, he continued to remember the incident in his past life. Amazing!

    Thank you, Rinpoche, for sharing these researches with us.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/do-animals-reincarnate-back-as-humans.html
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Wednesday, Mar 29. 2017 09:42 PM
    If we are kind, we lose less of ourselves-Tsem Rinpoche
  • Lin Mun
    Wednesday, Mar 29. 2017 03:50 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article about tsa tsa. Didn’t know there are many steps and holy materials used in making a tsa tsa. In addition, the maker of tsa tsa would need to do prayer in the morning depending of what tsa tsa they are making on the day, for example, the maker will do Dorje Shugden practise before making Dorje Shugden tsa tsa.

    Only by knowing the process, we will appreciate the items more. Tsa tsa is a precious item.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/tsa-tsas-are-nice.html
  • Pastor Shin Tan
    Wednesday, Mar 29. 2017 09:28 AM
    Dalawong: A Child Recalls a Past Life as a Cobra in Thailand

    This case was actually researched by the late Francis Story, a British citizen who was fascinated with Buddhism and spent many years in Asia. He was also very interested in the topic of reincarnation and assisted Dr. Stevenson in investigating a number of very important reincarnation cases in Burma and Sri Lanka. Francis interviewed the subject of this case, a Thai boy named Dalowong, along with his father, mother and sister. He also had access to a pamphlet that was previously published regarding the case, which was also summarized in an article in the Bangkok Times.

    Dalawong actually claimed two past animal incarnations. He recalled a past lifetime as a deer, which he said was killed by a hunter. Subsequently, he stated he was reincarnated as a snake, more specifically, as a cobra.

    As the snake, Dalawong remembered that he was in a cave when two dogs entered and attacked him. A ferocious struggle ensued between the cobra and the dogs. The owner of the dogs then entered the cave and killed the snake. Apparently, the snake was able to bite the human invader on the shoulder, prior to succumbing to death.

    The human took the cobra’s body back home, where the snake was cooked for a meal. This man shared the snake meat with an acquaintance, who would become Dalawong’s father in the near future. The man who killed the cobra had the name Mr. Hiew.

    Read more here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/do-animals-reincarnate-back-as-humans.html
  • Alice Tay
    Tuesday, Mar 28. 2017 08:40 PM
    谢谢Paul Yap 为我们介绍马来西亚彭亨州文东必定参观的地方之一~克切拉禅修林。就如照片显示,克切拉禅修林的确是一个环境清幽、山明水秀以及令人有宁静舒适的感觉。

    如果有机会到马来西亚游玩,千万不要错过由Paul Yap介绍克切拉禅修林里的几个优美与神圣的地方,包括:
    1. 金泽”财王”
    2. 金刚瑜伽母佛塔
    3. 绿度母石雕像
    4. 药师佛山
    5. 梦幻文殊菩萨
    6. 詹仁波切的货柜屋
    7. 文殊山
    8. 智慧堂(释迦摩尼佛像和多杰雄登像)

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/go-bentong.html
  • Alice Tay
    Tuesday, Mar 28. 2017 08:09 PM
    The sculpture of Kuan Yin in Macau is simple but elegant. Most importantly, this big Kuan Yin in Macau is built to bring peace, harmony and prosperity to the people.

    I remember Rinpoche mentioned before a big Buddha statue will have positive impact on the environment and plant the Buddha’s seeds in all sentient beings that not only humans but also including animals and many others. Therefore, the bigger Buddha statue the more beneficial to all sentient beings where they can see and be blessed by this big Buddha statue from far.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/kuan-yin-of-macau-city.html
  • Lin Mun
    Tuesday, Mar 28. 2017 03:29 PM
    Krishnan’s effort and hard work in contributing to the society is very inspiring. He is willing to let go of his high paying job to Switzerland and staying back in India to operate a soup kitchen for homeless. On top of that he is willing to accept the hardship of financial restraint every month in maintaining his service for the people living in the street. I hope his good work will bring more awareness and sponsors for him especially when CNN showed the video of his work and awarded him with top 10 CNN heroes.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/chef-turned-hero.html
  • Pastor Shin Tan
    Monday, Mar 27. 2017 06:42 PM
    According to the Buddhist teachings, we all have a unique blend of karma that determines where we are born, the circumstances of our birth and the quality of our life. Naturally, this is due to the actions that we performed in previous lives. Karma also dictates our characteristics and traits that determine how we act throughout our lives, which in turn leads to certain outcomes in this life and a determination of where we will take rebirth in the future.

    Karma, however, is not set in stone. We can change our circumstances through our own efforts – purification of karma and accumulation of merit. Tibetan astrology, based on these Buddhist principles, provides us the methods to ensure success in this life and a good rebirth in the future. Tibetan astrology can also predict what will happen to us in this life and our next rebirth based on the time of our birth.

    Discover your traits according to the Mewa, or Magical Square system of Tibetan astrology below, and find out how to purify your negative karma to improve your life!

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/tibetan-astrology/tibetan-astrology.html
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Monday, Mar 27. 2017 05:24 PM
    Very interesting:


    Radin explained in his book: “For a Western-trained academic, the mere existence of, say, telepathy would be considered supernormal and thus wildly extraordinary. But for an experienced yogi, it’s just a boringly normal minor siddhi [a Sanskrit term for a meditation attainment, or power]. A skeptical scientist, not having the benefit of thousands of hours of practice in yoga and meditation, would require repeatable, rigorously obtained experimental data showing odds against chance of a gazillion to one. The yogi merely requires his own experience.”


    Very interesting read: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/2157904-supernormal-abilities-developed-through-meditation-dr-dean-radin-discusses/?sidebar=morein

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CREDITS

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

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

Tsem Rinpoche

What Am I Writing Now

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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.
If we are kind, we lose less of ourselves-Tsem Rinpoche
yesterday
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
yesterday
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.
yesterday
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.
4 days 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
4 days 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
4 days 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
4 days 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.
2 weeks 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
2 weeks 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.
2 weeks 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
2 weeks 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!
2 weeks 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!
2 weeks 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
2 weeks ago
The Japanese are very innovative. Tsem Rinpoche
Read this as it will be interesting
2 weeks ago
Read this as it will be interesting
Recite this before any meal or drinks for blessings of abundance. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks 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
2 weeks 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
2 weeks 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
2 weeks 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
3 weeks 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
3 weeks 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
1 month 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!
1 month 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
2 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
2 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
2 months ago
This is a good one to read
Mumu is silly and cute and funny
2 months ago
Mumu is silly and cute and funny
Mumu\'s hair is messy and he looks funny
2 months ago
Mumu's hair is messy and he looks funny
I am in the process of creating beautiful Dorje Shugden and Kechara Forest Retreat watches at this time. So we can take precious protector and Kechara Forest Retreat wherever we go and be blessed everytime we see what time it is. 
I am perfecting the designs with a great team and will update when done but these are just some samples that arrived. 
Feast your eyes! 

Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
I am in the process of creating beautiful Dorje Shugden and Kechara Forest Retreat watches at this time. So we can take precious protector and Kechara Forest Retreat wherever we go and be blessed everytime we see what time it is. I am perfecting the designs with a great team and will update when done but these are just some samples that arrived. Feast your eyes! Tsem Rinpoche
                        Pick the practice, devotion and precepts of Vajra Yogini\'s path over everything and anything in samsara. Samsara has nothing of value and nothing lasting to offer. You are born in suffering, live in suffering, die in suffering and enter bardo and future lives expecting more sufferings. This is not a negative way of looking at things but the truth. If the truth is negative, so it is the truth. Devote oneself to the guru, dharma work, dharma practice and bringing dharma to others compassionately. Choose to practice Vajra Yogini now with the preliminaries. You can start right now: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/starting-on-vajra-yogini-now.html  Much care, Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
Pick the practice, devotion and precepts of Vajra Yogini's path over everything and anything in samsara. Samsara has nothing of value and nothing lasting to offer. You are born in suffering, live in suffering, die in suffering and enter bardo and future lives expecting more sufferings. This is not a negative way of looking at things but the truth. If the truth is negative, so it is the truth. Devote oneself to the guru, dharma work, dharma practice and bringing dharma to others compassionately. Choose to practice Vajra Yogini now with the preliminaries. You can start right now: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/starting-on-vajra-yogini-now.html Much care, Tsem Rinpoche
Message to Tibetans in English
3 months ago
Message to Tibetans in English
Message to the Tibetans
3 months ago
Message to the Tibetans
Left to right: Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, 101st Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal. Great lamas of Gaden Shartse Monastery
3 months ago
Left to right: Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, 101st Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal. Great lamas of Gaden Shartse Monastery
A beautiful Indian rendition of Gyenze Dorje Shugden manifesting in wealth form
3 months ago
A beautiful Indian rendition of Gyenze Dorje Shugden manifesting in wealth form
This is my thoughts and determination to share with you. Please open and read. Thank you for your time. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
This is my thoughts and determination to share with you. Please open and read. Thank you for your time. Tsem Rinpoche
Nepalese King Birendra receives His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche in Nepal
4 months ago
Nepalese King Birendra receives His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche in Nepal
Guess what Zava Damdin Rinpoche did in Mongolia recently with 7,800 people??? Very interesting and it is a must read:  http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116206
4 months ago
Guess what Zava Damdin Rinpoche did in Mongolia recently with 7,800 people??? Very interesting and it is a must read:  http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116206
This huge Buddha in Korea is magnificent
4 months ago
This huge Buddha in Korea is magnificent
The very first oracle of Dorje Shugden in trance statue. I have commissioned this.
4 months ago
The very first oracle of Dorje Shugden in trance statue. I have commissioned this.
Such a old and ancient thangka painting of Dorje Shugden. He has been around in Tibet practiced for hundreds of years.
4 months ago
Such a old and ancient thangka painting of Dorje Shugden. He has been around in Tibet practiced for hundreds of years.
One of the "Four Exalted Brothers" Avalokiteshvara statues, Phagpa Wati of Kyirong, which is now with H.H. the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala.
4 months ago
One of the "Four Exalted Brothers" Avalokiteshvara statues, Phagpa Wati of Kyirong, which is now with H.H. the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala.
Kyabje Zemey, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Kyabje Pabongka Choktrul Rinpoche
4 months ago
Kyabje Zemey, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Kyabje Pabongka Choktrul Rinpoche
My Oser girl and Mumu boy are so adorable
4 months ago
My Oser girl and Mumu boy are so adorable
Wow this meditator in his cave in front of a painting of Yamantaka draped with a white khata of respect. He sits among bones to remind him of impermanence and our future. The bones inspire him strongly to let go of all attachments in this life and focus on dharma, meditation and liberation and he is doing so. Very beautiful and inspirational. Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
Wow this meditator in his cave in front of a painting of Yamantaka draped with a white khata of respect. He sits among bones to remind him of impermanence and our future. The bones inspire him strongly to let go of all attachments in this life and focus on dharma, meditation and liberation and he is doing so. Very beautiful and inspirational. Tsem Rinpoche
Tenzing Norgay found this in Nepal. Guess what it is?
5 months ago
Tenzing Norgay found this in Nepal. Guess what it is?
Sir Edmund Hillary
5 months ago
Sir Edmund Hillary
Halloween is my favorite holiday. Wild natural plants and flowers are my favorite offering. Buddha\'s teachings on meditation and Yidam practice bring the ultimate results and happiness. ~Tsem Rinpoche
5 months ago
Halloween is my favorite holiday. Wild natural plants and flowers are my favorite offering. Buddha's teachings on meditation and Yidam practice bring the ultimate results and happiness. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Click on "View All Photos" above to view more images

Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • Japan's greatest modern day artist, Yayoi Kusama
    yesterday
    Japan's greatest modern day artist, Yayoi Kusama
  • Please watch this video, it's heartbreaking to see how people have to suffer.
    2 weeks ago
    Please watch this video, it's heartbreaking to see how people have to suffer.
  • Lady saves puppy from potential abuser
    2 weeks ago
    Lady saves puppy from potential abuser
  • Mr. Denzel Washington is a very intelligent man. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 weeks ago
    Mr. Denzel Washington is a very intelligent man. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Dear friends, please see this educational video on suffering for the sake of others.
    3 weeks ago
    Dear friends, please see this educational video on suffering for the sake of others.
  • A very neat footage of Bigfoot captured by Patterson-Gimlin.
    3 weeks ago
    A very neat footage of Bigfoot captured by Patterson-Gimlin.
  • [11/02/2017] Mumu darling is a very good boy.
    2 months ago
    [11/02/2017] Mumu darling is a very good boy.
  • [11/02/2017] Mumu wants to go bye bye!
    2 months ago
    [11/02/2017] Mumu wants to go bye bye!
  • [11/02/2017] I love you mumu boy
    2 months ago
    [11/02/2017] I love you mumu boy
  • [11/02/2017] Mumu and Oser eating together.
    2 months ago
    [11/02/2017] Mumu and Oser eating together.
  • Great spiritual rock carving in Tibet
    2 months ago
    Great spiritual rock carving in Tibet
  • You will Never be Ready
    3 months ago
    You will Never be Ready
    Dear friends, watch this video and ready, if we keep waiting till we are ready, that day will never come. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Stop asking for Easy
    3 months ago
    Stop asking for Easy
    This video is powerful because it's the truth. It applies to anything. It applies to our dharma practice. Watch the video and share it. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Must Watch this Video!
    4 months ago
    Must Watch this Video!
  • Sacred Tibetan Incense - Nyimo County, Lhasa, Tibet
    5 months ago
    Sacred Tibetan Incense - Nyimo County, Lhasa, Tibet

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.

  • March 28, 2017 09:11
    Lia asked: If the ushnisha is actually supposed to be a bump, then do we change the visualization of the top knot and replace it with a bump covered in hair or do we keep the ushnisha as the thangkas show?
    No reply yet
  • March 27, 2017 04:19
    Dongho asked: I have been reading on the tunes of certain sects and would like to ask on this. From what I've read, there are certain tunes to each sect and school of certain chants. Exactly where can I find the sheet music for these percussion and horns with the chants, such as to the one for invoking Kache Marpo or Dorje Shugden? Would it be possible to use school instruments for this?
    pastor answered: Dear Dongho, Thank you for your question, it is good to see you back and asking more questions. Yes you are right, there are differences in the tunes and chants between the lineages. The differences can vary significantly between the traditions, for example the Gelugpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism is known for its extremely deep throat singing which is very powerful and is characterised by a low, booming voice, in contrast to the other traditions. Even within a particular tradition, there can be slight variations as to the manner in which the chants and tunes are performed. For example those monasteries are which are affiliated with Gyume will have one way of throat singing, where those affiliated with Gyuto will have another. As far as I am aware there is no professional sheet music for the rituals, most probably because the music is actually an integral part of the ritual itself. Therefore the music, tunes, and chants are all taught at the same time the ritual and prayers are. The tunes, and use of the instruments all have specific meanings, because they are considered to be offerings to the deities in the form of sound. The monasteries would not have copies of sheet music either, because sheet music is western practice. The use of ritual music within Tibetan Buddhism is more of one based on memory. In the Kechara organisation, the puja team was trained in such ritual instruments at the same time they learnt the particular ritual from monks from the monastery, such as the puja of Dorje Shugden. From what I saw of the training, the musical tunes, and use of instruments was not written down but taught experientially at the same time as the chanting. I have not come across any other instruments being used in pujas apart from the traditional ritual instruments, because even the instruments themselves have a specific meaning. That is not say that school instruments cannot be used. This is because, as long as the offering is sincere, the Buddhas and enlightened deities will accept it, and in turn you will generate great amounts of merit. Offerings should be made to the best of our ability, therefore if you do not have access to the ritual instruments, or do not know how to play them, but you know how to play other instruments, and use these instruments as offerings to the Buddhas during pujas, the amount of merit you generate will be the same. This is because you are sincere with your offering. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • March 26, 2017 02:14
    Kunga asked: Does the Gelug have Begtse a protector? If so, could you please provide a sadhana for him here?
    pastor answered: Dear Kunga, Yes the Dharma protector Begtse exists within the Gelug tradition. He is also known as Chamsing. Begtse’s practice stems from India and was introduced to Tibet and therefore Tibetan Buddhism by the translator Nyen Lotsawa. Marpa Lotsawa also practiced Begtse, and so the practice exists in the Kagyu traditions. This practice was eventually transmitted to Sachen Kunga Nyingpo, the first of the five patriarchs of the Sakya tradition, who were the founding fathers of that tradition. Over time the practice of Begtse was incorporated into the Gelug tradition, founded by Lama Tsongkhapa, and was notably practiced by the 1st and 2nd Dalai Lamas. Over time the practice gained popularity within the lineage, especially when it spread to Mongolia. There the practice became an important one within the lineage as upheld there. Begtse is also affectionately known as the Dharma protector of Mongolia, because his practice is so popular there. If I am not mistaken, there is an oracle of Begtse in Mongolia as well. There is a mistaken account that the practice originated around the time of the 3rd Dalai Lama, with the subjugation of a Mongolian war god, but Begtse was definitely practiced before that time in the Gelug, Kagyu and Sakya traditions. While the practice of Begtse is very effective, I have not come across the practice of Begtse in my personal practice, therefore I do not have access to the Begtse sadhana to provide to you. Instead Begtse is propitiated in prayers that incorporate many other Dharma protectors, and Begtse is also considered one of the nine protectors of the Hayagriva (Tamdrin) cycle of tantric teachings. Therefore Begtse is included in the Dharma protector sections of the Hayagriva tantras. Surrounding Begtse are his sister, Sing Ma, and his main minister, Le Khan Mar Po. His inner retinue comprises of eight butchers who wield copper swords in their right hands and skull-cups full of blood in their left hands. They are portrayed as naked and are very ugly. His outer retinue comprises a further twenty-one butchers, who hold copper swords in their right hands, and this time, the entrails of butchered enemies. They wear the skins humans and oxen as clothes, with ornaments made from human bone. While this may seem violent, Begtse is actually a very powerful and beneficial protector, who helps practitioners clear their obstacles and create conducive conditions for their spiritual evolution. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • March 24, 2017 20:12
    Azair asked: Venerable Rinpoche, I am doing a study in Kalachakra Tantra and I've heard from most of the lama's too that if you practice the Kalachakra Tantra, you'll be able to take control of your next rebirth. Ofcourse, it has been said that we will get our rebirth according to our Karma and desires but whether those dreams will get fulfilled will depend upon the actions that we take in this life. Thus, practicing the Kalachakra(till the end) after initiation will give you the opportunity to take rebirth anywhere you desire regardless of your Karma. My question is that, is there some truth in this statement.? Does this statement hold true for other tantra practices, such as Vajrayogini Tantra, Ghuyasamaja Tantra, Heruka Tantra, etc. I would really really like to know. Thankyou in anticipation, regards, Azair
    pastor answered: Dear Azair, Thank you for your question. Yes there is truth to this statement, both from a scriptural perspective and also by example, as the great masters have shown us. This is a unique feature of all Anuttarayoga Tantras or Highest Yoga Tantras, which Kalachakra, Vajrayogini, Guhyasama and Heruka are all examples of. This category of tantric practice can actually lead a practitioner to full enlightenment in this very lifetime. Even if enlightenment is not reached, very high levels of attainment can be reached nonetheless. This includes the ability to take control over your next rebirth. This is primarily engaged in so that the practitioner is born in an environment where they can eventually pick up their practice and further their spiritual path to enlightenment, or in order to be born in a place where they can benefit sentient beings the most, as part of the spiritual journey over many lifetimes. One of the reasons such an ability is very necessary on the spiritual path, is that usual death and rebirth occurs at the mercy of ones karma, specifically what is known as the ‘throwing karma’ or the karma that dictates what sort of rebirth a person is going to take. This opens up at the time of ordinary death, which most people have no control over. During the death process, many of our disturbing emotions will arise. Whichever of these is the strongest at the point of death triggers open a latent karmic potential, which becomes the ‘throwing karma’ and dictates where we are going to take rebirth and if that life will generally be full of suffering or not. Within Anuttarayoga Tantra, one of the key points of practice is to prepare for one’s death. This is done by simulating the dying process during one’s meditations, so that one becomes familiar with it. At the most pivotal part of this process, one practices achieving either the rainbow body or great bliss (in the case of the father tantras); or clear light (in the case of mother tantras). The tantras themselves are not defined in terms of the gender of the central deity, but by the method used to gain enlightenment. This is either the rainbow body/great bliss (classified as male, therefore labelled ‘father’) or clear light (classified as female, therefore labelled ‘mother’). Non-dual tantras such as the Kalachakra tantra can employ either of the two methods, a mixture of both, or alternate methods. In the case of superior practitioners, due to the power of their practice, they can achieve either of these two methods in their current body. Since they have familiarised themselves with the dying process, and a particular method of practice, they can also achieve enlightenment during their physical death. The great Lama Tsongkhapa is said to have achieved enlightenment at the moment of physical death, using the second of these. For other practitioners, they may not be able to achieve this either in their meditations while they are alive, or during the death process. However because they have familiarised themselves with the dying process, they remain in complete concentration at the time of death, not allowing any disturbing emotions to arise. Due to this level of concentration, meditation and awareness during the dying process, they are able to control where they next take rebirth. This is evident in the tantric scriptures themselves, and the life stories of many masters, who can state exactly where, when and to whom they will take their next rebirth, as they are in full control of the dying and rebirth process. There is a type of meditation called ‘thukdam’ which has been translated into ‘death meditation’. This is a final meditation some masters choose to engage in. During this meditation, the master themselves consciously begin the physical dying process themselves, engage in the meditation of dissolving the winds into the heart centre and remain in the most pivotal part of the death process, the mind of clear light of death. During this point they engage in meditations, either the methods of the father or mother tantras as mentioned previously, and or consciously choose where they are to next take rebirth. They can remain in this death meditation for long periods of time, days at an end, in which their consciousness has not yet left their body, although for all intents and purposes they are dead according to medical science, e.g. they have no heartbeat. At the end of their meditation, a drop of blood will be emitted from their nostril, and their head will slump over a little. Masters who engage in this meditation usually sit in full meditation posture, and their body remain supple and soft even though they have passed away from a medical point of view. I hope this brief explanation helps. Thank you.
  • March 23, 2017 23:01
    Brad asked: What is the significance of offering the Seven precious emblems of royalty to the Buddhas and enlightened Dharma Protectors? What are we symbolically offering up?
    pastor answered: Dear Brad, Thank you for your question. The ‘saptaratna’ or seven precious emblems represent on the one hand the ultimate state of temporal power, and on the other hand the ultimate spiritual attainments that we can achieve. By offering these to the Buddhas, we are actually creating the causes to achieve what they represent. Therefore it is good to know the meaning of each, so we can understand what we are creating the causes for by offering them up: Please see below for an explanation of the seven royal emblems: 1. The Precious Wheel: a thousand spoked wheel, representing the universal power of the Buddhas, as well as the teachings of the thousand Buddhas of our aeon. It is represented by the Dharmachakra, symbolising the ‘turning of the wheel’ or teaching of the Noble Eightfold Path. It is a symbol of a universal emperor’s spiritual and temporal power. It is also represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect mindfulness, especially that of our own mind, thoughts, delusions and afflictions. 2. The Precious Jewel: an eight sided wish-granting gem, which fulfils all the needs of a universal emperor. This jewel has eight special qualities: it illuminates the night sky for hundreds of leagues; it is cooling when the temperature is hot and warming when the temperature is cold; it makes manifest whatever the holder wants; when thirsty it causes a fresh-water spring to appear; it has the ability to control the nagas, and other supernatural beings, as well as preventing natural disasters such as storms, floods, etc.; it gives off multi-coloured lighted which heals the various mental and emotional afflictions; it cures all illnesses; and it ensures that one dies a natural death, not an untimely one. It is a symbol of a universal emperor’s spiritual and temporal power. It is also represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect mindfulness, or perfect discrimination, so one knows what to abandon and what to keep in the mindstream during the spiritual journey to enlightenment. 3. The Precious Queen: the most beautiful and virtuous of all women. She is described as a goddess who is the epitome of someone: with devotion; without jealousy; who is the embodiment of fertility; who works for the welfare of all beings; who possess feminine wisdom; speaks the truth; not attract to sensual pleasures or material possessions; and does not have false views. She is adored by all. She also represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect effort. This is necessary to keep meditating until one gains spiritual attainments. 4. The Precious Minister: who has sharp intelligence, patience, and the ability to give wise counsel to the emperor. He is so attuned to the emperor that even before the emperor has spoken, the minister is already carrying out his command. He only wishes to support the Dharma, help sentient beings, and is an excellent strategist. He also represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect joy. This is also akin to the attainment of the first bodhisattva level, because you have come to an understanding of your own mind, which is like pouring ice-cold water into boiling water. The water stops boiling, as does the thoughts, projections, and delusions in the mind. He represents the path of the bodhisattva. 5. The Precious Elephant: who has the strength of a thousand normal elephants. He is white, with the perfect features that an elephant could have. He is majestic, graceful, and gentle, but in battle is fearsome, fearless and unyielding. He communicates with the emperor through a telepathic link. He represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect adaptability. This is important, as one needs to be able to adapt to the various mental afflictions as they arise, and suitably counter them. 6. The Precious Horse: who has all the marks of a celestial horse. Known as wind-horse, he is able to travel extremely fast, and can circumambulate the entire universe three time in just a single day. He is never fearful or startled, never makes a sound when galloping, and has extremely soft hairs on his body. He represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is single-pointed concentration. This is important because without this form of concentration, once cannot engage in the analytical meditations that lead to an understanding of emptiness, and therefore enlightenment. 7. The Precious General: who has mastered the arts of war and always wins in battle. He wears battle armour and holds many different weapons. He tries to avoid battle, but when necessary fights, and never gives up until he has won. He is fearless, and courageous in carrying out the emperors commands and ensures the emperors army carries out their duties. He represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect equanimity. This is because he overcomes all warfare, which is akin to the battle between things were are attached to and things we have an aversion for in our minds. In short, what you are offering up is the highest of all temporal treasures and abilities, as well as the entire path of the Dharma. Doing so creates the causes for you to receive all of this on your spiritual journey towards enlightenment. I hope this helps. Thank you.
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Dorje Shugden
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