The Truth About Justin

By | Mar 15, 2017 | Views: 1,296
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It has been six years now since my best friend and beloved husband, Justin Ripley passed away. It has taken me this length of time to finally come to terms with it; to reconcile with my loss; to forgive and let go; and to embrace truth and reality. It has not been an easy journey but it has been filled with lessons on the impermanent nature of all things. I don’t think any lesson could have been more real than to lose someone so suddenly and in the most unexpected way, and to have it happen at the worst possible time ever. Justin’s death is, for me, proof that life can end at any time and it will happen when you least expect it.

Losing Justin was the worst experience I have ever had, even more so than losing my parents to death. It was the kind you thought you’d only see in the movies, like a nightmare you wish you could wake up from. All the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ could not bring him back. In the end, nothing else could soothe the pain except the Dharma I heard and learnt from my Guru, His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche. Ultimately only the Dharma makes sense and only when we see our pain and suffering from the perspective of what the Buddha taught can the healing begin.

Rinpoche with Justin and I back in the days when there was only Kechara House 1, before we got married and decided to move to Malaysia.

Rinpoche with Justin and I back in days when there was only Kechara House 1, before we got married and decided to move to Malaysia.

In the Dharma, it is taught that the truth is like medicine, and I had to swallow this bitter pill. This pill is that all the pain and suffering I have been experiencing as a result of losing Justin comes from my own attachments and projections, and they have caused me so much misery. Refusing to accept the facts has not only hurt me but also others around me. But once I did, I was eventually able to heal.

If there is one thing that I have done right in my life, it is to have brought Justin to the Dharma, to be in Malaysia where a living Buddha lives and teaches, and to see Justin walk a path that eventually led him to take refuge under Rinpoche. In truth, I merely encouraged Justin and he was the one who decided to embrace the Dharma for himself and I rejoice greatly for that. Justin may have had a short life but by all accounts, it was a meaningful one.

Rinpoche accepted Justin into Kechara and had very kindly given him a full time job in the Ladrang (what we call a lama’s house), a monthly stipend (allowance), Dharma teachings, spiritual practices and refuge, treating Justin like his own family.

In the final year of his life in 2011, Justin was the happiest I have ever seen him and he shone the brightest when he was close to Rinpoche and doing Dharma work. He loved doing his work in Rinpoche’s ladrang, and treasured working directly with Rinpoche. Justin’s devotion and relationship (samaya) with Rinpoche grew stronger over time and they became very close, like a spiritual father and his son. And so I imagine Justin’s death also left an indelible mark on Rinpoche.

A picture of Justin making offerings to monks when he went to Thailand with Rinpoche, just five months before his sudden passing

A picture of Justin making offerings to monks when he went to Thailand with Rinpoche, just five months before his sudden passing

For months after Justin’s death I kept thinking and trying to recall if there had been signs that Justin and I had ignored or brushed off, thinking it was nothing. Not a single day has passed when I have not wished that Justin and I had paid more attention to little signs that may have hinted of his impending heart failure. But there were in fact no signs at all; no one knew he had a weak heart, not even Justin himself or me (and how I wish I had known). Justin had gone for a number of medical check-ups but nothing was detected and it was only later that the doctors said that his kind of heart condition could not have been detected through normal medical checks. He would have needed to get a MRI scan but nothing had indicated that Justin needed to do this. And so, we discovered all of this only after the autopsy when the doctor found his heart to be abnormally large.

When we heard this, Justin’s mother told us that Justin’s beloved father, Peter, had also had a heart attack and he passed away about three years before Justin. Mind you, both father and son were very physically active and were very strong men. Justin used to surf and play rugby, and his father was still surfing at the age of 60! Unfortunately, they both had a certain hereditary heart condition that characteristically goes undetected until it has reached a critical stage.

Rinpoche meeting Justin's father, Peter Ripley and mother, Alice Ripley during our wedding in Kechara House in 2007, which Rinpoche had sponsored and organised for us. It was Kechara's first wedding blessing and it was such a great honour to have Rinpoche bless us. Justin's father was so grateful and he went up to thank Rinpoche for everything Rinpoche had done for our wedding. Justin's father passed away about a year after our wedding, due to the same undiagnosed heart condition as Justin.

Rinpoche meeting Justin’s father, Peter Ripley and mother, Alice Ripley during our wedding in Kechara House in 2007, which Rinpoche had sponsored and organised for us. It was Kechara’s first wedding blessing and it was such a great honour to have Rinpoche bless us.
Justin’s father was so grateful and he went up to thank Rinpoche for everything Rinpoche had done for our wedding. Justin’s father passed away about a year after our wedding, due to the same undiagnosed heart condition as Justin.

The doctor told us that for many years, Justin’s heart would have been working extra hard to get blood circulating all over his body and that could have been why he always felt lethargic. In fact, he was surprised that Justin had survived this long because many with this same condition die prematurely and some at an even younger age.

I believe Justin lived for as long as he did because of Rinpoche and the Dharma work that he did. When I look back and reflect, Rinpoche had often in the past asked Justin to exercise, even telling him to stop smoking. There was also a time Rinpoche encouraged Justin to go on a diet to lose some weight for health reasons. To motivate Justin to be healthier, Rinpoche encouraged me to go with Justin for walks so that he would get some exercise.

Rinpoche even went to the extent of buying mattresses so that Justin could sleep or take naps whenever he wanted. If you knew Justin, you would know he was quite a workaholic and loved working late into the night. We used to joke that both of us were nocturnal. At times, Rinpoche had to force Justin to go to sleep or go home. This is how much Rinpoche cared for Justin and in fact, for all of Rinpoche’s students.

Justin's memorial service held in Kechara House on December 29, 2011 which was organised by Kechara and instructed by Rinpoche. So many people who had been moved by Justin's gentle spirit came to pay their respects to the memory of my late husband.

Justin’s memorial service held in Kechara House on December 29, 2011 which was organised by Kechara and instructed by Rinpoche. So many people who had been moved by Justin’s gentle spirit came to pay their respects to the memory of my late husband.

Immediately after Justin passed away, Rinpoche personally conducted a bereavement puja and organised for Kechara House to hold a memorial service for Justin to give closure to his family, Kechara members, friends and everyone who loved him. Rinpoche had his students take care of Justin’s family, and to explain the situation to them and make sure they were guided through everything and had everything they needed. They were surprised when they saw the number of people who turned up for Justin’s memorial; they had had no idea just how many people loved Justin and had been touched and inspired by him. It was always Justin’s manner to be humble about how much he had done to help others.

Kechara members also helped us during the funeral with prayers and stayed with us right up to the cremation of Justin’s body. Rinpoche then requested for some of Justin’s hair and ashes so that they could be used in the making of Manjushri tsa tsas. On top of all that, Rinpoche also ordered a 3-foot Manjushri statue and had it filled with holy objects and relics, and then made arrangements for it to be placed in the school prayer hall of Shar Gaden Monastery so that whenever the monks do their prayers and rituals, merits will be transferred to Justin for his future rebirths. Rinpoche even had a special plaque made for Justin to be placed under the statue with his name on it, dedicating the statue to him.

This Manjushri tsa tsa contains the hair and ashes of Justin. It arrived in a very timely manner back in Malaysia, just when Rinpoche finished composing a poem to Manjushri which happened spontaneously.

This Manjushri tsa tsa contains the hair and ashes of Justin. It arrived in a very timely manner back in Malaysia, just when Rinpoche finished composing a poem to Manjushri which happened spontaneously.

Rinpoche had so much love and care for Justin even after he was gone. Rinpoche wanted to make sure that Justin would forever be collecting merits and be blessed by Manjushri so that in his next life, he will return with strong Dharma imprints and continue where he had left off in his Dharma walk. Only a kind Guru whose love for his student is unlimited, who cares for his student not just for this life but for his future lives, would think of such things and do so much to ensure he will be okay. No one else had done this much for Justin.

After the pujas were done, Rinpoche informed us that Justin had actually taken rebirth as a human, and that he would definitely be continuing to do Dharma strongly in his next life. We might even see him back in Kechara, who knows, but Rinpoche rightly said that what was most important was that he took a good rebirth as a human and continued where he left off in his Dharma practice.

Rinpoche consoling Justin's mother Alice, who came all the way from New Zealand thinking she would be spending Christmas with her son, Justin but instead arrived to the unfortunate news that he had passed away.

Rinpoche consoling Justin’s mother Alice, who came all the way from New Zealand thinking she would be spending Christmas with her son, Justin but instead arrived to the unfortunate news that he had passed away.

This whole experience was a huge lesson in impermanence that I could not digest at that point of time. It was so unreal because I had just spoken to Justin a few hours before. He had called me up and we were joking and chatting about the timing to go to the airport to pick his mother and brother up. It was two days before Christmas and we were to spend Christmas with his family. We had it all planned a few months ahead; we were so excited about it and it was as if life went the extra yard to conspire against us. How was I going to explain all this to his mother and brother who were already on a plane on their way over here from New Zealand? Those were some of the many thoughts that crossed my crazy mind.

I did not want to accept it; how could Justin, only 36 years old then, be dead? I did not know how to accept the fact that my Justin was no longer there for me and I was afraid. I was looking for something, or someone, anything to explain away Justin’s death as it was hard to accept how he was gone in the blink of an eye.

Justin and his brother Jason Ripley in preparation for our wedding, sponsored by Rinpoche, in Kechara House in 2007. Justin very much wanted Jason to join Kechara and do Dharma work with him as they had a very close relationship, and were both very spiritual.

Justin and his brother Jason Ripley in preparation for our wedding, sponsored by Rinpoche, in Kechara House in 2007. Justin very much wanted Jason to join Kechara and do Dharma work with him as they had a very close relationship, and were both very spiritual.

So, out of my own pain, anger and attachment, I questioned everything and tried to find reasons for Justin’s death. I asked the doctors whether his heart attack was due to his work, and whether him working late nights contributed to the causes of his heart attack. Confused, sad, angry and with so much going through my mind, I felt cheated and lashed out, saying that Justin was overworked in Ladrang. In other words, I insinuated that Justin’s dharma work with Rinpoche was a cause for his death, which I realised to be wrong and untrue after understanding the autopsy results. But it was too late, I could not take back what I had said and I regret it till this day.

Justin's 3ft Manjushri sponsored by Rinpoche and, as instructed by Rinpoche, is now placed in the Monastic School of Shar Gaden Monastery where hundreds of monks chant Manjushri prayers and receive Dharma lessons daily.

Justin’s 3ft Manjushri sponsored by Rinpoche and, as instructed by Rinpoche, is now placed in the Monastic School of Shar Gaden Monastery where hundreds of monks chant Manjushri prayers and receive Dharma lessons daily.

There were some people present who heard what I said and later took my remarks out of context, using it to justify their reasons for leaving Kechara, conveniently ignoring the frame of mind I was in when I said those words.

As Justin’s widow, I’d like to say that it is very low to exploit someone’s death to cover up your failures. I ask that you stop using my late husband’s name and death to turn people against a very kind monk. I cannot bring Justin back, no matter how hard I wish for it to have been me instead of him. But no one has the right to take my husband’s tragic death and my trauma to be vindictive and to attack his and my teacher. It will not help you heal your heart or wipe away your failures. Please stop. This is something Justin would have wanted as well.

I’d like to thank everyone who was there for doing all they could to try and save Justin – for taking Justin in their car to head out to meet the ambulance that was hopelessly stuck in peak hour traffic; for administering CPR to Justin in the car from the house all the way to where they met the ambulance, even though he had already stopped breathing at the very first traffic light; for accompanying Justin in the ambulance while paramedics tried to revive him; for not leaving his side at the hospital while the ER doctors tried to resuscitate him; for reciting prayers and mantras for him all the way; for calling me incessantly until I picked up the phone so that I could rush to the hospital; for consoling me when I realised that I did not make it in time to say goodbye. Justin was gone forever and there was nothing anyone could do to bring him back. His heart had decided to stop that fateful day, and I have had to pick up the pieces of my life, learn to accept this reality and deal with it.

Receiving a Tara statue from our Guru, H.E. Tsem Rinpoche who in turn offered it back to us to mark Tara's blessings on our wedding day. This was the first Kechara wedding back in 2007.

Receiving a Tara statue from our Guru, H.E. Tsem Rinpoche who in turn offered it back to us to mark Tara’s blessings on our wedding day. This was the first Kechara wedding back in 2007.

It has taken me this long, six years to be exact, to be able to finally express all this in the open. It is time I moved on and started healing from all the pain. Yes of course I still do miss Justin, and I think many in Kechara still do, but I also rejoice knowing that he is now alive, a little person somewhere and eventually he will continue practising the Dharma. In a way, Justin has also inspired me to continue to do Dharma and with that, I dedicate my Dharma work as well as my decision to become a nun one day, to my beloved late husband Justin Anthony Ripley. I thank him for all the love and many life lessons he taught me, where even his death was a Dharma teaching. Justin, your quiet and kind spirit has touched so many people. And most of all, I thank Rinpoche for being there during Justin’s most crucial and final moments. I can never repay Rinpoche’s kindness and all that Rinpoche has done for Justin, and I am sure if Justin was here today, he would still be happily working closely with Rinpoche, doing what he does best, spreading Dharma through the internet.

So until we meet again Justin, may you be guided and protected by our Guru and your Dharma protector Dorje Shugden.

Me with Rinpoche what merits did I have to have my path cross with Rinpoche. That I can do dharma work and share modern day dharma to the world. Rinpoche has said many times, through a keyboard and a computer we can change soo many peoples lives. Thank you Rinpoche for a precious opportunity. (Wat Muang, Ang Thong, Thailand 23, August 2011) - Justin wrote on his Facebook. This was one of the happiest moments of Justin's life before he passed away in December 2011.

“Me with Rinpoche what merits did I have to have my path cross with Rinpoche. That I can do dharma work and share modern day dharma to the world. Rinpoche has said many times, through a keyboard and a computer we can change soo many peoples lives. Thank you Rinpoche for a precious opportunity. (Wat Muang, Ang Thong, Thailand 23, August 2011)” – Justin wrote on his Facebook. This was one of the happiest moments of Justin’s life before he passed away in December 2011.

 

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Joy Kam
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About Joy Kam

The day Joy met His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche changed her life forever. Joining Kechara full time in 2004 as an administrator, Joy's current portfolio includes painting, restoring and beautifying Buddha statues. As a writer in Kechara, Joy is also one of the blog chat moderators on tsemrinpoche.com.

An aspiring nun (sangha-to-be), Joy looks forward to promote the sacred lineage of Je Tsongkhapa through modern platforms and social media.
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29 Responses to The Truth About Justin

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  1. Vivian Ong on Mar 26, 2017 at 12:08 am

    Thank you Joy for sharing your life journey with us. The whole journey is indeed a teaching to teach us about impermanence and also not to be ignorant. I rejoice to you to be able to let go and to continue on in your spiritual path which can gain more merits and help other people. Taking Justin’s death as an excuse to leave Kechara is bad. At least Justin has been working for the Dharma until his very last breath which he has gain some amount merits.

    With folded palms,
    Vivian

  2. Pastor Antoinette Kass on Mar 22, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    Dear Joy,

    Justin was very blessed to know Rinpoche and work close with Rinpoche. I met him once in December 2011 only one or two weeks before he passed away. It is very painful to lose your husband and best friend but we are lucky to have learned the Dharma and understand how everything that we do counts. Justin and yourself are very lucky to be and work so close to Rinpoche for so many years.This precious opportunity has helped Justin to take a good human rebirth close to the Dharma.

    Overcoming the grief and pain is not easy but I rejoice that you see clearly now what happened and accept the facts. People will always talk and turn things the way they want it for their own purposes. We know that H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche only wants the best for all of us and it is a blessing to work for the Dharma instead of wasting our time with meaningless things.

    Thank you for sharing your pain and how you could overcome it with Dharma. The Dharma is the medicine and our Guru or teacher is the doctor. We have to take the medicine so that it can heal us.

  3. Freon on Mar 21, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    Dear Joy,

    Reading your write up brought much tears…
    It is very brave of you to finally walk out, let go and forgive. I understand the pain you have gone through.

    It is very true that when a beloved person has passed away, the 1st thing come into our mind is to blame people around us, and even to blame ourself. And it is very wrong for those people years after years still using the words we have spoken to hurt and brought people away from dharma. I agreed as what you have written, do not put the excuses of self failure on other people.

    As times goes by.
    I have to admit that, times i spend in Kechara, under the guidance of our Lama, H.E Tsem Rinpoche have brought to me so much relieve in the pain that i experiencing.

    Rinpoche, day and nite, 24 hours, whenever HE is, pain or not, all his thought is how to benefit sentient being. Thus, i knew Rinpoche have done so much thing by using dharma to benefit Justin.

    Rinpoche create Kechara, as you mentioned, give us stipend, give us dharma , teach us to be a good person. Where else can we have such a good leader in life to do this to us. Some more, when we sick, even have emotional problem, Rinpoche will advise us, give us care. Did we ever asked as a student, how we benefit the lineage and Rinpoche? We are so greedy in taking things from Rinpoche…

    I am glad that, through teachings of Rinpoche, when people was about to pass away. Or pass away, we could use the dharma to protect the person who are death and even to heal the pain of their family.

    Thank you Joy for this touching article.

    Regards
    Freon

  4. William Chua on Mar 21, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    Joy,

    It takes courage to come to terms with your loss and to write about it. I am sure it has not been an easy journey without Justin but through it all, you have Dharma and Rinpoche to guide you. Justin indeed was a good man with a few words. He has a heart of gold. I got to know Justin when I joined Ladrang back in 2010 and he is always helpful with a smile. He is someone I call a gentle giant. Somehow, I may not understand the work he is doing as he is on his computer most of the time but you can see his passion in his work. He id definitely a workaholic.

    I was in Ladrang on that day when Justin collapsed. I saw how he was struggling to breathe while all of us were carrying him into the car to get to the hospital. While he was on the way to hospital, Rinpoche and a group of around 10 people in the Ladrang did prayers and black tea for Justin, for protector to protect him and lead him.

    Justin may have led a short life but the work he did with Rinpoche for the Dharma has saved many lives all around the world. The work he started then has grown in bound and leaps to benefit many.

    I wish the best for you to have your wish to become a nun fulfilled. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your inspiring story of a true student and teacher relationship.

  5. Pastor David Lai on Mar 21, 2017 at 5:59 am

    Dear Joy, It was nice that you wrote this correct account to ensure that the truth be told of how Justin Ripley passed away. Personally, I had seen on many occasions Rinpoche had spoken to Justin personally and told him to sleep. I have even seen Rinpoche made arrangements for a comfortable mattress to be available should he need to take a nap.

    I was never really close with him but I had always thought of him as a cool, quiet and hardworking individual. I remember, on the weeks leading to his passing, he was preparing for the arrival of his family for Christmas. Rinpoche had printed several images of a newly painted Dorje Shugden thangka to me.

    Later that night, Justin drove me back home as my car was at the workshop and just before getting off, I gave him one of the printed copies of Dorje Shugden and I remember Justin accepting it happily, which I realized in hindsight that he probably was going to frame and give to his brother. He had really wanted his brother to practice Dorje Shugden. That was very clear to me.

  6. Jace Chong on Mar 20, 2017 at 9:23 pm

    Thanks Rinpoche and Joy for the article.

    Dear Joy, I am still in tears when I think about Justin, such a kind and humble person who had given so much for Dharma. I remember clearly that Rinpoche said Justin had fulfilled his promise, which is to practice Dharma until the end of his life.

    I should be like you, to have the courage to let go and rejoice that Justin is in a good place now. How many people can be so sure that they could take rebirth as a human in their next life? When we know that Justin is taking rebirth as human and living a life close to Dharma, this is really the best thing can happen to our love one.

    Thanks Joy for this article that it’s heart warming to read, I rejoice your decision to want to be a nun.

    Thanks Rinpoche for giving Justin a beautiful life and future life.

    May we meet again, Justin.

  7. Echeah on Mar 20, 2017 at 1:43 am

    Dear Joy, I really admire and appreciate your courage and strength to be able to articulate such a deeply painful experience. Though years have passed, the memory of the precious time you had together would still linger and I am sure as you had mentioned, the dharma is what would bring about eventual healing as it is the ultimate medicine.

    Justin was a much loved dharma brother and I too treasure the fond memories of the times I had connected with him during the course of dharma work. The earliest was when you were both managing KSA and I began volunteering there. When I first joined Kechara as a dharma newbie, I thought since I knew how to sew, why not volunteer at KSA, and so I did and there you both were. I remember he did anything, helped around in any way and I don’t recall him ever complaining. I remember a trip to PD with you both and Raj Kumar before Raj Kumar went back to Nepal. I think with Kunga too. I remember that trip quite well.

    Then later when I was writing at the Ladrang, he would cook lovely meals and he would always be concerned for people working late and without being asked, would whip up something to bring to our desks. He was very savvy with the websites and when there was something to correct or change, he would be on top of it very quickly. Really, he did everything and anything to serve his Guru and I could see how strong his guru devotion was.

    Then one afternoon I was doing an ordered Menhla puja at Dzambala room with a few others and Tat Ming rushed in and asked us to quickly recite rounds of Menhla to dedicate to Justin as he had just collapsed. We continued chanting rounds though full of fear and anxiety but praying hard for a positive outcome. Then awhile later, Tat Ming came in again and informed he had just passed away. Hopes collapsed and I could no longer contain my tears but we had to recompose and continue chanting with very heavy hearts.

    Tough it was a short time, Justin had indeed touched many lives one way or another and I am sure our paths will cross again some time in the future.

  8. Soon Huat on Mar 19, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Thank You Joy for sharing this inspiring but painful story with us. My eyes were filled with tears while I am reading the article.Joy is my one of closest Dharma friends and seniors in Kechara, I get to know her through Saturday blog chat, she is the coordinator there.
    I understand how it feels.My father passed away due to heart attack and left us without a word. There was another closed family member of mine passed away in accident on the way meeting up me. I have experienced these painful experiences which I can not forget even so many years passed by. I still missed them and think of them. Sometimes, they are my motivation in Dharma path; if I do Dharma to benefit others under guidance of Guru, I believe they will be benefited by this in their next life.

    Joy, Thank You for all the help you have provided me in Dharma path. I am please that finally you walked out from depression and grudge to embrace Dharma under guidance of Rinpoche to benefit more people. I can feel Justin’s happiness to work in Kechara under guidance of Rinpoche through this article;
    1) “Me with Rinpoche what merits did I have to have my path cross with Rinpoche. That I can do dharma work and share modern day dharma to the world. Rinpoche has said many times, through a keyboard and a computer we can change soo many peoples lives. Thank you Rinpoche for a precious opportunity. (Wat Muang, Ang Thong, Thailand 23, August 2011)” – Justin wrote on his Facebook. This was one of the happiest moments of Justin’s life before he passed away in December 2011.
    2)In the final year of his life in 2011, Justin was the happiest I have ever seen him and he shone the brightest when he was close to Rinpoche and doing Dharma work
    I think Justin has done what he want to do and what he need to do in this life; to meet Rinpoche and bring you to Rinpoche’s mandala so that you will be under care of Rinpoche forever.
    From your article,it showed Rinpoche treated Justin like son. Their relationship might be closer than father and son. I believe Rinpoche has seen all these will happen,hence, He keeps trying to prolong Justin lifespan in this life and asked him to do more Dharma to maximize his merits. I remembered Pastor Seng Piow noticed that Rinpoche was pleading Dorje Shugden during the trance.
    Life is very impermanance. Even myself, I might be gone anytime in next second. We should seize the golden in this life especially able to be guided by precious Guru to do Dharma work all the way. By understanding the small scope in Lamrim, I honestly do not know where I will be in next life; I totally have no confidence that I will regain human form in next life.

    • Joy on Mar 21, 2017 at 2:59 am

      Thank you Soon Huat for sharing your kind words and your own personal experience. Justin’s death was not as painful and as difficult as my parents although all the death I experienced in my life happened during really horrible timing! My dad when I had to sit for UPSR and my mom when I had to sit for SRP. Before I became a Buddhist, or knew anything about Buddhism/karma, I thought oh boy ‘God’ sure knows how to TEST me big time and yes the whole world seem unfair and I hated life. I also went through a period of depression like yourself but I am glad I found Rinpoche and Dharma who gave me a better understanding and helped me let go of my own delusions. Samsara will always be “unfair” and samsara is “suffering” but we are in control and can do something about for sure, and that is what the Dharma Rinpoche taught has helped me. I hope it will do the same for you too.

      • Soon Huat on Mar 23, 2017 at 5:03 pm

        Thank You Joy for the response of my comment. Honestly, your experience is good inspiring Dharma story. After knowing what you have gone through, our “suffering” is really nothing comparing to yours. It is proven again that the Dharma Rinpoche brought to us is always helpful/essential for us to survive in this tough samsara life. There is no eternal peace in samsara. I am glad that I am able to meet Rinpoche, you, Pastors and the rest of senior Kecharians in this life.

  9. Uncle Eddie on Mar 18, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    It has been six years now since Justin Ripley, Joy Kam’s husband died. In a way, “Justin’s death was said to be very auspicious, and it was a spiritual coincidence of the highest auspiciousness”. Karma and samaya has a way of connecting the sincerity together in life, and the life again. Rinpoche has mentioned that Justin passed away in the best possible way anyone can, which is doing Dharma work for our Centre. Rinpoche assured that he would ensure his good rebirth, and in his next rebirth to practice Dharma. Like Joy Kam has said, “Justin is so fortunate to have met a precious Guru like Rinpoche and Dharma,” so are all of us! Justin had in his own mind and happy heart and his own freewill, wrote out such a beautiful message in his facebook on the date of 23, August, 2011, when he was with our Rinpoche in Thailand, just five months before his death on 15 December, 2011. Both of them even have taken a beautiful and auspicious photo together, beaming with smiles so happilly! Well, we have to accept what is becomming the direction of life flow heading towards good or bad; which will always have its karmic rebound. So planting good seeds will have a happy karmic beget,this is the stream of karmic life flows, which everyone has to accept. In the same way, our bad causes ultimately produce bad effects, this being the principle of the law of cause and effect which we have learnt! Om Mani Padme Hum.

  10. Lew on Mar 18, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    I rejoice for Joy’s courage to write this article. It is not easy for losing someone very close to us, and to recount what is happening really bring back the memories and hurt.

    I was not close to Justin until we spent a lot of time together when we were in Bangkok. I agree with you that he is a workaholic who always sleeps under the table to get some naps before waking up to work again.

    Justin’s death also brought a lot of Dharma teaching to me personally. I used to think that people who works with a monk is supposed to have long and healthy life. I used to think a good life means a long life. etc etc. There are quite a few people who has helped me on my spiritual journey even after their death, and Justin is one of them, and for that I am grateful of.

    May I have the chance to Justin again. May he continue his Dharma journey with Rinpoche and continue to take care of Rinpoche’s online assets when I am gone 🙂

    • Joy on Mar 20, 2017 at 3:19 pm

      Thank you Lew and I am sure you will meet him again. He was always fond of you, I guess it’s because you and him had something in common, you guys spoke in “codes” only you two understand lol.

      “May he continue his Dharma journey with Rinpoche and continue to take care of Rinpoche’s online assets when I am gone.” Wow this is a strong lineage to pass down, and I’m sure with Dorje Shugden watching over him, this may well be so. We’ll see. Thank you for your sharing!

  11. Pema Thinley on Mar 18, 2017 at 12:04 am

    Dear Joy,

    Thank you for sharing your story lah. I am deeply sorry to know your tragedy and loss you went through. You have been brave and above all very kind and smart to accept the fact and move on positively. I truly rejoice for the promise you made to become a nun _()_. You truly have Rinpoche’s blessings which led you to the extent you are in right now.

  12. Lin Mun on Mar 17, 2017 at 10:32 pm

    It is not easy to accept the passing of our partner or family members. I appreciate Pastor Joy’s courage in facing the sadness and expressing your experience in dealing with this emotion. You have showed us that dharma can heal the pain and we should understand that nothing in this world is permanent. We must learn to let go and not to dwell in sadness and anger.

    Thank you Pastor Joy for sharing your experience.

  13. Pastor Lim Han Nee on Mar 17, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    Thank you Joy for writing this article and sharing how you feel at this point in time when you have finally come to terms with Justin’s death and the inevitability of it.Your heart is now free of the grudges, hurts and pain that you had felt earlier due to what you now recognize as your attachment and anger.

    “Me with Rinpoche what merits did I have to have my path cross with Rinpoche. That I can do dharma work and share modern day dharma to the world. Rinpoche has said many times, through a keyboard and a computer we can change so many people’s lives. Thank you Rinpoche for a precious opportunity. (Wat Muang, Ang Thong, Thailand 23, August 2011)” – These were the words Justin wrote on his Facebook. These words clearly show that Justin felt very happy, positively motivated and very grateful about being engaged in intensive Dharma work during this last phase of his life.

    As a Buddhist and student of Tsem Rinpoche, I see clearly how the merits that he amassed and the intensive purification that he went through in this period benefited him tremendously when it mattered most – at point of death, it ensured he would go to a good human rebirth to continue practicing the Dharma where he had left off in this life. As a Dharma practitioner, this would be the best thing to happen; and all this was due to the kindness of our Spiritual Guide, who preempted the worst from happening , by directing the course of Justin’s life.

    Justin recognised this (that it was to his greatest benefit) and was happy that he was engaged in work to spread the Dharma far and wide through the internet.

    As Joy says, people should not malign our Spiritual Guide , by taking her words of anger and hurt immediately after Justin’s death out of context,wilfully ignoring her deeply disturbed frame of mind at that point in time and using it as a lame and unwarranted excuse for their leaving Kechara. No, Justin did not die of overwork. He died because he had a hereditary heart problem, that had gone undetected,until his autopsy revealed it.

    Only upon performing his autopsy, did the doctor discover the true reason of his sudden death.Justin had looked physically fit and had engaged in physical activities that would have ensured he stayed healthy. Ordinary medical check-ups that he had undergone could not detect the serious heart problem he had. However, up until the time of his autopsy, there were no indications that he needed an MRI scan and not just ordinary medical checkups.

    However, as a Buddhist who believes in karma, I support the fact that it was karmically his time to die when he did. The blessed thing was(as he himself had said) that he had met Rinpoche.

  14. Doreen Teoh on Mar 17, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    Thank you, Joy for your sharing. It takes lots of courage and wisdom to share this inner feelings and to face your own self and others that have make your fall as their own and called it as their bruise too.

  15. Samfoonheei on Mar 17, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Thank you Joy for sharing your sorrow and heartfelt article. I could imagine the most painful part of loosing someone dear to us.You are very strong and courage to face and gone through the journey with the support of our precious Guru and friends around.You are an inspiration example for us.Sorrow,sufferings.failure,loneliness and discouragement and death is part of our journey.No one can resist.Nothing in life is to be feared;keep moving forward.Its through learning and applying Dharma we are free from our sufferings.
    An aspiring nun or sanga to be ,i wish you all the best in your spiritual journey be fulfilled and may you be blessed.
    Thank you again for your sincere article,speaking from your heart the untold story about Justin.

  16. Sofi on Mar 17, 2017 at 3:47 am

    Thank you for sharing a painful and candid experience with us Joy. May your experience of love, loss and realisation be a lesson and inspiration to us all. Ultimately all that goes on are a play of karma to keep us here and only the precious Dharma from an attained Guru like H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche​ can bring us the peace of mind and freedom from sufferings. May you always receive the protection and blessings of this compassionate Guru. _()_

    Our pride, ego, attachments and all the afflictions that bring so much sufferings can only be eliminated by the practice of the Dharma as taught by attained Gurus like Rinpoche. Yes it is harder to do than said but what is the other option? To remain in Samsara, always uncertain of that “good” rebirth or even “good” death? Joy had shared the love of Justin for Rinpoche and the Dharma, gaining merits in his practice to bring on such high blessings at his death. What can be greater than having such a compassionate Guru to bless and be guided to a good rebirth, to be able to receive the precious Dharma again? How many students have this great merits? Thank you Rinpoche and Joy for sharing the wonderful choice taken by Justin in his spirituality.

  17. Jason on Mar 17, 2017 at 3:00 am

    Death is part of life cycle in samsara. This is inevitable fact. We must know how to transcendent samsara to stop being rebirth and attain enlightened.

    We must remember that everything is impermanence and we shouldn’t have any attachment to any secular stuff which will bring us nowhere but end with sufferings.

    Joy Kam life story will inspire many people to embrace in Dharma diligently. I really touched by this write-up and motivate to practice Dharma without any delay because Iife is too short to wait,wait and wait.

    Thanks Joy Kam and Rinpoche for sharing this so beneficial write-up.

    Jason

  18. Datuk May on Mar 16, 2017 at 10:05 pm

    Dear Joy,

    I have known Justin when I joined the Ladrang at BU1 and later was with him in TTDI.

    Justin was a man of few words, but it were the little things that he did that he had grown within my heart. Remember how he would patiently teach me to use the computer and when I forgot, he would say, “Aha we write down the sequence of steps”. The little snacks that he would bring me at the Ladrang.

    It was Justin’s good fortune that he had the opportunity to have been with Rinpoche and I truly believe that with Rinpoche’s blessings and Justin’s dharma work that he is now among us. I am grateful that our Guru not only looked after Justin while he was alive but also ensured his rebirth to continue his Dharma work, so very kind.

    What is most inspiring about what you wrote is how you could understand the inevitability of death and how the Dharma had pulled you through.

    I rejoice for you that you have embraced the Dharma so wholeheartedly with the aspiration of becoming a nun.

    Be well and be happy for the good memories of your love.

    Datuk May

    • Joy on Mar 21, 2017 at 2:39 am

      Indeed Justin had a soft spot for Datuk and I believed he truly liked teaching Datuk computer. Perhaps you were like a mother figure for him here in Malaysia, a spiritual mother and friend 🙂

      Thank you very much for your kind words Datuk May. Yes he is most certainly blessed for having Rinpoche as his Guru and for being able to serve Rinpoche so closely. He would always, faithfully, no matter what he is doing, stop and go out to prepare sang and get the incense sticks ready for Rinpoche upon hearing that Rinpoche was on the way back. And he would always be there to open Rinpoche’s car door and greet Rinpoche no matter what.

      You are absolutely right to say that it is the little things that he did that moves people, that is what endears people. It is in these little things that I find him quietly inspiring others, even myself and his little nods without much words required. Hopefully we’ll see him again soon in Kechara, and you can show him what an expert you in social media now 😉

  19. Lester on Mar 16, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    Dear Joy,

    i am moved by your sincere and insightful reflection. I believe your late husband demise has not been in vain, enacting to us and yourself, many lessons in Dharma. I wish you the best in your spiritual journey.

  20. Girlie Ooi on Mar 16, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    Dear Joy

    Thank you for writing this article. It must have been very painful but your coming to terms has made you a much stronger person.

  21. Nancy Loo on Mar 16, 2017 at 11:41 am

    Dear Joy,

    In reading your sharing has indeed triggered my pain and agony. Your courage in relating the whole ordeal is an inspiration for many including myself. To talk about , express or to recall the tragic which one have experienced always ended on an emotional and minor note. Indeed, it is very true that losing someone very dear who seems to be healthy all of a sudden is the worst traumatic experience of one’s life. It is even more frustrating when one is in the midst of grieving and mourning , many roaming in with the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ and made further commentaries, as mentioned in the Rinpoche’s previous blog post, “It’s worse to say nothing than to say the wrong things “. In fact, I have never met with this lovely man, Justin Ripley before and what envious me is that he has all good merits to tie his knot with Joy with the blessings from his Guru, to be able to puff his last breath in his Guru’s mandala, his final rites being performed by his Guru and continuous prayers dedicated for Justin’s good rebirth. Further, you have also taken this opportunity ‘ to clear the air’ pertaining to the cause of Justin’s passing which many has previously speculated that it was due to the long hours of dharma works. Joy, you are indeed strongly devoted and loyal to Rinpoche as you still remained in the dharma and stayed even closer to the Guru despite all the advice by others to leave the Buddhist Centre .
    Joy, I really appreciate your sharing to your struggle and coping with grief . My sincere wish and all success in your new journey.
    Thank you Rinpoche for your unconditional care and love for all of us.

    With Folded Hands

    Nancy Loo

  22. Cheng See on Mar 16, 2017 at 9:58 am

    Dear Joy ,

    Thank you for sharing so honestly . Justin I’d a name always mention fondly . It’s a pity I did not get the opportunity to meet him.
    Your dedication to Dharma is indeed strong and you are such a wonderful lady. It is sad why some people took advantage of your moments of mourning to say negative things which is untrue . You are a great and smart lady .
    May you be blessed always .

  23. CindyH on Mar 16, 2017 at 9:48 am

    Dear Joy,

    Although death is part of everyone’s life, coping with grief is one of the most uncomfortable and difficult experiences which one has to face. Thank you for such a heartfelt sharing as it wouldn’t be easy for you to put pen to paper on such a personal and emotionally charged experience even though the motivation is so that others can learn from your experience.

    In reading this article, there are layers of issues/lessons to think about- from relating to the impermanence of life, to showing how our emotions and thoughts can affect us as well as people around us, even leading to consequences which we never intended in the first place, the importance of mindfulness, the power of acceptance, forgiveness and also gratitude. It is also a story about love and loyalty. From your deep care and affection for Justin which continues and evolves into a driving force in your spiritual aspiration, to Justin’s devotion to Rinpoche (which shines through in your account of his relationship with Rinpoche) culminating a long-lasting bond, to the unconditional love and continuous care that Rinpoche showers on the both of you (a trait that Rinpoche consistently and indiscriminately show to those fortunate enough to be connected to H
    Him), it really puts things into perspective.

    Thank you again for your sincere sharing and may your spiritual aspirations be fulfilled.

  24. Sharon Ong on Mar 16, 2017 at 12:25 am

    Dear Joy,

    I did not have the honour of meeting and knowing Justin but from what I heard from those who knew him, he certainly touched and left his mark in their lives. This is your best piece of writing to-date and it moved me. In a way, you are carrying on Justin legacy of spreading Dharma through the internet via your role as moderator on the blog chats, social media and other online work.

    Your dedication of merits from your Dharma work and decision to be a nun to Justin is one of the best gifts of love a wife can give to her husband.

    May you find peace, love and happiness. May your wish to become a nun be fulfilled.

  25. graceleong on Mar 16, 2017 at 12:16 am

    Dearest Joy
    My heartfelt thanks to your sincere sharing above. It’s moments like this where I can feel the emotions from your sharing, that I become quite lost for words.
    No words will be of much comfort to you and I can’t say I understand completely how you feel or what you have gone through. Nevertheless though it was something you rather not happen, it did happen at a time when the conditions were favourable to Justin. Why do I say this?
    No one can predict one’s death. It’s not carved in stone that death only comes to those who are old. As cliche as all these statements may sound, we commonly and conveniently ignore them especially when we are younger.
    It’s rare to find people who are truly convinced with the theory of rebirth and hence we always think of this life only. When we loose it its devastating and seems like all is lost.
    But if we believe in rebirths we will understand that death means a new lease of life, in the next.

    Justin passed away whilst he was working full time in the Dharma, working closely with a highly attained Guru, receiving endless precious teachings and hence constantly generating merits. After he passed away he had the wisest and most compassionate Guru to conduct his last rites and arrange for all that was necessary to ensure Justin continued to collect merits and have a good rebirth. For me, that’s considered the best possible condition to have when one passes away. I selfishly wish I would have the same merits to die in a similar condition, having my Guru guide me even after I leave this life.

    Thank you Joy for your aspirations to be a nun, to hold vows and create the causes for the Dharma to be made available to all beings. Your journey will be an inspiration to many. I wish you success in your journey and may you always be blessed by the 3 Jewels.
    Thank you Rinpoche for all your teachings. Every situation, good or bad, Rinpoche turns it into a precious teaching to help us reduce our sufferings and benefit others. Forever grateful to Rinpoche. With folded hands.

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

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  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Mar 26. 2017 04:15 PM
    Very clear explanation of what is Vajrayogini’s left foot stepping on. Each time when i have a look at the beautiful statue of Vajrayogini this question will comes back to me. i am glad came across these blog by chance, i saw and read to understand better.A clear explanation ..stampling left and right foot significant of desire ,hatred and ignorance that cause us to be in samsara and she she able to control.Vajrayogni’s practices is so powerful in heliping us and that is the reason Rinpoche always ask us to start now.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these short explanation in the video and the interesting story of Mahadeva.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/facebook-question-what-is-vajra-yoginis-left-foot-stepping-on.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Sunday, Mar 26. 2017 02:44 PM
    Rejoice to all the families who had setup a Buddhist altar at home and conducted a house blessing puja. There are diverse benefits of conducting the house blessing puja, which ranges from bringing well-being on all levels – in one’s health, relationships, business, and family – to purifying the home. The puja ceremonies will purify the environment which helps the people who live there and people who are visiting there to experience general well-being. The puja can be personalised based on the request or need of the individual. Thank you for sharing with us the many photos of the beautiful altar of these families, it is very heartwarming to know that they will always be blessed by the Three Jewels.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/10-amazing-house-blessings-by-kechara-pastors.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Sunday, Mar 26. 2017 02:24 PM
    Thank you for sharing this mindfully planned itinerary for everyone who is interested in visiting Kechara Forest Retreat. Kechara Forest Retreat has different facets that showcase different elements of spirituality and Tibetan Buddhism in this wholesale venue. One can enjoy the flora and fauna of Mother Nature, or embrace the contemporary architectures that feature many magnificent Buddha statues and authentic Himalayan decorations. Not forgetting to mention, in Kechara Forest Retreat sits the largest Dorje Shugden statue in the world! This is a holy place we must never miss to pay homage for blessings from the Three Jewels.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/go-bentong.html
  • Pastor Shin Tan
    Sunday, Mar 26. 2017 01:07 PM
    金泽“财王”护法殿

    在禅修林的入口处的左边有一间小佛堂,是全天候二十四小时开放给大众的。这间佛堂的一砖一瓦都是由不同善心人士捐增的。也因为他们过后发了一笔小财,所以在大马文东,金泽护法一般被简称为“财王“。

    根据佛陀教诲,五蕴是组成众生的五个方面,分别是色、受、想、行、识。证悟者如多杰雄登能将五蕴分别化现成不同的本尊。金泽是多杰雄登“受”蕴的化现,作用是协助我们增长世俗和修行上的财富。“受”蕴是我们对愉悦或不悦感受的认知。我们执着于愉悦,避免不悦,而这正是导致我们受困和造下各种业,继而产生痛苦的因(此段原文: http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_6d7edf5f0102x1n6.html)

    来到这里,我们首先要上香。做生意的朋友可要趁此机会拜拜,供养一个大的莲花蜡烛,上三根大香,祈求今年一帆风顺哦。

    摘自“GO BENTONG!与菩萨有约”
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=120808
  • Lin Mun
    Saturday, Mar 25. 2017 11:02 PM
    Can’t imagine that a priest actually stabbed Pope John Paul. How can he do this when he as a priest is suppose to be compassion and love everyone but kill the religion leader. he should remember that he carries the name priest and hence must show good example and behaviour to others but instead took another person’s life.

    I respected Pope John who continued his trip even though he was injured. That shows the determination he had to teach so it can benefit others. Always put others first more than our own needs.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/pope-john-paul-stabbed-by-priest.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Saturday, Mar 25. 2017 08:13 PM
    It is admirable for Sine Lindholm & Mads Ulrik Husum to place their design as open source for everyone to download and copy to manufacture. This shows how farsighted they are in propelling self-sustainability. The first step is always the hardest, and I believe what Sine and Mads had done is towards the right direction. In this way, people from all the around the world who genuinely are passionate and interested in growing own vegetables will be able to start on their own. Without needing to rely on middleman or manufacturer who might end up making the brilliant idea a commercial white elephant. Thank you, Rinpoche for this sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/build-your-own-growroom.html
  • Alice Tay
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 10:05 PM
    Many companies especially in overseas are very considerate and allow their employees to bring their dogs to work. I personally think that this is a very good practice where the employees no longer have to worry about leaving pets at home alone. The work environments that cultivate loving kindness, caring and compassion create a much more positive and productive place to work. Besides, it may influence everyone especially those who do not have pet to be more kind to the animals.

    Nevertheless, the employer and employees may have to work together to maintain the safe and cleanliness work place such as reduce odour, provide clean air and many others.

    Thank you for this interesting article as a reminder to us to love and be kind to animals no matter where we are.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/inside-the-worlds-most-dog-friendly-office.html
  • Lin Mun
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 07:06 PM
    Superb idea and very creative. Home farming in the cities ! Appreciate all the hardwork and ideas to produce Growroom. It’s just like putting a big puzzle and making the whole process so much easier to plant in cities where we always have limited spaces.

    We should support more people to come up with such ideas so we can eat our own food and cultivate self sustainability.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/build-your-own-growroom.html
  • Pastor Shin Tan
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 01:40 PM
    When on the hospital bed nearing our last breath, nothing matters except for the practice and transformation we have done in dharma in our lifetime.

    Our money, wishes, houses, clothes, jewelry, reputation, spouses, desires, dreams, greed, anger, possessions, explanations will be of no use at all. It will in fact even be a hindrance scratching at our mind’s energy to let go and we cannot.

    Since they are no use at that momentous event, we should continue that thought now and understand what we should truly cultivate now. This thought must translate into action not just scholastic thoughts and meanderings of the mind for self deception or imitation spiritual satisfaction. This is what I think daily and everyday as part of my meditations on death and impermanence according to first chapter of Lam Rim.
    ~H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche

    Learn more here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/the-dying-process.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 12:11 PM
    Amazing and very creative architecture designed space for our home grown foods.It is a good idea for those living in the cities.The Growroom is beautifully produced made it convenience which enables people to connect with nature surrounding with plants. The smell of herbs and plants makes cities dwellers to live in happiness and healthy.
    Its takes alot of effort and determination for anyone to build a growroom.Well they can do it,if they have the will power….hoping someday KFR will have one too.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/build-your-own-growroom.html
  • nut
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 01:39 AM
    Lazynnes ,negative karma!and mends samajas …ITS very very , inderdependent motivations lewwels of awareness Teacher’Quality &sangha quantity ,first when samajas ARE pure Empowerment full blessings later?so give less Empowerment ITS OK.ccTR IS Wise.
    [no sender]
  • nut
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 01:32 AM
    http://www.aikidosydneycity.com/interview-with-takeda-shihan-by-aikikai-hombu-dojo/ yes yes sumikiri!i m sure HE practice martial arts in many previous lives AS well AS have family’karma conected with ai!ki flow,,,so NEUTRAL his re:for attacks ARE.,above normal fighter skills!___and i m skull in maya astro,fine and wanth share:#####paranormalTSEMsection on:::: antarctica aliens& JFK ,Peru as egg skulls.________________have a good day&nice PRactICE.____THE LIGHT be?or just show options that can be used.
    [no sender]
  • nut
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 01:23 AM
    For example B_LOCK can be neutral karma ,butRE_PLAY reactions can make diferent results in second person?
    [no sender]
  • nut
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 01:22 AM
    NEUTRAL karma not make good ,not bad result!but ITS STill karma so IS not done from lewwels of acomplishment where IS NO NEW karma acumulations.
    [no sender]
  • nut
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 01:16 AM

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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

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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.
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
10 minutes 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
14 minutes 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
17 minutes 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.
7 days 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
7 days 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 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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 week ago
The Japanese are very innovative. Tsem Rinpoche
Read this as it will be interesting
1 week ago
Read this as it will be interesting
Recite this before any meal or drinks for blessings of abundance. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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 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
2 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
4 weeks 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!
4 weeks 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
2 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
3 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
3 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
Previous lives do resemble current lives especially if they are a recognized incarnation. If notice how similar the previous and current Trijang Rinpoche looks. The eyes, bone structure, expression, long neck, thin and overall look. Beautiful. I\'ve seen this phenomena over and over in many Rinpoche incarnations. Especially when you compare them with pictures of previous and current lives at around the same ages. Something powerfully karmic about this. Tsem Rinpoche
6 months ago
Previous lives do resemble current lives especially if they are a recognized incarnation. If notice how similar the previous and current Trijang Rinpoche looks. The eyes, bone structure, expression, long neck, thin and overall look. Beautiful. I've seen this phenomena over and over in many Rinpoche incarnations. Especially when you compare them with pictures of previous and current lives at around the same ages. Something powerfully karmic about this. Tsem Rinpoche
It\'s nice to have monks visitors and resident monks in Kechara
6 months ago
It's nice to have monks visitors and resident monks in Kechara
                         Taken in Lake Champlain in Canada. A huge water monster...neat...
6 months ago
Taken in Lake Champlain in Canada. A huge water monster...neat...
Beautiful! His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang has always been good friends with His Holiness Karmapa. No wonder H.H. Karmapa never spoke against Dorje Shugden. Two reasons perhaps: One is he knows the qualities of Trijang Rinpoche who is a attained being. And Karmapa himself has clairvoyance to perceive the true nature of Dorje Shugden directly. I love to see great beings like this manifesting closeness. When I see, I just want to prostrate to them and thank them for sharing such good examples to someone like me. Praise to the ego-less mind! Tsem Rinpoche
6 months ago
Beautiful! His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang has always been good friends with His Holiness Karmapa. No wonder H.H. Karmapa never spoke against Dorje Shugden. Two reasons perhaps: One is he knows the qualities of Trijang Rinpoche who is a attained being. And Karmapa himself has clairvoyance to perceive the true nature of Dorje Shugden directly. I love to see great beings like this manifesting closeness. When I see, I just want to prostrate to them and thank them for sharing such good examples to someone like me. Praise to the ego-less mind! Tsem Rinpoche
Serkong Dorje Chang on the left and his son Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche on the right.
6 months ago
Serkong Dorje Chang on the left and his son Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche on the right.
Click on "View All Photos" above to view more images

Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • Please watch this video, it's heartbreaking to see how people have to suffer.
    1 week ago
    Please watch this video, it's heartbreaking to see how people have to suffer.
  • Lady saves puppy from potential abuser
    1 week ago
    Lady saves puppy from potential abuser
  • Mr. Denzel Washington is a very intelligent man. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 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.
    2 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.
    1 month ago
    [11/02/2017] Mumu darling is a very good boy.
  • [11/02/2017] Mumu wants to go bye bye!
    1 month ago
    [11/02/2017] Mumu wants to go bye bye!
  • [11/02/2017] I love you mumu boy
    1 month ago
    [11/02/2017] I love you mumu boy
  • [11/02/2017] Mumu and Oser eating together.
    1 month 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
  • Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche on Samaya
    5 months ago
    Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche on Samaya
    ཁྱེད་ཀྱི་བཀའ་སློབ་དོན་སྙིང་དེ།།གང་གི་རྣ་བར་བདུད་རྩི་མོད།།འོན་ཀྱང་འགའ་ཡི་རྣ་ལམ་དུ།། བྲག་ཆ་བཞིན་དུ་འགྱུར་སྲིད་མོད།། ཚང་མས་ཚར་རེ་གཟིགས་རོགས།། Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche telling people that it is important to have guru samaya. It use to be that way in the great monasteries. We should not create problems and schisms. If we want to practice a protector, then do so, if not it's okay, but don't make trouble. One should just practice the Buddha Dharma well. To do good practice. If you have faith in Dorje Shugden and trust all the way, he will definitely help you. But most important is to practice the dharma. This is his advice in short here. It's good to let more Tibetans hear this holy speech and appeal by this very senior Rinpoche. TR

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 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?
    No reply yet
  • 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.
  • March 20, 2017 10:16
    Grigoris asked: Excuse me, but I would like to ask, what does the prayer to Shangmo Dorje Putri say exactly? I can't read Tibetan, but would like to see the description that the prayer gives. I am not planning to say the prayer or make interaction(as it would be very dangerous), but would like to see what it actually says from the Tibetan text. Here's the link: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/shangmo-dorje-putri-the-bamo-of-sakya.html
    pastor answered: Dear Grigoris, Thank you for your question. Shangmo Dorje Putri is indeed a fascinating unenlightened Dharma protector. Unfortunately at the moment, we do not have a translated copy of the text in English that we can provide. The usual format for such texts, would include an invocation, making offerings to appease them, and then exhortations for them to perform their activities, possibly followed by thanking them for their help. One thing is for certain, due to the nature of Shangmo Dorje Putri her prayer is sure to include violent imagery, just like many other Dharma protectors, such as Achi Chokyi Drolma (who even though has a peaceful appearance, has a lot of violent imagery in her prayers). The reason behind the violent imagery is explained in the post about Achi Chokyi Drolma here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/achi-chokyi-drolma-chief-protectress-of-the-drikung-kagyu.html
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Visitors have the opportunity to pay respect to this holy statue, in Kechara Forest Retreat, Wisdom Hall!
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Visitors have the opportunity to pay respect to this holy statue, in Kechara Forest Retreat, Wisdom Hall!
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