When we live our lives in an unselfish manner, we have more happiness

Jul 14, 2016 | Views: 568
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By Wei Tan

What is happiness? Is it the feeling we get when we get to see or do something we like? Many of us would like to drive an expensive car, be with our friends and have fun, or be with the ones we love. Others would like to relax and go on holiday, read books, or play games all day everyday. With so many people in the world, we all have a variation of likes and dislikes, some of which are similar and dissimilar to each other. Two people might like another person but dislike each other… So when we finally get to experience our likes, does that bring us happiness? It might do, and if it does, it probably wouldn’t last as long as we wished it would. After it ends, what are we left with? The feeling of ‘it didn’t last long enough, I want more’ starts to rise. With habituation, this feeling gets stronger and stronger until it translates into an action which can be experienced on a physical level. The need or want to do something we like stems from our desires; otherwise we wouldn’t want to do those things in the first place. This can be seen around us all of the time. We don’t need special powers to be aware of this. All we need is to look carefully.

?thgir esnes sekam ti ,sdrawkcab ti daer uoy won tub ,emit tsrif eht esnes ekam t’ndid tI

It didn’t make sense the first time, but now you read it backwards, it makes sense right?

Does that last bit make sense to you? Maybe not the first time you read it… Does it have any meaning? Maybe… Although it’s not like I’m adding stuff here for fun… Something so small and insignificant, like this one line, can also be seen in different ways depending on who reads it. There are a few things in there that look reasonable, but in general, it looks like one big mess to us. Similarly, even when we experience something, whether it’s reading things or listening to people, observing people and their behaviours, it’s like that line. Weird and incomprehensible at first but after a closer look, it makes sense and it’s not so hard to read anymore. Our preferences towards everything are so small, insignificant and sometimes, when someone acts so strange and backwards to you, it doesn’t make sense. We can impute the preference of the person being okay in certain ways but overall we simply cannot understand them. If we do not initially understand them, we can be patient with them, get to know them and eventually come to understand them. On the other hand we can also write them off as weirdoes, be impatient and move on without trying to get to know them. So in that way, we can perceive people like that too. Just because they don’t make sense to you, doesn’t mean they don’t make sense to somebody else. We can be just as strange to other people as they are to us. Therefore we should practice equanimity since we are, well most of us, are all equal in that respect. See in some cases, it might be us who are not clever enough to understand the ‘weirdo’.

In this way we all perceive things differently, from a different angle and react to those things differently. This is brings life to our likes and dislikes. We try to repeat the things we like and try to put a stop to the things we dislike. Why? Well, on a very basic level, we all want the happiness we experience from the things we like and we don’t want to experience the unhappiness of something we dislike. However since our likes and dislikes are different, we also find happiness and unhappiness in different things. If I like the piano but somebody else dislikes the piano, is the piano a like or a dislike? Well it’s neither and both, simultaneously. It’s only a like or a dislike if there is something to impute that preference onto it. If there was nobody to like and dislike it, then it would be just be simply a piano. Then what if I like how the piano looks but not how it sounds? What if I don’t like the room it’s in? What if I don’t like the furniture around it? Then my opinion of the piano suddenly changes from a like to dislike because of these other cons that outweigh the pro. How can a simple piano sprout so many questions and preferences? Well, does it really? The piano didn’t tell me to like or dislike it. I projected my opinion onto an inanimate object that has no sentient life to it. Therefore aren’t I the source of the preference, not the piano?

What if we apply this to the people around us? Yeah we can say that ‘people are way more complicated than a musical instrument so our many preferences on people can be justified’. Or is that perhaps just an excuse to remain unchanged and be attached to our preferences which helps us feel comfortable and secure, that we have identify and can categorise people as well as objects? Fundamentally if I were the only sentient being ever to exist, would we be liked or disliked? Could I be liked or disliked? If I could, then I have no idea how… If not, then surely even we, as sentient beings, do not inherently exist as a source of a like or dislike? Doesn’t that make us just like an inanimate piano?

Well, not quite. Unlike the piano, sentient beings have the capacity to impute their preferences onto other things they have experienced but only at that. A man who is blind, deaf and dumb couldn’t tell you whether he liked or disliked the colour blue because he hasn’t experienced that. In the same way, I couldn’t truly tell you whether I liked or disliked going to a Michael Jackson concert because I’ve never been to one. I would just be giving an estimation based on my likes and dislikes of what I’ve seen and heard about him and I also couldn’t have named an artist I’ve never heard of before. Therefore if our perception allows us to like and dislike things and our likes and dislikes give rise to the feeling of ‘happiness’ and ‘unhappiness’, then how come when we experience the things we have been taught to like, such as money and relationships, we still suffer in the end?

For example, people in relationships with their boyfriend or girlfriend will often seem happy in front of us and depending on their relationship; they will ‘feel happy’ most of the time. They can go out together, spend time together, do things together, have fun together and that’s all good in the short term, but what happens long term? Behind the scenes, the thought of their relationship will plague their minds constantly. Without telling anyone, not even their partners, they may begin to question their situation, ‘Is my partner happy with me? Am I worthy of my partner? Am I doing enough? Could I do more?’… This may lead to even more insecurities, ‘What if they aren’t happy with me? Are they doing things behind my back? Do they really want to be with me? Is it all just an act?’… What if they are the ones who don’t want to be in the relationship? ‘How should I end it?’ ‘Will they hate me if I end it?’ ‘I wish something would just break us apart’. Even if they console themselves, are consoled by their friends or even their partner, the insecurities never stop. They end up stressing non-stop over the relationship. If the relationship does break apart, what next? Find another relationship and go through that process again? Keep going through it until they find ‘The One’ and live out the rest of their lives together?

However in the end, when they die, they don’t want to be apart from their lovers so they grasp onto their relationship so much, even until their last breath, they don’t want to leave or don’t want their partner to leave. If they are the ones being left behind, then what? Find another relationship? They might do if they were that desperate to be loved by somebody even after that… If not? What if they couldn’t recover from the trauma of losing somebody that close? If it happens when they are ‘young’? They might even think that if they had never been in that relationship in the first place, their partner would still be around. What if they had a child and their child was the one to pass away before them? That happens in real life too. Many loving parents can’t recover from that level of emotional trauma. Even if they somehow manage to reduce it, the wonderful and joyful memories of their child also trigger their loss as their child is no longer around. Those feelings of loss, sadness and melancholy will be relentlessly barraging their minds, even if they don’t want it to.

Is that the happiness we seek in relationships? Maybe… Maybe not… That’s what happens though. Things end. People pour everything they have into getting and maintaining relationships, something so impermanent even a child can comprehend. You don’t see 5 year olds looking for lovers. How about when we get older? Try blaming it on biology? Well you don’t see every human looking for lovers, so it can’t be something so unchangeable, that it’s etched into our genes. Besides, that would just imply that humans, as a species, lack the capacity for self-control. Although I guess it’s a necessary thing that people still make babies… otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this and we wouldn’t have any teachings. Having a baby and even the time leading up to having a baby just seems so physically and mentally taxing. Using time, money, energy, and in some cases, people betray themselves to please their partner. Is it really worth it? Everybody has their own opinions but I don’t think so. Yet, many people are so attached to the idea of getting into a relationship…

Similarly, a rich person can experience the joys of financial prosperity on a physical level. They can buy what they want without a care, they can buy people’s actions and they can invest in anything they want. They never need to worry whether they can eat hearty during their next meal. Looks like happiness has been found right? That is, until their ‘wants’ exceed their finances. At that point, they become ‘poor’. When they can no longer afford something they want, they become dissatisfied and irritated, in some cases, even depressed. Someone who has an appetite for everything in the world will be the one who is the hungriest. Why? They want so much yet can only get a fraction of what it is they want. Their stomachs are always empty. However someone content with what they have isn’t hungry as they don’t seek to gain more and more. Even when someone has a lot of money, they might not want to give it away, they want to keep it but yet the fear of being targeted for their money becomes a heavy burden. Whether it’s being robbed, cheated or used, when paranoia seeps in to these cracks of insecurity, it is not very pleasant. It is a very unsettling feeling to be unable to trust anybody because of our fears. In the same way, eating too much, being too full and being on the verge of throwing up is also not a very pleasant feeling. For me anyway, and I’ve never heard of any weirdoes who enjoy that sensation…

I’m not saying being ambitious is bad. It is only bad when we overestimate ourselves and refuse to acknowledge our limits. That kind of attitude leads to frustration and eventually anger. Until we decrease our desires or increase our limits, this anger of living an unfulfilled life will dig a deeper hole, making it much harder to get out of that mentality. On the other side of the coin, there are never a shortage charities and organisations that need donations in order to function and grow. Be generous, give not only in money, but also in time and effort, unconditionally. Why? We attract what we reflect. If we reflect the image of somebody unpleasant, then nobody will want to be around us for who we are since we are internally ugly, only what we have on the outside. Even through an ocean of money, if and when what we have runs out, those people will run off and hover around other people with that same image. Since money can buy people and their loyalty, it only lasts for as long as we have the money but since everything physical is impermanent… It won’t last. If that’s what you want, go ahead but you’ll just end up lonely and that will make you unhappy because it’s what you tried to avoid in the first place. To me, the only worthwhile wealth can only be achieved in a state of mind. All the physical riches in the universe will never be enough to satisfying someone who does not feel mentally wealthy.

Furthermore, it’s not the same type of people and loyalty we attract compared to when we reflect a pleasant image. When we are generous and we do virtuous actions, we make ourselves reflect a beautiful image that people around us wish they could become like. Sure there are some people who are really envious and work to ruin our image but they can only succeed if we let them affect our virtuous actions since it is our actions that reflect the image. In such a case there are no winners, only losers. The loyalty we gain from our virtuous actions is not from something physical, they don’t disappear in the absence of physical matter. Since the virtuous actions create the loyalty and we control our own actions, we are the source of the loyalty as long as we keep doing virtuous things, unlike when we have loyalty that sprouts from having lots of money. No matter what type of person we are, everybody wants to able to trust somebody. However, who we can trust is ultimately down to us. What image do you want to reflect to others? Would you rather be a vulture in a sea of bloody carcasses or a beautiful swan on a clear blue lake?

In conclusion, there is the type of ‘happiness’ that comes from feeding our own selfish wants and desires and there is the type of happiness that comes from being kind and compassionate to others. Selfish happiness is short term and always ends due to the impermanent nature of all physical things in the universe. Compassionate happiness is long term as we find happiness, not in physical gains but through spiritual gains. Spirituality and compassion can help us change our perspective. Then when our minds are so focused on helping others and we work for the sake of others everyday, nothing can stop us from doing our virtuous actions. It’ll be like bouncing on clouds with sunshine and rainbows. Otherwise life is like a never ending minefield that’s looking to blow you up every step of the way. Even if you survive one step, a few steps, time pushes you forward whether you like it or not. There’s no happiness in a minefield…

 

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18 Responses to When we live our lives in an unselfish manner, we have more happiness

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  1. Wan Wai Meng on Nov 21, 2016 at 4:04 am

    Thank you for this thought provoking article about ‘happiness’, what it means to various people and what it means if we hold on to one view against holding on to an equally opposite view.

    I suppose it is always that battle that human face in nourishing our material resources versus nourishing the spirit/spiritual development. The nature of material things, is it is impermanent and ever changing, can be stolen and taken away by force of others or karma. Then there is our spiritual development, something that once we have an insight/wisdom into something, quite difficult for you to lose it, cannot be stolen or taken away but can be enhanced and even improved on with time. Our mind that has been nourished by correct values and ideas, can be brought over to many other existences or future lives, whereas material resources you can’t do so under ordinary circumstances.

  2. Vivian Ong on Oct 23, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    Thank you Wei Tan for this write up. I guess all thoughts and perceptions that everyone in this world have is due to different conditions for example tradition, culture and also habituation. From these, it leads to attachment and attachment will give us a lot suffering if we cling on to something or someone too strongly. I guess we must all learn to practice non-attachment so that when something happen, we won’t be so despair and suffer.

    With folded palms,
    Vivian

  3. graceleong on Aug 2, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    All beings are constantly in search of that good warm fuzzy feeling we call “HAPPINESS”. Humans, animals in general, spirits too I am sure; all are in search of happiness. Achieving happiness can get very addictive !
    In our pursuit for happiness we make many decisions and take many actions. The outcome may or may not result in achieving happiness. Those actions/decisions that bring us happiness can be short lived or longer term but it is never permanent ? Never permanent in samsara for sure ! But the Buddha did say we can achieve eternal bliss when we are ENLIGHTENED !! That’s cool and surely many will want to be enlightened for the mere fact we can have an end to our sufferings and achieve eternal bliss !!
    Hence, the Buddha laid down the path to ENLIGHTMENT; all the different methods one can embark on to achieve an eternal bliss. In all these methods there is one common denominator, that is, we are more sure to achieve happiness if we focus out on others and not otherwise ! Something very hard to do all the time but definitely with more training and transformation the habit of focusing out can be achieved and will result in us being more calm , peaceful and neutral – a clear sign of happiness or another way to put it, no more sufferings !
    Thank you Wei Tan for sharing your thoughts on a topic that is the very essence of all lives.

  4. MartinC on Aug 2, 2016 at 3:38 am

    It may be difficult to understand it at first but happiness happens when we do something to benefit others. That is because we suddenly ‘feel’ our value to others and we see that our actions have positive impact and that we are relevant.

    On the other hand, doing things with the sole intention of pleasing ourselves is at best a short-term distraction. I guess that is why there is always the next thing we must have in order to be ‘happy’. We actually feel deep down that we have no significance and have no real importance to other. But instead of working on giving ourselves real value, we chose instead the easy and quick diversion.

    Personally I have observed that people who live for others are seldom, if at all, depressed. And those who subscribe to self-indulgent things such as ‘shopping therapy are quick to fall frequently into self absorption.

    I suppose real happiness cannot be a feeling. It must come from knowledge that we are happiness to other.

  5. William Chua on Jul 31, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    This article from Wei Tan is refreshing and coming from a young adult who is able to see things that are impermanent and explaining it to his viewers in simple understandable language. Yes it is true that people have their perceptions that are deep rooted in them because of upbringing or cultures and these may or may not be true. It is up to the individual to be able to see the difference and decide. It is our perception that forms our believe that a person should behave a certain manner or an object should be a certain form.

    Like the example given above about the piano. People either like the piano or not. But it is because of the sound it makes or the way it is formed? Does your like for the piano change because of the person playing it or the place the piano is situated. In the end, you confuse yourself with all the additional judgements.

    At the end of the day, everyone wants to be happy and what better way to be happy than to give to others. Focusing out on others and put others’ need above ours is a way to be happy. Learning the Dharma and applying it will also make us happy because it is based on universal truth. The Buddha thought us to be charitable and to be giving. By giving unconditionally, we will not have attachments, after all, all things are impermanent. So, make someone happy today.

  6. Sofi on Jul 31, 2016 at 5:31 am

    Thank you Wei Tan for this article on happiness through unselfish living. Happiness had always been an elusive thing that the moment you think you achieve it, it kinda disappear on you. Not knowing and wanting it to remain permanently, we often cause more suffering to ourselves and others. The only solution and true attainment of happiness is to learn the precious Dharma and to practise it in our daily lives. When we understand the cause of our sufferings, then we will be able to better grasp the happiness that had so eluded us for so long.

    With the Dharma, we are able to understand how our perception of likes and dislikes are actually the causes of our being unhappy. When we understand that the matter is neutral without our imputation then it will not affect us emotionally. In generating Bodhicitta to care for others and their happiness, we will gain more happiness as we share in their happiness. In helping others, we also spend less time on needing to satisfy our egoistic wants.

  7. Pastor KH Ng on Jul 30, 2016 at 12:07 am

    We reap what we sow…..!! This is the more powerful law of nature!!

    Being selfish reaps being alone and unhappiness. Since the world we live in is full of other people, we are a drop in a vast ocean; how can a drop feel itself the centre of every other drops in the ocean; and have all these other drops think the same?

    The way to happiness is to acknowledge the this “drop” is the same as all other drops; acknowledge that it is part of the ocean; be one with the ocean and that this “drop” we call the “self” is ever changing and mixing with all other drops of the ocean. Nothing is fixed; all things are ever changing and take care unconditionally all of the ocean.

    In that way the drop will experience the happiness that comes with being one with the ocean i.e. all other people and beings……!

  8. Lum Kok Luen on Jul 28, 2016 at 12:16 am

    Thank you Rinpoche and Wei Tan for this wonderful and “wake up” call for us.

    Happiness, unfortunately to so many people is as per what the article mentioned. Such is the nature of samsara (as mentioned in the Lamrim). We have to be wary and always check our minds such that we do not fall further into the abyss of “happiness” in samsara.

    Great article to remind us again to check and control our mind.

    Thank you.
    Lum Kok Luen

  9. Elisha Lynn Tang Sue Ming on Jul 26, 2016 at 12:48 am

    Happiness will only come to us if we do something which does not bring any harm to us or the others. This type of happiness will last an eternity whereas happiness which is obtained in a selfish manner will not last because our true color will somehow prevail and that will hurt the people around us. Just my two cents worth.

  10. Vinnie Tan on Jul 23, 2016 at 10:47 pm

    Thank you Wei for this great article. What you have written is indeed true and very applicable to all of us. We are constantly chasing for something that is not there and it is false.

    The projection of what we think is true happiness is false as we have been thought since young that we are suppose to be pursing for relationships, wealth, and pleasure. Yet, what we fail to see is that these things that w seek pleasure from all all just things that will serve us happiness for the short period of time. We fail to see beyond what is said because everyone around us are doing the same, they tell us that it is the only way that leads us to happiness.

    True happiness is when we start focusing out and not make everything about ourselves. When we stop putting ourselves as priority and put others that cross paths with us in that position, we will then find happiness. It is the smiles that we will bring to others that is able to bring us that joy to our lives that we are trying to chase constantly.

    Wei, it is very amazing that you have understood such deep knowledge at such a young age. Thank you once again for this article that is very easy for all to comprehend about this simple point that many people do not see.

  11. sonny tan on Jul 22, 2016 at 11:08 am

    Thank you Wei Tan for this invaluable insight on happiness, it is rather very subjective because happiness can be experienced and felt at different levels. For instance happiness when seeing your child becomes a champion in a race may differ from jumping with joy when one strikes a lottery. The intensity, reason and degree are however difficult to equate perhaps it is the depth and how long it last and the exhilarating factors following this eruption of happiness.
    Happiness is an intangible commodity when heightened by jubilation would linger on in a different manner and the underlying factors surrounding it and the continuity of it may perhaps differs on the time, place, temperament, environment and the people one is sharing the happiness with. Therefore, happiness is hard to define in terms of language but can only be felt momentarily.
    What is happiness then? It is just a fleeting pleasure of the mind; one cannot grasp it in the hand and hold it for long, it would ultimately dissipates and the after effect depends on one’s mental frame of mind. However, on another note it would generate positivity which would bring about a healthier mind and body.

  12. Jill Yam on Jul 19, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    What is happiness?
    Happiness can be defined in so many ways and different people experience happiness in their own way.

    Real happiness comes from being compassionate and selfless in helping the less fortunate without bias. Some derived their happiness from seeing people suffering. But this is just our perception of things or happiness that’s supposed to be.

    If we live our life in an unselfish manner we have more happiness. This is very true. Life is short and no one knows when we leave this world.

    Selfish happiness is short term as we are the only one that is happy by taking advantage of others.
    We should therefore strive for compassion happiness by helping those in need.

    We always seems to be seeking happiness everywhere when happiness is within our grasp.

    Thank you Wei for the wonderful sharing on happiness.

    Jill Yam

  13. Uncle Eddie on Jul 19, 2016 at 11:40 am

    Thank you Wei Tan for sharing with us your views on this valuable and meaningful article. As a matter of fact, all human beings, or all beings to be exact, constantly seek to find happiness, and find all ways to overcome problems to avoid suffering. Irrespective of whatever the problems, whether individuals, or groups of people may face, whether rich or poor, educated or uneducated, what is most common to all is the wish to have lasting happiness. Of course, as human beings, all of us have a physical body, which gives rise to sickness and other problems. At the same time, we also have emotions, such as anger, greed and jealousy too, as our negative feelings to be eliminated. Nevertheless, on the positive side, we have love, kindness, tolerance and compassion to be further develop. All these we believe, are part of our human nature, likewise, everyone wants happiness and does not want sufferings. It is said that the greatest degree of inner tranquility comes from the development of love and compassion, i.e. the more we are for the welfare and happiness of others, the greater our own sense of well-being becomes. Cultivating a warmhearted feeling for others always puts our mind at ease. As long as we live in this World we are bound to encounter problems. At such time, if we lose hope and get discouraged, we lose our ability to face difficulties. We must always not forget to remember that it is not just ourselves, but everyone who has to undergo sufferings. This is a realistic perspective, and not just you and I, but everyone has to undergo suffering. We must increase our determination and capacity to overcome them. With such an encouraging attitude in our mind, each new obstacle would be seen as yet another opportunity to improve our mind. As a result our own serenity and inner strength will increase. Om Mani Padme Hung.

  14. Pastor Yek Yee(月谊讲法师) on Jul 19, 2016 at 12:54 am

    我相信很多人都沒有辦法享受到真正的快樂,因為實際上他們並不懂得所謂的快樂。我非常記得尊貴的第廿五世詹杜固仁波切在近期的開示裡說過,但我以自己能夠理解的範圍與大家分享,由於教育的普及化,每個人都有極高的智能聰慧,對生活的技巧和謀生的知識了解深透,不少人成了他人眼中的快樂人,但是這樣往往成了死板的謀生人。

    我們要活得快樂,擁有卓越的智能,是不足夠,它需要的是將身語意融合為一体的智慧,惟有智慧才可以讓我們內在生起快樂的本質。智慧讓我們對永恆不變的概念打破,使我們有更充裕的時間去思考、 冥想找回最原始的本質。

    快樂是甚麼?當你發問這個問題時,意味著你已經邁向快樂的第一步。所以說, 快樂可以很簡單!

  15. Pee Bee Chong on Jul 18, 2016 at 11:48 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche and Wei Tan

    We all perceived thing differently, therefore we have likes and dislikes, and when we experiencing the person or things that we like, we feel happy.
 However, this happiness is only short term happiness. This selfish happiness comes from feeding our own-self what we wants and desire. It is short term and always ends due to the impermanent nature of all physical things in the universe.



    Compassion happiness comes from being kind and compassionate to others.
    It is long term as we find happiness, not in physical gains but through spiritual gains. Spirituality and compassion can help us change our perspective 


    Thank you
    Pee Bee Chong

  16. victoria lam on Jul 18, 2016 at 12:09 am

    Thank you Rinpoche and Wei Tan for sharing the meaningful article.

    We always want to live in beautiful part and dislike to hear or accept the comments. How to lives in happiness its depends how we think on every scenario. We may think positive or negative.

    Everything is impermanence. Every situations of likes or dislikes also will change.I’m glad that I can learn Dharma to realized how to apply it when sometimes we struggle with some scenarios.If without Dharma, I wouldn’t have wiser think to learn and see things out of the box.

    Thank you Wei Tan, I enjoyed reading the interesting article.

  17. Jace Chong on Jul 17, 2016 at 11:22 pm

    Thanks Rinpoche and Wei for the wonderful article.

    I enjoy reading it very much, almost every line makes me nod my head as I totally agree.

    As long as we cling on something external for our happiness, it will never last as it never come from the outside. However it doesn’t mean that we cut off everything that we have now to achieve a happier life, but to understand the outer sources such as relationship, wealth are not the ways. I remember Rinpoche explained that wealth is like a toilet, we need a toilet to live our life, if not we will get sick or we can’t live well with it. But we don’t see the toilet as the goal of our life, we need it but it’s not what we should spend our life for it.

    I also like the way you explained about our preferences on an object, that it’s our projections play mind games with us. Seeing things as they are, is a daily practice that I be able to analyze when my emotions pop up.

    Thank you so much Wei! Looking forward to read more of your writings here 🙂

  18. Lew on Jul 16, 2016 at 4:05 am

    Dear Wei,

    I was told you are someone who thinks deep, and ask very intelligent questions. After reading your article, I would agree.

    I love what you wrote about if we don’t understand a situation or person, then we will feel the situation/person to be weird, but if we are patient, and to understand, then our perspective will change.

    I have heard Tsem Rinpoche said before, if we base our happiness on impermanent things, then we cannot expect the happiness to be permanent. And unfortunately, most of the things which we perceive as “good” are not permanent. Most if not all people in this world are looking for ways to be happy, and yet, our perspective of happiness all differ, but according to Buddha, the true happiness is based on unselfish mind to benefit others.

    Wei, keep up the good work and continue writing. I enjoy your writing very much!

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KECHARA FOREST RETREAT PROGRESS UPDATES

Here is the latest news and pictorial updates, as it happens, of our upcoming forest retreat project.

The Kechara Forest Retreat is a unique holistic retreat centre focused on the total wellness of body, mind and spirit. This is a place where families and individuals will find peace, nourishment and inspiration in a natural forest environment. At Kechara Forest Retreat, we are committed to give back to society through instilling the next generation with universal positive values such as kindness and compassion.

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

Noticeboard

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  • Jason
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 03:07 AM
    This year Wesak Day fall on 10 of May. This day is very special and meaningful to me because I will visit Kechara Forest Retreat(KFR) to join some meritorious event there.
    For me, Wesak is a day to commemorate Buddha Sakyamuni in three aspect( Birth , Enlightened, Nirwana).
    While we celebrate Wesak, we must remind ourselves to learn from Buddha teachings and practice it in order to gain attainment.
    Thanks Rinpoche and Pastor Seng Piow for sharing in order to create more understanding on Wesak Day.

    Jason

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

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

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

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

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

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-12.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Apr 26. 2017 04:30 PM
    Miracles do happen,when we have faith and trust in our Guru.What is important is to follow Rinpoche’s advice and do as instructed by our Guru to clear the osbtacles all the way.Angie and Herry were so fortunate to have meet Rinpoche.Its because of Rinpoche ‘s compassion and caring for his student Angie’s life was saved.Infact Rinpoche has helped many people through his intervention, advice and instructions.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Loh Seng Piow for sharing miracles stories which i enjoyed reading.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-2.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Apr 26. 2017 02:45 PM
    WOW….interesting a miracles true story. Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Loh Seng Piow for sharing.Reciting mantras by family members and doing 20 pujas done at the monastery to help the baby. These proved that pujas, which have been done for hundreds of years in the monasteries are very powerful methods for us to overcome difficulties, create huge amounts of merit and for protection, good health and long life.This show us how powerful pujas can help us when we have trust and faith in our Guru.And with Rinpoche divination,the baby was born and now a healthy boy.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-1-2.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Apr 26. 2017 12:47 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these powerful teachings.Its a privilege
    to do Dharma work to benefits other,do it with motivation and a good attitude when engaging ourselves It will be guide line for me.When we serve others to do Dharma work together at Kechara Forest Retreat ,we will improve ourself , purify our negative karma and to benefit others too.I will be sponsoring to the healings bricks soon and i will cherish every moment in supporting KFR.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/dharma-work-attitude-tdl.html
  • Lin Mun
    Wednesday, Apr 26. 2017 11:06 AM
    Bigfoot is just another beings living in this world although not commonly seen and live in the deep jungle in high mountains. There were many evidences that people from many parts of the world sighted this beings. Whatever shape they are I think importantly we are all sharing this world and therefore need to have mutual respect and not intervene each others.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/its-in-the-scriptures-they-exist.html
  • Alice Tay
    Tuesday, Apr 25. 2017 04:26 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Adeline sharing this interesting post about Bodhidharma, a great master favoured meditation and introduced the Lankavatara Sutra to Chinese Buddhism.

    Here are a few points I have learned from this post:
    1. Bodhidharma had strong imprints of Dharma from the past and therefore he is interested in Buddha’s teachings and show his great wisdom. at a very young age.
    2. His strong guru devotion and determination in learning and spreading the dharma based on meditation though he confronted with difficulties such as Emperor Wu Di was not impressed by his teachings, being ostracized and rejected and lived as a beggar for many months. Notwithstanding, he continued and never give up to practice meditation in complete silence for nine years in cave wall when he was not accepted by Shaolin Monastery at the beginning .
    3. When Bodhidharma was allowed enter to the monastery, he had put a lot of efforts to help the monks in improving their physical body as well as their mind through the meditation. Then, Bodhidharma continued to develop a system of 18 dynamic tension exercises which were printed as Yi Gin Ching (Changing Muscle/Tendon Classic) in 550 CE. It is known as the Luohan (arhat) 18 Hand Movements today which serves as the basis of both Chinese Temple Boxing and the Shaolin Martial Arts.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/bodhidharma-the-founder-of-gongfu.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Tuesday, Apr 25. 2017 04:10 PM
    Thank you, Grace, for sharing with us the many tips on how to care for and maintain our hair. Personal grooming is important because when we care for our appearance, we are respecting the people who have to deal with us. Caring for our hair, making sure that it is neat and clean should be something we need to take care of since young as it is part of personal grooming. The key is not to be attached to our body and outer-images, that results in spending much time and resources just to make ourselves look good.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/guest-contributors/how-much-do-you-know-about-hair.html
  • Alice Tay
    Tuesday, Apr 25. 2017 03:00 PM
    Thank you for sharing these wonderful and significant photos showed that Kechara Pastors’ tireless efforts to bring dharma to many others and do the blessings whenever is necessary.

    Basically, the pastorship role was conceptualized by our precious guru, H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche, to preserve the Dharma and to give laypeople an opportunity to commit to benefiting others. Kechara Pastors are fully dedicated and selflessly serving others especially in spiritual growth and therefore this is good for us to support the Pastors so that they can focus and spend more of their time and effort to serve others and most importantly Buddhist teachings can be spread and shared to many others. The supports to Pastors including food, lodging, transportation, items necessary for their work, such as ritual items or spiritual gifts for those in need and many others. (If you are interested to know more about Kechara Pastors, please have a good read at http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/support-the-kechara-pastors.html)

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/10-amazing-house-blessings-by-kechara-pastors.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Apr 25. 2017 02:13 PM
    Its such a great blessing for all of us to hear the holy voice recordings of H.H Kyabje Zong Rinpoche a great master..His profound teachings ,got to take seroiusly,more as an important advice on Dorje Shugden’s practice.H.H Kyabje Zong Rinpoche’s explaination was very clear before any of the practitioner’s commitment and receive sogtae.They must keep the lineage practice and teachings no matter what ever happen.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing with us on the important advice by a great master.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/kyabje-zong-rinpoches-advice-on-dorje-shugdens-practice.html
  • Lin Mun
    Tuesday, Apr 25. 2017 11:50 AM
    Thank you Pastor Han Nee for your sharing your thoughts and review about the book “Be Happy” written by Rinpoche. It is indeed not easy to be happy as we all have various expectation in every situation and people.

    We may think having a big house, lots of cash and good career is happiness but this is the wrong perception. Being happy is not about material and everything about ourselves. It is only when we can do more for others and focus out that we gain happiness. I never realised this until I joined Kechara. I think we have such a fixed mindset of what happiness is and when our expectation is not met, we are unhappy.

    Rinpoche has pointed out many ways for us to rectify our thoughts and methods to be happy. Now it is for us to take initiative to change and transform our mind if we want to be happy.

    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Han Nee for this article.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/be-happy.html
  • Lin Mun
    Monday, Apr 24. 2017 12:30 PM
    Many people do not believe in reincarnation and only relates it to certain religion such as Hinduism and Buddhism. However, there were many instances and signs that proven reincarnation exist. As Buddhist we will believe in reincarnation and karma. It is by understanding that everything has its cause and effect that we should learn to live life in the correct attitude and mindset. Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this interesting articles to remind us of karma and the importance of doing dharma practise.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/interesting-signs-of-reincarnation.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Apr 23. 2017 08:29 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for your teachings.
    Always be generous and kind in what ever we could do even its little help.It’s the little things in life that bring the greatest happiness. Its between us and our Buddha ,so we would not bother what the receipient thinks and say of us. What ever was said ,should not deter our motivation to do Dharma work.
    (It will change people’s lives in one way or another. It will change your life for the better.)….well said by Rinpoche.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/its-not-between-you-and-the-recipient.html

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Messages from Rinpoche

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CREDITS

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

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

Tsem Rinpoche

What Am I Writing Now

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  Bigfoot, Yeti, Sasquatch

The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

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


Ask the Pastors

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

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

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

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

Art expression using chalks and papers is an avenue for young children to cultivate positive perspective of life and connect with their artistic or creative side. Stella, KSDS
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Dorje Shugden
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