Amongst White Clouds – Amazing!

Dec 16, 2014 | Views: 3,331
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Dear Friends,

I just completed watching a incredibly inspiring documentary on the hermit monks/nuns in Zhongnan Mountains of modern day China called “Amongst White Clouds” by Edward A. Burger – a 2005 film. Buddhism has been very strong for thousands of years in China and I thought perhaps during the Cultural Revolution coupled with the onslaught of materialism overtaking China today, ascetic Buddhist practice may not be strong anymore. I was wrong. It was incredible to come across this moving and well made film.

It is reported with great reverence within the deep Zhongnan Mountain valleys live more than 5,000 Buddhist hermit monks and nuns today. They live off the land, spend most of their time in meditation and do not intermingle with the secular world. They live simply in the mountains and all their energy is focused on gaining deeper insights according to the teachings of the Buddha. Related to this video is Mr. Bill Porter and his works. His book inspired Edward A. Burger to create this beautiful documentary. I really loved this documentary and will watch many times again in the future repeatedly. I have also ordered the video online to get a copy I can carry with me wherever. I have ordered Bill Porter’s (Red Pine or Chinese: 赤松) book “Road to Heaven” also and looking forward to reading very much. I must thank Mr. Bill Porter and Mr. Edward A. Burger for their contributions to our understanding of the profound path of Zen, China’s spiritual culture and introducing us to the incredible modern day masters of Zhongnang Mountain.

Well, please read on so you can understand, learn and be inspired.

Tsem Rinpoche

 


 

Eastern mystic

By Yang Guang (China Daily)

Writer Bill Porter may be American but he is best known as an authority on Chinese religious culture

American writer and translator **Bill Porter says he could have been Chinese in his last life.”Perhaps I was an ancient Chinese,” the 69-year-old quips, because when he first learned Chinese in the late 1960s, he found vernacular Chinese quite difficult, while classical Chinese was easier.

He is recognized as an authority on Chinese religious culture not only among Westerners, but among Chinese as well.

Porter has published three cultural travelogues about China. He has also translated a dozen Chinese classics on Buddhism, Taoism and poetry as well, under the pseudonym Red Pine.

His most recent offering, Yellow River Odyssey, recounts his three-month expedition in 1991, from the mouth of the river, which is known as the “cradle of Chinese civilization”, in Dongying, Shandong province, to its source in Qinghai province. The book will be available in English in the latter half of this year.

“Two decades later, I still recall in my dreams how I listened to the roaring of the river and how I could hardly breathe at the river source,” he says.

Porter’s connection with China started when he was enrolled in the PhD program in anthropology at Columbia University.

He half-heartedly chose Chinese as his major to get a language fellowship.

He had always tried to understand life but he says it wasn’t until he read Alan Watts’ The Way of Zen that he finally made sense of it.

“When I encountered Buddhism, I didn’t have any problem understanding exactly what it was talking about,” he says. Porter then started meditating on weekends with a Chinese Buddhist monk.

His pursuit of Buddhism took him to Taiwan in 1972, where he stayed for a year at the Fo Guang Shan Monastery with master Hsing Yun.

Then he landed at the Chinese Culture University as a student in philosophy, and met his Chinese wife there.

He rented a stone farm shed on top of Yangming Mountain and started translating poems by hermit poet Cold Mountain (AD 691-793).

It was then that he adopted “Red Pine” as his Chinese name, only to discover later it was also the name of a famous ancient Taoist.

To support his family after he married, Porter worked for six years at a radio station in Taipei as a news editor.

He began to wonder if Buddhist hermits still survived in the Chinese mainland in 1989, but didn’t have the money to embark on the exploration.

By chance, he had an interview with Winston Wong, son of Wong Yung-ching, one of the richest men in Taiwan. Wong was fascinated by his idea and financed his trip.

Porter traveled to Zhongnan Mountain in Shaanxi province and discovered that the hermit tradition was still very much alive, as dozens of monks and nuns continued to lead solitary lives in quiet contemplation, deep in the mountains.

He recorded his visits and interviews in Road to Heaven: Encounters with Chinese Hermits. The book is considered a window on – and has helped revive interest in – the phenomenon of Chinese hermits.

Tang Xiaoming, Porter’s Chinese publisher, says the book has sold more than 100,000 copies since 2005.

Former literary editor Zhang Jianfeng decided to search for hermits in Zhongnan Mountain himself, after reading Porter’s book in 2008. The 35-year-old has visited more than 600 hermits to date and became chief editor of a magazine dedicated to promoting traditional Chinese culture.

Porter returned to the United States in 1993, settling in Port Townsend, a coastal town of about 8,000 residents.

Since 2001, he has organized biannual trips to China for American tourists, who find out about him through word of mouth.

He is planning a trip in October to search for the residences and tombs of 20 Chinese poets.

Source: (China Daily 06/15/2012 page30)
http://europe.chinadaily.com.cn/epaper/2012-06/15/content_15505039.htm


Very inspiring documentary movie here. You must be in a quiet place and focus so you miss nothing. Some of the subtitle texts disappear too fast, but there is enough to understand what is happening. Enjoy and be inspired:

 

Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/Amongst_White_Clouds.mp4

 

Fantastic Buddhist masters of the Zhongnan Mountains of modern day China. Prostrations to these hermits/masters, may I make offerings to them one day soon.

 

Great master of Zhongnan Mountains who has been meditating in the mountains in modern China for unknown years. Prostrations. Tsem Rinpoche

 

A simple nun hermit who lives in the Zhongnan Mountains engaged in her practice. She ate only wild plants that grew abundantly when she first arrived. To endure hardship is to grow. Tsem Rinpoche

 

One of the hermitages in Zhongnan Mountains where hermit monks and nuns live solitary lives of deep meditation. Tsem Rinpoche

 

Another house in Zhongnan Mountains where a hermit monk lives, meditates and practices. Powerful. I would love to visit if it’s allowed. Many of these masters do not accept visitors as it disturbs their daily meditations. Tsem Rinpoche

 

Another hermit house. According to China Tour Advisory website, there are over 5,000 monks/nuns living in Zhongnan Mountains meditating. Prostrations to these great beings. Tsem Rinpoche

 

One of the monks living in Zhongnan Mountains. In their tradition, they have to be under tutelage of a master for 3-10 years before solitary meditation on their own.

 

 

 

“I’ve lived on old mountains so many years, following the way of forests and springs, no one will visit, just clouds floating by, grass for a bed, blue sky for a quilt, happy with a rock for a pillow, let the world go about its changes.”~Hanshan, Tang Dynasty monk and poet

 

Hanshan (Chinese: 寒山; pinyin: Hánshān; literally: “Cold Mountain”, fl. 9th century) was a legendary figure associated with a collection of poems from the Chinese Tang Dynasty in the Taoist and Chan tradition. No one knows who he was, or when he lived and died. In the Buddhist tradition, Hanshan and his sidekick Shide are honored as emanations of the bodhisattvas Mañjuśrī and Samantabhadra, respectively. In Japanese and Chinese paintings, Hanshan is often depicted together with Shide or with Fenggan, another monk with legendary attributes.

 

**********

*[American director Edward A. Burger takes us on his unforgettable journey into the hidden lives of China’s forgotten Zen Buddhist hermit tradition.

Amongst White Clouds is a look at the lives of zealot students, gaunt ascetics and wise masters living in isolated hermitages dotting the peaks and valleys of China’s Zhongnan Mountain range. The Zhongnan Mountains have been home to recluses since the time of the Yellow Emperor, some five thousand years ago.

Many of China’s most realized Buddhist masters attained enlightenment in this very range! And now? It is widely thought that this tradition was all but wiped out by the twists and turns of history. Amongst White Clouds shows us this is not the case.

One of only a few foreigners to have lived and studied with these hidden sages, Burger reveals to us their tradition, their wisdom, and the hardship and joy of their everyday lives.

With both humor and compassion, these inspiring and warm-hearted characters challenge us to join them in an exploration of our own suffering and enlightenment in this modern world. (Excerpt from amongstclouds.com)]

 

Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/Red_Pine_Bill_Porter.mp4

 

 

Other works by Bill Porter from Wikipedia

  • P’u Ming’s Oxherding Pictures and Verses Empty Bowl, 1983. (translator)
  • Cold Mountain Poems Copper Canyon Press, 1983. (translator)
  • Mountain Poems of Stonehouse Empty Bowl, 1985. (translator)
  • The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma Empty Bowl, 1987; North Point Press, 1989. (translator)
  • Road to Heaven: Encounters with Chinese Hermits Mercury House, 1993. (author)
  • Guide to Capturing a Plum Blossom by Sung Po-jen. Mercury House, 1995. (translator)
  • Lao-tzu’s Taoteching: with Selected Commentaries of the Past 2000 Years Mercury House, 1996. (translator and editor)
  • The Zen Works of Stonehouse: Poems and Talks of a Fourteenth-Century Chinese Hermit Mercury House, 1997. (translator)
  • The Clouds Should Know Me by Now: Buddhist Poet Monks of China Wisdom Publications, 1998. (editor, with Mike O’Connor; and contributing translator)
  • The Collected Songs of Cold Mountain Copper Canyon Press, 2000. (translator and editor)
  • Diamond Sutra Counterpoint, 2001 (translator and extensive commentary)
  • Poems of the Masters: China’s Classic Anthology of T’ang and Sung Dynasty Verse Copper Canyon Press, 2003. (translator)
  • The Heart Sutra: the Womb of Buddhas Washington: Shoemaker & Hoard, 2004. (translator with extensive commentary)
  • Zen Baggage: A Pilgrimage to China Counterpoint, 2008. (author)
  • In Such Hard Times: The Poetry of Wei Ying-wu Copper Canyon Press, July 1, 2009. (translator). Awarded 2007 PEN Translation Fund Grant from PEN American Center. Winner of the American Literary Translators Association’s inaugural Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize in 2010.
  • Lao-tzu’s Taoteching: Translated by Red Pine with selected commentaries from the past 2000 years revised edition, Copper Canyon Press, 2009.
  • Guide to Capturing a Plum Blossom by Sung Po-jen Copper Canyon Press, 2011 (translator)
  • The Lankavatara Sutra: Translation and Commentary Counterpoint, 2012, (translator)
  • The Mountain Poems of Stonehouse Copper Canyon Press, 2014, (translator)
  • Yellow River Odyssey Chin Music Press 2014 ISBN 0988769301

(Transcript)

Amongst White Clouds

 

Monk: Once delusion is extinguished, your wisdom naturally arises. And you don’t differentiate suffering and joy. Actually this joy and this suffering, they are the same. The same.

(Beijing Railway Station, Autumn 2003)

Commentator: I bought this book of Chinese Buddhist poetry. Poems that are 1400-1500 years old. I bought it this at this used bookstore in Portland for like 2 dollars. I guess that I was about 19. There was a kind of amazing wisdom there, the people who wrote these poems knew something, something that I wanted to know. I found a book in the monastery library, when I was studying in India, studying Buddhism. This book called “Road to Heaven” by Bill Porter. He found hermits living in this ancient tradition, but now in modern China, and now it is just so exciting. So I wanted to come to China, learn Chinese and find one of these hermit masters, meet these real people doing this thing that I thought was only alive in history, in books. Once I got to China, it took me several months just asking around, but finally in Beijing, I met a monk. He said that his master lives in a remote mountain hermitage. He told me the name of the village, the name of the mountain, the name of the hermitage, and the name of this master, and it was really vague, you know? Really vague directions. Took me a while but finally I found it. I found it, and I’ve been his student now for 4-5 years.

I came to mainland China in 1999, a long nights’ train ride, 4 buses, and a few hours hike from Beijing, I met my first ZhongNan recluse. He is one of many upholding a hermit tradition, some say dates back as far as 5000 years in China’s history. They live alone or in small groups, separated by as much as 1 hour or 1 day’s hike apart. And although almost totally isolated from society, they live a life dedicated to confronting the struggles fundamental to all our lives.

Deep within these mountain valleys, this is one monk that I’ve come to call my master and other recluses living on surrounding peaks.

Master: Don’t put them too close together.

Monk: Leave space, I know.

Commentator: Hey master, sit for a while, teach us something.

Master: Quiescence and action, you can’t separate. Don’t’ distinguish these, there is no difference. Put your heart into it. Work with one mind. With one mind, all of this is done in no time. Isn’t that right? All of this is the practice. It’s not just sitting quietly somewhere. All of this is balanced and tranquil. Even work is very calm. Don’t think this and that. When you work, you work.

Commentator: My master lived alone in a hut for a couple of years, before moving into this remote mountain temple. There is room enough here for me and other students to live. In the evening, I always go into my master’s room to sit and talk. I ask him questions about my practice, and he tells me stories about living in the mountains.

Master: A layperson gave me this sweater.

Commentator: Did she weave it herself?

Master: That’s right, she did. It keeps me nice and warm. In the past, when I was younger, when I lived in my hut at Dayu, that place had a brick wood-fire heated bed and a wood-burning stove and everything. People said that I should light my heated bed, but I never lit it. Actually in the mountains, it’s best to not heat your bed. In the coldest part of winter you sit meditation, and your body feels warm, your legs feels warm. Even in the winter you aren’t cold. But if you don’t practice, then you feel cold. The key to this is sitting meditation. After sitting, then you lay down to sleep. Wake in the morning, and sit some more. Most of the hermits, already understand the practice methods, and they don’t make mistakes. If you have this foundation you can live in the mountains. But you must understand the practice. If you don’t understand, in the mountains you’ll go astray, and that’s nothing but torture, just torture. So why do so many people want to practice in the Zhongnan mountains? Because it’s a good place to practice, if you live here a while, you’re sure to accomplish. But you’re not a Buddha yet, you are just a common person here. So you have to rely on the environment. Rely on this to help you.

Commentator: There are hermits scattered all throughout the peaks and valleys of the Zhongnan. Each of them, a different phase of the same journey. Each of them has come to represent something unique to me. Something unique which, over the course of my journey, has become something whole. This life, this practice, this enlightenment. The “god” ascetic, the wise sage, the student, the friend, the determined, the one that smiles, the one that speaks like a poet, the one that is my guide. These are the hermits of the Zhongnan mountains.

So master, we should look for….

Master: Just go in that gorge, there are hermits there. You can just got there and ask around.

Commentator: Where do you live?

Monk 1: I live below there in a hermitage called Qingjing. You have to walk a ways from here down into this gorge. I live there, more or less alone.

Commentator: You practice alone there?

Monk 1: Yes

Commentator: How long?

Monk 1: 5 or 6 years.

Commentator: We want to film practitioners.

Monk 1: There is a place here called Shanzi Cave. There is a master there.

Commentator: But he doesn’t see visitors, he won’t open his gate.

Monk: Sure he will. Wait for me to take you, if I take you it’s okay. If he doesn’t know you, he won’t open his gate. Then you can eat a meal.

Commentator: Can we stay the night here?

Monk 1: If it gets late, you can sleep at my hermitage, no problem. I’ll tell you all about the place.

Monk 2: The Zhongnan Mountains are a place to practice, we come here to cultivate wisdom. First we build a hut, settle in, we’re working on that now.

Commentator: The 2 recluses living here remind me of 2 Tang dynasty hermit poets named, Hang Shan and Shi De. So that’s what I call them, because I don’t know their real names or where they’re from or what they did before becoming monks. When I tried to ask them, they just ignored the question or just say, “It doesn’t matter.”

They’re ascetics, which means they eat only just enough to stay healthy. Wear threadbare robes, cast off by other monks and live in shelters just sturdy enough to keep out the rain.

The two of you live together?

Monk 2: Yes, the two of us.

Commentator: You both practice here?

Monk 2: Yes, together. It’s all Amita Buddha! Because we just arrived and our huts aren’t finished yet. Once they’re finished we can separate to practice. At the time we’re working this out. Helping each other out. Can you understand me? Of course eventually we must live separate. You live in this hut, I live over there. That’s all good. So meditation, reading scriptures, we don’t bother each other. If you’re always talking, that’s bad. And when you’re sleeping at night, what if the guy snores? Then no one is happy! Practitioners are working towards liberation. The Buddha said, “There’s too much suffering in this world.” So we all want to become Buddha’s. You can live a hundred years or live a thousand years. The Buddha’s and Bodhisattva’s will take care of you. But the purpose of life is to become a Buddha. People eat dirt, dirt eats people. No matter what you do, we must return to this earth. None of this is real, everything returns to this.

Commentator: We tried to give them some fruit, rice and oil from the village market, but they refused it. In fact, they gave us some food, villagers had left there a few days before. They turn their backs on comforts, and conveniences, and entertainment. To return to something more basic, a calm, a peace, their trust lays at the true heart of human nature.

Monk 2: He’s writing us a riddle.

Monk 3: If you get this right, you’ll have peace. If you don’t figure this out, you’ll never know contentment.

Commentator: If you see through this world and let go of it, this is wisdom. If you see through it, but don’t let it go, that’s just “talking Zen”. Here, for you.

Ten thousand things

all in this breath

grasping hold of emptiness,

there’s really nothing to say.”

Monk 2: “Ten thousand things all in this breath” – why are people in this world so busy? Just for this one breath. They say, “busy, busy, mine, mine.” Busy a whole lifetime for “Me”. When this breath is cut off, you let go of the whole universe. Why not let go from the start? “Grasping hold of emptiness”, you want to talk about “real”, show me one thing that is real, there is nothing real from the start. Every day morning to night, gathering things, big and small, valuables, money, name, recognition, gathering it all up into your lap. Like you’re holding the golden key. Busy your whole life for nothing. Acting like a thief, why not put all this energy to liberation? Put this mind to the Path. Everyone in the world is controlled by this. Shed this control and you’ll be free, content, liberated. The Lengyan Scripture says, “Though there are words to speak, none of these are real.” Talk and talk, like flowers falling from heaven. It’s all worthless. And so, “there is really nothing to say.” If you think what you are grasping is real, there’s no good in that. You can’t take it with you.

Commentator: Would you say something more?

Monk 2: Haven’t I been talking all day? Talking half the day, still say something more?

Commentator: Does being close to nature influence your practice?

Monk 2: Nature is a delusion. What is nature?

Commentator: Then what is delusion?

Monk 2: Delusion is nature, nature is delusion.

Commentator: The clothes we wear and food we eat aren’t from nature?

Monk 2: Our food and clothes are natural? Well if that’s nature, then go sit on that rock your whole life and don’t move. Your belly will become full, clothes will crawl onto your body, cover you. This is nature. Is this natural?

Commentator: What wisdom is there in solitude? What changes in a person who lives so close to the birth, and death, and nature? Do I feel myself in this? Are we somehow different from this old tree, dying to be reborn? This life, this struggle, but something in this nature, something in us all, a calm, a clarity, in the face of change and uncertainty.

Master: You live in the mountains for a few years, and then you go into town, you sit on the bus, you look at all those people and feel, who are you struggling for? Who are you troubled for? People living in the mountains, practicing one, two, four, five years. They don’t think about these mundane and trivial matters. They are quiet. If this reckless, delusional mind has not been extinguished, everyday having these thoughts, good and bad, so many things. Always thinking. All these things, “Should I? Shouldn’t it?” You can’t stop it. What’s this we call, “reckless delusional mind?” Actually this is your habitual ways of thinking. It’s because of these habits, that you are always bumping heads with reality, everywhere “stubbing your toe”. This is your habits having the final say, your delusional mind taking control, so you’re always banging your head. Once you become aware of these mental habits, you practice. If not, then you go along with your negative habits, and it’s like you’re stuck in a cloth-dying vat, you’ll never come clean. This is the reason for living in the mountains.

Commentator: Do you remember the day you left home to become a monk?

Master: When I was young, it was my family’s influence. When I was a little child, I would go to the temple. My grandma took me at that time children liked going to the temple. The temple was a place where people learn good things, a place where people become Buddha’s and saints. When I was young my father died, my grandma was so good to me, and she died too. I realized people can’t escape birth and death. The people who make you so happy, the people you can’t live without, they leave you. No one could explain this to me. When I was just a little boy, I had this heart. Later, I went to Dayan temple. I went in and saw those Buddha statues. Because the posture of those Buddha’s, their energy was so dignified and so quiet and calm. It was like those Buddha’s were great resting beings, with no troubles. They were “not created, not destroyed” At the time, I was so happy. I thought, “If there is a way to become a Buddha, I will leave home, become a monk now”. I was a teenager then.

Monk: The Buddha said only the very courageous are able to be a monk or nun because it’s so difficult to let go of this world. You must let go of it all. Enjoyment, social life, conjugal love. You must let go of all this, and give your life to Buddha. You live alone in a hut, not a single person near you. You feel so lonely, really so very lonely. But after a longtime, you don’t want to go down off the mountain, you feel the cities are just a lot of trouble. But these emotions fool you. Emotion, desire… is only troubles. People in the world aren’t balanced. Love and hate, they do both to extremes. You have to take this heart and make it bigger. Compassion can overcome all hardships. If you see all beings with a compassionate heart, then your heart is big. And then these troubles are gone. Every morning and evening I do my service, then I do some sitting meditation. In the afternoon, I read a bit. I’m very free. I had a lot of trouble leaving home. I left home three times, my family wouldn’t let me. They went and found me and brought me back.

Commentator: And now they can’t find you?

Monk: They know, but I’ve been a monk so long, they don’t care anymore. When I was in school I liked to read novels, Chinese classical novels. I read, “Journey to the West”. I thought, being a monk would be great. According to Buddhist rules, if there is no one to take care of your parents, you can’t leave home. I have a brother at home. He takes care of my parents. So I feel okay about being a monk. I have no regrets. There are things you learn as a monk, that you can’t learn as a house-holder. Married life. If you find a good wife someone who believes in Buddhism, then you can still practice. But if she doesn’t believe, you can’t even eat vegetarian. You can’t live happily together. There are good things about being a monk. And good things about being a house-holder, but in the end a householder is still stuck in the mundane world.

Commentator: Well, we’ve been hiking up this gorge, and we just came from down at the bottom there. He said that the second time that we hit the road, we need to go left.

(commentator’s traveling companion) I thought he said to go left.

Yeah, he said, but we should check.

Or maybe he meant, right? Looks more like a trail than anything we’ve seen, but there are no signs or anything. Yeah. This is quite obviously the trail.

“I’ve lived on cold mountains so many years,

 following the way of forests and springs…”

Nun: I’ve haven’t got a plan. I’m not a saint. I can’t manipulate my surroundings.

“No one will visit,

just clouds floating by…”

Commentator: Amitabha.

Nun: Greetings, Amitabha. You want some tea?

Commentator: No thanks, we brought our own.

“Grass for a bed,

blue sky for a quilt…”

Nun: I don’t have any ability, everything is just following this natural cause and effect. That’s what Buddhism teaches, right? I’m just hanging out here, passing the days.

“Happy with a rock for a pillow,

let the world go about its changes.”

-Hanshan, Tang Dynasty

Nun: You can’t force this. Push hard, you get hardship!

Commentator: Can I come in?

Nun: Come in, please come in! I just ate and haven’t cleaned up. It’s a mess in here.

Commentator: How long have you been here?

Nun: I’ve been hanging out here 5 years. Times’ gone by so fast.

Commentator: The other recluses call her ‘The Nun from Canton’, because she’s the only nun in these mountains who traveled from such a distant province, some 1700 km away to practice in the Zhongnan mountains.

Nun: When I first came here, I ate this wild vegetable. There’s loads of it here. Before I planted my garden I ate this. At first everyone thought I couldn’t live here. They didn’t believe it. He said, ‘You’ll never make it.” I said, “Well lets just see.” The master said, “I’ll let you pass one winter, see if you’ve got the heart for this. Then I’ll build you a hut.” I said, “Master, don’t worry about this. So many ascetics on this mountain. If we build it and can’t stay, this doesn’t matter. Any practitioner who is able to live on this mountain and practice hard, we are all the same.”

This land didn’t grow vegetation until last year. At first, everyone was afraid to live here. They said, “You have been lied to! This place is bad, there’s not even a trail.” So we just slowly, slowly. Now, 9 out of 10 say it’s great. When I first got here, I came with my student. Why did we like this place? No trail, just a big tree. We’re a big strange, we like trees. I said, “Hey, we can live inside it like little animals.” We called workers to help build the hut, put up the walls and nothing else. We put tar paper on the roof. One gust of wind and it blew right off the mountain! A couple of Cantonese up here, what’s going on? We stuck it back up there. I bought it. Cheap stuff, twenty yuan for a sheet. Rolled a couple big rocks over here, just like this. We worked for, let me think, 7 months. Said, “You never know!” They were busy, busy, busy. Living in the forest is a tradition. Every drop of energy goes into practice. It’s not easy to open this “wisdom gate”. You have to eat a little bitter. If you can’t swallow the bitter down, it’s not so easy. You take care of yourself, do your bit. Every day you don’t think about anything else. All of the great masters, if they hadn’t endured some hardship they would not have opened their wisdom. When I first came, that was true hardship – but how does it compare to the great masters? When I first arrived, I lived at Wang Jia Ping. How did we get by? We ate the weeds growing outside the gate. We ate that, what’s it called? We ate dandelions, but we had some grains too. What about the great masters from the past? Master Shiying ate tree bark. At least, we had weeds to eat! These great masters are a model for us. An example. Everything is a trial. You can’t be afraid of hardship. The more the hardship, the more you move forward. There is physical hardship, but the mental hardship is more important. If you see a demon, demons are your mind demons. It’s not just any demon. You don’t’ want to grasp hold of it. Don’t fear it, don’t hurt it. Just sit and don’t move. Something happens outside. You let go of it, examine yourself. Examine yourself. Meditate quietly. Isn’t that how it is?

Commentator: I’ve known her for about 4 years now, and each time I see her, like meeting a world traveler, who can only talk about what place they have just visited or what adventures they can share. Each visit, our conversations lean towards something new. Whatever stretch of the journey that she is on, whatever challenge she has most recently uncovered in her journey. An epic journey all practitioners share. And yet, she has scarcely left this mountain in over 5 years.

Nun: I’ll give you a taste of fresh mountain vegetables.

Commentator: Can you show us where you fetch your water?

Nun: What water?

Commentator: The water you drink, where does it come form?

Nun: From up above the Heilong spring. It’s about 140 meters up from here.

Commentator: Do you want to go up and fetch water today?

Nun: Today? I do need to get water. You want to go see?

Commentator: We’ll help you

Nun: Help me fetch water? We have to run a pipe from above to here.  To get water we have to go all the way to the tippy-top there. Have to siphon the water in. It’s going in, it’s in.

Commentator: You usually do this alone?

Nun: I do it myself. Who’s gonna help me? You come around and think, if you let go or not, you still have to let go. Life is impermanent. If you’re not dedicated now, you’ll regret it later. After 10, 20 years, oh, you’re old, sick here, hurting there, sore there – then what do you have to work with? Your body doesn’t listen to you anymore. So I got my water. See how troublesome it is? Surprised the heck outta you, huh? So you come up into these mountains, but you still don’t work hard? There’s a saying, “Enter the jewel mountain, come out empty-handed.” So you are here, and you see the jewel. It’s like what the Buddha said, “Everyone has their own precious jewel.” I have this jewel, you have one too, and him, and you! We all have it. It depends on whether you can use it or not.

Commentator: Can you wash clothes with it?

Monk 4: Sure.

Commentator: What’s it called?

Monk 4: Zao jiao. Never seen it before? Look, there’s loads of it. This is great for washing hair. That’s it there, and there. You are just going to wash your hair or…

Commentator: Ted can wash his hair too.

Monk 4: Oh, him too.

Commentator: You wanna wash your hair?

Commentator 2: Yeah.

Monk 4: What’d you call him? Huh?

Commentator: “Ted”. It’s his English name.

Monk 4: Huh? “Tethur”. “Tethur”.

Commentator: Do we add soap too?

Monk 4: No need, it’s fine like this. He can wash too.

Commentator: When I’m done he can wash his hair too?

Commentator: The time that I’ve spent with my Master, has been a constant challenge to balance and dissolve contradiction between the spiritual and the mundane. Work, he says, is spiritual cultivation. We are all Buddha’s. Leaving the world, he says, is a means to returning to it. Hey, Master, you film something. Are you enlightened?

Master, are you enlightened?

Master: Are you enlightened?

Commentator: No.

Master: Oh, no?

Commentator: And then I felt really amazing, but I still got angry. Still felt confused.

Master: It’s not good to follow your old habits. Observe your mind. Habits are your old problems, your old ignorance. You need to know your mind. It’s just understanding life, you have to get this straight.

Monk 4: I broke it.

Master: You must find this mind, true mind and delusional mind. Finally you can see your true nature. Seeing your Buddha Nature happens in a flash, then after that, your delusions and ignorance are gone.

Nun: It’s not to say, I’m a Buddha and you’re not. Everyone is a Buddha! This heart is nothing but Amita Buddha! Even a dog or a pig, they are Buddha’s too! It’s just that we don’t recognize it in ourselves. This is just obstructions from our past.

Commentator: We decided to go to a different part of the Zhongnan range to find an old master we heard lived in a small hermitage monastery there with several students.

Tell us again how to get there.

Driver: Those trails are no good. Just on the back of this mountain.

Commentator: We heard that he was 90 years old, and hadn’t left his mountain in over 20 years.

Driver: Once you get past Shili Temple there aren’t any vehicles, you have to walk, there you head up the mountain

Commentator: By chance, our motor rickshaw driver was Buddhist and knew the way to his hermitage.

After the creek, there’s a split in the trail. Head up the mountain, some places there you can fall right off the mountain! You need to find someone to lead you up there.

Monk 5: Buddha is mindfulness; mindfulness is wisdom, that is Buddha! Therefore, mind is Buddha! People become Buddha’s, it’s not just “the Buddha”. Past, present and future, it’s people who become Buddha’s you know! All forms of life, practice to become human. Practice more and become a Buddha. So all of you living here, it’s not easy, I tell you. If you can live here, you’re sure to arrive in the Pure Land. If I’m lying, I’ll go straight to hell. If you’re afraid of hardship, then just leave! No room for that here, no joke! We are the Buddha’s disciples!

Commentator: One of the monks here explained to me, the importance of the Master-Disciple relationship in Buddhism. He said that, once a master sees into his own mind, he can see into the mind of his student, understand his barriers and his progress and lead him in this way. Once a master sees into his own true mind, his true nature, then all the wisdom in the text and in the tradition, is his. He becomes it. He sees the world through it. So, it seems, that asking an enlightened master a question is the same as asking the Buddha himself.

Monk 5: Homage to the Buddha, homage to the Buddha. No easy task, coming here. This is a good place. We’re Buddhists here. Eat something, we’ll cook later. We’re very casual here. One dog, this is for feeding the dog, you know? Someone brought her from Xi’An, and two cats.

Monk 6: They asked you if you were always at Wu Tai Shan before you came here.

Monk 5: What’s this about Wu Tai Shan.

Monk 6: Before you came here, were you always at Wu Tai Shan?

Monk 5: Oh, I’ll tell you! I’m from Dai County, near Wu Tai Shan. So my family and friends always visited me. In 1983, I came here. I came into the mountains and nobody knew. My family didn’t visit. I vowed never to go down off this mountain for 20 years! I won’t go down. 4 puppies. Monks and nuns want peace and quiet; family coming around is no good. Leave home means leave home! He’s from SzeChuan, his father is a monk too. He came when he was 12, now he’s 18. He’s good, a good boy.

Monk 6: I’m from Nanchong, the master at the monastery there told me about this place.

Commentator: Why here?

Monk 6: They thought this is a good practice environment. They just said to come and study hard with the old master.

Commentator: How long have you been here?

Monk 6: Over 6 years. I’ve been a monk about 8 years. We normally wake up about 3 am.

Monk 5: Eat something there.

Monk 6: At 4.30am we do morning service. After service, we do some work: fetch water, chop wood, or study a bit on our own or meditate. Then at 7, we make breakfast. After breakfast, we meditate.

Commentator: Can you tell us about what you feel when you meditate?

Monk 6: That’s hard to say, everyone is different. The older monks –

Monk 5: Speak louder, don’t be shy! How can they hear you?

Monk 6: I’ve never really studied meditation. I just sit. This has to do with your own self-cultivation. If you can cultivate your own mind, then you can learn something really great from others. So it depends on your own self-observation.

Monk 5: Speak louder!

Monk 6: We don’t go off the mountain. Unless we need to buy something for the monastery, there’s nothing to go down for.

Commentator: How do you feel seeing all the people and the bustle?

Monk 6: At the time, nothing really, but when I return it leaves some impression. It takes 7 or 8 days to get rid of it.

Monk 7: It’s full! Full.

Monk 5: So bring one more load. One more should be good. Ah… good.

Monk 8: Woodpile’s all filled up, great.

Monk 6: He asked if tourists bother our practice.

Monk 5: There’s no tourism now (due to SARS).

Monk 6: We aren’t really on the tourist route. The main road down there is the tourist route.

Monk 5: Right now the whole country, no travel or conferences. I read it in the newspaper.

Monk 6: Master, he asked you: If laypeople come here to ask questions does this disturb our practice?

Monk 5: I’m not afraid of this. I know if my practice is strong, if laypeople want to ask questions and talk about things, it’s no trouble. But random tourists, we don’t let them stay.

Monk 6: Once you cultivate your practice, you just give yourself to the Buddha’s and Bodhisattva’s. Then you rely on your heart and practice.

Monk 5: No fear of hardship, no fear of suffering. When the bitter ends, there is sweetness. Master! Oh good, oh good! It’s all this wild guessing and grappling, cut this all out. I’ve taught you all many things, but it’s not coming from me, it’s the Buddha’s and Bodhisattva’s. I’m 86 years old!

Monk 7: You’re 87!

Monk 5: No, I’m 86. Look here! There was a time I thought I’d had it, thought I was a goner. 86! No body’s no good. My legs hurt but I still chop wood. I don’t rest. What is all this here? The Buddha’s and Bodhisattva’s are truly compassionate.

Commentator: We met back up with our trail guide; he’s taking us to meet a very special master. I’ve been hoping to meet him for some time. People say he’s on the final leg of the journey. Walking the last mile to final enlightenment.

Monk 1: No one’s there, gate’s locked.

Commentator: It’s a very intense stage of the practice, requiring his total energy and concentration. So he rarely accepts visitors.

Monk 8: You coming here shows our connection. Without this natural connection, you’d have never come here. People need this connection to meet.

Commentator: What should we do? Wait for him? We thought he’d gone down the mountain, but it turns out he was inside the whole time sitting in meditation.

Monk 8: If I didn’t open my gate, you’d just have waited there. Wouldn’t that have meant that we don’t have this connection? We plant seeds in the past. It’s the reason we meet up today. Do you want some tea? Have some tea then we’ll talk.

Commentator: Are you from Shaanxi?

Monk 8: I’m from Henan.

Commentator: Were you ordained in Henan?

Monk 8: No, I was ordained in Shaanxi. No, in Jiangxi. In Jiangxi, I left home.

Commentator: How long have you been on this mountain?

Monk 8: Not long.

Commentator: Not long?

Monk 1: Master is being humble.

Commentator: So why did you come to the Zhongnan mountains?

Monk 8: Why? I’d like to know myself! Why’d you come here?

Monk 1: Tell him something about Zen.

Monk 8: There’s nothing to say. It’s all in the texts. Me, right now, I haven’t saved myself. I can’t save anyone. Nothing to say. If you don’t have any ability, you’re like a blind person. You want to liberate beings, but you can’t find the path yourself. People with experience, they can explain the path. They’ve been to this land of “no creation, no destruction”. They’ve entered the fortress. They come back down this road and write it all down and tell everyone. If you haven’t been there, you can’t lead anyone down the road and you can’t liberate anyone. The Buddha said this.

(clock goes off: “The time is 11:00am”)

We better make lunch.

Unknown: Your clock is wrong.

Commentator: It’s only 10:40am.

Monk 8: My clock is fast. Anyway, we should cook lunch.

Commentator: Want to eat here?

Monk 1: Master is inviting us to eat here.

Monk 8: Boil up some water. Well, figure how many people, how many noodles. Holding on to this self is birth and death. The birth-less, death-less self, I have yet to see. Have you seen it? Just talking about it is no good! You can memorize all the texts – it won’t help you. Without disciple, meditation and wisdom, it’s nonsense to think you’ll be liberated from this birth and death.

Commentator: You said when you walk this road, if you get lost, you can ask others for directions, but living alone in the mountains, you must still get lost sometimes. Who do you ask? How do you find the path?

Monk 8: You read the texts, right? That’s who you ask. The texts contain the true path to Buddhahood. With a little ability, wherever your mind arrives, you see, ‘Hey! The text talks about that place.” Your mind is there, and the text talks about it. So you have arrived there, right? Now, if you don’t have this ability, even if you read something in a text, if your mind isn’t there, then you won’t understand. So you practice more. It’s easy to read a text, difficult to understand it. The Buddha is like a doctor, and beings are like patients. A doctor gives us prescription for an illness, different illness, different medicine. There are many hearts in this world; the Buddha has a teaching for the heart of every being. If everyone had the same mind, then he could speak just one teaching. But the illnesses are many and the doctor must prescribe many remedies. The sickness is different, right? When ignorance is exhausted, we see our original nature. In the sea of suffering, beings don’t know they have this Buddha nature. The Buddha’s teachings are all aimed at showing us this nature. The Lotus Scripture says, “The one great vow is to lead all beings to see what a Buddha sees, see like a Buddha sees and witness what a Buddha sees.” You practice according to the teachings, with meditation discipline and wisdom, and break apart this false self. False self covers our Buddha nature, so beings can’t see it. On a cloudy day, you can’t see the sun. That’s not to say there is no sun, right? There’s nothing wrong with the sun, it’s just that we can’t see it. Our Buddha nature is just like this. Beings in this world live in ignorance, they summon heaven and they summon hell. If we have negative awareness, then this world is hell. If we have kind awareness, then this world is heaven.

-End-

 


 

Addendum

Hermit: a documentary

Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/Hermit.mp4

 

Cold Mountain

Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/ColdMountain.mp4

 

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46 Responses to Amongst White Clouds – Amazing!

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  1. Pastor Shin on Jun 24, 2018 at 7:34 am

    These are my thoughts on the – Hermits: a documentary

    1. The importance of meditation. The focus and discipline of these interviewees of different background: laypeople, ordained Sangha, Buddhists, and Taoists were to lead a life of practice. It is only through meditation and practice that one can achieve the results of enlightenment.

    One monk said in the video, “Someone else’s enlightenment is for reference only and we have to look for enlightenment deep in our own minds”. This reminded me of what His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche said, “First you should listen, then try to understand the meaning and, finally, meditate. If you practice in that way, you can attain enlightenment.” If we just refer to others’ enlightenment and do not go through the process ourselves, it will remain intellectual understanding and we will not achieve much spiritual progress.

    This also reminded me of His Holiness Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche’s realisation of the Lamrim, different from his Geshe peers who perhaps had studied and performed better academically compared to Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche who was considered a dull learner and never completed his Lharam Geshe degree. It was through intense Lam Rim meditation that Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche attained realisation.

    2. The documentary presented an interesting perspective of spirituality vs materialism. There is a sharp contrast between the interviewer Bill Porter, a layperson and the interviewees, mostly ordained hermits from Zhongnan Mountain. However, A few of these hermits/ practitioners have heard of or read Bill Porter’s book, 《空谷幽兰–寻访现代中国隐士》 (Road to Heaven: Encounters with Hermits) and some only relented to speak to Bill Porter after knowing that he’s the author of this book (a practitioner) and not a tourist. Although Porter does not practice by staying in the mountains to lead a life of hermit nor serve the community as an ordained person,his work has left a huge impact in inspiring and leading many to the Dharma. In fact, a hermit monk in the video praised Porter for his two contributions to Buddhism of studying the spiritual practitioners of Zhongnan Mountain, as well as his translations of scriptures.

    Another hermit monk said that masters or practitioners who maintain centers may appear commercial, but they may not necessarily be inferior compared to hermits as they take on the responsiblity and burden to perform Buddhist ceremony and teach Buddhism on the outside world.

    Going into retreat and a hermit life may be blissful as we are removed from the distractions of the outside world, but that is not the goal. Like the lay hermit said, we have to develop the state of mind that we do something, for example not killing an insect because it comes from the heart that we cannot bear to see another being suffer, something that is second nature or becomes natural to us, instead of just a restrain in behaviour (e.g. holding refuge vows of not killing). In the same way, the purpose of practice is for us to achieve a state of mind when we are no longer distracted or interested in samsara, and not just be contented when we are temporarily removed or restrained from being distracted by samsaric activities by going into a retreat or becoming a hermit.

  2. Joy Kam on Jun 23, 2018 at 10:47 pm

    These are my thoughts on the – Hermits: a documentary…

    1) Seeing how these hermits take on the path to cultivate their mind and practice the Dharma by living in the mountains in solitude, away from the chaos of the city/samsara, is very inspiring and somewhat inviting. I can feel a sense of serene, calmness, peaceful, as the environment creates the conducive condition for deep meditation to tame one’s mind. You have no distractions, you have to deal and face yourself and it makes it so much easier to do retreats and one’s practices, perfect for doing one’s sadhana, readings, contemplations to bring one to a higher state of mind. I can understand now why Rinpoche always tells us about being with nature, in the forest, or mountains will help us cultivate our mind and make our spiritual practice easier. It made me ask myself could I live like this, in nature alone, would I be up for the challenge, maybe 10 years ago I would say no, but now I would say yes though it may be a little bit scary at night, but going into a strict retreat does seem very enticing.

    2) I like their simplistic lifestyle whereby these hermits are self-sustaining, growing their own vegetables to cook and eat. They just make do with whatever they have and their main focus is to cultivate their mind to find liberation. Without being attached to comfort, and to be surrounded with “things”, living minimalist, using only what is necessary, makes one feels so much lighter as seen in each hermit. Makes me realise how spoil we are and how we over consume so many things in life, collecting junk, creating a lot of baggages that seem to drag us down further.

    3) In the very beginning, the nun said her teacher said everything is a practice when Bill commented amongst so many retreat huts, this was his favourite as it is so well-kept, tidy and clean, unlike many other places. This reminds me of why Rinpoche is always telling us to keep our centre, building, office, even our personal spaces clean and tidy as it is a reflection of one’s mind and practice. How a simple discipline, to be clean and tidy is a practice in itself of self-awareness and state of mind. When the mind is clear, so will the space we occupy.

    4) The other thing that stuck out about what the first nun said was that she said she never left her teacher’s side since the time she joined about 35 years ago. She never left to go back to visit anyone, instead, her friends came back to see her. This shows her devotion to her teacher and her commitment toward her practice. This also made me relate back to why Rinpoche does not encourage those who are serious in their practice to keep going back to the city and as I learned from yesterday’s pilgrimage, how each time when we leave to go back to the city, we can be easily influenced by the many negative energies we are not even aware of that we encounter each time we meet of family or friends and places we go in the city. And these energies can affect our mind making it go up and down and at times trigger our negative karma or create more negative karma. This made me understand and appreciate the reason why we should not keep going back to the city or see our family so often because it can influence our spiritual practice.

    5) One lay hermit was explaining to Bill that learning Buddhism or the Dharma isn’t something we just study and read about, which many can do and have done so, which is just intellectual understanding. To really learn the Dharma, one needs to actually put it to practice and to do so from the heart for without actually practising it, one will never truly gain anything. However, study and understanding the Dharma is the first step, that brings one to the door, once we arrive there in front of the door, it all depends on us and if we open the door to begin one’s journey of practising what was leaned. Hence, this explains how many of us can be in the Dharma for years and even with a lot of knowledge, we fail, and some even give up and go back to samsara or even turn against the Guru, because of this very lack of application. This explains why it is slow for us to transform our mind. This explains why we keep making the same mistakes over and over again. The lack of application and effort from the heart.

    6) I really like the lay hermit, who decided to take on the path to cultivate his mind because it shows that one does not need to become a monk or a nun to start living and practising renunciation, as he said he is there to do his practice, and so he does not think or let his mind wander to think about his family and friends so much. Instead, he calms his mind and learns to let go, which to me means, he doesn’t give in to his attachments, and instead of grasping, he releases. Letting go should not be mistaken for forgetting those we love. It just means we do not allow our “attachments” towards them distract us and create obstacles to our practice in cultivating our mind. Everything seems like just an excuse, like what Rinpoche said to the pilgrims, we either want to counter our attachments or we don’t which makes it faster for us to transform or slower. When we don’t and we give reasons why we cannot, it is very obvious, that it’s all just excuses to delay our transformation. Hence, the slowness in improving ourselves and moving up to the next level of consciousness. So when I look at this boy, it reminds me how we create so much mind games and excuses to limit/hinder our own progress.

    7) There was one thing that seems to be common in all these hermits, all of them went through or is still going through some kind of hardship as they walk on their spiritual path but these kind of hardships are good as it will help learn more and help us grow to the next level awareness, experience and realisation. At the end of the day, what do we want from learning or being in the dharma if it is not realisations? So yesterday’s pilgrimage around KFR, which was designed specifically for us by Rinpoche, gave me a tiny glimpse of the hardships these hermits would have to endure in living and meditating in the mountains. And it is a humbling experience, it makes one feel grateful for many things in life which we so often forget and overlooked.

    Thank you Rinpoche asking us to watch this inspiring documentary, and thank you for the simplest yet profound practice and teaching. 🙏🙏🙏

  3. Valentina Suhendra on Jun 22, 2018 at 5:53 am

    These are my thoughts on the – Hermits: a documentary:
    1. The hermits are living simple lives, but they seemed to be very content. None of them are complaining about how challenging their lives are.
    2. The hermits show us that we do not need many things to be happy
    3. I think it is beautiful that these hermits are self-sufficient. They grow their vegetables, make their bread, and so forth. These hermits are working very hard and forgoing modern convenience for the sake of their Dharma practice.
    4. The hermits chose to live in isolation on the mountain to concentrate on their practice, and they seem to be at peace with their choice.
    5. Most of the hermits seem to trust bill Porter because of the books he had written. They think by talking to Mr. Porter, he will help to spread the hermit practice and inspire others to pursue spirituality.
    6. I could see that some of the hermits stay in challenging terrain. This is an indication of the sincerity of their wish to do their practice in isolation

  4. Pastor Adeline on Jun 22, 2018 at 3:00 am

    These are my thoughts on the – Hermits: a documentary

    1) Difficulties are mandatory in elevating one’s spiritual practice. However, it is important to strike a balance between difficulties and ease in order to avoid falling onto either side of the extreme. The Buddha has shown by example the six years of austerity was an extreme which he abandoned after hearing the conversation between the sitar teacher and his student: “The string too slack has no sound, and the music dies. The string too slack has no sound, and the music dies.” The Middle Way is what we should achieve.

    2) Being in nature benefits one’s spiritual practice not so much to be away from people, rather to go back to the root of our being and to be in tune with nature. Our body is formed by the four elements: earth, water, wind, heat. Getting in touch with nature allows our body to heal naturally and to go back to their natural state free from blockages often formed by negative emotions, processed food and pollutions. This will allow one to expedite her spiritual practice.

    3) Living a simple life allows the mind to calm down with less grasping on outer materials and on human touch. A calm mind is satisfied, light, and free from the desire to distractions such as entertainment, good food, nice clothes, travel etc. When the mind is calm, it works like a mirror to all the thoughts within so one gets to eliminate thoughts that are formed based on one’s perceptions and get closer to truth. A simple life also means minimum but consistent activities that allow the mind to be stable.

    4) Just like the softness and flexibility of water yet having the power to create a dent in hard stone, spiritual practice requires consistency to attain its results. It also requires one to live in the moment, not to live in the past or plan for the future, but to be mindful of the surrounding and what one is doing at the moment without reacting to the changes but to go with the flow without resistance or dissatisfaction.

    5) The Guru, Buddha and Dharma are pointers to one’s true nature. Without putting the pointers into practise, they are merely words that are useless and meaningless. Dharma is concepts and methods when applied will bring one to her nature and realisation of the truth. When she reached that point, she is one nature with her Guru, Buddha and Dharma, thus no longer reauire any of them externally.

  5. Edward on Jun 21, 2018 at 8:46 am

    These are my thoughts on the – Hermits: a documentary

    What I have learnt from the video is that these hermit live on with a strong concept of minimalism. We hear and a lot from the video that they spent as little as they can on food, clothings and shelter. Like the first lady mentioned, she only eats when she feels hungry. In other words, she or they do not practice eating at the times we have our meals, or basically having a schedule on when to eat. I have heard that doing so actually makes our body even more active as it fully digest the food we have in our body and no nutrients go to waste. They also choose to meditate in very remote areas to avoid materialistic distractions and to have better focus in their meditation. Most of them go into retreats alone, I don’t really understand the meaning of it. However I do like to believe it tells us that we come and will leave this world alone, and so, the only person who can help us to take better rebirths in the future is ourselves which is why solitary retreats are usually preferred?

    My favourite person that Bill had interviewed is probably the layman who appeared at the start of the video. Even though he doesn’t speak very clearly, (I have found another video with English subtitles. Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHZ98u_1h1A&t=912s ), and he is a layman he was very genuine, honest and in my opinion, has a lot of wisdom or has read many books regarding to Buddhism. In Bill’s interview with him, he talked about having minimal attachments in life and we should learn to let go as much as possible. Also practice to not have any desires or urges to kill.

    In order to achieve a higher state of mind or to become even more successful in terms of wealth, we need to get out of our comfort zone. I personally has never been good at that aspect like a mindless vehicle on neutral mode. Learning the dharma is good thing but we have to also apply it in our daily lives.

  6. Wei Theng on Jun 21, 2018 at 8:44 am

    These are my thoughts on the – Hermits: a documentary

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this inspiring video to me. A few points that stood out for me:

    1. Bill Porter (Red Pine) is very inspiring. In 1993, he wrote a book on the Chinese Hermits after visiting Zhong Nan Mountain. However, he revisited Zhong Nan Mountain in 2014 to know more about the Hermits. This time, he is 71-year-old but he can still walk and climb the mountain to look for the hermits.

    – In one of the interview, a monk mentioned that due to Porter is practicing Buddhism and has less worldly worries so he can still be so healthy and have a clear mind.

    – In another interview, another monk also said that Porter is working very good as he practiced Buddhism but at the same time also wrote books and did translation to let more people learn Buddhism. This remind me of Rinpoche, the writers and the translators who work so hard to bring Buddhism to others.

    – I found one article that wrote about him before he revisited ZhongNan Mountain. This is a good read to understand about his background: https://tricycle.org/magazine/the-chinese-hermit-tradition-an-interview-with-red-pine/

    2. The hermits, the monks and nuns who stay in the Zhong Nan Mountain live a very simple lives. They focus most of their time on meditation, read sutra, do their practice. They eat very simple meals and some plant their own veggies. There is one lady yogi mentioned that she only have less than 10 kati’s food per month! They are all very inspiring that their focus is on practice only. Hope one day I can do the same too with KFR community.

    3. There is a temple with a layout that tourists can visit the front part while the back part of the temple are for monks to practice so that there is less disturbances. It is like Rinpoche’s plan for KFR that a temple at the front for visitors while the back part will be for serious practitioners to do their practices and will not be disturbed.

    4. A nun shared that “Hardship is part of the PATH”. Sometimes modern practitioners like us needs to go through some hardship and uncomfortable situation so that we can realise the Dharma better. She also mentioned that it is good to have strong motivation, but it is even better to have perseverance and determination when we walk the path so that we will not give up when we face obstacles. This also reminds me on Rinpoche’s way of training us to have perseverance and consistency in our practice and work hard.

    5. A monk mentioned that we need to respect some monks who are not able to do meditation in the mountain but instead stay at Buddhist centres in the cities to spread Dharma to others. This again remind me on Rinpoche who gives up the pleasure to meditate in the mountain but to work so hard to bring DS and VY to others and most of the time also have to bear with clowns.

  7. Abby Foo on Jun 21, 2018 at 8:39 am

    These are my thoughts on the – Hermits: a documentary

    I have watched this video. My thoughts:

    1) This mountain is a very special place because it contains hermits from different background – Taoist, Buddhist. The mountain itself is like a community that formed naturally, no pre plan involved. I like how this mountain is ‘serving’ the hermit.

    2) People living in the nature and relying the nature are more grateful people and don’t take things for granted. If compared them with the city people, city people are spoilt brat and arrogant. City people generally are taking everything for granted they don’t care about animals and their surroundings.

    3) These hermits show the world this is the right way to live. Looking at people nowadays work their whole life to buy houses or to to pay rental for the 4 walls and a roof to live and the price is so high that the ‘system’ even take away the rights for some people to have a place to live, to me this is really crazy. I always think this ‘system’ is crazy and now human wants to take away animal’s rights to live in the jungle also when they destroying the forest.

    4) These hermits are totally different from the people I know from China. Literally everyone I know in China, the Chinese, they have been telling me they want to or they need to have more money. I feel sorry for them as I know not all want more money out of greed but they need to ‘survive’. These hermits also talk and act very differently and to me, they live and act accordingly to our ancestors wisdom. This is how Chinese should live their life, not like the ‘modern’ Chinese in China always talk about money and materialism.

    5) There are a few of the hermits really inspire me. I like the young Taoist lady. She is smart, talks well and fast hehehe. I also the hermit monk that talks about some attained sangha living in the city to help people doesn’t mean they are lesser than the hermits. I agree with this very much and I relate his point to Rinpoche’s case. Also this hermit monk said just merely telling the people the theory is not enough even the people accept and understand the teachings, but guiding them, leading them to do practice is more important. Again, I can relate this to Rinpoche’s situation. In fact, it is the high Boddhisattva will choose the harder path to help people and this is exactly what Rinpoche is doing. Another hermit nun also said better life condition makes ones practice degenerate. This is somehow true. When we have more it is not necessarily beneficial and this is why ‘less is more’. Another nun, Nengren fashi where her body was not decomposed after her death is so cool. It is like what happened to the high lamas in Tibetan. Her death is not a waste of time at all and very meaningful.

  8. Sharon Ong on Jun 20, 2018 at 2:35 pm

    These are my thoughts on the – Hermits: a documentary

    I have just finished watching this. They may look like simpletons but they are actually very profound. They live the teachings of the Buddha, not just study them. The Buddha Dharma is sooo strong in all of them that they are able to share the Dharma so effortlessly. I particularly like the poetic verses.

    This is a good one to revisit from time to time. Thank you for sharing this gem, Rinpoche!

  9. Karen Chong on Jun 20, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    These are my thoughts on the – Hermits: a documentary

    I’ve finish watching the documentary about Bill Porter revisiting Zhong Nan Mountain. A few things stood out for me:

    1. The whole Zhong Nan mountain seems so energised as there are so many Dharma practitioners living up there.I especially like the last part of the documentary, the male hermit who is also a kungfu practitioner, he is so cheerful and always laughing, from his laughter one could feel he is so light, worries-free and i guess it’s the result from his practise that he has developed such a state of mind. The rain scene in the very last few minutes in the documentary brings out the tranquility of the mountain, making it looks like a heaven. hehe

    2. One of the masters told Bill that in this modern days, he used to teach Dharma to his lay students in the class, but after a while, he finds that by just teaching in class it doesn’t help the students, because the students can understand the teaching very well intellectually however they are not able to put the teaching into practise when they face troubles in life. The same master also said that in the past when the society is not so developed and commercialised, the environment is so conducive for everyone to practise dharma anytime anywhere without much distractions.

    It’s a very inspiring video. Thanks for sharing Rinpoche.

  10. Sock Wan on Jun 20, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    These are my thoughts on the – Hermits: a documentary

    Some of my thoughts after watching the Hermits Red Pine.

    1. In modern days, our merits is not enough to support our spiritual practice because our physical environment is full of samsaric distraction, unlike in the past where the environment was very conducive for spiritual practice. Because of the samsaric distraction, we have to retreat further away from the city to practice.

    2. Several hermits mentioned that understanding Dharma and realising Dharma is very different. You can understand Dharma from written words but to realise it, we need to practice, we need to experience. Self-experiencing is important to achieve realisation. Understanding is the first step, putting what we learn into action is how we can gain realisation.

    3. We can live very simple and be very happy. It is whether we want it or not. One of the hermit says he can live with only RMB60 per month. It is our want that makes us poorer and imprison ourselves in financial difficulty. Therefore, happiness is not relative to monetary or outer wealth.

    4. Another thing the hermits have mentioned is that the book Billy Porter has written and the translation he did are very meritorious. His works has helped the spread of spirituality.

    When the hermit choose to retreat in a mountain it is because they are moving themselves away from samsaric distractions, so they can concentrate in their practice. They are practising to detach from the comfort of the modern world, from the family, from materialism. When our mind is not stable, it is better we pull ourselves away from our attachments. Instead of retreating to a cave in a mountain without modern facility and a lot of hardship, TR created KFR for us to practise and retreat from samsara. We must cherish it. Spiritual practice is not superficial, is not how we pretend to be a good or holy person, it’s about truly transforming our mind and do good virtues naturally.

  11. Wylfred Ng on Jun 20, 2018 at 2:15 pm

    These are my thoughts on the – Hermits: a documentary

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing the video with us. The video is nice and these are some of the point that I would like to highlight.

    1. The first nun in the video, have been staying in the mountain for 35 years. Along the years, she never leave her Guru, and even her Guru already pass away, she still stay in the hermit house to continue to practice.

    2. In the video, Bill Porter said that the hermit houses are now even more that 25 years ago since he first visits Zhong Nan Mountain. Even though China had developed so intensively, but there are people found that spiritual practice is more important.

    3. The lady Taoist practitioner that recommended ginger, she do not eat much, she only eat when she feel hungry. They eat to survive, not to enjoy the food. She also seldom talks when there are no visitors. The Taoist practitioner cultivates “qi” in their body. When they do not talk, they cultivate the qi.

    4. We can see that the hermit in Zhong Nan Mountain feel happy. Even though they need to stand the cold and sometimes hunger, but for them, these are not suffering. The suffering is just the projection from the lay person.

    5. I can imagine that in future, there will be many people doing retreat in KFR just like the hermit in Zhong Nan Mountain. Thank you Rinpoche for the sharing.

    Thank you

  12. Lew on Jun 20, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    These are my thoughts on the – Hermits: a documentary

    Dear Rinpoche,

    Thank you for sharing such meaning video for us to watch. A few things stood out for me:

    1. Bill Porter is amazing, in promoting the Zhong Nan Mountain hermits, and also come back after 25 years (at the age of 71) to revisit. He seems to remember the places very well.

    2. What is touching to know, is that there are more practitioners as compared to 25 years ago.

    3. I can see that there are similar rock caves between Zhong Nan mountain and those in Sri Lanka. They are both natural, and thousands of years ago, people has already started using them as shelter for meditation.

    4. In one of the interviews, it is said that ginger is good to counter the cold ahd humidity in the mountains.

    5. Tourism is inevitable, so some temples setup a public area for tourists to make offering, but they have private place for monks to do their retreat. If not mistaken, he mentioned that it will take up to 1 hour go into the “inner temple”, so that it does not disturb the practice. I feel this is very much what Rinpoche is establish her in KFR.

    We are indeed very fortunate to have a place in Bentong, small town, not too far away from city, and yet distant enough to have the tranquility and environment to star practicing. I feel Rinpoche knows that we city dwellers are “wild animals”, and that’s why Rinpoche started something “easy” for us, such as daily circumambulation and prostration. I feel this is to prepare us to go into longer retreats in future.

  13. Cindy Hew on Jun 20, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    These are my thoughts on the – Hermits: a documentary

    Interactions of Bill Porter & Master Chengbo
    I really liked how Master Chengbo’s guru is a real-life example of a practitioner who truly embrace everything in her life as a practice. Be it housekeeping which is seen as practice of mindfulness to the conditioning of her mind/thinking to always see the truth of the matter (instead of heavily bogged down by “tainted” perceptions) and hence, able to stay happily unaffected no matter the situation.

    In fact, it appears to have “rubbed off” on Master Chengbo who gives out a calm, collected and ever grateful vibe. Both serve as good reminder to view everything as practice. It also reminded me how more often than not, I am guilty of a disconnect in my learning and my practice which primarily stems from compartmentalising mind (and the need to work on it).

    Exchanges with a lay practitioner (man in red shirt & straw hat) at mountains
    The lay practitioner sincerity shines through despite him maintaining that his Dharma knowledge is lesser than Bill Porter. This is apparent when;

    (i) he responded that he came to the mountains to practice and so, he tries not to think about things which would cause him to waver like his families, friends and life in the city. On this note, he has really changed his environment in order to further his spiritual journey.

    (ii) he used the example of refraining from killing an insect where he stresses that the point is not the restraint but rather to rid of the cause of such killing instinct which he attributes to anger.

    In this sense, it shows that he really contemplates on things and makes the effort to re-program his habits so that the positive thinking/realisations become his second nature.

    I also agree with the both of them that it is not how much you know but how much you practice that matters. After all, Dharma is never meant to be academic or intellectual stimulant only. To render Dharma as academic or intellectual pursuits, is basically missing the whole plot all together.

    For this segment, I find the lay practitioner’s sincerity to his practice very admirable and I pray that his fears of being driven out of the mountains due to the government’s economic development initiatives do not materialise so he can continue his practice peacefully.

    On that note, similarly like Lew, I remain grateful to Rinpoche for conceptualising KFR where we are given a safe and somewhat isolated environment which is highly blessed and energised with holy “energies” for us to effect a change in our environment and re-program ourselves.

    Compassionately taking into account our limitations, karma and temperaments, Rinpoche has painstakingly and skilfully created conditions to ease us into practising and also preparing ourselves/creating the causes for us to deepen our Dharma practice.

    Exchanges with a lady practitioner who carved out her private cave
    I was just as surprised as Bill that this lady painstakingly carved out more space within the cave with basic tools, a chisel and hammer, but what I really like is her pragmatic approach where she did it in order to make it more conducive for her to meditate and practice. I am inclined to believe that her pragmatic attitude also prompted her to take interest in farming as well as herbs or plants with medicinal properties for self-sustaining purposes.

    Interestingly, she also mentioned taking ginger (and Sichuan pepper) as means to address the cold and dampness.

    It is very nice and inspirational to see real spiritual practitioner in action regardless that she is of a different faith (Daoism).

    Interactions with a practitioner at Master Kuanqi’s abode
    Both of them mentioned that when you practice you have less worries which leads to longer life. I believe in addition to that, the mantra and prayers we recite contributes towards prolonging our lives in order for us to further our spiritual practice (subject to our karma). After all, apart from mantras being holy energies of the Buddhas in the form of sound, it is said that mantras invoke upon the Buddhas, and so they can be used for healing and for blessing the sick as well as those deceased. That coupled the purification practices and merit generating activities (which Dharma practitioners engage in as part of the practice) would contribute accordingly too.

    Further, the practitioner’s comment about Bill Porter’s publications to spread Dharma to the modern society as an example of the old and new Bodhisattva path brings to mind Rinpoche’s multi-facetted “unconventional” ways of spreading Dharma geared towards engaging the minds of today’s generation.

    Discussion about Master Nengren
    Hearing about the illustrious history of Lama Cave in Jiawutai which was used for meditation from 627-649 AD (ancient Tang Dynasty of China), makes me feel like going there myself. Although admittedly I don’t really know of the meditators mentioned (from 39:09 onwards) but it is something to KIV.

    The events leading to Master Nengren’s final resting place are also very fascinating serving as a clear testament to her attainments. A bonus for me was to be able to see footages of her body which hadn’t decomposed over the years since those involved actually captured it on record.

    Exchanges with a Mahayana practitioner
    The boat parable mentioned by the practitioner is one of my favourite from before I was really involved in Dharma. Ironically, I heard it from an atheist, we were having a conversation and he raised it to highlight the dangers of fixated religious views. When I subsequently read up on the parable, for some reason it really drove the point home for me about the importance of learning Dharma properly and the danger of clinging to views, even if such views are stainless as the problem then lies in the grasping and not the object.

    Exchanges with monk at temple mountain which is partially opened to public
    A few things that stood out to me;

    (i) I liked the pragmatic view of the monk in coming to a workable compromise between the growing interest of tourists and the need for solitude for further practice i.e. segregated the areas for tourists and also place where serious practitioners can proceed undisturbed. After all, it would also benefit those tourists to be at such place with real serious practitioners especially since such tourists would have some good karma/merits driving them to go there since it is not an easy hike up (took Bill about 5 hours).

    (ii) I agree that actions do speak louder than words. Regardless if hours of talking is a manner which appealed to or easily accepted by some or not, the fact remains that a speaker will be more convincing if such speaker walks the talk.

    (iii) The lack of sense of superiority from the monk for abandoning samsaric life to practice in the mountains reflect his real practice. I also like how he is very respectful of those who opt to put aside their wish to go into retreat at secluded places but instead stay within the modern society to spread the Dharma.

    Exchanges with Taoist Master Ren Farong
    The logic behind Rinpoche’s wishes for a spiritual community is also echoed by Master Ren Farong who also believes it will help with the spiritual aspirants practice to be in an environment where there are other fellow practitioners – be it for ease of reference/study or the encouragement to practice.

    Exchanges with Master Zongjing
    A few things that stood out to me;
    Master Zongjing views some hardship necessary for realisation of Dharma based on her observation that the living conditions for hermits/meditators at the mountains are better but at the same time the understanding of Dharma has rescinded (in that comparatively, great master of the past who stayed in harsher conditions fare way better in term of Dharma practice). Despite still being wary of hardships, I would agree since from personal experience, some of the Dharma teachings made more sense quicker and are more relatable due to certain challenging/difficult past experiences.

    Further, just like Rinpoche, Master Zongjing also stresses on the importance of consistency, determination and perseverance in spiritual practice.

    Overall, another aspect which appealed to me from this video (apart from me having a thing about mountains) is how it now serves as another candid “truth bomb” for me to “pull out” to “jolt” myself whenever things get really challenging for me. After all, these are real life examples of sincere practitioners who walk the talk and keep practicing even in harsh conditions. As one of the practitioners have mentioned, someone else’s enlightenment through practising Dharma or their dedication towards spiritual practice is good as reference. Thank you, Rinpoche for sharing this fascinating video.

  14. Wah Ying on Jun 20, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    These are my thoughts on the – Hermits: a documentary

    Dear Rinpoche,

    I have finished watching this documentary. It’s beautiful and surprisingly I like it, especially the way it was filmed and conversations between Bill Porter withe the hermits in ZhongNan Mountain. It’s filmed in a way which is natural and “raw”. Bill Porter was inspired by poet Tao Yuan Ming to go into the mountain to look for real life hermits and end up with coming out a beautiful book titled “Road to Heaven”, and re-visit to the mountain 20 years later when he was 71 years old. I guess, if not because of his trip to look for real life hermits, he might be spending his whole life in Seattle and imaging the life of hermits via the poems composed by the poets, instead of getting first hand investigation and inspired to engage deeper in meditation and his practice.

    Some of the things I learned from this video are:

    – Watching the Buddhists monks, priests, and hermits who live in the mountain covered by white clouds and trees, is “familiar” in a way this way of life was described in details in novel and poems I read, and films I watched when I was young. And there are hermits living in the mountains in real life in this era.

    – The first nun Bill Porter interviewed when she mentioned she has lived in the mountain for 35 years and she never leave her guru…she mentioned this with some simple words and “unintentionally”, but one can feel her devotion and love to her guru.

    – It was amazing that after China society become more open and people are richer, the people are more open to spiritual practice and religion instead. It’s happy to know also Buddhism thrives after the Cultural Revolution, and even more people come and live in ZhongNan Mountain to engage in spiritual practice. There might be people who are trying to escape from their setbacks in real life to seek peace in the mountain, but from the conversations of Bill Porter with the hermits, and how the hermits live their life, there are definitely more and more people seeking for simpler life and focus on spiritual than materialism in life; and seeking for real happiness/more meaning in life.

    – The life of a hermit is so simple that only requires 50 to 60 RMB per month — that’s something quite “unbelievable” for city people or we who are desire so much in life. This shows lufe can be as simple as this, it’s our choice. And, it’s so true that letting go is not about we restrain ourself but do not have such thoughts.

    – Even though many spiritual inspirants meditate in the mountain but this does not mean those sangha or people who stay in the city to perform ritual, taking care of their temples and helping people are less in anyway of their spiritual practice.

    – Hardship is part of the path, hardship can help spiritual seekers in a way it becomes their foundation to the next level. Hardship is not something negative or prevent us from achieving our goal but helping us in achieving our goal.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing with me this inspiring documentary.

  15. Alice Tay on Jun 20, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    These are my thoughts on the – Hermits: a documentary

    Dearest Rinpoche,

    3 years ago, I read an article “Amongst White Clouds – Amazing!” in Rinpoche’s blog, and that was first article I read about hermit. The video inspired and attracted me a lot with the peaceful environment in mountain. Today, I am very grateful Rinpoche sharing this video done by the same author, Bill Porter, and I humbly to share some of my thoughts here:

    Inspiration by Bill Porter
    I admire and respect Bill Porter in his high age for over 71 years old, he still have good motivation to visit the hermits in high mountain, to write and share all these hermits’ stories just to inspire the people especially American to do practice. Besides, he worked hard to translate for a few sutras in English for the benefit of people. Because of one of his writings “Road To Heaven”, many people were only came to know about Zhongnan Mountain. This is similar to Rinpoche’s virtue works in spreading Dorje Shugden and dharma via online. Rinpoche and the writer team’s hard work in sharing histories and real facts of Dorje Shugden including the relationship between Dorje Shugden and other lineages as well as other useful information in TR. com are really benefited to many others from all over the world.

    Let go and stay a simple life
    In this video, most of the hermits are living in simple hut but they look happy to stay there. The hermits understand that in order to have peace of mind, they have to let go something. This can be related to Rinpoche always advise us to stay near or at KFR which can really help us to focus and not easy to get distracted by material things and people. Simple living is actually helps to increase our wisdom to overcome problems/obstacles. Dharma and practice cannot be learned from the books but through the practice of mind. Just like one of hermits said if we tell too much to a person and he did not put into the practice, it actually cannot help him. Therefore, we can show the person how to pray to Buddha, do offerings, guide him do meditation and chant sutras. Even though we only give him a little hint, but through our practice, it can help the person.

    Gratitude, Perseverance and determination
    It is very inspiring when one of the lady hermits carved a staying place for herself (together with her friends) by using chisel only. This is not an easy task but she able to do that with her determination so that she can do practice in the mountain. This reminds me to be grateful that I have a guru who is very kind and compassionate and allowing me to stay near to guru to learn and practice dharma. Gratitude to all the sponsors to build KFR as a peaceful place for practicing dharma. With that, I should have strong faith, motivation and never give up easily the dharma for the benefit of others.

    Diligence in the practice
    Master Nengren passed away in 1995, but dead body found in 2009 in perfect condition. This is the only one imperishable fleshes being gilded and enshrined in Zhongnan Mountain. This showed that when we practice diligently with full concentration, persistency with right view and understanding, eventually it leads us to achieve the enlightenment.

    Thank you Rinpoche. I humbly hope more people to watch this video and get inspired to practice not only for themselves but for all sentient beings.

    Thank you and take much care.

    Yours humbly with folded hands.

  16. Chon Kong on Jun 20, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    These are my thoughts on the – Hermits: a documentary

    Bill Porter’s deep interest in Buddhist practice and spirituality led him to write a book “Road to Heaven” on the hermit practitioner’s way, hoping to encourage Americans to learn the way they practiced in a comfortable environment. Through his book, he compassionately generates interests and encourages more people to participate in meditation. By translating books, he helped many Chinese find the path to practice Dharma.

    It is not easy for ordinary people to practice Dharma or spirituality because they are disturbed by the external environment and the secular system. The practitioners in the video can let go of the secular things, including comfortable living environment, city life and go practice in the mountains. This is something that surprised me. I admire the persistence and belief of hermits and want to learn from them.

    They travel long distances to climb the mountains, only to get away from the city and find a quiet environment to practice alone. In contrast, we are fortunate as our retreat center(KFR) has good environment and very good facilities. Fortunately, we have Rinpoche teachings and blessings in learning Dharma. I am very grateful. This video reminds myself again , there is no reason why we cannot concentrate on practicing the Dharma.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this video.

  17. Phoebe Yong on Jun 20, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    These are my thoughts on the – Hermits: a documentary

    Dear Rinpoche,

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing such a beautiful documentary with us.

    I am so amaze with Bill Porter who is already 71 years old in the video still manage to climbed the mountains and cliffs to visits the huts. He is really a talented person who had translated the sutra teaching into English and had encouraged more people to learn Dharma.

    Bill Porter has shared his initial intention to publish his book “Road to Heaven” was to encourage the US people with modern and comfort living style, they should engage in practice by looking how the practitioners at Chungnan mountains. The practitioners in the video have shown great respect to him, it is because of his book “Road to Heaven”, many people know able the hermits and the huts in mountains. There is more people go into mountains and engage practice now.

    I do agree with Bill Porter that in current society, we have money but there is something missing in our life which is money cannot buy. That’s is Dharma. Through the dharma practice, our worried will be lesser and our mind will be widen, we also realise the suffering in samsara and gain realisation. When we have more money and living in comfort, we will get attached and will not engage in practice.

    The first interviewed nun gave me a deep impression who stay at the mountain for 35 years. She has shown great respect to her guru because even though her guru has passed on, she said she is always here and never left her guru. She is very devoted to her guru.

    Another monk who gave me deep impression, he had said in our modern society, it is hard to escape from reality, like tourism. He said if able to plan properly, the temple can be separate front area for public and the back area for the monks to do practice. This make me think of KFR. And he also said that if every masters live in the mountains, there will be no people to spread the Dharma. This make me immediately think of Rinpoche. Thank you Rinpoche for your compassion and kindness to spread Dharma to benefit us and many more people.

    The practitioners shown they are living simple life with very basic needs. Most of their time they are used to do Dharma practice. This is so wonderful. They are look happy and peace from within. They speak softly and humble. They are all smart people because they learn the survival skills how to get their needs like water, woods and food in the mountains.

    By looking at these practitioners, I am very fortunate to be able to do Dharma works and Dharma practice in KFR now where Rinpoche stay.

    Thank you Rinpoche for all the love and care to me and my family.

    With loves and folded hands,

  18. Marek on Dec 19, 2016 at 7:20 pm
  19. Josh Akers on Feb 25, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    Wonderful video.

    The calm energy they exude and the vast isolated environment enveloping them like a womb to foster their enlightenment…

    It made me feel very peaceful and centered, on another typical evening where that is exactly what I was wishing for because I was feeling anything but centered. All of these masters are just so wonderful, I don’t know what else to say really.

    It makes me want to slow down, calm down. Be peaceful. Be kind and loving to myself. Be kind to my crazy, out of control, delusional mind. Let my thoughts drift by. Even the bad ones. Not grasping. The minute I stop moving forward, Im moving back. That is my frustration. I suppose I must relax that feeling and let go.

    Thank you for posting this, Rinpoche and Blog Team.

  20. Alice Tay on Feb 3, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    从这篇博文(视频)所得到的提示,“修行”不只是坐着念念经或只是静坐。最基本的,我们要明白什么是“修行”?

    在中南山这个高山的地方,如果这些隐士不了解“修行”这回事,还要经历寒冷的气候和面对大自然的一切来维持日常生活,是一件不简单的事。因为这一切要靠他们自己的专注、毅力与坚持来对治自己的妄念而得到内心的平稳与平静。相比之下,我们生活在城市里,很多时候我们很难控制自己的心念,很容易被外在的环境所控制,起了执着心。因为,我们还是有俗世的观念,把大部分的时间都放在争取名利,钱财,地位等等,不知到何时才得到解脱。

    有时候反而觉得简单的活着更好。一颗专注的心完成一件事情,没有其他烦恼的同时也一起改掉不好的习气。就好像其中一位隐士所说的:“如果看空了、看破了,能放得下,这就是智慧。如果看破了,放不下,这只是口头禅。”与其把一生的时间用于争取名利,钱财,地位等等,不如把这些时间来修行而从中得到解脱。

    感谢仁波切的分享,可以让我可以有更深的了解修行的意义。

  21. Uncle Eddie on Feb 2, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    As said by Ven.Thich Thien An, “The teachings of non-attachment maybe easy to understand, but not easy to practise.” But, Buddhism teaches us to extinguish attachments in order that we may discover the state of absolute freedom which is rightfully ours! The path of freedom is difficult to follow, but if we have sufficient determination, we can do it! As said in Zen Taoism, “When the Sage walks, he leaves no footprints behind,” meaning the Sage leaves no traces of desire and attachment clinging to him, as he lives from moment to moment. Rather, He lives in the present, following along the harmony with the rythm of life, appreciating each moment for what it is worth, and allowing it to pass on quickly to be replaced by the next! Thank you so much for the sharing and teaching in this respect, Rinpoche. It’s indeed a great heart moving video!

  22. Soon Huat (Penang) on Jan 27, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    Thank You Rinpoche for sharing this incredible documentary video. I am touched by this hermit monks and nun. They are living in very simple life and do very simple practice (from deluded view) but they are real Buddhist practitioners; they are doing really practice. When we go for meditation class, we need a nice meditating cushion, must have air-cond so that we are not distracted by environment. In fact, we are pulled by environment, we have great attachment. The hermits are doing mediating without anything, we even practice mindfulness into their daily simple life, that is real meditation.

    The two hermit monks received interviews in very beginning, they just went for Amitabha chanting but they can tell us the real Buddhist theory. I like what the nun said “the compassion will overcome all the hardship”. We always complain this or that impossible and refuse to follow the instruction, even threaten the senior to leave the centre, that is wrong! There is another phase from the nun;”everyone has his/her pearl” I assume she is referring Inner Buddha Nature. It is not easy to obtain the human nature, and meet the right Guru and right center. We should not leave with empty hands.

    The last monk mentioned something like you need to contemplate the text, memorizing the text will not help you. I agreed studying Buddhism text without practising is merely knowledge or worse you just want to show off, It will not help us at all.

    Honestly, I was wishing to retire in retreat in KFR or Cameron Highland with permission from my Guru but I am not confident to live in such hard environment. I do prostrate to them, they (including my Guru) are my role model in my Dharma path. Hope one day my dream will come true.

  23. Chandra on Jan 20, 2015 at 6:44 am

    The documentary gave more insight into life of ascetics and what it would have been like for the sages of the past and those of the present. Their simplicity and discipline is commendable. Thank you for your research Rinpoche.

  24. Kelvin on Jan 7, 2015 at 7:57 am

    This documentary is amazing. Quite surprised such a place exists in this time and age.
    The hermits look so happy and contended with their lives in the mountains even without the ‘conveniences’ of the city lives. They spoke with much wisdom and gave very practical advices during the interviews. One deeply impressed me the most goes something like this – ‘you will give up what you have at death, why not give up now?’

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing!

  25. Low KHJB on Jan 3, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for the valuable sharing on this documentary about the enlighten hermits and their words of wisdom.
    Their understanding on the precious human life is indeed profound and they were able to release almost all of their attachments.
    Their determination to attain liberation from samsara have became so effortlessly easy without any second thoughts.This show their level of mind transformation through sincere practice and proper meditation.
    Every words of advice from this holy masters are done with mindfulness and with the pure motivation to guide us to the right path and to remind us our true purpose to cultivate in this life.

  26. Jacinta Goh on Dec 24, 2014 at 12:54 am

    I’ve watched the video the other day but find it hard to put this comment at that moment. Aspiring to be like them (and nuns like Venerable Tenzin Palmo, Ma Ying and Ani Ngawang Pema)are what I seek though it may not be fulfilled at the moment. For me, it’s not only simply aspiring to live like them, in solitude, free from attachments, worldly amusements and etc but it’s more like wanting to tread the path of the Buddha, be the example for others and also a cause for teacher to stay and teach. For a teacher to remain and BuddhaDharma to survive on, there must be students who are willing to learn and practice. Through living in solitude, we can have deeper contemplation, meditation, and especially gaining insights into Buddha’s words. Living in solitude definitely has its advantages. May pure BuddhaDharma be preserved and carried on through the efforts of these great beings who are willingly to sacrifice their lives to practice Dharma and may they gained Buddhahood, benefiting more sentient beings in the future.

  27. Mike on Dec 22, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    The courage of the hermits to live in the mountains enduring all kinds of physical hardship is most admirable.

    The words of the hermits shows the level of realizations they have.

    I am humbled.

  28. lili cappello on Dec 20, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Rinpoche, I too have been absorbed by this video many times in the last couple of years. I love the old master with that smile and those eyes, the one who makes noodles for his guests with a wooden dowel. I love when the master living amongst his students says, all this guessing and grasping, cut it out! I love the one planting his seedlings. I haven’t been on this site for a while, and wow, the gardens at Kechara are in full force, I’m really impressed, talk about planting seeds! Blessed Be All Your Days, Lili Cappello from Brookline, Massachusetts

  29. KYC on Dec 19, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    The hermits have found the ideal conditions for practice in the Zhongnan Mountains. The six prerequisites for mental quiescence are present, for example, dwelling in a conducive place and having few wants. The masters are highly attained, very humble and very content. I’m glad there are still practitioners like these in China today.

  30. Elsie Toy on Dec 19, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    Thank you very Rinpoche for sharing this wonderful video. It is so impactful. It has provided me the answer to my desire that I could not explain. I have found the answer in this video. It is really great for these people to leave home and practice on the mountains. It is so true that we spend our energy getting ourselves busy and in the end we could not bring it along with us. “Why no put all these energy into liberation” and focus on it. These are powerful words that will linger in my head and will do remember that everyday when I wake up and dedicate to be focus on our practice.

    Thank you once again _/\_

  31. Jace Chong on Dec 18, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    Thanks Rinpoche for sharing the post. I really thought that this only happen long time ago and it’s extinct from now, the documentary proved that I was totally wrong.

    Hermit’s life is really hard to imagine for city people like me. I love the nature, love peace and silence but when you live a hermit’s life, it’s a total different story, where you have to face and work everything on your own.

    Like the venerable monks and nuns in the documentary said, this is part of the practice. Thanks Mr.Porter and Mr.Burger revealing this to the world, how inspiring to know this!

    The peaceful and happy faces in the documentary make me smile and I hope one day, we can all live a simple life like them.

    Thanks Rinpoche for your sharing.

  32. Pastor David Lai on Dec 18, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    You know, I had the good fortune the watch this video with Rinpoche. It was deeply moving for both, Rinpoche and myself. Rinpoche kept pausing the video to admire longingly at the various hermitages. He kept imagining himself in retreat in this and that meditation hut.

    As for me, I could hardly hold my tears. I don’t really know why but I found the simple words of wisdom of these simple hermits so full of wisdom, so Dharmic and each word so infused with their realisations. I wanna be them and yet, I know I wouldn’t be able to take the harsh conditions of living a lone hermit. However, I probably would wanna grow old in similar isolated and natural conditions like those in Kechara Forest Retreat. Such a moving video!

  33. Datuk May on Dec 18, 2014 at 12:41 am

    When I first watched the documentary Amongst White Clouds, I felt a sense of envy that the monks and nuns can live so peacefully in the mountains. I was also glad that there are such places whereby modern stressed people can escape to. Will I be able to do that, then fear crept in, that it will not be possible for me with all the modern comforts of life which I am so accustomed to.

    By the end of watching although I am inspired by all the monks and nuns at Zhongnan Mountain, a pain developed at the pit of my stomach for I realised that I have wasted my life living in delusion.

    Is there a way for me to gain my Buddha Nature, no answer, but for sure I will continue to practise what my Guru has taught and give that my best efforts.

  34. Hee TS on Dec 17, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    中國的傳統隱士修行者,为法而捨世俗尘世浮华,仍然生活和正在實行。只为了悟無常,证菩提,利益含識。他們是真正鼓舞人心的。感謝仁波切旳文章分享。

  35. Pema Thinley on Dec 17, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    It is so soothing and brought so much of calmness in mind when i watched. When i Imagined myself being them, some sense of worthy being like them came to my mind. Their wisdom and teachings and every second they live are so astounding. It is so beautiful see how they direct their full energy to the practice. The way they make everything they do or work the Dharma is so touching. Came to realise how busy i was with my own life caring just for comfort. It is beyond my knowledge to describe but it gave me the feelings that it is something so deep and profound.
    Thank you Ripoche. _/\_ _/\_ _/\_

  36. Joy on Dec 17, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    There’s so many profound teachings given in just a few sentences. One of the many that stood out was…

    “…they summon heaven and they summon hell
    If we have negative awareness then this world is hell
    If we have kind awareness then this world is heaven.”

    Boy do I really need to cultivate kind awareness and just like what Rinpoche has taught us many times about projections and that everything is but a mere self-projected concept. It’s really just a matter of changing the perspective and if we can achieve this ‘Kind’ awareness, everything would appear perfect, happiness arises, it’ll be like we’re in heaven. And to achieve this we will need to meditate, have discipline and wisdom, and break apart this false self that covers our Buddha nature. This saying reminds me of the blogchat topic we had just recently A Teaching on Karma & Mindstream; Knowledge will translate into practice. Practice will translate into habituation. Habituation is translating into wisdom.

    We must apply the Buddhas’ teachings otherwise everything we learn is empty. There is really nothing much to say. Hence these few courageous monks and nuns has taken the teachings to their hearts in being recluse, isolated and away from the distractions of samsara. It is so admirable what they seek out to do, to find true liberation and to walk the path so many in samsara would shun away from or think it to be abnormal. As the last master said “in the sea of samsara, beings don”t know they have a Buddha Nature. The Buddha’s teachings are all aimed at showing us this nature”. This so true as we look around and reflect on our own life, our own friends and people around us. Even hardships endured is part of the training yet there a certain kind of peace and contentment derived from them being on their own. If you ask me 12 years ago before I met Rinpoche/Dharma, what I thought of a hermit life, I would probably say not for me and feel so scary to be “alone”. But right now, I am beginning to appreciate and admire such practice and the wisdom it offers, the peace one can experience and I probably wouldn’t mind at all. Somehow they all look like they’ve found peace… a friend once made a passing remark “you’ll never be able to discover who you really are if you can’t stay alone or be alone by yourself for awhile”, how profoundly true.

    “10 thousand things, all in this breath…” Why are people in this world so busy? Just for this one breath. They say, “BUSY, BUSY, MINE, MINE…..”. Busy a whole lifetime for “ME”, when this breath is cut off…… You let go of the whole universe, WHY NOT LET GO FROM THE START?

    Yes I am guilty of this too always so quick to say “I’m busy, I’m in a rush, I have no time” …just what on earth are we so busy about or are we busy doing nothing but just giving excuses? Probably the latter. “Rushing for our next reincarnation?” another wise words from a friend’s mother whenever she sees someone driving to fast. These are wise words and teachings we should reflect and not be so quick to answer in a haste. Letting go is definitely a good start; the death meditation comes in mind at this part.

    These hermits reminds me of great mahasiddhas and the young monks following a great old master is proof that the journey to Buddhahood is still very much alive if we choose to walk the path. Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these inspirational stories to wake us up from our delusions.

    • Pema Thinley on Dec 17, 2014 at 9:38 pm

      Dear Joy,
      This is so worth of reading. thank you for sharing. You reminded me being afraid at such people who lived over mountains like them back in Bhutan when i was young. I realise now. thank you

  37. Stella on Dec 17, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    It is inspiring to know that people can turn their back to comfort, convenience and entertainment to seek only liberation. It requires wisdom to see through the worldly desire and attachment, and have the courage to let go.

    Through the hermits’ eyes, it is obvious that they find it silly to have worked so hard day in day out to achieve things that perpetuate affinity in samsara, because nothing that we own in this life can be brought along with us after death.

    The wisdom in solitude living so close to the nature is to understand the true meaning of delusion that ultimately leads to understanding of emptiness. Everything in nature is also uncertain just like the world “out there”, therefore nature is also a delusion to start off with.

    Thank You Rinpoche for sharing this video.

    • Joy on Dec 17, 2014 at 10:04 pm

      Well said Stella…. like your understanding especially the part on “nature is also a delusion to start off with”. Reminds me of an advice Rinpoche once gave if we really want to practice meditation/Dharma, we can practice it anywhere, even in our own apartment”. Hence Kechara’s first ever newsletter called “No More Caves” was to express this concept of doing Dharma in the city. Of course being with nature creates a more conducive environment, the peace, serenity, lesser noise and distractions, whereby our focus could become effortless, hence we have KFR 🙂

      • stella on Dec 17, 2014 at 11:39 pm

        Thank you Joy for the sharing. It will be well noted and appreciated.

  38. Julia Tan on Dec 17, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    “Asking questions from an enlightened teacher is just like asking questions from Buddha.” one of the monks in the mountain said..

    That’s how close and important to a teacher and student relationship. One of the students said that the teacher can just read their mind and know what they’re thinking, what’s their barriers to practice. By knowing that the teacher can guide them skillfully. Those who have a teacher is very very fortunate. Many of them do not have a guru. They only depend on the scripture and mediate on it. That’s really hard to practice without a teacher. i think it may takes much longer time to practice and achieve attainment. But according to one of the monks, he has full faith to the Buddha and Dharma, whenever he needs an answer, he open the scripture, the answer is there for him. Amazing! Their mind is so clear without distraction from samsara and their hearts are filled with virtues thoughts hence they somehow able to understand. That’s also the reason why they chosen this place to meditate for their enlightenment.

    “I used to work day and night to buy a bigger house, Now i realize that all I need is a roof over my head.” Don’t you realize that no matter how big is your house, the place that you use the most is actually just a small part of it.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this video. It’s very inspiring. They reminds of the monks and nuns that meditate the whole in the mountain in Tibet.

  39. Charmaine@mbfsg on Dec 17, 2014 at 12:04 am

    Dear Rinpoche,

    Thank you for sharing this great article and video.

    It’s inspiring to see how monks and nuns were able to renounce everything in this modern world to live as hermits in pursuit of enlightenment. When most people in this modern world are acquiring more wealth, external goods, companionship, idle chatter, more friends, bad habituations, thinking it would lead to happiness but it doesn’t. It creates more sufferings within oneself.

    All things are illusory.

    “10,000 things all in this breath,
    Grasping hold of emptiness,
    There’s really nothing to say”
    -I love this particular quote by one of the monks.

    Direct perception of voidness itself is the path to seeing and to enlightenment.

    The only way is to seek refuge with our Guru (who is the embodiment of all Buddhas himself), reading and conceptualizing dharma, prayers, meditation, compassion for all beings and we will have true happiness.

  40. Jim Yeh on Dec 16, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    Thank you for sharing Rinpoche. I very much enjoy watching documentaries like these.

  41. Irene Lim on Dec 16, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    These hermits have truly realised impermanence and let go of worldly concerns in search of liberation in the beautiful mountains in solitude. I rejoice and am extremely happy that the tradition of hermits in China is still living and being practised. They are truly inspiring. Thank you for sharing Rinpoche.

  42. Su Ming on Dec 16, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    In my life, I never thought that living like a hermit will have any appeal. But ever since I met Dharma, I understand the appeal more cause when you are living in the city, you automatically are inflicted with more problems due to whatever attachment we have or hold strongly to. Which are all mainly self inflicted due to emotions and desires. Dealing with these 2 can be extremely tiresome and you just want to be alone sometimes especially when u have/need to deal with others and their emotions.

    I like what the master said in the video ” If u see things with compassion, then your heart becomes bigger and troubles are gone” This was exactly what Tsem Rinpoche told me when I first joined Kechara. Rinpoche asked me what do I want to achieved in Dharma, and I replied happiness. I remembered Rinpoche laughed really hard when he heard my reply and advice me to achieve real happiness, I have to help others compassionately and from there I can be happy” I have always held on to this advice strongly cause I see how my own mind changed and transformed. I am not anywhere near achieving great realisation at this moment, but I do know that this advice work as I see suffering/happiness differently. Of course, I still freak out when I hear bad news but it is so much in control now then b4 Dharma.

    Thank you

  43. tsemtulku on Dec 16, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    The video was very moving. It leaves us contemplating more on our personal situations because what these hermits speak about applies to every being on this planet.

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Noticeboard

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  • Alice Tay
    Wednesday, Aug 22. 2018 01:32 AM
    I don’t know much about Vajrayogini until I came across one of Rinpoche’s blog post “Starting On Vajra Yogini NOW!” 2 years ago. Since then, I paid more attention to read and understand the posts that related to Vajrayogini.

    Vajrayogini practice is considered the most suitable for people of these degenerate times due to the stronger desire. And Vajrayogini has ability to transform desire energy into enlightened virtue. That is most encouraging and inspiring when Vajrayogini appeared to HH Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche and promised him that those who received Vajra Yogini practice from him, and inclusive of the following 4 generations, would be taken to Kechara Paradise within 7 lifetimes. From here we can see Vajrayogini is so compassionate and wanting us to be free from suffering soonest possible. Of course, we should not forget our precious guru in this spiritual path. Without our guru, we may not have opportunity to learn and practice dharma. Without our guru, we know nothing about Vajrayogini and her sacred practice.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this wonderful post that let me develop a strong faith in Vajrayogini. ��

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/vajra-yogini/h-h-kyabje-pabongka-rinpoches-sacred-vajra-yogini.html
  • Yee Yin
    Tuesday, Aug 21. 2018 11:32 PM
    Human is the biggest destroyer of our living environment. In the process of development, many trees are cut down and the wildlife animals lost their habitat. Eventually, the wildlife animals extinct and the weather becomes warmer as the eco-system is disturbed. It is a good news to know that India in planting more than 66 million trees in 12 hours to try to save our planet from human destruction.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/66-million.html
    [no sender]
  • Yee Yin
    Tuesday, Aug 21. 2018 11:26 PM
    When disasters strike, it is normal that we will be running for our lives, leaving for a safer place. When we are running for our lives, are we also taking our pets with us? When the flood happened in Houston, Texas, many pet dogs and cats were tied up and left behind to die, this is extremely cruel.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/dont-leave-them-behind.html
    [no sender]
  • Yee Yin
    Tuesday, Aug 21. 2018 11:16 PM
    The 17th Karmapa escaped from China and went to India thinking he could learn the Buddhist doctrine from qualified masters. However, this was not the case as these qualified masters are not easily accessible. He has expressed his disappointment and frustration in a video he has recorded. The 17th Karmapa was sad because he could not do what he is supposed to do, i.e. to teach Dharma. It is sad to know a high lama like him is not able to do Dharma work as much as he wants to.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/karmapa-ogyen-trinley-dorjes-explosive-special-message.html
    [no sender]
  • Jackie
    Tuesday, Aug 21. 2018 09:21 PM
    Pastor Antoinette Kass first came to Malaysia all the way from half a globe away – Luxembourg to meet His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche in 2011, after getting know and learning Dharma from Rinpoche just from online resources (Youtube, blog, Facebook…). She has always been spiritual and had visited places like Findhorn in search of spirituality. On the first meeting, Rinpoche had a nice chat with her and presented her a Vajrayogini statue to encourage her in the Dharma path.

    She did not have personal contact with Rinpoche after that, and yet from that single meeting of just one hour and her promise to Rinpoche to do more Dharma, she has been keeping her promise and is very consistent about it. Since then, she has been coming back to Malaysia yearly to volunteer and learn in Kechara (most of the time did not have the opportunity to meet Rinpoche), and lately made plans to relocate to Malaysia so that she can pursue her Dharma aspirations full-time.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/a-long-way-from-home.html
  • Yvonne Choi
    Tuesday, Aug 21. 2018 09:18 PM
    凡人和圣人的差别就在这里。凡人遇到了苦难,他对自己说,我必须发奋图强,不再让自己过这种艰苦的生活!于是他真的努力了,为生活打拼,最终成功了,丰衣足食,从此过着无忧无虑的生活。但他所改善的,只是他自己一个人的生活。

    而圣人呢,他遇到苦难时,他会对自己说,这种饥饿的感觉,流浪街头的感觉,身体有病痛却没钱看病的感觉,生活苦迫煎熬的感觉,我自己经历了,非常难受,我发愿不要让任何人,任何众生,经历同样的痛苦!

    每一次的轮回转世,詹杜固仁波切都发愿再来娑婆世界帮助最需要他的人。这样的愿力,造就了詹杜固仁波切的一颗金刚菩提心,让他永远都能用无量的慈悲去帮助和渡化众生。

    人间菩萨,詹杜固仁波切。

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/凡人和圣人的差别.html
  • Chris
    Tuesday, Aug 21. 2018 09:14 PM
    This is a miraculous White Tara statue from the Majapahit empire in Indonesia. The statue was made 800 years ago and its was hidden in a well with gold and silver as offerings. When it was discovered and being owned by a collector named Yan, two lamas wanted to bless it. It was Lama Chokyong Yeshi Dorje, who is a Bhutanese oracle for the deity Tsiu Marpo (In Gelug tradition: Kache Marpo), and Lama Rangbar Nyimai Ozer, the founder and President of the Bodhivastu Foundation in the United States. During the blessing ceremony, there are miracles manifested and realise that this white tara statue is a terma. Lama Chokyong Yeshi Dorje saw a mantra from the back of the statue and wrote it down. Learn more here. http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/the-miraculous-white-tara-of-the-majapahit-empire.html
    [no sender]
  • Chris
    Tuesday, Aug 21. 2018 08:20 PM
    This image, shot by photographer Ding Zuhe and called, “Monk’s Posture,” won first prize in the China category for National Geographic’s 2017 photography contest. Here are six people, all in some form of sleep, lethargy, stupor, or unconsciousness. There are two women (the one in the foreground looks older), and four males: a child in the foreground, a teen or young adult to the far left, and a young man plus a slightly older one in the right corner. Ding leaves open to interpretation how they feel; for all we know they might be comfortable. However, it doesn’t look like as if they are. Then we have the monk: sitting in a classical Zen posture, his head slightly bowed, cross-legged, dignified, a noble contrast to the six sloppy engines of flesh splayed out around him.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/postcard-from-raymond-monks-posture.html
  • Chris
    Tuesday, Aug 21. 2018 08:17 PM
    The current form of Naro Kachö Vajra Yogini appeared to the Indian Mahasiddha Naropa after he meditated intensely on her practice inside a cave. He beheld her glorious form in a vision. This unique form later became known as Naropa’s Vajra Yogini or Naro Kachö, as it had never existed before. Later, in Tibet, His Holiness Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche also had visions of Vajra Yogini. His vision differed slightly from the vision of her that Naropa beheld. In the original Naro Kachö form, Vajra Yogini looks towards her pure land named Kechara. However in Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche’s vision, she looked straight at him, symbolic of the deity empowering him to bestow her practice onto many people in order to benefit them. The practice of Vajra Yogini belongs to the Highest Yoga Tantra classification that leads to tremendous inner transformation and can even grant Enlightenment within just one lifetime.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/vajra-yogini/h-h-kyabje-pabongka-rinpoches-sacred-vajra-yogini.html
  • Chris
    Tuesday, Aug 21. 2018 08:10 PM
    This is a really good documentary where Bill Porter traveled into the Zhongnan Mountains where many had came to enter into hermitage. The hermits he meet all are very kind. The first thing they do is always offer him some food or hot tea even though they have very little themselves. They are so generous and kind. Then when they start to talk about their whole experience being a hermitage, I cans see that all of them have a gentle expression on their face which is the expression of content and peaceful. Who knows that they have none of the money, branded items, and big cars can live so happily with content. While many those who have everything but they still feel depress and some had even committed suicide. This is a very good documentary to widen our mind and think about what is the purpose of life.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=163457
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Aug 21. 2018 11:32 AM
    The Third Dalai Lama, Sonam Gyatso, was born to a rich family. At the age of three, Sonam Dakpa Gyaltsen, the ruler of Tibet, and Panchen Sonam Dakpa recognized Sonam Gyatso as the reincarnation of Gedun Gyatso. He was escorted to Drepung monastery in a great procession and was enthroned. He founded many monasteries in Mongolia, Eastern Tibet Sonam Gyatso became the abbot of Drepung monastery and the abbot of Sera monastery. He was bestowed by the Mongolian ruler as The third Dalai Lama. He travelled extensively throughout Mongolia, performing miracles and teaching, spreading the Dharma till his death.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this short biography of the third Dalai Lama.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/the-third-dalai-lama-sonam-gyatso.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Aug 21. 2018 11:30 AM
    Gendun Gyatso the Second Dalai Lama was born to in a noble family. His father was a well-known yogic practitioner. Gendun Gyatso was a special child ,at the age of four he could remembered his past lives and told his parents he wished to live in the Tashilhunpo monastery. He could even told his parents, his birth name and his father was Lobsang Drakpa, which was Tsongkapa’s ordination name. .At age of eleven he was recognized as the reincarnation of Gendun Drupa, the first Dalai Lama, and was enthroned at Tashi Lhunpo monastery. Interesting read.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this biography of the second Dalai Lama.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/the-second-dalai-lama-gendun-gyatso.html
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Tuesday, Aug 21. 2018 06:38 AM
    In 1989, Bill Porter, also known by his pen name ‘Red Pine’, travelled to the Zhongnan Mountains in China to meet some of these hermits and learn about their way of life. This resulted in his publishing the work titled Road to Heaven: Encounters with Chinese Hermits in 1993. 25 years later, Bill Porter travelled back to the same mountains to see if life there had changed. The outcome of this particular trip was a documentary titled Hermit, about a modern-day journey into the heart of the hermit tradition in China. This is a must watch documentary with so much to learn to enhance our lives which will give us hope as we are all drowning in materialism’s false promises.~Tsem Rinpoche

    Fantastic and profound documentary: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=163457
  • Lin Mun
    Monday, Aug 20. 2018 10:52 PM
    It is a really huge place. Can’t imagine that all items are gift to others. Rinpoche has showed us that when we give, we create the cause to receive offering as well. This is the nature of karma. Be generous and compassion to all. Thank you Rinpoche for your care and love to everyone.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/whats-in-rinpoches-warehouse-%e4%bb%81%e6%b3%a2%e5%88%87%e7%9a%84%e4%bb%93%e5%ba%93%e6%9c%89%e4%bb%80%e4%b9%88%ef%bc%9f.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Aug 20. 2018 12:36 PM
    Interesting biography of Gendun Drub who was identified as an emanation of bodhisattva of compassion. He was born the son of a nomadic farmers and there’s a legend about his birth where a large black raven protect him from intruders, crows and wild vultures. The black raven an emanation of Mahakala was told . He lived the life of a shepherd until the age of seven showing early inclination for a religious life. He was sent to the monastery and studied under many great famous scholars and was a student of the Je Tsongkhapa . He was posthumously given the title of First Dalai lama. He remained the abbot of Tashilhunpo Monastery until his death.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/the-first-dalai-lama-gendun-drub.html

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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

Tsem Rinpoche

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The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

Click on the images to view the bigger version. And scroll down and click on "View All Photos" to view more images.
Kamakura is one of my favorite places
22 hours ago
Kamakura is one of my favorite places
Anger...
22 hours ago
Anger...
In 1989, Bill Porter, also known by his pen name ‘Red Pine’, travelled to the Zhongnan Mountains in China to meet some of these hermits and learn about their way of life. This resulted in his publishing the work titled Road to Heaven: Encounters with Chinese Hermits in 1993. 25 years later, Bill Porter travelled back to the same mountains to see if life there had changed. The outcome of this particular trip was a documentary titled Hermit, about a modern-day journey into the heart of the hermit tradition in China. This is a must watch documentary with so much to learn to enhance our lives which will give us hope as we are all drowning in materialism’s false promises.~Tsem Rinpoche

Fantastic and profound documentary: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=163457
24 hours ago
In 1989, Bill Porter, also known by his pen name ‘Red Pine’, travelled to the Zhongnan Mountains in China to meet some of these hermits and learn about their way of life. This resulted in his publishing the work titled Road to Heaven: Encounters with Chinese Hermits in 1993. 25 years later, Bill Porter travelled back to the same mountains to see if life there had changed. The outcome of this particular trip was a documentary titled Hermit, about a modern-day journey into the heart of the hermit tradition in China. This is a must watch documentary with so much to learn to enhance our lives which will give us hope as we are all drowning in materialism’s false promises.~Tsem Rinpoche Fantastic and profound documentary: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=163457
Wrathful Dakini Ucchusma-In the form of wrathful dakini, Ucchusma has 3 eyes; with both hands holding a vase with nectar at her heart level, her hair loose, and no ornaments. She wears a garment of black silk, with two legs, feet together, standing on a lotus and sun disc. This deity functions to remove negative energy and pollutions from body, speech and mind. The practice was conferred by a Dakini to Drupangsa. -Mantra: Om ar-kham zir-kam bu-ma-na-se ou-cus-ha-ma ma-ha tro-da hung phet
2 days ago
Wrathful Dakini Ucchusma-In the form of wrathful dakini, Ucchusma has 3 eyes; with both hands holding a vase with nectar at her heart level, her hair loose, and no ornaments. She wears a garment of black silk, with two legs, feet together, standing on a lotus and sun disc. This deity functions to remove negative energy and pollutions from body, speech and mind. The practice was conferred by a Dakini to Drupangsa. -Mantra: Om ar-kham zir-kam bu-ma-na-se ou-cus-ha-ma ma-ha tro-da hung phet
Tibetan Painted Scrolls Volumes 1-3 in original print is something very rare and expensive to come by. I really like these very much from what I can see.
4 days ago
Tibetan Painted Scrolls Volumes 1-3 in original print is something very rare and expensive to come by. I really like these very much from what I can see.
Kechara Forest Retreat doing the extended puja of Dorje Shugden and Tsem Rinpoche attends the 2nd half. Good video to download: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-an_NAH6Mk
4 days ago
Kechara Forest Retreat doing the extended puja of Dorje Shugden and Tsem Rinpoche attends the 2nd half. Good video to download: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-an_NAH6Mk
A powerful meme to share.
4 days ago
A powerful meme to share.
Beautiful Avalokitesvara scroll painting.
4 days ago
Beautiful Avalokitesvara scroll painting.
Black Garuda. 18th century. U (Central Tibet). Tradition Gelug
5 days ago
Black Garuda. 18th century. U (Central Tibet). Tradition Gelug
Palden Lhamo. 18th century. Tibet. Tradition: Gelug
5 days ago
Palden Lhamo. 18th century. Tibet. Tradition: Gelug
Dorje Jigje. 15th century. Narthang, Tsang (South-Central Tibet). Tradition: Sakya
5 days ago
Dorje Jigje. 15th century. Narthang, Tsang (South-Central Tibet). Tradition: Sakya
The oracle of Dorje Shugden in Dungkar Monastery in Tibet. Very old vintage photo from 1923 by an English Earl Lord Ronaldshay in his book, \"Land Of The Thunderbolt Sikkim, Chunbi & Bhutan\". This Lord met up with Dorje Shugden via the oracle. He devotes a chapter in his book about this oracle and encounter.
1 week ago
The oracle of Dorje Shugden in Dungkar Monastery in Tibet. Very old vintage photo from 1923 by an English Earl Lord Ronaldshay in his book, "Land Of The Thunderbolt Sikkim, Chunbi & Bhutan". This Lord met up with Dorje Shugden via the oracle. He devotes a chapter in his book about this oracle and encounter.
Beautiful old photograph of the Kamakura Buddha in Japan.
1 week ago
Beautiful old photograph of the Kamakura Buddha in Japan.
Never before seen footage of Tsem Rinpoche with various oracles- https://bit.ly/292jMaG
1 week ago
Never before seen footage of Tsem Rinpoche with various oracles- https://bit.ly/292jMaG
In around 2 weeks, there are over 30k views already! Videos are great! Must watch!- https://bit.ly/2K0gNhB
1 week ago
In around 2 weeks, there are over 30k views already! Videos are great! Must watch!- https://bit.ly/2K0gNhB
Click on the picture to enlarge and contemplate the message please. Something to share.
2 weeks ago
Click on the picture to enlarge and contemplate the message please. Something to share.
Click on the picture to enlarge and contemplate the message please
2 weeks ago
Click on the picture to enlarge and contemplate the message please
This sacred Tara at Phelgyeling Monastery in Nepal has spoken several times the monks said.
2 weeks ago
This sacred Tara at Phelgyeling Monastery in Nepal has spoken several times the monks said.
Beautiful ancient Tibetan scroll paintings for your viewing pleasure. Many more antique paintings for you to see and be blessed here-  https://bit.ly/2vz18RX
2 weeks ago
Beautiful ancient Tibetan scroll paintings for your viewing pleasure. Many more antique paintings for you to see and be blessed here- https://bit.ly/2vz18RX
Nice handsome picture of my Dharma boy. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
Nice handsome picture of my Dharma boy. Tsem Rinpoche
Four Sacred Sites of Vajra Yogini in Nepal which you must know about and one day pay homage in person. These places are highly sacred and holy and I want to share them with you. Happy enlightenment to you! :)  - https://bit.ly/2vshj3r
2 weeks ago
Four Sacred Sites of Vajra Yogini in Nepal which you must know about and one day pay homage in person. These places are highly sacred and holy and I want to share them with you. Happy enlightenment to you! :) - https://bit.ly/2vshj3r
Tsangpa Karpo-Protector of the line of Panchen Lama incarnations. They can take trance in certain oracles and speak.
2 weeks ago
Tsangpa Karpo-Protector of the line of Panchen Lama incarnations. They can take trance in certain oracles and speak.
Mahakala Tramsuk centre figure. Bottom left, Gonpo Gur and bottom right Dorje Shugden
2 weeks ago
Mahakala Tramsuk centre figure. Bottom left, Gonpo Gur and bottom right Dorje Shugden
Snow mountains in the distance, green mountains in the foreground, trees, temple and blue skies..this is where I would love to live. Where I dream of living. TR
2 weeks ago
Snow mountains in the distance, green mountains in the foreground, trees, temple and blue skies..this is where I would love to live. Where I dream of living. TR
I like this very adorable picture of Dharma boy.
3 weeks ago
I like this very adorable picture of Dharma boy.
I like this particular print of Vajra Yogini
3 weeks ago
I like this particular print of Vajra Yogini
नेपालको काठमाडौँमा दोर्जे शुग्देनको अद्भुत भित्तेचित्र! --- https://bit.ly/2n4XbQd


.
3 weeks ago
नेपालको काठमाडौँमा दोर्जे शुग्देनको अद्भुत भित्तेचित्र! --- https://bit.ly/2n4XbQd .
Stunning photo of offerings on my shrine photographed by Victor Choi. The lighting is beautiful. Offerings of food, fruits, drinks, flowers and incense are made on my shrine daily. For me the shrine is a portal to the Enlightened Beings and connecting to their blessings. Blessings to accomplish positive things in my life for others and myself. We do need this connection very much in our unpredictable lives where can experience so much anxiety, pain and a feeling of senselessness. We should never lose our connection to the Enlightened Beings and be firm about it. We will eventually need them no matter how \'good\' things seem now. Today this photograph taken is beautiful and I wanted to share it. 

May everyone who visit my page here be blessed, your obstacles cleared, be healthy and have a long life.~Tsem Rinpoche

(photograph- statues- Left Manjushri, centre Dorje Shugden bust and left Kache Marpo)
3 weeks ago
Stunning photo of offerings on my shrine photographed by Victor Choi. The lighting is beautiful. Offerings of food, fruits, drinks, flowers and incense are made on my shrine daily. For me the shrine is a portal to the Enlightened Beings and connecting to their blessings. Blessings to accomplish positive things in my life for others and myself. We do need this connection very much in our unpredictable lives where can experience so much anxiety, pain and a feeling of senselessness. We should never lose our connection to the Enlightened Beings and be firm about it. We will eventually need them no matter how 'good' things seem now. Today this photograph taken is beautiful and I wanted to share it. May everyone who visit my page here be blessed, your obstacles cleared, be healthy and have a long life.~Tsem Rinpoche (photograph- statues- Left Manjushri, centre Dorje Shugden bust and left Kache Marpo)
This lady in Tibet loves her wonderful gift. I am happy for her. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
This lady in Tibet loves her wonderful gift. I am happy for her. Tsem Rinpoche
Click on the blue picture to read about the inspirational Tsawa Pulthok Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Click on the blue picture to read about the inspirational Tsawa Pulthok Rinpoche
Tsem Rinpoche\'s grandmother on the right. Middle is a family friend. Left is Tsem Rinpoche\'s mother as a young girl.
3 weeks ago
Tsem Rinpoche's grandmother on the right. Middle is a family friend. Left is Tsem Rinpoche's mother as a young girl.
Great Panchen Rinpoche who is no other than Amitabah Buddha, you continuously purposely take rebirths in order to bring countless beings to liberation. 

-The sungbum of His Holiness the 10th Panchen Rinpoche the Great- https://bit.ly/2vmAwT0
3 weeks ago
Great Panchen Rinpoche who is no other than Amitabah Buddha, you continuously purposely take rebirths in order to bring countless beings to liberation. -The sungbum of His Holiness the 10th Panchen Rinpoche the Great- https://bit.ly/2vmAwT0
May I always be in the presence of His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche in this and future lives. 

-The sungbum of His Holiness the 10th Panchen Rinpoche the Great- https://bit.ly/2vmAwT0
3 weeks ago
May I always be in the presence of His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche in this and future lives. -The sungbum of His Holiness the 10th Panchen Rinpoche the Great- https://bit.ly/2vmAwT0
Your deeds, actions, skillful means and great compassion makes you stand different than ordinary beings. In you we take supreme faith. You are our infallible spiritual guide, teacher and leader. 

-The sungbum of His Holiness the 10th Panchen Rinpoche the Great- https://bit.ly/2vmAwT0
3 weeks ago
Your deeds, actions, skillful means and great compassion makes you stand different than ordinary beings. In you we take supreme faith. You are our infallible spiritual guide, teacher and leader. -The sungbum of His Holiness the 10th Panchen Rinpoche the Great- https://bit.ly/2vmAwT0
For countless lifetimes you have manifested in varied bodies to benefit the sufferings of sentient beings. You are a supreme teacher and refuge. 

The sungbum of His Holiness the 10th Panchen Rinpoche the Great- https://bit.ly/2vmAwT0
3 weeks ago
For countless lifetimes you have manifested in varied bodies to benefit the sufferings of sentient beings. You are a supreme teacher and refuge. The sungbum of His Holiness the 10th Panchen Rinpoche the Great- https://bit.ly/2vmAwT0
We have to discipline ourselves in order that our mind can allow the Buddha Dharma to take root. When it takes root, our lives will change for the better. What we perceive in the world around us is dependent on the attitude within us. Never give up improving on ourselves because that is the true road to peace and happiness. We are worth it. Others are worth seeing us in our best.~ Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
We have to discipline ourselves in order that our mind can allow the Buddha Dharma to take root. When it takes root, our lives will change for the better. What we perceive in the world around us is dependent on the attitude within us. Never give up improving on ourselves because that is the true road to peace and happiness. We are worth it. Others are worth seeing us in our best.~ Tsem Rinpoche
This eldery and innocent monk was brutally attacked, find out why. Shocking- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=163953
3 weeks ago
This eldery and innocent monk was brutally attacked, find out why. Shocking- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=163953
Fotomat and me. My first job in Los Angeles at 16- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=144024
3 weeks ago
Fotomat and me. My first job in Los Angeles at 16- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=144024
See how my Schnauzers enjoy the playhouse! So much fun!- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2dp8Fm87CQ
3 weeks ago
See how my Schnauzers enjoy the playhouse! So much fun!- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2dp8Fm87CQ
I am in love with only you my Adamantine Lady of Coral hue. I am in love of liberation, freedom and wisdom I seek in you. Even to whisper your name Vajra Yogini excites me to the core of my soul. I have been away for so long and I wonder when I can join my supreme mother in Akanishta. My love for you has no end and it only grows. My mind is focused on you daily and my heart only awaits for you to place sindura on my crown soon. Nothing I have seen or experienced in this deceitful world can remotely compare with you my dear wisdom lady. Please with supreme sound of damarus, cymbals, incense and voices of sunyata, embrace me to ascend amidst rainbow lights effortlessly to my home.  My true home where you will bring me. Bring me home soon. In my heart only lies you. In your heart I know I am existent also. We are one.~ Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
I am in love with only you my Adamantine Lady of Coral hue. I am in love of liberation, freedom and wisdom I seek in you. Even to whisper your name Vajra Yogini excites me to the core of my soul. I have been away for so long and I wonder when I can join my supreme mother in Akanishta. My love for you has no end and it only grows. My mind is focused on you daily and my heart only awaits for you to place sindura on my crown soon. Nothing I have seen or experienced in this deceitful world can remotely compare with you my dear wisdom lady. Please with supreme sound of damarus, cymbals, incense and voices of sunyata, embrace me to ascend amidst rainbow lights effortlessly to my home. My true home where you will bring me. Bring me home soon. In my heart only lies you. In your heart I know I am existent also. We are one.~ Tsem Rinpoche
Samsara has never been genuine. I will not be deceived by it again. Infallible Diamond Lady in red, I will only serve you.~Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Samsara has never been genuine. I will not be deceived by it again. Infallible Diamond Lady in red, I will only serve you.~Tsem Rinpoche
Mother Lady so red and brilliant, as you hold my hand tightly and we look towards the west, I know I am free finally.~Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Mother Lady so red and brilliant, as you hold my hand tightly and we look towards the west, I know I am free finally.~Tsem Rinpoche
Mother lady of noble origins, enchantress Vajra Yogini, you say I am you and you are me? I have to embrace this truth and I will be free? Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Mother lady of noble origins, enchantress Vajra Yogini, you say I am you and you are me? I have to embrace this truth and I will be free? Tsem Rinpoche
Through my tears I can see your orange darting eyes so tenderly look at me as we start to ascend.~Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Through my tears I can see your orange darting eyes so tenderly look at me as we start to ascend.~Tsem Rinpoche
Mother, Adamantine mother with coral hue aglow with light that I can hardly look upon you as you are blazing...can I give my last words to some close ones before we ascend? Can I bring them with us?~ Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Mother, Adamantine mother with coral hue aglow with light that I can hardly look upon you as you are blazing...can I give my last words to some close ones before we ascend? Can I bring them with us?~ Tsem Rinpoche
You wipe my tears, embracing me with your coral hued arms and with a motherly tender smile I feel we are lifting off the ground. To go home. I feel light after you embraced me and my body is becoming rainbow-like.~Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
You wipe my tears, embracing me with your coral hued arms and with a motherly tender smile I feel we are lifting off the ground. To go home. I feel light after you embraced me and my body is becoming rainbow-like.~Tsem Rinpoche
I hear the gentle tinkling of anklets as if someone is walking towards me although I am in my room alone..I opened my eyes first towards the floor in the dimly lit room and I see red coral ankles surrounded by rainbows heading my direction...my heart jumps for joy and gasping....Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
I hear the gentle tinkling of anklets as if someone is walking towards me although I am in my room alone..I opened my eyes first towards the floor in the dimly lit room and I see red coral ankles surrounded by rainbows heading my direction...my heart jumps for joy and gasping....Tsem Rinpoche
The Sacred Vajrayogini of Ratsag Monastery is a very interesting read- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/the-sacred-vajrayogini-of-ratsag-monastery.html
3 weeks ago
Click on "View All Photos" above to view more images

Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • It is Tsunmo Nunnery in Tibet. This nunnery all practise Dorje Shugden.
    6 days ago
    It is Tsunmo Nunnery in Tibet. This nunnery all practise Dorje Shugden.
  • Light offerings to the outdoor Buddha Tara shrine in Kechara Forest Retreat, Malaysia at night. Beautiful.
    1 week ago
    Light offerings to the outdoor Buddha Tara shrine in Kechara Forest Retreat, Malaysia at night. Beautiful.
  • Interesting new interview of Boy George where he mentions about his practicing Buddhism- See the clip I snagged for you above. It’s beautiful to see him chanting. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 weeks ago
    Interesting new interview of Boy George where he mentions about his practicing Buddhism- See the clip I snagged for you above. It’s beautiful to see him chanting. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Dharma boy is always mooching for a free snack! As shown in the video, Dharma gave up real fast and is waiting anxiously for a free snack!
    3 weeks ago
    Dharma boy is always mooching for a free snack! As shown in the video, Dharma gave up real fast and is waiting anxiously for a free snack!
  • Oser girl is very determined to get the snacks out! Look at how her cute little hands hold onto the ball.
    3 weeks ago
    Oser girl is very determined to get the snacks out! Look at how her cute little hands hold onto the ball.
  • Yudroma takes trance at Gyuto
    3 weeks ago
    Yudroma takes trance at Gyuto
    In Dharamsala there is a famous oracle to the Goddess Yudroma. She is the protector of Gyuto Tantric Monastic College. Many monks consult her for guidance. Here she is attending a puja session at Gyuto Tantric Monastic College where she is pleased with the people helping the monastery and takes trance spontaneously to express this. Tsem Rinpoche
  • The Simpsons: Lisa becomes a Buddhist
    4 weeks ago
    The Simpsons: Lisa becomes a Buddhist
  • Considering getting a tattoo of a Buddha image? Watch this video.
    1 month ago
    Considering getting a tattoo of a Buddha image? Watch this video.
  • Tsem Rinpoche’s personal shrine. May everyone who view the shrine be blessed and have peace.
    1 month ago
    Tsem Rinpoche’s personal shrine. May everyone who view the shrine be blessed and have peace.
  • Very powerful and heartwarming short video about love. A must watch and a must share. Tsem Rinpoche
    1 month ago
    Very powerful and heartwarming short video about love. A must watch and a must share. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Megnath is such a devotee of Bhagawan Dorje Shugden where he brought this protector to many people. Must watch this short video of him with the school kids. Lovely. Tsem Rinpoche
    1 month ago
    Megnath is such a devotee of Bhagawan Dorje Shugden where he brought this protector to many people. Must watch this short video of him with the school kids. Lovely. Tsem Rinpoche
  • My super adorable Oser girl Schnauzer reaching for a carrot on a chair. Her face looks like a stuffed animal toy. Tsem Rinpoche
    1 month ago
    My super adorable Oser girl Schnauzer reaching for a carrot on a chair. Her face looks like a stuffed animal toy. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This is the shrine next to my working table where I sit daily. Tsem Rinpoche
    1 month ago
    This is the shrine next to my working table where I sit daily. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Who is that?? Wow Wow
    1 month ago
    Who is that?? Wow Wow
    Tsem Rinpoche's pet Schnauzers Oser & Dharma trying to get attention of the life-like statue of Rinpoche's guru Kyabje Zong Rinpoche which was offered by the students
  • Nothing Stops Me from Getting the Snack!
    1 month ago
    Nothing Stops Me from Getting the Snack!
    Tsem Rinpoche's pet Schnauzer Oser got the snack from the ball!
  • I must get the snack!
    1 month ago
    I must get the snack!
    Tsem Rinpoche's pet Schnauzer Oser trying hard to get her snack out of the ball!
  • I love this green snack munch munch munch
    1 month ago
    I love this green snack munch munch munch
    Tsem Rinpoche's pet Schnauzer Oser enjoying her green snack!
  • ‘Ahm-ahm’ video part 3: Starring the two silly doggie clowns doing jumps for carrot tidbits. Teehee
    2 months ago
    ‘Ahm-ahm’ video part 3: Starring the two silly doggie clowns doing jumps for carrot tidbits. Teehee
  • ‘Ahm-ahm’ video part 2: Starring the mega monsters Oser and Dharma. Teehee
    2 months ago
    ‘Ahm-ahm’ video part 2: Starring the mega monsters Oser and Dharma. Teehee
  • ‘Ahm-ahm’ video part 1: Guess what are the two monsters looking for??? Teehee…cute
    2 months ago
    ‘Ahm-ahm’ video part 1: Guess what are the two monsters looking for??? Teehee…cute
  • A Dorje Shugden puja was performed by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s students in Wisdom Hall at Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR). KFR’s land is extremely blessed and energised, all beings who enter the land will be blessed.
    2 months ago
    A Dorje Shugden puja was performed by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s students in Wisdom Hall at Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR). KFR’s land is extremely blessed and energised, all beings who enter the land will be blessed.
  • A Dorje Shugden puja was performed by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s students in Wisdom Hall at Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR). KFR’s land is extremely blessed and energised, all beings who enter the land will be blessed.
    2 months ago
    A Dorje Shugden puja was performed by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s students in Wisdom Hall at Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR). KFR’s land is extremely blessed and energised, all beings who enter the land will be blessed.
  • A Dorje Shugden puja was performed by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s students in Wisdom Hall at Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR). KFR’s land is extremely blessed and energised, all beings who enter the land will be blessed.
    2 months ago
    A Dorje Shugden puja was performed by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s students in Wisdom Hall at Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR). KFR’s land is extremely blessed and energised, all beings who enter the land will be blessed.
  • A Dorje Shugden puja was performed by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s students in Wisdom Hall at Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR). KFR’s land is extremely blessed and energised, all beings who enter the land will be blessed.
    2 months ago
    A Dorje Shugden puja was performed by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s students in Wisdom Hall at Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR). KFR’s land is extremely blessed and energised, all beings who enter the land will be blessed.
  • Bigfoot Sign Arrives in Betong
    2 months ago
    Bigfoot Sign Arrives in Betong
    The town's filled with excitement as Kechara Bigfoot gets a new sign.
  • Visiting senior citizen homes who happily receive Dorje Shugden’s blessings.
    2 months ago
    Visiting senior citizen homes who happily receive Dorje Shugden’s blessings.
  • Visiting a senior citizens home and sharing Dorje Shugden with them.
    2 months ago
    Visiting a senior citizens home and sharing Dorje Shugden with them.
  • Megnath outside the Chabahil Dorje Shugden Chapel in Kathmandu passing out Dorje Shugden brochures and booklets to the local people.
    2 months ago
    Megnath outside the Chabahil Dorje Shugden Chapel in Kathmandu passing out Dorje Shugden brochures and booklets to the local people.
  • Megnath walking around the Bodha stupa in Kathmandu and his uncle holding image of Dorje Shugden as he was just gifted with it.
    2 months ago
    Megnath walking around the Bodha stupa in Kathmandu and his uncle holding image of Dorje Shugden as he was just gifted with it.
  • Oser and Dharma vying for a snack! Cute
    2 months ago
    Oser and Dharma vying for a snack! Cute
  • This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    10 months ago
    This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    This video is thought-provoking and very interesting. Watch! Thanks so much to our friends at LIVEKINDLY.
  • Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
    10 months ago
    Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
  • BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
    10 months ago
    BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
    10 months ago
    Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
  • Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
    10 months ago
    Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
  • Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
    10 months ago
    Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    10 months ago
    This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    she received “one last visit from an old friend” 💔💔
  • Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
    10 months ago
    Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
  • Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
    10 months ago
    Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
  • Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant  Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
    10 months ago
    Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
  • Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
    10 months ago
    Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
  • Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
    10 months ago
    Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
  • What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    10 months ago
    What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    Sick animals are more profitable... farms calculate how close to death they can keep animals without killing them. That's the business model. How quickly they can be made to grow, how tightly they can be packed, how much or how little can they eat, how sick they can get without dying... We live in a world in which it's conventional to treat an animal like a block of wood. ~ Jonathan Safran Foer
  • This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
    10 months ago
    This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
  • SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    11 months ago
    SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    This happens daily in slaughterhouse so you can get your pork and Bak ku teh. Stop eating meat.

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.

View All Questions

CHAT PICTURES

Our dedicated team delivered preloved toys, books, and other items to urban poor families. We truly believe that all children, regardless of financial status, race, religion or nationality, are deserving of those things which can help give them a happier & more fulfilling life. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
6 hours ago
Our dedicated team delivered preloved toys, books, and other items to urban poor families. We truly believe that all children, regardless of financial status, race, religion or nationality, are deserving of those things which can help give them a happier & more fulfilling life. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
La Ta Li La Tam bong!!! Photos taken by Mr Lim Boon Seang By Asyley Chia KSDS
10 hours ago
La Ta Li La Tam bong!!! Photos taken by Mr Lim Boon Seang By Asyley Chia KSDS
La Ta Li La Tam bong!!! Photos taken by Mr Lim Boon Seang By Asyley Chia KSDS
10 hours ago
La Ta Li La Tam bong!!! Photos taken by Mr Lim Boon Seang By Asyley Chia KSDS
Teacher Kien leading the students to do prostration before class start. By Asyley Chia KSDS
10 hours ago
Teacher Kien leading the students to do prostration before class start. By Asyley Chia KSDS
Three little boys from KSDS.ada gaya haha.by Asyley Chia KSDS
11 hours ago
Three little boys from KSDS.ada gaya haha.by Asyley Chia KSDS
What can we do with the A4 paper? 2 to 6 year old group. By Asyley Chia KSDS
11 hours ago
What can we do with the A4 paper? 2 to 6 year old group. By Asyley Chia KSDS
Children 2 to 6 year old group gather together and get ready to do prostration to Lama Tsongkhapa. By Asyley Chia KSDS
11 hours ago
Children 2 to 6 year old group gather together and get ready to do prostration to Lama Tsongkhapa. By Asyley Chia KSDS
Big smile, small smile, you smile , I smile natural beauty SMILE. By Asyley Chia KSDS
11 hours ago
Big smile, small smile, you smile , I smile natural beauty SMILE. By Asyley Chia KSDS
Full lotus sit..Well done children.by Asyley Chia KSDS
11 hours ago
Full lotus sit..Well done children.by Asyley Chia KSDS
One of the activities to cultivate the passionate attitude. Alice Tay, KSDS
12 hours ago
One of the activities to cultivate the passionate attitude. Alice Tay, KSDS
Taking refuge to guru and the Three Jewels before the class start. Alice Tay, KSDS
12 hours ago
Taking refuge to guru and the Three Jewels before the class start. Alice Tay, KSDS
Breathing meditation is taught in the class to help the students to focus and calm their mind. Alice Tay, KSDS
12 hours ago
Breathing meditation is taught in the class to help the students to focus and calm their mind. Alice Tay, KSDS
The kids are requested to pay attention to the video so that they can answer the questions after that. Alice Tay, KSDS
12 hours ago
The kids are requested to pay attention to the video so that they can answer the questions after that. Alice Tay, KSDS
The winners of the games received the gift happily from Teacher Asyley. Alice Tay, KSDS
12 hours ago
The winners of the games received the gift happily from Teacher Asyley. Alice Tay, KSDS
Today Melaka team distributed surplus food to the needy 35 families home in Kampung Bukit Rambai and thank you to all volunteers who helped today! 今天馬六甲克切拉香積廚派送35家貧窮家戶比如蔬菜、水果、面包等等,感謝團隊的付出。我們希望更多的人可以行善,做好事。我們不分宗教不分宗族. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
yesterday
Today Melaka team distributed surplus food to the needy 35 families home in Kampung Bukit Rambai and thank you to all volunteers who helped today! 今天馬六甲克切拉香積廚派送35家貧窮家戶比如蔬菜、水果、面包等等,感謝團隊的付出。我們希望更多的人可以行善,做好事。我們不分宗教不分宗族. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thank you to staffs from Motorola Solutions for helping to deliver basic groceries to some needy families. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 days ago
Thank you to staffs from Motorola Solutions for helping to deliver basic groceries to some needy families. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Precious opportunity in Kechara Forest Retreat! "As Kechara Forest Retreat is a sacred land, filled with holy and blessed statues and many holy items, His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche encouraged Kecharians living and working in Kechara Forest Retreat to embark on a spiritual pilgrimage of its holy sites." ~Tsem Rinpoche
3 days ago
Precious opportunity in Kechara Forest Retreat! "As Kechara Forest Retreat is a sacred land, filled with holy and blessed statues and many holy items, His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche encouraged Kecharians living and working in Kechara Forest Retreat to embark on a spiritual pilgrimage of its holy sites." ~Tsem Rinpoche
We have many outdoor sacred images of various Buddhas. The ones that were visited were Tsongkapa, Nageshvaraja, Loma Gyoma, Tara, Nagarakshasa and then back to Tsongkapa. At each location circumambulations and lamp offerings were done. We walked the vast land while chanting Migtseyma mantras. The very elderly followed to each location in cars. Kechara Forest retreat is 70 acres of land located in rural Bentong, one hour from the capital city of Kuala Lumpur. ~Tsem Rinpoche For more information: www.tsemrinpoche.com
3 days ago
We have many outdoor sacred images of various Buddhas. The ones that were visited were Tsongkapa, Nageshvaraja, Loma Gyoma, Tara, Nagarakshasa and then back to Tsongkapa. At each location circumambulations and lamp offerings were done. We walked the vast land while chanting Migtseyma mantras. The very elderly followed to each location in cars. Kechara Forest retreat is 70 acres of land located in rural Bentong, one hour from the capital city of Kuala Lumpur. ~Tsem Rinpoche For more information: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com
They started on August 18, 2018 at 6:00AM till 9:00AM. With strong aspirations, Kecharians generate merits by reciting mantras and circumambulate the images of the enlightened beings, especially to clear obstacles related to our good health and that of others. We have many outdoor sacred images of various Buddhas... ~Tsem Rinpoche
3 days ago
They started on August 18, 2018 at 6:00AM till 9:00AM. With strong aspirations, Kecharians generate merits by reciting mantras and circumambulate the images of the enlightened beings, especially to clear obstacles related to our good health and that of others. We have many outdoor sacred images of various Buddhas... ~Tsem Rinpoche
Pilgrimage is an intrinsic part of Buddhist life and creates strong Dharma imprints in our mind streams and opens up positive karma and merits that we need to live a successful life. As Kechara Forest Retreat is a sacred land, filled with holy and blessed statues and many holy items, His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche encouraged Kecharians living and working in Kechara Forest Retreat to embark on a spiritual pilgrimage of its holy sites...~ Tsem Rinpoche
3 days ago
Pilgrimage is an intrinsic part of Buddhist life and creates strong Dharma imprints in our mind streams and opens up positive karma and merits that we need to live a successful life. As Kechara Forest Retreat is a sacred land, filled with holy and blessed statues and many holy items, His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche encouraged Kecharians living and working in Kechara Forest Retreat to embark on a spiritual pilgrimage of its holy sites...~ Tsem Rinpoche
Priceless to see the happy faces of these 2 brothers. They are in the youngest dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
3 days ago
Priceless to see the happy faces of these 2 brothers. They are in the youngest dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
So glad that we have parents & students to participate in the animal liberation every month in Kechara House. Lin Mun KSDS
3 days ago
So glad that we have parents & students to participate in the animal liberation every month in Kechara House. Lin Mun KSDS
Children were very attentive when doing prayer before the start of Sunday dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
3 days ago
Children were very attentive when doing prayer before the start of Sunday dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
He is young but already very good in using mala when reciting mantra. Rejoice:)  Lin Mun KSDS
3 days ago
He is young but already very good in using mala when reciting mantra. Rejoice:) Lin Mun KSDS
Children were so excited with the art & craft exercise. Lin Mun KSDS
3 days ago
Children were so excited with the art & craft exercise. Lin Mun KSDS
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Dorje Shugden
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