John Blofeld and His Spiritual Journey

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John Blofeld (1913 – 1987)

Dear friends around the world,

I had a friend that lived down the street from where I lived in Howell, New Jersey, USA, and she had a pretty big library of spiritual books, especially books on Buddhism. Back in the 70’s many of the local libraries did not carry many books on Buddhism except what you could find in the encyclopaedias. So my friend’s library was a veritable treasure trove for me. She always welcomed me to borrow her books. I would borrow books from her on Buddhism, read extensively, and ask her questions or ask other students at the nearby temple questions that arose from my reading. I had hundreds of hours of discussion with my friend on what I had read, as she had read all the books too. I had a great thirst to learn more about Buddhism. I was very attracted to Buddhism and images of the Buddhas. Some of my favourite books were by John Blofeld. “Mantras: Sacred Words of Power” published in 1977 by John Blofeld was one of my favourites among the few others I could get my hands on. His style of writing is very easy, fluid and very good for a layperson, and without a lot of technical jargon. I enjoyed the books very much. In this particular book he listed the mantras of all 21 Taras and every night I would take it upon myself to memorise all those mantras. My favourite was the mantra of the Tara that increases memory, wisdom and learning. I still appreciate his books very much.

This is one of my favourite books, and one of the few that I read when I was younger. Click to enlarge.

This is one of my favourite books, and one of the few that I read when I was younger. Click to enlarge.

I never had the chance to read up more on the life of John Blofeld himself, till I accidently came across his life story recently. It seems he had such a strong connection to China, Chinese culture and Chinese Mahayana Buddhism. He spent the majority of his life, from his youth up until his death in the Far East, and he lived life like that of a cultured and older Chinese gentleman from imperial times, although he was an Englishman. Mr. Blofeld appreciated Chinese culture, philosophy, religion and food very much. He believed he was a Buddhist practitioner from China in his previous life. Well, what we did in our previous lives does have a powerful impact in this life for sure. His story is very interesting, as are his books. I will order his books to be available in Kechara so more can be attuned to his writings, wisdom and learning. When I read John Blofeld’s books I felt his sincerity and genuine faith in the teachings of the Buddha. I would have loved to have met him and presented him a gift.

Please read this sharing on Mr. John Blofeld who was one of the early Westerners whose genuine interest in Buddhism and the philosophies of the east manifested in his books. His books in turn opened the doorway for the west to be introduced to the vast wisdom of the east, especially from China and Tibet. China’s form of Buddhism is indeed profound and produced countless great masters and practitioners in the last thousand years. China’s culture, customs, way of life, food, writing, dance, music, architecture, inventions and so on have been immense and the impact they have had on the world is beyond measure. China is indeed a great and ancient civilisation. I am an admirer of China since young. Many great practitioners and writers as well as western Buddhist scholars were inspired by John Blofeld’s writings and life. I am not a westerner, but my childhood was spent in America and his writings profoundly touched me. I am still reading his books and highly recommend them to all my friends.

Tsem Rinpoche

 


 

John Eaton Calthorpe Blofeld (John Blofeld) (1913 – 1987) was a renowned writer of Chinese culture, Taoism, Zen Buddhism, and Mahayana Buddhist tradition. His literary endeavours had helped in introducing Buddhism to the Western world and inspired many to follow his path on the journey of spiritual discoveries.

During his lifetime, John Blofeld had travelled widely around China and other countries, visited sacred mountains and monasteries, and met with hermits, sages and great Buddhist masters of various traditions. As his popularity grew, he used his fame to inspire younger writers to follow his path and helped to launch their career by writing forewords or providing constructive feedback to their maiden literary effort. Those who had the privilege to be acquainted with this extraordinary man, remembered his generosity, warmth, and sincerity. Even today, his writing and unique experiences continue to inspire others to the path of spirituality and give insight to the world of China when the refined Chinese civilisation was omnipresent.

 

Formative Years

London in the 1910s where John Blofeld lived during his childhood.

John Blofeld or also known by his Chinese name, P’u Lutao, was born on 2 April 1913 to a middle-class family in London, England. When he was a child, John Blofeld went out on a shopping trip with his beloved aunt and found a small Chinese statue of Buddha Shakyamuni. Although at the time he did not know anything about Buddha Shakyamuni and Buddhism, he became enamoured by the image and convinced his aunt to buy the statue for him. He regarded the statue as his cherished possession and gained a sense of peace just by gazing at the Buddha image. Later, John Blofeld read about Buddha Shakyamuni and developed a tremendous amount of faith in him. He started to offer flowers and incense to the Buddha statue.

The University of Cambridge in the 1930s. John Blofeld had studied at the University of Cambridge for two years before he went to China.

After he had completed his secondary education, John Blofeld studied natural science at the University of Cambridge. However, the desire to travel east was very strong in him, and he decided to terminate his study to go to China against the advice of his family. In 1932, the 19-year-old John Blofeld landed in Hong Kong. He studied Chinese language while waiting for the opportunity to enter China. To sustain himself, John Blofeld taught English language at Munsang College in Kowloon City. Finally, his dream came true in 1934. One of his contacts managed to help him in securing a teaching position at Hebei Academy in Tianjin with the schedule that would allow him to spend three days a week in Beijing. The 21-year-old John Blofeld finally entered the land of his dream and became the resident of the great capital of imperial China.

John Blofeld taught English at Munsang College in Kowloon City to sustain himself while he waited for an opportunity to go to China.

Beijing in the 1930s. John Blofeld wrote about his early experiences in Beijing in his book, City of Lingering Splendour.

In July 1937, Japan increased its armed forces in China from 7,000 to 15,000, and they surrounded Beijing and Tianjin. On 8 July 1937, the Japanese army attacked the Marco Polo Bridge, which was located near Wanping town, about 16.4 km (10.2 mi) from Beijing. At the time, Colonel Ji Xingwen from the Chinese armed forces was successful in defeating the Japanese and retaining control of the important bridge. Regardless of this victory, the incident marked the start of the second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945). Fortunately for John Blofeld, during the time of the incident, he was in England to settle some family matters.

Marco Polo Bridge Incident on 8 July 1937.

Marco Polo Bridge Incident on 8 July 1937.

The heated situation did not deter John Blofeld to return to China. He went to Hong Kong in the fall of 1937 and continued to explore various parts of China to enrich his knowledge of Chinese spiritual culture. He visited the sacred mountains and monasteries. He met with and had various engaging discussions with Zen masters, Tibetan Buddhist lamas, and Taoist sages. His interest in Taoism, Zen, and Mahayana Buddhism led him to expand his journey to include Tibet, India, Mongolia, Burma and other countries in South East Asia. John Blofeld briefly went to Hong Kong to teach at Min Sheng Academy before returning to England in 1939 to resume his study at the University of London.

The University of London where John Blofeld briefly studied before World War II.

Unfortunately, John Blofeld had to terminate his study once again when World War II broke out. He joined the army as a captain and voluntarily enlisted himself in the counterintelligence department. His Chinese language skills soon came in handy, and he was transferred from the War Office to serve in a diplomatic capacity as a cultural attaché at the British Consulate in Chongqing between 1942 and 1945.

After the conclusion of World War II, John Blofeld resumed his study at the University of Cambridge and earned a degree in literature. In 1946, he obtained a grant from the Chinese government to research about Buddhism in the Tang Dynasty, and went to Hebei, China. In addition to fulfilling his grant terms, he taught English at Shi Fan University to supplement his income. During this period, he returned briefly to England to attend to family matters related to the passing of his father.

One year later, John Blofeld married a lady of half Manchu and half Chinese descent, Chang Mei-Fang. According to John Blofeld, his wife was, “…a woman of excellent character, intelligent, and capable, but she was extremely argumentative!” In 1949, John Blofeld sensed that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) under Mao Zedong would defeat the Nationalist Party or also known as Kuo Min Tang (KMT) under Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek, and Chinese spiritual culture that he loved would not be the same anymore. Therefore, John Blofeld and his pregnant wife decided to migrate to Hong Kong. His son, Ming Deh (“Bright Virtue”), was born later that year, and a daughter, Shueh Chan (“Snow Beauty”), soon followed.

Years later, Daniel Reid, a writer with a similar interest in Chinese civilisation, asked John Blofeld as to why he chose to move to Hong Kong instead of Taiwan. He said, “Because, at the time, we were all convinced that soon Taiwan would be swallowed by the same red tide that engulfed China.”

ECAFE former office in Bangkok, Thailand where John Blofeld worked from 1961 to 1974.

To support his growing family, John Blofeld accepted a teaching position in a high-school in Hong Kong between 1949 and 1951. In 1951, John Blofeld and his family moved to Bangkok, Thailand after he had accepted a teaching position at Chulalongkorn University. In 1961, John Blofeld was offered a Chief of Editorial Services position at the United Nations Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East (ECAFE) in Bangkok, Thailand. Now the commission is known as the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). He retired from the United Nations in 1974. After his retirement, John Blofeld taught English at Kasetsart and Chulalongkorn Universities for another five years before retiring to concentrate on his research and writing.

Chulalongkorn University where John Blofeld taught English for several years.

 

John Blofeld: The Sinopath

As he grew older, John Blofeld became increasingly Chinese in appearance and manner.

John Blofeld’s fascination with China started when he encountered a Chinese-style Buddha Shakyamuni during a shopping trip with his favourite aunt. He believed that his obsession with China and Buddhism was a sign that in his previous life, he had been a Buddhist practitioner in China. John Blofeld was a sinopath or someone whose interest in China goes beyond scholarship or academic interest. As he grew older, John Blofeld had adopted Chinese courteous mannerism. He wore Chinese-style clothing almost on a daily basis. Other than his physical Caucasian features, there was nothing that indicated that he was born and raised in England.

Daniel Reid, who became acquainted with John Blofeld one year before his death, recalled that “When I met John, he even looked Chinese, with his Fu Manchu moustache and goatee, his frog-buttoned Chinese chemise and baggy silk trousers, his straw sandals and old-fashioned Chinese mannerism… in me he found a friend who felt as enamoured and nostalgic about the vanished splendours of old China as he did.”

During his stay in Bangkok, John Blofeld liked to take Daniel Reid to his favourite Chinese restaurants where they would enjoy delicious feasts in the company of charming ladies, and talked in Mandarin Chinese dialect:

“He always chose one of his favourite Chinese restaurants, where he knew the chefs and could go into the kitchen to tell them exactly how he wanted the food prepared. At the table, he and I kept up a running dialogue in Mandarin Chinese to which only we and the waiters were privy. His adopted Thai daughter Bom usually joined us for these culinary extravaganzas, as did Susan, his daughter by his Chinese wife, who was visiting from England. Somehow John always managed to arrange things so that almost all of the guests who joined us at these lavish Chinese banquets were both Asian and female, which allowed us to share another one of our favourite Chinese traditions, enjoying good food and wine in the company of charming women.”

Daniel Reid – John Blofeld & The Wheel of Life

 

John Blofeld and Spirituality

John Blofeld was a devout Buddhist during his lifetime. One of his favourite deities was the Bodhisattva of Compassion, Kuan Yin.

John Blofeld was a devout Buddhist during his lifetime. One of his favourite deities was the Bodhisattva of Compassion, Kuan Yin.

John Blofeld had been drawn to Buddhism since he was a child. The knowledge about the life of Buddha Shakyamuni that he read from his childhood book sparked his interest in spirituality. Although he had lived his life as a married man who enjoyed worldly activities such as eating delicious food and drinking good wine, he was always of the view that life is more than just earning a living and procreating.

Throughout history and pre-history there have always been human beings who have felt that getting our daily bread and butter, producing our children, and dying do not represent the whole of life. If there is not more in life than that, then we might just as well be dead because life viewed from that perspective involves so many difficulties, troubles, boring moments and tragic moments, that it simply isn’t worth living.

John Blofeld – A Talk by John Blofeld 13 July 1978

During his travels within China and other countries in Asia, John Blofeld had shown admiration for sacred places and those who lived spiritual lives. His visit to Mongolia brought him into contacts with local herdsmen who stayed true to their Buddhist belief. He immersed himself in the beauty of Mount Wutai, one the sacred places of Buddha of Wisdom, Manjushri. He recalled, “My holiday on Mount Wu T’ai with its fantastic peaks and flower-carpeted plateau where stood a whole galaxy of temples and monasteries inhabited by colourful throngs of recluses belonging to an age gone by.” He poetically remembered his visit to Tashiding Monastery, a Buddhist monastery of a Tibetan Buddhist lineage, “My pilgrimage to the conical mountain of Tashiding, where the roar of the waters and reverberations of the lama’s drums merged in the mantra of never-ending sound.” Although at the beginning of his travels, he was sceptical about Shamanistic elements of the local religions, he was eventually able to open his mind and appreciate these local beliefs. These experiences have made him a genuinely spiritual man. According to Bill Porter (Red Pine), who was mentored by John Blofeld during his younger days, “[John Blofeld] was a very sincere Buddhist who practised every night for several hours and loved what he did. I don’t think he ever stopped learning.”

The Sacred mount Wutai in China.

The sacred Mount Wutai in China.

Tashiding Monastery in Sikkim, India.

Tashiding Monastery in Sikkim, India.

Venerable Hsu Yun, one of the greatest Zen masters of all time.

During his visit to Nan Hua Monastery in North Guangdong, China, John Blofeld had a fateful meeting with the abbot of the monastery and the great Zen master, Venerable Hsu Yun (1840 – 1959). When John Blofeld arrived, Venerable Hsu Yun had just returned to the monastery after several months travel to distant provinces. John Blofeld recalled his first encounter with this great master:

I beheld a middle-sized man with a short, wispy beard and remarkable penetrating eyes. He was not precisely youthful-looking as I had been led to expect, but had one of those ageless faces not uncommon in China. Nobody could have guessed that he was already a centenarian. Finding myself in his presence, I became virtually tongue-tied and had to rack my brains for something to say, although there was so much I could profitably have asked him.

John Blofeld – The Wheel of Life

John Blofeld became Venerable Hsu Yun’s student, and learned Zen meditation from his other students at Nan Hua Monastery.

John Blofeld studied meditation at Nan Hua Monastery in Guangdong, China.

John Blofeld’s extensive travels in search of spirituality also led him to stay in many monasteries and meet with Buddhist masters of various traditions. He recorded that he had received his first initiation from a lama named Dorje Joonjay. His visit to India led him to meet several masters from the Vajrayana tradition. John Blofeld met His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama whom he described as a warm and sweet person. He studied under the guidance of various lamas, he had also received teachings from a master named Tangku Rinpoche in Sikkim.

John Blofeld met and studied with many Tibetan lamas

John Blofeld met and studied with many Tibetan lamas

Although when he came to Thailand in the early 1950s John Blofeld was not a wealthy man, he helped to fundraise for the building of a Chinese Kuan Yin Temple, Wat Pho Yen, without the knowledge of his family. The temple had a connection with Tibetan Buddhism, which was a rarity in Thailand where Theravadan Buddhism prevailed. Wat Pho Yen was situated in Kanchanaburi Province, approximately two-hour drive from Bangkok. John Blofeld maintained his Mahayana Buddhist faith that he learned from his Chinese and Tibetan teachers although he spent the last 35 years of his life among the Theravadan Buddhists.

During his first year in Thailand, John Blofeld helped to fundraise for the building of Wat Pho Yen Temple in Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand.

John Blofeld’s passion in promoting Chinese Buddhism continued even after he moved to Thailand. On 8 November 1977, he gave a lecture to the members of the Siam Society on Taoism, The Wisdom of Inactivity. The Siam Society was an organisation that aimed “…to encourage the arts and sciences in Thailand and neighbouring countries.” One year later, in December 1978, John Blofeld joined the Siam Society and led foreign visitors on tours to visit Chinese temples in Bangkok and other provinces in Thailand on behalf of the Society from time to time.

The Siam Society office in Bangkok, Thailand.

 

John Blofeld: The Writer

The Zen Teaching of Huang Po: On the Transmission of Mind, which was translated by John Blofeld is a classic among the students of Zen Buddhism. Click to enlarge.

John Blofeld had begun to fulfil his writing aspiration as early as 1947. His early work reflected his passion for Zen Buddhism. His maiden literary effort was the translation of a 9th century Zen master’s, Huang Po Xiyun (d. 850 AD), teachings. The book was titled The Huang Po Doctrine of Universal Mind. This maiden effort was soon followed by the translation of another great Zen master’s teachings, Hui Hai (720 -814), who was credited with the establishment of the early Chan monastic rules, titled The Path to Sudden Attainment: A Treatise of the Ch’an (Zen) School of Chinese Buddhism by Hui Hai of the T’ang Dynasty. After he migrated to Hong Kong in 1949, his literary passion was interrupted for almost ten years, as he had to concentrate on the effort of sustaining his growing family. After the situation had stabilised, he resumed his writing work. His third translation, the Zen Teaching of Huang Po: On the Transmission of Mind, was published in 1959. The book had since become a classic among the students of Zen Buddhism.

In the early 1960s, John Blofeld started to experiment with other subjects such as his travels and pilgrimages, his quest for spiritual fulfilment, his interest in Chinese culture, and his meetings with Taoist hermits, monks and Buddhist masters of various traditions. His fourth book which provided a vivid description of his early years in China, City of Lingering Splendour, was published in 1961.

After his wife and children had moved back to England, John Blofeld devoted all his energy to his writing, Buddhist practice, and Chinese cultural studies. During his lifetime, he produced over 20 books. John Blofeld’s literary work gained popularity because he wrote them in a clear, elegant, logical, and intimate manner. Through his writing, John Blofeld had managed to introduce Buddhism and ancient Chinese culture to Western readers and inspired other notable writers such as Red Pine and Daniel Reid to follow his footsteps. Today, many of his books have become classics among the Western readers.

 
John Blofeld’s selected work:

Click the image to enlarge.

Click the image to enlarge.

City of Lingering Splendour: A Frank Account of Old Peking’s Exotic Pleasures

The book contains vivid descriptions of John Blofeld’s early years China in the 1930s. The readers are brought back to the era where the ancient Chinese traditions were still widely practised and to the world of magnificent temples, palaces, bathhouses, bazaars, and beautiful courtesans who were trained in the arts of pleasing men.

Click the image to enlarge.

Click the image to enlarge.

Bodhisattva of Compassion: The Mystical Tradition of Kuan Yin

The book contains the explanations about the Chinese Bodhisattva of Compassion, Kuan Yin and the author’s meetings with her devotees. The book also includes the translation of the text and poems dedicated to this deity.

Click the image to enlarge.

The Tantric Mysticism of Tibet: A Practical Guide to the Theory, Purpose, and Techniques of Tantric Buddhism

The book contains an introduction to Mahayana Buddhism and explanations about the objectives, theory, and techniques of Tantric meditation.

Click the image to enlarge.

Click the image to enlarge.

I Ching: The Book of Change

The book contains the translation of the Book of Change (I Ching) and explanations about the divinatory aspects of I Ching. In addition to the text and commentaries of the 64 I Ching hexagrams, the book contains the background and basis for this divination method.

Click the image to enlarge.

Click the image to enlarge.

The Secret and Sublime: Taoist Mystery and Magic

The book contains the history of Taoist beliefs and the commentary on how to gain spiritual realisation through the elimination of ego.

Click the image to enlarge.

Click the image to enlarge.

The Wheel of Life: The Autobiography of a Western Buddhist

The book contains John Blofeld’s spiritual autobiography and his quest to search for wisdom and genuine spiritual path. The readers would be able to gain insight to the author’s journey and pilgrimages through Tibet, China, Burma, India, and Mongolia. The book also contains John Blofeld’s encounters with great masters, sages, and yogis.

Click the image to enlarge.

My Journey in Mystic China: Old Pu’s Travel Diary

The book contains John Blofeld’s accounts as a Westerner who had lived in pre-communist China and fell in love with the refined Chinese civilisation. The author was remarkably frank and honest in describing his visits to opium dens and entertainment houses. He also described his visits to Taoist hermitages, sacred mountains, and Buddhist monasteries. The book was originally written in Chinese language and later translated into English by Daniel Reid.

 

John Blofeld: The Mentor to Young Writers

John Blofeld helped young writers by giving constructive feedback on their work and writing forewords for their books. Click to enlarge.

“If we are loving and helpful to others, if we truly desire to behold the face of truth, then whatever god may be out there or in here will surely forgive our ignorance and account us, good men.”

John Blofeld

During his lifetime, John Blofeld had helped young writers to establish their career by giving feedback to improve their work or to write forewords for their books. He was very generous in his support. Red Pine, one of the fortunate young writers who received this precious assistance remembered that when he was working on his maiden project, the translation of Cold Mountain’s poems, he was turned down by major publishers. In his frustration, Red Pine sent his work to John Blofeld and requested his feedback. John Blofeld willingly became his mentor and gave his constructive feedback for two years:

“[John Blofeld] asked me to start sending him the poems, … and he went over them with me and encouraged me to translate all 350 poems. That was my trial by fire. I never intended to be a translator — it just sort of happened. … I’d send the poems each week, and he returned them with comments and asides.”

Red Pine – Dancing With Words: Red Pine’s Path into the Heart of Buddhism

When Copper Canyon Press agreed to publish Red Pine’s work, he asked John Blofeld to write a foreword for the book. John Blofeld happily agreed.

During his lifetime, John Blofeld had written forewords for the following books to help other writers:

  • The Healing Buddha (written by Raoul Birnbaum)
  • The Collected Songs of Cold Mountain (translated by Red Pine)
  • Alone with Others: An Existential Approach to Buddhism (written by Stephen Batchelor)
  • Chinese Gods: An Introduction to Chinese Folk Religion (written by Jonathan Chamberlain)

In addition to providing direct assistance to the above writers, John Blofeld’s reputation and writing also inspired other young writers to follow his passion on Chinese civilisation and Buddhism. Daniel Reid remembered that:

Among my favourite writers, especially during my younger years as a freelancer in Asia, was John Blofeld, whose books helped inspire my early interest in Buddhism and Taoism and fired my imagination with colourful visions of life in China before the communist revolution swept away traditional culture there.

Daniel Reid – John Blofeld & The Wheel of Life

 

Death and the Final Resting Place

John Blofeld was ill with terminal cancer toward the end of his life.

John Blofeld was ill with terminal cancer toward the end of his life.

Toward the end of his life, John Blofeld was ill with terminal cancer. However, his sickness did not affect his warm personality. His years of contemplation on Buddhist teachings and impermanence helped him to deal with his old age, illness, and imminent death.

Daniel Reid remembered his first encounter with John Blofeld toward the end of his life:

I was surprised to find him lying flat on his back in bed. “Come in, come in, Dan, have a seat here beside me,” he said, sitting up and greeting me like an old friend. ‘We have so much to talk about.’ He rang for the maid and told her to bring a kettle of hot water so he could prepare Chinese tea for us in the room, and mentioned briefly and unemotionally, as though noting the weather, that he was dying of cancer. Then, without any further formalities, we launched into a lively talk about China and things Chinese. … His terminal illness never once intruded into our conversation, but its silent presence prompted us to speak all the more frankly and openly, and we exchanged some hilarious stories about our respective experiences as Westerners living among the Chinese, his in China, mine in Taiwan, each for eighteen years.

Daniel Reid – John Blofeld and The Wheel of Life

Before his passing, John Blofeld had managed to complete his first autobiography in Chinese language, which contained the collections of stories from his years in China, My Journey in Mystic China: Old Pu’s Travel Diary. Daniel Reid translated the book into English in 1990.

Wat Hualampong where John Blofeld’s body was cremated.

Wat Hua Lamphong where John Blofeld’s body was cremated.

John Blofeld passed away on 17 June 1987 at the age of 74 in Bangkok, Thailand. His body was cremated on 25 July 1987 at Wat Hua Lamphong after the Buddhist rites in accordance with the Thai, Tibetan, and Chinese traditions had been performed. His last wish was for his ashes to be interred in a Kuan Yin temple in Thailand.

After his cremation, his adopted daughter, Bom, experienced many difficulties in finding the final resting place for her father. Regardless of his great contribution in introducing Buddhism to the Western world, all the Kuan Yin temples that Bom visited in Bangkok refused to receive his ashes. Several months later, Bom had a series of dreams that indicated where John Blofeld’s ashes were to be interred:

“…I began having this vivid dream. It was always the same. I saw my father sitting in a temple surrounded by monks. He looked so happy there. I called out to him, and he waved at me. ‘Bring me here,’ he said, ‘this is where I wish to be.’ But I was so overwhelmed by my emotions that I burst into tears and woke up crying. This continued for several weeks.”

Bom, John Blofeld’s adopted daughter

A Kuan Yin statue at Wat Pho Yen Temple in Kanchanaburi Province.

A Kuan Yin statue at Wat Pho Yen Temple in Kanchanaburi Province.

Bom remembered vividly in her dream, the monks wore grey robes, which were common in Chinese temples, the wall in front of the temple was painted in yellow colour, and there was a bodhi tree outside the temple gate. There was a river near the temple. Bom searched for the temples of her dreams for almost two months to no avail. In her desperation, she remembered that her father used to bring the foreign visitors on temple tours on behalf of the Siam Society. Thus, she went to the society office to look at their books and documentations. Finally, she found what she was looking for, the temple that matched the description of her dream. The temple was located in Kanchanaburi Province, and it was facing the River Kwai. There was a Kuan Yin statue on the temple’s main altar.

The picture of the abbot (seated) of Wat Pho Yen Temple in Kanchanaburi province, Thailand with John Blofeld and two other Westerners.

Bom went to the temple and met the abbot. To her delight and surprise, the abbot was a good friend of John Blofeld and allowed his ashes to be interred in that temple. The abbot then showed an old photograph of the younger John Blofeld with two other Westerners and the abbot. The photograph was taken in 1951 or nine years before Bom was born. Bom recalled the revealing conversation:

The abbot told me that my father had helped raise the money needed to finish building that monastery shortly after he came to Thailand, and that the picture had been taken on the day the main temple was formally consecrated. None of us ever knew anything about this, and my father never mentioned it. Not only is it a Chinese Kuan Yin temple, but it also has a close connection with Tibetan Buddhism, which is extremely rare here in Thailand.

Bom, John Blofeld’s adopted daughter

On the 27 December 1987, more than six months after his death, John Blofeld ashes were finally interred at the Kuan Yin temple he had helped to build. The abbot showed his reverence for his old friend by interring John Blofeld’s ashes inside the corner slot of the sacred stupa, which was a rare honour. John’s name and the date of his birth and death were inscribed on a marble plaque that was used to seal the crypt.

The stupa where John Blofeld ashes were interred and the marble plague with his name inscribed on it.

 
Selected books by John Blofeld for download:

The Zen Teaching of Huang Po: On the Transmission of Mind (click on the image to download in PDF form)

Taoism: The Quest for Immortality (click on the image to download in PDF form)

The Tantric Mysticism of Tibet: A Practical Guide to the Theory, Purpose, and Techniques of Tantric Meditation (click on the image to download in PDF form)

The texts above were sourced from legitimate book-hosting services offering these texts for free download. They are made available here for purely educational, non-commercial purposes.

 
List of John Blofeld’s books:

No. Book Title Role Year
1. The Huang Po Doctrine of Universal Mind
By Huang Po Xiyun and transcribed by Tang Dynasty scholar Xiu Pei.
Translator 1947
2. The Path to Sudden Attainment: A Treatise of the Ch’an (Zen) School of Chinese Buddhism by Hui Hai[ar] of the T’ang Dynasty
By Hui Hai
Translator 1948
3. The Zen Teaching of Huang Po: On the Transmission of Mind
By Huang Po Xiyun
Translator 1959
4. City of Lingering Splendour: A Frank Account of Old Peking’s Exotic Pleasures Author 1961
5. Zen Teaching of Instantaneous Awakening
By Hui Hai
Translator 1962
6. I Ching: the Book of Change Translator and editor 1968
7. The Way of Power: A guide to Tantric mysticism of Tibet Author 1970
8. The Tantric Mysticism of Tibet: A Practical Guide to the Theory, Purpose, and Techniques of Tantric Meditation Author 1970
9. The Zen Teaching of Hui Hai: On Sudden Illumination
By Hui Hai
Translator 1972
10. Taoist Mysteries and Magic Author 1973
11. Atisha: A Biography of the Renowned Buddhist sage. Translated by Thubten Kelsang Rinpoche, Ngodrub Paljor, and John Blofeld. Translator 1974
12. Beyond the Gods: Taoist and Buddhist Mysticism Author 1974
13. The Jewel in the Lotus: An Outline of Present Day Buddhism in China Author 1975
14. Bodhisattva of Compassion: The Mystical Tradition of Kuan Yin Author 1977
15. Compassion Yoga: Mystical Cult of Kuan Yin (Mandala Books) Author 1977
16. Mantras: Sacred Words of Power Author 1977
17. The Wheel of Life: The Autobiography of a Western Buddhist Author 1978
18. Taoism: The Quest for Immortality Author 1978
19. Bangkok Author 1979
20. The Healing Buddha
By Raoul Birnbaum
Foreword author 1979
21. Gateway to Wisdom: Taoist and Buddhist Contemplative Healing Yogas Author 1980
22. The Collected Songs of Cold Mountain
Translated by Red Pine
Foreword author 1983
23. Alone with Others: An Existential Approach to Buddhism
By Stephen Batchelor
Foreword author 1983
24. Chinese Gods: An Introduction to Chinese Folk Religion
By Jonathan Chamberlain
Foreword author 1983
25. The Chinese Art of Tea Author 1985
26. My Journey in Mystic China: Old Pu’s Travel Diary (originally published in Chinese in 1990)
Translated by Daniel Reid
Author 2008

 
Sources of Information::

  • http://levekunst.com/john-blofeld-the-wheel-of-life/
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Blofeld
  • http://sweepingzen.com/blofeld-john/
  • http://www.danreid.org/daniel-reid-articles-john-blofeld-the-wheel-of-life.asp
  • http://www.farwesteditions.com/mft/ATalkbyJohnBlofeld.htm
  • https://www.ramdass.org/john-blofeld-and-the-wheel-of-life/
  • http://www.siamese-heritage.org/jsspdf/1981/JSS_075_0o_Obituaries.pdf
  • https://books.google.com.my/books?id=xXpZCwAAQBAJ&pg=PT81&lpg=PT81&dq=
    john+blofeld+wife&source=bl&ots=
    WtrqvGNr_x&sig=ta81R0zSBmRV-bQtwdaTlnTa6Yk&hl=en&sa=X&redir_
    esc=y#v=onepage&q=john%20blofeld%20wife&f=false
  • https://www.google.com/amp/s/krisadawan.wordpress.com/
    2008/10/09/pilgrimage-with-john-blofeld-in-our-heart/amp/
  • http://mathisencorollary.blogspot.my/2012/01/heartfelt-portrait-of-john-blofeld-from.html?m=1
  • http://www.oolong-tea.org/taiwan-oolong-tea-chinese-art-of-tea/
  • http://www.kyotojournal.org/the-journal/fiction-poetry/dancing-with-words/
  • https://history.state.gov/milestones/1945-1952/chinese-rev
  • https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/19287.John_Blofeld
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marco_Polo_Bridge_Incident
  • https://thebamboosea.wordpress.com/2012/11/03/a-conversation-with-hsu-yun-john-blofeld/
  • https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/43300249.pdf?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
  • http://www.siam-society.org/pub_JSS/jss_index.html

 
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22 Responses to John Blofeld and His Spiritual Journey

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  1. Tsem Rinpoche on Jul 30, 2017 at 9:24 pm

    When I was very young, down the street from where I lived in Howell, New Jersey was a Kalmuck lady who was very spiritual. She was my friend at the time. She was in her 30’s and had a large collection of spiritual books of which many were on Buddhism. I would borrow books from her quite often and read. She would have read them and give me her thoughts on the books and highly recommend this one or that one. I would then read the books she recommended and we would often discuss about them. It was a very enjoyable time in my life. I miss this friend very much. Some of the books she had were from Professor Garma C.C. Chang, Govinda, Alexander David-Neel, Evans-Wentz, John Blofeld, etc.. and I read some of them. Those books inspired me so much. My conversations with this friend inspired me so much and I enjoyed her spiritual company tremendously. That was one part of my childhood that was good.

    I have all these books by these great authors in my library now and still read them. I have made them available from Kechara for invite and also will have them in the future Kechara library coming up.

  2. Anne Ong on Jul 25, 2017 at 10:40 pm

    The first time I heard of John Blofeld was when Rinpoche shared about his book: Mantras, Words of Power.John Blofeld spiritual journey and his affinity so strong in Buddhism are really showed that he had a very strong connection to Buddhism in his previous life.Thank you Rinpoche for sharing the bio of John, I really enjoyed reading the lifetime story of such a great man 🙂

  3. Joey Tan on Jul 7, 2017 at 10:56 pm

    What I can conclude in this article, I get to know John Blofeld and his spiritual journey in detail.

  4. Raj Kuma on Jun 30, 2017 at 9:31 am

    What can I say? Just a wonderful book by a great man who has a large story to tell. John Blodfeld is one of a kind… there will be no one to replace him… plus, the world has changed so much during his life that much of what he lived as gone now… never to return. Blofeld lived through interesting times
    Thanks for sharing this article.

  5. Justin Cheah on Jun 30, 2017 at 8:22 am

    John definitely has a strong imprint from his previous life to be so devoted in Buddhism. He spent major part of his life in Buddhism and ultimately in the East studying and contributing into Dharma. On top of that he defied objections from his family members and also defying the odds for him to help raise funds to build temples. He always wanted to make it big despite being in a foreign country and having not much money to spend for himself. I admire his tenacity in doing all these work. I am glad his wish to be have his ashes placed in a temple in Thailand were fulfilled and this is only a fair “reward” / consolation for the demise of someone who contributed so much into Buddhism by not only his writing but his general contribution for the growth of Dharma.

  6. June Kang on Jun 30, 2017 at 8:01 am

    John Blofeld spiritual journey and his affinity so strong in Buddhism are really showed that he had a very strong connection to Buddhism in his previous life. How to explain that for an English man in the West can be so easy to accept Buddhism since he was a child. Furthermore, what was amazed me is John Blofeld so easy to shift from culture to culture and from country to country.

    The following is Excerpt from a lecture by John Blofeld in San Francisco, 1978

    “As for methods, I think it’s very good, at the beginning of our spiritual quest, when we first come to feel that life has a meaning and that we should embark on some kind of spiritual path, to experiment with many kinds of paths. Sooner or later we will find that one path suits us individually more than others. Then, let us take that one, but never in the spirit of “I am now on the right path and everybody else is on the wrong path.” No, we follow our own path, but we accept the validity of other people’s paths” (source: http://www.farwesteditions.com)

    Such a great man that saying “ No, we follow our own path, but we accept the validity of other people’s paths”. It is always inspired my life by reading lifetime story of such a great man. Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article.

  7. Mingwen on Jun 30, 2017 at 7:38 am

    Another great being who realised that being alive is not just about fulfilling our forever hungry desires but to work on something more worthy and meaningful that lead us to a better place and become a better person. May more people able to follow his footsteps

  8. Pastor Chia on Jun 30, 2017 at 3:29 am

    John Blofeld is one of the remarkable European writer produce many buddhism book introduce buddhism to the west. I simply like him because he not materialitic, humble and help to promote other young writer such as red pine’s by writing comment and foreward for their book.

    Even he is quit suscess but he is not wealhty. When he stay at Bangkok, he always raise fund to build temple. Interesting part after he pass away, his adopted daughter Bom dream about John Blofeld came to her dream to find the temple for his resting place. Finally Bom find the Kuan Yin temple accepting John Blofeld ashe is one of the temple he help to build the temple before and put his ashe inside the stupa to memories whst he had contribute at the pass. I wish his hard work will not waste and continue benefit other who are interest in buddhism.

  9. Pastor Albert on Jun 30, 2017 at 2:36 am

    John Blofeld is a very amazing person, his affinity is so strong that it lead him back to Buddhism in such young age, immediately he got the interest and start to find out more about it.

    John Blofeld has contributed so much towards the growth of Buddhism from China to spread to the west, among of all the good works he has done in his life, these are a few that he has done
    1. He inspired many people from western countries to follow his path
    2. He did not bow down to the family’s objection towards his pursue in his spiritual journey
    3. He find all sorts of ways to get himself through to the destination he wanted to go, working to make his living and to continue his journey.
    4. he is not wealthy, but he is not stingy in donating to build temple.
    5. Writing non stop to spread the Dharma.

    All these that i have listed, I felt so familiar while reading this, this is exactly like what H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche and many other highly attained masters are doing, they just spend their whole life benefiting and serving others instead of just go to work to earn their pay cheque, get married and have children, life is so much more than that.

    I felt so warm when reading the last part of this article, he was able to be buried inside a stupa located in the temple that he built, it’s like he’s finally home after travelling and running around so much tirelessly spreading Dharma to others.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing the bio of John, I really enjoy reading the lifetime story of such a great man.

  10. Tek Lee on Jun 30, 2017 at 1:10 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article. It must be his previous life imprint that lead him to be a devoted Buddhist this life. Although he was born a western people, but his previous life could be a Chinese, or a Tibetan. John Blofeld had dedicated his whole life for Buddhism. He learnt about Buddhism, practice Buddhism, and converted the learning into text, so that it can spread to more people, even after he had passed away. He must have tremendous merit and he must have enlightened.
    Through Pastor Henry sharing Rinpoche’s teaching, I have understood the part that John Blofeld appeared in his adopted daughter, Bom’s dream about interreding his ashes in Kuan Yin temple. Thank you again Rinpoche. _/\_

  11. Andrea Lai on Jun 30, 2017 at 12:26 am

    This is truly amazing on the beauty of spirituality practice. As I see the work of John Blofeld who truly shows his great admiration, passion over his believes that inspired many into practice especially people from the West.

  12. Vivian Ong on Jun 29, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article about Rinpoche’s favourite author John Blofeld. John Blofeld’s interest is so rare. Not many Europeans at that time were interested in Buddhism. It is amazing from a young age, John Blofeld already fell in love with Buddhism and continue to learn and research about it. He must have had some Buddhism imprints from his previous lifetimes. He also practise what he learn from the masters that he met. The most amazing thing is that he wrote so many books and he was the mentor to some young writers. Most of his books was about Buddhism and his life journey. A very interesting person and article I must say.

    With folded palms,
    Vivian

  13. Pastor Antoinette on Jun 29, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    The first time I heard of John Blofeld was when Rinpoche shared about his book: Mantras, Words of Power. The vast knowledge that John Blofeld shared in his books is an inspiration for many. He also encouraged others to write and helped many other writers.

    He was remarkable as, eventhough the many books he wrote, it seems he was quite humble and helped others on their writings. Even when he was very ill, he was not emotional about this but did focus on the things that were important to him.

  14. Pastor Henry Ooi on Jun 29, 2017 at 10:43 pm

    It is interesting that John appeared in dreams to Bom and showed her where he wanted the final resting place for his ashes. This was months after his remains were cremated. I wonder how he was able to appear in dreams to Bom to relay his wish.

  15. nicholas on Jun 29, 2017 at 10:18 pm

    I strongly believe on what he said that he must have been a Chinese in his previous life looking from his interest. His enthusiasm in Chinese culture and Buddhism has brought a great benefit to many people through his books. Towards the end of his, his terminal cancer doesn’t bother him much which I guess he must have strong realisation on impermanent. John Blofeld is really as inspiring practitioner.

  16. pammie yap on Jun 29, 2017 at 10:18 pm

    Mr Blofeld was simply remarkable. He showed everyone that there is no limit to learning, whether when you are young and able or lying on the deathbed. Such an inspiration knowing what he has done. He was always willingly giving and sharing his knowledge to those who need it.

    I guess he could have been a Chinese Buddhist practitioner in his past lives. This Is because his imprints are strong. At a young age, he already had the inclination towards Buddhism. And the point that he was more Chinese than me!
    But the last part of the post was quite interesting, the part where Bom dreamed of Mr Blofeld to ask her to place his ashes at a certain place after several months. What happened to him after his death?

    Although I have yet to read any of his books, I am sure they are as interesting as how Rinpoche described it. Would be good to read and know.

  17. Dr. Aaron Milavec on Jun 8, 2017 at 10:52 am

    With great joy and gratitude, I have just read this brief biography of John Blofeld. I met John during the World Religions Seminar of 1983 and 1984 in Kathmandu, Nepal. John presented daily lectures on Tibetian Buddhism. Unlike other presenters, John had the knack for speaking directly and simply about the most complex aspects of Tibetian Buddhism. He was not afraid to introduce his own personal experiences into his lectures, which was a real treat because most presenters during the 8-week seminar treated their topics from an abstract perspective. See my volume, A PILGRIM ENCOUNTERS THE WORLD’S RELIGIONS (1984) for further details.

  18. Samfoonheei on Jun 5, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    Every of us has a beautiful spiritual journey to share.But this John Blofeld ‘s journey was one of those amazing.inspiring and exciting one.Not everyone could ,with couragoues, determination mind and having a strong connection to China, Chinese culture and Buddhism.Since as a child John Blofeld was keen in Buddhism and was more chinese in all way eventhough he was a Westerner.John Blofeld travels extensively in search of spirituality. Thats great which led him to write books on Buddhism. His reputation and writing has inspired mant young writers.I do enjoyed reading his biography and hopefuly able to read his books.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these interesting and inspiring article.

  19. grace leong on Jun 5, 2017 at 12:49 am

    Wow ! What an exciting life John Blofeld lived ! In all stages of his journey he kept spirituality , especially Buddhism as his focus point of his studies, research and contemplation.

    “Throughout history and pre-history there have always been human beings who have felt that getting our daily bread and butter, producing our children, and dying do not represent the whole of life. If there is not more in life than that, then we might just as well be dead because life viewed from that perspective involves so many difficulties, troubles, boring moments and tragic moments, that it simply isn’t worth living ”

    John Blofeld – A Talk by John Blofeld 13 July 1978

    Very inspiring statement . Exactly as Rinpoche has always advised us. Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing. It would be great to be able to read some of John Blofeld’s books. With folded hands.

  20. Fong on Jun 4, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    John Blofeld, by all accounts in this article, seems to have a karmic connection with Vajrayana as he seemed drawn to Chinese Mahayana Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism more than Theravadan. And, he chose to live a life that was so very different from how he was raised and becoming very Chinese in mannerism.

    The main thing that struck me was that although he was influenced by Thai Theradavan Buddhism, he stayed true to Chinese Mahayana and Tibetan Buddhism. It’s like he found his path and faith, and was not swayed although he was living in surrounding with strong Theravadan influence. His faith was unshakable.

    It’s also great that he penned his knowledge so that many more in later years can follow him on his journey in his absence. It would be interesting to be able to read some of his works.

    Thank you, Rinpoche for bringing John Blofeld into this little corner of our world.

  21. wan wai meng on Jun 1, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    John Blofeld, first time I heard his name was Rinpoche who mentioned John Blofed in one of Rinpoche’s talks, that John Blofeld was so impressed with the practice of Tara, that was quite some years and now I get to read about this great personage who has shaped many lives of Buddhist writers and enthusiasts, giving them information that leads them to find out much more.

    First thing I thought about John Blofeld was that he was like an Indiana Jones who went around and his weapons were his wisdom and compassion. Also discovering something new about something.

  22. Lim Han Nee on Jun 1, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for this very interesting post on John Blofield, a renowned writer who showed in his writing his deep and abiding interest in China, its culture, its religions – Taoism and Mahayana Buddhism.He was also drawn to Tibetan Buddhism, which he learned much of in his visits to India and Sikkim His visit to these two countries brought him into contact with Vajrayana Buddhism.He met various masters, and studied under the guidance of various teachers.

    His interest in spirituality began at an early age, when he beheld a small Chinese statue of Buddha Sakyamuni in a shop. He was so enamoured with it that he persuaded his aunt to get it for him. It became a most precious possession.

    In his travels in China and other Asian countries, he visited sacred and holy mountains and monasteries, and met with hermits, sages and great Buddhist masters of various traditions.He was deeply drawn to sacred places like Mount Wutai. He would engage in discussions with Zen Masters, Tibetan Lamas, and Taoist sages.

    In the last 35 years of his life, he settled down in Thailand. It was there that he began his research and writing in earnest . It is amazing but yet reasonable that he would maintain his Mahayana Buddhist faith that he learned from his Chinese and Tibetan teachers although he spent the last 35 years of his life among the Theravadan Buddhists.

    It is only fitting that he finally found his resting place in a Chinese Kuan Yin Temple, Wat Pho Yen, which had a connection with Tibetan Buddhism. This was the temple that he had helped to fund-raise for its building. The story of how he guided in a dream his adopted daughter to this temple, where he wanted his cremated remains to be placed, is most touching and beautiful.

    John Blofeld, being one of the earlier Europeans to be drawn to the East to learn about Buddhism in a deep and profound way, would have influenced and inspired many Western practitioners and writers , by his life and by his writing. There is much that profoundly touches me about him. He had such a genuine interest and earnest desire to learn about spirituality and Buddhism from the East, which is most pervasive.

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  • Stella Cheang
    Tuesday, Aug 22. 2017 10:58 PM
    Danny Bowman’s case is extreme, more of a mental problem instead of a vanity issue. However, many people around us are addicted to taking selfie. Even though it might be just showing off their beauty to gain attention, it should not be dismissed lightly. Because of their excessive love for themselves, they lack the empathy for others. This is the real issue. When someone place all the attention on themselves and expect others to do the same, it is against the practice of Bodhicitta. And if it not corrected at early stage, it will become a habituation and strong imprint that will also affect them in their next life.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/selfie-addiction-is-no-laughing-matter-psychiatrists-say.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Tuesday, Aug 22. 2017 05:59 PM
    Thank you, Rinpoche, for this sharing on Dr. Joona Repo’s work. In his book “Phabongka Dechen Nyingpo: His Collected Works and the Guru-Deity-Protector Triad,” Dr. Joona Repo’s impartial recollections of Pabongka Rinpoche serves to debunk certain perception people have towards this erudite master, who was brought into question because of his emphasis on Dorje Shugden and what was deemed as sectarianism practices.

    Through presenting the vastness and diversity of the works by Pabongka Rinpoche and records of his teaching against sectarianism, this book empirically presents a balanced view of Pabongka Rinpoche against those baseless allegations. The fact that Pabongka Rinpoche wrote extensively about Vajrayogini and had visions of Heruka proved that he is no ordinary Lama.

    Pabongka Rinpoche was, in fact, the reincarnation of a well-known scholar Changkya Rolpay Dorje who was the Royal Tutor to the Chinese Emperors. Because of this sensitivity, Pabongka RInpoche was not recognized his lineage by the power of the day. This in itself is a hint that there are more than meet the eyes.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/the-collected-works-of-h-h-pabongka-rinpoche.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Aug 22. 2017 12:24 PM
    Very inspiring and powerful quotes for us to have a deep thought of it. Which we will need to remember at all times in our spiritual journey.
    I do loves these quotes…
    Remember, if we wish to make an offering to our teacher, no offering is greater than that of our own dharma practice..~Geshe Tsutrim Gyeltsen

    Never abandon your spiritual teacher no matter how many inner obstacles you need to overcome……~Tsem Rinpoche

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing all these powerful quotes which will change our lives and should not be ignored.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/quotes-that-should-not-be-ignored.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Aug 22. 2017 12:23 PM
    Wow beautiful and meaningful this precious poem wrote by Rinpoche.And the lyrics of the song made from the poem below by Gavin Gooi is fabulous. Could not beliveve it from a poem to a lovely songs. Nice to hear and i love listerning each and every words said….very touching poem from sadness to happiness expressed .Rinpoche’s Guru Devotion and the love for His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche .
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing .

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/a-poem-to-my-teacher.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Aug 22. 2017 12:22 PM
    Its a interesting post with 2 giants countries discussing over movie market. Hollywood producers who are increasingly looking to tap the country’s fast-growing box office into China market.However there is restriction .They hopes China will increase the quota and the share of revenues more in line with international markets. And even has openly criticized China on trade.China is likely to raise the quota of imported films as part of recent trade talks.
    China are trying to protect its growing domestic film industry from Hollywood domination. The most best measure is the strict quota limiting the number.
    Brad Pitt was back in China nearly 20 years after being baned over a film about Tibet .Time has changed China policy on celebrities entering China.
    Thank you Pastor Loh Seng Piow for sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/china-raises-movie-quota-hollywood-on-best-behavior.html
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Tuesday, Aug 22. 2017 10:05 AM
    You won’t believe what this former Citibank vice president has to say. One of the most powerful and inspiring speeches you will ever hear in your life! Plse take a few moments to listen to this. It is worth it.-
    https://www.facebook.com/mercyforanimals/videos/10152917764269475/?hc_ref=ARTTZV6szVgZXaepZJFJ_-wCZ1U-SiyFA3jzC20EoNgCNwsOyTV_ELImvK3Lq_IgBBQ
  • Lin Mun
    Monday, Aug 21. 2017 09:48 PM


    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these precious pictures. It shows so much about Guru Devotion and a very close Guru and student relationship. The love and care of a Guru to his students are unlimited.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/gurus-love-their-students.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Monday, Aug 21. 2017 07:53 PM
    This article reminds me of how, in general, people understand the need to have a strong and fit psychic body but rarely willing to take action to go through the training. Let alone Dharma training of the mind which is much more tougher. Because our habituation has conditioned us to perceive and think a certain way, and the need to unlearn and relearn is not part of our program.

    To me, understanding the need to be trained and having the courage to go through the training is a process in itself. The mind has to be conditioned to understand the need of the training which is to eliminate the “i” and the importance of the training which is to speed up the journey of crossing the ocean of samsara.

    Most importantly, we must recognize it is very rare for us to be in a perfect human condition, meet the dharma and the perfect Guru, therefore, we must not imagine that we have time by thinking there will always be tomorrow. Actually this is the conversation in my mind sometimes… lol.

    Thank you, Rinpoche, for this article.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/training-shouldnt-be-optional.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Aug 21. 2017 10:54 AM
    A beautiful true story shared, I have seen patients suffered under cancer treatment ,at times I felt sad for them and lost of words at times. Most practitioners I have come across thinks of their profit but did not take a real effort to understand their patients pain. When we care for our patients, encourage them really makes a big difference in their life. In my line of duty I have seen many patients suffered in pain, fear, anxiety and very emotional. When we are in the patients shoe,, we can understand and feels the pain as well. As a health provider its only my duty to provide words of encouragement, help and care for them.
    Dr.Richard Teo spoke the very truth ,to inspire the younger generations of furture doctors when embark on their journey to be in health professioner ,to think of others too. Do agree with Dr.Richard Teo in private practice doctors made lots of money but at the end of the day they are not happy in life. We go through life attaching to things, wanting them to last forever. But they don’t last anyway. .Over time, we just came to accept that all good things in life must end. Nothing is impermanent
    Since we all know death is inevitable. To Live a meaningful life till to the fullness to learn and practice Dharma ,to transform ourselves, lighten up and makes us a better person.If you want happiness for a lifetime, helping, caring for others can change our life. We should always appreciate people when they are alive.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these inspiring post and hope more people will be inspired . Saluting Dr Richard Teo, who have touched the lives of thousands on views of life at the end of his lives.At the time of writing he has passed away since in 2012.May he have a swift rebirth.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/this-will-change-your-life.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Aug 21. 2017 10:53 AM
    Amazing worth travelling there to see for myself such a holy place. Being there will be a tremendous blessing as it is one of the places where Manjushri the Buddha of Wisdom’s energy abides.Wow ….As a natural reserve it is the home of China’s three holy mountains, which are Jampelyang, Chenresig and Chana Dorje.Looks very beautiful and the scenic views were just amazing to be there.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing ,i would like to travel there someday to enjoy the beauty of these Holy mountains.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/travel/excellent-travelogue-of-holy-places-in-tibet.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Aug 21. 2017 10:52 AM
    The former N.B.A. player Stephon Marbury has become a beloved celebrity since playing for professional basketball in China. Marbury was able to change China’s basketball culture.From NBA to CBA …he lead the team to national victory, winning three Chinese Basketball Association.
    A 300-square foot museum dedicated to Stephon Marbury’s career was opened in China, where the former NBA star has flourished since deciding to play there.He was given a Green card for his outstanding contributions.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this inspiring…Never give up even though he failed with the NBA but he found success after playing for CBA.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/stephon-marbury-embraces-china.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Aug 20. 2017 03:09 PM
    Beautiful ,meaningful songs if you listern and reading the lyrics.
    In the stillness of remembering What you had,And what you lost…,And what you had…and what you lost …..well said i love this part.
    Fleetwood Mac was not my favourite singer though yet i enjoyed this oldies songs.
    Since now i have Dharma in me i do like to listern to Buddhist songs example of Tsongkhapa’s blessings songs and Tibetan music.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this meaningful song for relaxing after a stressful day.
  • jason
    Sunday, Aug 20. 2017 02:56 AM
    Past few years, my grandmother,Aunty, Uncle passed away. I feel sad but this also create awareness to me that death is the final destination of everyone in samsara. Practicing of Dharma really help me in knowing that we must achieve final liberation and no more rebirth.
    Besides that, we must appreciate the moment we gather with anyone and share Dharma to them.
    Thanks Datuk May to remind me that to spend more time with the love one. I really grateful to my family and friends.

    Jason

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/guest-contributors/a-generation-gone.html
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Sunday, Aug 20. 2017 01:03 AM
    For steven d –

    Dear Steven, Thank you for your question. I appreciate your wish to become better, improve your health and to continue your journey.

    In regards to your question, there are many dimensions that need to be addressed in order to ‘assign’ a specific Buddha’s practice for a person. Some of the factors are:

    1. Temperament
    2. Malady
    3. karmic affinity
    4. Immediate pressing needs
    5. Long term needs
    6. If the person has been in dharma and understand dharma well
    7. How much time a person has daily or in general for practice/what other practices they have
    8. Living conditions (has space and quiet or with busy family)
    9. If the person is willing to take vows as there are ‘higher’ and more in-depth practices if vows can be taken
    10. How many or what other sadhanas/practices is already being done. Sometimes we can intensify one of the practices the person is already doing.

    These are a few of the factors I would examine before I suggest a practice for someone.


    Remember to always go for a qualified medical treatment in your country or place of residence and then with this treatment you can apply various spiritual practices in addition to the medical treatment.

    Spiritual practices can help heal as they purify the karma fueling the problem but medical treatment takes care of the problem that is karmically already opened. So important to do both. By doing practice you can ‘lessen’ the problem either by intensity or duration. and sometime get well. If you ask me to give a general sweeping answer for the general crowd or for a person I don’t know much about, I would suggest these practices:

    1. Black Manjushri http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=70674
    2. Avolokitesvara (Chenresig) (four armed, thousand armed, etc)
    3. Loma Gyonma http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=64691
    4. Medicine Buddha http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=44277

    Any of the the above four practices is helpful in general and overall. You don’t have to do all but just one would suffice and according to your tradition of Buddhism. You do not need initiation or take on vow commitment but you can do these practices daily and or in full retreat. Would be good to be vegetarian with good motivation as less harm done to other sentient beings directly and indirectly will help the healing process. Read up on the practices well before starting. Much information on the internet.

    It is good to learn up on the 9 round breath meditation daily also. Take 20 minutes daily to do this breath meditation. You can do the breath meditation first and then any of the four practices you choose or just breath meditation alone. (Theravadin Buddhist can just do the 9 round breath meditations daily and be consistent with this practice and you will see your mind release, open up and become calmer. You can do this breath meditation no matter who you are and if you are ill or healthy. This meditation has many benefits you can research and learn up. No ill effects with this meditation even if done ‘wrongly’.) Breath meditation is highly recommended by me for all persons both spiritual or not, young or elderly, Buddhist or otherwise as using the breath powerful and can be done anywhere and anytime. Breath is fundamental and we must breathe, so this is using meditation to manipulate the breath to heal our bodies and bring some peace to our minds. Done daily is highly beneficial.

    I hope this sincerely helps you. I send you my good wishes and for your healing. We all need healing. May you be happy, well and achieve your goals, Tsem Rinpoche
  • steven d
    Saturday, Aug 19. 2017 10:28 PM
    Namaste,

    Thank you for sharing all this beautiful buddha images, prayers and information for so many to learn from and be guided.

    Question for Rinpoche:

    What practice, prayer or deity (‘s mantra) would you advise for the uninitiated in regards to healing the causes of trauma, ptsd, dissociation and grounding into your physical body?

    I got diagnosed with PTSD 6 yrs ago, at age 29, right after my spiritual awakening after which all the past rauma revisited me in the course of 2 weeks.

    I wasn’t under the guidance of a lama or teacher at that time and still am not.

    Are there any practices you would advise? As there are so many people with trauma and PTSD (10% of the population in Western countries) , there would be so many to benefit from your wise words.

    I have read that certain deities have more affinity for certain diseases/imbalances. Are there any deities that are specifically related to releasing trauma or the above-mentioned afflictions/asymptoms.

    In love

    Steven


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

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I pity men who occupy themselves exclusively with the transitory in things and lose themselves in the study of what is perishable, since we are here for this very end- that we may make the perishable imperishable, which we can do only after we have learned how to approach both.~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

(This quote is very powerful from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. He seems to be a powerful thinker and can think beyond daily and ordinary thoughts. Like I shared, only the study of dharma is going to lead to the imperishable. Any other studies of this world only are temporarily beneficial which is perishable. Of course he is not referring to dharma, but he realized ordinary pursuits leads to perishability. If he knew dharma, he would see the vastness of Buddha\'s omniscience.  Tsem Rinpoche)
2 days ago
I pity men who occupy themselves exclusively with the transitory in things and lose themselves in the study of what is perishable, since we are here for this very end- that we may make the perishable imperishable, which we can do only after we have learned how to approach both.~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (This quote is very powerful from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. He seems to be a powerful thinker and can think beyond daily and ordinary thoughts. Like I shared, only the study of dharma is going to lead to the imperishable. Any other studies of this world only are temporarily beneficial which is perishable. Of course he is not referring to dharma, but he realized ordinary pursuits leads to perishability. If he knew dharma, he would see the vastness of Buddha's omniscience. Tsem Rinpoche)
One of the nicest Taras I\'ve seen. I like her shade of green and the lotus on the left which is lower as her hand is lower so it\'s very balanced looking. Her face looks young, motherly, kind and yet regal.
2 days ago
One of the nicest Taras I've seen. I like her shade of green and the lotus on the left which is lower as her hand is lower so it's very balanced looking. Her face looks young, motherly, kind and yet regal.
(1st photo) Kyabje Lati Rinpoche in the centre and Ven Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende on the extreme right. After the unfair ban against Dorje Shugden practitioners was forcibly instituted by Tibetan leadership onto the people and monasteries, the monasteries split. Over 600 monks from Gaden Shartse Monastery left and set up Shar Gaden Monastery. The Tibetan leadership did their best to get the authorities to close Shar Gaden Monastery but Shar Gaden had registered so there was nothing Tibetan leadership can do. It was very sad. Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende left Gaden Shartse Monastery to be the abbot of the newly formed Shar Gaden Monastery in South India where they can continue Dorje Shugden practice. Prior to the ban Lati Rinpoche and Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende can meet up, share and be close as they all had been very close. After the ban this was not allowed anymore. Dorje Shugden and non-Dorje Shugden people had to be segregated. They cannot mix. The previous prime minister of the Tibetan exiled government said that Dorje Shugden people and non Dorje Shugden people are like the mustache and the mouth and it has to be separated. Tsem Rinpoche
4 days ago
(1st photo) Kyabje Lati Rinpoche in the centre and Ven Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende on the extreme right. After the unfair ban against Dorje Shugden practitioners was forcibly instituted by Tibetan leadership onto the people and monasteries, the monasteries split. Over 600 monks from Gaden Shartse Monastery left and set up Shar Gaden Monastery. The Tibetan leadership did their best to get the authorities to close Shar Gaden Monastery but Shar Gaden had registered so there was nothing Tibetan leadership can do. It was very sad. Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende left Gaden Shartse Monastery to be the abbot of the newly formed Shar Gaden Monastery in South India where they can continue Dorje Shugden practice. Prior to the ban Lati Rinpoche and Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende can meet up, share and be close as they all had been very close. After the ban this was not allowed anymore. Dorje Shugden and non-Dorje Shugden people had to be segregated. They cannot mix. The previous prime minister of the Tibetan exiled government said that Dorje Shugden people and non Dorje Shugden people are like the mustache and the mouth and it has to be separated. Tsem Rinpoche
You can see in this 2nd photo, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche blessing a child and Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende standing next to the child. The monasteries were happy, united and had good samaya with each other prior to the ban. The ban destroyed everything and unity and harmony. It is very sad to see this. These pictures are from Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende\'s collection. Tsem Rinpoche
4 days ago
You can see in this 2nd photo, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche blessing a child and Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende standing next to the child. The monasteries were happy, united and had good samaya with each other prior to the ban. The ban destroyed everything and unity and harmony. It is very sad to see this. These pictures are from Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende's collection. Tsem Rinpoche
His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche on the throne, His Eminence Lati Rinpoche (next to Zong Rinpoche) and below Lati Rinpoche is Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche (sitting below Lati Rinpoche). This is a puja in Gaden Shartse Monastery. A rare and blessed photo and nice to save. Tsem Rinpoche
4 days ago
His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche on the throne, His Eminence Lati Rinpoche (next to Zong Rinpoche) and below Lati Rinpoche is Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche (sitting below Lati Rinpoche). This is a puja in Gaden Shartse Monastery. A rare and blessed photo and nice to save. Tsem Rinpoche
ou can save this rare thangka of 1,000 armed Heruka. I\'ve never seen this thangka or any of this form before and it\'s the first time. You can print out or keep or use. I found this online and it\'s beautiful. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche mentioned this Heruka 30 years ago to us and since then I have never seen this in painting or statue at all till now. He has many legs and many faces too. Very special and unique. Seeing Heruka or thinking of Heruka plants the seeds of enlightenment in our mindstream. Tsem Rinpoche
4 days ago
ou can save this rare thangka of 1,000 armed Heruka. I've never seen this thangka or any of this form before and it's the first time. You can print out or keep or use. I found this online and it's beautiful. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche mentioned this Heruka 30 years ago to us and since then I have never seen this in painting or statue at all till now. He has many legs and many faces too. Very special and unique. Seeing Heruka or thinking of Heruka plants the seeds of enlightenment in our mindstream. Tsem Rinpoche
This is Venerable Lhakpa Tsering from Tibet. He has passed away a few years back of natural causes and as he was older. He was one of the high ranking and official oracle of Dorje Shugden, Namka Barzin, Kache Marpo and several other high protectors. He was famous in Tibet for his correct trance of Dorje Shugden and extremely powerful clairvoyance advice of Dorje Shguden. He has been taking trance since Tibet. In 1959 he left Tibet for India and settled in Kalimpong. He continued to take trance in Kalimpong of Dorje Shugden for government officials, local persons, high lamas, monasteries, nuns, monks and even foreigners. For over 40 years his wonderful oracular ability to take trance and give advice and prophecies has benefited so many people. He was trained and blessed as an oracle by the previous Dromo Geshe Rinpoche of Sera Jey Monastery. I\'ve had a chance to stay at his house, meet him and see him in trance. It was a great blessing and amazing experience. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
This is Venerable Lhakpa Tsering from Tibet. He has passed away a few years back of natural causes and as he was older. He was one of the high ranking and official oracle of Dorje Shugden, Namka Barzin, Kache Marpo and several other high protectors. He was famous in Tibet for his correct trance of Dorje Shugden and extremely powerful clairvoyance advice of Dorje Shguden. He has been taking trance since Tibet. In 1959 he left Tibet for India and settled in Kalimpong. He continued to take trance in Kalimpong of Dorje Shugden for government officials, local persons, high lamas, monasteries, nuns, monks and even foreigners. For over 40 years his wonderful oracular ability to take trance and give advice and prophecies has benefited so many people. He was trained and blessed as an oracle by the previous Dromo Geshe Rinpoche of Sera Jey Monastery. I've had a chance to stay at his house, meet him and see him in trance. It was a great blessing and amazing experience. Tsem Rinpoche
Why seek anything else when you have the illustrious practice of Vajra Yogini from the lineage of the Crazy Wisdom Mahasiddha Naropa? Nothing in samsara created by ordinary men can surpass the practice of Vajra Yogini elucidated to us by the Buddha. Nothing in samsara’s knowledge no matter how incredible can surpass the knowledge embodied in the dharma by the Buddha. Samsara knowledge is limited. When we study Buddha’s knowledge (Dharma) it guarantees our future with no limitations. Spend more time studying dharma than samsaric knowledge. Why even compare? Surrender samsara as death and loss are it’s only results and engage in Dharma practice all the way. Vajra Yogini is dharma and dharma is Vajra Yogini. Give everything for Vajra Yogini’s practice. Start now as a preliminary practice even without initiation (blog article: Starting on Vajra Yogini Now- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=4395). Humbly, Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Why seek anything else when you have the illustrious practice of Vajra Yogini from the lineage of the Crazy Wisdom Mahasiddha Naropa? Nothing in samsara created by ordinary men can surpass the practice of Vajra Yogini elucidated to us by the Buddha. Nothing in samsara’s knowledge no matter how incredible can surpass the knowledge embodied in the dharma by the Buddha. Samsara knowledge is limited. When we study Buddha’s knowledge (Dharma) it guarantees our future with no limitations. Spend more time studying dharma than samsaric knowledge. Why even compare? Surrender samsara as death and loss are it’s only results and engage in Dharma practice all the way. Vajra Yogini is dharma and dharma is Vajra Yogini. Give everything for Vajra Yogini’s practice. Start now as a preliminary practice even without initiation (blog article: Starting on Vajra Yogini Now- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=4395). Humbly, Tsem Rinpoche
The young Tsem Rinpoche with his cousin Sada Andreyev. She visited him in Los Angeles. Taken in Tsem Rinpoche\'s room in Thubten Dhargye Ling Dharma centre.
3 weeks ago
The young Tsem Rinpoche with his cousin Sada Andreyev. She visited him in Los Angeles. Taken in Tsem Rinpoche's room in Thubten Dhargye Ling Dharma centre.
Young Tsem Rinpoche with his cousin Sonia Waskin. She visited him in Los Angeles, California.
3 weeks ago
Young Tsem Rinpoche with his cousin Sonia Waskin. She visited him in Los Angeles, California.
Pictures of the teenage Tsem Rinpoche with his two cousins Sonia and Sada. Taken outside of Thubten Dhargye Ling Buddhist Centre where Tsem Rinpoche was living. Los Angeles, California, USA
3 weeks ago
Pictures of the teenage Tsem Rinpoche with his two cousins Sonia and Sada. Taken outside of Thubten Dhargye Ling Buddhist Centre where Tsem Rinpoche was living. Los Angeles, California, USA
Pictures of the teenage Tsem Rinpoche with his two cousins Sonia and Sada. Los Angeles, California, USA
3 weeks ago
Pictures of the teenage Tsem Rinpoche with his two cousins Sonia and Sada. Los Angeles, California, USA
The young Tsem Rinpoche with his parents Boris and Dana Bugayeff. And on the extreme right is Tsem Rinpoche\'s cousin Toktun Gugajew. This was in Howell, New Jersey, USA
3 weeks ago
The young Tsem Rinpoche with his parents Boris and Dana Bugayeff. And on the extreme right is Tsem Rinpoche's cousin Toktun Gugajew. This was in Howell, New Jersey, USA
Tsem Rinpoche attending the wedding of Carmen Kichikov\'s brother. Tsem Rinpoche is 2nd from the right and in his adolescence. Howell, New Jersey, USA
3 weeks ago
Tsem Rinpoche attending the wedding of Carmen Kichikov's brother. Tsem Rinpoche is 2nd from the right and in his adolescence. Howell, New Jersey, USA
When my adorable Dharma boy came home to me. I love you Dharma boy. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
When my adorable Dharma boy came home to me. I love you Dharma boy. Tsem Rinpoche
Tsem Rinpoche in Taiwan as a baby where he was born
3 weeks ago
Tsem Rinpoche in Taiwan as a baby where he was born
Tsem Rinpoche as a baby holding an umbrella
3 weeks ago
Tsem Rinpoche as a baby holding an umbrella
Think about this...
3 weeks ago
Think about this...
Our frustrations have meaning when it\'s for others and a greater cause.
3 weeks ago
Our frustrations have meaning when it's for others and a greater cause.
It is much better to be doing good things for others than just for ourselves.
3 weeks ago
It is much better to be doing good things for others than just for ourselves.
Contemplate this please...
3 weeks ago
Contemplate this please...
Is there life beyond the grave? If the soul exists, does it survive death? If so, when did the belief first arise that the soul may reincarnate, to be born anew in another physical body? Before we unlock the future we must find the keys to the past. I’m Leonard Nimoy. Join me and open the door to ancient mysteries beginning now, here on A&E. Continue reading here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=37831
3 weeks ago
Is there life beyond the grave? If the soul exists, does it survive death? If so, when did the belief first arise that the soul may reincarnate, to be born anew in another physical body? Before we unlock the future we must find the keys to the past. I’m Leonard Nimoy. Join me and open the door to ancient mysteries beginning now, here on A&E. Continue reading here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=37831
It was a great honour for myself and Kechara to have His Eminence Kensur Rinpoche Jetsun Lobsang Phende visiting us. He is a courageous and extremely brave abbot emeritus of the monastery during it\'s most difficult time.~Tsem Rinpoche - Please read more here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=132602
4 weeks ago
It was a great honour for myself and Kechara to have His Eminence Kensur Rinpoche Jetsun Lobsang Phende visiting us. He is a courageous and extremely brave abbot emeritus of the monastery during it's most difficult time.~Tsem Rinpoche - Please read more here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=132602
This is a powerful picture of Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen, Kensur Kyabje Lati Rinpoche and the current incarnation of Trijang Rinpoche meeting together in the year 2000 when Trijang Rinpoche was 18. All three lamas are Dorje Shugden practitioners. In fact Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen was the one that first encouraged my practice of Dorje Shugden when I was 16 years old when I joined his beautiful Thubten Dhargye Ling centre in Los Angeles. I lived with Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen for 8 years before proceeding to Gaden Monastery in South India. Later Kyabje Zong Rinpoche came to our Los Angeles centre and granted sogtae (permission ceremony) to practice Dorje Shugden for life as requested by Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen. Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen had tremendous faith in Trijang Rinpoche. 

Kyabje Lati Rinpoche was innovative, dedicated and very much focused on bringing dharma to many. He had tremendous faith in Dorje Shugden as I had the honour to meet him many times. He would seek advice from Dorje Shugden many times via the oracle of Gaden Monastery. Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen and Kensur Kyabje Lati Rinpoche have since passed away while the current Trijang Rinpoche is a perfect lineage holder and practitioner of Dharma while he keeps Dorje Shugden as his personal protector as he has done so for many lifetimes. 

This is a powerful and beautiful picture of three great lamas of Buddha’s lineage and also of Gaden Monastery. ~Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
This is a powerful picture of Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen, Kensur Kyabje Lati Rinpoche and the current incarnation of Trijang Rinpoche meeting together in the year 2000 when Trijang Rinpoche was 18. All three lamas are Dorje Shugden practitioners. In fact Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen was the one that first encouraged my practice of Dorje Shugden when I was 16 years old when I joined his beautiful Thubten Dhargye Ling centre in Los Angeles. I lived with Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen for 8 years before proceeding to Gaden Monastery in South India. Later Kyabje Zong Rinpoche came to our Los Angeles centre and granted sogtae (permission ceremony) to practice Dorje Shugden for life as requested by Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen. Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen had tremendous faith in Trijang Rinpoche. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche was innovative, dedicated and very much focused on bringing dharma to many. He had tremendous faith in Dorje Shugden as I had the honour to meet him many times. He would seek advice from Dorje Shugden many times via the oracle of Gaden Monastery. Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen and Kensur Kyabje Lati Rinpoche have since passed away while the current Trijang Rinpoche is a perfect lineage holder and practitioner of Dharma while he keeps Dorje Shugden as his personal protector as he has done so for many lifetimes. This is a powerful and beautiful picture of three great lamas of Buddha’s lineage and also of Gaden Monastery. ~Tsem Rinpoche
A beautiful photograph of a path walking down from Manjushri Hill in Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia.
1 month ago
A beautiful photograph of a path walking down from Manjushri Hill in Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia.
This picture is of KB lovingly holding Mumu while he tries to stand up. I was in the room with them and someone else took this picture. It is a very sad and poignant picture because just a short while after this picture was taken, Mumu passed away with all of us present. This was the last picture of my little Mumu alive. We immediately did puja for Mumu and he is sorely missed by many as he touched our lives deeply. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
This picture is of KB lovingly holding Mumu while he tries to stand up. I was in the room with them and someone else took this picture. It is a very sad and poignant picture because just a short while after this picture was taken, Mumu passed away with all of us present. This was the last picture of my little Mumu alive. We immediately did puja for Mumu and he is sorely missed by many as he touched our lives deeply. Tsem Rinpoche
For years I have been doing this everywhere I go, no matter where or what country I am in. Always be kind to animals.
1 month ago
For years I have been doing this everywhere I go, no matter where or what country I am in. Always be kind to animals.
Practising makes you better at something. If you keep practising in laziness, that is what you will become good in. If you keep practising generosity, that is what you will develop. Keep practising in what you want to become good at.
1 month ago
Practising makes you better at something. If you keep practising in laziness, that is what you will become good in. If you keep practising generosity, that is what you will develop. Keep practising in what you want to become good at.
Real spirituality is kindness.
1 month ago
Real spirituality is kindness.
Our time on this earth in this lifetime is short. It\'s our choice what will look back on when we are in our final moments.
1 month ago
Our time on this earth in this lifetime is short. It's our choice what will look back on when we are in our final moments.
Materialism, desire and greed never result in happiness.
1 month ago
Materialism, desire and greed never result in happiness.
Never ever eat our friends. Go vegetarian.
1 month ago
Never ever eat our friends. Go vegetarian.
It is a privilege to serve the Dharma and to serve others. Real freedom comes in serving others.
1 month ago
It is a privilege to serve the Dharma and to serve others. Real freedom comes in serving others.
Compared to humans and all other sentient beings, animals have just as much right to happiness and freedom.
1 month ago
Compared to humans and all other sentient beings, animals have just as much right to happiness and freedom.
Dharma is not something I engage in as something separate from me. Dharma has been me since young.
1 month ago
Dharma is not something I engage in as something separate from me. Dharma has been me since young.
How much we are willing to suffer is how compassionate we are.
1 month ago
How much we are willing to suffer is how compassionate we are.
Dharma is the medicine of the mind prescribed by the Buddha.
1 month ago
Dharma is the medicine of the mind prescribed by the Buddha.
How much effort we are willing to put into our practice, is how much results we will get.
1 month ago
How much effort we are willing to put into our practice, is how much results we will get.
What do you worship on your altar, meat or compassion? One develops coldness and encourages lack of empathy, and one choice encourages attainments.
1 month ago
What do you worship on your altar, meat or compassion? One develops coldness and encourages lack of empathy, and one choice encourages attainments.
Where does patience come from? Think about it closely
1 month ago
Where does patience come from? Think about it closely
Indian sadhus and mendicants also very happy to receive Bhagwan Dorje Shugden
1 month ago
Indian sadhus and mendicants also very happy to receive Bhagwan Dorje Shugden
Tsem Rinpoche with the great Geshe Namgyal Wangchen of Drepung Loseling Monastery. Read more: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=132495
2 months ago
Tsem Rinpoche with the great Geshe Namgyal Wangchen of Drepung Loseling Monastery. Read more: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=132495
Some of my favorite people
(1st row) Alexandra David-Neel, Nicholas Roerich, Helena Roerich, Anagarika Govinda
(2nd row) Walter Evans-Wentz, John Blofeld, Bill Porter (Red Pine), Ekai Kawaguchi
2 months ago
Some of my favorite people (1st row) Alexandra David-Neel, Nicholas Roerich, Helena Roerich, Anagarika Govinda (2nd row) Walter Evans-Wentz, John Blofeld, Bill Porter (Red Pine), Ekai Kawaguchi
Do share this message and create more awareness. Thank you
2 months ago
Do share this message and create more awareness. Thank you
All that we want in samsara is just fleeting and illusionary and we are tired of chasing something that is so short lived, Lady Buddha Dakini Vajra Yogini, please embrace me as you did Naropa with great affection and lift me to your Kechara Paradise in my rainbow body. ~Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
All that we want in samsara is just fleeting and illusionary and we are tired of chasing something that is so short lived, Lady Buddha Dakini Vajra Yogini, please embrace me as you did Naropa with great affection and lift me to your Kechara Paradise in my rainbow body. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Lady Buddha Diamond Dakini Vajra Yogini, you appear in so many forms, guises and methods out of great compasion to bring me to your paradise of Kechara heaven. Bless me to waste no more time and engage in my spirituality thoroughly and may I see your coral visage soon. Bless me that I surrender all my games, attachments, projections and endless chasing of all that is futile in samsara now.... Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
Lady Buddha Diamond Dakini Vajra Yogini, you appear in so many forms, guises and methods out of great compasion to bring me to your paradise of Kechara heaven. Bless me to waste no more time and engage in my spirituality thoroughly and may I see your coral visage soon. Bless me that I surrender all my games, attachments, projections and endless chasing of all that is futile in samsara now.... Tsem Rinpoche
Sri Lanka is one of the most beautiful places I have visited. There is so much to explore. I have compiled 20 MUST VISIT places for you to see in Sri Lanka. Enjoy the post and the great pictures! Enjoy: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=127234
3 months ago
Sri Lanka is one of the most beautiful places I have visited. There is so much to explore. I have compiled 20 MUST VISIT places for you to see in Sri Lanka. Enjoy the post and the great pictures! Enjoy: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=127234
 http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/wp-content/gallery/chat-pictures/chat-8yzmaqog68754.jpg Sacred and holy Lady Buddha Vajra Yogini being escorted from the Vajra Yogini temple on the streets on festival day to bless the masses. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/wp-content/gallery/chat-pictures/chat-8yzmaqog68754.jpg Sacred and holy Lady Buddha Vajra Yogini being escorted from the Vajra Yogini temple on the streets on festival day to bless the masses. Tsem Rinpoche
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ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

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

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

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

  • August 22, 2017 01:55
    jason asked: what is the significance of a solar eclipse in terms of sadhana practice besides multiplying merit
    Pastor Niral Patel answered: Dear Jason, Thank you for your question. It is good to see you here. As you have rightly pointed out, during solar eclipses the merit from engaging in virtuous actions are greatly multiplied. Therefore there are many prescribed practices one can do during these times to generate a lot of merit, such as engaging in prayers, making abundant offerings, animal liberation, taking precepts for the day, etc. In terms of sadhana practice, the main benefit here would be the multiplication of merits generated. However on a tantric level, since the movements of the planets are linked to the movement of energy within the universe, and therefore one’s body, there would be subtle changes in the psychic winds within the body as well. On the whole, the patterns of the universe are mirrored within the psychic winds in the body as well. The tantric system that deals with these movements in the most detail is the Kalachakra Tantra, which you can read more about here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/tibetan-astrology/introduction-to-tibetan-astrology.html In the Kalachakra Tantra it is said that when a solar eclipse occurs, merit is either multiplied a thousand, ten-thousand times, or a hundred-thousand times. The sun and the moon are linked with the psychic winds, channels and drops with tantric practice. According to the Kalachakra Tantra everyone breathes 21,600 time every day and our minds are said to ride on the winds within our bodies. The majority of the winds within out body are karmic winds, in that they come about and are affected by karmic tendencies. During an eclipse however, more wisdom winds are said to prevail in the body. As these circulate in the body, doing Dharma practice, especially tantric practices in which you use these winds, one can achieve spiritual attainments at a speed that would not normally be possible. In traditional mythology, there is a celestial body known as Rahu. This isn’t actually a physical planet, but a node on the orbit of the moon. When Rahu appears, he is said to swallow the sun for some time, this is the ancient explanation of a solar eclipse. Rahu is also known as the “dragon’s head”. Within the Kalachakra Tantra, practitioners use Rahu to bring the sun and the moon under control. As the sun is associated with psychic channels on the right side of the body, and the moon with psychic channels on the left side of the body, what this means is that the practitioner controls these energies and brings them into the central psychic channel instead. Thereby the solar eclipse is said to mirror a tantric yogi’s ability to bring the psychic energies of the left and right side into the central channel. Once in the central channel the yogi can engage in the higher psychic energy meditations in order to gain spiritual attainments and even enlightenment. For an everyday practitioner therefore, the main benefit of practicing during a solar eclipse is the multiplication of merit. For a tantric practitioner however, it is a time that they can make use of the energies of nature to boost their practices. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • August 18, 2017 01:27
    Todd asked: Does Rinpoche have any information on the deity Rakta Yamari, who is believed to be an emanation of Manjushri?
    Pastor Niral Patel answered: Dear Todd, Thank you for your interesting question. Rakta Yamari is indeed a wrathful emanation of Manjushri, in the form of a yidam or meditational deity belonging to the Anuttarayoga, or highest tantra, class of deities. The practice has been incorporated into all four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism: the Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya and Gelug. Generally speaking some of the wrathful forms of Manjushri can be classified into three groupings, the Rakta (blood-red), Krishna (blue-black), and Vajrabhairava (adamantine terrifying). Since Rakta Yamari is therefore a classification of deities, it would be hard to give information here on all of them. The specific forms of Rakta Yamari differ in how the main figure appears and the number of other deities in the mandala. Of particular note, is that each of these forms and their practices has their own lineage of practice as well. Whilst there are forms of all three classifications within the four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism, certain lineages place more emphasis on a particular form than others. For example, within the Gelug lineage emphasis is placed on Vajrabhairava Yamantaka, of which there are two forms in particular that are practiced: 13-deity Yamantaka, and Solitary Hero Yamantaka. In fact Vajrabhairava Yamantaka is one of the three main Anuttarayoga Tantra deities practiced in the Gelug lineage, which we follow, alongside the Akshobhyavajra variant of Guhyasamaja and Chakrasamvara. There are two important lineages of Rakta Yamari practice: the 13-deity Rakta Yamari, and the 5-deity Rakta Yamari practice. Both of these practices can be traced back to an important lineage holder, the Indian Mahasiddha Virupa. In the case of the 5-deity Rakta Yamari lineage, he was taught the practice by a wisdom dakini. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • August 17, 2017 19:26
    Aldric Wilson DuXing asked: How can the alleged "DiSanShr" "Dorje Chang Fo" Yi Yun Gao be the actual incarnation of Buddha Dipankara Buddha?
    Pastor Niral Patel answered: Dear Aldric Wilson DuXing, Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, I do not know much about Yi Yun Gao to be able to comment on this. However, within Buddhism we do believe that the Buddhas, out of their compassion appear in human form to help sentient beings in whatever way they can. Within Tibetan Buddhism there is a long history of recognising great masters as the physical body emanations (also known as tulkus) of the Buddhas. The logic behind this is that the Buddhas are all compassionate and so help sentient beings in any and all means that they can. This would obviously include taking the physical form of a human. To say that the Buddhas cannot or do not do this, would be limiting the abilities of the enlightened beings, which goes against the scriptures. In fact, in the scriptures it states that Buddhas can emanate out in countless different forms at the same time. This includes animate beings, such as humans, animals, etc., and also inanimate objects such as bridges, or other things. These emanations, or incarnations if in human form, can be recognised by those who have the ability to perceive the enlightened beings, such as highly attained masters or other emanations themselves. That is why you see only the highest masters within the Tibetan Buddhist traditions recognise others as incarnations of the Buddhas. Other methods of confirming this can include checking with an enlightened Dharma protector, such as Dorje Shugden, when in trance of a qualified oracle. Those who really are emanations of the enlightened beings do not actually need to be recognised as such, as they will always help others no matter if they are recognised or not. However the recognition of such beings is more for us, as practitioners to gain merit by helping them achieve their goal of helping other sentient beings. But as I mentioned earlier, these beings do not self-proclaim themselves but are recognised as such by other highly attained masters who are trustworthy and really work for the cause of helping others by upholding and practicing the holy teachings of Lord Buddha. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • August 16, 2017 00:47
    Anonymous asked: Sorry about the link not working. They can be found at dharmawheel.net and then looked under Tibetan Buddhism and then under topics which are under all the other lineage topics. Since this is recent, the title "Crazy Scandal somewhat related to Gelug hitting Taiwan" should come up. But anyway, here are the sources in that case: https://ladakh2017blog.wordpress.com/2017/08/12/mary-jin-gebis/ https://maisonneuve.org/article/2013/06/18/when-monks-come-town/ https://ladakh2017blog.wordpress.com/2017/08/14/bw-dorje-shugden/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ad355FqDQuo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzvPhv_eldk http://www.blisswisdom.org/statement/1854-1006 https://ladakh2017blog.wordpress.com/2017/07/24/dalai-lama-speaks-to-chinese-devotees-about-bliss-and-wisdom/
    No reply yet
  • August 15, 2017 01:43
    Anonymous asked: Hi, although this is not a question, I would like to bring awareness towards a particular cult in China and Taiwan that has been having scandals with their leader, Mary Jin. The cult has been defaming the Dalai Lama and has begun supporting Shugden here even though that's not really bad. However, I would like to bring attention so they may not begin corrupting the Buddhists here. Even though I used a dharmawheel website, it has links to its sources: https://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=40
    pastor answered: Dear Anonymous, Thank you for bringing this to our attention, however the link you provided does not work. I do not know anything about this particular person or their organisation, so I really can’t say much. However, there are some people out there who use religion for their personal gain, and twist the teachings to suit their greed. These sorts of people are often embroiled in scandals and the like and often have views that go against common sense. That is why it is very important to check that a teacher is qualified, is practicing, and is teaching the Dharma as it should be according to the scriptures. All students are encouraged do to so and this in mentioned clearly in the scriptures themselves. The actions of a teacher should be in line with actions laid out in the scriptures and their views should match the logic laid out in the scriptures as well. Once we see a teacher’s qualities, and we have made sure that what they practice is real and genuine, we can devote ourselves to that person fully. We at Kechara, following the teachings of His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche, think very highly of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, as he is the emanation of the Buddha of compassion, Chenrezig. Similarly, we also believe that Dorje Shugden is the emanation of the Buddha of wisdom, Manjushri. For us, both are enlightened beings, and many practitioners all around world follow this belief as well. We are saddened to see or hear when others talk badly about either, since both are enlightened beings capable of benefiting the world tremendously. Thank you.
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Dorje Shugden Puja in Wisdom Hall, Kechara Forest Retreat. You can order a Puja through Kechara House or www.vajrasecrets.com
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Dorje Shugden Puja in Wisdom Hall, Kechara Forest Retreat. You can order a Puja through Kechara House or http://www.vajrasecrets.com
Kayene, 5 years old, from Kechara Sunday Dharma School. Stella Cheang
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Kayene, 5 years old, from Kechara Sunday Dharma School. Stella Cheang
Chern Chern, 4 years old, from Kechara Sunday Dharma School. Stella Cheang
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Chern Chern, 4 years old, from Kechara Sunday Dharma School. Stella Cheang
Charmaine, Zi Xuan and Hulbert are practicing a dance performance during Kechara Sunday Dharma School. Stella Cheang
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Charmaine, Zi Xuan and Hulbert are practicing a dance performance during Kechara Sunday Dharma School. Stella Cheang
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Dechen and Lip Yew are good friends in Kechara Sunday Dharma School. Stella Cheang
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Teacher Jayce and Teacher Lin Mun guided the children to do an experiment with mixing colours that represents life experiences. Alice Tay, KSDS
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The students worked together to find the answer. Alice Tay, KSDS
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These students are well behaved and give support to those are participated in the competition. Alice Tay, KSDS
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KSDS students gathered together for the song practice. Alice Tay, KSDS
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Dorje Shugden
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