Kechara’s 13 Departments (Part 2)
Part 2 – 7 departments
Kechara House is the Dharma centre and the heart of the Kechara organisation. Kechara is named after the heaven of one of the highest tantric female Buddha Vajrayogini and is under the spiritual guidance of our dear Lama, H.E. Tsem Rinpoche. Now while we may not actually be in Kechara Heaven right now, Rinpoche has established this wonderful centre for us to take that first step to get there.
The first link between our Spiritual Guide and Malaysia was made in 1992 when Rinpoche was sent to Malaysia by his monastery, Gaden Shartse, to raise funds through giving Dharma teachings. During his short visit to Malaysia, Rinpoche had already gathered a group of students in this region. After accomplishing his mission, he returned to Gaden Monastery in South India the following year.
Rinpoche’s Malaysian students then began visiting him at Gaden and writing to him, requesting him to return to Malaysia to continue to teach. Out of his great kindness and in response to the many repeated requests he received, Rinpoche began to travel back and forth between Malaysia and India, teaching small groups in his students’ houses and apartments.
Finally in the year 2000, as a result of Rinpoche’s hard work together with several of his students, Kechara House was born. From a single floor in a shop lot, it has now grown to four double-storey shop lots (this new gompa (prayer hall) will be ready in 2-3 weeks times with seating capacity of 700, more pictures will be updated when the time comes) in SunwayMas Commercial Centre a small but very busy new township on the outskirts of the Kuala Lumpur city centre. (see construction of the new gompa here)
Kechara House follows the sacred Gelugpa Tradition of Gaden, which has an unbroken lineage from Buddha Shakyamuni (624-540 BC) to the Indian pandit, Atisha (982-1054 AD) and to the renowned Tibetan scholar, Je Tsongkhapa (1357-1419 AD).
But what does all that mean, anyway? Rinpoche shares this ancient Buddhist wisdom in a dynamic and contemporary style, which appeals to many modern people today and provides practical, inspiring solutions to many of the problems, stress or confusion we face today. This empowering and exciting energy is embodied in the activities and growth of the entire Kechara organisation. At Kechara House, the wide range of activities provides something for everyone; from the corporate professional to the hippy artist to the entire family.
As a Dharma centre, Kechara House offers weekly prayer sessions (known as pujas), as well as special pujas upon request – such as for particularly urgent cases, health, travel, examinations, clearing of obstacles or protection. Anyone is welcome to attend, to learn the sacred, traditional methods for making a profound connection with the enlightened beings, receive blessings and engage in spiritual practice with a supportive, loving community. Do note that Kechara is also probably the only centre in Malaysia which has learnt how to do these traditional pujas directly from monks from Gaden Monastery – we recite them in the original Tibetan and perform the rituals exactly as is done by the monks.
For those interested in the study of Buddhist philosophy, there is a range of Dharma classes suited to different levels of learning which are streamed live on www.justin.tv/kechara for students who are overseas or unable to physically attend. As knowledge and learning forms the basis of all Buddhist practice, Kechara House encourages people of all levels, ages and interest levels to join in the classes, where there is always debate and discussion to foster more interactive learning. Now, there are also kids’ classes, tailored for different age-groups of children and which provide a colourful variety of activities to assist in learning.
There are study groups in Ipoh, Malacca, Johor, London and Singapore, where groups of students gather to learn Dharma according to Rinpoche’s teachings and to perform pujas. Members from Kechara House regularly visit these study groups to share and perform pujas with them, as well as to stay connected to out-stationed friends. Many of these members also come to join in the main activities of Kechara in Kuala Lumpur.
For visiting students from out of town, there is a simple guest house where they can stay. Since it was set up in 2007, we’ve had friends from all over the world – Australia, UK, Indonesia, Portugal – who have come to stay in our guest house and join in activities throughout the organization. Students can also use the guest house for retreat purposes.
As a meeting point for all departments of Kechara, KH organizes many activities for both individuals and families to participate in. For example, there are animal liberation days at parks to put compassion into action, Family Days to foster strong family bonding, recycling initiatives to love our earth and even birthday parties just to celebrate good times with each other. Being with friends of Kechara House is like being with a second family!
Now, because the activities have grown so huge, we are very quickly running out of space to accommodate everyone. So, right as we’re writing this, a new gompa (temple) is under construction, scheduled to be ready by November. Watch for it!
The President of Kechara House and Liaison of Tsem Ladrang, Datuk May Phng says, “At Kechara, attending pujas, Dharma classes, various activities and most of all, listening to H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s teachings will create the methods for you to live your life with purpose and wisdom to benefit others. The results will be that you will create your own self worth and great happiness.”
This is what Kechara House is all about – to bring peace, harmony and joy to all our lives as embodied by Rinpoche, and to bring this aspiration to life with alternative healing, philosophy and arts at the Kechara World Peace Centre – our 30-acre forest retreat centre.
Kh1: Dharma teaching by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche in Kechara House are always packed out by enthusiastic Dharma students and friends.
KH2: Special puja sessions and prayer festivals, such as for Cheng Meng and Wesak Day, are organized by Kechara House and open to everyone.
KH3: Dharma classes in Kechara House always encourage group discussions, questioning and debate as a swift and interactive way of learning
KH4: Fun family days out in the sun bring families closer and provide kids with plenty of exciting activities to keep body, mind and spirit healthy and active!
KH5: Kechara loves our Earth! Do you? Join in our monthly recycling project.
KH6: KH has a very dedicated, trained puja team who work hard to introduce these sacred, ancient prayers to others and teach them how to join in the weekly sessions.
KH7: Kechara House loves to throw a good party too to celebrate the achievements and contributions of its members, as well as to bring people closer together.
Overlooking the Boudhanath Stupa, one of the most spiritually significant sites in Kathmandu, Nepal, Kechara Lounge is a gorgeous, warm centre for international pilgrims and visitors to learn about Kechara and Lama Tsongkhapa’s lineage as taught by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche.
Under the leadership of Chuah Su Ming, Ladrang Liaison and Head of Kechara Care, Kechara Lounge, Kechara’s first international visitors’ centre, was opened in February 2009. Its purpose is to share Rinpoche’s teachings and to educate guests on our lineage and practices. Books and DVDs of Rinpoche’s teachings are available for anyone to browse through or watch, while seated on the cosy sofas of the lounge. Visitors can also choose to relax and meditate in the lounge or simply enjoy the stunning view of Boudhanath Stupa itself or of practitioners doing prostrations or circumambulating the stupa. You can’t help but feel on top of the world when you’re looking out of these windows!
There is a traditional Lama’s throne set up as an exhibit, labeled with clear explanations. Visitors may also make traditional Tibetan khata offerings to the throne and offer their individual prayers. Large information panels with comprehensive explanations are dotted throughout the lounge to allow visitors to make their own self-guided tour.
Liaison Chuah Su Ming shares, “Nepal is a magnet for spiritual seekers and trekkers from all over the world, and many have visited Kechara Lounge, taking back Rinpoche’s books and DVD teachings home with them. I have benefited so much from Rinpoche’s Dharma teachings and I really hope that Kechara Lounge will allow us to share this life changing wisdom with many.”
At the centre of the lounge is the highlight of this small but energetic space: a large statue of Vajrayogini, similar to that of Rinpoche’s personal statue gives visitors to have the rare opportunity to get up close and personal with this high tantric female deity. Accompanying explanations of her iconography and the significance of her symbology provide visitors with wonderful insight into this aspect of Buddhist practice. (Rinpoche has also given an extensive teaching on Vajrayogini’s iconography here).
Nepal has an especially close link to Vajrayogini and there are many holy temples and private chapels dedicated to her. From a pilgrimage led by Rinpoche in 2008, a coffee table book about Vajrayogini was written by KMP writer and apprentice to the Liaisons’ Council, David Lai and Kechara Discovery Liaison Paul Yap, entitled Vajrayogini and Other Sacred Power Places in Nepal. This beautiful book is filled with great information and vivid imagery, including some of private chapels which have never been previously photographed. It is available in English and Chinese, and since its publication, has received enthusiastic response from readers in this region as well as from pilgrims visiting Kechara Lounge in Kathmandu.
Get started on your own pilgrimage with this book, then hop on the next flight, make your way to Boudhanath Stupa and check in at our lounge. Kechara’s going global and we hope to see you there soon!
KL1: A stunning, sacred five foot Vajrayogini statue greets all visitors as they enter Kechara Lounge.
KL2: Visitors and local Nepalese friends alike are encouraged to make khata offerings and prayers at Rinpoche’s throne (representing the presence of the Lama).
KL3: Just a stone’s throw away from the iconic Boudhanath stupa, Kechara Lounge is fast becoming a landmark of the area!
KL4: The throne and altar area provides a perfect space for individual meditation or some quiet time.
KL5: A learning corner comes equipped with a TV and plenty of books and DVDs for visitors to browse and learn.
KL6: Kechara Lounge is right on the circuit surrounding Boudhanath stupa, Kathmandu’s most iconic Buddhist site which is visited yearly by thousands of pilgrims, foreigns, local Nepalese and the Sangha.
The state of being poor is not limited to just the physical aspects in life. It is not just about having no money, no food to eat, no shelter to call home and being denied of the very opportunity that allows us to live decently. Many a times, it is not the poverty or even the hunger which destroys our will to survive. It is the loss of hope.
Having spent many cold and sleepless nights on the streets himself, H.E. Tsem Rinpoche has always wished to help other homeless people, to provide some relief to them when probably no one else would. Rinpoche himself started giving food to the homeless of Malaysia many years ago. He would just drive around with some students and offer food to anyone he came across on the streets. To this day, KSK remains a cause that is very close to Rinpoche’s heart. “No matter what is going on in their lives, everyone needs to eat,” he has explained. These were the humble beginnings of Kechara Soup Kitchen, now one of the city’s most successful and widely recognised charities.
From there, small groups of students started going out to give about 25 packets of food a week to the homeless around the nucleus of the city. This has grown in leaps and bounds. Today, driven by the passion and energy of Liaison Ruby Khong, KSK distributes over 800 packets of food every weekend and has established its own permanent building in the city. Their doors are open seven days a week, providing hot food, shelter, medical aid, washing facilities and simply a comfortable place for the homeless to draw some respite from the streets.
In the course of Kechara Soup Kitchen’s work, have seen people as young as 18, and as old as over 60 living in the darkest corners of the city. They are all of different races and gender. KSK’s slogan “Hunger knows no barriers” refers to the non-discriminatory nature of this group and the fact that they will feed anyone, regardless of creed, culture, age or background.
Then again, KSK’s scope doesn’t just stop at providing food. The warmly coloured orange packets are a means of creating friendships with our clients on the streets to find out their stories and how else we can help them. From there, KSK has been able to help more than 40 people register and replace their Identity Cards so that they can finally be “legally recognised”. KSK has offered countless people medical aid and even sent some to local clinics and hospitals.
Most rewarding to hear are the countless success stories of how KSK has helped some of the homeless find jobs which has opened up brand new doors for them and helped them find their way back into society. More importantly, these job placements have helped them regain their dignity and some are even giving back to KSK in their wish to pay the kindness forward. This is the real job of Kechara Soup Kitchen. It does not stop at feeding, it begins with feeding.
Justin Cheah, KSK Project Director, especially spends huge amounts of time with every single individual he meets on the streets. He even spends his days off driving around the city to find new places where there are homeless, so that KSK can expand their reach. He personally drives KSK’s homeless clients around to doctors or job interviews, settles them into the new jobs or welfare homes, or even takes them out for a nice hot meal.
One particular example is Mr. Shaipol who was homeless. Through KSK, he first found a job at Armada Hotel. Now, he has moved onto a higher paying job as a technician in Digi where his job takes him all over Asia to countries such as Philippines and Indonesia. A new chapter in his life has begun and it all started over a simple packet of rice and bread.
The success of KSK in creating such a tangible difference to the lives of others has further inspired many people to sponsor and support their works. Prominent F&B outlets, supermarkets, corporate companies and individuals have pledged and donated extremely generously towards their work, making it possible for KSK to expand quickly and aid more individuals.
In recognition of the incredible contribution that KSK is making towards helping the community, this group has received a great deal of support from our own government. Datuk Victor Wee, Chairman of Tourism Malaysia lends his full support as the patron of KSK and even joins the food distribution rounds alongside the many volunteers. More recently, during KSK’s annual fundraising dinner, YB Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, Minister of Women, Family and Community Development expressed her support for KSK and even donated RM50,000 towards their work!
From its extensive work, KSK has also garnered much media coverage, both locally in all prominent Malaysian publications and internationally: KSK President Ruby Khong was recently given the strongest recognition for her efforts when she was featured in Forbes’Asia’s list of 48 Heroes of Philanthropy. We’re very proud of her, dedicating her whole life to helping others. Thank you, Ruby!
And the goodness just keeps on going. From recent media coverage by The Star, KSK’s was even able to reunite a lady, Jit, with her long-lost family. Her family heard about her story through an article in the newspaper and before long, sisters were reunited, after being estranged for 25 years.
In KSK, the committed team and all volunteers are connecting people with one another through compassion in action. They do their work, quietly but with a huge amount of care so that our community does not neglect, reject and forget about those who are less fortunate than us.
KSK1: KSK’s brand new building in town is set to reach out even further to help even more people on the streets of KL.
KSK2: Jit was reunited with her family thanks to the many efforts of KSK and supportive media coverage from The Star newsaper.
KSK3: Justin Cheah, spends a lot of time and care to find out exactly how he can help each homeless person he meets.
KSK4: Justin settling an old homeless lady, Elumalai, into a welfare home.
KSK5: From A to Z: volunteers get stuck into the whole process of food distribution rounds, including packing the food, driving around town, giving out food to the homeless and following up on each case.
KSK6: Ruby has become one of the most beloved personalities in the media. Here she is featured in the Malaysian Women’s Weekly which has nominated her as one of this year’s “Great Women of Our Time”.
KSK7: Day or night, rain or shine, KSK volunteers go out every weekend to distribute food. We are now an identifiable group and our homeless clients usually wait for us in the same place each week.
KSK8: KSK shows us a different side of the city and gives us the chance to contribute back to society and provide others with opportunities that we often take for granted.
As the HQ of any Dharma organization or monastic community, a Ladrang is the official residence and private office of the Lama, where he lives and works from.
It is more than just a household however. This is where everything is mapped out, planned and executed on behalf of the whole organisation. Tsem Ladrang in particular is where everything in Kechara begins and stems from. Without the Lama and his teachings, there would be nothing, so the Ladrang, in support of his works, is extremely significant.
There are currently three Tsem Ladrangs: one in Kathmandu, Nepal, one Gaden Monastery in India and the main one right here in Kuala Lumpur. Tsem Ladrang in Kuala Lumpur is the headquarters and the main residence of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche.
The Ladrang team manages the entire Ladrang, as well as overseeing activities and work in various other Kechara departments. This team is led by Kechara House’s dynamic President, Datuk May Phng and a deeply devoted group of Ladrang Liaisons, JP Thong, Chuah Su Ming, Ooi Beng Kooi and Pastor Loh Seng Piow. Together with a large team of staff and committed volunteers, they take care of all daily matters of the Lama and centre so that the Lama can be relieved of mundane matters and focus solely on teaching and spreading the Dharma.
This group of students is strongly committed to the Dharma and the Lama. They also believe in the benefits that the Dharma can bring to each person’s life. Therefore, they have made a decision to serve the Dharma and Lama directly. They are a special class of students who are willingly to put the welfare of others above their own. While others sleep, they are still working. Their selfless desire for the Dharma to grow in order to help as many people as possible is demonstrated daily in the huge amount of work that they do.
Tsem Ladrang in Kuala Lumpur is extensively equipped to support the huge amount of work that is done there. From a fully equipped, state-of-the-art kitchen to comprehensive office facilities, the Ladrang makes it easy for staff and volunteers to contribute to Dharma work. Of course, it isn’t just the physical building that facilitates Dharma activity. It is also the big love and care that you are greeted with the moment you enter Ladrang’s doors – from giving hot cups of tea to dinner to gifts for new friends, Ladrang looks out for the welfare of every person in the organization.
As the spiritual heart of the organization, much space is also allocated for the main prayer hall, which features a wall of 208 Lama Tsongkhapa statues and a stunning eight-foot state of Rinpoche’s previous life, indicative of the huge scope of work that this lifetime will also accomplish. Huge offerings are made daily on the main altar, which is set up and maintained to collect merit on behalf of the whole organization so that every of our works will flourish to assist more people. There is also an audience room for people to meet with Rinpoche.
Every space is utilized to its fullest potential. Even the garden has been transformed into a mini animal sanctuary with a spacious, beautiful aviary and turtle pen. This forms the beginning of the animal sanctuary, where Rinpoche himself and students spend much time and effort rescuing and caring for animals.
In all this generous space, Rinpoche only occupies a small area which is his private apartment and living quarters. The rest of the entire Ladrang is largely utilized by the Ladrang staff and Rinpoche’s other students who may be working in the Ladrang over a period of time for a particular project. Currently, Kechara InMotion is housed within the Ladrang. E-Division was also formerly part of the Ladrang until they grew into a department of their own.
On top of that, media interviews are conducted in the Ladrang, important meetings between Liaisons and various departments are held in the large conference room, volunteers come to do their work in the admin offices, young kids offer a part of their school holidays to working in the aviary and looking after the animals, puja practices are conducted in the main prayer hall…. The list goes on and the activity in the Ladrang each day is proof of how alive Dharma work and practice is in KL.
It is crucial for any Lama’s Ladrang to be managed well. It is only then that the real work of the Lama can manifest. Without a dedicated team working alongside the Lama, all things would be accomplished with much delay or not at all. Hence, the heart center of any Dharma organization is the Lama’s Ladrang. From here, all else will arise.
Ladrang1: All creatures great and small are well loved in Tsem Ladrang.
Ladrang2: Where it all begins… The Ladrang is the most important department of any Dharma organization as it is where the Lama’s teachings and activities will arise.
Ladrang3: The Ladrang provides many opportunities to get involved and contribute to Dharma. Here, celebrity Joanne Kam Poh Poh gets stuck into helping the kitchen to prepare food for a liaisons meeting.
Ladrang5: The audience room, where people can have private audiences and blessings with Rinpoche.
Ladrang5: Full office facilities and ample space are provided for volunteers to come by and work, complete assignments or even simply to relax!
Ladrang6: Is that Santa’s grotto? No, it’s just even bigger and better! The Ladrang gift section is one of the most important divisions which offers many things to people to bring the blessings of Dharma into their lives.
In many countries in Asia, vegetarianism is not considered part of the mainstream culture. It is mostly identified as a religious practice or perceived to be as a religious code of conduct. In fact, the idea that vegetarianism could be a conscious lifestyle choice would seem rather absurd to many!
To become a vegetarian is not simply a healthy choice, it is a conscious choice made from realizing the importance of all life forms. In Buddhism, we believe in no killing and our religion is compassion. It doesn’t make sense to preach about loving kindness while we stuff our faces with meat at the same time.
Kechara Oasis encourages “compassionate dining” by providing a fully vegetarian menu. H.E. Tsem Rinpoche has been urging many of his students to contemplate the incredible sufferings that animals have to go through just for us to satisfy our palates and fashion preferences.
It is with this in mind that Rinpoche prompted Irene Lim to open Kechara Oasis a vegetarian restaurant that promotes interesting and healthy vegetarian dishes, while showing that we do not need to eat meat to enjoy a good, wholesome, tasty meal.
The chefs in KO are constantly creating new and exciting dishes to take vegetarian dining to another level. While there are already several vegetarian restaurants around the country, KO marks a definitive step forward in creating fine-dining vegetarian dining. The exciting menu boasts dishes that are infused with Eastern and Himalayan flavours – from Tibetan to Nepali to an East-Meets-West fusion of tastes. The chefs even travelled to Taiwan and Nepal specially to learn new techniques and recipes, which they have brought back into KO’s menu.
KO also boasts huge diversity and versatility in its menu. On top of its vast selection of fusion foods, the restaurant also features a unique dessert and pastry division which specializes in delicious eggless cookies, cakes for special occasions, seasonal goodies such as moon cakes and Chinese New Year cookies.
From in-house dining, KO has further expanded to catering for large-scale events, themed parties, weddings and even karaoke nights. The restaurant has hosted wedding celebrations for up to 230 people within its premises as well as in external locations – proving that there’s no stopping them when it comes to bringing healthy, delicious food to the city. That’s the true Malaysian spirit!
Since it opened in early 2009, KO has received many accolades for its excellent food and service. Most recently, they have even received a nomination for the Hospitality Asia Platinum Awards 2010-2012. They’ve also been featured in many major publications around the country, such as Flavours magazine, New Straits Times and The Sun and even on an online travel e-zine, Passport. KO were also invited to cater for a PETA event; as this is the world’s most prominent organization in protecting the rights of animals, this invitation is the best endorsement that KO could have received for their contribution towards saving animal lives.
Much of KO’s work is tied into the larger work that Kechara is trying to accomplish to bring greater awareness of animal welfare. KO’s encouragement of compassionate dining, for example, is linked very closely to the work of the Kechara Animal Sanctuary and it is our hope that we can urge people to start thinking twice about how they are treating other living beings.
In Kechara Oasis, everyone can dine with the peace of mind that no animal has suffered in order to satiate their appetites. This is fine dining in every sense of the word.
KO1: All decked out for a banquet!
KO2: A busy night at KO: these people know good food when they see it!
KO3: Yum yum! You’l be spoilt for choice at Kechara Oasis.
KO4: KO’s wide range of services on offer include extensive catering services to suit your needs.
KO5: KO transformed! The restaurant is very versatile and can also host a range of exciting themed parties.
KO6: Go green: love the earth, your stomach and all the animals of the world.
Almost of all Kechara’s history begins in Kechara Paradise, especially the first outlet in SS2 which served both as a Dharma store and a place of gathering for Dharma teachings 10 years ago in 2000. As there was little access to Dharma materials at the time, the outlets were conceptualised by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche to provide statues, books, thangkas and other ritual implements for Dharma practitioners. Four years later, our Dharma centre Kechara House opened, using the same “Kechara” name that was first used by the outlet.
Subsequently, four other outlets have sprung up and a dedicated team of managers and sales people, all headed by Liaison Henry Ooi, manage all aspects of these retail stores. These outlets carry everything from statues and pendants that are mainly sourced by Kechara Discovery, thangkas, books and videos by Kechara Media & Publications along with a huge range of artefacts and cultural items sourced from around Asia. Henry, goes personally with KP managers to countries around the region to hand-pick items for the outlets.
Each KP outlet plays a pivotal role in the growth of the Kechara organisation. Although it may seem like a commercial establishment, KP serves as more than just a business entity. Each of the outlets is like a gateway for many people around the country to connect to Kechara and Rinpoche, and learn more about the Dharma. In fact, many of our members of Kechara House came through the outlets. This is why Rinpoche took great pains to ensure that each outlet is strategically located in some of the busiest locations, such as shopping malls or bustling neighbourhoods. Further, all proceeds go back into Dharma work, and into the upkeep and stocking of the outlets.
Liaison Henry Ooi, head of Kechara Paradise says, “Kechara Paradise was totally inspired by Rinpoche. It was not easy in the beginning because we are faced with so many obstacles that ranged from staffing, finances and so on. However, it was worth it because we see many new people enter the Dharma because of our outlets. I am very proud to see it expand and bring so much benefit to so many people.”
KP holds much importance within the Kechara mandala because other departments have been born from or continue to be supported by the outlets. Kechara Saraswati Arts, for example, began in the back room of the first SS2 outlet, while the first round of Kechara Soup Kitchen’s food distribution was done in a Kechara Paradise outlet in downtown Bukit Bintang. Book clubs organized by KMP have also been held in KP outlets, introducing Kechara’s extensive work to many others.
Since it first began in a 2nd floor shoplot, KP has since entered various malls like One Utama Shopping Centre and Sunway Pyramid; another outlet will soon be moving to the newly opened Viva Mall in the busy suburb of Cheras. KP has also expanded to the north in Penang, where it caters to more practitioners and friends. A study and puja group is even starting to flourish up in Penang now thanks to the efforts of KP Penang’s manager Patsy Gooi. Most recently, the historic Kechara Paradise store in SS2 has moved into a ground floor location where visibility of the Kechara name is much higher.
KP don’t just stay in their outlets; they also come out to meet the rest of Malaysia! Regular roadshows to other cities in Malaysia and different locations within KL bring the outlets to the world and introduce many more people to what Kechara is all about. It is from these roadshows that many begin to develop a strong connection to Dharma; from here, volunteers join other departments, start attending pujas and teachings and sometimes, even go on to join the Dharma full time!
As an additional service, the KP outlets also invest a lot of time, effort and care in helping customers to invite their Buddha statues home. KP have many very talented staff who are well versed in the practices according to Rinpoche’s teachings and our Gaden lineage, and they personally advise each and every customer on how they can set up their altars and begin their practice at home. They will even make house calls to customers’ homes or offices to assist them with their altars.
It sure looks like there can only be good things in store for KP as they continue to grow and connect more people to the blessings of Dharma. It’s time to get your credit cards out and start shopping for the best cause there is: Enlightenment!
PS: And even if you’re not in Malaysia, you still have a chance to enjoy all the beauty that KP has to offer. Visit our e-shop and go wild!
KP1: Kechara Paradise outlet in SS2, Petaling Jaya
KP2: Interior of Kechara Paradise
KP3: Interior of Kechara Paradise
KP4: Interior of Kechara Paradise
KP5: A cosy book club held up north in Kechara Paradise Penang, where Liaisons gave a sharing about new books from KMP.
KP6: You can’t help but leave as a happy shopper after visiting one of the Kechara Paradise outlets!
KP7: This is style at its best! Each outlet is very carefully planned and designed to suit different tastes and interests.
KP8: Our lovely little outlet in Penang is just like our outlets back in the Klang Valley and continues to expand to include a study and puja group.
KP9: With stunning statues and beautiful, artistic masterpieces, our Kechara Paradise outlets are more than just a retail store. They are also very relaxing, calming places to just spend time in and unwind.
KP10: Kechara Paradise outlets all include little traditional elements to reflect the Tibetan and Himalayan heritage that we draw from.
KP11: Lively roadshows, like this one right in the heart of Sunway Pyramid, create a real buzz among shoppers.
KP12: From grand antique statues to smaller, colourful ones, Kechara Paradise has something for everyone to start their spiritual practice.
Kechara World Peace Centre, affectionately known as KWPC, has been a long-time dream of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche, who had talked often of building a retreat centre, to be dedicated to the kind people and government of Malaysia.
As the culmination of all 13 departments, KWPC is at the heart of every single Kechara member, something we are all striving towards in each department, activity and individual practice. KWPC will bring the efforts of all existing Kechara departments into one beautiful place. It strives to establish a new generation of spiritual practice, learning and healing of many levels to people of this region and beyond.
KWPC was conceived in 2005, when Rinpoche described to a few students his vision about a piece of land that would be suitable for building a retreat centre. Rinpoche said he saw a long winding road on his left, with trees, which lead to a place where there was some development. From the top, he saw some white buildings, and on the right, another winding road leading to a piece of land. In front of this land was a small open clearing. On his right, there was a slope with trees where the sun was shining. He saw a big statue of Lama Tsongkhapa sitting majestically in front of him on the hill, blessing the environment.
Rinpoche pointed out which direction the sun would rise and set from where he was. He also indicated that the land would be in the Gombak area. Rinpoche added that this land would be ideal for people who would want to do retreats or to get away from the hustle, bustle and pollution of the city: a perfect getaway in the hills.
In this peaceful rainforest, KWPC will manifest in harmony with nature. With al fresco cafes, forest walks, boutiques, arts and crafts workshops, qi gong, yoga and other classes, there will be something for everyone – all designed to bring wellness to our mind, body and spirit within the fresh, cooling highlands.
In 2006, Honorary Liaison Datin Ng and her husband, Dato’ Jeffrey viewed several plots of land but found them unsuitable. In April 2007, Datin Ng was asked by Rinpoche to head this special project of looking for the retreat land and she accepted. A few months later, amazingly, a piece of land was found, which had terrain that was exactly as Rinpoche had described. Datin Ng then organised for the land to be acquired.
Before any development can be done, we have had to complete the soil investigation process. This was headed by KWPC executive committee member, Liaison Ngeow Voon Chin and took seven weeks, with Mr Ngeow being on site daily.
Before that, all members of Kechara also organized for five land blessing ceremonies to be performed on the land. Some of the sessions were even done by some students who had learnt the very sacred ritual of Trusol, as taught by Rinpoche.
Liaison of Kechara Paradise and KWPC executive committee member, Henry Ooi, says, “KWPC has been a dream of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche for a long time now and his sole motivation is that KWPC will benefit many. The committee and I appeal to everyone to join us to make this dream a reality and a create a legacy together – for Malaysia and the region.”
KWPC1: A new generation of spiritual practice begins here!
KWPC2: One of the land blessings ceremonies where some of Rinpoche’s students performed the Trusol consecration ritual.
KWPC3: An artists’ impression of our most splendid future retreat centre.
KWPC4: The beautiful lands within KWPC. Looks like we’ve found paradise!
KWPC5: KWPC will bring people from all over the world together in a journey of spiritual discovery.
KWPC6: Will you help us to Create a Legacy Together?
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