Why I Conceived of Kechara Soup Kitchen or KSK
I chose to be poor when I left my step parents’ home when I was 16 years old so that was 1981. I crossed the US on my own from New Jersey to California. I had no choice. When I stayed home, I couldn’t pursue what I wanted to pursue. That created alot of friction. I ran away from home several times, but in 1981, it was my third and final time I left home in Howell, New Jersey for good.
It was not easy, as I had to work all types of jobs in California where I ran away to and joined a dharma centre in Los Angeles. At sixteen and not having alot of skills it was not easy. Not easy at all.
I ate the cheapest foods, used blankets from 2nd hand stores, borrowed or got 2nd hand clothing from friends/what not and basically had very little next to no money. I am not complaining but it made me appreciate help, having things, friends, good food, finances, house and support now. But I never forgot what it was like and I sympathize deeply with people who have it hard.
So as an extension of those days, I created Kechara Soup Kitchen or KSK (http://kechara.com/ksk/) from giving food to 15 people a week, now we are giving to 2,500 people per week in Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor Bahru. We have acquired our own building and have been cooking food on the premises. Exciting and fulfilling to help the homeless. KSK has been getting alot of media coverage. We are grateful to the media. In this video, The Star newspaper in Kuala Lumpur interviews the homeless we have been helping and also interviews the President Dato’ Ruby Khong (my good friend and student) regarding KSK. It is a wonderful online video made available by The Star. Thank you The Star! Please see the above video and also the below links. You will find it interesting and understand what we are doing.
Other videos you can link to and watch regarding KSK:
I have been giving food to homeless people and stray animals most of my life. My step mom use to do that. Her name was Dana Bugayeff. She was diagnosed as a schizophrenic 30 years too late, as a result it made many people and herself suffer a lot. She had like multiple personalities. But when she was herself, she was soft, kind, generous and very giving. I always remember that about her. She abused me with beatings, scoldings, punishments, verbal abuse for the most of the time I was living with her. When she was finally diagnosed properly and had medication, she became the person I knew she was inside. The funny thing was as a kid I couldn’t live with her, be with her and left home, but I never stopped loving her or missing her. I just wished she was diagnosed years before that. She suffered a lot and she was not a bad person at all. She furiously objected to me becoming a monk or engaging in a spiritual life. She had her views and I was punished for it for many years. I don’t resent her for that, I know she wanted the best for me in her world. How can you resent someone that you call mom when growing up and was generous to you when she was not ill.
Before I left for India and left the United States for good, I went to New Jersey to see her and say goodbye. It was the last time I would ever see her again. Our relationship changed. When I use to go visit her from California in New Jersey, she was always polite and cordial to me. She knew she had lost control over me and that I was going to become a monk. She never accepted that. I am sorry for that. From my heart, I am sorry she couldn’t accept, because I never wanted to hurt her by being a monk. I just couldn’t do what she wanted me to do.
In life sometimes you just stop asking why and just accept.
Important related articles:
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- It Wasn’t Easy in New Jersey, but My Cousins/Aunts Helped…
- I’m Requesting Ordination in 1987
- My First Guru in New Jersey
- Kalmyk People’s Origin -VERY INTERESTING
- Tsem Rinpoche Bio Group Goes to USA
- Avalokiteshvara, Turkey Swamp, Marc & Me
- When I Had No One Else…
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