H.E. the 25th Tsem Tulku Rinpoche’s Biography

By | May 12, 2016 | Views: 3,626
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Several weeks ago, my Teacher, H.E. the 25th Tsem Tulku Rinpoche (Tsem Rinpoche), gave me the opportunity to write an article about his life story. I was intimidated and yet excited to take on this challenge. Tsem Rinpoche’s life story is rich, colorful, and not without its challenges. I believe all the sufferings and challenges that Tsem Rinpoche faced in this life have made him the powerful Lama that he is today.

Since he was a child, Tsem Rinpoche has experienced abandonment, physical and verbal abuse, hunger, lack of financial resources, and discrimination. However, one thing is for sure, Tsem Rinpoche has consistently displayed compassion, courage, integrity, generosity and loyalty through his actions no matter how bad the situation seemed to be. Because of his Guru Devotion, integrity and compassion, he was able to overcome any challenge and come out triumphant.

I also learned that Tsem Rinpoche does not hold any grudges toward those who have hurt or disappointed him in the past. Instead, he always manages to stay focused on his life’s goal, which is to benefit others. I am certain that many people would be inspired by the way Tsem Rinpoche overcomes the challenges in his life without losing his integrity and compassion.

During the process of writing this article, my faith in my teacher increased tremendously. My respect for my Teacher also soared as I learned how he reacted to the many adversities that touched his life. For example, even when he had very little resources, he still practiced giving and being generous to others. Another example that touches my heart is that, Tsem Rinpoche stays true to the promises he made to his teacher and always strives to fulfill them even though it may have resulted in suffering for himself.

I would like to thank my friends and colleagues, Pastor Adeline Woon, Pastor Niral Patel, Phng Li Kheng, Pastor Antoinette Kass, Beatrix Ooi, Pastor David Lai, Martin Chow and Vinnie Tan for helping me in editing and locating memorable pictures for this article.

I dedicate the effort poured into writing this article to Rinpoche’s long life and the fulfillment of his wishes. May the information I put in this article serve to benefit and inspire innumerable beings.

Valentina Suhendra
11 May 2016
Kechara Forest Retreat, Malaysia

 


 

Part 1

The Beginning

Circumstances surrounding the birth

How it all began

The story began in the early 1960s in Taiwan with an unlikely star-crossed union.

A beautiful Mongolian princess, Dewa Nimbo, became romantically involved with a Tibetan man, Lobsang Gyatso. At the time, Dewa did not know that Lobsang Gyatso already had a wife and children in Tibet. When she found out, it was too late because she was already pregnant with a very special child who would later be known as H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche. The love affair was short-lived and Dewa made the heavy decision to call-off the relationship with Lobsang Gyatso and cut all ties with him. Dewa was deeply hurt with this deception, and she never really recovered from it.

Dewa Nimbo, Royal Princess of Xinjiang.

Lobsang Gyatso, Tsem Rinpoche’s biological father in his younger days.

Dewa is the daughter of Mingyur Wang, the eldest son of Prince Palta and the ruling head of Xinjiang, and his wife, Dechen Minh. During the civil unrest in 1949, Mingyur Wang fled Xinjiang with his family to Tibet, then onwards to India and finally settling down in Taiwan. Over time, Dechen Minh became a well-respected and beloved figure in the Mongolian community in Taiwan.

Mingyur Wang, the Ruling Head of Xinjiang and his wife, Queen Dechen Minh.

Due to her royal status, Dewa was often fondly referred to as “Torgut Noyen,” or the Princess of the Torgut people. She has a brother, Prince David Minh, who is currently living in Taipei and was working as an author and political commentator.

Royal Uncle, David Minh in his younger days. He speaks fluent Mongolian, Mandarin and very good English.

Lobsang Gyatso’s background could not be more different than Dewa. He was a student of Trungsar Rinpoche and a former monk of Drepung Monastery. During his time in Drepung Monastery, he was a business manager of Trungsar Ladrang. One day, he met a beautiful lady and decided to return his monk vows in order to marry her. After Chinese occupation of Tibet, Lobsang Gyatso escaped to India, where he was requested by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama to establish a school for Tibetan refugees in Taiwan. During his tenure in Taiwan, he became romantically involved with Dewa.

It was the 1960s and society was conservative and so, having a child out of wedlock was a scandalous affair. For Dewa, the situation was even worse. Considering her high birth as a Mongolian princess who came from an illustrious blood line, the shame of bearing a child out of wedlock with Lobsang Gyatso was overwhelming. It caused tremendous tension and discord to brew between Dewa and her family. Dewa was very hurt and has never got over the shame.

 

A special boy was born

Despite the shameful situation Dewa was in, auspicious signs began to appear during her pregnancy. Dewa dreamt of a white elephant entering her courtyard daily, and she would tie it up to a tree (similar to the experience of Buddha Shakyamuni’s mother before Lord Buddha was born). Dewa later told her son about these dreams and advised him to always keep an elephant with its trunk up by his side for good luck.

On the last night before she gave birth, Dewa dreamt of many high Lamas performing a grand puja (religious ceremony) in her house. On 24 October 1965, she delivered her son, Prince Iska Minh painlessly (another sign of a Great Being (Mahasattva)’s arrival who causes no suffering and whose arrival on earth is celebrated by the sages). Dechen Minh, her mother, arranged the delivery discreetly in General Hospital of Taipei, Taiwan. [Note: For simplicity purpose, Prince Iska Minh will be referred to as the boy until mentioned otherwise and Dechen Minh will be referred to as Grandma Dechen].

The newly born Prince Iska Minh (Tsem Rinpoche).

When the boy was seven months old, several monks appeared at the door of Dewa’s house. They believed the boy to be the incarnation of a High Lama. They put golden robes on him and requested Dewa’s permission to take the boy to begin his spiritual education. Dewa rejected this request. She said that if the boy is truly the reincarnation of a High Lama, then he would eventually develop his spiritual path and find his way back to the monastery. It was possible that the real reason Dewa refused the monks’ request was because she wanted to avoid drawing attention to the fact that she bore a child out of wedlock and also did not wish for the name of the boy’s father to be known.

 

Go to Childhood in Taiwan >>

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1966-1972: Childhood in Taiwan

Several months after the boy was born, Dewa called her former schoolmate, Ms. Kwan, to her rented room. Ms. Kwan was surprised to find Dewa, Grandma Dechen and a few months old baby boy surrounded by milk powder, milk bottle, pacifier, pampers, and other baby products in the room. Grandma Dechen smiled at Ms. Kwan. Dewa told Ms. Kwan that she was going to the United States to get married, and because she was worried that Grandma Dechen would feel lonely after she left, they adopted a baby brother. Dewa asked Ms. Kwan to visit Grandma Dechen and the boy often after she left for the United States. Ms. Kwan trusted her friend’s story and promised to visit them often.

In year 1967, Dewa left for the United States. True to her promise, Ms. Kwan visited the boy and Grandma Dechen every week after that. One day, Grandma Dechen told Ms. Kwan that she could not take care of the boy anymore, so she hired a nanny. Unfortunately, this nanny was not satisfactory. Thus, with the help of her family attendant, Tu Mama, Grandma Dechen found a foster family, Shi Mama and her husband, who would take care of the boy for USD 50 per month. The boy was told that Shi Mama and her husband were his parents, and he believed what he was told.

The white corner building on the 2nd floor is where Tsem Rinpoche lived until he was seven years old together with Shi Mama, her husband, and their three sons.

Shi Mama and her husband, an army officer, had three sons. All of them lived in a cramped small second floor apartment. The apartment was simple with three bedrooms, living room and kitchen area. Shi Mama and her family did not treat and feed the boy very well. There was no love, affection, or kisses. In the Shi’s house, the boy was always hungry.

Although the boy did not live with Grandma Dechen anymore, Ms. Kwan continued to visit the boy every week. The boy fondly called her Kwan Mama. Sometimes, she brought the boy to stay at her house in the mountains for several days. The boy was given a nickname, “Siaw Niu” or “Little Bull” because he was very energetic. Kwan Mama’s brother, Mr. Kwan, often brought the boy to the hot springs in the surrounding countryside of Taipei to wash him. One day Mr. Kwan bought a green Volkswagen toy car for him. The boy loved the car very much, and he tugged the car behind him everywhere he went.

Kwan Mama with Tsem Rinpoche. She was very loving, kind and caring towards the young Tsem Rinpoche. Kwan Mama would visit Tsem Rinpoche often at Shi Mama’s place. She treated Tsem Rinpoche like her own child. She never married or had children of her own.

Mr. Kwan and the young Tsem Rinpoche

Because Ms. Kwan’s mother was busy with housework and could not take care of the boy, she often brought the boy to work where he played with her colleagues happily. One day, it occurred to Ms. Kwan that it must have been lonely for the boy in the Shi family apartment. Thus, she suggested Grandma Dechen to enroll the boy in the kindergarten so he could play with children his age. To her surprise, Grandma Dechen told her that Dewa was looking for a foster family who would be willing to adopt the boy in the United States. If all went well, Grandma Dechen would travel to the United States with the boy. Ms. Kwan was reluctant to see the boy go to such faraway place, but there was nothing she could do. So she borrowed a camera and took several pictures with the boy for keepsake. She told Shi Mama to call her immediately when there was confirmation as to when the boy would depart to the United States.

Two weeks later, Ms. Kwan went to Grandma Dechen’s house, however, no one was home. She asked around, and one neighbor told her that Grandma Dechen had terminated the lease to the house and moved out. Ms. Kwan rushed to Shi Mama’s place and also found that she had moved to another place. Following this, Ms. Kwan assumed that the boy had left for the United States. Little that she knew, Shi Mama had lost her contact information, and the boy was still in Taiwan for several more years.

The young Tsem Rinpoche at the age of around six, standing in front of the Chiang Kai Shek bust at His school in Taipei.

When the boy was a bit older, he attended Xing Ya Elementary School at no. 9 Lane 83 Gilong Rd. in Taipei, Taiwan.

Often after school, the boy would sneak into the Shi family apartment, put his bags down and went on his own adventure into the street. He would wander about until he was tired and it was into the night when he was tired. The boy was reluctant to return home because he did not feel much love, affection, care and he did not get much food. He used to steal money to buy bread to eat, and his favorite was hot steamy buns sold by street vendors. When he sneaked back into the house to sleep, he would pray that nobody would find out what he did. Sometimes, one or two of the brothers would wake up and punish the boy severely. They would make the boy kneel on rice for hours. After awhile, the rice would go into his skin, and he would cry.

Most nights, the boy would only be given rice mixed with sugar as his main meal, which was the cause for his teeth to rot. The boy was not properly washed and he had a terrible smell. He did not have many friends his age although his school was just across the street from where he lived.

The young Tsem Rinpoche standing on his school playground.

Grandma Dechen came to visit the boy from time to time. Before she came, the boy would be washed and dressed in nice clothes. Grandma Dechen always brought candies, treats, toys and clothes whenever she visited. However, the boy was only allowed to play and enjoy the gifts in her presence. As soon as Grandma Dechen left, the toys, the treats and the clothes were taken away.

On one of these visits, Grandma Dechen brought the boy a toy horse. The horse was beige in color, and it was strong, on wheels, and had springs. The wheels were hidden under the hooves. When the boy rode on it, it would gently bounce and move. The boy had never seen or had such a wonderful toy. He was amazed and happy. Unfortunately, Grandma Dechen only stayed for a few hours. After she left, Shi Mama and her husband took the toy horse away, and the boy never saw the horse again except for that one time.

The young Tsem Rinpoche with the toy horse from Grandma Dechen.

When the boy was six going on seven years old, Grandma Dechen came and told the boy that they were going to the United States. The boy said goodbye to Shi Mama and went with Grandma Dechen on a Pan Am flight to the United States.

 

Go to America– New Jersey >>

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1972 – 1982: America– New Jersey

Adopted by the Bugayeff

In the summer of 1972, the boy and Grandma Dechen landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. They were greeted by Dewa Nimbo who had since married. The boy was bewildered in this new environment. They stayed overnight at Dewa Nimbo’s house in Philadelphia. Grandma Dechen introduced Dewa as her daughter. Dewa did not introduce herself as the boy’s mother, instead she introduced herself as the boy’s aunt. That night, Grandma Dechen told the boy that she is his grandmother and he should never forget this fact.  She also informed him that he is a Buddhist, and he should recite Avalokiteshvara mantra ‘Om Mani Peme Hung’ often.

At the time, Dewa was married to Bayen, a Mongolian man and they lived in Philadelphia with their two sons, Bata and Kunga. Bayen liked the boy and offered to adopt him so he could live together with them. However, Dewa adamantly refused this idea because the boy served as a reminder of her shameful past.

On the next day, Grandma Dechen introduced the boy to another ‘real’ parents, Dana and Boris Bugayeff and a ‘new’ sister, Lidshma. This other set of ‘real’ parents created confusion in the boy’s mind, but he reluctantly obeyed and accepted his ‘real’ family. The boy was taken in a big white Ford LTD car to a big house that sits on a-half-acre piece of land in Howell, New Jersey.

Many years later, Lidshma recalled meeting the skinny young boy, “We went to pick him up sometimes in April or May. I think it must have been May. We got the call, so we went to Philadelphia to pick him up. And we got him, and he was this little person and was really small and you know skinny. But he was a happy person. Then, we got him in the car, and we drove home, and he did not speak any English. So it was difficult. But we managed. Then, Dechen Minh came and stayed with us [for a period of time] and was [acting as a] translator for us. That helped a lot.”

Grandma Dechen spent sometime to observe the Bugayeff, and she decided that this Mongolian couple was good enough to adopt the boy.

The young Tsem Rinpoche with the Bugayeff: Dana, Lidshma and Boris.

The Bugayeff’s house in Howell, New Jersey.

At the beginning, the Bugayeff were very kind, and the boy became the center of their attention. Boris [note: Boris is the European adaptation of the Mongolian name ‘Burcha’] even named the boy after himself, Burcha. Thus, from hereon, the boy will be referred to as Burcha Bugayeff or just Burcha. Boris liked to dress Burcha in formal outfit like himself. The Bugayeff lavished everything material on Burcha. When Dana took Burcha to a toy store where she allowed Burcha to pick whatever toys he wanted.

Dana and Boris Bugayeff were Kalmyk Mongolians who emigrated to the United States during WWII. Dana was a refugee from Belgrade, Yugoslavia, and Boris was from Russia.

While Boris was a typical dominant male figure in the house who expected to be served by his wife, Dana was one of the kindest persons Burcha had ever met. She was very generous and did not hesitate to help whenever she was needed. Dana was also a very intelligent and innovative lady. She learned English from reading comic books, and she painted the house and re-upholstered the sofas herself. However, Dana was not a very healthy person as she had seven surgeries in her abdominal area.

In addition, she suffered a lot as a child. During WWII in Belgrade, she could not go to school and suffered from starvation. Whenever she came out from her house, she would see a lot of corpses, the casualty of war. Her family later went to Germany where they were put in a concentration camp. Dana and her family were treated better there because they looked like Japanese, and Japan was German’s ally during the war. Later, Dana and her family emigrated to the United States. Dana had a daughter, Lidshma, from her previous marriage who came with her. Later, Dana met and married Boris Bugayeff, and he adopted Lidshma as his daughter. Dana and Boris could not have a son of their own to continue the family name. Thus, when Grandma Dechen offered her grandson for adoption, they gladly accepted.

At the time of the adoption, Boris was working for a manufacturer of paper cups and plates, and Dana was a seamstress. They were relatively well-to-do financially.

Boris and Dana Bugayeff.

Dana and Boris Bugayeff with Grandma Dechen.

Despite the attention he received, Burcha had difficulties adapting to his new life at first. Burcha would hide under the dining table where he felt safe and because of this, Dana and Lidshma often ate with him under the table. His teeth were rotten from eating rice and sugar as his main meal back in Taiwan, and he had a distinctive smell due to years of neglect that stay with him for weeks no matter how many times he was washed. In addition, there were a lot of bruises on his body resulting from the abuse he suffered back in Taiwan. The Bugayeff had extensive dental work done to fix Burcha’s teeth.

In the beginning, Burcha could only speak Chinese and not a word of Mongolian or English, while the Bugayeff could only speak Russian, Mongolian and English. The Bugayeff had to communicate with Burcha with sign language.

Despite all odds, Burcha adapted to his new life. He learned English language relatively fast. He attended Land O’Pines Elementary School and excelled in his studies. His stepparents told him that he is a Mongolian and not Chinese. At school, he would often be bullied and teased for being Asian. Instead of calling him Burcha, some of his friends called him “Bird Shit”. Burcha begged his stepparents to change his name to David, but they refused. Burcha was irritated with these racial remarks aimed toward him. Later when Burcha read about Avalokiteshvara, he generated compassion toward these people. He was determined not to get angry and to forgive.

Class picture at Land O Pine School when Tsem Rinpoche was seven years old.

 

When the abuse started

Burcha’s mother, Dana, was a very kind and generous lady. It was not unusual for her to open her house for the poor and homeless people and invite them to have dinner with her family. In addition, she used to drive around with Burcha to dig people’s cars out of the snow during snowstorm.

However, Dana was often frustrated with her relationship with Boris because he had numerous affairs with various women in the community. He also constantly abused Dana verbally with words of insults and degradation. Dana and Boris often screamed at each other, and the house became increasingly unhappy. Unfortunately for Burcha, Dana often channeled her frustration to him.

Over time, Dana became increasingly paranoid and proned to mood swings. She often punished Burcha physically and verbally for any transgressions no matter how minor. Burcha would be beaten with wooden sticks or brooms or her bare hands for not cleaning the house properly or for going to the temple. About one year after Burcha arrived in New Jersey, his sister, Lidshma, left home. Later Burcha found out that Lidshma also suffered from similar abuse.

Many years later, Lidshma recalled her life at the Bugayeff’s home, “It was always stressful. You just never knew but you just took it one day at a time. But the teenage years, the high school and everything was quite traumatic and tumultuous… You just never knew when the outbursts would happen or something. You can go one whole day without an outburst and then another day, and it was a good week. You just never knew.”

Lidshma and her daughter Julia.

Burcha was always worrying about Dana’s outburst and when she would erupt next. When this happened, he would get it. There would be beatings by hands, brooms, mops, or anything accessible to Dana. When she was very angry, she would put Burcha’s head under the mattress, hold his neck down and start beating him. Worse still, Dana liked to put him down psychologically. She told him that he would never have friends and no one would ever like him if they knew who he is, and because of this, Burcha suffered from low self-esteem. He often thought that, “I don’t worth anything. I am not worth talking to. Why am I so ugly? Why would anybody even look at me?” The feeling was pervasive, and it lingered in the back of his mind all the time.

The biggest fear for Burcha was the anxiety of trying to figure out what would trigger Dana’s outbursts and how bad the punishments would be. Would it be shouting only or a combination of shouting, beating, and breaking furniture? When this happened, Boris would either read newspaper in the kitchen or drive around the neighborhood to clear his mind. Sometimes, when it was late, Boris would interfere and order Dana to stop the beatings so Burcha could go to sleep.

Many years later, Dana was diagnosed as having Schizophrenia. After taking the prescribed medication, she was much calmer and became the kind sweet lady that she really was.

 

Meeting the Dharma

Meeting a great master of Gelug lineage

H.E. Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin.

In 1971, one year before Burcha arrived, the great Sera Mey Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin became the resident teacher of Rashi Gempil Ling (“RGL”), the first Kalmyk Buddhist temple in Howell, New Jersey. RGL was also among the very first Buddhist temples in all of the United States. Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin was a renowned student of H.H. Ling Rinpoche and H.H. Trijang Rinpoche, who were also the senior and the junior tutor of H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama respectively.  In addition, Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin was a student of of H.H. Pabongka Rinpoche.

Prior to settling in the United States, Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin had served as the abbot of Sera Mey Monastery. During his tenure as abbot, he had labored to uplift the educational standard and raise fund to pay off the monastery’s debt. Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin was a great master of Sutra and Tantra with a profound grasp of the Vajrayogini tantra. It was an extraordinary coincidence that Burcha who would soon display prodigious affinity for the Dharma would meet a high Gelug master thousands of miles from where one would expect to find him.

Rashi Gempil Ling in Howell, New Jersey.

Due to his merits and affinity from previous lives, Burcha lived only ten minutes away from this great master, H.E. Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin, and started to receive teachings from him. H.E. Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin was a very strict teacher and hardly smiled at Burcha.

Burcha often spent his free time at RGL to help in anyway he could, such as, mowing the lawn, washing dishes, and general cleaning. Sometimes, Burcha would be invited to eat momos (Tibetan dumplings) at RGL. Usually, he ate his momos with another center member, Michael Roach. Michael Roach and Burcha became fast friends, and Burcha often asked him many Dharma questions. They would talk on the phone for one to two hours a day several times a week.

As his passion for Dharma grew, his adoptive parents became increasingly worried and unhappy because they feared that Burcha would grow to become a monk instead of continuing their family line.

 

Early passion for Buddha images

Continuing the experiences from his previous lives, when he was young, Burcha loved to wrap himself in a bed sheet, as if he was wearing a monk robe, and pretending to give teachings to a large imaginary audience. He also loved to write gibberish as if he was composing sacred texts and play with his hand gestures as if making imaginary mudra.

In addition, Burcha liked to spend his pocket money to photocopy Buddha images to give away. He also spent hours drawing and painting various Buddha forms, for which he won prizes at school. Occasionally, he would also draw and color small Buddha images, which he would wrap in a plastic sheet attached to a string and pass these to his relatives and friends as pendants to wear for blessings and protection. Unfortunately, many of his friends did not share his enthusiasm or appreciate his gifts because they did not see the value of Buddha images as Burcha did. They would tell him, “You’re crazy! I am not going to wear that weird green god!” Burcha said, “But it’s a goddess!” They would only scream back at him “I don’t care!”

Green Tara painting by the young Tsem Rinpoche.

Buddha Shakyamuni by the young Tsem Rinpoche.

Boris and Dana, like many other Mongolians, were Buddhists, but they were not serious practitioners. They were only familiar with well-known peaceful deities like White Tara, Green Tara and Avalokiteshvara and short simple mantras like ‘Om Mani Peme Hung’. They had a shrine in their home. In the center of the shrine was a picture of H.H. the Dalai Lama. The Mongolians believed if you see the golden face of His Holiness, you would not fall into the lower realm. On the right was Green Tara, and on the left is Lama Tsongkhapa. There were two tsa tsas, Tara and Avalokiteshvara. On the top shelf, there was a fully clothed Buddha statue. It was the most powerful Buddha because it has followed Dana from Kalmykia to Europe and then to the United States. Dana warned Burcha that he should not touch that statue. However, being an inquisitive child that he was, Burcha waited until Dana went away, and took the statue. He wanted to know what it was. He opened the cloth and found out that it was a beautiful Medicine Buddha statue. Before Dana came and noticed what was going on, Burcha put the statue back to its original position. Since then, whenever it was raining and Burcha needed to go to school, Burcha would offer butterlamp and pray to the Medicine Buddha for help in stopping the rain. Most of the time, the prayers were effective if the intention was to go to school and not for other leisure activities. Unfortunately, Dana thought the statue made her sick, and therefore she later offered it to Nitsan temple.

One day, Burcha saw the image of a red lady, Buddha Vajrayogini, in Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin’s room at RGL. He had a feeling that her practice is powerful and sacred, and not everybody could have her. He immediately developed a tremendous faith in her because his teacher prayed to her. In addition to Buddha Vajrayogini, Burcha was fascinated with Avalokiteshvara, Heruka and Palden Lhamo.

Later, Burcha showed the picture of Vajrayogini to his parents, and they were horrified. They said, “That’s not a Buddha, it’s some kind of Tibetan God. You’d better not keep that in the house.” However, his parents’s reaction did not deter Burcha from worshiping Buddha Vajrayogini.

The red lady Buddha Vajrayogini

Beside going to RGL, Burcha often frequented the Nitsan Temple, another neighborhood temple, because there was an old monk there who was very kind to Burcha, and he was attracted to the Manjushri Thangka in that temple.

 

Passion for Dharma and consequences that followed

The reason Boris and Dana adopted Burcha was because they could not have a son to continue their family name. They had the expectations for Burcha to go to college, get a job, get married and continue the family name. Thus, when Burcha’s interest in Dharma grew, they became increasingly worried that he would become a monk.

Dana and Boris Bugayeff.

Burcha liked to recite many mantras especially Manjushri mantra. He recited up to 1,000 Manjushri mantra daily because he wanted to have a good memory. When Dana knew about this, she slipped the information about Burcha’s origin, “You are a royalty. You will never become a monk. Just pray like normal people and don’t become like that crazy woman down the street [Note: Dana was referring to Burcha’s Dharma friend and neighbor, Carmen Kichikov].” After that incident, Burcha started to recite Manjushri mantra in his room in the dark. Sometimes, Dana would check on him, and Burcha would pretend that he was sleeping so he would not get caught and be beaten.

Whenever he wanted to visit RGL, Burcha would have to lie to his parents to avoid confrontation. Dana did not hesitate to scream and beat Burcha whenever she found out that he has been spending time at the temple. Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin, out of compassion, would usually ask him to go home whenever he saw Burcha at RGL.

 

Meeting His Holiness the 97th Gaden Tripa Kyabje Ling Rinpoche

When he was 11 or 12 years old, Burcha met with His Holiness the 97th Gaden Tripa Kyabje Ling Rinpoche at RGL, in Howell, New Jersey. Kyabje Ling Rinpoche was the senior tutor of H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama. Before the meeting, without the knowledge of his mother, Burcha plucked a red rose for this great master to make connection. However, when he reached RGL, the rose had wilted to his disappointment. Later, when he met Ling Rinpoche, he put his head on Ling Rinpoche’s lap, tossed the flower to his lap and swiftly walked away hoping his parents did not see him making the offerings.

His Holiness 97th Gaden Tripa Kyabje Ling Rinpoche

Burcha received the oral transmission of Gaden Lhagyama and Migtsema from Kyabje Ling Rinpoche.

 

First encounter with Dorje Shugden

When Burcha was about 12 or 13 years old, Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin invited his nephew who was a monk from Sera Monastery, India to be his attendant. His name was Lothar. Lothar was a very jovial and happy monk. During that period, Burcha liked to spend a lot of time at RGL doing various chores such as mowing the lawn, washing dishes, and so forth. Burcha was doing that because he hoped to catch a glimpse of Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin and get a special teaching from him. The special teaching session had never happened. Usually, Kensur Rinpoche only asked Burcha to eat momos and go home.

Being an inquisitive boy that he was, one day,  he sneaked into Lothar’s room because he wanted to see what a monk’s room looked like. He was interested because Burcha had the aspiration to become a monk. In Lothar’s room, Burcha found a black and white picture of a deity figure on the top shelf of a closet. There was a glass of tea in front of it.

When Burcha reached up and took the picture to have a better look, Lothar walked in. He took the picture from Burcha’s hand.

Lothar: No, no, no, no! That’s not for you!
Burcha: Why not? What’s that picture?
Lothar: Not for you.
Burcha: Can you tell me his name?
Lothar: Not for you!
Burcha: Who is it?
Lothar: Not for you.

Then, Lothar put the picture and the cup back to his closet and closed the door. Burcha opened it again. Lothar closed it again. Burcha spilled the tea a little bit during this incident.

Burcha: I want to see
Lothar: Nope

Years later, Burcha realized that the deity figure in Lothar’s closet was Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden.

 

Meeting H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama

When Burcha was 14 years old, H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama visited New Jersey for the first time. He gave a teaching on Eight Verses of Thought Transformation and oral transmission of Avalokiteshvara mantra “Om Mani Peme Hung”. The discourse was held in Washington, New Jersey at a Kalmyk Dharma center founded by Geshe Wangyal of Drepung Monastery. The center was located at the beautiful tail-end of the Appalachian Mountains. Burcha attended the session together with the other Kalmyks. It was a-three-hour blissful discourse. He cried throughout the whole teaching and had problems wiping his snots. The attendees were given the Eight Verses to recite daily on paper.

Prior to the event, Burcha had painted a four-armed Avalokiteshvara on a piece of paper with prayers about his wish to become just like His Holiness, to achieve great compassion, and to be near Him written carefully on the back. After the teaching, the attendees had a short private audience with H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama, and Burcha offered this painting to Him directly. His Holiness read the back of the painting. His Holiness gave Burcha a blessed red string, and he wore that around his neck until it was worn out. Burcha was very determined to practise this teaching. Even today, the Eight Verses of Mind Transformation is still his favorite practice.

 

Preparing for initiation, almost and finally

At 14, Burcha had requested for a Vajrayogini initiation from his teacher, Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin. This initiation was only given to those who have practiced seriously for several years and were prepared for higher trainings. When Boris and Dana asked him as to what present he wanted for his birthday, Burcha asked to be allowed to receive the initiation. Burcha was excited when his parents agreed.

To make sure his parents would not change their mind, Burcha took the extra pain to do his chores well which included vacuuming, doing laundry, assisting in cooking, washing up, scrubbing the kitchen floor by hand, gardening, serving guests, and so forth. Burcha made sure that the house was spotless.

Before receiving the Vajrayogini initiation, there is a requirement to receive Heruka (male consort/ counterpart of Vajrayogini) initiation. Throughout the session, Burcha sat anxiously because he was afraid that his parents would show up and stop him. On the third day when he was supposed to receive the Vajrayogini initiation, his parents did show up and asked him to leave the session. Burcha had to stand up and leave for fear that his parents would make a scene should he refused to do so. Burcha became so depressed and attempted to run away to Indianapolis afterward. Please refer to Runaway and suicide attempts section.

Finally, one year later, Burcha was able to receive a full Vajrayogini initiation. His father, Boris, came during the session, and Burcha was very anxious that he would be asked to leave the session once again. Fortunately, Boris just watched and did not interrupt the session. After the event ended, he tried to provoke Burcha by saying that the temple was full of weird people. Burcha wisely just kept quiet in order to prevent unnecessary arguments with his father.

 

Happy Family for Kalachakra

This was Happy Family Chinese restaurant Tsem Rinpoche used to work in Howell on route 9. It was taken over by someone else later and renamed Sesame Inn, and then demolished in year 2002.

In July 1981, a very historic event was about to occur in Madison, Wisconsin. Burcha did whatever he could to get there. H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama was to give the first historic Kalachakra empowerment and its explanation in the West there. Burcha heard about the event four or five months before it was held.

At 15, Burcha did not really understand about Kalachakra, but he knew if His Holiness was giving it, it must be marvelous. He understood that Kalachakra was a meditational practice, a yoga, a transformational practice, and it involved commitment, mantra, meditation, and prayers. Burcha wanted to go badly. Burcha went to his friend’s house, Carmen Kichikov, to ask more about it. Carmen patiently explained about Kalachakra to Burcha.

Carmen is a Kalmyk Mongolian lady who was advanced in Buddhist and Tantric practices. Just like Michael Roach, she was a student of Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin. At the time, Carmen had a huge collection of Dharma books. Burcha liked to visit her house and borrowed books and asked Dharma related questions. Boris and Dana did not approve of Burcha’s friendship with Carmen. They often referred to her as “The Nun” although at the time Carmen has not been ordained yet.

Carmen Kichikov a.k.a. Anila Thupten Chonyid.

The Kalachakra Mandala.

The Kalmyk Mongols had booked busses to travel from New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia to Wisconsin. With bus and accommodation, the cost of going to Wisconsin was about USD 300 – 400. Thus, Burcha went to his parents to ask for permission and money. The good news was he could go if he earned his own money. The bad news was it was a lot of money. At the time, Burcha’s allowance was USD 5 per week. Thus, Burcha went to work at Happy Family Chinese restaurant doing bussing, washing dishes and waitering. He earned USD 2 per hour working there. Then, Carmen offered to top up his money if what Burcha earned is not enough to go to Wisconsin. But in the end, Burcha’s parents broke their promise and withdrew their permission. Burcha did not get to go to the Kalachakra event and was very disappointed.

 

Teenage years, suicide and runaway

Runaway and suicide attempts

Since the very beginning, Burcha was unhappy in the United States. He felt that he was wasting his time. To make matters worse, Dana’s abuse, screaming and beatings were becoming more often and Burcha was in a constant state of anxiety as to when Dana would show her displeasure. The other thing that made Burcha wanted to runaway was he constantly experienced anxiety attacks and imagined himself going through the process of death, and from these experiences, a realization dawned upon him that he should study the dharma and meditate instead of wasting his time getting secular education.

At nine years old, Burcha attempted to run away for the first time. He was incredibly unhappy so he ran away with his friend Pat, a boy who came from a Yugoslavian family. They ran to a forest located at the edge of the school. After about half a day, Pat was tired and hungry. He wanted to go home. However, Burcha persuaded him to continue. Burcha figured that the forest was too near to his house so they hid under the merry-go-round at the school’s playground. The police found them and took them home. Pat’s mother was furious at Burcha and scolded him in Yugoslavian language. To make the matter worse, Boris and Dana were embarrassed about the incident as their reputation was very important to them. Thus, Burcha was severely punished and screamed at by his parents.

In between the first and second runaway attempts, Burcha tried to end his life in his depression and desperation because his parents were not agreeable with and they would beat him for pursuing his passion for Dharma practice. He wished to leave the life where he could not practice the Dharma and take rebirth into another situation where he could.

On one Easter Eve, Burcha tried to commit suicide by taking an overdose of Tylenol with Tibetan tea. He prayed to Manjushri to help him to die. However, the next morning, he woke up with a nauseating headache.  His head felt like spinning and blackening out.  Burcha did not tell Dana about his sickness and suicide attempt for fear that she would blame his teacher, Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin. That very day, Burcha went with his mother to visit and give gifts to various relatives as if everything was fine.

One day, Burcha read a book that if one was to recite the Buddha of Longevity, Amitayus, mantra backward, one could shorten one’s life and eventually end it. He asked Michael Roach to teach him. Fortunately, Michael refused to teach him the mantra. Instead, he advised Burcha to be patient and not retaliate to his stepparents.

In year 1977 when he was 12 years old, Burcha made the second attempt to run away from his stepparents’ house. He decided to go to Geshe Wangyal’s Dharma center in Washington, New Jersey. The Dharma center was about six to seven hours away from Howell, New Jersey. Burcha hitchhiked and took different buses to get to Washington. When he arrived in Washington, he went to a library and managed to locate the center’s contact number with the help of a librarian.

However, when Burcha called the center, he was advised to go home because he was still a minor (under 18 years old).  Geshe Wangyal who was in Florida at the time to escape the cold weather also concurred with this decision. The center people put him up in a hotel to rest and gave him USD 50 to travel back home. They also made him promise to go home the next day. Reluctantly, Burcha did what he promised.

After the second runaway attempt, Burcha’s stepmother, Dana, was very angry. She started to blame and defame Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin. She spread rumours that Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin was sleeping with his female students. She was so determined in her effort that she started to call and visit people in the community to create doubt in their mind about the reputation of Kensur Rinpoche. The purpose of her doing this was so Kensur Rinpoche would get deported back to India and to discourage Burcha from going to the temple.

Life became very wretched for the young Burcha. Not only he was not allowed to visit the temple or his friend, Carmen, but also Burcha felt responsible for what Dana did to Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin.

That winter, Burcha tried to asphyxiate himself by staying inside an abandoned house in the neighborhood. He prayed to Manjushri to help him to die. However, it was very cold, and instead of falling into deep sleep, he was shaking badly. So, Burcha had to return home.

In the summer after his asphyxiation attempt, he ran away for the third time. He left a note for his stepparents and hitchhiked to New York City. He planned to visit and stay in the green and peaceful Catskill Mountains. However, he was told that the winter would be unbearable. Therefore, Burcha changed direction south to California. Unfortunately, he only had the money for 1/3 of the way to California and was asked to leave the bus in Indianapolis. After that, he had a terrible physical encounter, was harassed and held at gunpoint. After the incident, he was caught wandering around by a policeman who persuaded him to give his name.

Catskill Mountains

The policeman ran a check on Burcha’s name and found out that he was reported missing. Fortunately, the policeman was very kind. He advised Burcha that whatever situation he was in at home, he should still go home and finish his school. Burcha refused to go back. Then the policeman made him promised not to run away and put him in an unlocked jail cell overnight. Burcha stayed in that cell and chanted his mantras all night.

The next day, Burcha’s uncle, Giga, flew to Indiana to take him home. Giga advised Burcha to not keep running away. After they arrived back in Howell, Giga’s wife, Aunt Matza offered  Burcha to stay with her family.

Matza: If you are thinking about running away again, don’t. Come to my house. I’ll raise you as my son.
Burcha: My mother will create a lot of problems and call the police.
Matza: I know she will do that, but I’m willing to go through it for you.

This offer touched the young boy’s heart. Burcha kept asking himself, “Do I worth so much? Somebody really loves me.”

However much he wanted to, out of compassion, Burcha declined his aunt’s offer and decided to go back to the Bugayeff’s home where the beating, the screaming and the abuse would begin again.

 

Family and friends

Despite his situation at home, Burcha had good relationships with his family and friends.  One of his good friends was his neighbor, Carmen Kichikov.  Burcha liked to borrow books from Carmen. One of the books that Burcha borrowed was ‘The DOORWAY of LIBERATION’ by Geshe Wangyal. When he read about Avalokiteshvara’s compassionate qualities in this book, Burcha could not stop crying. He felt at that moment, the true purpose of Dharma was to develop unaffected true compassion in the face of good and harm. He reflected about how his peers at school used to tease him for being Asian and his stepmother’s abuse. He would practice forgiveness and compassion towards them. When his schoolmates bullied him due to his race, Burcha absorbed these racial slanders by being calm and focusing on Lokeshvara. 

The Doorway of Liberation by Geshe Wangyal

Lama Geshe Ngawang Wangyal.

When Dana slapped him continuously very hard with her rings on her fingers in the midst of her foul moods, Burcha would silently chant ‘Om Mani Peme Hung,’ close his eyes and not get angry at her. Dana asked him once what Burcha was saying under his breath. Because she was deeply superstitious, she accused Burcha of cursing her to get sick. Burcha explained what he was chanting. Upon hearing his explanation, Dana became even angrier and slapped him harder. However, the thought of compassion continued to touch Burcha’s heart deeply.

When Burcha was a child, his cousin, Sue Gugajew, babysat him from time-to-time. She even took him out when she was not supposed to. She took Burcha out to play PAC-MAN, roller skate, go to the beach and park and buy ice cream. As they went out more often, Dana became paranoid and did not like them hanging out together. She threatened Burcha and ordered him to stop hanging out with Sue.

When he was older, Burcha also helped his aunt Meda, who was a working mother, to babysit her four daughters, Debbie, Darlene, Diane, and Danielle. Later, he recalled:

“I used to spend the summer at my Aunt Meda’s house in Lakewood, New Jersey with her four girls, Debbie, Darlene, Diane, Danielle. Danielle was an infant at that time. So I would sing all types of Donna Summer’s songs and force Debbie, Darlene and Diane to be the background singers. Darlene asked me once, how come I’m always the lead and they are the background girls. I told her because I am bigger and so they have to listen to what I say. Darlene didn’t like that answer, but she went along anyway, and we had great times.”

This was taken at the airport. Tsem Rinpoche was holding the adorable Danielle, and behind him is Darlene, Diana stood near the plant and the girl with glasses is Debbie, the eldest of them.

 

Turkey Swamp and Avalokiteshvara

In the summer when he was about 11 or 12 years old, Burcha liked to go to Turkey Swamp with his friend, Marc Reed and few other boys. Turkey Swamp was about two to three hours bike ride from where Burcha lived. They went quietly without the knowledge of Burcha’s stepparents. When they arrived, Marc and the other boys would play on the other side of the park where there were more people, while Burcha meditated on Avalokiteshvara in a secluded area.

On the way to Turkey Swamp, they would pass by a house with two ferocious dogs. Burcha’s friends were scared that the dogs would bite them. However, Burcha would stick out his hand in a wrathful mudra (all fingers folded in with just index and little fingers sticking out) and thought strongly to the dog “you will not bite us.” The dog calmed down after that, and they have never been bitten. Burcha did not know where the thought to do such things came from. He instinctively did it.

Tsem Rinpoche used to meditate at this spot in Turkey Swamp.

Burcha would sit under the shade of the tree at the edge of the lake and visualize that he was a hermit yogi. He stared at the brilliant water that was in front of him. He visualized a-Four-Armed Avalokiteshvara (Lokeshvara) sitting calmly under the water. Burcha would chant Om Mani Peme Hung and ‘call’ Him. He then visualized that Avalokiteshvara heard his calling and would very slowly rise out of the water in a gentle manner. When He rose, the water would slowly cascade off of Him, and He would be dry. His holy face would be facing down with four arms. As He rose, His left hand held a mala. His right hand held a lotus. The other two hands were folded at His heart level with a wish-fulfilling jewel. His majestic black hair would cascade down His shoulders, and the other half tied up on His bejeweled head. The Avalokiteshvara wore princely silken clothes that covered the upper portion of His body partially and a silk skirt at the bottom. He would be sitting in a full lotus posture on top of a gentle large brilliant pink lotus. His body was white like a snow, shiny and brilliant. Millions of light rays would shine out from His holy body suffusing the area and me. Burcha would visualize the above and hold it. Then, Burcha recited Avalokiteshvara mantra furiously and prayed to be in communion with Him. When he did this, Burcha visualized Avalokiteshvara’s face very slowly looked up and faced him. Avalokiteshvara’s face was like a polished mirror reflecting the sun. It was so bright that Burcha could hardly look at it. When Burcha faced Avalokiteshvara from the middle of the lake, he would be filled with happiness, joy and forgiveness. His problems disappeared. Burcha would ‘feel’ the lights from Avalokiteshvara’s face shine directly towards him filling his body, and he would tingle all over. Burcha would be in tears as he ‘communed’ with Arya Lokeshvara, the Mahasattva of Great Compassion in this way. Burcha wanted to be like Avalokiteshvara, full of love, compassion, forgiveness, courage and acceptance. Then, Burcha would chant His mantra and hold this visualization as long as he could.

Another spot where Tsem Rinpoche used to meditate in Turkey Swamp.

 

For the love of animals

Since he was very young, Burcha was compassionate toward every being including animals. In the summer, he would work at a pet shop for extra pocket money and learned about the intricacies of caring for many different species of animals. Burcha had several pets: hamsters, cockatiels, and two fish tanks, that he either purchased at huge discount or was given to him for free by the pet shop.

Burcha also had two dogs that he loved very much. His first dog was Princey, a brown dog who looked like a smaller version of a Schnauzer. However, Princey had a habit of chasing cars, and Burcha was afraid that Princey would eventually be run over by a car. Burcha begged Boris and Dana to install fencing around the house to prevent Princey from chasing cars, but they refused because Boris did not want to spend money on it. One day, Princey disappeared, and Burcha was very worried. Not long after that, Dana invited an old lady who lived in a shack in the forest near the neighborhood for dinner. This lady told Burcha that she saw a dog that fit Princey’s description by the highway near the Bugayeff’s home. After dinner, Burcha escorted the lady home and then hurried to the highway only to find that Princey had been run over by a car. The impact crushed Princey’s skull, forcing the protrusion of his tongue. One of his legs was severed and thrown out. Dana blamed Burcha for Princey’s death. She said, “He died because of you. You did not watch him. You did not train him.” Burcha was deeply traumatized by the incident. When this incident happened, Burcha was 10 years old. He felt responsible for Princey’s death although he could not help it.

The young Tsem Rinpoche and Princey.

After Princey’s death, Dana offered to buy another dog for Burcha at a flea market. They went to the dog section and bought a puppy for USD 25. It was a little beige puppy that Burcha named Hulter. Burcha was very happy. He played and bonded with Hulter. As time went by, Hulter grew up to be a strong dog. Unfortunately, this dog had a bad habit of running away. When this happened, Burcha would search for the dog in the nearby forest, and he would find him howling there. This time, Boris and Dana agreed to install the necessary fencing to separate their yard from the neighbor’s. Their reason for doing this was not for Hulter’s safety, but because they were not comfortable with their new neighbors. However, this was not sufficient to keep Hulter in the yard.  He continued to find ways to run away. Then, Dana installed a big spike in the ground with a chain for the dog, but Hulter was too strong. He went round and round and was able to untwist the spike and run loose. Finally, Dana installed a very expensive heavy spike thinking that the dog would not be able to run away this time. But Hulter was still able to free himself and escape.

Tsem Rinpoche’s favorite picture of his biological mother.

Finally, Dana was tired of Hulter’s escapes, and she called a dog pound to take him away. Burcha begged to Dana to not let the dog be taken away, but Dana refused this request. As he saw the howling and screaming Hulter being taken away by the dog pound, Dana screamed at Burcha, “It’s your fault. I have no choice.” Burcha later found out that the pound put unwanted dogs to sleep. The two incidents of losing his dogs affected Burcha for years because he felt responsible for their lives.

 

Rendevous with Dewa Nimbo

When Burcha was around 12 years old, Dewa Nimbo took him from his adopted family home to her lovely home in Philadelphia to stay the weekend. Dewa took Burcha to visit an aquarium and a kungfu store. She bought Burcha a nunchuk as per his request. Burcha had wanted a nunchuk after watching a Bruce Lee movie. Burcha was over the moon. That beautiful weekend, Dewa and Burcha talked a lot. Dewa told Burcha that she resembled his grandmother, which for the young Burcha was a great compliment since he viewed his grandmother as a love incarnate.

 

Go to America– Los Angeles >>

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America– Los Angeles

The big journey from New Jersey to Los Angeles and starting anew.

The final departure

When he was 15 going on 16, Burcha ran away for the final time from the Bugayeff’s home in Howell, New Jersey.

In August 1982, Dana went to Colorado to spend time with her daughter. She declared that if Burcha did not stop doing Dharma, she would not come back. However, the real reason for her leaving was not Burcha, but because she caught Boris having an affair with another woman. However, she did not want to confront him.

After receiving a-two-week commentary on Vajrayogini’s practice at RGL, Burcha found himself alone with Boris. One day out of the blue, Boris tried to provoke Burcha by saying that “Michael Roach is a Jew.” He repeated this many times. Burcha replied, “So what? He’s my friend. Anyway, he’s Buddhist now.” Boris continued, “You can’t be friends with Jews, they’re dirty.” Burcha replied, “He is my friend.” Boris then pointed out to the door and said, “You get out of my house.” Burcha replied in disbelieve, “Really? Are you sure? Fine I’ll leave.” Burcha went upstairs and packed his things: One bag for Dharma books and the other bag for his clothes. When Burcha was packing, Boris came to his room and said that he changed his mind. He tried to prevent Burcha from leaving. Burcha became angry and for the first time, he shouted back in retaliation, “You don’t treat mother very well. I know you have other women and that hurts mother. These are all your faults. I’m leaving and don’t put APB on me.” On the process of leaving, Burcha brushed past his father on the landing, and knocked him down unintentionally. Burcha looked at his father sadly and left that cruel, fear-ridden, and hurtful household.

 

Life as a homeless

The route that Tsem Rinpoche took when he traveled from New Jersey to Los Angeles.

When Burcha left the Bugayeff’s home, he wandered on the street for awhile. It was freezing and with no ride in sight. The owner of the motel across the road saw him and asked what he was doing. The kind person offered Burcha a night to stay at the motel for free. The next day, Burcha hitchhiked to New York and from there to California along I-95. It took him five to six days to get across the United States. He met a lot of people throughout the journey.

At night, Burcha would sleep on islands under the highways, the only safe place on these dangerous roads, where there would be fewer chances of disturbances. He only had USD 50 with him and survived by eating apples that he could buy cheaply at only USD 1 for a bag of 12. He slept with his shoes on because he never knew when he would have to get up and run when someone came to threaten his safety.

Due to his experience of being a homeless, hungry and alone, Burcha would always give food to the homeless and the needy throughout his life.

Burcha hitchhiked to the southern country with the intention to go to California. About two states before Arizona, he met a guy who have left the eastern part of the United States and put everything he owned inside his van. The guy was going to Oregon to join a commune associated with Osho. Burcha and the guy got along well. Burcha shared about Buddhist philosophy and the guy shared about Hindu philosophy. When they were about one state away from Arizona, he picked up a-good-looking native American Indian guy in his late 20s. He too was going to California. The American Indian told Burcha about a special mountain that was located in Arizona where a good American Indian spirit, Wenatchee, lived. The spirit was famous for giving prophesy for the future. If he was to go there, Burcha had to get off in Flagstaff then go north. The young Burcha was fascinated and interested with the spirit because he was young and just left home. He did not know what would happen next. Therefore, Burcha wanted to meet Weenatchee and ask questions to find out what was going to happen to him.

Humphreys Peak, Flagstaff.

The American Indian said that in order to meet the Weenatchee, Burcha needed to get off around Flagstaff where there was an American Indian commune. Once he was there, Burcha needed to go north until he arrive at this mountain where Weenatchee lived. At the base of the mountains there would be Indians who sell sticks and rabbit skin for people to erect a Tepee. If on the next day, an identical Tepee appeared beside the original one, then that is a sign that Weenatchee agreed to see the person who would like to request the prophesies and answer his/ her questions.

Burcha asked to be dropped off at Flagstaff where he planned to hitchhiked to the place where Weenatchee lived. However, Burcha could not get a ride to go north. He walked for about half-a-day. Burcha asked about Weenatchee to several American Indians but they would not talk to him. Then, it started to rain, and Burcha got really worried and frustrated. Burcha stood behind a billboard shook his legs because he was really tired. Then, he made a prayer that if he was meant to meet Weenatchee, he would have get a ride toward the mountain. If he was not meant to meet Weenatchee, he would have to go to the opposite direction and he would get a ride. Burcha continued to walk north for a while and still could not get a ride. Then, he turned back south to reach highway 9, then he went west toward the direction of California. Within 45 minutes he got a ride from a-38-year old blond lady who was half American Indian and her 18-year old boyfriend. The lady also ran away from home the day before because her parents were not happy with her relationship with her young boyfriend.  Burcha told her that he was looking for Weenatchee. The lady said she had never heard of Weenatchee before. In the end, Burcha never got to meet Weenatchee. The young Burcha was wondering whether his personal Buddha deities prevented him to meet Weenatchee because if he did, Weenatchee would not have led Burcha to the place where he was supposed to go.

Later, the lady dropped her boyfriend at his parents’ home and borrowed the boyfriend’s parents’ car to take Burcha to California. The lady drove Burcha to his cousin’s house, Bob Gugajew where he lived with his wife Pauline. The house was located in Monterey Park.

Bob called Burcha’s parents to let them know that Burcha was safe and ask them if it was alright for Burcha to stay with him. Miraculously Burcha was given the permission to stay with Bob. Burcha was relieved. He was free.

 

Adjusting to a new life

Settling down in Los Angeles

Bob encouraged his cousin to complete his studies. Burcha complied with his cousin’s request and registered at a nearby Mark Keppel High School. He also worked evenings at McDonald, a-25 minutes walk from his cousin’s house, where he was holding various positions as a cook, a cashier, and later as a drive-thru server. His financial situation was so bad that Burcha often ate old unsold food out of sheer hunger. Sometimes, for extra money, he would help Bob, who worked as a contractor. However, Bob did not make things easy for Burcha because he wanted to encourage his cousin to return to New Jersey.

Tsem Rinpoche in front of Mark Keppel school.

When Burcha was 17 years old, living with Bob was not conducive anymore for him. Thus, Burcha moved out to a studio apartment in Los Angeles that he shared with a-26-year-old flatmate. The flatmate was a nice person, but he was addicted to substances. When the flatmate was under the influence, he would become a totally different person.

The young Tsem Rinpoche in Los Angeles.

Burcha would come home to find all the shades pulled down. His flatmate was lying down on his bed, sweating, smelling and under the influence. He would play Fleetwood Mac’s Rumour album very loud and repeatedly. When Burcha suggested his flatmate to lower the volume, he became very unhappy. When Burcha wanted to open the shades so light could come in, the flatmate protested vehemently. Thus, Burcha would come home to a dark apartment with Fleetwood Mac playing super loud, and his flatmate lying on his bed sweating. Burcha used to escape from the dark sweaty apartment and wander the LA streets.

However, Burcha liked his flatmate because he was a nice person when he was not under the influence. He could not understand how someone could become a different person when suffering from addiction. Eventually, the flatmate moved back to his parents’ house.

 

Working three jobs and making ends meet

Without any financial support from his family or friends, Burcha had to work hard to make ends meet.

After high school, Burcha got a-day-job from Monday to Saturday and, at the same time, continued to work at McDonalds in the evening four times a week. He also got a third job hanging clothes at a department store three times a week. All these jobs paid a minimum wage of just USD 3.35 per hour. The grueling schedule of 16-hour days eventually took its toll, and Burcha had to quit his job at McDonalds despite his financial hardship.

Later, Burcha focused on his job at Fotomat at the Sunset Boulevard branch and soon became the top area sales person. Then, he was promoted to the area manager position, and was responsible for five branches. He befriended everyone including prostitutes, hippies, punks and all types of interesting people and talked to them about Dharma.

At one point, Burcha also worked at Fred Sands Real Estate, at John Douglas Realtors in Hancock Park and at a bank.

 

Meeting the Dharma again and life at Thubten Dargye Ling (TDL)

First encounter and taking refuge with another great master, Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen

The autumn after he arrived in Los Angeles, Burcha searched for a Dharma center where he could do his sadhana. He found Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s Vajradhatu center, but it was closed when he visited. Then, Burcha found the University of Oriental Studies in a phonebook and decided to visit thinking that they have an altar. There, he met Dr. Leo Pruden, a Professor of Eastern Studies, who told him that there was no place to pray in the university, but he kindly offered to drive Burcha to a nearby Dharma center, Thubten Dhargye Ling (“TDL”) or “Land of Fluorishing Dharma” – a name given by the Dalai Lama, where he could do his prayer. When they arrived, the front door was locked, they went through the back door.

Thubten Dargye Ling (then)


Thubten Dargye Ling (today)

The inside of the center, was carpeted in maroon with yellow curtains on the windows and beautiful thangkas on the walls. There was a throne of H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama. The resident abbot and the renowned master, Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen, was seated on the floor cushion. Burcha prostrated to him, and Dr. Pruden introduced them. Geshe-la was a lay-person then. He wore a long outfit in maroon with a mandarin collar.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen.

That day was a Tsok day, and Burcha asked Geshe La’s permission to be allowed to join. Geshe La looked at the teenager and asked if he had received initiations before. Burcha replied that he had so Geshe La allowed him to join the Tsok. Burcha went home to collect his sadhana and ritual implements and joined the Tsok puja that night at TDL.

Burcha did not immediately take Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen as his teacher, because he already had Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin as his teacher. Thus, Burcha called Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin in New Jersey to apologize for running away and for Dana’s defamation of him. He also asked permission to take Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen as his teacher. Before he finished, Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin said to him, “You’re lucky. You have my permission to stay and listen to Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen.

Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen advised Burcha to call his stepparents to apologize in order to cut off the negative karmic connection. Burcha obeyed his teacher and called his parents several times. Sometimes Dana did not want to talk to him, but the most important thing is he tried.

 

Being exposed to Dorje Shugden at TDL

Special Dorje Shugden thangka of Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen.

When he was 16 years old, Burcha wanted to get a job near the center. But he was not too qualified for the available positions. Thus, Burcha went to Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen and informed him of his wish. Geshe La showed him a Dorje Shugden thangka and advised Burcha to pray to him so everything will be fine. Burcha did as per his teacher’s advice, and three days later, Burcha got the job he wanted.

At TDL, Geshe La performed Dorje Shugden puja and Setrap puja every month together with 50 to 60 of his students. Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen had received Dorje Shugden’s sogtae or initiation from his teacher. One of the sogtae’s requirements is to do Dorje Shugden puja every month. Geshe La taught and explained about Dorje Shugden, including from Music Delighting the Ocean of Protector text composed by H.H. Trijang Rinpoche. The text contains the practice, the lineage, the history, the background, the rituals, the meditations, the mantra of the Protector Dorje Shugden. Burcha never missed a single Dorje Shugden puja during his stay at TDL.

At the time, Burcha recited Palden Lhamo mantra and only did Dorje Shugden practice lightly. He did not want to practice too many Dharma protectors because he was afraid that it would be confusing for him. Later, he found out that Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin in New Jersey also performed Dorje Shugden puja every month.

 

Moving into TDL

As it was not conducive to live outside the center, Burcha decided to move in and rent a room at TDL. The normal rental rate for the lodging at TDL at the time was USD 250 per month, which Burcha could not afford. However, a senior member of TDL’s committee talked to Geshe La and arranged a small room for Burcha at a reduced rental rate of USD 150 per month. In February 1983, he finally moved into the center. Burcha was very happy to live in the heart of Dharma.

 

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1982: Meeting the root teacher, Zong Rinpoche

Meeting and serving his root teacher, Zong Rinpoche

H.H. Zong Rinpoche at TDL, Los Angeles.

In year 1982, The-17-year old Burcha met H.H. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche at TDL where he came to teach at the center for six months. Upon sight, Burcha immediately recognized Zong Rinpoche as his root teacher and developed faith and devotion toward him. However, true to the practice of Guru Devotion, Burcha called Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin to ask his permission to take refuge in Zong Rinpoche. Kensur Rinpoche gave his permission with a condition that Burcha should continue to do the practice previously given by him.

Prior to the arrival of Zong Rinpoche, Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen advised his students on protocol. Because Zong Rinpoche was Geshe La’s teacher, his students should pay deference to Zong Rinpoche first and not to Geshe La. He said, “Zong Rinpoche is my teacher, so if you prostrate to him, I would be included as well.”

Burcha was elected as Zong Rinpoche’s assistant during his visit despite the objection of some center members. They were concerned with Burcha’s funky appearance and red hair. Burcha was hurt when he heard about this, and he became even determined to serve Zong Rinpoche well. Everyday for the next six months, he devotedly and diligently served Zong Rinpoche tirelessly. After he served Zong Rinpoche, he served Geshe La. If Geshe La did not need anything else, he would serve Zong Rinpoche’s entourage. After that, he would return to Zong Rinpoche’s side and wait while his teacher ate. If there were any leftovers, he would always ask permission to eat them because he believed that his teacher was an enlightened being and that his leftovers were blessed.

In the morning, after Zong Rinpoche finished his breakfast, Burcha would clear his breakfast tray, then proceed to Geshe La’s and the entourage’s trays. If he had time, he would also clean up the kitchen and put everything away before going to work. Burcha later recalled,

“I would wash his cups and his plates first, clean them and put them in the highest shelf in the kitchen, without damaging anything. Sometimes, I would wash his silverware twice. I would put everything away in a special place so no one could touch his items. I even put up a sign in case anybody made a mistake. This was an opportunity to serve my teacher.”

After he returned from work around 3:00 PM, Burcha would start preparing dinner for everyone. He would also prepare tea the way Zong Rinpoche liked it, with the right amount of diabetic sugar.

Serving H.H. Zong Rinpoche at TDL.

Sometimes, in the evenings after dinner and teachings, Burcha would have the blessings to massage Zong Rinpoche’s feet. In his later years, Burcha recalled, “I would do my best to massage his feet everyday. And I would kiss his feet because I read in an Indian tantric manual that to show the deepest respect to someone very high is to touch the lowest part of [his] body. Rinpoche made it a game after a while. He would show me his foot, and when I tried to grab it, he would quickly pull it back and laugh! When I grabbed it, I would put it on my head, and I would kiss it. Tibetans do not kiss. I did it because I had grown up with American culture. It was my way to show my reverence to him because I could not speak his language.”

Burcha also assisted Zong Rinpoche during private audiences and Dharma teachings. Before the event, he would vacuum the room and make sure everything is clean and in order before making the necessary arrangements with Zong Rinpoche’s assistants to bring the visitors in. During the audience, he would stay nearby quietly and as alert as possible. He would make sure that Zong Rinpoche is never alone.

Before Zong Rinpoche sat on his throne, Burcha would make sure that everything is straightened. After Zong Rinpoche sat, Burcha would not leave his side.

The young Tsem Rinpoche with H.H. Zong Rinpoche in Yucca Valley, California. They were there for two blissful weeks to receive empowerment of Vajrayogini and full commentary explanations. Tsem Rinpoche was also serving as the attendant to Zong Rinpoche.

 

Receiving Dorje Shugden sogtae from Zong Rinpoche

Dorje Shugden in peaceful form.

One day, Burcha felt that he should choose between Palden Lhamo and Dorje Shugden, and he only wanted to practice one protector. So he asked Zong Rinpoche,

Burcha: I’m practising two Dharma Protectors now [Palden Lhamo and Dorje Shugden]. Can you please give me your advice which Dharma Protector I should choose for the rest of my life to remove obstacles of my Dharma practice?
Zong Rinpoche: If you want, I will give you my Dharma Protector.
Burcha : [Folded his hands] Please give me your Dharma Protector. If it’s good enough for you, and that’s what you practice your whole life and you’re a Buddha, it’s more than good enough for me.

Within one month, Zong Rinpoche gave Dorje Shugden sogtae/ initiation at TDL. Sogtae is when the Lama introduces you to Dorje Shugden, in a symbolic way, join hands with Dorje Shugden, and Dorje Shugden gives you his heart and gives you his blessings and gives you his commitment to protect you. You give back to Dorje Shugden that you will hold him as your principal Dharma Protector until you achieve Bodhicitta.

Kyabje Zong Rinpoche gave Dorje Shugden sogtae to three people at one time. There were 60 to 80 people who wanted to get the sogtae. Thus, the event took all day. Burcha went up with two other persons and received the initiation. Burcha received a chakra and a crystal that represent Dorje Shugden’s heart.

Since then, Burcha did his Dorje Shugden practice every month with Geshe La. Sometimes, Geshe La would do the puja twice a month. Burcha often helped to prepare torma and the rituals.

Based on his experiences of practicing Dorje Shugden since year 1983, he and his Dharma friends have never prayed to Dorje Shugden so that other lineages would be hurt. They have never prayed to Dorje Shugden so that even our enemies or perceived enemies would be hurt. They did Dorje Shugden practice with the wish that they may be able to understand the Lamrim and Lojong teachings very well, to gain attainments, to understand the Buddha’s messages in Lamrim and to transform their minds and to become a patient, kind, and compassionate person. In other words, to get enlightened.

Burcha received the practice of Dorje Shugden from Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, and it was 100% for spiritual reasons. Zong Rinpoche is Burcha’s teacher, and he is the teacher of Burcha’s teacher. When a teacher gave the practice, and the students promised, they should just do it and maintain their integrity.

Burcha made a commitment to Zong Rinpoche. He swore to him that whatever practices he gave him, inclusive of Gyalchen Dorje Shugden, he would practice until the end of his life.

 

A Hollywood girl took refuge with Zong Rinpoche

Diana in her heyday.

Around the time, Zong Rinpoche visited TDL, Burcha met a pretty lady called Diana. One day, Burcha was standing at a bus stop waiting for the bus when a large blue car pulled up and started honking. The driver of the car was Diana. She had met him on the bus a few times and chatted briefly. Diane spotted Burcha at the bus stop so she decided to stop and offered him a ride to work. Burcha agreed and hopped in. Despite their age difference, Burcha and Diana became friends. She followed Burcha to TDL and became interested in the Dharma. Diana volunteered at the center to help cook and clean. She eventually took refuge with Zong Rinpoche. Burcha helped Diana to set up the altar at her home.

On one of his birthdays, Diana presented Burcha with a box and asked him to open it on the spot. They were standing on the Western and Sunset Boulevard around 5:00 PM. Inside the box, he found USD 300. At the time Burcha was making approximately USD 500 a month and struggling to make ends meet. Diana was not a wealthy person as well. She worked part time in a deli and was struggling to raise her four sons. Burcha rejected the gift thinking that Diana needed it more than him. But she insisted. Burcha was very touched with this kindness. Burcha and Diana became lifelong friends.

Sometimes, Burcha went to Diana’s house to enjoy her cooking along with her husband and four sons. Some of her sons were older than Burcha. After dinner, Burcha helped Diana to wash the dishes. One day, after the dinner, Burcha told Diana:

Burcha: We cooked the food, we serve them and now we have to do the dishes. You don’t raise your sons right. They are taking advantage of you.
Diana: You’re probably right
Burcha: You need to get away from these kids of yours. Let’s go dancing!
Diana: Dancing?
Burcha: Oh ya… I know places in Hollywood. We go dancing. Let’s take this apron off. I am taking this off and let’s go dancing.

Tsem Rinpoche in his Los Angeles days

At the time, Burcha liked to visit clubs, particularly lesbian clubs because nobody would bother him or making passes at him there. Every time he went out, Burcha managed to talk to several people about the Dharma and eventually bring them to the center.

Diana remembered that the reason why she agreed to go to the center was because she could feel Burcha’s heartfelt deep honesty.

 

The Promise

Zong Rinpoche performed an auspicious hair-cutting ceremony on Tsem Rinpoche, which was a symbolic act to mark the first step to ordination.

When Zong Rinpoche visited TDL, Burcha was considering to become an actor in Hollywood as a way to raise fund for TDL. He has done a Mongolian voice over for a puppet show and was paid USD 360 and the subsequent royalties for a-one-hour work. It was very exciting for a struggling teenager who only made around USD 500 per month.

One day, Zong Rinpoche informed Burcha:

Zong Rinpoche: You have a very powerful karma to be in front of the camera. If you do it, you’ll be famous.
Burcha: As a singer or an actor?
Zong Rinpoche: It doesn’t matter– you just have to be in front of the camera.
Burcha: What would be better for me, to be an actor or a monk?
Zong Rinpoche: You will make it in front of camera but you will be more beneficial if you take ordination.

Burcha immediately folded his hand to his teacher and promised that he would go to the Monastery and become a monk. Zong Rinpoche then invited him to Gaden Monastery and stay in his ladrang. On the same evening, Zong Rinpoche performed an auspicious hair-cutting ceremony, which was a symbolic act to mark the first step to ordination. Zong Rinpoche also verbally recognized Burcha as the reincarnated of a high lama.

The young Tsem Rinpoche with H.H. Zong Rinpoche shortly before he left for India. This was to be the last time, Tsem Rinpoche saw his root teacher.

Six months after he arrived, Zong Rinpoche left Los Angeles. Burcha was saddened by his departure. During this visit, Zong Rinpoche conferred many core teachings and initiations to Burcha including Yamantaka, Vajrayogini, Cittamani Tara, Heruka, Avalokiteshvara Ngesung Kundrol, Hayagriva, White Tara, Je Tse Zin Ma, and the practice of Dorje Shugden.

 

The passing of a great master

On 15 November 1984, Zong Rinpoche passed away. For Burcha, the day began with the usual routine of serving breakfast, tidying up and leaving for work. While he was working at the launderette, he received a phone call from a center member who informed him that Zong Rinpoche had entered clear light at 80 years old.

 

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1982 – 1987: Preparing for the journey to India

Meeting His Holiness the 98th Gaden Tripa Jetsun Jamphal Zhenpen Gaden Jangtse Monastery

Burcha met H.H. the 98th Gaden Tripa Jetsun Jamphal Zhenpen at TDL. This Lama cried whenever he spoke about the suffering of others. This is similar to the ever-weeping Bodhisattva Sadaprarudita in the Prajnaparamita Sutras. Upon learning that Burcha was planning to become ordained, His Holiness advised him to recite Heart Sutra daily. Burcha received the initiation of 13-Deity Yamantaka and Manjushri from this great master.

 

Help from a Dharma friend and settling financial obligations

Although Burcha had decided to go to India, he could not go immediately. He needed to stay back in Los Angeles to work, pay off his credit card debt and save money for his trip to India. When one of TDL’s main sponsors, Robert Stone, heard that Burcha wanted to become a monk, he was very impressed. Robert had also wanted to become a monk, but out of respect for his mother, he did not. At the time, Burcha was living at TDL together with his teacher, Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen, Robert Stone and another lady called Toby Rose. Their rent helped the center financially. Robert was Burcha’s good friend and a very nice person.

One day after Tsog, Burcha was cleaning up the center. Robert approached Burcha and asked him in a firm, direct, and slightly questioning manner.

Robert: So when are you going to India? When are you going to be a monk? You made a promise to Zong Rinpoche.
Burcha: Robert look, I want to go to India. I want to be a monk. I did not forget my promise to Zong Rinpoche, but I don’t not have enough money.
Robert said: Look, if you were to go to India, how much would it cost you and what do you need to pay off.

Burcha then calculated how much he has to pay off including credit card bills, air tickets, passport, and so forth. Burcha then explained to Robert that he needed about USD 5,000.

Robert: If you had the money, would you go?
Burcha: I would go immediately
Robert: No hesitation
Burcha: No
Robert: Here is the money

Robert wrote him a cheque, and Burcha was amazed by this act of generosity. After that Burcha flew to New Jersey to take care of his passport. He gave notice at work and paid off his credit card debt.

 

Requesting ordination from H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama

Tsem Rinpoche requested H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama to give him ordination.

In year 1987, Burcha had another audience with H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama in Geshe Wangyal’s Dharma center in Washington, New Jersey. Geshe Wangyal invited His Holiness to visit, give dharma talk and blessings. After the meeting, Burcha had a chance to go up and get blessings from His Holiness. At that moment, Burcha asked His Holiness to ordain him. His Holiness agreed. He asked Burcha to come to India, and His Holiness would ordain him. Burcha held his tears and was in bliss. His uncles, cousins, parents, relatives and friends were there as well. Dana and Boris were not happy. However, Burcha was determined to become ordained regardless of the potential obstacles.

 

Returning home to New Jersey

Before going to India, Burcha returned to Howell, New Jersey to see his parents for one last time after he confirmed that he is to become a monk. He came back to say goodbye to his stepparents, Dana and Boris, and one or two family members. Burcha brought Dana red roses, which were her favorite. Burcha spent two days with her and explained what he was going to do. Dana was not accepting, but she was polite and happy that Burcha visited her. She cooked, she talked, but she was not agreeable with Burcha’s plan to become a monk. However, she did not stop him because Burcha has grown to be a big boy. Dana knew she could not stop him.

Dana told him that the moment the robes touched his skin, he would no longer be her son. Burcha was sad, but he was determined to become a monk. He said farewell to his stepparents, Boris and Dana. That was the last time Burcha saw his stepparents alive.

During this trip, Burcha also visited Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin. Kensur Rinpoche received Burcha in his room, and he was smiling. He actually showed that he liked Burcha. He gave the following advice to him, “Now, you are going the right way. You are going to become a monk. When you go and become a monk from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, you must not just go and get the vows. You must generate higher Mahayana motivation. You must not become a monk for yourself or to escape or to get away from something. You must generate the thought that [you are doing this to] liberate all beings. You need to hold morality. By the practice of morality, you will be able to cut away the negative habits and therefore accomplish the highest goal – enlightenment. So when you go for taking robes with His Holiness, you make sure you generate that motivation to benefit all others.“ Burcha folded his hands in gratitude for this advice. Before he left, Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin put a khata over his head.

 

Leaving for India

In October 1987, Burcha left for India with two bags of his belongings. He was 22 years old when he left TDL, where he had lived for eight years. Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen escorted him to the airport together with several of his close students. Geshe La gave Burcha a khata and his blessings.

Geshe La had been a spiritual father to Burcha since he ran away from New Jersey. This great master was also the one who introduced Burcha to the practice of Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden.

 

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1987 – 1991: Ordination and challenging early years in India

Ordination and joining Gaden Monastery

Meeting Pabongka Chocktrul Rinpoche

After he left Los Angeles, Burcha arrived in New Delhi and stayed in the house of one of Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen’s students. Once rested, he took a-13-hour bus ride through the rough winding roads, over tough terrains to Dharamsala. He went there to fulfill his promise and receive monastic ordination from H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama. Dharamsala is an area where the rich Tibetan culture thrives outside of Tibet including traditional painters, restaurants, statue-makers, wood-carvers, schools that teach in Tibetan, traditional Tibetan opera, and dancing events. Due to the fact that H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama lives there and therefore a place where Tibetan culture is kept alive, the area is known as the Little Lhasa.

In Dharamsala, Burcha stayed at Gaden Shartse’s Shabten Kang, a branch of Gaden Shartse Monastery in South India, which performs pujas for both lay and ordained practitioners. Burcha was planning to join Gaden Shartse, since this was the monastery where Kyabje Zong Rinpoche came from. Gaden Shartse’s Shabten Kang was located next to Dekyi Khangkar, the house and clinic of the famous female doctor, Dr. Lobsang Dolma, and a-15-minute walk from H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama’s palace.

Dekyi Khangkar, the house and clinic of the famous lady doctor, Dr. Lobsang Dolma.

The evening he arrived in Dharamsala, Burcha was sick and feverish from the bus ride up the winding journey. However, he heard that the incarnation of H.H. Kyabje Pabongka Chocktrul Rinpoche had just arrived and was staying in Dr. Lobsang Dolma’s house. Burcha immediately gathered the bottles of vitamins he brought from the United States and a small kuyong (monetary offering) and went next door to Dekyi Khangkar.

Burcha remembered coming across a picture book on Tibet when he was in Los Angeles. Inside that book, he chanced upon a picture of H.H. Pabongka Rinpoche with a caption that read, “Pabongka, a high lama of Lhasa”. He could not stop staring at the picture. Burcha instantly felt tremendous faith in this Lama. He photocopied and framed the picture of Pabongka Rinpoche, which he kept on his shrine.

His Holiness Kyabje Pabongka Chocktrul Rinpoche.

The incarnation of Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche was 12 years old at the time. Upon meeting him, Burcha made the offering of vitamins and kuyong. In return for his offerings and upon hearing that Burcha was waiting for ordination, Pabongka Chocktrul Rinpoche blessed him and gave him the oral transmission of Medicine Buddha’s mantra. He also advised Burcha that, “Whenever you travel, always remember that your teacher and your Protector are one. When you recite the mantra of your protector, remember he is your root teacher.” Since that time, whenever Burcha pray to his protector, he would think of the protector and his root teacher as the same.

 

Waiting for ordination and visiting Dr. Dolma

Burcha registered with the Tibetan Office to request monastic ordination from H.H. the Dalai Lama. He was told to find two other men who wanted to become monks so they could be ordained together. Fortunately, Burcha was able to find the two other men who wished to become monks, and they made the request together. Burcha was then informed that he needed to wait for approximately two months for his ordination ceremony.

During this time, he often saw that many people came to seek treatments from Dr. Dolma. Several weeks after he arrived, Burcha had some pus coming out from his male lower region. He did not want to see Dr. Dolma because he feared that the lady doctor would strip him to examine the affected area. So, Burcha went to the nearby clinic of a male doctor named Dr. Yeshe Dhonden, who was supposed to be the doctor of H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama. Dr. Dhonden stripped Burcha, accused him of being a naughty boy and forced him to confess. Burcha refused since this doctor was not correct. Dr. Dhonden gave him some general Tibetan medicine, but Burcha had lost faith in that doctor and therefore threw his medication away.

After the un-inspiring treatment by Dr. Dhonden, Burcha went to see Dr. Dolma instead. Fortunately, Dr. Dolma had a break between seeing her other patients. Burcha introduced himself to the lady doctor, and as she was free and had the time, Dr. Dolma talked to Burcha more. She explained that she made her own medicine, and together with her husband, they would use their jeep to travel to the countryside to collect the necessary herbs and flowers used in Tibetan medicine. When it came the time for examination, Dr. Dolma did not ask Burcha to take his clothes off. Instead, she read his pulse and declared that Burcha was in fact a healthy young man. Burcha’s medical issues had occurred because he had not washed himself properly with warm water. Therefore, she advised Burcha to wash himself with a mixture of Dettol and warm water. Burcha followed her advice, and after three days, his medical problem was healed.

Dr. Lobsang Dolma- Mother of Tibetan Medicine (1935-1989).

Burcha and Dr. Dolma became fast friends, and he called her ‘Amala’. Amala is an affectionate way to call a mature older lady in the Tibetan language. Burcha used to go to her clinic and observed her examining a lot of people and diagnosing various illnesses. Dr. Dolma often gave free medication to the poor and to the Sangha, in addition to donating food and robes to Gaden Shabten Kang. She told Burcha that it was the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden who gave her everything she needed, so she had a very deep respect and reverence for the practice.

Dr. Dolma escaped from Tibet to India in year 1959. She had only carried with her Tibetan Medical Tantra books on her back and had to leave her other belongings back in Tibet. When she first arrived in India, she worked as a labourer building roads, breaking rocks and stones, which earnt her very little even to feed herself well. One day, she and the other workers had an audience with Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche. Trijang Rinpoche asked her to read his pulse and diagnosed his illness, which she did happily. Following the diagnosis, she traveled into the hills and collected the herbs necessary to prepare the medicine for Trijang Rinpoche to take. Following the treatment, Trijang Rinpoche’s condition improved. Trijang Rinpoche helped Dr. Dolma to set up her clinic and practice.

Burcha found out later that Dr. Dolma sold Saraswati pills (Yangchai Rilbu), which is well-known to help improve memory. Yangchai Rilbu is specifically to be taken in the morning with warm water before engaging in Manjushri mantras and prayers. These pills are supposed to move the winds in the body so that your memory improves. Burcha did not have a lot of money at the time, but the generous Dr. Dolma gave him three months provision of the pills for free.

 

The first glimpses of the prejudice towards the practice of Dorje Shugden.

When he was in Dharamsala and waiting for ordination, Burcha wanted to have a thangka painted that depicted Zong Rinpoche with a ray of light emanating from his heart on which both Dorje Shugden and Vajrayogini stood. The Dalai Lama’s assistant introduced him to a painter that painted the Dalai Lama’s thangkas. The painter, however, only agreed to paint Zong Rinpoche and Vajrayogini and not Dorje Shugden. This was because there was already a prejudice against Dorje Shugden, and the painter did not feel comfortable painting the deity. This was to be Burcha’s first glimpse of prejudice against the practice of Dorje Shugden, which would culminate in a ban instigated by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA).

Following this incident, Burcha met another person in Dharamsala who was a scholar, a reincarnated lama and a translator. This Lama informed Burcha that he had heard rumors that Dorje Shugden practice was to be curtailed, and the Dalai Lama would speak up about this. After this conversation, Burcha offered a lot of incense (sang) to Dorje Shugden for three days, as he was upset that something like this could happen. He cried a lot and fell into a slight depression. Thinking about the situation, Burcha could not choose between the Dalai Lama and Zong Rinpoche, from whom he had received the Dorje Shugden sogtae.

At the end of the three days, Burcha talked to another friend, a Tibetan Rinpoche, who advised him to respect both the Dalai Lama and Zong Rinpoche, to keep his practice to himself, and not to speak about the situation. Burcha thought this was the only logical thing to do.

 

The Ordination

Finally after waiting for over a month and several weeks, Burcha was ordained by H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama together with the two other men. The ordination lasted about three hours, during which the Dalai Lama gave Burcha an ordination name of Tenzin Zopa. “Tenzin” means “Upholding the Dharma” and “Zopa” means patience. Thus, from hereon, Burcha will be referred to as Tenzin Zopa.

 

Waiting for a visa and a chance encounter with great teachers

In December 1987, following his ordination, Tenzin Zopa took a bus to Kathmandu, Nepal to attend to matters related to the visa he required to travel to India and stay in Gaden Shartse Monastery long term.

 

Meeting His Eminence Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche of Sera Mey Monastery

Tsem Rinpoche and Gangchen Rinpoche at Tsem Ladrang, Gaden Monastery.

In Nepal, Tenzin Zopa stayed at Samten Ling Monastery where he met a Caucasian Tulku, named Muli Rinpoche, who was a student of Gangchen Rinpoche. One day, Tenzin Zopa was standing on the street of Thamel. A taxi approached with a bearded monk sitting on the front seat. Tenzin Zopa waved, and the taxi stopped. The bearded monk was H.E. Gangchen Rinpoche.

Gangchen Rinpoche: Who are you?
Tenzin Zopa: I don’t know why but I want to meet you.
Gangchen Rinpoche: Come to my house this afternoon.

Then, Gangchen Rinpoche gave him his address. When Gangchen Rinpoche met Tenzin Zopa in the afternoon, he simply stared at him. Ganchen Rinpoche declared that Tenzin Zopa was the incarnation of a high lama and instructed him to get recognition as such from the monastery and advised him to share his life story with others. Gangchen Rinpoche later transmitted tantric practices to Tenzin Zopa including the practices of Loma Gyonma and Black Manjushri.

Tenzin Zopa visited Gangchen Rinpoche many times over the years and received many esoteric teachings and initiations from him. He was also frequently asked to give spontaneous talks to an assembled audience, oftentimes on topics he was unfamiliar with. Although Tenzin Zopa was reluctant to teach, he would do so out of Guru Devotion.

Despite his age, Tenzin Zopa’s teaching style at the time was very traditional, serious and formal, following the scriptures to the letter without any of the jokes or contemporary teaching methods that he is so loved for today. One day, Gangchen Rinpoche gave him a friendly slap on the arm and told him, “Relax! You are too old-fashioned. If you’re old-fashioned, it will be difficult for you to connect with your students.” Tenzin Zopa took this advice to heart and eventually developed the modern, witty, and often entertaining style of teaching the Dharma that has proven to be so popular with today’s modern spiritual seekers.

It was only years later that Tenzin Zopa realised Gangchen Rinpoche had been preparing him for his role as a Dharma teacher.

 

Meeting Lama Zopa Rinpoche of Sera Jey Monastery

Tsem Rinpoche and Lama Zopa.

Tenzin Zopa ended up staying in Nepal for 1.5 months as it was difficult and took a long time for him to complete his paperwork. One day, Tenzin Zopa decided to walk from Boudhanath to Kopan Monastery with offerings and fruits for Lama Zopa. When he reached Kopan, Tenzin Zopa approched Lama Zopa’s residence and was greeted by a nun. The nun informed him that he could not meet Lama Zopa without an appointment due to his busy schedule. So Tenzin Zopa began to walk back from Lama Zopa’s residence. On the way, he saw Lama Zopa walking back with his entourage from his teachings.

Lama Zopa approached Tenzin Zopa because he was standing in the way and asked him some questions. Tenzin Zopa told Lama Zopa that he wished to meet him. Lama Zopa grabbed his hand and brought him upstairs walking passed the nun, who had previously denied him entry. Tenzin Zopa informed Lama Zopa that he had been waiting for a long time for his visa, and he could not wait any longer because his visa for Nepal was expiring. Tenzin Zopa also asked whether he needed pujas to be performed to expedite the process of acquiring his visa. Lama Zopa performed a divination and told him that perhaps he needed to get a Red Singdongma initiation and do this practice for his problems to clear up so he could travel to Gaden. Tenzin Zopa got up and offered a khata and other offerings to Lama Zopa. He requested Lama Zopa with a mandala offering to confer him Red Singdongma initiation. Lama Zopa said that he would confer the Red Singdongma initiation within the next few days if necessary because his divination said that there may be another way.

Lama Zopa: Let me see what I can do first then come see me tomorrow.

Tenzin Zopa bowed and touched his forehead to the ground. Before he left, Tenzin Zopa informed the nun that he had an appointment with Lama Zopa Rinpoche the next day.

The next morning, a monk ran into Tenzin Zopa’s room and said that the officials in charge of his paperwork wanted to see him. He rushed to meet the officials and was informed that his paperwork had been completed, and he could go to India. Tenzin Zopa was flabbergasted. So he gathered what he could and walked to Kopan because he did not have money for taxi. When he arrived, it was around 2:00 PM. The nun let him pass without blocking his entry this time. The minute he walked in, and Lama Zopa saw him, Lama Zopa began laughing heartily. Lama Zopa looked at the young monk and said “Yes?” Tenzin Zopa replied with “Guess what? Everything is fine. My paperwork and the visa that I have been waiting for weeks have come through.” Lama Zopa looked at him and again began laughing, “Good! Very good!” Tenzin Zopa was a little sad and asked Lama Zopa whether he still could get the Red Singdongma initiation because he wanted to practice. Lama Zopa simply replied him, “Not necessary now.” Tenzin Zopa decided to trust the high lama.

After he met Lama Zopa, Tenzin Zopa conveyed his experience to the nun in Lama Zopa’s residence. The nun recounted that the night before, Lama Zopa ordered special tormas to be made by the monks and engaged in a special puja instead of resting. This was unusual for Lama Zopa. It dawned on him that Lama Zopa was engaged in a puja for him so he could get his visa without further delay.

Following this fortunate encounter, Tenzin Zopa traveled to South India and joined Gaden Shartse Monastery.

Tenzin Zopa went on to meet Lama Zopa several times throughout the years. On one occasion, Tenzin Zopa was in Tushita Meditation Centre in New Delhi when he heard that Lama Zopa was there as well. When they met, Lama Zopa exclaimed, “Every time you show up, I’m about to do a Dorje Shugden puja. Would you like to join me?” Tenzin Zopa declined politely because he already had prior engagements he could not miss. However, he would never forget what Lama Zopa said that day.

 

Challenging early years in India and monastic training

Challenging early years and financial difficulties

When he first entered Gaden Shartse Monastery, Tenzin Zopa lived in a small room in Zong Ladrang. During these early years in Gaden monastery, life was hard and Tenzin Zopa was very poor, which meant little food to eat. He required around USD 50 per month to survive. In order to make this sum, he wrote to his relatives and friends in the United States to ask for financial help. Some of his friends gave one-off donations, but that was it.

Tenzin Zopa wrote to Boris and Dana for financial help several times. His stepparents replied that since Tenzin Zopa has made his bed, he better sleep in it. If Tenzin Zopa gave up his monkhood, they would pay for his university education, buy him a car, and he would inherit their property. Tenzin Zopa was undeterred with his parents’ ultimatum and chose to stay in India. Overtime, his communication with Dana and Boris lessened.

Due to the extremely difficult condition, Tenzin Zopa attempted to run away from Gaden Shartse Monastery twice to the nearby town of Hubli because he felt so depressed. He hid in a hotel and planned to travel to New Delhi, from where he planned to escape somewhere, perhaps back to the United States. Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche sent several monks to track him down but Tenzin Zopa dodged them as best as he could. Eventually, Kensur Rinpoche sent word that if Tenzin Zopa did not come back, Kensur Rinpoche himself would go to Hubli to prostrate to him and request his return. Tenzin Zopa was so embarrassed that his own high teacher in his 70s had to ask him this way. So out of deep respect for his teacher, he returned quickly to Gaden Shartse Monastery.

Tenzin Zopa later wrote to Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin, his teacher in New Jersey, to inform him of his dire condition. Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin immediately arranged for one of his students and Tenzin Zopa’s friend, Carmen Kichikov, to sponsor the young Tenzin Zopa USD 50 per month (equivalent to 1,200 – 1,400 Indian rupee at the time). With this money, he was able to buy food, fix the leaky ceiling and acquire amenities to improve his meager living conditions – a fan, mosquito netting and a stove to cook simple meals in the little hallway outside his room. Later, Carmen herself would be ordained as a nun with the ordination name Anila Thupten Chonyid.

 

Be happy for being robbed

On one occasion, Tenzin Zopa accompanied his teachers Kyabje Lati Rinpoche and Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche on a trip. He traveled with them as an assistant and student of Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche. On that occasion, H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama had won the Nobel Peace Price, and they all went to New Delhi and then on to Dharamsala. On the trip back to South India, Tenzin Zopa was robbed. It was a-three-day-two-night journey, and Tenzin Zopa had around 600 rupees with him, which would usually last him for about a month. They were travelling on a train where the window next to his seat was broken. In the middle of the night, the train stopped at a station and someone stuck out their hands through the broken window and stole Tenzin Zopa’s monk bag, which contained his sadhana book, Buddha pictures and 600 rupees.

Tsem Rinpoche was showing his old room at Zong Ladrang

Tenzin Zopa told Kyabje Lati Rinpoche about what had happened. Instead of getting the support and sympathy he thought he would, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche laughed at his student, which caused him to feel uneasy. Tenzin Zopa was frustrated. After he finished laughing, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche asked Tenzin Zopa to meditate and pray that the contents of the bag would benefit the person who took it. Tenzin Zopa then prayed that the Heruka, Vajrayogini and Tara pictures he had pasted into his sadhana book would benefit the robber, his family and neighbors. He even hoped that they would place the pictures on their altar and receive the imprints of the Buddhas. After that, Tenzin Zopa went to bed feeling much better and released.

 

Practicing Bodhicitta in the midst of difficulties

Although Tenzin Zopa hardly had enough to sustain himself, he continued to help others in need. One Gaden monk, Lobsang Dhargye, recalled that Tenzin Zopa helped him to raise funds to fix his room. Later he found out that, Tenzin Zopa’s own room was leaking and in a poorer condition than his own.

“Tsem Rinpoche [Tenzin Zopa] was quite poor and his own house was in a bad condition but he still helped others to improve their homes. He personally came to my room to see how it was. He saw the bad conditions and helped me to remake the house, build shelves for books and fix the leaking roof. If I were hungry in the middle of the night, Rinpoche would cook food for me also. When I was sick, Rinpoche did a puja for me and now all is well.” -Lobsang Dhargye

Geshe Jangchup Dorje, a former disciplinarian and head of the Gaden Shartse Clinic also recalled, “What I saw when Tsem Rinpoche [Tenzin Zopa] was here in the early days even when he had nothing was that he had the kindness to help others, a Bodhicitta mind.”

 

Dorje Shugden practice in Gaden Shartse Monastery

When Tenzin Zopa lived in Gaden Shartse Monastery, he participated in puja to the various protectors (i.e., Palden Lhamo, Mahakala, Kalarupa, Vaishravana, White Mahakala, and Setrap) known as Gon Cho Nga. This puja would be held every month, and would be attended by all members of Gaden Shartse Monastery. During these sessions, pujas for Setrap and Dorje Shugden would also be included, and there was also a Dorje Shugden image in Gaden Shartse’s protector hall.

Choyang Duldzin Kuten (oracle) of Gaden in full trance of Dorje Shugden. Click to enlarge.

Next to Zong Rinpoche’s ladrang, there was a Dorje Shugden chapel called Gyalchen Tenkhang. Once a year during Tibetan Losar, an oracle trained by H.H. Trijang Rinpoche and H.H. Zong Rinpoche would take trance of both the peaceful and wrathful forms of Dorje Shugden, Kache Marpo, Setrap, and several other protectors at this chapel. During the trance sessions, peaceful form of Dorje Shugden would often give Dharma talks. Then, the monastery representatives would ask Dorje Shugden questions on matters related to monastic administration, teaching, livelihood and spiritual education, to which he would give advices and accurate prophecies for the future. During this time, approximately 95% of the monks in Gaden Shartse Monastery practiced Dorje Shugden.

Tenzin Zopa also observed that the practice of Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden was prevalent in other Gelugpa monasteries such as Sera and Drepung. In fact, the main protector of Ngari Khangtsen in Drepung Monastery and Pomra Khangtsen in Sera monastery was Dorje Shugden. Khangtsens are fraternity houses in the monasteries where the monks live together based on the regions in Tibet that they came from.

In fact, in Gaden, there was a great master, Geshe Tendar who conferred Dorje Shugden sogtae or life entrustment empowerment. In Drepung Monastery, Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche also gave Dorje Shugden sogtae. Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche was a very erudite, gentle, pure monk, scholar, master, Lharampa Geshe and a great master.

 

Training to become an oracle

H.E. Drigung Kyabgön Rinpoche.

Before he was officially recognized as a Tulku or reincarnated lama, Tenzin Zopa traveled to Leh, Ladakh to train as an oracle under H.E. Drigung Kyabgön Rinpoche Jetsun Lobsang Chozin, as he was well known for his ability to train oracles. Tenzin Zopa underwent numerous and strict retreats in order to clear and prepare his psychic channels. Tenzin Zopa wanted to become an oracle because he thought he could best serve the Dharma and people in this manner. However, this plan came to an abrupt end when he was recognized as a Tulku.

 

The return of Zong Rinpoche

Tsem Rinpoche offered a Manjushri statue to the newly recognized Zong Rinpoche.

Zong Rinpoche’s incarnation was discovered at the age of three and brought to live in Zong Ladrang. When the newly recognized Zong Rinpoche met Tenzin Zopa in Gaden Monastery, he immediately waved at and called him.

Zong Rinpoche: Hey you! Come here! Who are you? What’s your name?
Tenzin Zopa: Tenzin Zopa
Zong Rinpoche: Oh! Zopa Rinpoche! [please note that at the time, Tenzin Zopa had not been recognized as the incarnation of a high lama]
Tenzin Zopa: Can I pick you up and bring you for a walk?
Zong Rinpoche: Sure!

Despite the differences in their rank and age, their relationship has always been like that of two very special old friends being reunited.

Tsem Rinpoche holding the newly recognized H.H. Zong Choktrul Rinpoche.

Zong Chocktrul Rinpoche was extremely hot tempered as a young boy; he threw his food or things when he was ‘unhappy’. When his attendants saw that, they immediately folded their hands and said that this boy must be the undisputed incarnation of the previous Zong Rinpoche because the previous Zong Rinpoche was well known for being extremely wrathful and fierce.

 

Tenzin Zopa met with his biological father, Lobsang Gyatso

Tsem Rinpoche with his father, Lobsang Gyatso, and two other monks in Gaden Monastery.

One day, Dewa Nimbo, who had earlier on presented herself as one of Tenzin Zopa’s aunts, wrote to inform him that she had separated from her husband and was living with her two sons. She had received her PhD in Chinese studies and was teaching in Indianapolis in the United States. She said she was struggling to take care of her sons, but promised to send money after she finished with school. She also said if Tenzin Zopa had problems, he should contact her teacher, Sogpu Rinpoche in Nepal.

On 1st January 1990, Sogpu Rinpoche invited Tenzin Zopa to visit him in his ladrang in Nepal. Tenzin Zopa did not have enough funds to travel. However, when he sought advice from his teacher, H.E. Lati Rinpoche, Lati Rinpoche instructed him to go to Nepal immediately and even lent him the expenses needed for the trip.

The Mongolian Lama, Sogpu Rinpoche, who was also known as the emanation of Gyenze Dorje Shugden, knew Tenzin Zopa’s birth parents and his background well. Sogpu Rinpoche explained to Tenzin Zopa about his background in his ladrang in Nepal. After he told the story, Sogpu Rinpoche asked him to turn around and greet his father.

Tenzin Zopa turned around and saw an old Tibetan man sitting behind him, Lobsang Gyatso. His hands were shaking and the smoke from his cigarette could not cover his tears. Tenzin Zopa got up to give him a hug, though his father remained sitting and still shaking. At that moment, Tenzin Zopa knew it was for real. Later, Tenzin Zopa met his half-brothers and noticed striking resemblances that removed any remaining doubt.

All Lobsang Gyatso had to say were these moving words to the young monk, “Please forgive me, I’m sorry.” These were the first words that Tenzin Zopa heard from his real father. Sogpu Rinpoche asked the young monk to forgive his father with an open heart, and he did.

Lobsang Gyatso gave his son a pouch with 5,000 rupee inside. Tenzin Zopa was relieved because now he could return the money he borrowed from Lati Rinpoche. Over night, he had a father and a sponsor.

Shortly after this meeting, Tenzin Zopa updated Dewa Nimbo with excitement about what had happened. The response he received from the princess, his mother was curt, “That old man in Taiwan – I don’t know who he is, and I have no relations with him. If he is your father, that’s fine, but I don’t know him. Never, ever contact me again. If you want to have a relationship with him, you do not need to have a relationship with me.” Since that time, Dewa Nimbo cut all contacts with her son, Tenzin Zopa.

 

Serving and studying under the guidance of other great masters

 

Learning humility from His Holiness Sharpa Chöje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima Gaden Shartse Monastery

Sharpa Chöje Rinpoche.

Sharpa Chöje Rinpoche’s title translates as ‘The Precious Dharma Lord of the East,’ and he was an accomplished master of Vajrayogini Tantra. Tenzin Zopa used to serve this great lama physically by washing him with Dettol, perfuming him, and cutting his nails.

Sharpa Chöje Rinpoche used to attend the teachings by his teacher, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, although Lati Rinpoche’s monastic rank was lower than him. He said, “I must plant Dharma imprints in my mind for the future.” This humility had a deep impact on Tenzin Zopa’s mind.

 

H.E. Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche.

Learning from H.E. Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche Drepung Gomang Monastery

Tenzin Zopa also learned from an erudite master in Nepal, His Eminence Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche. When Dagom Rinpoche was teaching in Drepung Monastery and there was no electricity, Tenzin Zopa would fan Dagom Rinpoche for the entire duration of the teachings to keep his teacher comfortable.

 

 

H.E. Denma Locho Rinpoche of Drepung Loseling Monastery

His Eminence Denma Locho Rinpoche Drepung Loseling Monastery.

Tenzin Zopa received innumerable teachings and initiations from H.E. Denma Locho Rinpoche. Denma Locho Rinpoche recommended Tenzin Zopa to do White Tara practice and revealed that his previous incarnation, Gedun Nyedrak, entered clear light while engaging in a White Tara retreat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

H.E. Panang Rinpoche.

The hermit monk – H.E. Panang Rinpoche Drepung Loseling Monastery

His Eminence Panang Rinpoche was an extremely learned hermit monk from Trehor Khangtsen of Drepung Loseling Monastery who lived and meditated up in the mountains. He was requested to give a month-long oral transmission of important philosophical texts such as the Ornament of Clear Realization to the entire monastic assembly, including Tenzin Zopa. He would come down to the monastery from his mountain abode every single day without fail, wearing the ragged robes that he refused to change, a sign that he held his monastic vows very well.

Tenzin Zopa observed that Panang Rinpoche would always recite prayers soliciting the blessings of the teachers stemming from Buddha Shakyamuni in India all the way down to the current Tibetan teachers before every teaching, and as he recited their names, he would fold his hands high on top of his head in a gesture of deep reverence. This had a great impact on Tenzin Zopa, and taught him about the importance of the lineage masters.

 

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Part 2

1991 – 1999: Recognition, Enthronement and Tsem Ladrang in Gaden

Recognition

In year 1991, Tenzin Zopa was officially recognized and enthroned as a Tulku in Gaden Monastery. Before and after recognition and enthronement, Tenzin Zopa received numerous confirmations of his incarnation status from various high Lamas and highly esteemed sources:

  • When he was only seven months old, several monks came to Dewa Nimbo’s house and recognised him as a reincarnated Lama.
  • Upon sight, a very young Lama Osel Rinpoche placed his forehead to Tenzin Zopa’s forehead. In Tibetan tradition, this signifies one is of equal rank in terms of attainments and realisations.
  • H.H. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, Tenzin Zopa’s root teacher, gave verbal recognition that he was a ‘Rinpoche.’
  • H.E. Ayang Drupchen Rinpoche also gave verbal recognition.
  • The Mahasiddha H.E. Gangchen Rinpoche gave verbal recognition when Tenzin Zopa first met him in Nepal. Over the years, H.E. Gangchen Rinpoche has given his recognition numerous times.
  • Dorje Yudronma, the Dharma Protector of Gyutö Tantric College recognised Tenzin Zopa as an incarnation via her Oracle.
  • H.E. Drigung Kyabgön Rinpoche Jetsun Lobsang Chozin, one of Tenzin Zopa’s teachers, recognised his incarnation status upon sight and officiated this recognition on his own personal stationery and with his seal. He also recognised Tenzin Zopa as a Mahasattva, which indicates that his line of incarnations goes back further than Kensur Gedun Nyedrak.
  • H.E. Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, Tenzin Zopa’s teacher and Abbot of Gaden Shartse Monastery at that time.
  • Setrap Chen, the Dharma Protector of Gaden Shartse Monastery recognised Tenzin Zopa through the Choyang Duldzin Oracle following a request from H.E. Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche. This session has been recorded down and bears the official seal of Setrap. It serves as Tenzin Zopa’s main recognition paper as issued by his monastery. Tsem Rinpoche’s personal seal, as well, has the official backing of Lord Setrap Chen, and hence the entire Monastery.
  • The final acknowledgment was bestowed by His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, during a special audience requested for this purpose by H.E. Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche. His Holiness also identified that Tenzin Zopa’s incarnations date further back than the official recognition of three lifetimes, matching what H.E. Drigung Rinpoche had said.
  • In 2015, Dorje Shugden through the famous 7th Panglung Oracle recognised Tsem Rinpoche’s line of 25 incarnations that dates back to the time of Buddha Shakyamuni.

Sometimes before this official recognition, H.E. Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche called Tenzin Zopa and showed him a picture of an old monk. Kensur Rinpoche told him that it was a picture of his previous life.

Tenzin Zopa was recognized as the incarnation of Gedun Nyedrak, the 72nd abbot of Gaden Shartse Monastery, and his succeeding incarnation, Kentrul Thubten Lamsang.

 

Gedun Nyedrak, the 72nd Abbot of Gaden Shartse Monastery

Gedun Nyedrak the 72nd abbot of Gaden Shartse Monastery.

Gedun Nyedrak was born in northern Kham, Tibet to the Selsha household of Tsem Monastery. “Tsem” is the honorific word for “tooth,” because the monastery was the custodian of the tooth relic of Lama Tsongkhapa. Around Tsem Monastery, there were 99 households, most of which were notorious for their wild and irreligious ways. The Selsha household was exceptional in that its members were renowned for their generosity and inclination to the Dharma. They were also uncommonly taller than the average Tibetans. Gedun Nyedrak made a long hazardous journey from Tsem Monastery to join Pukhang Khangtsen in Gaden Shartse Monastery.

One of Gedun Nyedrak’s notable achievements was the restoration of Gaden Shartse Monastery, which had been desecrated by civil unrest. Upon his appointment as the Abbot of Gaden Shartse by the Regent of Tibet, Gedun Nyedrak immediately began to restore not only the damaged buildings of the monastery and but also reinstated adherence to the monastic code of conduct. After Gedun Nyedrak’s retirement as abbot, he spent the remainder of his life living in a cave and engaging in a White Tara retreat, which he dedicated to the long life of the 13th Dalai Lama. During this retreat, Gedun Nyedrak left his body and entered clear light.

 

Kentrul Thubten Lamsang, the Dharma pioneer

Kentrul Rinpoche Thubten Lamsang.

Gedun Nyedrak’s succeeding incarnation was found in the Drikung district of Tibet amidst auspicious portents of a high incarnate Lama. He was named Kentrul Thubten Lamsang. He obtained his Geshe Lharampa degree in the presence of H.H. the great 13th Dalai Lama and various other esteemed masters. Kentrul Thubten Lamsang taught tirelessly in a faraway region of Tibet called Phari, where Buddhism was not well established. Here, he single-handedly made the Buddhist teachings flourish in the minds of the people. In the 1950s, Kentrul Thubten Lamsang entered a clear light meditation and passed away.

 

Enthronement

Tsem Rinpoche with H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama and H.E. Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche.

During the enthronement ceremony, he was nervous and even tripped over his robes and took off his hat at the wrong time. However, this enthronement changed his status in the monastery forever for the better. His biological father, Lobsang Gyatso, sponsored the offerings required for the enthronement ceremony. Tenzin Zopa was enthroned as H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche.

Once, when H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama auspiciously visited Gaden Monastery to give teachings, H.E. Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche formally introduced the newly-recognised Tsem Rinpoche to the Dalai Lama.

From hereon Tenzin Zopa will be referred to as Tsem Rinpoche.

 

Tsem Ladrang in Gaden Shartse Monastery

Tsem Rinpoche and his half brother, Puntsok, in Gaden Shartse Monastery

Shortly after Tsem Rinpoche’s enthronement, his biological brother from his father side, Puntsok, visited him in Gaden Monastery and was shocked to see his living condition in the small leaky room in Zong Ladrang. He told their father of his findings, which led to Lobsang Gyatso visiting his son in the monastery several months later. He went to meet the abbot and administrators. Tsem Rinpoche was very touched because somebody cared about him. Lobsang Gyatso was sad to see his son living in such condition, so he informed Tsem Rinpoche that he would build a house for him.

Tsem Rinpoche then rented a piece of land from the monastery, which was not difficult. Lobsang Gyatso sent the money from which he had a four bedroom, one toilet, kitchen and a hall built for Tsem Rinpoche complete with water and electricity. Having electricity in Gaden at the time was a big deal.

Tsem Ladrang in Gaden Shartse Monastery.

When Tsem Rinpoche was about to move to his new ladrang, one of the monks advised him to invite Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche to stay with him. At the time, Kensur Rinpoche was the abbot of Gaden Shartse Monastery, but he also stayed in a small room in Zong Ladrang.

Thus, Tsem Rinpoche invited Kensur Rinpoche to move in with him. He also promised that should Kensur Rinpoche agreed to move in with him, he would take care of his needs, serve him and be his assistant. Kensur Rinpoche immediately agreed.

Tsem Rinpoche, Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, and monks in Tsem Ladrang, Gaden Shartse Monastery.

Tsem Rinpoche felt so honored. He gave the biggest room in the house to Kensur Rinpoche. He furnished his teacher’s room and planted flowers and trees so it would be pleasant for his lama. Tsem Rinpoche served Kensur Rinpoche as his secretary and assistant during his tenure as abbot. He also single-handedly brought Kensur Rinpoche’s diabetes under control, ensuring all food was regulated, medication given on time, schedules were not too taxing and personal attendants were trained to take care of the lama.

 

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Coming to South East Asia

Sent abroad to Fundraise

The request from Kyabje Lati Rinpoche and Dorje Shugden

Tsem Rinpoche and Kyabje Lati Rinpoche.

During the time Tsem Rinpoche was in Gaden, there was a continuous influx of monks coming from Tibet to join Gaden Monastery in India. There was not enough accommodation in Gaden, so many of these monks had to sleep outside, which made them vulnerable to snake bites, wild animal attacks and illnesses especially during the rainy monsoon season.

In year 1992, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, H.E. Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, and other high Lamas of Phukang Khangtsen, including Tsem Rinpoche attended the meeting. During that meeting, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche requested Tsem Rinpoche to go abroad and fundraise to build a new hostel for Phukhang Khangtsen. It came as a surprise for Tsem Rinpoche, and he declined initially. He felt that he was not qualified for such a task.

Lati Rinpoche: Why are you not qualified?
Tsem Rinpoche: Because I have just entered the monastery three or four years ago, and I really don’t know much.
Lati Rinpoche: You know the language, you know the Dharma and you have traveled abroad before. You are very qualified. You should go.
Tsem Rinpoche: In that case, you should go since you are more qualified than me…

Finally, Tsem Rinpoche conceded by saying that if the Protector of Gaden said that he should go, he would obey. At that time, Tsem Rinpoche really thought that Dorje Shugden would say that he was not qualified for this task. The oracle of the monastery took trance of the Protector the next day and Tsem Rinpoche was told that he should go. He also received instructions about what he should do, what he should share with the people and what he should teach.

When Tsem Rinpoche reported to Lati Rinpoche about what the protector had said, Lati Rinpoche laughed joyously.

 

Teaching tours and subsequent success

On one occasion, Gangchen Rinpoche had spontaneously requested Tsem Rinpoche to give a talk about the history of a temple they were visiting to a group of approximately 40 Malaysians. This was the first time Gangchen Rinpoche had asked him to teach and this would also be his first connection with Malaysia.

Gangchen Rinpoche and Tsem Rinpoche.

After he received the instruction to travel abroad and teach, Tsem Rinpoche tried to find the connection to do so. He recalls meeting a Malaysian monk, Rev. Khoon back in the 90s. At that time, Rev Khoon consulted Tsem Rinpoche and he did a divination and recommended several pujas that turn out to be effective. In addition, he had received an invitation from a group of Malaysians through Rev. Khoon to come to Malaysia but he declined. Thus, Tsem Rinpoche contacted Rev. Khoon again to ask whether the offer to teach in Malaysia still stands. Rev. Khoon immediately agreed to organize everything for Tsem Rinpoche to go to Malaysia. On top of that, Tsem Rinpoche also received some assistance from H.E. Gelek Rinpoche who already has a number of students in Malaysia.

Tsem Rinpoche finally arrived in Malaysia with only two bags containing his personal items, mani pills, chakras and other holy items.

Tsem Rinpoche went on an extensive three-month teaching tour around Malaysia, including cities and towns like Penang, Ipoh, Teluk Intan and Gerik. On this trip, he also went down to Singapore. His teachings and initiations were extremely well received. Many people opened their arms and offered to help his fundraising effort.

During this trip, Tsem Rinpoche would often fall ill. He worked so hard that he had severe neck pains and aches all over his body, and felt constant chills. In spite of that, he would not take a break to recuperate because he still needed to raise the necessary funds to build the new hostel for Phukhang Khangtsen.

After the grueling tour, Tsem Rinpoche finally managed to raise all the necessary funds to build the new hostel. He went home to Gaden Monastery. Some Malaysians also accompanied him back to the monastery to help bring the funds back safely.

Phukhang Khangtsen monk quarters in Gaden Shartse Monastery.

Upon his return, there was a huge gathering at the prayer hall to receive Tsem Rinpoche that was headed by H.E. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche and H.E. Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche. As he entered, Tsem Rinpoche was accompanied by Malaysians who brought in trays and trays of money he had raised and everything was offered up to the monastery.

Both H.E. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche and H.E. Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche were visibly moved as they cried tears of joy. The monastery could now build a hostel for the monks so they do not need to sleep outside.

Phukhang Khangtsen members in front of Phukhang Khangtsen monk quarters.

In addition to building a hostel, Tsem Rinpoche provided consistent assistance to the Tibetan refugees and local Indians in the villages around the monastery.

Tsem Rinpoche giving food to Tibetan refugees and local Indians in the villages around the monastery.

 

Early years in South East Asia

Keeping the connection

After his initial trip to Malaysia, Tsem Rinpoche remained in Gaden Monastery and engaged in extended retreats. Many Malaysians wrote to him to invite him back to Malaysia to teach and turn the Wheel of Dharma.

Out of great compassion and his wish to benefit others, Tsem Rinpoche would travel back and forth between Gaden and Malaysia until his teachers advised him to remain in Malaysia and make it his permanent base.

 

Starting over and encountering road bumps along the way

At first, Tsem Rinpoche would humbly teach in people’s private homes. Often these venues would be packed with hundreds of people who came to hear the teachings of this young and charismatic teacher. Eventually, several Dharma centers were founded in Malaysia and Singapore under his spiritual guidance. Unfortunately, some of these centers have since been closed down. Tsem Rinpoche humbly attributed it to his lack of experience and understanding of the local culture.

 

Meeting Grandma Dechen for the last time

In year 1997, Tsem Rinpoche went to meet his grandmother, Grandma Dechen in Taipei, Taiwan for the last time before she passed away. He will always remember her as a very kind, loving and generous grandmother.

 

The passing of Boris Bugayeff

In June 1997, Tsem Rinpoche heard his adoptive father, Boris, was admitted to the hospital. Boris was crying for fear of what would happen to him in the hereafter. On 16 June 1997, Boris passed away at 70 years old. Later, his relatives discovered many indecent Polaroid pictures of numerous women he had had affairs with in his garage. Only then, did people begin to realize how much his wife, Dana, had suffered.

 

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2000 – 2005: Kechara and pilgrimages

Founding Kechara House Buddhist Association

On 15 December 2000, Tsem Rinpoche founded Kechara House Buddhist Association, an affiliated branch of Gaden Shartse Monastery in Malaysia. Kechara House began humbly, with small weekly gatherings among Dharma friends in people’s homes. It was started and supported by a few students who have followed Tsem Rinpoche when he barely had anything. It was the humble devotion of the senior students in the early years that brought Kechara to what it is today.

Tsem Rinpoche gave Ngesung Kundrol Avalokiteshvara initiation at a student’s house in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tsem Rinpoche gave a Dharma talk at a student’s house in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

Years later, Tsem Rinpoche recalled that when he arrived in Malaysia, there were a few people from Cheras who were always helpful, and one of them was Mama Mooi Lan. She provided helped to Tsem Rinpoche, and she did so out of the goodness of her heart. Years later, in 2010, Mama Mooi Lan visited Kechara Paradise outlet in Sunway Pyramid. Tsem Rinpoche never forgot her kindness, and gave her gifts. Later in year 2012, Mama Mooi Lan passed away, and Tsem Rinpoche performed the funeral rites for her.

Mama Mooi Lan and her daughter at Kechara Paradise outlet.

In the year 2000, the first Kechara Paradise retail outlet was established. Dato Eric Tan, a long time friend and sponsor of Tsem Rinpoche, sponsored this retail outlet. Kechara Paradise was envisioned as a mini temple where people could come to make offerings and obtain information and get their Dharma supplies.

Tsem Rinpoche (centre) doing a trial setup for the then Kechara Paradise outlet counter with students. In order to do some work, Rinpoche had to be in lay clothes for a while, but he still kept his monk vows well.

Kechara Paradise retail outlet.

At the time, there were no temples yet, Tsem Rinpoche often came and gave informal teachings to private audiences. Although it was a simple place, Tsem Rinpoche’s senior students remembered that it was from this place hundreds of hours of Dharma teachings were shared, and many were connected to the Dharma.

 

Bringing Dharma to others through modeling

Tsem Rinpoche during his modeling years

In year 2003, Tsem Rinpoche told his students that he wished to become a model. At the time, he was 110 kg in weight and 6.2 ft in height. His students were surprised by this idea. Tsem Rinpoche thought that by wearing lay clothes and adopting a secular profession, he would be able to bring a lot of people to the Dharma.

Tsem Rinpoche during his modeling years.

With the permission from his teacher, Tsem Rinpoche started a regimented diet and fitness regime with discipline and determination. He was successful in becoming one of the most sought after male models.

Tsem Rinpoche understands that he lives in a world that is focused on external appearances. Many people, males and females, were attracted to Tsem Rinpoche’s physical appearances. At the height of his fame and good looks, Tsem Rinpoche drew a crowd of people that would otherwise never be attracted to the Dharma.

After the purpose of this period was fulfilled, Tsem Rinpoche happily returned to his robes to which he was most comfortable as he cherished his monastic vows and practice.

 

Establishing the first premise of Kechara House

As time went by, the informal gatherings grew in size and Malaysian students became more commited to establish a center. They were lacking in financial resources, but due to the diligence of the students, they were able to acquire a shoplot in the newly developed Sunway Mas area.

In year 2004, Kechara House was established and became the main temple for the Kechara organization and the central hub for teachings, pujas, meditation and study sessions.

The first premise of Kechara House in Sunway Mas, Malaysia.

It was a modest beginning, with a following of approximately 40 students. This was a time when Tsem Rinpoche struggled for fund and membership. But this circumstance did not deter Rinpoche and his core students. With much hard work, commitment and devotion towards benefiting others, Kechara began to expand its reach.

Tsem Rinpoche giving a Dharma talk at the first premise of Kechara House. Eventually, this premise would become too small as the number of people who attended the teachings grew.

Wesak Day celebration at Kechara House 1.

Wedding blessing at Kechara House 1.

 

The sprouting of Dharma houses

Drawing from his experience living at TDL back in Los Angeles, Tsem Rinpoche encouraged his students and full time staff to live together in Dharma houses. He recalled, “Just like when I was living in Thubten Dhargye Ling dharma center in the USA, I rented a room in the center with other dharma students. I loved it so much… It was a supportive and happy atmosphere to be with other dharma students, to live in the dharma and work together in the dharma. It was a very meaningful life. So I started the same thing here. What is better than living with a group of people that are working towards the same goal as you spiritually and to have them and each other as support.”

Tsem Rinpoche would name each Dharma house with the name of a Buddha like Vajrayogini House, Heruka House, Drakpa House, Tara House, Jamyang House, Dzambala House and Naropa House.

 

Pilgrimages

Throughout the years, Tsem Rinpoche has personally taken his students and friends on a pilgrimage to sacred sites in India, Nepal, China and Tibet including to places that are off the beaten track. Tsem Rinpoche stressed the importance of not treating the pilgrimage like just another holiday but also to generate good aspiration and to make fervent prayers and offerings, which is especially efficacious and powerful at these sacred sites.

Among the most memorable experience was a visit to Bodhgaya, India, the place where the Buddha attained enlightenment. Under the Bodhi tree, where Buddha Shakyamuni meditated, Rinpoche offered refuge ceremony to over 30 people who took the vows to formally seal their commitment to the Buddhist path. This would mark the beginning of tremendous growth in Kechara. Many projects within Kechara were inaugurated, departments were established and many new people came during this period.

Tsem Rinpoche conferring refuge vows on the pilgrims in Bodhgaya.

Tsem Rinpoche was making offering at Mahabodhi temple in Bodhgaya.

The Bodhi tree where Lord Buddha became enlightened.

During another pilgrimage in year 2004, Tsem Rinpoche traveled to Nepal with a group of Malaysians. On that trip, Tsem Rinpoche received teachings from Dagom Rinpoche on the iconography of three High Lamas who were the previous lives of Dorje Shugden, and an explanation of including Dorje Shugden in the Gelug lineage tree. In accordance with Dagom Rinpoche’s instructions, special thangkas were painted and are now part of Tsem Rinpoche’s private collection.

Tsem Rinpoche gave Dharma talk to pilgrims prior to visiting the holy places.

Tsem Rinpoche prayed at Chenrezig temple

Pilgrims at Boudanath Stupa, one of the largest and holiest stupas in Nepal built in the 14th century. Tibetans believe that this stupa enshrines the precious bone relic of the Buddha.

Self-arising Tara Chapel in Nepal

In year 2005, His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche and a few students went to Kathmandu, Nepal on a shopping trip to source Buddha statues for Kechara Paradise outlets in Malaysia. It was around July, and it was a rainy season in Nepal. So it rained almost every day and this made the shopping trip somewhat troublesome because the statue shops in Nepal are mostly in Boudanath where it was not a covered shopping mall. During this trip, Rinpoche was seen by his students to control the weather so it would not be a hindrance for what they needed to accomplish.

 

The passing of Dana Bugayeff

On 15 October 2005, Dana Bugayeff passed away at 73 years old. Later, her relatives told Tsem Rinpoche that they found a photo of him in monk robes inside her purse. It was a photo that Tsem Rinpoche had sent to her while he was still living in Gaden Shartse Monastery. All these years, she had kept this photo lovingly in her purse and probably would have looked at it and thought about Rinpoche.

 

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2006 – 2010: Grand offerings and the amazing growth

Journey to Gaden Monastery and the practice of Generosity

In April 2006, Tsem Rinpoche brought a group of 63 pilgrims to Gaden Monastery to make offerings of 3,000 Manjushri statues and 3,000 sets of robes to the Sangha of Gaden. Preparation for the offerings took almost one year in advance, which involved sourcing for 3,000 Manjushri statues and sourcing and cutting the maroon cloth for 3,000 sets of robes for the monks.

Gaden monks with Manjushri statues and robes offered by Kechara House.

Tsem Rinpoche explained to his South East Asian students that many of the poor monks only have one set of robes. When they washed their robes, they often had to just sit there in their undergarments as they wait for the robes to dry. The monk robes represent the vinaya or monk vows and sponsoring them is extremely meritorious.

Similarly, the sponsorship of statues also bestows great merit for the sponsor because all the virtues created through the prayers made by monks toward these Buddha images are in turn dedicated to the sponsors who offered the statues in the first place.

In addition to the robes and statues, Tsem Rinpoche sponsored the entire retiling of the main prayer hall. This is considered highly meritorious because it provides conducive conditions for the monks’ practice, prayers and study during daily debate session.

Tsem Rinpoche making offering to the incarnation of his root teacher, H.H. Zong Choktrul Rinpoche.

During the 20-hour day, Tsem Rinpoche led his students around many of the main sites in Gaden Monastery, including the cowshed where he used to stay at Zong Rinpoche’s ladrang.

Tsem Rinpoche showed his old room at Zong Ladrang.

Tsem Rinpoche showing his students around Gaden Monastery where he studied for many years.

Tsem Rinpoche giving Dharma talk at Gaden Shartse audience room.

Lay people in Mundgod came to greet Tsem Rinpoche in Gaden after they heard he was visiting.

Tsem Rinpoche and pilgrims with H.H. Zong Chocktrul Rinpoche at Zong Ladrang.

On top of that, Tsem Rinpoche and his students sponsored the facilities and staff Shartse’s hospital, printing essential Dharma textbooks for the monastery and sponsorship of monks’ living expenses.

Tsem Rinpoche offered textbooks to refugee monks in India.

Tsem Rinpoche sponsored the repair works of a school in Mundgod, India.

 

The establishment of various Kechara departments

Year 2006 – 2010 was a formative period for Kechara organization. In addition to Kechara House and Kechara Paradise, Tsem Rinpoche conceptualized many departments to attract people with various dispositions into Dharma:

  • Tsem Ladrang: Rinpoche’s personal residence and private office. Tsem Ladrang connects every individual and departments to the blessings, teaching and personal care of Tsem Rinpoche. The ladrang team is responsible for making physical arrangements for Tsem Rinpoche to give Dharma teachings and grand audiences.

Tsem Ladrang in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

  • Kechara Media & Publications (KMP): KMP was established with the purpose of making Rinpoche’s teachings available to wider audiences through publication and other media platforms.

Kechara Media & Publications.

  • Kechara Soup Kitchen (KSK): KSK was founded in year 2006 to feed and care for the urban poor in various parts of Malaysia. Tsem Rinpoche was inspired by his own experience of a life of living on the streets during his harrowing journey from New Jersey to Los Angeles, Tsem Rinpoche wishes to relieve the suffering of the poor and founded Kechara Soup Kitchen. The initiative was started in year 2006, where Tsem Rinpoche’s students distributed 20 packages of food. Today, KSK distributes up to 2,000 food packages per week, provides medical care, and arranges housing for the poor who need them.

Kechara Soup Kitchen.

  • Kechara Lounge: Kechara Lounge is located in the heart of Kathmandu’s most revered Buddhist site, the Boudhanath Stupa. The lounge provides international pilgrims a cosy place for reading, watching Dharma videos or doing personal prayers. The development of Kechara Lounge was inspired by a pilgrimage to Nepal in year 2008. Tsem Rinpoche was taking 60 students friends on this pilgrimage. At every important site, Tsem Rinpoche would pause and offer prayers with the pilgrims. At times, he would even lead individuals to make personal aspirational prayers and offered lights to sacred Buddha images.

Kechara Lounge, Nepal.

  • Kechara Care: Kechara Care introduces newcomers to Kechara organization as a whole. Currently, Kechara Care function has been accommodated to Kechara House.

Kechara Care.

  • Kechara Saraswati Arts (KSA): KSA is the first Southeast Asia Himalayan art studio. It customizes Buddha images for people to use as their central object of prayers and meditation and provides opportunities for people to explore their creativity and spiritual sides.

Kechara Saraswati Arts.

  • Kechara Discovery (KD): KD connects spiritual seekers directly to the blessings of the Buddhas – by making Buddha statues more accessible for people to invite to their home for their personal practice.

Kechara Discovery.

  • Kechara Oasis (KO): KO is a new-age vegetarian restaurant. Tsem Rinpoche conceptualized this department to promote vegetarianism and compassionate dining.

Kechara Oasis.

  • Kechara Animal Sanctuary (KAS): KAS was started in Tsem Rinpoche’s ladrang, when he began doing small-scale animal rescues of fish, dogs, birds and turtles. Today, most of the rescued animals are staying at Kechara Forest Retreat.

Kechara Animal Sanctuary.

  • Kechara InMotion (KIM): KIM was established with the purpose of documenting Tsem Rinpoche’s teachings and Kechara events.

Kechara InMotion.

  • The e-DIVISION: e-DIVISION was established to maintain Kechara online portals and make Rinpoche’s teachings available worldwide, even in places where there are no resources and support for studying the Dharma.

 

Rendevous with the past

Visiting the Kwans in Taipei, Taiwan

In December 2008, Tsem Rinpoche went to Taipei with a few of his students. He was reunited with Kwan Mama and her brother, Mr. Kwan. One of Tsem Rinpoche’s students, Irene Lim, was able to trace the Kwans who were so kind to Tsem Rinpoche in his childhood. At the time, Ms. Kwan’s sister was about to go for a surgery. Tsem Rinpoche did a divination and performed a puja for the sister and needless to say, the surgery was a success. Rinpoche gave the Kwan family many gifts and blessing.

- Tsem Rinpoche was reunited with Kwan Mama 36 years later.

Tsem Rinpoche with Mr. Kwan 36 years later.

During this trip, Tsem Rinpoche also met his biological uncle, Prince David Minh for the first time. He knew about Tsem Rinpoche, but he has never met him. He told Tsem Rinpoche more of his background, and how his mother’s family left their homeland and ended up in Taiwan.

Tsem Rinpoche met Prince David Minh.

 

Visiting Gaden Monastery in Tibet

After visiting Taiwan, Tsem Rinpoche went to Gaden Monastery in Tibet. It took him about two days to acclimatize to the altitude and he was very sick.

When Tsem Rinpoche visited Gaden Monastery, he could not stop crying. Tsem Rinpoche was overwhelmed by the energy and vibration of the place.

In addition to Gaden Monastery, Tsem Rinpoche visited and made prayers at the main mausoleum of Lama Tsongkhapa that houses the remains of his holy body, Setrap Chapel, and so forth.

 

Expansion of Kechara House

Kechara House New Gompa.

Once Kechara had become established and Tsem Rinpoche’s teachings grew in popularity, the numbers of friends, members and the public interested in the Dharma expanded as well. It became apparent that the existing premises no longer could accommodate those who wished to attend the various activities. Therefore, the decision was taken to relocate to a larger premise. It was in November 2010 that Kechara House opened the doors to its new temple, with the seating capacity of over 600 attendees. It also houses suitable facilities to ensure that Dharma activities, programmes, classes and events are held within a conducive environment.

Kechara House renovation.

Kechara House’s main altar includes three large and sublime images of Lama Tsongkhapa, Vajrayogini and Setrap and was ceremoniously offered up to Tsem Rinpoche. In addition to this, Kechara House has since established a Puja House under Tsem Rinpoche’s direction, where many pujas are performed by trained and dedicated practitioners for the benefit of the sponsors.

Kechara House is a sacred temple that holds Tsem Rinpoche’s and the pastors’ teachings. These include annual events, Dharma talks, weekly education classes and weekly pujas.

Pujas and learning ancient rituals.

Animal liberation.

 

The Final blessings from Kyabje Lati Rinpoche

In year 2010, Tsem Rinpoche dreamt of Kyabje Lati Rinpoche blessing him in a Tantric manner, which was the final blessing from this great master before he entered clear light.

 

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2011 – 2013: Dorje Shugden and Kechara Forest Retreat

Healed by Dorje Shugden

In October 2011, Tsem Rinpoche was diagnosed with liver hardening, which if left untreated, could turn terminal. He was given medication and dietary requirements. Several Rinpoche’s students consulted the Venerable Panglung Kuten (Choji-La), an oracle of Dorje Shugden for advice. Choji-La immediately traveled to Malaysia to visit Rinpoche.

After Choji-La arrived in Malaysia, he took a special trance of Dharma protector. The Dharma protector was extremely kind, gracious, and loving toward Tsem Rinpoche. Later, Tsem Rinpoche recalled, “He sat me down and did healing by placing his hands over my affected area – the liver, and did some rituals on it and some motion of extracting something from it and on top of that, he took some rice and blessed it and asked me to drink it immediately, and also gave me more blessed rice to soak in water to drink for one week daily. He also recommended a series of pujas and some special mantras that I needed to recite myself. I was amazed and grateful.”

Several months later, Tsem Rinpoche traveled to Singapore for a check-up. The doctor was shocked that Rinpoche’s liver had healed so quickly and so clearly.

 

Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR)

The auspicious omen

This is the incredible postcard sent to Tsem Rinpoche from Mongolia which resembled KFR land prior to building.

This is the land, which was KFR when it was first purchased. It is located in Bentong, Malaysia. It looks just like the postcard from Mongolia.

In year 2012, Tsem Rinpoche and a few students were looking for a land for a retreat center. They came to a piece of land in Chamang and were amazed with the greenery. Tsem Rinpoche and his students did a short prayer to Dorje Shugden. They were wondering whether the land was right for them. A light rain immediately fell from a clear sky. Tsem Rinpoche and his students were happy.

Kechara obtained a loan, went through the sales paper and acquired the land. As they were going on this process, out of the blue, Tsem Rinpoche received a postcard from a Mongolian monk that he has never met before. Tsem Rinpoche liked the Dorje Shugden’s face peering from the sky as drawn on the card.

Later, when Tsem Rinpoche visited the Chamang land, one of his students pointed out the similarities between the Chamang land and the card drawing minus the monk and Dorje Shugden’s face. By then, Tsem Rinpoche knew that the protector wanted Kechara to have this piece of land to build and benefit others.

 

The building process

The largest Dorje Shugden statue (24ft or 7.3m) at Wisdom Hall, KFR.

KFR is the place where Tsem Rinpoche wishes to build a world class Dharma institution that will benefit others for years to come. Prior and during the clearing of the land, pujas were performed to appease the land gods.

Tsem Rinpoche was very involved in the building process. He often went on a field inspection to make sure that everything was built properly. One day during one of these inspections, he fainted due to the heat. Fortunately, his students and attendants were always around to help. Once Tsem Rinpoche regained consciousness, he went to Kechara House to explain about KFR to the press, Kecharians and friends in order to socialize and gain support for the building. By doing this, Tsem Rinpoche gave the courage to his students to follow his example and be involved in the building and later maintenance of KFR.

The first cabin where Tsem Rinpoche stayed in KFR holds a lot of memories for him. During his stay there, Tsem Rinpoche made a lot of aspirational and strong prayers for KFR to grow. He considers the retreat centre to be very precious especially since it has the potential to benefit so many people’s lives spiritually, emotionally, psychologically and one day physically as well, with the upcoming Traditional Chinese Medicine center.

Please find below the video of KFR:

To date, the following buildings have been completed in KFR:

  • Wisdom Hall – a prayer hall that can accommodate more than 700 people. Wisdom Hall also houses the largest Dorje Shugden statue in the world.
  • Dukkar apartments – cabin style accommodations for Kechara members and friends.
  • Aviary – where the rescued birds can live in peace. The aviary consists of the main aviary and two recovery aviaries.
  • Fish pond – a beautiful pond where the fishes rescued by Tsem Rinpoche and Kecharians can live peacefully.
  • Enchanted Forest – Tsem Ladrang at KFR.
  • Manjushri Hill – an office space for the writers and eDivision.
  • Vajrayogini Stupa – where people can be blessed by Vajrayogini energy.

The beautiful Vajrayogini Stupa at KFR.

The aviary at KFR.

Dukkar Apartment at KFR.

Wisdom Hall at KFR.

9ft Lama Tsongkhapa statue in front of Wisdom Hall at KFR.

Enchanted Forest at KFR.

From left to right: Dukkar Apartments, Manjushri Hill, Wisdom Hall.

Currently, Tsem Rinpoche and his students are still in the process of fundraising and building KFR. Tsem Rinpoche tirelessly gives guidance on how to make the place a first class Dharma institution.

 

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2013 – 2015: Visiting the United States

At the tailend of year 2013 Tsem Rinpoche visited and traveled in the United States. He traveled around Eastern coast and settled in New York for several months. Later, when the weather became too cold, he was not feeling well. Thus, he and his students moved to a warmer climate in California. During his time in the United States, Tsem Rinpoche and his students were working hard to write various blog posts and other online works in order to spread the Dharma.

 

Visiting eastern part of the United States

Practising generosity in New York

Wherever, he went, Tsem Rinpoche always practiced compassion because he used to live on the streets. He would always be on the look out for genuine homeless people. When he found one, Tsem Rinpoche would not hesitate to give them food and their necessities.

 

Reminiscing the past

On 25 October 2013, 26 years after he last saw them, Tsem Rinpoche visited his stepparents’ graves in Howell, New Jersey and did a puja in front of it.

Tsem Rinpoche did a puja in front of his parents’ gravestone.

Later, he found out from a wonderful couple (Mr. and Mrs. Bullock who purchased his family home from his mom) that Dana showed them a photo of Tsem Rinpoche and said she was proud of him. In the end, Dana accepted her son as a monk and was proud of him. Tsem Rinpoche was so happy to hear this. He wanted his mom to have peace with his decision. He loved her and realized that Dana was as kind as she could be to him, in her own way. The way she knew.

Tsem Rinpoche was happy that his mother accepted his decision not because he needs approval to practice Dharma, since the time she accepted, she stopped creating negative karma and instead created a lot of positive karma and merits.

As Tsem Rinpoche went around the cemetery, he found that many of the people that he used to know have passed away and buried in the same cemetery such as the kind Gaga Toktun, uncle Bomba and his wife, uncle Naran and Aunt Honey and other neighbors and relatives.

Tsem Rinpoche’s thoughts after visiting his stepparents’ grave:

 

Halloween in Salem

Tsem Rinpoche in Salem.

Tsem Rinpoche and a few students arrived a few days before Halloween in Salem. The town was busy and in celebratory mood. On Halloween, Tsem Rinpoche wore his monk robes and walked around Salem. There were so many people from many countries, but it was not an uncomfortable crowded scene. People were warm, friendly and very open. The streets were filled with magic shops, shows, bookstores, psychic readers (there are many psychic shops and psychics), psychic fairs, gifts, foods, colorful stalls, and lined with people from all walks of life.

The windows and the houses had very interesting Halloween decorations. There were huge stores dedicated to just Halloween costumes too! Almost everyone was in unique Halloween costume. Tsem Rinpoche just stood and breathed in the autumn crisp air taking in the sights, sounds, smells and rich history of the town. He also purchased some very old vintage books as gifts to people. Some people would appreciate these vintage classic books from Salem. That was the first time Tsem Rinpoche celebrated Halloween since he was 15 years old.

Tsem Rinpoche received very interesting reactions from various people on the crowded streets. He had some people who folded their hands when he walked by. One lady said “Tashi Delek” to him, which is a Tibetan greeting. Another group was guessing out loud whether Tsem Rinpoche is just wearing a costume or a real monk. One guy passed him and said, “awesome costume!” Tsem Rinpoche replied, “thank you!” Some people were taking pictures of him. It was fun.

By visiting Salem, Tsem Rinpoche taught his students to respect and practice tolerance towards other faiths and beliefs. It also shows Rinpoche’s incredible broad field of interests that cover many aspects including that of Salem. All these make up Rinpoche’s incredibly complex character, knowledge and wisdom that we know today.

 

Meeting Kyabje Yongyal Rinpoche in New York

Tsem Rinpoche received Kyabje Yongyal Rinpoche in New York.

The first time Tsem Rinpoche had the pleasure of meeting Kyabje Yongyal Rinpoche was in Sera Monastery, it was 15 years prior to the New York’s meeting. Tsem Rinpoche often visited Sera because his first teacher, H.E. Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin was from that monastery.

Kyabje Yongyal Rinpoche is a very learned scholar and master of tantra. While in Sera, he always focused his time on teaching hundreds of students and in in-depth personal practice. He is very devoted to his teachers such as, H.H. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and H.H. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. Kyabje Yongyal Rinpoche is famous for his purity in holding his vinaya (monk) vows. The last time Tsem Rinpoche met this great master was in Gaden Monastery when he was attending teachings and Kalarupa empowerment by H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama.

In December 2013, Kyabje Yongyal Rinpoche visited and met with Tsem Rinpoche. Tsem Rinpoche and his assistants flew into a flurry of preparation: cleaning, preparing offerings, auspicious rice in his small rented apartment in New York. The auspicious day came, and Kyabje Yongyal Rinpoche arrived with his entourage. Tsem Rinpoche and his students were ready to receive him.

During the meeting, Tsem Rinpoche showed deep reverence for Kyabje Yongyal Rinpoche. The two great lama exchanged offerings. Tsem Rinpoche prostrated to Kyabje Yongyal Rinpoche and offered him the offerings of body speech and mind. In return, Kyabje Yongyal Rinpoche gave his blessings and honored Tsem Rinpoche with the offering of a monk hat and a monk’s seat (dingwa). During the meeting, Tsem Rinpoche updated Kyabje Yongyal Rinpoche about his work and Kechara facilities in Malaysia.

 

Moving to the western part of the United States

After several months in New York, Tsem Rinpoche and his students considered the idea of a permanent ladrang. They were considering moving into upstate New York or New Jersey. However, during winter that year, Tsem Rinpoche had developed a cough, which would not subside. Fearing it would develop into something more serious, the decision was made to move westward to California, towards a warmer climate and milder winter.

Tsem Rinpoche and his students arrived in Los Angeles on 2 February 2014. They immediately went on a house hunting retreat because staying in a hotel or vacation home proved to be too expensive. They viewed over 100 houses before they found a suitable place. On 9 May 2014, the team found an agreeable landlord, and they were able to set up and moved to the new ladrang.

 

Tsem Rinpoche Foundation Inc.

On 19 February 2014, the application for Tsem Rinpoche Foundation Inc. was approved by the US government as a non-profit charitable institution in the United States. This allowed Tsem Rinpoche and his students to operate as a Buddhist church, has charitable activities, publish literature for educational purpose, and start a Dharma center in the United States.

 

Visiting Willow Creek, Northern California

The beautiful Bluff Creek's water, lake, trees, skies and foliage. Tsem Rinpoche also did a tsok puja (Guru Puja) to bless the environment, people, animals and bigfoot.

In June 2014, Tsem Rinpoche visited Willow Creek, the bigfoot sighting capital of the United States. When he was in Willow Creek, Tsem Rinpoche received an interesting message from his student. The student was informed by one monk that Tsem Rinpoche’s previous incarnation used to stay in the mountains and engage in meditation retreats in Phari, Tibet. Sometimes, when the previous incarnation needed to communicate with his teachers and other monks in distant places, he would write notes and pass them to the Tibetan bigfoots. They would deliver the messages. Bigfoots could travel great distance fairly quickly. Just like Tsem Rinpoche’s interest in Dharma, his interest in Bigfoots seem to stem from his previous life.

One of the places Tsem Rinpoche and his students visited in Willow Creek was the birthplace of the famous Bigfoot burger. Tsem Rinpoche was pretty insistent that they visited the Early Bird restaurant, before they left the Willow Creek area maybe because he sensed that he would meet someone who has Dharma affinity there.

Tsem Rinpoche favorite restaurant in Willow Creek. The place is clean, well stocked and with a good variety choices. They also made vegetarian bigfoot burgers with a side order of fries or onion rings.

As soon as they entered, Tsem Rinpoche walked in and immediately connected with the owner, Ms LeeAnn. Rinpoche explained about Green Tara and her practice to Ms. LeeAnn, who was open, accepting and listening intently to everything Tsem Rinpoche said. Tsem Rinpoche ended the conversation by giving LeeAnn a Green Tara tsa tsa.

Tsem Rinpoche having a chat with Ms. LeeAnn who is originally from New Zealand and has been living in Willow Creek for the last 20 years.

 

The spirit of giving in California

Everywhere he went, Tsem Rinpoche is always generous. He always emphasizes to his students to care for other people in need, especially those who are poor and the downtrodden.

The coffee in the red cup for the gentleman who is holding the pastry in his left hand. This gentleman solicited donation for homeless veteran.

One day in LA, as Tsem Rinpoche and his students were having lunch, he spotted an elderly gentleman out in the cold soliciting donations for homeless veterans. Tsem Rinpoche watched him for a while, and saw he was greeting every single person with a smile and a very pleasant manner. Touched by his dedication to the less fortunate, Tsem Rinpoche immediately asked his students to buy a hot coffee and pastry for him. Tsem Rinpoche gave him the drink and pastry, and had a nice conversation with him. That was when they found out the old man was in his early 70s! The man said he had been fundraising for 2.5 years now, ever since his younger brother (who was a veteran) passed away in the hospital. After speaking for a little while, Tsem Rinpoche made a donation to the charity and bought some Christmas items from him. The man thanked him profusely and said Tsem Rinpoche was the nicest person he has ever met.

On another day, Tsem Rinpoche met a homeless woman and her three dogs. He gave her food and sponsored several days’ worth of accommodation for her, so she could rest, clean up and apply for a job.

On another occassion, Tsem Rinpoche was shopping in an art store and saw an elderly lady who needed help in getting some art papers. Tsem Rinpoche helped her to retrieve the papers and gave some artistic suggestions. Then Tsem Rinpoche accompanied her to the cashier so that she could accomplish her task. These are just examples of what Rinpoche is like and how he is very helpful, generous and kind to the person on the street. Watch the video below:

 

Go to Back to Malaysia >>

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December 2014 – present: Back to Malaysia

In December 2014, Tsem Rinpoche returned to Malaysia. Since his return, Tsem Rinpoche and his students have been working hard to build KFR, promote the Dharma, bring awareness about Dorje Shugden ban and the suffering it creates, unveiling the largest Dorje Shugden statue in KFR and shooting various Dorje Shugden testimonial and teaching videos.

Chojela in full trance of Dorje Shugden, performing a special Vajra dance in Wisdom Hall (our prayer hall in Kechara Forest Retreat) to clear obstacles.

In mid-year 2015, the famous Dorje Shugden oracle, the 7th Panglung Kuten visited KFR. On 21st June 2015, the great king, Dorje Shugden and his minister, Kache Marpo, took trance in this blessed land in front of 700 people. Both Dorje Shugden and Kache Marpo showed that they are pleased with the work that Tsem Rinpoche is doing and they consecrated the statues, stupas and the land in KFR.

Kache Marpo blessed all 700 attendees at Wisdom Hall, KFR.

 

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Closure

Throughout his life, Tsem Rinpoche has displayed numerous positive admirable qualities. Rinpoche has always displayed compassion, courage, integrity, generosity and loyalty through his actions no matter how challenging the situation may to be. Because of his integrity and compassion, he was able to overcome all the challenges in his life and come out triumphant.

May Tsem Rinpoche live long and continue to inspire and benefit beings through his exemplary qualities and actions.

 

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If you are in the United States, please note that your offerings and contributions are tax deductible. ~ the tsemrinpoche.com blog team

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Valentina Suhendra
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About Valentina Suhendra

Valentina met H.E. the 25th Tsem Tulku Rinpoche in year 2006 and became his student one year later. Prior to joining Kechara, Valentina was an advisory director at one of the big four accounting firms.

Currently, Valentina is the chairwoman of Yayasan Kechara Indonesia, a foundation working on social community projects to benefit the community. Read more of her writing on her blog: www.valentinasuhendra.com
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101 Responses to H.E. the 25th Tsem Tulku Rinpoche’s Biography

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  1. MartinC on Feb 9, 2017 at 5:07 am

    Its good to see this comment by ‘Suzy in Hawaii’ on Rinpoche’s YouTube Chanel. It has been 20 years of smear campaign against Dorje Shugden but today people who can think for themselves are beginning to look beyond prejudice to see the goodness of Dorje Shugdenand benefit from it. See what Suzy wrote – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl-4lIwxph4&t=11s

    Suzy

  2. Samfoonheei on Nov 13, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    Wonderful post of Tsem Rinpoche’s biography. Rinpoche’s life was full of up and down yet with his determination,compassion,loving,caring and courage he overcome it.
    It is very interesting to read about Tsem Rinpoche’s biography ,from the time he was born, his journey and so forth…travelling half the globe and finally to Malaysia his permanent base, to bring the dharma to many sentient beings. Rinpoche involvement in setting up 13 departments…like KFR ,KSK and so forth is much appreciated by many. His commitment, hard work, kindness, compassion, giving ,caring and love have inspire many
    Thank you Rinpoche for all the teachings and advice which i have learned.And many thanks to Valentina Suhendra and team for this write
    up.
    May Rinpoche in good health to continue turning the Dharma wheel to benefits all sentient beings.

  3. Wan Wai Meng on Oct 6, 2016 at 11:48 pm

    I think the writer Valentina and all who engaged in developing this article has wonderful devotion to Tsem Rinpoche. It is to me one of the best bio on Tsem Rinpoche, no words are wasted and each sentences contain many insights into Tsem Rinpoche’s life as Mahasattva who has returned to bring the dharma to many sentient beings.

    • Wan Wai Meng on Oct 6, 2016 at 11:50 pm

      So breathtaking to read about Rinpoche’s life and his devotion to the dharma and his teachers.

  4. Tsem Rinpoche on Sep 15, 2016 at 3:22 am

    Trode Khangsar Chapel in Lhasa, Tibet

    Over 400 years ago a great and learned lama Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen was famed in Mongolia, Tibet, Nepal and China for being very saintly and compassionate. He resided in his residence (Zimkhang Gongma Ladrang) in Drepung Monastery. His root guru was H.H. the Omniscient 4th Panchen Lama and his close dharma brother was the 5th Dalai Lama.

    The 5th Dalai Lama and Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen had a very close and dharmic relationship and often went to receive teachings together from the 4th Panchen Lama. They were close in age. They both became very learned and well known. During this time, the Dalai Lama was enthroned as a Dharma King of Tibet. But more people went to see Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen for teachings, initiations and divinations. This made the attendants of the 5th Dalai Lama feel threatened that Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen’s fame might usurp the power of the 5th Dalai Lama. So they had a khata forced down his throat. At that moment, Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen dissolved his psychic winds and generated the wish to be a great guardian of Buddha and Tsongkapa’s teachings. As his consciousness dissolved, he entered ‘bardo’ as a dharma protector of the highest order (jikten depey sungma). Many signs were seen throughout Lhasa at this time and the earth was said to have shaken in Lhasa. This event was already predicted to Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen’s previous incarnation when he was one of the 8 main disciples of Lord Tsongkapa the Supreme Master and he served Tsongkapa directly by building Gaden Monastery.

    When the 5th Dalai Lama heard what his scheming and power-hungry attendants had done, he was very distressed. He was very sorry Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen was murdered and dishonored as he was a great dharma master. The 5th Dalai Lama composed an apology to Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen. In Lhasa, tens of thousands gathered for the cremation of Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen’s holy body. During the cremation, the 5th Dalai Lama’s apology was read out at which flames spontaneously arose from the body of Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen commencing the cremation. From the body, during cremation, a powerful whirlwind of smoke tunneled into the sky for all to see as this was an indication Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen’s consciousness has arisen as the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden. The Dharma Protector Setrap immediately recognized this new protector Dorje Shugden and ‘enthroned’ him as a powerful Dharma Protector in the realm of the Buddhas. From this, Setrap and Dorje Shugden are closely connected and very close working hand in hand always. After the cremation, the great 5th Dalai Lama built a Dorje Shugden chapel on the spot the cremation took place and named it Trode Khangsar. The 5th Dalai Lama commissioned the statue of Dorje Shugden in this chapel and had monks installed in the chapel to do continuous propitiations to Dorje Shugden. Trode Khangsar Chapel was a commemoration to Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen who was wronged and also a celebration of his consciousness arising as the World Peace Peace Protector Dorje Shugden.

    This Trode Khangsar Chapel still exists now in Lhasa where many make pilgrimages there. It is in good condition and was recently renovated. It is over 400 years old and a testimony to the respect the Great 5th Dalai Lama had to Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen who arose as Dorje Shugden.

    I have visited this holy chapel in Lhasa years back. I’ve never heard of it till I was in Lhasa and by chance, I was told about it which I was happy to visit. I could not find the place but strangely a bunch of pilgrims from Amdo told me they would show me how to get there in Lhasa.

    This short video is a short clip of this holy Trode Khangsar Chapel in Lhasa today commemorating Dorje Shugden, built by the great 5th Dalai Lama. The great 5th Dalai Lama even composed a prayer to Dorje Shugden which is still available today and we can recite to invoke the blessings, protection, and assistance of World Peace Protector Dorje Shugden.

    Tsem Rinpoche


    Read more: Trode Khangsar – A 400-year-old Dorje Shugden Chapel in Lhasa
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/trode-khangsar-%E2%80%93-a-400-year-old-dorje-shugden-chapel-in-lhasa.html

    Short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTybDwTeLAM

    __________________________________

    The 5th Dalai Lama’s Prayer to Dorje Shugden

    HUM
    Though unmoving from the sphere of primordial spontaneity,
    With wrathful turbulent power, swifter than lightning,
    Endowed with heroic courage to judge good and bad,
    I invite you with faith, please come to this place!

    Robes of a monk, crown adorned with rhinoceros leather hat,
    Right hand holds ornate club, left holds a human heart,
    Riding various mounts such as nagas and garudas,
    Who subdues the mamos of the charnel grounds, praise to you!

    Samaya substances, offerings and torma, outer, inner and secret,
    Favourite visual offerings and various objects are arranged.
    Although, previously, my wishes were a bit dense,
    Do not stop your powerful apparitions, I reveal and confess!

    Now respectfully praising with body, speech, and mind,
    For us, the masters, disciples, benefactors and entourages,
    Provide the good and avert the bad!
    Bring increase like the waxing moon in spiritual and temporal realms!

    Moreover, swiftly accomplishing all wishes,
    According to our prayers, bestow the supreme effortlessly!
    And like the jewel that bestows all wishes,
    Always protect us with the Three Jewels!

    From: http://www.dorjeshugden.org/practice/the-5th-dalai-lamas-prayer-to-dorje-shugden

    Tibetan prayer from: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/the-14th-dalai-lamas-prayer-to-dorje-shugden.html

  5. Anne Ong on Sep 7, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    It’s really wonderful to have our Guru’s biographhy on the blog for everyone’s convenience to read and know more about Tsem Rinpoche. It’s really blessed and beneficial for many people who doesn’t have a hardcopy of Rinpoche’s biography ” The Promise”. Great job and thank you Valentina and everyone who helped out with this great write up! Rejoice! 🙂

  6. Pastor Han Nee on Sep 7, 2016 at 9:47 am

    Thank you Valentina for this blogpost on Tsem Rinpoche’s biography.

    Tsem Rinpoche in “Be Happy” said: “In previous lives, I prayed that I would be born into this situation”.

    The only way we can achieve permanent happiness is to achieve a state of mind of inner peace. We are living in samsara which is a sea of chaos and suffering. The only way to develop and achieve this inner peace in the midst of chaos is to transform our mind so that externally we remain the same but inside we are completely transformed in our view of life and the world.

    The only sure way of getting us to transform is for our Bodhisattva of a Spiritual Guide to be born into a situation of total chaos and suffering and then transform his way out of this into ultimate inner peace and real happiness.

    As I re-read H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche’s biography with “fresh insights” gained from working on reviews of Rinpoche’s books –“ Gurus for Hire, Enlightenment for Sale”, “Be Happy”, and “Snakes , Roosters and Pigs”, the way in which Rinpoche suffered unrelentingly from a very young age all the way to his teens and until he began a full-time engagement with dharma at Thubten Dargye Ling (TDL), to me has a wider implication and purpose to it. In “Be Happy”, Rinpoche said that he had prayed in previous lives to be born into this situation(of suffering).

    Boddhisattvas get reborn into samsara only for one purpose – to bring the Dharma to everyone for the purpose of relieving and eliminating their suffering. A bodhisattva, seeking to teach and spread the Dharma for maximum impact on the people of this age, needs to choose to incarnate into a situation that will allow him to experience the suffering that beings of this age in particular experience.

    In this age of degeneration, where spirituality is so far away from the minds of people, who are pulled in all directions by the distractions of samsara, it will only be impactful if you teach the Dharma of Karma and the Four Noble Truths of Suffering , after you have allowed yourself to be totally immersed in the type of suffering that are peculiar to this modern age – anger, depression, loneliness and a low-self-esteem. When you teach the Dharma of how to handle anger, depression, loneliness and low self-esteem(the most common and widespread types of mental suffering and problems of this age), people will listen and will absorb what you say.

    This is the form of Dharma, which they can understand because they live this type of suffering every day of their lives. It is still the Dharma that Lord Buddha taught, but expressed in the form that people of today can understand. Furthermore , taught by Tsem Rinpoche, it carries a ring of conviction, because he had lived it all and emerged from it all with a mind that is developed to overcome all of this positively by transcending it all. He has mastered the art of how to be peaceful and ‘happy’ and is teaching it from his own experience.

    Rinpoche thus chose to be planted into those very situations . Hence, from Taiwan to US until he ran away to LA, the suffering that he experienced from a very young age put him in the direct path of developing the negative reactions of anger, depression (that led him to attempt suicide), loneliness, and low-self-esteem. But he also taught that these negative experiences are self-created, and our negative reactions, which we think are instinctive, have been programmed in us over countless past lives. So they can be overcome by rehabituation of the mind and mind training. So, 21st century-ish in language, and yet it is the Dharma of Lord Buddha from over 2500 years ago.

    That is why re-reading H. E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche’s biography now brings feelings of great awe and reverence for a being of such unexcelled depth of compassion and wisdom.

  7. Uncle Lai on Jul 1, 2016 at 10:31 am

    During the time Tsem Rinpoche was in Gaden there was a continuous influx of monks coming from Tibet to join Gaden Monestry in India. As a result there was accommodation problem so these monks had to sleep outside which made them vulnerable to snakes bites, wild animal attacks and illness.

    In 1992 Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, HE Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche and other high Lamas of Phukang Khengsten including Tsem Rinpoche attending a meeting. During the meeting Kyabje Lati Rinpoche requested Tsem Rinpoche to go abroad to fund raise to build a new hostel for Phunkang Khengsten. Initially he declained and said that he was not qualified and thought that Dorje Shugden would agreed with him that he is not qualified. However when the protector of the monestry took trance the next day and said that Tsem Rinpoche should go and he conceded.
    Tsem Rinpoche reported to Lati Rinpoche about what the protector had said and he laughed joyously.

    On one occasion Gangchan Rinpoche spontaneously requested Tsem Rinpoche to give a talk about the history of a temple to a group of Malaysians. This was the first time Gangchan Rinpoche had asked Tsem Rinpoche to teach and would be his first connection with Malaysia.
    After Tsem Rinpoche received instructions to travel abroad to teach he tried to find connections. He recalled Malaysian monk, Rev Khoon consulted him and he did a definition and recommended several pujas that turned out effective. Through his connection with Rev Khoon Tsem Rinpoche came to Malaysia and also received some assistance from HE Gelek Rinpoche who already has a number of students in Malaysia.
    Tsem Rinpoche finally arrived in Malaysia with two bags containing his personal items, mani pills, charkras and other holy items. He went on an extensive three months teaching tour around Malaysia including cities and towns like Penang, Ipoh, Teluk Intan and Gerik. He also went down to Singapore. His teachings and initiations were extremely well received. Many people offered help for his fun raising’

    During this trip Tsem Rinpoche often fall ill. He worked so hard that he had severe neck painand aching all over his body and felt constant chills. In spite of all this illness he would not take break to recuperate because he still needed to raise funds to build the new hostelfor Phunkang Khengsten. After the extensive tour Tsem Rinpoche managed to raise enough funds to build the hostel.

    He went home to Gaden Monestry with some Malaysians who accompanied him to help to bring the funds back safely.

    They was a huge gathering at the prayer hall to receive him, headed by HE Kyabje Lati Rinpocheand HE Kensur Jampa Rinpoche.
    The monestry could now build a hostel for the monks so they don’t have to sleep outside.

    Tsem Rinpoche remained in Gaden Monestry and many Malaysians wrote to him to come back to Malaysia to teach and turn the wheel of Dharma. Out of compassion and his wish to benefit others Tsem Rinpoche travel back and forth between Gaden and Malaysia until his teachers advised him to remain in Malaysia and make it his permanent base.

    In subsequent years Kechara House was built.

  8. Pastor Chia on Jun 30, 2016 at 11:51 pm

    Reading through the last path of rinpoche biography, l am glad to witness Rinpoche hard work at Malaysia by forming Kechara organization. Current Kechara organization has grow tremendous and benefit many people at the world. Wherever rinpoche go,is always bring dharma to those place without dharma like at Malaysia, Singapore, Nepal. America and etc.

    Rinpoche are truly compassion to all students, friends and animals. which we can find many stories in his biography. His good deed and action had inspired many people to practice dharma to bring benefits to others has suffering.

  9. Eric kksiow on Jun 30, 2016 at 11:43 pm

    On Southeast Asia, Kechara & Pilgrimages, Amazing Growth, Dorje Shugden & KFR, Visiting USA, and Back to Malaysia:

    Really inspired that Rinpoche from 20 years back ago until today, the hardship, hardworks, failure and disappointments, and Rinpoche never ever give and go all way toward to Dharma.

    Much Thanks of Pastor Henry and Pastor Chia shared more about ” stories ” when they first met Rinpoche.

  10. June Kang on Jun 30, 2016 at 11:37 pm

    这篇博文的第二部分,从来到东南亚,马来西亚,成立克切拉佛教会和建克切拉禅修林,都面对很多的挑战,但我们都很幸运有仁波切的指导,一一的完成了,这一路上以来,我见证了,无论我们弟子有多麻烦或是问题弟子,仁波切永不放弃我们,甚至弟子放弃自己时,仁波切也没放弃他们,除非弟子自己离开。

    感到很幸运在我佛法的道路有仁波切的指引。

  11. Mingwen on Jun 30, 2016 at 11:26 pm

    So much works have been done by Tsem Rinpoche and his students at all these years just to turn the wheel of Dharma during the time of degeneration. Furthermore, it’s definitely a bless for me to be a part of Kechara and allowed to lend a hand on develop,and at the same time, witness the growth of Dharma.

    The stories of Tsem Rinpoche has touched my heart, his commitment, hardwork and consistency and he serve as a great role model for me to learn from, to be a better person.

  12. Julia Tan on Jun 30, 2016 at 11:25 pm

    I was very fortunate to follow H.E. Tsem Rinpoche to Kathamandu in year 2007. There was more than 60 of us went. It was my first trip to Kathmandu. Every we will meet Rinpoche after breakfast for a Dharma talk. Every temple we visited Rinpoche gave a profound teaching. Every where we went, Rinpoche fed the dogs, gave food and money to the poor. I remembered there was a very big cow sitting in the middle of the road, refused to move. Rinpoche said some prayers to the cow and then the cow stood up and moved away. Even animal knew and wanted to receive blessings from Rinpoche. It was recorded by Ms Han. I think we can get the video from Kechara In Motion still.

  13. Pastor Moh Mei on Jun 30, 2016 at 11:23 pm

    Reflecting on the past history of how something comes to be today is a good way to reflect gratitude on the people who have helped shaped our lives or for some of us, on the people whose lives we have helped to shape. Rinpoche’s journey in Malaysia and the history of Kechara is a demonstration of inter-connectivity. There are practitioners who spend their lives in solitary retreats for the benefit of sentient beings and there are those who spend their lives among people in order to benefit them.

    To live our lives among people, what do we hope to leave behind? Many of us will probably never get to understand why we are here or why we exist, at least not in this one lifetime. While we are here, there will always be hardship no matter where we go so we can only choose how we want to live out the time we have. I’ve always like the quote from the movie “Terminator” – There’s no fate but what we make.

    To me, Rinpoche’s biography is about a person who makes conscious choices on how he wants to live his life and what meaning he wants his life to have.

  14. Pastor Antoinette Kass on Jun 30, 2016 at 11:20 pm

    The lifestory of H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche is showing the kindness that Rinpoche shows constantly towards everybody. Rinpoche is sharing Dharma and kindness. Many obstacles were on the way but Rinpoche always inspires others and helps.

    The pictures and all work that Rinpoche has done show how dedicated Rinpoche is and how much he cares for his teachers, the sangha and the monastery, Rinpoche’s students and everyone Rinpoche meets. Thank you for sharing this Biography and I am looking forward to the blogchat on Saturday!

    Thank you,

  15. Jace Chong on Jun 30, 2016 at 11:17 pm

    On Southeast Asia, Kechara & Pilgrimages, Amazing Growth, Dorje Shugden & KFR, Visiting USA, and Back to Malaysia:

    As we read end of Part 2, we can see many stories and photos of Rinpoche helping others. According to some senior students of Rinpoche, even before this, Rinpoche did the same thing in India to the poors and refugees, just because that time it was not recorded down so clearly as now.

    Nothing comes without effort, the whole article recorded down how a great Dharma vision started from a determination to benefit others, and the ups and downs made the determination stronger. After reading the whole biography, I am very very grateful to Rinpoche and not forgetting the students that have contributed to this great vision.

    May the continuity of the biography continue to inspire more people. May Dharma fluorishes farwide. _/\_

  16. pammie yap on Jun 30, 2016 at 11:12 pm

    Today was a great discussion with the KFR team as Pastor Henry and Pastor Chia gave us a lot of inside stories as we were reading through. The funny, the ups and downs that Rinpoche had to endure since He came to Malaysia. Despite all those ‘obstacles’, Rinpoche continued to stay and turn the Wheel of Dharma that brought us Kechara.

    And the thing I love a lot about this post is that there will be more add ons in the bio. As Rinpoche’s beneficial work for others, Kechara and its departments continue to grow!

    The patience, hard work, perseverance, kindness, compassion, giving and love from the very beginning of Rinpoche’s life till now are such inspiration to many especially me.

    Thank you Valentina and Rinpoche for this wonderful bio that will inspire many.

  17. Pastor Henry Ooi on Jun 30, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    Reading some parts of this article brings back memories of the past. Some fond, some not so fond, some sweet, some bitter; some happy, some sad. Some good, some bad.

    Looking back, it is quite amazing to see the transformation of Kechara. It is like a rags to riches story, riches here means the growth of dharma through the modern amenities and Internet materials for the benefit of more people.

    All thanks to His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche.

  18. Khoo Hou Haw on Jun 30, 2016 at 11:07 pm

    From the part of “South East Asia”onwards, we can clearly see how determined Rinpoche is to bring compassion and Dharma to the life of many people. From nothing to forming Kechara House Buddhist Organisation and to the development of Kechara Forest Retreat, Rinpoche shows us that with determination and pure motivation, great success can be achieved. Thank you Rinpoche for not giving up to benefit us in any way.

  19. nicholas on Jun 30, 2016 at 11:06 pm

    Southeast Asia, Kechara & Pilgrimages, Amazing Growth, Dorje Shugden & KFR, Visiting USA, and Back to Malaysia

    Reading back on Rinpoche biography on the above topics, we should really thank Kyabje Lati Rinpoche and Dorje Shugden who asked Rinpoche to come to Malaysia for fund raising. It’s from this trip later how Kechara develop and through Rinpoche nurturing Kechara has grown further up to now.

    Rinpoche compassion, kindness and generosity can never be question. From the time Rinpoche came to Malaysia to raise fund for the hostel, making many offering to the monastery, help the Tibetan refugees & local Indian in the villages around the monastery until in United State, Rinpoche has never stop helping and giving. There is this lovely picture that show two ladies greet Rinpoche after they heard Rinpoche was visiting and they take this opportunity because they remember how Rinpoche has benefitted them. Rinpoche’s deeds have always been remembered and appreciated.

    Rinpoche life story is full with hardship but at the same time its full with lesson for us to learn and contemplate. Despite the hard time Rinpoche gone through it doesn’t make Rinpoche a bitter person but Rinpoche turn it around to make a positive impact to the people around Rinpoche. Such a high being like Rinpoche chosen to go through this type of journey in this life is for a purpose to benefit people.

  20. Li Kheng on Jun 30, 2016 at 11:01 pm

    Today was the last session of group discussion with the KFR team on this blog post. It was very fun because Pastor Henry and Pastor Chia shared many “behind the scenes” stories of how Kechara arose. A lot of tears and hard work went behind the manifestation, growth and success of Kechara. it is an honor to have been a part of this journey and I am very glad to have had the opportunity to have been a part of a few sections of this amazing spiritual journey to benefit others.

    Rinpoche’s life is truly colorful with many different characters and various experiences of samsara. But regardless of whatever “shade of color” Rinpoche found himself, one thing remain constant: Rinpoche’s immovable care and consideration for others. Wherever Rinpoche went, he was like an angel who brought some relief, hope and joy to others.

    It is amazing the number of lives that Rinpoche has touched through the Dharma. Opening the doors to change and betterment.

    Thank you Rinpoche for being a fountain of care, kindness, wisdom and love to everyone and anyone.

  21. Alice Tay on Jun 28, 2016 at 11:05 am

    感谢上师尊贵的詹杜固仁波切,Valentina还有其他帮助完成这篇仁波切的传记幕后工作人员。因为你们的努力,可以让我们更了解与亲近上师。

    在此分享这篇博文的第二部分:来到东南亚地区,所得到的一些启发:
    1. 实践佛法之慈悲心
    由于甘丹寺的僧侣不断的增加,而造成没有足够的住宿提供给他们。这将会妨碍僧侣们无法专心的修行。因此,尊贵的堪殊强巴耶喜仁波切和尊贵的拉替仁波切还有几名高僧包括上师尊贵的詹杜固仁波切一起开会。然后,尊贵的拉替仁波切决定让仁波切到外地去筹款来解决当时面对的问题。

    2. 依止上师与听取护法的劝告
    仁波切当时是非常的不愿意的离开甘丹寺去到东南亚地区弘扬佛法以及募款。因为,仁波切觉得自己当时还没有足够的资格去担任此任务,而且还执意的说如果护法要他去,他一定会随从。然而在隔天,多杰雄登护法给予的劝告是仁波切就如仁波切的上师指示,展开他的弘法事业来为众生的利益着想。

    从以上所说的经历,我们清楚的看到,一位具格的上师是有能力的启发学生以及帮助学生做出最好的选择来利益他人而最终达到菩提道与解脱。也因为与上师有清净的三昧耶关系,护法的忠告必定是更加准确以及可信度很高。

  22. Ray Thing on Jun 28, 2016 at 1:32 am

    Thank you Ms Valentina to share the topic, and Thank you Tsem Rinpoche to share his life and story behind.

    From this topic “South East Asia”, i felt that His Eminence the 25th Tsem Tulku Rinpoche was carry a positive thinking, always give out more to others. A mindful and showing respect to teachers and others with passion, courages heart.

    In the path is hard and many obstacles he faced, Tsem Rinpoche keep the promise and never give up and done the fund raise and teaching. Even to contribute more and benefits others, a hostel and feed the refugees in villages at tibetan and local indians.
    Can seen at this point, H.E. Tsem Rinpoche are compassion, and integrity.

    It remind me need to practice dhrama, and benefit others more than ourself.
    Once again, than you Tsem Rinpoche to bring us the Dhrama, and thank you Pastor Adeline for guiding us on weekly sharing, and classmates for sharing.

  23. Lin Mun on Jun 27, 2016 at 11:32 pm

    It is very interesting to read on the section on South East Asia and I learnt that sometimes, a guru will always test and challenge his student to do something they are not familiar with or deemed impossible.

    For example, Lati Rinpoche would ask Rinpoche to go abroad to raise fund. Initially Rinpoche did not agree as he felt that he does not have much experience and therefore, he felt that a more senior monk like Lati Rinpoche would be a better choice.

    Nevertheless after the oracle took trance on monastery Protector, Rinpoche accept to go as Dharma Protector also agree that he must go abroad to raise fund.

    Also I learnt that Rinpoche hold his on Guru Devotion practise strongly and never give up no matter how many obstacles he faced. For example, he listened to Lati Rinpoche advise to go abroad to fund raise and teach. Another example when he came to Malaysia to raise fund, although it was just a short trip of 3 months, he worked very hard despite fell ill. This is the determination that Rinpoche always has towards dharma.

    This also reminds us that how much we need to do dharma. We should always think out and that doing dharma is for the benefit of others. It is with this determination that we will transform.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing your life story and thank you Pastor Adeline for guiding us in picking up the important points when reading this article.

  24. Stella Cheang on Jun 27, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    It is very fascinating to read the part where Kyabje Lati Rinpoche requested His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche to come to South East Asia to raise fund. At that time, there was a huge influx of monks to Phukhang Khangtsen, as such a larger hostel was needed to accommodate the increased numbers of monks. But Rinpoche declined despite His strong Guru Devotion, because Rinpoche felt that He was not qualified to teach. He even seemingly “challenged” Kyabje Lati Rinpoche that if the Dharma Protector agreed to let Him go, He would.

    Lo and behold, the Dharma Ptortector trance took place very soon and decreed for Rinpoche to go for fund raising in South East Asia. From here, we could clearly see that there is no point to “defy” the instruction of our Guru. Sometimes, the Guru will give us tasks that we are reluctant to do or we think that we cannot do, but if we have faith and trust in our Guru, we should do it nevertheless and do it happily.

    Thank you Rinpoche and Valentina for this very profound teaching. Also thank you Pastor Adeline for the guidance during the weekly Blogchat Dharma Sharing session every Monday evening. This article benefits us tremendously.

    Humbly, bowing down,
    Stella Cheang

  25. Callista on Jun 24, 2016 at 12:59 am

    Journey to Enthronement is like a roller coaster. Nevertheless, with his commitment, guidance from many great Gurus, the practices and trust of the Great Dharma Protector Dorje Shudgen have brought Tenzin Zopa to the next level.

  26. June Kang on Jun 23, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    Each time I read the biography of Rinpoche, I will have some new realisations. I will not get bored reading and reading again. It is very inspire. Each time I read the part that Rinpoche has to go through the hardship and facing difficult challenges both physical and emotional, I will tell myself whatever challenges and difficulties I am facing now is very small and can not be compared with Rinpoche. I am now can take some of the challenging as blessing. Although i am still not up to the level of taking all challenging as blessing but I am still motivated by Rinpoche and feel okay with the challenges.

  27. Pastor Antoinette Kass on Jun 23, 2016 at 10:25 am

    The biography of H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche is important to read and ponder upon as it shows how much pain and difficulty Rinpoche had to face on his way.

    Obstacles are often hard for us to overcome because of negative habits, laziness, pride and more. But the biography of an enlightened being is an wonderful example for us to overcome them and move forward.

    The situation from Rinpoche’s birth till now is a demonstration of not giving up no matter how difficult it is. By giving up we have lost already.

    Thank you Valentina for putting so much effort in the biography and lifestory of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche.

    I am looking forward to the blogchat this Saturday.
    Humbly,
    P. Antoinette

  28. Khoo Hou Haw on Jun 23, 2016 at 10:10 am

    From the “India” section, we can see that beside Rinpoche’s root Guru, Zong Rinpoche, a lot of High Lama whom had passed teaching and helped Rinpoche were also practising Dorje Shugden. Even some lay people Rinpoche met were helped by Dorje Shugden as well. This would explained why Rinpoche has such a great faint in Dorje Shugden. And during that time before the ban, all monks were studied in the same monastery in harmony and were able to help each other regardless of what they practised. I think this is why Rinpoche is so determined to remove the ban and restore this situation where no one is being labelled and discriminated.

  29. Pastor Chia on Jun 23, 2016 at 3:22 am

    Today KFR team have blog discussion on Rinpoche biography (Preparing for the journey to India, India, Enthronement).

    Young Burcha struggle from the finance support from the step parent and cut off the relationship the minute he turn to the monk.However Robert Stone from TDL had supported him to paid off his debt and travel to India for his ordination. After ordain as the monk, Tenzin Zopa living in the poor condition under Zong ladrang at Gaden Shartze monastery. All the suffering his experience,never stop his termination to become monk and keep his promise to Zong Rinpoche.

    On the journey to Nepal,India and Monastery, Tezin Zopa met few high lama and received different teaching from them and become his guru,They are H.E. Gangcheng Rinpoche, Drikong Rinpoche, Pabongka Rinpoche, Lama Zopa Rinpoche,Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche,Lati Rinpoche and etc. Among those high lama,they also gave their recognition to Tenzin Zopa as the incarnation tulku. Tenzin Zopa later has confirm through oracle of lord Setrap and Yudongma as the incarnation lama. His enthronement was done at Gaden Shartse monastery and confirm by H.Holiness 14th Dalai Lama.

    In the Gaden Monastery, Tenzin Zopa met his blood father Lobsang Gyatso from Taiwan and give him financial support to build Tsem ladrang in Gaden Shartse monastery. All this, H.E.Tsem Rinpoche never forget the kindness of his guru Kensur Jampa Yeshe rinpoche and invited him stay together same inside tsem ladrang. H.E.Tsem Rinpoche also well know in his devotion to serve his guru in monastery.

  30. Albert on Jun 23, 2016 at 2:06 am

    After reading the article on Preparing the journey to India, it has reminded me again Rinpoche’s quality and how consistent he is even since he is at a young age.

    At the age of 20’s, normally people will spent most of their time partying or enjoying their youth, but Rinpoche already wanted to become a monk, it is such a amazing meet up with Rinpoche and Dalai Lama, even without a second thought, Rinpoche already request to be ordained and agreed to go India. Rinpoche’s wish to be a monk is so firmed that no any obstacles can stop him.

    When we pray to our Protector with a good motivation, he will definitely fulfill our wish and guide us further into Dharma, In Rinpoche’s case, although he does not have the money to go India, but due to his great motivation, Protector brought him to Robert and eventually Robert sponsored his trip and all expenses.

    Before Rinpoche leaving USA, he actually went to pay back his debts and went to visit his mother to make sure they are well. This also shows that what type of Character Rinpoche is, he will never run away from problems and he never take things for granted, Rinpoche does make sure all the things he settled before departing to India.

    This part also explained about why Rinpoche has great respect to Dalai Lama, it was from his meeting with Dalai Lama that he became ordained later, Rinpoche has never forget Dalai Lama’s kindness to him.

  31. Sharon Ong on Jun 23, 2016 at 1:50 am

    Dear Valentina, Pastor Adeline Woon, Pastor Niral Patel, Phng Li Kheng, Pastor Antoinette Kass, Beatrix Ooi, Pastor David Lai, Martin Chow and Vinnie Tan.

    I thank all of you for this wonderful biography of our Lama. It is such a compelling read as it captures the essence of who Rinpoche was and is today. I enjoyed reading the many additions/updates to Rinpoche’s bio that was previously not printed in The Promise. Rinpoche’s life story is nothing short of remarkable and you guys have put it down into words so beautifully.

    This post is poignant, heartwarming and inspiring. The parts that tugged at my heartstrings are:
    1) when his foster mother, Dana told him that the moment the robes touched his skin, he would no longer be her son.
    2) when Rinpoche discovered that Dana, who was initially very much against Rinpoche’s decision to become a monk, accepted her son as a monk and was proud of him. Although Rinpoche did not hear from Dana herself but the discovery that his foster mother did finally accept his decision with her blessings, made Rinpoche very happy and I am glad that after all these years, there is “reconciliation and closure”, for a lack of a better word.

    There were many things that inspired me in this post but I would say that the ones that stood out the most for me are Rinpoche’s Guru Devotion and faith in Dorje Shugden. Amazing things have happened due to Rinpoche’s strong Guru Devotion and utmost faith in His Protector. I, for one, am so glad that Rinpoche decided to take a leap of faith and just follow His Guru and Protector’s advice to come to Malaysia. Without this crucial move, there will be no Kechara and I would be just another lost soul.

    Thank you so much, Rinpoche, for all that you do.

  32. Li Kheng on Jun 23, 2016 at 1:39 am

    Today, the KFR team got together for our weekly Dharma sharing session within the nurturing space of Kechara Forest Retreat. We discussed about the section about Rinpoche’s journey to India.

    Rinpoche went through much hardships to pursue his dream to be fully committed to the Dharma and serving others always. However, with every obstacle, Rinpoche learnt and grew from it, strengthening himself to face greater obstacles. This is truly powerful!

    Another point that stood out for me was the many great Lamas who became Rinpoche’s teacher. They are renowned masters of our time. Having received their blessings and direct teachings, Rinpoche is the embodiment of all these great beings. In other words, learning from Rinpoche is like learning from all these great master. This is how kind Rinpoche is: to become a perfect vessel for the Dharma in our world so that we have the chance to know of, learn and practice the Dharma.

    In our discussion, this statement was not of these great beings who chose to live amongst men: they are not normal, they are extraordinary and taking a good look at their photos is in itself a blessing and protection.

    It amazes me how blessings, holiness and Dharma is everywhere around us. The key is to develop the ability to see them and to collect the merits to fuel the connection with them.

    Thank you for a great discussion session!

  33. Mingwen on Jun 23, 2016 at 1:35 am

    Preparing for the journey to India, India, Enthronement

    Thank you, Robert Stone, one of TDL’s main sponsors for the sponsorship for Rinpoche to clear his obstacles to achieve his dream, to benefit all sentient beings.

    “Before going to India, Burcha returned to Howell, New Jersey to see his parents for one last time after he confirmed that he is to become a monk.”

    Follow your heart as just do it (as long as our motivation of doing something is positive), it’s a bless to able to so because there might be conditions or time that doesn’t allow us to follow our heart easily, and if me are not firm with what we want, then it will shake and collapse at the end.

    “The evening he arrived in Dharamsala, Burcha was sick and feverish from the bus ride up the winding journey. However, he heard that the incarnation of H.H. Kyabje Pabongka Chocktrul Rinpoche had just arrived and was staying in Dr. Lobsang Dolma’s house. Burcha immediately gathered the bottles of vitamins he brought from the United States and a small kuyong (monetary offering) and went next door to Dekyi Khangkar. Upon meeting Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche, Burcha made the offering of vitamins and kuyong. In return for his offerings and upon hearing that Burcha was waiting for ordination, Pabongka Chocktrul Rinpoche blessed him and gave him the oral transmission of Medicine Buddha’s mantra.”

    From this event, I learned that our offerings to our gurus, Buddha and Sanghas, should be precious but not necessary to be expensive,

  34. Alice Tay on Jun 23, 2016 at 12:33 am

    尊贵的上师,詹杜固仁波切,本身的经历就好像一面镜子,具有启发性的让我们知道人身难得与佛法难闻。一旦下定决心要以佛法为究竟的道路,坚持到底,永不退缩。

    仁波切从小就遇到许多不幸的事情发生在仁波切的身上包括亲身父母的离异﹑寄人篱下 ﹑被养母虐待而导致流浪在街头和挨饿,被人欺负等等。直到仁波切长大一些,却遭到养父母的反对仁波切继续修持佛法。在没有办法之下,仁波切唯有选择离开养父母们与家人,继续一步步往着修行的道路前进。无论如何,仁波切却从没怨恨过他的亲生父母或是养父母们。

    除此,仁波切在身无分文之下依然决定要前往印度,继续他的佛法事业。有如此的坚定心,不是每个人可以做到。在仁波切在还未离开前会见了尊贵的堪殊洛桑达庆仁波切。尊贵的堪殊洛桑达庆仁波切给予尊贵的詹杜固仁波切的劝告,当他选择成为一位出家人是不应该为了自己或是逃避任何事情。他的选择必须是为利益众生而得到解脱。

    感谢仁波切可以排除万难以及坚持到底,只为了实践利他无我,帮助大家。也因为仁波切守住对上师的承诺,一直坚持到今天而让我们有幸的认识仁波切以及得到仁波切的佛法教诲。

  35. Julia Tan on Jun 23, 2016 at 12:32 am

    It is truly not an easy journey even though it has come to the stage that Rinpohce finally being able to clear his debt in USA, proceed to India and being ordained by HHDL. It was so heart warming to see Zong Rinpoche carried by Tsem Rinpoche in Gaden monastery. The two guru and student met again after departed in USA. Simply amazing by reading about Tsem Rinpoche’s life story, about how Rinpoche being recognised as a Tulku, about how Rinpoche met his Lama twice in this life. We are very fortunate to have met Rinpoche is this life time, a real guru who’s here for benefiting others wholeheartedly. May our relationship with our guru be like H.E. Tsem Rinpoche with his guru H.H. Zong Choktrul Rinpoche, reconnected again and again for no other reason but Dharma and benefiting others.

  36. pammie yap on Jun 23, 2016 at 12:25 am

    Preparing for the journey to India, India, Enthronement

    This part of Rinpoche’s life journey show how responsible and caring He is. Instead of leaving behind everything in America, Rinpoche made sure that everything is settled before He leaves eg. debts, parents.

    Even though Rinpoche suffered so much from He was young, one can tell how Rinpoche always persevere in what He does and always benefitting others, just like His previous reincarnations. How Rinpoche would always remember the kindness from people who have helped Him, be it monetary or teachings.

    I always love reading the part where Rinpoche asked HHDL to ordain Him and how He was recognised as an incarnation of a High Lama. And the part where Rinpoche’s father helped financially. In a way, Rinpoche didnt have to ‘suffer’ anymore in the small room and that He would be financially okay.

  37. Pastor Henry Ooi on Jun 22, 2016 at 11:52 pm

    It is very inspiring to read of Rinpoche’s determination and persistence to pursue his childhood dream, and his promise to his root guru, Zong Rinpoche, that is to be ordained as a monk. To go through the hardship, facing challenges both physical and emotional, living in near poverty, is very tough for a young adult. Yet, Rinpoche never gave up but persevere to realise his goal. Else we would not be so fortunate to have Rinpoche as Kechara Spiritual Advisor.

  38. nicholas on Jun 22, 2016 at 11:48 pm

    Preparing for the journey to India, India, Enthronement

    Despite the hardship Rinpoche faced in LA, Rinpoche still manage to flew to India for ordination. I strongly belief that a high Lama like Tsem Rinpoche is destine to go back to the monastery and true enough they are people willing to help Rinpoche. It’s sad to know Rinpoche parents disowned Rinpoche if Rinpoche become monk but Rinpoche hold strong with the promise and that is how Rinpoche able to help so many people now. We do owe Rinpoche for what we have learn and gain from Rinpoche.

    It’s nice to see that even though the journey for the enthronement is hard but along the way Rinpoche had met so many remarkable people, guru and high Lama especially the young Zong Rinpoche.

    In this chapter what touches me also is to see Rinpoche’s father build a Ladrang for Rinpoche after knowing how bad Rinpoche condition during that time and what inspire me is Rinpoche guru devotion that offered the Ladrang for H.E. Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche and taking good care of his guru especially due to health problem.

    Knowing so many great Lamas recognised Tsem Rinpoche previous incarnation is already a proven evident of Tsem Rinpoche is a highly being. Tracing back Tsem Rinpoche previous life on what have done is prety identical with what Tsem Rinpoche doing now i.e restore monstery, build statue, sent to a place to spread dharma where Buddhism study is less favor/minority, raising fund to help the people and many more. As a students that are able to meet such a high being is our great merit and we should continue to generate more merits by doing dharma work to get closer with them as like how our guru coming back to continue his legacy and we as student have the opportunity to learn and work together to benefit more people.

  39. Jace Chong on Jun 22, 2016 at 11:38 pm

    On Preparing The Journey, India and Enthronement:

    Reading upon these parts of stories, I found that when one is chasing a dream which not many other has, one is on a lonely planet.

    To pursue Dharma, to fulfill promise to his root Guru, Tsem Rinpoche hold on tight to overcome all ups and downs, and the process has very little support. If I were in that situation, I have already given up after a few difficulties arises.

    Rinpoche’s perseverance is amazing, and it’s the perseverance that create the cause for what we have now, Kechara Organization, Kechara Forest Retreats, many Dharma departments, and tsemrinpoche.com that benefits hundreds thousands of people daily.

    Great biographies inspire people and change people’s life, I think this is one of them.

    Thanks Rinpoche and Valentina who compile this article.

  40. Pastor Moh Mei on Jun 22, 2016 at 11:31 pm

    On Preparing for the journey to India, India, Enthronement:

    For high reincarnate lama, no matter the struggles they encountered in their life journey, their true nature will still prevails, manifesting their Bodhisattva nature. Always being drawn to dharma and benefiting others. In summary, that’s what Rinpoche’s journey to India, His time in India and leading up to His enthronement demonstrated.

  41. Uncle Lai on Jun 22, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    In 1982 Burcha met HH Kyabje Zong Rinpoche in TDL and immediately recognised him as his root guru. However due to Guru Devotion he called up Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin to ask permission to take refuge in Zong Rinpoche. Permission was granted on condition that he must continue his previous practice given to him.

    Burcha wanted to be a actor to raise money for TDL. Zong Rinpoche told Burcha that if he take up the job in front of a camera he would become very famous but if you become a monk you will benefit many people. He immediately folded his palms and promise Zong Rinpoche that he would go to the monestry and become a monk.

    He could not immediately go to India because he has not enough money. He has to work to safe up to pay his dept and money for the trip to India. However Burcha has a good friend, Robert Stone sponsored him US$5000 which Burcha told him the among required. Robert wrote the cheque and gave it to him. Burcha was very touched by his generosity.

    In 1997 Burcha had audience with HH The Dalai Lama at Gesha Wangyal’s Dharma Centre in Wangshington and he requested for ordination. The Dalai Lama agreed and told him to go to India. At that time Burcha’s relative were also present including his parents. Dana and Boris were not happy but Burcha was determined to go.

    Burcha went home to visit his parents for the last time and they were very nice to him for they knew they cannot stop him as now Burcha has already grown up. However Dana did say that as soon as the monk rope touches his skin he is no more his son. Burcha was very sad to hear this but his direction was very clear.

    Burcha left Los Angeles and flew to New Delhi. He stayed over in the house of one of Geshe Tsulin Gyeltsen’s student. After which he took a 13 hour bus ride to Dharmasala. In Dharmasala he stayed at Gaden Shartse’s Shabten Kang a branch of Gaden Shartse Monestry in south India.

    After waiting for several weeks Burcha was ordained by HH the 14th Dalai Lama together two other men. He was name Tenzin Zopa.

    In Nepal Tenzin Zopa met Gangchen Rinpoche who gave him several teachings was actually preparing Tenzin Zopa to be a Dharma teacher.

    In subsequent years Tenzin Zopa learn from may high Lamas and erudite master.
    In 1991 Tenzin Zopa was officially recognized and enthroned as a Tulku in Gaden Monestry. Tenzin Zopa received several confirmation of his incarnation status from various high lamas and high esteemed sources.
    In 2015 Dorje Shugden through the 7th Panglung oracle recognized Tsem Tulku line of 25 incarnation that dated back to the time of Buddha Shakyamuni.

  42. Grace Tan on Jun 21, 2016 at 9:04 am

    Thank you H.E. the 25th Tsem Tulku Rinpoche, Valentina, pastors and all the people that have contributed to this precious article. This article has provided deeper insight information of Rinpoche’s life as well as documented Dorje Shugden was a dharma protector of a lot of high lamas such as Zong Rinpoche. This indeed is very helpful for me, a new practitioner and follower of Dorje Shugden, to understand the history of Kechara as well as the reason why we should work together to plead for the lift of ban of Dorje Shugden practise.

    Rinpoche’s challenging childhood and teenage life have made our Guru a strong lama today. Despite many obstacles faced, Rinpoche’s strong determination has resulted in being successfully ordained in India by HH 14th Dalai Lama in 1987. From nothing when Rinpoche first come to Malaysia to building up the Kechara Forest Retreat in Bentong to benefit so many people really touches my heart. May Rinpoche continues to be blessed with long life. To protect the lineage, I pray that Dorje Shugden practise ban to be lifted soon.

  43. Stella Cheang on Jun 20, 2016 at 11:23 pm

    During the weekly Blogchat Dharma sharing session led by Pastor Adeline today, we focus on the period when Rinpoche was preparing the journey to India, when he was in India and enthronement. I always felt that there is divine intervention to pave the way for Rinpoche to find his way back to Gaden. To me, it is could be more than mere coincidence to HHDL to be in New Jersey in 1987 when Rinpoche is ready to move to India. It was at that audience with HHDL that Rinpoche seek for an ordination from HHDL of which HHDL agreed.

    An important point that stood out was that Dorje Shugden was a prevalent practice in Gaden Shartze Monastery as well as Sera Monastery. In Gaden, an erudite lama, Geshe Tendar conferred Dorje Shugden life entrustment to practitioners. Dorje Shugden and Setrap is included in the monthly Gon Cho Nga puja. There was also a Dorje Shugden image in Gaden Shartse’s protector hall. The Choyang Duldzin Kuten Oracle took trance of Dorje Shugden, Kache Marpo and Setrap on a yearly basis at Dorje Shugden Chapel called Gyalchen Tenkhang chapel. The main protector of Sera Monastery was Dorje Shugden. In Gaden, an erudite lama, Geshe Tendar conferred Dorje Shugden life entrustment to practitioners.

    Thank you Rinpoche and Valentina for this wonderful article.

    Humbly, bowing down,
    Stella Cheang

  44. Lin Mun on Jun 20, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    Further points on Part 1 (1982 – 1991) :

    1) Rinpoche hold his Guru Devotion very strongly which we should learn from him. For example Rinpoche offer his ladrang to his guru invite Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche to stay with him. At the time, Kensur Rinpoche was the abbot of Gaden Shartse Monastery.

    2)Although Rinpoche has a very challenging life growing up but he has met many great and erudite high lamas in his life too, for example Gangchen Rinpoche (Emanation of Medicine Buddha), Sharpa Chöje (Vajrayogini master), Denma Locho Rinpoche (White Tara).

    3)Dorje Shugden practice in Gaden Shartse Monastery. Every month there is a puja done and everyone will attend this puja. This shows that Dorje Shugden is accepted and being practice by all. Hence, it does not make sence that some claimed that this DS practice is evil.

  45. Hank Ng on Jun 20, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    “Tenzin Zopa was enthroned as H.E. Tsem Tulku” Yes, I found this statement is so powerful when I read through Rinpoche’s biography while he is in India. Because this, Rinpoche finally found his true identity as a high Lama which we as student now are able to found our guru in the far far away country here in MALAYSIA, what an auspicious and great merits we share? Thank you with folded hand.

  46. Kien Wong on Jun 20, 2016 at 9:51 pm

    Rinpoche decided to become a monk with a strong faith. Make sure Solve all the issues and flight to India to get ordained. Even though there are always lots of financial and living problems during the periods. Rinpoche always help people’s around and keep his strong guru devotion. So much pain and suffer, but still Rinpoche find his faith in Dharma. I think most of us will definitely run away and don’t dare to face it. So much to learn from Rinpoche biography.

  47. Shane Jayasuriya on Jun 19, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    Thank you for the Biography of Rinpoche, It is interesting and sometimes heartbreaking to read rinpoche’s earlier life. _/\_

  48. Jill Yam on Jun 18, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    Thank you Valentina for the very detailed biography of Rinpoche.

    I can’t imagine how Rinpoche had to go through the trials and turbulence of life since he was born.

    1. As a baby His mother have to disown Him.
    2. He had to grow up with 2 different families where there was no love and affection and care while staying with the first family in Taiwan.
    3. Later was brought to New Jersey where he was told was His real parents.
    4. The ‘real’ parents loved Him but stop Him from practicing and learning the Dharma which led to a series of suicide and runaways.
    5. Finally found a place to practice Dharma and His teachers in the United States.

    All these happened when He was still a teenager. I don’t know what I would have done if I were Rinpoche. But due to His determination and perseverance Rinpoche never give up no matter what. He just want to be a monk to be able to teach and spread the Dharma and Lama Tsongkhapa’s lineage.

    Rinpoche is a great shining example of Guru devotion and His life teaches us to be patient and persevere in everything we do.

    I’m very fortunate to be one of Rinpoche’s many students. Thank you Rinpoche for establishing Kechara House and Kechara Forest Retreat – a conducive place for us to practice the Dharma.

  49. Pastor Chia on Jun 18, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    Reading though second part of H.E. Tsem Tulku rinpoche teenager story. Young Burcha despite all the hardship from abuse from the frosted parents. He choose to run away to seek for the spiritual practice and come to California and meet H.Holiness Zong Rinpoche later. Which most the practice and lineage has pass down to H.E.Tsem Rinpoche and the lineage has carry forward to us the new generation. All this because young Burcha never give up his dream and all the suffering his experience make him become stronger and benefit many others.

    Beside that, H.E. Tsem Rinpoche also set up Kechara Soup another to help the homeless people because his experience of no food and hunger while he is run away from home to seek for the spiritual path. As the result, Thousand of the homeless has help from Kechara Soup Kitchen . All of this happen because young Burcha life experience and kindness can help many homeless people at Malaysia.

  50. Cheng See on Jun 18, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Each time when I read Rinpoche’s biography, I felt like I am travelling back in time and could feel as though I was there watching. My respect to Rinpoche increases more and more. Always my favourite topic to read.

  51. Mingwen on Jun 17, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    Thank you, Valentina and team who had worked hard to present such nice real story about Tsem Rinpoche. My comment will be based on 3 subtopic which are [New Jersey, USA], [Los Angeles, USA] and [Zong Rinpoche].

    The more I read about Tsem Rinpoche’s life story, the more I want to know about Tsem Rinpoche. I’ve never thought that such high Lama, who is full with compassion and wisdom has went through so many sufferings and still never give up on doing what he wanted to learn about Buddhism, amazing story!

    I still think that it will be tremendously awesome to have a movie or comic on Tsem Rinpoche’s life. It will definitely benefit a lot of people.

    Thank you, Tsem Rinpoche! Proud of you! =)

  52. Erickksiow on Jun 17, 2016 at 12:19 am

    On New Jersey, Los Angeles and Zong Rinpoche:

    After reading this –
    Burcha received the practice of Dorje Shugden from Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, and it was 100% for spiritual reasons. Zong Rinpoche is Burcha’s teacher, and he is the teacher of Burcha’s teacher. When a teacher gave the practice, and the students promised, they should just do it and maintain their integrity.

    What i learn? ANS : Rinpoche has very strong Guru Devotion and no matter what’s circumstance are.. Hardship toward for learning Dharma, hunger, scolded by parents, blaming and even lack of money to use. That’s me think how important is Guru Devotion, without Guru Devotion Rinpoche won’t started up everything in Malaysia.

    It’s always inspired to read up Rinpoche Bio.

    Much Thanks
    Erick k siow

  53. Julia Tan on Jun 17, 2016 at 12:05 am

    “Although Tenzin Zopa hardly had enough to sustain himself, he continued to help others in need. One Gaden monk, Lobsang Dhargye, recalled that Tenzin Zopa helped him to raise funds to fix his room. Later he found out that, Tenzin Zopa’s own room was leaking and in a poorer condition than his own.”

    Rinpoche always think of others first. Put others as priority. This is Rinpoche’s everyday mantra to all His students. For example, in order to preserved the Dharma and our lineage, Rinpoche has done so much, gone through all the hardship just like what he went through during his childhood time yet Rinpoche’s determination of preserving Dorje Shugden lineage is so strong and His motivation is so pure. At this degenerate age, we really need to rely on Dorje Shugden for our spiritual path. Rinpoche sees the important of it. Rinpoche set a good example as a real guru, He practices morality, hold His vows, despite being discriminated and cursed, He continue to stand firm with His faith and practice that His Guru gave him, which is the real Dharma.

  54. June Kang on Jun 16, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    After reading together with the KFR team on Part I from topic of New Jersey to Zong Rinpoche , learn that:-

    1. Rinpoche had so many challenges for him to learn Dharma such as broken home, abuse, and etc but Rinpoche never give up Dharma and find all ways to learn the Dharma, His faith towards Dharma is unshakable and very persistence. Compare with us that we have much more better conditions and environment to learn Dharma but some of us still are not persistence and give up our practice so easily.

    2. Whatever Rinpoche experience through, he had always so compassion and think about how he can help others who are in the same situation, for example, from the experienced of hunger and homeless, he created Kechara Soup Kitchen because to him no one deserve to go hungry , therefore Kechara Soup Kitchen policy is to serve all regardless of race, religion or creed. As for many of us, we will only do something to benefit ourselves for a better life and seldom or never think how to help others.

    Rinpoche is always inspired me and many others.

  55. Jace Chong on Jun 16, 2016 at 11:16 pm

    On New Jersey, Los Angeles, and Zong Rinpoche subtopics.

    The teenage to adult period of Rinpoche in US is a great struggle in between sustaining livelihood and pursuing Dharma. But nothing will wipe his Dharma dream away no matter how tough life could be.

    And eventually, this perseverance bear fruits when Rinpoche met his root Guru, Zong Rinpoche, the encounter gave a strong reason to go full force with Dharma and living a life benefiting others.

    People always say, if Tsem Rinopche is a high lama and can control where and when to take rebirth, he must have foreseen that taking rebirth in this life have a lot of difficulties, and he could choose another rebirth. I think Rinpoche chose this tough life for a reason.

    In Buddha Shakyamuni era, people drawn to Buddhism by miracles and super power phenomenon. Here in this day of time, those don’t work any more but by seeing somebody gone through so much sufferings and yet manifest all strength to help others, it gives hope to people who went through similar experiences of negative childhood or bad experiences, that they don’t have to contribute back the same thing to the world, but take those as something to make us a even better person.

    Thanks Rinpoche and Valentina for this article.

  56. nicholas on Jun 16, 2016 at 11:15 pm

    New Jersey, Los Angeles & Zong Rinpoche

    Rinpoche has gone through so much hardship not only in Taiwan but also in New Jersey. The abuse has never stop especially when Rinpoche has so much passion towards Buddhism. Rinpoche has never thought of giving up due to the abuse from Rinpoche parents. Even when Rinpoche thought of suicide but Rinpoche pray to take rebirth to be able to meet the dharma again.

    Rinpoche affinity with Dharma can never be question. By having a Tibetan temple in New Jersey is not a coincident but I see it as a destiny/journey of an enlightened being to meet the dharma to continue his previous life legacy.

    Rinpoche’s care for animals reflected since young. Just look at the aviary in KFR and Rinpoche’s dogs, they are all well treated and how Kechara Soup Kitchen form was due to Rinpoche experience being a homeless ran away from home heading to Los Angeles. From Rinpoche’s negative experience it inspire Rinpoche to work positively to benefit all beings instead in stead of carrying negatively.

    How Rinpoche met all the gurus also shows that Rinpoche must have a very good samaya with Rinpoche’s teacher before and in this life Rinpoche able to met such a caliber teachers especially meeting Rinpoche root guru Kyabje Zong Rinpoche.

    No matter how hard Rinpoche’s gone through in US, Rinpoche always choose Dharma and hold tight on guru devotion. Rinpoche decision and to fulfil his promises to his guru has made a great impact and benefit to many people.

  57. Khoo Hou Haw on Jun 16, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    From Rinpoche’s stories in New Jersey and Los Angeles, we can see that eventhough Rinpoche was in a western country where Buddhism was not common and popular, Rinpoche had never gave up His pursuit for Dharma. And even when Rinpoche’s family was strongly against Him to pursuit Dharma, He was still not given up. This shows that Rinpoche is indeed an incarnation of a highly attained Lama whose only purpose of returning is to spread Dharma and benefit sentient beings.

    Thank you,
    Khoo

  58. pammie yap on Jun 16, 2016 at 11:10 pm

    On New Jersey, Los Angeles, and Zong Rinpoche

    It’s always heartbreaking to read about Rinpoche’s childhood. So much pain physically and mentally. However, despite all the hardships, Rinpoche still manage to have comfort in Dharma. Through perseverance, Rinpoche continued His love and passion. Something many of us do not have. This value in Rinpoche made me realise nothing is impossible.

    To hitch hike at such an early age and meeting so many people did not sway Rinpoche from His path. And, He got to meet a Buddha, served Him and learn the Dharma from an erudite master.

  59. Pastor Henry Ooi on Jun 16, 2016 at 11:07 pm

    It is always inspiring to read again and again of Rinpoche’s younger days especially the mental and physical abuses and sufferings Rinpoche went through. Yet all those did not deter Rinpoche from pursuing dharma. Nor did these affect Rinpoche”s care and compassion for everyone. Most people would have let such bad experiences affect their mind negatively and turn them into monsters, lashing out and hurting others. I see it as a teaching, that no matter what sad childhood and bad experiences one went through, one should not dwell on the past but somehow turn the negative experiences into positive deeds that would benefit others. This is exactly what Rinpoche is doing 🙏🙏🙏

  60. Pastor Moh Mei on Jun 16, 2016 at 11:04 pm

    On New Jersey, Los Angeles and Zong Rinpoche:
    One can say Rinpoche’s background in the USA is not mere coincidence but “designed” as such so that He now emerged as one of the world’s most prolific and influential Tibetan lama who has an excellent command of the universal English language.
    Rinpoche’s background also makes him easy for the people of this era to identify with. Gone were the days that people can easily accept lamas as highly attained beings by virtue of their incarnation status. I think the modern generation relates better to “real” compassionate qualities than supernatural “religious” ones.

  61. Cynthia Ng on Jun 16, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    *以下是我一部分的读后感言*

    尊贵的上师在1987年身无分文的到达甘丹寺寺院,当时也没有得到任何的经济帮助,因此仁波切三餐都得不到温饱,造成当时的仁波切身形日渐消瘦,可说是营养不良。

    当仁波切写信给在美国的养父母求助时,不但得不到经济帮助与鼓励,反而遭受到养父母的恶言相对和打击,说仁波切是走火入魔,最后还和仁波切断绝来往,可想而知仁波切把他们视为自己生命中的父母但是受到这样的对待,肯定都伤透了仁波切的心,仁波切并没有怀恨在心。但是我可以感受到仁波切的“痛”,这一切必定会成为仁波切心里多年的疙瘩难以释怀。

    仁波切在艰难的时刻并没有放弃过当初的选择~出家成为僧人研读佛法利益众生。试想要在这样的环境与考验中继续追求忠于自己的修行真的是一个巨大考验,仁波切没有为自己的困境找出自私的借口回到养父母提供的舒适圈做一般凡夫俗子的事情,而且也一一实践对上师的承诺精进的学习佛法。

    感恩仁波切多年的坚持与不放弃的精神打造了克切拉佛教中心让我和很多人在需要帮助的时候学习与实践佛陀教诲帮助内心转化和改善人生品质。谢谢仁波切的言教和身教~展现出佛陀的慈悲。

  62. tong sun sun on Jun 16, 2016 at 1:36 am

    当仁波切在印度出家的那一段时间除了物质贫乏之外,大概有10年的时间仁波切是没有做过任何医疗检查,最让人揪心的还是亲生父母和养父母 的反应 和对待。
    当仁波收到生母的来信告知他现在已离婚并邀请他和两个弟弟同住,对一直思念母亲的仁波切来说这是个无比幸福的事情。可是这快乐没有维持很久,那是因为仁波切和他的生父也相认了。他母亲的做法虽然有些偏激但也是情有可原,因为这个男人差点毁了她的一生她有这样的反应也是正常的。
    和生父相认那一刻心里有些触动,因为两方极端的做法父亲这一边显得温和且动容。尤其仁波切父亲相隔多年终于见到自己的孩子时的那种激动,双手战斗和泪流满脸而母亲却说如果和父亲相认从此和她断绝来往,连自己读到这里也湿了眼眶。真的可以感受那时的情景。
    但无论如何我相信以上种种应该是仁波切乘愿再来的使命,以体会生命的真谛。

  63. freon on Jun 14, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    Dear Valentina,

    Thank you for writing Rinpoche’s biography and also have many precious photos, videos shared with us. Many of the photos and videos warm my heart when I see them.

    A highly Attain Lama
    Rinpoche’s biological mother – Princes Dewa, do not want Rinpoche to be recognize as High Lama. And yet, when Rinpoche move to New Jersey, Rinpoche live close to the Dharma center that are belongs to the Gelugpas’ Lineage. If he is not reincarnation of a High Lama how could be a person be so close to the lineage. Further the Teachers are highly attained or learned master from Gelug lineage, how many people could have this rare opportunity?

    Rinpoche do everything related closely to Dharma no matter in which situation and age. During his childhood, he drew Buddha’s images and gave to people, during teenage Rinpoche read lots of dharma books and went to dharma center to clean and pray. During modeling time, Rinpoche brought dharma to a group of people who will not get in dharma.

    Guru Devotion
    Rinpoche have strong devotion towards His Guru. Same as how Rinpoche valued the Dharma highly. Nothing could stop Rinpoche from getting dharma or to show appreciation to the high lama. E.g: when H.E was sick, H.E determined to visit the incarnation of H.H. Kyabje Pabongka Chocktrul Rinpoche and get Him the vitamin.

    Rinpoche have a very deep respect for His Guru. When HE was depressed and thinking to run away from monastery, the Guru Devotion have save him from doing so. Rinpoche returned to monastery because Rinpoche do not want His Guru to worried.

    Attitude towards Dharma
    From Rinpoche’s biography, the determination that Rinpoche have for dharma is amazing. Anyone that come under his situation; which have to suffer so many suffering just to study dharma, will give up and bow down to the situation and not doing dharma.
    His stepparents tried to give him enjoyment from material, everything to stopped him from practiced dharma. When they can’t do it, the abuse series come in. No matter good or bad, not even a single thought of Rinpoche wanted to give up on Dharma..
    Truly amazing ..

    In the biography, Rinpoche never miss His sadhana. This can see during His runaway from home, H. E. was determined to look for a Dharma center to do His prayer, up to the level to called up a center just to do His sadhana.

    Rinpoche is very determined and consistent towards his work. In whatever works Rinpoche is involved in, H.E. did it from starts to end and do it perfectly. One of the example is fundraising for the monks in India to have a house. Even though Rinpoche was sick, H.E still works on the fundraising and also give dharma to the sponsors.

    Relationship with Dorje Shugden
    Rinpoche very close with Protector Dorje Shugden.
    Whenever H.E goes, protector seems always be with Rinpoche. From the time when HE was a teenager in Los Angeles to India people that Rinpoche comes across practices Dorje Shugden. Even Lama Zopa have mentioned that Every time Rinpoche show up, Lama Zopa was about to do Dorje Shugden’s Puja.

    Practicing Bodhisattva
    Tsem Rinpoche is a very kind and strong person. Even when He Himself in a bad condition, He do not focus on His bad condition, instead, He reached out to people who needed helps and help them first. He always put sentient being in front of Him. Rinpoche is truly practicing Bodhichitta

    Rinpoche always teach the methods that benefits people around them especially on spiritual path. E.g: Many peoples went to pilgrimages just for fun. But, Rinpoche has taught us using this trip to create more merits to benefits sentient beings and us. The dharma that Rinpoche’s taught are so easy for us in today’s world to absorb learned and practice.

    The departments that Kechara have now, are the gateway to various kind of people to get close to dharma, some can get dharma from Food, some from shopping etc. Every place, every minutes from Rinpoche – is dharma.

    Rinpoche are truly highly attain beings, from baby until now, Rinpoche have never leave dharma, in fact every journey of Rinpoche’s life have Buddha’s teaching in it. The dharma not just theory that read from books, but, it is inside the lifestyle of Rinpoche. Rinpoche taught us how to live life to the fullest, how to benefits more sentient beings.

    Rinpoche are very generous on Sharing. Everywhere Rinpoche goes, H.E will share through photos and even videos. This enable people who do not visit to the place have a view to the place.

    Rinpoche never walk away from poor, homeless peoples who needed His helps. H.E helps until the person more comfortable. Rinpoche will talk to them, encourage them. Whenever Rinpoche goes, Rinpoche brought happiness to people. This is a real bodhisattva acts.

    Important of having a Dharma Centers & sponsor Sangha
    From Rinpoche’s biography, I understand that to sponsor for Sanghas and dharma centers is very important. It keeps the Sangha, the dharma center keep going, so that the lineage from Shakyamuni can be passed down. The dharma wheel can be turn. Imagine if no one sponsored for Sangha and dharma center, the teachings of the Buddha will have difficulties in passing down.

    Others
    On the video recording after Rinpoche visited His parents’ grave, I have learned that even if the person passed away, when we are in dharma, we can dedicate the merits to them. Also I have learned that by just rejoicing a person who does dharma work, he or she could receive the merit. Dharma is very powerful.

    During the visit, Rinpoche saw many of the person He knew have passed away, buried. Life is short, while we are still alive, is better to practice dharma that the knowledge could sustain us to next life and brought us to enlightenment. No matter how successful we are or how we fail in our life, it does not bring any benefit to us when the death comes.

    I thanks Rinpoche for sharing His biography to us.

    With folded hand, love
    Freon

  64. Stella Cheang on Jun 14, 2016 at 11:14 am

    From the recent sharing session of Weekly Blogchat Dharma Sharing organized by Pastor Adeline, I am attracted to the list of renowned lamas who recognized the line of incarnation of His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche, and HOW they recognized Him.

    Even though Rinpoche was officially recognized and enthroned in the year 1991, as a Tulku in Gaden Monastery, but the truth of the business is, Rinpoche was recognized even at birth. In 1966, 7 months after Rinpoche was born, several monks had touched base with Rincpoche’s biological mother to recognize him as a incarnated lama. But due to circumstances, Rinpoche had not the opportunity to be enthroned at that time. (Read the post for the details)

    In several instances, other high lama recognized the then young monk upon sight as an incarnated lama. Among them are the young Lama Osel Rinpoche, who placed his forehead to Tenzin Zopa’s forehead to signify equal rank in terms of attainments and realizations. H.E. Drigung Kyabgön Rinpoche Jetsun Lobsang Chozin, one of Tenzin Zopa’s teachers, recognized Rinpoche’s incarnation status upon sight and officiated this recognition on his own personal stationery and with his seal.

    Before Rinpoche was even ordained as a monk, H.H. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, the root teacher to Rinpoche already gave verbal recognition that he was a ‘Rinpoche.’

    Among other erudite lamas who gave verbal recognition are H.E. Ayang Drupchen Rinpoche, the Mahasiddha H.E. Gangchen Rinpoche, as well as H.E. Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, Tenzin Zopa’s teacher and Abbot of Gaden Shartse Monastery at that time.

    Dharma Protectors who recognized the incarnation of Rinpoche are (1) Dorje Yudronma via her Oracle, who is the Dharma Protector of Gyutö Tantric College, (2) Setrap Chen, the Dharma Protector of Gaden Shartse Monastery recognized Rinpoche through the Choyang Duldzin Oracle following a request from H.E. Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, and (3) Dorje Shugden through H.E. the 7th Panglung Kuten oracle who recognized Rinpoche’s line of 25 incarnations that dates back to the time of Buddha Shakyamuni.

    Also, the 14th Dalai Lama had bestowed His acknowledgment during a special audience requested by H.E. Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche. His Holiness identified that Rinpoche’s incarnations date further back than the official recognition of three lifetimes, matching what H.E. Drigung Rinpoche had said.

    I find this information very important in learning the lineage of our Guru, His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche. I am going to make effort to remember it well.

    Thank you Rinpoche and Valentina for this informative post.

    Humbly, bowing down,
    Stella Cheang

  65. Pastor Yek Yee(月谊讲法师) on Jun 12, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    I am reading, watching and sharing about H.E.The 25th Tsem Tulku Rinpoche’s biography with group of Dharma brothers and sisters, it is very powerful biography even though we just completed partly of it. Many my Dharma sisters and brothers shared with me, Rinpoche’s biography had moved them in bottom of their somehow where. Especially the part of described about Rinpoche’s childhood at Taiwan and USA.

    Within 7 years, Rinpoche forced to call different people as his father, mother, sister and brother, it is confused him a lot. And the adopted parents not take care of him so well, hard for him to accept it. My Dharma friends told me some of them too experienced this kind of suffer before they are growth up. Or in their life they are facing same kind of character from their family who treated them not so well, after read through Rinpoche’s biography some of them feel moved because Rinpoche never blamed the past or the person who hurt him…

    Through the write up from Dharma sister Valentina Suhendra and the interview of Lidshma Croes, Rinpoche went through a lot when he was a kid. However, Rinpoche still always happy and smile in front of his cousins, relatives and friends. So they have very good and fun memories with Rinpoche. From a kid, Rinpoche already take care of their and make sure everyone is OK instead of complaining how difficulties about his life.

    When we shared in group, some of them even cried and tear dropped, it is so beautiful Rinpoche’s real story can touch someone heart, open someone mind and get someone heart be soften. It is powerful.

    A real Guru chosen to born in this kind of situation, may hope to inspired many don’t give up our own practice so easily when things going on not right! YES, through this Rinpoche’s biography learning and sharing session, I noticed my Dharma sisters and brothers are having their transformation in different part of their side chemically.

    *p.c. we still have many section need to go and take some time to complete it from above write up…but we enjoy it 🙂
               

  66. Khoo Hou Haw on Jun 11, 2016 at 4:19 am

    Thank you Valentina for this extensive biography of Tsem Rinpoche.
    It is very inspiring to know that eventhough Tsem Rinpoche went through all these difficulties and complicated childhood, His heart has never been shadowed by these passed events. Tsem Rinpoche continue to show forgiveness, love and compassion to those around him and even to those who had hurt him. The story of Rinpoche is by itself a true Dharma lesson.

  67. Albert on Jun 11, 2016 at 3:31 am

    While reading Rinpoche’s biography. my heart also went up and down following the stories goes..

    Rinpoche is a incarnated high lama, but he did not have the privilege to enter Monastery when the monks visits his house (which Rinpoche always wanted to be in the monastery), Rinpoche does not has a good childhood either.

    Whenever we talk about our childhood, we always missed those days because those are our happiest days in life, but for Rinpoche is different, Childhood to him can be a nightmare, he was abandoned, moved from 1 family to another, got beaten most of the time, and more. But even though with such childhood, Rinpoche still grow up to be a very kind and compassionate person. Rinpoche understand the feeling of being hungry, so he developed the character that he doesn’t want to see anyone goes hungry, that’s why we have Kechara Soup Kitchen.

    Rinpoche’s Bio is so inspiring, by just reading the Bio, there’s so much for us to learn.

    Thank you for sharing this amazing Bio.

  68. Ee Mun on Jun 10, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    First and foremost, thank you to all the Kecharians who are the pioneers that were involved in producing Rinpoche’s biography few years ago. This would not have been possible without your enormous effort, long hours of work and great tenacity. Thanks to Valentina for writing this blog post on Rinpoche’s illustrious life story that provides me with the opportunity to revisit Rinpoche’s inspiring biography which I first stumbled upon about 2 years ago.

    Though I have no direct personal encounter with Rinpoche, it is evident from the various testimonies of those who grew up and spend much time with Rinpoche that Rinpoche is not only compassionate, kind and wise but also with a very rare and precious genuine sincerity and caring personality since young. What is most inspiring and touching to me is the fact as disclosed by those who have been helped by Rinpoche that Rinpoche always help them notwithstanding that Rinpoche has nothing and in a dire condition. The facial expression and/or words uttered by Rinpoche’s childhood friends, cousins and those who crossed paths with Rinpoche say it all in their video/written interview.

    There is no doubt that it is heart wrenching to go through the details of the tumultuous childhood and initially challenging spiritual path that Rinpoche has went through but I believe what is more important is to acknowledge and learn how Rinpoche bounced back from the hurts, pain, fears and disappointments. I believe it is the unwavering faith in the Gurus especially Rinpoche’s root Guru and the Three Jewels that is of utmost importance in Rinpoche’s life journey and last but not least the genuine, unconditional and steadfast altruistic motivation to benefit others.

    It is also very uplifting to know how far Rinpoche came from until now with great achievements which are not mere Dharma centre, soup kitchen and retreat place but the positive values and transformative inspirations instilled by Rinpoche on Rinpoche’s students and those who crossed paths with Rinpoche.

    With a great line of incarnations which has been duly recognised/confirmed from various high Lamas and highly esteemed sources, I am overwhelmed, felt surreal yet grateful to be connected with Rinpoche in this life for which it is beyond my dull mind to connect the dots.

    Rinpoche, please live long in this lifetime and stay for hundreds of aeons to turn the dharma wheel and to liberate all beings who are plagued by the sufferings of body and mind. May we have your unceasing blessings to be connected with you in this lifetime and all lifetimes to come _/\_

  69. Julia Tan on Jun 10, 2016 at 11:43 am

    Last year, Justin Cheah, Li Kim and I went to see Rinpoche’s old residence in Taipei. The houses around it had mostly demolished for a bigger development. We were very lucky to see the house, as it was the only one left that has not been demolished yet. The school that Rinpoche went to was just across the road.

    As a high-reincarnated Tulku, Rinpoche did not have the privilege to enter the monastery in his early age as other Tulkus did. Not only that, Rinpoche went through so much of hardship from his very young age, which I don’t think anyone of us can imagine. Rinpohce worked very hard to get His way back to Dharma and to meet His root guru again.

    Rinpohce always tell us, being in the monastery was very poor and rarely have food to eat but it was the happiest time in His life. Rinpoche never disappointed His Gurus, to leave the monastery to teach overseas. Rinpoche has to do everything form fund raising to teaching, from writing to rituals, from construction to planting up till today. Despite managing so much of work, Rinpoche never forget about His care and love towards His students from food to health, retreat to personal problems, safety to spiritual growth. Need not talk about Rinpoche’s guru devotion towards His gurus. Rinpoche rarely sleep but uses His life fully for Dharma.

    H.E. the 25th Tsem Tulku Rinpoche, a living Buddha with 2500 years of blessings, living in Malaysia with a small group of lay students, working hard to preserve the pure lineage of Lama Tsongkhapa’s teachings. May Rinpohce’s teachings flourish and spread to everywhere on earth to benefit all sentient beings.

  70. Li Kheng on Jun 10, 2016 at 10:04 am

    Rinpoche went through so much for the dharma. The suffering is unending and up to now, although life is a little better and easier rinpoche’s suffering continue. If Rinpoche had his wish, rinpoche would just go into retreat in the mountains but he sacrifice that so that he can give teachings and disseminate the dharma. Despite the bitter childhood, Rinpoche is generous,kind and most tolerant. Rinpoche used negative experiences to strengthen who he is to benefit others. In this alone we can see who Rinpoche truly is.

  71. June Kang on Jun 10, 2016 at 12:22 am

    Read and discuss with KFR team on Birth & Taiwan of this article. The story of Rinpoche’s childhood remind me that “your past doesn’t define your future”

    Whatever Rinpoche experienced in the childhood such like abuse, poverty & more doesn’t stop him to become a compassionate person and benefiting many peoples. Rinpoche is showing us that ” You can become anything that you want to be, despite what your childhood was like”.

    Thank you Valentina for this article.

  72. Jace Chong on Jun 10, 2016 at 12:10 am

    Thanks Rinpoche and Valentina for the article.

    Reading the biography is inspiring no matter how many times I read. From this compilation by Valentina, the part that touched me very deeply is when Rinpoche found out that Dana the step mother showed the person who buy their house Rinpoche’s picture and Dana is proud of Rinpoche.

    Rinpoche didn’t feel happy because he finally “win” that his path is correct; but Rinpoche feel glad for Dana for not holding the grudge that creates negative karma for herself.

    From here I can see that even Dana is one of the core person contribute to young Burcha’s childhood and teenage sufferings, Rinpoche practices compassion in all the situations where he focus fully on other person well being.

    It is these qualities that make Rinpoche an inpiring person that no matter how much Rinpoche suffers, he only thinks of others.

    Thanks again for the article _/\_

  73. Eric kksiow on Jun 9, 2016 at 11:40 pm

    Rinpoche did not have an ” Easy ” childhood and no matter how hardship Rinpoche been through, Rinpoche never ever give up. That’s really inspired..!!

    Thank You Valentina for the biography of Tsem Rinpoche and Thank You to Pastor Henry, Pastor Chia, Pastor Moh Mei, Nicholas, Pam, Mingwen and June Kang for the discussion & sharing session of Tsem Rinpoche Bio.

    Really appreciate Rinpoche, Pastor Henry & Albert Ratchaga for letting me to join for the Dharma sharing session. _/\_

    Much Thanks to all..!!
    Sincerely
    Eric kksiow

  74. Pastor Chia on Jun 9, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    Reading through Rinpoche life story, it ready inspire many of us how precious we have Rinpoche giving dharma teaching in Malaysia. Although Rinpoche childhood was abuse by care taker, but his always cheerful and playful from the picture he took it.

    Rinpoche humility and kindness always show who it is as the tulku despite many hardship and suffering from his childhood and teenager. His hardship of life experience turn out became the great teacher who helping many people and being from the suffering. What Rinpoche has encounter all his past suffering, though the spiritual journey learning, it can help healing own emotionally become the better person to helping others. It the good example to inspire for many people do not focus from their past bad experience by not doing learn and transform to be a better person.

  75. Mingwen on Jun 9, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    Thank you, Valentina and team who had worked hard to present such nice story about Tsem Rinpoche. My comment will be only based on 2 subtopic which are the [Birth] and [Taiwan] of Tsem Rinpoche.

    It’s really glad to see Tsem Rinpoche as a little boy , a great person who has did so many good deeds for all sentient beings. However, it’s sad to know such a good boy ( I can feel by looking at the boy’s face and facial emotions via those attached photos) had been abused and bullied by his own caretakers, people who are closest to oneself. I’m glad that Tsem Rinpoche was able to make through the tough times at such young age. Tsem Rinpoche has never went down, and find himself any excuses to be a bad person in anyway, conversely, he is now teaching dharma via Internet at this beneficial link, http://www.tsemrinpoche.com. It’s so convenient and easy now, where people could just tab and click to assess dharma knowledges and learn to be a better person.

    It will be ultimately great to have a movie about Tsem Rinpoche’s biography.

    THANK YOU!

  76. Pastor Henry Ooi on Jun 9, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    To read and discuss with Pastor Chia, Pastor Moh Mei, Nicholas, Pam, Mingwen, June and Eric Siow on ‘The Beginning’ and ‘Childhood on Taiwan’ was interesting and educational, because Pastor Chia was one of the people on the team that visited Taiwan to research and interview some of those people named here.

    Thank you Valentina for this article.

  77. Pastor Moh Mei on Jun 9, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    On Birth & Taiwan:

    It is so easy to find excuses from our past, upbringing and environment into our lives. It is so easy to blame our childhood and our unfortunate past experiences for shaping us into who we are today. But there are those among us who rise above what life gave us – these people show us what is courage, compassion, integrity, wisdom, responsibility and forgiveness; what it means to be in control of our fate/karma. This is the inspiration behind the biography of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche.

  78. Nicholas on Jun 9, 2016 at 10:28 pm

    On Birth & Taiwan

    Rinpoche’s early childhood was never easy. It’s sad to see how Rinpoche was treated by the foster parents but Rinpoche is still so cheerful and independent. I strongly believe this is the nature of an attaint being. Another point of Rinpoche is a highly attaint Lama was from the dream before Rinpoche’s being delivered up to the point at seven month there are a group of monks that would like to invite Rinpoche back to develop Rinpoche’s spiritual path. Those are the signs.

    Rinpoche life story is inspiring and remind me that everything happen for a reason and we don’t have to blame for whatever negative things happen to us but we can work it out positively.

  79. pammie yap on Jun 9, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    On birth and Taiwan

    “Tsem Rinpoche has consistently displayed compassion, courage, integrity, generosity and loyalty through his actions no matter how bad the situation seemed to be.”

    I truly agree with the above. Although Rinpoche had to go through so much hardship from when He can remember, it was really heartbreaking to read.
    I cannot imagine my own birth mother giving me away because she was ashamed of me but at the same time the pain and humiliation she went through, was not easy too.
    And to be left wandering alone without food, proper care, giving the child away is really painful to hear. So many of us here are so fortunate if we were to compare ourselves to what Rinpoche went through.

  80. Callista on Jun 8, 2016 at 12:39 am

    sorry my earlier comment have spelling error, es omental supposed to be mental

  81. Callista on Jun 8, 2016 at 12:28 am

    While reading his Eminence Tsem Rinpoche biography, I started to tear and think, we really have to appreciate what we have rather than complain when minor challenges arise.

    We are very privileged to have such a wonderful living Buddha who chooses to reincarnate and grow up in a very tough environment, which was filled with es omental and physical abuses. Why? Just to benefit us with dharma and to relieve and bring us out from samsara.

    Thank you so much Tsem Rinpoche for everything.

    Valentina, thank you for published this article.

  82. Pastor Han Nee on Jun 7, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    Tsem Rinpoche in “Be Happy” said: “In previous lives, I prayed that I would be born into this situation”.

    As I re-read H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche’s biography with “fresh insights” gained from working on reviews of Rinpoche’s books –“ Gurus for Hire, Enlightenment for Sale”, “Be Happy”, and “Snakes , Roosters and Pigs”, the way in which Rinpoche suffered unrelentingly from a very young age all the way to his teens and until he began a full-time engagement with dharma at Thubten Dargye Ling (TDL), to me has a wider implication and purpose to it. In “Be Happy”, Rinpoche said that he had prayed in previous lives to be born into this situation(of suffering).

    Boddhisattvas get reborn into samsara only for one purpose – to bring the Dharma to everyone for the purpose of relieving and eliminating their suffering. A bodhisattva, seeking to teach and spread the Dharma for maximum impact on the people of this age, needs to choose to incarnate into a situation that will allow him to experience the suffering that beings of this age in particular experience.

    In this age of degeneration, where spirituality is so far away from the minds of people, who are pulled in all directions by the distractions of samsara, it will only be impactful if you teach the Dharma of Karma and the Four Noble Truths of Suffering , after you have allowed yourself to be totally immersed in the type of suffering that are peculiar to this modern age – anger, depression, loneliness and a low-self-esteem. When you teach the Dharma of how to handle anger, depression, loneliness and low self-esteem(the most common and widespread types of mental suffering and problems of this age), people will listen and will absorb what you say.

    This is the form of Dharma, which they can understand because they live this type of suffering every day of their lives. It is still the Dharma that Lord Buddha taught, but expressed in the form that people of today can understand. Furthermore , taught by Tsem Rinpoche, it carries a ring of conviction, because he had lived it all and emerged from it all with a mind that is developed to overcome all of this positively by transcending it all. He has mastered the art of how to be peaceful and ‘happy’ and is teaching it from his own experience.

    Rinpoche thus chose to be planted into those very situations . Hence, from Taiwan to US until he ran away to LA, the suffering that he experienced from a very young age put him in the direct path of developing the negative reactions of anger, depression (that led him to attempt suicide), loneliness, and low-self-esteem. But he also taught that these negative experiences are self-created, and our negative reactions, which we think are instinctive, have been programmed in us over countless past lives. So they can be overcome by rehabituation of the mind and mind training. So, 21st century-ish in language, and yet it is the Dharma of Lord Buddha from over 2500 years ago.

    That is why re-reading H. E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche’s biography now brings feelings of great awe and reverence for a being of such unexcelled depth of compassion and wisdom.

  83. Lin Mun on Jun 6, 2016 at 11:44 pm

    Thank you Valentina for compiling and presenting a very detailed Rinpoche’s biography.

    From the part 1 that I have read, I learned that :

    1) Rinpoche went through so much hardship since he was a baby. From his own mother till his foster family in USA, he had to endure so much abuse and pain. There is no love from his family. Yet Rinpoche is still strong and did not give up his dharma practise. In fact it makes him even stronger and determined person to pursue his dream.

    2) Rinpoche has proven to all that he had so many challenges in every phase of his life but he just go through it without complaint. Perseverance will bring result. This is a good reminder for us to continue even if we face various obstacles.

    3) Rinpoche is always compassion and kind to everyone. Even though he has so many financial constraint but he always take care of the monastery and the people around him.

    4) With all the significant dreams by Dewa Nimbo before the birth of Rinpoche, it shows that Rinpoche is not an ordinary being. Yet he choose to be born in such situation with so much challenges. I believe he wants us know understand that no matter how much suffering we have, we must still persevere to our positive value and motivation. We can learn to overcome it.

  84. sonny tan on Jun 6, 2016 at 11:49 am

    Thank you Valentina for taking us on a journey and walking us through His Eminence Tsem Tulku Rinpoche biography. I am delighted to be a able to catch a factual glimpse into Rinpoche’s life. His Eminence earlier roller-coaster life is indeed very remarkable as is shown that his persistency coupled with a very intense longing for spiritual knowledge and growth did awaken a seed that was planted in a previous life.
    We are all presented with this spititual gift from our affinity in our many lifetimes with Rinpoche and now has raptured into this blossoming affinty.
    Thank you Rinpoche for remembering us and if I may add an old adage that has been said in Christianity “gathering back the lost sheep”
    With folded palms close to my chest “Sadhu, Sadhu, Sadhu” to Rinpoche.

    • Valentina Suhendra on Jun 7, 2016 at 1:08 pm

      Dear Sonny

      Thank you for your comments. Just like yourself, I learned a lot during the process of writing this biography. By ordinary human standard, the hardships that Rinpoche endured to practice the Dharma were immense and yet he never give up.

      I wish the reader of this article can obtain better understanding of Tsem Rinpoche and develop greater appreciation to his deeds

  85. Pastor Gim Lee on Jun 5, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    Thank you Valentina for this latest biography of our lama H.E. Tsem Rinpoche. This comprehensive compilation is structured and is easy for us to refer.

    “Only exceptional incarnations would be able to transcend personal pain and transform that into an intention to benefit others.” – Pastor David Lai

    From the biography of Rinpoche one can see that, as a tulku who could control his death and new incarnation, instead he had chosen to be born and to grow up in conditions that were full of hardship, pains and abuses. For mere mortals like us, we would wish the opposite because we consider these kind of situations as disadvantage, whereas for Rinpoche he willingly put himself in these so-called disadvantages. Then we wonder why must he do that?

    I can only think of one reason – his great compassion to use his life as the ultimate Dharma teaching for all; especially for those who can relate to his experiences. Rinpoche is using his early life’s hardship as the lessons for all to learn about overcoming our own life challenges and his later success of bringing Dharma and helps to countless beings as inspiration and motivation.

    Rinpoche not only giving us hope, he actually showed us HOW he did it, to come out from all the hardship and yet still full of compassion. Rinpoche’s actions embodies all the Buddha Dharma, and he use skilful means to teach us. Although I shamelessly admit that most of the times, we, the students have disappointed him with our excuses and stubbornness to transform.

    Rinpoche’s life itself is a Dharma teaching. That is undeniable. Hence, this biography of Rinpoche is very important to be read by students and to be shared with everyone.

  86. wooishen on Jun 5, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    Thank you Valentina Suhendra for the biography of our guru, H.E.Tsem Rinpoche.

    Thanks for making this biography interesting to read..

  87. Stella Cheang on May 23, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    Every chapter of His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche’s life is an inspiration to mundane being like us. He grew up separated from biological parents, suffered in the hands of abusive parents, and faced endless obstacles for wanting to be learn and spread dharma; yet, His Eminence never sway from His purpose in life.

    He could have led a life of celebrity in Hollywood since His Eminence was tall, dark and handsome. He could have ran when the poor living condition in Zong Ladrang was unbearable; sleeping in the cow shred with leaky roof and full of mosquitoes. He could have left when there was no sponsors to send money and support His monthly sundry expenses, and He had to rely on only of Tsampa (barley flour) mixed with tea for all His meals.

    But He stayed, and taught Buddha Dharma without any resentment on the harshness life He encountered. He is always kind and loving, always find ways to benefit others, unconditionally. He is truly a living Buddha.

    Thank you Rinpoche and Valentina for this structured and neat compilation of the Biography of His Eminence. I hope many more people will now get to read about His Eminence.

    Humbly, bowing down,
    Stella Cheang

    • Valentina Suhendra on May 24, 2016 at 9:48 pm

      Dear Stella

      Thank you for your kind comment. I always appreciate the fact that you always read through the article before commenting. I learned a lot in the process of writing this article. I think my teacher has passed many great secular opportunities in order to pursue the Dharma and benefit countless sentient beings.

      His life would not be as harsh back in New Jersey if he did not practice Dharma and he passed out great opportunities to work in Hollywood. I appreciate my teacher so much for this. And that is the very reason that we have to continuously promote Rinpoche and help lift Dorje Shugden ban so more people can benefit from his work.

      Valentina

      • Stella Cheang on May 26, 2016 at 10:44 am

        Thank you Valentina. I have learnt a lot from this article.

  88. Joy Kam on May 19, 2016 at 4:41 am

    Finally an organized factual write up of Rinpoche’s biography for all to get a glimpse of the extraordinary life of a ‘Golden Child’ who was born royalty but experienced samsara’s harshest lessons. It is truly amazing as Rinpoche’s life is really like one of those Hollywood inspiration movies. No one would ever knew Tsem Rinpoche came from so much abuse yet Rinpoche shines out only love, kindness, generosity and courage. And I believe it is because of this that is why Rinpoche could easily relate to us lay folks and would be able to give excellent advice on how to overcome our problems realistically.

    H.E. Tsem Rinpoche is who he is today I believe is because of the things He went through; the abuse, the poverty, living on the streets, sleeping in cardboard and then being violated, being threatened by strangers. And yet Rinpoche did not falter and his determination to connect with the Dharma made him persevere until He got His TDL in Los Angeles!

    This bio gives us very factual accounts of Rinpoche’s life journey up till where He is today. Thank you Valentina for this blogpost.

  89. Li Kheng on May 17, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    Thank you Valentina for compiling and composing Rinpoche’s biography. Although I have read the biography before, it is very helpful to have a concise post like this to refer to at any moment. Also appreciate how the various sections are clearly categorized for easy reference.

    Rinpoche had a truly difficult life and yet, Rinpoche has the capacity to rise above all the tragedies and traumatic experiences. This alone reveals the level of Rinpoche’s mind and vastness of Rinpoche’s loving heart.

    Rinpoche’s life story is a good reminder for us to be grateful for the blessings in our lives. It should also remind us to cherish the Dharma because it is truly hard to come by.

    Rinpoche’s humility is another great example for us to all follow. For such a highly evolved mind, Rinpoche is always patient, tolerant, understanding, kind and caring towards others. What more people like us who are still overwhelmed by ignorance, ego and anger. It is a good approach to say “if Rinpoche can accept and tolerate this, so must I”.

    Thank you again Valentina for your hard work and commitment to get this post out to so many people. May more get to know Rinpoche, his inspiring story and this empowering journey.

  90. Martin on May 14, 2016 at 4:15 am

    Anyone who has spent some length of time with Tsem Rinpoche and seen Rinpoche’s humble surroundings will tell you that Rinpoche personally has no interest in being famous and has no personal desire to have a biography written about him. In fact, it was one of Rinpoche’s gurus who has said that Tsem Rinpoche’s story must be told because it will benefit many people.

    The Tsem Tulku Rinpoche story is, at the very least, a narrative of how the strength and hope one finds in trusting the Dharma can overpower the harshest adversities and vicissitudes of life. That itself would be an inspiring read but Tsem Rinpoche’s story is more, it is a strong testament of the will and purpose of a Bodhisattva who takes his personal tragedy as food that nourishes us on our long trek out of samsara.

    Every chapter of my Guru’s life humbles me and at the same time empowers me and stirs awareness of my own potential as it does many of my friends and family in Dharma. I have no question in my mind that in Rinpoche’s previous holy lives, Rinpoche prayed to be born in the harshest of conditions and then grew up embracing these harshness and consented to the pain, as teachings for us.

    Thank you Valentina for doing this remarkable and meritorious job of producing our Guru’s biography.

  91. Pastor David Lai on May 13, 2016 at 2:39 am

    I have heard most if not all of the stories in this biography. I believed that Rinpoche’s biography should be read with the appreciation that Rinpoche comes from a background of a tulku who was raised in the west where these is little to no appreciation for lamas and the Dharma. Yes, he lived in the Kalmyk community but his foster parents were not particularly devout and on top of that, they discouraged the young rinpoche’s spiritual inclination.

    If any of us were in Rinpoche’s shoes, we probably would not have made it to the monastery considering the many hurdles and difficulties he had to go through in order to arrive there. This is just one of several important proofs of Rinpoche’s incarnation status. The second proof of Rinpoche’s incarnation status lies in the fact that Rinpoche experience tremendous emotion and physical trauma from a very young age. Not only that Rinpoche overcame those but emerge from it with a genuine concern and wish to benefit others. Only exceptional incarnations would be able to transcend personal pain and transform that into an intention to benefit others.

    The third proof of Rinpoche’s incarnation status is the fact the fact that the young rinpoche living right in the heard of the deepest end of samsara, Los Angeles was not tempted away from his spiritual aims. That is really quite a feat considering how people the world over gravitate to such places to ravel in fame, movies, Hollywood, sex, beautiful people and making it rich. It would take a person who had a higher wisdom to see through the false projections of these temptations.

    I think these are some of the more important aspects of Rinpoche’s life that be gleaned through Rinpoche’s incredible epic journey from American to India to Malaysia.

  92. kb thapa on May 13, 2016 at 1:15 am

    Thank you Valentina for Rinpoche’s biography. very important to let people know where Rinpoche comes from and how much hardship Rinpoche has gone through. Reading at Rinpoche’s bio its sad the amount of disappointment Rinpoche gone through from own family and the from the students. Me personally knowing Rinpoche for ten years, he did not deserved hate and disappointments any more. Rinpoche is one the most kindness person and forgive everyone easily i ever met….

  93. JP on May 12, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    Thank you Valentina for the extensive biography of our guru, Tsem Rinpoche. When more people know about what Rinpoche went through to get to where he is right now, they will realize that nothing was served on a silver platter for Rinpoche.

    Rinpoche has been an underdog throughout his life. No one would imagine Rinpoche to be where he is today. Just like other inspirational icons throughout history, Rinpoche never gave up on his objective and always strived to achieve his goals no matter how dire situations may be. In my mind, what make Rinpoche extra special is that he always had others in mind before his own needs. In return for his dharma teachings, he ultimately would like us to practice the teachings and transform for the better.

    I have been serving Rinpoche for the past 8 years and I have seen with my own eyes how he would always stinge on himself but not on others. Rinpoche would always think of ways to help others even though some of them treat him poorly and defame him just because he guides them to change for the better. I have personally heard how his students who have left talk very negatively about Rinpoche in order to justify their leaving and covering up their laziness to change. And yet, Rinpoche still looks out for them in hopes that they will one day realize their mistake and practice the Buddhadharma again.

    For Rinpoche to have gone through so much hardship throughout his life and yet not harbour on any anger and resentment is a testament to the benefits of practicing the Buddhadharma. As Rinpoche says, just because others were not kind to us, doesn’t mean that we should lose ourselves and be unkind to others. This is so true!

    Thank you Rinpoche for being a living example that enlightenment is possible in this day and age.

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Blog Chat

BLOG CHAT

Dear blog friends,

I’ve created this section for all of you to share your opinions, thoughts and feelings about whatever interests you.

Everyone has a different perspective, so this section is for you.

Tsem Rinpoche


SCHEDULED CHAT SESSIONS / 中文聊天室时间表

THURSDAY
10 - 11PM (GMT +8)
5 - 6AM (PST)
星期五
9 - 10PM (GMT +8)
4 - 5AM (PST)
(除了每个月的第一个星期五)
SATURDAY
11AM - 12PM (GMT +8)
FRIDAY 7 - 8PM (PST)
SUNDAY
9:30 - 10PM (GMT +8)
4:30 - 5AM (PST)

UPCOMING TOPICS FOR FEBRUARY / 二月份讨论主题

Please come and join in the chat for a fun time and support. See you all there.


Blog Chat Etiquette

These are some simple guidelines to make the blog chat room a positive, enjoyable and enlightening experience for everyone. Please note that as this is a chat room, we chat! Do not flood the chat room, or post without interacting with others.

EXPAND
Be friendly

Remember that these are real people you are chatting with. They may have different opinions to you and come from different cultures. Treat them as you would face to face, and respect their opinions, and they will treat you the same.

Be Patient

Give the room a chance to answer you. Patience is a virtue. And if after awhile, people don't respond, perhaps they don't know the answer or they did not see your question. Do ask again or address someone directly. Do not be offended if people do not or are unable to respond to you.

Be Relevant

This is the blog of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche. Please respect this space. We request that all participants here are respectful of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche and his organisation, Kechara.

Be polite

Avoid the use of language or attitudes which may be offensive to others. If someone is disrespectful to you, ignore them instead of arguing with them.

Please be advised that anyone who contravenes these guidelines may be banned from the chatroom. Banning is at the complete discretion of the administrator of this blog. Should anyone wish to make an appeal or complaint about the behaviour of someone in the chatroom, please copy paste the relevant chat in an email to us at care@kechara.com and state the date and time of the respective conversation.

Please let this be a conducive space for discussions, both light and profound.

KECHARA FOREST RETREAT PROGRESS UPDATES

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

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

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

Noticeboard

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  • Stella Cheang
    Wednesday, Feb 22. 2017 05:02 PM
    By being a good example ourselves, we can be a more effective campaigner for the helpless animals. I believe that when we want to stand for something, the most powerful words that speak for us is our action. It is inconsistent when one campaigns for the rescued or stray dogs and ask for donations to feed them but consume chicken and seafood and pork and beef. There is no difference between these animals, they all have feelings and fear for pain. So, here’s a picture of the dogs all trapped in a cramped cage where chicken, sea animals, pigs, and cows are in same or worse conditions waiting to be slaughtered. If you feel for these poor dogs, please spare a thought for the other meat on your plate too. Thank you, Rinpoche for this sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/blog-it-tweet-it-facebook-it-again-and-again-pleeeeeeease.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Wednesday, Feb 22. 2017 04:38 PM
    Thank you, Rinpoche for the teaching on What is a Blessing. Many of us got all excited when we get a “blessing” from a high lama, but often time neglected the true meaning of the blessing. What Rinpoche taught us is important because we need to stop putting our fate, destiny, life in the hands of others. The mindset of thinking that once we have gotten the blessings from a holy being and then we will have good fortune and will be set for life, s not the correct mindset. The holy lama has the power by his touch to bless us, to protect us and to open up our previous imprint. The blessing is meant to trigger us to become better and change the course of our life for the better. A blessing brings positive energy into our life, and it is really up to us to persistently pursue that good cause and change our life for the better.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/what-is-a-blessing.html
  • Joy Kam
    Wednesday, Feb 22. 2017 04:00 PM
    ***The Advantages of Propitiating Dorje Shugden***

    Dorje Shugden is also known as the Protector of our time because, apart from guiding Buddhist practitioners on their path to Enlightenment, he also attends to our daily challenges and obstacles. Dorje Shugden does this not because he is a fulfiller of samsaric wishes but because in his omniscience, Dorje Shugden recognises that the human mind becomes distracted from Dharma practice by mundane problems. Hence alleviating our worries and fulfilling our wishes is just a means by which Dorje Shugden helps practitioners achieve the higher objective…>>> http://www.dorjeshugden.org/blog/the-advantages-of-propitiating-dorje-shugden-part-1
  • Joy Kam
    Wednesday, Feb 22. 2017 03:59 PM
    FEAR NO MORE… here is a method which not only dispels the negative things sent to you and not only does it protects you but it also helps the spirit stop collecting negative karma and binds/subdues it with compassion…

    COMMENTARY ON TRAKZE PRACTICE
    ***A Practice to Dispel Black Magic and Spirits***

    This commentary on Trakze practice was compiled from traditional sources by His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche.
    Date: 30th January 2015
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/trakze-to-dispel-black-magic-spirits.html

    [NOTE: This is a commentary on Trakze’s practice and can be done daily by anyone who wants to receive protection even if you are not afflicted by black magic and spirits. This practice does not require any initiations]
  • Yeo Kwai Gin
    Wednesday, Feb 22. 2017 01:42 AM
    Yeo Kwai Gin on Feb 22, 2017 at 1:38 am
    感恩仁波切和邝仁爱讲法师的分享 !

    看完这篇文章后, 我的心情很沉重和心痛, 多杰雄登修持者在这20年以来开始就被歧视, 不友善对待, 伤害,破坏家园。在文章里, 讲法师被朋友在网上绝交(只因为讲法师是雄登修持者),被丑化, 被脏言怒骂等等, 只因是” 多杰雄登修持者 ” 。那是多么的无辜和无奈和心痛 !

    在邝仁爱讲法师提到的, 赞助大德一直以来供养了庞大的资源如金钱, 修理佛堂, 建医疗中心,供养佛像等等, 让寺院里的僧人拥有舒适的地方和足够的资源修行, 但是为何只有了多杰雄登的争论课题, 西藏中央政府要严厉的把 “修持雄登者” 和” 无修持雄登者”严重的隔离呢?

    一直以来, 所有修持多杰雄登法门的高僧大德如帕绷卡仁波切, 赤江仁波切, 宋仁波切, 刚坚仁波切, 詹杜固仁波切等等都是无私的不断弘扬佛法, 把宗喀巴大师的传承与佛法传播到世界每一个角落, 利益众生 !而且, 很多修持雄登的高僧还一直转世回来继续祂们的宏愿呢 !

    修持多杰雄登法门保护我们和帮助减轻或去除我们的障碍,让我们在灵修的路上更加快速的达到成就 !

    希望尊贵的达赖尊者,西藏中央政府和有关当局可以尽早把”多杰雄登争论课题”解决, 因为还没出现这课题之前, 大家都是一样的和谐共处,一起辩论佛法,一起参加法会, 一起开心的生活。

    愿尊贵的达赖尊者与尊贵的上师詹仁波切健康长寿,吉祥如意, 愿雄登课题可以尽早解决, 世界和平 !

    OM BENZA WIKI BITANA SOHA

    感恩合十
    YEO KWAI GIN

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/how-tibetan-leadership-treats-a-sponsor-jindak.html?nomobile
  • Stella Cheang
    Tuesday, Feb 21. 2017 04:37 PM
    Each time when I read of the miracle helps from Rinpoche and Dorje Shugden on people who are in dire straits, the faith for the Guru and Dorje Shugden grow stronger. There are many problems in life where we, human, cannot tackle on our own; especially health problems, emergencies, and disturbance from black magic or spirit. The methods and practice shared by Rinpoche, for example, the Dorje Shugden practice, are proven methods passed from hundreds of years ago and most importantly, it works! Would we rather take a 50-50 chance or seek help from an efficient and proven method? Thank you, Pastor Seng Piow for this sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/mother-and-son-saved-by-tsem-rinpoche-and-dorje-shugden.html
  • Alice Tay
    Tuesday, Feb 21. 2017 03:54 PM
  • Alice Tay
    Tuesday, Feb 21. 2017 03:53 PM
    This is such great news! Congratulation to Ram on the safe arrival of his newborn baby as well as his wife being saved and survived. It’s great to see them live happily now.
    This proved to us that no matter our race, gender, age and etc, Dorje Shugden will help us if we are sincere and have faith with guru and Dorje Shugden. The instructions from guru included do the pujas, candles light offering and recite Dorje Shugden mantra were important to follow in order to help his wife and baby to collect merits and clear obstacles.

    Thank you Rinpoche for this wonderful sharing. May Ram and his family continue to be blessed by Dorje Shugden and have the opportunity to learn and practice dharma.
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Feb 21. 2017 01:54 PM
    Cannot imagine that the Tibetan leadership does not appreciate and show gratitude to those sponsor (jindak).Feeling sad disappointed as its Kecharas that have sponsored them 3000 sets of robes and statues to all of the monks of Gaden Monastery to name a few.Yet the jindaks were treated so badly denied services to hotel and are not allowed to revisit the monasteries that the jindaks sponsored.The Jindaks were also verbally abused in social media.All these happened just because of the practicing of Dorje Shugden as their choice.
    Thank you Rinpoche,Pastor Elena Khong Jean Ai for sharing.
    Hope more people will be aware of this discrimination against Dorje Shugden practitioners world wide.http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/how-tibetan-leadership-treats-a-sponsor-jindak.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Feb 21. 2017 12:10 PM
    Amazing with Rinpoche ‘s blessing and compassion Ram’s wife and baby was well and healthy. Ram’s wife was operated and her baby was born premature at 7 months. Ram did what was instructed by Rinpoche to do pujas and candles offering for both wife and baby for a few days. Rinpoche also instructed Ram to recite Dorje Shugden’s powerful mantra to pray for protection for them. Both of them are one of those many people that Rinpoche and Dorje Shugden have saved over the years.
    Have trust and faith in our precious Guru and Dorje Shugden we will be protected.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharng
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/mother-and-son-saved-by-tsem-rinpoche-and-dorje-shugden.html
  • Lin Mun
    Monday, Feb 20. 2017 09:17 PM
    Appreciate Robert for his generousity and kindness in giving the USD 5K to Rinpoche so he can settled all his loan and buy ticket to India to pursue his promise to be a monk. And he gave Rinpoche money without any condition but with sincere hope that Rinpoche can achieve his promise to be a monk.

    Rinpoche also showed to us that if we have good intention and determination in dharma we can achieve our goal. For example, Rinpoche do 100 prostration daily to Zong Rinpoche’s photo in order to create a cause for him to learn from Zong Rinpoche.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing the inspiring story so we do not give up and continue learning and practising dharma .

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/robert-stone.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Feb 20. 2017 03:35 PM
    Geshe Thupten Lama is one of the great scholars and masters who has upheld the lineage of Lord Buddha’s liberating teachings ., Geshe Thupten Lama would not abandon the practice of Dorje Shugden was brand an evil Chinese spy,and enemy, His life was threatened ,was forced to seek political asylum in America.He was one brave masters to write 3 letters asking Dalai Lama to lift the ban on Dorje Shugden.He has worked tirelessly for the Tibetan government in exile.Many practitioners has suffered due to the ban .It has caused disharmony within the Tibetan communities throughout the world.May H.H Dalai Lama please lift the ban on Dorje shugden to restore peace and harmony.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/the-supreme-path-to-the-trikaya.html
  • Pastor Shin Tan
    Monday, Feb 20. 2017 02:34 PM
    How to Rely upon Dorje Shugden

    Relying on a Dharma Protector or Dharmapala is an essential and beneficial practice within Vajrayana Buddhism. As a result of living in the Kaliyuga (degenerate) age, where negative karma is immense and distractions from the spiritual path are abundant, treading the path to Enlightenment can be an arduous and obstacle-ridden road.

    Read more here: http://www.dorjeshugden.org/blog/how-to-rely-upon-dorje-shugden
  • Pastor Shin Tan
    Monday, Feb 20. 2017 02:31 PM
    There’s a topic most people find a little awkward to talk about, and that’s sponsorship in the Dharma. People find it awkward because they think money is not a very spiritual thing to discuss. Yet it is an unavoidable subject because it’s a simple fact of life in samsara – monasteries and Dharma institutions would never be able to survive without the kindness of sponsors, and if they did not have the funds.

    Read this powerful piece by Pastor Elena Khong Jean Ai (Ani Lobsang Pema): http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/how-tibetan-leadership-treats-a-sponsor-jindak.html
  • Joy Kam
    Monday, Feb 20. 2017 02:00 PM
    The Meaning Behind Dorje Shugden’s Form
    Like the Buddha, Dorje Shugden’s body manifested from his great attainments. Hence, every part of his form has deep spiritual significance. Dorje Shugden’s entire body represents the complete path of the Lamrim or the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, and meditating upon it with correct understanding will generate great merits and spiritual attainments. This is a brief explanation of Dorje Shugden’s form: http://www.dorjeshugden.org/overview/the-meaning-behind-dorje-shugdens-form

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CREDITS

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

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

Tsem Rinpoche

What Am I Writing Now

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The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

Click on the images to view the bigger version. And scroll down and click on "View All Photos" to view more images.
February 9,2017-My Mumu boy and Oser girl are just relaxing together..super cute
2 weeks ago
February 9,2017-My Mumu boy and Oser girl are just relaxing together..super cute
Click on the picture to enlarge and see what Suzy from Hawaii commented on the Dorje Shugden issue after much research. She is very candid and honest. Refreshing. Original is posted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl-4lIwxph4
2 weeks ago
Click on the picture to enlarge and see what Suzy from Hawaii commented on the Dorje Shugden issue after much research. She is very candid and honest. Refreshing. Original is posted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl-4lIwxph4
This is a good one to read
4 weeks ago
This is a good one to read
Mumu is silly and cute and funny
4 weeks ago
Mumu is silly and cute and funny
Mumu\'s hair is messy and he looks funny
4 weeks ago
Mumu's hair is messy and he looks funny
I am in the process of creating beautiful Dorje Shugden and Kechara Forest Retreat watches at this time. So we can take precious protector and Kechara Forest Retreat wherever we go and be blessed everytime we see what time it is. 
I am perfecting the designs with a great team and will update when done but these are just some samples that arrived. 
Feast your eyes! 

Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
I am in the process of creating beautiful Dorje Shugden and Kechara Forest Retreat watches at this time. So we can take precious protector and Kechara Forest Retreat wherever we go and be blessed everytime we see what time it is. I am perfecting the designs with a great team and will update when done but these are just some samples that arrived. Feast your eyes! Tsem Rinpoche
                        Pick the practice, devotion and precepts of Vajra Yogini\'s path over everything and anything in samsara. Samsara has nothing of value and nothing lasting to offer. You are born in suffering, live in suffering, die in suffering and enter bardo and future lives expecting more sufferings. This is not a negative way of looking at things but the truth. If the truth is negative, so it is the truth. Devote oneself to the guru, dharma work, dharma practice and bringing dharma to others compassionately. Choose to practice Vajra Yogini now with the preliminaries. You can start right now: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/starting-on-vajra-yogini-now.html  Much care, Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
Pick the practice, devotion and precepts of Vajra Yogini's path over everything and anything in samsara. Samsara has nothing of value and nothing lasting to offer. You are born in suffering, live in suffering, die in suffering and enter bardo and future lives expecting more sufferings. This is not a negative way of looking at things but the truth. If the truth is negative, so it is the truth. Devote oneself to the guru, dharma work, dharma practice and bringing dharma to others compassionately. Choose to practice Vajra Yogini now with the preliminaries. You can start right now: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/starting-on-vajra-yogini-now.html Much care, Tsem Rinpoche
Message to Tibetans in English
2 months ago
Message to Tibetans in English
Message to the Tibetans
2 months ago
Message to the Tibetans
Left to right: Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, 101st Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal. Great lamas of Gaden Shartse Monastery
2 months ago
Left to right: Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, 101st Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal. Great lamas of Gaden Shartse Monastery
A beautiful Indian rendition of Gyenze Dorje Shugden manifesting in wealth form
2 months ago
A beautiful Indian rendition of Gyenze Dorje Shugden manifesting in wealth form
This is my thoughts and determination to share with you. Please open and read. Thank you for your time. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
This is my thoughts and determination to share with you. Please open and read. Thank you for your time. Tsem Rinpoche
Nepalese King Birendra receives His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche in Nepal
2 months ago
Nepalese King Birendra receives His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche in Nepal
Guess what Zava Damdin Rinpoche did in Mongolia recently with 7,800 people??? Very interesting and it is a must read:  http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116206
2 months ago
Guess what Zava Damdin Rinpoche did in Mongolia recently with 7,800 people??? Very interesting and it is a must read:  http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116206
This huge Buddha in Korea is magnificent
3 months ago
This huge Buddha in Korea is magnificent
The very first oracle of Dorje Shugden in trance statue. I have commissioned this.
3 months ago
The very first oracle of Dorje Shugden in trance statue. I have commissioned this.
Such a old and ancient thangka painting of Dorje Shugden. He has been around in Tibet practiced for hundreds of years.
3 months ago
Such a old and ancient thangka painting of Dorje Shugden. He has been around in Tibet practiced for hundreds of years.
One of the "Four Exalted Brothers" Avalokiteshvara statues, Phagpa Wati of Kyirong, which is now with H.H. the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala.
3 months ago
One of the "Four Exalted Brothers" Avalokiteshvara statues, Phagpa Wati of Kyirong, which is now with H.H. the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala.
Kyabje Zemey, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Kyabje Pabongka Choktrul Rinpoche
3 months ago
Kyabje Zemey, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Kyabje Pabongka Choktrul Rinpoche
My Oser girl and Mumu boy are so adorable
3 months ago
My Oser girl and Mumu boy are so adorable
Wow this meditator in his cave in front of a painting of Yamantaka draped with a white khata of respect. He sits among bones to remind him of impermanence and our future. The bones inspire him strongly to let go of all attachments in this life and focus on dharma, meditation and liberation and he is doing so. Very beautiful and inspirational. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
Wow this meditator in his cave in front of a painting of Yamantaka draped with a white khata of respect. He sits among bones to remind him of impermanence and our future. The bones inspire him strongly to let go of all attachments in this life and focus on dharma, meditation and liberation and he is doing so. Very beautiful and inspirational. Tsem Rinpoche
Tenzing Norgay found this in Nepal. Guess what it is?
4 months ago
Tenzing Norgay found this in Nepal. Guess what it is?
Sir Edmund Hillary
4 months ago
Sir Edmund Hillary
Halloween is my favorite holiday. Wild natural plants and flowers are my favorite offering. Buddha\'s teachings on meditation and Yidam practice bring the ultimate results and happiness. ~Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
Halloween is my favorite holiday. Wild natural plants and flowers are my favorite offering. Buddha's teachings on meditation and Yidam practice bring the ultimate results and happiness. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Previous lives do resemble current lives especially if they are a recognized incarnation. If notice how similar the previous and current Trijang Rinpoche looks. The eyes, bone structure, expression, long neck, thin and overall look. Beautiful. I\'ve seen this phenomena over and over in many Rinpoche incarnations. Especially when you compare them with pictures of previous and current lives at around the same ages. Something powerfully karmic about this. Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
Previous lives do resemble current lives especially if they are a recognized incarnation. If notice how similar the previous and current Trijang Rinpoche looks. The eyes, bone structure, expression, long neck, thin and overall look. Beautiful. I've seen this phenomena over and over in many Rinpoche incarnations. Especially when you compare them with pictures of previous and current lives at around the same ages. Something powerfully karmic about this. Tsem Rinpoche
It\'s nice to have monks visitors and resident monks in Kechara
5 months ago
It's nice to have monks visitors and resident monks in Kechara
                         Taken in Lake Champlain in Canada. A huge water monster...neat...
5 months ago
Taken in Lake Champlain in Canada. A huge water monster...neat...
Beautiful! His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang has always been good friends with His Holiness Karmapa. No wonder H.H. Karmapa never spoke against Dorje Shugden. Two reasons perhaps: One is he knows the qualities of Trijang Rinpoche who is a attained being. And Karmapa himself has clairvoyance to perceive the true nature of Dorje Shugden directly. I love to see great beings like this manifesting closeness. When I see, I just want to prostrate to them and thank them for sharing such good examples to someone like me. Praise to the ego-less mind! Tsem Rinpoche
5 months ago
Beautiful! His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang has always been good friends with His Holiness Karmapa. No wonder H.H. Karmapa never spoke against Dorje Shugden. Two reasons perhaps: One is he knows the qualities of Trijang Rinpoche who is a attained being. And Karmapa himself has clairvoyance to perceive the true nature of Dorje Shugden directly. I love to see great beings like this manifesting closeness. When I see, I just want to prostrate to them and thank them for sharing such good examples to someone like me. Praise to the ego-less mind! Tsem Rinpoche
Serkong Dorje Chang on the left and his son Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche on the right.
5 months ago
Serkong Dorje Chang on the left and his son Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche on the right.
High lamas in France September 2016
5 months ago
High lamas in France September 2016
༧གོང་ས་ཆེན་པོ་སྐུ་འཕྲེང་བཅུ་བཞི་པ་མཆོག་དང་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན། - Interesting relationship between 14th Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden:   http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109757
5 months ago
༧གོང་ས་ཆེན་པོ་སྐུ་འཕྲེང་བཅུ་བཞི་པ་མཆོག་དང་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན། - Interesting relationship between 14th Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109757
Dalai Lama Says We Can Practise Dorje Shugden Finally! Read more on this development--- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109777
5 months ago
Dalai Lama Says We Can Practise Dorje Shugden Finally! Read more on this development--- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109777
More time spent in dharma work is more karma collected to be happy and more time spent in non-dharma works is more karma collected to be unhappy.~Tsem Rinpoche
5 months ago
More time spent in dharma work is more karma collected to be happy and more time spent in non-dharma works is more karma collected to be unhappy.~Tsem Rinpoche
All Dorje Shugden prophesizes will come to pass,
 Those who generate refuge and merits will trust, 
 By trusting one will see the good results of his pronouncements,
 By seeing the good results, one\'s path becomes more clear, 
 The path of practice, purification and siddhic results, 
 This would eliminate the samsara within our minds.
 ~Tsem Rinpoche
5 months ago
All Dorje Shugden prophesizes will come to pass, Those who generate refuge and merits will trust, By trusting one will see the good results of his pronouncements, By seeing the good results, one's path becomes more clear, The path of practice, purification and siddhic results, This would eliminate the samsara within our minds. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Large Dorje Shugden statue built by the 5th Dalai Lama and housed in Trode Khangsar. Sock Wand and Mdm Chuah took this picture in Lhasa, Tibet 2016
5 months ago
Large Dorje Shugden statue built by the 5th Dalai Lama and housed in Trode Khangsar. Sock Wand and Mdm Chuah took this picture in Lhasa, Tibet 2016
Our own Kecharian Mdm. Chua with the oracle of Dorje Shugden Gen Tenzin Tsultrim in Lhasa, Tibet 2016
5 months ago
Our own Kecharian Mdm. Chua with the oracle of Dorje Shugden Gen Tenzin Tsultrim in Lhasa, Tibet 2016
Our very own Kecharian Mdm Chua standing in front of holy Trode Khangsar-the Chapel to Dorje Shugden built 400 years ago by the Great 5th Dalai Lama-Tibet 2016
5 months ago
Our very own Kecharian Mdm Chua standing in front of holy Trode Khangsar-the Chapel to Dorje Shugden built 400 years ago by the Great 5th Dalai Lama-Tibet 2016
Our very own Kecharian Mdm Chua standing in front of holy Gaden Monastery, Tibet 2016
5 months ago
Our very own Kecharian Mdm Chua standing in front of holy Gaden Monastery, Tibet 2016
                         This is the oracle of Dorje Shugden in Lhasa, Tibet. His name is Gen Tenzin Tsultrim of Sera Monastery in Tibet.
5 months ago
This is the oracle of Dorje Shugden in Lhasa, Tibet. His name is Gen Tenzin Tsultrim of Sera Monastery in Tibet.
Ms. Sock Wan, Oracle of Dorje Shugden in Tibet Gen Tenzin Tsultrim, Mdm Chuah and Mr. Tashi in Tibet 2016
5 months ago
Ms. Sock Wan, Oracle of Dorje Shugden in Tibet Gen Tenzin Tsultrim, Mdm Chuah and Mr. Tashi in Tibet 2016
Mahasiddha Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche, H.H. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Ven. Rabten Choktrul Rinpoche 2016
5 months ago
Mahasiddha Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche, H.H. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Ven. Rabten Choktrul Rinpoche 2016
His Eminence Mahasiddha Gangchen Rinpoche and the official oracle of Dorje Shugden Panglung Kuten Choji lah in Italy together September 2016
5 months ago
His Eminence Mahasiddha Gangchen Rinpoche and the official oracle of Dorje Shugden Panglung Kuten Choji lah in Italy together September 2016
My thoughts on Malaysia. Thank you. Tsem Rinpoche
5 months ago
My thoughts on Malaysia. Thank you. Tsem Rinpoche
Beautiful thangka of Vajra Yogini. Look at the details where she appears in visions and also takes people to Kechara.
5 months ago
Beautiful thangka of Vajra Yogini. Look at the details where she appears in visions and also takes people to Kechara.
Left to right:

His Holiness the Gaden Throne holder Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche (very young) and His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche in Gaden Shartse Prayer Hall during prayers.
5 months ago
Left to right: His Holiness the Gaden Throne holder Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche (very young) and His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche in Gaden Shartse Prayer Hall during prayers.
 It\'s nice when families support the spiritual journeys of their children. This is one beautiful family of Pastor Niral of Kechara
5 months ago
It's nice when families support the spiritual journeys of their children. This is one beautiful family of Pastor Niral of Kechara
Jog Falls a power place of Vajra Yogini and Heruka: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=108652
5 months ago
Jog Falls a power place of Vajra Yogini and Heruka: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=108652
Don\'t wait for the perfect group. Don\'t wait for the perfect person. Don\'t wait for the perfect situation. Don\'t expect yourself to be perfect. Don\'t even look for perfection at least in our realm as it does not exist or time will run out. Just get going and keep doing good. It\'s between you and yourself. Tsem Rinpoche
5 months ago
Don't wait for the perfect group. Don't wait for the perfect person. Don't wait for the perfect situation. Don't expect yourself to be perfect. Don't even look for perfection at least in our realm as it does not exist or time will run out. Just get going and keep doing good. It's between you and yourself. Tsem Rinpoche
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Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • [11/02/2017] Mumu darling is a very good boy.
    2 weeks ago
    [11/02/2017] Mumu darling is a very good boy.
  • [11/02/2017] Mumu wants to go bye bye!
    2 weeks ago
    [11/02/2017] Mumu wants to go bye bye!
  • [11/02/2017] I love you mumu boy
    2 weeks ago
    [11/02/2017] I love you mumu boy
  • [11/02/2017] Mumu and Oser eating together.
    2 weeks ago
    [11/02/2017] Mumu and Oser eating together.
  • Great spiritual rock carving in Tibet
    1 month ago
    Great spiritual rock carving in Tibet
  • You will Never be Ready
    2 months ago
    You will Never be Ready
    Dear friends, watch this video and ready, if we keep waiting till we are ready, that day will never come. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Stop asking for Easy
    2 months ago
    Stop asking for Easy
    This video is powerful because it's the truth. It applies to anything. It applies to our dharma practice. Watch the video and share it. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Must Watch this Video!
    3 months ago
    Must Watch this Video!
  • Sacred Tibetan Incense - Nyimo County, Lhasa, Tibet
    4 months ago
    Sacred Tibetan Incense - Nyimo County, Lhasa, Tibet
  • Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche on Samaya
    4 months ago
    Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche on Samaya
    ཁྱེད་ཀྱི་བཀའ་སློབ་དོན་སྙིང་དེ།།གང་གི་རྣ་བར་བདུད་རྩི་མོད།།འོན་ཀྱང་འགའ་ཡི་རྣ་ལམ་དུ།། བྲག་ཆ་བཞིན་དུ་འགྱུར་སྲིད་མོད།། ཚང་མས་ཚར་རེ་གཟིགས་རོགས།། Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche telling people that it is important to have guru samaya. It use to be that way in the great monasteries. We should not create problems and schisms. If we want to practice a protector, then do so, if not it's okay, but don't make trouble. One should just practice the Buddha Dharma well. To do good practice. If you have faith in Dorje Shugden and trust all the way, he will definitely help you. But most important is to practice the dharma. This is his advice in short here. It's good to let more Tibetans hear this holy speech and appeal by this very senior Rinpoche. TR
  • His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Propitiating Protectors & Oracles
    4 months ago
    His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Propitiating Protectors & Oracles
    This was on FB and I came across it. His Holiness said in Tibetan institutions there is a lot of propitiating protector/oracles and this is not what Buddhism is about. So they are putting Nechung/Tema oracles within the video to say what is he talking about when he does it himself. This is confusing is the message to his people. TR
  • -
    4 months ago
    Look how this crab eats a cherry.. Incredible and cute... Never seen this before. They have feelings too. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This is Sarah. Do you have 30 seconds for her? Her life in just 30 seconds!
    5 months ago
    This is Sarah. Do you have 30 seconds for her? Her life in just 30 seconds!
  • See what is your fortune today!
    5 months ago
    See what is your fortune today!
  • Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche recites offering stanza to Dorje Shugden Septemeber 2016
    5 months ago
    Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche recites offering stanza to Dorje Shugden Septemeber 2016

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CHAT PICTURES

Have fun and be happy is what everyone wants, no one is exception. Stella, KSDS
7 hours ago
Have fun and be happy is what everyone wants, no one is exception. Stella, KSDS
Orang Asli community was among the many who came to join us at the Halloween Charity Event, 2016. Stella, KSDS
7 hours ago
Orang Asli community was among the many who came to join us at the Halloween Charity Event, 2016. Stella, KSDS
Looks who're in the house! Celebrity hosts! Throwback Halloween Charity Event 2016. Stella, KSDS
7 hours ago
Looks who're in the house! Celebrity hosts! Throwback Halloween Charity Event 2016. Stella, KSDS
The Halloween Charity Event 2016 brought together kind volunteers from Bentong town who are always looking for ways to help out! Stella, KSDS
7 hours ago
The Halloween Charity Event 2016 brought together kind volunteers from Bentong town who are always looking for ways to help out! Stella, KSDS
Halloween, Costume and Fun Time are synonymous for the children. Throwback: Halloween Charity Event at KFR, Oct 2016. Stella, KSDS
7 hours ago
Halloween, Costume and Fun Time are synonymous for the children. Throwback: Halloween Charity Event at KFR, Oct 2016. Stella, KSDS
“If we do not create inner peace, outer peace is not possible.” – H.E the 25th Tsem Rinpoche Participants of Inner Peace Retreat in Kechara Forest Retreat! February 2017
10 hours ago
“If we do not create inner peace, outer peace is not possible.” – H.E the 25th Tsem Rinpoche Participants of Inner Peace Retreat in Kechara Forest Retreat! February 2017
Flowers in Kechara Forest Retreat! Thank you Sharon Ong for this beautiful picture!
11 hours ago
Flowers in Kechara Forest Retreat! Thank you Sharon Ong for this beautiful picture!
Join the Dharma Talk with Wah Ying in Kechara Forest Retreat on Saturday 25th February 2017!
11 hours ago
Join the Dharma Talk with Wah Ying in Kechara Forest Retreat on Saturday 25th February 2017!
Pastor Chia solemnized a couple's marriage registration at Kechara House. Lucy Yap
2 days ago
Pastor Chia solemnized a couple's marriage registration at Kechara House. Lucy Yap
On Sunday morning, we had an animal liberation event , in which we will save the lives of birds. Pastor Han Nee led a beautiful prayer before the birds were released. bit.ly/2ahl6Yv Lucy Yap
3 days ago
On Sunday morning, we had an animal liberation event , in which we will save the lives of birds. Pastor Han Nee led a beautiful prayer before the birds were released. bit.ly/2ahl6Yv Lucy Yap
Kenny Loh from Ipoh has offered lights and incense on behalf of KISG before the start of our short Mother Tara retreat. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
3 days ago
Kenny Loh from Ipoh has offered lights and incense on behalf of KISG before the start of our short Mother Tara retreat. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Through the blessings from Rinpoche, KISG has completed our short Mother Tara retreat today in Ipoh. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
3 days ago
Through the blessings from Rinpoche, KISG has completed our short Mother Tara retreat today in Ipoh. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Join Self Defense Classes in Kechara Forest Retreat on Saturdays
4 days ago
Join Self Defense Classes in Kechara Forest Retreat on Saturdays
Lantern Festival Bazaar was one of the event organised by KSDS. Alice Tay, KSDS
4 days ago
Lantern Festival Bazaar was one of the event organised by KSDS. Alice Tay, KSDS
Light offering to Lama Tsongkhapa by the WOAH Campers. Alice Tay, KSDS
4 days ago
Light offering to Lama Tsongkhapa by the WOAH Campers. Alice Tay, KSDS
Teachers and children are enjoyed for being stayed together for 2D1N of WOAH Camp 2016. Alice Tay, KSDS.
4 days ago
Teachers and children are enjoyed for being stayed together for 2D1N of WOAH Camp 2016. Alice Tay, KSDS.
KSDS students were taken refuge before the lesson start. Alice Tay, KSDS
4 days ago
KSDS students were taken refuge before the lesson start. Alice Tay, KSDS
Fun time in self-defense section during Woah Camp 2016. Alice Tay, KSDS
4 days ago
Fun time in self-defense section during Woah Camp 2016. Alice Tay, KSDS
Dharma sharing with Pastor David Lai about the Secret of Relationships i Wisdom Hall
4 days ago
Dharma sharing with Pastor David Lai about the Secret of Relationships i Wisdom Hall
Group picture of KSDS team upon completion of Graduation 2016. Lin Mun KSDS
5 days ago
Group picture of KSDS team upon completion of Graduation 2016. Lin Mun KSDS
Students from SRJK (C) Bukit Tinggi making khata offering to Rinpoche in KFR. Lin Mun KSDS
5 days ago
Students from SRJK (C) Bukit Tinggi making khata offering to Rinpoche in KFR. Lin Mun KSDS
Winners of the Riddles contest part 1 during the recent Grand Dorje Shugden Puja. Lin Mun KSDS
5 days ago
Winners of the Riddles contest part 1 during the recent Grand Dorje Shugden Puja. Lin Mun KSDS
Teacher Kien and teacher Jenni leading the Mitsegma recitation before the start of Sunday Dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
5 days ago
Teacher Kien and teacher Jenni leading the Mitsegma recitation before the start of Sunday Dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
Teacher Grace briefing the students on the activity during WOAH camp 2016. Lin Mun KSDS
5 days ago
Teacher Grace briefing the students on the activity during WOAH camp 2016. Lin Mun KSDS
Dharma Talk tomorrow Saturday in Kechara Forest Retreat with Pastor David Lai - join us!
5 days ago
Dharma Talk tomorrow Saturday in Kechara Forest Retreat with Pastor David Lai - join us!
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Dorje Shugden
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