It Wasn’t Easy in New Jersey, but My Cousins/Aunts Helped…

Jun 21, 2010 | Views: 6,003
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This was taken at the airport and the last time I saw them. I’m holding adorable Danielle, behind me is Darlene, near the plant is Diana and with glasses is Debbie the eldest of them. I do miss them and they are doing well I hear.

My step-mom Dana Bugayeff had two sisters and two brothers. Her parents moved from the old country Kalmykia to Yugoslavia during WW I.  So my step-mom and siblings were born in Yugoslavia and during WWII immigrated to the US. In fact over 1,500 Kalmyk people had immigrated from Yugoslavia, Germany and various parts of Europe  to the USA. They brought their unique culture, language, dance, religion (Tibetan Buddhism), and strong cultural pride with them. They worked hard and never accepted welfare and build their lives over from nothing. They are a proud people. I honored to be a part of them.

My step dad had his side of the family living nearby also…but I will post about them on another post.. I had a beloved healer Uncle Baja and his daughters Gaga Toktun and Susie that I was very close with and I LOVE SO MUCH TILL NOW. Gaga passed away but Susie is fine with her husband/kids. I love you Susie. I love you Gaga! They had a cool sister Liz, who moved to New York when I was very young, so I didn’t have much of a chance to get close to her…Liz is still in New York…We are in contact.

My step parents’ ancestors originally settled in Kalmykia during the Genghis Khan conquest of Europe. They are the Mongolians who stayed in the Western part of Russia which became Kalmykia and never returned to Mongolia. There were many Mongolians who stayed in the various conquered lands to administer during the Genghis Khan-Altan Khan-Kublai Khan conquest of Europe, North Africa, Russia and Asia. These Mongolians became the seventy different types of Mongolians ethnics living all over the conquered lands outside of Mongolia. Example the Mongols living in Xinjiang became the Turkestan Mongols. Then you have the Uzbekistan Mongols, Uighers, Kalmyks, etc etc.  My birth mom is a Mongol from Xinjiang. My step mom Dana is from Kalmykia or called a Kalmuk Mongol.

Well, I was adopted to the US from Taiwan. I was given to Dana and Boris Bugayeff.

This black and white is a picture of my step parents Boris and Dana Bugayeff when they first immigrated to the states in the 50’s. Boris Bugayeff was a Kalmuk Mongol born and raised in Russia. Dana a Kalmuk Mongol born and grew up in Yugoslavia and was in a Nazi concentration camp in Germany before immigrating to USA. Dana my step mom said that their treatment in the concentration camps was not as bad as other people because Germany was in ally with Japan so Asians were ‘ok’ with Germans. This picture to me always looks like Lucy and Ricky Ricardo of the “I love Lucy’ shows.

The summers were two and a half months of vacation from school. I didn’t like school exept Art and science class and library time. I loved the summers. In the summers my step parents had to work so during the day I had alot of chores and if I finished them, I could hang out with my neighborhood friends till they got back home from work and maybe afterwards.. We had Slavicia Miskovich, Pat Miskovich, Mira Polovino, Dawn Giordano, Greta and Shatzy Meirhauffer, Ray Polovino and later other kids moved into the neighbourhood. Later nearby I had Marc Reed and Nina Noronov that I hung around too but they were a couple of streets away… We had Penny and Jenny Fulton that lived down the street that I’d seen often, and I liked them, but we didn’t play together much.  We all lived on West 3rd Street in Howell, New Jersey. We had alot of fun together. It kind of reminds me of the lazy fun the kids had on Stephen King’s movie ‘It’. I like that movie, cause it reminds me of our childhoold summer days with my friends in New Jersey…boy those days are sooooo long gone…I do miss those kids. I am only in contact with Nina these days…I wonder what happen to the rest of them, and I would love to know…I hope they are ok…I miss you guys alot…

My step parents gave me ALOT of chores. As my mother’s mental disease worsened, so did my chores/abuse. . .We had a two story colonial house with four bedrooms, two toilets, living room, dining room, kitchen, family room, study room and a huge basement. To top it off we lived on half an acre of land with alot of flowers, lawn and vegetable gardens. When I woke up in the summers I had to:

  1. Dust all the wood furniture in the house with Pledge spray and wipe.
  2. Had to vacuum the downstairs and upstairs/stairs. Alot of carpets throughout.
  3. Wash the kitchen floor daily with detergent as it was white and got dirty very easily. Clean the cabinets, the tops, clear out the fridge as everything had to be packed away neatly. The kitchen sink was a focal point..it has to be very spic and span clean. Never break the dishes/cups and Buddha forbid if I chipped or damaged her good china and crystals…I despised silver polishing her two sets of complete silver ware…they tarnished very very very often. Remember I was just a kid with no siblings doing this alone. My neighborhood friends were really shocked at how much I had to do and I was shocked at how little they were required to do in their homes!!
  4. Take out all the garbage from the kitchen, bedrooms and toilets. Wash and disinfect the garbage cans when necessary.
  5. Had to dust off all the non-wood furniture. There was alot. I hated cleaning the windows…so many windows…We had no maids…having maids in the US and at that time with ordinary people were unheard of.. I didn’t know anyone with a maid..it was only in the movies.
  6. Once a week I have to do major cleaning of my parents bedroom, their furniture and change all the sheets, pillow cases, etc before they got home. My mother was very particular with her bedroom so I had to be very careful when cleaning, dusting, vacuuming, and polishing. My step mom had very sharp eagle eyes..so I had to be very thorough or she would be furious and maybe I would end up with a severe beating with a mop or cooking utensil.
  7. Every two weeks I would be dropped off at the laundromat (20 mins away) to do the whole family laundry. Wash, dry, fold and then go home to put everything away. It would take me maybe 5-6 hours at the laundromat alone to do all this. But in the summers, my step mom would make me wash everything at the laundry and hang up in the hot sun to dry in our back yard because it would kill germs she said. It killed me. I hated the laundry. I hated drying laundry in the hot sun which would take all day…the whole backyard is filled with drying laundry and I had to watch over it so the birds/crows don’t poop all over them…sigh.
  8. Daily I would have to weed, and water the tremendous amount of Marigolds, roses and tulips and various other flowers she forced me to plant with her in the front and sides of our house yard. It took me around two hours to water the flowers everyday. If the flowers died it would be my fault…that would be ‘dangerous’ for me… I vowed never to have a garden when I grew up. Then she had a huge vegetable garden in the back of the house where she had me grow cucumbers, tomatoes, sunflowers, onions, lettuce. She liked going to the back to pluck fresh vegetables she said. We would go to the nursery together in the spring, buy the seeds, plants and flowers and spend whole weekends planting them and every weekend maintaining them… She would make me till the ground and get it ready with planting and mixing it will fertilizer and lime so the ground would be ‘sweet’ she said. My palm would bleed from the hard work in the hot sun. I hated gardening. I can only go play after I finished the gardenings. Summers were bittersweet.
  9. We had lawns in the front and grass in the back and of course I would have to mow the lawn every two week also, then bag the grass for the garbage. Backbreaking chore. They bought a lawnmower for me just to do that! It would take me maybe around 6 hours to mow, clean and rake the yard as a kid and then bag the grass. She wanted her grass in the front and sides of the yard perfect, green and ‘manicured’. The back yard grass was not a big concern because no one would see them and they just had to be mowed…it was alot of grass to mow trust me.
  10. Before my parents came home from work, I had to prepare a pot of Mongolian Tea (tea bags, condensed milk, salt, and butter) for them to drink and serve them when they arrived. If the salt was too much or not enough milk, there could be some scoldings. When I was around 13 or 14 I had to also cook for my parents and prepare their favorite dishes so when they got home, they would eat. Of course after dinner, it was my responsibility to wash all the plates, pots and utensils and put them away while they watched tv or read the newspapers.
  11. I had to clean both toilets, scrub the tiles, bathtub, sinks and polish the mirrors. My step-mom was very particular about cleanliness. She wanted everything very very very clean. During school months, I would have to do the same chores on weekends as evenings I had alot of homework. During fall and winter months, it was too cold for gardening…yeah!!!!! I hated the gardening, lawns. But in the fall, I had to rake alot of leaves. We have the big black plastic garbage bags here, well I would rake enough leaves to easily fill and bag around 30-35 of those bags. We had three huge trees on our property that had millions of leaves that fell to my dismay as I had to rake them. I hated the fall season because of raking and chores.
  12. At times my father would invite maybe eight to ten of his men friends to play cards all night at 0ur house. I was up the whole night to cook Mongolian tea and food to serve them. When I was younger, my mom would cook the food and go to sleep and I would stay the whole night up to serve them. When they finished playing cards the whole night, I would clean the tons of dishes, ashtrays, etc that they left behind.
  13. My mom would have bingo parties and invite maybe around 10-12 of her lady friends. My step mom and I would go shopping for food, spend two days preparing and she lay out a buffet with silverware and all. The ladies would eat and play bingo the whole night. Yes, I was the waiter and butler for the whole night. In betwen I watched tv till one of the ladies summoned me for coffee, tea, snack or to clear the plates. The next day would be tons of glasses, china, silverware, pots, pans etc to clean and put away. It would take me half a day to clean up pretty much on my own while my parents slept in. They usually had their bingo or card parties starting on Friday night, all night to late Saturday night. I would clean on Sunday mornings till the afternoon. It was alot of work. I dreaded those parties…but on the other hand, my mother wouldn’t beat me/scold me or scream with her friends around and she would be in a real good mood…so I was off guard during those times. I’m just listing some of the things I had to do, there were more and many more ad hoc things. My chores never ended. My friends and cousins didn’t have nearly as much as I had to do..when I realized that as I got older, I knew something was wrong. My friends/cousins can even joke/play and tease their parents!!!! I could never do that.

My step mom did buy me dogs that I loved, but she would not allow me to take much care of them once they grew up. They just got food and that was it. No medical, no care…I was so worried about them in the winter snow…My first dog was princey. I loved him..I still love him and miss him…I love you Princey.. He got ran over by a vehicle and my mom blamed me. I had no idea he was run over till a old lady down the street told us. I was heart broken when I went to find his body and buried it. There was no sympathy, mom blamed me and said I didn’t take care of him. I begged mom for years to erect a fence around our property so Princey will be safe. She wouldn’t. I couldn’t control where Princey went when I went to school or went to sleep as Princey was not allowed in the house after he grew up. After Princey died, I realized my mom can be quite cruel, it was only later I realized it was her disease not her…but to see Princey’s dead body was devastating to a young boy and to she said it was my fault…I knew it wasn’t…but she insisted.  So I lived with the thought of my dead Princey and it was my fault.

This is me holding up Princey my first dog. I named him that and I LOVED HIM SO MUCH. It broke my heart when he grew up and my mom made me keep him outside. I said to myself, when I grow up, I will be very kind and caring to dogs. I still miss him.

This is a picture of my biological mother’s mom or my grandmother.

I didn’t know at that time she was my real grandmother. She brought me from Taiwan to the Bugayeff household in New Jersey.. I know she thought they would take good care of me. My grandmother never knew the abuse…later grandma went back to Taiwan to live and I didn’t see her for twenty years again.. For the first few years, she would visit once a year and I loved it. I can feel she really loved me. She stay for at least two weeks and during that time my mom would be super nice to me and no beatings…My grandmother was one of the few people who cared so much about me and very physically affectionate towards me and shower me with kisses..I LOVE YOU SO MUCH GRANDMA…even as a child I could feel her genuine love and care towards me..I wished so much she would return from Taiwan and take me back to Taiwan..I didn’t want to be in the US and with the Bugayeffs at all… This picture was taken in the back of our house and in front is my beloved Princey. I wish I had better pictures of Princey.

This is the house I lived in from 1972 till I left when I was 16 years old. It was me and my step-parents Boris and Dana Bugayeff in this house. It is on 233 West 3rd St, Howell, New Jersey, USA. This is taken already during the late fall and beginning of Winter before the snows fall.

Take note:

  1. Not many flowers and the grass not so green due to cold. But this is to give you an idea of the house and yard. The front of the yard and two sides has to have many flowers, hedges to be trimmed, grass to be cut, flowers to be watered daily… All along the left and right side of drive way will be flowers too in the summers. In front of the house flowers all along and behind the house is the huge vegetable garden. If you see the trees in the back, when the leaves fall, it is alot of raking of leaves I have to do.
  2. Mowing of the lawns was a huge task for a kid like me, but every two weeks.
  3. Bottom left is the garage. Next to it is the living room and behind is dining room all carpeted. To the right of that is the kitchen window. To the furthest right is my study room and behind is the family room. Above left and centre windows are my parents bedroom and the right one is mine. Behnid us are two more bedrooms and toilet. Another toilet downstairs attached to study room.
  4. They had three cars, one is the beige one in the front you see parked. Another is in the garage. Every few years they would get a new car and trade in old one. They had a ok life.

I am not complaining here, but kind of telling you what my childhood was like. I didn’t enjoy living with my step-parents, because in between as I got older, the beatings, scoldings, punishments, and groundings became more and more frequent. I ran away three times. Two of the times, the police brought me back. The third time I escaped to California and never went back. I loved my step mom. She was not evil, deep in her heart she was very kind and I saw that. She was very generous and bought me alot of toys. It’s just as her schizophrenia got worse, her mental disposition worsened dramatically and I was usually the brunt of her anger. She had nowhere else to take it out on and her disease was not diagnosed unfortunately for her and me. If she did get it treated earlier, maybe I would not have run away…it was really hard being physically beaten so often and yelled at..I lived in a constant state of fear and attempted suicide twice while living with her… She was diagnosed 30 years later with Schizophrenia and got medication. She calmed down alot my step-sister Lidshma said. Lidshma said, if only mom had gotten medication decades ago then her’s and my life would have been drastically better. I agree with her. I arrived to the Bugayeff household in 1972. A few months later, Lidshma moved out to go to college and she never moved back again to my sadness. I wanted her to be around because I was very lonely with just my step parents. I wanted a sibling. I use to think she was so beautiful and smart and how proud I was to have a sister like her.

My step-mom had wonderful relationships with her brothers (Uncle Naran and Uncle Giga) and sisters (Aunt Meda and Aunt Elena) and their kids when I was living in New Jersey with them. All their kids were my cousins. I love my cousins. They were fun, creative and very bright and could talk back to their parents to my shock. To my double shock, they didn’t get yelled out for talking back or beaten like I was. Uncle Giga’s lovely wife Aunt Matza was another favorite aunt who was very outspoken and very direct but never rude. Aunt Matza knew what was happening in my household. One time after I ran away and was caught and brought back home, she told me not to run away anymore. She didn’t go into any details, but she said she knew what was happening. She said don’t run away as it is dangerous, and that I can STAY WITH HER FAMILY. I was like really?? She said yes. I was so moved. I went home and cried. I never told my step mom/dad what Aunt Matza offered me…I dare not. I couldn’t believe she wanted me knowing my mother’s violent outbursts. I enterntained the idea to move with her and her four kids, but I dared not. I know if I did, it would create so much family discord and fighting and make my mother/father lose face. They hated to lose face. What they did to me was a secret they thought. I couldn’t bear the thought of my Aunt Matza getting screamed at by my mom…and my mom at that height of her schizophrenia would have caused alot of trouble for Aunt Matza..I know my mom…so for that reason, I never even dared think to move in with her and instead chose to run away completely at 16 and that is another blog post. I thank you Aunt Matza for caring for me back then so much, I have never forgotten your care and I APPRECIATE YOU AND I LOVE YOU ALWAYS. Thank you. What you said meant so much to a little kid like me and I wanted you to know that. I was a victim then, but I am not a victim now and I have forgiven my step-mom years ago and pray for her.

This is my lovely Aunt Matza who is a direct, straightforward, no-nonsense lady who has a heart of gold. I will always love you.

I got along very well with Aunt Meda’s four girls. Aunt Meda was my mother’s youngest sister. I love Aunt Meda. She had four beautiful girls with her husband Uncle John who was a Mongolian from France. Uncle John passed away early in the girls life and Aunt Meda worked REALLY HARD and raised them single handedly herself. She worked in factories overtime to support them. She never dated or re-married after Uncle John passed. We all respected Aunt Meda so much. She made just enough money to get by for her and the girls and we all saw this and prayed for her. Aunt Meda is such a tough honorable lady. A lady from the old country that her family was first and her own happiness didn’t matter. Aunt Meda was always very kind and nice to me and everyone although she didn’t have much money. She’d drive her kids around in a old station wagon that drove around with alot of love.

Her lovely daughters were Debbie, Darlene, Diana and Danielle Polchinoff. So we called them the DP girls…hehehehe…as all their names started with D and course ended with P.

Aunt Meda would visit with the girls on weekends maybe once a month. I would love it. My step mom and Aunt meda would talk, watch tv and eat while me and the girls would play in the yard.. We got along very well. I loved being with them. I was a big bully and I would be in charge of course..eheheh. Sometimes Debbie would ask how come I was in charge? Darlene would chime in the protest also. Diana was like whatever. And Danielle just tagged along being super cute. I just told them I ‘m bigger and that was that..eheh.

MOST EXCITING WAS when Aunt Meda invited me to stay in her house for a few weeks in the summers. She would have to work during the day and late into the night and the girls were alone. They lived in Lakewood around 45 mins drive in the next town from Howell. It was shocking that my mother agreed to let me stay there and babysit them when I was around 11,12, 13 and 14 years old. I think I remember my age correctly. My step-mom loved her siblings. She loved Aunt Meda and saw how she struggled working alone. So I packed my bags and moved for around 5 weeks to Aunt Meda’s house in Lakewood. I loved it. I loved being with them. Aunt Meda scolded us when necessary but never alot. She didn’t beat me ever and she was not so fussy regarding her house to be clean. She was neat and clean but not fanatical like my mom. The girls and I would do chores, clean and etc, but we played, watched tv shows/cartoons and sang most of the day. We loved Donna Summers. So we would sing to all her songs. I was the lead singer and they had to be the background girls. Debbie and Darlene protested and asked WHY ARE THEY ALWAYS THE BACKGROUND AND I’M THE LEAD…hehehehe..I told them because I’m bigger and a better singer. They didn’t like the reasoning so I let them be Donna Summers for one or two songs, then I’d take over again. Daniella was just a toddler, so I changed her diaper, put her to sleep, fed her and did a real good job watching her. Even Aunt Meda was surprised I was such a good babysitter. Sometimes Aunt Meda would have a Sunday off and she’d pack a picknick basket and take us all to spend a day at Lakewood lake swimming and eating all day. We loved those time. Sometimes she would take us to the park to run around to scream and jump..heheh. Aunt Meda even took us to try tennis once..I twisted my ankle and that was the end of my tennis career.

While I was with Aunt Meda and the girls, I would count how many days I had left to be with them. I really dreaded the housework, beatings, lonliness and screaming at my home. But I dare not voice it to Aunt Meda. She knew…but couldn’t say anything as it was her elder sister and it would be disrespectful. Aunt Meda’s way of helping me was to take me to her home in the summers for weeks…I am grateful to her forever. I know now as an adult what she was doing for me. She didn’t create discord with my mom and her, but she helped me. I remember one summer when it was time for her to take me back home already, she didn’t have alot of money, but she took me to a dept store and bought me a pair of jeans…wow…I loved jeans and wanted them. My parents wouldn’t get me jeans as they said it was sloppy.  I loved the jeans as that was what everyone in school was wearing and now I had them too. But I loved the jeans more because they came from Aunt Meda and her kind heart. I appreciated the jeans so much.

I felt so sorry for Aunt Meda when she returned from working overtime and so tired. The girls would give her a massage and I would happily serve her food. I use to joke and tease Aunt Meda as she is a real good sport. I wasn’t ever allowed to do that with my parents. After a while Aunt Meda would get tired of my dumb jokes and stupid pick questions and tell me to shut up so she can rest which would make me and the girls giggle non stop because the way she said shut up was really funny. She wasn’t fierce at all but very cute lady. Hehehe I was scared of her not because she was mean or nasty, but because she was an adult and also I respect her alot. I saw how hard she worked. I wished she was my mother at that time.

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Darlene in the maroon and Diana in the purple.

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Me, Debbie and Diana.

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I had the DP girls pose in the light and had them stand in a cool fashion..hehehe. I took this picture. It was the last picture I took of them. I love these girls. Before I found out I was adopted, I thought I was really their blood relations. Even after I found out I was adopted, nobody talked about it. But these girls and a few other cousins and aunts never treated me like I was not blood family. I am indebted to them.

aunt meda

My beautiful, lovely, hardworking, funny and tough Aunt Meda. I LOVE HER. She was always kind to me and always accepted me as part of her family. She is well taken care of by her four lovely daughters. She is always my aunt in my mind.

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Here are three of the DP girls all grown up and still singing…hehehe…left to right-Darlene, Debbie and Diana…looks like being my background girls in those summer days had a ‘psychological’ effect on these girls for life…hehehe…just kidding ladies.

Or view the video on the server at: http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/onceuponatime1978.flv

Dear Dp girls I found this video of Donna singing one of our favorite songs that we use to sing along while playing her records… I dedicate this to you girls and all the wonderful summers we spent together. I will never forget them and they enriched my life beyond what you could know or imagine.

I was always amazed how loving your mom Aunt Meda was and how lucky you girls were to have her for a mom. I was lucky to have her as a aunt. I thank Aunt Meda for her care for me. I really love Aunt meda and Aunt Matza. These two aunts took alot of pity on me and cared for me.

I love all of you always and I wish you always the best.

Tsem Rinpoche (your cousin)

This Donna Summers video has not been posted for any reason except to share with friends/relatives. I mean no infringement to copyright whatsoever. It is strictly for sharing purposes. All contents belong to owner.

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31 Responses to It Wasn’t Easy in New Jersey, but My Cousins/Aunts Helped…

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  1. LI KHENG on Nov 8, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing Rinpoche’s personal story. It is such a strong reminder for us to be grateful for the easy childhood and adulthood we have taken for granted.

    House chores is something “for the maids” in the perception of today’s youth. Never had I have to do house work until I loved away to Switzerland and even then, my mum would help or do the thorough cleaning when she visits. Yet, we do not appreciate our parents enough or say “thank you” to our home helpers enough”.

    I am glad that Rinpoche had aunts and cousins that were the silver lining on cloudy days. I learn from Rinpoche’s story that there are always silver linings if we would just look for them.

    I hope that RInpoche’s sharing will continue to inspire others to be grateful for our blessings and show appreciation for the things that are have.

  2. aldo kharkongor on Jun 28, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    As per my little knowledge you had a tragic past Rinpoche la but this is a common phenomenon with every great Tulku Rinpoche’s life . Tragedy in one form or another is imminent. Even the Buddha lost his mother a few months after his birth._()_

  3. […] It Wasn’t Easy in New Jersey, but my cousins/aunts helped……http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/it-wasnt-easy-in-new-jersey-but-my-cousinsaunts-h… […]

  4. ugyen wangmo on Jun 27, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,
    Thank you so much for sharing your personal information.
    I hope and pray that this story reach your family and cousin’s so that they know how much they mean to u…
    it is really inspiring…..and helped me to reflect how i deal with others….

  5. Vaiwa veg on Aug 3, 2011 at 2:37 am

    Wow, this story is so familiar with Cinderellas story 😀 😀 (was one of my favorite tales)… It’s hard to believe how such wonderful people can have such hard childhood… Now i realized how incredibly happy childhood i had, compared to this story…

  6. yangchen on Jul 7, 2011 at 7:14 am

    Dear Rinpoche,
    After reading your biography, I cried continually!!!!! It is very sad one. Now may you benefits many people!!!!!! Our prayers are always with you!!!!!

  7. antie on Jun 20, 2011 at 2:50 am

    Dear rinpoche
    Please dont think people who adopt kids dont love them.iI ve an adopted child and I love him so much. He faces lots of troubles like ADD but still I cant think of life without him. I ve even given up my career to take care of him. May god bless you. Please pray for my little boy.

    • tsemtulku on Jun 20, 2011 at 2:52 am

      Dear Antie, Do many Manjushri praises and mantras for the boy. If he can recite, even better. TR

  8. Seeyang on Feb 4, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,
    Tears rolled down my checks, hair on my body stood up and there was a cool feeling and pain deep inside my heart when i went through your biography.Rinpoche i really felt pity on you and even i wished if i where near by you to know your pain and care for you.
    Thanks rinpoche for sharing your personal matters and i pray and wish to meet you one day personally.Long live holiness!!! May the Buddha Dharma flourish worldwide until samsara is emptied.

  9. mima on Nov 5, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    Thank you to Aunt Meda to care and be so kind with Rinpoche as well as her 4 girls. What an angel!

  10. Wendy Wang on Nov 4, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    Rinpoche, what was your Uncle Naran’s wife’s name? Was it something like “Hani”? (I heard it on one of your Youtube videos.)

    • tsemtulku on Nov 5, 2010 at 10:25 am

      My Uncle Naran wife’s name is Aunt Honey. They lived in Philadelphia.

  11. Wan Wai Meng on Nov 2, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing your personal history with us. To see what you have become after going through all that is indeed inspiring to many people.

  12. Carmen Koo on Oct 21, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    We met the rest of the DP Girls last night (Darlene, Diane and Danielle), their respective spouses and kids, as well as the wonderful Aunt Meda. Again, as with all Kalymk tradition, we were fed to the brim, and even had a bag (and a massive one, mind you) to go! It was really lovely feeling the warmth in the family, and the bond that the DP Girls shared between themselves and Aunt Meda. I can now see how Rinpoche always had an amazing time with them – they’re so fun, so lively! I love the Kalmyk tradition and culture.

    Going to the White House today. Diane’s husband (JB) will be taking us on the tour. Should be exciting. We are going to do more interviews throughout the day, over here in VIrginia as well as in New Jersey. 🙂

    This experience has been breathtaking thus far. I cannot even begin to express the gratitude I feel to Rinpoche as well as to Martin for allowing me to be part of this project. A mere thank you will be an understatement. But I shall cherish this opportunity, and offer what is my little help in helping Rinpoche spread the Dharma. 🙂

    Thank you.

  13. Patrick Lim on Oct 18, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    Dear Rinponche,
    The days are unfolding like screenplay pages turning. EXT. QUAINT LOOKING STREET – DAY….. The squirrels are running around. The leaves on the trees are gradually changing towards orange. The CAMERA DOLLIES to a magnificent built house……
    The more interviews that have been conducted, I have experience how consistent all your relatives & friend describe about you. Funny, compassionate, kind, always helpful, loud. Images are forming in my mind how wondrous the project can be when it hits the silver screen. I see a trilogy in the making.
    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  14. Dee Dee Quah on Oct 17, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    Last night, Sara, Aunt Matza, your cousins and family invited us into their home and threw us a big Kalmykian-style party. They were so generous, warm and always laughing and joking. I am glad they were in your life in then. The stories we have heard, they always speak about your compassion and of course, how funny you were. It struck me that no matter whom we spoke with, family and friends from the temples you went to as a child, everyone said looking back and now; it is very obvious that you are meant to do great things and spread dharma.

    Thank you for allowing me to personally see your journey. In following your journey, I am starting to question & reflect on my own.

    Warmest wishes,

    Dee Dee

  15. Paris on Oct 17, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    For the last 4 days, a group of 11 of us have been in New Jersey doing research and conducting interviews with all these people who Rinpoche has talked about in this blog post. It’s been an incredible experience to see the kind of people that Rinpoche grew up with. Times were hard living amidst all the abuse from home, but the other people around him were an incredible family. We have been learning all about the Kalmykian heart of generosity, warmth and kindness and can see now that so much of Rinpoche does for others has been a part of his life and family since he was a young child.

    Consistently, people have talked about Rinpoche’s kindness, enormous sense of humour and ability to have fun, as well as his incredible perseverance for Dharma, despite the huge opposition from his parents.

    Thank you Rinpoche for showing us this part of your life. It is really coming alive now for those of us who are here and meeting all these people in the flesh.

  16. henry ooi on Oct 17, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    It is indeed a WOW!to read Rinpoche’s growing up years in Howell, New Jersey. As a teenager you had a lot of chores to do while most kids play and had fun.

    Nowadays, children are so fortunate and spoiled through their parents’ love and wanting the best for them. With a maid (some households have more than one), education, tuition, electronic gadgets, holidays abroad, good food, nice clothes, etc.

    I wish I were a teenager now! I have to work towards that my kids do not grow up to be monsters in this day and age.

    Thank you, Rinpoche, for sharing your intimate thoughts of your life back then.

  17. Carmen Koo on Oct 15, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Day 2 in New Jersey, and I feel that Rinpoche is with us at every step of the way. Whilst visiting Rinpoche’s old house in Howell, I could picture Rinpoche as a young boy riding Rinpoche’s bicycle up and down the street and playing. Even the surroundings at Nitsan temple, I felt Rinpoche’s presence as I imagined Rinpoche admiring the greenery and serenity that surrounded the temple. It gives me the chills each time as I embrace this opportunity bestowed upon me.

    One thing I have learned so far from observing everyone on the trip is the immense guru devotion that everyone has towards Rinpoche, Rinpoche’s devotion to his gurus, as well as the other geshe-la’s (that I have met) devotion to their gurus. It is through the faith in one’s guru that will allow their spiritual journey to grow. This is something I am beginning to grasp, understand and practice for I know that with this, it will be the beginning of my spiritual journey.

    Rinpoche, thank you for blessing me with this opportunity to be part of such a momentous project.

    With folded hands,
    Carmen

  18. Indy Wong on Oct 12, 2010 at 3:09 am

    Dear Rinpoche,
    Reading your blog brought back my memories when I was a little boy,my family stayed with my paternal grandfather until I was 6 years old.
    I had a puppy in my house when I was about 3 or 4 years old,I remembered the puppy died, after spending a very short time with us,it was about 1 or 2 weeks, I remembered that they dug a hole in the garden and buried it,all of us, my grandfather,my parents and I stood around the burial site silently after it was buried, I felt very sad but everyone else was not showing any sadness, I felt that I was not allowed to express my sadness.I still miss my puppy,it was my first puppy..

    Indy Wong

  19. Lim Han Nee on Oct 11, 2010 at 2:18 am

    Dear Rinpoche,
    Thank you for sharing so candidly your childhood experience of great misery owing to your stepmum’s schizophrenic problem.Yet, I am glad that you had bright moments when you stayed with your lovely aunt and cousins.I do hope that our ‘biography research’ team will meet up with your aunt and cousins and let them know how grateful we are for their kindness.
    You have given us, in this sharing, a fine example of forgiveness and letting go.
    My own fearful childhood did leave me traumatized for a long time.My father had been disappointed in not getting a son after my sister. I was dressed in boys’ clothes until his death and just before I started school.My hair was cropped short like a boy’s.
    I was terrified of him and even when my finger was almost smashed when he slammed the car door on it, I remember my fear kept me quiet and in silent suffering of the pain.
    My name is Han nee because my dad wanted to give me up for adoption to a lady whose last name was ‘Han’, so ‘Han nee’ meant ‘Han’s child’. His plans didn’t work out but my name remained with me.
    I lived in terror of my dad. After he died, I kept hearing funeral drums and would run and hide myself in great fear.
    I think I never actually let go of this traumatic childhood until I came into dharma and understood the workings of karma and that I myself had created the cause for all these to manifest. More so do I find it easy to let go and forgive and forget now,when I read about Rinpoche’s more traumatic childhood and see the ease and graciousness in your act of letting go and forgiving.
    I can even now see that I was an unlovely child, who didn’t know how to smile nor greet my father with warmth and a cheerful face.
    Thank you Rinpoche.

  20. Helen Karuna on Oct 10, 2010 at 7:14 am

    Dear Rinpoche,
    you really had a hard time as a child I whish for no children to be foreced to have but I´m very very happy you realized it wasn´t your fault your little Princey dog died and the whole situation as a child wasn´t anybodys fault.
    Love
    Helen Karuna

  21. Helen on Sep 23, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    It is touching how you open up for everybody on this blog and made think about it. Even though I was not adopted I had also some of this kind of experiences. My mother hate everything that is not Christian catholic and I also had to endure a lot for my interest in Indian spirituality and Buddhism. She use to destroy my books and my photos with spiritual masters and one photo with Dalai Lama that I had. I also had to work the same kind of work around the house, and I run away in a ashram when I could. I did years of prayers and meditations to stop my father drinking and beating. I learned to accept them as they are and not to hate them. As you teach and also Dalai Lama said, all bad experiences and people like this can be your guru for compassion practice.

  22. Andrew Chiam on Sep 22, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    Many thanks for having the trust to share with us on your childhood experience.

    It was really heartbreaking and almost traumatic to experience so many unpleasant events during the childhood years. It had made Rinpoche a great Guru today through all the hardship.
    I had also learned another thing from the sharing, “Forget and Forgive”. And be grateful to the benefactors.

    Thanks Rinpoche for sharing.

    Andrew Chiam

    • patsy on Sep 22, 2010 at 6:36 pm

      Dear Andrew

      So glad that you are now reading Rinpoche’s blog. Keep it up as you will learn more and understand better as you go along.

  23. Betty Lee on Sep 22, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Hi Rinpoche,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write about your childhood in New Jersey even though you are so busy with your work and teaching.

    You certainly have been through so much at such a young age. I feel very sorry and sad for the kind of childhood you had experienced. And I truly honour you that inspite of all that bad childhood you are still so loving, grateful and forgiving and filled with compassion. We all have much to learn from you.

    I have been following what you have written about your life and my own conclusion is that all your experiences have made you an excellent RINPOCHE. From difficult childhood to Hollywood and more have made you a very good Guru who can teach us all in a even more richer manner of practising Buddhism and that we all can understand and relate better.

    I have tried to read about Buddhism since I was a teen but only just then that I have found your books that really make me understand clearly of the teaching – THANK YOU. I must also thank my brother, David Chua, my sister-in-law, Yvonne and my niece, Zoe, for introducing me to your books and Kachara during my recent visit to Kuala Lumpur. Without them I would not have get to know about you – I am so grateful.

    BTW I have also learn something about the Mongolian history in this blog, thanks.

    You have written very well and in so details, well done Rinpoche!
    Much appreciated and big thank you for sharing with us.

    It is the past and we don’t hang on to it but we certainly have a lot to learn from it.

    Thanking you and may you be filled with happiness always,
    Betty

  24. patsy on Sep 21, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this up close and personal information of your childhood with all of us. With so much hardship that Rinpoche had gone through during childhood, yet Rinpoche has excelled and become a great leader to guide us through life with great care and compassion.

    I hope that the DP sisters will be able to read up this heartfelt article.

  25. Anila on Sep 21, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    I can imagine the sadness you felt when you were at the airport saying goodbye to your relatives. I guess you would have cried knowing you would not see them again for a very long time or never at all. Thank you Rinpoche for writing about your childhood and also the good times and bad times in your life. It makes people understand you more and why you making people do the things they dread to do. And you are very particular about showing gratitude and love that you have got through your experience that you had with your stepmom, her two sisters and their daughters. You also teach us to forgive those who have been unkind to us. Sometimes it is not the intention for it to happen but circumstances such like sickness in the case of your stepmom. She had schizophrenia. Rinpoche has given teachings through the good and bad experiences with his stepmom, two sisters and their daughters are for us to learn forgiveness, love and gratitude.

  26. kenny wong on Sep 21, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    dear rinpoche,

    thank you for sharing so much of your personal information with us. (with such details and lenght)

    I’ve always been an ardent fan of your blogs… after reading this article, you highlighted that there are still many sunshine moments during such cloudy times.. and how these moments no matter how fleeting can be so cherished and memorable.

    I wish and hope this article can reach your cousin’s, so they know how much they mean to you…

    best wishes,

    Kenny Wong

  27. John C on Sep 21, 2010 at 6:01 am

    Dear Rinpoche, after reading this i just want to give you a hug 🙂

    Thank you for taking the time to post this and to remind me of the daily opertunities i have to benefit others in my actions, and of the harm i could do if i am not careful.

    Jon

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Everyone has a different perspective, so this section is for you.

Tsem Rinpoche


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  • Jason
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 03:07 AM
    This year Wesak Day fall on 10 of May. This day is very special and meaningful to me because I will visit Kechara Forest Retreat(KFR) to join some meritorious event there.
    For me, Wesak is a day to commemorate Buddha Sakyamuni in three aspect( Birth , Enlightened, Nirwana).
    While we celebrate Wesak, we must remind ourselves to learn from Buddha teachings and practice it in order to gain attainment.
    Thanks Rinpoche and Pastor Seng Piow for sharing in order to create more understanding on Wesak Day.

    Jason

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/wesak-day-special-on-rtm-2.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Wednesday, Apr 26. 2017 06:10 PM
    OMG! This is very touching. To see a doggie who never left go of his owner in spite of death. Way more powerful than many who proclaimed “till death do us part.” Just like the human, not all doggies are as loyal as this tear-jerking pet, but I truly believe almost all doggies offer unconditional love to the person who feeds and cares for them. Even when they are stray animals. There was a stray dog who will run two streets from the entrance of the “Taman” until the car stops in front of the house, just to greet me. You can imagine the warm and conviction in my heart that these beings are more than capable of loving than many of us, human! Thank you for this lovely sharing. I miss my doggie, Sherab.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/faithful-dog-chases-deceased-owner.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Wednesday, Apr 26. 2017 06:00 PM
    Thank you, Pastor Seng Piow, for this amazing sharing. There is no doubt about the ability of our Guru, His Eminence the 25th Tsem Tulku Rinpoche. His incarnations have been compassionate and taken rebirth to return and spread the dharma so that sentient beings can benefit and learn some dharma in our short life.

    We shall never doubt our Guru; but must see that He is one with our Yidam and Protector, an attained being. Even if our Guru does not demonstrate clairvoyance abilities, we must never contest our Guru, for he holds the key (dharma) that can liberate us from eternal suffering in samsara.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-1-2.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Wednesday, Apr 26. 2017 05:50 PM
    Thank you, Pastor Seng Piow, for the illustrated miracle story on how Rinpoche guided Cynthia and Marici away from danger through protector’s practice. The unseen exist, whether we like it or not. Some of them are malicious and have the affinity or karma with some of us. Hence they can cause harm and disturbance. By engaging in Protectors’ practice like Dorje Shugden and Setrap that have been practiced by the high lamas of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism, we are protected and guarded against harm.

    Rinpoche is compassionate and only want the best for us. His teachings are not meant to show off the power of the divines but offer us a way out from our desperate samsara conundrum that binds us from engaging in deeper spiritual practice. Rinpoche always teaches us to focus on mind transformation and Tsongkhapa practice. How fortunate we are to have met Rinpoche in this lifetime. We must not let this rare and precious opportunity go to waste.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-12.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Apr 26. 2017 04:30 PM
    Miracles do happen,when we have faith and trust in our Guru.What is important is to follow Rinpoche’s advice and do as instructed by our Guru to clear the osbtacles all the way.Angie and Herry were so fortunate to have meet Rinpoche.Its because of Rinpoche ‘s compassion and caring for his student Angie’s life was saved.Infact Rinpoche has helped many people through his intervention, advice and instructions.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Loh Seng Piow for sharing miracles stories which i enjoyed reading.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-2.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Apr 26. 2017 02:45 PM
    WOW….interesting a miracles true story. Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Loh Seng Piow for sharing.Reciting mantras by family members and doing 20 pujas done at the monastery to help the baby. These proved that pujas, which have been done for hundreds of years in the monasteries are very powerful methods for us to overcome difficulties, create huge amounts of merit and for protection, good health and long life.This show us how powerful pujas can help us when we have trust and faith in our Guru.And with Rinpoche divination,the baby was born and now a healthy boy.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-1-2.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Apr 26. 2017 12:47 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these powerful teachings.Its a privilege
    to do Dharma work to benefits other,do it with motivation and a good attitude when engaging ourselves It will be guide line for me.When we serve others to do Dharma work together at Kechara Forest Retreat ,we will improve ourself , purify our negative karma and to benefit others too.I will be sponsoring to the healings bricks soon and i will cherish every moment in supporting KFR.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/dharma-work-attitude-tdl.html
  • Lin Mun
    Wednesday, Apr 26. 2017 11:06 AM
    Bigfoot is just another beings living in this world although not commonly seen and live in the deep jungle in high mountains. There were many evidences that people from many parts of the world sighted this beings. Whatever shape they are I think importantly we are all sharing this world and therefore need to have mutual respect and not intervene each others.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/its-in-the-scriptures-they-exist.html
  • Alice Tay
    Tuesday, Apr 25. 2017 04:26 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Adeline sharing this interesting post about Bodhidharma, a great master favoured meditation and introduced the Lankavatara Sutra to Chinese Buddhism.

    Here are a few points I have learned from this post:
    1. Bodhidharma had strong imprints of Dharma from the past and therefore he is interested in Buddha’s teachings and show his great wisdom. at a very young age.
    2. His strong guru devotion and determination in learning and spreading the dharma based on meditation though he confronted with difficulties such as Emperor Wu Di was not impressed by his teachings, being ostracized and rejected and lived as a beggar for many months. Notwithstanding, he continued and never give up to practice meditation in complete silence for nine years in cave wall when he was not accepted by Shaolin Monastery at the beginning .
    3. When Bodhidharma was allowed enter to the monastery, he had put a lot of efforts to help the monks in improving their physical body as well as their mind through the meditation. Then, Bodhidharma continued to develop a system of 18 dynamic tension exercises which were printed as Yi Gin Ching (Changing Muscle/Tendon Classic) in 550 CE. It is known as the Luohan (arhat) 18 Hand Movements today which serves as the basis of both Chinese Temple Boxing and the Shaolin Martial Arts.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/bodhidharma-the-founder-of-gongfu.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Tuesday, Apr 25. 2017 04:10 PM
    Thank you, Grace, for sharing with us the many tips on how to care for and maintain our hair. Personal grooming is important because when we care for our appearance, we are respecting the people who have to deal with us. Caring for our hair, making sure that it is neat and clean should be something we need to take care of since young as it is part of personal grooming. The key is not to be attached to our body and outer-images, that results in spending much time and resources just to make ourselves look good.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/guest-contributors/how-much-do-you-know-about-hair.html
  • Alice Tay
    Tuesday, Apr 25. 2017 03:00 PM
    Thank you for sharing these wonderful and significant photos showed that Kechara Pastors’ tireless efforts to bring dharma to many others and do the blessings whenever is necessary.

    Basically, the pastorship role was conceptualized by our precious guru, H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche, to preserve the Dharma and to give laypeople an opportunity to commit to benefiting others. Kechara Pastors are fully dedicated and selflessly serving others especially in spiritual growth and therefore this is good for us to support the Pastors so that they can focus and spend more of their time and effort to serve others and most importantly Buddhist teachings can be spread and shared to many others. The supports to Pastors including food, lodging, transportation, items necessary for their work, such as ritual items or spiritual gifts for those in need and many others. (If you are interested to know more about Kechara Pastors, please have a good read at http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/support-the-kechara-pastors.html)

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/10-amazing-house-blessings-by-kechara-pastors.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Apr 25. 2017 02:13 PM
    Its such a great blessing for all of us to hear the holy voice recordings of H.H Kyabje Zong Rinpoche a great master..His profound teachings ,got to take seroiusly,more as an important advice on Dorje Shugden’s practice.H.H Kyabje Zong Rinpoche’s explaination was very clear before any of the practitioner’s commitment and receive sogtae.They must keep the lineage practice and teachings no matter what ever happen.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing with us on the important advice by a great master.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/kyabje-zong-rinpoches-advice-on-dorje-shugdens-practice.html
  • Lin Mun
    Tuesday, Apr 25. 2017 11:50 AM
    Thank you Pastor Han Nee for your sharing your thoughts and review about the book “Be Happy” written by Rinpoche. It is indeed not easy to be happy as we all have various expectation in every situation and people.

    We may think having a big house, lots of cash and good career is happiness but this is the wrong perception. Being happy is not about material and everything about ourselves. It is only when we can do more for others and focus out that we gain happiness. I never realised this until I joined Kechara. I think we have such a fixed mindset of what happiness is and when our expectation is not met, we are unhappy.

    Rinpoche has pointed out many ways for us to rectify our thoughts and methods to be happy. Now it is for us to take initiative to change and transform our mind if we want to be happy.

    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Han Nee for this article.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/be-happy.html
  • Lin Mun
    Monday, Apr 24. 2017 12:30 PM
    Many people do not believe in reincarnation and only relates it to certain religion such as Hinduism and Buddhism. However, there were many instances and signs that proven reincarnation exist. As Buddhist we will believe in reincarnation and karma. It is by understanding that everything has its cause and effect that we should learn to live life in the correct attitude and mindset. Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this interesting articles to remind us of karma and the importance of doing dharma practise.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/interesting-signs-of-reincarnation.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Apr 23. 2017 08:29 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for your teachings.
    Always be generous and kind in what ever we could do even its little help.It’s the little things in life that bring the greatest happiness. Its between us and our Buddha ,so we would not bother what the receipient thinks and say of us. What ever was said ,should not deter our motivation to do Dharma work.
    (It will change people’s lives in one way or another. It will change your life for the better.)….well said by Rinpoche.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/its-not-between-you-and-the-recipient.html

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The Unknown

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

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Holy Lady Buddha Vajra Yogini\'s blessing can be found when we decide to focus out to others instead of in to only ourselves.
~ Tsem Tulku Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
Holy Lady Buddha Vajra Yogini's blessing can be found when we decide to focus out to others instead of in to only ourselves. ~ Tsem Tulku Rinpoche
His Holiness Vajradhara Kyabje Zong Rinpoche of Gaden Monastery who is the refuge of countless, gives a clear explanation of Dorje Shugden. One is able to hear his holy voice and translation by Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen! Please see here and share: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=122352
2 weeks ago
His Holiness Vajradhara Kyabje Zong Rinpoche of Gaden Monastery who is the refuge of countless, gives a clear explanation of Dorje Shugden. One is able to hear his holy voice and translation by Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen! Please see here and share: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=122352
: This picture says it all. Click on it to enlarge and read and please share.
2 weeks ago
: This picture says it all. Click on it to enlarge and read and please share.
This is a simple chart showing the three main psychic channels used in tantric meditations to control the winds, raise tummo (fire energy), gain higher consciousness and insight and also for gaining siddhis. These channels are used in meditations for controlling the mind, when the mind ejects from the body (phowa) and one\'s death. These three channels are very important. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
This is a simple chart showing the three main psychic channels used in tantric meditations to control the winds, raise tummo (fire energy), gain higher consciousness and insight and also for gaining siddhis. These channels are used in meditations for controlling the mind, when the mind ejects from the body (phowa) and one's death. These three channels are very important. Tsem Rinpoche
I think my cute doggie Oser is actually Tintin\'s dog Snowy!
3 weeks ago
I think my cute doggie Oser is actually Tintin's dog Snowy!
Great Masters of Gaden Shartse Monastery. From left to right: His Eminence Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, His Holiness Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, H.E. Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, H.E. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, His Holiness 101st Gaden Tripa throne holder Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal.
3 weeks ago
Great Masters of Gaden Shartse Monastery. From left to right: His Eminence Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, His Holiness Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, H.E. Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, H.E. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, His Holiness 101st Gaden Tripa throne holder Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal.
 Left to right: Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl. The three of them are my beautiful and loved Schnauzer dogs. They loved looking through the window to see traffic, people and movement. They loved the smells that drifted through their little noses. I love seeing the three of them together like this. I love them. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Left to right: Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl. The three of them are my beautiful and loved Schnauzer dogs. They loved looking through the window to see traffic, people and movement. They loved the smells that drifted through their little noses. I love seeing the three of them together like this. I love them. Tsem Rinpoche
Little Mumu boy...he loved balloons. When he saw them, he wanted to get close and perhaps bite them. Cute. I love this picture of Mumu reaching for the balloons. He was young and healthy! This picture captures his energy, enthusiasm, curiosity and high energy. I love this picture of him chasing the balloons. His pictures are always so nice....He was not a pet but family to me. I love him tremendously and always will. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Little Mumu boy...he loved balloons. When he saw them, he wanted to get close and perhaps bite them. Cute. I love this picture of Mumu reaching for the balloons. He was young and healthy! This picture captures his energy, enthusiasm, curiosity and high energy. I love this picture of him chasing the balloons. His pictures are always so nice....He was not a pet but family to me. I love him tremendously and always will. Tsem Rinpoche
Little Mumu boy and myself.. He was not a pet but family to me. I love him tremendously and always will. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Little Mumu boy and myself.. He was not a pet but family to me. I love him tremendously and always will. Tsem Rinpoche
2017-His Holiness the 101st Gaden Tripa, Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal is doing well and 90 years old. His Holiness Lungrik Namgyal is a powerful master of sutra and tantra and practitioner of Dorje Shugden. Currently residing in France.
3 weeks ago
2017-His Holiness the 101st Gaden Tripa, Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal is doing well and 90 years old. His Holiness Lungrik Namgyal is a powerful master of sutra and tantra and practitioner of Dorje Shugden. Currently residing in France.
One of the most sacred statues of Avalokitesvara made of sandalwood housed in Lhasa, Tibet. He has shown miracles also. Every pilgrim wishes to make offerings to this Lord of Compassion.
3 weeks ago
One of the most sacred statues of Avalokitesvara made of sandalwood housed in Lhasa, Tibet. He has shown miracles also. Every pilgrim wishes to make offerings to this Lord of Compassion.
 Sacred Avalokitesvara statue in Nepal. Thousands come to worship this special Buddha as it has conferred wishes in the past.
3 weeks ago
Sacred Avalokitesvara statue in Nepal. Thousands come to worship this special Buddha as it has conferred wishes in the past.
Tsem Rinpoche\'s Vajra Yogini statue and offerings
3 weeks ago
Tsem Rinpoche's Vajra Yogini statue and offerings
Two of my teachers from Gaden Shartse Monastery in South India. Left side is Most Venerable Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen whom I lived with for 8 years in Los Angeles where his centre Thubten Dhargye Ling is located. On the right is the abbot emeritus H.E. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche the scholar and yogi. I was very fortunate to have them in my life and learn so much dharma from them. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Two of my teachers from Gaden Shartse Monastery in South India. Left side is Most Venerable Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen whom I lived with for 8 years in Los Angeles where his centre Thubten Dhargye Ling is located. On the right is the abbot emeritus H.E. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche the scholar and yogi. I was very fortunate to have them in my life and learn so much dharma from them. Tsem Rinpoche
 It is so wonderful to be kind to people, be caring, feed them, make sure they are healthy and share dharma if they are interested with them for their future. But simply to be nice to others is worth getting up and being alive...otherwise why be alive to hurt/use/distrust and hate others? No point living that way..must change that..... It is nice to live our lives to benefit others and be patient even if we have been hurt before because by caring we can heal the hurt and \'defeat\' the ones that hurt us because we don\'t become bitter..... Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
It is so wonderful to be kind to people, be caring, feed them, make sure they are healthy and share dharma if they are interested with them for their future. But simply to be nice to others is worth getting up and being alive...otherwise why be alive to hurt/use/distrust and hate others? No point living that way..must change that..... It is nice to live our lives to benefit others and be patient even if we have been hurt before because by caring we can heal the hurt and 'defeat' the ones that hurt us because we don't become bitter..... Tsem Rinpoche
Tsem Rinpoche\'s heritage in China. Must read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=120499
3 weeks ago
Tsem Rinpoche's heritage in China. Must read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=120499
Thank you Buddhist Pastor Chia for sharing your story on how you met His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche over 20 years ago. We can learn much from your story.~Admin  Please read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116928
3 weeks ago
Thank you Buddhist Pastor Chia for sharing your story on how you met His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche over 20 years ago. We can learn much from your story.~Admin Please read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116928
Mumu boy is incredibly photogenic. He is beyond cute. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Mumu boy is incredibly photogenic. He is beyond cute. Tsem Rinpoche
 (left to right) Rabten Tulku, Gonsar Rinpoche, Gyume Kensur Rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche, H.H. Gaden Trisur Rinpoche (France)
4 weeks ago
(left to right) Rabten Tulku, Gonsar Rinpoche, Gyume Kensur Rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche, H.H. Gaden Trisur Rinpoche (France)
Beautiful 200 roses arrived today for me as a gift from Su Ming. Very kind and thoughtful of her as usual. Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
Beautiful 200 roses arrived today for me as a gift from Su Ming. Very kind and thoughtful of her as usual. Tsem Rinpoche
It\'s good to be with kind and sincere people.
4 weeks ago
It's good to be with kind and sincere people.
If we are kind, we lose less of ourselves-Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
If we are kind, we lose less of ourselves-Tsem Rinpoche
My Mumu boy didn\'t want to eat. Eating is not one of his favorite activities throughout his life. So I talked to him to let him know why he needs to eat and keep his strength up when this photo was taken. He was listening intently and after my talk with him, he ate. Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
My Mumu boy didn't want to eat. Eating is not one of his favorite activities throughout his life. So I talked to him to let him know why he needs to eat and keep his strength up when this photo was taken. He was listening intently and after my talk with him, he ate. Tsem Rinpoche
This is so true. Click to enlarge and understand more about unpleasant people.
4 weeks ago
This is so true. Click to enlarge and understand more about unpleasant people.
This mahasiddha Kukkuripa is easy to identify as he is accompanied by a small dog whom he loved very much.
1 month ago
This mahasiddha Kukkuripa is easy to identify as he is accompanied by a small dog whom he loved very much.
Mumu taking a rest in the turquoise room. Over the years, I always feel very satisfied when I see him covered with a blanket, safe and sleeping. I always wanted to make sure he was safe from harm, illness and distress. I wanted him to have a happy and loved life. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Mumu taking a rest in the turquoise room. Over the years, I always feel very satisfied when I see him covered with a blanket, safe and sleeping. I always wanted to make sure he was safe from harm, illness and distress. I wanted him to have a happy and loved life. Tsem Rinpoche
I wrapped my little Mumu boy up in my blanket and propped him up on my bed. He didn\'t move or wiggle and just looked at me. He is one funny entertaining little guy. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
I wrapped my little Mumu boy up in my blanket and propped him up on my bed. He didn't move or wiggle and just looked at me. He is one funny entertaining little guy. Tsem Rinpoche
March 2017-Coaxing my little Mumu boy to eat his meal. He was not well and therefore not hungry. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
March 2017-Coaxing my little Mumu boy to eat his meal. He was not well and therefore not hungry. Tsem Rinpoche
Click on picture to enlarge and see what Milarepa says. Profound.
1 month ago
Click on picture to enlarge and see what Milarepa says. Profound.
We are always trying to get somewhere, try something new, find some friends, get some entertainment and in the end we end up in the same place. Time to really practice Dharma seriously and stop wasting time we don\'t have. ~Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
We are always trying to get somewhere, try something new, find some friends, get some entertainment and in the end we end up in the same place. Time to really practice Dharma seriously and stop wasting time we don't have. ~Tsem Rinpoche
March 20, 2017-Mumu is just so adorable with his bright eyes.
1 month ago
March 20, 2017-Mumu is just so adorable with his bright eyes.
More and more people inviting Lord Dorje Shugden home to connect with on their shrines. I am so happy to see this as it will benefit them and their families so much. That is the purpose to be alive which is to benefit others as much as possible. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
More and more people inviting Lord Dorje Shugden home to connect with on their shrines. I am so happy to see this as it will benefit them and their families so much. That is the purpose to be alive which is to benefit others as much as possible. Tsem Rinpoche
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
1 month ago
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
1 month ago
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
The Japanese are very innovative. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
The Japanese are very innovative. Tsem Rinpoche
Read this as it will be interesting
1 month ago
Read this as it will be interesting
Recite this before any meal or drinks for blessings of abundance. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Recite this before any meal or drinks for blessings of abundance. Tsem Rinpoche
This sacred statue of Buddha is in Nepal brought originally from Tibet and has spoken on many occasions. Very blessed to see this holy image and keep a picture...bless you always. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
This sacred statue of Buddha is in Nepal brought originally from Tibet and has spoken on many occasions. Very blessed to see this holy image and keep a picture...bless you always. Tsem Rinpoche
I love Mumu boy tremendously. We went through so much together for so many years. You are a great being to be with. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
I love Mumu boy tremendously. We went through so much together for so many years. You are a great being to be with. Tsem Rinpoche
Dear everyone, I am sharing this beautiful and modern altar to Dorje Shugden in Malaysia. I am glad to see more and more people creating sacred spaces. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Dear everyone, I am sharing this beautiful and modern altar to Dorje Shugden in Malaysia. I am glad to see more and more people creating sacred spaces. Tsem Rinpoche
Lhamo Karmo, a female buddha form visualized above the crown of one\'s head at the time of death, to encourage consciousness to leave the body via the crown aperture. From my book \"The Female Buddhas.\"- Glenn Mullin
2 months ago
Lhamo Karmo, a female buddha form visualized above the crown of one's head at the time of death, to encourage consciousness to leave the body via the crown aperture. From my book "The Female Buddhas."- Glenn Mullin
The Tibetan female tulku Dorje Pakmo, from a fresco on the wall of the Dorje Pakmo monastery (Samding) in Tibet, near the Turquoise Lake. In Tibet the Dorje Pakmo was ranked with the Dalai Lama, Panchen Lama and Sakya Trizin as the four highest lamas in the country.-from Glenn Mullin
2 months ago
The Tibetan female tulku Dorje Pakmo, from a fresco on the wall of the Dorje Pakmo monastery (Samding) in Tibet, near the Turquoise Lake. In Tibet the Dorje Pakmo was ranked with the Dalai Lama, Panchen Lama and Sakya Trizin as the four highest lamas in the country.-from Glenn Mullin
Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl checking out the scene..cute
2 months ago
Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl checking out the scene..cute
My Dharma boy has such a cute expression here. He is a good boy!
2 months ago
My Dharma boy has such a cute expression here. He is a good boy!
February 9,2017-My Mumu boy and Oser girl are just relaxing together..super cute
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months ago
This is a good one to read
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ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

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

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

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

  • April 20, 2017 10:45
    Ronnie asked: Dear Rinpoche and Pastors, I'm studying abroad and very far away from home, seeking guidance and advice as I have no one else I can talk to about this. Please read with an open mind, I don't know where else to go for help. I'm pregnant and it's an unplanned pregnancy. I'm stuck between keeping it or letting it go. I'm young and having a child at my age in the society we live in now would be considered taboo. The father of the child thinks I should let it go because it may cause a setback to both our careers and cause major family issues. He thinks we aren't ready to raise a child especially since we're both still in university and his parents think badly of me even though they've never met me or tried to get to know me. I'm sure no one would ever have the heart to take away a heartbeat but it seems like it isn't the right time to have a child now and if we did go through with it, the child probably won't be able to have the best things life can offer looking at where we are now in terms of finance and maturity. I'm lost, confused and unsure what the right thing to do is now. Any advice at all would be helpful right now. Thank you so very much for taking time to read my story.
    pastor answered: Dear Ronnie, I’m sorry to read that you are going through this situation. I can understand that this situation is tough to go through. You are always more than welcome to come here to ask questions. May I suggest that you talk to either someone in your family or your friends to help you come to an appropriate solution? This is because, what you feel, what you are going through, will change from time to time and you would need someone to talk to, someone that you can lean on through this situation you are facing. Depending on where you are in the world, professional help can also be sought to help you make a decision, which will be the best option for you seeking help. From a Buddhist perspective, the taking of a life is not considered a positive act, therefore those on the Buddhist path, would normally abstain taking a life if possible. However, that being said, one must always weigh the decision oneself. Everything we do in life, necessarily involves karma both positive and negative. That is why Buddhists try to overcome samsara in general. Your situation is complicated because you are abroad, but if possible you should really open up to someone you are close to in order to help you through making this decision on a personal basis. When you talk to someone, whom you are able to express yourself more, you may able to come to better decision that is right for you. There may be other options open to you if you seek help. I personally know women who have been in similar situations. One of these women, let the child go and the other went through the pregnancy and then gave the child up for adoption. You may or may not have thought of this option, but it is one that could be open to you, depending on where in the world you are. Any decision we make in life, however big or small it may seem, has far reaching consequences whether in this life, or in future lives. This is just a part and parcel of life within samsara. However, we should weigh the decisions we make clearly given the situation we are in. We cannot always do this weighing ourselves, but need to talk about our options with others we can rely on such a friends, family or professionals. You should consider doing this, which will help you greatly emotionally, and may give you the grounding you need to make the correct decision for you. I hope this helps.
  • April 19, 2017 04:57
    Dongho asked: What is a nyung ne practice? According to Lama Zopa Rinpoche, it's a purification sadhana. However, what are the instructions for this? I'm guessing it's to Chenrezig, but how does it work? Also, from what I have read, Vajrasattva practice is only for broken vows while Akshobhya is for regular misdeeds. Does that mean one has to take the Akshobhya practice to purify bad karma from this life and previous instead of Vajrasattva? As for the purification practices, are some like Vajrasattva and Chenrezig only to purify the bad karma and let it come quickly or is it to prevent it from coming? I am confused in it. As for signs, I recited a mantra of White Yangchenma that a Sakya lama, Lama Kunga Thartse Rinpoche, gave me with the Sakya visualizations I read on, and after one mala, I heard some lady call my Korean name even though no one in my neighborhood knows of my name and my family members weren't in the area. What does this mean?
    pastor answered: Dear Dongho, Thank you for your questions, it’s nice to see you back here again. Nyung Ne practice is a purification practice that centres around Chenrezig. It is a very beneficial practice that stems from a holy nun named Gelong-ma Palmo. It is a two and a half day practice that can be repeated many times over and over again to intensify the purification and build a closer relationship with Chenrezig. As well as its purification aspect, the practice is known to generate vast amount of merit, and also compassion, as the practice centres around Chenrezig, the Buddha of compassion. The practice involves taking the eight Mahayana precepts for the duration, fasting, meditating, prostrating and praying. The practice usually entails empowerment into the practice of Chenrezig, therefore the exact meditations, prayers can only be explained to those who have the empowerment. Vajrasattva practice is not necessarily only for repairing broken vows, etc. That’s why it is advised that you engage in the practice at the end of the day, to repair any vows that you may have broken during that day, as well as stopping any negative karma you created that day from multiplying. This would entail reciting the mantra 21 times, together with the four opponent powers. However, if you engage in this practice more intensely, it definitely has the capability to purify all sorts of karma. That is the reason why in Ngondro, or preliminary practices one engages in before tantra, the practice of 100,000 Vajrasattva mantra recitation is an integral part. You can read more about Vajrasattva and his practice here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/prayers-and-sadhanas/an-important-purification-practice.html. Within purification practices, some of the karma will be purified completely, so you do not feel its effects at all, but when purifying other karma you will need to feel its effects somehow. For example if you have the karma to be in a car accident and get seriously injured, and you are engaging in any practice, but especially the purification practice, since you have purified most of the karma, you will only experience being in a very minor car accident, with only very superficial injuries. Therefore, in this case, the karma has been purified to the extent that it does not affect you as much, but you still need to feel part of its effect. In regards to any signs that you receive which engaging in the practices given to you by one of your specific gurus, you should report the happenings to that particular guru. He will be able to give you more of an accurate answer, as it may be related to the particular practice that he gave to you. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • April 17, 2017 07:06
    Thomas asked: Dear Pastors, When a serkyem set has been used so much and one is ready to get rid of it and replace it with a new one. What is a respecful mode of disposal?
    pastor answered: Dear Thomas, Thank you for your question. Your question shows that you have a lot of respect for offering items, which is very good. If possible, you should try to repair the item if within your means, and doing so make embellishments to make it a better offering item, which can still be used. If this is not possible, then you should dispose of the item with a good motivation. You should think that this item has been used to make offerings to the enlightened beings, but now that it is broken or unusable, you are going to dispose of it, and replace it with a new one. Since it itself is not a receptacle of energies of the enlightened beings, such as a statue, tsa tsa or thangka, it does not require a special dissolution before being disposed of. However since it was used to make offerings, it still requires some form of respect when disposing, and this comes from one’s motivation and the way in which you dispose of it. Usually, when disposing of items in this way, make the motivation that you have used it and that it is now time to dispose of it, and replace it with a new one. When you do this you can dispose of it in a respectful manner. For example, if you are going to throw it away, you do not simply open the trash can and throw it in. You wrap it up in something, like a bag or newspaper and dispose of it respectfully. Another method you can dispose of it is to recycle the object, if the material it is made from can be recycled. That way you are more conscious of the environment as well. I hope this explanation helps. Thank you.
  • April 16, 2017 22:38
    Curious asked: Dear pastors In a recent youtube video something like paying respect to deceased ones, pastor Nirel Patel explained that merits are like the interest and good karma is like the principal sum. So merits always regenerate themselves and hence do not get used up but good karma is like the principal sum so it gets used up. So my question is what are practices that generate merit? And can we turn a mundane daily activity into a meritorious one? Maybe can you provide an example?
    pastor answered: Dear Curious, Thank you for your question. First, to clarify a point, in regards to good karma, you are right, it is like a principal sum in a bank account, but you take away from it when you experience something good in your life, and you add to it when you do good deeds. Merit on the other hand, once accrued never diminishes, therefore when something is based on merit, it is based on the energies of this never diminishing sum, which you could say is like interest. In short, the principal sum when talking about karma is always added to and subtracted from. However, when talking about merit, once you have it, there is no way to destroy it, you will always benefit from it. There are various ways to explain how to generate merit. I will explain a way that I find easiest to understand. In normal life, when we go about performing any sort of activity, be it ‘good’ or ‘bad’ we do so out of ignorance of the true nature of existence, and it is usually self-motivated. For example, we work our entire lives to generate monetary income, so that we have enough money, resources, and materials goods to be comfortable. This is self-motivated, but it is the accepted way the world works these days, and is part and parcel of being bound to samsaric life. On the other hand, the act of merit making can be categorised into three parts: i) motivation, ii) the act itself, and iii) dedication. Let’s start with motivation, when engaging in various virtuous acts, we should have the motivation that by engaging in the act, we have the motivation to alleviate the suffering of someone else, and that may we gain enlightenment so that we can benefit them in the future. The second is the act itself. The third is to dedicate the energy of the virtuous act to gaining enlightenment. These three are what make merit. This may be a little confusing, so let me give an example: giving help to a homeless person. Whereas in ordinary life, this is something praised as a very good deed, it does not create merit without motivation and dedication. In order for this to become merit, one must set the motivation that one is giving help to the homeless free of the eight worldly concerns, to alleviate their suffering and also making the motivation that you will achieve enlightenment for the sake of the person or people you are helping. Then after you have helped them, you dedicate the energy created to the spiritual journey towards full enlightenment to help all sentient beings, while at the same time benefiting as many sentient beings as possible on the way there. This transforms the act into not only a virtuous action but also one that generates merit. On the other hand, if you were to help the homeless without these, you are creating good karma, which although beneficial, keeps you bound to existence within samsara. As it is the goal of Buddhist practice to overcome the cycle of samsara, a Buddhist would want to generate merit instead of good karma. I hope this explanation helps. Thank you.
  • April 13, 2017 11:38
    D.A. asked: If Begtse Chan is not from Mongolia, what are his real origins or story exactly? And which lamas offer his empowerment? As for Manjushri Nagarakshasa, which lamas specifically offer his empowerment and practice?
    pastor answered: Dear D.A. Thank you for your question. Begtse, is also known as Chamsing, or Jamsaran in Mongolian. As mentioned in an earlier sharing with someone who also asked a question about Begtse, the practiced was introduced to Tibet from India by the translator Nyen Lotsawa, and is considered one of the main protectors of the Hayagriva cycle of tantras. According to the scriptures that derive from the Sakya tradition, who incorporated the practice from the translators, and in which tradition Begtse became a very important protector, Begtse in a previous life was born many eons ago. In that particular life, he was born as the younger prince in a royal family. His name was Drag Gye, and his older brother’s name was Drag Den. Over time both princes developed differing religious beliefs, to the point where they could not get along with each as they both held their own religious views strongly. As was the custom during that time, they decided to settle their differences through logical debate, with the loser having to convert to the winner’s religion. This custom was also prevalent in ancient India, and there are many stories of such debates occurring between the great masters of the past and those of other faiths. Drag Gye lost the various debates, but ran away instead of converting to his older brother’s religion. Drag Den caught him, and tried to punish him for breaking the rules of debate and going back on his promise. Drag Gye told his brother that even if he was killed he would not give up his religion, however if Drag Den let him go, that in the future when Drag Den became enlightened, he would protect his teachings. With that Drag Den let him go, and gave him a set of copper armour, a stick, and a bow and arrow. Drag Den also gave Drag Gye a new name: Sog Dag Yam Shi Mar Po. After this incident the two brothers never saw each other again in that lifetime. Many lives after that Drag Den was reborn as Prince Siddharta, who eventually became enlightened and is now known as Buddha Shakyamuni. Drag Gye, or Sog Dag Yam Shi Mar Po, was reborn in a cemetery in the North West direction. His parents gave birth to two eggs, one was a coral-like colour and the other was an agate-like colour. These two eggs flew high into the sky and reached the heavenly realms, there they subdued the gods. Then flying back down to earth, they subdued many nagas. Eventually they even came to threaten their own parents. The parents petitioned the Dharma protector Ekajati for her help, who threw her own staff (khatvanga) at the eggs, and broke them apart. From the coral-like coloured egg came a ferocious man with yellow hair, he proclaimed that his name was ‘Sog Dag Yam Shi Mar Po’. When he emerged he was wearing a set of copper armour, wielding a stick, copper sword, and a bow and arrow. From the agate-like coloured egg came a female who was blue in colour, her teeth were like shells, she had turquoise eyebrows, and her hair was made of fire. She emerged wielding a copper knife, ritual dagger (phurba), rode a terrifying bear and wore an intricate necklace made of agate and lapis lazuli. It was then that Ekajati once again took action, and subdued them, after which they became Dharma protectors. The male figure became known as Begtse, and the female as his sister. When you propitiate Begtse, his sister is automatically included and aids practitioners as well. As for which lama offer his practice and empowerment, most lamas do not advertise which teachings or practice they hold. Therefore you should respectfully approach lamas and ask them if they have the practice and can bestow it, or if they know of any lamas that have the practice, depending on how much you want to practice Begtse. Similarly, this applies to those lamas who have the practice of Manjushri Nagarakshasa. However, this practice is included in the Rinjung Gyatsa series of empowerments. This unique cycle of teachings, includes all 4 classes of tantric practices, and includes the practice of Manjushri Nagarakshasa. Therefore those lamas who have received the complete transmission, and have kept their commitments for this practice, are qualified to pass this on to others. I hope this explanation helps. Thank you.
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