The Cowshed That Was My Home in Gaden

Jul 11, 2010 | Views: 4,304
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Cowshed-my house

When I arrived in Gaden I went straight to Zong Ladrang (house). Ladrang is the Tibetan word for the Lama’s household.

I left USA for the last time in October 1987. Was ordained by HH Dalai Lama in December 1987. Then went to Nepal and arrived in Gaden, South India in January 1988.

Kyabje Zong Rinpoche instructed me to stay in his Ladrang on my last meeting with him before he passed away. So I followed his instructions. Zong Ladrang was run by Zong Rinpoche’s manager. Zong Rinpoche had passed away and we were eagerly awaiting his incarnation.

My-room

The manager had two small rooms that were connected to the cowshed in Zong Ladrang. A small room with leaky tiled roofs was going to be mine and no rent. I was excited. I loved being in Gaden. I love the monks. I LOVED BEING IN THE HOUSE OF MY ROOT GURU, HIS HOLINESS KYABJE ZONG RINPOCHE.

This picture is the room in the front of mine. And then behind this room is my room. Behind us in the nice building is another chapel not physically connected to us. We were separated by a small road. You can see the tops of the Chapel in maroon and white circles behind the cowshed in the picture.

On the right of these two rooms adjoined is where the buffaloes and cows stayed. My room had a huge crack in the wall and I can see the cows and they can see me daily. I slowly painted the room blue, cleaned it up, put a simple bed and table inside and it became mine. I put netting over the windows cos at night there is tons of mosquitoes and a ceiling fan kept the heat at bay. I loved my simple small room in my guru’s house in Gaden. The smell of the buffaloes were strong, but you get use to it. This is where I did my reading, retreats, tsok, pujas, prayers and had many great times for a few years.

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Across and separate from me was the communal toilet and shower. Left is toilet and right is shower. Found snakes in the toilet a few times too, but I didn’t get harmed

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My small room and the chapel behind me

When he passed away and I got the news in Los Angeles…my whole world fell apart. I couldn’t stop crying for months. Even now as I type this tears flow down my face. I can’t say I have missed anyone in my whole life as I miss Zong Rinpoche. To me, he was the most perfect High Tibetan Lama. The perfect Archetype of what I imagined them to be like. He was very knowledgeable in sutra. Perfect master in tantra. Had full clairvoyance. Very hard to surpass Rinpoche in the knowledge of rituals. And on occasion manifested his tantric powers. I have never recovered from his passing. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t miss him. Not a day goes by I haven’t recited his name mantra for the last 25 years.. I keep his photos and statues near me always. I believe and trust in Zong Rinpoche all the way. I have some of his hair he gave me and it has always been with me and I carry it wherever I am.

Cowshed

This is the window to my room from behind my small room. The monks would walk up and down. My monk friends would tap on the window to say hello often–it was a good time for most of it

When I entered his Ladrang, his energy pervaded the whole place, BUT HE WAS NOT THERE. I had come after he passed. I had come after my guru had left his body. So much negative karma that I could not meet him again. I toured his rooms, his stupa, his bed, his prayer room, his yard, his students, his trees, his plants, his chairs, his carpets, his statues, his altars and i felt him everywhere. I felt the presence of this enlightened being everywhere and all the places I looked. He had over 30 students that lived in his ladrang. We were the Zong Ladrang students and I was very proud and honored to be one of them.. But Rinpoche has passed away. I felt alone. I felt vulnerable. I felt lost. I missed him so much. I realized that only in body was he gone, but being Heruka Cakrasamvara, his mind was every where and I must tap into his mind by developing compassion, benefitting others, letting go of pains, and working for others. That is the only way I can connect with him again….and I was determined to do that….

You see I have never loved anyone as much as I have loved HH Kyabje Zong Rinpoche…..

But I missed Zong Ladrang very much. Some of the students in Zong Ladrang were very kind to me and I remember them till this day and send them gifts. When I arrived in Zong Ladrang in 1988, I had very little money, didn’t speak a word of Tibetan and was bright eyed and bushy tailed. I was very poor but happy. Many times I didn’t have enough to eat and lost alot of weight and became very emanciated.. but I was happy. I never wanted to return to a lay life and go to USA again. I was where I was suppose to be, live and die there. I wanted to be in Gaden. And Gaden was in me.

 

1me

Hard to believe, but this is me in those days. I didn’t have much money. Not much food found my mouth. The monks with sponsors can buy extra, but I didn’t have a sponsor. Many monks were just like me. Some worse suffering from TB.

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I ate cooked corn flour (tsampa) mixed with sweet tea daily and most of the time.

Me3

I was always hungry, but I am not complaining. I wanted to be there and happy to be endure poverty for the dharma.

Mundgod post office

This is the Post office 20 mins away walk from Gaden from whence later I would send and receive thousands of letters and correspondences. Most of the time, the letters didn’t get lost either! There was no Western Union during my time in Gaden, this is recent. But it is the same building with no difference at all.

Me

(I sure was super thin. I looked liked a waif..hehe)

 


Later in 2006 from Malaysia where I was living I visited my old room in Zong Ladrang. I shared alot of memories with the 62 people who followed me there. They were very happy to learn of my background and I humbly shared it with them. See below.

 


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Visiting my former room was really a blast from the past and i enjoyed being there again and sharing the place with my friends

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Visiting my old room in Zong Ladrang in 2006 coming from Malaysia.

Later I moved to my own house from Zong Ladrang. My father built me on my own house on land that was mine in Gaden after being recognized as a Rinpoche.

My house was called Tsem Ladrang-Gaden.

This sharing of pictures and thoughts overwhelms me with thoughts of my perfect teacher Kyabje Zong Rinpoche.

How he recognized me as a reincarnation and told me to stay in his own house (ladrang) when we met the first time.

Memories/thoughts/ love for Kyabje Zong Rinpoche is what has kept me going through the most difficult periods of my life and I had many obstacles. He has been my reason to keep going.

I love you Kyabje Zong Rinpoche forever. May I be connected with you in all my lives until liberation. From the point of my liberation in the distant future may I wear you on the crown of my head always.

Zong Rinpoche Kyenno!

Tsem Rinpoche

 


Tibetan ‘Ah’ syllable found on the inside of the skull of the 2nd Zong Rinpoche, Zongtrul Tenpa Chopel (1836-1899 AD) after his cremation ceremony

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65 Responses to The Cowshed That Was My Home in Gaden

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  1. Greg L on Jul 3, 2015 at 11:47 pm

    I try not to trivialize buddhism but i love stories like this. Buddhist monks are just surreal cool outside of the practices and teachings. You’re awesome Rinpoche.

    Metta
    – Greg

  2. SG on Feb 5, 2015 at 9:52 am

    Humble beginnings but it’s true challenges break us or make us. Rinpoche’s whole hearted commitment to his guru and dharma practice kept him going. May we have the same qualities.

  3. philyong on Feb 13, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    Everyone has to read this blog post and remember the contents of it. It is because of the pure love given to Tsem Rinpoche by Zong Rinpoche that we are all here today. Rinpoche always mentioned about how much Zong Rinpoche has done for him. It is because of Zong Rinpoche that he is a monk today (part of the reason) but definitely something for all of us to remember.

    One cycle around and today Rinpoche received an amazing news that HH Zong Rinpoche has invited him to stay in Zong Ladrang when he visits Gaden!!! As the post above mentioned, the previous Zong Rinpoche instructed Rinpoche to stay in his Ladrang when gets to Gaden. This shows very well the pure samaya of Rinpoche. Everyone is very happy with the news and we cant wait for both the Rinpoches to meet up again!!!

  4. abby f on Jan 17, 2013 at 2:36 am

    Dear Rinpoche, thank you for your sharing. I realize that Rinpoche never afraid of the so called bad life, Rinpoche just accept it without complaint. I think this is because everything Rinpoche never think just about me me me, and whenever/wherever Rinpoche can benefit others, no matter how, Rinpoche will endure it.

    I sincerely wish myself can be like Rinpoche one day. I’m quite tired for being selfish and always take things from others. I wish I can have the even slightest of Rinpoche’s qualities, enduring the hardships for others and be selfless. I want to put this as my direction for my Dharma practice.

    Thank you for this sharing Rinpoche. Rinpoche inspired me a lot with this post. It makes me think more and wider. 🙂

  5. Valentina Suhendra on Jan 15, 2012 at 8:56 am

    My dear Lama

    I have known about your story of hardship to pursue what you want many years ago. When things got difficult on me, the story of your suffering plays in my mind and inspire me to move on.

    Much love and care

    Valentina

  6. andrew hibberd on Oct 25, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    if my sons can just be the best they can be and continue in happiness all my wishes will be fulfilled , i live here and i know i have or someone who is mine transferred the genetical memory to me and through this i know mine will live well beyond me and genetically or supernaturally everything i think , everything i do, everything i say will be with them for a long time , im happy in this knowledge

  7. tsemtulku on Mar 14, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    Some thoughts from the side of the teacher and karma:

    Why teach the dharma when no one wishes to transform or sincerely tries. You only offend them, make them angry, and because they can’t face themselves, become hateful of you. They even run away.. These days, one of the best ways to make enemies, is to teach others dharma or tell them what needs to change… So teaching less dharma is better during these times…transformation creates the causes for more dharma. Every time you break your promise, or give up or just run from what you are suppose to do adds to the drop teachings becoming less….Making excuses creates the causes for dharma teachings to lessen and then to stop….

    The most disheartening sight for any teacher is to see a student not change after years of teachings, hundreds of repititions of the same advice although the teacher cares so much..teachers must be compassionate towards students but not to the extent of allowing them to harm others/themselves….students must be kind to teachers too..it goes both ways… Excuses and justifications for the same mistakes arising from pure laziness and selfishness. Not caring about burdening others. This all creates such powerful karma for the teacher to go away, pass way or just remain silent. It creates karma for yourself to become harder, lazier and even more closed up…remember results resemble causes…. For projects not to take off or filled with zillions of obstacles arise from this type of karma also… If the karma is so strong, then even if the teacher wants to help, your karma or collective karma will somehow stop it. The degeneration of Buddhism will arise from ‘practitioners who don’t practice…this will create the main causes for the demise of Shakyamuni’s teachings…You may think you are happy and free because your teacher stopped pointing things out to you, but the so called happiness and freedom is temporary…karma catches up and the teacher with tears in their eyes watch you experience the effects of your karma…the teacher stopped speaking to you or stopped teaching because your karma to recieve it is not supportive…dangerous…never let it go that far…never…but if it has…then it has….

    Not wanting to listen to one’s teacher you say you are committed to is a sign that you have broken many promises, samayas, practices and trust. The karma that arises is any good advice given to you cannot be heard, understood or followed. Good advice might even make you angry. The sight of your teacher might make you unhappy. The sight of something that creates happiness or dharma might make you uncomfortable or run. Why? The karma to recieve good, is not enough. For example, when someone due to drinking has lied so much, cheated or hurt so many family members over and over, there is this very strong karma collected and bursting to open. The karma returns and makes him not hear advice nor want to follow giving up drinking. He/She may know the harm and understand, but cannot stop. Or run away from loved ones who truly care…the loved ones watch with tears and apprehension as they drink themselves to oblivion or worse… The karma to harm is too strong. The karma controls the person already….A tiger needs to kill due to it being born in that state as it’s karma has opened…opened to make more negative karma in that state..

    We must repair…must repair the karma. No matter how bad, samsara has so many worse states you cannot even imagine. Negative karma leads to more negative karma, it does not stand still…Do not be limited..do not let laziness and selfishness rule anymore. Remember commitment, stability and consistency are the keys to anything…repair as no one can hurt you or punish you, only your deeds returning…for some it is truly too late..for some it only seems that way…whatever the cases, try……

    It’s different for everyone and every teacher though…Tsem Rinpoche

    • Kasia on Jul 21, 2011 at 1:18 am

      I sincerely hope that seeds which are sown will some day grow and bear fruit, although maybe the soil/soul is not ready to nourish them yet… and that your fire will always burn bright for us all… you made me cry, think, love… and I am just one of thousands. So thanks and thanks for sharing and thanks to no end. really. Kasia

  8. Knut Eggers on Sep 26, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    What an amazing story of true humbleness. What a selfish attitude I have and how great my own fear of poverty. Sorry about being disrespectful to you lately, I probably am a bit out of balance with my new feeling of upcoming self-worth. Hoping to serve you better – and those other very persons I love.
    Warm and humble regards, Knut

  9. Uncle Eddie on Aug 19, 2010 at 12:26 am

    An opportunity was provided for me by Tsem Rinpoche in a return visit to Gaden Monastry in 2006 for 62 people, where we were able to see where and how our Guru used to live when he first went to join Gaden Monastry.
    We were taken to 2 small rooms that were connected to a cowshed.
    Rinpoche lived in the smaller room with leaky tiled roof, behind a chapel separated by a small road.
    From a description given by Rinpoche, it seems that he had buffaloes and cows as neighbours, and through a huge crack in the wall he could see them daily, had to get used to the strong smell of buffaloes, and swarm of mosquitoes flying around. That was where he did his reading, retreats, tsog, pujas & prayers for many years. Snakes were sometimes found in the toilet, though no harm had happened to him.
    He had, nevertheless, never complained about these inadequacies, even went on to acclaim that all those years, he had many great times living in the simple small room of his Root Guru’s house in Gaden, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche whom he so dearly loved and felt so proudly of!
    Such is our Guru who said that learning and practicing Dharma make us to transform ourselves to become better and not make our egos bigger and make us swell up with pride with wrong attitudes.

  10. Mic on Aug 18, 2010 at 12:27 am

    When I saw Rinpoche and others lived in the above cowshed, my heart felt for those who lived here without proper food and shelter. This relate to the same feeling that I have for those beggars, disable people, less fortunate people and children, abandoned children and old folks, homeless, and etc who asked for money at the street, the restaurants either by themselves or by charity organization. I felt sorry because they have to worry for their basic needs and poor living condition. This reminded me that there was a lady who carried her baby in her arm in Guangzhou who kneel and bow with the head knocking the ground non stop at the side of pedestrian walkway in Guangzhou a few years ago. Why was she so desperate? I could only offered her with a little money. She was helpless and enduring the pain that she had for her baby. I was not sure whether she had any shelter. I could relate her feeling as a mother who endure the pain of seeing our children suffering, mother would usually do anything to safe her children. It was really hard to be alone with minimum affection from family or maybe no family at all. I remebered my biggest worry for my children when they were still baby; I was very worry that I wouldn’t be able to take care of my children if unpredicted bad things happen to me and that a bad step mother who took care of my children would ill treat my children and caused unhealthy grow either mentally or physically to my children. This unhealthy grow would lead to children growing up with hatred and this would require a long and bumpy journey for them to find their deep hiden good nature and calming themselve. This was my biggest fear. I still pray for able to see through my children to grow up healthily (mental anfd physical). Now I pray for to be able to have deeper understanding in Dharma so that I will be able to imprint the dharma onto my children.
    Thank you Guru Rinpoche for being here.

  11. Anila on Aug 11, 2010 at 12:14 am

    On my first visit to Gaden Monastery with Bibi, Adeline Tan, Nancy, and Ms Too. Rinpoche showed us where he lived on his arrrival at Gaden as a monk. It was a cowshed. He literally lived and sleep with the cows. It was such a shock. Rinpoche was given two options. To stay in America become a model and enjoy life in B ig America in Los Angeles. But he chose to become a monk and endure all sufferings for the sake of sentient beings. And because of his faith in the Protector and Guru Devotion knowing that this can lead him to do much more greater things to help sentient being than by becoming a model. He has listened to his Guru and today thru all the rough roads, conditions as circunstances he has to endure to achieve 13 Departments and more in the near future which will eventually be in KWPC the biggest Retreat centre in this Region for benefit of a lot of people.

  12. Koh Hee Peng on Aug 5, 2010 at 10:45 am

    “I was always hungry, but I am not complaining. I wanted to be there and happy to be endure poverty for the dharma.” – Tsem Tulku Rinpoche.

    A wake up call to all of us who are so accustomed to our way of life, that is no more than habituation based on our cultural upbringing that emphasizes materialism, which only increases our selfish mind due to our grasping to the ungraspable attachments (e.g. money, reputation, big cars, big house, etc).

    Suffering for others is not suffering, but liberating ourselves to the full potential of Buddha hood in us. When we suffer for others, it is not us who experience the pain. But it is our ego, our own self-cherishing mind that is experiencing the pain. In the process of helping others, we are eradicating our ego and selfishness that has deeply rooted inside us. Hence, when we experience pain or misery for the sake of others, we should rejoice. We should be happy as we are on the right track to attainment of enlighten mind.

    Be vegetarian, be happy.
    Be forgiving, be happy.
    Be compassionate, be happy.
    Be kind, be happy.
    Be selfless, be happy.
    Be happy.

  13. Andrew James Boon on Jul 10, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    Such and incredibly moving story! And what eye-opening pictures. Thank you for sharing Rinpoche. I have never doubted your sincerity or motivation but through this post I get to get a glimpse of your life and how through your many experiences you went through (good or bad), you use them to your full advantage and transforms it into something that benefits others.
    1.You felt real hunger yet you never once complained. And now you created Kechara Soup Kitchen to make sure no one has to go thtough that: http://www.kechara.com/soup-kitchen
    2.You were intructed by Zong Rinpoche to go stay in Zong Ladrang, thousands of miles away from where you grew and yet obeyed with humility and never once complained. You do this without question as you wanted to be connected with your guru even though he was not physically there. And now knowing this, in your compassion you make yourself accessible to us all knowing full well this is an important aspect that helps us in our Dharmic journey. You know we would be incredibly lazy withouth your presence and will not be as dedicated (at least for now)and hence you sacrifice your own happiness to be in the mountains for us. How incredibly fortunate we all are and I am humbled beyond words once again!
    3.Whilst you were in Zong Ladrang you lived a very basic life (compared to most if not all of us here), yet you never once complained. And now you created comfortable accommodations for your students with all the Dharma houses where they can live and support each other in comfort with modern amenities: http://blog.tsemtulku.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/2010/06/dharma-houses.html
    Your incredible ad admirable guru devotion is remarkable! I will always be humbled by this and remain head bowed and with folded hands with you my guru, Tsem Rinpoche! Thank you for showing us always by example, over and over and over again.

  14. thierryfornow on Jul 10, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    As I read this, I realize that I am installed comfortably on a nice chair in a very hotel room overlooking the sea, the lighting is nice and subdued, I have air-conditionning and even room service… Yet, I am let to think, what karma is most supportoive to Dharma practice? This luxury hotel I am in or a cowshed in Zong Rinpoche’s ladrang? Without a doubt I would say the second option.
    As Rinpoche explained before, having money and be constantly pampered is not necessarily good karma; good karma, to be good in its full sense, should be karma that propels one to engage in Dharma, not one that propels one to engage in holidays and parties.

  15. Grace Cheah on Jul 10, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    Frankly speaking, I have not come across anyone as compassionate as our Guru, H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche, who has a BIG heart, 100% selfless and with many Great Qualities:
    * He helps others unconditionally without bias/exceptions and urge us to do the same;
    * He implants “Dharma seeds” into our mind and teaches us the precious Holy Dharma patiently and tirelessly;
    * He nurtures & forgives us like our parents no matter what happens;
    * He never give-up on us and would continuously adopt different ways & methods through “his compassion, wisdom & skillful means” to make us realize our faults/shortcomings, wake us up from our senses, and make us change for the better;
    * He constantly pushes us to practice Dharma diligently so that we would transform ourselves (our minds) to become a better and happier person.
    * He encourages us to do more Dharma work (by helping others) and engage in virtuous deeds in order to accumulate more merits for ourselves to have a better & happier life in this lifetime as well as future lives, until we achieve the great goal of Enlightenment;
    * and many many more…!
    Meeting Rinpoche & the holy Dharma definitely bring countless benefits to many, not only we can fulfill our worldly wishes, but would also lead us to a much happier life by transforming ourselves (our minds) to be a better person through practice with perseverance.
    “May Rinpoche have a good health & long life to continue to turn the wheel of Dharma and may all his virtuous dreams & wishes be fulfilled. May the holy Dharma flourished and increase forever more in this region and around the world.”

  16. Grace Cheah on Jul 10, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    I think it’s normal for lay people like us to feel sorry for Rinpoche (after reading this post) and would consider the difficult situations and harsh conditions Rinpoche faced during his younger days in Gaden as a form of “suffering” and a “big sacrifice”.
    The reason being we are so pampered with all the convenience around us, where everything we want and need are easily accessible, which we have been taking for granted for, without realizing how fortunate we are. Further, in these degenerate times, we are being brought up with the mentality/perception that money is everything, with minimal focus on compassion, selflessness and self-improvement, where spirituality is concerned. As such, we are constantly striving for material wealth and indulge oneself in luxury & samsaric pleasure, and engaged in activities that have no meaning, which bring us nowhere…but frustration, anger/hatred, egotism, selfishness, greediness, competition, conflict, etc. In a nutshell, we embody the “3 poisons” (ignorance, hatred/anger, and greediness) defined in Buddhism in samsara.
    Conversely, our Rinpoche’s passion and love for the Holy Dharma and his Guru Devotion is so unbelievably strong and “rock-solid” that he didn’t mind living in poverty and endure any hardship for the sake of others. In fact, he did not consider what he had pain-stakingly gone through those days as a “sacrifice” at all, despite living in a cowshed and had been starving with not enough food to eat for years. Instead, he was happy and loves his simple life as a monk/Rinpoche in Gaden, rather than being a lay person in USA. Rinpoche did this with a pure motivation of learning the holy Dharma, inspired by his root guru, Zong Rinpoche, whom he revered and trusted deeply, for the sole purpose of benefiting many people in the future.
    This clearly proves that our Rinpoche, a recognized re-incarnated “Highly Attained Lama”, has achieved a level beyond our imagination…a level where we, at samsara, cannot possibly comprehend. However, Rinpoche is so compassionate that he actually brings himself down to our level, so that he is in the same wave-length as us to teach and guide us.
    We are extremely fortunate indeed to have Rinpoche as our Guru, who is the perfect role-model for anyone to emulate. In fact, I am proud to tell the world that our Guru, H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche, is the walking “Living Buddha”.
    Thank you Rinpoche from the bottom of my heart for Everything you have done for all of us (and countless others) Unconditionally and Selflessly! (^.^)

  17. weeliang on Jul 10, 2010 at 7:20 am

    This story is very touching. I cannot imagine how Rinpoche must have felt when he returned to his old home. Even when I visit the house I grew up in, It brings back a lot of memories. All I did in my parent’s old house was basically eat, sleep and play. Rinpoche having done so much more in Zong Ladrang and Rinpoche’s devotion to Zong Rinpoche, it must have been really emotional.
    I am very happy that Rinpoche’s motivation and commitment to the dharma did not sway at the times of hardship. But I admire Rinpoche even more now. As to me, it is even more admirable of Rinpoche to have his motivation and commitment to the dharma not sway when he now has a big Ladrang and much much more compared to before. In fact, Rinpoche motivation has increased and his commitment to the dharma has become indestructible. I hope Rinpoche can be an example to all of us that success should lead us to do more good things and not become deluded by it.
    Wee Liang

  18. Joy Kam on Jul 10, 2010 at 6:17 am

    Seeing Rinpoche home in Gaden really humbles me. It shows Rinpoche’s amazing tenacity, devotion, humility, love and attainment in the Dharma. If any of us were given this type of condition to live in, I am certain we would run, yet Rinpoche put up with leaks, the freezing tempritures during winter and heat during the Indian summer, insects and snakes. Only a person who is truly sincere about Dharma can do this.
    We Malaysians are really so spoil and it puts us to shame. Even now Rinpoche have to beg and cajoled us to even do Dharma. On top of that we get pressure and sarcastic remarks from family and friends saying that we’ve gone insane. A clear sign of the degenerate time and world. As for Rinpoche, nothing can and will stop him from the Dharma. We certainly have a long long way to go. We are so so lucky and bless we have the merits to meet the Dharma and Guru in such good conditions. This signals me to never complain but always to do more.
    Humbly yours, Joy

  19. James Long on Jul 10, 2010 at 6:02 am

    I’m very lucky to have the chance to visit to Gaden in year 2006 together with Rinpoche and other Kechara members and friends. It was a wonderful journey.
    Rinpoche kept his promise to Zong Rinpoche even though Zong Rinpoche has passed away before he went to Gaden. It shows how strong his guru devotion is and his wish to continue his spiritual journey.
    How many of us are able to let go of our own pleasure and “so called-future” like Rinpoche to go to India, a foreign place, staying in a cowshed, suffer from hunger, to pursue his dream-be a monk and most important, to fulfil his promise to his Root Guru- Zong Rinpoche? Besides, when we have the chance to volunteer or part time or full time work in Dharma, how many of us answered: “I’m not ready?” We are really spoilt.

  20. Karen Leu on Jul 10, 2010 at 4:10 am

    I can’t imagine if I would have to stay in the cowshed. All this physical environment constraints doesn’t stop Rinpoche from practicing the Dharma. “Not a day goes by, I haven’t recited his name mantra for the last 25 years.”
    This is the sentence that touches me the most! Lay people like us, who have so much excuses not to do Sadhana/chanting daily, should feel ashamed to be called Rinpoche’s student.
    Rinpoche has taken his Guru’s teachings and advice so seriously. I felt that the respect that Rinpoche has towards Zong Rinpoche is just indescribable. Reading this really make me feel so small when compared with what I’ve done for my Guru…

  21. Cynthia Lee on Jul 10, 2010 at 3:13 am

    Rinpoche’s guru devotion makes us Malaysian devotees look like a bunch of spoil brats who are believed to be living on trees in the minds of foreigners but in reality is really gracing the fields of luxury. This just shows how unappreciative we are even when we have everything so easily provided to do the Dharma well. Even then Rinpoche have to beg us to do it.
    Really reminds me of those sports movie about a bunch of a really lousy team made out of different sizes, personalities, skills and race. The one thing they have in common is a good coach. The goal to win seems almost impossible at times, but with much patience and motivation, there is a chance for a happy ending still. Don’t give up just yet ☺

  22. Beng Kooi on Jul 10, 2010 at 2:17 am

    Dear Thierry,
    I agree wholeheartedly especially with your last two points. Many times Rinpoche has said that he wishes he was back in Gaden again, doing pujas and retreats with the rest of the Sangha. It does not matter what facilities or luxuries were available to him in Gaden. More important was the environment to pursue a real spiritual path.
    Shame therefore on those of us who complain at long teachers, if the room is too hot or too cold, at the hard cushion, at the uncomfortable chair, at hunger pangs or just not being in the mood.
    How spoilt we all have become from the conducive outer conditions that did become obstacles to our Dharma practice. How shallow we are not to appreciate what our Guru has endured to be able to give us even the simplest teaching. And how selfish we are to want Dharma at our convenience and at our level – surely the path of Dharma is meant to benefit others?
    I read this post and am ashamed at my shortcomings.

  23. Jan Yong on Jul 10, 2010 at 2:07 am

    Tsem Tulku Rinpoche was very devoted to his teacher Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and followed all his instructions to go to Gaden, South India & stay in his Guru’s Ladrang. Despite how the environment that he stayed in didn’t have enough food to eat and he lost a lot of weight but he was very happy to be in Gaden and never wanted to leave.
    Although Zong Rinpoche was not there and could not meet him again even at his Ladrang but he always felt his mind was everywhere. The only way to tap his Guru’s mind by developing compassion, benefitting others, letting go of pains & working for others. This part touches me because we should do that too in order to connect to one Guru although we are not with him but if we felt strongly to benefit others always that will connect our mind to him.
    The way he endured poverty for Dharma without complaints has set a good example for us to follow. This picture (visiting my old room in Zong Ladrang in 2006 coming from Malaysia) is one picture that I put on my altar at home that I see/prostrate to everyday.
    The most important is the qualities to learn from my teacher every time I look at his picture or talk to him as he is there. This is the way to keep me going and most important never give up for Dharma. Also I will listen / watch his Dharma talk very often even when I am driving.
    May I be always connected to you in all my lives.
    With fold hands,
    Jan

  24. Lim Tat Ming on Jul 10, 2010 at 1:55 am

    Rinpoche’s strong devotion to Dharma is so inspiring. For the sake of Dharma nothing can stand in Rinpoche’s way.
    Loss of beloved root guru, hunger, poverty, loneliness, vulnerability, imperfect living conditions, mosquitoes, snakes, buffaloes and cows as house mates, heat – these obstacles are insignificant. Rinpoche had shown us the life of the renunciates. Spiritual practitioners are adaptable, can lead a simple life and have very few needs!
    What is most empowering is Rinpoche’s guru devotion to His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and perseverance in His Holiness’ absence. Rinpoche had shown the true practice of Guru Devotion. No matter where the Guru is, the Guru is always with us, guiding us along the path to Enlightenment.

  25. Margaretlee on Jul 10, 2010 at 1:12 am

    From listening to Zong Rinpoche to go to India to become a monk and then staying at Zong Ladrang at the cowshed to later on moving to Malaysia to teach , Tsem Rinpoche has humbly and repeatedly followed all his guru instructions to the T’s.
    This remind myself that I should not be selective when taking instructions from my Guru.
    Though near starvation and with basically minimum necessities, Rinpoche was really happy to stay in Zong ladrang under these conditions. It shows how close Dharma is to his heart. I was exceptionally touched when Rinpoche said that after Zong Rinpoche passed away, he felt intense lonliness, but in order to connect to Zong Rinpoche’s mind, which in fact is Heruka Cakrasamvara, he realised he must develop compassion, letting go of pains and always act in the benefits of others in order to be close to his Guru. May I always remind myself the same

  26. SK Yap on Jul 9, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    I was one of the pilgrims following H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche to visit Gaden Monastery in 2006. It was my first trip ever visiting any Tibetan monastery in my whole life.
    Listening to H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche’s history and biography and witnessing personally the place he stay, study, doing prayers and retreat have makes the learning so real and effective.
    All of us are so lucky, have plenty of food in Malaysia, stay in clean environment, have the freedom to do any thing and includes religious, we have jobs, and our family and friends are available anytime we call them. So why aren’t we doing dharma and practicing generosity and compassion for others? We have so much to complain about and have never ending shopping list to fulfill our attachment.
    Perhaps we should take time out away from our attachment, and for once do something good for others without thinking for ourself?
    PAUL

  27. Nicholas Yu on Jul 9, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    I can feel that Rinpoche was very happy arriving Zong Ladrang and staying there must be the most wonderful thing that Rinpoche would ever want.
    Rinpoche’s Guru Devotion really inspires me. Besides living in a rundown place Rinpoche also didn’t have enough to eat but Rinpoche was happy. Happy to fulfill the promise & happy for the dharma. Never once Rinpoche thought of giving up even after Zong Rinpoche enter the clear light. Rinpoche passion on dharma is indestructible.
    No matter how sad Rinpoche felt from the loss of Zong Rinpoche, the memories and loves for Zong Rinpoche that kept Rinpoche keep going.
    I really feel ashamed to compare with the condition Rinpoche gone through to learn dharma and me here with everything so well provided and comfortable.
    Can’t find any reason to stop doing Dharma.

  28. David Lai on Jul 9, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    This is where Rinpoche’s heart truly lies, a grotty little cowshed on the outside but what it symbolise for us is Rinpoche’s perseverance, true joy and love for the Dharma. No matter how big Rinpoche becomes and how many students and sponsors he has, Rinpoche will always be the simple young monk who reside in this cowshed. Bad and good situations come and go along with numerous sincere and insincere people that surround Rinpoche, seeking his assitance, Rinpoche would never move from his Dharma roots and his link to his Guru, in the form of his Sadhana and vows.
    There are many times when students repeatedly disappoint Rinpoche and cause him many sleepless nights, innumerable migraines and back aches from lack of sleep, Rinpoche told me that he would longed to be back at the monastery. I realise that is really where his heart truly lies and where he will always be. We are fortunate to see pictures of this cowshed because we are looking at where his heart truly lives. As students and friends of Rinpoche, we should know and understand this.

  29. ckliew-kc on Jul 9, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    This blog is very touching and heart felt. For Rinpoche to be here all these years , in a place thats so foreign to Rinpoche that might have slows down Rinpoche practice to sacrifice His own time for the benefits of all other people is truly respectable. As Rinpoche said and mention many times in this post you could have simply live in a shed high up in the mountain doing your retreat , your puja but instead you are here everyday in and out listening to people with many problems , attending to them and serving them is really sad to me. I feel sad not because of being pity of Rinpoche situation is entirely a great man like Rinpoche doing so much for us yet sometimes do not deservedly get any returns.
    I am sure we all feel Rinpoche reflect the best of the best Guru Devotion to your guru , i bow to your devotions , it is so strong by simply reading it it humbles every great person alive in this world. I wish one day Rinpoche can be back in Gaden ,back in a place where you truly feel one with. I wish Rinpoche enters full enlightenment as soon as it is.
    Lastly thank you so much for sharing your life with us.

  30. KOK YEK YEE on Jul 9, 2010 at 12:01 am

    When Rinpoche in Gaden, South India, he stayed in a cowshed. Rinpoche has not complaint at all even though need to stay in a small cowshed. Two years ago, I felt quite luckily I can visit Gaden. I still remember when stand outside look at Rinpoche’s cowshed, I cannot believe it.
    You cannot imagine Rinpoche how much suffering Rinpoche has went through. That is no reason why Rinpoche want to stay in this small, old and narrow cowshed, the reason only for Dharma. Rinpoche has immigrated from US to India, all because only for Dharma and also want to fulfill his commitment to his Guru.

  31. henry ooi on Jul 8, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    Journey to Gaden 2006 not only opened our (62 of us) eyes the simple monastic life Rinpoche led in Gaden but also that of all sangha members there. Rinpoche’s guru devotion to his root guru H.H. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche is very intense and we could see the tears and laughter of joy that Rinpoche manifested during the trip while recalling fond memories.
    Rinpoche made many offerings to all his other gurus in Gaden including their attendants, other old lamas and geshes and the grand offerings to the entire sangha in Gaden (about 3000 monks). In return, Gaden Shartse and Pukhang Kamtsen accorded a very warm and grand welcome to Rinpoche befitting a high incarnate.
    Many new members are asking when the next trip will be. Over to Kechara Discovery……

  32. Adeline Tan on Jul 8, 2010 at 5:39 am

    When I first met Tsem Tulku Rinpoche in August 1992 in Melaka in one of my dharma friend’s house, we just clicked straight away because Rinpoche could speak English very well and no Rinpoche could speak fluent English at that time, Rinpoche looked very thin and frail and pale at that time but very energenic his charismatic character attracts a lot of people, he is humourous and teaches dharma in a lively way.
    In the following yaer Rinpoche has invited a few of us ( 5 people ) to his house tsem ladrang in Gaden for 2 weeks. We really enjoyed our stay there. Tsem Ladrang was small and simple then but very warmth and calm inside and the surrounding areas. The air is fresh in the countryside and very relaxing that I wished I didn’t have to come back to work. During the day we helped the monks to cook our foods in the house and by night Rinpoche took us round the monastery, circumambulating the stepas and afterthat back to his room to listen to dharma talk till wee hours in the morning, it’s so enjoyable that we never felt tired or sleepy at all. It was indeed my first memorable pilgrimage tour in 1993 to Gaden Monestery.

  33. martin on Jul 8, 2010 at 1:59 am

    Even as i read in awe of Tsem Tulku’s Guru devotion, i can’t help but think…Wow!…1988 in a cowshed…22 years of obstacles later, Kechara with 13 divisions and an army of full-timers with total devotion to Rinpoche’s vision. Not to mention the thousands of lives “straightened out”. For most of us, we spent the same 22 years sinking deeper into the quagmire of ignorance and attachment.
    To quote Su Ming: “Rinpoche DID NOT TURN BACK HIS WORDS/PROMISES…”
    Tsem Tulku Rinpoche has said KWPC will materilaize and therefore it will happen.
    KWPC for me offers an opportunity to practice (hopefully) the similar Guru devotion as Tsem Tulku has shown, and make Rinpoche’s vision my mission. For now, that is the only way i know to practice devotion to Tselm Tulku….to do what i can for KWPC to happen.
    And i thank Rinpoche and all in Kechara for “counting me in”.
    Much love

  34. Tyler Mihalson on Jul 7, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,
    Your amazing devotion to your holy guru is so inspiring to me! I remember once you said to develop strong guru devotion to the point where tears spontaneously run down your face. I think now I understand a little of how beautiful and life changing it must be to be so near to one’s perfect guru. I am so inspired to read this! I have wanted to become a monk for such a long time, but have always been afraid that I will not be able to because I do not know Tibetan, etc. But I think that, if my gurus give me their blessings to go and become ordained, then I will surely be able to do it. You are my role model for how to be devoted to my gurus. I see how transformative guru devotion is, and I think it is time for me to commit the 50 Verses of Guru Devotion to memory.
    Thank you, Rinpoche,
    Tyler.

  35. May Ong on Jul 7, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    External conditions like living in a cow shed and pangs of hunger did not dissuade Tsem Rinpoche to turn the other way to give up Dharma or guru devotion to his guru, HH Zong Rinpoche. Tsem Rinpoche kept his promise to HH Zong Rinpoche even after his passing on to clear light. These monks in the monasteries lived with bare minimum necessity and yet they are happy and joyous to be able to live close to their gurus and serve them.
    Tsem Rinpoche was not attracted to the lights in the city nor to the pleasures it offered. Instead he is most happy to be with the only person he owes his life and devotion to. So do we really need a lot in life to be truly happy?

  36. han on Jul 7, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    By Reading this article , i experienced the very strong guru devotion tsem Tulku Rinpoche towards his root guru Kyabje Zong Rinpoche
    Rinpoche listened to what his root guru adviced him since he met Zong Rinpoche in USA, even Zong Rinpoche passed away and the reincarnation came back, he never ever will break the samaya with Zong Rinpoche.
    Reflection on this, as a student to Rinpoche, do we sincerely enough to develop the guru student relationship with our guru? Do we transform enough to pay back the kindness Rinpoche had consistently working on us? Do we show our gratitude always to our guru? These are the pointers to comtemplate…..

  37. Sean on Jul 7, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    : I think that Rinpoche has such good karma to be able to live in a Ladrang of his root guru. I hope I can do that one day. Rinpoche shows such great guru devotion towards Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. I want to be like that. I would want to be like a ferry to go forth and back for the guru, like the earth carrying and handling all the work for the guru. People want to be enlightened, that is why there is a guru. I believe that I am lucky to have a glorious center like Kechara House that has lovely people working in it, air conditioning etc. I am glad the snakes did not harm Rinpoche. When Rinpoche passes on, I will feel very sad. I know I will cry for months on end, because I love him as a guru! He taught me the great and holy Dharma, the only true way to true happiness! I really wish I could visit Gaden Monastery one day and see Zong Ladrang on a next pilgrimage!

  38. Paris on Jul 7, 2010 at 4:25 am

    I agree with you Su Ming that the most striking thing about this post is the overwhelming devotion and love that Rinpoche has for his Guru, and the lifelong commitment he has to the promises he made to Zong Rinpoche.
    The difficulties already started in America. Rinpoche told us that he heard about Zong Rinpoche passing away when he was still in Los Angeles. His whole world fell apart then and he contemplated for some time over whether he should continue to go to Gaden or stay in America. He felt that there was no point in going all the way there now that his Guru was dead. Then one day, he just asked himself, “Do I believe Zong Rinpoche is Heruka, or don’t I?” He knew the answer right then, that Zong Rinpoche may not be physically there but if he believed that Zong Rinpoche was Heruka, then he would be everywhere and he must still honour his promise.
    He left everything in America and went to India, knowing that his Guru wouldn’t be there.
    This is stunning, for how many of us could say the same of ourselves? Many of us can’t even keep a lunch appointment! As it is, many of us struggle to keep our promises even when our teachers are alive, least of all when they have passed away. Rinpoche exemplifies to us the meaning of a lifelong commitment, true devotion and how it is entirely possible – nay, necessary – to keep our promises, no matter how hard it gets. He has shown us by his own example that the integrity and honour of honoring our word brings us so much further than hiding, denial and giving up.

  39. Su Ming on Jul 6, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    What touches the most about this posting about Rinpoche’s Guru Devotion towards Zong Rinpoche is that Rinpoche DID NOT TURN BACK HIS WORDS/PROMISES when Rinpoche heard the news that Zong Rinpoche has passed away. Rinpoche proceeded with what Rinpoche has promised Zong Rinpoche and Rinpoche made his way to India to become a monk. I’ve heard how Rinpoche has “suffered” in India and Nepal due to poverty BUT that WAS NO EXCUSE TO BREAK THAT PROMISE. And believe me, if Rinpoche had stayed back in America, Rinpoche would be very successful.
    It is very inspirational as in this age and era whereby promises are just merely words without action. Let us just reflect upon ourselves on all our broken promises not just to our guru but the people around us. Once our attachment knocks on our door, our integrity just flies out the window.

  40. Sandy Clarke on Jul 6, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,
    With greatest respect, I read this article and thought: “What hardships!” But it seems I prove my own ignorance, because I get the feeling that actually, these weren’t hardships to be endured, but rather your earlier joyful times in the Dharma and not being concerned with material comfort, which in comparison is temporary and meaningless.
    It’s very strange, because I’m at present drawn back to a time in my early days at school, where a minister spoke to our class. Our teacher asked him about the sacrifices he made in joining the Church and he said: “I didn’t sacrifice anything to join the Church; it was always my calling, my greatest joy.” I’ll never forget that, even though it was over 20 years ago.
    Thank you for sharing such joyful times. I’m sure thoughts of these times bring you fond memories, and although you no doubt still feel the loss of your great guru, HH Zong Rinpoche, you’ll also feel the many benefits and gains he provided you with, which no doubt remain with you till this day.
    Kindest regards,
    Sandy

  41. pamela on Jul 6, 2010 at 11:39 am

    Dear Rinpoche, thank you for sharing the stories of your life with us. Although I haven’t have the chance to visit Gaden Monastery, Zong Ladrang and Tsem Ladrang-Gaden, I wish I can in the future. The pictures posted here makes me feel like I was there in person. I could still remember in 1 of Rinpoche’s teachings, Rinpoche actually commented how precious it was to have a mosquito net to keep them out. It was funny at first but then I realized how hard it would be if I was staying there. So used to the so called ‘luxuries’ we have now and taking them for granted. I am so glad that Rinpoche now have a comfortable place, very hardworking Liaisons and members in order for Rinpoche to guide and advise for the precious Dharma to grow bigger and bring more benefits to all. May KWPC manifest ASAP and Lord Setrap help us all the way in realising Rinpoche’s hard work and dreams.

  42. Anila on Jul 6, 2010 at 8:01 am

    When I first visited Tsem Rinpoche in Ganden Monastery I never expected him to stay in a cowshed when he became a monk in Gaden. He was still very thin and malnourished even though he was already staying in the house that his father had built for him now. This cowshed belonged to Zong Rinpoche. Through the kindness of Zong Rinpoche Tsem Rinpoche has a place to stay even though its a cowshed. He appreciates Zong Rinpoche very much thats the reason why he will shed tears when he thinks of Zong Rinpoche. And in 2006 he led a pilgrimage to Ganden Monastery and he proudly show the cowshed to the people where he stays through the kindness of his Guru. That is why he feels very much for people who are homeless and without food. And KSK was born.

  43. Uncle Eddie on Jul 6, 2010 at 6:03 am

    An opportunity was provided in a visit to Gaden Monastery in 2006 for 62 people, including myself, where we were able to see how our guru used to live when he first went to join Gaden Monastery. We were taken to two adjoining small leaky tiled roof rooms situated behind a chapel separated by a small road. From a description, it seems our guru had buffaloes and cows staying as neighbours in the other room and through a huge crack in the wall, he could see them daily, had to get used to the strong aroma of the buffaloes and this was where he did readings, retread, tsok, pujas, prayers for a few years. Snakes were sometimes found in the toilet, though no harm had happened to him all those years and Rinpoche said that he had many great times living in this simple small room of his guru’s house in Gaden.
    This article shows us that learning Dharma make us to transfer ourselves to become better and should not make our ego grow bigger and make us swell with pride with a wrong attitude.

  44. David Lai on Jul 5, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    It is very humbling to know about Rinpoche humble beginnings and where Rinpoche’s heart truly lie. The hunger and poverty that was experienced by Rinpoche showed how brave and steadfast he is for the Dharma. His bravery inspires us to do the same in our own capacity with our own spiritual practice.
    For new people, this story is a great story that will reveal the treasure trove of qualities that Rinpoche has. It shows what a humble and a living master of the Dharma who would do whatever it takes to benefit others. One thing about Rinpoche is that he doesn’t need to hold his sacred vows but he naturally act out of the vows themselves. It shows that Rinpoche had already achieved the vows and the vows are not to hold him down but to inspire others to practice.

  45. Ashlee on Jul 5, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    Rinpoche’s strong Guru devotion is truly admirable. Rinpoche respects his root Guru (Zong Rinpoche) very much and put Dharma practice as his priority to return the love to his Guru.
    Rinpoche lived in the cowshed and had very little to eat but he still love staying at Zong ladrang. Despite the living condition, he persisted in his dharma practice because of his love for Zong Rinpoche. It’s very touching how Rinpoche describe how he misses Zong Rinpoche and how he hope to be with his Guru again.
    Through reading this article, i reflected on how fortunate we are in Malaysia to have a beautiful Kechara centre with full facilities e.g. air-cond, clean toilets, nice prayer hall and still we are lagging in our dharma practice. We must start practicing dharma & each students must play their part in order to repay the kindness of our Guru. As Rinpoche always remind us to be truthful & sincere and not to play mind games, then Kechara will grow to benefit many.

  46. Likheng on Jul 5, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    What hits me hardest after reading Rinpoche’s post is the way in which Rinpoche remains so loving, caring, giving, hopeful and joyful despite the hard living of Rinpoche’s youth. I have never sensed a moment of anger, sadness, or bitterness from Rinpoche. Rinpoche does not use the sad and hard past as an excuse to be less than 100% compassionate and dedicated to being in to contribution to others through Kechara House. Rinpoche sets the pinnacle of example to which I should remind myself to make conscious effort to strive towards.
    From Rinpoche’s story, I also learn that if we find our cause in life like Rinpoche did, despite every difficulty, we will be happy. Additionally, from my understanding of Dharma teachings, the ONE purpose we all share commonly in our lifetime is to awaken the Buddha within us, i.e. achieve enlightenment to free ourselves and all sentient beings from samsara.

  47. Yokefui on Jul 5, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Yes Rinpoche, I was one of the fortunate ones to go on that trip with you to Gaden in 2006. I was there too in your old room. Until I saw with my own eyes the condition in which you lived in, I had no idea what hardships you endured to learn and practice the dharma.
    Few nights ago you scolded us for not treasuring the dharma, how right you are. We are truly the fools that hold a gold nugget and then just carelessly toss it aside.
    Reading this post again and again should be a daily practice for all your students. It is a living reminder to us of Rinpoche’s devotion to your Guru and dharma

  48. Jean Mei on Jul 5, 2010 at 7:14 am

    I’m sure that a lot of people express Thank You towards Rinpoche all the time, but I’d just like to say Thank You again for sharing this post which shows everyone the humble early days you had as a monk.
    I feel that perhaps some people may get the impression that with the amount of gifts that he gives away and the established departments (and ladrang) that anyone can see today that Tsem Rinpoche has always had it easy due to kind sponsors.
    By looking at the photos and reading the explanations and photo captions, it truly illustrates how genuine and real Rinpoche’s devotion and his lineage (due to the teachings) is.
    A lot of people (including me) sometimes wish that they had a massive, fluffy sofa to sit on after the 4th hour of listening to a teaching (I’d honestly still pick a cushion over a sofa) but looking at where Rinpoche has done prayers for most of his life makes me feel shameful that I can pray in an air-conditioned and mosquito-free environment.
    I’m sure that (just like Tsem Rinpoche) Zong Rinpoche didn’t mind and probably loved his Ladrang but some part of me wish that I was around and could do something to improve the place.
    I’m very happy to see the conditions of Tsem Ladrang and feel really comforted to know that his students will do their very best to give him the best that they can.

  49. susan on Jul 5, 2010 at 4:54 am

    Rinpoche talks about taking a group of 62 people to Gaden Monastery in 2006. Do watch this pilgrimage video http://www.kechara.com/publications/audio-visual/dvds/journey-to-gaden/
    What struck me most is how Rinpoche misses Zong Rinpoche. I’ve known of this for many years and was there during the trip. Nevertheless, reading this post strikes deep in my heart and mind as if i’m reading it for the first time.
    Instead of feeling sad, lonely, with not much to eat, Rinpoche made up his mind by developing compassion, benefitting others, letting go of pains, and working for others. As Rinpoche stated, that is the only way Rinpoche can connect with Zong Rinpoche again.
    Closeness with our Guru is not just about physical proximity, but closeness as in what we wish to develop for ourselves and others. IF our minds differs from our Guru’s then how can we have closeness with him. Rinpoche, thank you for blogging this article as I know it will make many people think about their samaya with their gurus as it has done to me.

  50. Thierry on Jul 4, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    I find it truly inspiring that Rinpoche’s devotion to his guru and commitment to Dharma never swayed, even when the living conditions he experienced were looking rather hard from the outside.
    Through near starvation, living in a cowshed with little or no comfort, his devotion to his Guru Kyabje Zong Rinpoche gave him the strength and will to go on. It even looks as if Rinpoche turned the hard conditions he lived in into something joyous, something that would uphold him, rather than to bring him down.
    If I compare to my own experiences, I find it shameful that with conditions looking “condusive”, plenty of food, air-conditioned Dharma center with marble flooring, Dharma DVD’s playing on flat screens, etc… my faith and commitment is so poor.
    It shows that:
    a) Real condusive conditions come from within, not from outside
    b) What appears to be condusive from the outside, may actually become obstacles to our Dharma practice (like too much comfort nums us)

  51. Wendy on Jul 4, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    The picture of Rinpoche sitting on the bed in Rinpoche’s old room in Zong Ladrang Gaden brought back many memories from the Gaden trip in 2006. I remember Rinpoche saying to us that Rinpoche would never exchange anything for Rinpoche’s time in Gaden. Rinpoche was very happy there because Rinpoche was amidst High Lamas, Dharma and the monastery. I absolutely believe that as why would Rinpoche want to go thru hunger and living in such a Spartan environment and be happy there when Rinpoche could have all the material things and comfort in America . There is definitely no other reason except for Dharma. I can imagine this room meant a lot to Rinpoche. Going to Gaden and living in Zong Ladrang was a fulfillment of Rinpoche’s promise to Zong Rinpoche whom Rinpoche loved so much.

  52. Joy Kam on Jul 4, 2010 at 6:06 am

    I agree with what you said that “We can never experience true Guru devotion, only by seeing how our Guru’s act and treat their Guru’s is all we have. It must be difficult being here in Malaysia dealing with lay people and all the hang-ups of samsara”.
    Imagine Rinpoche coming to Malaysia to spread/teach Dharma to a bunch of lay people, who does not even know the life story of the Buddha. It was definitely tough time for Rinpoche. But Rinpoche’s enthusiasm, determination, and pure Guru Devotion is the key and a great example to follow. Rinpoche’s whole being and life is a great teaching to us, thank you Rinpoche for your sharing.
    To me real Guru Devotion and what Rinpoche wishes for all his students which is to transform our minds and to change the habits that keeps pulling us down.

  53. Shirley Tan on Jul 4, 2010 at 4:32 am

    This is my second time reading this article, and I was one of the 62 people who had the priviledge of visiting Gaden with Rinpoche in 2006. The same powerful emotions still stir within me, as I read the words and looked through the pictures. We look at monks and we just assume that they should live this way, austere and minimalistic. We look at the ones with robes, and we automatically assume that they should have very little, and be denied from everything that we cannot we live without. We think this is normal and acceptable because they are monks. In other words, we think that it is all right for monks to suffer or endure hardships because they have renounced from wordly life. That is how little compassion we hold for those in robes. This is how twisted our minds are. Instead of respecting them and honouring them like Li Kim wrote, we think they should remain in their hardship or suffering because they are monks/nuns. They can’t be seen to be having a good time at all, in any which way or form. If I continue to believe in that perception, then I would not fully appreciate the fact that Rinpoche has gone through so much just to learn what I could not learn, to live a life that I could not bear to live and to become so Instead, I have become the complete opposite of all that. So, the very least I can do is to always honour Rinpoche’s blood, sweat and tears by sbeing devoted and staying fully awake. I realised I was too conditioned by my own ideas/standards of respect, love and compassion. So, I behaved according to that level. It’s time for me to break out from all that, and become so much more because I should do just that much to express how much I appreciate Rinpoche’s passion in wanting to benefit us all. This is the very least I should do and can do. Thank you so much for teaching us, always, Rinpoche. THANK YOU.

  54. Justin Ripley on Jul 4, 2010 at 3:51 am

    This really is a great existence, great place for practice, so simple and nice. Whenever Rinpoche talks about his Guru I can feel the sincerity, genuinity. The fact that Rinpoche continued his studies even after his Guru had passed away before he could meet him again is a testament to Guru devotion. Rinpoche kept his promise, is keeping his promise to all his Gurus.
    We can never experience true Guru devotion, only by seeing how our Guru’s act and treat their Guru’s is all we have. It must be difficult being here in Malaysia dealing with lay people and all the hang-ups of samsara.

  55. Li Kim on Jul 4, 2010 at 2:58 am

    Reading this article humbles me, actually it’s more than that, I am embarrassed reflecting what I have and yet can still complain. Rinpoche not only did not complain, he loved his cowshed which he made his home.
    In this article I can deeply experience Rinpoche’s love for his root Guru, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. Despite having passed so long ago, Rinpoche still remembers vividly everything about Zong Rinpoche, and holds the memories so dear in his heart. The closest I can come to this experience was when my grandmother passed away 23 years ago. And, I can imagine one day when my mom passes, I will cry for a long time and cherish her forever in my heart.
    This article also brings light to my understanding of how basic and minimalistically monks live and yet they do such great work to benefit many sentient beings. Truly defining the meaning of altruism. This makes me understand deeper now WHY we MUST respect the holy monks.

  56. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche on Mar 19, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,
    Thank you for putting it up on your blog and sharing it with all. Although i know of this from a long time ago and have heard and read it many times, nevertheless, each time it still touches me and brings tears of inspiration, joy and sadness all at the same time; the years of hardship Rinpoche had to endure for others, the tenacity, the inspiring example that “if theres a will, theres a way” to achieve ones goal and dreams.
    Thank you Rinpoche for being the beacon of hope and light in my otherwise meaningless samsaric life.
    With love, always
    Ruby Khong

  57. Shirley Tan on Mar 19, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    These pictures bring back the beautiful memory of our Gaden trip in April 2006, together with Rinpoche. It was deeply moving to see how all the monks, even the HIGH Lamas, treated and welcomed Rinpoche first hand. It was also my first trip to India and to a monastery. Didn’t know quite what to expect. What’s really enduring was seeing how GURU DEVOTION pervades the entire landscape that makes Gaden so special – starting from Rinpoche’s very own devotion to his own Guru, Zong Rinpoche. None of us could believe that Rinpoche actually lived in that cowshed when we saw it but Rinpoche really did and was really happy there. Infact when that picture was taken in April 2006 where Rinpoche sat on his bed in that cowshed, Rinpoche said that he would return and live there in a heartbeat because he feels closest to the Three Jewels there. You see, Rinpoche is nothing like us. Rinpoche has never been impressed with materialism nor is Rinpoche attached to luxury. However Rinpoche is definitely very attached to the Three Jewels. In that sense, Gaden is always in Rinpoche’s heart and wherever Rinpoche goes, Gaden goes with him. Rinpoche carries His GURU AND GADEN in HIS HEART. That’s what I have learnt from our Gaden trip, after everything I witnessed with my own eyes since the day I met Rinpoche in October 2004.

  58. Paris on Mar 19, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    This is such a wonderful sharing – Rinpoche’s level of Guru devotion is exemplary, something every one of us on a spiritual journey should aspire towards. I remember visiting that little room – it sure was humble and stark but it was full of happiness. I don’t think I’ve seen Rinpoche look as happy as he did for those moments in his old room.

  59. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche on Mar 19, 2010 at 7:00 am

    Yes, you are right. It was a wonderful trip on all aspects.
    I am glad you could come along also.
    As the time flies by,
    We wonder what we have accomplished,
    if it is things for ourselves,
    then time has been wasted,
    But if it was for the benefit of others,
    then we in the end also become liberated.
    Our mind is deceptive,
    tricking us that self benefit is real benefit,
    when it is the cause to all that does not benefit,
    realizing this deception, in our mind we run
    from samsara and engage in practice that only benefits,
    never bringing harm to ourselves and others
    again……..that is a life that has worth…
    Tsem Tulku

  60. keng tan on Mar 19, 2010 at 6:44 am

    This is an overwhelming story. And I so remember my trip to Gaden with Rinpoche. It was one of the best experiences I have. I will never forget it. I will treasure all the spiritual pilgrimages I go to and especially Gaden.

  61. bybeat on Mar 19, 2010 at 5:34 am

    Love give us power for living. Thank you for this heartily report.

    • Low ksjc on Jun 9, 2012 at 10:36 pm

      Dear Rinpoche,in this blog you show us what is true Guru devotion,we take things very lightly and give up upon the slightest obstacle we come upon.When you come across hardship, you accept it with delight. As you know what you want and determine to achieve it . You treasure every bit of this memory as this is karma that we could not avoid.From this hands on lesson on hardship, you teaches us real life Dharma ,no one could ever doubt you ,as you have truly past through this phrase of samsara life.I will never forget what you have thought us.Thank you.

      • amy soko Zorigt on Jun 21, 2013 at 12:53 am

        i ALLWAYS BELIEVE GOD
        I THINKING ITS EVERYBODY LOVE TO LIFE
        BELIEVE AND EVERYTHINGS BE HAPPY COME TO SOON
        IF NEED SOMETHING I CAN DO FOR DIE EVERYTHINK
        BECOUSE I BELIEVE GOD GOD IS YOU
        GOD BLEES ALLWAYS

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  • Pastor Shin Tan
    Monday, Mar 27. 2017 06:42 PM
    According to the Buddhist teachings, we all have a unique blend of karma that determines where we are born, the circumstances of our birth and the quality of our life. Naturally, this is due to the actions that we performed in previous lives. Karma also dictates our characteristics and traits that determine how we act throughout our lives, which in turn leads to certain outcomes in this life and a determination of where we will take rebirth in the future.

    Karma, however, is not set in stone. We can change our circumstances through our own efforts – purification of karma and accumulation of merit. Tibetan astrology, based on these Buddhist principles, provides us the methods to ensure success in this life and a good rebirth in the future. Tibetan astrology can also predict what will happen to us in this life and our next rebirth based on the time of our birth.

    Discover your traits according to the Mewa, or Magical Square system of Tibetan astrology below, and find out how to purify your negative karma to improve your life!

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/tibetan-astrology/tibetan-astrology.html
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Monday, Mar 27. 2017 05:24 PM
    Very interesting:


    Radin explained in his book: “For a Western-trained academic, the mere existence of, say, telepathy would be considered supernormal and thus wildly extraordinary. But for an experienced yogi, it’s just a boringly normal minor siddhi [a Sanskrit term for a meditation attainment, or power]. A skeptical scientist, not having the benefit of thousands of hours of practice in yoga and meditation, would require repeatable, rigorously obtained experimental data showing odds against chance of a gazillion to one. The yogi merely requires his own experience.”


    Very interesting read: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/2157904-supernormal-abilities-developed-through-meditation-dr-dean-radin-discusses/?sidebar=morein
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Mar 27. 2017 01:45 PM
    Its indeed a beautiful place …..away from the city hectic life to visit and could stay over night too.Just to get away from work to relax ,get some fresh air ,do meditation and so forth .At Kechara Forest RetreatI,Bentong is where the largest Dorje Shugden statue in the world situated and we can receive blessing,make offering to the Buddhas as well as enjoy the tranquility of the beautiful gardens.I have recomended my friends and relatives to visit such a beautiful place at Bentong.
    Thank you Paul Yap for sharing.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/go-bentong.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Mar 27. 2017 01:15 PM
    Well…all pendants are beautifully designed,hand crafted to match each and every sacred images on it to suit all occasion for the wearer.I can see a lot of hard work for those involed in desgning and making of it.
    All pendants are very unique, modern, timeless and also sacred ,thats all i could describe it.Hope more people will be wearing these beautiful pendants to get connected with the Buddhas.Thank you Rinpoche for sharing and Kechara’s Louise Lee for creating Dharma art in in the form of jewelry
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/timeless-and-sacred.html
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Monday, Mar 27. 2017 12:41 PM
    This Mahasiddha is Kukkuripa (the dog lover). He loved dogs so much. When he meditated in the cave he had his doggie with him. She had kept him company for years in his cave. They shared bedding, food, water and company. When he gained high attainments, the Dakinis came to take him to Kechara Paradise. He was hesitant to go but the Dakinis insisted and he went with them.

    He arrived at Kechara (Paradise/Buddha abode of Heruka and Vajra Yogini) and enjoyed teachings and feasts up there and they asked him to stay longer if not forever…. But he kept thinking about his doggie left alone in the cave. He felt guilty and missed her. Kukkuripa would use his psychic powers to see his poor doggie alone and hungry waiting for him at the cave while enjoying the attention of the Dakinis and feasts. The cave was dark and had no food. The doggie had to go out and find small tiny scraps of food and was getting skinny. Kukkuripa saw this and it pained him. Worried she was not getting enough food. He use to share the offerings of food he would get from people with her. Doggie and him would delightfully eat the food together. Kukkuripa had no attachments to ‘clean’ or ‘dirty’ in regards to sharing food with his dog. He had overcome this in his meditations. In ancient India, people would not co-habitate with a dog. It was considered unclean and filthy, but Kukkuripa had cast away those notions and loved his dog as she loved him. But he felt guilty to leave her alone while he was ‘enjoying’ himself in Kechara and could not stop thinking about his beloved dirty smelly dog in his cave alone…so he left Kechara Paradise and all it’s ‘delights’ for his doggie. He couldn’t abandon her. The Dakinis implored him to stay, but he was firm to return. The Dakinis said you will give up this paradise here for a mere dog???!! You can advance further in your meditations if you stay in Kechara and then help the dog later they attempted to persuade him. But Kukkuripa would not stay, he was loyal to his little dog as she had kept him company for many years in the lonely dark cave. She was loyal to him and how can he abandon her now. He couldn’t and he wouldn’t listen to the Dakinis. He left to join doggie. He never forget her companionship and loyalty. All the wonderful things in Kechara could not tempt him against his loyal friend the little doggie. He left everything for her.

    So he finally left Kechara to the Dakinis dismay and went back to his cave to be with his dog so she won’t be alone. Doggie was delighted to see her master and wagged her tail so much!! She licked him and he hugged her! She was skinnier for not eating well these few days he noticed. He fed her and hugged her and loved his doggie…He went back to his routine of meditation, receiving food offerings and sharing his food with doggie. They were happy together. One day, when he was scratching her in her favorite place and she licked him so his eyes were closed, when he opened his eyes she had suddenly turned into a Dakini shimmering with lights! The brilliance of the lights lit up the whole cave in front of Kukkuripa!! Kukkuripa was astonished to behold the splendourous lady in front of him! Of course this Dakini must be the Queen Herself he realized, as Vajra Yogini which was Kukkuripa’s main Yidam he had meditated on her for years in the cave. And She said to Kukkuripa, “Well done, you gave up paradise to be with just a dog..it shows you have given up attachements and projections of pleasant and unpleasant, now your Dakini will give you the final paradise (enlightenment)!”

    Kukkuripa attained full enlightenment blessed by Vajra Yogini by releasing the final subtle attachment to the non-existent self! After enlightenment his fame and name grew and many came to see him and he gave teachings to countless and benefitted many before he finally ascended to Kechara the second and final time. He was forever known as Kukkuripa the dog lover.

    I love him so much!!! This is one of my favorite Mahasiddhas along with Badrapa, Shantideva, Ghantapa and a few others. I wanted to share this story with you. I wanted you to know that there are many great true stories like this one about Kukkuripa that are true and can be applied to our lives. To inspire us.

    Tsem Rinpoche
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Monday, Mar 27. 2017 12:29 PM
    The great and illustrious master Sonam Tsemo at the end of his life was described by an old woman who witnessed Sonam Tsemo depart. Standing on a rock at the holy spring near Sakya area known as Chumik Dzingka, his body ascended gracefully into the sky, still holding his dog. He loved his dog very much. Even today the footprints of Loppon Sonam Tsemo and the dog can be clearly seen in the rock, left for the benefit of living beings as a field from which to accumulate merit. It is a sign of a holy being when they can leave their footprints in stone for future generations to witness and make offerings on that spot to collect merits. This holy site was decorated by the great master Mantradhara Ngawang Kunga Rinchen later on. Other accounts say that he ascended from Gorum Library near Chumik Dzingka spring. A stupa containing his holy relics was erected there. Sonam Tsemo was a powerful practitioner of the Lady Buddha Vajra Yogini and at the end of his short life he ascended with his very body to Kechara paradise. He was 40 years old. Kechara is the sanksrit name of the special abode of Vajra Yogini. Those who practice Vajra Yogini to the highest level can ascend her paradise with their very bodies. Sonam Tsemo the great master of sutra and tantra was seen by an old woman flying off holding his beloved dog to ascend Kechara paradise. No one every found his body and his room was empty.
  • Lin Mun
    Monday, Mar 27. 2017 12:27 PM
    Congratulations to Mitra for his first dharma teaching in Nepali to the expats. So glad that Dorje Shugden practise can reach out to many in various languages and to different people. Mitra has done a good job in introducing Lama Tsongkhapa lineage and guided them on the benefit and iconography of Dorje Shugden.

    May Lama Tsongkhapa lineage and Dorje Shugden practise continue to grow and benefit more people.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/mitra-teaches-bhagwan-dorje-shugden-in-nepali.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Mar 26. 2017 04:15 PM
    Very clear explanation of what is Vajrayogini’s left foot stepping on. Each time when i have a look at the beautiful statue of Vajrayogini this question will comes back to me. i am glad came across these blog by chance, i saw and read to understand better.A clear explanation ..stampling left and right foot significant of desire ,hatred and ignorance that cause us to be in samsara and she she able to control.Vajrayogni’s practices is so powerful in heliping us and that is the reason Rinpoche always ask us to start now.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these short explanation in the video and the interesting story of Mahadeva.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/facebook-question-what-is-vajra-yoginis-left-foot-stepping-on.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Sunday, Mar 26. 2017 02:44 PM
    Rejoice to all the families who had setup a Buddhist altar at home and conducted a house blessing puja. There are diverse benefits of conducting the house blessing puja, which ranges from bringing well-being on all levels – in one’s health, relationships, business, and family – to purifying the home. The puja ceremonies will purify the environment which helps the people who live there and people who are visiting there to experience general well-being. The puja can be personalised based on the request or need of the individual. Thank you for sharing with us the many photos of the beautiful altar of these families, it is very heartwarming to know that they will always be blessed by the Three Jewels.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/10-amazing-house-blessings-by-kechara-pastors.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Sunday, Mar 26. 2017 02:24 PM
    Thank you for sharing this mindfully planned itinerary for everyone who is interested in visiting Kechara Forest Retreat. Kechara Forest Retreat has different facets that showcase different elements of spirituality and Tibetan Buddhism in this wholesale venue. One can enjoy the flora and fauna of Mother Nature, or embrace the contemporary architectures that feature many magnificent Buddha statues and authentic Himalayan decorations. Not forgetting to mention, in Kechara Forest Retreat sits the largest Dorje Shugden statue in the world! This is a holy place we must never miss to pay homage for blessings from the Three Jewels.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/go-bentong.html
  • Pastor Shin Tan
    Sunday, Mar 26. 2017 01:07 PM
    金泽“财王”护法殿

    在禅修林的入口处的左边有一间小佛堂,是全天候二十四小时开放给大众的。这间佛堂的一砖一瓦都是由不同善心人士捐增的。也因为他们过后发了一笔小财,所以在大马文东,金泽护法一般被简称为“财王“。

    根据佛陀教诲,五蕴是组成众生的五个方面,分别是色、受、想、行、识。证悟者如多杰雄登能将五蕴分别化现成不同的本尊。金泽是多杰雄登“受”蕴的化现,作用是协助我们增长世俗和修行上的财富。“受”蕴是我们对愉悦或不悦感受的认知。我们执着于愉悦,避免不悦,而这正是导致我们受困和造下各种业,继而产生痛苦的因(此段原文: http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_6d7edf5f0102x1n6.html)

    来到这里,我们首先要上香。做生意的朋友可要趁此机会拜拜,供养一个大的莲花蜡烛,上三根大香,祈求今年一帆风顺哦。

    摘自“GO BENTONG!与菩萨有约”
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=120808
  • Lin Mun
    Saturday, Mar 25. 2017 11:02 PM
    Can’t imagine that a priest actually stabbed Pope John Paul. How can he do this when he as a priest is suppose to be compassion and love everyone but kill the religion leader. he should remember that he carries the name priest and hence must show good example and behaviour to others but instead took another person’s life.

    I respected Pope John who continued his trip even though he was injured. That shows the determination he had to teach so it can benefit others. Always put others first more than our own needs.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/pope-john-paul-stabbed-by-priest.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Saturday, Mar 25. 2017 08:13 PM
    It is admirable for Sine Lindholm & Mads Ulrik Husum to place their design as open source for everyone to download and copy to manufacture. This shows how farsighted they are in propelling self-sustainability. The first step is always the hardest, and I believe what Sine and Mads had done is towards the right direction. In this way, people from all the around the world who genuinely are passionate and interested in growing own vegetables will be able to start on their own. Without needing to rely on middleman or manufacturer who might end up making the brilliant idea a commercial white elephant. Thank you, Rinpoche for this sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/build-your-own-growroom.html
  • Alice Tay
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 10:05 PM
    Many companies especially in overseas are very considerate and allow their employees to bring their dogs to work. I personally think that this is a very good practice where the employees no longer have to worry about leaving pets at home alone. The work environments that cultivate loving kindness, caring and compassion create a much more positive and productive place to work. Besides, it may influence everyone especially those who do not have pet to be more kind to the animals.

    Nevertheless, the employer and employees may have to work together to maintain the safe and cleanliness work place such as reduce odour, provide clean air and many others.

    Thank you for this interesting article as a reminder to us to love and be kind to animals no matter where we are.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/inside-the-worlds-most-dog-friendly-office.html
  • Lin Mun
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 07:06 PM
    Superb idea and very creative. Home farming in the cities ! Appreciate all the hardwork and ideas to produce Growroom. It’s just like putting a big puzzle and making the whole process so much easier to plant in cities where we always have limited spaces.

    We should support more people to come up with such ideas so we can eat our own food and cultivate self sustainability.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/build-your-own-growroom.html

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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

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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

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This mahasiddha Kukkuripa is easy to identify as he is accompanied by a small dog whom he loved very much.
yesterday
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
yesterday
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
yesterday
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
yesterday
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 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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 week ago
The Japanese are very innovative. Tsem Rinpoche
Read this as it will be interesting
1 week ago
Read this as it will be interesting
Recite this before any meal or drinks for blessings of abundance. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week 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 week 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
2 weeks 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
2 weeks 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
3 weeks 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
3 weeks 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
4 weeks 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!
4 weeks 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
2 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
2 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
2 months ago
This is a good one to read
Mumu is silly and cute and funny
2 months ago
Mumu is silly and cute and funny
Mumu\'s hair is messy and he looks funny
2 months 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
2 months 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
3 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
3 months ago
Message to Tibetans in English
Message to the Tibetans
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
4 months ago
This huge Buddha in Korea is magnificent
The very first oracle of Dorje Shugden in trance statue. I have commissioned this.
4 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.
4 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.
4 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
4 months ago
Kyabje Zemey, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Kyabje Pabongka Choktrul Rinpoche
My Oser girl and Mumu boy are so adorable
4 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
4 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?
5 months ago
Tenzing Norgay found this in Nepal. Guess what it is?
Sir Edmund Hillary
5 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
5 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
6 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
6 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...
6 months ago
Taken in Lake Champlain in Canada. A huge water monster...neat...
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Videos On The Go

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    2 months ago
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  • You will Never be Ready
    3 months ago
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    Dear friends, watch this video and ready, if we keep waiting till we are ready, that day will never come. Tsem Rinpoche
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    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
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  • Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche on Samaya
    5 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

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.

  • March 28, 2017 09:11
    Lia asked: If the ushnisha is actually supposed to be a bump, then do we change the visualization of the top knot and replace it with a bump covered in hair or do we keep the ushnisha as the thangkas show?
    No reply yet
  • March 27, 2017 04:19
    Dongho asked: I have been reading on the tunes of certain sects and would like to ask on this. From what I've read, there are certain tunes to each sect and school of certain chants. Exactly where can I find the sheet music for these percussion and horns with the chants, such as to the one for invoking Kache Marpo or Dorje Shugden? Would it be possible to use school instruments for this?
    pastor answered: Dear Dongho, Thank you for your question, it is good to see you back and asking more questions. Yes you are right, there are differences in the tunes and chants between the lineages. The differences can vary significantly between the traditions, for example the Gelugpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism is known for its extremely deep throat singing which is very powerful and is characterised by a low, booming voice, in contrast to the other traditions. Even within a particular tradition, there can be slight variations as to the manner in which the chants and tunes are performed. For example those monasteries are which are affiliated with Gyume will have one way of throat singing, where those affiliated with Gyuto will have another. As far as I am aware there is no professional sheet music for the rituals, most probably because the music is actually an integral part of the ritual itself. Therefore the music, tunes, and chants are all taught at the same time the ritual and prayers are. The tunes, and use of the instruments all have specific meanings, because they are considered to be offerings to the deities in the form of sound. The monasteries would not have copies of sheet music either, because sheet music is western practice. The use of ritual music within Tibetan Buddhism is more of one based on memory. In the Kechara organisation, the puja team was trained in such ritual instruments at the same time they learnt the particular ritual from monks from the monastery, such as the puja of Dorje Shugden. From what I saw of the training, the musical tunes, and use of instruments was not written down but taught experientially at the same time as the chanting. I have not come across any other instruments being used in pujas apart from the traditional ritual instruments, because even the instruments themselves have a specific meaning. That is not say that school instruments cannot be used. This is because, as long as the offering is sincere, the Buddhas and enlightened deities will accept it, and in turn you will generate great amounts of merit. Offerings should be made to the best of our ability, therefore if you do not have access to the ritual instruments, or do not know how to play them, but you know how to play other instruments, and use these instruments as offerings to the Buddhas during pujas, the amount of merit you generate will be the same. This is because you are sincere with your offering. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • March 26, 2017 02:14
    Kunga asked: Does the Gelug have Begtse a protector? If so, could you please provide a sadhana for him here?
    pastor answered: Dear Kunga, Yes the Dharma protector Begtse exists within the Gelug tradition. He is also known as Chamsing. Begtse’s practice stems from India and was introduced to Tibet and therefore Tibetan Buddhism by the translator Nyen Lotsawa. Marpa Lotsawa also practiced Begtse, and so the practice exists in the Kagyu traditions. This practice was eventually transmitted to Sachen Kunga Nyingpo, the first of the five patriarchs of the Sakya tradition, who were the founding fathers of that tradition. Over time the practice of Begtse was incorporated into the Gelug tradition, founded by Lama Tsongkhapa, and was notably practiced by the 1st and 2nd Dalai Lamas. Over time the practice gained popularity within the lineage, especially when it spread to Mongolia. There the practice became an important one within the lineage as upheld there. Begtse is also affectionately known as the Dharma protector of Mongolia, because his practice is so popular there. If I am not mistaken, there is an oracle of Begtse in Mongolia as well. There is a mistaken account that the practice originated around the time of the 3rd Dalai Lama, with the subjugation of a Mongolian war god, but Begtse was definitely practiced before that time in the Gelug, Kagyu and Sakya traditions. While the practice of Begtse is very effective, I have not come across the practice of Begtse in my personal practice, therefore I do not have access to the Begtse sadhana to provide to you. Instead Begtse is propitiated in prayers that incorporate many other Dharma protectors, and Begtse is also considered one of the nine protectors of the Hayagriva (Tamdrin) cycle of tantric teachings. Therefore Begtse is included in the Dharma protector sections of the Hayagriva tantras. Surrounding Begtse are his sister, Sing Ma, and his main minister, Le Khan Mar Po. His inner retinue comprises of eight butchers who wield copper swords in their right hands and skull-cups full of blood in their left hands. They are portrayed as naked and are very ugly. His outer retinue comprises a further twenty-one butchers, who hold copper swords in their right hands, and this time, the entrails of butchered enemies. They wear the skins humans and oxen as clothes, with ornaments made from human bone. While this may seem violent, Begtse is actually a very powerful and beneficial protector, who helps practitioners clear their obstacles and create conducive conditions for their spiritual evolution. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • March 24, 2017 20:12
    Azair asked: Venerable Rinpoche, I am doing a study in Kalachakra Tantra and I've heard from most of the lama's too that if you practice the Kalachakra Tantra, you'll be able to take control of your next rebirth. Ofcourse, it has been said that we will get our rebirth according to our Karma and desires but whether those dreams will get fulfilled will depend upon the actions that we take in this life. Thus, practicing the Kalachakra(till the end) after initiation will give you the opportunity to take rebirth anywhere you desire regardless of your Karma. My question is that, is there some truth in this statement.? Does this statement hold true for other tantra practices, such as Vajrayogini Tantra, Ghuyasamaja Tantra, Heruka Tantra, etc. I would really really like to know. Thankyou in anticipation, regards, Azair
    pastor answered: Dear Azair, Thank you for your question. Yes there is truth to this statement, both from a scriptural perspective and also by example, as the great masters have shown us. This is a unique feature of all Anuttarayoga Tantras or Highest Yoga Tantras, which Kalachakra, Vajrayogini, Guhyasama and Heruka are all examples of. This category of tantric practice can actually lead a practitioner to full enlightenment in this very lifetime. Even if enlightenment is not reached, very high levels of attainment can be reached nonetheless. This includes the ability to take control over your next rebirth. This is primarily engaged in so that the practitioner is born in an environment where they can eventually pick up their practice and further their spiritual path to enlightenment, or in order to be born in a place where they can benefit sentient beings the most, as part of the spiritual journey over many lifetimes. One of the reasons such an ability is very necessary on the spiritual path, is that usual death and rebirth occurs at the mercy of ones karma, specifically what is known as the ‘throwing karma’ or the karma that dictates what sort of rebirth a person is going to take. This opens up at the time of ordinary death, which most people have no control over. During the death process, many of our disturbing emotions will arise. Whichever of these is the strongest at the point of death triggers open a latent karmic potential, which becomes the ‘throwing karma’ and dictates where we are going to take rebirth and if that life will generally be full of suffering or not. Within Anuttarayoga Tantra, one of the key points of practice is to prepare for one’s death. This is done by simulating the dying process during one’s meditations, so that one becomes familiar with it. At the most pivotal part of this process, one practices achieving either the rainbow body or great bliss (in the case of the father tantras); or clear light (in the case of mother tantras). The tantras themselves are not defined in terms of the gender of the central deity, but by the method used to gain enlightenment. This is either the rainbow body/great bliss (classified as male, therefore labelled ‘father’) or clear light (classified as female, therefore labelled ‘mother’). Non-dual tantras such as the Kalachakra tantra can employ either of the two methods, a mixture of both, or alternate methods. In the case of superior practitioners, due to the power of their practice, they can achieve either of these two methods in their current body. Since they have familiarised themselves with the dying process, and a particular method of practice, they can also achieve enlightenment during their physical death. The great Lama Tsongkhapa is said to have achieved enlightenment at the moment of physical death, using the second of these. For other practitioners, they may not be able to achieve this either in their meditations while they are alive, or during the death process. However because they have familiarised themselves with the dying process, they remain in complete concentration at the time of death, not allowing any disturbing emotions to arise. Due to this level of concentration, meditation and awareness during the dying process, they are able to control where they next take rebirth. This is evident in the tantric scriptures themselves, and the life stories of many masters, who can state exactly where, when and to whom they will take their next rebirth, as they are in full control of the dying and rebirth process. There is a type of meditation called ‘thukdam’ which has been translated into ‘death meditation’. This is a final meditation some masters choose to engage in. During this meditation, the master themselves consciously begin the physical dying process themselves, engage in the meditation of dissolving the winds into the heart centre and remain in the most pivotal part of the death process, the mind of clear light of death. During this point they engage in meditations, either the methods of the father or mother tantras as mentioned previously, and or consciously choose where they are to next take rebirth. They can remain in this death meditation for long periods of time, days at an end, in which their consciousness has not yet left their body, although for all intents and purposes they are dead according to medical science, e.g. they have no heartbeat. At the end of their meditation, a drop of blood will be emitted from their nostril, and their head will slump over a little. Masters who engage in this meditation usually sit in full meditation posture, and their body remain supple and soft even though they have passed away from a medical point of view. I hope this brief explanation helps. Thank you.
  • March 23, 2017 23:01
    Brad asked: What is the significance of offering the Seven precious emblems of royalty to the Buddhas and enlightened Dharma Protectors? What are we symbolically offering up?
    pastor answered: Dear Brad, Thank you for your question. The ‘saptaratna’ or seven precious emblems represent on the one hand the ultimate state of temporal power, and on the other hand the ultimate spiritual attainments that we can achieve. By offering these to the Buddhas, we are actually creating the causes to achieve what they represent. Therefore it is good to know the meaning of each, so we can understand what we are creating the causes for by offering them up: Please see below for an explanation of the seven royal emblems: 1. The Precious Wheel: a thousand spoked wheel, representing the universal power of the Buddhas, as well as the teachings of the thousand Buddhas of our aeon. It is represented by the Dharmachakra, symbolising the ‘turning of the wheel’ or teaching of the Noble Eightfold Path. It is a symbol of a universal emperor’s spiritual and temporal power. It is also represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect mindfulness, especially that of our own mind, thoughts, delusions and afflictions. 2. The Precious Jewel: an eight sided wish-granting gem, which fulfils all the needs of a universal emperor. This jewel has eight special qualities: it illuminates the night sky for hundreds of leagues; it is cooling when the temperature is hot and warming when the temperature is cold; it makes manifest whatever the holder wants; when thirsty it causes a fresh-water spring to appear; it has the ability to control the nagas, and other supernatural beings, as well as preventing natural disasters such as storms, floods, etc.; it gives off multi-coloured lighted which heals the various mental and emotional afflictions; it cures all illnesses; and it ensures that one dies a natural death, not an untimely one. It is a symbol of a universal emperor’s spiritual and temporal power. It is also represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect mindfulness, or perfect discrimination, so one knows what to abandon and what to keep in the mindstream during the spiritual journey to enlightenment. 3. The Precious Queen: the most beautiful and virtuous of all women. She is described as a goddess who is the epitome of someone: with devotion; without jealousy; who is the embodiment of fertility; who works for the welfare of all beings; who possess feminine wisdom; speaks the truth; not attract to sensual pleasures or material possessions; and does not have false views. She is adored by all. She also represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect effort. This is necessary to keep meditating until one gains spiritual attainments. 4. The Precious Minister: who has sharp intelligence, patience, and the ability to give wise counsel to the emperor. He is so attuned to the emperor that even before the emperor has spoken, the minister is already carrying out his command. He only wishes to support the Dharma, help sentient beings, and is an excellent strategist. He also represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect joy. This is also akin to the attainment of the first bodhisattva level, because you have come to an understanding of your own mind, which is like pouring ice-cold water into boiling water. The water stops boiling, as does the thoughts, projections, and delusions in the mind. He represents the path of the bodhisattva. 5. The Precious Elephant: who has the strength of a thousand normal elephants. He is white, with the perfect features that an elephant could have. He is majestic, graceful, and gentle, but in battle is fearsome, fearless and unyielding. He communicates with the emperor through a telepathic link. He represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect adaptability. This is important, as one needs to be able to adapt to the various mental afflictions as they arise, and suitably counter them. 6. The Precious Horse: who has all the marks of a celestial horse. Known as wind-horse, he is able to travel extremely fast, and can circumambulate the entire universe three time in just a single day. He is never fearful or startled, never makes a sound when galloping, and has extremely soft hairs on his body. He represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is single-pointed concentration. This is important because without this form of concentration, once cannot engage in the analytical meditations that lead to an understanding of emptiness, and therefore enlightenment. 7. The Precious General: who has mastered the arts of war and always wins in battle. He wears battle armour and holds many different weapons. He tries to avoid battle, but when necessary fights, and never gives up until he has won. He is fearless, and courageous in carrying out the emperors commands and ensures the emperors army carries out their duties. He represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect equanimity. This is because he overcomes all warfare, which is akin to the battle between things were are attached to and things we have an aversion for in our minds. In short, what you are offering up is the highest of all temporal treasures and abilities, as well as the entire path of the Dharma. Doing so creates the causes for you to receive all of this on your spiritual journey towards enlightenment. I hope this helps. Thank you.
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Kechara Sunday Dharma School teachers and volunteers outing session. Stella,
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Kechara Sunday Dharma School teachers and volunteers outing session. Stella,
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Dorje Shugden the powerful World Peace Protector taking full trance in an oracle.
Visitors have the opportunity to pay respect to this holy statue, in Kechara Forest Retreat, Wisdom Hall!
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Visitors have the opportunity to pay respect to this holy statue, in Kechara Forest Retreat, Wisdom Hall!
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The yearly gotong royong event on Malaysia Day. Great day to contribute back to the society. Lin Mun KSDS
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KSDS students, parents and teachers participated in food packaging for Kechara Soup Kitchen. Lin Mun KSDS
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Happy visitor invited Dorje Shugden back home.
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