The Russian Princess Buddhist Nun

May 29, 2013 | Views: 2,398
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When we see the words ‘royalty’ and ‘Hollywood’, most of us immediately think glamour, richness and indulgence. Many of us are envious of the lifestyle that Hollywood actors and actresses lead… or have, at one point in time, thought about what it would be like to be leading the life of a movie star!

If you were given the opportunity to be reborn as both royalty and a Hollywood actress, would you take it? 

Zina Rachevsky was both “royalty” and a Hollywood actress. She was also born into an incredibly wealthy family, where her grandfather was the founder of SW Straus & Co.

SW Straus & Co was a mortgage and bond banker, who created the first mortgage real estate bond in 1909. In 1922, they were established to hold loans across the United States amounting to $150,000,000. Remember, this was back in 1922! They also owned hotels in LA and New York, and built what is now known as the Metropolitan Tower in Chicago… it was the tallest structure back then!

Zina’s mother, Harriet Straus Rachevsky, was a heiress and one of the richest women in the US. Her father was Vladimir Rachevsky, who was the brother-in-law to the Grand Duke Boris Vladimirovich Romanov (a direct descendant of Czar Alexander II of Russia).

Her father did not have direct royal blood, but during the 1920s, so long as there was any connection to royal blood, royal titles were freely used on foreign soil to impress people. For Zina’s father, the title stuck in America.

Her father and mother both met in Paris, and secretly wedded. In September 1930, Zina was born in the Ambassador Hotel of New York (pic; left).  She was known to be a bright and smart girl… and being brought up in Hollywood, she became the typical product of Tinseltown.

She became a Hollywood actress, but was better known as an international socialite. She made it onto the headlines of newspapers and front covers of magazines, as she was actively involved in love and drug scandals.

She was beautiful, Marilyn Monroe-esque and wild. At the age of 18, she married Count Bernard d’Harcourt for 2 years… and during that time she changed her Hollywood name from Princess Zina to Countess d’Harcourt.

Her life continued to be as colourful as her background… who would have thought that Zina would also be, according to Lama Yeshe, the “cooperative cause for the existence of Kopan Monastery.”

It was Zina who wanted to create a place where creative people could convene and learn meditation from Lama Zopa and Lama Yeshe. From her idea, came Kopan Monastery!

I have been and still continue to be inspired by Zina, her meeting with the Lamas, her contribution, her temper, her diva-like character, her transformation, her faith in the lamas and eventually her ascending into Kechara Paradise as said by Lama Yeshe, Trulshik Rinpoche and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. I am so happy Zina is in a good place now.

I read Zina was not an easy person to be around. Very temperamental, very difficult and controlling. She had a hard time getting along with many people. She would even attempt to control Lama Yeshe who was compassionate enough and skillful to ‘tame’ her into a dakini like lady. Her being very difficult inspires me more. Because often in Dharma organizations you expect everyone to listen to Dharma, accept and transform so you have angels running around. But the opposite is true of this. Many respect, listen and accept Dharma but few actually practice to the point of transformation. That is a fact. And if you ‘push their buttons’ like Lama Yeshe was legendary for doing, they can run away in a blink of an eye. Many do run. They even ran from Lama Yeshe! Some came back and some didn’t. But that is ok, in time they will realize what they lost and will have a turn around. Zina was temperamental, wealthy and wanted to create a place for all her arty socialite friends to have respite on weekends for detox, spirituality and truth. She was very sharp and knew the party life was going to get her and her friends nowhere, so that is how Kopan got conceptualized in a nut shell. And look what it has grown into today. How beautiful. You have to read about Zina and be inspired.

You have to read about Lama Yeshe and be double inspired. I reproduced everything here to let the world know how wonderful Zina was and how anyone from any background can transform. I wanted everyone to know how wonderful Lama Yeshe was. I have admired, respected, loved and deeply trust in Lama Yeshe since very young. I use to read about Lama Yeshe and wished when I grew up I can be like him (far from being like him now) but I wished that very much. Reading about Lama Yeshe always brings tears to my eyes and chokes me up because you can feel his extraordinary love even from his pictures. I really want the world to know about him and what he has done. Therefore I reproduced this here.

Read the post below written by David Lai to read more about Zina’s journey to nunhood!

Tsem Rinpoche

 

Zina in her heyday in Hollywood…

 

One of the hotels that Zina’s grandfather owned.

 

Zina Rachevsky on the cover of PARIS LIFE.

 

On the cover of Focus magazine in 1953.

 

A write up on Zina on Cine Revue.

 

The many shots of Zina in 1953.

 

On the cover of Tempo magazine.

 

 

The beautiful heiress.

 

Front cover story on a love triangle between Zina and 2 high society boys.

 

Zina’s mother, Harriet Straus Rachevsky.

 

Ordination day of Zina Rachevsky. Lama Yeshe is third from the right…

 

Zina Rachevsky with Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa. She’s seated on the ground on the left.

 

Zina Rachevsky with Trulshik Rinpoche in 1972.

 

Zina Rachevksy with Lama Yeshe in 1967.

 

Zina and her daughter Rhea.

 


 

From David Lai’s bloghttp://www.davidlai.me/2013/05/16/the-russian-princess-who-became-a-nun/

 

The Russian Princess Who Became A Nun

Zina Rachevsky as a Hollywood actress in 1953


The legendary Zina Rachevsky was the earliest Western student and patron of Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Everything about her including her royal heritage had become legendary. Her family was incredibly wealthy to begin with. Her grandfather established SW Straus & Co. that held loans on a string of buildings across the United States that was worth $150 million dollars in those days.

In 1930, her grandfather passed away and it was also the year that Zina was born. She was a precocious, intelligent and an independent child. She grew up to be a Hollywood actress and gained her reputation as an international socialite. She married Count Bernard d’Harcourt when she was only 18 and then divorced him two years later. At one point, she would be seen with the likes of screen legend Marlon Brando. She would later give birth to a son, Alex by Conrad Rooks, a troubled filmmaker and a daughter, Rhea Rechevsky.

Her apparent royal background was really not what it seems and it was a part of her family lineage that she embraced in order to avoid anti-Semitic backlash considering the other Jewish part of her family line. Her father was the brother-in-law to the Grand Duke Boris, the last of the Russian Romanovs. Her father and his wife, Harriet got married in 1929, about 12 years after the Russian Revolution. It was her family ties with the Grand Duke that Zina assumed her identity as the wild Russian Princess and it became a part of her larger-than-life persona that many still remember her by.

Zina had everything – money, fame, beauty and a string of marriages and relationships but she was deeply unhappy and that triggered her soul-searching. In 1965, Zina came to India and it was in India that she encountered Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa. Before meeting the lamas, she had read about Domo Geshe Rinpoche in Alexander David Neel’s book. To her delight, her guide brought her right to Lama Zopa, who was also known as Domo Rinpoche simply because he was a tulku of Dungkar Gompa. Domo is the name of the area around Dungkar monastery and tulkus of the monastery is traditionally named after the area. Lama Zopa and Lama Yeshe at that time never had any encounters with Westerners and Lama Yeshe was pleasantly surprise to learn that Zina came to them in search of enlightenment. At that time, the Tibetans regarded Westerners as mere spiritual barbarians, unable to perceive the value of the Dharma. Zina with her characteristic intensity shattered that view.

 

Portrait of Lama Yeshe, Zina Rachevsky and Lama Zopa in 1967

 

Thus began her involvement with Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa with a long line of endless questions. Her thirst for the Dharma was unquenchable and her faith in Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa was equally unwavering all through the years. In the earlier days, she would also request Lama Yeshe to teach a meditation course but he would refuse, probably due to his limited English vocabulary in those days. So, she turned to Lama Zopa to teach and after pestering him, he finally agreed with Lama Yeshe’s approval of course. At the same time, she brought many Western students to study with them. She returned to America to share what she had learnt and celebrated thanksgiving at Mary Jane “Max” Matthews’ home. Max Matthews or Mummy Max as she became affectionately known would eventually become a key sponsor of the monks and Kopan Monastery. She later became ordained as a nun as well.

In the beginning, it was obvious that Zina was in control. She was extremely thirsty for the Dharma but didn’t know anything about Buddhist traditions and rituals. On one occasion, Max purchased an antique statue and excitedly showed it to the Lamas. Lama Yeshe said that the statue looked pretty good but he wanted to examine the holy items encased within the statue. So, Lama Zopa and Lama Yeshe performed a puja in Max’s bedroom, which was in the basement of the house. The puja was to ritually open the statue and after examining the items within and then another puja was performed to consecrate the statue again.

However, everyone else just went upstairs and started to party away and forgot about the chanting lamas in the basement. Later, they felt an energy emanating from the basement and the soft sounds of the bell and the tapping sound of the damaru wafted through. They went downstairs only to realize that the energy came from the statue. Apparently, the statue was very old and that it contained holy relics of the previous Buddha. Everyone sat in a semi-circle to bask in the holy energy that permeated the room. A deep conversation soon ensued about what everybody wanted to do with their lives. Zina confessed that she had created a lot of bad karma in this life and that she wanted to ‘make up’ by creating a place where people could come, work and study the Dharma with the lamas. That was how the idea for Kopan monastery was born.

Zina would promote her Lamas with whomever she met and even brought a French film crew to Tibet in order to film Lawudo cave in Khumbu. Lawudo was where Lama Yeshe was born and the cave was the place where Lama Zopa’s previous life meditated in. Over time, she bought land and founded Nepal Mahayana Gompa Retreat center that eventually became Kopan Monastery in Nepal. Even as she was devoted to her Lama, she found herself constantly arguing with Max. Although far removed from their familiar environment, one thing remained the same – they were both used to being the center of attention. Some American students were shocked by the manner in which Zina and Max fought for ‘control’ over the lamas that these students would repeatedly reassure the lamas that not all Americans behave in this manner. In those days, Zina would be over-protective of Lama Yeshe and she would not let anybody meet Lama Yeshe and she would tell visitors that Lama is busy. It seems that she wanted to keep Lama Yeshe all to herself.

Some were even shocked by the manner in which Zina had housed the lamas. At Kopan, Zina stayed in a large bedroom decked with a luxurious white carpet and a leopard-skin bedspread while Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa lived a spartan existence in a tiny little dark room with 2 beds behind the house. However, the Lamas never complained. Generally, people cursed Zina under their breaths because she had little regard for other people’s possessions. However, nobody had the heart to be really angry with Zina because she was still a genuine friend. By and large, she was friends with everybody and yet she was close to nobody.

In 1970, Zina travelled with Lama Yeshe, Lama Zopa and some other western students to be ordained in Dharamsala. The ordination took place at Chopra House, Kyabje Ling Rinpoche’s residence just outside McLeod Ganj. Geshe Rabten presided over the ceremony along with Lama Yeshe, Gen Jampa Wangdu, and two other monks. This was done according to tradition with four monks and an abbot as required for monastic ordination ceremonies.

 

A picture of Zina Rachevsky right after ordination. She is in the middle with Geshe Rabten on the right and Lama Yeshe standing right behind him and Zina along with other monks and nuns.

 

Zina Rachevsky was transformed by her spiritual practice and nunhood.

 

Zina Rachevsky outside her retreat hut with her daughter

 

Towards her last years of her life, she entered a long solitary retreat and midway through the retreat, Lama Yeshe suddenly decided to meet her.  He hastily made his way to see her and he talked to her extensively. That would be the last time they would meet in this life. Not long after, Zina Rachevsky passed away which some say was from food poisoning and some say from hepatitis but post-mortem tests showed that she had died of cholera.

During her last moments, her stomach was said to have swelled up like a basketball and she had terrible cramps in her legs that prevented her from folding her legs. So, she sat there with her legs stretched out while reciting mantras until she died. While Zina was dying, a close student informed Lama Yeshe. He immediately entered into meditation and after awhile, he came out of meditation and told the student that he had performed mind transference (Powa) and sent Zina Rachevsky to Kechara Paradise – Buddha Vajrayogini’s pure realm. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche later confirmed this and Trulshik Rinpoche also said that she had “a good death.”

In the Buddhist tradition, the manner in which she passed away was auspicious because she spent her final moments in deep spiritual practice. She led her life to the fullest from her Hollywood days to renouncing everything when she met Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa. She studied extensively, sponsored her Lama, established a whole monastery and brought many students to her Lama. Apparently, she had taken rebirth as a French boy and was recognized by Sakya Trizin Rinpoche to be her reincarnation. Zina’s story serves as a great inspiration for her generosity, perseverance and her genuine thirst for the Dharma. This goes to show that anybody from any part of the world can just take a leap of faith and go all the way with the Lama’s teachings and building projects.

By David Lai

 

Sources:

Reincarnation: The Spanish Boy Whose Destiny was to be a Tibetan Lama by Vicki Mackenzie, Wisdom Publications, 1996.

http://seesaw.typepad.com/blog/2008/03/zina-rachevsky-jewish-princess-and-the-tibet-connection.html

http://www.glamourgirlsofthesilverscreen.com/show/662/Zina+Rachevsky/index.html

http://biglovelamayeshe.wordpress.com/

 


 

More information:

 

Zina Rachevsky Dies

From 1973: First Steps First Students by Adele Hulse, Big Loveauthor:

“Khumjung, where Rinpoche had sent me to find Gomchen-la, is in the last wave of mountains before Mount Everest,” Chötak recalled. “During the monsoon the mornings are usually clear, but then it rains solidly for the rest of the day. But the first three days I was there it rained non-stop. When the sun broke through, there was a huge rainbow in front of an extraordinary sunset of glowing fire. I fed two crows there and they ‘talked’ to me. Whenever someone was coming along the path, they’d land on my roof with a big thud to let me know. They were right every time.

“One day the crows started making a big fuss on the roof. I looked down the valley and in the distance I could see Trulshik Rinpoche coming along with his entourage. The Sherpas burnt piles of fragrant juniper along the way and you could hear his deep puja voice reverberating for miles. When he arrived, his attendant told me that I had to speak to him. By then I could speak just enough Tibetan to get by…

To read more: http://biglovelamayeshe.wordpress.com/2013/03/29/zina-rachevsky-dies/

 


 

The First Meditation Course at Kopan

From 1971: The First Kopan Meditation Course by Adele Hulse, Big Loveauthor:

” Zina was still eager for Lama Yeshe to teach a course, but he refused. She turned to Lama Zopa Rinpoche. “She pestered me like a mosquito,” Rinpoche recalled. “She kept on asking until I began to feel encouraged in my heart and developed a strong wish to do it. I asked Lama Yeshe what he thought. He replied, ‘Well, if you think it will be beneficial, then you do it.’ So with Lama’s blessing I agreed,” said Zopa Rinpoche.

The first course was held in the spring of April 1971. It was springtime at Kopan, dry and breezy. The monsoon rains weren’t due to start until the end of May or early June, but the colder winter months had passed and the temperature was quite warm during the days.  Zina took charge of the overall arrangements and Zopa Rinpoche taught a ten-day course based on his stamp-filled text on thought transformation…

To read more: http://biglovelamayeshe.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-first-meditation-course-at-kopan/

 


 

The Bodhgaya Teachings

From 1971: The First Kopan Meditation Course by Adele Hulse, Big Loveauthor:

The lamas always attended the Dalai Lama’s Bodhgaya teachings, but this was Zina’s first visit.

Ann and James traveled together, arriving at 3:00 in the morning. Bodhgaya was packed tight with Tibetans, but a Thai monk they met on the train invited them to stay at his temple. They were welcomed and given comfortable bunk beds. Monks and nuns always sleep in their long undershirts, and it simply never occurred to Ann, who was tall and very wiry, that they didn’t realize she was a woman. The lamas were staying at the Tibetan temple. Next morning, Ann and James hurried over there. “Lama,” said Ann, “they think I’m a monk. What am I going to do?” “Listen,” said Lama, “in the eyes of the Buddha there is no male and female; it doesn’t make any difference at all…

To read more: http://biglovelamayeshe.wordpress.com/2013/01/13/the-bodhgaya-teachings/

 


 

The First Group Ordination

From 1970: The First Group Ordination written by Adele Hulse, Big Loveauthor:

From the Lama Yeshe’s teachings to his monks and nuns:

The reason we are unhappy is because we have extreme craving for sense objects, samsaric objects, and we grasp at them. We are seeking to solve our problems but we are not seeking in the right place. The right place is our own ego grasping; we have to loosen that tightness, that’s all.

According to the Buddhist point of view, monks and nuns are supposed to hold renunciation vows. The meaning of monks and nuns renouncing the world is that they have less craving for and grasping at sense objects. But you cannot say that they have already given up samsara, because monks and nuns still have stomachs!…

To read more: http://biglovelamayeshe.wordpress.com/2013/01/02/the-first-group-ordination/

 


 

Lama Yeshe’s English Language

From 1970: The First Group Ordination by Adele Hulse, Big Loveauthor:

From the lamas’ perspective, the world of all these Injis was upside down. They had everything but drowned themselves in self-pity and a lack of confidence. It was ironic: Here were two refugees looking after a stream of well-educated middle-class Westerners, all of whom were full of fear, wringing their pale hands. “Don’t preak out!”

Lama Yeshe exhorted. “You can help people, you can do! You should try to help mother sentient beings. You must try! Possible, possible. The mind is so strong. Never underestimate the power of mind.”…

To read morehttp://biglovelamayeshe.wordpress.com/2012/12/08/lama-yeshes-english-language-2/

 


 

Lame Yeshe, Lama Zopa and the Injis

From 1969: Kopan’s Beginning by Adele Hulse, Big Loveauthor:

Titles are something of a feature in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Zina and her friends had always called Thubten Yeshe and Zopa Rinpoche “Lama Yeshe” and “Lama Zopa.” The Westerners who gathered around them did the same, though they also called Lama Zopa by his title, “Rinpoche.” To Tibetans, however, they were still Thubten Yeshe and Zopa Rinpoche. As neither monk had received a geshe degree, one title by which they were not addressed was “Geshe-la,” though a few people did refer to Lama Yeshe this way.

Zina ran the house. She was “mother.” Most days at Kopan passed with just Zina, Jan, Robbie, Randy and Piero sitting around talking with the lamas when they were not doing their practices…

To read more: http://biglovelamayeshe.wordpress.com/2012/11/18/lame-yeshe-lama-zopa-and-the-injis/

 


 

Jan Willis and the Solicks

From 1969: Kopan’s Beginning by Adele Hulse, Big Loveauthor:

In late October three more Americans walked into Kopan. They were Jan Willis, an African-American political activist majoring in philosophy, her best friend, Randy, and Randy’s husband, Robbie Solick. Jan had won a scholarship to study in Varanasi for a year, the only Westerner and the only woman in a class with seven Thai monks. Jan had been to India before. She had attended a Buddhist education program at the university in Varanasi and had gone on to Nepal, where she had made friends with a Tibetan monk, Losang Chonjor, who lived at Samten Ling Monastery in Boudhanath. Subsequently, they kept in touch through letters…

To read more: http://biglovelamayeshe.wordpress.com/2012/11/12/jan-willis-and-the-solicks/

 


 

Moving to Kopan

From 1969: Kopan’s Beginning by Adele Hulse, Big Loveauthor:

Around July the lamas moved into Kopan, where Zina gave them a small dark room with two small beds at the side of the house. There was just enough room for Losang Nyima to sleep on the floor. Once again, their food was awful. The monks accepted it all.

Clive Giboire visited them there. Later, he recalled, “I must confess that I was shocked to find the lamas stuck away in such a tiny room at the back of the house when Zina had this rather grand boudoir kitted out in white carpet and a leopard-skin bedspread…

To read more: http://biglovelamayeshe.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/moving-to-kopan/

 


 

An Important Statue

From 1969: Kopan’s Beginning by Adele Hulse, Big Loveauthor:

After returning from Lawudo…

One day Max told Judy she had seen an exquisite but very expensive statue that she just had to have. She was short of money at the time but bought it anyway. Wanting to know what it was, she invited the lamas to come over one Sunday and examine it. They arrived around mid-morning.

Judy Weitzner: “So that was how I met them; Zina was the queen bee and the lamas were like her exotic pets. They said the statue looked pretty good, but to really know they had to do a special puja to open it up and see what it was filled with—the mantras and precious gems and other things. We didn’t even know what a puja was. I’d only just learned the Tibetans didn’t think it was cool to use offering bowls as wine cups. Tibetan antiques were all just decorator items to us…

To read more: http://biglovelamayeshe.wordpress.com/2012/11/01/an-important-statue/

 


 

Introducing Max Matthews (Part 1)

From 1968: Return to Nepal… For the First Time by Adele Hulse, Big Love author: “Far from this ancient life of ordered study and esoteric wisdom, yet just around the corner, lay the very worldly pleasures of Kathmandu. On the last Thursday of November 1968 Zina set off with Clive Giboire for an all-American Thanksgiving Day party at an art gallery right next to the American Embassy. Max’s Gallery was the first commercial art gallery in Nepal.
Its owner, Max Mathews, an African-American woman, worked as a teacher in the American diplomatic service’s international schools division. The job at Kathmandu’s Lincoln School paid very well, and Max definitely had a taste for the high life. No hippie, she lived in a beautifully furnished apartment above the gallery…

To read more: http://biglovelamayeshe.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/introducing-max-matthews-part-1/

 


 

Introducing Max Matthews (Part 2)

From 1968: Return to Nepal… For the First Time by Adele Hulse, Big Love author: Although Max and Zina were both grandes dames, they were, nevertheless, two very different people. Zina was not actually very much older than Max, but she seemed considerably older in her appearance. “She’d done so much, taken so many drugs, read so much esoteric literature, dabbled in her witching, and had this Blavatsky trip going on,” said Max. “Zina had left no stone unturned. She had ‘made her soup’ as Lama Yeshe put it, and her last pregnancy seemed to have taken a lot out of her. But she was still hooked on the celebrity lifestyle with these hippies out at the Double Dorje house…

To read more: http://biglovelamayeshe.wordpress.com/2012/10/18/introducing-max-matthews-part-2/

 


 

Serkong Dorje Chang

From 1968: Return to Nepal… For the First Time by Adele Hulse, Big Love author:

Following tradition, upon arriving in Nepal Thubten Yeshe and Zopa Rinpoche paid their respects to the highest Gelug lama in the Kathmandu Valley, Serkong Dorje Chang. Zina loved meeting high lamas and Thubten Yeshe had prepared some questions for her to ask. Arriving at Serkong Rinpoche’s gompa at Swayambhu they asked directions from a nondescript passing monk, who directed them upstairs and told them to wait. To their surprise the great Serkong Dorje Chang and this seemingly insignificant monk turned out to be one and the same person. There were many tales told about Serkong Dorje Chang’s ability to disappear and reappear at will, and that he almost never appeared in photographs taken of him…

To read more: http://biglovelamayeshe.wordpress.com/2012/10/09/serkong-dorje-chang/

 


 

Zina is Ordained

From 1967: Thubten Yeshe Meets a Russian Princess by Adele Hulse, Big Loveauthor:

Lama Yeshe: “Zina had decided to become a nun. I thought that was a good idea. But since according to the Vinaya, novice ordination requires the participation of at least four monks in addition to the preceptor, Lama Zopa and I couldn’t do it ourselves, so we went to Dharamsala to ask His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He couldn’t do it either but arranged for some other lamas to ordain her…”

Thubten Yeshe and Zopa Rinpoche returned to Darjeeling and then went to Calcutta to meet up with Zina. This trip must have given them their first sight of the ocean. The trio then traveled to Dharamsala. There they went to see His Holiness the Dalai Lama and make offerings. This was only the second time Zopa Rinpoche had seen His Holiness; the first time had been outside the Dalhousie school, when he had come to meet Mrs. Bedi…

To read more: http://biglovelamayeshe.wordpress.com/2012/10/02/zina-is-ordained/

 


 

Villa Altomont

From 1967: Thubten Yeshe Meets a Russian Princess by Adele Hulse, Big Love author:

“After a month of going back and forth to Ghoom, Zina asked the monks if they would come and live with her in Darjeeling. Incredibly, they agreed, transferring themselves and their few belongings to Villa Altomont. They stayed in Zina’s cold, glassed-in summerhouse for nine months. This small outbuilding contained a table, one door, and just enough room on the floor for the monks to sleep, one on either side of the door. Meanwhile, Zina swanned around her sprawling bungalow with a continuous parade of exotic guests. She addressed the monks as “Lama Yeshe” and “Lama Zopa.”…

To read more: http://biglovelamayeshe.wordpress.com/2012/09/27/villa-altomont/

 


 

Villa Altomont continued…

From 1967: Thubten Yeshe Meets a Russian Princess by Adele Hulse, Big Loveauthor:

“Although Zina was quite serious about developing a spiritual life, she was still pretty hedonistic. Drugs had been a part of her life for a long time. A true child of the 1960s, she had taken LSD with Timothy Leary at his Millbrook estate in New York. Marijuana was a staple in her life. “I don’t know which came first for the Injis,” said Zopa Rinpoche, using the common term among Tibetans for Westerns, “LSD or The Way of the White Clouds.” Once when Zina was going out to buy marijuana, Lama Yeshe confronted her straightaway and told her he didn’t want her to use drugs. Zina suddenly realized that he had known what she was doing all along…

To read more: http://biglovelamayeshe.wordpress.com/2012/09/29/villa-altomont-continued/

 


 

Meeting Zina Rachevsky

From 1967: Thubten Yeshe Meets a Russian Princess by Adele Hulse, Big Love author:

“Some months after Thubten Yeshe and Zopa Rinpoche’s arrival, a tall, glamorous Western woman turned up at Samten Chöling. This was Zinaide Rachevsky, then aged thirty-six.

It was a beautiful Sunday when Zina met the monks for the first time. Accompanying Gene and Zina was Jampa Gyaltsen Mutugtsang (whose name means “smoke of the dragon”), a married Kagyu tulku whom Zina had found to translate for her. “I took her everywhere, to see everyone,” he said. “She wore Western dress with lots of jewelry and asked many questions. I knew Zopa Rinpoche from the Young Lamas’ Home School, where we had spent six or seven months together. She knew she wasn’t meeting Domo Geshe Rinpoche, though at school we had always called Zopa Rinpoche ‘Domo Rinpoche’ because he had come from that monastery…

To read more: http://biglovelamayeshe.wordpress.com/2012/09/25/meeting-zina-rachevsky/

 


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  1. Datuk May on Jul 22, 2016 at 11:48 pm

    This is not a legend that is centuries old but a real life story of the 20th Century, when a hedonistic, wealthy and successful Russian Princess became a Buddhist Nun and became enlightened.

    Her secret recipe is devotion to her Guru, Lama Yeshe and and Lama Zopa, her love of the Dharma and her generosity in funding the beginning of Kopan Monastery. With that practice, on her death she gained entry to Pure Land through the transference of Her Lama’s mind (Powa).

    A beautiful story of devotion of a student and the great compassion of her Lama.

  2. Phng Keng Hwa on Sep 25, 2015 at 1:09 am

    Dear Rinpoche,

    When reading this post, I felt moved, and hopeful, and happy that everyone can get enlightened and make up for their bad karma. This was a nice story about ZIna Rachevsky, and about transforming one’s mind to find happiness.

    Your humble student,
    Keng Hwa.

  3. Chandra on Jan 13, 2015 at 5:24 am

    The Russian women are renowned for their beauty and allure and those born into wealth have a rather predictable life of trying to move higher up in the social strata. Being a blue blood, Zina Rachevsky’s entry and prominence in Hollywood seems natural for a lady of such charm and allure. Yet, how lucky was she to seek something more and how lucky was she to meet great Lamas of Tibet and be immensely devoted to Lama Yeshe. It’s a great story of real reverence and faith for one’s guru. Congratulations to her for achieving much more.

  4. Ong Moh Mei on Aug 5, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    I have heard Rinpoche told this story many times and each time it’s just as inspiring. It is not who she was, how she lived her life that inspired me the most, it is how she died. Towards the end of her life, she seems to have suffered great physical pain but she kept her practice, she died holding her vows as a nun and what is most touching to me is that even though her guru Lama Yeshe was not with her at the time of her death, he performed Powa and sent her to Kechara Paradise. What merit she must have collected in her lifetime. She must have kept her samaya with her guru to allow Lama Yeshe to perform such great blessing for her. She is a story of today’s modern time, a lady who experienced all the world has to offer and yet defies the samsaric path and successfully pursued dharma till the end.

    There are many great stories of how people lived their lives but there are not that many great stories about how people died. Zina Rachevsky is a story of how a beautiful Russian Princess found dharma, became a Buddhist nun and died a great death.

  5. Celebrity Buddhists | Tsem Rinpoche on Feb 13, 2014 at 12:47 am

    […] The Russian Princess Buddhist Nun […]

  6. Ck siah on Nov 1, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    其实人生的路程就像一个迷宫,我们就是要在这个迷宫选择我们人生过程的路。在这五花八门的路途中,我们会遇到很多诱惑和迷失。但要走到佛光大道之路,我们也要有一定的佛缘和前世印记才可让我们顺利的到终点。很佩服Zina 尼姑有很强的佛缘印记,她没有被娑婆世界的诱惑而迷失自己,反而还放下所有的执着来修行佛法。难得!难得!

  7. Wan Wai Meng on Jun 25, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    In this age of materialism, we are so used to think if we have a lot of money and fame and glamour, power then we will be happy will we really? Many people myself included think if we get this or get that we will be happy. But this story shows that despite having so much Zina was not happy. She had everything anyone could want for.

    Monks have nothing much yet they are one of the happiest people on this earth.

    I am fortunate to be born in a time whereby the buddha dharma is still thriving, may I learn the dharma so I do not get deluded by things that do not bring true happiness. This was not the first time I came across this russian lady with Lama Zopa and Lama yeshe and I have always wondered what was her role with these lamas, thank you Rinpoche sharing this story.

  8. Albert Ratchaga on Jun 21, 2013 at 10:05 am

    Many people always envious about the actors and actress, because they think being famous and rich like a star is something very great and happy, well, they only saw the glamorous side of these celebrities, but the pain and unhappiness they have to go through, how many people can see?

    Zina is the great example, money, fame, power, everything, she has everything anyone can ever ask for, but look where she is, she find herself living in the life of unhappiness, she has lots of friends, but there is empty inside her. If money if what people ask for, then why does she still want to search for something else? Obviously life is not about just luxurious.

    In her story, it also shows how kind and compassion Lama Yeshe is, being treated this way but Lama Yeshe did not leave her, he use his skillful way to guide and teach Zina and lead her to the proper path of Dharma. For the growth of Dharma, for the transformation of his student, he never mind staying in a small room.

    Even party girl like Zina can turn out to be a nun, what else is impossible in this world, From royal family to become celebrity to party girl to ordained nun and then gained enlightenment at the end of life. Zina’s story has told us that nothing is impossible, it’s not the matter of can or not, but it is whether you want or not.

  9. Adrian Chow on Jun 10, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    Not many people will have this kind of realisation as Zina did, she must had a very strong imprint or merits in her past lifes. Moreover, if without her there won’t be Kopan Monastery today. For her to let go ‘everything’ and became a nun which i don’t think is easy at all especially when she had a lot of distraction in her ‘glamorous’ life. Very inspiring…

  10. shelly tai on Jun 10, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    Shelly tai on 10June at 1245pm
    Dear Rinpoche
    Thank you for posting such a inspiring story I think for us to renounce is not that easy because it really need a lot of faith and trust in your guru then only we be able to do it, especially for the rich. I rejoice for those who can make it and I wish one day I can be able to reach that stage of mind.

  11. Julia Tan on Jun 10, 2013 at 12:14 am

    A princess became a nun. She had everything under the sky but yet she let go and step into full spiritual life. She realized that spiritual practice is the only way to keep herself save form going into 3 lower realms. Because of her faith in her two gurus, she’s saved and sent to Kechara Paradise.

    Why are we practicing dharma or gotten ourselves into dharma work? So that whatever merits we collected helped us to improved our spiritual practice and protected by 3 jewels. When we are ready, we can step out and help others to do the same.

    Zina walked her last beautiful journey by ending her life in the retreat. I wished that i have the fortunate to end my life in this way too.

  12. Lucas Roth on Jun 7, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    Wow from a Hollywood actress/royal blooded process to a nun that went to Kechara paradise, this proves that anything can happen you just need the right motivation. This also prooves that you can’t say “I can’t do it” because you can.

  13. edward ooi on Jun 7, 2013 at 12:01 am

    Dear Rinpoche, I have read the article about Zina Rachevsky before. Her story is so amazing that I shared to my family, I rarely share blog articles with my family except the ones that are amazing like this. The saddest part in the whole story to me is when Zina at her last meditation. She died because her stomach swollen up like a basketball, but she still continue to recite her mantras until the moment that she dies. I hope Zina Rachevsky’s daughter is also practicing Dharma and may Zina continue to stay with Vajra Yogini.

  14. Patsy on Jun 6, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    A spoilt rich heiress turned nun and died while on retreat and her ascend to Kechara Paradise! Wow amazing! She was super rich and had everything yet she was not happy until she met Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa. It showed how powerful dharma is if we are sincere to practice it.

    I am touched by her sincerity and her strong guru devotion and the remarkable good deeds she did to benefit others; promoting her Gurus, spreading dharma to the Westerners, sponsoring her Gurus and building Kopan Monastery. In the secular world, it seemed that she gave up everything for dharma but in actual fact through dharma she bought herself a ticket to Kechara Paradise.

    We are very blessed and fortunate that Rinpoche is with us to guide us in our spiritual path. We are all “Zina” but if we follow our Guru’s advice and guidance we can end up in Kechara Paradise too!

    To quote Lama Zopa, “So, every time, every day, whenever one complete’s one advice of guru, every time you become closer to enlightenment. Every time, every day, one advice get’s done, you become closer to enlightenment and it becomes great purification for many lifetimes, those heavy negative karma get purified. Inconceivable merits get collected.”

  15. David Lai on Jun 6, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    I just absolutely love the stories on Zina Rachevsky and I thoroughly enjoyed reading and writing the little blogpost on her. I laughed, folded my hands and cried and cried especially when I saw the picture of her, shaved as a nun and meditating in a room with little belongings. The picture said it all about her years of devotion to Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa has brought her to this state of transcendence. To think that she was this spoilt rich heiress was mind-blowing.

    It was through her devotion, renunciation and ultimately her Vajrayogini practice that transformed her. I am blown away and I totally want to die the same way she does. I want to die in retreat and doing Dharma. It is totally liberating way of living and dying. Just reading her story leaves me with tremendous hope and I may not be as attained as her but I would definitely want to end up in the same place as she does. Don’t anybody?

  16. HelenaC on Jun 6, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    This is truly amazing that the Russian Princess became a Buddhist nun and her transformation is very inspiring!! I have heard about this story from Rinpoche and I really touched! If we willing to do it or transform it will never be too late for anything! Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa were very very kind, patient and compassionate to used so much time to nurtured Zina.
    The good quality of Zina is although she has an extraordinary Diva’s lifestyle, she still very devoted to her Gurus. I believed in Buddhism self transformation is the best offering to our Lama and also ourselves. We must share this beautiful true story to the world! From a very samsaric person and she is now at Kechara Paradise, How wonderful!!! NEVER TOO LATE FOR WHATEVER! 🙂
    Thank you Rinpoche for this inspiring post 🙂

    Much care and love,
    Helena

  17. Wendy Loh on Jun 5, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    Thank you for sharing this post, Rinpoche.

    It is interesting to observe that Zina’s success in what we deem to be a secular and samsaric life gave her the exact training she needed to build Kopan monastery. Just like Lord Buddha Shakyamuni himself, his princely lifestyle provided the other end of an austere living that created the existence of a middle path (an interdependent origination, perhaps?). If either end-point was missing, the conditions would not be ready for an awakening that benefited all sentient beings.

    From this I learn that we must never judge anything as samsaric or dharmic because ultimately, all is empty or devoid of an intrinsic existence.

    Samsara after all is an illusion. We just have to awaken to this truth and see it for what it is not theoretically but realistically. The fact that Zina could build Kopan almost all by herself shows how deep she understands and applies the Dharma and her strong Guru devotion helps her to arrive at this state – as simple as that.

    Thus Guru devotion is key. 🙂

    And we are all truly blessed that Rinpoche is here to guide and teach us, so long as we are open to receive, listen, practice, learn and most importantly transform.

  18. Jessica Yap on Jun 5, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Oh my.. truly a spectacular article. Zina’s story is nothing short of amzanig! Being the richest person around would not make us the happiest. I am happy that Zina has discovered her spiritual side and understood the value of precious human life by accepting Dharma into her life.

    I don’t think it is easy to ‘let go’ of her rich and famous life especially when her life is fabulous! One can only imagine the amount of merit she has collected over the years of being a nun. Inspiring to know that she had the wisdom to choose Dharma over fame!
    SO awesome to know that she has been taken to Kechara Paradise!

    Will continue reading the attached articles.
    Thank you for sharing, Rinpoche! =)

  19. Paul Yap on Jun 5, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    knowing Zina’s story is like knowing there is some piece of “Zina” inside everyone of us. Dealing with the “Zina” of us is very challenging, knowing “Zina” can be tamed and have attainment set enormous hopes and courages for everyone.

  20. beatrix ooi on Jun 5, 2013 at 1:58 am

    I’m actually quite surprised by Zina as she had everything anyone would have died for: money, fame, beauty etc and she decided to give up all these and became a nun. I’m really happy that she is in Kechara Paradise, because she has done a lot of good deeds in her earlier life. Her story really inspires me..
    Thank You for sharing Rinpoche.

  21. Su Ming on Jun 3, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    This story is remarkably inspiring.

    Zina was everything you will not imagine to be in the dharma. However, she is and that is the best part of buddhism. No matter who/what u are/was, u are still acceptable and change is possible….it is never too late cause it is only by your action that will change things around for the good or bad. Look at zina, she has taken rebirth in Kechara Paradise. Wow….

    In Asia, if u get characteristic like Zina in your center, everyone will start talking badly “how come a lama keeps a woman like that round?” & “why that and why this”. I get ask so many questions of such all the time but little do everyone know that just like Lama Yeshe, our Rinpoche keeps the difficult around him all the time including myself, and that is because of his vows and who he is. Seriously, who in the world has embrace religious institution if we have no problems….none! Therefore, we should never questions the lama intention as his motivation is pure.

  22. sockwan on Jun 3, 2013 at 11:26 am

    Only within a span of 3 years, Princess Zina transformed from a wordly person to a fully ordained nun. What a speedy transformation, the best offering to one’s guru. Not only had she renounced, she also built Kopan Monastery, leaving a legend behind. She was truly an inspiration.

  23. Sharon Saw on Jun 3, 2013 at 12:38 am

    Zina is really larger than life.. it is an encouraging story that someone who led such a hedonistic life could turn her karma around and end up in Kechara Paradise because of her devotion to Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa.. It will give many people hope that they didn’t have to have a pure past in order to be ‘saved’. We cannot change our past but what makes a difference is what we do today. By Zina’s faith and support for these Lamas, she had singlehandedly created an institution – Kopan – which will benefit so many generations to come. We can do that for KFR!

  24. MartinC on May 31, 2013 at 12:52 am

    This is a fascinating story and immediately I thought how much Dharma can do for a person if they are sincerely open to it. Although Zina led a hedonistic life, I did not feel that she did not take the Dharma seriously.Perhaps like all of us, she wanted the best of both worlds. But in her case, as much as she was samsaric with the way she lived, she also did quite remarkable Dharma deeds such as bringing Dharma to the Westerners, sponsoring Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa and eventually building Kopan. Whatever Dharma she did continues to benefit people till this day and that is very auspicious.

    But in Zina’s case, meeting the Dharma was not an accident as she must have strong seeds planted in her already to drive her to go seek Dharma. Meeting Lama Yeshe was no doubt due to the merits she must have gained in her previous live(s).

    What the stories did not tell is how the lamas must have quietly nurtured her, and prayed for her which I am sure happened. We saw how Lama Yeshe urgently wanted to meet her when she was in retreat and we saw how Lama Yeshe upon learning of her death, immediately performed powa for Zina. That says to me that Lama Yeshe have been watching over Zina all the time. This is also what our guru does for each of us.

  25. Joy on May 30, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    What a beautiful inspiring story of real Dharma transformation! From a Diva, a real princess with loads of money, rude, load, premiscuious, to a nun who died in retreat and was able to go to Kechara Paradise heaven! Wow… this is what I call amazing real stories that allows to know that nothing is impossible! It gives many like me “hope” 🙂

    I am moved most of all from her strong Guru devotion to her Lama and how from someone who is so samsaric could change and become a nun… totally from one end of the spectrum to another! Yes it is these type of Divas, freaks, weirdos, and very “unexpected” people who were seen “bad/sinful” become “good” is what captures my attention because it goes to show that Buddha’s teachings truly exist and can be applied because well, she did it… who are we to complain and say “we can’t”. I am beginning to comprehend this tricky mind of ours… it is not we “can’t”, but rather we “CHOOSE” NOT TO! Everything is a CHOICE…. Happiness is a CHOICE. Real FREEDOM is a CHOICE 🙂

    Thank you Rinpoche for always highlighting such inspiring REAL stories to motivate us! x

  26. Jutika Lam on May 30, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    It’s true when people hear the words Hollywood or royalty people tend to go crazy…. especially in the Modern Days as they not only admire the Rich, crazy and happy go lucky life’s of the famous and rich stars in Hollywood.

    This story totally caught me by surprise because I did not expect such a famous and rich lady such as Zina to let go of her “Samsaric” life to practice the Dharma…..

    I have to admit that I was even more surprised to know that she even took the extra step to even become a nun!

    I totally rejoice that she is in Kechara Paradise now and I hope that more and more famous people will be inspired to follow her footsteps.

    Thank you Rinpoche for taking time out to compose this blog post!

    With Much Love
    Jutika

  27. tenzinkhenchen on May 30, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    It is wonderful to see people that give up their life of luxury for something more. This is also proof that the Dharma can be acceptable to the modern crowd as Buddhism still allows you to indulge in Samsara but it lessens your attachment. Slowly, people who are at the tip of luxury can become a kindly nun. Amazing!

    People should not use the fact that Buddhism is a mildly ascetic-like religion. Nothing needs to be changed to be a good Buddhist. However, despite nothing changing, everything on the inside changes.. You become a kinder person and you feel inner peace as you conquer your inner demons.

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  • 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
  • Pastor Shin Tan
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 01:40 PM
    When on the hospital bed nearing our last breath, nothing matters except for the practice and transformation we have done in dharma in our lifetime.

    Our money, wishes, houses, clothes, jewelry, reputation, spouses, desires, dreams, greed, anger, possessions, explanations will be of no use at all. It will in fact even be a hindrance scratching at our mind’s energy to let go and we cannot.

    Since they are no use at that momentous event, we should continue that thought now and understand what we should truly cultivate now. This thought must translate into action not just scholastic thoughts and meanderings of the mind for self deception or imitation spiritual satisfaction. This is what I think daily and everyday as part of my meditations on death and impermanence according to first chapter of Lam Rim.
    ~H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche

    Learn more here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/the-dying-process.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 12:11 PM
    Amazing and very creative architecture designed space for our home grown foods.It is a good idea for those living in the cities.The Growroom is beautifully produced made it convenience which enables people to connect with nature surrounding with plants. The smell of herbs and plants makes cities dwellers to live in happiness and healthy.
    Its takes alot of effort and determination for anyone to build a growroom.Well they can do it,if they have the will power….hoping someday KFR will have one too.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/build-your-own-growroom.html
  • nut
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 01:39 AM
    Lazynnes ,negative karma!and mends samajas …ITS very very , inderdependent motivations lewwels of awareness Teacher’Quality &sangha quantity ,first when samajas ARE pure Empowerment full blessings later?so give less Empowerment ITS OK.ccTR IS Wise.
    [no sender]
  • nut
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 01:32 AM
    http://www.aikidosydneycity.com/interview-with-takeda-shihan-by-aikikai-hombu-dojo/ yes yes sumikiri!i m sure HE practice martial arts in many previous lives AS well AS have family’karma conected with ai!ki flow,,,so NEUTRAL his re:for attacks ARE.,above normal fighter skills!___and i m skull in maya astro,fine and wanth share:#####paranormalTSEMsection on:::: antarctica aliens& JFK ,Peru as egg skulls.________________have a good day&nice PRactICE.____THE LIGHT be?or just show options that can be used.
    [no sender]
  • nut
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 01:23 AM
    For example B_LOCK can be neutral karma ,butRE_PLAY reactions can make diferent results in second person?
    [no sender]
  • nut
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 01:22 AM
    NEUTRAL karma not make good ,not bad result!but ITS STill karma so IS not done from lewwels of acomplishment where IS NO NEW karma acumulations.
    [no sender]
  • nut
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 01:16 AM

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CREDITS

Concept: Tsem Rinpoche
Technical: Lew Kwan Leng, Justin Ripley, Yong Swee Keong
Design: Justin Ripley, Cynthia Lee
Content: Tsem Rinpoche, Justin Ripley, Pastor Shin Tan, Sarah Yap
Writer: Pastor Loh Seng Piow
Admin: Pastor Loh Seng Piow, Beng Kooi

I must thank my dharma blog team who are great assets to me, Kechara and growth of dharma in this wonderful region. I am honoured and thrilled to work with them. I really am. Maybe I don't say it enough to them, but I am saying it now. I APPRECIATE THESE GUYS VERY MUCH!

Tsem Rinpoche

What Am I Writing Now

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The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

Click on the images to view the bigger version. And scroll down and click on "View All Photos" to view more images.
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
14 minutes ago
Mumu taking a rest in the turquoise room. Over the years, I always feel very satisfied when I see him covered with a blanket, safe and sleeping. I always wanted to make sure he was safe from harm, illness and distress. I wanted him to have a happy and loved life. Tsem Rinpoche
I wrapped my little Mumu boy up in my blanket and propped him up on my bed. He didn\'t move or wiggle and just looked at me. He is one funny entertaining little guy. Tsem Rinpoche
19 minutes ago
I wrapped my little Mumu boy up in my blanket and propped him up on my bed. He didn't move or wiggle and just looked at me. He is one funny entertaining little guy. Tsem Rinpoche
March 2017-Coaxing my little Mumu boy to eat his meal. He was not well and therefore not hungry. Tsem Rinpoche
21 minutes ago
March 2017-Coaxing my little Mumu boy to eat his meal. He was not well and therefore not hungry. Tsem Rinpoche
Click on picture to enlarge and see what Milarepa says. Profound.
7 days 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
7 days 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
1 week ago
I love Mumu boy tremendously. We went through so much together for so many years. You are a great being to be with. Tsem Rinpoche
Dear everyone, I am sharing this beautiful and modern altar to Dorje Shugden in Malaysia. I am glad to see more and more people creating sacred spaces. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
Dear everyone, I am sharing this beautiful and modern altar to Dorje Shugden in Malaysia. I am glad to see more and more people creating sacred spaces. Tsem Rinpoche
Lhamo Karmo, a female buddha form visualized above the crown of one\'s head at the time of death, to encourage consciousness to leave the body via the crown aperture. From my book \"The Female Buddhas.\"- Glenn Mullin
2 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
2 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...
Beautiful! His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang has always been good friends with His Holiness Karmapa. No wonder H.H. Karmapa never spoke against Dorje Shugden. Two reasons perhaps: One is he knows the qualities of Trijang Rinpoche who is a attained being. And Karmapa himself has clairvoyance to perceive the true nature of Dorje Shugden directly. I love to see great beings like this manifesting closeness. When I see, I just want to prostrate to them and thank them for sharing such good examples to someone like me. Praise to the ego-less mind! Tsem Rinpoche
6 months ago
Beautiful! His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang has always been good friends with His Holiness Karmapa. No wonder H.H. Karmapa never spoke against Dorje Shugden. Two reasons perhaps: One is he knows the qualities of Trijang Rinpoche who is a attained being. And Karmapa himself has clairvoyance to perceive the true nature of Dorje Shugden directly. I love to see great beings like this manifesting closeness. When I see, I just want to prostrate to them and thank them for sharing such good examples to someone like me. Praise to the ego-less mind! Tsem Rinpoche
Serkong Dorje Chang on the left and his son Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche on the right.
6 months ago
Serkong Dorje Chang on the left and his son Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche on the right.
Click on "View All Photos" above to view more images

Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • Please watch this video, it's heartbreaking to see how people have to suffer.
    1 week ago
    Please watch this video, it's heartbreaking to see how people have to suffer.
  • Lady saves puppy from potential abuser
    1 week ago
    Lady saves puppy from potential abuser
  • Mr. Denzel Washington is a very intelligent man. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 weeks ago
    Mr. Denzel Washington is a very intelligent man. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Dear friends, please see this educational video on suffering for the sake of others.
    2 weeks ago
    Dear friends, please see this educational video on suffering for the sake of others.
  • A very neat footage of Bigfoot captured by Patterson-Gimlin.
    3 weeks ago
    A very neat footage of Bigfoot captured by Patterson-Gimlin.
  • [11/02/2017] Mumu darling is a very good boy.
    1 month ago
    [11/02/2017] Mumu darling is a very good boy.
  • [11/02/2017] Mumu wants to go bye bye!
    1 month ago
    [11/02/2017] Mumu wants to go bye bye!
  • [11/02/2017] I love you mumu boy
    1 month ago
    [11/02/2017] I love you mumu boy
  • [11/02/2017] Mumu and Oser eating together.
    1 month ago
    [11/02/2017] Mumu and Oser eating together.
  • Great spiritual rock carving in Tibet
    2 months ago
    Great spiritual rock carving in Tibet
  • You will Never be Ready
    3 months ago
    You will Never be Ready
    Dear friends, watch this video and ready, if we keep waiting till we are ready, that day will never come. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Stop asking for Easy
    3 months ago
    Stop asking for Easy
    This video is powerful because it's the truth. It applies to anything. It applies to our dharma practice. Watch the video and share it. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Must Watch this Video!
    4 months ago
    Must Watch this Video!
  • Sacred Tibetan Incense - Nyimo County, Lhasa, Tibet
    5 months ago
    Sacred Tibetan Incense - Nyimo County, Lhasa, Tibet
  • 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 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?
    No reply yet
  • 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.
  • March 20, 2017 10:16
    Grigoris asked: Excuse me, but I would like to ask, what does the prayer to Shangmo Dorje Putri say exactly? I can't read Tibetan, but would like to see the description that the prayer gives. I am not planning to say the prayer or make interaction(as it would be very dangerous), but would like to see what it actually says from the Tibetan text. Here's the link: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/shangmo-dorje-putri-the-bamo-of-sakya.html
    pastor answered: Dear Grigoris, Thank you for your question. Shangmo Dorje Putri is indeed a fascinating unenlightened Dharma protector. Unfortunately at the moment, we do not have a translated copy of the text in English that we can provide. The usual format for such texts, would include an invocation, making offerings to appease them, and then exhortations for them to perform their activities, possibly followed by thanking them for their help. One thing is for certain, due to the nature of Shangmo Dorje Putri her prayer is sure to include violent imagery, just like many other Dharma protectors, such as Achi Chokyi Drolma (who even though has a peaceful appearance, has a lot of violent imagery in her prayers). The reason behind the violent imagery is explained in the post about Achi Chokyi Drolma here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/achi-chokyi-drolma-chief-protectress-of-the-drikung-kagyu.html
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