Halloween

Oct 18, 2016 | Views: 14,788
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Dear friends around the world,

The celebration of Halloween is a growing trend around the world, especially due to the influence of popular American culture. Even though most consider it to be a secular festival, its origins are thousands of years old. Stemming from the ancient Celtic practices of Europe, over the centuries it has transformed into a secular festival, surviving sustained attempts to end its practice. In its form today it is mostly known for its scary costumes and decorations, fun games and trick-or-treating. Halloween is also one of His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche’s favourite celebrations, as His Eminence fondly remembers his time growing up in the United States of America. We hope you enjoy reading about the history, origins and practices of Halloween.

Pastor David Lai and Pastor Niral Patel.

 


 

Although most people consider Halloween to be a secular celebration, it has a long history steeped with spiritual significance

Although most people consider Halloween to be a secular celebration, it has a long history steeped with spiritual significance

 

The Beginnings of Halloween

Beyond the costumes and garish decorations, Halloween has more of an ancient origin than what is commonly known. Halloween itself is a contraction of the older name ‘All Hallows’ Eve’. Throughout history, Halloween was also known by a number of names including Samhain, All Hallows’ Evening, Allhalloween or even All Saints’ Eve.

It was originally celebrated on October 31st in pagan Europe, as an ancient celebration of the coming of winter. This date marked a very important time for pagans who believed that it was a very powerful harvest festival connected with the world of the dead and powerful forces. It was latter appropriated by the Christian faith and transformed into a three-day observance of Allhallowtide. Over time it has become a fun celebration that people all over the world take part in, but still retains it ancient roots.

 

The History

Most scholars agree that the modern celebration of Halloween began as the Celtic harvest festival of Samhain, which is pronounced ‘Sah-win’. Samhain literally means ‘summer’s end’ and is also the end of the harvest months. This celebration was held between October 31st and November 1st. It was celebrated in Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man and other places with Celtic influence. A similar harvest festival was celebrated by Brittonic Celts, called Calan Gaeaf in Wales, Kalan Gwav in Cornwall and Kalan Goañv in Brittany.

The festival of Samhain was an important part of the year for the ancient Celts.

The festival of Samhain was an important part of the year for the ancient Celts.

In 43 C.E., the Roman Empire had conquered the majority of the Celtic lands. During the four hundred years of Roman rule, two popular Roman festivals came to be incorporated into the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain. The first festival was Feralia, celebrated at the end of October when the Romans paid their respects to the dead. The second festival was a day honoring Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the traditional game of ‘bobbing for apples’ that is played today on Halloween.

According to Celtic tradition the festival began on the evening before November 1st. This is because day was believed to end at sunset. The next day would begin thereafter. In fact, Samhain and Calan Gaeaf are mentioned in some of the earliest Irish and Welsh literature. Furthermore, historians say that Celtic Halloween customs that have survived since the 19th century continue to use the same Gaelic and Welsh names for Halloween.

The Samhain festival occurs at the beginning of winter, which is the colder and darker half of the year. According to Celtic beliefs, this period is seen as a time of transition, when the boundary between this world and the next becomes ‘thinner’. Therefore, during Samhain – summer’s end on 31st October, it was believed that the ghosts of the dead would walk the earth. This means that the Aos Sí, which is pronounced ees shee, or the Celtic ‘spirits’ or ‘fairies’, could easily cross into our world and become particularly active during this time.

The Aos Sí were thought to roam the world during Samhain

The Aos Sí were thought to roam the world during Samhain

The Aos Sí were viewed with fear and respect in equal measure because they could haunt and disturb the living. During Samhain, it was popularly believed that people had to propitiate the Aos Sí so that they would not wreck havoc on the living. They did this by taking sweets, food and drinks out to the edge of the forest and away from the village in a procession in order to lead the spirits away from the homes of the living. It is very possible that the modern tradition of trick-or-treating stems from this ancient Celtic belief of appeasing the spirits. The belief that souls of the dead return home and need to be appeased has more ancient origins as an equivalent is also found in many other ancient cultures.

In 19th century Ireland, candles would be lit and prayers formally offered for the souls of the departed during this festival. After the ritual, feasting, drinking, and games would begin. All throughout Ireland and Britain, household festivities included rituals and games intended to foretell one’s future, especially concerning marriage and death. Apples and nuts were some of the most often used in these divination rituals. These rituals included apple bobbing, scrying or mirror gazing, pouring molten lead or egg whites into water and dream interpretation.

Special bonfires were lit and their flames, smoke and ashes were deemed to have protective and cleansing powers, and were also used for divination. In some places, torches lit from the bonfire were ritually carried around homes and fields to protect them. It is suggested that the fires were a kind of imitative or sympathetic magic. The fires mimicked the Sun, tapping into the ‘powers of growth’ to hold back the decay and darkness of winter. In Scotland, the local church elders in some parishes outlawed Samhain bonfires and divination games. Later, these bonfires evolved to keep away the devil himself.

The Celts believed in animal sacrifice, especially during Samhain in order to honour and appease the gods. They believed that since the earth had bore them bountiful harvest during the summer months, it was only right that they return the favour. Therefore, they offered animals onto the bonfires and from the charred remains the Druid priests would read the future much in the same way as reading tea leaves.

Aside from causing mischief and destroying crops, the Celts also believed that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for their Druid or Celtic priests, to make predictions of the future. The medieval Celtic people’s livelihood and survival depended on the volatile seasonal weather. Therefore, these predictions and prophecies became an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.

From the 16th century, the harvest festivities included mumming and guising in Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man and Wales. This meant that people would go house-to-house disguised in a costume, usually reciting a few verses of poetry or song in exchange for food. It is thought that the tradition may have originally began with people impersonating Aos Sí, or the spirits of the dead. They received offerings on their behalf, similar to the custom of souling, in which ‘soulers’ would go from house-to-house, offering prayers for the departed in exchange for ‘soul cakes’.

According to Celtic beliefs, impersonating spirits by wearing a disguise was believed to protect oneself from them. It is suggested that the mummers and guisers personify the old spirits of the winter, who demanded reward in exchange for good fortune. In Scotland, youths went house-to-house with a mask on, painted or blackened faces and these mischievous youths would often threaten to wreak havoc if they were not welcomed.

Folklorist F. Marian McNeill suggests that the ancient festival included the tradition of people in costume representing the spirits with their faces blackened by ashes taken from the sacred bonfire. At the turn of the 20th century, youths in Glamorgan and Orkney cross-dressed during the festival. Elsewhere in Europe, mumming and hobbyhorses were part of other yearly festivals. Since the 18th century, the tradition of disguising oneself as a malignant spirit led to playing pranks in Ireland and the Scottish Highlands.

The tradition of wearing costumes during Halloween has been around for centuries

The tradition of wearing costumes during Halloween has been around for centuries

The tradition of wearing costumes and playing pranks during Samhain spread to England by the 20th century. The traditional lanterns for guisers or pranksters at night during the festival were carved out of turnips or mangelwurzels – hollowed out and often carved with contorted faces. According to tradition, the lanterns were made to resemble the faces of spirits and were used to ward off evil spirits. This was common in parts of Ireland, Somerset and the Scottish Highlands in the 19th century. In the 20th century they spread to other parts of England and became the precursor to what is known as the ‘jack-o’-lantern’.

 

The Original Meaning of Halloween and What it is Today

Halloween is thought to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people lit bonfires and wore costumes to ward off roaming spirits. Samhain is also known as summer’s end and this is reflected in the meaning of this harvest festival. Halloween straddles autumn and winter, plenty and scarcity, life and death. The festival is steeped in medieval European superstition as Samhain is celebrated as a means to prepare for the long cold, winter months.

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Pope Gregory I is also know as Saint Gregory the Great

The Celtic tradition of celebrating Samhain encountered its biggest threat when it came face-to-face with the Roman Catholic Church. The Catholic Church sought to convert the pagan Celts. Around 600 C.E., Pope Gregory I felt that it was not possible to convert all the pagans to Christianity immediately. Therefore, he decreed that missionaries should graft the new religion of Christianity onto the old. He used the example that if the pagans were worshiping a tree, the missionaries should consecrate the tree and encourage the pagans to continue to worship, but this time they would worship God.

The earlier missionary efforts were met with little success as the regular folk felt little interest in the new religion. They were disinterested in the Christian doctrine of waiting for the afterlife to be rewarded by God. By the 8th century, Pope Gregory III (731–741) had enough of accommodating the pagans and so, he decided to launch a direct counter. He established the Christian festival of All Saints Day on the very same day that Samhain was celebrated. This festival honoured all the saints that did not have their own day throughout the Christian calendar. This was his attempt to counter the worship of the Celtic gods during Samhain. Hence, Samhain was hijacked and appropriated as a Christian celebration. Despite this effort, there were still many who continued to hold on to the customs and beliefs of their Celtic heritage.

Subsequently, the church sought to seize power from the Druid priesthood, primarily the priestesses. The word witch comes from the word Wicca or ‘Wise One’. These priestesses were primarily healers and soothsayers and they lived alone in the forest. The church sought to demonize them, as they were the holders of the Celtic faith.

By the 9th century, Christianity had spread all over the Celtic lands of Europe, where most of its spiritual traditions gradually supplanted the older Celtic rites. By 1,000 C.E., the church began celebrating November 2nd as the new feast of All Souls’ Day, a day to honour the dead. This was a direct counter to the Celtic tradition of honouring the dead during the Samhain period.

It is evident that the newly consolidated Catholic Church in medieval Europe decided to replace the folk tradition of celebrating the Celtic festival of the dead with a Christianised version of the celebration. All Souls Day was celebrated on the same day and in a similar fashion to Samhain, with its big bonfires, parades, and costumes as saints, angels and devils.

The All Saints Day celebration (November 1st) became known as All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from the Middle English ‘Alholowmesse’ meaning All Saints’ Day) and the night before it (October 31st), the traditional night of Samhain in the old Celtic religion, was called All-hallows Eve. This eventually became known as Halloween.

 

Countries that Celebrate Halloween

Many countries all over the world celebrate Halloween or have festivals similar in nature to Halloween. The United States of America and Canada are the two countries that are most known for their Halloween festivities. It is said that over 65% of Americans decorate either their homes, offices or work places in preparation for the event.

Halloween is now celebrated all over the world

Halloween is now celebrated all over the world

In Europe, countries such as the United Kingdom, Ireland, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany and Sweden all celebrate Halloween, but not on the scale that it is celebrated in the United States of America and Canada. The tradition of Halloween has spread to other European counties due to its celebratory nature rather than historical relevance to cultural practice. Likewise Halloween is gaining popularity in Australia and New Zealand. These two countries do not have a strong cultural link to Halloween. However due to popular American influence, the practice of celebrating Halloween is on the rise. This influence also occurs wherever there are American or European expatriate communities.

In Asia, many countries have festivals somewhat similar in nature to Halloween such as the Hungry Ghost Festival in China or Kali Chaudas in India, though they are celebrated in very different ways. In other countries around the world that have been influenced by American culture or have a history of Catholic practice, people also celebrate Halloween in different ways. For example in Mexico, which has strong Catholic and also ancient Aztec roots, the festival is known as Dia de los Muertos or the Day of the Dead. It is a time in which adherents honour their beloved ancestors and others who have passed away.

 

The Spiritual Dimension to Halloween

From a Western Christian perspective, October 31st is known as All Hallows’ Evening or All Saints’ Evening. Western Christian churches include the Catholic Church and a wide group of Protestant churches. This celebration is the first in a three-day event known as Allhallowtide. It is followed by All Saint’s Day or Hallowmas and All Soul’s Day. During this festival, practitioners remember the dead, including the various martyrs who gave their lives to preserve their religion from persecution from the Roman Empire, the saints and faithful Christians who have passed on. The word ‘hallows’ is in reference to all the saints within Christendom. After its establishment, All Soul’s Day became a day during which Christians pray for the dead.

Catholics celebrate All Hallows Eve with a vigil

Catholics celebrate All Hallows Eve with a vigil

In countries with a strong Catholic background, Allhallowtide retains its spiritual significance. It was traditionally believed that on this night the veil between the world of the living and afterlife thinned, therefore people wore masks so that they would not be recognised by any spirits. In parts of Europe, such as Poland, people would pray out aloud as they walked through the forests so that the spirits could find comfort. In Spain, churches would ring their bells to remind practitioners to remember the dead. On this night, the Catholic Church holds a church service, known as the Vigil of All Hallows, after worshipers prepare themselves through prayer and fasting.

The Horned One, a Wiccan god invoked during modern Samhain rituals

The Horned One, a Wiccan god invoked during modern Samhain rituals

Amongst Pagan and Neo-Pagan traditions, it is the night on which Samhain is observed. Reconstructionist Pagans base their practices on historical records and traditional folklore. For them it is a time to honour the dead. Often bonfires are lit and meals are set out on dining tables for the dead. Traditional tales are told, songs sung and dances are performed. If a door or window faces east, it is left open with a candle burning on the sill to guide the dead back home. Those who are sensitive or mystically inclined see this as a time to commune with the Celtic gods who preside over this autumnal festival.

In Wicca, Samhain is considered to be a festival of darkness, which has its counter-balance in the festival of Beltane, the festival of light during the spring months. The festival includes praying for all those who have passed away including family, friends and even one’s pets. It used to be celebrated by leaving food out for the dead. During some rituals in which the Celtic gods are invoked, the dead are also invited to participate. It symbolises the beginning of the dark half of the year and the oncoming of winter. Rituals invoke the Wiccan Goddess in her form as the Crone and her consort in the form of the Horned One. These rituals include communicating with the dead, casting of magical spells and divinatory readings for the upcoming year through the use of runes, tarot or scrying. The original forms of divination during Samhain would have included reading the bones of the animals that were sacrificed to the gods during ritual. In fact is it said that Samhain is the best night to predict the future and prophecies were read deep into the night. This may in fact be one of the origins of telling ghost stories during Halloween.

Nowadays it is a common to see people decorate their houses with ghastly displays in celebration of Halloween

Nowadays it is a common to see people decorate their houses with ghastly displays in celebration of Halloween

 

How Halloween is Celebrated in Popular Culture

Many popular North American ways of celebrating Halloween have been adopted by countries all over the world, including in Europe where the festival has its original roots. These include:

 

Wearing Masks or Costumes

This tradition has its roots in the old European and Celtic traditions of wearing masks and costumes in order for people to protect themselves from being recognised by spirits. Other records say that people wore masks so the spirits didn’t mistake the living for the dead, and inadvertently take them to the afterlife once the night was over. Some religious scholars have argued that the tradition of dressing up in outlandish or ghoulish costumes is to poke fun at the concept of ‘satan’, who at one time caused terrible fear and anxiety within society.

Over time, the masks and costumes took on the characteristics of supernatural creatures of the dark such as vampires, ghosts, witches or devils. Nowadays, it is also very common to see costumes and masks of celebrities, superheroes and even cartoons. It is also common to see generic costumes that are easily recognisable such as princesses, ninjas or pirates. Dressing up in costumes became really popular in 1930s America, with the mainstream adoption of trick-or-treating.

A couple dressed as Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf

A couple dressed as Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf

 

Trick-or-Treating

This tradition has its roots in the ancient Celtic custom of leaving food out for the dead, in order to appease them, ensuring that they would stay away from the living. Amongst the Christians of Medieval Europe there developed a practice of offering ‘soul cakes’ to the impoverished, who would beg for food in return for praying for the souls of the departed, an act known as ‘souling’. These soul cakes were made especially during Halloween. The impoverished would go about the villages, towns and cities, praying for the dead or singing songs in return for the food.

This tradition was encouraged by the various Christian churches in an attempt to stamp out the pagan traditions of leaving food out for the dead. The act of leaving food was something that was seen as encouraging worship according to the pagan tradition, which ran at odds with the authority and practice of the churches. It was also viewed as a practice associated with witchcraft and therefore by association the devil, which the Church also sought to stamp out. Over time this became a practice in which only children participated.

In the contemporary era, this tradition transformed into something that children engage in whilst dressed in costumes and masks during Halloween night. Typically under adult supervision, children knock on people’s doors and exclaim “trick-or-treat?” In the case the person who answers the door is agreeable, they give the children candy, sweets or other small and edible gifts, reminiscent of the soul cake. Those who do not give sweets, enough sweets or acceptable edible items are often the victim of ‘tricks’ which range from amusing and scary, all the way to criminal damage in some extreme cases. For adults, Halloween themed parties have become very popular in recent decades as well.

Trick-or-treating has become very popular amongst the younger generations, especially since they get lots and lots of sweets.

Trick-or-treating has become very popular amongst the younger generations, especially since they get lots and lots of sweets.

 

Decorations, Games, Attractions & Food

During the Halloween period many people decorate their homes, front garden, offices and work places with scary decorations. These include figures of witches, ghosts, skeletons, zombies, etc. They do this as a form of secular celebration and for fun.

One such decoration is the Jack-o’-lantern. This tradition traces back to an Irish tale told about a man known as Jack the Stingy. He was a cruel and stingy man, who was also a drunkard. He would often play mean tricks on people, including his friends, family and even the devil. It is said he tricked the devil to climb an apple tree, and then placed crosses around the trunk of the tree. As the devil was unable to touch the crosses, he was unable to climb down the tree and return to hell. Jack made the devil promise him that he would not take his soul once Jack died. The devil agreed, Jack removed the crosses and the devil returned to hell. Once Jack had died, he arrived at the pearly gates of heaven and was greeted by St. Peter who told him that he had not led a good life, therefore had to go to hell. Arriving in hell, the devil remembered his promise and told Jack that he would not take his soul. Rather he would be banished to roam the world of the living in spirit form. Unable to see his way back to earth, he asked the devil how he would see the path back. The devil tossed him an ember from the fires of hell. Jack carved a turnip into a lantern, in which he placed the ember and used it to light the way back to earth. Jack was fond of eating turnips and would always carry one with him. Over time the tradition of carving turnips with scary faces developed.

During the settlement of the Americas by Europeans, the Irish brought over the custom of carving turnips and even potatoes with ghoulish faces, placing candles in them and leaving them outside the front door. This was an ancient custom to ward off Jack the Stingy, evil and protect against negative entities who roam around in the world of the living during Halloween. The faces are carved in a ghastly manner to scare these negative spirits away.

Jack-o'-lanterns have become synonymous with Halloween

Jack-o’-lanterns have become synonymous with Halloween

When they arrived in America, they found that pumpkins were easier to carve. Therefore the tradition of carving pumpkins evolved. Jack-o’-lanterns have become an image synonymous with Halloween. Nowadays, one can buy pre-carved pumpkins or even plastic decorative ones that have electric candles in them. The containers in which children collect their sweets while they trick-or-treat are often in the form of Jack-o’-lanterns or even a witch’s cauldron.

There are a variety of unique games played during Halloween. One such game is ‘bobbing for apples’. This game involves a large barrel or bucket filled with water and apples are set afloat on the it. Participants must use their teeth to remove the apples from the water, while their hands are behind their backs.

Playing games during Halloween has been around for centuries

Playing games during Halloween has been around for centuries

Another game includes hanging candy apples (also known as toffee apples) or doughnuts from string. Participants eat the apples as they swing on the string, again without being allowed to touch the apple or doughnuts with their hands. The use of apples is a facet of Halloween laden with cultural and historical significance. In ancient times, apples were associated with goddesses, immortality, resurrection and knowledge, as such they are associated closely with the harvest, which Halloween represents since it falls in the autumnal months. This is even more evident given the ancient Roman influence in Celtic lands and the association with the Roman goddess Pomona, whose symbol was an apple.

A more recent phenomena are attractions during the Halloween period. These attractions are purely for entertainment purposes, aimed at scaring or thrilling visitors. As technology advances, the sophistication at which these attractions are built and maintained, together with realistic costumes has led to a boom in such attractions all over the world. While most of these only appear during the Halloween season, they are known to make an estimated $300-500 million each year in the United States of America alone, making it big business. This goes to show that more and more people need forms of entertainment to take them away from the pressures of daily life, even if only for a short while.

During the Halloween season, one often sees food that although have come to signify the festival, were originally autumnal treats. These include the toffee apple as mentioned above, barmbrack (a bread with sultanas and raisins), caramel apples, caramel corn, cakes with Halloween decorations, cookies in the shape of Halloween themes, pumpkin pie and novelty sweets.

 

Common Halloween Imagery

Coupled with the iconic Jack-o’-lantern imagery mentioned above are many others that are popular during Halloween celebrations. Here are some of the most common.

Witches are a common sight during Halloween

Witches are a common sight during Halloween

Witches

The characteristic look of a witch has been corrupted over time and they have become demonised from what they actually were. The origin of the word is ‘wicca’ (male) or ‘wicce’ (female) and originally meant ‘wise one’. In ancient European societies, such as the Celts and among the pagan traditions, these were men and women who were natural healers. They used herbs and natural remedies to cure people of their ailments. They were very close to nature, so would live away from towns and villages, by themselves in the countryside. As they lived in the countryside their skin would have been calloused from working on the land, therefore they would have had a very tough look to them. They would communicate with the spirits of nature and were able to use powerful magic to heal and for divination of the future. Due to these roles, they were held in very high regards by pagan practitioners.

With the rise of Christianity in Europe, these people were demonised, especially the women. From a Christian viewpoint, these women directly countered Christian doctrine and practice, which were often centered around men. Since they worshiped the spirits of nature, rather than God, they were seen as evil. They also posed a threat to the growing reach and authority of the Catholic church, so their influence needed to be removed. Over time, with the influence of the Catholic church, these women became associated with the devil and evil practices. They were hunted down and punishments for continuing their practice was cruel.

In 1486, Pope Innocent VIII actually published a book in which he claimed a direct link between witches and the devil. Since that point, the persecution of traditional witches heightened. In fact at this time he even outlawed the pagan Celtic religion altogether. Those found guilty were brutally killed, often by being burned alive. This period in time is referred to as The Burning Times.

As part of this persecution, the popular image of witches was transformed from women who were in tune with the natural elements, to those who were evil. The notion that witches did evil deeds such as killing babies for their rituals spread. They began to be portrayed as old and crooked, with long ugly noses often with large warts, long disheveled hair, wearing long and flowing black garments. This imagery continues until today, and plays an important part of Halloween tradition.

 

The Broomstick and Cauldron

Associated with witches are the images of the broomstick and cauldron. These are traditionally thought to be implements witches used to engage in their evil acts. However, the implements were everyday items that a person would use back in the time of the Celts. The broom is a simple cleaning device. As witches lived in the countryside, there would have been a lot of natural debris, such as leaves. These would obviously have to be cleared up and people would use simple brooms made from sticks and branches for this purpose.

The cauldron is another simple implement. It is one of the earliest forms of a cooking pot. These would have been used by witches and in fact all people during that time to cook with, over an open fire. They would have used large spoons to stir whatever they were cooking. Over time this imagery became synonymous with a witch brewing an evil potion, as witches came to be demonised.

 

Pentacle – the Five-Pointed Star

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The Pentacle

The pentacle is often associated with witchcraft and evil, however its real meaning is not evil at all. In fact, the pentacle as a religious symbol from ancient times, represents the balance of the natural elements: earth, water, air, fire and space. It is a symbol that was used to invoke the energies of nature in order to restore balance. It can also be linked to the apple, which is also a symbol of the ancient traditions. If you cut an apple length ways, the core of the apple actually forms a five pointed star. Since its association with pagan rituals, it is considered a symbol that is negative in the world today due to the influence of Christianity.

 

Black Cats

This imagery stems from the earliest origins of Halloween among the Celts. It was commonly believed that black cats were once human beings who had been transformed into cats as punishment for evil acts they had committed or as victims of black magic. Over time, as Christianity gained ground, this notion was corrupted so that black cats became the witch’s familiar, or animal-spirit that aided a witch to cast magic, act as a spy or a friend. Over time it was also thought that a witch could turn into a black cat as well.

 

Bats, Owls and Creatures of the Night

Many animals are associated with Halloween such as the bat or owl. This association stems back to the Celtic tradition of lighting bonfires during Samhain. Before electricity and modern lighting was invented the only source of light at night was obviously fire. Light from these bonfires would have attracted mosquitoes and other flying insects. Since bats and owls feed on these insects, they would have been drawn to the fire as well. Therefore bats and owls were seen overhead and near the Samhain bonfires, and became associated with the festival. As pagan traditions were demonised, so were bats and owls. Overtime as Samhain transformed into Halloween, this imagery continued. Other creatures such as spiders, newts, or any creature of the night came to be associated with Halloween over time as people have a natural fear of such creatures.

 

Ghosts and Monsters

The origins of Samhain stem from the ancient pagan belief that the spirits of the dead can come back and harm us in this life during Halloween. This fear of the spirit world has been ingrained in the festival since its very beginning. This continues until this day with a strong fear of being attacked by ghosts. Other monsters such as ghouls is another attempt to demonise the ancient pagan religions. These were originally the nature spirits that the Celts, druids and witches worshiped and communicated with. As their practices were thought to be evil, the spirits transformed into menacing creatures over time.

 

The Devil Who is Actually a God

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The devil

The strength of the Christian demonisation of pagan culture is best exemplified in the common portrayal of the devil. The devil is depicted as a being with the body and face of a man, but the horns and legs of a goat. This is actually the portrayal of the Horned One, a god known throughout the ancient world, including both European pagan traditions and in ancient Greece, where he was known as Pan. Within pagan culture and modern Wicca, he is the male side of divinity, associated with nature, wildness, hunting, fertility and the life cycle. He was a god of great importance within the pagan traditions, especially since he was associated with bountiful harvests. During the time of the ancient pagans, ensuring one had a bountiful harvest in order to survive the harsh winter was of great importance, therefore the Horned One was especially worshiped. He was a benevolent god, who helped those who were close to nature grow good harvest and have abundance.

Over time however, with the growing influence of Christianity, he became heavily demonised just like the witches. Since his worship was so wide spread and ingrained in pagan culture, the Catholic church sought to equate him with the evil devil himself in order to persuade pagans to convert to Christianity. Therefore, he became synonymous with the devil. Before this period in Medieval history, the devil was only ever portrayed as the serpent Satan in the garden of Eden, who tempted Adam and Eve, or as Lucifer, the fallen angel. Strikingly, the form of Pan was to become the most common and well-known depictions of the devil to this day.

pan

Pan, also known as the Horned One

Despite this overt attempt to destroy pagan history and culture, the Catholic church has never been wholly successful in eradicating belief and worship of the ancient gods and their associated practices. To this day modern Wicca practitioners invoke the Horned One during their rituals, especially when celebrating Samhain. Even spiritual communities such as Findhorn invoke the god in his form of Pan to aid them in their endeavors to be closer to nature and for the growth of their various plants and vegetables. Paul Hawken in his book ‘The Magic of Findhorn’ describes him as a being with “shaggy legs and cloven hooves, pointed chin and ears, and two little horns on his forehead” and that he “lived in the Garden, and that his work was to help the growth of the trees.” Given the lengths that he was demonised and equated with the devil, it is testament to ancient beliefs that the Horned One is still remembered in his original form with his original functions in this day and age. The Horned One or Pan is not evil but a nature elemental who helps in bountiful harvests and fertility and should be remembered as so. One who encounters Pan should not think him the devil as that is the Christian corruption of his true nature in their power bid to convert the masses. Pan himself says in the book ‘The Magic of Findhorn’ the elementals and nature spirits that help and assist all natural growth have been abandoned. This is wrong to do so as man should not think he can live without nature. For the proper growth and health of nature, the assistance of elementals and nature spirits such as Pan and many others are needed. So the next time you see the image of the ‘devil’ remember that it is the corrupted form of the helpful elemental Pan and there is nothing evil.

 

Conclusion

Halloween as a contemporary holiday has a long and varied history, stemming from the ancient Celtic celebration of Samhain, which was supplanted with the Christian festival of Allhallowtide. Though people tried to destroy the various practices and beliefs of the festival, they have continued until today, albeit in a different form. While the form in which it is celebrated has changed, the deeper notions behind it, such the coming of the winter and fear of the spirit world still remain.

With growing acceptance all over the world, Halloween incorporates practices and imagery laden with meaning, though most of those who celebrate are often unaware of the historic roots of the celebration. As we have seen Halloween has now become a secular celebration, compared with its spiritual origins. Millions of people will celebrate Halloween in some way or another this Halloween. We hope this post has provided you a further insight into the rich and cultural history of Halloween.

 
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  1. Julien on Nov 27, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    I was never big on Halloween. It was never a celebration that I truly participated in and dress up in costumes for. Although there have been times where I had to, due to school or other events like that. However, that doesn’t make this article any less interesting to read about.

    It was interesting to know the actual history behind Halloween and how it was actually to celebrate the coming of winter. I didn’t know that such a festival could have had such an original meaning. I actually for the longest time thought that Halloween was a man-made celebration just for fun XD

  2. Hayden Chan on Nov 10, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    This post is so fascinating. I didn’t know about the witches history, but it is very cruel to just kill innocent ladies just because people think that they are witches . But this post is very interesting. The star is related to Elements of nature ,one word ,cool. Thank you , Rinpoche for posting this.👺👹👿👻👽💀

  3. nicholas on Nov 7, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    It’s an interesting article that provide a great info about Halloween. At this modern day we celebrate Halloween for the fun of it but there are so much to know about this ancient believe. Personally to me there is no right or wrong on others believe, tradition and culture but what important is respect for the different. As for Pan it sad that how an ancient god that being belief for his good blessing to help people who were close to nature grow good harvest became and evil devil just due to spiritual political reason. We live in this planet with many differences but one key to stay together in peace and be harmony is respect.

  4. Wah Ying on Nov 6, 2016 at 1:09 am

    这篇文章很有趣,让我知道更多关于我所不知道的万圣节这个节日的由来和背后的意义,特别是关于基督教会如何绑架整个节庆,将教会不允许的信仰原本的意义和庆祝方式,以其方式取代之。这的确说明了当权者或掌握权力者,倾向于铲除不符合他们信仰、挑战(或潜在挑战)其领导或无法为他们的政权服务的信仰/法门、个人或团体。只要投入足够的人力和资源,假以时日的确能将错误的变成正确的,正确的变成错误的。换了时间和地点,类似的事件还是在上演着--这跟多杰雄登护法明明是证悟的护法,是文殊菩萨的化身却被污蔑成魔类似;或者杜固扎巴坚赞圆寂后关于他的任何记载,几乎被当权者从历史上抹去雷同。

  5. Sharon Ong on Nov 5, 2016 at 10:18 pm

    This is an interesting read as I have always been fascinated by the origins of Halloween and paganism. With the usual rumours surrounding Wicca and Paganism, this post has helped me understand the essence of this non-mainstream religion better.

    Another interesting thing I learnt is the origins of trick-or-treating and why sweets are given to the trick-or-treaters. It came from the ancient Celtic practice of appeasing the dead with sweet offerings so that these spirits would not create havoc on the living.

    This post also reminded me of how impermanent things as seen in how a God propitiated for bountiful harvests in previous times is now seen as a Devil due to turn of events.

    Thank you, Pastor David and Pastor Niral. Enjoyed this piece very much!

  6. Wan Wai Meng on Nov 5, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    It is very true that this article addresses some of the imagery that have been labeled demonic and devilish. It is interesting to know the background of how something can be warped or changed to suit certain religious factions or practices. Something benign can also be changed to something threatening and that can harm others.

    But a very enjoyable article that is written in a light manner, and not heavy at all. Enjoyed going through this article and learning about the origins of this celebration.

    People of the past were preoccupied with survival, it is only when communities and societies become more established that they will start looking at spirituality or religious. And if some people were many levels more awake or more knowledgeable than others, they could manipulate others for their own ends. In the old world and in the new old knowledge and insight/intelligence to wield those power could determine between thriving or survival.

  7. Sock Wan on Nov 3, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    Ancient people knew we had to live harmony with our surrounding, with the nature. They had great respect to the elements in this universe. Unfortunately, as human progress we think we are owner of the earth and do lots of destruction to it. Global warming, unusual climate phenomena are signs of our earth losing its balance.

    One thing that I find interesting is the 5-pointed star symbol, it is also found in the depiction of Vajrayogini’s mandala. Same symbol exist in different culture or religion in an era where there was no internet, no postal service, no telecommunication, it must really mean something universally. It is something our ancestor discovered through their careful observation, how amazing. How come without science and technology ancient people could make so much discovery while we are using science and technology to deny the existence of their discoveries? Are we really more intelligent than our ancestors?

    • Sock Wan on Nov 3, 2016 at 12:59 pm

      Sorry, my mistake. The star in Vajrayogini Mandala is a 6-pointed star, not 5-pointed star as I have written in the previous comment. More information about Vajrayogini and her Mandala as explained by Tsem Rinpoche in this youtube video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHv9akFU9w8

      Rinpoche has kindly shared with me that:
      The 5-pointed star commonly used in Wiccan to represent the five elements. According to Pythagoras, the five points of the pentagram each represent one of the five elements that make up man: fire, water, air, earth, and psyche. (energy, fluid, breath, matter, and mind; also liquid, gas, solid, plasma, and aethyr, or spirit)

  8. Pastor Antoinette on Oct 31, 2016 at 12:18 am

    Thank you for this huge information and background related to Halloween.
    It is a big eye opener with the many stories like Jack-o-lanterns’, Pan the Horned One, witches and much more.

    It is very interesting how history developped from ancient times till now related to Halloween.

    Thank you Pastor David and Pastor Niral for this great article.

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  9. HelenaC on Oct 30, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    Very interesting article about Halloween. Most of us do not really know what is Halloween about beside all those make up and costume. For me is same as Asian Hungry Ghost Festival. But after reading the article I have a clearer understanding now. So much meaning and cultures behind it. i like the history of Jack the stingy. Very interesting hehehe….
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing and thank you Pastor Niral and Pastor David for the write up and research. Very nice hehehe and long hahahaha….
    Happy Halloween and cheers!

  10. Pastor KH Ng on Oct 29, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    What a fascinating history on the origin, meanings and intrigue of the Halloween. Today it is a popular in many countries and is associated with fun. It is interesting to know especially how ancient practices that are normal can be turned into something evil to serve another religion’s purposes; to convert others to that particular religion.

    Thank You Pastor David and Pastor Niral for this amazing article.

  11. So Kin Hoe (KISG) on Oct 29, 2016 at 10:28 pm

    Thank you Pastor David and Pastor Niral for spending time and effort to carry out so much researches about Halloween and put the information and details altogether to make this article complete and comprehensive. After reading this article, I have deeper understanding about the meaning, background and history of Halloween rather than just knowing the Halloween party where people are dressed up in ghostly manner or in other forms of demonic costume.

    The Halloween marks the end of summer and the beginning of winter season, which is a very important day for the ancient people in Europe as they should have kept sufficient harvested crops before going through the winter season where farming is not possible at all during the winter season. As I continue to read on the article, the Halloween is also a transition period where the boundary between our living world and the afterlife world becomes ‘thinner’ according to Celtic beliefs. This reminds us that our human’s life is not permanent and one day, we might become one of the souls in afterlife world after our death.

    The tale of Jack-o’-lantern has fascinated me a lot since I have never known the reason of why people carving a scary look on the pumpkin with a lighted candle inside the pumpkin.

    Thank you Rinpoche, Pastor David and Pastor Niral for sharing this article in Rinpoche’s blog and I hope many people will enjoy reading this article about Halloween.

    Happy Halloween to Rinpoche and all!

    With folded hands,
    kin hoe

  12. Datuk May on Oct 27, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    “Halloween incorporates practices and imagery laden with meaning, though most of those who celebrate are often unaware of the historic roots of the celebration.”

    That is so true, Pastor David and Pastor Niral. It is a great eye opener for me to understand so much on every aspect of the Halloween celebration. From the use of apples to pumpkin lanterns during this festival is so well explained.

    Thank you for all the research put into this article.

    What stands out for me is how the Catholic church had done so much to eradicate the festival of Samhain and its original meaning. And yet with deeper study of Halloween every aspect still goes back to what it is, to appease the dead and to be ready for the dark months of winter.

    Truly appreciate your work to this very informative article.

  13. Jutika Lam on Oct 26, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    Dear Pastor David and Niral,

    Thank you for taking the time to compile and write this lenghty and educational blog post on Halloween starting with the origins. I learnt a lot more than I previously knew about this festival!

    It is somewhat intriguing to know that the festival of Halloween we are celebrating had originated from as long as 43 C.E and started out as a Celtic festival which was meant to prepare for long, harsh winter times.

    Despite what Halloween is in current times, it is interesting to know that there is a deeper meaning to it which relates to a religion and culture and I hope that more poeple will read this article and know more about Halloween and it’s history.

  14. Anne Ong on Oct 26, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    Thank you to Pastor David and Pastor Niral for this write up about this wonderful and interesting history of Holloween. Now I know All Souls Day is connected with Holloween. And All Souls Day is similar to Chinese Ghost Festival. Happy Holloween to Rinpoche and everyone! 🙂

  15. BK on Oct 26, 2016 at 8:45 pm

    I enjoyed reading this very much, especially the history of how the Halloween tradition came to be and how each Halloween symbol has a long and rich history. I’ve long been interested in all forms of religion including paganism, especially stories of the land of faerie. So this article kind of brought back some of those memories 🙂

    What struck me the most however, is how the christian church was able to wipe out a large part of the rich celtic religion, replace it with their own interpretations AND have it accepted by the general public at large. This is no small feat and it goes to show that with enough persistence and believers, those in power are able to sway popular thinking in their favour, to the disbenefit of the group being targeted.

    In modern times, history is repeating itself in Tibetan Buddhism, specifically with regards to the Dorje Shugden issue. The same pattern can be seen whereby the Central Tibetan Administration is playing the role of the Christian church, Dorje Shugden practitioners are the downtrodden pagan believers and the world is at risk of forgetting that Dorje Shugden is in fact a compassionate and enlightened Buddhist protector and instead believe the CTA’s lies that he is a demon. Sounds familiar doesnt it??

  16. Pastor Han Nee on Oct 26, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche. Thank you Pastor David and Pastor Niral for a well-researched article on the history, origins and practices of Halloween.

    Halloween was originally celebrated as a Celtic harvest festival, known as the Samhain.Pagans believed that it was a very powerful harvest festival connected with the world of the dead and powerful forces. When the Romans conquered the Celtic parts of Europe, they superimposed their own two traditional festivals on this festival,the festivals where they paid their respects to the dead and where they celebrated a festival in honour of Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and tree. Then the Roman Catholics transformed it into a 3-day festival known as the “AllHallowTide”, which incorporates the All Saints Day and the All Souls Day.

    Many countries all over the world celebrate Halloween or have festivals similar to Halloween. The United States and Canada celebrate Halloween on a wide scale, decorating their homes, offices or workplaces in preparation for the event. The tradition of Halloween has spread to other European countries , as well as to Australia and New Zealand, due to its celebratory nature rather than historical relevance to cultural practice.

    For countries , with a strong Roman Catholic background, the Halloween festival takes on a spiritual significance. The same with those whose beliefs are still rooted in Pagan and Neo-pagan traditions. Elsewhere, Halloween is celebrated as a form of popular culture, where the popular activities are : the wearing of masks or costumes and the carrying out of the ‘trick-and-treat’ tradition by children , under the supervision of adults. Adults have their own themed parties.

    During the Halloween period many people decorate their homes, front garden, offices and workplaces with scary decorations. These include figures of witches, ghosts, skeletons, zombies, etc. They do this as a form of secular celebration and for fun. One example is the “Jack-o’-lantern”. The Irish brought over to America the custom of carving turnips and even potatoes with ghoulish faces, placing candles in them and leaving them outside the front door. The faces are carved in a ghastly manner to scare negative spirits away.

    Popular during the celebration of Halloween are the presence of modern witches and their associated imagery of cauldrons and broomsticks, the Pentacle or five-pointed star, the black cat, bats, owls and creatures of the night, and ghosts and monsters.

    Thus , we can see that today Halloween has become a secular celebration, compared with its spiritual origin. Nonetheless, the idea of celebrating it as a harvest festival can actually turn it into an occasion to celebrate it as a ‘spiritual harvest’ festival.

  17. Justin Cheah on Oct 22, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    Thank you sharing this article Pastor Niral and Pastor David. It is interesting to read especially the historic part of it. I feel it is worth doing and carrying on doing this as part of the carrying down the tradition. It serves to remind me and everyone of us that there are actually beings out there that we should understand their existence and they are living in another realm and remembering them in our prayers as well to perhaps plan the seed for them to have a good rebirth in future and continue their spiritual journey.

  18. Candice Loke on Oct 22, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    Thank you Pastor David Lai and Pastor Niral Patel for this Halloween research and article, it was truly an interesting read for me! I wouldn’t know Halloween would have had such an interesting origin and background, with so much of cultural twists in it had i not read this!

    What struck me the most is that of the conflicts between the newly introduced Roman Catholic and the long established ancient Celtic culture in the then pagan Europe. I would believe that the traditional practice of Celtic was still remained mainstream in pagan Europe even decades after the Roman Empire conquered that very region. Otherwise there would be of no use for the Roman Catholic Church to demonise Wicca The Wise One and Pan the Horned One if people were truly convinced and converted. From here we actually can see – throughout history of mankind, rulers have seen been using different means to ‘conquered’ others who have different thoughts/ideas than theirs through violence and fear, how pathetic!

    Beneath all these political play, I really like the true meaning of original Halloween – To celebrate the harvests, to give thanks to mother nature for what they have sown on the land. We really can see that back in those days, people appreciated nature more than people these days. Another great reminder for all of us.

    After reading this article, I have better understanding on the origin, background of Halloween, and of course meaning behind all those seemingly ‘scary’ Halloween features – Knowledge is powerful, as it dispels fears.

    Thank you Rinpoche, PDL and PNP _/\_

  19. Lowkhjb on Oct 21, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    Thank you Pastor David Lai and Pastor Niral Patel for taking the great detail effort to research into the origin of the practice of Halloween.

    A simple fun filled yearly event that most of us would take for granted ,with such a complicated dark history behind it.

    We should always respect the beliefs and practice of other religion.They may be created out of needs during those ancient times when they are more in tuned with nature and the need of HOPE for a better live.

  20. Beatrix Ooi on Oct 20, 2016 at 10:58 am

    I’ve never thought that Halloween could be related to any religion/ culture, it’s definitely something new to me. As far as I could remember, I’ve only attended a Halloween party once. It was kind of fun because everyone gets to dress up in costumes like they like and have realistic gory make ups on them. It’s not something we can do every day hehe…

    It’s funny how Western and Chinese cultures can be so different yet so similar to one another. Chinese celebrates Halloween too but in a different way. We do prayers and most of us would burn “hell money” which is a form of joss papers printed to represent bank notes, particularly to hungry ghosts in hope that they will not disturb families when they roam around during the hungry ghost festival.

  21. Lew on Oct 19, 2016 at 11:40 pm

    Halloween is gaining popularity in this part of the world. Every year, more and more people celebrate it. I am sure many or most people don’t understand its origin, thinking it is just a cool event where people can put on costume. I myself was not a big fan of Halloween until I have heard Rinpoche talked about it.

    What Pastor Niral and Pastor David wrote is very detail, which involves a lot of histories of the older religions such as Celtics, Pagans, etc. However, the one that caught my attention is Pan, the horned one, who is demonised in order to defame him.

    I hope people can understand the meaning of a festival celebration instead of just following the herd…

  22. Fong on Oct 19, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    Halloween is big in America. The American schools here celebrate it in a big way and the kids look forward to a bit of a scare and loads of candy. It helps the little ones overcome their fear. Hey, if there’s some good that come out of it. Everything is not so scary once we know its roots and purpose, and of course a bit of familiarization.

    So, Halloween had it’s roots in paganism. But, the real practice has been diluted except maybe for a few serious Wiccans and witches. I guess, they are entitled to their believes and I wish them well. Have fun and if no one is harmed, what’s a bit of fun. Life is already suffering, no need to add to it.

  23. William Chua on Oct 19, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    Halloween is a celebration deep in history and traditions. These days, it has become mainly a celebration of partying amongst the young and more of a novelty. It is a time to play dress up and scare people.

    This article is very informative and well researched which gave me a better understanding of the Halloween festivities. What struck me the most is the the Christians has demonised the God Pan in order to convert people into Christianity. That is really considered scare tactic.

  24. Samfoonheei on Oct 19, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    Thank you Pastor David and Pastor Niral for sharing this interesting article.There’s a lot to know about Halloween.Very detail and good explanation for us to understand the whole history of Halloween. The story of Halloween should be told to the younger generation to know what’s all about it….to them its just a festival with scary costumes and party through the night, celebrate in some way or the other without realizing the rich and cultural history behind it.I would not have understand until i read this article.
    What ever happen during “The Burning Times” same goes to practicing of Dorje Shugden as a Evil spirit but in fact is a protector which benefits many of us.Hope CTA will lift the ban on Dorje Shugden soon.

  25. Darren on Oct 19, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    I never really understand much about halloween, but thank you Pastor David & Pastor Niral for history and details of Halloween. 🙂

  26. Echeah on Oct 19, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    These days, Halloween has lost most of its past significance. Halloween is now a time to party, bring out the vampire suit, eye liner and fangs, drink and have fun. Shopping establishments, drinking holes and restaurants cash in on the Halloween theme every year.

    Be careful, when you get a knock on the front door and see a group of children with dark eyes trick or treating, it might be mascara or they might be black eyed children. What do you do? Boo!

  27. Jason Gill on Oct 19, 2016 at 7:09 am

    For me Halloween is the best time of year. The weather is getting colder, the sun sets earlier, plants there were thriving and alive just a month ago are starting to die. I am reminded of impermanence. The changing of Spring and Summer to Autumn and Winter is a constant reminder that I too will one day die.That everyone I know and love will cease to be.

    It is this constant reminder that has allowed me to become comfortable with death. I no longer fear death as many in the world do. I view death more as an old friend that will come to visit when it is my time to pass from this world.

    • Joy Kam on Oct 19, 2016 at 11:13 am

      Dear Jason Gill,

      Welcome to H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s blog. I’m not sure if you are new here, but welcome anyway. Where are you from if you don’t mind me asking? And have you been on Rinpoche’s blog here before?

      I find your comments very refreshing and original as not many says that they appreciate Halloween and the change of seasons as a great reminder or death and impermanence. Certainly not many view “death” as an “old friend” that will eventually come visit us when the time is right. What you say is very true and when that time comes, those who are prepared will be comfortable and is ready for it, and those who are not will find it difficult to be at peace with it. So what is important is what we are doing now to prepare for it any time.

      Buddhist dharma always talks about this subject, there is even meditation to help us practice how to die and the stages and paths one will experience. When done correctly and consistently,when the time comes, we know what is expected and be calm. Your message has brought great reminders and reflections.

      With your appreciation on such profound deeper subjects, if I may, I would like to recommend some other links on impermanence or death to you. I hope you will enjoy reading and exploring them, if you have not already. Do leave comments of your thoughts as we can all learn from each others’ different perspectives.

      Thank you and good day!

      Below are some links for your reading pleasure…

      1) What Happens When We Die? Here’s What Buddhism Says!
      http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/what-happens-when-we-die-heres-what-buddhism-says.html

      2) The Dying Process
      http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/the-dying-process.html

      3) I spoke about Death Meditation in more detail
      http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/last-night-i-spoke-about-death-meditation-in-more-detail.html

      4) Dealing with Death ( a true and very sincere account)
      http://www.dorjeshugden.org/benefits/dealing-with-death

  28. Bradley Kassian on Oct 19, 2016 at 6:53 am

    Halloween has managed to incorporate the best of it’s long history and origins. I’m not going to lie, who doesn’t want chocolate, or to dress up in costumes for an evening? Halloween is one unique holiday that is both fun for kids and fun for adults. I love having jacko-lanterns, and handing out candy to kids. Where I am, we also have firework displays after 9pm. I also like the horror movie marathons hehe.

    I have a few Wiccan friends who celebrate the holiday as Samhain so I’ve seen some of it’s rustic celtic roots. So I’ve had a taste of different perspectives for this holiday celebrated by many people.

    • BK on Oct 25, 2016 at 7:46 pm

      Bradley, do share what the Wiccan celebration of Samhain were like. There are few Wiccans in Malaysia and most of us would not have had the opportunity to experience Samhain the way you have.

  29. Sofi on Oct 19, 2016 at 12:12 am

    Wow, thank you Pastor David and Pastor Niral for this insight into the origins of Halloween. It certainly had transformed dramatically from its original pagan festival of appeasing the dead to the commercialised celebration of today. Now you only see some connotations of the past in offering of sweets in “trick or treat” game by the children, the dressing up in costumes and the “Jack O’ Lantern”.

    It is interesting to read how the egos of men played in imposition of the idea of their “Godliness” onto others they considered inferior and thus transforming something natural to something evil to be wiped out. Just because the “Wise Ones” who held more importance in position due to their healing powers and probably in tune with nature power, the Christian Churches felt threaten as they would not conform to worshipping their “God”. So the Church demonised the “Witches” in order to destroy their goodness in the people’s perception and hence gives the Church the power to assert their religion on these people. However there are still remnants of their practices that they are not willing to let go and thus the Church use manipulation to incorporate similarity in practices to appease them.

    Reading this article makes me think of the similarity of the ban on Dorje Shugden by the 14th Dalai Lama and CTA on the practitioners. Dorje Shugden was made to be the “Evil Spirit” so that the perception of the people will be affected when in actuality Dorje Shugden is the most beneficial protector practice in this degenerate age. Just as the Witches were persecuted, the Shugden practitioners too faced the abuse and persecution. However, just as the Wiccan practice had prevailed and grown in numbers, the Dorje Shugden practice too survived and had spread in all directions of the world. With the recent proclamation by His Holiness the Dalai Lama that Dorje Shugden does not and never did harm his life nor the Tibetan Freedom cause, I think CTA should heed their esteemed spiritual leader’s message and lift the wrongful ban on Dorje Shugden immediately. It would be a restoration of religious freedom and according human rights back to their people as well as reuniting all Tibetan Buddhist practitioners.

  30. Stella Cheang on Oct 18, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    The facts on and surrounding Halloween are very fascinating because they involved a faith and culture that is little heard of; the Celtic faith. Reading on how Christianity was being spread and levied onto the Celtics remind me of how Christianity had been imposed on the aborigines of America. Interestingly, the religion promotes love and kindness yet it was the missionaries who used unscrupulous method to gain followers. Such technique is not unique to only the Christian history. If we read history of Tibetan Buddhism, we will realize that unscrupulous method is not new. Methar of Tengyeling Monastery is an example how innocent people in spite his spiritual attainment, had been unjustly and brutally murdered.

    Fast forward to the 21st century, Halloween have certainly evolved from its Bagan roots where Halloween was all about bon fire and holy rituals. Today, Halloween is a festival celebrated by many western countries, e.g. USA, Canada, some parts of Europe and increasingly, Asian countries. It is gaining popularity because of the eventful merriment. Many people seize this opportunity to decorate their homes and have a party to dress up in various costume, especially for the kids where they can roam free in the neighborhood to try their hand on “Tricks or Treats”. How nice!

    Thank you Pastor David and Pastor Niral for this article.

  31. Joy Kam on Oct 18, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    What an interesting read and certainly learnt a lot about the true in celebrating Halloween. Wow, so much misconceptions and so much ancient wisdom and truth diluted, perverted and lost. Thankfully ancient writings and modern technology (the internet) has managed to preserve the truth about how it all began if we wanted to investigate further. And this is kind of like what is happening with Dorje Shugden’s lineage, teachings and history too!

    Again due to human greed, power and selfish goals, something positive was turned into negative. The Church literally re-wrote history and set out to convert or destroy whatever or whoever that was in their way of dominating and controlling people through religion. It is no wonder many people today no longer have faith in “organised” religion… it is no wonder why I have friends today that snubs anything religious… so much hatred, bullying, misconceptions and crimes done onto those who were innocent in the name of “God”?! Reminds me again what we’re going through with Dorje Shugden practice and how Tibetan leadership are demonising it, burning its books, and forcefully overtaking and punishing those they feel threatened by … http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/the-buddhist-divide-an-unholy-campaign-against-religious-freedom.html

    Now I know that in actuality “witches” are not “evil”, it just a label, a name for those who worshipped nature (instead of the Christian Catholic God) and they are in fact healers. It is the Church who twisted its meaning and demonising it together with their gender biased MCP views of women. And because of that they were they were hunted down and punishments for continuing their practice! All this because they posed a threat to the growing reach and authority of the Catholic church, so their influence needed to be removed (power and greed).

    There was even a book published by their Pope at that time claiming the link between witched and the devil?! Sound familiar with the an Abbot and the Tibetan leaders who published a book claiming Dorje Shugden is a demon spirit and is bad.

    I also now realise the truth behind the silly depiction of the “Devil” being a half man, half goat/bull, animal with horns. Whereas in reality… he is actually the nature spirit that helps growth and harvest called PAN! Oh my gosh, how blinded and ignorant we have been!

    “The growing influence of Christianity heavily demonised PAN just like the witches. Since his worship was so wide spread and ingrained in pagan culture, the Catholic church sought to equate him with the evil devil himself in order to persuade pagans to convert to Christianity. Therefore, he became synonymous with the devil.
    So the next time you see the image of the ‘devil’ remember that it is the corrupted form of the helpful elemental Pan and there is nothing evil.”

    All this just goes to show how easily WE all just listen and follow blindly when something/someone is BIG/POPULAR/POWERFUL, we just automatically believe them. Sounds familiar again with the Dorje Shugden ban and what His Holiness the Dalai Lama has been saying about it.

    So the moral of the story is after reading this post… don’t just believe whatever people say, always investigate and find out more as knowledge is really power. Now when in celebration of Halloween, instead of it being another commercial making silly holiday, we can celebrate it in appreciation of the Celtic history. Also it is true, which I’ve also always thought so, that Halloween had something to do with the dead crossing over and a time to remember them.

    Thank you for all your research for this brilliant post Pastor Niral and Pastor David. I now have a deeper appreciation for Halloween and loving it even more for the truth behind its history.

    Incredible, how so much misconceptions has been formed about so many things which was once positive, helpful and respected by people. How so many have suffered and was wronged due to jealousy, power and greed. Hence, we need to strive to always preserve the truth and origins of things especially something that could bring great benefit and enlightenment to many, such as Dorje Shugden practice. And we are ever so fortunate to have Rinpoche’s blog here to house and preserve these truths for the future and generations to come. Thank you so much!

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Blog Chat

BLOG CHAT

Dear blog friends,

I’ve created this section for all of you to share your opinions, thoughts and feelings about whatever interests you.

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

Tsem Rinpoche


SCHEDULED CHAT SESSIONS / 中文聊天室时间表

THURSDAY
10 - 11PM (GMT +8)
5 - 6AM (PST)
星期五
9 - 10PM (GMT +8)
4 - 5AM (PST)
(除了每个月的第一个星期五)
SATURDAY
11AM - 12PM (GMT +8)
FRIDAY 7 - 8PM (PST)
SUNDAY
9:30 - 10PM (GMT +8)
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UPCOMING TOPICS FOR APRIL / 四月份讨论主题

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KECHARA FOREST RETREAT PROGRESS UPDATES

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The Kechara Forest Retreat is a unique holistic retreat centre focused on the total wellness of body, mind and spirit. This is a place where families and individuals will find peace, nourishment and inspiration in a natural forest environment. At Kechara Forest Retreat, we are committed to give back to society through instilling the next generation with universal positive values such as kindness and compassion.

For more information, please read here (english), here (chinese), or the official site: retreat.kechara.com.

Noticeboard

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  • nut4all
    Sunday, Apr 30. 2017 07:03 AM
    and stopped animal sacrifice at these temples. http://www.drukpa.com/about-us/our-yogis/the-three-divine-madmen 99%ppl focus on jab jum DrukpaKunley…
    [no sender]
  • nut4HE25TRinp!o
    Sunday, Apr 30. 2017 01:54 AM
    @tsemtulku
    My favorite Mahasiddha is Naropa….Let explain few !from4incarnation DRUKPAone MADe split!forTWO!!DRUKPA(HEMIS-ladakh)&SHABDRUNG(relung monastery Tibet site) .later SHABDRUNG split for3 body speach MIND! ( i m not certain order) SHABDRUNGS ARE!!! NamkhaiN0rbu RINPOCHE YES!! HH SHABDRUNG controversial in BHUTAN home jail!by urgyen trinley can!idDAYE&TaklungShabrung .. Recently with Dalai our monk seen !
    [no sender]
  • Alice Tay
    Sunday, Apr 30. 2017 12:16 AM
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this and I was touched by this story very much. I personally think that this faithful dog must has very close karmic connection with its owner and it know that the owner is died. Furthermore, animals are very sensitive to our energies and mind states. So, if we are loving kindness and compassion, they can feel our love and care.

    As such, we must treat the animals like humans too. Not to harm them because humans can be reborn as animals and animals can be reborn as humans. We have to accept that humans and animals are interconnected and just like a family.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/faithful-dog-chases-deceased-owner.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Saturday, Apr 29. 2017 11:49 PM
    Spiritual practice is definitely much more than doing good for others. When we practice “spirituality” without religion and from our own understanding, how sure are we that we are on the right track? When we practice spiritual with the guide of religion, we will certain progress and much easily to attain higher levels. Thank you, Rinpoche for this teaching.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/can-we-just-be-spiritual-but-not-religious.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Saturday, Apr 29. 2017 10:56 PM
    When we truly love and care for another being like a family, whether this other being is a dog or cat, a child or a stranger, it will break our heart when it is gone. Many people may not be capable of this emotion towards a pet but as we evolved, we will realize we are capable to develop such feelings for animals. It is common in the west to have pets cemetery because of this reason. Thank you for this article, Rinpoche.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/why-losing-a-dog-can-be-harder-than-losing-a-relative-or-friend.html
  • Lin Mun
    Saturday, Apr 29. 2017 03:09 PM
    Interesting info and article about werewolves. I never knew about its origins and the various wolves existence until I read this. I have thus far know about werewolves only from the movies and the famous twilight show. But one thing I noticed from the articles is the gruesome manner in killing the person (or suspected werewolves). Some were cursed to be a werewolves. There just so much anger, violence and killing in the whole process, which probably the reason why werewolves are known to kill and hurt human and other animals.

    Anyway, whether we believe the existence of werewolf is true or not, I believe that there are other forms of beings in world. And we should not handle or deal with other beings with violence and anger.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/paranormal/werewolves-the-shapeshifters.html#comment-744320
  • Lin Mun
    Friday, Apr 28. 2017 04:00 PM
    Everything we offer to Buddha is a form of mind transformation and practise our mind to be focus even when doing water offering. When pouring the water into the bowl we have to recite Om Ah Hum (3 times), think positively and pouring it slowly so it does not spill and leaving the space of a grain of rice before reaching the top. After offering we also have to clean the bowls properly without leaving stain. All this is to train our mind.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing the many benefits and water offering in a simple to understand article.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/making-water-offerings-to-the-buddhas.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Apr 28. 2017 03:38 PM
    Trolls are assiociates as beings of Scandinavian folklore.A large number of different mythological creatures continue to live on in Scandinavian folklore.They have different shapes,habitat and filthy features . There are also numerous tales of trolls told and retold.Trolls are also believed to have the magigal powers, which were folktales ,posses capabilities that are beyond human .What ever it was a remnant of a long-lost reality for sure. I do believe that there’s a very high chance trolls had existed in the past.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing ,i do enjoyed all the stories in these article even though it just folk tales.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/the-hidden-nature-of-trolls.html
  • Jason
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 11:54 PM
    People always expect return on some contribution being done especially in charity events. When the return was under their expectations then they will feel sad or unhappy.
    As Rinpoche said, Dharma is a teachings to transform our mind to become bodicitta or selfless to benefit others without condition. Once we practiced selfless mind, our mind will not be affected by others people reaction.
    What will be my legacy? I think this is not really important to me anymore once I know Dharma teachings from Rinpoche.
    Thanks Datuk May for sharing to benefit more people.

    Jason

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/guest-contributors/what-will-be-your-legacy.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 08:56 PM
    Amazing miracles true story …of how Rinpoche helped. With Rinpoche blessing during the children baptismal ceremony,this little boy who had not spoken since 9 years old was able to speake again.Incredible….
    Chef Au truly believes been a vegetarian has help him to collects merits for his son.Rinpoche’s care and compassion has benefited many more people.Through these stories hope more people will be inspired to achieve the state of compassion and attainments.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Loh Seng Piow for this sharing.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-4.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 07:51 PM
    Having fully trust and faith in Rinpoche ,Fat monk’s mother was well again, after been diagnosed with cancerious tumour at the liver.
    Following instructions given by Rinpoche, his mother recited mantras and Fat monk did a series of pujas as told,his mother recovered then.
    Amazing……Miracles do happen.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Loh Seng Piow for sharing.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-3.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 05:27 PM
    We are no strangers to the creatures called Werewolves. They are often depicted as the Jekyll-and-Hyde-like monsters in movies who are unable to control their animal instincts when they shift from human form to a wolf-like creature, usually during the full moon. Together with the Vampires who can transform into bats, are my childhood imagery villains, who triggered my curiosity on mythical creatures during younger days. They still do, lol.

    It is gruesome to learn that real life werewolves are actually brutal even when they are in human forms. It is a far depict from the movies and fictions, where they are civil and level headed when in human form. I hope one day science or technology can provide more proves the existence of werewolves, and debunk the reason of this mystical shapeshifter.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/paranormal/werewolves-the-shapeshifters.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 05:07 PM
    The miraculous power of Protectors’ practice can heal and shield us from negative karma from ripening. Through the blessings of our Guru, coupled with strong faith and trust, the practices will take effect swiftly and effectively. Rejoice to Steven Lee. May he be guided by the Three Jewels always. Thank you, Pastor Seng Piow for sharing the true story with us.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/personal-attendant/the-miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-true-story-10.html
  • Lin Mun
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 03:57 PM
    This is a very touching article. I totally agree that dog is a man’s best friend. They are always so loyal to the owner. However it is sad that not all pet owners are such. Some will only treat them literally as an animal and therefore do not take good care of them. Dogs or any other animals are beings that have feeling. There should not be neglected and be abused by us. This article reminds us to always care for all beings and respect them.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this heartwarming article.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/faithful-dog-chases-deceased-owner.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Apr 27. 2017 02:21 PM
    Its a heartfelt touching article of this faithful dog.Cannot imagine this ,such a wonderful relationship between that dog and the deceased owner.The greatest fear dogs know is the fear that we will not come back for them That i noticed from observing from my pet poodle.In this case this faithful dog knew his owner won’t be back.
    Dogs are loyal, patient, fearless, forgiving, capable of pure love and have feelings too.He must have missed the owner badly that he wanted to accompany the owner all the way to the resting place.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing. May that faithful dog ,continue to serve and well taken, love by the other family members.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/faithful-dog-chases-deceased-owner.html

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Messages from Rinpoche

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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.
Holy Lady Buddha Vajra Yogini\'s blessing can be found when we decide to focus out to others instead of in to only ourselves.
~ Tsem Tulku Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
Holy Lady Buddha Vajra Yogini's blessing can be found when we decide to focus out to others instead of in to only ourselves. ~ Tsem Tulku Rinpoche
His Holiness Vajradhara Kyabje Zong Rinpoche of Gaden Monastery who is the refuge of countless, gives a clear explanation of Dorje Shugden. One is able to hear his holy voice and translation by Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen! Please see here and share: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=122352
2 weeks ago
His Holiness Vajradhara Kyabje Zong Rinpoche of Gaden Monastery who is the refuge of countless, gives a clear explanation of Dorje Shugden. One is able to hear his holy voice and translation by Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen! Please see here and share: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=122352
: This picture says it all. Click on it to enlarge and read and please share.
3 weeks ago
: This picture says it all. Click on it to enlarge and read and please share.
This is a simple chart showing the three main psychic channels used in tantric meditations to control the winds, raise tummo (fire energy), gain higher consciousness and insight and also for gaining siddhis. These channels are used in meditations for controlling the mind, when the mind ejects from the body (phowa) and one\'s death. These three channels are very important. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
This is a simple chart showing the three main psychic channels used in tantric meditations to control the winds, raise tummo (fire energy), gain higher consciousness and insight and also for gaining siddhis. These channels are used in meditations for controlling the mind, when the mind ejects from the body (phowa) and one's death. These three channels are very important. Tsem Rinpoche
I think my cute doggie Oser is actually Tintin\'s dog Snowy!
3 weeks ago
I think my cute doggie Oser is actually Tintin's dog Snowy!
Great Masters of Gaden Shartse Monastery. From left to right: His Eminence Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, His Holiness Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, H.E. Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, H.E. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, His Holiness 101st Gaden Tripa throne holder Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal.
3 weeks ago
Great Masters of Gaden Shartse Monastery. From left to right: His Eminence Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, His Holiness Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, H.E. Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, H.E. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, His Holiness 101st Gaden Tripa throne holder Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal.
 Left to right: Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl. The three of them are my beautiful and loved Schnauzer dogs. They loved looking through the window to see traffic, people and movement. They loved the smells that drifted through their little noses. I love seeing the three of them together like this. I love them. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Left to right: Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl. The three of them are my beautiful and loved Schnauzer dogs. They loved looking through the window to see traffic, people and movement. They loved the smells that drifted through their little noses. I love seeing the three of them together like this. I love them. Tsem Rinpoche
Little Mumu boy...he loved balloons. When he saw them, he wanted to get close and perhaps bite them. Cute. I love this picture of Mumu reaching for the balloons. He was young and healthy! This picture captures his energy, enthusiasm, curiosity and high energy. I love this picture of him chasing the balloons. His pictures are always so nice....He was not a pet but family to me. I love him tremendously and always will. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Little Mumu boy...he loved balloons. When he saw them, he wanted to get close and perhaps bite them. Cute. I love this picture of Mumu reaching for the balloons. He was young and healthy! This picture captures his energy, enthusiasm, curiosity and high energy. I love this picture of him chasing the balloons. His pictures are always so nice....He was not a pet but family to me. I love him tremendously and always will. Tsem Rinpoche
Little Mumu boy and myself.. He was not a pet but family to me. I love him tremendously and always will. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Little Mumu boy and myself.. He was not a pet but family to me. I love him tremendously and always will. Tsem Rinpoche
2017-His Holiness the 101st Gaden Tripa, Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal is doing well and 90 years old. His Holiness Lungrik Namgyal is a powerful master of sutra and tantra and practitioner of Dorje Shugden. Currently residing in France.
3 weeks ago
2017-His Holiness the 101st Gaden Tripa, Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal is doing well and 90 years old. His Holiness Lungrik Namgyal is a powerful master of sutra and tantra and practitioner of Dorje Shugden. Currently residing in France.
One of the most sacred statues of Avalokitesvara made of sandalwood housed in Lhasa, Tibet. He has shown miracles also. Every pilgrim wishes to make offerings to this Lord of Compassion.
3 weeks ago
One of the most sacred statues of Avalokitesvara made of sandalwood housed in Lhasa, Tibet. He has shown miracles also. Every pilgrim wishes to make offerings to this Lord of Compassion.
 Sacred Avalokitesvara statue in Nepal. Thousands come to worship this special Buddha as it has conferred wishes in the past.
3 weeks ago
Sacred Avalokitesvara statue in Nepal. Thousands come to worship this special Buddha as it has conferred wishes in the past.
Tsem Rinpoche\'s Vajra Yogini statue and offerings
3 weeks ago
Tsem Rinpoche's Vajra Yogini statue and offerings
Two of my teachers from Gaden Shartse Monastery in South India. Left side is Most Venerable Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen whom I lived with for 8 years in Los Angeles where his centre Thubten Dhargye Ling is located. On the right is the abbot emeritus H.E. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche the scholar and yogi. I was very fortunate to have them in my life and learn so much dharma from them. Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
Two of my teachers from Gaden Shartse Monastery in South India. Left side is Most Venerable Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen whom I lived with for 8 years in Los Angeles where his centre Thubten Dhargye Ling is located. On the right is the abbot emeritus H.E. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche the scholar and yogi. I was very fortunate to have them in my life and learn so much dharma from them. Tsem Rinpoche
 It is so wonderful to be kind to people, be caring, feed them, make sure they are healthy and share dharma if they are interested with them for their future. But simply to be nice to others is worth getting up and being alive...otherwise why be alive to hurt/use/distrust and hate others? No point living that way..must change that..... It is nice to live our lives to benefit others and be patient even if we have been hurt before because by caring we can heal the hurt and \'defeat\' the ones that hurt us because we don\'t become bitter..... Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
It is so wonderful to be kind to people, be caring, feed them, make sure they are healthy and share dharma if they are interested with them for their future. But simply to be nice to others is worth getting up and being alive...otherwise why be alive to hurt/use/distrust and hate others? No point living that way..must change that..... It is nice to live our lives to benefit others and be patient even if we have been hurt before because by caring we can heal the hurt and 'defeat' the ones that hurt us because we don't become bitter..... Tsem Rinpoche
Tsem Rinpoche\'s heritage in China. Must read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=120499
4 weeks ago
Tsem Rinpoche's heritage in China. Must read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=120499
Thank you Buddhist Pastor Chia for sharing your story on how you met His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche over 20 years ago. We can learn much from your story.~Admin  Please read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116928
4 weeks ago
Thank you Buddhist Pastor Chia for sharing your story on how you met His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche over 20 years ago. We can learn much from your story.~Admin Please read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116928
Mumu boy is incredibly photogenic. He is beyond cute. Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
Mumu boy is incredibly photogenic. He is beyond cute. Tsem Rinpoche
 (left to right) Rabten Tulku, Gonsar Rinpoche, Gyume Kensur Rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche, H.H. Gaden Trisur Rinpoche (France)
4 weeks ago
(left to right) Rabten Tulku, Gonsar Rinpoche, Gyume Kensur Rinpoche, Trijang Rinpoche, H.H. Gaden Trisur Rinpoche (France)
Beautiful 200 roses arrived today for me as a gift from Su Ming. Very kind and thoughtful of her as usual. Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
Beautiful 200 roses arrived today for me as a gift from Su Ming. Very kind and thoughtful of her as usual. Tsem Rinpoche
It\'s good to be with kind and sincere people.
4 weeks ago
It's good to be with kind and sincere people.
If we are kind, we lose less of ourselves-Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
If we are kind, we lose less of ourselves-Tsem Rinpoche
My Mumu boy didn\'t want to eat. Eating is not one of his favorite activities throughout his life. So I talked to him to let him know why he needs to eat and keep his strength up when this photo was taken. He was listening intently and after my talk with him, he ate. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
My Mumu boy didn't want to eat. Eating is not one of his favorite activities throughout his life. So I talked to him to let him know why he needs to eat and keep his strength up when this photo was taken. He was listening intently and after my talk with him, he ate. Tsem Rinpoche
This is so true. Click to enlarge and understand more about unpleasant people.
1 month ago
This is so true. Click to enlarge and understand more about unpleasant people.
This mahasiddha Kukkuripa is easy to identify as he is accompanied by a small dog whom he loved very much.
1 month ago
This mahasiddha Kukkuripa is easy to identify as he is accompanied by a small dog whom he loved very much.
Mumu taking a rest in the turquoise room. Over the years, I always feel very satisfied when I see him covered with a blanket, safe and sleeping. I always wanted to make sure he was safe from harm, illness and distress. I wanted him to have a happy and loved life. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Mumu taking a rest in the turquoise room. Over the years, I always feel very satisfied when I see him covered with a blanket, safe and sleeping. I always wanted to make sure he was safe from harm, illness and distress. I wanted him to have a happy and loved life. Tsem Rinpoche
I wrapped my little Mumu boy up in my blanket and propped him up on my bed. He didn\'t move or wiggle and just looked at me. He is one funny entertaining little guy. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
I wrapped my little Mumu boy up in my blanket and propped him up on my bed. He didn't move or wiggle and just looked at me. He is one funny entertaining little guy. Tsem Rinpoche
March 2017-Coaxing my little Mumu boy to eat his meal. He was not well and therefore not hungry. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
March 2017-Coaxing my little Mumu boy to eat his meal. He was not well and therefore not hungry. Tsem Rinpoche
Click on picture to enlarge and see what Milarepa says. Profound.
1 month ago
Click on picture to enlarge and see what Milarepa says. Profound.
We are always trying to get somewhere, try something new, find some friends, get some entertainment and in the end we end up in the same place. Time to really practice Dharma seriously and stop wasting time we don\'t have. ~Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
We are always trying to get somewhere, try something new, find some friends, get some entertainment and in the end we end up in the same place. Time to really practice Dharma seriously and stop wasting time we don't have. ~Tsem Rinpoche
March 20, 2017-Mumu is just so adorable with his bright eyes.
1 month ago
March 20, 2017-Mumu is just so adorable with his bright eyes.
More and more people inviting Lord Dorje Shugden home to connect with on their shrines. I am so happy to see this as it will benefit them and their families so much. That is the purpose to be alive which is to benefit others as much as possible. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
More and more people inviting Lord Dorje Shugden home to connect with on their shrines. I am so happy to see this as it will benefit them and their families so much. That is the purpose to be alive which is to benefit others as much as possible. Tsem Rinpoche
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
1 month ago
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
1 month ago
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
The Japanese are very innovative. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
The Japanese are very innovative. Tsem Rinpoche
Read this as it will be interesting
1 month ago
Read this as it will be interesting
Recite this before any meal or drinks for blessings of abundance. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Recite this before any meal or drinks for blessings of abundance. Tsem Rinpoche
This sacred statue of Buddha is in Nepal brought originally from Tibet and has spoken on many occasions. Very blessed to see this holy image and keep a picture...bless you always. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
This sacred statue of Buddha is in Nepal brought originally from Tibet and has spoken on many occasions. Very blessed to see this holy image and keep a picture...bless you always. Tsem Rinpoche
I love Mumu boy tremendously. We went through so much together for so many years. You are a great being to be with. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
I love Mumu boy tremendously. We went through so much together for so many years. You are a great being to be with. Tsem Rinpoche
Dear everyone, I am sharing this beautiful and modern altar to Dorje Shugden in Malaysia. I am glad to see more and more people creating sacred spaces. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Dear everyone, I am sharing this beautiful and modern altar to Dorje Shugden in Malaysia. I am glad to see more and more people creating sacred spaces. Tsem Rinpoche
Lhamo Karmo, a female buddha form visualized above the crown of one\'s head at the time of death, to encourage consciousness to leave the body via the crown aperture. From my book \"The Female Buddhas.\"- Glenn Mullin
2 months ago
Lhamo Karmo, a female buddha form visualized above the crown of one's head at the time of death, to encourage consciousness to leave the body via the crown aperture. From my book "The Female Buddhas."- Glenn Mullin
The Tibetan female tulku Dorje Pakmo, from a fresco on the wall of the Dorje Pakmo monastery (Samding) in Tibet, near the Turquoise Lake. In Tibet the Dorje Pakmo was ranked with the Dalai Lama, Panchen Lama and Sakya Trizin as the four highest lamas in the country.-from Glenn Mullin
2 months ago
The Tibetan female tulku Dorje Pakmo, from a fresco on the wall of the Dorje Pakmo monastery (Samding) in Tibet, near the Turquoise Lake. In Tibet the Dorje Pakmo was ranked with the Dalai Lama, Panchen Lama and Sakya Trizin as the four highest lamas in the country.-from Glenn Mullin
Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl checking out the scene..cute
2 months ago
Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl checking out the scene..cute
My Dharma boy has such a cute expression here. He is a good boy!
2 months ago
My Dharma boy has such a cute expression here. He is a good boy!
February 9,2017-My Mumu boy and Oser girl are just relaxing together..super cute
3 months ago
February 9,2017-My Mumu boy and Oser girl are just relaxing together..super cute
Click on the picture to enlarge and see what Suzy from Hawaii commented on the Dorje Shugden issue after much research. She is very candid and honest. Refreshing. Original is posted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl-4lIwxph4
3 months ago
Click on the picture to enlarge and see what Suzy from Hawaii commented on the Dorje Shugden issue after much research. She is very candid and honest. Refreshing. Original is posted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl-4lIwxph4
This is a good one to read
3 months ago
This is a good one to read
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ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

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

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

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

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

Total of 10 members and friends participated in Kalarupa Puja in Kechara Ipoh chapel on Saturday evening. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
2 hours ago
Total of 10 members and friends participated in Kalarupa Puja in Kechara Ipoh chapel on Saturday evening. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Pastor Gim Lee was explaining the offerings on the altar prior to the start of Kalarupa Puja in Kechara Ipoh chapel. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
2 hours ago
Pastor Gim Lee was explaining the offerings on the altar prior to the start of Kalarupa Puja in Kechara Ipoh chapel. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
The Magic Show was the most attractive performance in Lantern Charity Bazaar. Alice Tay, KSDS
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The Magic Show was the most attractive performance in Lantern Charity Bazaar. Alice Tay, KSDS
Everyone has an opportunity to present their work discussion in Woah Camp. Alice Tay, KSDS
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Everyone has an opportunity to present their work discussion in Woah Camp. Alice Tay, KSDS
Wonderful dharma teachings by Pastor Adeline during Woah Camp held at KFR. Alice Tay, KSDS
11 hours ago
Wonderful dharma teachings by Pastor Adeline during Woah Camp held at KFR. Alice Tay, KSDS
Toy is one of the teaching materials which attract the students' attention. Alice Tay, KSDS
11 hours ago
Toy is one of the teaching materials which attract the students' attention. Alice Tay, KSDS
KSDS students age 5-6 doing prostrations to Lama Tsongkhapa. Alice Tay, KSDS
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KSDS students age 5-6 doing prostrations to Lama Tsongkhapa. Alice Tay, KSDS
Tormas made by Kechara Puja Team at Kechara Forest Retreat as offering during puja. Lucy Yap
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Tormas made by Kechara Puja Team at Kechara Forest Retreat as offering during puja. Lucy Yap
Lovely so watch children doing group work & discuss among themselves. Lin Mun KSDS
yesterday
Lovely so watch children doing group work & discuss among themselves. Lin Mun KSDS
Teacher Alice guiding students of class 5-6 yrs old to do breathing meditation. Good way to calm our mind. Lin Mun KSDS
yesterday
Teacher Alice guiding students of class 5-6 yrs old to do breathing meditation. Good way to calm our mind. Lin Mun KSDS
Teacher Mien always encourage students to participate in class. Lin Mun KSDS
yesterday
Teacher Mien always encourage students to participate in class. Lin Mun KSDS
Appreciate all the great photographers who spend their time on Sunday dharma class to help us capture the nice moment. Lin Mun KSDS
yesterday
Appreciate all the great photographers who spend their time on Sunday dharma class to help us capture the nice moment. Lin Mun KSDS
Group activities during dharma class. The older students lead the younger ones. Good exercise to train their public speaking skills . Lin Mun KSDS
yesterday
Group activities during dharma class. The older students lead the younger ones. Good exercise to train their public speaking skills . Lin Mun KSDS
Looking Vegetarian Food?? Visit us at Kechara Oasis #travel #holiday #marriage #family ~ Guat Hee
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Looking Vegetarian Food?? Visit us at Kechara Oasis #travel #holiday #marriage #family ~ Guat Hee
We are at the 15th KL-PJ WEDDING FAIR from 28-30 April 2017, Mid Valley Exhibition Center. Come visit our booth for exciting promotions on vegetarian wedding banquets and registration of marriage services! ~ kecharaoasis.com ~ Guat Hee
2 days ago
We are at the 15th KL-PJ WEDDING FAIR from 28-30 April 2017, Mid Valley Exhibition Center. Come visit our booth for exciting promotions on vegetarian wedding banquets and registration of marriage services! ~ kecharaoasis.com ~ Guat Hee
Pastor Gim Lee assisted by Kechara Puja Team, conducted a Dorje Shugden puja and blessings at a premise. Lucy Yap
3 days ago
Pastor Gim Lee assisted by Kechara Puja Team, conducted a Dorje Shugden puja and blessings at a premise. Lucy Yap
Art expression using chalks and papers is an avenue for young children to cultivate positive perspective of life and connect with their artistic or creative side. Stella, KSDS
5 days ago
Art expression using chalks and papers is an avenue for young children to cultivate positive perspective of life and connect with their artistic or creative side. Stella, KSDS
Children as long as 2 years old are ready to learn up skills and attitude that will help them shape their life. When else will be best to instil them with good Dharma values if not since young? Stella, KSDS
5 days ago
Children as long as 2 years old are ready to learn up skills and attitude that will help them shape their life. When else will be best to instil them with good Dharma values if not since young? Stella, KSDS
Senior students of the children class of Kechara Sunday Dharma School had their class in the ghompa every Sunday. Stella, KSDS
5 days ago
Senior students of the children class of Kechara Sunday Dharma School had their class in the ghompa every Sunday. Stella, KSDS
Besides young Karlson and Ern Ern, there are new faces in Kechara Sunday Dharma School 2-4 years old. Stella, KSDS
5 days ago
Besides young Karlson and Ern Ern, there are new faces in Kechara Sunday Dharma School 2-4 years old. Stella, KSDS
Kechara Sunday Dharma School students 5-6 years old making prostration to Lama Tsongkhapa at the beginning of the class every Sunday. Stella,KSDS
5 days ago
Kechara Sunday Dharma School students 5-6 years old making prostration to Lama Tsongkhapa at the beginning of the class every Sunday. Stella,KSDS
@KecharaHouse tonite, 48 puja attendees filled the air with a loud chorus of prayer n mantra 2 Dorje Shugden n Setrap!  PHNee
6 days ago
@KecharaHouse tonite, 48 puja attendees filled the air with a loud chorus of prayer n mantra 2 Dorje Shugden n Setrap! PHNee
A big Thank You to the kind volunteers and to Jace Chong!
6 days ago
A big Thank You to the kind volunteers and to Jace Chong!
Make your weekend meaningful! Contact Jace Chong to volunteer in Kechara Forest Retreat for the aviaries.
6 days ago
Make your weekend meaningful! Contact Jace Chong to volunteer in Kechara Forest Retreat for the aviaries.
Thank you to our young volunteer to improve the life of the birds in our aviary!
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Thank you to our young volunteer to improve the life of the birds in our aviary!
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Dorje Shugden
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