The study of cryptozoology

Feb 11, 2017 | Views: 609
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A summary of cryptozoology

It is in our human nature to be curious, to explore, decipher and question the world around us and push the boundaries of imagination. Curiosity manifests itself in different ways, from studying exact sciences to venturing in the supernatural realm. Cryptozoology is one of the most fascinating, mind-bending and spine-chilling endeavours that humans have ever embarked on, requiring an open mind to consider all possibilities. But what is cryptozoology and why do we study it?

 

What is Cryptozoology?

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Bigfoot is one of the most famous cryptids studied in the field of cryptozoology. This image features Patty, the Bigfoot captured on the famous Patterson-Gimlin film. The video has been examined countless times by experts who have not been able to debunk its authenticity.

The term ‘cryptozoology’ comes from the Greek terms kryptos (hidden) and zoon (animal), meaning “the science that deals with the study of hidden animals”, or cryptids. More specifically, it studies mysterious creatures whose existence is still being investigated, questioned or disputed. One of the main missions of cryptozoology is to learn the truth about species that are considered to be extinct or species that are officially classified as extinct, but are still believed to have survived somewhere. Moreover, cryptozoology also studies animals that have been sighted in areas that aren’t their natural habitat, such as huge felines spotted in the British Isles.

Last, but definitely not least, cryptozoology deals with the study of mythological and supernatural creatures such as Bigfoot, the Yeti or the Chupacabra. These are mysterious animals, sometimes referred to as monsters whose existence has not been proven, but there are countless eyewitness accounts documenting their presence. Hence the study of cryptozoology has developed the reputation of being an academic discipline that focuses heavily on beings from folklore, urban legends and mythical creatures.

 

History

Although early influences date as far back as prehistoric times, cryptozoology as a field was clearly defined only as recently as the second half of the 20th century. The two fathers of cryptozoology are zoologists Bernard Heuvelmans and Ivan T. Sanderson. In 1955, Heuvelmans wrote On the Track of Unknown Animals, a book which influenced this field for decades to come and presented new perspectives for the international community of zoologists. Sanderson’s work, in particular his masterpiece Abominable Snowmen: Legend Come to Life published in 1961, was also a game-changer for those interested in mysterious creatures. These books greatly influenced future generations and encouraged the development of cryptozoology. Apart from Bernard Heuvelmans and Ivan T. Sanderson, other notable cryptozoologists include Loren Coleman, Darren Naish, Karl Shuker and J. Richard Greenwell.

 

Approach and Tools

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Chupacabra, another famous cryptid. The Chupacabra inhabits the South Americas and feeds on the blood of domesticated animals to survive, with a preference for goats.

J. E. Wall’s was one of numerous attempts to formalise cryptozoology approaches, in the same way other natural sciences have been been codified but “there are no accepted, uniform, or successful methods for pursuing cryptids”. Despite these challenges however, today, thanks to improvements in technology and the widespread availability of surveillance systems and other means of observation, cryptozoology is more popular than ever.

Because the aim of cryptozoology is to find mysterious, hidden creatures, and to prove their existence, the specialist approach relies mainly on the meticulous use of surveillance equipment. Cryptozoologists commonly employ devices such as infrared cameras, motion detectors, night vision equipment, and audio recording equipment in their attempts to capture cryptids on film, to prove their existence and learn more about them. Since cryptozoology is still a developing science, the approach used is quite liberal and the methods differ from cryptozoologist to cryptozoologist. There currently does not exist a universally recommended and accepted set of methodology.

 

What Defines a Cryptid?

The Loch Ness monster lives in Loch Ness, Scotland. Although she has never been properly captured on film despite numerous investigations, she has however captured the media's attention for decades.

The Loch Ness monster lives in Loch Ness, Scotland. Although she has never been properly captured on film despite numerous investigations, she has however captured the media’s attention for decades.

Heuvelmans attributes the term ‘cryptozoology’ to Sanderson, although the word itself predates Sanderson’s works. From this root word, J. E. Wall subsequently derived the term ‘cryptid’ to refer to the creatures being studied. His aim was to coin a neutral phrase free from other implied meanings. In the September 1983 edition of the International Society of Cryptozoology Newsletter, he explained that his “suggestion is ‘cryptid’, meaning a living thing having the quality of being hidden or unknown.” Prior to this, ‘monster’ was the general term used to describe creatures of interest, but Wall found it to be inaccurate, misleading and sensationalist.

The term ‘cryptid’ encompasses many traits and can used for creatures that meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • A known animal with unusual variations or anomalies
  • Known animals spotted outside their natural habitat, for unknown reasons
  • An animal believed to have died off, but seen again. In this category falls recently extinct animals such as the Tasmanian Tiger, or species that became extinct a long time ago, such as the wooly mammoth.
  • Mythical creatures based on existing animals (griffin, unicorn, etc.)
  • Mysterious paranormal entities that have animal features. Many cryptids fall into this category, for example Bigfoot, Yeti, Mothman, Goatman, werewolves, etc.

Danger, mystery and controversy define most cryptids. Another essential element about them is that they must always be animals or have animal-like features. Other supernatural beings, such as angels, demons, zombies or vampires do not fall under the purview or interest of cryptozoology. Aliens are not considered cryptids either.

 

Famous Cryptids

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The Mothman, sighted in North Virginia. Locals have learned to fear its presence as an inauspicious omen of bad things to come.

Cryptids are usually known to the general public because they often spark controversy and panic in the communities where they are spotted. This can be attributed both to a lack of understanding of these creatures or, in some cases, because they made contact with eyewitnesses who classed the encounter as dangerous or reported on the creature’s fierce appearance. These are just some of the cryptids that have become legendary and whose mystery has yet to be solved.

  • The Loch Ness Monster is one of the most fascinating cryptids, both for cryptozoologists and the general public. Sightings of the Loch Ness, nicknamed Nessie by Scottish locals, dates back to 1933 when this large aquatic reptile was seen for the first time and has fascinated the world ever since. Despite numerous photos, reports and research teams sent to investigate Loch Ness, Nessie was never found. Public interest has not waned however, and the search continues while the popularity of the area continues to grow as thousands of people from all over the world come to Loch Ness in the hope of spotting the mysterious dinosaur-like creature.
  • Bigfoot, or the Sasquatch, is a mysterious ape-like creature said to live in forests, especially the ones in the Pacific North-West region of the United States. Eyewitnesses describe Bigfoot as a bipedal hairy humanoid, oftentimes as tall as two to three metres. Some say that Bigfoot is the result of ancient alien experiments, while others theorise it could be our distant ancestor, a branch of homo sapiens that broke off and evolved to adapt to their surroundings. Despite continuous investigations in the area, the most conclusive evidence so far proving Bigfoot’s existence are footprints up to 60 centimetres in length and the famous Patterson-Gimlin film.
  • Yeti, sometimes sensationally referred to as the Abominable Snow Man, is an animal or prehistoric human reported to live in and around the Himalayas. The yeti features in Tibetan, Nepalese and Bhutanese folklore and culture, where the people of the Himalayan region have accepted its existence as fact. According to eyewitness accounts, yetis are up to 1.8 metres tall and their bodies are covered in thick reddish-brown to black fur. The creature is commonly sighted at altitudes impossible for permanent human habitation, traversing the deep snows with incredible ease and speed. They are also reportedly strong enough to lift up entire yaks, carrying them off to consume. In recent decades, the yeti has also become a topic of interest for international scientists, who say that this creature deserves further investigation because it could be a remnant of a prehistoric human ancestor.
The Goatman, with reported sightings as far back as 520 BC

The Goatman, with reported sightings as far back as 520 BC

  • The Goatman – although this terrifying cryptid is mostly known as an urban legend with sightings spread throughout Louisiana, Maryland and Texas, its origins go as far back as 520 BC. From this point of view, the Goatman is therefore more notorious than Bigfoot or Yeti, with more reported sightings going back in history. The creature is described as a seven-foot-tall humanoid – half man, half goat, with a muscular body covered in fur and a long head with horns. According to folklorists, the first sightings of the Goatman were in Ancient Greece, when people reported seeing Satyrs. Currently, there are several variations of this cryptid: Waterford Sheepman (Pennsylvania), Maryland Goatman (Maryland), Pope Lick Monster (Kentucky), Proctor Valley Monster (California).
The Jersey Devil. Although the last sighting was in 1909, the Jersey Devil continues to fascinate cryptozoologists.

The Jersey Devil. Although the last sighting was in 1909, the Jersey Devil continues to fascinate cryptozoologists.

  • The Jersey Devil is the most enduring legend of the New Jersey area. It all started in 1735, when a poor local woman from the Leeds family was pregnant for the 13th time. Cursing her unborn child, she said that she will give birth to the devil. The stories go that the child was born normally but just a few minutes later, it started morphing into a grotesque, ungodly creature, with the head of a goat, and long, kangaroo-like legs, with bat wings and horns. With a tarrying shriek, it then killed its mother and all of the people inside the house before flying away. The creature continued to haunt the area for centuries, leaving many helpless victims in its wake. The last sighting was in 1909, but the Jersey Devil remains an enduring topic of interest for cryptozoologists.
  • Chupacabra (The Sucker of Goats) is a cryptid that supposedly inhabits the South Americas and feeds on the blood of domesticated animals to survive, especially goats. There are several versions regarding the physical appearance of the Chupacabra but in general, it is described as a medium-sized animal with sharp spikes running along its back, from head to tail. It has an oval, alien-like head, large red eyes and only three fingers on each paw. Legend has it that the Chupacabra sightings occur at the same time as UFO sightings and that this creature belongs to a hybrid alien species.
The Ahool, said to be strong enough to lift large animals into the air.

The Ahool, said to be strong enough to lift large animals into the air.

  • The Ahools are a relatively new cryptid species that reportedly inhabit the jungles of Java in Indonesia. These mysterious creatures were first seen by Dr Ernest Bartels, who was exploring Java in 1925. According to his report, Ahools are very large winged creatures, although it’s not clear if their body is one of a bat or a primate. They are dangerous, vicious creatures that kill their prey with a single bite and devour them in seconds, being able to lift even large animals into the air. Cryptozoologists are searching the area, suspecting that the Ahools are a prehistoric bat ancestor or an undiscovered bat species.
  • The Mothman is a legendary creature seen in North Virginia. Said to have the body of a grown man with the wings of a moth, this mysterious being has been associated with the tragic collapse of the Silver Bridge and locals know it as a dreaded omen foretelling disastrous events. The Mothman has served as a source of inspiration for many books and movies, and continues to be spotted even in recent years.
The Mongolian Death Worm, which has inspired many sci-fi writers.

The Mongolian Death Worm, which has inspired many sci-fi writers.

  • Mongolian Death Worm is said to live underneath the sands of the Gobi Desert, hibernating most of the year and only coming out in June and July. Mongolian Death Worms are two feet long and can shoot venom at their prey from afar, killing them instantly. Mongolians also believe the skin of the death worm is so venomous that it can corrode metal, so simply touching it results in certain death. The Mongolian Death Worm has inspired many sci-fi writers, particularly Frank Herbert, but there is no clear evidence of its existence. Several search parties have been sent in to the Gobi Desert to try and locate a specimen, but to no avail, because this cryptid supposedly inhabits the most arid and remote areas of the desert, which are difficult to reach and survive in. Several cryptozoologists have launched the theory that the Mongolian Death Worm could be an undiscovered species of burrowing reptile.
  • Giant vampire bat is a cryptid that is not to be confused with the common species of vampire bats that inhabit South and Central America. The giant vampire bat, which cryptozoologists call Desmodus draculae, is believed to be the ancestor of common vampire bats. Measuring an impressive 17 inches, it is said to have fed on the blood of its victims and might have gone extinct because it could not drink enough blood to sustain its huge body weight. Cryptozoologists are investigating caves in Brazil and Venezuela, but bats are one of the species hardest to investigate, because they like to stay hidden.
The Giant Vampire Bat

The Giant Vampire Bat

These are just some examples of cryptids and, as you can see, they tend to be singular creatures. However, in addition to these, there are hundreds of other examples spanning the globe which fall under the category and interest of cryptozoologists, including werewolves, giant anacondas, Kaijin, mermaids and reptilians.

 

Are There Any Real Cryptids?

Not all cryptids are legends and mystery. In time, the real existence of several so-called monsters have been scientifically proven, solving the mystery of their existence and appearance, including:

The existence of the Tasmanian Devil was not confirmed until 1808. By the 1930s, the species had been wiped out.

The existence of the Tasmanian Devil was not confirmed until 1808. By the 1930s, the species had been wiped out.

  • Thylacin, commonly known as the Tasmanian Tiger, an animal native to Tasmania, Australia and New Zealand. Assumed to be more legend than fact, this animal was first formally identified and scientifically described in 1808. By 1930, it had already become extinct in the wild and the last remaining Tasmanian Tiger in captivity died in 1936. In 1982, the species was formally declared extinct.
  • Okapi, an animal similar in appearance to zebras, but actually related to the giraffe family. Native to the Congo, it was only discovered by Westerners in 1901. Already extinct in Uganda, its existence in Congo today is now classified as endangered.
  • Ivory-billed woodpecker, a critically endangered bird species, was considered extinct until its rediscovery in the early 2000s.
  • The giant squid, which has perpetuated the myth of the Kraken, is a huge species of squid that can reach up to 13 metres. Its very existence was doubted for centuries, but in 2004 researchers provided footage of the giant squid in its natural habitat.
  • The gorilla is a known species today, but did you know that a live one was not seen until the 1850s? First sighted by the Greek explorer Hanno in the 5th century BC, the existence of the gorilla remained a rumour in the Western world which doubted the gorilla’s existence. That is, until the physician Thomas Savage obtained several gorilla bones while in Liberia and in 1847, published the first formal description of the gorilla. Before his time, the word “gorilla” did not even appear in the English language. The behaviour of the gorilla itself was not seriously studied until the early 1920s.

 

An artist's impression of the yeti, although somewhat inaccurate since yetis have brown hair or fur. The white hair is based on the assumption that white is easier to camouflage in the snow.

An artist’s impression of the yeti, although somewhat inaccurate since yetis have brown hair or fur. The white hair is based on the assumption that white is easier to camouflage in the snow.

Who Are Cryptozoologists?

Cryptozoologists are specialists who have a keen interest in cryptids and have made it their life’s mission seeking out and confirming the existence of mysterious, mythical and controversial animals. Their job involves travelling the world in the pursuit of cryptids and documenting their sightings.

Anyone can become a cryptozoologist and formal education is not a strict requirement since cryptozoology is currently not formally recognised as a science. Nevertheless, a background in zoology and natural sciences does help. Some of the world’s most famous cryptozoologists started out as zoologists and found themselves on this career path after personally witnessing peculiar animals or after speaking with people who have.

 

Resources:
https://exemplore.com/cryptids/What-is-Cryptozoology-and-How-Do-You-Become-a-Cryptozoologist
http://cryptozoologynews.com/
http://www.newanimal.org/
http://study.com/articles/Become_a_Cryptozoologist_Education_and_Career_Roadmap.html
http://www.livescience.com/11328-rumor-reality-creatures-cryptozoology.html
http://cryptidz.wikia.com/wiki/History_of_Cryptozoology_Timeline

 

For more interesting information:

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13 Responses to The study of cryptozoology

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  1. CindyH on Mar 27, 2017 at 8:47 am

    Thank you for this article which has given better insights as to the nature of cryptozoology work. Cryptozoology being the study of hidden or unknown animals which are also commonly highly elusive, is still struggling to be fully accorded with the level of “respectability” given to similar scientific studies of more mainstream animals. Unfortunately, it doesn’t help the situation when most of the evidence to be studied involve rumours, poor videography, fuzzy photographs, and sometimes even outright hoax. In fact, there are only a few, if any, reputable scientific organizations that publish cryptozoological research findings.

    That being said, it is still an area which garner fascination and hence most cryptozoologists may still self-publish their work or submit their findings to consumer magazines or journals. Think that cryptozoologists must really be applauded as most of them do it primarily driven by their passion considering the lack of prestige and despite to a certain extent, bad reputation or stigma towards cryptozoology. It is also probably harder for them to get funding (in comparison to other mainstream science studies). Thanks to dedicated cryptozoologist who stay true to their belief and passion, we are able to be exposed to possibilities beyond the confines of mainstream matters.

    On a side note, a friend of mine mentioned that there is only one cryptozoology museum in the world i.e. International Cryptozoology Museum. Upon a quick check, the museum is in Portland and looks like there are quite a number of interesting exhibits. (http://cryptozoologymuseum.com/)

  2. Tek Lee on Mar 27, 2017 at 1:25 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article. Cryptozoology is indeed a new word to me. But it’s always fascinating to read about crytids, like Nessie the Lochness monster, big foot, werewolf, goatman, mermaid, etc, and I think megalodon is a type of cryptids too? With the current technology we have, people can put remote cameras into deep jungle or even deep sea to search for cryptids, which is easier for the researchers. I hope more and more sighting of cryptids to be found, or even new species to be found. The world is changing, they might have new species developed that human beings haven’t discovered yet.

  3. Vivian Ong on Mar 27, 2017 at 12:35 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article about cryptozoology. This is really a new word for me. I’ve never heard it before until I read this article. This is an interesting article but the existence of each cryptids are uncertain / unknown / unconfirm. Nevertheless, it is good to know that there are people who have the interest to research this and make it their job. May the new technology be able to help them in their research.

    With folded palms,
    Vivian

  4. wan wai meng on Feb 27, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    There are many still unexplored areas in the oceans that also only land that human beings have not investigated or gone around there poking. There are still many occurrences that happen that cannot be scientifically explained. A few hundred of years ago, many scientist and researchers may not developed very standard and structured techniques for documentation and recording of unidentified animals, but that has changed over the few hundred years. Looking forward to Cryptologists studying next great discovery of a new species or new type of beings.

  5. Fong on Feb 16, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    A very informative and interesting article. There has been a lot of interest in mysterious creatures (cryptid?) especially of the Big Foot on the American continent. There are even shows like “Finding Bigfoot | Animal Planet”.

    Though there seemed to be clues of Big Foot, no concrete evidence have been found. But, it was a very interesting series as each week they document their journey and search.

    There was a documentary too about Loch Ness or Nessie. Apparently, if you look carefully at the photo of Nessie, you can see that Nessie only sits on one wave which kind of point to the fact that Nessie is not as big in size as was claimed.

    Anyway, humans will be piqued by stories of such sightings and an air of mystery will prevail until solid evidence has been found.

  6. Sofi on Feb 16, 2017 at 4:46 am

    I too, like Karen had not come across the word “Cryptozoology” before. At first I thought it was derived from the word ‘Cryptic” as these creatures are usually not seen and had no solid proof of existence. But now I learnt better. It is so amazing that over so many years, interests had not wane but instead with modern technology, many equipments are specially designed to capture images or track the cryptids. Yet, they are as mysterious as ever and no one had documented proof still. Only accounts by those who may have encountered them and gotten away free. As this world has so many undiscovered living beings, especially in the deep sea, I do believe in their existence. After all the saying goes “without a fire, there will be no smoke” and as such there must have been some kind of sighting to have legends made of it. Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this informative article with us and I learnt a new word.

  7. KarenC on Feb 15, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    Thanks for this informative post, it has broaden my views on cryptozoology, in fact, I’ve never come across this term before this post. I’ve also done some research on the internet and found this subject intriguing. The interesting part is always the struggle between believers and non believers of cryptids because most of the creatures have no concrete evidence to support even though there were witnesses. Whether or not there is any truth to the stories and eyewitness encounters with these creatures the bottom line is that these legends exist and must have come from somewhere.

    It’s just like paranormal stuff, some people who has third eye could see while most of us could, some may use methods to invoke the beings from other space to our human realm while others may not have this ability. Therefore, what we couldn’t or didn’t see does not necessarily mean that it doesn’t exist. We’re just a speck of dust in the whole galaxy, there are so much more things or beings “unknown” to us but i do believe their existence.

  8. Choong on Feb 14, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    Malaysia also has its “loch” or lake with many stories of Naga sightings. The lake Chini or “Tasik Chini” is Malaysia’s second largest freshwater lake.

    The Naga that inhabits lake Chini is called “Seri Gumum” and its oral history comes from two sources, the indigenous peoples or “Orang Asli” and later the “Orang Malayu”. In modern stories, Seri Gumum is a terrifying crocodile. From earliest times, Orang Asli legend warned of a dragon-like beast guarding the serene lake and a sunken city.

    It is located about 2 hours away from Kechara Forest Retreat.

    A Malay language magazine article on Tasik Chini’s Naga:
    http://www.kosmo.com.my/kosmo/content.asp?y=2014&dt=0119&pub=Kosmo&sec=Rencana_Utama&pg=ru_01.htm

    310221,xcitefun-chini-lake-2

  9. Paul Yap on Feb 13, 2017 at 11:05 pm

    There are a lot of mystical creatures that has been foretold by our ancestor, and now of course by Disneyland and Hollywood movies. We grew up with the stories and legends of dragons, garuda, mermaid, fairies etc. To some extend i do believes these are mystical creatures who possess some power. We should always take care of our environment, because they are many seen and unseen beings living together in this world, but different dimension.

    I have heard numerous stories from H.E. Tsem Rinpoche that in ancient Tibet, High Lama used to kept big foots and Yeti’s as their students, this mystical creatures in return will offered wild fruits and take care some of the cores for their Guru.

  10. Bradley Kassian on Feb 12, 2017 at 8:30 am

    Cryptozoology is one my favorite subjects. I live in the province of British Columbia, Canada. We are a hot spot for Bigfoot/Sasquatch sightings that go back centuries. Although province wide, some of the best spots are close to Harrison Hotsprings, Chiliwack, and even on Vancouver Island. If you saw the forests here, there wouldn’t be any doubt. My grandfather swears he saw one a couple decades ago along the Thompson River. I don’t doubt it, this man has wild animals knocking on his door looking for hand outs of food. Anything from Ravens to squirrels. It’s really interesting to watch this happen. Animals love him. Though my province doesn’t precisely have an outright ban on killing the “animal”, apparently a former official proclaimed killing the Sasquatch is illegal. However, B.C. also has laws that forbid the unauthorized hunting and killing of wildlife on government owned land. Although it is hard to fathom how you could kill a mythical creature, it would nevertheless likely be considered wildlife and any person killing it without a license could face a fine of up to $250,000.

    Anyway about a three hour drive from here is Lake Okanagan. We have another cryptid living there called Ogopogo. Similar too Nessie in Scotland.
    First Nation folklore specifically places the lair of the lake monster which they called N’ha-a-itk, or lake demon, at a cave under Squally Point near Rattlesnake Island which is offshore from Peachland near Kelowna. The Natives would never paddle a canoe near this area without an offering because too often a storm would spring up and N’ha-a-itk would rise out of the waters to claim another life! When white settlers first came to this area in the mid 1800s, they were not superstitious but gradually changed their views with ongoing sightings.

    I personally believe this creature is a Naga. It’s been described as snake like, about 25 meters long, and can control the weather. Another First Nation description states: “N’ha-a-itk lives in the water but can also move to the land and air. The meaning of N’ha-a’itk is Sacred Spirit of the Lake, not lake demon or monster. If N’ha-a-itk disappears due to pollution and misuse of the water, so do the plants, medicines, trees and foods that sustain us.”

    The minister of the Environment, Bruce Strachan, enacted legislation to protect Ogopogo, September 6, 1989. It is illegal to harm, kill, capture or disturb the creature and is one of the most enlightened pieces of legislation ever written in the defence and protection of endangered animals.

    Personally if anyone gets a chance to visit this part of the world, go take a few camping trips. You may get a glimpse of either of these creatures.

    • Lew on Feb 12, 2017 at 11:48 am

      Dear Bradley, Thanks for sharing your stories. I am always fascinated by bigfoot stories, and have watched quite a bit of show in TV, but quite sadly, these shows don’t show much good stuffs. It is always better to hear from someone who has the first hand experience. I could do some camping trips if I ever go to that part of the world 🙂

      N’ha-a-itk does some like a naga from the description. One thing to add is naga do not like people killing water animals such as fish, prawns etc, so best is to avoid seafood or become vegetarian when we are near them. I really like what the minister of Environment did to protect the animals even though they can’t 100% confirm the spirits existed.

      Thanks again for sharing your personal encounters!

  11. Echeah on Feb 12, 2017 at 12:01 am

    Interesting topic. In the sphere of Chinese mythology there are also many creatures like the dragon (龙), Pixiu (貔貅), Qilin (麒麟), Feng Huang (凤凰) or phoenix etc. which are often featured in Feng Shui implements. Perhaps they could be termed cryptids too? I wonder if they existed before or are still existing somewhere. In Buddhism, we hear of many planes of existence, some seen and some unseen. But unseen does not mean they don’t exist.

    Anyway, they provide plenty of material for movies and we’ve seen a fair share.

  12. Stella Cheang on Feb 11, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    Thank you for this informative article on cryptozoology. It may not be everyone’s interest to pursuit unsolved mystery; cryptozoology is necessary to uncover and prove the existence through a myriad of theories and approaches. It ‘d be good to have cryptozoology be enlisted as subjects in higher learning institution too so that enthusiastic can study and apply knowledge as well as tested methods from people around the world, and debate or improve on them; after all, this is what higher learnings are about. The whole idea of cryptozoology is to learn the basic facts of animals that existed in mysterious ways can broaden our perspective of human existence and a reminder of the fact of impermanence.

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KECHARA FOREST RETREAT PROGRESS UPDATES

Here is the latest news and pictorial updates, as it happens, of our upcoming forest retreat project.

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

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

Noticeboard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/build-your-own-growroom.html
  • Pastor Shin Tan
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 01:40 PM
    When on the hospital bed nearing our last breath, nothing matters except for the practice and transformation we have done in dharma in our lifetime.

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

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

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

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CREDITS

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

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

Tsem Rinpoche

What Am I Writing Now

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The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

Click on the images to view the bigger version. And scroll down and click on "View All Photos" to view more images.
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
4 minutes ago
I wrapped my little Mumu boy up in my blanket and propped him up on my bed. He didn't move or wiggle and just looked at me. He is one funny entertaining little guy. Tsem Rinpoche
March 2017-Coaxing my little Mumu boy to eat his meal. He was not well and therefore not hungry. Tsem Rinpoche
6 minutes ago
March 2017-Coaxing my little Mumu boy to eat his meal. He was not well and therefore not hungry. Tsem Rinpoche
Click on picture to enlarge and see what Milarepa says. Profound.
7 days ago
Click on picture to enlarge and see what Milarepa says. Profound.
We are always trying to get somewhere, try something new, find some friends, get some entertainment and in the end we end up in the same place. Time to really practice Dharma seriously and stop wasting time we don\'t have. ~Tsem Rinpoche
7 days ago
We are always trying to get somewhere, try something new, find some friends, get some entertainment and in the end we end up in the same place. Time to really practice Dharma seriously and stop wasting time we don't have. ~Tsem Rinpoche
March 20, 2017-Mumu is just so adorable with his bright eyes.
1 week ago
March 20, 2017-Mumu is just so adorable with his bright eyes.
More and more people inviting Lord Dorje Shugden home to connect with on their shrines. I am so happy to see this as it will benefit them and their families so much. That is the purpose to be alive which is to benefit others as much as possible. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
More and more people inviting Lord Dorje Shugden home to connect with on their shrines. I am so happy to see this as it will benefit them and their families so much. That is the purpose to be alive which is to benefit others as much as possible. Tsem Rinpoche
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
1 week ago
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
1 week ago
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
The Japanese are very innovative. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
The Japanese are very innovative. Tsem Rinpoche
Read this as it will be interesting
1 week ago
Read this as it will be interesting
Recite this before any meal or drinks for blessings of abundance. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
Recite this before any meal or drinks for blessings of abundance. Tsem Rinpoche
This sacred statue of Buddha is in Nepal brought originally from Tibet and has spoken on many occasions. Very blessed to see this holy image and keep a picture...bless you always. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
This sacred statue of Buddha is in Nepal brought originally from Tibet and has spoken on many occasions. Very blessed to see this holy image and keep a picture...bless you always. Tsem Rinpoche
I love Mumu boy tremendously. We went through so much together for so many years. You are a great being to be with. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
I love Mumu boy tremendously. We went through so much together for so many years. You are a great being to be with. Tsem Rinpoche
Dear everyone, I am sharing this beautiful and modern altar to Dorje Shugden in Malaysia. I am glad to see more and more people creating sacred spaces. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
Dear everyone, I am sharing this beautiful and modern altar to Dorje Shugden in Malaysia. I am glad to see more and more people creating sacred spaces. Tsem Rinpoche
Lhamo Karmo, a female buddha form visualized above the crown of one\'s head at the time of death, to encourage consciousness to leave the body via the crown aperture. From my book \"The Female Buddhas.\"- Glenn Mullin
2 weeks ago
Lhamo Karmo, a female buddha form visualized above the crown of one's head at the time of death, to encourage consciousness to leave the body via the crown aperture. From my book "The Female Buddhas."- Glenn Mullin
The Tibetan female tulku Dorje Pakmo, from a fresco on the wall of the Dorje Pakmo monastery (Samding) in Tibet, near the Turquoise Lake. In Tibet the Dorje Pakmo was ranked with the Dalai Lama, Panchen Lama and Sakya Trizin as the four highest lamas in the country.-from Glenn Mullin
2 weeks ago
The Tibetan female tulku Dorje Pakmo, from a fresco on the wall of the Dorje Pakmo monastery (Samding) in Tibet, near the Turquoise Lake. In Tibet the Dorje Pakmo was ranked with the Dalai Lama, Panchen Lama and Sakya Trizin as the four highest lamas in the country.-from Glenn Mullin
Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl checking out the scene..cute
4 weeks ago
Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl checking out the scene..cute
My Dharma boy has such a cute expression here. He is a good boy!
4 weeks ago
My Dharma boy has such a cute expression here. He is a good boy!
February 9,2017-My Mumu boy and Oser girl are just relaxing together..super cute
2 months ago
February 9,2017-My Mumu boy and Oser girl are just relaxing together..super cute
Click on the picture to enlarge and see what Suzy from Hawaii commented on the Dorje Shugden issue after much research. She is very candid and honest. Refreshing. Original is posted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl-4lIwxph4
2 months ago
Click on the picture to enlarge and see what Suzy from Hawaii commented on the Dorje Shugden issue after much research. She is very candid and honest. Refreshing. Original is posted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl-4lIwxph4
This is a good one to read
2 months ago
This is a good one to read
Mumu is silly and cute and funny
2 months ago
Mumu is silly and cute and funny
Mumu\'s hair is messy and he looks funny
2 months ago
Mumu's hair is messy and he looks funny
I am in the process of creating beautiful Dorje Shugden and Kechara Forest Retreat watches at this time. So we can take precious protector and Kechara Forest Retreat wherever we go and be blessed everytime we see what time it is. 
I am perfecting the designs with a great team and will update when done but these are just some samples that arrived. 
Feast your eyes! 

Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
I am in the process of creating beautiful Dorje Shugden and Kechara Forest Retreat watches at this time. So we can take precious protector and Kechara Forest Retreat wherever we go and be blessed everytime we see what time it is. I am perfecting the designs with a great team and will update when done but these are just some samples that arrived. Feast your eyes! Tsem Rinpoche
                        Pick the practice, devotion and precepts of Vajra Yogini\'s path over everything and anything in samsara. Samsara has nothing of value and nothing lasting to offer. You are born in suffering, live in suffering, die in suffering and enter bardo and future lives expecting more sufferings. This is not a negative way of looking at things but the truth. If the truth is negative, so it is the truth. Devote oneself to the guru, dharma work, dharma practice and bringing dharma to others compassionately. Choose to practice Vajra Yogini now with the preliminaries. You can start right now: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/starting-on-vajra-yogini-now.html  Much care, Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
Pick the practice, devotion and precepts of Vajra Yogini's path over everything and anything in samsara. Samsara has nothing of value and nothing lasting to offer. You are born in suffering, live in suffering, die in suffering and enter bardo and future lives expecting more sufferings. This is not a negative way of looking at things but the truth. If the truth is negative, so it is the truth. Devote oneself to the guru, dharma work, dharma practice and bringing dharma to others compassionately. Choose to practice Vajra Yogini now with the preliminaries. You can start right now: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/starting-on-vajra-yogini-now.html Much care, Tsem Rinpoche
Message to Tibetans in English
3 months ago
Message to Tibetans in English
Message to the Tibetans
3 months ago
Message to the Tibetans
Left to right: Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, 101st Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal. Great lamas of Gaden Shartse Monastery
3 months ago
Left to right: Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, 101st Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal. Great lamas of Gaden Shartse Monastery
A beautiful Indian rendition of Gyenze Dorje Shugden manifesting in wealth form
3 months ago
A beautiful Indian rendition of Gyenze Dorje Shugden manifesting in wealth form
This is my thoughts and determination to share with you. Please open and read. Thank you for your time. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
This is my thoughts and determination to share with you. Please open and read. Thank you for your time. Tsem Rinpoche
Nepalese King Birendra receives His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche in Nepal
3 months ago
Nepalese King Birendra receives His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche in Nepal
Guess what Zava Damdin Rinpoche did in Mongolia recently with 7,800 people??? Very interesting and it is a must read:  http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116206
3 months ago
Guess what Zava Damdin Rinpoche did in Mongolia recently with 7,800 people??? Very interesting and it is a must read:  http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116206
This huge Buddha in Korea is magnificent
4 months ago
This huge Buddha in Korea is magnificent
The very first oracle of Dorje Shugden in trance statue. I have commissioned this.
4 months ago
The very first oracle of Dorje Shugden in trance statue. I have commissioned this.
Such a old and ancient thangka painting of Dorje Shugden. He has been around in Tibet practiced for hundreds of years.
4 months ago
Such a old and ancient thangka painting of Dorje Shugden. He has been around in Tibet practiced for hundreds of years.
One of the "Four Exalted Brothers" Avalokiteshvara statues, Phagpa Wati of Kyirong, which is now with H.H. the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala.
4 months ago
One of the "Four Exalted Brothers" Avalokiteshvara statues, Phagpa Wati of Kyirong, which is now with H.H. the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala.
Kyabje Zemey, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Kyabje Pabongka Choktrul Rinpoche
4 months ago
Kyabje Zemey, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Kyabje Pabongka Choktrul Rinpoche
My Oser girl and Mumu boy are so adorable
4 months ago
My Oser girl and Mumu boy are so adorable
Wow this meditator in his cave in front of a painting of Yamantaka draped with a white khata of respect. He sits among bones to remind him of impermanence and our future. The bones inspire him strongly to let go of all attachments in this life and focus on dharma, meditation and liberation and he is doing so. Very beautiful and inspirational. Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
Wow this meditator in his cave in front of a painting of Yamantaka draped with a white khata of respect. He sits among bones to remind him of impermanence and our future. The bones inspire him strongly to let go of all attachments in this life and focus on dharma, meditation and liberation and he is doing so. Very beautiful and inspirational. Tsem Rinpoche
Tenzing Norgay found this in Nepal. Guess what it is?
5 months ago
Tenzing Norgay found this in Nepal. Guess what it is?
Sir Edmund Hillary
5 months ago
Sir Edmund Hillary
Halloween is my favorite holiday. Wild natural plants and flowers are my favorite offering. Buddha\'s teachings on meditation and Yidam practice bring the ultimate results and happiness. ~Tsem Rinpoche
5 months ago
Halloween is my favorite holiday. Wild natural plants and flowers are my favorite offering. Buddha's teachings on meditation and Yidam practice bring the ultimate results and happiness. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Previous lives do resemble current lives especially if they are a recognized incarnation. If notice how similar the previous and current Trijang Rinpoche looks. The eyes, bone structure, expression, long neck, thin and overall look. Beautiful. I\'ve seen this phenomena over and over in many Rinpoche incarnations. Especially when you compare them with pictures of previous and current lives at around the same ages. Something powerfully karmic about this. Tsem Rinpoche
6 months ago
Previous lives do resemble current lives especially if they are a recognized incarnation. If notice how similar the previous and current Trijang Rinpoche looks. The eyes, bone structure, expression, long neck, thin and overall look. Beautiful. I've seen this phenomena over and over in many Rinpoche incarnations. Especially when you compare them with pictures of previous and current lives at around the same ages. Something powerfully karmic about this. Tsem Rinpoche
It\'s nice to have monks visitors and resident monks in Kechara
6 months ago
It's nice to have monks visitors and resident monks in Kechara
                         Taken in Lake Champlain in Canada. A huge water monster...neat...
6 months ago
Taken in Lake Champlain in Canada. A huge water monster...neat...
Beautiful! His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang has always been good friends with His Holiness Karmapa. No wonder H.H. Karmapa never spoke against Dorje Shugden. Two reasons perhaps: One is he knows the qualities of Trijang Rinpoche who is a attained being. And Karmapa himself has clairvoyance to perceive the true nature of Dorje Shugden directly. I love to see great beings like this manifesting closeness. When I see, I just want to prostrate to them and thank them for sharing such good examples to someone like me. Praise to the ego-less mind! Tsem Rinpoche
6 months ago
Beautiful! His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang has always been good friends with His Holiness Karmapa. No wonder H.H. Karmapa never spoke against Dorje Shugden. Two reasons perhaps: One is he knows the qualities of Trijang Rinpoche who is a attained being. And Karmapa himself has clairvoyance to perceive the true nature of Dorje Shugden directly. I love to see great beings like this manifesting closeness. When I see, I just want to prostrate to them and thank them for sharing such good examples to someone like me. Praise to the ego-less mind! Tsem Rinpoche
Serkong Dorje Chang on the left and his son Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche on the right.
6 months ago
Serkong Dorje Chang on the left and his son Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche on the right.
High lamas in France September 2016
6 months ago
High lamas in France September 2016
Click on "View All Photos" above to view more images

Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • Please watch this video, it's heartbreaking to see how people have to suffer.
    1 week ago
    Please watch this video, it's heartbreaking to see how people have to suffer.
  • Lady saves puppy from potential abuser
    1 week ago
    Lady saves puppy from potential abuser
  • Mr. Denzel Washington is a very intelligent man. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 weeks ago
    Mr. Denzel Washington is a very intelligent man. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Dear friends, please see this educational video on suffering for the sake of others.
    2 weeks ago
    Dear friends, please see this educational video on suffering for the sake of others.
  • A very neat footage of Bigfoot captured by Patterson-Gimlin.
    3 weeks ago
    A very neat footage of Bigfoot captured by Patterson-Gimlin.
  • [11/02/2017] Mumu darling is a very good boy.
    1 month ago
    [11/02/2017] Mumu darling is a very good boy.
  • [11/02/2017] Mumu wants to go bye bye!
    1 month ago
    [11/02/2017] Mumu wants to go bye bye!
  • [11/02/2017] I love you mumu boy
    1 month ago
    [11/02/2017] I love you mumu boy
  • [11/02/2017] Mumu and Oser eating together.
    1 month ago
    [11/02/2017] Mumu and Oser eating together.
  • Great spiritual rock carving in Tibet
    2 months ago
    Great spiritual rock carving in Tibet
  • You will Never be Ready
    3 months ago
    You will Never be Ready
    Dear friends, watch this video and ready, if we keep waiting till we are ready, that day will never come. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Stop asking for Easy
    3 months ago
    Stop asking for Easy
    This video is powerful because it's the truth. It applies to anything. It applies to our dharma practice. Watch the video and share it. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Must Watch this Video!
    4 months ago
    Must Watch this Video!
  • Sacred Tibetan Incense - Nyimo County, Lhasa, Tibet
    5 months ago
    Sacred Tibetan Incense - Nyimo County, Lhasa, Tibet
  • Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche on Samaya
    5 months ago
    Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche on Samaya
    ཁྱེད་ཀྱི་བཀའ་སློབ་དོན་སྙིང་དེ།།གང་གི་རྣ་བར་བདུད་རྩི་མོད།།འོན་ཀྱང་འགའ་ཡི་རྣ་ལམ་དུ།། བྲག་ཆ་བཞིན་དུ་འགྱུར་སྲིད་མོད།། ཚང་མས་ཚར་རེ་གཟིགས་རོགས།། Kyabje Denma Gonsa Rinpoche telling people that it is important to have guru samaya. It use to be that way in the great monasteries. We should not create problems and schisms. If we want to practice a protector, then do so, if not it's okay, but don't make trouble. One should just practice the Buddha Dharma well. To do good practice. If you have faith in Dorje Shugden and trust all the way, he will definitely help you. But most important is to practice the dharma. This is his advice in short here. It's good to let more Tibetans hear this holy speech and appeal by this very senior Rinpoche. TR

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Ask the Pastors

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

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

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

  • March 27, 2017 04:19
    Dongho asked: I have been reading on the tunes of certain sects and would like to ask on this. From what I've read, there are certain tunes to each sect and school of certain chants. Exactly where can I find the sheet music for these percussion and horns with the chants, such as to the one for invoking Kache Marpo or Dorje Shugden? Would it be possible to use school instruments for this?
    No reply yet
  • March 26, 2017 02:14
    Kunga asked: Does the Gelug have Begtse a protector? If so, could you please provide a sadhana for him here?
    pastor answered: Dear Kunga, Yes the Dharma protector Begtse exists within the Gelug tradition. He is also known as Chamsing. Begtse’s practice stems from India and was introduced to Tibet and therefore Tibetan Buddhism by the translator Nyen Lotsawa. Marpa Lotsawa also practiced Begtse, and so the practice exists in the Kagyu traditions. This practice was eventually transmitted to Sachen Kunga Nyingpo, the first of the five patriarchs of the Sakya tradition, who were the founding fathers of that tradition. Over time the practice of Begtse was incorporated into the Gelug tradition, founded by Lama Tsongkhapa, and was notably practiced by the 1st and 2nd Dalai Lamas. Over time the practice gained popularity within the lineage, especially when it spread to Mongolia. There the practice became an important one within the lineage as upheld there. Begtse is also affectionately known as the Dharma protector of Mongolia, because his practice is so popular there. If I am not mistaken, there is an oracle of Begtse in Mongolia as well. There is a mistaken account that the practice originated around the time of the 3rd Dalai Lama, with the subjugation of a Mongolian war god, but Begtse was definitely practiced before that time in the Gelug, Kagyu and Sakya traditions. While the practice of Begtse is very effective, I have not come across the practice of Begtse in my personal practice, therefore I do not have access to the Begtse sadhana to provide to you. Instead Begtse is propitiated in prayers that incorporate many other Dharma protectors, and Begtse is also considered one of the nine protectors of the Hayagriva (Tamdrin) cycle of tantric teachings. Therefore Begtse is included in the Dharma protector sections of the Hayagriva tantras. Surrounding Begtse are his sister, Sing Ma, and his main minister, Le Khan Mar Po. His inner retinue comprises of eight butchers who wield copper swords in their right hands and skull-cups full of blood in their left hands. They are portrayed as naked and are very ugly. His outer retinue comprises a further twenty-one butchers, who hold copper swords in their right hands, and this time, the entrails of butchered enemies. They wear the skins humans and oxen as clothes, with ornaments made from human bone. While this may seem violent, Begtse is actually a very powerful and beneficial protector, who helps practitioners clear their obstacles and create conducive conditions for their spiritual evolution. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • March 24, 2017 20:12
    Azair asked: Venerable Rinpoche, I am doing a study in Kalachakra Tantra and I've heard from most of the lama's too that if you practice the Kalachakra Tantra, you'll be able to take control of your next rebirth. Ofcourse, it has been said that we will get our rebirth according to our Karma and desires but whether those dreams will get fulfilled will depend upon the actions that we take in this life. Thus, practicing the Kalachakra(till the end) after initiation will give you the opportunity to take rebirth anywhere you desire regardless of your Karma. My question is that, is there some truth in this statement.? Does this statement hold true for other tantra practices, such as Vajrayogini Tantra, Ghuyasamaja Tantra, Heruka Tantra, etc. I would really really like to know. Thankyou in anticipation, regards, Azair
    pastor answered: Dear Azair, Thank you for your question. Yes there is truth to this statement, both from a scriptural perspective and also by example, as the great masters have shown us. This is a unique feature of all Anuttarayoga Tantras or Highest Yoga Tantras, which Kalachakra, Vajrayogini, Guhyasama and Heruka are all examples of. This category of tantric practice can actually lead a practitioner to full enlightenment in this very lifetime. Even if enlightenment is not reached, very high levels of attainment can be reached nonetheless. This includes the ability to take control over your next rebirth. This is primarily engaged in so that the practitioner is born in an environment where they can eventually pick up their practice and further their spiritual path to enlightenment, or in order to be born in a place where they can benefit sentient beings the most, as part of the spiritual journey over many lifetimes. One of the reasons such an ability is very necessary on the spiritual path, is that usual death and rebirth occurs at the mercy of ones karma, specifically what is known as the ‘throwing karma’ or the karma that dictates what sort of rebirth a person is going to take. This opens up at the time of ordinary death, which most people have no control over. During the death process, many of our disturbing emotions will arise. Whichever of these is the strongest at the point of death triggers open a latent karmic potential, which becomes the ‘throwing karma’ and dictates where we are going to take rebirth and if that life will generally be full of suffering or not. Within Anuttarayoga Tantra, one of the key points of practice is to prepare for one’s death. This is done by simulating the dying process during one’s meditations, so that one becomes familiar with it. At the most pivotal part of this process, one practices achieving either the rainbow body or great bliss (in the case of the father tantras); or clear light (in the case of mother tantras). The tantras themselves are not defined in terms of the gender of the central deity, but by the method used to gain enlightenment. This is either the rainbow body/great bliss (classified as male, therefore labelled ‘father’) or clear light (classified as female, therefore labelled ‘mother’). Non-dual tantras such as the Kalachakra tantra can employ either of the two methods, a mixture of both, or alternate methods. In the case of superior practitioners, due to the power of their practice, they can achieve either of these two methods in their current body. Since they have familiarised themselves with the dying process, and a particular method of practice, they can also achieve enlightenment during their physical death. The great Lama Tsongkhapa is said to have achieved enlightenment at the moment of physical death, using the second of these. For other practitioners, they may not be able to achieve this either in their meditations while they are alive, or during the death process. However because they have familiarised themselves with the dying process, they remain in complete concentration at the time of death, not allowing any disturbing emotions to arise. Due to this level of concentration, meditation and awareness during the dying process, they are able to control where they next take rebirth. This is evident in the tantric scriptures themselves, and the life stories of many masters, who can state exactly where, when and to whom they will take their next rebirth, as they are in full control of the dying and rebirth process. There is a type of meditation called ‘thukdam’ which has been translated into ‘death meditation’. This is a final meditation some masters choose to engage in. During this meditation, the master themselves consciously begin the physical dying process themselves, engage in the meditation of dissolving the winds into the heart centre and remain in the most pivotal part of the death process, the mind of clear light of death. During this point they engage in meditations, either the methods of the father or mother tantras as mentioned previously, and or consciously choose where they are to next take rebirth. They can remain in this death meditation for long periods of time, days at an end, in which their consciousness has not yet left their body, although for all intents and purposes they are dead according to medical science, e.g. they have no heartbeat. At the end of their meditation, a drop of blood will be emitted from their nostril, and their head will slump over a little. Masters who engage in this meditation usually sit in full meditation posture, and their body remain supple and soft even though they have passed away from a medical point of view. I hope this brief explanation helps. Thank you.
  • March 23, 2017 23:01
    Brad asked: What is the significance of offering the Seven precious emblems of royalty to the Buddhas and enlightened Dharma Protectors? What are we symbolically offering up?
    pastor answered: Dear Brad, Thank you for your question. The ‘saptaratna’ or seven precious emblems represent on the one hand the ultimate state of temporal power, and on the other hand the ultimate spiritual attainments that we can achieve. By offering these to the Buddhas, we are actually creating the causes to achieve what they represent. Therefore it is good to know the meaning of each, so we can understand what we are creating the causes for by offering them up: Please see below for an explanation of the seven royal emblems: 1. The Precious Wheel: a thousand spoked wheel, representing the universal power of the Buddhas, as well as the teachings of the thousand Buddhas of our aeon. It is represented by the Dharmachakra, symbolising the ‘turning of the wheel’ or teaching of the Noble Eightfold Path. It is a symbol of a universal emperor’s spiritual and temporal power. It is also represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect mindfulness, especially that of our own mind, thoughts, delusions and afflictions. 2. The Precious Jewel: an eight sided wish-granting gem, which fulfils all the needs of a universal emperor. This jewel has eight special qualities: it illuminates the night sky for hundreds of leagues; it is cooling when the temperature is hot and warming when the temperature is cold; it makes manifest whatever the holder wants; when thirsty it causes a fresh-water spring to appear; it has the ability to control the nagas, and other supernatural beings, as well as preventing natural disasters such as storms, floods, etc.; it gives off multi-coloured lighted which heals the various mental and emotional afflictions; it cures all illnesses; and it ensures that one dies a natural death, not an untimely one. It is a symbol of a universal emperor’s spiritual and temporal power. It is also represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect mindfulness, or perfect discrimination, so one knows what to abandon and what to keep in the mindstream during the spiritual journey to enlightenment. 3. The Precious Queen: the most beautiful and virtuous of all women. She is described as a goddess who is the epitome of someone: with devotion; without jealousy; who is the embodiment of fertility; who works for the welfare of all beings; who possess feminine wisdom; speaks the truth; not attract to sensual pleasures or material possessions; and does not have false views. She is adored by all. She also represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect effort. This is necessary to keep meditating until one gains spiritual attainments. 4. The Precious Minister: who has sharp intelligence, patience, and the ability to give wise counsel to the emperor. He is so attuned to the emperor that even before the emperor has spoken, the minister is already carrying out his command. He only wishes to support the Dharma, help sentient beings, and is an excellent strategist. He also represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect joy. This is also akin to the attainment of the first bodhisattva level, because you have come to an understanding of your own mind, which is like pouring ice-cold water into boiling water. The water stops boiling, as does the thoughts, projections, and delusions in the mind. He represents the path of the bodhisattva. 5. The Precious Elephant: who has the strength of a thousand normal elephants. He is white, with the perfect features that an elephant could have. He is majestic, graceful, and gentle, but in battle is fearsome, fearless and unyielding. He communicates with the emperor through a telepathic link. He represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect adaptability. This is important, as one needs to be able to adapt to the various mental afflictions as they arise, and suitably counter them. 6. The Precious Horse: who has all the marks of a celestial horse. Known as wind-horse, he is able to travel extremely fast, and can circumambulate the entire universe three time in just a single day. He is never fearful or startled, never makes a sound when galloping, and has extremely soft hairs on his body. He represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is single-pointed concentration. This is important because without this form of concentration, once cannot engage in the analytical meditations that lead to an understanding of emptiness, and therefore enlightenment. 7. The Precious General: who has mastered the arts of war and always wins in battle. He wears battle armour and holds many different weapons. He tries to avoid battle, but when necessary fights, and never gives up until he has won. He is fearless, and courageous in carrying out the emperors commands and ensures the emperors army carries out their duties. He represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect equanimity. This is because he overcomes all warfare, which is akin to the battle between things were are attached to and things we have an aversion for in our minds. In short, what you are offering up is the highest of all temporal treasures and abilities, as well as the entire path of the Dharma. Doing so creates the causes for you to receive all of this on your spiritual journey towards enlightenment. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • March 20, 2017 10:16
    Grigoris asked: Excuse me, but I would like to ask, what does the prayer to Shangmo Dorje Putri say exactly? I can't read Tibetan, but would like to see the description that the prayer gives. I am not planning to say the prayer or make interaction(as it would be very dangerous), but would like to see what it actually says from the Tibetan text. Here's the link: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/shangmo-dorje-putri-the-bamo-of-sakya.html
    pastor answered: Dear Grigoris, Thank you for your question. Shangmo Dorje Putri is indeed a fascinating unenlightened Dharma protector. Unfortunately at the moment, we do not have a translated copy of the text in English that we can provide. The usual format for such texts, would include an invocation, making offerings to appease them, and then exhortations for them to perform their activities, possibly followed by thanking them for their help. One thing is for certain, due to the nature of Shangmo Dorje Putri her prayer is sure to include violent imagery, just like many other Dharma protectors, such as Achi Chokyi Drolma (who even though has a peaceful appearance, has a lot of violent imagery in her prayers). The reason behind the violent imagery is explained in the post about Achi Chokyi Drolma here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/achi-chokyi-drolma-chief-protectress-of-the-drikung-kagyu.html
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Visitors have the opportunity to pay respect to this holy statue, in Kechara Forest Retreat, Wisdom Hall!
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Visitors have the opportunity to pay respect to this holy statue, in Kechara Forest Retreat, Wisdom Hall!
Group photo of Kechara Sunday Dharma School teachers and trainer after the Teachers Training program in 2016. Stella, KSDS
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Group photo of Kechara Sunday Dharma School teachers and trainer after the Teachers Training program in 2016. Stella, KSDS
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Kechara Sunday Dharma School teachers attended the weekly Blogchat Dharma sharing session every Monday. Stella, KSDS
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Dorje Shugden
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