Alexandra David-Néel

Mar 1, 2016 | Views: 54,395

(By Tsem Rinpoche and Pastor Jean Ai)

Or view the video on the server at:
https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/AlexandraSynopsis.mp4

A short synopsis on the life of Alexandra David-Néel

Alexandra David-Néel was a woman with the “wind beneath her feet”. She was a Buddhist, Orientalist and writer born in France and dedicated her whole life to studying Asian culture and religion, and sharing it with the Western world. In fact, most of her books focus on practices within Tibetan Buddhism. As a Western woman, her dangerous travel to Lhasa, Tibet, which at the time was closed to foreigners, created worldwide renown for her. Here is a short overview of her life and travels.

Tsem Rinpoche, Pastor Antoinette and Pastor Jean Ai

 

Background and Childhood

Alexandra as a child

Louise Eugénie Alexandrine Marie David, later known as Alexandra David-Néel, was born on October 24, 1868, in St. Mandé, close to Paris, as the only child of Louis David and Alexandrine Borghmans.

Her father Louis David, born in 1815, was a teacher by profession but became a journalist to express his political ideas. He was 53 years old at the time of Alexandra’s birth. By religion he was Protestant, but rebelled against the government. He had to leave France during the coup d’état of Napoleon III in 1851 and was sent into exile to Belgium. It was there that he began giving French language lessons to the sons of a Flemish major in Louvain, which was where he met his future wife.

A teenage Alexandra, who had her imagination carried away by the books she was so fond of reading

Her mother, native to Brussels, had mixed Dutch, Norwegian and Siberian ancestry. She was the adopted daughter of the Flemish major and was a devoted Catholic. She was 36 years old at the time of Alexandra’s birth, but strongly hoped to give birth to a boy who would become a high priest. Extremely disappointed by the birth of a daughter, she did not show much love and affection to her. Her parents give her the nickname “Nini” which is the short version of Eugénie. Her father, passionate about politics, instructed his daughter on the governmental repression at that time.

Or view the video on the server at:
https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/AlexandraFrenchInterview.mp4

A short French interview of the eminent explorer Alexandra David-Néel

At that time, Paris was undergoing political upheaval, which ended with 30,000 victims, the last of which were shot dead at the Père Lachaise cemetery. Wanting his daughter to know about the atrocities of humankind, he brought the 2 ½ year old Alexandra to the Père Lachaise cemetery (Alexandra David-Néel shares about this experience in a letter dated December 19, 1913).

In 1873, the family moved back to Ixelles in Belgium, a suburb of Brussels, where the young Alexandra preferred to flee to the imaginary realms of books. It was then that Louise Eugénie Alexandrine Marie David adopted the pen name of “Alexandra” even though very young in age. She first used the name Alexandra Myrial, which she used during her singing period.

As Alexandra grew older, she spent her time writing and reading, as she is seen doing here in her home

Dolls and dresses bored her and she would ask for books of faraway places during her birthdays. She ran away to Switzerland, crossing the Alps. Her mother brought her back from Italy but it was difficult to punish Alexandra. She was not bothered with hardship and she even hated being comfortable. Before the age of 15, she had already experienced, in secret, several austerities such as fasting and physical torture. She was inspired by different biographies of ascetic saints and slept on a bed of wooden planks. At the age of 15, she began to study music and singing privately.

 

Adult life

In 1889, Alexandra received the first prize in “French theatre chanting” after studying for three years at the Music Conservatory in Brussels. It is was her only diploma. During that period in history there were only two choices a woman could make: marriage or joining a convent. Alexandra however chose a third option, liberty. This was a brave choice as women had to fight to be allowed higher education, or were forced into becoming wives and mothers or maidservants.

With the help of her father, Alexandra continued her education in what mattered to her – Orientalism. Attracted by exotic stories of adventure, Alexandra longed and planned to visit India. With the financial help of her parents she left for the United Kingdom in 1889, to improve her knowledge of the English language and to satisfy her unquenchable curiosity for mysteries surrounding all things and beings. She stayed in London at the Supreme Gnosis club for a few months, studying many philosophical and religious works concerning India and China in the Supreme Gnosis club’s library and the library of the British Museum, and she met members of the Theosophical Society. Through her study of oriental translations Alexandra discovered that learning Sanskrit, the classical Indian language of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism allowed her a deeper understanding.

At a time when Western women had to fight to receive a higher education, Alexandra took matters into her own hands, travelling on her own to the Far East

At 21, she left for Paris, staying in a guestroom at the Theosophical Society for three years. She used her time following classes on various civilizations and oriental languages at the Collège de France, the Sorbonne and at the École des Hautes Études, but she never passed any of the exams. She also spent time at the Guimet museum and joined occult meetings.

In the 1890s, Alexandra decided to visit some of the temples in the region of Ceylon to discover Buddhism. She visited Madura (the sacred Brahmin city), Adyar (to visit the Theosophical Society) and Benares, where she was shocked to find a starving population.

Alexandra David-Neel and her adopted son Aphur Yongden, pose with another equally famous explorer, the Japanese monk Kawaguchi Ekai who also travelled to Tibet. David-Néel first met Kawaguchi in Kalimpong, northern India in the waiting room of the 13th Dalai Lama who lived there for three years. She met Kawaguchi once again while visiting Japan in 1917.

Alexandra David-Neel and her adopted son Aphur Yongden, pose with another equally famous explorer, the Japanese monk Kawaguchi Ekai who also travelled to Tibet. David-Néel first met Kawaguchi in Kalimpong, northern India in the waiting room of the 13th Dalai Lama who lived there for three years. She met Kawaguchi once again while visiting Japan in 1917.

Alexandra was also shocked at the extent of the animal sacrifices performed by the Hindu population, especially during the feast of Durga during which millions of buffaloes were sacrificed. She was even more shocked that even humans were victims of certain rites, especially women who were not spared by some sections of society, as some were condemned alive to join their late husbands on the funeral pyre.

Her first goal was to gain a better understanding of the three branches of Hinduism:

She read a lot, bought texts, learnt and met Swami Bashkaraanda, an old ascetic who lived naked in a rose garden. He accepted her as a student, and gave her some philosophical knowledge and classes in Sanskrit. During each of her stays in Benares, she went to meet him in his rose garden. As for Buddhism, Alexandra was at that time more interested in the Theravada traditions rather than the Mahayana or Vajrayana traditions of Tibet and Mongolia.

Back in Europe, due to bad investments, the family now earned less, and Alexandra had to earn her own keep. In 1893, at the age of 25, she began singing on stage in Belgium and later in Paris. In 1895, Alexandra was hired as the lead singer in operas in Hanoi and Haiphong in Vietnam. During this time, she took the opportunity to visit the Indochinese Peninsula and South China to learn about local Buddhist practice. In 1900, she was hired by the Municipal Opera of Tunis, Tunisia, where she met her husband, Philippe Néel.

 

Her travels

Alexandra was passionate about exploring from a young age. At the age of four or five, she ventured out on her own to explore the woods of Vincennes, an eastern suburb of Paris, but was later brought back home by the police. In 1887, at the age of 17, she ventured out to hike the Saint Gotthard Mountains, but was found by her mother who brought her home.

Taken during Alexandra’s first trip to India where she explored her interest in the Eastern religions like Hinduism

Through her work as singer, but also her interest in writing articles on the political situation, she followed her passion and visited countries in Europe (Spain, Italy, United Kingdom and Greece), in North Africa, and in Asia (India and Indochina).

In India, in the 1890s, she was especially attracted to the character of Annie Besant, who became a disciple of Helena Blavatsky, the founder of the Theosophical Society. Annie Besant was a leading figure and eventually became president of the Theosophical Society after the founder’s death in 1891. Alexandra formally joined the Society the following year, staying with Besant in London, followed by a lengthy stay at the Theosophical compound near Adyar, India in 1893. After returning from her first trip to the East, she continued to ask advice from Besant.

Alexandra on her travels

On August 9, 1911 Alexandra left her hometown Tunis in the direction of Ceylon (modern day Sri Lanka). Alexandra only returned after having visited Lhasa in Tibet in 1925. On her journey, she would visit cities in India first. In early 1912, Alexandra found herself in the little kingdom of Sikkim where she met her future spiritual teacher for the first time, the Gomchen of Lachen, who made a big impression on her. It was not until many years later that he would accept her as a student.

In December of 1912, Alexandra visited Nepal where she was received by the Maharaja in the Valley of Kathmandu. At that time, Alexandra favored Hinduism as opposed to Buddhism. It was in Nepal where she explored Brahminism, as the precursor to contemporary Hinduism. She liked to learn and explore the ideas of people’s rather than buildings and monuments.

Alexandra (far right) and her adopted son Lama Yongden on the road

After visiting Lumbini and Kapilavastu in Nepal (where Buddha was born and raised), she made her way to Benares in India and to her friends in Sikkim, where she was allowed to meet His Holiness the 13th Dalai Lama. In Sikkim, Alexandra stayed in a cave near her teacher’s cave at about 4000m above sea level. She would remain in Sikkim until 1916.

Alexandra outside her retreat cave

Over the years, Alexandra tried many times to reach Lhasa, Tibet but was always discovered by the authorities and stopped. She was finally successful in her attempts in 1924 where she remained until her return to France in May 1925.

In 1937, Alexandra left France again, this time heading towards China. She would only return home in June 1946.

 

Tibet

Alexandra with her adopted son Lama Yongden. He followed her since he was 14 years old.

Tibet during Alexandra’s time was a forbidden land. No foreigner was allowed to enter Tibet and even the population of the country and those bordering it were forced to refer all foreigners to the authorities, who would stop them from entering Tibet and reaching Lhasa, its capital.

The first time Alexandra entered Tibet was in the summer of 1916, when she was successful in reaching Shigatse. Travelling via Sikkim, she would come to meet the Tashi Lama (also known as the 9th Panchen Lama Lobsang Gelek Namgyal) during this trip. The Panchen Lama invited her to stay in Tashilhunpo Monastery but she declined as she had left all her luggage behind in Calcutta. Alexandra returned to Sikkim after a few days.

In the succeeding years, Alexandra would make many attempts to reach Lhasa but was sent back time and time again. In this way her successful attempt to reach Lhasa in 1924 was an enormous achievement on the part of Alexandra and her adopted son Lama Aphur Yongden, whom she had met in Sikkim and had first taken on as an assistant. Lama Aphur Yongden was a young monk from the Karma Kagyu order, who came to consider Alexandra as his guru over time.

Alexandra (third from left) on a yak in Tibet

Alexandra’s multiple attempts to enter Tibet and reach Lhasa helped her to gain a lot of experience, including the enormous hardship in trying to overcome Himalayan Mountains, distances of hundreds of kilometers of difficult terrain, wars and bandits, financial difficulties, difficult hygienic conditions, climates with drastic changes in weather, harsh winters and rainy seasons, sunstroke and precarious rope bridges.

Alexandra (right) travelling with Yongden

She became an expert in disguising herself as a native; only the equipment they carried exposed them as something other than pilgrims. On their last and successful trip to enter Tibet, they left behind their Western equipment and didn’t even take a camera. Alexandra only took a few compasses, and a number of rough map drafts to find her way. She chose a path through previously unexplored territory but was well-prepared.

Eventually forced to leave her horse and much of her luggage behind, and dreading that they would be caught, they eventually entered Tibet via the sacred mountain of Kha Kharpo. There, among some bushes she found an old hat worn by women, which turned out to be a lucky turn of events, as she wore it while being questioned by an officer shortly afterwards. Alexandra asked him for donations for her supposed pilgrimage in Tibetan, and showed him her tongue as was the Tibetan custom. Alexandra played her role well, pretending to be a mother accompanying her ordained son, Lama Aphur Yongden.

Alexandra with Tibetan nuns

It was during this trip that she gained valuable information regarding Tibetan culture that was unknown of outside Tibet. However, her stay in Lhasa did not remain undiscovered. The chief of the police from Darjeeling, who knew her from her stay in Sikkim recognized her. Known for his strict adherence to the law, he would have reported her to the Tibetan authorities if not for holding Alexandra in high esteem, knowing full well her sincere interest in Tibetan Buddhism.

Later in her journey, having become seriously malnourished and suffering from influenza, Alexandra and Lama Aphur Yongden decided to visit the three great monastic institutions of Gaden, Sera and Drepung. Of all the schools of Tibetan Buddhism, Alexandra was especially interested in the Gelug tradition. In fact Alexandra had already met His Holiness the 13th Dalai Lama in Kalimpong in 1912.

Alexandra recognized him from his portrait: a slightly stooped figure with wide open, riveting eyes, slightly evasive, a waxed mustache, and enormous ears (a sign of wisdom), wearing a peaked yellow cap and maroon robes. She pressed her palms together before the heart in salutation. Someone slipped a white silk scarf into her hands and she presented it but forgot the proper words. He wasn’t very tall and, a trifle unwillingly, the rebel bowed her head, whereupon the Dalai Lama reached out to bless her.

As the two conversed, the Thirteenth wondered aloud how the Frenchwoman, alone in her faith in a foreign land, could have become a practicing Buddhist without a master. To himself he must have questioned whether she was a Buddhist at all. The Christian missionaries, fond of disguises, would go to any lengths to convert his people. But David-Neel’s knowledge ran deep, and she soon satisfied him on that score, even made him smile. She tried to ignore the officious chamberlain who continued to interrupt. However, she had to admit that those Europeans interested in Buddhism were generally of the older, Theravadin school.

– The Secret Lives of Alexandra David-Neel: A Biography of the Explorer of Tibet and its Forbidden Practices

On their return, the two pilgrims paid visits to the monasteries of Samye, founded by Padmasambhava and Santarakshita, followed by Mindroling in Tsetang and the monastery of Dorje Phagmo at Samding. Alexandra wanted to see as many places as she could, since she believed these she would never return again. In June 1924, Alexandra returned to India.

 

China

Not slowed by her old age in the slightest, Alexandra David-Néel was 69 years old when she decided to leave for China with her adopted son Yongden. Alexandra had become aware of her advancing age and realised she did not have much time left to commit to travel, so she wanted to make the most of her trip. The year was 1937 and her aim was to study ancient Taoism.

Her arrival however, coincided with the Second Sino-Japanese War. This was followed by civil war, and the outbreak of the Second World War. Finding herself trapped amidst the horrors of war, extreme cold, famine and epidemics, Alexandra escaped to wander throughout China for the next 1.5 years. Her travels covered Beijing, Mount Wutai, Hankou and Chengdu.

Alexandra David-Néel in China, pictured with a grand old Chinese master.

Alexandra David-Néel in China, pictured with a grand old Chinese master.

On June 4, 1938, Alexandra arrived in Tachienlu, the Tibetan town where she would spend the next five years in retreat. It was during this period, in 1941, that she received news about the passing of her husband and best friend. When Alexandra finally left Asia many years later, it would be to organize his estate and affairs.

While in Tibet, Alexandra and Yongden completed circumambulating the holy mountain Amnye Machen. In 1945, Alexandra went back to India, thanks to the help of the French Consul in Calcutta, Christian Fouchet, with whom she remained friends until her death.

The following year, in June 1946, Alexandra David-Néel finally left Asia, departing from Calcutta. She had been in Asia for nearly a decade by this point, and was 78 years old by the time she arrived in Paris on July 1, 1946. Here, she and Yongden remained until returning to her home, Samten Dzong in Digne-les-Bains in October.

The irrepressible traveller however, could not sit still for long and in April 1957, she moved to Monaco. Whilst living in Monaco, she continued to write prolifically. She would also go on to renew her passport at the age of 101, the year of her passing. Until her last moments, it is clear that the thrill of exploration and learning never left this seeker of knowledge.

 

Her practices

Alexandra had received many Buddhist practices from masters in Sikkim and Tibet. These she details in her book Magic and Mystery in Tibet.

One of her masters was the Gomchen of Lachen, Nga-Ouang Rinchen (the abbot of the monastery of Lachen). She met him for the first time in May 1912 but it was not until years later that he accepted her as his student.

On death meditation she notes:

Starting with the idea that ‘method,’ the ‘savoir-faire,’ is of an essential importance, the Lamaists think that after having learned the art of living well one must learn the art of dying well and of “doing well” in other worlds.

Initiates acquainted with mystic lore, are supposed to know what awaits them when they die, and contemplative lamas have foreseen and experienced, in this life, the sensations that accompany death. They will, therefore, neither be surprised nor troubled when their present personality disintegrates.

She also learnt the tantric practice of tummo, or inner heat, from her teacher Lachen Gomchen Rinpoche. This practice she describes in some detail, including conditions one should practice and the actual method of practice. It is said that the yogi-saint Milarepa used this practice when he was surrounded by snow without sufficient provisions and a proper shelter, to keep himself warm. She narrates that practitioners even had competitions during which a wet cloth would be placed on a student’s shoulder and he was supposed to dry one cloth after another till the break of day, through the practice of tummo.

Gomchen Rinpoche gave her the name Yeshe Tome, meaning ‘Lamp of Wisdom‘. This proved very useful as she became known by this name to Buddhist authorities throughout Asia:

He had never been to Lhasa nor to Shigatze, nor travelled anywhere in Tibet and knew nothing of the world outside his cave. His master had lived there for more than thirty years, and when he died the present hermit had walled himself in.

Alexandra had a fondness for Buddhist debates, which she enjoyed due to their philosophical nature:

Both junior and senior students of philosophy hold discussions at regular dates. Often the latter take place in the open, and in all large lamaseries a shady garden, surrounded by walls, is reserved for that purpose.

Ritualistic gestures accompany the controversies and are a lively part of it. There are peculiar ways of turning one’s rosary around one’s arm, clapping one’s hands and stamping when putting a question: there are other prescribed ways of jumping when giving an answer or replying to one interrogation by another.

Later in her book she describes in detail a member of the Lung Gompa, who had developed the extraordinary ability to travel great distances at speed, through tantric means:

By that time he had nearly reached us; I could clearly see his perfectly calm impassive face and wide-open eyes with their gaze fixed on some invisible far-distant object situated somewhere high up in space. The man did not run. He seemed to lift himself from the ground, proceeding by leaps. It looked as if he had been endowed with the elasticity of a ball and rebounded each tine his feet touched the ground. His steps had the regularity of a pendulum. He wore the usual monastic robe and toga, both rather ragged. His left hand gripped a fold of the toga and was half hidden under the cloth. The right held a phurba. His right arm moved slightly at each step as if leaning on a stick, just as though the phurba, whose pointed extremity was far above the ground, had touched it and were actually a support.

While a tantric practitioner herself, she was well aware of the difficulties practitioners faced, and even mentions this in her description of tantra:

As for the method which mystics call the ‘Short Path,’ the ‘Direct Path,’ it is considered as most hazardous. It is – according to the masters who teach it – as if instead of following the road which goes round a mountain ascending gradually towards its summit, one attempted to reach it in straight line, climbing perpendicular rocks and crossing chasms on a rope. Only first rate equilibrists, exceptional athletes, completely free from giddiness, can hope to succeed in such a task. Even the fittest may fear sudden exhaustion or dizziness. And there inevitably follows a dreadful fall in which the too presumptuous alpinist breaks his bones.

 

Books by Alexandra David- Néel

 Book-MagicAndMysteryInTibet Book-MyJourneyToLhasa  Book-ATibetanJourney
Magic and Mystery in Tibet (download PDF) My Journey to Lhasa (download PDF) A Tibetan Journey (download PDF)
 Book-TheSecretOralTeachings  Book-TheSecretLives
The Secret Oral Teachings in Tibetan Buddhist Sects (download PDF) The Secret Lives of Alexandra David-Neel (download PDF)

The texts above were sourced from legitimate book-hosting services offering these texts for free download. They are made available here for purely educational, non-commercial purposes.

 

  • Pour la vie. 1898
  • Le Philosophe Meh-ti et l’idée de solidarité. 1907
  • Les Théories individualistes dans la philosophie chinoise. 1909
  • Le Modernisme bouddhiste et le Bouddhisme du Bouddha. 1911
  • Souvenirs d’une Parisienne au Thibet. 1925
  • Voyage d’une Parisienne à Lhassa, à pied et en mendiant de la Chine à l’Inde à travers le Tibet. 1927
  • Mystiques et magiciens du Thibet (Magic and Mystery in Tibet). 1929
  • Initiations lamaïques. Des theories – des pratiques – des homes. 1930
  • La Vie surhumaine de Guésar de Ling le héros thibétain, racontée par les bardes de son pays. (avec la collaboration du lama Yongden). 1931
  • Au pays des brigands gentils-hommes. Grand Tibet. 1933
  • Le Lama aux cinq sagesses – Romain tibétain. 1935 (par lama Yongden et A. David-Néel)
  • Le Bouddhisme – Ses doctrines et ses méthodes. 1936
  • Magie d’amour et magie noire. Scènes du Tibet inconnu. 1938
  • Sous des nuées d’orage. 1940
  • A l’ouest barbare de la vaste Chine. 1947
  • Au Coeur des Himalayas. Le Népal. 1949
  • L’Inde. Hier – Aujourd’hui – Demain. 1951
  • Astavakra Gîtâ. Discours sur le Vedânta advaïta (traduit du sanscrit). 1951
  • Les Enseignements secrets des bouddhistes tibétains. La vue pénétrante. 1951
  • Textes tibétains inédits. 1952
  • Le Vieux Tibet face à la Chine nouvelles. 1953
  • La Puissance du néant (par lama Yongden). 1954
  • La Connaissance transcendants d’après le texte et les commentaires tibétains. 1958
  • Avadhuta Gîtâ de Dattatraya. Poème mystique Vedânta advaïta. 1958
  • Le Bouddhisme du Bouddha, ses doctrines, ses methods et ses développements mahâyânistes et tantriques au Tibet. 1960
  • Immortalité et reincarnation. Doctrines et pratiques. Chine-Tibet-Inde 1961
  • Quarante siècles d’expansion chinoise. 1964
  • L’Inde où j’ai vécu. Avant et après l’Indépendance. 1969

 

Published after her death by Marie-Madeleine Peyronnet:

  • En Chine – L’amour universel et l’individualisme integral – Les Maîtres Mo-Tsé et Yong-Tchou. 1970
  • Le sortilege du mystère – Faits étranges et gens bizarres rencontrés au long de mes routes d’Orient et d’Occident. 1972
  • Journal de voyage – Lettres à son mari (11 august 1904-27 – 27 december 1917)
  • Vivre au Tibet – cuisine, Traditions et Images. 1975
  • Journal de voyage – Lettres à son mari (14 janvier 1918 – 3 December 1940). 1976
  • La lampe the sagesse (Thoughts and maxims of Alexandra David-Néel found in her notebooks and her correspondence). 1986

 

Old Age

Aged 78, Alexandra David-Néel returned to France to arrange the estate of her late husband, and began writing from her home in Digne, where she worked tirelessly. It was on October 7, 1955, Lama Aphur Yongden passed away, leaving Alexandra alone. His ashes were kept safe in the Tibetan oratory of Samten Dzong, awaiting scattering in the Ganges river, together with those of Alexandra after her death.

Alexandra in her old age

As she aged, she suffered from articular rheumatism and the discomfort of the increasing paralysis in her legs and deformation of the hands. In April 1957, she left Samten Dzong in order to live in Monaco with a friend who had been typing her manuscripts. She decided then to live alone in a hotel, moving from one place to the next, till June 1959, when she was introduced to a young woman, Marie-Madeleine Peyronnet, her new personal secretary.

Marie-Madeleine Peyronnet would stay with Alexandra until the end, watching over her like a daughter over her mother. Alexandra David-Néel even nicknamed her ‘Turtle’.

Marie-Madeleine on the far right, who would stay with Alexandra until her death in 1969

Alexandra David-Néel passed away on September 8, 1969, almost 101 years old. In 1973, Marie-Madeleine Peyronnet took her ashes to Varanasi to be scattered with those of her beloved adopted son, Lama Aphur Yongden, into the Ganges.

 

More Incredible Photos of Alexandra David-Néel

Alexandra David-Néel (centre; seated) with Silacara Bhikkhu, a Theravadan monk (left) and her main Guru Gomchen Rinpoche of Lachen (right). This photo was taken in Sikkim in 1913. Silacara Bhikkhu was a British national born on October 22, 1871 in Hull, Yorkshire (England). He became a Buddhist monk in 1906 and died on January 27, 1951 in Chichester, West Sussex (England).

Alexandra David-Néel (centre; seated) with Silacara Bhikkhu, a Theravadan monk (left) and her main Guru Gomchen Rinpoche of Lachen (right). This photo was taken in Sikkim in 1913. Silacara Bhikkhu was a British national born on October 22, 1871 in Hull, Yorkshire (England). He became a Buddhist monk in 1906 and died on January 27, 1951 in Chichester, West Sussex (England).

Alexandra David-Néel with the 9th Panchen Lama's mother at Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Shigatse, Tibet (1916).

Alexandra David-Néel with the 9th Panchen Lama’s mother at Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Shigatse, Tibet (1916).

Alexandra David-Néel and Sidkeong Tulku Namgyal in Sikkim (c. 1912).

Alexandra David-Néel and Sidkeong Tulku Namgyal in Sikkim (c. 1912).

Alexandra David-Néel (in white dress) with Sidkeong Tulku Namgyal (first row; middle seated) and monks at Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim (c. 1912).

Alexandra David-Néel (in white dress) with Sidkeong Tulku Namgyal (first row; middle seated) and monks at Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim (c. 1912).

Alexandra David-Néel poses in Sikkimese traditional dress, in Sikkim (c. 1913).

Alexandra David-Néel poses in Sikkimese traditional dress, in Sikkim (c. 1913).

Alexandra David-Néel with Tibetans in Eastern Tibet (1921).

Alexandra David-Néel with Tibetans in Eastern Tibet (1921).

Alexandra David-Néel (seated) with Tibetans in Eastern Tibet (c. 1921).

Alexandra David-Néel (seated) with Tibetans in Eastern Tibet (c. 1921).

Alexandra David-Néel at Tashi Lhunpo Monastery (the seat of His Holiness the Panchen Lama), where she met with His Holiness the 9th Panchen Lama. Taken in Shigatse, Tibet in 1916.

Alexandra David-Néel at Tashi Lhunpo Monastery (the seat of His Holiness the Panchen Lama), where she met with His Holiness the 9th Panchen Lama. Taken in Shigatse, Tibet in 1916.

Alexandra David-Néel in Nepal (1912).

Alexandra David-Néel in Nepal (1912).

Alexandra David-Néel (seated) with Silacara Bhikkhu, a Theravadan monk (left) and the 3rd Lachen Gomchen (right). Taken in Sikkim (c. 1914).

Alexandra David-Néel (seated) with Silacara Bhikkhu, a Theravadan monk (left) and the 3rd Lachen Gomchen (right). Taken in Sikkim (c. 1914).

 

Interviews with Alexandra David-Néel (Tibet, India, China)

Or view the video on the server at:
https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/InterviewsWithAlexandraDavidNeel.mp4

 

Le petit Tibet d’Alexandra David-Neel

Or view the video on the server at:
https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/AlexandraDavidNeelMovie.mp4

 

J’irai au pays des neiges

Or view the video on the server at:
https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/AlexandraDavidNeelMovie2.mp4

Or view the video on the server at:
https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/AlexandraLifeandTimes.mp4

 

Alexandra David–Néel: From Sikkim to Forbidden Tibet

Or view the video on the server at:
https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/FromSikkimToForbiddenTibet.mp4

A very touching and beautiful documentary on Alexandra David-Néel as recounted by her personal secretary.  It has wonderful English subtitles and a must watch. Very inspirational. I highly recommend this.

 

Want to Connect More with David-Néel?

Public fascination of Alexandra David-Néel has endured since her passing, and her incredible life and works have been the subject of numerous books and documentaries. While the majority of them are in French, Alexandra’s own native languages, these two videos featured here (produced by CCTV) are in English. They form part of a documentary series on other interesting and notable foreigners who explored China and Tibet like Joseph Rock.

Or view the video on the server at:
https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/AlexandraDavidNeel-1.mp4

Or view the video on the server at:
https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/AlexandraDavidNeel-2.mp4

You can also connect more deeply with Alexandra David-Néel by visiting her home in France, which is now a historical monument and museum dedicated to her works and life.

Address: 27 Avenue du Marechal Juin, 04000 Digne les Bains, France
Phone Number: +33 4 92 31 32 38
For more information (French): http://www.alexandra-david-neel.fr
http://www.alexandra-david-neel.com/
http://www.boutique-tibetaine-alexandra-david-neel.com/

Entrance to the museum is free and all tours are guided. A maximum of 20 people are allowed per visit.

Opening Hours
  • July, August: Every day at 10 am, 2 pm, 3:30 pm (please arrive in advance, the visits being limited to 20 persons)
  • September to November: From Tuesday till Sunday: 10 am, 2 pm, 3:30 pm
  • December to March: From Tuesday till Sunday: 2 pm, 3:30 pm
  • April to June: From Tuesday till Sunday: 10 am, 2 pm, 3:30 pm
 MuseumADN-01  MuseumADN-02
The outside of Alexandra David-Néel’s home, now a museum. Click to enlarge. Prayer flags flap in the wind outside the museum dedicated to David-Néel’s life and works. Click to enlarge.
 MuseumADN-03  MuseumADN-04
The wind carries the blessings of the prayers printed onto the flags. Click to enlarge. The peaceful entrance to the museum, formerly David-Néel’s residence. Click to enlarge.
 MuseumADN-05  MuseumADN-06
The reception area of the museum dedicated to Alexandra David-Néel. Click to enlarge. Peaceful grounds but ever the explorer, these never tempted David-Néel to stay for long. Click to enlarge.
 MuseumADN-07  MuseumADN-08
A memorial plaque dedicated to Tibetans lost in the 1950 Chinese Cultural Revolution. Click to enlarge. The entrance to Samten Dzong, Alexandra David-Néel’s home. Click to enlarge.
 MuseumADN-09  MuseumADN-10
Plaques explaining that the site is a historical monument. Click to enlarge. A set-up of a puja and prayer room inside Samten Dzong, a sight David-Néel would have become familiar with on her travels. Click to enlarge.
 MuseumADN-11  MuseumADN-12
Inside the main entrance of David-Néel’s home, Samten Dzong. Click to enlarge. Inside David-Néel’s office in Samten Dzong. Click to enlarge.
 MuseumADN-13  MuseumADN-14
Visit the museum to connect with the first Western person to interview the 13th Dalai Lama. Click to enlarge. Gorgeous, expansive views surround Samten Dzong. Click to enlarge.
 MuseumADN-15
Hidden amongst the foliage is Samten Dzong, David-Néel’s home. Click to enlarge.

 

The Adventurous Life of Alexandra David-Neel by Alexander Maitland

Alexander Maitland, an author/ biographer explores Alexandra David-Neel’s life, travels and her fascinating sojourns among magicians on the Roof of the World in this public talk at The Buddhist Society, London.

Or view the video on the server at:
https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/AlexandraByAlexanderMaitland.mp4

 

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30 Responses to Alexandra David-Néel

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  1. Chris Chong on Feb 7, 2018 at 10:06 am

    Thank you for sharing the story of this incredible lady. Her determination in getting dharma and practicing the dharma in Tibet is very strong. No sickness , laws and hardship can deter this strong lady in pursuing what she wants, which is to meditate in a cave up in the mountains. It is amazing how dharma can influence one’s life choices and also maintain one’s mind. She is amazingly sharp and quick for a lady who is almost 101 years old. Even at her age, she renewed her passport which indicates that she wanted to continue travelling. The picture of her sitting outside her retreat cave is inspiring .

  2. Tsem Rinpoche on Jul 30, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    When I was very young, down the street from where I lived in Howell, New Jersey was a Kalmuck lady who was very spiritual. She was my friend at the time. She was in her 30’s and had a large collection of spiritual books of which many were on Buddhism. I would borrow books from her quite often and read. She would have read them and give me her thoughts on the books and highly recommend this one or that one. I would then read the books she recommended and we would often discuss about them. It was a very enjoyable time in my life. I miss this friend very much. Some of the books she had were from Professor Garma C.C. Chang, Govinda, Alexander David-Neel, Evans-Wentz, John Blofeld, etc.. and I read some of them. Those books inspired me so much. My conversations with this friend inspired me so much and I enjoyed her spiritual company tremendously. That was one part of my childhood that was good.

    I have all these books by these great authors in my library now and still read them. I have made them available from Kechara for invite and also will have them in the future Kechara library coming up.

  3. Freon on Jun 12, 2017 at 12:37 am

    Dear Pastor

    It is very inspiring to read about Alexandra David- Neel. She was so determine to get what she want and she never let the obstacles be an excuses to stop her from achieving what she wanted.

    Amazing for a lady to travel to Tibet, despite world war, authority, language, sickness, she just went all the way to Tibet. Even to the extend pretended to be Tibetan. At this point i admire her determination, her courage and the strength she have.

    Is an inspiring story for me.

    Thank you for this write up, Pastor. Even to the extend some of the books, i could download to read it.

    With appreciation,
    Freon

  4. June Kang on May 14, 2017 at 11:53 pm

    看这篇Alexandra David –Neel 的故事,感觉上她是很传奇又神话般的女士/女藏学家/女探险家/女英雄,佩服她了不起的勇气,在极不习惯的条件和极限下,徒步穿过大部分未曾有人探险考察过的地区,横跨八个月的雪域之旅,让人惊叹,在她那个时代,有多少女性会像她对西藏充满了无限的热爱和崇拜?因为她的勇气,当时西藏以外的人们才能了解到西藏的风俗习惯、宗教信仰、社会经济、历史、文化及政治情况。她所写有关西藏的一些著作被译成了德文、荷兰文、西班牙文和捷克文,间接把藏传佛教带进当时欧洲,对那些想了解藏传佛教启蒙者有很大的帮助,所以她本身的著作对欧洲佛教是很大贡献,是值得我们学习的对象。

  5. Joy on May 13, 2017 at 1:01 am

    When I read this concise bio about Alexandra David-Neel, it gives me an impression of a lady who is seeking for a higher purpose. She definitely took the road less travelled and she really followed her heart and her passion in exploring spirituality to the fullest. This is a clear sign of someone who has great spiritual imprints and definitely she was no ordinary woman!

    Even today not many people would be interested, let alone brave the very harsh environment of Tibet, yet she did with so much drive and determination to explore Tibet. Her story is one that is inspiring as it encourages us, girls, to not limit ourselves, just because we are girls and to also follow our passion wholeheartedly. She is not only courageous, she is also very focused and determined, and she never gives up, no matter how many times she was caught entering Tibet, she still persisted, each time disguising herself better. So if it is Dharma we choose to do, then we should go all they way and do it, to surrender and give our all. She is definitely someone who has led a very meaningful life.

    I find the black and white picture of her sitting outside her retreat hu most inspiring and inviting… inviting us to also go into retreat in a remote quiet environment.

  6. Uncle Eddie on May 12, 2017 at 11:17 am

    In accordance with the write-up of the short synopsis on the life of Alexandra David-Neel, she was described as been one born “with the wind beneath the feet,” a Buddhist oriental and a born writer. Born in France, but dedicated her whole life to the study of “Asian culture and religion”, with most of her books focus on Buddhism and she likes sharing with the Western World! As always been taught by Guru, our aim in taking the spiritual path is to transform ourselves with a view to helping others and ourselves to be ‘free’ from sufferings. This may at first make aware of our present powerless to do so. Then comes the desire to improve ourselves so as to overcome that obstacle, as what we can see in Alexandra David-neel’s outstanding case that, it was what exactly she was doing and finally with endless hardwork, sacrifices and patience, has achieved her aim! Like Alexandra, we sometimes have to feel like explorers, burning with desire to do what’s worth doing. Of cousre, the key of spiritual practice is to gain control over our mind, but as said, the ultimate well-being comes from fully eliminating delusion and mental toxins, and thus sufferings! My deepest wish is hopefully with whatever ideas and good and essential point gathered in this sensational article may serve as important tiny bright lights along the path guiding us to reach the ultimate happiness of all beings! As Shantideva has said, “As long as space endures, and as long as sentient beings exist, May I, too, remain, to dispel the misery of the World.” Thank you Pastor Antionette Kass for the sharing.

  7. Tek Lee on May 11, 2017 at 1:48 am

    Thank you Pastor Antoinette for sharing this lovely article. Alexandra David-Néel is a Bodhisatva, she must had done very meritorious thing in her previous life to bring her to this life to pursue for Dharma. Practicing Buddhism in her country is almost not possible during that era in her country. Yet, she was not defeated by the hardship she went through, and go all the way for Dharma. It must be her imprint from her previous life that lead her there. She reminds me of nobody else but our very own Pastor Antoinette. I didn’t mean that Pastor Antoinette went all the hard way to be in Dharma, I mean she came from very far oversea Luxumberg all the way to Malaysia, and became Pastor (Sangha to be), which is really very precious. Many people in their very own country, in their very own hometown, still unable to meet Dharma. May Dharma be stronger and spread to all directions, so that it can reach many other countries to let people practice Dharma, and benefit more people. _/\_

  8. Vivian Ong on May 10, 2017 at 11:17 pm

    Thank you Pastor Antoinette and Pastor Jean Ai for posting this article. I’m amazed at Alenxandra as she is a tough lady and went through many hardships in her life. She also liked and started to practice Buddhism in that era which we could hardly find a Westerner practising it.

    With folded palms,
    Vivian

  9. Pastor Antoinette on May 10, 2017 at 7:33 am

    The life of Alexandra David-Néel is showing that eventhough the conditions are very difficult and unlikely to do, we can reach our goal. Her wish and determination to discover Tibet and to share it with the world has given us a wonderful legacy to read and see by visiting her home Samten Dzong.

    Thank you Pastor Jean Ai for revisiting the article and adding more interesting information and videos from this pioneer from the West.

    The books from Alexandra David-Néel are an inspiration and a treasure to read. Tibet with the monasteries, people, customs and practitices can be discovered through Alexandra David-Néel’s books. Through her sacrifices, inspiration and tremendous hardship, we have the opportunity to dive into the old Tibet and read about it.

    Thank you Rinpoche for giving everyone the opportunity, through this blog, to discover the old Tibet through Alexandra David-Néel.

  10. Pastor Chia on May 10, 2017 at 3:27 am

    Alexandra termination for traveling explore to get more knowledge is very inspiring. With her effort and writing. Western country people able to connect with sacred vajrayana practice in Tibet from the last century. What incredible is Alexandra also the female tantric practitioner from westerner which link the Buddhism from East to the West. Without her avenger journey for her whole life, non of this will happen. Her whole life experience with her journey to the East has dedicated benefit many people.

  11. Mingwen on May 10, 2017 at 1:29 am

    Incredible life stories! So much adventures for a lady from French, 2 centuries ago.

    Nothing is impossible, It’s just difficult! Determination, passion, kindness will lead us to the same way

  12. Justin Cheah on May 9, 2017 at 11:46 pm

    Alexandra gives me an impression as though she is back into this life looking for something. I think she must have made strong prayers to be able to be reconnected back with Buddha’s teachings and be close to Buddhism in her previous life. Her inclination is very strong and I am impressed with her strong will to make it to Lhasa despite facing obstacles after obstacles. She is one real traveller and am glad that I have read one of the most inspiring and interesting life story of a person in Alexandra who lived up to 101 years old. Thank you PAK and PJA for researching and writing this article.

  13. pammie yap on May 9, 2017 at 11:33 pm

    Thank you Pastor Antoinette for such an inspiring life story!
    Even since young, her imprints was strong and her curiosity for so many things is amazing! Even meeting high Lamas at a young age showed that her previous aspirations must have been strong. She did things that many people at her age would not want. Why would someone want to live a hard life when you can have a comfortable one?

    Even with many obstacles, she persevered and went on. Such strong spirit! When I read about the conditions she had to endure just to get to Lhasa, I was shocked and amazed at the same time. She is a real strong woman mentally and physically. Spending so much time travelling just to learn. And when she realised she didn’t have more time, instead of resting and writing more books, she continued travelling! Unbelievable!
    H.E. Tsem Rinpoche is another great example of someone who persevered in finding His spiritual path and He did not stop even though He had many obstacles. Today, we have Kechara Organisation where many are benefitting from. https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/h-e-the-25th-tsem-tulku-rinpoches-biography.html

  14. Eric kksiow on May 9, 2017 at 11:25 pm

    Such an interesting article to talked about Alexandra David-Néel, she’s make me think of Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo. She ( Alexandra David-Néel ) don’t give up for her spiritual practices ( journey ), i really admire to all the monks and nuns who’s never give up their spiritual practices and go all the way.

    More info of Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo – https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/videos/tenzin-palmo-cave-in-the-snow.html

    From the deep of my heart
    Much respect _/\_ to all of them ( Monks and Nuns )
    Thank You PAK & PJA for this wonderful article.
    _/\_

  15. Pastor Henry Ooi on May 9, 2017 at 11:14 pm

    Alexandra could have been an adventurer in one of her previous lives for her to have such an early imprint as a young child with the yearn to travel. Perhaps in another life she was born in the Himalayan region. Her story is an inspiration, more so for a woman during her time who broke all rules to explore countries far away from France. Her sheer determination is admirable, true grit.
    This story relates to Rinpoche’s longing to be on a mountain or in a valley surrounded by lush beautiful landscape, water flowing from the mountains forming a crustal clear lake, sharing the land with other creatures of the wild. Living in harmony with nature, making offerings to Buddhas, engaging in spiritual retreats

  16. Pastor Albert on May 9, 2017 at 10:37 pm

    it is really inspiring reading the life story of David-Néel. In some ways, I felt that she is very similar to H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche, such as pursuing something they believe in, even though there are many obstacles, but they will never give up, if one way cant work, they will try another way until they succeed, as Rinpoche always say “what’s there to lose”? Even if we tried till last minute, we only go back to what we were before, there is nothing to lose for trying, but everything to lose for not trying.

    For David-Néel, I cannot imagine the difficulties she has to go through, being born in the time where Buddhist is not so popular in European countries, being born as a female that is encouraged to only get married and take care of the family, being born in a very conservative era, but David-Néel did not bend down to her ‘fate’, she decided to go against the stream and took a different route to chase after her dream, she dedicated her 101 years of life pursuing her Dharma and nothing else but only Dharma in her life.

    She has definitely lived up her life so beautifully, thank you Pastor Antoinette and the team for researching and sharing David-Néel’s life story.

  17. Andrea Lai on May 9, 2017 at 10:31 pm

    Wow! Such an interesting and adventurous story of Alexandra David Neel. I really admire her bravery, confidence and her strong determination and great interest on searching knowledge on Tibetan Buddhism and cultures. Despite of her race and discrimination from entering Lhasa, she never gave up hopes. Obstacles kept coming to her on her spiritual journey and she faced it with much tolerance, endurance and her attempted on achieving her dreams bare fruits in the end. What I like about this lovely lady was her courage, determination and compassion towards her desire on achieving her goal. This is the actual quality one person should acquired in Life.
    I think, Mdm. Alexandra have create a very good karma for herself in this life and next. May she will meet her guru in her next life and continue her spiritual journey to enlightenment. Thank you Rinpoche, Pastor Antoinette and Pastor Jean Ai for sharing this wonderful article.

  18. nicholas on May 9, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    Alexander really led a remarkable life. She live her life as an spiritual explorer to seek for her interest in spirituality. Her courage and never give up spirit didn’t stop her not matter how hard the situation is and with that motivation and perseverance she really go all the way and achieve what she wants. She has a strong realisation from young where she felt that she was wasting time just enjoying holiday with family. Through the spiritual journey she had learn so much and she really fully utilise her life for spiritual and till the end of her life. Inspiring journey and attitude she has.

    Her journey seeking for spirituality just remind me of H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche where left home at early age to seek for his spiritual. From very young Tsem Rinpoche always incline with Buddhism and met the great Lama to learn and with his perseverance even gone through so much hardship, Rinpoche continue to with his believe to be a monk and benefited so many people now not only in Malaysia but also many people around the world through the internet.

  19. Samfoonheei on May 5, 2017 at 11:56 am

    Interesting story …. the adventurous life of Alexandra David Neel.She so courageous,determination and adventurous for such a lady to travel to unknown places to seek Buddhiam knowledge.I do admired her will power and determination.Travelling at that time was really hard,could not imagine that situation.She made it somehow after so many attempts to cross to Tibet. Found her guru,started her spiritual journey and wrote a number of books about Buddhist practices. It is amazing how determined Alexandra David-Néel was.Hope this will inspired more westerner to travel to seek more of Buddism practice.And this will also encourage and inspired us all.
    Thank you Pastor Antoinette for sharing. I do enjoyed reading these post.Will try to get some of Alexandra David Neel’s book.

  20. Julia on May 3, 2017 at 2:14 am

    Thank you Pastor Antoinette. Very interesting and inspiring write up. Alexandra David Neel made full use of her life which is 101 years chasing for what she believed. She following her heart all the way, which I believe due to her strong imprint from her pass life and finally found her guru and started her tantric path during her older age.

    It’s really not easy as a woman at that century to pursue a dream and successful. She over come so much of hardship by having that determination and passion in her mind to look for her spiritual path. She not only opened up the mystery of tantric to the west, she also written down the history from the unexploited part of the spiritual world at that time.

    I would love to read her books. It was amazed to read about her tantric practice in the book The Magic and Mystery of Tibet here.

  21. Anne Ong on Dec 10, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    Thank you Pastor Antoinette for sharing an interesting story about the adventurous life of Alexandra David Neel. I really admire for her independant mind at a very young to wandering off alone. And strong courage,brave and determination to travel all the way to Tibet to pursue spirituality. Definitely an awe inspiring read and should be an encouragement for me and everyone to overcome my easy obstacles to reach higher spiritual goals.

  22. Sock Wan on Nov 24, 2016 at 11:24 am

    Thank you Pastor Antoinette for sharing with us the life of this adventurous woman called Alexandra David-Neel. It is For a woman in her era, it must have been difficult for her having a different thinking from the ‘normal people’. She liked to explored and she took the courage to explore to far east, to countries she had no idea how they were like. She was never restricted by her gender or her age, I read that at her very old age, she was still writing books.

    She has left behind so many information about Tibet and Buddhist practices, back then it was something very remarkable. She must also have heard a lot of people telling her she cannot do this, she cannot do that, but she did not listen to them and went ahead anyway. We all have our potential, do not let others discourage us. What they don’t want to do or cannot do, does not mean we would not be able to do.

  23. Wan Wai Meng on Jul 29, 2016 at 1:58 am

    What an interesting article about this lady who travelled in search of knowledge and she was not afraid of any kind of hardship. Thank you for this lovely article a most eye opening, Western take at learning about spirituality.

  24. Sofi on Mar 30, 2016 at 9:51 pm

    Thank you Pastor Antoinette for the wonderful write up on Alexandra David Neel. I am absolutely amazed at her courage to fulfill her wanderlust and spiritual exploration. She must have very strong imprints from her past lives to have that urge to seek spiritual although faced with so much obstacles, especially during the times where women either marry or join the convent. She display extraordinary observations and memory, remembering from as young as two years of age, when her father brought her to the cemetery to witness death.
    Her journey of discovery sounds so like an adventurous story book but I am sure it had been fraught with danger and hardship, which she took on as a challenge to be overcome. I certainly would be enthralled at her feet listening to her life.
    Definitely an awe inspiring read and should be an encouragement for me to overcome my easy obstacles to reach higher spiritual goals.

  25. Datuk May on Mar 5, 2016 at 6:12 pm

    I have never heard of nor read about Alexandra David Neel, but reading it now through the contribution of Pastor Antionette, I am both amazed at her feat to study and learn Buddhism.

    Imagine what she had to go through to achieve her knowledge in her faith during the 19th Century when airplanes were non existent. I admire her tenacity to achieve enhancement to her faith. Her affinity and imprint of the Dharma must be huge.

    Today for many of us, we can study the Dharma from the internet and all that is needed is to sit down and do so. It is with this ease that I rejoice and that the Dharma will be learnt by many more people.

    • Pastor Antoinette Kass on Mar 14, 2016 at 8:19 pm

      Dear Datuk May,

      Indeed it is amazing how determined Alexandra David-Néel was. The situation for women was already difficult at that time but she found her way even through the Himalayas and to Tibet. She put a lot of effort to study and share about her travels and the practices she had learnt when very few from the West have travelled so far.

      Thank you for your comment.

  26. Sarah on Mar 3, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    I enjoyed reading this article very much. Thank you Pastor Antoinette. I love reading about spiritual journeys like this one about Alexandra David-Neel. She was indeed a deeply spiritual person and she led a fascinating life. It is said that she was the first woman to interview the 13th Dalai Lama. The first eye-witness account of a lung gompa that reached the Western world came from the graphic description she gave in her book “With Mystics and Magicians in Tibet”.

    Another interesting traveler and researcher of Tibetan culture was Lama Anagarika Govinda who, in his autobiographical work, “The Way of the Clouds”, wrote about Alexandra David-Neel’s work and experiences in Tibet. In 1932, when he was in Gangtok, Sikkim, he stayed with a Sikkimese nobleman called Enche Kazi. He said that he stayed in the same house Lama Yongden had lived as a young boy, serving the family to earn his livelihood and education, since he came from a poor family. It was in Enche Kazi’s house that Alexandra David-Neel met Yongden and decided to take him with her with the Kazi’s consent. According to Lama Govinda, this decision completely changed Yongden’s life as well as her own, and helped to make Tibet known to millions of readers all over the world.

    • Pastor Antoinette Kass on Mar 10, 2016 at 8:11 pm

      Dear Sarah,

      You have inspired me to research and write about Lama Anagarika Govinda. Please see here: http://bit.ly/1RBuKyX

      Thank you for your kind comment.

  27. JP on Mar 2, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    I have never heard of Alexandra David-Neel. But having read this article of her, it gave me an insight of how this curious and determined lady bull dozed her way to learn and quench her curiosity. I can imagine how tremendously difficult it must have been for her to travel alone in a time where it was unheard of for a lady to go to distant places in Asia, let alone Tibet in pursuit of spirituality.

    We have it much easier compared to her when it comes to learning the dharma and other religions. Everything is on the internet and a flight away. So there is really no reason why we can’t dedicate some time to learn and practice any form of spirituality.

    Alexandra had the good merits and fortune to meet HH The 13th Dalai Lama and Panchen Rinpoche. It is through accounts written by people like her that we can get a glimpse of how life was back then in Tibet when Tibet was prohibited from foreigners.

    • Pastor Antoinette Kass on Mar 10, 2016 at 8:01 pm

      Dear JP,

      Indeed her determination was very strong and she benefited so many people by bringing Dharma to many people all over the world.

      Thank you for your comment.

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  • S.Prathap
    Thursday, May 28. 2020 04:47 PM
    Kyabje Yongyal Rinpoche is a very learned scholar, master of tantra whom were respected by many.Thank you Rinpoche for sharing with us,the wonderful meeting with Kyabje Yonyal Rinpoche in New York.
    It is wonderful and inspiring to see the demonstration of great respect among two great Masters.Thank you very much for the good article.
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, May 28. 2020 01:41 PM
    Wow what a great day …..the historic first Kalachakra initiation been held publicly in Tibet, China in the last 50 years. For most by H H the 11th Panchen Lama Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu. Many highly attained masters and incarnated lamas and teachers and more than hundred thousand over monks and nuns attended this auspicious event. Looking at those beautiful pictures tells us all. So many of them it’s a blessing for them. With so many attending this event has proves that he is indeed the unmistaken incarnation as he is claimed by some as false and a fake Panchen Lama.
    With Panchen Lama as a spiritual leader, his influence made a huge impact on the Tibetans which is on the rise, this would be wonderful. In no time they might accept Dorje Shugden’s practice. Interesting read and blessing been able to see those beautiful pictures.
    Thank You Pastor David Lai for sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/historic-first-kalachakra-initiation-by-the-11th-panchen-lama.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, May 28. 2020 01:38 PM
    Arjia Rinpoche, one of the most important religious leaders to escape Tibet since the Dalai Lama fled into exile. A close friend of HH Dalai Lama and 10th Panchen Lama . At the age of two, he was recognized by the 10th Panchen Lama as the reincarnation of the father of Tsongkhapa who is the founder of the Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Rinpoche has spoken openly about unity and harmony in the community during the 30th Anniversary Commemoration of HH the 10th Panchen Lama’s Maha-Parinirvana. He has advised the Tibetans to stop discriminating against Dorje Shugden practitioners. No one should be discriminated just because of differences basis of their religious and spiritual faiths. Dorje Shugden as made a scapegoat by the Tibetan leadership for too long . Its time someone like Arjia Rinpoche or more people to speck up for the sake of world peace and harmony. Wonderful and simple speech yet clearly he spoke bravely on fulfilling the Panchen Lama’s wishes.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing of Arjia Rinpoche.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/arjia-rinpoche-says-dont-discriminate-against-dorje-shugden-people.html
  • S.Prathap
    Wednesday, May 27. 2020 03:27 PM
    To be living in such a beautiful house and nice surrounding would be really really nice! Looking at the pictures above, it makes me think of Enchanted Forest in KFR. Nature gives us all. This harmonious balance makes our souls happy.
    Houses like this are not only good for living in but working in as well. I would love to work in a environment like this. I’m sure I will be able to think better and work better.Thank you for the good article.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/natural-instinct.html?fbclid=IwAR3z999kypzMkJHpfG0UW6A8Wet-CXYsA3NbP8Dn-kVwoh7rbc1ToEF2Cm4
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, May 27. 2020 01:30 PM
    American basketball legend Stephon Marbury has played 13 years in the NBA . Been professional basketball the former NBA superstar , looked to the world of Chinese basketball. Having migrated there he brought the Chinese team to national victory, winning three Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) championships. Marbury applied for and received a Chinese “green card”, as he been popular inspiring players ,bringing the whole team a positive and fighting spirit to victory. He is the fifth American basketball player to receive a green card in China. After all not easy to apply one as a foreigner . He also earned the nickname Commissar Ma for his role as a mentor to the teammates and younger players while playing in China. Wow…China immortalised Marbury with an arena statue, and got him a postage stamp of him. That’s wonderful, as they appreciate of what he has done for China.
    Thank you for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/stephon-marbury-embraces-china.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, May 27. 2020 01:29 PM
    All religions share a similar message of peace and tolerance despite their differences. In the history of faith, there are so many beautiful and inspiring thoughts about creating peace and harmony among communities. We should help out to the poor or homeless regardless of race and of religion. Those Buddhist monks at Dhammarajika Monastery in Dhaka did a good job, in accord to Buddhist teachings. They gave out foods to the poor Muslims during Ramadan the Muslim fasting months. Looking at the pictures tells all. A wonderful way helping the hundreds poor people in the streets . That’s should be the way , well a rare example of religious harmony . Helping and giving are human strengths and weapons against the many arbitrary and malevolent dark forces that plague human existence.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/bangladeshi-buddhist-monks-feed-hundreds-of-poor-muslims-during-ramadan.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, May 26. 2020 02:07 PM
    Came across this old post. Inspiring…with worthy words from our Lama to HH Dalai Lama, all Gurus and the world. A New Year of 2011, wishing all guru’s works and supreme aspirations be fulfilled swiftly. Inspiring blessings for 2011,may our Lama ‘s wish be materialized and his teachings flourished to the ten direction. Even our Lama not with us yet the spiritual spirit will always be with all of us. Our Lama will be back soon.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/happy-2011-to-hh-dalai-lama-all-gurus-world.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, May 26. 2020 01:58 PM
    Religion and politics are two of the hardest things to talk about. Living in a country , we should be given religious freedom to choose what we want to pray. But it not mean we are spy of that country. Disappointed the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) accuses Dorje Shugden practitioners as Chinese agents just because they practice Dorje Shugden. Rinpoche has been accused by the CTA . They said that said Rinpoche was a spy and an agent paid by China. All these were definite not true at all. Rinpoche had received the Dorje Shugden’s practice 30 years ago, been passed down from Rinpoche’s Guru. Many high lamas have been practising Dorje Shugden for the last 400 years, it is ridiculous to say they were Chinese spies too. All major religious traditions carry basically the same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness. But sad the CTA ,having a fuss over it , and has created disharmony among Buddhist practitioners. It’s a matter of choice we choose to pray nothing political related to China. Just because we are Chinese , we are paid by the China , we are Chinese spies, that’s does not made sense at all. Regardless of our race or religion, we all want and need harmony. Hatred and conflict are often rooted in differences between people of different races and religions. We all need to respect people of different races as well as people of different faiths and religions.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/tsem-rinpoche-and-china.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, May 25. 2020 04:17 PM
    An agreement for living together by mutual consent is a marriage vow . As a similar line of thought, we believe all actual facts and in reality how and why Dorje Shugden arosed. Dorje Shugden arosed as our enlightened Dharma Protector as promised to protects the Dharma teachings. It’s a commitment between Dorje Shugden and Gelugpa lineage for more then 400 years, still going stronger despite all those lies , controversy the Tibetan Leadership trying to create. The Tibetan Leadership is trying to break this strong relationship with all the allegations on Dorje Shugden. Many highly attained lamas and masters had propitiated for Dorje Shugden for years . They cannot be wrong in their practice after all. Dorje Shugde is not a devil or spirits as claimed by some. HH Dalai Lama already said its does not harm and we can practice. With the recent speech in India at Bodhgaya on 2nd January 2020, HH dalai Lama also said that if people wish to practise Dorje Shugden as a birth deity or land god (Tibetan: kye lha yul lha), THAT WOULD BE FINE.
    Thank you Seow Choong Liang for the wonderful analogy to understand better.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/guest-contributors/speak-now-or-forever-hold-your-peace.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, May 25. 2020 04:15 PM
    Megnath a student of our Lama and very much devoted to Bhagawan Dorje Shugden. Did a wonderful sharing with his family memevers and friends back in Nepal . He has trusted Dorje Shugden sincerely and his prayers were answered. Very nice of him spreading dharma as well introducing our Powerful Protector Dorje Shugden practice to anyone he come across. Wow…. He even shared to the school children, every student received a picture of Dorje Shugden from him . May those who see the pictures will be blessed. Looking at those pictures in this post tell all.
    Thank you for Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/students-friends/dorje-shugden-arrives-in-nepali-school.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, May 24. 2020 04:56 PM
    Buddhist Temples of Siem Reap , Cambodia is amazing filled with incredible architecture, Khmer Culture. The beautiful temples in Siem Reap is a must-see place when visiting. Buddhist Temples in Siem Reap each year attracted millions of visitors, especially those in the expansive Angkor Archeological Park. Well listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1992, there are about 50 Buddhist and Hindu temples dating back to the 12th century within its grounds. Simply amazing to see but I have not been there yet. Would wish to see for myself those beautiful ancient architectural temples.
    Looking at those beautiful pictures paints a thousands words. So many Buddhist temples to visit .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this wonderful sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/amazing-angkor-a-guide-to-the-buddhist-temples-of-siem-reap.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, May 24. 2020 04:56 PM
    Thank you, Pastor Shin, for this inspiring article. It is inspiring to read the biography of George Roerich a man of the highest spiritual harmony in 20th century Tibetologist. He is one of the greatest orientalists, linguists, and encyclopedists of the century. Inspiring of a man who could speak fluently more than 30 European and Asian languages and dialects . He was a brilliant expert in Eastern culture, religion and philosophy , having spent more than 35 years abroad living in India, Mongolia ,Tibet and . As a distinguished encyclopedic-scientist, he was well known in many countries around the world. His incredible work of thangkas paintings which he authored at the tender age of only 23 and books remained a legacy.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/george-roerich-light-of-the-morning-star.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, May 23. 2020 02:46 PM
    Very rare and precious video , to see how much affection between our Lama and Dorje Shugden was. Its not planned and of a sudden , during Rinpoche visit to that monastery and hotel, Dorje Shugden taking trance . According to the practices of Tibetan Buddhism, there are several ways to induce the trance state including dancing and music. But this was different as Rinpoche was at the monastery, a monk sudden went into trance . In the hotel an oracle monk-in-training took spontaneous trance too. While in trance, Dorje Shugden suddenly entered the oracle-monk in both occasion. Its a blessing able to see the oracles from the video.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Martin for this sharing .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/never-seen-before-footage-of-dorje-shugden-oracles.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, May 23. 2020 02:43 PM
    Beautiful Ganden Sumtseling Monastery, built in 1679, is the largest Gelug Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Yunnan province. Known as little Potala to many locals and tourist. Well this magnificent group builidngs of the monastery is so simply amazing. The main structure built in Tibetan style has a gold-covered copper roof similar to the one at the Potala Monastery in Lhasa. I was there few years back , looking at it is a blessing. It looks like a castle, a walled complex with group buildings including living quarters for monks and high lamas. I was so fortunate when I was there the monks were doing prayers . Listening to the prayers , with joy then in a tranquil place to dwell my soul.Offered some offerings to those beautiful Buddhas statues. Ganden Sumtseling Monastery, a hot destination in Yunnan, have been attracting thousands of locals and tourist yearly. A place worthy visiting and going on pilgrimage.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/ganden-sumtseling-monastery.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, May 22. 2020 08:11 PM
    Came across this wonderful post of Kyabje Zong Rinpoche’ precious teaching collections . Kyabje Zong Rinpoche was a highly attained master of the Gelug tradition. He was famous as a sharp analyst and master of philosophical debate, as well as a powerful Tantric practitioner. He had impeccable knowledge of all rituals, art and science. After retiring , Kyabje Zong travelled intensively to the West and embarked on a highly inspiring teaching tour to many countries such as US, Canada , Europe countries and so forth. At the time of writing this havn’t not watch and read all yet. I have bookmarked this post and will read it time from time to understand better. All i can say it rare and precious collections.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/his-holiness-kyabje-zong-rinpoches-precious-teaching-collection.html

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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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!

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The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

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According to legend, Shambhala is a place where wisdom and love reign, and there is no crime. Doesn\'t this sound like the kind of place all of us would love to live in? https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=204874
4 months ago
According to legend, Shambhala is a place where wisdom and love reign, and there is no crime. Doesn't this sound like the kind of place all of us would love to live in? https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=204874
108 candles and sang (incense) offered at our Wish-Fulfilling Grotto, invoking Dorje Shugden\'s blessings for friends, sponsors and supporters, wonderful!
4 months ago
108 candles and sang (incense) offered at our Wish-Fulfilling Grotto, invoking Dorje Shugden's blessings for friends, sponsors and supporters, wonderful!
Dharmapalas are not exclusive to Tibetan culture and their practice is widespread throughout the Buddhist world - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=193645
4 months ago
Dharmapalas are not exclusive to Tibetan culture and their practice is widespread throughout the Buddhist world - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=193645
One of our adorable Kechara Forest Retreat\'s doggies, Tara, happy and safe, and enjoying herself in front of Wisdom Hall which has been decorated for Chinese New Year
4 months ago
One of our adorable Kechara Forest Retreat's doggies, Tara, happy and safe, and enjoying herself in front of Wisdom Hall which has been decorated for Chinese New Year
Fragrant organic Thai basil harvested from our very own Kechara Forest Retreat farm!
4 months ago
Fragrant organic Thai basil harvested from our very own Kechara Forest Retreat farm!
On behalf of our Puja House team, Pastor Tat Ming receives food and drinks from Rinpoche. Rinpoche wanted to make sure the hardworking Puja House team are always taken care of.
4 months ago
On behalf of our Puja House team, Pastor Tat Ming receives food and drinks from Rinpoche. Rinpoche wanted to make sure the hardworking Puja House team are always taken care of.
By the time I heard about Luang Phor Thong, he was already very old, in his late 80s. When I heard about him, I immediately wanted to go and pay my respects to him. - http://bit.ly/LuangPhorThong
4 months ago
By the time I heard about Luang Phor Thong, he was already very old, in his late 80s. When I heard about him, I immediately wanted to go and pay my respects to him. - http://bit.ly/LuangPhorThong
It\'s very nice to see volunteers helping maintain holy sites in Kechara Forest Retreat, it\'s very good for them. Cleaning Buddha statues is a very powerful and effective way of purifying body karma.
4 months ago
It's very nice to see volunteers helping maintain holy sites in Kechara Forest Retreat, it's very good for them. Cleaning Buddha statues is a very powerful and effective way of purifying body karma.
Kechara Forest Retreat is preparing for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations. This is our holy Vajra Yogini stupa which is now surrounded by beautiful lanterns organised by our students.
5 months ago
Kechara Forest Retreat is preparing for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations. This is our holy Vajra Yogini stupa which is now surrounded by beautiful lanterns organised by our students.
One of the most recent harvests from our Kechara Forest Retreat land. It was grown free of chemicals and pesticides, wonderful!
5 months ago
One of the most recent harvests from our Kechara Forest Retreat land. It was grown free of chemicals and pesticides, wonderful!
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
10 months ago
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
10 months ago
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
10 months ago
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
10 months ago
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959- https://bit.ly/2S9VMGX
11 months ago
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959- https://bit.ly/2S9VMGX
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
11 months ago
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
11 months ago
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
12 months ago
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat\'s land here in Malaysia
12 months ago
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat's land here in Malaysia
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
12 months ago
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
12 months ago
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
12 months ago
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
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The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
Sacred Vajra Yogini
12 months ago
Sacred Vajra Yogini
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
12 months ago
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
1 years ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha\'s mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
1 years ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha's mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha\'s. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
1 years ago
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha's. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
1 years ago
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
1 years ago
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
This is pretty amazing!

First Sri Lankan Buddhist temple opened in Dubai!!!
1 years ago
This is pretty amazing! First Sri Lankan Buddhist temple opened in Dubai!!!
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche

Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
1 years ago
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can\'t stop thinking of you and I can\'t forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
1 years ago
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can't stop thinking of you and I can't forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
1 years ago
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
1 years ago
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
1 years ago
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
1 years ago
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
1 years ago
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
1 years ago
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
1 years ago
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
1 years ago
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
DON\'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
1 years ago
DON'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
1 years ago
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
1 years ago
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
1 years ago
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
1 years ago
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
1 years ago
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
1 years ago
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
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ASK A PASTOR


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

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CHAT PICTURES

Our team have been working extra hours for the past few weeks to deliver provisions and hamper goodies to the needy families before Hari Raya! Heart warming to see the smiling faces of our recipients upon receiving 3 bags full of food and daily used items. Thanks to everyone of you who have contributed to our foodbank enabling us to give all our recipients (especially those celebrating) a Raya to remember! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
7 hours ago
Our team have been working extra hours for the past few weeks to deliver provisions and hamper goodies to the needy families before Hari Raya! Heart warming to see the smiling faces of our recipients upon receiving 3 bags full of food and daily used items. Thanks to everyone of you who have contributed to our foodbank enabling us to give all our recipients (especially those celebrating) a Raya to remember! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thankful to all donors and those who have been committed in contributing not just money but time over the past testing weeks to help us ease the work of our frontliners and also the livelihood of the needy, their struggles over this pandemic period seemed a little easier to bear with because of your contributions! - Vivian @Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 days ago
Thankful to all donors and those who have been committed in contributing not just money but time over the past testing weeks to help us ease the work of our frontliners and also the livelihood of the needy, their struggles over this pandemic period seemed a little easier to bear with because of your contributions! - Vivian @Kechara Soup Kitchen
KSDS Level 2 virtual class, Lin Mun KSDS
2 weeks ago
KSDS Level 2 virtual class, Lin Mun KSDS
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
2 weeks ago
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
Wesak 2020
3 weeks ago
Wesak 2020
Recycle today for a better tomorrow. KEP-Serena
2 months ago
Recycle today for a better tomorrow. KEP-Serena
Today we are having recycling at Kechara Soup Kitchen. Do drop by here if you would like to get ride of the recyclable items from home. KEP - Serena
2 months ago
Today we are having recycling at Kechara Soup Kitchen. Do drop by here if you would like to get ride of the recyclable items from home. KEP - Serena
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Seen here is Bam, Vajrayogini’s seed syllable and also Kechara's logo. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Seen here is Bam, Vajrayogini’s seed syllable and also Kechara's logo. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: More melted butter was offered. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: More melted butter was offered. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
H.E. Zawa Rinpoche in deep concentration. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 months ago
H.E. Zawa Rinpoche in deep concentration. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Geshela is seen here wearing ceremonial hat called tsoksha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 months ago
Geshela is seen here wearing ceremonial hat called tsoksha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
The Shize Fire Puja was performed according to scriptural sources. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 months ago
The Shize Fire Puja was performed according to scriptural sources. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
To find out more about the substances offered during jinsek/fire puja, have a read here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 months ago
To find out more about the substances offered during jinsek/fire puja, have a read here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
More about the symbolism of the offering items here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 months ago
More about the symbolism of the offering items here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Amongst all pujas, the fire puja is considered the king of all Pujas. It is the most powerful of all pujas within Tibetan Buddhism and its purpose is basically to remove all obstacles and its stains to enlightenment.
3 months ago
Amongst all pujas, the fire puja is considered the king of all Pujas. It is the most powerful of all pujas within Tibetan Buddhism and its purpose is basically to remove all obstacles and its stains to enlightenment.
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Graceful hand mudras were also part of the ritual. - shared Pastor Antoinette
3 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Graceful hand mudras were also part of the ritual. - shared Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: One by one the offering substances were offered accompanied by traditional Tibetan recitations. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: One by one the offering substances were offered accompanied by traditional Tibetan recitations. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: JP Thong ensuring that Geshela's ritual items are within easy reach. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: JP Thong ensuring that Geshela's ritual items are within easy reach. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor David Lai & Frederick Law were also on hand to assist with the puja ritual substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor David Lai & Frederick Law were also on hand to assist with the puja ritual substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor Niral Patel assisting H.E. Zawa Rinpoche during the puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor Niral Patel assisting H.E. Zawa Rinpoche during the puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Peaceful fire pujas are excellent to remove inauspiciousness, problems that might be coming to our lifespan, wisdom, wealth, growth of Dharma. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Peaceful fire pujas are excellent to remove inauspiciousness, problems that might be coming to our lifespan, wisdom, wealth, growth of Dharma. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Over 100 Kecharians & their loved ones spent the Sunday evening immersed in this obstacle pacifying puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Over 100 Kecharians & their loved ones spent the Sunday evening immersed in this obstacle pacifying puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Dakpa and Geshe Janchup Gyaltsen Lama inspecting the offering substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Dakpa and Geshe Janchup Gyaltsen Lama inspecting the offering substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Rinpoche & Geshe Janchup making last minute checks before the commencement of the Jinsek or Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Rinpoche & Geshe Janchup making last minute checks before the commencement of the Jinsek or Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The arrival of the Sangha conducting this sacred puja accompanied by Changtso Beng Kooi and Pastor Niral Patel - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The arrival of the Sangha conducting this sacred puja accompanied by Changtso Beng Kooi and Pastor Niral Patel - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The site of the Peaceful Fire Puja the calls upon the pacifying energies of Shize Shugden. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The site of the Peaceful Fire Puja the calls upon the pacifying energies of Shize Shugden. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: A close-up of the ladle. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: A close-up of the ladle. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Substances such as sticks, melted butter, kusha grass, lentils and barley were traditionally offered during the prayers to create the causes for merits, long life and to pacify obstacles. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Substances such as sticks, melted butter, kusha grass, lentils and barley were traditionally offered during the prayers to create the causes for merits, long life and to pacify obstacles. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Beautifully handcrafted torma or food offering to the Buddha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Beautifully handcrafted torma or food offering to the Buddha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Some of the many offering items & substances used during this highly blessed Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Some of the many offering items & substances used during this highly blessed Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja in Kechara Forest Retreat: A special mandala at the base where the fire puja ritual was conducted. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja in Kechara Forest Retreat: A special mandala at the base where the fire puja ritual was conducted. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Kechara Earth Project (KEP) 8/3/2020
3 months ago
Kechara Earth Project (KEP) 8/3/2020
Dear Kecharians and friends, We are pleased to announce that as part of the preparations for H.E. Tsem Rinpoche's reliquary stupas and incarnation chapel, mantra rolling sessions have begun in Kechara Forest Retreat. We are calling for volunteers to join us in this holy activity. DATE Daily starting 5th March 2020 until further notice TIME (1) Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday - 10am to 10pm (2) Thursday & Sunday - 10am to 6pm VENUE Art Studio (Kechara Saraswati Arts) Kechara Forest Retreat If you're interested, kindly contact: Wong Yew Kien 012-3717896 or Karen Chong 012-7710289 We look forward to seeing you soon!
3 months ago
Dear Kecharians and friends, We are pleased to announce that as part of the preparations for H.E. Tsem Rinpoche's reliquary stupas and incarnation chapel, mantra rolling sessions have begun in Kechara Forest Retreat. We are calling for volunteers to join us in this holy activity. DATE Daily starting 5th March 2020 until further notice TIME (1) Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday - 10am to 10pm (2) Thursday & Sunday - 10am to 6pm VENUE Art Studio (Kechara Saraswati Arts) Kechara Forest Retreat If you're interested, kindly contact: Wong Yew Kien 012-3717896 or Karen Chong 012-7710289 We look forward to seeing you soon!
Join us for a Peaceful Fire Puja based on Dorje Shugden’s pacifying form. This blessed puja will be conducted at the future site of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s outdoor reliquary stupa to pacify obstacles and for the success of the project. EVENT DETAILS • Date: Sunday, 8 March 2020 • Time: 6.00pm – 8.30pm • Venue: Kechara Forest Retreat, Bentong Admission is free, all are welcome. ADDITIONAL BENEFITS FOR SPONSORS AND ATTENDEES • Healing from illness and disease • Overcoming obstacles • Purifying past negative deeds and negative karma • Calming the environment, natural disasters and calamities • Helping the deceased to take a good rebirth • Accumulation of merits for spiritual realisations and attainments
3 months ago
Join us for a Peaceful Fire Puja based on Dorje Shugden’s pacifying form. This blessed puja will be conducted at the future site of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s outdoor reliquary stupa to pacify obstacles and for the success of the project. EVENT DETAILS • Date: Sunday, 8 March 2020 • Time: 6.00pm – 8.30pm • Venue: Kechara Forest Retreat, Bentong Admission is free, all are welcome. ADDITIONAL BENEFITS FOR SPONSORS AND ATTENDEES • Healing from illness and disease • Overcoming obstacles • Purifying past negative deeds and negative karma • Calming the environment, natural disasters and calamities • Helping the deceased to take a good rebirth • Accumulation of merits for spiritual realisations and attainments
Join us this weekend for Spiritual Saturday in Kechara Forest Retreat! SATURDAY, 7 MARCH 9.30 am: Polish Gyenze's wish-fulfilling lamps 11.15 am: Introduction to Ayurveda 1.00 pm: Lunch INTERESTED? WhatsApp us at +6017 672 0757 to RSVP your place (and your meal!) See all March activities: bit.ly/2vAGpjF
3 months ago
Join us this weekend for Spiritual Saturday in Kechara Forest Retreat! SATURDAY, 7 MARCH 9.30 am: Polish Gyenze's wish-fulfilling lamps 11.15 am: Introduction to Ayurveda 1.00 pm: Lunch INTERESTED? WhatsApp us at +6017 672 0757 to RSVP your place (and your meal!) See all March activities: bit.ly/2vAGpjF
Kechara Earth Project- new site at Damansara
3 months ago
Kechara Earth Project- new site at Damansara
For those who did not manage to join in for our Loma Gyonma mantra recitation, here's the prayer that you can do daily at home as a preventive measure to ward off unwanted infections and illnesses, especially contagious diseases such as Coronavirus & H1N1. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 months ago
For those who did not manage to join in for our Loma Gyonma mantra recitation, here's the prayer that you can do daily at home as a preventive measure to ward off unwanted infections and illnesses, especially contagious diseases such as Coronavirus & H1N1. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Special prayer session in Kechara Forest Retreat where we will be collectively accumulating a minimum of 25,000 Loma Gyonma mantras, combined with circumambulations and 108 candle offerings each to Loma Gyonma and Dorje Shugden. To receive the blessings of Loma Gyonma, the Goddess of Healing and Epidemic Diseases, and to pray for all who are at risk from the novel coronavirus to be healed and protected. -photo credit Cynthia Ng - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 months ago
Special prayer session in Kechara Forest Retreat where we will be collectively accumulating a minimum of 25,000 Loma Gyonma mantras, combined with circumambulations and 108 candle offerings each to Loma Gyonma and Dorje Shugden. To receive the blessings of Loma Gyonma, the Goddess of Healing and Epidemic Diseases, and to pray for all who are at risk from the novel coronavirus to be healed and protected. -photo credit Cynthia Ng - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Back during the H1N1 outbreak in 2009, Rinpoche advised everyone to quickly accumulate 25,000 recitations of Loma Gyonma’s essence mantra ASAP, combined with daily recitation of both Loma Gyonma and Shize’s mantra. In view of the current situation with the global spread of the novel coronavirus, you are invited to a special prayer session in Kechara Forest Retreat where we will be collectively accumulating a minimum of 25,000 Loma Gyonma mantras, combined with circumambulations and 108 candle offerings each to Loma Gyonma and Dorje Shugden. DATE: Saturday, 15 February 2020 TIME: 3.00pm - 6.30pm VENUE: Wisdom Hall, Kechara Forest Retreat
3 months ago
Back during the H1N1 outbreak in 2009, Rinpoche advised everyone to quickly accumulate 25,000 recitations of Loma Gyonma’s essence mantra ASAP, combined with daily recitation of both Loma Gyonma and Shize’s mantra. In view of the current situation with the global spread of the novel coronavirus, you are invited to a special prayer session in Kechara Forest Retreat where we will be collectively accumulating a minimum of 25,000 Loma Gyonma mantras, combined with circumambulations and 108 candle offerings each to Loma Gyonma and Dorje Shugden. DATE: Saturday, 15 February 2020 TIME: 3.00pm - 6.30pm VENUE: Wisdom Hall, Kechara Forest Retreat
Mr. Chan Weng Khong & Yee Mun released the birds after the mantra recitations. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
4 months ago
Mr. Chan Weng Khong & Yee Mun released the birds after the mantra recitations. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
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Dorje Shugden
Click to watch my talk about Dorje Shugden....