An Introduction to Buddhism by Tsem Rinpoche

May 8, 2024 | Views: 9,491

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Buddha Shakyamuni attained enlightenment under the sacred Bodhi tree in Bodhgaya more than 2,600 years ago. Since then, Buddhism has been interpreted in various ways — as a religion, a philosophy, or a system of beliefs and practices. These teachings expanded beyond India to spread across Asia and eventually reached other parts of the world. This has led to diverse schools with distinct beliefs and practices, although all traditions collectively emphasise the idea that individuals can comprehend the truth of existence by leading an ethical life dedicated to the ultimate goal of liberation.

This practical introduction to Buddhism was given by His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche for people who are interested in exploring basic Buddhist principles, how it relates to other major spiritual traditions, and how we can integrate it into our lives right now without having to attend meditation classes, tedious Dharma courses, long retreats or trying to make sense of the large number of scriptures.

As part of this easy-to-understand talk, Rinpoche skilfully weaves in key concepts such as karma, reincarnation, ethical conduct, the mind, how to meditate and how to apply the teachings in modern times. In particular, Rinpoche employs examples of his own experiences to help us understand and relate to the topic better.

Whether you are completely new to Buddhism, or are already familiar with the Lamrim (Stages of the Path to Enlightenment), we hope this teaching will resonate with you or give you a fresh perspective on the practice of Buddhism.

 

This teaching is part of the Tsem Rinpoche Wisdom Treasury – the collected works, writings and teachings of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche. To learn more about the project and how you can be a part of it, please click here.

 


 

VIDEO: Introduction to Buddhism

 

Transcript

So when we say ‘Dharma’ it doesn’t necessarily mean Buddhist Dharma. It could be Christian Dharma, it could be Hindu Dharma, it could be Jain Dharma, it could be Islamic Dharma. It could be any type of Dharma. Dharma literally means ‘right conduct’ in Sanskrit. And Buddha spoke in Sanskrit, so we use Sanskrit phrases.

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Now, all religious practice basically, fundamentally has a similar goal, in one respect. All religious practice. And all religious teachers and all religious philosophers of the past — the great ones who began the world religions such as Christianity and Islam and Buddhism and Hinduism — all had one intention. They had only one intention and they had one motivation and their motivation and their intention was to create a better human society. A more compatible human society. A human society that was more tolerant of each other.

And how to gain that tolerance, how to gain that harmony, how to gain that friendship, or how to gain that harmony with each other was taught in many, many different ways. The ways may be different superficially but actually the goal is the same. How we can be more tolerant of other people, how we can be more patient with other people, with ourselves, how we can be more compassionate, how we can be more kind – is not based on other people, is not based on an outer object, is not based on an outer system or outer situation.

If our compassion and our love and our growth of spiritual awareness and also harmony, stability, less ignorance, less anger, more patience, more love – were based on outside objects, then for example, if our happiness was based on having a new car, whatever happens in relations to a new car, we must be more happy. So every time we get a new car, we must be happier, happier and happier.

If our happiness is based on relationships, every time we have a relationship or the longer we stay in a relationship, the happier and happier and happier we become.

If our happiness is based on beauty, then the most beautiful people in the world must be the happiest people in the world and they don’t think of suicide, they don’t think of jumping off a building, they don’t think of getting anything else. Just because they’re beautiful and simply because they’re beautiful, then they must be very happy.

And if our happiness was based on wealth and money and these items, then the more money we have, the more wealth we accumulate, the more properties and investments we accumulate, the happier we should be. Each time we get more, the happier, and the less confusion, the less anger, the less hatred, and the less attachment, greed and jealousy it should be, if our happiness was dependent on these things.

If our happiness was dependent on position and power, then the higher our position the less worry we should have, the less problems we should have, the happier we should become, the more happy-go-lucky we should become.

But in fact, if we check very carefully into these situations, if we check very carefully, people who have these things that we so-call label ‘happiness givers’ or ‘increasers of happiness’ or ‘happiness-related objects’, the more they have, in fact the more unhappy they have become. The more unhappy they have become.

So because of this situation, happiness cannot be based on an outer object. It cannot be based on wealth. It cannot be based on things that are external. And also, if we look at it logically, happiness is not external, it is internal. It’s a cliché to say, “Oh people who are wealthy are unhappy, people who are not wealthy (people who are very poor) are happy.” It’s a cliché but if we look at it carefully, it looks like that. It looks like that.

In any case, the religious practices in the world are designed to create harmony, stability, love, compassion, and more tolerance with each other. Why? No religious teacher in the world, ever, ever spoke one word toward destruction, toward prejudice, toward hatred, toward anger, toward desire, toward jealousy. No religious teacher ever taught those things.

Every single religious teacher in the world taught the increase of love, taught harmony, balance, compassion. Every single religious teacher in the world. But the way they taught it, the way they teach it, and the way they happen to approach it is quite different.

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Jesus will say, “The humble shall inherit the kingdom of God.” Fine. There is nothing wrong with that. There is nothing that should be wrong with that. And there is nothing we should look for – a wrong. Buddhism says:

“Happiness comes from serving others, being humble to others. Whenever I associate with others, may I think myself the lowest among all and hold others supreme from the depth of my heart.”

That is a Buddhist verse from the Eight Verses of Training the Mind. What that is saying and what Jesus Christ is saying is the same. Muhammad has taught the same thing although unfortunately I cannot quote his holy verses because I have not studied extensively, but I heard it is basically the same.

Now if these religious teachers have taught on the basis and motivation and wish to increase harmony, love, patience and tolerance, on that basis, we should respect all religious traditions. Even free thinkers – they have a right place in this world. If a free thinker says, “Hey, it is human morality, it is human ethics, and it is right human conduct not to harm others, and on that basis I will not harm others.” Nothing wrong. If a Buddhist says, “Oh I collect bad karma, I will take a bad rebirth in my future life, so I better not do bad actions.” And because on that basis, he doesn’t, no problem. If a Christian and a Muslim and a Jew say, “Oh if I do that action I will be punished by God. I will not be able to get into Heaven.” On that basis, they do not do that negative action, fine.

So in the end, these people end up at the same place. In this case, less anger, more patience, less jealousy, rejoicing of others’ fortunes, less hatred, more compassion, less intolerance, more tolerance leading to harmony. They are working on a different basis, they are working from a different motivation, but in fact it is exactly the same. It is exactly the same.

In any case, the point here is very important. All religious practice is based on improving the human mind. The mind. All religious practice’s purpose is to improve the human mind. Since its purpose and its origin motivation was to improve the human mind, we must respect it. I always give this example wherever I go: If we have six cups, one is porcelain, one is glass, one is gold, one is silver, one is pewter, one is plastic. We can put milk in all the glasses, we can put water in all the glasses, and we are all thirsty. Why should we debate what glass is better, and which glass we should use? Why don’t we just take the drink and quench our thirst? Whichever quenches our thirst, the glass has been served.

So why do we need, as humans, to argue about which religious tradition, which religious sect, whether we should practice religion or not – be the issue here? But why don’t we just practise it? Why don’t we just put it into use? Why don’t we just show by our actions that we are practising.

So on that basis, we should respect all religious traditions. We should never make prejudice on any religious institution, religious temples, religious practice and religion. We should not. Even people who do not accept religion, people who are free thinkers, we should let them be and they should let us be. We should let each other be on the basis that we are all trying. And how we try doesn’t matter. What tradition we use does not matter.

On that basis we should wholeheartedly from the depths of our heart, always respect all religious traditions and never say anything that is negative, anything that is degrading, anything that is bad. If we have a very good car, if we have an excellent car, strong and new, and it has all the features, and we don’t know how to drive and we crash it up, we don’t blame the car. It’s ridiculous to blame the car.

Like that, if you have a very good religious path and you don’t follow it well, and you do things in a perverted way, in a twisted way that demeans religious practice, that demeans other religious practitioners – why should you say that religion is not good? Or that religious practice is not good? Just because that person or that group is not practising it well doesn’t mean that that religion is not good. Just like the car.

There are good practitioners of every religion. There are bad practitioners of every religion. That is a fact of life. The point here is not to change the world. The point here is not to change all these people who think in this way or think in that way. That is not the point. The point here is to work on ourselves. When we have worked on ourselves, when we have improved ourselves, every situation around us will improve.

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If we like patience, if we like love, if we like people to show us a nice face, if we like people to have pity and compassion and to give us sincerity, doesn’t it behoove us to give that to them regardless of what religious tradition we are? Doesn’t it behoove us? We’re not animals. We are human beings. We have a very strong intellectual capacity to improve. Wouldn’t it be better that as the years go by, as we get older and older and we reach a very old age, that also our mental qualities and our mental development improves?

If as the years go by, we become more jealous, more greedy, more impatient, more hateful, more spiteful, more vengeful, something is wrong. If our pockets are becoming bigger and our investments are becoming greater, but our hatred and our impatience and our wish to harm and hate good people increase, we are on the wrong path. As a free thinker, no one will appreciate that type of person. As long as you have money, you have wealth, you have position, people will flock to you like bees to a flower. The minute the flower wilts, these bees will also go away.

Similarly, when you have good qualities of compassion, sincerity and love, and people like you on that basis, whether you have wealth, whether you have position, or beauty or any of these things, people will flock to you. We’re social animals. We’re humans. We need care. We need love. We need to be touched. We need to feel needed and cared. If we like that, definitely other people like that. Definitely we should give that to other people.

If we don’t give that to other people starting from our families, extending to our relatives, extending to our friends, extending to our neighbours, extending, extending, extending to our village, to our city, to everybody we meet, and to the world, how can we expect that back? Whether you are a free thinker, whether you are a Buddhist, whether you are a Christian, whether you are a Muslim, or whether you are a Jew, etc., how can you expect that? That is illogical. How can we expect what other people should give us, if we don’t give it? How can we expect that?

If you base your life on relationships, and you base your life on fun and parties and games and clubs and friends and drinking and outings and men and women and all these things — if you base it on this, if you base it on these things, the minute one of these things falls apart, the minute one of these things does not work, your world will come crashing down. It will come crashing down.

What we want to develop is happiness. People have wonderful relationships, a match made in heaven, but it always sours in the end. Usually it does. That is the nature of things. People who are young and beautiful will become old and decrepit. People who are wealthy will lose their wealth. People who are not wealthy will gain their wealth. Nothing is stable. Everything is changing. It is not unchanging because everything is based on impermanence. If we want these qualities, we must give these things to others.

How do we start? We start on the basis that we want it, we need it, we must have it. And if we don’t, we cannot survive. We must have it therefore we must give it. If you don’t plant the seeds, how do you expect anything to grow? How can you sit there and say, “Where’s the vegetables? Where’s the vegetables?” if you don’t plant the seeds? Therefore, if you don’t give compassion, how can you expect compassion? If you don’t give love, how can you expect love? If you don’t show a smiling face, how can you expect a smiling face? If you scream, if you hurt, if you damage people and you don’t have patience with people, how can you expect that from other people? How can you? And in the end, all that will completely take over because people will only take so much. People will only take so much. We will lose in the end.

As a Buddhist, when we show anger, we will be born in the future with a black face, an unpleasant appearance, and a very bad smell. This is what Buddha stated.

If we show patience, we will be reborn with a very fair body, a tall, straight body, a charismatic body, and a body that shines, and a body that smells good, and a body that attracts. Not a desirous attraction, not a bad attraction. An attraction that makes people feel happy.

Also when we have anger, it destroys our mental peace. Real anger. If we have anger, it destroys our mental peace, it destroys our mental happiness. It destroys the harmony of our house. And one day of it, two days of it, three days of it, four days of it, five days of it, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, gradually something will pop and break, and then we lose.

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So as a religious practitioner, as a Buddhist, we say that anger is negative because we can meditate on the negative qualities and the effects it has around us and the effects that it has on the people around us. When we see someone red and screaming and angry for small things, we don’t want to approach that person. And if we have love for them, our love becomes less and less and less and less. It begins to decrease.

On a karmic level, what happens is we will be reborn as a very unattractive person, we will be reborn in one of the hells. We will be reborn in one of these hells if we have anger. That’s a Buddhist point of view. As a Christian point of view, if we have anger, what does Jesus Christ say? “The meek shall inherit the kingdom of God.” That is telling you obviously, the ones who are not meek will be going down the opposite direction. Forget inheriting, I don’t think they will even get to the doorstep of God.

In any case, in every religion it teaches you that. In every religion. As the years go by, as we get older, what should have in our pocket? We should have more patience, less anger, more love, less hatred, more forgiveness, more tolerance. We should have that. That should be in our bag. That should be in our list of achievements for our life. That should be in our list of achievements.

People who are rich, there are a lot and there are going to be people who are richer than us always. People who are beautiful, there is always going to be someone more beautiful. But people who are compassionate are very few, and those are the people who we flock to. Those are the people that we like. Those are the people that show us and inspire us.

Whether you’re a free thinker, whether you’re a Buddhist, whether you’re a Christian, or whatever faith you are, and I don’t know what faith all of you are, it doesn’t really matter to me, I am not here to convert. I am a Buddhist monk. I am a religious, so-called practitioner. So I can only talk about religion. But in general, that is religious practice. Religious practice has beautiful, wonderful, effective and powerful methods to cut out the roots of unhappiness. That is hatred, desire, ignorance, jealousy, impatience, intolerance. That is what religious practice is supposed to be for.

Religious practice is not for us to go to a temple and offer joss sticks for long life, health, money, wealth, a good affair, and a nice car and diamond rings. That is not the purpose of religious practice. Why is it not the purpose of religious practice? Because we can do that in a non-religious way. We can do business, we can open up a store, we can work, we can marry a rich husband, we can marry a rich wife. We have many methods of making those things, so definitely we don’t need to go to a temple to ask Guanyin all day long, “Diamond ring, diamond ring, money, money, money.” We don’t need to ask. There’s no reason. If we go to a temple for these reasons, we are going to the temple for the very wrong reasons. For the very opposite. What we are asking for is more suffering, more unhappiness, more greed, everything. Temples – that’s not the reason we go.

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Now, since I’m a Buddhist monk and since I don’t have the fortunate opportunity to study the other holy and wonderful religions that are existing on this planet, I have studied a little bit about the Buddhist faith.

Now, the Buddhist faith’s basis is karma, basis is actions. Basis is actions, effects, karma. On what? What does it base it on? It doesn’t believe in an outer God. It doesn’t believe in an outer divine being that controls you, that tells you to do this. It doesn’t deny it either. It doesn’t say there is a God, it doesn’t say there isn’t a God. It doesn’t worry about it. It doesn’t say anything about it. Some people say it is an atheist religion. Fine. Some people say it is not an atheist religion. You go to the temples there are so many different deities. It doesn’t matter what people want to label on it.

Buddhism bases everything on karma. Karma is based on taking a new rebirth again and again and again. Karma is the Sanskrit word for ‘action’. There are three types of karmas: negative, positive, and neutral. Karma is the basis of life. It is the basis of existence. It is the basis of what happens to us. Cause and effect.

If we kill someone, as a result of that negative action, definitely we can expect our life to become very short, [ill] health ridden, if not in this life, in a future life surely. No action is wasted. No action does not create a reaction. All actions must create a reaction, whether it is subtle or whether it is gross. All actions create a reaction.

Like that, karma is action. All negative action is when others become harmed by body, speech and mind. If we say something negative to hurt the other person, a negative action of the speech has been created. Therefore we will suffer the results. In the future, we will hear that same speech to us back, whether it is from the person we said it to or from other people, because that karma has been planted.

If we show a black face and we harm other people, we will definitely get that back. There is no doubt about it. There is no doubt. No action has no reaction. There must be an effect. There must be a result. Now similarly, if we show compassion, people will show us compassion in the future. We will receive compassion.

Now we base that completely on reincarnation. Reincarnation is the basis of the Buddhist faith. And that reincarnation theory is not a blind theory. It is not an empty theory. It is not a theory that your mother says it is like that, like that, like that, and you have to believe it. It is based on complete logic as explained by Lord Buddha 2,500 years ago, re-explained 1,000 years ago by the great Indian pandita Dharmakirti.

What is that saying? All things operate on a continuum. This one all of you listen very carefully. If you listen carefully, you meditate, you think about it, it will be very clear about reincarnation. Everything operates on a continuum, a continuous basis. Nothing comes from nowhere, nothing goes nowhere. All things come from somewhere, all things must end up somewhere. Even this cup: perhaps it’s made of porcelain. Before that it was perhaps sand or dirt or whatever it was made from, it was heat, it was the glue that held it together. Before that it was dirt. Before that it was rock. Before that it was sediment or whatever. It has a continuous basis. For it to first become a rock, then it became sand, then it became powder, then we grabbed it and we filtered it and we made it into this. In the future it will disintegrate back again and again and again. Like that, there’s a continuum. Every single item in this world, every phenomenon, ‘chö tham che’ we say in Tibetan, all phenomenon has an origin. It has an origin.

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Like that, our bodies have an origin. I’m now 26. So in order to be 26, obviously I had to be 25, 24, 23, 22, 21, 19, 15, 12, nine, eight, seven, one. It has to be. I continued that way. I didn’t just pop out of the sky at 27. I didn’t just pop out of the sky at 15. Like that, my body will continue again, 50, 60, 70, until I pass away. Even when I pass away, my body will continue. It will have a continuum. It will rot back and disintegrate back into the earth. It will dissolve back into the earth. It will regenerate in another form.

So all of it has a continuum. Like that, your body at the time it was nine months gestation in your mother’s womb, then that foetus became smaller and smaller and smaller and smaller until it was at the time of conception. At the time of conception, it was basically a one cell organism, or two cell. The white cell of the father and the red cell of the mother, the egg combining. Now when we trace that moment of conception, even at that moment of conception, it is a continuum. Those two cells came from your parents. Those cells came from their parents, their parents, their parents. It is traced back. It goes back and back and back, and if we think about it, there is no end.

It is endless, or numberless, or countless, because there is so much. There is a count to the stars in the sky but there is so many and beyond our comprehension, we say it is numberless. Like that, your body didn’t just appear out of the air. Physically speaking, your body, yes it came from your parents. It’s very obvious. We physically resemble them or their parents, or definitely their parents. Even the genetic diseases that they may have will be passed on to us. Now that obviously has come from your parents. That body is a continuation of your parents.

Now your mind – your mind is a continuum. It is 8 o’clock. In order that it is 8 o’clock we exist, it had to be that we existed, our mind was thinking and operating at 7:59, 7:58, 7:57. Likewise, 7 o’clock, 6 o’clock, 5 o’clock. Likewise, yesterday, the day before, this month, the previous month. Likewise, it had to have existed on a continuous basis.

Now I’m 26, I must have been 25, 24, 23. My mind was thinking, it was increasing, it’s maturing, it’s growing. At the time of birth, I had a mind. At the time of birth that mind couldn’t have just…if I was born at 9 o’clock, my mind must have existed at 8:59 for it to exist at 9. Do you understand? It’s logical, isn’t it? In order for my mind to exist at 9, it must have existed at 8:59. It cannot just have popped into the air, from air.

Like that, it must have existed nine months while I was in my mother’s womb. Now obviously at the time of conception, when the white and red cells combine, the egg and sperm combine, the body didn’t just appear at that time. That very previous moment was those cells. That previous moment was in my parents’ bodies. But the mind, at 9 o’clock if I was conceived, if the two cells combined, the body has a continuum, it’s continuing and it’s increasing, two cells, three cells, four cells and so on and so on. But what about the mind? If I was conceived at 9am, when those two cells combined, where was I at 8:59, 8:58, 8:57? Think about it. It must have had a previous moment. Do you understand? It must have had a previous moment. It’s logical, isn’t it? This is what Buddha stated.

Like that, if I was conceived at 9am, where was I at 8:59? Where was I at 8:58? Where was I at 8 o’clock? Where was I at 7 o’clock? 6 o’clock? The previous day? How can the mind logically, scientifically, under research, just appear at that time? It must have come from somewhere.

Now if you argue or debate back and say, “Well, it came from your parents.” Fine. I’ll debate back and say, “Well your mind must resemble your parents exactly.” If your parents are geniuses, you must be a genius. If your parents like piano, you must love piano. If your parents hate sports, you must hate sports because obviously you are a regeneration of their organism, their cells, their thinking. You must be a duplicate.

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Obviously, our kids do not resemble us in any way, shape or form, mentally. You can have sinners and their kids could be saints. Any semblance or any resemblance will be because of conditioning. For example, if you like vitamin A, your kids might grow up liking vitamin A but that’s not because they came from you. That’s illogical. That’s because you conditioned them to say, “A is good, A is good, A is good.” That is conditioning.

Where was your mind at 8:59? Obviously, it had a previous moment. It is existing at a previous moment. That was your previous life. You were existing. And if you refute me again, and say, “Oh, but I can’t remember.” Doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist! I can’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday, doesn’t mean I didn’t have lunch. Obviously, I had lunch because I’m alive and I’m well and I’m not starving and I’m not crawling on the ground out of weakness from not eating. It’s obvious. It was a previous life. A previous existence.

Even things that happened when we were a young child, four or five, we cannot remember in detail. It doesn’t mean it did not transpire or it did not happen or exist. It definitely existed. Simply by the power of not remembering doesn’t mean it didn’t exist. But if we focus our minds and we think clearly, or sometimes we have regression or we go for hypnotic sessions or we just concentrate, we can remember.

If we’re in a turbulent situation and someone tells us to remember what happened yesterday, we cannot remember. We close the door, we turn on the aircon, relax, have a nice cool drink, and then if we think about it, it usually will come, usually. Or when we’re relaxed, it just pops into our minds. Like that, on the basis of not remembering doesn’t mean it didn’t exist.

Now how does that mind come back? There are three different types of mind, Buddha says clearly. There is the gross mind, there is the subtle mind, and the very, very subtle mind.

The gross mind is active during our daily activities, our normal activities. Those are associated with thinking, with seeing, hearing, tasting, touch, smell – the senses.

Then you have a subtle mind, the second type. That subtle mind exists when your gross mind is shut down. Dreams — when your gross mind is not active, when you are not using eyes, hearing, nose, touch, taste. And you are sleeping, yet in your dreams you can taste, touch, feel, all the emotions, see all the things, touch and all things tangible, even in a dream. That is proof of the subtle mind at work. You can see, but is it with your eye? You can hear, is it with your ear? You can feel, taste, touch, move, not with your gross physical mind, with your subtle mind. That is active or in dreams, or during meditation where the great meditators can bring it for use.

Then you have a very, very, very subtle mind. The most subtlest mind. That is active after the dream state, at the time of death. At the time of death and at the end of the dream state just before the waking state in the morning, there is no dreams, your mind is very clear, very calm. The nightmare is over or the fantasy dream is over and you wake up refreshed and unworried. That is the proof of that mind because that mind is by nature, clear, unmoving, and unchanging. That is the Buddha-nature that we all have.

That mind is so overwhelmed by the subtle mind and overwhelmed by the gross mind and all the things that the gross mind perceives – hatred, ignorance, disgust, love, all this yay and nay, all this black and white. It is so compounded by it, this very, very subtle mind that we all have, is covered up temporarily. When you become enlightened, that is the mind that comes up. That is the mind that develops. That is the mind that you become a Buddha with. That is the mind that becomes a Buddha. That very, very subtle mind.

If through meditation in your life, through spiritual practice, through supplementary practice, through meditation, through development of the mind. If in your lifetime, if you develop that mind, at the time of death you can choose where you want to go. You can choose where you want to reincarnate, what situation, time, parents. You can definitely develop that power. Once you have developed that power, you will never come back to this world again and again and again uncontrolled, suffering, no control of your situation. You can abolish that.

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How to destroy that mind, the outer physical mind, or how to destroy the negative mind? By practice. By meditation. By understanding of that mind. By familiarising yourself with the disbenefits of negative emotions and the benefits of positive emotions. Familiarisation, meditation, and supplementary practices such as reading Dharma books, prostrations, making offerings. What we want to do is bring ourselves from our habituations and conditioning, what we want to do, and habituate and condition it onto a better and more positive path.

Where you reincarnate, how you reincarnate, what time and what situation, is totally dependent on you. If it was dependent on an outer physical deity or God, then everyone must be born with the same situation, same opportunity and same goal ahead. So everybody must be either born very rich, very poor, no one should be handicapped, no one should be blind, no one should be dumb, no one should be stupid, no one should be poor or rich. Everybody would be equal — if it was controlled by an outer deity.

If it is controlled by karma, obviously people collect different karmas that will capitulate you into different situations. If you have given a lot, definitely in a future life, by the power of your giving and the effects of that giving, you will get a lot. It must have a result. So what situation you are born in and what type of situation you are born in, must be based on one’s karma, logically speaking. Therefore as a result of karma, people are in different situations, different habits. Happiness, unhappiness, pleasant, unpleasant. Based on that, it is your own karma.

So when we have negative things happen to us, when we have bad things happen to us, when good becomes sour, when relationships crumble, when money is lost, when the business deal doesn’t go through, when our skin starts to age, when our hair starts to turn white, or we have arguments or someone has stabbed us, someone has hurt us, someone has done damage to us, actually as a real person who understands the law of cause and effect, you will stop blaming other people. You have to stop blaming other people. You will stop blaming other people because you realise by logic that you have created that situation yourself.

Now when you come to that realisation, “I have created that situation myself” in your meditations, what I talked about is for you to think about. That is what meditation is about. Thinking about it, analysing. When you come to that situation or that borderline, you are starting to improve.

And then the next step is to accept that realisation. To accept that what has happened to you, regardless of what you have done in this life, is a result of one’s own negative karma ripening. Since it is the result of one’s own negative karma ripening, how can we blame other people when they are just temporary circumstantial effects, environmental effects?

If we are meant to be born with a lot of disease, we will be born in a place that has a plague. So we cannot say, “Oh, that person started the plague.” It was our original karma that brought us to that situation to be born in that situation. If in our previous life we have stolen a lot, in our next life we’re born into a rich family and then as we grow older, we lose our wealth, we cannot say, “Oh my brother squandered it. Oh, my parents drank it up. They squandered it. They didn’t give me any. I didn’t get an inheritance.” No! That is the temporary circumstance that you have for losing it. But the ultimate circumstance is that in one of your previous lives, you have collected the karma for that to happen.

You have to take responsibility for what has happened to you on the basis of logic, not fanaticism. You have to take responsibility for what has happened to you and therefore get on the road to healing. How? Not blaming others anymore. Not shouting at others anymore. Not fighting with others anymore. Not showing impatience with others anymore. Not blaming. Not hurting anyone anymore. Because we have created that circumstance ultimately. And by creating that circumstance, it’s a very vicious cycle.

We recreate that circumstance again by doing that again because we are frustrated, because we have lost, because we have gotten into an unpleasant situation, because we are in an unpleasant situation therefore we have a foul mood, and as an expression of our foul mood we do foul actions to other people, creating more negative karma, therefore inviting more negative foul situations. That is what we call ‘samsara’, the wheel of vicious cycle, in Sanskrit. The cycle of vicious existence, samsara. Samsara is not some outside planet or another existence. Samsara is here. Samsara is right here — this vicious cycle that we are stuck in, that we cannot get out of. That we blame others, we say it’s others, yet the originator is ourselves on the basis of cause and effect, karma. It is illogical.

Rinpoche with a group of students on Manjushri Hill doing a puja early in the morning while it was still misty.

Rinpoche with a group of students on Manjushri Hill doing a puja early in the morning while it was still misty.

Now if we have any type of sense, if we consider ourselves intelligent, if we consider ourselves logical, if we think about that clearly, we do meditations, we think about it clearly, it is a very powerful and effective method for pulling yourself away from your negative qualities and increasing your positive. You take responsibility. You stop giving yourselves. You stop crying. You stop venting your anger at other people. You stop blaming other people. You stop yelling and shouting and you stop accusing and you stop fighting with other people. Because by doing that, you are denying the truth, therefore creating a circumstance for you to suffer more in the future. And at the same time, you are not hitting reality. You are not hitting the problem on its head — which is that you ultimately have created that karma to suffer like so. And you are furthering your suffering by creating more karma.

True, we deal with sharks. True, we deal with people that cheat us. True, we deal with unpleasant people. If we get rid of our own unpleasantness, I guarantee you everything that you encounter will change. Everything that you encounter will change. It’s like wearing dark glasses and you see everything as dark. Once you remove that glass, everything’s okay. That is ignorance. That is very deep-seated ignorance.

If you know how to wheel and deal and make a lot of money, not impressive. Not impressive. And if it is impressive to certain people, they are stuck in samsara. They are stuck in this vicious cycle. No matter how much money you have, no matter how rich you are, how powerful you are, how many friends you have, how beautiful you are, you will have to let it go one day.

Within 50 years, let’s say 60 years, everybody in this room will be dead. Every one of us will be dead within 60 years. Regardless of who you are, what you are, what station you have in life, what titles you have, within 60 years all of us in this room will be dead. Think about it. Meditate on it. Contemplate.

If you knew you were going to die tomorrow or next week, would you be doing half the things you’re doing now? Would you be fighting with people? Would you be cheating people, if you are. Would you be arguing with people? Would you hurt your loved ones?

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Although it’s right next to us. And then it will dissolve into our subtle mind. That subtle mind again will dissolve into the very subtle mind. At that very subtle mind, that conjunction of dissolution, we will see a very bright light, a very clear light. Not with our eyes; with that mind. A very bright and very luminous light.

If we have been a very great practitioner in our lives, if we have been a spiritual practitioner, a meditator, or even an ordinary layman who practised well and did not harm others, that light will be very comforting and we will take advantage of that light. And through that light, we will realise that that’s the real nature of the mind, take advantage of that situation and take a good rebirth.

If we have been evil, if we have been hurtful, if we have been harmful, if we have damaged other people our whole lives with no regrets, no shame, that light will be very fearful to us. We find out that we are alone at that time.

For the first time, your subtle mind will realise you are dead. Your watches, your cars, your family, loved ones, unloved ones, your enemies, your position, your company, your name are gone. Not even a single hair on your head can be taken up to you. If your best friend is the Prime Minister, he cannot help you anymore. If your best friend is the King of England, he cannot help you anymore. At that time, you will leave your body. You will leave your body and the only thing that will help you will be the karma that you have collected in your life.

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Now when you leave your body, at 10 o’clock you have died, you have left your body, at 10:01, you will enter the 49 days of intermediate state until your next rebirth. And during that time, the length of stay, and where you stay, and how you stay will be dependent on your karma.

For 49 days maximum, you will wander between this life and the next life with a very subtle mind, like wind. The minute you say, “California,” you are there. The minute you think, “The Moon,” you are there. It is a very subtle, subtle mind. It can travel like the wind, very fast. At the end of 49 days maximum — some people seven days, some people eight days, some people 12, depending on the karma — all you can take with you is not the millions of dollars you have in your bank, your beautiful wife, your beautiful kids, your car. You cannot take any of that. The only thing you have is the mental disposition of karma.

So if you have very negative karma during that life and you have done very negative things, body, speech and mind, you will be sure that you will take an unpleasant rebirth. You will be sure of it. You can guarantee yourself unpleasant rebirth.

You cannot plant an apple seed and get an orange tree. You plant apple, you get apple. You plant negative, you get negative. You plant positive, you get positive. You can be sure you will take a new rebirth. If you have done good things and you have improved, you can take that with you. How you improve your body, how you improve your wealth, your position and power in this life, it has to be left behind. How much you improve your mind, it will not be left behind. You will take that with you.

If there are ten stages to developing compassion, you develop two, three, you become much nicer, much kinder, more patient, more understanding and loving; if you become closer to number three, when you die, in your next life because of the karma you have created from doing that, you will definitely take a rebirth where you can continue to stage number five, six, seven, eight and nine. You can continue.

So if you develop your mind to the point where if ten people approach you and you get angry with just six, if you get angry with six, you develop your mind to that point. “Oh, out of ten people that approach me, I get angry at six, four I don’t get angry anymore. Before it was all ten I get angry with.” In your next life, you will enter your next life with the same amount of patience. You get angry with just six and you are patient with four.

And then the next life, you again practise and improve, then it becomes five, four, three, two, one, enlightenment. You can take that with you. And why is that the greatest treasure? Because on the basis of improving the mind, on that basis, your actions will reflect. Because your actions reflect that positive mind, that positive imprint and that action, good karma will accrue, as a result, good things.

So actually if we collect a lot of money and put it in a bank, we think that is the way to become rich. Very sad, because every single person that saves must be very rich then. Every single person. They don’t lose the money, they don’t gamble it away, nothing happens, they are very rich. Obviously not. There are some people who never save, all of a sudden they get a lot of money. It is not for sure in samsara.

It is all dependent on your karma and karma, the creator, is yourself. It is you. You create the karma for it to happen. Don’t think, “Oh, if I work in this way, if I get my education this way, that result will come.” Not for sure. You don’t know what type of karma you have stored for yourself. How to work with this karma? You can manipulate, you can purify, you can collect new karma.

The negative karma that you have collected, it can be purified by spiritual practice. Therefore, you do not have to suffer the results. And then by spiritual practice, you can collect further good karma in order to get good results.

So the mind that you develop in this life, the mind that you develop in this life, you can take with you. Your bank accounts you cannot take with you. Your position and power you cannot take with you. It will all be lost. It will all be squandered, given, fought over, inherited. It will be in other people’s pockets. Every single thing that you wear, every single thing that you own will be given to others. Everything. Not one thing will be taken with you.

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So how can we be attached and grab onto and fight for things that we just keep for a few minutes, for a few years – like a flash of lightning. How can we be attached? If I say to you, you can have this and you can have this. This you can keep for five years, this you can keep for a hundred. Are you going to fight for this one? Obviously not. If you do, you are not better than the animals who don’t have the intelligence to make a differentiation.

Compassion, the development of love, patience, tolerance, and forgiveness is something you can take with you. Something that you can take with you when you die. With your subtle mind it leaves, and those qualities will follow your subtle mind because those are qualities that are developed by the mind. Obviously, they can be taken by the mind. Qualities developed by the body cannot be taken by the body therefore it has to be left behind. It is very logical.

Now, it is our simple attachment and conditioning and wrong thinking that causes us to grasp on to the wrong things and leave the right things. It is conditioning. This conditioning can be reconditioned. It can be re-evaluated, reconditioned, rethought of and redone. By first, knowledge. Second, the realisation that there is hope for all of us, that we can do it. Third, to get familiar with that subject. Number four, to actually apply it. To actually apply it.

If we have a lot of money but we are a jealous type, we will never have happiness. If we have a lot of position and power, and we are an angry type, we will never have happiness. Never. But if we don’t have lots of money and power and we are not jealous, and we are forgiving and trusting, and we have patience with the other person, we will have too much happiness. Undeveloped happiness. And not just happiness for this life. You will create the karma to get that situation in the future again and again and again.

Spiritual practice is not having an altar, keeping a Guanyin statue. Spiritual practice is not building temples. Spiritual practice is not just reading a Dharma book or giving an ang pow to a sifu. That is not spiritual practice. Spiritual practice is not putting a joss stick in a temple and waiting for long life, health and beauty and happiness and to get rich. That is not spiritual practice. That is wrong, wrong, wrong spiritual practice.

Spiritual practice of any type is the improvement of one’s attitude, the improvement of one’s mind. A spiritual person must be characterised by the effort to become more compassionate, more kind, more nice, more forgiving, more patient. That is the characterisation of a spiritual person. We have to accept our responsibilities. We have to accept what has happened, that we have done it. And not blame others anymore, and to come out of our shell, to come out of our situation. That is spiritual practice.

Number one, acceptance on the basis of logic. Number two, to let go of attachment. To let go of the things that do not matter that much. I am not saying to you to shave off your hair and wear this and run away with me to the monastery. That is not practical. But you can shave off ignorance, hatred and desire and impatience and anger, and run away in here.

We should start these practices not tomorrow, not the day after, not when you have more time, not when you get a raise, not when you retire, not when you have more free time. That day will never come. That is simple, lazy procrastination. We should start these practices today, now, this moment, from today on.

To be reborn as a free thinker, to be reborn as a good Christian, as a good Muslim, as a good Buddhist. To be reborn, whatever you think, to improve from that day on. And whatever is hard, the real challenge is controlling the mind. The real challenge. It is not making more money and you can make thirty more million dollars next year. That is not the challenge. The real challenge is if you can make a milestone change in your own mind before death happens. 60 years. Some of less, much less. We will be gone.

And as an ordinary person, do we want to be remembered as a person that harmed, that hated, that cheated, that was impatient, that bothered, that hurt other people? Do we want to be remembered as that? Or do we want to be remembered as someone that tried to be more compassionate, more kind, more loving? How do we want to be remembered? How? Just on an ordinary basis.

“I wanted to do puja for my parents and I am glad I got to do so. It’s incredible they are buried below the ground I am sitting on. I found out from a wonderful couple (Mr. and Mrs. Bullock who purchased our family home from my mom) that my mom showed them a photo of me and said she was proud of me. Amazing. In the end my mother did accept me as a monk and was proud. I was so happy to hear this. I wanted my mom to have peace with my decision. I love her and she was as kind as she can to me, her way. The way she knew. I accept this now as an adult.” Pictured here is Rinpoche visiting his foster parents’ grave in October 25, 2013.

Karmically speaking, if we commit those actions, we will definitely, definitely get the results. That is a guarantee. And if you are ready for the consequences, then you do so. If you do not want the consequences, you change your path, you change your method. If you can stand the consequences, okay. That is up to you. That is your destiny, that is your wish. And no God, no Buddha, no deity, no guru, no teacher, no guide can say, “Like that, like that, like that.” That is your choice but be prepared for the consequences, whether good or bad.

Now in Buddhism, the first step is to recognise that the situation is like that, karma is like that, on the basis of karma, we reincarnate like that and take new rebirths and suffer again in this vicious samsaric cycle. That is the basis. The very first step is to calm the wild elephant-like mind down. To calm it down. To focus the mind. To bring the mind to a focus. First. Before you can teach the elephant to do tricks in the circus, you must tame it. Our mind is like that. We can teach it to become compassionate. We can teach it to become more patient and loving and kind and giving.

We can teach it. It’s definite. Because we are humans and we have great potential. 7% is used by our minds, the other 93% untapped, scientifically. We have that great potential. We can definitely can develop, whether you’re 50, whether you’re 60, whether you’re 10, whether you’re 15, whether you’re 20. You can develop your mind. You can. Definitely you can.

Now, you should realise things on a higher scheme. It is not 50 or 60 or 70 years just like that. It is lifetimes and lifetimes. So this one lifetime is just a short span within that cycle. So when we see it in this way, we don’t think, “Oh I’m so old I cannot do it anymore.” No, you have to take a new rebirth! You have to do it sometime. “Oh I’m so conditioned, I cannot.” Never mind.

For example, I’m a very temperamental person, I’m a very angry person, I have a lot of anger. That’s my fault. I don’t hate. I never direct my anger to hurt or hate people but sometimes I just blow up and I have to say things and I just do things. I regret it afterwards. Even I feel a little shame afterwards. I think, “Aiyo, I made such a scene yesterday. Don’t I look stupid?” And then I walk in the room I go, “Did anybody notice?” But thank god, all the people around me [inaudible] want to come to harm, never. I can say that about myself.

It’s not bragging but I know myself. But I do get temperamental and angry. And now what I am trying to do is, in one day if I get angry ten times, I try to make it nine. If I see something I just go like that and I go away. I try to make it nine. And after that, one time, two times, three times, I accomplish it to become nine.

Do you know I got a compliment from one of my students before I came. He said, not to me directly, he wouldn’t dare because I would get angry [laughs], but actually one of my students said, when I was scolding my other student, I have over 24 students. When I was scolding, the older student said to the younger one, “Hey, don’t get so depressed when Rinpoche yells at you. From last year, the year before, Rinpoche has improved a lot. He doesn’t yell so much anymore. He doesn’t get angry and when he does, it blows over real quick.”

I heard that tell another student and I thought… At one point I was thinking, “Hmm…” At another point I thought, “No, that is an impetus. That is a push for me to keep going.” Why? Because I realised anger creates dissension, creates disharmony, creates unhappiness. It creates more anger and eventually those people will separate from you.

I have had people leave me because of my anger. I have had it. I have experienced it. They say, “Rinpoche we love you, we care about you, and we like you, but it is very hard to live with you, so please forgive us, can I leave?” That has happened to me. And I say that to you to tell you that all of us are in the same boat. We all have room for improvement. You may think I am a great sifu. Surprise, I’m just like you, ordinary. Just an ordinary person trying to improve.

In any case, I have realised that out of ten times a day that I get angry, I guarantee you, it’s become around seven. It took me many, many years, six, seven years, but it’s become seven. At least it has become seven and not become twelve right? At least it has become seven. Now I’m going to make it my New Year’s resolution to make it five. And then 1998, make it four, three, two, one…and by the time I’m 40 or 50, you can sit in front of me with a hatchet, a knife and beat me up, throw tomatoes at me, push me off, whatever, I’ll go… No more problems and you know what happens?

Rinpoche passing out Dorje Shugden images to the locals who were naturally drawn to him when visiting Tibet in 2008

Rinpoche passing out Dorje Shugden images to the locals who were naturally drawn to him when visiting Tibet in 2008

People leave you alone. People love you. And you create less negative karma, less tension, less unhappiness. And people start to be attracted to you. All the things that you wanted. People come to you. And you have to realise, people cannot be your standard. People cannot be what you want. It’s not possible. No one is exactly alike.

So people do not live up to our expectations which is what I’m realising. If you yell at them, in fact you create more disharmony, and they get more scared and they do more mistakes. That’s what I realised in my experience. So it’s become seven with me. As I said, my New Year’s resolution will be make it five. That is Dharma practice. Aren’t I a great Dharma practitioner? That is Dharma practice, not the joss sticks, not the temples, not the Guanyins, not going to see a sifu and asking him to do divinations for you and to pray for you. That’s not Dharma.

Real Dharma is improving, and we can do it. Do you know why we can do it? Because we are intelligent. Because we have people that love us and support us and that can help us. Because we are smart to know that we want to improve. I want to because I want more happiness. I want my future lives to be happy. I want my future lives to have ten Mercedes. In order for my future life to be very happy, I must create the situation now. So first step, you must control the elephant-like mind.

Now, the first step to this improvement, the very first step to controlling the elephant-like mind, the first step is to control the mind and to focus it on these subjects that we are talking about. How do we do it? It is by meditation. This meditation is accepted by free thinkers, Buddhists, non-Buddhists. It can be used by anyone. It has nothing to do with being a practitioner of Buddhism, but it has to do with the very logical process of controlling the mind.

How do you control the mind? First, you do the seven-step meditational posture. If you cannot do the seven-step meditational posture, then you sit on a comfortable chair or you sit in a comfortable position and you use your mind.

Number one. If possible, your legs should be in a full lotus position — if possible. If the legs are not in a full lotus position, it could be half. If it is still not okay, you can [inaudible]. But however, even on a chair, the point of meditation is not torture. It is not asceticism. It is not to make you get all numb and you cannot move anymore. The point of meditation is to change the mind.

Meditation, the next word — it is a big word and we get scared. “Meditation means more hair, temple, incense, we burn the dots on our head…” No, that is not meditation. Meditation means familiarisation to a positive aspect and less negative. We sit in the seven-point meditation posture. Let’s just say you sit in a full-lotus position. Alright?

And then your back should be straight. Your back should be completely straight and if you need — like me because I have a big butt so it pulls everything down — you can put a pillow or something, you raise your spine up, make sure it is straight completely. You can keep your hands on the ground like so, or you can keep it like so. Most people keep it like so — the right inside the left. The right inside the left. And these fingers should be touching not like so, not like so, not like so, just directly. Because there is a qi energy in our body, this wind energy that will run through these channels. So when you connect it, the energies can run in a circle, instead of going here, block, come here, block, come here, block. Instead of meditation on enlightenment, you get back pain.

So you get the qi energy like that and you sit. You rest this right here in this position. You keep yourself straight and then your head should be straight, very important. And your spine should be straight and you shouldn’t be slouching or you shouldn’t be like that. Or if you do this kind of meditation like me, you sleep. Not possible. Not possible.

Then your head should be straight and your eyes should focus on the point of your nose. So if you’re European, very easy. If you’re Asian, not so easy. So in any case, here, at this point if possible. If not, then a little further up. And then if you look too much, your eyes become crossed. Not possible. So a little bit like that here. And not like that actually, like that. If you keep your eyes open then whoever goes by, you see, you look, you lose your meditation. If you keep your eyes closed, then very nice sleep. So the antidote to that is to keep it half open and down. Focus down. Halfway closed.

And then the mouth should be closed and you breathe through your nose. And the tongue should be touching the roof of your mouth, right here. Your tongue should touch the roof of your mouth. At first, it’s very difficult but after a while you get used to it. The reason for that is very, very simple. It will prevent thirst from arising. For people who can stay in meditative absorption for many, many hours, focused, they don’t become thirsty. So it is very, very straightforward and very, very practical. So your tongue should touch the roof of your mouth. Your eyes should be focused in the front, halfway, not open not closed. Your back should be straight. Your feet in a lotus or half-lotus or whatever position you are comfortable with. Your hands should touch like that. Your spine straight.

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Then you meditate on the breath. At first, you will notice you cannot focus. You cannot. It runs here, it runs there. You want to go shopping, McDonald’s, tennis court, business deal, my car, music, all going all over the place. This type of meditation cannot be effective. And then you focus on the breath. And then you shouldn’t push yourself, you shouldn’t strain yourself. You should not sit there and say, “Oh I’m going to be enlightened tonight. I’m going to sit here until I’m enlightened.” Crazy. It’s not possible.

You do five minutes at a time. You increase it to six, seven, eight, nine, ten. You increase it more and more and more. Even if it takes you 15 weeks to focus just for five minutes, do it. You will get a lot of benefits. The benefits you get will outweigh if you don’t do it and then you are stuck with that crazy mind that you have — untamed.

Every time you go outside that crazy elephant is going to run you down, so you have to go out and be like, “Where is he?” That elephant is like your ignorance, hatred, desire, anger. The minute you go out, anger again, afraid. And then a lot of people don’t like you. Oh, you go out and feel jealous. Oh, you go out, you hit people back, you fight, you are very, very tough. So that elephant is on the loose! You have to catch it.

Now, by meditation you can catch that wild elephant mind. You focus on this point of your nose, just here at the nostrils, inner, where the air goes in and out. You focus on the air going in and out. And don’t focus on the air because the air goes out, your air goes completely out. Then it goes in, then it goes down here, then you have to go to the bathroom. So you don’t focus on the air but you focus on the sensation of the air passing in and out. The sensation. So you focus right here at this point where your air goes out. Right here.

So you sit there quietly and you try to have a quiet environment. You try to have a quiet situation if possible. Maybe you tell your kids, “Out, close the door,” when you first begin your meditations. When you get advanced, the kids can jump in front of you, you can have clowns, they blow horns at you, it won’t bother you anymore. I guarantee you. When you reach advanced situations, no more.

So you focus on the air going in, tongue touching the top, right hand in the left, the thumbs touching straight, in a lotus or half-lotus or your feet out or on a chair or whatever you like to be comfortable, back is straight and the eyes half open, and then you focus on that. In and out. In and out. In and out. In and out. Focus.

And every time your mind goes off, you bring it back. Again your mind goes out, you bring it back. Again, your mind goes out, you bring it back. Again, it goes down here, goes here, past, present, it goes out, in, you bring it back here. At beginning it is a big struggle. After a while, I guarantee you, you will see your mind calm down. You will see your being calm down. And the things that have affected you will not affect you anymore.

And then with time, you can increase that meditation to 10, 15 minutes, one hour, two hours, and then eventually you can increase it to two, three days of pure focus. You can. When you reach the state after even a few hours, you can keep it focused, all the craziness and unsettledness, and anger and desire and jealousy, hatred, will calm. I guarantee you. It will calm down. Even if you show anger out, it is not anger anymore. It has a purpose.

Now, it is like turbulent water. When the waves are rushing back and forth, all the sediment and all the sand and all the seashells and rocks are being thrown. The minute the water calms and the sediment settles down, you can see the water clearly. Our mind is like that. It is like the waves on the shore, churning back and forth, unsettled. The minute it settles down, our mind becomes clear.

At that point, you will start gaining very powerful memory, very powerful intellect, very powerful intelligence. You will be able to focus and concentrate very well. And after a time, you will start remembering things that happened to you long, long, long time ago. And then gradually, you will be able to remember to the point that you were an infant. When you were in the womb of your mother, you will be able to remember it.

Then afterwards you will be able to remember your previous lives. You will come to the point of conception where your mind has entered, and where that mind has gone before that, where it came from. You will be able to focus and you will start remembering your previous lives clearly. Because remembering is a matter of concentration. It is just a matter of concentration. If you can focus and concentrate, this moment you can remember things that happened that you cannot remember usually. Definitely you’ll be able to remember.

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And then you will find a great bliss envelops your body. You will feel a great happiness and great bliss enveloping your body because the mind has calmed down. And things that ordinarily disturb you will not disturb you anymore. Things that ordinarily you are attached to, that you are unhappy about, will not bother you anymore. Things that you ordinarily worry about, it will not worry you. It doesn’t mean you become a piece of dough. It means that you will solve those problems in a straightforward, logical and very, very non-offensive way. And you’ll be able to solve it quickly and easily. That is the point of meditation, to familiarise your mind with that.

If we can do that practice every day, whether we are a free thinker, whether we are a Buddhist, whether we are not a Buddhist — it is open to humankind, it has been offered by Lord Buddha to humankind, he didn’t say only Buddhists — you will see your mind calm. The turbulent mind calms and all the turbulent emotions that come along with that will calm. Guaranteed.

And you will see a difference in your life. And how much you develop is what you can take with you. That mind that you develop. And gradually your dreams become very clear. It becomes prophetic. Gradually you will be able to decipher things very fast, very quick. Angry or unhappy or demonic emotions, all these emotions will settle down. All of it will settle down.

And then when these emotions settle down, this is very important, you do not create new situations anymore. You cut the cycle of existence. You cut that vicious cycle. You have jumped out of that cycle. Is that clear? And the previously collected karma that comes will surface and as it surfaces, you will not be affected by it anymore, it will not bother you anymore.

The previously collected karmas will not bother you anymore. It will come, you will see it, you will experience it, pleasant or unpleasant, you let it go. You take responsibility and then you do not create a new karma. That is how you break the cycle of existence. And with practice, you can do it.

I think all of you are very intelligent and very smart individuals. I don’t see any cows in here or people with tails and horns. Well… In any case, all of us are pretty much human with human intelligence. We should try to develop that. We should try to develop that.

And if we are Buddhist, we have supplementary practices to help us develop. Making offerings for the collection of positive karma. Making prostrations for the merit of collecting positive karma. Reciting mantras. Focusing on a certain deity. Focusing on a certain Buddha. Doing certain sutras. Those are supplementary practices that will gain merit, spiritual merit, for us to accomplish our meditational goals. The real practice is meditation.

Now is the time to reverse. Now is the time to transform and change. Now is the time to make a change. You are basically accomplished people. You have basically made it in life. And there is no end to what else we can make. There is no end. There will never be an end. And therefore, there is never an end to the vicious cycle that you are stuck in that goes round and round, again and again and again. It never ends.

And after this life when you have died, you will take a new life. And where your next situation is how will you guarantee? How do you know you won’t be born as a beggar overwhelmed by filth, poverty, starvation, heat, and the elements? How do you know you won’t be born deficient? What have you done in this life? Have most of your actions from morning to night been negative? Has it been positive? Have you spent your time on mahjong, drinking, smoking, idle talking? Have you spent most of your time on that? Where has that gotten you? Where have you improved? Did your body become better? Where? How?

If you check yourself, I don’t think so. If you check yourself, I don’t think so. Have you spent your life and whiled away your life at that and at the point of death, what do you have to take with you? You can say, “Oh, I have 60 beautiful grandchildren, I have 40 beautiful kids, and I have 53 million dollars in the bank, the Sultan is my best friend.” At the time of death, so what? So what? At the time of death, you and that sweeper down the street that has three dollars in the bank and you put you two together, so what?

You are finished. And then the cycle of rebirth will take on again. That subtle mind will leave your body. The gross mind will dissolve, it will dissolve into your subtle, the subtle will dissolve into your very subtle mind and that subtle mind will leave your body. And you will again wander and take on a new rebirth according to your karma. Do you want to go on like that uncontrolled? Do you want to go on like that unsure?

Rinpoche made a trip to Penang to do prayers for Pastor Loh Seng Piow’s grandmother, Mdm Chin who was terminal at that time.

There are more people who suffer in the world than there are people who don’t suffer. And the people who ‘don’t suffer’ suffer subtly. Subtly, mentally. You will most likely take rebirth in a place of suffering. If we check our lives and we are very honest with ourselves and we don’t want to save face with ourselves, if we are very honest and if we check ourselves out, most of our activities, including myself, from morning to night are negative, are for this life and this life alone, and we are stuck. We should think about it.

We should take 50–50%. We should be logical, 50% we should work towards this life and food and our needs and our family and love and compassion. 50% should be towards spiritual practice and the development of ourselves for future lives. It should be that. And then this life will be very happy and then the future lives will be very happy. It is like you get a salary every month and part of it you put away for old age. Like this, you get a spiritual salary — 50% this life, 50% future lives. That will be a very balanced life. That will be a very balanced free thinker. That will be a very balanced Buddhist, a balanced Christian, a balanced Hindu, etc.

Are there any questions? I won’t bore you any further. Any questions? No questions? You are an intelligent group. You understood everything. And then at the conclusion of a Dharma talk, usually in our tradition, we dedicate the energy or the good merits and the good things that we have acquired, towards the diminishing of suffering in the world, diminishing of famine, diminishing of unhappiness and diminishing of disharmony. And that all sentient beings may gain freedom, may gain happiness, and may gain long life, excellent health, and may they gain correct spiritual practice and become a fully enlightened Buddha.

For the energy that we have developed here and the karma that we have collected in teaching and listening and sitting and concentrating on the Dharma, we dedicate that we may become a fully enlightened being in order to benefit others. Please think like so when I chant the following verses.

[Rinpoche recites dedication verses].

 

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Blog Chat

BLOG CHAT

Dear blog friends,

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

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

Tsem Rinpoche


SCHEDULED CHAT SESSIONS / 聊天室时间表

(除了每个月的第一个星期五)
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UPCOMING TOPICS FOR JUNE / 六月份讨论主题

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Give the room a chance to answer you. Patience is a virtue. And if after awhile, people don't respond, perhaps they don't know the answer or they did not see your question. Do ask again or address someone directly. Do not be offended if people do not or are unable to respond to you.

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Please let this be a conducive space for discussions, both light and profound.

KECHARA FOREST RETREAT PROGRESS UPDATES

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

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

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

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  • payal
    Monday, Jun 10. 2024 04:27 AM
    really….such a stunning sacred image 1,000 Armed Avalokitesvara as gift from Joshua and family for Rinpoche . More so receiving it on Wesak Day is indeed wonderful. Merely looking at this stunning images is a blessing.
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, May 10. 2024 02:57 PM
    A card and hard disc from Sean Wang was truly a smart idea afterall. Nobody could imagine such idea but he did it. Placing thumb drives with millions and billions of Vajrayogini her holy mantra in Tibetan into the holy statue. Not only that drawing pictures too . Such a great idea whereby people come to make offerings, prostrate, circumambulate, collecting huge amount of merits for themselves and their love ones. Thanks to Sean Wang/
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/letters-cards-gifts/seans-got-a-great-idea.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, May 10. 2024 02:55 PM
    Reading this blog kindly reminded us of the most cherished people in our lives that’s our parents. Mother’s Day that is on this Sunday 12th of May and Father’s Day falls on the third Sunday in June. Teachers Day too important ……a day to honour and recognise their roles in our lives. Rinpoche always emphasised that we should not avoid the responsibility of repaying the kindness of the people who have helped us in our life. The only true way to honour and repay their kindness is to let them know that their kindness meant a lot to us . Do something good for them or someone else as this practice ultimately gives enormous power and possibilities for positive effects in many lives not just our own life. Simple saying thank you and expressing our appreciation can go a long way.
    Reading all those powerful quotes by Rinpoche gives us a lesson and example.
    Thank you Rinpoche and writers team for sharing

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/celebrating-kindness-20-quotes-from-tsem-rinpoche.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, May 8. 2024 06:11 PM
    Achi Chökyi Drölma is the Dharma Protector of the Drikung Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. She also appears as a protector in the Karma Kagyu refuge tree as Achi Chodron. Although Achi has a particular committment to protect the Drikung Kagyu, she is recognized and practiced by all lineages of Tibetan Buddhism. To benefit the beings in samsara, she displays a limitless number of manifestations at different times and in different space dimensions. She vowed to protect the Drikung Kagyu lineage and its practitioners, removing inner and outer obstacles , a revered figure in Tibetan Buddhism, embodies the harmonious union of compassion, wisdom, and protective energy. a powerful wisdom-protector who guards and protects all sincere Dharma-practitioners to rely on her. She is also known for her power to confer wealth. She rose to protect Drikung Kagyu lineage while Dorje Shugden who rose to protect the Gelug teaching. Interesting read.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Gen Lobsang Phuljung for this interesting write up

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/achi-chokyi-drolma-chief-protectress-of-the-drikung-kagyu.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, May 8. 2024 06:00 PM
    Dorje Shugden is a special Dharma Protector who quickly fulfils wishes and sincere prayers. He brings healing, harmony and peace; protects from harm and obstacles and attracts opportunities for success and growth. To promote the practice of Dorje Shugden, Kechara has came up a easy way for more people to understand the Powerful Practice. Presented in six different languages as such in English, Tibetan བོད་ཡིག, Chinese 中文, Hindi हिंदी, Tamil தமிழ், Nepali नेपाली so everyone could access. All those materials were distributed to visitors free of charge at all Kechara outlets. Looking at those pictures of visitors says all of how Kechara had spreads the practice of Dorje Shugden like wild fire. More people will get to know and understand the true stories and benefits of Dorje Shugden.
    Thank you Rinpoche and writers for this great sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/kechara-spreads-the-practice-of-dorje-shugden.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, May 8. 2024 05:57 PM
    For the last 60 years, the Tibetan Government-in-Exile has exploited, abused, marginalised and persecuted their people. For the first time in six decades, since the Tibetans first entered a life in exile, we are seeing more and more examples of ordinary Tibetans speaking up against this exploitation. In years gone past, Tibetans would never have dared to voice their objections to the leadership. They have been mixing religion and politics ever since. A majority of the Tibetans in India are stateless, and been sufferings quietly. Hundreds of thousands of Tibetans were killed during the Chinese invasion, prompting the young Dalai Lama to flee into exile in 1959. Because of all the exploitation the younger Tibetan generation are willing to express and speaking up.
    Reading the commentary by a anonymous member of the Tibetan community tells us how those desperate Tibetans experienced all this while and to voice the truth. Interesting read. In order to achieve peace it is necessary to address the root of violence and conflict by having dialogue between the Chinese Government and the Tibetan Government.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/tibetan-refugee-youth-speaking-up.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, May 8. 2024 05:55 PM
    Coming up with these informative website is a great work of Rinpoche and writers team. With these website it had many people get to understand more of Tibetan Buddhism , great teachers teachings and of course all about the practice of Dorje Shugden. I am one of them , its was this website I got to know , learn, and understand about Tibetan Buddhism and Dorje Shugden.
    Thank you Rinpoche with folded hands and writers team .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/fantastic-new-dorje-shugden-website-launched.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, May 8. 2024 05:53 PM
    The legendary Ra Lotsawa Dorje Drak was born in the village of Nyenam,Southern Tibet amidst many auspicious signs of a high rebirth. Ra Lotsawa was a great tantric master and is one of the most controversial Buddhist teachers in Tibetan history who had used wrathful means to subjugate his opponents. One of the previous lives of Dorje Shugden is the renowned lama Ra Lotsawa Dorje Drak, Amongst his great deeds, Ra Lotsawa was known to have renovated many with Samye, Tibet’s first monastery. He also sponsored numerous new translation works, the copying and recitation of sacred scriptures, and the installation of Buddha statues. Interesting read of the biography of this great master. Ra Lotsawa Dorje Drakpa left behind a legacy of many great lamas, practitioners and preserving, as well as spreading this tantric system in Tibet.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor David for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/ra-lotsawa-dorje-drakpa-tibetan-master-of-the-vajrabhairava-tantra.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, May 8. 2024 05:51 PM
    Dorjé Shukden is a controversial Tibetan Buddhist protector deity, believed by some to be a wrathful spirit and by others to be an enlightened Buddha. The controversy that arose from this divided understanding over the last fifty years has impacted the Tibetan Buddhist community globally and continues to be relevant to observers and practitioners of Buddhism the world over. The Yellow Book, based on its cover. It was composed by Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche in 1970, but it was not published until 1973. Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche never intended for his book to be published but somehow it was published without his permission. According to the introduction, Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche authored this book in 1970 based on teachings given by Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, the junior tutor to the 14th Dalai Lama.The original intention of this book was to be complementary material to Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche’s book, Music Delighting An Ocean of Protectors, which was published six years before the Yellow Book. The Yellow Book did not circulate widely until several years later. It is a collection of cautionary tales and teachings but sadly some influential powerful officials and people who had corrupted the Gelug lineage . Interesting read.
    I am looking forward to finish reading this book.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Martin for this interesting sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/dr-christopher-bells-views-on-zemey-rinpoches-yellow-book.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, May 4. 2024 06:15 PM
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, May 4. 2024 06:13 PM
    Firebirds are mythical birds found in the folklore of many cultures. They are often depicted as magical birds with feathers that glow like flames or the sun. The mythology surrounding firebirds varies between cultures, but there are some common themes. In Greek mythology, the mythical bird known for its ability to be reborn from its ashes, symbolizing immortality and renewal. It is often depicted as a beautiful and majestic creature with brightly coloured feathers and a long tail. Interesting read of the stories related to the mythology, legend and folklore in this blog.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/beautiful-1000-armed-avalokitesvara.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, May 4. 2024 06:13 PM
    Wow….such a stunning sacred image 1,000 Armed Avalokitesvara as gift from Joshua and family for Rinpoche . More so receiving it on Wesak Day is indeed wonderful. Merely looking at this stunning images is a blessing. Its such a meaningful and beautiful gift.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/beautiful-1000-armed-avalokitesvara.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, May 4. 2024 06:09 PM
    For thousands of years a mystical paradise land hidden within the Himalayan Mountains called Shambhala also known by many names. For many generations, people have attempted to search for this paradise land of spiritual evolution.According to the legend, Shambhala is a place of peace and happiness. The existence of Shambhala is mentioned in the old scripture. There are many legends associated with the location of Shambhala. There are many great meditators that have travelled astrally to this beautiful paradise place sharing and describe their experiences. Reading through this interesting article again and again to understand better.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/the-mythical-land-of-shambhala.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, May 4. 2024 06:07 PM
    Cham Dance is the traditional dance of Tibetans. It involves a series of masked dances, which are usually performed by monks and laymen, wearing colourful costumes. These dances are vibrant and lively and are performed during annual festivals. Dorje Shugden Cham dance is one of them, is said to have originated in the Himalayan range and by far the date and year are kept as a treasured secret to this date. The Dorje Shugden cham dance is rare but not an obscure lineage; there are certain monasteries in Tibet who have practised this dance for hundreds of years. Dorje Shugden Cham dance is a colourful and impressive performance, performed by Buddhist monks who practiced Dorje Shugden. The Cham dance is very powerful and through the dance which depicts the truth of Dorje Shugden.There are a few variations of accounts on the history and the lineage of Dorje Shugden, written by various attained lamas in the last 350 years. Collected works on Dorje Shugden written by His H H Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche considered the most accurate account. As describes clearly how Dorje Shugden for many lifetimes had manifested high level Mahasiddhas. Dorje Shugden and his entourage of thirty-two deities are all depicted in the Cham dance as a World Peace Protector. Interesting read.
    Thank you Rinpoche great sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/travel/dorje-shugden-cham-dance-in-nyemo-gyelche-monastery-tibet.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Apr 20. 2024 04:08 PM
    Momo is a dumpling made of all-purpose flour and filled with either meat or vegetables. Inspired by Tibetan dumplings, the dish is a very popular Nepali street food. It is one of my favourite foods. Last year while in Kathmandu I am fortunate given the opportunity to learn and made vegetarian Momos.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing as it reminds me of trip there visiting some of the Holiest sites and trying my hand making momos then.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/students-friends/making-nepalese-momos.html

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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

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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 years 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 years 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 years 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 years 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 years 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 years 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 years 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 years 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.
4 years 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!
4 years 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)
5 years 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)
5 years 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)
5 years 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
5 years 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
5 years 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!
5 years 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
5 years 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
5 years 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
5 years 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
5 years 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
5 years 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
5 years 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
5 years ago
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
5 years ago
Sacred Vajra Yogini
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
5 years ago
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
5 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.
5 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.
5 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
5 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
5 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!!!
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 years ago
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
5 years ago
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 years ago
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
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CHAT PICTURES

We hope you enjoyed our pictures, as much as we enjoyed our Wesak Day together in Penang. Let us carry the energy and enthusiasm we experienced so far and inspires many more. Happy Wesak Day! 22/5/2024 KPSG by Jacinta
3 weeks ago
We hope you enjoyed our pictures, as much as we enjoyed our Wesak Day together in Penang. Let us carry the energy and enthusiasm we experienced so far and inspires many more. Happy Wesak Day! 22/5/2024 KPSG by Jacinta
Puja offering packages. Thanks to those who sponsored the puja. May all your wishes be fulfilled. KPSG by Jacinta
4 weeks ago
Puja offering packages. Thanks to those who sponsored the puja. May all your wishes be fulfilled. KPSG by Jacinta
Colourful altar with plenty of offerings. We had DS puja with Praise to Buddha Shakyamuni as we celebrate this special day of Buddha's Birth, Enlightenment and Parinirvana. KPSG by Jacinta
4 weeks ago
Colourful altar with plenty of offerings. We had DS puja with Praise to Buddha Shakyamuni as we celebrate this special day of Buddha's Birth, Enlightenment and Parinirvana. KPSG by Jacinta
Some of the activities done during the Wesak Day Celebration in Penang. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
4 weeks ago
Some of the activities done during the Wesak Day Celebration in Penang. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
Wesak Day Celebration in Penang!Buddha's Bathing Ritual. 22/5/2024 Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
4 weeks ago
Wesak Day Celebration in Penang!Buddha's Bathing Ritual. 22/5/2024 Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
11/5/2024 Saturday @3pm. After puja, all members helped out clearing the offerings and we shared out the blessed food offerings with our families, friends and even animals. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
4 weeks ago
11/5/2024 Saturday @3pm. After puja, all members helped out clearing the offerings and we shared out the blessed food offerings with our families, friends and even animals. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
11/5/2024 Saturday @3pm. Activities during puja. Members chanting Dorje Shugden mantras. We've completed Dorje Shugden puja cum Namasangiti. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
4 weeks ago
11/5/2024 Saturday @3pm. Activities during puja. Members chanting Dorje Shugden mantras. We've completed Dorje Shugden puja cum Namasangiti. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
11/5/2024, Saturday @3pm. Activities : Offerings of khata to Rinpoche, garland of flowers to Dorje Shugden and a new Tibetan butterlamp being offered on the altar. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
4 weeks ago
11/5/2024, Saturday @3pm. Activities : Offerings of khata to Rinpoche, garland of flowers to Dorje Shugden and a new Tibetan butterlamp being offered on the altar. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
Today we have an inaugural cancer free diet talk and info sharing by Mr. Ooi. Mr. Ooi is a Penangite and like any other man, he has a family to provide for. From colon cancer stage 4,he is now known as a cancer-free man. Learn more about his story and his acquaintance with Dorje Shugden here https://youtu.be/x7i-yXJBUwM?si=A-5O0udxjg52iS58
1 month ago
Today we have an inaugural cancer free diet talk and info sharing by Mr. Ooi. Mr. Ooi is a Penangite and like any other man, he has a family to provide for. From colon cancer stage 4,he is now known as a cancer-free man. Learn more about his story and his acquaintance with Dorje Shugden here https://youtu.be/x7i-yXJBUwM?si=A-5O0udxjg52iS58
Kind-hearted sponsors sponsored these kuih-muih & flowers for today's puja @ 4th May, 2024. Should you wish to contribute these or sponsor our weekly puja, do contact us for more details. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
1 month ago
Kind-hearted sponsors sponsored these kuih-muih & flowers for today's puja @ 4th May, 2024. Should you wish to contribute these or sponsor our weekly puja, do contact us for more details. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
Pastor Seng Piow guides us on the flow of Dorje Shugden puja, its benefits, significant of Chanting the names of Manjushri and also explaining the dedication for the sponsors and to those in need before we start the puja as we have 2 newcomers today.
2 months ago
Pastor Seng Piow guides us on the flow of Dorje Shugden puja, its benefits, significant of Chanting the names of Manjushri and also explaining the dedication for the sponsors and to those in need before we start the puja as we have 2 newcomers today.
Two Pastors in da house! Double the merits, double the happiness. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
2 months ago
Two Pastors in da house! Double the merits, double the happiness. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
Mr. Cheah Fook Wan offered lights and incense to The Three Jewels prior to the puja in Ipoh. (KISG - Kin Hoe)
2 months ago
Mr. Cheah Fook Wan offered lights and incense to The Three Jewels prior to the puja in Ipoh. (KISG - Kin Hoe)
Kechara Ipoh Study Group has carried out Mother Tara prayer recitations on Sunday afternoon in Ipoh. (KISG- Kin Hoe)
2 months ago
Kechara Ipoh Study Group has carried out Mother Tara prayer recitations on Sunday afternoon in Ipoh. (KISG- Kin Hoe)
Powerful Dorje Shugden puja @ Jalan Seang Tek, Penang. Every Saturday, 3 pm. Remove obstacles and grant blessings to fulfil wishes. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta. 6th April 2024
2 months ago
Powerful Dorje Shugden puja @ Jalan Seang Tek, Penang. Every Saturday, 3 pm. Remove obstacles and grant blessings to fulfil wishes. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta. 6th April 2024
Rejoice to the volunteers (also kind sponsors) who cleaned the Gyenze Chapel and made abundant offerings to Gyenze. ~ Alice
3 months ago
Rejoice to the volunteers (also kind sponsors) who cleaned the Gyenze Chapel and made abundant offerings to Gyenze. ~ Alice
Offered beautiful flowers abundantly to Gyenze. ~ Alice
3 months ago
Offered beautiful flowers abundantly to Gyenze. ~ Alice
Offered beautiful flowers abundantly to Gyenze. ~ Alice
3 months ago
Offered beautiful flowers abundantly to Gyenze. ~ Alice
Our weekly Dorje Shugden Puja @ 23/3/2024 . William, as the umze is seen here burning incense powder as we are about to recite the Sangsol Prayer to Dorje Shugden composed by Ganden Serkong. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
3 months ago
Our weekly Dorje Shugden Puja @ 23/3/2024 . William, as the umze is seen here burning incense powder as we are about to recite the Sangsol Prayer to Dorje Shugden composed by Ganden Serkong. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
And here's Mr Wong of KSK Ipoh who dropped by to pray and offered some donation to the Chapel. Kechara Penang Study Group. Pic by Siew Hong & uploaded by Jacinta.
3 months ago
And here's Mr Wong of KSK Ipoh who dropped by to pray and offered some donation to the Chapel. Kechara Penang Study Group. Pic by Siew Hong & uploaded by Jacinta.
Today's puja (16/3/2024) ended around 420pm, Jacinta was the umze of the day. Pic by Siew Hong. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
3 months ago
Today's puja (16/3/2024) ended around 420pm, Jacinta was the umze of the day. Pic by Siew Hong. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
Group photo taken after the last session, sealed with King of Prayers. Come and join us next time! Sayonara - 9-10th March 2024 - Kechara Penang DS Retreat by Jacinta.
3 months ago
Group photo taken after the last session, sealed with King of Prayers. Come and join us next time! Sayonara - 9-10th March 2024 - Kechara Penang DS Retreat by Jacinta.
Abundance altar! Fruits, flowers, Mee Koo (traditional Penang buns), Bee Hoon, sourdoughs and snacks are some of the offerings to Rinpoche, Buddhas & Bodhisattvas. Kechara Penang Dorje Shugden Retreat 9-10th March, 2024 by Jacinta.
3 months ago
Abundance altar! Fruits, flowers, Mee Koo (traditional Penang buns), Bee Hoon, sourdoughs and snacks are some of the offerings to Rinpoche, Buddhas & Bodhisattvas. Kechara Penang Dorje Shugden Retreat 9-10th March, 2024 by Jacinta.
Siew Hong, one of retreatants and an active member of Kechara Penang group proudly presented her torma to be used during the Kalarupa puja. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
3 months ago
Siew Hong, one of retreatants and an active member of Kechara Penang group proudly presented her torma to be used during the Kalarupa puja. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
Torma making was taught by Pastor Seng Piow and held one day before the retreat. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
3 months ago
Torma making was taught by Pastor Seng Piow and held one day before the retreat. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
Penang Dorje Shugden Retreat cum Puja, 9-10th March 2024 led by Pastor Seng Piow with 12 retreatants. Uploaded by Jacinta
3 months ago
Penang Dorje Shugden Retreat cum Puja, 9-10th March 2024 led by Pastor Seng Piow with 12 retreatants. Uploaded by Jacinta
The celebration ended with a Dorje Shugden puja, dedicated to all the sponsors, our loved ones and as well as for the happiness & good health for all sentient beings. May Rinpoche return swiftly too and taking this opportunity wishing all Happy Chinese New Year and Gong Xi Fa Cai from all of us, Kechara Penang Study Group. Uploaded by Jacinta.
4 months ago
The celebration ended with a Dorje Shugden puja, dedicated to all the sponsors, our loved ones and as well as for the happiness & good health for all sentient beings. May Rinpoche return swiftly too and taking this opportunity wishing all Happy Chinese New Year and Gong Xi Fa Cai from all of us, Kechara Penang Study Group. Uploaded by Jacinta.
Seen here, Pastor Seng Piow set off firecrackers - welcoming of the upcoming year with enthusiasm and positive energy. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
4 months ago
Seen here, Pastor Seng Piow set off firecrackers - welcoming of the upcoming year with enthusiasm and positive energy. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
In this pic, Pastor Seng Piow is sharing Dharma with newbies ~ Sharyn's friends. It's always good to make light offerings at the beginning of new year. By making light offerings, you are able to dispel the darkness of ignorance and achieve wisdom. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
4 months ago
In this pic, Pastor Seng Piow is sharing Dharma with newbies ~ Sharyn's friends. It's always good to make light offerings at the beginning of new year. By making light offerings, you are able to dispel the darkness of ignorance and achieve wisdom. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
One the day of Losar (new lunar year), it is always beneficial for Buddhist practitioners to get together in making abundant offerings to Buddhas on the altar to usher in goodness, prosperity and well-being of our loved ones. It's more auspicious this year as Losar and the Chinese New Year begin on the same date, 10th Feb, 2024. Back in Penang, our Kechara members came together to decorate the altar with abundance offerings for Dorje Shugden puja @3pm. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
4 months ago
One the day of Losar (new lunar year), it is always beneficial for Buddhist practitioners to get together in making abundant offerings to Buddhas on the altar to usher in goodness, prosperity and well-being of our loved ones. It's more auspicious this year as Losar and the Chinese New Year begin on the same date, 10th Feb, 2024. Back in Penang, our Kechara members came together to decorate the altar with abundance offerings for Dorje Shugden puja @3pm. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
Mr. Dared Lim was offering water bowls on behalf of Kechara Ipoh Study Group. (Kin Hoe)
4 months ago
Mr. Dared Lim was offering water bowls on behalf of Kechara Ipoh Study Group. (Kin Hoe)
Jun from Ipoh was offering mandarin oranges to Mother Tara and The Three Jewels. (Kin Hoe)
4 months ago
Jun from Ipoh was offering mandarin oranges to Mother Tara and The Three Jewels. (Kin Hoe)
Prior to our puja in Ipoh, Mr. & Mrs. Cheah Fook Wan were preparing for the offerings to the Buddhas. (Kin Hoe)
4 months ago
Prior to our puja in Ipoh, Mr. & Mrs. Cheah Fook Wan were preparing for the offerings to the Buddhas. (Kin Hoe)
On Sunday afternoon, Kechara Ipoh Study Group has carried out Mother Tara prayer recitations in Ipoh. (Kin Hoe)
4 months ago
On Sunday afternoon, Kechara Ipoh Study Group has carried out Mother Tara prayer recitations in Ipoh. (Kin Hoe)
Some of the best shots taken during Thaipusam in Penang. Swee Bee, Huey, Tang KS, Nathan, Choong SH and Jacinta volunteered. Wai Meng came all the way from KL to help out. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
5 months ago
Some of the best shots taken during Thaipusam in Penang. Swee Bee, Huey, Tang KS, Nathan, Choong SH and Jacinta volunteered. Wai Meng came all the way from KL to help out. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
Simple yet powerful ally ~ Bhagawan Dorje Shuden. Kechara Penang Study Group consists of Chien Seong, Hue, Choong SH, Tang KS, Swee Bee and Jacinta. Wai Meng came all the way from KL to help out. Uploaded by Jacinta.
5 months ago
Simple yet powerful ally ~ Bhagawan Dorje Shuden. Kechara Penang Study Group consists of Chien Seong, Hue, Choong SH, Tang KS, Swee Bee and Jacinta. Wai Meng came all the way from KL to help out. Uploaded by Jacinta.
Thaipusam in Penang. Some of the best shots. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
5 months ago
Thaipusam in Penang. Some of the best shots. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
Nothing beats having a sacred audience with our lineage lamas. It's not selfie or wefie, but we have the best 'groufie'!!! 20th Jan 2024, Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
5 months ago
Nothing beats having a sacred audience with our lineage lamas. It's not selfie or wefie, but we have the best 'groufie'!!! 20th Jan 2024, Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
Welcoming our lineage Gurus to our Penang Chapel today! Pastor Seng Piow explained the significance of having Guru Tree and introduced to us our lineage lamas, Buddhas, deities, protectors and etc.
5 months ago
Welcoming our lineage Gurus to our Penang Chapel today! Pastor Seng Piow explained the significance of having Guru Tree and introduced to us our lineage lamas, Buddhas, deities, protectors and etc.
Umze for the day was Siew Hong. She's just been with us for slightly more than a year now but she's proven her capability in leading the puja. Our Penang group members are so proud of her and her commitment in attending the weekly puja. Despite being eloquence and smart, she has beautiful chant as well. When she leads, make sure you are there to hear her chant for yourself! Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
5 months ago
Umze for the day was Siew Hong. She's just been with us for slightly more than a year now but she's proven her capability in leading the puja. Our Penang group members are so proud of her and her commitment in attending the weekly puja. Despite being eloquence and smart, she has beautiful chant as well. When she leads, make sure you are there to hear her chant for yourself! Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
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Dorje Shugden
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