Emptiness with a Heart of Compassion

Feb 1, 2017 | Views: 2,090

(By Tsem Rinpoche)

Dear friends around the world,

I have always been very attracted to Buddhism since young, although my parents forbade me to engage in it fully. I would always look for secret opportunities to do my sadhanas (daily prayers) and would be beaten severely if I were caught in the act. It was a very difficult period for me but if I were given a choice, I would happily and willingly go through all that again.

One of the core tenets of Buddhism is Emptiness. In modern times, the attainment of perfect and complete understanding of Emptiness is made more difficult by ever-present distractions such as the Internet, Facebook and modern conveniences. The culture of materialism, peer pressure, and constant advertising does not help at all either. Thus, in many ways, the concept and understanding of Emptiness has become much more crucial and relevant for the people of today.

In 2007 during a book club session at Kechara House, I gave a short teaching on Emptiness based on the book ‘Dragon Thunder’ by Diana Mukpo.

I also hope you enjoy this article on the Heart Sutra, perhaps the most famous teaching on Emptiness, and do leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

Tsem Rinpoche

 


 

The Heart Sutra Will Change You Forever

By Karl Brunnholzl on Wednesday December 28th, 2016

ImmortalEnergyBody1

 

Finding Wisdom in the Emptiness

“Penetrate the true meaning of the Heart Sutra, says Karl Brunnhölzl, and nothing will be the same again. The secret is making it personal.

There is no doubt that the Heart Sutra is the most frequently used and recited text in the entire Mahayana Buddhist tradition, which still flourishes in Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Tibet, Mongolia, Bhutan, China, parts of India and Nepal, and, more recently, also in the Americas and Europe.

 

The Heart of Wisdom

Many people have said many different things about what the Heart Sutra is and what it is not, such as being the heart of wisdom, a statement of how things truly are, the key teaching of the Mahayana, a condensation of all the Prajnaparamita Sutras (the Buddha’s second turning of the wheel of dharma), or an explanation of emptiness in a nutshell. In order to understand the actual words of the Heart Sutra, it’s helpful to first explore its background within the Buddhist tradition as well as the meanings of “prajnaparamita” and “emptiness.”

Is the Heart Sutra the Heart of Wisdom?

When we read the Heart Sutra, it sounds nuts, but that is actually where the wisdom part comes in.

One thing we can safely say about the Heart Sutra is that it is completely crazy. If we read it, it does not make any sense. Well, maybe the beginning and end make sense, but everything in the middle sounds like a sophisticated form of nonsense, which can be said to be the basic feature of the Prajnaparamita Sutras in general. If we like the word “no,” we might like the sutra because that is the main word it uses—no this, no that, no everything. We could also say that it is a sutra about wisdom, but it is a sutra about crazy wisdom.

 

Everything is Taken Away

When we read it, it sounds nuts, but that is actually where the wisdom part comes in. What the Heart Sutra (like all Prajnaparamita Sutras) does is to cut through, deconstruct, and demolish all our usual conceptual frameworks, all our rigid ideas, all our belief systems, all our reference points, including any with regard to our spiritual path.

Demolishing our conceptual frameworks, including any with regard to our spiritual path.

It does so on a very fundamental level, not just in terms of thinking and concepts, but also in terms of our perception, how we see the world, how we hear, how we smell, taste, touch, how we regard and emotionally react to ourselves and others, and so on.

This sutra pulls the rug out from underneath our feet and does not leave anything intact that we can think of, nor even a lot of things that we cannot think of. This is called “crazy wisdom.” I guess I should give you a warning here that this sutra is hazardous to your samsaric sanity. What Sangharakshita says about the Diamond Sutra equally applies to all Prajnaparamita Sutras, including the Heart Sutra:

“…if we insist that the requirements of the logical mind be satisfied, we are missing the point. What the Diamond Sutra is actually delivering is not a systematic treatise, but a series of sledgehammer blows, attacking from this side and that, to try and break through our fundamental delusion. It is not going to make things easy for the logical mind by putting things in a logical form. This sutra is going to be confusing, irritating, annoying, and unsatisfying—and perhaps we cannot ask for it to be otherwise. If it were all set forth neatly and clearly, leaving no loose ends, we might be in danger of thinking we had grasped the Perfection of Wisdom.
—Sangharakshita, Wisdom Beyond Words

A young Sangharakshita

 

A Manual for Contemplation

Another way to look at the Heart Sutra is that it represents a very condensed contemplation manual. It is not just something to be read or recited, but the intention is to contemplate its meaning in as detailed a way as possible. Since it is the Heart Sutra, it conveys the heart essence of what is called prajnaparamita, the “perfection of wisdom or insight.” In itself, it does not fuss around, or give us all the details.

It is more like a brief memo for contemplating all the elements of our psychophysical existence from the point of view of what we are now, what we become as we progress on the Buddhist path, and what we attain (or do not attain) at the end of that path. If we want to read all the details, we have to go to the longer Prajnaparamita Sutras, which make up about twenty-one thousand pages in the Tibetan Buddhist canon—twenty-one thousand pages of “no.” The longest sutra alone, in one hundred thousand lines, consists of twelve large books.

The Prajnaparamita Sutras

The Heart Sutra is on the lower end, so to speak, and the shortest sutra consists of just one letter, which is my personal favorite. It starts with the usual introduction, “Once the Buddha was dwelling in Rajagriha at Vulture Flock Mountain” and so on, and then he said, “A.” It ends with all the gods and so on rejoicing, and that’s it. It is said that there are people who actually realize the meaning of the Prajnaparamita Sutras through just hearing or reading “A.”

 

A Big Koan

Besides being a meditation manual, we could also say that the Heart Sutra is like a big koan. But it is not just one koan, it is like those Russian dolls: there is one big doll on the outside and then there is a smaller one inside that first one, and there are many more smaller ones in each following one. Likewise, all the “nos” in the big koan of the sutra are little koans. Every little phrase with a “no” is a different koan in terms of what the “no” relates to, such as “no eye,” “no ear,” and so on.

The Heart Sutra is like a big koan

It is an invitation to contemplate what that means. “No eye,” “no ear” sounds very simple and very straightforward, but if we go into the details, it is not that straightforward at all. In other words, all those different “no” phrases give us different angles or facets of the main theme of the sutra, which is emptiness. Emptiness means that things do not exist as they seem, but are like illusions and like dreams.

They do not have a nature or a findable core of their own. Each one of those phrases makes us look at that very same message. The message or the looking are not really different, but we look at it in relation to different things. What does it mean that the eye is empty? What does it mean that visible form is empty? What does it mean that even wisdom, buddhahood, and nirvana are empty?

What does it mean that the eye is empty?

 

Forget Everything

From an ordinary Buddhist point of view, we could even say that the Heart Sutra is not only crazy, but it is iconoclastic or even heretical. Many people have complained about the Prajnaparamita Sutras because they also trash all the hallmarks of Buddhism itself, such as the Four Noble Truths, the Buddhist path, and nirvana. These sutras not only say that our ordinary thoughts, emotions, and perceptions are invalid and that they do not really exist as they seem to, but that the same goes for all the concepts and frameworks of philosophical schools—non- Buddhist schools, Buddhist schools, and even the Mahayana, the tradition to which the Prajnaparamita Sutras belong.

Is there any other spiritual tradition that says, “Everything that we teach, just forget about it”? It is somewhat similar to the boss of Microsoft recently having publicly recommended that PC users should not buy Windows Vista any more, but instead go straight from Windows XP to Windows 7. Basically, he was advertising against his own product. The Heart Sutra is similar to that, except that it tells us only what not to buy, but not what to buy instead.

Is there any other spiritual tradition that says, “Everything that we teach, just forget about it”?

 

No, No, No

In brief, if we have never seen the Heart Sutra and we read it, it sounds crazy because it just keeps saying “no, no, no.” If we are trained in Buddhism, it also sounds crazy (maybe even more so) because it negates everything that we have learned and try to cultivate.

How does our mind feel when we are not grasping at anything, when we are not trying to entertain ourselves, and when our mind is not going outside (or not going anywhere at all), when there is no place left to go?

The Heart Sutra and the other Prajnaparamita Sutras talk about a lot of things, but their most fundamental theme is the basic groundlessness of our experience. They say that no matter what we do, no matter what we say, and no matter what we feel, we need not believe any of it. There is nothing whatsoever to hold on to, and even that is not sure. So these sutras pull the rug out from under us all the time and take away all our favorite toys.

In time we see everything is an illusion

 

Finding New Mental Toys

Usually when someone takes away one of our mental toys we just find new toys. That is one of the reasons why many of the Prajnaparamita Sutras are so long—they list all the toys we can think of and even more, but our mind still keeps grasping at new ones. The basic point is to get to a place where we actually stop searching for and grasping at the next toy.

“Then we need to see how that state of mind feels. How does our mind feel when we are not grasping at anything, when we are not trying to entertain ourselves, and when our mind is not going outside (or not going anywhere at all), when there is no place left to go?

Usually we think that if a given phenomenon is not something, it must be nothing, and if it is not nothing, it must be something. But emptiness is just a word for pointing out the fact that no matter what we say or think about something, it does not really correctly characterize that something because our dualistic mind just gets stuck in one extreme or the other. Thus, we could say that emptiness is like thinking outside of the box, that is, the box of black-and-white thinking or dualistic thinking.

Dualistic thinking

As long as we stay within the ballpark of dualistic thinking, there is always existence, nonexistence, permanence, extinction, good, and bad. Within that frame of reference, we will never get beyond it, no matter if we are religious, a scientist, a Buddhist, an agnostic, or whatever. Emptiness tells us that we have to step out of that ballpark altogether. Emptiness points to the most radical transformation of our entire outlook with regard to ourselves and the world. Emptiness not only means the end of the world as we know it, but that this world never really existed in the first place.

Without developing a soft heart and compassion, which like water softens our mental rigidity, there is a danger that the teachings on emptiness can make our hearts even harder.

Emptiness tells us that we have to step out of that ballpark altogether.

 

The Epitome of Compassion

Why is it called the “Heart Sutra”? It has that name because it teaches the heart of the Mahayana, primarily in terms of the view. However, the basic motivation of the Mahayana is also implicitly contained in this sutra in the form of Avalokiteshvara, the great bodhisattva who is the embodiment of the loving-kindness and compassion of all buddhas. It is actually the only Prajnaparamita Sutra in which Avalokiteshvara appears at all, and in it he is even the main speaker. Thus, the Heart Sutra teaches emptiness through the epitome of compassion.

It is often said that, in a sense, emptiness is the heart of the Mahayana, but the heart of emptiness is compassion. The scriptures even use the phrase “emptiness with a heart of compassion.” It is crucial to never forget that. The main reason for Avalokitesvara’s presence here is to symbolize the aspect of compassion and to emphasize that we should not miss out on it. If we just read all the “nos” and then get hooked on the “no path” of “no self” and “no attainment,” it gets a little dreary or depressing and we may wonder, “Why are we doing this?” or “Why are we not doing this?” In fact, the heart essence of the Prajnaparamita teachings and the Mahayana is the union of emptiness and compassion.

The epitome of compassion

 

Reading with a Soft Heart

If we look at the larger Prajnaparamita Sutras, we see that they teach both aspects extensively. In addition to teaching about emptiness, they also speak about the path in great detail, such as how to cultivate loving-kindness and compassion, how to do certain meditations, and how to progress through the paths. They do not always say “no,” but also sometimes present things in a more positive light. Even the Heart Sutra, toward the end, comes up with a few phrases without “no.”

Without developing a soft heart and compassion, which like water softens our mental rigidity, there is a danger that the teachings on emptiness can make our hearts even harder. If we think we understand emptiness, but our compassion does not increase, or even lessens, we are on the wrong track. Therefore, for those of us who are Buddhists, it is good and necessary to give rise to compassion and bodhichitta before we study, recite, and contemplate this sutra. All others may connect with any spot of compassion that they can find in their hearts.

Finding a soft heart before we read the sutras

 

Let Go and Relax

In yet another way, we could say that the Heart Sutra is an invitation to just let go and relax. We can replace all the words in this sutra that go with “no,” such as “no eye,” “no ear,” with all our problems, such as “no depression,” “no fear,” “no unemployment,” “no war,” and so on. That might sound simplistic, but if we do that and actually make it into a contemplation on what all those things such as depression, fear, war, and economic crisis actually are, it can become very powerful, maybe even more powerful than the original words in the sutra.

Usually we are not that interested in, for example, our ears and whether they really exist or not, so with regard to contemplating what emptiness means, one of the basic principles of the Prajnaparamita Sutras is to make the examination as personal as possible. It is not about reciting some stereotypical formula or the Heart Sutra without ever getting to the core of our own clinging to real existence with regard to those phenomena to which we obviously do cling, or our own egoclinging.

The Heart Sutra inspires personal examination

For example, the Heart Sutra does not say “no self,” “no home,” “no partner,” “no job,” “no money,” which are the things we usually care about. Therefore, in order to make it more relevant to our life, we have to fill those in. The Heart Sutra gives us a basic template of how to contemplate emptiness, but the larger Prajnaparamita Sutras fill in a lot of stuff, not only saying “no eye,” “no ear,” and so on. They go through endless lists of all kinds of phenomena, so we are welcome to come up with our own personal lists of phenomena that map out our personal universe and then apply the approach of the Heart Sutra to those lists.

 

The Heart Attack Sutra

There are accounts in several of the larger Prajnaparamita Sutras about people being present in the audience who had already attained certain advanced levels of spiritual development or insight that liberated them from samsaric existence and suffering. These people, who are called “arhats” in Buddhism, were listening to the Buddha speaking about emptiness and then had different reactions. Some thought, “This is crazy, let’s go” and left. Others stayed, but some of them had heart attacks, vomited blood, and died.

The Buddha’s teaching went straight to the heart

It seems they didn’t leave in time. These arhats were so shocked by what they were hearing that they died on the spot. That’s why somebody suggested to me that we could call the Heart Sutra the Heart Attack Sutra. Another meaning of that could be that this sutra goes right for the heart of the matter, while mercilessly attacking all ego trips that prevent us from waking up to our true heart. In any case, so far nobody has had a heart attack here, which is good news. But the bad news is that probably nobody understood it either.

From “The Heart Attack Sutra, by Karl Brunnhölzl, published by Snow Lion, 2012.
Feature Image: Unknown Artist.
Source: http://upliftconnect.com/heart-sutra-will-change-you/

 
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26 Responses to Emptiness with a Heart of Compassion

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  1. Samfoonheei on Oct 22, 2020 at 12:35 pm

    The Heart Sutra is the most widely known sutra of the Mahayana tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. We may try changing who we are in an attempt to fit in and even if we achieve a new feeling of belonging, the emptiness remains. Emptiness is an important door to liberation in life. The Heart Sutra is a very condensed contemplation manual. Will read it over and again to understand better . I still have a long way to go trying to absorb what ever I could. We have to develop a soft heart and compassion, firstly before we read the sutras. At the heart of emptiness is compassion….quoted.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this great teachings.

  2. wan wai meng on May 28, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    A very short piece of article about the Heart Sutra.

    I feel this is a teaching that challenges our unenlightened dualistic thinking, hence we are not challenging views that are one or two days old thoughts that have been with since the beginning of time. Hence like the article says it is a Heart Attack Sutra, it shakes and challenges all the concepts we have held dearly for countless existences. So that could be a very disconcerting experience.

    What I got from this article is that studying wisdom teachings like emptiness, should not make us to be intellectual only and be devoid of compassion for others. It should not harden our hearts and mind, in fact it should make us even have compassion for others who are in the same predicament like us who are still swimming in samsara, in a sea of dualism.

    This is good, I feel the article helps you to see, the no’s in the Heart Sutra are indicating that reality is not what you think it is, and but is does not focus on saying what is. From the Lamrim, we do learn that all things, phenomena and us arises from causes and conditions, nothing arises independently like a self arising thing.

  3. Yau Mun on Apr 8, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    “Emptiness” has been the central teaching of Buddhism but not many religious masters are able to explain the true meaning. In the past, I always have this question in my mind, why “emptiness” make our hearts even harder on one hand but the other, we need to be kind and compassion to others in all the buddhism teaching. Thank you very much for this article, at least I know now that we need to have Wisdom and Compassion to attain/achieve emptiness. I may not have the merit and wisdom to understand emptiness for now, but this article give me a new view. Thank you very much Rinpoche _/\_

  4. Pastor Chia on Apr 5, 2017 at 7:41 am

    Heart sutra is one of the profound teaching in Buddhism. Is good for us understand it content and practice. The essence of the heart sutra is describe how phenomenon existence we proceed are not real existence of their own and we are label on it.Eventually lead to Emptiness. Realising emptiness will lead us enter enlighten path and free us from samsara. Recite heart sutra daily will help us cleaning our unstable mind, depression to see the truth nature of samsara which cause us suffering.

  5. Julia Tan on Apr 5, 2017 at 7:33 am

    It is not easy for me to understand the heart sutra at least in this life about emptiness just like what it says in the article, people like “arhats” in Buddhism, who were listening to the Buddha speaking about emptiness, left, stayed, but some of them had heart attacks, vomited blood, and died. We need to believe that whatever we see, we know and we touch is not real, all wrong, it doesn’t exist actually, it is something else. For now we need to keep our mind open in order to accept the new concepts that we think it’s crazy of the existence. One day i may wake up and realise what is behind all these “no” after achieving the true compassion, when we have “No I” anymore. When I achieved “No I”, that also means everything is “gone”. Our sufferings, happiness, greed, jealousy, ego etc etc are gone, disappeared, my mind filled with a totally new wisdom, just like I have left the world or samsara and gone into some where else outside the 6 realms. For now i can only imagine with my open mind. To understand emptiness is a long journey of training and mind transformation process lead by an attained Guru.

  6. Pastor Antoinette on Apr 5, 2017 at 6:20 am

    The Heart Sutra is beautiful to recite but is very difficult to understand as it leads us to enightenment. At the heart of emptiness is compassion. It is said in the article that if we as Buddhist want to study the heart sutra, we should give rise to our compassion and bodhicitta. before we study and contemplate this sutra.

    Our thinking does change when we apply the Heart Sutra as Rinpoche explained in the video, Based on the book, Chögyam Trungpa applied “crazy wisdom”, and did what is usually not accepted but the results and the control he had of himself in all situations showed that he is a bodhisattva.

  7. Pastor Albert on Apr 5, 2017 at 4:13 am

    It mentioned at the last part, “These arhats were so shocked by what they were hearing that they died on the spot.”

    Even to the Arhats who has achieved their level of realization and yet, they still could not take it for the meaning of Heart Sutra, more over to human like us. How can we understand fully the meaning of Heart Sutra and emptiness?

    In this world, nothing exist by itself, everything we see, it is because we need it, so we created it and give it a name. e.g. Table, it is not necessary to be square or round, it can be any shape or size or even different name, form is empty, empty is form, whatever we created 500 years ago may not be the same anymore or does not exist anymore. Nothing stays permanent.

  8. June Kang on Apr 5, 2017 at 3:28 am

    Although “emptiness”“ is a central teaching of Buddhism, but its true meaning is often misunderstood. People often think that “emptiness” is empty, and sometimes it is empty that there is nothing, such as empty cups, there is no tea。Sometime this misunderstanding will lead to negative stage that people think everything is empty so do not need to work hard or do anything.

    These misunderstandings are understandable, because it is very difficult to understand, to express or describe it. To me, only person with true wisdom can see the true meaning of emptiness. But this doesn’t mean we do not need to learn anymore, we still need to learn and practice Dharma to gain merits and to increase our wisdom to understand emptiness.

  9. Esther Goh on Apr 5, 2017 at 1:37 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article with us. As a newbie to dharma it has enlightened me and opened my mind to so many things that I was oblivious to in the past. What we see is not necessary what it perceives to be. We may possess material wealth but in actual fact we are empty inside if we do not find our inner peace. I have never recited the Heart Sutra and do not know how but I will definitely do so from now onwards. So blessed to be connected with you.
    With folded palms,
    Esther

  10. Tek Lee on Apr 5, 2017 at 1:07 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article and the video. Heart Sutra is a very beautiful sutra, but it is very “technical”. It requires many practices in order to realize emptiness. We recite Heart Sutra every Wednesday before Menlha Puja, it seems I understand the surface, but don’t understand the meaning behind it. After watching Rinpoche’s video, I want to find the book “Crazy Wisdom”. It sounds interesting to read after Rinpoche’s explanation. May we have the wisdom and compassion enough to realize emptiness one day 🙂 Thank you Rinpoche _/\_

  11. Vivian Ong on Apr 5, 2017 at 12:01 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article about Emptiness. This is not an easy topic to grasp. It takes time and a lot of contemplation to have realisations on the true meaning of Emptiness. Some people can accept that everything that exists is empty in existence and some people cannot accept that fact. For me, I have been reciting the Heart Sutra many times and I find that every time I read it I will try to understand what it meant. I can understand the overall Heart Sutra but in a deeper understanding, it can only be done through meditating on Emptiness.

    With folded palms,
    Vivian

  12. Pastor Henry Ooi on Apr 4, 2017 at 11:46 pm

    To understand the meaning of Emptiness is one thing. To realise it is another. If I could realise it by now I guess I would have attainments. It is so profound and mind boggling just to read of it and to try to understand it. This is one of the most sought after ingredients that meditational practitioners and great spiritual masters seek. Even just to fully comprehend what ‘dharma work’ is would make our head explode. This was said to about 60 of us when we had the great merit to receive a teaching from the current incarnation of Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche some ten years ago in Nepal.

    • Mingwen on Apr 5, 2017 at 7:42 am

      Exactly!

      “To understand the meaning of Emptiness is one thing. To realise it is another”. Personally, I would like to add on, to apply and practice is another subject. Some of us who have been rolling in Dharma may able to understand the superficial meaning of Emptiness, for me, it indicates that there no reason for us to grab on our various “attachments” in life due to nothing is permanent and they are all a “Big NO”.

      We might able to relate, but are we even at the stage of practicing it? At least, to cut down some attachments within ourselves that have been make us rot more further in the world of samsara.

      Enlightenment is extremely difficult, dharma is complicated, but they are not impossible. If they are impossible, there will bàe no Buddhas and all of us should stop from learning Dharma and go back to our old rotting road to the endless samsara.

  13. Justin Cheah on Apr 4, 2017 at 11:43 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this very interesting article and it is not easy to find these articles. It triggers us to think more and deeper into phenomena of nature of samsara. My grasp in this whole article is “in the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter anymore as all are impermanent and basically whatever we are grasping/holding onto will be gone in one day, we ourselves will also die and won’t be able to hold onto it anymore. We might as well grasp on activities that helps us with our spiritual practice and rebirth better. _/|\_ justin

  14. Eric kksiow on Apr 4, 2017 at 11:39 pm

    Emptiness?

    A single word crossover my mind for many years, what is that all about? Why things that existed in samsara lead to Emptiness?

    At my level of understanding ( Emptiness ) are : Things happened in samsara are impermanent, we hold things in wrong projections, in wrong perceptions. ( That’s my thought of Emptiness )

  15. nicholas on Apr 4, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    Emptiness definitely extraordinary profound teaching to be realised. In my opinion this is because there is no worldly knowledge, science or philosophy that can lead to the attainment of this state. It’s beyond the worldly understanding.

    As I read from my limitation of understanding of the Heart Sutra, it doesn’t mean that nothing exist but it mean that things do not exist the way as we projected or in our own projection. We suffered because of our grasping mind that we thought everything are fixed, real and capable possessed by ego. Nothing is permanent but there are interrelated with compassion, kindness and love.

  16. Andrea Lai on Apr 4, 2017 at 11:15 pm

    I like listening to Heart Sutra mantra. I received advice that Heart Sutra have the healing power for heart problems but in fact, I think should be mind transformation as well.
    I experienced purification (I guess) at certain times while listening to this mantra together with my meditation. After reading this article, oh my…emptiness. I think I received some imprint from this mantra(LOL). Anyway, Heart Sutra really safe and heal me spiritually and mentally.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this interesting article and it encourages me so much to continue my practice on meditation together with this beautiful mantra.

  17. pammie yap on Apr 4, 2017 at 11:13 pm

    This post is indeed an interesting one! How to know No!
    Just reading the post was easy but to even grasp nor understand is something entirely different. At the moment, I don’t think my wisdom can comprehend something so deep and realise. I guess thats why it is called “crazy wisdom.”

    “Therefore, for those of us who are Buddhists, it is good and necessary to give rise to compassion and bodhichitta before we study, recite, and contemplate this sutra.”
    At least we know the most important is to always practice loving kindness and positive thinking. To be mindful of our surroundings so that it becomes a ‘habit’ for the long run.

    The last part of the post “In any case, so far nobody has had a heart attack here, which is good news. But the bad news is that probably nobody understood it either.” The ‘bad news’ is so true. Emptiness is such a ‘complicated’ teaching that it has become rarer for people to die of heart attacks while understanding it.

  18. Pastor Lim Han Nee on Feb 26, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    The following points of this profound teaching impress me deeply:

    1) Heart Sutra, the heart of wisdom, is a statement of how things truly are – an explanation of emptiness in a nutshell.

    2)The Heart Sutra cuts through, deconstructs, demolishes all our usual conceptual frameworks, all our rigid ideas, all our belief systems, all our reference points, including any with regard to our spiritual path.

    3)It doesn’t follow a logical mind’s thinking pattern.

    4)No this and No that give us different angles or facets of the main theme of the sutra, which is emptiness. Emptiness means that things do not exist as they seem, but are like illusions and like dreams. They do not have a nature or a findable core of their own.

    5)If we are trained in Buddhism, it negates everything that we have learned and try to cultivate.

    6)The most fundamental theme is the basic groundlessness of our experience. There is nothing to hold on to.

    7)Yet even as it is given new parameters, the mind still wants to hold on to them.

    8)Usually we think that if a given phenomenon is not something, it must be nothing, and if it is not nothing, it must be something. This is how our dualistic mind works – getting stuck in one extreme or another.

    8)Usually we think that if a given phenomenon is not something, it must be nothing, and if it is not nothing, it must be something. This is how our dualistic mind works – getting stuck in one extreme or another.
    9)Thinking ouf of the box- We could say that emptiness is like thinking outside of the box, that is, the box of black-and-white thinking or dualistic thinking.

    10)If we stay with our dualistic mind and thinking, there is always existence, nonexistence, permanence, extinction, good, and bad. Within that frame of reference, we will never get beyond it, no matter if we are religious, a scientist, a Buddhist, an agnostic, or whatever.

    11)Emptiness tells us we have to step out of this plane of dualistic thinking altogether. Our entire outlook with regard to ourselves and the world has to be radically transformed. Without developing a soft heart and compassion, there is a danger that the teachings of emptiness can make our hearts even harder.

    12)The heart of emptiness is compassion. It is necessary to give rise to compassion and bodhichitta before we study, recite, and contemplate this sutra.

    13) But we must get at the core of our own clinging to real existence with regard to those phenomena to which we obviously do cling – home, money, relationships, name, for instance, and then apply the approach of Heart Sutra to those lists.

  19. MingHY on Feb 25, 2017 at 9:23 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for posting this very fascinating article and video. Emptiness seems like an impossible concept to grasp, but reading this, it starts one thinking about how one can achieve the realisation of Emptiness. I am grateful to Karl Brunnhölzl, for emphasising the importance of cultivating compassion and Bodhicitta first before we embark on this journey of trying to realise emptiness, otherwise we may fall off the path. But on a superficial level for now, at least it gives us something to think about how our suffering arises and to be aware of some of the “no’s” in our life.

  20. Kb thapa on Feb 9, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    Ocean pollution, is the spreading of harmful substances such as oil, plastic, industrial and agricultural waste and chemical particles into the ocean. Since oceans provide home to animals and plants, it is responsibility of every citizen to play his or her part in making these oceans clean so that all tge species can thrive for long period of time. We as Human is really destroying the earth, we have to see what we are using for our household all the waste will go to ocean eventually.. if we want our earth to be cleane we must stop using plastic products and anything toxic chemicals .. thank you Rinpoche for a awareness article, hope people will understand the importance of it before too late

  21. graceleong on Feb 6, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    Emptiness for me at this point revolves mainly on the subject of perception by the mind. It is somewhat a tough realisation that I cannot rely on my perceptions, as they are often tainted and filled up with a lot of “I” in them. The “I”s have been filling up since time immemorial and certainly hard to accept that they are the very essence of my sufferings.
    In contemplating Emptiness I have to realise nothing has an inherent existence. Because I place emphasis on the “I”, i will feel it is real. Ultimately I suffer because I grasp after things thinking they are fixed, substantial, real and capable of being possessed by ego. All the anger, attachments that I have has no inherent existence if I learn to apply the teachings of Emptiness. If I allow the anger or attachment to flow through as a series of events and not react to it, the anger or attachment is empty of anything to identify with. This is the practice that the mind needs to do constantly with every phenomena that flows through our lives.

    To master the emptiness mode of perception requires firm training in virtue, concentration, and discernment. Without this training, the mind stays in the mode that keeps creating stories and worldviews. The element of Compassion is another very crucial ingredient to have in order to master Emptiness. Without which we will fall into the trap Nothingness and hence create more harm then benefit to others.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing the video teaching and the write up by Karl Bruunholzi. May we be able to create the causes for Rinpoche to extend the teaching of Emptiness to help us rid our delusions and ego in order for us to be suitable vessels to bring benefit to many sentient beings . With folded hands .

  22. Echeah on Feb 6, 2017 at 2:43 am

    The Heart Sutra is recited every time we do our weekly Menhla pujas. As the writer rightly pointed out, so far none of us has had a heart attack like the Arhats had during Buddha’s time. But that was not because any of us already realised the Heart Sutra (in essence, emptiness). More likely, nobody understood it. That’s the state of our realisation as compared to the students of Buddha’s time.

    Our dualistic thoughts are wired to perceive either right or wrong, yes or no, good or bad, you or I. It is hard to process that it could be neither or both and anything in between.

    The danger of this partial or lack of understanding is that one might equate emptiness with nothingness. Since nothing exists, you don’t exist so I can kill you after all you are thin air. The other extreme is that all phenomena exists and are solid and we grasp at it. However phenomena do exist, but only due to causes and conditions. Take away the causes and conditions, phenomena do not exist i.e. they are interdependent, from what I interpret from the Lamrim.

    Before emptiness can be realised, the mental veils need to be removed first through development of mental quiescence and wisdom. But without the bodhicitta component, it stops there and one cannot achieve enlightenment.

    We are so fortunate to have been introduced by our Guru H.E. Tsem Rinpoche to Lama Tsongkhapa’s teaching which is in essence incorporation of Nagarjuna’s Middle Way (not either extreme), and Dorje Shugden arose to protect these teachings. May these teachings be preserved for all time and may all sentient beings have the opportune conditions to encounter them.

  23. Jacinta Goh on Feb 5, 2017 at 8:07 am

    In Heart Sutra, we are striving to realise the profound meaning on emptiness. There are many ‘Nos’ in the sutra whereby urging us trying to examine each things or phenomenon in details. There’s “nothing in everything” and all is based on our perceptions and yet there’s something, that arise from our contaminated perceptions. Due to this faulty perceptions, we learn to see the truth in it and that’s the beauty of it, if I may say so. Everything that we perceived is non inherently existing. Even the object “a chair” can be made up from different materials and parts to be called as chair.

    But then there’s a dangerous part in this. Why? ‘There’s no right or wrong’, even this cache might be dangerous if we acted as if nothing matters. It’s like saying that no matter what we do, no matter what we say, and no matter how we feel, we need not believe any of it and this might resulting inaction and excuses not to care. This explained why compassion is very necessary at this point. This is also the very reason why those self-Liberation seekers must traverse the path of Bodhisattva in order to be fully liberated. May I soon realise the teaching on “Emptiness”.

    Thank you Rinpoche for this article. Now only I realised why Buddha Avalokisthesvara was being requested for this teaching. _/\_

  24. Uncle Eddie on Feb 3, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    Just as the heart is the central organ in the human body, it is said that, therefore, the Heart Sutra is the central in the body of the Buddha’s Teachings. As taught by the enlightened one, this Sutra is the essence of all the vast wisdom teachings of the Buddha. Wisdom, or seeing reality, is always the ultimate protection for everyone. The one who really can see reality knows no attachment and no aversion, that there is nothing to lose and nothing to gain; therefore, there can be no fear of anything! As read in one book written by some great Indian masters, it is said, for one short moment, the brillance of the Buddha’s profound wisdom may flash lightning-like through one’s mind, a short inspiration which leaves one with a sense of profound security and trust in the Buddha’s message! May we pray that all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of the ten directions, through the power of their blessings, let us have the favourable conditions to contemplate and understand the profound meaning and wisdom of this precious Heart Sutra. Om Mani Padme Hung.

  25. Choong on Feb 1, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    I can see the dangers of trying to comprehend the wisdom of emptiness or Shunyata without having compassion at heart. One could easily fall into the “no need” mode.

    For example, upon seeing an animal in pain, instead of having compassion and empathy for the animal and helping it in the best way we can, if we can, we could fall into the trap of resigning to believe that there is nothing we can do to help it, or that its suffering would be just temporary before it dies and becomes nothing. This is of course a wrong view of “no”. Without compassion, this could easily happen.

    When this happens, we would be solidifying our wrong views and not create the causes for our liberation. We would be walking a dangerous path away from realizing the wisdom of emptiness and getting trapped in a stronger and stronger spin cycle of rebirth and suffering.

    Thank you Rinpoche for the commentary. _/:\__/:\__/:\_

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  • sarassitham
    Thursday, Apr 15. 2021 10:48 PM
    This is an interesting informative sharing of Wonderful Vietnam. An amazing country with it’s rich traditional culture, variety of World Heritage Sites, breathtaking landscapes, wonderful rainforest, world famous foods and fascinating tropical coastline.

    Thank you for the sharing and I loved all the attractive destination and photos shared. Surprisingly, Vietnam has something to offer everyone and a most beautiful country in South East Asia worth to visit and to explore.

    https://bit.ly/3mNdeQP
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Apr 15. 2021 04:32 PM
    King Trisong Detsen (740-798) was the second of the Three Dharma Kings of Tibet He played a pivotal role in the introduction of Buddhism to Tibet and the establishment of the Nyingma. He believed to be an emanation of the bodhisattva Manjushri, that built Samye Monastery the first monastery . King Trisong Detsen aimed to revitalize Tibetan Buddhism so much so arranged a debate known as the Council of Lhasa. The Council of Lhasa, at Samye, was a famous debate, between the Chinese Buddhist monk Moheyan and the Indian Buddhist master Kamalashila. It is also known as the Great Debate, this debate lasted for 2 years. An interesting story behind this long and rancorous debate. The Council of Lhasa is an important event in Tibetan history and shaped the practice of Buddhism in Tibet up until today.
    Thank You Rinpoche and Pastor Antoinette Kass for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/the-great-council-of-lhasa.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Apr 15. 2021 04:29 PM
    Coming across this post of suspended coffees truly had me wonder if in Malaysia will come up with this compassionate concept. A suspended coffee is a great way to pay forward for a coffee meant for someone else who cannot afford a warm beverage. Kindness can come in many forms including the purchase of a suspended coffee,
    a very good concept indeed. This is a tradition that comes from Naples, Italy, dated in the 20th century. Buying a cup of coffee for a stranger , who needed it especially during cold nights. A simple act of kindness can change someone’s life. To date, many countries in US and Europe have started these compassion concept and had in fact inspired more. Hopefully one day this will happen in Malaysia .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/a-real-compassionate-idea.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Apr 15. 2021 04:27 PM
    n the remote mountain highlands of eastern Tibet, there exists a unique lineage of female spiritual practitioners at Gebchak Gonpa. A nunnery of more than 350 from all the Tibetan schools of Buddhism came to study and practice Dharma, upholding rigorous meditation and yoga practices. Gebchak’s yogini nuns are famed for their accomplishments in profound yogas and meditation. These women have devoted their entire lives to practicing the Dharma. Interesting read of those Gebchak’s yogini nuns lives, as stated in the post.
    Sadly, during the cultural revolution the Gebchak Gonpa was destroyed and the remaining nuns were dispersed. Yet many of them continue preserving their unique female yogic tradition who had survived the Cultural Revolution. Today, new generations of nuns and lamas are preserving Gebchak’s practice lineage rebuilt and re-established Gebchak Gonpa, despite extreme physical hardships.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/gebchak-gonpa.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Apr 14. 2021 03:42 PM
    Thank you, Mr. Martin, well write-up this article of great-lamas-masters great-masters speak truly all about Tsem Rinpoche. We as students have seen and heard of all Rinpoche wonderful and extraordinary qualities. Rinpoche not only cares and loves all his students and even to strangers as well. Nor matter who you are regardless of race and faith Rinpoche will be too willingly to help. That’s Rinpoche’s nature a Bodhisatva . Rinpoche had made a way from Us to India and then Malaysia just to spread Dharma teachings and nothing else. Rinpoche as advice by his teacher to be in Malaysia and that’s where he established many departments to benefits all sentient beings. Reading through this post tells us all Great Masters, Lamas, Geshes and many highly attained Lamas and Masters specking what is true the same qualities of Rinpoche. Rinpoche was very kind, generous, giving, compassionate, always doing charity, giving to the poor, raising funds, sponsoring. Described Rinpoche as someone highly intelligent and extraordinary person. Interesting read , may more people reading this article to have a clearer view of Rinpoche.
    All I could say is that Rinpoche had showed us the light of life. With folded hands , may we able to meet Rinpoche again in this life and so forth.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/great-masters-speak-about-tsem-rinpoche.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Apr 14. 2021 03:40 PM
    Interesting biography of a great Lama Zanabazar was a renowned painter, sculptor, architect and costume designer. He was known as“Michelangelo of Asia”, for his artistic skills which were matched by his literary prowess as a Buddhist scholar, linguist and poet. Zanabazar as a historical figure played an important role in propagating Buddhism in Mongolia. He had established Mongolian unique cultural identity. Zanabazar was the first Bogd Gegeen or high-saint-of-mongolia or supreme spiritual authority, the Gelugpa lineage of Tibetan Buddhism in Outer Mongolia. He is believed to be a Geluk protagonist whose alliance with the Dalai and Panchen Lamas was crucial to the dissemination of Buddhism in Khalkha Mongolia. Interesting read with all the rare pictures shared.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/zanabazar-the-first-high-saint-of-mongolia.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Apr 12. 2021 04:12 PM
    Looking at those very unique house been built simply stunning. Creatively with nature indeed , salute to those architecture who has such a wild ideas and innovations building such an incredibly unique houses in nature. No easy though but everything is possible.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/into-the-wild.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Apr 12. 2021 04:11 PM
    Truly stunning Kuanyin Statue also know as”Goddess of Mercy” Statue designed by Portuguese architect . Very serene with the huge golden statue seemingly floating over the sea at high tide. One of the underrated landmarks in Macau. It is believed that when this statue is built, Macau has become more prosperous, peaceful and economically better. Many locals and tourist visited this beautiful Statue and it’s a popular spot where they will walk along the sea watching sunset. Merely by looking at this Statue is a blessing. Those beautiful pictures tells us all.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/kuan-yin-of-macau-city.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Apr 12. 2021 04:07 PM
    Beautiful Yonghe Temple in Beijing, China known to some locals as the‘Palace of Peace and Harmony Lama Temple’ has three world-record masterpieces. This temple is a temple and monastery of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism built during the reign of Emperor Kang Xi (1694). Very impressive buildings and a great insight into Chinese Buddhist temples with 300 years of history . The building and artwork of the temple is a combination of Han Chinese and Tibetan styles.
    Looking at the restoration and conservation work of the Lama Tsongkhapa Statue in Yong He Gong is not easy after all. Thanks to Liu Yuming,77, restoration masters of China’s Cultural Relics. He had done a good job helping to preserve those rare cultural relics left in China. It is indeed a uphill task that needs a lot of patience , skill, delicate , and love . Interesting read even though it an old post. Would love to see this master piece of Lama Tsongkhapa Statue one day .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/an-age-of-restoration.html
  • sarassitham
    Monday, Apr 12. 2021 01:47 PM
    Sometimes a single image can speak much louder than words. It’s very painful to see the abused and made to suffer of a Monkey and Child.

    It is really sad to discover how many animals sacrificed for fulfilling our taste buds. and not only sacrificing their life.

    Why don’t we try to eat more vegetables instead of eating more animals. Vegetables are healthy too, you know! And do you also know that being vegetarian or vegan will not only make you become healthier, it will also make you feel more energetic.
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Apr 10. 2021 03:59 PM
    A legendary figure of Buddhism in Buryatia was Lubsan Samdan Tsydenov, charismatic Buddhist master and visionary and national hero, who had spread the Tantric Buddhist tradition. Interesting read of this forgotten story of Lubsan Samdan Tsydenov, a monk who briefly ruled as a dharma king. He amazingly created a nonviolence Buddhist kingdom who protected thousands of women, children, and men at that time. In 1920’s Soviet government considered Lubsan Samdan Tsydenov to be rebels and Traditional Buryat culture was erased since then. Buddhist monasteries in Buryatia were destroyed and many followers were murdered. He was well remembered as a true Dharma King and a national hero. Interesting read of a Great Lama.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/lubsan-samdan-tsydenov-the-dharma-king-of-buryatia.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Apr 10. 2021 03:57 PM
    We came to this world with nothing and leaving with nothing. There nothings that belongs to us. Whatever we own is temporary on loan only, so we should be glad in this life we are in human form. We should appreciate what we have at this moment, , doing , learning Dharma and practicing Dharma for a good and meaningful cause. Transforming our mind and benefiting others instead of ourselves.
    What Rinpoche had said and explained , very true indeed … we don’t own our body. Well use our body for the greater good of others. Reading the transcript by Tsem Rinpoche tells us more understanding .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this profound teachings.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/transcript-you-dont-own-your-body.html
  • sarassitham
    Friday, Apr 9. 2021 11:20 PM
    Thank you for the wonderful sharing, it’s truly amazing. Each one of these statues is special and drool-worthy, and they have rightly signified the place where they stand today.

    Even when we don’t have the opportunity too witness those beautiful Buddha Statues, yet we are blessed merely by looking at it.
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Apr 9. 2021 01:19 PM
    Reading this article again, truly feeling sorry those refugees in Netherlands. Staying in another country far away from homeland is already sad. They need to start from scratch, could imagine their situation living in a foreign facing a lot of hinders such languages, cultures and so forth. The sad state of refugees living in Netherlands is really bad. The Netherlands has had a reputation as a humanitarian haven, with refugees and immigrants as the situation in their country isn’t safe enough. But entering as refugees they ended up living in empty offices, as room . The government authorities failed to provide basic amenities for those rejected ones who have not or cannot leave the country. The refugees are stuck in a system, were call as an illegal immigrant. They wandered in the streets of Amsterdam, moving from one place to another left in the cold winter. Lucky enough they have volunteers helping them supplying blankets , foods for them. Hopefully the authorities could do more to help those refugees out there and the situation right now has improved.
    Thank you Melissa for sharing this .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/the-building-wanderers-of-amsterdam.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Apr 9. 2021 01:17 PM
    Being generous also makes us feel better about ourselves. Generosity is both a natural confidence builder and a natural repellent of self-hatred. By focusing on what we are giving rather than on what we are receiving. Acts of generosity, such as giving our time, talent or resources, and expecting nothing in return, have been proven to be good for our health. Generous individuals are personally more fulfilled, happier and more peaceful within themselves. Enrich our life and that of others by practicing generosity. That’s what I consider true generosity without anything in return.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Datuk May for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/students-friends/generosity-giving-gifts.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
1 year 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!
1 year 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
1 year 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
1 year 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!
1 year 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.
1 year 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
1 year 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.
1 year 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.
1 year 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!
1 year 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)
2 yearss 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)
2 yearss 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)
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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!
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss ago
Sacred Vajra Yogini
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
2 yearss ago
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
2 yearss 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.
2 yearss 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.
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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!!!
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss ago
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
2 yearss ago
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss ago
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
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ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

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

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

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

  • April 15, 2021 04:30
    You have no rights to use my images for www.tsemrinpoche.com without my approval! It's illegitimate! You're committing a legal offense! You must replace my images NOW!!!!! asked: Hi, This is Melisha and I am a professional photographer. I was baffled, to put it nicely, when I recognised my images at your website. If you use a copyrighted image without an owner's permission, you must be aware that you could be sued by the creator. It's illegal to use stolen images and it's so wicked! Here is this document with the links to my images you used at www.tsemrinpoche.com and my earlier publications to get the evidence of my copyrights. Download it now and check this out for yourself: https://sites.google.com/view/09934894585022/home/drive/storage/files/download?ID=286984715713039318 If you don't delete the images mentioned in the document above within the next few days, I'll file a complaint against you to your hosting provider stating that my copyrights have been severely infringed and I am trying to protect my intellectual property. And if it doesn't work, trust me I am going to report and sue you! And I won't give you a prior notice again.
    No reply yet
  • April 13, 2021 21:55
    ray asked: Dear Pastors, Thank you for clearing my doubts previously about purification practices. Today i have a question about reciting praises to buddhas, why do we recite praises and how does reciting praises to buddhas like Tara, Dorje shugden etc. help and benefit us? Because ive seen certain prayer texts to mother tara which i think is referring to the 21 tara praises stating that : ~If this prayer is recited two, three, or seven times, It will pacify all the sufferings of torments Caused by spirits, fevers, and poisons, And by other beings as well. If you wish for a child, you will get a child; If you wish for wealth, you will receive wealth. All your wishes will be fulfilled And all obstacles pacified.~ Will reciting praises to buddhas also be able to fulfill our wishes as stated? Thank you very much.
    No reply yet
  • April 12, 2021 03:20
    Eden asked: Dear Pastors, How are all of you doing? I have a few questions here. I will be very grateful if you can answer them. Thank you. 1) If we are here because of our previous life karma, previous previous karma and so on. May i know when does all of this started? How does this chain of karma started? Im sure we all had our 1st life and everything had a beginning to it. 2) I am currently facing some problem over my career pathway, are there any practices and mantras that I can do to request for guidance?
    pastor answered: Dear Eden, Thank you for your questions. 1. Buddhism does not believe in a 1st life, and the reason being is the Buddhist view of time. Most people think of time and existence as linear. It has a definitive starting point and a certain end point. But Buddhism views time as a cyclic. Hence, our universe as we understand it, will at one point cease to exist, and then a new universe will come into existence. However, even though our current universe will end, due to the force of karma and reincarnation, we will take rebirth into the new universe and have many rebirths there. So in Buddhism we say that we have had "countless" rebirths, as you would never be able to count how many lifetimes you have had. This cycle is vicious and leads us to take rebirth endlessly. The only way to stop this cycle is to transcend it altogether, which is the state of Buddhahood, in which you are completely liberated from the cycle, known as "samsara". Also the way in which we think about karma is not linear either. It is not one for one. By this I mean, if you do one negative action, it is not that you will experience only one negative result. You will actually experience many negative results, with differing levels of severity until the karma is exhausted. How you respond to the negative results can lead to either more negative karma, or positive karma. Hence, the law of karma according to the Buddhist view point is much more nuanced then the general understanding of karma that people have these days. The Buddha explained this process in a teaching known as the 12 Links of Dependent Origination, which is quite complex. If you want to learn more about this teaching, H.E. Tsem Rinpoche gave a very profound teaching on it here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/teaching-on-the-twelve-links-of-dependent-origination.html Hence, according to Buddhism, the understand of time is a never-ending cycle in which universes are created, destroyed and created again due to the power of karma. Since it is a cycle, there is no "beginning" or "1st life" for sentient beings. 2. In regards to your career pathway, I would suggest you engage in the combined practice of Lama Tsongkhapa and Dorje Shugden. We have heard of many people who are either stuck in their career or who need to find good jobs, succeed in the their goals after engaging in this practice with a sincere motivation. There is a book available regarding the practice here: https://www.vajrasecrets.com/the-dorje-shugden-handbook. We also have an entire section of this website dedicated to various aspects of the practice, including history, other prayers, etc. (https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/category/dorje-shugden). I hope this helps. Let us know if we can help in any other way.
  • April 11, 2021 00:23
    Lara asked: Hello pastors, I have a family member suffering from depression right now. May I know how I can help him to overcome this? Thank you.
    pastor answered: Dear Lara, I'm sorry to hear that your family member is going through this. When someone is going through such a difficult time, H.E. Tsem Rinpoche has advised that the person themselves seek qualified medical help as well as engage in the practice of Lama Tsongkhapa, which is well-known to help overcome things like depression. From your side you should be as supportive as possible. Take the time to understand what your family member is going through, and in which ways you can support them to overcome their depression and heal. You can watch a fantastic teaching about the practice of Lama Tsongkha here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/sayonara-to-depression.html. The prayer text for the practice can be found here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/prayers-and-sadhanas/sadhana-prayers.html#19 However, sometimes family members may not be open to the engaging in the practice themselves. In that case, you can engage in the practice yourself and dedicate the merits for the family member to heal, but this will not be as effective as the family member doing the practice themselves. Another thing that you can do, it to make abundant offerings or engage in virtuous activities like as helping the less fortunate, and dedicating the merits from those activities to your family member. You can also have pujas sponsored for your family member. The following two pujas would be excellent: Medicine Buddha Puja - which is good for healing, both physical and mental (https://www.vajrasecrets.com/medicine-buddha-puja-fund) Dorje Shugden Puja - to remove obstacles for a swift recovery (https://www.vajrasecrets.com/dorje-shugden-wishfulfilling-puja-fund) These are the various methods in which you can help. You can do just one or a combination of the methods mentioned to generate as much positive energy and merit as possible for your family member. I hope this helps.
  • April 10, 2021 07:50
    ray asked: hi pastor i have a question regarding purification practices because ive been having some doubts now, is it true that some people say engaging in purification practices bad things would then happen to the practitioner after that? be it being sick or facing obstacles coming after that.
    pastor answered: Dear Ray, Thank you for your question. When we engage in purification practices, what we are purifying is our negative karma. If you know about karma, you know that eventually you will need to experience your karma, be this negative or positive. When you experience your negative karma, then you experience negative situations. This could be something major, like having an accident, to something very minor such as feeling bad if say a loved one says something in a way that you perceive as being negative. Any experience you have that you perceive as negative, is a manifestation of your negative karma. During purification practices, through your own effort of invoking upon the enlightened beings and practice of the Four Opponent Powers, you are able to purify this negative karma. However, for a negative karma to be fully exhausted, you need to experience it. Say you have a karma to get into an accident, if you don't purify and exhaust it, then you will need to suffer from it 100%. This could mean getting into a car accident which is very severe and you are hurt badly. If you engage in purification practices then you can purify, let's say 99% of the karma. But for it to be exhausted fully, you still need to experience it. In this case, maybe you do get into an accident. Since you have purified most of the karma, your car only bumps into another car very softly. You don't even feel it, the person in the other car doesn't feel it and you car is not damaged at all. This is the reason why some people say if you engage in purification practices, bad things will happen. And because of that people are put off doing purification practices. This is wrong thinking because if you do experience negative situations when engaged in purification practices, this could be because: a) What you experienced is actually the purified karma, rather than the full force of the karma. In this case you should rejoice that through your effort of engaging in the practice, you didn't experience something much worse. b) It could just simply be the manifestation of a karma that wasn't purified. This means, you would have had to go through this experience anyway. c) Because you are engaged in purification practices, you are thinking of karma a lot. Therefore, when such experiences occur then you attribute it to karma, and then think it is linked to your purification practice. Then you believe that doing purification practices is bad because you have to suffer from such experiences. This is wrong thinking. Perhaps even if you were not doing purification practices, then you would still experience the situation, but you wouldn't actually think anything of it. You would just go about the rest of your day as usual. That being said, when you are doing purification practices, there comes a point were certain negative karma is so weak that you need to experience it for it to be exhausted completely. This can and does manifest as negative situations, such as minor illnesses, or even accidents, etc. However, the point to remember is the karma causing these situations have been purified so they are very mild compared to their full form. These negative situations can also be purified/exhausted in dreams, etc. Another way they can be purified is having mental disturbances or emotional ups and downs when actually doing the purification practices. In essence, you will need to feel the effects of your negative karma in some form or another, so better that you experience it in a very mild form right? This is what purification practices helps you to do. Purification practices are not something to be scared of. In fact, you should rejoice when engaged in purification practices. On a more deeper level, without some form of purification practice it is hard to understand higher aspects of the Dharma. Your negative karma will block you from being able to understand the Dharma and then internalise it. That is why purification practices are emphasised within each and every tradition and are a prerequisite for higher teaching such as tantra. The benefits of purification practices (such as enabling you to exhaust your negative karma in a very mild form, and preparing your mind for higher teachings) outweighs having to experience a very small negative situation. Therefore think about the benefits of purification practice and contemplate on it. This will help you to develop faith in them and get rid of any doubts or fears that you may have. I hope this helps.
  • April 1, 2021 04:54
    You are awesome! asked: Hello, you are awesome! keep going!
    pastor answered: Thank you for your kind message. It is very encouraging for us to read. May you always be blessed by the Three Jewels.
  • March 28, 2021 15:08
    vikas baluni asked: abut growth of my business
    pastor answered: Dear Vikas Baluni, I am unclear as to the actually meaning of your question but I believe you are asking how to increase and grow your business. According to Buddhism, everything that we go through in life is due to karma, this includes both the good things and the bad things. Therefore, for your business to grow and do well depends on your good karma. Only one type of energy can overcome karma and is always good for your, and that is what we call merit or punya (in sanskrit). So in order to have merit for your business to do well, you have to take actions that generate merit. The main of these is to transform your mind to become a more compassionate and wiser person, to help others less fortunate, to engage in pujas and other such virtuous activities. There are certain deity practices that are well-known in Buddhism to help increase the energies of wealth and success in our lives. These can help your business to grow. Once such practice is that of Bhagawan Gyenze, you can click here to find out more: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/prayers-and-sadhanas/dorje-shugden-gyenze-to-increase-life-merits-and-wealth.html Bhagawan Gyenze will definitely help you to grow your business, if you have a good motivation. If you motivation is only about yourself, then your business will not grow that much. But if you have the motivation help others, then Bhagawan Gyenze will help you even more. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • March 25, 2021 01:11
    Jason asked: I have been practicing white dzambala and the bathing / water tormas for quite some time now. Recently I have been getting regular dreams where white dzambala appears and just smiles at me, or I dream that I am doing white dzambala chutor practice. I understand that when lama tsongkhapa got dreams of deities he thought that this was Mara acting up and paid no attention to it until his lama said something. My lama is currently on retreat and it is difficult to contact him. Please give me some advice on what is happening. I'm just some normal beginners smuck and I'm getting worried that this is a bad sign. When I wake up I feel at peace... But according to commentaries this could be Mara.
    pastor answered: Dear Jason, Thank you for your question. I am really happy to hear that you are engaging in Dzambhala's practice. It's extremely beneficial. You are right that Lama Tsongkhapa ignored his dreams of deities, and viewed them as bad signs. But before jumping to conclusions, we must analyse the reasons why Lama Tsongkhapa ignored not only his dreams, also the visions of the deities he received. The reason that Lama Tsongkhapa did not consider it a positive sign is because as practitioners on the spiritual path, it is all too easy to get carried away with 'signs' or advice, visions, dreams from supposed deities. Sometimes if we 'analyse' them it can lead us in the wrong direction because of our mistaken understanding. Sometimes, other entities can also enter our dreams and tell us things that we believe, hence we start practising things that are not Dharmic in nature. Lama Tsongkhapa warned against such things, rather Lama Tsongkhapa said that we should rely on the Dharma teachings that are genuine and transmitted to us through an unbroken line through our lineage. Generally speaking however, these dreams you are having are literally just dreams, so there is nothing to worry about. One category of dreams we have are known as samsaric dreams. These arise from karma and karmic traces in the mind. This can also include emotions, memories, etc. The meaning we find in these dreams are imputed by the dreamer, and not inherent in the dream. This also applies to waking life. We impute meaning onto situations and circumstances, rather than the meaning being inherent to the circumstance. It is like reading a book. Words in the book are just marks on paper, however, because we use our sense of meaning, we make a meaning out of it. However, this is always open to interpretation. For example, if you tell your dream to two people, they can interpret the meaning very differently, even though you told them the exact same details. When we have dreams such as of our teacher, our practice, the Buddhas, etc., it is still more than likely to be just a samsaric dream. Because we have been engaging in sustained practice, or have imprints from previous lives, these can surface in our dreams hence we have dreams of Buddhas, our teachers, etc. There is nothing to worry about or to consider overly auspicious or a 'sign'. Just realise that you have had the dream, do not allow your thoughts to dwell on it, accept it and move on. However, do take note that you had these dreams and once your Guru is out of retreat, please consult your Guru and inform him/her of these occurances and seek your Guru's advice if any. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • March 23, 2021 02:01
    Jason asked: I white dzambhala is a wealth deity but can he also act as a dharma protector?
    pastor answered: Dear Jason, Thank you for your question. The practice of Dzambhala is actually a Yidam practice, this means that Dzambhala is a meditational deity. When you engage in his practice, as well as bestowing wealth, through his practice you also develop qualities that help you progress towards enlightenment. In the case of Dzambhala, the primary quality he helps you develop is actually generosity, which is one of the Six Perfections. Therefore, although he is known as a wealth deity, he is much, much more than that. When you engage in his practice, you are actually developing virtuous qualities in your mindstream. The function of Dharma Protectors however is to remove obstacles and to create conducive conditions so that you can transform your mind. Hence, the function of a meditational deity and a Dharma Protector is different. That being said, when you engage in Dzambhala's practice properly, you do gain wealth. Generally, we only consider this wealth to be external wealth, but Dzambhala's practice is more than that, because through his practice you gain internal wealth which are virtuous qualities. Due to the fact his practice also brings material wealth, he is known as a wealth deity. When you practice any meditational deity, you will gain some physical benefit as well, which can seem to mirror the effect of Dharma Protectors, but their function is very different. Dzambhala for example grants material wealth, but his actually function is to increase inner wealth. Another example would be Medicine Buddha, outward he heals our physical body, but inwardly he also helps to heal our minds and develop qualities such as compassion. Dharma Protectors can also help to heal our body, but for real internal change, we need to rely on a meditational deity. I hope this answer helps.
  • March 16, 2021 21:23
    ray asked: Dear pastors, i have a question regarding vajra and bells. can one use them if they do not have any sort of initiation or whatsoever?
    pastor answered: Dear Ray, Thank you for your question. You are right that traditionally vajras and bells are only used after receiving initiation. However, H.E. Tsem Rinpoche recommended learning how to use the vajra and bell, as a means of creating the causes to receive initiation in the future. That said, there are many dos and don'ts related to using the vajra and bell. You can learn not only how to use them, but also vajra and bell etiquette from one of Kechara's Pastors. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • March 7, 2021 17:30
    Sandra asked: Respected pastors, Do you recommend doing Tsem Rinpoche’s guru yoga as part of daily Sadhana? I am sure I read on the article for the name retreat that it could be done as daily prayers but now I can’t see that sentence? Thank you.
    pastor answered: Dear Sandra, Yes of course, you may include Tsem Rinpoche's Guru Yoga as part of your daily sadhana if you wish. This creates a very strong bond with Tsem Rinpoche. If you are following the Diamond Path sadhana (https://www.vajrasecrets.com/diamond-path), you insert the Guru Yoga after you have completed the Gaden Lhagyama (Guru Yoga of Lama Tsongkhapa). Alternative, if you are using a different prayer text, you insert the Guru Yoga after Gaden Lhagyama, or before any deity prayers that you do such as Manjushri, Tara, etc. After you complete the deity practice section of your sadhana, you continue on to your Dharma protector practice, and finish with your completion dedication. I hope this helps. Do let us know if this is not clear. Thanks.
  • March 4, 2021 22:52
    Sandra asked: Respected pastors, Can a lay person work towards the preliminary practices by accumulating daily ? Many thanks.
    pastor answered: Dear Sandra, Yes, of course. Anyone can engage in the preliminary practices, you don't have to be ordained in order to do so. However for one's practice to be considered a full preliminary practice, you need to do 100,000 repetitions of whichever practice you are engaged in without break. That means you must engage in at least one session a day, until the count is completed. 10% of the count is also added on top, to make up for any unintentional mistakes. So the figure would actually be 110,000. If you skip a day, that means you have broken your preliminary retreat. If this occurs you can still dedicate the practice you have done so far, and you will still benefit from the merit generated and the purification of negative karma from the practice, but it is not counted as a full preliminary practice. Also you must adhere to the retreat procedures for the duration of the time it takes you to complete the particular preliminary practice. For example, an altar with daily offerings, retreat seat with swastika, refraining from eating black foods, etc. This may not be convenient for most people in our day and age. So what you can do is to spend a certain amount of time accumulating a specific figure, for example 10,000 repetitions of a particular practice. Seal the practice at the end with a strong dedication, like the King of Prayers. Later on, you can repeat the procedure more times until you complete 100,000. This method was given by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche for modern-day practitioners who do not have the time to complete 100,000 in one go. While it technically does not constitute a full preliminary retreat, you still gain immense merits and purification from engaging in the practice, even if spaced out. As Rinpoche said, it's better for you to do mini preliminary retreats than not doing any of the preliminary practices whatsoever. That being said, if you do have the ability to do a full preliminary retreat and it will not negatively impact you, such as create financial difficulties or strain familial relationships, then of course go ahead! To have the sincere wish to engage in any Dharma practice is wonderful. You can read more about the individual preliminary practices here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/preliminary-practice.html You can watch a short teaching on the preliminary practices by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/cosmic-tantra.html
  • March 3, 2021 04:13
    Sandra asked: Dear respected pastors, what are dreams? Do dreams have significance? Are they simply images the mind views at night - do they resemble the dreamer's state of mind? Thank you for all your replies :) :)
    pastor answered: Dear Sandra, Hello. Nice to see you back here. On the normal level, both waking and dream states are both marred by our delusions. The teachings tell us that this deluded state continues through all our experiences, whether during the dreaming or waking states. The way to overcome this is to "wake up" from our delusions, or reach enlightenment. Normally when people think of dreams, they do so in psychological terms and so focus on the content of the dream. When we investigate the nature of the dream itself, we begin to investigate something deeper, the processes that underlies the whole of our existence. Understand this propels you further along the spiritual journey towards enlightenment. We have many dreams during one night of sleep, and may or may not consciously remember then when we wake up. In terms of content, dreams can be used to work through psychological issues or can indicate certain issues and overcoming them (as is common within Western psychological practices). In Tibetan Buddhism, dreams can be used for much more. In the advanced practices, one can transform ordinary dreams to further one's spiritual journey. This is not only in terms of working through psychological issues, but in terms of meditation and practice as well. Generally, there are three types of dreams as described below. Most of us only experience the first type, unless we progress on the spiritual path. 1. Samsaric dreams: these arise from karma and karmic traces in the mind. This can also include emotions, memories, etc. The meaning we find in these dreams are imputed by the dreamer, and not inherent in the dream. This also applies to waking life. We impute meaning onto situations and circumstances, rather than the meaning being inherent to the circumstance. It is like reading a book. Words in the book are just marks on paper, however, because we use our sense of meaning, we take a meaning out of it. However, this is always open to interpretation. For example, if you tell your dream to two people, they can interpret the meaning very differently, even though you told them the exact same details. 2. Clarity dreams: These dreams occur when you are fairly progressed in meditational practices and can carry this into the dream state. These dreams arise not from the emotions, or memories, etc., but from more subtler forms of karma and delusions. However, just like in waking mediational practice, you are not affected by the images or thoughts that appear to you. 3. Clear Light dreams: In the advanced tantric practices, there are teachings called dream yoga. The object of these is to achieve the clear light dreams, which are very difficult to achieve and take years and years of intense practice. The most important clear light mind that arises is actually at the time of our death, if we are trained enough in this very subtle state, we can actually control where we take rebirth. If we are more experienced in this state, then we can actually use it to meditate on the teachings and achieve enlightenment. Clear light dreams are a "lesser" type of clear light mind, that helps practitioners prepare for the time of death. When we have an auspicious dream such as of our teacher, our practice, the Buddhas, etc., even though this is auspicious, it is still more than likely to be just a samsaric dream. There are instances however, when the enlightened beings and Dharma protectors will send practitioners dreams to help with their practice or as methods of divination. Tsem Rinpoche once told us of a very powerful Nyingma lama known for his divination abilities. Students would ask him a question, then he would take a nap, and receive divination advice in this dreams, which he would then relay to his students. This lama was well-known for this ability because his dream divinations were extremely accurate. As I am sure you can tell, the scope of dreams with the Buddhist context is very vast and I will not be able to cover everything here. However, I hope that what I have written helps your understanding. Thank you.
  • March 1, 2021 23:37
    Sandra asked: Hello dear pastors, wish we could have an article like the one below to highlight the auspicious days of 2021. https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/auspicious-days.html
    pastor answered: Dear Sandra, Thank you for your suggestion. At the moment, there are no plans to publish another article with 2021 dates. But I have listed out some of the auspicious days and their dates for this year for you. I have only included future dates, not those that have already passed. Saga Dawa Duchen - 26th May 2021 Chokhor Duchen - 14th July 2021 Dorje Shugden Day - 24th August 2021 Lhabab Duchen - 27th October 2021 Gaden Ngamchoe or Tsongkhapa Day - 29th December 2021 I hope this helps. Thank you.
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#KFBBentong: Ready for some exciting news? We are now at RM154,523.94 - surpassing the funds required for our Pahang food bank operations! Thank you to all who kindly donated, we are deeply moved by your care and generosity towards the less fortunate struggling in our midst. To make our shared goal to continue #helpingthepoor a reality, we are now eagerly looking for suitable premises in Bentong. We will update soon on our progress, so stay tuned! #kecharafoodbank #foodaid #bantuan #kitajagakita #hungerknowsnobarriers #endhunger #charity #ngomalaysia #Pahang - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
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#KFBBentong: Ready for some exciting news? We are now at RM154,523.94 - surpassing the funds required for our Pahang food bank operations! Thank you to all who kindly donated, we are deeply moved by your care and generosity towards the less fortunate struggling in our midst. To make our shared goal to continue #helpingthepoor a reality, we are now eagerly looking for suitable premises in Bentong. We will update soon on our progress, so stay tuned! #kecharafoodbank #foodaid #bantuan #kitajagakita #hungerknowsnobarriers #endhunger #charity #ngomalaysia #Pahang - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
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Fwd: 12 minute Affiliate Multiple Ways to Earn Commissions
#kecharafoodbank: In collaboration with Good Shepherd Services (GSS) based in Ipoh, we travelled to Buntong with food rations for 33 families. Some of the food items given include rice, noodles, cooking oil and biscuits; in total, we gave 726kg of food to these beneficiaries from the underprivileged class. We are glad to have been able to contribute, especially to families with children and in poor living conditions. We wish to thank GSS for alerting us about those in need, and we look forward to extending more support in the future together with this not-for-profit organization doing good work. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
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#kecharafoodbank: In collaboration with Good Shepherd Services (GSS) based in Ipoh, we travelled to Buntong with food rations for 33 families. Some of the food items given include rice, noodles, cooking oil and biscuits; in total, we gave 726kg of food to these beneficiaries from the underprivileged class. We are glad to have been able to contribute, especially to families with children and in poor living conditions. We wish to thank GSS for alerting us about those in need, and we look forward to extending more support in the future together with this not-for-profit organization doing good work. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
In an urgent effort to provide food and necessities to the poverty-stricken in Bentong and rural areas of Pahang, we are launching Food Bank Bentong. With your support, Food Bank Bentong would be able to feed 500 families totaling 2,300 people on a regular basis, giving them a chance to enjoy a basic sense of security we consider a human right. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
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In an urgent effort to provide food and necessities to the poverty-stricken in Bentong and rural areas of Pahang, we are launching Food Bank Bentong. With your support, Food Bank Bentong would be able to feed 500 families totaling 2,300 people on a regular basis, giving them a chance to enjoy a basic sense of security we consider a human right. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
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Update on Empowerment cookies, special holiday packaging. The bakers are most grateful for the overwhelming support of 834 tubs ordered, with a big order of 314 tubs from a group of friends. Thank you to those cookie lovers who couldn’t get enough of it. Watch out for the next update. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thank you, generous and kind donors, made possible by Alice Smith School's Official Site through their Build Kindness Campaign. The whooping amount of RM63,000 will provide much needed food to 25 poor families for the next 12 months. On behalf of these families, thank you! Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
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Thank you, generous and kind donors, made possible by Alice Smith School's Official Site through their Build Kindness Campaign. The whooping amount of RM63,000 will provide much needed food to 25 poor families for the next 12 months. On behalf of these families, thank you! Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
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Thanks to Yap Optometry for gifting Robert a new pair of glasses to see better. We wish him many clear and bright days ahead. Thank you to all sponsors. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
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Last weekend a Soup Kitchen activities @ Penang, Johor & Kuala Lumpur. Hot food, water, masks, biscuits, buns & fruits. This is what we give out to our friends living on the streets. Thank you to our sponsor & volunteers that make it happen. Come spread more love by being a volunteer at our activities. WhatsApp us today at 010-333-3260! See you soon! #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
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Last weekend a Soup Kitchen activities @ Penang, Johor & Kuala Lumpur. Hot food, water, masks, biscuits, buns & fruits. This is what we give out to our friends living on the streets. Thank you to our sponsor & volunteers that make it happen. Come spread more love by being a volunteer at our activities. WhatsApp us today at 010-333-3260! See you soon! #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
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Thank you Domino's Pizza Malaysia, Kasih & Piza campaign for sponsoring 85 boxes of pizza to our friends who live on the streets. Your flavourful pizzas have put a smile on their faces. Thank you! - Vivan @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #KasihdanPiza #ItsAllAboutYou
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Thank you Domino's Pizza Malaysia, Kasih & Piza campaign for sponsoring 85 boxes of pizza to our friends who live on the streets. Your flavourful pizzas have put a smile on their faces. Thank you! - Vivan @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #KasihdanPiza #ItsAllAboutYou
Thank you Novo Nordisk! Your kind monetary donation and 1,320 boxes of masks will benefit many needy families under the Kechara Food Bank Program. Thank you! Much love from the needy families  ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #novonordisk #novonordiskmalaysia
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Thank you Novo Nordisk! Your kind monetary donation and 1,320 boxes of masks will benefit many needy families under the Kechara Food Bank Program. Thank you! Much love from the needy families ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #novonordisk #novonordiskmalaysia
We were graced with the presence of Tengku Zatashah & The Alice Smith School Foundation yesterday. 130 homeless were blessed to be served by them. RM 20,000 donated by Alice Smith School Foundation will benefit 100 families registered under Kechara Food Bank Program. Thank you! Much love from the needy families ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #alicesmithschoolfoundation #alicesmithschool #volunteerism #homeless
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We were graced with the presence of Tengku Zatashah & The Alice Smith School Foundation yesterday. 130 homeless were blessed to be served by them. RM 20,000 donated by Alice Smith School Foundation will benefit 100 families registered under Kechara Food Bank Program. Thank you! Much love from the needy families ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #alicesmithschoolfoundation #alicesmithschool #volunteerism #homeless
Thanks to the effort of our outstation team, we were able to mobilise food provisions to 600 families living in Kelantan, Penang, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor during the Raya period with each of these families receiving RM200 worth of provisions. Adding onto the current 368 families in Klang Valley, a total of 968 families were benefitted from this. Special thanks to the sponsors who have contributed especially Hong Leong Foundation and partially from Tesco Malaysia (where we also ordered the provisions from). ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
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Thanks to the effort of our outstation team, we were able to mobilise food provisions to 600 families living in Kelantan, Penang, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor during the Raya period with each of these families receiving RM200 worth of provisions. Adding onto the current 368 families in Klang Valley, a total of 968 families were benefitted from this. Special thanks to the sponsors who have contributed especially Hong Leong Foundation and partially from Tesco Malaysia (where we also ordered the provisions from). ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
So glad that our soup kitchen operations are back in full swing. Good to see the clients are observing the SOPs. Some of them lost their job during MCO and ended up on the streets. Special thanks to our sponsors and volunteers for the great support! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
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So glad that our soup kitchen operations are back in full swing. Good to see the clients are observing the SOPs. Some of them lost their job during MCO and ended up on the streets. Special thanks to our sponsors and volunteers for the great support! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
From serving cooked food to the homeless clients on the streets to mobilising provisions to the needy individuals in PPRs and shelters, we thank everyone of our Johor Bahru team for their kind contributions and effort to make it for the needy despite all the challenges! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
10 months ago
From serving cooked food to the homeless clients on the streets to mobilising provisions to the needy individuals in PPRs and shelters, we thank everyone of our Johor Bahru team for their kind contributions and effort to make it for the needy despite all the challenges! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
More photos taken from our "Hari Raya Hampers" distribution this week. Making sure everyone of our clients have something to be cheerful about. Apart from food, daily used items such as hygiene products, kitchen utensils, assorted fabric items, stationary items and toys were also included into our hamper bags making it extra heavier this month! Food items alone were about 35kg per family! Taking this opportunity to wish everyone of our Muslim volunteers, friends, supporters and clients a Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Maaf Zahir Batin. No doubt this year's celebration will be very different but appreciate everyone is safe and protected from the pandemic. We are in this together and let's work to fight this pandemic together! Thanking all sponsors and donors for the generous support enabling us to continue serve the needy with food, love and care. Big shoutout too to our wonderful team which already depleted by our very own strict SOP. All of you who worked tirelessly behind the s
11 months ago
More photos taken from our "Hari Raya Hampers" distribution this week. Making sure everyone of our clients have something to be cheerful about. Apart from food, daily used items such as hygiene products, kitchen utensils, assorted fabric items, stationary items and toys were also included into our hamper bags making it extra heavier this month! Food items alone were about 35kg per family! Taking this opportunity to wish everyone of our Muslim volunteers, friends, supporters and clients a Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Maaf Zahir Batin. No doubt this year's celebration will be very different but appreciate everyone is safe and protected from the pandemic. We are in this together and let's work to fight this pandemic together! Thanking all sponsors and donors for the generous support enabling us to continue serve the needy with food, love and care. Big shoutout too to our wonderful team which already depleted by our very own strict SOP. All of you who worked tirelessly behind the s
Our team have been working extra hours for the past few weeks to deliver provisions and hamper goodies to the needy families before Hari Raya! Heart warming to see the smiling faces of our recipients upon receiving 3 bags full of food and daily used items. Thanks to everyone of you who have contributed to our foodbank enabling us to give all our recipients (especially those celebrating) a Raya to remember! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
11 months ago
Our team have been working extra hours for the past few weeks to deliver provisions and hamper goodies to the needy families before Hari Raya! Heart warming to see the smiling faces of our recipients upon receiving 3 bags full of food and daily used items. Thanks to everyone of you who have contributed to our foodbank enabling us to give all our recipients (especially those celebrating) a Raya to remember! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thankful to all donors and those who have been committed in contributing not just money but time over the past testing weeks to help us ease the work of our frontliners and also the livelihood of the needy, their struggles over this pandemic period seemed a little easier to bear with because of your contributions! - Vivian @Kechara Soup Kitchen
11 months ago
Thankful to all donors and those who have been committed in contributing not just money but time over the past testing weeks to help us ease the work of our frontliners and also the livelihood of the needy, their struggles over this pandemic period seemed a little easier to bear with because of your contributions! - Vivian @Kechara Soup Kitchen
KSDS Level 2 virtual class, Lin Mun KSDS
11 months ago
KSDS Level 2 virtual class, Lin Mun KSDS
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
11 months ago
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
Wesak 2020
11 months ago
Wesak 2020
Recycle today for a better tomorrow. KEP-Serena
1 years ago
Recycle today for a better tomorrow. KEP-Serena
Today we are having recycling at Kechara Soup Kitchen. Do drop by here if you would like to get ride of the recyclable items from home. KEP - Serena
1 years ago
Today we are having recycling at Kechara Soup Kitchen. Do drop by here if you would like to get ride of the recyclable items from home. KEP - Serena
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Seen here is Bam, Vajrayogini’s seed syllable and also Kechara's logo. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
1 years ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Seen here is Bam, Vajrayogini’s seed syllable and also Kechara's logo. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: More melted butter was offered. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
1 years ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: More melted butter was offered. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
H.E. Zawa Rinpoche in deep concentration. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
1 years ago
H.E. Zawa Rinpoche in deep concentration. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Geshela is seen here wearing ceremonial hat called tsoksha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
1 years ago
Geshela is seen here wearing ceremonial hat called tsoksha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
The Shize Fire Puja was performed according to scriptural sources. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
1 years ago
The Shize Fire Puja was performed according to scriptural sources. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
To find out more about the substances offered during jinsek/fire puja, have a read here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
1 years ago
To find out more about the substances offered during jinsek/fire puja, have a read here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
More about the symbolism of the offering items here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
1 years ago
More about the symbolism of the offering items here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Amongst all pujas, the fire puja is considered the king of all Pujas. It is the most powerful of all pujas within Tibetan Buddhism and its purpose is basically to remove all obstacles and its stains to enlightenment.
1 years ago
Amongst all pujas, the fire puja is considered the king of all Pujas. It is the most powerful of all pujas within Tibetan Buddhism and its purpose is basically to remove all obstacles and its stains to enlightenment.
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Graceful hand mudras were also part of the ritual. - shared Pastor Antoinette
1 years ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Graceful hand mudras were also part of the ritual. - shared Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: One by one the offering substances were offered accompanied by traditional Tibetan recitations. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
1 years ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: One by one the offering substances were offered accompanied by traditional Tibetan recitations. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
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