Incredible Geshe Wangyal

Dec 8, 2013 | Views: 2,636

(By Tsem Rinpoche)

Dear respected friends around the world,

This is a must read article and very interesting. I learned from it also. I am so touched by all the work Geshe Wangyal has done in service of Dharma and humanity. Very touching.

I came across this wonderful article about how Tibetan Buddhism came to America and also a short history on the Kalmyks… it is the story about Geshe Ngawang Wangyal, the first Tibetan Buddhist lama who set foot on American soil. Unsurprisingly, he faced many challenges when bringing Buddhism to America! Geshe Wangyal was a Mongol (Kalmyk) which is the same ancestry as my mother.

The story of Geshe Wangyal was one that was told by a lifelong student, David Urubshurow who has been a student of Geshe Wangyal since he was 7 years old! I thank David Urubshurow for his devotion to Geshe Wangyal and this beautiful article. I have blogged it here so many will understand how much Geshe Wangyal did to bring Buddhism to America. I myself had the honour to meet Geshe Wangyal in his North New Jersey centre once many decades ago as a young boy.

Reading the biographies of great Lamas such as Geshe Wangyal is extremely beneficial for spiritual aspirants… similarly with reading biographies of Pabongkha Rinpoche and other great Mahasiddhas. I thought that I should share this article on Geshe Wangyal to all my blog readers in hopes that they will be both inspired and learn through the actions of this Enlightened master. We should never let challenges that seem vast stop us. We should never retire in retreat when it’s too hard. Nothing great comes with no effort.

“It always seems impossible until it is done.” ~Nelson Mandela

Tsem Rinpoche

 

P.S. I lived with my family on West 3rd Street, Howell New Jersey and Venerable Geshe Wangyal Lived on East 3rd Street. Amazing. That is just across the street from me and five minutes walk away! My root guru and first guru was Geshe Lobsang Tharchin. He was was brought to USA by Geshe Wangyal also!

 


From Russia with Love

The untold story of how Tibetan Buddhism first came to America
David Urubshurow

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By some estimates, there may now be three million or more people in the United States who identify themselves as Tibetan Buddhists. Sixty years ago, there were precisely 587 of us who could assert that claim—and we were all Kalmyk Mongols.

Eighteen years before Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche—the charismatic tulku widely assumed to have brought Tibetan Buddhism to North America—set foot in the States, a small band of Kalmyks, America’s earliest Tibetan Buddhists, would establish the religion’s first temple in the Western hemisphere. Refugees from Stalinism and unlikely beneficiaries of America’s early Cold War maneuverings, the Kalmyks transformed an unassuming town in the middle of New Jersey into the epicenter for Tibetan Buddhism in the West.

The community’s most learned lama, Geshe Ngawang Wangyal, was the first Tibetan Buddhist lama in the United States to take on American students. His long list of accomplishments would include pioneering efforts in establishing Tibetan Buddhism’s intellectual bona fides in American academia and popular culture, making possible the successful escape of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from Tibet in 1959 under contract with the CIA, and finally, spearheading a two-decade-long undertaking to remove political proscriptions on American visits by the Dalai Lama, an endeavor that reached up to the highest levels of US government. Not many Western Buddhists know this story—or that the tradition’s first congregation here would have such an improbable yet discernable and documentable impact on Tibetan Buddhism’s future in America.

In the summer of 1952, Jersey Shore–bound travelers zipping down US Route 9 would not have noticed anything that set Freewood Acres, New Jersey, apart from thousands of similar villages throughout America. Nothing on its public face suggested that Freewood Acres had, over the previous winter, become a demographically singular community on this side of the world. The distinction was due, in part, to the decision by a band of about 200 Kalmyks to resettle there permanently (amid an already established Cossack community) shortly after their 1951 Christmas Eve arrival in America. These Kalmyks had avoided all but certain extinction because of their propaganda value in a spirited battle for global domination being waged by their once and current sovereigns.

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The emigrants—nearly half of whom, myself included, were children under the age of 10—landed with only the tattered mementos of six joyless years in a series of Bavarian Displaced Persons (DP) camps cobbled together by the US Allied Forces in Germany to accommodate a portion of the millions uprooted by the Second World War. Each could trace his or her immediate origins to the Russian steppes northwest of the Caspian Sea, to a land they fondly called Hal’mag Tangach’, dubbed “Kalmykia” by their Russian and Cossack neighbors, from a word of Turkic origin meaning “to remain.” The Kalmyks had done just that after emigrating from western Mongolia to the Volga Basin in the early 17th century, establishing the only Buddhist polity in Europe at around the time the Puritans landed at Plymouth Rock.

Most of Freewood Acres’s Kalmyk adults had fought or worked for the Third Reich following the Nazi’s massive attack and subsequent occupation of their Russian Soviet Republic in the spring and summer of 1942. Spurred by the woes of Stalinist oppression, some became “guest workers”; the rest bore arms against the USSR, either as part of the doomed Russian Liberation Army or as members of the so-called Kalmyk Cavalry Corps, created by the German Wehrmacht during its Sixth Army’s brief occupation of Kalmykia as it mustered for the coming disaster in nearby Stalingrad. Understandably, no Kalmyks acknowledged this toxic allegiance in the wake of Germany’s defeat, and at war’s end each would profess involuntary servitude as the reason for his presence in Germany, usually under an assumed name.

Perhaps that was why we were among the very last of Europe’s DPs, still homeless and stateless six years after the end to hostilities. Desperate to preserve a unique cultural heritage in the midst of a physically devastated and morally depleted Germany, Kalmyk DPs rejected opportunities for individual or family resettlement, knowing that any attempt to break them up was tantamount to a death sentence for our culture and survival as a distinct people. Furthermore, in contrast to other past DPs, we were undeniably Asian, physically and culturally. Surprisingly urbane and broadly polyglot on the one hand, Kalmyk Mongols also unabashedly embraced and celebrated religious beliefs and core values found only in more exotic locales and distant times. For a mostly Christian Europe, this feature may have fostered a perception that Kalmyks were little more than godless primitives, perhaps not so far removed from our “barbarian” forebears. Little wonder, then, that there were few offers of safe haven from the community of nations.

In the immediate aftermath of Germany’s defeat, millions of their former countrymen and women—Cossacks, Soviet POWs, German collaborators, and other anti-Stalinists—were forcibly repatriated to Russia by its US and UK allies. Like most of those forcibly returned, Kalmyks harbored a visceral hatred of Communism and Stalin, nurtured in their beleaguered homeland and in European exile. In the early years of the Cold War, this particular stance, and the conviction with which Kalmyks held it, perhaps trumped the negative factors hindering our search for a permanent communal home. Impeccable anti-Communist credentials coupled with a history of persecution in the Soviet Union tipped the balance in our favor when the United States relented and offered Kalmyk Mongols permanent refuge. Our flight from Communist tyranny and eventual “redemption by the West” was valuable propaganda fodder for the political era that followed Mao’s revolution in China, witnessed an alarming upsurge in Communist-led national liberation movements in Southeast Asia, and saw the grisly escalation of hostilities on the Korean peninsula. Virulent anti-Communist Asians, it seems, were at a premium.

At first, the passage and enactment of the DP Act of 1948, a humanitarian measure to grant permanent US residence to 200,000 refugees still languishing in European DP camps, did not affect the Kalmyks’ eligibility, because its benefits applied only to white people. It was only with the help of Leo Tolstoy’s youngest daughter, Alexandra, one of perhaps a half-dozen Americans who even knew what a Kalmyk was, that we were granted asylum. Through her foundation, Tolstoy posited before an immigration tribunal that the Kalmyks’ centuries-old inhabitation of their own polity within European Russia far outweighed their actual and obvious Asiatic origin. In other words, Kalmyks were really Europeans. Despite the initial tribunal’s rejection of this argument, its appellate superiors, the Board of Immigration Appeals and the US Attorney General, reversed the decision months later, making theEuropean Kalmyks beneficiaries of an innovative legal ruling exempting us from the anti-Asian (“Yellow Peril”) hysteria that had swept America and found purchase in its immigration laws.

By figuratively sticking her foot in America’s front door and keeping it wedged there long enough for an anonymous band of war-tossed Mongols to navigate around daunting racial barriers, Countess Tolstoy not only became the architect of the Mongol “invasion” of New Jersey and the country’s first ethnic Mongolian community, she also served as the midwife for the birth of Tibetan Buddhism in America.

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One month short of the first anniversary of their arrival in America, the Kalmyks of Freewood Acres consecrated a communal worship center, their main priority since leaving the camps. The extensively renovated garage, once ritually transformed, symbolized the Kalmyks’ determination to bring their long, arduous journey to an end. The two modest bungalows that shared the site with the transformed garage became housing for the sangha of a half-dozen monks and lamas who had followed their parishioners out of Russia. They gave their new temple a traditional Tibetan name, Rashi Gempil Ling, hoping that it would indeed be a “Sanctuary for the Increase of Auspiciousness and Virtue.” That it was the first Tibetan Buddhist worship center established in the Western hemisphere probably was not foremost in anyone’s mind.

Coverage of the sanctifying rite in The New York Times betrayed the Cold War mentality typically found in the era’s news stories about recent refugees, fixing as it did on the group’s collective plight in recent years and its eventual deliverance from Soviet Communism by the US. The Siberian exile of the Kalmyks’ unfortunate compatriots in Russia was also mentioned, perhaps as an example of what these lucky ones had avoided through America’s compassionate intervention.

The brief article was the most prominent press attention Kalmyk DPs had received to date. And because it was published in the paper of record, it was the most widely disseminated account of the circumstances of our arrival the previous year. Beyond the hundreds of thousands of Times readers and subscribers learning for the first time that there were now “descendants of Genghis Khan” in their midst, the story’s reverberations eventually reached halfway around the globe to the West Bengal town of Kalimpong, India. There its message resonated with a fellow Kalmyk Mongolian who had been living in exile in the former hill station of the British Raj since shortly after the 1950 invasion of Tibet by China. Geshe Ngawang Wangyal’s curiosity was piqued.

The Kalmyk Autonomous Oblast in the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic had barely celebrated its second anniversary in 1923 when 21-year-old Lidjiin Keerab, a Buddhist seminarian, left his home in the Lesser Derbet region to complete his ecclesiastical education in Tibet. He was one in a small but continuous trickle, beginning in the mid-to-late 1600s, of Kalmyk geshe-aspirants making the trek. He and his predecessors intended to eventually return home to disseminate buddhadharma among the Kalmyks, the world’s westernmost Buddhists. Keerab, who would complete his studies to become Geshe Wangyal, did not know that he would be the last Kalmyk to make that passage.

Keerab had been a gifted student in one of Kalmykia’s two monastic colleges (chöra) founded two decades earlier by his guru and patron Lama Agvan Dorjiev, a Buryat Mongol geshe from Siberia and an ecclesiastic tutor and debate partner to the 13th Dalai Lama. Although dragged into the geopolitical feuds of the time, Lama Dorjiev spent most of his life promoting the academic study of Buddhism in Mongolia, Buryatia, and Kalmykia according to a curriculum established by the Tibetan monk and scholar Lobsang Drakpa, better known as Tsongkhapa, the 15th-century founder of the Tibetan Gelug lineage.

Recognizing his protégé’s potential to successfully complete the demanding geshe curriculum at the Gelugpa monastic colleges of Tibet, Dorjiev handpicked the young Lidjiin Keerab to be a member of the Borisov Mission, a secret undertaking hatched by the USSR’s foreign ministry and Comintern functionaries. The expedition’s leader, Sergei Borisov, and his travel companions would pose as religious pilgrims while actually exploring opportunities for Communist proselytizing on the “roof of the world,” which conveniently overlooked colonial India, the crown jewel of Britain’s massive empire. Comrade Borisov, a seasoned Comintern operative of Central Asian descent, donned the robes and persona of a Buryat Mongol lama for the months-long trek to Lhasa. To add further credibility to the ruse, Borisov brought several genuine Russian Buddhist pilgrims into the party, including Lama Dorjiev’s promising disciple.

Knowing well the ulterior political motives of the caravan’s sponsors, Lama Dorjiev admonished Keerab to separate from the caravan before its entry into the holy city and to avoid being identified thereafter as a member of Borisov’s party. Borisov’s group would be the last sanctioned overland expedition from Russia to Tibet, ending a centuries-old practice by which Kalmyk traders, monk-students, and pilgrims could stockpile incalculable merit from completing the holy circuit.

Keerab completed his curricular obligations at Gomang Monastic College’s geshe-degree program in less than ten years, about half the time for typical geshe-aspirants. In 1933 or early ’34, Geshe Wangyal made his first (and last) attempt to return to Kalmykia, an endeavor cut short by the ongoing suppression of Buddhism along his proposed return route in Mongolia and even more vigorously at his intended destination. Stranded in Beijing, Geshe-la took a job with a Chinese publishing venture attempting to reconcile various versions of the Buddhist canon, taught school briefly in Inner Mongolia, and, presciently, began teaching himself English.

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Following a quick visit to England at the invitation of the author and mountaineer Marco Pallis, Geshe Wangyal returned to Tibet, resolving to spend the rest of his life there. For more than a decade, Geshe-la would spend most of the year in Lhasa and winter in Kalimpong, India, allowing him to conduct lucrative trade between the two countries and sometimes with China. It was a near-idyllic existence.

Late in 1950, however, the first Chinese Communist artillery shells fell on Eastern Tibet, ending the optimistic notion that Tibet could maintain its historical independence. The Asian expansion of Communism and the consequent devastation of Buddhism that Geshe-la had witnessed over the past three decades had finally caught up with him in Tibet, his most secure redoubt. He could not hope to remain in Lhasa, where his identity as a Russian subject was quite well known and his status as a lama and trader made him an obvious target for the coming wave of ideologues charged with purifying society of its bourgeois elements.

By the end of 1951, as Chinese propaganda cadres and armed forces expanded their presence into Central Tibet from the eastern provinces, Geshe Wangyal had permanently relocated to his winter refuge in India. Soon after, the jungle drums communication network of Kalimpong’s sizeable Tibetan exile community informed him that, according to an article in The New York Times, a group of his fellow Kalmyks had established a small community and congregation in a place called New Jersey.

For a full year thereafter, Geshe-la made multiple requests to the American Consul in New Delhi for a visa. It was eventually granted in late 1954 after the intervention of the Tolstoy Foundation a year earlier. With all his earthly possessions packed into two steamer trunks, Geshe-la made his way to France in time to catch La Liberté’s January 1955 departure for the port of New York. He would spend the next 28 years in New Jersey, the longest continuous residence in one place in his eventful life, making him, in a very real way, the first authentic American lama.

Following his arrival, Geshe Wangyal attempted to join the sanghas of the Kalmyks’ original temple organization, Rashi Gempil Ling, as well as the newest one, Tashi Lhunpo, built on a large communal plot in the adjacent Howell Township. He had been rebuffed by each primarily because of the interventions of *Dilowa Khutuktu, a Mongolian-born tulku who had been in America since 1949. The resulting acrimony in the community between Geshe-la’s defenders and detractors exposed fault lines along tribal and clan affiliations that had always been part of the Kalmyks’ group and individual identities.

Membership in either temple organization would have spared Geshe-la the necessity of raising the funds required to purchase property and build the facility he would need to house the modest Buddhist Studies and Tibetan Language program he hoped to start as a faint echo of the academies established in Kalmykia by his own guru, Lama Dorjiev. However, Geshe-la’s initial urgency to be accepted within the existing Kalmyk organizations appreciably diminished around the time he began his contract work for the CIA, in 1956 or early 1957. Recruited to the spy agency with the help of the Dalai Lama’s eldest brother, Thubten Jigme Norbu (Takster Rinpoche), Geshe Wangyal developed the Tibetan telecode the agency would use to communicate with the Tibetan Resistance, the newest surrogates for fighting communist expansion.

Takster Rinpoche emigrated to the United States under CIA sponsorship eight months to the day following Geshe-la’s arrival in New Jersey. His initial visit in 1951, referred to in some news accounts as a lecture tour of seminaries and colleges, was arranged by a CIA-front organization and used to present his own eyewitness accounts of the Chinese invasion and occupation of Tibet at very high levels of America’s foreign policy and intelligence communities. During his second visit, Rinpoche’s friend and colleague Geshe Wangyal served as his translator for the interview at the offices of Rinpoche’s US sponsor. The two had last seen each other in Lhasa 16 years earlier.

The Agency’s choice for its code designer was, according to Kenneth Conboy and James Morrison inThe CIA’s Secret War in Tibet, a given, since Geshe Wangyal was “the first (and at that time, only) qualified scholar of Tibetan … in the United States” who could develop the code and then train the Tibetan warriors (some of whom were only nominally literate) in its use. In other words, there was no one else in America who could have done it.

Geshe-la’s mandate within the task force also consisted of deciphering and encoding all messages between the Agency and the guerrilla forces for an extended period. Geshe-la, Takster Rinpoche, and the CIA spooks trained the first group of Tibetan guerrillas in the code and tradecraft for its use on the island of Saipan in the western Pacific in 1957. Later, the majority of CIA-trained nationalist forces would receive that training at Camp Hale, a decommissioned WWII– and Korean War–era army base in the Rocky Mountains outside of Leadville, Colorado. These Tibetans, after completing their training by the CIA, would be airdropped back into Tibet to gather intelligence and relay their information to Washington. They were also trained to recruit more resistance members and to conduct opportunistic sabotage.

The material rewards from Geshe Wangyal’s involvement with the US government became evident when he commissioned the construction of a nondescript, ranch-style home on East Third Street in Freewood Acres. Aside from the deer-and-dharma-wheel emblem (hand-carved by Geshe-la) displayed atop the portico of its front door, there was nothing about the typically suburban structure to indicate that it was America’s first center for the academic study of Tibetan Buddhism. The name on the corresponding mailbox at the edge of the street read Lamaist Buddhist Monastery of America(LBMA). From that point on, Geshe Wangyal would proceed according to his own agenda, which took a decisive turn in the year His Holiness the Dalai Lama escaped to India, a feat in which Geshe Wangyal played no small part.

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The combined efforts of Geshe Wangyal and Takster Rinpoche at the birth of the organized Tibetan resistance made it possible for ST Circus, the CIA’s codename for its anti-Chinese effort, to achieve its most notable success: the Dalai Lama’s escape from Tibet. Fortuitous contact by members of the first class of US-trained Tibetan resistance fighters with the Dalai Lama’s escape party in March 1959 allowed the CIA to be informed daily of the Dalai Lama’s whereabouts throughout the grueling ordeal. At the time, 50,000 People’s Liberation Army soldiers and dozens of spotter planes scoured the Tibetan side of the Himalayas trying to thwart his escape—or, as they suggested, to rescue him from kidnappers.

Besides keeping their CIA patrons updated on the escape party’s coordinates, the guerrillas used Geshe-la’s telecode to request from Prime Minister Nehru’s government political asylum in India for the Dalai Lama, his cabinet, and his family. Three years earlier, Nehru had turned away a similar request and essentially forced His Holiness to return to Tibet after a brief religious pilgrimage to India. It was thus a great relief when Nehru’s consent to the asylum request, after traveling through several bureaucratic levels of the US and Indian governments over a 24-hour period, was relayed to the Dalai Lama’s Lord Chamberlain by the CIA-trained guerrillas. That message permitted a then ailing Dalai Lama to cross into Indian refuge ahead of his pursuers.

His Holiness’s decision to leave Tibet at that time, almost nine years into China’s occupation, and the details of how and whether he was eluding the Chinese army became fodder for international journalistic speculation as hundreds of newsmen flocked to India’s remote Himalayan outposts hoping to witness his arrival. Few can remember today that this was the most internationally covered cliffhanger of that era, one that resonated well in the existential drama of the ongoing Cold War.

Once His Holiness the Dalai Lama was safely in India, Geshe Wangyal would soon discover that the follow-up task of bringing His Holiness to the United States might be more daunting than the just-concluded escape. For that project, he would need other allies—and plenty of patience.

In 1960, Geshe-la quit the CIA assignment. (The CIA’s Tibet program continued for more than a decade without him, until it was ended by order of Henry Kissinger when he began his courtship of Mao in the early 1970s.) As this was also his first year of eligibility, Geshe Wangyal petitioned for and received United States citizenship and an American passport. He used the latter to return that summer to India, where he met with the Dalai Lama, then into his second year of exile. Although Geshe-la, to my knowledge, never spoke openly of his private conversations with His Holiness—just as he never mentioned his involvement with the CIA’s Tibet Task Force—the results of their initial meetings became apparent in 1962 when His Holiness sent four Tibetan lamas from India to Geshe Wangyal’s center in Freewood Acres, primarily to learn English. The group included Geshe Lhundup Sopa, later a decades-long professor of Buddhism at the University of Wisconsin; Lama Kunga Thartse Rinpoche, founder of the Ewam Choden Buddhist center in California; and two teenage tulkus, Kamlung and Sharpa Rinpoches. The steady procession of Tibetan lamas to LBMA under this informal program continued for an additional ten years. Eventually the lamas’ mandate to learn English was expanded to include teaching Buddhism to receptive audiences. Many alumni of the program, like Geshe Sopa and Lama Kunga, would go on to establish their own active American dharma centers, which attracted hundreds of devoted followers and disciples. One of the last to arrive under this arrangement, Geshe Lobsang Tharchin, became the longest-serving abbot of the Kalmyk community’s Rashi Gempil Ling temple.

Shortly after the arrival of that first group of “ESL-lamas,” LBMA took in its first resident students when a trio of former Ivy Leaguers—Christopher George, Jeffrey Hopkins, and Robert Thurman—who, as The New York Times wrote, could “trace their American descent to the early days of the Republic,” came to begin study in Buddhism and Tibetan. In return for their studies with Geshe Wangyal and the new lamas, the Americans provided English language lessons for the newcomers and manpower for the addition of an altar room and dormitory, which Geshe-la ordered to accommodate LBMA’s sudden population explosion. The bargain struck between scions of America’s oldest settlers with members of its newest furthered the future expansion of Tibetan Buddhism in the West for decades to come, primarily from the efforts of two of these pioneers, Robert Thurman and Jeffrey Hopkins.

Dr. Thurman’s academic career and record of activism on and education about Tibetan spiritual, cultural, historical, and political issues in the past half-century is well documented, as are Professor Hopkins’s contributions to the academic study of Buddhism since his apprenticeship at LBMA. Teaching at Columbia University and the University of Virginia, respectively, together they form two pillars upon which much of Tibetan Buddhist studies in America rest today. These two trailblazers contributed to the emergence of a second generation of scholars, teachers, and activists who made their own unique contributions to the remarkable growth of interest in and understanding of Tibetan Buddhist doctrine in America.

In 1964, Geshe Wangyal traveled to India, taking Thurman along. He introduced him to the Dalai Lama, who had just moved to the hill town of Dharamsala. There, Thurman served a brief tenure as a Tibetan Buddhist monk—the first American to do so, and the first Westerner to be ordained by the Dalai Lama—before returning to America later in the 1960s and reentering Harvard University to earn his PhD in Buddhist Studies. While at Harvard, Thurman befriended two undergraduates, Joel McCleary and Joshua Cutler, who had been taking introductory Tibetan Buddhism classes with him. Both expressed a keen interest in continuing those studies after their upcoming graduation. Naturally, Thurman referred them to his own lama.

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More than 40 years later, McCleary still remembers the first task Geshe-la assigned him after he and Cutler arrived at the LBMA retreat house in the summer of 1971: Bring the Dalai Lama to America. Geshe-la’s decade of experience with bringing Tibetan lamas from India had been both rewarding and extremely frustrating. True, there were more Tibetan (and even Mongolian) lamas and geshes in the United States than at any other time. Yet seemingly intractable obstacles, mostly of a political nature, had thus far blocked any hope that the Dalai Lama would someday be able to join them. As early as December of 1959, President Eisenhower, on a state visit to India, refused to meet with His Holiness despite clear overtures from the Tibetan side requesting a meeting. That semi-public snub established the official policy of the United States toward the Dalai Lama for the next 20 years: His Holiness was persona non grata despite the absence of any formal announcement of such status.

At the time, much of America’s foreign policy regarding Asian issues was determined by supporters of Chiang Kai-shek and his Kuomintang regime’s claim to be the real government of China, even after its forces were driven out of power and into Taiwanese exile by Mao Zedong’s minions. This influential group was called the China Lobby, and their claims to ownership of Tibet mirrored the ones put forth by their political rivals. That the Dalai Lama’s Government-in-Exile was then promoting Tibet’s de facto independence since 1911 insured that neither Chinese faction would look favorably on any official contact between the United States and His Holiness, and that each, indeed, would do all it could to thwart it.
McCleary’s one-man letter-writing campaign to Congressional leaders, begun in response to Geshe-la’s request, took a substantial turn for the better when he became Deputy Assistant to the President for Political Liaison in the Carter Administration at the end of 1977. (McCleary’s path to the West Wing and eventful career as an international political consultant after leaving LBMA are explained in his essay “Confessions of a Buddhist Political Junkie,” published in Tricycle’s inaugural issue in the fall of 1991.)

Tom Beard, a fellow Deputy Assistant to President Carter at the time and a charter member of his team of outsiders known as the Georgia Mafia, freely admits that his own enthusiastic involvement in upending the State Department’s policy was based solely on McCleary’s compelling arguments in favor of its reversal. Many staunch supporters of the policy, with whom McCleary and Beard tussled, would later become the Dalai Lama’s best friends in America. Once Beard was on board, the two Deputy Assistants, with silent but solid backing from their colleagues in the White House, finally forced the issue of a Dalai Lama visit to vigorous debate at the highest levels of government, something no previous administration had dared to raise. What began as a series of calls to the American Embassy in New Delhi, announced by the intimidating words, The White House is calling, and asking the startled diplomats if they had read President Carter’s policy on human rights, soon became an agenda item before the National Security Council. There the debate would be joined by proponents of the visit, including Hopkins, Thurman, Tenzin N. Tethong (from the Office of Tibet in New York City), Beard, and McCleary, who presented it as a logical extension of President Carter’s commitment to human rights, the hallmark of his foreign policy following the “normalization” of relations with the People’s Republic of China shortly after taking office.

The important point here is not that the Tibetophiles won the debate, but rather that it took place at all. In retrospect, it is hard to imagine a similar scenario taking place in succeeding administrations, whose China policies and sensitivities were identical to those of the ones preceding President Carter’s and whose interest in human rights issues were demonstrably not as keen. If Joel McCleary had not been at the White House at that instant in history, it is doubtful that His Holiness could have come to America when he did—or come at all.

The Dalai Lama made his American debut in September 1979, beginning a seven-week, nationwide teaching tour from the campus of the Lamaist Buddhist Monastery of America in New Jersey. The first private audience His Holiness gave at LBMA on the morning of his first teaching in America was with Joel and April McCleary (and a very surprised yours truly). His Holiness’s maiden visit demolished any chance of reimposing the unspoken ban on US visits by the Dalai Lama. Instead, it marked the start of America’s—and the world’s—love affair with the “simple Buddhist monk.”

The Dalai Lama has returned to LBMA, renamed the Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center (TBLC) in 1984, a total of eight times since his first visit. The most recent came in 2008 when he delivered a six-day teaching, held at nearby Lehigh University, on Tsongkhapa’s The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment in appreciation of TBLC’s completion of the English translation of the three-volume magnum opus. The 12-year, multi-translator project had been overseen by Joshua Cutler, who first came to Geshe Wangyal’s center in 1970 with McCleary and stayed long enough to become Geshe-la’s principal disciple. Cutler and his wife Diana would become successors to their lama as TBLC’s Executive Directors upon Geshe Wangyal’s death in 1983.

On the first day of His Holiness’s marathon event, he recalled what proved to be his final meeting in 1981 with his old friend and colleague, “Wangyal-la.” Geshe-la had convened all of his disciples and closest friends in the library of the LBMA’s schoolhouse in preparation for a communal farewell to His Holiness after he concluded his second teaching visit to LBMA. When His Holiness entered and joined Geshe-la at the front of the room, Geshe Wangyal burst into uncontrollable tears even as His Holiness hugged him closely and playfully tugged at the whiskers of his long white goatee. Finally, His Holiness also succumbed to the poignancy of the moment and began weeping for reasons we all knew could never adequately be expressed with words. It was the most moving spiritual moment I have ever experienced; His Holiness thinks of it too whenever he recalls Geshe Wangyal.

The final piece of the narrative, for me, fell into place in southeastern Russia in the summer of 1991, a dozen years after His Holiness’s American debut. I was extremely privileged then to accompany the Dalai Lama on his first pastoral visit to Kalmykia. As His Holiness the Dalai Lama disembarked into a throng of jubilant Kalmyks waiting on the airport tarmac, someone cried out, “Your Holiness, why are you here?” Without hesitation, the Dalai Lama responded, “I’m here because of my friend Geshe Wangyal.”

David Urubshurow was a member of America’s first Tibetan Buddhist congregation. At age 7 he became Geshe Wangyal’s first, and lifelong, disciple in America. He is currently writing a coming-of-age memoir about these events.

[Extracted from: http://www.tricycle.com/feature/russia-love]

Image 1: Geshe Ngawang Wangyal, aboard La Liberté, arrives in America, February 3, 1955. John Lent/Associated Press

Image 2: The author, David Urubshurow, age 10, in the altar room of the Lamaist Buddhist Monastery of America in Freewood Acres, NJ, 1958. Courtesy of the author.

Image 3: David Urubshurow, age 11, lights a butter lamp in the original altar room of the Lamaist Buddhist Monastery of America while Geshe Ngawang Wangyal reads and translates sutras, 1959. Courtesy of the author. 

Image 4: (L-R): Jeffrey Hopkins, Geshe Ngawang Wangyal, Robert Thurman, and Christopher George in Tibetan translation class at the Lamaist Buddhist Monastery of America, 1963. Bettman/Corbis/Associated Press.

Image 5: Geshe Ngawang Wangyal and a boyhood friend from Kalmykia, Dorji Purview, in the new altar room of the Lamaist Buddhist Monastery of America, 1964. Courtesy of the author.

Image 6: Geshe Ngawang Wangyal with the 14th Dalai Lama during His Holiness’s second visit to the Lamaist Buddhist Monastery of America, August 1981. Courtesy of the author.

 

* Also spelled Telo Rinpoche

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16 Responses to Incredible Geshe Wangyal

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  1. Tsa Tsa Anne on May 10, 2021 at 1:33 am

    Interesting write up on the history of how Geshe Ngawang Wangyal the first Tibetan Buddhist lama to set foot in America. Geshe Ngawang Wangyal faced many challenges when bringing Buddhism to America. He did even helped in the escaping of the Dalai Lama to America from Tibet. His long list of accomplishments would include pioneering efforts in establishing Tibetan Buddhism’s intellectual bona fides in American academia. During the last several years of his life he worked tirelessly on his final book.Thank you Rinpoche and blog team for this inspiring untold story of how Tibetan Buddhism first came to America through one great Lama. 🙏😘👍

  2. Samfoonheei on Apr 22, 2021 at 3:32 pm

    Ngawang Wangyal known to many as Geshe Wangyal and the first American lama introducing Tibetan Buddhism to the West. He was a Buddhist lama and scholar of Kalmyk origin born in Russia. He travelled through Russia to Tibet and spent the next 20 years traveling throughout Asia, learning English and translating . It was during the Chinese invasion he escaped to India and later went to American. Despite the many challenges he faced , he built a monastery been the first temple in the Western hemisphere, sponsored Tibetan monk scholars to assist him in teachings. That’s how Tibetan Buddhism spread in the west. His long list of accomplishments would include pioneering efforts in establishing Tibetan Buddhism’s intellectual bona fides in American academia. During the last several years of his life he worked tirelessly on his final book.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this inspiring untold story of how Tibetan Buddhism first came to America through one great Lama.

  3. Pastor Shin Tan on May 17, 2019 at 10:06 am

    The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. I hope many Mongolians will print out this image and place in their houses to create an affinity with Dorje Shugden for greater blessings. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz

    The powerful Mongolian nation has a long history and connection with Manjushri Dorje Shugden, as expressed in the life of Venerable Choijin Lama, a State Oracle of Mongolia who took trance of Dorje Shugden among other Dharma Protectors. Read more about Choijin Lama: https://bit.ly/2GCyOUZ

    Mongolian Dorje Shugden 2

  4. Jacinta Goh on Aug 30, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    This morning when I visited Bodhi Bookstore, I was browsing some English Dharma books, there’s one particular book that I’ve found where the name of the author sounded so familiar to me. The Door of Liberation from Geshe Wangyal. I was hesitating whether I should buy this book or otherwise, because it’s a bit dusty and I would say, an old book to have as new. However, inside of me, I know I shouldn’t think that way and the “karma” of criticising a Dharma book. ?

    I have bought that book, and immediately I searched for this Geshe Wangyal in Rinpoche’s blog. I am grateful to read the incredible journey of Him and the big contribution that Geshe Wangyal has contributed in bringing Dharma to the West and also helping to shape the greater future of H.H. The Dalai Lama. Thank you Rinpoche for writing this article in this blog.

  5. Samfoonheei on Oct 18, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    Interesting article….. history of how Geshe Ngawang Wangyal the first Tibetan Buddhist lama to set foot in America. Geshe Ngawang Wangyal faced many challenges when bringing Buddhism to America.He did even helped in the escaping of the Dalai Lama to America from Tibet.
    Thank you Rinpoche for these touching story of Geshe Wangya struggles to spread Buddhism in America.And it is also a reminder for us not to give up in what ever things we do.
    Quoted ..should never let challenges that seem vast stop us. We should never retire in retreat when it’s too hard. Nothing great comes with no effort.

  6. Brittany Williams on Feb 25, 2015 at 7:06 am

    I have a relic my aunt has given me. It is a heart shaped amber wrapped in fragile metal pendent with butterflies and Buddha in the metal work. The amber has a small strip of saffron robe and a fly. Could you reference me in the right direction for how to learn more of its making and how to use it in my practice properly? The chain or string it was originally on is gone and I currently have it with zebra jasper beads. Do certain beads symbolize or have particular meaning?

  7. Sadi on Feb 21, 2015 at 4:18 am

    I like this blog post because it was imbibed with history and politics and life in the last century. It gave an insight into how tumultous the 20th century was for the world. With wars and political relations heightened with suspense and missions, the aim of dharma was continued and flourished from the small town centre to the America by the efforts of Geshe Wangyal. He offered relief and help to HHDL during those tense times of exile for His Holiness the Dalai Lama. I think the whole world is in debt of Geshe-la because without his initiatives and work to introduce HHDL to the west, the world wouldn’t have known of HHDL.

  8. Wan Wai Meng on Dec 22, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    Geshe Wangyal had done us a great favour of paving the way for Tibetan Buddhism to spread in the US plus the Dalai Lama entry to the US. I think if the Dalai Lama was not permitted to enter the US, I would think a precious gem like His Holiness would not have been revealed to the world.

    The fact that the dharma spread so fast and benefitted so many people is due to the presence of Dalai Lama. Tsem Rinpoche had great devotion and reverence towards Dalai Lama, all Tibetans and Mongolians would want to get a glimpse of the Dalai Lama before their passing.

  9. sweekeong on Dec 15, 2013 at 10:01 am

    The post speaks of effort, courage and the underlying compassionate nature of human who had played such a pivotal role in spreading the Buddhism into the West as we know of today. Also I see only a thin line of thread between an opportunity or missed opportunity if they have given up what they believe in. It is easy for me to take granted of what they have experienced from the acts of war. We can say it is their karma but we can also observed those who have chosen to create their own future with their own hands.

  10. Choongs on Dec 13, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    This article clearly shows the interdependent nature of everything.

  11. Choongs on Dec 12, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    My first comment is that those are really great photos. Look at the NYC skyline in the first photo, only the Empire State and Chrysler skyscrapers were there. Thank you to whom had foresight to take the photos.

  12. So Kin Hoe (Ipoh) on Dec 11, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing on this remarkable history of how the Tibetan Buddhism set foot in America. That was the historical moment where everything was begun from the starting point of spreading the Dharma by Geshe Ngawang Wangyal and then continued on by Geshe Lobsang Tharchin before Geshe Lobsang Tharchin became the root and first guru of Tsem Rinpoche. When Geshe Ngawang Wangyal met with H.H. Dalai Lama and exchanged their spiritual moments in Lamaist Buddhist Monastery of America (LBMA), I can truly feel the blessings and compassionate energies manifesting from the two great masters in our century. May all the people in America will get the blessings from all the spiritual masters.

  13. Keng nam on Dec 11, 2013 at 5:29 am

    Dear Rinpoche this is indeed an interesting article that traces the beginning of Tibetan Buddhism in the US. More pertinent to me is that Rinpoche was brought up in New Jersey so close to LBMA not by chance but by a clear choice from Rinpoche’s erudite past. You are truly an erudite master of modern times and so many people whose lives you graced are very ‘karmically’ fortunate. Thank you and I wish you long life and remain to turn the dharma wheel for more people.

  14. HeePeng@MBF on Dec 9, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Very interesting to read up about the great person who’s behind the master plan to bring H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama out of Tibet and subsequently to U.S. Many people have benefited from H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama and none of these would happen if not because of Geshe Ngawang Wangyal. Thank you for sharing Rinpoche.

  15. Tommie on Dec 9, 2013 at 9:07 am

    This was awesome. Great story of patience. Very touching. Thank you precious Guru for sharing.

  16. Tommie on Dec 9, 2013 at 9:05 am

    This was awesome. Thanks for sharing.

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  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Jul 23. 2021 04:55 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche, for this important knowledge what to look for signs that our doggie in pain. By knowing what to do and look out for, it will certainly help owners to detect the situation. When we spend time with them we could understand them better when they are in pain. Since they are not able to tell us we have the responsibility to take care of them. Pain can be difficult to detect in older dogs. Doggie in pain tend to be more vocal, it’s not always easy to spot immediately. They will only express in a number of ways such as whining, whimpering, growling, and so forth. It is important for dog owners to recognize subtle signs of pain in their dog. Hence reading this post have help me to observe my doggie better.


    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/7-signs-your-dog-is-in-pain-and-trying-to-hide-it.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Jul 23. 2021 04:53 PM
    Inspiring post of a soldier turned Buddhist monk living in remote raw Ural mountains of Russia . With little and much hardship , they never give up feeling happy with their struggles. They managed to build a spiritual community up in the remote mountains. Led by Mikhail Sannikov, now known as Lama Dokshit, a veteran of the USSR’s Afghanistan war . He established a monastery on an isolated mountaintop named Shad Tchup Ling, meaning “place of practice and realisation. The monastery is visited by thousands yearly by tourist and locals.
    But sadly this monastery was built on private lands own by a metallurgical mining company . Since 2016, it has been desired to demolish the Buddhist Shedrub Ling temple on Mount Kachkanar. The Buddhist community have tried many times to legalize the structures. The mining and others have claimed rights to the land. The Buddhist community was asked to leave then. The latest update dated second February 2021 is that the monastery will be under the security of the mining company where the Urals Buddhists are allowed back to the mountain only certain days of the week. May this inspiring monastery up in the mountains continue to flourish and may the mining company not demolished it .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.
    READ MORE AT…for the latest news
    https://www2.stetson.edu/religious-news/210202a.html

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/buddhist-monks-far-off-in-the-russian-mountains.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Jul 21. 2021 04:13 PM
    Reading this post reminds me of my first pilgrimage trip to Wu Tai San . Went with my Kecharians brothers and sisters few years back. Great memories indeed, we are so fortunate given the opportunity to visit such holy site of Lord Manjushri and more it’s a pilgrimage.
    Mount Wutai is a sacred mountain, one of the Four Sacred Mountains in Chinese Buddhism. Mount Wutai, known as ‘the five terrace mountain’, is the highest in Northern China believed to be the earthly abodes of Lord Manjushri, the Buddha of Wisdom. Great ….Each peak is inhabited by a different form of Manjushri. Its five main peaks, positioned east, south, west, north, and in the middle, embrace one another with broad and plain . From the 1st century AD to the early 20th century many temples have been built on the steep slopes . Besides the religious aspect, the beauty of rising and falling ridges of mountains, exotic rocks, are really amazing. The beautiful scenery there is a masterpiece of exquisite acts of nature, predominantly visible over the five main peaks. What really important is that Mount Wutai have a connection and vast history with many Tibetan lamas. From Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyeltsen to China’s most benevolent rulers, Emperor Kangxi .
    Looking through those beautiful pictures tell us all.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Karen for this wonderful sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/students-friends/pilgrimage-to-mount-wutai.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Jul 21. 2021 04:10 PM
    Ullambana is a Buddhist festival celebrated on the 15th day of the 7th lunar month according to the Buddhist calendar. It is a festival of liberation, as to provide salvation and relief to the ghosts and spirits of the dead. The Buddhist origins of the Ullambana Festival can be traced back to a story that originally came from India. By observing the practice of Ullambana we could liberate the deceased from the three suffering realms and allow the living to enjoy a life of abundance, good fortune and longevity. During this festival, offerings such as light, foods, prayers are made to the spirits of the dead and to the hungry ghosts. On this day, Buddhists offer prayers both to their departed forefathers and to their living parents and elders.
    Great …at Kechara Forest Retreat , Bentong, two powerful and extensive pujas will be performed according to the tradition of Gaden Monastery. We are fortunate this year even though we are not able to attend at KFR , these pujas will be streamed live. The two powerful and extensive pujas is to remove obstacles and generate even more merits.
    Thank you Rinpoche ,Sharon Ong and those who are involved making it possible.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/celebrating-ullambana-the-original-hungry-ghost-festival.html

  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Jul 19. 2021 03:16 PM
    Sad to see those homeless people and now with the pandemic , it is even more . Thousands of homeless people were housed in temporary shelters during Malaysia’s COVID-19 lockdown . We have to face and accept them they exist every where. Its true that the homeless and the people living on the streets, and many off them much as the thought might create discomfort and uneasiness among many of us. Occasionally, we might come across one sleeping on the pavement, smelly, begging, sitting on pavements with a vacant look in their eyes, walking with a sack and on the lookout for foods. Many have returned to the streets and are now living hand-to-mouth….
    H. E Tsem Rinpoche knows how it is to be homeless as he had experienced homelessness while teenager back in US. Tsem Rinpoche then set up Kechara Soup Kitchen (KSK) to distribute warmed foods from 15 packets to thousands . With many volunteers helping up during the distribution in downtown Kuala Lumpur . Not only serves foods , giving free hair cuts and KSK’s volunteer doctors provide free medical check ups, wound dressings. These are some of the services provided. KSK team has done a wonderful jobs. The homeless deserves a much more caring society. Thanks to KSK team and volunteers , keep it up.
    Thank you Rinpoche and and Pastor Henry for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-soup-kitchen-ksk/homelessness-in-malaysia.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Jul 19. 2021 03:13 PM
    Colorado, a western U.S. state, has a diverse landscape of arid desert, river canyons and snow-covered Rocky Mountains . Noted for its vivid landscape of mountains, forests, high plains, and so forth . Beautiful place that piques the imagination and inspires the soul with its dramatic landscape and natural beauty . Well it said to be nothing less than stunning, with a diversity that has attracted thousand locals and tourist. An unbeatable destination with natural beauty will truly offers u for everyone.
    I have not been to Colorado or any US states before but reading this post I can imagine the beauty of this place. A perfect environment for me is somewhere quiet far away from a busy place.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/travel/top-25-mountain-towns-in-colorado.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Jul 19. 2021 03:11 PM
    The sacred and magnificent Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in Lijiang, Yunnan,at 5596 meters high is a famous snow mountain in China. It a tourist place for sightseeing, climbing, hiking, as it is covered by snow all year round. Having two new dharma centre in Yunnan province built has proven the growth of Dorje Shugden’s practice around the world. The first is a Dorje Shugden stupa in the Jade Dragon (Yulong) Snow Mountain area . The second is the rebuilding of Chosang Temple in Shangri-la. Looking at those pictures is a blessing , these temples at the snow- capped mountains will definitely benefits many and many more to come. I have been to Yunnan the famous snow mountains but not been to these 2 temples as mentioned in this post. It was a very nice challenging to go up the Jade Dragon Snow mountain. I did enjoyed a nice and mysterious view anyways. Loved to visit Yunnan again if given a chance.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/travel/two-holy-places-in-yunnan-china.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Jul 17. 2021 04:00 PM
    Amazing………talented Korean artist painter An Jung-hwan creates realistic paintings that look like portals into vivid landscapes. His painstakingly meticulous technique simply amazing as perfect as a photograph . Each nature scene is so enticing in its clarity, he spends numerous weeks and countless hours working on a single painting. His stunning landscape paintings have been exhibited throughout Korea and Asia. He did held several solo exhibitions in Korea. Looking at those paintings in this post tells all…..so realistic. It could not see the difference whether its real or just paintings. Loves all his paintings.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing of a GREAT artist.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/amazing-artist.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Jul 17. 2021 03:58 PM
    Unsung Hero of a Kenyan famer Patrick Mwalua who goes all the way out to save wild animals after witnessing a thirsty buffalo sniffing at an empty water hole during the drought. Since then he decided that he use his evenings to bring water to the animals to prevent them from going into the villages in search of water. The Kenyan hero have been supplying drinking water to animals. Patrick Kilonzo Mwalua known to many as the Waterman of Tsavo. He gained admiration over his passion to save the ecosystem by supplying clean drinking water at the Tsavo West National Park when the country was reeling from a prolonged dry spell. He found a cause that is more meaningful , giving new meaning to nature conservation. Inspiring indeed what he did is truly amazing travelling miles just to bring water to wild animals. Wish there were more like people Mwalua doing a good job saving animals.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this wonderful sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/he-is-super-compassionate.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Jul 16. 2021 03:59 PM
    Tunnels are echoey, dark and often damp are where the perfect places for ghostly encounters. That’s why so many tunnels are said to be haunted. They’re more than a little creepy as they are mostly abandoned railway tunnel with histories as former dwellings, burial grounds and so forth.
    Interesting to know all about those most haunted rather creepy tunnels across the globe. Wow ….it never come across me that there so many of them . Reading through these post and seeing those creepy pictures tells all some still continue to echo today. The legend behind this haunting of each tunnel really will scare people away yet many tunnel still carries trains today. Many reports said that strange lights, ghostly appearances and, most often, groans of agony.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this interesting read.


    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/paranormal/creepy-tunnels-2.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Jul 16. 2021 03:56 PM
    Tsunmo Tsel Monastery was once a summer residence for Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo and Princess Wencheng. Tsunmo Tsel is a Gelup monastery that was founded by Duldzin Drakpa Gyeltsen in 1420 in central Tibet. Interesting history of this Gelup monastery , located in Tsunmo Tsel village, Tibet where Dulzin Drakpa Gyaltsen’s body was placed in a stupa. It’s a beautiful Stupa and so blessed able to see it during my trip back in 2019. It seems that during renovations when his body was removed from the stupa, a fragrant scent permeated through the entire place. Well its a sign of his pure moral discipline being a close disciple of Lama Tsongkhapa. He was well-known for holding his vows . Interest read.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this wonderful sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/historic-tsunmo-tsel-monastery-with-the-body-of-duldzin-drakpa-gyaltsen.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Jul 16. 2021 03:54 PM
    Interesting read of this Xiangshui (Perfume) Nunnery with an interesting legend behind it. All about a wealthy Han family having a daughter named Qiaoyun. She was considered to be as the emanation of Guan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy . As a young age, Qiaoyun was already inclined towards Buddhism, refusing arranged marriage as her interest is in Buddhism. Her life story tells all how she managed to save many lives in the village even before she was ordained a nun. Great explanation of the significance of fragrant scent in Buddhism and sharing of the 33 manifestations of Guan Yin . Loved those pictures of Quan Yin , beautiful indeed and seeing it is a blessing.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing .


    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/xiangshui-perfume-nunnery-%e9%be%99%e5%8f%a3%e5%8d%97%e5%b1%b1%e9%a6%99%e6%b0%b4%e5%ba%b5.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Jul 15. 2021 04:20 PM
    Yes this 12-year-old Mongolian boy name Uudam is really amazing . He sang beautifully in his song ‘Mother in the dream’ in the China got talent contest. He rendered the song full of emotion and delivered it deep from his heart, looking at his expression. His singing touched every audience and the judges as well . Even though not many people understand the lyrics in Mongolian yet his singing voice simply amazing and emotion . Such a great song indeed. All I could say he is truly talented .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/a-mongolian-boy-sings-about-his-mother-in-heaven.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Jul 15. 2021 04:19 PM
    Shocking reading this again as it happened in Malaysia . At the Petknode Cat Boarding center or pet’s hotel in Damansara Damai and Sungai Buloh had been allegedly abandoned and starved 200 cats and a dog . Anxious pet owners and animal lovers came to the rescue. Over 100 cats and a dog were rescued from the Damansara Damai location ,while another 100 cats at Sungai Buloh. 300 starved and 13 died- Many outraged Malaysians including celebrities , social media Facebook groups expressed their anger over it. Hopefully stern punishment should enforced on those who abused animals. Animals should be given a chance to live, love by all, they are one of us . Teaching kids early to love ,care for animals should be taught in schools.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/300-starved-and-13-died-petknode.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Jul 14. 2021 04:22 PM
    Great teachings from this post to practice the Dharma well . We have to practice the preliminaries well before going further and deeper. The purpose of the preliminaries practice is to purify negative karma and accumulate merit . Once the teachings become realisation, and we prepare the mind for advance practices. Reading this will help us to realise the importance of learning dharma, transforming our mind and putting into practice. We should not of the importance of human rebirth and impermanence and all about at the time of death.
    Preliminary practice is Dharma practice. I have still plenty to learn from this knowledgeable post. Reading this over and over again to understand better.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this great teachings.


    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/preliminary-practice.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,
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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
2 yearss 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!
2 yearss 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.
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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.
2 yearss 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.
2 yearss 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!
2 yearss 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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Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
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    Cute Tara girl having a snack. She is one of Kechara Forest Retreat’s resident doggies.
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    She’s going to spend her whole life here without being able to move correctly. Like a machine. They are the slaves of the people and are viewed as a product. It’s immoral. Billions of terrestrial animals die annually. Billions. You can’t even imagine it. And all that because people don’t want to give up meat, even though there are so many alternatives. ~ Gabriel Azimov
  • Our Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir speaks so well, logically and regarding our country’s collaboration with China for growth. It is refreshing to listen to Dr. Mahathir’s thoughts. He said our country can look to China for many more things such as technology and so on. Tsem Rinpoche
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    Our Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir speaks so well, logically and regarding our country’s collaboration with China for growth. It is refreshing to listen to Dr. Mahathir’s thoughts. He said our country can look to China for many more things such as technology and so on. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This is the first time His Holiness Dalai Lama mentions he had some very serious illness. Very worrying. This video is captured April 2019.
    2 yearss ago
    This is the first time His Holiness Dalai Lama mentions he had some very serious illness. Very worrying. This video is captured April 2019.
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  • This dog thanks his hero in such a touching way. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
    This dog thanks his hero in such a touching way. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Join Tsem Rinpoche in prayer for H.H. Dalai Lama’s long life~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYy7JcveikU&feature=youtu.be
    2 yearss ago
    Join Tsem Rinpoche in prayer for H.H. Dalai Lama’s long life~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYy7JcveikU&feature=youtu.be
  • These people going on pilgrimage to a holy mountain and prostrating out of devotion and for pilgrimage in Tibet. Such determination for spiritual practice. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
    These people going on pilgrimage to a holy mountain and prostrating out of devotion and for pilgrimage in Tibet. Such determination for spiritual practice. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Beautiful new casing in Kechara for Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
    Beautiful new casing in Kechara for Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Get ready to laugh real hard. This is Kechara’s version of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane!” We have some real talents in this video clip.
    2 yearss ago
    Get ready to laugh real hard. This is Kechara’s version of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane!” We have some real talents in this video clip.
  • Recitation of Dorje Dermo‘s mantra or the Dharani of Glorious Vajra Claws. This powerful mantra is meant to destroy all obstacles that come in our way. Beneficial to play this mantra in our environments.
    2 yearss ago
    Recitation of Dorje Dermo‘s mantra or the Dharani of Glorious Vajra Claws. This powerful mantra is meant to destroy all obstacles that come in our way. Beneficial to play this mantra in our environments.
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    2 yearss ago
    Beautiful
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    2 yearss ago
    My little monster cute babies Dharma and Oser. Take a look and get a cute attack for the day! Tsem Rinpoche
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    2 yearss ago
    Plse watch this short video and see how all sentient beings are capable of tenderness and love. We should never hurt animals nor should we eat them. Tsem Rinpoche
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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.

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CHAT PICTURES

Underprivileged residents of two PPRs in Kuala Lumpur recently received a total of 427kg from our longterm surplus produce sponsor, Lotuss Stores (formerly Tesco Stores). The 65 families are our regular beneficiaries, and are grateful to receive fresh vegetables on a consistent basis right at their doorstep. One of our recipients, Rajeswari, 52, single mother of 2 children, shared that she stopped receiving welfare aid due to unforeseen circumstances. Her words: "Saya cakap untuk Kechara [Soup Kitchen] banyak terima kasih sebab kasi makanan. Dan lebih mau tolong orang lain yang susah seperti saya". Our heartfelt thank-you goes to Lotuss Stores for being a dependable source of food aid and for #helpingthepoor with us. #kecharafoodbank #makingadifference #kitajagakita #charity #foodbank #bantuan #ngomalaysia #givingback #strongertogether - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 months ago
Underprivileged residents of two PPRs in Kuala Lumpur recently received a total of 427kg from our longterm surplus produce sponsor, Lotuss Stores (formerly Tesco Stores). The 65 families are our regular beneficiaries, and are grateful to receive fresh vegetables on a consistent basis right at their doorstep. One of our recipients, Rajeswari, 52, single mother of 2 children, shared that she stopped receiving welfare aid due to unforeseen circumstances. Her words: "Saya cakap untuk Kechara [Soup Kitchen] banyak terima kasih sebab kasi makanan. Dan lebih mau tolong orang lain yang susah seperti saya". Our heartfelt thank-you goes to Lotuss Stores for being a dependable source of food aid and for #helpingthepoor with us. #kecharafoodbank #makingadifference #kitajagakita #charity #foodbank #bantuan #ngomalaysia #givingback #strongertogether - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Pastor Shin winning some mystery gifts for being the 1st person to answer a BONUS question during last Sunday's Blog chat quiz. Blog chat is a fun way to learn the Dharma. To find out more, check out > tsemrinpoche.com/chat. Joy - Moderator
2 months ago
Pastor Shin winning some mystery gifts for being the 1st person to answer a BONUS question during last Sunday's Blog chat quiz. Blog chat is a fun way to learn the Dharma. To find out more, check out > tsemrinpoche.com/chat. Joy - Moderator
Here is Pastor Antoinette who won some mystery gifts for being the 2nd person to answer a BONUS question during last Sunday's Blog Chat quiz/discussion. To find out more check out our blog chat section for our weekly topic! Joy - Moderator
2 months ago
Here is Pastor Antoinette who won some mystery gifts for being the 2nd person to answer a BONUS question during last Sunday's Blog Chat quiz/discussion. To find out more check out our blog chat section for our weekly topic! Joy - Moderator
#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
3 months ago
#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
#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
4 months ago
#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
4 months ago
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
Kechara Sunday Dharma School Online Teaching Every Sunday Morning 11am class - KSDS Jayce Goh
6 months ago
Kechara Sunday Dharma School Online Teaching Every Sunday Morning 11am class - KSDS Jayce Goh
Re: Kechara Sunday Dharma School Online Teaching Every Sunday Morning 11am class, students attend Pastor Shin Class happily - KSDS Jayce Goh
6 months ago
Re: Kechara Sunday Dharma School Online Teaching Every Sunday Morning 11am class, students attend Pastor Shin Class happily - KSDS Jayce Goh
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
7 months ago
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
7 months ago
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
The global pandemic hasn't been easy for all of us. Some find it diffucult to find a job to support the family. Despite that, we are still delivering basic food pack to our recipients nationwide. Thank you to our volunteers, donors, and sponsors. Without your support, we would be unable to reach out to many families. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
7 months ago
The global pandemic hasn't been easy for all of us. Some find it diffucult to find a job to support the family. Despite that, we are still delivering basic food pack to our recipients nationwide. Thank you to our volunteers, donors, and sponsors. Without your support, we would be unable to reach out to many families. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
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
8 months ago
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
Donation received to date: RM33,468.00 Yes! We've achieved the target for the #TamanNegara project. Fundraising is closed for this project. Thank you to all donors, 113 Orang Asli families will benefit from it. Stay tuned! #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
8 months ago
Donation received to date: RM33,468.00 Yes! We've achieved the target for the #TamanNegara project. Fundraising is closed for this project. Thank you to all donors, 113 Orang Asli families will benefit from it. Stay tuned! #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
FRESHLY BAKED by Kechara Empowerment trainees - Chocolate Chip Butter Cookies - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
8 months ago
FRESHLY BAKED by Kechara Empowerment trainees - Chocolate Chip Butter Cookies - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
In memory of Wilson Lee, one of our most dedicated volunteers in Penang. Our heartfelt condolences to Wilson's wife, Tze Ling, family and friends. Our thoughts are with them for their loss. Thank you for your kindness and service to KSK Penang. From all of us in KSK.
8 months ago
In memory of Wilson Lee, one of our most dedicated volunteers in Penang. Our heartfelt condolences to Wilson's wife, Tze Ling, family and friends. Our thoughts are with them for their loss. Thank you for your kindness and service to KSK Penang. From all of us in KSK.
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
9 months ago
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
Kechara Earth Project 13/9/2020
10 months ago
Kechara Earth Project 13/9/2020
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
10 months ago
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
11 months ago
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
11 months ago
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
1 years ago
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
1 years ago
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
1 years 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
1 years 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
1 years 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
1 years 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
1 years ago
KSDS Level 2 virtual class, Lin Mun KSDS
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
1 years ago
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
Wesak 2020
1 years 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
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