Reunion Dinner Dharma

By | Jan 27, 2017 | Views: 1,031

(By Tsem Rinpoche and Pastor Jean Ai)

At the very beginning of 2017, I had the opportunity to give a talk in Wisdom Hall, Kechara Forest Retreat. It covered the topic of practising Dharma at our upcoming reunion dinners.

On the eve of Chinese New Year, it is a Chinese tradition for the extended family to gather for a reunion dinner. During this annual event, relatives who are not necessarily in frequent contact with one another throughout the year use this much-cherished opportunity to reconnect with everyone. And given the diaspora of the Chinese community around the world, this annual migration can be an elaborate affair. In China alone for example, there are legendary mile-long traffic jams as millions move out of the cities and back to their hometowns, to grab this once-a-year chance to be with their loved ones.

However, this annual event is not without its difficulties and for some, the thought of reunion dinner leaves them with anything but happy thoughts. In Malaysia, the common joke is that when you go for reunion dinners, your elders will ask (or rather, interrogate!) you on a standard series of topics. “When are you getting married?” “How come you’ve put on so much weight?” “When am I going to get my first grandchild?” “How come your cousin’s job pays more than yours?” Hence some people approach the dinner fraught with anxiety; others attend fearful of the questions they may be asked, or dreading the conflict they have to witness. After all, if you have not seen one another for the last 365 days, there is sometimes a very good reason for this…

I spoke about seven practical methods that people attending reunion dinner can use to make their dinners a more pleasant occasion. In summation, these are:

  1. Conflict requires two people: an instigator and someone who responds to the situation and escalates it (you). So you have to take responsibility for your reactions. If someone makes a comment that displeases you, how you react to it is your responsibility and your reaction can possibly worsen/escalate the situation, or result in a positive and happy outcome.
  2. Focus on the positives of those you are with. The more you meditate on this, the more difficult it becomes for you to find reasons to fight.
  3. Realise impermanence, as the people who you perceive to be difficult will not be around forever.
  4. Look at what they are complaining about. Are the things they complain and nag about big and significant things, or small and mundane things? Are they complaining about you being unkind or are they saying your wardrobe is not fashionable because you lost your job? What they complain about is a reflection of their mind and who they are, and what they find important. It is not a reflection of you.
  5. Generate compassion for them. People often say things to satisfy a part of themselves that they are unhappy or dissatisfied with. They also say things out of their insecurities and think that in highlighting others’ weaknesses and failings, they can avoid facing or drawing attention to their own.
  6. Generate joy for them, especially for those you are being compared against. It is okay if your relatives are doing better than you; be happy that someone in your family is doing something to make everyone proud, and take responsibility for your own choices. If you are happy with the decisions you have made, be happy with it regardless of the situation (i.e. when your decisions are being compared against other people’s).
  7. Are you where you want to be? Having made your choices, are you where you want to be and if you are not, are other people’s opinions important in bringing you there? On a mundane level, do their opinions pay your bills? On a spiritual level, do their opinions add to your spirituality? Do their opinions help to create a situation that risks your spiritual practice?

I also spoke about the links between these seven points and the Eight Verses of Mind Transformation, and asked everyone to consider using reunion dinners as an opportunity to self-reflect. For those with children, are they turning into the kind of people they themselves do not like to meet at reunion dinners? Will their own children one day regret having to meet them once a year for a reunion dinner? And what can they do to prevent this? How can they introduce Dharma to their own families?

ReunionDinner

Ultimately, it is Dharma practice that will lead to a more harmonious, less conflict-filled life and just because it is a reunion dinner, does not mean we suspend our spiritual practice for a few hours. These dinners are a once-a-year event which is important in our Chinese culture and as mature, cognisant adults, we can and should play our part to make it a happy occasion and use it as an opportunity to progress our spirituality.

So do let me know in the comments section below how your reunion dinners went, and I hope everyone has a Happy Chinese New Year 🙂

Eight Verses of Thought Transformation

With the thought of attaining Enlightenment
For the welfare of all beings,
Who are more precious than a wish–fulfilling jewel,
I will constantly practise holding them dear.

Whenever I am with others,
I will practise seeing myself as the lowest of all,
And from the very depths of my heart
I will respectfully hold others as supreme.

In all actions I will examine my mind
And the moment a disturbing attitude arises,
Endangering myself or others,
I will firmly confront and avert it.

Whenever I meet a person of bad nature,
Overwhelmed by negative energy and intense suffering,
I will hold such a rare one dear
As if I’ve found a precious treasure.

When others out of jealousy,
Mistreat me with abuse, slander and so on,
I will practise accepting defeat
And offering the victory to them.

When someone I have benefited and in whom
I have placed great trust hurts me very badly,
I will practise seeing that person
As my supreme teacher.

In short, I will offer directly and indirectly
Every benefit and happiness to all beings, my mothers.
I will practise in secret taking upon myself
All their harmful actions and sufferings.

Without these practices being defiled
By the stains of the eight worldly concerns,
By perceiving all phenomena as illusory,
I will practise without grasping to release all beings
From the bondage of the disturbing unsubdued mind and karma.

 

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Pastor Elena Khong Jean Ai
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About Pastor Elena Khong Jean Ai

Writer. Blogger. Non-conformist and contemporary. Kechara’s youngest Buddhist Pastor. The smiling nun-to-be. Proud student of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche. Lover of cheese and bad puns. You can find more of her writing at www.elenakhong.com.
Pastor Elena Khong Jean Ai
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13 Responses to Reunion Dinner Dharma

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  1. MingHY on Feb 9, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    Thanks Pastor Jean Ai, I really loved this talk and its a great teaching on the application of the 8 verses of Transformation. Infact, this was one of the earliest teachings I learnt when I first came to Kechara, and it was, and still is, the greatest tool and aide for us to rely on, whatever the circumstance. I thank Rinpoche for introducing this to us and for Pastor Jean Ai for also giving this teaching to us in a simple but informative and entertaining way.

  2. Echeah on Feb 5, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    Eight Verses of Thought Transformation by Geshe Langri Tangpa is so applicable to daily life, and is the basis for H. E. Tsem Rinpoche’s book, Compassion Conquers All, a must read for any dharma student.

    All our suffering when interacting with people stems from our own mind or thoughts. What people want to say, they will say it anyway, so you can’t change that. But how you take it is something within our control.

    Like the idiom, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”, technically that is idealistic but in reality it is most difficult to apply. We have the big “E” word in the way. If we have no ego, why would we ever be hurt by people’s words? It’s just words. How we interpret those words can cause us more suffering. We analyse and read between the lines, we interpret body language and tone of voice, we judge people’s intention, then we jump to a conclusion that could actually be far from what the speaker meant to say.

    On the flip side, we need to be careful of what we say and how we say it, i.e. lest we create non-virtue of speech. Sounds like a zero sum game for a dharma practitioner doesn’t it? We have to take everybody’s crap with a smile and deliver kindness and consideration to everybody in return. But hey, somebody has to start somewhere right, otherwise everybody comes to blows and nobody wins.

  3. Pastor Lim Han Nee on Feb 1, 2017 at 5:06 am

    When we are caught in difficult and delicate situations like a reunion dinner, it is important for us to remember not to have negative attitudes, projections or expectations regarding such situations. We shouldn’t be negative or be on the defensive. If we are mindful and let go of our negative projections and expectations, such as anticipating and preparing to defend ourselves, against criticisms and “attacks” from certain people, we will have a more peaceful and positive outcome.Our feathers will not be unruffled nor will we ruffle others’ feathers.

    We need to train our minds to respond to negative remarks, insults or criticisms with compassion, recognizing that these difficult and challenging people who made these remarks or comments about us are either insecure people or people who refuse to recognize their own faults, magnify others’ faults while hiding their faults (which are the deep-seated root causes of their unhappiness), thus making themselves more miserable in the long run.

    If we are being compared to others who are more successful, just learn to be happy for these other people who are more successful, and rejoice for them. We ought to not let the green eyed monster of jealousy rear its ugly head and create anger and resentment in us.

    If we practice the dharma , we will accept the situation, recognising karma, and not retaliate and thereby causing the situation to escalate and cause us to collect more negative karma.

    Furthermore, these are impermanent situations, and will fade away even in our memory and in the memory of others involved. Hence, we should not be fixated with it and make a big issue out of it. Therefore, we should make a mountain out of a molehill and mindlessly retaliate.

    Yes , thank you P Jean Ai for this talk, which is a great reminder to us of how the practice of Dharma and the Eight Verses of Mind Transformation are important to help us be positive in our reaction to every experience and situation.

  4. TekLee on Jan 30, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    Thank you Pastor Jean Ai for sharing your talk and the article. Yes, we should apply dharma in our daily life no matter where we are, what situation we are in, and who we are facing. Sometimes those questions that the relatives ask are a bit funny and some are ridiculous. But if we tackle it by applying dharma in it, it is easy and sometimes it will turn out funny outcome 🙂 Thank you again Pastor Jean Ai, it’s actually very helpful in overcoming and to solving many problems if we apply dharma in our daily life _/\_

  5. Justin Cheah on Jan 30, 2017 at 8:26 pm

    Thank you Pastor Jean Ai for your Dharma talk. You spoke so well! I am sure this will be some talk for the public to read and benefitted from especially on topics like how to face questions thrown in by relatives. Actually for this year in particular I so not looking forward to all these reunion dinners and CNY feeling it is kind of wasting time. Don’t get me wrong, family get together is one tradition and it is always good to see them and see how they do but it is just that. The baggage that comes along with it will be the time “wasted” on idle chatting n travelling which doesn’t help us anyways. Thank you again for these tips and I think this is one way we put whatever we learn to practice.

  6. Fong on Jan 30, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    A very interesting and relevant article. This is what a lot us us try to practice and avoid conflict, some successful and others less so. But, it is important to be able to remember the points and the Eight Verses of Mind Transformation is important but tend to slip our minds ever so often.

    Thank you for this sharing. It will surely help a lot of us slide through this inquisition time of the year.

  7. Uncle Eddie on Jan 30, 2017 at 11:56 am

    As rightly said, “Given the diaspora of the chinese community around the World, this annual mitigation can be an elaborate affair!” Grand and poshed reunion dinners, with giant fireworks will be organised to welcome this grand lunar year, for the rooster to replace the Monkey. We are at the moment in possession of a precious human body, the existence of which is immensely so difficult to find. In accordance to the teaching of Buddhism, as the saying goes, “Used well, this body is a ship to Liberation, otherwise, it is an anchor in Samsara. This body is the agent of all good and evil”. In one oral teaching of the above subject from Lama Zopa that I have heard, it is said that, “The Mahayana transformation eliminating obstacles – means taking inauspicious signs as good fortune……. But in general, ordinary people, or non-practitioners, think that an inauspicious sign is always a “bad omen”. So they tend to become worried, upset or what generally called “become worried-sick”! Many who are practitioners or who follows a “Guru” may have been taught “thought-transformation” and make use of any such inauspicious sign, or bad omen that happen in life, as a means to destroy their ego/or their self-cherishing thought in themselves, so as to be able to develop bodichitta in order to achieve “enlightenment” to be able to enlighten other fellow sentient beings, like our Pastor Elena Khong did in her beautiful teaching. Many thanks Pastor Elena for the sharing!

  8. Choong on Jan 29, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    The 8 Verses Of Mind Transformation is a concise yet powerful way to develop a new life strategy of compassion and gaining wisdom that all our suffering stems from the perceived notion that me, I and myself is at the centre of our universe.

  9. Lin Mun on Jan 29, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    Thank you Pastor Jean Ai for sharing this wonderful talk. I guess we just have too much ego and when any of our relatives or friends said something annoying or hurtful, we will always react on it negatively.

    I think importantly is to stay calm and don’t let any of their remarks affect us. Just reply them kindly and not think about it anymore as there is no point dwelling into it. I know it is easier said than done and well I am still learning 🙂

  10. Vivian Ong on Jan 28, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    Thank you Pastor Jean Ai for the useful tips. The most important is from us. If we do not react to the comment from the family members then we would feel irritated and get angry from it. If we are happy with what and how we are, and if we reply the family members nicely then they will react in a different way.

    With folded palms,
    Vivian

  11. Samfoonheei on Jan 28, 2017 at 9:20 am

    Very informative article …i do enjoyed reading and watching the video.Reunion dinner is more a gathering for me celebrating with family members asking about each other how’s everything ….from asking about children and daily life. Sharing about each other views about this and that with lots of laughter. After all reunion dinner is a once-a-year event which is important in our Chinese culture. As for me …yesterday i shared with my family about KSK and KFR too,hoping they could visit KFR one day.
    Thank you Pastor Elena Khong Jean Ai for sharing this Dharma talk and of Eight Verses of Mind Transformation too.Easy and simple to understand.
    Happy Chinese New Year to Rinpoche and everyone at Kechara.Wish everyone have a good year ahead and good health

  12. Anne Ong on Jan 27, 2017 at 9:44 pm

    Thank you for really fun and entertaining talk,Pastor Jean Ai. I really enjoyed listening to your talk today and had a good laugh. Luckily I don’t have to go and attend any reunion dinner anywhere.Only daily routine dinner with my small family and uncle. And dont have to go through those questions like, do you have bf yet? when are you getting married? when are you going to have babies? how much is your boss paying you now? what position are you doing now? Lol!!! Thank you for sharing a wonderful talk for CNY. Happy Chinese New Year to Rinpoche and everyone in Kechara! 🙂

  13. Stella Cheang on Jan 27, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    A really enjoyable and informative Dharma talk by Pastor Jean Ai, who presented the Eight Verses of Mind Transformation in a practical manner and made it easy to understand for us with many examples. We can certainly use any or all of her methods not only during Chinese New Year Reunion Dinner but also on a day-to-day basis, where we meet with people of all sorts. Thank you Pastor Jean Ai.

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  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Jan 18. 2020 02:42 PM
    Great teachings and inspirational for us to ponder, thank you Rinpoche. Each words and sentence tell us a thousand words. Great things never come from comfort zones, is the result of hard work and hustle over time that one is successful. We ourselves got to put in action as no one else is going to do it for us. Sometimes later becomes never. We have to use each day as an opportunity to improve, to be better and to transform our mind. It might sound like a lot of work but with determination and hard work nothing is impossible in life.
    Thanks again with folded hands.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/if-you-are.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Jan 18. 2020 02:39 PM
    Interesting biography of Gendun Gyatso the second Dalai Lama. Gendun Gyatso previous Incarnations was Gendun Drub the First Dalai Lama b.1391 – d.1474. He was born an extraordinary child, able to speak in song of his previous life and expressing the wish to return to his monastery, Tashilhunpo. Even before he finished his studies , incredibly he could give teachings and give initiations. He was a renowned scholar and composer of mystical poetry, who travelled widely to extend Gelugpa influence. He was remembered as one who built the monastery Chokhor Gyel Metok Tang and involving an extremely important decision of Lhamo Latso. Lhamo Latso is a sacred lake located in southern Tibet where senior Tibetan monks go for visions to assist in the discovery of reincarnations. It is one of the most significant pilgrimage destinations in Tibetan Buddhism as to this day. He left a legacy with many volumes of verse, composition, and practice instructions.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/the-second-dalai-lama-gendun-gyatso.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Jan 18. 2020 02:38 PM
    Master Cheng Yen is a Taiwanese Buddhist nun, most known for her work as a teacher and philanthropist. She is the founder of the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation, a non-governmental organization.
    She is involved in various charitable works such as international disaster relief, environmental protection and preservation, community volunteering, health donations and so forth. She is an extraordinary Buddhist nun who has devoted whole her life to helping others,and was recognized internationally with numerous awards to date. Master Cheng Yen continues this noble path of teaching the Buddha Dharma, skillfully revealing how this ancient wisdom is as relevant today, as ever. And, she is a truly inspirational force when it comes to helping us realize that we should put compassion in action by alleviating the suffering of others. She is also known as Mother Teresa of the East to many.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this inspiring post.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/mother-teresa-of-the-east.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Jan 17. 2020 05:58 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for the sharing . FEARLESS is getting back up and fighting for what we want over and over again without giving up. Successful people have no fear of failure they stay open to all possibilities of the outcomes. We embrace change, even change that appears negative by thinking positive. Being fearless is more about who we are, rather than what we do. Fearless people are great, they are full of life, good energy, passion and self-belief. We must try as we never know if we do not try. Keep trying as the success rate is higher than we thought.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/thoughts.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Jan 17. 2020 05:54 PM
    Happiness is not made by what we own, it is what we share and giving generously and sincerely. A simple gift by June Tang tells all. Given sincerely from her heart on her birthday to Rinpoche . It’s all done without money, that’s very true and that’s what I consider true generosity for sure. Giving what she could. She give all and yet she feel as if it costs her nothing. But to Rinpoche its mean a lot of sincerity We seek to give with an open, pure heart, with no attachment to what we are .
    Quoted… no true spiritual life is possible without a generous heart. Generosity allies itself with an inner feeling of abundance—the feeling that we have enough to share.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/study-groups/its-all-done-without-money.html
  • S.Prathap
    Friday, Jan 17. 2020 04:19 PM
    There is no one that can help us, but us. Methods are given, but whether we grasp, apply and practise it is entirely up to oneself. If we don’t change then there is no point in learning the Dharma.
    A transformed mind is our own best protection. That mind can only come from consistent practice over time.When we see results, we will be encouraged to push ourselves more to practice well.Thank you very much for sharing a good article.

    https://bit.ly/2thDjjL
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Jan 16. 2020 04:26 PM
    Wonderful news ……the Chinese government has introduced a plan to encourage and reduce its citizens’ meat consumption by 50%, It’s a great move that China has done in the effort to avoid runaway global warming and for health reasons. The climate campaigners has been hoping for it. New dietary guidelines by the Chinese health officials have recommend and advise individuals to limit their meat consumption. As more evidence of chronic diseases such as heart attack, strokes ,hypertension and so forth are related to meat consumption. And for most to maintain a healthy life styles. They also implement dietary guidelines encouraging the general public to consume plenty of cereals, tubers, whole grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits as well. The Chinese government also put up billboards in attempt to reduce meat consumption by highlighting health risks associated with consuming meat. What we eat contributes to global greenhouse gas emissions and every one of us is responsible. People nowadays are reducing their meat consumption and opting for vegan and plant-based protein to improve their health . Hopefully more countries will follow China reducing the meat consumption. In a way more animals could be save in the slaughter house. And for the future generations to come .
    Thank you for this wonderful news .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/look-what-chinas-doing.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Jan 16. 2020 04:23 PM
    Different parts of the world have each various interesting traditions and customs which individual will celebrate and follow. Religious festivals like Gadhimai festival, which is an animal sacrificial ceremony, and dog meat festival where dogs are slaughtered to celebrate the summer solstice have gathered cultural significance over the centuries. In Gadhimai festival , they believe that animal sacrifices to the Hindu goddess Gadhimai will end evil and bring prosperity. In Spain bulls festival or the Toro de la Vega, bulls are torture and kill. Same goes to the Pero Palo Festival where scared donkey being dragged unwillingly through the packed streets . Drive hunting where dolphins and whales are caught and killed for their meat. All these are some of the hidden cruelty and crime against animals in the world which many are not aware of it and do not want to know. But with social media , more and more got to know about it and are trying to end all these animals cruelty. The Indian officials are cracking down and trying to stop the transportation of animals for this festivals. It is good that the number of animals slaughtered during the Gadhimai festival has dropped sharply over the years. The Yulin Dog Meat Festival, which happens every year is a gruesome display of the dog meat trade. Chinese officials are doing their best and discouraging people from eating dog meat which is harmful in long term. Recent years there has been a drop in the consumption of dog meat in the China. Many people are aware of the abuses and torture of those poor dogs before been kill as meat. Looking at those pictures in the articles, tells a thousand words of all the suffering of these animals in the moment before death.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Shakila Rajendra for this sharing raising awareness of animals been abuse , torture and so forth.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/crimes-against-animals-the-world-doesnt-want-you-to-know-about.html
  • S.Prathap
    Thursday, Jan 16. 2020 03:54 PM
    This is what i like about being Malaysia expose with different religion yet there live harmony in society. It is awesome to read about this former Malaysian lady with a big heart and took actions to feed many .
    She understand the pain and sufferings of the people especially students had gone through without food. She was brought up in away she saw how her parents had the unprivileged and she is following their foot steps. Thank you very much for this touching article.

    https://bit.ly/2Ri4suG
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Jan 15. 2020 08:35 PM
    For centuries, humans have been gazed at galaxies and peered deep inside atoms for more answers to the space. No one knows for sure what it is up there. Scientist, astronomers and so forth are busy scanning the skies for more discoveries and seeking answers to the mysteries of space. World scientists are doing experiments in an effort to gain insight of it. After years of exploration , they are still looking for more discoveries. Interesting discoveries……..of the dark energy, eagle nebula , galaxy , UFO and more of what is existing beyond our imagination.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/top10-space-mysteries.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Jan 15. 2020 08:33 PM
    Peter Byrne is an absolute legend , been an icon, in search for Bigfoot, yeti and Sasquatch or abominable snowmen of the Himalaya. He was a real icon questing for the truth about the Yeti or snowmen. Since his much younger years , he was fascinated in the unknown and the mysterious that turned hunting as a hobby. In one of his hunting trip , he came across a tiger suffering that changed his whole life. From that time he stopped the cruel act of killing animals , ending his 16 years of hunting and founded a non-profit organization called the International Wildlife Conservation Society. He has lived a long and dedicated life in the conservations of animals and in the pursuit of searching for Sasquatch, Yeti and so forth. For decades, he search for Bigfoot, Yeti in the Himalayan has become more of a hobby for him. He has written multiple books on Bigfoot and other aspects of his life.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this interesting post and sharing of those videos.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/7-parts.html
  • S.Prathap
    Wednesday, Jan 15. 2020 04:45 PM
    This Medicine Buddha Healing Fountain was built in such away that it will deliver healing waters which were energized with natural crystals blessed by High Lamas. Those natural crystals were imbued with the healing energies of Medicine Buddha and Dorje Shugden.
    With the new healing fountain, visitors can bring home the holy healing energy in a bottle. Thank you very much Rinpoche and Kechara for making this Medicine Buddha Healing Fountain available for everyone.

    https://bit.ly/35WE0Mi
  • S.Prathap
    Tuesday, Jan 14. 2020 04:27 PM
    This article really inspired me, every year we live is formative year for us as it affects our future life, so we should really let go those bad influence from our parents. What Rinpoche wrote is so true, most of us are either positive or negative after getting influenced by our parents.

    Dharma will make us face ourselves, acknowledge our weak and negative aspects of character and will then guide us to move forward in a positively transformative direction.Thank you very much for sharing this good article with us.

    https://bit.ly/3a28XCh
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Jan 14. 2020 03:37 PM
    Ratsag Monastery is a popular pilgrimage site located in the Yab Valley in Tolung near to Lhasa, Tibet. Its a beautiful place located with interesting history behind it. It’s the statue of Vajra Yogini that attracted many pilgrims there. This monastery been built to purify the heavy negative karma associated with Ra Lotsawa Dorje Drakpa (1016-1128 CE) by the locals who is well known for introducing the Vajrabhairava-Yamantaka Tantras to Tibet.
    Interesting read of Vajra Yogini scared statues and about the history of the monastery. May the original statue of Vajra Yogini will be returned to Ratsag Monastery one day.
    I did made a trip last May with friends and saw those beautiful scared statues at the monastery. Merely by looking at it is a blessing.
    Thank you Pastor David for this interesting post with the history of the Sacred Vajrayogini Statue been explained.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/the-sacred-vajrayogini-of-ratsag-monastery.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Jan 14. 2020 03:34 PM
    Shailendra Dynasty was the name of an influential Indonesian dynasty that emerged in 8th-century Java. Shailendras were active influencer of Mahayana Buddhism whose reign signified a cultural renaissance in the region. The glorious Buddhist monuments was then built across the fertile volcanic plain named as Kedu Plain .
    The most incredible of them all was the massive stupa of Borobudur which is a very popular pilgrimage site for locals, tourist and Buddhist practitioners. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Wow ….incredible it took more than 50 years to complete this architectural monument . Read and heard about this amazing monuments and all the beautiful stone inscriptions there. I have not been there before but wish to in the near future. Interesting read of all about this historical information on the Shailendra Dynasty.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/the-shailendra-dynasty-progenitor-of-mahayana-buddhism-in-indonesia.html

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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

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The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

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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.
yesterday
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
5 days 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.
5 days 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.
6 days 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!
6 days 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)
6 months ago
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
6 months ago
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
6 months ago
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
6 months ago
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959- https://bit.ly/2S9VMGX
6 months ago
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959- https://bit.ly/2S9VMGX
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
7 months ago
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
7 months ago
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
7 months ago
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat\'s land here in Malaysia
7 months ago
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat's land here in Malaysia
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
7 months ago
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
7 months ago
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
7 months ago
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
7 months 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
8 months ago
Sacred Vajra Yogini
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
8 months ago
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
8 months 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.
8 months 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.
8 months 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
8 months 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
8 months 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!!!
8 months 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
8 months 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
8 months 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
8 months 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
8 months 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
8 months 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
8 months 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
8 months 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
8 months ago
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
8 months ago
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
8 months 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
8 months 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
8 months 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
8 months 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
8 months 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
9 months 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
9 months 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
9 months ago
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
Silver Manjusri figure from Ngemplak Semongan (Indonesia). Apparently during the Shailendra Dynasty, Mahayana Buddhism was very strong in Indonesia. This Dynasty promoted Mahayana Buddhism and Manjushri was a principal Buddha of worship.
9 months ago
Silver Manjusri figure from Ngemplak Semongan (Indonesia). Apparently during the Shailendra Dynasty, Mahayana Buddhism was very strong in Indonesia. This Dynasty promoted Mahayana Buddhism and Manjushri was a principal Buddha of worship.
In Buddhism: The Importance of Having a Clean Room- https://bit.ly/2ZgrbKS
9 months ago
In Buddhism: The Importance of Having a Clean Room- https://bit.ly/2ZgrbKS
There is an area near Lumbini, Nepal, they have sightings of Yeti for hundreds of years. So they have signages in the area with Yeti artwork to highlight this. Interesting. TR
9 months ago
There is an area near Lumbini, Nepal, they have sightings of Yeti for hundreds of years. So they have signages in the area with Yeti artwork to highlight this. Interesting. TR
Photos of footprints (Yeti) are from a high altitude pass (Darwa Pass) connecting Gangotri valley to Yamunotri valley through old pilgrim route.
9 months ago
Photos of footprints (Yeti) are from a high altitude pass (Darwa Pass) connecting Gangotri valley to Yamunotri valley through old pilgrim route.
Beautiful picture. Rare. Three holy beings.
9 months ago
Beautiful picture. Rare. Three holy beings.
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  • SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    2 yearss ago
    SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    This happens daily in slaughterhouse so you can get your pork and Bak ku teh. Stop eating meat.

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Ask the Pastors

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

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

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CHAT PICTURES

Special thanks to Hue, one of our dedicated members in Kechara Penang Study Group. Thanks for helping out during our bird liberation. ~Jacinta
8 hours ago
Special thanks to Hue, one of our dedicated members in Kechara Penang Study Group. Thanks for helping out during our bird liberation. ~Jacinta
Animal Liberation is one of the great ways to show empathy, kindness and compassion to kids. Start them early! ~Jacinta, Kechara Penang Study Group
8 hours ago
Animal Liberation is one of the great ways to show empathy, kindness and compassion to kids. Start them early! ~Jacinta, Kechara Penang Study Group
The merits from life liberation are varied and boundless ~Jacinta, Kechara Penang Study Group
8 hours ago
The merits from life liberation are varied and boundless ~Jacinta, Kechara Penang Study Group
It is essential for us to properly 'Taking Refuge' before we start any event. “Taking refuge” is where one seeks guidance and to turns to the Triple Gem for liberation and salvation from suffering. We hope these birds will be liberated from sufferings soon. ~Jacinta
8 hours ago
It is essential for us to properly 'Taking Refuge' before we start any event. “Taking refuge” is where one seeks guidance and to turns to the Triple Gem for liberation and salvation from suffering. We hope these birds will be liberated from sufferings soon. ~Jacinta
Recitation of Medicine Buddha mantras during Bird Liberation by Kechara Penang Study Group ~Jacinta
9 hours ago
Recitation of Medicine Buddha mantras during Bird Liberation by Kechara Penang Study Group ~Jacinta
Paying homage to Lama Tsongkhapa, Dorje Shugden and The Three Jewels by Ms. Leow. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
4 days ago
Paying homage to Lama Tsongkhapa, Dorje Shugden and The Three Jewels by Ms. Leow. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Mr. Lim offered Serkym to Dorje Shugden on behalf of KISG. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
4 days ago
Mr. Lim offered Serkym to Dorje Shugden on behalf of KISG. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Ms. Leow offered lights & incense to Lama Tsongkhapa, Dorje Shugden and all Buddhas prior to the puja. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
4 days ago
Ms. Leow offered lights & incense to Lama Tsongkhapa, Dorje Shugden and all Buddhas prior to the puja. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Kechara Ipoh Study Group has carried out weekly Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
4 days ago
Kechara Ipoh Study Group has carried out weekly Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
KISG started our 2020 first weekend with Mother Tara prayer recitations in Ipoh. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
2 weeks ago
KISG started our 2020 first weekend with Mother Tara prayer recitations in Ipoh. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Kids camp 2019 - Exciting stack up game. The kids enjoyed it very much. Lin Mun KSDS
4 weeks ago
Kids camp 2019 - Exciting stack up game. The kids enjoyed it very much. Lin Mun KSDS
Kids camp 2019 - Super delicious fried rice and decorated with heart. Lin Mun KSDS
4 weeks ago
Kids camp 2019 - Super delicious fried rice and decorated with heart. Lin Mun KSDS
Kids camp 2019 - Beautiful farm in Kechara Forest Retreat. Lin Mun KSDS
4 weeks ago
Kids camp 2019 - Beautiful farm in Kechara Forest Retreat. Lin Mun KSDS
Kids camp 2019 - Completion of puzzle game. Look at their happy faces. Lin Mun KSDS
4 weeks ago
Kids camp 2019 - Completion of puzzle game. Look at their happy faces. Lin Mun KSDS
KISG carried out weekly Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh on Tuesday's evening. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
4 weeks ago
KISG carried out weekly Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh on Tuesday's evening. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Long beans from our Kechara Farm 2019 harvested for our community here in Kechara Forest Retreat.
1 month ago
Long beans from our Kechara Farm 2019 harvested for our community here in Kechara Forest Retreat.
Bountiful harvest from our Kechara Farm 2019 for our community. Here are some long beans, four-angled beans, bitter gourds and karelas!
1 month ago
Bountiful harvest from our Kechara Farm 2019 for our community. Here are some long beans, four-angled beans, bitter gourds and karelas!
Bountiful harvest from our Kechara Farm 2019 for our community. This is Malabar spinach which is a herbal healer.
1 month ago
Bountiful harvest from our Kechara Farm 2019 for our community. This is Malabar spinach which is a herbal healer.
Bountiful harvest from our Kechara Farm 2019 for our community. This is Kangkung or water spinach.
1 month ago
Bountiful harvest from our Kechara Farm 2019 for our community. This is Kangkung or water spinach.
Bountiful harvest from our Kechara Farm 2019 for our community. This is Gui Hua Chai
1 month ago
Bountiful harvest from our Kechara Farm 2019 for our community. This is Gui Hua Chai
Kids camp 2019 - Meditation session for all participants. A great way to calm our mind & stay focus. Lin Mun KSDS
1 month ago
Kids camp 2019 - Meditation session for all participants. A great way to calm our mind & stay focus. Lin Mun KSDS
Kids camp 2019 - Who can resist this smiley face fried rice ? Lin Mun KSDS
1 month ago
Kids camp 2019 - Who can resist this smiley face fried rice ? Lin Mun KSDS
Kids camp 2019 - Participants writing their appreciation message to parents / guardians who sent them to this camp. Lin Mun KSDS
1 month ago
Kids camp 2019 - Participants writing their appreciation message to parents / guardians who sent them to this camp. Lin Mun KSDS
Kids camp 2019 - Big thanks to the dedicated food team for the delicious food prepared in the 3 days camp. Lin Mun KSDS
1 month ago
Kids camp 2019 - Big thanks to the dedicated food team for the delicious food prepared in the 3 days camp. Lin Mun KSDS
1 month ago
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Dorje Shugden
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