Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns

Jun 5, 2019 | Views: 24,622

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Buddhist nuns, otherwise known as bhikkhuni (Pali) or bhiksuni (Sanskrit) are fully ordained female Buddhist monastics. In Thailand, these nuns endure a lot of hardships. From arson and threats to the huge resistance in a male-dominated culture, they have to work very hard to be accepted and to emerge as religious leaders in their own right. Watch this eye-opening documentary below as the host Zainab Salbi takes us on a journey into the lives of some of Thailand’s renegade nuns. One of them renounced her successful life as a mother, scholar and TV personality to become an ordained nun as this is what makes her complete – spiritually, emotionally, and physically.

 

About the Documentary Host, Zainab Salbi

Zainab Salbi, the founder of Women for Women International was named one of the top 25 women who are changing the world by Oprah

Zainab Salbi, the founder of Women for Women International was named one of the top 25 women who are changing the world by Oprah

Iraqi-born Zainab Salbi is the founder of Women for Women International, an organisation that helps women who are victims of war, especially those who have been physically abused and suffer from poverty due to war.

Her humanitarian and development efforts have impacted over 400,000 women in eight different war-torn areas, distributing more than $100 million worth of aid and microcredit loans, which helped over 1.7 million families. Salbi’s main philosophy is that access to education and resources can create lasting change in the lives of many women.

Born in 1969, Salbi herself has had first-hand experience of war in Baghdad. Growing up during the Iran-Iraq war, she experienced a lot of fear due to her family’s close relationship with Saddam Hussein. Her father was Saddam’s personal pilot and head of the Iraq Civil Aviation Authority. Her family suffered a lot psychologically under his regime.

Fearing that little Salbi might be targeted by Saddam as she was growing up fast to be an attractive young lady, her mother arranged for her to be married to an older Iraqi living in the United States when she was 19. Her marriage turned out to be abusive and she escaped after three months, but was unable to return to Iraq due to the First Gulf War.

It was through her experience with war that Salbi became sensitive towards the plight of women in war. A few years after arriving in the US, she heard about the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina and decided to do something. Together with her second husband, Amjad Atallah, they took action by establishing Women for Women International. At only 23 years old, Salbi dedicated her life in service of women war survivors. In 1993 her group began assisting 33 Bosnian and Croatian women.

Salbi launched her talk show, The Nidaa Show, in 2015 with TLC Arabia, and the show was aired across 22 countries in the Arab World. She dedicated the show to Arab and Muslim women, sharing their stories, challenges, and accomplishments. She started it with her first interview on Oprah Winfrey, which was historical, winning her several awards. She became the #1 Most Influential Arab Women by Arabian Business. Foreign Policy Magazine recognised her as one of the 100 Global Thinkers in the World. In People Magazine, Oprah named her as one of the top 25 women who are changing the world.

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Salbi then launched The Zainab Salbi Project original series with Huffington Post (2016), #MeToo, Now What? with PBS (2018), and Through Her Eyes with Zainab Salbi original series with Yahoo News (2019).

Salbi is also the author of her best-selling memoir, Between Two Worlds: Escape from Tyranny: Growing Up in the Shadow of Saddam. Other books she authored are The Other Side of War: Women’s Stories of Survival & Hope, If You Knew Me You Would Care, and Freedom Is an Inside Job: Owning Our Darkness and Our Light to Heal Ourselves and the World.

In the Huffington post series called The Zainab Salbi Project, Salbi probed into what it is like to be female spiritual leaders in Thailand, and the difficulties, challenges, as well as obstacles they face just because they are women. What we are about to learn is mind-blowing, especially coming from a country where Buddhism is deeply rooted.

 

Renegade Female Monks Of Thailand, The Zainab Salbi Project, Episode 3

Or view the video on YouTube at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MjZODhD4YU
 

The Tradition Of Ordaining Buddhist Nuns In The Theravada Tradition

Buddhist nuns or bhikkhunis, just like bhikkhus (male monks) live by the Vinaya vows. The very first ordained Buddhist nun or bhikkhuni by Lord Buddha was Buddha’s own aunt and foster-mother, Mahapajapati Gotami. She was the first female to seek ordination for women directly from Gautama Buddha and this was when the tradition of ordaining Buddhist nuns began. Since the first ordination of nuns and for several hundreds of years after, they were of equal status to their male counterparts, the male monks.

Mahapajapati Gotami, the first Buddhist nun ordained by Buddha Shakyamuni

Mahapajapati Gotami, the first Buddhist nun ordained by Buddha Shakyamuni

In the past, the female monastic lineage could only be found in Mahayana Buddhism, which was predominant in countries like China, Taiwan, Korea, and Vietnam. Recently, full monastic vows in the Theravada and Vajrayana tradition are also being sought after. However, there are many conservatives who still think that the ordination of Buddhist nuns done today are not valid.

According to the Buddha, women are just as capable as men in the practice of the Dharma and have the potential to achieve enlightenment. Records of sayings and deeds of pre-eminent Buddhist nuns can be found in the early Buddhist schools, such as the collection of famous poems composed by the elder nuns about enlightenment that are preserved in the Pali Canon.

The only difference between monks and nuns in the Theravadin tradition is the additional vows for nuns. These vows are known as the Eight Garudhammas, which some contest to be an attempt to push women into an inferior role, and are not really the teachings of Gautama Buddha. Based on the Garudhammas, nuns are subordinate to and reliant upon monks.

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Due to the difficulties and hardships that nuns have to endure, several historical places where the ordination of Buddhist nuns were once practiced have now faded out. According to historians, the order of Buddhist nuns flourished for 1,000 years in India and Sri Lanka, but due to the spread of Islam and the impact of various conflicts and political problems, these practices soon disappeared.

Hence, different forms of renunciation have been developed throughout the different Buddhist traditions. For example, women take the vows of sramaneri (novitiates) in Tibetan Buddhism, also known as Vajrayana Buddhism. As for the Theravadin tradition, women may choose to take on a shorter, informal set of vows which are similar to the sramaneri vows.

It is believed that between the 11th and 13th centuries, the Theravadin tradition of ordaining nuns died out and no new nuns were ordained. Since Thailand is traditionally ruled by a patriarchal society, the all-male officials of the Buddhist Sangha Supreme Council of Thailand enacted a ruling that forbids the ordination of nuns as it is deemed impossible without a living tradition.

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According to Thailand’s interpretation of the Theravada Buddhist scripture, a woman can only be ordained as a full-fledged Buddhist nun if there are 10 monks and 10 nuns present. Since there are no Buddhist nuns in Thailand, ordinations cannot take place. In 1928, female ordination was made illegal in Thailand.

Seen as rebels threatening the all-male monastic status quo, many female monastics such as Ven. Dhammananda have sought ordination with senior Buddhist nuns outside their tradition. With the revival of Buddhist nuns within the Theravada tradition in India, Sri Lanka, Germany, Indonesia, USA and Australia, this has been made possible. This new generation of nuns, however, are met with much resistance.

In conservative Thailand, the Buddhist clergy does not recognise ordained nuns. Females can only become maechi (novice nuns or female lay vow-holder), although currently there are around 270 ordained Buddhist nuns living in female monasteries across the country’s 76 provinces. Maechi are Buddhist laywomen who live the life of an ascetic, they hold the Eight or Ten Precepts, which are more than the Five Precepts taken by lay practitioners.

Buddhist nuns walk in the garden of the Sathira-Dhammasathan Buddhist meditation centre in Bangkok

With about 300,000 fully ordained monks, Thailand as a Buddhist country has a complex connection between the state and clergy. As such, the latter holds great influence and power within the system of governance. Even though the constitution of Thailand holds a clause that defends the freedom of religion, the male monks or bhikkhus used their influence on Thai authorities to ban the ordination of females in Thailand.

In a country where women are highly involved in science, education, and business, the Thai Buddhists’ customary exclusion of women seems strangely out of place. As such, women who wish to receive ordination into the Sangha will have to travel abroad. Sri Lanka is one of the countries that share the same school of Theravada Buddhism where female ordination was legalised in 1998.

Novice nuns, also known as maechi (female lay vow-holder), clad in white chanting mantras

Novice nuns, also known as maechi (female lay vow-holder), clad in white chanting mantras

In 2003, Venerable Dhammananda was the first Thai woman to receive full ordination as a Buddhist nun of the Theravada tradition in Sri Lanka. She is the Abbess of Songdhammakalyani Monastery, the first Buddhist nun centre in Thailand. Established in 1960, the monastery was founded by her mother Ven. Ta Tao Fa who was a Mahayana nun. The monastery was originally known as Wat Songdhammakalyani, the temple of women who uphold the Dharma.

Unfortunately, unlike their male counterparts, ordained nuns receive no support in funding and benefits from the government. They also face strong objections to their status and are often subjected to abuses and threats from the public. Despite this, more women are seeking ordination, but the backlash against them has also increased.

The International Women’s Meditation Center Foundation in Rayong, founded by Ven. Dr. Lee, has been the target of numerous attacks. In March 2016, a dormitory was set ablaze by arsonists. The Bangkok Post published that a group of drunkards shouted their intentions to burn down the centre for daring to ordain women. In another incident, a group of gun-wielding men destroyed the centre’s surveillance equipment after breaking into the centre. Despite Ven. Dr. Lee facing constant threats to her life and centre, she refuses to be intimidated and continues to run her centre as she has over 50 monastics whom she is responsible for.

Buddhist nuns receiving alms from the general public

Buddhist nuns receiving alms from the general public

The Songdhammakalyani Monastery, on the other hand, has been relatively free from abuse and danger. Ven. Dhammananda said that her centre is supported by a large percentage of the locals. She speculated that the incident in Rayong could be a ‘personal’ problem as the Rayong centre was new and one of the only two nuns there, Ven. Dr. Lee, is an American who is perceived to be an ‘outsider’ by the local people. Ven. Dhammananda said, estimating that 50% of the local people support them.

“We don’t have problems with the local community here, but we have problems when we deal with the government.”
~ Ven. Dhammananda

Source: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/pg7j5g/the-buddha-said-all-were-equal-thailands-female-monks-fight-for-recognition

Although a clause defending the practice of religious freedom exists in the Thai constitution, there is an intention to revoke this clause, which will make the situation worse for the nuns in Thailand. The Thai immigration authority has allegedly rejected visa applications from Sri Lankan monks who intended to ordain women in the country during their visits. Buddhist nuns have also faced threats of arrest on charges for impersonating monks, a civil offence in Thailand.

The lay people paying respect to Buddhist nuns

Lay people paying respect to Buddhist nuns

At Songdhammakalyani Monastery, the nuns’ strategy is to avoid dealing with people who don’t support them as much as possible. Ven. Dhammananda said with the logic of a pragmatic practitioner,

“We don’t burden ourselves with their ignorance. If every step we take we have to care that we get approval, then we cannot do anything. Because I am an academic I always check what the text says, and then I am reassured that we are on the right path.” ~ Ven. Dharmmananda

Source: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/pg7j5g/the-buddha-said-all-were-equal-thailands-female-monks-fight-for-recognition

Ven. Dhammananda further explained that the Buddha ordained nuns thousands of years ago, and this was written into the Buddhist scripture as “more or less” equal to men. Another Buddhist nun, Ven. Dhammacetana replied to the question of the difficulties in ordaining nuns that seemed to have been forgotten by the Thai society,

“It is still a world ruled by men, everywhere. Before the Buddha, women were viewed as lower than animals until the Buddha said all were equal, but after the Buddha, this was mostly forgotten.” ~ Ven. Dhammacetana

Source: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/pg7j5g/the-buddha-said-all-were-equal-thailands-female-monks-fight-for-recognition target=”_blank”

Although gender biasness and institutional sexism is not a deterrent for women who want to become nuns, it is affecting some demographics more than others. Ven. Dhammananda shared that women who were educated with a degree or above make up more than two-thirds of those ordained as nuns annually. Overall in Thailand, less than a third of the total population have a degree.

Educated women have the privilege of time to research on the internet and discuss with others on the existence of ordained nuns. Those who are not as educated or in less privileged positions would have lesser opportunities to learn of the possibility of ordination and would certainly be deterred by the male monks should they broach the subject.

Buddhist nuns who had lived a worldly life and had careers before ordination can be of valuable service to other women, they can care for the sick and counsel women on issues which they may be uncomfortable sharing with monks.

Ven. Dhammananda told a story about a woman who stayed at her monastery in-between her chemotherapy sessions for breast cancer as she had no one to look after her at home. “It is very sad”, said Ven. Dhammananda and then surprisingly broke out with a smile, “But I told her not to worry; when you get to our age, what do you need breasts for anyway?” In this story, it shows how female monastics are able to play the role in taking care of the sick who have no one to turn to or talk to about sensitive subjects, be it medical or otherwise.

Training to be novice nuns before the ordination ceremony

Training to be novice nuns before ordination ceremony

The number of Buddhist nuns are constantly increasing as they patiently educate the public and gradually gain their approval. With monks having been accused of many recorded misdeeds, including child abuse, instigation of racial hatred and sexual abuse, the nuns could potentially play the influencing role for some reformation in Thailand. They are also powerful representation for the call on gender equality.

On the role of Songdhammakalyani Monastery, Ven. Dhammananda concluded in tandem with the Buddhist tenet of compassion, “It is our intention to provide a place for all women to come, to practice, and to feel at home.”

Annually, in April and December, Ven. Dhammananda will hold ordination ceremonies for women to be ordained into the Buddhist order as novice nuns at her monastery. These women, from young to old, bravely defy the Thai Buddhist tradition by being ordained and by having their heads shaved, staying in the monastery for nine days and replacing their white garments for the saffron robes, same as those of male monks.

However, since the ordination of bhikkhunis or nuns are banned in Thailand, any women who wish to become a full-fledged nun will have to go to countries where female ordinations are accepted, such as in Sri Lanka.

 

Brief Bio on Venerable Dhammananda

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At the age of 40 in 2003, Dr. Chatsumarn Kabilsingh received her name Venerable Dhammananda upon ordination into the sangha under the ordination lineage of Syamopali from the Dambulla chapter in Sri Lanka.

Prior to her ordination, she taught for 27 years in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Thammasat University, Bangkok and is a well-known author of many contemporary books on Asian Buddhism and issues of women’s position in the society. Being an illustrious student of Theravada Buddhism, she even hosted her own TV show which aired in the mid-80s on Buddhist practices.

At 74, she is now the Abbess and most senior female monk at Songdhammakalyani Monastery in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand. She laughs at being often mistaken as a male monk with her shaved head and saffron robe, especially when entering female washrooms.

Because no monk in Thailand would ordain her, Ven. Dhammananda went abroad to Sri Lanka in 2003 to be ordained in the Theravada tradition, which is practised throughout Southeast Asia. She was the first woman in Thailand to receive her ordination vows.

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Before going for her ordination and taking on celibacy, she divorced her husband and explained her decision to her three sons, keeping good terms with them. Returning to Thailand, Ven. Dhammananda continues to face hostility and censure from the public, but she never gave up in propagating the path for females to take ordination and Buddhist practices.

The monastery which she heads, Songdhammakalyani Monastery, was established by her mother after her own ordination in Taiwan. She founded the monastery in 1960 upon purchasing the land from the Queen of King Rama VI. Like China, Taiwan allows females to be ordained into the Mahayana tradition, a tradition more commonly practised there. Ven. Dhammananda’s grandmother also went overseas to be ordained as a nun.

Ven. Dhammananda giving teachings to her disciples

Ven. Dhammananda giving teachings to her disciples

The Songdhammakalyani Monastery is the first all-female monastery in Nakhon Pathom, just 53 km west of Bangkok. It is the first temple in Thailand built by women, for women. Songdhammakalyani Monastery currently houses 7 of the 270 Buddhist nuns in Thailand, all of them were ordained overseas.

Labelled in Thailand as a dangerous dissident, Ven. Dhammananda has since ordained over 700 working women. These women spend 9 days observing the life of a nun and then return to their lives outside.

She has been working with His Holiness the Dalai Lama since 1980 on the ordination of Buddhist nuns, as she found that currently there are only female novices in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. So far, she has not been successful with this as His Holiness said he will wait to see if other senior monks would consider joining him or otherwise. Ven. Dhammananda is not very hopeful about that happening any time soon. She has also travelled to Myanmar with the same motivation to help women become nuns, but found it has been impossible. In Myanmar, if a nun is ordained in Sri Lanka, she will be disrobed and sent to prison.

An affectionate moment with her dog

Ven. Dhammananda having an affectionate moment with her dog

Looking back, Ven. Dhammananda was inspired by her parents’ courage. Her mother once rode a motorbike all the way to Singapore from Bangkok to impress her male students. Her father was an opposition politician who was often jailed. In her own words, “I never realized how brave they were until I grew up”.

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More information about Ven. Dhammananda’s monastery:

Songdhammakalyani Monastery

Address:
195 Petkasem Highway, Muang District,
Nakhonpathom,
73000 Thailand

Tel: +66 34 258 270 (front desk)
Front desk opening hours (phone calls/visitors): 8.30 AM – 5 PM
Email: dhammananda9d@gmail.com

Map to the Songdhammakalyani Monastery. Click to enlarge


Map to the Songdhammakalyani Monastery. Click to enlarge.

 

Brief Bio On Venerable Dr. Lee

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58-year-old Leaura Naomi is known as Bhikkhuni Dr. Lee after she was ordained into the sangha. She is an American Buddhist nun who went to Thailand in support of Thai women who wish to be nuns, braving strong criticism and backlash from the Thai Buddhist clergy who oppose the ordination of nuns.

With the setup of the Theravada Buddhist monastery in Rayong, called the International Women’s Meditation Center Foundation, she faced many threats of kidnap, assault and arson. One of her buildings was set ablaze by a group of drunk men. In another incident, the American Embassy came to her rescue after she called them in desperation as her centre was surrounded by a gang of armed men. They had entered the compound and destroyed the surveillance system.

Ven. Dr. Lee was born in Yonkers, New York to a Christian family and taught at Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan universities after graduating from Colorado University with a Ph.D. in geography. At 31, she was ordained as a Buddhist nun in Colorado and went to Thailand in the year 2000. She had read of Thailand being a Theravada Buddhist country with more than 300,000 monks and novices in 30,000 temples. With the missing element of Buddhist nuns, she decided to introduce this new cultural element to the Thais. Ven. Dr. Lee is the only American Buddhist nun residing in Thailand amongst the few hundreds of Thai nuns who are still not recognised.

Ven. Dr. Lee with young disciples at The International Women’s Meditation Center Foundation

Ven. Dr. Lee with young disciples at The International Women’s Meditation Center Foundation

The International Women’s Meditation Center Foundation aims to create gender equality in Buddhism, by establishing nuns as social leaders in Thailand and Myanmar. In Thailand, a female child could be sold for as low as USD100 due to poverty and family hardship. Hence, Ven. Dr. Lee’s monastery offers a sanctuary for underprivileged female children to learn and grow in safety.

More information about Ven. Dr. Lee’s monastery:

International Women’s Meditation Center Foundation

Address:
81/38 Mu 6, Ban Nern Soutong Road
Tapong, Amper Muang, Rayong
21000 Thailand

Phone: +66 (0)38-664-904
Mobile: +66 (0)85-173-8737
E-mail: drlee2546@gmail.com

Map to International Women’s Meditation Center, Rayong. Click to enlarge.


Map to International Women’s Meditation Center, Rayong. Click to enlarge.

 

Thoughts from Phra Thepvisudthikawee of the Buddhist Protection Centre who is against the Bhikkhuni tradition

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The Secretary-General of the Buddhism Protection Center of Thailand, Phra Tepvisutthikawee said that it is pointless to have any discussion on the ordination of Buddhist nuns. He mentioned that since it is not permitted under the Dhamma Vinaya, the question of fairness should not even arise. Theravada Buddhism operates on the monastic rules interpreted from the collection of scriptures in the Pali Canon.

From Zainab’s interview with Phra Thepvisudthikawee, it is obvious that his view does not encourage equality in ordained nuns. However, this is not necessarily the case with other male Buddhist leaders such as His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, who had on numerous occasions stated that he believed women should be treated equally in having access to a full Buddhist nun ordination. Unfortunately, His Holiness claims he does not have the authority to implement such ordination for the entire Buddhist sangha or community.

 

Conclusion

After female monastic practice phased out between the 11th and 13th centuries due to political turmoil, controversy and obstacles, the tradition of ordaining nuns, which was started by Buddha 2,500 years ago, is finally going through a slow revival. The renascence of Buddhist nun in countries like Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and China is made possible through the efforts of a few powerful ordained female monastic leaders such as, Ven. Dhammananda and Ven. Dr. Lee who will fight dharmically to restore the bhikkhuni lineage back into society.

It is not right for the Buddhist Sangha Supreme Council of Thailand, which comprises of all-male council members, to enact the ruling in 1928 that forbids the ordination of Buddhist nuns. This rule is still in force to this day, although the Thai constitution provides for freedom of religion.

By right, men and women should have equal opportunities to receive monastic ordination. This discrimination is what women in Thailand are working hard to overcome and it is what Ven. Dhammananda and Ven. Dr. Lee are facing. They are seeking the equality that Buddha had espoused 2,500 years ago with the first ordination of his aunt and foster mother, Mahapajapati Gotami as a nun.

Shaving the head in preparation of ordination as a novice nun.

Shaving the head in preparation of ordination as a novice nun.

The discrimination that Buddhist nuns in Thailand face is very much similar to the discrimination against Dorje Shugden practitioners. The so-called leaders who swore to uphold the constitutional rights of the people are the ones who are breaking it for their own self-serving agendas. While the women in Thailand seek to overcome the ban on female monasticism, Dorje Shugden practitioners around the world seek to overcome the ban on the worship of an established Dharma Protector practice. Such forms of discrimination have no place in today’s society where every modern democratic government promises the freedom to practice whatever religion they choose. The only way to fight discrimination is to bring awareness to the issue so that more people will question the validity of the discrimination.

Another way to fight the discrimination against having Buddhist nuns is by ordaining more nuns and creating temples, or centres managed by female monastics all over the world. Establishing female ordination as a mainstream practice will make it harder for anyone to impose gender-based discrimination. People like Ven. Dhammananda and Ven. Dr. Lee are champions of female ordination and they will be the source of inspiration for many more Buddhist nuns to come. The obstacles and great hardships they endure in bringing equality to women in Buddhism make them truly great heroines. Give them your support. Write them, visit them and write into the authorities for them. Bring more media attention to their plight and pray for them to succeed. Women’s spirituality are just as important as men’s and that is a fact of existence.

 

Sources:

  • Venerable Dr. Pannavati, Thai Nuns, Women and Children, 2019, http://pannavati.org/thai-nuns/ (accessed: 9 April 2019)
  • England, Charlotte, Broadly., ‘The Buddha Said All Were Equal’: Thailand’s Female Monks Fight for Recognition’, 11 May 2016, https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/pg7j5g/the-buddha-said-all-were-equal-thailands-female-monks-fight-for-recognition (accessed: 18 April 2019)
  • Ehrlich, Richard S, Asia Times: Liberation Struggle for Thai Buddhist Nuns, 3 June 2017, https://www.asiatimes.com/2017/06/article/liberation-struggle-thai-buddhist-nuns/ (accessed: 19 April 2019)
  • Palet, Laura Secorun, Provocateurs: Thailand’s Rebel Buddhist Nun, 19 April 2016, https://www.ozy.com/provocateurs/thailands-rebel-buddhist-nun/66506 (accessed: 19 April 2019)
  • Perawongmetha, Athit, Independent: In photos: Thailand’s rebel female Buddhist monks defying tradition, 12 January 2019, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/thailand-rebel-female-buddhist-monks-photos-defy-tradition-pictures-a8715631.html (accessed: 5 May 2019)
  • Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia: Bhikkhuni, 4 May 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhikkhun%C4%AB (accessed: 7 May 2019)
  • Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia: Mahapajapati Gotami, 17 March 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahapajapati_Gotami#cite_note-buddhanet-2 (accessed: 7 May 2019)

 

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10 Responses to Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns

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  1. Pastor Albert on Jul 8, 2019 at 5:34 pm

    This is so familiar, being a Dorje Shugden practitioners, I can understand the feeling of being discriminated, beside the discrimination, you don’t get the support you need too to continue your spiritual practice. In Buddhism, it is very bad Karma when you are stopping or creating obstacles for anyone to practice Dharma.

    Discrimination not only happened in the social world, but also in the Sangha community, Buddha taught us to see everyone as equal, in the eyes of Buddha, whether you are male or female, human, animals, gods, etc, all life form to them are equally important, there is no such thing as who is more superior and who is not, because all sentient beings also has the quality to gaining enlightenment.

    It is not easy for Venerable Dhammananda, she has to overcome the rejection from her family, then she have to travel abroad to get ordained, and back to Thailand to open a centre and yet, people are trying to stop it. Why can’t the others just focus on their own practice and leave them to do what they want? they are not doing any crime, they are not hurting anyone, it’s better to spend the same amount of effort and time to catch the criminals and not let just police to do it, then the country will be a very safe place to live in.

  2. Ummamageswari on Jul 2, 2019 at 12:34 pm

    Thank you so much for this article. This article is mainly about Thailand’s renegade yet powerful Buddhist nuns. By reading this article, i get to know that Buddhist nuns, are known as bhikkhuni (Pali) or bhiksuni (Sanskrit) where they are fully ordained female Buddhist monastics.

    From threats to the huge resistance in a male-dominated culture, Buddhist nuns have to work very hard to be accepted and to emerge as religious leaders in their own right. Thank you.

  3. Chris on Jun 15, 2019 at 4:44 am

    Thank you, Rinpoche and the blog team for this excellent article. From this article, we can clearly see the struggle of female monastic in Thailand and the challenges they face in their daily lives. Even though the problem of female ordination in Thailand seems to be a religious issue, it is in fact more complicated that it seems.

    It is inspiring to see courageous nuns that fight against social norms to be ordained. They are literally fighting for their spirituality. People like Venerable Dhammananda and Venerable Dr Lee fought against all odds to set up their monastery in Thailand and began the tradition of ordaining women.

    Even after Venerable Dr Lee’s monastery was attacked several times, she refused to leave the country against the advise of the embassy. She is willing to risk her life to take care of the spirituality of the nuns who are in her monastery. She is a true following of Buddha’s teachings which is to be selfless.

  4. Samfoonheei on Jun 10, 2019 at 1:42 pm

    Thailand has an ancient culture that only men can become monks and novices in Thailand under a Buddhist order that, has forbidden the ordination of women. The country does not recognize female monks or novices even till today. A growing number of women defy generations of Thai Buddhist tradition by becoming ordained as novice monks at the un recognised all-female monastery. Thailand’s first female monk 74 year old Dhammananda Bhikkhuni, flew to Sri Lanka to be ordained against the odd. Those who wanted to be a nun or novices ,were all ordained abroad. Till today female Buddhist monastics in Thailand continue to fight for their right to practice Buddhism . Interesting read of the brief biography on Venerable Dhammananda and Venerable Dr. Lee. How they gone through great hardships, discrimination and against the many odds in bringing equality to women in Buddhism in Thailand. May both continue with their good work .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this inspiring post of two great heroines.

  5. Yee Yin on Jun 10, 2019 at 12:02 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing with us this interesting article. It is very sad to see how the monk community in Thailand discriminates the nuns. To me, this is very hypocritical. If these monks really believe in Buddha’s teachings, they should understand that all beings have the potential to become a Buddha.

    According to Lamrim, the perfect condition to practice Dharma and achieve enlightenment is in human form that is without physical or mental disability. There is no mention of female having limited ability to gain realisations. When someone wants to renounce, we should rejoice and give full support. But the Thai monks make the full ordination a privilege of the male gender.

    The origin of the 8 Garudhamma is dubious, it might not have come from Buddha Shakyamuni himself. Buddha Shakyamuni was very respectful to female, this can be seen by how he had given permission to allow his aunt/step mother to become an ordained Sangha and gave the highest honour of principal female disciple to Uppalavanna who was a prostitute before she became a nun. Female does have the same ability to achieve enlightenment. If we want Buddhism to spread further and wider, we should encourage more people to renounce and become a Sangha member regardless of their gender.

  6. Tsa Tsa Ong on Jun 8, 2019 at 2:09 pm

    This is truly an inspiring story about females going against all odds to become ordained nuns. They will be the source of inspiration for many more Buddhist nuns to come. The obstacles and great hardships they endure in bringing equality to women in Buddhism make them truly great heroines. Thank you very much Rinpoche and blog team for sharing this inspring story. 🙏😘🌈👍👏

  7. Stella Cheang on Jun 6, 2019 at 10:45 am

    Man made rules due to self-serving agenda, fear and ignorance hinder mankind’s path to enlightenment. The discrimination that Buddhist nuns in Thailand face is a typical example. Thailand, known for the reverence to Buddhism, is only half true. Quoting selective source of scripture, the female population is not recognised to be ordained under Thailand Theravadin traditions. In a direct manner, the Thai monastic establishments promote gender biasness and institutionalise sexism by deterring women to become nuns. May the people in position take charge and make the change faster and better. Thank you for this article.

  8. Bradley Kassian on Jun 5, 2019 at 6:23 pm

    The Bhikkhuni ordination might be a complicated prossess in Thailand but I do hope one day real change will come. Buddha did ordain women into the Sangha, and women are just as capable as men at attaining enlightenment. The discrimination against the nuns currently in Thailand is disheartening but I do hope they pull through. Bans do nothing but divide people, we need to create a culture of tolerance and unify people. The nuns have my deepest respect, as they have devoted their life to renunciation and helping sentient beings.

  9. Pastor Adeline Woon on Jun 5, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    The Bhikkhuni ordination may be a religious issue but it does not seem to be a pure and straightforward one. As we dwell into the core of the matter, we can see that there are certain individuals of the opposite gender (monks and politicians) parties who are using religion to control people and finances, unfortunately. This is not something new but a chronic one that is purely discriminating against the female gender as a whole.

    The discrimination, especially to the Buddhist nuns in Thailand, is identical to the discrimination against Dorje Shugden practitioners. Those in authority who are supposed to uphold the constitutional rights of the people decided to break the rules solely for their personal agendas including money, fame and power. The women in Thailand and those ordained in the Thai Forest tradition and etc. around the world are now coming together to seek ways to overcome the ban on female monasticism. Similarly, the Dorje Shugden practitioners around the world seek to overcome the ban on the worship of an established Dharma Protector practice.

    It is amazing how such forms of discrimination still exist in today’s society where the modern democratic government promises religious freedom and freedom of choice. These strong and inspiring women know very clearly that the only way to fight discrimination is to bring awareness to the issue. When more people starting to question the validity of the discrimination, there will be hope for it to be diminished. It is never an easy fight towards such long-standing discrimination, but it is necessary to continue and persist at it because this is how samsara operates.

    It will be wonderful that one day soon that all illogical and unreasonable bans will be lifted so everyone regardless of gender, race, nationality… can enjoy their basic rights to the fullest.

  10. Lum Kok Luen on Jun 5, 2019 at 9:27 am

    Thank you Your Eminence for sharing this wonderful story.
    If one yearns for the Dharma, there is no hardship that is too great for ome to overcome. These two wonderdul nuns have demonstrated their wonderful compassion in wanting to help others especially women to access Dharma equally.
    Equanimity is one of the characteristics that we must develop in our path.
    Very inspiring true stories.
    Thank you Your Eminence.

    Humbly yours
    Lum Kok Luen

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Blog Chat

BLOG CHAT

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

Tsem Rinpoche


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  • nicholas
    Saturday, Jul 20. 2019 12:57 PM
    Ganden Sumtseling or Songzanlin or Guihua Monastery is also known as “Little Potala Palace”. Sumtseling Monastery is located just outside the city of Zhongdian (later renamed to Shangri-la in 2001). It is the largest Buddhist monastery in Yunnan province. Established by the Great Fifth Dalai Lama in 1679, the monastery was built during the rule of Qing Dynasty Emperor Kangxi, who fully patronized the development of the monastery. One of the most special features of the monastery is its blending of Tibetan and Chinese-style architecture.

    Read more about this monastery at https://bit.ly/2xiTMCC
  • nicholas
    Saturday, Jul 20. 2019 12:52 PM
    Archaeologists have come across a vast network of underwater ruins making up the ancient Roman city once known as Neapolis, which was largely washed away by a powerful tsunami around 1,700 years ago.

    Read more this at https://bit.ly/2ZNWVXi
  • nicholas
    Saturday, Jul 20. 2019 12:47 PM
    He is known as the ‘guardian of Fukushima’s animals’ because of the work he does to feed the animals left behind by people in their rush to evacuate the government’s 12.5-mile exclusion zone. He is aware of the radiation he is subject to on a daily basis, but says that he “refuses to worry about it.” He does take steps, however, by only eating food imported into the zone.

    See more about his work https://bit.ly/2IQlI76
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Jul 20. 2019 11:50 AM
    Over the last decades , China have since built more, huge impressive mega statues around the Chinese landscape. It seem these mega-statues are even more stunning than its towering skyscrapers and indeed very impressive. China is a great Buddhist land, with Buddha statues of all sizes rising up through history. And some of which are among the largest or tallest in the world. China has a long history of Buddhist art and sculpture. Through out history China been a great Buddhist land had built many awe-inspiring, Buddha statues, from been the highest to the largest statues in the world. I wish I could visit and see those huge Buddhist statues in future.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing with beautiful pictures of those huge statues.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/chinas-huge-buddha-statues.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Jul 20. 2019 11:48 AM
    China is a vast country with many huge statues been built over the centuries. Having a long history of Buddhism, the statues been built with ancient architectures ,art and sculpture of various sizes . Some of those seem to be the world largest and tallest . Amazing to look at those beautiful statues been rich in their culture for thousands of years. They are built all over China, every province there are at least one or two amazing structure. Buddha statues are getting bigger on mainland China in bid to lure pilgrims and tourists. I would love to see those amazing structures Buddhist statues. Out of those 24 huge Statues in China , I have only visited Big Buddha of Lingshan (Buddha Shakyamuni), Big Buddha of Leshan, Sichuan, Samantabhadra, Sichuan Province and Manjushri, Shanxi Province.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/travel/chinas-huge-buddha-statues-chinese.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Jul 20. 2019 11:47 AM
    Wow ….what a fantastic discovery by astronomers’ search . There are other habitable planets out in the sky. Planets like earth in the out space are not rare to the scientist. There’s more to life on earth and earth is often referred to as a Goldilocks planet. Astronomers found a first truly earth-like planet in habitable zone after years of research. New discovery lead by Steven Vogt and Paul Butler suggested our galaxy may be teeming with potentially habitable planets . Could not have imagine there are 200 billion stars in the universe, there could be a possibility that there are more life in other planets which are not yet found. Steven Scott Vogt and Paul Butler are one of those astronomer whose main interest is the search for extra solar planets. The planet Earth was believed to be the center of the universe, there are innumerable beings in the universe. Interesting read.
    According to the Buddha, there are some other forms of life existing in other parts of the universe. I do believe that as found in other Buddhist scriptures.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/a-planet-discovered-that-could-have-life.html
  • nicholas
    Saturday, Jul 20. 2019 02:30 AM
    HONG KONG: Microplastic contamination has been found in tap water in countries around the world, leading to calls from scientists for urgent research on the implications for health.

    Scores of tap water samples from more than a dozen nations were analysed by scientists for an investigation by Orb Media, who shared the findings with the Guardian. Overall, 83 per cent of the samples were contaminated with plastic fibres.

    The US had the highest contamination rate, at 94 per cent, with plastic fibres found in tap water sampled at sites including Congress buildings, the US Environmental Protection Agency’s headquarters, and Trump Tower in New York. Lebanon and India had the next highest rates.

    Read more about this article at https://bit.ly/2xRfi1x
  • nicholas
    Saturday, Jul 20. 2019 02:22 AM
    Every time you buy a fashion item made from leather – be it a trendy handbag, a piece of comfortable shoes – please think about the tremendous cruelty that stands at the foundation of that product. This petition targets both the Chinese government – who has repeatedly failed to adopt animal welfare laws and has allowed this industry to thrive – as well as consumers worldwide, to take the pledge to go cruel-free and stop purchasing leather products.

    Please stop buying leather products from today https://bit.ly/2sWcGMW
  • nicholas
    Saturday, Jul 20. 2019 02:16 AM
    There is some wonderful news in the animal world after California pet stores have been told they must get their puppies, kittens and rabbits from shelters and rescue centres only.

    As of January 2019, it will be illegal for stores to buy animals from pet breeders and any store being caught will face a fine of $500.

    Individual, private buyers will still be able to buy their pets from a breeder, reports the New York Times.

    Read more about this great news at https://bit.ly/2Jy8j1E
  • Anonymous
    Friday, Jul 19. 2019 10:06 PM
    [22:04, 19/7/2019] Vajrasecrets.com: Thanks to H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche for spreading information about Dorje Shugden.


    I am happy to say that Dorje Shugden is my new best friend. But he feels very familiar to me. It’s as if this is not my first encounter with him. Perhaps I was a Dorje Shugden fan in one of my past lives.


    I’ll keep this testimony simple without going into much detail about what happened. All I can say is I love you Dorje Shugden and I hope to have a better connection with you.


    Although I am not a Buddhist, I respect and accept other religions. I wish I had known about Dorje Shugden much earlier because I have been volunteering for Kechara since 2017.



    Here are a few situations where I have experienced miraculous results:
    1. I had problems waking up on Saturday. After saying OM BENZA WIKI BITANA SOHA once, I could feel my muscles getting better and it was just easy for me to wake up.
    2. My eyes suddenly hurt when I was doing my work in front of the computer. I could not open them so I began uttering OM BENZA WIKI BITANA SOHA in silence. To my surprise, my eyes were not sore anymore. After the third recitation, my problem went away.
    I am not going to go into detail about what happened because I am a private person, but DS is amazing.
    3. I have awards in my field of work, but I could not do my work. That was my first encounter with Dorje Shugden’s mantra. After I said the mantra, I started coughing and felt like throwing up. The next day, I could finish my work.
    4. A lady suddenly caused me trouble. I accepted the fact that she did not like me and expressed how I felt to her expecting that day would turn into a horrible day. She suddenly told me that she would follow everything I told her without any questions asked.
    I did not say OM BENZA WIKI BITANA SOHA at that time, but at that moment when she responded to me in that way, I somehow knew or felt that it was Dorje Shugden’s assistance. I did not even ask him and he was there.
    5. I felt a positive shift….like a strong knowing that everything is going to be alright. And I felt that message was from Dorje Shugden.
    There are too many stories to share.
    Thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
    I love you. Thank you.
    Anonymous
    (Discovered about Dorje Shugden on 27th June, 2019, From YouTube, Dorje Shugden’s mantra)
    [no sender]
  • S.Prathap
    Friday, Jul 19. 2019 04:36 PM
    Ullambana festival is one of the good opportunity to collect merits and dedicate them to our loved ones.The main highlights thing of the Ullambana festival is two powerful pujas that will be perform according to the tradition of Gaden Monastery
    This year festival will be on 10th August Saturday..Don’t miss the chance to get blessing from this powerful pujas and thank you so much for the information and sharing this article.

    Read more : https://bit.ly/32Bn9hW
  • sarassitham
    Friday, Jul 19. 2019 03:17 PM
    Discovering mushroom growth for Tibetan represents good sign and the holy land will have some development and the dharma teaching will grow in near future. An auspicious symbols of Buddhism and it is also to belief represent the gifts of God.

    Besides mushroom , Bodhi tree too have an auspicious omen. This trees to be said to have a great significance in the history of Buddhism and Hinduism. This tree often seen growing tall in many temple and frequent destination for pilgrims, being the most important for the Buddhist and to Hindus pilgrimage sites.

    Thank you for the sharing and hope Kechara Forest Retreat has is dream fulfilled.
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Jul 19. 2019 01:51 PM
    Gyenze is Dorje Shugden in a wealth form specifically to help us gain resources in difficult times. We are so fortune to have the opportunity to learn the Gyenze practice from our guru Tsem Rinpoche. It is indeed a wonderful practice, many activities can be accomplished through Dorje Shugden Gyenze’s practice. Such as it will help us in outer and inner wealth, in order to have a better life and in our dharma practice. He will help anyone from all walks of life who need assistance and who sincerely invokes upon his enlightened energy. Many people has reported having their wishes fulfilled and return back to the Gyenze Chapel many times.
    Thank you Rinpoche and writers team for this sharing with clear explanations for more people to understand it.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/prayers-and-sadhanas/dorje-shugden-gyenze-to-increase-life-merits-and-wealth.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Jul 19. 2019 01:50 PM
    Dorje Shugden, the special protector who is the emanation of Buddha of Wisdom Manjushri. Having printed in different memes tells all. Easy for anyone to recall all the good powerful qualities of the powerful dharma protector Dorje Shugden. Dorje Shugden will help all without discrimination as long as we have trust and faith , relying on the protector sincerely.
    Thank you Rinpoche for coming up with these memes .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/powerful-qualities-of-dorje-shugden-in-memes.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Jul 19. 2019 01:49 PM
    Wow….beautiful images of Dorje Shugden in difference of culture and varies styles from different countries. We have Indian style, Fauvistic style, Byzantine style, Malaysian style, Chinese style, New Age style, Japanese anime style and many more to come. All the beautiful different styles of Dorje Shugden have been painted to suit each unique culture.
    Truly blessed to have Dorje Shugden here in Malaysia. May everyone be blessed and protected by Dorje Shugden. Merely looking at these beautiful styles is a blessing. All the styles is beautifully painted which I do enjoyed seeing it.
    OM BENZA WIKI BITANA SOHA
    Thank you Rinpoche and writers for sharing with us.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/which-dorje-shugden-style-is-your-favourite.html

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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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

Click on the images to view the bigger version. And scroll down and click on "View All Photos" to view more images.
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
5 days 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
1 week 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 weeks 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month ago
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
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The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
Sacred Vajra Yogini
2 months ago
Sacred Vajra Yogini
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
2 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.
2 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.
2 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.
2 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
2 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
2 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!!!
2 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
2 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
2 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
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2 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
2 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
2 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
2 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
2 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
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2 months ago
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The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
2 months ago
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
2 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
2 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
2 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
2 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
2 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
3 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
3 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
3 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.
3 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
3 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
3 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.
3 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.
3 months ago
Beautiful picture. Rare. Three holy beings.
May 1, 2019-I really enjoy this picture of these visitors visiting Dorje Shugden\'s grotto in Kechara Forest Retreat today. They look happy, light and blessed after doing their prayers to Dorje Shugden. I wanted to share this picture.- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
3 months ago
May 1, 2019-I really enjoy this picture of these visitors visiting Dorje Shugden's grotto in Kechara Forest Retreat today. They look happy, light and blessed after doing their prayers to Dorje Shugden. I wanted to share this picture.- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
A postcard of my great grand aunt Princess Nirgidma of Torghut-Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
A postcard of my great grand aunt Princess Nirgidma of Torghut-Tsem Rinpoche
Rei Kawakubo – Grand Dame of ‘Hiroshima Chic’- https://bit.ly/2Vz4N06
3 months ago
Rei Kawakubo – Grand Dame of ‘Hiroshima Chic’- https://bit.ly/2Vz4N06
Just now, this beautiful grape and orange infused water drink with a blue glass was brought in for me. I was amazed at the colors. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
Just now, this beautiful grape and orange infused water drink with a blue glass was brought in for me. I was amazed at the colors. Tsem Rinpoche
We have to look in and change from within to find the way out of all that makes us unhappy.~Tsem Rinpoche 

www.tsemrinpoche.com
3 months ago
We have to look in and change from within to find the way out of all that makes us unhappy.~Tsem Rinpoche http://www.tsemrinpoche.com
文冬野人咖啡厅开张了!- https://bit.ly/2IRGdBM
3 months ago
文冬野人咖啡厅开张了!- https://bit.ly/2IRGdBM
Click on this picture and read about this very sad girl. Please offer your prayers for her to take a good rebirth. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
Click on this picture and read about this very sad girl. Please offer your prayers for her to take a good rebirth. Tsem Rinpoche
Bigfoot cafe in Bentong, Malaysia-Delicious vegetarian food in a beautiful setting- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
3 months ago
Bigfoot cafe in Bentong, Malaysia-Delicious vegetarian food in a beautiful setting- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
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Videos On The Go

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    Always be kind to animals-They deserve to live just like us.
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    Cute Tara girl having a snack. She is one of Kechara Forest Retreat’s resident doggies.
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    Your Next Meal!
    Yummy? Tasty? Behind the scenes of the meat on your plates. Meat is a killing industry.
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    They do this every day!
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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
    3 months ago
    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.
    3 months 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.
  • Beautiful Monastery in Hong Kong
    3 months ago
    Beautiful Monastery in Hong Kong
  • This dog thanks his hero in such a touching way. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 months 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
    3 months 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
    3 months 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
    4 months 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.
    4 months 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.
    4 months 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.
  • Beautiful
    4 months ago
    Beautiful
    Beautiful sacred Severed Head Vajra Yogini from Tsem Rinpoche's personal shrine.
  • My little monster cute babies Dharma and Oser. Take a look and get a cute attack for the day! Tsem Rinpoche
    4 months ago
    My little monster cute babies Dharma and Oser. Take a look and get a cute attack for the day! Tsem Rinpoche
  • 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
    4 months 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
  • Cruelty of some people have no limits and it’s heartbreaking. Being kind cost nothing. Tsem Rinpoche
    5 months ago
    Cruelty of some people have no limits and it’s heartbreaking. Being kind cost nothing. Tsem Rinpoche
  • SUPER ADORABLE and must see
    6 months ago
    SUPER ADORABLE and must see
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  • Cute!
    6 months ago
    Cute!
    Oser girl loves the balcony so much. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTcoWpKJm2c
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    6 months ago
    Uncle Wong
    We were told by Uncle Wong he is very faithful toward Dorje Shugden. Dorje Shugden has extended help to him on several occasions and now Uncle Wong comes daily to make incense offerings to Dorje Shugden. He is grateful towards the help he was given.
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    Tsem Rinpoche’s Schnauzer Dharma boy fights Robot sphere from Arkonide!
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    7 months ago
    Cute baby owl found and rescued
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    Nice cups from Kechara!!
    Dorje Shugden people's lives matter!
  • Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
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    Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    Chirping birds and other forest animals create a joyful melody at the Vajrayogini stupa in Kechara Forest Retreat (Bentong, Malaysia).
  • His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche makes offering of khata to Dorje Shugden.
    7 months ago
    His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche makes offering of khata to Dorje Shugden.
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    Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
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  • What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
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    This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
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    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.

ASK A PASTOR


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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

We have new student last week. He is only 3 years old. Lin Mun KSDS
yesterday
We have new student last week. He is only 3 years old. Lin Mun KSDS
Wow most students can do full lotus. Rejoice. Lin Mun KSDS
yesterday
Wow most students can do full lotus. Rejoice. Lin Mun KSDS
Teacher Alice guided students to do prostration. Lin Mun KSDS
yesterday
Teacher Alice guided students to do prostration. Lin Mun KSDS
We have Robey showing us the right way to do plank during the exercise session. Lin Mun KSDS
yesterday
We have Robey showing us the right way to do plank during the exercise session. Lin Mun KSDS
Students enjoyed activities last Sunday. Exercise and stretching lesson. Lin Mun KSDS
yesterday
Students enjoyed activities last Sunday. Exercise and stretching lesson. Lin Mun KSDS
Thanks to Uncle Edward, Karen, Ashley Tan, Ashley Eng, Neil, Usha and Sudharshan for helping out for our lunch distribution today. We would also like to thank our sponsors Sogo and Munchy's for their continuous support. ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 days ago
Thanks to Uncle Edward, Karen, Ashley Tan, Ashley Eng, Neil, Usha and Sudharshan for helping out for our lunch distribution today. We would also like to thank our sponsors Sogo and Munchy's for their continuous support. ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
These are some of the food distribution photos taken from our kitchen last Saturday. We thanked all volunteers who have come to help for the preparation since 3pm. ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
5 days ago
These are some of the food distribution photos taken from our kitchen last Saturday. We thanked all volunteers who have come to help for the preparation since 3pm. ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Teacher Julie taught children Nagomi Art and they love it. Lin Mun KSDS
7 days ago
Teacher Julie taught children Nagomi Art and they love it. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback - Children volunteered in Kechara Soup Kitchen. Lin Mun KSDS
7 days ago
Throwback - Children volunteered in Kechara Soup Kitchen. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback- Fun activity in camp. Lin Mun KSDS
7 days ago
Throwback- Fun activity in camp. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback - DIY soap making activity. Lin Mun KSDS
7 days ago
Throwback - DIY soap making activity. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback- KSDS camp in Kechara Forest Retreat. Lin Mun KSDS
7 days ago
Throwback- KSDS camp in Kechara Forest Retreat. Lin Mun KSDS
A simple but meaningful way to spend the weekend liberating birds. Animals deserve lots of love, care and freedom too. Through them, we learn to be more compassionate! ~Kechara Penang Study Group Jacinta
1 week ago
A simple but meaningful way to spend the weekend liberating birds. Animals deserve lots of love, care and freedom too. Through them, we learn to be more compassionate! ~Kechara Penang Study Group Jacinta
Some members from Kechara Penang Study Group get together to do a Dorje Shugden puja this afternoon. Join us if you're in Penang next time. ~KPSG Jacinta
1 week ago
Some members from Kechara Penang Study Group get together to do a Dorje Shugden puja this afternoon. Join us if you're in Penang next time. ~KPSG Jacinta
Today we received a lot recycling items from the public. Thanks for supporting us always. KEP-Serena
1 week ago
Today we received a lot recycling items from the public. Thanks for supporting us always. KEP-Serena
Today we are doing recycling at Kechara Soup Kitchen. KEP-Serena
1 week ago
Today we are doing recycling at Kechara Soup Kitchen. KEP-Serena
Winners for Blog Chat Quiz in June 2019: 1st Prize Winner is Stella Cheang. Congratulations! Stella wins a Dorje Shugden Puja worth RM400 + Dorje Shugden pendant on black onyx. (Joy - Blog chat moderator)
1 week ago
Winners for Blog Chat Quiz in June 2019: 1st Prize Winner is Stella Cheang. Congratulations! Stella wins a Dorje Shugden Puja worth RM400 + Dorje Shugden pendant on black onyx. (Joy - Blog chat moderator)
Winners for Blog Chat Quiz in June 2019: 2nd Prize Winner is Wylfred Ng. Congratulations! Wylfred wins a Gyenze pendant + Original Red Crystal incense. (Joy - Blog chat moderator)
1 week ago
Winners for Blog Chat Quiz in June 2019: 2nd Prize Winner is Wylfred Ng. Congratulations! Wylfred wins a Gyenze pendant + Original Red Crystal incense. (Joy - Blog chat moderator)
How to Clear Spirit Disturbances by Pastor Chia Today at 9:30 PM – 11 PM in Kechara House, PJ
2 weeks ago
How to Clear Spirit Disturbances by Pastor Chia Today at 9:30 PM – 11 PM in Kechara House, PJ
Join us for the annual Ullambana Festival on Saturday August 10th at Kechara Forest Retreat and make the most of the auspicious Ullambana month. PROGRAMME: 9:00am – Opening speech & Dharma sharing 9:30am – Grand Ullambana Gyenze Puja for good fortune, long life & merits 12:15pm – Free vegetarian lunch 2:00pm – Grand Ullambana Trakze Puja for protection & blessings 5:00pm – End The highlight of the Ullambana Festival is two powerful & extensive pujas that will be performed according to the tradition of Gaden Monastery. We've also prepared a wide selection of traditional offerings to send bountiful merits to the people who matter in your life. Don't miss this opportunity to bring tremendous benefits to your dearly departed as well as those who are still with you. For more information on the Ullambana Festival and Ullambana offerings, please get in touch with us at +609 221 5600, +603 7803 3908, +6012 987 3908 (WhatsApp only), care@kechara.com or visit our online partner
2 weeks ago
Join us for the annual Ullambana Festival on Saturday August 10th at Kechara Forest Retreat and make the most of the auspicious Ullambana month. PROGRAMME: 9:00am – Opening speech & Dharma sharing 9:30am – Grand Ullambana Gyenze Puja for good fortune, long life & merits 12:15pm – Free vegetarian lunch 2:00pm – Grand Ullambana Trakze Puja for protection & blessings 5:00pm – End The highlight of the Ullambana Festival is two powerful & extensive pujas that will be performed according to the tradition of Gaden Monastery. We've also prepared a wide selection of traditional offerings to send bountiful merits to the people who matter in your life. Don't miss this opportunity to bring tremendous benefits to your dearly departed as well as those who are still with you. For more information on the Ullambana Festival and Ullambana offerings, please get in touch with us at +609 221 5600, +603 7803 3908, +6012 987 3908 (WhatsApp only), care@kechara.com or visit our online partner
Join us this weekend for SPIRITUAL SATURDAY in Kechara Forest Retreat! SATURDAY, 13 JULY 9.00 am: Cook for the community - salted eggs & pineapple jam 11.00 am: Book Club - Compassion Conquers All (Eng) / Time To Wake Up (Chi) 12.30 pm: Lunch INTERESTED? To RSVP your place (and your meal!), contact us: +6017 965 9484 (WhatsApp) retreat@kechara.com See all July activities: bit.ly/2FCrJm6
2 weeks ago
Join us this weekend for SPIRITUAL SATURDAY in Kechara Forest Retreat! SATURDAY, 13 JULY 9.00 am: Cook for the community - salted eggs & pineapple jam 11.00 am: Book Club - Compassion Conquers All (Eng) / Time To Wake Up (Chi) 12.30 pm: Lunch INTERESTED? To RSVP your place (and your meal!), contact us: +6017 965 9484 (WhatsApp) retreat@kechara.com See all July activities: bit.ly/2FCrJm6
In our Johor Bahru office, our single mother trainees get busy to do up the products taught to them by our #volunteers while their children were given additional tuition classes in another room. ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 weeks ago
In our Johor Bahru office, our single mother trainees get busy to do up the products taught to them by our #volunteers while their children were given additional tuition classes in another room. ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
How To Clear Disturbances by Pastor Niral - Monday 8. July 2019 at 9:30pm in Kechara House, Jalan PJU 1/3G, SunwayMas Commercial Centre 47301 Petaling Jaya
2 weeks ago
How To Clear Disturbances by Pastor Niral - Monday 8. July 2019 at 9:30pm in Kechara House, Jalan PJU 1/3G, SunwayMas Commercial Centre 47301 Petaling Jaya
Kechara Pastor Tat Ming is conducting a blessing prayer for a traveling tour bus at our holy place, Kechara Forest Retreat. By Pastor Yek Yee, shared by Pastor Antoinette
2 weeks ago
Kechara Pastor Tat Ming is conducting a blessing prayer for a traveling tour bus at our holy place, Kechara Forest Retreat. By Pastor Yek Yee, shared by Pastor Antoinette
Kechara Pastor Tat Ming is conducting a blessing prayer for a traveling tour bus at our holy place, Kechara Forest Retreat. By Pastor Yek Yee, shared by Pastor Antoinette
2 weeks ago
Kechara Pastor Tat Ming is conducting a blessing prayer for a traveling tour bus at our holy place, Kechara Forest Retreat. By Pastor Yek Yee, shared by Pastor Antoinette
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Dorje Shugden
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