Heart to Heart with Teresa Hsu Book Review

May 25, 2016 | Views: 574

This book contains the biography of a Fantastic heroin called “Teresa Hsu”. I am moved by her life simply because it amazes and touches me so much and it has made me understood that even though she was not very rich or whatsoever, she was still able to serve and benefit so many lives. I just adore her, her compassion is truly overwhelming. If she was still alive, I would really love to visit her and spend time listening to her stories.

 

Biography

Grass Does Not Satisfy Hunger

Teresa Hsu was born on the 7th of July, 1898 in Kak Chioh, Shantou, a tiny peasant village in the southern Guangdong province of China. As the second amongst the eight children in the family. “I was the second child and a girl, so I had no status. It was always my fault when anything went wrong,” she says. Her older sister, Ursula had a position being the ‘first daughter’, and her younger sister, Lucy, a lovely-looking child was the ‘beautiful daughter’. The youngest child, Anthony, was a male which gave him instant status and worth in the family hierarchy.

Teresa recalled that, “We were very, very poor, so poor that we had to climb trees to gather seeds. We ate some of the edible ones while we soaked the others in the river to lather them into soap to wash the clothes.”

She readily quipped, “In fact, we took everything from nature; bamboo shoots, sweet potatoes, thumb-sized red and yellow nuts, fruits and even some grasses that could be eaten!” She declared, “I remember eating grass while I was very hungry. I was about seven years old then in 1905! (This made me feel how fortunate I am for not having to go through such experiences.)

She continued, “I was by the roadside and when nobody was watching, I grabbed a handful of grass and put it into my mouth.” This grass-eating, non-satisfying hunger experience drove the young Teresa to vow that for as long as she lived, she would see that no one need to to go through that desperate experience. Further, she vowed that within her power, everyone should have their basic needs met.

The quaint little village where Teresa was born had no shops or schools. It was so small that only sixteen families lived in it. Everybody knew everyone and people were seldom sick. If someone in the village fell ill, the fellow villagers would bring herbs from the hills. The villagers of “Kak Chioh” had empirical knowledge of the different herbs and their efficacy which was passed on from one generation to the next. People in the village were generally very happy and cordial – there was no fighting and competition like in our present age.

 

The Communal Lifestyle

Life was very communal there, they frequently shared and used things, and the work too. The men did the farming and fishing while the women cooked, sewed and weaved. In all 38 relatives lived together in this community of aunts, uncles, in-laws, cousins and so on.

Although life in Kak Chioh village was poor and basic, they were self-sufficient – they made whatever was needed. The men would cut the wood to make tables, chairs and baskets. Everybody got used to fashion chopsticks and baskets. They all got along with one another and there were no disputes, they were all quite happy.

Teresa reminisces, “We usually went around bare-footed unless we had to walk long distances. Then we wore our hand made wooden clogs. If we found that our clogs were missing, we just used someone else’s. Later in the day, our “missing clogs” would reappear!”

In Teresa’s words, there was “No yours or mine, there were no shut doors and people went in and out of one another’s houses taking what they needed” (without having to ask, this was how trustworthy the people were with each other). This described the open and sharing communal spirit that existed in Kak Chioh. Parents had no worries of their children going out and playing and when it was time to eat, they just returned home. The life of the villagers revolved around the sun – waking up in the morning (for another day of hard work) and going home when the sun sets. After sunset, there were no lights and everyone would be in bed. Life was simple and uncomplicated, there was no fear of thieves and burglars. (I want to share Teresa’s early lifestyle with everyone because I thought that it would amaze people with the fact that environment contributes to nurturing a person’s mind.)

 

Teresa Hsu’s family- mother and father (seated); standing L-R, Lucy, Ursula, Anthony and Teresa

The Compassionate Nature in Teresa’s Ancestry

Compassion for others runs in Teresa’s ancestry. Teresa’s maternal great grandfather was a Chinese physician. Very often he did not charge his poor patients fees for treatment. As a staunch Christian he argued, “They are sick already. That’s why they came to see me for help.” He lived a very frugal life wasting nothing, not even a grain of rice. At all times, he subscribed to the principle of “Love your Neighbour as Yourself.” Their family later adopted this doctrine which became ingrained in the hearts of their ancestors and their later generations.

Teresa’s mother was another role model for compassion and a person who was magnanimous. Although they were poor, she would generously give the beggars and people who needed her help, assistance and food. Teresa recounts, “One evening while we were eating sweet potatoes which was our only food for dinner, a woman carrying a child appeared at the entrance of our house. Mother did not even stop to think and consider. She took the sweet potatoes and gave them to the woman. Mother had endlessly told us that we must help these hungry people. We won’t die if we skip a meal or two, but these hungry people may collapse and die if they do not get food in time.”

 

New Lease of Life in Penang

Her mother, Madam Tan Sok Chan decided to move to Penang when Teresa was about seventeen years old. Her mother was a person with character, one who was courageous and resourceful. As she had relatives in Penang, she reckoned that her children would have a better lease of life there. Taking her four children with her, they soon arrived at their new destination only to have a rude awakening. Her relatives did not want to see nor talk to them. They felt that both mother and children were a disgrace to them being poor, uneducated and badly dressed.

But fate smiled on her family and her mother managed to “rent” a house from the Roman Catholic Church in Macalister Road for $4 a month. To pay the rent, the family had to wash linen, clean the priest’s house and the church. There were no mops so Teresa and her siblings had to clean the floor “on their knees” with water drawn from a well. It was hard work. And Teresa was quick to quip in, “We enjoyed it!” And with the permission from the priest, her family grew vegetables and beans on the empty plot of land. They were poor, on “foreign soil” but the family stayed together while undergoing the hardships. Fortunately everyone was healthy and did not suffer any illness and their days were peaceful.

Time passed them by and soon a decade was over. Teresa did not attend school and she was illiterate. Her secret dream of going to school burnt in her heart always. The Catholic church ran a primary school near where Teresa lived and each time she passed the school, she was captivated by the sounds of the children learning their alphabets and reciting their multiplication tables. Teresa would listen with deep interest and silently wished, “If only I could study… that would be wonderful!”

The society in which Teresa lived in then was very conservative. The community people expected Teresa to be married in her twenties and have a baby; else she would be regarded as an “old auntie” or even worse, a “spinster”! Word has it that a lady who is still unmarried at a marriageable age either has a “nasty temper” or is stricken with a dreadful illness.

Teresa’s elder sister Ursula was in her thirties then. And as she was still single, many tried to match-make her to a number of eligible bachelors. Irked by such constant interferences, Ursula left for work in Hong Kong and eventually settled down in Singapore.

And with Ursula gone, the attention was soon turned to Teresa. Teresa was petite for her age and with her long hair which she tied into a shiny braid, many parents considered Teresa to be a good match for their sons. Matchmakers were sent to talk with Teresa’s mother and her. “I don’t want to get married,” Teresa told her mother.

“I do not want to be tied down by a man. I don’t want to get married. I want my freedom,” Teresa replied strongly. But this did not deter the matchmakers as they kept coming back with more proposals and offers. “Lock the doors and don’t let them in” Teresa added.

“But these are our neighbours. We can’t treat them like that!” her mother replied. To which Teresa replied tersely, “Then I shall do what Ursula did…I shall leave too.” With sadness her mother exclaimed, “No, no, who will look after me when you leave?” Teresa’s mother thought she was only joking. But as it turned out, Teresa left for Hong Kong in 1923 to avoid the constant harassment from the matchmakers.

 

A New Lease of Life in Hong Kong

When Teresa first arrived in Hong Kong, she met a fellow villager from her province in China. The man upon learning that Teresa had no place to stay, told her, “I run a childcare centre. There are classrooms downstairs but I have an empty room upstairs, You can live there and help clean the premises.”

Living alone, Teresa had a sense of independence and more time to reflect on her life. Every time she swept or cleaned the floor, it crossed her mind, “I must learn more skills to change my life. I can’t be sweeping and cleaning floors my entire life.” With a new resolve, Teresa enrolled and attended night classes to learn English, typing, shorthand and accounting. And on Sundays, she would go to church services where she would sit at the back and listened attentively to the priest’s sermons, She diligently practised her shorthand skills and improved her listening and writing skills.

Soon thereafter Teresa chanced upon a newspaper advertisement on a vacancy in the German news agency. It was an accounting job. Teresa applied for the job and got it. Her German boss agreed to pay her a monthly salary of $20. This marked the start of a new phrase in the life of Teresa. Teresa truly appreciated her job. The workload was heavy but Teresa was happy, On her payday, she was so elated with the first money she had ever earned that she quickly sent some money to her mother in Penang.

On payday, Teresa discovered that the German lady’s salary was $250 while hers was only a paltry $20! The company employed another 21 Chinese ladies and they, like Teresa were earning $20 a month but were doing most of the work.

Teresa with her strong sense of equality and fairness decided to ask the boss for a raise after discussing with her other Chinese workmates. They were all delighted that Teresa was willing to speak up on their behalf and they all agreed that if they did not get the increase they requested they would all leave.

The General Manager, a German, was pleasantly surprised with Teresa’s courage to speak up. In fact he was so taken in by Teresa’s seriousness, commitment and good performance of her work that he said, “I will increase your salary to $70 but the others will have to wait. I can’t increase everyone’s salary to that level at the same time.”

Teresa with a strong sense of fairness said, “If you are increasing my salary to $70, then do it for everyone else. Otherwise, we will all quit!” The General Manager unfazed by her firm statement replied, “I will only increase yours. The others will have to wait.” You may resign if you wish. There are many people like you looking for work here.

Teresa was the only one who resigned while the other Chinese girls remained in their jobs without any increment whatsoever.

 

A Blessing in Disguise

Maybe Teresa was too naive or maybe she acted too rash by standing up for her colleagues. Maybe! But it turned out to be a silver lining for her. As soon as she left her job, Teresa saw an advertisement calling for a stenographer. She applied and was called for an interview the next day.

On entering the interview room, a big, tall foreigner asked, “When can you start work?” Taken aback by this question, Teresa said, “But you have not tested me yet.” The man took his time and finally answered, “I have evaluated you from your handwritten application letter as I am a handwriting expert.” I know your character. Her new boss gave her $20, and told her to go buy herself some chocolates. Now, $20 was her monthly salary in her earlier job. That was a big sum of money but Teresa was not moved by it. She firmly refused to accept the money saying, “I do not accept the money that I have not earned.” Such is the truthful nature of Teresa in the face of such a daunting temptation.

The boss smiled and then said, “Alright then, report for work tomorrow. Your salary is $150.” Teresa was stunned. She just could not believe her ears. In just two days, her income skyrocketed from a mere $20 to $150! She was so elated that she immediately wrote to her mother informing her of her good fortune.

At that time, Teresa rented a room in Kowloon and it costs her $4 per month. To go to work each day, she had to take the ferry to Hong Kong and that daily transport cost her $3 a month. She divided her salary into three portions; one for the rent, another for food and transport and the rest for her mother.

 

A Frugal Life Not Squandering One Single Cent

After a lavish dinner incident working for the German news agency when she came out of the extravagant restaurant only to meet with a poor street beggar who had not eaten for many days, Teresa was extremely frugal with herself. She set a budget of an average of 30 cents per day for her food and drinks and never more than 50 cents. And any balance was carefully saved and donated to the sick and needy.

This frugal lifestyle soon caught the attention of her friends who questioned her, “Why are you so silly? This is your hard earned money and you don’t spend it on yourself but instead you give it away. What happens if you fall sick one day and need the money?”

To this Teresa confidently replied, “Mother Nature has given me a healthy body. It is not only for me but this body is to work for others too. Everyone on this earth is my family. I have to love and help them.”

 

A Calling to Care For the Needy

The Second World War broke out in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s. The Japanese army invaded Hong Kong and Teresa’s German boss fled to Chongqing leaving her in charge. In the days that followed, the situation became worse. Teresa’s boss telegrammed her asking her to join him in Chongqing.

The Japanese airplanes were bombing Hong Kong unrelentingly. As the airport was closed, there was no flights out. Teresa waited for 3 days and 3 nights at the airport. Finally on a moonless night, the plane sneaked out and managed to fly to Chongqing. At Chongqing, her boss was waiting for her at the airport. At that time General Chiang Kai-Shek had moved his office to Chongqing. Teresa did some of the news translation for General Chiang and his wife, Madam Soong Mei-Ling during her spare time.

As the battle spread towards Chongqing, there was a huge influx of refugees and wounded soldiers into the city. The Japanese planes kept dropping bombs on Chongqing and there were mass destruction with the wounded and dead lying everywhere.

In keeping to her vow on frugality, Teresa would carry a water bottle and some boiled eggs to work. When the warning sirens went off, Teresa would run for shelter and hide there for days. Faced with the horrors of war from her own personal experience where she witnessed destruction and brutality, Teresa started to abhor warfare and destruction.

And because she worked in a news bureau, Teresa soon learnt that the British Red Cross Society was organizing an International Voluntary Service for Peace (IVSP) nursing them and they would be coming to Chongqing soon. The IVSP team consisted of youth who were 17 and 18-year olds. Their main duty was not to fight in the battlefields but to nurse the wounded. Teresa found her calling in this cause as it was in alignment with her “peace” philosophy. She thought, “These young men have left their own country and traveled to a distant land to care for the wounded. When they themselves needed help and care, who is going to help and care for them?”

Teresa spontaneouly decided to resign from her news bureau job and join the IVSP team taking on the job of looking after these British volunteers. Having made this decision on her own accord, she wondered what her mother would say. She wrote, “Mother, I intend to resign from my news bureau job and join the IVSP team and look after the young volunteers for free. I will not be able to send money home to you anymore.” Her mother replied and agreed that Teresa was doing the right thing.

Upon receiving her mother’s blessings, Teresa happily tendered her resignation. Much to the surprise and dismay of her boss who thought that she was dissatisfied with her salary and he immediately offered to increase her pay. Teresa had to calmly reassure her boss that she was leaving for a good reason and cause. This stumped him, as he could not understand “why anyone would give up a well-paid job to be an IVSP volunteer.”

Teresa met the IVSP team at the Chongqing airport and asked, “Can you train me to be a nurse?” The IVSP team leader was taken aback and answered politely, “We serve others, not train people.” Teresa then told him, “You are in China and you don’t speak the local language. Besides, there is no one to look after you. I can be your translator and also help look after your living necessities.”

Her sincerity impressed the team leader and the IVSP volunteers accepted her proposal. In the peace team, Teresa took on the role of “foster mother” to the 20 young men translating for them.

 

A Wonderful Twist of Fate

After having worked in the IVSP for four years where she saw countless sick and wounded war victims, she still lacked the nursing skills to be in much of help. Teresa realised, “Man who all suffer from sickness and death and I must help wherever I can. I must learn nursing to help.” With this thought, Teresa decided to learn nursing . However as her Chinese was weak, she could not enrol in the local nursing school. So, she decided to go to England for her training.

In 1945 at the age of 47 years old, Teresa applied for visa to travel to England. Before leaving for England, Teresa decided to return to Penang to visit her mother whom she had not seen for many years. So Teresa went back to Penang to stay with her mother for a month. After that, Teresa sailed for England.

At the time the qualifying age for nursing students was between the ages of 17 and 25. Teresa was already over-aged as she was then 47. There was no way any nursing school would accept her. Teresa was determined to achieve her ambition as a nurse. She refused to accept any rejection. So, she wrote to the matron of the London Nursing Council and told her that she was not studying nursing to earn money but rather to dedicate and devote her whole life and energy to caring and helping the sick. These words moved the matron so much that she was immediately accepted. The matron said that this was the right spirit of a nurse.

The main reason for Teresa’s journey to England was to learn nursing. She concentrated on her studies. In fact she did very well in the Pre-Clinical Course Examination, Teresa was first amongst her class of 20 students. And in the Hospital Junior Examination, she again came out second out of 47 student nurses.

 

Training at Royal Free Hospital

Teresa stayed fully focus on her training, she has been giving free treatments to people who could not afford and she has been doing this until the day she passed away (7th of December, 2011). Although the nursing course book took three years to complete, she continued to study other subjects related to nursing such as Home Nursing, Health Visiting, etc. In her nursing school due to her petite stature and her youthful Oriental appearance despite being 50 years old, she was often mistaken to be in her 20’s! Whenever they needed someone to be a “patient”, her classmates would shove her forward, “Go little girl! You go!” In the hospital too whenever the nurses did not want to do any particular job, they would say, “Tell the little girl to do it”

However, the “little girl” did not mind it at all. She did not shirk from doing the work. And neither did she get angry that she had to do the work of others. “I am here to work and I am pleased to work. The more I do, the better,” she says.

Each summer, the nursing students had a three-week break. During this period, Teresa worked as an Exchange Volunteer with the Red Cross Society in the various European countries. She had worked in Germany, France, Spain, Switzerland, Norway and Denmark.

 

Eight Years in Paraguay

Towards the end of her stay in England (circa 1953), Teresa received a letter from the “Society of Brothers” in Paraguay. The Society was set up by a total of 21 countries. When Teresa learnt that the Society was a haven for refugees and had no money to pay the nurses, she accepted the offer.

In 1953 Teresa left England and after sailing for more than three weeks she finally arrived in Asuncion, Paraguay. Teresa was received by a member of the Society who took her to the headquarters. Along the way Teresa saw poverty everywhere and she realised that Paraguay was a very undeveloped and poverty-stricken country. The whole landscape was totally a sharp contrast to the hustle and bustle of England. Teresa realised that Paraguay needed more help than England and she was glad to accept the Society’s request.

The Society had a poorly staffed hospital with three doctors. The doctors had to attend more than a hundred patients suffering from all sorts of diseases, illness and ailments. Teresa’s presence and assistance was heartily and warmly welcomed.

Teresa went straight to work. Her duties were wide and varied such as giving injections and medicine to the patients, care of the bedridden, attending to women’s health problems, childbirth, post-natal care and those patients who lived outside the Society’s premises. Her eight years of experiences in the various medical fields and her hands-on and clinical skills in England helped her greatly in handling the nursing problems in Paraguay. And for that she was very grateful.

In Paraguay, everyone called her “Teresa”, a name associated with the more famous Albanian Catholic nun, “Mother Teresa”. Teresa Hsu was equally moved by Mother Teresa’s work in India in providing warm, sincere care for the aged sick. Teresa dedicated her entire time to the Society’s work and in the process, earned the respect of many. However it became inevitable that there were some conflicts of views and opinions. The Society rules stated that everything was shared. But the “sharing” was restricted to the Society’s members only -it was not meant for anyone outside. Teresa was not in agreement with this regulation. In her mind, the whole world is a brotherhood and one should love and help one another. Although she was a member of the Society, Teresa did not discriminate between the Society’s members and non-members. Each day she delivered food and medicine to the leprosy patients living outside of town. And along the way, she would visit the poor and offered her help too. Once, Teresa saw a little poor boy with high fever. The family had no money and no medicine. On returning to the Society’s premises, Teresa took some medicine and gave it to the poor boy’s family. There was also countless poor and destitute families outside the Society’s grounds. Teresa would give them food and medicine whenever she went on her rounds. When the senior administrator, the House Mother came to know of this matter, she was not happy with Teresa.

One day, the House Mother called Teresa and said, “Teresa, although you are very good in your work and we all respect you on the personal level, there are some things which we cannot approve.” Teresa was puzzled as she was confident that everything she did in the last eight years was done with total honesty and sincerity. Then, the House Mother hit the nail on the head, “You repeatedly take and give our medicine to the poor and sick. That’s not right. You simply cannot give the Society’s things away to others. It’s against our regulations.”

“But they are very poor, sick and have no money to buy medicine. We have enough medicine in the hospital. Surely we can spare them some.” Teresa explained.

“They are outsiders. We only take care of our own people. We cannot care for others,” the House Mother told Teresa. To which Teresa responded, “But they are not outsiders. They are our brothers and sister. I love them as I loved my patients in the Society. If they fall sick, they also need care and help.”

“They are not part of the Society. We need not look after them. As you are part of the Society, so you have to follow our rules. That means that you must stop giving them food and medicine.”

“Food, I’ll give them my share. Surely, I can decide on what to do with my own food.” Teresa retorted. “We give you food because you need to eat. If you don’t need it, you can refuse it. But you cannot take our food and give it to others.” the House Mother replied sternly.

Teresa was rather shocked and taken back by her remarks. She asked herself, “Was I wrong? I worked for the Society for eight year now without asking for any returns. Am I wrong to see and treat everyone as my brother and sister? Why did the House Mother discriminate? Why did she draw a line between members and non-members? Why won’t she help them?”

When necessary, she “stole” to feed the poor and the sick. She could not stand to see the needy suffer. They are human beings too. Their lives are also precious and regardless of whether they are the Society’s members or not, they are still entitled to care and respect. Teresa struck with her principles and as a result ran into many arguments with the House Mother. Watching the sick and the needy suffer with no relief in sight, Teresa felt very sorry.

 

An Affectionate Reunion with Mum

Teresa received a letter from her younger sister, Lucy on behalf of their mother stating that, “Poor people are everywhere but there is only one mother! Mum is getting old at 80-plus and needs you to return and look after her.” Teresa was jolted by this and she decided to leave Paraguay after 8 months because of the shortage of money. Teresa and her mother finally reunited after 30 years of not seeing each other. (Teresa has been in constant contact with her mother, exchanging mail with her weekly for more than 30 years.)

 

Teresa Hsu, in the middle, helping to serve food

Founding the “Home for the Aged Sick”

Teresa came to know about the Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital for the poor from Ursula. She also found out that due to the lack of funds, the hospital could not afford to hire a nurse despite having 380 patients. As the hospital could only offer a paltry salary for nurses, no one applied. When Teresa learnt about this, she offered herself as a volunteer.

She started work as an unsalaried matron for the hospital. Her work included taking care of their food and diet. She soon found out that the patients were not being properly looked after. Maybe it was because the lack of funds; or maybe the number of patient was too overwhelming. Teresa also felt that the hours of waiting for their (patients) meals was not kind especially as they were old, sick and bedridden. She appealed to the hospital to add one more meal but was rejected.

Despite her many appeals, the hospital administration still would not agree. Feeling disappointed and unable to see the elderly residents suffer anymore, Teresa asked Ursula for financial support to buy bread for the 380 residents. As it was unofficial, she would personally deliver a bun and a drink to each of them at 8 p.m.

Although she used her own money, the hospital still did not approve of her good actions. They felt that she was overidding their decisions and forbade her to continue. After working in Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital for two years and seven months, Teresa left.

Shortly after she retired, Hsu set up the Heart to Heart Service with Sharana Yao, her co-social worker, a non-profit, non-government aided welfare service which provides food, clothes and monthly cash contributions to those in need. With the help of volunteers who drive her around, she brought necessities to the homes of elderly women and the destitudes who were in their 80s and 90s on public assistance. She would buy them food such as rice, sugar, biscuits, beverages and a monthly cash allowance of between $20 and $180. She got her rations and funds from various sources—merchants, people in the neighbourhood, church friends, and their friends. The needy get on Heart-to-Heart’s list based on good faith by word of mouth.

Teresa Hsu, at the age of 113 on a Wednesday, 7th of December 2011 has passed away peacefully.

 

These Are the 10 Things That I Have Learnt From This Book:

  1. If one “small sized” lady can benefit so many people’s lives and make such a huge change to people around the world, why can’t we? I would like to start practising compassion like her from now on. Simply because I think she is worth following.
  2. Does it really matter what the world thinks about us? Apparently it does not. We should just do our best to help and care for others. Teresa always cared for others more than she has cared for herself, if we are able to nurture such attitude, can you imagine how the world would be like? I can imagine it being a true paradise.
  3. Teresa Hsu has been a vegetarian since birth. As I have said many times, being a vegetarian does not only save many lives, but we can also improve our health.
  4. Nurturing compassion starts at home, we must be able to treat our parents and siblings with care and love. And from there, we can only start spreading compassion to people around us, so that they are too inspired to be kind.
  5. Equality- We are blinded by branded items, expensive cars and houses, thinking that having all these would give us a good life but in actuality, real happiness arises when we open ourselves up to be in others’ help.
  6. I have learnt that having a happy life is way more important than a luxurious life. What can a luxurious life bring us? After all when we pass away, we will not be able to bring them with us. A happy life creates happiness and good karma with others around us, so then we can be in good terms with each other in our future lifetimes.
  7. Giving- We do not need extras in our life. Having extras of everything will only feed our ego and do us no good. But if we share it with others, others can enjoy it with us.
  8. This book has gave me the strength and hope of doing better things with my life instead of just getting a normal desk job and spending my free time lazing around. For For example, now I am striving to become a lawyer that will help both people and animals to let them earn their rights to live a free life.
  9. I have learnt to be frugal from Teresa. Being frugal is not bad at all, as long as it fills our needs not wants, it is enough. We should give and share it with the poor and needies as they need it too.
  10. Her life has definitely touched thousands of lives even to this day and it will still touch other’s heart and mind as long as humanity prevails. Her work is just remarkable, I have truly fell in love with her. This book contains so much of her presence, without a doubt, I can feel her energy around. There are more to what Teresa has done throughout her life and it’s all in the book. It has been a great pleasure for me to write an article on H.E Tsem Rinpoche’s blog. Stay tuned, as you will see more articles from me!

The ever compassionate heroin, Teresa Hsu

 

About the Book

Author: Raymond Loh
Publisher: [Penang]: Raymond Loh, c2011
ISBN: 9789671034200
Paperback: 248 pages

 

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16 Responses to Heart to Heart with Teresa Hsu Book Review

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  1. So Kin Hoe (KISG) on Jul 15, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    Thank you so much Rinpoche for sharing the book review about the biography of Teresa Hsu. I have learnt a lot from Teresa Hsu and Teresa Hsu will always become the inspiration and driving force for me to do better in serving others sincerely and truthfully.

    Teresa Hsu has no second thought in helping others in need and she will put others at the top priorities regardless of how much she required to work and serve in order to provide the necessities to the poor and needy people especially during the war time. Her burning and lively motivation did not stop her until she took her own risk to help others who were sick or hungry. This is a truly Bodhisattva’s act.

    Besides, I really admired Teresa’s mother advice “We won’t die if we skip a meal or two, but these hungry people may collapse and die if they do not get food in time”. This quote reminds me all the stray dogs around my vicinity should be fed with food as the stray dogs cannot make livings on their own and hence, they have to suffer with hunger under the unprotected environment for most of the time.

    May this ‘Heart to Heart with Teresa Hsu Book Review’ inspire many people to follow the foot steps of Teresa Hsu and together we cultivate peace, compassion, equality, generosity, and all the good qualities on our living planet.

    Thanks with folded hands,
    kin hoe

  2. Wei Theng on Jul 15, 2016 at 1:46 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this book review on Teresa Hsu.

    It is really an inspiring and heartwarming article on Teresa Hsu. She is like Boddhisattva to me. Just like Tsem Rinpoche, she went all the way to help others without being fearful and any hesitation. Very truthful, direct and honest too.

    I find that there are similarities in her stories with Tsem Rinpoche’s stories on helping the poor. Some points listed below:

    1. Both Teresa Hsu and Rinpoche do a lot of work to help the poor.
    Teresa Hsu founded Heart to Heart Service while Tsem Rinoche founded Kechara Soup Kitchen.

    2. Both their mothers are very generous and kind and inspired them:
    Teresa’s mother was another role model for compassion and a person who was magnanimous. Teresa’s mother gave the sweet potatoes (the only food that they have to a poor woman with child. “Mother had endlessly told us that we must help these hungry people. We won’t die if we skip a meal or two, but these hungry people may collapse and die if they do not get food in time.””

    Tsem Rinpoche’s mother, Dana, was a very kind and generous lady. It was not unusual for her to open her house for the poor and homeless people and invite them to have dinner with her family. In addition, she used to drive around with Burcha to dig people’s cars out of the snow during snowstorm.

    3. From the experiencing the hunger themselves, both Teresa & Rinpoche can’t bear to see anyone who suffers from hunger.

    Teresa: “I was by the roadside and when nobody was watching, I grabbed a handful of grass and put it into my mouth.” This grass-eating, non-satisfying hunger experience drove the young Teresa to vow that for as long as she lived, she would see that no one need to to go through that desperate experience. Further, she vowed that within her power, everyone should have their basic needs met.

    Tsem Rinpoche: Due to his experience of being a homeless, hungry and alone, Rinpoche would always give food to the homeless and the needy throughout his life. That’s how Kechara Soup Kitchen is founded and Rinpoche still giving food and care to whoever he meet.

    Love this article very much and great to know this “Boddhisattva”, Teresa Hsu!

  3. Freon on Jul 14, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    Teresa Hsu’s story is really amazing! Amazing person.
    Most people came from poor family they would vow not to be poor again. They would not even think to benefit people, all they think is to get rich and to get rid of the situation they are facing. But, Teresa, vow to help people and not let them go through the poor situation she faced. A 7 years old girl, could have a mind of Bodhisattva!

    Going through her life, she is a very determine person, determine to always helps peoples that come across her life even she will be hurt. When she have little salary, she would save not for her future, she save for the helpless ; the homeless. When she was questions would she worry for her future, her answer ( Mother nature give me healthy body, and everyone on this earth is my family….) told me that she is brave! Very brave in helping people, she goes all the way to helps..
    When i read this, her actions move my heart a lot and actually as an inspiration for me to move on to helps people and be brave.

    She never stop learning to equip herself. When she knew English was important, she learned, when she think becoming a nurse was important, she studied. From her, age, money, reputation, power have no effect on her! She just goes all the way to helps as many people as she can.

    Not forget to mentioned about her mom, who are truly kind to help the hunger.

    Her story, truly is an inspiration and a motivation for me. I never thought, people who are without money, position can still helps and influent many. She have shown me the way a lay person could do.

  4. Wai Meng Wan on Jul 13, 2016 at 11:35 pm

    I think Teresa Hsu embodies all the paramitas, there is no paramita that is not embodied by her character. I think the most endearing quality is her joyous effort, there is so much of her that we can learn from her. Inspirational stuff, thank you Rinpoche for having such a inspirational article on this ‘bodhisattva’ of the poor and downtrodden.

  5. Navina on Jul 11, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    I think she did very nice things by helping out poor people, but it sounds to me that she has given up her whole live for other people by giving up a well-paid job. It is nice to help out people without money and food, but there are other ways how you can help them and still live your live however you want. You should also enjoy your own life and think about your own needs.

    • Joy Kam on Jul 13, 2016 at 2:19 am

      Dear Navina,

      Thank you for visiting H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s blog and thank you for your truthful comment. I do agree there are other ways we can help people out besides using money or food especially if we cannot afford to help in a materialistic sense due our own lack of it. We can always help in kind deeds and our actions which may in fact be of the same merit if not more especially when done with sincere genuine motivation to benefit the other without expectations.

      People like Teresa Hsu, Mother Teresa, Ghandi and to me, my Guru H.E. Tsem Rinpoche, and the likes truly defines the word selflessness, compassion and kindness for to them others’ needs takes precedence before theirs and because of that strong motivation, we call it bodhicitta in Buddhism. The amount of ‘sacrifices’ they can make, which in their minds it’s probably not even sacrifices, is what sets them apart from us. Hence, this is why we write stories about them and we get inspired when we read about their deeds, yet in actuality we are all the same—humans. The only difference is our ‘motivation’.

      Here is an interesting article about sincere motivation and how it leads to spiritual attainments I’d like to share, hope you’ll enjoy reading it… https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/a-true-account-of-an-accomplished-practitioner-of-the-vajra-guru-mantra-in-recent-times.html

  6. Pastor Han Nee on Jul 3, 2016 at 11:12 pm

    The villagers of Kah Chioh, in China, where Teresa Hsu lived as a child, were very poor. Yet , there was a strong communal sense and a looking out for each other, like a big family.Sharing each other’s things. Trusting each other. They all led simple lives -living with bare necessities. This sense of looking out for others became embedded in Teresa as she grew up and even after the family left the village to migrate to Malaysia.

    Compassion was very much ingrained in Teresa. It ran in the family, starting from Teresa’s grandfather. Teresa learnt from him and her mother about real giving to the poor and hungry and about caring for them as you would your loved ones. Teresa’s mother was maganimous -she gave generously to the poor, even though they were poor themselves. The family doctrine was :” Love your neighbour as yourself”. Her mother’s sellessness can be seen in her own words -“We won’t die if we skip a meal or two, but these hungry people may collapse and die if they do not get food in time”

    Teresa impresses me by her all -encompassing love and compassion for all the needy and the poor, without fear or discrimination.She stuck her neck out to show this love and compassion. She had a strong sense of commitment to serve the sick, the poor and the hungry in the bast possible way. She let others’ needs of her decide how she should best train and equip herself to serve them. Her sense of fairness was so strong that she would risk getting fired from her job just to make sure that her other fellow workers were treated equally to her.

    She travelled far and wide to serve the wounded. During World War 2, she joined the International Voluntary Service for Peace under the British Red Cross Society, based in Chongqing, China. Needing nursing skills to be better able to serve the wounded, she travelled to UK to enrol herself for a nursing course( at the age of 47!), which she successfully completed. Duirng her nursing trainee years she enrolled as an Exchange Volunteer with the Red Cross Society and travelled to various European countries to offer her services. Later she travelled to Paraguay, a very poor country, and worked as a nurse (wuthout pay)for 8 years to look after the poor and the sick, mainly refugees.She was happy to be there after her stay in UK because the poor there needed her more. However, she finally left this country to return to be with her mother in her old age, after a call to do so from a younger sister.

    She was a lady of indomitable will and a strong sense of purpose. In her earlier years, she determinedly attended night classes to study English , typing, shorthand and accounting.Later at 47 she enrolled for a nursing course in UK. From bein g poor and illiterate, she became a qualified nurse and an accountant. Yet, she put all thought of having a well-paid career behind her, and moved forward to realise her sincere and noble aspirations of serving the needy and the poor right to the end of her life.

    Teresa was frugal with herself, but used all the money she had to help the poor and the needy.The culmination of her untiring efforts to help the needy was in the setting up of “Heart-to-Heart”. Teresa set up the Heart to Heart Service with Sharana Yao, her co-social worker, a non-profit, non-government aided welfare service which provides food, clothes and monthly cash contributions to those in need.

    I salute Teresa Hsu, a truly Asian Mother Teresa!You are a rare person and an inspiration to all.

  7. Sofi on Jul 1, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    An inspiring story of a lady with a truly beautiful heart. Teresa Hsu should be made known worldwide to inspire the people of today to practise more compassion for others. Her selflessness is encompassed everyone without bias and her courage in her belief is admirable. She is so in tune with her Buddha nature of compassion that she could so easily make the decisions to help the poor and destitute above her own comfort. Although her grandfather, her mother and the villagers of Kak Chioh are fine examples of giving, she walked this path of compassion on her own choice. Ursula, Lucy and Anthony too had the examples but they had not chosen to give up their lives for others. She may be one but she had touched many many lives with her generosity.
    Thank you for this heartwarming article of Teresa Hsu who is way beyond her stature.

  8. Jason on Jun 26, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    This articles really inspiring me. A “small lady “Teresa Hsu really can accomplished great job with a bodhicitta heart. She always think about others and serve others with her own resources. The bodhicitta is nurtured since her grandfather give free treatment to those poor patients.Rinpoche always said “Happiness for self comes from bringing happiness to others”.
    Thanks Rinpoche for sharing and I learned a lot good characters from Teresa Hsu .

    With folded hands
    Jason

  9. Liang Jing on Jun 26, 2016 at 10:18 pm

    I have learnt that we must be gratitude what we have in life. With Teresa who is has so little, who is not some rich people or famous, but still help in many ways the needy. Therefore, anyone can help the needy, including me. And, Teresa’s mother is a very kind person who influence her daughter well, to help whoever needs the help.

  10. Lin Mun on Jun 23, 2016 at 11:55 am

    Thank you for sharing the book review of the inspiring life of Teresa Hsu. She is truly a Bodhisattva. I learnt that :

    1) It is very important to persevere and not give up no matter how others view us. We should stay strong as long as we believe we are conducting the good values and not mistreating people. Many a time we tend to give up when we face challenges or do not get support. Also we must always stand up for others were treated unfairly, must be an upright person.

    2) Education/values from family are very vital. Teresa has a very compassionate and kind great grandfather and mother. The values are instill since young and I really admire their compassion in helping the people in need even though they need they are not in a good financial condition.

    3) Always put others need over our own. She will always make sure that others have food to eat and been taken care of. She doesn’t mind sharing her food , eating much lesser as others has nothing to eat. She has a big heart.

    4) Keep good family values. Although she has spent most of her life taking care of others but she did not neglect her mother. She constantly send letters to her mother weekly for more than 30 years. This is a good reflection to us, with so many technologies now where we can reach our family within seconds, but we do not even call back enough to speak to them.

    5) Love everyone. Teresa principal is that she must help everyone regardless of their background, race and etc. There is no segregation. Everyone is her brother and sister. This is oneness.
    6)Be contented no matter how little we have. She showed a good example of how living frugally the whole life is fine. Importantly is to share and help others.

  11. Li Kheng on Jun 20, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    Thank you for this inspiring blog post. Most of us today live with sufficient security and comfort. Our grasping for excessive material possessions are just for indulgence to boost our ego or a pursuit of a false sense of security. I, for one, need the knowledge of having some reserves to fall back on in case of a rainy day.

    Teresa Hsu is certainly a woman of great confidence and courage who would not succumb to social norms and expectations. Perhaps she saw through the delusion of the world system and know with clarity and certainty that she would live with or without their provisions and support.

    I also admire how Teresa can move on without fear from one organization to the next because their “time together” has come to a conclusion due to growing differences in values and views. At the same time, there is no bitterness and all that seem to be left behind was the legacy of her kindness and commitment to what she believed to be values worth living for.

    Teresa Hsu is a true hero. She found abundance in poverty, strength is destitute, kindness and love in hardship. She is not a hero by convenience and glamor. She is a hero because she did everything everyone else did not want to do.

  12. Pastor Antoinette Kass on Jun 5, 2016 at 11:20 am

    Dear Raymond,

    Thank you for your write up on Teresa Hsu, Heart to Heart story. This is such an inspiring person. With her upbringing in very poor conditions but in safety and trust, she did not want to forget that and she looks at everyone as worthy of care and security.

    She did break with what was expected from her and showed immense fairness and integrity. This is expressed for instance also by her wanting to be independant and not marry, fairness for the money she earned with her coworkers and the regular sending money to her mother. She went for education at the age of 47 to help others and she spend everything she had on the needy and inspired others to do the same.

    This is for sure a book to read in school so that such values can inspire many more.

    I found a YouTube video with Teresa speaking at the age of 113! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAv9_IefGxM

    Thank you Rinpoche for always inspiring us and showing us what can be done.

    Humbly,
    Pastor Antoinette

  13. Chris Chong on Jun 3, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    Thank you for sharing this inspiring article with us. This lady, Teresa is an amazing women with an axis heart. She must had been a bodhisattva to be able to do what she had done. Her compassion and love for all beings are extraordinary. This is what I have learnt .

    1. Education starts at home. Parents are crucial role model for their kids’ behaviour. Kids tend to learn and mimic their parents ‘ action. Hence, the parents need to make sure they can set a good example for their offspring.

    2. Compassion is about equal care to all sentient beings. Teresa do not chooses who to care for. She just give care to whoever that needed the care that crossed her path. She even willing to go against the authority of the House Mother at the society to provide food and medication to those non-members of the society.

    3. Teresa is very firm in her belief and let no one change or influence her mind. She had come across temptations from money and pressure from higher authority that prevents her to provide care to those who needed it. However, she emerges triumph every time with her belief unshakeable.

    4. Teresa and her selfless nature had always put her into situation where she could not afford a luxury life. She had to forgo a higher salary and safe and peaceful life to go to difficult places to provide care to the people there. She purposely choose those difficult places and job because she believe that the people there needed her most.

    5. Teresa is a women with incredible will power o learn. At the age of 48, she joined the nursing school to learn the skill that she is lacking just to help those who are in need. She did not back down even when obstacles rise up such as her application being rejected due to age limits. In the end, she emerges as being the second best in her class.

    This women is truly the Mother Teresa in Asia. Her compassion and selflessness is inspiring. Her actions and achievement shows us that materialism and social norms isnt the only way to live and life and certainly not the best one either. Devoting to serve others is the best way to spend our precious human rebirth.

    Humbly,
    Chris

  14. shelly tai on Jun 3, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    Thank you for posting this inspiring post. Teresa Hsu she really a selfless person she spend all her life just to benefits others what a great example for us to learn, everything she do in life is to benefits others even in her early year when she only earns so little but she can still save up for the needy, later on in her life she get give up a well paid job so she be able to volunteer herself to help all the wounded war victims I think this is so selfless nothing is about herself she is truly a great person full of compassion and love.

  15. Grace Leong on May 27, 2016 at 11:58 pm

    What an inspiring personality – Theresa Hsu Chih – Singapore”s Mother Theresa !!
    Her journey was definitely not easy given the conditions of her surroundings. Most resources were scarce and there was no end to people’s suffering!! Theresa”s tenacity and determination in providing assistance to the under privilege is definitely very admirable.
    Thank you for sharing this review on Theresa”s book. May many receive inspiration to help others !

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  • sarassitham
    Monday, Jun 17. 2019 04:47 PM
    Thanks for the wonderful experience and beautiful sharing of the Dorje Shugden Retreat at Kechara Forest Retreat. I loved the idea of this retreat for choosing Manjushri Guest House, which is a special place perched on a hilltop within the enchanting forest landscape of Kechara Forest Retreat for the Dorje Shugden Retreat. Of course learning anything in a super awesome environment is always amazing.

    A good news for those who are planning for mind relaxing in a retreat and choosing a best programmes at the right time. Well, besides exploring the forest retreat the programmes has also strongly connect for all participants to experience their power for overcoming obstacles and bringing peace and fulfillments through the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden. This wonderful information and a beautiful programmes should not to be missed in life time.

    Hope this Dorje Shugden Retreat programme will be frequently held for the benefits of the article readers.
  • Yee Yin
    Monday, Jun 17. 2019 04:37 PM
    A renowned scholar of the Vedas, Buddhism and the Indian arts, a philosopher, and one of India’s great thinkers, Professor Lokesh Chandra was born to an illustrious family of educationists in Ambala, Haryana State, in 1927. He is currently engaged in writing about the cultural influences between India and China during the last two millennia. His other works also contain insightful research on the arts, literature, philosophy, and archaeology of Buddhist cities around the world, which took him all over Europe, Russia and Asia for research purposes.
    Read more about Professor Lokesh Chandra here:

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/books-poetry/professor-lokesh-chandra-indias-great-scholar.html
  • S.Prathap
    Monday, Jun 17. 2019 04:36 PM
    This is really a good article about Jack Ma. From this article we can know about his struggles and his life had many ups and downs. Despite his previous failures, he remains a humble leader, who always He is always encouraging others to keep working and trying and not to give up.
    There’s a lot to learn and be inspired.Thanks for sharing is a very motivating story of one of richest man in world .


    https://bit.ly/2AvL3Po

  • Yee Yin
    Monday, Jun 17. 2019 04:22 PM
    From time to time we will hear stories about children saying they see things or they are talking or playing with someone that obviously is not visible. We will always ask them to stop talking about it and brush them off. It is said that because children are purer, they are able to see things that we cannot see. Some of them are born with the third eye so they have the ability to see the unseen. We should teach them how to recite mantras and avoid establishing a close connection with them because we do not know if these beings are harmful. Or we can bring the child to a Buddhist master to get some blessings to protect them from harmful entities.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/psychic-kids.html
  • Yee Yin
    Monday, Jun 17. 2019 03:51 PM
    Have you heard of the goddess Miyolangsangma before? She is also known as the Goddess of Inexhaustible Giving. Both Sherpas and Tibetans also believe that Mount Everest is the abode of the goddess Jomo Miyolangsangma. Miyolangsangma is one of the Five Long-life Sisters. Her abode is said to be at the summit of Mount Everest, known in Tibetan as Jomolungma (Goddess Mother of Mountains), and she is the resident goddess of Mount Everest and the Khumbu area in general. She is depicted riding on a tiger. Read more about what her function is and her importance in the Sherpas belief.

    bit.ly/Miyolangsangma
  • Ummamageswari
    Monday, Jun 17. 2019 03:30 PM
    Thank you so much for this article. It is true that each Dalai Lama is a unique individual, they have been philosophers, builders and even poets, and as each is revered as a Bodhisattva who possess great mystical powers and can incarnate life after life.

    The Dalai Lama is one of the world’s revered religious leaders, but that didn’t prevent four holders of the office from mysteriously dying. An autopsy proved inconclusive, but, for Yan, the identity of the murderers was obvious where the the twelfth Dalai Lama and his three predecessors were all “victims of the power struggles between the big clerical and lay serf-owners in Tibet.” .

    Read more: https://bit.ly/2US6LEB
  • Ummamageswari
    Monday, Jun 17. 2019 03:19 PM
    Thank you so much for this article. By reading this article, i get to know that the term ‘Jewish’ is applied to an ethno-religious group of people that practise Judaism. This means that it encompasses both an ethnicity and a religion at the same time.

    The majority of the Jewish people around the world descend from two distinct groups coming from Europe. In fact due to the religious pluralism prevalent in India, the Jewish population have lived in relative peace and harmony, allowing the adherence to their faith without much opposition. Thank you.

    Read more: https://bit.ly/2RpvYGo
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Jun 17. 2019 03:14 PM
    Statistically, video games are now the most popular and profitable form of entertainment. For me , there’s always side effect on video games. I have seen many kids that have addicted to it and neglected their studies. One of the most detrimental effects of playing violent video games is increased aggression in children. A video game addiction can be harmful if the kids is unable to participate in any interests or extracurricular activities in schools. But by close supervision by parents I personally thinks playing video games is alright. Or else there will be many problems such as health, poor performance in their studies, increased in metal aggression and might suffered in relationships.
    The effects of playing video games are both positive and negative. When playing violent video games too much, it can leads to and increased aggressive behaviour as over time. Even some scientists has claim violent video games, have an adverse effect on young people.
    Over all conclusion, I would said that violent video games is harmful to society especially the younger ones. I have read in papers that it had cause death to those addicted ones.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Wei Tan for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/are-violent-video-games-harmful-to-society.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Jun 17. 2019 03:12 PM
    Well…..Rinpoche had missed the opportunity to work in Paramount because of some unfortunate circumstances. Or else Rinpoche would have been a star in Hollywood. For us we are fortunate that Rinpoche’s choice of choosing to be a monk to benefit many across the globe by spreading Dharma. May Rinpoche’s teachings flourish and endure.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/i-almost-worked-in-paramount.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Jun 17. 2019 03:11 PM
    Every culture has its own world-view. In Tibet , it is renowned for its inclusion and development of psychic abilities among those very highly attained Lamas. In kids is rarely, most probably , they inherited the psychic power from their parents . It could be either good and bad, sometimes it cause harm to themselves too when there is extremely negative energy. It’s a torture and scary for anyone to experience and feel the existing of unseen beings or spirits . Interesting watch of the 3 young girls with psychic abilities.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this video sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/psychic-kids-4.html
  • Chris
    Monday, Jun 17. 2019 03:11 PM
    Thank you, Rinpoche and the blog team to share this good news with us. I rejoice for the retreatants who completed their Dorje Shugden retreat. Dorje Shugden retreat is a very beneficial activity for us to do to take a breather away from our city life where we are stressed out with many issues every single day.

    I have personally done retreats in Kechara Forest Retreat, and the experience is fantastic. Kechara Forest Retreat is a spiritually charged place where so many blessings were done on the land. Hence, any spiritual activities carried out there will be more effective. No to mention the environment here is stunning and so close to nature, which is very beneficial if we are looking to heal our mind and body.

    Thanks to Rinpoche, we now have an ideal place to do our retreats, which is Manjushri Guest House. Away from other activities in KFR, the much-needed silence and tranquillity in retreats can be found here. Rinpoche is always thinking of ways to improve our spiritual experience in KFR and hence KFR turned out to be as it is, a heaven on earth.

    http://bit.ly/2IkZYQw
  • Ummamageswari
    Monday, Jun 17. 2019 03:05 PM
    Thank you so much for this article. It is good to know that another group of five Kecharians have completed their three-day, two-night Dorje Shugden Retreat at Kechara Forest Retreat. Dorje Shugden is an enlightened protector who is also the emanation of the Buddha of Wisdom, Manjushri, where he is also one of the six Dharma protectors.

    Through Dorje Shugden Retreat, we are able to achieve the benefits of his practice which are generating compassion, kindness, wisdom, insight, clarity, good memory and the removal of obstacles. Thank you.

    Read more: https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
  • S.Prathap
    Monday, Jun 17. 2019 12:33 PM
    Thank you so much for the timely reminder,I would like to start living life the way that i should in the first place,through our guru guidance.
    Having wealth is not bad but gaining happiness through material possession is false happiness. The moment of death we suffer the most when we see our possession just right in front of our eyes but yet those material cannot do anything to save our life.
    Thanks once again for sharing with us…..

    https://bit.ly/2yhg5IR

  • Pastor Lanse
    Sunday, Jun 16. 2019 10:46 PM
    我应该选择哪一位上师?

    自达赖尊者颁布多杰雄登禁令以后,许多原本跟随上师修持多杰雄登的佛法修持者,突然陷入两难的情况。究竟该继续跟随上师,还是要听从达赖尊者的话,放弃雄登修持?许多人的考量往往是,自己的上师不过是一名普通僧人,而达赖尊者却是闻名全球的藏传佛教精神领袖,这是否意味着达赖尊者所说的才是唯一的答案?

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/which-guru-shall-i-choose.html
  • Pastor Lanse
    Sunday, Jun 16. 2019 10:38 AM
    “洗浴便是我们清洁身体的方式。 但对于心灵,我们从没洗浴,也从没洗净心灵。 我们的日常生活充满了各种情绪各种事,会使我们会生气、妒忌,贪婪、存妄想,我们从没洗净自己的心灵。 唯一能洗净心灵的的做法就是打坐, 打坐是对心灵的洗净。

    在物质世界中,你一天没洗澡都没所谓,但如果是几天没洗澡,那你就会开始意识到问题的存在,且受其困扰。 要是你一周没洗澡,那其他人就会意识到这个问题,因为你身上会散发气味,所以这时候其他人也会受其困扰。 要是你没洗澡的时间再长一些,那麻烦可大了。“

    的确,在现实生活中,我们一天不洗澡就浑身不自在,除了身体觉得黏、脏和痒,身上也会逐渐发出臭味。过了两三天,不只是自己,别人也开始会察觉到。但是,对于心灵,我们却从来不给予相应的注意,试想象一个几十年从未洗涤过的心,会是一颗多么浑浊的心?也难怪社会问题如此严重,患上忧郁症等各种心理病的人日益增加。问题的根源就在于大家都不去洗涤和沉淀自己的内心,一个浮躁不安的人作茧自缚影响的是个人的心理健康,许多浮躁不安的人在一起,自然就产生摩擦,继而衍生社会问题。

    由此可见,佛教提倡静坐,即便不是为了觉悟和成佛,其背后的意义还是十分深远的。

    https://bit.ly/2KjxmJS

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The Unknown

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

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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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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
2 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
2 months ago
A postcard of my great grand aunt Princess Nirgidma of Torghut-Tsem Rinpoche
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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
2 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
2 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
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2 months ago
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Tsem Rinpoche\'s personal shrine.
2 months ago
Tsem Rinpoche's personal shrine.
In Kechara Forest Retreat- Bentong, Malaysia, we have a beautiful outdoor offering grotto dedicated to Lord Dorje Shugden who fulfills the wishes of many visitors- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
2 months ago
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  • What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    2 yearss ago
    What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    Sick animals are more profitable... farms calculate how close to death they can keep animals without killing them. That's the business model. How quickly they can be made to grow, how tightly they can be packed, how much or how little can they eat, how sick they can get without dying... We live in a world in which it's conventional to treat an animal like a block of wood. ~ Jonathan Safran Foer
  • This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
    2 yearss ago
    This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
  • 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.

ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

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

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

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

View All Questions

CHAT PICTURES

Throwback - Art & Craft session. Lin Mun KSDS
19 hours ago
Throwback - Art & Craft session. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback - some games to bond the students. Lin Mun KSDS
19 hours ago
Throwback - some games to bond the students. Lin Mun KSDS
Children learn to do water offering. Lin Mun KSDS
19 hours ago
Children learn to do water offering. Lin Mun KSDS
Today’s dharma class subject - Altar set up and offerings. Lin Mun KSDS
20 hours ago
Today’s dharma class subject - Altar set up and offerings. Lin Mun KSDS
Animal liberation in Kechara House this morning. Lin Mun KSDS
20 hours ago
Animal liberation in Kechara House this morning. Lin Mun KSDS
Manjushri Nagarakshasa or Jampel Nagarakshasa is a direct emanation of Manjushri but appears with the lower half of a naga. Read more here: http://bit.ly/2MSqHYR
yesterday
Manjushri Nagarakshasa or Jampel Nagarakshasa is a direct emanation of Manjushri but appears with the lower half of a naga. Read more here: http://bit.ly/2MSqHYR
Vegetarian food provided for the retreat participants. Read more about Kechara Forest Retreat: https://www.kecharaforestretreat.com
yesterday
Vegetarian food provided for the retreat participants. Read more about Kechara Forest Retreat: https://www.kecharaforestretreat.com
Pastor Gim Lee giving guidance. "Pastor Gim Lee and I assisted the retreatants in setting up the altar and Pastor Gim Lee performed Druchuma Puja (Kalarupa) to start the retreat. Pastor Gim Lee also guided them during the first session to introduce them to retreat procedures. The group completed 7 sessions of retreat and ended each night with circumambulation of the holy sites in Kechara Forest Retreat. Dinner and lunch were catered by the kitchen team in Dukkar Apartments, which were all delicious and beautifully presented. All participants loved the food." by Cynthia Ng
yesterday
Pastor Gim Lee giving guidance. "Pastor Gim Lee and I assisted the retreatants in setting up the altar and Pastor Gim Lee performed Druchuma Puja (Kalarupa) to start the retreat. Pastor Gim Lee also guided them during the first session to introduce them to retreat procedures. The group completed 7 sessions of retreat and ended each night with circumambulation of the holy sites in Kechara Forest Retreat. Dinner and lunch were catered by the kitchen team in Dukkar Apartments, which were all delicious and beautifully presented. All participants loved the food." by Cynthia Ng
Shrine and offerings to Manjushri Dorje Shugden for the retreat.
yesterday
Shrine and offerings to Manjushri Dorje Shugden for the retreat.
Kechara House regularly provides facilities for spiritual retreats.
yesterday
Kechara House regularly provides facilities for spiritual retreats.
Reciting prayers, meditation and concentration on powerful Manjushri Dorje Shugden at Kechara Forest Retreat. This is to remove obstacles for success in our lives. Pastor Gim Lee of Kechara House is guiding the retreatants.
yesterday
Reciting prayers, meditation and concentration on powerful Manjushri Dorje Shugden at Kechara Forest Retreat. This is to remove obstacles for success in our lives. Pastor Gim Lee of Kechara House is guiding the retreatants.
Earlier this month, five members from our Puja House engaged in a Dorje Shugden retreat, spending three days in Kechara Forest Retreat strongly focused on Dorje Shugden whilst reciting 185,000 of his mantra. It was a fantastic opportunity for them to create a closer connection with this enlightened Dharma Protector, as H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche shares. If you would like more information about how you too can engage in retreats at Kechara Forest Retreat, please direct your enquiries to our friendly Front Desk team (care@kechara.com or +603 7803 3908).
yesterday
Earlier this month, five members from our Puja House engaged in a Dorje Shugden retreat, spending three days in Kechara Forest Retreat strongly focused on Dorje Shugden whilst reciting 185,000 of his mantra. It was a fantastic opportunity for them to create a closer connection with this enlightened Dharma Protector, as H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche shares. If you would like more information about how you too can engage in retreats at Kechara Forest Retreat, please direct your enquiries to our friendly Front Desk team (care@kechara.com or +603 7803 3908).
Join us this weekend for the Spiritual Saturday Programme in Kechara Forest Retreat! SATURDAY, 15 JUNE: 7.00 am - 9 am: KFR Pilgrimage 9.00 am - 10.45 am: Design & string malas (Tibetan rosaries) 11.00 am - 12.30 pm: Rinpoche's Recommendations - Liz Taylor 12.30 pm - 2.30 pm: Lunch @ MGH INTERESTED? To RSVP your place (and your meal!) contact us at least two days in advance. Call +6017 965 9484 (WhatsApp) retreat@kechara.com See you Saturday! More info: bit.ly/2X6FpML
3 days ago
Join us this weekend for the Spiritual Saturday Programme in Kechara Forest Retreat! SATURDAY, 15 JUNE: 7.00 am - 9 am: KFR Pilgrimage 9.00 am - 10.45 am: Design & string malas (Tibetan rosaries) 11.00 am - 12.30 pm: Rinpoche's Recommendations - Liz Taylor 12.30 pm - 2.30 pm: Lunch @ MGH INTERESTED? To RSVP your place (and your meal!) contact us at least two days in advance. Call +6017 965 9484 (WhatsApp) retreat@kechara.com See you Saturday! More info: bit.ly/2X6FpML
We are very blessed to be here in Kechara Forest Retreat as we work to preserve the sacred lineage of Dorje Shugden and we wish to share Dorje Shugden’s blessings with the world. http://bit.ly/2Mzm9qq
4 days ago
We are very blessed to be here in Kechara Forest Retreat as we work to preserve the sacred lineage of Dorje Shugden and we wish to share Dorje Shugden’s blessings with the world. http://bit.ly/2Mzm9qq
We are very blessed to be here in Kechara Forest Retreat as we work to preserve the sacred lineage of Dorje Shugden and we wish to share Dorje Shugden’s blessings with the world. http://bit.ly/2Mzm9qq
4 days ago
We are very blessed to be here in Kechara Forest Retreat as we work to preserve the sacred lineage of Dorje Shugden and we wish to share Dorje Shugden’s blessings with the world. http://bit.ly/2Mzm9qq
We are very blessed to be here in Kechara Forest Retreat as we work to preserve the sacred lineage of Dorje Shugden and we wish to share Dorje Shugden’s blessings with the world. http://bit.ly/2Mzm9qq
4 days ago
We are very blessed to be here in Kechara Forest Retreat as we work to preserve the sacred lineage of Dorje Shugden and we wish to share Dorje Shugden’s blessings with the world. http://bit.ly/2Mzm9qq
A big thanks to Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur for sponsoring and serving lunch yesterday to our street friends. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
5 days ago
A big thanks to Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur for sponsoring and serving lunch yesterday to our street friends. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Rejoice for the Dorje Shugden works and archives in Kechara Forest Retreat! The new signage is dedicated to all the beautiful Dorje Shugden practitioners around the world for over 350 years, who have kept their commitment to their teachers to practice and hold the lineage, and share the lineage with others. Read here: http://bit.ly/2Mzm9qq
7 days ago
Rejoice for the Dorje Shugden works and archives in Kechara Forest Retreat! The new signage is dedicated to all the beautiful Dorje Shugden practitioners around the world for over 350 years, who have kept their commitment to their teachers to practice and hold the lineage, and share the lineage with others. Read here: http://bit.ly/2Mzm9qq
Rejoice for the Dorje Shugden works and archives in Kechara Forest Retreat! The new signage is dedicated to all the beautiful Dorje Shugden practitioners around the world for over 350 years, who have kept their commitment to their teachers to practice and hold the lineage, and share the lineage with others. Read here: http://bit.ly/2Mzm9qq
7 days ago
Rejoice for the Dorje Shugden works and archives in Kechara Forest Retreat! The new signage is dedicated to all the beautiful Dorje Shugden practitioners around the world for over 350 years, who have kept their commitment to their teachers to practice and hold the lineage, and share the lineage with others. Read here: http://bit.ly/2Mzm9qq
Our food bank distribution activities throughout the #HariRaya week. Couldn\'t thank the volunteers and everyone from Tesco Malaysia and AEON Retail Malaysia for the great cooperation to help make sure everything is ok on the supplying side. Their professionalism is second to none and that enabled our team to collect and disseminate the food in an orderly manner. #KecharaFoodBank #foodbank #HungerKnowsNoBarriers #Perak #Volunteers - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 week ago
Our food bank distribution activities throughout the #HariRaya week. Couldn't thank the volunteers and everyone from Tesco Malaysia and AEON Retail Malaysia for the great cooperation to help make sure everything is ok on the supplying side. Their professionalism is second to none and that enabled our team to collect and disseminate the food in an orderly manner. #KecharaFoodBank #foodbank #HungerKnowsNoBarriers #Perak #Volunteers - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 week ago
Pastor Han Nee blessing the birds during animal liberation before releasing them. Lin Mun KSDS
1 week ago
Pastor Han Nee blessing the birds during animal liberation before releasing them. Lin Mun KSDS
So wonderful to have parents and children participating in monthly animal liberation in Kechara House
1 week ago
So wonderful to have parents and children participating in monthly animal liberation in Kechara House
Teacher Laura and teacher Asyley guided children to do prostration. Lin Mun KSDS
1 week ago
Teacher Laura and teacher Asyley guided children to do prostration. Lin Mun KSDS
Teacher Kien sharing Rinpoche’s book The Promise during dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
1 week ago
Teacher Kien sharing Rinpoche’s book The Promise during dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
The Promise
  These books will change your life
  Tsem Rinpoche's Long Life Prayer by H.H. Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche
  Support Blog Team
Lamps For Life
  Robe Offerings
  Vajrayogini Stupa Fund
  White Tara Mantra Bank Project
  Rinpoche's Medical Fund
  Dana Offerings
  Soup Kitchen Project
 
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Dorje Shugden
Click to watch my talk about Dorje Shugden....