Understanding Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Nov 9, 2017 | Views: 17,913

Businessman Staring at Row of Pencils

Do you know anyone who is constantly engaged in excessive, unreasonable and repetitive behaviour such as cleaning, hand-washing, or rearranging? If you do, that person is most likely suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

OCD is characterised by irrational fear or obsession that triggers repetitive actions. Many people suffering from OCD are aware that their actions are illogical, but when they try to ignore the urge to perform a particular action, their anxiety increases until they eventually give in to their compulsion.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, OCD affects 1% of the adult population in the United States alone. OCD does not discriminate and can affect anyone regardless of race, gender or age. It has great implications on a person’s quality of life and can affect their emotional health, education, career and even their social and personal life as their obsessions can result in hours of repetitive ritualistic behaviour, thus preventing them from doing other things.

This article discusses the definition of OCD, its symptoms, available treatments and case studies on their effectiveness, famous personalities who suffer from OCD, and more information about this particular disorder.

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Definition

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

OCD is a disorder related to anxiety and intrusive thoughts (obsessions) that often result in repetitive behaviour (compulsions).

Obsessions are persistent and recurrent thoughts that cause emotional distress, such as disgust or anxiety. Many OCD sufferers realise that their actions are unreasonable, but are unable to gain control through logic or reasoning.

Examples of obsessions include:

  • Fear of contamination or germs
  • An irrational need for symmetry or order
  • Aggressive thoughts about oneself or others

Compulsions are mental urges to repeat certain behaviours to reduce or prevent a feared situation. In the most severe cases, this ritualistic repetitive behaviour may fill the day, making it impossible to perform other routines.

Examples of compulsions include:

  • Excessive hand washing or cleaning
  • Arranging and rearranging objects in a specific way
  • Repetitive checking e.g. if the door is locked, if the stove is off, etc.

Many who suffer from OCD realise that their compulsive conduct is irrational, but they keep doing it because it relieves the anxiety caused by their obsessions.

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Symptoms

Symptoms of OCD often appear between childhood and early adulthood and these obsessions and compulsions may be experienced separately or simultaneously. Not all habits are indicative of an underlying OCD condition. In order for symptoms to be classified as a sign of OCD, they must be motivated by obsession.

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The symptoms of OCD include:

  • An inability to control one’s behaviours or thoughts, even though one recognises that the behaviours are irrational or excessive
  • Spending at least an hour each day on such behaviours and thoughts
  • These behaviours and thoughts become obstacles to normal daily routines
  • Performing certain rituals to gain short-term relief from anxiety (as opposed to pleasure)
  • Motor tics or sudden repetitive movements e.g. eye blinking, shoulder shrugging, facial grimacing, shoulder or head jerking, sniffing, grunting, or throat clearing

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Symptoms may reduce or worsen over time. Some OCD sufferers prefer to keep a distance from objects or situations that trigger their disorder. Others choose to use drugs, alcohol or a combination of both to keep themselves calm.

If you think your loved ones are exhibiting symptoms of OCD, please consult with your health care provider.

 

Causes

 

Genetics

The immediate family members of OCD sufferers are at a higher risk of developing the same disorder

The immediate family members of OCD sufferers are at a higher risk of developing the same disorder

Immediate family members of those who suffer from OCD are at a higher risk of developing the same disorder. According to David L. Pauls from Harvard Medical School and the Psychiatric and Neurodevelopmental Genetic Research of Massachusetts General Hospital:

“Family aggregation studies have demonstrated that OCD is familial and results from twin studies demonstrate that the familiality is due in part to genetic factors. [However], only three genome-wide linkage studies have been completed to date, with suggestive but not definitive results.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3181951/

Researchers are continuing their investigations into the connection between OCD and genetics to help improve treatment and diagnosis.

 

Brain Structure

Studies of OCD and related disorders showed that OCD is caused by damage to a specific part of the brain called the basal ganglia. (click to enlarge)

Studies of OCD and related disorders show that OCD is caused by damage to a specific part of the brain called the basal ganglia. (click to enlarge)

Researchers have discovered a connection between abnormalities in certain parts of the brain and occurrences of OCD.

“… studies of OCD and related disorders showed that OCD is caused by damage to a specific part of the brain called the basal ganglia. Thus OCD is a biological disorder, rather than a ‘mental problem’… the two brain structures that communicate with the basal ganglia are more active in patients with OCD. These two structures are known as the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and the anterior cingulate gyrus (ACG).”

Westwood Institute for Anxiety Disorders -http://hope4ocd.com/neurobiology.php

 

Environment

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Those who have experienced physical or sexual trauma during their childhood have a higher risk of developing OCD. Children who have suffered Streptococcal infections (caused by the streptococcus bacteria) are also at a higher risk.

 

Available Treatments

Fortunately, there are effective treatments for OCD in the form of psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of both methods. Although a large number of patients respond to these treatments, some do not.

Other mental conditions such as depression, anxiety, and/or body dimorphic disorder should also be considered when determining which course of treatment to take.

 

Medication

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Anti-depressants that contain serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Clomipramine, Fluoxetine, Fluvoxamine, and Sertraline are typically prescribed to help reduce OCD symptoms. OCD patients often require higher daily dosages compared to those being treated for depression. Typically, the medication starts taking effect in 8-12 weeks and varies from patient to patient.

An alternative medication for OCD is Risperidone, also known as an antipsychotic. However, research into its effectiveness has produced mixed results.

Before or when taking prescribed medication, do:

  • Discuss with your health care provider to understand the benefits and risks of your medication
  • Discuss with your health care provider before deciding to stop your medication, as it may lead to a recurrence or worsening of symptoms, or other negative side effects
  • Contact your health care provider if you have concerns about the side effects of your medication. In some cases, the dosage or type of medication may have to be changed.

Other medications have been prescribed for OCD but further research is required to verify the reported benefits.

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Psychotherapy

These psychotherapy treatments may be effective for reducing compulsive behaviour:

  • Exposure and Response Prevention (EX/RP), a subtype of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
  • Habit Reversal Training

EX/RP is a supplementary treatment in the event that medication alone is unable to treat OCD effectively.

 

Other Treatment Options

Researchers are also looking into new approaches to help OCD patients when medication and/or psychotherapy are not effective. One such approach is brain stimulation therapy – the inhibition or activation of certain parts of the brain with electricity.

 

Case Studies

These case studies describe how OCD affects lives, and how various treatments are helping to improve patients’ quality of life.

 

Case Study 1

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Background:
CD is a 27-year-old female who had a habit of excessive checking that interfered with her day-to-day activities. As a child, she spent many hours ensuring that her homework was perfect with no erasures, and that her room was perfectly arranged before going to bed. In high school, her habit of excessive checking became worse and resulted in her not completing school assignments in a timely manner.

In college, CD developed a new habit of ensuring that she did not cause harm to those around her by spending hours repeatedly checking that water faucets and electrical appliances were turned off, that the doors were locked, and so on. This resulted in her being late for or completely missing classes.

CD sought therapy when she realised that her behaviour was abnormal. However, the therapy sessions were ineffective because she did not come clean for fear of being labelled ‘crazy’. Eventually, CD dropped out of college because she spent all her time on her excessive checking to the exclusion of all else, including sleep and study.

 
Treatment:
Concerned about their daughter’s situation, CD’s parents brought her to see a psychiatrist. As she did not reveal the full extent of her symptoms, she was diagnosed with depression and prescribed a standard low dosage of SRIs. Although her mood was slightly better thereafter, there was no improvement in her checking rituals. When her parents sought a second opinion, CD was comfortable enough to reveal the real problem. The second psychiatrist diagnosed her as suffering from OCD and prescribed a higher dosage of serotonin.

 
Result:
The intensity of CD’s obsession decreased and she successfully reduced the amount of time she spent on checking to an hour each day. She was able to resume her studies and has since graduated from college.

 

Case Study 2

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Background:
Dan, a 35-year-old male, was obsessed about contracting or becoming a carrier of HIV. He would engage in excessive cleaning and washing rituals on a daily basis, and was especially obsessed about ensuring that he did not come into contact with faeces, saliva, semen or urine.

He washed his hands excessively, took prolonged showers, and had extended cleaning rituals after using the washroom. His fear of contracting HIV dominated his life and he only felt safe when he was washing at home.

 
Treatment:
Dan’s health care provider prescribed a combination of cognitive-behavioural therapy that included EX/RP or ERP and SRI. However, when Dan learned that the EX/RP (ERP) treatment would require him to be exposed to the contaminants that he feared, he opted for SRI treatment only.

After six weeks of consuming 60mg of fluoxetine per day, Dan was calmer and significantly less affected by his obsessions. He was even able to delay his rituals but was still spending 3 hours a day on excessive washing. Therefore, his health care provider recommended the EX/RP (ERP) treatment as well as a therapist to help him confront his fear of contaminants. Dan was first put in a situation that was moderately distressing for him, such as touching his therapist’s office’s floor and later subjected to more distressing circumstances, such as touching the floor of a public toilet and imagining that he had contracted HIV and had infected his whole family.

 
Result:
Although Dan found therapy distressing, he persevered. Over time, his obsession became less and he was able to confront his fears without performing his washing rituals. Dan’s OCD symptoms are now minimal, his social and work life has improved, and he is optimistic about his future.

 

Case Study 3

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Background:
Paul, a 40-year-old man, was experiencing symptoms of OCD including repeated intrusive thoughts that his actions were causing harm to others. He became obsessed with checking and rechecking his actions and steps. Although he was able to remain employed for over 15 years, his symptoms increased in severity.

Paul’s activities were limited to his bedroom at home and his office at work. He avoided other activities as much as he could because he was afraid of causing harm to someone else. Thus, he was very much reliant on his ageing parents. Even at the age of 40, he was dependent on his 75-year-old mother to drive him to and from work.

 
Treatment:
Paul’s psychiatrist recommended that he undergo Occupational Therapy, to which Paul acquiesced.

 
Result
Upon completing the Occupational Therapy programme, Paul experienced many positive changes in his life, including:

  • Improvement in self-care and hygiene, which led to an improvement in his relationship with his colleagues
  • He was able to use public transportation, at first with his therapist and then independently
  • He was able to spend more time outside his room and could even interact and play with his nieces

 

Famous Personalities: Historical

 

Martin Luther (1483 – 1546)

Martin Luther (1483 – 1546)

Martin Luther (1483 – 1546)

Martin Luther, the first leader of the Protestant Reformation in Europe, suffered from OCD. According to his protégé Philip Melanchthon, Luther often contemplated on the wrath of God, experienced terror, and repeatedly did his prayers when a friend passed away in an accident.

 

John Bunyan (1628 – 1688)

John Bunyan (1628 – 1688)

John Bunyan (1628 – 1688)

John Bunyan, the Christian preacher and author of ‘Pilgrim’s Progress‘ suffered from OCD. In his autobiography ‘Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners‘ Bunyan stated that he was afraid of betraying God and continuously struggled to control his blasphemous thoughts.

 

Dr Samuel Johnson (1709 – 1784)

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Famous for compiling the first dictionary of the English language, Dr Samuel Johnson suffered from OCD which manifested as odd, repeated movements. Just before crossing the threshold of a door, Johnson would twist, whirl and make certain hand motions before jumping over the threshold.

Johnson would also ensure that he did not step on pavement cracks, and would touch all posts he passed. If he missed one post, he would backtrack just to touch it. In the prayer that he composed in 1766, Johnson wrote,

“O God, grant me repentance, grant me reformation. Grant that I may be no longer disturbed with doubts and harassed with vain terrors.”

 

Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882)

Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882)

Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882)

The prominent evolutionist Charles Darwin suffered many obsessive thoughts. In one of his letters, he wrote,

“I could not sleep and whatever I did in the day haunted me at night with vivid and most wearing repetition.”

He described his thoughts as a “horrid spectacle” that would not go away although he tried to close his eyes. Darwin’s condition worsened at night because he could not distract himself with other activities. He also felt himself to be ugly, was extremely self-critical, and needed reassurance from other people. Darwin would repeat the mantra “I have worked as hard as I could, and no man can do more than this” hundreds of time to build up his self-confidence.

 

Howard Hughes (1905 – 1976)

Howard Hughes (1905 – 1976)

Howard Hughes (1905 – 1976)

Howard Hughes was an America aviator, industrialist, engineer, philanthropist, film director, film producer, and one of the wealthiest men in the world. However, Hughes suffered from OCD and had a severe phobia of being contaminated by germs. He engaged in elaborate cleaning rituals on a daily basis.

Leonardo DiCaprio’s Portrayal of Howard Hughes’s Severe Fear of being Contaminated by Germs

Or view the video on the server at:
https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/AviatorHandWashing.mp4

 

Famous Personalities: Current

 

David Beckham

David Beckham

David Beckham

David Beckham, the famous British soccer player, has admitted to suffering from OCD and feels that everything should be in its “proper” place. In an interview with ITV1, Beckham revealed that

“I’ll go into a hotel room and before I can relax, I have to move all the leaflets and all the books and put them in a drawer. Everything has to be perfect.”

 

Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio, who portrayed Howard Hughes in the movie ‘The Aviator’, described how the role brought back many memories of his own struggle with OCD.

“I remember as a child, stepping on cracks on the way to school and having to walk back a block and step on that same crack or that gum stain.”

 

Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron

Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron revealed in an interview with the Daily Mail that she struggles with OCD. She cannot abide mess and it often keeps her awake at night.

“I have a problem with cabinets being messy and people just shoving things in cabinets and closing the door. I will literally lie in bed and not be able to sleep because I’ll be like, ‘I think I saw something in that cabinet that just shouldn’t be there.’”

 

Fiona Apple

Fiona Apple

Fiona Apple

Fiona Apple, a singer from the ’90s, revealed to ELLE magazine that her life has been controlled by OCD. She is obsessed with the smallest things and it disrupts her sleep.

“At its worst, I was compelled to leave my house at three o’clock in the morning and go out in the alley because I just knew that the paper-towel roll I threw in the recycling bin was uncomfortable, like it was lying the wrong way, and I would be down in the garbage.”

After a period of initial frustration, Fiona Apple learned to embrace her condition.

 

Lena Dunham

Lena Dunham

Lena Dunham

Lena Dunham is a writer and artist who is famous for her portrayal of Hannah Horvath on HBO’s Girls. In her essay for The New Yorker, titled ‘Difficult Girl: Growing Up, With Help‘, Dunham described her varied fears including appendicitis, unclean meat, leprosy, typhoid, and so on.

Dunham worked to build awareness about OCD. In her book, ‘Not That Kind of Girl‘, she wrote,

“There is a conversation about mental health that needs to happen in the country that we’re just at the beginning of, and all of us sharing the struggles in the world inside our heads whether big or small can help us normalize mental health problems.”

In her interview with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America, she also expressed gratitude for her parents,

“I was very lucky to have parents who had a forward-thinking attitude about putting me in therapy and giving me the tools that I need to move forward. They had the foresight to put me in therapy and encourage me to create…”

 

Difficult Girl: Growing Up, With Help

By: Lena Dunham

I am eight, and I am afraid of everything. The list of things that keep me up at night includes but is not limited to: appendicitis, typhoid, leprosy, unclean meat, foods I haven’t seen emerge from their packaging, foods my mother hasn’t tasted first so that if we die we die together, homeless people, headaches, rape, kidnapping, milk, the subway, sleep.

An assistant teacher comes to school with a cold sore. I am convinced he’s infected with MRSA, a skin-eating staph infection. I wait for my own flesh to erode. I stop touching my shoelaces (too filthy) or hugging adults outside my family. In school, we are learning about Hiroshima, so I read “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes,” and I know instantly that I have leukemia. A symptom of leukemia is dizziness, and I have that, when I sit up too fast or spin around in circles. So I quietly prepare to die in the next year or so, depending on how fast the disease progresses.

My parents are getting worried. It’s hard enough to have a child, much less a child who demands to inspect our groceries and medicines for evidence that their protective seals have been tampered with. I have only the vaguest memory of a life before fear. Every morning when I wake up, there is one blissful second before I look around the room and remember my many terrors. I wonder if this is what it will always be like, forever, and I try to remember moments I felt safe: In bed next to my mother one Sunday morning. Playing with my friend Isabel’s puppy. Getting picked up from a sleepover just before bedtime.

One night, my father becomes so frustrated by my behavior that he takes a walk and doesn’t come back for three hours. While he’s gone, I start to plan our life without him.

My fourth-grade teacher, Kathy, is my best friend at school. She’s a plump, pretty woman with hair like yellow pipe cleaners. Her clothes resemble the sheets at my grandma’s house, floral but threadbare, and with mismatched buttons. She says I can ask her as many questions as I want: about tidal waves, about my sinuses, about nuclear war. She offers vague, reassuring answers. In hindsight, they were tinged with religion, implied a faith in a distinctly Christian God. She can tell when I’m getting squirrelly, and she shoots me a look across the room that says, It’s O.K., Lena, just give it a second.

When I’m not with Kathy, I’m with Chris Conta, our school nurse, who has a perm and wears holiday sweaters all year round. She has a no-nonsense approach to health that comforts me. She presents me with hard facts (very few children develop Reye’s syndrome in response to aspirin) and tells me that polio has been eradicated in America. She takes me seriously when I explain that I’ve been exposed to scarlet fever by a kid on the subway with a red face. Sometimes she lets me lie on the top bunk in the back room, dark and cool. I rest my cheek against the plastic mattress cover and listen as she dispenses medication and condoms to high-school kids. If I’m lucky, she doesn’t send me back to class.

No one likes the way things are going, so at some point therapy is suggested. I am used to appointments: allergist, chiropractor, tutor. All I want is to feel better, and that overrides the fear of something new, something reserved for people who are crazy. Plus, both my parents have therapists, and I feel more like my parents than like anybody else. My father’s therapist is named Ruth. I’ve never met her, but I once asked him to describe her to me. He said she was older, but not as old as Grandma, with longish gray hair. In my head, her office has no windows; it’s just a box with two chairs. I wonder what Ruth thinks of me. He has to have said something.

“Can’t I just see Ruth?” I ask. He explains that it doesn’t work that way, that I need my own place to have my own private thoughts. So I take the train uptown with him to meet someone of my own. For some reason, when we go to appointments to help my mind, it’s always my father who comes. My mother comes to the ones for my body.

The first doctor, a violet-haired grandma-age woman with a German surname, asks me a few simple questions and then invites me to play with the toys scattered across her floor. She sits in a chair above me, pad in hand. I have the sense she will gather all kinds of information from this, so I put on a show that I’m sure will demonstrate my loneliness and introspection: bootleg Barbie crashes her convertible with off-brand Ken riding shotgun. Tiny Lego men are killed in a war against their own kind. After a long period of observation, she asks me to share my three greatest wishes. “A river, where I can be alone,” I tell her, impressed with my poeticism. From this answer, she will know that I am not like other nine-year-olds.

“And what else?” she asks.

“That’s all.”

I leave feeling worse than when I went in, and my father says that’s O.K., we can see as many doctors as we need to until I’m better. Next, we visit a different woman, even older than the first, but she’s named Anni, which is not an old person’s name. We walk up four flights to her office. My father sits with me this time and helps me explain the things that worry me. Anni is sympathetic, with a funny high laugh, and, when we walk out into the night, I tell my father she is the one.

But we are here just to get a referral, my father tells me. Anni isn’t accepting new patients.

And so my third session is with Lisa. Lisa’s office is down the block from our apartment, and my mother, sensing some trepidation, pulls me aside and says to think of it like a playdate. If I like playing with her, I can go back. If not, we’ll find someone else for me to play with. I nod, but I’m well aware that most playdates don’t revolve around someone trying to figure out whether you’re crazy or not.

In our first session, Lisa sits on the floor with me, her legs tucked under her like she’s just a friend who has come by to hang out. She looks like the mom on a television show, with big curly hair and a silky blouse. She asks me how old I am, and I respond by asking her how old she is—after all, we’re sitting on the floor together. “Thirty-four,” she says. My mother was thirty-six when I was born. Lisa is different from my mother in lots of ways, starting with her clothes: a suit, sheer tights, and black high heels. Different from my mother, who looks like her normal self when she dresses as a witch for Halloween.

Lisa lets me ask her whatever I want. She has two daughters. She lives uptown. She’s Jewish. Her middle name is Robin, and her favorite food is cereal. By the time I leave, I think that she can fix me.

The germophobia morphs into hypochondria morphs into sexual anxiety morphs into the pain and angst that accompany entry into middle school. Over time, Lisa and I develop a shorthand for things I’m too embarrassed to say: “masturbation” becomes “M,” “sexuality” becomes “ooality,” and my crushes become “him.” I don’t like the term “gray area,” as in “the gray area between being scared and aroused,” so Lisa coins “the pink area.” We eventually move into her adult office but stay sitting on the floor. We’ll often share a box of Special K or a croissant.

She teaches me how to needlepoint, with a focus on abstract geometric designs in autumnal threads. When I turn thirteen, she throws me a private atheistic bat mitzvah—just us two. We eat half a pound of prosciutto.

One evening, I see her on the subway, and our interaction, warm but disorienting, inspires a poem, the last lines of which are “I guess you are not my mother. You will never be my mother.” I make her a painting, a girl with big Keane eyes crying violet tears, and she tells me that she’s hung it in her bathroom, along with a free-form nude I did using gouache. I bring my disposable camera and take pictures of us hanging out and drawing, just like pals do.

The work we’re doing together helps, but even three mornings a week isn’t enough to stop the terrible thoughts, the fear of sleep and of life in general. Sometimes, to manage the images that come unbidden, I force myself to picture my parents copulating in intricate patterns, summoning the image in sets of eight, for so long that looking at them makes me nauseated.

“Mom,” I say. “Turn away from me so I won’t think of sex.”

Sitting with my mother in the beauty salon one afternoon, I come across an article about obsessive-compulsive disorder. A woman describes her life, so burdened with obsessions that she has to lick art in museums and crawl on the sidewalk. Her symptoms aren’t much worse than mine: the magazine’s description of her most horrible day parallels my average one. I tear the article out and bring it to Lisa, whose face crumples sympathetically, as though the moment she’d been dreading had finally arrived. It makes me want to throw my needlepoint supplies in her face. Do I have to do everything myself?

One day, when I’m fourteen, Lisa warns me that she might get an important call during our session. She’s sorry, but she has to take it, wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t a real emergency. She’s gone for about ten minutes, and when she returns she looks rattled. Takes a deep breath. “So—”

“Where’s your wedding ring?” I ask her.

“I’ll see you Wednesday, Leen,” Lisa says, and I pull on my orange parka and head for the elevator. In the waiting room are two teen-agers—a blond boy, the kind of underdeveloped but cute thirteen-year-old male that drives seventh-grade gals crazy despite being four feet seven, and a girl with green streaks in her hair. I stare at her for a moment too long, because I recognize her: she’s the one in the photo in Lisa’s Filofax, which sometimes lies open on her desk. That’s Lisa’s daughter, Audrey.

I leave the office a beat before they do, but they catch up with me at the elevator, and I’m holding my breath as we ride down together, trying to somehow take her in without looking directly at her. I wish she were a picture in a magazine, so I could stare, rotate the page slightly, stare again.

Does she know who I am? Maybe she’s jealous. I would be. When we reach the ground floor, she looks right into my face. “He thinks you’re hot,” she says, motioning to her friend, then bolts.
I step out onto Broadway, beaming.

What happens over the next few months is like the plot of a children’s movie, the kind where a dog finds its owner in spite of insurmountable odds and prohibitive geography. Through shrewd detective work, Audrey discovers that her camp friend Sarah is my school friend Sarah, and begins passing me notes. They are fat envelopes, decorated with puff paint and star stickers. Inside the first one is a letter, in the kind of fun teen scrawl they use in “Saved by the Bell”: “HEY YOU SEEM AWESOME! I bet we’d get along. My mom says we would if we could meet. I love shopping, the Felicity soundtrack, oh, and shopping. Here’s a pic of me at the Wailing Wall after my Bat Mitzvah! INSTANT MESSAGE MEEEE.”

I write back an equally effusive note, laboring over which picture to share, before finally settling on a shot of me lounging on my sister’s bunk bed in a vintage crop top that reads “Super Debbie.” “I also luuuv the Felicity soundtrack, animals, acting, and DUH SHOPPING! My screen name is LAFEMMELENA.”

I know our correspondence is wrong, and so I tell Lisa, who confirms my belief that this is inappropriate. “It’s too bad,” she says, “because I think you two are very similar. You would probably be good friends.”

When I’m fifteen, I stop working with Lisa. I’m ready to stop talking about my problems all the time, I tell her, and she doesn’t fight me. I feel good. My O.C.D. isn’t completely gone, but maybe it never will be. Maybe it’s part of who I am, part of what I have to manage, the challenge of my life. And for now that seems O.K.

Our last session is full of laughter, fancy snacks, talk of the future. I admit how much it hurt me when she reacted with disgust to my belly-button ring, and she says she’s sorry she displayed her personal bias. I thank her for having let me bring my cat to a session.

I miss her the way I missed our loft after we moved in seventh grade: sharply, and then not at all. There is too much unpacking to do.

Within six months, I’m ignoring my homework and skipping class so I can hang out with my pet rabbit, Chester Hadley. My parents think I’m depressed, and I think they’re idiots. Because of my medication, I’m sleepy all the time, and I become notorious at school for napping in my hood, snapping to attention the moment a teacher says my name: “I wasn’t sleeping.”

My fascination with Lisa’s daughter has never died, and our lives overlap just enough that I have a sense of where and how she is: I’m told she pierced her own nose at summer camp and is dating a graffiti artist named CECS. Once, our mutual friend puts us on the phone together, and I can barely speak.

“Hey!” she growls.

“It’s you,” I say.

My struggle is deepening, and my father tells me that I am going to see Margaret, a “learning and organization” specialist whom I met with a few times years earlier when my parents discovered I had been stuffing all my unfinished homework under my bed for half the school year. (I’ve changed the name to protect her from nosy patients like me.) I remember her fondly enough, mostly because she offered Chessmen cookies and orange juice before we set to work on my math assignment. When I arrive this time, she doesn’t offer any cookies, but she looks just as I left her: wavy red bob, creatively draped black dress, and witch boots. More like my mother than like Lisa, but with an Australian accent.

Her office is a museum of pleasing curiosities: framed seashells, dried pussy willows extending from asymmetrical vases, a coffee table decorated with feathers and stray tiles used as coasters. For a few weeks, we sit at her desk and focus on organizing my backpack, which somehow resembles, in all its dark chaos, a crack den (albeit one full of Hello Kitty erasers). She shows me how to keep a datebook and label the sections of a binder and check assignments off when I’ve finished them. Margaret is a psychoanalyst as well, and I often see sad children or mismatched couples waiting for her after our session, but this isn’t the place to talk about my feelings. We are all about efficiency, neat edges, prioritizing.

But one day I come in melted down by a recurrence of obsessive thoughts and by the milky, sickening feeling my medication is giving me. I don’t have the will to clean out my binder. I had got such satisfaction out of the systems she introduced, the sharp pencils and crisp manila folders. But, in an apt metaphor for my worsening state, I have doodled nonsense on all the once pristine pages. I lay my head on the desk.

“Do you want to sit on the couch?” Margaret asks.

Margaret won’t tell me anything about her life. From the start, she makes it clear that we’re here to talk about me. When I ask a question about herself, she tends to ignore it. She isn’t mean about it. Rather, she looks at me with a blank smile that implies I’ve spoken to her in a language she doesn’t understand.

“Just curious, do you have children?” I ask.

“What do you think knowing the answer to that would mean to you?” she asks me, just like shrinks do in movies.

As a result of her professional reticence, I develop my own theories about Margaret. One is that she’s a measured and reasonable eater, unable to understand my personal battle with gluttony. I have seen a goat’s-milk yogurt in her garbage before, the lid placed neatly back on the empty carton. Another of my theories is that she loves a warm bath. I am sure she loves wildflowers, trains, and heart-to-hearts with wise old women. One day, she tells me that as a schoolgirl she was forced to wear a boater hat on field trips. I cling to this image, imagining a tiny Margaret marching to and fro in a long line of girls in hats.

Then there is the autumn day I come in to find her with a shiny black eye. Before I can even register my shock, she points to it and laughs: “A bit of a gardening accident.” I believe her. Margaret would never let anyone hit her. She would never let anyone wear shoes indoors. She would always protect herself, her floors, her flowers.

My father says that his friend Burt came across Margaret in the eighties, when she had been “around for a minute” in the art world. I imagine her having a dalliance with a video artist. On their dates, he slides into the booth across from her and asks her how her day was. She just smiles and nods, smiles and nods.

That Audrey and I wind up at college together is one of the strangest things that has happened, maybe ever, but definitely to me. On the surface, it makes perfect sense: two New York City girls with similar S.A.T. scores and similar authority problems being directed toward the same attainable liberal education by uncreative administrators. But spiritually I can’t believe it. After all these years of being separate, we are together.

We bond immediately, more over what we hate than what we love. We both hate lox. We both hate boys in cargo pants. We’re both sick of kids from Long Island saying they’re from New York. We spend the first few weeks of the school year riding our new red bicycles around town in impractical shoes and too much lipstick, unwilling to let go of the idea that city girls do it differently. We can barely hold in our peals of laughter when a boy named Zenith arrives at a party in a shirt that says “P is for Playa.” We set our sights on senior boys who run ironic literary magazines and we try to avoid using the bathroom next to anybody but each other.

Audrey is an intellectual, likes to talk about Fellini and read thick books about tainted Presidencies. But she also uses slang more confidently than I ever could and holds her denim miniskirt together with patches from hardcore shows. She cuts her own hair, applies her own liquid eyeliner, and appears to be able to eat as many cookies as she wants without breaking a hundred pounds. We make up funny names for each other:

Sqeedlydoo, Looty, Boober.

We have our first fight three weeks in, when I decide she’s holding me back socially with her misanthropy. “I came here to grow,” I tell her. “And you don’t want that.”

She runs into the woods of the arboretum, sobbing, falls, and scrapes her knee. When I try to help, she cries, “Why would you want to?”

I call my mother, who is on Ambien and cheerfully tells me to “buy a ticket home!” I feel certain and terrified that Audrey is in her room talking to her mother, and that Lisa is mad at me.

We make up a few days later, when, at a brunch potluck, I realize that I do, in fact, hate everybody. Even my new friend Alison, who hosts a show on the radio station, and even Hannah, who makes vegan muffins and has a quilt composed of Clash T‑shirts. The conversation at college is making me insane: politically correct posturing by people without real politics. Audrey was right: we are all that is good for each other.

Sometimes Audrey and I are eating cereal, or drying off after a shower, and I see a flash of her mother. Lisa is here: young and naked, my friend.

Margaret is on vacation, and it’s an emergency. My mother and I are in the worst fight we’ve ever had, one that tests the concept of unconditional love, not to mention basic human decency. And the thing is, no one is right, exactly. We both followed our hearts and had no choice but to hurt each other deeply.

I try Margaret, but, as this is not technically a life-threatening emergency, I don’t leave a message. Next, I call my aunt, who I hope will at least tell me I am not a sack of rancid garbage shaped like a human.

“Your mom isn’t easy, and neither are you,” she says. “I don’t know how you’ll fix it. I just know that you have to.” She suggests I call her friend Dr. Judith Sills, a “relationship expert” and clinical psychologist. “Judith will have thoughts,” she promises. “And she is great with giving fast and efficient advice.”

Advice? My therapist has never given me advice. She’s all about making me give myself advice.

So, about to commit my second major betrayal since the one my mother can tell you all about, I call someone else’s therapist.

Relationship Expert Dr. Judith Sills is on a trip to Washington, D.C., with friends from college, so she calls me back from a bench outside the Smithsonian. It turns out we’ve met—years ago, at a bat mitzvah—and I vaguely remember her cap of honey hair. “So, what’s going on?” she asks, with the warm but solution-oriented tone of a high-powered divorce attorney.

I let it all pour out. What I did. What my mother did back. What we’d both done to each other since we did those first things that we did. “Uh-huh, uh-huh,” Judith says, letting me know she’s with me.

Finally, I breathe. “So. Am I terrible?”

For the next twenty minutes, Judith talks. First, she explains some basic “facts” about the mother-daughter relationship. (“You are her possession, but you are also a person.”) Next, she tells me that we’ve both behaved in perfectly understandable, if unpleasant, ways. (“I get it” is a favorite phrase.) “So,” she concludes. “This is actually a chance to reach the next phase of your bond if you will let it be. I know that you can come out of this stronger than before if you can tell her, ‘You’re my mother, and I need you, but in a different way from before. Please let us change, together.’ ”

I hang up and feel the panic subside for the first time in days: Relationship Expert Dr. Judith Sills has helped me. And fast. It wasn’t like Margaret, where I talk around something and she nods and we discuss a Henry James novel I’ve read only part of and then we meander back to the topic of my grandmother and how I’d kill to be asleep and then I compliment her shoes, which are, as always, fabulous. I asked a question and Dr. Judith Sills gave me an answer. And now I have the tools to fix everything.

I call my mother. “I love you,” I say. “You’re my mother, and I need you, but in a different way from before. Please let us change, together.”

“That’s fucking bullshit,” she says. I can tell she’s in a store.

Audrey has had fifteen sinus infections this winter alone, so, doctor’s orders, she is having her septum straightened, tonsils and adenoids removed. Five of us troop uptown to Lisa’s apartment, where Audrey is recuperating. Before we ring the doorbell, we put on Groucho glasses with attached noses and hold up our jug of soup.

Lisa answers the door wearing yoga pants. “The patient is this way,” she says.

Audrey lies on Lisa’s fourposter bed, nose bandaged, looking even tinier than usual. Lisa climbs onto the bed beside her. “How you feeling, sweetie?”

The other girls head to the kitchen to unpack the magazines and cookies we bought from a kiosk in the subway. And, as if we’d done it fifty times before, as if we were a family, I crawl into bed with Audrey and Lisa.

Margaret and I have talked on the phone from just about everywhere. I’ve called her from beaches, speeding vehicles in Western states, crouched behind a dumpster, in the parking lot of my college dormitory, and from my bedroom ten blocks from her office, when I didn’t have the energy to make my way to her couch. From Europe, Japan, and Israel. I’ve whispered to her about guys who were sleeping next to me. Never has the sound of her voice, that calm but expectant hello, not put me at ease. She answers on the second ring, and all my muscles and veins relax.

On a recent vacation, I call her from the Arizona desert, wearing only my underwear, baking my flesh by a plunge pool. I spend the majority of our session telling her about the furniture shopping my boyfriend and I have done that morning. Our first time making real aesthetic choices as a couple, we successfully selected a coffee table, two bronze deer, and a pair of torn leatherette barstools. Unable to resist, I threw a Cubist ceramic cat into the mix.

“I really feel like we have similar taste!” I gush, ignoring how unsure she sounds about the addition of kitschy metal animals to a living room.

“That’s wonderful,” she says. “My husband and I have always had similar taste, and it really makes creating a home such a pleasure.” With her accent, “pleasure” sounds like “pleeshuh.” Such a pleeshuh.

Stunned, I wait a beat.

“It does!” I say. She told me.

Later in the conversation, she mentions a trip to Paris: “For my husband’s job we go quite regularly.” This is like Christmas. Gift after gift. Not only do I now know she has a husband; I know he is quite possibly French or at the very least employed by French people. This is information I can work with. Next, she is going to tell me about her Black Panther college boyfriend and her miscarriage and her best friend, Joan.

“Huge news!” I tell everyone who will listen. “My therapist has a husband. And he might be French.”

Why does Margaret deem me ready now? What test have I passed, what maturity have I displayed? Do therapists have a metric by which they judge our ability to work with information rationally? I wonder if she regretted it when she hung up, frowned, and gathered up her pretty hands, the hands with a gold ring on every finger so as to keep the mystery alive.

Maybe I have properly conveyed the truth and security of my romantic relationship and she is ready to admit me into a club of stable, balanced women with whom she shares her secrets. Maybe she just can’t resist gabbing when it comes to mid-century furnishings. Or maybe it was an accident. Maybe she forgot our roles for a moment, and we became just two women, two friends on a long-distance call . . . catching up about our houses, our husbands, our lives. 

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/09/01/difficult-girl

 

Documentaries

 

OCD: The War Inside

This 2001 feature documentary directed by David Hofferts and Mark Pancer explores the lives of people living with OCD, and attempts to clarify this misunderstood disorder whose sufferers wage a daily war in their minds for survival.

Or view the video on the server at:
https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/OCDTheWarInside.mp4

 

Living with Me And My OCD

This is a personal documentary about OCD produced, directed, filmed, and edited by Claire Watkinson in 2012. Claire met with over 40 people from around the world who are suffering from OCD, highlighting their struggles, and the misconceptions surrounding OCD.

Or view the video on the server at:
https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/LivingWithMeAndMyOCD.mp4

 

Books

OCD27

Overcoming Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts: A CBT-Based Guide to Getting Over Frightening, Obsessive, or Disturbing Thoughts by Sally M. Winston PsyD and Martin N.Seif PhD

This book provides proven, effective techniques to move past frightening, obsessive, or disturbing thoughts that can intrude the life of a person with OCD. It uses proven cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) approaches to unstick suffers from their distressing thoughts, overcome their feelings of guilt, shame, and loneliness, reduce their overall anxiety, and change their attitude and beliefs to help them focus on the truly important parts of their lives.

 
OCD28

Brain Lock, Twentieth Anniversary Edition: Free Yourself from Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior Paperback by Jeffrey M. Schwartz, MD and Beverly Beyette

In this book, Dr Jeffrey M. Schwartz, a psychiatrist at the UCLA School of Medicine and a world-renowned expert on OCD, will teach you his patented four-step method of Relabelling, Reattributing, Refocusing, and Revaluing to help you overcome your irrational impulses.

 
Sources:

  • https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/17/celebrities-with-ocd_n_5990948.html
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3181951/
  • http://hope4ocd.com/neurobiology.php
  • https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/09/01/difficult-girl
  • https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/schizophrenia.shtml
  • https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/bipolar-disorder-among-adults.shtml
  • https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd/index.shtml
  • https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a697048.html
  • https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/ocd/what-is-obsessive-compulsive-disorder
  • https://www.columbiapsychiatry.org/research-clinics/center-obsessive-compulsive-treatment-and-related-disorders/case-examples
  • http://www.ystc.co.uk/stress-trauma-case-study-ocd.html
  • http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/obsessivecompulsivedisorder.html
  • https://www.mentalhealth.gov/what-to-look-for/obsessive-compulsive-disorders/index.html
  • http://ocd.stanford.edu/about/
  • http://www.medicinenet.com/ocd_more_common_than_you_think/views.htm
  • https://www.ocduk.org/ocd-history
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/178508.php

 
For more interesting information:

 

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23 Responses to Understanding Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

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  1. nicholas on Dec 9, 2019 at 3:52 pm

    Many studies investigate the intricacies of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and today what causes, triggers, and helps this mental health condition is better understood than it was in the past. OCD is an anxiety disorder characterized by unreasonable thoughts and fears (obsessions) that lead a person to do repetitive behaviors (compulsions).

    1. Repeating Requests and Seeking Validation
    People with OCD will often repeat requests to ensure they have as much control over a situation as possible. They may also seek regular or repeated validation and reassurance.

    2. Obsessive Tidiness
    Tidiness is another characteristic that can be praiseworthy, but OCD can take this quality to an extreme. A tidy person makes sure that all the papers on their desks are in neat piles, that pens and pencils are in their holder, and the remains of the last snack are cleared away. Someone with OCD might spend many minutes or hours ensuring that loose pages in a tray are perfectly aligned. They also might keep taking out and returning the pens and pencils to their holder.

    3. Out-of-Control Thoughts
    Many people experience negative or disturbing thoughts at times, and the directions our minds take can be difficult or impossible to control. Some people with OCD, however, may feel strongly that they should be able to control these thoughts. Since lack of control is a major concern for people with OCD, a preoccupation with controlling one’s own mind can cause extreme anxiety.

    4. Depression
    Depression can stem from OCD. People with OCD often realize they have a medical condition and may be overwhelmed thinking and worrying about their illness. This can lead to anxiety and depression, which may, in turn, exacerbate other symptoms.

    5. Repetitive Body Movements
    Sometimes people with OCD display a pattern of repeated body movements or sounds, developing what doctors describe as motor tics. These include actions such as persistent eye blinking, shoulder shrugging, or head nodding. This issue also finds expression in vocal tics such as repeatedly clearing the throat or sniffing.

    6. Various Eating Disorders
    OCD can also affect eating habits in a variety of ways. It may cause an individual to change his or her usual diet. For instance, a person with OCD may stop eating what was once their favorite food due to fears the product has become contaminated. He or she might wash a food many times before eating it or insist it is prepared in a particular way.

    7. Excessive Cleanliness
    Washing the hands after leaving the bathroom and before eating are sensible hygiene precautions that everyone should take. However, people with OCD tend to wash their hands far more often than the average, eventually irritating skin and possibly causing infection. People with OCD may compulsively or repeatedly clean their homes, as well. Excessive cleanliness is the compulsion caused by a specific fear (obsession), such as a fear of germs.

    8. Preoccupation with Security
    Many people make a point of checking to see if they have locked the front door of their house properly before going to bed at night. For someone with OCD, however, security measures can become an obsessive issue. A person with OCD might be compelled to check that a door is locked repeatedly when leaving and entering the house.

    9. Preoccupation with Money or Hoarding
    People with OCD can appear to be miserly with their money, as this is one area of life over which control is possible. A person with OCD might count their money or check in their wallet repeatedly. Some people with OCD also begin hoarding free items to save money.

  2. Liang Jing on Mar 4, 2018 at 11:12 pm

    Thank You Rinpoche for sharing this article. Actually I had dealt with someone that had OCD before, he just need everything to be perfect, there can’t be anything to be error, and must be very clean before entering his house. Everything must be arrange well and I just get very annoyed of it but I can’t complain. I felt that everything must be perfect is quiet hard for me too.

  3. Liang Jing on Mar 4, 2018 at 11:11 pm

    Thank You Rinpoche for sharing this article. Actually I had dealt with someone that had OCD before, he just need everything to be perfect, there can’t be anything to be error, and must be very clean before entering his house. Everything must be arrange well and I just get very annoyed of it but I can’t complain. I felt that everything must be perfect is quiet hard for me too.

  4. Julia on Nov 25, 2017 at 12:48 am

    I wonder what kind of karma that leads one to have OCD. Your brain couldn’t function properly by making you doing weirds things that you don’t want to do and you even think it’s terrible. You just do it because your mind is extremely disturb if you are not. Good news is OCD can be fixed with medication. You can be able to live a normal life with medication.

    What’s struck me, I do think one of us has a little OCD in our mind. It’s an imprint that we have from the past. Some people is strong enough to overcome it but some not. Love and care from the family is important. I believe spritual practice like mantra, meditation, dharma work, volunteer work would help. Focus on others and helping others always the key to heal yourself, mantra collect merits and purifying karma. I mean OCD is not the end of the world. At least it can still be fixed.

  5. CindyH on Nov 24, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    The term OCD in these times do not have much of the negative stigma as it did a decade ago, likely due to the familiarisation with the term OCD from the light-hearted and even humorous portrayal of OCD people in movies and media. However, such dilution also comes with a watered-down view of the severity of the situation faced by those with OCD. In fact, some have downright dismissed it as a grave condition and fail to appreciate that OCD can actually “straightjacket a person’s life with immobilizing anxiety”. An OCD person’s life can literally be paralyzed due to such condition. Fortunately, such condition can be treated but it has to come from within the person with OCD. Whilst medication can aid temporarily control the symptoms, but ultimately, it will be up to the person’s willpower to reduce and eventually overcome such huge self-grasping fixation. Thank you for such an insightful article to better understand the difficulties faced by people with OCD.

  6. Wai Meng Wan on Nov 20, 2017 at 3:08 am

    The sufferings of people under OCD, are not something to be underestimated and to suffer so much fear, and anxiety and not being able to control one’s actions, is quite a of suffering. I agree with Josh Akers Buddhist has some techniques can help people who are experiencing OCD, from recognizing that we do not need to repeat same actions out of habituation, to making friends with out thoughts and not be so judgemental about our thoughts, and just noting ok we thought of this thought, but if it persists then challenge the reality or that thought.

  7. Stella Cheang on Nov 19, 2017 at 2:36 am

    I used to hear a few people around me say that they are OCD towards certain triggers. From their description, I was under the impression that OCD means they have low tolerance towards the trigger. With this article clearly stating the symptoms of people with OCD suffering from the obsession that triggers compulsion in doing something, OCD actually is a serious illness. It results in physical or emotional distress. It appears to me that OCD sufferer’s mind are programed to hold onto to a certain perception very strongly. I hope there will be medical help to reduce their fixation so that their quality of life will improve. Thank you for this sharing, Rinpoche.

  8. Pastor Chia on Nov 16, 2017 at 8:45 am

    Many people are suffering from OCD decease. I believe this diesea are one type mentel problem from our mind are so obsses by certain action causing anxiety and keep repeating same action and thinking again and again.

    Is interesting to know more about OCD decease and brought my attention for my personal spiritual practice, we should not attach to our negative habit which lead our negative karma open up negative karma which cause by suffering from OCD decease. If the decease is from the mind. I believe through spiritual practice can get help to improving our mind beside repend on medical support.

  9. Pastor Antoinette on Nov 16, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a big problem as those who suffer from it cannot live a “normal” life as so much time is consumed by things that are not logical and that do not help them. Luckily we have now so much information and therapies that such troubles can be treated and as written in the article it works and helps those who suffer from it.

    I cannot imagine how it was for someone like Martin Luther and Charles Darwin to have such a problem and still have so much accomplished.

    Thank you for this informative article with much information to find help and overcome this time-consuming disorder.

  10. June Kang on Nov 16, 2017 at 8:25 am

    I believe that all of us have some level of OCD. To those who are confirmed seriously is OCD, we should accept them and be kind to them to help them gone through the suffering. And this article is a great help for us to understand OCD and helping them. Whether you are OCD or not , i believe that it is always good to train our mind through learning and practicing Dharma and doing meditation.

  11. Pastor Albert on Nov 16, 2017 at 1:50 am

    After reading this article, it helped me understand more about OCD patient and yes, people with OCD disease can lead to many serious problems, hence, when we met someone with serious OCD, we should learn to handle them and to help them.

    I believe everyone of us do have certain level of OCD symptoms, but just that it is not so obvious or disturbing our life. I do came across someone who has this symptoms, it is really difficult for that person as no matter what you say or what you do, they just won’t listen, not that they don’t understand, they knew it and they wanted to change, but they just can’t help it, if we do not have the skill or method to help them, then Medical treatment is the best option for them.

  12. Justin Cheah on Nov 16, 2017 at 12:48 am

    I do have a fixed way of doing things and can’t stand crooked photo frames, and would adjust my pants to my preferred waist height. I am not sure if this can be considered as OCD but I don’t spend a bulk of my time doing it. I initially felt OCD is something that everyone has and the difference is that some might have more and some are just mild. Guess mine is just mild or just something not even categorised as OCD. Interesting subject.

  13. Mingwen on Nov 16, 2017 at 12:38 am

    As a Buddhist and a student who was major in Psychology I’ve to bring in the teaching of Buddha which is the cause & effect of our actions/karma. It provide logical and much sense that what we are experiencing now depends on what we have done. For instance, what we did yesterday affect us today and what we did today affect us tomorrow. Some of us might not think that we have previous lives and live after death. However, if we think further, where do we come from? Why some of us are born in poor family and some are born in the rich? Why some of us are born in handicapped and some of us are healthy? Why some of the children can play music instruments, chant mantras, drawing and speak unusually & maturally since young age?

    What we can’t see or not know doesn’t mean that it does not exist. ?

  14. Andrea Lai on Nov 16, 2017 at 12:23 am

    It’s quite scary when I read the symptoms of this decease. Imagine, a single tiny little things repeated severe times. Normal people will see it as weird or crazy but for OCD people see it as doing it correctly until satisfied. It’s sad to see these people had to go through such sufferings, hence that affected not only their life, their love one too.

    Though advance science technology may aid and cure chronic decease but it’s also depend on enthusiasm and determination of the person.

  15. nicholas on Nov 15, 2017 at 11:24 pm

    Personally I have met a couple of friends with OCD but back then I have no idea of this disorder. I just feel weird with their behavior. At first it look like they are being a perfectionist but as you observe them more it doesn’t look like it as they keep repeating doing the same thing over and over again. I just can’t tell what’s wrong with them. Even after you tell them it’s ok or it’s fixed or is ok if it happen like that but they would not listen and it kind of annoying.

    Later when I read about OCD then it make sense to me with their behaviour which then I feel sorry for them. It good to know that there are treatment. Symptoms generally worsen when you experience greater stress. OCD, usually considered a lifelong disorder, can have mild to moderate symptoms or be so severe and time-consuming that it becomes disabling. So it’s important to get treatment as soon as possible.

  16. pammie yap on Nov 15, 2017 at 11:02 pm

    I somewhat pity these people who have OCD.
    They get so obsessed and focused, it kinda disrupt their every thinking, movement and even daily life. Spending so many hours just ‘fixing’ something is really taxing. Not to mention the anxiety and depression that stems from it.
    As for the family, I cannot imagine the mental distress they have to endure because of it. It must be very ‘tiring’ to see someone do the same thing again and again and not being able to help.
    But thanks to modern science, most of them are able to live an almost ‘normal’ life and be able to function normally.

  17. Pastor Henry Ooi on Nov 15, 2017 at 10:43 pm

    I guess most of us would know someone who falls into the category of OCD, maybe we ourselves may be defined as so although we may not think that it’s obsessive unless someone tells us that it takes up a lot of our time repeating the same action. Quite interesting though that some accounts of people with OCD started to behave compulsively over different time of their lives, and not everybody was at birth. So, could the root of the problem not lie in the brain but in the mind? Scientists can study the brain and it’s problems through visual scans. But where do scientists look for the mind? Could it be karma?

  18. Eric kksiow on Nov 15, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    My point of views ( Spiritual thought ) : OCD, Depression and other mental illness are from previous life imprint, and its’ all are from ours mind. Today with KFR team discussion, Pastor Chia told all of us, the only way to purify it, is to do purification practices. Eg : The 35 Confessional Buddhas practice ( https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/the-35-confessional-buddhas.html ) or Vajrasattva and Prostrations Practice ( https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/vajrasattva-and-prostrations-transcript.html )

  19. Datuk May on Nov 15, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    Reading this made me realise that many people suffer from a form of OCD, some more acutely and some less so. Sometimes we even label them as bad habits. But having more information now on the “illness” which is mentally connected, we should have more patience with bad habits as annoying repetitive actions by individuals. In severe cases, we should at least get medical help for them.

    Personally I believe I suffer from a form of OCD. I would always like “things” arranged in systems that prevails to be similar in any environment I am in. A classic example is how I would unpack my suit cases when I arrive at any destination and get my things placed in locations familiar like how makeup are, how clothes are to be hung and so on. Whenever I return from a trip I would immediately unpack. Actually I am quite convinced after reading this article that I do suffer from OCD. The good thing is travelling is not that often for me to seek medical help.

    As I have always said TsemRinpoche’s blog is such an encyclopedia that suits everyone to be informed.

  20. Josh Akers on Nov 14, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    I have this disease. I have never understood germ phobia or hand washing or counting… I have a different form of this disease, sometimes I wish my ‘version’ had more outwardly odd behaviors to observe. I have thoughts that go against my morals, a knife in the baby being pushed in a stroller. Sexual images, deeply perverse. They are appalling. At once I am compelled to state “That’s not me, I am moral. Those are thoughts.” I am reassured by this, but generally remain troubled by each intrusive thought for many minutes, hours, or even days. It becomes a self-generated post traumatic stress.
    Sometimes it intensifies. Sometimes there are voices. Some Satanic, some are pleasant. I am currently under control, but nobody knows how fragile the mind can be than someone who has had insidious conversations with grey Aliens bent on psychic enslavement of the human race and come back from it.
    I believe If I would have remained a Christian as I was raised, I would have become a fully fledged schizophrenic. The Bible does not ‘treat’ mental illnesses The way Buddhist meditation and it’s mind science can. The book of Revelation, for example, seems to be a Schizophrenic diatribe.
    I occupy an interesting mental space, and consider myself unique, because I have never seen anyone else go so deep for so long into a fully delusional mind, and exit out the other side semi-sane and able to achieve my goals and strive for happiness. I credit Tsem Rinpoche for a large portion of my sanity and rehabilitation. He is a mental ‘rock’ as a result of his meditation, insight, and close relationship with MANY wise masters. He is not led around by the nose in his thoughts. You can infer this from watching his actions over a long period of time. His Eminence does appear slightly neurotic sometimes, possibly when he was younger, but it must be noted I have not seen this to affect the stability of his mind.
    The most interesting part of this disease is that it’s not all bad. I am highly intelligent as are many sufferers. If you have this disease under control, you may actually be sharper or more creative than someone who has not suffered, and had to dig deep for answers.
    The worst part is the anger. I cannot abide my own mistakes, to an extremely unhealthy degree. I am very agreeable with others, but me? Do it right the first time with no exceptions no excuses. When I inevitably fall short of the demands of my disease (these particular issues, I’m sure many can relate to), I become sad, depressed. feel worthless.
    I have a doctor and a mental health professional I see regularly, as well as perscribed (I don’t mind sharing, I am confident and without shame) Prozac, Buspirone, and Seroquel.

    At least, I feel, it is an interesting disease with many interesting sufferers.
    Thanks,
    Josh A.

  21. Freon on Nov 13, 2017 at 3:05 am

    I have seen in my own eyes how a OCD person react in their daily life. They just can’t stopped and repeat the same action again and again no matter they have hurt themselves or they have hurt other people around them. They are into their world and their very stubborn on their own point of views. It causes many anger in the family and around friends, thus they seldom have anyone truly around them as their action triggered a lot of anger whom are around them.

    By reading this article, i understand more on OCD and i should be more patient towards people who suffered OCD.

  22. Fong on Nov 11, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    OCD is a disease that can be treated but first they must get to the proper hellp. Often, they are simply labeled crazy and selfish. That drives them further into their shell as did CD in the case study above. Besides, there is the cost factor. Since it is not covered by insurance, most people will just say that there is “no need” for such treatment. These OCD people are just being dramatic. So, the same result, they go underground.

    My question is this, how many people will really try to understand the disorder or to offer help? After reading the article here, they will probably mouth the usual politeness and “understanding” but continue their merry way to put these people with OCD down and brush them off as usual. Nothing will change.

  23. Samfoonheei on Nov 9, 2017 at 11:02 am

    Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental disorder or is abnormality in some way or behaviour .Those seem to have certain thoughts repeatedly and doing things repeatedly without realising it. People are unable to control the thoughts. Long term it will be harmful to the person concerned . It seem to be very common nowadays ,many people of different age group suffered from anxiety mainly from work stress, genetic and environmental factor , and so forth.Better to be consult a doctor than never.
    Medical treatment is the right choice, if not treatment it can lead to more serious illnesses like depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia and so on. Other complication like cognitive impairment, social problems ,suicide and many more.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these interesting article .

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Blog Chat

BLOG CHAT

Dear blog friends,

I’ve created this section for all of you to share your opinions, thoughts and feelings about whatever interests you.

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

Tsem Rinpoche


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Give the room a chance to answer you. Patience is a virtue. And if after awhile, people don't respond, perhaps they don't know the answer or they did not see your question. Do ask again or address someone directly. Do not be offended if people do not or are unable to respond to you.

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KECHARA FOREST RETREAT PROGRESS UPDATES

Here is the latest news and pictorial updates, as it happens, of our upcoming forest retreat project.

The Kechara Forest Retreat is a unique holistic retreat centre focused on the total wellness of body, mind and spirit. This is a place where families and individuals will find peace, nourishment and inspiration in a natural forest environment. At Kechara Forest Retreat, we are committed to give back to society through instilling the next generation with universal positive values such as kindness and compassion.

For more information, please read here (english), here (chinese), or the official site: retreat.kechara.com.

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  • S.Prathap
    Friday, Oct 23. 2020 12:27 PM
    This is definitely one of the best way for us to collect merits and plant seed for us to be able to do her practice in future. From this article I know and learn about the very sacred female Buddha. It gives us great opportunity to collect merits and make offering by having Vajrayogini stupa and statue in Kechara Forest Retreat.Thank you very much for the guidance and sharing such a good article.

    https://bit.ly/3kpdPpB
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Oct 23. 2020 11:55 AM
    China to Open its Own Nalanda University in Hainan Province . The campus of Nanhai Buddhism Academy was designed by internationally acclaimed architect which is located in the scenic Nanshan Cultural Tourism Zone. That’s wonderful. It’s the only institute of higher education in the world offering instruction. Offering various programs on Buddhist Studies in Han-Chinese Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism and Southern Buddhism . The Chinese government are willing to invest billions in having such a university to benefits the people and for most spreading Buddhism .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/new-nalanda-university-in-china.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Oct 23. 2020 11:53 AM
    Came across this old post . Well for someone to admit one mistakes , realised the true , having the courage to swallow one’s pride and apologise, I rejoice for them. Some might not have the courage to admit it. Admitting a mistake is not a weakness after all on the contrary, it shows an openness of our heart. Every one of us might have made mistakes along our life path. We learn from our mistakes, admit our own before we point out someone else’s and grow from there.
    Lobsang Monlam ‘s message is very touching , its better for him to say sorry now than never. Or else he will regret forever. A good teacher like our Lama is hard to find. We are very fortunate to have met Rinpoche in this life , Rinpoche had changed the lives of many.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Seng Piow for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/students-friends/dear-rinpoche-i-am-sorry.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Oct 23. 2020 11:51 AM
    Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and lack of interest. Different causes can often combine to trigger depression. Whatever it is ….depression comes from our own karma for what we did in this life or the previous life. People who suffer from depression often report feelings of loneliness and isolation. If not treated it could lead to more serious matters related. It will interfere with our daily life for sure. Learning Dharma, practicing it will help us to transform our mind more positively. We will see the light even in the darkest of times in our life.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this teachings with folded hands.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/etc/some-thoughts-on-depression.html
  • sarassitham
    Thursday, Oct 22. 2020 11:51 PM
    This is an amazing news for vegetarian and vegan eaters in California. I strongly believe it a great move to encourage more people to be vegan. Choosing a vegan lifestyle can contribute many beneficial factors to one’s life.

    A vegan diet is the most beneficial to mankind as it is one of the healthiest diets in the world, it is the world’s most environmentally friendly diet. Many vegans have found themselves starving while they are traveling and not being able to find any foods free of animal products on the road and this will be very convenient.

    Thank you for the interesting sharing, Hope to hear and see more countries could have Vegan Grocery. It will be extremely beneficial to the planet and will encourage a healthier lifestyle.

    https://bit.ly/3ji9V0F
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Oct 22. 2020 12:48 PM
    We have to do our homework……yes I agree with what Rinpoche had said. We can’t go back and change the beginning but we can start where we are and change the present. We have to work it out somehow even there is a hurdle or obstacles to go. In life we bond to have obstacles to clear along the path of life. Accepting those obstacles as they come , learn from there and let it be. Choosing to learn, practice Dharma and putting it into action is the best choice. Doing Dharma I have chosen have make my life filled with happiness.
    Thank you Rinpoche for these teachings.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/20668.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Oct 22. 2020 12:45 PM
    The Heart Sutra is the most widely known sutra of the Mahayana tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. We may try changing who we are in an attempt to fit in and even if we achieve a new feeling of belonging, the emptiness remains. Emptiness is an important door to liberation in life. The Heart Sutra is a very condensed contemplation manual. Will read it over and again to understand better . I still have a long way to go trying to absorb what ever I could. We have to develop a soft heart and compassion, firstly before we read the sutras. At the heart of emptiness is compassion….quoted.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this great teachings.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/emptiness-with-a-heart-of-compassion.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Oct 22. 2020 12:44 PM
    Unbelievable what they did…. Mumu and Oser. They saved an injured tiny bird, bringing to Rinpoche. They are like one of us , can feel and knew that the bird needed help. Mumu and Oser knew who to bring to. Great Job, they did their best, sadly the injured bird passed away. But fortunate to have Rinpoche blessing. Mumu and Oser are amazing dogs had showed us an example to give care, love and be kind even they were of different species.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/a-tale-of-a-bird.html
  • sarassitham
    Wednesday, Oct 21. 2020 05:11 PM
    Really love this mysterious and yet beautiful, sacred and holy place. The temple is beautiful preserved with remarkable facts of tantric legacy. This sixty four yogini temple is very unique in many ways and all the yoginis represents the sixty four arts which very fascinating. I believe there are a lot more to discover from this temple.

    Thank you for the article sharing, I’m blessed to see the holy place and hope to visit them.

    https://bit.ly/3jha0Si
  • S.Prathap
    Wednesday, Oct 21. 2020 01:33 PM
    Dorje Shugden, the special protector emanation of Manjushri is a fully enlightened being which will help us at all times when we truly trusted and have faith in him and our Guru.

    There is nothing that is too small or too big or daunting for him, when it comes to helping us.I fold my hands in great faith and devotion to Dorje Shugden.Thank you for sharing this wonderful story and experience with us.


    https://bit.ly/3kl6M1s
  • sarassitham
    Tuesday, Oct 20. 2020 11:52 PM
    I believe that in life, we come across so many different experiences and opportunities to learn and grow, and in turn, every choice we make and everything that we go through shapes us into who we are. Challenging situations take us beyond our comfort zone and trigger fears and anxieties but also have the power to become moments of truth.

    It takes a lot of time to reached a level of acceptance and by doing dharma work we are trying to inculcate compassion into our lives . This powerful teaching helps to purify our karma and transform our thoughts.

    Thank you for the sharing, It serves as a reminder for all of us, of the reason why we are doing Dharma work and what kind of attitude one should have.

    https://bit.ly/3jg6K9E
  • S.Prathap
    Tuesday, Oct 20. 2020 05:37 PM
    This is one of the most sacred sites in all of Buddhism. Yearly thousands of Hindus and Buddhists pilgrims and tourist from all over the world will be come to The Mahabodhi Temple.

    This sacred sites is definitely imbued with the positive energies and blessings of great beings.Thank you very much for the good write up and share this nice article with us
  • S.Prathap
    Monday, Oct 19. 2020 04:52 PM
    Reading this article really me open up my views of what is existing beyond my imagination.They then discovered that the possibility of life on other planets ,the existence of black holes, and so forth.
    The universe, outer space, the galaxies have always fascinated me since I was very very young. I loved pictorial books on planets and space.Thank you very much for the good sharing.
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Oct 18. 2020 04:22 PM
    Niguma is considered one of the most important and influential yoginis and Vajrayana teachers. A mysterious eleventh-century Kashmiri woman who became the source of a major Tibetan Buddhist practice lineage. Niguma was considered an emanation of the great dakini Mandarava. The legacy of Niguma’s teachings and spiritual practices is still available today within the Shangpa Kagyu tradition. Her teachings are also embodied within the Gelug school as well as the other sects of Tibetan Buddhism. Interesting related to Niguma and Khyungpo Naljor about the 500 gold coins and so forth. A very rare insight into the unusual role of women in the development of Buddhist history.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor David so this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/niguma-mistress-of-illusion.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Oct 18. 2020 04:20 PM
    I was once a hypocrites before but coming to Dharma I came out from a nut shell and still learning. Positive thinking, rather, is used so that we can learn, grow, and evolve from what we experience in life. When failure is possible, view it as a challenge, as it makes us stronger. Accept whatever comes along , mistakes and try to correct it and move on. Its better to learn our mistakes then not knowing it. I don’t mind to accept mistakes as I learn from it , with a positive mind. Profound teachings indeed.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this great teachings. Will read again and again to remind myself.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/49708.html

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The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

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According to legend, Shambhala is a place where wisdom and love reign, and there is no crime. Doesn\'t this sound like the kind of place all of us would love to live in? https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=204874
9 months ago
According to legend, Shambhala is a place where wisdom and love reign, and there is no crime. Doesn't this sound like the kind of place all of us would love to live in? https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=204874
108 candles and sang (incense) offered at our Wish-Fulfilling Grotto, invoking Dorje Shugden\'s blessings for friends, sponsors and supporters, wonderful!
9 months ago
108 candles and sang (incense) offered at our Wish-Fulfilling Grotto, invoking Dorje Shugden's blessings for friends, sponsors and supporters, wonderful!
Dharmapalas are not exclusive to Tibetan culture and their practice is widespread throughout the Buddhist world - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=193645
9 months ago
Dharmapalas are not exclusive to Tibetan culture and their practice is widespread throughout the Buddhist world - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=193645
One of our adorable Kechara Forest Retreat\'s doggies, Tara, happy and safe, and enjoying herself in front of Wisdom Hall which has been decorated for Chinese New Year
9 months ago
One of our adorable Kechara Forest Retreat's doggies, Tara, happy and safe, and enjoying herself in front of Wisdom Hall which has been decorated for Chinese New Year
Fragrant organic Thai basil harvested from our very own Kechara Forest Retreat farm!
9 months ago
Fragrant organic Thai basil harvested from our very own Kechara Forest Retreat farm!
On behalf of our Puja House team, Pastor Tat Ming receives food and drinks from Rinpoche. Rinpoche wanted to make sure the hardworking Puja House team are always taken care of.
9 months ago
On behalf of our Puja House team, Pastor Tat Ming receives food and drinks from Rinpoche. Rinpoche wanted to make sure the hardworking Puja House team are always taken care of.
By the time I heard about Luang Phor Thong, he was already very old, in his late 80s. When I heard about him, I immediately wanted to go and pay my respects to him. - http://bit.ly/LuangPhorThong
9 months ago
By the time I heard about Luang Phor Thong, he was already very old, in his late 80s. When I heard about him, I immediately wanted to go and pay my respects to him. - http://bit.ly/LuangPhorThong
It\'s very nice to see volunteers helping maintain holy sites in Kechara Forest Retreat, it\'s very good for them. Cleaning Buddha statues is a very powerful and effective way of purifying body karma.
9 months ago
It's very nice to see volunteers helping maintain holy sites in Kechara Forest Retreat, it's very good for them. Cleaning Buddha statues is a very powerful and effective way of purifying body karma.
Kechara Forest Retreat is preparing for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations. This is our holy Vajra Yogini stupa which is now surrounded by beautiful lanterns organised by our students.
9 months ago
Kechara Forest Retreat is preparing for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations. This is our holy Vajra Yogini stupa which is now surrounded by beautiful lanterns organised by our students.
One of the most recent harvests from our Kechara Forest Retreat land. It was grown free of chemicals and pesticides, wonderful!
9 months ago
One of the most recent harvests from our Kechara Forest Retreat land. It was grown free of chemicals and pesticides, wonderful!
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
1 years ago
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
1 years ago
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
1 years ago
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
1 years 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 years 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!
1 years 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 years 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 years 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 years 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 years 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 years 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 years 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
1 years ago
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
Sacred Vajra Yogini
1 years ago
Sacred Vajra Yogini
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
1 years ago
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
1 years 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.
1 years 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.
1 years 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
1 years 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
1 years 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!!!
1 years 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
1 years 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
1 years ago
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can't stop thinking of you and I can't forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
1 years 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
1 years 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
1 years 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
1 years 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
1 years ago
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
1 years ago
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
1 years ago
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
1 years 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
1 years 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
1 years 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
1 years 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
1 years 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
1 years 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
1 years 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
1 years ago
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
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    2 yearss ago
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CHAT PICTURES

Last weekend a Soup Kitchen activities @ Penang, Johor & Kuala Lumpur. Hot food, water, masks, biscuits, buns & fruits. This is what we give out to our friends living on the streets. Thank you to our sponsor & volunteers that make it happen. Come spread more love by being a volunteer at our activities. WhatsApp us today at 010-333-3260! See you soon! #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
7 days ago
Last weekend a Soup Kitchen activities @ Penang, Johor & Kuala Lumpur. Hot food, water, masks, biscuits, buns & fruits. This is what we give out to our friends living on the streets. Thank you to our sponsor & volunteers that make it happen. Come spread more love by being a volunteer at our activities. WhatsApp us today at 010-333-3260! See you soon! #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Fwd: Dear Sotha
3 weeks ago
Fwd: Dear Sotha
Kechara Earth Project 13/9/2020
1 month ago
Kechara Earth Project 13/9/2020
Thank you Domino's Pizza Malaysia, Kasih & Piza campaign for sponsoring 85 boxes of pizza to our friends who live on the streets. Your flavourful pizzas have put a smile on their faces. Thank you! - Vivan @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #KasihdanPiza #ItsAllAboutYou
1 month ago
Thank you Domino's Pizza Malaysia, Kasih & Piza campaign for sponsoring 85 boxes of pizza to our friends who live on the streets. Your flavourful pizzas have put a smile on their faces. Thank you! - Vivan @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #KasihdanPiza #ItsAllAboutYou
Thank you Novo Nordisk! Your kind monetary donation and 1,320 boxes of masks will benefit many needy families under the Kechara Food Bank Program. Thank you! Much love from the needy families  ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #novonordisk #novonordiskmalaysia
2 months ago
Thank you Novo Nordisk! Your kind monetary donation and 1,320 boxes of masks will benefit many needy families under the Kechara Food Bank Program. Thank you! Much love from the needy families ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #novonordisk #novonordiskmalaysia
We were graced with the presence of Tengku Zatashah & The Alice Smith School Foundation yesterday. 130 homeless were blessed to be served by them. RM 20,000 donated by Alice Smith School Foundation will benefit 100 families registered under Kechara Food Bank Program. Thank you! Much love from the needy families ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #alicesmithschoolfoundation #alicesmithschool #volunteerism #homeless
2 months ago
We were graced with the presence of Tengku Zatashah & The Alice Smith School Foundation yesterday. 130 homeless were blessed to be served by them. RM 20,000 donated by Alice Smith School Foundation will benefit 100 families registered under Kechara Food Bank Program. Thank you! Much love from the needy families ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #alicesmithschoolfoundation #alicesmithschool #volunteerism #homeless
Thanks to the effort of our outstation team, we were able to mobilise food provisions to 600 families living in Kelantan, Penang, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor during the Raya period with each of these families receiving RM200 worth of provisions. Adding onto the current 368 families in Klang Valley, a total of 968 families were benefitted from this. Special thanks to the sponsors who have contributed especially Hong Leong Foundation and partially from Tesco Malaysia (where we also ordered the provisions from). ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
4 months ago
Thanks to the effort of our outstation team, we were able to mobilise food provisions to 600 families living in Kelantan, Penang, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor during the Raya period with each of these families receiving RM200 worth of provisions. Adding onto the current 368 families in Klang Valley, a total of 968 families were benefitted from this. Special thanks to the sponsors who have contributed especially Hong Leong Foundation and partially from Tesco Malaysia (where we also ordered the provisions from). ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
So glad that our soup kitchen operations are back in full swing. Good to see the clients are observing the SOPs. Some of them lost their job during MCO and ended up on the streets. Special thanks to our sponsors and volunteers for the great support! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
4 months ago
So glad that our soup kitchen operations are back in full swing. Good to see the clients are observing the SOPs. Some of them lost their job during MCO and ended up on the streets. Special thanks to our sponsors and volunteers for the great support! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
From serving cooked food to the homeless clients on the streets to mobilising provisions to the needy individuals in PPRs and shelters, we thank everyone of our Johor Bahru team for their kind contributions and effort to make it for the needy despite all the challenges! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
5 months ago
From serving cooked food to the homeless clients on the streets to mobilising provisions to the needy individuals in PPRs and shelters, we thank everyone of our Johor Bahru team for their kind contributions and effort to make it for the needy despite all the challenges! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
More photos taken from our "Hari Raya Hampers" distribution this week. Making sure everyone of our clients have something to be cheerful about. Apart from food, daily used items such as hygiene products, kitchen utensils, assorted fabric items, stationary items and toys were also included into our hamper bags making it extra heavier this month! Food items alone were about 35kg per family! Taking this opportunity to wish everyone of our Muslim volunteers, friends, supporters and clients a Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Maaf Zahir Batin. No doubt this year's celebration will be very different but appreciate everyone is safe and protected from the pandemic. We are in this together and let's work to fight this pandemic together! Thanking all sponsors and donors for the generous support enabling us to continue serve the needy with food, love and care. Big shoutout too to our wonderful team which already depleted by our very own strict SOP. All of you who worked tirelessly behind the s
5 months ago
More photos taken from our "Hari Raya Hampers" distribution this week. Making sure everyone of our clients have something to be cheerful about. Apart from food, daily used items such as hygiene products, kitchen utensils, assorted fabric items, stationary items and toys were also included into our hamper bags making it extra heavier this month! Food items alone were about 35kg per family! Taking this opportunity to wish everyone of our Muslim volunteers, friends, supporters and clients a Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Maaf Zahir Batin. No doubt this year's celebration will be very different but appreciate everyone is safe and protected from the pandemic. We are in this together and let's work to fight this pandemic together! Thanking all sponsors and donors for the generous support enabling us to continue serve the needy with food, love and care. Big shoutout too to our wonderful team which already depleted by our very own strict SOP. All of you who worked tirelessly behind the s
Our team have been working extra hours for the past few weeks to deliver provisions and hamper goodies to the needy families before Hari Raya! Heart warming to see the smiling faces of our recipients upon receiving 3 bags full of food and daily used items. Thanks to everyone of you who have contributed to our foodbank enabling us to give all our recipients (especially those celebrating) a Raya to remember! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
5 months ago
Our team have been working extra hours for the past few weeks to deliver provisions and hamper goodies to the needy families before Hari Raya! Heart warming to see the smiling faces of our recipients upon receiving 3 bags full of food and daily used items. Thanks to everyone of you who have contributed to our foodbank enabling us to give all our recipients (especially those celebrating) a Raya to remember! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thankful to all donors and those who have been committed in contributing not just money but time over the past testing weeks to help us ease the work of our frontliners and also the livelihood of the needy, their struggles over this pandemic period seemed a little easier to bear with because of your contributions! - Vivian @Kechara Soup Kitchen
5 months ago
Thankful to all donors and those who have been committed in contributing not just money but time over the past testing weeks to help us ease the work of our frontliners and also the livelihood of the needy, their struggles over this pandemic period seemed a little easier to bear with because of your contributions! - Vivian @Kechara Soup Kitchen
KSDS Level 2 virtual class, Lin Mun KSDS
5 months ago
KSDS Level 2 virtual class, Lin Mun KSDS
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
5 months ago
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
Wesak 2020
5 months ago
Wesak 2020
Recycle today for a better tomorrow. KEP-Serena
7 months ago
Recycle today for a better tomorrow. KEP-Serena
Today we are having recycling at Kechara Soup Kitchen. Do drop by here if you would like to get ride of the recyclable items from home. KEP - Serena
7 months ago
Today we are having recycling at Kechara Soup Kitchen. Do drop by here if you would like to get ride of the recyclable items from home. KEP - Serena
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Seen here is Bam, Vajrayogini’s seed syllable and also Kechara's logo. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
7 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Seen here is Bam, Vajrayogini’s seed syllable and also Kechara's logo. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: More melted butter was offered. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
7 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: More melted butter was offered. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
H.E. Zawa Rinpoche in deep concentration. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
7 months ago
H.E. Zawa Rinpoche in deep concentration. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Geshela is seen here wearing ceremonial hat called tsoksha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
7 months ago
Geshela is seen here wearing ceremonial hat called tsoksha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
The Shize Fire Puja was performed according to scriptural sources. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
7 months ago
The Shize Fire Puja was performed according to scriptural sources. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
To find out more about the substances offered during jinsek/fire puja, have a read here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
7 months ago
To find out more about the substances offered during jinsek/fire puja, have a read here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
More about the symbolism of the offering items here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
7 months ago
More about the symbolism of the offering items here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Amongst all pujas, the fire puja is considered the king of all Pujas. It is the most powerful of all pujas within Tibetan Buddhism and its purpose is basically to remove all obstacles and its stains to enlightenment.
7 months ago
Amongst all pujas, the fire puja is considered the king of all Pujas. It is the most powerful of all pujas within Tibetan Buddhism and its purpose is basically to remove all obstacles and its stains to enlightenment.
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Graceful hand mudras were also part of the ritual. - shared Pastor Antoinette
7 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Graceful hand mudras were also part of the ritual. - shared Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: One by one the offering substances were offered accompanied by traditional Tibetan recitations. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
7 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: One by one the offering substances were offered accompanied by traditional Tibetan recitations. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: JP Thong ensuring that Geshela's ritual items are within easy reach. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
7 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: JP Thong ensuring that Geshela's ritual items are within easy reach. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor David Lai & Frederick Law were also on hand to assist with the puja ritual substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
7 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor David Lai & Frederick Law were also on hand to assist with the puja ritual substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor Niral Patel assisting H.E. Zawa Rinpoche during the puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
7 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor Niral Patel assisting H.E. Zawa Rinpoche during the puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Peaceful fire pujas are excellent to remove inauspiciousness, problems that might be coming to our lifespan, wisdom, wealth, growth of Dharma. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
7 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Peaceful fire pujas are excellent to remove inauspiciousness, problems that might be coming to our lifespan, wisdom, wealth, growth of Dharma. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Over 100 Kecharians & their loved ones spent the Sunday evening immersed in this obstacle pacifying puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
7 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Over 100 Kecharians & their loved ones spent the Sunday evening immersed in this obstacle pacifying puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Dakpa and Geshe Janchup Gyaltsen Lama inspecting the offering substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
7 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Dakpa and Geshe Janchup Gyaltsen Lama inspecting the offering substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Rinpoche & Geshe Janchup making last minute checks before the commencement of the Jinsek or Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
7 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Rinpoche & Geshe Janchup making last minute checks before the commencement of the Jinsek or Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The arrival of the Sangha conducting this sacred puja accompanied by Changtso Beng Kooi and Pastor Niral Patel - shared by Pastor Antoinette
7 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The arrival of the Sangha conducting this sacred puja accompanied by Changtso Beng Kooi and Pastor Niral Patel - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The site of the Peaceful Fire Puja the calls upon the pacifying energies of Shize Shugden. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
7 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The site of the Peaceful Fire Puja the calls upon the pacifying energies of Shize Shugden. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: A close-up of the ladle. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
7 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: A close-up of the ladle. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Substances such as sticks, melted butter, kusha grass, lentils and barley were traditionally offered during the prayers to create the causes for merits, long life and to pacify obstacles. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
7 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Substances such as sticks, melted butter, kusha grass, lentils and barley were traditionally offered during the prayers to create the causes for merits, long life and to pacify obstacles. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Beautifully handcrafted torma or food offering to the Buddha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
7 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Beautifully handcrafted torma or food offering to the Buddha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Some of the many offering items & substances used during this highly blessed Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
7 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Some of the many offering items & substances used during this highly blessed Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
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Dorje Shugden
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