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“Beyond meditation practice, there is attitude.” - Master Xuyun, Stages of Development and Difficulties

“Beyond meditation practice, there is attitude.” – Master Xuyun, Stages of Development and Difficulties

(By Tsem Rinpoche and Pastor Adeline)

In the mid-19th century, in Fujian, Qing China, a woman from the Xiao family gave birth to a bag of flesh. From this flesh was born the baby Master Xuyun (Simplified Chinese: 虚云). Having given birth to a bag of flesh, his mother was frightened and overwhelmed with desperation. She passed away not long after having given birth. An old man who sold medicine managed to solve the mystery the day after the birth. He cut open the bag of flesh and took out the baby boy. He was named Xiao Guyan (Simplified Chinese: 萧古岩), and he was to become one of the most influential Chan Buddhist masters of the 19th and 20th centuries.

The dates of Master Xuyun’s (hereafter referred as “Xuyun”) life are highly controversial ( ? – 13 October 1959), and dates of the significant events of his life are listed differently in various written works. While many of his followers believed that Xuyun lived up to roughly 119 years of age, in which case he may have been born on 26th August 1840 as listed in some sources, research done by Buddhist and Chinese scholars show that he could have lived to between 93 to 100 years. Regardless of the length of his life, the great achievements he accomplished throughout his life continue to inspire many.


 

Early Years

Fresco of Tankasri Avalokitesvara in Dunhuang cave

Fresco of Tankasri Avalokitesvara in Dunhuang cave

When Xuyun was 11 years old, his grandmother decided that he should be married to two Hunanese girls from the Tian and Tan families in order to continue the family lineage. These two families had been friends of the Xiao family for many generations. Before the arrangements of the marriage could be completed, Xuyun’s grandmother passed away during a bad winter. Xuyun was 13 years old at the time. The family held a funeral following Buddhist rites, which was to be Xuyun’s first encounter with Buddhist scripture. Thereafter, Xuyun began reading Buddhist texts from the family library in his house. The story of the ‘Fragrant Mountain’ and Avalokitesvara’s attainments, in particular, had great influence upon Xuyun’s mind.

Three years after Xuyun’s first visit to Nanyue Monastery, at the age of 17, he intended to leave home to join the sangha. In order to keep Xuyun at home, his dad hired a Daoist practitioner to teach him Daoist yogas. Although he was not interested in the teachings, he continued to pretend he was interested in order to make the family happy. After three years, he decided to leave home and make his way to Nanyue, but was found half way by a man sent to find him and bring him back home. Xuyun was then forced to marry the two girls who were previous picked by his grandmother, from the Tian and Tan families. Instead of living an ordinary married life, Xuyun shared dharma with them and they became spiritual companions.

When he was 19, Xuyun decided to flee home with his cousin Fuguo who shared a similar interest to join the sangha, this time to Yongquan Monastery on Gu Shan (Mount Drum) in Fuzhou. He left behind the “Song of the Skin Bag” for his two wives and had his head shaven by Master Changkai. The next year, he received full ordination from Master Miaolian on Gu Shan and was given the name Guyan (Simplified Chinese: 古岩) together with the aliases Yanche (Simplified Chinese: 演彻) and Deqing (Simplified Chinese: 德清). His cousin Fuguo on the other hand left to search for his master after their ordination, and they never heard from each other ever again. Knowing his son’s temperament, Xuyun’s father sent people to search for him again. In order not to be found and taken back home, he hid in a grotto behind the mountain, where he was occasionally visited by tigers and wolves. He spent three years in the grotto performing purification retreats while observing the rules of repentance and purification.

Gu Shan Yongquan Monastery in 1884

Gu Shan Yongquan Monastery in 1884

One day, a monk from Gu Shan went to see Xuyun and said, “There is no need for you to hide now as your old father has retired on account of his age and he has left for home. The elderly Master Miaolian has praised your long austerities but said that, in addition to wisdom, you should cultivate the blessing that arises from altruistic activities. You can return to the mountain temple, take up a post and serve others.” Upon receiving the message from Miaolian, Xuyun returned to the monastery and joined the sangha.

Xuyun’s father passed away when he was 25. His stepmother and his two wives left home to become nuns two years after that. For four years in the monastery, Xuyun engaged in the austere roles of a water-man, gardener, hall-keeper and caretaker. He was occasionally given comparatively easier roles but he turned them down. He also refused to receive the share of any donations that were given to him. His health was robust although he only ate one mug of rice-gruel a day.

Xuyun was very much inspired by the practice of austerities and in particular the training that Master Xuanzang (Simplified Chinese: 玄奘, c. 602–664) undertook. During the Tang Dynasty, Master Xuanzang trained for 10 years before he left for India on foot, in order to bring back valuable Sanskrit texts. This training included abstaining from food for a day, and over time he was able to build up the number of days after which he needed to eat, in order to accustom himself to travelling in desert conditions with minimal food. Being inspired by this story, Xuyun once again travelled to the grotto behind the mountain, and resumed life there with minimal effort.

Xuanzang's journey to India in Dunhuang cave

Xuanzang’s journey to India in Dunhuang cave

Three years passed, with Xuyun living on pine needles, grass, and water from the mountain stream. He also had many different types of experiences during his meditations but persevered with his practice of reciting the Buddha’s name. Although his robes were worn out, and his hair and beard were over a foot in length, he experienced great joy as if he was a celestial being on the fourth of the thirty-three levels of heaven.

It was around this time, that he began to wander to different places, unaware of the passing of time. A Chan monk came to him when he was staying in a grotto on Mount Wen Zhou, and suggested that he pay a visit to Master Yangjing of Longquan Temple, located on the Huading peak of Mount Tiantai.

During their meeting, Xuyun realised he had wasted his time pursuing the quest for the extraordinary, and that this was far from the practice that results in perfect enlightenment. Master Yangjing pointed out his weak points, after which Xuyun decided to follow the master’s instruction properly and obey it to the letter. Master Yangjing taught Xuyun to meditate on a gong-an (a meditational sentence or verse, also known as koan in Japanese). This gong-an said “Who is dragging this corpse about?”, he was also to work during his stay with the master.

A year later, Master Yangjing instructed Xuyun to study the Chan rules at Guoqing Monastery and the Fahua (Lotus) teaching at Fanguang monastery. Xuyun remained in Guoqing Monastery for two years and returned to Longquan temple from time to time to visit old Master Yangjing.

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During the third year after leaving Longquan Temple, Xuyun left to Gaoming monastery to attend Master Mingxi’s exposition of the Lotus Sutra after a proper farewell to Master Yangjing. During this journey, Xuyun travelled to various places, to visit and to study many different teachings. During the journey:

  • He listened to the Amitabha Sutra at Yuelin Monastery in Xuetou
  • He spent new years at Housi temple on Mount Putuo
  • He visited Ashoka Monastery in Ningbo, and venerated Buddha Shakyamuni’s relic and the Theravada and Mahayana canons
  • He listened to the Surangama Sutra in Tiantong Monastery, Ningbo
  • He went on pilgrimage to Santian Chu and other holy places in Hangzhou
  • Had a girl offer him her naked body on a boat, while travelling from Ningbo to Hangzhou. In response, he promptly sat cross-legged and began chanting mantras
  • He visited Abbot Qingguang at Tianning Monastery in Hangzhou
  • He paid respects to Abbot Dashui on Mount Jiao, and shared Dharma and practice methods with Superintendent Peng Yulin who was staying there
  • He visited Masters Guanxin, Xinlin and Dading at Jinshan Monastery
  • He made good progress in his Chan practice during his stay in Gaoming Monastery in Yangzhou and paid his respects to Abbot Yuelang.

 

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Pilgrimage to Mount Wutai

First temple in Mount Putuo. It is known as Puji temple today

First temple in Mount Putuo. It is known as Puji temple today

Aged 43, Xuyun decided to embark on a pilgrimage to Mount Putuo in the east and Mount Wutai in the north feeling the need to pay back his parents’ kindness. In Putuo, Xuyun made excellent progress with his spiritual training on the mountain during a few months’ stay. After that, Xuyun set out towards Mount Wutai carrying burning incense and made a prostration, after every third step he took, until he reached his destination.

He began the journey in a group with four Chan monks: Bianzhen, Qiuning, Shanxia and Juecheng. They went separate ways at Huzhou after a short period of time. Xuyun proceeded to Nanjing and paid reverence to the stupa of Master Farong on Mount Niutou. Xuyun continued with his journey to Shizi Shan and Pukou temple where he spent the new year.

From Mount Shizi, Xuyun travelled to the north of Jiangsu and entered Henan, and susequently passed Fengyang, Haozhou, Haoling and Mount Song where the Shaolin Temple was located. Eventually, Xuyun arrived at Baima Monastery in Luoyang where he practised walking meditation during the day and rested at night regardless of the weather conditions. While making a prostration, after every third step he took, Xuyun recited the name of Manjushri with single pointed concentration.

Manjushri of the popular mural “Debate between Manjushri and Vimalakirti

Manjushri of the popular mural “Debate between Manjushri and Vimalakirti” in the Dunhuang Mogao cave

A few months after that, Xuyun arrived at a river bank, located passed the Guangwu tombs. As the day was already dark, he settled into an empty thatched hut nearby and sat in deep meditation. When he awoke the next day, he found himself surrounded with thick snow, and the roads being blocked for those who wanted to travel. Xuyun experienced extreme hunger and cold for six days as the snow continued to fall, and he gradually sank into a state of confusion. A beggar came to his ‘doorstep’ on the seventh day, kindled a fire and cooked rice for him. Xuyun began to recover after that.

While regaining his strength, the beggar, named Wenji, suggested Xuyun to visit a monk called Qingyi at the Bimo Grotto who was known for his self cultivation. The beggar suggested that Xuyun cancel his pilgrimage due to the distance and the cold. However, Xuyun was determined to continue, to which the beggar suggested that he resume his journey following the beggar’s tracks, and stay in a temple that was about 32 kilometres away. With a weakened body, Xuyun continued his journey and managed to reach Xiaojinshan Monastery. He continued his pilgrimage the next day after a night’s rest. He was invited to Abbot Delin’s monastery after he had passed Mengxian, while heading towards Huaiqing. Abbot Delin invited Xuyun to stay at the monastery seeing him prostrating on the road. Abbot Delin was delighted to find that Xuyun was from Gushan, a fact that brought back memories of his own pilgrimage to Mount Wutai with two companions from the same region.

Wutai Shan in the 19th century

Wutai Shan in the 19th century

When he resumed his pilgrimage once winter was over, Xuyun was struck with severe gripping pains in his belly, and was also infected with malaria. The pain in his belly soon became dysentery, to the extent that he passed motion a dozen or more times in a single day. After 13 days of this, he was completely exhausted and had no strength to even get up, let alone walk about. At that point, he closed his eyes and waited for his end without a single thought of regret, while staying at the ruined temple of Huang Shaling.

Two days after that, Wenji the beggar appeared and made a fire under the west wall of the ruined temple. After seeing Wenji that night, Xuyun felt that his body and mind had been purified. Wenji took care of Xuyun for a few days and offered to carry his baggage and cook for him as he resumed the pilgrimage after 19 days. Although Xuyun was weak, he felt that all delusory thoughts came to a sudden halt and he was free from erroneous thoughts. His heart and body were gradually restored, and he regained strength daily.

Unfortunately, not long after journeying together, Wenji had to leave due to temples that refused to give lay persons any lodging. Although Xuyun was given lodging at the temple, he had no mind to stay because he was worried as to where Wenji would spend the night. Before they separated, Wenji told Xuyun that other people would help with Xuyun’s baggage soon. Feeling extremely impatient, and trying to rush his journey during the night, Xuyun’s nose bled incessantly, which led to his mouth becoming smeared with blood. None of the temples would allow him to lodge there for the night after seeing Xuyun’s condition. While trying to find lodging at Jiluo Moastery in Taiyuan, not only was he not allowed to stay, but he was abused and rebuked.

Pilgrims prostrating on the road

Pilgrims prostrating on the road

Before Xuyun arrived at his final destination, he came across different people who offered him help with his baggage and lodging. He was offered travel expenses and presents that he refused to take. When he finally arrived at Xiantong Monastery on Wutai Shan to locate his baggage, he went to the neighbouring temples to inquire about Wenji’s whereabouts and offered incense. No one knew who he was but when Xuyun asked an elderly monk about the beggar, he quickly put his palms together and said the beggar was an emanation of Manjushri! Xuyun prostrated immediately to the bodhisattava and continued his pilgrimage to the five peaks where he made offerings, paid reverence, sat in meditation, and attended the Great Prayer Meeting. Thus, he was able to complete and fulfil the vows he made three years previously.

During those years of pilgrimage, although he was burdened with illness, gales, and snowfall that obstruct Xuyun’s incense offering and prostrations, he realised single pointed concentration and right thought. He was filled with joy though the journey was difficult and his mind became more at ease each time he overcame an adverse circumstance.

For two years, Xuyun continued to travel to various places in China; Tibet where he paid respects to the His Holiness the Dalai Lama; Bhutan; and India. Although he travelled more than 16,0000 kilometres, he did so on foot, except when crossing rivers and seas by boat. During the trip, he climbed mountains, crossed streams and overcame stressful conditions such as rain, frost or snow. His surrounding environment changed as he travelled, but his mind remained as bright and pure as the solitary moon in the night sky. In addition to this, his health increased as he was able to walk faster. He felt no sense of hardship, yet he realised the harm of the self-indulgent mind. As the ancient saying goes “after reading ten thousand books, one should travel ten thousand miles.”

 

“Humility and patience are golden coins.” – Master Xuyun, Stages of Development and Difficulties

 

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Awakening

At 51, Xuyun assisted in repairing Chishan Monastery in Jiangsu when he paid respects to the Abbot Faren. During the following year, he stayed at Jincheng Monastery, and assisted Abbot Songyan to repair the monastery. During his stay there, he often had interesting discussions with the upasaka Yang Renshan on the Hetuvidya Shastra, and also the treatise called The Lamp of Prajna Wisdom. During the following year, together with Master Puzhao, Yuexia and Yilian, Xuyun climbed Mount Jiuha, where they repaired the huts on Cuifeng Peak for their temporary stay there. Master Puzhao also expounded the five divisions of the Huayan School there. For two years, Xuyun stayed there to study the sutras.

Abbot Yuelang of the Gaoming Monastery came to Mount Jiuhua and approached Xuyun to assist with supervising twelve weeks of meditation. Agreeing, he left Mount Juihua and as he reached Digang Harbour, he decided to walk along the river bank but the river was rising. A boatman refused to help him cross the current because he was penniless and left without him. As Xuyun continued to walk along the river bank, he slipped and fell into the water. A fisherman caught him by chance after he was dragged by the current for a day and a night. Xuyun was sent to Baoji temple as the fisherman had sent for a monk from there who recognised him. Xuyun bled from the mouth, nose, anus and genital organ as a result from having taking a beating by the current of the river.

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Nevertheless, Xuyun kept his promise and left for Gaoming Monastery after few days of rest. Although the monk on duty knew he was unwell, the Abbot asked Xuyun to take up a temporary post for the 12-week meditation course after asking about Mount Jiuhua, where Xuyun had stayed before almost drowning in the river. Xuyun politely declined the Abbot’s request without mentioning the incident, and asked to attend the meditation meeting instead. This was deemed unacceptable and seen as an offence to the whole monastic community according to Gaoming Monastery’s rules. Xuyun was therefore punished with a wooden stick and his illness worsened following that.

Xuyun continued to bleed and sat in meditation for 20 days, ignoring the pains of his body and his illness completely vanished after that. When the abbot of Baoji Temple came to Gaoming Monastery to offer robes to the monks, he was delighted to see Xuyun who appeared radiant. He spoke about Xuyun’s almost drowning in the river, after which all the monks started to hold Xuyun in high esteem. Following this, Xuyun was able to continue his meditations in peace, and was no longer expected to work in the meditation hall.

The experience following this led to Xuyun’s awakening. The prerequisites for a major awakening took place; all thoughts were brought to an abrupt halt thus allowing Xuyun’s practice to take effect throughout the day and night, and his steps became swift like he was flying in the air. One evening, Xuyun opened his eyes and suddenly perceived great brightness like broad daylight, in which everything inside and outside of the monastery was clear to him. He could see through walls to see what people were doing, and this was confirmed to him the next day, when he asked the very same people what they had been doing the evening before. However, Xuyun didn’t pay regard to this experience knowing it was a temporary experience.

Not long after that, an attendant came to fill their cups after the meditation session ended and the boiling liquid splashed over Xuyun’s hand. This caused the cup he was holding to drop to the ground, and shatter loudly. It was at that moment, that the last doubt underlying the nature of birth and death was instantaneously cut off. Xuyun rejoiced at the realisation and succeeded in overcoming the stream of worldly life. He chanted:

A cup fell to the ground
With a sound clearly heard.
As space was pulverised
The mad mind came to a stop.

When the hand released its hold, the cup fell and was shattered.

’Tis hard to talk when the family breaks up or someone dies; Spring comes with fragrant flowers blossoming everywhere, mountains, rivers and the great earth are but the Tathagata.

 

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Seclusion and Restoring Degenerated Sangha

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After staying in Jiangsu and Zhejiang for about 10 years, Xuyun made a distant journey to Mount Wutai and cultivated his practise in seclusion on Mount Zhongnan. During the journey, he visited the Tomb and Temple of Confucius, arriving in Shandong Province. There were signs of the Boxer Movement – a secret society with quasi-Daoist origins rising in rebellion across Shangdong. Xuyun had a gun pointed at his head by a foreign soldier who threatened to shoot him. Seeing Xuyun without the slightest concern, he was asked to leave. Xuyun hurried to make his way to Mount Wutai and proceeded to Mount Zhongnan.

Once the Boxer Movement broke out, Xuyun travelled to Beijing. When the movement came to a climax, he was back in Longquan Monastery. It was around that time that the secretary of the Japanese Legation and a German minister were both assassinated at the secret instigation of the Empress Dowager Cixi. Two months after that, a war was declared on the foreign powers, which caused the capital city being thrown into disorder.

The princes and ministers who knew Xuyun from their stay at Longquan Monastery urged him to leave with them and he followed the Imperial entourage who fled to the west. Everyone endured great hardship during the journey and were accompanied beyond the Great Wall by Viceroy Chen Chunxuan of Gansu with his soldiers. When they arrived at Bingyang, it was besieged by a severe famine, and people even began to eat corpses in the streets. The authorities put a stop to this by erecting eight booths to give free meals to the starving people, and food were also distributed in the countryside.

Xuyun continued his journey secretly to Zhongnan in order to build a thatched hut. He found a secluded place for spiritual retirement at the Lion Cave behind Jia Wutai’s peak. It was there that he changed his name to Xuyun to avoid unwanted visitors. Up until that point in time, he had still been known by his ordination name – Deqing. He drank melted snow and ate coarse herbs he grew himself.

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One day after about a year living on the mountain, Xuyun cooked some taro and sat cross-legged while waiting for his meal. Involuntarily, he entered a state of samadhi and awoke after hearing a ritual instrument called a qing, which was hit by Master Fucheng and others who stayed nearby. They went to see Xuyun because he hadn’t been in touch for some time. When they arrived at his hut, they saw tiger tracks everywhere but no signs of human tracks. When Xuyun returned to consciousness after hearing the qing, they asked if Xuyun had taken his meal and found an inch of mould covering the taro. Judging by the thickness of the mould, they commented Xuyun could have been in the state of samadhi for at least half a month.

Monks and lay people from nearby and far away places alike began to visit Xuyun, most probably after hearing the story of his incredible samadhi. In order to avoid such visitors, Xuyun left to Mount Emei and ascended to Jinding Peak with Master Jiachen who caught up with him following his footsteps. There they saw countless heavenly lamps, a similar experience as to what they had previously witnessed on Mount Wutai. Xuyun vowed to build a hut on the mountain to receive visiting pilgrims as it was such a sacred site for Buddhists, and in such disrepair. This disrepair was due to the degeneration of the sangha community in Yunan province. However he was unsuccessful due to prohibiting conditions prevalent among the local monastic community. He was saddened by the situation and was brought to tears.

Xuyun was invited to end his seclusion by the Abbot Qiming of Guihua Temple and various Dharma sponsors to expound the Sutra of Complete Enlightenment and the Sutra of Forty-Two Sections at Guihua. Over three thousand people took refuge at the events and became Xuyun’s disciples. Following that, Xuyun was invited to Qiongju Monastery to preach the Surangama Sutra and Buddhist precepts by Abbot Mengfu. While there he also supervised the carving of wooden blocks for printing the Surangama Sutra and the poems of Hanshan that were kept at the monastery.

Xuyun was invited to the Chongsheng Monastery in Santa to preach the Lotus Sutra to a few thousand disciples who would take refuge under Xuyun. He declined the invitation to the monastery, as it was located in a town. Instead he told Li Fuxing, who had invited him, that he wished to stay on Mount Jizu. He told Li Fuxing, a sponsor of the Dharma, to procure him a site where he could build a hut on the mountain to receive pilgrims, saving the degenerated sangha, and restoring the holy site of Mahakashyapa.

Entrance to Mount Jizu

Entrance to Mount Jizu

Li Fuxing managed to find a ruined temple called Boyu which had been abandoned since the Jiaqing reign (1796-1820) of the Qing Dynasty. It was believed that a large rock found at the site, emanated negative influences and caused the site to be uninhabitable. Xuyun managed to find some labourers to break the rock apart, and he wanted to dig a pool there to liberate fish and other creatures who live in water. However the men could not find the bottom of the rock as it was deep underground. After a few days, with over a hundred men who came to help, they failed to shift the rock. Xuyun offered prayers to the guardian spirits of the temple and recited mantras. After this he managed to move the rock to the left, with the aid of ten monks. Those present at the time were awestruck at the divine intervention, and named the rock Yun Yi Shi (literally translated as ‘cloud move rock’).

After the incident, the restoration of the temple began, but a lot funds needed to be raised. Xuyun left for Tengyue by himself, with the purpose of raising the funds needed, while Master Jiachen looked after the temple. It was not easy and he was unable to raise any funds for awhile. Instead, he spent 10 days repairing the road with the 83-year old Venerable Chanxiu, who became attained during his late 20’s. Before he parted with Venerable Chanxiu, Xuyun was requested to recite sutras for the deceased scholar and academic Wu. Xuyun performed a 7-day ceremony dedicated to bestowing food to the hungry ghosts, after which he was asked to say in Tengyue.

Xuyun mentioned to those that attended the ceremony, that he was raising funds to rebuild a temple on Mount Jizu. The people were delighted with the news, and donated substantial funds for the work.

Xuyun allocated funds needed for necessities for the community, added extra rooms in the building, setup monastic rules and regulations, enforced discipline and Buddhist precepts, preached sutras and introduced meditation. Over 700 ordained and lay devotees received the commandments and gradually all monasteries on the mountain followed the same example and improved themselves, including the wearing of proper robes and eating vegetarian food. They also stayed at the temple to learn and receive spiritual instructions.

 

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Fundraising

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After Xuyun transmitted the precepts to over 800 people in Shizhong Monastery as invited by Abbot Baolin, he continued to travel to South Asia including Burma where he caught a serious disease. He spent sometime in the Avalokitesvara Temple at Liudong and recovered with help from Dingru, the resident monk. As he was leaving, Dingru asked him to stay. He politely declined the invitation and stated his intention to raise funds for the monastery, so Dingru gave him some necessities and traveling expenses in order to travel to Rangoon. Dingru telegraphed Upasaka Gao Wanbang to receive Xuyun and arranged for him to return to China.

Xuyun couldn’t return to China directly but had to stop in Malacca, Malaysia, where he was invited to preach the Sutra of the Medicine Buddha in Qingyun temple. Following that, he travelled to Kuala Lumpur to preach the Lankavatara Sutra at the Lingshan Temple. While preaching the sutras in Malaysia, over 10,000 people attended his precious teachings, and took refuge in him, thus becoming his disciples. He was in his late 60’s then.

When he was returning to China, the ship he was on stopped by Taiwan, where he visited Longquan Monastery. The ship then stopped in Japan where he visited a few monasteries. At the time China and Japan were not on friendly terms; Japanese monks were not allowed to visit China and Chinese monks visiting Japan were closely watched. Due to this, Xuyun couldn’t establish an association between Chinese and Japanese Buddhists.

When Xuyun returned to Shanghai, he quickly proceeded to Beijing together with Master Jichan and representatives of the Buddhist Association to present their petition to the Central Government. Xuyun was informed about the Government’s intention to impose a levy on monastic property when he was in Kuala Lumpur. Hence the rush to present the petition as soon as he has arrived. He stayed at Xianliang Monastery and was invited to preach about the Buddhist precepts to Prince Su Shanqi’s wife. Many members of royalty and high officials paid visits to him as they were part of the retinue to the west during the Boxer Rebellion period, and knew him. There, Xuyun received advice to properly present the petition and the submission was completed smoothly with help from the devotees.

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The petition resulted in all provincial levies imposed on monastic properties being abolished. Following this, Xuyun informed his disciples that no emperor had presented a set of the Tripitaka to Yunan province since the beginning of the Qing Dynasty, thus indirectly advising people to submit a petition to the royalty for such an act to be granted. Prince Su happily sponsored this act, which was something that benefited the entire region. The Emperor happily granted a set of the ‘Dragon Edition’ of the Tripitaka and gave Xuyun’s monastery an additional title that means “invocation of the holy one” and granted Abbot Xuyun a purple robe, a bowl, a jade seal, a staff and a sceptre. The emperor also gave Xuyun the title Great Master Foci Hungfa (Buddha’s Compassion’s vast Dharma) and a message for him to spread the Buddha’s Dharma.

Not long after that, the old Abbot of Gushan Miaolian, where Xuyun was ordained, entered into clear light. Xuyun took half of the relics from the cremation to Jile Monastery of Penang. From there he went to Thailand and was approached by a British consul on a boat who kindly sponsored him 300 dollars which was a huge amount at that time. This may have even been half of the consul’s yearly income. But he did so knowing of Xuyun’s initial plans to raise funds when he was in Kuala Lumpur. There after Xuyun managed to travel directly to Thailand.

In Thailand, Xuyun stayed at Longquan Monastery and preached the Sutra of Ksitigarbha. The consul came again and donated another 3,000 dollars. Xuyun required tens of thousands to build a hall to house the Tripitaka but he had only collected a small sum until the consul’s offering. Xuyun continued to preach within Thailand, however he entered into the state of samadhi involuntarily, so forgot about the teaching schedule. The news of this incident spread in Bangkok and the king, ministers, and lay people all went to him to pay their respects. The King of Thailand presented Xuyun many offerings and respectfully requested Xuyun to accept him as a disciple and several thousands became his disciples after that.

After experiencing this particular incident of samadhi, Xuyun gradually began to become paralysed. Others had to feed him and no treatment, either Chinese or Western, seemed to help. It got to a point where Xuyun could no longer speak but he did not feel any suffering as he had already let go of everything, except for the bank draft that was sewn inside his collar. This bank draft was money raised for the hall that was to house the Tripitaka. The thought brought tears to his eyes as he quietly made prayers to Mahakashyapa to protect him.

Mahakashyapa is one of Buddha Shakyamuni's principal disciples, foremost in ascetic practices

Mahakashyapa is one of Buddha Shakyamuni’s principal disciples, foremost in ascetic practices

That night, he dreamed an old man who looked like Mahakashyapa sitting at his bedside. The old man told Xuyun to never stray from his commandments, that go together with the begging bow and robes. He advised Xuyun to use his folded robe and bowl as a pillow and everything will be alright. Xuyun got up immediately and did accordingly. Miraculously, his body perspired profusely and he felt indescribably happy. Xuyun murmured words to pray for prescriptions at a shrine of Weituo and Xuyun started to see and speak again. Weituo is Skanda, a bodhisattva who is devoted to guard Buddhist teachings and monasteries. There are accounts that Weituo performs miracles for many in the Chinese Buddhist tradition. For the next two days, Xuyun ate the prescribed thick soup and abstained from all other foods. Xuyun managed to pass motion with ease due to that and the excrement was black. This is a good sign as the toxins in his body was being cleared in the process. In no time at all, Xuyun’s senses recovered and he was able to get up and walk. This time, the sickness lasted over 20 days, but he was well cared for, especially by Master Miaoyuan who had looked after him day and night. Xuyun made a vow to Weituo to always build a shrine for Weituo whenever Xuyun built or repaired a monastery in the future.

After his recovery, Xuyun went back to Penang from Thailand, and stayed in Jile Monastery. Before he left, the King of Thailand along with his high officials and entourage presented him a great sum of donations and saw him off. The King also offered a 4,550-acre piece of land to Xuyun as a reward for reciting sutras at the royal palace. Xuyun donated the land to Jile Monastery and requested them to set up a rubber factory there as a source of income for the monastic community.

Xuyun continued to stay in Malaysia and travelled to Selangor, Ipoh and Perak to preach dharma. Many people requested to be his disciples. When he went back to Jile Monastery in Penang, he preached more sutra teachings before he entered into temporary retreat during which he stopped preaching and receiving visitors.

 

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Restoration of Holy Sites

“When it comes to love, be a big spender!” – Master Xuyun, Stages of Development and Difficulties

While continuing with the preaching of sutras and restoration of the Buddhist code of conduct in various monastic communities, Xuyun continued to repair and re-establish holy sites, monasteries and stupas. During the Huichang period (842-845 CE) of the Tang Dynasty, nearly 4,600 monasteries were destroyed, monastic properties were confiscated, and almost 260,000 monks and nuns were forced back into lay life. Since then, although most of the monasteries managed to recover from this damage, it was due to Xuyun efforts that they were restored to proper use.

Between 1914-15, Xuyun returned to the Mount Jizu and immediately began repairing the Xingyuan Monastery there. After that, he continued with the restoration of Loquan Temple at Xiayang. A few years later, Xuyun urged Governor Tang to preserve the Huating Monastery at Kunming. The Huating Monastery was an ancient and holy site with very beautiful gardens. However, it had fallen into ruin and was in the process of being sold to European residents for a club house to be built there. Governor Tang secretly discussed the matter with local notables after listening to Xuyun. As a result, they formally invited Xuyun to become the Abbot of Huating Monastery in order for them to restore the holy site which Xuyun accepted after the request was made verbally three times.

Xuyun017

Three years later, in the province of Yunnan, Xuyun oversaw the building of a stupa for the Seven Buddhist Disciples as well as repairing the Stupa of the Sixteen Arhats, and the statues of the Buddhas and the Five Hundred Arhats at Shenqyin Temple. Three bronze statues were made for the main hall and three clay ones for the shrine of the Western Paradise located at the temple. In the following year, Xuyun built the additional prayer halls and sangha quarters of Yunxi Monastery while holding the position of abbot there. The bell tower for the monastery was also rebuilt.

After seven years, Xuyun received telegrams from the Guangdong provincial authorities, asking him to take over and renovate the temple of the Sixth Patriarch, the holy site of Huineng, that was last renovated by Master Hanshan (1546-1623 CE). This temple, formerly known as Baolin, was given the name Nanhua. The monastery was run down and Xuyun made some minor repairs for a year.

Xuyun019

Between 1940-1941, despite Guangzhou having fallen into Japanese control, Xuyun managed to repair the Dajing Temple which was used as a part of the Nanhua Monastery to receive visitors. The Yuehua Monastery was also renovated for the same purpose. Prior to that, Xuyun also repaired the Wujin nunnery to receive the influx of nuns coming to Qujiang.

Xuyun was placed in charge of the construction of Dajue Monastery on Mount Ruyuan’s Yunmen Peak at the request of Chairman Li in 1944. The ruined monastery was in the same dilapidated condition as Nanhua Monastery prior to its renovation. It was in imminent danger of collapse. In anticipation of the war spreading to Nanhua, Xuyun secretly moved the bodies of Master Huineng and Master Hanshan to Yunmen as he left Nanhua Monastery.

In between restoration of the monastery, Xuyun also appealed to the Government to make regulations for religious freedom, and the preservation of Buddhist temples and monasteries all over the country. Most importantly, he urged the Government to prohibit further demolition of temples and monasteries, destruction of statues and libraries, to stop forcing monks and nuns to return to lay life, and to return the necessary amount of their land for self-supporting purposes.

Xuyun returned to Zhenru Monastery and continued with the building and restoration works after that. Xuyun began building the main hall, the shrine of the Four Heavenly Kings, the Tower of Humility, the Tower of Boundless Sight, the bell tower, prayer halls and dormitories one after another. These buildings were copied from the Gushan, Nanhua and Yunmen Monasteries. Xuyun did not appeal for funds for the rebuilding of the monastery. However, donations came nevertheless.

Xuyun018

In less than three years after Xuyun’s arrival on Mount Yunju, new temples arose and monastics buildings were restored. These holy sites were built during the Tang and Song Dynasties. When Xuyun originally came to the ruined holy sites on Mount Yunju, he had only a staff with him. He handed the newly built and renovated temples one after another to various monks and left with that same staff as his sole possession.

Xuyun had rebuilt a score of temples and monasteries all over the country and Zhenru Monastery was the final one he rebuilt and restored during his lifetime. The final work done at the monastery was the building of the stupa, similar to that of Nanhua Monastery and a few more sutra-reading rooms for the monks. These works were completed in 1959.

Xuyun had gradually grown weaker after his grave illness in 1959. He gave instructions to the monks of the monastery to take good care of it after his passing. He also requested for his body to be dressed in yellow robes and garments, placed in a coffin and cremated, a day after his passing at the foot of the hill to the west of the cowshed where he was staying. Xuyun requested for his ashes to be mixed with sugar, flour and oil, and then kneaded into nine balls. These were to be thrown into a river as an offering to the beings there.

 

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Conclusion

Xuyun020

Xuyun has spent his life devoted to the Dharma. Through preaching the Dharma and Buddhist code of conduct, restoring monasteries and temples and holy sites, he had successfully revitalised the Chinese Buddhist teachings, especially the Chan teachings, and benefitted many. In the process he had gone through countless hardships and illnesses which did not stop him from his Dharma endeavours. The best way to describe Xuyun’s life is like the Buddhist imagery of a ‘poison-eating peacock’. This means that from the bitterness of the poisons of live, something spiritual can be awakened. Although Chinese Buddhism was being suppressed and destroyed in China, Xuyun had successfully revived its worth, and brought it to the attention of the whole world.

Xuyun’s name was, at one point, known and revered in every Chinese Buddhist monastic community and household throughout Asia. His life and example has aroused the same mixture of awe and inspiration in the minds of Chinese Buddhists as does that of Milarepa for the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. This is amazing in light of the fact that Xuyun lived well into our era, tangibly exhibiting those spiritual powers that we must otherwise discover by looking back through the mists of time to the great Chan masters of the Tang, Song and Ming Dynasties. These were great men whose example still inspires many today, but in most cases, we have scant details as to their lives as individuals, outside their recorded dialogues or talks of instruction. With Xuyun’s example being so recent, the stories of accomplishments provide new way of inspiration for the modern spiritual seeker to strive along the path towards enlightenment.

 

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Appendix I

THE SONG OF THE SKIN BAG

Written by Master Xuyun in his 19th year
The Song of the Skin Bag, the skin bag is sung.
Before the empty eon it had neither name nor form,
After the Buddha with awe-inspiring voice it became a hindrance.
Three hundred and sixty tendons are linked within the body
Enclosed by four and eighty thousand pores.
Divided it splits into heaven, earth and man,
United it combines the four elements.
It supports heaven, props up earth,
But what of its mettle?
Understand cause and effect, discern the times
Survey the stupidity of past and present.
Because of wrong clinging to illusory forms,
Parents are involved and wife and children loved.
By vain indulgence in delusion karma is left behind.

The Song of the Skin Bag, the skin bag is sung.
Drinking wine and eating meat upset the mind-nature,
Indulgence in pleasure and desire leads to utter ruin.
When officialdom is strong to oppress the innocent
And readers artful against their consciences, how long
Will their wealth and power last, their pride and their extravagance?
The poor and lowly will not so last while there is cruelty and violence.
Discrimination between self and others leads to inequality,
Destroying living beings as worthless things.
Thinking and discerning cause desire, stupidity and hatred,
While becoming lost in heresies invites self-destruction.
Killing, stealing, adultery and lying have no end,
And rude behavior to others increases attachment and aversion.
To scold the wind and curse the rain is disrespectful to the gods,
While depression comes from ignorance of birth and death.
When leaving a cow’s womb to enter a mare’s belly
Who will sing of or lament your change of form?
Many evil acts without a good deed will make
Aimless and toilsome your transmigration.
Entering the three evil realms, falling into hell
Causes suffering to animals and hungry ghosts.
The ancient sages would oft repeat their warning,
Likewise the morning bell and drum at eve are to change your heart.
Good and evil karma bring certain retribution,
Escape then, worldly men, from the five periods of impurity.

The Song of the Skin Bag, the skin bag is sung;
If the owner of form is not entangled by it,
For illusory matter to interdependence owes its name –
He can readily turn his mind within
To contemplate in sovereign ease.
With no desire for fame and for wealth no craving,
Cut off all liking and from the world retire.
With no love for wife and no affection for children
Enter a monastery to keep the discipline.
Look for learned teachers, seek out their teaching.
On Chan practice and meditation to o’er-lap the three worlds.
Store what you see and hear, forsake all causal clinging
To escape for ever from the worldly way.
By taming the six senses and stopping all your thoughts,
With neither self nor other, no trouble will remain,
Unlike worldly men who sigh when mist and dew disperse.
With one robe to cover you and food enough
To satisfy your hunger, keep yourself in shape.
Give wealth away, sacrifice your body and life
Without a second thought, as when you spit or sneeze.
Keep pure the discipline, be without fault
And correct in your deportment. Be not angry
When insulted, bear no hatred when you are beaten,
Forget all derision by enduring the unendurable.
Without deviation, without interruption
Hold forever the one thought of Amitabha.
Let there be no dullness, no confusion,
But like the fir and cypress defy the bitter cold.
Doubt no more the Buddha, doubt no more the Dharma;
With innate wisdom look clearly into what you see and hear, Bore the paper, cut the hide and go back
To the source, for self-liberation means
Returning to the spring and source of reality.
There is neither ‘non-existence’ nor emptiness
Exposed is the potentiality divine, wondrous and inconceivable.
When you reach here all grievance ends.
Hurrah, for now you realize the goal.
With the ten titles of Buddha you will teach a myriad worlds.
Aha, that same leaking shell is now
The omnipresent Buddha-body.
Clearly good and evil karmas are infallible, so why
Rely on falsehood instead of practicing the truth?
When the absolute is split the two extremes appear,
The spirit mind turns into heaven and earth.
Kings and ministers are noble owing to their past karmas,
None are rich or noble, poor or humble without previous cause.
Where there is birth – there will be death,
Why grumble since this is known to everyone?
For wife, children (and self), for happiness and wealth
All prospects are spoiled by anger and desire.
For what fame or gain did I trifle
Away my last nineteen springs?
Frustrations of a thousand, nay ten thousand kinds
Harass and make your life yet more unbearable.
When you grow old with failing sight and snow-white hair
You will have vainly passed a lifetime ignorant of virtue.
From day to month, from month to year in vain will you
Regret that months and years turn like a wheel.
Who is an immortal in this world of ours?
’Tis better to revere once more the cloud of compassion
And on a famous mountain or in some renowned place
To live at ease in transcendental bliss.
Do not you know how fast the temporary flies?
Respectfully ponder a few expedient sentences,
Recite Amitabha’s name, see clearly into birth and death,
Then enjoy happiness beyond the reach of others.
Practice Chan, seek out its aim; the pure
And the spiritual are only this.
With clear tea and vegetarian food the mind
Errs not, enjoying Dharma night and day.
Forsake both self and other, relinquish ‘you’ and ‘I’,
Treat friend and foe alike forgetting praise and censure.
When the mind is free from hindrance and disgrace
Do Buddhas and Patriarchs regard its Oneness as being without use?
The World-Honored One renounced his love to climb the snowy mountains,
While Avalokitesvara left home to become a son of the Buddha.
In the days of Yao and Shun lived Zhao and Yu,
When the throne was offered to Zhao he washed his ears.
Remember Zhang Zifang and Liu Chengyi
Who cast away their glory, retiring from the world.
In this period of termination when troubles lie ahead,
Why do you not awaken to vie with the ancestors?
To indulge in ignorance, committing the ten evils
Exhausts your ingenuity and wins the world’s contempt.
Wars, epidemics, droughts and floods are frequent,
Dearth, famine and strife succeed each other and
When weird tales prevail misfortune follows.
’Midst earthquakes, landslides and tidal waves
What will you do in order to escape?
Evil acts in past transmigrations
Cause present falsehood and frustration.
When poor and in trouble virtue should first be cultivated,
Then in a monastery worship with virtuous heart the King of the Law,
Repentance and reform from past wrong deeds improve your lot.
Call on learned teachers, seek your experience to seal,
First learn, then leave both birth and death to realize the Mind- nature,
Impermanence exposed reveals eternity.
Path lies in path within your practice.
The saints and sages left clear sayings to reform the world,
Slight not then the teaching of the Tripitaka.
With earnestness and deep sincerity
I urge all human beings to be righteous
Take not my words as idle nor forget them,
For self-cultivation leads to perception of self-nature.
Hasten your practice, be ever zealous,
For the sowing of Bodhi is the direct cause of awakening.
The nine stages after rebirth in the Lotus are testified by the Buddha,
An Amitabha will take you to the Western Paradise.
Lay down your bag of skin, leap on the Vehicle Supreme.
This is the Song of the Skin Bag, hearken to it friends!

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References:

  • http://www.emptycloud.net/
  • http://enlight.lib.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-MAG/mag89470.html
  • http://www.chibs.edu.tw/ch_html/chbj/16/chbj1606.htm
  • http://www.budaedu.org/ebooks/6-EN.php
  • https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/释虚云
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hsu_Yun
  • http://www.v4.cc/News-467642.html
  • http://www.goohoo.net/?p=1081
  • http://www.ntdtv.com/xtr/b5/2015/10/22/a1231243.html
  • http://lifemirror.pixnet.net/blog/post/30856609-%5B人物%5D-虛雲老和尚117歲走路不沾地,手提400-
  • http://www.epochtimes.com/b5/16/8/21/n8223251.htm
  • http://bodhi.takungpao.com.hk/sspt/sramana/2015-08/3101309.html
  • http://fo.ifeng.com/news/detail_2014_05/07/36198114_0.shtml
  • https://read01.com/mggOOE.html
  • http://big5.xuefo.net/nr/article3/26218.html
  • http://bestzen.pixnet.net/blog/post/46606508-虛雲老和尚的故事~鬼神護法

 
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Pastor Adeline Woon
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About Pastor Adeline Woon

Adeline Woon is a Buddhist Pastor and a Sangha-to-be in Kechara who enjoys learning and sharing the Dharma with others. Due to her deep interest in Buddhism from a young age, Adeline enrolled herself into the Dharma Drum University in Taiwan, where she graduated with a Master in Religious Studies in 2012.
Pastor Adeline Woon
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23 Responses to Empty Cloud

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  1. Samfoonheei on Aug 4, 2019 at 12:08 pm

    Master Xuyun was a renowned Chinese Chan Buddhist master and one of the most influential Buddhist teachers of the 19th and 20th centuries. His great and many achievement have inspired many till today. Building and restoring many temples , monasteries all over China, Master Xuyun has spent much of his life devoted to the Dharma. He even revitalised the Chinese Buddhist teachings, that has benefited many Buddhist practitioners around the world. He has gone through a lot of hardship and suffering to be where he was. His life time witnessed tremendously changes in the political and cultural life of China. He was a great master whose pure example stood out amongst many other good masters, who all worked together in various ways to keep the Buddha’s teaching alive.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Adeline for this sharing of a GREAT master.

  2. Valentina Suhendra on Jul 26, 2018 at 5:27 am

    I was walking past a second hand shop on Western Ave selling old things. They had a Japanese-style clay Buddha which was beige in colour on the floor, holding the door open. I thought the shopkeeper would collect a lot of negative karma without knowing if he kept such a holy item on the floor as a doorstop. So I went in to talk to him, but he didn’t look like he wanted to talk or that he even cared. So I asked him the price and he said US$5. I purchased it so he did not collect more negative karma. I was 17 years old and that was in 1982.

    I escorted my new Buddha home and washed it lightly and wiped it. I placed it on my altar and was happy with the Buddha. I would do my meditations, prayers, sadhanas, mantras and prostrations in front of this shrine daily. When I left for India in 1987, I could not bring this Buddha along and gave it to a friend. It was a nice size and I made offerings to this Buddha for many years in Los Angeles. In front of the Buddha I placed His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s photo. I remember I was so relieved that the price was affordable. But US$5 that time was still expensive for me but worth it I thought. But I was happy to have brought the Buddha home. Tsem Rinpoche

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com

    Altar1

    Altar2

  3. Pastor Shin Tan on Jul 17, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    Tsem Rinpoche at Kechara Forest Retreat, Bentong, Malaysia

    TR Pic

    • James on Jul 25, 2018 at 8:23 pm

      This is very nice photo!

  4. Stella Cheang on Jan 21, 2018 at 11:09 am

    Master Xuyun’s life story is inspiring for he dedicate his whole life for Dharma, through “preaching the Dharma and Buddhist code of conduct, restoring monasteries and temples and holy sites, he had successfully revitalised the Chinese Buddhist teachings, especially the Chan teachings.” Thank you for this article.

  5. Valentina Suhendra on Oct 20, 2017 at 12:55 am

    H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche is very devoted to his root guru, H.H. Zong Rinpoche.

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  6. Paul Yap on Apr 23, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    Master Xuyun is highly attained and live a very humble life. His story definitely inspired many to follow the dharma path. He has once stay in samadhi for more than 15 days until an inch of mould covering his taro. His’s wish to stay on Mount Jizu, build a hut on the mountain to receive pilgrims, saving the degenerated sangha, and restoring the holy site of Mahakashyapa has a great influence on reviving the Buddhism in China. His life story is quite unusual, he is just like a Bodhisattva who has emanated in the human realm to show the path to enlightenment.

  7. Fong on Apr 22, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    “Three years passed, with Xuyun living on pine needles, grass, and water from the mountain stream.”

    Just this reminds me of Milarepa who survived on nettle while meditating. so much so, that he turned green form eating only the nettles for a long time. Such resolve in both Milarepa and Xuyun.

    Such was the beginning of an extraordinary person with resolve. It is the determined spirit that did so much purification, and spreading of the dharma. The stories of his moving the rock to build the pond and such just go to show his attainments.

    Thank you for such an inspiring article on Xuyun.

  8. So Kin Hoe (KISG) on Apr 5, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    Thank you Pastor Adeline Woon for sharing the inspiring article about Master Xuyun. The article is well written and arranged according to each stage of Master Xuyun’s life that enable us to read and follow easily without confusion.

    Master Xuyun has set many good examples for us to follow from the beginning of his young age until to the time of his death. Master Xuyun’s strong determination and persistency in learning, practicing and following the Buddhadharma regardless of experiencing any kind of conditions physically and mentally, has taught us that we should never abandon our Buddhadharma practice even at the verge of our death. Based on what I have learned from Master Xuyun, we should not have any feelings of regret at all when facing any obstacle in Buddhadharma practice because we will be accountable for our own karma and in the end, we will leave everything behind after our death. Thus, our lives should be lived on meaningfully according to Buddha’s teachings so that we can help others while we are still in one piece.

    The Song of the Skin Bag written by Master Xuyun consist the teaching of renunciation, emptiness, mind training, consistency in Buddhadharma practice, realization of the truth, gaining wisdom through Buddhadharma and many teachings that guide us on how to work for the benefits of others and remove our sufferings due to our own negativity. This prayer is easy to understand and absorb, especially for lay practitioner like me.

    May the Buddhadharma spread and grow towards the 10 directions to alleviate the sufferings experienced by many sentient beings. May every sentient beings meet with Buddhadharma and practicing Buddhadharma until the samsara ends.

    With folded hands,
    kin hoe

  9. wan wai meng on Apr 2, 2017 at 2:57 am

    Very interesting story about this amazing monk, that he taught tirelessly and although he facd so much difficulty at times, he never relented or gave he kept on going benefitting others.

    The song of the skin bag, feels like a version of Yonten Shigyurma, whereby the entire Lamrim path at least its essence were laid out within the Yontne Shigyurma. Happy to know Malaysians during this monk’s tie took an interest into his teaching and they took refuge as well.

  10. Tan Soon Huat on Apr 1, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    Master Xuyun has gone through a lot of hardship in the Dharma path. I do admire and bow down for His persistancy in Dharma. He seems gone through very similar path like Rinpoche, always want to go to temple to be sangha despite all the obstacles that His father given to stop him to pursue Dharma. It showed again that the precious Dharma we are learnting is coming from a lot of hardship, we should appreciate it.

    Thank You Pastor Adeline for the great sharing.

  11. Choong on Mar 31, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    Wow, this is so inspiring. He was so close to us Malaysians in time and location. He even taught at the Cheng Hoon Teng temple in Malacca! Most important is he has left a very inspiring legacy full of wisdom and meritorious deeds. Thank you Pastor Adeleine for this writeup.

  12. Anne Ong on Mar 30, 2017 at 10:27 pm

    Thank you Pastor Adeline for this very inspiring and interesting story about Master Xuyun. His birth was an amazing and rare part that i have never heard of. Really caught my attention and made me read the story further. And he went through so much hardship and purification and finally gained relizations through meditation. Another interesting part was when he dreamed of Mahakashyapa who cured him from his illness. And travelled to many countries like Malaysia and Thailand to spread dharma and also helped to rebuild many monasteries.

  13. Sarah on Mar 30, 2017 at 8:09 pm

    Thank you for this interesting story of Master Xuyun. His birth is very interesting and quite rare. In Europe, children born this way are said to be born under a lucky star. I know of another great master who was born this way. He is the Venerable Dagpo Rinpoche who lives in France and who founded the Institut Guepele. It seems in Tibet this type of birth is also considered to be a good sign and the child will become very lucky later on in life. But like Master Xuyun’s mother, Dagpo Rinpoche’s mother was also terrified to see her child born in the form of a balloon. She initially thought that the baby had neither arms nor legs. After reading about the lives of these two masters, I really do think they were born under a lucky star. They both became great Buddhist masters.

    • Pastor David Lai on Mar 31, 2017 at 11:49 pm

      Thank you Sarah for the other examples of other masters who are born while still in the amniotic sac. I believe that great masters like Xuyun would have displayed many signs including the manner in which he was born.

      They are probably emanations of Bodhisattvas or the rebirth of great masters with high spiritual realization. Such great beings would always have many auspicious signs because their existence would be of benefit to many beings and especially the propagation of the lineage. It is indeed rare to read about such masters these days because less and less great beings are manifesting such powerful examples of enlightenment these days.

    • Pastor Adeline Woon on Apr 2, 2017 at 12:43 am

      Thank you, Sarah for sharing the similarities between Master Xuyun and Dagpo Rinpoche’s birth and the symbolism behind it. As it is rare for people to be born in such situations, and as far as we know those who were born like this are indeed special, it does explain the positivity of the situation without looking at the birth condition based on our ordinary perceptions.

      You have provided us with a different perspective to understand the way both masters are born in, thus expanding our views on identifying auspicious signs that indicate the birth of a great being.

  14. Samfoonheei on Mar 30, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    Very inspiring true story of a monk…Master Xuyun after going through many hardships and illness to pursue what he wanted to be. What he did was amazing travelling in harsh conditions to so many places just to preach chinese buddhism from one country to another. Master Xuyun has spent his entired life devoted to the Dharma,During the war many monasteries and holy sites was destroyed but somehow Master Xuyun managed to restore once again.Because of him ,those monasteries and holy sites were till today. He was a household name at that time and have inspired many modern spiritual seeker to strive along the path towards enlightenment.
    Thank you Pastor Adeline Woon for such an interesting and inspiring article.

    • Pastor Adeline Woon on Apr 1, 2017 at 8:16 am

      Dear Sam,

      Master Xuyun was said to have repaired 108 temples in his life time. Restorations of the Buddhist temples are necessary in order to preserve the Buddhadharma. Things have never been easy but Master Xuyun, yet he did not gave up but continued without complain. To him, it was just to do what was necessary. This is the same as what Rinpoche has always teaches us and do himself: do the right thing and to go all the way with is. There’s always benefit when we do so.

      Take care,
      Pastor Adeline

  15. Lester on Mar 30, 2017 at 10:28 am

    Thanks for sharing. Master Xuyun has been one of the most inspiring Buddhist masters. There is this anecdote about his disciple who entered into nirvana in spontaneous combustion, an even witnessed by many. If you understand Chinese, the story is here http://fo.ifeng.com/fojiaogushi/detail_2014_08/25/38491799_0.shtml . With folded hands.

    • Pastor Adeline Woon on Apr 1, 2017 at 7:35 am

      Dear Lester,

      Thank you very much for the story you have shared. Imagine if Master Xuyun’s student can achieve such powerful samadhi, he himself must have much higher achievements. Yet, he praised his student’s achievement with great humility. The more you read about his life and stories like this, the more respect you have for him. And without a doubt, he is one of the great masters of our time.

      Thank you,
      Pastor Adeline

      • Lester on Apr 1, 2017 at 9:09 am

        Yes pastor. You did not mention the part where Master Xuyun was beaten up badly by Red Guards and he went Tushita heaven briefly, requesting Maitreya Bodhisattva to let him stay there, but Maitreya refused. I bet Master Xuyun saw Lama Tsongkhapa there. 🙂

        • Pastor Adeline Woon on Apr 2, 2017 at 12:22 am

          Dear Lester,

          I believe he may had a brief meeting 😀 There are many masters in the Zen tradition who exhibits great compassion and kindness. The Zen methods of practise are very similar to that of Tantra in Buddhism which is within the Mahayana teachings of the Buddha also. With the little I have read, I have a better understanding of how different traditions of Buddhism compliment each other and I am grateful for the opportunity to learn and share given by Rinpoche.

          It is nice to read comments from your and please continue to share with us on various posts Rinpoche had on this informative and wonderful platform.

          Have a good weekend,
          Pastor Adeline

          • Lester on Apr 2, 2017 at 9:13 am

            No problem pastor. Chan Buddhism is another big topic. It is intuitive and has no ritual. It is for the Creme de Le Creme. Thanks for sharing.

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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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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.

Noticeboard

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  • S.Prathap
    Wednesday, Dec 11. 2019 05:13 PM
    Rinpoche have shown us an example to have faith and trust in Buddha. When pray sincerely, have trust and faith our wishes will be fulfilled.Buddha will bless us when we have sincere motivation.
    Really a good article about Medicine Buddha .It is really inspiring and thank you very much for sharing with us.
  • nicholas
    Wednesday, Dec 11. 2019 05:04 PM
    The Rain Stopper

    A few years ago, I think in 2005, His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche and a few of us went to Kathmandu, Nepal to buy Buddha statues for our outlets in Malaysia, it was around July and it was a rainy season in Nepal, so it rained almost daily during the daytime and it made the shopping trip somewhat troublesome, because the statue shops in Nepal are mostly in Boudanath and it was not a covered shopping mall, you have to go from shop to shop in the rain. We were staying in Hyatt Regency Kathmandu then and it was raining quite heavily as we were waiting at the lobby for the taxis to bring us to Boudanath, Rinpoche commented that it was another tiresome rainy day, and he said to us “You guys wait here, I am going to talk to my friends”, then Rinpoche left the seat, walked towards the hotel entrance, and start staring at the gloomy sky while mumbling something. The few of us who looked at each other, and all turned to stared at Rinpoche, this lasted for about 5 minutes, then Rinpoche walked back to us and said “It’s ok now, I just talked to them and they are OK with it, we can leave soon.” True enough, in about 5 minutes, the downpour turned into drizzle, and we hopped into the taxis, by the time the taxis were speeding along the bustling streets of Kathmandu, the rain stopped completely.

    http://bit.ly/2m9CLIr
  • nicholas
    Wednesday, Dec 11. 2019 03:11 PM
    It is extremely worrying to know that parts of America such as Texas and Florida are experiencing the impact of powerful hurricanes. The horrendous natural disasters have destroyed thousands of homes, businesses, offices and facilities in these areas. Sadly however, during such disasters, animals are often the first ones to be left behind, and saving the life of a human takes precedence over the life of an animal. The same thing happened during the recent Hurricane Harvey in Florida. But this time around, what was most disturbing was the fact that animals were left behind to die during the disaster.

    The helpless animals, such as dogs in this case, have had to suffer immensely during the storms. As can be seen in the article, there is an uproar regarding dogs being tied up during the hurricanes which made it impossible for them to escape. In fact, the authorities may have encouraged people to leave their pets behind in some areas, but they should not have been tied up and left to suffer from the strong winds and rain. No one wants to be put in such a position, and neither do animals.

    Read more at http://bit.ly/2E8aHuY
  • nicholas
    Wednesday, Dec 11. 2019 03:01 PM
    The mere mention of the Lizard Man conjures creepy images of mutant-like humanoid reptilians. Interestingly, despite possible disapproval from the grammar police, the term “Lizard Man” is used interchangeably to refer to a broad spectrum of bipedal hominid-like reptilian creatures (sometimes also referred to as “Homo-subterreptus) instead of just one specific cryptid. Thus, reported sightings of Lizard Man vary from scaly humans to large bipedal lizards, small dinosaurs and everything else in-between.

    It is no surprise that many theories have been put forward in an attempt to crystallise the undefined nature and origin of the Lizard Man. Essentially, there are two leading theories – one based on evolution and the other on extra-terrestrials.

    Read more about the Creepy Tales of the Lizard Man at http://bit.ly/348HLxA
  • nicholas
    Wednesday, Dec 11. 2019 02:55 PM
    Buddha Shakyamuni gave three reasons as to why He had chosen Kushinagar (in today’s northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh) to pass away:

    It was the proper venue for teaching the Maha-Sudassana Sutra (Story of the Great King of Glory).
    Subhadda, whom Buddha Shakyamuni felt still needed to be given teachings, was there. Subhadda consequently became the last monk to be ordained by Buddha Shakyamuni; upon meditating on the teachings received directly from the Buddha, he swiftly became an arhat (perfected) and entered Parinirvana shortly before Buddha Shakyamuni.
    Buddha Shakyamuni foresaw that His disciples would argue over the sharing of His relics. He wanted Doha, a wise and respected old Brahmin of Kushinagar, to mediate the disciples’ disagreements.

    Read more about the Important Sites of Buddhist Pilgrimage – Kushinagar, India at http://bit.ly/2P9tU5A
  • nicholas
    Wednesday, Dec 11. 2019 02:39 PM
    On June 21, 2015, Kechara had the privilege and great merits to witness an auspicious trance in Wisdom Hall at Kechara Forest Retreat. H.E. Tsem Rinpoche briefly describes here the history and background of trances, and what happened on the day itself.

    For the first time in history, a Tibetan oracle had the invocation done for the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden to enter or take trance, and there were no Tibetan monks involved. It was all local, lay Malaysians who did the invocation. Our people practiced very hard and diligently with a lot of sincerity and commitment for many weeks, to do the chanting, to learn the rituals and to ensure the procedure was done right. And everything was a great success.

    On the fateful day as preordained, we escorted Chojela to the prayer hall where there were 700 people (by invitation only) waiting to witness and to get blessings of the trance. We then assisted him in dressing in the correct regalia of the official oracle, including the hat and the boots. The instruments of trance such as the sword and spears were nearby along with the noose. The invocation was done and Dorje Shugden entered very smoothly into the oracle. He immediately got up as per tradition and did a very special Vajra dance in our prayer hall, which is the dance of clearing the obstacles.

    Read more about this historical moment of 700 Meet A Buddha at http://bit.ly/38oe0vP
  • nicholas
    Wednesday, Dec 11. 2019 02:29 PM
    The rabbis call on their “fellow Jews to transition toward animal-free, plant-based diets.This approach to sustenance is an expression of sharing Jewish values of compassion for animals, protection of the environment, and concern for our physical and spiritual well-being.”

    Read more about Rabbis Urge Jews to Go Vegan in Global Campaign at http://bit.ly/2RF5vGT
  • Yee Yin
    Wednesday, Dec 11. 2019 01:40 PM
    The crow pheasant is a beautiful bird, I saw this bird just yesterday. It is good to know that it is a good omen. It somehow gives me an assurance that things will only get better. Sometimes when people are lost and not sure if they have made the right decision, seeing signs like this can really calm people’s mind.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/the-crow-pheasant-bringer-of-auspicious-omens.html
  • Sofi
    Wednesday, Dec 11. 2019 12:37 AM
    The 14th Dalai Lama’s prayer to Dorje Shugden

    This is the prayer to Dorje Shugden as composed by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama at Dungkar Monastery of Domo Geshe Rinpoche. It is good to recite daily or when in need of help. You can see in the prayer His Holiness enthrones Dorje Shugden as the “supreme collected nature of all Gurus and Protective Deities and requests to grant siddhis” (attainments). Ordinary spirits cannot grant siddhis therefore in this prayer, Dalai Lama recognized Dorje Shugden as a superior being who can grant two types of siddhis. Ordinary and extra-ordinary siddhis. His Holiness surely could not be tricked by a spirit. His Holiness saw Dorje Shugden as a superior being embodying the gurus and Protective Deities who can grant two types of siddhis.

    Read of the 14th Dalai Lama’s prayer to Dorje Shugden: http://bit.ly/14DalaiLamaDSPrayer
  • Sofi
    Wednesday, Dec 11. 2019 12:32 AM
    The Fourth Takpu, Pema Vajra Jampel Tenpai Ngodrub

    Apart from his visions related to Dorje Shugden, Jampel Tenpai Ngodrub is said to have had numerous other mystical experiences. During a stay at Chubzang he had a vision of the sixty-two deity body mandala of Heruka Cakrasamvara, from whom he received the four initiations (dbang bzhi). He was also able to reveal the location of a sacred cave called Takten (rtag brtan) near Chubzang, which is related to Heruka. During a retreat at the Nyang caves (nyang phug) near Samye Monastery (bsam yas), he had a vision of Padmasambhava, his consorts, and his entourage of disciples. Although this may be interpreted as contradictory to the often perceived sectarian nature of this lineage, Padmasambhava appears to have been held in high regard. Trijang Lobzang Tendzin Gyatso, for example, also bestowed Padmasambhava empowerments and related teachings.

    Read about this great visionary Master who left precious legacies of practices: http://bit.ly/TakpuPemaVajra
  • S.Prathap
    Tuesday, Dec 10. 2019 04:35 PM
    Happy to see so many people attended this Dorje Shugden puja in Malacca Chapel . May more people know about Dorje Shugden Chapel to receive his blessings.It so happened to be in a historical and peak street of Malacca center point.
    May Dorje Shugden’s practice spread to all direction to benefit many more people in Malacca. As Malacca is a tourist destination for many tourist from all over the world. Thank you very much for sharing this article.

    Read more : https://bit.ly/36lnXIA
  • nicholas
    Tuesday, Dec 10. 2019 04:01 PM
    Rob Lowe is a famous actor and celebrity from Hollywood who has starred in such films as St Elmo’s Fire and also the very popular hit TV series The West Wing. Recently he and his sons did a series called The Lowe Files which is something like an X Files series. The family investigates strange happenings, occurrences, mysterious creatures, supernatural lore, unsolved mysteries and the like. Between the three of them, Rob Lowe has previously said that they have varying levels of skepticism. While Rob Lowe is more ready to believe in supernatural phenomenon, his sons profess to be more grounded and skeptical than their father.

    But with a show that focuses on such topics, of course it was only a matter of time that they covered Bigfoot. I was pleasantly surprised to see this episode because not many people, especially famous people, want to be associated with this genre of investigation. Let’s be honest – society thinks that people who investigate things like poltergeists and Bigfoot are generally regarded as a little different and quirky. So for someone who is famous to openly investigate, talk about and be interested in Bigfoot, is good for the field of investigation which is known as cryptozoology.

    Read more about Rob Lowe Face-To-Face with Bigfoot
  • Yee Yin
    Tuesday, Dec 10. 2019 02:02 PM
    Even though John Lennon has passed away but his songs continue to bring positivity in people’s life. Famous people are very influential to the public, some choose to use their fame to give people a positive influence, such as John Lennon. What we want, we have to fight for it and do something to make it happens. If we want peace, we have to start with ourselves, we can’t expect it from other people.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/autobiography/how-i-got-into-john-lennon.html
  • nicholas
    Tuesday, Dec 10. 2019 01:50 PM
    Scores of tap water samples from more than a dozen nations were analysed by scientists for an investigation by Orb Media, who shared the findings with the Guardian. Overall, 83 per cent of the samples were contaminated with plastic fibres.

    The new analyses indicate the ubiquitous extent of microplastic contamination in the global environment. Previous work has been largely focused on plastic pollution in the oceans, which suggests people are eating microplastics via contaminated seafood.

    Mahon said there were two principal concerns: very small plastic particles and the chemicals or pathogens that microplastics can harbour. “If the fibres are there, it is possible that the nanoparticles are there too that we can’t measure,” she said. “Once they are in the nanometre range they can really penetrate a cell and that means they can penetrate organs, and that would be worrying.

    Read more about Do you know what you are drinking? http://bit.ly/2t2LnnU
  • nicholas
    Tuesday, Dec 10. 2019 01:40 PM
    One of the global fashion powerhouses which is Gucci is going to stop using fur for its fashion in 2018. Not only that but whatever they have remaining which is fur, they will auction off and donate the proceeds to organisations against animal cruelty.

    I was so happy to hear this news! It is good when brands are self-aware and recognise the role they play in providing a demand for these cruel industries. These lead to the suffering of many animals before their painful deaths.

    For such a huge global brand to make this decision must mean there is a demand for cruelty-free fashion, and they know they can remain a viable business even if they don’t offer fur. So it is also good that when consumers apply pressure to other brands, to let them know they will still buy into the clothing even if there is no fur. From the side of the consumer and the side of the producer, both can work together in this way to eradicate fur farms and cruelty to animals.

    Read more about Do you know what Gucci did? at http://bit.ly/38k8FWl

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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  Bigfoot, Yeti, Sasquatch

The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

Click on the images to view the bigger version. And scroll down and click on "View All Photos" to view more images.
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
5 months ago
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
5 months ago
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
5 months ago
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
5 months ago
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959- https://bit.ly/2S9VMGX
5 months ago
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959- https://bit.ly/2S9VMGX
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
5 months ago
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
6 months ago
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
6 months ago
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat\'s land here in Malaysia
6 months ago
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat's land here in Malaysia
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
6 months ago
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
6 months ago
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
6 months ago
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
6 months ago
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
Sacred Vajra Yogini
6 months ago
Sacred Vajra Yogini
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
6 months ago
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
6 months ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha\'s mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
6 months ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha's mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha\'s. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
6 months ago
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha's. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
6 months ago
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
7 months ago
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
This is pretty amazing!

First Sri Lankan Buddhist temple opened in Dubai!!!
7 months ago
This is pretty amazing! First Sri Lankan Buddhist temple opened in Dubai!!!
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche

Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
7 months ago
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can\'t stop thinking of you and I can\'t forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
7 months ago
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can't stop thinking of you and I can't forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
7 months ago
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
7 months ago
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
7 months ago
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
7 months ago
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
7 months ago
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
7 months ago
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
7 months ago
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
7 months ago
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
DON\'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
7 months ago
DON'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
7 months ago
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
7 months ago
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
7 months ago
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
7 months ago
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
7 months ago
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
7 months ago
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
Silver Manjusri figure from Ngemplak Semongan (Indonesia). Apparently during the Shailendra Dynasty, Mahayana Buddhism was very strong in Indonesia. This Dynasty promoted Mahayana Buddhism and Manjushri was a principal Buddha of worship.
7 months ago
Silver Manjusri figure from Ngemplak Semongan (Indonesia). Apparently during the Shailendra Dynasty, Mahayana Buddhism was very strong in Indonesia. This Dynasty promoted Mahayana Buddhism and Manjushri was a principal Buddha of worship.
In Buddhism: The Importance of Having a Clean Room- https://bit.ly/2ZgrbKS
7 months ago
In Buddhism: The Importance of Having a Clean Room- https://bit.ly/2ZgrbKS
There is an area near Lumbini, Nepal, they have sightings of Yeti for hundreds of years. So they have signages in the area with Yeti artwork to highlight this. Interesting. TR
7 months ago
There is an area near Lumbini, Nepal, they have sightings of Yeti for hundreds of years. So they have signages in the area with Yeti artwork to highlight this. Interesting. TR
Photos of footprints (Yeti) are from a high altitude pass (Darwa Pass) connecting Gangotri valley to Yamunotri valley through old pilgrim route.
7 months ago
Photos of footprints (Yeti) are from a high altitude pass (Darwa Pass) connecting Gangotri valley to Yamunotri valley through old pilgrim route.
Beautiful picture. Rare. Three holy beings.
7 months ago
Beautiful picture. Rare. Three holy beings.
May 1, 2019-I really enjoy this picture of these visitors visiting Dorje Shugden\'s grotto in Kechara Forest Retreat today. They look happy, light and blessed after doing their prayers to Dorje Shugden. I wanted to share this picture.- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
7 months ago
May 1, 2019-I really enjoy this picture of these visitors visiting Dorje Shugden's grotto in Kechara Forest Retreat today. They look happy, light and blessed after doing their prayers to Dorje Shugden. I wanted to share this picture.- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
A postcard of my great grand aunt Princess Nirgidma of Torghut-Tsem Rinpoche
7 months ago
A postcard of my great grand aunt Princess Nirgidma of Torghut-Tsem Rinpoche
Rei Kawakubo – Grand Dame of ‘Hiroshima Chic’- https://bit.ly/2Vz4N06
7 months ago
Rei Kawakubo – Grand Dame of ‘Hiroshima Chic’- https://bit.ly/2Vz4N06
Just now, this beautiful grape and orange infused water drink with a blue glass was brought in for me. I was amazed at the colors. Tsem Rinpoche
7 months ago
Just now, this beautiful grape and orange infused water drink with a blue glass was brought in for me. I was amazed at the colors. Tsem Rinpoche
We have to look in and change from within to find the way out of all that makes us unhappy.~Tsem Rinpoche 

www.tsemrinpoche.com
7 months ago
We have to look in and change from within to find the way out of all that makes us unhappy.~Tsem Rinpoche http://www.tsemrinpoche.com
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Videos On The Go

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  • Always be kind to animals-They deserve to live just like us.
    5 months ago
    Always be kind to animals-They deserve to live just like us.
    Whales and dolphins playing with each other in the Pacific sea. Nature is truly incredible!
  • Bodha stupa July 2019-
    5 months ago
    Bodha stupa July 2019-
    Rainy period
  • Cute Tara girl having a snack. She is one of Kechara Forest Retreat’s resident doggies.
    5 months ago
    Cute Tara girl having a snack. She is one of Kechara Forest Retreat’s resident doggies.
  • Your Next Meal!
    6 months ago
    Your Next Meal!
    Yummy? Tasty? Behind the scenes of the meat on your plates. Meat is a killing industry.
  • This is Daw
    6 months ago
    This is Daw
    This is what they do to get meat on tables, and to produce belts and jackets. Think twice before your next purchase.
  • Don’t Take My Mummy Away!
    6 months ago
    Don’t Take My Mummy Away!
    Look at the poor baby chasing after the mother. Why do we do that to them? It's time to seriously think about our choices in life and how they affect others. Be kind. Don't break up families.
  • They do this every day!
    6 months ago
    They do this every day!
    This is how they are being treated every day of their lives. Please do something to stop the brutality. Listen to their cries for help!
  • What happened at Fair Oaks Farm?
    6 months ago
    What happened at Fair Oaks Farm?
    The largest undercover dairy investigation of all time. See what they found out at Fair Oaks Farm.
  • She’s going to spend her whole life here without being able to move correctly. Like a machine. They are the slaves of the people and are viewed as a product. It’s immoral. Billions of terrestrial animals die annually. Billions. You can’t even imagine it. And all that because people don’t want to give up meat, even though there are so many alternatives. ~ Gabriel Azimov
    6 months ago
    She’s going to spend her whole life here without being able to move correctly. Like a machine. They are the slaves of the people and are viewed as a product. It’s immoral. Billions of terrestrial animals die annually. Billions. You can’t even imagine it. And all that because people don’t want to give up meat, even though there are so many alternatives. ~ Gabriel Azimov
  • Our Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir speaks so well, logically and regarding our country’s collaboration with China for growth. It is refreshing to listen to Dr. Mahathir’s thoughts. He said our country can look to China for many more things such as technology and so on. Tsem Rinpoche
    7 months ago
    Our Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir speaks so well, logically and regarding our country’s collaboration with China for growth. It is refreshing to listen to Dr. Mahathir’s thoughts. He said our country can look to China for many more things such as technology and so on. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This is the first time His Holiness Dalai Lama mentions he had some very serious illness. Very worrying. This video is captured April 2019.
    7 months ago
    This is the first time His Holiness Dalai Lama mentions he had some very serious illness. Very worrying. This video is captured April 2019.
  • Beautiful Monastery in Hong Kong
    8 months ago
    Beautiful Monastery in Hong Kong
  • This dog thanks his hero in such a touching way. Tsem Rinpoche
    8 months ago
    This dog thanks his hero in such a touching way. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Join Tsem Rinpoche in prayer for H.H. Dalai Lama’s long life~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYy7JcveikU&feature=youtu.be
    8 months ago
    Join Tsem Rinpoche in prayer for H.H. Dalai Lama’s long life~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYy7JcveikU&feature=youtu.be
  • These people going on pilgrimage to a holy mountain and prostrating out of devotion and for pilgrimage in Tibet. Such determination for spiritual practice. Tsem Rinpoche
    8 months ago
    These people going on pilgrimage to a holy mountain and prostrating out of devotion and for pilgrimage in Tibet. Such determination for spiritual practice. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Beautiful new casing in Kechara for Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
    8 months ago
    Beautiful new casing in Kechara for Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Get ready to laugh real hard. This is Kechara’s version of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane!” We have some real talents in this video clip.
    8 months ago
    Get ready to laugh real hard. This is Kechara’s version of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane!” We have some real talents in this video clip.
  • Recitation of Dorje Dermo‘s mantra or the Dharani of Glorious Vajra Claws. This powerful mantra is meant to destroy all obstacles that come in our way. Beneficial to play this mantra in our environments.
    8 months ago
    Recitation of Dorje Dermo‘s mantra or the Dharani of Glorious Vajra Claws. This powerful mantra is meant to destroy all obstacles that come in our way. Beneficial to play this mantra in our environments.
  • Beautiful
    9 months ago
    Beautiful
    Beautiful sacred Severed Head Vajra Yogini from Tsem Rinpoche's personal shrine.
  • My little monster cute babies Dharma and Oser. Take a look and get a cute attack for the day! Tsem Rinpoche
    9 months ago
    My little monster cute babies Dharma and Oser. Take a look and get a cute attack for the day! Tsem Rinpoche
  • Plse watch this short video and see how all sentient beings are capable of tenderness and love. We should never hurt animals nor should we eat them. Tsem Rinpoche
    9 months ago
    Plse watch this short video and see how all sentient beings are capable of tenderness and love. We should never hurt animals nor should we eat them. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Cruelty of some people have no limits and it’s heartbreaking. Being kind cost nothing. Tsem Rinpoche
    10 months ago
    Cruelty of some people have no limits and it’s heartbreaking. Being kind cost nothing. Tsem Rinpoche
  • SUPER ADORABLE and must see
    11 months ago
    SUPER ADORABLE and must see
    Tsem Rinpoche's dog Oser girl enjoying her snack in her play pen.
  • Cute!
    11 months ago
    Cute!
    Oser girl loves the balcony so much. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTcoWpKJm2c
  • Uncle Wong
    11 months ago
    Uncle Wong
    We were told by Uncle Wong he is very faithful toward Dorje Shugden. Dorje Shugden has extended help to him on several occasions and now Uncle Wong comes daily to make incense offerings to Dorje Shugden. He is grateful towards the help he was given.
  • Tsem Rinpoche’s Schnauzer Dharma boy fights Robot sphere from Arkonide!
    11 months ago
    Tsem Rinpoche’s Schnauzer Dharma boy fights Robot sphere from Arkonide!
  • Cute baby owl found and rescued
    11 months ago
    Cute baby owl found and rescued
    We rescued a lost baby owl in Kechara Forest Retreat.
  • Nice cups from Kechara!!
    12 months ago
    Nice cups from Kechara!!
    Dorje Shugden people's lives matter!
  • Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    12 months ago
    Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    Chirping birds and other forest animals create a joyful melody at the Vajrayogini stupa in Kechara Forest Retreat (Bentong, Malaysia).
  • His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche makes offering of khata to Dorje Shugden.
    12 months ago
    His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche makes offering of khata to Dorje Shugden.
    Trijang Rinpoche never gave up his devotion to Dorje Shugden no matter how much Tibetan government in exile pressured him to give up. He stayed loyal inspiring so many of us.
  • This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    2 yearss ago
    This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    This video is thought-provoking and very interesting. Watch! Thanks so much to our friends at LIVEKINDLY.
  • Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
    2 yearss ago
    Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
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    2 yearss ago
    BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
    2 yearss ago
    Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
  • Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
    2 yearss ago
    Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
  • Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
    Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    2 yearss ago
    This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    she received “one last visit from an old friend” 💔💔
  • Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
    2 yearss ago
    Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
  • Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
    2 yearss ago
    Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
  • Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant  Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
    2 yearss ago
    Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
  • Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
    2 yearss ago
    Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
  • Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
    Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
  • What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    2 yearss ago
    What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    Sick animals are more profitable... farms calculate how close to death they can keep animals without killing them. That's the business model. How quickly they can be made to grow, how tightly they can be packed, how much or how little can they eat, how sick they can get without dying... We live in a world in which it's conventional to treat an animal like a block of wood. ~ Jonathan Safran Foer
  • This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
    2 yearss ago
    This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
  • SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    2 yearss ago
    SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    This happens daily in slaughterhouse so you can get your pork and Bak ku teh. Stop eating meat.

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CHAT PICTURES

Kids camp 2019 - Dinner time. Lin Mun KSDS
3 days ago
Kids camp 2019 - Dinner time. Lin Mun KSDS
Kids camp 2019 - Coaches and participants are all very excited. Lin Mun KSDS
4 days ago
Kids camp 2019 - Coaches and participants are all very excited. Lin Mun KSDS
Kids camp 2019 - Handmade vegetarian meatball. Yummy. Lin Mun KSDS
4 days ago
Kids camp 2019 - Handmade vegetarian meatball. Yummy. Lin Mun KSDS
Kids camp 2019 - Stack up game
4 days ago
Kids camp 2019 - Stack up game
Kids camp 2019 - Stack up game
4 days ago
Kids camp 2019 - Stack up game
KISG has carried out monthly animals liberation activity at DR Park, Ipoh on Sunday. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
3 weeks ago
KISG has carried out monthly animals liberation activity at DR Park, Ipoh on Sunday. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Kechara Earth Project- 10/11/19
4 weeks ago
Kechara Earth Project- 10/11/19
Blowing Mantras onto the birds so that they will be have Dharma imprints and good rebirth. We dedicated today's event for Rinpoche’s swift return. ~Jacinta, KPSG
4 weeks ago
Blowing Mantras onto the birds so that they will be have Dharma imprints and good rebirth. We dedicated today's event for Rinpoche’s swift return. ~Jacinta, KPSG
The last bird taking his flight of freedom. Be compassionate always. Be kind to animals ~Jacinta, Kechara Penang Study Group
4 weeks ago
The last bird taking his flight of freedom. Be compassionate always. Be kind to animals ~Jacinta, Kechara Penang Study Group
4 weeks ago
Attended Dorje Shugden puja after our monthly Bird Liberation ~ Jacinta, Kechara Penang Study Group
4 weeks ago
Attended Dorje Shugden puja after our monthly Bird Liberation ~ Jacinta, Kechara Penang Study Group
Owen Liew offered incense to Lama Tsongkhapa, Dorje Shugden and all Buddhas on behalf of KISG. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
4 weeks ago
Owen Liew offered incense to Lama Tsongkhapa, Dorje Shugden and all Buddhas on behalf of KISG. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Steve from Ipoh offered lights to Lama Tsongkhapa, Dorje Shugden and all Buddhas prior to our weekly Dorje Shugden puja. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
4 weeks ago
Steve from Ipoh offered lights to Lama Tsongkhapa, Dorje Shugden and all Buddhas prior to our weekly Dorje Shugden puja. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
KISG has completed our weekly Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
4 weeks ago
KISG has completed our weekly Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Throwback - Parent and children stayed together to do breathing meditation ~ 2018 Pilgrimage cum Camp, Kechara Forest Retreat. Alice, KSDS
4 weeks ago
Throwback - Parent and children stayed together to do breathing meditation ~ 2018 Pilgrimage cum Camp, Kechara Forest Retreat. Alice, KSDS
Throwback - KSDS parent and student visited Kechara Forest Retreat ~ Wesak Day for virtuous deeds and have fun together. Alice, KSDS
4 weeks ago
Throwback - KSDS parent and student visited Kechara Forest Retreat ~ Wesak Day for virtuous deeds and have fun together. Alice, KSDS
Wonderful to see these 2 siblings learn dharma together and pray to Manjushri before the class start. Alice, KSDS
4 weeks ago
Wonderful to see these 2 siblings learn dharma together and pray to Manjushri before the class start. Alice, KSDS
The youngest in the class of only 3 years ago learned how to do full lotus pose for breathing meditation session. Alice, KSDS
4 weeks ago
The youngest in the class of only 3 years ago learned how to do full lotus pose for breathing meditation session. Alice, KSDS
The youngest group of KSDS are very helpful in arranging the seats before the class. Alice, KSDS
4 weeks ago
The youngest group of KSDS are very helpful in arranging the seats before the class. Alice, KSDS
Kechara Ipoh Study Group carried out Mother Tara's prayer recitations on Sunday morning. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
1 month ago
Kechara Ipoh Study Group carried out Mother Tara's prayer recitations on Sunday morning. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Throwback- Group work activities during camp. Lin Mun KSDS
1 month ago
Throwback- Group work activities during camp. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback- Ice breaking session. Lin Mun KSDS
1 month ago
Throwback- Ice breaking session. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback - Decorating Kechara Oasis, artwork dedication from Sunday class kids. Lin Mun KSDS
1 month ago
Throwback - Decorating Kechara Oasis, artwork dedication from Sunday class kids. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback- Chinese New Year activity during dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
1 month ago
Throwback- Chinese New Year activity during dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback- WOAH Camp 2017 , Lin Mun KSDS
1 month ago
Throwback- WOAH Camp 2017 , Lin Mun KSDS
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