Gampopa

Jun 12, 2013 | Views: 2,389

Dear everyone,

I extracted this great story from The Berzin Archives. My motivation is to inspire all of you by reading the life of holy and accomplished masters. It was the first time I am reading about holy Gampopa. I hope you will read it carefully. It is easy to understand, inspiring and touching. I like it very much.

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Tsem Rinpoche

 

 Gampopa

 

How Gampopa Reached His Spiritual Attainments

Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey
oral translation by Lobsang Gyeltsen
Dharamsala, India, 1979
edited by Samaya Hart and Alexander Berzin, November 2003

Jewel Ornament of Liberation is called the combined streams of the Kadam and mahamudra traditions (bka’-phyag chu-bo gnyis-‘dres). Its author, Gampopa (sGam-po-pa bSod-nams rin-chen) (1079-1153), had many Kadampa masters who taught him the practices and views of their lineage. After Gompopa received the teachings and traditions of mahamudra from his guru, Milarepa (Mi-la Ras-pa bZhad-pa’i rdo-rje) (1040-1123), he combined the two streams of teachings into one.

In order to appreciate and study this work, we need to know a little bit about Gampopa, its author. Without a history of the author’s life, the teachings will not have as much meaning. We need to become familiar with Gampopa, and get to know Gampopa as a man who has actually lived a life as an ordinary person and who, through his practice, achieved actual spiritual attainments. These teachings are the outcome of his experience and practice of the Dharma.

 

 

 

Buddha Vajra Yogini

 

 

Prophesies

Before Milarepa received his various disciples, the Buddha-figure Vajrayogini appeared to him in a vision and prophesied that in the not too distant future he would receive a sun-like disciple, a moon-like disciple, and many other disciples who would be like the stars in the sky. The sun-like disciple turned out to be Gampopa, who is also known as the Great Doctor of Dagpo (Dvags-po lha-rje). He became one of Milarepa’s chief disciples, along with Rechungpa (Ras-chung-pa rDo-rje grags-pa) (1084-1161), and many others.

 

Milarepa

 

Gampopa was not an ordinary person. His presence in this time and universe had been prophesied in many sutras, specifically in the  White Lotus Sutra, in which there is a clear prediction of his coming, as follows:

One day, at the time of Buddha Shakyamuni, Buddha turned to his disciple Ananda and said, “Ananda, after my entrance into parinirvana, in the northern direction of this hemisphere there will be a fully ordained monk who will be known as the Bhikshu Doctor.” Gampopa was a bhikshu, an accomplished doctor who had a natural talent for medicine. “He will be someone who has gone through many previous lives of completely dedicated practice of Dharma, and who has had many spiritual teachers.”

Life as a Householder

Gampopa was born in a small village in Tibet, in the southern region of Dagpo (Dvags-po), near the border of Nepal. His father was a greatly renowned medical doctor of that village. His parents had two sons, and Gampopa was the older of the two. As a child, Gampopa was extremely clever. He learned his father’s profession and also, in turn, became a great doctor. When he was about fifteen years old, he studied many Nyingma scriptures and so had tremendous knowledge of the Nyingma tradition. He pursued many spiritual studies and when he reached the age of twenty-two, he married Chogmey (mChog-med), the daughter of a very rich family in a neighboring village. After their marriage, they had a son and daughter of their own.

After some years, his son died suddenly. Gampopa took his son’s body to the cemetery and did what had to be done according to custom of that area. When he returned home from the funeral, he found his daughter dead too. Not too long after the death of his daughter, his wife came down with many sicknesses. Gampopa, being a doctor himself, gave her all kinds of medicines, consulted other doctors and tried various pujas for her recovery, but none of them succeeded. As she grew worse and worse, they lost hope. Finally, Gampopa sat by her bed and read her a sutra in preparation for her death. But she didn’t die.

Gampopa wondered why she couldn’t die. What was keeping her from death? What was it that she could not give up in this life, a life with no hope, only the promise of continual pain and suffering? Feeling great compassion for his wife lying there so ill, Gampopa gently asked, “I have done whatever I could to heal you. I have tried many doctors, remedies and all types of prayers and rituals for your recovery, but all of them have failed. They have not been effective because of your own previous actions. The karmic forces and prayers of our former lives unite you and me. But now, although I have a great deal of affection and love for you, I must ask what is it that is actually keeping you here? Any wealth that we have in the house, any material possessions we have accumulated together, if they are holding you or if you have a great deal of attachment for any of them, I will give them all away. I’ll sell them or give them away to the monastery as an offering or will give them to the poor. I will get rid of anything that might be holding you back from dying. Whatever you wish me to do, I shall do.”

Chogmey replied, “I’m not attached to wealth or anything in the house. This is not what is holding me back. My great concern is for your future and, because of that, I cannot die. After my death, it will be easy for you to remarry and have many daughters and sons, more than we had together. I see, however, that this kind of life does not have any kind of meaning for you. That is why my concern is so great for you. If you promise me that instead of leading such a life, you will become a dedicated practitioner of the Dharma – which is the most effective and efficient way to achieve your own happiness and the happiness of all sentient beings, then I’ll be able to peacefully leave this life. Otherwise, I shall remain like this for a long time.”

“If this is the case,” said Gampopa, “then, by all means, I shall give you my word of honor that I shall become a dedicated practitioner of the Dharma and give up this way of life.”

Chogmey replied, “Although I trust you, in order to make me completely happy and assured of your pledge, please bring a witness.”

Gampopa asked his uncle to witness his vow. Standing before his beloved wife, with his uncle as witness, Gampopa made his pledge to dedicate his life to the Dharma. This made Chogmey very happy, and she said, “Even after my death, I will be looking after you.” So saying, she held his hand and, with many tears, passed away.

He prepared an elaborate funeral rite for his wife’s cremation. Out of the ashes, bones and clay, he made many votive tablets with the impressions of the statues of Enlightened Beings. The stupa he built in her honor, “The Stupa of Chogmey” (mChog-med mchod-rten), stands to this day in Tibet.

Now that Gampopa was left alone, he divided all his wealth into two equal parts. One part he sold and, with the money, made offerings to the Three Jewels and distributed alms to the poor and needy. He kept the second portion for the maintenance of his life and religious practices.

One day his uncle, who had been the witness when Gampopa gave his pledge to Chogmey, visited Gampopa, expecting him to be deep in mourning for his beloved wife. He came to give him advice, to tell him not to be worried, and to console him by explaining his situation in the light of the law of karma.

Gampopa replied that he was not at all worried. On the contrary, he was quite happy that she had died. The uncle became extremely angry at hearing this and, picking up a handful of dust, threw it in Gampopa’s face. “What do you mean?” he cried. “You could not have found a better wife, such a beautiful person!”

Surprised by the outburst, Gampopa questioned his uncle, “What sort of a witness are you? Weren’t you there when I pledged to follow Dharma practices? Weren’t you listening? At this, the uncle became very, very ashamed and said, “That is quite true. Although I’m an old man, I never remember to do Dharma practice, while you who are so young have such courage in following the spiritual path. I would be so happy if I could help you in any way.”

Becoming a Monk and Studying with Kadam Masters

One day, Gampopa packed a great store of food and clothing, deciding now to live in solitude. Without a word to either his relatives or friends, he left his hometown for the Penpo (‘Phan-po) region in search of a guru.

Soon afterwards, he met Shawa-lingpa (Sha-ba gling-pa), a compassionate teacher from the Kadam tradition and requested novice and full monk vows. He received the ordination name Sonam-rinchen (bSod-nams rin-chen). As a monk, he practiced intensively with a series of Kadampa Geshes, meditating and studying with these great masters. He often spent days without food or a drop of water, absorbed in the blissful mental and physical feeling of perfect concentration. Gampopa reached such a level of attainment of samadhi concentration that he was able to sit for seven days completely absorbed in meditation.

Thus, Gampopa already had a great deal of insight and confidence in his Dharma practice before he set out on his quest for his guru, Milarepa. He had mastered the complete Kadam teachings and had extraordinary dreams, such as that he was a tenth-level bodhisattva. He frequently dreamt that a blue yogi with a walking stick placed his right hand over his head and would sometimes spit at him. Thinking that this strange dream was an indication of a harmful spirit who was trying to cause him a great deal of interference and obstacles for his Dharma practice, he did an intense retreat on Achala (Mi-g.yo-ba), the Immovable One. Achala is a fierce-looking figure specially meditated on in the Kadam tradition to eliminate all obstacles to practice. After his retreat, however, the same dream came more often, stronger and more vivid that ever. Little did he know that this dream was a sign that he would soon be meeting his future teacher, the great yogi Milarepa.

Meeting Milarepa

The first time Gampopa heard the name of Milarepa he was circumambulating a stupa monument on the road and overheard a discussion among three beggars. One was complaining all the time about the current famine in the country and how he had not eaten for a long time. Another replied that they should be ashamed of themselves and not talk about food all the time, lest this bhikshu circumambulating the stupa should hear, which would be very embarrassing. “Besides,” he said, “we are not the only ones who do not have anything to eat. There is the great, renowned saint yogi, Milarepa, who never has any food at all and who just lives in the mountains dedicating himself completely to Dharma practice. He never complains about food. We all need to pray that we may develop the sincere wish to lead a life as simple as his.”

Upon hearing Milarepa’s name, Gampopa experienced great bliss and happiness. He reported this to his teacher, who said, “I have known all along that you had a close karmic relationship with such a meditation master. Go to him and all will be successful.”

That night, Gampopa could hardly sleep. Most of the night, he offered intense prayers and wishes that he might immediately meet the great yogi Milarepa. When he finally did doze, he had a very special dream in which he heard the sound of a white conch, the loudest on earth. He reported this as well to his teacher, who said, “This is an extremely auspicious sign. You should go to find Milarepa immediately.”

Gampopa ran to where the beggars were camping and asked them if they knew Milarepa personally and if they knew where he was staying, and, if so, could they lead him to this teacher. He told them he had sixteen ounces of gold dust and would give half of it to them and half he would keep as an offering to the great guru, when he met him. The oldest beggar said he knew Milarepa and agreed to guide Gampopa to Milarepa’s cave.

The old beggar was deceitful, and, on the way, admitted that he did not know the way to the cave. He claimed that he was not well, and could not guide Gampopa any further. They had arrived at a place where there were no houses, people or animals; it was completely deserted. The beggar left and Gampopa found himself all alone. He wandered on and on for many days, without food, until finally he met a group of merchants. Gampopa asked one of them if he knew where Milarepa could be found. The merchant replied that he knew Milarepa well and that Milarepa was a great meditator and a great yogi. He told Gampopa that he switched his abode often, moving from cave to cave, and town to town, but that nowadays he was staying in this particular town and this particular cave. The man pointed toward the cave, and gave the aspiring disciple clear directions to the great yogi. Overcome by joy, Gampopa hugged the merchant in gratitude and did not let go for a long while.

It was a journey of several days and, as he was traveling without any food, he finally fell unconscious to the ground. When he revived, he thought that he had no karma to meet this great yogi and that he was going to die now for sure. So, he put his hands together and, with deepest gratitude and respect, prayed very hard that he would be able to take rebirth as a human being and that he would be born as Milarepa’s disciple.

While Gampopa was lying on the ground, waiting for death, one of the Kadampa masters saw him. Seeing that Gampopa had fallen there on the hard ground, he came over to help. He asked, “What are you doing here?” Gampopa replied, “I’m looking for the great teacher Milarepa. I’ve been traveling for many days without food and water. Now I feel that I’m going to die, and I’m so sorry that I have no karma to see this guru.” The Kadampa master went and got some water and food and then guided Gampopa to the town where Milarepa was staying.

When he reached the town, he asked many people how to meet this guru and how to receive the specific types of teachings he was looking for. Finally, he met a person who was a great master and who was a disciple of the accomplished yogi. Gampopa told him that he had a strong desire to meet this guru and to receive his teachings. The master told him that he could not see the great yogi immediately. He said that he must wait a few days and be tested before he could actually receive teachings.

A few days before, Milarepa had had a meeting with his disciples, and he told them of the coming of Gampopa. He said that he was expecting the arrival of a bhikshu doctor who, after studying with him, would receive the complete teachings and spread them in all ten directions. Milarepa told them of a dream he had had the previous night, in which the bhikshu doctor brought him an empty glass vase. Milarepa filled the vase with water, signifying that he would come with a completely open and receptive mind to receive the teachings, and Milarepa would fill the vase of his mind with the nectar of his complete teachings and insights.

Milarepa then laughed with great joy and said, “Now I’m confident that the Buddha Dharma will shine like the sun in all directions.” He then sang to those gathered around him, “The milk of the white lion is no doubt nutritious, but a person who has not tasted it does not benefit from this nutrition. You must taste for yourself – even only a drop – and then you can appreciate the nutritious effects. The same is true with my teachings. First you must develop the experience of it, the taste of it, and then it will be so nutritious.”

“There is no question of the validity and profundity of the teachings that come from the lineage of Tilopa and Naropa. But if you don’t meditate on them, then you won’t understand their profundity. Only after meditating on them and developing genuine experience can you fathom their depths. My great fatherly guru, Marpa, has brought them from India and I, the yogi, have meditated on them. I have tested the validity of these teachings and have developed the experiences accordingly.”

“The milk of a white lion must have a special container. It cannot be put in any ordinary one. If it is put in a clay pot for instance, as soon as this milk touches the pot, the pot cracks. For these vast and profound teachings of this lineage, there must be a special kind of practitioner. I refuse to teach the tradition to anyone who comes to receive my teachings who is not ready for them. I will only teach it to persons who are completely developed and suitable, who are ready for this teaching and the practice of it.”

The disciples asked Milarepa, “When is this person who you have dreamt about coming?” Milarepa answered, “He will probably reach here the day after tomorrow. He has fainted and has called for my help. I used my miraculous powers to guide him here.”

The next day, while meditating, Milarepa periodically burst into peals of laughter. Alarmed by these outbursts, a faithful patroness came to him and demanded an explanation. “What is the cause of this? Sometimes you are so serious and sometimes laughing. You must explain this behavior because people might think that you have gone mad. What is going on? You cannot be mysterious about this!”

Milarepa answered, “I’m perfectly fine. My mental state is perfectly normal and I’m not being mysterious. I see something funny happening to a disciple of mine who is coming to see me. First he fainted and now he has aches and sores all over his body, but he is courageous and he is exerting a great deal of effort to come and see me. Seeing this makes me laugh. I’m happy and at the same time I think it’s very funny.”

“He will reach this town soon, and whoever invites him into his or her home first will attain enlightenment in a short time because of his blessings. The generous host or hostess will get a great deal of insight and powers to accomplish his or her goals with great speed.”

A few days later Gampopa arrived, very weak and sick. It happened that the first door he reached was the house of the patroness who had questioned Milarepa. She was on the lookout for him, and came out immediately. She asked the seeker who he was and what he wanted. Gampopa explained the details of his journey in search of Milarepa. The patroness immediately knew that this was the disciple Milarepa had told her about. She invited him in, and made many offerings to him, remembering Milarepa’s prediction.

The lady regaled Gampopa with tales of Milarepa’s predictions. She said, “Your lama has been waiting for you; he has explained about you to all of us. He said that you fainted and that he sent you miraculous assistance, and now he’s impatiently awaiting your arrival. You can go to see him immediately and you will have a warm reception.” At this Gampopa became inflated with the praises, and thought, “Oh, I must be a very great person, my teacher has been waiting for me.” Milarepa, seeing the pride that Gampopa had developed, would not even look at him for half a month. He intentionally neglected and ignored him, and Gampopa had to find another place to stay.

At the end of two weeks, the lady led Gampopa to Milarepa’s house and asked Milarepa if he would meet with Gampopa. Milarepa agreed. When Gampopa arrived, Milarepa was sitting in the center; Rechungpa was sitting to one side of him on the same level seat, and on the other side, also on the same level, was another disciple. They were all dressed exactly alike, completely in white. They looked exactly alike, and sat in the same posture. They each had exactly the same expression on their faces. Milarepa waited to see if Gampopa knew who he was. Clever Gampopa may have noticed Rechungpa’s subtle nod, indicating that Milarepa sat in the center of the trio. Gampopa made prostrations to Milarepa, took all his offerings and stacked them up before him. He spoke of his burning desire to meet the guru, receive the teachings and attain enlightenment.

Milarepa went into meditation for a few seconds, and then reached into the pile of gold dust that Gampopa had offered, picked some up and threw it in the air. “I offer this to my guru Marpa,” he declared. All at once, the air resounded with thunder, and lightning seared the skies. There appeared a great rainbow and many other auspicious signs.

Milarepa had been drinking some chang, a strong alcoholic brew. It sat in his skull cup on the table. After a while he picked up the skull cup with the liquor in it and gave it to Gampopa, who at first hesitated because he was a fully ordained monk, with a vow of abstinence. He was embarrassed, sitting there in the presence of all the other disciples. Milarepa said, “Do not have more second thoughts. Drink what I give to you.” And so without any more hesitation he drank it all.

Then Milarepa asked him his name, and he answered that it was Sonam-rinchen, the name his Kadampa master had given him. Milarepa thought that it was a very auspicious name: Sonam means “positive force,” and Rinchen means “the great jewel.” So he was the Great Jewel of Positive Force. Milarepa lovingly repeated a verse of praise with his name included in it three times. Gampopa felt that the name he had been given was very significant and meaningful

 

 

 

Marpa

 

 

The Master Tells His Story

Milarepa then said, “First of all, I’ll tell you a bit about my life story. But before I do that, we will all make homage and prostrations to our great guru, Marpa, the source of the lineage of the tradition of practice that we all follow.” After they did their homage and prostrations, Milarepa told his story:

“In India, nowadays, the most famous mahasiddha actualized beings are Naropa and Maitripa. Marpa happens to be the great spiritual son of these two great and famous Indian mahasiddhas. And our great teacher Marpa is the holder and source of all these teachings we have been following so closely. The dakas, dakinis, and Dharma protectors make his fame known in all the directions. After hearing of Marpa’s superb reputation, no matter what difficulties I encountered, I was determined to find him. Upon meeting Marpa, I had no material offerings to make, but I made the offering of my body, speech and mind. In response to my sincere request, Marpa graciously admitted that he had effective methods for attaining enlightenment in one short lifetime, which had been transmitted to him by his great master, Naropa.”

“I spent several years there, receiving intensive teachings and practices from my master, living an unpretentious life, completely dedicated, purely motivated, filled with great courage and determination to attain enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings. I have received all of Marpa’s teachings in full. My master swore that there was nothing else that he could give me. I have filled the vase of my mind to the brim with the complete nectar of the teachings of my guru, Marpa.”

“This is what Marpa told me, it is very important advice, ‘It is now the time of the five degenerations, and especially at this time, the human life span is degenerating. It is on the decrease, not on the increase. Do not thirst for knowledge of everything. Try to understand the essence of the practice of the Dharma and try to perfect that essence. Only then will you be able to attain enlightenment in one short lifetime. Don’t try to master every field.’ “

“I, with extraordinary determination, in accordance with the teachings of my guru, Marpa, and a thorough understanding of impermanence, after harnessing the force of perseverance, have achieved and experienced many fruitful insights from these teachings. I have gained a clear recognition of the Three Kayas, the bodies of the Buddhas: a complete confidence and recognition of them through my experience, practice and meditation. I have faith in achieving these Three Kayas. And just as I have developed these insights and experiences from my practices, I am willing to give you all the teachings that I have received from my gracious guru, Marpa. You too need not take these teachings as a theory, as mere intellectual understanding of the Dharma. You must develop the actual experience of them just as I have.”

Then Milarepa said to Gampopa, “Take back your offering of gold dust, for an old man like me has no use for gold. And take back the tea that you offered – an old man like me has no pots and no kitchen to make tea in. I have no use for gold or tea; take back your entire offering. If you see yourself ready to fully entrust yourself to me, and live under my guidance and teachings, then you must live as I do. You must live a simple life and imitate my way of living and my way of practice.”

Gampopa replied, “If you do not accept my tea because you have no pots and no kitchen, then I’ll go somewhere else to make tea.” So Gampopa went to a nearby house, made the tea, and returned to his guru with his offering. Milarepa was very pleased. He called the other disciples and together they all enjoyed the delicious tea Gampopa had prepared.

Milarepa Teaches Gampopa

Milarepa inquired about the teachings and practices that Gampopa had received. Gampopa gave a complete description of all the teachers and teachings he had had, and the meditations that he had done. Milarepa remarked that all of them were excellent teachings, and that Gampopa had a complete foundation for the teaching on tummo (gtum-mo), the inner heat, a skillful method of realizing the true nature of reality as voidness.

Milarepa continued, “Although all the empowerments, teachings and blessings you have received from your previous masters are perfectly acceptable in my tradition, I must give you another initiation, just to make sure that all the others that you have received have not become invalid due to your life circumstances. I will initiate you into the practice of Vajrayogini.” Following the empowerment, Milarepa gave him all the teachings in a short period of time. Gampopa immediately immersed himself in the practices and quickly developed the experiences and insights of these teachings. Each day his insights grew and grew, just like a sprout coming out of the ground. He was fully satisfied and extremely happy with his progress.

He meditated on tummo, and each day he had a new experience. One extremely cold winter night, he was meditating completely naked in a cave to test the inner heat that he had developed. He remained warm throughout the night, but in the morning when he stopped doing the tummo practice, he froze completely. He did this meditation for a week and, at the end of the week, had visions of the five Dhyani Buddhas. When he went to his teacher to report all of his experiences and the visions, Milarepa said, “This is neither good nor bad. Make further effort to actualize it. Do not be attracted by such visions, perfect the power of the inner heat.”

Gampopa meditated intensively for three months, and at the end of this time he felt that the entire universe was spinning like a huge wheel. After feeling this for a long while, he went to Milarepa to ask his advice. His guru answered, “This is neither good nor bad. It’s a sign that the various thoughts and energies which go into the various subtle energy channels are now entering the central channel. You must make further effort and do more meditation.”

After doing more practice he had the vision that Avalokitesvara penetrated through the top of his head and dissolved and merged within him. When he asked Milarepa about this, his master said, “This is neither good nor bad. It’s an indication that your crown chakra energy-center is opening up.”

Doing the meditation, Gampopa underwent a series of internal physical changes. He felt a violent wind and a flow of hot air going up and down along his spine. When he reported this to Milarepa, he replied, “This is neither good nor bad. It’s an indication that the subtle energy channels are connecting to each other in the body. When you gain control of these subtle channels and they connect, then you experience these sensations. Now you must go back, and do more meditation.”

Another time he had a complete vision of all of the various states of the divine beings, the gods. He had a pure vision of the higher gods pouring white nectar over and initiating the gods of the lower states. Milarepa explained, “This is neither good nor bad. It’s an indication of the opening up of the chakra energy-center of the throat. The various sources and places of bliss are now developing in each of these positions of your body.”

At this point, Milarepa gave Gampopa many yogic exercises to do, mudra hand gestures and movements of the body to open up the other subtle energy-centers in the body. He told him, “Do not be too attracted to these things. Just take them as indications of your progress, but do not get distracted by them. Instead, just go along and perfect these practices.”

At this level of the meditation, it’s extremely important for the disciple to live in close contact with the guru, because the disciple must receive very specific guidance. If the disciple lives a long way away from the guru, then the guru cannot give the timely personal guidance that is crucial for the student to progress. And if the guru himself has no personal experience of what the student is going through, then this is a great problem. All the progress of the disciple is stopped at that time. Therefore, it is essential to have an extremely realized experienced guru, and to receive daily guidance for each step of meditational experience.

Gampopa’s Progress

At this stage, Gampopa was able to depend for food completely on samadhi concentration, never on ordinary food. One night, Gampopa dreamt of an eclipse of the moon and an eclipse of the sun. In Tibetan astrology it is believed that when an eclipse occurs, the sun and moon are being eaten away by a demon. He also dreamt that there were two types of beings devouring the sun and moon: one, the size of a hair from the tail of a horse, and the other, appearing to be thin strips of insects. When Gampopa went to seek Milarepa’s advice on the dream, Milarepa told him not to worry that he might be on the false track, and that it was neither good nor bad. The dream was a sign of his progress in meditation. It meant that the subtle winds from the two side energy channels were now beginning to funnel into the central channel.

Milarepa further encouraged him to continue his practice, as he recognized that these were all indications of his disciple’s achievements. When a practitioner is able to funnel the breaths and subtle energy-winds from the side channels into the central channel, the person has advanced a great deal. The subtle energy system in all sentient beings is the same. Ordinarily, sentient beings breathe predominantly through the right channel and thus have great attachment, or they breathe principally through the left channel and consequently have a great deal of anger. We rarely develop constructive thoughts, which originate in the central channel, because the channel is blocked with knots. When experienced yogis are able to breathe through the central channel, they have untied the knots. They are able to direct the breath and subtle-energies from the two side channels into the central one, thereby generating only positive intentions.

After that when Gampopa visited Milarepa, Milarepa seemed to be very pleased. But all he would say to Gampopa after he heard of each new insight or experience was, “And now after that (de-nas), now after that, now after that,” meaning that as the experiences unfolded, Gampopa must go on to the next one until he reached enlightenment. Milarepa did not dare to tell him directly of his progress, fearing that Gampopa might become prideful, which would impede his further progress on the path.

Gampopa then went to meditate in a cave for a month. At the end of his retreat, he had a complete vision of Hevajra together with the mandala and the retinue of the Hevajra Buddha-figure. As soon as he saw this, he thought that this is what the Lama meant when he said, “now after that, now after that, now after that.” This was what his practice was leading to in the end. But, the vision was followed over time with other visions of mandalas and other Buddha-figures. One day he had a vision of a form of Heruka that included the complete bone-built mandala of the deity. Milarepa cautioned him not to feel that this was a great achievement, saying that this is neither good nor bad. It’s only an indication of the opening up of the chakra center at the navel. When you fully open the navel chakra, you see everything as white, as white as bones bleached by the sun, because the energy of the white bodhichitta energy has developed fully.

He then had an experience that was not exactly a dream. He felt that he became huge, a giant. He felt that all types of sentient beings from the various states of rebirth were crawling on his limbs, his toes, and all over various parts of his body. This was an indication that he had developed a completely actualized subtle energy system. Up to that stage, he had been doing only the general meditation on tummo, the inner heat meditation. Now, he could be given instructions on the most advanced level of tummo practice.

Experiences, Dreams, and Accomplishments

It is to be noted that whenever Milarepa heard reports on the various stages of experiences of Gampopa, he always said, “It is neither good nor bad. Meditate more.” He fully explained to his disciple what his experiences meant, but never praised him. And that is how it needs to be, how a guru needs to direct his disciples. If a guru praises too much and gives too much encouragement saying things like, “This is extremely important,” or “Now you have had a great experience,” the disciple will get carried away, which will be a great obstacle. He will not improve and will become attached to his various experiences and be overcome by them.

Although his life story has been described in a few pages, Gampopa had to meditate months and months; it was not so easy to develop these experiences, it takes years of intensive meditation. At this stage, Gampopa had thirty-three special dreams successively, but as it is too much to mention each of them, only the last one of them will be detailed.

When Milarepa asked his three chief disciples, Gampopa, Rechungpa and Lingrepa (Gling ras-pa) to report their dreams to him, Lingrepa reported his dream of a sunrise. He told his guru that in the dream, as soon as the sun rose from the top of the mountain, the rays concentrated on his heart and his heart became transformed into great light. Rechungpa told Milarepa that he dreamt that he crossed three towns making a great deal of noise.

Gampopa would not tell his dream to Milarepa. He just made prostrations and cried and put his head in the lama’s lap. He mourned that it was not worthwhile to tell his dream. It was such a terrible one, that it must mean that he was an extremely awful person. He was afraid that it meant he had a great deal of obstacles and pleaded with Milarepa not to make him tell it. Milarepa told Gampopa that he knew when a dream was good or bad, and to just tell him the dream.

Lingrepa’s dream, which appeared to be the best of all, made Lingrepa think he was the greatest of the three disciples, because his dream seemed full of auspicious signs. Milarepa interpreted this dream as the worst. He said it indicated that Lingrepa’s compassion was very small and that his benefit to sentient beings would be extremely limited. The rays of sun concentrating on his heart meant that he would go to the dakini Vajrayogini’s Buddha-field in this lifetime. He interpreted Rechungpa’s dream to mean that he could not attain enlightenment in one lifetime. He had to wait three more lifetimes because he had broken his promise to do something for Milarepa three times.

What seemed to be a nightmare to Gampopa was that he was in an open field with many animals, and he was going around and chopping off their heads. Gampopa was surprised when Milarepa was pleased with this apparently terrible dream. After he finished telling his master his dream, Milarepa said, “Give me your hand,” and he held it fondly. He said that he had great faith in Gampopa, and that he had lived up to his expectations. He told them that chopping off the animals’ heads meant that Gampopa would be able to liberate many sentient beings from their bondage in samsara.

Milarepa said, “Now my work for the benefit of sentient beings, my work for the preservation and propagation of the Dharma, has been completed. I have someone else who can take my place.”

Gampopa had reached the stage where he did not breathe like ordinary sentient beings any more, he inhaled and exhaled only once a day. He was experiencing a stream of continuous insights and visions of Buddhas in their true forms, including the Eight Medicine Buddhas, and the Thirty-five Confession Buddhas.

Milarepa told his student that he was now ready to receive teachings from a Sambhogakaya – one of Buddha’s body of subtle forms that only arya bodhisattvas, those with nonconceptual perception of voidness, can see. Soon, he would be able to experience a Dharmakaya – the body of an omniscient mind, which is only accessible to the enlightened.

Milarepa and Gampopa

 

 

 

A Parting of Ways

One day Milarepa said to Gampopa, “I am very old and would like to spend the rest of my life with you. But, because of the force of some previous prayers, we must be separated and you must go to the central province of U (dBus).”

Milarepa gave Gampopa a great deal of advice, warning him about pride, specifically because he had so many miraculous powers. He told him not to be overwhelmed by his knowledge of the past and future or by his extraordinary physical powers; these could become great obstacles for him. He especially advised him not to seek faults to his right or left, meaning that he should be careful not to seek out the faults of those around him. He taught him that one never knows what other people are truly like, that only they can judge themselves. There was no way that Gampopa could accurately judge them, whether their actions were for good or ill.

Milarepa then told Gampopa to go to a certain place and to establish a monastery there, explaining that there he would find all his disciples, all the people to whom he was karmically connected for furthering the Buddha Dharma. He cautioned Gampopa not to live in close contact with those who were enslaved by the three emotional poisons – attachment, anger, and closed-minded naivety – because they would infect him. He warned him also not to live around people who have a great deal of attraction and repulsion. He added that he should avoid misers, explaining that if he lived long enough with them, he would end up saving even small pieces of wood. He counseled Gampopa to have a great deal of patience and never disregard his lamas, even if he saw himself as enlightened. He was to stay clean, neat and amiable with all people. Finally, Milarepa told Gampopa to increase all the forces of his attainments by continuing to do his meditation and practices until he attained the final goal, enlightenment.

Milarepa saw Gampopa off in the same way as his guru, Marpa, had done. He made many preparations and brought food, and with his other disciples went some distance with him. Before departing from his guru, Gampopa recited many verses of praise, acknowledging his good fortune to have met Milarepa in this lifetime. He sang of how it had been his sole desire to meet him and how grateful he was not only to have been able to study according to Milarepa’s tradition, but that he had had the good karma to combine this knowledge with the teachings he had received from his Kadampa masters. Gampopa felt assured that he had made full use of his precious human life.

 

Milarepa, Marpa and Gampopa

 

 

One Last Bridge to Cross

They came to a bridge and Milarepa said; “Now you go by yourself. Take your leave of me. For auspicious reasons I will not cross the bridge.” Then he blessed Gampopa who crossed over. When he had crossed the bridge, Milarepa called him back. “Come back once more, I have a very special teaching to give you. If I do not give you this advice, to whom shall I give it?”

Gampopa asked, “Should I offer a mandala to you for this special teaching and advice?” Milarepa said an offering was not necessary. He cautioned him not to waste the advice, but to put it in the deepest recesses of his heart. Then Milarepa turned his back on Gampopa, lifted up his robe, and showed him his bare bottom. Gampopa saw that Milarepa’s bottom was all calloused, just like hardened leather.

Milarepa said, “For practice there is nothing greater that meditation – provided you know what to meditate on and how to meditate on it. I, who have gained knowledge and understanding of many different meditation methods, meditated until my bottom became as hard as leather. You need to do the same. This is your last teaching.”

He then told Gampopa that it was time for him to leave. The disciple left his master, and went to the south of Lhasa, where he established his monastery according to Milarepa’s prophesy.

Conclusion

The Jewel Ornament of Liberation is the result of the experiences Gampopa developed from the teachings and meditations of Kadampa masters and Milarepa’s tradition. When he wrote this text, he was a realized being according to both traditions, and he combined the wisdom of the two schools in the text.

It is the tradition of discourses that a brief biography of the master who has written the textbook be always explained, in order that the words of the author can have a greater effect on the disciples. If you just read a book or if you just study something without knowing about the author, it is not as meaningful. I am following this tradition.

Actually, there is no difference between us and Gampopa and Milarepa. Milarepa was at first an ordinary person, filled with the negative force of all his harmful destructive deeds. But he worked hard to eliminate his disturbing emotions and delusions, and gradually developed insights and experiences. The same is true for Gampopa; he had to work very hard to reach his spiritual attainments. When they started out, they were not great enlightened beings, and it was not easy for them to meditate and develop wisdom and accomplishments. In the case of Milarepa, he was even worse than most of us, proving that there is always the possibility of attainment if we are willing to work hard. When we develop the perseverance and courage of the great masters, then we ourselves can be like Milarepa and Gampopa.

The Jewel Ornament of Liberation is the product of one such great master, who, for our benefit, combined the two streams of the Kadampa and mahamudra traditions into one clear path.

 

Source: http://tinyurl.com/kjh7w7

 

 

 

 

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On a separate note:

 

 

 

This appeal notice was extracted from The Berzin Archives. The people at The Berzin Archives are doing such wonderful works and translations making dharma available to the whole world. Do give them a donation to keep it going.  This wonderful piece on Gampopa was from them. Tsem Rinpoche

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25 Responses to Gampopa

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  1. Samfoonheei on Jul 6, 2022 at 3:21 pm

    Gampopa Sonam Rinchen a Tibetan Buddhist master and was among the most famous disciples of the great Tibetan Kagyu saint Milarepa . Gampopa is credited with establishing the Kagyu path, combining Kadampa Lamrim teachings with the Mahamudra teachings he received from Milarepa. He even combined the Kadam monastic and scholastic traditions with Indian tantric practices, spreading the teachings to Tibet. He was a bhikshu, an accomplished doctor who had a natural talent for medicine as well. His Guru devotion and rapid accomplishment had been an unexpected inspired many. He had trained many of the greatest Kagyu masters of all time. He wrote a number of treatises and founded the Dagpo Kagyu school and Daklha Gampo monastery. Interesting read of a great Lama.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

  2. Jacinta on Jan 19, 2019 at 9:46 am

    Reading the biography of the great Masters such as Lord Gampopa will only instil greater faith and encouragement and not otherwise. Even if one is feeling down, one can only gain positive energy by reading it. May I remember what the great Masters have gone through in seeking Dharma and from this, may I find the little strength and courage to go on too. Besides this, thank you Rinpoche for the great examples for what Rinpoche has been through in this life too.

  3. Stella Cheang on Aug 1, 2016 at 11:34 pm

    Thank you for sharing this story with us, Rinpoche. I enjoy reading the spiritual journey of Gompopa. He started off as a normal person like us, who went through the motion of the mundane routine, e.g. study hard, inherit his father’s profession, married a rich wife, had children, etc. Yet, clear signs were shown to him that all the samsara enjoyable were impermanence and there was a high purpose in life. Even though by the time he met with his Guru Milarepa, Gompopa had already some realizations, he still continue to work every hard on his meditation.

    A point to note from this article: at a specific point of the meditation practice, the student must live in close proximity with his Guru in order to get very specific instructions and guidance from the Guru. It is extremely to the interest of the student to have a realized experienced Guru who is skilled to guide each meditational step.

  4. Nancy Loo on Feb 1, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    I really admire Gampopa’s determination in search for his guru, Milerapa that even till the moment he thought that he will die of starvation, he still prayed to be reborn as a human being in order for him to meet with Milerapa .Upon finding Milerapa, Gampopa’s has followed and adhere to all Milerapa’s teachings, advice and instructions. This is indeed another example of Guru Devotion .Thank you Rinpoche .

  5. Bradley on Dec 23, 2013 at 11:47 am

    This is a wonderful life story of a real spiritual master 🙂 He truly was enlightened. I’m reading the Jewel Ornament of Liberation as we speak. It very much resembles the Lamrim of Tsongkhapa (The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path, and the book Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand. Thank You Rinpoche for this biography it truly is inspiring. One question, is there a mantra for Gampopa?

  6. Julien Roth on Aug 27, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Thank you for sharing such an interesting story with us Rinpoche. I had enjoyed reading it. I think the message in this story is to tell people that anyone is able to reach the state of Enlightment, no matter where you are.

  7. Wan Wai Meng on Jul 11, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    Gampopa story is really inspiring, the guru Milarepa was so kind to keep his students mind in check, so pride does no hinder them at all. I also recalled even amongst theravadan, they ask the meditator not to be distracted about what appears to their minds.

  8. sweekeong on Jul 5, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    This is an extraordinary story for a ordinary man. Definitely he has a lot of guru devotion which is translated into actions by following his guru instructions. Milarepa is only concerned of Gampopa progress toward enlightenment as quickly as possible and clearing his obstacles since Gampopa is destined to become to enlighten in this very life but it is still entirely dependent on himself alone. What strikes me the most is Milarepa advised Gampopa be humble about his special power, not to judge people around. While meditation Gampopa saw some signs and went to Milarepa. He told Gampopa not to judge good or bad, and to continue meditating. It caution us that we would become proud when seeing these signs and become associate and attached to it.

    However Gampopa has to part ways with Milarepa before he become enlightened and his guru gave him some more advice in order for him to stay firm on the path and not to be swayed by external influences which might degenerate his practice.

  9. Grace Leong on Jul 3, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    The stories of all these great practitioners are so inspiring on one hand, but in reality also extremely difficult to emulate ! They started off with a whole load of great karma to have met such great teachers , who not only impart all their knowledge to the students but skillfully and painstakingly keep the students close to them to ensure the success of their journey. The students have to learn up all the knowledge and spend time consistently and patiently meditating the knowledge to truly achieve the realizations , level by level . Meanwhile, they also have to get rid of all their attachments including the very basics of food and clothing. One of the hardest is to keep humble of their achievements . Once the ego is not controlled all the achievements from the meditation will be destroyed.
    Finally the fruits of all the hard labour is realized. And that’s the time to leave and spread the teachings, to benefit others !
    Thank you Rinpoche for the very inspiring sharing !

  10. Jace Chong on Jun 28, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing the story with us, and thanks to The Berzin Archives.

    There are much things to learn from the story. Milarepa’s love and skill to Gampopa is really profound. A Guru would carefully teach their student to be the best that they can be. And without disappoint his Guru, Gampopa made it in the end.

    I feel like crying too when Milarepa hold Gampopa’s hand and he said that he had great faith in Gampopa, and that he had lived up to his expectations. He told them that chopping off the animals’ heads meant that Gampopa would be able to liberate many sentient beings from their bondage in samsara.

    To reach enlightenment there’s no shortcut, one must go through many mind training and if we are lucky, we have a Guru to guide us through. I feel so fortunate to meet Tsem Rinpoche as my Guru. For a student that still have a long way to reach enlightenment, I make a wish to meet Tsem Rinpoche life after life.

  11. Cliff on Jun 26, 2013 at 12:33 am

    Thank you Rinpoche The Berzin Archives for this insightful biography of Gampopa and the stories that came with it. I truly enjoyed reading every word of it would have loved to read more about his other life changing dreams, each and every one of them had such an interesting comment from Milarepa. It was with such skill and wisdom that he was able to teach Gampopa to further his training and meditation without having him feel pride which would have created obstacles for himself. It was really sad but also a beautiful story in the beginning as to how Gampopa had set out his life goal to study the dharma, may his wife have taken a better rebirth closer to the dharma and his two children.

    I was really shocked to find out the meanings behind the three dreams Rechungpa, Lingrepa and Gampopa had. Being that Gampopa had been chopping all those animal’s heads off, it was a beautiful meaning behind it that Gampopa would be able to liberate many sentient beings from the bondage of samsara left me in awe as to how awesome that was. Gampopa was such a great practitioner who meditated with precise instructions from his guru Milarepa and with great guru devotion followed exactly to every instruction given. It was amazing the practices that Gampopa were able to master like self inner heat, learning to breathe through his inner channel and experiences many different auspicious dreams that finally leading him to mastering those practices were so amazing.

    I found it really funny when Milarepa and Gampopa were parting ways at the bridge and Milarepa was about to give him his last advice and then turned around and lifted his robe made me laugh for a second until reading the meaning behind it, made me develop great respect for Milarepa and that I hope Gampopa had followed his guru’s last advice which I know he did.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this Biography of Gampopa, I truly enjoyed reading it. I hope Rinpoche is well rested and feeling better.

  12. Ethan Hoo on Jun 20, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    Thank you for sharing this story with us, Rinpoche. I’m in awe of the hard work and perseverance this attained master, Gampopa, and his teacher Milarepa, had to put in, in order to reach the goal of enlightenment.

  13. Sean Wang on Jun 20, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Thank you for sharing thing such an interesting story with us. It goes to show we are all capable of reaching Enlightenment despite being in Samsara. We all have to have a hardworking attitude when it comes to practicing Dharma and to trust our guru no matter how hard it seems.

  14. Shelly tai on Jun 18, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    Shelly tai on 18 June at 510pm
    Dear Rinpoche thank you for sharing this inspiring story to us. I think for all of us to achieve something we need to give up something what more enlightment and not just that a lot of hard work and determination.

  15. MartinC on Jun 16, 2013 at 5:25 am

    A recurring theme throughout Gampopa’s story is how Milarepa was always very careful not to allow conceit and pride stand in his sun-disciple’s development. Milarepa himself experienced Marpa’s compassionate work to break down Milarepa’s pride and perceptions of how things ought to be, before Milarepa was ready to receive Marpa’s teachings.

    We also saw how Gampopa was a careful man, and always made sure that he had enough to sustain himself and yet in the end, he was willing to give up all the security he thought he needed, even his sense of security and instead followed Milarepa all the way, living as Milarepa did. When Gampopa made offerings to Milarepa, the great teacher took a handful of the offerings to make his own offerings to Marpa but rejected the rest. We see from there, that reverence for the Guru was the only important thing, and nothing else.

    Gampopa himself had to endure quite a bit of difficulties and none of his problems distracted him from seeking great learning from Milarepa. No one is exempted from obstacles to learning and no one is exempted from disheartening events that all but serve to command our focus and concentration. Gampopa’s story tells us that in our study and practice of Dharma we have to let our worldly life and perceptions go. We have to be extremely vigilant not to allow that little or much we have learned stoke the pride in us – a threat which is always there as we saw how careful Milarepa was, not to praise Gampopa even as his student achieved realization after realization. Fundamentally, Milarepa’s last lesson to Gampopa was that there are no short-cuts to developing one’s realization as Milarepa himself spent an entire lifetime meditating. Learning gives us knowledge but it is in meditating on knowledge that we gain precious realizations.

    The relationship and great love between the teacher and his student was palpable and throughout, we see how Gampopa does not doubt or challenge his teacher’s instructions and words, nor indeed did Gampopa break any of his promises to his teacher. Rechungpa did and see how heavy the consequence of breaking one’s promise to the Guru-each broken promise yields a damage that takes an entire lifetime to mend. And this from Rechungpa, himself a great practitioner.

    Finally, we see how efficacious Vajrayogini’s practice is, that even though Gampopa was already a significant practitioners, Milarepa still wanted an “insurance” to seal Gampopa’s potential by initiating him into Vajrayogini’s practice, the very practice that all Tsem Rinpoche’s students have been invited to gain qualification and readiness for via practicing what we have already been taught.

  16. KH Ng on Jun 14, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    Dear Rinpoche, With Folded Hands, Thank You for the story of Gampopa. It is indeed inspiring and eye opening to read many insights of the stages of meditation. I take it as a blessing and a seed for us all to do the same with Rinpoche’s guidance. May we be fit vessels to be able to receive such teachings and practices.

  17. Lim Han Nee on Jun 14, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Thank you, Rinpoche, for sharing this life-story of Gampopa.

    Though Gampopa had had many past rebirths of completely dedicated practice to Dharma, yet in this lifetime, he is still a source of great inspiration to us beings of this degenerate age.

    Gampopa had lived the life of a layman (a great medical doctor), pursuing mundane pursuits,until tragic experiences , one after another, forced him to change course. First his son and then his daughter passed away. Then his wife,Chogmey, was stricken with many illnesses. However, she refused to die, even though all hopes of recovery were gone.

    When he asked his wife why she was still clinging on to life, she replied that she worried that Gampopa would remarry and have many children, which would cause him to lead a meaningless life. Thereupon, Gampopa pledged that he would devote the rest of his life to the practice of Dharma.

    Gampopa kept his word. He became ordained as a monk, and pursued the study and practice of Dharma. He mastered meditation and the complete Kadam teachings under great Kadam masters.Then he went in search of Milarepa as a teacher. The story of the teacher -student relationship between Milarepa and Gampopa is a beautiful one.

    When he had received much teaching from Milarepa, he was asked to leave and set up a monastery on his own. The last teaching from Milarepa was that of the importance of meditation – Milarepa showed Gampopa his bared back which had been calloused and hardened, like leather, by years of sitting in meditation.

    Yes, in this degenerate age, having a precious Guru and Dharma are the most important things of all for us.

  18. Louise Lee on Jun 14, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Gampopa 因为亲人的去世让他明白一切无常, 不要执著现在拥有的东西。 也因为太太的承诺让他遇见了上师!

    看着他面临死亡也不后退的勇往前进的只想拜见让我非常地敬佩!

    在学习中也面对了许多的考验,因为他对上师的信心, 看的出他的三昧耶是非常纯洁。

    从这一片文章里,其实让我想起詹仁波切, 因为仁波切对宋仁波切的承诺, 无论多么的困难,仁波切还是例行的诺言!

    让我作为学生的觉得内疚, 常常一位持了一点的小苦就会感觉不好!所以我们必须向各位伟大的上师学习!

    谢谢仁波切。

  19. jill Yam on Jun 14, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for the wonderful sharing of this teachings.
    It makes me realize that if we really have faith in our guru and preserver in any thing we set out to do, we will actually make it in the end. And we must not let our ego or pride gets in the way.

  20. Sofi on Jun 14, 2013 at 6:59 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this interesting story. As with Milarepa, Gampopa too suffered in his journey in finding his Guru. However, unlike Milarepa with Marpa, Gampopa came to Milarepa as ” an empty glass vase”…a completely open and receptive mind to receive the teachings. As such, unlike Milarepa who had to accomplish many, many tasks set by his Guru, Marpa, to clear his heavy karma and preconcieved thinking, Gampopa was immediately given teachings and instructions to begin his journey to further attainments. In fully submitting to Milarepa, Gampopa was able to attain as much as Milarepa was able to teach him. Here is the best example of how a Guru/Student samaya should be emulated by us. Gampopa thoroughly followed Milarepa’s every instructions with complete trust and Milarepa was skillful in his guidance, careful to never praise Gampopa on his achievements, which may impede Gampopa’s progress due to ego arising.
    It is so fascinating to read about Gampopa’s visions/experiences at each stage of his meditation. From this, we can see how important meditation is to achieving self-realization (for readjustment of our wind-channels to its true nature). Milarepa showed the importance by his leathery bottom. Even after parting, Gampopa showed his Guru devotion by continually following Milarepa’s advice/teachings, until he himself became attained. May I too have the merits to have his experiences and attainments, under the guidance of Rinpoche.
    One thing that strikes me the most is what Marpa had said to Milarepa…Do not thirst for knowledge of everything. Understanding and perfecting the essence of the practice of the Dharma will enable one to attain enlightenment in one short lifetime. Nowadays, I know or hear of many who try to learn every practises that they come across but in doing so, looses their focus and getting more uncertain. So what Marpa adviced for this degenerate age was a very direct path..the essence of dharma, which I would take to be Rinpoche’s teachings and the Lamrim, a search within one’s own mind.
    I think in this age, we are more like Milarepa, coming into dharma with lot’s of hang-ups which Rinpoche need to breakdown before he actually will be able to confer real practise to us. If we had come to Rinpoche as Gampopa did, all ready with open mind and totally surrendering oneself to the Guru to be taught, then Rinpoche would not have to set so many tasks for us to achieve or be wrathful with us.
    With this story, I now understand better why Rinpoche is always advising us read up on the life stories of attained masters, as they inspire us and shows attainments is only dependent on what we are willing to give up and how much effort we want to put in. As well as how important the role of meditation plays in gaining deeper insight and realization. Of course the Guru/Student relationship is important as only the Guru has the knowledge of what and how to guide us, as well as, monitoring our progress.
    Thank you again, Rinpoche.

  21. Patrick on Jun 13, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    For most people here Rinpoche shared a teaching. For me it was not the content but the sharing itself that was the teaching. When I saw this here I had to go through a lot of emotions but now I´m just laughing. Thank you Rinpoche. I got the hint and will continue doing what I do and try to reduce my expectations.

  22. Desmond on Jun 13, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Indeed a very thoughtful sharing from you Rinpoche. Yes in Kagyu tradition, most of the practices were referred to Lord Gampopa and as Rinpoche mentioned Gampopa is one of the most promising disciple of Milarepa. From Guru Marpa, to Milarepa and Lord Gampopa all form the basis of Kagyu School tradition practices. It is the foundation where the 1st Karmapa was created and till today the H.H 17th Karmapa would still teach basis from Milarepa and Gampopa. It still very valuable and inspiring to many. Thank you Rinpoche so much for taking such effort in sharing out this piece of great story.

  23. hecelus tan on Jun 12, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    I have been reading about the Milarepa life story, It’s so inspiring and special. I think is the blessing of Milarepa and the guru. Recently Rinpoche you posted Milarepa’s disciple – Gampopa’s story. How blessed it was. I felt that every compassionate qualified Mahayana gurus will always guide all his disciples by pushing their buttons. All these gurus are extremely severe to all his qualified disciples. Like Marpa out of great compassion he let Milarepa does all the unpleasant tasks and finally Milarepa gets badly hurt on his body and also felt sad. Finally Milarepa realizes that Marpa does all these to him just because out of great compassion want to purify all his heaviest negative Karma especially killing others with curses in a very short time. So that is why Milarepa is able to gain full enlightenment in one lifetime. All these great masters had shown us how important guru devotion is. Like great Yogi Sangye Yeshe said: ” Without the guru, there is no Buddha.” And not only that, one thing I found it very interesting was all these great masters’ main Yidam were Vajrayogini. I think that is why Rinpoche dedicated Dharma centre to Vajrayogini and named it as Kechara. Thank you Rinpoche for sharing us such inspiring great story. With folded hands, Hecelus Tan. I also learnt that motivation is the most important in Dharma practice. Our actions are virtuous or non- virtuous depend on our own motivation. Most of us know about it but it is no easy to really 100% put it into actual practice. But I will train myself to do it! Thank you!

  24. kenny wong on Jun 12, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    dear Rinpoche,

    thank you for sharing such a rare story with us.. the moral of the story is even if we are a normal person with all the fixtures and trappings of our samsaric life. It is still possible to be able to reach and gain attainments provided we are ready to “WORK DAMN HARD” and have the fortitude to meet a “real” guru… there is still hope for everyone who is willing to “try”…

    I really enjoyed the article.. with folded hands… thank you.

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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


SCHEDULED CHAT SESSIONS / 聊天室时间表

(除了每个月的第一个星期五)
SUNDAY
8 - 9PM (GMT +8)
4 - 5AM (PST)

UPCOMING TOPICS FOR FEBRUARY / 二月份讨论主题

Please come and join in the chat for a fun time and support. See you all there.


Blog Chat Etiquette

These are some simple guidelines to make the blog chat room a positive, enjoyable and enlightening experience for everyone. Please note that as this is a chat room, we chat! Do not flood the chat room, or post without interacting with others.

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Be friendly

Remember that these are real people you are chatting with. They may have different opinions to you and come from different cultures. Treat them as you would face to face, and respect their opinions, and they will treat you the same.

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

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This is the blog of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche. Please respect this space. We request that all participants here are respectful of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche and his organisation, Kechara.

Be polite

Avoid the use of language or attitudes which may be offensive to others. If someone is disrespectful to you, ignore them instead of arguing with them.

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Please let this be a conducive space for discussions, both light and profound.

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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  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Jan 4. 2024 04:11 PM
    Lama Tsongkhapa was an influential Tibetan Buddhist monk, philosopher and tantric yogi, whose activities led to the formation of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism . Lama Tsongkhapa was hailed as the second Buddha by contemporary Buddhist masters of his time. Famous for reviving Buddhism in Tibet and revered for elevating the Dharma to all its present glory. Hence having a 12 ft Lama Tsongkhapa Statue at new Kechara Gompa (Prayer Hall) is indeed a blessing. Its truly beautiful. Merely by looking at it is a blessing .
    Thank you Rinpoche and team effort making it possible.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/10-ft-tsongkapa-here.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Jan 4. 2024 04:09 PM
    The Pemayangtse Monastery is a Buddhist monastery, near Pelling in the northeastern Sikkim. The monastery is about 375 year old and is one of the oldest and premier monasteries of Sikkim. Its also the most famous monastery in Sikkim and one of the most important monastery belonging to the Nyingma order of Tibetan Buddhism. Pemayangtse monastery was founded around 1647-48 recording to history. Well the Monastery is part of Buddhist religious pilgrimage circuit built with scenic backdrop of snow-capped mountains on two sides. Where many locals and tourists will travel to Sikkim yearly . Over the centuries, the monastery has withstood earthquakes and has gone through series of refurbishments and preservation efforts. Interesting story behind this monastery, would love to travel to Sikkim again .
    Lieutenant Colonel Laurence Austine Waddell was a British explorer, collector in Tibet, and author, travelling throughout India,Sikkim and areas on the borders of Nepal and Tibet. He wrote about the Tibetan Buddhist religious practices from what he observed while there. In Sikkim he made a stunning discovery, that Dorje Shugden existence in the Nyingma monastery as written in his book. Hence it has proven that Dorje Shugden been worshipped not only in Gelug lineage but as well in the Nyingma centuries ago too. Its not a minority practice afterall .
    Thank you Rinpoche and Seow Choong Liang for this interesting sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/dorje-shugden-in-nyingma-pemayangtse-monastery-sikkim.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Jan 4. 2024 04:07 PM
    Revisit this interesting post of a great Master
    Buton Rinchen Drup, was a 14th-century Sakya master and Tibetan Buddhist leader. He is widely considered to be one of Tibet’s greatest scholars, historians, translators, and writers. He has been the role model for many of Tibet’s greatest masters over the centuries, including the present Dalai Lama. His legacy also included the compilation of 500 years’ worth of translated teachings into the encyclopedic Kangyur and Tangyur collections. This monumental effort helped to preserve and propagate the teachings throughout Tibet. These collections have become well known by all of the schools of Buddhism in Tibet, and continue to this day. He truly was one of the brightest lights of Tibetan Buddhism.
    Throughout his life, Buton Rinchen Drup has continued to serve humanity and the Dharma. Interesting read.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor David for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/tibets-great-scholar-buton-rinchen-drub.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Jan 4. 2024 04:05 PM
    Toyuq, located 50 km east of Turpan a unique city in the Flaming Mountains.From all sides the city is surrounded by deserts and mountains, destroyed medieval towns and ruins of ancient settlements. Toyuq, an Islamic pilgrimage center, nestles at the base of the Flaming Mountains. Here there are many mosques, both medieval and modern ones been built over the years. The first Uighur ruler had converted to Islam, and shrines was then built in the locality honouring the ruler. There was a story behind the legendary Seven Sleepers of Ephesus where there was a group of youths hiding inside a cave, at the Flaming mountains outside the city of Ephesus around 250 AD. Buildings can be seen practically everywhere with pierced walls that is used for drying grapes to make raisins. Raisins and melons are most known products of the region. Turpan is one of the most densely populated cities in Xinjiang the popukation consists of mainly the Muslim Uyghurs.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this interesting post with many interesting history dated to 6,000 years ago.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/toyuq-village.html
  • Troy
    Sunday, Aug 27. 2023 08:09 PM
    newletter
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Jul 25. 2023 04:37 PM
    The Fourth Takpu, Pema Vajra Jampel Tenpai Ngodrub was a highly attained lama. He was also commonly known as Takpu Dorje Chang who had many authentic visions of the Buddhas. He had even received directly teachings from Buddhas. He had received direct visions of Tara herself. Tagpu Pemavajra had travelled to Tushita, the heavenly abode of Lama Tsongkhapa as requested by Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche where he received the complete cycle of teachings on Dorje Shugden. Tagpu Pemavajra was one such lama who was attained enough to receive these teachings for the benefit of others. He was instrumental in the development of the Dorje Shugden practice within the Gelug tradition. Wow he was able to astral travel to various pure lands and receive special teachings. Interesting biography of a great lama.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/the-fourth-takpu-pema-vajra-jampel-tenpai-ngodrub.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Jul 25. 2023 04:32 PM
    Jan Salter a renowned artist, and inspiring lady who founded the Kathmandu Animal Treatment Centre, a charity organisation. She was an inspiring lady whose energy and commitment to the goal of alleviating the suffering of street animals. She used her own saving to building and starting the Kathmandu Animal Treatment Centre the first organisation in Nepal. In recognition of the work for the welfare of the stray animals she was awarded by the International Human Society and the British government. She had benefitted many with her generous nature that she used to benefit others in ways that went far beyond the meaning of normal charity work.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this inspiring sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/jans-a-hero-kathmandu-nepal.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Jul 25. 2023 04:30 PM
    Amazing discovery a 2,000 year old Indian Buddhist document as it tell us how Buddhism took root in India. It’s the oldest Buddhist manuscripts yet discovered, dating from about the 1st century BCE to 3rd century CE. Found in the north-western outskirts of the Indian subcontinent an ancient Buddhist kindgom. The document, written on a birch bark scroll offers rare insight into the early history of Buddhism. Surviving manuscripts are rare only a few hundred are known to still exist. Understanding the history of the region helps us realize the significance of this scroll.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/indian-buddhism.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Jul 25. 2023 04:27 PM
    Yu Pengnian a real estate tycoon ‘s journey from poor street hawker to be one of a richest person in mainland China. His passion for charity is a result of his own humble beginnings. He has donated all his assets of billions to charity, making him China’s top philanthropist. Whatever profits he made from his business he donated to the Yu Pengnian Foundation which he founded. He became the first Chinese national to give more than billions to charities, scholarships, helping poor students. Self- made Chinese billionaire he gives away entire fortune to charity.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this inspiring sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/chinese-philanthropist-donates-it-all.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Jul 25. 2023 04:25 PM
    Even though its an old post its definitely very inspirational article. About Master Cheng Yen, a Taiwanese Buddhist nun, teacher, and philanthropist. Master Cheng Yen was an inspiring spiritual leader who was the founder of the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation. Due to her incredible work she was featured on FORBES a leading news and information source. As the founder of the international charity and humanitarian organization Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, Master Cheng Yen has become a global icon. As a revered Buddhist nun and Dharma teacher, she has been a key figure in the development of modern Taiwanese Buddhism. With the great aspiration of compassion and joy, she embarked on a great mission of helping and saving those sufferings and hardships. She initiated and dedicated herself to whole life long mission of helping people and spreading kindness. The Tzu Chi Foundation has million supporters and volunteers throughout the world. They are known for the astonishing speed and efficiency which it brings aid to victims of natural disasters. Countless numbers of victims had benefitted from their compassionate work. Interesting read of an inspiring Master.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/nun-on-forbes.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Jul 25. 2023 04:23 PM
    With a supportive parents Tsechen Wongmu ( Ma Ying ) a college-student-turned nun at a young age. She moved to Xinlong Dongzhi temple in southwest China’s Sichuan province amid the snow-covered mountains 4,200 meters high. She had made brave move. As a little girl she learned about Buddhism from her grandparents. This holy mountain is reputed as “King of Mountains in Sichuan” with fascinating snow and alpine. She has made a choice to be there. She has won public attentions after posting her poem and diary on internet with millions of followers. Interesting read.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this inspiring read.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/post-80s-girl-practices-buddhism-as-a-nun-in-snow-capped-plateau.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Jul 17. 2023 03:27 PM
    We are not alone , there are many unexplained mysterious monsters sightings. These sightings has remain unsolved mysteries. All these encounters has send shockwaves throughout many parts in the world. The video of mysterious monsters which was narrated by Peter Graves , has viewers to believe mysterious monsters do exists after all. Very convincing . Many interesting frightening creatures such as Lochness, Bigfoot,Yeti and so forth are explored in this video. Do watch .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/film-tv-music/the-mysterious-monsters-narrated-by-peter-graves.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Jul 17. 2023 03:25 PM
    We are not alone , there are many unexplained mysterious monsters sightings. These sightings has remain unsolved mysteries. All these encounters has send shockwaves throughout many parts in the world. The video of mysterious monsters which was narrated by Peter Graves , has viewers to believe mysterious monsters do exists after all. Very convincing . Many interesting frightening creatures such as Lochness, Bigfoot,Yeti and so forth are explored in this video. Do watch .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/film-tv-music/the-mysterious-monsters-narrated-by-peter-graves.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Jul 17. 2023 03:23 PM
    Visited this stunning standing Manjushri which is located at the Manjushree Park at Chobhar, in Kathmandu, Nepal recently. Feeling so blessed able to see it , with my friends. Manjushree Park, one of most natural, historic attactive park within Kathmandu valley. Fantastic well managed picnic spot one should visit and not to be missed when one is at Kathmandu Nepal. Visible 33 ft. high black stone carved Manjushree statue .Manjushri is one of the most important iconic figures in Mahayana Buddhism. The powerful image representing ever-present wisdom plus the sword of awareness to cut off all delusion. An interesting story behind this Kathmandu Valley where mythology and geology intertwine.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this interesting sharing .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/the-standing-manjushri-in-nepal.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Jul 17. 2023 03:15 PM
    According to Buddhist teaching, prostration manifests the spiritual growth, faith of a person. In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, prostration is an important element of practice. Traditionally, prostrations are more than a show of respect for Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. Making prostration is a basic part of our lives in Buddhism. They are a method to purify our mind, or the antidote for ego-clinging. One of the general benefits of prostration is that in the future we will achieve a good rebirth . Prostration is a very powerful activity that can clear away obscuration of our body, speech, and mind as well as clearing our past and present negative karma. A huge merits for anyone doing prostration with proper visualization as well as the proper motivation.
    Having seen practitioners doing prostration along the road at Lhasa and reading teachings on prostration on blogs had motivated me to do retreat on it. Its was during the MCO back in 2020, I did a prostration retreat then. Even though it took me a longer time somehow I have completed 100,150k prostrations . Now I am still continue to do but not as many prostration as before.
    Well even though this is an old post I would to congratulate those involved in the prostration retreat at that time. It’s a good that Kechara is have a teachings on prostration and retreat .
    Thank you Rinpoche.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/letters-cards-gifts/prostration-retreat-completed.html

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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

Tsem Rinpoche

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The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

Click on the images to view the bigger version. And scroll down and click on "View All Photos" to view more images.
According to legend, Shambhala is a place where wisdom and love reign, and there is no crime. Doesn\'t this sound like the kind of place all of us would love to live in? https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=204874
4 years ago
According to legend, Shambhala is a place where wisdom and love reign, and there is no crime. Doesn't this sound like the kind of place all of us would love to live in? https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=204874
108 candles and sang (incense) offered at our Wish-Fulfilling Grotto, invoking Dorje Shugden\'s blessings for friends, sponsors and supporters, wonderful!
4 years ago
108 candles and sang (incense) offered at our Wish-Fulfilling Grotto, invoking Dorje Shugden's blessings for friends, sponsors and supporters, wonderful!
Dharmapalas are not exclusive to Tibetan culture and their practice is widespread throughout the Buddhist world - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=193645
4 years ago
Dharmapalas are not exclusive to Tibetan culture and their practice is widespread throughout the Buddhist world - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=193645
One of our adorable Kechara Forest Retreat\'s doggies, Tara, happy and safe, and enjoying herself in front of Wisdom Hall which has been decorated for Chinese New Year
4 years ago
One of our adorable Kechara Forest Retreat's doggies, Tara, happy and safe, and enjoying herself in front of Wisdom Hall which has been decorated for Chinese New Year
Fragrant organic Thai basil harvested from our very own Kechara Forest Retreat farm!
4 years ago
Fragrant organic Thai basil harvested from our very own Kechara Forest Retreat farm!
On behalf of our Puja House team, Pastor Tat Ming receives food and drinks from Rinpoche. Rinpoche wanted to make sure the hardworking Puja House team are always taken care of.
4 years ago
On behalf of our Puja House team, Pastor Tat Ming receives food and drinks from Rinpoche. Rinpoche wanted to make sure the hardworking Puja House team are always taken care of.
By the time I heard about Luang Phor Thong, he was already very old, in his late 80s. When I heard about him, I immediately wanted to go and pay my respects to him. - http://bit.ly/LuangPhorThong
4 years ago
By the time I heard about Luang Phor Thong, he was already very old, in his late 80s. When I heard about him, I immediately wanted to go and pay my respects to him. - http://bit.ly/LuangPhorThong
It\'s very nice to see volunteers helping maintain holy sites in Kechara Forest Retreat, it\'s very good for them. Cleaning Buddha statues is a very powerful and effective way of purifying body karma.
4 years ago
It's very nice to see volunteers helping maintain holy sites in Kechara Forest Retreat, it's very good for them. Cleaning Buddha statues is a very powerful and effective way of purifying body karma.
Kechara Forest Retreat is preparing for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations. This is our holy Vajra Yogini stupa which is now surrounded by beautiful lanterns organised by our students.
4 years ago
Kechara Forest Retreat is preparing for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations. This is our holy Vajra Yogini stupa which is now surrounded by beautiful lanterns organised by our students.
One of the most recent harvests from our Kechara Forest Retreat land. It was grown free of chemicals and pesticides, wonderful!
4 years ago
One of the most recent harvests from our Kechara Forest Retreat land. It was grown free of chemicals and pesticides, wonderful!
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
5 years ago
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
5 years ago
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
5 years ago
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
5 years ago
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959- https://bit.ly/2S9VMGX
5 years ago
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959- https://bit.ly/2S9VMGX
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
5 years ago
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
5 years ago
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
5 years ago
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat\'s land here in Malaysia
5 years ago
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat's land here in Malaysia
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
5 years ago
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
5 years ago
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
5 years ago
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
5 years ago
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
Sacred Vajra Yogini
5 years ago
Sacred Vajra Yogini
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
5 years ago
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
5 years ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha\'s mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
5 years ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha's mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha\'s. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
5 years ago
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha's. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
5 years ago
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
5 years ago
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
This is pretty amazing!

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

Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
5 years ago
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can\'t stop thinking of you and I can\'t forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
5 years ago
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can't stop thinking of you and I can't forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
5 years ago
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
5 years ago
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
5 years ago
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
5 years ago
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
5 years ago
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
5 years ago
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
5 years ago
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
5 years ago
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
DON\'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
5 years ago
DON'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
5 years ago
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
5 years ago
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
5 years ago
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
5 years ago
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
5 years ago
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
5 years ago
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
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CHAT PICTURES

The celebration ended with a Dorje Shugden puja, dedicated to all the sponsors, our loved ones and as well as for the happiness & good health for all sentient beings. May Rinpoche return swiftly too and taking this opportunity wishing all Happy Chinese New Year and Gong Xi Fa Cai from all of us, Kechara Penang Study Group. Uploaded by Jacinta.
2 weeks ago
The celebration ended with a Dorje Shugden puja, dedicated to all the sponsors, our loved ones and as well as for the happiness & good health for all sentient beings. May Rinpoche return swiftly too and taking this opportunity wishing all Happy Chinese New Year and Gong Xi Fa Cai from all of us, Kechara Penang Study Group. Uploaded by Jacinta.
Seen here, Pastor Seng Piow set off firecrackers - welcoming of the upcoming year with enthusiasm and positive energy. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
2 weeks ago
Seen here, Pastor Seng Piow set off firecrackers - welcoming of the upcoming year with enthusiasm and positive energy. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
In this pic, Pastor Seng Piow is sharing Dharma with newbies ~ Sharyn's friends. It's always good to make light offerings at the beginning of new year. By making light offerings, you are able to dispel the darkness of ignorance and achieve wisdom. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
2 weeks ago
In this pic, Pastor Seng Piow is sharing Dharma with newbies ~ Sharyn's friends. It's always good to make light offerings at the beginning of new year. By making light offerings, you are able to dispel the darkness of ignorance and achieve wisdom. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
One the day of Losar (new lunar year), it is always beneficial for Buddhist practitioners to get together in making abundant offerings to Buddhas on the altar to usher in goodness, prosperity and well-being of our loved ones. It's more auspicious this year as Losar and the Chinese New Year begin on the same date, 10th Feb, 2024. Back in Penang, our Kechara members came together to decorate the altar with abundance offerings for Dorje Shugden puja @3pm. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
2 weeks ago
One the day of Losar (new lunar year), it is always beneficial for Buddhist practitioners to get together in making abundant offerings to Buddhas on the altar to usher in goodness, prosperity and well-being of our loved ones. It's more auspicious this year as Losar and the Chinese New Year begin on the same date, 10th Feb, 2024. Back in Penang, our Kechara members came together to decorate the altar with abundance offerings for Dorje Shugden puja @3pm. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
Mr. Dared Lim was offering water bowls on behalf of Kechara Ipoh Study Group. (Kin Hoe)
3 weeks ago
Mr. Dared Lim was offering water bowls on behalf of Kechara Ipoh Study Group. (Kin Hoe)
Jun from Ipoh was offering mandarin oranges to Mother Tara and The Three Jewels. (Kin Hoe)
3 weeks ago
Jun from Ipoh was offering mandarin oranges to Mother Tara and The Three Jewels. (Kin Hoe)
Prior to our puja in Ipoh, Mr. & Mrs. Cheah Fook Wan were preparing for the offerings to the Buddhas. (Kin Hoe)
3 weeks ago
Prior to our puja in Ipoh, Mr. & Mrs. Cheah Fook Wan were preparing for the offerings to the Buddhas. (Kin Hoe)
On Sunday afternoon, Kechara Ipoh Study Group has carried out Mother Tara prayer recitations in Ipoh. (Kin Hoe)
3 weeks ago
On Sunday afternoon, Kechara Ipoh Study Group has carried out Mother Tara prayer recitations in Ipoh. (Kin Hoe)
Some of the best shots taken during Thaipusam in Penang. Swee Bee, Huey, Tang KS, Nathan, Choong SH and Jacinta volunteered. Wai Meng came all the way from KL to help out. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
4 weeks ago
Some of the best shots taken during Thaipusam in Penang. Swee Bee, Huey, Tang KS, Nathan, Choong SH and Jacinta volunteered. Wai Meng came all the way from KL to help out. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
Simple yet powerful ally ~ Bhagawan Dorje Shuden. Kechara Penang Study Group consists of Chien Seong, Hue, Choong SH, Tang KS, Swee Bee and Jacinta. Wai Meng came all the way from KL to help out. Uploaded by Jacinta.
4 weeks ago
Simple yet powerful ally ~ Bhagawan Dorje Shuden. Kechara Penang Study Group consists of Chien Seong, Hue, Choong SH, Tang KS, Swee Bee and Jacinta. Wai Meng came all the way from KL to help out. Uploaded by Jacinta.
Thaipusam in Penang. Some of the best shots. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
4 weeks ago
Thaipusam in Penang. Some of the best shots. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
Nothing beats having a sacred audience with our lineage lamas. It's not selfie or wefie, but we have the best 'groufie'!!! 20th Jan 2024, Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
1 month ago
Nothing beats having a sacred audience with our lineage lamas. It's not selfie or wefie, but we have the best 'groufie'!!! 20th Jan 2024, Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
Welcoming our lineage Gurus to our Penang Chapel today! Pastor Seng Piow explained the significance of having Guru Tree and introduced to us our lineage lamas, Buddhas, deities, protectors and etc.
1 month ago
Welcoming our lineage Gurus to our Penang Chapel today! Pastor Seng Piow explained the significance of having Guru Tree and introduced to us our lineage lamas, Buddhas, deities, protectors and etc.
Umze for the day was Siew Hong. She's just been with us for slightly more than a year now but she's proven her capability in leading the puja. Our Penang group members are so proud of her and her commitment in attending the weekly puja. Despite being eloquence and smart, she has beautiful chant as well. When she leads, make sure you are there to hear her chant for yourself! Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
2 months ago
Umze for the day was Siew Hong. She's just been with us for slightly more than a year now but she's proven her capability in leading the puja. Our Penang group members are so proud of her and her commitment in attending the weekly puja. Despite being eloquence and smart, she has beautiful chant as well. When she leads, make sure you are there to hear her chant for yourself! Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
Umze for the day was Siew Hong. She's just been with us for slightly more than a year now but she's proven her capability in leading the puja. Our Penang group members are so proud of her and her commitment in attending the weekly puja. Despite being eloquence and smart, she has beautiful chant as well. When she leads, make sure you are there to hear her chant for yourself! Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
2 months ago
Umze for the day was Siew Hong. She's just been with us for slightly more than a year now but she's proven her capability in leading the puja. Our Penang group members are so proud of her and her commitment in attending the weekly puja. Despite being eloquence and smart, she has beautiful chant as well. When she leads, make sure you are there to hear her chant for yourself! Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
Tara Recitation is on now at KISG - Wai Meng
2 months ago
Tara Recitation is on now at KISG - Wai Meng
Photo from Wan Wai Meng
2 months ago
Photo from Wan Wai Meng
A sea of yellow ~usually in Tibetan Buddhism yellow represents growth. We prayed that our Penang group will grow in terms of people, wealth and attainments too. _/\_ Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
2 months ago
A sea of yellow ~usually in Tibetan Buddhism yellow represents growth. We prayed that our Penang group will grow in terms of people, wealth and attainments too. _/_ Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
After Dorje Shugden puja @3pm, we had Rinpoche's Swift Return puja too. We laughed as Sis Swee Bee was commenting that Tang should smile ~ here's the reason why we laughed.  Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta Goh
2 months ago
After Dorje Shugden puja @3pm, we had Rinpoche's Swift Return puja too. We laughed as Sis Swee Bee was commenting that Tang should smile ~ here's the reason why we laughed. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta Goh
2 months ago
Today's (9/12/2023)Dorje Shugden puja led by Gordon. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
2 months ago
Today's (9/12/2023)Dorje Shugden puja led by Gordon. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
3 months ago
3 months ago
Dharma sharing by Hue before we proceeded with DS puja & Rinpoche Swift Return puja. Hue is one of the long time Kechara Penang members and he comes to puja regularly. He shared that he truly believes that Dorje Shugden and Rinpoche always there guiding him. He shared how sometimes DS will give him hints to avert troubles ahead or to alert him when he 'misbehaved'. Hope many will come to know more about this powerful Dharma Protector, Dorje Shugden aka DS. Having Dorje Shugden is like having a powerful ally that will protect us day and night. Just trust Him and have faith. Kechara Penang Study Group, 25/11/2023 by Jacinta.
3 months ago
Dharma sharing by Hue before we proceeded with DS puja & Rinpoche Swift Return puja. Hue is one of the long time Kechara Penang members and he comes to puja regularly. He shared that he truly believes that Dorje Shugden and Rinpoche always there guiding him. He shared how sometimes DS will give him hints to avert troubles ahead or to alert him when he 'misbehaved'. Hope many will come to know more about this powerful Dharma Protector, Dorje Shugden aka DS. Having Dorje Shugden is like having a powerful ally that will protect us day and night. Just trust Him and have faith. Kechara Penang Study Group, 25/11/2023 by Jacinta.
Kechara Penang Study Group had our weekly DS puja , led by our beloved sis Swee Bee and serkym by Mr. Lee. After that, we completed Swift Return puja also. 18th Nov 2023. By Jacinta
3 months ago
Kechara Penang Study Group had our weekly DS puja , led by our beloved sis Swee Bee and serkym by Mr. Lee. After that, we completed Swift Return puja also. 18th Nov 2023. By Jacinta
#Back2back 11th Nov 2023 Dorje Shugden puja & Rinpoche's Swift Return puja @Penang Chapel, 49 Jalan Seang Tek, Georgetown, Pulau Pinang. Every Saturday @3pm/5pm. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
4 months ago
#Back2back 11th Nov 2023 Dorje Shugden puja & Rinpoche's Swift Return puja @Penang Chapel, 49 Jalan Seang Tek, Georgetown, Pulau Pinang. Every Saturday @3pm/5pm. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
Pic: Rinpoche Swift Return puja ~ 21/10/23 Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
4 months ago
Pic: Rinpoche Swift Return puja ~ 21/10/23 Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
#Backtoback A few months back, Kechara Penang Study Group started to have two pujas consecutively on Saturday. Dorje Shugden puja @3pm and thereafter Rinpoche Swift Return puja. This can only be achieved due to the committed members from Penang. A big round of applause...... Pic : DS puja on 21/10/2023 Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
4 months ago
#Backtoback A few months back, Kechara Penang Study Group started to have two pujas consecutively on Saturday. Dorje Shugden puja @3pm and thereafter Rinpoche Swift Return puja. This can only be achieved due to the committed members from Penang. A big round of applause...... Pic : DS puja on 21/10/2023 Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
More pictures of the day! Kechara Penang Chapel & public blessings 3rd Oct 2023 by Jacinta.
5 months ago
More pictures of the day! Kechara Penang Chapel & public blessings 3rd Oct 2023 by Jacinta.
Some pictures of the public blessings taken right after the puja was completed by the monks. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta. 3rd Oct 2023.
5 months ago
Some pictures of the public blessings taken right after the puja was completed by the monks. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta. 3rd Oct 2023.
3rd Oct 2023, Tibetan monks came to Kechara Penang for chapel & public blessing, in conjunction with the arrival of H. E Tsem Rinpoche's holy statue. Thanks to Pastor Henry & Pastor Seng Piow, who guided us throughout the event. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
5 months ago
3rd Oct 2023, Tibetan monks came to Kechara Penang for chapel & public blessing, in conjunction with the arrival of H. E Tsem Rinpoche's holy statue. Thanks to Pastor Henry & Pastor Seng Piow, who guided us throughout the event. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
Tsem Rinpoche's holy statue is here! 3rd Oct 2023. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
5 months ago
Tsem Rinpoche's holy statue is here! 3rd Oct 2023. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
29th Sept 2023. Kechara Penang Dorje Shugden puja adjourned at 4.30pm with 9 attendees. Thereafter, a Rinpoche Swift Return puja was completed too. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
5 months ago
29th Sept 2023. Kechara Penang Dorje Shugden puja adjourned at 4.30pm with 9 attendees. Thereafter, a Rinpoche Swift Return puja was completed too. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
We've completed DS puja at 4pm, 16th Sept 2023. Umze for the day was KS Tang. Bee Bee, Eric & Eric Jr attended too. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
5 months ago
We've completed DS puja at 4pm, 16th Sept 2023. Umze for the day was KS Tang. Bee Bee, Eric & Eric Jr attended too. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
On 19th Aug 2023, we have just completed our DS puja, led by William. We started our DS puja with taking refuge with the Three Jewels i.e. Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.
6 months ago
On 19th Aug 2023, we have just completed our DS puja, led by William. We started our DS puja with taking refuge with the Three Jewels i.e. Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.
At the conclusion, we invoked Rinpoche's blessing by chanting His name mantra. See you all next week. Every Saturday @3pm. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
6 months ago
At the conclusion, we invoked Rinpoche's blessing by chanting His name mantra. See you all next week. Every Saturday @3pm. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
Lots of offerings for 2 days retreat (22nd - 23rd July 2023). We offered vegetables, fruits, biscuits, carbonated drinks and many more. Do join us next time. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
7 months ago
Lots of offerings for 2 days retreat (22nd - 23rd July 2023). We offered vegetables, fruits, biscuits, carbonated drinks and many more. Do join us next time. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
We have a few new retreatants this round. Through the guidance of Pastor Seng Piow, all of them completed the retreat successfully. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
7 months ago
We have a few new retreatants this round. Through the guidance of Pastor Seng Piow, all of them completed the retreat successfully. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
#Throwback 22nd July 2023, Kechara Penang Study Group DS retreat, led by Pastor Seng Piow. By Jacinta
7 months ago
#Throwback 22nd July 2023, Kechara Penang Study Group DS retreat, led by Pastor Seng Piow. By Jacinta
When you're in Penang, do drop by at Penang Chapel @ 49, Jalan Seang Tek for our weekly Dorje Shugden puja & Swift Return Puja. You'll get to fulfill your wishes, overcome problems and perhaps you can get protection from negativities and harm too. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
7 months ago
When you're in Penang, do drop by at Penang Chapel @ 49, Jalan Seang Tek for our weekly Dorje Shugden puja & Swift Return Puja. You'll get to fulfill your wishes, overcome problems and perhaps you can get protection from negativities and harm too. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
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Dorje Shugden
Click to watch my talk about Dorje Shugden....