The Great Female Master- Jetsun Lochen Rinpoche

Jul 30, 2017 | Views: 3,335
Jetsun Lochen Rinpoche (1865 – 1951)

Jetsun Lochen Rinpoche (1865 – 1951) (click to enlarge)

(By Tsem Rinpoche)

Lochen Chönyi Zangmo, better known as Jetsun Lochen Rinpoche (1865 – 1951), was an attained female practitioner of the Nyingma and Kagyu traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. She was believed to be the incarnation of Machig Labdrön, an 11th century Tibetan Buddhist tantric practitioner.

Lochen Rinpoche was born amidst auspicious signs, and the many miraculous events that happened throughout her life indicated that she was a special being who lived her life to benefit others. In learning, she had the good fortune of meeting and studying from other attained Buddhist practitioners such as Pema Gyatso, Khamnyön Dharma Sengey (Dharma Sengey), Taglung Matrul Rinpoche (Matrul Rinpoche), Thrulshig Rinpoche, and Togden Semnyi Rinpoche (Semnyi Rinpoche).

However, she was no stranger to controversy. The dates of her birth and her death alone often have become a subject of dispute. However, for the purposes of this article, we will follow the dating stated in Hanna Havnevik’s book, The Life of Jetsun Lochen Rinpoche (1865 – 1951) as Told in Her Autobiography Vol. 1 and 2.

The biographies of attained beings are written to inspire readers and help them in their practice. There are three types of biography:

  • Outer biography (spyi) – contains information about ordinary life events
  • Inner biography (nang) – contains information about Buddhist teachings received and given
  • Esoteric or secret biography (gsang) – contains information about special dreams, visions, and revelations

The biography of an attained being represents the holy Buddha’s speech. Thus, it is not unusual to see Tibetan Buddhists touch these biographies to their forehead in order to transfer the blessing of the sacred and holy words.

We invite you to read about Lochen Rinpoche and be inspired by her devotion to her Dharma practice, courage, and resulting attainments.

Tsem Rinpoche


 

Challenging Childhood (1865 – 1877)

Lochen Rinpoche was born in Tso Pema (Rewalsar), North India.

Lochen Rinpoche was born in Tso Pema (Rewalsar), North India.

In 1865, Lochen Rinpoche, then known by her birth name as Sonam Peldzom, was born in Tso Pema (Rewalsar) in Northern India, to Penpa Dronma, a Nepali woman, and Thongleg Tashi, a Tibetan man of noble ancestry. Rewalsar was the site where Guru Rinpoche, an 8th century Indian Buddhist sage who brought Buddhism to Tibet, taught Tantra to his consort, Princess Mandarava.

The altar inside Guru Rinpoche’s meditation cave in Rewalsar, India.

The altar inside Guru Rinpoche’s meditation cave in Rewalsar, India.

Prior to meeting Penpa Dronma, Thongleg Tashi, previously known as Dondrup Namgyal, had served his nephew and an incarnate Lama, Yandro Yonten Tulku, in the U Province in Central Tibet. However, due to being temperamental, he became involved in a conflict with some of the local residents, and had to leave the area.

Dondrup Namgyal ended up in Bhutan where he served another Buddhist teacher, Lama Gangdu. At the time, Lama Gangdu was trying to regain control of the Swayambhunath Stupa in Nepal, of which custody had been lost to the Gorkhalis. It was when Thongleg Tashi worked for him that Lama Gangdu was able to regain control of the stupa.

Swayambhunath Stupa in Khatmandu, Nepal

Swayambhunath Stupa in Khatmandu, Nepal

Because of this fortunate coincidence, he gave Dondrup Namgyal the name Thongleg Tashi, which in Tibetan means ‘good fortune’. After serving Lama Gangdu for several years, Thongleg Tashi moved on to serve an elderly Bhutanese Drukpa Kagyu Lama, named Khaliwa, and his young consort, Penpa Dronma. Not long after, Lama Khaliwa passed away of old age, leaving his widow deeply saddened. One day, Penpa Dronma dreamt of her late husband who gave her the advice:

“As there is no essence connected to the actions of samsara, the time has come (for you) to wander aimlessly through the realms (of the world).”

Havnevik, Hanna. The Life of Jetsun Lochen Rinpoche (1865 – 1951) as Told in Her Autobiography Vol. 2. 1st ed. Unipub, Akademika AS, 1999. Print.

Although at first she had some reservation about leaving her sheltered domesticated life, Penpa Dronma went on a pilgrimage to Nepal, India, and Western Tibet with Thongleg Tashi. Their journeys drew the two closer. Penpa Dronma who had always regretted her childless existence, followed the suggestion of an elderly village woman on how to conceive a son. She collected stones from various holy places and carried them on her back.

She soon began having a series of auspicious dreams, and she felt that her wishes were nearing fulfilment. In one of her dreams, she saw herself washing her hair in a spring alongside a group of women claiming to be from Gyamo Khom. When she looked up, she saw a lama, adorned in Heruka’s attire, watching her.

After having these dreams, Penpa Dronma believed that she had conceived a special male child. In 1865, she gave birth painlessly to Lochen Rinpoche accompanied by a rain of flowers, a slight tremor of the earth, and voices reciting the mantra of Avalokiteshvara, Om Mani Peme Hum. In addition, according to her autobiography, Lochen Rinpoche was born surrounded by the umbilical cord, as if it were a meditation cord. Her legs were half crossed, her hands seemed to be in the positions of holding the ritual drum (damaru) and the bell (drilbu), and her eyes were wide open, looking straight. From her mouth, she clearly expressed A and mani, and her body was decorated with red and white drops (thig le) of bodhicitta (brang sems).

After the birth of the child, the relationship between Thongleg Tashi and Penpa Dronma took a turn for the worse. Thongleg Tashi regularly beat up and mocked his wife for giving birth to a daughter instead of a special son. He berated her for her dreams, and forced the child to stay outside the tent, just because she was a girl.

When Lochen Rinpoche was only several months old, Thongleg Tashi sold his wife for three rupees and his daughter for two rupees. Fortunately for them, Norbu Wanggye, a local chieftain, saved them from a life of slavery.

Initially, Penpa Dronma asked not to be returned to her brutish husband, but Thongleg Tashi was remorseful and pleaded to be at least given the custody of his daughter. Thongleg Tashi went as far as to make an oath to eliminate his violent temper and actions. The three of them reconciled and worked as Norbu Wanggye’s servants for a period of time. Then, they continued on their travels.

 

A Miracle Foreshadows Lochen Rinpoche’s Future

A more recent picture of Spiti Valley.

A more recent picture of Spiti Valley

One day, on their way to Spiti Valley, the family found themselves in front of a huge river with a strong current. There was no bridge or ferry to help them across. Penpa Dronma found a sword at the bank of the river, and took this as an auspicious sign. Before crossing the bridge, she uttered a prayer, saying if her daughter was of use to the Dharma, that they would be able to cross the river. If not, then the river could consume both mother and child.

Penpa Dronma strapped Lochen Rinpoche to her back, entered the water, and proceeded to cross to the other side. Unfortunately, she lost her balance, but before she drowned a miracle happened. A woman came from the sky with a sharp, cracking sound, followed by the mantra of the four classes of dakinis of HA RI NI SA. The woman grabbed Penpa Dronma by the hand and pulled her to the other side.

As soon as they reached the river’s bank, the woman became invisible, and Penpa Dronma cried. After the event, several villagers told Penpa Dronma that they saw a female figure in the sky.

 

Being Abused by Her Father and Giving Her First Dharma Talk

Machig Labdrön

Machig Labdrön (click to enlarge)

Although he had some affection for his daughter, Thongleg Tashi, continued to have momentary lapses due to his drinking problem. One day, he did not have enough money to pay for his drinks, so he sold Lochen Rinpoche for a handful of silver to a merchant. To save her daughter, Penpa Dronma waited patiently in front of the merchant’s house until Lochen Rinpoche came out. The moment she saw her daughter, she picked her up and ran away. After the incident, Thongleg Tashi made another promise not to sell his wife or daughter ever again.

However, when Thongleg Tashi once again became intoxicated, he told Penpa Dronma that he wished to be separated from her, and proposed to cut their daughter in half so each of them could have their fair share. When she overheard this conversation, Lochen Rinpoche was terrified and ran away. She hid under some thorny bushes.

As she was hiding, Lochen Rinpoche suddenly felt light and blissful. She heard a melodious sound around her. Without her realising it, one week had passed. Her parents and most of the villagers were under the assumption that she had been eaten either by demons or wild animals. When she emerged from her hiding, many children in her neighbourhood were amazed and developed faith in her. Some erected a throne, some prostrated, some pretended to blow trumpets (dung chen), some pretended to beat drums, and some acted as though they were asking for religious instruction. With that, Lochen Rinpoche spoke on the doctrine.

The four-year-old Lochen Rinpoche taught about basic Buddhist practices. She mentioned that Avalokiteshvara is the protective deity of Tibet, and advised the audience to meditate on him and recite his mantra, Om Mani Peme Hum. The villagers promised to recite many of his mantras and to take refuge, and many became religious.

Many people at the time thought that it was harmful for a small child like Lochen Rinpoche to impart Dharma teachings. However, a person named Lochen Gokar, the nephew of an attained Avalokiteshvara practitioner, defended her, saying that the way Lochen Rinpoche recited Avalokiteshvara’s mantra was akin to that practiced by the Lochens, ma ni beggars. Lochen Gokar also declared that the girl was either an emanation of Jetsun Dolma (Tara) or Machig Labdrön.

Although Thongleg Tashi was never really kind to Penpa Dronma, he was capable of acts of goodness toward his daughter. When Lochen Rinpoche was five years old, he took her to a former government official so that he could teach her to read and write, which Lochen Rinpoche did with great ease.

At six years old, Lochen Rinpoche started to give teachings, and gained a sponsor, Khampa Tashi, who was a merchant. Khampa Tashi erected a throne for Lochen Rinpoche and offered a mandala. Every time she gave teachings, many people would gather around her. Lochen Rinpoche continued to teach in Western Tibet and inspired faith in people’s minds.

One morning when the family was taking refuge in a small straw hut, Thongleg Tashi heard a voice singing on the roof. When he looked around, he saw that the voice came from an Indian sadhu, “You are one who sell your children and eat your own flesh and drink your own blood.” The next day, the sadhu came with a burnt rosary. Thongleg Tashi did not see the use of the burnt rosary and mocked the sadhu. That night when Lochen Rinpoche and her father were sleeping, the fire from the fireplace suddenly spread and touched Lochen Rinpoche’s foot. The sadhu came and carried Lochen Rinpoche to a riverbank and advised her to put her foot in the water, and her foot was instantly healed.

Thongleg Tashi thought that the sadhu had stolen his daughter, and he gave chase. When he found them near the river, he ordered the sadhu to put his daughter down. The sadhu did as he was told, went to the other side of the river, and vanished.

Even after all these signs, Thongleg Tashi continued with his drunken ways, causing his family much suffering. One day when he was drunk, Thongleg Tashi threatened to burn down a local house. Those who heard him were outraged and started to beat him until Lochen Rinpoche begged them to stop. The villagers muttered “The father is like a demon, but the girl is like a god; how can this be?”

Lochen Rinpoche’s parents continued to travel with her until 1876. That very year, Thongleg Tashi fell in love with a woman named Ama Droltsho. Penpa Dronma and Lochen Rinpoche decided to let him be and went on to Nepal themselves. Several days later, Thongleg Tashi caught up with them and inquired about their travel plan. Before the mother and daughter were able to respond, Thongleg Tashi said, “If you go East, I’ll head West!” After this, Thongleg Tashi disappeared from his daughter’s life for 20 years.

 

Meeting Her Root Teacher, Pema Gyatso (1877 – 1889)

The mountain landscape in Kyirong. Lochen Rinpoche had her first audience with her root teacher, Pema Gyatso in Kyirong.

The mountain landscape in Kyirong – Lochen Rinpoche had her first audience with her root teacher, Pema Gyatso in Kyirong.

When she was thirteen, Lochen Rinpoche met a nun named Lobsang Drolma, who served in the court of King Mandi. Lobsang Drolma said that her maternal uncle was Pema Gyatso, a personal disciple of ‘the Lord of Refuge’ Shabkar, and now staying in Kyirong. The nun also told Lochen Rinpoche that Pema Gyatso was Lochen Rinpoche’s teacher in her previous lives. Lochen Rinpoche felt moved and was determined to find this lama.

Pema Gyatso or Chime Dorje (1829 – 1890) was an attained Nyingma Lama and a disciple of a famous lama, Shabkar Tsokdruk Rangdrol (1781 – 1851). Pema Gyatso was also a student of Pema Rangdol (1786 – 1838) and Gon Lhakha of Rekong.

Shabkar Tsokdruk Rangdrol (1781 – 1851)

Shabkar Tsokdruk Rangdrol (1781 – 1851) (click to enlarge)

Lochen Rinpoche searched high and low for Pema Gyatso’s whereabouts, and was overjoyed when she finally found him. She bought an offering of milk from the nomads who lived nearby and went towards the cave where Pema Gyatso resided. On the way to the cave, Lochen Rinpoche met a nun who was carrying a container full of water, which was an allegory of her future fame. It is said that due to her offering milk to the lama, many years later someone offered her a cow that continuously produced milk for eight or nine years although it bore no calf.

At their first meeting, Pema Gyatso asked, “Where have you come from, who are you, and what is your purpose?” In response to this question, Lochen Rinpoche introduced herself and informed the Lama of her wish to study the Dharma. Pema Gyatso accepted Lochen Rinpoche as his student and advised her to follow the ascetic precepts known as Kadam’s Ten Innermost Jewels.

Lochen Rinpoche received various teachings from Pema Gyatso including the empowerments, explanation, and transmission of Longchenpas’ Heart Drop instructions of Dzogchen or the Great Completion, and one hundred initiations of gCod, the ritual to sever the ego.

One day, Lochen Rinpoche went begging for alms and passed through a small nunnery in Nubri Kog where she met a young nun who gave her milk and a lump of butter. However, the milk was poisoned, and Lochen Rinpoche became very ill after drinking it. During this ordeal, Lochen Rinpoche prayed to her teacher and repeatedly practiced the vase breathing meditation exercise. She eventually vomited the milk in the shape of a poisonous snake. After this, Lochen Rinpoche developed compassion for the nun and all other female poisoners.

After becoming Pema Gyatso’s student, Lochen Rinpoche and her mother stayed in one of the caves in Kyirong. Pema Gyatso treated Lochen Rinpoche harshly in order to break her pride. However, Lochen Rinpoche never lost faith and never doubted his pure intention. Lochen Rinpoche interpreted his actions as skillful methods (upāya) to help her understand the fundamental religious truths.

Jetsun Lochen Rinpoche

On one occasion, when Pema Gyatso was reciting his mantra while his caretaker was drumming, the Lama asked “Who is drumming now? You (female) beggar, it seems to be you!” To which Lochen Rinpoche replied “It was not me, it was the caretaker.” Pema Gyatso became angry. He took a long stick and chased Lochen Rinpoche, who immediately ran and jumped down the stairs.

On another occasion, Lochen Rinpoche was begging for alms, and because many people had faith in her, she received many offerings. Another teacher in the area, Chosang, received far fewer offerings and became jealous of Lochen Rinpoche’s success. Chosang came to Pema Gyatso and reported that Lochen Rinpoche received a lot of offerings because she claimed to be the incarnation of Dorje Phagmo. Later, when Lochen Rinpoche came to him with the offerings, Pema Gyatso accused her of being a deceiver, and proceeded to drag her to the roof, throw her off the roof, and pelt her with different objects. Lochen Rinpoche was frightened, but not hurt. She put her lama’s boot on her head, which has been thrown at her, said a prayer, and went back inside.

When she was 17 years old, Lochen Rinpoche meditated on wind energy and psychic channels. She consulted Pema Gyatso who gave her a text and agreed to guide her. However, during the next day, the lama told her that she should not be doing this practice and asked her to return the text because he had an ominous dream. Instead, Pema Gyatso gave her the practice of Vase-liked Wind meditation and stopped there.

However, when Lochen Rinpoche and several other students went out to beg for alms, Pema Gyatso gave the very teaching that Lochen Rinpoche requested, about how to meditate on the winds and channels. Lochen Rinpoche was very upset when she knew about this. She again requested the lama to give her the teaching. She was overjoyed when Pema Gyatso agreed. She immediately prepared the white shawl and the meditation band that were required to do the practice.

On another occasion, Lochen Rinpoche saw a fellow student, Ani Tshulthrim, steal a coral. Lochen Rinpoche told Emche, another Dharma sister about the incident, and the news reached Pema Gyatso. The Lama called Lochen Rinpoche and scolded her, saying that her first previous offence was when she blamed the lama when saying to Ani Ucho that when many sentient beings take life, bad karma will come to everyone. Her second previous offence, Pema Gyatso continued, was that she had claimed to be Dorje Phagmo, and acted as a deceiver. Now, she had accused Ani Tshulthrim of stealing a coral and told this to everyone, this was the third offence. Therefore, a dog-stamp (khyi dam) would be set on her forehead, she would not be allowed in his presence.

Pokhara in Nepal

Pokhara in Nepal

Pema Gyatso ordered Lochen Rinpoche and her family to leave for the area called Pokhara in Nepal. Lochen Rinpoche prostrated herself on the floor and begged the Lama to be allowed to stay. When he refused, she left with her mother and two other companions, Tshering Gyalmo and Kathog. On her way to Pokhara, Lochen Rinpoche continued to propagate the teaching of Avalokiteshvara’s mantra and encouraged the people that she met to recite it fervently. Many people responded to her teachings and gave her offerings.

While her journey was not without difficulties, she always managed to overcome them all. One day when Lochen Rinpoche and her companions were begging for alms, her companion Tshering Gyalmo sang a song which had improper words in the Tibetan language. A man in the crowd understood the Tibetan language and was offended. He reported Tshering Gyalmo to the king, and Tshering Gyalmo was arrested. To make matters worse, when Lochen Rinpoche was out to beg for alms, her friend Kathog fell into the river. Lochen Rinpoche prayed to her lama and performed breathing exercises. She also generated the compassionate thought of “May I have the strength to pull all the sentient beings from samsara, the ocean of suffering!”

After that, Lochen Rinpoche jumped into the river to save Kathog, and the two managed to swim and climb onto a big rock. Many people who saw this incident developed faith in her, and a man in the crowd reported the event to the king and told him Lochen Rinpoche was the manifestation of a wisdom dakini. The king was so moved that he released Tshering Gyalmo from prison, invited Lochen Rinpoche and her companions to have an audience with him, and made many offerings to her. After that, the group continued their journey to Pokhara.

After they had reached Pokhara, Lochen Rinpoche continued to propagate Dharma teachings and encourage those she met to recite the Avalokiteshvara mantra. When Lochen Rinpoche informed her travelling companions that she wanted to see Pema Gyatso again, Kathog and Tshering Gyalmo had some reservations about going back because they were afraid of the lama’s scolding, Lochen Rinpoche advised them to not have irreverent thoughts, and to remember the Lama and their religious friends.

Lochen Rinpoche and her companions went to see Pema Gyatso. When they met, Lochen Rinpoche related their travel experiences to her Lama. Pema Gyatso was delighted after hearing her story although he was not too impressed with how Lochen Rinpoche and Kathog had not been hurt when they had fallen into the river.

Not long after their meeting, Pema Gyatso made a fire offering puja, and Lochen Rinpoche presided over the ritual. Because, Lochen Rinpoche was already very famous then, many people had gathered to witness the ritual.

 

Pilgrimage with Her Root Teacher

Lochen Rinpoche’s pilgrimage route from 1865 – 1904. (click to enlarge)

Lochen Rinpoche’s pilgrimage route from 1865 – 1904 – Source: The Life of Jetsun Lochen Rinpoche (1865 -1951) as Told in Her Autobiography Vol. I by Hanna Havnevik (click to enlarge)

Not long after, Pema Gyatso and some of his students, including Lochen Rinpoche, went on a pilgrimage to the holy places connected to the saints of Nyingma Tradition such as Padmasambhava, Milarepa, Machig Labdrön, and Padampa Sangye. In addition, Pema Gyatso and his students visited a Sakya Monastery, the Potala Palace, and the three great Gelug monasteries, Gaden, Sera, and Drepung.

One day during their journey, they saw a large rock. Pema Gyatso told Lochen Rinpoche to pierce the rock with a staff. When she did, dog excrement spurted out. Pema Gyatso then hit the stone with his stick, and a sacred relief of Avalokiteshvara’s mantra manifested itself. At that moment, Lochen Rinpoche realised that her lama was not only clairvoyant, but highly attained and could perform many miracles.

For the next several years, Lochen Rinpoche continued to follow her lama and her Dharma brothers and sisters on various pilgrimages around Tibet and Nepal. Sometimes, when the group stopped at barely-inhabited places, they had to eat nettle soup, like Milarepa, and their urine turned blue. In these places, Lochen Rinpoche gave Dharma teachings, and most of the locals usually gave generous food offerings. One time, Lochen Rinpoche received an offering of tea leaves. Because she was unfamiliar with how to treat tea leaves, she thought it was a kind of vegetable. Lochen Rinpoche cooked the leaves, removed all the liquid, and ate the leaves instead.

When the group reached Henang, Lochen Rinpoche entered a meditational retreat in Nagtshel Monastery where she obtained visions of a woman in local costume who invited Lochen Rinpoche to her sacred land. In the vision, many ritual texts appeared. When she awoke, she wrote many of the sacred texts down on slates of birch-bark. Then the teacher Chosang, who had always been jealous of her, appeared and burnt all the birch-bark slates. Lochen Rinpoche cried in desperation, and one of her Dharma sisters, Ani Osel consoled her.

Places visited by Lochen Rinpoche in Central Tibet. (Click to enlarge)

Places visited by Lochen Rinpoche in Central Tibet – Source: The Life of Jetsun Lochen Rinpoche (1865 -1951) as Told in Her Autobiography Vol. I by Hanna Havnevik (Click to enlarge)

Milarepa's Meditation Cave

Milarepa’s meditation cave

The group continued on their journey through Western and Central Tibet and Nepal, and performed many Dharma activities along the way. They restored a monastery, consecrated a village and monastery, printed a catalog, whitewashed three stupas in Nepal, helped eliminate the custom of killing buffaloes in certain areas, and many other beneficial activities. When the group arrived at Milarepa’s meditation cave, Pema Gyatso stayed there for several months. At some of the pilgrimage places, Lochen Rinpoche saw a statue of Shabkar Rinpoche, Pema Gyatso’s root teacher, and a deep and genuine faith arose in her heart. Lochen Rinpoche even recited a prayer about her spontaneous faith in Shabkar Rinpoche, his disciples, and the Dharma.

Tshecholing Monastery

Tshechogling Monastery – Source: The Life of Jetsun Lochen Rinpoche (1865 -1951) as Told in Her Autobiography Vol. I by Hanna Havnevik

When they reached Lhasa, they met with Dharma Sengey who was engaged in a retreat in Bumpa Ri. Pema Gyatso and some of his disciples, including Lochen Rinpoche, also had an audience with His Holiness the 13th Dalai Lama. They offered him a mandala, and in return the Dalai Lama offered them the transmission of Je Tsongkhapa’s mantra, the Migtsema, and Gaden Lhagyama. The group visited many sacred places in Lhasa. Pema Gyatso and Dharma Sengey stayed in Tshechogling Monastery, while Lochen Rinpoche stayed in a rented house. It is said that from Dharma Sengey, Lochen Rinpoche received the initiation for the transference of consciousness and the transmission of Yu Thog Snying Thig. The group met the 13th Dalai Lama on another occasion to request the transmission of ‘Phags Bstod, the famous prayer to Avalokiteshvara. Lochen Rinpoche met the 13th Dalai Lama on at least three occasions during her lifetime.

His Holiness the 13th Dalai Lama. Lochen Rinpoche met the 13th Dalai Lama on at least three occasions during her lifetime.

His Holiness the 13th Dalai Lama. Lochen Rinpoche met the 13th Dalai Lama on at least three occasions during her lifetime.

One day when Lochen Rinpoche was performing a fire offering puja, she fell asleep. Pema Gyatso saw this, took a ladle and hit Lochen Rinpoche on the head. She felt ashamed, but her mind became clear and her confusion dissipated.

One day in 1889, Pema Gyatso fell ill after eating a pork dish at a patron’s house. Despite all attempts to cure him, he never recovered. Pema Gyatso passed away on February 17, 1889. At the moment of his passing, Lochen Rinpoche saw many rainbows. His death was followed by the passing of Lochen Rinpoche’s other teacher, Dharma Sengey on March 17, 1889.

 

Ordination, Retreats, and Pilgrimages (1889 – 1904)

After the death of Pema Gyatso, Lochen Rinpoche went to meet with Gyagari Dorje Phagmo and requested to be her student. However, she was rejected. This rejection deeply affected Lochen Rinpoche, and she was determined not to refuse those who needed help in the future. Lochen Rinpoche then turned to a Kagyupa Lama, Matrul Rinpoche, one of the lamas who helped with the memorial rituals for Pema Gyatso, for advice and religious guidance. Matrul Rinpoche became her new root teacher.

Then, Lochen Rinpoche entered into a strict three-year retreat on Hayagriva and Vajravarahi. This was followed by another meditational retreat on gcod. After she had completed the retreat, she made a fire offering puja. During the ritual, a huge stone fell onto the mandala. Later, when she was in Lhasa and had an audience with Matrul Rinpoche, she told him about the falling stone. Her teacher replied that it was a positive indication of realisation.

On her travels to Gangthok, she received several practices from Lama Sangye Tendzin, the disciple of Patrul Rinpoche, that included the Bodhicaryavatara, dNgul ti’ka, sDom Gsum Rab Dbye, BZang Spyod, bShes Spring, Shing Rta Rnam Gnyis, and an oral instruction of Bla Ma Yang Tig. Upon receiving these teachings, Lochen Rinpoche entered into another retreat in Zangyag Drag and then in various caves in Gangri Thokar. It is said that it was here that she imparted the teachings of the Bodhicaryavatara one hundred times to humans, gods, and demons.

Lochen Rinpoche’s meditation cave in Gangri Thokar.

Lochen Rinpoche’s meditation cave in Gangri Thokar – Source: The Life of Jetsun Lochen Rinpoche (1865 -1951) as Told in Her Autobiography Vol. I by Hanna Havnevik

Her compassion had commanded the respect of not only men, but also animals. One day, when she was meditating in Tewa Cave, she heard the fearful cry of a dog that came to her cave and hid on her lap. Not long after that, a leopard came to search for the dog with the intent to attack it. Lochen Rinpoche, realising that all phenomena were illusions, did not see the need to fear. Lochen Rinpoche meditated on compassion and commanded the leopard to sit on her right. Lochen Rinpoche preached Dharma to them to plant the seed of altruism in their mind streams.

Lochen Rinpoche had several audiences with the 13th Dalai Lama at Potala Palace.

Lochen Rinpoche had several audiences with the 13th Dalai Lama at the Potala Palace.

Around this period, Lochen Rinpoche had another audience with the Dalai Lama. To be allowed to enter the audience room, Lochen Rinpoche brought a chuba made from felt. Once the audience was over, she was summoned yet again by the Dalai Lama. In her second audience, the Dalai Lama offered her tea and kapsey and a big container wrapped in silk cloth. Lochen Rinpoche offered the container back. After that, Lochen Rinpoche met with Matrul Rinpoche and received the teaching Klong Chen Snying Thig and other teachings from the Kagyu tradition.

Lochen Rinpoche decided to be ordained as a novice nun after her teacher, Matrul Rinpoche, advised her that it would be good for her to become a nun. Two days later, Lochen Rinpoche was ordained by Ngawang Tenpe Nyima and received the ordination name of Ngawang Dragpa Namgyal. Although she had been ordained, Lochen Rinpoche kept her hair long to express her allegiance to her tantric path.

At the beginning of their relationship, Matrul Rinpoche was not impressed with the rumours surrounding Lochen Rinpoche’s incarnation lineage. However, this was about to change. One day, Lochen Rinpoche behaved in an unusual way as she was speaking in a language that could not be understood by the local people. Matrul Rinpoche recognised the language as Sanskrit, and that the words muttered contained predictions of future events. Later, Matrul Rinpoche recognised Lochen Rinpoche as the incarnation of Machig Labdrön.

Lochen Rinpoche spent the subsequent period visiting pilgrimage sites or in retreat. Unusual events and miracles continued to happen around her. One day in Zangyag Drag, Lochen Rinpoche entered a six-month meditation retreat. During this retreat, she died and woke up after three weeks. After that, she lamented the following:

“Na mo (prostrate to) Padma ka ra ye (Sanskrit: Karaya). At the great holy sites in general, but especially at Tibet’s five –peaked mountain, under which Guru Pema Jungne’s (Byung gnas) site of meditation called Zangyag Drag is situated, I performed the propitiation ritual to Avalokiteshvara. A boundless compassion for all mother sentient beings arose, so that other beings became dearer than myself. My mind was rendered powerless. May the highest root-Lama who knows look to the suffering of all the sentient beings who are without dharma and feel compassion for all those who have bad karma. Oh the Lama knows! Oh, oh, the Lama knows!”

Havnevik, Hanna. The Life of Jetsun Lochen Rinpoche (1865 – 1951) as Told in Her Autobiography Vol. 2. 1st ed. Unipub, Akademika AS, 1999. Print.

On another occasion, Lochen Rinpoche recited the Avalokiteshvara mantra, and water came out of a cliff surface. Many practitioners in the area used this water to make tea. Because of this, Lochen Rinpoche obtained the nickname of Chudon Kushab or ‘the master who extracted water’.

In the mid-1890s, when Lochen Rinpoche was meditating in Zangri Kharmar, Thongleg Tashi reappeared in his daughter’s life with some food offerings. Lochen Rinpoche revealed to Thongleg Tashi all the derogatory remarks that he had uttered about his daughter along the way, which indicated Lochen Rinpoche’s clairvoyance. Because of this revelation, Thongleg Tashi developed faith in his daughter. In the early 1900s, Thongleg Tashi visited his daughter again in Zangyag Drag, but he was not mentioned in her autobiography after that.

At times, Lochen Rinpoche’s behaviour could be seen by others as strange, and people wondered whether she was mad. Penpa Dronma consulted Matrul Rinpoche, who advised to let her daughter be one who was not like others.

Later, Lochen Rinpoche met Shabkar Tulku Tenpe Gyaltsen who advised her to receive oral transmission and instructions of the Wish fulfilling Gem of Liberation, and to engage in yidam meditation with the objective of obtaining siddhis. When she followed the advice and entered into a meditation retreat, Lochen Rinpoche received many auspicious signs, as if she could see the three worlds in the palm of her hand, her body was light and pleasant, her mind in harmony, her mouth inseparable from song, her arms inseparable from a dancing pose, and her mind inseparable from Samadhi, not being separated from an all-penetrating awareness without middle or end.

His Holiness the 15th Karmapa Khakhyap Dorjé (1871 – 1922)

His Holiness the 15th Karmapa Khakhyap Dorjé (1871 – 1922) (click to enlarge)

One day, through the power of her thought, Lochen Rinpoche went to Tshurphu to meet His Holiness the 15th Karmapa Khakhyap Dorjé (1871 – 1922). When she arrived, the Karmapa pretended not to recognise her and asked, “What is the name of your region, what is that place, which lama do you rely on?” In response to his question, Lochen Rinpoche sang a song to introduce herself to the Karmapa. After she had finished, the Karmapa mentioned that in the past, Lochen Rinpoche had been the disciple of Jetsun Milarepa. She received many practices from the Karmapa including the empowerment of gCig shes kun grol, Na roc hos drug, and rDo rje’I tshigs rkang. After that, Lochen Rinpoche experienced spiritual clearness and bliss.

One day, Lochen Rinpoche’s body life wind entered into her central channel, and her body started dancing, jumping, and running. When the body suddenly fell and her breathing stopped, Penpa Dronma and her companions thought that Lochen Rinpoche had passed away. They started to prepare for her funeral while lamenting and crying.

Jetsun Milarepa (1052 – 1135 CE)

Jetsun Milarepa (1052 – 1135 CE)

Although her body was lifeless, her awareness increased nine-fold. Later on she said her consciousness had gone to meet a one-eyed lady who offered to take her to the Pure Land of Padmasambhava. Lochen Rinpoche agreed. When she met with Padmasambhava, he advised her to be the master and teacher of sentient beings. Padmasambhava then blessed her body with his body, her speech with his speech, her mind with his mind. He said many prayers, and she received four empowerments (dbang gzhi). Her body became numb, her flesh moved, and she was shaking. She sang many melodious prayers.

Lochen Rinpoche then went on to visit the six realms and witnessed unbearable suffering in the regions of hell, and decided to meet the Lord of Death. As they met, Lochen Rinpoche told him about her compassion for those suffering in hell, and even though the people there told her to go on her path towards liberation, she requested the Lord of Death to release them.

In response, the Lord of Death advised Lochen Rinpoche about the importance of virtuous actions, praised her merits, and the consequences of good and bad actions. After that Lochen Rinpoche envisioned her body as Avalokiteshvara, her voice as the six-syllable Avalokiteshvara mantra, and her mind as the Perfection of Wisdom, the Diamond cutter, and prayed for the release of the dead from the infernal realms. Due to her powerful entreaties, many beings transmigrated from the realms of hell. Then, Lochen Rinpoche entered her former body and regained consciousness.

In the late 1890s, Lochen Rinpoche met another teacher who would play an important role in her life, Thrulshig Rinpoche. Thrulshig Rinpoche gave her the practice of Yang Ti Nag Po. Lochen Rinpoche joined Thrulshig Rinpoche’s entourage for several years during which time she alternated in receiving instruction from Thrulshig Rinpoche and meditating in the dark. Lochen Rinpoche left the Thrulshig group and returned to Zangyag Drag in 1903.

 

Encounter with Dorje Shugden

Dorje Shugden

Dorje Shugden

When Lochen Rinpoche visited Dophung Chokhor Monastery in Lhoka, Tibet, famous for its image of a talking Tara, she performed a Tara ritual. As she was about to leave the monastery, Dorje Shugden entered an oracle and told her to bring the key to the grain storage house. Then the monastery gave her approximately 136 kg (299.83 lbs) of grain, and requested her to perform the Tara rituals for one week. However, she was unable to fulfill this request because Lochen Rinpoche was occupied with other matters. Instead, she performed the Tara rituals for one day before she left for an area called Nelphu.

 

Shugseb Monastery and Semnyi Rinpoche (1904 – 1922)

In the early 1900s, Thongleg Tashi brought a lama named Semnyi Rinpoche to meet with Lochen Rinpoche in Zangyag Drag, but they were not able to meet because she was still in retreat. Later, Lochen Rinpoche’s death-like states and strange behaviour worried her mother. Therefore, Penpa Dronma went to see Semnyi Rinpoche to ask him to care for her daughter.

Shugseb Monastery

Shugseb Monastery – Source: The Life of Jetsun Lochen Rinpoche (1865 -1951) as Told in Her Autobiography Vol. I by Hanna Havnevik

When the British soldiers under the leadership of Colonel Younghusband entered Tibet between 1903 and 1904, Lochen Rinpoche decided to stay at Shugseb Monastery, which at the time was mostly deserted. At first, Lochen Rinpoche and her companions, who were the female students of the late Pema Gyatso, experienced many difficulties in obtaining permission to stay at Shugseb Monastery from the religious authority at the Gelugpa Beser Monastery. Lochen Rinpoche then asked Matrul Rinpoche for any predictions on her future permanent residence.

The choices included Zangyag Drag, Zangri Kharmar, Shugseb Monastery, and Khareg Jomo Dro. Shugseb Monastery came up as the first choice. At first, only Semnyi Rinpoche and his attendant were given permission to stay at the monastery. To support Lochen Rinpoche, Semnyi Rinpoche said that all the nuns headed by Ani Lochen came here and placed their hope in me. The prediction of Matrul Rinpoche then came true, and eventually, Lochen Rinpoche and her companions were allowed to stay.

Semnyi Rinpoche then became the lama of Shugseb Monastery and moved to the lama-residence above the monastery. Lochen Rinpoche occupied the room of the monastery caretaker. Semnyi Rinpoche gave Lochen Rinpoche the teachings of the Nyingmapa tradition such as Yon Tan Mdzod and Klong Chen Snying Thig. Semnyi Rinpoche advised Lochen Rinpoche to adopt the path of the Hidden Yogi, to hide her body and speech, to stay alone on a desolate mount and cut her relations, as per the advice of Patrul Rinpoche.

Patrul Rinpoche (1808 - 1887)

Patrul Rinpoche (1808 – 1887) (click to enlarge)

Throughout their relationship as teacher and disciple, Lochen Rinpoche stayed in solitary meditation retreat most of the time. Lochen Rinpoche became the devoted disciple of Semnyi Rinpoche until his death in the 1920s. Semnyi Rinpoche was a terton, the revealer of terma or ancient hidden texts. Lochen Rinpoche realised about her master’s religious attainment when she came to clean Semnyi Retreat place but was not able to find him. This indicated that Semnyi Rinpoche had attained the siddhi of invisibility.

In 1915, Matrul Rinpoche passed away. Before his passing, Lochen Rinpoche had a dream of visiting Matrul Rinpoche and receiving relics wrapped in clothes from him. Upon his passing, one of Matrul Rinpoche’s students, Gangshar Rinpoche came to Lochen Rinpoche with a letter from Matrul Rinpoche that stated Gangshar Rinpoche was the incarnation of Thonyon Samdrup, the son of Lochen Rinpoche’s previous incarnation, Machig Labdrön. Although she had some doubt about her karmic connection with Gangshar Rinpoche, she maintained a relationship with him that lasted until her death.

As she was getting older, Penpa Dronma began receiving invitations from the land of happiness (bde can zhing), and so she moved to a cave near Shugseb Monastery so her death would not bring pollution to the monastery. As a sign of spiritual accomplishment, her body became smaller. During her lifetime, she had recited several hundred million Amitabha mantras. Penpa Dronma passed away in 1909, and she was believed to have lived to be 99 years old.

Jetsun Lochen Rinpoche

After the death of her mother, Lochen Rinpoche was depressed. She was determined to end her own life, and became very ill. Her disciples were worried and invited a doctor to examine her. The doctor concluded that her illness was not caused by a disorder of the elements. The doctor advised the disciple to offer long-life prayers to get rid of the dakinis who were trying to take her to the pure lands. After this advice had been followed, Lochen Rinpoche recovered.

When Lochen Rinpoche was staying at the Shugseb Monastery, her other teacher Thrulshig Rinpoche sent repeated invitations to Lochen Rinpoche to visit him. However, most of these invitations were turned down. Sometime before 1910, Thrulshig Rinpoche came to Shugseb Monastery with some of his students. Lochen Rinpoche performed a ceremony to avert obstacles for him. Thrulshig Rinpoche was pleased with the rituals and sang many religious songs.

In 1915, Thrulshig Rinpoche visited Shugseb Monastery again with a lama named Yongdzin Rinpoche, and stayed in a village near Shugseb because they tried to avoid the exhausting climb to the Monastery. When Lochen Rinpoche refused to meet them because she was in retreat, Thrulshig Rinpoche responded to her rejection by claiming that it was wonderful for her to do a meditation retreat, but strange not to meet her lama when was at her door.

In 1920, Thrulshig Rinpoche sent another invitation to Lochen Rinpoche to visit him in Yamdrog. However, Lochen Rinpoche continued to delay her visit and eventually only sent a nun with a present to her teacher. When the nun came back with the news that Thrulshig Rinpoche had passed away, Lochen Rinpoche deeply regretted her refusal to visit Thrulshig Rinpoche, and performed annual meditations and rituals dedicated to him.

The spiritual guidance of Shugseb Monastery depended on Lochen Rinpoche and Semnyi Rinpoche until one day, when a young girl came to have an audience with both of them and requested to take refuge vows and to be ordained. She was given the ordination name of Ogyen Chodzom. Proving to be a talented and hardworking student, Ogyen Chodzom managed to memorise Tri Kunzang Lama Shelung by Patrul Rinpoche, one of the main Dzogchen texts. Lochen Rinpoche groomed her to be the next throne holder of Shugseb Monastery and gave her more responsibilities.

Because of Ogyen Chodzom, Lochen Rinpoche had more time for retreats. Around this time, Lochen Rinpoche entered into a one-year White Tara meditation retreat. After completing the retreat, Lochen Rinpoche gave a series of teachings to her disciples that included the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra, Sungdu, a collection of precious sutras and tantras, the Seven Treasures of Longchenpa, the songs of Shabkar Rinpoche, and the songs of Milarepa.

While staying at Shugseb Monastery, Lochen Rinpoche mostly lived on ritual cakes that she rolled into small pellets and put inside her soup. She mentioned that this simple dish was more delicious than the noodle soup served to the aristocrats in Lhasa.

The Buddha of Compassion, Avalokiteshvara

The Buddha of Compassion, Avalokiteshvara (click to enlarge)

Before 1920, one of the Shugseb Monastery’s patrons, Sonam Wangdu, and his wife, Wangden, visited. They built a temple inside the monastery complex and pledged to build a statue of Avalokiteshvara. In addition, they requested Lochen Rinpoche and Semnyi Rinpoche to take their daughter to be their disciple. This daughter would become one of the most respected nuns at Shugseb Monastery after Lochen Rinpoche and Ogyen Chodzom. Lochen Rinpoche gave her the name of Thinley Chodron and the vows of lay followers. Semnyi Rinpoche gave her the novice nun’s vows.

On one occasion in autumn, after completing a one-year Phur Pa meditation retreat, Lochen Rinpoche gave her disciples a practice called Khor Das Ru Shan. After that, Lochen Rinpoche became ill and died for a short time. When Semnyi Rinpoche was about to perform the transference of consciousness, his colleague, Tshagu Rinpoche advised not to do so because Lochen Rinpoche’s heart was still warm.

During this experience, Lochen Rinpoche’s mind wandered to many different lands and heard different languages. After she came back to her body, many of her patrons and disciples requested that Semnyi Rinpoche extend her life. Semnyi Rinpoche was irritated, but gave her long life empowerment. After that, he instructed Lochen Rinpoche to promise to live as long as Machig Labdrön, as if she did not, her religious friends would think as if Semnyi Rinpoche had killed her, and start a war against him. After that she fully recovered.

One winter, Semnyi Rinpoche fell ill. During his illness, Semnyi Rinpoche allowed his disciples to perform many long life prayers for him. However, Semnyi Rinpoche passed away in March 1922. Lochen Rinpoche made a prayer for the favourable rebirth of Semnyi Rinpoche and together with his other disciples erected an earth reliquary stupa and a silver reliquary stupa in his honour.

 

The Head of Shugseb Monastery (1922 – 1950)

The nun cells at Shugseb Monastery

The nun cells at Shugseb Monastery – Source: The Life of Jetsun Lochen Rinpoche (1865 -1951) as Told in Her Autobiography Vol. I by Hanna Havnevik

Upon the passing of Semnyi Rinpoche, Lochen Rinpoche thought about going on a pilgrimage to Mount Kailash to follow the instruction of her late teacher, Thrulshig Rinpoche. She made secret preparations for this journey, but her plans were found out by several of Semnyi Rinpoche’s disciples. They refused to let Lochen Rinpoche go, and requested her to be the head of Shugseb Monastery. Lochen Rinpoche agreed and accepted the position. Under her leadership, the resident sangha at Shugseb Monastery increased to 300, the number of disciples increased, and thousands of people came to attend her teachings.

Although Ogyen Chodzom took on her responsibilities by giving many teachings and performing religious activities, she chose to leave Shugseb Monastery and became a consort to Dzogchen Khenpo Ngawang Norbu. She wanted to fulfil a prophecy that she was to be the mother of a high lama, against the advice of Lochen Rinpoche and other nuns at Shugseb Monastery. However, she passed away on May 11, 1932, before the prophecy came to pass. Upon the passing of Ogyen Chodzom, Lochen Rinpoche passed her teachings to Thinley Chodron, and she became the teacher of all the nuns.

Jetsun Lochen Rinpoche

In 1933, Lochen Rinpoche recognised the son of Lama Gyurme Kundrol and Ani Jamyang Wangmo as the reincarnation of her late teacher, Semnyi Rinpoche, and gave him many teachings and empowerments.

In 1936, on the advice of a certain Zhago Nangnyer, Lochen Rinpoche invited a lama named Drubchen Dawa Rinpoche to help cure a sick nun. Dawa Rinpoche arrived on February 14, 1936 in simple attire and without any servants. He composed a prayer to the local deity of Shugseb Monastery. When Lochen Rinpoche examined the words, faith instantly arose within her. She requested the teaching on the Hundred Empowerment of Tshe and the teaching of the three yogas. Dawa Rinpoche was successful in curing the sick nun. One night after having an auspicious dream, Lochen Rinpoche was convinced that Dawa Rinpoche was the reincarnation of her late teacher Pema Gyatso, and Gangshar Rinpoche confirmed this conviction.

In 1937, Dawa Rinpoche persistently requested that Lochen Rinpoche put to record her own life story, to which Lochen Rinpoche agreed in the end. As her fame continued to grow, Lochen Rinpoche entertained many important personalities in Tibet who came to her for advice, such as Reting Rinpoche, His Holiness the 16th Karmapa, and the King of Lingtshang. When Reting Rinpoche came for an audience in the late 1930s, Lochen Rinpoche made some incomprehensible statements, which was interpreted as an indication of Reting Rinpoche’s impending political problems. Several years later, Reting Rinpoche lost his position as Regent and eventually died of poisoning in a Lhasa prison in 1947. Both the 16th Karmapa and the King of Lingtshang recognised Lochen Rinpoche as the incarnation of Machig Labdrön and requested teachings and empowerments from her.

The 5th Reting Rinpoche Jamphel Yeshe Gyaltsen (1912 - 1947)

The 5th Reting Rinpoche Jamphel Yeshe Gyaltsen (1912 – 1947) who came to Lochen Rinpoche for an audience.

 

Death and Aftermath

Shugseb Monastery Nuns in Vinaya robes

Shugseb Monastery Nuns in Vinaya robes –
Source: The Life of Jetsun Lochen Rinpoche (1865 -1951) as Told in Her Autobiography Vol. I by Hanna Havnevik

Toward the end of her life, Lochen Rinpoche was not able to walk, hear, or see. However, her mind remained alert and, through her clairvoyant abilities, could read people’s thoughts. Even in her old age, Lochen Rinpoche continued to inspire devotion. Lobsang P. Lhalungpa, a Tibetan writer and scholar who visited Lochen Rinpoche in the early 1940s, said that she was an extraordinary woman, small in stature, with a serene face radiating compassion and sensitivity, with only her white hair betraying her age. Her awesome power permeated her visitors’ streams of being, and her teachings and blessings gave inner strength and inspiration. Lhalungpa went on to claim that Lochen Rinpoche was the personification of the great female teachers of Tibet.

One devotee called Lady Nedo recalled that she initially did not have much faith in Lochen Rinpoche, but in 1948, she stayed at her nunnery for more than a month. At Shugseb, people from all walks of life, nobles and businessmen, peasants and nomads, came from Lhasa, Western Tibet (Ngari), Shigatse, Lhoka, Kham, Bhutan, and different villages in the vicinity to visit the monastery. When the pilgrims gathered in the monastery kitchen and the assembly-hall, Jetsun Lochen told the nuns to feed them all. Since her private quarters was so small, the devotees had to wait in line to receive her blessings and advice. She treated everyone alike, making no distinction between high and low. Jetsun Lochen would say, “yar shog, yar shog” or “come in, come in!”

One day, Lady Nedo was invited into her private room at the time of her morning routine when she got ready. She had heard that Jetsun Lochen liked French perfume, and offered her a small blue bottle of expensive perfume which she had bought in Lhasa. Jetsun Lochen was so old she could not move or walk, and when the nuns lifted her naked body, her legs remained in a cross-legged position. When they tried to stretch them out, her legs immediately resumed the meditation position, and there were even bumps on them marked by years of sitting in this position. The nuns changed Jetsun Lochen’s diapers, which were made of soft wool, but even after many days in meditation, her urine did not smell bad. Lady Nedo remarked that she had never seen anything like this, and she had great faith in Jetsun Rinpoche, exclaiming that “She is the real Machig Labdrön, and the real Tara (Goddess of Compassion)!”

In her old age, Lochen Rinpoche was still engaging in four sessions of meditation every day. Before she passed away, she indicated that she would be reborn as a boy in her next life. Lochen Rinpoche passed away on March 13, 1951 amidst auspicious signs, such as rainbows, and a white conch shell manifesting around her right eye.

The nuns at Shugseb Monastery Assembly Hall

The nuns at Shugseb Monastery Assembly Hall – Source: The Life of Jetsun Lochen Rinpoche (1865 -1951) as Told in Her Autobiography Vol. I by Hanna Havnevik

One of her disciples recorded that she had stayed in the death meditation for one week. According to Jigme Dorje Rinpoche who had known Lochen Rinpoche for most of her life, white and red drops came from the nostrils of her dead body, symbolic of the female and male aspects of existence.

Lochen Rinpoche’s body was embalmed, her face was covered with gold-leaf, and her body was enshrined in the Shugseb Monastery’s assembly hall. Unfortunately, when the Chinese army came, Shugseb Monastery was destroyed, and Lochen Rinpoche’s body was thrown away to the hillside. None of her disciples were able to recover any remains. Amidst all these difficulties, Thinley Chodron insisted on doing her religious practice. She was then imprisoned in Lhasa and passed away there. It is said that her body remained in death meditation for two days following her passing.

In 1953, a boy named Dorje Rabden was born to a patron family of Shugseb Monastery. He was recognised as the incarnation of Lochen Rinpoche. He graduated from Lhasa University in 1981 and worked at a Tibetan radio station in Lhasa. Although Shugseb Monastery was rebuilt in the 1980s, Dorje Rabden continued to lead a lay life in Lhasa and only visited the monastery on several occasions.

Dorje Rabden, the incarnation of Lochen Rinpoche.

Dorje Rabden, the incarnation of Lochen Rinpoche. Source: The Life of Jetsun Lochen Rinpoche (1865 -1951) as Told in Her Autobiography Vol. I by Hanna Havnevik

Jigme Dorje Rinpoche (left) and Dorje Rabden (right)

Jigme Dorje Rinpoche (left) and Dorje Rabden (right) – Source: The Life of Jetsun Lochen Rinpoche (1865 -1951) as Told in Her Autobiography Vol. I by Hanna Havnevik

 


 

Addendum: An Account of Lochen Rinpoche’s Experience when She was in Meditation Retreat in 1889

Extracted from: Page 414 – 455 from The Life of Jetsun Lochen Rinpoche (1865 – 1951) as Told in Her Autobiography Vol. II by Hanna Havnevik

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The texts above are not being used for any commercial purposes. They are being used for educational purpose only.
Sources:

  • McKay, Alex. Pilgrimage in Tibet. Routledge, 2015, http://books.google.com
  • Havnevik, Hanna. The Life of Jetsun Lochen Rinpoche (1865 – 1951) as Told in Her Autobiography Vol. 1. 1st ed. Unipub, Akademika AS, 1999. Print.
  • Havnevik, Hanna. The Life of Jetsun Lochen Rinpoche (1865 – 1951) as Told in Her Autobiography Vol. 2. 1st ed. Unipub, Akademika AS, 1999. Print.
  • Gyatso, Janet and Havnevik. Women in Tibet: Past and Present. Columbia University Press, 2006, http://books.google.com
  • Reynolds, David K. Plunging Through the Clouds: Constructive Living Currents. State University of New York Press, 1993, http://books.google.com
  • Thondup, Tulku. Incarnation: The History and Mysticism of the Tulku Tradition of Tibet. Shambala, 2011, http://books.google.com
  • Willis, Janice. Feminine Ground: Essays on Women and Tibet. Snow Lion Publications, 1989, http://books.google.com
  • Jacoby, Sarah. Love and Liberation: Autobiographical Writings of the Tibetan Buddhist Visionary Sera Khandro. Columbia University Press, 2015, http://books.google.com
  • http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/ani-lochen
  • http://theyoginiproject.org/yoginis-dakinis-dakinis-warm-breath
  • https://tnp.org/shugsep-jetsun-the-story-of-a-tibetan-yogini/
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machig_Labdrön
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jetsun

For more interesting links:

 

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22 Responses to The Great Female Master- Jetsun Lochen Rinpoche

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  1. Sofi on Feb 18, 2019 at 8:44 pm

    What an amazing read this story of Jetsun Lochen Rinpoche. She had lead such an incredible life that seems so magical and not possible in today’s world, but it is possible as proven by Lochen Rinpoche. It is not surprising when she is the reincarnation of Machig Labdron, another amazing attained lady who formulated the practice of Chod which is still practiced in all schools of Tibetan Buddhism today. It is so inspiring to read their stories, their dedication towards their spiritual path and how they never gave up even when faced with tough adversities. It would seem such a pity that her incarnation, Dorje Rabden is living the lay person’s life but then again being of the same enlightened mindstream, there must be a purpose for him to adopt this way of living. Thank you, Rinpoche for sharing these inspiring stories with us and helping us to realise that attainments are possible. May we always have the correct view and strong dedication as Jetsun Lochen Rinpoche towards gaining fulfillment of our spiritual aspiration.

  2. Jacinta Goh on May 23, 2018 at 9:59 am

    Very very happy to find this article again!!!
    I was looking for it but forgot the name. And also Samding Dorje Phagmo.

    Reading the life histories about them brings back the “emotional moments” that I had when I read them for the first time. Thank you to Rinpoche

  3. shelly tai on Sep 30, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for this inspiring story of Lochen Rinpoche. After reading her life story it just so tough her life yet she has so much faith on the Buddha Dharma, is a shame for the modern practitioner like us who always complain about the practice is difficult we are so fortunate to be able to receive the teaching so easily I think is good to read all these inspiring story is to remind us not to complain just practice.

  4. Caryn Wong on Sep 28, 2017 at 11:30 pm

    A very inspirational life story. Jetsun Lochen Rinpoche had a tough life since the day she was born and though her learning of the dharma was not a smooth journey but she never lost faith. Tolerance, perseverance and determination are the keys to her receiving many great teachings from great Masters and her compassion conquers all.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing such an inspiring biography _/\_

  5. Cc on Sep 28, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    It is really amazing and inspiring on how Jetsun Lochen Rinpoche overcome obstacles. Her guru devotion and motivation was so strong.
    She is like a wonder woman / super woman.

    🙏🙏🙏

    Thank you Rinpoche

  6. Lim Han Nee on Sep 28, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Jetsun Lochen Rinpoche was a remarkable practitioner, with her extraordinary faith and devotion to her Guru and her great compassion.

    Her faith in her Guru was deep and unwavering : she was always able to see the pure motivation of her Guru even as she received the harshest treatment from him. The following example of Guru Devotion leaves one in no doubt about this. Once when she was accused of deceit, her Guru literally threw her off the roof. Yet she just picked herself up,and put her Guru’s boot on her head in veneration.

    Her compassion too was most extraordinary and powerful. When she was poisoned with milk a nun had given her, she prayed for all women poisoners! On another occasion, she was visiting the six realms, and witnessed the unbearable suffering of the Hell realm. She made very powerful prayers and entreaties. Out of great compassion and because of that, many beings transmigrated from Hell to higher realms!

    IT is amazing that even as a child, people were inspired by her and had great faith in her. They had strong convictions that she was an incarnation of Tara or Machig Labdron!

  7. Lum Kok Luen on Sep 28, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    Lochen Rinpoche’s life as a Dharma teacher, practitioner and students is so amazing. She had many teachers and the common trait is that she had solid Guru devotion and would gain realization when badly treated (in our perception).

    She is and remains a great inspiration for nuns to progress deeply into Dharma practice and thus will inspire many others to devote to Dharma.

    I would like to read or know more of her next incarnation after Dorje Rabden.

    Thank you.

  8. Sarah on Aug 16, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    Jetsunma Lochen Rinpoche was certainly one of the most amazing gcod masters of the last century. She was born amidst many auspicious signs and during her lifetime, mastered the highest siddhis. Being an incarnation of Machig Labdron, it is not surprising. I find her life and achievements truly inspiring, especially to women practitioners.

  9. wan wai meng on Aug 12, 2017 at 1:13 am

    A very inspirational master of the dharma told in this story. She kept on teaching and benefitting sentient beings all the time, and she willingly allowed herself to be trained in the buddha dharma, no matter how her teachers treated her or challenged her.

    Giving dharma to others constantly and all the time, that is how compassionate she is.

  10. Paul Yap on Aug 8, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    Jetsun Lochen Rinpoche had a very tough life since young. However she has been consistent with her dharma practice and had studies under many great teachers. Even though she has demonstrated some miraculous ability since young, she has lives a simple life not using that for her personal fame. She has developed great compassion for all sentient beings and has the ability to tame wild animals. She had done numerous retreat and at her old age, she maintain meditation post all the time. Jetsun Lochen Rinpoche is a great example for Dharma practitioners. She is truly an attained master who lives to benefits many.

  11. Choong on Aug 8, 2017 at 11:32 am

    The trajectory her life took from an early age is reminiscent of the great Indian Mahasiddhas. It is no wonder that she was recognized as a student of Milarepa. Her karmic imprints as a meditator-practitioner are certainly strong.

    To read about her life is inspiring especially because she lived not quite long ago. I liked reading the Addendum very much.

  12. Samfoonheei on Aug 6, 2017 at 11:16 am

    Truly inspiring and incredible lifestory of a great female master.I do enjoyed reading it.Her spiritual journey as from childhood till her death at 101 years old was amazing. She was was revered as one of the last century’s best known woman teachers and most influential women in Tibetan spiritual history.Many extraordinary stories are told of her remarkable abilities, she was an extraordinary woman. Her teachings and blessings have given inner strength and inspiration to many people and other practitioners .
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these incredble and inspiring article.

    • Valentina Suhendra on Aug 7, 2017 at 11:21 pm

      Dear Samfoonheei

      Thank you for your comment. I do agree with you that the life of Ani Lochen Rinpoche was very inspiring and incredible. One of the defining qualities of her life that lead to her many attainments was her relationship with her first teacher, Pema Gyatso. Pema Gyatso often abused her physically and put her down with harsh words. However, Lochen Rinpoche had never lost her faith in her teacher. I think her great devotion to the teacher and her perseverance in her practice are what led her to become a powerful practitioner in her later life.

      Sincerely

      Valentina

  13. Ucle Lai on Aug 3, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    This is another story of a great master Jetsun Lochen Rinpoche with so much suffering and obstacle yet she never gave up. Even her own farther sold her away to feed his weakness but she stayed on with him until he found another woman and left them (Jetsun Lochen Rinpoche and her mother Penpa Dronma)

    This is another story of a Bodhisattva teach us tolerance, perseverance and determination will lead to achieve the goal.

  14. Jacinta on Aug 3, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    Her character seemed ordinary but we can see her persistence in Dharma and having to live a simple life, yet not so simple from our naked eyes as she can performed many miracles and touched others deeply trough Dharma. Even in the account of her attainments, it was not simple at all 😲. She even liberated the dead from the hell to the other shore when she was in deep meditation. On another account, she gave teachings not only for human, but Gods and Demons too. This moves my heart as the wish to gain attainments are for greater purpose. Just like how Rinpoche has mentioned from time to time, when we create the causes and pray for Enlightenment, all other purposes are encompassed. With attainments and siddhis, we can help more… in fact being more skilful in the methods that we used. We might thought it’s so simple but it’s more than that. Just like we do our small sadhana, seemingly small but it can help many. Many which are not visible to our naked eyes. I do hope I can achieve the same just like her.

    From the very beginning she just wanted to devote herself for Dharma. Even in finding Lama, she didn’t even care how she was treated and always maintain pure view.

    Thank you Rinpoche

  15. Fong on Aug 2, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    By all accounts, a biography that instills faith in the reader. Very awe inspiring persona.

    Jetsun Lochen Rinpoche’s childhood sounds like stuff from a movie except that this is no movie but instead is the life of an extraordinary being. So very many extraordinary happenings from a young age. And, that she continued her meditation till a ripe old age and such that even her limbs will not move out of meditation posture.

    So, we have to believe that such people of devotion and faith do exist and serves as a great example for us not to give up but to forge on.

    • Valentina Suhendra on Aug 3, 2017 at 7:10 am

      Dear Fong

      Actually, the biography of Jetsun Lochen Rinpoche, especially his childhood reminded me of Tsem Rinpoche’s challenging childhood and teenage years.

      Her experience with her first teacher Pema Gyatso reminded me of her experience with Milarepa. And yet she kept her devotion toward her teacher intact. Her devotion is so amazing.

      Valentina

  16. Stella Cheang on Aug 2, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    It is truly inspiring to read teh biography of such an accomplished female practitioner. Lochen Rinpoche is an extraordinary person, who despite being the reincarnation of Machig Labdrön, an accomplished Tantric Yogini in the 11th century, has been very humble in her life, seeking teachings from various learned masters. Her journey was not an easy one. Yet Lochen Rinpcohe and her mother, Penpa Dronma, soildered on single mindedly so that Lochen Rinpoche can spread the dharma. It is admirable to learn about Lochen Rinpoche’s guru devotion, which is a good example to us all.

  17. Datuk May on Aug 1, 2017 at 11:47 pm

    It is always inspiring to read about great female practitioners who achieved great attainments and their reincarnations are recognised. Such is the proof of how highly attained Bodhisattvas return to this earthly existences to continue their work and practice to save sentient beings from Samsara.

    This is a great story of how Jetsun Lochen Rinpoche overcame all obstacles with perseverance and her goal of saving sentient beings from suffering.

  18. Pastor David Lai on Jul 30, 2017 at 11:22 pm

    I just read Jetsun Lochen Rinpoche’s lifestory and I was just amazed of how simple, devoted and attained she is. It’s incredible how Tibet was able to produce such incredibly attained beings that transcend gender and time. It was obvious her lama did much to train her in order to fulfil her destiny to guide others.

    It is inspiring to read how much she had to endure from childhood and later under her lama but she never broke down, felt sorry for herself or got angry. She was confident of the intent of her lama and carried on. Her story truly inspires people not to take things at face value especially in relations to one’s lama and instead have confidence based on faith and prior experience.

  19. Tsem Rinpoche on Jul 30, 2017 at 11:58 am

    It is wonderful to know about this great female master. I hope more people will read about her and be inspired.

    • Anne Ong on Jul 30, 2017 at 10:08 pm

      This is a really interesting story as it is very rare to read about female incarnations. Both touching and inspiring. Love many parts of the story of her spiritual attainments. Thank you very much Rinpoche and writers for doing this wonderful and inspiring story of “The Great Female Master- Jetsun Lochen Rinpoche” . _/\_

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  • Pastor Lanse
    Thursday, Dec 12. 2019 05:30 PM
    Kyabje Zong Rinpoche: Birth, Death & Bardo

    Birth, death and bardo: what are these three things? How do people die? We have to understand what we mean by birth, death and bardo in general. We must know how the bardo is entered. We die, go into bardo, take birth, again die going yet again into bardo. There is an unending cycle of the three; no end to it at all. It is useful to develop aversion to Samsara (or Cyclic Existence) and very good for practice to know this.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/zong-rinpoche-birth-death-and-bardo.html
  • S.Prathap
    Thursday, Dec 12. 2019 04:02 PM
    This is interesting and good article to read and provided many information of holy places.It is always good to visit spiritual power places. it can open up dharma seeds within us and bless our minds to engage in spiritual practice.
    Great to get know what we suppose to do at these Holy place ,recite prayers, make offerings and so forth to intoxicate one selves with the blessings of the place.Thank you so much for the article and beautiful pictures.

    Read more : https://bit.ly/2Pw2Jko
  • Yee Yin
    Thursday, Dec 12. 2019 01:43 PM
    People often relate witchcraft to evil practice. However, in this modern time, no one is penalised for practising witchcraft. It is not a main stream religious practice and people can practise it freely.

    Therefore, it is very ridiculous for the Tibetan leadership to penalise Dorje Shugden practitioners because of their faith. Dorje Shugden practice started about 300-400 years ago and it has never been a threat to national security, there is no reason it should be banned. May the ban be lifted soon and no more discrimination against Dorje Shugden practitioners.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Read more about Rob Lowe Face-To-Face with Bigfoot

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The Unknown

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

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

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

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

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

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

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CHAT PICTURES

Kechara Kids Camp 2019 - Art time at beautiful yard in Enchanted Forest -Jayce Goh
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Kechara Kids Camp 2019 - Art time at beautiful yard in Enchanted Forest -Jayce Goh
Kechara Kids Camp 2019 , cute meal - KSDS Jayce Goh
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Kechara Kids Camp 2019 , cute meal - KSDS Jayce Goh
Kechara Kids Camp rules Wake up on time and wash themselves independently - KSDS Jayce Goh
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Re: Kechara Kids Camp rules wash own dishes after meal - KSDS Jayce Goh
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