Are We All Obliged to Listen to the Dalai Lama?

Jan 27, 2018 | Views: 14,177

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(By Matthew Sinclair)

Dear friends,

Everyone knows that I am a devoted practitioner of Dorje Shugden. Everyone also knows that I hold His Holiness the Dalai Lama in the highest esteem and have always encouraged my students and friends to practice seeing things with equanimity and not judge in terms of good or bad. Therefore I do not encourage criticism or condemnation of any kind but instead wish for everyone to cultivate peaceful and tolerant states of mind.

Over the years, TsemRinpoche.com has gained quite a reach and we have all kinds of emails and letters sent to us daily. One such letter was sent by a Mr Matthew Sinclair who apparently follows me on Twitter and is a frequent visitor to this blog. He wrote this letter in response to some tweets that are not complimentary of me and my practice of Dorje Shugden. To be frank, such tweets do not bother me; I practice Dorje Shugden because of the promise I made to my beloved teacher, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, and not because I want to be popular.

Anyway, Mr Matthew Sinclair’s letter made a number of thought-provoking points and I have decided to publish it here for my readers to digest, discuss and agree or disagree. I mean no disrespect to anyone by publishing this letter and I hope it will encourage everyone to think deeper about issues such as Dorje Shugden. Please read with an open mind and learn from Mr Sinclair’s thoughts.

Thank you
Tsem Rinpoche

 


 

Dear Professor Robert Thurman,

Are we all obliged to listen to the Dalai Lama?

A person’s religion is no one else’s business. It is a matter between him and his chosen god or divinity and no one should have any say in how or what he worships, so long as no laws are broken and no one is harmed in the worship of his god and in the way he expresses his faith. To be sure, ‘harm’ in this case must be real and cannot be imagined. One person’s religion cannot be deemed to be harmful just because another person does not agree with it.

The suggestion that only the belief of one person or a select group leads to the truth while all other faiths are deluded and damaging has been behind some of the most tragic wars in history. Religion is also conveniently used to justify some of the most grotesque acts of terrorism.

Therefore, as the world becomes more globalised and older religions evolve into more modern expressions of exaltation and new beliefs form, it has become even more important to defend the right of people to worship as they choose. What we defend is not the validity of one religion over another, but the understanding that the essence of divinity can no longer, in a modern and multi-faceted world, be expressed as a singularity that is exclusively owned by a person or a spiritually elite group. Forbearance and acceptance are vital keys to peaceful cohabitation in this complex world.

If anyone should already understand this, it has to be Professor Robert Thurman. He is after all recognised as somewhat of an expert in Tibetan Buddhism – a syncretic blend of Mahayana Buddhism, and tantric rituals with a good dose of local pantheistic, polydaemonistic and animistic beliefs thrown in for good measure. It is not the easiest of religions to understand or even practice. With its rich pantheon of deities that includes, amongst other things, vampires, subjugated monsters, Buddhas emanating as spirits, and outer-worldly beings, even traditional Buddhists have a hard time accepting that the Buddha ever taught ‘Tibetan Buddhism’. Moreover, this mysterious religion only emerged a millennium after the Buddha’s passing. If we were to gauge Tibetan Buddhism from the perspective of ordinary and everyday ‘common-sense’, Tibetan Buddhism does sound like a fiction written by someone very high on acid. And yet, Robert Thurman has been allowed to teach and spread his version of religion and no one tells him that he is merely a glorified peddler of superstitious hooey and a self-appointed interpreter of a mythical apologue. This is as it should be but this is a very important point in this writing that addresses Robert Thurman’s attitude to other people’s religion. To some people, Robert Thurman is a modern-day messiah and to others, he is a throwback of a hazy, psychedelic hippie era. But he is allowed to be who he is and to prosper from it.

Professor Robert Thurman benefits from an open-minded world that understands that the soundness and cogency of any religion is what the practitioner makes of it and the good or bad it inspires in each practitioner. It has nothing to do with anyone else. Thurman graciously enjoys fame, fortune and recognition as an expert of an esoteric system of belief that few understand or would want to become involved in. Good for him but sadly Thurman does not extend this grace to others whose religious practice he targets and condemns.

Lately, Bob Thurman has taken to Twitter to attack the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT) and Tsem Tulku Rinpoche, as well as hundreds of other Dharma centres both large and small, for their practice of one Buddhist deity amongst an entire pantheon of divine beings. While the NKT is an organisation with a network of Buddhist centres found predominantly in the West, Tsem Tulku Rinpoche is an incumbent monk of the prestigious Ganden Shartse monastic university, who has a large following in Southeast Asia. Although Thurman likes to lump his targets together, probably for ease of levelling libellous statements at, the NKT and Tsem Rinpoche operate quite independently of one another, have unique ways of disseminating the teachings of the Buddha, and take markedly different approaches to addressing the same issues, namely the unlawful prohibition of one of their Buddhist rituals, a prohibition that Thurman now champions.
 Members of the NKT are well known to support protests against the Dalai Lama as a means of drawing attention to what they regard as the Dalai Lama’s misdeeds. On his part, Tsem Rinpoche has never participated in protests of any kind against the Dalai Lama or made any attempt to portray the Dalai Lama in poor light. To the contrary, Tsem Rinpoche has always had the highest regard and respect for the Dalai Lama and in fact, has always advocated for a peaceful end to the conflict without assassinating the Dalai Lama’s character.

Incidentally, Robert Thurman’s contempt for the NKT, which was founded by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, was not historically shared by the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama has written a foreword for Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’s book ‘Buddhism in the Tibetan Tradition‘ where he introduced Geshe-la in glowing terms. This was at a time when Geshe Kelsang Gyatso was already known to be a devoted practitioner of Dorje Shugden. How Geshe-la’s character is supposed to have “changed” through the Dalai Lama’s own change of heart towards Dorje Shugden is a mystery to all. The Dalai Lama practised Dorje Shugden as a Buddha for decades but now demeans the same deity as merely a lowly and malicious spirit.

Professor Robert Thurman has taken to social media to gag anyone who presents a factual narrative of the Dorje Shugden religious ban. Click on image to enlarge.

Professor Robert Thurman has taken to social media to gag anyone who presents a factual narrative of the Dorje Shugden religious ban. Click on image to enlarge.

The only commonality between the NKT and Tsem Rinpoche is, both are prominent figures of the Gelugpa order and both are practitioners of Gyalchen Dorje Shugden, an ancient Buddhist deity worshipped as a protector of the Buddha’s teachings. And in addition, both are victims of Robert Thurman’s virulent attacks.

Tsem Rinpoche is a loyal defender of the Dorje Shugden practice that lay at the heart of the Sakya and Gelug schools of Tibetan Buddhism. To be specific, Tsem Rinpoche does not protect the deity Dorje Shugden or his practice. It would be absurd to think that a powerful god whom we propitiate for protection and blessings should instead need man’s protection from fellow man’s tampering. What Tsem Rinpoche stands up for is the right of a person, any person, to practise an important religious ritual that has been passed on to him by his teacher and sealed with an oath to uphold the practice and preserve it for posterity. To stand up for what is right and to keep to one’s promise regardless of how inconvenient it has become – aren’t these traits that everyone should celebrate and encourage, instead of condemning?

And yet, it appears that such integrity poses a problem for Professor Robert Thurman who is part of a cabal of detractors claiming that the practice of Dorje Shugden is not a proper Buddhist ritual because the Dalai Lama had opposed the continuation of the practice in 1996 for reasons that have never quite passed the simple test of logic. On his part, Thurman has in the past referred to practitioners of Dorje Shugden as the ‘Buddhist Taliban’, a term he coined with the intention of creating enmity against Dorje Shugden practitioners.

In addition, Thurman has also accused Shugden practitioners of being Chinese spies working against the Dalai Lama and his government. This too is absurd because Dorje Shugden is a 400-year-old practice whereas the Sino-Tibetan conflict only started 60 years ago. So what were Shugden practitioners spying on for the 300+ years prior to 1959? For Thurman to take a geo-political issue and attribute it to a centuries-old religious practice is extremely irresponsible and misleading. Such sweeping accusations are what has historically created division, segregation and exclusion – precisely the views that proper Buddhist practice trains one to see through. Thurman’s extremist views in this regard are not only an insult to himself and to the academic institutions he represents but also to the ordinary people’s common sense. The notion that one religion or one race of people or one nationality or people of one gender can be bad or evil in totality even though everyone is different, has different preferences, feelings and influences, is just absurd. The last time such a view was common, 6 million Jews perished. The Dorje Shugden issue, just like racial and gender inequality issues of the past, has never been a problem in its own right but is the result of bigoted views being allowed to spread. On this basis, we can see clearly how dangerous Robert Thurman’s views are, that he should try to draw the world back into the dark ages.

Professor Robert Thurman’s so-called qualification on this matter is based solely on his closeness to the Dalai Lama. One might think he, as an expert on Tibetan Buddhism, would know better. But one would be mistaken. Thurman after all has learned from very qualified masters, some of whom are regarded as highly attained beings. But the simple truth is that the Dalai Lama is not the only qualified Tibetan Buddhist master there is. There are hundreds more in the Gelug, Nyingma, Sakya and Kagyu traditions. The Dalai Lama’s own teachers were themselves highly qualified scholars and attained practitioners, which was the very reason why they were chosen to tutor the Dalai Lama. However, the way Robert Thurman behaves is to insist that his master, the 14th Dalai Lama, is the only one with the qualifications to judge what is and is not authentic Buddhist practice. This is extreme, biased and incorrect. Thurman wants you to neglect the fact that virtually all of the old masters regarded Dorje Shugden as a special and enlightened god, as did Robert Thurman himself until it became more profitable to think otherwise. Contemporaries of Robert Thurman recall a time when he sought initiation into the Dorje Shugden practice from his then teacher, Domo Geshe Rinpoche. And when refused on account of his unstable mind, Thurman put on such a show of grovelling to be given the practice that people remember the event until this day. Clearly, Thurman’s loyalty to a teacher and to a religious practice changes according to what’s in vogue.

But I digress. Thurman is known as ‘the Dalai Lama’s man in America’ and by this connection alone, Thurman claims moral superiority over others and justifies his role in what is essentially spiritual totalitarianism, which in fact declares his master the Dalai Lama to be a spiritual dictator. What Thurman is conveniently forgetting is that not every Tibetan Buddhist has a spiritual bond with the Dalai Lama and therefore are not obliged to listen to his advice. And for those who do have such a spiritual bond with the Dalai Lama, in all likelihood it is not the only spiritual relationship that they have. It is common for Tibetan Buddhist practitioners to have more than one teacher, and each of these teachers may have different views, approaches, methods and opinions. So why is Thurman insisting that the spiritual bond with the Dalai Lama overrides the bond with any other teacher? Just because he is the most famous?

Professor Robert Thurman claims translations of the Dalai Lama banning Dorje Shugden are fake but does nothing to prove this.

Professor Robert Thurman claims translations of the Dalai Lama banning Dorje Shugden are fake but does nothing to prove this.

If Professor Robert Thurman’s authority to judge and condemn the religious practice of others is based on his favour with the Dalai Lama, then the Dalai Lama’s authority is based on the belief that he is an emanation of Chenrezig, an enlightened god amongst the myriad of gods in the Tibetan Buddhist pantheon. However, it is important to note that Chenrezig is not the only god in Tibetan Buddhism and for sure he is not the only god in the history of mankind.

And so, if Professor Robert Thurman’s criticism of another person’s religion is to be allowed and considered valid simply by his connection with a human emanation of one of the Tibetan Buddhist gods, do we similarly empower and allow other ‘Thurmans’ with similar connections to other Tibetan Buddhist gods to disparage and condemn other religions?

Do we allow criticisms from self-appointed representatives of the gods, Manjushri, Vajrapani, Vajrabhairava, Guhyasamaja, Chakrasamvara, Vajrayogini, Tara, Hevajra, Kalachakra, Mahacakra, Hayagriva and Vajrakilaya? And what about the other Buddhist deities such as Nechung, Rahula, Dorje Legba, Tseringma, Vaishravana, Virudhaka, Dhritarashtra, Virupaksha, Tenma Chunyi and Ta’og?

And those are just some of the deities and supreme beings in Tibetan Buddhism. Seeing that Tibetan Buddhism is not the only religion in the world, should we also accord the same privileges to those who claim to have close connections with gods of the Indian pantheon – Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Ganesh, Durga, Krishna, Ram, Kali, Lakshmi and Saraswati; gods of the Sumerian pantheon – Ashur/Enlil, Anu, Dagon, Enki, Marduk, Shamash, Inanna, Ninlil, Ereshkigal and Nergal; gods of the Egyptian pantheon – Amun, Ra, Anubis, Apophis, Bastet, Hathor, Isis, Osiris, Nut and Sekhmet; gods of the Greek pantheon – Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Athena, Ares, Apollo, Aphrodite, Hermes, Dionysus and Artemis?

And what about Mayan gods such as Itzamn, Chac, Ah Mun, Ah Puch, Ek Chuah, Acan, Ix-chel, Xaman Ek, Kukulcan, Quetzalcoatl; Native American gods, for instance Caribou Master, Chief Above, First Maker, Everywhere Being, Breathmaker, Great Spirit, Lone Man, Old Man Coyote, Silver Fox, Sky-Chief; supreme beings of the Wiccan pantheon – Diana, Hecate, The Horned God, Astarte, Cernunnos, Ogma, Dagda, Great Spirit, Herne, Pan; Chinese gods in the Taoist tradition – Huangdi, Yuhuang, Doumu, Xiwangmu, Yanwang, Baxian, Longshen, Tianshen, Huang Tian, Di; the various personifications of god in the Christian faith – El, Adonai, Yahweh, Jehovah, Elohim, King of Kings, Lord of Hosts, Lord of Lords, The Light, Abba, Jesus; and the prophets who often were regarded as vessels of god – St. Patrick, St. Joseph, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Bernadette, St. Nicholas, St. Peter, St. Therese of Liseux, St. Anne, St. Christopher, and not to mention The Blessed Virgin Mary?

Professor Robert Thurman

Professor Robert Thurman

Then there are gods of the Japanese pantheon – Susanoo, Benten, Amaterasu, Izanagi, Tsukiyomi, Sichi-Fuku-Jin, Bishamon, Hoori, Aizen-Myoo, Amida; and Norse gods – Odin, Thor, Balder, Vidar, Vale, Brage, Heimdall, Froy, Frigg, Tyr; and African gods – Fa, Imana, Nenaunir, Njambi, Ochumare, Ogun, Olorun, Shango, Unkulunkulu and Ymoja.

Should each of these gods have their own versions of ‘Professor Robert Thurman’ who in their name becomes empowered to judge the validity of all religions and belief systems in the world? And if a certain religion is found not to have met an arbitrary standard (otherwise known as a personal ‘opinion’), should it then be deemed false, demonic and harmful? If our answer is ‘no’, then it has to be asked – what entitles Professor Robert Thurman to declare the practice of Dorje Shugden to be harmful and demonic?

Who is to say which god is real, whether there is only one true god, or if all these divinities are emanations of each other? As we have seen from history, all efforts to promote a “single true god” at the expense of all others and all efforts to claim religious superiority whilst discrediting other faiths have led to conflicts, tremendous social upheaval and unnecessary loss of life. Haven’t we moved on from there? Civilised minds have enacted laws to avoid a repeat of such disasters and so, why does Robert Thurman wish to drag us back to those extreme and dangerous mindsets? We have seen good and noble acts arising out of the practice of all religions and faiths just as we have seen brutality and lunacy that is the result of practising the very same religions. Clearly, it is not the religion which is to blame but the person practising it. For Robert Thurman to attempt to deny this simple truth does not reflect well on his intentions.

When Professor Robert Thurman accuses Dorje Shugden practitioners to be members of an extremist cult, terrorists and demon worshippers, he risks being seen as an intolerant and extreme hypocrite, whose opinion arises out of a sycophantic need to please a master – in this case the Dalai Lama, upon whom Thurman’s claim to fame rests. It is not based on facts or hard evidence. Simply being labeled a professor of one religion does not validate the entirety of his opinions nor does it invalidate the no-less-qualified opinions of scholars and professors of other religions. To be sure, the opinion of a professor has no power to subvert the laws that provide for religious freedom and the free exercise of the people’s rights. Thurman’s crusade against Dorje Shugden and the reasons he furnishes are a trap for readers to abandon common sense.

In any case, no one owes Robert Thurman any duty to justify the authenticity of his or her religion. The law of most developed nations and the charter of the United Nations itself provides for freedom of religion regardless of what anyone feels about one religion or another and Robert Thurman is not above the law. For that matter, there is no spiritual authority or spiritual leader who can overturn or override any law that states without a doubt that every man is free to exercise his choice of religion. To even attempt to discredit a religion that is practised within the law of the country, and to call for citizens of that country to oppose practitioners of a certain religion, is not only to be disrespectful of the sovereignty of that nation but also to be at risk of being accused of wishing to incite religious unrest.

The simple lesson Robert Thurman needs to urgently accept is that he has neither the right nor the authority to coerce anyone into embracing or abandoning any religion. The Dalai Lama may be Robert Thurman’s living god but he is not everyone’s god and hence Thurman cannot demand that every one deifies the Dalai Lama the way he does. And neither does someone become a demon worshipper or a terrorist simply because he recognises that he has no obligation to obey the Dalai Lama, especially insofar as such obedience involves acts contrary to oaths made in practicing a religion.

As much as Professor Robert Thurman would like to deny it, it is a straightforward fact that the Dalai Lama was recorded giving directives on more than one occasion for monasteries to expel monks who refused to renege on their promises to uphold the Dorje Shugden practice alongside every other practice bestowed upon them by their teachers. In desperation, Professor Robert Thurman denies the accuracy of the translation of the Dalai Lama’s speech that directed monasteries to pick on Shugden worshipping monks (see video ‘Dalai Lama bans Dorje Shugden practice and expels monks’). He argues that there is no ban simply because the Dalai Lama has no authority to effect a religious ban. On this point, Robert Thurman is right but the truth is that the Dalai Lama holds a great deal of influence over the Tibetan people beyond what is normal for a religious leader. Tibetan society is at heart an autocratic one and not a democracy, and so, whatever the Dalai Lama says is treated as absolute law.

It is suspicious that Thurman’s objection to the alleged wrong translation does not result in him procuring a supposedly correct translation. This again defies common sense. You don’t shout down something that you claim to be wrong. You produce the correct version instead. Simple. Unless Robert Thurman is fully aware that the translation is in fact correct as it was done by qualified translators and vetted by scholars over the years since the video was first released. Semantics aside, the Dalai Lama’s posture, body language, tone and the intensity by which he drove his points across leave little to the imagination as to how the spiritual leader wishes for his audience to regard the practice of Dorje Shugden. After all, 70% of communication in non-verbal. Moreover, in Tibetan culture, when the Dalai Lama speaks in this way, it is nothing short of a religious commandment. And so, after this speech, the monasteries began expelling Shugden monks and discrimination against lay practitioners began in earnest.

Faced with the impossible task of debunking the video, Thurman decides to embark on a social media campaign instead, in a desperate attempt to gag Tsem Rinpoche from stating facts about the Tibetan leadership’s breach of Shugden Buddhists’ religious freedom. If anyone needs evidence of this, then both the Dalai Lama’s and the Tibetan leadership’s official websites carry messages instructing discrimination. Have a look and ask yourself why a spiritual leader of a peaceful religion and an advocate of peace and tolerance would carry messages on his official website designed to incite hatred against some people simply based on their religion? Thurman would no doubt argue that the Dalai Lama has a duty to warn the public about the ills of practising Dorje Shugden. Yet it’s okay to be a Satanist, it is okay to belong to a religion that calls for human sacrifice, it is okay to belong to a religion that in essence disclaims Buddhism and it is okay to belong to religions that call for the elimination of their detractors? All are okay except for Dorje Shugden? Doesn’t sound quite legitimate. And even if the Dalai Lama does not think Dorje Shugden is worthy of worship, does the Dalai Lama agree that everyone is entitled to exercise their constitutional right to practise whatever they believe?

Ultimately it’s not about which god is good or bad but about letting humanity make their own decisions without ‘advice’ or condemnation from secular and spiritual leaders which leads to separation and segregation. This is the point. This is religious freedom.

Robert Thurman is on an offensive against anyone who highlights the Tibetan leadership’s religious ban and it seems there is no measure he would not go to in order to achieve his aim. There is no room for such spiritual gangsterism today and the most unfortunate thing is that such simple common sense escaped a supposed Professor of the illustrious Columbia University. What a shame.

Yours sincerely,
Matthew Sinclair
London

Disclaimer: The letter was written by an unrelated third-party and its contents and the views expressed are solely those of the original content creator and do not necessarily reflect the personal views of Tsem Rinpoche or the tsemrinpoche.com team. By submitting this letter, the author grants tsemrinpoche.com and its affiliates a non-exclusive, transferable, irrevocable, perpetual right to copy, reproduce and display the contents.

 


 

Addendum

By His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche

 

Central Tibetan Administration’s Website

Below is a screenshot of Tibet.net, which is the Tibetan leadership’s website. In it, they have a section with “information” about Dorje Shugden which is designed to promote hatred, negativity and direct vulgarities towards Shugden practitioners. What kind of democratic leadership has a section like this on their site targeting a religious group? Imagine the uproar there would be if the American or Canadian, or any other democratic government had sections like this on their site for the public!

CTAWebsite

The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) website which has a section on Dorje Shugden. What kind of democratic government has sections on their website which target a religious group? Click to enlarge.

 

His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Website

This is a screenshot of DalaiLama.com which is the official website of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. When this section exists on His Holiness’ website, it actually emboldens Tibetans to discriminate against and segregate Shugden practitioners. This section is basically the Dalai Lama’s ‘endorsement’ of such behaviour; when anti-Shugden individuals see this, they think it is okay to segregate against the practice “because the Dalai Lama said so”. I don’t think the Dalai Lama would agree with this but the webmaster and shadow writers behind his website should not put this type of anti-Dorje Shugden section which subscribes to discrimination against a group because of religion. In the 21st century, this is not fitting of a great spiritual leader like His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Do not discriminate tolerate; is the way to go.

If the Dorje Shugden ban is just advice and not a ban, then why is a section like this necessary on any website?

DalaiLamaWebsite

His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s website which has a section on Dorje Shugden. This section emboldens Tibetans to discriminate against Shugden practitioners because it is the Dalai Lama’s endorsement of such behaviour.

 

Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile’s Resolution Stating Government Employees Should Not Rely on Dorje Shugden

In 1996, the Tibetan leadership passed a resolution stating that all departments (and ergo their employees) should not rely on Dorje Shugden (point 8). The resolution also stated that individuals who do engage in its worship will harm the Dalai Lama’s life and the so-called Tibetan cause. That being the case, how will anyone within the Tibetan settlements and government be able to openly engage in Dorje Shugden practice after that, if their worship has been widely labelled as anti-Dalai Lama, anti-CTA and treasonous? To openly practice after that will leave them open to criticism, vulgarities, harassment and discrimination, as Dorje Shugden practitioners have been for the last 20 years. So they will be left with three options: to give up the practice (which many will not do), to practice secretly, or to give up their jobs.

A screenshot of tibet.net, showing the 1996 resolution which proclaimed that departments under the Tibetan leadership should not propitiate Dorje Shugden and that doing so will harm the Dalai Lama's life.

A screenshot of tibet.net, showing the 1996 resolution which proclaimed that departments under the Tibetan leadership should not propitiate Dorje Shugden and that doing so will harm the Dalai Lama’s life.

 

Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile’s Resolution Naming Dorje Shugden Practitioners as Criminals in History

This is a screenshot of tibet.net, the Central Tibetan Administration’s official website, which shows the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile’s unanimous resolution dated 17 March 2014 naming Dorje Shugden practitioners as criminals in history (point 3, paragraph 2).

The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile passed a resolution on 17 March 2014 naming all Dorje Shugden practitioners as criminals in history.

The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile passed a resolution on 17 March 2014 naming all Dorje Shugden practitioners as “criminals in history”. On what basis can the Tibetan leadership condemn all Dorje Shugden believers, including the elderly, infirm, young, and those not of Tibetan nationality, as criminals?

 

VIDEO: Dalai Lama bans Dorje Shugden practice
and expels monks

His Holiness the Dalai Lama was recorded in Drepung Monastery in 2008 clearly stating that those who refused to give up their Dorje Shugden practice should be expelled from the monasteries. His Holiness even said that if people found it difficult to fulfill this instruction, that they should say that the Dalai Lama told them to expel Dorje Shugden practitioners.

My question is this: if giving up Dorje Shugden practice is just advice, and it is up to us who we wish to rely on, then why are there such heavy repercussions for people who choose to keep the practice? As a result of His Holiness saying this, thousands of Shugden monks were expelled from the monasteries, and were forced to set up their own monasteries where they would be able to continue their Dorje Shugden practice.

 

VIDEO: Dorje Shugden practitioner rejected
from Gaden Shartse Monastery Guest House

A Dorje Shugden practitioner enquiring about room rates at the Gaden Shartse Monastery Guest House in Majnu-ka-tilla, Delhi was rejected by the hotel staff and asked to leave.

 

VIDEO: France 24 reports on the Dorje Shugden issue

France 24 is a reputable news network based in France, known for their objective reporting style. They covered the Dorje Shugden issue extensively, surely a reflection of the seriousness of the issue for them to devote so much airtime to it. In their video, France 24 captured on film the discrimination against a Dorje Shugden monk.

VIDEO: Al Jazeera reports on the Dorje Shugden issue

Based in the Middle East, Al Jazeera was formed in response to the heavy influence of Western culture on the media. They are known to cover controversial topics that other news agencies may be reluctant to cover, and provide hard-hitting, objective coverage of current affairs.

Evidence of the Ban

Over the years, my students have collected evidence of the ban against Dorje Shugden. Personally, I find it quite disappointing and sad that they have been able to collect so much evidence because it just goes to show how widespread and pervasive this ban has become. As you can see below, notices banning Dorje Shugden practitioners can be found just about anywhere in the Tibetan settlements. Whether a Dorje Shugden person is trying to access healthcare or enter a restaurant, or try to buy something from a shop, they are banned everywhere and refused service. How is this just ‘advice’ when the repercussions of practising Dorje Shugden are so violent inside the Tibetan communities and settlements?


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52 Responses to Are We All Obliged to Listen to the Dalai Lama?

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  1. Joy Kam on Dec 10, 2018 at 4:20 am

    Mantras are sacred verbalized words that invoke the protection and blessings of the deity to whom the mantra is ascribed. Mantras are also the manifestations of Buddhas in the form of ‘sounds’, hence the various mantras of Dorje Shugden contain the essence of the Protector.

    Dorje Shugden’s main mantra 多杰雄登主要咒语
    OM BENZA WIKI BITANA SOHA

    Dorje Shugden’s mantra for peace 平和咒语
    For gaining attainments through the energy of Peaceful Shugden, peace of environment and mind, harmony in one’s abode and dwelling area, and calming of disasters
    OM BENZA WIKI BITANA SHANTI SIDDHI HUNG

    Dorje Shugden’s mantra for health 福寿安康咒语
    For long life, increasing life, healing of disease and protection from diseases
    OM BENZA WIKI BITANA AYU SIDDHI HUNG

    Dorje Shugden’s mantra for increase 增长咒语
    For gaining great merits and increase of all necessary needs, both material and spiritual
    OM BENZA WIKI BITANA PUNYE SIDDHI HUNG

    Dorje Shugden’s mantra for control 控制咒语
    Of worldly deities, negative people and nagas and for influencing friends towards the positive
    OM BENZA WIKI BITANA WASHAM KURU HO

    Dorje Shugden’s mantra to grant protection 庇护咒语
    Visualize that you are in the Protector’s mandala, fully protected from outside interferences. Recite when in danger or for dangerous situations, for protection while travelling or when residing in dangerous/hostile places
    OM BENZA WIKI BITANA RAKYA RAKYA HUNG

    https://video.tsemtulku.com/videouploads/comment-1544345059.mp4


  2. Tsem Rinpoche on Nov 26, 2018 at 1:10 pm

    Dear friends,

    Tibet has produced many powerful meditations, rituals and guidelines to help us gain spiritual protection, gain wisdom and higher states of consciousness. In general Tibet has produced many powerful methods for the growth of our spiritual evolution. Dorje Shugden is an angel, a saint, a powerful spiritual protector-warrior who originated 350 years ago when a highly awakened Tibetan Lama fulfilled his vows to become a special being to grant protection, wisdom, material needs, safety when travelling (normal and astral travel) and spiritual awakening. Both the Great 5th Dalai Lama and the current His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama composed short yet effective prayers to invoke upon the power and blessings of this special saint and protector. One can recite either one of the prayers that you feel suits you, anytime or even daily. When you feel a special need for help, you can recite either prayer anytime. When you are feeling down, afraid or just need a blessing, you can recite them. After reciting either invocation, it is good to chant the mantra of Dorje Shugden: Om Benza Wiki Bitana Soha.

    You do not have to be a Buddhist or practitioner of any religion to invoke upon the blessings and protection of this special enlightened and awakened angel Dorje Shugden. He helps all without discrimination or bias as he is filled with compassion and love. Divinity has no boundaries, they help all who call upon them.

    Enclosed are the prayers in English, Chinese and Tibetan.

    May you be safe, protected and blessed.

    Tsem Rinpoche

    More on the Great 5th Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden – https://bit.ly/2w7KHv6

    More on H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden – https://bit.ly/2QdaL4n

    Chapel (Trode Khangsar) built by the Great 5th Dalai Lama dedicated to Dorje Shugden in Lhasa – https://bit.ly/2zBTd8M

    亲爱的朋友们,

    西藏产生了许多有助于我们得到精神庇佑、取得智慧和更高层次之觉悟的强大禅修法、仪式和教诲。总括来说,西藏产生了许多有助于我们在修行上取得提升的强有力方法。多杰雄登是一个天使,一位圣人和一名护法战士。他的崛起始于350年前,当一位高度觉悟的西藏高僧履行本身的承诺,化身为特别的护法,赐予我们守护、智慧、物质需要、出入平安(平日外游和神游时)和灵修上的觉醒。任何人都可以随时随地在任何时候念诵适合自己的祈愿文。当你需要特别的帮助时,你可以随时念诵任何一篇祈愿文。当你感到沮丧、恐惧或仅是需要加持时,你也可以持诵这些祈愿文。在念诵任何祈请文后,你应该接着念诵多杰雄登的心咒:嗡 班杂 维格 毗札那 娑哈 Om Benza Wiki Bitana Soha。

    要祈请多杰雄登这位特殊、觉悟和觉醒的天使赐予加持和庇佑,你无需是佛教徒或任何宗教的修行者。他总是没有分别或偏见,充满慈悲和慈爱地帮助一切众生。神圣是没有界限的,圣者会帮助有求于他的任何人。

    以下附上英文、中文和藏文的祈愿文。

    愿你平安,常受庇护和加持。

    尊贵的詹杜固仁波切

    更多关于第五世达赖尊者和多杰雄登护法的内容 — https://bit.ly/2zsC3tG

    更多关于第十四世达赖尊者和多杰雄登护法的内容 — https://bit.ly/2r4aaDN

    第五世达赖尊者为多杰雄登护法在拉萨建造的护法殿(布旦康萨)— https://bit.ly/2zBTd8M

    Prayer to Shugden by 5th Dalai Lama English

    14th Dalai Lama prayer to Shugden English

    5th-Dalai-lama-prayer-to-shugden

    Shugden by 14th Dalai Lama

    Prayer to Shugden by 5th Dalai Lama Chinese

    14th Dalai Lama prayer to Shugden Chinese

    5th dalai lama

    Dorje Shugden

  3. Tsem Rinpoche on Nov 23, 2018 at 8:52 am

    Divination (‘mo’) Text by Dorje Shugden

    This is an important divination (‘mo’) text composed by Dorje Shugden himself. Dorje Shugden took trance of the Choyang Dulzin oracle lama, the senior oracle of Gaden Shartse Monastery, and instantly on the spot composed this text within two hours.

    The divination text contains information on how to use dice to do divination for the future and is known to be highly accurate. When practitioners use this text, they will be in direct contact with Dorje Shugden to get answers to questions about the future. It is for those who have good samaya with Dorje Shugden and are free of the eight worldly dharmas to be of benefit to others in divining the future.

    Tsem Rinpoche

    DS-MO-choyang.pdf

  4. Pastor Adeline Woon on Sep 20, 2018 at 3:41 am

    Be blessed with these rare videos featuring explanation and advice about Dorje Shugden practice by His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche in his own voice. The teaching was requested by Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen, one of the earliest masters who taught Tibetan Buddhism in the West.

    Video 1: H.H. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche Explains Dorje Shugden Initiation and Benefits (With English Subtitles)

    Kyabje Zong Rinpoche was an erudite scholar, ritual master and practitioner of the highest degree from Tibet. At the request of Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen, one of the pioneers who taught Tibetan Buddhism in America, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche gives clear explanation and advice about the life-entrustment initiation of Dorje Shugden and how to go about the practice and get the maximum benefits in this video.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzFMvlxAqtc&feature=youtu.be

    Video 2: H.H. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche speaks on the History and Lineage of Dorje Shugden (With English Subtitles)

    In this video, an erudite scholar, ritual master and practitioner of the highest degree from Tibet, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche talks about the incarnation lineage of Dorje Shugden and how the practice arose, with examples of Dorje Shugden’s previous lives that reveal his powerful spiritual attainments and contributions. This very rare teaching was given at the request of Kyabje Zong Rinpoche’s student, Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen, one of the pioneers who taught Buddhism in the West to many disciples since the 1970s.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIzKSJgK618&feature=youtu.be

    For more information: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/kyabje-zong-rinpoches-advice-on-dorje-shugdens-practice.html

  5. Beatrix Ooi on Aug 10, 2018 at 6:16 am

    For the first time available, Dorje Shugden and his entourage of 32 asssistants of his mandala.

    Dorje Shugden is a powerful protector deity who is also an emanation of Manjushri, a wisdom bestowing Buddha. Therefore, he has great ability to help us to progress further on the spiritual path. He does this by helping us to overcome obstacles and problems for the modern individual.

    Due to his enlightened nature, Dorje Shugden is able to manifest 32 deities and within the same abode resides Setrap and Kache Marpo:-

    1. 5 Dorje Shugden families or emanations. They consists of the following:-

    – Dulzin Dorje Shugden, which performs activities to eliminate inner and outer obstacles.
    – Shize, which performs activities to pacify all illnesses and disease.
    – Gyenze, which performs activities to increase all desirable material and spiritual wealth.
    – Wangze, which performs activities to control difficult people and circumstances.
    – Trakze, which performs activities to wrathfully eliminate all insurmountable obstacles and life-threatening situations.

    2. 9 Mothers. They represent protection of the five senses and developing control of the four elements. These are all attributes that signify their ability to assist tantric practitioners with their higher meditations.

    3. 8 Guiding Monks. They represent the Eight Great Bodhisattvas (Avalokitesvara, Manjushri, Vajrapani, Samantabhadra, Maitreya, Kshitigarbha, Akashagarbha, Sarva-nivarana-viskambini) and they bring about the growth of the Dharma, through the Sangha, Dharma practitioners and Dharma establishments.

    4. 10 Youthful & Wrathful Attendants. They represent the ten wrathful attendants to avert inner and outer obstacles. They are beings who are from Mongolia, China, Kashmir, India, Bengali, etc.

    5. Setrap. He is a senior Dharma Protector from India and an emanation of Amitabha Buddha. He had enthroned Dorje Shugden as an authentic Dharma Protector. Therefore, he also resides within the same mandala of Dorje Shugden.

    6. Kache Marpo. He is not an emanation of Dorje Shugden but he is still an enlightened Dharma Protector in his own right. He was originally known as Tsiu Marpo of Samye Monastery. However, he has placed himself under the service of Dorje Shugden as his chief minister, performing many activities in order to protect and benefit practitioners. Therefore, he stands guard at the main entrance of Dorje Shugden’s mandala. He often takes trance of qualified mediums to speak.

    7. Namkar Barzin. He is the reincarnation of an old Mongolian monk and when he passed away in Phari area of Tibet, his spirit was placed as a powerful assistant of Dorje Shugden. He guards and protects buildings and great institutions especially those that benefit others. He rides on a mythical Gyaling animal that resembles a goat but with scales.

    These sacred images are available on *Vajrasecrets. They are made of high quality alloy and are one of a kind. They are based on the lineage of His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche’s monastery, Tashilhunpo in Shigatse, Tibet. In fact, the iconography of these statues are based on detailed photographs taken by H. E. Tsem Rinpoche during a trip to Tashilhunpo’s protector chapel. These are based exactly as the 10th Panchen Lama’s personal collection.

    Dorje Shugden mandala: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=131570

    Dorje Shugden’s benefit and practice: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=62422

    Dorje Shugden’s origins: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=106424

    Dorje Shugden chapel in His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche’s Tashilhunpo Monastery in Tibet: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=68698

    *Stand not included

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  6. Pastor Adeline Woon on Aug 5, 2018 at 2:27 am

    His Holiness the 10th Panchen Lama

    Tibetans commonly refer to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and His Holiness 10th Panchen Lama as the “sun and moon” of Tibetan Buddhism. They are the center of Tibetan Buddhist civilization, which draws to its sphere of influence millions of non-Tibetan practitioners. The Panchen Lama’s incarnation line began with the 16th abbot of Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, Lobsang Chokyi Gyeltsen (1570 – 1662). He was bestowed the title of Panchen Lama by His Holiness the 5th Dalai Lama after being declared as an emanation of Amitabha.

    After being given the title, his three previous incarnations were posthumously also bestowed the title, making Lobsang Chokyi Gyeltsen the 4th Panchen Lama. He became a teacher to many Tibetans, Bhutanese and Mongolian religious figures, including His Holiness the 4th and 5th Dalai Lamas, and the 1st Jetsun Dampa of Mongolia. A prolific author, Chokyi Gyeltsen is credited with over a hundred compositions, including a number of commentaries and ritual texts that remain central in the Gelukpa tradition today. Along with his role as a teacher of the Dharma, the Panchen Lamas are usually responsible for the recognition of the rebirths of the Dalai Lamas, and vice versa.

    The 10th Panchen Lama, Lobsang Trinley Lhundrub Chokyi Gyeltsen (19 February 1938 – 28 January 1989) continued both the spiritual and political roles of his predecessors. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, his contemporary, was even heard to say and echo the Panchen Lama’s own words that the Dalai Lama would safeguard Tibet from the outside while the Panchen Lama would safeguard Tibet from the inside, as he never left Tibet after the political troubles of 1959. He was truly loved by the Tibetans, all the way until his passing. When he taught, thousands of people would attend, not only from his own Gelug lineage, but masters and practitioners from all traditions of Tibetan Buddhism.

    At his sprawling monastery of Tashi Lhunpo, he has a special chapel specifically dedicated to Dorje Shugden, where prayers and rituals are performed on a daily basis. In his great omniscience the Panchen Lama held Dorje Shugden as the principal Dharma protector of the monastery. He also personally propitiated Dorje Shugden among other Dharma protectors, and even wrote extensive prayers and rituals to Dorje Shugden. These rituals and prayers are contained within his ‘sung bum’ or collected works, which are provided here. As such a great lama, with an erudite and clear understanding of the Buddhist scriptures, a teacher to millions in both Tibet and China, from an established incarnation line and an emanation of the Buddha Amitabha, he could not be mistaken about his practice of Dorje Shugden.

    His Holiness 10th Panchen Lama is known for his composition of commentaries and practice texts that are still in use by contemporary Buddhist practitioners both in Tibet and across the world. One of these is a powerful ritual composition propitiating the compassionate Dorje Shugden.

    Upon the request by Acharya Lobsang Jangchub to compose a shorter version of the prayer (sadhana) for the exhortation of activities of Dorje Shugden, Panchen Lama immediately composed an abbreviate form of Dorje Shugden’s Kangsol. This text is entitled “Manjunatha’s (Tsongkapa) Lineage protector Dorje Shugden and five forms wrathful propitiations and confessional prayers and fulfilment of activities rites” or “Melodious sound of Accomplishment of the Four Activities” for short. Once the prayers were completed, he had signs and strong feelings that Dorje Shugden has been working hard to protect the Buddhadharma in general and the lineage of Lama Tsongkhapa specifically.

    Mirroring the abilities of one of his earlier incarnations, Khedrub Je, a disciple of Lama Tsongkhapa and master of both sutra and tantra, the Panchen Lama used his compositional skill and poetic prowess to create a masterful sadhana. Worthy of note is a praise in which the first letter of each verse is a Tibetan vowel. Such compositions are rarely seen, and have historically only been used when propitiating senior Dharma protectors such as Palden Lhamo and Kalarupa.

    The Panchen Lama also stated that while composing the Dorje Shugden sadhana (prayers) he was filled with a sense of happiness and bliss. He ends the composition with not only his official title but his ordination name, Tenzin Trinley Jigme Choje Wangchuk, endorsing the validity of his work. He composed the sadhana in his own Tashi Lhunpo monastery while in the Hall of Clear Light and Bliss.

    See the Panchen Lama’s writings and download: https://bit.ly/2KIfeXb

  7. Pastor Shin Tan on Aug 1, 2018 at 12:34 am

    This elderly & innocent monk in India was brutally attacked, find out why. Shocking – https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=163953

  8. Made in Japan on Jul 31, 2018 at 4:42 am

    “If the Dalai Lama, if His Holiness the Dalai Lama can be harmed by Dorje Shugden, then we might as well not practice Buddhism anymore. If His Holiness the Dalai Lama can have his life shortened by a so-called evil spirit, any evil spirit, then can he be Avalokiteshvara? So on one hand you say, we say, I say, everybody says, he is Avalokiteshvara; on the other hand you’re saying that he can be harmed by an evil spirit… Which one is it? Can he be harmed by an evil spirit or is he Avalokiteshvara? Do you think Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri, Vajrapani, Tara all take refuge in something else to protect themselves from Dorje Shugden? How illogical is that? How illogical of people to say His Holiness the Dalai Lama can be harmed by an evil spirit, any evil spirit or “Dorje Shugden” evil spirit. How is that possible?” – Tsem Tulku Rinpoche

    Photo: His Holiness the Dalai Lama, young Tsem Tulku Rinpoche and Tsem Tulku Rinpoche’s tutor Kensur Rinpoche Jampa Yeshe

  9. Pastor Adeline Woon on Jul 29, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    DON’T MISS THIS! FANTASTIC NEW GREAT STUFF! High quality videos redressing the misinformation about Dorje Shugden practice and people and the current sad Tibetan situation and why they are losing ground in the world. Powerful and truthful – CLEAR VIDEOS – https://bit.ly/2LJbo35

  10. Joy Kam on Jul 25, 2018 at 1:34 am

    Amazing post!!!!!

    Dear friends, For months we have been working on this BEAUTIFUL and meaningful mural in Kathmandu, Nepal. Please click here to enjoy the many stunning pictures of this mural: https://bit.ly/2LgOj8J

    Tsem Rinpoche

  11. Pastor Adeline Woon on Jul 23, 2018 at 3:47 am

    Sakya tradition’s thangka of Dorje Shugden sitting on a throne within his palace with his four emanations and high Sakya Lamas nearby. Tsem Rinpoche

  12. Joy Kam on Jul 17, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    Antique Pelden Lhamo thangka with sacred Dorje Shugden at the bottom right. Can see Tsongkapa and Guru Rinpoche on the top also. Beautiful and holy.

  13. Lin Mun on Jun 4, 2018 at 9:12 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing Mr Matther Sinclair’s letter. He did brought up many good points that it seems only one person has the authority to dictate what we should practise. All human has basic rights that is to choose the religion of their choice. No one can take away that right. But unfortunately, the Tibetan Leadership (CTA) which is supposed to be a democratic government did otherwise. The have ban the Dorje Shugden practise and discriminate the practitioners in many ways.

    Robert Thurman who is supposed to be a very knowledgeable Tibetan Buddhism practitioner should also make sure he fully understand the fact right before blasting negative points about NKT and Tsem Rinpoche. I hope everyone would find out more and understand the issue before accepting any comment blindly. Everything has to be based on logic.

  14. Pastor Adeline Woon on Apr 17, 2018 at 3:40 am

    A true democracy allows everyone the freedom to exercise their human rights, including the freedom to practise any religion they want. In democratic countries, the government does not interfere with this right. Neither are democratic governments prejudiced against their citizens’ choice of religious belief. They do not force people to stop their religious practice or pass legislation criminalising people because of their religion.

    The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), the Tibetan leadership who are based in Dharamsala are the exception. They are the only so-called ‘democratic’ leadership that puts a stranglehold on its people, persecuting them for their religious beliefs. They deny the rights of Dorje Shugden practitioners for simply practicing their religion as they have done for the past 400 years. Dorje Shugden practitioners are ostracised from their own community, denied medical care, education or even employment in government offices. The CTA definitely does not live up to the right to be called a democratic administration, especially when in it inflicts suppression of people’s freedom and disrespects basic human rights.

    https://video.tsemtulku.com/videouploads/comment-1523907609.mp4


  15. Grace Leu (KHJB) on Mar 3, 2018 at 9:16 pm

    Thank you for Rinpoche ‘s sharing on Mr. Matthew Sinclair letter which really speak up everyone deserves a well respect on their religion. We should not simply condemn others because the practice, and even using the profession to influence or make false statement on Dorje Shugden practitioners.

    I fully agree the below statement by Mr Matthew :
    “The simple lesson Robert Thurman needs to urgently accept is that he has neither the right nor the authority to coerce anyone into embracing or abandoning any religion. The Dalai Lama may be Robert Thurman’s living god but he is not everyone’s god and hence Thurman cannot demand that every one deifies the Dalai Lama the way he does”.

    May the ban lifted up soon and no bias on religious.

  16. Pastor Adeline Woon on Mar 2, 2018 at 7:20 am

    Isn’t this just lovely?! Look at these cute Tibetan kids singing praises to Dorje Shugden during Losar celebration in Tibet! Great blessings to all – Click to watch! ???

    https://video.tsemtulku.com/chat-videos/chat-1519938132.mp4


  17. Pastor Shin Tan on Mar 2, 2018 at 5:16 am

    https://video.tsemtulku.com/videouploads/comment-1519934791.mp4

    Will the CTA (Tibetan govt in exile) and their supporters in East and West say voodoo is evil and cannot be practiced too? Will they advise against Voodoo and say its a demon’s practice and people who practice are bad too? Truth be told, no one has the right to say anything about anyone’s religion. Listen to what this man says in the short snagged clip because he speaks well and with the truth.


  18. Shelly Tai on Feb 22, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this informative news. In my opinion I think is very wring for someone to criticise others people religion we should respect others people believe if we call ourselves religious because all religion teach us to be kind and live to each others is not bad month about others .

  19. Wai Meng Wan on Feb 22, 2018 at 1:32 am

    Not everyone is the Dalai Lama’s student, hence those students do not really have to listen to the Dalai Lama. Being an academic, Robert Thurman has great responsibility whenever he writes something or opens his mouth. It is sad that supposed Buddhist scholar advocates a view that brings about more pain, suffering and unhappiness.

  20. Mark Robert Allen on Feb 17, 2018 at 10:56 am

    新年快乐来自加拿大 Hoping this year will be prosperous for everyone and that all will know happiness and peace. Thank you Rinpoche, Pastors, Moderators, contributors and Dharma friends. Hope this morning finds you rested and embracing the promise of this new year and day. I would take this time to say I was disappointed to miss you all for the last blog chat discussion. Mr. Matthew Sinclair’s opinion was greatly appreciated and I thank Rinpoche and the author for their honestly and sincerity in publishing the facts regarding the ludicrous ban against Dorje Shugden practitioners and the smear campaign waged by the likes of Bob Thurman. Sorry to flood the room off the bat with this but, I just wanted to say that as far as influence in the west (Here in Canada at least), Anyone I ask, has no idea who Robert Thurman is, although they do know who Uma is? 🙂 Forewords at best and slanderous insinuations, unbecoming and ill intending. Truly pulp fiction to be sure from Robert Thurman. Mr Sinclair has made it blatantly obvious and entertaining to read, enlightening and welcome. As is this blog. Many thanks again. May All be happy and may all be well. Hands humbly folded in reverence to the three jewels. Thank you for your kindness in bring about understanding, showing great bodhichitta in your diligence to bring about an end to the ban, my there be reconciliation for the harm done to those faithful to their gurus, may Mr. Thurman renounce his comments and seize being an antagonist in an already volatile scenario. In realization of Shunyata may we come to clarity. Although we realize emptiness this is not to say we should make others feel empty. that would be wrong view, I am sure Mr. Thurman would concur depending upon what audience he was addressing. Ah! The importance of Non dualism. May we never forget our promise to liberate all sentient beings, not harm them. Long life and happiness to His Holiness and may he realize that he is harbinger who may bring about reconciliation.

  21. cc on Feb 14, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    ???Everyone has freedom of speech but Professor Robert Thurman should have wisdom to know what to do and not blindly follow without further analysis and findings.
    If everyone is condemning each other religion, the world will be like havoc. May there be peace and may everyone have wisdom.

  22. so kin hoe (KISG) on Feb 12, 2018 at 8:10 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing Mr. Matthew Sinclair’s well thought letter to allow us to have deeper contemplation and review more on the ban of Dorje Shugden practice in a wider scope. Upon reading the letter written by Mr. Sinclair, it is made known that Professor Robert Thurman had accused Dorje Shugden practitioners negatively as Chinese spies working against the Dalai Lama and His government, and supported the ban of Dorje Shugden practice publicly by publishing baseless accusations against Dorje Shugden, are totally contradicting to the logical thinking which many people can observe. Further, all the damaging works done on Dorje Shugden by Professor Robert Thurman have directly reflected him as a person who does everything for his self-benefits rather than using his highly educated wisdom and knowledge to inspire and motivate others positively in all aspects of life. It is very hard to gain trust from someone such as Professor Robert Thurman who promotes compassion by loving your enemies and at the same time, disparages one’s religious practice, Dorje Shugden in this situation, where Dorje Shugden practitioners do not create any harms to others but simply would like to receive blessing and protection from enlightened Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden for smooth Dharma learning and practice.

    I sincerely want to thank Mr. Matthew Sinclair for speaking out to raise the justice and equality for Dorje Shugden practitioners worldwide, especially to educate those who are new to Tibetan Buddhism and give every one of us a crystal-clear view about the injustice of the ban of Dorje Shugden.

    May the ever compassionate His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama hear our humble plea to lift the ban of Dorje Shugden practice and grant equal religious freedom to restore the harmony among the Tibetan Buddhist community.

    Humbly with folded hands,
    kin hoe

  23. Wylfred Ng on Feb 9, 2018 at 4:35 am

    谢谢Matthew 的来信。

    Matthew 分析得非常对。 在很多国家, 宗教自由都是很多人的基本权益, 也得到宪法的保障。 比如在詹杜固仁波切的所在地— 马来西亚, 这里是多元种族和宗教的国家, 且大家都和睦共处, 互相尊重。 克切拉佛教中心拥有今天的规模的其中一个原因也是因为这里享有宗教自由。

    在西方世界享有盛名的 Robert Thurman 博士, 也是达赖喇嘛支持者的他竟然在推特公开呼吁人们杯葛以及举报詹杜固仁波切和Geshe Kelsang Gyatso。 对我来说, Robert Thurman 博士这样做实在是不智之举。 身为在西方佛教界的其中一位学者, 他竟然公开呼吁大家杯葛两位修持多杰雄登的大师, 那么他是不是有在实践着佛陀的教诲呢?佛陀提倡众生平等, 不过Robert Thurman 博士却因为其他大师与他的修持不同而这样在社交媒体抹黑他们, 这是佛法吗? 再说, Robert Thurman 博士也是达赖喇嘛的支持者, 他那么做又让达赖喇嘛情何以堪? 达赖喇嘛身为其中一位宗教领袖, 不过他的追随者却与他背道而驰。

    Robert Thurman 博士应该要清楚知道, 达赖喇嘛虽然是国际上有名的佛教大师, 不过也并不是所有佛教徒与达赖喇嘛有师徒关系, 必须跟从达赖喇嘛的指示。 以多杰雄登课题为例, 詹杜固是从他的根本上师至尊宋仁波切得到多杰雄登修持。 当然对于詹杜固仁波切而言, 他的根本上师的教导是最重要的。 Geshe Kelsang Gyatso 也是一样, 他修持和弘扬多杰雄登法门也是因为上师给予他的护法修持。 虽然如此, 他们就得被人在社交媒上被人抹黑吗? 他们有错吗?

    希望这个事件可以让大家看到多杰雄登禁令对于佛教界的重大影响。 甚至像 Robert Thurman 博士这样的学者也会因为这个禁令而公开呼吁人们杯葛多杰雄登修持者。

    谢谢

  24. Sofi on Feb 6, 2018 at 6:32 am

    In Tibetan Buddhism, guru devotion is of upmost importance and as such neither the Dalai Lama nor his edict holds importance to us, unless His Holiness is directly your guru. I would choose to follow my Guru as he is the one who compassionately gave me Dharma teachings and guided me in practice, not the Dalai Lama. I think that it is not right for an “expert” of Tibetan Buddhism like Robert Thurman to dictate who or what we should believe in. Religious Freedom is a basic Human’s Right and if CTA practices democracy as claimed, then there should not be any persecution, discrimination nor ban on religious practices chosen by the people. Why is Robert Thurman supporting and lending weight to repressive governance that had brought so much sufferings to the people for their choice of practice? Feeding off the popularity of the Dalai Lama seems to justify Robert Thurman’s ego to discriminate and influence others against Dorje Shugden Lamas and practitioners who kept their practices pure and authentic as given by their Gurus. Why is he not practicing as Buddha taught, to be compassionate and practice equanimity amongst all sentient beings? Thank you Matthew Sinclair for your honest view with such clarity.

  25. Julia Tan on Feb 4, 2018 at 9:38 pm

    Thank you Mr. Sinclair for writing this letter. I am grateful another wiseman like you passionately speaking up for religious freedom. Thank you for believing religion or faith is not something that can be denied or wiped off because someone does not like it or trying to abuse it by his power and take away from us by force. Millions of people being killed and suffered for over thousands years due to religions conflict. Not because of the religion or faith they believed in was bad but there was always someone powerful, who’s trying to control people’s mind by their power using religions. They killed those against their will, they changed the history and wiped off the truth. The question is, do we want this to happen again today?

    As a Dorje Shugden practitioners i feel threaten everyday seeing this happening again today. We all have the right to choose what we want to believe in. Dorje Shugden is part of Tibetan Buddhism and have been practicing over 400 years. After all, Dorje Shugden is not an evil, we are not the spies of China, what is the true purpose of Dorje Shugden ban?

  26. yin ping on Feb 4, 2018 at 4:58 am

    Robert Thurman being an expert in Tibetan Buddhism should have understood the essence of Buddhism is to promote loving kindness, tolerance and harmony. However, Thurman insisted that his Guru, H.H the 14th Dalai Lama is the only qualified person to justify what is not an authentic Buddhist practice, and in this case Dorje Shugden practice is accused as not an authentic Buddhist practice.

    By saying Dorje Shugden is not an authentic Buddhist practice means Thurman had ignored all of the old masters regarded Dorje Shugden as a special enlightened dharma protector. Thurman extreme, incorrect and baseless accusation about Dorje Shugden practitioners as Chinese Spy or Buddhist Taliban, this has creating segregation and disharmony among millions of innocent Dorje Shugden practitioners around the globe. Thurman’s irresponsible views is dangerous too because the Dorje Shugden issue might ended just like racial and gender inequality issues back into the dark ages.

    Thanks to Mr.Sinclair who made it clear and logic. Our world is diverse, acceptance and understanding are the keys to peace and harmony. A person’s faith is no one else’s business. As long as no laws are broken and no one is harmed worshiping certain God or Goddess according to personal preferences, this is religious freedom.

  27. Uncle Eddie on Feb 2, 2018 at 5:07 pm

    In our religious learning, it has been advocated in Lord Buddha’s teachings that strongly emphasized understanding over hallucinations, that arise from unrealistic perceptions, which will always pollute our mind and frustrate it! As said, human potential is great, but we have to use our good energy skillfully to put our lives in the right direction which is extremely important. In Dorje Shugden controvesy, finally Matthew Sinclair has said, “Ultimately it’s not about which God is good or bad, but about letting Humanity make their own decisions without ‘advice’ or condemnation from secular and spiritual Leaders which leads to separations and segregations. This is the point. This is religious Freedom.” We urgnestly pray for the Ban to be lifted and may peace be prevailed and all Dorje Shugden’s practitioners and worshippers all be happily reconciled once again. Thank you so much Rinpoche for the sharing.

  28. Samfoonheei on Feb 1, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    Professor Robert Thurman, a former Tibetan Buddhist monk, and a recognized worldwide authority on religion and spirituality. Surprisingly Bob Thurman have been attacking anyone who highlights the Tibetan leadership’s religious ban. He has even taken to Twitter as well as hundreds of other Dharma centres. Every one of us has the right to profess, practice any religion, beliefs and to propagate it. Just because his closeness to the Dalai Lama, he speaks without checking and research on the Dorje shugden controversy and certain news before jumping into conclusion. He believes that of the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism yet he now behaves irresponsibly, attacking towards Dorje Shugden practitioners. Robert Thurman has put down himself , by violating religious freedom and human rights of everyone . It seem he not at all empathetic to the plight of Shugden practitioners suffering under the ban of Dorjeshugden. Robert Thurman who claimed to be expert in Tibetan Buddhism should very well understand of Guru Devotion. Thank you Matthew Sinclair for speaking with logic as we choose what we want to practice, no one can interfere with our choice of religion and beliefs. May the discrimination against Dorje Shugden be truly lifted soonest to end the sufferings of many sentient beings. May veryone has the right to have freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article

  29. Lum Kok Luen on Feb 1, 2018 at 10:22 am

    Religious freedom is granted in most countries around the world. Even a young nation such as Republic of Croatia with a population of slightly over 4 mil people and predominantly Catholics (>80%), it is enshrined in the country’s Constitution that guarantees every citizen’s rights to practice his/ her faith freely. There is a clear separation of religion from state.

    I think that the CTA people should learn from the countries around the world and deeply analyze what are the Key Success Factors that lead them to their current economic, socio-political status and the overall state of happiness of its citizens.

    CTA has been trying its utmost best to “degenerate” backwards rather than moving forward. A country can only be strong when it leverages on its diversity rather than “monosity” (for lack of a term). When people are strong, the country can move forward. Similarly, if the CTA really has it Tibetan people at the CORE OF ITS HEART, then the DS ban has to come down and swift efforts must be devised immediately to reconcile all its people living in exile.

    Bhutan is a great example of how happy a nation itself is. Why it is ranked so high in its happiness ranking? The CTA should really look and learn from Bhutan.

    May the ban be called off and may all be reconciled and peace prevail.

  30. June Kang on Jan 31, 2018 at 8:42 am

    The truth is Shugden practitioners in Tibetan in exile will has to build their own monastery and continue practicing even after losing all of their entitlement to equal rights and financial support and in additional received death threats. And they are banned from shops, hospital and so on. All these are just to tell you how the ban separate the families and communities to this day. Tibetan and Shugden practitioners will continue to suffer as long as the ban is there.

  31. Pastor Chia on Jan 31, 2018 at 8:41 am

    No one is perfect and no religion can tame all the races in the world. We should respect other religion practice freedom. Having sad that, still have many people blind follower their spiritual guide without check and do reserch before to condame others practice. Even Buddha Shakyiamuni allow his student to check his word before they agree with it. Guru devotion has not blind follow it. It take wisdom for it the reliase it with practice and get experience and apply it. Thank for Matthew Sinclair wrote this letter to Professor Robert Thurman explain how we should respect each other religion practice and not critisize it. It will cause unnecessry disharmony among each other.

  32. Mingwen on Jan 31, 2018 at 7:10 am

    Thank you, Matthew, for being open minded and wrote such a good letter that promote religion freedom and human rights. I’m touched, if more individuals could think in such way, we will all live together in peace and harmony.

    FB_IMG_1486970568387

  33. Andrea Lai on Jan 31, 2018 at 1:47 am

    It takes faith for everyone engage into their religions. As for me, my faith is to my Guru Tsem Rinpoche and my Guru practices Dorje Shugden , I follow. Many people received beneficial from Dorje Shugden knows well that Dorje Shugden is not a spirit or demonic practice.

    As a highly literate person, Professor Robert Thurman should have fore eye sight to see and understand or doing research on the back ground before making any conclusion. Moreover, being welling understanding of Tibetan Buddhism should acknowledge deeply on vows, refuge or devotions. Condemning, accusing on baseless fact could only putting down his character as whole and as well toward his understanding of Buddhism. As a Buddhist, we were thought to respect everyone decisions regardless difference of races, gender, back grounds and spiritual path. This is the freedom of choice.

  34. Tek Lee on Jan 31, 2018 at 12:45 am

    It is good that people from other country speak up for Dorje Shugden practitioners and Rinpoche. Robert Thurman, as an expert in Tibetan Buddhism, as a professor, shouldn’t say something out like that from his mouth. Just like Matthew Sinclair mentioned in his letter to Robert Thurman, what Rinpoche and all of us in Kechara do is not only to plea to lift Dorje Shugden ban, but to stand for human rights, religious freedom, and even the practice of the lineage that has been practiced for centuries. On the other hand, I respect Robert Thurman as he has strong Guru samaya that he is protecting his Guru, The Dalai Lama, but Robert Thurman has no rights to urge people not to practice this not to practice that. I hope, Robert Thurman, as an expert in Tibetan Buddhism, he will do more research about Dorje Shugden practice, and treat Dorje Shugden issue openly.

  35. Vivian Ong on Jan 31, 2018 at 12:09 am

    We are of course not obliged to listen to H.H Dalai Lama. The reason being our Guru is H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche and not H.H Dalai Lama. So, we listen and follow whatever practices that our Guru gives us for example Dorje Shugden.

    It is great to know to that people like Matthew Sinclair speaks up from his thoughts and heart. That comes to show that our Guru’s work in spreading the Dharma through the social media platform is effective and brings attention to many around the world.

    I am nobody to condemn Professor Robert Thurman, but he should have done his research well enough first before he social media it in Twitter requesting others to block Tsem Rinpoche.

    Rinpoche’s work of spreading the Dharma has benefited many around the world including myself. So, there is nothing wrong with us practicing Dorje Shugden.

  36. Lin Mun on Jan 30, 2018 at 11:11 pm

    Thank you Matthew Sinclair for writing this article to rebut Professor Robert Thurman’s opinions and actions against Dorje Shugden practise. He who is supposedly known as an expert in Tibetan Buddhism but do not really behave in practicing the value of Buddhism. Buddhism do not condemn other religion or any other dharma centers. Everyone has religious freedom and no one is to say which God or religion is higher than the others. The allegations that he has made on Dorje Shugden practise is rather vague and baseless. To make the matter worse the comments on social media are not right and with instigation intention. Stop confusing people and please share only the truth.

  37. nicholas on Jan 30, 2018 at 11:06 pm

    Well said by Matthew Sinclair. Professor Robert Thurman really put down himself by violating religious freedom and human rights. From the spiritual point of view where have Lord Buddha teaches to discriminate and segregate others spiritual practice. In fact Lord Buddha always emphasize on compassion but unfortunately we don’t see any from Professor Robert Thurman which claim to be expert in Tibetan Buddhism.

    Everyone has their own teacher that they follow through. In fact we should encourage one to be determine and devoted to their spiritual practice. Personally for me as long as the practice doesn’t go against the law of the authority and adhere the regulation and create peace and harmony, that should be fine.

    We are living in 21st Century where everyone on earth are looking for peace and to live in harmony. We can’t eliminate the differences between people but we can tolerate by respecting others.

    The ban by the Tibetan leadership had causes so much unnecessary suffering to many people and misguided many people from following the Buddhist teaching. Hope His Holiness the Dalai Lama will announce to lift this unnecessary ban and let everyone live in harmony and peace.

  38. Pastor Henry Ooi on Jan 30, 2018 at 11:01 pm

    Robert Thurman had brought his reputation down to a low level by posting such petty posts on social media as shown here. To block others who are nobody on social media means those blocked are somebody. Else, why blocked them? Who gave him the right to condemn another religion and spiritual practice just because he doesn’t agree? In this case, Dorje Shugden. It is not about the religion and the spiritual practice but it is the person who makes the religion look good or bad. Certainly his actions do not jive with his credentials.

    While it is correct for Thurman to adore and respect his teacher, HHDL, he has no right to call upon others to boycott Dorje Shugden practitioners. HHDL is a respected teacher of Tibetan Buddhism but he is not the teacher of all Tibetan Buddhists. In Tibetan Buddhism, it is taught that students listen to and carry out instructions from their teacher with whom they have the spiritual bond. But not from a teacher who has a bigger title than their own root guru who may not have a big title nor fame and fortune to match. One may learn from highly qualified masters but nothing goes in if the vessel is dirty or full of contamination, or a vessel that has too many holes, or a vessel that is full or overturned. It has nothing to do with the teacher but everything to do with the student.

  39. pammie yap on Jan 30, 2018 at 10:37 pm

    Thank you Mr Sinclair for such a logical and well said letter. I especially like it when you said this “So what were Shugden practitioners spying on for the 300+ years prior to 1959?”. A point that should be thought of, whether one is religious or not, as it is logical. The CTA keep saying that Dorje Shugden practitioners are China spies but always without proof and very misleading for people who don’t really know what is going on. To accuse someone, one must have proof. Not just saying it for the sake of misleading. All these years, the CTA keep feeding misleading and non logical lies to practitioners of Buddhism which is very bad. Some people get confuse and they go away from the Dharma because they get confused and some don’t want to be a part of the politics. Such karma the CTA and Robert Thurman created. Whether the person practice Dorje Shugden, Satanism, paganism, Taoism, Hinduism, etc, NOBODY has any rights to say what is right nor wrong to practice.

  40. justin cheah on Jan 30, 2018 at 8:06 pm

    My answer is definitely No, with due respect to His Holiness The Dalai Lama. I can choose what my religion in and Who i wish to pray for. My faith is definitely on Tsem Rinpoche and Dorje Shugden as points highlighted are definitely logical and makes sense. Most importantly, we cannot condemn or criticise the choice of religion of others. Dorje Shugden does not harm and there are still more unanswered questions raised by Tsem Rinpoche till today. The High Lamas who are still doing the practice cannot be wrong especially Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche and Gangchen Rinpoche. I honestly would expect a more wiser comment from the Professor re this issue and would not expect some ill thought comments in such nature coming out from a Professor. I urge people to really read articles that are available online especially in this blog which i felt is not biased but it is of logical “arguement”

  41. graceleong on Jan 30, 2018 at 5:13 pm

    His Holiness the Dalai Lama is certainly one of the most popular Tibetan monks in the world. I rejoice for His great efforts and impact in spreading Tibetan Buddhism in all directions; I also rejoice for those who have the merits to meet the Dharma via His Holiness.
    Besides His Holiness, there are also many many great Lamas who has created huge impacts to improve the lives of beings via the Dharma, and these Lamas are equally respected and honored for holding their vows and bringing so much benefit to many.
    As a student of the Dharma with the rare and precious opportunity to have a Guru, my main obligation in to listen to my Guru, as He is the representation of the Buddha in my life. I respect all other Gurus, but I have no ability/capacity and am not obligated to listen to them as they are not my root Guru.
    My Guru, HH Tsem Rinpoche has always adviced that we never talk bad about other Gurus and their centres but instead stay firm in our own learning and practice from our teacher and keep our lineage alive by keeping our vows and responsibilities and reaching out to benefit others with the Dharma.
    The sharing from Matthew Sinclair is very logical in that no one can interfere with our personal choice of religion and certainly no one has a right to judge others religion as bad or good. No one has the right to stop others from practicing what they have faith in.

  42. Pastor Han Nee on Jan 30, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    The argument is clear on the side of Tsem Rinpoche , but rather blurred on the side of the professor of Columbia University. The thrust of the argument is that no leader in a country or political entity that professes to be democratic has the right to unilaterally prohibit people from practicing a religious practice they have chosen. This is a matter of RELIGIOUS FREEDOM , which is a basic human right .

    The professor of Columbia University says we should all listen to the Dalai Lama no matter what, even when he has overrode one of the basic tenets of democracy – freedom to pursue what one deems to be the spiritual path to one’s happiness. Over 4 million Shugden practitioners today and millions of Shugden followers for the last 400 years have practiced Dorje Shugden, following the advice and instruction of their Gurus, many of whom were/are great attained beings. This includes the Dalai Lama’s tutor . Suddenly a unilateral decision is made and declared as law – the ban on Dorje Shugden practice, bringing in its train religious discrimination and persecution, as the videos in this post show.

    May the Dalai Lama please listen to the logical arguments presented by Tsem Rinpoche and other Shugden practitioners. May the Dalai Lama please allow peaceful negotiations to end this ban which has brought needless suffering to many practitioners.

  43. Pastor Shin Tan on Jan 30, 2018 at 12:43 am

    This excerpt of the Swiss Television documentary presented in 1988 is a painful reminder of the hypocrisy and the sad reality of the oppression, discrimination, and ostracisation of Dorje Shugden practitioners. For 20 years, Dorje Shugden practitioners have endured this and no one supported their fight as the Tibetan leadership in exile continues to undermine their effort by denying the existence of this ban, and silencing their voice by peer pressure, flooding the media and fooling the general public with accusations that Shugden practitioners are political tools supported by the Chinese government to create discord within the Tibetan community. Please listen to their plea and please share this video far and wide to end this injustice.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gis2vaURT40

  44. JP on Jan 29, 2018 at 10:52 pm

    “Ultimately it’s not about which god is good or bad but about letting humanity make their own decisions without ‘advice’ or condemnation from secular and spiritual leaders which leads to separation and segregation. This is the point. This is religious freedom.”

    This paragraph pretty much sums up our stance. It’s presumptuous that leaders such as HH the Dalai Lama and Robert Thurman have the authority to dictate what religion we practice and even label which religion is good or bad. There is absolutely no obligation for us to follow the Dalai Lama’s advice because HH is not my guru let alone Robert Thurman.

    I am surprised and shocked at how a prestigious university like Columbia University would allow Robert Thurman to behave so irresponsibly in discriminating against any religious practice. It is obvious that he has intentionally breached basic human rights and is not fit to teach in Columbia University.

  45. Anne Ong on Jan 29, 2018 at 9:31 pm

    I don’t think why i should oblige anyone for what i love and it’s my right to practice. Especially if the person is not my root guru, and we have religious freedom and human rights to practice what we like. Even if i end up going to any realms is still my own choice. People should learn to mind their own business and practice and stop annoying others. Thank you Rinpoche and blog team for sharing this article ???

  46. Carmen Koo on Jan 29, 2018 at 6:31 pm

    This piece written by Matthew Sinclair makes a lot of sense. When a person of such command, authority, respect and fame such as His Holiness expresses as he did in the video, it in fact seems like an instruction, and purely just based on his words, by word of mouth, it would spread, and thus a ban effected as a result. I respect HH, but we need to also be embraced by his compassionate love for all.

    For Robert Thurman, someone with his stature should in fact promote religious harmony, and tolerance, and even more so, as a fellow Buddhist practitioner. Buddha never taught to segregate, to discriminate, but infact, taught to show love and compassion to all sentient beings. I understand all sentient beings to be without labels, borders, limitations, categories, forms and despite of what they believe in.

    We should not promote any conflicts with religion nor any separation or segregation. That is how wars start – When people de-value the beliefs of others, and say that they are wrong to choose what they belief in, and campaign against their believes. Freedom of choice and the true acceptance of this statement is extremely important in today’s society, especially when there is so much diversity.

    I hope that His Holiness and his followers, will very soon make a statement to lift this ban, and truly allow religious freedom.

    The video below is of a Pagan believer, who talks about religious freedom, which is so necessary.

    https://video.tsemtulku.com/videouploads/comment-1517220033.mp4


  47. Datuk May on Jan 29, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    As students of H.E. the 25th Tsem Tulku Rinpoche, we are taught to respect and never disparage H.H the Dalai Lama. With reverence and gratitude to our Guru, we have honoured His teachings and even with the abuse that had been incurred on our Guru, our organisation and some of us directly over the controversy and ban on Dorje Shugden, we have always held onto our respect to the Dalai Lama.

    However, it is thought provoking for me to read the logical debate by Mr. Matthew Sinclair on this particular question of whether we are all obliged to listen to the Dalai Lama.

    Like religion is to each and every individual, listening to the Dalai Lama is of the same nature of privacy. The very fact that I am a Dorje Shugden devotee, I am not obeying the decree of the Ban, but with my Guru’s teachings in mind, I shall never disparage the Dalai Lama and respect wish Him wellness and live long.

    I recommend all persons of a bright and curious mind to read this very informative article.

  48. Wai Meng Wan on Jan 29, 2018 at 12:29 am

    People like Professor Thurman has every right to benefit from his stature, learning and scholasticism, however with power comes responsibility. By openly denying that there is Dorje Shugden discrimination, is damaging to the Dorje Shugden people and practitioners. He goes on social media to say this translation is incorrect or inaccurate without presenting the a correct translation is just irresponsible. No one is expecting perfection from Professor Thurman, but a senior academician has to take ownership for his actions, words and all that they publish even on social media. Freedom of speech, has to be practiced responsibly.

  49. James Pang on Jan 28, 2018 at 9:14 pm

    It is quite a shame to see Robert has gone so low in trying to defend HH Dalai Lama. Is it because he has enjoyed all the “success” and “fame” for being associated with HH Dalai Lama, and he does not want to let go of them?

    If there is no suppression, why did DalaiLama.com specifically talk bad about Dorje Shugden? Why didn’t DalaiLama.com talk bad about other supposedly more evil doing religious? How would Robert explain this?

    It goes to show that, in this Dorje Shugden matter, even many westerners are caught in dilemma, and suddenly they forgot about democracy, religious freedom and logic reasoning.

    The more I get into this Dorje Shugden controversial, I feel we need more people who are like Tsem Rinpoche who relies on logic reasoning and guru devotion.

  50. Karma Rangzen on Jan 28, 2018 at 5:43 am

    Let’s give His Holiness the Dalai Lama the benefit of a doubt and say that His Holiness appearance at the NXVIM event did not have anything to do with the money the Bronfman sisters donated to his charity trust. There is still a lot that has to be explained.

    For instance, how was it that Tenzin Dhonden managed to have such a tremendous influence on the Dalai Lama when it appears that the Dalai Lama knew about Keith Raniere’s reputation all along? How was it that Tenzin Dhonden was left to his own device instead of being reigned in when his sexual affairs were apparently public knowledge? At best it shows gross negligence on the part of the Dalai Lama’s office not to be on top of things.

    This is not the only controversy that His Holiness the Dalai Lama has got himself embroiled in. There is the still unresolved matter of the Dalai Lama’s close association with Sogyal Rinpoche and His Holiness’s regular endorsement of Sogyal, now regarded as a serial abuser of women – again, something everyone knew except for the Dalai Lama.

    There was the Dalai Lama’s denial that the Lord Buddha was ever born in Nepal which got the Nepali people understandably upset, given the fact that spiritual tourism is Nepal’s biggest source of revenue, and in addition, Nepal is host to some 30,000 Tibetan refugees. And that not long before that, the Dalai Lama’s suggestion that a woman has to be attractive otherwise, “it is not much use”. Then there was the financial scandal surrounding Lodi Gyari, the Dalai Lama’s ex-envoy to Washington.

    And this is not to mention a series of increasingly disturbing news about the financial dealings of the Dalai Lama’s government-in-exile and those in the Dalai Lama’s inner circle –

    (i) US Congressman Rohrabacher’s letter to His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s man, Dr Lobsang Sangay warning Sangay about misuse of US grants (https://rohrabacher.house.gov/press-release/press-releaserep-rohrabacher-warns-tibetan-political-interference-radio-free-asia-not) ;

    (ii) Questions raised after long-time Tibet supporter Maura Moynihan claimed that the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) which is a major money spinner for the Dalai Lama’s campaigns is perhaps serving itself more so than intended beneficiaries, the Tibetan refugees (https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jun/8/maura-moynihan-mission-failure-at-the-internationa/);

    (iii) The Dalai Lama’s Karmapa candidate being caught in money-laundering charges (http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/courts/sc-stays-karmapa-s-trial-in-money-laundering-case/124474.html);

    (iv) Recent confusion surrounding a sum of $1,500,000 that the head of the Dalai Lama’s government had apparently directed the Tibet Fund (another money spinner) to issue (https://www.tibetsun.com/news/2017/12/08/tibet-fund-says-1-5-million-dollars-was-loan-to-office-of-tibet)

    And there area lot more.

    The question is this – how come there are so many scandals surrounding the Dalai Lama’s people that it is almost a character of the Dalai Lama’s coterie? With all these high jinks dominating the minds of the Tibetan leaders, where do they find the time to care for the Tibetan people and see adequately and sincerely to the Tibetan struggle?

  51. Sheeroy Desai on Jan 27, 2018 at 11:53 pm

    His Holiness Dalai Lama watchers would have read the Daily Mail’s recent article on another one of His Holiness’ bamboozling sycophant :

    “EXCLUSIVE: Dalai Lama was paid $1 MILLION to endorse women-branding ‘sex cult’ after secret deal between Buddhist’s celibate U.S. emissary and his Seagram billionaire ‘lover'”

    Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5230067/Dalai-Lamas-1-MILLION-women-branding-sex-cult.html

    This was followed by a denial from His Holiness’ office: http://www.phayul.com/news/article.aspx?id=40071&article=Dalai+Lama%E2%80%99s+office+rubbishes+UK+daily%27s+%271+million+USD+fee+for+a+public+appearance%27+claim

    Now read this well researched reply to the reply on ArtVoice:
    http://artvoice.com/2018/01/27/dalai-lama-secretary-denies-1-million-paid-speak-raniere-yet-dalai-lama-trust-founded-10-days-albany-speech-2-million-donations/#.WmydhKiWZPY

    Saturday 27th January 2018

    Dalai Lama Secretary denies $1 million paid to speak for Raniere; Yet Dalai Lama Trust founded 10 days after Albany speech with $2 million in donations

    January 27, 2018 Artvoice News, NXIVM and Bronfmans 0
    By Frank Parlato’

    The Dalai Lama’s secretary has denied the Dalai Lama was paid $1 million by Clare and Sara Bronfman to endorse cult leader Keith Raniere. That may be true. He might have got $2 million.

    The Dalai Lama’s secretary, Tseten Samdup Chhoekyapa, wrote:
    Clarification in Response to the Daily Mail Story of 24 January 2018
    The 24 January 2018 Daily Mail article by Ryan Parry regarding an appearance by His Holiness the Dalai Lama at an event held in Albany, New York in 2009 contains incorrect statements and untrue allegations.We wish to categorically state that His Holiness the Dalai Lama never takes an honorarium or fee of any sort, nor does he require that any payment be made to charities or organizations, as a condition of his making a personal appearance. Therefore, the reported allegation has no basis. Neither His Holiness the Dalai Lama nor the Dalai Lama Foundation ever received the alleged $1 million in connection with His Holiness’s appearance in Albany.As reported in the Daily Mail, during His Holiness’s talk in Albany in 2009, he called on the media to investigate the allegations made about the NXIVM organization and its founder, and was quite clear that the truth should be exposed.

    It is true, the Dalai Lama asked the media to investigate Keith Raniere. But whether he received money or not is another issue. Let’s parse the above statement a little:

    The Dalai Lama’s secretary said the Dalai Lama “never takes an honorarium or fee of any sort”.

    A donation is not a fee or an honorarium.

    The secretary said: “nor does he require that any payment be made to charities or organizations, as a condition of his making a personal appearance.”

    Again, the secretary says a payment was not required. But he does not say a donation was not made by Clare and Sara Bronfman.

    The Dalai Lama appeared in Albany on May 6, 2009 and he gave Raniere a white scarf onstage. He allowed the Bronfman sisters to sit onstage with him. {For readers unaware, Keith Raniere heads a cult called NXIVM which brands women on their pubic region with his initials and requires them to give him nude photos of themselves and other damaging material in case they reveal the secrets of his cult.]

    The Dalai Lama may have received a donation that was understood to be an ‘unconditional donation” not connected to his speaking engagement in Albany.

    He may have agreed to speak in Albany and they may have agreed the donation was unconnected to his speaking so therefore it not ‘connected’ to his appearance.

    The Dalai Lama’s secretary does not deny that the Bronfmans donated money. The Secretary said, “Neither His Holiness the Dalai Lama nor the Dalai Lama Foundation ever received the alleged $1 million in connection with His Holiness’s appearance in Albany.” [emphasis mine].

    I get it: He did not receive the $1 million ‘in connection with His Holiness’s appearance’ but, again, the secretary does not say the Dalai Lama did not get $1 million [or possibly more] from the Bronfmans.

    He only states the Dalai Lama did not get $1 million ‘in connection with his appearance’.

    It may have been what is called an ‘unconditional donation.’

    Now let us look at some coincidences:

    The Dalai Lama spoke in Albany on May 6, 2009.

    The Dalai Lama Trust was founded May 16, 2009. [10 days later].

    http://www.dalailamatrust.org/
    https://www.charitiesnys.com/RegistrySearch/show_details.jsp?id={908B8702-9423-41B2-AACD-8491673198EF}
    See the Dalai Lama trust’s IRS return for 2009.
    See also: Dalai Lama Trust certificate of incorporation.

    The IRS return shows $2.2 million in unconditional donations and royalties for 2009.
    It could be a coincidence, but it is peculiar that the Dalai Lama appears in Albany on May 6, 2009 and 10 days later the Dalai Lama trust is formed in the USA which gets $2 million plus in donations etc..

    When I worked for NXIVM/Bronfmans, I was told by a high ranking NXIVM official that, prior to the Dalai Lama’s coming to speak [before he canceled the first time] the Bronfman sisters pledged to donate $1 million to him.

    When he canceled, the sisters, plus Keith Raniere and Lama Tenzin, rushed to India to get the Dalai Lama to change his mind. I was no longer working for NXIVM. But I heard they offered the Dalai Lama another million [making it $2 million]. I never confirmed the second million and I never saw the checks.

    It may be true the Bronfmans did not donate anything. But it seems far fetched that the Dalai Lama came at his own expense to Albany and got nothing in return. And then a trust suddenly opens in the US just 10 days after his appearance?

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Blog Chat

BLOG CHAT

Dear blog friends,

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

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

Tsem Rinpoche


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KECHARA FOREST RETREAT PROGRESS UPDATES

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

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

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  • sarassitham
    Monday, Mar 8. 2021 04:38 PM
    Water is the best liquid to keep the body well hydrated and healthy, contributing to the well-being of the blood vessels. However, drinking plenty of water is a great and cheap way to improve blood circulation naturally. I found this is a surprising health benefits that water could prevent, relieve and cure many painful, degenerative diseases.

    Thank you for the discovering and sharing, Hope to practice the advice soon.



    https://bit.ly/38BDgRh
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Mar 8. 2021 03:30 PM
    Amazing India’s western state of Gujarat had planned to build a 354-foot seated statue of the Buddha. It seem to be the second-tallest Buddha statue in the world after China’s Spring Temple Buddha and the world’s tallest seated Buddha . The gujarat government is all set to build a 108metre statue of sitting Buddha but somehow as to these days no further progress has been made .
    Interesting discovery by the state archaeologist near Shamlaji, a remains of a Buddhist monastery dated 3rd-4th century AD were discovered. Shamlaji was once an important Hindu pilgrimage destination, during 1960-1963. Wow……a casket was found, which as per its inscription, contained relics of Gautam Budhha. The 1700-year-old casket is currently kept at the MS University of Baroda in Vadodara.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/good-news-2.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Mar 8. 2021 03:28 PM
    Standing on a hilltop at Air Itam, near Penang Hill, Kek Lok Si is the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia. There is stunning bronze statue of the Goddess of Mercy, Kuan Yin . I did visited years back just completed then. Merely looking at it is a blessing . So So… Rinpoche did visited before. Now Kok Lok Si Temple, has become one of a tourist hot spot. Many people visited this beautiful temple and especially the Kuan Yin Statue.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/visiting-the-huge-kuan-yin-in-penang.html
  • astrogurutips
    Friday, Mar 5. 2021 08:11 PM
    Great article! Thank you so much for this decent article. I love the way you present your article. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.astrogurutips&hl=en
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Mar 5. 2021 04:19 PM
    In Mahayana Buddhism, a bodhisattva refers to anyone who has generated bodhicitta, a spontaneous wish and compassionate mind to attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings. Bodhisattvas are common figures in Buddhist literature and art. They exist as guides and providers to help us following the teachings about generosity, patience, meditative balance, and insight into what is essential, so we can come to live in a way that benefits others. At the same time, we learn compassion for ourselves and see that we are not separate from the people we have imagined are estranged from us. Self and other heal together.
    Thank you for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/external-article/a-bodhisatta-is-a-being-devoted-to-enlightenment
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Mar 5. 2021 04:17 PM
    Thanks to Dr. Matthew William King who did a detail well research article regarding Dorje Shugden in Mongolia. Through his research he has confirmed that even long before H H Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche’s time, at least a century before, Dorje Shugden practice was already popularized in Lhasa. The practice of Dorje Shugden by the great lamas and many others had widely invoked the dharma Protector in Mongolia. Dr King’s research clearly demonstrates that Mongolia’s lamas had been promoting and encouraging the practice. Dorje Shugden was an established practice in the Sakya School for hundreds of years before Pabongka Rinpoche’s time. Hence Dorje Shugden definitely not a evil or spirits as claimed by the Tibetan leadership. Reading through this interesting article we could understand better how Mongolian lamas have been all along protecting and preserving not only the practice of Dorje Shugden, but also of Buddhism’s revival as a whole in modern-day Mongolia.
    THANK YOU for this interesting sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/how-mongolia-saved-dorje-shugden.html
  • sarassitham
    Friday, Mar 5. 2021 01:55 AM
    Very informative and interesting article, Sri Lanka offers everything that makes one escape a memorable one!. Being awarded a best tourist destinations with various fascinating attraction, ancient historic site from soulful Buddhist monasteries, temples to exotic and impeccable spots rarely explored. Thanks for the beautiful scenery photos sharing and hope to visit this beautiful Island and enjoy my stay.

    https://bit.ly/38aT3WI
  • sarassitham
    Wednesday, Mar 3. 2021 03:22 PM
    In the present-day many people suffers from eye problems .These disorders are usually overcome using powerful glasses and lenses, However using powerful glasses can worsen eye problems.

    This is really a great article for all of us. I am blessed to come across of these practice and teaching, hope to start soon and overcome my eye problem. Thank you so much for the sharing.

    https://bit.ly/3kMZiFu
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Mar 1. 2021 04:01 PM
    Interesting read with the discovery of various legends, texts by archaeologists thousands years ago. Historians and experts had investigated and found evidence of contact between humans and extra-terrestrial life very much earlier. Their findings theory seem that extra-terrestrials have visited Earth for millions of years. Since the age of the dinosaurs to ancient Egypt, from early cave drawings to continued mass sightings in the US. Historians had revealed that aliens have been with us all along. Encounters with strange beings and sightings of mysterious objects in the sky have been recorded. Such as Christopher Columbus’ first voyage to America witnessed strange lights in the sky and sightings of flying cigar-shaped crafts were reported during the Black Plague that struck Europe and Asia in the mid-1300s. There were many others historical evidence of early civilization that had close encounters with Aliens. Interesting read and to watch the video.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/ancient-aliens-closer-encounters.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Feb 27. 2021 05:33 PM
    Watching the videos and looking at those pictures in this post tell us more. Sad to see the working conditions really bad especially in the brick kilns of Andhra Pradesh,India. We could see those working men, women and younf children are working round the clock 12 just to earn a living.
    We are considered more fortunate enough than them and we should not complain of what we have, live and so on. We should appreciate every moment , what we have now to do good and beneficial for others, no matter how hard and difficult at times as others might be worse than us.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing with us .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/you-have-to-see-this.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Feb 27. 2021 05:32 PM
    Wow…..wonderful dog lovers should read to help them to be more caring, loving having a pet. Once we have them as our pet we have the responsibility to give care and love to them. Dogs have feelings like us and is men best friend.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this essential facts for dog lovers.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/20-essential-facts-dog-lovers-must-always-remember.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Feb 27. 2021 05:31 PM
    Scientists had looking at long term, discovered that estimated about 100 to 10,000 species will be extinct soon if nothing is done. Could imagine from microscopic organisms to large plants and animals will go extinct each year. Animal such as sharks, lions, Pit bulls dogs and so forth as mentioned in this blog can become extinct when humans over hunt and over fish, pollute the environment, destroy habitats , and many others. Reading this post tells us more those world’s most dangerous animals are in fact in danger themselves. But the actions of humans toward those dangerous animal has proven more dangerous than that of the animal. Interesting read .
    Thank you Shakila Rajendra for this sharing…..good knowledge . May more people are aware of the harm they are doing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/the-worlds-most-dangerous-animals-in-danger-themselves.html
  • sarassitham
    Thursday, Feb 25. 2021 01:04 AM
    This is kind of hard to believe and shocking to imagine the weirdest addiction of people in this planet, they are extremely strange. People can become addicted to actions, feelings, or behaviors, not just substances. There must be something behind of every addiction, I don’t think they are crazy or mentally ill, it’s their weird enjoyment for a short time.

    I had a friend in my primary school who eats mud during rainy days, she told me, it smells good and she enjoys doing it during her play time. I found it strange but has she grow up in different environment she forget about her addiction. So, I strongly believe, all behaviors can be changed when the person gains self-awareness and actually wants to change. Thanks for the interesting sharing and recall of my childhood friend.
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Feb 24. 2021 01:33 PM
    nteresting read of this history of how Dorje Shugden practice came into light . Since Dorje Shugden was introduced into the Sakya tradition, there have been many Sakya throne holders that practiced Dorje Shugden. Out of the 42 supreme throne holders throughout the history of the Sakya tradition, six of the thrones holders are confirmed to have practiced Dorje Shugden. They have built chapels to him, composed prayers and pujas (kangsols) to him and even propagated his practice amongst their disciples. They cannot be wrong and in fact as confirmed by the 39th Sakya Trizin Dragshul Trinley Rinchen Dorje Shugden is an enlightened being. Dorje Shugden kangsol (prayer) to invoke the blessings of Dorje Shugden composed by him is still widely used today. Dorje Shugden must be a powerful Dharma protector that Sakya tradition have been long relying. It has proven that Dorje Shugden is not a minor practice. Interesting read , may more people read this post to understand better.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this post .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/sakya-trizins-dorje-shugden-prayer.html
  • sarassitham
    Tuesday, Feb 23. 2021 11:23 PM
    Thank you for sharing this yummy recipe. It looks very delicious, healthy and nutritious. I can’t wait to try making it has the ingredients are easy to purchase and methods are simple. I wonder what it taste like.

    https://bit.ly/37DAV7y

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

Click on the images to view the bigger version. And scroll down and click on "View All Photos" to view more images.
According to legend, Shambhala is a place where wisdom and love reign, and there is no crime. Doesn\'t this sound like the kind of place all of us would love to live in? https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=204874
1 year ago
According to legend, Shambhala is a place where wisdom and love reign, and there is no crime. Doesn't this sound like the kind of place all of us would love to live in? https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=204874
108 candles and sang (incense) offered at our Wish-Fulfilling Grotto, invoking Dorje Shugden\'s blessings for friends, sponsors and supporters, wonderful!
1 year ago
108 candles and sang (incense) offered at our Wish-Fulfilling Grotto, invoking Dorje Shugden's blessings for friends, sponsors and supporters, wonderful!
Dharmapalas are not exclusive to Tibetan culture and their practice is widespread throughout the Buddhist world - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=193645
1 year ago
Dharmapalas are not exclusive to Tibetan culture and their practice is widespread throughout the Buddhist world - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=193645
One of our adorable Kechara Forest Retreat\'s doggies, Tara, happy and safe, and enjoying herself in front of Wisdom Hall which has been decorated for Chinese New Year
1 year ago
One of our adorable Kechara Forest Retreat's doggies, Tara, happy and safe, and enjoying herself in front of Wisdom Hall which has been decorated for Chinese New Year
Fragrant organic Thai basil harvested from our very own Kechara Forest Retreat farm!
1 year ago
Fragrant organic Thai basil harvested from our very own Kechara Forest Retreat farm!
On behalf of our Puja House team, Pastor Tat Ming receives food and drinks from Rinpoche. Rinpoche wanted to make sure the hardworking Puja House team are always taken care of.
1 year ago
On behalf of our Puja House team, Pastor Tat Ming receives food and drinks from Rinpoche. Rinpoche wanted to make sure the hardworking Puja House team are always taken care of.
By the time I heard about Luang Phor Thong, he was already very old, in his late 80s. When I heard about him, I immediately wanted to go and pay my respects to him. - http://bit.ly/LuangPhorThong
1 year ago
By the time I heard about Luang Phor Thong, he was already very old, in his late 80s. When I heard about him, I immediately wanted to go and pay my respects to him. - http://bit.ly/LuangPhorThong
It\'s very nice to see volunteers helping maintain holy sites in Kechara Forest Retreat, it\'s very good for them. Cleaning Buddha statues is a very powerful and effective way of purifying body karma.
1 year ago
It's very nice to see volunteers helping maintain holy sites in Kechara Forest Retreat, it's very good for them. Cleaning Buddha statues is a very powerful and effective way of purifying body karma.
Kechara Forest Retreat is preparing for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations. This is our holy Vajra Yogini stupa which is now surrounded by beautiful lanterns organised by our students.
1 year ago
Kechara Forest Retreat is preparing for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations. This is our holy Vajra Yogini stupa which is now surrounded by beautiful lanterns organised by our students.
One of the most recent harvests from our Kechara Forest Retreat land. It was grown free of chemicals and pesticides, wonderful!
1 year ago
One of the most recent harvests from our Kechara Forest Retreat land. It was grown free of chemicals and pesticides, wonderful!
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
2 yearss 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)
2 yearss 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)
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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!
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss ago
Sacred Vajra Yogini
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
2 yearss ago
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
2 yearss 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.
2 yearss 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.
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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!!!
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss ago
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
2 yearss ago
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss ago
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
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2 yearss ago
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
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2 yearss ago
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
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2 yearss 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
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Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
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ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

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

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

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

  • March 7, 2021 17:30
    Sandra asked: Respected pastors, Do you recommend doing Tsem Rinpoche’s guru yoga as part of daily Sadhana? I am sure I read on the article for the name retreat that it could be done as daily prayers but now I can’t see that sentence? Thank you.
    pastor answered: Dear Sandra, Yes of course, you may include Tsem Rinpoche's Guru Yoga as part of your daily sadhana if you wish. This creates a very strong bond with Tsem Rinpoche. If you are following the Diamond Path sadhana (https://www.vajrasecrets.com/diamond-path), you insert the Guru Yoga after you have completed the Gaden Lhagyama (Guru Yoga of Lama Tsongkhapa). Alternative, if you are using a different prayer text, you insert the Guru Yoga after Gaden Lhagyama, or before any deity prayers that you do such as Manjushri, Tara, etc. After you complete the deity practice section of your sadhana, you continue on to your Dharma protector practice, and finish with your completion dedication. I hope this helps. Do let us know if this is not clear. Thanks.
  • March 4, 2021 22:52
    Sandra asked: Respected pastors, Can a lay person work towards the preliminary practices by accumulating daily ? Many thanks.
    pastor answered: Dear Sandra, Yes, of course. Anyone can engage in the preliminary practices, you don't have to be ordained in order to do so. However for one's practice to be considered a full preliminary practice, you need to do 100,000 repetitions of whichever practice you are engaged in without break. That means you must engage in at least one session a day, until the count is completed. 10% of the count is also added on top, to make up for any unintentional mistakes. So the figure would actually be 110,000. If you skip a day, that means you have broken your preliminary retreat. If this occurs you can still dedicate the practice you have done so far, and you will still benefit from the merit generated and the purification of negative karma from the practice, but it is not counted as a full preliminary practice. Also you must adhere to the retreat procedures for the duration of the time it takes you to complete the particular preliminary practice. For example, an altar with daily offerings, retreat seat with swastika, refraining from eating black foods, etc. This may not be convenient for most people in our day and age. So what you can do is to spend a certain amount of time accumulating a specific figure, for example 10,000 repetitions of a particular practice. Seal the practice at the end with a strong dedication, like the King of Prayers. Later on, you can repeat the procedure more times until you complete 100,000. This method was given by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche for modern-day practitioners who do not have the time to complete 100,000 in one go. While it technically does not constitute a full preliminary retreat, you still gain immense merits and purification from engaging in the practice, even if spaced out. As Rinpoche said, it's better for you to do mini preliminary retreats than not doing any of the preliminary practices whatsoever. That being said, if you do have the ability to do a full preliminary retreat and it will not negatively impact you, such as create financial difficulties or strain familial relationships, then of course go ahead! To have the sincere wish to engage in any Dharma practice is wonderful. You can read more about the individual preliminary practices here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/preliminary-practice.html You can watch a short teaching on the preliminary practices by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/cosmic-tantra.html
  • March 3, 2021 04:13
    Sandra asked: Dear respected pastors, what are dreams? Do dreams have significance? Are they simply images the mind views at night - do they resemble the dreamer's state of mind? Thank you for all your replies :) :)
    pastor answered: Dear Sandra, Hello. Nice to see you back here. On the normal level, both waking and dream states are both marred by our delusions. The teachings tell us that this deluded state continues through all our experiences, whether during the dreaming or waking states. The way to overcome this is to "wake up" from our delusions, or reach enlightenment. Normally when people think of dreams, they do so in psychological terms and so focus on the content of the dream. When we investigate the nature of the dream itself, we begin to investigate something deeper, the processes that underlies the whole of our existence. Understand this propels you further along the spiritual journey towards enlightenment. We have many dreams during one night of sleep, and may or may not consciously remember then when we wake up. In terms of content, dreams can be used to work through psychological issues or can indicate certain issues and overcoming them (as is common within Western psychological practices). In Tibetan Buddhism, dreams can be used for much more. In the advanced practices, one can transform ordinary dreams to further one's spiritual journey. This is not only in terms of working through psychological issues, but in terms of meditation and practice as well. Generally, there are three types of dreams as described below. Most of us only experience the first type, unless we progress on the spiritual path. 1. Samsaric dreams: these arise from karma and karmic traces in the mind. This can also include emotions, memories, etc. The meaning we find in these dreams are imputed by the dreamer, and not inherent in the dream. This also applies to waking life. We impute meaning onto situations and circumstances, rather than the meaning being inherent to the circumstance. It is like reading a book. Words in the book are just marks on paper, however, because we use our sense of meaning, we take a meaning out of it. However, this is always open to interpretation. For example, if you tell your dream to two people, they can interpret the meaning very differently, even though you told them the exact same details. 2. Clarity dreams: These dreams occur when you are fairly progressed in meditational practices and can carry this into the dream state. These dreams arise not from the emotions, or memories, etc., but from more subtler forms of karma and delusions. However, just like in waking mediational practice, you are not affected by the images or thoughts that appear to you. 3. Clear Light dreams: In the advanced tantric practices, there are teachings called dream yoga. The object of these is to achieve the clear light dreams, which are very difficult to achieve and take years and years of intense practice. The most important clear light mind that arises is actually at the time of our death, if we are trained enough in this very subtle state, we can actually control where we take rebirth. If we are more experienced in this state, then we can actually use it to meditate on the teachings and achieve enlightenment. Clear light dreams are a "lesser" type of clear light mind, that helps practitioners prepare for the time of death. When we have an auspicious dream such as of our teacher, our practice, the Buddhas, etc., even though this is auspicious, it is still more than likely to be just a samsaric dream. There are instances however, when the enlightened beings and Dharma protectors will send practitioners dreams to help with their practice or as methods of divination. Tsem Rinpoche once told us of a very powerful Nyingma lama known for his divination abilities. Students would ask him a question, then he would take a nap, and receive divination advice in this dreams, which he would then relay to his students. This lama was well-known for this ability because his dream divinations were extremely accurate. As I am sure you can tell, the scope of dreams with the Buddhist context is very vast and I will not be able to cover everything here. However, I hope that what I have written helps your understanding. Thank you.
  • March 1, 2021 23:37
    Sandra asked: Hello dear pastors, wish we could have an article like the one below to highlight the auspicious days of 2021. https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/auspicious-days.html
    pastor answered: Dear Sandra, Thank you for your suggestion. At the moment, there are no plans to publish another article with 2021 dates. But I have listed out some of the auspicious days and their dates for this year for you. I have only included future dates, not those that have already passed. Saga Dawa Duchen - 26th May 2021 Chokhor Duchen - 14th July 2021 Dorje Shugden Day - 24th August 2021 Lhabab Duchen - 27th October 2021 Gaden Ngamchoe or Tsongkhapa Day - 29th December 2021 I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • February 27, 2021 03:31
    Sandra asked: Respected pastors, Is it ok to pray from different areas in the house (even where there is no altar)? I was told you can't create 2 altars in 1 house.
    pastor answered: Dear Sandra, Thank you for your question and its nice to see you here again. The reason why we pray in front of our altars is because it becomes a focal point of the enlightened energies we are invoking. Therefore it becomes a kind of portal for the energies of transformation, peace, healing, prosperity and protection. It is also the place where we make offerings to the Buddhas. As such, most people usually only have 1 altar in their home. However, you can have more than 1 altar in your home. As it is an altar, it should be complete with representations of the body, speech and mind of the Buddhas. This would be an image (either a statue, thangka, tsa tsa, poster, framed picture, etc), a Dharma text and a stupa. In front of these, you should have at least 1 type of offering or more. This can be a fixed offering or maybe even a set of water offerings, which you make every day. Since practitioners make offerings on a daily basis, most opt to have only 1 altar, but there is no rule in Buddhism to say you can only have 1 altar. The altar however, should be placed in a respectful place. So, not in the bathroom. Or if in the bedroom, you should put a screen up to block it when you are changing, sleeping, etc. Alternatively, you can keep it in a cupboard, and close the doors during such activities. But altars should be dedicated places to the Buddhas, so don't put secular items in the same place, such as on the same shelf, etc. When it comes to praying, it is usually done in front of the altar, as you are invoking the enlightened beings. When you do your prayers there it becomes a powerful place in your home, and provides you with a sacred space to pray and meditate. However, if circumstances are difficult, then of course you can pray elsewhere. For example, when I first set up an altar, I was living in a single room with not much space. I set up an altar on a shelf but was not able to pray in front of it. Once I had made offerings, I would simply sit in another part of the room and do the prayers there. If it is really not convenient, then of course it is permissible to do the prayers elsewhere. It is better to do the prayers, than not do them at all if you can't be in front of your altar. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • February 25, 2021 01:33
    Kuenzang wangdi asked: What would be my most suitable colour ?
    pastor answered: Dear Kuenzang Wangdi, Thank you for your question. The following calculators may be of interest to you: Chinese Zodiac: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/horoscopes/the-chinese-zodiac.html Tibetan Astrology: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/tibetan-astrology/tibetan-astrology.html In relation to which colour if most favourable for you, unfortunately our calculators do not give this information. However, from a Buddhist practice viewpoint, what is more important is the transformation of the mind. Once we transform our minds according to teachings, we are able to overcome any obstacle and create good conditions for our lives. You can learn a very short mind transformation teaching here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/eight-verses-of-thought-transformation.html You can couple this with formal practice. If you are interested, a very good practice to bring energies of increase and generate a long life, merits, wealth and prosperity in your life, is the the practice of Gyenze. You can find information about the practice here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/prayers-and-sadhanas/dorje-shugden-gyenze-to-increase-life-merits-and-wealth.html. I hope this helps. Thanks.
  • February 22, 2021 22:14
    Naseer asked: Hi My name is Naseer Ahmed 8th dec 1979. Life path 1 Im looking to add to my name slightly... change it too... Naseer Al Ahmed... Would this be more complimentary as far as for the business front... or would it not make any difference
    pastor answered: Hello Naseer, As per your question, your Life Path Number is 1. The Life Path Number according to the system of numerology used on our website is calculated using your date of birth. Therefore, a change in name will not affect your Life Path Number. Some of the other calculators on the same page do however use your name. One of the smaller calculators you may be interested in is the Achievement Number, but again, this only uses your date of birth for the calculation. You can find it here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/numerology/numerology-calculator.html You may also be interested in two of our other pages: Chinese Zodiac - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/horoscopes/the-chinese-zodiac.html Tibetan Astrology - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/tibetan-astrology/tibetan-astrology.html Thank you for your question. I hope this helps.
  • February 20, 2021 18:36
    Sandra asked: After making a food offering to the three jewels (which we will eat for lunch etc), should we think of it as a blessing and partake?
    pastor answered: Hello Sandra, When making food offerings to the Three Jewels, which you eat yourself, when you recite the prayer and make the offering, you should visualise that the Buddhas receive your food offering and because you have made an offering, they are very pleased. It also fulfills one of the Refuge commitments, which is to offer the first portion of whatever we eat and drink to the Three Jewels, while remembering their kindness. You can then partake of the meal and consider it a blessing from the Three Jewels. Alternatively, you can set out a plate (which you reserve for this purpose) of food, which you can offer on your altar. Similarly, once the food has been left on your altar for a while, you can later remove it and consume it as a blessing. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • February 19, 2021 04:33
    Sandra asked: Is intovertedness a bad quality? Since Buddha is so altruistic and this is the opposite trait, it must be bad. How do you think one should lessen introverted tendencies?
    pastor answered: Dear Sandra, Introvertedness is not a bad quality. Altruism and compassion are different from being an introvert or extrovert. Introverts are generally quieter people, less expressive of their emotions, while extroverts are the opposite. Buddhist practice is not about expression of emotion. Rather the altruistic and compassionate teachings are more about how you help other people and sentient beings, physically or emotionally. If the qualities of introverted-ness are stopping you from developing these, then they need to change. But this may not be necessary, depending on the qualities that you are talking about. You can do simple meditations to building up the energy of compassion in your mindstream and you will see that you actions will automatically start to be more compassionate and altruistic. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • February 18, 2021 03:28
    Sandra asked: How should one behave when negative karma is being purified? How can we know if bad karma is being purified? Do we accumulate positive karma simultaneously when doing purification practices? Many thanks for your response.
    pastor answered: Hello again Sandra, There are two ways in which karma can be purified, the first is through our own efforts alone and the second is through our own effort, combined with a purification practice. Through our own efforts: this means that you transform your mind enough to not react negatively in any situation and only react in a positive manner. For example, you may have the karma to get angry. So you get into situations which makes you angry. If you react normally, then you will get angry again, this will only lead you to create more karma of being angry. But if you make the effort not to get angry in those situations then you do not create or multiply that karma. The original karma you have may lead you to be in those types of situations again, but if you do not get angry then after a while you start to purify that karma. Through your own efforts, combined with a purification practice: as you are working on transforming your mind, you can rely on the practices that help you to purify your karma, such as the practice of Vajrasattva or the 35 Confessional Buddhas. This boosts your ability to purify negative karma, based on the enlightened energies of the Buddhas. This however is only truly effective when combined with the Four Opponent Powers. You can read more about that here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/the-35-confessional-buddhas.html In general, when karma is being purified then you should remain level-headed and not act out of emotion or habit, but from your understanding of the workings of karma and the Dharma. But actually, this should not only be when karma is being purified. You should act and behave in this way all the time according to the Dharma, then you are, up to a point, always purifying karma. It is one of the reasons that so much emphasis is placed on refraining from negative actions and engaging in positive actions using your body, speech and mind, because these are the three means or 'doors' with which you interact with the world. At our level, we cannot tell if karma is being purified or not, only those who are more highly attained can tell. However, that is one of the reasons the Buddhist texts advise study of and belief in karma. If there is karma, then it can be purified, and the way to do so is transform your mind and invoke upon the enlightened beings. So if you are doing both, you can rest assured that you are in fact purifying your karma. When you purify negative karma, whether just through your own efforts or combined with a purification practice you collect merit, not positive karma. If you simply do a good action, you collect good karma. But if you are practicing the Dharma with the intention of achieving enlightenment, you take refuge, engage in the practice, and dedicate at the end, then you develop merit, not positive karma. If you want to read more about how karma works and how to purify it in more detail, I suggest you read a Lamrim text such as Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand, which you can order from your local bookstore or get online here (https://www.vajrasecrets.com/lamrim-liberation-in-the-palm-of-your-hand).
  • February 17, 2021 23:06
    Sandra asked: Hello pastors, thank you for your response to my earlier question. Do divination predictions change frequently? Why does that happen?
    pastor answered: Dear Sandra, Thank you for your question. Divinations, compared to astrological predictions, are much more accurate. There are many types of divination, but those based on the practice of enlightened beings are very accurate. Three of the most well-known in Tibetan Buddhism are the divination practices of Manjushri, Palden Lhamo and Dorje Shugden. You can read more about Dorje Shugden's dice divination here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/dorje-shugdens-dice-divination.html Questions that are asked during divinations are much more specific than the types of topics that astrological predictions can help with, therefore are based on very specific types of karma. This means that if you asked a divination question twice, without taking remedial actions in between, then the answer would most likely be the same, given that all the prerequisites have been held by the diviner and the divinations are genuine. However, if a divination is done and then remedial actions recommended, such as various practices or pujas, and these are done to the letter, then if the question is asked again, then the results would differ. This is because when engaging in these practices or pujas, either you generate the merit necessary to overpower the negative effects of the karma, or you purify the negative effects of the karma creating the situation. This however, is generally not done. You wouldn't ask the same question twice or over and over again. The reason for this is because one of the factors that comes into play when seeking divination is faith. This is faith in the fact that the remedial actions recommended will help whatever situation you are facing. Having seen H.E. Tsem Rinpoche do countless divinations for people, I can attest to this. Those who have faith and follow through with the advice, see a great improvement in the situation that led them to ask the divination question in the first place. Those that did not follow the advice either at all or not fully, did not see any improvement. And this makes sense, because they did not purify the effects of the karma enough, or generate enough merit. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • February 15, 2021 04:09
    sandra asked: How much importance should we give to astrological predictions or chart readings? Are these readings susceptible to change all the time,i.e, in the context of planetary movements? Can our own effort/actions supercede what is predicted in our birth chart?
    pastor answered: Dear Sandra, Thank you for your interesting question. You are absolutely correct about the universal principle of change. According to Buddhist practice, astrological predictions are based upon a fixed point in time. Take for example, your moment of birth, which most astrological readings take as the main point of reference. At that specific moment, there would have been various energies or planetary alignments, etc. Combined together, they are said to give an accurate prediction of what will occur to a person throughout their life. This however, is based on one's birth karma, to be born at that specific point in time and location. This birth karma also provides the driving force behind what will occur in a person's life, if that karma is not changed somehow. Hence, that is why astrological predictions can give very accurate readings on someone's personality, as well as life events. Birth karma provides the main force behind all other karma to come into play. That is why it is given importance in astrology. There are also more advanced methods to take into account planetary and energetical movements to give even more detailed and precise predictions that can even be made down to the month, day or hour of a person's life. In Buddhism, however, we believe that karma can be changed. It can multiply, be purified or exhausted, or the effects of that karma can be overpowered by another karma or spiritual merit. In these cases, the outcome will change. The way in which this happens is varied. It can be as simple as doing some prayers (to generate spiritual merit) or changing your behaviour, environment or location, the way you think, and the ways in which you react in various situations. That is why in Buddhist astrological systems, emphasis is placed on remedial measures to counteract negative outcomes. For example, someone may be born with an angry disposition from an astrological point of view. If this person goes through life acting from this anger, then the predictions based on the time of birth will occur. However, a remedial action can be undertaken, such as the person pracitising Chenrezig, who is the Buddha of compassion, or the person doing some form of charity work. These remedial actions generate compassion in the mind of the person, which counteracts the anger. As this happens and the karma is changed, then the person no longer needs to feels the negative effects of any bad astrological (or more correctly - karmic) situations. There are even some practices that specifically help to counteract negative astrological influences and help you to change things. Such an example is Black Manjushri. Within Tibetan Buddhism, according to your time and date of birth, you also have what is known as a 'Birth Buddha'. This is basically an enlightened being that you have an affinity with in this life. General remedial actions include making images of this particular Buddha or engaging in this Buddha's practice. This combined with a change in how we live - otherwise known as Mind Transformation in the Buddhist context - changes astrological outcomes. However, if we continue living without controlling our actions, words and thoughts, the predictions made using astrological readings will most likely still occur. I hope this explanation helps. Thank you.
  • February 7, 2021 00:16
    Purna Tamang asked: What is my lucky number and color ?
    pastor answered: Dear Purna Tamang, Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, none our horoscope apps on this page gives this information at this moment. However, you may find some of the other information provided useful. Below are the links: For Chinese Zodiac: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/horoscopes/the-chinese-zodiac.html For Tibetan astrology: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/tibetan-astrology/tibetan-astrology.html For Numerology: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/numerology/numerology-calculator.html For Fortune cookies: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/fortune-cookie Thank you and I hope you find something interesting in one of the apps.
  • January 20, 2021 03:32
    Sangita. asked: i want to buy my own house.which mantra i should chant to have my own house.kindly reply.
    pastor answered: Dear Sangita, Thank you for your question. Everything in our lives, whether good or bad is due to our karma. This is karma we have accumulated either in previous lives or earlier on in this life. You can learn more about this here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/discovering-yourself-a-teaching-on-karma-mindstream.html Sometimes, we go through obstacles or need some form of spiritual help to assist us in improving our situations. In these circumstances we can rely on the practice of certain deities. One of these deities is the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden. You can read more about this deity and his practice here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/beginners-introduction-to-dorje-shugden.html You can learn more about Dorje Shugden's practice here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/dorje-shugden-teaching-videos.html. I hope this helps. Thank you.
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Update on Empowerment cookies, special holiday packaging. The bakers are most grateful for the overwhelming support of 834 tubs ordered, with a big order of 314 tubs from a group of friends. Thank you to those cookie lovers who couldn’t get enough of it. Watch out for the next update. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
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Thank you, generous and kind donors, made possible by Alice Smith School's Official Site through their Build Kindness Campaign. The whooping amount of RM63,000 will provide much needed food to 25 poor families for the next 12 months. On behalf of these families, thank you! Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
The global pandemic hasn't been easy for all of us. Some find it diffucult to find a job to support the family. Despite that, we are still delivering basic food pack to our recipients nationwide. Thank you to our volunteers, donors, and sponsors. Without your support, we would be unable to reach out to many families. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 months ago
The global pandemic hasn't been easy for all of us. Some find it diffucult to find a job to support the family. Despite that, we are still delivering basic food pack to our recipients nationwide. Thank you to our volunteers, donors, and sponsors. Without your support, we would be unable to reach out to many families. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thanks to Yap Optometry for gifting Robert a new pair of glasses to see better. We wish him many clear and bright days ahead. Thank you to all sponsors. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
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Thanks to Yap Optometry for gifting Robert a new pair of glasses to see better. We wish him many clear and bright days ahead. Thank you to all sponsors. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Donation received to date: RM33,468.00 Yes! We've achieved the target for the #TamanNegara project. Fundraising is closed for this project. Thank you to all donors, 113 Orang Asli families will benefit from it. Stay tuned! #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
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Donation received to date: RM33,468.00 Yes! We've achieved the target for the #TamanNegara project. Fundraising is closed for this project. Thank you to all donors, 113 Orang Asli families will benefit from it. Stay tuned! #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
FRESHLY BAKED by Kechara Empowerment trainees - Chocolate Chip Butter Cookies - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
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In memory of Wilson Lee, one of our most dedicated volunteers in Penang. Our heartfelt condolences to Wilson's wife, Tze Ling, family and friends. Our thoughts are with them for their loss. Thank you for your kindness and service to KSK Penang. From all of us in KSK.
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In memory of Wilson Lee, one of our most dedicated volunteers in Penang. Our heartfelt condolences to Wilson's wife, Tze Ling, family and friends. Our thoughts are with them for their loss. Thank you for your kindness and service to KSK Penang. From all of us in KSK.
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Last weekend a Soup Kitchen activities @ Penang, Johor & Kuala Lumpur. Hot food, water, masks, biscuits, buns & fruits. This is what we give out to our friends living on the streets. Thank you to our sponsor & volunteers that make it happen. Come spread more love by being a volunteer at our activities. WhatsApp us today at 010-333-3260! See you soon! #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Fwd: Dear Sotha
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Kechara Earth Project 13/9/2020
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Thank you Domino's Pizza Malaysia, Kasih & Piza campaign for sponsoring 85 boxes of pizza to our friends who live on the streets. Your flavourful pizzas have put a smile on their faces. Thank you! - Vivan @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #KasihdanPiza #ItsAllAboutYou
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Thank you Domino's Pizza Malaysia, Kasih & Piza campaign for sponsoring 85 boxes of pizza to our friends who live on the streets. Your flavourful pizzas have put a smile on their faces. Thank you! - Vivan @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #KasihdanPiza #ItsAllAboutYou
Thank you Novo Nordisk! Your kind monetary donation and 1,320 boxes of masks will benefit many needy families under the Kechara Food Bank Program. Thank you! Much love from the needy families  ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #novonordisk #novonordiskmalaysia
6 months ago
Thank you Novo Nordisk! Your kind monetary donation and 1,320 boxes of masks will benefit many needy families under the Kechara Food Bank Program. Thank you! Much love from the needy families ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #novonordisk #novonordiskmalaysia
We were graced with the presence of Tengku Zatashah & The Alice Smith School Foundation yesterday. 130 homeless were blessed to be served by them. RM 20,000 donated by Alice Smith School Foundation will benefit 100 families registered under Kechara Food Bank Program. Thank you! Much love from the needy families ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #alicesmithschoolfoundation #alicesmithschool #volunteerism #homeless
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We were graced with the presence of Tengku Zatashah & The Alice Smith School Foundation yesterday. 130 homeless were blessed to be served by them. RM 20,000 donated by Alice Smith School Foundation will benefit 100 families registered under Kechara Food Bank Program. Thank you! Much love from the needy families ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #alicesmithschoolfoundation #alicesmithschool #volunteerism #homeless
Thanks to the effort of our outstation team, we were able to mobilise food provisions to 600 families living in Kelantan, Penang, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor during the Raya period with each of these families receiving RM200 worth of provisions. Adding onto the current 368 families in Klang Valley, a total of 968 families were benefitted from this. Special thanks to the sponsors who have contributed especially Hong Leong Foundation and partially from Tesco Malaysia (where we also ordered the provisions from). ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
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Thanks to the effort of our outstation team, we were able to mobilise food provisions to 600 families living in Kelantan, Penang, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor during the Raya period with each of these families receiving RM200 worth of provisions. Adding onto the current 368 families in Klang Valley, a total of 968 families were benefitted from this. Special thanks to the sponsors who have contributed especially Hong Leong Foundation and partially from Tesco Malaysia (where we also ordered the provisions from). ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
So glad that our soup kitchen operations are back in full swing. Good to see the clients are observing the SOPs. Some of them lost their job during MCO and ended up on the streets. Special thanks to our sponsors and volunteers for the great support! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
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So glad that our soup kitchen operations are back in full swing. Good to see the clients are observing the SOPs. Some of them lost their job during MCO and ended up on the streets. Special thanks to our sponsors and volunteers for the great support! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
From serving cooked food to the homeless clients on the streets to mobilising provisions to the needy individuals in PPRs and shelters, we thank everyone of our Johor Bahru team for their kind contributions and effort to make it for the needy despite all the challenges! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
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From serving cooked food to the homeless clients on the streets to mobilising provisions to the needy individuals in PPRs and shelters, we thank everyone of our Johor Bahru team for their kind contributions and effort to make it for the needy despite all the challenges! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
More photos taken from our "Hari Raya Hampers" distribution this week. Making sure everyone of our clients have something to be cheerful about. Apart from food, daily used items such as hygiene products, kitchen utensils, assorted fabric items, stationary items and toys were also included into our hamper bags making it extra heavier this month! Food items alone were about 35kg per family! Taking this opportunity to wish everyone of our Muslim volunteers, friends, supporters and clients a Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Maaf Zahir Batin. No doubt this year's celebration will be very different but appreciate everyone is safe and protected from the pandemic. We are in this together and let's work to fight this pandemic together! Thanking all sponsors and donors for the generous support enabling us to continue serve the needy with food, love and care. Big shoutout too to our wonderful team which already depleted by our very own strict SOP. All of you who worked tirelessly behind the s
9 months ago
More photos taken from our "Hari Raya Hampers" distribution this week. Making sure everyone of our clients have something to be cheerful about. Apart from food, daily used items such as hygiene products, kitchen utensils, assorted fabric items, stationary items and toys were also included into our hamper bags making it extra heavier this month! Food items alone were about 35kg per family! Taking this opportunity to wish everyone of our Muslim volunteers, friends, supporters and clients a Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Maaf Zahir Batin. No doubt this year's celebration will be very different but appreciate everyone is safe and protected from the pandemic. We are in this together and let's work to fight this pandemic together! Thanking all sponsors and donors for the generous support enabling us to continue serve the needy with food, love and care. Big shoutout too to our wonderful team which already depleted by our very own strict SOP. All of you who worked tirelessly behind the s
Our team have been working extra hours for the past few weeks to deliver provisions and hamper goodies to the needy families before Hari Raya! Heart warming to see the smiling faces of our recipients upon receiving 3 bags full of food and daily used items. Thanks to everyone of you who have contributed to our foodbank enabling us to give all our recipients (especially those celebrating) a Raya to remember! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
9 months ago
Our team have been working extra hours for the past few weeks to deliver provisions and hamper goodies to the needy families before Hari Raya! Heart warming to see the smiling faces of our recipients upon receiving 3 bags full of food and daily used items. Thanks to everyone of you who have contributed to our foodbank enabling us to give all our recipients (especially those celebrating) a Raya to remember! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thankful to all donors and those who have been committed in contributing not just money but time over the past testing weeks to help us ease the work of our frontliners and also the livelihood of the needy, their struggles over this pandemic period seemed a little easier to bear with because of your contributions! - Vivian @Kechara Soup Kitchen
9 months ago
Thankful to all donors and those who have been committed in contributing not just money but time over the past testing weeks to help us ease the work of our frontliners and also the livelihood of the needy, their struggles over this pandemic period seemed a little easier to bear with because of your contributions! - Vivian @Kechara Soup Kitchen
KSDS Level 2 virtual class, Lin Mun KSDS
10 months ago
KSDS Level 2 virtual class, Lin Mun KSDS
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
10 months ago
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
Wesak 2020
10 months ago
Wesak 2020
Recycle today for a better tomorrow. KEP-Serena
12 months ago
Recycle today for a better tomorrow. KEP-Serena
Today we are having recycling at Kechara Soup Kitchen. Do drop by here if you would like to get ride of the recyclable items from home. KEP - Serena
12 months ago
Today we are having recycling at Kechara Soup Kitchen. Do drop by here if you would like to get ride of the recyclable items from home. KEP - Serena
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Seen here is Bam, Vajrayogini’s seed syllable and also Kechara's logo. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
12 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Seen here is Bam, Vajrayogini’s seed syllable and also Kechara's logo. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: More melted butter was offered. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
12 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: More melted butter was offered. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
H.E. Zawa Rinpoche in deep concentration. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
12 months ago
H.E. Zawa Rinpoche in deep concentration. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Geshela is seen here wearing ceremonial hat called tsoksha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
12 months ago
Geshela is seen here wearing ceremonial hat called tsoksha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
The Shize Fire Puja was performed according to scriptural sources. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
12 months ago
The Shize Fire Puja was performed according to scriptural sources. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
To find out more about the substances offered during jinsek/fire puja, have a read here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
12 months ago
To find out more about the substances offered during jinsek/fire puja, have a read here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
More about the symbolism of the offering items here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
12 months ago
More about the symbolism of the offering items here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Amongst all pujas, the fire puja is considered the king of all Pujas. It is the most powerful of all pujas within Tibetan Buddhism and its purpose is basically to remove all obstacles and its stains to enlightenment.
12 months ago
Amongst all pujas, the fire puja is considered the king of all Pujas. It is the most powerful of all pujas within Tibetan Buddhism and its purpose is basically to remove all obstacles and its stains to enlightenment.
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Graceful hand mudras were also part of the ritual. - shared Pastor Antoinette
12 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Graceful hand mudras were also part of the ritual. - shared Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: One by one the offering substances were offered accompanied by traditional Tibetan recitations. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
12 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: One by one the offering substances were offered accompanied by traditional Tibetan recitations. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: JP Thong ensuring that Geshela's ritual items are within easy reach. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
12 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: JP Thong ensuring that Geshela's ritual items are within easy reach. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor David Lai & Frederick Law were also on hand to assist with the puja ritual substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
12 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor David Lai & Frederick Law were also on hand to assist with the puja ritual substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor Niral Patel assisting H.E. Zawa Rinpoche during the puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
12 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor Niral Patel assisting H.E. Zawa Rinpoche during the puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Peaceful fire pujas are excellent to remove inauspiciousness, problems that might be coming to our lifespan, wisdom, wealth, growth of Dharma. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
12 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Peaceful fire pujas are excellent to remove inauspiciousness, problems that might be coming to our lifespan, wisdom, wealth, growth of Dharma. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
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Dorje Shugden
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