Please Share Your Views Here with CK Liew..

Apr 18, 2011 | Views: 1,563

Dear Everyone,

This is a good question from CK Liew. Can you all please share your opinions. I’ve talked about this before a few times, and I would like to hear your views to share with CK. Write in the comments section of this post below please…

Tsem Rinpoche

 


 

Dear Rinpoche ,

Recently I met a close relative of mine and i came to know he is in charge of ( their leader aka some sort of head liaison ) a small Tibetan Buddhist centre in Perak. The dilemma is while we were “debating” about going vegetarian or arguing about drastic reduction in meat consumption, i was totally dumbfounded when he told me all the lama that visited his centre consume meat even in restaurant and in full view of all their devotees. How do you reply to that ? I felt so helpless.

From CK Liew
 

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101 Responses to Please Share Your Views Here with CK Liew..

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  1. Jacinta Goh on Nov 18, 2019 at 2:40 pm

    Happened to be in the position as CK Liew and…… there’s no end to this, I think.
    We would sit there and argue with till the cows come home, but it wouldn’t solve anything, right?

    CK, just being firm in not taking meat, do not argue more and just let them have their way. Neither do you have to rejoice for their choice – ditto –

    Deep down, as long as we know the reason we chose not to eat meat.

  2. Samfoonheei on Oct 28, 2019 at 1:21 pm

    Attitudes about vegetarianism vary from sect to sect as well as from individual to individual. We as a Buddhist refrain from eating meat out of loving kindness for living animals. For many religions and even people, choosing vegetarianism is the way to live a more peaceful life. By avoiding meat, vegetarians will prefer to avoid spreading violence. Many people choose the vegetarian or even vegan lifestyle in order to be healthier or even be a better person. Different people might look to it differently. Some of them eat meat or fish as long as the animal was not killed on their behalf. We do not criticize their action as each of us has a different opinion.
    Thank you for this sharing.

  3. Tom on May 1, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    I eat bread a lot.. because I like bread. I drink water because I like water. Anyone else can eat what they eat, I am in no position to say anything about what they do.

  4. Kasia on Apr 23, 2011 at 3:32 am

    I think it is important how, with what intention one eats meat – if at all.
    Maybe, just maybe if a need arises for meat once in a while we should bow to our earthly, bodily nature which is predatory, and get involved in the circle of life feeding on other lives. If one shies away from it how can he experience the full despair of Samsara? How can he be compassionate to other people, and predatory animals? And maybe we could promise to the animals that gave their life to feed us a small place in our heart and prayer… I dont know.

  5. Leu Chong hin on Apr 22, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    Stop killing will stop live being from suffering, during process of killing they feel pain before end of thier live.

  6. Koh Hee Peng on Apr 22, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    For a Guru and a student relationship to be established, the “50 verses of Guru Devotion” by Ashvagosha has clearly stated that “In order for the words of honour of neither the Guru nor the disciple to degenerate, there must be a mutual examination beforehand (to determine if each can) brave a Guru-disciple relationship.” – Paragrpah 6.

    After examination that both Guru and student decides to bond the relationship, the student must have faith in the Guru. It is never easy for a Guru to recognise a person as his/her student as the relationship could easily be degenerated that lead to negative repercussion for many future rebirths should one student doesn’t maintain his samaya clean. Most of us find that at this modern age it seems to be easier to find a Guru than in the past because many qualified high lamas and Rinpoches have gone to many parts of the world to spread teachings and raise fund for their monastry. But one must not forget that the merit of meeting a Guru that easy in this life, is due to the efforts that we have put in in our many previous lives in serving our Guru, following our Guru’s advise, and most importantly, keeping our samaya clean.

    When we have requested to take refuge vows from a High Lama or a Rinpoche after carefully examining his qualities akin to the qualities embodied in Lord Buddha, and the Guru has agreed to accept this person as his/her student, we must take our guru’s advice very seriously and to do everything one possibly could to honor this relationship.

    When a Guru ask his/her students to do something and if the student finds it difficult to do, it is not the Guru’s fault but the fault lies between the student and the student’s ego and laziness. One can never go wrong in listening to one’s Guru’s advice. When H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche advises his students not to eat meat, he has nothing to gain but being challenged and insulted by others who find difficult to get rid of their old habbits. But, for his students, if they are able to follow their Guru’s advice, one would definitely advance further in spiritual path as one’s bodhichitta and compassion would definitely increase significantly. One would also please the Buddhas if one follows the guru’s advice sincerely without any agenda.

    Buddhism is all about compassion wisdom and is also about LOGIC. It is never logical to practise compassion when one’s daily life is based on the consumption of sufferings of other beings. Compassion and selfishness are mutually exclusive.

  7. Grace Leu -KSJC on Apr 22, 2011 at 11:16 am

    Thank you for all of your sharing, it enhance my knowlegde about vegetariasim with different view.

  8. Castagna on Apr 21, 2011 at 2:19 am

    Hi,

    I have just recently started to follow Buddhist indications for a better life and spirituality, but I’m also the daughter of two M.D.s and I have decided that until I have to give birth to children I will continue eating meat (not often, as I usually do, about twice or thrre times a month). Then I will declare my body and my health entirely mine, and since I don’t have to grow anymore, I will embrace a vegetarian diet.
    I hope to cause the least suffering to other beings, and I’ve began to ask sentient beingsthe permission to have their flesh, and to ask them to forgive me, but I don’t want my children to follow a vegetarian diet until the’re fully grown up.
    This is the explanation I usually give when people who know about my being a Buddhist ask me why I’m eating meat and, for the moment, I feel I’m doing the right thing because I have the responsibility to give life to other beings and I want them to have all they need.
    But I think monks and teachers should give good examples and be fully vegetarian. I look forward to being an example too.

    Sorry for my english, I’m from Italy and don’t write in english that much.

    Blessings to everyone

    Castagna

  9. Rita van der Wijden on Apr 20, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    For sure I have not all the information about the Buddha’s teaching on eating meat, but for me, the ‘not killing’ is reason enough not to eat any living creature. Place yourself in the situation of a animal to be killed, that is enough to contemplate on.

    I know of stories that there have been Buddha’s who eat fish, one after the other, in order to make the connection with them so they can have a much better next life, that is of total other order. That is an act of compassion.

    For me there is no question about eating other living beings, but we all have to make our own decision. And if you are not sure…. not eating meat or fish is being on the safe side 🙂 🙂

  10. Siong Woan on Apr 20, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    Dear CK,

    I suggest you do not attack or criticize other centres or lamas, but instead share with them your view and your stand of being a vegetarian..

    • ck liew on Apr 23, 2011 at 10:54 pm

      Dear Siong Woan ,

      With much humility i have clarify in the earlier response on this question i post to Rinpoche that this WAS NOT directed at any centres nor the lama. If you could have just read the whole post from beginning until the end.

      Also i do believe we do have the freedom to question anything that we find and think we cant comprehend as that is also part of the BUDDHA’S teachings. Hope you understand.

      Take care.

  11. Uncle Eddie on Apr 20, 2011 at 9:59 am

    I fully agree with what our Thierry Janssens when he said, “To be a vegetarian doesnt mean we are saints, when we have a deluded mind ruled by Anger. Hitler was a vegetarian too, look what happened to the part of the world ruled by him!” As said in the Book of Tibetan Tradition of mental Development, there are two ways of spiritual development within the Mahayana – one is taking a round-about route to one’s destination and the other is like taking all the short-cuts, perhaps through the Tranta path, but one must have a clear general understanding of the former first. Whatever one chooses, it is advised, that its best to absolutely neccessary to follow a path in one’s Dharma practice properly guided by one’s guru, ireespective. We should not go to extremes nor jump to far more higher levels so quickly until our guru said we are ready. Please remember the old faithful motto ‘slow and steady wins the race’. In everything we do, there is always a positive and negative effect due to the nature of existence in our lives. It seems even in the eating of vegetables and eating of animal meat, are both bad! In that case, as our Guru said, “cut one out completely”. Why do both. We have a choice to make less negative Karma. Since H.H. The Dalai Lama, the Highest authority within Tibetan Buddhism recommended “we do not eat meat” so thats all we should need to remember and follow. It is also the right path for the 21st century buddhists to follow the no meat path, so let us all do it together! Moreover, there is so much varieties of food without meat to choose from nowadays. LET US ALL JOIN IN TO EAT THE NO MEAT DIET, and get on with our practice of our spiritual path through our Guru conscientiously, so as to bring about a complete positive transformation within our negative minds.

  12. Tony Allen on Apr 20, 2011 at 5:05 am

    In “Liberation In The Palm of Your Hand” Pabonka Rinpoche does not explicitly call for people to be vegetarian, but quite clearly indicates in the section about the non-virtue of killing that the less harm we bring upon our fellow sentient beings the better it is for everyone.

    In my opinion, when the topic of meat comes up it is often a question of people’s outrage at injustice ending where there attachment begins. I know for me that was the case. Going vegetarian was very hard because I am very attached to eating meat. Because of the heaviness of that attachment it was very easy to build up a wall of justifications and rationalizations for that behavior.

    What helped me is some semblance of guru devotion on my part. I have never met Rinpoche in this life, but his teachings have benefited me greatly. I don’t yet have an “official” guru yet, I do consider Rinpoche to be the teacher that moves my heart the most and I have been the recipient of his kindness and teachings. Those teachings have served as blessings that has started me down the path towards bodhichitta and liberation.

    That being the case, how could I ignore his repeated pleas to not eat meat? If this is a teacher that I love and respect than how could I not abide by his teachings? It doesn’t follow or make sense to ignore him. I am not going to hide behind what other students or lamas or Tibetans do. What they do with their teachers or lineage or tradition is their buisness and their karma. I dare not presume what is in their minds. Maybe they are all enlightened beings and I am the last one and they are here to teach me patience etc…I don’t know.

    What I do know is that Rinpoche has asked us to do this and he has his reasons. What harm is there in doing less harm to sentient beings? How can we hear the words of our teacher and talk about “freeing sentient” beings while filling our mouths with the flesh of the dead?

  13. Luize on Apr 19, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    My friend, respectfully asked a lama why does he eat meat, and he said that is because of attachment and he hopes he won’t end up in hell realm. I don’t eat meat but i do not blame or look down upon those who do. I think is impossible to live in these bodies, on this Planet, and not harm beings, even if you try your best not to harm even a small insect. But i think that not eating meat is a big statement that you do not want to harm beings anymore, and is not just made in words. The ‘sacrifice’ of your taste buds pleasure is a step made on the spiritual path. High lamas may even help beings if they eat their flesh, but they are attained, unlike the rest of us who struggle to take a few more steps.

  14. So Kin Hoe on Apr 19, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    Dear Mr. Liew,

    We can always explain to many people that if we imagine ourselves as animals now, waiting to be slaughtered for someone’s meal, how do we feel?

    Nowadays, we can easily get vegetarian food. It’s just the matter of how strong we uphold our commitment.

  15. Michael on Apr 19, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    1st of all our mind should be as clear as crystal if we are devoted of Buddhism. Argument will not solve the problem. Buddha never asks not to eat meet but Buddha teach not to harm and kill animals simply because they are just an animals. As a human, if we debate on meat or no meat then he or she is in the middle of meat conflict and they mind already controlled by the “Meat”. Concentrate on what Buddha teach then you will find the answer. Whether meat or no meat, it is just a test-bud fulfillments to every individuals. Buddha also teaches us to let go and boundless as the sea and sky.

  16. KH Ng on Apr 19, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Dear CK Liew,

    The question of whether the lama eat if not the important thing here for me. We can argue that Budhha Shakyamuni and many monastic traditions do not prohibit the eating of meat. However, by just taking meat consumptions and making conclusions is very shortsighted, as we do not know the entire practice of these traditions. In the case of Tibetan Lama eating meat, the main reason, I suppose is that in Tibet, they aren’t mush vegetarian food for practical survival. That is all I want to endeavor about that. One thing for sure, no lama will really force disciples to eat meat.

    I have been a vegetarian for 6 months and the initial motivation stems from a bit of compassion and the encouragement of HE Tsem Tulku Rinpoche from this blog, emails, sms and during his Dharma talk. Also, since I have taken refuge, my vows forbid killing.

    My eating habits is that I do not go to a vegetarian restaurant just so to get vegetarian food. I always eat with my family and friends at meals serving meat and some vegetarian dishes. I also, consume vegetable that is cooked with meat.I find that being vegetarian, I must not alienate myself during meals from my family and friends. Couple with the small changes to my personality ie, more patient, and small successes in career, my friends and family are slowly but surely coming to the Dharma in small ways but hopefully in bigger ways in the future.

    Hence, for me being vegetarian not only stop the killings (bit by bit) but more importantly is a form of practice for us and helps to show others that we are still the same person but better.

  17. anila on Apr 19, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    Dear C.K. Thank you for the interesting question which Rinpoche has transferred to his Blog for us to answer and contemplate and analyse and give our views. If our KH Organisation were to so strongly promote no eating meat. When we take Refuge one of the Refuge vows is no killing. And indirectly eating meat is a form of killing. Most Buddhists (if they call them selves real Buddhists) will know the meaning why they don’t take meat. From what I know most Chinese Mahayana Buddhists don’t take meat because they were taught Compassion as their main practice is the practice of Buddha of Compassion who is Kuan Yin or Chenresig. Eating meat is another way of indirectly killing a living being or animal whereby someone else kill and you consume it. If there is no killing of animals then there will be no meat to be eaten and vegetarism will be promoted. As Mahayana Buddhists we practice Compassion for all Sentient beings to be enlightened while the Theravadens have their own methods of practice for their own enlightenment. As for the Lamas that come to your relative centre and eat meat. One of the practice of a Sangha is they cannot refuse anything that is offered to them. All Lamas are required to practice Secret Tantra and these practices will be different from the ordinary layman practice. They are able to purify the meat and transform them into nectar. And certain things they may do may seem wrong to our perception. Lamas can also be Buddhas. And there are so many ways that a Buddhas can test us manifested in different forms. So we must believe that whatever they do must have a reason and Buddhas cannot be wrong. We can be wrong.

  18. David Lai on Apr 19, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Wow! What I have to say is already posted up here already. What I would add is that Vegetarianism is almost synonymous with the Buddhist view on non-harming of other beings. This is very much a part of the Mahayana ideal and although some Buddhist masters of other denominations of Buddhism may not place as much emphasis on it, that doesn’t mean that master is wrong or being vegetarian is wrong or unnecessary.

    Anyway, at the end of the day what’s important is your practice and how you go about it. Being vegetarian does not take anything away from us and instead makes us more disciplined with one of our biggest attachments – food and keeps us guilt free knowing the harm that is inflicted upon helpless animals in slaughterhouses and animal farms. It is a lot easier to practice and dedicate our merits to all beings knowing that our dinner didn’t contribute to more suffering.

    In fact, I heard that we are actually not really attached to meat but the seasoning and flavouring that goes into the meat during cooking. I think that’s where good vegetarian restaurants come in handy. Kechara Oasis and Kechara Vegetarian Express (chap fan stall) in Sunwaymas makes it a lot easier for my cravings is satisfied… minus the guilt. There are just so many vegetarian places these days and it makes such a diet so much easier.

  19. Eva on Apr 19, 2011 at 2:02 pm
  20. ck liew on Apr 19, 2011 at 11:14 am

    Rinpoche has successfully promotes vegetarianism and non killing of animals through his blogs ! Look at the numbers of respond on this post just in less than 2 days. Wow… mind blowing.

  21. Sunny on Apr 19, 2011 at 8:45 am

    Dear Mr.Liew,

    May this post find you well, happy and with much sought after peace of mind.

    Why do you feel helpless? Or rather, if it’s not too presumptious, why do you feel the need to feel helpless at your relatives comment, Mr.Liew? Should you perceive a problem with this eating of meat, try do something about it 🙂 Failing which, if nothing can be done, why worry, and get upset?

    Why do you feel so troubled, Mr.Liew, by the fact that there are lamas out there that eat meat? Have you explored the reason for this aversion within you, Mr.Liew?

    As for your relative (The Obsessive Compulsive Meat Eater), not much to comment on, except that if he “justifies” to himself that eating meat is okay simply because lamas are doing it, then that’s something he has to work on through his practices. No point labelling the act and getting others to label either for or against the whole thing.

    We all know the score, on how the Lord Buddha never said no to meat eating, we all know the reasons as posted beautifully by everyone here, on how the Lord Buddha gives teachings that is relevant to this or that group of sentient beings, etc.

    Personally, I feel that regardless of all that, whether we end up consuming meat or not is completely up to the individual’s aspirations and aim, and how dedicated that person is to achieving the state of a fully enlightened being. If that someone feels that killing sentient beings for consumption will help him/her towards buddhahood, then good luck to them. Meanwhile we can all pray for them too 🙂

    Having said that, one should not label someone is wrong simply because he/she consumes meat. Neither should one label oneself as being right simply because we do not consume meat, that is nothing more than our pride and ego up to their old tricks. Not to mention the fact that this merely deepens your dualistic view of them and we, right and wrong, etc.

    Okay, I shall stop here, don’t want to create a wall of text. Bottom line is, Mr.Liew, I sincerely hope that you will be able to see past this little helplessness as more reasons to be steadfast in your practice, and with gentleness and compassion, share with your relative on the Dharma that you have learned.

    Also, may your relative stop being a monkey that imitates what others do without rhyme or reason.

    May all you readers have a most pleasant day ahead 🙂

  22. KYC on Apr 19, 2011 at 8:39 am

    Monks and the question of eating meat is an old one that was originally raised by Devadatta who asked the Buddha to prohibit bhikkhus from eating fish and flesh (the “stricter ascetic tactic”)in an attempt to take over the leadershiop of the sangha. The Buddha had already made a strict rule for both bhikkhus and lay people about taking life so He did not agree to Devadatta’s proposal. The Buddha did allow bhikkhus to eat meat and fish except under the following circumstances: :If a bhikkhu sees, hears or suspects that it has been killed for him, he may not eat it.” If a bhikkhu is given meat on alms round and he has no knowledge about how the animal died he has to “receive it with attentiveness”. He should be grateful and recollect that the food that he is given is that which enables him to continue to live the bhikkhu life, and that as a mendicant he is not in a position to choose what he gets. If he later comes to know the family and they ask him about Dharma, he will be able to explain the precept about killing. This may cause them to reflect on their attitude to meat eating. … An individual lay person can choose whether to be a vegetarian… An individual bhikkhu who lives on alms food cannot make such choices. Often the donor is unknown, perhaps not even a Buddhist, or just starting to find out about Dharma and to refuse their generosity may so offend them that they never have anything to do with Dharma again. (from “The Bhikkhus’ Rules. A Guide for Laypeople” compiled by Ian Anderson. Available in the Kechara House Dharma Library). In this case, I think the lamas acted out of compassion for their students in order to lead them to the Dharma.

  23. Joy Kam on Apr 19, 2011 at 5:45 am

    Dear Lew,

    How I would address this issue if it was me in your shoes…
    Firstly I would say:

    1. If we see a Sangha/monk.high lama eating meat and think it is ok for us too since they do it, then I should also do it too…then why not I also take on the robes and be a sangha/monk/nun? Why do we only choose to give excuses to the actions that our selfishness wants to keep and indulge. That would be using Dharma to cover our bad habituations. This in-sincerity has huge repercussion which will bring us to the 3 lower realms!

    2. We definitely cannot compare what the Buddha did simply because we are not Buddha. When ppl chant our name, I don’t think they will get any form of blessing and the chant is empty. But for Buddha, he can purify their negative karma and plant seeds of Dharma in them because He is enlightened. Can we?

    3. It is now the 21st century with plenty of choices, unlike in Tibet, a land where there is little vegetation. Now we have far to many choices and definitely we can choose not to eat meat, indirectly lessen then support of the animal farm killing industry. It also contradicts the teaching of compassion. How can we pray using the same mouth and the same mouth we put in meat/corpses/flesh of another. Then we tell the world we are practising Dharma? Sounds hypocritical and our speech will not have power due to this type action above.

    I hope the above makes sense…
    Joy

  24. Heike on Apr 19, 2011 at 4:56 am

    dear friends in dharma,

    i’m following this subject on rinpoches fb-blog and here on the page since quite a time – always with the question cathy menshioned some lines above (Cathy on Apr 18, 2011 at 5:25 pm).

    for me plants have life , too. there are so many experiments that indicate, they do communicate, they do feel, they do react – we humans are just not capable of recognizing, of understanding, as we are not capable of so many other things to see and hear and feel. and who can measure or honor or worship what he is not able to recognize?!

    to become a vegetarian seems to be not the ultimate solution. for several years i lived as a vegetarian because of my then partner who felt ill with just smelling meat in the fridge. i do not urgently need meat (even if my digestion dislikes total vegetarian food a bit), and i love vegetables a lot.

    but to some extent i feel that the old red indian tradition to thank everything you have to eat for giving its life and qualities/energies to your personal survival – vegetarian and non-vegetarian things – is the only honest attitude.

    we do not only take the lifes of animals. we do not only take the life of plants. if you think it over, you will see, that we take much more lifes with our usual daily life. we throw fruit with worms into the dustbin (uuuh, this is rotten, away with it!), we disinfect a whole quantity of bacteria and mold (or other living beings/creatures of that kind) with every “normal” cleaning, we vacuum mite without a thought to waste to (we just don’t see them, even if we know that they are there and know that they do exist, ain’t that true?), we use moth traps killing the insects who eat that … and so on and so on.

    when thinking about all those little things, i feel, that surviving is always a matter of living on cost of somebody else. it’s so sad if you are conscious of that. it feels you almost can do nothing about it – should not be eating, not drinking, not cleaning, not walking etc. with everything you do you can’t avoid to kill in some way – probably this is what living in samsara means.

    so the only thing one can do probably, is to be conscious about that, to try not to waste, to waive wanting the maximum possible just for your own comfort and to acknowledge, be thankful and make prayers for the wellbeing of whatever is taken by you.

    and returning back to vegetarian or not vegetarian: the main argument for not to eat much meat – in my eyes – is, that animals have already had to take the lives of plants to survive. so maybe some life(s) can be saved by not eating the ones in the end of the chain. or not often.

    and now that summer comes along – what about the mosquitos? who of all those animal-loving strict vegetarians is able to let them suck your blood instead of striking them dead? for they have no choice to be vegetarian … it is rather challenging to live at least a little bit of boddhicitta – and not at all easy!

    love to all of you discussers and may we all be able to improve!

  25. Lim Tat Ming on Apr 19, 2011 at 2:25 am

    Dear CK,

    In the Theravada Traditions, monks are supposed to accept whatever that is being offered to them during their alms rounds. It is ungrateful and unkind to refuse the offerings by the lay practitioners. If the lay practitioners know that it is not appropriate to offer meat to monks as it is heavy karma to kill animals for consumption of their meat, then they should not offer the meat to the monks. Monks who partake of the meat will also experience the result of this negative karma.

    There was an exception to the meat for alms rule, however. If monks knew or suspected that an animal had been slaughtered specifically to feed monks, they were to refuse to take the meat. On the other hand, leftover meat from an animal slaughtered to feed a lay family was acceptable. These rules are similarly applicable to Mahayana or Vajrayana traditions.

    From the outset, the lamas are wrong and not being skilful to consume meat in front of the devotees and in public. Unless these lamas have medical conditions where they have to rely on meat for their health, they must abstain from meat. It is damaging to the reputation of the Three Jewels when the general public see monks openly eat meat when they are known to be abstaining from meat. Because of the unskilful means of these lamas, they have not only created heavy negative karma to consume meat and bringing disrepute to Buddhadharma. They have also caused the general public to create negative karma in their thoughts and speeches as these ignorant beings will have wrong views and speeches about Buddhism in general and Sangha Jewels in particular. Monks who survived on meat because of medical condition still have to experience the result of the karma of eating meat.

    We don’t have the clairvoyance to know if these lamas have a higher motivation or purpose when they consume meat in front of the devotees and in public. These lamas could be emanations of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas or Mahasiddhas, who acted in that way in those occasions, places and conditions to benefit the beings in question. Hence it is wise not to criticise and think negatively of the act of these lamas. However, it is very clear whoever eats meat WILL experience the effect of being eaten in future – that’s the Law of Cause and Effect.

    In samsara, there is no way we can avoid killing. Becoming vegetarian or not consuming meat does not mean we are free from killing. The fact is to live is to kill. Farming our food requires killing of insects in the soil. We could have already had killed many organisms as we drive to work daily. Even as we walk we kill! In our ecosystem, humans are competing with other living organism for food, air, space, etc. There are direct and indirect causes that will result in the death of other organisms as humans struggle to survive.

    We have to practise the Middle Way in our views and practices. Most importantly is to be mindful of the harm that we can do and to avoid causing harm to other sentient beings as much as possible.

    Om Mani Padme Hum

  26. Elsie Toy on Apr 19, 2011 at 2:03 am

    Dear CK,
    I can understand how u feel. I use to learn taichi at a theravaden temple. When they knew I was a vajrayana.they were all passing comments that that llamas eat meat.initially. I was upset but later on. I learn that they have the power to sanctions. The meat t ate are blessed the poor animal that has sacrifices its life may have higher rebirth remember chaining kong the dirty monk ate meat too. Llamas n high lamas. Have the power to liberate these them. We don’t. So go veg is the best. Om mani pedme hum.

  27. Steve Tobias on Apr 19, 2011 at 1:55 am

    I’d like to offer a few points:

    1. As Rinpoche brought up previously: monks are offered food; monks are taught not to be “picky” as to what they receive, they just take it. There is a story about how Shakyamuni once ate a rotten, maggoty piece of food offered to him from someone who was blind.

    2. A quote from Gelek Rinpoche explaining a view on the matter:
    “Whatever job you take, as long as it is not involved in negativity, such as killing… If you are a meat seller, that is fine; if you are a butcher, then it is not fine — the distinction is there. When you are a meat seller and you sell more meat, others have to create more meat; if you look from that angle, then every single thing is questionable.
    Buddha has advised not to look that way. One of his attendants, Ananda, went too extreme and looked at what we call today the total economic structure. Buddha said: ‘What is relevant to this individual, with his mind and his two hands, that is relevant. Do not go beyond that’. Buddha told Ananda: ‘People are suffering because of their karma, that is the first noble truth and you should not worry about that, because it is automatic’. Not to worry does not mean not to care about it, but it means that you can’t say: ‘Hey, I can’t… etc’. So not to go too extreme.”

    However I want to add to this a point that a vegetarian nun in the UK brought up (sorry I forget her name): there are different times and places. In Dharmsala are there US-styled slaughter houses? In old Tibet did they clip the beaks from chickens and shove multiple chickens into a tiny cage in a dark room? Was milking a yak the same as milking a cow today in the US? Not the same.

    I would want to presume that these lamas eating meat are putting everything into teaching dharma, with only positive intentions, and may not have the means (or even the English language barrier) to get all the vegetarian-related information on Youtube. And even if they DO then their students would have to learn it, since they are the ones offering the food. They make be going with exactly what Gelek Rinpoche said since their lamas taught them that, and if their lamas are Buddhas then they might not feel a need to question it so much — who knows?

    3. Some of these lama may be highly attained. This means all of their actions are beneficial. It’s not the same for people like us. Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche would try to (or pretend to?) shoot birds, is it the same if we do it?

    4. Some of these lamas might be from totally different lineages, traditions, some (hate to say) more “valid” than others. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it just means they don’t take on all of the Buddhist teachings; for example if you see a Bon lama eating meat or a self-recognized “lama” doing so then it’s quite different. Not an insult, it’s like how Daniel Brett (above) brought up his Hindu wife not eating beef.

  28. Shin on Apr 19, 2011 at 1:05 am

    Dear CK Liew,
    In the past, meat consumption was the norm in Tibet. However, looking at what the sutras and the leaders in various schools of Buddhism (below), I think we know that vegetarianism is the way to go.

    The Lankavatara Sutra, which is prominent in the development of Chinese, Tibetan and Japanese Buddhism, Buddha has mentioned that meat eating has countless and that because of the habit of meat eating and the greed for flavours of meats, living beings kill and hurt each others in never ending cycles. The other sutras that are relavant to this topic are: Nirvana Sutra, the Shurangama Sutra, the Brahmajala Sutra, the Angulimaliya Sutra, the Mahamegha Sutra, as well as the Buddha’s comments on the negative karmic effects of meat consumption in the Karma Sutra.

    From the Buddhist leaders

    Spiritual leader of Tibet:
    a) If the human community is based on principles of peace, it will lessen the sufferings caused to millions and billions of animals. Otherwise, out of humans’ limitless and unjustified greed and desires, they build beef farms, pig farms, and fish farms which never existed before and are not needed. And now, when the animals bring diseases they are killed in large numbers. So many fishes are killed and they suffer so much. These days there are many Tibetan groups in India working for vegetarianism and spreading compassion for animals, such acts are extremely good and something to rejoice. Most of the monasteries have also turned their kitchen into vegetarian which is really good.
    – from Dalai Lama’s speech

    Gelug masters:
    a) If the number of people who consume meat is reduced, it then automatically reduces the number of people who kill the animals to meet the demand. In this way, by becoming vegetarian, we contribute, to some extent, to the reduction in the number of animals killed.
    – HH Kyabje Lati Rinpoche of Gaden

    b) It’s best to avoid eating meat…out of compassion. Before eating the meat, think of where it came from, through cutting an animal’s neck, against its will, and how much suffering the animal experienced. After thinking about that, you can’t eat the meat! Meat may be nice for the person eating it, but not for the animal who suffered so much and didn’t die naturally. You can say prayers for the animal that was killed, but if you eat the meat you are still playing a small part in the death of the animal. If everyone stopped eating meat then no more animals would be killed for that purpose.
    – Lama Yeshe, Avoid Killing Animals & On Eating Meat

    Nyingma masters:
    a) Regarding vegetarianism among his peers, “[In] my experience I have come across many lamas in Kham, Amdo—all parts of Tibet—who don’t eat meat.” And to promote the vegetarian lifestyle the lama wrote On Flesh Eating, in which he states, “Knowing all the faults of meat and alcohol, I have made a commitment to give up meat and alcohol. I have also declared this moral to all my monasteries. Therefore, anyone who listens to me is requested not to break this Dharmic moral.”
    – Chatral Rinpoche, a meditation master who has spent much of life living alone in caves and wandering barefoot in the Himalayas (and who said there’s nothing to eat but meat in Tibet!!!)

    b) The beings with unfortunate karma that we are supposed to be protecting are instead being killed without the slightest compassion, and their boiled flesh and blood are being presented to us and we – their protectors, the Bodhisattvas – then gobble it al1 up gleefully, smacking our lips. What could be worse than that?
    – Patrul Rinpoche, Words of my Perfect Teacher p208-209

    Kagyu masters:
    a) At the 24th annual Kagyu Monlam prayer ceremony, HH Karmapa said that he has become a vegetarian. He spoke strongly against meat-eating. Karmapa asked anyone who considers themselves to be his student, to stop eating meat, or at least reduce their meat eating. Many people there took vows not to eat meat. All his centers and monasteries have stopped buying, cooking, and serving meat. At the 25th annual Kagyu Monlam prayer ceremony, HH Karmapa praised some senior lamas who have become vegetarian: Jamgon Rinpoche, Gyaltsap Rinpoche; and others who eat less meat than before: Thrangu Rinpoche and Tenga Rinpache.

    b) Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso and Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche have asked their students to stop eating meat, following Karmapa’s request.

    Sakya masters:
    In Ngor Monastery in Tibet, bringing meat anywhere near the monastery, let alone inside the compound, is not allowed. The Lord Shakyamuni said that we should abandon all non-virtuous deeds and, according to the essence of Buddhist teachings, we should try to help all sentient beings. We should not harm a single sentient being. So, by being vegetarian, we obey the Buddha’s precepts. The benefits of being vegetarian are huge, as it is an act of compassion, and is in compliance with the Dharma.
    – His Eminence Luding Khenchen Rinpoche , 75th Head of the Ngor of the Sakya tradition

    – Thich Nhat Hanh, zen master, from his letter to his spiritual community in 2007:
    UNESCO reported that each day about 40,000 children die because of hunger or lack of nutrition. Meanwhile, corn and wheat are largely grown to feed livestock (cows, pigs, chickens, etc.) or to produce alcohol. Over 80 percent of corn and over 95 percent of oats produced in the United States are for feeding livestock. The world’s cattle alone consume a quantity of food equivalent to the caloric needs of 8.7 billion people, more than the entire human population on earth.
    Eating meat and drinking alcohol with mindfulness, we will realize that we are eating the flesh of our own children.

    – Dharma Master Cheng Yen, founder of Tzu Chi foundation that has volunteers in 47 countries , with 372 offices worldwide:
    Since the start of 2011, many historic disasters have happened, signaling the distress our Mother Earth is in and how out of balance Nature already has become. Humankind has brought this about. All of us must reflect on this deeply and begin anew. The way to put this into concrete action is to undertake a vegetarian fast (“zhai jie” in Chinese). This is an expression of our utmost sincerity. It will create a most powerful prayer for our world.”

    For me personally, I believe that if we become a vegetarian, it means that we will cause less harm to sentient beings and to our environment. We won’t be the cause of a being losing its life or cause more unnecessary stress on the planet. Also, various healthy vegetarian diets are available almost all over the world today as compared to the past, so there is really no reason to eat meat.

  29. Lim KSJC on Apr 19, 2011 at 12:47 am

    Dear CK,

    Paris, JP and Jean Ai have given Dharmic and clear explaination to u. I also learn a lot with their sharing. Thanks for the sharing.

    But from my opinion, i feel that be a Vegetarian can help us to avoid for create new bad karma in our life. Example, we know saving life is a good way to create Merits but how much can we do? Can we counted how many ants or others insects we step per day?

    So when after we become Vegetarian at least we are stop killing and in another way to think we already saving live when we stop killing…

  30. Mike D on Apr 19, 2011 at 12:10 am

    if you don’t want to eat meat, then don’t. there is no such thing as ‘busybody’ Buddhism, nor will there ever be. controlling others is not our job — judging them, even less so. if my hamburger offends you, look down and offer a prayer for me and the cow, thanks. and try to be careful about your judgemements, as they affect you more than the others — particularly those about your own lineage Gurus.

  31. Lim Yew Leong on Apr 18, 2011 at 11:59 pm

    Dear everyone,
    1. Is there a practice thought by Buddha Shakyamuni which requires one to consume meat in order to accomplish the practice? If so, kindly inform me
    2. In this degenerate era, does a highly attained person who is capable of sending one’s soul to pure land after killing/eating its meat exist in this world ?
    If so, a) he should kill all his followers , friends and relatives and send them to pure land. This will save them from spending eons lifetimes and effort in practicing dharma.
    b) the attained person should extend his compassion to save beings like maggots, cockroaches etc by consuming them.( I don’t mean to be rude or harsh to anyone).
    I fully agree with what Pedma Dekyi has said : ordained monks, obeying and keeping the vows is of most important and I like what Rinpoche has said :Some who wear the robes are such excellent examples of the Dharma and others are trying their best for the moment.
    I have full respect to anyone who wear the robes and keep their monk vows.
    “MEAT EATEN CAN BE DIGESTED BUT NOT THE KARMA THAT WAS CREATED”

  32. Lily on Apr 18, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    A lama once said that just because I wear maroon robes and had a shaven head, people assumed that I am a vegetarian. This is the perception we hold of Buddhist monks. Monks who are seeking food on alms must eat what they are given in order for the giver to collect merits. The Buddhist precepts does not state that there is no meat eating only no killing. So technically speaking meat can be consumed if it did not contribute to the demand for its killing like ordering a live fish in a restaurant. Having said that, is it ok to buy meat from the supermarket? It is already dead! But the fact that we buy it means we are contributing to the demand for it. As a Buddhist if I choose to be a vegetarian, it is rather out of compassion for the animals that are being farmed in horrendous environment for our consumption.

  33. Diana Pereyda on Apr 18, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    The Jewish people are not allowed to eat meat unless it is kosher
    means the animal is clean and taken care of until it is butchered and blessed by a holy man
    the Rabbi, which at least makes more mindful of consumption. Jesus Christ blessed wine and
    told his followers to drink as it was his blood and bread eaten his flesh, so he would be with in
    them. So when the high Lamas take on the karma eating the flesh of an animal, that animal is
    blessed and within them.

  34. susan on Apr 18, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    Dear CK
    I think you have more answers here than you might have imagined getting 🙂 I find the answers all very beneficial and are what Rinpoche has taught us.

    Often times, we may have all the answers but still may not gain confidence in the matter.

    Therefore, what I wish is to post a question to you instead. Why do you feel helpless when you heard other lamas eat meat? Perhaps, when you answer that question sincerely, you will find clarity in this matter. (you do not need to answer here but just something to think about)

    As we embark on our spiritual journey, we will ALWAYS find differences in opinions and views even amongst Buddhist practitioners. But what helps is to take your Guru’s advice to heart and contemplate on the benefits. From understanding the purpose and benefits of your Guru’s advice, you will start to feel confident irregardless of any differences or disagreement you may find along the way.

    Confusion, or finding ourselves dumbfounded and helpless arise NOT because of disagreements and differences in views but rather our own lack of conviction in what we are practicing.

    Simply….we can never go wrong by not eating meat. It is very good for our practice as outwardly by not killing, it helps our mind and motivation to focus on benefiting others.

    with care
    susan

    • Thierry Janssens on Apr 19, 2011 at 10:46 am

      CK, Susan,
      I like Susan’s post.
      I would like to add a few things for our thoughts:

      The Dharma is said to have 4 Greatnesses, the first one, without which we can’t get to the other greatnesses, is that “Dharma is without contradictions”.
      If my lama requests for me to be a vegetarian and another lama eats meat, does it equate with a contradiction?
      If my mind understand this as a contradiction, it is easy to notice how confused my mind becomes, how it weakens.
      I can only see a contradiction when I put myself as the one who knows better than other people’s lamas. Not a very beneficial stand that is!

      Let’s think about this:
      How many of us are envious of our friends that have lamas eating meat? How many of us have been thinking: at least with “these” lamas, I would not have to go give up meat!
      Perhaps, they are compassionate lamas who are specifically taking care of the meat-eaters… Perhaps it is skillful means. And if their lamas cannot change their minds yet, how could we?

      I think we need to apply intelligence and recognize who to “push” towards giving up meat and who is not ready.
      I have lost two very close friends on the ground of becoming vegetarian, I was arrogant about it, I was “campaigning” to them. They were always cooking extra-ordinary good meals (always with meat), and I was simply destroying everything, I became a “party-pooper”.
      Eventhough they were very close friends, they eventually locked me “out”, I was no more invited for dinners, and slowly we grew apart to a point where if I call they find an excuse never to see me.
      That was clearly not skillful from my part.
      And I feel sorry because I screwed up with them, out of my arrogant stand-point of a compassionate vegetarian, and now I have no more access to their hearts or minds…

      • Tsem Tulku Rinpoche on Apr 19, 2011 at 1:06 pm

        Dear Thierry,

        What an honest and open sharing. Thank you for being so open. You were not wrong to be vegetarian for sure. If you ‘pushed’ your friend away just because of meat, that is very sad. But you are not to totally blame. I think the meat not eating issue was just a ‘doorway’ to something brewing deeper already without realizing it-maybe… After all, true friends who are meant to be together will be together no matter what. Maybe your karma with them for now has ended. Nevertheless, I like how you took responsibility for the whole situation. I hope you will be friends with them again…TR

    • Dee Dee Quah on Apr 19, 2011 at 7:42 pm

      Dear Susan,

      Thanks for sharing your thought. It helped me to look at it from this viewpoint.

      I admit to feeling lost and CK’s question brings my internal tussles to light (Thank you CK for having the courage to share your feelings).

      DD

  35. Just this! on Apr 18, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    Dear CK Liew,

    On top of the excellent replies, if these are of any help to you…

    PARABLE 0120: THIS MIND IS THE BUDDHA
    “Once a monk asked Big Plum what [the famous Zen Patriarch] Matsu taught him.
    Big Plum said, ‘This mind is the Buddha.’
    The monk replied, ‘Nowadays Matsu teaches That which isn’t the mind isn’t the Buddha.’
    To this Big Plum replied, ‘Let him have That which isn’t the mind isn’t the Buddha. I’ll stick with This mind is the Buddha.’
    When he heard this story, Matsu said, ‘The plum is ripe.’ [(Transmission of the Lamp, Chapter 7) Red Pine: 116
    http://www.ymba.org/parable/parabfr3.htm ]

    ‘Whereas some recluses and brahmins, while living on the food offered by the faithful, engage in wrangling argumentation, (saying to one another):
    “You don’t understand this doctrine and discipline.
    I am the one who understands this doctrine and discipline.” —
    “How can you understand this doctrine and discipline?” —
    “You’re practising the wrong way. I’m practising the right way.” —
    “I’m being consistent. You’re inconsistent.” —
    “What should have been said first you said last, what should have been said last you said first.” —
    “What you took so long to think out has been confuted.” —
    “Your doctrine has been refuted. You’re defeated.
    Go, try to save your doctrine, or disentangle yourself now if you can” — the recluse Gotama abstains from such wrangling argumentation.’
    [Brahmajala Sutta: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.01.0.bodh.html ]

    Finally…a quote from Kechara’s calendar, produced by KIM, January 2011:
    ‘Not everyone can see things the way you see it, so let it go.
    You can’t see everything the way they see it either’

  36. Plinio Tsai on Apr 18, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    Dear friend.

    I have come from a chinese tradition, and then brought to a tibetan one.

    Apart from the moral issues, and getting to the pratical issues, I have seem both sides – vegetarian and not vegetarian. I believe the most benefitial still is to be vegetarian, but it is also a question of body acceptance. We have a matured karma in our bodies and for some it is completely impossible to not eat meat without getting sick. So my solution for this problem was to get some periods of being vegetarin and when I perceive my body getting weak or sick, I start to consume meat again…

    Lamas, lay people, monks, and whaetever we call them should get their own observation of their body sistem and also their motivations and follow with whaetever they should do to benefit others. We know Tibet was a very cold weather and the consuptiom of meat probably was a must, but in regions like China, in South, and Central, there is a less propention to eat meat, but in North, there was more obstacles due to weather time … So, if science is correct, then we must admite that there is a karmic link in our bodies from our parents and if our ancestrals does not have the habit to eat only vegetables, our body sistems also will not have it developed, and may even developed for a extended time of a life spam as a human being… since this Lamas probably are bodhisattvas or buddhas that must take birth in order to benefit human beings, then they must undergo the karmic formations that come from the father and mother sperma and ovulum and get, as a side effect, the necessity of eating meat… even though it is just a speculative thought, we know by experience that if we think we can stop the flux of nature we will end up in the hospital, so it is better to follow the flux and slowly be training our continuum to think, feel and get natural towards compassion over animals and their sufferings, don’t you think? Our world with its own problems, it is always a very good source of continuous contemplation…

  37. Thomas N on Apr 18, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    Think of Tilopa.
    Think of yourself.
    Be compassionate.
    See the animal you’re about to eat.
    See the interdependence.
    Take responsibility.
    Decide for yourself.
    No need to missionize.
    Neither for meat, nor against.

  38. grace on Apr 18, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    The Buddha teaches us to contemplate the logic behind his teachings and not to follow it just because the words came from him. I believe Tsem Rinp’s blog on the logic of not eating the meat is very strong and convincing. Lets face it, there will always be people in denial over the truth because of certain attachment.

    In 2007 Kagyu Monlam, the Gyalwa Karmapa issued an order for Karma Kamtsang to refrain from meat, including tsog offering. He went as far as saying anyone who partakes meat is not from his lineage. Kagyu focuses heavily on blessing of the lama to attain Mahamudra. Coming from the head of the lineage, it is certainly a very powerful msg.

    http://www.kagyumonlam.org/english/Lectures/20071224_HHK_Advice_Vegetarianism.html

    http://www.rinpoche.com/teachings/nomeat.htm?page_id=52

    In 2006, Holiness Dalai Lama said to the assembly who were attending Kalachakra empowerment “When you go back to your respective places, remember what I had said earlier and never use, sell, or buy wild animals, their products or derivatives.” From then on, all Gelug monasteries were not allowed to serve meat.

    Eg of other monks who are pro vegetariansm like Geshe Thupten Phelgye of Universal Campaign believes strongly in refraining from eating meat and have benefited many people and animals.

    http://www.universalcompassion.org/

    The great Mahasiddha and Yogi Drubwang Konchog Rinp meditated in a cave for more than 13 yrs. He almost went blind then. During his very tough yogic practices, he NEVER ate meat.
    http://www.casotac.com/vege/vege.html

    My point is, whether it is abt pushing for cleaner fuel or vegetarianism, there will always be opposing views. The impt thing is we must evaluate the truth ourselves throughly then live our life the way we believe is right. At the end of the day, we are the sole inheritor of our karma. Our happiness or unhappiness will ultimately come from our own actions.

    Personally it is difficult to live our lives different from the rest of the world and being a vegetarian has a lot of challenges. But it is more difficult to have lived your life in a cage packed full of other animals, being forced fed and injected with hormones that your legs break from your body growing too quickly. Then eventually dragged to the slaughterhouse and have your throat slit. It might be good if the suffering just ends there but NO. You are hung upside down from your hind legs so that your blood can drip slowly while you writhe in extreme pain. All this so that someone else can eat you. Is this the kind of human we choose to become?

    May all benefit from the truth.

  39. Thierry Janssens on Apr 18, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    USING OTHER’S WAYS TO JUSTIFY OURS
    I think it is easier to look at what is on other people’s plate and use that to justify what we like, than it is to look at what we put on our plate, and be real (un-biased) about it.
    ie: meat on our plate = killing of an animal.
    A monk eating meat is a different thing than me eating meat, this has been explained again and again here above.
    To use the lama’s ways to justify my delusions, how blind is that!

    SKILLFUL MEANS
    One thing that The Buddha did not do is equate vegetarianism with Buddhism. The Buddha did not put as a precept: do not eat meat, the precept is: do not kill.
    It is for us to think about this deeper than on the action level.
    Hitler was a vegetarian, was his motivation one of compassion towards living beings? I don’t know but I doubt it.
    To be vegetarian does not mean we are “saints”, that would be way too easy. Then what comes next in our deluded minds ruled by anger: vegetarian buddhists condemning non-vegetarian buddhists?
    The point is not in eating the meat!

    MOTIVATION
    Why are we vegetarian? Why do we eat meat?
    What is Buddha’s motivation when he eats meat?
    What is my motivation when I eat meat? Or shall I say, what is my delusion when I eat meat?

    Again, instead of looking in other people’s plates, we should contemplate ours. Maybe I have created the causes for my lama to eat meat, maybe it is up to me to do something about it.

  40. Lodak Lodro on Apr 18, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    Dear Tsem Rinpoche,

    I have been a Buddhist for over 20 years, and all along I’ve ate meat with the excused of being a Vajrayana like all the Lamas do,we were encouraged to transform meat into nectar a transformative practice process. This was a very ignorant view of mine then, how could I be so ignorant to thinking that I have any insight of pure vision to such a believed. I am very sorry that I have caused alot of killing indirectly and pains to all the animals that had been slaughtered at the slaughter house so that I have meat for food. If we would visited the slaughter house and see with our open eyes, we would cried with shame on how much sufferings we have caused on those animals. Not to mentioned the ways some of these animals were being killed, it was so cruelled and inhumane, please watch earthling documentary on the youtube.
    After watching the documentary, I had stopped ingesting meat and now worked at it to be a good vegetarian as my practice.

  41. SHY on Apr 18, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    Very simple, just ask yourself why are you been vegetarian.
    If you are not ready or not willing to, then you will make millions of excuses to cover it.

    For me, i chose to be vegetarian because:

    1) as compassion to animals,
    2) to love our mother earth (as producing meat create more carbon foot print than producing same amount of vege)
    3) lastly is because health, (eating meat cause your body to be more acidic as it might lead to illnesses)

    anyway, its a personal choice. do not criticize or force others being not vegetarian, it might create more harm although is with good intention. Just set a good example and i believe more will follow if our attitude and our spiritual practise improves after we are vegetarian.

    wish all the best

  42. ngeowchin on Apr 18, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    Hi CK,
    How wonderful to see you rcv so many rationalistic arguments in favour of giving up meat.
    For me, the humanistic reason is most compelling.We have to re-examine our conscience to see whether we should continue to indulge in a habit which cause so much suffering and pain to others.Not knowing is no longer an option.
    It is not as if we have no alternative.In fact it is a vastly better alternative from every aspect. It is a holistic alternative which not only benefit creatures big and small but also our physical, mental and spiritual well being.

  43. Han Siew Fong on Apr 18, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    Dear CK,
    I want to be a vegetarian because my Guru through his compassion and teachings, strongly advice us to be a vegetarian, he even shown us WHY necessary to become vegetarian through Earthlings DVD, whoever watched the video and still eating meat?
    To me, like Yoke Fui said, i DONT THINK I CAN HIDE AWAY FROM IT ANYMORE.

  44. Ethan Chu on Apr 18, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    This is a good question posted by CK Liew. Coz many has been debating about issues like this. It is actually sad when people always find fault and create more doubts for oneself. It doesn’t mean that they are bad, it is just that we are being brought up with many different views and it is up to our wisdom to judge and make a stand for something.

    To me, it is not about a Buddha eats meat or not. It is actually a choice upon ourselves to whether want to stop contributing to animal killing. It really doesn’t matter whether the person is a Buddha or not. Knowing that the result is positive, then why should we not comply? On the other hand, wouldn’t a Buddha know better rather than to eat meat for food consuming purposes only?

    In Buddhism, I was told if a high attained being consumed meat eating, it will blessed the meat and gained a better rebirth. But in ordinary beings eyes, it will be seen as a bad example as Buddhism is based on compassion. It is really up to us. A choice. To practice dharma or not, or should we just because of one thing that doesn’t make sense to us and pushes dharma away altogether.

  45. Justin Ripley on Apr 18, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    Hey CK,

    You know what, when people wish to do something they will justify until the sun comes home why they want to do it. Obviously your friend wants to eat meat, you want him to know that as a Buddhist we can reduce killing and suffering.

    Hence you need some angles for replying, I hope all the above helps you to answer again in future.

    The Main arguments people say in support of eating meat.

    1. Buddha Shakaymuni ate meat.
    **** Simple keyword in this sentence is “Buddha”, I’m not a Buddha, I haven’t even gone the next step as to take on vows / ordination as official Sangha even. So how in my capacity as lay person who am I to Judge the “Teacher”, “The Monk”, who have committed themselves more so than me. Just because they do, is not even close to being the same as Samsaric Laypeople. Very easy, until a layperson takes on vows and robes, just cause they do I can too is not LOGICAL, valid.

    2. Being Vegetarian kills many many more beings in the cultivation of vegetables.
    **** Those same beings are being killed in the cultivation of the animal to be slaughtered so whats they difference? Cows and sheep are walking in fields and eating grass, killing many insects in the soil and above the soil as they go about their day, as to are most land bound animals. But in the end the final product for human consumption is it still a being whose life was traded for our own?

    3. Geographically: its not possible to be completely vegetarian.
    **** This one quite simple, Malaysia is not a geographical location where the options are limited to only meat. ……..(fill in your country) is not a geographical location where… And even if it is, are their really no alternatives??

    4. Diet Requirement
    **** Need meat for energy and protein… okay, can concede on this but ONLY with a valid test report given from a reputable Doctor or Medical Establishment. Just Kidding, but seriously, do we just say that to brush under the table?

    I’m sure there’s a few more arguments by the meat eaters not included here, but so long as you know yourself that at least the final product that goes into your mouth didn’t die for you at least you have a basis to debate from.

    http://ow.ly/4Cm0F Failing that send them to this debate it’s soo funny.

    tks

    JR

  46. ck liew on Apr 18, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    Yes Yoke Fui , they have . It shows we can learn alot from them and continue to learn. Especially the response by Paris. Amazing : )

    Lastly i am also NOT , NEVER my intention to criticize any lama’s or teachers. Who am i to criticize ? no no. Just the way i saw it and felt it. The question wasn’t directed to those lama’s.

    Thank You All.

  47. Yoke Fui on Apr 18, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    Dear CK,
    I think Paris, JP and Jean Ai have given very clear and logical answers to your question.

    To me personally, the thought of the pains, fears and sufferings of all the animals have to endure on account of my personal gratification is enough to change my eating habit.

    I have passed the “Earthlings” DVD to some friends who are not Buddhists. Some refused to watch it, some watched and now go meatless on certain days while some stopped taking meat altogether.

    Rinpoche had very skillfully shown us the truth through the videos. I don’t think I can hide away from it anymore.

  48. Werner on Apr 18, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    Vegetarianism is traditional in Chinese Buddhism, not in Tibetan Buddhism. Better to keep them separate. Just because Chinese have more money, doesn’t mean the Tibetans should follow their example.

    Also, vegetarianism was practiced by some of the hippies and New Agers. This has nothing to do with genuine Buddhism.

    According to the Pali canon, Devadatta once proposed that all monks should be vegetarian. Buddha rejected his suggestion.

    Vegetarians can be very fanatical, making that the only issue that they care about. As some guru said somewhere, what’s important is not what goes into the mouth, but what comes out of the mouth.

    If we give up eating animals, then why not vegetables? What about their right to life? Of course that is ridiculous. But explain how an animal lover can give his dog a flea dip. Why not protect the fleas instead? After all, we mustn’t practice “animal lookism”!

  49. ck liew on Apr 18, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    Guys and Girls! Thank you very much for the responses , views and advice. Appreciate it alot and great to deepen my knowledge and understanding. It definitely will help equip me to answer better.

    The 2nd part to this question is that , this relative of mine is a very close one i am actually very very concern about his health as his childrens ( cousins ) told me that their dad already flag a red signal for his health. Less or little fat , less sugar & no – NO salt was recommended by doctors. The fact is when i spoke to him due to all the lamas that he came across whether highly attained or not ( i am NOT criticizing ) just that that’s the way i saw it did not manage to “guide” him or them in a proper ways as he straight forward blunt answer to me as a counter due to the strong ego he has in mind is simply indirectly = ” my lamas and seniors in my centres consume meat , so what the heck ! i eat lah. “. That’s the stressful part.

    I guess we just had to accept certain things in a way it is and one of the views given above it do not force your view on others , thats right ! It just create more unhappiness , people just dont like to be told and criticize. Thanks again !

    • Tsem Tulku Rinpoche on Apr 18, 2011 at 6:37 pm

      The ‘lamas’ that travel and visit centres are of different levels in their practice also. Wearing robes does not dismiss anyone from practicing the dharma always from the depths of their hearts. Some who wear the robes are such excellent examples of the Dharma and others are trying their best for the moment. So we need to not generalize lamas and teachers. Thanks and I do not mean to sound harsh towards some sangha. TR

  50. Andrew Paisley on Apr 18, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    The way I look at it is some people have to eat what is available and dont always have choices. I have met Buddhists who eat meat(quite a few)from different traditions,including my own. When they have said its not necessary to refrain from eating meat and that Buddha ate meat,I dont buy that and think they are just feeding their self-cherishing egos. Buddha ate meat when it was offered-theres a difference! I have a choice..I have plenty of delicious vegan food to choose from so therefore i avoid meat and dairy products,because I have a choice..its not just because of my Buddhist faith,its because of the hideous abuse of sentient beings..i also try to avoid leather products etc..but I am not preachy about all this. If we have a choice,then we know what is right or wrong and its up to us what Karma we decide to create,Robes and Titles dont make us exempt either..an old lady sat in a park drinking whisky is just as likely to be a Buddha as a robed or titled person.
    Too many Buddhists are not prepared to change their negative,selfish habits and often finding exuses for their laziness and selfishness.I do not eat the meat in tantric practice..i choose not too,soya can be used instead. Im not being disrespectful in these words I am being honest. I enjoyed eating meat and dairy very much. It is not compassionate to eat my mothers. If someone has no choice then fair enough,but I do.

  51. tshering on Apr 18, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    Well this is an interesting debate in context of the buddhist tenets. The first of the 10 non-virtous acts as per the dharma says ‘killing’, so it makes sense for one to stop eating meat and we have no excuse and counter argument to this reason. As killing takes away life and causes immense pain and suffering to animals/sentient beings. It has no moral basis whatsoever. The argument to this according to some is that, even the plants have life and that we are causing equal harm. The answer to this has been that the word ‘sentient being’ has been used, and the word sentient means beings able to experience physical and emotional feelings. Plants are not sentient beings as they don’t have central nervous system to experience the same. I suggest further research into this.

    Certainly, some of the enlightened and realized beings including some here in Bhutan were meat eater and that gave some of the dharma pratitioners and the many dharmic bums an excuse to consume meat. Perhaps the question arises – do we have the realizations and the power to liberate the consciousness of the beings that we consume as food? Above all, the least novice like us in the practice of dharma can do is refrain from indirectly killing the animals for our consumption as food. If not, merely mouthing the precepts like love and compassion is empty of any essence and meaning if we dont walk the talk.
    There are many health benefits and alternative food which have been promoted by many as we all know. Knowingly committing actions that prick ones conscience seems far more foolish than being ignorant and indulgent. Eventually as i gathered from some of the comments here,it’s ones choice. A choice to accumulate negative karma or merit to recieve the blessing of the living dharma as a wise and skillfull way of life.

  52. jon c on Apr 18, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    Seems to me your Lama will select the best method and practices for you, vegetarianism in the example, best not worry about what other Lamas and students are doing, its not relevent to you.

    Focusing on what others are being taught and practice and compairing it to you would be like trying to fix your air conditioner with the instructs for the television.

    We are told there are 84,000 paths to enlightenment, even if you meet someone following exactly the same path as you, chances are they will be in such a different part of it than you that you may see little in common with them.

    Why worry La.

    Jon 😉

  53. Andrew James Boon on Apr 18, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Dear CK,

    For me it really is simple. Is not about whether or not lamas eat meat or don’t eat meat or what lamas do or don’t do. If I merely choose to use one thing that a lama or an ordained person does, in this case, eating meat and using that as a justification for me to eat meat too then it is hypocritical.

    It is human nature that we use an example of something, usually bad if I may add, and use that as a vindication that we are right or as a justification. Case in point: I remember on one occasion, as a child, I returned from school with a maths test result which was less than desirable. Ok ok, I failed! And when my mother confronted me on this, I told her almost nonchalantly that more than two thirds of the class failed and that it was tough. My mother merely smiled and said to me “what about the other one third of the class? Why don’t you compare yourself to them?” Boy, did I shut up immediately.

    It was then that I learned not comparing oneself to the negative but the positive. It is not about what the majority is doing but what you think deep down inside is right. That was merely a lesson in justification and how our minds are so quick to comparing ourselves to the ‘norm’ thinking it is ‘right’ based on that.

    I know eating meat is on a different level altogether but for me, realising that I am NOT a lama or an ordained person, I do not have the justification to even begin to fathom why the person eats meat. There are many reasons why, as clearly explained in some comments above. If I lived the life of a lama or an ordained person with the multitude of vows, immense compassion and life steeped in selflessness, maybe then I can truly see why they do it… and if I cannot for my own selfish reasons give up my samsaric life, then I have no reason to judge or even compare myself to such a person.

    I choose not to eat meat because I do not want to cause any suffering to any other being purely based on what I feel personally is a cruel attachment to my own wants and NOT need. I don’t NEED meat. I do not crave meat at all these days in fact I am most thankful I do not because in realising this I know I am on the right track. So dear CK, do it from your heart (compassion) and not from your mind (selfishness). That is my humble advise to you!

  54. Sock Wan on Apr 18, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    Like what Daniel said, in the past, monks in Tibet ate meat because vegetable was not easy to get in Tibet. However, I also read that now, most monasteries in Tibet have gone vegetarian because vegetable can be easily transported to Tibet.

    I think the main point is not to debate if a monk should or should not eat meat.

    First check the motivation of becoming a vegetarian, do you do it because monks are doing it? or you do it because it makes perfect sense that stop eating meat is one of the ways to stop harming others.

  55. Jean Mei on Apr 18, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Hey Lew!! 🙂

    You shouldn’t feel dumbfounded when your friend told you about visiting lamas eating meat :). We should feel a little sad. It’s through these type of actions that it clearly shows the times we are living in: the degenerate times.

    There are many things that lamas do nowadays as to not disturb our minds. It’s through their compassion that they will do whatever it takes to spread the Dharma.

    For many people, being vegetarian is a big deal. Remember when you first entered Kechara? If someone was to propagate vegetarianism to you, you would’ve been taken aback and felt that this place was fanatical and so serious. I would have felt that! Haha

    Even now, if I said “Eh Lew, give up milk, cheese, butter, eggs, garlic, onion….” can you? 🙂

    In the same way, through their kindness and compassion, lamas have to “come down to our level” to spread the Dharma. Being like us, they: eat meat, have fun, say jokes… basically create a more relaxed environment; not so strict and it helps our minds absorb more Dharma.

    Imagine their patience and compassion.

    If a lama came to you and said, “Wake up at 7, pray for 5 hours everyday, cannot eat meat, cannot go to the club, cannot smoke…” – most people would not stick around the Dharma center or be around Dharma for long.

    Being a lama, they hold monk vows. Monks eat whatever is presented to them, as it is against their vows to pick and choose.

    So coming to someone else’s country (or someone else’s centre), if the student was to bring their lama to a restaurant and serve them – as a monk, they cannot reject.

    Imagine the rejection, the student might feel offended, angry and perhaps even TURN AWAY from the Dharma.

    I’m sure you know that this is not uncommon! Asian people are very conscious about “losing face” haha.

    By holding their vows, it is a blessing for the animal and it is a blessing for the person who has offered the meat. YES there is negative karma accrued, but there is also positive karma.

    The person offering, is offering what HE or SHE THINKS is best. By offering what he/she likes or what he/she thinks is best, there are merits generated from that.

    With a monk eating the meat, it is very different from you and I eating meat.

    In this Youtube video (http://bit.ly/3nkkVE), Tsem Rinpoche says, “the first fundamental step to developing compassion is outward. Outwardly means to take on vows. When we take vows we restrict out body, speech and mind from doing actions that will be contrary to becoming close with them by nature (Buddha’s character) and physically close (visions).

    Therefore, one of the vows we take is not eating meat. We might think ‘but Shakyamuni eats meat so doesn’t that mean we can eat?’. But Shakyamuni did many things that we can copy but it won’t have the same result. E.g. If a great cook is in a restaurant with a knife cutting very fast, I can’t do the same thing as I may cut my fingers off. It may look the same, but it’s not the same.

    Shakyamuni, Manjushrim, Kuan Yin (etc) are enlightened. Any action that is associated with them will benefit that sentient being, even eating their flesh. He is not eating out of desire and attachment, Buddha is eating because someone offered it out of great compassion. ”

    This is similar for a monk eating meat. Unlike you and me, when food is offered we have a choice, the lamas in the situation you said, don’t.

    Monks eat to survive, they don’t eat out of desire and attachment. E.g. a begging bowl, they eat whatever is given to them.

    His Holiness’s kitchen in Dharamsala is vegetarian. However, during visits outside of Dharamsala, His Holiness is not necessarily vegetarian. Don’t tell me we’re going to start doubting the Dalai Lama now! Lol

    Great question Lew, remember: we always have a choice 🙂 (http://bit.ly/fXUkyE)

    Perhaps next time, we should encourage our friends to offer vegetarian food to the lamas. It will both please the lama, the land deities and the Buddhas!! 🙂

    Hope this helps!

  56. Pedma Dekyi on Apr 18, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    My root lama, and most Rinpoches and lamas that I know are vegetarians. They rather eat just crackers and drink water/tea or even nothing at all, and they just quietly sit there chant and pray if they are brought to a regular meat/seafood serving restaurant by not so keen and careful practitioners.
    My husband was angry w/ me for years when I serve only vegetarian food as one of my son is allergic to all animal protein, but now we both compromise. He buys food and I cook. I prepare vegetarian breakfast for kids and myself and have simple vegetarian lunch, but cook regular dinner as he wishes, but cutting down meat and seafood more and more, and on Buddha’s & Buddhisattva’s birthdays we have vegetarian food. I told him that’s for his health reasons and that helps to keep his system clean, so now he happily accepts that. But I don’t eat dinner myself, unless for unavoidable occasions e.g. business of family gathering, special events, or when traveling. When I eat outside, I usually only eat what ever vegetables that are available and not to fuss or trouble any one to make special vegetarian dishes for me and also pray for those around me who are still eating animal flashes and for those animals who sacrificed their lives for the benefit and so-called “nutrition” needs for those who eating them.
    Many of my meat-eating friends are more and more aware of this matter, and they are very nice to join me to have pure vegetarian food when we gather… I think we lay-people just do little more day by day and encourage each other more(to those who can’t become 100% pure vegetarian yet) would be heading toward the right track. But for ordained monks, obeying and keeping the vows is of most important.

    w/ love and respect,
    Pedma Dekyi

    • Tsem Tulku Rinpoche on Apr 18, 2011 at 6:09 pm

      Dear Pedma Dekyi, what a beautiful sharing. Thank you so much. Tsem Rinpoche

  57. David Green on Apr 18, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    There are 3 Poisons on Buddhist forums which discuss these things – cults, rebirth and vegetarianism. My general experience is that meat-eaters usually become angry, which I think stems partly from the feeling that they know it is wrong.

    ‘Buddha ate meat’ – I think this is more likely to have been inserted into scripture later by a meat-eating monastic, just as in the same way it is said that ‘monks must eat what is placed in their bowls’, including meat from an animal ‘not killed for them’.

    Again, a monk would need to be very nieve to think that a poor villager would customarily eat meat, and would not kill especially for the monks as a way of gaining merit.

    The last reason tends to be superstitious – I know ‘vegetarians’ in India who eat meat once a week or once a month as they think they must do so for health reasons. This is nonsense of course, but sometimes deeply rooted. However, westerners should have compassion for people in cultures where being vegetarian is difficult.

    People eat meat in restaurants and buy meat in stores and think it is OK because they did not cause the deaths. True, but it does create a market demand which leads to the killing of more animals. No market, no killing.

    It is sometimes hard for vegetarians to take part in Tsog with meat. As the substances are transformed before consumption, this boils down to faith. If there is no strong belief in the transformation and this deters someone from attending, they should ask for a tiny portion tsampa soaked in alcohol.

    Finally, some forget that Buddhism started in India, not Tibet, and that some Tibetan monks have used the justifications (I have given above) to eat meat which is a mainstay of the local diet.

    I have spent time with Jains in India so I may not be typical of Buddhists, but ‘ahimsa’ (not harming) is best, I think. We do what we can not to kill and not to harm. Logically this leads to a diet which causes least harm to sentient beings. If we believe in karma, I see this as the best way.

    I have no doubt that these monks may use an array of the justifications above, but the most compassionate course of action would be not to attack their way of life, but rather to explain to them why you are vegetarian and why this is your interpretation as a Buddhist. They are used to debate and logic, so I hope they may be persuaded. They are as deserving of compassion as the animals who are killed for them. _/\_

  58. Suzan on Apr 18, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    To tell a small child that an animal is killed so he can eat it would be beyond his capability to comprehend, and it could cause his mind great anguish, maybe even nightmares and deep suffering. It would also cause your wife great suffering and disharmony in your family if you made your beliefs a point of contention.

    By your actions alone you can influence others. There is an old saying my grandmother used to tell me: “You can catch more with honey than with vinegar”. Trying to scare or argue or fight about eating meat is causing suffering to your son and to your wife, and may end in great suffering to your family and others if this is the cause for your family to crack and for you to finally divorce. That would be much more harmful to your son.

    Love, Suzan

    • Tsem Tulku Rinpoche on Apr 18, 2011 at 5:54 pm

      Dear Suzan, thanks for your post for Daniel Brett. TR

    • Daniel Brett on Apr 18, 2011 at 6:14 pm

      I don’t say it to scare him or do I spell out the process of slaughter. I just inform him what meat is and he doesn’t seem to be bothered. People should know the truth from an early age and children should be taught the truth – too many are taught to be afraid of things that don’t exist and don’t happen, but know little of things that do exist and do happen.

      It is only in the last century that shops have separated people in the West from the act of animal slaughter. I am in my 30s and I remember seeing the cattle and sheep markets in my town and the sheep going to the local butchers for slaughter – the animal markets are now closed and abbatoirs are now factories, so that the animals we eat are hidden from us until they are shrink wrapped in plastic. For the 200,000 years of our species existence, we have lived with the animals we have slaughtered without having bad dreams.

    • Daniel Brett on Apr 18, 2011 at 6:17 pm

      If my wife would divorce me for telling the truth and imparting my ethics to my child, then it is not a healthy relationship. As it is, she doesn’t mind. Growing up in India, she saw the chickens she ate get slaughtered in front of her eyes in the market and she saw the Muslims mass slaughter goats for Eid celebrations.

      • joey wong on Apr 18, 2011 at 9:01 pm

        Dear Daniel,

        people cant develop compassion overnight, so try to nurture her compassion with the little things in life — starting with things like charity and giving to the homeless people for example. That way her compassion will grow and it will reach a point where it will influence her to be vegetarian for the sake of the animals..

      • Suzan on Apr 19, 2011 at 4:25 pm

        Dearest Daniel,

        Leading by example can be very powerful! Attraction wins where force does not. You can catch more with honey.

        I remember my root guru, a great teacher and bodhisattva who I miss with all my heart asking me this question — and I passing it to you to ponder:

        Would we rather stick to our beliefs and force them on others because we think what we believe is right and what they think is wrong?

        Or would we like to be like the Buddha and be loving and kind to all, no matter what, without exception? Never being critical? Never telling anyone, especially the mother of a child, even if it is our child?

        Remember, Daniel, the Buddha was not a vegetarian. The Dali Lama is not a vegetarian. Do we know more than the Buddha or the Dali Lama?

        Do you truly know what is right or wrong? Could be your child might need the protein, and later in life, like me, might have problems because of a lack of protein early in life.

        I’m asking with much love in my heart, for you, for your little one, and for your wife. May you all be happy and find the causes of happiness.

        You have to answer these questions for yourself.

        With much love,
        Mingyur Pema Yeshe Wangmo

        • Tsem Tulku Rinpoche on Apr 20, 2011 at 5:11 am

          Please remember, HH Dalai Lama has asked Gaden, Sera and Drepung to be vegetarian. They do not serve meat anymore at all. Also in Bylakuppe, for his long life, HH Dalai Lama asked the Tibetans with a chicken farm raising thousands for slaughter to close down. And they did. His stance has changed.

  59. joey wong on Apr 18, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    Dear CK Liew,

    Sometimes we should not impose our standards to others, to be frank. If Lama A enforces vegetarianism to His disciples and Lama B does not and even eats meat in full view, that does not mean Lama B is wrong or inconsistent. There might be other factors such as the maturity level of both sets of students, environmental factors, or if the Lama wants to bless the meat and so on.

    For example, a Lama with a lot of hardcore meat eaters will eat meat, and then become a vegan to show that it is possible to stop meat. There is also a story that is often used to explain situations like these: a story of a normal king surrounded by subjects poisoned by insanity, the king takes the poison himself to be at the same level as the subjects in order be at the same level of them. (the story stops here but i hope you get the message)

    As people observing this, we should not judge others by our own yardsticks or standards as this causes a lot of unnecessary suffering. It is not easy to persuade people to be vegetarian or to ask them to reduce even if we are vegetarian ourselves, so instead of beating a dead horse we could just use skillful means. We might have the best intentions for the other person but if we find that we lack the skills to help them, it is best to develop the skill to help them or if we are unable to at this time it is best not to aggravate the situation to be worse.

    In short, if i were you i would not antagonize your relative more as it does not help with anything but understand that each Lama has their own way on helping their students and we should respect it. We may never understand the reasons for their actions, so we should not challenge them.

    A really wrathful way to answer (which may make him think deeper or antagonize him further, use at your own risk) is to point out that if he wants to emulate his Lama, he should do emulate him all the way and take vows and do daily practices, or why has none of his stutents have requested the Lama if is best for them to go vegetarian (with regards to you questioning him) or if it is okay for them to take meat, and why does the Lama take meat while other Lamas are vegan. If someone asks, it would help benefit all of the students of the Lama as the Lama may give a precious teaching to them on compassion. Or, maybe, the Lama is just waiting for his students to request for this teaching…

    I hope my answer helps and please do let me know if you find this helpful 🙂

  60. Jean Ai on Apr 18, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    CK, I would reply (respectfully!) with the following points:

    1) it is a personal choice I make about my involvement in the meat industry. I don’t want to eat meat because I think it’s hypocritical of me to order the death of an animal, when I’m praying for the welfare of all sentient beings

    2) also in relation to the above, just because someone else does it, doesn’t mean I have to. If one parent wants to slap their children if they misbehave, doesn’t mean another parent has to

    3) the lamas’ took vows, so the meat that passes through their mouths are blessed. Buddha Shakyamuni ate meat; I’m not Buddha Shakyamuni so I cannot bless those animals

    4) maybe the lamas are REALLY practising non-attachment by eating whatever is offered to them. The same reason doesn’t apply to me though, because I know if I said that, it would just be an excuse for me to eat meat. I know this because I am attached in every other way. Therefore, where is my basis to be non-attached when it comes to the issue of meat?

    5) In the past, Buddha said it was okay for his sangha to eat meat, so they practised non-attachment (by not being selective about what they received when they went begging for alms). Meat was offered because it was the best and more expensive thing to offer to the sangha, so accepting it allowed the donor to create a lot of merits. Nowadays however, meat isn’t the only/best offering we can make to the sangha, so there is no reason for us to offer it.

    I hope this helps Liew…these are just my thoughts 🙂

    x

  61. martin on Apr 18, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    My understanding is that one should totally refrain from eating meat if one is a practitioner of Buddhism. At its core, eating meat means we are part of the chain that causes the animals to suffer and die a painful death. Anyhow we look at it, we cannot disconnect the act of eating meat with the brutal acts of killing other sentient beings. Fundamental to Buddhism is the avoidance of inflicting suffering and harm unto other sentient beings and reaping the bad karma as a result.

    However, there are also some practical considerations and exceptions to the rule. Firstly, for example, in some parts of the world, where arable land is rare and it is not practical to grow vegetables, then as a matter of survival, some meat may be permitted. Secondly, and in addition, a monk is not expected to be choosy when food is offered. Instead a monk should accept whatever is offered. Thirdly, as I understand it in some tantric rituals, some meat eating may be involved as the bigger picture is about overcoming clinging. In many ways that I am unqualified to answer, in some tantric practices, the taking of some meat may purify the animal.

    The exceptions mentioned above fall outside the daily act of eating as a means of sustaining our body. In the modern society where there are so many alternatives to meat, and it is VERY EASY to avoid contributing to the unnecessary suffering of animals, all who call themselves Buddhist should refrain from eating meat.

  62. Philip Yong on Apr 18, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    I don’t know if this is related but the moment I read this it reminded me of something Rinpoche mentioned in ‘Gurus for Hire, Enlightenment for Sale’.

    I quote from the subtopic ‘THE CRAZY WISDOM OF THE GURU’, PG54

    “The Guru will do things that are completely the opposite of what you expect. He uses what we might call unconventional, crazy wisdom.”

    “High Gurus can manifest incredible crazy wisdom. You might ask why he does this, why he would act like that to embarrass himself. We wonder,” Why doesn’t the Guru act the way I feel a Guru should act?” It is precisely because we are so attached to a way a person should act, that the Guru does not act that way – it is to break our attachments.

    We must realise that the Guru puts himself at risk to lose our respect, our confidence and our faith. But he has no ego and he has no agenda to get something from us, like money, praise, or admiration. The Guru is out to save us. He is willing to risk having us ‘hate’ him if he can benefit us by doing something that looks controversial or crazy”

    I quote another paragraph from the sub-topic ‘DOUBTING THE GURU’, pg 89

    “I refer to the Kalachakra Tantra , the Kalachakra short treatises. If we observe something in our Guru that we do not understand, which we do not have the wisdom to understand, or which we do not agree with, we should just stay away, not say anything and not criticise. In our meditations, we see our Guru as a Buddha.”

    Whatever we do, whatever we think of, in the end is between us and our karma.

    This is what I can think of when reading the question. I’m sorry if it isn’t related.

  63. Rachelle on Apr 18, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    Personally, I do not eat meat, fish, or eggs at all, and avoid dairy products most of the time. I cannot eat the flesh of another living being. Most animal-based foods are derived from environments where a lot of suffering is inflicted upon the animals. I cannot support that – I can have a plentiful, pleasing, and nutritionally sufficient diet without animals being a part of it.
    However, at the monastery that offers teachings for the community, many of the monks and practitioners eat meat. When we have gatherings, they will often include meat, and when the Tibetans in our community make food for festivals, they have meat options that they serve to the community.
    It is not for me to judge anyone – I am a low practitioner and know only my own actions and motivations. If I am asked, I will try to skillfully share my opinion. But, for me to judge someone for eating meat, or dwell on the fact that they do or why they do is a waste of my time. It changes nothing. If I bring it up to them, it often evokes anger and just makes them more resolved in their dietary choices. Instead of thinking about why someone is eating another being’s body, it is better for me to think about the suffering all animals used for food experience. It is better for me to use their suffering as motivation to practice.

  64. Daniel Brett on Apr 18, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    I also have a question of you, Rinpoche. I am Buddhist and my wife is Hindu. She does not eat beef, but eats other meat and thinks our son should too. The difficulty is in reconciling our beliefs in the raising of our son, who is four and too young to make up his own mind. I always remind him that meat comes from animals that have been killed, so he at least knows and can object if he wants. What should one do in this situation, which I do not think is unique for Buddhists in the West – or any family where one member is vegetarian on principle.

    • Tsem Tulku Rinpoche on Apr 18, 2011 at 5:36 pm

      Dear Everyone, Daniel Brett has a good question. I have spoken about this before also. Can people also share your thoughts with Daniel who’s question is very thought provoking and important. TR

      • JP on Apr 18, 2011 at 6:15 pm

        With regards to Daniel’s question, I would like first express that it is very beautiful to have 2 people of different faiths share their lives together. In order to impart our spiritual practices to our loved ones, it is very important that we practise what believe. Ultimately, all religions teach us to be compassionate, loving and responsible beings.

        Compassionate:
        Benefitting others always regardless of how it may inconvenience ourselves.

        Loving:
        Acceptance. Both positive and negative.

        Responsible:
        Taking full ownership. Not blaming others and situations.

        If people around us experience a positive transformation in us due to our practice, they will automatically be inspired to follow.

        Therefore, I would be patient and focus on transforming my mind.

        Regards,
        JP

      • Paris on Apr 18, 2011 at 8:24 pm

        Hi Daniel,
        May I recommend the book “Eating Animals” by Jonathan Safran Froer. In it, he shares a very beautiful story about how he started developing an awareness for animals when he was just a child – all because of a very comment that his babysitter made to him that she “doesn’t want to hurt anything.” Perhaps it could begin with something as simple as that, for a young child who may not understand big concepts and terms right now.

        The rest of the book looks at difference aspects of vegetarianism and our relationship to animals, which perhaps you could share with your son. I believe that children should have a clear understanding as to why we would go vegetarian or not, and not just be “told to”. If he’s put in a position that he “has” to, then there may be the possibility that he may grow up resenting it or being confused about it, and/or coming back as a meat-eater with a vengeance later! (I don’t know your child or family, of course – this is a general comment, so please don’t be offended). Also, understanding the reasons for being vegetarian can extend to many other areas of his life and education – the understanding of kindness to others etc.

        The Kechara kids made a firm decision on their own to be vegetarian, not under any decision or pressure from their children. It wasn’t immediate – it was also through a process of education over a while, exposing them to some videos of how animals are treated in the food industry, involving them in animal rescues so they learn about care for animals etc. So now that they are vegetarian, they are very happy little vegetarians and happy to share why they made that choice, with a clear understanding.

        Good luck!

    • Rachelle on Apr 18, 2011 at 6:06 pm

      Daniel,

      Have you considered making a “day of compassion” one day each week where your family abstains from all animal products? That day could be a “special day” where you each try to do something selfless for each other or someone in your community. You could make a special time to discuss things that are happening in your community, your family, or the world, and how each of you can help and benefit others. At the end of the day, you could get together and discuss how to carry out that compassionate, loving mind throughout your week. Then the following week, you could review and discuss how it went, how you all can improve, and celebrate successes. On this day, maybe you could cook for your family, and try to find innovative, tasty vegetarian dishes that would be enjoyed any day of the week. If your son likes them, he will request them at other times, and more vegetarian dishes will be incorporated in his diet.

      By creating this space and time for your family to participate in something special, you would be sowing the seeds of compassion in your family, and also associating compassionate living with not using other beings for food. It also would present an opportunity for a smaller compromise for your wife.

      I hope this helps.

      • Daniel Brett on Apr 18, 2011 at 6:31 pm

        Rachelle,

        We do have some days when there is no meat – we’ll eat tofu or another vegetarian protein. It’s not done with any ceremony, it’s just another food. Perhaps it would be good thing to instill a sense of mindfulness in him, as you have outlined. It’s a good idea, thank you.

        The good thing is that he enjoys eating vegetables! We have planted lots of vegetables in the garden this year (potato, carrot, tomato, chilli, pumpkin, kale, cabbage, beetroot, spring onion, etc), so he’ll have even more appreciation of vegetables. We also grow herbs, olives and figs. The problem these days is that children eat so much meat that they don’t like vegetables and the transfer to eating a vegetarian diet is painful and difficult.

        • Paris on Apr 18, 2011 at 8:26 pm

          Daniel, I don’t know where you live but you could also make the transition with meat substitutes like quorn (I know you can get this in the U.K.) which is made to taste like meat but is made entirely from mushroom protein. It could be a part of education to show your son that there are indeed many alternatives to meat, so we don’t have to hurt lives to get a balanced and yummy diet.

          I personally prefer Quorn to real meat – I wish they had it here in Malaysia!

    • martin on Apr 18, 2011 at 6:16 pm

      Dear Daniel,

      Your son is still very young but that does not mean that he can or cannot understand what compassion is and what suffering is and why Buddhist refrain from eating meat. It may be more effective to plant seeds in him by telling him stories of dharma and the Buddha and let the seeds grow into a strong comprehension of Compassion as he grows up. By that he will make up his own mind whick will probably stick better than if he were to be made to stop eating meating or feel guilty by having to eat meat.

      • Daniel Brett on Apr 18, 2011 at 6:25 pm

        I think the main way I teach him to love animals is to take him out to the forest to observe nature. I teach him not to touch the bugs and bees because they don’t like it, but just to speak to them. There is a huge rabbit warren in the wood near us that we visit and we watch the rabbits come out. That way, he develops compassion. We’ve seen rabbit carcases half eaten by foxes and I’ve told him that this is natural for the fox because he doesn’t have a supermarket to buy food!

        But I still feel uncomfortable with feeding my son meat, which I have an ethical objection to. By spending my money on meat for him, I am participating in the slaughter industry. If a creature has every right to exist as I do, then am I putting my marriage and happiness ahead of the rights of these creatures to life and liberty?

    • joey wong on Apr 18, 2011 at 8:56 pm

      Dear Daniel,

      you could reduce meat dishes at home. Children are easily influenced by their parents, and anyway having a vegetarian diet helps kids curb obesity and helps reduce the onset of many diseases and weak immune system when they grow up. Perhaps you can see it as a future investment or something for the child. That would be a good way to explain to the wife. As for meats, if being vegetarian by principle does not work, try the health approach as it has many benefits from that point of view. And it is true at the same time.

      Also bear in mind that many people cannot change overnight, so being consistent and supportive is the key.

      However be careful with the child’s diet and place attention to have varied foods to prevent malnutrition.

  65. JP on Apr 18, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Dear CK,

    With regards to your relative’s statement, I’d like to share with you why it is important for lay people like us to be vegetarian as taught by Tsem Rinpoche.

    1. We are all practising compassion as part of our spirituality. Creating the demand for animals to be killed in order to feed our body is not an act of compassion. Our body does not require animal corpses to be nourished and healthy.

    2. If we are sharing with others how to be compassionate and saving animals to be liberated, isn’t it hypocritical that we’re supporting businesses that kill them?

    3. Killing other living beings whether directly or indirectly is the cause for us to be reborn in the 3 lower realms.

    4. Being attached to one of our senses is a cause to be back in Samsara. Rinpoche said that it’s dangerous to be so attached to our food and drinks. We’re always thinking of what and where to eat next. Some of us will even travel the world to wine and dine. This form of attachment is a cause to be reborn as a hungry ghost. In this state, you’ll always be longing to eat and drink. But unfortunately, the mouth is only the size of a pin hole. Imagine the suffering?

    5. Lamas who consume meat may be highly attained. So for the Lamas to eat the meat, it is a blessing for the dead animal. This is because the Lama dedicates his or her entire existence to benefit all sentient beings. As for lay people like us, we, in general, dedicate our existence to hedonism.

    6. Many Tibetan buddhist monasteries are now serving vegetarian food only because of the reasons stated above. In addition, it gives out the wrong perception that it’s ok to eat meat. In Tibet, everyone ate meat because it was too cold there. It was necessary for survival. Now that they are in India and less cold countries, this is no longer an issue.

    I am sure the Lamas have very good reasons why they choose to eat meat in front of their devotees. I hope my explanation helps.

    Best regards,
    JP

  66. Joe Hamilton on Apr 18, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    I think it´s a personal decision to make and the key is making contact with animals…which is not something that people everywhere in the world can do..in big cities for example. But once you have realised what lands on your plate I think it gets harder to enjoy ! I am ashamed to say that I am not completely vegetarian but have reduced meat-eating and I´m working on it !

  67. henry ooi on Apr 18, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Not eating meat is one of the methods to practice compassion, compassion for animals who are defenseless that cannot speak for their rights to live on the same planet as we do.

    If we eat to live and not live to eat then food become a necessity for sustenance, not to just please our palate. There are so many varieties of food, that are not derived from killing animals, available that can sustain us.

    People say abstaining from meat makes us weak and tire easily. Well, what about elephants, giraffes, hippos, rhinos, cows, yaks, dugongs, etc etc? What about those monks in Shaolin temples practicing Kung Fu in those days and even now?

    Not eating meat means we do not directly or indirectly kill animals. When demand is less, killing lessens.

    Vegetarianism is not a religious practice but a choice, at least to me. I made the choice to not eat meat out of practicing compassion. Also it is a more healthy diet for my clogged up arteries.

    So, if others want to continue eating and enjoying meat, well, it is their choice. It is a free world after all.

    As for me, being a Buddhist and a student of H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche, I choose not to continue eating meat. It is my choice.

  68. Cathy on Apr 18, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    I have helped out in many a visiting teacher’s household and they all ate meat. Any Tibetan teacher I have met have all eaten meat and fish. I once took a Khenpo out to dinner to a restaurant and I had ordered fish and he lamb. I asked if he wanted to try a piece of fish he said “No, one fish, one karma.” I was thinking but here he is with a plate full of lamb? One lamb will feed many, so the karma is shared but one fish, one karma. I still felt it odd because why eat meat at all? Then no karma to have to share with anyone. I then asked a very high teacher once if plants had Buddhanature. His reply was that he did not know. He said if they do then we are in trouble. So I wonder do plants have Buddhanature? Plants respond to music, they move towards the sun, the wither when not watered. I wonder do they have Buddhanature?

  69. Paris on Apr 18, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    oh another thing… here’s an interesting way of looking at it:

    People argue, “Well, Shakyamuni ate meat!”

    In one of his previous lives, Shakyamuni also gave his body to some starving tigers to eat, and allowed himself to die so the tigers wouldn’t have to. Can we do this? If we can’t, then we shouldn’t be comparing ourselves to Shakyamuni!

    • Tsem Tulku Rinpoche on Apr 18, 2011 at 5:28 pm

      Paris, this is beautiful. I certainly cannot even remotely compare myself to Shakyamuni. If Shakyamuni ate meat, the animal of the flesh eaten would attain a better rebirth for sure. If I eat the meat, the animals attains nothing. I cannot compare myself to Shakyamuni at all. Shakyamuni has complete omniscience of all reality..do I? No….Buddha’s actions cannot be judged or compared to our ordinary actions although it may look similar. TR

  70. Paris on Apr 18, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Hey CK,

    A few views on this:

    1) There is a very huge difference in a high Lama (or even an ordained person) eating meat and a normal person eating meat. From what I understand Lamas recite prayers or do certain visualisations as they are eating meat, so that even the animal whose meat they are about to consume are blessed, and their mindstreams are somehow connected to the blessings of the Dharma. Also, remember that as Sangha, monks and high Lamas hold many, many vows which in themselves create waves of merit and benefit for any beings that they come into contact with.

    2) Secondly, it is taught that monks and nuns cannot be picky and choosy about the food that is offered to them. You will see that monks in Thailand for example, accept whatever food is offered to them (dana) – this is not just for personal preference but for the sake of the donor, so that the donor can collect merit for making an offering to the sangha. Also, all Sangha must make prayers for the donor and for the item(s) – they don’t regard the object as “theirs” like a personal gift, but always they think of it as a connection that the donor makes to the Three Jewels by their act of offering. So even the meat that is offered to them, becomes something that is holy.

    Having said all this, I feel it is not really proper to comment on the behaviour of monks and nitpick on what they eat or don’t eat, do or don’t do. They are doing so many more virtuous acts that create so much more benefit for others than we can never do as laypeople. The eating meat thing is a very, very small part, and we shouldn’t let that eclipse everything else a monk does. We cannot totally compare what monks do, to what we do and use that as an excuse for us to continue our bad habits etc – it’s like comparing oranges and apples. I think, until we can sacrifice all our attachments, the way that the Sangha do, devote our entire lives to the service of others and take on all 256 ordination vows, we don’t really have any authority or right to judge or comment on what the Sangha are doing or eating!

  71. Wan Wai Meng on Apr 18, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    Dear Liew,
    Buddha eating meat, or realised beings eating meat and samsaric people like me eating meat all have different results. Buddhas and realised eating meat or coming in contact with anything they bless the being that was eaten as meat or anything that these beings touches the items becomes blessed. Ie robes, mala other holy objects used previously by a holy being.

    Even a lama may not be enlightened but he is holding his vows purely he is collecting a lot merits, the results for him eating meat differs from a normal person like. Normal person like me eat meat, will probably create the causes for the 3 lower realms. If a lama who is so beneficial and collecting merits all the time, wont he be benefitting the flesh he is eating ? As the flesh gives nourishment to the lama’s life.

  72. Suzan on Apr 18, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    This is a complex subject, Rinpoche.

    The Buddha didn’t tell his followers to be vegetarian. In fact, the monks had to go out every day with their begging bowls and eat anything that was given to them. The Buddha himself was probably not vegetarian.

    I have been the cook for many high lamas, including the heads of the great lineages, and all of them ate meat and all of their monks did as well. (They did not eat fish, however, because of the Nagas who live in water.) The only stipulation was that the animals could not be killed specifically for them, and larger animals were asked for because only one life was taken to feed many people.

    However, in this time, can we actually say that meat in the market was NOT killed specifically for us? The animal was raised and killed to take to the market where we would buy it. So in effect, and this is my personal opinion only, not supported by scripture, and something that I have never hear any teacher comment on, the animals in the market are killed for me.

    There is a great abundance of food available now with plenty of high quality protein in vegetable form, and this is the most compelling argument for not eating meat. We don’t have to.

    There is the Buddhist teaching that by eating the meat of an animal stuck in the lower realms, that it can be, and I’m not saying I could do this, but it can be helped into higher realms.

    So it is a complex subject.

  73. Thierry on Apr 18, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    If only this could have happened for the Japanese people !

    • Thierry Janssens on Apr 18, 2011 at 8:29 pm

      Hi Thierry, it is nice to meet another Thierry on this blog! Maybe we should start a club!

  74. Fay on Apr 18, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Unless a Teacher directly tells me to eat meat, I will remain vegetarian because I respect the advice of my great Teachers to be vegetarian, being vegetarian is a strong symbol and reminder of my commitment to my practice, and because the suffering involved in the production of meat is just horrendous.

    So you can say there’s a big component of faith involved along with reasoning.

    Likewise, I trust that any of my Teachers who eat meat definitely know what they are doing, of course, and, personally, I’m not in a position to judge their actions as I am not of that level.

    Some practitioners even deliver the spirit of the animal to a Pure Land before they eat, also.

    Regarding eating meat, I think not everything the Teacher can do the student can do because of the difference of their realisations and, knowing this, I feel it makes little difference to one’s own decisions for the development of oneself in a training context.

  75. Daniel Brett on Apr 18, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    I have met many Tibetans, having stayed in Darjeeling where there is a large Tibetan community. They tell me that because most of Tibet cannot support settled agriculture and their life is traditionally nomadic, they would find it very hard to be vegetarian. They also point out that Buddha ate meat. The Dalai Lama also admits in his autobiography that he eats meat on the advice of his doctor and that there is no proscription of meat in Buddhism. I believe that some Vajrayana practioners also eat meat claiming that practice of Vajrayana makes it unnecessary to avoid meat.

    I’m personally of the opinion that everything we do, as Buddhists, should be done mindfully and that we should take responsibility for our karma. I can understand why Tibetan nomads would find it impossible to live without meat, but this is not an excuse for people living in fertile tropical countries like India, Thailand or Malaysia where a vegetarian diet is very easy to follow.

    It comes down to: does this animal have to die for my consumption, could I do without the taking of this life, am I really just fulfilling an egotistic urge to eat meat, how does this comply with my practice of loving kindness? I then find it difficult to see how one can eat meat when going without is very easy.

    • Tsem Tulku Rinpoche on Apr 18, 2011 at 5:05 pm

      Thank you everyone for sharing..I appreciate it very very much…Many thanks…

      • Daniel Brett on Apr 18, 2011 at 5:29 pm

        Thanks. I would also add that we should be mindfully vegetarian. Do you need to eat apples flown all the way from New Zealand and South Africa or mangoes flown from Brazil to Europe, with all the damage that does to the environment and in turn to creatures suffering the effects of global warming? Always do everything mindfully and in a spirit of loving kindness to all – including love to yourself as an equal with others – and you can find the answers. It’s difficult to set rules or commandments because everyone’s situations are different. Should a mother deny her starving child meat, for instance? In North Korea, for instance, many people have avoided starvation by eating rats. As someone who has never experienced or seen starvation, I can’t condemn them.

        I come from a family of farmers who rear animals and care for them, even though they also ate animals. At least they have contact with the animals, treat them with respect, don’t abuse them and appreciate where meat comes from.

        Interestingly, their greatest ethical objection is to animal welfare in the dairy industry. Calves have to be removed from their mother cows before they are properly weaned (usually within one to three days of birth) in order to maintain milk supply – half of male calves are often slaughtered for meat and the other half are allowed to live until adulthood before they are slaughtered. According to my relatives, this causes emotional distress to the cow. They also have concerns about over-milking, which causes them painful mastitis, and the general treatment of the cows.

        As such, I think it is incumbent on us to campaign for better animal welfare standards throughout the food industry, particularly dairy and eggs.

        • Diana Pereyda on Apr 18, 2011 at 11:24 pm

          One word “” OVER POPULATION OF HUMANS ”’

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  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, May 30. 2020 02:54 PM
    Stunning Lady Vajrayogini looks so beautiful with all these ornament offerings. Fortunate able to see such a beautiful Lady Vajrayogini. Its take a lot of time and hard work for the team . Rejoice to all. It is indeed very meritorious offering beautiful things to the Buddhas.
    A good teachings from Rinpoche explaining of why its important for us to offer beautiful ornaments to the Buddhas.
    Thank you Rinpoche .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/dont-miss-this-offering-onto-vajra-yogini.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, May 30. 2020 02:52 PM
    The Mahabodhi temple is a UNESCO World heritage site, and been one of the 7 wonders of the Buddhist world has attracted hundred thousands of pilgrims yearly. It is the place where Gautama Buddha attained Enlightenment and under the Bodhi Tree. Its sad as it was targeted by terrorist, a series of ten bombs exploded in and around the Mahabodhi Temple complex. That was in 2013, early morning serial explosions rocked the Mahabodhi Temple injuring 2 monks and
    destroying certain parts in the pond of the Mahabodhi Temple. Windows were shattered at one of the buildings, while a wooden door at a small temple was destroyed. Luckily the temple inside was intact. The security of the temple was then tightened after this incident ever since . Some metal detectors and more cops and checkpoints were put in place. Attacks on Buddhists are rare in India, but these unfortunate incident somehow did happen.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/mahabodhi-temple-attacked.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, May 30. 2020 02:50 PM
    Tajikistan is a country in Central Asia surrounded by Afghanistan, China, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. It’s known for rugged mountains, popular for hiking and climbing. Sunni Islam is, by far, the most widely practiced religion in Tajikistan. Religious liberty might be supposed to mean that everybody is free to discuss religion. Beliefs are a choice. We have the power to choose our beliefs. Our beliefs become our reality Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. The status of respect for religious freedom eroded during recent years. Government policies reflected a concern about Islamic extremism .Tajikistan is unique in the world because it is illegal for people under age 18 to practice religion publicly, which includes attending mosques. Women are not allowed by the government to enter certain mosques and wearing black hijabs. Shops are not allowed to sell too and women are to wear traditional Tajik colours. Not only that additionally to it, the government places strictly limits on pilgrimage visits. As reportedly they harassed devotees by forcibly shaving their beards which are not allowed. Hundreds of thousands of men even children as young as seven years old in Tajikistan arrested in recent years for wearing a beard. Banning beards and dresses is really odd. It’s the government campaign against the adoption of Islamic cultural practices. Sad human rights within Tajikistan were been violated and basic human rights remains limited . Tajikistan continues to struggle with human rights till today.Interesting read of government’s fear leading to problems further.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/tajikistans-battle-against-beards-to-fight-radicalisation.html
  • sarassitham
    Friday, May 29. 2020 11:30 PM
    Thanks for the interesting topic sharing where most people have great interest and
    curiosity about. Whether we choose to believe in the paranormal or not, we all have to realize that there are many strange things that has happened to all of us that are unexplainable.

    To me paranormal activities are considered as something close to religion too because in every single religion they always talk about spirits and etc. It’s whether you believe in the spiritual world or not sometimes it’s eerie and fascinating to read about all the things that go bump in the night.
  • S.Prathap
    Friday, May 29. 2020 03:38 PM
    I like herbal remedies as they work gently and is not as harmful to the body as the pharmaceutical medication. However, I would say that they are more effective as preventive due to their slow nature.
    I used to hear people say food is the best remedy for sickness prevention, when we have proper intake of food, we can stay healthy for long term.Really a informative article.Thank you very much .
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, May 29. 2020 03:35 PM
    A Mongolian highly respected lama Kensur Rinpoche Jetsun Ngawang Nyima of Drepung Gomang Monastic Institution in South India was truly a great teacher of our time. He was a great teacher of the Buddhist doctrine, preserving all the teachings of Tsongkapa’s golden lineage. He was such a kind and warm lama who had invited our lama to stay in Drepung Gomang Monastery. But Rinpoche turned down as Rinpoche had promised to be at Gaden. Rinpoche was touched by his affection, and has invited Rinpoche at any time come to Drepung and update him always. Before going back to Gaden , he even blessed Rinpoche. Amazingly and beautifully of such a meeting of a highly known lama, teacher and well respected by everyone , Rinpoche met. Merely by listening to the teachings of a GREAT lama from the video is a blessing.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/drepung-gomang-monasterys-kensur-rinpoche-jetsun-ngawang-nyima.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, May 29. 2020 03:33 PM
    The White Temple of Thailand also known as Wat Rong Khun, which is outside Chiang Rai city. It is one of the most recognizable temple, attracting thousands of locals and tourist yearly. It is beautiful temple where everything in white colour, even the fishes reared in the ponds also white in colour. Well this temple is very unique as it stands out through the white colour. With the use of pieces of glass in the plaster, looks sparkling in the sun. The white colour signifies the purity of the Buddha, while the glass symbolizes the Buddha’s wisdom and the Dhamma, the Buddhist teachings.
    I have visited this amazing White Temple a few years back. Simply amazing. This bizarre-looking white temple located is the brainchild of Chiang Rai-born visual artist and painter Chalermchai Kositpipat. The temple is filled with Buddhist symbolisms, beautiful layout, architecture, all the way to the ornate reliefs and mirror decorations. Worthy visiting.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/the-white-temple-in-thailand.html
  • S.Prathap
    Thursday, May 28. 2020 04:47 PM
    Kyabje Yongyal Rinpoche is a very learned scholar, master of tantra whom were respected by many.Thank you Rinpoche for sharing with us,the wonderful meeting with Kyabje Yonyal Rinpoche in New York.
    It is wonderful and inspiring to see the demonstration of great respect among two great Masters.Thank you very much for the good article.
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, May 28. 2020 01:41 PM
    Wow what a great day …..the historic first Kalachakra initiation been held publicly in Tibet, China in the last 50 years. For most by H H the 11th Panchen Lama Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu. Many highly attained masters and incarnated lamas and teachers and more than hundred thousand over monks and nuns attended this auspicious event. Looking at those beautiful pictures tells us all. So many of them it’s a blessing for them. With so many attending this event has proves that he is indeed the unmistaken incarnation as he is claimed by some as false and a fake Panchen Lama.
    With Panchen Lama as a spiritual leader, his influence made a huge impact on the Tibetans which is on the rise, this would be wonderful. In no time they might accept Dorje Shugden’s practice. Interesting read and blessing been able to see those beautiful pictures.
    Thank You Pastor David Lai for sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/historic-first-kalachakra-initiation-by-the-11th-panchen-lama.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, May 28. 2020 01:38 PM
    Arjia Rinpoche, one of the most important religious leaders to escape Tibet since the Dalai Lama fled into exile. A close friend of HH Dalai Lama and 10th Panchen Lama . At the age of two, he was recognized by the 10th Panchen Lama as the reincarnation of the father of Tsongkhapa who is the founder of the Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Rinpoche has spoken openly about unity and harmony in the community during the 30th Anniversary Commemoration of HH the 10th Panchen Lama’s Maha-Parinirvana. He has advised the Tibetans to stop discriminating against Dorje Shugden practitioners. No one should be discriminated just because of differences basis of their religious and spiritual faiths. Dorje Shugden as made a scapegoat by the Tibetan leadership for too long . Its time someone like Arjia Rinpoche or more people to speck up for the sake of world peace and harmony. Wonderful and simple speech yet clearly he spoke bravely on fulfilling the Panchen Lama’s wishes.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing of Arjia Rinpoche.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/arjia-rinpoche-says-dont-discriminate-against-dorje-shugden-people.html
  • S.Prathap
    Wednesday, May 27. 2020 03:27 PM
    To be living in such a beautiful house and nice surrounding would be really really nice! Looking at the pictures above, it makes me think of Enchanted Forest in KFR. Nature gives us all. This harmonious balance makes our souls happy.
    Houses like this are not only good for living in but working in as well. I would love to work in a environment like this. I’m sure I will be able to think better and work better.Thank you for the good article.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/natural-instinct.html?fbclid=IwAR3z999kypzMkJHpfG0UW6A8Wet-CXYsA3NbP8Dn-kVwoh7rbc1ToEF2Cm4
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, May 27. 2020 01:30 PM
    American basketball legend Stephon Marbury has played 13 years in the NBA . Been professional basketball the former NBA superstar , looked to the world of Chinese basketball. Having migrated there he brought the Chinese team to national victory, winning three Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) championships. Marbury applied for and received a Chinese “green card”, as he been popular inspiring players ,bringing the whole team a positive and fighting spirit to victory. He is the fifth American basketball player to receive a green card in China. After all not easy to apply one as a foreigner . He also earned the nickname Commissar Ma for his role as a mentor to the teammates and younger players while playing in China. Wow…China immortalised Marbury with an arena statue, and got him a postage stamp of him. That’s wonderful, as they appreciate of what he has done for China.
    Thank you for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/stephon-marbury-embraces-china.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, May 27. 2020 01:29 PM
    All religions share a similar message of peace and tolerance despite their differences. In the history of faith, there are so many beautiful and inspiring thoughts about creating peace and harmony among communities. We should help out to the poor or homeless regardless of race and of religion. Those Buddhist monks at Dhammarajika Monastery in Dhaka did a good job, in accord to Buddhist teachings. They gave out foods to the poor Muslims during Ramadan the Muslim fasting months. Looking at the pictures tells all. A wonderful way helping the hundreds poor people in the streets . That’s should be the way , well a rare example of religious harmony . Helping and giving are human strengths and weapons against the many arbitrary and malevolent dark forces that plague human existence.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/bangladeshi-buddhist-monks-feed-hundreds-of-poor-muslims-during-ramadan.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, May 26. 2020 02:07 PM
    Came across this old post. Inspiring…with worthy words from our Lama to HH Dalai Lama, all Gurus and the world. A New Year of 2011, wishing all guru’s works and supreme aspirations be fulfilled swiftly. Inspiring blessings for 2011,may our Lama ‘s wish be materialized and his teachings flourished to the ten direction. Even our Lama not with us yet the spiritual spirit will always be with all of us. Our Lama will be back soon.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/happy-2011-to-hh-dalai-lama-all-gurus-world.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, May 26. 2020 01:58 PM
    Religion and politics are two of the hardest things to talk about. Living in a country , we should be given religious freedom to choose what we want to pray. But it not mean we are spy of that country. Disappointed the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) accuses Dorje Shugden practitioners as Chinese agents just because they practice Dorje Shugden. Rinpoche has been accused by the CTA . They said that said Rinpoche was a spy and an agent paid by China. All these were definite not true at all. Rinpoche had received the Dorje Shugden’s practice 30 years ago, been passed down from Rinpoche’s Guru. Many high lamas have been practising Dorje Shugden for the last 400 years, it is ridiculous to say they were Chinese spies too. All major religious traditions carry basically the same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness. But sad the CTA ,having a fuss over it , and has created disharmony among Buddhist practitioners. It’s a matter of choice we choose to pray nothing political related to China. Just because we are Chinese , we are paid by the China , we are Chinese spies, that’s does not made sense at all. Regardless of our race or religion, we all want and need harmony. Hatred and conflict are often rooted in differences between people of different races and religions. We all need to respect people of different races as well as people of different faiths and religions.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/tsem-rinpoche-and-china.html

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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

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The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

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

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

Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
1 years ago
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can\'t stop thinking of you and I can\'t forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
1 years ago
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can't stop thinking of you and I can't forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
1 years ago
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
1 years ago
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
1 years ago
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
1 years ago
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
1 years ago
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
1 years ago
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
1 years ago
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
1 years ago
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
DON\'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
1 years ago
DON'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
1 years ago
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
1 years ago
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
1 years ago
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
1 years ago
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
1 years ago
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
1 years ago
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
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  • Our Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir speaks so well, logically and regarding our country’s collaboration with China for growth. It is refreshing to listen to Dr. Mahathir’s thoughts. He said our country can look to China for many more things such as technology and so on. Tsem Rinpoche
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    1 years ago
    Uncle Wong
    We were told by Uncle Wong he is very faithful toward Dorje Shugden. Dorje Shugden has extended help to him on several occasions and now Uncle Wong comes daily to make incense offerings to Dorje Shugden. He is grateful towards the help he was given.
  • Tsem Rinpoche’s Schnauzer Dharma boy fights Robot sphere from Arkonide!
    1 years ago
    Tsem Rinpoche’s Schnauzer Dharma boy fights Robot sphere from Arkonide!
  • Cute baby owl found and rescued
    1 years ago
    Cute baby owl found and rescued
    We rescued a lost baby owl in Kechara Forest Retreat.
  • Nice cups from Kechara!!
    1 years ago
    Nice cups from Kechara!!
    Dorje Shugden people's lives matter!
  • Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    1 years ago
    Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    Chirping birds and other forest animals create a joyful melody at the Vajrayogini stupa in Kechara Forest Retreat (Bentong, Malaysia).
  • This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    3 yearss ago
    This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    This video is thought-provoking and very interesting. Watch! Thanks so much to our friends at LIVEKINDLY.
  • Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
    3 yearss ago
    Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
  • BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
    3 yearss ago
    BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
    3 yearss ago
    Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
  • Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
    3 yearss ago
    Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
  • Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 yearss ago
    Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    3 yearss ago
    This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    she received “one last visit from an old friend” 💔💔
  • Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
    3 yearss ago
    Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
  • Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
    3 yearss ago
    Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
  • Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant  Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
    3 yearss ago
    Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
  • Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
    3 yearss ago
    Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
  • Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 yearss ago
    Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
  • What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    3 yearss ago
    What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    Sick animals are more profitable... farms calculate how close to death they can keep animals without killing them. That's the business model. How quickly they can be made to grow, how tightly they can be packed, how much or how little can they eat, how sick they can get without dying... We live in a world in which it's conventional to treat an animal like a block of wood. ~ Jonathan Safran Foer
  • This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
    3 yearss ago
    This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
  • SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    3 yearss ago
    SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    This happens daily in slaughterhouse so you can get your pork and Bak ku teh. Stop eating meat.

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.

View All Questions

CHAT PICTURES

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
41 minutes 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
2 days 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
3 days 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
2 weeks ago
KSDS Level 2 virtual class, Lin Mun KSDS
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
2 weeks ago
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
Wesak 2020
3 weeks ago
Wesak 2020
Recycle today for a better tomorrow. KEP-Serena
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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.
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Peaceful fire pujas are excellent to remove inauspiciousness, problems that might be coming to our lifespan, wisdom, wealth, growth of Dharma. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Over 100 Kecharians & their loved ones spent the Sunday evening immersed in this obstacle pacifying puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Over 100 Kecharians & their loved ones spent the Sunday evening immersed in this obstacle pacifying puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Dakpa and Geshe Janchup Gyaltsen Lama inspecting the offering substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Dakpa and Geshe Janchup Gyaltsen Lama inspecting the offering substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Rinpoche & Geshe Janchup making last minute checks before the commencement of the Jinsek or Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Rinpoche & Geshe Janchup making last minute checks before the commencement of the Jinsek or Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The arrival of the Sangha conducting this sacred puja accompanied by Changtso Beng Kooi and Pastor Niral Patel - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The arrival of the Sangha conducting this sacred puja accompanied by Changtso Beng Kooi and Pastor Niral Patel - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The site of the Peaceful Fire Puja the calls upon the pacifying energies of Shize Shugden. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The site of the Peaceful Fire Puja the calls upon the pacifying energies of Shize Shugden. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: A close-up of the ladle. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: A close-up of the ladle. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Substances such as sticks, melted butter, kusha grass, lentils and barley were traditionally offered during the prayers to create the causes for merits, long life and to pacify obstacles. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Substances such as sticks, melted butter, kusha grass, lentils and barley were traditionally offered during the prayers to create the causes for merits, long life and to pacify obstacles. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Beautifully handcrafted torma or food offering to the Buddha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Beautifully handcrafted torma or food offering to the Buddha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Some of the many offering items & substances used during this highly blessed Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Some of the many offering items & substances used during this highly blessed Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja in Kechara Forest Retreat: A special mandala at the base where the fire puja ritual was conducted. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja in Kechara Forest Retreat: A special mandala at the base where the fire puja ritual was conducted. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Kechara Earth Project (KEP) 8/3/2020
3 months ago
Kechara Earth Project (KEP) 8/3/2020
Dear Kecharians and friends, We are pleased to announce that as part of the preparations for H.E. Tsem Rinpoche's reliquary stupas and incarnation chapel, mantra rolling sessions have begun in Kechara Forest Retreat. We are calling for volunteers to join us in this holy activity. DATE Daily starting 5th March 2020 until further notice TIME (1) Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday - 10am to 10pm (2) Thursday & Sunday - 10am to 6pm VENUE Art Studio (Kechara Saraswati Arts) Kechara Forest Retreat If you're interested, kindly contact: Wong Yew Kien 012-3717896 or Karen Chong 012-7710289 We look forward to seeing you soon!
3 months ago
Dear Kecharians and friends, We are pleased to announce that as part of the preparations for H.E. Tsem Rinpoche's reliquary stupas and incarnation chapel, mantra rolling sessions have begun in Kechara Forest Retreat. We are calling for volunteers to join us in this holy activity. DATE Daily starting 5th March 2020 until further notice TIME (1) Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday - 10am to 10pm (2) Thursday & Sunday - 10am to 6pm VENUE Art Studio (Kechara Saraswati Arts) Kechara Forest Retreat If you're interested, kindly contact: Wong Yew Kien 012-3717896 or Karen Chong 012-7710289 We look forward to seeing you soon!
Join us for a Peaceful Fire Puja based on Dorje Shugden’s pacifying form. This blessed puja will be conducted at the future site of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s outdoor reliquary stupa to pacify obstacles and for the success of the project. EVENT DETAILS • Date: Sunday, 8 March 2020 • Time: 6.00pm – 8.30pm • Venue: Kechara Forest Retreat, Bentong Admission is free, all are welcome. ADDITIONAL BENEFITS FOR SPONSORS AND ATTENDEES • Healing from illness and disease • Overcoming obstacles • Purifying past negative deeds and negative karma • Calming the environment, natural disasters and calamities • Helping the deceased to take a good rebirth • Accumulation of merits for spiritual realisations and attainments
3 months ago
Join us for a Peaceful Fire Puja based on Dorje Shugden’s pacifying form. This blessed puja will be conducted at the future site of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s outdoor reliquary stupa to pacify obstacles and for the success of the project. EVENT DETAILS • Date: Sunday, 8 March 2020 • Time: 6.00pm – 8.30pm • Venue: Kechara Forest Retreat, Bentong Admission is free, all are welcome. ADDITIONAL BENEFITS FOR SPONSORS AND ATTENDEES • Healing from illness and disease • Overcoming obstacles • Purifying past negative deeds and negative karma • Calming the environment, natural disasters and calamities • Helping the deceased to take a good rebirth • Accumulation of merits for spiritual realisations and attainments
Join us this weekend for Spiritual Saturday in Kechara Forest Retreat! SATURDAY, 7 MARCH 9.30 am: Polish Gyenze's wish-fulfilling lamps 11.15 am: Introduction to Ayurveda 1.00 pm: Lunch INTERESTED? WhatsApp us at +6017 672 0757 to RSVP your place (and your meal!) See all March activities: bit.ly/2vAGpjF
3 months ago
Join us this weekend for Spiritual Saturday in Kechara Forest Retreat! SATURDAY, 7 MARCH 9.30 am: Polish Gyenze's wish-fulfilling lamps 11.15 am: Introduction to Ayurveda 1.00 pm: Lunch INTERESTED? WhatsApp us at +6017 672 0757 to RSVP your place (and your meal!) See all March activities: bit.ly/2vAGpjF
Kechara Earth Project- new site at Damansara
3 months ago
Kechara Earth Project- new site at Damansara
For those who did not manage to join in for our Loma Gyonma mantra recitation, here's the prayer that you can do daily at home as a preventive measure to ward off unwanted infections and illnesses, especially contagious diseases such as Coronavirus & H1N1. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 months ago
For those who did not manage to join in for our Loma Gyonma mantra recitation, here's the prayer that you can do daily at home as a preventive measure to ward off unwanted infections and illnesses, especially contagious diseases such as Coronavirus & H1N1. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Special prayer session in Kechara Forest Retreat where we will be collectively accumulating a minimum of 25,000 Loma Gyonma mantras, combined with circumambulations and 108 candle offerings each to Loma Gyonma and Dorje Shugden. To receive the blessings of Loma Gyonma, the Goddess of Healing and Epidemic Diseases, and to pray for all who are at risk from the novel coronavirus to be healed and protected. -photo credit Cynthia Ng - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 months ago
Special prayer session in Kechara Forest Retreat where we will be collectively accumulating a minimum of 25,000 Loma Gyonma mantras, combined with circumambulations and 108 candle offerings each to Loma Gyonma and Dorje Shugden. To receive the blessings of Loma Gyonma, the Goddess of Healing and Epidemic Diseases, and to pray for all who are at risk from the novel coronavirus to be healed and protected. -photo credit Cynthia Ng - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Back during the H1N1 outbreak in 2009, Rinpoche advised everyone to quickly accumulate 25,000 recitations of Loma Gyonma’s essence mantra ASAP, combined with daily recitation of both Loma Gyonma and Shize’s mantra. In view of the current situation with the global spread of the novel coronavirus, you are invited to a special prayer session in Kechara Forest Retreat where we will be collectively accumulating a minimum of 25,000 Loma Gyonma mantras, combined with circumambulations and 108 candle offerings each to Loma Gyonma and Dorje Shugden. DATE: Saturday, 15 February 2020 TIME: 3.00pm - 6.30pm VENUE: Wisdom Hall, Kechara Forest Retreat
3 months ago
Back during the H1N1 outbreak in 2009, Rinpoche advised everyone to quickly accumulate 25,000 recitations of Loma Gyonma’s essence mantra ASAP, combined with daily recitation of both Loma Gyonma and Shize’s mantra. In view of the current situation with the global spread of the novel coronavirus, you are invited to a special prayer session in Kechara Forest Retreat where we will be collectively accumulating a minimum of 25,000 Loma Gyonma mantras, combined with circumambulations and 108 candle offerings each to Loma Gyonma and Dorje Shugden. DATE: Saturday, 15 February 2020 TIME: 3.00pm - 6.30pm VENUE: Wisdom Hall, Kechara Forest Retreat
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Dorje Shugden
Click to watch my talk about Dorje Shugden....