Tsem Rinpoche’s moving experience with Lama Zopa in Kopan (1987)

Mar 30, 2019 | Views: 31,499
Venerable Lama Zopa in front of Kopan's 1000-Armed Chenrezig statue. I was in Nepal when received this initiation from Lama Zopa in 1987, after I had received ordination vows from His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, North India.

Venerable Lama Zopa in front of Kopan’s 1000-Armed Chenrezig statue. Tsem Rinpoche was in Nepal when he received this initiation from Lama Zopa in 1987, after he had received ordination vows from His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, North India.

Everyone knows I had met His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama back in the United States and when I met him, I personally requested him to ordain me to become a monk. And His Holiness was very gracious and he said to me, “You want to be a monk?” I said, “Yes” and he said, “No problem. You come to India.” So, that is what I did. I went to India, back in 1987 around October-ish.

I left America for good and I touched down at Delhi. From Delhi, I went to Dharamsala. Dharamsala is one night’s bus journey, about 14 to 16 hours, depending on weather, to Dharamsala. When I arrived at Dharamsala, Gaden Shartse Monastery has a puja house and guesthouse there so I stayed there for free because I was going to be a Gaden Shartse monk. They hosted me there for about two months for free, food and everything, very kind. And so, then I went to the Dalai Lama’s private office, Kukey Yiktsang, and I registered and I told them what the Dalai Lama had said. And back then, His Holiness was not really that famous although he is great. So it was very easy to get audience and just walk up to his private office. Very casual.

When I was in the USA, I requested His Holiness the Dalai Lama for ordination and he agreed. Somehow, someone was able to capture this moment on film which you can watch here.

When Tsem Rinpoche was in the USA, he requested His Holiness the Dalai Lama for ordination and he agreed. Somehow, someone was able to capture this moment on film which you can watch here.

And so, I went to his private office which was about 20 minutes’ walk away from the Gaden Shartse guesthouse and I registered and they were like, “Sure, sure.” And they said, “Ok, if you want to be a monk, since His Holiness invited you, that is fine.” They didn’t even question if it was authentic or not because, I mean, how many people are going to come and become a monk, right? Apparently, a lot. Anyways, I said to them that that is what His Holiness said. They said, “Fine. The rules of becoming a monk is three at a time. You can’t expect His Holiness to do the whole ceremony for one person. But anyway, the rule is to do three at a time, so you have to find two other persons who want to become a monk, register and then the three of you, very lucky, His Holiness will do the whole ceremony just for the three of you because he promised.” Wow.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama's home in Dharamsala, North India

His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s home in Dharamsala, North India

I went, “Wow.” Can you imagine, the Dalai Lama is going to do it for me? But the other “wow” was “Wow, how am I going to find two more people to be a monk?” So I was standing in front of the Dalai Lama‘s palace, literally scratching my head, thinking, “Now where am I going to interview?” So I started walking around, “Do you know anybody who wants to be a monk? Do you know anybody who want to be a monk?” And then I asked the monks, “Do you know anybody who wants to be a monk?” So they spread the word around and it worked! It actually worked!

Somebody came along and said, “Yeah!” There is actually somebody who wants to be a monk and if they can be with His Holiness, why not? And then, from the Dalai Lama‘s office, they informed me that another person had registered with them and so we have three persons. So, another person registered with His Holiness’s office and then, I think we found somebody. It wasn’t casual, it wasn’t like, “Oh yeah,” you know like, “Let’s have barbeque and I’ll be a monk by evening.” I mean, somebody wanted to and it’s just that they needed ordination. So we have three persons.

Venerable Sangtsang Rinpoche, who helped me to prepare for my ordination ceremony. Sangtsang Rinpoche was a devoted practitioner of Dorje Shugden as were many lamas of the day.

Venerable Sangtsang Rinpoche, who helped Tsem Rinpoche to prepare for his ordination ceremony. Sangtsang Rinpoche was a devoted practitioner of Dorje Shugden as were many lamas of the day.

And there was this wonderful Rinpoche in Dharamsala who was Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen‘s friend, and Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen wrote him a letter. Sorry – he was Zong Rinpoche‘s attendant’s friend. So I was introduced to him and his name was Kushok Sangtsang Rinpoche, who was very learned, very humble, very gentle, very easy-going, always laughing and smiling yet very alert, and he resided in Dharamsala and he worked for the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives. So he worked in the Dalai Lama‘s library there and he was so kind. When he found out I am going to be a monk, because I was introduced to him, he personally took me to Lower Dharamsala where the Indian sellers are and he helped me to buy my robes. He took me to the tailors and he got my robes stitched for me because he knows what to do. He basically just prepared all the things I needed to become a monk.

And when the day came, I had to cut off all my hair except for one little bit here and then they snip it off. And then I walked there with my robes – you go there with your robes on – and I was tripping and falling all over the place ’cause my robes kept going under my feet. And that morning it took me 15 minutes to put my robes on ’cause I didn’t know how to fold it. I fold it, unfold it, fold it, unfold it. The monks were laughing at me ’cause I just didn’t know how to put it on. And you know, if you put it on wrong, you fall down and you’ll be standing there in your underwear. So anyways, I finally figured out how to put on my robes after 15 minutes. Every day for the next two weeks, it took 15 minutes. Now, it takes me 30 seconds.

In Los Angeles, I promised His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche that I would become a monk. To show that he accepted my promise, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche symbolically cut a lock of my hair. Many years later, His Holiness the Dalai Lama would do something similar during the ordination ceremony (snipping off the remaining strands of hair on my head).

In Los Angeles, Tsem Rinpoche promised His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche that he would become a monk. To show that he accepted Tsem Rinpoche’s promise, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche symbolically cut a lock of his hair. Many years later, His Holiness the Dalai Lama would do something similar during the ordination ceremony (snipping off the remaining strands of hair on Tsem Rinpoche’s head).

The next thing you know, I was standing in front of His Holiness and I received my ordination vows and His Holiness personally cut my hair and He took it, put it on a plate and He gave me my name, Tenzin Zopa. And the whole ceremony took about two and a half, three hours and I was just so happy because my dream came true. So I came out of the… I mean, there was a lot more to the ceremony but I will talk about that for another blogpost.

Then, when I came out of the ordination hall with His Holiness… and the abbot there was His Holiness Kyabje Denma Locho Rinpoche, which I received a lot of teachings from later. And so when I came out, there was another Rinpoche friend of mine there, his name was Sharpa Rinpoche, he was there to greet me. The other monks had their family members there, their parents, they offered khatas, they were happy, they were rejoicing. I was alone. I was alone and that was a little poignant for me because none of my parents supported me but these other new monks, they had their families all support them. So I was a little lonely but I said, “You know, it doesn’t matter. I am here to practise Dharma.”

So after I became ordained, I was so happy. It culminated in so many years of wanting to be a monk. All the times I ran away, all the times I had been beaten by my parents, all the times I was restricted, working so hard in Los Angeles – it all culminated in me becoming a monk finally ’cause it was a journey I had to take alone. So after I finished that, I had to go to Nepal for some work. And while I was in Dharamsala, I stitched a Panchen Sonam Drakpa hat for Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen as a gift and so I sent that to him and he was very happy with the hat. There’s a picture of him wearing it. It was a gift from me, it was my gift to him for allowing me to be ordained and making all the arrangements.

Me with Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen-la. This was taken in India some time after I became ordained. Geshe-la was instrumental in, amongst many other things, helping me to get ordained and preparing for the ceremony.

Tsem Rinpoche with Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen-la. This was taken in India some time after Tsem Rinpoche became ordained. Geshe-la was instrumental in, amongst many other things, helping Tsem Rinpoche to get ordained and preparing for the ceremony.

Geshe-la made all the arrangements for me in Delhi and Dharamsala, for people to help me to be ordained. He did all the arrangements, all. Without him, I wouldn’t have so many doors open for me. So when I went to Nepal, I had a letter from Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen to a Geshe Samdo in Samtenling Monastery in Nepal. And the doors of Samtenling opened for me too and I got free room, free food – everything, because Geshe-la wrote them a letter. So I stayed in Samtenling for two months. I had some work to do. I wanted to go on pilgrimage and after Samtenling, I am going to go back to Gaden Monastery and join Gaden Monastery officially. Officially. So while I was there, as you know, as I told you, I met Gangchen Rinpoche and the whole debacle of my friend not taking me there but I found my way anyways. Meeting Gangchen Rinpoche was not a debacle but everything up to that point was a debacle. Anyways, let’s not get into that right now.

Samtenling Monastery where I stayed for two months, just 10 seconds away from the famous Boudha Stupa

Samtenling Monastery where Tsem Rinpoche stayed for two months, just 10 seconds away from the famous Boudha Stupa

So while I was in Nepal for two months, I visited all the holy places ’cause I made friends with the monks there and the monastery did Dorje Shugden practice at that time. They did Dorje Shugden practice every single day so I would go there, make offerings and join the pujas and all that stuff. And that monastery is just 10 seconds’ walk from Boudha Stupa, it is very nearby. So it was such a beautiful time, 1987. Nepal was very innocent. It was very simple, there is a lot of backpackers, there is a lot of spirituality, there is a lot of monks, there is a lot of nuns, there is a lot of monasteries, temples – you guys all know, you’ve been there. And it was just a magical place. Just think – from Howell, New Jersey to Sodom and Gomorrah a.k.a. Los Angeles and here am I in Shangri-la. Here I am in the middle of Boudha, the huge stupa, all the temple, all the monks. Everywhere I go there’s Maitreya statues, Buddha statues, Chenrezig statues, butter lamps, incense, sangsol, monkeys, lamas, tulkus, nuns, meditators, practitioners, Mahasiddhas – they are all over the place. Can you imagine me in Nepal? I was like, “Oh my god, I’m home.” It was such a magical time for me.

A map showing all the monasteries and temples surrounding Boudha Stupa. Samtenling, which as you can see is VERY close to the stupa, is circled in yellow.

A map showing all the monasteries and temples surrounding Boudha Stupa. Samtenling, which as you can see is VERY close to the stupa, is circled in yellow.

And then, what was so beautiful was I met so many Vajrayogini hermits, people who meditated on Vajrayogini for their lifetime. That means they never come out of their hermitage, they stay in meditation, I met people like that. And then I met Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche at that time. I had the great honour to go to his house and meet him and receive teachings from him, and receive oral transmissions and blessings from him, and advice from him. And I was also very lucky because while I was in Nepal in 1987, Zopa Rinpoche also came to Kopan Monastery. You see, ’cause Zopa Rinpoche travels so he came to Kopan Monastery and I had visited Kopan Monastery. So I had heard that Zopa Rinpoche is giving a 1000-Armed Avalokiteshvara initiation in Kopan. I was so excited. Number 1 – I wanted Avalokiteshvara‘s practice ’cause I love Avalokiteshvara or Chenrezig. Number 2 – Zopa Rinpoche is a great monk. Number 3 – it is in Kopan and I am in Kathmandu. Wow, I mean, it’s magical. Can you imagine me in New Jersey to this? I was so happy.

Zopa Rinpoche, also known as Lama Zopa, was giving 1000-Armed Avalokiteshvara initiation in Kopan Monastery in 1987

Zopa Rinpoche, also known as Lama Zopa, was giving 1000-Armed Avalokiteshvara initiation in Kopan Monastery in 1987

So, what I did was this. The initiation is around 8pm, if I remember correctly, around 8pm at night. So there are two routes to Kopan from Boudha. You can walk outside of the monastery and you walk to the backroads then you hit a road, about half hour walk then you hit another road that you make a sharp right and then you go up Kopan which is another hour and a half, hour and 45 minutes’ walk. And it is very hard to go up there ’cause the road is dirt and it is mountainous. So, you need… you know, taxis only go up part of the way, the rest you have to walk. The other way is, you come out of Boudha and you take the main road with the taxi and then you go to the main road and then you go… when you hit the dirt road then you go up with the taxi part way and then you walk. So either way, part of the way, you have to walk. If you take a taxi through the main road to Kopan, that time, with those cars back then, it is about an hour. If you go through the back roads and walk, it is about two hours, two and a half hours ’cause I was strong and young and I can move quite fast.

So anyways, you can’t get any taxis at night. They are not going to go there. 8 o’clock, it is already dark. So I couldn’t get any taxis. I had bought a lot of fruits – I had bought about 4, 5 kgs of fruits – then I had my sadhana, I had my Dharma texts and I am wearing my robes. So I carried everything on my back. I had a backpack, I put everything in my backpack, I carried it with my robes and I walked. I took the backroad and walked. When I was walking through Boudha, there are some lights here and there but when I got to the dirt road that goes up Kopan, it was pitch-black. Literally you are walking in the dark. So if you look up the mountain, you see a little bit of lights, little bit of teeny, little balls of lights here and there. They are not spiritual orbs, they are little lights from windows. And you just follow those lights and there is just one road. So I walked up, I walked up in the dark.

As you can see, beautiful Kopan Monastery is on quite a high hill and due to my making a wrong turn when I went there for initiation, I ended up having to scale a cliff to get to the monastery. It was worth it though because I was able to receive the 1000-Armed Chenrezig initiation from Venerable Zopa Rinpoche.

As you can see, beautiful Kopan Monastery is on quite a high hill and due to Tsem Rinpoche making a wrong turn when he went there for initiation, he ended up having to scale a cliff to get to the monastery. It was worth it though because Tsem Rinpoche said he was able to receive the 1000-Armed Chenrezig initiation from Venerable Zopa Rinpoche. It was worth the great effort. We must make great efforts towards getting and practising Dharma.

When I got to the last stretch of the road that was going up Kopan, I took a wrong turn ’cause it is pitch-dark. Literally, you’re just walking like that (waves hands in front). And there is nobody around, nobody, not even a dog. It was pitch-dark so when I got to the last stretch, I took a wrong turn and then I came over to the side of a cliff. On top of the cliff and then it’s Kopan. So I literally was at a perpendicular cliff, horizontal… I was standing horizontal at a perpendicular cliff and I literally climbed up in the dark. And then I threw my bag over and I jumped over. And when I jumped over the cliff and I got on top, then I saw lights there and it was Kopan Monastery. It took me three hours in the dark to walk there. It was freezing, it was really freezing. I was sweaty, my nails were full of dirt now ’cause I was climbing in the dirt. My feet are swollen, I am thirsty, I need to go to the bathroom, I am hungry and I am shivering. But none of that deterred me, I wasn’t upset at all. I was a little upset I took the wrong road but I was so excited I am going to get initiation. And I arrived, I arrived around 7.30pm, 7.45pm. So I ran to the bathroom there, I said to the monks, “Where is the bathroom?” I cleaned up little bit ’cause I don’t want to go to initiation dirty. And then they had a tent set up ’cause back then in 1987, Kopan main prayer hall was very small. So they set up a big tent outside and they expected about 150, 200 persons, something like that. So they set up a big tent and they have a throne there for Lama Zopa and we all sat on the floor. The tent had carpets, it was very nice but it was cold.

The grounds of Kopan Monastery are quite beautiful. To accommodate for all the initiates, a tent was pitched in the grounds of the monastery.

The grounds of Kopan Monastery are quite beautiful. To accommodate for all the initiates, a tent was pitched in the grounds of the monastery.

Lama Zopa changed his schedule and showed up at 1am instead. So the initiation was supposed to start at 8pm but he didn’t show up until 1am. So we just kindda waited in the tent from 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 1. We waited six hours in the tent and I just talked to some of the students there and they said, “Oh, it’s normal.” I am like, “What’s normal?” “That Lama Zopa changes his schedule.” I said, “Oh, okay.” Because Geshe-la wasn’t like that. Geshe-la tells you, “8 o’ clock”, it’s 8 o’clock in Los Angeles. So what I am used to in Los Angeles in Thubten Dhargye Ling Centre is if Geshe-la, our teacher, says it’s 8 o’clock, it’s 8 o’clock. I mean at the most, it’s 5, 10 minutes late. But Lama Zopa was like six hours late. Mind you, I didn’t think anything negative, I wasn’t angry or anything. I was just starving. I was starving and I didn’t have tea, I didn’t have anything to drink and you’re shivering. So I said, “Never mind. This is for initiation” and I said to myself, “Avalokiteshvara is worth this.” So… around 1am rolled around and they announced Lama Zopa is coming. I was so excited, I was so happy. And Lama Zopa came, he sat on the throne and he proceeded to give a teaching on impermanence and refuge, and then he proceeded with the initiation.

Before everyone could drink their tea, Lama Zopa recited offering prayers, similar to what is pictured here.

Before everyone could drink their tea, Lama Zopa recited offering prayers, similar to what is pictured here.

The initiation, if I remember correctly, finished around 4, 5am. I had been up the whole day, climbing the mountain all night and around 3am, there was a little break and they were going to offer all the initiates tea. Tibetan tea, hot and steaming. Just think – you’re freezing to death, you haven’t had anything to drink, now you want that Tibetan soup. Usually, you get Tibetan tea, it’s got like tea and butter and salt and milk and you are like, “Yuck!” That’s so thick, it is like soup, right? I was dying for it. So they gave us… I was like, “I don’t have a cup.” The monks said, “Don’t worry, we’re going to give you a cup.” So I got a cup and they filled up my Tibetan tea and it was steaming. And I could see the butter floating and I was like (slurping sounds). But Lama Zopa had to make an offering first.

So Lama Zopa… by the time they poured the tea, mine was getting warm ’cause they had to pour for 100, 200 persons, right? And then after everybody got their tea, Lama Zopa said he is going to make an offering. So he took his tea cup and he raised it up to the sky and recited a whole bunch of prayers, which took about three, four minutes while I am looking at my steaming tea, thinking, “I don’t think the Buddhas are thirsty. Can we just drink our tea?” And after he finishes offering, you know, I mean he is a great monk, after he finishes offering, we got to drink our tea. I can’t remember a time when tea tasted better than that.

So I drank my tea. If I remember, they give you a little bread so that gave me some nourishment. Then after the tea break, he continued with the initiation. There was no bathroom break and that is typical in Tibetan monasteries. You know, you can go for six to eight hours, no bathroom, I am not kidding. If you go to the bathroom, you miss out. You missed it so you don’t get the whole initiation. So some people who needs to visit the bathroom once every hour, you better look for the fast track. I have gone for teachings, 12 hours I don’t go to the bathroom. You have to go, you just hold it and you learn how to hold it and after a while, you tell your bladder, “You listen to me, I don’t listen to you.”

Many years later in Malaysia with Zopa Rinpoche, who is also known as Lama Zopa.

Many years later in Malaysia with Zopa Rinpoche, who is also known as Lama Zopa. Prior to the unethical ban against Dorje Shugden practitioners by the Tibetan leadership, whenever Lama Zopa was in Singapore or Malaysia, he would contact Tsem Rinpoche to meet up. Tsem Rinpoche would be shy but very happy to meet up with Lama Zopa Rinpoche as Tsem Rinpoche has tremendous faith in Lama Zopa. Tsem Rinpoche often wishes one day before it is too late, he can meet Lama Zopa Rinpoche again to reconnect their spiritual relationship. He says he has some questions regarding some tantric passages he knows Lama Zopa Rinpoche can elucidate for him.

Now… and it was a beautiful teaching and we finished around 4, 5am and I got the whole initiation. Until today, I am doing the practice that I received. I have not missed out on it. So after we finished, I was thinking to myself, “Okay, now I gotta walk down again. It is going to be another three hours, four hours. So by the time I get back to the monastery, about 7, 8am?” The good part is by the time I get back, it will be light. The bad part is, halfway there, it is going to be in the dark again, I hope I don’t fall down. There’s no taxis, there’s no cars, nothing.

Kopan had guesthouses and libraries and all that stuff but it’s been booked. So I was packing up my things and everybody is packing up their things. I don’t have money, I was young and I was thinking, “God, should I just sleep outside somewhere? Should I walk down? What should I do?” While I was thinking that, Lama Zopa signalled to me. Lama Zopa, from the throne, signalled to me and said to me, “Come here.” So I went, “Me?” I mean, I don’t know him, you know. I walked up to him and he said, he just said to me, “Where are you going to stay tonight?” I said, “I don’t have a place to stay. I was thinking about walking back.” He said, “To where?” I said, “To Boudha.” He said, “That’s very far.” I said, “I know but there are no guesthouses here.” He said, “I will make arrangements for you. Don’t worry.”

Oh my god, I was so touched. Out of 200 people, how does he know I don’t have a place to stay? Why does he point out to me? I mean, I didn’t have a signboard, “Give me a free place to stay”, right? And he said that to me and I just folded my hands and said, “Thank you so much.”

The famous Boudha Stupa. I stayed in Samtenling Monastery, which was just 10 seconds away from this beautiful stupa. Kopan Monastery itself was a few hours' walk away in the hills but after the initiation, I was going to walk back to Samtenling, until Lama Zopa kindly intervened.

The famous Boudha Stupa. Tsem Rinpoche stayed in Samtenling Monastery, which was just 10 seconds away from this beautiful stupa. Kopan Monastery itself was a few hours’ walk away in the hills but after the initiation, Tsem Rinpoche was going to walk back to Samtenling, until Lama Zopa kindly intervened.

So a monk came, he escorted me to the library – Kopan’s library – and there were like another 50 people there with sleeping bags and he said, “You sleep here because we don’t have any rooms and this will be warm for you. And then in the morning, you can go downstairs and get breakfast.” I said, “Oh, thank you so much.” I was so happy to stay there with the community of monks and practitioners around the world and I said to him, “I don’t have a sleeping bag” and he said, “Oh, Lama Zopa told us to help you.” So he gave me blankets and a pillow. So I slept on the carpet which was plush – Tibetan carpet – with a pillow and a blanket and it was so comfy.

I couldn’t fall asleep ’cause I was so excited. I was so excited about the initiation, I was so excited about meeting Lama Zopa, I was so excited that everybody was so kind. I was so excited that Lama Zopa showed his clairvoyance. I was so excited that I had a cup of tea. I was so excited that I am going to get a free breakfast. I was so excited that I have a place to stay. And I was really excited I don’t have to walk back to Boudha that night, ’cause it was a dreadful long walk, trust me. And if it rains, you’re finished. I have walked to Kopan when it rained and I was stuck in rain and walking in the mud, caused I walked to Kopan at least 10 to 15 times.

So I couldn’t sleep ’cause I was so excited. I was looking at the library, I was dying… ’cause they had a lot of postcards of Buddhas for sale, I wanted to look at them but there was no lights, they turned it all off. So I waited until morning and when morning came, I got up immediately and all the Westerners got up and they were wandering around – some were sleeping – and I looked at the library, I looked at the postcards. I bought some postcards, I was so excited. Then I went downstairs to the kitchen to have lunch… sorry, to have breakfast and one of the monks announced to me that there will be special thukpa soup – thukpa is noodle soup – sponsored by Lama Zopa for everyone. I was like, “Wow, Lama Zopa is so kind.” So I decided to wait for lunch, for the thukpa. Not because I was looking for a free lunch but I thought, “It’s from Lama Zopa, it’s blessed.” So I walked around Kopan’s grounds, I walked around the temple, I went inside to make offerings, I circumambulated around the stupas ’cause Lama Yeshe had already passed away, I talked to a few monks, I hung out at the library until lunch.

Thukpa is a traditional Tibetan noodle soup. The lunch was delayed because Lama Zopa had done a divination and asked that the thukpa noodles be changed to a different shape, as it would be more auspicious for all of us.

Thukpa is a traditional Tibetan noodle soup. The lunch was delayed because Lama Zopa had done a divination and asked that the thukpa noodles be changed to a different shape, as it would be more auspicious for all of us.

And during lunch, it was supposed to be at 1… 12… 1pm, we were supposed to get lunch, 12 or 1pm, something around that time, midday. And then we got a second announcement: the thukpa is going to be delayed because Lama Zopa did a divination and the shape of the noodles is wrong. So they have to do the whole thing over and do all the noodles in a different shape so it’s more auspicious for all of us and good luck for all of us. I was like, “Uhh, okay.” So we waited another two and a half, three hours for the thukpas to be completely remade because Lama Zopa did a divination that the current shape of the thukpas are not auspicious for us and he wants us to have the best thukpa. I don’t know what they did with the old thukpa, but they made a whole new batch. And I just asked one of the monks… I went down to the kitchen to see if I can help, look around, and they were all very happy chopping away, they are doing the dough again and they were cutting. And I said to them, “It is a lot of work.” And they said, “Oh, it’s normal.” And I said, “What’s normal?” “That Lama Zopa changes the menu at the last minute when everything is done and cooked.” And I said, “Why does he do that?” I wasn’t questioning in a bad way, I just was, “Why?” He said, “Because Lama Zopa does divinations and things change. So things change all the time with divination.” And I went, “Oh, okay.”

Pictured here is 1000-Armed Avalokiteshvara or Chenrezig. Tsem Rinpoche received the initiation of this practice from Lama Zopa. Click on the image above for a high resolution version or click here to download more high resolution Buddha images.

Well, the thukpas came out and they were in the shape of little bow ties, you know like bow ties, and I got my big bowl too. It was delicious, I ate that and then I didn’t have a chance to say “thank you” to Lama Zopa because he was in his audience room, his room. So I went in front of the temple where his residence is and I visualised him inside the room, and I folded my hands and I psychically sent him a message – I mean, my pretend ‘psychic’ – and I just said in my mind, “Thank you for the initiation, thank you for the place to stay, for the food, the thukpa and I will do this practice.” So I visualised that and thanked him and then I walked down. And I was very happy to walk down because when I left it was about 4, 5 o’clock and I had a casual walk back to Boudha, two, two and a half hours because it was daytime. And I didn’t get lost this time. When I arrived back to Samtenling Monastery – Samtenling – my monk friends, they were all worried and they were like, “What happened to you? We didn’t know what happened to you.” And I told them everything, and they were so happy for me.

Back in Nepal in 1990, a few years after I was ordained. This photo was taken in Gangchen Ladrang in Chabhil, Nepal. His Eminence Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche is seated on the throne. I am very fortunate to have had such a close relationship with so many attained beings throughout my life.

Back in Nepal in 1990, a few years after Tsem Rinpoche was ordained. This photo was taken in Gangchen Ladrang in Chabhil, Nepal. His Eminence Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche is seated on the throne. Tsem Rinpoche says that he is very fortunate to have had such a close relationship with so many attained beings throughout his life. He has had Dharma connections with many attained masters. Here, Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche asked Tsem Rinpoche to give a teaching to Gangchen Rinpoche’s students and Tsem Rinpoche taught them about Guru Devotion.

So that was how I got 1000-Armed Avalokiteshvara initiation from Lama Zopa, that is how I made it up to Kopan, that was the adventure that brought me up there and Lama Zopa’s kindness and his compassion and how he took care of every one of his students, even people he had met for the very first time.

His Eminence Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche whom I met in Nepal for the first time in 1987

His Eminence Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche whom Tsem Rinpoche met in Nepal for the first time in 1987

And my two months, two and a half months in Boudha, in Kathmandu in 1987 was one of the best and most magical times of my life. I visited the five holy Vajrayogini places. One place is not open to foreigners but I was able to sneak in ’cause I looked like one of the Tibetans. I was able to visit the Guru Rinpoche cave. I was able to visit many, many holy monasteries of the Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya, Gelug traditions. I met one or two meditators who had gone into meditation for life. That means they will never come out and I met them, made offerings to them. I met innumerable beautiful senior monks who were so kind and so knowledgeable and filled with the traditional, what you’d expect from old monks – compassion.

I was able to meet high lamas for the first time and receive teachings from them like Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche and spend a lot of time with him, hanging out at his house, getting teachings, assisting him, going shopping with him, visiting his Guru. He had one guru in Kathmandu at that time and the name was Kha Geshe and why? Because Kha Geshe would have an “AH” appear on his tongue from time to time. So when people saw him and he stuck out his tongue, you’d see a clear impression of the Tibetan syllable “AH” which meant the speech of all Buddhas. And sometimes, these mantras will appear at the bottom of his feet. So when you lift his feet up, you will see it.

The statue of His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche that I commissioned

The statue of His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche that Tsem Rinpoche commissioned in 1987

So we went to meet Kha Geshe and I had the honour. This was Gangchen Rinpoche’s tutor so I had the honour to go make prostrations to Kha Geshe, make prostrations to him, make offerings to him, receive his blessings and pray in front of him, develop aspirational prayers. In front of holy beings, you make aspirational prayers that you can become like them.

So I met many beings like that. And I was able to circumambulate around the Boudha Stupa for two months, every single night. Every single night, sometimes in the morning, I would go with my monk friends and we’d recite mantras and circumambulate around the stupa. I didn’t miss even one night. And that was the time where I found a sculptor who made a Zong Rinpoche statue for me. It was about 1,500 rupees, out of clay and painted. So I used to visit the sculptor every day to make sure it was done correctly. So I had a Zong Rinpoche statue carved because I wanted my Guru’s statue.

The thangka of His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche that I commissioned. Later on, I had this thangka reproduced which you can download in high resolution here.

The thangka of His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche that Tsem Rinpoche commissioned. Later on, Tsem Rinpoche had this thangka reproduced which you can download in high resolution here.

And then I also had a Zong Rinpoche thangka made where in the centre it’s Zong Rinpoche. On the left is Vajrayogini emanating from his heart and on the right is Dorje Shugden emanating from his heart. So I had that thangka made in Kathmandu. I also made a Dorje Shugden thangka which I have here, the small one. I made a Dorje Shugden thangka there and Geshe Samdo of Samtenling Monastery helped me to stitch it. He found the artist for me and I had a beautiful Dorje Shugden thangka made.

So I had a beautiful Dorje Shugden thangka made which I have with me now. I had a Zong Rinpoche thangka made. I had a Zong Rinpoche statue made. In the marketplace, I found a Dorje Shugden steel tsa tsa, small one which they only had one. Nobody knew who it was but I know it was Dorje Shugden and I bought it, ’cause I was looking for one and I found it. I met yogis, hermits, high lamas, great monks. I went to many temples. I went to the Vajrayogini holy places. I went to the Tara self-arising holy place. So two months in Kathmandu was a magical time and after I had moved to Malaysia, I took a lot of Malaysian friends there to visit all the places that was introduced to me back in 1987. And so it was just such a magical, beautiful time and during that time I was able to receive the 1000-Armed Avalokiteshvara practice, so I wanted to share that. Thank you.

Tsem Rinpoche

 

Getting Chenrezig in Kopan, 1987

Or view the video on the server at:
https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/KopanWalk.mp4

 

Lama Zopa (left) and his teacher Lama Yeshe. Together, they invoked upon Dorje Shugden's blessings to establish Kopan Monastery and the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT)

Lama Zopa (left) and his teacher Lama Yeshe. Together, they invoked upon Dorje Shugden’s blessings to establish Kopan Monastery and the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT).

Epilogue

Kopan Monastery was established in 1969 by Lama Yeshe and his student Lama Zopa. It is a member of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), an international network of Dharma centres that was founded by Lama Yeshe a few years later in 1975. Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa are from the exact same lineage as our Tsem Rinpoche; that is, they belong to the lineage of Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche and so on. And not only have Lama Yeshe, Lama Zopa and Tsem Rinpoche received direct teachings from His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, but Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa also received the practice of Dorje Shugden from this very precious lineage and these eminent lamas.

Within the lineage that Lama Yeshe, Lama Zopa and Tsem Rinpoche are from, a lot of emphasis is placed on the importance of following our teachers’ instructions. When it comes to the spiritual instructions, Dharma teachings, practices and meditations from our teachers, we should not be selective and think that some of our gurus’ teachings are good while others are false. This is according to advice from Vajradhara himself. Vajradhara, the supreme form that Shakyamuni took to expound the tantras, clearly elucidated that once we have taken refuge, we should not find fault in any part of our spiritual guide (guru).

The Buddha Vajradhara taught that we should see our teachers as perfect Buddhas and that after refuge, we should not seek for faults in our spiritual guides. It therefore goes without saying that we should not be selective with the spiritual instructions and practices we receive from our teachers.

Vajradhara also taught that it is extremely important for us to view our teachers as one with Vajradhara and the Buddha himself. Hence when we say that our teacher is Guru Vajradhara, Buddha Shakyamuni and so on but on the other hand we say he makes mistakes, it is very hard for modern practitioners to reconcile that it is possible for someone we visualise as the perfect Vajradhara to make spiritual mistakes. How else do we expect modern practitioners to feel? If our teachers who are living Buddhas can make mistakes then surely by visualising them as those beings (Vajradhara, etc.), we will not get blessings because we are supplicating imperfect beings who make mistakes. It would therefore be illogical to say that on one hand, our teachers are living Buddhas but on the other hand say they made mistakes. It would be equally illogical to say that living Buddhas like Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche made mistakes by teaching, initiating and proliferating the Dorje Shugden lineage.

There is a great story in the Lamrim that demonstrates how blessings can come even from a dog’s tooth. It involves a merchant who frequently travelled from Tibet to India, leaving his mother in their house in the village. The merchant’s aged mother was a very pious and devoted woman who, like most Tibetans, looked upon India as the Land of the Aryas (enlightened ones). Tibetans consider India the holy land because it is the place where Shakyamuni gained enlightenment as Prince Siddhartha. Therefore every time the merchant went to India, his mother would remind him to bring back a sacred relic so she could place it on her shrine to worship and be blessed.

Buddha Shakyamuni attained enlightenment under the bodhi tree in Bodhgaya, India. Today, the place is one of the major pilgrimage sites for Buddhists all around the world. To read the pictorial biography of Buddha’s life story, please click here.

Each time he returned, the mother would ask her son if he had brought something back for her and each time, he would tell his old mother that, embarrassingly, he had forgotten again. Finally, halfway along his latest return journey, he suddenly remembered his mother’s request to bring back a sacred relic.

Having realised he had forgotten her request once again, as he was going along the path, he came upon the bones of a dead dog. Stopping, he plucked out a tooth, wrapped it up in silks and brought it home to his mother, saying that it was actually the tooth of Buddha Shakyamuni himself. Needless to say, his mother was in tears, absolutely overjoyed. Overwhelmed with devotion and religious fervour, she prostrated to the tooth and held it to the highest part of her body (her crown) before placing it inside a small stupa. With a lot of faith, she then invited that stupa onto her shrine along with Buddha statues.

The Buddha's relics. The merchant's mother thought that the dog's tooth her son presented to her was the Buddha's tooth, and so similarly enshrined it in a stupa. The tooth later showed miracles, a direct result of the mother's faith which allowed the Buddha's blessings to come through the tooth.

The Buddha’s relics. The merchant’s mother thought that the dog’s tooth her son presented to her was the Buddha’s tooth, and so similarly enshrined it in a stupa, making prayers, offerings and prostrations to it. The dog’s tooth later showed miracles, as a direct result of the mother’s faith which allowed the Buddha’s blessings to come through the dog’s tooth.

Every single day, the devoted mother was unfailing in making offerings of water, incense, flowers, food and so on to the Buddha’s tooth. She prayed to attain higher attainments and gain good rebirths; every single day, she prayed for her village, for her son and for herself to what she thought was the tooth of the Buddha. Any part of an enlightened being (such as the Buddha’s tooth) is considered the enlightened being as a whole, with the ability to impart upon us full blessings, and that is what she fully believed.

So every single day, that is what she did and in fact, her little house became very famous. Neighbouring villages even heard about the relic and a lot of people came along to make offerings, prayers and prostrations to the Buddha’s tooth.

When the son saw his mother’s devotion, he wanted to tell her the truth but he did not have the heart to break it to her. He had really wanted to bring a relic for her but now that all of the neighbours had found out about the tooth, it was very difficult to tell his mother the truth of its provenance. Everybody, even from neighbouring villages, really thought he had a sacred relic in his house and they were coming on a daily basis to pay homage to and get blessings from this tooth.

A few years ago, a small plant started growing from my statue of His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche as you can see here. It was determined by my gurus to be a good sign. To read more about this event, please click here.

A few years ago, a small plant started growing from Tsem Rinpoche’s statue of His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche as you can see here. It was determined by Tsem Rinpoche’s gurus to be a good sign. To read more about this event, please click here.

One day however, to the son’s amazement, a small flower bloomed from the tooth in the stupa. It was a very auspicious sign that great blessings had occurred as a result of the mother’s faith and devotion to Buddha Shakyamuni.

This event went on to become a very powerful and famous story in Tibet. It shows that if we have firm, strong and consistent faith in the Buddhas and the Three Jewels, we will definitely get blessings. Even if the tooth was just a dog’s tooth and not the Buddha’s, the mother’s faith transformed the tooth into a vehicle or portal for the Buddha’s blessings. Her faith meant that the blessings of Buddha were able to come through even via the tooth of a dog.

By therefore quoting that story from the Lamrim, we can tell people today that in the remotest possibility Dorje Shugden is not an enlightened being, if we think of him as Manjushri and have devotion to him as an enlightened being, then Manjushri’s blessings will definitely override Dorje Shugden. The fact is that both Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Trijang Rinpoche have said Manjushri emanated as Dorje Shugden. If we believe and trust our gurus, and we pray and make offerings to Dorje Shugden as the enlightened Manjushri, then the blessings of Manjushri can come through Dorje Shugden just as Buddha’s blessings can arise from a dog’s tooth. This will hold true even if Dorje Shugden is not a so-called enlightened being, as Manjushri‘s blessings can come if we believe in and trust our guru.

Knowing this makes the unethical ban on Dorje Shugden all the more shocking. Imposed in 1996 by the Tibetan leaders, they have since that time told us that those who practise Dorje Shugden must be evicted from the monasteries. In fact, according to the CTA, Dorje Shugden practitioners cannot enjoy the facilities built by the Tibetan diaspora, nor can they be a part of Tibetan mainstream society.

Dorje Shugden practitioners have to be segregated and biased against and as unbelievable and strange as it sounds, this apartheid-type ban is still intact today. There is total religious discrimination and while His Holiness the Dalai Lama would like to say that all of this is just advice and it is not a ban, we have to understand how the Tibetan community operates. In the Tibetan community, things need not be said directly; if His Holiness gives such an advice, it is the same as him giving a non-negotiable edict and it must be carried out.

Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa, both on the right, doing a puja in front of a Dorje Shugden thangka

Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa, both on the right, doing a puja in front of a Dorje Shugden thangka

Due to this ban and edict therefore, Kopan no longer practises Dorje Shugden although its establishment is intimately linked to the practice. Lama Yeshe did numerous Dorje Shugden pujas to bless the land, to build Kopan, to ask for sponsorship, and to ask for help and protection. In fact, until his passing, Lama Yeshe relied on Dorje Shugden very strongly. His student Lama Zopa was similarly devoted too, until the practice was banned by the Tibetan leadership.

Thus when Tsem Rinpoche visited Kopan back in 1987, it was at a time when Rinpoche would join Lama Zopa in doing Dorje Shugden pujas, as it was a practice given to him by his teacher. Those were the times where everyone was welcome to Kopan, and could go there for blessings and teachings. These days however, the situation has changed tremendously because of the politics of the Tibetan exiled government. As a result, Kopan and their affiliates have a policy and signs that if you practise Dorje Shugden, you are not allowed to go to Kopan Monastery or to enter their premises.

So what is incredible is that if Tsem Rinpoche wanted to visit Kopan and bring his students there for a pilgrimage, he would not be allowed to simply because he practises Dorje Shugden. Pure discrimination based on religion. It is as if everyone in the world and samsara including demons, spirits, ghosts, animals, humans, gods, demigods and hell beings are allowed to get blessings from Kopan, and only people who practise Dorje Shugden cannot experience this blessing which is ludicrous. Everyone can visit a holy temple to get blessings and imprints of Dharma…except for Dorje Shugden practitioners. Everyone should be able to visit temples and holy places because the purpose of these places is to bless the visitor. Everyone deserves a blessing no matter their race, economic background, sexual orientation, gender and religion. All the more so in Buddhism as Buddhism teaches us to embrace those different than us with compassion and understanding tolerance. Places that bar people from visiting on the basis of religious discrimination negate the purpose of their existence. It is a shame the religious politics is allowed. For sure if Buddha Shakyamuni was alive He would not approve of this.

It might not sound very Buddhist, compassionate or even spiritual but it is unfortunately the case. Under the current political climate, where politics have gotten in the way of religion, Tsem Rinpoche will not be able to visit Kopan. Tsem Rinpoche keeps an optimistic hope the ban will be lifted as he deeply loves His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He reminisces the few beautiful times he spent with Lama Zopa. While this might be a sad epilogue for the touching story that Tsem Rinpoche has recounted to us, it will not detract from Tsem Rinpoche’s ultimately beautiful experience of meeting Lama Zopa Rinpoche and receiving the initiation of the Buddha of Compassion back in 1987.

Kechara Pastors Niral Patel, Khong Jean Ai and David Lai

 

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7 Responses to Tsem Rinpoche’s moving experience with Lama Zopa in Kopan (1987)

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  1. Mark Harvey on Jan 24, 2021 at 2:41 pm

    Amazing how all these events all came into alignment. There’s a perfectly good reason why Tsem Rinpoche received all these teaching. He was truly ment to spread the Dharma.
    I am so fortunate to receive teachings from him.

  2. Samfoonheei on May 1, 2020 at 3:52 pm

    Interesting to revisit this post again. It takes a lot pain, suffering and determination for Rinpoche had to go through that pays off. Going through long journey of walking and waiting to receive the1000-Armed Avalokiteshvara initiation by Lama Zopa ,had truly showed how determined Rinpoche was at that time. An example for us …Once our mind set on something , we do it all the way nor matter what happened.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing your beautiful moments with Lama Zopa with us.

  3. Tsa Tsa Ong on Apr 13, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    This is a very inspiring article which i enjoyed reading. Rinpoche’s determination to receive the initiation by going through with environmental difficulties, danger, overcoming personal physical needs like hunger, etc, are good examples for us to learn from. As long as we set our mind on the objective, our mindset will be strengthened to overcome outer difficulties. Over the years, there are many ups and downs in Rinpoche’s life but all Rinpoche remembers is the kindness people have given Rinpoche. In order to repay people the kindness Rinpoche has received, Rinpoche always shows kindness to others. I sincerely pray and hope the DS ban be resolved soon. May all friendships, relationships and gurus and students be reunited soon. Thank you very much Rinpoche and blog team for sharing such an inspiring story. ??

  4. Samfoonheei on Apr 4, 2019 at 1:10 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this wonderful experience story of Rinpoche and Lama Zopa in Kopan. With determination and going through long journey of walking, waiting for hour and hours does not deter Rinpoche to give up . Rinpoche wanted so much to receive the1000-Armed Avalokiteshvara initiation by Lama Zopa , and that Rinpoche waited patiently pays off. Rinpoche determination to succeed is so strong that failure will never overtake and cross his path. Rinpoche is truly one example to remind us to stay on course, not give up, to persevere and persist despite obstacles and challenges.
    Lama Zopa Rinpoche is a highly attained Tibetan Buddhist master, he had picked Rinpoche among so many practitioner and offered Rinpoche a place to stay and meals even though they met for the first time. Its a wonderful experience of a lifetime.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing

  5. Stella Cheang on Mar 31, 2019 at 8:28 am

    Thank you, Rinpoche. This is a very inspiring article. Rinpoche’s determination to receive the initiation by going through with environmental difficulties, danger, overcoming personal physical needs like hunger, etc, are shining examples for us to learn from. As long as we set our mind on the objective, our mindset will be strengthened to overcome outer difficulties.

    I am also very thankful to Kushok Sangtsang Rinpoche for being kind and helpful to our Guru. He had made it less difficult for Rinpoche to be ordained. It is a very good example for me to learn up to become someone who make things easier and convenience for others.

  6. Yee Yin on Mar 31, 2019 at 3:19 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing with us such a nice story of Rinpoche and Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Over the years, there are many ups and downs in Rinpoche’s life but all Rinpoche remembers is the kindness people have given Rinpoche. In order to repay people the kindness Rinpoche has received, Rinpoche always shows kindness to others.

    Lama Zopa must be a highly attained Buddhist master. Out of so many people, he just knew Tsem Rinpoche didn’t have a place to stay and kindly offered Rinpoche to stay in Kopan Monastery. Lama Zopa even instructed people in the monastery to help Tsem Rinpoche. If it was not because of Lama Zopa’s kind offer, Tsem Rinpoche might have to walk in the dark to go back to Boudha.

    Another thing that strikes me is Tsem Rinpoche’s determination. Tsem Rinpoche knows how precious Dharma. As a result, no matter how difficult or tough the situation is, he will overcome it. Not many people will want to walk for 3 hours with 4kgs of weight on the back to receive initiation. I think it is important for us to understand Dharma is the solution to all our problems and we should never give up Dharma practice even when things get more difficult. If we don’t try to overcome the difficulty, we will not grow to become a better person.

  7. Sofi on Mar 31, 2019 at 3:11 am

    Thank you, Rinpoche for sharing your experience here with us. I love reading or listening to Rinpoche’s experiences as Rinpoche makes them so alive for us and it is so inspiring in Rinpoche’s deep love for the Dharma as well as the great respect and devotion to the highly attained Gurus/Lamas. No matter how difficult the situation is, as shared by Rinpoche the long journey of walking in pitch black condition, scaling a cliff to reach Kopan and the cold long wait, it is all worth it to receive the initiation, to always be with good motivation and a happy mind. This is such an important state of mind to be in towards our practice of Dharma. May we always be blessed with our Guru’s long life and continual turning of the Dharma Wheel, most importantly to practice as our Guru had practiced.?

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  • sarassitham
    Thursday, Apr 15. 2021 10:48 PM
    This is an interesting informative sharing of Wonderful Vietnam. An amazing country with it’s rich traditional culture, variety of World Heritage Sites, breathtaking landscapes, wonderful rainforest, world famous foods and fascinating tropical coastline.

    Thank you for the sharing and I loved all the attractive destination and photos shared. Surprisingly, Vietnam has something to offer everyone and a most beautiful country in South East Asia worth to visit and to explore.

    https://bit.ly/3mNdeQP
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Apr 15. 2021 04:32 PM
    King Trisong Detsen (740-798) was the second of the Three Dharma Kings of Tibet He played a pivotal role in the introduction of Buddhism to Tibet and the establishment of the Nyingma. He believed to be an emanation of the bodhisattva Manjushri, that built Samye Monastery the first monastery . King Trisong Detsen aimed to revitalize Tibetan Buddhism so much so arranged a debate known as the Council of Lhasa. The Council of Lhasa, at Samye, was a famous debate, between the Chinese Buddhist monk Moheyan and the Indian Buddhist master Kamalashila. It is also known as the Great Debate, this debate lasted for 2 years. An interesting story behind this long and rancorous debate. The Council of Lhasa is an important event in Tibetan history and shaped the practice of Buddhism in Tibet up until today.
    Thank You Rinpoche and Pastor Antoinette Kass for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/the-great-council-of-lhasa.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Apr 15. 2021 04:29 PM
    Coming across this post of suspended coffees truly had me wonder if in Malaysia will come up with this compassionate concept. A suspended coffee is a great way to pay forward for a coffee meant for someone else who cannot afford a warm beverage. Kindness can come in many forms including the purchase of a suspended coffee,
    a very good concept indeed. This is a tradition that comes from Naples, Italy, dated in the 20th century. Buying a cup of coffee for a stranger , who needed it especially during cold nights. A simple act of kindness can change someone’s life. To date, many countries in US and Europe have started these compassion concept and had in fact inspired more. Hopefully one day this will happen in Malaysia .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/a-real-compassionate-idea.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Apr 15. 2021 04:27 PM
    n the remote mountain highlands of eastern Tibet, there exists a unique lineage of female spiritual practitioners at Gebchak Gonpa. A nunnery of more than 350 from all the Tibetan schools of Buddhism came to study and practice Dharma, upholding rigorous meditation and yoga practices. Gebchak’s yogini nuns are famed for their accomplishments in profound yogas and meditation. These women have devoted their entire lives to practicing the Dharma. Interesting read of those Gebchak’s yogini nuns lives, as stated in the post.
    Sadly, during the cultural revolution the Gebchak Gonpa was destroyed and the remaining nuns were dispersed. Yet many of them continue preserving their unique female yogic tradition who had survived the Cultural Revolution. Today, new generations of nuns and lamas are preserving Gebchak’s practice lineage rebuilt and re-established Gebchak Gonpa, despite extreme physical hardships.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/gebchak-gonpa.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Apr 14. 2021 03:42 PM
    Thank you, Mr. Martin, well write-up this article of great-lamas-masters great-masters speak truly all about Tsem Rinpoche. We as students have seen and heard of all Rinpoche wonderful and extraordinary qualities. Rinpoche not only cares and loves all his students and even to strangers as well. Nor matter who you are regardless of race and faith Rinpoche will be too willingly to help. That’s Rinpoche’s nature a Bodhisatva . Rinpoche had made a way from Us to India and then Malaysia just to spread Dharma teachings and nothing else. Rinpoche as advice by his teacher to be in Malaysia and that’s where he established many departments to benefits all sentient beings. Reading through this post tells us all Great Masters, Lamas, Geshes and many highly attained Lamas and Masters specking what is true the same qualities of Rinpoche. Rinpoche was very kind, generous, giving, compassionate, always doing charity, giving to the poor, raising funds, sponsoring. Described Rinpoche as someone highly intelligent and extraordinary person. Interesting read , may more people reading this article to have a clearer view of Rinpoche.
    All I could say is that Rinpoche had showed us the light of life. With folded hands , may we able to meet Rinpoche again in this life and so forth.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/great-masters-speak-about-tsem-rinpoche.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Apr 14. 2021 03:40 PM
    Interesting biography of a great Lama Zanabazar was a renowned painter, sculptor, architect and costume designer. He was known as“Michelangelo of Asia”, for his artistic skills which were matched by his literary prowess as a Buddhist scholar, linguist and poet. Zanabazar as a historical figure played an important role in propagating Buddhism in Mongolia. He had established Mongolian unique cultural identity. Zanabazar was the first Bogd Gegeen or high-saint-of-mongolia or supreme spiritual authority, the Gelugpa lineage of Tibetan Buddhism in Outer Mongolia. He is believed to be a Geluk protagonist whose alliance with the Dalai and Panchen Lamas was crucial to the dissemination of Buddhism in Khalkha Mongolia. Interesting read with all the rare pictures shared.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/zanabazar-the-first-high-saint-of-mongolia.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Apr 12. 2021 04:12 PM
    Looking at those very unique house been built simply stunning. Creatively with nature indeed , salute to those architecture who has such a wild ideas and innovations building such an incredibly unique houses in nature. No easy though but everything is possible.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/into-the-wild.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Apr 12. 2021 04:11 PM
    Truly stunning Kuanyin Statue also know as”Goddess of Mercy” Statue designed by Portuguese architect . Very serene with the huge golden statue seemingly floating over the sea at high tide. One of the underrated landmarks in Macau. It is believed that when this statue is built, Macau has become more prosperous, peaceful and economically better. Many locals and tourist visited this beautiful Statue and it’s a popular spot where they will walk along the sea watching sunset. Merely by looking at this Statue is a blessing. Those beautiful pictures tells us all.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/kuan-yin-of-macau-city.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Apr 12. 2021 04:07 PM
    Beautiful Yonghe Temple in Beijing, China known to some locals as the‘Palace of Peace and Harmony Lama Temple’ has three world-record masterpieces. This temple is a temple and monastery of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism built during the reign of Emperor Kang Xi (1694). Very impressive buildings and a great insight into Chinese Buddhist temples with 300 years of history . The building and artwork of the temple is a combination of Han Chinese and Tibetan styles.
    Looking at the restoration and conservation work of the Lama Tsongkhapa Statue in Yong He Gong is not easy after all. Thanks to Liu Yuming,77, restoration masters of China’s Cultural Relics. He had done a good job helping to preserve those rare cultural relics left in China. It is indeed a uphill task that needs a lot of patience , skill, delicate , and love . Interesting read even though it an old post. Would love to see this master piece of Lama Tsongkhapa Statue one day .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/an-age-of-restoration.html
  • sarassitham
    Monday, Apr 12. 2021 01:47 PM
    Sometimes a single image can speak much louder than words. It’s very painful to see the abused and made to suffer of a Monkey and Child.

    It is really sad to discover how many animals sacrificed for fulfilling our taste buds. and not only sacrificing their life.

    Why don’t we try to eat more vegetables instead of eating more animals. Vegetables are healthy too, you know! And do you also know that being vegetarian or vegan will not only make you become healthier, it will also make you feel more energetic.
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Apr 10. 2021 03:59 PM
    A legendary figure of Buddhism in Buryatia was Lubsan Samdan Tsydenov, charismatic Buddhist master and visionary and national hero, who had spread the Tantric Buddhist tradition. Interesting read of this forgotten story of Lubsan Samdan Tsydenov, a monk who briefly ruled as a dharma king. He amazingly created a nonviolence Buddhist kingdom who protected thousands of women, children, and men at that time. In 1920’s Soviet government considered Lubsan Samdan Tsydenov to be rebels and Traditional Buryat culture was erased since then. Buddhist monasteries in Buryatia were destroyed and many followers were murdered. He was well remembered as a true Dharma King and a national hero. Interesting read of a Great Lama.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/lubsan-samdan-tsydenov-the-dharma-king-of-buryatia.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Apr 10. 2021 03:57 PM
    We came to this world with nothing and leaving with nothing. There nothings that belongs to us. Whatever we own is temporary on loan only, so we should be glad in this life we are in human form. We should appreciate what we have at this moment, , doing , learning Dharma and practicing Dharma for a good and meaningful cause. Transforming our mind and benefiting others instead of ourselves.
    What Rinpoche had said and explained , very true indeed … we don’t own our body. Well use our body for the greater good of others. Reading the transcript by Tsem Rinpoche tells us more understanding .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this profound teachings.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/transcript-you-dont-own-your-body.html
  • sarassitham
    Friday, Apr 9. 2021 11:20 PM
    Thank you for the wonderful sharing, it’s truly amazing. Each one of these statues is special and drool-worthy, and they have rightly signified the place where they stand today.

    Even when we don’t have the opportunity too witness those beautiful Buddha Statues, yet we are blessed merely by looking at it.
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Apr 9. 2021 01:19 PM
    Reading this article again, truly feeling sorry those refugees in Netherlands. Staying in another country far away from homeland is already sad. They need to start from scratch, could imagine their situation living in a foreign facing a lot of hinders such languages, cultures and so forth. The sad state of refugees living in Netherlands is really bad. The Netherlands has had a reputation as a humanitarian haven, with refugees and immigrants as the situation in their country isn’t safe enough. But entering as refugees they ended up living in empty offices, as room . The government authorities failed to provide basic amenities for those rejected ones who have not or cannot leave the country. The refugees are stuck in a system, were call as an illegal immigrant. They wandered in the streets of Amsterdam, moving from one place to another left in the cold winter. Lucky enough they have volunteers helping them supplying blankets , foods for them. Hopefully the authorities could do more to help those refugees out there and the situation right now has improved.
    Thank you Melissa for sharing this .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/the-building-wanderers-of-amsterdam.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Apr 9. 2021 01:17 PM
    Being generous also makes us feel better about ourselves. Generosity is both a natural confidence builder and a natural repellent of self-hatred. By focusing on what we are giving rather than on what we are receiving. Acts of generosity, such as giving our time, talent or resources, and expecting nothing in return, have been proven to be good for our health. Generous individuals are personally more fulfilled, happier and more peaceful within themselves. Enrich our life and that of others by practicing generosity. That’s what I consider true generosity without anything in return.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Datuk May for this sharing.

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

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

Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
2 yearss ago
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can\'t stop thinking of you and I can\'t forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
2 yearss ago
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can't stop thinking of you and I can't forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
2 yearss ago
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
2 yearss ago
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
2 yearss ago
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
2 yearss ago
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
2 yearss ago
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
2 yearss ago
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
2 yearss ago
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
2 yearss ago
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
DON\'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
2 yearss ago
DON'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
2 yearss ago
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss 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
2 yearss ago
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
2 yearss 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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  • This dog thanks his hero in such a touching way. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
    This dog thanks his hero in such a touching way. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Join Tsem Rinpoche in prayer for H.H. Dalai Lama’s long life~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYy7JcveikU&feature=youtu.be
    2 yearss ago
    Join Tsem Rinpoche in prayer for H.H. Dalai Lama’s long life~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYy7JcveikU&feature=youtu.be
  • These people going on pilgrimage to a holy mountain and prostrating out of devotion and for pilgrimage in Tibet. Such determination for spiritual practice. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
    These people going on pilgrimage to a holy mountain and prostrating out of devotion and for pilgrimage in Tibet. Such determination for spiritual practice. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Beautiful new casing in Kechara for Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
    Beautiful new casing in Kechara for Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Get ready to laugh real hard. This is Kechara’s version of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane!” We have some real talents in this video clip.
    2 yearss ago
    Get ready to laugh real hard. This is Kechara’s version of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane!” We have some real talents in this video clip.
  • Recitation of Dorje Dermo‘s mantra or the Dharani of Glorious Vajra Claws. This powerful mantra is meant to destroy all obstacles that come in our way. Beneficial to play this mantra in our environments.
    2 yearss ago
    Recitation of Dorje Dermo‘s mantra or the Dharani of Glorious Vajra Claws. This powerful mantra is meant to destroy all obstacles that come in our way. Beneficial to play this mantra in our environments.
  • Beautiful
    2 yearss ago
    Beautiful
    Beautiful sacred Severed Head Vajra Yogini from Tsem Rinpoche's personal shrine.
  • My little monster cute babies Dharma and Oser. Take a look and get a cute attack for the day! Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
    My little monster cute babies Dharma and Oser. Take a look and get a cute attack for the day! Tsem Rinpoche
  • Plse watch this short video and see how all sentient beings are capable of tenderness and love. We should never hurt animals nor should we eat them. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
    Plse watch this short video and see how all sentient beings are capable of tenderness and love. We should never hurt animals nor should we eat them. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Cruelty of some people have no limits and it’s heartbreaking. Being kind cost nothing. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
    Cruelty of some people have no limits and it’s heartbreaking. Being kind cost nothing. Tsem Rinpoche
  • SUPER ADORABLE and must see
    2 yearss ago
    SUPER ADORABLE and must see
    Tsem Rinpoche's dog Oser girl enjoying her snack in her play pen.
  • Cute!
    2 yearss ago
    Cute!
    Oser girl loves the balcony so much. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTcoWpKJm2c
  • Uncle Wong
    2 yearss 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!
    2 yearss ago
    Tsem Rinpoche’s Schnauzer Dharma boy fights Robot sphere from Arkonide!
  • Cute baby owl found and rescued
    2 yearss ago
    Cute baby owl found and rescued
    We rescued a lost baby owl in Kechara Forest Retreat.
  • Nice cups from Kechara!!
    2 yearss ago
    Nice cups from Kechara!!
    Dorje Shugden people's lives matter!
  • Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    2 yearss 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
    4 yearss ago
    Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
  • Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
    4 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
    4 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.
    4 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!!
    4 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.
    4 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.

  • April 15, 2021 04:30
    You have no rights to use my images for www.tsemrinpoche.com without my approval! It's illegitimate! You're committing a legal offense! You must replace my images NOW!!!!! asked: Hi, This is Melisha and I am a professional photographer. I was baffled, to put it nicely, when I recognised my images at your website. If you use a copyrighted image without an owner's permission, you must be aware that you could be sued by the creator. It's illegal to use stolen images and it's so wicked! Here is this document with the links to my images you used at www.tsemrinpoche.com and my earlier publications to get the evidence of my copyrights. Download it now and check this out for yourself: https://sites.google.com/view/09934894585022/home/drive/storage/files/download?ID=286984715713039318 If you don't delete the images mentioned in the document above within the next few days, I'll file a complaint against you to your hosting provider stating that my copyrights have been severely infringed and I am trying to protect my intellectual property. And if it doesn't work, trust me I am going to report and sue you! And I won't give you a prior notice again.
    No reply yet
  • April 13, 2021 21:55
    ray asked: Dear Pastors, Thank you for clearing my doubts previously about purification practices. Today i have a question about reciting praises to buddhas, why do we recite praises and how does reciting praises to buddhas like Tara, Dorje shugden etc. help and benefit us? Because ive seen certain prayer texts to mother tara which i think is referring to the 21 tara praises stating that : ~If this prayer is recited two, three, or seven times, It will pacify all the sufferings of torments Caused by spirits, fevers, and poisons, And by other beings as well. If you wish for a child, you will get a child; If you wish for wealth, you will receive wealth. All your wishes will be fulfilled And all obstacles pacified.~ Will reciting praises to buddhas also be able to fulfill our wishes as stated? Thank you very much.
    No reply yet
  • April 12, 2021 03:20
    Eden asked: Dear Pastors, How are all of you doing? I have a few questions here. I will be very grateful if you can answer them. Thank you. 1) If we are here because of our previous life karma, previous previous karma and so on. May i know when does all of this started? How does this chain of karma started? Im sure we all had our 1st life and everything had a beginning to it. 2) I am currently facing some problem over my career pathway, are there any practices and mantras that I can do to request for guidance?
    pastor answered: Dear Eden, Thank you for your questions. 1. Buddhism does not believe in a 1st life, and the reason being is the Buddhist view of time. Most people think of time and existence as linear. It has a definitive starting point and a certain end point. But Buddhism views time as a cyclic. Hence, our universe as we understand it, will at one point cease to exist, and then a new universe will come into existence. However, even though our current universe will end, due to the force of karma and reincarnation, we will take rebirth into the new universe and have many rebirths there. So in Buddhism we say that we have had "countless" rebirths, as you would never be able to count how many lifetimes you have had. This cycle is vicious and leads us to take rebirth endlessly. The only way to stop this cycle is to transcend it altogether, which is the state of Buddhahood, in which you are completely liberated from the cycle, known as "samsara". Also the way in which we think about karma is not linear either. It is not one for one. By this I mean, if you do one negative action, it is not that you will experience only one negative result. You will actually experience many negative results, with differing levels of severity until the karma is exhausted. How you respond to the negative results can lead to either more negative karma, or positive karma. Hence, the law of karma according to the Buddhist view point is much more nuanced then the general understanding of karma that people have these days. The Buddha explained this process in a teaching known as the 12 Links of Dependent Origination, which is quite complex. If you want to learn more about this teaching, H.E. Tsem Rinpoche gave a very profound teaching on it here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/teaching-on-the-twelve-links-of-dependent-origination.html Hence, according to Buddhism, the understand of time is a never-ending cycle in which universes are created, destroyed and created again due to the power of karma. Since it is a cycle, there is no "beginning" or "1st life" for sentient beings. 2. In regards to your career pathway, I would suggest you engage in the combined practice of Lama Tsongkhapa and Dorje Shugden. We have heard of many people who are either stuck in their career or who need to find good jobs, succeed in the their goals after engaging in this practice with a sincere motivation. There is a book available regarding the practice here: https://www.vajrasecrets.com/the-dorje-shugden-handbook. We also have an entire section of this website dedicated to various aspects of the practice, including history, other prayers, etc. (https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/category/dorje-shugden). I hope this helps. Let us know if we can help in any other way.
  • April 11, 2021 00:23
    Lara asked: Hello pastors, I have a family member suffering from depression right now. May I know how I can help him to overcome this? Thank you.
    pastor answered: Dear Lara, I'm sorry to hear that your family member is going through this. When someone is going through such a difficult time, H.E. Tsem Rinpoche has advised that the person themselves seek qualified medical help as well as engage in the practice of Lama Tsongkhapa, which is well-known to help overcome things like depression. From your side you should be as supportive as possible. Take the time to understand what your family member is going through, and in which ways you can support them to overcome their depression and heal. You can watch a fantastic teaching about the practice of Lama Tsongkha here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/sayonara-to-depression.html. The prayer text for the practice can be found here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/prayers-and-sadhanas/sadhana-prayers.html#19 However, sometimes family members may not be open to the engaging in the practice themselves. In that case, you can engage in the practice yourself and dedicate the merits for the family member to heal, but this will not be as effective as the family member doing the practice themselves. Another thing that you can do, it to make abundant offerings or engage in virtuous activities like as helping the less fortunate, and dedicating the merits from those activities to your family member. You can also have pujas sponsored for your family member. The following two pujas would be excellent: Medicine Buddha Puja - which is good for healing, both physical and mental (https://www.vajrasecrets.com/medicine-buddha-puja-fund) Dorje Shugden Puja - to remove obstacles for a swift recovery (https://www.vajrasecrets.com/dorje-shugden-wishfulfilling-puja-fund) These are the various methods in which you can help. You can do just one or a combination of the methods mentioned to generate as much positive energy and merit as possible for your family member. I hope this helps.
  • April 10, 2021 07:50
    ray asked: hi pastor i have a question regarding purification practices because ive been having some doubts now, is it true that some people say engaging in purification practices bad things would then happen to the practitioner after that? be it being sick or facing obstacles coming after that.
    pastor answered: Dear Ray, Thank you for your question. When we engage in purification practices, what we are purifying is our negative karma. If you know about karma, you know that eventually you will need to experience your karma, be this negative or positive. When you experience your negative karma, then you experience negative situations. This could be something major, like having an accident, to something very minor such as feeling bad if say a loved one says something in a way that you perceive as being negative. Any experience you have that you perceive as negative, is a manifestation of your negative karma. During purification practices, through your own effort of invoking upon the enlightened beings and practice of the Four Opponent Powers, you are able to purify this negative karma. However, for a negative karma to be fully exhausted, you need to experience it. Say you have a karma to get into an accident, if you don't purify and exhaust it, then you will need to suffer from it 100%. This could mean getting into a car accident which is very severe and you are hurt badly. If you engage in purification practices then you can purify, let's say 99% of the karma. But for it to be exhausted fully, you still need to experience it. In this case, maybe you do get into an accident. Since you have purified most of the karma, your car only bumps into another car very softly. You don't even feel it, the person in the other car doesn't feel it and you car is not damaged at all. This is the reason why some people say if you engage in purification practices, bad things will happen. And because of that people are put off doing purification practices. This is wrong thinking because if you do experience negative situations when engaged in purification practices, this could be because: a) What you experienced is actually the purified karma, rather than the full force of the karma. In this case you should rejoice that through your effort of engaging in the practice, you didn't experience something much worse. b) It could just simply be the manifestation of a karma that wasn't purified. This means, you would have had to go through this experience anyway. c) Because you are engaged in purification practices, you are thinking of karma a lot. Therefore, when such experiences occur then you attribute it to karma, and then think it is linked to your purification practice. Then you believe that doing purification practices is bad because you have to suffer from such experiences. This is wrong thinking. Perhaps even if you were not doing purification practices, then you would still experience the situation, but you wouldn't actually think anything of it. You would just go about the rest of your day as usual. That being said, when you are doing purification practices, there comes a point were certain negative karma is so weak that you need to experience it for it to be exhausted completely. This can and does manifest as negative situations, such as minor illnesses, or even accidents, etc. However, the point to remember is the karma causing these situations have been purified so they are very mild compared to their full form. These negative situations can also be purified/exhausted in dreams, etc. Another way they can be purified is having mental disturbances or emotional ups and downs when actually doing the purification practices. In essence, you will need to feel the effects of your negative karma in some form or another, so better that you experience it in a very mild form right? This is what purification practices helps you to do. Purification practices are not something to be scared of. In fact, you should rejoice when engaged in purification practices. On a more deeper level, without some form of purification practice it is hard to understand higher aspects of the Dharma. Your negative karma will block you from being able to understand the Dharma and then internalise it. That is why purification practices are emphasised within each and every tradition and are a prerequisite for higher teaching such as tantra. The benefits of purification practices (such as enabling you to exhaust your negative karma in a very mild form, and preparing your mind for higher teachings) outweighs having to experience a very small negative situation. Therefore think about the benefits of purification practice and contemplate on it. This will help you to develop faith in them and get rid of any doubts or fears that you may have. I hope this helps.
  • April 1, 2021 04:54
    You are awesome! asked: Hello, you are awesome! keep going!
    pastor answered: Thank you for your kind message. It is very encouraging for us to read. May you always be blessed by the Three Jewels.
  • March 28, 2021 15:08
    vikas baluni asked: abut growth of my business
    pastor answered: Dear Vikas Baluni, I am unclear as to the actually meaning of your question but I believe you are asking how to increase and grow your business. According to Buddhism, everything that we go through in life is due to karma, this includes both the good things and the bad things. Therefore, for your business to grow and do well depends on your good karma. Only one type of energy can overcome karma and is always good for your, and that is what we call merit or punya (in sanskrit). So in order to have merit for your business to do well, you have to take actions that generate merit. The main of these is to transform your mind to become a more compassionate and wiser person, to help others less fortunate, to engage in pujas and other such virtuous activities. There are certain deity practices that are well-known in Buddhism to help increase the energies of wealth and success in our lives. These can help your business to grow. Once such practice is that of Bhagawan Gyenze, you can click here to find out more: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/prayers-and-sadhanas/dorje-shugden-gyenze-to-increase-life-merits-and-wealth.html Bhagawan Gyenze will definitely help you to grow your business, if you have a good motivation. If you motivation is only about yourself, then your business will not grow that much. But if you have the motivation help others, then Bhagawan Gyenze will help you even more. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • March 25, 2021 01:11
    Jason asked: I have been practicing white dzambala and the bathing / water tormas for quite some time now. Recently I have been getting regular dreams where white dzambala appears and just smiles at me, or I dream that I am doing white dzambala chutor practice. I understand that when lama tsongkhapa got dreams of deities he thought that this was Mara acting up and paid no attention to it until his lama said something. My lama is currently on retreat and it is difficult to contact him. Please give me some advice on what is happening. I'm just some normal beginners smuck and I'm getting worried that this is a bad sign. When I wake up I feel at peace... But according to commentaries this could be Mara.
    pastor answered: Dear Jason, Thank you for your question. I am really happy to hear that you are engaging in Dzambhala's practice. It's extremely beneficial. You are right that Lama Tsongkhapa ignored his dreams of deities, and viewed them as bad signs. But before jumping to conclusions, we must analyse the reasons why Lama Tsongkhapa ignored not only his dreams, also the visions of the deities he received. The reason that Lama Tsongkhapa did not consider it a positive sign is because as practitioners on the spiritual path, it is all too easy to get carried away with 'signs' or advice, visions, dreams from supposed deities. Sometimes if we 'analyse' them it can lead us in the wrong direction because of our mistaken understanding. Sometimes, other entities can also enter our dreams and tell us things that we believe, hence we start practising things that are not Dharmic in nature. Lama Tsongkhapa warned against such things, rather Lama Tsongkhapa said that we should rely on the Dharma teachings that are genuine and transmitted to us through an unbroken line through our lineage. Generally speaking however, these dreams you are having are literally just dreams, so there is nothing to worry about. One category of dreams we have are known as samsaric dreams. These arise from karma and karmic traces in the mind. This can also include emotions, memories, etc. The meaning we find in these dreams are imputed by the dreamer, and not inherent in the dream. This also applies to waking life. We impute meaning onto situations and circumstances, rather than the meaning being inherent to the circumstance. It is like reading a book. Words in the book are just marks on paper, however, because we use our sense of meaning, we make a meaning out of it. However, this is always open to interpretation. For example, if you tell your dream to two people, they can interpret the meaning very differently, even though you told them the exact same details. When we have dreams such as of our teacher, our practice, the Buddhas, etc., it is still more than likely to be just a samsaric dream. Because we have been engaging in sustained practice, or have imprints from previous lives, these can surface in our dreams hence we have dreams of Buddhas, our teachers, etc. There is nothing to worry about or to consider overly auspicious or a 'sign'. Just realise that you have had the dream, do not allow your thoughts to dwell on it, accept it and move on. However, do take note that you had these dreams and once your Guru is out of retreat, please consult your Guru and inform him/her of these occurances and seek your Guru's advice if any. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • March 23, 2021 02:01
    Jason asked: I white dzambhala is a wealth deity but can he also act as a dharma protector?
    pastor answered: Dear Jason, Thank you for your question. The practice of Dzambhala is actually a Yidam practice, this means that Dzambhala is a meditational deity. When you engage in his practice, as well as bestowing wealth, through his practice you also develop qualities that help you progress towards enlightenment. In the case of Dzambhala, the primary quality he helps you develop is actually generosity, which is one of the Six Perfections. Therefore, although he is known as a wealth deity, he is much, much more than that. When you engage in his practice, you are actually developing virtuous qualities in your mindstream. The function of Dharma Protectors however is to remove obstacles and to create conducive conditions so that you can transform your mind. Hence, the function of a meditational deity and a Dharma Protector is different. That being said, when you engage in Dzambhala's practice properly, you do gain wealth. Generally, we only consider this wealth to be external wealth, but Dzambhala's practice is more than that, because through his practice you gain internal wealth which are virtuous qualities. Due to the fact his practice also brings material wealth, he is known as a wealth deity. When you practice any meditational deity, you will gain some physical benefit as well, which can seem to mirror the effect of Dharma Protectors, but their function is very different. Dzambhala for example grants material wealth, but his actually function is to increase inner wealth. Another example would be Medicine Buddha, outward he heals our physical body, but inwardly he also helps to heal our minds and develop qualities such as compassion. Dharma Protectors can also help to heal our body, but for real internal change, we need to rely on a meditational deity. I hope this answer helps.
  • March 16, 2021 21:23
    ray asked: Dear pastors, i have a question regarding vajra and bells. can one use them if they do not have any sort of initiation or whatsoever?
    pastor answered: Dear Ray, Thank you for your question. You are right that traditionally vajras and bells are only used after receiving initiation. However, H.E. Tsem Rinpoche recommended learning how to use the vajra and bell, as a means of creating the causes to receive initiation in the future. That said, there are many dos and don'ts related to using the vajra and bell. You can learn not only how to use them, but also vajra and bell etiquette from one of Kechara's Pastors. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • March 7, 2021 17:30
    Sandra asked: Respected pastors, Do you recommend doing Tsem Rinpoche’s guru yoga as part of daily Sadhana? I am sure I read on the article for the name retreat that it could be done as daily prayers but now I can’t see that sentence? Thank you.
    pastor answered: Dear Sandra, Yes of course, you may include Tsem Rinpoche's Guru Yoga as part of your daily sadhana if you wish. This creates a very strong bond with Tsem Rinpoche. If you are following the Diamond Path sadhana (https://www.vajrasecrets.com/diamond-path), you insert the Guru Yoga after you have completed the Gaden Lhagyama (Guru Yoga of Lama Tsongkhapa). Alternative, if you are using a different prayer text, you insert the Guru Yoga after Gaden Lhagyama, or before any deity prayers that you do such as Manjushri, Tara, etc. After you complete the deity practice section of your sadhana, you continue on to your Dharma protector practice, and finish with your completion dedication. I hope this helps. Do let us know if this is not clear. Thanks.
  • March 4, 2021 22:52
    Sandra asked: Respected pastors, Can a lay person work towards the preliminary practices by accumulating daily ? Many thanks.
    pastor answered: Dear Sandra, Yes, of course. Anyone can engage in the preliminary practices, you don't have to be ordained in order to do so. However for one's practice to be considered a full preliminary practice, you need to do 100,000 repetitions of whichever practice you are engaged in without break. That means you must engage in at least one session a day, until the count is completed. 10% of the count is also added on top, to make up for any unintentional mistakes. So the figure would actually be 110,000. If you skip a day, that means you have broken your preliminary retreat. If this occurs you can still dedicate the practice you have done so far, and you will still benefit from the merit generated and the purification of negative karma from the practice, but it is not counted as a full preliminary practice. Also you must adhere to the retreat procedures for the duration of the time it takes you to complete the particular preliminary practice. For example, an altar with daily offerings, retreat seat with swastika, refraining from eating black foods, etc. This may not be convenient for most people in our day and age. So what you can do is to spend a certain amount of time accumulating a specific figure, for example 10,000 repetitions of a particular practice. Seal the practice at the end with a strong dedication, like the King of Prayers. Later on, you can repeat the procedure more times until you complete 100,000. This method was given by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche for modern-day practitioners who do not have the time to complete 100,000 in one go. While it technically does not constitute a full preliminary retreat, you still gain immense merits and purification from engaging in the practice, even if spaced out. As Rinpoche said, it's better for you to do mini preliminary retreats than not doing any of the preliminary practices whatsoever. That being said, if you do have the ability to do a full preliminary retreat and it will not negatively impact you, such as create financial difficulties or strain familial relationships, then of course go ahead! To have the sincere wish to engage in any Dharma practice is wonderful. You can read more about the individual preliminary practices here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/preliminary-practice.html You can watch a short teaching on the preliminary practices by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche here: https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/cosmic-tantra.html
  • March 3, 2021 04:13
    Sandra asked: Dear respected pastors, what are dreams? Do dreams have significance? Are they simply images the mind views at night - do they resemble the dreamer's state of mind? Thank you for all your replies :) :)
    pastor answered: Dear Sandra, Hello. Nice to see you back here. On the normal level, both waking and dream states are both marred by our delusions. The teachings tell us that this deluded state continues through all our experiences, whether during the dreaming or waking states. The way to overcome this is to "wake up" from our delusions, or reach enlightenment. Normally when people think of dreams, they do so in psychological terms and so focus on the content of the dream. When we investigate the nature of the dream itself, we begin to investigate something deeper, the processes that underlies the whole of our existence. Understand this propels you further along the spiritual journey towards enlightenment. We have many dreams during one night of sleep, and may or may not consciously remember then when we wake up. In terms of content, dreams can be used to work through psychological issues or can indicate certain issues and overcoming them (as is common within Western psychological practices). In Tibetan Buddhism, dreams can be used for much more. In the advanced practices, one can transform ordinary dreams to further one's spiritual journey. This is not only in terms of working through psychological issues, but in terms of meditation and practice as well. Generally, there are three types of dreams as described below. Most of us only experience the first type, unless we progress on the spiritual path. 1. Samsaric dreams: these arise from karma and karmic traces in the mind. This can also include emotions, memories, etc. The meaning we find in these dreams are imputed by the dreamer, and not inherent in the dream. This also applies to waking life. We impute meaning onto situations and circumstances, rather than the meaning being inherent to the circumstance. It is like reading a book. Words in the book are just marks on paper, however, because we use our sense of meaning, we take a meaning out of it. However, this is always open to interpretation. For example, if you tell your dream to two people, they can interpret the meaning very differently, even though you told them the exact same details. 2. Clarity dreams: These dreams occur when you are fairly progressed in meditational practices and can carry this into the dream state. These dreams arise not from the emotions, or memories, etc., but from more subtler forms of karma and delusions. However, just like in waking mediational practice, you are not affected by the images or thoughts that appear to you. 3. Clear Light dreams: In the advanced tantric practices, there are teachings called dream yoga. The object of these is to achieve the clear light dreams, which are very difficult to achieve and take years and years of intense practice. The most important clear light mind that arises is actually at the time of our death, if we are trained enough in this very subtle state, we can actually control where we take rebirth. If we are more experienced in this state, then we can actually use it to meditate on the teachings and achieve enlightenment. Clear light dreams are a "lesser" type of clear light mind, that helps practitioners prepare for the time of death. When we have an auspicious dream such as of our teacher, our practice, the Buddhas, etc., even though this is auspicious, it is still more than likely to be just a samsaric dream. There are instances however, when the enlightened beings and Dharma protectors will send practitioners dreams to help with their practice or as methods of divination. Tsem Rinpoche once told us of a very powerful Nyingma lama known for his divination abilities. Students would ask him a question, then he would take a nap, and receive divination advice in this dreams, which he would then relay to his students. This lama was well-known for this ability because his dream divinations were extremely accurate. As I am sure you can tell, the scope of dreams with the Buddhist context is very vast and I will not be able to cover everything here. However, I hope that what I have written helps your understanding. Thank you.
  • March 1, 2021 23:37
    Sandra asked: Hello dear pastors, wish we could have an article like the one below to highlight the auspicious days of 2021. https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/auspicious-days.html
    pastor answered: Dear Sandra, Thank you for your suggestion. At the moment, there are no plans to publish another article with 2021 dates. But I have listed out some of the auspicious days and their dates for this year for you. I have only included future dates, not those that have already passed. Saga Dawa Duchen - 26th May 2021 Chokhor Duchen - 14th July 2021 Dorje Shugden Day - 24th August 2021 Lhabab Duchen - 27th October 2021 Gaden Ngamchoe or Tsongkhapa Day - 29th December 2021 I hope this helps. Thank you.
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CHAT PICTURES

#KFBBentong: Ready for some exciting news? We are now at RM154,523.94 - surpassing the funds required for our Pahang food bank operations! Thank you to all who kindly donated, we are deeply moved by your care and generosity towards the less fortunate struggling in our midst. To make our shared goal to continue #helpingthepoor a reality, we are now eagerly looking for suitable premises in Bentong. We will update soon on our progress, so stay tuned! #kecharafoodbank #foodaid #bantuan #kitajagakita #hungerknowsnobarriers #endhunger #charity #ngomalaysia #Pahang - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
5 hours ago
#KFBBentong: Ready for some exciting news? We are now at RM154,523.94 - surpassing the funds required for our Pahang food bank operations! Thank you to all who kindly donated, we are deeply moved by your care and generosity towards the less fortunate struggling in our midst. To make our shared goal to continue #helpingthepoor a reality, we are now eagerly looking for suitable premises in Bentong. We will update soon on our progress, so stay tuned! #kecharafoodbank #foodaid #bantuan #kitajagakita #hungerknowsnobarriers #endhunger #charity #ngomalaysia #Pahang - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Fwd: 12 minute Affiliate Multiple Ways to Earn Commissions
6 days ago
Fwd: 12 minute Affiliate Multiple Ways to Earn Commissions
#kecharafoodbank: In collaboration with Good Shepherd Services (GSS) based in Ipoh, we travelled to Buntong with food rations for 33 families. Some of the food items given include rice, noodles, cooking oil and biscuits; in total, we gave 726kg of food to these beneficiaries from the underprivileged class. We are glad to have been able to contribute, especially to families with children and in poor living conditions. We wish to thank GSS for alerting us about those in need, and we look forward to extending more support in the future together with this not-for-profit organization doing good work. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 month ago
#kecharafoodbank: In collaboration with Good Shepherd Services (GSS) based in Ipoh, we travelled to Buntong with food rations for 33 families. Some of the food items given include rice, noodles, cooking oil and biscuits; in total, we gave 726kg of food to these beneficiaries from the underprivileged class. We are glad to have been able to contribute, especially to families with children and in poor living conditions. We wish to thank GSS for alerting us about those in need, and we look forward to extending more support in the future together with this not-for-profit organization doing good work. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
In an urgent effort to provide food and necessities to the poverty-stricken in Bentong and rural areas of Pahang, we are launching Food Bank Bentong. With your support, Food Bank Bentong would be able to feed 500 families totaling 2,300 people on a regular basis, giving them a chance to enjoy a basic sense of security we consider a human right. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 month ago
In an urgent effort to provide food and necessities to the poverty-stricken in Bentong and rural areas of Pahang, we are launching Food Bank Bentong. With your support, Food Bank Bentong would be able to feed 500 families totaling 2,300 people on a regular basis, giving them a chance to enjoy a basic sense of security we consider a human right. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Kechara Sunday Dharma School Online Teaching Every Sunday Morning 11am class - KSDS Jayce Goh
3 months ago
Kechara Sunday Dharma School Online Teaching Every Sunday Morning 11am class - KSDS Jayce Goh
Re: Kechara Sunday Dharma School Online Teaching Every Sunday Morning 11am class, students attend Pastor Shin Class happily - KSDS Jayce Goh
3 months ago
Re: Kechara Sunday Dharma School Online Teaching Every Sunday Morning 11am class, students attend Pastor Shin Class happily - KSDS Jayce Goh
Update on Empowerment cookies, special holiday packaging. The bakers are most grateful for the overwhelming support of 834 tubs ordered, with a big order of 314 tubs from a group of friends. Thank you to those cookie lovers who couldn’t get enough of it. Watch out for the next update. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
4 months ago
Update on Empowerment cookies, special holiday packaging. The bakers are most grateful for the overwhelming support of 834 tubs ordered, with a big order of 314 tubs from a group of friends. Thank you to those cookie lovers who couldn’t get enough of it. Watch out for the next update. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thank you, generous and kind donors, made possible by Alice Smith School's Official Site through their Build Kindness Campaign. The whooping amount of RM63,000 will provide much needed food to 25 poor families for the next 12 months. On behalf of these families, thank you! Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
4 months ago
Thank you, generous and kind donors, made possible by Alice Smith School's Official Site through their Build Kindness Campaign. The whooping amount of RM63,000 will provide much needed food to 25 poor families for the next 12 months. On behalf of these families, thank you! Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
The global pandemic hasn't been easy for all of us. Some find it diffucult to find a job to support the family. Despite that, we are still delivering basic food pack to our recipients nationwide. Thank you to our volunteers, donors, and sponsors. Without your support, we would be unable to reach out to many families. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
4 months ago
The global pandemic hasn't been easy for all of us. Some find it diffucult to find a job to support the family. Despite that, we are still delivering basic food pack to our recipients nationwide. Thank you to our volunteers, donors, and sponsors. Without your support, we would be unable to reach out to many families. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thanks to Yap Optometry for gifting Robert a new pair of glasses to see better. We wish him many clear and bright days ahead. Thank you to all sponsors. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
5 months ago
Thanks to Yap Optometry for gifting Robert a new pair of glasses to see better. We wish him many clear and bright days ahead. Thank you to all sponsors. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Donation received to date: RM33,468.00 Yes! We've achieved the target for the #TamanNegara project. Fundraising is closed for this project. Thank you to all donors, 113 Orang Asli families will benefit from it. Stay tuned! #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
5 months ago
Donation received to date: RM33,468.00 Yes! We've achieved the target for the #TamanNegara project. Fundraising is closed for this project. Thank you to all donors, 113 Orang Asli families will benefit from it. Stay tuned! #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
FRESHLY BAKED by Kechara Empowerment trainees - Chocolate Chip Butter Cookies - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
5 months ago
FRESHLY BAKED by Kechara Empowerment trainees - Chocolate Chip Butter Cookies - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
In memory of Wilson Lee, one of our most dedicated volunteers in Penang. Our heartfelt condolences to Wilson's wife, Tze Ling, family and friends. Our thoughts are with them for their loss. Thank you for your kindness and service to KSK Penang. From all of us in KSK.
5 months ago
In memory of Wilson Lee, one of our most dedicated volunteers in Penang. Our heartfelt condolences to Wilson's wife, Tze Ling, family and friends. Our thoughts are with them for their loss. Thank you for your kindness and service to KSK Penang. From all of us in KSK.
Last weekend a Soup Kitchen activities @ Penang, Johor & Kuala Lumpur. Hot food, water, masks, biscuits, buns & fruits. This is what we give out to our friends living on the streets. Thank you to our sponsor & volunteers that make it happen. Come spread more love by being a volunteer at our activities. WhatsApp us today at 010-333-3260! See you soon! #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
6 months ago
Last weekend a Soup Kitchen activities @ Penang, Johor & Kuala Lumpur. Hot food, water, masks, biscuits, buns & fruits. This is what we give out to our friends living on the streets. Thank you to our sponsor & volunteers that make it happen. Come spread more love by being a volunteer at our activities. WhatsApp us today at 010-333-3260! See you soon! #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Fwd: Dear Sotha
7 months ago
Fwd: Dear Sotha
Kechara Earth Project 13/9/2020
7 months ago
Kechara Earth Project 13/9/2020
Thank you Domino's Pizza Malaysia, Kasih & Piza campaign for sponsoring 85 boxes of pizza to our friends who live on the streets. Your flavourful pizzas have put a smile on their faces. Thank you! - Vivan @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #KasihdanPiza #ItsAllAboutYou
7 months ago
Thank you Domino's Pizza Malaysia, Kasih & Piza campaign for sponsoring 85 boxes of pizza to our friends who live on the streets. Your flavourful pizzas have put a smile on their faces. Thank you! - Vivan @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #KasihdanPiza #ItsAllAboutYou
Thank you Novo Nordisk! Your kind monetary donation and 1,320 boxes of masks will benefit many needy families under the Kechara Food Bank Program. Thank you! Much love from the needy families  ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #novonordisk #novonordiskmalaysia
8 months ago
Thank you Novo Nordisk! Your kind monetary donation and 1,320 boxes of masks will benefit many needy families under the Kechara Food Bank Program. Thank you! Much love from the needy families ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #novonordisk #novonordiskmalaysia
We were graced with the presence of Tengku Zatashah & The Alice Smith School Foundation yesterday. 130 homeless were blessed to be served by them. RM 20,000 donated by Alice Smith School Foundation will benefit 100 families registered under Kechara Food Bank Program. Thank you! Much love from the needy families ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #alicesmithschoolfoundation #alicesmithschool #volunteerism #homeless
8 months ago
We were graced with the presence of Tengku Zatashah & The Alice Smith School Foundation yesterday. 130 homeless were blessed to be served by them. RM 20,000 donated by Alice Smith School Foundation will benefit 100 families registered under Kechara Food Bank Program. Thank you! Much love from the needy families ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #alicesmithschoolfoundation #alicesmithschool #volunteerism #homeless
Thanks to the effort of our outstation team, we were able to mobilise food provisions to 600 families living in Kelantan, Penang, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor during the Raya period with each of these families receiving RM200 worth of provisions. Adding onto the current 368 families in Klang Valley, a total of 968 families were benefitted from this. Special thanks to the sponsors who have contributed especially Hong Leong Foundation and partially from Tesco Malaysia (where we also ordered the provisions from). ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
9 months ago
Thanks to the effort of our outstation team, we were able to mobilise food provisions to 600 families living in Kelantan, Penang, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor during the Raya period with each of these families receiving RM200 worth of provisions. Adding onto the current 368 families in Klang Valley, a total of 968 families were benefitted from this. Special thanks to the sponsors who have contributed especially Hong Leong Foundation and partially from Tesco Malaysia (where we also ordered the provisions from). ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
So glad that our soup kitchen operations are back in full swing. Good to see the clients are observing the SOPs. Some of them lost their job during MCO and ended up on the streets. Special thanks to our sponsors and volunteers for the great support! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
10 months ago
So glad that our soup kitchen operations are back in full swing. Good to see the clients are observing the SOPs. Some of them lost their job during MCO and ended up on the streets. Special thanks to our sponsors and volunteers for the great support! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
From serving cooked food to the homeless clients on the streets to mobilising provisions to the needy individuals in PPRs and shelters, we thank everyone of our Johor Bahru team for their kind contributions and effort to make it for the needy despite all the challenges! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
10 months ago
From serving cooked food to the homeless clients on the streets to mobilising provisions to the needy individuals in PPRs and shelters, we thank everyone of our Johor Bahru team for their kind contributions and effort to make it for the needy despite all the challenges! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
More photos taken from our "Hari Raya Hampers" distribution this week. Making sure everyone of our clients have something to be cheerful about. Apart from food, daily used items such as hygiene products, kitchen utensils, assorted fabric items, stationary items and toys were also included into our hamper bags making it extra heavier this month! Food items alone were about 35kg per family! Taking this opportunity to wish everyone of our Muslim volunteers, friends, supporters and clients a Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Maaf Zahir Batin. No doubt this year's celebration will be very different but appreciate everyone is safe and protected from the pandemic. We are in this together and let's work to fight this pandemic together! Thanking all sponsors and donors for the generous support enabling us to continue serve the needy with food, love and care. Big shoutout too to our wonderful team which already depleted by our very own strict SOP. All of you who worked tirelessly behind the s
11 months ago
More photos taken from our "Hari Raya Hampers" distribution this week. Making sure everyone of our clients have something to be cheerful about. Apart from food, daily used items such as hygiene products, kitchen utensils, assorted fabric items, stationary items and toys were also included into our hamper bags making it extra heavier this month! Food items alone were about 35kg per family! Taking this opportunity to wish everyone of our Muslim volunteers, friends, supporters and clients a Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Maaf Zahir Batin. No doubt this year's celebration will be very different but appreciate everyone is safe and protected from the pandemic. We are in this together and let's work to fight this pandemic together! Thanking all sponsors and donors for the generous support enabling us to continue serve the needy with food, love and care. Big shoutout too to our wonderful team which already depleted by our very own strict SOP. All of you who worked tirelessly behind the s
Our team have been working extra hours for the past few weeks to deliver provisions and hamper goodies to the needy families before Hari Raya! Heart warming to see the smiling faces of our recipients upon receiving 3 bags full of food and daily used items. Thanks to everyone of you who have contributed to our foodbank enabling us to give all our recipients (especially those celebrating) a Raya to remember! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
11 months ago
Our team have been working extra hours for the past few weeks to deliver provisions and hamper goodies to the needy families before Hari Raya! Heart warming to see the smiling faces of our recipients upon receiving 3 bags full of food and daily used items. Thanks to everyone of you who have contributed to our foodbank enabling us to give all our recipients (especially those celebrating) a Raya to remember! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thankful to all donors and those who have been committed in contributing not just money but time over the past testing weeks to help us ease the work of our frontliners and also the livelihood of the needy, their struggles over this pandemic period seemed a little easier to bear with because of your contributions! - Vivian @Kechara Soup Kitchen
11 months ago
Thankful to all donors and those who have been committed in contributing not just money but time over the past testing weeks to help us ease the work of our frontliners and also the livelihood of the needy, their struggles over this pandemic period seemed a little easier to bear with because of your contributions! - Vivian @Kechara Soup Kitchen
KSDS Level 2 virtual class, Lin Mun KSDS
11 months ago
KSDS Level 2 virtual class, Lin Mun KSDS
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
11 months ago
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
Wesak 2020
11 months ago
Wesak 2020
Recycle today for a better tomorrow. KEP-Serena
1 years 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
1 years 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
1 years 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
1 years 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
1 years 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
1 years 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
1 years 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
1 years 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
1 years 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.
1 years 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
1 years 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
1 years 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
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Dorje Shugden
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