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

Mar 30, 2019 | Views: 32,050
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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  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Sep 22. 2022 01:28 PM
    The unmistaken incarnation of Panchen Sonam Drakpa was proclaimed to be Sonam Yeshe Wangpo. From birth, he spoke with clairvoyance and seemed to remember people and events of his past life. Even as a young man , he travelled tremendously as part of his retinue, with the 3rd Dalai Lama and gave various teachings as well. Throughout the journey, he had even composed verses to praise and commentaries on the teachings.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor David for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/sonam-yeshe-wangpo.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Sep 22. 2022 01:26 PM
    Master Hongyi, a multitalented Buddhist Monk famous for being a talented writer and musician . He was one of the most celebrated and admired Buddhist monks in modern Chinese history. Born in wealthy family yet he choose to he was ordained as a Buddhist monk. Already, even as a child, developed an extraordinarily where he could memorised Buddhist text. Master Hongyi dedicated the rest of his life to Buddhist practice and became one of the most prominent monks of 20 Century China. Interesting read.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Adeline for this sharing of a great Lama Master.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/master-hongyi-the-maverick-patriarch-of-the-chinese-buddhism.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Sep 17. 2022 04:24 PM
    Spirits and unseen beings are everywhere not only actually restricted to specific areas. Places such as cemeteries, abandoned houses or places where death occurred. There are many different types of spirits around us, unseen to the naked eye, but for some they could see it or sense their presence. Many people of different faith reported having experienced sense the presence of spirits. Interesting rather scary reading Steven Wong ghostly experienced in the motel . I have encounter such before staying in hotel . More scary I can say. That’s past history, since coming to Buddhism I am not scare at all , I will recite DS Mantra . Later do prayers and dedicate to them .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/paranormal/paranormal-stories/paranormal-experiences-occur-everywhere-part-1.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Sep 17. 2022 04:21 PM
    Reading this article written by Tsering Shakya, again as it tells us more and understand better of the situation suffered by Tibetan people. Due to the Dorje Shugden controversy many Tibetans suffered . Many of them migrated to other countries to the west for better opportunities. Tibetan culture and identity is inseparably linked to Tibetan Buddhism. Somehow once in a foreign land they tend to lose their traditions and cultures slowly over times. Living in foreign land , it difficult to maintain their true identity. For them Tibetans maintaining links to the homeland presents a very unique challenges tasks. If only the Tibetan leadership more opened, forgo the past and accepts as what HH Dalai Lama said that Dorje Shugden is no evil and do no harm. Tibetan Buddhist could continue practicing the Dorje Shugden’s practice. Tibetan should stand united to protect the Tibetan heritage and culture instead discrimination against Dorje Shugden practitioners so much so had divided the Tibetans. Many of them left and migrated else where to look for better livelihood.
    Tsem Rinpoche had gone through a rough time , rejected twice from the moment of birth from Taiwan to US and travelling to India where Rinpoche found a place called home then. Later to Malaysia as advice by his Guru.
    To this end, the discrimination against Dorje Shugden practitioners must end for the sake of the all Tibetans living in India and Nepal .
    A very good article by Tsering Shakya, more people should read it to understand better.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/tibetans-rejected-twice.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Sep 17. 2022 04:19 PM
    Wow…that’s great , rejoice Pastor Joy, you have painted over a thousand Buddha statues over the years. Pastor you have a painter’s fine hands. I saw those Buddha ‘s images beautifully painted without formal training is a great achievement. Pastor has turn un-groomed images into something beautiful. A great painter that have put a lot of work into it and it has paid off .
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Joy for sharing this with us for-most looking at most of the painted Buddha images tells us a thousand words.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/painting-buddha-statues
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Sep 15. 2022 12:44 PM
    Feeling disappointed when someone a Sangha supposed to promote peace, harmony and helps to give teachings to those who are new instead promoting hatred, cursing another person. Its wrong to tell people to break their samaya with their teachers. They must be given the wrong information about Dorje Shugden and Shugden Buddhist practitioners . The Tibetan Leadership has spread their lies and causing misunderstanding among the Tibetans. The rights of Dorje Shugden practitioners were denied just because for practicing their religion as they have done for the past 400 years. Dorje Shugden practitioners are side-lined from their own community, denied medical care, education and even employment in government offices. The Tibetan Leadership has instituted this ban against Dorje Shugden causing sufferings among many. Sad indeed hopefully these controversy will dissolve soon as more people understand and know that Dorje Shugden is not an evil as claimed by the Tibetan leadership.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Jean Ai for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/guest-contributors/go-on-break-your-samaya.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Sep 15. 2022 12:42 PM
    Buddhism is one of the most popular religions all over the world. Buddha statues have different shapes, sizes, different gestures or mudras and styles of presentation. Well said by Tsem Rinpoche the bigger and more Buddha statues makes a difference in our life. It gives out more powerful positive and relaxing energy to help us. concentrate better. One of the methods for us to purify our karma to suit our current karma-bound situation. By circumambulating 500 mantra stones one time we could accumulate much more merits in just one round of circumambulation. All thanks to Rinpoche having this idea with many mantra stones as possible for us to circumambulate. The larger the Buddha image, the more merits are collected the greatest amount of benefit for one who sincerely circumambulating.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this amazing post and explaining all the details for us to understand more.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/bigger-and-more-buddha-statues-makes-a-difference.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Sep 15. 2022 12:37 PM
    Ra Lotsawa said to be an emanation of Manjushri was a great tantric master who had used wrathful means to subjugate his opponents. He was declared to be a saint and a fully enlightened Buddha. Many viewed as a murderous villain with magical powers and by some as a liberator of human suffering. Ra Lotsawa used his power and magical abilities to defeat his enemies rather rivals to accumulate wealth. He received many Empowerments and practices, which came into conflict with other lamas. His life offers a rare view into the often overlooked roles of magic and sorcery in the Buddhist tradition. In the book The All-Pervading Melodious Drumbeat tells the story of Ra Lotsawa Dorjé Drak . It was written by Ra Yeshe Sengye, and translated for the first time into English. Despite this obsessed legacy, his fame also rests on an illustrious career as a translator of Buddhist scriptures. Ra Lotsawa was so revered in Tibetan Buddhism even though he was so evil where nobody can denied. Interesting read an classic account of one of the most colourful and memorable figures in Tibetan Buddhist history.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/ra-lotsawa-the-yamantaka-hero.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Sep 13. 2022 01:04 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for this wonderful sharing of Mumu , Such an adorable doggie and fortunate one staying with Rinpoche. All I can say is Mumu was energetic, intelligent, affectionate and could obey under the care , love of Rinpoche.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/funnies/mumu-goes-bye-bye.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Sep 13. 2022 01:01 PM
    The true story of HH Dalai Lama fantastic escapes in comic form. Thats interesting as its simple, easy which is suitable for every one to read and see especially children. Children could see and understand through pictures. All thanks to Rinpoche and Kechara Comic Publication team for coming up with this book in comic form. The truth should make known to all , how Dorje Shugden has helped in the escape.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/the-greatest-escape-in-history.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Sep 13. 2022 01:00 PM
    Tibetan incense is natural incense used in Tibetan Buddhism rituals for 1,300 years. In Tibet, for many centuries, incense has been a part of their daily lives. Widely used for relaxation, meditation and the cleansing of the home environment. Incense is also widely used in Buddhist temples and monasteries, as an offerings. In Buddhism, symbolic offerings are made to the Triple Gem, giving rise to contemplative gratitude and inspiration. Offering incense is a symbol of purification. It is a very powerful way to revitalize environment ,removing obstacles and purifying one’s karma. Incense offering to our Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden is indeed very helpful and beneficial. It helps in many ways as such to clear any obstacles ,and so on.All thanks to our Guru Tsem Rinpoche for sharing this practice .
    Thank you Rinpoche and Beatrice Ooi for this sharing and explaining the details of incense. We are so fortunate to learn, understand and practice it.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/prayers-and-sadhanas/incense-offering-to-dorje-shugden.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Sep 13. 2022 12:58 PM
    Looking at the picture in this post tells all. That Russian boat workers risking his life just wanted to save this poor dog. Extreme freezing cold weather , yet that fisherman did what he needed to do. The dog was rescued and brought back to the shore ,running happily with other dogs. Sometimes it takes only one act of kindness and caring, truly inspiring. Let our hearts be stretched out in compassion toward others even they are animals, they are one us. Compassion conquered all.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this inspiring post.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/russias-soft-spot.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Sep 6. 2022 01:54 PM
    11 December 1993 marked the date where a heart breaking tragedy strike at Highland Tower , located at Taman Hillview, Ulu Klang Selangor. It’s the very day when of the three blocks collapsed completely killing 50 residents. Bukit Antarabangsa area soon come to an almost complete halt as this area to be a high risk zone. The Highland Towers tragedy that happened is the worst high-rise building collapse in the nation’s history. The remaining residents shifted else way as the area considered not safe over the stability of the two other towers. Due to the number in deaths there it became haunted as many people have claimed and many creepy incident has happened. It is regarded to be the creepiest, most haunted places in Malaysia due to the Highland Tower incident. Its not surprising that one might have experiences or have seen weird things around the area. Krishna Rajagopal’s as one of them. Thanks for sharing.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/paranormal/paranormal-stories/bukit-antarabangsa-hauntings.html#
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Sep 6. 2022 01:50 PM
    H E Tsem Rinpoche our Guru was the one who teaches us constantly, and has shown us the way. As we walk with the Rinpoche, we walk in the light of existence, away from the darkness of ignorance. Rinpoche was the one who teaches us what life is and also how to make the most of it. We are the only one who enlightened our path by removing the darkness of our ignorance and in the spiritual journey. Without Rinpoche many aspects of our life would have been unexplored. Not only our Guru will help us in our spiritual journey and in many other ways to transform our mind to be a better person. Enriching our life and widening our horizons. We are so fortunate to have connected with Rinpoche and Dorje Shugden in this life. Whatever advice given by Dorje Shugden should be taken seriously as Dharma.
    Thank you Rinpoche with folded hands for imparting the immense wealth of knowledge and wisdom. I am where I am only because of Rinpoche.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/the-farm-of-your-mind.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Sep 6. 2022 01:48 PM
    Language is important in every aspect of our lives as it allows people to communicate in a manner that enables the sharing of common ideas. More or less a communication tool used by everyone in their daily life . A very good idea of having Dharma teachings or whatever for more people to understand. Having Dharma in other languages where more people will get to learn and practice Dharma. Now its available in Nepali and Indonesian languages.…… a big hand applause to Valentina Suhendra and Mitra. Both are long time students of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche . Their fellow countrymen working in Malaysia and around the world will understand it better and may receive the benefits of practicing it. More will get to know of the Powerful Dorje Shugden .
    Thank you Rinpoche

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

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

Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
3 years ago
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can\'t stop thinking of you and I can\'t forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
3 years ago
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can't stop thinking of you and I can't forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
3 years ago
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
3 years ago
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
3 years ago
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
3 years ago
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
3 years ago
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
3 years ago
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
3 years ago
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
3 years ago
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
DON\'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
3 years ago
DON'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
3 years ago
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
3 years ago
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
3 years ago
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
3 years ago
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
3 years ago
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
3 years ago
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
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  • Our Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir speaks so well, logically and regarding our country’s collaboration with China for growth. It is refreshing to listen to Dr. Mahathir’s thoughts. He said our country can look to China for many more things such as technology and so on. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 yearss ago
    Our Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir speaks so well, logically and regarding our country’s collaboration with China for growth. It is refreshing to listen to Dr. Mahathir’s thoughts. He said our country can look to China for many more things such as technology and so on. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This is the first time His Holiness Dalai Lama mentions he had some very serious illness. Very worrying. This video is captured April 2019.
    3 yearss ago
    This is the first time His Holiness Dalai Lama mentions he had some very serious illness. Very worrying. This video is captured April 2019.
  • Beautiful Monastery in Hong Kong
    3 yearss ago
    Beautiful Monastery in Hong Kong
  • This dog thanks his hero in such a touching way. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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.
    3 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.
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 yearss ago
    Cruelty of some people have no limits and it’s heartbreaking. Being kind cost nothing. Tsem Rinpoche
  • SUPER ADORABLE and must see
    4 yearss ago
    SUPER ADORABLE and must see
    Tsem Rinpoche's dog Oser girl enjoying her snack in her play pen.
  • Cute!
    4 yearss ago
    Cute!
    Oser girl loves the balcony so much. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTcoWpKJm2c
  • Uncle Wong
    4 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!
    4 yearss ago
    Tsem Rinpoche’s Schnauzer Dharma boy fights Robot sphere from Arkonide!
  • Cute baby owl found and rescued
    4 yearss ago
    Cute baby owl found and rescued
    We rescued a lost baby owl in Kechara Forest Retreat.
  • Nice cups from Kechara!!
    4 yearss ago
    Nice cups from Kechara!!
    Dorje Shugden people's lives matter!
  • Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    4 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.
    5 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.
    5 yearss ago
    Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
  • BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
    5 yearss ago
    BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
    5 yearss ago
    Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
  • Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
    5 yearss ago
    Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
  • Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
    5 yearss ago
    Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    5 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.
    5 yearss ago
    Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
  • Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
    5 yearss ago
    Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
  • Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant  Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
    5 yearss ago
    Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
  • Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
    5 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
    5 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.
    5 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!!
    5 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.
    5 yearss ago
    SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    This happens daily in slaughterhouse so you can get your pork and Bak ku teh. Stop eating meat.

ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

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

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

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

View All Questions

CHAT PICTURES

Is this where Rinpoche received the thangkha of Dream Manjushri?
2 months ago
Is this where Rinpoche received the thangkha of Dream Manjushri?
Is this the ruins of Zimkhang Gongma established by Panchen Sonam Drakpa. -Choong
2 months ago
Is this the ruins of Zimkhang Gongma established by Panchen Sonam Drakpa. -Choong
We hold our DS puja weekly without fail. We welcome you to join us. Penang DS puja @ 3pm~ by Jacinta
2 months ago
We hold our DS puja weekly without fail. We welcome you to join us. Penang DS puja @ 3pm~ by Jacinta
DS PUJA @ Penang. A close up of the offerings. What a feast! #Throwback 23/7/2022.
2 months ago
DS PUJA @ Penang. A close up of the offerings. What a feast! #Throwback 23/7/2022.
#Throwback 23/7/2022. Our weekly DS puja attendees. All of us were getting ready to invite Buddhas to come forth, joining and blessing us during DS puja. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
2 months ago
#Throwback 23/7/2022. Our weekly DS puja attendees. All of us were getting ready to invite Buddhas to come forth, joining and blessing us during DS puja. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
#Throwback23/7/2022 Welcoming Buddha Shakyamuni, Gyenze, Shize & Namgyalma to Penang chapel. Abundance offerings, including sensory offerings were nicely set up and offered up to Buddha surfing our weekly DS puja @ 3pm, Jalan Seang Tek, Penang ~by Jacinta
2 months ago
#Throwback23/7/2022 Welcoming Buddha Shakyamuni, Gyenze, Shize & Namgyalma to Penang chapel. Abundance offerings, including sensory offerings were nicely set up and offered up to Buddha surfing our weekly DS puja @ 3pm, Jalan Seang Tek, Penang ~by Jacinta
Kechara Earth Project 17 July 2022
2 months ago
Kechara Earth Project 17 July 2022
Kechara Earth Project 12 June 2022
3 months ago
Kechara Earth Project 12 June 2022
#Throwback. Visitation of Ven. Zawa Tulku Rinpoche and Ven. Geshe Jangchup Gyaltsen to Kechara Penang Chapel on 17/5/2022. We did a short prayers together. Really happy for the short visit. Kechara Penang Study Group~ by Jacinta
4 months ago
#Throwback. Visitation of Ven. Zawa Tulku Rinpoche and Ven. Geshe Jangchup Gyaltsen to Kechara Penang Chapel on 17/5/2022. We did a short prayers together. Really happy for the short visit. Kechara Penang Study Group~ by Jacinta
Photo from JC
4 months ago
Photo from JC
Trying to WE-fie. Do we get that just alright, lol? Come and join us next time at Jalan Seang Tek, Kechara Penang Chapel. Celebrate Wesak with us ~ by Jacinta
4 months ago
Trying to WE-fie. Do we get that just alright, lol? Come and join us next time at Jalan Seang Tek, Kechara Penang Chapel. Celebrate Wesak with us ~ by Jacinta
Trying to "WE-fie". Do we get that just alright, lol? Come and join us next time at Jalan Seang Tek, Kechara Penang Chapel. Celebrate Wesak with us ~ by Jacinta
4 months ago
Trying to "WE-fie". Do we get that just alright, lol? Come and join us next time at Jalan Seang Tek, Kechara Penang Chapel. Celebrate Wesak with us ~ by Jacinta
Celebrated Wesak Day 2022 in Penang, with a group of fun, committed, helpful and also devoted friends & family. Kechara Penang Study Group 15/5/2022 ~by Jacinta
4 months ago
Celebrated Wesak Day 2022 in Penang, with a group of fun, committed, helpful and also devoted friends & family. Kechara Penang Study Group 15/5/2022 ~by Jacinta
Vesak Day 2022 - Bird liberation. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
4 months ago
Vesak Day 2022 - Bird liberation. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
All attendees are paying homage to Rinpoche and Buddhas before the start of our weekly Dorje Shugden puja. Outwardly, it seems that Dorje Shugden helps practitioners overcoming their obstacles and problems but ultimately Dorje Shugden’s supreme purpose is to help practitioners on their path to Enlightenment. Do join in our weekly DS puja, every Saturday @3 pm at Jalan Seang Tek, Penang. ~by Jacinta
5 months ago
All attendees are paying homage to Rinpoche and Buddhas before the start of our weekly Dorje Shugden puja. Outwardly, it seems that Dorje Shugden helps practitioners overcoming their obstacles and problems but ultimately Dorje Shugden’s supreme purpose is to help practitioners on their path to Enlightenment. Do join in our weekly DS puja, every Saturday @3 pm at Jalan Seang Tek, Penang. ~by Jacinta
All of us are practicing on how to properly use dorje(Vajra), bell and damaru ~ Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
5 months ago
All of us are practicing on how to properly use dorje(Vajra), bell and damaru ~ Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
After inviting Dorje Shugden Wangze, Pastor Seng Piow teaches us how to use ritual objects and the full set of prayer accompanying it. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
5 months ago
After inviting Dorje Shugden Wangze, Pastor Seng Piow teaches us how to use ritual objects and the full set of prayer accompanying it. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
With great happiness, merits and excitement that Penang Group have invited Buddha Wangzey to Penang chapel, complete with full rituals and prayer. 30th April 2022 Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
5 months ago
With great happiness, merits and excitement that Penang Group have invited Buddha Wangzey to Penang chapel, complete with full rituals and prayer. 30th April 2022 Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
Come and get your blessing from Lama Tsongkhapa and Dorje Shugden in Penang @ Jalan Seang Tek ~ by Jacinta.
5 months ago
Come and get your blessing from Lama Tsongkhapa and Dorje Shugden in Penang @ Jalan Seang Tek ~ by Jacinta.
Special thanks to one of our dedicated Penang group members, Choong for superb tormas. Swift Return Puja @ every Saturday, 3pm. Do contact William for more info ~ by Jacinta
5 months ago
Special thanks to one of our dedicated Penang group members, Choong for superb tormas. Swift Return Puja @ every Saturday, 3pm. Do contact William for more info ~ by Jacinta
Thanks to William for being the Umze for Swift Return Puja at Penang Centre. ~ by Jacinta
5 months ago
Thanks to William for being the Umze for Swift Return Puja at Penang Centre. ~ by Jacinta
The members of Kechara Penang Study Group are offering serkym to Dorje Shugden and His entourage. There's puja every Saturday @ 3 pm at Penang Chapel, Jalan Seang Tek. All are welcome. ~by Jacinta
5 months ago
The members of Kechara Penang Study Group are offering serkym to Dorje Shugden and His entourage. There's puja every Saturday @ 3 pm at Penang Chapel, Jalan Seang Tek. All are welcome. ~by Jacinta
We are in the third week of Ramadan this year, and kind volunteers have never failed to feed people in need since Tengku Zatashah started this meaningful #zerofoodwastage initiative in 2016. The aim is to benefit the underprivileged with nice surplus food collected from Ramadan buffets. Every night during the month of Ramadan, volunteers collect surplus cooked food from hotels and distribute it to charity homes and low-income families. THANK YOU, Tengku, dedicated volunteers and hotel partners, for making this Ramadan special for the underprivileged. #kecharasoupkitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment - KSK @ Vivian
5 months ago
We are in the third week of Ramadan this year, and kind volunteers have never failed to feed people in need since Tengku Zatashah started this meaningful #zerofoodwastage initiative in 2016. The aim is to benefit the underprivileged with nice surplus food collected from Ramadan buffets. Every night during the month of Ramadan, volunteers collect surplus cooked food from hotels and distribute it to charity homes and low-income families. THANK YOU, Tengku, dedicated volunteers and hotel partners, for making this Ramadan special for the underprivileged. #kecharasoupkitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment - KSK @ Vivian
We were chanting Migsetma mantra at the time this picture was taken. Thanks to all our Penang members who are very committed to attend Swift Return puja weekly. Kechara Penang Study Group, every Saturday @ 3pm. ~by Jacinta
5 months ago
We were chanting Migsetma mantra at the time this picture was taken. Thanks to all our Penang members who are very committed to attend Swift Return puja weekly. Kechara Penang Study Group, every Saturday @ 3pm. ~by Jacinta
William, who is our leader/ Umze is cleaning the pantry and Gordon offered up 4 carton of packet drinks today. We cannot thank you enough for all kind hearted who sponsored various offerings weekly. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
5 months ago
William, who is our leader/ Umze is cleaning the pantry and Gordon offered up 4 carton of packet drinks today. We cannot thank you enough for all kind hearted who sponsored various offerings weekly. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
Siew Hong came with a basket of fruits while Choong, who is expert in baking offered tormas today for our Swift Return Puja. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
5 months ago
Siew Hong came with a basket of fruits while Choong, who is expert in baking offered tormas today for our Swift Return Puja. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
Dedicated sisters, Sharyn and Swee Bee. They always make sure our puja offerings, especially fruits are arranged nicely. Kechara Penang Study Group ~ by Jacinta
5 months ago
Dedicated sisters, Sharyn and Swee Bee. They always make sure our puja offerings, especially fruits are arranged nicely. Kechara Penang Study Group ~ by Jacinta
Committed and hardworking Kechara Penang members, Mr. Tang and Mr. Huey. Really appreciate having you both at our weekly puja . Kechara Penang Study Group ~ by Jacinta
5 months ago
Committed and hardworking Kechara Penang members, Mr. Tang and Mr. Huey. Really appreciate having you both at our weekly puja . Kechara Penang Study Group ~ by Jacinta
KSK medic personnel have been tending to the needs of the clients every week. Their consistent kindness helps improve the medical welfare of those without a home. Thank you for serving and making them your priority on your weekends. #medicteam #kecharasoupkitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment
6 months ago
KSK medic personnel have been tending to the needs of the clients every week. Their consistent kindness helps improve the medical welfare of those without a home. Thank you for serving and making them your priority on your weekends. #medicteam #kecharasoupkitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment
In the midst of chaos, let's start healing. We have Dorje Shugden Puja every Saturday @ 3 pm. Contact William for more info. Kechara Penang Study Group. ~ by Jacinta.
7 months ago
In the midst of chaos, let's start healing. We have Dorje Shugden Puja every Saturday @ 3 pm. Contact William for more info. Kechara Penang Study Group. ~ by Jacinta.
7 months ago
Pastor is in da' house!!!! Kechara Penang Study Group @ Saturday, 3 pm. Contact William for more info ~ by Jacinta
7 months ago
Pastor is in da' house!!!! Kechara Penang Study Group @ Saturday, 3 pm. Contact William for more info ~ by Jacinta
7 months ago
8 months ago
After Dorje Shugden puja @Penang Chapel, Jalan Seang Tek, members went to a nearby vegetarian shop for gathering. #CNY2022 #HappyReunion by Jacinta.
8 months ago
After Dorje Shugden puja @Penang Chapel, Jalan Seang Tek, members went to a nearby vegetarian shop for gathering. #CNY2022 #HappyReunion by Jacinta.
In 2021, we've encountered far too many challenges—Pandemic, months-long lockdown, landslide, and flood. We are proud to witness Malaysians helping one another as these agonies come sequentially. Looking back to 2021, Kechara Soup Kitchen has made significant progress, with more to come in 2022. Every year, we move a little closer to our vision. We are immensely thankful to have such dedicated teams of volunteers willing to go above and beyond for our clients. Not to mention our sponsors and donors; none of this would have been possible without you. Thank you. Thank you for being you. Thank you for helping the underprivileged to a better future. Have a blessed year ahead from our hearts to your hearts. #2022 #newyear #kecharasoupkitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment
9 months ago
In 2021, we've encountered far too many challenges—Pandemic, months-long lockdown, landslide, and flood. We are proud to witness Malaysians helping one another as these agonies come sequentially. Looking back to 2021, Kechara Soup Kitchen has made significant progress, with more to come in 2022. Every year, we move a little closer to our vision. We are immensely thankful to have such dedicated teams of volunteers willing to go above and beyond for our clients. Not to mention our sponsors and donors; none of this would have been possible without you. Thank you. Thank you for being you. Thank you for helping the underprivileged to a better future. Have a blessed year ahead from our hearts to your hearts. #2022 #newyear #kecharasoupkitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment
Ipoh members were taking turns to offer Serkym and lights to Dorje Shugden. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
10 months ago
Ipoh members were taking turns to offer Serkym and lights to Dorje Shugden. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Kechara Ipoh members were preparing for Dorje Shugden puja. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
10 months ago
Kechara Ipoh members were preparing for Dorje Shugden puja. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Kechara Ipoh Study Group has carried out Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh on 4th Dec 2021. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
10 months ago
Kechara Ipoh Study Group has carried out Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh on 4th Dec 2021. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Jun, our new Ipoh member, offered lights to Lama Tsongkhapa, Dorje Shugden & The Three Jewels. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
10 months ago
Jun, our new Ipoh member, offered lights to Lama Tsongkhapa, Dorje Shugden & The Three Jewels. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
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Dorje Shugden
Click to watch my talk about Dorje Shugden....