H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s Bio Team in America

Apr 19, 2018 | Views: 219

(Written by a member of the Bio team)

 

Day 1: New Jersey

What an amazing day. It’s been non-stop since the moment I woke up. Our first stop was to Rinpoche’s old house in Howell, New Jersey. I recognised it immediately from the old photos we had seen of Rinpoche’s home. I felt the breath catch in my throat as I thought about Rinpoche coming in and out of this house and the good and the bad memories that live within it. This was a house full of love and hope, and of sadness and anger. I thought about this perfect looking house – the epitome of middle-class success and normalcy – yet literally behind the facade was disappointment, fear and pain. Behind the white walls, unseen by many, was the deteriorating relationship between a selfish man and a woman in despair, and their desperate and futile wish to gain happiness and fulfilment through their adopted son.

From the age of 7-15, Rinpoche stayed in this house, and from the beginning, he found the meaning of his life in the Dharma.

Rinpoche’s previous home in Howell, New Jersey

We very much wanted to go in and take a look at Rinpoche’s house, but as we knocked on the door, nobody was home. We were with Anila, also known as Carmen Kichikov, who is an old friend of Rinpoche’s. Anila fondly remembers this unusual seven-year-old boy who lived just up the road from her, who one day came to knock on her door to ask her about Dharma. She did not know who directed him to her house – perhaps he heard that she was interested in Buddhism and came to explore on his own.

The Bio Group in discussion outside Anila’s house

Anila said that Rinpoche would want to visit the Buddhist temples as often as he could but he was not allowed to by his parents. She then took us to Rashi Gempil Ling to show us Kensur Lobsang Tharchin Rinpoche’s house.

Rashi Gempil Ling Gompa

Classroom in Kensur Rinpoche’s house at Rashi Gempil Ling

In the afternoon, we had the pleasure of interviewing Debbie Polchinoff, the eldest of the DP sisters, who were Rinpoche’s cousins and who he loved spending time with and vice versa.

Debbie Polchinoff

Amazing family reunion dinner

The day ended with a spectacular feast at Aunt Matza’s, where we experienced first hand the warm hospitality of the Kalmyks. An extraordinary amount of food was prepared, although we were told that when Aunt Matza heard that we were vegetarian, she was stumped on what she could cook! In the end, the sole vegetarian in the whole clan – Lidshma – prepared most of the food for us. It was delicious and the dessert buffet rivalled the best buffets in Kuala Lumpur. It was an evening of eating, drinking and being very merry – and getting to know this wonderful family better. As the cousins said, they were not really cousins, they were so close that they were all brothers and sisters.

To cap it all, at the end of the evening, Liaison Beng Kooi announced the superb news that the KWPC licence for the first phase had been approved… What an utterly, utterly thrilling day.

 


 

Day 2: Marc Reed, Turkey Swamp, Susie and Lizzie

It’s only day 2 but it seems like forever since I arrived – I guess because so much is packed in to the schedule. This morning, we met with Rinpoche’s classmate, Marc Reed, and sat around a basketball court to chat about what Rinpoche was like as a teenager. Marc was lovely; very open and willing to share. He remembers Rinpoche well, and considered Rinpoche as his best friend for 5-6 years.

Jamie chatting to Marc

Marc recounted that Rinpoche had been an “A” student while he was a “C” student so Rinpoche asked him if he’d like to go over to his house to study. When he showed Rinpoche his notebook, Rinpoche said that he knew what was the problem. Marc had been just putting notes from all his classes into one notebook, regardless of subject matter. So Rinpoche ripped out all the pages and got a ring binder file. He then put in dividers and filed the notes according to subject. Marc thought that was amazing and his notes began to make more sense when separated out that way and Marc’s grades improved!

Marc and the young Rinpoche liked bike rides and their favourite destination was Turkey Swamp, a 5 mile bike ride away from Howell. Marc also told us that on the way to Turkey Swamp, they would have to cycle past a farm with a rottweiler which was not chained up and liked to chase bikes. They would have to pedal very fast uphill to get away from the dog. However, Rinpoche wasn’t scared to the dog and stopped and put Rinpoche’s hand out at the dog, and to the surprise of the kids, the dog stopped barking and just turned and walked away. Marc said that ever since then, he does not run when an animal comes charging but stands firm and sends warm energy to the animal. And that includes bears in the wild!

While Marc and other friends liked to wander in the forest of Turkey Swamp to explore, Rinpoche would always like to find a quiet place to meditate and to chant mantras. Marc took the bio group there to have a look. It was a beautiful day for a walk and soak in the atmosphere.. perfect for meditation.

Grabbing a bite at Lino’s, Rinpoche’s favourite pizza joint in Howell, en route to Turkey Swamp

Marc explaining that Rinpoche and he would walk through the forest to look for quieter areas where Rinpoche could meditate and then Marc would just wander around and explore while waiting for Rinpoche…

Beautiful forest trails

Turkey Swamp

Marc showing us a potential spot Rinpoche might have chosen to meditate at

After we left Turkey Swamp, we dropped by Freehold High School, where Marc and Rinpoche were freshmen. According to Marc, Rinpoche was already 6′ tall then and had a big mouth so he sometimes got himself into trouble with other kids but he’d somehow be able to defuse things and sometimes, Rinpoche would even become friends with the very person who was ragging him. Marc related that Rinpoche got on with everybody and “to know him was to love him”.

Freehold Township High School

Marc being interviewed at the school

Off to Susie Carton, Rinpoche’s cousin’s lovely house

Interviewing Susie Carton and Lizzie Murphy

It was great to talk to Susie and Lizzie. They had met Rinpoche since Rinpoche first came to Dana and Boris Bugayeff’s house, as a child who did not speak English. Susie babysat the young Rinpoche for a whole summer and became quite fond of him. She says he was great fun, and would make breakfast for her. Sometimes she’d be late to go over to his house and he’d call her up and tell her to come over. Dana and Boris forbade them from leaving the house though so they’d spend the day just playing and watching TV.

Lizzie and Susie told us many interesting stories and at the end of the afternoon, their three words to describe Rinpoche were; Susie: “Funny, Appreciative, Mischievous”, Lizzie: “Brat, Funny, Kind and Helpful (hey, that’s four words!)”

After the interviews, Susie and Lizzie took us to the arcade at Point Pleasant, where she told us that she used to bring Rinpoche and they’d play pacman which was her favourite game – and still is!

PacMan!

Susie at the pacman machine at the Arcade, Point Pleasant

After the Arcade, we went to have dinner at Farrells (great vege rolls!) and here’s a pic of Deedee celebrating her birthday with cake

 


 

Day 3: A Rock Guitarist and A Nun

This morning began with an interview with Dorscha ‘Butch’ Sochorow and his father Hangor. Butch was one of Rinpoche’s classmates at Land O’Pines and is now the lead guitarist of the popular band, Splintered Sunlight. Butch remembers Rinpoche liking to go to Rashi Gempil Ling (RGL) and he didn’t understand why Rinpoche’s parents, Burcha Sr. and Dana, objected. Most Kalmyk parents would encourage their kids to go to the temple. He also remembers that when Rinpoche talked about Dharma, he was very serious.

Butch and Rinpoche didn’t hang out much as kids, but Butch remembers going to Rinpoche’s house for his birthday parties and for Tsagan, the Kalmyk New Year.

Hangor, Butch’s father, is the current treasurer of RGL, and also helped to build the actual building of the centre. He was quite quiet during the interview though.

Dorscha ‘Butch’ Sochorow

One interesting fact that Butch contributed was that Rinpoche used to write stories which were considered so good that the school librarian stored them in the library and even allocated them the library’s decimal classification numbers. This was confirmed by Rinpoche, so we shall check if these ‘books’ are still in the library system!

Butch was happy that Rinpoche finally got to follow his dream of studying the Dharma and is very proud of Rinpoche. The three words Butch chose to describe Rinpoche were “outgoing, flamboyant and happy.”

After our interview with Butch, we went over to Anila’s. She is a lovely, lovely lady – just one look at her and you can feel a great warmth, kindness and softness. You would never guess that this nun had been a hippy chick of the 70’s and even been to jail for joining protests in her youth! Anila Thupten Chonyid, aka Carmen Kichikov, was a Kalmyk who was born in France and came over to the USA. She mentions Rinpoche, though not by name, in an article, Tibetan Buddhism Is Adapting to American Life, in The New York Times, in 1991.

Jamie showing photos of Rinpoche at Gaden to Anila

Anila remembers Rinpoche as a small boy coming to knock on her door one day and asking her about Dharma. She thought he was quite special and very different from other children. They developed a friendship over the years and she even became his first sponsor at Gaden Monastery. She sent him USD50 a month when Rinpoche, then not yet recognised as a Rinpoche, was starving and writing to everyone he knew to ask for sponsorship. That USD50 meant the world to Rinpoche and he has always been grateful to Anila for it. Anila shared with us some stories about Rinpoche and what stood out for me was that she said that when Rinpoche was young and obviously having a hard time at home, he never complained about his chores or his parents beating him. All he complained about was that they stopped him from going to RGL to learn the Dharma.

Also, she shared that a Geshe told her that there was a good Naga spirit at Turkey Swamp, so it made sense that Rinpoche liked to do Chenrezig mantras and visualisations there.

The afternoon wrapped up too quickly and soon it was time to say good-bye. Anila’s three words to describe Rinpoche were “amazing, happy and decisive.”

 


 

Day 4: Nitsan, Land O’Pines, Nitsan, Uncle Dorja and Aunt Matza

This morning, Beng Kooi took me to visit Nitsan Temple, which I missed as the others had seen it in the earlier part of the week before I arrived. It’s a very picturesque temple and the lovely blue sky that day helped.

Nitsan

Nitsan consists of two buildings – the monks live in the building on the left

This was a Manjushri thangka at Nitsan which Rinpoche liked to meditate in front of when he visited as a child.

Rinpoche has always liked Manjushri, the Buddha of Wisdom, and this was one of the favourite thangkas he liked to meditate in front of.

In the afternoon, we went to visit Land O’Pines, Rinpoche’s first school at Howell.

Land O’Pines had been renovated quite a lot since Rinpoche’s time – we also couldn’t find the playground where Rinpoche hid with his friend Pat on his first runaway attempt. However, it was still nice to see where Rinpoche would have gone to school.

After we left Land O’Pines, we had a surprise phone call from Anila, who said that one of the monks at Nitsan, Lobsang Gyatso, remembered Rinpoche so we rushed back to Nitsan to interview him. Anila was so kind that day – apparently she had been ringing around various people to see if they remembered anything so we could interview them.

After the interview, we dropped Anila home then we found Uncle Dorja at her house and decided to interview him too. He is 80 years old and remembers a lot though it was quite difficult to decipher what he was saying with his strong accent.

Uncle Dorja

We then ended the evening at Aunt Matza’s, where we had an impromptu dinner. Kalmykian hospitality is really legendary! We had a lovely chat with Aunt Matza, though it was marred by a phone call from her sister who had been admitted to hospital because of a heart problem and they wanted to operate immediately.

 


 

Day 5: Aunt Meda and the DP sisters in Virginia

On my fifth day in the US, we headed down to Virginia to visit Aunt Meda and the other three of the DP sisters who spent a lot of time with Rinpoche. They are called the DP sisters because all their first names start with the initial ‘D’ and their surname was Polchinoff. Rinpoche would call up Aunt Meda and say please don’t tell my mom I called you but can you call my mom and ask if I can come over for the weekend? Aunt Meda would then call up her sister, Dana, and get permission and then whisk Rinpoche off to their house for the weekend. They would have a riot – a very welcome break for the young boy who was quite stressed out at home. Aunt Meda remembers that Rinpoche hated leaving the house at the end of the weekend.

One of Rinpoche’s favourite times was spending a few weeks at Aunt Meda’s during the summer. He would stay there for around 4-5 weeks to babysit the four girls while Aunt Meda was working. Aunt Meda held two jobs to support her four daughters as a single mother so Dana allowed Rinpoche to go over to help out.

Aunt Meda shared that she told Rinpoche then, don’t make my daughters do prayers – I don’t want them to be nuns! We met Diane, who’s five months pregnant, Darlene and Danielle. Debbie was not there as she lives in Philadelphia but we can imagine if all four sisters got together, it would be a loud party! Rinpoche’s relatives are all so warm and loud and funny! Their favourite memory of Rinpoche was when Rinpoche made them be back up singers for Donna Summer’s hits!

Diane with gifts from Rinpoche and Tsem Ladrang, and Aunt Meda

Liaison Su Ming giving gifts to Danielle

 


 

Day 6: The White House, Virginia and back to Howell

We had the amazing opportunity to visit the White House in Washington D.C. on Thursday. It was a good to see how the tour was conducted, the security issues etc which we could apply to Ladrang and KWPC. The White House is not a museum and all the rooms we saw are in daily use so they rolled back carpets and cordoned off areas just for the tours. It was a good learning experience. We also met the Presidential dog, Bo!

The White House was smaller than I thought. The front entrance looked like a large residential house, rather than what I had seen on TV. Perceptions and reality are quite an interesting contrast.

We then headed back to Virginia to interview Diane then sped back to Howell to interview Aunt Matza one last time. Even though she did not like to be filmed, she very kindly put aside her personal preference so that we could conduct the interview. Aunt Matza also surprised us all by giving us a promise – I won’t reveal it yet – time will tell if it happens! I am so excited! Watch this space at the end of November…

The lovely Aunt Matza

I was quite sad to leave the new friends we made in Howell and Virginia – Sara, Aunt Matza, Anila, the DP sisters, Aunt Meda… they were all so warm and hospitable – full of laughter and their very fond memories of Rinpoche. Even though I only met them for such a short time, it seemed like I knew them forever. I shall never forget Kalmyk hospitality – definitely something to learn from! I am so grateful that this extended family gave Rinpoche the love and affection that any child deserves and which he sadly lacked at home. Rinpoche had often shared with us how appreciative he was of their care and it was very special to experience a glimpse of it during our brief visit.

 


 

Day 7: Dawn Garofalo and off to Florida

On our last morning in Howell, we had a surprise interview with Dawn Giordano Garofalo, who was Rinpoche’s classmate. She was very sweet and warm, even though our visit was at such short notice, and welcomed us into her lovely home.

Jean Ai sharing Rinpoche’s biography with Dawn

Dawn shared that Rinpoche was the most polite child and that her most precious memory of Rinpoche was a surprise gift he made for her – a handmade doll house with curtains and all. Rinpoche also made her a doll out of corn husks. She was so amazed that this young boy made her a doll house from scratch and for no reason. He was always creative and she says that there was nobody who didn’t like him.

She was not at all surprised that he became a monk because she thought then that he was very special.

Dawn with gifts from Rinpoche and Tsem Ladrang

After the interview, we then went off on a flight to Tampa, Florida, for another interview!

 


 

Day 8: Nina Noronow and family in Florida

Eleven of us descended on Nina Noronow’s house in Florida today. Our group had shrunk because JP stayed behind in New York, and Yee Ling and Diana had returned their respective homes. JP would join us in LA tomorrow but for today, it was just the eleven of us.

Nina was another of Rinpoche’s classmates. We had exchanged a few emails and she had sent me some lovely photos of Rinpoche.

Here’s Nina, Rinpoche and Nina’s sister (Christmas 1975)

Sweet (literally!) gifts from Nina for all of us

Gifts for Nina from Rinpoche and Tsem Ladrang

The Kalmyks have a lovely tradition of gift giving, which Rinpoche practises to a ‘T’! When we were in Howell, Rinpoche’s cousin, Sara, had given all of us gifts, and here in Florida, Nina followed the tradition with little packs of chocolates and souvenirs.

Nina shared with us that Rinpoche was a quiet boy. Dawn Garofalo had said the same thing yesterday and we did wonder if they were talking about the same Rinpoche who is anything but quiet these days! We then deduced that when Rinpoche was in school with Dawn and Nina, he was still very new to the United States and did not speak any English then which was probably why Rinpoche was rather quiet to begin with.

Nina told us that Rinpoche didn’t find much time to play because he would go to the temple after school. Nina’s temple was Nitsan while Rinpoche’s was Rashi Gempil Ling, but she remembers that Rinpoche also visited Nitsan with her, but that during those visits, Rinpoche would always stay behind in the temple even after she left. Rinpoche would spend time there talking to the priests.

Rinpoche never did anything mean to her and was always thoughtful – when most kids would say what they wanted to do, Rinpoche would ask Nina what she wanted to do, and Nina would ask him to play a game called Jacks with her even though he didn’t really like it!

Nina said that she thought what Rinpoche is doing today is awesome and she was very happy for him.

We also had the opportunity to interview Nina’s sisters, Angie and Olga, who also remembered that Rinpoche liked to go to the temple. If people asked where’s Burcha, most likely he was at the temple. Olga said that their house in Howell was on the way between Rinpoche’s home and the temple and he would drop by their house to say hello on his way there. Olga also said that she was amazed at where Rinpoche is today but not surprised because she always felt that he stood out from the other kids.

From the interviews so far, it is very consistent that from a young age, Rinpoche loved being at the temples, and that Rinpoche’s character has always been kind and caring to all those around him.

Next stop: LA!

 


 

Day 9: Los Angeles

I woke up at 5.45am and was dropped to Tampa Intl Airport by the über kind Su Ming and Beng Kooi. The flight was uneventful and I arrived at LA at 1.40pm. It was cold and windy – quite unlike what I was expecting for LA. AP and Monique picked me up from LAX and dropped me to the hotel before whisking me off to the lovely Farmers’ market. It’s a beautiful place – reminded me of Covent Garden. Not much choice for vegetarians though – ended up with mashed potatoes and vegetarian sushi roll for lunch.

Ap invited me to join them for dinner at Wora and Paul Rapp’s lovely home. Paul Rapp is a well known director and producer who is the younger brother of comedy writer Joel Rapp. He worked on the TV classics, Laverne and Shirley, Happy Days, and movies with legendary stars like Boris Karloff, Rock Hudson, Mia Farrow and Jack Nicholson. He was also known as a mentor to Martin Scorsese and Jonathan Demme. His study at his home was lined with photos of many famous actors and actresses – it was like a classic Planet Hollywood!

It happened to be Paul’s birthday – he shares the same birthday as Rinpoche! I gifted him with a copy of 108 Ways to Grab My Apples which he looked through and said that he liked.

 


 

Day 10: Searching for Traces of a Rinpoche in LA

It was a lovely sunny day – perfect for going in search of traces of Rinpoche in LA. We drove around LA, going on the streets that Rinpoche frequented as a teenager living in the City of Angels. It wasn’t easy to locate where Rinpoche had worked about 20 years ago. Places like the Fotomat where Rinpoche had worked had simply ceased to exist as there was no demand for photo developing services these days. We even wondered what happened to the guy who used to hold up and rob the Fotomat so often that Rinpoche developed a relationship with him!

Rinpoche had given us a guide on where he used to stay – Fenmore apartments which was near a Denny’s, a few blocks from Western and Sunset.

Beng on Western and Sunset

Beng Kooi on the phone with Rinpoche and getting some directions

Unfortunately, we found that Fenmore apartments had been demolished. However, we found the Denny’s and Rinpoche told us that he stood at the bus stop outside Denny’s with a row of newspaper dispensers nearby – and everything was still there as Rinpoche had described. Rinpoche shared that sometimes when he had enough money, he would eat at Denny’s for a treat.

Undeterred by the lack of success in finding Fenmore apartments, we then continued to look for the laundromat that Rinpoche worked in.

And we found it! Rinpoche confirmed that it was the same laundromat and that it all still looked the same.

Inside of the Laundromat

At first I was very happy to find the Laundromat – finally, one place which still existed. But then I was reminded that it was at this Laundromat that one day, Rinpoche received a phonecall which told him that his most precious root Guru, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, had passed into clear light. I stood in the carpark and contemplated how Rinpoche would have felt and realised I could not even begin to imagine how devastated Rinpoche would have been. A sobering thought.

 


 

Day 11: Finding a Dharma Centre

Today we followed Rinpoche’s footsteps as he looked for somewhere to do his sadhana in L.A.

Rinpoche first went to Vajradhatu, a centre which was part of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s organisation. However, it was closed, so Rinpoche headed to the University of Oriental Studies, where he met Dr Leo Pruden, a Professor of Eastern Studies.

The building where Rinpoche met Dr Leo Pruden

Dr Pruden told him that there was no place to pray there as it was a university and offered to drive the young teenager to a nearby Dharma centre, Thubten Dhargye Ling (TDL), at St. Andrews, where there was a resident teacher, Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen. Thubten Dhargye Ling means “Land of Flourishing Dharma”.

TDL at St Andrews

It was strange to look at this house and think that Rinpoche stayed here and served his second Guru, Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen and that this was also the place where Rinpoche met his Root Guru, H.H. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, who changed his life forever.

TDL was to move to an 8 unit apartment complex at La Cienega. There was a bookshop in the front left room and the front patio was extended to accommodate a spillover of students when there were Dharma teachings by visiting high Lamas, such as H.E. Lati Rinpoche.

TDL, La Cienega

TDL was relocated to its current site in Long Beach in 1996. By the time we reached there it was night time and I couldn’t get a decent photo.

Gaden Shartse Thubten Dhargye Ling, Long Beach

Altar and thrones at the Gompa, Gaden Shartse Thubten Dhargye Ling

We were received by the Director of Gaden Shartse Thubten Dhargye Ling, Geshe Lobsang Tsultrim, who then kindly allowed us to have an audience with the relics of the late Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen in Geshe Gyeltsen’s room, where Geshela entered clear light. We were very fortunate to be able to see the heart, eyes and tongue of Geshela, which had not disintegrated in the funeral cremation and is a sign of his high attainments. These relics will be encased in a stupa when the stupa is ready.

Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen’s altar

 


 

Day 12: Anila Lobsang Drolma

We drove half way across town to a small residential area to meet a female yoda – Anila Lobsang Drolma – who is a 72 year old nun. She lives alone, suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, has two artificial knees, a leg that was broken and didn’t mend properly leaving her with one leg shorter than the other yet radiates happiness and peace. Her strength of mind is inspirational and we spent a lovely day with her, listening to her talk about Tsem Tulku Rinpoche.

The lovely Anila

Anila happy to see the photo of Rinpoche with H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama and Kensur Jampa Yeshe

Anila offers the roses Tsem Rinpoche sent her to H.H. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen.

Anila was the first female student of Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen and she was ordained by Kyabje Zong Rinpoche in 1982. She spent time with Rinpoche at TDL and said that Rinpoche was always running up and down the stairs, serving Geshela and Zong Rinpoche. She had always felt that there was something more to Rinpoche than just a mere student, though she did not know at the time quite what it was.

Rinpoche says, “Ven Anila Lobsang Drolma was my good friend in Los Angeles and still is. We both attended Thubten Dhargye Ling Dharma Centre. Anila is straightforward, no non-sense, kind, warm, direct and a very caring person. We used to hang out at the centre, eat together, discuss dharma, share dharma books, and attend pujas/teachings together. I would sit next to her most of the time.”

A photo of a young Anila and Rinpoche’s friend Diana at the L.A. Observatory (from Rinpoche’s blog)

Anila shared how hardworking Rinpoche was and how giving. Rinpoche worked 3 jobs and whatever he earned, he would give most of it to the Dharma centre, TDL. It was difficult for Rinpoche but Rinpoche simply wanted to serve.

 


 

Day 13: Where a Rinpoche works

It was another ‘amazing race’ day – where we drove around L.A., looking for where Rinpoche may have worked. Rinpoche worked three jobs at a minimum wage to cover his rent and support himself. We knew he worked in a Fotomat, which were little kiosks (like toll booths) in car parks. People would drop off their film to be developed and the young Rinpoche would sit in the booth and collect or return photos. Now, as most cameras are digital, Fotomats have also subsequently faded into extinction. Undeterred, we tried to find the location of where the Fotomat booth could have been.

Someone told us it was possibly be in the carpark of a large store called Ralph’s, but when we got there and asked around, a lady told us there never was one at Ralph’s but that there used to be a Fotomat down the road which was now a bus stop. I remember Rinpoche saying that the Fotomat was in a carpark though, where people would drive by to drop off their films or collect their photos.

Ralph’s carpark

Bus stop where the Fotomat was supposed to be

We also looked around for Fred Sands and Jon Douglas, estate agents where Rinpoche worked, a bank and a MacDonalds.

The Bank (now a Citibank)

The street in Larchmont

Coldwell Bankers in Larchmont was where Rinpoche worked, previously known as Jon Douglas, another realtor

MacDonald’s

That day, we also met with Rinpoche’s cousin, Robert Gugajew, with whom Rinpoche stayed for a short while when Rinpoche first arrived in L.A.

Jamie talking to Robert Gugajew outside the old house where Rinpoche stayed with Robert’s family

Robert then took us to see Mark Keppel High School, where Rinpoche studied at to get his GED, which was the legal educational requirement for youth before they can leave school.

Mark Keppel High School (front)

Mark Keppel sports grounds

 


 

Day 14-15: Texas!

As time was short and we had too many things to do, we had to split into three groups. My group headed to Texas while the other group went to Arizona and a couple were left behind in L.A. to shoot more footage.

The research group – Jamie, Deedee, Beng Kooi, Chris and I spent the entire Friday travelling from L.A. to Houston, Texas, from 5.30am to 7pm (Texas time); our mission was to meet and interview H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche’s sister, Lidshma Croes.

We arrived in the evening and had a delightful dinner with Lidshma, her husband Marc and daughter Julia at Happy Buddha, a Japanese teppanyaki restaurant.

Lidshma, her daughter Julia and Jamie

Jamie explaining Rinpoche’s biography to the Croes family

The next day was spent at Lidshma’s house, where she shared candidly with us what it was like as part of the Bugayeff family in New Jersey. She was around 21 years old when Rinpoche arrived from Taiwan, brought over by Queen Dechen Minh. Burcha and Dana Bugayeff, Lidshma’s parents, had agreed to adopt the young Rinpoche, Prince Iska Minh, who was then renamed Burcha Bugayeff.

Dana originally came from Yugoslavia and had survived World War II, looking after her younger brother Giga and sister Meda. Dana was a strong young woman, and had Lidshma with a German man, who could not join them when they came to the United States because of immigration reasons. Lidshma herself had come to the US when she was around 9 months old.

It was an interesting interview as it gave depth to Rinpoche’s parents – what their relationship was like and what home life was for the young boy, who came to the United States not speaking a word of English. Unknown to Rinpoche, he was the golden boy who Burcha Senior had imagined would fulfil his dreams of having a son who would have children to carry the Bugayeff name. Rinpoche’s strong inclination for the Dharma was an enormous threat to this dream and Dana and Burcha Senior tried all they could to stop this destiny from coming to fruition.

Lidshma herself was trapped in a situation where face was everything – external appearances were paramount – and she was simply a decorative piece at the best of times, and woe betide any behaviour which would undermine the perfect family which Dana and Burcha Sr. strove to portray. From Lidshma’s sharing of her experience, it gave us an idea of what homelife was like for the young Rinpoche and the hardship he endured, to live up to the expectations of his parents.

Soon after Rinpoche’s arrival in New Jersey, Lidshma left the family home, and it took her a long time to reconcile with the oppression she suffered in the house. Today, she is finally at peace with herself, but it took a long time for her to reach this place.

Fortunately, for an attained being like Rinpoche, Rinpoche does not suffer like us normal human beings although he endures the same hardship. Therefore, for Rinpoche, there are no issues to resolve nor any bitterness to his past; instead, he finds a positive purpose in his previous experiences and uses them to benefit others.

We saw several items from Rinpoche’s childhood, the most precious to me being one of the first Buddha pictures Rinpoche drew, which was of a White Tara thangka. Lidshma offered the drawing back to Rinpoche, along with several other personal items.

Amazing – Rinpoche’s drawing of the White Tara thangka (original on the right) which belonged to Dana. This was one of Rinpoche’s earliest artwork which Lidshma had kept! (Read what H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche says about this painting here)

It was a lovely day with Lidshma – she told us some wonderful stories which we’ll share later. By 4pm, we reluctantly headed off to the airport to get back to Los Angeles for our last night in the United States.

 


 

Day 16: Last day in L.A.

On our last day, we ran around trying to cram as much as possible. We went to the Bodhi Tree Bookstore – an icon in L.A. as a new age/spiritual bookstore, which was one of Rinpoche’s favourite hang outs. I love that place and wish we could have something like that here in Malaysia. Maybe one day.

Anyway, we brought samples of our books to the bookstore for their consideration. If we could get Rinpoche’s teachings and other KMP books to L.A., it would really be fantastic. I’ll offer more serkym for this to happen!

In the evening of our last day, we had the great karma to meet and have dinner with H.E. Kating Tulku Rinpoche and Connie Bach. It was nice to meet Connie and chat, and hear good feedback about the Setrap Box Set. It was great to see pictures of her very handsome son and cute granddaughter, Lorraine, too!

It was quite an interesting dinner – Jean Ai’s friends Onch and TJ, who were dressed for Halloween, also joined us, so on one end of the table, we had a holy monk from Gaden Shartse and on another end, we had a Pharaoh and Onch with his very realistic meat-lace and meat-cuffs!

 

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  1. Jacinta Goh on Aug 30, 2018 at 9:08 am

    Am not sure why I’ve missed seeing this post but it was thorough. In hindsight, I would love to go to?. It must be full of sweet memories for those who have joined and for Rinpoche, it must have been both bitter and sweet memories being revived.

    Although those forgotten memories are not more than just a replay of the past but nonetheless it brings back emotions that occurred at that time. Thank you Rinpoche for Your past, so that ordinary people like me can also learn the rope of life through what You’ve been through.

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Blog Chat

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

Tsem Rinpoche


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

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  • sarassitham
    Saturday, Dec 5. 2020 12:02 AM
    Thank you for the sharing this wonderful article. This has opened my eyes to the beauty and significance of Buddha’s statues carved out from a huge living rock directly into the rock face, such as amazing craftsmanship and architecture. This is also a good way of understanding the reverence that the Sri Lankans have towards Lord Buddha and his teachings.

    This world heritage site, are well preserved and maintained and contains a number of historic remains. Looking through those beautiful pictures in this article is a blessing, hoping one day I could able to visit these beautiful holy place in Sri Lanka.
  • sarassitham
    Thursday, Dec 3. 2020 11:32 PM
    Thanks you for the interesting article sharing. Actually I don’t really enjoy historical topic but I got impressed with this article of Lost City of Kota Gelanggi. I never knew there are hidden secret place in our country earth.

    The lost city of Kota Gelanggi is extremely important ancient archaeological site located in the deep, dense tropical jungle of Johor. It is speculated to be the first capital of the ancient Empire of Srivijaya and is one of the oldest Kingdoms in South East Asia.

    What puzzled me was, this Kota Gelanggi structure are similar to Angkor Wat, but the lost city is much older. Hopefully the search for this lost city continues and the truth should be reveal for the generation to come. Thank you for good history and a mystery discovery.

    https://bit.ly/2VAZ0W8
  • sarassitham
    Tuesday, Dec 1. 2020 10:43 PM
    As long as people have been around looking at the sky trying to understand what they are seeing and understand something strange, something unknown to anyone, and it’s such a powerful thing to discover.

    UFOs has been the topic of some serious mainstream media coverage after the disappearance of Malaysia Flight MH370. This was the biggest and most expensive search ever done in the history of aircraft with no good explanation and no evidence of any wreckage! As the mystery deepens it has become the number one news story that media around the world has been reporting, there may be a UFO abduction connection.

    https://bit.ly/2VjRW0e
  • sarassitham
    Monday, Nov 30. 2020 10:33 PM
    Very Inspire article of an artist, Art have been more than a hobby to the Princess of Polka Dots, Yayoi Kusama. It was her burning passion that lighted the fire in her soul. With so much of struggle since young, and her positive attitude empowered and engaged her to learn the skill professionally. Her creativity contribution was well received and benefited many all over the world.

    As for Yayoi Kusama art was a great escape, a way to be free of the troubles, worries, and horrors in life. Thank you for this valuable teaching and for the fantastic compilation of info and photos. Well., I am fascinated on polka dots art especially on clothing.

    https://bit.ly/3mqNcla

  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Nov 28. 2020 02:00 PM
    Celebrities like Pink , Chrissie Hynde , Sir Paul McCartney, Benji Madden naming a few who had use their fame for good cause. These celebrities truly are using their impactful voices to influence millions to do good, voicing opinions on matters such as fighting against illegal fishing, created viral memes to educate people about climate change, speaking out for women’s rights , eating healthy foods and to be a vegetarian for good to save animals been slaughter and so on. These celebrities have tremendous influence, acting as role models to many young people so as adults, even with their busy schedule. They has been influential in supporting its mission of saving animals been slaughter for human consumption across the globe. Great and truly inspiring.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/cause-celebre-celebrities-with-a-cause.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Nov 28. 2020 01:57 PM
    Looking at the pictures tells us more….sad and heart-felt seeing those innocent kittens is shot dead by someone who is so cruel. How can whoever who did it so senseless . What goes around will comes around. The mother cat kept licking the kittens, from the picture ,heart broken seeing all her love ones dead. Could not imagine that situation, sad that one of the kitten had the chest cut open and heart exposed with the neck tied with a rope. The other three kittens were already been shot yet their heads were stepped on. Horrible death those poor kittens, may these kitten have a good rebirth.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/guess-why-the-tragic-cries.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Nov 28. 2020 01:55 PM
    Reading this blog and feeling sad . Soolam a Golden Retriever, who was a service dog specifically trained to perform work and assist the writer since as a small furry. Soolam was one loyal companion and dear friend indeed to the writer. To euthanize a furry friend is hard felt for the writer as the Golden Retriever could not stand or walk, and even eat. Whatever he eats will throw out. Looking at the pictures the heartfelt writer hold on spending a precious moments with his doggie before he was euthanized. Soolam was a celebrity featuring in scores of times in newspapers, TV and radio. He even appeared as the main star of a special video about service dogs. The writer brought him everywhere he goes for meetings , travelling long distance and so forth over the decades. Well…. he finally laid to rest with his friend. The writer later found Zhar a new friend during a very strange coincidence.
    A beautiful story indeed , with a happy ending.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/have-you-had-a-friend-like-this.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Nov 27. 2020 02:09 PM
    From lush rainforest to deserts, frogs are found in every environment on earth. There are many different species as well and colourful too. Unfortunately, an equally-horrific new fad has recently popped up in China, where millions of frogs are being coloured with industrial dyes. Those dyes contains a very high doses of chemical which is harmful to the frogs. They seem to be a popular trend in China and are in high demand at aquariums and ponds , some been keeping it as pets. Everywhere at wet market in China, the dyed frogs are being sold. The effect of injections of chemicals into the frog would be horribly injured or killed the frog. Recording to research the dyes being used on the frogs are dangerous and harmful to human as well.
    May all sales of these coloured frogs must be banned. Its more or less abusing animals in such a way frogs were treated as objects and not living creatures in need of care. In no time all these frogs will go extinction .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/coloured-frogs.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Nov 27. 2020 02:08 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these meaningful and heartfelt pictures of those horses. Yes looking at those pictures indeed paint a thousand words. It is truly sad seeing that poor horse Jerry had to suffer. Making horses pull oversized loads like carriages is indeed cruel. They are forced to toil in all weather extremes, heavy traffic all day long. Well they might suffer in silence debilitating leg problems in long term as they have to walk on hard surfaces. Horses would definitely love to be free living on green fields where it’s a better environment for them. They could run freely as they wish. In many cities, horse-drawn carriages are seen as tourist attractions. Even though horse-drawn carriages have been in use for thousands of years , I do hope more countries will ban horse drawn carriages. Recent years many cities around the world are banning horse-drawn carriages. Great news as horse are not mend for hard surfaces, in heavy traffic and so forth.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/9-special-photos.html
  • S.Prathap
    Friday, Nov 27. 2020 01:49 PM
    There’s nothing in this world like the unconditional happiness our 4-legged buddies give us humans. And, just like our 5 fingers, each of them are gifted with their own personality and unique qualities.

    We should have a first hand knowledge before adopting one. Dog behaviour can be puzzling to both new and experienced dog owners.Thank you very much for the informative article.


    https://bit.ly/33l4Qzo
  • sarassitham
    Friday, Nov 27. 2020 01:10 AM
    Thank you for the beautiful and historical sharing of Baba Nyonya community in Malaysia. As we know this group is small and their journey begins first at Malacca, then continued to Penang, Singapore, and Indonesia.

    The intermarriage between Chinese and Malay except formed a unique lifestyle and also created out a new culture, customs, festivals, tradition foods clothing, design and entertainment.

    May this rich culture and colourful tradition be preserved and practiced by the younger generation, and do hope this special heritage will live everlasting with us.

    https://bit.ly/3lbHmCK
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Nov 26. 2020 02:28 PM
    Every where there is spirits or unseen beings . Even old tress do have spirits too. Heard of it those days but for one to see it daily is scary. I am sure Rinpoche’s mother had goose bumps seeing the old man spirit. Luckily not a harmful spirit. Tree spirit is a nature deity related to a tree and are present in many cultures. As many of us do believed that if we cut down a tree with a spirit dwelling in it, is not so good. We are disturbing them. To avoid any misfortune we have prayers to appease the tree spirits, asking their permission to do so…..clearing obstacles or any ugly incident happenings.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/the-tree.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Nov 26. 2020 02:26 PM
    nspiring video of a Portuguese boy with strong imprints. His dinner plate was served with rice, potatoes and octopus tentacles. After some questioning he told his mother that animals are not supposed to be eaten, but to be taken care of. This surprised his mother as her young son understands about the killings of animals. He don’t want to hurt animals , he knew the pain and sufferings of animals been killed . That’s wonderful , it’s a good beginning for a young boy to have compassion for animals at such a young age.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/portuguese-4-yo-boy-doesnt-want-to-eat-meat.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Nov 26. 2020 02:22 PM
    Reincarnation is the religious or philosophical belief that the soul after biological death, begins a new life in a new body that may be human, animal or spiritual depending on the moral quality of the previous life’s karma. Psychiatrist Ian Stevenson has investigated many reports of young children who claimed to remember a past life. Interesting findings. The belief in reincarnation is held by adherents of almost all major religions. Hence life after death and the possibility of reincarnation do happen. What happens to us when we die? Well this is an old question for which religions have provided answers with faith. One of the mysteries puzzling human mind since the origin of mankind is the concept of “reincarnation”. I do believe in reincarnation and have come across friends who remembered their past lives. Recently I met an Indian Sikh lady who’s past life was a Buddhist. Beautiful stories from her too.
    Interesting read of this blog tells us more.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/ancient-mysteries-reincarnation.html
  • sarassitham
    Wednesday, Nov 25. 2020 03:58 PM
    Thank you for the article and video sharing. It’s sad to see the reality of live of some people in the world has to go through so much suffering at younger age to survive.

    The early involvement of child labour is caused by their parents due the families economic hardship, parents need their help to perform their work or replacements when they are sick or old. Unfortunately the brick kiln management taking opportunity to misuse the labour by performing multiple task and treating them as slave.

    I do greatly appreciate the rightful action will be taken to prevent and to provide the new guidelines against the brick kiln owners who have tried to exploit workers.

    https://bit.ly/2UZha3N

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The Unknown

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

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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
10 months ago
According to legend, Shambhala is a place where wisdom and love reign, and there is no crime. Doesn't this sound like the kind of place all of us would love to live in? https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=204874
108 candles and sang (incense) offered at our Wish-Fulfilling Grotto, invoking Dorje Shugden\'s blessings for friends, sponsors and supporters, wonderful!
10 months ago
108 candles and sang (incense) offered at our Wish-Fulfilling Grotto, invoking Dorje Shugden's blessings for friends, sponsors and supporters, wonderful!
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10 months ago
Dharmapalas are not exclusive to Tibetan culture and their practice is widespread throughout the Buddhist world - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=193645
One of our adorable Kechara Forest Retreat\'s doggies, Tara, happy and safe, and enjoying herself in front of Wisdom Hall which has been decorated for Chinese New Year
11 months ago
One of our adorable Kechara Forest Retreat's doggies, Tara, happy and safe, and enjoying herself in front of Wisdom Hall which has been decorated for Chinese New Year
Fragrant organic Thai basil harvested from our very own Kechara Forest Retreat farm!
11 months ago
Fragrant organic Thai basil harvested from our very own Kechara Forest Retreat farm!
On behalf of our Puja House team, Pastor Tat Ming receives food and drinks from Rinpoche. Rinpoche wanted to make sure the hardworking Puja House team are always taken care of.
11 months ago
On behalf of our Puja House team, Pastor Tat Ming receives food and drinks from Rinpoche. Rinpoche wanted to make sure the hardworking Puja House team are always taken care of.
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One of the most recent harvests from our Kechara Forest Retreat land. It was grown free of chemicals and pesticides, wonderful!
11 months ago
One of the most recent harvests from our Kechara Forest Retreat land. It was grown free of chemicals and pesticides, wonderful!
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
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Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
1 year 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)
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First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
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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.
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High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
2 yearss ago
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
This is pretty amazing!

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

Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
2 yearss ago
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can\'t stop thinking of you and I can\'t forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
2 yearss ago
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can't stop thinking of you and I can't forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
2 yearss ago
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
2 yearss ago
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
2 yearss ago
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
2 yearss ago
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
2 yearss ago
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
2 yearss ago
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
2 yearss ago
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
2 yearss ago
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
DON\'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
2 yearss ago
DON'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
2 yearss ago
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
2 yearss ago
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
2 yearss ago
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
2 yearss ago
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
2 yearss ago
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
2 yearss ago
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
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Videos On The Go

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  • Our Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir speaks so well, logically and regarding our country’s collaboration with China for growth. It is refreshing to listen to Dr. Mahathir’s thoughts. He said our country can look to China for many more things such as technology and so on. Tsem Rinpoche
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    Our Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir speaks so well, logically and regarding our country’s collaboration with China for growth. It is refreshing to listen to Dr. Mahathir’s thoughts. He said our country can look to China for many more things such as technology and so on. Tsem Rinpoche
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    This dog thanks his hero in such a touching way. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Join Tsem Rinpoche in prayer for H.H. Dalai Lama’s long life~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYy7JcveikU&feature=youtu.be
    2 yearss ago
    Join Tsem Rinpoche in prayer for H.H. Dalai Lama’s long life~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYy7JcveikU&feature=youtu.be
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    2 yearss ago
    These people going on pilgrimage to a holy mountain and prostrating out of devotion and for pilgrimage in Tibet. Such determination for spiritual practice. Tsem Rinpoche
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    2 yearss ago
    Beautiful new casing in Kechara for Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Get ready to laugh real hard. This is Kechara’s version of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane!” We have some real talents in this video clip.
    2 yearss ago
    Get ready to laugh real hard. This is Kechara’s version of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane!” We have some real talents in this video clip.
  • Recitation of Dorje Dermo‘s mantra or the Dharani of Glorious Vajra Claws. This powerful mantra is meant to destroy all obstacles that come in our way. Beneficial to play this mantra in our environments.
    2 yearss ago
    Recitation of Dorje Dermo‘s mantra or the Dharani of Glorious Vajra Claws. This powerful mantra is meant to destroy all obstacles that come in our way. Beneficial to play this mantra in our environments.
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    2 yearss ago
    Beautiful
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    2 yearss ago
    My little monster cute babies Dharma and Oser. Take a look and get a cute attack for the day! Tsem Rinpoche
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    2 yearss ago
    Plse watch this short video and see how all sentient beings are capable of tenderness and love. We should never hurt animals nor should we eat them. Tsem Rinpoche
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CHAT PICTURES

Thanks to Yap Optometry for gifting Robert a new pair of glasses to see better. We wish him many clear and bright days ahead. Thank you to all sponsors. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 weeks ago
Thanks to Yap Optometry for gifting Robert a new pair of glasses to see better. We wish him many clear and bright days ahead. Thank you to all sponsors. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Donation received to date: RM33,468.00 Yes! We've achieved the target for the #TamanNegara project. Fundraising is closed for this project. Thank you to all donors, 113 Orang Asli families will benefit from it. Stay tuned! #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 weeks ago
Donation received to date: RM33,468.00 Yes! We've achieved the target for the #TamanNegara project. Fundraising is closed for this project. Thank you to all donors, 113 Orang Asli families will benefit from it. Stay tuned! #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
FRESHLY BAKED by Kechara Empowerment trainees - Chocolate Chip Butter Cookies - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 weeks ago
FRESHLY BAKED by Kechara Empowerment trainees - Chocolate Chip Butter Cookies - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
In memory of Wilson Lee, one of our most dedicated volunteers in Penang. Our heartfelt condolences to Wilson's wife, Tze Ling, family and friends. Our thoughts are with them for their loss. Thank you for your kindness and service to KSK Penang. From all of us in KSK.
2 weeks ago
In memory of Wilson Lee, one of our most dedicated volunteers in Penang. Our heartfelt condolences to Wilson's wife, Tze Ling, family and friends. Our thoughts are with them for their loss. Thank you for your kindness and service to KSK Penang. From all of us in KSK.
Last weekend a Soup Kitchen activities @ Penang, Johor & Kuala Lumpur. Hot food, water, masks, biscuits, buns & fruits. This is what we give out to our friends living on the streets. Thank you to our sponsor & volunteers that make it happen. Come spread more love by being a volunteer at our activities. WhatsApp us today at 010-333-3260! See you soon! #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 months ago
Last weekend a Soup Kitchen activities @ Penang, Johor & Kuala Lumpur. Hot food, water, masks, biscuits, buns & fruits. This is what we give out to our friends living on the streets. Thank you to our sponsor & volunteers that make it happen. Come spread more love by being a volunteer at our activities. WhatsApp us today at 010-333-3260! See you soon! #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Fwd: Dear Sotha
2 months ago
Fwd: Dear Sotha
Kechara Earth Project 13/9/2020
3 months ago
Kechara Earth Project 13/9/2020
Thank you Domino's Pizza Malaysia, Kasih & Piza campaign for sponsoring 85 boxes of pizza to our friends who live on the streets. Your flavourful pizzas have put a smile on their faces. Thank you! - Vivan @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #KasihdanPiza #ItsAllAboutYou
3 months ago
Thank you Domino's Pizza Malaysia, Kasih & Piza campaign for sponsoring 85 boxes of pizza to our friends who live on the streets. Your flavourful pizzas have put a smile on their faces. Thank you! - Vivan @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #KasihdanPiza #ItsAllAboutYou
Thank you Novo Nordisk! Your kind monetary donation and 1,320 boxes of masks will benefit many needy families under the Kechara Food Bank Program. Thank you! Much love from the needy families  ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #novonordisk #novonordiskmalaysia
3 months ago
Thank you Novo Nordisk! Your kind monetary donation and 1,320 boxes of masks will benefit many needy families under the Kechara Food Bank Program. Thank you! Much love from the needy families ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #novonordisk #novonordiskmalaysia
We were graced with the presence of Tengku Zatashah & The Alice Smith School Foundation yesterday. 130 homeless were blessed to be served by them. RM 20,000 donated by Alice Smith School Foundation will benefit 100 families registered under Kechara Food Bank Program. Thank you! Much love from the needy families ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #alicesmithschoolfoundation #alicesmithschool #volunteerism #homeless
3 months ago
We were graced with the presence of Tengku Zatashah & The Alice Smith School Foundation yesterday. 130 homeless were blessed to be served by them. RM 20,000 donated by Alice Smith School Foundation will benefit 100 families registered under Kechara Food Bank Program. Thank you! Much love from the needy families ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment #kecharasoupkitchen #alicesmithschoolfoundation #alicesmithschool #volunteerism #homeless
Thanks to the effort of our outstation team, we were able to mobilise food provisions to 600 families living in Kelantan, Penang, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor during the Raya period with each of these families receiving RM200 worth of provisions. Adding onto the current 368 families in Klang Valley, a total of 968 families were benefitted from this. Special thanks to the sponsors who have contributed especially Hong Leong Foundation and partially from Tesco Malaysia (where we also ordered the provisions from). ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
5 months ago
Thanks to the effort of our outstation team, we were able to mobilise food provisions to 600 families living in Kelantan, Penang, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor during the Raya period with each of these families receiving RM200 worth of provisions. Adding onto the current 368 families in Klang Valley, a total of 968 families were benefitted from this. Special thanks to the sponsors who have contributed especially Hong Leong Foundation and partially from Tesco Malaysia (where we also ordered the provisions from). ~ Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
So glad that our soup kitchen operations are back in full swing. Good to see the clients are observing the SOPs. Some of them lost their job during MCO and ended up on the streets. Special thanks to our sponsors and volunteers for the great support! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
6 months ago
So glad that our soup kitchen operations are back in full swing. Good to see the clients are observing the SOPs. Some of them lost their job during MCO and ended up on the streets. Special thanks to our sponsors and volunteers for the great support! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
From serving cooked food to the homeless clients on the streets to mobilising provisions to the needy individuals in PPRs and shelters, we thank everyone of our Johor Bahru team for their kind contributions and effort to make it for the needy despite all the challenges! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
6 months ago
From serving cooked food to the homeless clients on the streets to mobilising provisions to the needy individuals in PPRs and shelters, we thank everyone of our Johor Bahru team for their kind contributions and effort to make it for the needy despite all the challenges! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
More photos taken from our "Hari Raya Hampers" distribution this week. Making sure everyone of our clients have something to be cheerful about. Apart from food, daily used items such as hygiene products, kitchen utensils, assorted fabric items, stationary items and toys were also included into our hamper bags making it extra heavier this month! Food items alone were about 35kg per family! Taking this opportunity to wish everyone of our Muslim volunteers, friends, supporters and clients a Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Maaf Zahir Batin. No doubt this year's celebration will be very different but appreciate everyone is safe and protected from the pandemic. We are in this together and let's work to fight this pandemic together! Thanking all sponsors and donors for the generous support enabling us to continue serve the needy with food, love and care. Big shoutout too to our wonderful team which already depleted by our very own strict SOP. All of you who worked tirelessly behind the s
6 months ago
More photos taken from our "Hari Raya Hampers" distribution this week. Making sure everyone of our clients have something to be cheerful about. Apart from food, daily used items such as hygiene products, kitchen utensils, assorted fabric items, stationary items and toys were also included into our hamper bags making it extra heavier this month! Food items alone were about 35kg per family! Taking this opportunity to wish everyone of our Muslim volunteers, friends, supporters and clients a Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Maaf Zahir Batin. No doubt this year's celebration will be very different but appreciate everyone is safe and protected from the pandemic. We are in this together and let's work to fight this pandemic together! Thanking all sponsors and donors for the generous support enabling us to continue serve the needy with food, love and care. Big shoutout too to our wonderful team which already depleted by our very own strict SOP. All of you who worked tirelessly behind the s
Our team have been working extra hours for the past few weeks to deliver provisions and hamper goodies to the needy families before Hari Raya! Heart warming to see the smiling faces of our recipients upon receiving 3 bags full of food and daily used items. Thanks to everyone of you who have contributed to our foodbank enabling us to give all our recipients (especially those celebrating) a Raya to remember! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
6 months ago
Our team have been working extra hours for the past few weeks to deliver provisions and hamper goodies to the needy families before Hari Raya! Heart warming to see the smiling faces of our recipients upon receiving 3 bags full of food and daily used items. Thanks to everyone of you who have contributed to our foodbank enabling us to give all our recipients (especially those celebrating) a Raya to remember! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thankful to all donors and those who have been committed in contributing not just money but time over the past testing weeks to help us ease the work of our frontliners and also the livelihood of the needy, their struggles over this pandemic period seemed a little easier to bear with because of your contributions! - Vivian @Kechara Soup Kitchen
6 months ago
Thankful to all donors and those who have been committed in contributing not just money but time over the past testing weeks to help us ease the work of our frontliners and also the livelihood of the needy, their struggles over this pandemic period seemed a little easier to bear with because of your contributions! - Vivian @Kechara Soup Kitchen
KSDS Level 2 virtual class, Lin Mun KSDS
7 months ago
KSDS Level 2 virtual class, Lin Mun KSDS
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
7 months ago
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
Wesak 2020
7 months ago
Wesak 2020
Recycle today for a better tomorrow. KEP-Serena
9 months ago
Recycle today for a better tomorrow. KEP-Serena
Today we are having recycling at Kechara Soup Kitchen. Do drop by here if you would like to get ride of the recyclable items from home. KEP - Serena
9 months ago
Today we are having recycling at Kechara Soup Kitchen. Do drop by here if you would like to get ride of the recyclable items from home. KEP - Serena
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Seen here is Bam, Vajrayogini’s seed syllable and also Kechara's logo. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
9 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Seen here is Bam, Vajrayogini’s seed syllable and also Kechara's logo. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: More melted butter was offered. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
9 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: More melted butter was offered. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
H.E. Zawa Rinpoche in deep concentration. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
9 months ago
H.E. Zawa Rinpoche in deep concentration. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Geshela is seen here wearing ceremonial hat called tsoksha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
9 months ago
Geshela is seen here wearing ceremonial hat called tsoksha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
The Shize Fire Puja was performed according to scriptural sources. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
9 months ago
The Shize Fire Puja was performed according to scriptural sources. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
To find out more about the substances offered during jinsek/fire puja, have a read here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
9 months ago
To find out more about the substances offered during jinsek/fire puja, have a read here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
More about the symbolism of the offering items here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
9 months ago
More about the symbolism of the offering items here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Amongst all pujas, the fire puja is considered the king of all Pujas. It is the most powerful of all pujas within Tibetan Buddhism and its purpose is basically to remove all obstacles and its stains to enlightenment.
9 months ago
Amongst all pujas, the fire puja is considered the king of all Pujas. It is the most powerful of all pujas within Tibetan Buddhism and its purpose is basically to remove all obstacles and its stains to enlightenment.
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Graceful hand mudras were also part of the ritual. - shared Pastor Antoinette
9 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Graceful hand mudras were also part of the ritual. - shared Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: One by one the offering substances were offered accompanied by traditional Tibetan recitations. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
9 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: One by one the offering substances were offered accompanied by traditional Tibetan recitations. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: JP Thong ensuring that Geshela's ritual items are within easy reach. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
9 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: JP Thong ensuring that Geshela's ritual items are within easy reach. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor David Lai & Frederick Law were also on hand to assist with the puja ritual substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
9 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor David Lai & Frederick Law were also on hand to assist with the puja ritual substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor Niral Patel assisting H.E. Zawa Rinpoche during the puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
9 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor Niral Patel assisting H.E. Zawa Rinpoche during the puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Peaceful fire pujas are excellent to remove inauspiciousness, problems that might be coming to our lifespan, wisdom, wealth, growth of Dharma. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
9 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Peaceful fire pujas are excellent to remove inauspiciousness, problems that might be coming to our lifespan, wisdom, wealth, growth of Dharma. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Over 100 Kecharians & their loved ones spent the Sunday evening immersed in this obstacle pacifying puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
9 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Over 100 Kecharians & their loved ones spent the Sunday evening immersed in this obstacle pacifying puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Dakpa and Geshe Janchup Gyaltsen Lama inspecting the offering substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
9 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Dakpa and Geshe Janchup Gyaltsen Lama inspecting the offering substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Rinpoche & Geshe Janchup making last minute checks before the commencement of the Jinsek or Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
9 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Rinpoche & Geshe Janchup making last minute checks before the commencement of the Jinsek or Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The arrival of the Sangha conducting this sacred puja accompanied by Changtso Beng Kooi and Pastor Niral Patel - shared by Pastor Antoinette
9 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The arrival of the Sangha conducting this sacred puja accompanied by Changtso Beng Kooi and Pastor Niral Patel - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The site of the Peaceful Fire Puja the calls upon the pacifying energies of Shize Shugden. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
9 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The site of the Peaceful Fire Puja the calls upon the pacifying energies of Shize Shugden. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
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