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

Apr 19, 2018 | Views: 510

(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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One Response to H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s Bio Team in America

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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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  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Jul 16. 2024 11:02 AM
    That’s wonderful now we have H E Tsem Rinpoche’s short biography in Mongolian. More and more readers got to know of our Guru and Dorje Shugden. May Rinpoche’s teaching spread and reach out to those Monglians.
    Thank you Rinpoche and writers team for this wonderful sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/tsem-rinpoches-short-biography-mongolian.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Jul 16. 2024 10:55 AM
    H E Zava Damdin Rinpoche, is an erudite Mongolian Buddhist master within the Gelug tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Zava Damdin Rinpoche was recognised as the reincarnation of one of the greatest Buddhist masters, yogis, healers, scholars and mahasiddhas in Mongolia. Zava Damdin Rinpoche is famed for his absolute guru devotion. In spite of the unlawful ban on the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden Zava Damdin Rinpoche remain devoted to the practice and has continued to see enormous growth around the world. Especially in Mongolia which has long held a strong historical and religious connection with Tibetan Buddhism. Back in 2016 H E Zava Damdin Rinpoche conferred Yamantaka initiation and Dorje Shugden sogtae . More than 10,000 ordained monks and lay people attended the initiation in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Looking at those pictures in this blog says all, all monks and lay people were so blessed indeed. It has proven that the practice of Dorje Shugden is very popular . They were more blessed and fortunate as after the initiation, they were given a ‘heart’ crystal and a chakra which were consecrated during the sogtae ceremony. They are given as a blessing and reminder of the initiate’s commitments to Dorje Shugden, and also as a symbol of Dorje Shugden’s promise to protect them.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this wonderful sharing .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/10000-mongolians-receive-dorje-shugden.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Jul 16. 2024 10:51 AM
    .Great research by Dr Matthew William King on Dorje Shugden . It paints a thousand words of truth where more and more people understand better of Dorje Shugden. The practice of Dorje Shugden is often associated with Lamas in the Himalayan region in Tibet.
    No doubt due the efforts of Lamas in Tibet and Lamas in Bhutan the practice was promoted. Together, these enlightened masters proliferated the practice, authoring and composing texts and prayers to invoke the blessings and protection of the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden. In Mongolia, the practice’s popularity was due to Mongolia’s own lamas independently promoting and encouraging it. Mongolian lamas preserve the tradition of Dorje Shugden through active propitiation since then. The powerful Mongolian nation has indeed a long history and connection with Dorje Shugden the Powerful Protector. As expressed in the life of Venerable Choijin Lama, a State Oracle of Mongolia who took trance of Dorje Shugden among other Dharma Protectors. Interesting read of how Mongolia saved Dorje Shugden .
    Thank you Rinpoche .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/how-mongolia-saved-dorje-shugden.html

  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Jul 16. 2024 10:49 AM
    Precious thangkas of Lama Tsongkhapa’s Life Story one must not missed. As its very rare old thangkas tells us the life story of Lama Tsongkhapa. Lama Tsongkhapa was an influential Tibetan Buddhist monk, philosopher and tantric yogi. Lama Tsongkhapa was hailed as the second Buddha by contemporary Buddhist masters of his time. Famous for reviving Buddhism in Tibet and revered for elevating the Dharma to all its present glory. . Through deep study, profound practice and high attainments, Lama Tsongkhapa led a revival of pure Buddhist teachings and distilling the best teachings. His teachings became the basis for the establishment of the Gelug monastery, a monastic institution which survives to this day.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing such insightful life stories of a great Master with beautiful thangkas pictures .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/15-thangkas-of-lama-tsongkhapas-life-story.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Jul 16. 2024 10:46 AM
    The Iceman mummy, Otzi, was discovered amidst sheets of melting ice on the border between Italy and Austria, at an altitude of 3,200 m above sea level. The 5300-year-old world’s oldest wet mummy Iceman so special as is invaluable for archaeology and as well as for medical science, genetics, biology, anthropology, and many other disciplines. The nature of his life and the circumstances of his death are the subject of much investigation. That’s interesting discovery, the clothes he wore and equipment he carried are unique.The alleged curse revolved around the deaths of several people involved with the discovery, recovery and subsequent analysis of Otzi’s body. The legend continues and these days, Otzi the Iceman rests in a refrigerated room at the South Tyrol Archaeological Museum in Bolzano, Italy. Each year thousands of visitors visited his mummified remains contained in a special cold cell at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano, Italy.
    Interesting read
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/paranormal/creatures-and-monsters/the-curse-of-otzi-the-iceman.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Jul 12. 2024 01:10 PM
    A sacred pilgrimage site for 22 centuries, this Dambulla cave is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. Also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla is a World Heritage Site in 1991. King Valagamba of Anuradhapura in the first century built a temple in thankful worship. Located in central Sri Lanka, the Dambulla Cave Temple is a living Buddhist site that is focused on a series of five cave shrines.The place is worth a visit though, just for the stunning sculptures and paintings in this historical paradise. The site is remarkable in the Buddhist world with the continuous tradition of living Buddhist ritual practices and pilgrimage for more than two millennia. That’s interesting.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/external-article/dambulla-cave-temple
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Jul 12. 2024 01:09 PM
    Zasep Tulku Rinpoche is the 13th incarnation of the famous Kagyupa teacher, Lama Konchog Tenzin of Zuru Monastery. His teachings, delivered in excellent English are easily understood and fully engaging. Zasep Tulku Rinpoche is a highly realized internationally respected teacher of Gelugpa Buddhism, been exile from Tibet and had travels as teacher to many countries around the world. Zasep Rinpoche received extensive teachings and initiations from many erudite great masters. Today, Zasep Rinpoche is the spiritual leader of Gaden for the West, an international organisation of Dharma centres in Australia, Canada and the United States, successfully spreading the Gelug teachings of Lama Tsongkhapa to many, many people who are karmically connected to him. A Tulku’s Journey From Tibet To Canada a book published Rinpoche autobiography, beautifully reflects his devotion to his teachers and the practices. Zasep Rinpoche points out, the practice of Dorje Shugden officially started in the Sakya school before it was embraced by the Gelugpas. Interestingly, this book also mentioned the great deeds of Dorje Shugden and how much this Dharma Protector has helped the Tibetan people as well and Tibetan Buddhism too.Zasep Rinpoche have touched the hearts of everyone he has encountered. Interesting read one must not missed as it is a true story of an incredible Tibetan Buddhist scholar and lama’s journey.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing of a great Master

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/zasep-rinpoche-speaks-plainly-about-dorje-shugden.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Jul 12. 2024 01:07 PM
    As prophesies by Shakyamuni Buddha, Lama Tsongkhapa is an emanation of the Bodhisattva of wisdom, Manjushri. Lama Tsongkhapa was an influential Tibetan Buddhist monk, philosopher and tantric yogi, and saint who lived in Tibet. His practice will instill deep wisdom and confers great blessing upon us. His pure teachings and activities led to the formation of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. With the establishment of the Gelug monastery which survives to this day. Lama Tsongkhapa, considered one of the greatest Buddhist masters and philosophers of all time. There many benefits that arise from Lama Tsongkhapa’s practice. Merely by reciting Lama Tsongkhapa’s mantra known as Migtsema mantra. is indeed very beneficial for everyone of us. We are so fortunate to learn and practices from our Guru.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing of a great Master.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/lord-tsongkapa-king-of-the-dharma.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Jul 12. 2024 01:06 PM
    Dorje Shugden was enthroned as a protector of the Sakya tradition centuries ago and only later widely practised in Gelugpa tradition. All these was stated by H.H Trijang Rinpoche in his work “Music Delighting the Ocean of Protectors. The throne holder of Sakya school of Buddhism, Sonam Rinchen enthroned Dorje Shugden as one of the protectors of Sakya. The practice of this Dharma Protector was later passed to his son the 31st Sakya Trizin Kunga Lodro who was believed to be the emanation of Dorje Shugden himself. Interesting facts. He even composed a Dorje Shugden prayer or Kangsol to invoke the blessings of Dorje Shugden. The prayer has since been well known and it is used to this day. The 39th Sakya throneholder Sakya Trizin Dragshul Trinley Rinchen who also practised Dorje Shugden and praised Dorje Shugden as an emanation of Avalokiteshvara. Not only one but three Sakya Trizins who relied on Dorje Shugden and they referred to him as an enlightened being.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this interesting sharing so as more and more practitioners know the truth and only truth that Dorje Shugden is an enlightened being

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/sakya-trizins-dorje-shugden-prayer.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Jul 12. 2024 01:04 PM
    A good reminder for all students reading what Venerable Acharya Kyabje Zasep Tulku Rinpoche wrote in his guidelines for students. We as students can make progress on our spiritual path and gain Dharma realizations all depends ourselves where else A dharma teacher who is our spiritual guide can show us how to meditate correctly and make progress on our spiritual path.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this great sharing

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/guidelines-for-students.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Jul 1. 2024 03:28 PM
    Buddhism one of the oldest religions in the world has been around for over 2,600 years. Many people all over the world from all walks of life have embraced Buddhism. Buddhism is one of the fastest growing religions in the west and have spreading further , all thanks to those highly lamas such as Gaden Tripas, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, Lama Yeshe, Geshe Wangyal, Kensur Lobsang Tharchin, Geshe Rabten, and so forth. Many people more people are becoming more aware of Buddhism and finding it a suitable way of life and religion. With the great spread of Buddhism, many people had benefitted with the practice as it emphasized individuals’ path to enlightenment and salvation, which could be attained in this life.
    As in this blog, we see many famous Buddhist celebrities from the west such as Keanu Reeves, former American president Bill Clinton , Richard Gere, Steve Jobs and many more celebrities had been connected to Buddhism.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this interesting sharing, how Buddhism had changed their life

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/celebrity-buddhists.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Jul 1. 2024 03:26 PM
    The Legend of the Mermaid is well known and told with different forms and endings in all the oral tradition of peoples linked to the sea. It was rumored that the mermaid has a magical treasure. In folklore, a mermaid is an aquatic creature with the head and upper body of a female human and the tail of a fish. Mermaids appear in the folklore of many cultures worldwide. Interesting read mermaids were natural beings who, like fairies, who had magical and prophetic powers. We usually see it as in movie whether it do really exists no one have really seen it nowadays. While there is no evidence that mermaids exist outside folklore, reports of mermaid sightings continue to the present day. Mermaids have been a popular subject of art and literature in recent centuries. They depicted in operas, paintings, books and live-action films.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/paranormal/creatures-and-monsters/the-legend-of-the-mermaids.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Jul 1. 2024 03:23 PM
    Wow that’s wonderful a very special gift for our Guru Tsem Rinpoche. A Dorje Shugden shop full of beautiful items which were connected to Dorje Shugden as such as posters, statues, pendants, tsa tsas, books, key chains, thangkas and so forth. Located in the most famous night market in the heart city of Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. There’s where tourists and local will go over there. Many of them will be blessed merely b looking at it or passing by the shop. Posters will be given to anyone who stop by , its such a wonderful way to share and get people to know of this great Dharma Protector.
    Thank you Rinpoche and those who made it possible benefiting many more people to come.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/exciting-dorje-shugden-store-in-petaling-street-malaysia.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Jul 1. 2024 03:22 PM
    Trance is a state of semi-consciousness in which a person is not self-aware. The person is in a deep state of distraction by some inner turmoil or some outer mental influence. Taking trance is nothing new and not just in the east. Listening the video tells us more about trance. Interesting to know, but we should not get involve in trances as advice. Its better get involve in Dharma practice and have our mind transform.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/taking-trances.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Jun 28. 2024 03:33 PM

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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.
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According to legend, Shambhala is a place where wisdom and love reign, and there is no crime. Doesn\'t this sound like the kind of place all of us would love to live in? https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=204874
4 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!
4 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
4 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
5 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!
5 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.
5 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
5 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.
5 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.
5 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!
5 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)
5 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)
5 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)
5 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
5 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
5 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!
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 years ago
Sacred Vajra Yogini
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
5 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.
5 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.
5 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.
5 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
5 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
5 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!!!
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 years ago
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
5 years ago
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 years ago
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
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    5 years ago
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CHAT PICTURES

Beautiful offerings arranged by Choong. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
2 weeks ago
Beautiful offerings arranged by Choong. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
7/7/2024 Kechara Penang weekly puja completed. Kechara Penang Study Girup by Jacinta.
2 weeks ago
7/7/2024 Kechara Penang weekly puja completed. Kechara Penang Study Girup by Jacinta.
This week's puja offerings sponsored by a few people and we hope their wishes be fulfilled. Pic taken by Choong and uploaded by Jacinta.
4 weeks ago
This week's puja offerings sponsored by a few people and we hope their wishes be fulfilled. Pic taken by Choong and uploaded by Jacinta.
29th June 2024. Kechara Penang Study Group completed weekly Dorje Shugden cum Manjushri Namasangiti. Pic taken by Choong and uploaded by Jacinta
4 weeks ago
29th June 2024. Kechara Penang Study Group completed weekly Dorje Shugden cum Manjushri Namasangiti. Pic taken by Choong and uploaded by Jacinta
Need a dose of spiritual nourishment or perhaps any spiritual protection? Do take up our Kechara Penang food/candles offering packages. Do not hesitate to contact our member Choong for more info. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
1 month ago
Need a dose of spiritual nourishment or perhaps any spiritual protection? Do take up our Kechara Penang food/candles offering packages. Do not hesitate to contact our member Choong for more info. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
Different food offerings offered on Penang Kechara Chapel's altar behalf of the sponsors. May sponsors' wishes be fulfilled. Great effort from Choong Soon Heng, one of our Kechara Penang dedicated members who thought of this way for people to generate merits while clearing obstacles. Uploaded by Jacinta.
1 month ago
Different food offerings offered on Penang Kechara Chapel's altar behalf of the sponsors. May sponsors' wishes be fulfilled. Great effort from Choong Soon Heng, one of our Kechara Penang dedicated members who thought of this way for people to generate merits while clearing obstacles. Uploaded by Jacinta.
These are some of the offerings offered on behalf of our sponsors. We have different offerings packages which one can choose from or just simply sponsor our weekly puja in dedication to our loved ones. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
1 month ago
These are some of the offerings offered on behalf of our sponsors. We have different offerings packages which one can choose from or just simply sponsor our weekly puja in dedication to our loved ones. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
We hope you enjoyed our pictures, as much as we enjoyed our Wesak Day together in Penang. Let us carry the energy and enthusiasm we experienced so far and inspires many more. Happy Wesak Day! 22/5/2024 KPSG by Jacinta
2 months ago
We hope you enjoyed our pictures, as much as we enjoyed our Wesak Day together in Penang. Let us carry the energy and enthusiasm we experienced so far and inspires many more. Happy Wesak Day! 22/5/2024 KPSG by Jacinta
Puja offering packages. Thanks to those who sponsored the puja. May all your wishes be fulfilled. KPSG by Jacinta
2 months ago
Puja offering packages. Thanks to those who sponsored the puja. May all your wishes be fulfilled. KPSG by Jacinta
Colourful altar with plenty of offerings. We had DS puja with Praise to Buddha Shakyamuni as we celebrate this special day of Buddha's Birth, Enlightenment and Parinirvana. KPSG by Jacinta
2 months ago
Colourful altar with plenty of offerings. We had DS puja with Praise to Buddha Shakyamuni as we celebrate this special day of Buddha's Birth, Enlightenment and Parinirvana. KPSG by Jacinta
Some of the activities done during the Wesak Day Celebration in Penang. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
2 months ago
Some of the activities done during the Wesak Day Celebration in Penang. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
Wesak Day Celebration in Penang!Buddha's Bathing Ritual. 22/5/2024 Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
2 months ago
Wesak Day Celebration in Penang!Buddha's Bathing Ritual. 22/5/2024 Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
11/5/2024 Saturday @3pm. After puja, all members helped out clearing the offerings and we shared out the blessed food offerings with our families, friends and even animals. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
2 months ago
11/5/2024 Saturday @3pm. After puja, all members helped out clearing the offerings and we shared out the blessed food offerings with our families, friends and even animals. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
11/5/2024 Saturday @3pm. Activities during puja. Members chanting Dorje Shugden mantras. We've completed Dorje Shugden puja cum Namasangiti. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
2 months ago
11/5/2024 Saturday @3pm. Activities during puja. Members chanting Dorje Shugden mantras. We've completed Dorje Shugden puja cum Namasangiti. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
11/5/2024, Saturday @3pm. Activities : Offerings of khata to Rinpoche, garland of flowers to Dorje Shugden and a new Tibetan butterlamp being offered on the altar. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
2 months ago
11/5/2024, Saturday @3pm. Activities : Offerings of khata to Rinpoche, garland of flowers to Dorje Shugden and a new Tibetan butterlamp being offered on the altar. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
Today we have an inaugural cancer free diet talk and info sharing by Mr. Ooi. Mr. Ooi is a Penangite and like any other man, he has a family to provide for. From colon cancer stage 4,he is now known as a cancer-free man. Learn more about his story and his acquaintance with Dorje Shugden here https://youtu.be/x7i-yXJBUwM?si=A-5O0udxjg52iS58
3 months ago
Today we have an inaugural cancer free diet talk and info sharing by Mr. Ooi. Mr. Ooi is a Penangite and like any other man, he has a family to provide for. From colon cancer stage 4,he is now known as a cancer-free man. Learn more about his story and his acquaintance with Dorje Shugden here https://youtu.be/x7i-yXJBUwM?si=A-5O0udxjg52iS58
Kind-hearted sponsors sponsored these kuih-muih & flowers for today's puja @ 4th May, 2024. Should you wish to contribute these or sponsor our weekly puja, do contact us for more details. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
3 months ago
Kind-hearted sponsors sponsored these kuih-muih & flowers for today's puja @ 4th May, 2024. Should you wish to contribute these or sponsor our weekly puja, do contact us for more details. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
Pastor Seng Piow guides us on the flow of Dorje Shugden puja, its benefits, significant of Chanting the names of Manjushri and also explaining the dedication for the sponsors and to those in need before we start the puja as we have 2 newcomers today.
3 months ago
Pastor Seng Piow guides us on the flow of Dorje Shugden puja, its benefits, significant of Chanting the names of Manjushri and also explaining the dedication for the sponsors and to those in need before we start the puja as we have 2 newcomers today.
Two Pastors in da house! Double the merits, double the happiness. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
3 months ago
Two Pastors in da house! Double the merits, double the happiness. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
Mr. Cheah Fook Wan offered lights and incense to The Three Jewels prior to the puja in Ipoh. (KISG - Kin Hoe)
3 months ago
Mr. Cheah Fook Wan offered lights and incense to The Three Jewels prior to the puja in Ipoh. (KISG - Kin Hoe)
Kechara Ipoh Study Group has carried out Mother Tara prayer recitations on Sunday afternoon in Ipoh. (KISG- Kin Hoe)
3 months ago
Kechara Ipoh Study Group has carried out Mother Tara prayer recitations on Sunday afternoon in Ipoh. (KISG- Kin Hoe)
Powerful Dorje Shugden puja @ Jalan Seang Tek, Penang. Every Saturday, 3 pm. Remove obstacles and grant blessings to fulfil wishes. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta. 6th April 2024
4 months ago
Powerful Dorje Shugden puja @ Jalan Seang Tek, Penang. Every Saturday, 3 pm. Remove obstacles and grant blessings to fulfil wishes. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta. 6th April 2024
Rejoice to the volunteers (also kind sponsors) who cleaned the Gyenze Chapel and made abundant offerings to Gyenze. ~ Alice
4 months ago
Rejoice to the volunteers (also kind sponsors) who cleaned the Gyenze Chapel and made abundant offerings to Gyenze. ~ Alice
Offered beautiful flowers abundantly to Gyenze. ~ Alice
4 months ago
Offered beautiful flowers abundantly to Gyenze. ~ Alice
Offered beautiful flowers abundantly to Gyenze. ~ Alice
4 months ago
Offered beautiful flowers abundantly to Gyenze. ~ Alice
Our weekly Dorje Shugden Puja @ 23/3/2024 . William, as the umze is seen here burning incense powder as we are about to recite the Sangsol Prayer to Dorje Shugden composed by Ganden Serkong. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
4 months ago
Our weekly Dorje Shugden Puja @ 23/3/2024 . William, as the umze is seen here burning incense powder as we are about to recite the Sangsol Prayer to Dorje Shugden composed by Ganden Serkong. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
And here's Mr Wong of KSK Ipoh who dropped by to pray and offered some donation to the Chapel. Kechara Penang Study Group. Pic by Siew Hong & uploaded by Jacinta.
4 months ago
And here's Mr Wong of KSK Ipoh who dropped by to pray and offered some donation to the Chapel. Kechara Penang Study Group. Pic by Siew Hong & uploaded by Jacinta.
Today's puja (16/3/2024) ended around 420pm, Jacinta was the umze of the day. Pic by Siew Hong. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
4 months ago
Today's puja (16/3/2024) ended around 420pm, Jacinta was the umze of the day. Pic by Siew Hong. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
Group photo taken after the last session, sealed with King of Prayers. Come and join us next time! Sayonara - 9-10th March 2024 - Kechara Penang DS Retreat by Jacinta.
4 months ago
Group photo taken after the last session, sealed with King of Prayers. Come and join us next time! Sayonara - 9-10th March 2024 - Kechara Penang DS Retreat by Jacinta.
Abundance altar! Fruits, flowers, Mee Koo (traditional Penang buns), Bee Hoon, sourdoughs and snacks are some of the offerings to Rinpoche, Buddhas & Bodhisattvas. Kechara Penang Dorje Shugden Retreat 9-10th March, 2024 by Jacinta.
4 months ago
Abundance altar! Fruits, flowers, Mee Koo (traditional Penang buns), Bee Hoon, sourdoughs and snacks are some of the offerings to Rinpoche, Buddhas & Bodhisattvas. Kechara Penang Dorje Shugden Retreat 9-10th March, 2024 by Jacinta.
Siew Hong, one of retreatants and an active member of Kechara Penang group proudly presented her torma to be used during the Kalarupa puja. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
4 months ago
Siew Hong, one of retreatants and an active member of Kechara Penang group proudly presented her torma to be used during the Kalarupa puja. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
Torma making was taught by Pastor Seng Piow and held one day before the retreat. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
4 months ago
Torma making was taught by Pastor Seng Piow and held one day before the retreat. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
Penang Dorje Shugden Retreat cum Puja, 9-10th March 2024 led by Pastor Seng Piow with 12 retreatants. Uploaded by Jacinta
4 months ago
Penang Dorje Shugden Retreat cum Puja, 9-10th March 2024 led by Pastor Seng Piow with 12 retreatants. Uploaded by Jacinta
The celebration ended with a Dorje Shugden puja, dedicated to all the sponsors, our loved ones and as well as for the happiness & good health for all sentient beings. May Rinpoche return swiftly too and taking this opportunity wishing all Happy Chinese New Year and Gong Xi Fa Cai from all of us, Kechara Penang Study Group. Uploaded by Jacinta.
5 months ago
The celebration ended with a Dorje Shugden puja, dedicated to all the sponsors, our loved ones and as well as for the happiness & good health for all sentient beings. May Rinpoche return swiftly too and taking this opportunity wishing all Happy Chinese New Year and Gong Xi Fa Cai from all of us, Kechara Penang Study Group. Uploaded by Jacinta.
Seen here, Pastor Seng Piow set off firecrackers - welcoming of the upcoming year with enthusiasm and positive energy. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
5 months ago
Seen here, Pastor Seng Piow set off firecrackers - welcoming of the upcoming year with enthusiasm and positive energy. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
In this pic, Pastor Seng Piow is sharing Dharma with newbies ~ Sharyn's friends. It's always good to make light offerings at the beginning of new year. By making light offerings, you are able to dispel the darkness of ignorance and achieve wisdom. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
5 months ago
In this pic, Pastor Seng Piow is sharing Dharma with newbies ~ Sharyn's friends. It's always good to make light offerings at the beginning of new year. By making light offerings, you are able to dispel the darkness of ignorance and achieve wisdom. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
One the day of Losar (new lunar year), it is always beneficial for Buddhist practitioners to get together in making abundant offerings to Buddhas on the altar to usher in goodness, prosperity and well-being of our loved ones. It's more auspicious this year as Losar and the Chinese New Year begin on the same date, 10th Feb, 2024. Back in Penang, our Kechara members came together to decorate the altar with abundance offerings for Dorje Shugden puja @3pm. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
5 months ago
One the day of Losar (new lunar year), it is always beneficial for Buddhist practitioners to get together in making abundant offerings to Buddhas on the altar to usher in goodness, prosperity and well-being of our loved ones. It's more auspicious this year as Losar and the Chinese New Year begin on the same date, 10th Feb, 2024. Back in Penang, our Kechara members came together to decorate the altar with abundance offerings for Dorje Shugden puja @3pm. Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta.
Mr. Dared Lim was offering water bowls on behalf of Kechara Ipoh Study Group. (Kin Hoe)
6 months ago
Mr. Dared Lim was offering water bowls on behalf of Kechara Ipoh Study Group. (Kin Hoe)
Jun from Ipoh was offering mandarin oranges to Mother Tara and The Three Jewels. (Kin Hoe)
6 months ago
Jun from Ipoh was offering mandarin oranges to Mother Tara and The Three Jewels. (Kin Hoe)
Prior to our puja in Ipoh, Mr. & Mrs. Cheah Fook Wan were preparing for the offerings to the Buddhas. (Kin Hoe)
6 months ago
Prior to our puja in Ipoh, Mr. & Mrs. Cheah Fook Wan were preparing for the offerings to the Buddhas. (Kin Hoe)
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Dorje Shugden
Click to watch my talk about Dorje Shugden....