Must-see documentary!!! (Tenzin Palmo)

Apr 7, 2014 | Views: 5,867

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Dear friends,

You have to view this video. It is fantastic. It is inspiring and very necessary to watch and learn  as part of our spiritual journey. We all need good examples and powerful inspirations to help us along the way.

Tibetan Buddhism is now mainstream and accepted globally. But to see non-Tibetans take their Buddhist spiritual journey fully is a powerful way to show the universality of Buddha’s teachings. Buddha’s teachings can apply to Buddhists, spiritualists and non-Buddhists. It is truly universal and life changing.

I admire Tenzin Palmo’s full engagement of her spiritual beliefs. I applaud her to go all the way with her practice in this day and age of materialism. She trusted her teacher, the teachings and herself and fully immersed with fears, trepidations and worries yet still achieved. Who doesn’t have worries, obstacles (real or imagined, self made or outer) and fears? We all do. But if we let our fears conquer us, then so much time we will never get back is lost. There is never a right time for spiritual practice. The obstacles always are constant but in different forms. From the time of our birth to death, the problems are constant sometimes without us even recognizing there is a problem. Our fears never go away because the causes for the fear remain firm in our mind. To wait for the ‘perfect’ time is to wait forever and do nothing. The perfect time is NOW. Now is the perfect time as death waits for no one. Both saints and the foolish must reckon with death getting closer daily. Engage in your practice now!

Congratulations to a wonderful modern spiritual woman. She inspires everyone who is true to themselves and honest with their spiritual journeys. Who really take spiritual journey beyond books, rituals, mind games and the outer trappings.

Please watch this and leave me five points that touched you very deeply.

Much care and my respects to Tenzin Palmo and all who tread this difficult yet NECESSARY path.

If you have not read this book. You must read it. Trust me, you must go through this book and see the pictures.

  • To download the English PDF, click here.
  • To download the Chinese PDF, click here.

Disclaimer: The texts above were sourced from legitimate book-hosting services offering these texts for free download. They are made available here for purely educational, non-commercial purposes.


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132 Responses to Must-see documentary!!! (Tenzin Palmo)


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  1. Samfoonheei on Dec 1, 2018 at 10:47 am

    Revisit this inspiring post again….Tenzin Palmo is one of the most dynamic forces in Tibetan Buddhism, and her life story is well worth reading and watching her videos. Born in Britain, went to India to teach and that is where later she met her root lama, the 8th Khamtrul Rinpoche. She became only the second Western woman to be ordained in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. She is best known for being one of the very few Western yoginis trained in the East, having spent twelve years living in a remote cave in the Himalayas. In whatever circumstance , difficultties we come across in our lives ,we must have a will and determination to do what we looking for .
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing.

  2. samfoonheei on Aug 7, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    Touching video of an inspiring lady from a different back ground ( non-Tibetans ) seeking a spiritual journey.She is a brave and strong lady with determination to do what she is seeking all along..Not easy but some how she did staying in a cave for 12 years it.What really touch me is her determination ,courage and,devotion and strong faith to continue her spiritual path.The book Cave in the snow must be very interesting and inspiring to read.
    Thank You Rinpoche for sharing such an inspiring documentary

  3. Kelly on Nov 22, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    This video is very touching, especially when I hear Tenzin Palmo talk about her teacher like that. It is a bond that stretches back to many lifetimes.

    People think solitary meditation for 12 years will make you go crazy, but does this wonderful, gentle woman look crazy to you? After coming out of meditation, she works tirelessly to benefit others.

    For those who say spirituality is wrong, how are you leading your lives in a way that delivers better results than someone like Tenzin Palmo?

    May many more Tenzin Palmo’s arise in this world.

  4. Pastor Moh Mei on Nov 18, 2015 at 11:26 pm

    I first watched this video over 2 years ago and have watched it again quite a few times since.

    There are a few things that struck me most when I first watched it and some of them I have constantly thought about over the years.

    The most frequent point is related to when Tenzin Palmo first met Khemtrul Rinpoche.

    I wrote the following comment in Apr 2014
    “When Tenzin Palmo met her Guru Khemtrul Rinpoche the first time, she described that it’s like the most deepest part of her being has now materialized in front of her. Even though I do not fully grasp the meaning and significance of it, this part of the video stood out for me the most even after watching it several times.”

    Watching the video again today, this point still struck me the most but with new thoughts.

    From a very young age, Tenzin Palmo has been seeking perfection. Her quest, her spiritual journey started with seeking the answer to perfection. This quest lead her to meet her Guru Khemtrul Rinpoche. In the course of her retreat in the cave, every time she went to see her Lama and have questions for him, she described his answers as perfect.

    Tenzin Palmo was able to see his Guru as perfect because she was sincerely seeking for perfection. Not from a skeptic point of view, not trying to find fault that it doesn’t exist but truly and sincerely seeking perfection. Hence that pure motivation was able to materialized in the form of a Guru who is perfect.

    When we look for faults, when our thoughts are negative, when our motivation is stained, we will also see the “faults and negativity” in our Guru. But it is in actual fact a reflection of the state of our own mind.

  5. jerry_sito on Oct 17, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    After watching the documentary “Cave in the Snow” on Buddhist nun Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo , Below are few points that stood out for me:

    – Tenzin Palmo has endured and put up to many challenges she was facing during long retreat such as long hours sit still in small meditation box, extreme cold weather, stay alert not to fall asleep to focus on her meditation. All these are many of people in our modern era not able to do – to engage in retreat in freezing mountain and the environment. From here, I could deeply feel Rinpoche’s compassion to build Kechara Forest Retreat as one of the reasons to create a peaceful and safe environment for us to have a cause to practice and do retreat.

    – Tenzin Palmo’s story makes me understand deeper what retreat is. Retreat is not about escape / run always from our daily life or just part of our spiritual practice , when we doing retreat In the cave, we learn how to face the most unpolished inner self. We need to look for solution to our problems/shortcomings alone . During retreat, we actually get to know ourselves better / recognize back our deeply mind inside and have opportunities to conquer our own fear. By doing retreat we gain our spiritual attainments. then we can bring back to good energy and stable mind be back to continue serve others , If we can’t do that, we are not able to serve others further. Only by transforming ourselves (mind), we are able to help more and care towards others.

    – Tenzin Palmo’s devotion and faith towards her Guru and Dakini is so strong. I feel so warm about this, and this is the important part that I wish to learn more about it. I learn that it’s so important to have one’s Guru to teaching and guide our spiritual practice . As a nun, Tenzin Palmo is facing so many challenges but she is able to meet her Guru and with the blessings and teachings of her Guru she make it and gain so much results. During her retreat, she recorded all her question and ask her Guru when she met her Guru every time . This reminds me Rinpoche’s teaching of the retreat story of HH Pabongka Rinpoche . Tenzin Palmo’s story also reminds me of Rinpoche’s teachings on guru devotion – as long as we have strong faith in our Guru and Protector, we will definitely not defeated by all the challenges we are facing.

    Thank You Rinpoche to sharing me this documentary

  6. Chia Ann Ri on Oct 16, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    I find it very touching to know that there is someone out there who has fought hard for women’s right in the aspect of spirituality. The fact that she is able to endure all dangers and risks around her amazed me! Like okay how did she survived all of that? Tenzin Palmo is a very, very determined women.

  7. Joy on Oct 15, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    I’ve watched the documentary on Tenzin Palmo. This is my 3rd or 4th time watching it and each time I watch, I grow more inspired, more humbled, by her courage, determination and wisdom I admire are her strength, courage and most of all her determination to finding “perfection”. I think these qualities in Tenzin Palmo are what supported her in pursuing the more difficult path which is to be a teacher, to raise funds, to tour, see people, talk, basically everything that seems secular but for the greater cause of spreading the Dharma.

    So instead of thinking of herself; choosing her own likes, comforts, peace and happiness which is to be in a cave, in a meditation box, in a retreat, she choose the nunnery which is likened to be the ‘sand paper’ that is used to polished the wood (herself) to become smooth as advised by her Catholic priest friend.

    This part reminds me so much of Rinpoche; the similarities of a hermit, the longing to be in quiet isolation, retreats in the mountains instead of teaching and opening up centres. Basically both Rinpoche and Tenzin Palmo gave up personal wishes to follow the Guru’s instruction and to spread the Dharma. In deed it is true that we are all so very fortunate to have selfless beings like Tenzin Palmo and Rinpoche who would give up on personal likes so we can receive the Dharma. Like what the writer Vicki Mackenzie mentioned “every moment she doesn’t spend in private meditation is a tremendous sacrifice and a gift”… a gift to everyone, to the world, because without teachers, the Dharma cannot live and grow. This is why to become a teacher is the highest gift/offering. Now I appreciate it even more why Rinpoche always ask us to set a good motivation/wish for the animals/birds we are feeding to become great dharma teachers in the future.

    Her strong Guru Devotion is also admirable. You can feel the love and closeness (not physically but emotionally) between her and her Guru even though they are from different cultures. At first it was like seeing somebody whom she knew very well but had not seen for a very long time again. And at the same time she felt like her very deepest part of her being had suddenly manifested right in front of her. This must be what it means by the Guru appears before us to guide us until we can find our true inner Guru (in my humble opinion). I guess the real Guru has always been inside but we the outer Guru to show us how to find our inner Guru.

    So many girls think about getting married to a rich husband hoping to become some Datin/Tai Tai but not Tenzin Palmo, three weeks after meeting her Guru, she received her nuns ordination from her Guru and says it is the greatest blessing of her life! Wow, only someone with strong Dharma imprints and great merits, would have such a firm positive mind stream to not waste the precious human life over frivolous unending cycles of pointless mundane activities, it appears that she saw through it all, even though she’s had many suitors, no one could stop her from pursuing Dharma.

    This quote in one of her teachings seems to be the underlying key message all the Buddhas have been trying to highlight to us,
    “If all our ideas of happiness are on the outside then we are walking on very thin ice.”

    Why thin ice, because everything can be lost, taken away from us, change, in other words, nothing is permanent, hence we should not rely on the externals to be happy. Everything we are taught to be true, is actually false, nothing, not our parents, spouse, friends can be with us at the time of our death, so why cling on, be biased, and be so attached to them? If we are so attached to them, then this is how we can easily be also disappointed and hurt by them due to our strong false projections, hence the thin ice has the potential to crack and break, drowning us in it. So this one sentence is a great teaching on true liberation, impermanence, attachments, and wrong projections.

    It is also inspiring to see her being the voice for female practitioners and how she is trying to change the wrong projection/concept about the female form. One of her highest objectives is to introduce ordination of nuns at the highest level. Her determination to change the status quo in the Tibetan system led her to meet H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama. I liked how she is brave to speak up and speak her mind to His Holiness about how “we should do it”; to allow nuns to receive full ordination, to raise the standards for woman to become nuns so that they can study and practice and to be equal to their male counterparts.

    No doubt there are times she felt alone, don’t know what she is doing, questioning herself, feeling trapped by the process of starting up a nunnery, giving teachings, touring etc…, she even said she sometimes felt like a “rabbit in a cage”. But she still did not give up and she perseveres instead of indulging in her own self-pity, she keeps moving forward. Here is an ordinary English girl, proving to us girls as well as the world, that becoming a sangha, pursuing the dharma and becoming enlightened is possible as she is living proof that against all odds, she did it and that everything that was once deemed impossible for girls is slowly changing and becoming possible. Hence nothing is permanent in this sense.

    To her meditating in a cave was not for glory, fame, or tainted with any 8 worldly concerns, it is not like earning a PhD, or that the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas from all the ten directions are clapping and cheering you on when you go into a retreat she says jokingly. It is another method of discovering one’s true nature. It is a very personal one, where we start peeling away the self, so that one’s original pure nature can emerged. She sums it up perfectly…

    “Every life if it is used with any kind of consciousness is a journey of discovery and being in a cave was a journey of discovery. It’s not that you’re arriving anywhere, the journey itself is the important thing.”

    Therefore from what I understand is that one does not really need to be in a cave to go on this self- discovery journey, but one need to be CONSCIOUS on the path we’re already on especially if we are in Dharma, otherwise we can be in a cave meditating, be living in a Dharma institute like KFR, be serving the Lama, be in the Ladrang etc. and still come out unattained, unmoved, unchanged, no transformation, if we are unconscious of it and do not apply the teachings. The key here is to be fully aware, conscious in whatever we do then it becomes not an escape, but a true conscious journey of self-discovery. Then when we do go into retreats and do meditation it will be even more effective for us.

    Thank you,

  8. beatrix on Oct 14, 2015 at 10:47 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    Thank You Rinpoche for sharing such an inspiring documentary. Below are few points that stood out for me:

    1. As a typical Westerner, she did not believe in God and she believes that God is just some thing that is within us. We don’t just sit there, do nothing and hope that God or Buddha would help us, it doesn’t work that way.

    2. Tenzin Palmo said that when she first met her Guru, she felt like she has known Him for a very long time and when Kentrul Rinpoche further confirmed about her past lives being very close to him as a male, it has proven that reincarnation exists, whether we wish to believe it or not. It’s hard for her that she has taken rebirth as a woman but she did not give up when faced with hardships.

    3. Most of the older monks or high lamas have very strong Guru devotion and always talk about their Gurus, praise them and look up to them. I realised all these great beings including H.E Tsem Rinpoche have one thing in common and that is they see their Gurus as a Buddha, this shows how much Guru devotion, respect and love they have towards their Gurus.

    4. I too realised one thing Rinpoche and Tenzin Palmo have in common and that is, both long to stay in retreats, so we can see how important retreats are for our spiritual practise. Then later, Tenzin Palmo was given 2 choices, one was to go into retreats which is what she had always wanted and another one was to start a nunnery and not go into retreats. She then slowly started to give talks and teachings to various people, she gave up what she “liked” to in order to benefit beings, just like H.E Tsem Rinpoche.

    5. In one of her talks, she said: people think that having money, luxurious cars, relationships etc is security but all these do not give us security because people come and people leave. We “think” that all these materials or factors provide us security because we weren’t told or rather taught of another way to be happy. She too stressed that nuns/ women should be treated with equality and given the same amount of treatments as monks. I agree with her very much, not because I’m a woman too but if we were to really think about it, it was Buddha’s mother who gave birth to him so I don’t think women are “powerless/ useless” in that sense.

    6. She is very passionate with what she’s doing and the fact that she met up with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, it meant a lot for the nuns because His Holiness is the icon or leader of Tibetan Buddhism. Nuns were discriminated and not respected so I can imagine how was it like to have met up with His Holiness, I am sure that it meant a lot for them and in other words, I think it gave them strength and courage to move on.

    Above are the points that stood out for me, she is indeed very inspiring.

    Thank you,

  9. Lucy Yap on Oct 13, 2015 at 1:35 am

    “I took the vow to attain enlightenment in a female body,no matter how many lifetimes it may take” An incredible vow made by Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo. For her, true Dharma is found in daily life. the ability to “be here and now and put other’s before oneself”. This helps us to overcome our selfishness and our concern with only me,me,me!

    Her efforts in promoting the status of female practitioners and minds of monks, one day at a time and establishing the nunnery named “Dongyu Gatsal Ling is simply remarkable! She inspired her “girls” to accomplished whatever they want and continues to offer opportunities to other women through her growing nunnery.She is a true Bodhisattva.

    Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo’s story demonstrate her immense determination and bravery.Her great Guru Devotion. Her story inspires others to let go of old fears, to explore new paths and lead the life she envision.Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this beautiful story.

  10. pammie yap on Oct 12, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    I watched Tenzin Palmo’s documentary and as always she is such an inspiration.

    She gave up her own dream to enter into retreat and decided to help others instead. A Boddhisattva in action, just like Rinpoche.
    Especially when she had to fly to many places to raise funds and realize this new dream. Even with difficulties, she persevered and continued no matter what. Its just the same as Rinpoche, wishing to go into retreat but did not because Rinpoche followed Guru’s instructions. Instead of just raising funds for Gaden, Rinpoche built Kechara, our heaven on earth.
    Through Rinpoche’s hard ‘work’, we are where we are today, still growing, bigger and reaching out to many.

    In these modern times, discrimination still happens everywhere. Even to be a nun, they are still discriminated and ‘bullied’. It takes much realization and strength for one to leave everything behind to become a nun, the danger and difficulties they had to face while going to the nunnery is so scary yet they went ahead and did it. I rejoice sincerely for them. May I be just like them in this life and all my future lives.

    I thank you sincerely, Rinpoche, for Kechara Forest Retreat. Rinpoche created this abode for us/future generations to come, be connected and perhaps have the merits to receive tantric initiations, which is the most important.

  11. Jenni Tan on Oct 12, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    Tenzin Palmo has a pure & kind soul that can be felt throughout this whole video. Especially at the part where she hugged an old woman, the old woman could felt the love immediately. Tenzin Palmo is an example of a great leader as she’s always stepping out of her comfort zones to achieve better & higher levels and has a strong guru devotion.

    Secondly, this tells us that there are no difference for men and women to receive the same knowledge because we are all the same, our minds are all the same.

    There’ll always be obstacles in every path we take, sometimes we may not even know when it’s there. And when this happens, we do our best to overcome it by doing more Dharma practices, transform our mind to also benefit others.

    Thank you Rinpoche, for sharing this inspiring video.

    With folded hands,
    Jen Ni

  12. michelle chua on Oct 12, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    It is most definitely a very inspiring video and has touched me quite a bit. I love how true Tenzin Palmo is to herself. Most of all, she is unafraid to go full out on her spirituality despite not knowing anything about tibetan buddhism when she was at a younger age; she also challenged to tackled issues subjecting equality among the monks and nuns which hasn’t been brought up before. Her determination to do so, has brought light to me that, if it’s for the benefit of many hundreds of people, or even a small group, why should we hesitate/hold back even if it means going against tradition that have been built centuries ago? And, “if not now, when?”

    Though what really inspired me was the phrase “we are like rough pieces of wood; and if we’re always stroking ourselves with silk and velvet, that’s very nice but it doesn’t make it smooth. to become smooth, what we need is sand paper” which comes off as a reminder to myself as well, that under the most comfortable situations, by breezing through, one will not grow nor succeed much; but under harsh or unlikable conditions, even though needing to go through tons of hardship, it would mold us to for the better. This applies, I suppose, to anything – spiritual or in other case, not, it is the same.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this inspiring video with us and showing us through Tenzin Palmo’s actions that there is no such thing as impossible or the perfect moment to engage ourselves fully in our spiritual practice; every moment is it.

    With much love,

  13. KwaiYee, KSDS on Oct 12, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    Thank you for sharing the documentary.

    In Tenzi Palmo’s young age she was wondered about “What is perfection?”, and later she realized the perfection is more on inner side of a person. There is no specification to describe on it. But by sharing her whole entire journey, Tenzi Palmo has worked closer and closer to perfection from time to time. I would say perfection is about how to improve from imperfection. Solve problem one and another, enhance solutions, overcome obstacles in order to get closer to the results. It is practising in our daily life too, regardless what role we are.

    I would wild guess that Tenzi Palmo is a good observer and she is looking for the meaning of life since her young age. This later lead her to the teaching of Buddha. And amazingly, she is so determined into her choice and keep going no matter how much difficulties she needed to overcome, especially when she was discriminated by monks in Khamtrul Rinpoche’s monastery that restricted women’s access to information that was imparted freely to men. It is hash time for a person to feel lonely when living in a community.

    As per her teaching to the public – everything can be changed, if it couldn’t change, Buddha will not advise us to do so. Yes, Buddhism is more on impermanent. Neither material nor relationships is a kind of security. Something seems “perfect” now, may not be feel same in future. We need to make changes to continue our path. Tenzi Palmo has did it, from six years in Khamtrul Rinpoche’s monastery, left monastery to Lahaul, commenced 12 years living in cave, and to the path to found nunnery for teaching.

    There is another touching scene in the documentary where an old woman cried to Tenzi Palmo. The old woman felt the love from Tenzi Palmo, no other person loves her except Tenzi Palmo. As per quote of Nelson Mandala – “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” To feel love, first must know to love, and Tenzi Palmo’s teaching has slightly change the old woman.

    I am impressed with Tenzi Palmo’s path of journey.

    ~ Kwai Yee, KSDS

    Thank you.

  14. Jacky Cheong - KPVH on Oct 12, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    Following the tradition, woman cannot learn dharma like man in Tibetan Buddhism. Tenzin Palmo was one of the 1st nuns to learn some dharma. She was looking for ‘perfection’ in life and has proven to the world that woman can learn dharma and recognize by the world. She was supported by her master too. She proves woman can do anything like man. She is an example.

  15. Anna on Oct 12, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    The story of the nun is a great inspiration of striving to achieve something non-conventional with great perseverance.

    Living in a cave alone for so many years is not an easy task, yet she managed to overcome the obstacles.

    She has showed a great example striving on and dare to challenge the Orthodox.

  16. Pastor Gim Lee on Oct 12, 2015 at 10:57 am

    Dear Rinpoche,

    Watching the documentary “Cave in the Snow” on Buddhist nun Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, I can’t help to feel she has quite a few similarities with Rinpoche.

    Like Rinpoche, she has so much love and devotion to her Lama, it showed in the way how she talked about him. And how sad she was when relating the moment she received the news of his passing away, she can’t control her emotions even though that happened years ago.

    She later said the real Lama is inside of us. The outside Lama is helping us to find the lama inside. This is what Rinpoche told us. And her manner of showing very high respect and appreciation to one’s own Lama is very touching.

    Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo wished to go into retreat, yet, she had to sacrifice her wish and embarked on the mission to raise funds to build a nunnery.

    This led me to think of how much Rinpoche wished to go into retreat but have to put on hold the plan in order to teach Dharma as advised by Rinpoche’s Lama and now to build Kechara for the benefits of others.

    Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo and Rinpoche contributed so much for the spread of Dharma. Both Rinpoche and Jetsunma have charisma to draw people into Dharma. She can teach very well too.

    The most striking similarity is how she is very brave to fight for a cause using peaceful method.

    She was so courageous to tell HH Dalai Lama directly re the issue of full ordination for Bikshuni and yet respected him so much to invite him to her nunnery.

    Similarly Rinpoche is so brave to address HH Dalai Lama openly on the ban of Dorje Shugden and yet showing so much respect to HH without any harsh word.

    Rinpoche, I believe Jetsunma is not an ordinary human being.

    She had shown the qualities of a highly attained Lama and I believe she reincarnates as a Western woman with a specific mission.

    Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo’s achievement in her 12 years solidarity retreat in a cave on snow mountain is unheard of for Western practitioners yet this is being practiced by many nuns in Tibet.

    She is highlighting the many issues on the difficulty face by the Buddhist nuns especially in Tibetan tradition, and with the uniqueness of her achievement, she is able to bring it to international level.

    In the documentary, when asked how did she feel when she was in retreat, Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo answered:
    “I think the best place in the world is sitting in the meditation box in the cave.
    I couldn’t think of a nicer place to be in”

    I don’t think any ordinary person would feel this way about the hardship of her retreat in the cave.

    “… she has these qualities that be able to help people…

    She inspires many people, women and men. Women in particular I think…”

    ~ according to the Western lady interviewed in the documentary.

    Yes Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo is a true inspiration. She showed how much a Buddhist nun can achieve and yet she is so humble.

    A very important message I got is that Dharma practice is not about the “the recognition of achievement” but the “journey” of the practice to discover our true potential.

    “Every life is a journey of discovery”

    Thank you Rinpoche.

    With folded hands,
    P Gim Lee

  17. sweekeong on Oct 12, 2015 at 9:39 am

    Dear Rinpoche, I have gained a little more perspective since my first viewing.

    Tenzin Palmo faced many obstacles before she meet Dharma and even when she is in Dharma. Even at a young age she suffered as a poor because her mother had to become the breadwinner after her father’s passing when she was two. She shown keen interest in the meaning of life and perfections when she was young, this I believe was her strong Dharma imprint. She let go what she had in England and traveled to India in search for his guru which she found him, this is very similar to Rinpoche’s early life.

    Even in the monastery she found it difficulties to get teachings as compared to the monks. Simple things we never thought of is difficult for nuns. Never once she complained of giving up although the circumstances of being a nun is difficult. Renunciation comes easily for her and I see that there are many Tibetan nuns, similar, they have strong Dharma imprint too.

    Finally she has gain enough teachings and prerequisite to enter into retreat. I believe this is her happiest moment. Discomfort is the least of her concern and she is not attached to the difficulties by complaining but resolving it. Although it was not stressed in the documentary I do think she has great faith in his guru and strong guru devotion. Without guru devotion she won’t have accomplished so much, she only met her guru once a year during retreat without the modern Whatsapp we can communicate almost real time, and even when her guru is no longer with her she proceed with her guru’s instructions. How much fortunate I am compared to her.

    Although the documentary is very much focus on herself as a person but I think she is more than that that her compassion for others come first and foremost. Therefore she had chosen the difficult task of building nunnery, a place for the nuns to study and develop, this is very similar to Rinpoche coming to Malaysia and is now developing Kechara Forest Retreat.

    From my observation when one has renunciation certain qualities become part of the person, a penchant for Dharma, seeking a spiritual guide and going into retreats. Thank you Rinpoche for sharing such an inspirational example. Even though she is a nun she can aspire so many, men and women.

  18. Lin mun on Oct 11, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    1. It is very inspiring watching this documentary. Tenzin Palmo is a very brave , determined, dedicated and strong woman despite facing so many obstacles in her journey.

    2. She is selfless in pursuing her dream to build a nunnery when she can have a choice to just go to retreat. It is because she knows her action will benefit more nuns for the future.

    3. Although Buddhism always emphasis on impermanence or change but they are so many practitioners who are still no opened about the idea of high ordination nun and nun achieving perfection. However she never give up but instead keep doing.

    4. From her I learn that we have to just do it and don’t wait. We just need to be persistent in what we believe and there will be result.

    Rinpoche, thanks for sharing this article with us.

  19. Julia Tan on Oct 11, 2015 at 9:42 am

    Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo truly an inspired modern lady who decided to start her spiritual journey after she found what she want inside of her after reading a Dharma book. She found her way back to India to meet her Guru. She became a nun when she was 21 in the 1970s. At that time she faced lots of difficulties in the monastery not only because she’s a foreigner but for being a female. Her guru told her that because she took rebirth as a female in this life hence he couldn’t keep her very close to him. She received less teachings compare to the male students and the monks in the monastery. Even in the Buddhist text mentioned that female is actually the object of temptations and attachment to the male, which disappointed her a lot. Although so much of difficulties she faced, she never give up but continue to study with his Guru. We all know that difficulties happens all the time in our lives but it does not mean it will stop us from proceeding what we want to achieve. If we really want something we will go all the way for it. We definitely have that ability to do so because that’s our nature. What we do is we just have to believe in it. Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo is our real example.

    I am totally inspired with her determination and strong Guru devotion. I believe that’s the main drive for her to over come every difficulty she faced. After 6 years of studying with her Guru, she managed to gather enough knowledge and go into 12 years meditation in the cave far in the Himalayan Mountain, which is covered with snow to look for her inner perfection, which is the Buddha nature. I think she’s very very brave and strong as a young lady at that time. She literary live in a place where she can only see wolves and snow leopards. In the cave, again she faced so much of difficulties yet she meditates all the time except the 3 hours of sleep. Yet she found herself most happy because it was so peaceful being with herself. The best place to be in the world is sitting in the meditation she said.

    She didn’t go back to her cave to continue her happy retreat but she sacrificed that for those nun and girls that wanted to engage into practice but have no place to go. She goes around the world to give teachings and raise fund to build the nunnery. Due to her selflessness act she became the most important and influential nun in the world. Of course that was not what she’s looking for. What she wants is to build a nunnery so that she can provide the equal education and teachings to the girls who wanted to give their lives to practice. Well, there are no different between male and female once you achieve Buddhahood. She decided to take on and continue the Tubtenma lineage to make sure that nuns can also receive the highest teachings. After that she would want to be back to her retreat again.

    Here, our beloved Guru compassionately sacrificed his beautiful monastic life and retreat come to Malaysia to teach, to raised fund, to build and set up many departments just to cater to our interest so that we come and learn, spoon feeding us with Dharma, yet we complain it’s hard, too much work, too tired to travel, too late for teachings, people around us not nice, this cannot that cannot and we want to leave and the list goes on. But have we ever think of we may not have a chance to practice in the future because we are not in control of our death. Our Guru cannot help us when we loose out from His hand. Pushing ourselves to learn, to practice, to contribute and to participate is a way of repaying our Guru’s kindness. Our Guru’s sacrifice is much much bigger because the difficulties He faced is not only that but tirelessly hooking us in to practice. because our level of mind and wish to practice are far away compare to those nuns. Our Guru do not want anything from us but our practice.

    Thank you Rinpoche for your unconditional love and sacrifices in order to bring Dharma to us. I folded my hands and put my head to your lotus feed.

  20. Jennifer Yuen on Oct 11, 2015 at 5:19 am

    Tenzin Palmo is truly an admirable and inspiring Nun. Her spiritual journey was full of obstacles and yet she did not allow any of them to stop her from reaching within herself to find the perfection as she called it. She nailed it so well by saying “Being good and kind are just not it” and her belief has led her on a journey that is beyond imagination by most people. Who would have thought an English lady would travel to India in search of a Guru to learn Buddhism at the age of 20 in 1963? Spent 12 years in a cave meditating? Traveled far to raise fund to build a Nunnery and fought for the nuns to receive the highest ordination? All this would not have been possible if it’s not for her guru devotion, courage and determination.

    The 12-year retreat in the cave was a journey of discovery for Tenzin Palmo as she put it. It allowed her deeper consciousness to arise and be identified. It was not something to be acknowledged as an achievement. This became the source of her strength to battle hardship for the benefit of the female sangha later in her journey.

    Instead of complaining and being negative about her early experiences in the monastery of not receiving much teachings due to being a female, Tenzin Palmo turned her frustration into the force later in her journey to aid Nuns to receive a higher level of ordination, teachings and practices. She knew it would not be an easy path but chose it for the benefit of other nuns.

    Over the years Tenzin Palmo consistently followed the advice from her Guru. After the passing away of her Guru, She realised that guru devotion was not having the Guru physically near but having the Guru close to the heart. She continues to uphold the female sangha lineage as instructed by the Guru.

    Tenzin Palmo exhibits qualities that practitioners should aspire to have in order to attain higher realisation in our spiritual path. Am truly touched by her story and would very much like to learn to have these qualities and contribute to the community to serve others. May this not be just words but sincerity to actualise into actions.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing the article and your constant care for us in our spiritual journey!

  21. Wah Ying on Oct 11, 2015 at 1:12 am

    Cave in Snow is a documentary on Buddhist nun Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, her pursuit of spiritual path at young age, meeting her Guru; difficulties as a nun during the 70-an in learning and getting higher teachings, as well as going into retreat and her effort of starting a nunnery for nuns.

    In the starting part of the video, Tenzin Palmo mentioned that to be in a mountain covered by snow and cut off of outside communication, which could be up to 8 months of a year alone, did not make her lonely at all. What makes her feels the loneliness is when she is in the community… However, only when in the later part of the video when she needs to make international teachings/talks tour to raise fund for setting up a nunnery; she mentioned she felt like a “rabbit in a cage”. At and from that moment onwards, one can see her pain from her tone and face expression, and literally feel her pain and loneliness, when she has to give up to go into retreat instead to go into the crowd and raise funds for nunnery.

    She is not able to go into retreat to benefit more, and as an instruction from her Guru. She is in pain but she still carries on with the instruction from her Guru. From here and from the part when she mentioned her Guru passed away and she is lost, one can feel how strong her guru devotion is.

    Tenzin Palmo is an inspiration for many. She reminds one of many many great beings in the past and now, who “sacrifice” their personal dreams and wishes for great goal, to put others first to benefit many more. And Rinpoche is one of them.

    Her story and determination in getting attainments reminds me of Tara’s story shared by Rinpoche. Tara “vowed to become a fully enlightened Buddha in that very lifetime with her female body, and after enlightenment, she will always predominantly manifest in the female form to benefit sentient beings”.

    This documentary also highlighted the misogyny issue in religion, which have raised awareness and giving positive effect gradually to move forward to a more equal education for nuns. On top of her own experience, I think Tenzin Palmo’s Western cultural and education background have contributed to a great extent for her to address and challenge the status quo of nun’s status; even this is not she loves to do to challenge and create conflict. She is brave when encounter with H.H. Dalai Lama or monks, to address the inequality issue in nun’s education. I think because she believes in what she believe is universal value or truth – equality for all – that makes her being so brave and be persistent with it.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing.

  22. June Kang on Oct 11, 2015 at 1:12 am

    I have completed viewing of the documentary of Tenzin Palmo

    1.I admire her that she knows what she wants and stay focus and go all the way out to achieve despite that the journey filled with great obstacle. With this, it directly tell me that I do not know 100% what I want in my spiritual practice and no focus because when I were facing obstacle I will slow down and sometime just stop it and take a long time to come back again. Tenzin Palmo give me an answer.

    2.Looking on what she is doing –to build the nunnery, it is nice KFR can build nunnery

    3.She said“no matter what we do, there will be objection, but we just gonna do it.” I just like this because I always think that don’t waste time on objection, just do it as long as it benefit others.

    4.She gone through the difficulties and suffering being a nun, but she is not just stop with what she suffered, she take action to help others to less suffering of others’ . Remind me to do so in life for others.

    5.Lastly, It helps me to understand that enlightenment as a female is possible, this inspire me a lots.

    Thank You Rinpoche for sharing us with this video.

  23. Grace Tan on Oct 10, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    All I can think of is a quote by Thomas Caryle “Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.”

    My respect to Tenzin Palmo. She leads by example. She has helped the buddhist nuns to be recognized in the monastery and shares the equal opportunities and rights as other monks through hard work and dedication. When I think of her spending 12 years in the cave with 3 yrs strict retreat, I wonder how could one done this if without strong guidance and perseverance.

    Tenzin Palmo who is a westerner, became a nun. It signifies that Buddha’s teaching is universal. It is important that Tibetan Buddha’s teaching to continue to spread across the world and to benefit all humankind.

    I watched the Tenzin Palmo video only once and I have asked myself the questions that you have directed to me. Tenzin Palmo’s persistency has inspired me that if you have will, there will be a way.

  24. David Fong on Oct 10, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    看了Tenzin Palmo的修行之路,我很敬佩他的勇敢和他对上师的信任,因为一位女性看了一本佛书,而踏上印度修行之道,而在修行的过程当中,遇到种种的困难Tenzin palmo也没有放弃而信任的跟随着上师的话去做,他也建立起Dongyu gatsal ling帮助到更多的女性可以学习到佛法,因为在当地女生是很难学习到佛法。
    也很感动Tenzin palmo做出的奉献。

  25. Uncle Lai on Oct 10, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    Tenzin Palmo in her early age knew that we are inherently perfect. It is her seeking for the meaning of perfection that lead her to adopt Buddhism as a religion and practice.

    At the young age of 20 years old she had decided to go to India to look for a teacher to learn and practice Buddhism. She stayed for 6 years near the monastery to learn from her Guru Khamtrul Rinpoche. After that at the advice of her Guru she went into retreat in the Himalayas for 12 years.

    During her time in the monastery she discovered that there is a discrimination for female practitioners in the tibetan tradition and she was not happy about it. Tenzin Palmo was very determine and this lead her to have audience with the Dalai Lama about the discrimination of nuns. Tenzin Palmo explained that she had received the highest bitshu ordination in the chinese buddhist tradition in 1973 and today the tibetan tradition still talking about it and no result. She politely mentioned that buddhist believe in impermanence’

    For a start she with the help of a group of her dharma sisters collected donation to build a monastery for women.

    Tenzin Palmo is a person of integrity and high calibre. She is intelligent, determined, brave and result ordinated. A great leader people look up to admire and respect.

  26. Stella on Oct 10, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    Dearest Rinpoche,

    Thank you for creating the opportunity for me to watch & comment on this video.

    The courage of Tenzin Palmo was an inspirational story through & through when I watched it the first time late 2014. A few new points stood out after watching it for the second time now:

    1. We are inherently defined by our roles we play in life. But those are not the true us. When we take away the layers of our roles, we will find “us”; which is our mind so to speak. And there is a perfect state for our mind and the answer/ path to get there is through meditation, retreats and dharma practice (as demonstrated by Tenzin Palmo). To me, it is important to strip away the outer layers to reach the true “us” and develop it towards the perfect state. Because the perfect value that our mind carries transcend space and time. Whereas what our roles define is temporary and meaningless once the roles changed. And they do change.

    2. As much as equality is a part of Buddhism doctrine, female practitioners are not getting equal treatment in terms of learning opportunities, in India/Tibet/Nepal, as shown in the video. Despite the huge & increasing numbers of female Buddhist followers, nunnery is a scarcity. It will be most beneficial for dharma to grow if equal opportunities are given to female practitioners.

    3. Great master always choose the path of giving up self for othets. Just like Rinpoche, Tenzin Palmo gave up solidarity retreat for a difficult lifelong commitment to build nunnery for the benefit of other practitioners. And it is through many lifetimes of selfless service to others that we get closer to enlightenment. Therefore, we should rejoice for those who had chosen this path and we ourselves should aim to be one.

    4. What Tenzin Palmo had achieved is not the hardwork of herself alone. Everyone has a role to play and the dream is possible.

    Sincerely and humbly,

  27. Asyley Chia(KSDS) on Oct 10, 2015 at 5:13 am

    I had repeat few time,Is Hard to imagine,how to live in a cave about 14000feet about sea level only accompany with wood and snow? Tenzin Palmo retreat practice for 12 years in a snow cave, Because of her faith and belief she keep continue and keep moving to merger to the practices . She so attached with her guru she followed wat her guru advice . after retreat she choose go out to share dharma teaching help alot of others around the world specially the nuns .Tenzin Palmo encourage female learn and practice become a Buddhist teacher in future.
    On Her compassion, her thought ,her actions,her kindness really inspired and being good example for all.
    Thank you.

  28. Casteven Lim (KHJB) on Oct 10, 2015 at 1:57 am

    Dear Rinpoche,

    This is the second time i watched the Tenzin Palmo video completely. I still remember after my first time of watching the video, it just be an inspiring person to me. But the second time i watch is after the Vajra Yogini teaching by Rinpoche. While enjoying the video, i and stop at some part to contemplate for a while to relating to the Vajra Yogini teaching. I am more understand now no just the theory but what is the practical we need to prepare before we able to free of suffering totally.

    The word of “Sand Paper” by Tenzin Palmo make me a very strong impact. The determination to become Enlightenment is not easy, but with a clean Guru Samaya and Guru blessing we Can DO It. We as Kecharian are so fortunate to have a Guru that prepared all we need here in beautiful Malaysia to gain Enlightenment in Kechara Forest Retreat. Hence if compare to Tenzin Palmo, we are able to practice pure Lama Tsongkhapa lineage also able to be engage to higher practice in a comfortable and well prepared condition in Malaysia.

    I can’t express much more my grateful to Rinpoche (with folded hands)

    I truly wish Rinpoche long life, stable health and continue to turn the wheel of Dharma hence more Rinpoche students included me able to transform more to be a better person to repay Rinpoche kindness always.

    Your sincerely,

  29. Jayce on Oct 10, 2015 at 12:43 am

    In this documentary , tenzin palmo is dedicated and go all the way to dharma because she trust her guru, her strong devotion and overcome all the fear and listen to her inner voice to spiritual path . After all in our life time , everything is impermanent , all happiness/emotion that we felt is base on our perception , is not real , it change when a little minor things happen.

    Tenzin palmo story is inspired as she telling us the truth of human life, why we are here. Meditation never alone , our mind is alone that is why we felt alone and need many many others to fill up our life.

    We have met a great guru , a special one that lead us all the way to liberation . When we have strong guru devotion , the spiritual path would be so natural , discipline and overcome all the hardship simultaneously . Mind transform arise when we follow the path gradually .

  30. TAN HOY ROU on Oct 10, 2015 at 12:01 am

    看了这个关于Tenzin Palmo的修行之路真的收获很多。我很敬佩她对佛法的信念和勇敢。因为她是一位西方女性却因看了一本关于佛法的书便到印度为自己寻找一位属于他的上师。在这个记录片里也有提到她当时在修行在遇到的种种困难和问题。尤其是在修行的路上受到了限制,因为那时候很多佛书都是藏文。所以上师的指导都是比较基础。可是他都却没有因这样放弃,反而正面的面对。后来,她也建立Dongyu Gatsal Ling 女尼院,受到了很多人的关注。我也在影视看到他的讲座,她的很用心的说法。我特别记得一句话的意思是 WE CAN CHANGE,WE COULD CHANGE,IF COULDN’T CHANGE THE BUDDHA WON’T ASK YOU TO CHANGE。 谢谢仁波切的分享,从这个记录片我真的很感动Tenzin Palmo所做出的奉献。

  31. Wong Yew Kien on Oct 9, 2015 at 11:45 pm

    When I watch the documentary of Tenzin Palmo. I saw a journey of discovery of her. It is not only she achieve and realized what is the perfection after sandpaper process. She also brighten the nunnery. The road although is tought to go through, and she strongly believe will achieve eventually.
    When I look back to myself. I’m too far or qualify to say I’m a strong practioner. Bcos, I chose to look good and waiting for the perfection of times to start on.
    Now, I find out that perfection come after a journey of discovery. A journey of obstacles. Be get ready to get the pain hurt. Prepare to accept unperfection. Accept the unperfection of my old nature in myself. Let go the enger, release the love and kindness.
    能真 能善 才能美

  32. Lee.KPVH on Oct 9, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    从Tenzin Palmo影片中,感触到有点像师父之前youtube share 的经历。尤其是做了大礼拜心情兴奋又紧张的不敢直接抬头望向她的上师。我觉的前世如果信任跟随着上师的话,今世无论那个角落或兜转什么化身也会有缘的再继续跟回着他。Tenzin Palmo虽然现在是女身,她也没放弃过对上师的信任反而做的更好。信任,相信,上师,身在哪里一定不会迷失佛法或人生的方向。
    Lee KPVH

  33. Jeannie Quek on Oct 9, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    Thank you Tsem Tulku Rimpoche for sharing this amazingly inspiring video.

    Here are my thoughts & key learning gained from this documentary of Tenzin Palmo:

    1. Having the courage to accept challenges – Tenzin Palmo had the choice to either return to her retreats or start a nunnery. She chose the later which was relatively more challenging, instead of back to the peaceful retreats.

    2. Being compassionate. Tenzin Palmo has made a lot of sacrifices in terms of foregoing her self retreat time in order to have more time to educate nuns.

    3. Being persistent & having a “NEVER QUIT” attitude. Tenzin Palmo’s act of starting a nunnery and wanting to change the mindset of Tibetan Buddhist culture (that it’s impossible for women to attain Buddhahood) is indeed a BIG MISSION. She has experienced many challenges along the way, but she has never given up until now. Her determination and strong believe that by keep going forward, her goals can be achieved eventually, has greatly inspired me.

    4. Regardless of our situations in our lives, we should take it as a journey of discovery and a learning experience.

    5. Perfection is relative; and it’s truly based on one’s perception.

    In short, I find that she’s truly a role model for women especially nuns, as she has gone against all odds to be the oldest living nun to have been ordained at the highest level.

    I also think that our guru Tsem Tulku Rimpoche also share the same mission of what Tenzin Palmo has, that is to give equal and as much opportunities for nuns to receive Dharma teachings.

    Let’s pray for the long life of Tsem Tulku Rimpoche and Tenzin Palmo so that they both can continue to spread the Dharma.

    With folding hands,

  34. Melissa on Oct 9, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    An amazing lady she is, and I am thoroughly inspired by the change she is making little by little. From this video I gathered that there is innate perfection that resides in all of us, but it is because of our secular environment we take on roles of false identity and digress from uncovering our true nature. That innate perfection, is our inner Buddha nature. Our body/sexuality/race is no barrier to achieving so, and should not be. We should strive to generate a true sense of identity, not what we think we are from the influence of society but truly seeing and being as it is.

    However, the element of misogyny in religion came as a surprise to me. In her documentary, Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo highlights on the hypocrisy of this teaching itself- that it does not translate. I found it interesting how she mentioned that what has the capability of generating compassion within us is also the reason for prejudice and suppression toward women- but is the suppression a form of teaching itself?

    Advice by a Catholic Priest:
    ‘We are like rough pieces of wood, and if we are stroking ourselves with silk and velvet, that’s very nice but it doesn’t make it smooth….What we need is sand paper.’

    Her sacrifice of staying in the secular world to fund for nun’s equality in education and allowing equality in it’s highest form of achievement is her sand paper, she said. Which I find refreshingly true, characters are not formed by comfort, but by its harsh experiences. Also, I love the contrast in which she presented her advice from an astrologist and a priest: It shows that astronomy shows logical advice with statistics, but religion shows our truest nature and allows us to realise the ‘deepest part of your being’.

    During the harsh blizzard of her time in mediation, there were many obstacles. But that was what made her realise that harsh situations can only penetrate her and reach her inner perfection and that’s where her teachings materialises. Her constant digging to meet the snow’s end is a representation of her constant battle to reach enlightenment – digging out of darkness or so to speak.

    ‘I breathe in, and I breathe out and I breathe back in again.’

    Her breath is compassion, life and the source to attain enlightenment. When she breathes in, she is preparing herself for enlightenment. But our true buddha nature is the middle way – we receive and we give. Her breathing out, is sacrificing her time away from reaching her peak- she offered herself toward the building of the nunnery and fundraising by giving teachings. That was her sacrifice, she gave what was essential to her, toward others. As quoted she sometimes feels ‘trapped by the process’ but one’s sacrifice is another’s heart-felt compassion.

    She also talked about death meditation, in the deterioration of a women’s body and leaving nothing else but the corpse. I thought that was very powerful, to stretch on impermanence. The deterioration of the body is showing that we are just skin and bones, although it is an aid of assistance to help us in our journey- it is clear to understand that it is NOT us. We are not defined by the shell we are left in, neither the environment we are put in. It makes us accept the truth of ourselves and therefore avoid conflict to arise. It is from understanding our true nature, we are able to accept pain gracefully.

  35. Serena Bny on Oct 9, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    I was inspired by Tenzin Palmo who go all the way for her spiritual path without any hesitation. The strong imprint after watching the video is about her cave staying where she continue her spiritual practice and retreat and also her experience to crack the ice that block the cave. She is being requested to start nunnery and she make it. She promotes female practitioners in tibetan buddhism which earlier only male practitioners were encouraged. Even though now we are in female form, we should not give up. We should go all the way without turning back and continue our spiritual path by changing iMpossible to become possible. With folded hand thanks to Rinpoche for sharing the biography video of Tenzin Palmo.

  36. Vinnie Tan on Oct 9, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    Tenzin Palmo’s story is just pure inspiration.

    Previously I had watched the video before. However, watching the video again made me pick up points that I may have missed out previously.

    Tenzin Palmo’s guru devotion is very strong. She has achieved and worked hard for all the nuns, opening a nunnery because her Guru told that he prayed that she would be able to restore the Togdenma Lineage. Even when her Guru passed away, she still pushed on to complete that life goal that she feels that her Guru has entrust her with.

    Through her example, it shows that she is one that is fully transformed and is doing the Lojong practices. Tenzin Palmo is always stepping out of her own comfort zone so that she will be able to achieve more. Pushing herself to reach higher levels.

    Tenzin Palmo not only fights to restore the Togdenma Lineage, she fights for equality among monks and nuns. What she has said is true, in Buddha’s eyes, there are no difference between male and female. Both genders are able to reach enlightenment. When we think about it, there are many female deities. Thus, it shows that there is no restriction on our gender.

    Through Tenzin Palmo’s example, it also shows us that when we put our mind and focus towards something, we should follow it all the way and fight for it. Only when we do something, then we will be able to achieve something. If we just sit around and think, nothing can be completed.

  37. Yeo Zhen Yue on Oct 9, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    What I feel towards this video is that I’m impressed on Tenzin Palmo’s perseverance towards finding the perfection in life that she is finding for and also her love towards meditation because she believes that meditate is the best way to perfection even after death. What’s the point of being in a comfort zone if you want to enjoy the success and chase for perfection, you need a sandpaper (challenges in life) to brush up the skills and empower yourself to reach for the success and happiness that you want.

    Besides that, from this video I can see the inequalities between man and woman which is NOT GOOD at all. Cause for me, gent and lady have their own right to do things and learn things, it is their own freedom to do what they want to do in life, and Tenzin Palmo is one of the example shown of man and woman can receive the same education and knowledge of universe.

    So what I learnt from the video is that, trust what you’re doing and believe in what you’re doing, this will definitely help you achieve what you want to achieve in life, and life sometimes can be tough but that’s the thing that will give you a whip to push harder to strike for the things you want. Be positive and be grateful although sometimes things are bad.

  38. jason on Oct 9, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    Tenzin Palmo 在寻找她的解脱之路(path)。什么是完美?Nun 这条路虽难,尤其是她是洋人加上重男轻女,但她不放弃因为她相信和尊从她的根本上师教导。她建的佛教中心让更多Nun受惠。她的坚持做对的事值得我们去学习。

  39. Alice Tay on Oct 9, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for this wonderful blog post of Tenzin Palmo’s spiritual path.

    Would like to share some of my thoughts about the blog post:

    1. Understanding of inherent imperfect
    a. Perfection – Ven. Tenzin Palmo is very clear that we were inherent imperfect. She knew that perfection is beyond good and kindness although many people have said the same.
    b. Playing role – everyone (wife, husband,professions&etc.) has their own role. But Tenzin Palmo has her own mind that why play role to oneself instead of by looking inside in deep layers of consciousness to arise and be identified.

    2. Making choice
    a. Religion – Ven. Tenzin Palmo knew that GOD is inside and not something in the sky. She looked at many religions to find the clear definition on the path and finally she read a Buddhism book and immediately realize this is what she wanted and believed at her age of 18.
    b. Teacher – She chose to go India to find teacher. She met HE 8th Khamtrul Rinpoche when she was only 21.
    c. Nun ordination – After 3 weeks of her 21 birthday, she decided to become a nun.
    d. Nunnery setup – to choose between retreat and nunnery. Ven. Tenzin Palmo like to be alone and retreat as it is harmonious, peace and nice. But end up she chose for nunnery with her ultimate objective to introduce the ordination for nuns at the highest level.And her determination to change the status quo in Tibetan system by giving the opportunity to the young girls who are dedicating and practicing and through their understanding to become teachers in Tibetan tradition.

    3. Guru devotion
    a. First met Khamtrul Rinpoche – although Ven. Tenzin Palmo never see Khamtrul Rinpoche before but she did prostration and made offerings. She felt like “see you again” and so lucky has Rinpoche inside her heart and now manifests outside to meet up.
    b. Difficulties – Khamtrul Rinpoche told Ven. Tenzin Palmo that she was close to him in previous life. But this time she is in a female body and it is difficult for her. Although she felt loneliness and frustrated as she unable to have solid teaching as compared the other male.But she is still believe to Khamtrul Rinpoche and follow his instruction for meditation in the cave.
    c. Retreat in cave – when the snow is getting serious to “seal” the cave and Ven. Tenzin Palmo thought she is going to die but a voice (her guru) inside her said “dig out”, immediately she is regained consciousness.
    d. Guru is a Buddha – Ven. Tenzin Palmo wrote down the questions and Khamtrul Rinpoche answered perfectly and from there she is strongly believed that her guru is a Buddha.
    e. Land blessing – HE 8th Khamtrul Rinpoche was death but Ven. Tenzin Palmo is never forget about her guru as she believed that her guru will come back and reincarnate. Later, she has invited the reincarnated, 9th Khamtrul Rinpoche, to have Puja to bless and consecrating the land to be build for nunnery.

    4. Inspiration
    a. Ven. Tenzin Palmo is one of the first westerners to be ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist just after 3 weeks of her age 21. She said that was the great blessing for her life.
    b. Ven. Tenzin Palmo is one of the first western women to receive Bhikshuni ordination in 1973.
    c. No matter how difficult or discrimination of gender have been faced by Ven. Tenzin Palmo, she is so determine with strong guru devotion and never give up easily in her spiritual path. By setting up the nunnery, she wishes those young girls who are intelligent,devotion,dedicating and practicing, can through their learning and understanding become female teachers in Tibetan Buddhism, just like she said :”The spiritual live is ongoing process. You breathe in and you breathe out. While I breathe in by being in retreat and I breathe out by trying to help to raise the standard for the potential for this girl, they can start in practice. After that I need to breathe in again.”

  40. Ho Joon Kit on Oct 9, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    I have watched this video twice and was inspired by the determination of Tenzin Palmo.

    From this video, I realized that if we want something that we never had, we need to do something that we never did. This quote was taken from Rinpoche’s blog. We need to get out of the comfort zone if we want to achieve something that we never had. Of course with persistency, hardwork and sacrifice.

    This video also tells us to trust our teacher and to surrender all our fears and worries to our teacher. Our teacher will lead us to the correct path.


  41. Jesvin Ng on Oct 9, 2015 at 11:31 am

    Dear Rinpoche,
    I’d watch Tenzi Palmo’s documentary video. Here’s my thought:

    @1. Although I know that to be a nun is not easy but I couldn’t imagine how difficult it is. When I saw some nun cried when they receive the blessing from Dalai Lama, my heart melted. Tenzi Palmo really put a lot of effort in building the nunnery.

    • Jesvin Ng on Oct 9, 2015 at 3:12 pm

      @2. Thanks Rinpoche for introducing Tenzi Palmo to us, her story inspired me and I should do more in my spiritual practice. With hand folded I really need a retreat.

      @3. Tenzi Palmo did mention that the best thing in her life in sitting inside the meditation box. ~~ Yes again Tenzi Palmo tells me that how powerful of meditation is.

      Thank you for the video, a good lesson for me. 🙂

  42. Victoria Lam on Oct 9, 2015 at 10:12 am

    Tenzin Palmo was 18 years old, she had a clearly mind to seek of Buddhist religions. She went to India from Uk when she was 20 years old to seek for guru. She was so grateful and felt precious to gives a chances to meet rinpoche as her birthday presents. She trusted and follow her rinpoche’s teaching. Because of her spiritual and practice, she has succeeded in her path. As her previous life, is taking close to her rinpoche. But she has chosen to be female and its difficulty because the opportunity to female is less. But she seek for ‘perfect ‘,she has fully immersed of fears,and worries and yet to be achieved.

    When Tenzin Pelmo said, “if we we’re pieces of wood and we keep rubbing our surface with silk and velvet, we will just remain rough and never become smooth.” Which means if we don’t practice and focus with mindfulness,we will stay the same. “To become smooth, we need to be sand paper.” Meaning if we go through a lots of hardship by consciousness, we will follow the journey with right path.

    Tenzin Palmo had chosen to gives public talks,gives lectures to public with international organisations arrangements with fund raising for Ling Nunnery. Volunteers and Tenzin Palmo were enough of fund raising of Ling Nunnery, and 24 young girls are ready for ordained. She met H.H. Dalai Lama to lay a visit and gives grace to the young ladies nun. They felt so grateful when H.H. Dalai Lama, provide certificates and fully blessed by Dalai Lama. ( I was tears out and fully touched my heart in this part which makes me feel how’s her hardship and continuously gives teaching for woman.)

    “When you stay alone is blissful. It’s not like what you did on PHD, and get Diploma, and you will be great in life. You have to do practice and reached Bodhisattva, doesn’t mean you will get applauded”; “Its not that”,she said.
    Tenzin Pelmo said “Every life is use with any kind of consciousness ,if it’s a journey of discovery. It’s not to choose right or regret. Journey itself, it’s the most important things. Spirit of life’s is on going process. I’m breath in and breath out”. Breath in – I’m being in retreat. “Breath out – to help to raise the standard of woman’s and raise the girl’s potential to start the practice. And I breath in again,” she said. It’s is a very strong message of benefiting to others first, and do sharing of dharma with mindfulness and breath in, it will benefits to ourselves by naturally.

  43. Jason on Oct 9, 2015 at 9:42 am

    Tenpin Palmo 在寻找她的解脱之路(PATH)。什么是完美?

    • Jason on Oct 9, 2015 at 9:45 am

      对不起,应该是Tenzin Palmo

  44. Li Kheng on Oct 8, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    I have watched this video 3 times and each time, I hear and learn something more and deeper. Tenzin Palmo is a beacon of light in this day and age where women are gaining more responsibilities and taking on more roles.

    Women of the 21st century does not only take on the role of daughter, sister, wife and mother. Today, women are also partners, confidants, bread winners, professionals etc. Despite the secular growth we see as listed above, women’s potential is still fundamentally restricted and laced with the traditional stigma of being inferior. A Tenzin Palmo said, we talk about impermanence in Buddhism but this hardly translates into practice despite “development” of the global community.

    I also feel reassured with my own practice that is filled with ups and downs as Tenzin Palmo shared about her arduous journey to build a nunnery and reignite the lineage of a school of Tibetan Buddhism for female practitioners. Like Tenzin Palmo said, if we were pieces of wood and we keep rubbing our surface with silk and velvet, we will remain rough and never become smooth. To become smooth, we need sandpaper.

    So, if the going gets tough as you walk along this path toward spiritual awakening and liberation, do not lose heart. It is really a chance for you to check in and grow.

    A beautiful, powerful and hopeful documentary. A must watch as Tsem Rinpoche puts it.

  45. Julie C on Oct 8, 2015 at 11:50 am

    I was given a task by P.Adeline to watch this video and give my thought.
    Thanks for sharing this video. I watched it 3 times. =)
    Here are my thought about Tenzin Palma.
    Tenzin Palma has unfortunate background (family and surrounding of her). Leading her with no purpose of life. Feeling insecure, confuse and unable to let go of her past, wanting so much to escape from her life. She is trap within herself.

    With no family guidance, she leave home trying to find the path of her life. She is seeking for something to believe. Seeking for someone who can guide her and answer all her questions.

    During the time when she was with Rinpoche, with a strong needs of someone to guide her, she indirectly has higher expectation from that person. This leads to frustration and blame her frustration to a gender reason. I feel Rinpoche felt she is not fully ready, that’s why she was given time to settle her inner self. She never realized it until she soon have a definite decision to open up a nunnery and when Rinpoche died. That’s the reason why only that time Rinpoche commented on his lineage thought.

    She finally make a real jump of her life…
    After that incident, she finally realized all and has a clearer path. This is the actual beginning of her real journey.
    She always has this fear to make a decision and to take action of her plan.

    As for the reason she is “hiding” in the cave, I feel she is trying to “purify” herself from her past. But she is a very brave young girl to take the first leap of her life and ended up helping millions of people.

    In general, I don’t believe Buddha and all other Gods choose gender. Those are rules that people set.
    If people were given a second chance in life, each of us will be trying to do things in a different way.
    But life is short, we have to treasure what we have and take immediate action. Decision and changes are always within our palm.

  46. Jace Chong on Oct 7, 2015 at 11:04 am

    Thanks Rinpoche for sharing the beautiful journey of Tenzin Palmo.

    There are many part of her biography touch me deeply. Firstly, a strong determination of a women want to take on the same path of monk to achieve liberation. As mentioned, she encountered many obstacles because of her physical identity.

    The choice of “sand paper” is inspiring, because she has the choice to be the velvet cloth. It’s for the beneficial of more beings, we should take a “more difficult” path. The choice has made an amazing change in the Buddhist world.

    Last but not least, after so many hardworks, Tenzin Palmo still feel that the most beautiful place that in the world is in the meditation box, that blows my mind completely.

    May I have the determination like Tenzin Palmo to find the perfection. Thanks Rinpoche and thanks Tenzin Palmo. May the enlighten beings who take on the human body live long.

  47. Antoinette on Feb 6, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    Watching this video again during our retreat was very inspiring. Tenzin Palmo’s search was not only to be good and kind. Good and kind is only the basis, she is looking for perfection.
    The reason to be in retreat for a longer period is to merge with the practice, to access deeper layers of consciousness. She wanted to stay in retreat her whole life but very compassionately she is building a nunnery to offer nuns also the opportunity for education.
    For Tenzin Palmo the best place in the world to be is in the meditation box in a cave. But what is the use of being in a peaceful and pleasant situation? The nunnery is her sandpaper to become smooth,

  48. Pastor Chia on Feb 2, 2015 at 11:58 am

    Watching Ven. Tenzin Palmo documentary video again and again truly inspire me at the future i will be able doing retreat just like her and why i should learn and practice Dharma.I admire her courage and guru devotion over come all the obstacle and fear achieving today result inspire many practitioner especially women practitioner toward Buddhism.

  49. Patsy on Jan 25, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    I watched this video again with a small group on one of our breaks during retreat recently and this is the third time I have watched the video. Needless to say, I am always in awe and inspired by her strong guru devotion, her determination to overcome all adversities to help served others. The difficult times she had to go through getting the funds to set up the nunnery was no easy task yet she persevered and each time I watched this video, I learned something new.

    During my retreat, I reflected on how fortunate I was to be able to do my retreat in a conducive environment and in comfort, yet I was still not able to focus well. Tenzin Palmo had only a small cramped cave and at times in bad weather conditions yet she felt focus and blissful. She was in the cave for 12 years and here I am for a couple of days! She has set a good example for me to follow and I hope that I can be as discipline as her.

  50. pammie yap on Jan 25, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    Thank you so much for sharing such an awe inspiring post!
    I truly admire and inspired by her perseverance, patience and compassion in all the obstacles she had to go through from the day she became a nun. And her unselfish ways of benefitting many because of the nunneries that she help raise funds for.

    Alone in an unknown place, battling with weather conditions, not being able to have some advantages because she is a nun. Yet, she didn’t just run away or brush it aside. She did many to help raise awareness and funds.

    So much to learn and practice!

  51. Wan Wai Meng on Jul 1, 2014 at 3:39 am

    Not many people can sit still for hours let alone do a retreat for 12 years in our time. So Jetsunma is Tara coming to help female practitioners to get results from their practice. U get the feeling she is willing to do what is right.

  52. Lars on May 22, 2014 at 3:37 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this inspiring documentary!:D I known about Tenzin Palmo for some time and I have read her book, but I haven’t seen this documentary.

    This is five points, or segments of the documentary that moved me very much:

    1. How she spoke of having no connection to the society and religion where she lived growing up.

    2.How it is like “walking on ice” when basing one’s happiness outside oneself.

    3.The way she used the word “we” when talking about digging herself out of the cave during the blizzard. As if her Lama was there with her.

    4.When she burst out in tears speaking of the passing of her Lama. If such a person like Tenzin Palmo can feel so lost, what about us “common” people! Scary to think about.

    5.When her sister(?) said “Who see’s that she’s done it, therefor, you know, no one else needs to be frightened going forward as well.”
    I believe it was directed mainly towards female practicioners, but I come to think about the Buddha, and other buddhas and Lama’s, how one actually don’t need to be frightened when other people already has done it and “survived” lol.

    As a sidenote I was very moved by the nun crying when getting her diploma(?) from his holiness, the old asian lady that was so miserable feeling that no one loved her but Tenzin Palmo, and the photos of the tongdenma practicioners.

    A really inspiring practicioner and life, Tenzin Palmo. Thank you again Rinpoche for sharing.

  53. Sofi on Apr 23, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    Tenzin Palmo struck a chord in me when she said she felt lonelier when in a crowd. Wow, someone who feels the same as me. She certainly has much merits to have chosen the path at such an early age. It was mentioned that she was very close to her Guru in her previous lives but this can no longer be in her present female form. I would like to think that she came back in this form to benefit the female practitioners that had been lacking opportunities and condition to fully pursue the dharmic path. It also goes to show that true religion does not differentiate when a Catholic priest could advise her to take “the building a nunnery” path. Just as her assistant had said, every minute that Tenzin Palmo is away from meditation, is a gift and a sacrifice.

    Reminds me so much of my Guru’s sacrifice and precious gift to me/us as he too had yearned to go into retreat all these years. Thank you Rinpoche.

  54. Julia Tan on Apr 21, 2014 at 8:47 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article about Mingyur Rinpoche. In the letter, Mingyur Rinpoche mentioned all happiness, containment and peace of mind that we are looking for is always here inside us but because we are too caught up or distracted with our daily ups and down hence too busy to see what we already have. Like what Ani Tenzin Palmo said when she was in the retreat she can see herself clearly as a person without any identity so that she can know herself better. Hence by doing retreat we will find awareness and compassion which already inside of us by nature.

    When Mingyur Rinoche was on the retreat trip, he begged for food. He sometimes received nothing but insults and harsh words form people. Sometimes people just gave him without him asking. Same thing is happening in our life everyday. Because of that our sufferings and happiness waved like an ocean because of the uncertainty of life but most important we must understand the true nature of this experience which is caused by our own karma. Mingyur Rinpoche never stop giving teachings even He’s away. Just like Rinpoche is now very far in USA but never stopped giving us teachings every moment over the blog, whatsapp, FB, Twitter and YouTube to encourage us to study and practice.

    It is very important to have harmonious among the students and keeping the pure discipline. When the Guru is away does not mean we disconnect with our guru. We must understand that the purpose of a Guru is to teach Dharma. Hence the connection of the Guru and student purely depend on how much we practice what our guru has taught and put them into all our experiences in life but nothing else. Mingyur Rinpoche also encourage His students to practice as a community because group practice is powerful. The sangha grow through the connection to each other and a share commitment to practice.

    Community is a powerful support tool for our practices. Students are the one need the practice hence is the student commitment to support and make the community grow and flourish. Since we receive support and guidance hence is logic to give back in whatever way you can.

    Understand that a Guru happiest journey is to go into retreat. Rinpoche sacrificed it but to teach in Malaysia. Rinpoche does not need anything from us because Rinpoche can just leave for retreat without anything. If the students still being selfish, lazy and do not practice, it means there’s no reason for a guru to return. To Rinpoche, nothing is happier for him to see us students’ practice grown and flourished in his absence. This is the right way to go to gain the right purpose for Rinpoche to be back.

    Thank you Rinpoche to open up our mind by sharing with us Mingyur Rinpoche’s story.

  55. hilary Lister on Apr 20, 2014 at 11:22 pm

    Thankyou Rinpoche for your posting of this.
    5 Points you asked for that touched one deeply:
    1. That you made the connection to her to post.
    2.Her deep connection to her Rinpoche from her past life.
    3.Her meeting her teacher again in his present life and his blessing the land.
    4. Her resilience.
    5. her kindness.

  56. Anni Soo on Apr 16, 2014 at 12:59 am

    I think Tenzin Palmo not an ordinary nun, she should be a tulku or boddhisattva. Here are few points which touched me most after watched this incredible video.

    Tenzin Palmo guru devotion was very strong, she will follow and carried out advise and instruction given by Khamtrul Rinpoche especially continue the lineage Tokden nun. The time she spent with her guru was so limited and yet she couldn’t control her emotion when heard Khamtrul Rinpoche enter into clear light and still continue what she doing until the next reincarnation come back. As we all can see, their guru and disciple relationship not only from current life, it’s been since previous life.

    Her dharma seed was so deep, she always seek for dharma when she was young and ordained as nun aged 21. She did 12 years retreat in the caves, It’s unbelievable !! Think of myself can’t even sit in puja more than 4 hours. Her determination, consistency and discipline are the reflection of her high level of dharma practise.

    Tenzin Palmo rather pick the harder way to build the nunnery from zero instead of go back to retreat which she love to. This quality of boddhicitta is very much alike of Tsem Rinpoche. Tsem Rinpoche love to stay at Gaden Monastery and do retreat instead of staying at Malaysia which instructed by his guru. For Tenzin Palmo to build a nunnery it’s sound like just 1 project, but in order to achieve that there are too many things need to handle. Such as marketing, promoting, nurturing, raising fund and etc, but especially a consistent assistant and volunteers that can be trusted. All these works are dharma practise and creating opportunity for many to practise their path to gain realisation.

    Thank you Tsem Rinpoche sharing such wonderful teaching, i learn a lot through this video.

  57. Uncle Eddie on Apr 15, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    Though she seemed to be fully immersed in trepidations, worries and fears, she didn’t let any of these to get the better of her, but through her own firmed conviction and solid determination, managed to overcome them to make her aspirations come to fruition. Other notable of her spiritual achievements include;- Her admirable 12 years solitary meditational confinement in an isolated remote snowed-cave, faced with so many adversities and yet she has successfuly gone through without difficulties, inspired perhaps, by her solid determination! The successful raising of funds for the building of a nunnery for the purpose of benefitting others who wished to become nuns. In addition, Tenzin Palmo has also expressed her desire in trying to raise the status of nunhood in line with the same level of authority with monks, an issue which has been ignored for a long time. Last but not least, was her guru-devotion phenomena where she expressed that her inner emotion was raised to a very high level when she first met her guru! It was believed that it could be “a re-meeting episode” between Guru-student a second time. Unfortunately her guru had gone into clear light at a young age after their meeting. Though feeling devasted inwardly with such emotional loss, Tenzin Palmo carried on the continuation in the management of the nunnery and had no thought of giving up! Such was the strength and deep guru-devotion she desplayed for her guru which not many would have today! She is truly inspirational.

  58. abby f on Apr 14, 2014 at 12:53 am

    This is my second time watching this documentary. Everytime I watch it, it gives me different inspiration. This time I saw how different between the state of mind of Tenzin Palmo and most of the people in this world, that is also me.
    She has that state of mind that searching for spirituality since very young age. She analyze and think deeply what is been taught to her about her belief/religion since young age. She realize there is no God and only we can save ourselves. To have this kind of thinking at young age, she started to think more about her life and became much more mature compared to people of her age. And because of this, she fully uses her life to study the Dharma, learning from the Guru and do meditation. She never uses her life for fun, self-indulge, fame, money etc. She saves so much time to do something good in life, something that can last and continue in life, which is to bring peace and happiness to others. She is an inspiration to me. Because of her ‘maturity’(the state of mind that naturally looking for spirituality), soon after she learned about Buddhism at the age of 18, she decided to become a nun at the age of 20! In 2 years’ time, she decided to ‘give up’ everything just to study the Dharma! She knows what is the real ‘everything’ in life which is the preciousness of the Dharma, not the everything that we know, which is material thing at most of the times. There was no struggle for her to choose between being a nun or not to be.
    When I look at the monks and nuns, I really feel my life is like empty. Before meeting my Guru Tsem Rinpoche and the Dharma, my life was just about me, about me having fun, pleasure, nice clothes, nice food, but for the monks and nuns, their lives is not about that but to service others, to do prayers for others to calm their mind and soul, to give blessings and happiness to others, to teach other how to free from suffering and more. Even though I have much more material things than they have, but I still feel my life is empty compared to them. To have a real purpose in life is the best gift, and I must thank my Guru Tsem Rinpoche for giving me this real purpose, the Dharma, all the material things the Guru gave to show his care. Like what Rinpoche and many other Buddhist masters say, life is about giving and this make us feel contented and meaningful.
    The other state of mind that Tenzin Palmo has, is how she can focus on the goal and just go for it. There are obstacles too on her spiritual path, but she knows clearly what is the final goal, what is matters and what is not. She is very focused. She said in the video, “no matter what we do, there will be objection, but we just gonna do it.” In fact this tells me, the thing that stop us is not the objection from others, it is our ego concerning are we look good, are we sounds right and more. Our ego is our self-created ‘objection’, but at the same time we should never let the obstacles to stop us. We just focus on what we should do and do it, make it happen. Her calmness and focus shows me her another state of mind.
    That when she does long meditation in the cave, she lived in a very difficult situation but she never give up. Why? I compared Tenzin Palmo to myself: She lives to meditation, to practice Dharma, to fulfill her promise to the Guru. But I live my life to eat, play, have fun, feel happy. The reason I can’t go meditation like what Tenzin Palmo did, clearly because I live my life for me myself only at most of the time. This is the prove that Tenzin Palmo lives to do something beneficial and without any selfishness. People might say those who retreat into a cave to do meditation is selfish, but actually those who cannot let go the so-called life is the one who is selfish, because we are too selfish to the level we don’t want to use our time and energy for others at all.
    One more thing that shows Tenzin Palmo’s different state of mind is, she doesn’t need gifts, praises, recognition to practice the Dharma and love and respect the Guru. What she wants from the Guru is always the Dharma! For us at most of the time, the Guru has to send gifts, encouragements, praises then we only started to feel spiritual path is good, practicing Dharma is awesome because we can received gifts and praises and attention. This is the prove that she really looking for the Dharma and put Dharma close in her heart. She doesn’t need all that to love and respect her Guru, all she wanted was Dharma teachings. This is the state of mind of understanding the preciousness of the Guru and Dharma. The reason she practice Dharma is not to look good, is not to have fun, is not to get recognition from her Guru. She simply knows and understand Dharma is good.
    Lastly, I saw in the video people knee down to her and thank her for changing their lives. Again, she literally has nothing (on the material level, including money) , she has no absolute power to ‘control’ or ‘rule’ the people but why people respect her and thank her with tears in eyes? People always think that they way to gain respect is with money and power, but they don’t know to gain respect from others, you need to go all the way out to help others and make a good role model for others, then the respect comes. Tenzin Palmo has nothing yet she got so many respect.
    Her pure state of mind tells me it is possible for everyone to cultivate. Because I see the similarity in Tenzin Palmo and Tsem Rinpoche. Both of them are alike, they are both focused/serious practitioners, compassion, generous, patient, caring even though their spiritual path is not a bed of roses. It is not we don’t own good qualities like they do; it is because we never cultivate it by just at the very basic level, to hold the vows to bring less harm to others. This kind of state of mind bring endless peace/bliss to our mind and others. That’s the reason why I think she is one of happiest people in the world. She has the state of mind that generates peace to her own mind as well as others.

  59. Pastor Lanse on Apr 13, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    Tenzin Palmo’s life journey is very inspiring. What made all this happen is her strong determination and her great compassion which I believe part of it initially came from her past life imprints. She must have also been practicing Dharma in her past life.

    Since young Tenzin Palmo has always believed that human beings are inherently perfect. I believe this is not something she learned from school or from her surrounding environment. She also believes that human beings will come back again and again to attain inner perfection and that this perfection is not merely being good and kind but something deeper. From this very abstract idea, she starts her life journey in searching for the answer.

    Although coming out with certain ideas for life is not something unusual, but only a handful of people would actually bring their ideas to a practical level and keep on working towards achieving it. This makes a huge difference between dreamers and achievers, and only achievers will bring changes to the world.

    Tenzin Palmo life journey sounds familiar to me as what she has to endure in order to learn Dharma and to spread Dharma to the world is very similar to what H.E. Tsem Rinpoche has gone through. Tenzin Palmo prefers to stay in meditation, so does Tsem Rinpoche. However, both these great teachers had chosen to put aside their personal preferences with the sole purpose of benefiting many. They always put others’ need above their own need as opposed to ordinary people like us who are always over self-indulged. As a result, they bring results and made impact on people’s mind but we don’t.

    There is so much we can learn from watching or reading great people’s biographies. However, if we don’t apply it or contemplate on it, it will be just another story that we will be forgetting soon. Watching Tenzin Palmo sobbing when talking about her teacher reminds me of Rinpoche when Rinpoche mentioned about his memory with H.H. Zong Rinpoche. I believe the tears of gratefulness can only came from deepest gratitude to their Guru, and for ones to feel true gratitude, ones must have really practiced and experienced what their teachers taught. Realizing Dharma is not through theories, it can only be achieved by experiencing it.

  60. […] trail-blazing, Western (UK) Tibetan Buddhist nun. Watch this when you have an hour and be inspired! Originally posted on The Only Buddhist in Town: I read her book a few years ago and I find her […]

  61. sarahyap on Apr 13, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    I love this documentary about Tenzin Palmo… This is my second time watching the video. There are so many points to talk about after watching just 1 hour of her biography, I actually thought for awhile and found that I can get really technical when sharing about her life story, but then again, I though rather than technicality, I’d share what I feel and what touched me the most.

    When I see Tenzin Palmo, it was as if I was watching a female version of Rinpoche lol! I mean, she is quite ‘similar’ in many ways… for example, she was well aware that something’s not complete in life when she was younger, much like Rinpoche, but the only difference is Rinpoche had the fortune to be near H.H Kensur Lobsang Tharchin Rinpoche.

    At a young age, she traveled all the way to India in search of spirituality, not knowing what was waiting for her at the other end of the world… just like how Rinpoche left America at such a young age to be a monk in India… it was truly a brave, bold move that not many people are willing or have such fierce courage to pursue this ‘gut’ feeling… and the fact that Rinpoche and Tenzin Palmo actually did this, it must be an overwhelming feeling that drove them to seek spirituality at the other side of the world, something only Bodhisattvas possess. Why only Bodhisattvas have this feeling? Because I know there are many people that at some point of time will try to pursue knowledge in Buddhism, but the drive to push them to take the spiritual path is not there.

    Just like Rinpoche, Tenzin Palmo also wanted to go into retreat, but for the benefit of other countless of beings, she too decided to put her retreats on hold while she help re-establish the schools for Buddhist nuns of the Vajrayana tradition. When they mentioned that for every moment Tenzin Palmo was not in retreat, it was a sacrifice on her part because that was truly what she wanted… I must admit I have not thought of it this way, that Rinpoche too sacrificed so much for Kechara and students.

    It was really touching when she shared the reason why she started the nunnery… and that the one that inspired her was a Christian pastor whom gave her the ‘sandpaper’ example… I think it was beautiful because that itself is a way to religious harmony can be achieved, when two people from different religion help each other spiritually.

    When she mentioned how these nuns that escape so much environmental difficulty just to be a nun… it made me think… here, we have the perfect conditions to practice Dharma and we can’t even do it properly as a lay Dharma practitioner… on the other hand, these nuns had to face various difficulties, from running away to getting abused physically just to pursue a spiritual path. Just hearing Tenzin Palmo sharing with us in her documentary about the difficulties these nuns had to face made me appreciate what I have right now, and that it really is silly if I do not use these perfect environmental conditions to it’s fullest potential to advance in my spiritual journey.

    I guess, enlightened minds always brings ‘similar’ results due to similar actions, as their motivation is always to bring benefit and Dharma to others. Which Tibetan Buddhist tradition we came from does not matter, but the great masters that are sincere to bring Dharma to others always have the same Bodhisattva motivation. I suppose this is also how our teacher measure how much we have progressed so far in our spiritual path, for if we have transformed, it can be seen through our actions and results.

  62. Uncle Eddie on Apr 11, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    Tenzin Palmo is truly admirable to have gone all the way with the complete fulfillment of successes in all her spiritual engagements. With full devotion and faith in her guru and teachings, though immersed with anxiety, fear and worries, she managed to overcome them, and finally managed to achieve success in all her spiritual ambitions. As noted, her five best ways which inspires are as follows:- (1) She has strong and impregnable determinations in whatever she set out to do. (2)Her fearlessness in her ways and strong beliefs in her nunnery rights not only for herself, but also for others who are in Nunhood. (3)Her strong guru devotion in her which is impregnable and her strong belief in her guru being a Buddha! (4) Upholding and fulfilment of her decision/promise till completion, irrespective of endless difficulties, as in the case of building a nunnery for tibetan nuns coming over from China! (5) Her admirable endurance of 12 years of solitary self-confinement in a lonely forested dangerous cave which she came through without a murmur. Thanks to Rinpoche for a very enlightening and inspiring teaching!

  63. Pastor Han Nee on Apr 10, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    Tenzin Palmo inspires by the single-minded focus she put into her search for “perfection”. From a young age her mind had already latched on strongly to this Perfection that she wanted to attain more than anything else.She always had a firm conviction that “we were ..innately perfect and that we had to keep coming back again and again to rediscover our true nature”. Somehow she saw that our perfection had become obscured over lifetimes and we had to uncover it, to find out our true nature.So the reason we are here is to carry out this task.

    However, Tenzin Palmo had another preoccupation, even as a young child. It was her preoccupation with growing old, getting sick and dying. I believe there was no coincidence that Tenzin Palm had the same preoccupation with the same issues of suffering of humankind that Prince Siddharta had 2600 years ago.In fact this preoccupation as well as the preoccupation with the search for Perfection confirm without the shadow of a doubt that Tenzin Palmo is a highly realized being from a previous lifetime.

    First , she found that Buddhism answered her questions about perfection. However, as she explored further, she found herself drawn to the Mahayana ideal of a Bodhisattva, who came back again and again out of great love and compassion, to free all beings from suffering. She found that Nagarjuna, founder of Mahayana Buddhism (of the Middle View School), was mainly followed in Tibet. Hence, it was Tibetan Buddhism that she was looking for.

    Her path was clear. She wanted to be a nun so that she could follow the clear path of Tibetan Buddhism to Perfection( Enlightenment or complete elimination of suffering)without being encumbered by distractions.

    The moment she saw her teacher, Khamtrul Rinpoche, she felt as though an innermost part of her being – her innate perfection- had taken form in front of her.”As though he’d always been there but now he was outside”.

    This description fits in exactly with Rinpoche’s description of the inner guru in all of us : “our natural state of mind – kindness,commitment and clarity”.

    Thus, we find our outer guru so that we can be guided by him to the inner guru.

  64. Jun Zhen on Apr 9, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    Beautiful story of courage, perseverance and strong guru devotion, a strong fighter for the rights for nuns to be given the fair opportunity as the monks to receive higher practice, and to be also treated equally as human beings, such compassionate being she is, Tenzin Palmo. Am inspired.

    I don’t really understand why one as a female form, it makes it “harder” to attain enlightenment? Is it due to the physio state of the body having differences from the male counterparts? Isn’t achieving enlightenment is the state of the mindstream and diligent right practice? Dear Rinpoche, would sincerely like to understand further.

    Thank you.

  65. Antoinette on Apr 9, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    At the beginning Tenzin mentioned that since very young she believed that we are inherently perfect. Many people explained to her “you have to be good and kind” but as Tenzin Palmo said “Many people are good and kind, but they are not perfect”. It would never cross my mind to say I want to be perfect as I am so far away from it but it is good to think about this perfection and to start bringing it into my live.

    It is also interesting that Tenzin Palmo found out about Buddhism at the age of 18 and she left at the age of 20 her home for such a far away country like India. This is remarkable as many young people are searching for meaning at young age but very, very few would go all the way like Tenzin Palmo did.

    She found her guru and started her practice in a country far away from where she grew up. It must have been tough. And as a woman she was not allowed to teachings or debate. But she persevered and followed her Guru and her heart. She has achieved so much. Rinpoche wrote above “this difficult yet NECESSARY path”.

    Her Guru devotion is the main point. She trusted her Guru and the teachings. A wonderful example to follow.

    Another sentence, which stood out for me, is “The best place to be in this world is to sit in a meditation box in a cave.” Nothing is attracting her more than meditation.

    Meditation is not easy for most of us and I personally cannot control my mind. To stay in a cave for years without comfort and no place to lie down to sleep, in such a hard climate is hard to imagine.

    I find it very inspiring to see and read about her life.

    Thank You Rinpoche for creating Kechara Forest Retreat and allowing us be part of this calming and green place set up to benefit many, many people. Thank you for Your teachings and care and the opportunity to learn and change.

  66. Julia Tan on Apr 8, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    Watching this video again, i realized that how beautiful she is from inner to outer. A young pretty lady traveling all the way from UK to India to search for what she called perfection. She’s wasn’t know what was that until she found Buddhism and said “this is what I’m looking for”. When she met her guru again she found that he’s guru became real from inside of her. Her guru was always inside her and leaded her to meet him again in this life.

    She’s taken in a female form in this life i believe because she has a big mission to accomplish for the female which is find equanimity for the nuns. This must be her wishes from the pass. Although in the Buddhist community yet she found lonely because she was treated differently according to the culture that the monastery has.

    She sees her guru as a Buddha who showed her the way to enlightenment. When her guru passed away she was so lost like she was left alone in the desert not knowing where to go. Also because of her strong guru devotion, she sacrificed herself instead of happily having retreat in the cave, she came out to give talk and raise fund to built the nunnery for the nuns. This is very similar to how Rinpoche sacrificed Rinpoche’s life doing retreat in the mountain, Rinpoche came to Malaysia and teach. The path of building Kechara and now Kechara Forest Retreat is much harder than meditating in the cave alone.

  67. Niral Patel on Apr 8, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    The Kechara Pastors had a screening of Cave in the Snow in Kechara Forest Retreat last night and Pastor Moh Mei was kind enough to invite those other people staying in KFR to join them, including myself. This was the first time I had seen the entire documentary about Tenzin Palmo, though I watched extracts before. Tenzin Palmo is an exemplary figure of someone who came from a culture completely foreign to the Buddhist teachings yet went the whole mile with the teachings and effectively practiced to transform her mind, as is evidently clear in the manner she speaks and shares about her experiences. She has now become a great source of inspiration for my own practice. While not 100% alien to my own upbringing, Buddhist teachings were something at odds with the way I lived while growing up in London and when pondering if I should come to Malaysia to study and work at Kechara, I had thought about how I was going to adapt myself to this new way of thinking about the world, it’s inhabitants and my interactions with them. At that time I had somewhat thought that it would take a huge shift in the way I think about the world, but that wasn’t the case. It simply feels like the correct way of thinking and interacting with the world now and Tenzin Palmo shows us that it can be done and to a great degree of transformation.

    During our discussion after the screening, I wasn’t sure of what I wanted to share but then I just started talking and what I spoke about really struck me and is something that I have taken away from watching the documentary this time and that is the sheer discipline Tenzin Palmo has. She uprooted herself from her home and life to travel and search for the teachings, she spent 12 years in retreat inside a cave and then devoted herself to following her Guru’s advice in creating a nunnery and campaigning for the rights of women within the Buddhist traditions that have become misogynistic. There are many stories of great practitioners going through many hardships for their practice and we can read or hear about them, but how much of this actually penetrates the way we think and changes our own practice? She spent 12 years in a cave, growing her own food, spending most part of the day in meditation in a meditation box, which meant she didn’t even sleep lying down! Meditation boxes have always fascinated me for some reason, maybe in the future I’ll even be able to practice in one. I also related to the Pastors that she even had to dig herself out of the cave on more than 3 occasions as so much snow had fallen, that it buried her cave. I’m sure if that was me, I would have run down the hill as fast as I could after the first time of digging myself out. Why this affected me so much, was probably because of the way she talked about it, and I actually sat there and contemplated what it would have been like if that was me. Having been in retreat myself, I’ve realised how lucky I actually am. Tsem Rinpoche has created Kechara, which has amazing facilities to do retreat, including air conditioning in the scorching heat that perpetually blankets Malaysia and comfortable rooms, yet I still get fidgety after a couple of sessions a day on the meditation cushion!

    Tenzin Palmo’s determination, tenacity and discipline reminds me of Tsem Rinpoche and the hardships that he has gone through, first to even learn the Dharma and then to allow others to benefit from it. And what does this show us? That it can be done.

    The other point that resonated with me was that hardships need to be overcome and the hard road must be traveled if you are to transform your mind to be able to benefit others. She described it as the mind as a rough piece of wood. Usually we just stroke it with a nice piece of silk – our comfortable and smooth life, everything in order, and everything just how we want it to be. But in order for the wood to become smooth, what you actually need is sandpaper – hardships in life, the crucible for creating a great mind. I thought that my moving to Malaysia would be hard, but no it wasn’t, it just took a while to get used to life here because it wasn’t something I was used to, that’s all. Hardships however are running away from home and hitchhiking, homeless from one end of the United States to the other, which is exactly what Tsem Rinpoche had to do. More than that hardships are internal, how your own mind deals with the situations and challenges that you are in, how you use them to transform your mind to become a more compassionate and beneficial person for others.

  68. Pastor Adeline on Apr 8, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this wonderful documentary! There are a lot of similarities I find between Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo and His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche such as longing for retreat but stayed on to benefit others, have immovable guru devotion, are attained, have gone & continue to go all the way with their Guru advice even if it means doing things that they do not enjoy like giving public talk and teachings.

    If I were to summarize the video in one sentence, it will be: we can be attained like Jetsunma and we can influence and benefit if we go all the way with our Spiritual Guide’s advice. Below are few points the struck me the most after watching the video.
    1) Longing for retreat
    I would love to be in retreat like Jetsunma, to dig into the innate nature of clear light & eventually to be freed from labels and identities that I hold dearly. It got me into re-examine my initial decision for choosing Kechara over other Buddhist organizations that allow long retreats like Jetsunma’s. It is clear to me that my longing to be in retreat is to enjoy being with myself, not to deal with people, have focus and sharp mind kind of bliss and to withdraw from the outside world.

    Obviously, the difference between Jetsunma and me is that mine is all about me and my comfort. By going into retreat with this intention, labels and identities will definitely increase and nothing is going to be changed at the end of it. This is why no matter how long some people go into the deep forest for retreats, they remain the same. As Jetsunma would put it, velvet cannot smooth out the roughness of a wood but sandpaper can.

    I’ve made a conscious decision to join Kechara because it offers the sandpaper that I need in order to expedite my spiritual growth. I’ve realized that joining Kechara is another form of retreat that actually intensified the process of enlightenment. During long solitude retreats, when we have to constantly push ourselves to face our inner enemies. We can pretend they are not there and stay stagnant. No one is going to bother and we can stay like that forever. It works for highly attained beings like Jetsunma, because she has all the discipline and deep understanding to be in solitary retreat, so it intensified her spiritual growth.

    For a clown like me, I need the bonus that Kechara has to offer – fellow dharma brothers and sisters, people who genuinely care about our spiritual growth. I can choose to run away from me but they are around to make sure I stop fooling myself! They are constant reminders of my labels and roles, and most of all, my innate Buddha nature. They assisted me to shine from within much quicker than me doing it on my own for now. There are many ways to practice and it is important that we find the suitable one that best suits our mind at the right time. This way, we’ll improve with practice much quicker.

    2) Courage & loneliness
    Jetsunma left the UK to India at the age of 18 in search of her spiritual home. She left her comfort home to the unknown for the sake of her spiritual practice. She remained and continued to do so until she has met with her root guru Khamtrul Rinpoche. She had the courage to do all that on her own. There was no support from family or friends, but she went ahead anyway. Because of that, she has succeeded in her spiritual path.

    She was and still is lonely because no one understands where she is spiritually. One of the scenes in the video showed Jetsunma talking to a few other Western Tibetan nuns at her nunnery before it was being built. The nuns told her that they have gifted her books to prisoners and jokingly said that it was very suitable for them as Jetsunma being in the cave for 12 years is the same as being in prison. Jetsunma replied sharply with deep compassion, “I choose it.” Obviously, Jetsunma and the other nuns are on a different level and she is lonely in the sense that there is no spiritual companion who understands where she is.

    This scene is also one of the scenes that showed her courage throughout the video. Her courage in speaking up, giving simple but direct reply in this case, has clearly shown that she takes things very seriously and she will immediately correct us if we are not right out of deepest care for us. Speak up and get over and done with it compassionately, so that no complications will arise from not speaking up in the first place.

    Similarly, I’ve embarked on my spiritual path when I was 17 going on 18. Life after death has brought deep fear since young. It was because of this that I started seeking for solution. I’ve left Malaysia when I was 23 because of that and came back to where I started after more than a decade. No one agrees and supported my decisions. I was luckier compare to Jetsunma that I’ve different teachers throughout the process who led me to my root guru, His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche at the end of the 11th year.

    The big difference compared to Jetsunma is that I am nowhere near where she is after spending similar amount of years in search of spirituality. This really affected me deeply as I obviously did not go all the way like how Jetsunma has given her all to practice seriously. Her courage continues to grow and she is never stagnant. Finding and meeting our root guru is not the completion of our path, it is in fact the beginning of our spiritual path. That is the time where we should go full force without turning back, because there’s really nowhere for us to turn back to.

    3) Guru devotion, determination & consistency
    Meeting her root guru and realizing he is in fact the manifestation of the deepest part of her being is the same as saying that our root guru is the mirror of our true nature. Whatever the root guru embodies, we have the same and he is here to guide us to achieve that. This is why guru devotion is very much emphasized in the Buddhism, especially in the Tibetan Buddhism tradition. As Jetsunma has mentioned in the video she has realized that her guru is actually on the inside, so even though her guru passed away, she kept going because her guru remains in her.

    Guru devotion is not about following a guru blindly or being in a cult of some sort, it is about us realizing that our innate nature is in human form and we follow with the understanding that is what we are here to achieve. Hence, the instruction and advice from the guru is to be followed fully because it is especially tailored to suits our mind. No other person in the world is capable of doing so and guarantee success, except for our root guru. Jetsunma has proven that to be right and that fuels her determination and consistency to strive for enlightenment.

    I used to think that it was us holding onto our ego and face that we refused to follow the guru fully. I’ve came to realize due to our ignorant to refuse to see and understand the true quality and “function” of the root guru is the cause that we choose to go half way with his advice if we even listen and follow at the first place. I’ve realized how by not transforming our mind we eats away his limited time on earth with us and why by not transforming we will cut his life short. It is not that if we do not transform then he has no purpose to remain and since he is no longer useful, he leaves us. It is because his whole being is to keep our true nature alive and we are responsible to fuel that.

    Our root guru is like a green plant and our transformation is like sun, water and soil that keep it alive. If we do not transform the plant dies, it is as simple as that! That’s why the group of students must continue to transform to keep the root guru alive because having a few transformations are insufficient. If we have more people joining the mandala and with fewer of them who will practice and transform, we are basically digging our own graves and “kill” our guru sooner with our own hands. It is therefore crucial we look out for each other when we are in the same mandala and make sure everyone is on the path, because this is the only way to fuel the length of our guru’s life.

    I have come to a conclusion that everyone in our root guru mandala embodies the same nature as ours and that we are no different from each other! Doing everything according to the guru’s instructions is the same as doing everything for our own benefits. We are on the receiving end. With this realization, how can one not have the determination and consistency to follow the guru’s instructions with full devotion!

    4) The power of imprints & impermanence
    Jetsunma does not just begin her practice this life, she has brought her determination to continue to practice from previous lives. Because of her previous strong imprints and realizations, she has started young and attained in no time. This clearly shown that the only one thing to do in our lives to guarantee the continuation of our practice and attainments in the near future is to practice and strive for attainments! Similarly, if we strive to continue the mundane pleasure, we will carry on with that in our future lives, and that normally leads to endless rebirth in the lower realms, as we did not create causes to be born in anywhere else.

    The beauty of impermanence is that we have the chance to change every moment and the result will be different due to that. Nothing is stagnant. But it will not help if we do not realize that and live as if we are immortal. Because that thinking will only hold us back further from improving and we will continue to resist change. We must put what we have learned and understood into practice. This is very well illustrated in the video during her audience with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama on the issues of Bhikkhuni ordination in the Tibetan Buddhism tradition.

    5) Self salvation
    The whole video summarized Jetsunma’s path to enlightenment with the emphasis on attainments is possible when we put all the efforts in and surrender ourselves to our spiritual guide. If she did not practice, meeting her root guru will mean nothing. In Buddhism, we do not believe in the almighty god who will take away all our problems and let us wonder free without having to take responsibility for all the things that we have done. We do believe that we have the potentials to attain buddhahood, because many buddhas have attained enlightenment before this and countless practitioners since 2500 years ago have proven that. There are many buddhas who are going to be enlightened (they can be in the form of our spiritual guide) and many will be enlightened (our dharma brothers and sisters and ourselves). We are surrounded by them in forms of a statue, thangkha, human etc. They are here to remind us of our true nature and show us the way. In the end, it is us who have to do it. Salvation is only possible if we help ourselves and claim full responsibilities of all the actions we have done.

    • Pastor Adeline on Oct 9, 2015 at 6:44 pm

      I have watched the documentary in the link above again and again over the past 2 days and today asking myself what exactly stroke me in the documentary. I have watched this awhile ago and left the above comment which I now feel was very superficial.

      There is nothing in-depth this time either but I have recognised this particular anger I have not so much for not being in long retreat, but being where I am having to deal with people – the biggest struggle I have on my spiritual path. I am not complaining because I choose to be where I am. I thought I was in terms with this inner feeling long ago but it arises again and I almost mistaken it for something else.

      For Tenzin Palmo, she sees her innate buddha nature in a human form, her Guru, whereas for me, I see my inner maras in human forms, and this makes a huge difference as to why I am not in a long secluded retreat. Her mind is definitely on a much much higher level!

      I thought wouldn’t it be nice if I get to follow Jetsunma’s footstep to be in a long retreat before I am out dealing with people, but how long do I need? It will never be enough to be comfortable, will it?

  69. lucy yap on Apr 8, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    Tenzin Palmo,the perfect teacher for women and men who believe gender empowerment is attainable through love and wisdom.
    For those who like some guidance,encouragement and a clearer idea of what the path might look like in these modern times.
    Very inspiring video,thank you Rinpoche.

  70. Pastor Chia on Apr 8, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    I like to watch Tenzin Palmo documentary video simple because her story inspire me and give me courage want to become a sangha member to benefit others.

    At the 21 years old age, young Tenzin Palmo has left her home, travel to India start her spiritual journey ordained as the nun giving up her youth, beauty and fun in this samsara searching for perfection. When she enter the solitary retreat for 12 year, she able to find the answer what she looking for see the true natural about oneself.

    Her devotion toward her root lama Khemtrul rinpoche is unbelievable, although she not gave too much teaching directly from her lama and hardly see him, she always follow her lama instruction and keep very close samaya with him. Even the lama has pass away early, she still keep her promise to open the nunnery to preserve Tokden nun lineage.

    Being alone at the cave seating at the meditation box for 12 years, Tenzin Palmo felt so happy and peace because she can chose through meditation to attend her mind, rather at the community she felt lonely because facing many challenges just to practice dharma because she is dharma female practitioner.

    Tenzin Palmo is persistence frighting to get equality same from the Buddhist monks. Her conversation with HHDL shown her many respect and humility toward HHDL get their recognition.

    Her kindness and hard work has inspire many Buddhist monk, nun and lay people to help her building up the nunnery for many young nun. The the end the video seeing Khemtrul Rinpoche incarnation return to bless her nunnery. It shown her devotion and samaya toward to her root guru at her spiritual journey.

    In Tenzin Palmo story i see many similarity like H.E Tsem Tulku Rinpoche spiritual journey to inspire many people and students at Malaysia.Thank you rinpoche always find different ways to inspire us.

  71. Pastor Jay Jae on Apr 8, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    This video is one of the most inspiring videos which I’ve watched. A good mix of various important characteristics of Buddhism.

    1. The “Calling”
    We often hear of this term when it comes to monks and nuns who have left their families and secular life for a spiritual path. Commonly known as a calling but in the case of Ven Tenzin Palmo, it is a distinct proof that even though born in a society far away from any Buddhist country and even heard of the Dharma, she found her way to India where she met her spiritual path and Guru. This is more than a calling but more of a proof of reincarnation which she is reconnecting from a different time.

    2. The Battery
    Like a battery charger, the guru charges the student with the nectar of Dharma. Over time and with the student surrendering to the Guru with full conviction and devotion, the student will gain realizations and attainments. When the student is ready, he/she will be able to do the Guru’s job and inspire many. Like Tenzin Palmo, she went all over the world empowering people with what she learnt from her Guru and in turn empowering the people she meets.

    3. A cause to live for
    Though it is not the Buddha’s intent to put nuns second in place because there is equality in every sentient being, through time and influence of different culture, it has become this way. Ven Tenzin Palmo’s tenacity in providing these beautiful girls a chance to practice the Dharma, according to the tradition she’s in has been an arduous journey but it is beautiful and meaningful because it has brought meaning to the lives of these young nuns.

    4. The sandpaper
    Choose the more difficult of the two. Like Ven Tenzin Palmo, did this when came with a crossroad of either going in for a retreat or building a nunnery. Reminds me alot of Rinpoche’s struggle to come to Malaysia and teach. There has been so much trial and tribulations but Rinpoche kept on going because it was not only His teacher’s instructions but also beneficial for many.(This blog speaks the loudest).A spiritual path is not necessary a bed of roses but you get better clarity when you tread on the path.

    5. Embodying the Guru
    I felt that Ven Tenzin Palmo had met with alot of adversity and would have easily gave up and went back to a secular life. But it is evident that her Guru devotion kept her going and she embodied the virtues of her master over time and practice. This is the end result of Vajrayana, to be able to achieve union with the Guru one day and continue to preserve the Guru’s work. That is how the Dharma would grow.

    This video inspired me in many ways and reminds me of my Guru, HE Tsem Rinpoche who has spent countless hours (if not years) working on many individuals like myself for my personal betterment so that I can life a fruitful life in the Dharma. Many thanks to Rinpoche and the blog team to have this available for all to inspire everyone who reads!

  72. Jem on Apr 8, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    Thank you for sharing this Amazing inspirational video of Tenzin Palmo. Few thoughts regarding about her after watching the documentary are as below.

    As a nun, the journey of her being a nun is very inspiring as she has braved herself at the age of 21 to search for her spiritual path to india and to meet her guru.

    In terms gender inequality issues, she also shows there is imperfection too in Buddhism, meaning to say that even in Buddhism there are gender biasness where monks are much more superior than nun and are more easily ordained to be enlightened compared to nuns. However, through Tenzin Palmo’s hardship and determination, she had won several understanding including HHTDL and other monks that gender equality have to be instilled even in a Buddhist community.

    Last but not least was, the scene where one lady suddenly cried in tears where she feels very warm when she hugged Tenzin Palmo after her speech. This made me feel Tenzin Palmo had a very kind and genuine feeling to be able to pierce into one’s heart as strong as the ladies, where she claim that she had not had such warm feelings and cried in ages, and Tenzin Palmo had eventually touched her inner feelings. This makes me feel that, it’s not easy to find a person that who could really understand and not until you find the correct person who could able to break into the barriers to understand you, even without knowing much.

  73. Li Kheng on Apr 8, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    Yesterday evening, I had the opportunity to watch the video Tenzin Palmo – Cave in the Snow with the Pastors of Kechara House in Kechara Forest Retreat. Each time I listen to Tenzin Palmo’s journey, I gain a new learning. I am certain I will continue to learn from teachings and stories of highly attained beings like Tenzin Palmo each and every time because their journey is one of compassion made with the pure motivation to benefit others.

    The first time I heard Tenzin Palmo’s story, I was inspired by her determination and tenacity. She ventured into the world of Tibetan Buddhism when it was unheard of in the community she came from. Not only did Tenzin Palmo want to dedicate her life to a practice that is uncommon in England, she had to leave all the she knew behind and leap into the unknown. The mere sound of being so far out of our comfort zone can alone prevent people from even contemplating such an “impossible” quest. Tenzin Palmo did not surrender to her fear of the unknown. Probably it is because somewhere in there, she knows the suffering from not “finding perfection” would be more painful and damaging in the long term. This reminds me of Tsem Rinpoche’s teaching that it is better to practice the Dharma and be uncomfortable than to be without the Dharma and completely deluded only to have our karma catch up on us at the end.

    The second time round, Tenzin Palmo’s clarity struck me most. She was able to present her cause before H.H the 14th Dalai Lama with dignity, fortitude and honesty. Tenzin Palmo was able to debate with H.H because she was clear about what she stands for, which equips her with the courage to be honest and direct. What I got from how she went about doing things was: whether I get support or not, I will get the job done completely and well. Her commitment to keep her samaya with her Guru clean is stellar and exemplary that I believe strongly, contributed to her successful retreat in the caves, which brought forth Tenzin Palmo’s attainments that, eventually impacted, inspired and shifted many people around the world per the testimonials in the video. From my understanding the purpose of studying and practicing the Dharma is so that we bring forth our inner Buddha more and more with each step. Therefore, in conclusion from this observation, Tenzin Palmo has kindly shown us a clear path towards our goal of Dharma practice.

    After watching the video again last night, the hardship Tenzin Palmo had to go through to benefit others is truly impressionable. From the journey she made to India to the moment she was forced to leave her cave to the tours she made around the world to turn the Wheel of Dharma. None of it was something she wanted. Adding to the challenge, Tenzin Palmo was pioneering to establish greater equality in opportunity for the nuns to receive Dharma knowledge. This is no easy task as we can see from the response from H.H himself that was slightly inconclusive. However, I respect and rejoice for the unheard of opportunities Tenzin Palmo is creating for the nuns. I relate this point to the work of Tsem Rinpoche who is “re-packaging” the Dharma for the 21st century in a mainstream manner. Rinpoche’s methods are innovative and uncommon in the Dharma world, giving rise to people’s inability to understand and accept at the beginning. However, through perseverance, hard work and sincerity, Rinpoche’s blog and social media platforms have benefits more than 4 million people. After a difficult period, Rinpoche’s methods are not only accepted but also pursued by people from all over the world. We have people like Antoinette Kass and Niral Patel who would come all the way to Malaysia from Luxemburg and England respectively just to learn and practice the Dharma.

    During the discussion a group discussion after the video, I hear how Tenzin Palmo was described to have sacrificed so much. However, from her conversation, she made no sacrifice for the Dharma and responded (to a question in an interview) that the place in the world she most wants to be in is back in the cave on retreat. Similarly, I have been described to have sacrificed so much to return from Shanghai to dedicate my time to Dharma works through the Green Project in Kechara Forest Retreat. However, I have not for a moment experienced sacrifice in the past 1 ½ year. On the contrary, I have gained so much through the wisdom and compassion of my kind Guru and the nurturing yet challenging embrace of Mother Nature.

    Thank you Tsem Rinpoche for sharing this blog post. It is a great learning material that provides much opportunity for reflection.

  74. Patsy on Apr 8, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    What touched me most was her strong devotion to her Guru, Khamtrul Rinpoche. Even though her Guru passed away she still continued with the nunnery and didn’t give up. She was all emotional during the interview when she talked about her Guru who went into clear light at a young age.

    I admire her faith and courage to travel the distance to study the Dharma at an early age and eventually met her Guru and received ordination. When most people her age are looking for fun, career and marriage, Tenzin Palmo has already set her mind to be a nun.

    Tenzin Palmo’s courage to go against all odds to be the first nun and isolate herself in a small cave and went into a 12 year retreat is very inspiring. This shows that if we are determined to go all the way we can accomplish what we want. The cave is so small and the weather is bad yet she felt blissful in retreat. Here we have all the amenities for us yet we find excuses not to practice.

    When she was at a cross road to choose whether to go into retreat or set up a nunnery, she even asked a Catholic priest for advise even though she is a Buddhist. There was no discrimination on other religion.

    She mentioned that she was not lonely in the cave but was lonely in the community and would prefer to stay in retreat yet she chose the difficult path to build a nunnery. This is the quality of a Bodhisattva. It was not an easy task as she had to travel all over to give talk to raise funds

    She stood out as a strong, gentle nun and when she had an audience with the Dalai Lama, she was determined yet respectful, honest, humble, and focus about her mission. When the Dalai Lama visited the nunnery, it was a happy occasion and one of the nuns cried when she received an envelope from the Dalai Lama. I think it is a cry of joy that the Dalai Lama endorsed their nunnery and the hard work of Tenzin Palmo.

    Tenzin Palmo is a mirror reflection of Tsem Rinpoche. Rinpoche wish is to go into retreat yet Rinpoche chose to teach and face all the difficulties. Tenzin Palmo chose to go into retreat yet chose to build a nunnery. During the early years, Rinpoche was asked by the monastery to come to Malaysia to teach and raise funds to set up a dormitory for the monks. Here we havee Tenzin Palmo who had to travel teach to raise funds to build a nunnery. Each time Rinpoche talked about Zong Rinpoche, Rinpoche becomes emotional just like her when she talked about Khamtrul Rinpoche.

  75. Aw on Apr 8, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    I agree with Rinpoche that we all have fear , worries and obstacle but if we let it conquer us , we will lost . We have to overcome it by stop letting it conquer us NOW .IF Tenzin Palmo did not make up her mind and firm on what she seek for , nothing will happen today and she would remain as a layperson.The key point is to never wait as what Rinpoche mentioned above as there is no perfect time ever , not tomorrow nor next week or next year because we never know what will happen then. For example we would lost our own life or our guru anytime.

    what strikes me the most would be The faith and devotion she have towards her guru. Yes tenzin palmo left her home at very young age to look for dharma and it must be due to her strong dharma imprint from her previous life but things could change after she met with her guru because we generate karma everyday by the action we did .Despite all the obstacles, Tenzin palmo choose the correct way to overcome her own fear and go all the way . It is truly amazing how she follow her guru’s advice and be firm about what she seek for and she can see things so clearly and differently compare to others. It is so wonderful that one’s mind can be so firm, stable and nothing can affect it .

    Although Tenzin palmo would very much want to go back to her retreat and yet she choose to stood up for other nuns for equality and also raise funds to build a nunnery and teach . I felt shame when watch the documentary and at the same time i salute this beautiful nun who inspire me to do more ,just like Tsem Rinpoche who follow his guru instruction to go to malaysia to teach . People like Tsem Rinpoche and Tenzin palmo deserve more than a cave to do their retreat, they deserve more students around the world to make offering to them and we all need blessing and teaching from attained being like them .

    Most of us have what we want and we are still chasing for the things that we can’t bring along when we die , but for Tenzin palmo she look for long retreat , equality and more teaching from her guru. I felt fortunate that i am close to my guru that he would do anything to pull me out of samsara. Time for me to learn and move forward and be a wonderful person like Tenzin palmo.

    Appreciate about the documentary share by Tsem Rinpoche , it open up my mind and i sincerely wish Jetsunma Tenzin palmo long life and may more nuns receive teaching from her.

  76. jp on Apr 8, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    Watching this video again reminded me the importance of guru devotion because through the outer guru can we then find the inner guru. Guru devotion is not fanatical idol worship but the devotion towards achieving one’s Buddhahood. It is a commitment to our salvation. Tenzin Palmo said it beautifully that when she first met her guru,she felt as though “the deepest part of her being has taken material form in front of her.” She felt that her guru was a living Buddha. She was recognising the fullest, most sacred potential in her.

    Tenzin Palmo said that there is no end goal when being in the cave and meditating for many years. No one is there to applaud and give acknowledgment. It is a journey of discovery. She elaborates that when we go into a retreat, it gives us a chance for “deep layers of consciousness to arise and be identified.” I believe she’s referring to our self cherishing mind. Examining these layers of identities, allow us the opportunity to realise that they are self made and empty of existence. The projection of the “self” is no more than a projection. Having existed for countless of aeons, I believe there are countless of layers to be examined, hence the years of retreat necessary to work on them.

    To continue her journey of achieving Buddhahood or she calls her search of being perfect, she chose a more difficult path by building a nunnery for refugee nuns from Tibet regardless of the problems and obstacles prophecised by the astrologer. A Catholic priest told her what’s the point of having silken velvet cloth stroke over rough pieces of wood? They will never be smooth. Sandpaper was what she needed to smoothen the wood. Building a nunnery was her sandpaper. It was her retreat.

    Rinpoche always taught us that when we are faced with 2 choices, always choose the more difficult path because it is the more difficult path that will help us in our mind transformation or otherwise known as the practice of “lojong”.

    In keeping her promise to her guru to build a nunnery, she traveled around the world giving dharma talks in order to raise funds for the construction. She did it and fulfilled her promise. As a result, many nuns had a place to stay and further their practice.

    Not only did Tenzin Palmo build the nunnery, she also challenged the male dominated Buddhist system of not allowing nuns to receive the highest ordination. She believed that nuns should be given the same rights as monks. She even went to visit the Dalai Lama to lobby for her cause. Her fearlessness in fighting for equality for the sake of many females shows her selflessness and compassion resulting from her retreat. I believe she is an emanation of Tara who has vowed to take on the female form as a Buddha to prove that females can be liberated and achieve Enlightenment as well.

    Tenzin Palmo is a living example that Buddhist practices are not far fetched. As a matter of fact, they are achievable if we are consistent with our practice and honest with ourselves.

    Once again, thank you Rinpoche for this profound teaching.

    With folded hands and gratitude,

  77. Joy on Apr 8, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    Watching Tenzin Palmo’s documentary again made me realise how beautiful it is to become a nun. It also makes me feel like going in to a retreat alone! She is inspiring because despite all obstacles she had to go through especially at that time when Tibetan Buddhism was not even mainstream in the west, and then the prejudice she had to experience as female sangha, the 1st in the world, but she followed her calling, her strong “imprint” to seek out the truth, that we are inherently “perfect” and to find answers on how to achieve this perfection. Coming from a typical western culture and being brought up as a Catholic made her feel she was “nothing” and instead seeking Buddhism tells me definitely she was a high practitioner in her previous lives, and obviously there is reincarnation.

    There were many things she said in the documentary that stuck out and some of of it that did for me is that…

    1. Meeting her Guru, her spiritual guide for the first time was like meeting someone she has always held deep in her heart but came out and manifested in the outer form. Her pure Guru devotion is amazing! At first sight, she knew she has found her Lama. This shows her clean Guru Samaya with her teacher and her devotion. When she was in retreat, she would only meet her teacher once a year, but that was enough to propelled her to do her practice and gain attainments. We have our Guru’s with us so often yet we can’t even let go of our petty attachments and ego and transform.

    Though she was devastated, (and you could feel how much devotion she has for her Guru, when she cried talking about when she first heard her Guru has gone in to clear light) she never gave up the instructions/assignments and goal the Guru gave her which was to continue the lineage of Tokden nuns, and to ensure its preservation. How sacred a mission, how inspiring, just like how Rinpoche continued and followed through to become a monk even though His Holiness Zong Rinpoche passed away and how Rinpoche continues to teach us clowns because Rinpoche’s Guru instructed though Rinpoche like Tenzin Palmo would very much prefer the peace and quietness of meditation in a wilderness cave. What great sacrifices Enlightened beings of such does for us silly ignorant samsaric beings that sometimes take for granted or show no gratitude. Shameful we are.

    2. Being in solitude, meditating in a cave all “alone” by herself, sitting in the meditation box was the best thing in the world for her. It was like her journey of self discovery and She never felt alone and in fact found the journey itself was the self discovery lessons which she learnt and gave her happiness, peace and enjoyed the space she had to really dig deep and work with herself. Wow!!! I particularly liked how she said… being in a retreat alone, she could “peel” away the many roles we played in our daily lives. Being in isolation on her own there was no need to play any “roles” because there was no one to play those “roles” as she was by herself. So it was easier to discover her true nature. It gave her the opportunity to go deep within to find out her true nature. She mentioned she felt lonelier being in the sangha community than it was with herself in isolation doing retreats!

    3. Her great sacrifice from not going in to a retreat but to start the nunnery, choosing the more difficult path reminds me of Rinpoche’s advice to us all which is to always choose the more difficult path and the road less travelled. To always put in hard work and effort to get to our goals, and in this case, gaining attainments!

    It is inspiring to see how she single handedly raised funds to build the nunnery, got it built and raising the standards of learning for the nuns. She is brave to raise the issues that nuns in general face, she gives them a voice and become like a beacon of hope that one day, nuns will be viewed and treated equally. I admire this so much in her, because she basically gave up her “comfort” for being in a retreat to be challenged in a world where everything seems to be against her and “male” dominant, even in the holy spiritual community of sanghas. It is amazing what she had to put up with and is still probably putting up with. She always mentioned that sometimes she does feel like “giving up” like as thought she was this “rabbit trapped” in it’s own cage but the fact that she never give and still move forward shows me her Boddhisattva strength. People like her will change the world.

    She even dares to speak to His Holiness the Dalai Lama so directly to address her cause for nuns to be equal and to be given equal vows and same privileges as the male sanghas. I really did not know this existed in Buddhism till I read her book!

    She reminds me of a living Mother Tara who vowed to gain “Enlightenment” in a female form to prove that “Enlightenment” is not for only “males” and NO you do not need to be reborn back as a male so that you can gain Enlightenment. I am quite surprised when I first watched this documentary, to learn that Mahayana nun were taught and told they could not gain higher attainments unless they are in a male form. That is just pure rubbish, and very sad! I hope she and many nuns to come in this world will change this misconception! I would do the same if I am a nun.

    Lastly it is so beautiful seeing the nunnery and the all the lovely nuns doing puja rituals together and getting the teachings required for them to gain Enlightenment! It felt warm and very much something I would like to one day be doing too. It is becoming more and more appealing than to be stuck fooling ourselves with false happiness in samsara.

  78. Cliff on Apr 8, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    She had to endure so many obstacles as a woman becoming a nun and thereafter. Only at the age of 20 already leaving home to become a nun in India without fear and determination she knew in her heart she knew exactly what she wanted to do to seek perfection. Her 12 years in retreat is amazing, how much she went through in order for her to meditate and would have gone back in a heartbeat if it weren’t for the authorities. Growing her own food, struggling through a blizzard from November to May is intense yet she stayed firm in her mind, trusted her guru and did her practices. I feel complete kindness, determination and grace in her heart through her voice.

    I still can’t be able to grasp the intensity in her retreat when Rinpoche has given us such a convenient environment to do ours in. It makes me feel that I too would like to go into a retreat in a cave in the mountains. I understand and see how much Rinpoche wants to go into a retreat somewhere in isolation and solitude. It was very moving when I saw the nun crying with emotions when receiving a blessing from H.H.D.L.

    Her struggle as a nun in order to learn the dharma from her guru because she was a woman I felt was ridiculous, if women were seen as nasty repulsive beings where does compassion and the teaching that Buddha is within all of us come from. Why does Vajrayogini or Green Tara manifest in female form? If mind has no form why does it matter if one is presented as a man or a woman?

    Her determination and mission has led her to build a nunnery, that safe guards nuns to pursue their practices and I thought that was extremely compassionate of her to have pursued when you can clearly see from her emotions how much she wanted to go back into her retreat. I was disgusted when I heard her stories that nuns would have been ganged raped or thrown into jail, I can’t believe such beings could have committed such an act with or without someone in holy robes. That’s one main reason why I rejoice in her success to build a nunnery that allows all those beautiful nuns to continue their practice safely and only hope that it grows bigger.

    I saw from the video she had such strong guru devotion, her story the first time she had met H.E. Khamtrul Rinpoche was incredible with such detail you could feel her emotions through her words. A piece of her heart emanated in front of her in physical form as if she had met her old friend once again. Later being able to meet her guru again and even got to receive blessings from him for her nunnery was really exciting. Though her struggle being a nun in the monastery she continued to pursue her practices despite all the obstacles she had to endure.

    I liked her short talk on false perception of securities from materialism, people and money. Thinking that in life that if earn money we would be safe, love for someone we would get comfort and feel safe, in reality people die and when we die we can’t bring forth what we earn in this life time except the dharma that we’ve learnt and merit we’ve earned. If we always think that having all these things would keep us safe and make us safe we would be delusional, like Tenzin Palmo said we would be walking on thin ice.

    Her skill in her words is straight forward not beating around the bush yet shows kindness and respect to which she speaks to. People ask her if she felt lonely in the cave for 12 years but in fact felt lonelier in the monastery made me feel she had more control over her mind when she did her meditation. You could tell her mind is sharp with her witty replies during conversations and you know she is knowledgeable in her studies that’s why she could debate her point across without hesitation.

    Buddhism speaks about compassion, equality and non-prejudice yet shown here is her life struggle as a nun with full conviction she is able to change that thinking. Buddhism is universal it is always evolving and improving. With the struggles of her being a foreigner and a female she continues to follow her guru’s instructions.

  79. nicholas on Apr 8, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    A young lady who search for perfection and can never find the answer from the samsara act and she knew that perfection is more than just being nice which is just a fundamental but the true meaning is beyond until she came across a Buddhist book and agree with every words stated and from there I believe her Buddha seed has ripened. Her strong practice and devotion towards her Lama from previous life make her has such a strong imprint and faith in this life even though she has not met her Lama before but just knew it and just keep waiting for the day. She mentioned that she felt the closeness and the feeling of have not seen him for a long time. It remind me of how Naropa keep searching for his Guru Tilopa and upon seeing him Naropa was so sure this is his Guru.

    Being a nun does not get the same treatment as monk.Even though initially Tenzin Palmo chooses to go for retreat but after meeting s priest it changes her mind. Seeing the lack of opportunity for nun in their practice inspire her to start a nunnery. She definitely has fear in going against the odd but as true practitioners she believes in the righteous to benefits others which she take up to restore the nunnery and continue the lineage to give more opportunity to the nun and the ordination for the women practitioners.

    Tenzin Palmo inspire so many people to volunteer to raise fund with her and we can see from the video people do gain from her talk, from her appearance and people did go back with what they need from meeting this compassionate nun.

    Every success always ties with great hard work. From her determination going for her 12 long years retreat with the harsh weather Tenzin Palmo never give up and we can see how strong she hold on and up with her practice and she portray a true Buddhist practitioner. She gave hope and also the light for nun to be inspire and to follow her footsteps.

  80. stella on Apr 8, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    The 5 points that touch me beautifully and meaningfully are:

    1. When Tenzin Palmo first met her Guru, how she prostrated, offered khata and sat down yet felt nervous… and the point when she finally looked at her Guru – “it was like the deepest part in me manifested outside” – it was so beautifully described. For someone like me who had never met my Guru, I can imagine it already.

    2. When Tenzin Palmo was “sealed” in her snow cave and she thought she is going to die, then a voice inside her said “dig out”. It is courage that I see for she was locked in within a small cave in the wild, cold and had no way out.

    3. Albeit the gender-biased circumstances during early days of her practice resulted in her not receiving solid teaching, Tenzin Plamo shown tremendous determination in pursuing Buddhism and eventually she had the confidence for a retreat in the cave. It took her 12 years.

    4. When Tenzin Palmo turned the frustration of her earlier days of practice into her mission in setting up a nunnery. “She has done it, nobody else have to be frighten to move forward” sum it up.

    5. When Tenzin Palmo found out her Guru passed away. And she cried on the day the video was filmed. It showed the great respect she had for her Guru.

  81. Pastor Jean Ai on Apr 8, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    I’ve watched this video so many times, and keep going back to it because of the immense inspiration that Tenzin Palmo brings.

    [1] When you see someone like her wearing maroon robes, you feel proud to belong to the same tradition because she turned her realisations into actions. Some people meditate on compassion all of their lives, but never put it to the test (or, as she said, apply sandpaper). Tenzin Palmo took what she had realised, put aside her “hermit nature” and came out to the world to turn the wheel of dharma for others. When you see someone do that and the results are positive, why not do it yourself?

    In the same way, our teachers keep doing that all the time and it reflects the tradition started by Shakyamuni, who could’ve continued to stay in retreat but was requested instead to teach. That is how our teachers can be like Buddhas to us; they have realised the teachings and in teaching us, are practicing them too.

    [2] It is clear that meditating for 12 years in a cave did not cause her to lose her wit, charm and sense of humour. I love that she is firm and direct in her manner but not rude, gently correcting the monks who said that the Chinese tradition has more nuns than monks. When she said it may be true but they are serving the delegates who are all male, I was rooting for her to get her point across! But she said it with so much care for the nuns and for the monks she was speaking to, that no one was offended. It was beautiful to witness and definitely something I need to learn.

    [3] Her passion was palpable when she talked about how her inclusion as a speaker was a last-minute thing, because they had enough time to include her. It was at odds with her later statement that she does not like to speak; clearly when it comes to an instruction her teacher has given her, she is passionate about upholding it, regardless of her personal preferences. Above all, Tenzin Palmo carries her guru’s words and instructions closest to her heart. When you do that, even if you’re not looking for success, success will come to you because your guru’s blessings help you to develop something everybody wants, which is wisdom and bodhicitta.

    [4] In the same time she spent developing attainments, people outside spent their time accumulating wealth, family, cars, careers. And after spending so much time and effort accumulating these material possessions, they ended up unhappy and coming to her to seek some relief from their suffering. So I hate to say it in this way but at the end of the day, who REALLY wasted their time?

    [5] I also found interesting the change in the scriptures, from meditating upon oneself as nothing more than a composite of rotting flesh and organs once you’ve peeled back the skin, to meditating upon a female form that’s been peeled back, and is repulsive.

    Actually, what does it matter if it is male or female that you’re meditating on? Once you’ve peeled back the skin, what about your insides makes you male or female? Since there is no difference, why do Buddhists institutions make a big deal out of it when what REALLY matters is the mind? And the mind is without form, and the good / bad about form is imputed so designating male as good and female as bad goes against the core of Buddhist teachings, which is that there is no inherent value in either.

    So to have nuns as second class citizens compared to monks, does not make sense since the mind is without gender, and everyone’s minds have the same potential to achieve enlightenment, male or otherwise. That kind of tiered level based on gender, as opposed to attainments, is the complete opposite of Buddhist teachings.

    Oh my, the video’s brought out the “feminist” in me.

    [6] Last but not least, I have to say that Tenzin Palmo has led me to develop more appreciation for Tara as a Buddha in female form. Listening to Tenzin Palmo speak about her struggles helps me to understand the kind of pressures and difficulties nuns go through, although it is not actually propagated by the teachings but by those who have set up the system.

    It helps me to understand why it was so important for Tara to make aspirational prayers to achieve enlightenment as a female. She knew one day, elements of misogyny would stain the teachings and that male practitioners (as well as female ones!) would need to be shown through example that enlightenment as a female is possible.

  82. Pastor Loh Seng Piow on Apr 8, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    A truly admirable and respectable sangha Tenzin Palmo is, she became a nun at such a young age of 21, when most young people were out looking for fun, love, marriage, career etc. And she is very brave to go to India alone looking for her guru, and live in a dangerous cave in the snow for 12 years! She has to carry on her responsibility without a guide after her guru passed away, but she persisted and succeeded. And she speaks up for the rights of nun bravely in the male-dominated sangha world. She is tougher than many men, she might be a frail-looking woman, but has a very strong will, look at the way she “negotiates” with the Dalai Lama about having full ordination vows for nuns!

    There is a lot to be learnt from this amazing nun, to choose the path of spirituality at such a young age and not be attracted by worldly pleasures; to go to meditate in a dangerous place thus placing her own enlightenment more important than her own safety; to fight for the rights of the otherwise neglected female sangha in a male-dominated world of sangha.

    She is a fighter, a fighter for her own liberation, as a fighter for the under-privileged, for women’s rights. We should read/watch her stories from time to time to be inspired. She has all adversities against her: being a female, being a foreigner in a remote land, being a under-represented gender in a male-dominated world, being alone without her guru to continue her nunnery project. Instead of giving up, she excelled in all. We have much more than her, so it is a shame if we could not do and achieve as much as Tenzin Palmo.

  83. Ong Moh Mei on Apr 8, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this video on Tenzin Palmo. Few things stood out for me while watching this video.

    1. When Tenzin Palmo met her Guru Khemtrul Rinpoche the first time, she described that it’s like the most deepest part of her being has now materialized in front of her. Even though I do not fully grasp the meaning and significance of it, this part of the video stood out for me the most even after watching it several times.

    2. I love the way Tenzin Palmo explained we always play a “role” in a community, among people and that when we are alone, why bother playing a role to oneself (unless one is schizophrenic I guess). I guess most of us only truly dare to show our “real” self when no one see. But in solitary retreat these layers get peeled off one by one until one true nature is reveled. Even the “real” self that we thought we are in the private is not our true nature, it’s only the surface layer.

    3. Another great point Tenzin Palmo made was that she was never alone in her cave, she was in fact alone when in a community. I find that so true, one is not alone when one is by themselves. It is only among others then loneliness manifest.

    4. Tenzin Palmo asked a Catholic priest when she came to the cross road of what to do with her life after 12 years in a cave and that it is a Catholic priest who helped put her thoughts into perspective. This goes to show that true practitioners of any religion are indeed in harmonious in thought process and benefiting others.

    5. Tenzin Palmo journey to build a nunnery is the beginning of an endless responsibility to benefit others, specially the many women who faced immense difficulty in seeking a spiritual path.

    6. Tenzin Palmo took on the female role and became the advocate for women in Tibetan Buddhism because of the many adversaries and difficulties she faced during her spiritual journey because of her gender. She chose to defy these difficulties and pave ways to ease or lessen the suffering for those women after her who aspire to take the same path. To me, Tenzin Palmo is like the “Joan of Arc”, the “Mother Teresa” of Tibetan Buddhism.

    7. Tenzin Palmo does not shy away from advocating her cause, even with His Holiness The Dalai Lama she advocates her cause for women. But she also did so with utmost respect and humility to HHTDL. In her conversation with HHTDL, one could see the “perfect” balance she has attained in aggressively pursuing a cause and yet humble and calm in its negotiation.

    • David Lai on Apr 9, 2014 at 2:17 am

      Dear Pastor Moh Mei,
      Let me offer you my explanation on the significance of Tenzin Palmo meeting with her Guru, Khemtrul Rinpoche for the first time. She said that she felt her deepest part of her being manifesting in front of her.

      Right in the beginning, Tenzin Palmo talked about her search for perfection and that was inside of her right from the beginning. She said she was looking for this even when she was growing up in England. When growing up, she realized that she could not find true happiness, let alone perfection in marriage and living a good life. And that was why she left England in search for this ‘perfection’ she longed for in India. While in India, she met Khemtrul Rinpoche. Immediately, there was a sort of affinity with this lama.

      First of all, this meant that Tenzin Palmo must have practiced Dharma in her previous life and that’s why she has this affinity with her lama. Also, she must have been the student of Khemtrul Rinpoche from a previous life and meeting with him again in this life immediately opened powerful karmic seeds from a previous life. This was experienced by Tenzin Palmo as the lama was experienced as the embodiment of her search – this perfection.

      The very reason Tenzin Palmo searched for perfection was probably due to powerful imprints from previous lives. What she was really looking for was the Dharma as that was imprinted into her in previous lives. The moment she saw her Guru, her karmic seeds opened for her. Later, more karmic seeds opened and she made huge changes to practice the Dharma and eventually becoming a nun and engaging in what is now a legendary 12 year retreat. I hope this helped you understand and grasp the meaning of what Tenzin Palmo described of her meeting with her lama for the very first time.

  84. sweekeong on Nov 22, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Dear Rinpoche, thank you for sharing such a wonderful bio-documentary on Tenzin Palmo. Even though she is a female she pursued the Dharma all the way. It is worth to watch this documentary more than once.

    These five points resonate strongly with me about her.

    – She let go the comfort of her home and family, travelled all the way from England to India to seek for perfection and met her guru
    – She went into long retreat, being alone in a cave with very harsh outdoor weather and never gave up her practices
    – She has many good qualities, very humble, brave and courageous, never gave in to reach her goal. She put others suffering above her own sufferings and wants, met with gender inequality, spoke her mind when she met Dalai Lama. She went for full Bhikshuni ordination from Mahayana tradition when Tibetan school doesn’t provide one for the nuns.
    – Given two options of continuing retreat or setting up a nunnery, a catholic priest changed her mind into setting up a Tibetan nunnery. (a rough rock can only be smoothen with a sand paper not a silk cloth). Henceforth when she had set her mind, she put in great effort in establishing the nunnery by traveling all over the world to raise fund, even when his guru pass away she continues her effort.
    – Many young nuns were very serious in their study but were not given more teachings due to being born a female. This has not deter them for pursuing Dharma, the best example is Tenzin Palmo herself.

  85. David Lai on Nov 11, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    What an incredible nun! She’s truly incredible bodhisattva with her incredible courage of transcending culture, language and incredible barriers to receive and practice the Dharma. She’s courageous and elegant lady in the face of adversity. I love the fact that she’s graceful, forthright and works hard to make her aspiration come to fruition, whether it is meditating in a stone hovel or travelling the world to fundraise for a nunnery and a cause that she’s championing. She makes me weep in admiration of a person so dedicated to her cause, devotion to her master and her utter disregard for her own personal wish of entering into retreat. Admirably just like Tsem Rinpoche…

    • David Lai on Apr 11, 2014 at 6:45 am

      I watched the video several nights ago and it was just as moving as the first time I watched it and I couldn’t help tearing. There are just so many aspects of Tenzin Palmo that reminded me of Tsem Rinpoche. They shared similar Western upbringing although Tsem Rinpoche was raised in America by a Kalmyk foster family. In other words, their western background did not deter them from pursuing the Dharma all the way. And it also reflects the fact that Dharma transcends all boundaries, race and creed.

      The other thing is that Tenzin Palmo is truly a yogini, just like Tsem Rinpoche is a yogi at heart. They constantly long for quiet contemplation and every moment spent with others is an expression of compassion. Real compassion because they strive to bring real benefit through their teachings and Dharmic works. Tenzin Palmo has her vocation to establish a nunnery and Tsem Rinpoche has his organization and this blog.

      Both Tenzin Palmo and Tsem Rinpoche had profound devotion for their spiritual guides. Although having spent so little time with their root Gurus, the effect of their meeting has altered the course of their lives. Tenzin Palmo is striving to fulfil her Guru’s wish for the Togdenma tradition to be revived, which was her Guru’s instruction. While Tsem Rinpoche is a monk and has been a member of Gaden monastery because of his Guru’s explanation that becoming a monk would benefit many.

      For everyone who stands to gain from Rinpoche’s teaching, it is due to Rinpoche’s devotion to his guru combined with the fact that he teaches from experience and because there is a need to be fulfilled.

  86. wansan on Oct 23, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    Thank You Rinpoche for sharing such inspiring post and video. Here are the five points that touched my heart while watching the video :

    1. The determination of Tenzin Palmo at the age of only 20, to travel to India alone in order to find a guru/teacher just after having known Tibetan Buddhism for two years.

    2. When Tenzin Palmo saw her Guru for the very first time and all the emotions and feelings she was going through. It’s as if she was meeting an old old friend to say Hello and also she felt that her guru was one part of her and now has manifested infront of her.

    3. Although she wasn’t given much teachings like the other monks do and felt lonely at some times, she did not ever think of giving up this path for the past six years. She continued to challenge herself to carry on this difficult path.

    4. I admire a lot of the strong determination and motivation of building a nunnery even though she had a lot of difficulties and obstacles along the way but she focused on the motivation to uphold the status of the nuns and to give the nuns more opportunities to receive precious teachings and because of that she is highly respected by many people.

    5. Her emotions has clearly shown her strong devotion to her Guru when she was explaining how she found out that her guru has passed on. She felt as if she was in a desert without a guide. However, she realised that the lama is always in our hearts and not just only on the outside.

  87. sockwan on Oct 22, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this video and recommended us to read the book. I am half way reading the book not, it is very inspiring and touching. What I have learned after watching the video:

    1. When one has a very clean samaya with the guru, he/she will somehow find the way to find and meet the guru. Tenzin Palmo went to Indian at the age of 20, despite knowing much about India, she just went because she wanted to find her guru. When she heard of the name of Khamtrul Rinpoche, she just knew he was her teacher. She had not seen him before, not even the photo, she just knew he was her teacher. How beautiful!.

    2. When her guru passed away, she was very lost and sad, she didn’t know what to do. But then she remembered her promise to her guru, to restore the tongdenma lineage and make Dharma available for women practitioners. She continues to work on this mission until today. She has many difficulties, she has not achieved her goal after 30 years of hard work hoping to bring the status of female sangha the same as the male sangha but she does not give up or discouraged at all.

    3. She mentioned a retreat is for us to let go our the roles we have been given by the society and really look into our inner self for mind transformation and realisation. That is so true, we are often restricted by the perception and expectation that people have on us that we lose our true nature.

    4. She is a very persistent and strong woman, because of her bad experience as a female practitioner, she vows to take on the female form again and again until she’s enlightened to tell people female has the same quality as male to attain and gain enlightenment. She is a real Boddhisattva, she did not choose the easy way out hoping to be reborn as a male form but she wants to take on the difficult path so that she can guide and help many female practitioners.

    5. She is fearless, she walks into uncertainty but comes out with results. She gave up her life in UK to a country that is totally different from her own, she went to the mountain where no one else was there except for snow, plants and some wild animals. But she has not shown fear, she just went ahead to do it with the faith for her Guru and the 3 Jewels.

    Just like Rinpoche, she shows us with strong guru devotion, clean samaya and faith in 3 Jewels, we will be able to overcome our difficulties and benefit many.

  88. Wan Wai Meng on Oct 15, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    What struck me is that her conviction to fight for the rights of women practitioners. That women also have the right to take up roles and responsibility for the spread of buddha dharma. Models of women ascending to the pinnacle of spiritual development are people like like Master Cheng yen and Mother Teresa. In no way I believe that women has any drawbacks compared to men in terms of spiritual development.

    In the world that is male dominated, women do have to fight all the way to get into so many fields and even in the field of spirituality happy to know Tenzin Palmo is so courageous to speak her mind for the current and future female practitioners.

  89. KYC on Oct 8, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    Five points that touched me:
    (1) Jetsunma made a vow to become enlightened as a woman to facilitate other women’s enlightenment, not only her own. This shows she already had bodhicitta at a young age.
    (2)She chose to become a nun because to follow the Buddhist path, one needed the least distractions. She knew it was the best thing to do.
    (3) She had guru devotion and followed her guru’s instructions.
    (4) It was her faith in the 3 Jewels that helped her out of many difficulties. She was able to let go and trust.
    (5) She was able to raise funds to build a nunnery, Dongyu Gatsal Ling, to help other women to find spiritual understanding and to have equal opportunities in the spiritual arena.

  90. Low Khjb on Oct 6, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for the sharing. Tenzin Palmo is truly remarkable in all ways.Her determination to gain Dharma knowledge against all odds.
    When she finally manage to attain it after much hardship and sacrifice .She was so generous and compassionate to share it with others.
    Tenzin Palmo is truly inspiring.
    By knowing how difficult it was for her to gain the Dharma .We should be very glad that we have a generous guru like our dear Rinpoche who offer us the precious Dharma so easily in the form of E media to all equally without any discrimination or agenda.
    Thank you Rinpoche.

  91. Adrian Chow on Oct 6, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    The points which across my mind after watching this incredible video are:

    1) She is one curious person and eager to learn and question the logic behind a teaching.

    2) She is one strong and a person with persistence. It is not easy at all as a woman pursuing of Buddhist teaching in a foreign land, when nunnery were not officially recognized in Tibetan Buddhism, don’t have to mention the weather she has to endue during her meditating in a cave for 12 long years.

    3) She has so much faith in her guru. Looking at her connection and guru devotion she must be one of her guru’s student in past.

    4) A very direct person when she felt something which is doesn’t make sense to her, she would voice it out even to H.H. Dalai Lama.

    5) Very compassionate person as every moment she spends her time out from her cave meditating which is what she intend to do is a sacrifice to her. But because she is so compassionate she rather choose to face the hardship in order to help or start a place for thousands of women who are eager and wanting to be a nun.

  92. Suet Moi on Oct 5, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this video to us. I feel respect and admire by the way she going through her dharma path. Five points I can get from her are as bellows:
    1) A real life example of incarnation. She is seeking true nature whereby equal to perfect since young. At last she found it through Tibetan Buddhism.
    2) She is very determine and brave to look for what she want. She travel to India to look for her Guru at age 20.
    3) She has strong Guru devotion. No doubt the Guru can not keep her at besides but she still can be independent. she only see her Guru once in a year but she can continue to learn and progress.
    4) She stayed alone in a cave to do her retreat for 12 years. This is very tough as she do everything alone and only sleep three hours. Very amazing.
    5) She choose to build a nunnery instead of go for retreat. In other words she choose to do something to benefit others instead of go for retreat.

    Suet Moi

  93. JP on Oct 3, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this inspirational video of Tenzin Palmo. In many ways, Tenzin Palmo is very similar to Rinpoche.

    1. She has very strong guru devotion. She continued her dharma work of creating a nunnery after her guru passed away. She then invited her reincarnated guru to do a land blessing. Wow! Very moving moment.

    Rinpoche’s guru devotion is legendary in Gaden Monastery. It’s due to Rinpoche’s guru devotion that Rinpoche is here in Malaysia spreading the dharma no matter how difficult it is.

    2. Tenzin Palmo prefers to stay in retreat but she chose the more difficult path of setting up a nunnery for the benefit of many.

    Rinpoche prefers to stay in Gaden Monastery but is here in Malaysia instead, setting up Kechara, an institution of Buddhist philosophies that will last for many generations for the benefit of the masses in Asia.

    3. Tenzin Palmo went around the world giving dharma talks to raise funds and awareness to build her nunnery.

    Rinpoche went to Malaysia and Singapore to give dharma talks back in the 90s to raise funds to build monk hostels for his monastery.

    This documentary shows me again that the key to inner peace and happiness is working for others coupled with meditations to support the deeper realisations that lead towards ultimate liberation.

    Rinpoche’s determination in creating mega projects like Kechara Forest Retreat is for lay people like us to have the opportunity to participate in this retreat in lieu of a meditation retreat. Since most of us can’t meditate in a cave for 12 years due to our restlessness, the more suitable retreat would be to participate in “active” retreats such as building a retreat village.

    As Rinpoche explained, the results of a meditation retreat and an “active” retreat or we call it dharma work, are the same. We ultimately learn to gain more control of our mind and transform for the better because we need to practice what we learnt immediately. In actual fact, doing dharma work or “active” retreat is more difficult and faster for our transformation because our mind is always challenged by external factors. Hence, it takes more effort to control our mind.

    Rinpoche, through his compassion, is creating a platform such as Kechara Forest Retreat, for us to practise the dharma so that more people can eventually realise inner peace and happiness. Rinpoche doesn’t benefit from these projects coz Rinpoche is highly realised.

    We are not doing Rinpoche a favour by contributing to these projects. In actual fact,Rinpoche is doing US a favour. Rinpoche always prefer to be in retreat in a cave somewhere in the mountains.

    Thank you Rinpoche for your love and compassion. The world is a much better place because of people like you.

    With folded hands and gratitude,

  94. Li Kheng on Oct 2, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    Thank you for sharing this powerful and inspiring documentary with us. After watching the story of Tenzin Palmo’s life, I am most inspired by the following:

    1) Tenzin Palmo is always well composed and displays a stately demeanor of calm and clarity. However, when she speaks of her Guru, Tenzin Palmo becomes immediately joyful, extremely respectful and very humbled. She even burst into tears when she spoke of the death of her beloved Guru.

    This shows me that all great Buddhist Icons share one common great devotion: that to the Guru. This, in turn, shows me time and again that the key to spiritual progress is Guru Devotion.

    2) I admired how Tenzin Palmo held her stand when conversing with HH the Dalai Lama. She was respectful, honest and focused. To me, this is a reflection of her commitment to her mission to establish a nunnery so that other young women will have an easier path to their spiritual attainment.

    3) Tenzin Palmo’s cave will so small and what she had to live on was so basic. I reflect on the life I live, how decadent and extravagant. I will appreciate the comfort I am blessed with more and also be more conscious to not over-indulge. I will also inspire others to do the same. If we all live in greater moderation, we will be able to care better for our environment.

    4) Tenzin Palmo is able to excel in all conditions, from the solitude calm of the mountains to the hustle and bustle of international travel to give talks. From this, I learn that, if we practice the Dharma well, regardless of what we do, where we are, who we are with, we will be able to perform well and accomplish success.

    5) I was very moved when one of the nuns broke into tears when she was presented an envelope by HH the Dalai Lama. The tears of joy. It is for results like this that great Gurus work so hard and sacrifice so much for.

  95. Li Kheng on Oct 2, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    Below is the 5 points stood out to me after watch the Tenzin Palmo documentary,

    1)Tenzin Palmo is one of the female Buddhist icon of the west in Tibetan Buddhist who isolated herself from the outside world by engaging in a 12-years meditation, from which she gained profound wisdom and knowledge in Tibetan Buddhism. With her achievement, Tenzin Palmo benefited thousand of people around the world.

    2) I was inspired by her faith and courage to travel the distance to study the Dharma and opened up her karma to meet her guru, Khemtrul rinpoche, whom she has never met before. Additionally, she was able to seek ordination under his spiritual guidance.

    3) I can see her strong guru devotion: when she talked about her lama, she cry. Even after her lama has passed away, she still follow her lama’s advice, instruction by helping to build the nunnery until Khemtrul rinpoche’s next incarnation came back.

    4) Tenzin Palmo also is the example for other female Buddhist practitioners as Tenzin Palmo strives to prove that female practitioners, like their male counterparts, can achieve great attainment at this very lifetime.

    5) Tenzin Palmo had raised fund to build nunner, encouraged many female practitioners to become nuns as well as fight for the rights for all nuns to enjoy an equal spiritual opportunity in the Buddhist world.

    This video is inspiring for many of us.


  96. Li Kheng on Oct 2, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    Dear Rinpoche and friends,

    After watching the documentary, 5 points stood out to me:

    1] The 12 years of intense retreat made her kinder and more compassionate. Which can see from her action: what she doing for others now.

    2] It was not easy for her to arrange her journey to India, such as visa, place to stay etc., all be herself. This is especially so when she is a lady. However, Tenzin Palmo over came her problems. This will inspire other people very much and follow her attitude.

    3} She has taken on the cause of equal rights and opportunities for Buddhist nuns. She built a nunnery for helpless nuns and help them to study.

    4] She show us what she was willing to go through to become a nun. If we are determined and go all the way, we will get what we want.

    5} I must say that she has very strong guru devotion. without guru no one there to guide her. She always sees her guru as a Buddha. We really enjoyed watching this video. It also made us think more deeper about our lives.

    Amrit and Raj Kumar told KB that they appreciated the documentary. I believe they also very much appreciated Rinpoche’s thought to involve them in this meaningful and powerful story of Tenzin Palmo.

    From KB
    (sent by Li Kheng on behalf of KB)

  97. Shelly tai on Oct 2, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this inspiring video to us. After listening to this video I feel very touch and inspiring few things I need to said after watching this video, Tenzin Palma has a very deep realization when she is only 18 years old many of us when we are at such a young age we probably enjoying our youth and having fun, but not her she already has such a deep realization about how to improved her mind and wanting to know more about Dharma. Tenzin Palma she is very brave not any one of us will choose to live in a cave and doing retreat but not her there is a incident because of heavy snow she almost died in the cave she willing to sacrifice her live for Dharma not only that she is very determine to want to achieve her goal as to build a nunnery for others nuns who need a place to practices , during the process she has to go through all the hardship and obstacles. This wonderful lady very sincere when helping others she give all her love for others and work for others I can really fee it as I watching the video, and her drive towards Dharma is so strong that we get to motivated by her to do more for Dharma and never give up on Dharma.
    With Folded Hands
    Shelly tai

  98. Ruby Khong on Oct 2, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    Amazing person. A selfless being who went against all odds to pursue her dream.Even at such young age, as she recalled, she already had strong conviction that we are all inherently perfect and that we take rebirth to realise and attain our perfect self. How would a young English girl have such conviction when she has no exposure to Buddhism unless she was a strong practitioner in her previous lives? Reincarnation does exist. She mentioned that her best birthday present was when she met her teacher. How unusual for a Westerner of that time when all they want for their birthday is to have a nice big meal and present.

    What stood out most about her is that despite all the challenges she encountered, yet the way she relates it is just a matter of factly. No drama , no poor me. Yet when she talks about her teacher, she is emotional and talks about him with so much love and devotion.

    She also has deep respect for HH Dalai Lama but she is fearless and speaks her mind to HH Dalai Lama to stress the importance of nunhood and nunnery. She was forthright yet respectful. Such strong positive energy she exudes.

    Anila Tenzin Palmo may not have any big titles , but the amount of respect she garners is a testament to her holding her vows, and her spiritual achievements. What an inspiration and I pray that Anila Tenzin Palmo lives long and continues to give talks for the benefit of so many who are still drowning in samsara.

    • Ruby Khong on Apr 8, 2014 at 3:06 pm

      I have just watched this documentary again and when I came back to this comment section to want to write on what stood out most from it, I realised that they are still the same as the first time I watched it. I think those are her qualities that are so strong it leaves an imprint on one’s mind.

      What drives a young female English librarian to board a ship to India, spend 12 years alone meditating in a remote cave, faced with so many adversities and go on to build a flourishing nunnery in the Himalayas leads me to think that she was continuing her spiritual journey from where she left off in her previous life. How else can you explain why being a foreigner she could immerse herself so deeply in this tradition that she earned the unabashed respect of traditional Asian teachers and modern Westerners alike. She was subsequently given the rare title of Jetsunma, which means Venerable Master, by His Holiness the 12th Gyalwang Drukpa, Head of the Drukpa Kagyu lineage in recognition of her spiritual achievements as a nun and her efforts in promoting the status of female practitioners in Tibetan Buddhism.

      I like the example the Catholic priest gave : that we are like a piece of raw wood. If we continue to stroke it with silk, it will not be smooth. But if we rub it with sand paper, it will become a polished piece of wood. How often in life do we avoid hardship (the sand paper) and always choose the easy route (the silk) so that we can remain in our comfort zone (remain as the piece of raw wood). As she said, building the nunnery was her sand paper. And she is definitely a shining polished piece of wood now as her struggle has inspired and benefited so many. It was a long journey with adversities but the ‘harder route’ paid off.

      She is today the most senior Western Tibetan Buddhist nun alive, continuing with her heartfelt aspiration to build a nunnery solely dedicated to offering the nuns maximum opportunities to study, debate, and meditate — a privilege usually reserved for monks. I pray that Kechara Forest Retreat will be able to produce more Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo’s and be filled with polished pieces of wood.

    • DR on Jan 25, 2015 at 3:29 pm

      Upon Rinpoche’s advice as part of our Tsongkhapa retreat, all 8 of us retreatants watched this video together. My respect for Jetsunma grew even more. Her discipline, fearlessness and forthrightness (watch the part how she presented her cause to HHDL and her response to HHDL ).

  99. not jesus just chisTop her' on Oct 2, 2013 at 11:56 am


    sHE KnowS:)
    fewww abt me&You Rinpo!

    KARMAPA&TRIJANG dorje chang one mind#TRUE
    TURE so soHHa

  100. Joy on Oct 2, 2013 at 8:15 am

    I read this book when I first volunteered in KPSS2 in 2000, if I’m not mistaken… I thought wow how fascinating this lady/nun was! I totally loved her bio and her story for it is so real, so honest, her struggles, her loneliness, her trepidations and her triumphs that gave light and hope to me and I’m sure many! I thought WOW I love it! I wanna go in to a retreat, I wanna experience all the crazy things she experienced in a cave, mountains, etc. and I wish I can do this! Exciting, frightening, discovery for oneself to face oneself totally and just go on to this journey of self discovery. And up till today this book still inspires me to do so. How beautiful it is to go in to a retreat and I could never understand why people would consider it a prison or think it’s frightening.

    Tenzin Palmo’s documentary was certainly very inspiring. What I find most inspiring is her quest to seek perfection no matter what it takes. And during her time Tibetan Buddhism was something so new, yet her inner self was driving her towards this direction. Definitely, no doubt she was a very strong Buddhist practitioner in her previously life and certainly with some attainments.

    What I find most encouraging is her bravery and her Guru devotion from going in to a cave and meditated for 12 years, to choosing to built and run a nunnery and to continue the lineage of Togdenma or rather re-establishing it. It is obvious she did it all through her strong Guru devotion, basically listening to his instructions.

    I loved how she said that the first time she looked at her Guru, it was as if she say her own inner pure being manifesting right before her eyes. This is very profound and perhaps something we all aim to one day be able to have such pure perception. Because I know this is true through the understanding that the real Guru is always inside you, but until you’ve found it, a physical form Guru will appear to guide you, and in reality they are one with you. There is no difference but it is our own impure projected views that separates them. This is something quite complex yet extremely simple.

    There is so many things that is inspiring like how she mentioned the nunnery was like her “sand paper” and she was the rough raw wood that needs to become smooth. Obviously being in a retreat is like rubbing the raw wood with velvet and silk and whereas the nunnery with tremendous problems, work and hardships would be the “sand paper” but it would make her grow and benefit more. Well, it reminds me of how Rinpoche also always teach us to always pick the more “difficult” task/path/job/whatever so that we can challenege and learn to develop ourselves, to learn and grow from the difficulties. Because it is the difficult things in life that we experience and when we learn to overcome them, that is what make us stronger and perhaps even wiser. If we never face those difficult challenges, people, path, we will have to face them again and again until we figure it out and stop it by dealing with it.

    For example, we have to face people who disappoint, lies and twist things around throughout our life, who lies all the time, makes me, us, we really want to really just put them in their place or totally delete them from the face of existence. Some are suppose even think their better and holier than thou! But no, if we are Buddhist, we know karma and we gotta to learn how to deal with such twisted minds, because I know, we are just gonna get more and more if we don’t learn how to deal with them now! I guess Kechara and us clowns in Rinpoche’s life is like “sand paper”… ok ok maybe worst… we’re like nails! Lol! Nevertheless it also tells me something of Rinpoche’s calibre and ability to achieve.

    Seeing how Tenzin Palmo like Rinpoche finds so much solace and peace in a meditation cave, I can completely understand this state of perfect bliss, no worries, no clowns to deal with, no samsara or worldly problems. But like many Boddhisattvas, they are requested to not chill out and return to benefit others, save those clowns at the bottom who are crying. Not superman, no wonder woman, these teachers are the TRUE HEROES.

  101. Edward Ooi on Oct 2, 2013 at 12:29 am

    Dear Rinpoche, the points that have touched me are:

    1. Tenzin Palmo have been treated in a very weird way just because she is a woman yet she still continue to practice her retreats.

    2. Although Tenzin Palmo is not a enlightened being the place where she gave teaching, it was so crowded with people.

    3. Tenzin Palmo have followed her retreat instructions everyday and sleep in the meditation position for 3 hours only and she continues to do that 12 years.

    4. Tenzin Palmo was so highly respected that after the teaching people will get on their knees and make offerings to her.

    5. When Tenzin Palmo was 20 years old, she went to India in order to find a teacher. I mean how people in this world would do this at this young age.

  102. Julien Roth on Oct 1, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    I have just read and commented on the video Tenzin Palmo – Cave In the Snow. And here are my thoughts:

    1) How she is able to be alone and isolated in such conditions for such a long period of time. This is just so amazing and i would never be able to do that. She put in so much effort the learn the Dharma.

    2) How she just left everything behind for the Dharma and to understand the true meaning of perfection. I find that so touching because it isnt easy to just leave everything behind like the way she did here. She is a good example to let go of your attachment and just move on.

    3) I find it quite good that she had seen her guru for the first time on her birthday and that it had been the best birthday present that would change her life. And her being to happy and so nervous to see her guru for the first time was such a pleasant thing to hear about.

    4) I find it amazing that she is so close to her guru in this life as she was in her past life. She is really meant to be with her guru.

    5) It was so sad that her guru had passed away so soon. And how her reaction was when she had to talk about it made me extremely sad. She cared so much for her guru and loved her guru very much and i think we can all learn from that. I also think that the fact that even after her guru had passed, and that she still carried on with her Dharma journey was very touching. She will never let anything stop her.

    Thank you for sharing the video with us Rinpoche.


  103. Jutika lam on Oct 1, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    Below are my 5 thoughts on The Documentary Tenzin Palmo.

    1: It makes my head to think that someone so brave to isolate in a cave for 12 years so that she could benefit people by finishing what is perfection.

    2: I also like the way she said that Jesus can save us from war only we can save ourselves, God is inside, He is not out sitting in the sky playing with strings and you have to rediscover the inner spark in you.

    3: When she was 18 she read a book On Buddhism and she knew and noticed that this is what she always believed although she had never realised that they are actually a universal religion which put it so nicely and clearly.

    4: Another thing that stuck out to me was that she left England at the young age of 20 just in order to find a teacher.

    5: On the day of her birthday she really got the best birthday present in her life and even Tenzin Palmo herself had to admit that she was so nervous she could not even look at Khamtrul Rinpoche, instead she just sat and stared down at Khamtrul Rinpoche’s robes and his Brown shoes. Even though both Khamtrul Rinpoche and Tenzin Palmor have never met each other Tenzin Palmo still had the felling that she was seeing somebody that she knew very well and had not seen for a long time, and she was like oh how lovely to see you again, at the same time it was as if the very deepest part of my being had suddenly taken material format in front of me that could be always inside me he was manifesting.

    Have a great night!


  104. Lucas Roth on Oct 1, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    she has amazed me is so many ways and here are 5: 1. she gave so much for the dharma and it is amazing how she meditated for so long. 2. it is so sad how her guru passed on and how it devastated her and he was so young, but she reunited with him eventually and that is very nice to know. 3. she totally isolated herself to get some peace and quiet so that she can pray and she prayed a lot and for 12 years! it is so amazing. 4. she worked so hard so that nuns could be respected more and how the men were getting more attention was not fair but at least she made it in the end. 5. i makes me so happy that they made a place where the nuns could pray and they could get higher respect and in the end they were treated more like the men. and i am so happy that in the end she was happy and she had done so much for the dharma. thank you so much Rinpoche for sharing this

  105. Sean Wang on Oct 1, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful video, it is very well made and interesting. A lot of thoughts have ran through my mind as I watched this film. Firstly, the fact that she managed to brave the extremities of being isolated in the mountains for retreats and remaining in meditative positions even while asleep. That astounds me. When she mentioned that her ordination was her favourite birthday present, I feel that me taking refuge in Rinpoche was also my best and favourite birthday present ever!

    Though she was not treated equally in comparison to the male practitioners, she still did not lose hope and she strived to create a foundation for women of the spiritual world to be able to practice and learn freely and to lessen the inequalities that men sometimes create.

    Also, when she found the book on Buddhism and realized that that was her true calling. It is a sign that past lives are capable of influencing our current ones.

    Finally, When she was considering the building of the nunnery or go into retreats, when she initially met her guru for a divination. She is first told that she can choose either ways. Building a nunnery will consist of more trouble and work while retreats will be very nice and easygoing. She decided at first to go for retreats because it would have been easier. She then meets up with a Christian priest who tells her to build the nunnery. His analogy is rather interesting. The analogy was that we are like rough pieces of wood. If we are rubbed by silk and comfortable things, it will feel nice but we will still be rough. We would have to smoothened out by rough things and hardships to be able to become better and smoother. This is true as we must leave our comfort zones to be able to gain attainments.

  106. Andrew James Boon on Oct 1, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    This is the 2nd time I am seeing this documentary. I do love documentaries especially if it involves autobiographies of sorts. What strikes me the most, is how humble yet strikingly charismatic Tenzin Palmo is. She exudes an air of wisdom, wit and serenity that must come from within.

    Her eyes sparkle with knowledge and intensity. What she has achieved in the cave all those years must be something all of us can and should aspire to have.

    I have just started reading the book by Vicki Mackenzie, Cave in the Snow and I must say, Tenzin Palmo is not ordinary to begin with. Her childhood like most tulkus has been a distinct fortitude in their Dharmic aspirations and goals. Quite remarkable how our previous lives inprints can be and are so strong in our current lives. I look forward to reading a few chapters a night before I go to bed. It is much better than a movie by far!

  107. abby f on Oct 1, 2013 at 2:53 am

    Before watching this documentary and before I know about Tenzin Palmo, I must confess that I always think that going into a cave and retreat is a big deal and it must be something that the “fanatic” people would do. But after watching this documentary, it totally turns my mind! Even though there were numerous highly attained masters or Lamas have shown me that retreat is a very very powerful practice, but the silly me can’t really relate retreat to myself but Tenzin Palmo have shown me the examples that I can relate to.

    Why? The 12 years of deep retreat doesn’t make her a cold person that rejects everybody else yet after the 12 years of retreat, she became even kind, even care for others that pushes her to build a nunnery for the nuns in India who struggle so much! The 12 years of deep retreat doesn’t make her a selfish person or an indulged person, and the retreat made her even “sharp” in her personality. She knows how to talk to the people even though she was in deep retreat alone in the mountain for 12 years. She’s still connected to the world so well(unlike what I expected in the past).

    I admire her very much as she is dare to speak up and she speaks so politely even though she disagree with some points. Her words are not about her, she speaks for others not for herself. Even this documentary about her doesn’t make me feel like it is about her, but watching this make me think deeper and it inspires me a lot.

    I must thank Rinpoche for sharing this with us! I have new ideas about being in a retreat now. And I am sure many will think the same way as myself.

    • abby f on Oct 1, 2013 at 2:55 am

      *TYPO* …I must confess that I always think that going into a cave and retreat is NOT a big deal

  108. Julia Tan on Oct 1, 2013 at 1:32 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this beautiful story about Tenzin Palmo Lama. Her determination of finding a home for the nuns had made her famous internationally unintentionally. Although this life she took a female form and came back to continue her practice. Unfortunately, as a female is not easy for her to receive practice like monks. After seeing nuns that came all the way from Tibet to seek for teachings but because they are female hence they have no chance to study and practice like those monks has pushed her to do something about it. Hence she decided to build a nunnery.

    I always curious about how people gain realization after having a retreat in the cave, why cave? Lama Tenzin has explained it so well. She said that we all have our own identity as a daughter, mother, a wife etc and these are all roles we play for others not for ourselves. We go into the cave for retreat we are basically being alone but given space and chance to spend time with ourselves without other identity. When we only have ourselves, all other identity peeled away and it’s easier for us to look inside, letting deeper consciousness to arise. She mentioned that being in the cave is like a journey of discovery. very interesting.

    She has very strong guru devotion as she sees her guru as Buddha when she first saw her guru, she felt that this is someone she knew long time ago and now meet again after a long time. She felt that her guru was all the while kept inside her heart and now manifested in front of her. While she was in her 12 years of retreat she came to see her guru every year with a list of questions that she wanted to ask and when her guru explained to her, she never have doubt and always think that’s the perfect answers as we can see that she trusted her guru all the way. Her guru also wished that she could carry on the Tukten lineage for the nun to practice.

    She is the hero for these nuns who gave a home, a place to for deeper practice and study.

  109. Beatrix Ooi on Sep 30, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    I find the video very interesting and also very informative, I see people laughing and some crying. I feel that Tenzin Palmo is very strong, and she has very strong guru devotion towards her Guru. She is very determined and sure of the things she wants to do and she makes things work.

    Below are the 5 things that stood out to me:

    1) She went into a 12 years meditation retreat and isolated herself in the cave without having anyone beside her, there was once she was cut off from the world for 8 months because it was snowing very heavily. But what I like about her is that she’s very brave and determined, she worked her way through all the difficulties and made it through.

    2) When she was 18, she came across a book on Buddhism and she immediately recognised that, that is what she has always believed in, for me it’s like something she had practised in her past life . And at the age of 20, she left for India in order to find a teacher.

    3) When Khamtrul Rinpoche arrived in the monastery, she claimed that she felt very nervous meeting Him. But later when she was ready to look at Him, she said that the feeling Khamtrul Rinpoche gave her was like someone she hasn’t met in a long period of time, like an old friend.Then 3 weeks later, she got her nun ordination from Khamtrul Rinpoche.

    4) She lived in the mountain and went on a meditation retreat for 12 years without fail. Her retreat was divided into 4 sessions. She even grew her own veggies.

    5) During her retreat, she practised the complex visualisation techniques where she only slept for 3 hours every night in a meditation posture. She didn’t give up her practise and continued doing it for 12 years, and I really respect her for that.

    Above are the 5 things that stood out for me. Thank You for sharing such a wonderful video with us Rinpoche, I have learnt a lot from the video.

  110. Irene Lim on Sep 30, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    I simply love Tenzin Palmo. She is immensely inspirational. May she live long to benefit more people.

  111. poonam on Sep 30, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Hi Friends, I would like to know the song which played twice . I have been searching but unable to find and couldn’t really figure out what she is saying .. OH MANTA GURU or OH MANTRA GURU .. Could anyone please let me know what chanting or song is it ?? IT sounds so peaceful . Thank you

  112. Vinnie Tan on Sep 30, 2013 at 3:13 am

    This video is indeed a very nice video. What I like about the video is that when she said that she can choose to go back to her retreats or open up a nunnery, saying that she has chosen the path of opening up a nunnery because she wants to smooth out the wooden block that she has chosen to describe herself to be.

    In the video, it has shown some of the hardship that the nuns have gone through. It is a little ridiculous when the Taiwan monk say that it is impossible for females to get enlightened. If this is the situation, there would not be any female deities at all. However, there are female deities like Tara, Singdongma, Saraswati, etc. so it does not match with what is being said by the Taiwan monks. I believe in equality in both genders, as long as we keep to our practices and keep our motivation pure, I believe we will all reach enlightenment.

  113. Choongs on Sep 30, 2013 at 2:13 am

    1. Transformation never ends.
    2. Right may become wrong, wrong become right, eventually.
    3. H.H. the Dalai Lama’s acceptance of plain and simple truth – that Nagarjuna was rather nasty towards women.
    4. Mind over matter.
    5. There’s always room for improvement.
    6. Girls don’t just wanna have fun!

    • Choongs on Sep 30, 2013 at 2:38 am

      After further contemplation on the video, just had a realisation. What we call depression is a search for the spiritual self, not a disease.

    • Choongs on Sep 30, 2013 at 3:47 pm

      After digging further into women Bodhisattvas, I came to realise that the story of Tenzin Palmo is very similar to the description of Tara!

      “Taranatha, an important Tibetan teacher, wrote the text that has become the standard “history” of Tara in 1608. He relates that eons ago, a princess named Moon of Wisdom made extensive offerings to the Buddha of that eon and to his entourage for a very long time. Finally, for the first time, bodhichitta arose in her. Then the monks present suggested, “If you pray that your deeds accord with the teachings, then indeed on that account, you will change your form to that of a man, as is befitting.” After a long discussion, she told them, “In this life, there is no such distinction as male and female, … therefore attachment to ideas of male and female is quite worthless. Weak-minded worldlings are always deluded by this.” Then follows her vow: “There are many who wish to gain enlightenment in a man’s form, and there are but few who wish to work for the welfare of sentient beings in a female form. Therefore, may I, in a female body, work for the welfare of beings right until Samsara has been emptied.”

    • Choongs on Sep 30, 2013 at 3:52 pm

      The above quote is from the book “Buddhism After Patriarchy”.

    • Choongs on Sep 30, 2013 at 4:01 pm

      We would all not have this delusion if we were all earthworms. 🙂

  114. henry ooi on Sep 30, 2013 at 1:44 am

    This is a beautiful bio documentary showcasing venerable Tenzin Palmo’s strong previous imprints that led her to meet and reconnect with her previous life’s guru again, her tenacity and resiliency as a woman in overcoming physical difficulties in her dharma practices, her courage to face many obstacles in fundraising to set up a nunnery and deal with problems after rather than to go into more retreats with ease, her sacrifice of her youth to be a nun, her physical ad mental strength while being in solitary retreat in the cave, and much more.
    She speaks so passionately, direct ad candidly yet with much respect to HH Dalai Lama. And it was so rejoicing to see the nuns receiving blessings from HHDL.
    Venerable Tenzin Palmo is such an inspiration especially to women who aspire to be ordained nuns.

  115. Ong Moh Mei on Sep 30, 2013 at 1:42 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing about this amazing video and book of one woman’s spiritual quest and journey. Her life before she enters nun-hood is one many of us can relate with. Her struggles in her spiritual journey very real. And yet it is the choices she made, her Guru devotion, her commitments towards her spiritual path and how she use her journey and what she has attained to benefit others that sets her apart. Her perseverance in the face of the unknown, never losing focus of the end goal despite all her trepidations and obstacles, never wavering in her trust in her Guru, are deeply admirable and powerfully inspiring.

  116. lewkwanleng on Sep 30, 2013 at 1:41 am

    Some of the points which touched me:

    1. She said that she knows that we can be “perfect” since very young. This is an important realisation, because if we cannot be “perfect”, then we don’t need to do anything..

    2. In order to carry out her 12 years retreat, she had to endure the harsh weather, chop the wood, grow vegetables and she only sleep 3 hours a day. She has shown her perseverance quality.

    3. When she read the teachings of Buddhism, she felt connect and this shows she must have practiced intensively in her previous life. Also, the way she is connected to her Guru show there must be reincarnation.

    4. Being in retreat is “smooth”, on the other hand, starting a nunnery is difficult, but in the end, she chose the difficult, and she need to raise fund, give talks, etc…

    5. She is very courageous to bring up the unfairness treatment towards the nuns and she even discuss this issue HH Dalai Lama.

    With a few nuns-to-be in Kechara, I am really looking forward our nuns will rock the world 🙂

  117. Jay Jae on Sep 30, 2013 at 1:36 am

    For a lady of her stature to renounce the world and give herself to the world after such a long period of retreat is so wonderful. I am sure there were so much hardship she had to endure in order to achieve what she has achieved in her works of helping others and especially making sure nuns get their education and spiritual training.

    Besides Rinpoche, she is another inspiration for me to be a Sangha. Imagine the rest of your life spent in prayer of the mind, speech and in action, there’s nothing else better to achieve in life than to do this! To have a temple, centre and most importantly a supreme guide- a Guru is nothing if we don’t put what we have learnt to practice to benefit.

    May more Sanghas come forth in this world to shed the light of the Buddha’s teachings to all!

  118. Tempa on Sep 30, 2013 at 1:19 am

    “nothing is permanent, everything is a change”. Is a “change” immediate action or a gradual process, with more dialogs, time, & weighing the odds to benefit a hierarchy of an organized religion? When there’s an ‘in-equality'(nuns & monks) in anything why does it take time? When one sees a truth in a matter isn’t a action immediate? Or not!

  119. Sunita on Sep 30, 2013 at 12:23 am

    Dear Rinpochey,

    First of all, thank you immensely for sharing this video of Jetsunma. I came cross her book, ‘Cave in the snow’ in Sarnath , read it and was at once filled with awe and respect. Since then she is my inspiration and guru. I have watched a number of her talks, discussions and have been greatly inspired. Now my one wish is tomake it to her monastery and meet her in person .

    I think what I admire most in her is her firm conviction. She set out to quench the thirst within and no matter what, did it and I have nothing but great respect for her for doing so.

    Another admirable quality is her selfless nature. What she attained through her rigorous practice she shared with the world . Most admirably she has stood for the cause of the nuns and has come a long, long way. I truly admire her patience, dedication and steadfast nature. Her life itself is a dedication. And last but to the least, I truly admire her dedication to her guru, Khamtrul rinpochey. I truly hope to see her in person very, very soon.

  120. Regina De Giovanni on Sep 30, 2013 at 12:14 am

    Thank you for putting up this wonderful film, so inspiring!

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  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Mar 27. 2020 09:15 PM
    We are so blessed hearing a sacred, holy recording of the two holy tutors of the Dalai Lama performing a Dorje Shugden kangsol (puja). Great masters HH Kyabje Ling Rinpoche and HH Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche chanting the powerful puja to Dorje Shugden. Both of them were the tutors of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. This is definitely has proven that HH Kyabje Ling Rinpoche had a close connection with Dorje Shugden. HH Kyabje Ling Rinpoche has even composed a combined prayer offering to propitiate the blessings of this enlightened Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden, which no one can denied. Both Kyabje Ling Rinpoche , Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and many Highly attained lamas of Tibet did propitiate Dorje Shugden lamas of Tibet. That’s the truth which cannot be hidden. But HH Dalai Lama insists that Ling Rinpoche, his own tutor, never relied on Dorje Shugden at all. Interesting read, may more people know the truth and understand better of the Dorje Shugden controversy.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Khong Jean Ai for this wonderful sharing .
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Mar 27. 2020 09:08 PM
    Tsunami Memorial in Sri Lanka is a monument remembering the 35,000 people who lost their lives just in Sri Lanka during the 2004 tsunami. In loving memory of the 40,000 people who died in the tsunami and the thousands largest single rail disaster in world history. The powerful Sri Lanka tsunami-rail disaster occurred when a crowded passenger train was destroyed on a coastal railway in Sri Lanka by a tsunami. Built by Japanese Buddhist community to commemorate this tragedy, Sri Lanka has erected a Buddha Statue dedicated to everyone who lost their lives, as well as the people who survived. A beautiful place of sad memory . Having this Buddha statue built there will definitely plant the seeds of enlightenment for who visited this place and seeing is a blessing.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this beautiful sharing.
  • sarassitham
    Thursday, Mar 26. 2020 11:01 PM
    Thank you for the sharing the Buddhist Tsunami Memorial in Sri Lanka. Very touching article, heart breaking to read and to see pictures of the Tsunami tragedy. It was Sri Lanka’s worst and biggest natural disaster in recorded history. Many people were killed and thousands lost their home and family.

    As we know horrify incident always remarks many unpleasant feelings and memories.
    Despite the widespread wreckage and the unfathomable lives claimed, there remains a sense of optimism in the country.

    Appreciation the people involved to build a Buddha statue to purify the mind, builds up the serenity within ones and motivates to overcome the negative emotions of fear, hence uplifting the mind and focusing the attention on the reality of the materialistic world. May Buddha bless and calm all those that passed away from the tsunami.
  • S.Prathap
    Thursday, Mar 26. 2020 02:13 PM
    Dorje Shugden is a protector that is karmically very close to us which enables him to help us with such effectiveness and speed. There are many similar testimonies which prove to us that this protector is very beneficial for us.
    Due to the power of Dorje Shugden , miracles happened and she is well after many offerings such as incense, light and pujas following Rinpoche’s advice.Thank you for this amazing miracle story of Dorje Shugden.
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Mar 26. 2020 01:46 PM
    Venerable Geshe Sopa-lah a learned-monk spoke from his heart feelings and thoughts about what happening around the Dorje Shugden controversy and Dalai Lama as well. Those years back in India Geshe-lah did helped in the many buildings in Gaden Shartse Monastery where our Lama helped in the funds. He paints the truth of his experience sharing what he knew and gave a few points of advice. A friend of our lama for over 20 years, Venerable Geshe Lobsang Sopa-lah visited Kechara Forest Retreat, Malaysia in 2016. Geshe Sopa-lah has been actively involved in the campaign against the Dorje Shugden ban since 1996. He is in fact blacklisted, ostracised and persecuted, family tides cut as he bravely spoke about ban and even attended the protests. Sadly all of his family have since cut communications with him. Geshe Lobsang Sopa-lah now lives in Vermont, USA ,serving HH Kyabje Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this wonderful sharing.
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Mar 26. 2020 01:45 PM
    Ooh dear could not imagine a well known man …James Jameson heir to the whiskey empire did such a cruel act. Well he might have his reason to do but I am sure the horrific incident will haunt him foe life. He was the grandson of the man whose signature appears on the whiskey bottles. Heartfelt reading what he did, bought an 11-year-old girl for the price of six handkerchiefs and gave her to a local chief where cannibalism existed at that time in Africa. He witnessed the most horribly sickening sight of the girl being dismembered piece by pieces , cooked and eaten without a particle remained, while he sketched the whole process. This is the most horrific, shocking story I came across.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sad sharing.
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Mar 26. 2020 01:44 PM
    Everyone of us have the freedom of thought, conscience and religion. In this modern time I would not imagine such incident of religious liberty exist. In a school of Louisiana, USA, a teacher spoke against a Asian student CC of his religious beliefs in a number of ways. CC was berated, harassed by teachers, administrators and even to that extend of receiving calls to his house. CC ‘s parents could not tolerate anymore and decided to file a lawsuit and won the case. Religious freedom, should be allow to all. Freedom of religion requires not only freeing religion from undue government regulation and interference from any one.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.
  • sarassitham
    Wednesday, Mar 25. 2020 10:57 PM
    Surprise to know our colon contain of poison due to unbalance diet of food intake. It really true, our body is often conceded toxins as a result of an unhealthy food consumed. However i think it is best to keep a food journal correctly to maintain and track our food intake.

    It is really important to eliminate waste from your body every day to maintain a good lifestyle and stay healthy. Hoping to keep the simple ingredients in mind and help many to keep their colon healthy.

    Thank you very much for the article sharing a great fact that we need to take it
    seriously to save life.
  • S.Prathap
    Wednesday, Mar 25. 2020 04:09 PM
    A very good choice to place a Buddha statue there to bless the beings that are around that area. Many people had lost their lives during the tsunami in 2004 and I believe that area will be full of the spirits of the people that lost their lives during disaster.
    It good that Sri Lanka has since built and dedicated a Buddha statue for the deceased and to plant the seeds of enlightenment for all who visit and see it. Thank you for sharing nice article with us.
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Mar 25. 2020 03:45 PM
    Winston Churchill was a British politician, military officer and writer who did twice served as the prime minister of Great Britain. Churchill did helped to lead a successful Allied strategy with the U.S. and Soviet Union during World War II. I did not know of his dark side till this post. Winston Churchill was in fact a clear racist and a stubborn imperialist. To many historians Churchill was seen as at the most brutal and brutish end of the British imperialist spectrum. Churchill’s imperialism was motivated only by an altruistic desire to elevate the putatively lower races. Winston thinks only of the colour of their skin. He hate Indians recording to him they are a beastly people with a beastly religion. These are another side to Churchill’s politics and career that should not be forgotten amid the endless parade of eulogies.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this interesting sharing of this great statesman with a darker side behind.
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Mar 25. 2020 03:44 PM
    Thank you H.E. Gyara Rinpoche for spreading the Dorje Shugden practices to many thousands Tibetans in Tibet . H.E. Gyara Rinpoche an erudite scholar recently gave Dorje Shugden’s life entrustment initiation to thousands of monks and lay people in Yangting Dechen Ling Monastery. The Tibetan Leadership (CTA) has claimed that Dorje Shugden practice is a minor practice on many occasions. This is not true at all, looking at the pictures tells all. Thousands of Tibetans gathers at Yangting Dechen Ling Monastery, listening to Gyara Rinpoche’s teachings as well as the Guhyasamaja initiation clearly has proven it. He also gave commentary on Dorje Shugden’s qualities, history to strengthen the people’s faith in Dorje Shugden and explaining about the controversy.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this great news and may more people have knowledge and understanding of Dorje Shugden . May the ban on it be lifted soon.
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Mar 25. 2020 03:41 PM
    Truly a selfless heroine indeed Neerja Bhanot an Indian senior flight attendant who died while saving 340 passengers on Pan Am Flight 73. The plane was hijacked by terrorists dressed as security guards during a stopover in Karachi, Pakistan. She died heroically helping cockpit crews escape in order to ground the plane so it could not be flown. Amazingly her quick action she hid passports of passengers so the hijackers could not determine passenger nationalities. She also managed to open the emergency door assisting a number of passengers to escape from the plane. But sadly as the hijackers opened fire on passengers and crew, Neerja Bhanot lost her life shielding the three children from bullets. Her bravery, courage and noble qualities , she was awarded awards for her selfless act and a film entitled “Neerja” was released, portraying her herioc life. A trust fund was set up in memory of this amazing woman. Even till today the Neerja Bhanot Pan Am Trust fund continues to do great work.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this inspiring story of a selfless heroine.
  • sarassitham
    Tuesday, Mar 24. 2020 11:28 PM
    Truly inspiring article, glad to know about the free community clinic of Acupuncture at Ananda Nagar. Firstly I would like to thank Mr. Charles Martley, for his effort to create a help center for the needy at the rural area. His great concern of the environment people and able to build a good relationship to reach them.

    I believe, ass long these free acupuncture treatments is effective, it will be accepted and will welcome many more to seek treatment. I ‘am also puzzled with the great humanitarians of the acupuncturist who work tirelessly, for these patients, as there are only so few of them but willing to render their service at any time without fail.

    Thank you for the sharing, hope to visit and contribute something for the project and do wish the program will continue to support and help the needy.
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Mar 24. 2020 04:14 PM
    There is a saying rich men have dreams. Poor men die to make them come true. When one is rich they take things for granted, nothing is valued to them and don’t appreciate things but definitely not the poor. The rich will derive motivation from their financial success, and refuse the belief that money begets corruption. To say it simple the rich will do things where else the poor can’t. People born with a golden spoon will not know much the sufferings the poor had gone through. When the rich understand the pain and sufferings of the poor they will be more responsible and generous to do more for charity. The rich working up from nothing to riches will know more and be successful in life. To me rich at heart is more important , good health and good sense are two of life’s greatest blessings to have. Well survey work of the rich and the poor for us to understand better between the difference.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this.
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Mar 24. 2020 04:12 PM
    All Buddhist practitioners or of others faith deserve to have religious freedom of their choice to what they want to pray. The ban on Dorje Shugden practice is unnecessary and illogical till to this day. The ban created by the Tibetan Leadership has cause much suffering to many people around the world. It is time for more people to speak up against this Dorje Shugden ban that has caused disharmony, discrimination, families and monasteries divided and so forth. The Tibetan Leadership not only make life harder for others but to themselves as well. They should accept their own failures not blaming others after all , they have been using the donations, for their benefits. Since coming to exile in India, they were given land , funds and so forth from many countries to help them yet they misused it.
    At this present time, what is most important is to lift the ban so as all practitioner be at peace and harmony , be true to themselves regardless of their choice of practice. Live life on own terms, not someone else’s, that’s makes life happy.
    All this while HH Dalai Lama have been promoting inter religious peace, harmony and understanding across the world yet when coming to Dorje Shugden practitioners it is not true in reality.
    I do hope the ban of Dorje Shugden’s practice will soon come to an end.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing .

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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The Unknown

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

Photos On The Go

Click on the images to view the bigger version. And scroll down and click on "View All Photos" to view more images.
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?
2 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?
108 candles and sang (incense) offered at our Wish-Fulfilling Grotto, invoking Dorje Shugden\'s blessings for friends, sponsors and supporters, wonderful!
2 months ago
108 candles and sang (incense) offered at our Wish-Fulfilling Grotto, invoking Dorje Shugden's blessings for friends, sponsors and supporters, wonderful!
Dharmapalas are not exclusive to Tibetan culture and their practice is widespread throughout the Buddhist world -
2 months ago
Dharmapalas are not exclusive to Tibetan culture and their practice is widespread throughout the Buddhist world -
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
2 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!
2 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.
2 months ago
On behalf of our Puja House team, Pastor Tat Ming receives food and drinks from Rinpoche. Rinpoche wanted to make sure the hardworking Puja House team are always taken care of.
By the time I heard about Luang Phor Thong, he was already very old, in his late 80s. When I heard about him, I immediately wanted to go and pay my respects to him. -
2 months ago
By the time I heard about Luang Phor Thong, he was already very old, in his late 80s. When I heard about him, I immediately wanted to go and pay my respects to him. -
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.
2 months ago
It's very nice to see volunteers helping maintain holy sites in Kechara Forest Retreat, it's very good for them. Cleaning Buddha statues is a very powerful and effective way of purifying body karma.
Kechara Forest Retreat is preparing for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations. This is our holy Vajra Yogini stupa which is now surrounded by beautiful lanterns organised by our students.
2 months ago
Kechara Forest Retreat is preparing for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations. This is our holy Vajra Yogini stupa which is now surrounded by beautiful lanterns organised by our students.
One of the most recent harvests from our Kechara Forest Retreat land. It was grown free of chemicals and pesticides, wonderful!
2 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)
8 months ago
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
8 months ago
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
8 months ago
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does-
8 months ago
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does-
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959-
9 months ago
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959-
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
9 months ago
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here-
9 months ago
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here-
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview
10 months ago
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat\'s land here in Malaysia
10 months ago
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat's land here in Malaysia
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality-
10 months ago
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality-
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~
10 months ago
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha-
10 months ago
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha-
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像-
10 months ago
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像-
Sacred Vajra Yogini
10 months ago
Sacred Vajra Yogini
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment -
10 months ago
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment -
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
10 months 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.
10 months 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.
10 months 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
10 months 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-
10 months ago
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures-
This is pretty amazing!

First Sri Lankan Buddhist temple opened in Dubai!!!
10 months 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-
10 months 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-
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
10 months 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”-
10 months ago
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”-
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration-
10 months ago
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration-
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration-
10 months ago
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration-
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file:
10 months ago
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file:
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. ~
11 months 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. ~
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan-
11 months ago
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan-
The reason-Very interesting thought-
11 months ago
The reason-Very interesting thought-
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!-
11 months ago
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!-
DON\'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~
11 months ago
DON'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more-
11 months ago
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more-
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free-
11 months ago
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free-
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed-
11 months ago
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed-
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
11 months 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-
11 months 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-
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
11 months 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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    This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
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    Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
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    2 yearss ago
    Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    2 yearss ago
    This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
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    2 yearss ago
    Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
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    2 yearss ago
    Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
  • Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant  Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
    2 yearss ago
    Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
  • What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    2 yearss ago
    What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    Sick animals are more profitable... farms calculate how close to death they can keep animals without killing them. That's the business model. How quickly they can be made to grow, how tightly they can be packed, how much or how little can they eat, how sick they can get without dying... We live in a world in which it's conventional to treat an animal like a block of wood. ~ Jonathan Safran Foer
  • Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
    Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
    2 yearss ago
    This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
  • Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
    2 yearss ago
    Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
    2 yearss ago
    This happens daily in slaughterhouse so you can get your pork and Bak ku teh. Stop eating meat.


Ask the Pastors

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

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

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Recycle today for a better tomorrow. KEP-Serena
2 weeks 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
2 weeks 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
2 weeks 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
2 weeks 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
2 weeks 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
2 weeks 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
2 weeks 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: - shared by Pastor Antoinette
2 weeks ago
To find out more about the substances offered during jinsek/fire puja, have a read here: - shared by Pastor Antoinette
More about the symbolism of the offering items here: - shared by Pastor Antoinette
2 weeks ago
More about the symbolism of the offering items here: - 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.
2 weeks 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
2 weeks 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
2 weeks 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
2 weeks 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
2 weeks 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
2 weeks 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
2 weeks 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
2 weeks 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
2 weeks 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
2 weeks 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
2 weeks 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
2 weeks ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The site of the Peaceful Fire Puja the calls upon the pacifying energies of Shize Shugden. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: A close-up of the ladle. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
2 weeks ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: A close-up of the ladle. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Substances such as sticks, melted butter, kusha grass, lentils and barley were traditionally offered during the prayers to create the causes for merits, long life and to pacify obstacles. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
2 weeks ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Substances such as sticks, melted butter, kusha grass, lentils and barley were traditionally offered during the prayers to create the causes for merits, long life and to pacify obstacles. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Beautifully handcrafted torma or food offering to the Buddha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
2 weeks ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Beautifully handcrafted torma or food offering to the Buddha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Some of the many offering items & substances used during this highly blessed Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
2 weeks ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Some of the many offering items & substances used during this highly blessed Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
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Dorje Shugden
Click to watch my talk about Dorje Shugden....