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It is going to happen to me!!! Ego and self-cherishing have made me believe that I am invincible. I witness bad things happen to others and say “poor them”. I ignorantly and arrogantly forget that the same or worst could happen to me. When it does happen, there is nothing to do about it but bear the consequence of karma acceptingly to avoid creating more negative karma through negative reactions of body, speech and mind. Each paragraph describes the sensation of death so vividly it is frightening. It is so frightening because it IS going to happen to me. However, whether I read Heartspoon by Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche or not, death will arrive and consume the being that I am this life. Therefore, reading each fear-provoking sentence is actually a blessing to return to the path I and all human beings are meant to choose: virtuous action. After receiving so much from the Dharma, Tsem Rinpoche, Kechara House and this blog, I would like to contribute this thought: There are so many distractions that are becoming increasingly more aggressive and persuasive. Being near Kechara House and Dharma sisters & brothers is a great blessing, which can be easily taken for granted. Please never stray and always be grateful because you are with a great Master and friends who bring you closer to the Dharma and a better rebirth!
Buddhism is scientific because Buddhism seeks teaches about the truth. It is probably the truth that Buddhism bases itself upon that makes is teachings still applicable and valid after 2500 years. Regardless of what form we are in, what era we live in, what system we abide by, one thing always remain constant: the truth. I have not idea what the ultimate truth is beyond the concept I work to create some level of intellectual understanding of. However, I know it has something to do with nothingness whereby the truth and the faux, the good and the bad, the right and the wrong, our earth and their planet, humans and aliens etc….all do not truly exist. We only exist in the minds...so that should mean that only the minds ultimately have some form of existence. With this thought, it makes all the possessions we dedicate our time, effort and self to seem so wasteful. Although consumed by motor neurone disease, Stephen Hawking still have the ability to give selflessly to so many. I fold my hands to him for this gift that has stimulated my thoughts and added to the view I take. I am also humbled and shaken on how I waste my life away. Additionally, I love what Thierry shared about “studying aliens with a Buddhist mind brakes the barrier, and makes the universe whole…” It makes me think of how wonderful life will be if we apply this mind to break barriers within the world that we know. Be kind to animals, other humans, spirits and all beings. Without barriers, the journey of peace begins.
Tsem Rinpoche and Kechara House do everything with the motivation to benefit of all sentient beings. This is especially so for the expansion plans because these plans are not only aimed to benefit existing Kechara members but also the many more member who will be fortunate enough to receiving the blessings of pure Dharma. In growth, buildings are buildings. They are hollow and cold. What give great structures life and legacy is what they contain and emit. Ganden was built about 600 years ago to uphold the complete doctrine of Lama Tsongkapa so that it will exist today to benefit sentient beings. Ganden is viewed with high esteem because it exist for this big cause. The new Kechara Gompa is build for this very reason, to continue the flourish of Lama Tsongkapa's doctrine. In time to come, KWPC will be built with the same purpose. Malaysia and Malaysians are very blessed because Dharma is flourishing in our previously Dharma barren land. We must take this moment to enter the Dharma now as "If not now, When?"
Hi Elena, I completely agree with you. In the 1 year I know of Kechara, it has grown tremendously. Even within the organization, people are struggling to keep up. The good news is, they are struggling, i.e they make the attempt. If one does not even take the risk and try, then , even the slightest hint of hope is thrown out the window by oneself. Joey, I do not know you and apologize for being nosey. However, you have contributed to the retreat a lot and is, I assume, sincere in helping others. That is Dharma. Since you've already got your feet wet, might as well jump in. There is no guarantee in life, only death is certain. If there is something worth betting on, it is the Dharma.
Toggle Commented Jul 12, 2010 on LIAISONS OF KECHARA at Tsem Tulku Rinpoche
Dear Rinpoche, Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of this Blog Retreat. This retreat has given me much learning: 1) Education: about Kechara House, Tsem Rinpoche & Rinpoche's vision and Dharma. 2) Self awareness: My reactions when pushed or challenged. At the beginning, I was stressed and grumpy with mission impossible. However, after 3 days, acceptance seeped through and I was able to look at the "good" side of the experience, which in turn creaeted "good" results. Conditions whereby things are the not going as expected or within the comfort zone are best learning opportunities. As stated in "If not now, When?" (book published by Kechara Media & Publication), Dharma put into action is true Dharma. 3) Breaking limitations I impose upon myself: During this retreat I saw my fixed beliefs on sleeping hours, I-am-not-a-computer person etc. melt away day after day. I am very grateful for the blessing Rinpoche and Rinpoche's Blog created for me. I am privileged to continue participating in this educational and inspiring blog as well as bring friends in to benefit from this generous sharing.
It is pretty freaky to get a confirmation that ghosts are for real. Simultaneously, it is very mind changing to read Rinpoche’s way of viewing these beings. From the way Rinpoche explain about ghosts, my mind begins to look at them like a different “species” that exist along with us. Animals like dogs, cats, rabbits etc. look very different from us and behave very differently too. However, we can accept them because our eyes, or rather our MINDS, are used to their images. We have this fear for ghosts because our minds are not used to viewing them as beings that co-exist with us within the 6 realms. Instead, our minds are habituated to view them with fear. Therefore, the problem lies with us. The fear of ghosts etc. is due to my fixed belief and perception, which influences my reaction to them. With habituation, may we develop a different view about the ghosts and with a new view about them being a part of our universal system. May we develop compassion for them (which as Rinpoche advises, does NOT mean to interact with them) as the Dharma teaches us to be compassionate to all sentient beings.
Toggle Commented Jul 8, 2010 on Questions on Ghosts at Tsem Tulku Rinpoche
Thank you Shirley for finding the beacon of light for today. Receiving news about the dolphins in Denmark generated gnawing sadness all day. This message about people going the distance to save this whale’s life is very refreshing and hopeful. The level of awareness and intelligence the whale displayed is remarkable. She knew what was happening and she knew to rejoice when she was freed. Although we come in different forms, but what we feel and experience are pretty much the same. The harmony we can create by giving each other is also very beautiful: the saviors gave the whale freedom and saved her life; the whale gave the saviors gratitude and an empowering lifetime experience.
Miserliness is a common symptom we have that creates long term suffering in ours and other’s lives. Joey’s merits that allowed him to become aware of his emotional miserliness while listening to Rinpoche’s Dharma talk is a very good start. This is another confirmation of the power of the Dharma. Being touched by the Dharma opens up our good karma which enables us to make progress in our Dharma practice and growth. In addition to the awareness of what does not work, it is important to proceed to the next step of corrective actions. In Joey’s case, Rinpoche was so kind to clearly show him specific things to focus on and pursue. Joey is very fortunate. I hope that Joey will be able to follow Rinpoche’s clear guidance and experience mind transformation that will bring him joy and freedom.
I agree with Susan that Guru Devotion should be the main point of focus to make spiritual progress. At our level where our knowledge of Dharma is still quite basic and theoretical, Guru Devotion forms a strong foundation and clean Guru samaya creates the merit required for removal of obstacles and opening of good karma to receive, understand, practice and realize the Dharma teachings. It is accepted that Guru devotion is the seed of our journey to enlightenment. A healthy seed will grow into a healthy tree and vice versa. Therefore, consistent Guru devotion will lead to enlightenment while broken poor attitude towards the Guru who so kindly imparts Dharma upon us can cause a consequence as severe as rebirth in the 3 lower realms. If you read about all the greatest masters and scholars, they all rely one common element for their spiritual attainments: Guru devotion and clean Guru samaya. One very good read is http://blog.tsemtulku.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/2010/07/pabongka-rinpoche-18781941.html about Pabongka Rinpoche. Even a great master like Pabongka, the Guru of all Gurus, places strong emphasis on Guru devotion.
Mastery of the Lamrim was one of the first tasks Pabongka Rinpoche had to complete before Rinpoche could progress with Rinpoche’s spiritual growth and attainments. This should show the significance of the Lamrim teachings. It is so kind and generous of Thierry and Lily to take so much time and effort to condense the teachings into an easy to refer to mind map. Also deep gratitude to Tsem Rinpoche for sharing this map with us on this blog! I agree with Peter about taking things for granted, including our human life form and our Rinpoche. We take our life for granted because we have it easy this life. We take out Guru for granted because H.E is compassionate. We may gain a lot this lifetime by taking advantage of things and people but this habit causes detrimental results, which will manifest in our next lifetime when it is too late. Now, we have the ability to contemplate, understand and realize the Dharma. If we do not use this well, we may return in the 3 lower realms. Think: if I am in the 3 lower realms, how will I be able to practice the Dharma to get out? The answer to that is “You cannot”. So, take refuge in the Dharma NOW and use our limited time to develop the habit of giving.
Toggle Commented Jul 8, 2010 on LAMRIM Mind Map at Tsem Tulku Rinpoche
The road presents one of the most hazardous places where lives are damaged and lost. However, many of us forget this danger because we drive so much that it is almost second nature after walking. It is this “comfort” that we have on the road that exposes us to its dangers. The Car Buddhas is such a great idea as it extends the presence of our Buddha to a new and needed place. Besides protecting the occupants in the car, the Car Buddha is a Buddha-on-the-Go. As we believe that laying eyes on a Buddha image can plant Dharma seeds and leave a blessing, having a Buddha in our cars create the opportunity to benefit many people by leaving many Dharma seeds wherever we drive to. Rinpoche is so skilful to transform an activity as simple as driving into a Dharma act.
Toggle Commented Jul 8, 2010 on Car Buddha at Tsem Tulku Rinpoche
First of all, thank you Rinpoche for sharing the mantra of Setrap Chen with us because WE need it. I realize that such teachings are extremely precious and are normally not given to students until they show consistent and sincere dedication to the Guru and Dharma. I am grateful to Rinpoche for sharing generously the teachings that took Rinpoche years of hard work and devotion to receive with your undeserving students. The Dharma Protectors are Buddhas or attained beings who pledge themselves to the spread of the Dharma. In general, their role is to remove obstacles that hinder the progress and practice of sincere Dharma students. In a society where deity worship is common, it is very important to understand the difference between worldly deities and enlightened Dharma Protectors. The major difference is worldly deities’ powers are limited to external factors only (increasing material wealth). They cannot contribute to spiritual growth. In certain conditions, these worldly deities can actually hinder spiritual growth and cause long-term problems by creating greater attachment to material object, which contributes to an increased self-grasping mind. * The creation of Dharma Protectors! When Padmasambhava first arrived in India to spread the Dharma, the worship of local spirits was very prevalent. As the local spirits feared loosing control and power to Dharma, they created a lot of obstacles for practitioners to attend any of Padmasambhava’s teachings. Instead of fighting these spirits, Padmasambhava‘s decided to tame them by teaching them the Dharma and made them Dharma Protectors.
Toggle Commented Jul 8, 2010 on A Special Setrap Meditation at Tsem Tulku Rinpoche
The first impression I got from the images posted was: Wow, the altar, prayer hall and offerings are just so beautiful! I have not heard of local practitioners with the ability to do authentic pujas that completely comply with the long and meticulous requirements upheld by the monasteries in Nepal. Many Buddhist organizations do not conduct pujas by local students because it was always easier to invite the sangha. However, with a vision of creating a self-sustainable organization that will bring continuous benefit to Malaysia and Malaysians, Tsem Rinpoche organized for Kecharians to be trained thoroughly by accomplished Lamas from Nepal. This is coupled with the dedication and sincerity of Tsem Rinpoche’s students. It is an honor to be a Kecharian because we do not only get to be Buddhists but we receive a priceless education about the Dharma that used to be exclusive to the sangha community. Kechara is a pioneer and pacesetter for everything Dharma!
It is very good news that Buddhadharma is spreading like wild fire through Kechara House (KH) because KH shares the Dharma through clear understanding. Lama Tsongkapa is an enlightened being who has done so much for the Buddhadharma and sentient beings. Wherever he resides, Lama Tsongkapa resonates peace to the people and environment. I am sure the Wong family will be blessed with harmony and joy with Lama Tsongkapa’s presence in their home. From the photos, inviting a Buddha image home is quite convenient because the knowledgeable, sincere and hardworking team of Kechara Paradise helps from the start to the end: i) KP Team guides us with the selection of suitable Buddha images as well as all related auxillary items like water bowls, incense burner, 8 auspicious signs, sensory offerings etc. with clear explanations. ii) KP arranges the delivery. iii) KP prepares the home to invite the Buddha. iv) KP helps with the set up of the altar so that every item is placed in the right place. v) KP will guide the inauguration of the Buddha images.
Shameful! Shameful! Shameful! Looking at images like these make it shameful to be a part of the human race. What could be on the minds of these barbarians when engaging in such acts?! Looking at the bloodbath already makes my skin crawl, how do these “civilized” men of the West (who thought they had the responsibility to bring civilization to the East) soak themselves through and through with the blood of another being that was cruelly slaughtered? I am in such shock that my mind cannot stop asking questions. One big question is: what has humanity come to? In Tsem Rinpoche’s blog http://blog.tsemtulku.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/2010/03/animals-help-us-to-be-better-humans.html, I read that if we become OK with harming animals, this coldness to life will start to expand to humans we do not know and eventually people we know. Some of this effect is already visible as we hear news of school killings, rape cases, child abuse etc. The frightening thing is: the degeneration is very fast. There is something we can do to slow down if not, stop the degeneration of the human race: write a letter and fax it as Sharon prompt. Forward this blog link to friends. Put it on Facebook. Do this to not only preserve the dolphins and animal rights but also human dignity. * Sometime, animals display greater compassion and humanity than humans. Please check out this video for an inspiration of how even “beasts” have the ability to practice compassion http://www.kechara.com/?p=243
The opening of this retreat was blessed by the informative Dharma talk conducted by JJ (please check out http://blog.tsemtulku.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/2010/07/jj.html to hear the content of the teaching). Such information is very important because we need to know and understand the Buddha to whom we take refuge and entrust our lives to. This is the power of Tsem Rinpoche’s approach to teaching the Dharma: do not blindly follow, act through comprehension and conscious choice. Tsem Rinpoche was so kind to grace the event with His presence and give everyone a pleasant surprise. You should have seen the reaction of the audience upon his majestic entrance! Our Rinpoche is like a celebrity: phones came out and people starting taking photos endlessly and recorded his teachings. I believe their action simply reflects on their acknowledgement that Rinpoche represents something pure and rare and they wish to capture every bit of precious holiness they can. Lucky people to have this awareness! I related Rinpoche’s teaching on individualization to the common habit of “getting personal” about things. Version 1 of getting personal is getting personal with ourselves with nagging thoughts like: they do this to me, they insulted me…me this…me that. Version 2 of getting personal is with others where we dedicate our anger, ignorance and self-cherishing toward a particular “target” whom we label bad. Un-individualizing things and looking at them as existing because we are in samsara brings forth a feeling of sadness for all. Think: “Nobody wants to be the bad guy or labeled lazy, selfish, greedy etc. We are all subject to creating undesirable results because we are trapped in samsara. In some ways, we just can’t help it”. With this angle, it is easier to develop compassion and with compassion we will find a more effective way to get others and ourselves out of the rut. As un-individualization is a new habit to develop, we may want to check in form time to time that we are moving in the right direction. Rinpoche taught that a good way to check in is by taking a good look at the results we create. If we are getting it “right”, it is more likely that we feel happier, we have more success and the people like being around us. What a helpful guideline for us to start our un-individualization program. Ready, get set, go!
Thank you JJ for your informative and inspiring Dharma talk. I believe that your talk on 6 July marks the first of many talks you can conduct. It is so exciting that your effort will start the ball rolling for the emergence of many local Dharma talks and teachers. I wish for you that your power of speech will further strengthen and have the power penetrate all mind streams through the reinforcement of your daily Dharma practice in your life. Being so close to Rinpoche, you have the best “tool” to sharpen your talent to become one of the most powerful Dharma teachers in Malaysia, the region and then the world. Yes, think big! Be greedy ☺ In conclusion, this Dharma talk symbolizes the revolution of Dharma education in Malaysia. Yes, this is the empowering gift of sustainable Dharma education that Tsem Rinpoche intends to bestow upon Malaysians and Malaysia. Well-read and sincere local Dharma teachers are the seeds to having Dharma flourish in Malaysia in the long run compared to reliance on visiting Lama alone. Rinpoche already revealed Rinpoche’s commitment to Malaysia Dharma growth 18 years ago by being the first resident Lama here. It is perhaps time for the next step in Rinpoche’s big plan to ensure that the gift of Dharma will always remain with us. How kind our Guru is!
In relation to gifts, we often say that it is the thought that counts. This wonderful gift from Bryan is the epitome of thought one can put into a gift. Realizing that the most precious people in the world to Tsem Rinpoche are Rinpoche’s Gurus, Bryan painstakingly created this gift with love, sincerity and devotion that is unmistakably reflected in the lovely carved stone. Bryan’s participation and contribution at Kechara Care is also a priceless gift because being in contribution is the giving of oneself to others. Very generous as well as courageous because, although it seems like a simple gesture on the surface, not everyone can do it! Bryan is also part of the cast of Girls Just Wanna have Fun performing at the KWPC fundraising dinner on 18 July 2010. More information available on www.kechara.com Lastly, I agree with Jean Mei, you can set a powerful example to your friends on the power of living all of who you are: trendy, hip, in-the-know, “in” as well as sensitive, thoughtful, caring and confident of who you are by the way you treat others.
Elena, I agree with you that Rinpoche uses all his negative past experiences to create the best benefit for other. Unlike some who operate from bitterness and use their influence and authority to inflict difficulties upon other, Rinpoche maintains his pure compassion and use himself to heal others. Although Rinpoche has experienced much ugliness in his life, he never fails to have faith and trust in the goodness of all beings. In disclosing Rinpoche’s history and taking on the risk of judgement, Rinpoche becomes vulnerable in hope that his story will give us learning, realization and growth. For most of us, Rinpoche’s story should remind us of how fortunate we are and prompt us to not waste our precious human life and make the choice to be in contribution to others. Rinpoche is like a phoenix that rises from his ashes. As we know, beings as resilient as the phoenix are rare…in fact, almost next to extinction. Therefore, this is also a reminder for us to cherish our kind Guru and trust him so that we will always be close to the Buddha and Dharma. Isn’t it shamefully astonishing that whatever we do in relation to our beloved Tsem Rinpoche, it is always us who benefit in the end?
Toggle Commented Jul 7, 2010 on MY FATHER at Tsem Tulku Rinpoche
It is appalling to witness the cruelty the human race is capable of inflicting on other beings. Rinpoche is so very accurate when Rinpoche explains that habituation of animal abuse will lead to further deterioration in the form of causing pain and harm other human that, eventually, ends in the abuse of those who are close to us. How very scary it is to see the disease of cruelty spread like an uncontrollable fatal virus within the acclaimed civilized human race. Perhaps this frightening realization is so ugly, many individuals persuade themselves that animal cruelty does not exist. We pretend so that we can go about our old ways and fulfill our desires to enjoy juicy meat that is the direct product of cruelty and deep suffering. This abuse and destruction has to stop for the sake of the animals and for the sake of us. If we cannot be selfless, even from a selfish point of view the way we are treating animals and the environment directly harm our loved ones and us. Please make the effort to view the documentary called Earthling. It is not a feel good documentary but it is real and it is hopeful because the message can drive us to do something effective to be truly human: kind, loving and good. Another channel to which you can take immediate action is to check out www.kechara.com and read about the animal sanctuary project to which you can contribute.
CEO Phng Li Kim is my beloved sister. I have always looked up to her and cherished her to-the-point advises, which have made my life easier. Although I always hold Ms. CEO in high esteem, I must admit she can be a princess a times. Hearing her sharing touches my heart. Imagining her going from door to door to find the car owner who is “in her way” is a 180 degrees transformation because I have seen her freak out by smaller inconveniences. I have also witnessed her take on more responsibility without hesitation despite her already full plate at Kechara. I am very proud of Li Kim and bow down to her for her humility and dedication to the Dharma. Once again Li Kim, you are the example of kindness and goodness I look high up to!
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama is certainly the King of Dharma. For this first time in history, under the leadership of His Holiness, Tibetan Buddhadharma has taken centre stage in the international arena. His Holiness has also caused Buddhadharma to be the fastest growing religion in the 21st century. The Dalai Lama has become a household name and the Dharma teachings are spreading ferociously in lands that were barren of Dharma. Through the Dalai Lama’s work, spirituality for all types of Dharma (Islam, Jewish, Christian etc.) is also gaining stronger foothold worldwide in the last 40 years. With greater publicity (which, sorry to say, is necessary during this period) and awareness, more mind streams are touched by the Dharma whereby Dharma seeds are planted to restore degeneration. Through the effort of His Holiness in the past 4 decades, the path is paved for the next generation of attained Dharma scholars and masters to continue to turn the wheel of Dharma in a smoother and swifter manner. Our King of Dharma is very kind to ensure that the Dharma will always be close to sentient beings even after his current lifetime.
Congratulations to Tsem Rinpoche, Kechara Paradise team and Henry for the growth of Kechara Paradise (KP). When I see this update on KP, the first thing that comes to mind is Rinpoche’s acknowledgement of Henry, which turned into an exemplary Dharma teaching (Rinpoche uses every opportunity to teach the Dharma and the best lessons always comes from life itself). What I learn from that teaching is our results, worldly and spiritual, are directly determined by the actions we take, which is directly influenced by the intention we have. KP’s success stems from Liaison Henry’s growth in his spiritual path. Henry is very dedicated to the cause of Kechara House to have Dharma spread in all ten directions. With this clear intention, Henry led his team and achieved results of growth as KP open bigger outlets in better locations. As the intention is to spread the Dharma, the result achieved is used to reinforce the effectiveness and efficiency to spread the Dharma. So, all you businessmen out there! Do not be afraid that pure Dharma will dampen your business acumen. Based on Henry’s example, Dharma actually contributes to your long-term spiritual and secular success if you already have the karma to have this success. Lastly, I also learned that if I want to check how I am, all I have to do is look at the results around me and the people around me. This is a very useful teaching because we often seek approval from external factors when, in the end, the one person we truly listen to is ourselves. Our Lord Buddha has once again given us the gift of the Dharma that is still applicable 2500 year later.
In this world where impermanence pervades, death is the single certainty we have. Yet, for many, death is the one consistent thing we avoid…avoid to talk about, avoid to know about and avoid to face. After reading a little about Dharma and hearing Dharma teachings, I learn to avoid death less. In this process, I begin to think that it is not death that we should fear because, in some ironic way, death frees us from the suffering we submerge ourselves in this lifetime. However, what is extremely terrifying is what happens after death. What will happen to us after we die? The Dharma tells us that the respond to that question depends very much on our karma, which we create with our own doings. Therefore, in some way, we can pretty much guess what will happen to us based on the things we have done and the results we have created. * For some valuable information related to this, please check out http://blog.tsemtulku.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/2010/07/imprints-talk-now-available-on-youtube.html I am happy for Seng Piow, Mdm. Chin and his family that they can be at peace with the fate of Mdm. Chin after her passing. This gift of peace and guardianship from the 3 Jewels is the best gift we can offer any being. Seng Piow gave this priceless gift to his grandmother through his devotion to Rinpoche and the Dharma as well as the great compassion of Tsem Rinpoche.
The generous and holy offering of Datuk May has 3 fold benefits: i) benefit to Datuk with the purification of her body karma, ii) benefit to the fortunate individuals/families who will receive the Tara images and iii) benefit to the Kechara Team in their progress as a platform for Dharma to spread in all ten directions. This offering is another example of how, in giving to others, one can receive so much in return. Tsem Rinpoche reinforces this through his teaching on Dalai Lama’s birthday (6 July 2010, which will be uploaded in this blog) that one will become truly happy when one develops the habit of being selfless. I cannot stop being awed by the skillful means in which Rinpoche helps his student overcome various obstacles while, simultaneously, turn the wheel of Dharma and plant the seeds of Dharma through gifts.