Iconography of Dorje Shugden (Notes) – by Pastor Gim Lee

Back Camera
Back Camera

Resource: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/dorje-shugden-teaching-videos.html#teach06

Iconography – roadmap to to the ultimate goal od all buddhists that is to become a buddha and is a simple representation of buddha’s qualities to help us on our spiritual path.

Every detail of a buddha’s image is symbolic teaching for us, such as:

  • the sitting position
  • the hand mudra
  • the ritual implements that they hold, and
  • the ornaments that they wear

Dorje Shugden is an enlightened being.

When we learn and practice sincerely, all things around us will increase and become better, such as our family and loved ones, our friends, our financial situation, our spiritual development.

We will meet with dharma and a perfect spiritual guide so that we can be on the path to learn and to grow.

HAT

represents upholding the highest form of buddha’s teachings.  He arose as a dharma protector to protect Lama Tsongkhapa’s teachings.  In Tibet, when a lama travels, they always wear a round domed hat for protection, hence DS wearing a hat represents He doesn’t stay in one place as He is always moving, always travelling and always on the go to help whovever calls upon Him.  He is constantly travelling and helping us

The hat also represents the highest view of emptiness by Nagajuna, which DS arose to protect

THIRD EYE

A wisdom eye on His temple – He can perceive the reality of our past, present and future simultaneously.

FORM

He is in the form of a monk because He arose from a lineage of pure monks.  He wears the full robes of a fully ordained monk, a bikshu in sanskrit or a gelong in tibetan.  One of His glorious previous incarnation was a great dharma master known as Tulku Dragpa Gyaltsen.  He was a well-known monk from the 5th Dalai Lama’s time.

IMLEMENTS

Sword

In this right hand He holds a a wisdom sword, meaning He is Manjushri, the buddha of wisdom.  There is a flame on top of the sword which means He can pacify our obstacles so that we can learn dharma.  It also eliminate out negative karma for our wisdom to arise in our minds. The wavy sword will cause greater damages and it denotes the ability to cut our ego and delusion, the negativities that bring about our unsatisfaction.

Taming Hook

in His left arm, which is a type of weapon that symbolises His power to control and overcome our so-called wild mind, the negative thoughts and habituations that normally lead us to do negative actions and thus bring us the unhappiness.  Taming hook also represent His ability to ‘hook’ in our need to provide a condusive situation for us to be able to do our dharma practice.  The need such as resources, pleasant situations, long life and a healthy body.

Wish Fulfilling Jewel

On His heart level, He is holding a wish fulfilling jewel to represent that He can all wishes and increase our dharma practice.  By BS holding this jewel, it represents that when praying to Him, trusting Him,  and meditating upon Him, He can fulfill all our wishes.  It also increases the circumstances to meet the dharma, increase the circumstances for us to learn that dharma and increases the circumstance for us to understand the dharma.  He can also help us with finances resources and solve difficulties.  This wish fulfilling jewel is the same or similar to the jewel that buddha of great compassion Chen-re-zig holds.

Tiger boots

He wears tiger boots to show He manifests in a worldly form, which means He  is closest to us, by our karmic connection, and thus can help us swiftly when we call upon Him.  It also represents His great compassion, to take on a form that is easier for us ordinary people to connect with Him.  He also has one foot down and the other foot up, similar to Tara’s posture. with the same symbolism of His ever readiness to assist us as and when we call upon Him.

Jewel Spitting Mongoose

on his left elbow, symbolises that by doing His practice He will bless a sincere practitioner with necessary material benefit or need for us to focus on our spiritual practice.

Snow Lion

he rides on a snow lion.  Lions are believed to the the king of animals.  It means that He is able to tame the ego of the followers, to tame the anger of His followers and to tame all the negative qualities in the followers.  It symbolises DS immense power.  In His saddhana, it says that DS has the power of 10 million dharma protectors.

Flame

He is surrounded by flame of wisdom that pours out from the pores of His body meaning He has already gain great compassion and this will burn out the ignorance.  When we come closer to DS, the wisdom fire will burn away our ignorance or the negativity in us that bring us the unhappiness.

Sun Disc and Lotus Seat

Sun disc on top of the lotus seat where DS lion stands on.  Sun disc symbolises the destruction of the enemies, our inner enemies, our negativities – the not so kind side of us, the side that constantly blaming everyone and everything else.

The lotus seat shows that all DS actions are based on a arise from His great compassion to help us.  The position of sun disc on lotus seat indicates that DS is an enlightened buddha.  He will help anyone, any beings, anywhere and anythime, when we engage in His practice.

Magadha Sangmo (须摩提女)

Resource: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/magadha-sangmo-%E9%A1%BB%E6%91%A9%E6%8F%90%E5%A5%B3.html

Extensive research and translations have been done on this incredible female devotee of Lord Buddha. Take your time to study up on her. We have arranged two translated texts from two Tibetan sources on her great deeds. May this inspire you very much as it did me. It will be beautiful to read how she brought so many on the path to dharma. High lamas in Tibetan have many previous lives where they took various incarnations to be of benefit to many beings. Magadha Sangmo is considered the first incarnation of the great master Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen.

Tsem Rinpoche

致各位佛友:

关于佛陀这位了不起的女众弟子的事迹,人们进行了大量的考究和翻译工作。你得花一点时间来研读她的事迹。我们安排了两项藏文翻译工作,而这两篇藏文 文献的内容,正是有关她的殊胜事迹。希望这些内容能带给你启发、启示,正如它启发我那样。从这些内容中,我们读到她是如何将无数众生带上佛法的道路。在西 藏,高僧们有着许多的转世,他们都乘愿归来,以利益芸芸众生。须摩提女乃伟大佛教大师——杜固札巴坚赞的第一转世。

詹杜固仁波切

 

Also known as Sumagadha, Ma ga dha bZang mo’i, Cula-Subhadda or Cula-Sumadhi, there exist many sources about her deeds which I share with you here. They can be found in English, Chinese and Tibetan, showing that Magadha Zangmo had a widespread impact on Buddhism throughout the ancient world. There was even a chapter and sutra dedicated to her in the Kangyur (the translated collected words of the Buddha) called the Sumagadhavadana. His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche also spoke about her and described the story behind her invocation of Lord Buddha Shakyamuni. So please do read about Magadha Zangmo, her devotion to her teacher Lord Shakyamuni and the many wonderful works that have been written about her.

她也被称作三摩竭、须摩提女或小善贤女。许多来源都记载关于她的事迹,我将会在这里跟大家做分享。关于她的事迹分别有英、中、藏文的文字记载,这也表示在古时须摩提女对佛教起广泛的影响。在佛陀所说教法之总集中甚至有一章节及经文是专为她所写的——《须摩提女经》。至尊嘉杰宋仁波切也曾给予我们关于她的教授,并且解说她祈请佛陀释迦牟尼这一举动背后的故事。请阅读关于须摩提女的事迹,她对上师佛陀释迦牟尼的依止心,以及关于她的各种伟大文献。

 

His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche
speaks about Magadha Sangmo

至尊嘉杰宋仁波切针对须摩提女的教授

Or view the video on the server at / 或在在伺服器观看影片:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/HHZongRinpocheExplainsMagadhaSangmo.flv

 

 

The story of Magadha Zangmo begins with her father, Suddatta, a kind and generous man whom was one of Buddha Shakyamuni’s lay disciple and a primary patron. He was instrumental in building Buddha’s first monastic abode called Jetavana. Suddatta established himself as a philanthropist by practicing the Buddha’s teachings on Generosity which earned him the name ‘Anathapindika’ which means “the feeder of the orphans or helpless”. Having gained great faith in the Buddha’s teachings and took refuge in the Three Jewels, Anathapindika became the foremost student of Buddha Shakyamuni and set a great example for all sponsors, on the right attitude to hold when sponsoring one’s Guru in Dharma.

When the Buddha was about to enter the Rain Retreat which lasts three months during the monsoon, the caring Anathapindika enquired where the Buddha would be staying during this period as it would be difficult to travel to get necessary supplies. Upon knowing that the Buddha did not have a permanent shelter, Anathapindika set forth to look for a suitable place which is the current Jetavana Grove in the land of Magadha. But procuring the beautiful park was no easy task, as it belonged to Prince Jeta, whom had not the slightest interested to sell his beautiful park. To deter Anathapindika from asking further, the prince said “Alright, you can have the park for however much it costs to cover the ground with gold coins”. Seizing this opportunity, Anathapindika immediately agreed to the prince’s terms and soon brought over wagons filled with gold coins to cover the ground. Upon seeing Anathapindika’s determination, the Prince asked the reason for which Anathapindika needed this park for. On hearing that the park was for the Buddha and His retinue, the prince immediately relented and handed the park over to Anathapindika for a more reasonable price. From then on, Anathapindika spent a large portion of his fortune to build a monastery for the Buddha complete with accommodation for the Buddha and Sangha members, assembly halls and lotus parks, while Prince Jeta, who initially reluctant to sell his park, offered to build an impressive gate house leading into the park and a wall around it for privacy.

Upon the completion of the monastery, Anathapindika invited and offered the Buddha to reside in the monastery. The inauguration of the monastery was a huge fanfare with the assembly of gods and men coming together, rejoicing in Anathapindika’s generous deed. The Buddha took the Jetavana monastery as His main residence and gave many teachings there to benefit all sentient beings. Records of this virtuous man is found in all Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana scriptures and it is said that due to his devotion to the Buddha, he had attained the state of a Sottapanna, the first stage leading to Arhatship.

Anathapindika had two daughters and adopted a third. When his younger biological daughter, Magadha Zangmo came of age, a famous merchant named Ugga approached Anathapindika to ask for his daughter in marriage. Although Anathapindika was not in favor of allowing his daughter to marry this man, as he lived very far away and is not a Buddhist practitioner, he however allowed his daughter to make the decision and asked what conditions she would wish for to be married into the house of Ugga.

Magadha Zangmo then replied, if Ugga will invite the Buddha and His disciples to their home for a meal, she is willing to marry him. Ugga agreed to her terms and the both were married in a distant land called Gokhara. Gokhara was not a Buddhist community at that time, and followed mainly the Jain religion. The locals there worshipped ascetics who would meditate naked in the wild. It made Magadha Zangmo felt uneasy every time her in-laws invited these ascetics to come to their home and hosted them for meals. Magadha Zangmo began talking to her mother-in-law and father-in-law about the Buddha and in time, their curiosity grew in the Buddha. All this time, Magadha had also longed to see the golden face of the Buddha and make offerings of dana as she used to do.

One day, when the time was right, Magadha Zangmo reminded her husband of his promise to her before they were married. Ugga agreed but mentioned that it will take a long time more as the Buddha reside in a far place, but Magadha Zangmo insisted they prepare a sumptuous meal to be offered as dana to the Buddha the next day and leave the invitation of the Buddha to her. Although Ugga and her in-laws were doubtful that Buddha would arrive, to please Magadha, they prepared a large feast for the next day. On that night, Magadha Zangmo climbed up to the roof of her home and offered incense in the direction of Jetavana and recited this prayer:

MA LU SEM CHEN KUN GYI GON GYUR CHING
DU TE PUNG CHAY MI ZAY JOM DZAY LHA
NGO NAM MA LU YANG DA KYEN GYUR PAY
CHOM DEN KOR CHAY NAY DIR SHEG SU SOL

Translation: Protector of all beings without exception, divine subduer of innumerable negative forces, deity, perfect knower of all things, Bhagawan and attendants, please come here.

With this prayer, she requested the Buddha together with his disciples to please come to her home and receive alms. The Buddha, being omniscient, heard her prayer and told Ananda to tell all his students who have achieved Insight to make preparations to travel to Gokhara where Magadha Zangmo lived. This heartfelt invitation of the Buddha by Magadha Zangmo has since become archetypal for ritual invocations practiced today.

The very next day, Magadha Zangmo’s house was festive with preparations for the Buddha’s arrival. The maids and servants were busy cleaning the entire household, preparing and cooking up a feast for the Buddha and His entourage. Her heart was brimming with faith as she oversaw all the preparations needed for her Master’s arrival.

As the sun rose towards the Zenith, some of the servants saw a procession of monks clad in saffron robes riding on dragons, garudas and other mystical animals descending from the sky. When Magadha Zangmo was asked if either one of them was her Master, she replied no as she saw the Arhats. The Buddha was seen last in the procession of Arhats, riding on a lion and as He descended from the sky the Buddha manifested into 18 separate Buddhas, each entering one of the 18 gateways to the city. Many miracles ensued that turned the city’s disbelief into faith in the Dharma. The Buddha realizing that the city’s population could not fit into Magadha’s home transformed Magadha’s house into a brilliant structure composed of moonstones and jewels. So while Magadha and her family worshipped the Buddha inside, the townsfolk outside all saw reflections of the Buddha that radiated from the house.

The entire city of people of Gokhara who were not Buddhist were left awe-struck by the spectacle of the Buddha’s psychic manifestation. Many were seen on their knees and some prostrated in faith as they have seen for themselves the Golden face of Lord Buddha. Magadha Zangmo welcomed the Buddha to her house and offered the Buddha with Dana and in return, seeing the time was ripe for Magadha Zangmo’s husband and in-laws to receive the Dharma, gave a Dharma teaching to everyone present. Thousands thronged Magadha Zangmo’s house for teachings from the Buddha. Having heard the Buddha’s teachings, many people of Gokhara took refuge in the Buddha and the Three Jewels.

It was due to Magadha Zangmo’s faith and devotion that the people of Gokhara were able to meet with Buddha, receive the Dharma and have their minds liberated. Magadha Zangmo was like her father, Anathapindika who established the culture of hosting the Buddha and the Sangha so that the Dharma would grow in her region.

There are many recorded accounts of Magadha Zangmo in the different Buddhist canons which indicates that Magadha Zangmo was not an ordinary being. When the Buddha’s attendant remarked to the Buddha how auspicious it was for the Buddha to answer Magadha’s prayers to visit, the Buddha responded that Magadha Zangmo had in her past life been the daughter of King Krkin, who was the main patron of the Buddha Kasyapa, and even then she had been a great devotee of the Dharma, and was the one who introduced her father, King Krkin to Buddha Kasyapa. And even before that, she had been a poor girl who had made an offering of a crown of flowers to the sanctuary of a Pratyekabuddha and made a vow to continue to do so lifetime after lifetime. Magadha’s story is that of pure devotion towards the Dharma that in turn made the Dharma available to countless people.

Magadha Zangmo lived her life serving the Buddha and the Dharma, bringing benefit to countless beings who came to listen to Buddha’s teachings. It is said that she achieved Arhatship during her lifetime as a lay householder, another indication that a practitioner can gain realizations even when we are not living the life of a monk or nun. Her story is still taught in Buddhist curriculum of today, reminding us to be humble and to always seize the chance to be generous and make offerings to the Buddhas.

From her act of offering incense to the Buddha came the tradition of making offerings to the Buddhas which is still practiced today across all Buddhist traditions. It is from her act of making incense offerings and reciting the verse of invocation which started the tradition of invocation prayer. Magadha Zangmo’s life legacy came filled with spiritual meaning and it was said that she continued to return to Samsara as great Buddhist masters as well as ordinary incarnations to benefit more beings after her passing.

“In India, in the Buddha’s time, there was a woman called Magadha Zangmo, who lived somewhere near Bodhgaya, I think. She was Buddhist and her husband was a Hindu. She wanted to invite Buddha to her home and offer lunch to Buddha and his disciples, so she cleaned the house and made the lunch to offer Buddha and his disciples. Her husband said that Buddha wouldn’t come, but she said, “Buddha is coming,” and made everything ready.

Magadha Zangmo then stood outside holding incense in her hand and recited this prayer, “Ma lü sem chän kün gyi…nä dir sheg su söl.” All the disciples came first, each arhat radiant and riding on a different animal. With each one, her husband said, “Is this Buddha?” and she said, “No.” Another disciple would come; he would ask, “Is this Buddha?” and she would say, “No.” All the disciples came first, and Buddha was the last one to come. Magadha Zangmo then made offering to Buddha. So, this invocation comes from Magadha Zangmo.”

From http://www.lamayeshe.com/index.php?sect=article&id=647&chid=1647#sthash.zCyLEEeg.dpuf

“The account of Buddha appearing in the skies refers to the story of Magadha Zangmo, daughter of Anathapindika, a great patron of the Buddha. She lived in Gorakhpur, far from where Buddha was staying. One night, moved by great faith, she climbed to the roof of the house and prayed for the Buddha to appear. At once the skies became filled with miraculous sights the poem describes.”

From Splendor of the Autumn Moon and in the commentary of the Praise of the Buddha by Lama Tsongkhapa.

 

Stone carvings of
the Magadha Zangmo Sutra preserved until today

 

 

 

Vegetarianism

Resource: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/food-recipes/you-want-to-be-fooled.html

Food is sustenance. Food can be enjoyment. Food can be symbolic, bonding, a sort of expressing care and also cultural, but one thing food should not be is pain for animals. Last year when I saw the Forgotten Battery Hens video, I decided to stop eating eggs, although they are one of my favourite foods since I was a child. The video really broke my heart. I was very affected by the Cruel Cage Egg System and decided to create more awareness about the suffering of these poor chickens by organising a Win a Manjushri contest. By creating more awareness, we can stop this cruelty from continuing. Apart from proliferating information and awareness, taking action such as stop consuming eggs is another way to help the situation.

Fortunately, as more and more people choose a lifestyle and diet that does not exploit animals, there are alternatives or replacements that taste as good as the real thing. And it comes without the cholesterol or cruelty. For example, tofu is great for egg substitutions in recipes that call for a lot of eggs, like quiches or custards while having a low calorie count and relatively large amounts of protein. There are also egg substitutes available at health-food stores and some grocery stores for baking or preparing a dish that calls for eggs. Don’t eat these with expectation it is exactly like an egg. Eat these with an open mind and you will be fooled. Your taste buds will be fooled. This time being fooled is good. They are delicious!

I recently came across some vegan egg recipes and I thought of sharing with all of you. Vegan egg dishes contain nothing from a chicken or harms animals. I have tried some of them and you know what, they are delicious! I am putting the recipes here to bring greater awareness to vegan delicious healthy dishes and the wonderful website that hosts many more recipes you should visit. We can get the ingredients with some effort. But the effort is worth it as more adopt a lifestyle that creates less pain for animals.

Tsem Rinpoche

 

1. First Proper & Best-Ever Vegan ‘Egg Mayonnaise’ (Egg Salad) Sandwich

 

INGREDIENTS FOR ‘EGG YOLK’

  • 2 tbsp vegan dried instant mashed potatoes, dehydrated flakes or powder (Edwards USA, Terrasana UK – also here is a link that will ship to Australia)
  • 7 tbsp hot water
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast
  • ¼ tsp turmeric (use a little less if you prefer)
  • ¼ tsp kala namak salt, otherwise known as black salt – it has a sulphuric “egg” flavour, so is essential for this recipe (you should find this at your local Indian or Asian grocery store, from Amazon US or Amazon UK)
  • ¾ tsp Orgran egg replacer (or Ener-G in the US)
  • 1 tsp vegan margarine

METHOD:
Make up your mashed potato mix, add margarine and other ingredients, and mash until consistency resembles hard-boiled egg yolk, see pic if you are uncertain, it should be thick in consistency. Mix ‘yolk’ mix really well, then place in freezer for 15-20 minutes, then remove from freezer.

NOTE:
The ratio of water/liquid versus the potato flakes or powder that you find may differ (reason being that brands and textures differ in the dried potatoes, some need less water), so you may need to slightly adjust this, ie a little more potato flakes/dehydrated potato may need to be added – make a note of how much of these quantities worked for you for your future reference. It’s a simple detail, but worth noting.

 

INGREDIENTS FOR ‘EGG WHITE’

Extras:-

  • A sprinkle of fresh chopped chives (optional)
  • Freshly ground pepper (optional)

METHOD:

  1. Crumble the tofu into a clean bowl, then add the mayonnaise.
  2. Mix gently, then spoon in the ‘yolk’ mix – mix gently until the ‘yolk’ is covered with the mayonnaise.
  3. Refrigerate this mix for 1 to 2 hours before serving.
  4. Spoon onto fresh bread and enjoy! I suggest using the freshest and tastiest wholegrain bread, and the best possible brand of vegan mayonnaise.

NOTE:
If you wish to make ‘hard-boiled eggs’, use hen egg moulds – cut a piece of tofu to fit a half-egg mould, level it with a knife, and, using a spoon, carefully scoop out an oval shape. Then fill this cavity with your ‘egg yolk’ mix. Place in the fridge for a few hours until set, before serving.

Original recipe available at: http://mouthwateringvegan.com/2013/04/06/first-proper-best-ever-vegan-egg-mayonnaise-egg-salad-sandwich/

 

 

2. My Vegan Spanish Omelet (also known as Frittata)

 

INGREDIENTS FOR FILLINGS

  • 4 slices of vegan cheese of your choice, cut into 2 inch squares (or around 1½ cups grated mozzarella cheese)
  • 1 small zucchini (a.k.a. courgette), diced into small pieces
  • ¼ red pepper, diced into small pieces
  • 1 small red Spanish onion, or other of your choice, finely chopped
  • 6-8 brown mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 potato, cooked, and cut into small pieces

 

INGREDIENTS FOR BATTER

  • 200g firm silken tofu
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp ground garlic granules
  • salt to taste (or else for an “egg-ier” flavor, you could try kala namak (black salt) – available from Indian grocery stores. It adds a sulfuric, eggy taste.
  • 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • ¾ cup (190 mL) soya milk, or any other vegan milk (cashew milk)
  • 1 heaped tsp tahini
  • 2 heaped Tbsp white flour *
  • *(can be made with gluten free flour – it’s best to buy a ready mixed one – if not I suggest tapioca, rice and corn mixed together to make the suggested amount)
  • Tip:- Remember that the denser you want the texture to be, the more flour you will have to add.

 

METHOD:

  1. Pre-cook the vegetables by frying them gently, including the potato (boil first, drain, then gently fry). Having set them all aside, have them ready to add onto your omelet.
  2. Combine all the batter ingredients in a plastic or metal bowl. Then simply process with an electric hand whisk or blender until thick and creamy – taste for salt before frying. (Note: You will be left with a fairy thick batter – this is necessary, and is the binding factor in the omelet. So try not to be tempted to add more liquid – it should part from the ladle when you gently pour it to your hot pan).
  3. Next, heat up a greased non-stick frying pan for a minute or two, and then add a full scoop of the mixture with a soup ladle.
  4. After 1 minute, add 2 slices of your favourite vegan cheese, and allow to cook for a further 3-4 minutes, making sure that you keep the edges from sticking by using a spatula.
  5. Now spread all the cooked vegetables evenly on top of the cheese in the pan, and allow to cook for 3-4 minutes.
  6. Fold the omelet in half – making sure it is not stuck to the pan, and gently tuck your spatula under the folded omelet at this point, ready to serve it onto a plate. Do this by using the pan (not the spatula) to drop into the plate – it should slide off fairly easily.
  7. Repeat the above process to make the second omelet.

Original recipe available at: http://mouthwateringvegan.com/2012/06/23/my-spanish-omelette/

 

 

3. The Ultimate Genius Vegan Eggs

 

INGREDIENTS FOR ‘HARD-BOILED EGG WHITE’

  • 1½ cups (375ml) soya milk, or any other creamy non-sweetened vegan milk of your choice
  • under ½ tsp kala namak (otherwise known as black salt – it has a sulphuric “egg” flavour, so is essential for this recipe (you should find this at your local Indian or Asian grocery store, or else available from Amazon US, or Amazon UK)
  • 2 tsp agar powder (if you use the flakes, you’ll need double the amount, which you can whizz in a dry blender to turn into powder)

METHOD:

  1. Put the above in the liquidizer/food blender, and liquidize on high speed until smooth.
  2. Transfer to a small pan and heat on a low heat until the mixture thickens, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon (around 2 minutes).
  3. Remove from the heat, and pour into egg mould (use hen’s egg moulds, available online).
  4. Then leave in the fridge for an hour or so to solidify.
  5. This mixture makes around 6 ‘egg’ halves.

 

INGREDIENTS FOR ‘HARD-BOILED EGG YOLK’

  • 25g (2 Tbsp) vegan dried instant mashed potatoes, dehydrated flakes or powder (Edwards USA, Terrasana UK – also here is a link that will ship to Australia)
  • 3g (1 tsp) nutritional yeast
  • 1g (¼ tsp) turmeric (use a little less if you prefer)
  • 1g (¼ tsp) kala namak salt
  • 8g (1 tsp) potato starch
  • 100ml hot water
  • 1 tsp vegan margarine or 1 tsp refined pure coconut oil
  • 1 tsp sunflower or canola oil (not olive oil, as that would alter the taste)

METHOD:

  1. Make up your mashed potato mix, add margarine and other ingredients, and mash until consistency resembles hard-boiled egg yolk, see pic – if you are uncertain, it should be thick in consistency.
  2. Mix ‘yolk’ mix really well, then place in freezer for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Then remove from freezer, and using clean hands, form into yolk sized balls in the palms of your hands.
  4. If you want to make a runnier ‘yolk’, add some hot water to your mix in a very small bowl, and stir all the time until you reach a smooth egg yolk consistency.

NOTE:
The ratio of water/liquid versus the potato flakes or powder that you find may differ (reason being that brands and textures differ in the dried potatoes, some need less water), so you may need to slightly adjust this, i.e. a little more potato flakes/dehydrated potato may need to be added – make a note of how much of these quantities worked for you for your future reference. It’s a simple detail, but worth noting.

TO MAKE YOUR ‘EGG’ HALVES
Remove your ‘egg white’ halves from the fridge, then, using a spoon, carefully scoop out an oval shape. Fill this cavity with your ‘egg yolk’ mix, and level with a flat knife. Then place in the fridge for a few hours until set, before serving.

 

TO MAKE A WHOLE ‘EGG’
If you wish to make a whole ‘egg’, take two of your halves (with cavities for the yolk already scooped out). Meanwhile, having formed your yolk into an appropriately sized sphere, place it in your scooped out cavities (see above), making sure that they are levelled as much as possible, before spreading some agar paste on the faces of both white halves, and gently pressing together. The agar paste can be made using ½ tsp agar powder mixed with a bit of vegan milk, heated on the stove until thickened, and allowed to cool down for a minute or so. Ensure you brush the agar mix onto the ‘egg’ halves before it completely thickens. This is a labour of love – only done to impress guests! It took me a while to get the ‘eggs’ above as perfect to the eye as possible. Then refrigerate your ‘egg’ for an hour or so before serving.

Original recipe available at: http://mouthwateringvegan.com/2015/04/22/the-ultimate-genius-vegan-eggs/

 

 

4. Easy & Delicious Scrambled Egg-less Mushroom Delight

 

INGREDIENTS

Serves 1

  • olive oil
  • ½ a packet (175 grms) of firm tofu
  • 1 medium-sized red onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 medium-sized mushrooms, chopped
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano, or 1 tsp freshly chopped oregano
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger (grated)
  • ¼ tsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder (for the yellow colour)
  • 1 tbsp soya sauce
  • 1 tsp light tahini

METHOD:

  1. Fry the onions in the olive oil, in a non-stick frying pan until transparent. Then add the garlic, ginger and the mushrooms, stirring every few seconds.
  2. Now crumble the tofu into the pan (and quickly rinse your hands), and mix again for a minute or so.
  3. Add the soya sauce, whilst continuing to mix, and the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Mix all up together for a minute or so, and serve immediately. Enjoy!

TIP:
May be served on wholemeal toast, accompanied by freshly squeezed orange juice, to optimize the nutritional value.

Original recipe available at: http://mouthwateringvegan.com/2011/01/01/easy-delicious-scrambled-egg-less-mushroom-delight/

 

 

5. The Perfect Vegan Fried Egg . . . Sunny Side Up

 

INGREDIENTS FOR ‘EGG YOLK’

  • (again see my Egg Mayonnaise recipe)
  • 2 heaped Tbsp vegan dried instant mashed potatoes, dehydrated flakes or powder (Edwards USA, Terrasana UK – also here is a link that will ship to Australia)
  • 7 tbsp (105 mL) hot water (may need a tiny bit more)
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast (available in the US from here, or the UK from here)
  • ¼ tsp turmeric (available in the US from here, or the UK from here)
  • ¼ tsp kala namak salt, otherwise known as black salt – it has a sulphuric “egg” flavour, so is essential for this recipe (you should find this at your local Indian or Asian grocery store, or else available from Amazon US, or Amazon UK)
  • ¾ tsp Orgram egg replacer (or Ener-G in the US)
  • 1 tsp vegan margarine
  • 1 tsp sunflower or canola oil (not olive oil, as that would alter the taste)

METHOD:

  1. Make up your mashed potato mix with the water, add margarine and the other ingredients including the oil.
  2. Mash using a fork until consistency resembles hard-boiled egg yolk, but it should be thick in consistency (there is a reason for this).
  3. Then spoon out half of the mixture into a separate bowl, and set aside.

 

 

INGREDIENTS FOR ‘EGG WHITE’

  • 1 x 349g(12.3 oz) pack of firm silken tofu (I use Mori-Nu non-GMO – available in the US from here and in the UK from here)
  • TIP: you may wish to get the packet of tofu and place in the freezer for half an hour prior to opening it and cutting it up – makes for a firmer cut.

METHOD

  1. No secret or frills, it’s firm silken tofu. Using a round cutter (mine was 7cm/2¾”), cut through the centre of the tofu block, so you should be left with a cylinder around 2” thick – this will yield around 4 egg whites. All you have to do is cut this into 4 equal slices with a very sharp knife (don’t use a serrated one).
  2. Next, with a smaller round cutter (around 3cm/1¼”), press out the centre of the first ‘egg white’, which will leave space for your ‘yolk’. Do this carefully, as the tofu will be very fragile, and repeat the same with each ‘egg white’.
  3. In the meantime, you will have extra tofu left – place this in a covered container and refrigerate. I use this to make the egg mayonnaise/salad the next day – I just put together some more yolk (it only takes a couple of minutes), and then just add the mayo, as per the recipe (see link above).
  4. Now heat up some oil in a non-stick pan. Meanwhile, take 1 teaspoon of the egg yolk (make sure it has cooled down), roll it in your palms, then flatten it slightly.
  5. Then, using the smaller cutter, cut out the ‘yolk’ circle, which will fit inside the centre of the ‘egg white’ perfectly. But don’t place it in there yet at this stage.
  6. Gently place your egg white in the hot oil, one at a time, in and shallow fry it until golden around the edges on both sides.
  7. Now flip it, and place your egg yolk in the middle to fit the puzzle so to speak, and press down a little with a teaspoon.
  8. Meanwhile add some hot water to the mix in your 2nd ‘egg yolk’ bowl, and stir all the time until you reach a smooth egg yolk consistency.
  9. Using a small teaspoon, pour a tiny amount of this in the centre of the egg yolk, but don’t agitate it.
  10. Then spoon some of the oil it is frying in over the top of the yolk, to seal the top, and sprinkle on some salt and pepper.
  11. Gently bring it out from the pan onto your toast, or your plate, and enjoy alone, or with your favourite sauce. We love HP.
  12. That’s it, you’ve homemade delicious vegan eggs FOR LIFE.

NOTE:
You will also need extra oil for frying your egg.

Original recipe available at: http://mouthwateringvegan.com/2013/04/27/the-perfect-vegan-fried-egg-sunny-side-up/

The Kechara Ensign

What It Means:

resource: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/what-our-flag-means.html

Having to work in urban societies – in the city, among buildings, traffic, people, parking, congestion, smoke and smog really takes a toll on one’s body and mind. Sometimes we really need to go to a place of peace, healing and recovery. Because of this, I conceptualised and founded Kechara Forest Retreat with my close members and since then, it has grown and we are still in the process of building Phase 1 and Phase 2. What is beautiful is that at the entrance of Kechara Forest Retreat, we have a set of flag poles with three flags displayed.

The centre which is the most prominent and most respectful position is adorned by the Malaysian flag. This represents our love, our loyalty, our appreciation and our respect towards our country and where we are, Malaysia. May Malaysia always grow, always be at peace, harmonious and prosperous. We wish the best to all our Malaysian people, the government and the public.

The second flag, on the left, which is the second highest position of respect, is the flag of Pahang state. Malaysia has 13 states, and each state has its own flag. So, on the left is a flag representing the state that Kechara Forest Retreat is in, which is Pahang state, and we show our deepest respect, appreciation and love towards the state of Pahang where we abide. For those who are international, Pahang state where we are located is just 45 minutes to an hour’s drive from our national capital of Kuala Lumpur.

The third flag, on the right, is the flag of Kechara, which is newly designed by myself. Its white background represents a clean, clear, luminous mind – the mind that has no pollution, no distortions and no projections. The mind is clean, luminous and clear. Therefore it should actually be a clear flag but that is pretty impossible to do, so I put it on a white background representing the clear, luminous mind of enlightenment, of the state of peace and the state of happiness which we strive to achieve.

In the centre is the Sanskrit seed syllable of Vajrayogini’s mind. This seed syllable is called the BAM letter. The BAM letter represents Vajrayogini’s mind, which is a Buddha mind, and we wish to achieve the Buddha mind. All of us wish to achieve full enlightenment. So on a clear, luminous mind, we are fully enlightened – that’s the symbology of the flag. At the same time, the BAM represents the conjunction, the smooth operation and the smooth interactions of the four elements of our body. When the four elements of our body: earth, air, water and fire are in conjunction and harmonious, then the mind will be able to generate better thoughts, happier thoughts and spiritual thoughts. The last meaning (in simplicity) for the BAM letter is the dissolution of the elements in our body, the dissolution of our mind and the various states that our mind goes through at the time of death, which equals the next step that is after death (which is bardo), and then rebirth.

The BAM letter in subtle Tantric meaning, which I can’t go into detail here, is the dissolution of the gross mind into the subtle mind, and into the stages until you reach the top of the BAM letter where you see a squiggle. So the top of the squiggle and the dissolution of that is the gross mind dissolving into the subtle mind, the subtle mind dissolving and leaving the body, and ejecting it into the bardo, into the future life. So the BAM syllable has that meaning in Tantra, which is according to Vajrayogini’s path. Last but not least, the BAM syllable represents that Kechara is a portal into the mind of Vajrayogini, to become Vajrayogini, and to ascend to Kechara Paradise. Vajrayogini’s paradise is called Kechara in Sanskrit; in Tibetan, it is called Dakpo Kachö. So Kechara is named after the divine paradise of Vajrayogini which we wish all ascend to. Therefore, Kechara’s flag is based on Vajrayogini’s mind and the mind of enlightenment, and the balance of the four elements within our body for peace, harmony and happiness, as well as the mind that is luminous, clear and happy.

May all who enter Kechara, who see Kechara, who think of Kechara and has anything to do with Kechara be blessed by all the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and deities in the form of Vajrayogini. May they reach Her paradise here on earth, and afterwards when they leave the earth.

Now that we have our flag poles here and they are in front, we are celebrating, saluting and showing deep respects to our beloved country of Malaysia, our beautiful and beloved state of Pahang, and also to the full mind of enlightenment. Here is a short video that was taken and also a picture, and I want to make a little note that Pastor Moh Mei worked very hard in getting the flags stitched up according to my design, on time for our special event that happened today which you can read on another blogpost.

Tsem Rinpoche

 

 

The entrance of Kechara Forest Retreat in Pahang state, Malaysia

 

 

 

Flag of Malaysia

 

Flag of Pahang

 

Flag of Kechara

 

For more interesting information:

It was actually a good sign – http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/it-was-a-good-sign-actually.html

Some people you can talk until the cows come home and hundreds of hours, they just revert back to how they were short while later…. Some people are with one logical clear talk, they just transform. Some even go on to counseling and helping others. It reflects who we are. It reflects clearly how badly we want something or just go on looking for excuses to not make it.

Again, this statement from the gracious attained nun below is so appropriate.. and remember don’t glamorize how you cannot let go of attachments because it will not serve you at all ever.

Tsem Rinpoche

Skeleton with book

 

 

 

 

 

Most people feel cozy enough in samsara. They do not really have the genuine aspiration to go beyond samsara; they just want samsara to be a little bit better. ……

The underlying motivation to go beyond samsara is very rare, even for people who go to Dharma centers.
There are many people who learn to meditate and so forth, but with the underlying motive that they hope to make themselves feel better.
And if it ends up making them feel worse, instead of realizing that this may be a good sign, they think there is something wrong with Dharma.

We are always looking to make ourselves comfortable in the prison house. We might think that if we get the cell wall painted a pretty shade of pale green, and put in a few pictures, it won’t be a prison any more.

~Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo

My explanation on  Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo’s quotes above
Dharma volunteering, dharma commitment to time, dharma commitment…when you are feeling bad, contrary to thinking that the dharma is making you feel bad and your guru is making you feel guilty, or the dharma community is negative, it is a good sign.  It is a good sign that your wisdom clarity mind, wisdom clear mind is arising.  Instead of running away, go full force, do more dharma, engage in more dharma, practice more dharma, do more dharma work, take up more responsibilities, cause you are going the right direction. Cause that process is the natural correct process of our mind becoming better.
Every single day, I do a little bit of social media in order to express thoughts, and passages and realizations and understanding and other things that i have read about the dharma. My twit and social media on face book, blog are on different subjects, but my favourite and my passion is of course dharma.
I guess the passion for dharma arises from knowing that there  is no escape from samsara, there is no pleasure in samsara and everything in samsara may be made out to look like it is really nice, but in the end it brings some kind of unhappiness and sufferings.  The peaks that we experience in samsara, the ‘happiness’ peaks, you know, whatever you want to call it, for want of a better name, the happiness peaks that we experience from samsara comes from  a very high price we have to pay.  Eventually the peaks becomes less and less and nil, as we become older because what we experience when we were younger it won’t be possible when we are older.
Anyway, when I was going through my face book wall today, I came a profound, deep and extremely thought provoking evocative speech or write-up by a Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo.  As you know, Jetsunma is a very advanced and great nun who has meditated in solitary retreat for more than an decade, if my memory serves me right, 12 years. And then she has proceeded to work for a  women’s opportunities in dharma, building her own nunnery and at the same time, travelling the world and expounding the holy teachings of our Lord Buddha.  This I find very profound and it can only arise from someone who has attained something in their mind, a level in meditation that doesn’t reverse and go backwards.
And let me read it to you and give you a little short explanation.
[Most people feel cosy enough in samsara.  They do not really have the genuine aspiration to go beyond samsara.  They just want samsara to be a little bit better.  The underlying motivation to go beyond samsara is very rare, even for people who go to dharma centers.  There are many people who learn to meditate and so forth, but with the underlying motive that they hope to make themselves feel better.  And if it ends up making them worse instead of realising that this may be a good sign, they think there is something wrong with the dharma.  We are always making ourselves feel comfortable in a prison house.  We might think that if we get to cell wall painted a pretty shade of pale green and put in a few pictures, it won’t be a prison anymore.-Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo]
So the first line, what she’s saying is: (most people feel enough in samsara. They do not really have the genuine aspiration to go beyond samsara.  They just want samsara to be a little bit better.)
So, many people, they actually just want to make their situation better, some more money, a bigger house, a cooler room, more clothes, better food, and that’s their general aspiration of the general public, is more of a , to be more comfortable.
The second thing she said here: (The underlying motivation to go beyond samsara is very rare, even for people who go to dharma centers.)  There are people who genuinely think “wow”, samsara is a really difficult place, it has no end, its an endless cycle, it promotes and deludes, it promotes a lot of sufferings and deludes us into further sufferings. And that I want to do something better, I am going to look for the dharma, I am going to look for a teacher and parhaps I need to go to a dharma center.  That type of thinking is extremely rare, even among people who go to dharma centers.  Most people who go to dharma centers are actually looking for a quick fix.  Some are looking for a better way of dealing with guilt, better way of dealing with their happiness or wealth or they are looking for an easy way out of their problems or a betterment of their situation or improvement of the situation.  So people have many many different type of reasons why they go to dharma centers but not actually the highest required motivation, in order to gain full results from dharma practice. Very rare.
She said: ( There are many people who learn to meditate and so forth, but with the underlying motive that they hope to make themselves feel better.)  People do pujas, they do mantras, they propitiate a protector, they pray to a yidam, they do special retreats, they do special meditations, they read books, they contemplate, they do breathing exercises, very rarely do people use those dharma practices methods to gain a higher form of mind in order to conquer the samsara within them and around them.  But there is an underlying motive (she says) that they just want to feel better, they want an improvement in their lives.  Because of their underlying motive and their actual so-called true motive, that their wish to do dharma is not really to be liberated or to liberate others or to go for the highest which is enlightenment, dharma practices end up making them feel worse. I repeat, it ends up making them feel worse, instead of realizing that this may be a good sign, they think there is something wrong with the dharma.
So when they learn more from the teacher, they understand more from the teacher, they get more from dharma readings, they see more advanced students or they understand more from their contemplation, they will realize that a lot of thing in their lives are wrong.  they realize their motivation, their thinking, their mode of acting and their conduct actually instead of creating happiness, instead of creating peace and harmony, instead of creating growth, and emergence to a better new self or higher self it actually self delude, self deceives themselves into thinking that they are not happy, they are uncomfortable.  Why is that?  Because, for the first time in our lives, someone is telling us, more money doesn’t make us happy, more luxuries doesn’t make us happy, having the yacht, the beautiful girlfriend, that handsome boyfriend, the name the fame, the attention, the you, the nice hair, the nice clothes, the overseas trips, the big cars, the big houses, the luxury branded items does not make us happy and we should not be focused on that.  And in the beginning of our spiritual journey, we accept that, we know that’s true, we understand that’s true and we inherently know and look around us and see many people who have those things, they are not happy.  Those who have aspired towards those items are not happy.  We know that, its an intellectual understanding and when we begin dharma we understand that and have this idealistic kind of view that, (oh yes), I understand that materialism doesn’t make me happy. I want to explore myself, I want to find myself, you see, its an intellectual understanding, but when faced with dharma, materialism or dharma or materialism, dharma practice, dharma work or overseas trip, dharma friends or go out and  drink and party, solitary retreat or finding a new lover or maintaining lover. Or dharma volunteering work or simply laying at home and doing nothing.  When they are actually challenged, they have to make a decision between dharma and samsara, that’s when the dilemma comes.  The dilemma comes because they have more wisdom, more understanding, they have more knowledge of what is right and it is not that they intellectually don’t understand it, they intellectually understand it but they refuse to apply it.
When they refuse to apply it, the conflict comes – what is the conflict?  The conflict doesn’t come from your guru or from dharma or the dharma center or your dharma brothers and sisters.  The conflict comes that you know what you need to do an you are not applying it.  And when you are not applying it, it makes you feel bad and when you feel bad, you like to say the dharma made me feel bad, my guru made me feel bad, my friends made me feel bad, the dharma center made me feel bad, the dharma center is not nice, the dharma center is harsh, pushy, the dharma is difficult.
We like to impute or say that the dharma is making me unhappy, but you see its not the dharma making me unhappy…it is like when you have cancer and you are given treatment, when you are getting treatment, its very painful, it is extremely painful, when you are going for the test, its very painful, there are a lot of side effects.  When you go for cancer treatment you go for a lot of tests, you have to be poked, blood taken, lots of medication and lots of injections, lots of medicines, lots of changes in your diet and environment and if we blame that our pain comes from the cancer treatment and we gave up the cancer treatment, then the cancer will take over our body, we will die.
The pain doesn’t come from the treatment of the cancer or the doctors or the nurses or the hospital.  The pain comes from cancer.  And whatever that is being applied to your body by the doctors and nurses and hospital, is actually the process of removing your ultimate cause of the pain.  Cause if you are healthy, you don’t have to go for tests, you don’t have to go for chemotherapy, you don’t have to go for treatment.  You don’t go for anything.  Chemotherapy is very painful for some and it has a lot of negative side effects, for some.  But you see, we can blame our pain on chemotherapy.  We have to blame it on the cancer.
So similarly, we cannot blame the dharma center, we cannot blame the teacher, we cannot blame the Buddha, or the teachings or the practice or the knowledge – we have to blame ourselves.  and when we keep blaming the dharma and we say it is making us unhappy, what is actually making us unhappy , what is making us unhappy, is not the dharma but our understanding of what we need to do and our laziness or selfishness or unwillingness to do it. This is making us unhappy. And we can even say, I don’t care about karma, throw caution to the wind, I don’t care anymore, I reach the level that it doesn’t matter, we can say all that, we can justify all that, but you know what, if it didn’t matter, and we didn’t care, we would not be unhappy, we wouldn’t be concerned or worry.  We won’t be having a debate.  The internal debate, the internal battle that we are having that is making us unhappy and the battle is not between good or bad, heaven or hell, Buddha or the devil.  the internal battle is we know to do, we are not doing it and that is eating away at us.  And if we run away from the dharma, by blaming the dharma, justifying that dharma is bad, the dharma center is bad, dharma people are bad, the dharma teacher is bad, if we justify that way…of course you have  small legion of people that believe you, of course you have a following of people that will, uh, support you, says its correct and you may even temporarily feel okay and satisfied and at peace that you have these supporters feel the same thing, but you see those supporters come in a few categories – they are people just like you, who do not want to apply and face the truth or they are people who are totally ignorant.
So, its like saying going to a country that people have aids and when you go to a country that people have aids, a developing country or very poor country and they have no knowledge or understanding about aids and they have no idea aids and how it is spread and how its treated and its dangerous and how it can affect and damage your family and your friend and people that you copulate with and you go to this country and you have indiscriminate  copulation, with unprotected copulation, and you just copulate and you just enjoy yourself and you go one after another and you write on social media – hey, I met this beautiful girl, I met that girl, I met this boy and that boy and you know, we had a good time and tomorrow I meet another one and another one and of course you gonna have a bunch of people on social media that support you and say – hey, that’s great, let’s have indiscriminate unprotected copulation.  Why?  Because they don’t understand the dangers of aids.  They didn’t hear about it and they didn’t know about it, they don’t understand it, they see symptoms and they see people dying but they don’t know where it comes from, of course they are going to support you.  And then you have the other group of people that think, (oh well) I already have aids, I am angry at the world, the world is at fault, I have aids because the world is at fault, its their fault, so I don’t care, I am going to have fun and I am going to indiscriminate, unprotected copulation, with anybody I like and whether it spreads or not I don’t care.  So you gonna have that category of people supporting you, saying, yah, indiscriminate sex or copulation is very good.  But is you have people who know how aids is spread and they know the sufferings and they work in an aids hospital or they have a relative, friend, a partner, a husband or wife or a child that have aids and they see the sufferings, they will say no, don’t do that. Don’t give this suffering to others.  Don’t have indiscriminate unprotected copulation with others because you will bring pain, separate their families, create trouble, create financial strains and then you know now.  You know what you are supposed to do.  you are not supposed to have unprotected indiscriminate copulation, and then there’s the battle, there a battle going on in you and then you blame the education of aids awareness, you blame the people who tell you about aids, you blame the hospice worker, you blame the person who gave you the information.  they made you feel bad, they made you feel horrible, they made you feel down and when you go around indiscriminately having copulation, and they report you to the authorities, they let the authorities know, they say they are harsh, they are cruel, but in actuality, they are stopping you from spreading this disease that can damage other people’s families, financially, emotionally, physically and cause death.  In fact they are very compassionate, they are not thinking of one person, just you, they are thinking abut everybody around you.
Therefore if you social media, you want a legion of supporters that says, hey, indiscriminate copulation is wonderful, you are going to get it from people who know nothing about aids – that’s an example.  You are going to get it from people who have aids and don’t care anymore cause they’re angry at the world and they just want to get back and they don’t care spreading it.  In fact they might want to spread it to other people to suffer like them but from people who know the suffering that they experience it they care, they don’t want other people to get it, they are going to come and tell you don’t do that.  They might even report you to the authorities and say, don’t do that.  If you call them cruel and harsh that is your twisted wrong view.
Similarly with that analogy in a dharma center, you dharma teacher you dharma brothers and sisters explains to you, the pitfalls of samsara, the difficulties of anger, selfishness, laziness,  greediness, stealing and lying and you are caught doing it and you keep doing it and they talk to you nicely, again and again, they confront you, they explain to you, they even try to stop you from doing it, that’s not control, that is not negative, that’s not them being evil, harsh or difficult – its from care. It is from care.  It is from care and if you label them the dharma center, your dharma teacher the dharma institution bad, you are not accepting responsibility for where it is coming from.
So therefore if you feel guilty, you have this battle within you the battle within you is actually not a bad sign.  That is what Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo is saying.  It is not a bad sign.
Why is not a bad sign?  Because you are having a battle between doing something virtuous and wonderful and good that you are not used to doing as opposed to something you have done 1000’s of times that brought you no where that brought you spurts and spurts and tiny little bits and pieces of happiness and ends up unhappy.  So you having that battle, that battle is saying you are gaining knowledge, you are gaining some ground in your contemplation, you are gaining some ground perhaps in your meditation or your views, that your knowledge is increasing, so this battle comes from you having dharma knowledge and this battle makes you feel bad not because the dharma, because your conscious wisdom clarity, good mind is saying – don’t do what you were doing before anymore.
Your good mind your wisdom the innate clarity of your mind who you really are is saying stop.  Dharma is good  What is teaching you is good and the process of transformation is in you and you wake up one day and you just renounce samsara.  The process of transformation comes from rejection, anger, not accepting, accepting, understanding and then applying.
So when you are feeling bad about dharma work dharma volunteering dharma commitment to time, dharma commitment, when you are feeling bad, contrary to thinking that the dharma is making you feel bad, your guru is making you feel guilty or the dharma community is negative, it is a good sign.  It is a good sign that your wisdom clarity mind , wisdom clear mind is arising.  Instead of running away, go full force, do more dharma, engage in more dharma, practice more dharma, do more dharma work, take on more responsibilities, cause you are going the right direction, cause that process is the natural correct process of our mind becoming better.
So we have to stop view the guru as someone militant, we have to stop viewing the dharma center as a army camp, we have to view the dharma as not something that makes you feel guilty, we have to view the dharma brothers and sisters as not people are deluded or in a cult, we have to view the dharma teacher really as someone that tells you the truth for once in your life with tremendous wisdom, tremendous knowledge and his experience may be even for many life times and listen to the words and understand he is trying to benefit you.  We have to look at the dharma brothers and sisters as a community who has accepted and understood and contemplate and meditated and got some results, that they are also committed on this path.  We must also think that there are different methods that apply for different people, that it cannot be all across the board.  With some people you have to be very direct, with some you have to be very gentle, you have to go around and round.  There are many types of people.  so one method does not apply to all therefore don’t expect the teacher to have just one method.  On top of that you shouldn’t think the dharma center as a burden, you should think of a dharma center comes from peoples donation, love, energy, time, their contributions created a physical place where we can gather to do good dharma work and to benefit others and to disparage the teacher, disparage the dharma institution, disparage the people within, is to disparage all the donations, all the hard work, all the contributions that everybody else did.
So that doesn’t make sense either.  Why would we want to do that, why would we want to disparage, something, someone has invested so much into, even yourself.  So therefore it is not the dharma or the teacher or the center or the dharma brothers and sisters that make you feel bad.  They are not the ones that are harsh, they are not the ones that are difficult.  Your clear conscience and your understanding is starting to rise and you are having that battle and now your duty is to win that battle.
(We are always looking to make ourselves comfortable in the prison house. We might think that if we get the cell wall painted a pretty shade of pale green, and put in a few pictures, it won’t be a prison any more.)  So if we change locations, we quit, we change clothes, we go on trips, we meet people, go for more dinners, we hang out in Ritzy places, we go for nice restaurants, we buy new car…its like, just changing location and situations round us to change what we know inside…its not gonna work, unless we are very good in self denial, self deception and we are willing to take the consequences, the consequences will be…regret loneliness a waste of time and lots and lots of losses and great opportunities that would have got you somewhere.  So if we are willing to take the consequences,  and when the consequences come, don’t complain, if in the past, we had difficulty to a certain situation and they make us testy, they make us very uncomfortable and they make us very belligerent and unhappy, then it is a sign to us that we we are not ready for consequences. For those are consequences of actions we created in the past.  So don’t just blatantly say, I don’t care about karma I don’t care about consequences, I have reached a stage that I don’t care what people think,  the karma consequences or anything is cause if you didn’t care, you wouldn’t be talking, you wouldn’t be battling.  You do care. You do definitely do care.  So therefore, this wonderful dharma paragraph from Jetsunma was very beautiful, very simple and yet extremely profound and I want to give you a little explanation cause I came across it in the face book.
Let me read it one more time for you and conclude:
[Most people feel cosy enough in samsara.  They do not really have the genuine aspiration to go beyond samsara.  They just want samsara to be a little bit better.  The underlying motivation to go beyond samsara is very rare, even for people who go to dharma centers.  There are many people who learn to meditate and so forth, but with the underlying motive that they hope to make themselves feel better.  And if it ends up making them worse instead of realising that this may be a good sign, they think there is something wrong with the dharma.  We are always making ourselves feel comfortable in a prison house.  We might think that if we get to cell wall painted a pretty shade of pale green and put in a few pictures, it won’t be a prison anymore.-Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo].
Now if she is your teacher and you have this internal battle and she tells you this you might even be offended you might feel she is targeting you, you might feel that she is telling you things that hurt you.  But if you read this, you might think, (oh yeah) that’s nice, you see its our perspective, what’s our perspective? Is whether we want to accept the truth or not.  If we think from the side of truth, it doesn’t hurt, its enlightening, its freedom.  I hope this one helps and I want to reiterate dharma teachers dharma centers dharma people, brothers and sisters, the dharma teachings and the Buddha, the yidams, the dharma protectors are all here to help us, are all here to give their best and that is very important to know and if we keep thinking they are enemies we are actually attacking the wrong enemy.  The enemies are not these above mentioned.  The enemy is inside of us.  and that is what we need to battle.  and when we understand this that is when we feel uncomfortable.  the uncomfortable feeling comes from our conscience knowing what we should do, so we should just go ahead to do the right thing, do dharma, thank you.

 

 

The Lineage of Dorje Shugden in Kechara – notes from www.tsemrinpoche.com

Lineage – ability to trace a teaching and practice directly to a credible source, usually an enlightened being or highly attained lama.

Knowin the source and how it has been transmitted gives assurance that what we are learning is an authentic teaching.

This teaching came from Dorje Shugden directly and transmitted through the great Mahasiddhas HH Tagpu Pemavajra.

A siddha is someone who has attained the realisations of siddhi (psychic and spiritual abilities and powers ).

A mahasiddha, is therefore a great siddha and Tagpu Pemavajra was one such Lama.  He is very special practitioner and his past life included that of  Dharmaten, a direct disciple of Lord Buddha.  He was also Lobsang Tenpe Gyaltsen, wrote the important commentary on Vajrayogini, together with another master, who later reincarnate as HH Pabongka Rinpoche.  The Vajrayogini lineage that Gelugpa practice today, comes from the work of HH Tagpa Pemavajra (HHTP).

He also has many extraordinary visions of deities.  Tara spoke directly to Him and from there we have the Cittamani Tara practice today.  It was claimed that once HHTP entered into retreat, the secret dakini sign language was revealed to Him.

His main disciple HH Pabongka Rinpoche was also highly attained Lama, who was requested by Dorje Shugden through and oracle to compose a new text for the deity’s practice. And although He did that, He felt He had to be sure, so He asked HHTP for help.

HHTP was by then very famous for His ability to astro-travel and He travelled to Tushita Heaven and had an audience with Lama Tsongkhapa and Dulzin Dragpa Gyaltsen, who was not only Lama Tsongkhapa main disciple, but also the past incarnation of Dorje Shugden.

Dorje Shugden emanated from under Lama Tsongkhapa’s throne and personally taught the practice to HHTP, and when He returned from Tushita, He carefully recorded all the teachings down and passed it to HH Pabongka Rinpoche.  He also compose a praise to Dorje Shugden, known as Infinite Eons, which later became the basis of thee most definitive text on Dorje Shugden.

Hence the lineage of Kechara’s Dorje Shugden began from Lama Tsongkhapa’s pure land, with Dorje Shugden giving the teachings to HHTP and from HHTP, we received the Cittamaani Tara and the Vajrayogini practice of today and therefore extremely credible.

The lineage was passed on to HH Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche, based on what DS taught HHTP, HHPR wrote ‘Melodious Drum, Victorious in All Directions’.  It is from this text we have the DS Kangsol used today for the worship and praise to DS.

HHPR being a highly attained master in His own right and is also know as Pabongka Geshe Nyingpo meaning Essence of Bliss.  In other words HHPR is regarded as one with Heruka.  In His past life HHPR was a great Lama Changkya Rolpai Dorje, who was a tutor of a chinese emperor – only the best scholars are selected to be tutors of an emperor.  He was also a direct disciple of Lama Tsongkhapa.  He manifested as an average student, He became an exceptional Lama, to the point where learned geshes would consult Him.

There were many accounts of this Lama’s attainments as as when Heruka appeared before HHPR in a place called Timbury in Tibet and spoke to HHPR and when the image of Heruka Chakrasamvara opened His mouth nectar began to come out.  HHPR collected this nectar and made them into nectar pills.  This is the origin of the Gelug nectar pills.  This event was witnessed by 60-70 people.

HHPR has the ability to teach complex teachings in a simple way that was easy for everyone to understand, regardless of their backgrounds and levels of comprehension.  This is the same quality as that of Lord Buddha.  His teachings can he humorous and and light hearted but easily understood.  These are the same qualities, we observe in His Eminence Tsem Tulku Rinpoche.

HHPR’s abilities were witnessed by HH 13th DL when He described in detail, the text within a specific book that is sitting in HH 13th DL’s study.  HH 13th DL was convinced HHPR was an extraordinary Lama.  In 1925, HHPR was chosen by HH 13th DL to give the annual Lamrim teachings.  This was a deviation from the tradition where The Gaden Tripa would give such teachings.

HHPR wrote the long Vajrayogini saddhana that all Gelugpa lamas must rely on for practice.  And in the tradition of Atisha and Lama Tsongkhapa, HHPR gave a historic 24 day oral discourse on the Lamrim which was then recorded and published as Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand, a most relied upon Lamrim text today.  HHPR is considered a key lineage holder of the oral Gaden tradition and in His lifetime there was hardly any significant figure in the Gaden tradition who had not been His disciple.

From HHPR, we come to HH Kyabje Trijiang Rinpoche, His closest disciple. In 1959 when HH 14th DL and many tibetans fled Tibet, HHPR knew that He would not be able to escape, and so He carefully transmitted all the lineage teachings to His closest disciple HHTR, including DS teachings in its purest form.

HHTR is considered the most influential Gelugpa high Lama of His era and of the modern times. (HH 14th DL, HH Zong Rinpoche, HE Zemey Rinpoche, Ven. Kelsang Gyatso, Lama Yeshe – all regard HHTR as their teacher).  HHTR comes from an illustrious line of incarnation, starting with Chandra, Lord Buddha’s chariot driver, and include Atisha and Chandrakirti.

HHTR was very learned by 18 years old and debated with the geshes of the 3 major gelugpa monasteries for His final examinations and received the Geshe Lharampa degree.

When HHTR gave His first oral transmission of the collected works of Je Tsongkhapa and His main disciples, to about two hundred monks, followed by granting empowerments of Vajrayogini to about 60 reincarnate lamas and monks.  He was then 23 years old.  And for His entire life HHTR taught the entire corpus on the Gelugpa lineage teachings.

HHTR was also the holder of the Gaden oral tradition that was transmitted to Him in its entirety by HHPR and through HHTR’s strong commitments that the DS lineage was kept fully intact and pure.  HHTR wrote the definite text on DS, called Music Delighting an Ocean of Protectors, based on Tagpu Pemavajra’s writing on DS, called Infinite Eons.

In Music Delighting an Ocean of Protectors HHTR inumerated the deity’s previous life as Manjushri, Birupa,  Shakya Pandita, Buton Rinchen Drub, Duldzin Drakpa Gyaltsen, Panchen Sonam Drakpa and Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen.

HHTR had a very close bond with DS and in His autobiography, The Illusory Play, HHTR often spoke very fondly of the deity and said that DS was like a loving mother to Him.  HHTR used to train oracles to take trance of DS.   It was HHTR who gave the instructions to consult the oracle of DS and asked if the 14th DL should remain in Tibet or escape in 1959.

HHTR wrote in the Illusory Play, the situation had become so dangerous, that it greatly disturbed Him.  Although a few advises had already been given by Palden Hlamo, Nechung and the Gadong Oracle, He felt it necessary to consult DS, who advised to leave immediately and by way of the south western direction as no harm will befall HH 14th DL or any of His entourage.  He guaranteed it.

HHTR then pass the DS teachings to His close disciple HH Zong Dorje Chang, whom He met at Shartse college.  HHTR was then 14 years old but very highly accomplished.  He became HHZR’s chief mentor and root Guru.

HHZR was already known as a remarkable scholar by then, with temendous knowledge in the Madhyamaka.  But He was especially known for being an exceptional debater.  He has a highly agile mind and had a firm grasp of scriptures and logic which made Him the unbeatable debater of His time.

During one debate on buddhist logic, the famous geshe Sherab Gyatso, likened HHZR to Dharmakirti.  HHZR was appointed as an abbot to the prestigious Gaden Shartse monastery, a position He held for 10 years.  He is also well known as a powerful tantrician and gave many empowerments and tantra teachings.  HHZR will also always give DS teachings whom He regarded as a very special Protector.

HHZR, with the assistance of DS saved many monks from Chinese attacks.  He is also known for His clairvoyance and 3 days before the Chinese army attack, HHZR could forsee the event and requested many monks to leave the monastery into safety.  But on the day of the attack on the monastery, some old and sick monks remain and as the chinese began shelling the monastery, HHZR was seen retreating into His chambers and did a DS repelling obstacles puja.  People saw a bright light coming from HHZR chamber hitting the chinese camp which created a small earthquake that damaged the chinese canons and equipment, which delayed the attack for a few hours allowing enough time for the monks to escape.

HHZR made several trips to the west and it was in one of those trips, He met our Guru, His Eminence Tsem Tulku Rinppoche, in 1984, in LA.  HETTR was a lay person then and attended to all of HHZR’s needs during His stay in LA, as if He had done this before, many times.

HHZR recognised HETTR as the yound incarnate tulku and aske Rinpoche to go to Zong ladrang in Gaden.  HHZR confirmed what HETTR felt as a child, that He was destined for a life in dharma.

HETTR’s mother was a mongolian princess, and for the 9 months of pregnancy, she constantly dreamt of a baby white elephant, entering her court yard and she would tie the elephant to a tree.  On the day Rinpoche was born,  the princess dreamt of high lamas and monks performing various pujas in the house.  These were all auspicious signs, that a high incarnate lama had entered the world.

At 7 months old, monks came and recognised the baby as a reincarnated lama and requested Rinpoche’s mother to take the boy to the monastery to be enthroned.  Rinpoche’s mother rejected the offer, saying that if Rinpoche is a high lama, He would make His own way to the monastery.  And so from an early age Rinpoche has a deep longing to be in a monastery and did everything possible whilst growing up to return there.

Eventually He gave up what would have been a comfortable secular life, and seek the dharma. In fact it is uncanny how the dharma always finds Rinpoche.  He met erudite masters like Kensur Lobsang Tharchin Rinpoche,  a direct disciple of HHPR and HHTR; HE Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen in LA,  where Rinpoche served and studied for  years.

At a young age, Rinpoche was drawn towards a few deities, Palden Hlamo and DS.  He wanted one protector and asked HHZR who impart the protector DS practice to Him. Rinpoche accepted and received a Sokthey or life entrustment from HHZR.  DS has been HETTR’s protector ever since and looked after HETTR dharma life.  HETTR trusted DS completely.  HETTR has also healed people from incurable sickness, with the help of DS.

Rich and true lineage from DS.  It has reached us because it has been preserved and passed on from one enlightened master to another – Duldzin Drakpa Gyaltsen, Mahasiddha Tagpu Pemavajra, Pabongkha Dechen Nyingpo, Trijiang Dorje Chang, Zong Dorje Chang and Tsem Tulku Rinpoche – pure an unbroken lineage – integrity, hold vows, guru devotion, clean samaya, fully trusting DS for effective and powerful practice and keep us on the path to liberation.

My Spiritual Journey

I came from a ‘buddhist’ family and I guess I am buddhist or so I thought, I was, then.   I have no idea what it means to be buddhist.  I joined my school’s christian society and read the bible, took a correspondence course and scored a distinction.  Every Sunday I would creep out of bed and sneak off to the church as my mother was against me becoming a christian. The old folks being worried that there will be no one around to burn incense and light joss-sticks when they are ‘gone’.

Being a christian provided me with a groundwork to develop my spiritual knowledge.  Strange, there was one time a group of us gathered to be baptized by the ‘holy spirit’.  All of them started speaking in ‘tongues’ and I was desperately trying to do the same.  Anyway, it did not happen.  I am wondering if there was anything wrong with me.

After passing my sixth form exam, I came to England, I had all the opportunity to attend church but somehow I never bothered.  But as time goes, I felt I did not have a ‘belonging’, like part of a ‘group/or family’.

In April 2002, whilst on holiday with my family to Malaysia, I was invited to attend a puja session in Kelana Jaya and there I met my root Guru, His Eminence Tsem Tulku Rinpoche.  What captivated me about Rinpoche  was, when someone asked Him why there are so many religions in this world, Rinpoche’s response very logical.  Instead of bragging about how great a religion, Buddhism is  Rinpoche used an anolgy – about the different types of food in a buffet – to cater for different tastes –  the essence of the food was to satisfy the hungry stomach.  From that meeting, I began earnestly researching about Tibetan Buddhism and what it meant to be a Buddhist.   I logged onto the Rinpoche’s website, painstakingly (as those were the days of dial up internet) recorded a few of His talks onto a cassette tape and listen to them daily in my car.

I took refuge with Rinpoche the year after, in August 2003.  Every opportunity I get, I would travel back to Kuala Lumpur to vist Kechara and have been lucky to meet Rinpoche in person.  I read many Buddhist literature, go into different buddhists blogs and forums and participated in chats.  I always have a dharma book in my hands when I traveled to work in the train.

I have been immensely fortunate to be included in the few pilgrimages: to Bodhgaya in 2004, Gaden in 2006 and Kathmandu in 2008.  Rinpoche was very kind and gave me (and my wife) personal teachings in early 2005, after we came back from our Bodhgaya pilgrimage.  Rinpoche said that as we are from faraway He wanted to give us as much dharma teaching as we can possibly get.

Bodhgaya arrival

 

 

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The dharma Rinpoche gave me comes from a pure lineage tracing back to Shakyamuni Buddha.  Rinpoche said that it is very important that we are able to trace our lineage teaching to Shakyamuni Buddha to give its authencity.

As I read and gained more dharma knowledge, my confidence in life increased.  I was very eager, so to speak, to share my dharma knowledge.  I even asked Rinpoche if I am able to share my dharma experiences with friends or people I come into contact with.  Rinpoche was very kind and said I can share  dharma experiences with people as this would help people.

From then on I will find every opportunity to introduce myself , as a buddhist and using whatever tag line, share my dharma experiences and especially the very special moments I had with Rinpoche and Kechara Sangha.

KL Pilgrimage-2

 

 

 

 

I am very lucky to have met my root Guru His Eminence Tsem Tulku Rinpoche because Rinpoche teaches is a manner that makes dharma fun to learn, and always logical.  Please get me wrong and I do not have any disrespect for dharma but sometimes the dharma topic can be a little dry and difficult to absorb but Rinpoche makes it easy to understand.  It is great to have this knowledge but equally great is the ability to spend time mulling over (in other words, contemplate) on what has been read or taught.  This way we gain wisdom. It would therefore be good to share this knowledge to as many people as possible.

When my mother passed away in the summer of 2013, Rinpoche asked me if I would like to become a Pastor, I had no hesitation in accepting the request, subject to discussions with my family regarding the logistics.  This I did because when I saw my mother in that state it dawn on me that one day I will be like that.  Still, motionless, and nothing will or can rouse me except for a mind that is prepared for the next phase of spiritual journey.

Whilst I jumped at the chance to accept Rinpoche’s request for me to become a Pastor, I have also to bear in mind my family who still require my financial support.  Rinpoche was so kind to suggest I become a cyber pastor since I am stationed in the UK and this work can be carried out anywhere in the world as long as there is internet access.

It is not an easy task to balance between my secular life and spiritual life but no matter, I must do it, not just for the sake for others but for my own salvation too.

12 Refuge Commitments

1. Not to go for refuge to teachers who contradict Buddha’s view, or to Samsaric gods.

2. To regard any image of a Buddha as an actual Buddha

3. Not to harm others

4. To regard all Dharma Scriptures as the actual Dharma Jewel

5. Not to allow oneself to be influenced by people who reject the Buddha’s teachings

6. To regard anyone who wears the robes of an ordained person as an actual Sangha Jewel.

7. To go for refuge to the Three Jewels again and again remembering their good qualities and the differences between them.

8. To offer the first portion of whatever we eat and drink to the Three Jewels, while remembering their kindness

9. With compassion, always encourage others to go for refuge

10. To go for refuge at least 3 times during the day and 3 times during the night, remembering the benefits of going for refuge

11. To perform every action with complete trust in the Three Jewels

12. Never to forsake the Three Jewels, even at the cost of our lives, or even as a joke

My Gaden Trip – April 2006

 It came as no surprise when I received news that there was a trip to Gaden to offer statues and robes to each of the 3000 monks. Rinpoche has previously intimated this to us. What was a 5 day trip to us, took much longer time to bring to bring to fruition with the help of Rinpoche’s ardent followers and not to mention Rinpoche himself. This was really no mean feat!

I have always wanted to visit Gaden but it was no easy task for me. Being resident in the UK with two teenage children who are still attending school, taking time out to travel during school terms was never encouraged. Besides, we do not have the privilege of “kakaks” to look after the children whilst we go about our own business.

But thankful to “good fortune”, my wife and I were able to join the trip as it co-incided with our pre-planned Easter holidays to KL. From that moment, the anticipation was riveting. Two briefings later and we were on our way to Gaden.

 

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The journey was arduous and least scintillating but like most great sojourns the highlight is the destination. And the tiresome bumpy rides were all forgotten the moment our coach pulled into the monastery grounds. The sight of so many monks all gathered together in the main prayer hall from break of dawn chanting feverishly in anticipation of our arrival was exhilarating. I must admit, I did not feel overwhelmed by so-called “invisible” energy or “power” like I did in Bodhgaya. This I was later assured was perfectly normal. I did however feel immensely happy to see so many monks (not to mention the umpteen high lamas in our midst).

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I have never seen Rinpoche in “full gear” in person but that was a sight to be remembered. He looked positively inspiring and I understood Rinpoche had not had a wink of sleep the night before the trip being overly concerned with the welfare of the group who were travelling on the long coach trip. His energy seemed unrelenting as He led us into the prayer hall.

The time taken to offer the statues, robes and some money to each monk seemed to go by so quickly. I can still vividly remember seeing the delightful sparkle in the eyes of the monks when they received the statues. Rinpoche was so kind. He let us do the offerings to collect merits and generate strong imprints for our practice later in this life and definitely in the next life.

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We were later taken to Shartse Monastery where the monks were doing a Setrap puja. We were treated to a sumptuous feast at Shartse which I almost felt guilty to partake knowing that these monks led frugal life styles and some of whom have only a bun a day as sustenance (and this was not by choice).

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 After our meal, we ambled into our Protector’s Chapel.   It felt soooo good to see our Dharma Protector riding gallantly on his bridled wisdom horse. Once again, we were fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to make personal offerings to our Protector.

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Soon after, we joined Rinpoche visiting his friends and mentors, including one of his Root Gurus, Kyabe Zong Rinpoche who is now a 22 year old incarnate living in the monastery.

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Whilst pre-occupied “snapping” memorable moments I was also busy taking in the cultural aspect of the trip.   Each of the lamas we visited was kind to give us some precious advice and I will never forget how Rinpoche exhibited such humility in the presence of the lamas we visited, a quality I must emulate.

The saddest part of the trip was when it was time to leave the monastery. This was a truly inspiring trip for me and I am sure for many in the group. And although I am not sure if or when I will get another chance to visit again I do sincerely hope the auspiciousness of the whole trip will imbue in us the resilience against unwholesome deeds for eons to come.

Tendencies (Notes) – His Eminence Tsem Tulku Rinpoche

Compassion – breaking your own schedule/habituation to help others

When the mind transforms, dharma spreads

Do good meditation can control the chi, definitely.

We have to go beyond money, children, this life, thinking what will really benefit me at the time of my death.

If we meditate on death, spiritual practice becomes genuine.

People generally are not stable and give up easily.

Many possible reasons: Physiological, hormonal, psychological

Many life times- Mind and body are separate. Some need and some don’t need bodies.

Mind only can cognise – cognition through 5 senses (body) and clarity, free from encumbrance (body)

For the mind to exist has 2 causes: 1) substantial 2) contributing

1) substantial cause – is based on continuity – if you exist now you must exit before and you will exist in the future – when you die you had a mind and on rebirth you will also have a mind

2) contributory cause – is based on sense and mental awareness; the eye consciousness helps your mind to cognise. Mind doesn’t need the eye to cognise but is the mind is in this body, it needs the eye to help it to cognise. People with psychic powers do not need the eyes eg ghosts which can travel from one place to another without use of eye and so likewise the mind

Contaminated aggregates – everybody has (eg blindness, deafness, speech, feeling) creates causes for projections to arise.  Nothing to do with the object being perceived as the object does not change and will not change.

Contaminated aggregates arises from wrong view or ignorance.  Aggregates come from habituations, from karma. Karma feeds habituation and habituation feeds karma – a vicious circle.

Contaminated views (of taste, touch, smell, hearing, sight) will exacerbate contamination of aggregates – kind of like a snowball effect, just like karma – will not go away, and is dormant and as the potential to surface leaving consequences (big or small).

Life is fluid and is not stagnant and changes all the time due to our aggregates.  We should not be complacent in whatever situation we are in and be ignorant. Why.  Positive karma being used up needs to be replenished to avoid negative karma surfacing.

Karma is created by action, speech.  Speech and body actions create body and speech karma which are dependent on thought,  mind karma.  Mind controls everything. If the mind is tamed and controlled, the speech and body are fine.

So taking vows is to restrict our body and speech, to contain the actions so the mind can be at peace. People have wrong views thinking that taking vows restricts their behaviour.  This cannot be further than the truth because the  natural state of the mind is clarity, wisdom, compassion and love.  How to check that. Good or kind deeds can ‘melt’ other peoples’ hearts and make us feel good, too.

But if we do a negative action, we may have support but usually not in the open and we have to hide it, or be scared of it, and we don’t reveal it. And we don’t feel comfortable for fear of being found out. (Eg – stealing and giving).  Our wisdom mind helps us check what is right and  wrong – what is considered natural state of mind.

So taking vows gain freedom, restricting actions from unnatural actions of killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, harsh speech, divisive speech, gossiping, ill will, covetousness, intoxication.

What is natural is happiness. Without vows, few will be consciously doing positive actions – very unnatural. So much negative karma – therefore there is no freedom. There will be fear.

Cutting self cherishing minds good natural actions…

When you die and cannot control wind, you are finished.

Balance your life…with or without knowledge, karma is the same.

Body, speech and mind actions – karma comes from contaminated thinking, views and aggregates, are being stored for many years and lifetimes, and is dormant.

If these actions can be created from a  thought, they can be also be destroyed and eliminated by a thought, completely. How?

We learn from mistakes and as we advance the mistakes become less.  Learning, reading, attending dharma classes, purification practice and collection of merit practices will definitely eradicate negative karma, obstacles.

Never give up when negativity arise – the thought if I cannot do it will create our failure, the ‘thought’ trigger to open our negative karma. If it opens up so big, we may not rise above it and succumb to it.  Therefore do not let doubt arise (as doubt is the thief of our attainments). Once the negative door is open, it become very bing and we are dragged downwards. All the good that was done may not be sufficient to pull us back.

If we have any dharma inclination, we should follow it through.  We must keep on piling positive merit to support our spiritual life.  Practitioners when they die is a passage from good to another good. Lay people, when they die enters into another form of suffering.

We have to push ourselves to do it. To become one with the Buddha. Be determined and become a better person. keeping commitments and promise, change (positively).

Never say “I CAN’T change”, never say “It’s TOO LATE to change”,  never say, “its too hard to change” because when you say it you are thinking it, when you are thinking it you open up that karma that “you CANNOT change”. Never, never, never.

Two types of people who say they cannot – 1) those who want to avoid it so they can spend their time on something that they like, they don’t care about other people… 2) those who actually believe they cannot…both types of people have karma…

Hence dig deep into our karma  repository in a positive way and take vows in front of the Buddha or guan yin etc…so the vows encourage us. Mundane business is a distraction as it takes away our life and we are left with nothing.

Non virtuous actions have 3 types of effects:

1) ripened effect

2) effects resembling the cause

3) environmental effect

Contaminated mind – thinking that oneself is more important than others, actions based on myself instead of others…

Ripened effect: whatever actions we create, it ripens and we feel the effects, depend on the severity, can be hell, hungry ghost or animal

Effects similar to the cause:  even after we experience (1), inclination will still remain in the next life. (having tendencies). Must hold vows to cut tendencies

Environmental effects: reborn in a dangerous hostile environment (killing), barren places (stealing, tricky); places where one is cheated (lying); very difficult to be healthy, free from diseases, difficult to heal, sickness at young age (sexual misconduct); rugged, difficult to travel places, carrying difficult loads (divisive speech)

>>>3 types of effects created from non-virtuous actions: (from the mind scriptures called Loric)

1) Ripen effect: whatever actions we create, it ripens and they give us the effect/result of it e.g. if we create harm like cause schism and cause great harm like wars, the most severe is we take rebirth in hell, 2nd severe is we take rebirth as a spirit or hungry ghost, then the next is as an animal.

2) Effect similar to the cause: Even after we’ve experienced the no.1 ripen effect, traces of that inclination will remain. E.g. if we have kill and take rebirth in hell to purify the karma of killing but the intent to kill is not purified and the mind is still there so when we take rebirth again, we will be incline to kill again and take rebirth in negative states again. It means you still have to suffer the tendencies of the effects similar to the cause. So the very reason you went to hell is because of killing but when you come out of hell you still want to kill/harm, e.g tigers they collect tremendous negative karma for killing many sentient beings and creating fear and when they reincarnate again, they will still have the tendencies to kill. So once we go down, we go down very low. So that’s why some kids we see, they enjoy killing animals. Some cannot take it. That is the tendencies resembling the original cause. The tendencies make you do it again even in a new environment and even if you you’re on a clean slate. So it is the residual effect left from the cause that is not completely purify which creates the “tendencies” to do the negative action again and again.

3) Environmental effect – Eg. Killing take rebirth in an environment hostile and not peaceful, always having war/natural disaster. Stealing you’ll be born in baron places, places where fruits, vegetation, crops, very difficult to get.

Lying – you’ll always be born in places where you’ll be cheated and you’ll be fooled and you’ll never move up financially or if you’re very stingy or you cannot let go of wealth, holding on and very concern of wealth and very miserly, all this comes from tricking people is a prison. The poverty is not physical but very mental; they are controlled by their money.

Sexual misconduct – will be born in places where there are deceases, e.g. in places where deceases are easily transmitted or having hereditary deceases even at a very young age.
Divisive speech – e.g. always using speech to manipulate others even though you’re very diplomatic, or to look good, you’ll be born in places where it is roughed, difficult to travel, difficult to communicate and always be burden by carrying heavy loads.

So all non-virtuous actions created from contaminated mind (thinking of oneself more important and all our action is based on self as oppose to others, that is contaminated mind). ~ Tendencies http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/…/buddhas-dharma/tendencies.html

The last thing we think at the time of death will open up our karma of that to ripen

35 Confessional Buddhas