A visit from the south

Nov 18, 2013 | Views: 128

Kechara House Johor Bahru (KHJB) was formed in 2007 by a group of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s students. Since then, this group regularly conducts Buddhist study sessions, prayers and activities in Johor and also regularly joins the Kechara activities in Kuala Lumpur. On the 16 November 2013, they gathered 48 members and friends for a pilgrimage and tour of the Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR). Also in attendance were an additional nine people from Kuala Lumpur.

Prior to the pilgrimage tour, the KHJB group had pre-ordered 550 candle offerings to be made at the Lama Tsongkhapa altar in front of Wisdom Hall. Making light offerings on a regular basis is an important practice as it blesses oneself while also assisting in one’s spiritual development. Learn about the benefits of offering light here.

The group began their day at 5am, departing JB for their first stop – Kechara House, our main temple in Kuala Lumpur. There, they also visited the Kechara Gallery where they were introduced to Rinpoche’s life and achievements. En route to KFR, a quiz was held in the bus. The group were asked a series of questions based on Rinpoche’s teaching entitled “Butterlamp Offering” from The Journey DVD box set. There were some fantastic prizes for those who answered correctly, including Lama Tsongkhapa tsa tsas, herbal tsa tsas, encased chakras (Setrap, Manjushri & Dzambala), framed images of Manjushri and Tsongkhapa and an embroidered image of Setrap.

The tour was auspicious indeed as the pilgrims were blessed to be the first group to visit the original cabin where Rinpoche lived, worked and conceptualised the development of KFR. Imbued with the holy energy of Rinpoche’s meditations, prayers and teachings, the cabin is a powerful pilgrimage site. There, the group made offerings of candles and khatas, together with aspirational prayers and circumambulations.

The group then proceeded to Manjushri Hill to pay homage to the Supreme Buddha of Wisdom, Manjushri, after which they gathered inside Wisdom Hall to make offerings to Rinpoche’s throne and participated in a guided breathing meditation session.

Their minds lifted by meditation, the group then indulged in some retail therapy. The Wisdom Hall souvenir shop offers a wide variety of dharma items including statues, books, DVDs, ritual items, chakras, thangkas, malas and pendants. Apart from shopping for themselves, the pilgrims also bought items as offerings to Rinpoche, and each item was accompanied by a personal heartfelt message. Shopping can be fun as well as an expression of our gratitude, as it is through the compassion of our Guru that we have received the gift of Dharma.

In the evening, a delicious vegetarian dinner was served in the common dining hall at Dukkar Apartments (DA). After the satisfying meal, the group were given a tour of DA, and shown the inside of a guest cabin. They also watched a video screening of “Creating Conscious Communities” in the DA function lounge and finally enjoyed an exhibition of Rinpoche’s holy treasures in The Dining Room before heading home. It was an eventful day, filled with blessings, friendship and learning, a day to be treasured by everyone.

The Kechara Forest Retreat pilgrimage tours are held every month. Upcoming tours:

  • Saturday 22 February 2014
  • Saturday 15 March 2014
  • Saturday 26 April 2014

If you are interested in joining a Kechara Forest Retreat pilgrimage tour, please contact Kechara House on +603 7803 3908 or email us at retreat.kechara.com.

Pastor Adeline briefs the pilgrims at Kechara House Kuala Lumpur

Young pilgrims arriving at Kechara House in Kuala Lumpur

Pastor Adeline relates Rinpoche’s life story

Pastor Ong Moh Mei and Pastor Adeline Woon briefing the pilgrims

Two young boys offering khatas

Getting a quote of Rinpoche

The pilgrims made candle offerings at Tsem Rinpoche’s cabin

Pastors leading the pilgrims in circumambulation around Rinpoche’s original cabin

The pilgrimage tour is suitable for everyone, young and old

A family outing…

Paying homage to Lord Manjushri on Manjushri Hill

Pastor Lim Han Nee blesses a young girl, assisted by Pastor Ong Moh Mei

Offering khatas to Rinpoche’s throne in Wisdom Hall

Pilgrims receiving blessings

Visiting the Aviary

Watching a short video about the building of the Kechara Forest Retreat

Beautiful lights offered to Lama Tsongkhapa

Group photo!

2 Responses to A visit from the south

  1. David LAI on May 4, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    I will be visiting KL on Sat 10th May 2014 and interested in the KFR Day Tour.
    Appreciate if you could email me with more information and details. Thank you.

    Warmest Regards
    David LAI from Singapore

    • Admin on May 9, 2015 at 12:01 am

      Dear David Lai,

      Apologies for the late response.

      We will be having an Open Day tomorrow (10th May 2014), and a tour will be conducted. Please contact 03-78033908 for more details.

      Hope to see you tomorrow!

      Thank you.

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