Our History

In the Beginning

Our History

The Kechara Forest Retreat truly is a labour of love and compassion. Envisioned by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche in early 2012, the pristine forested land where the Kechara Forest Retreat is now located was acquired in April 2012, after weeks of scouring the Malaysian countryside for a suitable plot.

With the necessary paperwork out of the way, extensive pujas were conducted to consecrate and bless the land, and visitors began to trickle in, each interested to learn how they could contribute to Rinpoche’s vision.

Temporary accommodation in the form of canvas tents (for the males) and container cabins (for the ladies) were installed and a dedicated team of staff moved in to get the project underway.

Earthworks officially started on 3 October 2012 and what followed next was months of hard work and effort unlike anything the city-dwelling volunteers and staff had ever known. For the next 10 months, devoted students and workers alike battled the natural elements, braving the scorching heat and suffocating humidity for the first half of the year, while the second half brought torrential rains, flash floods, muddy lands and hazardous working conditions.

The lack of infrastructure such as electricity, water and poor telecommunication reception multiplied the challenges, but dedicated staff and volunteers faced each problem head on, armed only with sheer faith, belief in the cause and love for their Guru.

H.E. Tsem Rinpoche (center), Datuk Wira Eric Tan (right) and JP Thong (left) in deep discussion during the planning stage of Phase 1

Never one to shy from adversity, Tsem Rinpoche also stayed in the most basic of cabins right in the middle of the then jungle, enduring the same harsh living conditions and adverse weather from day 1. The perfect example of putting others before self, Rinpoche patiently suffered the heat, humidity, blackouts, floods, and even heatstroke while living on the land, inspiring others to do the same.

Many will attest to fond memories of this dedicated, compassionate and caring Lama walking around in yellow rubber boots under the hot sun or pouring rain, picking his way carefully across dangerous grounds, personally supervising the works in progress, and dispensing words of encouragement, advice, and even food.

In between his morning and evening walkabouts, Rinpoche also performed extensive daily pujas to bless the land and all those working on it, to avert problems, mishaps and to ensure that every step of project was on track.

“Since I was a young child, I wanted to create a place where people come together to live as one with nature, one with the earth. A place for healing, detoxification, contemplation, relaxation, and retreat. An international center for meditation courses not based on religion but tapping into ourselves and our potential. A place for eco living modeled on sustainability and growth. This project is the Kechara Forest Retreat and it will be a space to inspire the world to do the same in their own communities.” ~ H.E. Tsem Rinpoche

Despite the various challenges and uphill battles, the team persevered, working at a feverish pace. Phase 1 of the Kechara Forest Retreat was completed in just under one year, and Phase 2 is now underway.

Beginning of Phase 1

Completion of Phase 1


Signs of the Future

Auspicious omens

From the time the Kechara Forest Retreat was conceptualised till today, many auspicious signs were witnessed by those present on-site. In the Tibetan tradition, such omens symbolize that this project will bring great benefit to society in the future, regardless of race, creed or colour. These are just some of the auspicious signs that have occurred in the recent past:

The Postcard and The Iconic Tree

Around the time Tsem Rinpoche started conceptualizing the Kechara Forest Retreat, a postcard arrived from a Mongolian monk, featuring the image of a monk meditating under a lone tree, set against a backdrop of mountains. During the search for a suitable location for this project, a piece of land was found that featured the exact same view as was depicted in the postcard, with a lone mango tree against a background of lush green hills.

When Tsem Rinpoche and his assistants came to survey the land, they were greeted by a light drizzle – an auspicious sign in Tibetan Buddhism – further confirming that this was indeed THE right place for the Kechara Forest Retreat to come into fruition.

Today, that lone mango tree is fondly called the “Iconic Tree” and a stone Shakyamuni Buddha was placed there to commemorate this significant omen and as a reminder of where it all began.

The Lama’s Shoe

The Lama’s Shoe

When earthworks began, the grounds of the Kechara Forest Retreat were extremely muddy due to the constant monsoon rains. During one of his daily inspection walks, one of Rinpoche’s shoes became stuck and sank into the mud.

Tibetans believe that any article of clothing left behind by a Lama imbues the place with his blessings and energies, also creates the causes for him to return to that place again and again, even in future lives. Rinpoche’s shoe remains in the same location to this day, and this sacred spot is now flanked by 2 major buildings i.e. Wisdom Hall and Dukkar Apartments.

Somewhere Over The Rainbow

Somewhere Over The Rainbow

When the statue of 4-armed Manjushri was set in place on Manjushri Hill, a beautiful rainbow appeared in the background accompanied by a light drizzle, both very auspicious signs in Tibetan Buddhism.

Witnesses said that the rainbow remained visible throughout the duration of the puja that was being performed to welcome Manjushri to his new home. Both the drizzle and rainbow disappeared once the puja was completed.

How You Can Help
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Progress Updates

At the entrance to Bigfoot Universe in Jalan Ah Peng in Bentong is Dorje Shugden and Bigfoot.
3 days ago
Visit Bigfoot in Bentong, Pahang, Malaysia.
3 days ago
Receive manyfold blessings from powerful Protector Dorje Shugden. Visit Bigfoot Universe at Jalan Ah Peng in Bentong.
3 days ago
Have you seen Malaysia‘s largest Bigfoot in Bentong? Visit Bigfoot Universe at Jalan Ah Peng.
3 days ago
May all be blessed by Dorje Shugden, the king Dharma Protectors. Pay a visit to Dorje Shugden in Bentong, at Bigfoot Universe Jalan Ah Peng.
3 days ago
Deepest homage to the Maha Bodhisattva Manjushri, the supreme being whose presence eradicates the conceptual need to self-satisfy but there is no satisfaction. ~ H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
Do you know where you can find this Bigfoot in Bentong? This boy has met both, Bigfoot and Dorje Shugden!
3 weeks ago
On this auspicious Wesak Day the merits collected by virtuous deeds are multiplied 100,000 times. Visit Kechara Forest Retreat and receive manyfold blessings. Picture courtesy Louise Lee, shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 weeks ago
Visit Kechara Forest Retreat on this holy Wesak day. Picture courtesy Louise Lee shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 weeks ago
Visit Kechara Forest Retreat, Bentong, Pahang and be blessed in many ways. Open daily from 10am till 5pm. Shared by P. Antoinette
4 weeks ago
Recently we had a bird liberation on Medicine Buddha Hill. The practice of animal liberation benefits not only the animals, but also those who contribute towards this meritorious activity, offering the benefits of healing, longevity and purification of negative actions. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 weeks ago
Photo from antoinette kass
1 month ago
The Practice of Cleaning the Temple is very meritorious and helps to clear our delusions. Picture courtesy Cynthia Ng, shared by Pastor Antoinette.
2 months ago
Visit Kechara Paradise in Bentong for your Dharma items! They have a great choice! shared by Pastor Antoinette
2 months ago
Sunset Prayer with Candle Offering @Manjushri Hill, Kechara Forest Retreat. H.E. Tsem Rinpoche recommends to offer regularly candles to Wisdom Buddha Manjushri. Picture courtesy Sharon Ong, shared by Pastor Antoinette.
2 months ago
Visit Kechara Paradise in Bentong Town for bountiful blessings. Stunning Dorje Shugden in new style!
2 months ago
The Bigfoot Fleamarket Team has received a top 20 award out of 120 participants for their weekly Bigfoot Fleamarket at Bentong Walk! Congratulations to the whole Team! - shared by Pastor Antoinette
2 months ago
Today, Saturday evening is Bigfoot fleamarket time in Bentong Walk. Please visit our stand and get wonderful items at a great price! - shared by Pastor Antoinette
2 months ago
Dorje Shugden Chapel in the heart of Bentong! Visit this beautiful chapel at the entrance to Kechara Paradise, 84, Jalan Ah Peng, 28700 Bentong, Pahang, Malaysia. Picture courtesy by Pastor Albert, shared by Pastor Antoinette
2 months ago
Powerful Dukkar or White Umbrella Puja “To cut asunder completely all malignant demons, to cut asunder all the spells of others…to turn aside all enemies and dangers and hatred...” Dukkar manifested from the crown of Buddha Shakyamuni as a personification of Buddha’s victory umbrella, and is commonly regarded as the female counterpart to Avalokiteshvara (Kuan Yin), the Buddha of Compassion. https://www.vajrasecrets.com/dukkar-puja-fund-for-legal-affairs, shared by Pastor Antoinette
2 months ago
You don’t need merits to perform negative actions. But you need merits to stop yourself from performing negative actions. ~ Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
Tagore new
2 months ago
Kechara Puja Team performed The Mahayana Sutra of the Three Superior Heaps puja in front of Buddha Nageshvaraja in Kechara Forest Retreat. The arisen merits from this puja have been dedicated to swiftly fulfill the sponsors wishes. Courtesy by Pastor Tat Ming, shared by Pastor Antoinette.
2 months ago
108 candle light offerings to Buddha Nageshvaraja, one of the 35 Confessional Buddhas in Kechara Forest Retreat. Picture courtesy by Pastor Tat Ming, shared by Pastor Antoinette
2 months ago
Traveling Puja in Wisdom Hall, Kechara Forest Retreat - Excellent puja for business trips, holidays, pilgrimages, migrations, and students furthering their studies abroad. The recitation of this puja generates the protective energies needed to ensure a smooth and harmonious travel experience for journeys both near and far. The Chokchu Munsel Mahayana Sutra "The Exalted Dispeller of Darkness of the Ten Directions" is an important method for removing obstacles in one's path and one's life. https://www.vajrasecrets.com/travel-puja-fund Picture courtesy Cynthia Ng, shared by Pastor Antoinette
2 months ago
Urgent Puja for newborn baby - The Puja team is always ready to benefit others. Many do not know that the puja team is always on standby to do puja, even in the middle of the night if there is an urgency that needs the blessing of the Protector, just like the request that we have receive a few hours ago to perform a Dorje Shugden puja for a newborn baby who is in life threatening situation. From Pastor Yek Yee, shared by Pastor Antoinette.
2 months ago
2 months ago
Visit Kechara Forest Retreat for precious blessings. Picture from Pastor Yek Yee, shared by Pastor Antoinette.
2 months ago
Rejoice for this couple from China. They have visited Kechara, VajraYogini’s Paradise!Bentong Puja House, Kechara Forest Retreat, Wisdom Hall and Kechara House in PJ. They have invited holy items to support their practice and create merits. Picture from Cynthia Ng, shared by Pastor Antoinette
2 months ago
A Slice of Heaven "Sponsor a lot of land in the Kechara Forest Retreat, which will go towards the cost of the land and the facilities being built therein. Your support will help make this meritorious project a reality. Contributing to the building of a monastery or a place of worship is a very meritorious act, as taught by the Buddha and many ancient masters that came before. As the Buddha described the benefits of building monasteries to King Sangyal, he taught that people who build monasteries will always have incredible wealth and power in future lives, and will eventually attain enlightenment. The great Indian yogi, Nagden Pawo also said that anyone who contributes to the building of a Buddhist institution, no matter how small that contribution is, even if it is just requesting others for donations, continuously collects tremendous merits even as they go about their daily lives". https://www.vajrasecrets.com/slice-of-heaven-fund - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 months ago