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
Medicine Buddha Hill – Donate Here!

Progress Updates

Many visited Kechara Forest Retreat during the long holiday break and visited the largest Dorje Shugden statue in the world.
yesterday
Pastor Blessing, here with Pastor Tat Ming, available in Wisdom Hall, Kechara Forest Retreat
yesterday
In loving memory of Rinpoche's beloved Mumu, Yogi. A statue of Mumu at Vajrayogini Stupa at Kechara Forest Retreat.
3 days ago
Kechara House at Bentong, Pahang is officially open to public. No. 18, Jln. Ah Peng 28700 Bentong Pahang
3 days ago
The best way to create happiness and make your world filled with light is to serve others without an agenda. You create something that will be lasting. ~ Tsem Rinpoche
5 days ago
Super cool and unique blessings by powerful protector Dorje Shugden available at Naropa's cave, Kechara Forest Retreat, Bentong.
2 weeks ago
Did you get already your picture with Bigfoot in Bentong? The latest must do for Bigfoot fans!
2 weeks ago
Join the Inner Reflection Retreat in Kechara Forest Retreat, 3days/2nights http://retreat.kechara.com/inner-reflection-retreat/
2 weeks ago
Dorje Shugden watches available at Naropa's cave in Kechara Forest Retreat, Bentong !
2 weeks ago
More people engage in the VajraYogini 100.000 Butterlamp Retreat
3 weeks ago
Auspicious Mongolian Omen! Please read more here: https://goo.gl/xXQcJ3 in English and here: https://goo.gl/75ucfr in Chinese.
3 weeks ago
Meaningful activities during holiday break by our kind volunteers in Kechara Forest Retreat. Thank you!
3 weeks ago
Lord Manjushri ‘arising’ from the water blesses everyone at the Fish Pond in Kechara Forest Retreat, Bentong.
3 weeks ago
A double-rainbow appeared clearly above Kechara Forest Retreat after the Druchuma Puja on Saturday 3rd June 2017! Very auspicious!
3 weeks ago
100.000 Butterlamp Retreat in Kechara Forest Retreat, Ladrang, dedicated to Lord Vajra Yogini! Join this precious opportunity !
3 weeks ago
See you in Naropa's cave, Kechara Forest Retreat for amazing Dharma items!
3 weeks ago
Visitors are Offering a Khata and Paying Respect to H.E. Tsem Rinpoche's Throne Today
4 weeks ago
88 Visitors from Melaka in Kechara Forest Retreat, Wisdom Hall
4 weeks ago
Make sure to pay us a visit soon in Naropa's cave because these wonderful statues, shrines, thangkas and books never hang around the shelves for long!
4 weeks ago
The Pre-Loved Sales at Wisdom Hall, Kechara Forest Retreat, called Naropa's cave, is open every day of the week.
4 weeks ago
Meditating under a rainbow arc
1 month ago
Beautiful vibrant Tibetan chants, traditional ritual music and powerful good energies all around during the Tibetan Ruel Recharge Puja!
1 month ago
Beautiful Tara over water! Wisdom Hall, Kechara Forest Retreat
1 month ago
The King of Fruits in Malaysia - durian. We're reviving the 70 odd trees in Kechara Forest Retreat, pesticide-free. Looking forward to some durians this year. - by Pastor Henry
1 month ago
TIBETAN RUEL RECHARGE PUJA⚡⚡ Preserving this centuries-old heritage, Kechara is proud to announce that on Saturday, 20 May 2017, the inaugural Tibetan Ruel Recharge Puja will be held at Kechara Forest Retreat.
1 month ago
Mantra Recitation during Wesak Day 2017 in Kechara Forest Retreat
1 month ago
Bathing the Buddha in Kechara Forest Retreat, Wesak Day 2017
2 months ago
Lama Chopa Puja in Kechara Forest Retreat, Wesak Day 2017
2 months ago
Wonderful performance by these beautiful kids during the Wesak celebration at Kechara Forest Retreat.
2 months ago
Bird Liberation this morning on Wesak Day in Kechara Forest Retreat
2 months ago