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

Visit Kechara Forest Retreat during Chinese New Year for an Auspicious Year of the Dog!
12 hours ago
"Pray to Tara for everything from business success, the safety and happiness of our family, it will be beneficial. As stated in the praise: “Desiring children you will gain offsprings; seek wealth and you will be granted riches; whatever you desire you will obtain”." From Dorje Shugden's Advice for the New Year 2018 http://bit.ly/2CAA853
3 days ago
Visit Kechara Forest Retreat for an auspicious Chinese New Year!
3 days ago
Happy Chinese New Year! May everyone be blessed by Dorje Shugden and Gyenze. Pastor Antoinette
6 days ago
Burning Huge Incense for an Auspicious New Year of the Dog at Gyenze Chapel, Kechara Forest Retreat, Pastor Antoinette
6 days ago
Kechara Forest Retreat is ready for Chinese New Year2018, Year of the Dog
1 week ago
Laughter Yoga is fun! Read more about Laughter Yoga in Kechara Forest Retreat here: http://www.kechara.com/peace-centre/news/laughing-is-the-best-medicine/
1 week ago
Recently in Kechara Forest Retreat - yes... it is Laughter Yoga!
1 week ago
Make a headstart for the year ahead, filled with abundance, prosperity and all things auspicious. Sponsor any of the incense and light offering packages. Contact http://www.vajrasecrets.com or frontdesk@kechara.com
2 weeks ago
4 weeks ago
2018 the Year of Golden Dog - Make your Wishfulfilling to Gyenze, Kechara Forest Retreat and welcome abundance, health, wealth, merits and grant our wishes for the New Year.
1 month ago
Boy, the cockatoo who loves toys. This is the playground we hang toys for him to play and bite, to keep him busy and happy. Parrots are in intelligent animals. Boy likes to try everything out and we make it fun for him in our aviary. retreat.kechara.com/aviary (Jace Chong) shared by Pastor Antoinette
1 month ago
Start the Year of the Dog with an Abundance of Blessings and Good Energy!
1 month ago
Klang visitors in Wisdom Hall, Kechara Forest Retreat and making a connection with Buddha and Protector Dorje Shugden, January 2018.
1 month ago
Thank you Klang visitors, for coming to visit Kechara Forest Retreat and make a connection with Dorje Shugden, January 2018. Picture while getting ready to pay homage to H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche's throne.
1 month ago
Paying hommage to Loma Gyoma in Kechara Forest Retreat, Bentong. "As the emanation of Tara, Loma Gyonma is regarded as Lhamo Rithrodma, the 20th Tara as mentioned in the “Praise to the Twenty One Taras”. The praise to Lhamo Rithrodma states that her right eye emits blazing rays of light that burns away all the lords of diseases and epidemics." P. Antoinette - From the article Nageshvaraja and Loma Gyoma arrives to KFR! http://bit.ly/2FJyp0g
1 month ago
Holy site light offering in Kechara Forest Retreat, Bentong, Malaysia.
1 month ago
Kechara Forest Retreat’s Meditation program featured in China Press.
1 month ago
Dukkar Puja in Wisdom Hall, to purify the karma for being wrongly accused such as in arguments or legal cases and protects those who travel frequently. Find out more here: http://www.kechara.com/kechara-house/pujas/dukkar-puja/ and here: https://www.vajrasecrets.com/dukkar-chakra
2 months ago
Lama Tsongkhapa Retreat in Wisdom Hall, December 2017 in Kechara Forest Retreat
2 months ago
Holy site light offering at Tsongkhapa Day 2017 in Kechara Forest Retreat! ❤️❤️❤️
2 months ago
2 months ago
Animal Liberation on Medicine Buddha Hill, led by Pastor Han Nee, assisted by CK Siah on Lama Tsongkhapa day. By practicing Animal Liberation, you gain the benefits of Healing, Long Life and Purification of Negative Actions.
2 months ago
Recently, on Lama Tsongkhapa day, many too the opportunity to offer light to the Buddhas in Kechara Forest Retreat, Bentong.
2 months ago
After weeks of cleaning and repainting, the Recovery Aviary finally decorated like a Christmas party welcoming the birds back home! from Jace Chong
2 months ago
Fun time during creative painting session @ Kechara Forest Retreat !
3 months ago
Learning how to fold a khata during the 3N2D kids and teenagers Manjushri Retreat, at Kechara Forest Retreat
3 months ago
Ready for the Manjushri kids and teenagers retreat with a good motivation at Wisdom Hall, Kechara Forest Retreat, Bentong
3 months ago
3D2N of Children Manjushri Retreat began yesterday in Kechara Forest Retreat. Rejoice to all children who participate and get connection with Wisdom Buddha Manjushri. May all be blessed by Buddha Manjushri.
3 months ago
The Vajrayogini Stupa at Kechara Forest Retreat Vajrayogini, is a representation of complete Buddhahood in female form, and her heaven was chosen as the name of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche‘s Buddhist organization, Kechara. If you would like to visit the Vajrayogini stupa, do join one of the Kechara Forest Retreat tours. To find out the next available date, please call 03-7803 3908.
3 months ago