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

Precious opportunity in Kechara Forest Retreat! "As Kechara Forest Retreat is a sacred land, filled with holy and blessed statues and many holy items, His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche encouraged Kecharians living and working in Kechara Forest Retreat to embark on a spiritual pilgrimage of its holy sites." ~Tsem Rinpoche
2 days ago
We have many outdoor sacred images of various Buddhas. The ones that were visited were Tsongkapa, Nageshvaraja, Loma Gyoma, Tara, Nagarakshasa and then back to Tsongkapa. At each location circumambulations and lamp offerings were done. We walked the vast land while chanting Migtseyma mantras. The very elderly followed to each location in cars. Kechara Forest retreat is 70 acres of land located in rural Bentong, one hour from the capital city of Kuala Lumpur. ~Tsem Rinpoche For more information: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com
2 days ago
They started on August 18, 2018 at 6:00AM till 9:00AM. With strong aspirations, Kecharians generate merits by reciting mantras and circumambulate the images of the enlightened beings, especially to clear obstacles related to our good health and that of others. We have many outdoor sacred images of various Buddhas... ~Tsem Rinpoche
2 days ago
Pilgrimage is an intrinsic part of Buddhist life and creates strong Dharma imprints in our mind streams and opens up positive karma and merits that we need to live a successful life. As Kechara Forest Retreat is a sacred land, filled with holy and blessed statues and many holy items, His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche encouraged Kecharians living and working in Kechara Forest Retreat to embark on a spiritual pilgrimage of its holy sites...~ Tsem Rinpoche
2 days ago
Visitors at Gyenze Chapel, located at the entrance to Kechara Forest Retreat. Did you know that the Gyenze Chapel is open to the public 24/7?
2 weeks ago
Many visitors in Kechara Forest Retreat! Have you planned your visit yet? Picture courtesy Pee Bee Chong, shared by Pastor Antoinette
2 weeks ago
Have you visited the Bigfoot Universe @ Jalan Ah Peng in Bentong? Have a look here... Picture courtesy Pastor Yek Yee, shared by Pastor Antoinette
2 weeks ago
Lama Chopa puja in Puja House, Bentong. Through the Lama Chopa puja are making a request to all the lineage Gurus for blessings, protection and increased merits for our loved one, ourselves and friends quickly. - picture courtesy from Pastor Yek Yee, shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 weeks ago
Dorje Shugden Kangsol Puja performed by the Puja Team in Wisdom Hall at Pilgrimage Day, Kechara Forest Retreat. - photo courtesy Cynthia Ng Yi Chen, shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 weeks ago
During the Preparations for the Pilgrimage Day in July in Kechara Forest Retreat
3 weeks ago
Many visitors at the Gyenze Chapel, located at the entrance to Kechara Forest Retreat. Gyenze is the powerful increase emanation of Dorje Shugden.
3 weeks ago
Pastor Yek Yes together with her friend from schooldays Tang Li Fang and her son Grayson at the Bigfoot store in Bentong. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 weeks ago
This is Bentong, Malaysia. Many prayers answered at Kechara. ~H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
This is Bentong, Malaysia. Many prayers answered at Kechara. ~H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
Pilgrimage day today in Kechara Forest Retreat ! A precious opportunity to be blessed by the Buddhas.
1 month ago
Kechara House Puja Team is scheduled to perform many pujas today at Wisdom Hall. Medicine Buddha (or Menlha) Puja is one of the most popular pujas requested by sponsors for the Medicine Buddhas' healing energies, blessings and protections. Enquiries: Kechara House Front Desk 603 78033908 or 6012 9873908 tsemrinpoche.com dorjeshugden.org retreat.kechara.com vajrasecrets.com Picture credit Pastor Tat Ming Lim
2 months ago
Powerful healing powers are granted by Buddha Loma Gyonma. Many candles were offered and mantra recited to Loma Gyonma on our first Pilgrimage Day. Picture credit Lew Kwan Leng, shared by Pastor Antoinette
2 months ago
Circumambulating Mother Tara at the entrance to Tara Walk on Pilgrimage Day, 23.June 2018, Kechara Forest Retreat. Picture credit Lew Kwan Leng, shared by Pastor Antoinette
2 months ago
Pastor David sharing before our very first pilgrimage day in Kechara Forest Retreat, photo credit Lew Kwan Leng, shared by Pastor Antoinette
2 months ago
Medicine Buddha puja at Dukkar Apartment in Kechara Forest Retreat. Picture courtesy by Pastor Yek Yee, shared by Pastor Antoinette
2 months ago
At the entrance to Bigfoot Universe in Jalan Ah Peng in Bentong is Dorje Shugden and Bigfoot.
2 months ago
Visit Bigfoot in Bentong, Pahang, Malaysia.
2 months ago
Receive manyfold blessings from powerful Protector Dorje Shugden. Visit Bigfoot Universe at Jalan Ah Peng in Bentong.
2 months ago
Have you seen Malaysia‘s largest Bigfoot in Bentong? Visit Bigfoot Universe at Jalan Ah Peng.
2 months 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.
2 months 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 months ago
Do you know where you can find this Bigfoot in Bentong? This boy has met both, Bigfoot and Dorje Shugden!
3 months 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 months ago
Visit Kechara Forest Retreat on this holy Wesak day. Picture courtesy Louise Lee shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 months ago
Visit Kechara Forest Retreat, Bentong, Pahang and be blessed in many ways. Open daily from 10am till 5pm. Shared by P. Antoinette
3 months ago