A Cave Hideaway

20 Nov

After the brief visit to the Arowana fish farm, we had a delicious vegetarian lunch and planned our visit to Kek Look Tong cave temple. We were rather worried because it started to rain midway through our meal but it died down not long after. So, Seng Piow armed with his GPS 'thing-a-magic' led the way. Rinpoche teased Wai Meng all the way because he was born in Ipoh but hardly knew the roads and so his 'GPS' just didn't work. (He He!)

We parked near the entrance of the cave and quickly noticed the large yawning mouth of the cave. Next to the cave is a large Kuan Yin statue standing serenely in the middle of a little man-made pond. We tossed coins at Kuan Yin's feet only to discover there is actually a little pot for that reason. However, only Wai Meng and Monlam managed to get a coin to rest on Kuan Yin's lotus with KWPC in mind of course. It is a Chinese belief that those who coins enter the little pot or onto Kuan Yin's feet, she will fulfill a wish. There were lots of beautiful and ethereal koi fishes swimming around the placid pool. 


DSC_0140 After joking and teasing, we entered into the cave and what we saw took our breath away. The sheer immensity of the cave and the cool breeze blowing right through was refreshing. The floor was completely cemented and part of the walls are layered with marble. Across the main hall is an altar enshrining 3 rather refined statues of 3 Taoist patriachs.

We took a flight of steps towards a deeper part of the cave that brought us eventually to a bright shining exit. Just before the mouth of the exit is 3 rather beautiful Chinese statues of Buddha Vairochana flanked by Bodhisattva Samantabhadra and Manjushri upon 3 pedestals! I love the refined detail of these statues! Just check out the picture of Manjushri and me. I dunno why I love Manjushri so much and so I gave a really big fat smile just for Manjushri. (Maybe because I am just stupid and Manjushri is wisdom… Get it?)

There was a Weituo (A Chinese Protector, emanation of Vajrapani) and a Chinese emanation of Maitreya as the fat laughing Buddha. Rinpoche paid obeisance to him and we walked towards the light and what emerged was a Shangrila-like green garden guarded by magnificent limestone mountains. All of us went wow! I certainly didn't expect this! It was like we have discovered the hidden kingdom of Shambala! 


We could hear the birds chirping, insects creaking away and the low humming sound of the nearby factory almost spoilt the whole natural setting. As we walk around the lake, we could see a large pylon nearby that brought the place down a little. Nonetheless, the garden was still very well maintained and we got ourselves settled in a Chinese pavilion for a puja. 

Just before the puja, Rinpoche told us of his plans for Kechara Animal Sanctuary and how much Sara had affected him. He said he is taking a bank loan and going ahead although he has very little financial support for his plans. He said he was held back by fears and worries before but seeing Sara suffer, he felt selfish and decided to go full-steam ahead. He told all of us to do the same with ourselves and not let small hurdles and setbacks hold us back because years down the line, we would regret not putting our best and the huge setbacks and problems would seem small and insignificant. 

Somewhere along the line, Rinpoche taught us how to propitiate Setrap in times of danger or when we are in a haunted location. The following is the visualisation that Rinpoche taught and I am repeating here to the best of my memory…

First, we visualise lights from a multitude of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas flow forth and merge into Setrap. From Setrap's image, red lights flow forth and make a multitude of offerings back to all these Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Then little red Setraps emerge from these Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in the form of red lights that flow into the crown of our heads and fill every part of our body with red light. This red light overflows from the pores of the body and completely envelopes our body in a red bubble.  

This visualisation is to be accompanied by the recitation of Setrap's mantra. After Rinpoche taught this visualisation, we did our puja and black tea to Setrap. Just before we left, Rinpoche noticed this tree and mentioned that he really like trees like this one that spreads its branches generously all over. I think he mentioned that he would like trees like this in his Ladrang. 

We took a slow stroll back to the car while enjoying the green vegetation and Rinpoche cheerfully telling us what Buddha statue he would place at almost every corner of the park! He told us many unusual ideas and even asked for a few ideas from us. However, I really liked his idea of a large Balinese stone-carved Tara statue that is smiling and overgrown with moss. 

That's all folks! This is a last silly grin from me and the Kek Look Thong stork saying good bye for now…

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