New Buddhist Pastors in the making…

21 Oct

Kechara recently celebrated the ordination of new Buddhist Pastors and the renewal of existing Pastors in our very own Wisdom Hall at Kechara Forest Retreat. I couldn’t make it…. Boohoo! Anyway, I heard that it was a simple affair but steeped in the Buddhist tradition of taking upasaka vows or layman vows. This is the 3rd Pastor ordination for Kechara and one that reflects the growing spiritual needs of Kecharians.

The Pastors are the ones to conduct the education of Kecharians and the ones that would go out to perform blessings, pujas, rituals, funerals, counseling and such. They are meant to be Buddha’s/ Rinpoche’s little helpers and the power to bless is invested in them and is based upon the vows they uphold and the pure devotion they have for their Guru. The Pastors are also a stepping stone for these young students (most of them. Hehe!) of Rinpoche to becoming Kechara’s very first Sangha members. I wasn’t there but received these wonderful pictures as you will see below…


This year, we have 6 new Pastors and 5 existing Pastors who are renewing their vows. And they are…

(L to R) Adeline Woon, Jean Ai, Shin Tan, Moh Mei, Martin Chow, Jay Jae, Pastor Chia, Pastor Choi, Pastor Han Nee, Pastor Yek Yee and Pastor Lance.


Amazing Pastor Yek Yee is tremendously busy benefiting people 24-7 and nurturing a lot of volunteers for Kechara as well as initiating so many people into the Dharma. And because of such pure devotion and hard work, Rinpoche has instructed her to bestow the Upasaka/upasika vows upon the new Pastors. She sets a wonderful example to the new Pastors and has become an inspiration for many new people who enter the doors of Kechara House.


Some of the Pastors would be wearing all white to prepare them for the time they would take on the monastic maroon robes. These boxes contain sets of white uniform for these Pastors.


As befitting their spiritual role and the vows they are taking, the new Pastors are wearing their new white uniform and sitting on cushions and special puja tables. Lovely respect for the vows they have just received and the spiritual work they are about to embrace.


Kechara House President, Datuk May Phng presents each new Pastor with their new sets of robes. Lovely reminder of their future destiny – maroon robes. For now, they look like hospital orderlies but later, they will be real monks and nuns… Great!


For the Pastors, receiving respect and offerings begins here. But real respect as all monastics know is earned through hard work, perseverance and taking in criticism and slack that the public would  hurl. However, they would return all that with patience, kindness and the Dharma.


Pastor Han Nee, a senior Pastor receiving an offering from a family. Delightful picture of a lady devoted to teaching the Dharma in her silver years. She’s one passionate teacher if you ever sat in her class and this year, she’s renewing her pastorship.


Pastor Moh Mei is smiling sweetly. Taking on the pastorship is an occasion to celebrate, a sort of spiritual homecoming shared with the other Pastors. Lovely sight of devotion. I am sure she would smile even broader when she takes puts on the maroon robes…


Pastor Martin folds his hands and looks down in humility. For these Pastors, the vows and spiritual responsibility calms the mind and alleviates all the negativities that lay folks normally experience because their lives are lived for others instead of just for oneself alone.



See… Pastor Moh Mei as Anila (Nun) Moh Mei and she looks so comfortable in her robes. Well, she’s not even ordained yet. These robes belong to Rinpoche and he offered it to her without alteration and she look so good in it. (There is no difference between robes of a monk and nun except nun upper monastic shirt is thicker for modesty) This is the destiny for Pastor JJ, Chia, Jean Ai, Shin, Anila Choi (called Anila before she’s even ordained), Adeline Woon, Martin and Moh Mei of course. All of them received robes as a special blessing and reminder to hold their vows well.

We are about to have our very own Kechara Sangha. Splendid! The Dharma has taken root with these young men and women. Congratulations to all the new and renewed Pastors.

While writing this, Pastor Jean Ai had written her own account with wonderful pictures. Do check it out:-

Pictures were taken by various Kecharians attending the event. 

No comments yet

Leave a Reply