A movie that reminds me of Rinpoche

19 Nov

Over the weekend, Tsem Rinpoche decided to treat a bunch of us to a new biopic movie on this Hindu yogi and master, Paramahansa Yogananda, the founder of the Self-Realization Fellowship. Apparently, this was the last day of the screening at a cinema in Pasadena, a charming and historic city. Not knowing much about Hinduism, Yoga…

An Insight into Anger & Rage…

11 Nov

I was sitting with Rinpoche just the other day and we were talking. Somehow, the conversation drifted towards the conclusion that my rage had lessened. Rinpoche remarked that fortunately, I had listened to most of his advice and as a result, I had lessened my rage. I agreed but I felt that I still had some…

Veggie Fastfood

6 Nov

Read the above carefully and see that Vegan and meatless goes along with the burger very well…. Ever since coming to America, I am gently surprised by the variety of vegetarian options available here. In this land of diners and fast food, veggie patties are available at most popular diner chains and restaurants. And the…

But you get so tired… Hehe!

31 Oct

Yeah, I know. I don’t really like to get into drag but I do it anyway from time to time. I am just glad I don’t have to wear a wig this time around. The terrible thing is I still have to put on some pasty makeup and an eyebrow-liner that makes me look like…

Washing the Dirty Pot

25 Oct

A few days ago, Rinpoche was relating to a number of tasks to a few of us. Midway, he told us this incredible story of the Mahasiddha who lived by the river Ganges. The Mahasiddha observed this aristocratic Brahmin coming down the terraced ghats and performed his ablutions in the river every day. He would wash…

When your Guru calls you…

17 Oct

I thought I share these devotional pictures of Rinpoche standing up, bowing and folding his hands while listening to a voice message and receiving a phone call from his Guru recently. Even before receiving the phone call, Rinpoche would offer incense before hand. That’s the amount of reverence that Rinpoche had as if his Guru…

Santa Monica Dharma

10 Oct

Just a couple days ago, I was with Rinpoche, Pastor Moh Mei, Pastor Jean Ai, Pastor Niral, William and Jean Mei and we were cruising towards West Hollywood. It was late and so the only thing that was still opened was this rainbow bookstore on Santa Monica. After browsing, shopping and taking touristy pictures, we…

There must be a better way to do this…

4 Oct

I have always known Nepal to be a beautiful and spiritual country. It is a nation full of old and powerful pilgrimage sites for Hindus and Buddhists alike. I have travelled there for like 6 times already over the last 10 years. However, behind the spiritual facade lies the heart of a very bloody tradition…

Something simple for the deceased

30 Sep

Last night, I was with Rinpoche when I heard that my friend’s mom was passing away. I had arranged for my friend to call Pastor Yek Yee to help him with the final rites. Rinpoche heard and immediately came out with this wonderful and simple prayer to Kuan Yin/Avalokiteshvara. It seems my friend had a…

Meat to meatless

28 Sep

I used to think like Homer hehe… When I was 5, I hated eating vegetables. My mum used to tell me to eat my carrots as they gave me good eyesight. But I told her that was not a rabbit. I was no Bugs Bunny. Back then, I was this nasty little carnivore. Nevertheless, she…

Homosexuality & Buddhism

25 Sep

I have been reading up on Buddhist view of homosexuality. Although the view on homosexuality was not clearly defined by the Buddha but was later defined by Indian masters as ‘sexual misconduct’ – one of the ‘karmic sins’ of the body. However, contemporary Buddhist masters like the Dalai Lama and others are prone towards the…

House in the Mountains

22 Sep

Dear People who are karmically connected with me, As you know I love beautiful mountains, dwellings in the mountains. Pastor Seng Piow on his own initiative has been just looking through various beautiful properties. Some are just breathtaking and when I see something beautiful I just want to share with others whom I feel might…

What pleases Kuan Yin…

13 Sep

A week ago, Tsem Rinpoche told us a wonderful story of the 1000-armed Kuan Yin. He had just received a book called Words of Power by John Blofeld. The author of the book wrote about his journeys to Hong Kong and China and his studies of Buddhism. In this particular book, he wrote a story of the…

The Walmart Story

29 Aug

Last night, Tsem Rinpoche, Pastor Seng Piow and myself went down to Walmart to do some shopping for offerings and batteries after dinner. Walmart was 24 hours so we didn’t have to rush and worry about closing time. Like other Walmart outlets, this one was huge with wide aisles and long line of shelves that…

The Story of the Lama’s Bell

29 Aug

Well, I love stories and was told quite a few in the last few weeks with Rinpoche. Some of which, I have never heard before and some of which Rinpoche had already told and was even recorded onto YouTube. I shall try to recollect the stories I have been told for posterity sake. There was…

A gift of Tara

23 Aug

Just two nights ago, Tsem Rinpoche asked Pastor Jean Ai, Pastor Niral and myself, which statue we would pick out of a selection of Amitabhas, Chenrezigs and White Taras. I pondered for awhile and finally, I forced myself to pick Tara. It’s a difficult choice! It’s not that I am so holy but I am…

Tsem Rinpoche’s Childhood Buddha

19 Aug

I was with Rinpoche at a bookshop just the other day and he flipped through a Bhagavad-Gita and he came across a painting of a sadhu meditating in the jungle with a deity appearing next to him. Rinpoche said that this picture will always remind him of his childhood. He recalls drawing Buddhas and deities…

Stories of Kyabje Zong Rinpoche

5 Aug

Kyabje Zong Rinpoche was known to be an accomplished debater and Tantric master who developed occult powers due to his meditational practice.  Kyabje Zong Rinpoche is Tsem Rinpoche’s root Guru and is one of the greatest masters to have escaped Tibet after the Tibetan exodus into India. In the late 1980s, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche arrived…

Mind-blowing teaching from LA

26 Jul

All stimuli that serves to excite or disgust are based on lack of true permanence therefore only exist in a projected manner. Tsem Rinpoche http://www.tsemrinpoche.com  Recently on facebook, I was asked by Rinpoche to elaborate on this quote for the benefit of Victor Choi. This teaching was recently given to a bunch of students who…

Martin’s Question

5 Jun

Recently, Tsem Rinpoche shared another powerfully intellectual and yet practical teaching regarding the difference between the perception of an ordinary being and that of the Buddha or an enlightened being. I transcribed it for your reading pleasure. It’s a good thought-provoking read and if you have any questions, you can pop me one and I…

Wisdom Embodied in a Gift

3 Jun

Recently, I was very fortunate to have received a beautiful thangka all the way from the United States. It was from Tsem Rinpoche who was pleased that I was doing a bit of teaching lately along with doing some other works. The thangka was unusual because it depicted the Prajnaparamita (Perfection of Wisdom) Sutra arising…

Worship by Fire – Fire Pujas

29 May

Kyabje Zong Rinpoche offering sticks into the fire – mouth of the deity.  Here’s another set of teachings that Tsem Rinpoche recorded on his phone and sent to a few people including myself. It was all about fire pujas also known as Jinsek in Tibetan. It took me quite a bit of time to transcribe…

In Preparation to Receive Vajrayogini…

23 May

A very old statue of Vajrayogini at a shrine in Nepal A week ago, Tsem Rinpoche forwarded a bunch of audio messages that formed an advice given to an old friend. It seemed that this person had made plans to fly over to the monastery to seek out his aging lama in order to request…

The Corpulent Monk

14 May

Happy belated Wesak guys! In Malaysia, we celebrate Wesak Day yesterday and this is the sacred day of the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and parinirvana as many of you might already know. It is indeed a sacred day for us Buddhist and so, I was busy the entire day performing my Pastors’ duty to blessed children…

On being Santa…

4 May

Last Christmas, which was nearly 4 months ago, I did a little Christmas Santa free giveaway of my books (http://www.davidlai.me/2013/11/26/christmas-surprise/). Interestingly, I received 4 requests and come 2014 New Year, I decided to fulfil them. My apologies for taking this long to blog about the winners of this little giveaway. The next time I do…

I am a Pastor now… A Buddhist one

27 Apr

Hello cyberspace… Long time no see. I apologize for my long absence from blogging. I thought I come back with a bang and my big bang here is a post on my Pastor ordination. Yup, I am officially a Pastor now… A Buddhist one that is. I know some Christians lay claim to the fact…

The missing MH370 – Time to Practice the Dharma?

19 Mar

Amidst the flurry of messages all over social media calling for people to pray for MH370 and various speculations as to what happened to the Boeing plane, there were some Buddhists telling people to “practice the Dharma while we can”. If you are Buddhist, you would instantly recognize the meaning behind this simple statement. If…

Uproar Over the Upcoming Movie Noah

10 Mar

I had just watched this and I find this entertaining and interesting. At times, I couldn’t help myself from laughing at some of the remarks. Anyway, the video is about the negative feedback regarding an upcoming blockbuster movie featuring the life of Noah, one of the early prophets of the Bible. And because of this,…

We Should Be Able to Question Anything…

5 Mar

Recently in a Dharma discussion, a friend proclaimed that, “The Buddha had said that all of us have the right to question anything…” That didn’t sound quite right to me and so my mind race to find a rebuttal. I didn’t dare object something that was proclaimed by the Buddha. So, I said, “Yes, but we…

Norwegian Double-headed Troll

2 Mar

Tsem Rinpoche sent me these pictures of a 9 inch statue of double-headed troll from Norway. He said it looks pretty realistic and went on to tell me a little bit about Norwegian folk beliefs in Trolls. Rinpoche said that the trolls that live in Norway can be scary, friendly, helpful, temperamental and so forth….

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