Kechara’s First Step Out of Malaysia

9 May 2009 - 2:22am Comments Off

15th February 2009 marked a historic moment for Kechara as our new branch, Kechara Lounge, was officially opened in Kathmandu, Nepal. This was a huge step for the Kechara organisation as it marked the opening of our first foray beyond Malaysian shores.

Kechara Lounge is situated at the Boudha Stupa circuit which is among the most famous pilgrimage sites in the Buddhist world. The magnificent Stupa with its benevolent Buddha eyes is the focal point for the millions of pilgrims who file round its ancient stone path. Opening a branch of our organisation right in the heart of this iconic site will bring our Lama, H.E Tsem Rinpoche and all Kechara activities to millions of international pilgrims.

H.E. Tsem Rinpoche had mentioned during a pilgrimage trip in November 2008 that it would be very nice to have a branch of Kechara at Boudha. His students were struck by the idea and immediately set about looking for an appropriate location. With the blessings of our Lama, an ideal spot manifested and after months of renovation guided by the continuous hardwork of Liaison Chuah Su Ming and supported by various Kechara members, this beautiful lounge emerged.

The opening day was a carefully planned event with sound systems set up and additional TVs rented. A camera system to capture the event was set up in the lounge and wired to the Paradise Cafe two floors above so that guests could see what was happening at the lounge live! Upon entering the lounge, one could see that the place was thoughtfully laid out, with its suspended information panels, retail items, Vajrayogini and Tsongkhapa statues.

The stunning five-foot Vajrayogini statue was adorned with hundreds of pearls threaded together which were meant to resemble bone ornaments and also created as an offering to her holy image. The pearls were a special design of Kechara Saraswati Arts, Associate Liaison Julia Tan and dear friend Lee Ho. The Lama Tsongkhapa statue wore the offering of brocaded silks sewn up by our dexterous master tailor friend Raj Kumar.

The whole Kechara Media and Publication’s team and Kechara House Liaison and COO, Yap Yoke Fui representing the Liaisons Council, flew to Nepal specially to attend the opening of Kechara Lounge. The day’s event began in the afternoon after a whole night of busy preparations. The guest list consisted of around 60 invitees, mainly local Nepalese suppliers, contractors, and friends who had helped in setting up of Kechara Lounge and Tsem Ladrang Kathmandu. The special guest of the day was Ven. Kating Rinpoche, a dear friend of H. E. Tsem Rinpoche from Gaden Sharste Monastery. Special door gifts were prepared for all guests which included unique Lama Tsongkhapa tsa-tsas and scrolls of paper printed with special prayers.

Liaison and Head of Tsem Ladrang JP Thong began the programme with a short presentation about Rinpoche, which was shown live on the TV upstairs. His narration of Rinpoche’s background was interspersed with selected photos of Rinpoche shown on the TVs. He then gave a rundown of the departments and how the organisation as a whole helps to bring spirituality to various people of different interests.

Finally, he congratulated Ladrang Liaison Chuah Su Ming for coordinating and making Kechara Lounge materialise so beautifully. Liaison Chuah Su Ming in turn thanked Raj Kumar, Ragubir, David Lai, Rinkey (administrator of Kechara Lounge) and Associate Liaison Jamie Khoo for all the tremendous assistance rendered during the renovations of the Lounge. Finally, the audience unrolled the scroll of paper included in the door gift and recited the Eight Verses of Mind Transformation and Shantideva’s Dedication Prayer to bless the Lounge. The programme concluded with the screening of Kechara videos and documentaries as guests mingled, talked and had refreshments upstairs.

Kechara Lounge was spearheaded by Ladrang Liaison Chuah Su Ming and is a Ladrang initiative to introduce international pilgrims to H. E. Tsem Rinpoche and Kechara organisation. It is designed so pilgrims can hang out, read books by Rinpoche and learn about our organisation while relaxing on comfortable cushions. Pilgrims can also engage in their own readings, meditations, prostrations and mantra recitations while looking out at the breathtaking view of the Stupa. Just as the beautiful Stupa gathers pilgrims from around the world, it is hoped that Kechara Lounge will gather pilgrims towards finding their spiritual path with the Kechara organisation in Malaysia.

Throne area along with altar to Lama Tsongkhapa complete with offerings

Liaison Su Ming briefing to all the KMP volunteers before the opening event

Here are some of the invited guests including Raj Kumar's son, Shiva, sitting on the far left

KH Liaison Yoke Fui admiring the beauty of Vajrayogini statue

Esteemed guest Ven. Kating Rinpoche having a conversation with Lady Tesslah

Ladrang Liaison JP Thong leading the special prayers to bless Kechara Lounge

Visitors watching slide presentation in the book and DVD corner of Kechara Lounge

Shin Tan at the registration table

Ladrang Liaison JP Thong giving the introductory address at the Kechara Lounge opening

KMP advisor Joan Mahony talking to a lady interested in our publications

Apprentice Liaison Kok Yek Yee talking to Saroj at the rooftop cafe with the beautiful Boudanath stupa in the background

Wong Kok Thai and Monlam at the ground floor stairway leading to Kechara Lounge

Liaison Paul Yap explaining about our statues to a visitor

Liaison JP Thong crediting Liaison Chuah Su Ming for being in charge of renovating Kechara Lounge

Comments are closed.