There’s no way but up, as David Lai has so aptly titled his book, and this Sunday night was a strong indication that there truly is no other way for Kechara.
As a Dharma centre, Kechara is relatively young – this year is our 10th spreading Lama Tsongkhapa’s tradition in Malaysia. Auspiciously, it is also one of our most exciting years filled with growth throughout the organisation. There is the moving and opening of two new Kechara Paradise outlets. Kechara Care was born as a department and are soon opening their chill-out gallery. In the run-up to Kechara World Peace Centre, plans are afoot for a Menara Kechara. Of course, there is also the renovation of our new gompa and the opening of Kechara Soup Kitchen’s new permanent premises.
The latter two expansions were the reason why Kechara friends and family gathered in Sunway Resort Hotel on Sunday. It was a celebration of Kechara’s 13 departments, who set up their beautiful booths outside the ballroom. All these booths surrounded a model of what is to be our ultimate goal in this lifetime – Kechara World Peace Centre. The evening was also a strong show of support for two departments set up to provide direct care for people’s minds and physical bodies.
730 guests arrived in their 1Malaysia-themed outfits, ready to dine and bid for peace. Sitting down to a vegetarian dinner, the diners got involved with the Kechara cause all night long, bidding on a whole slew of works of art ranging from secular pearl necklaces and jade pendants, to antique thangkas and modernised wealth vases. When they were not bidding, they were entertained by the likes of Nonya and Baba (who led a conga line!), Salamiah Hassan (who sang in Malay and English!), and magic by Johnson Lau (who pulled a girl out of a box!).
It was not all external talent introduced that evening by the emcees Owen Yap and Hoong Jia Hui. The highlight of the night were our very own Kechara erm…beauties, Swank Leg, the Black Swans and the Wannabe Girls! All three thrilling acts brought the roof down as they pranced and danced their way across the stage, breaking their egos and splitting everyone’s sides with laughter.
“I didn’t expect a Buddhist dinner to be like this! I had loads of fun!”…”Kechara has so much talent!”…”I’m so impressed by all of your departments!” – the evening ended with such wonderful comments as these, but the praise in itself is hardly the reason why Kechara works to benefit others. Rather, the praise is an indication that Kechara has achieved our aim, which is to touch the lives of others, to change their perspective about the relevance of Dharma in their lives, and to teach them the benefit of putting others before ourselves.
So what’s it going to be? Are you going to be with us next year, helping to organise the dinner, fill up the tables with your friends and introduce them to Kechara? Are you going to be there helping us to create the causes for Kechara World Peace Centre? As word spreads and Kechara grows, rest assured you don’t want to be left behind!