A day after a fun packed Kechara Wesak Fair, Kechara organised another outing to the Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR). This trip was the biggest group thus far… 43 people organised into a 6-car convoy!
At about 9.00am, our members gathered in front of the Gompa and Pastor Ngeow gave a brief explanation on the purpose of the visit to KFR and why we should promote KFR. Pastor Ngeow said that it is important for Kecharians to know what will be built on KFR and the purpose and function of such structures. To find out the answers to the “What? Where? Why?”, log on to the new Kechara Forest Retreat website.
Pastor Ngeow mentioned that promoting KFR on our own initiative is the same as supporting our Lama’s works, and our Lama represents the 3 Jewels, who works tirelessly to benefit others by teaching Dharma. Hence creating awareness of KFR is the same as upholding and spreading the Dharma.
We left the Gompa at around 10.15am and reached our destination at 11.30am, when the sun was at its peak. The sky was very clear and blue and the clouds were making beautiful patterns in the sky to welcome our arrival. Martin showed the group where the proposed Gompa will be built, and also described how the area was covered with dense growth and wild yams before they cleared it.
As the entrance to KFR is in a low lying area where there is an underground river flowing through, when it rained the area would become very muddy. Much work has been done to make the pathway so easily accessible today. The visitors were informed that KFR land consists of 3 plots, totalling to about 35 acres. There is a huge lake in nearby and there are plans to grow lotus flowers.
After an easy trek up a hill where one can look out at a beautiful lake, the sight of the Holy Tree against the piercing blue sky greeted us. The completed butter lamp house was also nearby the Tree. Pastor Ngeow told the group that the height from the highest to lowest point of KFR is more than 100 feet. Pastor Ngeow and Martin broadly indicated where the Vajra Yogini Stupa will be constructed.
The group gathered at the hut where the proposed Ladrang is going to be built and Martin told the group that Rinpoche loved the hills and to be in close vicinity of the forest. Hence the development of KFR will be done with as few trees felled as possible. There are many different types of fruit trees and rubber trees around the area, and one of the proposed programmes which could be organised is for visitors to tap rubber, besides making butterlamps and puja prayers.
We walked through 5 acres of jungle where we saw an old stove and bath tub and other remnants of a house. The local people said that this area could have been used by the communist during WWII as it was a good vantage point to see people coming in. He also showed where the chalets are proposed to be located.
Liaison Yoke Fui prompted visitors to think of ways to promote KFR to others. Pastor Ngeow reminded the group that KFR is not just for us, it is for the benefit for as many people as possible. So the group’s visit today is to create the cause for thousands of other visitors to come in the future.
Liaison Yoke Fui listed down some ways to promote KFR, which includes the use of Facebook, and downloading the KFR video on phones to show to friends wherever we go. She also said that there will be a programme where each of the visitors today will have the privilege to bring 5 friends to visit KFR. Visits will be organised every month or so.
Martin told us that Rinpoche has plans to have walking meditation sessions at KFR. He said that Rinpoche had many times come to this land late at night in the dark, even when it was raining, to bless the land. One of the reasons why this land was chosen was because although it is close to the city, it offers the view and sounds and serenity of nature.
Pastor Ngeow explained that it is important for us to remember what Martin said, as this shows that we care to learn and care enough to want to know how to explain KFR to others. He said that everyone ought to be passionate about KFR and any project that Rinpoche initiates because on our own, we could not benefit as many people as Rinpoche. However everybody’s small contribution and effort will accumulate to bring big results. Pastor Ngeow urged everyone to be tour guides of KFR, and to not be afraid to ask for more information. The more confident we are in explaining about KFR, the more tangible the KFR dream would be to others.
At the proposed area where Rinpoche can lounge and relax while enjoying the view of the hills, Martin explained about “Realgar” snake repellent powder, and how it is a form of offering to Rinpoche. The powder will be put in half-split bamboo obtained from the land and placed in various places.
We were also shown the proposed Private Office area where there were many bird cages. Martin explained that this is the proposed bird sanctuary where rescued or injured birds will be taken care of and nurtured back to health before releasing them into the wild.
The last stop was the butterlamp house. Everyone had a peek inside the little house and could imagine all the butterlamp flames shining in the dark.
We ended the trip with a quick look see of Chamang waterfall, which was about 5km away from KFR, and a scrumptious lunch of nasi lemak and homemade ice cream at the bottom of the mountain.
43 Kecharians came as visitors to KFR today and left as visionaries with the goal of bringing at least 5 friends each to KFR, and being a good tour guide to them, to explain and inspire. Sharing is caring!
If you would like to visit KFR, come to the Kechara Front Desk and register with Lucy Yap or Lim Tat Ming or call us at +603 7803 3908 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.