11th Aug 2012 – It was a hot Saturday afternoon, but KC Lounge was a hive of activity as Kecharians prepared for an exciting day ahead – a visit to Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR)!
At 3.45pm, a chartered bus began its hour and half drive to whisk us away from frantic city life to the serene hills of Chamang, Bentong. The mood was good and spirits were high as Pastor Susan shared some teachings about pujas and got us to play some games during the journey.
All the more importantly, she reminded us to set a good motivation for the visit. We pulled up on schedule at Chamang; and from the entrance, we could see to our right the location of the future prayer hall (Gompa) which will be built overlooking a lake. We then hiked a short trail up to the temporary abode and location of the future Ladrang, where we were joyfully greeted by even more members of the Kechara family.
The 107 Kecharians there, including visitors Yin Xi from China and Metok from USA, represents the largest entourage at KFR to date. What instantly draws one’s attention is the sight of the newly invited Shakyamuni Buddha carved in stone, offered by Rinpoche to KFR. Shakyamuni Buddha sits beneath the mango tree, the all-too-famous tree that shall not be chopped at all costs. Kechara staff and visitors, first-timers alike, bonded while basking in the splendid tranquility of nature. It was indeed heartening to see the place slowly but surely making progress to being a full-fledged retreat since having the groundworks done in April 2012.
Several Kecharians circumambulated the butterlamp house, which houses a beautiful Vajrayogini. Then we stood in line to make candle and flower offerings to Shakyamuni Buddha. After more mingling around, Pastor Susan then gathered all Kecharians around Shakyamuni Buddha to recite a short prayer.