Have questions about us?
Here are answers to some of our most commonly asked questions.
If you have a question that’s not answered here, get in touch with our support team.
We belong to the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism, which is one of the four main traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. It was founded in the 15th century by the scholar-saint Lama Tsongkhapa, and is the newest and largest sect of Tibetan Buddhism.
The Gelug tradition places special emphasis on scholarship through the study and contemplation of Buddhist scriptures, and on ethics or monastic discipline, as the ideal foundation for the practice of Sutra and Tantra. The main practices include Lojong (Mind Training), Lamrim (Stages of the Path) and the higher tantras of Guhyasamaja, Chakrasamvara and Yamantaka.
The head of the Gelug sect is the Gaden Tripa or Gaden Throneholder, and the main monasteries are Gaden, Sera and Drepung. We are affiliated with Gaden Monastery, which is the very first Gelug monastic university established over 600 years ago in Lhasa, Tibet.
Our founder and spiritual guide is His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche. Rinpoche was a world-renowned Buddhist teacher, a prolific author of Buddhist books and commentaries, and an extraordinary human being who inspired everyone he met with his incredible compassion and wisdom.
Rinpoche dedicated his entire life to the practice and proliferation of Buddhism especially through the digital world. After his parinirvana on September 4th, 2019, our Buddhist pastors and senior disciples continue to uphold and share Rinpoche’s teachings, heart practices and spiritual legacy.
Kechara is named after the pure celestial heaven of the female tantric Buddha Vajrayogini. H.E. Tsem Rinpoche envisioned Kechara as a portal through which spiritual seekers can take their first steps towards ascending to Kechara Paradise (Vajrayogini’s pure land) through deeper spiritual practice.
We welcome visitors all year round to our main temples Kechara House and Kechara Forest Retreat. If you’d like to come for a casual visit, you can walk in anytime during our opening hours.
If you’d like to speak with one of our pastors, please make an appointment to avoid disappointment. If your party includes a sangha member, or if you’re coming in a large group or as part of a tour, an appointment is recommended for the best experience.
If you’re planning to visit one of our study groups, please make an appointment in advance.
We don’t charge admission fees for visits to the temple and retreat centre, or for group pujas and public talks. However, some of our activities and residential programmes have a minimal fee to cover the cost of materials and overheads.
We offer guided tours of Kechara House and Kechara Forest Retreat by prior appointment. You can also explore the grounds of Kechara Forest Retreat at your own pace with our handy visitor guide and map. There are explanations in English, Chinese, Tamil and Tibetan at each holy site for your convenience, and a typical visit will take one to two hours.
You can also experience a taste of Tibetan spiritual culture while you’re here. Try meditation, prostrations or make traditional offerings of khatas (silk scarves), candles, incense, jewels and mantra stones. At Kechara Forest Retreat, you can also rent a prayer wheel, go on a holy walk around the circumambulation paths, or experience a traditional Tibetan puja.
As we’re a place of worship, we ask all visitors to respect our code of conduct. As a general guideline:
- Be respectful at the holy sites
- Dress modestly (no shorts, see-through, tight-fitting or revealing attire)
- Don’t bring or consume alcohol or meat-based products
- Don’t play loud music, shout or behave noisily
- Follow all SOPs and safety standards
Guest accommodation is available at Kechara Forest Retreat. You can choose from:
- Manjushri Guesthouse, our hilltop residential space that offers a communal living experience.
- Enchanted Forest, our zen guesthouse that offers dormitory stays and en-suite rooms to suit all budgets.
All rooms are air-conditioned and fully equipped with comfortable beds, wardrobes, worktables, chairs, ceiling fan and stable Wi-Fi connection. Communal facilities include a shared kitchen, dining area, living area, library, bathrooms and laundry area. Parking is free.
Dogs and cats are welcome in Kechara Forest Retreat during our monthly Pets Day Out events. We request owners to observe our pet-friendly house rules and ensure your pets do not go indoors. We regret that we’re unable to accommodate pets on other days or in other locations.
We’ve got a number of activities that are great for budding Buddhists. You can explore holistic Tibetan practices or short meditation retreats for overall wellbeing of body, mind and spirit. Or perhaps you’d like to experience compassion in action by volunteering your time for our community initiatives.
If you’re interested in prayer, join one of our weekly group pujas to learn basic Buddhist practices. From here, you’ll gain the knowledge and confidence to start your personal spiritual practice at home.
To explore Buddhist thought and philosophy, consider joining one of our Dharma classes or introductory short courses. You’ll learn the fundamentals of Buddha’s teachings and how you can apply them in your life for positive and lasting change.
We welcome everyone to our programmes — members and non-members, Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike. However, if you’re committed to a different faith, do check with your spiritual advisor (if necessary) if it’s appropriate for you to participate.
It’s easy to become a Kechara member from wherever you are in the world. Just register with us via email or WhatsApp, or sign up online at VajraSecrets (for non-Malaysians only). You can also sign up in person at Kechara House or Kechara Forest Retreat.
Membership perks include free access to Dharma classes, complimentary car blessing and birthday puja, discounts at Kechara Forest Retreat and VajraSecrets, and reward points for being an active Kecharian.
But there’s more to Kechara membership than just enjoying the rewards and perks. Becoming a Kecharian is also about being part of a large spiritual family and a form of giving back to your spiritual home.
We regularly host visiting lamas and sangha from affiliated monasteries and Dharma centres in India, Nepal, China, Europe, USA and Canada. At other times, our resident sangha-to-be and Buddhist pastors fulfil the needs of the spiritual community by giving teachings and advice, performing prayers and blessings, and other spiritual services.
Buddhist pastors are senior spiritual practitioners who bridge the gap between the monastic Sangha and the lay Buddhist community. Ordained by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche, they are empowered to disseminate the teachings and uphold the lineage for the next generation. Their responsibilities include giving teachings and advice, performing prayers and blessings, and other services to fulfil the needs of the spiritual community.
We have two types of pastors:
- Lay pastors who are committed to their spiritual practice but have pre-existing obligations to family and other responsibilities.
- Sangha-to-be who are aspiring to become fully ordained members of the monastic community in the near future.
Our core spiritual practice is the Lamrim or “Stages of the Path”, which condenses all of Buddha’s teachings from the most basic to the most advanced into a progressive path that leads to enlightenment.
Our daily prayers invoke the blessings of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche as the guru, Lama Tsongkhapa as the yidam (meditational deity) and Dorje Shugden as the Dharma protector. Other popular deity practices are Manjushri, Medicine Buddha, Dzambala, Green Tara, White Tara and Setrap.
We recommend the preliminary practices of refuge, prostrations, purification based on the 35 Confessional Buddhas and Vajrasattva, water offerings, light offerings and mandala offerings, and an annual retreat based on Lama Tsongkhapa’s Guru Yoga. We aspire to receive the highest yoga tantric practice of Vajrayogini and the life entrustment initiation of Dorje Shugden.
Our pastors and senior students are always available to share their experience and provide spiritual support. You can post your question on Ask A Pastor, send a message in our Facebook group, or make an appointment for a personal consultation.
Buddhism can be confusing especially if you’re new. To start, we recommend picking up some of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s books for beginners. Then join one of our Dharma classes or short courses where you can learn in a structured manner and clarify your queries with our pastors and senior students.
If you’d rather explore at your own pace, we suggest watching some of Rinpoche’s many videos, joining our online talks, and checking out the wealth of Buddhist teachings and resources on tsemrinpoche.com.
We conduct weekly group pujas which are open to everyone, whether you’re new to Buddhism or a seasoned practitioner. Each puja brings different benefits and will help protect you from obstacles, fulfil your wishes, heal your ailments, and develop your compassion, wisdom, and spiritual strength.
If this is your first puja, our senior students will guide you through the prayers and meditations so that you can experience the power and benefits for yourself.
Our prayers are generally conducted in English, Chinese or Tibetan. Prayer books are available in English and Chinese, as well as in phoneticised Tibetan.
If you’re going through difficult times, we’re here to help. From time to time, we offer a Prayer Request service that’s available free of charge. To submit your request, message us on Facebook then join us live to pray with a pastor.
If your situation is particularly critical, you may want to consider our puja services that can help with any life situation and bless you with inspiration and strength. Their benefits include healing, long life, protection, wealth, wisdom, peace, spiritual growth and the quick fulfillment of wishes.
Our pujas are performed according to the sacred prayer traditions of Gaden Monastery and have proven their effectiveness in many situations.
Yes, you can. Prayers, pujas and offerings can be dedicated to your family members, friends, dearly departed and even your pets. It’s a way to express your compassion and care for their wellbeing – now and in the future.
The benefits of prayers include healing, long life, protection, wealth, wisdom, peace, spiritual growth and the quick fulfillment of wishes.
We offer a choice of Tibetan Buddhist bereavement prayers or full bereavement services (coming soon) to suit your needs.
The bereavement prayers assist your loved one on their path through the transitional period to ascend to a good rebirth, while our bereavement services assist you through all stages of the funeral arrangements to provide a dignified farewell for your departed loved ones. Last rites and pet bereavement services are also available upon request.
Apart from puja and bereavement services, we offer:
- Marriage registration
- Pastor services including Buddhist baptism, blessing ceremonies and the giving of vows and precepts
- Offering services including candles, incense, flowers and more
- Buddhist art services including statue painting and restoration, mantra insertion, brocade sewing, beadwork and jewellery, mala stringing, and bespoke statues and thangkas.
- Community services including a soup kitchen, food bank, skills empowerment programme, and animal welfare initiatives.
Our Dharma shop VajraSecrets offers two types of solutions to help you with your daily life challenges at work and home, and to support you on the spiritual path.
💛 Do-it-yourself blessed holy items and Buddhist practice supplies
💛 Done-for-you spiritual services to give hope and assistance when all else fails
All proceeds from our store support the temple, growth of Dharma, and our charitable projects.
We accept donations of any amount via cheque, online payment, bank transfer, credit card, e-wallet, via Tsem Rinpoche Foundation, Inc. or at a donation box at any of our premises. You can also choose one of our structured fundraising initiatives or give in kind.
As a non-profit organisation, we rely on the generosity of members and the general public. Thank you for thinking of us.
Donations to Kechara House and Kechara Forest Retreat are not tax deductible. Tax deductible donations can be made to Kechara Soup Kitchen, Tsem Rinpoche Foundation Malaysia and Tsem Rinpoche Foundation, Inc.
Yes! Our doors are open to volunteers from all walks of life and faiths to work alongside our spiritual community to do good for the world. We have a number of flexible volunteering projects that can fit your skill sets and personal interests. Please contact us so we can get to know you better.
Thank you for your interest. From time to time, we have openings for contract, freelance, full-time and part-time positions. Please contact us for the latest opportunities.
We don’t have a formal work-stay programme. However, if you’re interested to collaborate with us in this way, please contact us to explore possible opportunities or consider our temple stay program.
Distance isn’t a barrier! Even if you’re not physically in Malaysia, you can join our online prayers and talks, and access a wealth of Buddhist content, teachings and resources on tsemrinpoche.com. If you find our “virtual temple” helpful, please consider sponsoring a programme or becoming a Kechara Friend.
Have questions on Buddhism?
We have answers to some of the most commonly-asked questions.