A Dharma king’s room

Story By: Jamie Khoo

11 May 2009 - 4:43am Comments Off

As Kechara House and all its activities expand, we’ve also started to outgrow our premises. What looked presentable four years ago when Kechara House first opened, doesn’t quite fit the bill anymore as our works grow and as we reach a higher profile.

A discussion on how to better improve Lama’s audience room in Kechara House 1 began when Ladrang liaisons were looking at ways to improve the shelving and gift section. The initial ideas for just moving a few shelves soon grew into a full-fledged plan for redoing the whole room over. It was agreed that this “makeover” would befit a high Lama more and help the Ladrang to receive guests on a more professional level.

Renovations commenced just a week before Kechara House’s first wedding of Joy Kam and Justin Ripley. Fortunately, our kind contractor Koon got straight to work after the Chinese New Year break to ensure that the job was completed in time for the wedding. Overseen by Ladrang liaison Ooi Beng Kooi, the renovations were fully completed within a week.

Headed by Liaison Beng Kooi and assisted by other ladrang Liaisons JP, Su Ming and a large team of volunteers pitched in hard to assist in clearing the room beforehand, and cleaning and packing after the renovation was done. Main volunteers on the team include KH President Sio Chian, KH Committee member Uncle Lai and May, KH Administrator Bonita, Sophee and Pat from Kechara Saraswati Arts and Kheng San, Mr Ng, Eddie Tan.

The new, shiny audience room now features a new plaster ceiling, which has also been recessed to accommodate a new lhari, painted walls, a new carpet, new lighting and a new doorway. The throne has been exchanged with a larger one that was previously in Rinpoche’s ladrang, and the Chinese cabinet – which stands as the main altar in the room – has been moved to across the room.

Photos of our lineage Lamas now line the walls, a detail which Rinpoche has noted as being especially auspicious to have. Also, as Rinpoche stated that he would like a completely Tibetan approach for the audience room’s new look, traditional brocaded thangkas now hang behind and around the throne; new traditional brocades will also be ordered in for the throne and extra finishing when funds are available.

The room is now complete and resplendent in its new facelift. More than that, it reflects the great respect and care that the Ladrang staff and students have for Rinpoche as they take every effort to ensure that he is well represented.

And though it may seem like it’s only an outward revamp, the renovations actually carry greater implications for our practice and for the collective growth of our organisation and Rinpoche’s work. On an inner level, doing such work as an offering to the Lama creates the causes for us to be near our Lama, to increase his life and the spread of his teachings. Rinpoche himself notes that this renovation is a very auspicious project to have initiated and completed.

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