Gold! Digging Deep at The Mines

Kechara House at The Buddhist Culture and Arts Festival 2007

12 May 2009 - 7:36am Comments Off

Yellow Zambhala and Green Tara at the Mines

Dear everyone… Kechara House does it again!!! Does what again:

1. steal the crowd

Traffic jam all the time!

2. draw all the attention to our booth

Amber Chia visits the Kechara House booth

3. tourists, spiritual aspirants, curiosity seekers, and etc have to stop by our booth to take pics

Amber Chia poses for a photo with the KH team

4. Even the other booth volunteers are drawn to us WHY, YOU ASK??? Because we have our own, very own Tara and Dzambala… aka Paris and Sean…They transformed into deities and manifested in front of our outlets and kmp booths… needless to say they wowed the crowds!!!

H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s joyful message accompanying the above picture celebrates the divine golden green tip of an iceberg that is amply represented by the blurred figure behind Tara’s lotus. In constant motion we see Shin, Joseph’s main assistant in a two-months marathon of logistics and organisation that took Kechara Media and Publications all the way to the Singapore world bookfair and seamlessly to the Buddhist Culture and Arts Festival here in Kuala Lumpur . KMP and Kechara House outlets have been digging deep at the MINES and the outcome was pure gold ‘To start at the beginning’ the Buddhist Culture and Arts Festival 2007 has been inspired, initiated, organised and graced with many beautiful installations and activities by the Nalanda Buddhist Society. Over 50 Buddhist organisations have participated in the five-day event (June 6-10) and thousands upon thousands of visitors/pilgrims have flooded the premises each day, to leave with their metaphoric alms bowls filled to the brim with inspiration, information, gifts, books, CDs, candles, T-shirts, coconut fiber meditation cushions and and? Embalmed by the fragrances of a myriad lotus flowers and the drone of ancient Pali chants, saffron and maroon robes floated amongst the tides of us ordinary beings as if in an ancient Dharma kingdom. Among the flurry of stalls offering their goods, tea-ceremony was held, relics were revered, a sand mandala was created, a stupa could be circambulated, pujas were performed. Bodhidharma’s journey to China could be traced on a wall-sized map, and many Buddhist remnants along the Silk Road he traveled admired on photographs displayed. Reverend Cheng Yen’s and Ven. Dr. K. Sri Dhammananda’s activities were documented in spacious exhibitions.

Sifu Tony Wong of KYCO visiting Kechara's stalls at the Mines

Top salesman Chia demonstrating how to use a singing bowl

Andy explaining the books to a customer

Dolly Girl, Jamie Khoo (right) selling Dharma the new and fun way

Far more humble in size but not in spirit, KMP and KP’s two adjoining booths attracted throngs of visitors, in Henry?s words, like bees to the beehive. It’s true: as if pulled by a magnetic force a never-ending stream of seekers found their way to us, gathered around the TV screen to take in a few minutes of Rinpoche’s discourses and intermingled with our volunteers for brief conversations about our Lama and his teachings, Kechara House, its activities and location, as well as Gaden monastery and our lineage. They browsed amongst Himalayan ancient arts and Tsem Rinpoche?s contemporary wisdom, and left with KMP’s books and DVDs, and KP?s statues, incense, protection chakras’ or at least with a free newsletter, brochure, bookmark and website address. Like the ladies from Iran , for example, who will fly back home with a KMP catalogue, stenciled on its back? just imagine, in Teheran? ?around the globe? is rapidly becoming reality! Or Herbert, who drove 500km upon hearing of the festival, hoping to find a Dharma connection. He drove back with a book and DVD and my phone number. I know all of our many volunteers ? here?s the count just for Sunday: Irene, two Florences, JJ, Paris, Kennie, Wai Meng, Justin, Joy, Ben, JP, Chia, James long, Suzan, Su Ming, Madam Lim, Madam Chuah, Ruby, Henry, Margaret, Paul, Gim lee, Beng Hui, Yek Yee, Loh Seng Piow, Jenny, Sio Chian, Annette, Bonnie, Andee, Joseph, Susan, Sharon, Fat monk, David Lai, Shin, Wan, Mr & Mrs Ngeow ? have similar stories to tell.

The crowd

KH staff selling chakras

Shin (right) promoting products to customers

(left to right) Amber Chia, Eric Choong and Joseph

Amber Chia checking out a Tsongkhapa pendant

Blissful Tara, sleepy Dzambala (banned for blessing in public), charming Amber Chia coming especially to visit and support us (accompanied by frenetic hooray chanting and cameras a-flashing as she posed next to Rinpoche?s bunting, KMP books in hand), KH mascots Bill Keith and Eric Choong ? the VIP?s underlined what was evident and attested to by organisers and even a Tibetan Lama: our booths attracted the most people and our volunteers charmed everyone with their dynamic enthusiasm, friendly approach and originality.

So many happy faces, so many books, DVDs and Dharma items sold: it was a taste of what’s to come, of that I’m sure, and what’s to come is BIG BIG BIG. More BIG wisdom and love from H.E. Tsem Rinpoche, more BIG support from the dakinis and protectors, more BIG dedicated work from KMP who have produced no less than six books and over a dozen DVDs of Rinpoche’s teachings in merely two years. And more BIG response and enthusiastic feedback from everywhere- Joseph and his team, who from creating the design of our booth, posters, buntings, T-shirts, postcards, bookmarks, to organising licenses, meeting distributors and bookstore managers, transport, duty rosters and Buddha knows what else, have done all this in-house, with faith in their Lama, the determination to promote him and sheer blood, sweat and tears. Their thousands of hours of labor have brought Rinpoche’s teachings into the major bookstores of Malaysia , Singapore , Thailand , Indonesia , Hongkong and Taiwan , to the Singapore bookfair and now to this wonderful Buddhist festival. We were the only booth offering books of the Vajrayana tradition and promoting exclusively the works of our Lama. The overwhelming response showed that we’re on the right track, and has been an enormous boost for all involved. Harmony and hard work make everything good possible and this huge success story has been a visible quantum leap demonstration for all of us, that has left a powerful imprint in our collective consciousness. With booth dismantled and all packed up like a circus moving on, while reciting the dedication prayers, we realised deep in our bones that we can get our Lama to where he belongs: the world. Rinpoche, who had been watching us on webcam during the entire event, while sending dozens of sms with encouragement and ideas, doing pujas, orchestrating everything, must have smiled.

Two Chias, Amber Chia and Muar Chia

(left to right) Amber Chia, Bill Keith and Little Zambhala

Amber Chia and Eric Choong

Dedication prayers

JJ promoting the Chinese book “Be Greedy”

So many people out there with affinity, discovering it through the exposure derived in ways such as participating here! So many asking directions to Kechara House, so many wanting to learn more about Rinpoche and his teachings, having seen him on Youtube, read Paris’ article in the Star (having appeared as if by divine intervention just a few days ago), come across his website, found his books in Kinokunya, Borders, MPH etc. Time and again, through all these inspiring encounters and stories, we realised that H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s potential of reaching out to our contemporary society is virtually limitless. Especially in young people, the dawning of the joyful realisation that there is a form of Dharma that suits them perfectly could be often observed, and this was especially heartwarming. All of us are seekers, but it can be hard to believe that authentic spirituality exists between the extremes of traditionalism and hedonism. What a relief to discover Rinpoche’s magic motto’ Nothing changes ’everything changes’.

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