Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What Is "Tsa-Wa-i Lama By H.E. Tai Situ Rinpoche

What exactly Is a "Tsa-wa i Lama" or "Root-Guru"?
There are several forms of Tsa-wa i Lama but we need only discuss the two most important ones here. The first form of Tsa-wa i Lama is the head of the particular school of Tibetan Buddhism that you are considering joining. The heads of that school can be traced right back for many centuries and this is called "The Lineage". The head of the Karma Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism is His Holiness, Urgyen Thrinley, the XVII Gyalwa Karmapa. You could say that the heads of the schools hold a similar position to that of the heads of the Christian orders of the Benedictine or Franciscan monks.

The second form is the Lama (who may or may not have the title of Rinpoche) under whose guidance you feel you can learn most and travel furthest. It Is someone for whom you have total respect; the person you turn to in need; someone you can follow without doubt or hesitation - whose words "enter your bones". It is the person who helps you most to realize the true nature of your mind. This Tsa-wa i-Lama wall be your strongest connection with the Dharma.

What does the phrase "true nature of your mind' mean?
It means your "Buddha-nature". It Is the essence of the Buddha, the innate goodness, which lies within every sentient being. It is the revelation of the supreme qualities of compassion and wisdom.

What is the difference between a Tsa-wa i Lama and any other Lama or teacher?
You can learn, or should be able to learn, something from any Lama; indeed from any person and every situation. However, you will learn more from your Tsa-wa i Lama than from any other. The contact will be deep and will last for the rest of this life. It may have lasted for many lifetimes already and the connection will probably continue for many lifetimes to come. "Tsa-wa i Lama" is sometimes translated as "spiritual friend" or "spiritual guide" because he or she will be your main guide along the path of Dharma.

Is your Tsa-wa i Lama the Lama you take Refuge with?
Not necessarily. We call this Lama your "Refuge-Lama". The Refuge-Lama is the one who opens the door of the Dharma and introduces you. That Lama may become your Tsa-wa i Lama but only time will tell.

How does someone go about finding their Tsa-wa i Lama? How do you recognize him or her?
Have patience. Follow the advice of your Refuge-Lama. Practise diligently. Go to teachings when possible and the situation will become clear.

Is it possible to have a woman Tsa-wa i Lama?
Of course, why not?

Once someone has found their Tsa-wa i Lama does this mean they should not attend teachings or initiations given by other Lamas?
No, of course not, but a little care should be taken. Each tradition of Buddhism, such as Zen or Theravadin, and each school of Tibetan Buddhism has a different way of presenting things. If you listen to a great variety it is easy to confuse issues without realising you are doing so. It is like a paint box! The red is a nice colour, and those two greens are both clear and bright, and the yellow and that rich purple - all are fine colours but if you mix them all together you get a muddy brown! It is better to stay with teachers of the same lineage as far as you can so that your mind does not become muddy brown! However, a little of one colour added to another can be good. Ask your Refuge Lama or your Tsa-wa i Lama for advice.

It is said that there is a strong connection between the student and their Tsa-wa i Lama and that the student should offer uncritical obedience. Is this correct?
Yes, there is a strong connection or bond between the Tsa-wa i Lama and the student but the student will offer what he or she can. Some students learn more by simple acceptance; others learn more by asking questions. Both are good. This is not the army! The role of the Tsa-wa-i Lama is to bring you to know the true nature of your mind-to see the truth as it is - not to brain-wash you.

If someone learned that their Tsa-wa i Lama had behaved in a manner contrary to their own moral standards, is it possible for that student to break the bond and find another Tsa-wa i Lama?
The student should remember that the bond is voluntary and it is possible that that Lama is no longer appropriate. Perhaps it was not their true Tsa-wa i Lama so in that case there was no bond to start with. If the Tsa-wa i Lama should break his own personal Samaya (deep vows) then that dissolves the "contract" with the student and there is no longer a bond to break. If the student is unsure or uneasy then they should try to discuss the issue with their Tsa-wa-i- Lama, or with another Lama whom they respect - perhaps their Refuge-Lama. There may be a misunderstanding and an easy explanation. Time and common sense will show the way. If this is not possible, or if the student is still distressed, they should turn to their own Buddha-nature for guidance.

Merry Christmas & A Fun-Love Filled New Year

I can’t remember when I last spent Christmas with my siblings. If I back track, it must have been some two decades or so. What about Chinese New Year? Ditto!

In the past years I spent most of my year end time in the Himalayas. This year I came back prematurely on an urgent matter. I am now preparing eagerly to go down south for my first Christmas reunion with my siblings after the two long decades. (Oh no, don’t get me wrong – not that I have not seen my siblings for two decades. For the past one year I have been going back every other month or every quarterly.)

It’s party time folks – Merry Christmas and a very Happy Abundantly Filled New Year!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


I have this terrific phobia of balloons. About a decade or so, I used to envy my friend who was twisting balloons into the hearts of children. She volunteered to teach me but I steered clear of the idea.

Two weeks ago, when I was bumping around at a shopping complex I came upon a couple who was making every kid happy. An idea came to me – why not have this at Minam Rinpoche’s Tibetan Medicine, Herbs, Arts & Culture Tour?

Yes, I will include this into the program or rather an “off-program” event. But who is going to do it? Me? No! Yes, it’s me! No, not me! I came to terms with myself and decided to try to discard this fear. I purchased a kit, complete with video, pump and some balloons.

Hilarious – my first few pieces, I asked my grandson what it is and he told me bluntly, “I don’t know”. It cannot be that bad. Over the next few days, I made a few more animals and this time I asked my daughter what this pink balloon thing looks like Took her some moments and she still could not tell me what it is. I proudly told her it is a parrot. She blinked and laughed and laughed and still she could not tell me what it is even though she knows it IS a parrot. And to add more salt to the injury she said that for another 100 years she still would not be able to tell me it is a parrot. End of story but not the end to my determination.

I overcame my fear even though the animals did not look what they are supposed to be but to me they are just what I made them to be – dog, rabbit, parrot, mouse, giraffe, elephant. Yes, I can make all of these now. And I tell my family members what they are so that there is no mistaken identity. It’s really fun!

If you want to see my masterpieces see me at Chempaka Buddhist Lodge, Taman Megah, Petaling Jaya on 23 & 24 January 2010. By then, I hope to see an expert

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Some Angels Knocked On My Door Today

With only a pair of hands, a pair of legs, a pair of eyes, a body with a head sitting on top of it, how far can one stretch. For the past 3 weeks since I came back from India, it had been mind and nerve cracking, trying to piece and gel everything to the best that I can. It had been meetings, computer work, raising funds, making necessary phone calls, mind boggling flyer and poster designing – all to get things running for January’s Tibetan Medicine, Herbs, Arts & Culture Tour by Minam Rinpoche.

Everyone has a breaking point and I guess last night my bubble burst. I found tears rolling down my cheeks but I was not sad or disheartened or feeling low. It was just tears welling up due to too much pressure (ha ha I got my pressure normalized now – its 125/79 versus 105/68 before). With tears streaming down I was actually laughing while talking to my daughter.

Today some ‘angels’ knocked on my door. They were people I just got to know and someone I don’t even know except for one exchange of email in the afternoon. For the past weeks I only saw my own footprint and occasionally another set but today I felt comforted with all the footprints.

Thanks to all these people who touched my life today.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Lunch with tibetan friends

Lunch at Lhamo-la's house
This write up is specially for Tra Ring-po. Was not able to do the loading whilst in India because of the slow internet line. So here it is ....... specially for you.

My tibetan friends and I

Ping Sha

This is a tibetan dish. The name denotes the bonding of a great friendship. Ping is actually glass noodles and sha is meat (in tibetan language).

Fried noodles

Fried mixed vegetables


Ras Malai

Ras malai is an indian dessert/delicacy. It is made of curd and cheese and it is definitely not one of my favourite or rather will never be something that I can like. The best is found at Kumar Sweets Shop just off Baltan Bazaar.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Have You Seen A Moon At 11.00AM - In The Morning???

The moon is just above the big tree

Have you ever seen a moon at 11.00am in the morning up in the sky with the sun beating on your back? This picture was taken just outside Songsten in India. in November this year. Last year there was a smiling moon over Songsten.

Take a look at this other picture. It is only 5.30pm and it is just as good as 7.00 or 8.00pm. It is taken from my room balcony at Songsten just last week.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Easy Sex Transplant

Male papaya plant with longish fruits
Female plant with round fruits

I have heard of male and female papaya plants and I am sure most of you would have heard of that too but what I am going to reveal to you, I am sure, is going to be something you have not heard of before.

We know that male papaya plants bloom flowers but the flowers do not eventually bear fruits. Most times, we just let the papaya plant be what they may be or at times we have it chopped down. Yesterday we went for lunch at a Tibetan friend’s house. We were there last year too (around the same time of the year) but we did not notice the two papaya plants right in front of her house or maybe they were rather tiny then. The two plants were not any taller than a human being and both were bearing fruits. One bears longish papayas and the other more rounded ones.
Notice the iron that has been punched through the plant

The one that bears the longish fruit is supposedly to be a male papaya plant. This plant underwent a “sex transplant” by a very simple process of having an iron nail hammered into the trunk, near to the base of the plant. And that took care of the fruits.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Spastic Internet Line

My daughter is going to cry foul when she knows what I cooked for dinner. Preserved vegetable (char choy) with tomatoes and onion soup, BBraised potatoes with hard boiled eggsand the ‘crème de la crème” is fried long beans with sambal belachan.

And all this is happening in India. I can only feel guilty when she tells me that her meal is the same old stuff packed off the shops after work and to know that little Ryan does not have his regular soup every night.

The bananas look green but the taste is great

After dinner went online. Felt truly spastic with the internet line running at 230.4kbps. You can actually go brush your teeth and by the time you get back to your computer, your page is still struggling to be uploaded. But then, what else can you do in India at night? Have patience, pay a little more and wait for your page to get uploaded and maybe possibly send off an email or two if you are lucky.
My 'life saving' modem. How can I live without you????

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Beautiful Chortens

Just when I thought the shopping flavor on this trip to spiritual India was the one flavor missing, I bumped into this beautiful chorten.

Chortens are symbolic for the three aspects of the Buddhas which are the body, speech and mind. Great merit is said to be accumulated when we do circumambulations around chortens and even more when we build or are involved in the building of one.

This lovely chorten you see is of plastic material, measures about 6” x 6” at the base and is about 10”~12” tall (sorry do not have a ruler). It lights up when plugged to a 220V power source.

I Was Almost Electrocuted!

One has to get used to the on/off disruption of electricity when you live in India. I make sure I prepare my soup a couple of hours before dinner time to ensure I have at least a soup to go with rice in the event the electricity board decides to help us save a couple of cents during the peak cooking time.

After an hour’s walk to and from a Tibetan settlement to buy some vegetables, on the way back met up with some Tibetan friends for a drink at a road side tea stall that makes real good, creamy milk tea. Tea is not boiled in India. They are cooked. At this particular stall, the water comes from a near by spring and this makes the tea different from other stalls in and around Dehra Dun. Believe me, many a visitor will not think of stopping by for a cuppa at this stall.

Said our goodbyes for the day and headed back ‘home’. It was only 6.00pm but the skies were beginning to get dark and the cold wind was setting in. The library is extraordinary quiet with only a light or two switched on as almost everyone has left for Nepal. I think only 2 rooms are occupied at this moment.

In the quiet and dark of the night (no electricity again) I crept into the room ready to go to bed. I adjusted the blankets and I heard crackling sound and my blanket was sparkling. For a moment I thought I saw angels but the stinging pain got me out of that wishful state. I still saw the sparkling lights on my blanket and the pain was a little intense so I dropped the blanket on the bed. No, I do not have an electric blanket. It was the static electricity created by the woolen material of the blanket.

Every lunch time is also a hassle for me as I have to always wet my hands before touching any metal items at the dining hall if I dont wish to get 'electrocuted'.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Happiness Is Seeing A Good Ole Friend

I walked to Jangchub Ling in the morning with the hope of seeing a friend I last saw in December 2007. With some enquiries here and there we still got no where as not many people knew the person we were looking for. He had been in retreat in Almora since December 2007 and this year he had the permission of His Holiness to attend teachings in Nepal. We managed to locate his room through Khenchen Rinpoche but luck was not with us as he was not in his room.

While having lunch a fellow mate alerted us that the person we wanted to see was at Drikung College Institute, just a small run out of the Library. He was preparing to leave India for Nepal with a group of Khenpos from DKI.

Rushed to DKI and I was really overwhelmed when I saw him. He looked good albeit being thinner, had shoulder length hair, with moustache and a long beard. He was a picture of a wise old man. He gave each of us a big, huge hug and we got down to chatting and chattering. And in a fleeting moment he was asked to board the 4 Wheel Drive that will take them to the Dehra Dun Railway Station to head on to Gorakphur for their next leg of their journey to Nepal.

This person is no other than Konchok Yeshe aka Chen Cong Si aka Mr S H Chooi, our former Ratnashri Malaysia President.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Back In Inida

Picture taken just outside my room
C'est la vie

Arrived Delhi on 2 November close to midnight and stayed a night at the usual Tibetan Colony Settlement. Early next morning headed for Dehra Dun. Arrived around 5.00pm.

It felt so good to see our tibetan friends and they made us feel so warm and welcomed. They went to great lengths of even having fruits in the room with 2 bottles of mineral water. rice cooker and stove and everything that is needed to make one feel at home. Thank you!

This morning went to meet up with Khenchen Rinpoche at Jangchub Ling and later went down town to stock up on groceries.

Now a little time to relax before going to Khenpo Rangdol's place for tea at 5.00pm

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Where my soul belongs

All my bags are packed I’m ready to go. I’m standing here outside the door – song by John Denver.
I leave on Monday evening and in a little more than a day or two I should be taking the cab ride to the airport. The past two weeks had been a packing marathon. I have packed, unpacked, repacked, un-unpacked and then with a few more throwing ins and outs of my stuff, I think I am done. Got the main luggage and the box weighed and I am pretty proud to say that I am under weight (oops not me but the 2 pieces of checked in luggage).

But what lies in the main luggage, the hand luggage, a box and a computer bag. To give you a peep (just only a peep) into the major items – a 24cm frying pan, a pot, hair dryer, 1 laptop, 1 netbook, kenwood small kettle, tupperwares, clothes and personal effects, dried foodstuff (dried shrimps, anchovies, etc). Don’t ask me what are the other unimportant and minor items. That’s it! Do you believe me? Oh yes, forgot to mention there are two packs of cat food (friskies) that’s taking the flight too. I have a pet cat there and also 4 puppies but I suppose these puppies are now fully grown dogs.

I am going on a holiday to my winter home. And there is so much to look forward to. The familiarities of the same room that I have been occupying since "beginningless time", the little village road with children running around with genuine innocence and the warm and kind gestures of the villagers are the distinct charms that grabs the soul of many a visitor. Just thinking of it makes me want to be there now.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Banks Give Them Free So Why Should I Pay @#&%$ RM50 Per Card

I dont know about others but I am doing away with all credit cards except for one which will be a supplementary card. With the new policy enforced on RM50 per card and RM25 for supplementary cards, who needs a string of them especially when I do not believe in spending on credits except for the points but even then it is no big attraction for me. Maybe for the purchase of air tickets where insurance coverage is included. And to pay RM50 per card, why not go supplementary.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Have You Heard A Cat Nagging At Another Cat?

Watch this video of a nagging cat at her partner.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Why Are Men Busy Checking Their Thumbs – Because The Size Of The Penis Is Three Times The Length Of The Thumb

* It takes your food seven seconds to get from your mouth to your stomach.
* One human hair can support 3 kg (6.6 lb).
* The average man's penis is three times the length of his thumb.
* Human thighbones are stronger than concrete.
* A woman's heart beats faster than a man's.
* There are about one trillion bacteria on each of your feet.
* Women blink twice as often as men.
* The average person's skin weighs twice as much as the brain.
* Your body uses 300 muscles to balance itself when you are standing still.
* If saliva cannot dissolve something, you cannot taste it.
* Women will be finished reading this by now.
* Men are still busy checking their thumbs.

Read more here

Monday, October 19, 2009

Twelve Year Old Girl Shed Crystal Tears - Real Or Fraud

Can anyone believe that a person can shed crystal tears? I actually bought this story way back in 2005 (call me naïve but I am very much a fairy tale person).

It is about a 12 year old Lebanese girl, Hasnah Mohamed Meselmani, who shed Herkimer diamond tears from her left eye. She appeared close-up on television and is on YouTube so who can blame me on such naivety.

Here are two links. Read these and decide whether you are in the same bandwagon as this dreamer or you are the wiser one.

Monday, October 12, 2009

F.A.I.L.U.R.E - What Does It Mean?

Do you fit into any of this or do you fit into all? If you fit into all, then there is something to think about
F – Frustration, futility, hopelessness
A – Aggressiveness (misdirected)
I – Insecurity
L – Loneliness
U – Uncertainty
R – Resentment
E – Emptiness

Frustration is developed when certain things cannot be achieved or when things do not go the way you had wanted it to be. All of us at some point in life have suffered some form of frustrations but as we grow older, we learn that not all desires can be satisfied and that perfection is not the key to having a happy life. When life’s experiences bring about deep dissatisfaction and frustration, then we have to recognize this as a symptom of failure.

Aggressiveness, often misdirected, follows frustrations as a shadow follows you. To achieve and reach a certain goal, we need to be aggressive and assertive at times. Therefore, aggressiveness is not an abnormal behavior but rather a needed element for success. We need to go after the things we sought in an aggressive and assertive rather than in a defensive and passive manner. It is when our path to achieving our goal is blocked and you find no solution to getting out of that jam, that this aggressiveness takes on a turn to misdirected aggressiveness. This then becomes a destructive force. Many a home quarrel begins with the husband coming home and lashing out his misdirected aggressiveness on his wife and children. This is the second symptom of failure.

Insecurity stems from a feeling of inadequacy. Very often failures need to prove to themselves and to others their superiority. “He should be seen successful”. “He should be seen happy”. “He should be seen …..” Therefore, if you see someone behaving rudely or someone who tries to belittle others, this person may be undergoing the third symptom of failure.

Tell me if you have not been lonely before. This is another fallacy of being human. But it is the extreme feeling of loneliness where you become a social recluse and feel alienated from other people, that makes you fall into the fourth symptom of failure.

If no decision is made, nothing can go wrong! Many people fear of being proven wrong. Successful people make mistakes and admit them. It is the pathetic who is afraid to admit he has been wrong. If you do not make a mistake, you will never make a discovery. Thomas Edison tested 3,000 filaments before he came up with the light bulb. Uncertainty makes up the fifth symptom of failure.

Failures look for scapegoats. Failures resent success and happiness of others. He often blames society for all his shortcomings. Resentment is an attempt to make our failure palatable by explaining it in terms of unfair treatment, injustice. As long as you harbour resentment, this becomes the sixth symptom of failure

You have acquired all the wealth, all the external symbols of success but when you open the “treasure chest”, you find it all empty. You have lost the capacity to enjoy. Emptiness then becomes the seventh and final symptom of failure

Thursday, October 8, 2009

My Fruit Trees Drink Coffee - Not Joking !!!

See the tiny pot and the crystal ball

I am not very much of a flower person. Whatever remaining flowers I had in the garden were given away and instead I only have fruit trees in pots. My longan plant in a pot started bearing fruits when it was hardly 5 feet tall and after 5 years it is still bearing fruits though smaller in numbers. The mango tree has been giving us fruits year after year. In this family of "abundance" is a dukong (mix of duku-langsat) tree, some dragon fruit plants, cherry apple (apples the size slightly bigger than cherry tomatoes), soursop, lime, custard apple and a fig tree. I have given away a lemon plant which is hardly 2 feet tall bearing numerous big fruits, an egg plant about a foot tall with long whitish (not purplish) brinjals and a guava plant also about two feet tall with fruits that are so big that it almost toppled the plant.

This morning as I was doing my daily chores of watering the plants I saw, to my amazement, a tiny little fruit from the custard apple tree. This plant is a scrawny little plant in a little pot that has hardly any soil where it shares the same abode as the dukong tree which is also very soil deprived. Most of these plants are soil deprived simply because the plants have outgrown the pot and is filled with roots rather than soil.

But what makes them flower and bear fruits? I am at a lost too because I do not use fertilizers except for the free coffee powder from Starbucks. So my plants drink coffee too! Also notice the crystals sitting on the surface of the soil. For your information I also have crystals buried in the soil. So, is the the coffee or the crystals doing its job????

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I Cant Believe I Found 21 pcs Of Herkimer Diamond In My Kitchen Cabinet

Herkimer diamond found in its original matrix

My find in the kitchen cabinet

I decided to open one of the seldom opened cabinets in the kitchen and LOL what did I find. Exactly 21 pieces of Herkimer Diamond in a small container. I thought I have either given or sold all my Herkimer Diamonds but this find put a smile on my face. I can now own one of these again.

Herkimer Diamond is the happiest stone in the mineral kingdom. I have had good experiences with the use of Herkimer Diamond especially in dream work. Read more here
Those who are looking for them (especially healers), drop me a line.

Monday, October 5, 2009

India Is Like Home To Me Though I Am Chinese

Time just passes us by without us even noticing it. It is again the time of the year for me to get ready. I have been packing and unpacking and re-packing for the past few days. This year's packing is a little more fun as I know exactly what I still have in India, what I need to bring and what I dont need to get. I dont need to bring my rice cooker as I will have one to use when I arrive. And my pots and pans are still waiting for me in India. Basically it's buying foodstuff like ikan bilis, dried shrimps, 'lap cheong', shrimp sambal belachan ...... a long list to go.

The past 2 to 3 weeks had been depressing with news of Wamlung Monastery needing financial assistance for repair works and with the quakes and the tsunami in various parts of the world. Sometimes I wish I can do more than what I am doing now but I suppose all of us have our limitations to everything. So let's live and let live! I give thanks to all the people who brings cheer into my life

MUST MUST LISTEN - Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Let's have some fun after such a long absence. I promise you a real good time listening to this.

The Books Have Been Removed

It has been a long time since I last blog here because of the book sale. It was done intentionally so that people looking for books will have an easier time browsing through. The books now have been removed but if any of you are keen on certain books, do drop me a line. And for those who have yet to claim your FOC book, do let me know when you are ready to do so. And thanks to all who have bought and also to those who have shown interest.

The book sale was timely as just before the Hari Raya I was informed about a certain monastery in Tibet that needed funds for repair works. Collection of funds was set into gear and together with the sale of books and contributions, a decent amount was collected.

Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu

Friday, September 18, 2009

How To Make Drinking Enzymes

From the visits I receive to this blog, I could gather many people are keen on how to make drinking enzymes.

I have put up the recipe on garbage enzymes some time back and I am sure many of you out there are more interested in the drinking enzyme recipes to the garbage enzymes. For this recipe please visit

Any queries or comment drop me a line at cherishwellness

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Building Friendship Thru My Book Sale

My online book sale has led me to meet some people which I feel may develop into a friendship. Today I met up with an online purchaser. We discussed many topics and issues over a drink and promised to get together again another time. And I was paid more than what was due to me. Thank you!!!!!!

Friday, September 4, 2009


For FOC books, please refer to Terms & Conditions

RM15 (Hardcover)





RM15 (Good as new)



RM40 (Very good condition. Hard cover. Original price RM136)




RM20 (Very new. Original price RM79.90)







RM35 (Includes 47 minutes Drumming CD)


RM2 (Hardcover- very good condition)

RM2 (Hardcover - very good condition)


RM2 (Hardcover - very good condition)


RM2 (Hardcover - very good condition)




RM5 (Hardcover)

RM5 (Hardcover)

RM3 (very new)








(Illustrated in cartoon form. Takes the boredom out of reading a dry subject)

RM15 (Very new)


FOC (2 copies available)