Tsem Tulku

This is a topic that was always in the back of my mind but never in the forefront of my mouth.

A lot of my entries lately have been about how tired or stressed I am, about receiving new responsibilities at work yadda yadda.

I’ve never been a very ambitious person to be honest.  Although I never articulated it, I think my philosophy in life is actually Hakuna Matata WTF.

It means no worries for the rest of your days wtf.

At school while I cared enough to want to do well (because I knew I could) part of me knows that if I’d tried harder, I could still have done better.  I did well enough to get into good schools and to get honors but I did the minimum required to get these things.  I’d be happy with a 92 even though I knew I could get a 95 or 97.  And I settled for a cum laude when I think I could have tried for a magna cum laude.

Now at work, I’m working hard although I cant really tell myself if it’s because of my innate desire to do okay-well and keep surviving, or if it’s because for the first time in my life, I really really want to do well.  Either ways I’m working harder than I ever did at school.

All my time and energy is given to work and while I find it quite commendable since I normally wont work hard if I can help it wtf, I find that I’ve had less and less time for myself because work takes up a big chunk of my life now.  All my intellectual capacity, stress and emotions are given to work and so I stopped thinking about anything else besides myself.

So when I came across this blog post, things fell into perspective for me.


It’s written by a Tibetan Buddhist monk called  Tsem Tulku Rinpoche.  To put it shortly, he is the founder of Kechara House, a Buddhist Association located in PJ.

He was also born in Taiwan to a Tibetan father and a Mongolian princess mother, grew up in the US, then moved to India to become a monk, eventually settling in Malaysia.


At first when I saw his picture, I was like ya typical monk dude.  Then I was like eh why monk got blog wan wtf.

Then as I went through his blog more, I realized he’s not a typical monk.

Will typical monks look like this!!!

*refrains from saying anything inappropriate about a man of god


That was when he was younger la now he looks like the 2nd photo (pictures taken from Rinpoche’s blog)

Anyway this post isn’t about monks or religion or Buddhism or anything like that.  It’s about the Kechara Soup Kitchen.

Watch this video to know why soup kitchens like KSK are important.

When you live your life inside airconditioned houses, office and Pavilion, it’s kinda easy to not know that poverty exists in KL or homeless people live next door to you.

I am aware of underprivileged people and all that and I visited homes and donated to charities occasionally but in the midst of work and trying to get through everyday, I forgot that there are people worse off than me who would be happy to have my problems.  I felt super guilty about being so wrapped up in my own miniscule problems when other people are suffering so much more.

So Rinpoche’s blog really opened my eyes.  What I found interesting was that he didn’t start Kechara Soup Kitchen because of kindness (although that was probably one of the reasons) but because he ran away from home as a kid, he too had lived on the streets, experiencing poverty, physical abuse and offers to be a prostitute fhl so he knew what it felt like.

I’ve never seen a blog written by a monk either.  It was very interesting to get an insight into what he was thinking or experienced and it made me realize that monks/priests/insert religious title are just normal people who have just decided to dedicate their lives to god/religion.

My family is Buddhist/Taoist but I’ve never been very religious.  I only pray or put joss sticks when my mother asks me to, and Fatty is always scolding me for making jokes about religion and higher beings -_-I don’t believe in religion or religious doctrines; I don’t believe it’s which higher being you believe in that matters.  What matters is your actions and your thoughts.  And it should be your heart that urges you to make the right choices in life rather than a fear of retribution (whether in this life or the next)

But I do admire Rinpoche for what he’s trying to do – spread good through his teachings and his actions.


Huai Bin and I went over to Kechara’s office a few weeks ago after reading Rinpoche’s blog.  Guy in the middle is David who very kindly showed us around.


Saw more pictures of Rinpoche.  Seriously he quite hot leh.  Apparently his dream was to be a Hollywood actor before he joined the monkhood!

Anyway, the blog has inspired me to try to find more balance in my life rather than just being caught up with petty problems. When I was in school  I had all these big ideas of working to save the world, one person at a time and when I started work, all those good intentions were banished to the back of my mind.

Some people say that doing charity work is more for the donor’s selfish peace of mind than for the recipients’ good.  But I guess I have to start somewhere.

Huai Bin and I have decided to go with the Kechara Soup Kitchen one of these days while they deliver food to the poor in KL!  Quite nervous but we’ll let you know how it goes 😀

For more info on Kechara Soup Kitchen, anything Kechara or Rinpoche himself, go to his blog here at

  • Huai Bin

    Yeah, I can’t wait to go volunteer for the Kechara Soup Kitchen! I think it’ll be great – helping out the less fortunate. It’s a good cause and I haven’t done a lot of lately so I’m looking forward to helping out with KSK. 🙂

  • KY

    sounds like a noble cause to me, doesn’t matter if it’s religious or not, a charity is a charity. 😀

  • amat

    wow..seriously…one day i hope i can also join them…giving food for the poor looks so common but when you see they thankful eye….it is all worth it!!

  • Ethan

    It is most wonderful to see an established blogger like yourself who takes time out to reach out to the world and create awareness.

    Yes, besides our Starbucks latte in the morning, there are hundredsn if not thousands living on the streets just to make end meets.

    Wonderful to know that by contributing your talent, many more will be inspired to do something more and meaningful in life.

    Thumbs up for a wonderful post!

  • mabelstory

    This post is gonna inspire many other people to stop and think on how they shall spend the rest of their lives doing, as well as realize what really is evolving around us all. :’)

  • Punk Princess

    speechless. 0.0

  • goingkookies

    It is true some people donate to appease their own conscience or for tax purposes… but most people do do it because they really want to help the underprivileged.

    You just need to know WHY you do it…

    and at the end of the day, irregardless of one’s reasons for doing charity etc, the underprivileged are there and they need any help they can get! 🙂

  • zihwye

    actually ‘rinpoche’ means reincarnate (or something like that) so its not really a name. xD

  • Gin

    u shuld have come monday =( u would have loved his talk so much!