El·e·na [el-uh-nuh, uh-ley-nuh; It. e-le-nah] /ˈɛlənə, əˈleɪnə; It. ɛˈlɛnɑ/ –noun a female given name, form of Helen // A proud student of His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche // Personal assistant with a BSc (Hons) Psych from Uni of Warwick // These are snapshots of my life, in words and pictures

Browsing Category 'Kechara Forest Retreat'

Whew! We’ve been having a busy few days showing Geshe Sopa-la and Kelsang Tsultrim (aka Tomtom) around Kechara. It is a long overdue visit, the history of which goes back to our first meeting in 2014! Geshe-la and Tomtom are the types of people you read about, whose guru devotion and ability to sacrifice inspires […]

Dreaming of Manjushri

No, I did not dream about Manjushri. It was actually Rinpoche who dreamt about Manjushri many years ago. It was in a form Rinpoche had never seen before, sitting on a lotus with his hands in the dharmachakra mudra at his chest and his right leg extended. Rinpoche was excited by the dream but did […]


Back in 2012, a small group of us were staying in Kechara Forest Retreat in shipping containers decked out with beds, standing fans and makeshift showers. They were really fun times! The power was carried in by wooden poles, hastily erected so our containers would not be in the dark, and it would cut from […]


This is the story of how Dorje Shugden rescued Kechara Forest Retreat. It started back in 2013. For months, Dorje Shugden had already been kindly advising us to reinforce the slopes on our land. Earthworks during the initial building stages of Kechara Forest Retreat had removed much of native growth on our land. With the […]


Two weeks after we released pictures of our Wisdom Hall gompa (prayer hall), I am still getting comments today about our Dorje Shugden statue being larger than our Shakyamuni one. It doesn’t matter that Rinpoche has already explained that this arrangement is temporary until we can raise enough funds to build our larger gompa and […]

Lama Tsongkhapa at dusk

We have many amazing statues at Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR), but the one everyone will notice first as they drive into KFR is our amazing Lama Tsongkhapa statue. Carved from one piece of white stone, he sits outside Wisdom Hall in all 9-ft of his gloriousness, gazing over Dukkar Apartments and blessing all visitors. I […]


I went on a walk around our Kechara Forest Retreat land today, taking photographs to update our Kechara album. I thought I’d share some of the pictures here, so those who haven’t got access to my album on Facebook can rejoice in them too Feel free to share them…all I ask is that you give […]