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 'Reflections and Teachings'


I generally eschew food photos because to be honest, they only fuel my attachment to the stuff and boy, do I have an attachment to the stuff! but this picture, I have to post. Food from my mum means many things to me. It is the salmon (sorry fish!) and gingko biloba that she steamed […]


Manjushri is the reason I got into college and then went on to university. Back in my high school days, I was terrible at Maths (and I still am!) and was in one of the lowest classes in our year group. During the mock finals, arranged to familiarise us with the testing process, I scored […]

Transformation is a big deal?!

Rinpoche gave us a powerful teaching today on the realisation of one’s potential, what it takes to get there and how much we have to ‘give up’ in order to realise our said potential. During this teaching, Rinpoche uttered one especially powerful sentence that stood out in my mind: Why do we make transformation like […]


Earlier in the week, Rinpoche took the team here to unwind and watch Dracula Untold. Ignore the reviews, it was good and I enjoyed it. Well, I thought the female lead was slightly annoying. Damsels in distress are not my thing, not especially when their attachment destroys an entire kingdom and leads to countless deaths…but […]


After a lovely Indian dinner, Rinpoche thought it would be nice to visit West Hollywood as some of us had never been. In the middle of samsara, Rinpoche gave us a profound teaching about how to generate a bodhisattva motivation. Everybody prays to be reborn in the best circumstances, with all of the comforts and […]


For this week’s Throwback Thursday, I wanted to share with everyone this card that my sister made for me for my 21st birthday. At the time, I was just starting my third year at university and things weren’t great. My family was having some financial difficulties which my university were being nasty about, and I […]


A few nights ago, Rinpoche gave a profound teaching on the third of the Three Principle Paths, which is emptiness. Using relationships as an example, Rinpoche showed us through logic how chasing after attachments creates our samsara, therefore prolonging our suffering. Rinpoche also showed how clinging on to our attachments will hinder our spiritual progress […]


A couple of nights ago, we had a quiz on Rinpoche’s blog chat. The topic of the quiz was anything to do with Tsongkhapa, from his life story to his practices, to the achievements of his disciples and so on. During the quiz, Rinpoche asked me a couple of questions that gave me pause to […]


I have received many messages from concerned friends over the last couple of days asking me to take Rinpoche to the hospital. I really appreciate everyone for their concern which I know arises from a good motivation and a wish for Rinpoche to extend his life, to continue benefiting sentient beings. At the same time, […]

Retreat (1)

In 2006, my siblings and I had the great privilege to do our first Manjushri retreat. Upon its completion, Rinpoche had me write up my experiences. I stumbled upon this write-up by accident when I was searching through my archives for a nice Throwback Thursday post. So below is an 18 year old’s perspective on […]