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'


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 […]


My Facebook Fanpage profile says I am Kechara’s youngest pastor and sangha-to-be, and sometimes that makes me a little anxious because it paints a certain image of me in some people’s minds. I am supposed to be young (and not totally uncool, I would like to think! Hehe) but I am also supposed to have […]


It’s no secret that I’m a softie. Though I can be a cynical loud mouth, I’m also very susceptible to a good sob story, will cry at the drop of a hat and (if your story is good enough! Hehe) give you the shirt off my back. But there are some people who move me […]


Rinpoche sent me the most amazing series of audio messages yesterday. The messages addressed a goal I should achieve, and the method for getting there (and no, I’m not telling you what they are ;)). Seriously cool that my lama sends me WhatsApp audio recordings but that’s not the point of this blog post. So […]


I was going through my hard drives, looking for some photographs for a friend, when I stumbled upon this visualisation that Rinpoche taught a few years ago. It was an impromptu teaching delivered as Rinpoche was walking out of the Ladrang, on his way to the barber. I thought I’d share it here since so […]


I was on Facebook this morning, scrolling and catching up on the ‘news’ as usual when someone’s posting caught my eye. They said that holidays are a retreat from their “dreadful responsibilities”. I found that statement to be really strange and wondered, “If your responsibilities are so dreadful and painful, why did you create them, […]

Tsem Rinpoche’s Karma Chart

When I was a kid, I was a huge fan of the Chicken Soup for… series. Yes, some of them were a bit naff but for a teenager searching for something more substantial than the feel-good stories in Reader’s Digest, they were perfect. Anyway, in one of the books, I read something that has stuck […]