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

The traditional modern lama

January 16, 2020 2

The traditional modern lama

First of all, what is tsok (Sanskrit: ganachakra)? According to Rinpoche, Tsok happens twice a month every month. It is a special day where the dakinis of the 24 holy places gather together to bless the tantric practitioner‘s body, nerves, chi, chakras, speech and mind. On Tsok Day we can perform a special tsok to […]

Rinpoche, Jersey and Tara

January 9, 2020 0

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I still remember when this photograph was taken. Our handyman was working in the house and while a few of us remained behind to observe what was being done, Rinpoche had gone out with some students. Jersey was going bananas in the house, scampering everywhere and it was tough to keep the wriggly little imp […]

Lama Dorje Shugden

January 2, 2020 0

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Rinpoche had a different kind of relationship with Dorje Shugden. It was a special kind of relationship, like Dorje Shugden was a father, brother, friend, guardian, guru all rolled into one. In private moments, Rinpoche would converse with Dorje Shugden, speaking as he would to a friend; when we had the privilege of being there, […]

Christmas with Rinpoche

December 28, 2019 0

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This past week, I had the honour of hosting a Christmas dinner for members of our Kechara community. 50 people came together to eat and be merry, and to remember the kindness of our lama, His Eminence Kyabje Tsem Tulku Rinpoche. After dinner, all of us adjourned to perform a puja for Rinpoche’s swift return. […]

One afternoon, Rinpoche called a group of us over. “Open all the cupboards next door and turn on the air-cond, I want to go next door and select some gifts.” So we did just that – we ran next door, turned on the air conditioning and opened the gift cabinets. Rinpoche had an extensive selection […]

Spending time with students

December 1, 2019 2

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These sessions were always very important and precious for Rinpoche. Rinpoche saw them as a means of connecting with people from all over the world, particularly those who did not have easy access to a centre or teacher, or had not met with Rinpoche before or in a long time. Engaging with people on such […]

It was from this view

October 26, 2019 2

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This week, I would like to share with everyone a very special view that few have been privileged to experience. It was from this view that we would learn about and be exposed to all manner of things, from the acerbic wit of Joan Rivers to the artistic genius of Grace Jones; from the musical […]

It’s all in the details

August 30, 2019 2

It’s all in the details

“It’s amazing all of this could’ve arisen from one mind” is a statement I often hear people utter about Rinpoche. It is usually accompanied by a look of awe on their faces, their eyes widening and jaws dropping as they look around to take in the extent to which Rinpoche has planned. They cannot believe […]

Shopping for the Buddhas

August 14, 2019 2

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One of Rinpoche’s absolute favourite activities is making offerings to the Buddhas on altars and onto the statues themselves. No matter where Rinpoche is or where Rinpoche lives, the most important thing is the altar. The altar must be as beautiful, abundant and elaborate as we can make it; if not, it must at the […]

You’ve got mail

July 25, 2019 0

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Did you know that every single offering, piece of mail, letter or gift that Rinpoche receives is personally attended to by Rinpoche and a group of students? First, everything is offered up to the Three Jewels on Rinpoche’s personal altars. Later, Rinpoche opens every single message and then reads each one very carefully, before instructions […]