Kechara Forest Retreat
Situated amidst rolling hills on a 35-acre plot of land in Bentong, Malaysia, Kechara Forest Retreat is a holistic retreat centre which offers spiritual seekers an opportunity to develop a perfect balance of total wellness – body, mind and spirit – through spiritual retreats, learning and conscious living, all within a natural forest enclave.
Founded by His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche in 2012, Kechara Forest Retreat is a part of the larger Kechara Buddhist organisation, a progressive spiritual group that seeks to create a conscious community that comes together in service of others.
Kechara began with a small handful of spiritual practitioners who were motivated solely by the wish to make a difference and bring a new message of peace to their community. Today, Kechara is the largest Tibetan Buddhist organisation in Malaysia and offers a variety of programmes to meet the varying needs, interests and aptitudes of modern spiritual seekers.
Apart from traditional Buddhist activities such as Dharma teachings, weekly pujas (prayer sessions) and comprehensive education programmes held at Kechara House, the main temple, Kechara also offers practitioners the opportunity to experience spirituality in action via its soup kitchen and animal welfare projects, Himalayan arts, publishing and film production houses and vegetarian restaurants.
The establishment of Kechara Forest Retreat is a step closer to fulfilling Tsem Rinpoche’s wish to create an international Buddhist institution of learning in the southeast Asian region.
Since I was a young child, I wanted to create a place where people come together to live as one with nature, one with the earth. A place for healing, detoxification, contemplation, relaxation, and retreat. An international centre for meditation courses not based on religion but tapping into ourselves and our potential. A place for eco living modelled on sustainability and growth. This project is Kechara Forest Retreat and it will be a space to inspire the world to do the same in their own communities. H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche, retreat.kechara.com
The retreat centre features contemporary architecture in harmony with nature and blends traditional Tibetan Buddhist culture with modern approaches. Visitors to Kechara Forest Retreat will enjoy extensive facilities, comfortable accommodation, and functional working environments, including:
An 11,000 sq. ft. meditation and teaching hall which is home to the largest (24-feet) Dorje Shugden statue in the world, as well as a 13-foot indoor statue of Buddha Shakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism and an 8-foot outdoor statue of Lama Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelug lineage.
A well-stocked souvenir shop is available for visitors to invite Dharma items, Tibetan inspired trinkets or a keepsake of their visit.
A 15-foot traditional Vajrayogini stupa filled with sacred Vajrayogini images, scriptures, mantras and holy items, constructed by Himalayan artisans and consecrated by senior Tibetan lamas from Gaden Monastery. The stupa symbolises the fully enlightened mind and the path to Enlightenment, and is surrounded by a walking and circumambulation path.
A majestic stone statue of Four-Armed Manjushri sits on a natural hilltop that looks over the entire valley. Visitors can make offerings to the Buddha of Wisdom and enjoy the spectacular views.
A meditation path set amidst shady trees along the natural terrain of the forest, which provides a conducive and safe environment for the practice of walking meditation, and for meditators to make prayers and offerings to the Goddess Tara.
Located next to the main entrance, the Gyenze Chapel is open to the public 24 hours a day. Various offering items are available, and complimentary educational and prayer materials are provided for visitors to invite home. Educational videos play continuously in the chapel, explaining Dorje Shugden’s history, practice and iconography.
Tsem Rinpoche’s Cabin
The original cabin where Tsem Rinpoche lived and worked during the initial stages of Kechara Forest Retreat’s development. It is a repository of spiritual energy and a powerful place of pilgrimage as it is here that Rinpoche did his daily practices, rituals and pujas to consecrate and bless the land.
Visitors can make aspirational prayers, meditations and circumambulations at this holy site and offer gold and jewels to the Tantric Buddha Vajrayogini. A self arising Bodhi tree grows a short distance away.
Open-plan container-style guest accommodation which offers a communal living experience aimed at fostering mindfulness, civic consciousness and an awareness of others and their needs. Facilities include a function lounge, private dining room, communal kitchen and dining areas, self service cafe, chill-out upper decks, art installations and fully equipped and air-conditioned cabins.
Fish Pond and Aviary
The waters of the Fish Pond are home to a multitude of rescued fish both big and small. The surrounding gardens, featuring a 9 ft. statue of Dream Manjushri, are a lush sanctuary for relaxation, meditation and contemplation.
A spacious, purpose-built walk-in aviary houses a large flock of rescued birds and a pair of tortoises who have been nursed back to full health. A smaller recovery aviary serves to rehabilitate newly rescued birds and those recuperating from illnesses.
Visitors are welcome by prior appointment to feed and learn how to care for the various species including cockatoos, African Greys, cockatiels and budgerigars, and enjoy watching their amusing antics.
Vegetable Garden and Herb Farm
One of the core pillars of conscious living at the Kechara Forest Retreat is to embrace and live in harmony with nature. Visitors and residents are invited to participate in green programmes held all year round, and to partake of the harvest from the vegetable farm and herb garden.
Kechara Forest Retreat hosts regular meditation courses, work-experience programmes, Buddhist festivals and Dharma talks conducted by the pastors and senior students of Kechara, serving the spiritual community which comprises of people from diverse backgrounds, varying age groups and different parts of the world.
Please support us so that we can continue to bring you more Dharma:
sonny tanPosted on May 25, 2016 #1 Author
This heavenly sanctuary made possible by Rinpoche soothes my troubled and aching heart, illuminates my confused mind, granting me this often elusive insight. Each time I was there, the feelings inside of me has not evaporated into any antagonistic human feelings that we are so accustomed to but remains undefiled, empty of any worldly illusions. It is just like a magic wand casted over my lost soul longing and longing for a repose.
Lin MunPosted on June 19, 2016 #2 Author
Thank you Rinpoche for conceptualizing Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR). KFR is not only for puja but a place where we can have a conducive place for meditation, retreat and where we can get near to nature in a clean and unpolluted environment. KFR is expanding so it can benefit more people in the future. May more can come together and support and so KFR can continue to grow .
Jace ChongPosted on June 25, 2016 #3 Author
Thank you Tsem Rinpoche! I am so fortunate and glad that we are in one of the modern temple of Dorje Shugden which house the largest Dorje Shugden statue in the world!
The entire place is filled with so much peace and positive energy. My favourite place is Manjushri Hill. A serene place with spectacular view, and the beautiful 4-armed Manjushri greets you on the hill. The 2 extra arms of this Manjushri that holding bow and arrow symbolize skillfulness that we need to benefit others.
Thank you Kechara for having this great place!
SofiPosted on June 25, 2016 #4 Author
Thank you Rinpoche for creating such a beautiful peaceful retreat for us. Kechara Forest Retreat, energised by the many Buddhas around, gives us the much needed respite from our stressful life. I love being in KFR as upon entering its gates, I immediately feel as though I am entering the pure land of Rinpoche. How wonderfully kind and compassionate of Rinpoche to envision a sanctuary for our minds and may we work together to continue contributing towards making Rinpoche’s vision a reality, Kechara Forest Retreat being an international Buddhist institution of learning. I could just imagine a monastic community co-existing with lay spiritual people learning to achieve the peace within.
HelenaPosted on July 3, 2016 #5 Author
By having Rinpoche”s blessing we have Kechara Forest Retreat manifest, It will become a famous Buddhist Institution and a retreat centre for Buddhist practitioners from all over the world.
BeckyPosted on September 7, 2016 #6 Author
Thank you Rinpoche for conceptualizing Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR). KFR is a very Amazing place inside some forest area with many nice and huge Buddha statues.
And KFR will be like another monastery in Malaysia. It will be benefited many more people around the Asia countries. May all human beings and other beings blessed by the Buddhas and, learn the Dharma from here to become better person. May the lineage spread wide and far.
FongPosted on September 8, 2016 #7 Author
A modern spiritual centre yet with the heart of tradition with so very many activities to bring one closer to nature and the dharma towards awareness and mindful living. A haven in the mountains away from the bustling city with all those greens to rest one’s eyes and mind.
Wonderfully energized place.
Stella CheangPosted on September 21, 2016 #8 Author
Kechara Forest Retrest (KFR) is one of the most beautiful and modern Buddhist holy place that I have ever seen. It is a holistic retreat centre conceptualized and made possible by kind and generous donors, which offers spiritual seekers an opportunity to develop a perfect balance of total wellness. KFR enshrines traditional Buddhist activities such as pujas (prayer sessions), Dharma learnings and comprehensive education programmes. There are many highlights in KFR to pay homage to, my favourite is the Four Arms Manjushri statue, and visitors can circumambulate the statue to plant the seed for wisdom to develop the correct view. The Sleeping Manjushri statue sitting on a fish pond is another of my favourite as it looks in real just like a picture in the travel magazine. Listening to tales of auspicious signs that appeared throughout the building of various parts of KFR is a humbling and touching experience. Because without the hard work and earnestness of Kecharians and seniors students of Rinpoche who literally dug the land, fix the bricks, sweep the lawn, build the lanes and plant each and every tree and bush within the land of KFR, we will not see any of these today. Thank you very much for sharing this article and I hope that many people will visit this state of the art retreat centre in Bentong, Malaysia.
Alice TayPosted on February 14, 2017 #9 Author
Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR) is a beautiful and peaceful place for everyone especially those would like to find their inner peace here. Due to our precious guru, H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche’s kindness and compassion, we are so fortunate to enjoy this peaceful place with full of positive energies and blessed by many Buddhas in KFR including Buddha Shakyamuni, Manjushri, Tara, Dream Manjushri, Lama Tsongkhapa, Vajrayogini Stupa, the largest Dorje Shugden and Dorje Shugden Gyenze.
Thank you Rinpoche. May you have stable health and long life and continue to benefit all sentient beings by turning the dharma wheel.
Valentina SuhendraPosted on April 2, 2017 #10 Author
Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR) is a very beautiful place where everyone can find and experience a sense of peace. The idea of establishing KFR was initiated by H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche, who was also very much involved in the building process of this great place. The present-day KFR consists of many beautiful facilities such as the Tara Walk, Wisdom Hall that contains the largest Dorje Shugden statue, Panglung Ritroe – the residence of the great Panglung Kuten, Manjushri Hill, Enchanted Forest, and Dukkar Apartment. Visitors can rent a room in Dukkar apartment to do their retreat.
Valentina SuhendraPosted on April 2, 2017 #11 Author
Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR) is a very beautiful place where everyone can find and experience a sense of peace. The idea of establishing KFR was initiated by H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche, who was also very much involved in the building process of this great place. The present-day KFR consists of many beautiful facilities such as the Tara Walk, Wisdom Hall that contains the largest Dorje Shugden statue, Panglung Ritroe – the residence of the great Panglung Kuten, Manjushri Hill, Enchanted Forest, Vajrayogini Stupa, Aviary and Dukkar Apartment. Visitors can rent a room in Dukkar apartment to do their retreat.