Gratitude Series #49 – The Jewel of My Heart


This beautiful blessed Budhha pendant made from white gold with emerald gem was given to me by my beloved Guru, H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche. It means a lot to me because of the meaning behind it, what it symbolises, the message from my Guru when he gift me this precious Buddha. 

I remembered it was in Rinpoche’s Ladrang in Kechara Forest Retreat when Rinpoche gave me this pendant. Rinpoche picked this out amongst the many pendants in His private gift cabinet and I had thought to prep a box for the lucky person. Next thing I know Rinpoche turned around and said that this was for me, I was stunned and speechless!

Then Rinpoche affectionately explained that this Buddha pendant represents our special bond, that Rinpoche considers me like family and I was like a little sister to Rinpoche. I almost cried. I don’t really have a huge family; my parents have passed on and my only blood family is my sister and niece who I hardly see due to our very different lifestyles. And sorry but I don’t really consider relatives I meet once every other year during festivities – family.

People whom I consider family are those who are there when you’re down not just when you’re up.  So to me family does not necessarily need to be blood related, but rather by virtue of care, love and trust. As I go through life’s journey, I must say I am very blessed to have come across some very kind and beautiful people who were friends that became like family.

My Guru is one such person, and he has been more, done more, cared more than any blood related family has done for me, without agendas. So this pendant is a symbol that marks the significance of my connection with my precious Guru. More importantly the spiritual bond I have in which I am so ever humbled, grateful, fortunate and bless with. This to me is priceless. What a privilege for a nobody like me to have a high Lama like Tsem Tulku Rinpoche who cares for me like family.

When people say Rinpoche is kind, yes that’s a given, but more than that, Rinpoche is a living Bodhisattva who has unconditional compassion for all, and to some of us students, Rinpoche is like our father. Rinpoche’s concern for the well-being of his students goes beyond the comfort of a meditation cushion, so much so Rinpoche would even ensure a student’s house is tidied, cleaned, and well stocked with groceries.

I shall never take for granted my Guru, for without the Guru there is no true happiness, no Dharma, no attainments, no way out of samsara, no enlightenment. Rinpoche, thank you for your love and thank you for giving me the one thing that truly last – Dharma. May all be auspicious for my holy venerable Guru to remain with us immutable like a Vajra.


Related Links: 

  1. A practice to do without initiation
  2. Excellent Guidelines for Students
  3. Complete Commentary on 50 Verses of Guru Devotion
  4. Pendants



Ladrang – High Lamas’ residence

Bodhisattva – In Buddhism, a bodhisattva (Sanskrit: बोधिसत्त्व bodhisattva; Pali: बोधिसत्त bodhisatta) is an enlightened (bodhi) being (sattva). Traditionally, a bodhisattva is anyone who, motivated by great compassion, has generated bodhicitta, which is a spontaneous wish to attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings.[1] According to Tibetan Buddhism, a Bodhisattva is one of the four sublime states a human can achieve in life (the others being an Arhat, Buddha, or Pratyekabuddha).[2]


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