Pastor Adeline Woon
Towards the end of 2010, I stumbled onto H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche’s blog while googling a picture of the Bamiyan Buddha in the Hazarajat region of central Afghanistan. Since then, I was glued to the blog and was able to find out more about Rinpoche and Kechara. I also found lots of useful information on the blog that helped me to understand the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism.
In June 2011, I was fortunate to meet with some students of Rinpoche at the XVIth Congress of the International Association of Buddhist Studies (IABS) hosted by Dharma Drum Buddhist College (DDBC). They represented Rinpoche well and strengthened my understanding of Rinpoche and Kechara.
After I graduated in July 2012 with a Master of Arts in Religious Studies, I decided to return to Malaysia and join Kechara for Dharma work. One of the Directors of Kechara, Paul Yap, offered me a role as the Senior Education Executive in the Education Division where my main function was to set up an systematic education system for the division. Although I had no experience in education, I was honoured to be given such a rare opportunity to contribute to the betterment of all human kind.
As a holder of a Master’s degree, I applied all my knowledge of Dharma to create the first master syllabus that was later expanded into various education courses in Kechara. In September 2013, I took my Dharma work a step further by standing for election as a member of Kechara’s Board of Directors, during which I was elected democratically by Kechara’s members.
My past one year journey with Kechara was not an easy one. The biggest challenge I had was to work as a team member. It was a total switch in my style of working bearing in mind that prior to joining Kechara I was doing my own research and study, the only requirements being to report to my dissertation mentor. And prior to that, I was in a high position that served more like a bridge between team members and the leader of the company in the few jobs I had before beginning my studies. Being in Kechara, I had to learn to receive instructions from others, apart from Rinpoche, to communicate and work with others to achieve the desired results.
I used to think that Dharma work was nonsense because I did not believe that it would help in mind transformation. The fact, however, is that it is the fastest way to mind transformation if I’m willing to adjust my views. It is fast because we are in an environment with people from all walks of life; we have to learn to get along and work with each other in order to achieve Rinpoche’s vision and mission. Nothing can be done solely on our own.
People might say that there is no difference from working in other companies. However, the difference is that those who have decided to join Kechara are sincere in wanting to contribute positively to humanity by transforming their minds. They are willing to accept a stipend that does not support an extravagant lifestyle and at the same time have commitments that require long working hours. In other words, those in Kechara are not here for the money but are willing to take up huge responsibilities for the benefit of others.
I remembered making a strong aspiration in 2005 during the ceremony where I took layman vows that I wanted to be ordained as a nun for the rest of my life. I wasn’t sure how it would happen, but it is now clear that my Root Guru is His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche, Kechara is my spiritual home and that I’ll be ordained as a nun here in the near future.
- Senior Manager, Kechara Organisation
- Pastor of Kechara
- Sangha to be
Born in Malaysia, I left for the Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand in 2001 where I graduated with a Bachelor of Communication Studies (BCS) degree, majoring in Multimedia.
I continued to live in Auckland for the next 7 years working in a local university as Multimedia Assistant, in a Language Centre as Sales and Marketing Manager and a GPS company as a Desktop Publisher. I was later offered a role as the Personal Assistant to the Managing Director of an international freight forwarding company where I assisted with operational management.
After 2 years, I was hired as a Personal Assistant to various Executive Assistants of the city council. The last role I held in Auckland was the Personal Assistant of both the Marketing and the Operations Manager of a newly established division in a nationwide construction company.
In my free time, I was actively volunteering in Chinese Buddhist temples where I trained in playing rituals instruments and also took care of the temple. Apart from that, I was also trained as a hospice care taker for old aged or sick people by the charitable Amitabha Hospice Service centre.
Towards the end of 2007, I decided that all the worldly pursuits no longer served my spiritual needs and met with Venerable Chan Rui who kindly guided me and finally sent me off to Dharma Drum Buddhist College (DDBC) Taiwan to pursue Buddhist studies in June 2008.