Pastor Khong Jean Ai
Director of Tsem Ladrang
M y first memories of Rinpoche are fuzzy – I was about 11 when a tall monk walked into my brother’s room where I was eating an ice cream. He asked what my name was, said “good girl”, patted me on the head and left. Apart from that, the only other thing I remember is how, in that short moment, Rinpoche made me feel like the most important person in the world.
Because I was so young when I met Rinpoche, I remember very little about my life without him. When I fell sick, when I failed classes, when I went to university, when I had financial problems, when I graduated, when I travelled – every single step of the way, Rinpoche was always there kindly advising me on the best course of action for me.
When I graduated from the University of Warwick in 2008, I decided to put my Psychology degree to what I thought was good use. I joined the London Probation Service, working in a branch that deals with criminal offenders who have either just left prison, or are sentenced to rehabilitation.
Throughout my time there, I always felt that something was missing. The programmes we ran made sense, but I always felt like they were temporary measures to the ultimate problem and they never addressed the core reason for dysfunctional living. So when the opportunity arose for me to join Kechara, I jumped at the chance. I knew it was my chance to make a difference in my life, and the life of many others.
My personal challenge is to overcome my spoiled lifestyle. As someone who has always found life easy, thanks to the kindness of my Lama and parents, I always get everything I ask for. Thus the perfect counter for that was to join Kechara, which allows me to give back to my Lama. Becoming a Director allows me to help others experience the same compassion I have always received.
I was fortunate enough to grow up in an environment where kindness was a norm, not an exception. I want to show people, especially the youth, that it is not weird to be spiritual and it is okay to be kind to others. Dharma for me is not a job, but a perspective and way of life that makes me the best I can be, for the sake of others.
- Private Office of His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche
I graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Psychology from the University of Warwick. After working in London for one year, I moved back to Malaysia to join Kechara full-time. My first position was in the e-Division where I was responsible for maintaining the websites and our monthly newsletter, the Kechara New News (KNN). I am currently a member of the Private Office of His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche, helping to carry out and coordinate Rinpoche’s work and instructions related to the rest of the organisation.