Kechara Forest Retreat
Creating Conscious Communities
Kechara Forest Retreat is a unique holistic retreat center focused on the total wellness of body, mind and spirit. Set in the midst of lush tropical forest in Bentong, Pahang, this is the perfect destination for individuals, families and the spiritual at heart, offering comfortable accommodation, extensive facilities and the promise of peace and tranquility.
Through this landmark project, Kechara is committed to giving back to society through educational programmes for the young and old, instilling universal positive values such as tolerance, mindfulness and compassion; and for all guests to return home inspired, sharing what they have learnt within their own communities, thus creating a global revolution of consciousness and kindness.
“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 center for meditation courses not based on religion but tapping into ourselves and our potential. A place for eco living modeled on sustainability and growth.
This project is the Kechara Forest Retreat and it will be a space to inspire the world to do the same in their own communities.”
The Kechara Forest Retreat boasts extensive facilities, comfortable accommodation, and functional working environments for guests, events, teachings and retreats.
This 11,000 sq. ft. meditation and teaching hall features minimalist architecture and floor-to-ceiling glass windows, offering near 360° views of the surrounding tropical beauty.
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, blesses all visitors and the environment.
The tranquil and peaceful surroundings create the ideal environment for meditations, retreats, teachings and even a wedding or two.
Step into Dukkar Aparments for a welcome change of pace. This home away from home offers open-plan container-style guest accommodation in the middle of the forest, featuring high ceilings, vast spaces and raw finishes.
This is communal living with a unique twist, aimed at fostering mindfulness, civic consciousness and an awareness of others and their needs.
Situated on a natural hilltop in the Kechara Forest Retreat, and named after the majestic stone statue of 4-armed Manjushri that looks over the entire valley, Manjushri Hill is where the administrative and creative offices are located.
Visitors are welcome to walk up the hill to make offerings to the Buddha of Wisdom, Manjushri, and enjoy the spectacular views.
This H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s official residence in the Kechara Forest Retreat where Rinpoche and his attendants and assistants live and work. The Ladrang also serves as the headquarters of the Kechara organisation. Visitors are welcome by appointment.
Tsem Ladrang also includes the 5,881sqft gift building adjoining Wisdom Hall, which serves as a functional display and storage space for the gift section. This is where Tsem Rinpoche chooses and blesses gifts and writes letters for lucky recipients around the world.
The gift building also plays host to the Flea Market, where many Dharma items donated by Tsem Rinpoche are available at very affordable prices.
Tsem Rinpoche’s Cabin and The Holy Bodhi Tree
Visitors to the Kechara Forest Retreat are welcome to visit the original cabin where H.E. Tsem Rinpoche lived, worked and conceptualised each and every step of the Kechara Forest Retreat’s development.
It is also here that Rinpoche did his daily practices, rituals and pujas to consecrate and bless the land, making the cabin a repository of spiritual energy and a powerful place of pilgrimage.
Originally located on the site of what is now Dukkar apartments, Rinpoche’s cabin was relocated to its present location in November 2013. The interior of the cabin has been preserved exactly as it was when Rinpoche lived here from May 2012 to April 2013. Visitors are welcome to make aspirational prayers, offerings, meditations and circumambulations at this holy site.
Animals have a very special place in Tsem Rinpoche’s heart and every effort is made to feed, care and provide for our furry and feathered friends wherever Rinpoche lives.
The Kechara Forest Retreat features a spacious, purpose-built walk-in aviary adjacent to Tsem Ladrang, which is home to a large flock of rescued birds and a pair of tortoises who have been nursed back to full health by Rinpoche and his students.
Visitors are welcome by prior appointment, to feed and learn how to care for the various species in our care, including cockatoos, African Greys, cockatiels and budgerigars, and enjoy watching their amusing antics.
The Organic 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 dive into the breathtaking abundance of our earth through green programmes held all year round, and to partake of the bounteous harvest from our organic farm and herb gardens.
As the landmark healing, tourist and spiritual destination in the region, Kechara Forest Retreat will be a magnet for local and international spiritual seekers alike, where they can experience perfect balance of total wellness – body, mind and spirit.
There’s much more in store at the Kechara Forest Retreat. Phase 2 of this landmark project is now underway, and includes the Medicine Buddha Hill, Tara Walk, Vajrayogini Stupa and Eco Village projects.
Medicine Buddha Hill
Situated on a natural hilltop within the Kechara Forest Retreat, Medicine Buddha Hill will be an international healing sanctuary – the first of its kind in the region.
Featuring a 15-ft statue of the Medicine Buddha as the focal point of healing energies, this project will bless our minds, the surrounding environment and all living beings.
Poised on the edge of an artificial lake, the Eco Village is an environmental-friendly residential hub located within the Kechara Forest Retreat.
Featuring 56 water chalets and accommodating up to 150 guests, visitors are assured of a restful stay within this natural haven of peaceful tranquility.
The Eco Village is also a living experiment, encouraging mindfulness for the earth’s natural resources in residents and visitors. Conservation and preservation practices are highly encouraged to help Mother Nature regain her rightful balance.
A stupa is the most sacred monument in the Buddhist world, symbolising the fully Enlightened mind and the path to Enlightenment.
The 15-ft. traditional Vajrayogini stupa in the Kechara Forest Retreat will be filled with billions of sacred Vajrayogini images, scriptures, mantras and holy items, constructed by Himalayan artisans, and consecrated with authentic rituals and prayers by senior Tibetan lamas from Gaden Monastery.
A meditation path set amidst shady trees along the natural terrain of the forest, the Tara Walk will provide a conducive and safe environment for the practice of walking meditation.
Statues of the 21 forms of Tara, each with their own function and form, will be featured at regular intervals where meditators may make prayers and offerings. Traditional Tibetan prayer wheels will also be placed along the walking path.
How You Can Help
Be the light at the Kechara Forest Retreat. Here are some of the ways you can give to our cause. Contact Director Henry Ooi (email@example.com) or visit http://retreat.kechara.com/ for more information.
Kechara Forest Retreat
c/o Kechara House,
7, Jalan PJU 1/3G,
Sunwaymas Commercial Centre,
47301 Petaling Jaya,
Tel: +603 7803 3908