26 February 2014,
Refresh and rejuvenate with a quick escape back to nature at Kechara Forest Retreat
Many of us grew up in the jungle, albeit a concrete jungle but we still have a longing to be close to Mother Nature. Nestled in the deep mountains of Chamang, Bentong, just over an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur, the Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR) is an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city; where anyone can take a break from their hectic lives to rest, relax and recharge at this beautiful holistic centre.
Green and tranquil, the retreat is surrounded by hilly and mountainous terrains and there is even a natural water source. Modern conveniences including a hospital, police station, stores, restaurants as well as the famous Chamang waterfalls are located less than 10 minutes away from the retreat.
The Kechara Forest Retreat was conceptualised by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche as the heart of the Kechara organisation. A holistic retreat centre focused on the total wellness of body, mind and spirit through spiritual retreats, learning and conscious living within a natural forest enclave, KFR aims to create conscious communities through a sustainable spiritual lifestyle.
In order for all dreams to be sustainable long-term, KFR intends to become self-sustaining via various income-generating activities. In line with its holistic mission, KFR will establish an organic farm to educate people on the health and environmental benefits of organic foods. The benefits of this farm is three-fold – to provide knowledge of healthy eating, to provide an opportunity for volunteers to participate in cultivating the produce and finally, to offer the organic produce on sale to the public.
According to H.E. Tsem Rinpoche, “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. “
Spanning over 35 acres, the retreat consists of a Shakyamuni World Peace Hall which can seat up to 3000 people, Butterlamp houses where the public can make light offerings to the Buddhas, forest walks where people can have exercise and enjoy nature as well as dormitories and retreat houses such as the Dukkar Apartments.
Out of the 32 containers which make up the Dukkar Apartments, 22 are allocated for full-time staff and members, 8 are for Sangha (monks or nuns) and special guests while the remaining two are for storage. Stacked in double-storey configurations, the communal areas enjoy the benefit of a double ceiling height. Cement walls and floors give the space an industrial raw finish which In 2014, KFR has exciting programs which are open to the public in the areas of self development, arts and living, wellness, conscious living and spirituality. Plans for KFR phase 2 and 3 Kechara Village which will include cabins for students/practitioners, offices, a meditation hall and classrooms.