Unfathomable Ocean of Kindness -
In Commemoration of Ven. Lama Sonam Chokyi Gyaltsan, the Chinese Spiritual Representative of Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche

by Yeshe Thaye (David Chan Kin Keung)



An old Chinese saying mentions: "When one drinks water, one must bear in mind where the water comes from." In other words, one should not forget the kindness that has been bestowed upon oneself by others. In this worldly plane, people believe that it is one's own teacher who has trained us, solved our problems and helped us in many different ways. In order to glorify the importance and the dignity of the teachers, it was said, again in the Confucian tradition, that "once a teacher, a life-long father" in order to pay respect and to dignify the teacher and his way. Hence, it would be most unforgivable to have forgotten altogether who one's teacher is and where one's root and origin lie. This is particularly true with respect to the teacher who teaches one on the path of the "other-worldly" Buddhist doctrine. Thus, one pays homage to Lord Buddha Shakyamuni with the title "Lord" in order to signify that He was, indeed, the source and origin of the Buddhist teachings, and thus to pay due respects to Him.
Ven. Lama Sonam Chokyi Gyaltsan (Guru Lau Yui-che) had espoused and expounded the Vajrayana teachings into Chinese soil, thus helping countless Chinese people to receive its nectar. It is most worthy to describe the nature of his lineages, which have a long history of Dharma traditions of clean and pure origins. Guru Lau's kindness to me, his most humble and devoted disciple, has been boundless and immeasurable for which I cannot repay. A well-known Tiberan saying mentions, "One should explain the lineage and the history in order to cut doubt about the authenticity of the teaching and the transmission." Thus, in order to commemorate his kindness, I will try to relate my relationship with him, and the way Guru Lau faithfully established his Dharma lineages on Chinese soil. Finally, I sincerely and earnestly pray for the swift rebirth of Guru Lau so as to continue his bodhisattva wishes and deeds.

My Own School Upbringing

I was being educated in Catholic missionary schools, at both primary and secondary levels, quite early on in my years of learning. Throughout these years, my interests in spiritual belonging, in the mysteries of life and the universe had been most intense. By the lower secondary years, I started to read quite widely about western philosophies and religions, including the works of St. Augustine, St. benedict, St. Francis of Assisi, St. dominic, St. Thomas Acquinas, as well as those of Kant, Hegel, Marx, Spinoza, Leibniz, Schopenhauer, F. Nietzsche, B. Russell, J.Dewey, A. Einstein, L. Wittgenstein, J.P. Sartre's existentialism, Freudian psychoanalysis, and Jungnian analytical psychology. Thus, I had tried to investigate human life and its mysteries from diffrerent perspectives and at various levels of analysis.
While I was in Form 3 (or Grade 9), I happened to come accross a book called "New Seeds of Contemplation" by the Trappist monk Thomas Merton, which described his experiential discussions on Ch'an training with the Japanese Zen master D.T. Suzuki. In his later work, "The Asian Joural", Merton further talked about his spiritual experiences in his Asian field trips, and in particular his meetings with


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