Dharma has helped me to find inner happiness… because I am happy, I hope that everyone is happy; I will continue this work to share the beauty of Dharma with others.
Kok Yek Yee, 36
Liaison to H.E. Tsem Rinpoche
Senior Editor, Kechara Media & Publications
Chinese Manjushri Class Coordinator, Kechara Education
Committee Head, Chinese Committee
Kok Yek Yee’s quiet and unassuming appearance belies a steely determination to see things through and achieve results. With a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Psychology and a Diploma in Journalism, Yek Yee began her career as a journalist for various Chinese-language dailies. Since joining Kechara Media & Publications as a Senior Editor, Yek Yee has been awarded The Best Health Related Article 2007 by the Malaysian government.
How were you introduced to Kechara? Was it through one of your journalistic connections?
A Kechara member told me about her teacher, H.E. Tsem Rinpoche. It was the first time I had heard of a ‘Rinpoche’, and news of a monk who modelled, and wore designer clothes and CK sunglasses during teachings really awoke my journalist instinct.
Why did you decide to help to translate the Journey to Gaden DVD? What was it that attracted you to stay at Kechara, and how did you feel about coming into Dharma?
I had the privilege to interview Rinpoche for eight hours and every question I asked was logically answered. After the interview, I felt like I had read several books – I left beaming with satisfaction, having realised that there is such a person in this world who lives only to benefit all sentient beings, never asking for anything in return. I did not expect that as a result of that visit, I would begin to get closer to Buddhism.
Why did you join Dharma work? Has Dharma changed or helped you?
I joined Dharma work because Dharma allows me to see the most vulnerable part of myself. Dharma helps me to get up when I fall; it reinforces my confidence and determination. Dharma has helped me to find inner happiness so I joined Dharma because I am eager to share that inner happiness with others. To put it simply, because I am happy, I hope that everyone is happy; I will continue this work to share the beauty of Dharma with others.
Did you have any doubts when you first started in Dharma and later when you joined Dharma work full-time? Can you please tell us about them?
When I first started in Dharma, it felt as if I was back in primary school, and everything had to be re-learnt and re-understood. Initially, I felt a bit out of place due to my limited Dharma knowledge and English not being my first language. I would wonder if I made the right choice. However, as I learnt more, and I trained internally and externally, I realised I was quite foolish to have any doubts. Now I feel like a new person – I feel like someone who is more grounded and happy.
How do you see spirituality in moving you forward towards achieving your aspirations?
My aspiration has always been to work with words (writing). When I joined Kechara as an editor, my childhood dream came true because I now have the opportunity to plan book production, write books and translate.