A student of His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche for nearly two decades, Wan Wai Meng recently joined many of Rinpoche’s students in entering the Dharma full-time. Working in the e-Division, Wai Meng is in charge of correspondence and maintains the Tsem Rinpoche website. Here, Wai Meng reflects on his experiences thus far…
Over the years I have grown to enjoy participating in Dharma because you derive a happiness from it that is unlike the ordinary happiness of getting something you like or want. It’s a peaceful kind of happiness, blissful. At times when you are torn by deadlines from your samsaric work and Dharma, it’s quite difficult to choose. It’s like you have two legs and both are on different boats. Any progress, whether worldly or spiritual, is hard but I did find that applying dharma principles to worldly matters can yield much result also.
The first time I was offered a full-time position was when I met up with Liaisons Ooi Beng Kooi, JP Thong and Datuk May Phng. I don’t know them very well then. I did not agree right away; I had my reservations or, more to the point, my EGO had reservations. Will my EGO be able to take the training and do Dharma full time, without having any samsaric work to blame on if I fail? It took about nine months before I finally decided, “Let’s do it.” I suppose I wanted to see how genuine my motivations were after all these years – in Dharma, it is said that if you practise it, you will gain temporary and ultimate happiness. I still had fear about my EGO, but I decided to just go ahead with it…at least I would find out what kind of mettle I have! Hence I JUMPED IN.
It’s been three months since I joined the e-Division. Things are pretty fast-paced here in the Ladrang. His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche gave me advice on my second day here; it’s short advice but I want to keep to it as much as I can.
Initially, the work I was exposed to was different from what I used to do. Beng Kooi gave me time to adjust, although at times I just had to stay longer to meet certain deadlines. The blessings of working in Ladrang are tremendous; although I sometimes have to work longer hours, I have not fallen ill even once so far. Working outside is different – if I worked like this outside, I know I would fall ill for sure. I find that the people in the Ladrang really want to do well and excel in Dharma so the energy is pretty positive, and people know that it’s important to work hard and play hard.
I do have passion for the work as I find myself working longer at times. I enjoy doing the correspondence especially when I can give people a different perspective to what they are facing. Also fun is the ‘paper chase’ of meeting Kechara New News deadlines. When I first began, I was not familiar with building articles so to be honest, I found it quite a pain. I’ve since grown to love it very much; from my corporate days I have brought over my love for whatever I do, to take pride in it.
I’m a pretty quiet person and when I’m immersed in the work, time just flows. I have started my pet project, a Recycling Initiative which I hope will bring much benefit and connect many people to Kechara and Rinpoche. I still support the Education Committee as one of the coordinators of the Ipoh Study Group…in fact, my Recycling Initiative began first in Ipoh, before commencing in Kuala Lumpur during Kechara House’s Wesak Day Fair! Over in Ipoh, I also organised an Open Day event at the Study Group.
These days, I find there is a greater willingness to challenge myself more, as I do want to be successful in whatever I do. We can always grow until we become a Buddha, so there’s plenty of space for us to GROW into!