his own health.
This has, indeed, been very influential to my own spiritual upbringing.
With Guru Lau's
influence, I decided to become a Buddhist practitioner. On December
9, 1969, I received the Vase Initiation of four-armed Chenresig, and
also the three vows of Pratimoksa (personal liberation), Bodhisattva
(universal liberation), and Vajrayana (tantra) from Guru Lau, who instructed
me to diligently practice the Ngondro, Guru Yoga, and later the Three
Roots Sadhanas of Maha-yoga every day. We also do the Sojong, during
the dark and full moons of each month, for which Guru Lau himself had
complied a book with a preface of Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche (please refer
to p.33). I was then 16 years old.
Later that year my father passed away due to chronic kidney disease.
It was very upsetting to me and it struck a heavy blow upon my view
of life. This was the first real lesson that I learnt from the Dharma
experientially, and not just analytically, realizing that life is impermanent,
short and full of sufferings. Furthermore, as what the sutras have always
warned us: "Human life is hard to get and we have now got it, the Holy
Dharma is hard to hear of and we have now heard of it. If we do not
uplift this human body in this lifetime, then in what lifetimes can
we be able to uplift this body of ours?" With this, a serious thought
of deep renunciation from the world aroused in my heart.
After my father's funeral, I took courage and went to Guru Lau to ask
his permission to become a monk, so that I could renounce the mundane
world in order to practice the Dharma, and to help him in the spread
of Dharma for all sentient beings. Whereupon, Guru Lau instructed me
in a very stern voice, saying: "To become a monk is a big deal and is
the work of a great human being. So, in the old days, one must first
seek permission form one's parents, and then try to let go of everything
and leave them behind one's back, never to return. Otherwise, one should
not do this without serious consideration. Moreover, now is the Degenerate
Time, and a lot of people want to become monks just to earn a living.
You do not even have the ability to feed yourself, neither have you
finished your learning process, then how can you help me to spread the
Dharma? If you really have strong will and courage, you should go for
a Ph.D. and then come back to me, so as to show that you indeed have
unfailing faith and willpower to help me in propagating the Dharma.
If you do not have the knowledge, then it is very easy to turn back
and be discouraged and disenchanted. Never again should you talk about
trying to become a monk in future!"
Guru Lau further instructed me that genuine renunciation has nothing
to do with either a monk or a layman. It should be implanted in one's
heart, and that as long as one genuinely practices the Dharma, the path
of liberation and enlightenment is guaranteed. This piece of advice
- meaningful and heartfelt, full of wisdom and clarity - has shown me
the way like a lighthouse in the ocean of darkness and suffering. Since
then, I have vowed to study diligently in order to benefit both myself
and others, and not to disappoint Guru Lau. His most compassionate face
and voice at that time still lingers on in the depaths of my hearts.....
Thinking of the past and the present, not daring to look back at the
past memories, I am filled with an unbearable grief and sorrow, now
that he is no longer with me physically, even though I know he is always
with me spiritually!
Further Steps Towards the Path: Study & Practice
It was on July 5,
1970 that I received the Secret Initiation of Vajrayogini, the "Eight
Great Sins of Vajrayana", together with the "Samayas of the Five Buddha
Families", from Guru Lau who encouraged and instructed me to further
practice the more advanced teachings of Anu-yoga. In giving instructions
on the sadhana practice of the Vajrayogini, Guru Lau specifically gave
me the Mang-nga in the practice of Dummo. after a period of practice,
with a strict assessment from Guru Lau, he then gave me further instructions
on the practices of Tsa, Lung and Thigle. Again, after practicing the
Mang-nga of Dummo for quite sometime, together with a further assessment,
Guru Lau felt that the time has ripened to teach the Six Yogas.
Guru Lau mentioned that in the sarma tradition, these Six Yogas are
of equal importance; yet, in our Nyingma tradition, the Dummo practice
is the root and main practice of Tsa, Lung and Thigle, while the other
five yogas (including Illusory Body Yoga, Dream Yoga, Clear Light Yoga,