Ooi Beng Kooi
Director of Tsem Ladrang
Before meeting Rinpoche, life was good. I had a good job, great friends and no problems. I was a young Malaysian living it up in UK and travelling around Europe… the future was an open book.
I had always been interested in spirituality and Buddhism but never really had a reason to explore deeper until a friend invited me one day to a book club at Kechara House in 2007. Rinpoche was in attendance.
The book club discussion was about an unconventional Guru who was nothing like a normal “monk” and the “monk” sitting on the throne was definitely not conventional. He blew away my ideas of religious philosophy, Buddhism and spirituality. His words cut through the traditional presentation of ancient wisdom and cleared up many unanswered questions in my life.
Meeting Rinpoche then, at a crossroads in my life, left me with a choice between pursuing a lucrative career progression and seeking a spiritual career close to Rinpoche. With no guarantees of being accepted, no roadmap ahead and nothing to grasp onto, I gave in to my curiosity and took a step towards the unknown.
Working so closely with Rinpoche, both as a Director and as part of Tsem Ladrang is unlike any other “job”. Rinpoche uses skilful methods to challenge my projections and preconceptions of how things should be. It is all part of spiritual training, of course, and every day I am learning to be more flexible, resourceful and to transform my mind.
I have experienced, and learned so much from Rinpoche since I committed to Dharma that I will be forever grateful for the time I have serving my Lama. I have absolutely no regrets. This experience has enriched my life and has given me the opportunity to be of more benefit to others than any other environment ever could.
- Director of e-Division and Writers, Tsem Ladrang
- Personal Assistant to H.E. Tsem Rinpoche
- Board of Directors, Kechara Organisation
Having graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Imperial College in London, I returned to Malaysia in 2001 where I worked in the Research Division of Proton Cars developing new engines for mass production. In 2004, I returned to England to join a specialist team in Lotus Engineering, researching cutting-edge solutions for hybrid vehicles.
I was seriously contemplating moving to Austria when I met Rinpoche for the first time in March 2007. This was the turning point in my life and I returned to Malaysia to be closer to Rinpoche and Kechara, accepting another job offer as a consultant for alternative powertrains in Malaysia.
I started volunteering in Kechara in May 2007 and decided to commit to full-time Dharma work shortly after. I started working nights in the ladrang while continuing my day job, whose appeal was wearing thin. In late 2007, with Rinpoche’s blessings, I had the great honour to be invited to join the Board of Directors. Having successfully resolved some contractual issues at work, I left my samsaric job behind and joined the Ladrang full–time in January 2008.