Dr. Hun Y. Lye, Founder and President of Urban Dharma NC, based in Asheville, has had the title and position of “Dorjé Lopön” (Vajra Master) bestowed upon him by His Holiness Drikung Kyabgön Chetsang Rinpoché, the leader of the Drikung Kagyü lineage of Tibetan Buddhism at Drikung Kagyü Institute in Dehradun, India on March 10, 2013.
This is the first instance the title of Dorjé Lopön has been given to a non-monastic teacher in the Drikung Kagyü in the West. While Dorjé Lopön is a title traditionally used by high-level monks who preside over vajrayāna ceremonies, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgön has bestowed this title on Dr. Lye in recognition of his extensive studies and years of practice of Buddhism and in particular, Drikung Kagyü. Furthermore, this title formalizes his responsibility for passing on Drikung Kagyü teachings and transmissions that he has properly received and practiced.
On March 17, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgön’s designated regent –His Eminence Thritsab Gyabra Rinpoché – enthroned Dr. Lye at a Drikung Kagyü center in Penang, Malaysia (Dr. Lye’s birthplace). This event was witnessed by a gathering of dozens of monastics of the Thai Theravada, Chinese Mahāyāna and Tibetan Vajrayāna traditions and hundreds of lay followers.
Dr. Lye’s Buddhist education took place both in Asia and the West, academic as well as religious. Having grown up in Malaysia and studied under Buddhist teachers of various traditions in and from Asia, Dr. Hun Lye also has a doctoral degree in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia. As such, Dr. Lye’s teaching style incorporates the best of both worlds – often offering a combination of a fresh, engaging and critical look at the material with an honest, heartfelt and personal approach.
Dr. Lye leads Urban Dharma NC, an innovative, growing Buddhist community in Asheville, NC. Urban Dharma is the first public Buddhist temple in western NC. All its programs are offered on a donation basis and it also runs an online Tibetan Buddhist supplies store (www.tibetanspirit.com). Urban Dharma offers weekly activities (secularly-oriented “Introduction to Meditation” class, classic vajrayāna deity-yoga practices and weekend service) and regular teachings and workshops by visiting teachers.
Please visit the Urban Dharma website, http://www.udharmanc.com, or the Urban Dharma Facebook page,http://urbandharmancpodcast.wordpress.com to learn more.