Master Tam



Master Tam is the founder of Vajrayana Buddhism Association. He studied under His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche and is one of his most important students (see here). The biography below is excerpted from Rigpa Sherdra, an online resource on Tibetan Buddhism.

For those who want to get a glimpse of the teaching, the video was produced for his 80th birthday exhibition. The video not only features him doing a Cantonese ink-wash genre, it also contains an excerpt of a lecture on the Buddha-Within and the Great Perfection. Whatever hasn’t made an appearance yet — Master Tam used the physics idea of “dark energy” as an analogy — the vitality of dharmakaya perpetually exists, wisdom and compassion perpetually exist. Like the paintings, they are a spontaneous outpour of mind, where this perpetual life force is also a manifestation of wisdom and compassion — we cannot preclude it from its manifestation.




Master Tam Shek-wing, dharma name Dorje Jigdral, was born in Guangdong, China in 1935. At childhood, he followed senior family members to practice Oriental Esoteric Buddhism. He was immensely interested in Buddhist texts ever since at the age of twelve while entering into the Western Sect of the Taoist practice(道家西派).

In the 60s, he started learning Tibetan Buddhism when he was converted in Taiwan under Master Chu Yung-kuang (屈映光上師), a disciple of Norlha Rinpoche(諾那上師) as well as Gangkar Rinpoche(貢嘎上師), and was bestowed with the teachings of the Riwoche system.Later, Master Chu suggested Master Tam to contact one of his disciples in Hong Kong – Master Lau Yui Chi(劉銳之上師). Subsequently, Master Tam joined The Hongkong Vajrayana Esoteric Society founded by Master Lau. From 1972 onwards however, Master Tam was practising the Nyingma teachings under the direct instruction of H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche in person,and was ordained Vajra Acarya of the Nyingma School at the age of 38 by H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche. He moved to Hawaii in 1986, and resides in Canada since 1993.

Under the immaculate guidance of H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche, Master Tam successively received transmitted instructions and is the lineage-holder of, among others, the following five principal Nyingma teachings:

rgyudgsangbasnyingpo (Tantra of the Secret Nucleus, Guhyagarbhatantra);

rDorsems thugs kyisgrub pa (Sheer Clear Light);

karglingzhikhrodgongs pa rang grol (Peaceful and Wrathful Deities, the Natural Liberation of Intention by Karma Lingpa);

rdorjephur pa(Vajrakila);

lcebtsunsnyingtig (The Heart Essence of Chetsun).

In 1984, Master Tam was ordered by H.H. Dudjom Rinpocheto spread the Dharma teachings in his designated mission regions, namely North America and Mainland China.

Master Tam is a leading exponent of the Buddhist Tathagatagarbha thought in writings and in talks. Applying the Nyingmapa insights, he strenuously defends for the Tathagatagarbha thought which was under the severe attack by various Han and Japanese Buddhist scholars who deem it as non-Buddhist.

In recent years, Master Tam initiated the organization of the Sino-Tibetan Buddhist Studies Association in North America, which was joined by more than twenty international scholars in the discipline. He is a professor at Renmin University of China where he gives video course lectures attended by graduate students from Beijing University, Tsinghua University, Capital University, and Beijing Nationality University. Most recently, he becomesa board member of the Academic Advisory Board, Faculty of Nationalist Studies of Tsinghua University.

Master Tam is an assiduous and prodigious writer, being the author, editor and translator of over 80 works in Buddhism. His other writings spread over Yijing, Chinese astrology, Feng Shui, fine arts, gastronomy and social critics. “Wong Ting Tze (王亭之)” is one of the most well known pen names of Master Tam for the above subjects.