Gem of Wisdom for Daily Reflection: 

Gratitude from a student applying the Teaching

Samten Senge

Samten Senge, one of Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche’s students from Sydney, Australia, emailed in December 2018 to inform Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche of a promotion at work and of being the recipient of an award: ‘Simply the Best’, at the New South Wales Government award ceremony. He wishes to express his utmost gratitude to Rinpoche, seeing that this was a direct result of putting the teaching into practice, and the blessings of his Guru.

Samten was also interviewed by his department media unit, and his video response was played at a company event to all the executives and the Secretary that represents the Minister. The message he gave so inspired people that it was then reflected in the Secretary’s Christmas message to all the Departmental staff. Such recognition by the top leadership is rare and people from all sectors extended their congratulations & support. Samten explained that all he did was to follow the guidance and teachings and extend his support to all, as Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche has demonstrated.

Samten's 'Simply The Best' award, 2018

Samten concluded in his email: "this recognition is a testament of the teachings given by you Rinpoche. Whenever I apply your teachings, which are not separated from the teachings of the Buddha, the result is astounding. Rinpoche, I thank you for your teachings and guidance and felt incredibly blessed that you have allowed me to take refuge and accept me and my wife as your son & daughter.

Because of your teachings and guidance, I now can fulfil my promise to my parents, to uphold and honour my father’s reputation and not bring disrepute or tarnish my ancestral surname. Rinpoche I wished to dedicate the recognition and merit to all sentient beings and may my wife and I have the merit to be your son and daughter until we attain enlightenment."


Samten Senge, has a long history of back pain that goes back to 1975-1979 during the period known as Killing Field in Cambodia. He was the sole survivor of his family and was forced to work in labour camp under conditions of cruelty and starvation. The malnourishment he suffered had affected his proper physical development as a youngster. In 1983 he was hit by a car shortly after arriving in Australia which caused more complication to his back. In 1996 his spine was further compressed while he was lifting a heavy load. But the serious situation started in 2007, when he went to Cambodia having heard his sister may possibly be still alive. He had to travel on long journeys on rough terrain in his search. Upon returning from the trip, his spine had became inflamed and that compressed the nerve causing severe pains and numbness to the leg, making him unable to walk. The situation then briefly improved but a relapse occurred in 2008 during a back stressing exercise after which he lost all sense of feeling to both his legs and his lower body. He knew that the only person that could help him was Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche and he called Rinpoche immediately. He was instructed to lie still and focus on Rinpoche. Samten was able to walk slowly after 2 days. His back started to get better and was in good shape until he made the same error of working with heavy load which caused his back pain to relapse in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2018. The pain became so severe each time that he could not move and had to crawl around. Each time Rinpoche helped him to recover so that he could move freely and pain free.

Samten torma-making at the Pathgate Dharma Centre, England

Due to the recurrence of Samten’s back problem, his doctor in Australia had arranged a spine operation for him. He was admitted to the Liverpool Hospital on the 27 February 2019. When he was about to be administered with general anaesthetic and operated on, another specialist doctor checked his medical report and recommended not to proceed with the surgery. He said that the operation included burning some nerves to stop the pain and once it is done it cannot be undone. After a few questions and answers he said to Samten: “keep doing whatever it is you are doing because it is working.” He then consulted with the main specialist and they decided to cancel the surgery.

The nursing staff were so happy for Samten and described it as a miracle. Samten believes this miracle is a direct result of the blessing of the Guru, for which he is eternally grateful and in awe of the miraculous power of the Triple Gems; as he had requested Rinpoche to keep him in mind on the day of the surgery.