Congressional Record: September 7, 2007
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov] [DOCID:cr07se07-43]
HON. TOM LANTOS of California
in the house of representatives Friday, September 7, 2007
MR. LANTOS. Madam Speaker, one of the fundamental principles on which this Nation was founded is freedom of religion and respect for the religious beliefs of others. Religious tolerance and the freedom of religion for individuals to believe what they choose is one of the underlying concepts essential to our democratic system of government. Madam Speaker, it is in that spirit that I want to pay tribute to Master Wan Ko Yee, who has been recognized by world-renowned Buddhist masters as Dorje Chang Buddha III, the true incarnation of the primordial Buddha of the Buddhist faith in accordance with the rules of recognizing the incarnation in Buddhism.Master Yee was born in Sichuan, China, and like many individuals over the last four centuries, has come to this land where there is greater opportunity and freedom to teach and practice his religion. As Master Yee said, “The American people are kind and noble. People can freely believe in religion in the United States, a country that is spiritually wealthy, powerful, and blessed.”I am pleased that he has found a new home in my own home state of California, where many Americans of diverse backgrounds have embraced principles of Buddhism, which include showing compassion toward others, benefiting others, being selfless, and striving for enlightenment and liberation.
Master Yee, who is recognized as His Holiness Wan Ko Yeshe Norbu, the Buddha Vajradhara Great Dharma King by the leaders of different sects of Buddhism in the world, has established a temple in San Francisco. Other similar places of worship for the benefit of believers have been established in other cities in California, New York, Washington, DC and abroad.Master Yee not only is a widely recognized and admired Buddhist thinker and teacher, Madam Speaker, but he also is an artist whose work has been widely acknowledged and exhibited. His work includes a number of very different styles and media, including traditional Chinese calligraphy, traditional Chinese painting, abstract painting, and a new style of art that is called Yun sculpture in which Master Yee has created beautiful colors and shapes. In recognition of his artistic work, he has been named a “Fellow” by the Royal Academy of Art in the United Kingdom. His works of art have been displayed in a number of exhibits, including two recently here in Washington, DC at the Organization of American States and in the Gold Room of the Rayburn House Office Building, which was sponsored by our friend and colleague, David Dreier of California. An exhibit of his Yun sculpture in San Francisco last year was widely attended, and his work has been exhibited in a number of other locations.
Madam Speaker, I invite my colleagues to join me in paying tribute to Master Wan Ko Yee, Dorje Chang Buddha III, a Buddhist leader of particular renown who has chosen to make his home here in the United States, and who is an outstanding artist, scholar, and religious thinker.