King of Dhamma

a short story

King of Dhamma

Author: Huei Lin

Release Date: July 28, 2020

Pages: 24

Imprint: RCN Shorts

Partway through a silent meditation retreat, one attendee has a puzzling encounter with a dead man which shatters the monotony of his daily routine. When an old TV turns itself on one night and the dead man appears on the screen, a young writer’s reality starts to bend in startling new directions. His new companion preaches unorthodox wisdom that blurs the line between earthly pleasures and spiritual awakening— delivering a series of lectures that baffle and titillate with their straightforward love of sin. The young protégé becomes obsessed with this phantom, staking out the TV room at the end of each day in order to catch a glimpse of the elusive guru behind the screen. Their conversations are by turns playful and irreverent— and always thought-provoking. In the end, nothing is what it appears to be.

Praise For King of Dhamma

“As a 'writer' it was eye-opening and thought-provoking to read this short story about the tags we are given because of what we do or don't do. A thoroughly enjoyable, well-written short story.” - Joan Donaldson-Yarmey, Best Selling Author

"Huei's story is a hilarious deep-dive into the shadow side of asceticism that addresses the age-old philosophical question: Is it better to deny the sensual world in hopes of reaching a higher state of consciousness or to indulge one's desires and live a life of serial pleasures? Crisply narrated by an angst-ridden writer on his first silent meditation retreat, "King of Dhamma" tickles the funny bone while teasing the mind, proving that Huei Lin is a writer well worth reading." - Derek Hanebury, Best Selling Co-Author of Both Sides Now

"Bit of wry and sparkling writing from Huei Lin, this morsel of a short story captivates in the tradition of William Sydney Porter. Lin’s lotus-eating protagonist bumps up against a sacred cow, somehow coming out ahead in a semi-successful search for enlightenment. We should all be so disenchanted. More to come from this promising writer, we think."

- Jacqueline Carmichael, author of Tweets from the Trenches


“King of Dhamma is a unique and humorous story of one man's journey of self-discovery helped along by a highly respected leader. But does this character even exist? He is about to find out. Engaging!” – Laura Sturgeon, Author of The Big Ugly Sweater

“Along comes the venerable guru S. N. Goenka, eyeing you from through a VHS tape to an alley cat in N.Y.C., pulling the rug out right from under. Author Huei Lin shines a humorous light on the parallel between a writer’s struggle with creativity and spiritual peace. The ‘eat meat don’t eat meat’ school of enlightenment at its best.” – Libbie Morin, Best Selling Co-Author of Both Sides Now

Enter the world of an angst-ridden would-be writer seeking inspiration and enlightenment during a supposedly peaceful meditation retreat. Is it real or not when he finds himself conversing via TV with a self-indulgent, irreverent and hilarious, albeit deceased guru in the middle of the night? Why is there such yin and yang between the daytime teachings of self denial and the night time bawdy conversations? Will the would-be writer complete his novel as a result of this retreat? This is a thought-provoking poke at our modern world with its thin-skinned veneer. Will we remember valuable lessons or will we continue to blind ourselves to our realities? The ending packs a punch. Huei Lin's short story is a brilliant contemporary romp into questions of balance. – Gail Morton, Author of Two Weeks With Charlie

A young author attends a retreat, hoping meditation will help him find the inspiration to finish his book. Instead he finds something unexpected and at odds with the daily teachings. Written with humour, the author balances the pursuit of spiritual wisdom with a Jewish-grandmotherly type of advice on daily living. Self-deprecating fun with a spiritual twist. – Vicki Drybrough, Best Selling Co-Author of Both Sides Now

This story has an interesting twist and touch of dark humor. Certainly, thought provoking and borderline radical… The premise and context of twisting the usual to the unusual was a very good touch that made me keep on reading the story. The ending that tied in the fore mentioned reference to the reincarnated state of S.N. Goenka was very clever… Clever, thought provoking and interesting.” - Don Tecson, Host of the Wave

“When you’re feeling down or feeling blue, this is a great short read to help pick yourself up. Because no matter what happens in our lives there is love, laughter and light. We might not always remember what made us happy, but the feeling is always there.” – Crystal



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Huei Lin is a writer, musician, and photographer from New York City. His professional work in the film industry paired with formal training as a classical musician has led him to pursue various forms of media including screenwriting, directing, and composing. In 2016, Huei was an artist-in-residence at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity where his collaboration with the Indigenous Leadership Conference and Music as Theatre department produced an acclaimed short film, “Black Earth,” which he shot and directed. From 2017 to 2019, he held a position at Canadian documentary studio EyeSteelFilm as a post-production assistant and editor. Since 2011 he has lived and worked primarily in Montreal, Quebec. His body of writing is composed of short fiction and narrative nonfiction. Recurring themes in his work include impermanence, modern life, and belonging. In 2019, two of his short stories were selected as semifinalists and finalists in the The William Faulkner Literary Contest and the Ghost Story Supernatural Fiction Award Competition, while other works of short fiction have been published by RCN Media. A screenwriting collaboration with UK and Hong Kong-based film director Luke Casey of Ocean Pine Studios is currently in pre- production. Huei is completing his debut novel.