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From May to July, His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche appointed Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to perform a 3-month retreat together, on the holy mountain of Lapchi where Milarepa meditated more than 1000 years ago. On perfection of the retreat, His Holiness especially endowed Rinpoche a new ordained name “Rinchen Dorjee” which means “Most precious treasure Vajra”, The name indicates utmost honor from His Holiness’ endowment. “Rinchen” means the jewel on the crown; “Dorjee” means Vajra (diamond-like), an immutability that is practically eternal. Thus “Rinchen Dorjee” signifies that Rinpoche will fulfill all dharma activities like an immutable vajra, perfectly liberate all sentient beings to the glorious Buddha land. Practice of Yidam this retreat is Hevajra, Sadhana of Lord Marpa Lotsawa, which has not been taught and practiced for more than tow hundred years in lineage. His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche has taken around three to four years to search, collect and organize data related, then taught Rinpoche the essentials. Also, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is the first one in lineage who perfected the practice of Hevajra in retreat accompanying His Holiness.

The mountains where this retreat was performed were over 4500 meters above sea level and have to be reached by a helicopter. It is remote, without any electricity or water supply system, and extremely cold even in summer, frequently snows and hails, even the mist in the ground were frozen. During the period of retreat, it is prohibited to get out of the retreat room, to talk, to see the others, to wash face, or to shave. It is only possible for those who have little desire or even have no desire, not an ordinary rinpoche could complete retreat in this kind of rigorous and difficult situation. With great selfless compassion and vow, as in any other retreat, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche resolutes to practice constantly and diligently in the three months as if he would die in the room. Everyday Rinpoche practiced ceaselessly from 4 am till 10 pm. Rinpoche recalled that there were birds singing every retreat morning during his retreat period. They seemed to wake Rinpoche up for they were no longer heard afthe completing the retreat. The lama who attended His Holiness praised Rinpoche for his perfection of retreat, which as well evidenced what Most Venerable Drubwang Norbu Rinpoche ever said “Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is a rare and highly-potential talent.” Rinpoche perfected Tummo as well during this retreat. In the meanwhile, the Rinpoche’s S-shaped Scoliosis was nearly straightened.

During the process of retreat, Rinpoche ailed with fast heart rate at one time, 100 beats per minute, and breathed so hard that he suddenly woke up. In that moment, Rinpoche did not care about whether his life was safe or in danger, but pray to Dharma protectors and the deity “If my body will not be helpful for sentient beings, or not able to benefit sentient beings anymore, please take me away (from the world); If it is still helpful for sentient being and able to benefit the sentient beings, please let me stay here.” Speaking forbidden in retreat, Rinpoche did not ask for help from the outside people or conduct any Buddhism method for himself, but continued the retreat and then came through unscathed. It is hard to describe in words the blessing from Buddhas and Bodhisattvas on Rinpoche’s vows of benefiting all sentient beings and natural beings. His Holiness’s attendant lama related as told by His Holiness “Since Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has been benefiting too many sentient beings, it is necessary for Rinpoche to conduct this retreat; otherwise, Rinpoche might have lost his life already in June or July 2007.” Rinpoche had once perceived in meditation the six realms of existence suffering in samsara, which made Rinpoche weep loudly from sorrow almost for one hour and could not stop himself. The sufferings beyond description is just as mentioned by His Holiness in the Pig Year Teaching “Milareba had ever said: it is too painful to think about the suffering of samsara of six realms, let alone to perceive it” Rinpoche reported the situation to His Holiness after completion of retreat, and His Holiness commented ” Rinpoche has realized the meaning of Emptiness.”

After the perfection of the retreat, His Holiness led Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to conducte fire puja (Homa) lasting for three days. After the fire puja(Homa)completed, Rinpoche did prostration towards His Holiness on the muddy ground with gratitude for the teachings by His Holiness, and, as retreat each time, offered the merits and virtue by retreating to His Holiness. His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Chungtsang Rinpoche had prepared to arrange the matters concerned with this retreat before 4 years ago, including building a retreat room besides His Holiness‘s for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, and preparation for the food and drink, etc. What made this retreat even more extraordinary was that this time His Holiness and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche performed retreat together at the same time in the rooms neighbored with each other, under the instruction of His Holiness, practicing the same method, attended by the same attending lama, and having the same food. All these arrangements illustrated how His Holiness values and cares for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, and the positive affirmation on the great merits, the power of accomplishing a vow, and the accomplishment of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. It also revealed the close relationship between them. Just as what His Holiness said in India, Aug.2008 “It is believed that the practices of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche can benefit myriad sentient beings, I feel we will be together forever in the avenue of Dharma benefiting myriad sentient beings.”  (Click here for related news report on Drikung Kagyu Official Website) (Click here for photos)

Updated on August 15, 2007