227: In Time of Adversity

Ever since I sought refuge under His Eminent Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, I have been grateful for the numerous blessings he bestowed upon me. Right after I became a Buddhist disciple in 2001, both my father-in-law and my husband had a stroke and were hospitalized. I realized that it was the manifestation of karma. When I came to ask Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for help, he said, in a matter-of-fact tone, “Didn’t I tell you that your husband should come and learn the Buddha’s teachings? Go ask the others, and see if I have ever asked their spouse to come!”

Indeed, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did tell me to do that when I came for his advice a while ago. However, I didn’t have the faith and thoughtlessly answered, “He wouldn’t believe it.” Thus, I ruined the cause for the Bodhisattva’s rescue. Though it came to me as an afterthought, I eventually realized that we should act according to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teachings. Every word of his is spoken for the sake of ours.

When I came to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for his advice on my husband’s medical condition, he said, “Don’t worry. He is not dying.” “But I am worried that he would be paralyzed,” said I. “You have asked for it yourself. There are so many men out there in the world, and you decided to take him,” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche then said. What he said actually prepared me for the adversity in the following years. Both of us had affairs with someone else and had to deal with difficult situations in our marriage. Although I suffered terribly, I was grateful that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave advice on my problems during the weekly teachings and thus prevented me from making the wrong decision. Had it not been for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teaching, our marriage would have definitely ended in divorce.

On one occasion, another disciple spoke of the acts of Rinchen Dorjee  Rinpoche’s to relieve the pains of beings. It suddenly occurred to me that the adversity in our marriage in the past few years was merely a realization of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teaching. He once said, “If you have heavy karma of killing, you will live a short life with many sicknesses, and with a broken marriage.” I induced labor in 1999 and thus created real heavy karma of killing. I sincerely appreciate Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s blessings, upon which my husband and I leaned in order to survive the bumpy roads during that period of time. Thanks to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, my husband was recovered to health nonetheless.

In August 2003, my maternal grandfather was seriously ill and hospitalized in the intensive care unit. With great mercy, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche went to the hospital himself and gave blessings to Grandpa. Later on, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told us six unspoken worries on Grandpa’s mind, including his wishes to see a son abroad and to help his elder sister in mainland China. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also mentioned that Grandpa had heavy karma of killing. However, the cause for him to receive blessings was a virtuous deed done during his military service. He had once released seven people then. I returned to the ward and told Grandpa what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had said. Upon hearing the cause of the given blessings, he burst into tears, crying like a baby. From his gratitude we realized that he must be real concerned about the matter from the bottom of his heart. Miraculously, Granpa’s medical condition suddenly improved the next day. He was then transferred back to a standard ward and had much less suffering.

However, due to my selfishness and doubts about Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teachings, I didn’t let my family know about the help I received through Buddha’s teachings. Neither did I pay attention in peacetime to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teachings on the matter of life and death and things that need to be taken notice of after one’s death. Therefore, Grandpa couldn’t receive the sublime “Phowa” when he passed away. The next day I went to see Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, and he said the following to me:

  1. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had waited for two hours last night, but there was chaos. It was because that I neither spoke of the arrangement nor reached an agreement among my family members before Grandpa died. Hence, they didn’t have the faith and the cause wasn’t sufficient.
  2. Grandpa’s death was a sudden one because I didn’t ask Achi, the Dharma Protector, for help in peacetime.
  3. I didn’t change my improper behaviors. I wasn’t able to benefit the beings because my family and foes couldn’t feel my care for them. Many small details showed the fact that I was still selfish. I should think for others at work and let go of my selfish motives.
  4. Nothing “should” occur. Everything follows the rule of cause and effect.

In the “Chod” puja held right after Grandpa’s death, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche mentioned in particular the reason why an unconverted believer got “Phowa,” while a disciple’s family member couldn’t. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said that the lack of respect and faith made the difference. Nevertheless, I didn’t kick my bad habits and ignored what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had said. What’s more, I even went to see Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and asked him whether Grandpa came to the “Chod” puja the night before. The next day, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche scolded me right in front of everyone. He pointed out my biggest problems: lack of faith and even have doubts about a Vajramaster. Hence I was forbidden to attend teachings in the Buddhist center and had to reflect on my faults.

During that period of time, I could only listen to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s former teachings on tape. I realized that, for the past two years, I had been wasting my time worshiping and asking for Buddha’s blessings. I didn’t have the heart to quit my bad habits. I appreciate Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s sharp advice for me to wake up from error. He pointed out my problems directly and enabled me to re-examine myself so as to bring me back to the correct path to Buddhism.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche not only gives us opportunities to improve ourselves, but also blesses and looks after our families with mercy at all times. His businesses aim to provide top quality services to the beings as well. Ever since my maternal grandmother visited Japan on a tour organized by Sino Tour, a sect of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s business group, she has been mentioning the great fun she had to everyone. How important it is to make your senior family member happy!

It is hard to obtain the form of a human body, to receive Buddha’s teachings and to meet one’s lama. As I now have this perfect human body and the fortune of meeting a rare great practitioner, His Eminent Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, the only thing I, a disciple, can do is to show my gratitude by prostrations, to learn and study Buddha’s teachings, and to put what I have been taught in practice, at every moment.

Written with utmost sincerity by Dong Xiaolei, a disciple of Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center

Updated on February 2, 2009