Event Calendar of The His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche

September 1, 2009

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened believers with Buddhism and helped them to relieve all kinds of suffering in the world at Glorious Jewel Jewellery Company.

September 2, 2009

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened believers with Buddhism and helped them to relieve all kinds of suffering in the world at Glorious Jewel Jewellery Company.

September 5, 2009

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened believers with Buddhism and helped them to relieve all kinds of suffering in the world at Glorious Jewel Jewellery Company.

September 6, 2009

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche presided over an auspicious regular puja at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center in Taipei, enlightening the attendees on important concepts about tantra of Tibetan Buddhism. Many Buddhist historians as well as Exoteric Buddhists claim that tantric practices do not exist and consider that tantric practices are not part of Lord Buddha’s teachings. They have such a thinking because they don’t have very clear understanding of the Buddhist Dharma. In fact, there are always marks of tantric teachings in many Buddhist Sutras, among which Avatamsaka Sutra is more evident.

When Bodhisattva Nāgārjuna, entering into a deep state of concentration, visited a naga palace on the seabed, the Naga king took Bodhisattva Nāgārjuna to open an iron tower in the palace and first saw Vajrasattva upon looking into the tower. Dharma regarding Vajrasattva is not practiced in China, whereas statues of Vajrasattva can be found in Japan. It was Vajrasattva that gave Bodhisattva Nāgārjuna the Avatamsaka Sutra, whose text has three versions: one for the heavenly beings, one for the human beings, and another one for the nagas. Dharma texts found in such a process are called terma in Tibetan Esoteric Buddhism. Padmasambhava knew that a Tibetan king would destroy Buddhism in the future, so he hid a lot of Dharma texts in the sky, caves, and naga palace. When conditions meet in the future, yogic practitioners known as tertons, treasure finders, will then reveal the texts and transmit the teachings to people in the world. The process of searching for such texts is similar to that of Bodhisattva Nāgārjuna’s receiving the Avatamsaka Sutra. Such terma texts were not orally transmitted by Buddha Sakyamuni, nor did they appear out of the blue. The endorsement of authenticity of such texts has to be carried out by a guru to confirm whether they comply with the teachings of Buddha Sakyamuni. The last terton in the Drikung Kagyu Lineage was the guru of Yunga Rinpoche in Qinghai, a lay yogi. Yunga Rinpoche was one of the gurus of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. The blessing power of terma texts is exceptionally great.

The Avatamsaka Sutra states a lot about the universe, such as the earth being blue if seen from the outer space. There were no space shuttles in the past. How could such a view, now available with modern sciences, be known in advance? The Avatamsaka Sutra says that this universe is composed of many worlds, in each of which there are many planets of different sizes. The svástika symbol in Buddhism actually is the symbol of Galaxy rotation curves. Therefore, what Buddhist dharma depicts is the truth in the universe, which is not invented by Buddha, but is observed by Buddha. The earth we live on is located in one of the galaxies, and there is a Buddha residing in each galaxy. With ten thousand million Buddha-realms, the universe is limitless and endless, just as the scientists say that the universe has been expanding. The Avatamsaka Sutra stresses the practice methods for the ordained people. The Avatamsaka World is the Dharma realm of the ten directions in the universe.

The 53 visits of Sudhana is the most classic account in the Avatamsaka Sutra. Sudhana, who had seen his true nature and attained a certain level of enlightenment, was still incapable of liberating himself from the cycle of birth and death even after attaining the Bodhisattva bhumi. Hence he visited and studied Buddhism with 53 famous masters. As to the number of visits, 53 in total, it is something about tantra. The many great practitioners he met in the 53 visits taught by means of tantric practices, which employed great greed, great hatred, and great ignorance as means of practice, were not designated for ordinary people but for those who have at least seen their true nature. People often consider illuminating one’s mind and seeing one’s true nature are the same, but they aren’t. To see one’s true nature is to get to know one’s own real nature and Buddha nature. Only when understanding the Buddha nature one will know what the heart is all about. To achieve the attainment of seeing their true nature is so easy that many people can do it, but illuminate the mind is much more difficult.

Another reason why people often have misunderstandings about tantric practices lies in the fact they see many yidams in very wrathful forms. Thereby, they say that yidams in Esoteric Buddhism do not speak of Buddhist teachings and manifest a wrathful form because their hearts are filled with wrath instead of compassion. In fact, a wrathful form is manifested in order to liberate those stubborn sentient beings, who will first feel scared and thereby obey the instructions. Just as the parents who teach their child with kind and pleasant countenance in the beginning, they will have to teach by means of hitting and scolding if the child doesn’t listen to them at all. The Lord of hungry ghosts seen in the Water and Earth Ceremony has an ugly form which resembles that of a ghost is actually a manifestation of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara to liberate the ghosts. The meaning of adaptation oneself to others in the Four All-embracing Virtues refers to the manifestation of same form as that of others so as to liberate them. In order to liberate the human beings, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas would manifest in human forms. Additionally, the wrathful form is also a help for one to subdue the demons aroused in the mind.

Those having being scolded by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche have the experience of feeling of their brains’ going blank. It is the Guru’s power that let one’s brain go blank without generating any thoughts. At the instant of mind’s going blank, one would then be able to heed the Guru’s Buddhist teachings, which will enter into his eighth consciousness and thus the virtuous seeds are sowed there. It is not as someone considers that one who recites mantras and sets up a tantric mandala is a tantric guru. The Drikung Kagyu Lineage is very strict on it and His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche would not let a person be a guru or recognize him as a reincarnated Rinpoche simply because he has offered a lot of money. Only two kinds of persons can enthrone the Dharma seat and bestow the Buddhist teachings: one is a Khenpo, who has studied in an Exoteric Buddhist college for over ten years, has conducted a retreat lasting three years, three months and three days, and knows all the teachings and rituals well. The other has to be a recognized guru. Recognition is not valid with a mere letter, and enthronement is a must process. For example, the enthronement for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was carried out in a puja presided over by His Holiness in the presence of many important Rinpoches in the Lineage as well as the lamas of the monastery. The Dharma garment and ceremonial hat were bestowed by His Holiness, symbolizing that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has received the lineage of Drikung Kagyu. If it is done by means of a letter, sometimes it’s the political factors that are involved.

Do not consider being a Rinpoche is an easy task because he will actually have to help others with a lot of matters. It is very dangerous for one to give Dharma talks without receiving the tradition of a lineage, and he can easily distort Buddhism. To distort Buddhism is to change the Buddhist teachings into mundane laws, or to butter up the disciples in order to gain fame and wealth.

In addition, someone says that a tantric yidam whose form is manifested with a male and female hugging each other conveys the idea of sexual intercourse, not Buddhist teachings. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened the attendees that Buddha Sakyamuni, being a Nepalese, spoke Nepalese. As there were various dialects and written languages in India, Buddha Sakyamuni traveled around to give Dharma talks and, due to lack of a common language, had to make use of many symbols and signs to bestow the teachings. A male and female together represent different meanings in Buddhism with the female symbolizing compassion and the male activities. One who practices Buddhism has to employ both compassion and emptiness, which means that compassion and activities are to be implemented together. One who merely has compassion without the powers will be still unable to benefit others.

Now the official languages in northern India and southern India are still different, while the language of China is unified. This is also the reason why the latter became powerful and prosperous earlier than the former. Last year, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was invited to a Sikh area in India to hold a puja. The next day after the puja, five local newspapers reported this event in 5 different languages. The ancient India had different vernacular languages in different regions. In the circumstances of having language barrier, Buddha Sakyamuni traveled to many places and taught the sentient beings through Buddha’s forming mudra and signals. Each mudra is the signal of one Buddha for sentient beings to recognize which the Buddha is.

Everyone, no matter returning to this world according to his karma or on the wings of his vows, is born through his parents’ copulating. As a human being, one could therefore have the opportunity of learning and cultivating Buddhist teachings. At the moment of going to reincarnate, one will be reborn a female if one develops a good feeling for father; otherwise, one will reborn a male if one develops a good feeling for mother. There could be tantric practice in it. Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and us are all born as a human being through parents’ sexual intercourse. When one’s consciousness enters into the fetus, one will obtain a female body if one likes the father and obtain a male body if one likes the mother, which could not be explained by an Exoteric Buddhism master. Of course being a male is more convenient to propagate Buddhist Dharma and benefit the sentient beings. A practitioner who returns to this world on the wings of his vows is able to decide what sex he/she will be when being reincarnated. If the Yidam one practiced with is male, one would see the father as his Yidam. If the Yidam that one practiced with is female, one would see the mother as her Yidam. By that, one will be born with the sex as one’s wish without any other influence. This is a tantric practice.

His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche knows everything about Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Once, right after Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche came back to Taiwan from Japan, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche got a phone call from His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche saying: “You just come back?” It was not possible for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s disciples to tell His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche about Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s traveling to Japan, but His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche already knew it. His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche also know that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche might die in June 2007; Therefore, His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche made a lot of arrangements and asked Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to conduct the retreat without telling Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche any reason so as to see if Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche could pass through the difficulty by himself. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also knows what may happen to disciples. Instead of letting on to disciples, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche helps them by scolding and challenging them. Scolding could eliminate one’s karma. However, it will not take any effect even by scolding if the scolded does not make repentance. When you are scolded by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, you completely have no thought and just at that moment your inherent pure nature is recovered. When one’s heart becomes clean and purified without greediness, hatred, and ignorance, one’s karmic creditors’ hearts also become clean and purified. The scolding from a Guru is the antidote against your greediness, hatred, and ignorance accumulated from past lives. All your karmic creditors also have no thought at that time, as well as their heart that ever wanted to harm you also cease. This kind of approach could be taken only by an accomplished Guru. However, you should not scold other people this way. Since you do not have the ability to make people’s heart concentrated and calm, your scolding will not take any effect.

In a sitting posture, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had ever kicked a disciple who made some mistakes. This disciple still keeps making mistakes now and is punished. When His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche watched the VCD that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche taught the disciples by scolding, hitting, and kicking, His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche happily laughed. In 2006, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche led 500 disciples to Dehra Dun, India for His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche’s 60th birthday celebration. During the puja, in the face of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche told Garchen Rinpoche in Chinese that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche taught the disciples with scolding and hitting. His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche commented that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche being strict was right. His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche especially spoke in Chinese to Garchen Rinpoche for making a show to you. This kind of teaching approach is especially for greediness, hatred and ignorance. The more one is scared, the more he needs being scolded. All of you like to be praised and dislike to be scolded. The hearts are moved by the eight winds, which leads to afflictions and attachments accordingly. If you have attachments at the time of dying, you will not follow Amitabha Buddha even Amitabha Buddha appears in front of you to lead you.

Hence, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has taught you to often think about impermanence and death, like the shadow following the person. In 2007, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche conducted a retreat in Lapchi Snow Mountains of four to five hundred meters high for three months. At one night of June, when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was sleeping, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche found himself could not breathe and the heart stopped beating. If Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had not usually practiced and thought about impermanence and death, meeting with this kind of situation, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche might have attachments in mind. However, when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche found Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s heart stop beating, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche only felt that the human life was very suffering and prayed to Dharma protector to bring Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s body away if it would not be useful any more. As a result, Dharma protector Achi gave Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche some medicine to take and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche just survived. Later on, it was when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche watched a certain program on the Discovery Channel that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche got to know that mountain climbers who die of non-beating heart caused by lack of breath in the mountains are numerous.

Without any fear, you will have no clinging and hindrances, and you will see things very clearly. If you are afraid of death, then suffering and sorrow will approach. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had ever had cancer but recovered, and this was just because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was not afraid of death. Only having no fear of death, one could have the courage to face the suffering and sorrow, to accept all the things unfavorable. It also needs courage to not make the same mistake again.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche reminded that do not to eat the food offerings to ghosts or deities. Do not think it would bring you any blessing by eating them. The smell of ghost is different from human beings. The food offered to ghosts or deities are tainted with some whiff of ghost. It is said in the tantra part of Tripitaka that a practitioner who recites mantras must not eat the food that are offered to the ghosts. The heart would be affected if one eats something bad to cause one’s body unclean. If one is not healthy, one could not practice and cultivate Buddhist teachings. For one who lies down without any strength even to breathe, how could he recite Buddha’s names? Therefore, we should keep our health from being in a bad state.

In the Buddhist Sutras, it was recorded that Buddha Sakyamuni had passed to his aunt “the Sixteen Ways of Meditation to the Pure Land”, which is not practiced nowadays, because it is of the Esoteric Buddhism. Such practice does exist because Buddha Sakyamuni’s aunt had accomplished the attainment to see Amitabha. The first practice in the Sixteen Ways of Meditation to the Pure Land is to “observe” the sun, but it doesn’t tell us how to “observe.” After practicing the Esoteric Buddhism, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche began to realize that to “observe” the sun doesn’t mean to use your eyes, because directly seeing the sun for only a few minutes would harm your eyes. How is it possible to “observe” the sun? Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had orally transmitted the method of how to meditate the sun and the moon when teaching the Simple Avalokiteshvara Dharma Text. A great many of Esoteric Dharma can’t be publicly transmitted. Therefore, in the Dharma text, how to meditate is not depicted because it needs your guru to orally transmit the instruction to you. So why the exoteric practitioners who practice the Meditation to the Pure Land today simply recite the names of Buddhas, perform seven-day retreats of Zen and observe the eight precepts is because no gurus are able to orally transmit the Esoteric Dharma.

When learning Exoteric Buddhism, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche once wondered why he wasn’t able to achieve what he had learned. Such thought is related to confusion. You can have confusion, but can’t be doubtful. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche later realized that the Sutras, in fact, don’t talk about the methods of practicing Buddhism. The first one to introduce Exoteric and Esoteric Buddhism to Tibet is the Venerable Master Atisha, but he rarely taught the Esoteric Dharma. It was not until the Guru Rinpoche that the Esoteric Dharma was taught in Tebit. After learning the Esoteric Dharma, Rinchen Dorjee Ripoche understood that it has to be taught with extreme care. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpche is afraid that people might be misled. It is also because, before people’s minds are purified, learning the Esoteric Dharma would only do harm to him.

The young boy Chen, who died in Japan on August 16th and subsequently obtained Phowa Dharma from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was only four years old. How come he could accept his death without any attachment to worldly affairs? It is because he had well cultivated the impermanence of life. In addition to the Fire Puja Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche conducted for him, due to the proper capacities he had cultivated in the past lives and his vows of rebirth in the Pure Land, he was able to accumulate sufficient merits, virtues, causes and conditions to obtain Phowa Dharma.

In the Buddha Sutras, it stresses that only those good men and good women who had accumulated enough merits, virtues, causes and conditions could attain their rebirth in the Pure Land. Without such qualifications, no one can attain his rebirth in the Pure Land even though there are one hundred people recite mantras for him as he died. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had exhausted all methods to help this little kid and his family so that he was able to know when he’d die in advance. His death was painless because his merits and virtues had sufficiently manifested. On top of those conditions, he had wholeheartedly accepted all the enlightenment of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teachings during every pujas. He also had the protection of the Dharma protector, Achi, in that Achi especially cherishes young children; she’s the uncommon protector of Drikung Kagyu Lineage, who was not transformed from a ghost. She is the grandmother of Jigten Sumgon. Therefore, you shouldn’t simply depend on the blessings of attending pujas. You ought to learn how to bless yourselves.

Believing in the impermanence of life doesn’t mean that we don’t need to carry out our responsibilities. For instance, Ratnakuta Sutra describes that, we shouldn’t abandon our families that have the causes and conditions with us, unless we decide to be ordained. This is why before conducting an ordaination ceremony for lay people, the masters ought to ask a question: Have you cleared your debts yet? This debts is those that we all owe to our parents and families. For the sake of your parents, you should diligently learn Buddhism.

Take Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s mother as an example. She now is willing to adopt a vegetarian diet and recite mani. Moreover, she would become more anxious than Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche as soon as the date of a puja is approaching. Her thoughts toward Buddhism were altered due to the changes she witnessed in Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. She had observed the fact that Buddhism is truly beneficial to her son so she changed her perception toward Buddhism. When your conducts are genuinely in accordance with the teachings of Buddhism, you’ll be able to accumulate abundant merits that can, in turn, affect your families. Some people might argue that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s children haven’t learned Buddhism yet, which would make Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche lose face. To the contrary, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche viewed such a matter as a proof of Buddha’s teachings: Buddhas can only liberate those with casual connections. In other words, you can’t even force your own children to learn Buddhism. Don’t presume that you can push your family to learn Buddhism. Nor should you reprimand others with Buddha’s teachings. Finally, you shouldn’t despise your non-Buddhist parents and family members. The ways to spread the concepts of Buddhism shouldn’t imitate those of direct sales; all have to follow the conditions. Afghanistan and Turkistan became Muslim countries because the causes and conditions of being Buddhist countries had vanished. The same reason can apply to the fact that Buddhism originated in India but now Buddhism has diminished in India and grown in other areas.

In fact, even Buddha Sakyamuni couldn’t prevent his family from being exterminated. Although Buddha Sakyamuni had blocked the troops move on the road for three days and three nights, Buddha Sakyamuni still could not change his family’s karma of being exterminated. Thus, we can’t change our parents’ karma. But how should we save them from reincarnation? The answer lies in the saying that “as a person reaches the pathway, his nine tribes will ascend to the heaven.” Reaching the pathway indicates the accomplishment of attaining Buddhahood. Learning Buddhism is not for one’s own sake; each of your family members, including your families in past lives, will be affected. The more you open up your mind by learning Buddhism, the more merits you’ll be able to accumulate.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was lack of money at the age of 40. At that time, affording only to eat a little meal per day, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche should not be energetic to make the full prostration. Nonetheless, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had pleaded with the Guru Rinpoche and the Deity for blessings and continually mad the full prostration on behalf of all sentient beings. And miraculously Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche completed the prostration practices eventually. It is because of the blessings from the guru and benefits from sentient beings. Therefore, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche dedicated the all the merits to those sentient beings.

If in your present life you have servants, it is due to their debts to you in your past life and you should not look down them. Even whipping a cow or horse will create the karmic effects. Before learned to be a Buddhist, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had not beat the horse for riding and waved the whip before its eyes to initiate the riding. It was the merits accumulated through past lives not to harm none of beings.

The phrase “to delve into through the gate” does not mean to adopt one approach in the eighty-four thousands dharma methods. If so, it should be referred as “to adopt one dharma devotedly”. The gate indicates a door of the path to liberation from birth and death, and only if one enters the gate of the path to liberation could it be called “to delve into through the gate”. One would be sure to seek for liberation from birth and death if one is towards the gate, and ought to delve into the path right away through the gate.

The next day after converted to exoteric Buddhism, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had a dream. In the dream Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche opened a door of a temple and saw the Buddha Sakyamuni radiating superb light from inside. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche heard of his master speaking: go ahead, and the Rinpoche then walked into that door accordingly.

Before the master Gampopa converted to Milarepa, Gampopa could medidate into Samadhi for thirteen days. However, Milarepa said what Gampopa had achieved was totally useless as if trying to squeeze oils from stones, because it was totally irrelevant to liberation from life and death.

Master Gampopa said: “Those who genuinely practice Buddhism in accordance with Tantra will obtain deep understanding of the death and impermanence.” If you don’t want to die, wishing to witness your children growing up, you’ll not understand the meaning of the death and impermanence. The so-called true practicing Buddhism is to continuously remind yourselves the fact that the purpose of this life is to payback your karmic debts or redeem your karmic credits. As soon as they are finished, you have to die. No matter how carefully you’d take care of your health, death is inevitable. The reason you learn Buddhism in this life time is to prepare for your death rather than pursuing your comfort and pleasure.

There was no person who did not have worries when he died. Once, a deceased person who had been liberated by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had worried about a missing ring on her hand after she had died; later her relatives confirmed that she actually had lost the ring earlier. If one does not know the worries of the deceased, it is very hard for him to help the deceased by his supportive reciting. The disciples who have taken refugee for a long time should be aware that during the period from 2008 to 2009 Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche particularly emphasized the death and impermanence. And this is because after experiencing the death process in June 2007 Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had deeply felt that such an instruction is very important. You should often contemplate the death and impermanence. Lying on bed before falling into sleep every night, you should tell yourself, “I am going to die.” Part of the process of falling asleep is the same as that of dying. After getting up from bed the next day, you should tell yourself, “I am beginning a new life.” The more you can do this, the more courage you will have to face your daily life. Only Buddhism has such a dharma of practice; other religions do not teach you how to prepare for the death while you are alive, nor do they tell you how to handle it when it happens. Even if a practitioner has enlightened and attained the level of a Bodhisattva, he will still have to practice this dharma; otherwise, if his attachment arises, he will not be able to be reborn in the Pure Land.

Mater Gampopa also said, “One should tame his wild mind from the temporary wealth and happiness of this life.” Do not think that you can never die or you can control the future of your relatives. If your children do not practice Buddha dharma, you should open your mind and let it go; coercing him all the time would only distance your relationship further and further. You cannot force anything whose condition has not been met. Being laymen, our daily life are all by the causes and conditions; we should live the life with our best effort and not worry about the result; we should only worry that if any one gets hurt in the process.

Wild mind is just the desire. How should one tame one’s wild mind? One should often contemplate the death and impermanence! Only if one understands impermanence clearly, one can then let go one’s worried and attached mind. If you accept impermanence, you will help your family members gain the accumulation of merits before they pass away. If you accept impermanence, you will not do any evil deed, even the very tiny one, and will do any virtue deed which has just tiniest goodness.

Gampopa said, “If a person appears with a style of true practice, this dharma is the true dharma.” This statement confirms what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche used to say that anything that cannot help one to liberate is not the true dharma. Doing virtuous deeds is what a human has to do, but doing good deeds may not be able to help one to liberate from the cycles of rebirth and death. When making charity, make sure that the essences of the three wheels become void of nature in your mind and do not think that you are doing virtuous deeds. As long as you have any feeling of doing good deeds, you will still be in the cycles of reincarnation.

If not practicing like this, a practitioner full of the desires for the benefits and happiness in this life is just a worldly Buddhist master. Some Buddhist masters want to have big temples and large number of followers. These are just to satisfy their desires. If one’s wishes are deviated from Buddha and Bodhisattvas wishes, then one’s wishes are just desires. Some Buddhist organizations are busy with disaster relief works. But if people in this land all stop doing evils, there would be no disaster at all. Disaster relief is to help on people’s urgent needs and not on their poverty; it is not right to do disaster relief indefinitely, but not to do things related to Buddha dharma. These are just the eight worldly dharmas, namely, suffering and joy, gain and loss, harm and honor, praise and ridicule.

“If one passes off a false dharma as a true dharma, his behavior is the representative of black-hearted evil religious sects.” Any religion which cannot teach followers to cut off from the cycles of reincarnation is all non-Buddhist paths. One who has accepted offerings from followers but cannot help them to liberate from the cycles of rebirth and death is just black-hearted since these followers are deceived by the suffering world. This is not the dharma which can lead to the path of Buddhahood.

Buddha does not speak about the realms of human beings and heaven since Buddha does not want us to come to this human world again, unless we are Bodhisattvas wishing to come back again to help sentient beings. In Qinghai province, a very old-aged Ani Rinpoche once said that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would have no need to come back again since Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has not owed anything and has perfectly completed all of the things related to Buddha dharma.

When we see sufferings and disasters, we should thoroughly look at them from the viewpoint of karma, cause, and effect. First, it is to warn ourselves; second, it is for us to know that we should practice Buddha dharma diligently; third, it is for us to persuade others. There are many people learning Buddhism in Taiwan, but there are still so many disasters, because people in Taiwan have a heavy karma of killing and are too proud. Buddha sutra has stated that if the people of a place were very proud, there would have more earthquakes occurred in that place, such as Japan; if the people of a place were very greedy, there would have more floods occurred in that place, such as Taiwan.

After one clearly understands such principle of cause and effect, one will not be deceived by vexation and karma. If you help someone, he will become a cow or a horse in his next life to repay what he has owed you. So if you think you have done good deeds, then you are still falling into the cycles of karma, causes, and effects. Buddhist scripture has an important story. In ancient time, there was a rich man who had heard voices outside in the middle of the night. After he went to find out what was going on, he discovered that it actually was a dialogue between a cow and a horse raised by him. From the dialogue, he realized that they all had owed him in their previous lives so that they had become animals in this life to repay their debts. After listening to the dialogue, the rich man was greatly terrified and afraid of letting others owe him again. So he threw all his gold, silver, money, and treasures in his home into a river.

One day, Hanshan and Shide were still playing while a Dharma puja had already begun. The Buddhist master asked them why they had not yet attended the puja. They replied that many attendees had not seated either. They then shouted names one by one towards a group of cows next to them; each time a name was called, a cow would come. As it turned out, these names were the names of the Buddhist masters in the temple who had passed away before. They had received offerings from followers but had not been able to help the followers to liberate.

“One should fully develop a merciful mind, a compassionate mind, and bodhichitta for the benefits and happiness of all mother-like sentient beings. This is the dharma that can lead to the path of Buddhahood.” If one only practices for one’s small benefits, one can at most attain the achievement of Sravak and Perfect Enlightenment. The most important concept is the death and impermanence. If one can contemplate this frequently, any dharma one has practiced will be useful.

When practicing the Phowa ritual one would experience the mental and physical transformation therefore one who does not practice impermanence could not perfect the Phowa practices. In near future, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will impart the Phowa practices. Phowa is also referred as dharma of “transferring consciousness”. Phowa is the simplest practice among the tantric Sadhana practices. It could transfer the consciousness of the deceased into the pure land without high meditative attainment. Accomplishment in Phowa as if he has bought the assurance, through which even though one would have died in accidents but as long as one could recall the form of one’s guru in addition to a certain simple method, one could gain rebirth to the pure land. The Phowa transmission of Drikung Kagyu is so powerful and some people would attack it with an erroneous notion that practicing the Phowa too much would reduce longevity. It is incorrect.

The teachings today by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is not to criticize the other religious groups, bur rather is to guide the direction to learn Buddhism and to indicate an effective method to learn the essentials.

September 8, 2009

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened believers with Buddhism and helped them to relieve all kinds of suffering in the world at Glorious Jewel Jewellery Company.

September 9, 2009

At noon, His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche received Master Noritake Shuunan (the Abbot of Reiun-in Temple of the Myōshin-ji of Rinzai Zen Buddhism in Kyoto, Japan), Minamikei Okajima (the nun from the Honko-ji of the Myōshin-ji of Rinzai Zen Buddhism), the Master Xuan Shu (one of Abbot Noritake Shuunan’s disciples in Taiwan), and the accompanying dignitaries at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center in Taipei. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche instructed that all the ordained disciples to receive Master Noritake Shuunan and the accompanying dignitaries at the main entrance of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center. First of all, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche extended a welcome to Master Noritake Shuunan, the Abbot of Reiun-in Temple, to the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center and bestowed the following teachings upon the 200 present disciples of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center: Master Noritake Shuunan is the abbot of Reiun-in Temple, which is a very important and very old Buddhist monastery in Kyoto. This time, Master Noritake Shuunan traveled to Taiwan for the flooding disaster at special request of a Buddhist group in southern Taiwan. Since even a master in Japan, a place which is far away from here, concerns for Taiwan so much, we Buddhists in Taiwan should thereby make more efforts. It is immensely admirable that Abbot Noritake Shuunan, who is already in his seventies, still makes efforts for some of his beliefs with perseverance.

Next, Master Noritake Shuunan addressed: I’m very glad to come here to visit Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. I’m also grateful for this grand welcome meeting as well. In addition to attending the prayer ceremony in Linkou held for the 10th anniversary of the 921 disaster and for the 88 flooding disaster, the most important purpose of visiting Taiwan this time is to meet Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche today.

Master Noritake Shuunan was born in Tainan, Taiwan; therefore, Master Noritake Shuunan just felt as familiar with Taiwan as he was coming back to his hometown. Master Noritake Shuunan said with a sense of humor: “My temperature taken at the main entrance of the building was 40 degrees centigrade. It must be due to the passion from you all! However, the person who took my temperature still let me in. I don’t have the flu, so don’t worry! “

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened: “Taking the temperature is to comply with the government’s regulations. This is a place where Buddhas and Bodhisattvas dwell. There will be no problem.”

Master Noritake Shuunan highly praised, “Tibetan Buddhism is extraordinarily marvelous! “

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened that Tibetan Buddhism comprises exoteric teachings and esoteric teachings. In Tibetan Buddhism, usually one has to practice exoteric teachings for at least ten years as well as perform retreat practices. It is not until one, being observed by his Guru, achieves the attainment of a certain state that Guru will impart the tantras to him. Tibetan Buddhism also emphasizes the learning of Flower Adornment Sutra, Diamond Sutra and Heart Sutra. It’s been depicted in the history that Master Milarepa, one of the lineage gurus of Drikung Kagyu, ever met Bodhidharma to together delve into the meditation practices. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also began his learning of Buddhism with exoteric teachings, mainly those of Zen and the Pure Land Sect. Although Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has comprehended Buddhist Sutras, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche still had not been able to achieve what is depicted in the Buddhist Sutras. It was not until Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche took refuge under His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche and started to learn Esoteric Buddhism did Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche realize that Exoteric Buddhism is about the theories and principles of Buddha Dharma practices, whereas Esoteric Buddhism is about the methods to carry out the Buddha Dharma practices. The meditation practice of Drikung Kagyu Lineage is Mahamudra, which also comprises exoteric and esoteric teachings. There are four stages in the practice of Mahamudra and each stage can be divided into three levels; totally it is made of twelve levels. The highest level is to attain Buddhahood. Therefore, the ultimate attainment of practicing Zen, Pure Land Buddhism, and Mahamudra is all the same: attaining Buddhahood.

Guru Rinpoche had transmitted tantras to Tibet. Guru Rinpoche once enlightened that the karma of all sentient beings in the Dharma-Ending age are particularly severe; if not using more mighty ways, a guru could not subdue obstinate sentient beings; so tantras are needed for this purpose. Tantras comprise teachings of Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana. The dharma text of Mahamudra has stated the reason why it is more difficult to attain achievements by the methods of Zen practice. One needs to have a healthy body to practice Buddha Dharma. However, one’s body is a body of karmic retribution, resulted from both good and evil karmas. The evil karma will hinder us from attaining Buddhahood, and so will good karma. But in tantras, there are very special Dharmas of practices that can help to eliminate our karma and to remove the obstacles from attaining Buddhahood. So it is faster to practice the tantric teachings. In 2007, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche conducted a retreat in the sacred mountains of Lapchi at 4500 meters in height, where the Great Milarepa had performed retreat practices. One night, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was suddenly unable to take a breath in and his heart beat stopped. Having been through such an experience of death, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was resuscitated so as to continue to benefit the sentient beings because of his tantric practices and the blessing of the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and the Dharma protectors. The extraordinary and incredibly powerful tantric practices made the present dignitaries gasp in admiration.

Although the dialogue lasted less than an hour, Master Noritake Shuunan looked concentrated and listened attentively, occasionally lowering his head to make notes, smiling from heart at insightful moments, or bringing his palms together to express his reverence and admiration to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also asked Master Noritake Shuunan to take good care of his health while giving Master Noritake Shuunan precious Pu’er tea and gifts. This Pu’er tea, a national treasure in China, is very rare and extremely efficacious for preserving one’s health.

Following Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s enlightenment, Master Noritake Shuunan said to the disciples of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center, “You are very fortunate! You should all look forward to more teachings from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche about the ways of attaining Buddhahood?”

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened: “All phenomena in the three realms are of one’s own mind; one will attain Buddhahood when one’s mind realizes the true void.” Then Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche personally wrote these 14 Chinese characters with a calligraphy brush on the spot, and gave the treasured piece of calligraphy to Master Noritake Shuunan in person. Master Noritake Shuunan joyfully raised high the treasured piece of calligraphy presented by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. In return, Master Noritake Shuunan also presented Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche some gifts. Moreover, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche especially enthroned the Dharma seat and personally conducted the rituals of Dharma Protector Achi for Master Noritake Shuunan so as to protect Master Noritake Shuunan.

Finally, Master Noritake Shuunan invited Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to visit Reiun-in Temple when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche arrives in Kyoto next time. This short meeting, which was also an exchange between Tibetan Buddhism and Japanese Buddhism, ended in a sublime and joyful atmosphere.

At night, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened believers with Buddhism and helped them to relieve all kinds of suffering in the world at Glorious Jewel Jewellery Company.

September 12, 2009

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened believers with Buddhism and helped them to relieve all kinds of suffering in the world at Glorious Jewel Jewellery Company.

September 13, 2009

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche presided over an auspicious regular puja at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center, Taipei, and enlightened the attendees on the process of dying and the dissolution of the four major elements. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche bestowed the following teachings: Many people have great fear of dying and feel insecure. Sutras in Exoteric Buddhism do not talk about the process of dying. How come? It is because Buddha Sakyamuni only had the time to expound the Hinayana and Mahayana doctrines after his first turning of the Dharma wheel. During the 49 years when Buddha Sakyamuni bestowed his teachings, Buddha Sakyamuni visited many places and had debates with people of non-Buddhist religions so as to subdue them and impart Buddhist teachings to them.

Death is a taboo in Chinese society. The body of the death cannot be brought into the Buddhist monasteries for sutra recitation. In better cases, they have a side hall to help the deceased, but the bodies would never be brought into the main assembly hall. That is the Chinese customs. In Tibet, if a person dies, his body will be carried to the monastery first. The first genuine sky burial ground in Tibet, blessed by Buddha Amitabha and yidams, is located behind the Drikung Thil Monastery. The ground is not open to the public and only Rinpoches can enter the place. Family members of dead believers make arrangement with lamas to send their bodies to the monastery square in a group of 5 or 6. After the Khenpo recites the sutras, these bodies will then be sent to the sky burial ground. Before the rogyapas (“body-breakers”) disassembles the body, a Khenpo or Rinpoche will conduct a practice for the deceased. His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche at an age of 8 or 9 once performed Phowa for the more pious believers at the sky burial ground.

Why conducting sky burials then? People have thought that Tibetan had no cultures, and were barbarianism and superstitions to offer the bodies to the vultures to eat. In fact, such a conduct has its origination. Buddhist sutras have stated that Buddha Sakyamuni once abandoned his own body so as to feed a tiger and cut off his flesh so as to feed an eagle. During the practice of Chod, one’s body is also given to the sentient beings as a way to practice charities and generosity. Giving one’s body as a way to practice charities and generosity doesn’t generate suffering. That making the offering to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas as well as charities and generosity to the sentient beings with one’s body will enable one to have the cause and condition to learn Buddhism in his future lives. As a saying goes in Tibet, if the deceased has too much karma, the vultures, instead of eating whatever meat available as we think, will not eat him. In Tibetan Buddhism, these vultures are the embodiments of Dakinis, who are sentient beings living between the heavenly beings and the Bodhisattvas. They can be found in other religions as well, such as the angels in Catholicism and Christianity, fairies in Taoism, and the Gandhanras in Dunhuang. These vultures are no ordinary beings which have fallen into the Realm of Animals. How do we know then? Here is a real story. As the Drikung Thil Monastery is located high up on the mountain, the vultures usually fly past the Thil Monastery at a height lower than its square. Once, a naughty young lama threw a rock at a passing vulture, and fell ill thereafter. Later, when the lama went to Nepal, he met a Hindu yogi. The yogi accused the lama of throwing a rock at him on a certain day and showed the scar to the lama. The yogi might not really practice Hinduism and the main purpose of the story is to let us know that we should not harm the sentient beings.

Once, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche paid a visit to Qinghai. When the motorcade took a rest near Yushu, a group of vultures were walking down the nearby side hill, approaching Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s car, and waiting until Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s car left. As vultures need the warm currents to ascend into the sky, they, with their massive bodies, can merely take a few steps before they spread the wings to fly. It is impossible for them to keep walking. Such a sight was seen as an auspicious sign in the eyes of the locals, for it must have been the presence of a great practitioner that brought the walking vultures around. In another occasion, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche went to a monastery in the mountains of Qinghai to see an elderly Bhiksuni of Drikung Kagyu. On the way to the retreat room of the elderly Bhiksuni, a cloud kept hovering above Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s head. At reaching the Bhiksuni’s retreat room, auspicious snow then fell from the cloud. It was in a month of the year when snow is not supposed to fall. Several vultures were hovering in the sky, but, generally speaking, they should not appear since warm currents no longer ascend in the afternoon. In yet another occasion, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche visited the Drikung Thil Monastery to see Tenzin Nyima Rinpoche, one of the gurus Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche sought refuge under. While Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was making prostrations to Tenzin Nyima Rinpoche on behalf of sentient beings outside the retreat room, the snow fell immediately and a vulture was seen in the sky. People were wondering why it suddenly snowed. Even His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche said that this was a good sign of great significance. All the incidents have proved that those vultures are no ordinary vultures of the Animals Realm.

Ever since the Shang Dynasty, the Han people have had the custom of worshiping ghosts. Thinking that one would obtain rebirth 18 years after one’s death, people rob grab, or cling to things as much as possible before they become a ghost. After one becomes a ghost, people would then burn as many paper replicas of items as possible, such as paper money and paper cars, to give to the deceased. Nonetheless, none of the conducts is mentioned in the Buddhist sutras. If burning such items was helpful to the ghosts, it would definitely have been stated in the Buddhist sutras. However, there is not a word about it. Everyone is afraid of becoming a ghost and therefore of the death. Although the medical sciences are developed advancedly and there are a few people doing researches on the process of dying with or without the scientific instruments, people are still unable to understand one’s psychological and physical changes before one’s time of dying, nor are they clear about the changes to the dying’s spirit after one’s breathing ceases. Therefore, everyone cravenly clings to life and is unwilling to brave death. They are also craving for everything in the world, including their sons and daughters, spouse, wealth, and even have greed while learning Buddhism, forgetting the true meaning of their Buddhist study. The ultimate purpose of the study is for one to face the most important major event in his life, i.e. death.

In Esoteric Buddhism, it is said that a person has inner air and outer air. A person whose outer air has ceased still could be saved if his inner air has not ceased yet. During the retreat of 2007, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s outer air once ceased while inner air had not. At that moment, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s mind was so luminous and clear that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was knowing about his own body’s condition as well as what his future will be. In other words, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had no fear at all. Such inner air would last for much a longer time than that of ordinary people who do not practice Buddhism. The inner air could help you enter into the state of meditation to wait for Yidam’s leading after the outer air ceases.

What is divine consciousness? The divine consciousness is the perception or awareness accumulated life after lives. According to doctrines of the Dharmalaksana School, all what we have done life after life aggregates in the eighth consciousness field. There are both virtuous seeds and evil seeds in this consciousness field. With the proper conditions, these seeds sprout. The first word of divine consciousness in Chinese means the natural instinct, namely the real nature, the Buddha nature. It is the prerequisite that truly enable us neither arise nor to cease in the world of the ten directions. The death that we talk about actually is the death of the body of karmic retribution. However, you all are attached to this body of karmic retribution, tightly holding it and unwilling to let it go. This body is for you to use in this life only, and you own it because of your past virtuous deeds. However, the body is also aggregation of evil deeds as well as virtuous ones you made in the past lives and this life. The clear and lucid real nature neither arises nor ceases, and neither increases nor decreases. What changes is our karmic power. To practice and cultivate Buddhist teachings is to learn how to clear out the garbage covering on our pure nature.

The perversive delusions, said in the Heart Sutra, is to say that: For those who do not truly practice Buddhism this life, when his breathing ceases and he enters the bardo or the intermediate state, he would have fear of those that come to help him, but follow those who are not helpful to him when he meet them. This is the perversion. As for delusions, it is to say that at the moment, he still keeps thinking what he has done in this life, i.e. he has many attachments. Moreover, it is also helpless either for one to be clinging to his deceased family dependants. How are they able to bless or protect you if they are not able to solve their own problems? The Discovery Channel ever broadcasted a TV show that the same gene of some discovered ancient bones of 9000 years old in Scotland could be found in some descendants of the local village. Seeing this fact, could you still deny the relationship between your ancestors and you?

When the body of karmic retribution can not be used any more, it’s time to die. One has to face the next life which is determined by the deeds of virtuousness or evil done in this life. Some people say they are afraid of being alone. To perform a retreat is to practice being accustomed to be alone, as one has to face the dying process by himself alone, and no body even the relatives could give him any help. When one becomes a ghost, he would feel very lonely even if there are many other ghosts around him. Even when the ghost is in a crowd of people, the people could not be aware of the ghost nor could the ghost communicate with any one of them. Chinese people often pray to their ancestors for blessing and protection. However, while being a ghost, their ancestors are actually in suffering and thus are unable to help the descendents, except the ancestors those who had practiced some Dharma practices in their lifetime and become Ghost King of Great Power. Even if there are 100 people performing supportive recitation for the deceased, the power of recitation would not take effect as long as one or two people among them have no mercy and compassion. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche helps transfer the consciousness of the deceased, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche performs the ritual with mercy and compassion and therefore Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knows everything about the deceased. Without merits and ability, one can not help transfer the consciousness of the deceased.

If one does not practice the feeling of being alone when one is alive, one would suffer much pain when dying. It is also due to strong greed one will be sent into the ice cabinet immediately one hour right after one’s death, starting to suffer the pain of cold hells, unless the mourning family has good relationship so that the dead one could wait longer like for eight hours. After one dies, one’s consciousness still can feel and clearly knows the fact that he lies on the cold metal plank alone. How much pain the body suffers from the chillness in the ice cabinet is lighter that the consciousness suffers in cold hells. There is nobody else but Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Guru who could help you when you are dying.

Why does a person acquire Alzheimer’s disease? It is actually the delusion, not believing the law of cause and effect. Why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would bless some people in a coma who become conscious later on after the blessing is to let them have the opportunity of listening to Buddha Dharma. In addition, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche conducted the rituals for the boy Chen who just passed away at the age of four was to let him know his time in advance. Thus, he could clearly say: “I’m leaving.” right before his time of dying. Nowadays the ordinary people die in a coma because they do not believe the law of cause and effect. Those who do not believe the law of cause and effect would fall into the animal realm. In Esoteric Buddhism, it is said that the energy is used up is because one think too much and has too much desires. One has to practice the Five Precepts and the Ten Meritorious Deeds so as to avoid that thing. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s mother is at an advanced age, but she is still sober-minded and able to independently take care of herself. It is because that she has never gossiped about other people and endured everything. Thus it is also a behavior of believing the law of cause and effect.

Everyone is keen on face-saving. However, when one is sent into the intensive care unit, being taken off his clothes and naked, scolded by the nurses. If one does not encounter such a situation, he must immediately learn and cultivate the Buddha’s teachings. Those who commit killings, eat meat, are full of greed, hatred and delusion for this entire life, do not take efforts to practice the virtuous deeds, or do not thoroughly make repentance would die with suffering and fall into the three evil paths. Buddha is also called Well Gone One, meaning that leaving away without any suffering and being able to control him self. One can notice the changes of one’s body 5 years prior to his time to die because one’s body has started to suffer. Those deceased who had cancers did not actually die of cancer. Cancer is only the supportive conditions of death. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also had cancer but lives very well.

We need to attend puja constantly, not just once, in order to help the consciousnesses of the deceased obtain transferred since the cause and condition as well as the merits and virtues might be not sufficiently possessed. Almost all of your ancestors were reborn in the three evil paths. If your ancestors had ever practiced Buddhism, you would have at least taken the Dharma seat in this life. By taking a look at yourselves, you could tell that your ancestors must be in the three evil paths. Be clear about death, so you can practice effectively and receive the power of blessing.

If one does not truly practice, one will definitely be scared when dying. Therefore, one has to make charity to practice the renunciation. Why one excretes feces when dying is that his air is gone and the feces could not be held on so that it is discharged. From the view of Buddhism, the one had made too much evil karma, so his air goes downwards. The deceased who receive the conduction of the Phowa ritual would not excrete feces, meaning that one’s air goes upwards.

If you learn Buddhism without cultivating compassion while you are alive, your karmic creditors will come to be you obstacles in your time of dying. They will come in the guise of your family members or good friends in order to lead you to evil places. A disciple had such an experience. He had gone into a coma and almost died due to a car accident. An old man appeared in the guise of one of his closest friends. Since the old man could not transform his own appearance to the look of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, the dying disciple refused to go with him. Because the dying disciple had cultivated sufficient respects to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, he was able to refuse the old man’s luring and avoid such misfortune. The reason why Esoteric Buddhism emphasized the importance of Vajra Guru is that your Guru is capable of subduing your karmic creditors. If you can learn Buddhism with a merciful and compassionate heart and dedicate your merits to all beings, your karmic creditors will also be benefited from your dedication so as not to obstruct your ways of life. Some people may wonder why they were still diagnosed with cancers after they had repented their evildoings. You ought to inspect how much evil conducts you had done in your past lives! That is good enough as long as you can redeem your evildoings by means of your being sick. It is incorrect to think that curing your illness is the only way to show the greatness of Buddhism. For instance, how the deceased husband let his wife, a disciple who sought refuge later on, understand the greatness of Buddhism through the dying process is the example that help others learning Buddhism although he himself was dead finally. For instance, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had transferred the consciousness of a disciple’s husband whose secrets were revealed to the disciple via Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to let the disciple realize the greatness of Buddhism. There are 84000 Duddha Dharma to teach Buddhism. You shouldn’t use your human brains to think of what’s a better way of learning Buddhism.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was diagnosed with skin cancer at age 45. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche not only disregarded the illness but also felt joyful for being able to payback his karmic debts. It is not until 2007 did the last scab resulting from the skin cancer was off. Given the fact that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has being devoted to so much Buddhist activities, it still took almost ten years for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to resolve his karmic debts. Some of you hoped your cancers can be cured in two or three years. How could that be possible?

Every Buddhist Dharma is to assist us to face death in solitude without fear. If you don’t want to be alone when you are alive, you’d search for various ways to escape from loneliness. However you’ll be in complete solitude eventually, even Buddhas or Bodhissattvas won’t come for you. Without a clear understanding about death, you can’t concentrate when recite mantras or prostrate to Buddhas at home, let alone to perform a retreat. Being ill is not really the manifestation of your karmic obstacles; the moment you die will be. When a deceased’s family comes to shake up the body or sorrowfully cry at the bedside, the deceased will feel angry. Once when performing Phowa for the deceased, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was aware that the deceased ever felt angry at the medical practitioners because they accidentally let the deceased’s leg dangling outside the bed when moving his body. Nowadays, all beings have serious karma that many of them are administered by cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) at time of dying, and furthermore their chests are pushed too hard to have the ribs broken. Those deceased who had experienced CPR procedure always showed their pains to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche during Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s conduction of Phowa for them. Many medical practitioners of Western countries had abandoned the procedure of CPR and let people die naturally, unless for the case of emergent accidents.

A mother once pleaded Rinchen Dorjee Rinpche to revive her child whose life was maintained merely by machines. Doctors had suggested extubation for three times, but the mother wouldn’t let go of her child. In fact, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened that the consciousness of her child had already left the body. Unless the child had accumulated enough merits, the consciousness couldn’t be recovered in the body. The important point is that you ought to prepare for your own death. Guru may help you but you should not rely on Guru’s help since it might happen that you won’t find your Guru as you’re dying.

The moment of your death indicates the end of an accumulation of karma as well as the beginning of another accumulation of karma. Bodies of all sentient beings are composed of four major elements: earth, wind, water and fire. The earth element is about bones and fleshes, water element is about our blood, wind element is about chi; and fire element is about energy. So far, the medical science still can’t explain why the things we eat can be transformed into energy, bones or skin. The four major elements of every sentient being will be dissolved during the process of dying. Depending on different karmic power, the duration of dissolution will be different. However, the dissolution finishes very fast for practitioners. Even for those who die in sudden accidents, they would also experience the dissolution of the four major elements. The assembly of four major elements during the process of rebirth is similar to the dissolution of the four major elements. Ratnakuta Sutra has depicted details about the changes of sentient beings’ growth of every seven-day period after they were conceived. From a scientific point of view, there should be no consciousness in the unification of a sperm and an ovum. Why does consciousness exist in all sentient beings? Scientists would reason that it is because of genes. For Buddhism, genes are karma. When your karma matches that of your parents, you share the same genes. This is what mutual karma is all about.

In exoteric teachings, the pains caused by the dissolution of the four major elements can be subdued through reciting mantras. As for Zen, it is achieved through the concentration power from sitting meditation. In Vajrayana, it is achieved by the power of one’s vajra guru if one has not attained enlightenment yet, or by the power of the Yidams if one has. That’s why, in practicing Vajrayana, practitioners must practice both the development and the completion stages. Meditating your yidam when you are dying will let you be independent of the dissolution. It is because when meditating you are the Yidam and the Yidam himself will not be dissolved. What will be dissolved is the body of karmic retribution; it’s the end of an accumulation of causes and conditions. It has no effect on your Dharma or Buddha nature. If you have achieved certain attainments in practicing the Yidam Dharma, your mind will not react to the dissolution of the four major elements. You with such a stable mind will luminously and clearly be able to take control of going to the place where you head for. It is like when you recite mantras in deep concentration, you’ll be able to perceive Amitabha Buddha.

The sufferings of the dissolution of the four elements are as follows:
Before dying, some person would request to elevate his head with cushions or want to get up if the head was not elevated with pillows. This was because his element of earth had begun to dissolve and he would feel that his head was sinking; the feeling would not disappear regardless how high the head was elevated with pads. In addition, a patient whose element of earth began to dissolve would feel a heavy body as though being pressed by a big boulder and an extremely sensitive skin which, when slightly touched, would feel discomfort, or even pain. So one should not touch the body of a just deceased family member; his skin and bones actually are the most sensitive. Or some patient had not died yet; but his body was very rigid and difficult to be dressed. This was also the sign of the dissolution of the earth element.

When the element of water was dissolving, some patients would defecate or urinate incessantly and some patients in vegetative state would have tears, runny nose, drooling in the corner of their mouth, and so on. The patients whose water element began to dissolve would have a dry skin and feel thirsty all the time. Even if one used wetted cotton swabs to quench their thirst, soon after that they would feel thirsty again. When one’s element of water is dissolving, the tears cannot be controlled and will flow out from the eyes.

When the element of fire is dissolving, a patient would feel hot. We have seen in the hospital that a patient still felt hot even if a small fan on the bedside was on, the air-conditioning was turned on higher, or the patient was lying in bed without a blanket in winter. After a while, the patient would feel cold. Regardless covered by how many layers of blanket, he would still feel cold. Such alternate feelings of coldness and hotness will repeatedly appear and make the patient suffer.

When the element of air is dissolving, a patient will breathe out more air than breathing in and eventually die after three long and two short breaths. Young people inhale long and exhale short. The elderly are vice versa; so the elderly have a shorter sleeping time. The number of breath of a sentient being has in his life is fixed; no matter he is short-lived or long-lived. One who has a faster breathing rate will be short-lived; so one should not lose one’s temper, worry too much, and have many desires; these will increase the breathing rate and reduce one’s longevity. Most professional athletes do not live a long life; this is not saying that one should not exercise; one should still exercise appropriately. One should depend on oneself to foster one’s own Qi; one should speak less and not waste one’s own Qi; also, a practitioner can increase one’s Qi. Because of fear, a person who has cancer will breathe faster; thus, die earlier. Exoteric Buddhism focuses on practicing one’s mind, not one’s body while Esoteric Buddhism focuses on practicing both and thinks that one’s body, as a dharma instrument, is very important. Practicing Buddha-Dharma will reduce or even eliminate the frenzy caused by greediness, hatred, and delusion, and thus make one’s breathing slower. When a practitioner performs a retreat, his breathing will become particularly slow. Why do we want to perform retreats at an area of high altitude? Because the oxygen is less in those areas and in order to get enough oxygen, a person’s inhalation will become longer; practicing like this, instead of in low altitude areas, can attain achievements. When one is dying, one’s element of air dissolves such that one’s breathing will become shorter and one cannot breathe in any air; so a dying patient who has received tracheotomy is very suffering. Adjusting one’s breath during meditation is to make one get used to breathe with one’s abdomen. After the element of air had dissolved completely, one’s diaphragm will stop moving. However, when his outer air ceases, a tantric practitioner can concentrate his internal breathing for meditation.

One will enter into death after the dissolution of the four elements. There were many deceased whose mouth and eyes were open. This was because they did not know they were dead and still wanted to breathe. One will experience the process of dying when one practices the Phowa dharma. After the perfect completion of the Phowa dharma and subsequently the consciousness of the deceased has left, the muscle of the deceased remains will be relaxed such that his mouth and eyes will be closed.

Never shed tears by the deceased because it will make him think that he himself isn’t dead and feels even more suffering. Even though he is dead, he knows whatever people do beside him. Having transferred many consciousnesses, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche always knows things taking place around the deceased, such as the relatives crying, any nurse moving the body, or even a Taoist ringing the bell, because the deceased would tell Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche about these events. If one’s family members cry, it will be more difficult to conduct the Phowa for the deceased. Before a family member dies, do not discuss matters after his death by his side so as not to arouse any afflictions or concerns. To put it simply, let the person pass away in peace. The reason why all practitioners of the Drikung Kagyu Lineage have to conduct retreat practices is for them to get used to solitude so as to practice for the lonesome feeling generated at the last second before one’s death. For instance, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche recited sutras for a friend’s deceased father in the past. After reciting for a long time, the deceased still wouldn’t leave. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knew the thought of the deceased, who was worrying about his wife, and thereby asked his friend to tell the deceased by the ear that he would take care of his mother in the future. The deceased was then willing to leave and was received and guided by Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha.

If the practitioner doesn’t have the ability to know about the concerns of the deceased, the deceased would be in deep trouble when his karmic obstacles manifest with his wife and children shedding tears and shaking him. Under such a circumstance, it would be useless no matter how well the deceased has practiced before death. The deceased who show a frowning expression must have fallen into the three lower realms. Those who show a peaceful look have gone to the Realm of Heavens. As to those who smile, they have gone to the Pure Land.

Today, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has given such a clear explanation of death in hopes that everyone can cultivate diligently after gaining this understanding. Change our evil deeds into purely virtuous ones. Do not see our own future as a gamble. It is hoped that all of us will have the ability to take care of ourselves independently, rather than depend on Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to perform the Phowa for us. We should contemplate on Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teachings carefully. If we are able to take in the teachings, we will be quite assured of our future.

Having an illness is not necessarily a bad thing. Instead, it helps one to have firm faith in learning Buddhism. In fact, an ill person is also able to benefit the sentient beings. Just as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, who has had cancer and severe scoliosis, gained a better understanding about the suffering from illness and thereby is able to benefit the sentient beings more.

As to why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would hold pujas so frequently, there are two reasons: Firstly, it is to accumulate merits for everybody, and, secondly, to help everyone open wisdom. Strictly speaking, wisdom cannot be gained through practice and is innate to all the sentient beings, only that it is hidden beneath the karma. If one’s karma can be purified and has no impact on one’s heart, wisdom shall reveal itself. In one’s Buddhist studies, both merits and wisdom are of great importance, and, therefore, should be practiced together. If one’s wisdom is not opened yet, it is because he hasn’t contemplated the guru’s teachings well enough to carry them out in his life. In that case, one will not have wisdom even if he attends every single puja.

If one practices tantras, his merits and wisdom will be accumulated even faster. It is because tantras have the practices of generation and completion stages. The generation stage practices merits whereas the completion stage practices wisdom. Wisdom is useful at one’s death because to have wisdom is to have a realization that the essence of every phenomenon in the Dharma realm is emptiness. Therefore, why can some people in suffering be helped simply by prostrating to the Dharma photo of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche? First of all, it is because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has attained the accomplishment of Nirmanakaya with the compassionate power. Secondly, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s aspiration power has been realized firmly. Thirdly, wisdom started to emerge, which means that emptiness is being realized. With the three requirements, compassion, vow, and emptiness, one’s prayers will then take effect. If one’s guru doesn’t meet the three requirements, it won’t work even if one prays right in front of the guru’s face.

Followers of Hinayana practice through understanding Four Noble Truths and Twelve Nidanas while those of Mahayana practice through developing mercy and compassion as well as Bodhicitta. The most important of Vajrayana practice is the wholehearted reverence towards Guru. Without it, you will not wholeheartedly listen to Guru’s personal experience of practices.

Do not think it does not matter to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche that one more person come to listen to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s enlightening on Buddha-Dharma. One more person comes here is not only the one who comes but also many of his karmic creditors, including the beings you ate and each of your cells, coming to listen to Buddha-Dharma. Hence, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has to take more efforts. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightens on Buddha-Dharma without a manuscript, and speaks the Buddha’s teachings in meditation, which consumed a lot of energy. Other gurustart from studying and reading the Sutras, and then continue on practice; on the contrary, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche practiced and attained to a specific accomplishment, and then started to give teachings of the experience of practice. It is for giving Buddha’s teachings that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche leafs through the Sutras to look up the terms to help you understand. There is no alternative but to use the words to teach.

Therefore, you have to believe in your guru. Even a tinny of doubt would break the connection between you and guru, and immediately the blessing ceases. There is no other guru like Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche who elaborately gives you enlightenment on Buddha-Dharma over and over again. His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche only simply uses one or two sentences to instruct Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche on Dharma. Guru could only remind you, and it is yourself who could decide on what will change in the future. Guru is not a fortune teller and can not decide your future. You do not completely listen to the words even said by a fortune teller.

There is a disciple who is the confidential secretary of some government official in southern Taiwan. He once had asked advice from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche regarding the corruption of his boss. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened him that he should not continue to participate in sharing this karma and should immediately break off from the evil doing. But this disciple, fearing the hardship of unemployment, did not follow Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s instruction. Until recently, this disciple went to Yuan-nan. It happened that the tour guide was a disciple of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in Kun-ming. On the tour bus, the tour guide shared the stories about the helps Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had given him and told the disciple who served as a confidential secretary that if he went to draw lots of Avalokitesvara in Kun-ming An-Ning’s Cao-Xi temple at which Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had practiced in the past life, he would draw out a lot with the same content as the enlightenment Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had given before. This disciple really went for the lot drawing and got the text of a lot, the same as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s earlier enlightenment, which advised him to quit the job. He did not believe Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoch’s words, an advice from a living guru, and had to truly believe the same thing only after seeing Avalokitesvara’s words, an advice from an invisible Bodhisattva.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not allow her Mother to consume much eight-treasure rice that she loves, due to her stomach ulcer. As she insisted, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche no longer stopped her. She felt stomach discomfort for two days after consuming more of the rice, and became more obedient since then. Buddhas, Boddhisattvas, and Gurus all share the same hope that people do not go in a wrong direction. However if you do not abide by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s instruction, the conditions would vanish. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche could not but leave you alone. When get painful, you will understand those instructions. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will never wheedle you, mollycoddle you, nor say that “take your time adopting vegetarian dietary and wait for the cause and condition to occur”. How can we expect mercy and compassion from you, if you could not even take vegetarian dietary? Be faithful and honest from deep inside, this is the essence of spiritual cultivation. That means, for anything related to Buddha Dharma, Guru will straightly hit your heart deep inside. The hearts of sentient beings are equally pure as those of Buddhas and Boddhisattvas, but were hidden by Karma. Therefore what Guru does is to straightly point to your heart, tell you the truth, and be brief. Even in some Australian elementary schools, the pupils are taught to read Buddhist sutras, because they discovered that Buddha Dharma can change people’s behavior. What about us in Taiwan where Buddhism flourishes? If you can change your heart, you can eventually change everything. Be patient when you’re suffering, as the pain will vanish one day. Be patient as well when you find happiness. Being happy, your heart would go wild and be indulged to do the bad. Be more careful when you feel happy. The so-called “endurance” in 6 Paramitas is to endure every worldly thing, and keep your heart from being wild. Don’t act slowly. Act quick in doing the good, as well as in ceasing the bad. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not necessarily stay in Taiwan for good.

September 15, 2009

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened believers with Buddhism and helped them to relieve all kinds of suffering in the world at Glorious Jewel Jewellery Company.

September 16, 2009

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened believers with Buddhism and helped them to relieve all kinds of suffering in the world at Glorious Jewel Jewellery Company.

September 18, 2009

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche presided over an auspicious Chod puja of the Drikung Kagyu Lineage at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center in Taipei and bestowed the following teachings: Before the Dharma is conducted, you can contemplate your parents and senior relatives being on your right hand side, your peers on our left hand side, karmic creditors which we have harmed being in front of you, and the sentient beings in the six realms, i.e. the Realm of Heavens, Asuras, Humans, Animals, Hungry Ghosts, and Hells, in back of you facing the mandala, as if they attended the puja together with us. Contemplating them for a short while will do and there is no need keeping our mind on them all the time.

Many people think that release and transference are carried out for the sakes of the deceased and that they themselves will be able to live a good life once the karmic creditors are liberated. Actually, this is not the case. It is during one’s lifetime when one needs to be liberated, rather than when one is already dead. To release one’s soul is to draw him out of the forces of the ocean of suffering of reincarnation. Transference does not mean merely to send books or Buddhist sutras to others, but mean to help people go to a Buddha’s Pure Land from the ocean of suffering in the six realms. It acts as a vessel of the Dharma as stated in the Buddhist sutras.

If one continues to release and transfer others when he is alive, his worldly afflictions will then be eliminated gradually in a natural way. One who has an aspiration for releasing and transferring others doesn’t aim to bring a good life for himself, which would be deviated from the mercy and compassion of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. To treat others in a good way and not to bring harm to them do not measure up to be merciful and compassionate deeds. These are mere fundamental requirements for being a human rather than a Buddhist learner.

Mercy and compassion refer to release and transference. When continuing to help the sentient beings, a practitioner actually releases and transfers them. Mercy is to replace the suffering of the sentient beings with one’s own merits and happiness. Compassion is to help the sentient beings leave the ocean of suffering of reincarnation. Nonetheless, as mercy and compassion are merely a driving force, one who does not have powers is still incapable of transferring others. One will have the powers to transfer the beings only when he has accumulated merits and virtues, i.e. wisdom, in practice. The learning in Buddhism, which starts with seeking refuge and practicing the Five Commandments and the Ten Meritorious Acts, takes a long time to nurture. Sutra recitation and prostrations to the Buddhas cannot be counted as leaning Buddhism because these acts are mere helps in the learning and practice of Buddhism. Genuine learning in Buddhism is the practicing of morality, meditation, and wisdom. To observe pure precepts is to observe the precepts with an unwillingness to harm the sentient beings instead of a fear for any punishment. In addition, the reason for one to adopt a vegetarian diet is because he doesn’t want to harm the sentient beings. The practice of pure precepts doesn’t refer to living without sexual intercourse. An eunuch would have no sexual intercourse, either. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean he practices pure precepts. To practice pure precepts is to observe the precepts selflessly for the sentient beings.

Therefore, as you came to attend this puja, you need to keep our mind pure. No matter for what you were here originally, you should forget about it because those selfish thoughts are wrong. You have to take in and accept the teachings that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has bestowed upon us.

You all hope that everything would become better and our enemies would vanish once someone has recited a few times of Buddha’s name for us. In Vajrayana, the enemies on the contrary are treated as honorable guests and even ought to be appreciated. It contradicts your view, with which you consider life would become good when the karmic obstacles are eliminated.

Karmic obstacles include the afflictive hindrances and the cognitive hindrances. The afflictive hindrances are originated from the five poisons, i.e. greed, hatred, ignorance, arrogance, and doubt; the cognitive hindrances is one’s recognition of his own knowledge, thinking that he knows more with advanced scholarship. Nonetheless, the more knowledgeable a person is, the stronger cognitive hindrances he has. These are the two major obstacles in our path of learning Buddhism and attaining Buddhahood and can obstruct you from being liberated from reincarnation.

Not only evil karma but also virtuous karma will obstruct you from attaining Buddhahood. Therefore, wealthy individuals have difficulty practicing Buddhism. When one’s karmic obstacles are purified, it doesn’t mean that they are gone. The law of cause and effect won’t vanish. If the law of cause and effect were to vanish, the virtuous deeds accumulated by attending today’s puja would vanish, too. To eliminate one’s karmic obstacles is not to let the power of virtuous karma and evil karma stop us from learning Buddhism so as to leave the sea of suffering of reincarnation.

When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had no money to eat before, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s wife left him, or children did not listen to him, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not pray to Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Even when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had skin cancer, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not pray to Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to cure it, since Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has known that all of these were nothing but Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s karmic effect, and as long as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche kept learning and cultivating Buddhist teachings, the future would definitely turn better.

It is also good to you if something bad happens after you attend puja since actually you are having a reduced heavy karmic effect. That is, being ill or suffering money loss are both much better than falling into hell or the animal realm.

You worry everyday about being suffering, dying early, having no money or no successful career. All the worry is coming from greed. Without having greed, one will have an easy time everyday. It is said in Zen: “Every day is a good day.” and it is just due to having no worries at all.

One may be worried about having no job yet before he finishes his studies in school. After getting a job, he will continue to worry about having no opportunity of getting a promotion. While learning Buddhism, one will be worried whether or not Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Rinpoche have efficacious response to him? Whether or not he will obtain what he prays for?

Isn’t it saying that ‘one will grant what one prays for’? How can one get one’s wishes granted? One prays will certainly correspond to Buddhas and Bodhisattvas if one’s prays are for not being reincarnated in the cycle of birth and death, for not falling into the three evil paths, or for benefiting sentient beings through learning and cultivating Buddhist teachings.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche always prays that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche could benefit sentient beings life after lives, and then Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s current life is becoming better: recovering from the skin cancer all of a sudden, children started to be obedient. And wife did leave which Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche thought it was still good because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche could be more fully focused on benefiting sentient beings wholeheartedly.

Do not consider that it is an easy job to be a Rinpoche. Only one who has heavy karma is eligible to be a Rinpoche. It takes a Rinpoche much more his exertions to help people since he has too heavy virtuous karma. Were it not for the heavy karma, he would have been sitting below like you and listening to the story about Buddha-Dharma in a relaxed mood.

Chod, the ritual practiced today, is one of the Eight Sadhana practices of Tibetan Buddhism. Through practice of Chod dharma, one can stop being reincarnated in the cycle of birth and death and attain the achievement. The Chod ritual of Drikung Kagyu is extraordinarily auspicious since its transmission of teaching has never been interrupted. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was bestowed the one-to-one empowerment from His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche, the root guru of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Besides, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was granted with the Dharma instrument that had been personally used by His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche for Chod ritual, which meant that the lineage of Chod ritual was transmitted onto Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. It was the exclusive Dhamra Protector of Drikung Kagyu Achi herself that attained accomplishment of enlightenment by the practice the Chod Dharma before she attained Buddhahood. The disciples of Drikung Kagyu know that it could be seen in the Dharma photo of Achi there is a Dharma instrument made by a human tibia bone carried at the waist, with a drum in her right hand. An experienced one would know that it shows that Achi attained the achievement through Chod.

Were it not for the causes and conditions in the past lives, one would not have had the opportunity of attending Chod puja. Is it enough for one to attend Chod puja just one time? The answer is no. Even if one’s karmic creditors or ancestors were liberated, but because they had not learned and cultivated Buddhist teachings in their lifetime, therefore they only could at most get rebirth in the realm of human or God. If they had learned and cultivated Buddhist teachings in their lifetime, they only could at most get rebirth in the lowest form of the lowest grade of Pure Land of Amitabha, and it takes at least 12 minor kalpas for them to attain Buddhahood. One minor kalpa is from the human beings’ life span starts from 80,000 years, and would be deceased by one year every 100 years. As humans’ life span reduces to ten years, it will begin to increase by one year every 100 years till 80,000 years old. A cycle like this is called a minor kalpa which is really a very long period. The descendants are not protected by their ancestors because their ancestors have not attained Buddhahood. Each time we, as still in the human world, attend puja is helpful for our karmic creditors and ancestors to shorten their time to attain Buddhahood.

Some people would claim they can perceive your past lives. This is a lie. In Buddhism, the number of our “past” lives is numerous. We don’t simple have one past life; it’s possible that we have ten thousand past lives or even one million. In every single life, we had two parents. Therefore, it is unthinkable that all our parents in all the past lives would come to one puja together. That’s impossible!

How could we help them to be liberated? First, it depends on how much reverence you have towards the Three Jewels. Secondly is if the causes and conditions meet. Thirdly, it relies on whether or not the deceased had accumulated sufficient merits to be liberated. Every time you attend a puja, you accumulate certain merits for your ancestors. Many disciples would suddenly think of names of their past ancestors, families or friends after one or two years of attending to the Chod pujas. This is because such continuous attendance can accumulate enough merits for them so that your mind will all of a sudden connect with them.

However, it’s not true that every puja can be so effective. A great many of other pujas are required to pay in advance to register the names of the deceased so that they can be liberated. Additionally, many complex procedures would also be undertaken in those pujas, but they might not work out. To the contrary, as long as you write down names of the deceased in the pujas held by the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center, it will certainly be effective.

When you attend pujas, you ought to wish to benefit all beings, no matter they are related to you or not. If you only wish to take care of your own matters, you can’t even help those who are related to you. But, if you wish all beings can be helped by Buddha-Dharma, such wishful power will be immeasurable. All beings are longing for help; Buddhas and Bodhisattvas would like to liberate all beings from sufferings so that all beings can obtain happiness. Therefore, our participation in pjuas can create causal connections between all beings and Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. For this reason, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will praise your actions. Praises of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas is indeed the blessings which can in turn help to change your lot. On the other hand, if you only think of your own matters, there would be no blessings because your minds don’t correspond with those of Buddhas.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is like a medium between Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and all beings. Those who can sit at the thorn are not ordinary people any more; they are representatives of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. If you perceive your guru as Buddhas, you’ll be blessed by Buddhas; If you perceive your guru as Avalokiteshvara, you’ll be blessed by Avalokiteshvara; If you perceive your guru as ordinary people, you’ll simply be blessed by ordinary people.

There are so many people attend today’s puja, more than one thousand. How come some of you can benefit from the participation but some can’t, even though the master conducts the puja is the same one? In addition to various complex reasons, the most critical one is your mind. You ought to transform your mind to become unselfish. To feel your own sorrows, sufferings, and difficulties is due to your selfishness. As long as you are still self-centered, you can’t cultivate compassion. Without compassion, there exists no Buddhism.

Many people might suggest you become emptiness. Such suggestion is an error. We still possess a human body. How can we let go of our bodies? Does no thinking mean becoming emptiness? No. Genuine nature of void is wisdom. All of you were born with wisdom that is concealed. If you can cultivate unselfishness and compassion, you’ll be able to uncover your wisdom one day. Why are you confused about your future? It’s all because your wisdom is covered and you’re full of greediness, which would obscure your perception.

Why are outsiders better at taking clearer point of view? It’s because outsiders perceive others’ business irrelevant to them. In comparison, insiders are only thinking of themselves. For the one thing, they don’t want to be taken advantage of. Secondly, they want enjoyment. Thirdly, they don’t want any troubles. Fourthly, they want to avoid pains. Therefore, insiders’ perception is naturally blurred.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche focuses specifically on finding your fault; if not finding your fault, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would not perform Rinpoche’s duty correctly. You came to learn Buddhism because you had problems; and finding your fault is a way to address your problems. Practicing Buddha Dharma requires one to have a guru. Some people like to pick a Buddhist master from watching TV and think that they have a freedom of choice. With today’s well-developed information technology, even in universities, there still are teachers teaching students face to face; then why does learning Buddhism not require a teacher? Do you think that you can attain achievements by just reading and understanding Buddhist sutra? Even studying requires a teacher to supervise. The purpose of supervision is to prevent you from arrogance. Before one can attain Buddhahood, one will still has ignorance and still require to be supervised. If one could practice Buddha dharma by oneself without a teacher, one would not be practicing the true Buddha dharma.

Therefore, a guru will state clearly the background of his lineage. Those who said that they were entrusted with a mission by Avalokiteshvara in their dreams are all wrong; Buddhist sutras did not describe such things. Avalokiteshvara is everywhere, but if you have only a slightest selfishness, you will not be able to see her. Otherwise, everyone could see Avalokiteshvara and there would be no need for Buddha statues.

Buddha dharma is not superstition; it has its hierarchy and order and is scientific; the phenomenon of Universe stated by Buddha dharma cannot be realized by one’s life experience. The Avatamsaka Sutra is a very important Buddhist sutra; its first chapter has already stated that the color of Earth is blue from seeing from the outer space. There was no space shuttle three thousand years ago; how could this fact be known? So ancient people would think what the Avatamsaka Sutra said was a myth. But now the modern science has proved that what Buddha has stated is correct.

Buddha taught the disciples not to lie and that one cannot say yes to the phenomenon not existed in the Universe and also say no to the phenomenon existed in the Universe. Buddha also wanted us to keep our precepts; so, what Buddha had said during his forty-nine years of teaching was all true.

Do not use your human brain to look at Buddha dharma, or judge Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s deeds. The accomplished level of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is not given by you, but confirmed by His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche. His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche is very strict and will not let anyone who is not qualified teach Buddha dharma on dharma seat.

Talking so much, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche hopes everyone knows how to adjust his mind and attitude in the puja. If one can have enough cooperation and adjustment, one’s matters can be changed. One should not want to know what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is doing during the dharma conduction. Tantra cannot be taught in public since even if it is taught openly you will still not understand and will cause you worries.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, this afternoon, just conducted the Phowa dharma to help a deceased person. The deceased was in a hospital in Ren-Ai road while Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche conducted the dharma in Xin-Yi Redevelopment Zone. Regardless the distance, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has opened a little hole on the skull of the deceased person as before, and transferred the deceased to the Pure Land. What Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche could do cannot be done by you. If you still do not believe, you should not come again.

When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche says “speak your name”, say your name and the names of those who you would like to help and are still alive three times. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche says “speak the names of the deceased”, then say the names of those who you would like to help and have already passed away. You should speak loudly. Though there are only one thousand people who attend this puja in front of our eyes, actually, when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche blows the dharma instrument, there will have many more sentient beings to come in and the scene will be very chaotic. If we can speak out loud their names, we express our respect to them. It would be helpful to them if they are respected.

Then Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche conducted the auspicious Chod dharma and the dharma ritual of the unshared Dharma Protector A-Chi of the Drikung Kagyu Lineage.

September 19, 2009

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened believers with Buddhism and helped them to relieve all kinds of suffering in the world at Glorious Jewel Jewellery Company.

September 20, 2009

During the regular puja held at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center in Taipei, the believers and disciples listened with reverence to the audio recording of a Dharma talk on the meanings of taking refuge bestowed by Most Venerable Rinchen Dorjee on April 28th, 2002. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche bestowed the following teachings: If the meanings of taking refuge are not explained, many people will think that there is nothing to do after taking refuge. They won’t conduct any practice in this life, nor will they change their personalities or continue to keep in touch with the Buddhist teachings. Such refuge is taken meaninglessly!

Why does one have to take refuge while learning Buddhism? Many people might think, “With the knowledge I already have, I may simply purchase books to read, bring Buddhist sutras home to study, or buy a Buddha’s statue. Will it make any difference?” Such thinking is absolutely false. First of all, we need to understand that, during the time when Buddha Sakyamuni bestowed the Buddhist sutras, Buddha Sakyamuni’s audience was those who had got aspiration bodhichitta. What is aspiration bodhichitta? People with aspiration bodhichitta are those who have been imparted with Buddhist teachings and have benefited all the sentient beings. When we are still at the level of a worldly person, we read Buddhist sutras in a way derived from our life experiences, i.e. differentiation, and then apply our knowledge and written language on the sutras so as to explain the meanings of the sutra’s content. Therefore, the virtuous ones in ancient times said that, if written words are used to explain what the Buddha means, Buddhas in the three worlds will complain about the injustice. It means that the past, present, and future Buddhas will all complain about the injustice. The written words recorded in the sutras are used as a skillful means. We human beings in the Saha Land are the only sentient beings in the universe that use language as a means of communication. In fact, there are a lot of sentient beings in the universe using the eighth or seventh consciousness instead of language to communicate. Therefore, in order to make Buddhist study more convenient for us human beings, the Buddha cannot help but use written words and language comprehensible to us to talk to us. Nonetheless, what we call knowledge is something obtained from the books, i.e. our life experiences, and has nothing to do with Buddha’s wisdom or liberation from the cycle of birth and death. If one reads the Buddhist sutras with his knowledge or what he knows without learning under the guidance of a guru, he will easily develop a sense of attachment and go astray.

Though we understand the background information about Gui-Yi (taking refuge), it doesn’t mean that we understand all the meanings of what the Buddha says. Hence, when it comes to taking refuge, we have to follow a guru of virtues who has not broken his refuge vows so as to study and learn Buddhist teachings from him. One of virtues is a person who has got all the virtues through practice, experiences in conducting practices, and attainments. Such a person will be able to impart his realization of the meanings of what the Buddha says through practice to us in accord with the Dharma. To take refuge is to rely upon a guru in order to study and learn Buddhist teachings. The Chinese character Gui means return. Nevertheless, Gui is used in Buddhism to say that one will turn his darkness into white when he is determined to take refuge in Buddhism.

Everything we have committed before learning Buddhism was black karma. One might think that he has never deceived, killed, or harmed others. However, if one has ever eaten meat, quarreled with others, or had hateful thoughts towards others, having committed those acts will be enough. According to the Sutra of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s Fundamental Vows, every thought of the worldly ones is karma as well as sin. Every thing we do or thought we have is always centered on ourselves. We all hope that we ourselves won’t get hurt. As a result, other sentient beings will get hurt instead. We eat meat because we are afraid that we won’t have enough nutrition. We want to make money because we have a sense of insecurity. We try our best to get promotion because we need fame and wealth. All these have made us commit evil deeds continuously. After learning the Buddhist teachings, one has to change his previous life style. It doesn’t mean that one has to spend hours reciting the Buddha’s name every day just like the ordained. The laity have their ways to learn Buddhism. It is through the instruction and guidance from a guru that one corrects and changes himself gradually, turning black into white. After we have sought refuge in Buddhism, we have learned about what to reflect more upon and what to pay closer attention to. Namely, we should commit less black karma and more white karma. White karma refers to the virtuous karma whereas black karma refers to the evil karma.

Here is another explanation of Gui. If we haven’t been influenced gradually by the Buddhist teachings or learned about the means of liberation, we will always be reincarnated in the six realms (the realms of Heavens, Asuras, Humans, Hungry Ghosts, Hells). It is suffering to be reincarnated in the six realms. After one studies and learns Buddhism, he will then have the opportunity to be liberated from the cycle of birth and death in current or future life. At leaving the sea of suffering, he will see a bright future. This serves as another meaning of Gui, turning from black to white.

As stated in the Avatamsaka Sutra, the Buddhist teachings are an illuminating lamp in the darkness which leads us to an illuminated path. No matter how much knowledge, power, and wealth one has in this life, they are merely manifestation of the karmic results of merits accumulated in his previous lives from a Buddhist perspective. However, merits can be used up, and all these things are considered impermanent from the Buddhist perspective. Impermanence means change. When good things are with you, bad things will follow; when bad things are with you, good things will follow, too. What we receive and use in this life has everything to do with the merits we accumulated in our previous lives. Nonetheless, it doesn’t mean that these merits will help one to understand the truth. Therefore, the future is vastly dark for those who do not study and learn Buddhism.

The reason why everyone does their very best to study, earn money, have a child, and purchase a house lies in the fact that we lack a sense of security and don’t know where our future is. Therefore, we hope to stabilize and secure our hearts through other means. In order to buy this sense of security, we bring harm to people unscrupulously and create a lot of evil causes. Thereby, our future is vastly dark.

A Buddhist knows what may be done and what may not be done. A worldly person always regards taking and earning as the first thing to do no matter what. He would wait for the problems to emerge and then solve them. However, when problems do arise, he would complain about the suffering. Therefore, the Buddhist teachings are a lamp in our dark future, leading us to an illuminated path and making us feel safe and fear-free about the future. The reason why Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara is also known as the Fearless Bodhisattva lies in that he knows no fear. Fearless Bodhisattva understands that his future karmic results will definitely be good because everything he does in the present is good. Why are we afraid of the future? It is because we know but wouldn’t admit that what we have been doing is evil. For example, some people insist on smoking and regard it impossible to quit, but they know well that smoking is harmful to their health. Others know well that drinking is bad for health, but they still drink alcohol so as to satisfy their temporary desires. Still others know well that more meat means more fat and more damage to the body, but they still insist on eating it just to satisfy a bit of their desires. Worldly people indulge their minds and do whatever they please. Worldly people are not afraid of creating evil causes, but they would try to escape the manifested evil results. So, one will be told not to create any more evil causes in his Buddhist study. When one is determined not to create evil causes any longer, he will be making his way to the path of virtues.

To seek refuge is for one to be guided and directed with the Buddhist teachings so as to know clearly about his future direction. A person who has aspired to seek refuge is a practical one. Even though he is poverty stricken or suffers from illnesses, he knows very well that his future will be a bright one. Actually, the character Gui has not yet been fully elaborated. It is difficult to understand when knowledge is used to explain any word from the Buddha. Unless a person follows a guru to learn Buddhism after taking refuge, just like Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has done, he won’t know the greatness, mercy, and compassion of the Buddha and true meanings of what the Buddha says. Therefore, one should not be proud or arrogant, or think that he has fully understood. If one says he understands, it is differentiation that he has. Without seeing one’s nature with a clear mind, one still has a lot of deluded thoughts and continues to differentiate.

The difference between the Bodhisattvas and us lies that the Bodhisattvas have very small amount of differentiation, attachment, and deluded thoughts. The Buddhas and the Bodhisattvas do not differentiate at all. Ask ourselves if we have differentiation. There are things we like and don’t like. If someone treats us better, we then like him. If someone criticizes us, we then dislike him. This is differentiation. Why are buffet meals getting more and more popular around the world? Because every customer has great differentiation and doesn’t know what to order even after looking at the menu for 10 minutes. Therefore, all the dishes are simply presented so the customers get to choose whatever they like. This is differentiation. When one glances at the dishes over and over again, picking what he likes, he does not accord with conditions.

When one feels unpleased upon hearing other people’s child crying and considers their child disturbing him during his listening of the Buddhist teachings, he has differentiation. If it were his own child who was crying, he wouldn’t have such a thought.

Learning Buddhism enables one to start changing himself with minimal issues. If one regards his learning of Buddhism will bring him miraculous powers, sensory experiences, feelings, and an ability to transform, all of them are fake. Maha Moggallana, the foremost disciple of Buddha Sakyamuni, ranked first in presenting miraculous powers, but he was beaten to death. It is because miraculous powers cannot change one’s karmic results. Even the Buddha has said that the Buddha cannot alter one’s karmic forces, and it takes the person himself to make the changes. Why does the Buddha hope us to take refuge then? When one starts to learn Buddhism and walks on the path leading to Buddhahood, which, though, may not be attained in this life or in the hundred and more lives to come, he is absolutely traveling in a good direction. As long as one has determination and doesn’t have any doubt about the Buddhas, he will eventually achieve accomplishments in certain life.

The character Yi refers to the fact we will have support life after life. The reason why we feel so much agitation lies in that we do not have support. Even if one has a family, family members, wealth, and social status, what support has he got? What support does one have when illness strikes? A doctor can only cure our bodies, but not our souls. What support does one have when many accidents happen to him? Even with a certain amount of aid given by the charities, we will still fail to eliminate the fear in our heart. Therefore, if one hasn’t taken refuge or learned Buddhism, he will have great fear upon encountering the ripened karmic results and won’t know who to seek help from. However, one will have support when he has taken refuge in Buddhism. He will have support from the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and his guru, who will provide him with all the helps. After one takes refuge, his guru will shoulder the responsibility to impart the Buddhist teachings to him. As long as one is willing to attend the pujas continuously, the guru will definitely impart him all the Buddhist teachings that the guru himself has learned, realized, and experienced in this life before he passes away. Buddhist teachings are different from other subjects, and there is nothing that one can learn about while another can’t. It is because the Buddha once said that all the sentient beings are equal. The natures of all the sentient beings are the same. It is simply because we have covered our good nature in the process of reincarnation and been gradually influenced by the five poisons, i.e. greed, hatred, ignorance, arrogance, and doubt. Therefore, by means of learning Buddhism, these bad things, which will impact our future, will be eliminated little by little, and our illuminated prospect shall manifest itself naturally.

As for Buddha-Dharma, the position of being a teacher and a student is complex. For example, Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva is still a Bodhisattva now even though Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva has practiced and cultivated Buddhist teachings for eleven major kalpas which a period could not be calculated out by human time. Three minor kalpas lead to one medium kalpa. Three medium kalpas lead to one major kalpa. One minor kalpa is from the human beings’ life span starts from 80,000 years, and would be deceased by one year every 100 years. As humans’ life span reduces to ten years, it will begin to increase by one year every 100 years till 80,000 years old. Now we are on the kalpa of decrease. For thousand years, the human life span has been on the average of one hundred years. Till next time Maitreya comes here the human life span will b e eighty thousand years. The interval period is one minor kalpa. So we can tell that the time of eleven major kalpas is very long. In fact, many buddhas had been the disciples of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva. However, the vow of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva is not to attain Buddhahood until all hells are vacated, and so that Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva is still in the level of a Bodhisattva. When Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva gives Dharma teachings, those Buddhas still come to listen to it. With the same situation, today Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightens you on the Buddhist teachings on the Dharma seat. This is from the causes and conditions between Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and you in the past. If you can truly practice in accordance with Dharma and teachings, it is possible that you attain Buddhahood in future life earlier than Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Since Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s vow – Would not attain Buddhahood before all sentient beings attain it — is similar with Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva’s vow, you all have to attain Buddhahood and then Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche could have the opportunity of attaining it.

The point of view of Buddha Dharma is totally different from the non-Buddhist path. The other religions, including Chinese popular religion in Taiwan, put the focus on only one object such as a lord who is always on the highest position, while you would be on the lower. Through the process of learning Buddha-Dharma and its training, one day you will definitely attain Buddhahood. When five patriarchs Hui-Neng gave his clothes and alms bowl to the sixth patriarch Hui-Neng, at first five patriarchs Hui-Neng rowed the boat for the sixth patriarch Hui-Neng while they were crossing the river and then he asked sixth patriarch to row the boat by himself. The sixth patriarch asked why and five patriarchs replied that: ‘When one is ignorant, one’s guru helps the one to cross the ocean of ignorance.’ That is, when you adhere obstinately to error, your guru helps you to cross it. When you attain enlightened, you help yourself to cross it. Now you are still confused and ignorant, so your guru helps you, teaches you methods and gives you time in the way to let yourself gradually realize. After you attain realization, you can start to help yourself on your own. In Buddhist teachings, showing obedience for one’s parents and respect to one’s teacher as well as the elder are highly emphasized in terms of the etiquette; however, in the inner meaning of the teacher and disciple, their positions may change or become equal.

Your respect to your Guru today is coming from that he is able to teach you with the treasure of Buddha-Dharma that can help for your future lives. Therefore, you ought to respect your guru the same as the respect from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche. Since what His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche gives to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is not accessible by buying with money or exchanging with any thing in the world. Therefore, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche highly esteems His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche and hopes that through truly cultivate Buddhist teachings Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will be able to benefit sentient beings some day.

From the first day Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche took refuge under Buddha, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had never thought to become a Guru. Unlike some other people who want to teaches Buddha-Dharma and be the bigger Dharma brother after they learn Buddhist teachings merely for one or two year, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had never had that thought. However, with the causes and conditions’ push, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche naturally became a guru, and that was also from the causes and conditions of the past lives. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had ever asked His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had so many disciples. Did Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche owe those disciples in former lives? His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche said: Yes! Because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not teach you well in former lives so that you are still reincarnated in the ocean of suffering in the cycle of birth and death; therefore, in this life you came to take refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, and now Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has to be very strict! Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche hopes that you will be liberated from the cycle of birth and death in this life so that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is strict with you.

After taking refuge, everyday you have to use some time to listen to the audio record of Dharma teachings enlightened by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, recite mantra, and practice Dharma protector Achi. Everyone can make the time to do it. Many people say they are very busy. No matter how busy you are, you definitely have time, even in half an hour, fifteen minutes, or five minutes, to do it as long as you are willing to do. The heart of ordinary people is very slack and prone to create some excuses for themselves: ‘It does not matter. I can do it tomorrow.’ Hence there goes a saying: ‘Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.’ The important behavior for a Buddhist learner does not lie on how diligent you are but lie on how perseverant you are. Repeat over and over again. Why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is not slack but you are? It is because you have not developed the heart of mercy and compassion and Bodhicitta. Many of you, including those who are coming to take refuge today and those who have taken refuge, know that there are benefits of seeking refuge. But they do not actually know what the very benefit is. They may think that it could let them become rich, or prevent their husband from having extramarital relations, or be good for their children’s schoolwork. However, the mentioned thoughts are kept inappropriately. Taking refuge is to give you the opportunity of starting to learn Buddhist teachings by which could really liberate you from the cycle of birth and death. Your worldly life would also turn brighter after taking refuge as you cut off any negative deeds and commit yourself on doing any virtues. Of course matured karmic effects could not be changed since Buddha is not able to alter the karma. Indeed the maturing of karmic effect is a good thing for that the debts are paid off and not owed anymore! Some people may say that they originally were not unlucky but after they took refuge they became out of luck. This is kind of thought is wrong! The suffering of being out of luck may appear after fifteen or twenty years even right before your death, and at that time, especially for those appearing two or three years before one’s death will be very heavy, such as acquiring severe illness, or some problems happening to their family members. Taking refuge under Buddha could make something happen earlier and reduce heavy karmic effect! Those who are going to lose their lives may just pay off the debt by acquiring a severe illness. It is just like the case that you own bank money, and the bank does not charge you interest but you still have to pay off the principal. Therefore, do not think that it will always turn better after taking refuge. This thought is wrong, since Buddha is not able to alter our karma but Buddha is able to lighten our karma. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has experienced a lot! After Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche took refuge and learned Exoteric Buddhism, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche started to learn tantric dharma and in the beginning years Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was too poor to even have a meal. However, unlike you, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had never had a thought like: it was because Buddhas and Bodhisattvas punished me, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas did not bless and protect me, and His Holiness did not help me! Instead, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche felt it was good for him to pay off the debt at the age of forties and it did not matter to get a renewed life after all debts were paid off.

Think clearly before taking refuge. Do not listen to some other outside people that you wrongly took refuge and you originally had no problem before taking refuge! Do not unintentionally defame the Buddhas. Some people may have lesser chance to defame the Buddhas when they do not take refuge and slander the Buddhas after taking refuge, because he can not get what he want. The Buddha has taught us to decrease our desires and discrimination. To cultivate Buddhist teachings is not to fulfill your desires, making everything go your way. To cultivate Buddhist teachings is to realize the truth and to really benefit sentient beings as well as liberate oneself from the cycle of birth and death, by which is the true Buddha-Dharma. It is the non-Buddhist path to have the thoughts that one learns Buddhist teachings for wealth, family and health. Surely in the Sutra it is said that you can get whatever you pray to Bodhisattvas, but that is under the circumstance that you have already corrected yourself and totally accept the compassionate teachings from Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.

After taking refuge we have to listen to Buddha-Dharma, learn it and completely change ourselves from our body, speech and mind. To change one self is the hardest job in the world or even in the universe. Why is it so hard? It is hard to change our life experiences and habits in this life all of a sudden. Moreover, with the habits accumulated from past lives, it is much harder to change. Therefore, it is said in the sutra that before attaining the ten Bhumis, one would still have some habits accumulated from past lives. Although it is hard to change, it does not mean that it can not be attained. It needs patience and perseverance to correct little by little. It is said in the Sutra: ‘you should become a good person to perfection before attaining Buddhahood.’ Before one meets the conditions of a human being, one is not qualified to say he is learning Buddhism or a Buddhist disciple. About the conditions of a human being, that is clearly depicted in the Ten Meritorious Acts.

One disciple is a professor and he often finds some excuses to not come to attend puja. As a result, he started to have some accidents such as car crash, falling over, spraining his muscle, breaking his legs or arms. It was not the punishment from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s Dharma protector or Buddha and Bodhisattvas. Dharma protectors and Buddha and Bodhisattvas are compassionate and they do not punish people. It was the professors’ karmic creditors who tricked with him since he lied to them that he would attend puja but actually he did not. Do not misthink that guru, Buddha and Bodhisattvas will punish you. In fact, Buddha and Bodhisattvas will not make any management on you since Buddha and Bodhisattvas let all things go as their conditions. However, when you originally promise to attend puja but finally you don’t, your karmic creditors will be angry, including your ancestors of generations whose consciousness have not been transferred. Ancestors of generations do not only include ancestors in this life but also your family dependants from past hundreds and thousands lives. Their consciousness have not been transferred would gain the benefit of Dharma by each time you attend puja. They start to go on to the better place. After they are fine, you will be fine, too. Therefore, do not say that one is totally all right and live a good day after taking refuge. It may be too late for one to attend puja only after they start to have problems.

Cultivation of Buddhism is a gradual and long-term process which is not achieved in one, two, five or ten years.  Taking refuge is classified into several levels. Many refuges in the general refuge ceremonies accord with the conditions. For example, clouds of people will swarm to attend the refuge ceremonies when they hear that some great temples, Dharma masters, famous monks or His Holiness will hold the ceremonies. However, refuge ceremonies accord with the conditions mean that the refuge is taken according to your conditions. This kind of refuge can let you have an opportunity to take refuge again in your future life, but it can not alter the past evil karma. Another kind of refuge is with the relationship between guru and disciples. This refuge will be explained with its meaning clearer with solemnity

We took refuge under Buddhas, Dharma, and Sangha. Nowadays, the Buddha on earth is Sakyamuni Buddha whose Dharma years would extend for 12000 years and so far 2500 years have passed. We have entered into the Age of Dharma Decline. The Age of Right Dharma is the 500 years after Sakyamuni Buddha’s passing. Between the 500 years and the 1000 years is the Age of Semblance Dharma. So we have entered into the Age of Dharma Decline. What are the differences among beings born in the Age of Right Dharma, Semblance Dharma and Dharma Decline? Those who personally followed Sakyamuni Buddha were master practitioners with great merits. Those disciples of Sakyamuni Buddha were reborn on earth to follow him. That’s why Buddhist Sutra depicted that 1200 shravakas had followed Sakyamuni Buddha and listened to the Dharma teachings. However, now in Taiwan, not to mention 1200 shravakas, it’s impossible to find 12 because we are in the Age of Dharma Decline.

When one hasn’t got any child, he worries about the time when he has a child. When the pregnancy begins, he then worries that the baby might have problems after being delivered. After the child is delivered, he then worries that the child might not grow up. When his child has grown up, he then worries that the child might have difficulty in school. When his child does well in school, he then worries that the child might not find a good job. When the child has got a good job, he then worries that the child might not get a good wife. When the child has married a good wife, he then worries that the child might not have a good child. Isn’t it a lot of trouble? Women have troubles, whereas men have theirs, too.

Therefore, all the sentient beings who were born in this degenerate age have great afflictions. That is why these sentient beings in the degenerate age are difficult to transfer. The Buddha also said that how much we can learn after seeking refuge is an issue of ours, rather than that of the guru or the Buddha. Hence, as a frequently uttered saying goes, “Accord with conditions.” What conditions do we accord with? It is our own conditions to accord with. For example, many people listened to the Buddhist teachings bestowed by the Buddha in his life time, but how many of them truly attained Enlightenment? Not many. Take the Sixth Patriarch Hui Neng for example, he had a lot of disciples when he was alive, but only forty or so truly saw their nature with a clear mind or attain Enlightenment. The Sixth Patriarch Hui Neng lived his life in the age of semblance Dharma.

Never ever think that it is difficult to learn and study Buddhism. How difficult is it? It is because we have heavy karma. Therefore, the reason why we were told to come attend the pujas is to eliminate our karma. Why does Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche recite the Hundred Syllable Mantra so as to eliminate our karma at the onset of the regular puja held every Sunday? It is because we won’t be able to remain seated for 2 hours if we have heavy karma. Why can we remain seated for 2 hours even though it is overly crowded here? Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s mantras have made our karmic creditors from our past and current lives happy, so they wouldn’t disturb us, thereby enabling us to listen for 2 hours. Some people have paid 3000 or 5000 NTD for the audio recordings of other talks in cassettes and video cassettes. This is not something Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will do. The sentient beings in the degenerate age are pitiful, for they have to spend a lot of money and are still unable to get the orthodox Dharma.

Therefore, to seek refuge is to enable one to get in touch with the orthodox Dharma. Many people come and go in Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s Buddhist center. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will never seek for anyone on his initiative, nor will Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche be angry. This is their conditions, which arise and fall. However, as long as one has ever taken refuge, he will continue to take refuge in his future lives. Maybe he won’t take refuge in Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche won’t seek for him.

After taking refuge, there are a few matters we should pay attention to. The subject we seek refuge in is the Buddha, which represents Enlightenment. Therefore, we take refuge under the Buddha, who will then lead us to the path of Enlightenment by taking us in refuge.

Seek refuge in the Dharma, which, explained by the Buddha, is a means to attain Buddhahood as well as a means to practice. Do not mistake the so called “practice” as a requirement for one to recite a certain number of recitations of sutras and mantras on a daily basis. The meaning of practice is for us to receive help from the Buddhist teachings so as to change our conduct. There must be faults in our conduct, for we would attain Enlightenment if there weren’t any errors. Were it not for the faults, we wouldn’t be in this Saha Land. Many people claim that they are fault-free. Nonetheless, if one says, “I have had any faults, “he sure has had faults! What is the reason then? Did you ever hate others? Did you ever take others’ belongings without their permission? All of us did so. Whoever claims that he didn’t has faults! Have you been very selfish? Yes, you have!

We Chinese people are the most selfish of all. The most dirty public washrooms in the world are those belonging to us Chinese people, Taiwanese and Mainland Chinese included! We Chinese people are very selfish and pay no attention to others. Such selfish conduct is wrong. Therefore, if one thinks of himself as fault-free, he will not be able to feel repentance to learn Buddhism. Thereby, he will have difficulty changing his life. That’s why we have to seek refuge in the Dharma, through which we generate wisdom. We can then understand the problems we have so as to set off and fix our mistakes again from scratch. This is the reason why we take refuge in the Dharma.

Take refuge in the Sangha, which doesn’t only refer to the ordained. Many people think that to take refuge in the Sangha is to seek refuge under a monk or a nun. It’s not the case. In Tibetan Buddhism, a lama is still not qualified to have disciples even if he has completed a 3-year long retreat. In Taiwan, however, those who have finished 5 years of education in a Buddhist college would accept offerings and prostrations. It would be impossible to do so in Tibetan Buddhism. All the lamas are financially supported by their families, including their food, clothing, and necessities. They can’t accept offerings from the believers. But, Taiwanese believers are used to doing prostrations and offering money to any ordained person. They act in this way out of superstition.

However, according to the rules in Tibetan Buddhism, those who have been enthroned are people who have achieved a certain level in Exoteric Buddhist theories and tantric practices. Therefore, being an ordained Tibetan Buddhist doesn’t mean that he can take disciples. The rule is strictly followed. On the contrary we have lower standards in Taiwan because a lot of Taiwanese are inventors. Sangha refers to a Sangha group with Bhikkhus, Bhikkhunis, Upasakas and Upasikas, who have practiced in accord with the teachings and thereby have seen their nature with a clear mind. We are not a Sangha group because we haven’t seen our nature yet. In Tibetan Buddhism, we can be called a Sangha group because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is a lay guru, i.e. an Upasaka, and there are the ordained Bhikkhus and Bhikkhunis in the Lineage.

Why do we take refuge in the Sangha group? It is because he is our teacher and will talk about and help us with the experiences he has got from practicing Buddhism. He will be capable of helping us with our mundane and supra-mundane affairs. Therefore, to seek refuge in the Sangha is for us to obtain the means to change our future lives. Taking refuge refers to taking refuge in the Three Jewels, i.e. Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, and each of them is indispensable.

In other words, many Taiwanese who learn Buddhism would hide themselves at home after they take refuge. They would get a sutra and recite it every day, thinking that they only have to deal with the Buddhas now that they have taken refuge. That is right. However, what is the problem then? They cannot see the Buddhas because their hearts aren’t pure and clear yet. What is a pure and clear heart? It is a heart which no first person point of view is taken. It is a heart which “I” do not exist. It is a heart in which everything is done for the benefit of others. Only with such a pure and clear heart, one will then be qualified to see the Buddhas. As our hearts haven’t reached such a level, how can we shut the doors and think that the Buddhas will come to us simply because we have recited the Buddha’s name?

Therefore, a lot of Buddhist learners have gone the wrong way in Buddhism. After taking refuge, the first thing many people would ask is, “What assignment do we have?” This is a question they always ask. What assignment can be given before they take the class? One takes his classes when attending the pujas. After the classes are taken, he will then have his assignments to work on.

Taiwanese are still arrogant with the thought that reciting Buddha’s names is practicing. In fact it is not! One has to correct one’s bad habits through Buddha-Dharma and only by which is called practice. If you do not correct yourself, no matter how many sutra you read will not take effect.

Therefore, only to take refuge under those who possess Buddha, Dharma, Sangha could then be called a Buddhist disciple. One who only recites Sutra at home after taking refuge is not qualified to be called a Buddhist disciple. First of all he is definitely arrogant and self-pride. Second, he will be slack. The sixth patriarch Hui-Neng can attain realization by listening to the Vajra Sutra read by other people, but he still kept learning from the fifth patriarch until he learned the dharma of mind. You think yourselves have good capacity. How can you be compared with the sixth patriarch? How can you attain enlightened by staying at home? Do not be arrogant. In learning Buddhist teachings, the worst is to be arrogant.

Taking refuge under the three Jewels is spoken by Buddha Sakyamuni. Buddha Sakyamuni is definitely our guru. How can you be qualified to be a Buddhist disciple if you do not listen to even your guru’s words?

You have to pay attention to the following after taking refuge:

After taking refuge, do not prostrate towards other gods or deities, including in any temple, any gods and any other religions. This is not because Buddha is on the higher position nor Buddha does not allow you to take that action. What’s the reason for you to learn Buddhist teachings? It is to get liberated from the cycle of birth and death. Only Buddha can help us to obtain liberation from the cycle of birth and death. All other gods or deities are still in the cycle of birth and death. For example, the God of Catholicism and the God of Christianity are in the realm of Gods; some of the deities of Taoism are in the realm of Gods while some are in the realm of human. All of these are to reincarnate. How can they help us to obtain liberation?

Therefore, after taking refuge under Buddha, you do not need to ask the non-Buddhist path for help. Since you have taken refuge, the dharma protector of your guru, all the virtuous gods will come to help you, protect you and bless you. If you disobey your vow after taking refuge, those virtuous gods and dharma protector will leave you! At the same time, the gods or deities of other religions also see that you have already taken refuge. Why you still come here? Therefore, he will also ignore you. Thus you will be tragic.

Human beings like to keep a foot in both camps. Get something here and there. You must not keep your foot in both camps. Otherwise you will be very tragic. Therefore after taking refuge, if you have to came to the temples of other religions, you could just nod and do not make prostration or kneel down. After taking refuge, do not ask the gods for a prophecy.

After taking refuge, one does not need to seek divine advice and does not need fortune telling because Sakyamuni Buddha is absolutely opposed to tell the future and against divination. Your life is in your own hands, not told by a fortune-teller. If by fortune-telling you can change your destiny, then with so many fortune-tellers around in the world, why are there still poor people? Why are people who die a sudden death? Even though a fortune-telling is very accurate, it does not mean that your matters may not be changed. There is no such thing as tending towards luck to avoid danger in this world.

Some also asked whether they can pray to their ancestors or not. Worshipping our ancestors is just a way of commemoration, rather than a religious act; and there is no need for us to ask for our ancestor’s help. We Chinese are very fond of seeking protections and blessings from our ancestors, but can ghosts really protect and bless you? Would asking the ancestors to protect and bless you all day long let the ancestors worry and feel sorry all the time?

We Chinese people have a bad habitual thought that whenever things go well we think we are fortunate, however whenever we are out of luck we don’t confess our evildoings but think that they are the matters regarding ancestors such as there must be something wrong with the graves or those tablets with their names, or they did not accumulate enough merits for us etc. What we should have while worshiping ancestors is the gratitude, or memorial. The worship should not a perform as a religious activity, so there is no need to pray them for anything. After taking refuge, do no use meat to worship ancestors as depicted in sutras. It is also depicted in the Mahayana’s sutras that we should not eat any meat or food that ware used to worship ancestors. This is not say that the food is bad. There are some reasons that you should not eat them before your inner air is strong enough for the future dharma that you will practice. Buddha emphasizes filial piety very much. So the relationship between our ancestors and us is of gratitude, or memorial, not religious. In fact, many psychics nowadays, esp. at home or in pulpits to puit the soul of terrified people, are possessed by the ghosts of their family. If you r ancestors are always in the Ghost Realm, your family will not be in good condition and there must be something wrong happened.

It is not to cut off the relationship with ancestors after taking refuge. We have to memorize all of our life after life’s parents who are still suffering in the six realms. How could it possible that Guru teach you to abandon our ancestors? The point is the method should be appropriate.

“Take refuge in Dharma” is to teach you do not hurt all of sentient beings after taking refuge. Surely you must start adopting vegetarian food. Being a vegetarian, you will have much less chances to hurt sentient beings, except ants, mosquitos, cockroaches etc. Those non-vegetarians or meat eaters often have the green onions or garlic, and therefore their reciting sutra is useless. What is the most important meaning of not hurting beings? It is not to hurt sentient beings for self benefit. We could repent ourselves for those killings we commit inattentively. It is also depicted in the Buddhist Sutra that it is allowable to eat some organs of some animals as one of the prescription medicine. That is not a open precepts, not breaking the precepts. Many people have the wrong thought that lamas eat meat. Our His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche is vegetarian, and all lamas in the India monasteries are vegetarians too. Eating meat is one of cause that makes us falling into the Hell Realm. So is the drinking wine. Do not use insecticide to kill ants, mosquitos, cockroaches etc at home. If hurt them inattentively during cleaning up the house, you could make it up by the attending pujas or by practicing the repentance Dharma.

Thirdly, take refuge in Sangha. After taking refuge in Guru, you can not rely on any non-Buddhist practitioners, who did not follow Buddha Dharma to practice. Those who look like Buddhist practitioners but do not talk about Buddhist teachings are also non-Buddhist. Your mind has already been complicated. If you visit too many Buddhist centers, your mind will be much more complicated and, as a result, you will have no idea to follow which way of teachings. The methods and stages of Dharma that are taught to practice Buddhism are different in different Buddhist centers. For the moment in Taiwan, only Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is the lay Guru in Drikung Kagyu Lineage, other Gurus of Drikung Kagyu in Taiwan are ordained Gurus.

The philosophy of Buddha Dharma is the same for all of Buddhist teachings. The difference is Guru will teach you the methods that you are able to achieve according to your learning environment. If the Dharma that Guru teaches you is out of your capability, the dharma despite of it auspiciousness will not be good for you.

Do not make your husband misunderstand Buddhism due to your learning it. Do not make quarrels between you both due to that either. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will always ask her not to come and correct herself. Once she does correct her deeds well, her husband will let her come naturally.

Once His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche enlightened on the dharma seat that why some disciples question their Gurus has problems actually is their mind have problems, not their Guru’s. It is because your mind has greed, hatred, ignorance, arrogance, and doubt, so you will see a virtuous Guru has problems. In the time of Buddha Sakyamuni, some of his disciples thought he had problems too and eventually had not followed him to learn Buddhism. We should pay much reverence towards the Three Jewels, i.e. the Buddhist Sutra, Buddhist Statues, or Buddhist Stupas when we see them. Therefore, do not lay the any of Buddhist texts or Buddhist statues on any places without concerns, instead laying them on the more appropriate places.

The cards of Buddha are very popular in Taiwan. It is very bad and without reverence that men often put those cards in their wallets in their ass pockets. First, Although he has taken refuge, his master did not tell him about this. Secondly, why did he accept the card of Buddha? Do observe the precepts of refuge and not break it, although others send you gifts and even your life are critical. The life of this life is limited while the life of refuge is limitless. Once you give up your precepts of refuge, you will have very few opportunity of learning Buddhism.

It is hard to obtain the human body in this life. In the Tantra was exemplified the quantity of human beings: the quantity of beings in the hell is as snowflakes in the sky that block the view; the quantity of Animal beings is like the sand grains along the Ganges; the quantity of human beings is like a handful sand grains from the Ganges. Obtaining the human body in this life, you must have good deeds and listened to Buddhist Teachings in past lives. You, however, have not liberated yourself from birth and death, and is given another chance in this life. If you fail to grasp this opportunity, when you could obtain human body again is unknown. Those who have not practiced Buddhist Teachings obediently are not necessarily human in the next life, but could be animals with great merits, the pets that we raise. Many people who accumulate merits by taking refuge and reciting Buddha’s name, are still foolish and are reborn as animals in the next lives. The dogs raised by His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche and by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche are examples of pets with merits that take vegetarian diets.

He who has healthy body and mind, able to listen and see, even bearing illness, is talented for learning Buddhism. Buddhist sutra says that certain unhealthy conditions are not good for learning Buddhism. The blind could not see the solemnness of Buddha statues. The deaf could not listen to Buddhist Teachings, while the hearing perfection of Avalokiteshvara is the greatest Sadhana of beings on the earth. Human is the only being in the universe that achieves enlightenment by listening to Buddhist Teachings. Those who have healthy arms and legs have healthy pulses and could achieve higher. This human body treasure that we acquire is not for joy but rather for practicing Buddhism. Buddhas in the past, the present, and the future, all attain Buddhahood in human realms. Therefore you must cherish and must not waste the human body in this life, which results from causes and merits accumulated in past lives.

It is depicted in Buddhist sutras the difficulty in obtaining human body, as if a tortoise that come to the sea surface once per 100 years, looking for a round piece of wood with square hole for its nose to breathe through. Hence in Buddhist sutras is depicted that it is hard to be born human, hard to listen to Buddha Dharma, and hard to come across a Guru. It is even harder to come across a virtuous Guru. Hence do not break the vows after taking refuge. Do not seek for convenient methods even under special conditions. Activities like lucky draws in the temple or fortune telling are breaking the refuge vows.

Regularly offer to Guru and the lineage after taking refuge. It is not that the Guru cares for the money, but that offering is the only method to accumulate merits rapidly. What matters is not the amount of offering, but rather the mind. There is no shift of karma without merits. Buddhas, Boddhisattvas, and Gurus never owe you debts, and hence will repay your offering with the merits. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche takes retreat every year in view of accumulating merits for sentient beings. That is why the refuge prayer requests you to do regular offering.

The reason that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche became a Guru and obtained teachings from His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche is making offering. It must be understood that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche could have changed from the very poor condition is through offering.

Those who had taken refuge understand that you’ve taken refuge under one of the four major lineages of Tibetan Buddhism: Drikung Kagyu. Although people have been calling the Kagyu Lineage as White School, it is mistaken. The error results from the history that once our monasteries were painted white. So people called Kagyu Lineage as White School. There are four major schools in Tibetan Buddhism: Yellow, Red, Flower, and White. We belong to the Kagyu School which was directly transmitted from India. This history means that the ancient gurus of our school were all Indians. It is not until Naropa did we have Tibetans gurus. After Gampopa, ordained practitioners began to exist. Drikung Kagyu Lineage was not established until Gampopa and Phagmo Drupa. Till now, there are thirty-seven Kyabgons in the Lineage. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s Guru is the 37th H. H. Chetsang Rinpoche. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has another Guru, the most Venerable Tenzin Nyima Rinpoche who lived in the Monastery of Drikung Thel in Lasa, Tibet. Jigten Sumgon is the Lord of Drikung Kaygu Lineage.

Although you have taken refuge under Tibetan Buddhism, it doesn’t mean you have learned Esoteric Buddhism. You can not tell people that you are learning Esoteric Buddhism, not even close. So far no disciple in the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center has learned Esoteric Buddhism. Why? It’s because, in Tibetan Buddhism as well as in Exoteric Buddhism, disciples need to learn Exoteric teachings first. The word “exoteric” implies the obviousness, which stresses on reasoning. It’s like Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has taught for more than one hour on the principles and theories of Buddha-Dharma. Such Exoteric teachings are as fundamental as establishing a base before building a house. As long as the base is solid enough, the house can be built as high and beautiful as we wish. In other words, the Exoteric teachings are the principles of all Buddha-Dharma. Then, what’s Esoteric Dharma? It is the tools to execute the principles of Buddha-Dharma after we understand the princeples. To attain Buddhahood or benefit other beings, we can’t simply rely on language. Nor can we change a person’s life by speech. Therefore, we can utilize a method in Esoteric Dharma to liberate all beings from sorrows and to attain happiness. Many of you know that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche often visited hospitals to help patients. Without the assistance of Esoteric Dharma or simply depending on theories, there’s no way any dying patients could focus on listening to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Only through the power Esoteric Dharma can you help patients’ karma creditors leave them for better places. For example, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had helped several dying patients whose doctors had claimed no medical treatments for their illness. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche couldn’t simply rely on Exoteric teachings and keep preaching on Buddhist theories in the classics to help those who already in coma and losing any abilities to hear. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had to take Esoteric Dharma into use. A practitioner can use the power of Esoteric Dharma to change things only when he had attained certain accomplishment.

Another way to explain Esoteric Dharma is it can shorten the period of time for us to accomplish Buddhahood. Within the forty-nine years of propagating Buddhism, Sakyamuni Buddha only enlightened on Esoteric Dharma twice. He spent the rest of the time in spreading Exoteric teachings. In the Age of Right Dharma, people’s karma was so light that they could achieve enlightenment through observing precepts. However, in the Age of Dharma Decline, you all were born with a variety of complex thinking and afflictions. It’s a challenge to let you achieve enlightenment. Thus, one benefit of taking refuge under a guru of Esoteric Dharma lies in the fact that he possesses the power to help you at least liberate from birth and death in this life. It’s because his profound ability and immeasurable compassion can render you great help. Therefore, you ought to be clear under which lineage you’ve taken refuge and from which tradition your Guru had inherited. In so doing, your taking refuge will begin to make sense. After taking refuge, you can read the biography of Milarepa who is the Lord of our lineage. Reading the biography will enhance your understanding of the mind and the ideas of a genuine practitioner. It’ll be extremely helpful for your future practice of Buddhism.

Additionally, there will be eight benefits after taking refuge. First, you will become a Buddhist. You will not become a Buddhist only because you offer fruits and burn incense when worshiping Buddhas. Only by following Buddhas’ footprints to learn Buddhism can you become an apprentice of Buddhism. You would be called a believer if you simply burn incense to worship Buddhas. A believer is different from an apprentice. To believe in Buddhism doesn’t mean you will learn Buddhism. What’s the benefit of becoming a Buddhist? It lies in the truth that you’ll sooner or later become a Buddha. It’s like if you are educated by a knowledgeable professor, your thesis will be more advanced than others. The reason is the same as you become an apprentice of Buddhism. After taking refuge, you’re qualified to become an apprentice. Why? It’s because, by taking refuge, you would be determined to carry out positive conducts and abandon the negative. You also begin to leave bad things alone and leave for better places. Because of these conditions, you’re qualified. Why couldn’t those who don’t take refuge become qualified? It’s because you are still indecisive and wondering. As you’re wondering whether taking refuge is good or not and thinking of other options, Buddhas will not see you as their disciples.

What are the advantages of becoming a disciple of Buddhas? Other than you might be able to achieve Buddhahood in this life time or in the future, you’ll be protected and blessed by good deities. If you are not disciples of Buddhas, those deities will not come for your sake. Thus, don’t be afraid of ghosts after taking refuge. Many of you were used to stick spells on your doors. It’s useless. All the consciousness in the intermediate state can enter into any places and go through any concrete. The intermediate state indicates the condition in which the deceased had lost their fleshy bodies, including animals and human beings. However, there are three conditions in which the consciousness in the intermediate state can’t go in. The first are women’s uterus. The second are the thrones and the third are the dorje. Other than these places, the consciousness in the intermediate state can visit any place they wish to. Many people would cover their heads with comforts because they are afraid of ghosts. They thought ghosts wouldn’t see them this way. Others closed their doors and thought ghosts wouldn’t be able to go through. These people in fact lived in a lie. Ghosts can go any place they want to.

The second advantage of taking refuge is that refuge can become the support of the precepts. Perhaps before we took refuge, we’d observed certain precepts. For instance, some people don’t eat any meat or fish as soon as they were born, but they don’t learn Buddhism. Take another example. Some people don’t drink any alcohol but they don’t’ learn Buddhism, either. What’s the difference of taking refuge or not? It’s because if you take refuge, you’ll accumulate merits and there will be five good deities to protect you for every single precept you observe. If you observe five precepts, you can calculate how many deities will protect you. That’s why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche doesn’t fear of ghosts. There are a great many of good deities to guard him. That’s also why you are afraid of ghosts. It’s because you don’t observe any precept. Nor do you take refuge. After taking refuge and observing precepts, you can depend on Buddha-Dharma. You should all understand the precepts were not invented by Buddhas. It is also not true that because you are Buddhists you have to observe the precepts. The precepts do not exist to keep your conducts in check. Precepts are to regulate our thoughts, speech, and conducts. As long as we behave within the regulation of the precepts, there will be no negative causes ensuing. This is the meaning of observing precepts. No one will punish you because you violate the precepts. When you violate the precepts, you will certainly create negative connections with others. For instance, if you violate the precept of not slandering and criticize others all the time, you will be disliked by others. Therefore, the precepts are to monitor your life and conducts. If you can observe the precepts after taking refuge, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will naturally admire you. So will your Guru. What would happen if we all admire you? Your merits will be increased. That’s why it’ll be effective to observe precepts after taking refuge.

Third, after taking refuge, one cannot be harmed by non-human. What is non-human? Except human, no other sentient beings can harm you. After you taking refuge, except sentient beings due to the karma from your past lives, for example some dogs or snakes which might bite you, otherwise, other sentient beings would never touch you; they would run away when seeing you. So after you taking refuge, all ghosts will not harm you, unless you are still doing evils, disobedient, or do not repent; then it is a different story. But if you truly follow what was taught after taking refuge, those ghosts will respect you when seeing you since you are a disciple under refuge of Buddha.

It has been many years ago, should be 1992 or 1993. We have a Tantric ritual called “releasing the heaven horses”. The ritual uses cloth on which Buddhist sutra text were printed. In Tibet, people have hung many five-colored flags called “heaven horses”. The “heaven horses” are meant for offerings and making charities with the Buddhist scriptures. A few years ago, once Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and a dozen individuals followed a Rinpoche and a lama to release the heaven horses in Fu-long. Heaven horses must be released in mountain areas. After they were there, they hung the five-colored cloth streamers on a tree that next to a temple. Then some person ran out from the temple to prevent them from hanging the streamers. While they were communicating with the person, at the same time, the medium of the temple started to communicate with the spirits and sent out a believer to tell the first person that he did not need to prevent them from releasing the heaven horses since they were making charities for the spirits. Releasing the heaven horses is such a simple action; it does not even need to recite sutras, just hangs the Buddhist scriptures on top of a post. This little story is to prove to us that Buddha’s speech cannot be wrong. Then where goes wrong? It is wrong in your mind, your suspected mind, and your unfaithful mind. That is why you have a lot of confusion out there. Therefore, after taking refuge, do not be afraid of ghosts, as long as you do not give other people a hard time, or bully someone, or go to a temple and fight with the medium. We should have a respectful mind, not an arrogant mind, towards any sentient beings. In fact, it is not like what you thought that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would kill ghosts; Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would actually give ghosts benefits and advantages to help them. This way, the illnesses caused by these ghosts would then become better and healed.

Fourth, after one taking refuge, all sins and evils from one’s past lives can then be reduced or even eliminated. As long as you take refuge, turn from black into white, and start to stop evils and make charities, even if the karmic fruit from your past evils would be mature, because of your doing virtuous deeds, the strength of the matured karmic effect will be reduced and you will receive a light penalty for your originally heavy punishments. If there are some karmic retributions which have not yet matured, because of your taking refuge and practicing Buddha dharma, maybe the bad karmic effects will not appear. Do not misunderstand that just doing virtuous deeds can cancel out the evil deeds. No, virtue and evil are two parallel lines and they cannot nullify each other. But what are the differences? When you stop doing evils and continuously perform virtuous deeds, the evils will be lacking behind. Even if the bad karmic retribution is mature, it is as if you are bitten just slightly by an ant or a mosquito. Do not misunderstand that this is like those alcohol or lottery ticket dealers who pray for safety by worshiping the goddess of Ma-zu; it is not like that. Because after we start to do good deeds, the seeds of evils will not sprout in the farm of your consciousness; there would be no cause and condition to let it sprout. It needs to have causes and conditions in the process going from evil causes to the maturity of evil karmic retributions. It means that help is required to let the karmic fruit mature. For example, if you had a heavy killing in your past lives, then in your current life you would definitely be short-lived, have bad health, have unhappy family life, and have disobedient children. However, even you had this bad cause in your past lives, if you start to practice Buddha dharma and repent in this life such that you do not have more bad causes and conditions to continuously help the karmic retributions, the karmic retribution will be small even if the karmic retribution matures. When Sakyamuni attained Buddhahood, he, as venerable and elder as him, had personally nine disasters from the maturities of nine karmic retributions. For example, he had eaten the horse food for a month, etc. But, this was not harm to him since there was still something to eat. It was just the horse food and he would not be starved. Therefore, even if we have some things which are not that smooth during our course of practicing Buddha dharma, do not misunderstand that it is practicing Buddha dharma that makes things difficult. Maybe if you did not practice Buddha dharma, these difficult things would be even more serious. Because you do not have magical powers and wisdoms, you cannot understand what you had done in your past lives; but as long as you can hold such a firm concept that practicing Buddha dharma will certainly turn everything for the better, you should not worry about having any troublesome matters. Do not think that someone will come to punish you. No Buddha, Bodhisattvas, dharma protectors, and gurus will punish us. All troublesome matters are called from your karma. In another words, if your every thoughts are virtuous thoughts and you continuously do virtuous deeds and listen to Buddha dharma, what came will be all good things. You can take the time to note that if you really practice Buddha dharma, all those bad old friends, considered by you, will not come to look for you. The dharma protectors will help to block them. If you do not truly practice Buddha dharma, the dharma protectors will say goodbye to you and ignore you. Therefore, we need to understand that the reduction or even elimination of our karma is all through our own efforts. If one does not put in any effort and thinks that one has already taken refuge so all troubled things will be gone, one is wrong. It still needs one to truly practice Buddha dharma.

After one takes refuge, the fifth advantage is that the accumulation of virtues and merits in one’s mind will be increased to a vast amount. After we take refuge, our mind, not the mind we used to think for handling matters but our true mind and our nature, will constantly subject to the influence of Buddha dharma, which will let our mind, the mind of benefiting all sentient beings, grow continuously and let us accumulate virtues and merits continuously. Virtues and merits are two different things. How to obtain virtues? It is obtained through offerings and making charities. How to obtain merits? It is obtained through practice and cultivation. So many people on the outside think that there is merit to participate in charitable organizations. It does not have merits, but virtues. Those people do not want to practice since they think they have bought merits. Before, when Emperor Liang-wu met Bodhidharma, Emperor Liang-wu had done a lot of things, built many Buddhist temples, and helped many Buddhist monks and nuns and turned the whole nation into Buddhism. When he asked Bodhidharma whether he had merits or not, Bodhidharma told him that he did not have merits, but just virtues. So Emperor Liang-wu got angry and then ignored Bodhidharma. So now many people from charitable organizations will be angry if you tell them that they do not have merits. They think that they have done a lot of things and helped so many poor people. Why are there no merits for them? If helping others can accumulate merits, then there would be many merits for the followers of Catholicism, Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam. These are all accumulating virtues. Merits are accumulated through practicing Buddha dharma and correcting one’s own behaviors. One has merits if one continuously walks towards the path of attaining Buddhahood. Virtues cannot change your karma from past lives, only merits can. Why can merits change your karma? This is because only after you change yourself through practice and self-cultivation, have a repentant mind, and have a compassionate mind, etc. such that the influenced of your karma from your past lives do not exist, then you can change the karma. However, it is not ok for you to lack virtues, because it requires assets to help you to learn or listen to Buddha dharma. And we need virtues for that. Therefore, it is not ok for one to have virtues without merits, and vice versa. And we need to practice both virtues and merits.

Sixth, one will not fall into the three evil realms of reincarnation after one’s death. After taking refuge, you have to learn Buddha dharma. And if you practice Buddha dharma truly, you will certainly not fall into the three evil realms, namely the realm of hell, the realm of hungry ghosts, and the realm of animals. But that is just for a person who has truly followed the teachings. If one still eats lavish meals with fish and meat, drinks alcohol, smokes, curses people, and beats people, one will not be benefited from this. However, after you take refuge, even if you do not realize and see your true nature, do not get enlightened, and do not make up your mind to be liberated form rebirth and death, you will not enter the three evil realms. If we get into the three evil realms, we will experience great sufferings. You have not seen the sufferings of hell! Regardless how much sufferings you have now, they are not even comparable to the ten thousandth of the sufferings in hell.

Seventh, after taking refuge, we will arise in our mind the auspicious path of Buddha dharma, because after taking refuge, we then can practice Buddha dharma and naturally open the virtuous roots accumulated in our past lives. The auspicious way is the path of attaining Buddhahood. In fact, we were the same as Buddha once in our post lives. We just started to reincarnate in the ocean of sufferings due to the rising of a careless ignorance. But after taking refuge and as we understand the truth, our ignorance will diminish so that the vow to obtain Buddhahood will ensue. You have the opportunity to listen to Buddha-Dharma in this life time, which means you must have listened to it in your past lives. Otherwise you’d never come. Yet, to extend such causal connections doesn’t depend on Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Nor is it the responsibility of your Guru. It relies on you. Therefore, you need to remind each other.

Eighth, eventually one will attain the unsurpassed enlightenment and benefit all sentient beings. After taking refuge and through gradually learning and listening to Buddha-Dharma, we’ll be able to accomplish Buddhahood and benefit all sentient beings. Therefore, it’s an auspicious event to take refuge.

Finally, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche shared a true story with all the attendees and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche especially asked parents to be cautious about the story. Recently, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche saved a child who was diagnosed with 「Bullous Pemphigoid」 which will cause death within two weeks. What kind of disease is that? The patients will develop blisters all over their bodies. It has already cost about one million dollars to cure this child at Taipei Veterans General Hospital, but he was still ill. Eventually, his parents found Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. How did the illness result from? After blessing the child, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked his mother whether his uncle had brought him to a creek for BBQ. She replied yes.

There was a dragon flying out of the kid’s belly when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was bestowing his blessings upon this kid. Since there are dragons dwelling in the riversides, in forests, and by the sea, do not let your children, esp. those have taken refuge, go to BBQ anymore, neither do your whole family. The BBQ will hurt those dragons who definitely will avenge. This kid was so fortunate to reach Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and he now has passed the critical period. Moreover, this fluid stops flowing and skin start being reborn. Otherwise, everyone who saw him would feel so sorry for him. The skin of this kid of 3rd school grade was broken as if it had been burned. He could not close his eyes and has flesh all over. It was so sad to see him, whose entire body was wrapped with strips like a mummy. He had such a suffering because he did not learn Buddhism. Fortunately he has karmic connection with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in past lives so he could meet Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in this life. Therefore, you as the parents of our children, esp. those have taken refuge, should check the school’s tours out clearly since sometimes school will leaf students to go fishing or BBQ. Do not think your kids will be all right since everyone is all right, or your kids will not be so misfortunate. Since you have taken refuge, you ought to be attentive about these activities. Why many kids now contract brain cancer, have skin problems, or develop weird diseases is all due to parents’ inattentiveness. Therefore, do not take them to go shrimping, or finishing, or catching the fish. These games are not good for children. You’d better remember it.

September 27, 2009

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche presided over an auspicious regular puja at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center in Taipei and performed a tri practice consisting of Buddha Amitabha, Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, and Padmasambhava. On October 4th, 2009, the following Sunday, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will preside over the Great Indiscriminate Amitabha Puja for Transferring Consciousness of Drikung Kagyu Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism in the Taipei Arena. We should not think that a grand puja can be held simply with some prior preparation work. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, in fact, needs to make a lot of preparations in order to conduct such a grand puja of more than 10,000 attendees. One among them is that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will two-day retreat conducted by two days prior to the grand puja. Additionally, a tri practice consisting of Buddha Amitabha, Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, and Padmasambhava to be conducted today is a way to report Buddha Amitabha the incoming grand puja, and also to pray for Buddha Amitabha’s compassionate blessing and refuge to let the puja be held successfully so to benefit all the sentient beings.

The reason why the practice of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara has to be conducted lies in that Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara is a disciple of Buddha Amitabha and the future successor of Buddha Amitabha, the ruler of the Pure Land. Padmasambhava is very important in Tibet, and all the practices of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism are related to Padmasambhava. That Padmasambhava, being the embodiment of the Buddha’s body, speech, and mind, was born in a lotus was not a myth, but a manifestation presented by the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas for the sentient beings. Now the holy birthplace of Padmasambhava can still be found in Afghanistan. Before Padmasambhava entered Tibet, there had only been the Bon religion without any tantric practices. At that time when Master Atisha was building Buddhist monasteries in Tibet, the buildings that were constructed in daytime was deconstructed by the local spirits and deities in the followed nighttime. It was not untill when Padmasambhava was invited to Tibet by a Tibetan king that Padmasambhava subdued these spirits and deities, who then turned to protect Buddhism and became the Dharma protectors of Padmasambhava. Therefore, the Buddhist teachings were then able to spread and bloom in Tibet. Besides, Padmasambhava mainly transmitted tantric practices, so those who have learned the tantric practices must have had connection with Padmasambhava in their past lives. Knowing that a Tibetan king would destroy Buddhism in the future, Padmasambhava hid many tantric texts in the air, water, or rocks deep in the mountains.

Nowadays, many people imitate the Tibetan lamas to do smoke offerings, thinking that making the smoke offerings daily is practicing tantric Buddhism and will earn great merits for them. In fact, the rituals and rites of Tibetan’s burning pine branches are originated from the original Tibetan religion, the Bon religion. Certain rituals and rites in the Bon religion are similar to those in Buddhism. Padmasambhava kept the rituals and rites of the smoke offering, but changed the practice text and yidam and prayers to Buddhist ones. From this, we know that Buddhist Dharma can be adapted to any cultures. As the life styles and customs vary, there is no need imitating the Tibetans to do the smoke offering. In fact, our burning the incense every day is also making smoke offerings. In terms of making offerings, the most important thing is to conduct the deed continuously on a daily basis.

The first practice in the Six Paramitas is to make offerings. Money is not the only thing that can be offered. One’s practices can be offered, too, and thus Dharma and fearlessness offerings can be achieved. Making offering will be performed in today’s practice, too. Making offering will accumulate merits, without which the sentient beings will not be able to receive helps from the Buddhas. Helps will not be obtained simply by making requests. Otherwise, nobody in the world would suffer.

As the Buddhas transfer those with favorable cause and condition, which was made by one’s keeping in touch with the Buddhas life after life. The easiest way to keep the cause and condition with the Buddhas is to make offerings. One who has reverence towards the Buddhas naturally knows how to make an offering. What is crucial to make offerings is not the offering items, and it is the heart one has when making the offering. Usually it is too late for one to make offerings on the verge of death if one does not make any in ordinary times. As the Buddhas are engaged in the propagation of the Buddhist teachings, we are being taken care of by the Dharma protectors. If we don’t greet or pay attention to someone in ordinary times, it’s impossible to ask the person for help in an abrupt manner. Since innumerable people make requests to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas every second, and therefore there are only two ways to transmit the message directly to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas: Firstly, when a practitioner enters into a deep state of concentration, his message can then be directly transmitted to the Buddhas. Secondly, by making continuous offerings in ordinary times, one can transmit a direct message through the Dharma protectors.

In one of his past lives, Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha wanted to know where his deceased mother had gone. He made an offering by selling all his possessions, and also did prostrations towards the Buddhas everyday to bleed all over his body. It was then that the Buddha eventually told him that his mother was in the Realm of Hells. That Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha renounced everything is showing a heart of complete sincerity.

The famous Indian king Ashoka saw the Buddha at a river bank when he was still a child in his previous life. With great reverence, he then made a stupa with the sand at the riverside to offer to the Buddha and later became a king in his next life.

In the ancient time, there was a small Hundred-Peaceful-and-Wrathful-Deities Stupa made of mud located at an intersection in an area of poverty in Tibet. In a rainy day a man passed by the stupa. Concerning that the rain might ruin the stupa, the man took off his shoes and put them on the top of the stupa as a cover. Later on another man went by and saw the shoes on the stupa. ‘How disrespectful to put shoes on the stupa is?’ the second man thought, so he took them away and put his hat on it to keep off the rain instead. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened on the story that both the men were not wrong: the first man took off the shoes on his feet to offer as a cover for the stupa which showed that he really had the heart of offering; the second man also had the offering heart and even more than the former man, as he thought it was not respectful to use shoes so he replaced it with his hat.

Only with the reverence, making offering will then take effect. Many people make offering with a saying that ‘go openly and come secretly’. It is not appropriate since it makes the behavior of offering become a business. Those who possess less merits and virtues would even not recognize the Buddha before him. To learn and cultivate Buddhist teachings, it needs to practice on wisdom, merits and virtues. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche holds puja every week is just to help you accumulate merits and virtues.

Before the puja started, one couple shared their story with the attendees. The husband had hernia and underwent a surgery two weeks ago. Under the blessing and protection of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, he had no pain and the process of surgery was smooth. During the process of surgery, a tumor was accidentally found and smoothly excised. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened that the two people did not practice Buddhist teachings and were sacred of death. They thought the smooth process of surgery resulted from their contemplation on Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. They have relied on Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche all the time and cared about themselves and their family dependants only. They did not see how many other sentient beings are suffering. This time he did not die. It was not the time yet, and the main reason was that the couple has attended pujas for a long time so their merits and virtues have been accumulated for them to have the accumulation for cultivating Buddhist teachings, giving them time to focus on learning and cultivating Buddhist teachings. Therefore, in the future they will be able to obtain rebirth in the Pure Land of Amitabha.

Yunga Rinpoche had ever said that there are three fastest ways to accumulate the merits and virtues. First is to attend grand puja which is conducted by a Rinpoche and with a big gathering of attendees while their minds are the same to benefit all for sentient beings rather than for themselves. Thus their heart will be able to correspond to Buddas.

Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) ever prophesied that when the time comes with the mental objects flying in the sky, there will be continuous wars, infectious diseases pervading, children not showing filial obedience, men of injustice, and women of faithless. All of these above mentioned have come true nowadays

There are too many sentient beings in the void need to be liberated. Buddhist Practitioners could do only as much as possible and accord with the conditions. According with the conditions is to accord with the conditions of the sentient beings. Conditions include their individual merits as well as their individual causes and effects. Therefore, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche constantly helps you to accumulate merits.

Do not worry that having illness will make you unable to cultivate Buddhist teachings. Usually those who have disease practice Buddhist teachings even better. No matter how bad status one’s health is or how painstaking one is, if he possesses virtuous root, he would think that it is because his debts of past lives has not yet paid off. Therefore, the one would arouse a great repentance and warm himself not to go evil anymore. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche obtained skin cancer. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche totally accepted it, knowing that Buddha would definitely help him in whatever methods. Even Buddha is not able to change the karmic effect. If Buddha were able to change that, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would have done nothing but relied on His Holiness Chesteng Rinpoche. Why dose Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche still have to cultivate Buddhist teachings? It is one self who is able to change one’s karma. All Rinpoches spare no effort to help sentient beings and enlighten sentient beings’ wisdom. However, it is still you who have to listen to the teachings and practice. It is still you who have to make the decision. Reincarnation dose not happen only after death. As you are alive, each of your cell as well as your emotion is reincarnated everyday. Do not think yourself are still young so that you can start to cultivate Buddhist teachings until you are old. Sometimes it is too late. Samantabhadra Bodhisattva has said: one has to learn and cultivate the Buddha’s teachings as zealously as a young girl who wants to put out a fire on her hair.

Maternal grandmother of a believer passed away due to her cancer. She was a nice person with good tempers, never spanking children nor throwing tantrums. Additionally, she hardly went out and devoted herself to the family such as preparing meals for them. She also had accumulated the cause and condition to obtain Phowa Dharma. Compared with all of you here at the venue, she was a nice person. Yet she still contracted cancer that was resulted from her killing beings and consuming meats. This is what the meaning of the saying “You’ll reap what you sow.”

It is the gas released by farm animals that is one of the big contributors to the global warming phenomena. Therefore, scientists have begun to advocate adopting vegetarian diet since last year. In fact, the curving and meandering intestines of human beings tells us that we should take a vegetarian diet. Only the intestines of carnivorous animals are all the way straight.

As soon as getting off the airplane, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche rushed to the venue today. It’s because conducting pujas can benefit all sentient beings, therefore Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche made it to conduct the puja even though it was in such a hurry. The more pujas are held in one place, the more peaceful the place will become there. However, they must be the ones can accumulate your merits as well as enlighten your wisdom.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche understands well how to die without pain because he had been experienced dying twice. That’s why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has incessantly been benefiting sentient beings. The vow of Ksitigarbha is that if the sentient beings in the hells can’t be all liberated, Ksitigarbha would not be willing to achieve Buddhahood. He who makes such a vow is already a Buddha. Because of such a passionate vow, Ksitigarbha is an extremely busy Bodhisattva and his face shape happens to be elongated. The face shape of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is also elongated, which indicates Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s work is toiling as well because of his wish that no beings would fall into the three evil realms. If Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche propagates Buddhism in a commercial way, it’d be quick and easy. However, that’s neither following the teachings of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s Guru, nor those of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. For this reason, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teachings are very strict.

Great Yogi Yunga Rinpoche once enlightened that there are only seven hundred years left for the tantras to be carried on. The tantras can’t be imparted upon those who have not accumulated sufficient merits or are not of appropriate capability. So if you are still self-interested even to a slice degree, you are not qualified to learn tantras. In fact, it is to let you refrain from misusing the tratras since the effects is much serious. Otherwise, one will fall into illness very often, or more seriously has shorter lifespan, or even most seriously will fall into the Vajra Hell after the death.

Following the enlightenment, Rinchen Dojree Rinpoche conducted the Dharma of Amitabha. And after that, Rinchen Dojree Rinpoche continued to give the enlightenment.

Practicing tantras is not simply about reciting mantras. It must be performed with the development stage and the completion stage. The development stage is the process of practicing contemplation. The first contemplation in ”The Sixteen Ways of Meditation to the Pure Land” that Buddha Sakyamuni had transmitted to his aunt is about contemplating the sun. Such contemplation doesn’t suggest you observe the sun with eyes. The transmission of ”The Sixteen Ways of Meditation to the Pure Land” has already been lost since it is about tantric teachings. If your practices is simply reciting mantras without development stage and completion stage, you’d become perplexed in your confusion of five poisons (greed, hatred, ignorance, arrogance, and delusion). It is greediness as you dedicate the merits of reciting mantras to your family. If you recite mantras with the heart of these five poisons, you can’t achieve any accomplishment. One Dharma text has said: “Vajradhara must tell a lie if your body, speech and mind can’t be liberated after you have followed the oral transmission of your guru and diligently practiced Buddha Dharma with development stage, completion stage, and meditation.”

It is all wrong to change even a word or a thought of the guru’s teachings. Persons of the higher capability and the middle capability can liberate themselves once they obtain the transmissions of the development and completion stages. For persons of the lower capability to be liberated, they have to completely depend on Three Jewels and have to have no second thought. Why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche can attain the siddhi level of Rinpoche in this life is because of his obedience. His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche also said that the abilities of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche come from the virtuous karmas accumulated in past lives and the reverence towards His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche in this life.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has always thought that he is a person of the lower capacity. Also Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has the most reverence towards His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche and surrendered to His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche one hundred percent. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has done whatever His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche has said without any own ideas. As a result, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has attained the accomplishments. One must be humble when practicing Buddha dharma; one who is self-righteous will certainly not be able to attain any achievement! A proud person will not have a compassionate heart. Just after learning Buddha dharma for a few years, some people thought they had known everything and thought they had practiced. However, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has been very humble and thought that he knew nothing. For anything related to Buddha dharma, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche always consulted His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche. Before writing the book of “Happiness and Sufferings”, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had asked His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche for permission and also asked His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche to write the preface for the book. It was not like that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would tell the guru about the book after the book had been published. The preface by His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche is the blessings from His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche. His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche promised to write the preface because His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche knew with a quick glance that this book is Prajna of languages. And this represented that Buddha and Bodhisattvas have agreed that this book can benefit all sentient beings. That is why the words in the book are easy to read, and people can still get a lot of benefits when reading the book. This is just because the book has the blessings from Buddha and Bodhisattvas.

The practice of the development stage is for attaining virtues. The practice of the completion stage is for attaining wisdom. The practice of the development stage is the process of practicing contemplation. You thought you were usually contemplating the guru while actually you were just missing the guru. “Thinking” is to think the clothing and gestures of Buddha and Bodhisattvas with the understanding of personal experiences. “Contemplating” is about meditation. Only after one has one’s deluded thoughts stopped, and then one’s pure and clean mind emerges and is corresponding with Buddha and Bodhisattvas’ minds, one can then clearly contemplate about the mercy, bodies, speeches, minds, and activities of Buddha and Bodhisattvas. “Contemplating” and “thinking” are two different things. You can only start from “thinking”; to achieve “contemplating” you need to rely on the dharmas of keeping precepts, etc. You will know the wisdom of Buddha if you have purified and cleansed your mind.

Do not think that you will certainly attain achievements. Once you think like this, you will become attached, and then followed with ignorance. This will not let you attain Buddhahood.

Then, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche conducted the dharma ritual of Avalokitesvara. After conducting the dharma, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened the attendees.

The three yidams practiced today are all peaceful yidams. So their appearances are more peaceful and do not like the ferocious appearance of a wrathful yidam. The dharma appearance of Guru Rinpoche is more dignified; so in the process of conducting the ritual, we need to have a purer and cleaner mind. Guru Rinpoche had stayed in Tibet for about seven hundred years. When leaving Tibet, he flied away by riding a white horse and went to the nation of Rasetsu as their king. Rasetsu is particularly a man-eating ghost. In the Dharma-Ending Age, the karmas of all sentient beings are heavy and many diseases are related to the sentient beings in the ghost realm. For example, the SARS outbreak a few years ago was caused by the bacteria sprinkled by Rasetsu, the same as the bacterial infection of the heart. If you completely break from evils and do virtuous deeds, and practice Buddha dharma, ghosts will not harm you. Those who like to eat meat will have a lot more chances to encounter ghosts because they are the same species as ghosts.

In the middle of the puja, there was a follower who held her knees because of not withstanding her leg sores from sitting. After catching sight of it, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche reprimanded this person for not having a respectful mind. If she had been told in advance that she could get one hundred million dollars by withstanding three hours of sitting, she would certainly not move a bit. And every time the followers who had been denounced by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for their improper sitting postures would not show up again.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche then performed the ritual of the Guru Rinpoche. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said: the Guru Rinpoche has enormous Daka and Dakini protectors who had been subdued by the Guru Rinpoche to protect and support the Buddha dharma. We know the body guards of the President would react to any offensive behavior or dangers; therefore, whenever we are not reverent to the yidam, the protectors would react to protect the yidam. In fact, what they do is mainly to let us not falling into Three Evil Realms.

The text of this dedication prayer is nothing but a pleading to overcome the obstacles and hardships along the Buddhist path in order to attain the Buddha-hood and the illuminating essence, and to liberate the limitless beings. Such extraordinary dedication differs from that of ordinary people who want to benefit themselves. Think about it, if one only wishes good to one’s own, from whom the karmic creditors in one’s past lives could have the debt paid back? Some people would leave the Buddhist center in a period of time after their taking refuge, it is because they mistake the vow and the dedication. As an effect, they would encounter obstacles.

In the Six Realms, human beings could create the most negative deeds, but could also make the most beneficial virtues. Only could human beings destroy the earth. Human kill most and eat meat most.

Do not think that there are still tens of years to live so therefore you won’t start learning Buddhism until when your children grow up or you retire; by impermanence the condition changes in each moment. Although, His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche is a reincarnated great practitioner, the Holiness did not practice Buddhism since his birth but rather when the reincarnation was recognized in his childhood. As another example, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not have the opportunity to practice Buddhism until the age of thirty-eight. And, if Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche could not have practiced the Buddhism, this life would have ended at the age of forty-five, according to prophets from fortune tellers.

His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche like logs, because dogs would fully obey the instructions from its owner even though an instruction to die. Man differs and would make objection to the instruction, and even think that the guru would be mentally ill. Some time ago, both Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche each had a dog. The two dogs both died in hunger because they would not eat anything when its owner is not aside. In fact, dogs are from the human realm, and their thoughts are much more simple that differs from human’s complicated thinking. The thoughts of human are really complicated, what they cares or what they have interests are all about themselves.

September 29, 2009

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened believers with Buddhism and helped them to relieve all kinds of suffering in the world at Glorious Jewel Jewellery Company.

September 30, 2009

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened believers with Buddhism and helped them to relieve all kinds of suffering in the world at Glorious Jewel Jewellery Company.

Updated on October 8, 2009