Event Calendar of The His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche

October 4, 2009

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche presided over the auspicious Great Indiscriminate Amitabha Puja for Transferring Consciousness of Drikung Kagyu Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism at the Taipei Arena. Although the previous day happened to be the traditional Moon Festival and it was pouring rain since midnight, over 13,000 people still came to the Taipei Arena for the auspicious puja before 8:15 am regardless of the stormy weather. Prior to the start of the puja, a pre-recording video of dharma talks bestowed by His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche in India particularly for this puja was played in the venue. The teachings His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche bestowed are as follows: As Taiwan has suffered from the severe flood in August and many families have been broken, we are reminded that every phenomenon in the world is impermanent. His Holiness taught all attendee should practice and learn about impermanence in ordinary times in order to be able to face all the changes in working life with peaceful mind. Additionally, His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche transferred two million NTD through his heart son Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to the Department of Social Affairs in the Ministry of the Interior as the donation to the post-flood reconstruction in hopes to bring some help to the victims. Furthermore, His Holiness also announced that another grand puja will be held on June 6th, 2010, in Taiwan. Apart from commemorating the 830th anniversary of the Drikung Kagyu Lineage, the puja for the transference of consciousness will be conducted to commemorate the anniversary of this flood disaster in Taiwan as well. This is the second grand puja presided over by His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche ever since the 2002 grand puja with 10,000 attendees held at the Taoyuan County Stadium.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche took the Dharma throne at 8:30 am. After conducting the lamp offering and receiving mandala offering, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche bestowed the following teachings: With an earthquake around 1 am and two approaching typhoons, it is extremely auspicious to attend a puja in such weather.

Buddha Amitabha, introduced by Buddha Sakyamuni, is a Buddha with great vows. Amita means infinite light and life. The practice to be conducted today was bestowed upon Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche directly by His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche himself. The Drikung Kagyu Lineage with 830-year history has been uninterruptedly transmitted, started by the founder Lord Jigten Sumgon to the current 36th lineage holder of His Holiness Chungtsang Rinpoche and the 37th lineage holder of His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche. The founder Lord Jigten Sumgon prophesied that the Dharma lineage of Drikung Kagyu would be a pure one, which means that the lineage would be passed down with each  kyabgon’s heart of benefiting the sentient beings from generation to generation.

In Tibetan Buddhism, today’s Dharma text is known as a terma practice, which is one of the many yidam practices found in caves, waters or kept by the dakinis, that had been hidden by Padmasambhava before he left Tibet. The Amitabha puja for transferring the consciousnesses, consisting of both exoteric doctrines and tantric doctrines, is a practice personally bestowed by Buddha Amitabha. Many people have curiosity and even doubt about tantras. Just like everyone else, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche started by learning Exoteric Buddhism. Nonetheless, when reaching a bottleneck, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche found himself unable to achieve what is stated in the Buddhist sutras. Till Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche started to learn tantras under His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche eventually realized that the Exoteric Buddhist sutras merely state the theories of attaining Buddhahood from Buddha Sakyamuni, which explain the attitude, positioning, and direction of cultivating the practice. In Tibet, the prerequisite for one to learn tantras is the completion of a 10-year study in Exoteric Buddhism. Tantras are methods to carry out the vows of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas for the benefit of the sentient beings.

A Rinpoche refers to the jewel among the human beings and is someone who is capable of benefiting the sentient beings. A Rinpoche can be incarnated from his past life or be someone who attains such achievement, recognized by His Holiness, in this life. Being a Rinpoche takes a lot of efforts. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche performed a retreat for today’s grand puja and completed the retreat at 11 pm the previous day. Nevertheless, an earthquake woke Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche up at 1 am and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche remained awake to preside over the puja in the morning. This incident took place because the sentient beings came to wake Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche up to get prepared for today’s grand puja.

Vajrayana Buddhism places great emphasis on one’s motivation for attending a puja. If the attendees all share the heart of benefiting the sentient beings today, enormous power will be generated and thereby will move all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to help all the sentient beings in the sea of suffering. No matter what our original intent was for attending the puja, we should know that it takes very rare cause and condition for one to be able to attend a grand puja with so many attendees. We should hope that all the sentient beings can have the cause and condition to be helped by the Buddhist teachings. The greatest offerings are the offerings of Dharma and fearlessness. Sutra recitation and dedication prayers are not always considered the offering of Dharma since the key lies in whether the reciting one actually has developed bodhichitta. If all of us have developed bodhichitta, we will be able to accumulate great merits from attending the puja and thereby to suppress or eliminate future obstacles in our Buddhist studies.

If one has all thoughts of benefiting himself only, he would earn the worldly merits and that merits will be used up quickly. On the contrary, if one has each thought of benefiting sentient beings, he would obtain the merits for Buddhism practice, and that kind of merits can not be used up forever. At the degenerate age of the Dharma, there are more and more disasters all over the world, and sentient beings have heavy karma. However, having heavy karma can drive us to learn Buddhism.

For the short decades in human life, people keep pursuing their desires. However, the happiness of desire fulfilled last not long but a few seconds. And then, they start again to look for another enjoying. However, not all desires would be fulfilled. Therefore, one will be in suffering and sorrow in his whole life. But if what one requests for is the liberation of the cycle of birth and death, Buddhas will be very happy and will definitely help him on that. One who listens to the Buddha’s teachings, attends pujas, and learns Buddha-Dharma, does have the conditions with Buddha. Having conditions with Buddha, there is nothing for him to worry about.

It will be most worrisome if one has his own thoughts when learning Buddhism. In 2006, His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche held a one-month empowerment and teachings in India. During the break of the puja, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, His Holiness Taglung Shabdrung Rinpoche and other great Rinpoches had tea in His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche’s room. The young His Holiness Taglung Shabdrung Rinpoche asked Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in English: “You don’t understand Tibetan. How do you learn Buddhist teachings?’ Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said: ‘Whatever instructions His Holiness gives me, I will do it.” Short sentences seemingly, a contest between two masters actually. What His Holiness Taglung Shabdrung Rinpoche’s question was that since Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not know Tibetan, how could Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche read the dharma texts and learn from it? Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s answer just presented a Vajrayana disciple’s obedience to his guru’s teachings. Just listen to what Guru teaches you and do not make any adjustment. One ought to maintain his mindset of learning Buddhist teachings like an elementary student, listening to whatever the teacher say.

Stages of this Dharma include the preliminary practice which is the part that could be referred to the motives. Main practice includes making offering and the tantric practice, especially Phowa ritual. Phowa, personally taught by Amitabha Buddha, is presented only in Tibetan Esoteric Buddhism. The meaning of Phowa is “transferring consciousness”. That is, when one is dead, his consciousness is immediately transferred to the Pure Land of Amitabha. Hope you can attend this puja with reverence, mercy and compassion. It will definitely bring sentient beings as well as you great help.

Afterwards, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche started to conduct the ritual of the Great Indiscriminate Amitabha Puja for Transferring Consciousness. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also enlightened that: there are many offering rituals in this Dharma for that many sentient beings have not enough merits. Therefore, on behalf of sentient beings, the offering rituals are conducted to fast accumulate merits for them.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had already arrived in Taipei Arena at 7:15 this morning. Watching the venue status through LCD monitor inside the VIP lounge, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche observed that there were some people who had entered the Arena early were sleeping in the chairs. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened that these people who were very tired but still came to attend the puja were commendable.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche advised the attendees to adopt the vegetarian diet. Do not eat meat right after the puja; otherwise, the merits obtained in today’s puja would be lost. Many people have the wrong thought that those tantric practitioners could eat meat. Jigten Sumgon, the founder of the Drikung Kagyu order, was a vegetarian even though the conditions of being a vegetarian were not good enough in Qinghai and Tibet more than 800 years ago. His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche is a vegetarian and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is a vegetarian as well. Today, so many disasters on Earth are resulting from the karma of killing, so are the accidents happened to individuals as well as many strange diseases which can not be cured by the doctors.

Your attending today’s grand puja indicates that you all have the root of virtue; however, it would be really a pity if one who has this root of virtue could not be a vegetarian or practice Buddha dharma. Life is short and passes very quickly; practicing Buddha dharma is to hope that one could die so well that one would not be tortured by illnesses before one dies. One has to start preparing for one’s own death now, hoping not to suffer much when one dies. Virtue and evil cannot cancel each other out; so one must stop doing all evils and must conduct all virtues. The virtue of attending today’s puja is not just a small one. As long as you can do virtues continuously in the future, you will be able to make your karmic retribution of evildoing not mature by the accumulated karmic retribution of virtues.

Today’s opportunity is very rare since there are monks coming from Qinghai and Yunnan today as well as monks of Exoteric Buddhism, and people from abroad. Each of you had better cherish it. Such a puja like today’s should be conducted for one whole day; but sympathizing with all attendees who may not endure sitting for a long time, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, preferring his own hard work, has sped up the conduction of the dharma and spent only a half-day to complete the dharma conduction perfectly. Hope that everyone can diligently do virtues together and let the disasters disappear from this land.

After leading all attendees to make the dedication prayer, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened: His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s root guru, had commanded Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche that, in this grand puja, His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche would donate two million NTD in cash to Taiwan’s Department of Social Affairs of the Ministry of the Interior as the reconstruction fund for the flood on August 8th of this year. Following this charity, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also donated the two million new NTD in cash as well. Both donations were passed to Namgyal Khenpo, who then handed them over to the chairman of Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center, who, as a representative, then delivered both donations, under the joint witness and verification of the Ministry of the Interior representative, accountant, bank representative, and lawyer, to Taiwan’s Department of Social Affairs of the Ministry of the Interior as the donation to the reconstruction fund for the flood on August 8th of this year.

His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche, the root Guru of His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, will hold a puja on June 6th of 2010 at Taipei Arena. Back in 2002 the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center was in charge of and prepared a puja for His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche, while next year when His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche come to Taiwan happens to be the eight hundred thirty years anniversary of the founding of Drikung Kagyu Lineage. The Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center will cooperate with the other Drikung Kagyu centers in Taiwan to host the grand puja. Any of attendees in today’s puja who would like to attend it may register their names with Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center or the other Drikung centers.

In the last Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche sincerely advises again all the attendees to take vegetarian diet. As a reaction to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s benevolence all the attendee clapped their hands, thus Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was impressed to shed. Under the stabilizing power of the Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s mercy and compassion, the attendees were solemn and peaceful through the whole teaching. And, at the end of the ceremony when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was leaving the venue, all the attendee was standing, clapping their hands and shouting thank you to the Rinpoche.

After the ceremony, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave all offerings of 4.23 million NT dollars, made by all disciples and attendees, under the witness of the representative of the Ministry of Interior, the accountant, the bank official, and the attorney, to the Department of Social Affairs of the Ministry of Interior as the donation to the post-flood reconstruction fund of the Flood August 8

At 2:30 a.m, in the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center, Taipei, the His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche led disciples to practice the dharma of the exclusive Dhamra Protector of Drikung Kagyu Achi to thank for Dharma protector’s protection and blessing on the great puja for its perfect completion. Afterwards, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche held a refuge ceremony special for a Japanese believer. This believer flied to Taiwan from Japan to attend this grand puja and took refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Besides leading him to read the verses of seeking refuge, cutting his hair, bestowing him the conversion certificate as well as a dharma name, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also transmitted the five precepts, namely no killing, no stealing, no consumption of alcohol, no false speech and no committing adultery. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche furthermore enlightened the implications of cutting hair: one is to cut off the afflictions, and the other is to cut off the cycle of birth and death. Although the communication between Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and the Japanese believer needed translation, there is not an effect at all for the believer to realize Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s mercy and compassion as well as the greatness of Buddha-Dharma. Therefore the believer required for taking refuge and follow Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in learning Buddha-Dharma. It also indicated that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s vast vow and Bodhicitta to save and help sentient beings be liberated from reincarnation has been beyond the barriers of languages and cultures.

October 10, 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.

October 11, 2009

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche presided over a regular puja at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center, Taipei, and started the puja by conducting an abridged ritual of Avalokiteshvara practice, leading all attendees in the recitation of the Six Syllable Mantra. Afterwards, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche bestowed the following teachings: Although many people have learned Buddhism throughout their lives, they really have not understood what they have been practicing till their death. They thought that learning Buddhism was to hear and know a lot of things. The Buddha’s wisdom can’t be comprehended by ordinary human beings. If one doesn’t change his heart and still has a bunch of greedy, hateful, ignorant, and selfish thoughts, he will definitely bring harm to the sentient beings! Some people might think that to commit virtuous deeds is to conduct the practice. As His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche has said, “Neither sutra recitation nor prostrations to the Buddhas can be regarded as practice. To practice Buddhism is to adjust and subdue one’s own heart through the Buddhist teachings. If one doesn’t do so, all he has done merely accumulates his merits and has nothing to do with practicing Buddhism.

The four verses which one recites daily after he seeks refuge are as follows, “Not to do any evil, to cultivate everything good, to purify one’s mind naturally, this is the teaching of the Buddhas.” It is remarkable enough for one to be able to carry out these words. Being born into an aristocratic family, the great master Gampopa had been a knowledgeable physician. Because his wife and child died of diseases consecutively when he was 32, Gampopa felt that he could not even help his own family and thereby decided to become a monk. He traveled to various places to seek gurus and learn Buddhism and even learned so well as to be capable of remaining in a deep state of concentration for 13 days. Nonetheless, he still failed to benefit himself and others and didn’t know how to liberate himself from the cycle of birth and death. When he paid a visit to the venerable Milarepa, Milarepa enlightened him that his study and practice were useless and was like trying to extract oil from a stone. Buddhist teachings which do not lead to the liberation from the cycle of birth and death are meaningless. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened the attendees that even the great Gampopa had learned and conducted so many practices, these still was considered useless by the venerable Milarepa. As a disciple had just shared with the attendees that even Master Dade, who had been a monk for 30 years and had a lot of disciples, still couldn’t solve his matter of life and death until he met with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and even acknowledged his practice being falsely conducted, what on earth do we have that deserves to be proud of?

The difference between Exoteric and Esoteric Buddhism lies in the heart. Exoteric Buddhism explains the positioning and direction for one to learn Buddhism, whereas one who learns Esoteric Buddhism vows to attain Buddhahood because he needs great powers to benefit the sentient beings. Buddhahood is attained for the benefit of the sentient beings. The number of sentient beings is more than that we can see. The number of the invisible sentient beings in the Realm of Hells is as numerous as that of snowflakes in a snowing day. Sentient beings in the Realm of Animals are as many as the grains of sand at the bank of the Ganges. Buddhist sutra has stated that there are as many as forty trillion kinds of sentient beings in the Realm of Animals.

If one is able to cut off all the greed, hatred, ignorance, and attachment and practice Buddhism accordingly, every practice means will thereby be extraordinary.

Yesterday, a disciple took his friend to meet with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. His friend said that she has reached a bottleneck in jewelry design. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told her that she had come for fortune telling and had asked a question unrelated to Buddhist teachings. Therefore, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would not answer her question. She denied having come for fortune telling and the disciple even spoke in support of his friend’s response. As a result, his friend generated evil thoughts and got herself up to leave on the spot. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said that the person who reached a bottleneck in her career indeed came for fortune telling. The reason why she would not admit lies in the fact that she had no respect to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. As to the disciple at the side, he didn’t have faith in the Guru so as to provide explanations for his friend. When he started to explain, he showed no reverence toward the Guru, for he considered the Guru must have mistaken or misheard. The disciple has no idea how proud his friend was and tried to provide explanations or even agreed with her. The reason why the disciple would act like that lies in that he himself was a proud person as well. Therefore, he wouldn’t let others criticize his own faults. How can a disciple like that learn Buddhism or conduct the practice?

As stated in the Buddhist sutra, once upon a time in ancient India a prince came to see Buddha Sakyamuni and asked where had the stars in the sky come from? The Buddha didn’t answer him. The prince came to beseech the Buddha for the second time and still couldn’t get an answer from the Buddha. When he came for the third time, the Buddha replied, “What you are asking has nothing to do with your learning in Buddhism. Therefore, I won’t give you an answer.” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened the attendees, “The prince must have brought a wealth of offerings to beseech the Buddha and still failed to get an answer. Every time you come to see me without bringing anything, how can you insist that I should answer your questions? Think about that you do have any reverence to the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and the Buddhist teachings in this way? All this is to satisfy your greedy thought. You consider yourself doing a virtuous deed and helping others simply by taking someone to see Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and having them generate cause and condition with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche!

One of His Holiness Chungtsang Rinpoche’s previous lives was born in Lijiang, Yunnan. Furthermore, there had been 200 years that Drikung Kyabgon had not visited Yunnan due to lack of fund. Therefore, in 1997 Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche financially supported all the expense of RMB 100,000 for His Holiness Chungtsang Rinpoche’s visit to Yunnan. At that time, one female believer, who knew Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, got the information and came from Shanghai with a lawyer to pay a visit to His Holiness Chungtsang Rinpoche. As soon as she met His Holiness Chungtsang Rinpoche, she made an offering of RMB 10,000 to His Holiness Chungtsang Rinpoche. After His Holiness Chungtsang Rinpoche received her offering, she then took out two business cards and showed to His Holiness Chungtsang Rinpoche to ask with whom she should do business. Not saying any word, His Holiness Chungtsang Rinpoche did not answer her question. Later on, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, substituting for His Holiness Chungtsang Rinpoche, told the believer that her request for His Holiness Chungtsang Rinpoche’s foretelling the better business partner for her would actually let His Holiness Chungtsang Rinpoche break precepts by criticizing people; Hence, His Holiness Chungtsang Rinpoche would not make response to you. Moreover, His Holiness Chungtsang Rinpoche would not reply to those non-Buddhist things you ask.

Cut off each and every greed and attachment. Practice Buddhist teachings with a sincere and pure heart. A repentant heart is the sincere and pure heart. That you always consider yourself in the right is because your heart is too complicated, with each though only benefiting for yourself. Do not consider that it is merely a small problem to have a thought benefiting for you. Many little evils accumulated lead to an immeasurable evil. Always be aware of your mind every minute even every second. Bring your heart into submission. Be aware every though you arise and every idea you generate. Do not have any thought of greed. Do not think that you only have to make repentance after making a mistake. Some people think that the virtues accumulated before would still exist after repentance; but in fact this is not the case. After you make confession, the merits and virtues accumulated from your previous practice will all turn into the virtues of the human and heavenly gods for you to enjoy in your next life. However, it usually let you to get rebirth as a pet, without any merits and virtues left. Making repentance actually is to have an opportunity to start over the learning of Buddhism. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche teaches you strictly just because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knows the fearsome cause and effect. As stated in the Lotus Sutra, the six realms is like the forest where there are beasts and poison snakes, and something will happen at anytime to the sentient beings that stay in the forest. After Bodhisattvas take the sentient beings out from the forest, in an unguarded moment, the sentient beings go back to the forest and get lost in it again. With current advanced science and technologies, it still takes long time to locate an animal in the Amazon Rainforest. Therefore, it is very difficult for the sentient beings lost in forest again to be found and helped out of the forest by Bodhisattvas. When one makes a mistake and gets lost, his merits and virtues accumulated previously will no longer exist. One has to start over after making repentance. Many Buddhism learners  are not able to really understand the true meaning of this section in Lotus Sutra. When the Buddha was giving enlightenment on Lotus Sutra, some disciples stood up to leave, since their merits accumulated in past lives were not sufficient, a heart of fear arose, so that they were afraid to listen to it. They did not believe the existence of such an auspicious Dharma.

For this grand puja, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had implored His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche for instruction early this year. Moreover, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also performed a two-day retreat to clearly recite one hundred thousands times of Amitabha Buddha’s heart mantra right before the puja. On the day of the puja, His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche instructed lamas in India to recite the Ratnakuta Sutra, practice rituals of Dharma protector, and so forth. By doing so, together with the blessings from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s Guru His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche the grand puja could be successfully perfected. Some people would lie on bed for one month after conducting such a grand puja. If the practitioner does not have vast compassion and ability, he would not be able to transfer the consciousnesses of the summoned sentient beings, and after puja they would follow after the practitioner. In the Chod pujas that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche conducted before, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche ever saw that the spirits of some temple abbots who were followed by plenty of souls to our venue, and it was just because the temple abbots had not kept their promised to those souls so that they were haunted by them.

A male disciple had attended Chod pujas on behalf of his mother for several times before the grand puja. During those Chod pujas, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had helped disciple’s mother gain deliverance and liberation. However, the disciple reported his brother said that he saw Buddha Amitabha receiving their mother in the grand puja. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened to us that this saying marks that he thought the previous Chod pujas conducted by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche they had attended did not took effect. The truth is that those who are able to see Buddha Amitabha, they must at least have made vow to get rebirth in the Pure Land. There was still another female believer who asked Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche after the grand puja that whether or not the transference of consciousness was good for the deceased. It could be told that the one who asked this kind of question did not believe at all. Hence, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche just asked her to leave. Some people may feel it uncompassionate to expel people away. They may think we have to speak with patience to her. However, she might have answered back even more if we continued talk to her, which was not good for her. When we meet people who do not believe, as they do not have proper conditions, we just put them asides. Not like you who want friends to feel Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is good.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had a friend in Hong Kong. At that time his mother was sick and dead. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave him money to see him through. Later on, when he was going to get married, but he had no money, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also financially supported him. Finally, however, he opened a store similar to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s store and furthermore he recruited the general manager from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s store. For this, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has never blamed him or complained to other people. Even till now Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s other friends have not known about that. You, however, would have evil thought on people who make no response to your help on them, let alone when they have no gratitude. If you just calm your mind down, asking nothing in return and seeking conditions, everything would just be no problem.

Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, H. H. Chetsang Rinpoche and Buddhist practitioners have again and again been reminding us the truth that all composite phenomena is impermanent. Without cultivating your belief in the impermanence, you’ll develop attachment toward mundane affairs. As a result, you’ll not be able to be liberated from birth and death. Nothing lasts forever. Your affections, families, bodies are subject to change. If you can’t generate the strong belief in the impermanence, your practicing Buddhism is useless.

Many of you would blame others for your being ill. However, believing in the impermanence of life, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not desire for a healthy body. Given the serious scoliosis, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche never worries about it. It’s not that Rinchen Dojree Rinpche doesn’t have nerve systems or feelings. It’s that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche diligently cultivate the absolute belief in the permanence. Thus, the pain would be like being pricked by a needle and disappeared within a second.

All Buddhas possess three forms: Dharmakaya, Sambhogakaya, and Nirmanakaya. How does a Nirmanakaya look like? A person, a sutra, or even a phenomenon can be an Nirmanakaya which might not resemble to your imaginative figure that is feasible or posses a fixed appearance. For instance, before Tang Dynasty, the statue of Avalokiteshvara was with a beard. It’s not until Song Dynasty that the Avalokiteshvara statue was modeled with a female image. H. H. Chetsang Rinpoche once enlightened that so long as any teachings can liberate beings from sufferings are Buddha Dharma. An Nirmanakaya is the power of Buddhas’ compassion. It’s a kind of infinite energy, which can be transmitted by reverent and authentic pure mind. Why did some people in times of crisis will see His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche, but H.H. Chetsang Rinpoche did not know it? That was because the energy of His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche’s compassion had already pervaded the Universe and been everywhere. The same will happen if you pray with a reverent mind in times of crisis, you will see Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche appearing to help you. Only with a respectful mind, one can then correspond with this energy. In the next morning right after the grand puja, just when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche thought to report to His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche immediately received a phone call from His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche. This is the heart to heart correspondence between a disciple and a guru.

Once in a puja H. H. Chetsang reprimanded Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in public; “Why haven’t you changed to your dharma clothes?” Instead of explaining the reason was no one had informed him so, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche at once accepted the order and turned around and quickly went back to change his clothes. Following H. H. Chetsang Rinpoche’s ways of teachings, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has also been training his disciples the same way.

When you practice Buddhism without according to the impermanence of life, it’s very unlikely that you can abandon your greediness and attachment. As such, it’s impossible to attain the realization of our true nature.

The concept of cultivating Buddhahood inwardly should be firmly established in you. The most significant difference of Buddhism from other religions lies in the fact that it doesn’t emphasize searching for truth outwardly.

Reincarnation doesn’t occur after people die; instead, it actually begins as our consciousness emerges in the fertilized eggs. It’s a reincarnation of form when all our cells renew every seven years. The fluctuation of our moods is a kind of reincarnation of thoughts. Therefore, that number 7 is often mentioned in Sutra is related to this aspect. However, the tantric practice is not going to be talked about now. Our non-stop, capricious minds are indeed the manifestation of the impermanence of life, which is also a reincarnation.

Why do our thoughts surface in every second all day long? This is resulted from our habitual greediness, hatred, ignorance, arrogance, and delusion accumulated from past lives. These habits are like seeds planted in our Store Consciousness and then germinate and grow in this life. Additionally, our eyes, ears, noses, tongues, and skin are also receptive to information so as to continuously create thoughts. The knowledge we have learned since young age is all about differentiation and comparison. We were taught to tell what’s good from bad and learn to conduct ourselves so as not to be hurt. This is the discriminated mind and we think it is correct. However, Buddha Dharma is to transform this concept. Learning Buddhism is to cultivate our compassion and Bodhicitta as well as to make repentance. One of the difficulties of practicing Buddhism is inherited in the fact that Buddhism is contradictory to our life experiences.

If you are doctors, you shouldn’t be attached to the idea that you definitely can cure your parents. If so, no one in this world would die of illnesses. Whether patients can be cured depends on their causes, conditions, merits and virtues. The responsibilities of doctors are to be attentive to patients. About 30 years ago, doctors had diagnosed that a resection should be undertaken to the uterus of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s mother. Moreover, doctors even suggested that perhaps such surgery wouldn’t be effective. For Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, what he has been doing is striving to practice Buddhism so that his mother can avoid surgery and be cured. This is what is depicted in Buddha Sutra that when one man achieves accomplishment and his clan can ascend to heaven. So you shouldn’t be worried too much about your parents’ illness. The connection between a mother and her child is so tight that she would feel the child’s worries. You can make small talks with them and care for their daily life, but you can’t change the causes and effects of their karma. No person is able to change another person’s causes and conditions. He may be able to do is only alter the flavor of the karmic fruit, but not to make the karmic fruit disappear. For esoteric Buddhism, the bodies we have now are from our fathers’ sperms and our mothers’ blood. With the bodies, we can obtain the opportunity to practice Buddhism. For this reason, we ought to lean Buddhism on behalf of our parents. It’s the manifestation of your desire even if you implore Buddhas to alleviate the pains of your parents. It’s because you won’t be happy to see their discomfort. We are not able to relieve our parents from pains and the dying. To show genuine filial piety is to learn Buddhism. Through learning Buddhism and cultivating our compassionate and repentant minds as well as Bodhicitta, we may be able to alter the flavor of our parents’ effect retribution. If one is not able to eliminate his parents suffering and sorrow after death, he is not deserved to be said showing devotion for his parents. To show devotion for one’s parents is not to take them to eat in a good restaurant. It is said in the Sutra that we ought to offer our parents four things: living place, food, medicine, and clothes. Do not say your mother could be looked after by your sister and you only have to do is give them some money. It is your sister who does it, not you.

How can we see a Buddha in the form of Sambhogakaya? We can only see one after we attain the state of a Bodhisattva. When you achieve the Relative Bodhicitta and the Absolute Bodhicitta and perform Bodhisattva’s path, you then can see the Sambhogakaya. If you want to see the Dharmakaya, you must perfectly achieve accomplishments of practicing Buddha dharma and attain the Buddhahood.

When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche performed the retreat in Mt. Lapchi, the retreat room was locked from the outside. Because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knew the importance of the matters of birth and death, it did not matter to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche that everyday’s meal was routinely just water-boiled noodles with edible wild herbs; and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not attach to the desire of eating. Moreover, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not take a shower nor wash his hair for three months. Since Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche realized clearly the meaning of impermanence, the body needed only to eat and excrete.

We should understand clearly that everything is under the law of causes and conditions and is merely the process of life; any goodness will pass, any badness will pass as well. Therefore, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche often said, “Live by adapting to each of the conditions and keep calm for whatever happens.” No greediness doe not mean that one should not consume. It is now a financial society; if we do not spend our money, many people will have no jobs and they may resort to steal or rob. Cherishing one’s blessings means to cherish the little virtues one has earned from practicing Buddha dharma and not to let them become the blessings which can only be used in the human and heaven realms.

A few days ago Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche conducted the Phowa dharma to transfer a deceased disciple’s consciousness. Even if Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had already given him much enlightenment before he passed away, he still attached to one thing which was not known even by his wife when he died. His second daughter had once told him that she would not like to continue her education. While conducting the Phowa dharma, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche induced and summoned the spirit of the deceased disciple and learned that at the time of his death he was still worried that his second daughter would not finish her education. Hence, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche promised him to help to discipline his daughter and advised him to stop this worrying thought such that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche could send him to Amitabha Buddha’s Pure Land directly.

To transfer the consciousness of a deceased, the guru has to know the attachments of the deceased person. This is different than transferring consciousnesses in the great puja. In the great puja, the sentient beings coming are too many and it is not possible, unless for a Buddha, to know each of their attachments. Therefore, there are many rituals of offerings and making charities in the puja to satisfy the desires and thoughts of the coming sentient beings such that their desires and thoughts can be stopped and thus their consciousnesses can be transferred.

Buddhists know clearly the meaning of impermanence. They will not become passive and stop working, but will be active and work hard since they know that anything good may become bad immediately.

When one realizes and attains one’s own pure nature, one can then gradually achieve relative and absolute Bodhicitta. Through reflecting on one’s own mind and realizing the truth of the void of nature, called “perceiving the path”, one can reach the ground of extreme joyfulness. Great Prajnaparamita Sutra accounted for one third of Tripitaka, mainly talking about the void of nature. It also took a decade or two for Sakyamuni Buddha to enlighten about the void of nature. The void is not without anything; it is that the occurrence of everything is all from causes and conditions; everything appears from causes and conditions and disappears due to causes and conditions, without self-nature. Because the generation of everything is followed with the elimination, hence, Buddha dharma described it as the void. Most people like to say that they have put down everything and are in a state of emptiness. That is false emptiness and stubborn emptiness. The human’s life experience is accustomed to possessing, seeing, touching, and “permanence”. However, scientists have already proved that materials are generated by the collusion of atoms and molecules and are eliminated by further division. This slightly explains the meaning of the void of nature but not completely yet. Why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knows? It is because, confirmed by His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has already attained realization of the void of nature.

In order to generate strength during the dharma conduction, the person who conducts the dharma has to realize the void of nature. The state of void of nature cannot be described with words; so it is represented as wisdom. The so-called “perceiving the path” is to truly realize the profound meaning of the void of nature. If you want to deduce its meaning from any text, the Buddhas from the past, the present and the future will say that you treat them wrong. Buddha said that it could not be described since its state could not be explained with human languages. Even if someone has told you that the water is hot, you still do not know how hot it is without drinking the water yourself; even if someone has told you that the water is cold, you still do not know how cold it is without drinking the water yourself. Practicing Buddha dharma is like drinking water, only you yourself could know whether it is warm or cold. Moreover, the degree of each person’s feelings is different. So that is why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche stressed repeatedly that one should practice by oneself. Experiencing the void of nature cannot be mentioned just by yourself and has to be confirmed by your guru. Your guru has the past realization and can know whether your realization is true or false.

A few years ago, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche received the secret empowerment from the mahasiddha, the Most Venerable Yunga Rinpoche, of Drikung Kagyu order. However, before the empowerment, Yunga Rinpoche suddenly tested and asked Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche about the understanding of the void of nature. In fact, the question asked was not particularly special and the answer to the question should have no big difference to other people’s answers. But from the respondent’s attitudes, tone and so on, a guru can know what the respondent answered was just heard from others or was his own personal enlightenment. All gurus have the supernatural ability to read the minds of others and can know whether a person has enlightened or not. Only after Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had passed the test, Yunga Rinpoche then gave Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche the secret empowerment. Actually, the empowerment did not give anything physically, but help to elevate the state of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s enlightenment such that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche can benefit more sentient beings.

In order to fully understand the truth of the void of nature, one must be in the state above tenth ground Bodhisattva. Tenth ground Bodhisattvas can control the changes of the materials and reconstruct the materials.

Once in a retreat, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche kicked the leg of a chair while walking in the retreat room. When the sound of the kick rose and then immediately disappeared, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche attained right then the enlightenment that “dependent origination is all void of nature” and felt a joy which had never been experienced before. That was just the joyfulness filled one’s heart after attaining dharma, the so-called state of heart flowers in full blossom. Anything like Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s such enlightenment was not just revealed by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche himself; it had been confirmed by His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche.

Some people who see you having a vegetarian diet will certainly tell you that as long as Buddha is in your mind it is ok for you to eat meat and drink alcohol. However, one could eat meat only if, after one ate a fish, one could spit out a live fish. Only Bodhisattvas can do such things. After cancer patients finished their chemotherapy, doctors often advised them to eat meat in order to gain strength; this was wrong. Doctors of Chinese medicine will advise you to eat in a non-greasy style. The founder of Drikung Kagyu, Jigten Sumgon, was a vegetarian; His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche is a vegetarian as well; Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is a vegetarian as well; many lamas are vegetarians.

Some people asked Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for advice on whether it is good or not of their causes and conditions with their boy friends. For this kind of question, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche usually makes no answer, since they are not a true practitioner. So their good conditions as well as bad conditions may change. All conditions are also impermanent.

Some people’s eyes are not good and have some eye diseases when getting old. Seen from the point of view of western medicine, it is degeneration of the organ or tissue. However, from Buddhist teachings it is said that because in one of your past lives, you might keep Buddha’s light off, or stop other people from lighting a lamp, or talk them to light fewer lamps, or blew the light of lamps off. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is at the age of over sixty now, but Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is still able to drive fast at night, while it is not easy to capture the image of objects at night.

Why we are in samsara is because we don’t have belief in what Buddha said. If we listen to Buddha’s words, practice them step by step, we may attain Buddha-hood some day. Regardless of what you do, a layman or not, it’s not important. What matters is if you practice Buddha Dharma with sincerity in your mind. No need to concentrate on forecasting your future life. However, it does not mean no planning or giving-up. Instead you should plan within your capability, not to valuate yourself over, and work hard without presumption to get certain results.

Success is not a matter of your talent or capability, but rather it depends on if efficient and sincere. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche never discriminates practicing Buddha Dharma from daily business; furthermore Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche uses Buddha Dharma in running business and would not violate the vow due to greediness. Practicing Buddhism does not contradict your daily life, but you realize that life is impermanent and everything depends on causes and conditions, it’s all about merits and fortune. Therefore, following Buddha Dharma and causes and conditions.

The Master Gampopa said: some people give in one way clear and convincing presentation about Buddha Dharma, but in the other way they plan and seek temporary benefits for their own, thus they are nothing but ordinary and vulgar ones interested in studying Buddhist history. Practicing Buddhism steadily and surely is the utmost importance, besides there is not more fantastic methods.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche conducted the Grand Puja for many times, but since the very first time there have been not any single posters ever created and exposed. For the first time, Five thousand people attended the Grand Puja, and it showed the causes and conditions were met. Therefore, the following pujas were for ten thousand in the scale. The Grand Pujas attracted pretty much attendees who come without certain reasons. That is because since 1999 Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has been taking various activities, without any calculations for his own interests, in Buddhism.

The so-called vulgar men are those ordinary people who could not liberate the beings. You should extinguish the notion about pursuing temporary happiness and joy. As an example, the lady who originally had been the mother-in-law of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche died of cancer. Her consciousness was transmigrated to pure land through Phowa, performed by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. In her present life, what she used to do was simply cooking lunch and playing ma-jong and she was always living and staying in a small community. Because of cancer, she suffered a lot before she passed. Why? She had killed many fish that her husband and children brought back by fishing, cooked the fish for her family. Therefore she had accumulated a lot of karma of killing.

Nowadays, patients are managed to sustain their lives by insertion of medication tubes. That would be surprisingly unpleasant. It is also because the patients do not have accumulated merits. Furthermore, it is merits that would be required upon passing away. In the surface, the present science seems to extend people’s longevity; but indeed the techniques are torture. One who would not payback the karmic debts would be trampled on. For example, the eyes would be cut, the arms and legs would be saw, the same as in the hells. Doctors are just like the ghost wardens, reminding you the fearfulness of evil karma.

Once when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was visiting the patients in the oncology section, there are sick rooms lasting along the passage. When one of the patients started crying because of painfulness and suffering, patients in the other rooms then also started crying. The chamber was then full of crying everywhere. It’s terrified. In fact, the hells present in this world. It seems those patients were staying in a Crying Hell.

Every religion requests people to do virtuous deeds. In Catholicism or Christianity humans would not become the Lord by practicing. Practicing Taoism does not make a human the Jade Emperor or Matzu, either. Buddhism differs from the other religions in that a human can become a Buddha or Bodhisattva by practicing Buddhism.

Do not consider yourself practicing Buddhism by prostrating yourselves to Buddhas in the venue of Buddhist Center. Some even complain of sweating with air conditioning in the venue. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was too poor to have meals, pay the house rent, or pay for water and electricity in 1994. While the indoor temperature was as high as 42 degrees centigrade, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche still insisted on prostration and Ngondro practice, which are necessary. The carpet even discolored due to huge volume of sweat after prostration. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was having happier time during that period than now, because of his profound belief in causes and effects. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche realizes that he has not given alms in one of his past lives, and the fruits matured in this life, so gladly accepts the resultant poverty. Under such circumstances, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not implore to Buddhas and Bodhisattvas or to His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche, nor practice Jambhala Dharma, but gradually a few amount of money came up for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to live on. His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche has not realized how miserable Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s life had been in that.

When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was in poverty before, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knew that he might not be in poverty any more in the future since Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche understands life is impermanent. Once the evil effects were paid off, the power of virtuous effects would emerge. Otherwise, the virtuous effects will not show up. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche always makes the prostration on behalf of all sentient beings. This is Bodhicitta. Therefore, that making full prostrations and performing Four Uncommon Preliminary Practices is to cultivate the Bodhicitta. We make the prostrations towards Buddhas on behalf of sentient beings since we know there are still numerous sentient beings are in suffering, hoping all of them could have to chances of hearing Buddhims in the future.

Yesterday, there was a believer came to meet Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for her son, who is already 38 years old but still stays home and has no willing of being out to work. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave her enlightenment that she might continue offering her son the living expense during her lifetime and think that she is doing charity to someone. After she dies, there will be nothing to worry about. In fact, this problem is mainly due to her spoiling her son. If Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told her as most masters would do that attending the pujas and dedicating all merits to him will be alright, she will deframe that Buddhism is not efficacious after she attends pujas for a while and feels this way does not work.

Whether it is efficacious or not does not depend on Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. It is our mind that makes it efficacious or not. This is just as what His Holiness Chetsang ever enlightened that if we think our guru have problems, it actually our mind has problems.

October 15, 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. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche bestowed the following teachings: What are the ways to conduct consciousness transference so that the deceased can be really benefited? To carry out consciousness transference is to liberate the sentient beings who are unable to release themselves from the cycle of birth and death and reincarnate repeatedly in the six realms so that they may be liberated from the sea of sufferings and be transferred to the far shore, i.e. the Buddha’s Pure Land. Transference of consciousness cannot be achieved simply by means of reciting sutra, performing a 7-day retreat, participating in the repentance ceremonies, eating the vegetarian diet or reciting sutra supportively for the deceased. What kind of person is capable of helping the deceased then? Consciousness transference is for one to travel from a residence in the reincarnation to another, such as going from one country to another, so one has to prepare his travel expenses, documents, etc. If one is incapable of getting himself there, he has to seek help from others. Naturally, he will have to seek help from someone rich and well-connected. Therefore, it is a must for the performer of consciousness transference to have qualities such as compassion, merits, and wisdom.

Reciting sutra for the deceased isn’t completely useless, but it merely provides the deceased with mental comfort. Nonetheless, you people would definitely ask how this can be true because you can’t see it. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche reasoned it with a Buddhist sutra. The Sutra of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s Fundamental Vows says, “If a Buddhist observes the Ten Meritorious Acts and the Five Commandments, seeks refuge in the Three Jewels, generates mercy and compassion, and recites the sacred name of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha 10,000 times every day for 2 or 3 years. Land Gods will come near him and protect his residence.” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche followed this teaching when practicing Exoteric Buddhism. Nevertheless, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche didn’t have the feeling of being protected. It was until Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche learned Tantric Buddhism under His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche realized what the sutra says is right. Now, whenever Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche visits a new place, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knows to which direction a temple is located upon giving blessings and reciting mantras. It is because all the ghosts and deities come for the beneficial mantras and this authenticates the statement in the Sutra of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s Fundamental Vows.

Therefore, it takes more than reciting the Buddha’s name to transfer consciousnesses. At least, the performer has to be able to move the ghosts and deities emotionally. When someone recites sutras and mantras, the ghosts and deities will perceive his act and come for a look. If the ghosts and deities see that the person reciting sutras is incapable of helping the sentient beings release from sufferings, they won’t hurt or help him and will merely feel bored. In order to help the sentient beings to release from their sufferings, one has to accumulate merits, enlighten his wisdom, and obtain meditative stability of Mahamudra so as to gain the powers.

To enthrone the Dharma seat and give Dharma talks, a practitioner has to be recognized by his Guru that his practice is able to benefit the sentient beings. Buddhist study is more than sutra recitation. Additionally, one who merely learns Buddhism for a few years isn’t qualified to give Dharma talks. Many people in Taiwan don’t act in accord with the Buddhist teachings. According to the Ratnakuta Sutra, 22 requirements must be met before a guru who imparts teachings can be enthroned. Nonetheless, no masters in Taiwan dare to talk about the requirements for examining a guru. It is because they fear that they themselves will have to step down from the throne as long as these requirements are made public. On the other hand, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche already explained the requirements for examining a guru long time ago.

Being one of the eight major practice means, the Chod puja can help one achieve attainment in this life. If one practices this puja with undivided attention, he will be able to be liberated from the cycle of birth and death, the sea of sufferings. The Chod puja, based on theories in the Mahaprajna-paramita-sutra, was composed by a married lay Tibetan yogini who had children more than one thousand years ago and has to be practiced in accordance with the Bodhisattva path, the Six Paramitas, and Mahamudra. The yogini’s name was Machik Lapdron. Even Indian practitioners came to Tibet to seek her advice.

In Tibetan, the Chod puja literally means “to cut off”—to cut off all the afflictive emotions. Afflictive emotions are originated from virtuous or evil karma. When one starts to have attachment, he will then generate afflictive emotions. A few words for others won’t make them cut off their afflictive emotions. Only when one cuts off his afflictive emotions can he receive help from the Buddhist teachings and obtain liberation. This is no easy task. Every deceased person has obstruction, i.e. afflictive emotions. If one doesn’t know what afflictive emotions the deceased has, he won’t be able to cut off the afflictive emotions for the deceased, who thereby will refuse to leave even with sutra recitation. Having helped others by doing supportive recitation before, and performing Phowa and Chod at present, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knows very well how heavy the afflictive emotions of the sentient beings are.

Today, as all of you came to attend the puja, you should have 100% reverence towards the Three Jewels. Don’t have any doubts or mind what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does during the practice. If the sentient beings couldn’t be helped, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche himself would have misfortune and even die. Reverence symbolizes one’s offering. If one doesn’t have reverence towards the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and the performer of the puja, he will not have any merits, nor will he have any cause and condition to help the deceased. Regardless of any original attitude or thoughts, you should have faith in the Three Jewels for the following two hours. Even if you were deceived, you would only be deceived for two hours. You had better leave if you still have doubts, for your ancestors and sentient beings related to you are waiting outside. If you still have doubts, they will be angry. Since you are sitting here, do not let your thoughts wander. All you have to think is the fact that you have accumulated the merits in your previous lives so that you are able to attend this puja. It is the virtuous deeds and tantric practices you conducted in your previous lives that granted you an opportunity in this life to come to such a puja with more than 1000 attendees.

Normally the Chod Dharma is not practiced like this. In previous time, the Chod Dharma is practiced in “forests of eight great cemeteries” that refers to just the crematoriums and sky burial grounds. There were many wandering ghosts around in these cemeteries. Some people may think that a Chod Dharma practitioner has to go to a place nearby tombs to practice the Dharma. The yogas of the ancient periods took the Dharma instrument made of human bone to go everywhere with proper causes and conditions. They just sit down and practice the Dharma there. Or they practiced it in front of the houses of the mourning families to ask for offerings. In this way, Chod was not thought to be very auspicious. Only this Dharma does not need the assistance of lamas. While, taking for an example, the grand puja presided over by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche needs some people to pass some items, the Chod Dharma can be perfected by one person.

His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche has ever enlightened that in the Drikung Kagyu tradition, the lamas who learned tantric practices were required to practice Chod Dharma one time per day. However, this tradition disappears nowadays, as the Chod Dharma practitioner must have practiced to possess power of great vow and great compassion. Moreover, the Dharma instrument needed is so rare and hard to acquire, while it requires a tibia bone of some specific conditions and form for the Dharma instrument. Some people may think that Vajrayana’s using a bone Dharma instrument is to contact with ghosts, and is to practice the path of ghost but not path of Buddhist teachings. This thought is wrong. In fact, in the Exoteric Buddhism, the bones symbolizes that a human being will die some day, no matter how capable, rich, good-looking he/she is, no matter he/she is a doctor, a president, they will die with nothing left but a skeleton. A poor wretch also will die with only a skeleton left. What else must we ask for, attain to, and be attached to? If you will be angry just at a word said by other person, or if you can not put down even a trifle thing, your practices during your lifetime will be useless after you die. The bones also simplify that what you learn or do in your life is not an end but just the causes and conditions that you have you go through.

Besides, the sound that comes out from the tibia bone Dharma instrument by blowing it can summon the sentient beings that need to be transferred. It is because the sound is just the same as the ghost beings’. They are like “working in the same profession”. Only let them feel they are the same type of being in advance, and they are willing to receive the help. Just like that a Bodhisattva manifests in the form of human when to liberate human beings; Avalokiteshvara manifests as the Master Dashi of scorched face to liberate ghosts; Buddha Sakyamuni manifests as a peacock, a monkey to liberate the animal realms. When the tibia bone Dharma instrument is blown, the sentient beings of hell realm or ghost realm thought they were summoned. Through the meditation of Mahamudra, the practitioner contemplates that his own flesh body become food to offer the sentient beings. When the sentient beings are eating, they just see the food as their favorite. For instance, the beings in the intermediate state, ghost and hell realms like to eat meat, so they would see the food as meat; the beings in God realm would see the food as nectar; the Buddha and Bodhisattvas would see the food as the most previous food in the universe. All sentient beings have a habit of eating. In the Pure Land of Amitabha, whatever you want to eat, the food will appear from the ground. Of course there will not be any meat. So do not think that you are adopting vegetarian diet now and you can eat meat in the Pure Land in the future.

Sentient beings have habitual custom of eating in life after lives, and the habit is unforgettable. There are two major habitual customs of sentient beings: eating and sexual desire. We have to practice the Buddha’s teachings and mend both these two ways. The sentient beings of ghost realm think they are eating meat but actually it is nectar being eaten. After eating, their desires, sorrows, hatred, afflictions could be put down and then they could listen to the prayer texts recited by the practitioner as well as the advices to be liberated from the three evil paths. If the practitioner has plenty of thoughts, the sentient beings will not listen to him. If the practitioner does not perform retreat, or he charges the attendees in puja, the Dharma will not take effect. Ghosts always know clearly about that.

The heart of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is pure and clean without asking anything in return. The heart of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is just like the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas’, trying to help sentient beings. To obtain the help, you should have the same pure and clean mind as well. Do not think too much while reciting mantras during the process of Dharma conduct. Do not recite mantras for your cancer or for your relatives. The intention of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas coming to this world is in hope that all sentient beings could be liberated from the ocean of suffering of birth and death. If we have the same thoughts, it will take effect even we do not insist the intention for our family dependants.

You are pushed by the sentient beings in the ghost realm and hell realm to come today because they know this puja will be beneficial. It is Thursday but all of you were still in time, experienced a smoother traffic, even a boss who usually ignored you would allow you to go off earlier today. Although you are hungry, you still come here, while you never do this kind of great thing. Especially for those sentient beings in suffering and sorrows hope to come to attend puja, they are urging and remove the obstacle of your coming.

In fact, just as what is said in the Sutra, if we on behalf of sentient beings attend puja, one seventh of the merits and virtues belong to the deceased, and six sevenths belong to us the attendees. The merits and virtues would be accumulated if one attends puja with a heart for helping the sentient beings. On the contrary, if one attends puja only for himself, he would not obtain any merits and virtues, but only the virtues. Virtues would be used up. As one does not continue to practice, his virtues would eventually used up. Accumulate merits and virtues from the very beginning. Unless you do evildoings, the merits and virtues would be accumulated and become bigger and bigger, remaining in the void so to help the sentient beings for liberation from birth and death.

In Buddhism, there is a saying that “The fire burns the forest of merit and virtue.” Such trees of merits would have been planted after your participating in pujas and gather as a forest from life to life. However, if you are still doubtful and disrespectful toward Buddha Dharma and the Three Jewels, feeling that your desires aren’t satisfied by Buddhas, the fire of hatred will burn up the entire forest into ashes. The ashes will become fertilizer for the soil which becomes the virtues to be reborn as humans or animals in next life. Pets with virtues are those who had learned Buddhism in previous lives but became doubtful to or didn’t believe in Buddha Dharma. Because of their ignorance, they fell into the realm of animals after death. For instance, several days ago, in the United States, Americans held a contest for dogs to be kissed by humans. Some human beings haven’t accumulated such great virtues as those dogs in the contest to be kissed by so many people. These dogs must have learned Buddhism in past lives so as to accumulate such great virtues to be raised as sons and daughters. The important lesson is that you can afford not to learn Buddhism, but can’t afford to become doubtful to Buddhism.

It takes a great deal of effort to conduct a Chod puja. You’ll understand why it’s an arduous work when you witness how Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche performed the Dharma. Even so, you might feel it’s more backbreaking for you to sit still there and move your legs to relax them. Yet, you need to pay your reverence  and do not elevate your legs. If you do so, you’ll be reprimanded by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Usually those who were reprimanded because of raising their legs will not come to the venue next time. When you sit with legs crossed, you’d feel discomfort due to the “chi” is blocked. But the “chi” will eventually go through. At the beginning when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was a believer of Buddhism and practiced to sit with legs crossed, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also felt pain. Such feeling would sooner or later disappear since it was tolerable. It will be especially painful for those who prefer to consume meat and eat chilled food. It’ll never happen that your legs are broken because of sitting with legs crossed. Your legs will be broken in car accidents resulting from your killing sentient beings. You’d be better off to feel pain now in the puja than experiencing a surgery later on.

Our Buddhist center is not wealthy to have a huge auditorium where chairs and tables are available for attendees to be seated. Even with limited funds, the floor of this center is made of wood of high quality and you can at least sit on cushions. In India, the lamas of the monastery led by H. H. Chetsang Rinpoche must sit on the floor while listening to Buddha Dharma with the sun shinning right above. Compared with the monastery in India, the condition in our center is much better. When listening to Buddha Dharma, you should be able to stand some discomforts and have certain patience.

Don’t complain the crowdedness which can actually help you not to move around. Men and women sit separately in Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s venue. Unlike other centers, such arrangement can avoid mixture of both genders so that no inappropriate contacts between men and women will occur. In previous lives, you actually had experienced the same jammed situation in which your knees must be adjacent.

Among more than one thousand attendees for the puja conducted by the same practitioner, why can some of you benefit from the puja but some can’t? Whether or not you can benefit from participating in the puja depends on your attitudes. It doesn’t depend on the efficacy of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. It’s impossible that Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are not powerful! It is that attendees’ attitudes are in question.

Then, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche conducted the auspicious Chod dharma. After the perfect completion of the dharma conduction, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened us that a lot of sentient beings had come in during the puja and they had been very much in pain. Do not think you yourself live miserably. The sufferings we have now cannot compare to the sufferings of those who entered Bardo after their death, losing their human bodies but not knowing where to go and what to follow.

If a person does not conduct any big virtuous deeds or big evil deeds in his life, he will certainly go through the pains of medical procedures or sufferings in his mind before he dies. Within the first eight hours after a person’s breath ceases, he knows clearly the words spoken and the things happened in his surroundings. If his relatives understand Buddha Dharma and respect the Three Jewels, they can help the deceased person to eliminate the karmic retribution of falling into the Three Evil Realms. But such cases are very rare. The duration of eight hours is just an approximation; the exact duration for each person may be slightly longer or shorter. There are some severe coma patients whose spirits are left but whose consciousnesses still exist; and there are those whose spirits and consciousnesses are all gone, but their families use machines to help supporting their lives.

In Exoteric Buddhism it thinks that once a person’s breathing stops, the person dies. In fact, the situation needs to be distinguished between inter and external Qi; and the stop of breathing just means the external Qi stops. If a person’s external Qi has stopped but his internal Qi has not, and if he can be helped by Buddha and Bodhisattvas, or a Mahasiddha, he will be able to relive again. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has helped a number of such patients to relive again, whose external Qi stopped but whose internal Qi still exist; these are very rare. It is a true death if both of a person’s internal Qi and external Qi stop. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had first-hand experience for the existence of internal and external Qi; this was in year 2007. At the time, in the 4500 meters high Lapchi Mountain in Nepal, under His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche’s guidance, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was performing a three-month retreat in the sacred place where Venerable Milarepa had performed retreats before. Some day between the end of May and early June, sometime between one o’clock and two o’clock in the morning, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in his sleep clearly realized that his breathing and heartbeat had stopped and the external Qi had gone; But because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s internal Qi still existed, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was able to relive again later. If one’s internal Qi stops, it means the causes and conditions for one to keep his body in this life has ended.

After the so-called first eight hours after one’s death, one’s soul will leave one’s body. At this time, the extreme suffering the deceased one feels, as Buddhist sutra has stated, is like the pain a turtle felt when its body was abruptly pulled out from the shell. A practitioner will know how to separate his soul from his body without the pain. One day after the soul of the deceased left, the soul will feel like he falls asleep; until seven days later, the soul will feel he wakes up again and will then go to his favorite place when he was alive. The deceased, however, does not know the fact that he is already dead and will go to find his own body or family members, not necessarily going home. For example, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, with his great capability, once knew that the deceased father of a disciple had always been in a park accompanied by his deceased dog. This is the so-called statement that “a soul will return after seven days.” A soul will discover that he cannot communicate with human beings. Ghosts cannot speak. In the Six Realms, only human beings and animals can speak, the sentient beings of other realms all use their minds to communicate.

Why do we recite sutras to help the deceased every seven days? If the deceased did not practice Buddha dharma during his lifetime, reciting sutras will really help him to reduce his fear somewhat when his soul wakes up every seven days. Within the forty-nine days after a person’s death, there will be Buddhas from Buddha group, Bodhisattva group, and Vajra group coming to receive the deceased soul, no matter whether one practiced Buddha dharma or not. But just as Buddhist sutra has stated that if a person did not practice Buddha dharma during his lifetime and does not have absolute faith, he, in Bardo, will fear the strong light of the coming Buddha and walk away. This is like that a very poor person will not dare to accept a very rich person’s help, due to their big difference of status. If the deceased did not practice Buddha dharma when he was alive such that his own light of virtue does not shine and his evil karma is heavy, he will not be able to contact with the light of the coming Buddha at the time.

Before when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had just taken refuge under Exoteric Buddhism, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche then had a dream the next day. In the dream, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was standing in front of the door of a Buddhist temple; the temple had a large statue of Sakyamuni Buddha emitting a strong golden light. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche then took a step backwards because of seeing the strong golden light. This is so-called Bardo of dreams. We are gradually dying in each time segment when we are alive. In the dream, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was encouraged to go into the temple by his Buddhist master under whom Rinpoche had taken refuge such that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche could enter the temple and obtain Buddha’s blessings.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is attentive to perform transferring consciousness, so Rinpoche knows clearly these things. Do not think it is just ok for you to be a good person; what you did in your past lives and what you have done in this life, good or bad, will all be added up together. As long as you have ever eaten meat, have hated or been angry with other people, you will certainly fall into the Three Evil Realms. Do not think you are a good person; if you are a good person, you would have already been in Amitabha Buddha’s Pure Land

Practicing Buddha dharma is not to live a better life, but to prepare for the future. People will surely die. And if one has eaten meat, one will certainly be not comfortable when one dies. Some people had a vegetarian diet in the morning and ate meat in the afternoon, thinking Buddha and Bodhisattvas would fall asleep in the afternoon and know nothing. This has nothing to do with Buddha and Bodhisattvas; it is you who have eaten other sentient beings. Buddhist sutra has stated, “If you have eaten someone for half a pound, you will repay him for eight ounces.” As long as you have eaten a piece of meat, you will have to repay the debt. The debt of hurting the life of sentient beings needs to be repaid by the pain of one’s flesh. For the past few years, if Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche unintentionally hurt some insect or accidentally killed a mosquito, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would repay the karmic debt very quickly; after a few days, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s skin would still get scraped and bleed slightly, thus repaying the debt with the immediate karmic retribution in this life. Even Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, an accomplished practitioner, will be like this, how dare you still eat meat? Bleeding even a drop of blood is caused by one’s killing karma. If one has practiced Buddha dharma, one’s karmic retribution will be reduced somewhat, perhaps repaying the debt with a little bleeding under the skin.

Don’t think that eating meat could be compensated by making repentance. Buddhas would not accept such repentance. The cause why Buddha Sakyamuni disseminated the Dharma is human beings are really suffered and only the Dharma can overcome the suffering upon one’s death. Today because of your attending many of your obstacles to attain buddha-hood have been purified. If you still do not stop eating meat, it could not be beneficial to your future. Furthermore, do not be afraid that your friends would leave or your parents would be dissatisfied as you take vegetarian diet, it’s only a matter of diet behavior and the others could not decide it for you.

By this puja you should learn renunciation. As a practitioner of old age, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has abandoned this life to help you and advises everyone to take vegetarian diet. Put it in another words: if you still insist taking meat, you would be superior to a dog because a dog would simply follow the instructions given by its owner. Don’t have arrogant notion that by taking vegetarian diet would make you different or make you become a great one. Actually, cows and sheep are vegetarian. The motivation why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche advises everyone to take vegetarian diet is to help you prevent falling into the three lower realms and to cultivate your mercy and compassion gradually. Furthermore, stop creating new debts to the beings, so the old debts might be paid back.

Life is a short period of time. In the consecutive forty-nine days right after passing away if one could not get help from Buddhas and Boddhisattvas, one would fall into the three lowers realms according to one’s deeds in this life. Therefore, if one has any hatred and deceit to the others, one would fall into the three lower realms. It has been very rare to not fall into samsara. It would be a fault if Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not tell you the truth, but then it would be irrelevant with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche if you decide not to change your behavior. Being here in the puja, it should be due to some connections, therefore Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would like to emphasize again that the Chod ritual was passed down by His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche and such condition is very rare, so everyone should think about it.

In Taiwan, except by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche a Chod puja would not aggregate more than one thousand attendees. Today guided by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche you have recited one thousand times of Mani Mantra. In total, there are one million times of mantra reciting which is not possible to achieve it alone at home. Before the Chod ritual was preformed, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had instructed everyone to not only think at your own, your families and relatives, but instead to think of the beings in the space. Thus, you share the whole merits and virtues here accumulated by everyone. It has pretty much more than one thousand times of reciting by you alone.

When you back to home after this puja, everyone should avoid watching useless TV programs to show the fighting between the mother-in-law and the daughter-in-law or programs to show unfaithful relations. Through those TV programs, you would gradually become indulged in scolding and thus hatred would arise in your mind. Therefore, it generates more hatred in this world. Instead, you could watch programs beneficial to the life or programs presenting general knowledge.

In Buddhist texts, it mentioned that a Buddhist shall not criticize the national governors. Think about why they become the governors? Even though you might not have voted them, but you live here in the country with them. You shall not criticize even If you think the governors are not performing very well. Be patient. You could express your thinking in next voting, though. In fact, regardless of how poor their performance can be, our daily life could be a chaos if they do not administer the country.

Through discrimination in our mind we determine what is good and what is bad. By the puja today, we shall learn to stop discriminating and calculating. A qualified practice relies on how you could really change and correct your own.

October 18, 2009

The His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche presided over an auspicious regular puja at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center in Taipei. Believers and disciples listened reverently to the audio recording of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s Dharma teachings on May 25, 2003 regarding “impermanence”, the meanings of suffering, cause, cessation, path, reincarnation and the sufferings of hell. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened: Last week’s enlightenment of how Buddha Samantabhadra taught us to contemplate and practice impermanence in our daily lives, I hope everyone can truly apply this Dharma in everyday of our lives. Buddha Shakyamuni said: Of all my disciples, Buddha Stupa and Buddha Sakyamuni, Maudgalyayana are like the precious vase. It is better for you to contemplate and practice condition and impermanence then to offer food or wealth to such holy men. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened that the two main disciples, Buddha Stupa and Buddha Sakyamuni, Maudgalyayana, were both holy men. They were Arhats who had realized the siddhi of Four Fruition. The merits of making offerings to the true holy men are incredible. However, the Buddha said that even if you have the causes and conditions to make offerings to such holy man, it is incomparable to contemplating and practicing everyday that all conditioned Dharmas are impermanent. Such merits are even more incredible. It is very easy for those who practice Buddha Dharma to have evil thoughts if they don’t contemplate impermanence and understand that each day they practice are conditioned Dharma. Nowadays many people who practice Buddha Dharma in Taiwan hope to have telepathy, super natural power and achieve enlightenment as soon as possible. These are evil thoughts and conditioned Dharma. If practicing with such attitude, it is every easy for you to have evil thoughts and opinions without the supervision from a guru, who truly practices according to Dharma teachings.

All Dharma teachings taught by the Buddha were in connection with human being’s bad habbits accumulated from lives to lives. We think that every worldly thing, substances and people will not change. Therefore, unceasing afflictions and sufferings come into existence. The Buddha had unceasingly explained us in details the truth of the universe and made us understand correctly the truth that everything is changeable. The modern physics says that integrations of all objects are resulted from the interactions of molecules and atoms which generate the external form. One day, the form will decompose again. No matter if it is the human body, all substances or even human thoughts, cultures and customs are all impermanent. Your afflictions and sufferings will reduce gradually only if you contemplate and practice impermanence thoroughly every day.

For example, why the death rate of SARS was very low and yet all people in the world were frightened? It was because the feeling of not being able to control it! We hope to control things in our life such as controlling your spouse, your son and daughter. Control means knowing clearly what he is doing, he must fulfill the things you said and understand clearly what you think. Because you think things are not impermanent so that you want to control. You were scared because the cause of SARS could not be controlled. The second reason why you were frightened was because of the killing karmas from accumulated lives. This time, it was the fightback from the animals we had hurt from our accumulated lives. Their fears as while we were harming them have returned to us now. Therefore we were even more frightened to this disease. In fact, there were more people died of AIDS than those of SARS. This SARS epidemic was for those who truly practice Buddha Dharma to realize the word of impermanence but not how to extinguish or kill it. Such disease was summoned by us. Our evil hearts naturally would summon bad karmas, our evil deeds would naturally summon evil deeds. Selfish is considered as evil deed. Very often people forget others’ pains because of trying to protect themselves. Why being so selfish? Because they don’t accept impermanence and think that sufferings will never happen to them.

Last year, one believer had an operation because of gallstone. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had warmed him to come and practice Buddha Dharma two years ago. However, he had an operation last year because he did not listen! This believer said that when he was in the hospital, he was very touched that his wife was there to accompany him everyday. In contrast, no family member had ever visited the patient next to his sickbed. That patient moaned everyday because of pain. This believer thought that he was very lucky because his wife loves him very much. He did not waste this life! All these were because of the blessings from Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. After hearing this, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche thought that this person has low temperament and he did not practice Buddha Dharma. Should one have a little bit root of virtue, he would first sympathize that patient for having no family to visit him. One who has better temperament would feel that patient was very painful and hope that his pain could be reduced. One who has higher temperament would hope to help liberate his pain; One who has better temperament would hope to replace his pain through practicing; One who has even better temperament would contemplate that all things are resulted from causes and effects, karmic powers and impermanence. Every dribs and drabs in our daily lives can be used to practice. Each person realizes differently from listening to Buddha Dharma because of different temperament. Temperament was not born to be like this. The good karma as well as good causes and conditions we have accumulated from lives to lives are our temperament to practice Buddha Dharma. This temperament root needs cultivation, fertilization and water to grow. Buddha Dharma is your fertilizer. Your guru is your water to help your root start to bud. Whether this root is good or not is not eternal. It is impermanent, too. Your temperament will change immediately if you are absolutely reverent to the Three Treasures. In history, there were many practitioners who had no sufficient temperament. Yet they did not think confusedly but following and practicing one hundred percent according to guru’s teachings.

The happiness we own is impermanent, too. Your happiness can be secured only if you can deeply apply impermanence in daily lives. Then you will not conduct things which are beyond morals, ethics, laws and things that should never be done. As a result, your can obtain true happiness for your future. Why Buddha Shakyamuni said that he had never given Buddha teachings after giving teachings forty-nine years later? There were two implications: First of all, because the Buddha did not invent the Dharmas that he had taught. Those Dharmas were passed down by the Buddha in each generation after they had obtained realization generations from generations. Secondly, from contemplating impermanence’s point of view, Buddha Shakyamuni had never given any Dharma teaching. Buddha Shakyamuni told us the means to practice according to sentient beings’ request. Therefore, it is impermanence. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s sitting on the Dharma seat and propagating Buddhism is considered as impermanence, too.

In the face of this SARS epidemic, we should contemplate it with the idea of impermanence, instead of termination of the disease out of fear. Thereby, we are able to apply the idea of impermanence and to understand that this is a ripened karmic result. Naturally, we would accept the law of cause and effect and refrain from committing evil deeds while conducting virtuous ones. If everyone acts accordingly, the SARS will disappear in its natural course. The SARS comprises of spirits of all animals and dragons. It transforms rapidly for different spirits of animals are included. What adds to it can be a chicken today, a duck tomorrow, or a pig the day after tomorrow, all of which are summoned because of the evil karma, evil deeds, and evil thoughts of human beings. We have been poisoned by the advertising slogans saying that children need nutritious food from birth otherwise they would grow up improperly, lack wisdom, and become inferior to others. Such concepts overthrow the laws of cause and effect and impermanence. One doesn’t survive because of food, but of his causes created in the past. One’s life is derived from the merits accumulated by means of refraining from killing and having a virtuous root in the past. If one has enough merits, he can obtain nutrition even by drinking water. If one doesn’t have enough merits, problems will occur even with the best food provided. During the Snake Year Great Teachings, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche personally met with a Tibetan practitioner who had practiced so well as to be able to stop eating and drinking. He was still spirited and could walk from Lhasa to India. Would you say that he hasn’t got nutrition? He was able to dine on meditative joy and didn’t need food.

Although there are 84,000 practice means in Buddhism for the 84,000 afflictive emotions of human beings, they were practiced for the 84,000 channels (tsa) in the human body in terms of Tantras,. Everybody should embrace the idea of impermanence and see clearly whether everything in life is impermanent. Those who desire a comfort seat while listening to the Buddhist teachings must be lazy and wouldn’t be able to change their daily lives. They wouldn’t pay sincere attention to the idea of an impermanent life as well as the matter of life and death. The demand for comfort while listening to the Buddhist teaching is an animal behavior. If one indulges himself in comfort, loves enjoyment, eating, and sleeping, and manifests non-human behavior, always leaning against something while sitting, he will definitely fall into the Realm of Animals in the following life. Whatever you like, dislike, accept, or refuse to accept while listening to the Buddhist teachings, seeds have ready been sown in your eighth consciousness, Alaya-vijnana, and may sprout in the following life. Nonetheless, if you don’t carry out the practice with sincerity, you will still be in the sea of sufferings of reincarnation. The deities you people pray to are all ghosts, some are probably tens of years old and others hundreds of years old.

When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was 19, his father suddenly died of cardiac arrest. He was seen to go to work in the morning and was reportedly dead by noon. His body was in the morgue already when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche rushed to see him. Thereafter, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche witnessed many incidents coming along with the death and started to wonder what life was. Everyone who comes to this world is destined to meet his or her death. Since we all have to die, why on earth do we come to this world? Does the fact that everyone works and eats form human identity? This question had not been fully answered until Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche came in contact with Buddhism. None of you present have had such a deep experience with death and impermanence, or even think about the question at all. Every practitioner definitely tackles, studies, and explores the search for true meanings of life by beginning with the issues of impermanence and death. This is a fast approach to reach the Buddhist teachings. If one merely wants to satisfy his curiosity, to understand, and to bring positive changes in his life with the Buddhist study, he will gradually deviate from the subject expounded by the Buddha. Contemplating on impermanence and death is the most important way to start one’s Buddhist practice. By such means, you will thereby be able to understand the greatness of the Buddhist teachings. You consider the Buddhist study difficult because you tackle the matter in a wrong way, not because you are illiterate, stupid or unlearned. You have adopted a view derived from mundane phenomena, which thereby make you think that the Buddhist teachings seem to be extremely profound and difficult.

The Buddhist teachings, different from worldly knowledge, are difficult to understand and yet easy to carry out. The teachings are difficult to understand because they are totally different from mundane phenomena. Mundane phenomena are attached to conditions, refusing to let go of any matters, objects, people, feelings, or thoughts considered to be one’s own. On the contrary, the Buddhist teachings say that everything is impermanent. Due to the fact that unconditioned phenomena are totally different from our life experiences, we thereby feel that the Buddhist teachings are very profound while trying to realize them. In fact, the Buddhist teachings are difficult to understand and yet easy to carry out, whereas other religions are easy to understand and difficult to carry out. The core concept of Catholics, Christianity, and Muslim is simple. All you have to do is believe in God. Nonetheless, no matter how you practice, you would feel that God is in great distance because you consider yourself unable to exercise the powers, love, and practices spoken by God. As to Buddhism, the order of the stages is reversed. While you may find it extremely difficult in the beginning, you will feel that you are getting closer to the Buddhas and will find it easy to carry out the teachings later in time as long as you tackle the issue correctly. To be able to make it doesn’t mean that you are loftier or any different than others. It merely means that you have recovered your original appearance. That is why the Buddha says that all sentient beings can attain Buddhahood, which is definitely not a hoax or anything aimed to deceive. It is because we have forgotten our original appearances and gotten used to live our lives with fake appearances, thinking that we are right and thereby causing so many afflictive emotions and sufferings to rise. Being right is impermanent as well. Throughout the history we have seen that all historical figures considered themselves right while making the decisions. Nevertheless, historical evaluation for their decisions definitely varies as each person’s take varies.

The purpose of Buddha Sakyamuni’s visit to the Earth is to achieve something great—to help the sentient beings be freed from reincarnation. The Buddha urged and gave instructions again and again in the 49 years. We should never consider the Buddha a deity, superman, or a man of great miraculous powers, for the Buddha is a teacher who teaches us how to leave behind the sufferings in reincarnation. Upon attaining Enlightenment, the Buddha first imparted the teaching of suffering, origin, cessation, and path, the Twelve Links of Interdependent Origination, and then the practice of Bodhisattva Path.

All the sentient beings are the result of concentration and manifestation of sufferings. Every sentient being has eight types of sufferings: suffering of birth, suffering of old age, suffering of sickness, suffering of death, suffering of being apart from the loved ones, suffering of being together with the despised ones, suffering of not getting what one wants, suffering of the flourishing of the Five Skandhas. You people feel happy about birth, but the Dharma eyes of the Buddha contemplate and see that human birth is very painful. Before one enters the womb, he would suffer greatly while clinging to a thought to survive. Once, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche saw a video clip of a goat. Wolves were trying to hunt down the goat, which thereby jumped off a cliff of 70 or 80 meters in height without any hesitation. The sentient beings might forget about everything when struggling to survive. Just like animals, human beings have strong desires to live. The reason why we have to eat nutritious food, earn as much money as possible, and buy a house is a reflection of our desire to survive. We consider our life safe with all these possessions, just like the goat jumping off the cliff for dear life while being perfectly clear that such action might result in death, same for those who borrow money to buy a house. They knew well the high risks in such a decision, but they still want to do so simply because they feel that it is safer to own a house.

Before gaining a rebirth, a being in the intermediate state doesn’t know to which realm his karmic force will take him. Such suffering from wanting to live is painful. Therefore, the reason why so many sentient beings come whenever Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche performs the Chod puja lies in that they have sufferings from wanting to live. The reason why people would cry upon hearing Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s recitation of the Six Syllable Mantra lies in that your virtuous root has thereby been reopened, just as reuniting with a family member whom you have not seen for a long time, i.e. your original appearance, with which you never consider bringing harm to others. During the mantra recitation, your virtuous root is opened by the practitioner’s compassion. Secondly, it is because you refuse to admit the fact that reincarnation and human life are suffering. Thirdly, it is because your past relatives and creditors have left you since you attended the puja.

Before a being was born, sufferings are already concentrated. No matter which realm one is in, as long as his consciousness has entered the fetus in the mother’s body, he feels like being in the Hell of Icy Coldness when his mother eats cold food and feels like being in the Hell of Fires when his mother eats hot and spicy food. Being in the womb, water fills his eyes, nostrils, and mouth all the time. He can only eat via the umbilical cord because he can’t eat with his mouth and thereby feels great suffering. The fetus sometimes would kick or punch his mother because he doesn’t like what she eats. The Buddha described a child’s birth through the birth canal as an experience of trying to squeeze through in between the mountains. When the womb is cut open, the child would experience sudden and greater shock in a caesarean delivery than in a natural delivery. As children delivered by means of caesarean section have experienced shock, they tend to have some developing problems later in time.

Not to mention aging, with which one’s ability falling short of one’s wish. However, some people wouldn’t consider themselves old and still seek sufferings by taking care of their grandchildren. As to sickness, we all have the experience. All sentient beings get sick and the sufferings from illnesses are innumerable. In particular, even more sufferings arise with modern medical advances. Procedures such as tube insertion and surgical operations resemble scenes at a slaughter house. Those with heavy karma of killing have to undergo surgeries in this life, and those who mistreated animals call for tube insertion.

Budda once stated: karma of the beings in the degenerate age is particularly significant. If one’s karma is purified and cleaned, one could be free from samsara , transmigrated to Amitabha’s pure land, and then return back to this space after one’s vow is fulfilled.

Nowadays lots of people are hospitalized and treated by inserting nose tube or applying surgery. It’s quite unpleasant experience. Though, the patient’s family would want the patient to survive. Imagine you were a patient with tube inserted, try to feel it as your parents do. Ignorant as those who consider it’s the right approach to help the ill, people in this degenerate age would be immediately entrapped in a prison of sorrow and suffering.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has not intended to criticize western medication. In fact, such medical treatment is due to accumulated karma of the beings, and it signifies the ill people have accumulated tremendous karma of killing through their past and present lives. Some people would say they have not killed any pigs or chickens. Actually, we have been continually in killing the beings, even if we are vegetarians. Farmers of organic vegetables would do harm to the beings living under the ground, so we must repent. Don’t be proud of as a vegetarian, though you show a little more goodness toward the beings.

Therefore, Buddhas urged we should learn Buddhism as quick as possible. If we live in this world one more day, we would have been consciously or unconsciously killing the beings more. In the Samadhi Water Repentance text, it stated that when one about to open a container of pickling the vegetables, one should avoid to harm the floating living beings inside the container.

Some people consider they have been doing the dharma practices very well and have much mantra reciting in everyday, so they wonder why get illness? The reason is we are constantly involved in taking lives of the beings. As long as we stay in this earth, it would be quite difficult to stop it. Therefore, to minimize the possibility of taking lives of the beings, we start actions by taking vegetarian diet. And also avoid to initiate or to take part in any idea to kill.

When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche began learning the esoteric Buddhism, once in a dream a guru told him to recite a mantra every time before taking meals. Though the guru spoke in Tibetan, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche who does not speak Tibetan yet however could clearly tell the title of the mantra. The next day, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked some other Rinpoche if there is such a mantra? Though the answer is yes, the Rinpoche was surprised because the mantra would not be transferred to any Han Chinese. In that dream, at first Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was sitting behind some lama. When the old guru come and taught Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to recite the mantra, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche then become sitting in front of the other lamas. That is, if Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche want to escape from live and death, he must know the mantra because even with an amount of a single bite of the meal some certain live of the beings had to be sacrificed. Therefore, before taking meals Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche must bless the meals in order to stop hatred from those beings. With this story hinted, it could be complicated to accomplish true goodness.

Buddha once gave teachings through a story as following. In some day, Buddha Sakyamuni was walking and accompanied by his disciples. Ahead, there was a flock of pigeons staying. When those pigeons were aware of Sakyamuni, they moved toward Sakyamuni. But when a disciple of Sakyamuni walked toward the pigeons, they simply flew away. The disciple asked the Buddha that he had stopped killing but why the pigeons were frightened? Buddha Sakyamuni explored that the accumulated karma of killing of the disciple was not cleaned and purified yet, thus in his mind there were seeds and ideas of killing existing inside. So, pigeons were frightened by him and flew away, in contrast to him Sakyamuni had not any seeds or ideas of killing.

Today if we get illness, it is because of the deeds of killing through our past lives. So, we might suddenly get hurted, beat by the others, get diarrhea et al, all of them is due to deeds of killing. If we learn Buddhism in this life and stop the killing, what benefit could be obtained? We could stop creating new debts and, furthermore, the old debts could be paid back in some more time.

In Kṣitigarbha Sutra, Kṣitigarbha instructed all the good deities to protect the pregnant women and the fetus. However, the beings are so ignorant that they have killed living fish and chickens to have nutrition. Also, it stated in sutras and Buddhist texts that Kṣitigarbha sent good deities to protect women in labor delivery from any harmfulness by ghosts that would otherwise suck the blood or take the flesh. However, during the post childbirth confinement month, how much they have killed and taken? How much they further killed for the ceremony of confinement-month completion? Even though you might not married yet, think about your mother, your grandmother that how much they have done for you? How much karma was generated for us?

Therefore, it is almost not possible that we will be free from sickness. Even the Buddha Sakyamuni showed illness to us before his nirvana. Was the Buddha really sick? Not really. Buddha showed illness to the beings to tell you he had completely cleaned the karma of killing accumulated in his past lives. With some certain motivation, Buddha did it to tell us that human will experience the cycle of birth, age, sickness and death. Here the most important message is the Buddha also had deeds of killing in some far past lives, and the cyclic result of the karma had come to an end before Buddha’s nirvana. Buddha Sakyamuni manifested it for us.

If your elder families are feeling ill or going to pass, don’t be sad. If you are of some wisdom, you should immediately have a foreboding about the consequence of their karma. You should recite names of Buddhas on their behalf and attend pujas as best as you could to help clean their karma in this life. If they have the merits, a right doctor for curing will be met, spontaneously.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche took an example that a woman who had ovarian cancer relied on the doctor but passed away recently. Before her passing, she even did not encounter the condition to receive a nectar pill. She was a nurse. In three days before her passing, her son and relatives come to meet Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told her son that there were only three days remained and instructed her son to ask the father if her mother should take a nectar pill to save her from falling into three lower realms? His father refused. All of these are subject to her own conditions and her fortune. She did pass away in the third day. Today here by listening to the Buddha Dharma, it would help us accumulate the merits so as to access to a reliable teacher and obtain the teacher’s help when passing away, which would be otherwise refused by our own families. A sister-in-law of the ovarian cancer patient did come and ask for help. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche advised her to bring back a nectar pill, she simply refused and responded that it would choke the patient. Therefore, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told her that she should not take the nectar pill due to their causes and conditions. It is a real example that the patient’s families would refuse the opportunities for her.

Though you could not see your own past lives. In present life if ever you have the deeds of killing, you can’t be free from sickness. Even if you simply kill an ant, the bad karma will be accumulated except that you could have attained the stage as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche who could liberate its consciousness. Therefore, if you suddenly get hurt such as scoring, bumping injury or car accidents, that would be originated by your own deeds of killing. Furthermore, even if your body can be healthy, your wealth would be plundered or reduced through unexpected reasons. Buddha told us that your wealth was on the hold by the five thieves, one of which is our children. Most of our descendants born in the family in order to exhaust our wealth, while only a few come to requite favors for us, especially in such degenerate age.

The forth is death. At this moment you are alive, but you have been worried of death. Ask yourself is it bitter or not? Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche often went to hospitals to help those dying people. Each of them, faced with death, experienced deep struggling in their mind. The suffering is originated by not accepting impermanence while they were alive. So they had struggled to death, and they hope to stay one more second in the world. Therefore, don’t say be brave to them or ask them to survive. The more your saying that, the much more bitterness they would experience.

When we are going to pass away, from the beginning state of dying to the state that consciousness leaves the physical body, there would be pretty much sorrow and suffering. The states are not explored in the exoteric Buddhism, but in esoteric Buddhism those who have practiced Phowa rituals are aware of the dying states. Each of sentient beings would experience the suffering from the four aspects of body decomposition which are ground, wind, liquid and fire. For example, patients of SARS would be suffered to the death because they could not breathe. It is analogous to the situation when a fish was trapped and forced to leave water, then the fish would open its mouth widely to take breath. People who contracted SARS must have planted bad karma by fishing or by killing fish in this present life or in their past lives. It tells causes and effects.

The dissolution of the fire element is easier to understand. Before the dissolution of his fire element, this person will sometimes feel hot and sometimes feel cold. Therefore, before their dying, the patient still feel hot even the air-conditioning is turned on higher, and he is lying in bed without a blanket or clothes and also is blowing by a small fan on the bedside him. After a few days, the patient would feel cold. Regardless covered by how many layers of blanket, he would still feel cold even the air-conditioning is turned off. Such cold is so chilly as it comes out from the bone. Such a phenomenon is the dissolution of the fire element. Those who ever caught bad cold should have experienced such a feeling. The hot and cold feeling of the dissolution of the fire element is more ten thousand times serious than that of catching bad cold.

Each of the dissolution of the four major elements is very painful. Sometimes we may see the entire body of a patient goes into spasms. This is the dissolution of the earth element because his inner air channels are cut off one by one.

After the dissolution of the four major elements finish, it is also very painful to inhale the last breath but fail to make it. It is like a man buries his head beneath the water and can’t breathe. After his last breathe, the time when his outer air ceases but inner air does not, he will suffer many pains too. The red and white bindu inside our body meet and turn upside down, by which we will feel the suffering the collapse of the insight world. We will feel like the mountain is collapsing, ground is riving, the sky and land is shaking, and our own body is going to break into pieces.

The feeling that we will have after the dissolution process and right before our consciousness leave the body is like the pain a turtle felt when its body was abruptly pulled out from the shell. Therefore, the dying process is very painful. Those who commit suicide thought everything would end and be unrelated to themselves by killing themselves. This is incorrect. The details will be given later when talking about the Realm of Hell.

Those who do not achieve accomplishment in tantric practices will suffer much pain during the dying process. Reciting the Buddha name constantly is the way to reduce such a suffering in the Pure Land School. There is no particular method for this in Zen School. Tantric Phowa Dharma could help us reduce such a suffering to the least, and much faster than the method of Pure Land School.

“The suffering of separating from loved ones”. Those we love most and we will separate eventually. When an unmarried girl come to ask the result of being with a given boy, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche always tell her the result is separation. Separation includes that our children leave us, our spouse pass away earlier than we. You will or must have experienced such a suffering since you have parents or spouse.

“The sufferings of meeting with those who are not dear” refers to the sufferings of meeting with people that you hate in previous lives. The karmic creditors actually are your family members, not others, who appear to take revenges or collect debts, or repay the kindness or the debts. Therefore, the one you love most might be your enemy in previous life and come to fix you in this life. Sometimes the one you dislike become your supervisor, subordinates, or even the spouse. We all experienced such a suffering.

We all have the suffering of “not finding what we desire”. We all ever wish to obtain something but can’t fulfill the wish eventually in our life. Everyone is dreaming everyday, dreaming to gain something in the future. But it happens very often that only one of ten wishes could not be achieved.

The eighth suffering is the suffering of the five aggregates. We have strong demanding for the outer because of our eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and body. Therefore, we unceasingly work very hard in order to satisfy the senses of the 5 organs. For example, we want to dress good clothes, live in a good house. Help your son have house to live in as much as possible no matter how difficult it is. This also includes unceasingly destroy the body in order to satisfy all of our desires.

We were born to have these eight sufferings, no one can escape from these. Therefore, in the first turning of Wheel of the Dharma, Buddha taught all human beings very clearly that the human body is the unity of sufferings. It is not used to enjoy, instead is he gathering of all sufferings. To cease the cause of the sufferings, we have to practice the Buddhist path. This is so-called suffering, cause, and path. The path here is not the Taoist path. The path is to the Buddhist path that we should practice by Buddhist teachings so all the sufferings as well as their causes could be eliminated.

In Tibetan Buddhism, it takes more than theories to carry out the Four Noble Truths (suffering, origin, cessation, and path). The practice of the five-fold four preliminaries is a must in the Drikung Kagyu Lineage. If one is able to complete the four preliminaries in accord with the Buddhist teachings in this life, he will be able to carry out the Four Noble Truths successfully, attain the siddhi of Arahat, and be freed from the cycle of birth and death. If one, such as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, cultivates diligently and is not afraid of hardships, he will conduct the skillful means of the Six Yogas of Naropa and enter a further phase in practice. Created by Naropa, one of the lineage masters of Kagyu tradition, the Six Yogas of Naropa includes the practice of Phowa. The name “Phowa”, a transliteration directly from Sanskrit, actually means transference of consciousness, which is to transfer one’s consciousness from the Saha World to Buddha Amitabha’s Pure Land. Phowa, the most important practice in the Six Yogas of Naropa, is highly valued by the lineage masters of the Drikung Kagyu Lineage. The Chod puja also includes the Phowa.

With deaths following births and births following deaths, we can never transcend the reincarnation. The reincarnation is like a turning water wheel. We are bonded by karmic forces and afflictions. The changes in our hearts manifest the vast and ceaseless reincarnation of the six realms, from the highest Realm of Heavens to the Hell of Avici. Therefore, we have to accept and affirm the truth of reincarnation. As stated in the Buddhist sutras, those who don’t believe in reincarnation have a wrong view because reincarnation is something that does exist rather than a mere invention by the Buddhas.

We have to see through and understand the matter of birth and death in hopes to cut off our cycle of birth and death and to control our future birth and death by ourselves. The matter of birth and death is controlled by ourselves rather than by the Buddhas.

The reincarnation rotates because of the sentient beings’ hearts. In the US, Europe, England, a lot of documents have revealed detailed records of people’s previous lives. In Taiwan, it is trendy to examine our previous lives, but the result is 100% fake. If one really knows about his own previous life, he should know the birthplace, name, deeds committed, the happiest and most painful events, and names of parents so as to have proofs for his knowledge of a previous life.

In fact, knowing your own previous life won’t help you practice in this life. Nonetheless, we can make a deduction from this notion that people do have their past, so will they have their future. The Buddha taught us a theory that our current life didn’t come out of the blue but took place along with a lot of causes and conditions in the past. When this life comes into existence, it depends on the efforts you take throughout this life so as to control your future lives. If you practice in accord with the teachings and learn Buddhism, you will be confident to control your future lives. However, if you are perfunctory in your Buddhist study and do not follow the teachings, you will not gain the control and will still be reincarnated in the six realms. In order to be freed from the cycle of birth and death, it definitely takes much more than mere words or a few actions.

The number of friends and money you make in this life are related to causes you created in previous lives. As long as you stay in your job, do what you have to do, and show your sincerity well, there will always be opportunities for you. Therefore, when we realize that we should study Buddhism in this life, we should avoid wasting our time on boring matters. We should do our best to make use of our free time to contemplate the Buddhist teachings we have heard, to carry them out in our lives, and not to repeat our mistakes.

We people only have three matters to rely on in our lives. Firstly, the karmic force. We have brought with us to this life the karma we created in previous lives. Secondly, the afflictions. We have also brought with us the afflictive emotions from previous lives. We wish that we could grow up quickly when we were young and look better in our adolescence. Then, we want to get married, to have children, to own a business, to make money, to buy a house, and to enjoy fame, all of which are nothing but afflictions.

We have found it difficult to fall asleep with such afflictions and our hearts are filled with agitation. Thereby, all these afflictions will be followed by secondary afflictions, which are generated because we have fixed afflictions, and we will have to follow such afflictions. For example, when we don’t have any children, we try our best to get married and to become pregnant. Once we are pregnant, we then start to think who we should seek to take care of the child and how much it will cost if we hire someone to do the job. All these are called secondary afflictions. We always look for afflictions on our initiatives.

How much is it a month to pay for a baby sitter? Such worry is a kind of derived affliction, yet we all like to make acquaintance with afflictions.

If you plan to have children, you have to think about it clearly. You shouldn’t ask your parents to take care of your children. It’s an extreme violation of the filial piety. Your parents have been working hard for tens of years; you shouldn’t require them to look after your kids. However, most people are so selfish to make up excuses: “I need to buy a house and pay for the mortgage. My mother is still in good health and she really sees her grandson as a treasure so she must be willing to take care of my son.” All the elderly people should stop being taken advantage of by your children. This is so-called derived affliction, which is the affliction follows the fundamental affliction. For instance, some college students can graduate in four years but still decide to continue post graduate studies. Why? He is afraid of entering work force and not finding a job. He also fears that the salary isn’t as good as he expects and that others’ behaviors might agitate him.

Thus, our life is actually related to only three things: karma, affliction, and derived affliction.

Because we rely on these things, new negative karma would ensue and new suffering will be created. For we rely on such new suffering, new affliction will also appear. Such cycle is also a kind of reincarnation. In fact, we don’t have to know reincarnation after we die. When we are alive, we have been experienced repeated reincarnations in our afflictions, suffering, and karma.

There are twenty-four kinds of feeling that can’t be controlled by our mind; one of them is the feeling of hunger. You can’t escape hungry feeling. Therefore, as we think we are happy enough, we still have physical pain that exists in our daily life. Where is the happiness located in our daily life? Even if there is true happiness, it’s short lived. More importantly, such temporary happiness may cost long-term suffering. Thus, Buddha is clear on such matter that we indeed live in suffering every day.

Sutra has depicted that all sentient beings, including those in the six realms, had been resented by or intimate with me. And the number of sentient beings who once was my mother is countless. Many people can’t accept such fact because you think you have been human beings in all your previous lives. You think even if you had one hundred past lives, you can only have one hundred mothers. This is not true. Buddha Sakyamuni said he had been a monkey, a bear, a deer, and a peacock. Even for Buddha Sakyamuni, he could be reborn as animals in four past lives. Given our meager merits and virtues, why can’t we? If we are reborn as a bee, an ant, or a bug, our life can at best last for one or two months. After passing as insects, we will be reborn as insects as well.

The idea of beginningless depicted in Sutra indicates that we had been in the cycles of reincarnation since the time we can’t fathom. Even for Buddha, he can’t explain such idea about time, which implies that the time can’t be calculated by human beings. We think that the history of the earth is about 45 hundred million years. Actually, what Buddha said about the history is many times longer than this number. Even it’s true that the history of the earth is about 45 hundred million years, how many times we had reincarnated on earth? That’s why Buddha said a great many of sentient beings once were our mothers. So the chicken, fish, or port we consume might be our family members or mothers. Eating their meat is eating yourselves. That’s why Buddha has persuaded us not to eat meat.

Nagarjuna said: All the skeletons of past lives can be piled up as high as a mountain; the number of our mothers is numerous. So if we can’t be filial to our mothers of this life and further cause troubles for them, how can we be compassionate toward sentient beings? All sentient beings could be my mothers in previous lives. So we need to help them to be liberated. In order to help them be liberated, we have to be liberated first. That’s why Buddha said as we practice Buddhism to the final, most illuminating state, we’d understand all sentient beings are with us in the equal body.

That’s the meaning of “great compassion of the equal body.” We see many different images of sentient beings in the six realms. But Buddha sees the essence of all sentient beings is the same and the different images are simply the reflections of our mind. According to physics theory, the structure of all atoms and molecules is the same. All objects had been undergone a process of fission, including our bodies. Human body, perceptual by our eyes, is the final, outer image of the process of cell division. All in all, human body is originated from one cell. All affairs, objects and human beings are resulted from atomic or molecule fission. Before such process is finished, we are all the same. Why shall we differentiate you, me, and him?

If one makes a very clear distinction of you, me, and him, one is thinking as an ordinary person. If one can further know that you, me, and him is just generated by the manifestation of the force of karma, then one is a little more advanced. If one can advance further, he will have contemplated that you, me, and him are just thoughts from the mind. If one can advance even further, he will come to what Buddha had said in the Diamond Sutra, “there is no distinction for all sentient beings.” All sentient beings are manifestations of karma, causes and conditions. If we always distinguish sentient beings, our compassion will not rise up.

Those who are medical practitioners and educators must sacrifice and dedicate themselves since they will also go through the processes of birth, old age, sickness, and death. When one sees a patient’s pain today, if one considers the pain as his own and takes care of the patient carefully, then he is a practitioner and breaks the distinction of sentient beings. Naturally, he will not cause any bad karma. If you are unwilling to sacrifice and dedicate yourself today, the reason is very simple. It is because you think he and you are two separate beings. So when you feel that his behaviors and speeches are not what you want, your compassion towards him will immediately disappear.

Today when we live in this world, we obtain rewards and salaries through many activities. These are obtained because of our virtues and charities from our past lives and our mind of service and contribution in this life. Hence, we have to use this mind during our work. When you help your boss and serve other people, you are helping and serving yourself such that you will obtain payments.

The principles enlightened by Buddha are just the methods one can do in one’s daily life. They do not need to be described with many great arguments or special terminologies to confuse people, but just directly corresponds with one’s life. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche needs to perform retreats and leave the crowd because of wanting to be a teacher. So these are necessary. Before you can reach this level, you need to first use Buddha dharma in your daily life. Simply speaking, eating, dressing, walking, and working are all Buddha dharma. All things are considered for other people; all things are done for other people; these are just Buddha dharma. If everything is done only for you yourself, then that is the method of an ordinary person.

Doing for others will not lose a lot. Before Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche practiced Buddha dharma, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche often do things for others. Later, every time there is distress, someone will invariably come to help. Therefore, do not be afraid of being in a disadvantageous position. We must lose our advantages, yield to other people, be honest, and be sincere. Those who practices with such methods can gradually cultivate their compassions.

If a Buddhist practitioner who has vowed to propagate Buddhism dares to walk into a hospital where patients need his help, how much compassion is there in him? Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche went to hospitals to help patients not because he wanted to become famous for his compassion, but because he felt the patients’ pain as if it were his own. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche hoped to eliminate patients’ pain immediately. Recently, a widely acclaimed temple was closed and the authorities forbad monks to go out. If ordained practitioners are afraid of SARS, they shouldn’t be ordained, not to mention their vow to provide service to all sentient beings.

To enter into reincarnation is to be sentenced to an eternal prison, as though in a solitary journey without possibility of turning back. In reincarnation, we suffer from endless sorrow caused by karmic power, unsatisfying longing caused by desires, and infinite pain caused by continuous birth and death.

There are three realms in reincarnation: the realm of sensuous desire, the realm of form and the realm of formless. We, including Jade Emperor, Jesus, and God, were born in the realm of sensuous desire. The beings in heaven realm still have human physical forms which embody a great deal of craving; they lead a much more joyful life there than people in the human realm. Those who practice Buddhist or non-Buddhist Zen in a wrong way will enter into the realm of form where beings’ desire is much less to the extent that there left only outer images. What’s left in the beings of the realm of formless is their consciousness; they don’t even possess outer images. All beings in these three realms will still fall into the cycles of reincarnation. Even if you can practice Zen very well, it’s possible that you’ll fall into the realm of formless when passing away. Beings in the ultra most realm, neither-perception-nor-non-perception, will still fall into reincarnation.

The definition of being ordained is the decision to abandon the homes in the three realms in this life. There are four categories of being ordained. First, both your body and mind are not ordained, which means your body doesn’t reveal the images of monks or nuns and your mind is not determinate, either. Secondly, your body and mind are ordained. Thirdly, your body is not ordained but your mind is. For instance, Rinchen Dojree Rinpoche doesn’t display an image of a monk, but he has firmly decided to forgo the homes leading him into reincarnation. Fourthly, your body is ordained but not your mind. We ought to cultivate our mind to become the third kind of practitioners; even our bodies don’t look like monks or nuns, our mind is certain.

You must be sure to abandon the home of reincarnation in this life. If you have a slice of inclination to stay in this world, you can’t be liberated even you’ve learned Phowa. It’s because you are afraid of dying so that your consciousness would be lingering. Don’t fear of the thought of being ordained. It doesn’t mean that you should give up working, going to schools, getting married or having children. These affairs are causes and conditions resulted from previous lives; those people gathering around you are to pay back karmic debts or redeem their karmic credits. These interactions must occur. You don’t have to mind that with families you can’t be liberated. Only those who practice pure Zen have to discontinue any sexual desire. That’s why, in Zen school, since Bodhidharma all practitioners have to display ordained images. However, there are a lot of methods to liberate those who practice Bodhisattvas’ path at home. Don’t misunderstand that learning Buddhism has to practice the Dharma of purity. The Great Treasury of Scriptures states that if you practice Bodhisattvas’ path and if you have the causes and conditions to have families, you can’t refuse to fulfill your obligations. It’s because you ought to bring such causes and conditions to an end in this life. If the causes and conditions determine you to live as lay people, don’t live your life as if you are ordained practitioners. It’s because you’d violate the precept of not lying. Buddhas didn’t teach us to cause others’ sorrow because we want to learn Buddhism. We ought to follow our causes, not attempting to twist them. How to cultivate your mind is the most important practice, not your appearance.

You haven’t accumulated the causes to be ordained for your karma is still very influential and you need to pay back karmic debts. Even so, you should be clear why you learn Buddhism. It is to be liberated from the home of reincarnation. You must be certain about this. Therefore, no matter how harsh or smooth of your life, the conditions will not alter your path to practice Buddhism. If you are not certain, it’ll be easy for you to give up the path when difficulties emerge. Suffering is the nature in the three realms of reincarnation. If you want to avoid suffering, you’ll never be free from reincarnation.

Your kind conducts can accumulate merits that only help you enter into the realm of heaven, but it’s suffering, too. At the beginning living in the realm of heaven, you’ll fell happiness, but eventually you must fall into hells. The reasons are following. First, beings in the heaven realms are with supernatural powers, with the knowledge to know they are dying so that their hatred emerges. Secondly, as they are dying, all friends will desert them because their hair will become a mess and their bodies will emit foul smells. Additionally, beings in the heaven realms realize that they will fall into the hells. As a result, they would often slander Buddhism. Most beings in the heaven realms had practice Buddhism. Especially for those who in the realm of formless think their practice can attain nirvana. So when they find out that it is not true, they’d become disrespectful toward Buddha Dharma. No matter how long the beings stay in the heaven realms, they will eventually enter into the cycles of reincarnation.

Thus, the purpose to learn Buddhism isn’t for obtaining supernatural powers, nor is it for gaining correspondence. It’s for terminating the cycles of reincarnation. You should frequently think of the truth that reincarnation is suffering and decide to depend on Buddha Dharma and your Guru to practice till you attain Buddhahood.

Those who are with loaded hate in them will usually enter into hells after they die. Hatred can be embedded in your speech, action, and thought. Before you become angry, your blood races upward to cause your face reddened and the feeling of your heart being on fire. If you are used to such kind of sensations because of your loaded hate, when you die you’ll be dragged by karmic power to fall into hells and suffer. The hell of fire wasn’t created by Yama-raja or Bodhisattvas to punish humans. If you don’t accumulate such karma of hatred and even if you enter such the hell of fire, you’ll not feel a thing. Those people who have been killing sentient beings, not filial to parents, disrespectful to Buddha Dharma, squabbled with others, corrupted, and broken five precepts will fall into hells after passing. That’s why the Buddha said the number of sentient beings in the hells is equivalent to how many snow flakes in a snowing day. It’s countless.

If your family is diagnosed with cancer, don’t conceal the fact to him. You can ask his doctor to inform him the news. If he doesn’t know the fact until he is dying, he will hate you for not telling him. He’d think if you tell him as soon as possible, he can search for better doctors or different treatments. He may even think of learning Buddhism earlier. If he holds such hatred thought, he’ll fall in a hell after passing unless any spiritual friends can come for his rescue. If one dies of cancer, one must have accumulated severe karma of killing. If a teacher doesn’t mindfully teach his students, according to the law of cause and effect, he’s corrupted and with poisoned heart. He’d die with a great deal of suffering. When a patient is in a coma, his consciousness is actually still working and thinking why you don’t help me out. “Didn’t you tell me the illness is curable?” he might think. Therefore, if you have cancer family, you ought to tell him the truth. Even if he can’t accept the fact, he won’t blame you for not telling him.

Most of the cancer patients died of shocks; being diagnosed with cancer doesn’t necessarily imply death. The lama who taught Chod puja to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche passed away because of stomach cancer, but he didn’t have any surgery nor chemotherapy. Instead, he was meditating while passing. On average, every nine minute one person would die of cancer in Taiwan, which fact is more horrific than SARS. Why? We polluted water, we liked to barbecue, we killed fish, we have been unkind and so on. With a single thought of doing all of such things, we’d enter into hells after we die.

There is a story in Tripitaka. There was an accomplished Buddhist practitioner who temporarily lived in a Buddhist temple. In the evening, he smelled a burnt odor beside the window. When he opened the window to look for the smell, he saw a ghost who was a monk. The body of the ghost was confined by shackles and the shackles were on fire. The accomplished practitioner asked the ghost why he had attained such karmic retribution. The ghost answered that he had been the temple’s abbot in his previous life; once someone had offered a large sum of money designated for building the Buddha statue in the big hall, but he diverted the money to construct the monk’s dormitory. He did not steal the money, but he broke his promise; so he was fallen into the Three Evil Realms. Fortunately, he had accumulated enough virtues and finally obtained the help of sutra chanting from the accomplished practitioner to be liberated. You should think in this life how many times you had broken your promises to other people and let them be disappointed.

When you are listening Buddha dharma here, it is not just you, a single person, are listening, your karmic relatives and creditors in past lives are all listening as well. If you respect the Three Jewels, your karmic relatives and creditors in past lives will all be liberated. They will come to help you if they have had joyful hearts. If you lean lazily on your seat, fall asleep, or are disrespectful such that they cannot be liberated and are cut off from the causes and conditions of this virtue, your ancestors will get angry and punish you. You are not only let yourself down, but also let your ancestors down. Scientists have dug the bones of a man who lived 9000 years ago in Scotland and found the people in the nearby village who possessed the same genes. Speaking in terms of void, 9000 years is very short. So how many ancestors do you have? Hence, it is not that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche likes to reprimand you, it is because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knows extremely clear that it is very easy for you to fall into the Realm of Hell. If one still lives negligently, one will fall into the Realm of Hell very easily. This is not because of the punishment from the King of Hell; it is because of the forces and the effects of your own karma.

Now there are many people who make their hairs disordered and upturned, just like the appearance of sentient beings in the hell of fire. Whatever appearance you have in your lifetime, when you die, you will go to a place occupied by sentient beings of the same appearance. If one’s face has sharp angles, one will become a cow, a sheep, or a rhinoceros in one’s future life. Your face has not changed since your mind has not changed. One who likes to do odd things will have an odd mind. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had met a young woman who had a nose ring and eight holes on her ear. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked her if she had seen any rich lady who had the same things. “No”, the woman replied. “So, with these holes, you will not be rich and no man will pursue you.” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said. Listening to this, she immediately took off the nose ring. One will show the appearance after one’s death while you are still alive. Buddha does not lie to us. If you unfortunately fall into the Realm of Hell, you will be there for at least 1000 years of human being’s time. So the proverb of “the entrance to the Realm of Hell will be opened and closed in July” in Taiwan’s custom is not true.

Then Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche went on to describe the sufferings in all kinds of hells. In some hells, the sentient beings are pierced through by a thorny iron fork and burning by fire; it is just like roasting a duck with the duck oil dropping. So do not barbecue. Do not think that everyone is doing the same, so it does not matter, and nothing will happen. There is a child here who had followed someone to barbecue next to a river bank. The activity hurt dragons there. When the child came back home, he got an incurable disease which could not be cured by doctors. And the child was saved by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Those who love to eat Teppanyaki will be grilled on an iron plate in the hell after their death. Do not think that an animal is dead so it does not matter to burn or barbecue it. Some sentient beings still cherish their bodies after their death; their souls may leave the bodies or may not. When their bodies are cut or barbecued, they will be very painful. Even if their souls leave the bodies, they will still feel the pain. Perhaps in one hundred killed fishes, there are forty-five fishes whose souls have not left. If one cooks or fries them, one’s karmic retribution after one’s death will be the same as those fishes. In fact, one does not have to wait for one’s death in order for the karmic retribution to happen; the burns one has suffered are also related to one’s killing karma.

In the classification of hot hells, there is one called Great Howling hell and one called Howling hell. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche once went to bless the patients at about half past eight o’clock in the evening in the department of oncology in National Taiwan University Hospital. When one of the patients started to scream because of physical pains, the other patients followed suit and began to cry out one after another. Their screams were very miserable, the same as the screams in the “Howling hell”, and just like the howls of pigs and cows being killed. Those who had done much killing would cry out much more miserably, especially those who had enjoyed killing.

In some hells, there is a large iron pot as large as one billion worlds; the liquid inside the iron pot is some burning, molten bronze; and sentient beings are cooked and boiled inside, as we are cooking live animals. There is also knife forest hell and iron forest hell. Some hells are on earth, some on other planets, and some in the deep sea. Hence, so deep-sea fish may have a ghost or a dragon attached to it. The diabetes some people have are caused by eating such fishes.

Tibetans do not eat fish, first because some fishes are the incarnations of dragon; second, the karma of fish is relatively heavy; third, fishes have helped Tibetans. There is sky burial as well as water burial in Tibet. In water burial, the remains of the deceased are eaten by fishes for decomposition.

There are also eight types of cold hells. The sentient beings in these hells have thin skins and protruding eyes; they are very painful with freezing wind blowing them, causing them covered by blisters in their bodies. This is the hell entered by greedy sentient beings. This is as if we saw things we liked very much and wanted to possess them, we would make a deep breath involuntarily and our heart would feel cool. Or when we met a person we liked and hoped that he would speak what we liked to hear, we would inhale while waiting. But if our idea did not get satisfied or even got rejected, we would feel like entering a freezer. This is just that kind of feeling. There is also sneezing hell, tighten-teeth hell (tighten one’s teeth due to extreme coldness) etc. All of these are the sufferings of the cold hells.

The life span of the sentient beings in the cold hells is very long. You can imagine a bucket full of sesame seeds and you will take one seed out every one hundred years. The life span is the long time lasted until you have taken out all the seeds.

There is also the cultivated-tongues hell. The tongue of the beings there is very long and there is an iron plow scraping the tongues. The tongue will be scraped again after the wound is healed. This is much more painful than biting one’s tongue. If one stirs up disputes, sets one person against another, lies to the guru, or breaks one’s promises, one will fall into this hell. A salesperson should not deceive and should tell people all the advantages and disadvantages of a product and let them choose themselves. Buddha did not say that one should not make money; but one should not make unreasonable money and should not take advantage of others when they are in pains, such as driving up the price of masks during the SARS outbreak, stealing a few pounds here a few ounces there when selling produce, or stealing cement and reinforcing bars during construction.

Speaking of these does not mean to intimidate you. It is to remind everyone to live the life seriously and never become loose in everyone’s body, speech, and mind.

The locations lived by the beings of the realms of hell or ghost are uncertain. Some are caught in the mountain rocks; some are frozen in the ice; some are boiled in the hot spring; some are reborn in brooms, jars, doors, columns, kitchen range, and other items. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had seen many of such kinds. There are also ghosts attached to the toys, jewelry, keys, and clothes. If one does not do virtuous deeds and has heavy karma of killing, one will buy such goods unexpectedly. Such a person will need to accumulate enough virtues in order not to buy such things. This is not that ghosts will harm people, it is just that ghosts will absorb people’s energy. When you go out in the wild, do not take things home; some sentient beings are in the stones.

Once there was a person who had heart problems. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche saw that he had taken photos frivolously in front of a Buddhist temple; it happened that there was a funeral inside the temple, so the ghost was attached to him. There was also a person who had a headache and was being chased in his dreams. The reason was that when traveling in Myanmar, he had told dirty jokes in front of the door of a house and he had kicked the door. There was also a boy who always dreamed of flying an aircraft to fight against an American airplane. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche saw that there was a part in his family which caused the trouble. The reason was that his father had disassembled some aircraft and had taken the disassembled part as a souvenir. The trouble was resolved after Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche instructed him to throw the part out.

Therefore, we should respect all people and things when we are outside since everything has its owner. The most important thing is to observe your level of stopping evil deeds and doing virtuous deeds.

There are ten directions in the dharma-realm. The scientist researchers have proved 5 of the dimensions. The dharma-realms of the ten directions include the sentient beings in the six realms, voice-hearers, solitary realizers, Bodhisattvas, and Buddhas. The dharma-realms of the ten directions coexist at the same time. Therefore, the ghosts, the gods, Bodhisattvas, and Buddhas know every thought you arise and every ideas you generate. If your thoughts are virtuous and your conducts are virtuous as well, the ghosts and the gods not only will not hurt you, but also respect you.

The hospitals are the place where there are many ghosts. Therefore, do take children to the hospitals only when needed. It is because people are put into the refrigerators immediately after they die. Some who do not want to leave will stay in the hospitals. They will not hurt us; therefore, there is no need to be afraid of them if you are virtuous in thoughts. The heads and shoulders of those who have sought refugee will emanate light. If they conduct all deeds fully complied with the teachings, the Dharma Protectors will come to protect them. Among them, those who are afraid of ghosts still must still have greed, hatred, and ignorance. Why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is often waken up by the midnight phone calls and then always perform Phowa Dharma without fears is because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche possess least greed, hatred, and ignorance and therefore are not afraid of ghosts.

October 25, 2009

The auspicious regular puja was hold at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center in Taipei. Believers and disciples listened reverently to the audio recording of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s Dharma teachings on June 15, 2003 regarding the sufferings of birth, old age, sickness and death as well as the auspiciousness of the Phowa dharma.

There are two major methods in terms of learning Buddhism: Practical and Theoretical Parts. These should be continuously carried out by any Buddhist practitioner. The word “Theoretical” means to listen to Buddha Dharma, contemplate it, correct your behaviors, and use it in your daily life. Those who come to hear the Buddhist teachings but don’t decide to take refuge are lack of confidence in Buddhism, is still suspicious of Buddhism, is self-righteous, and regard Buddhism as a kind of knowledge. If one regards Buddha Dharma as a worldly knowledge, given the limitation of humans’ brain, he won’t be able to comprehend all the content of The Buddhist Canon even if he gets to live till 120 years of age.

As far as learning Buddhism, if one can’t decide to take refuge, it means his virtuous root has not been started yet and not had the cause and condition settled yet. If he continuously listens to Buddha Dharma, without taking refuge, he’d eventually become self-righteous. He’d comprehend Buddha Dharma in accord with his own perception and experience so that evil understanding and conducts may occur. Surangama Sutra has predicted that, in the dharma-ending age, the number of vicious teachers will be as many as the number of sand along both banks of Ganges. These teachers are not necessarily non-Buddhists. In fact, most of them had listened to Buddha Dharma, read Buddhist Sutras, and even practiced meditation. Then, how come they had become vicious teachers? It’s because after they had heard a bit of Buddha Dharma, they interpreted Buddha Dharma according to their life experience, knowledge, and perception. Thus, a little variation can make a huge difference.

In Tibetan Buddhism, any practitioners who have not attained the state of enlightenment can’t publicly teach Buddha Dharma. Those who refused to take refuge often defend themselves that they want to make clear of Buddha Dharma before taking refuge. Buddha Dharma, however, is not for you to make clear. Precisely because of your ignorance, you need the help of Buddha Dharma. If one desires to fully understand Buddha Dharma, the only possibility is when he already is a Buddha because only Buddhas can truly comprehend Buddha Dharma. How would a lay people be equal to a Buddha? Therefore, for those arrogant people, their listening to Buddha Dharma might be bad to them. As long as they don’t learn Buddhism, they’ll be all right. Once they start, the problem can become worsen. From now on, those who don’t want to take refuge or want to make sure who Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is are not allowed to come.

Buddha had taught us 20 conditions of how to examine a qualified guru. That Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had enlightened before indicates that His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche had tested the eligibility of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to propagate Buddhism after a very long time inspection. With some exceptions, the audio-recordings of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s enlightenment can’t be lent to others; especially the audio-tapes of uncommon dharma such as the teaching of how to meditate in the method of Avalokiteshvara can’t be shared.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has ever enlightened and reminded you for several times that Buddha-Dharma can not be practiced without oral transmission in advance. Do not mind others’ business by giving your audio recordings of Buddhist teachings to other people for them to listen. This kind of behavior is not accordance with dharma or precepts. Buddha-Dharma is indeed supreme and auspicious, and one needs to be very conscientious and careful about it. In Chinese ancient time, one has to hold a ceremony with reverent heart to invite a teacher, let alone a Buddhist teacher, to their home to give teachings. Nowadays, however, we do make it. In Taiwan, the behavior of showing one’s respect to teacher does not exist anymore. Everyone learns in his own way, and inspect their teacher’s mistakes. However, they never find or see about their faults. Learning in this kind of way will cause you huge obstacles no matter to your learning of mundane and supramundane dharma. Therefore, do not talk to your friends that they can listen to Buddha-dharma given by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in Sunday Puja because the Buddha-Dharma given by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is so different. Do not tell them that they can see if they like it before making a decision to take refuge. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not need to be tested by your friends, nor be examined by those who do not want learn Buddhist teachings. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche only has to be inspected by Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche, but not by you who are not qualified to do it. Hence, next time you introduce your friends to coming here to ask something about their problems, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will help them to solve their problems. But if they have no heart to learn Buddhism, you do not have to persuade them in case they may think Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche needs disciples, by which they will make oral karma.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not need a disciple ever. It is said in the Vajra Sutra: “There is no sentient being to liberate” From Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s standpoint, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is not saving the sentient beings. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche lives a life just according to the conditions, but not feel him self is helping the sentient beings with anything. Therefore, from the time when His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche allowed Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to found the Glorious Buddhist Center, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has never actively looked for a disciple. When a person sits face to face with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche already knows if the one has the conditions to learn Buddhist teachings, if the one is a Buddhism learner. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knows about the all things. However, for the other Buddhist centers in Taiwan, they say the practitioner has to be compassionate and up to the sentient beings. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has no choice but to give some convenience to you. To speak it in a better term, it is to open the door of convenience.

To open the door of convenience is to transmit different sadhanas according to one’s different needs, but not to let you do at will. The skillful means is not to let you do as your will. Letting you do as your will, you will never learn the Buddhist teachings or obtain liberation from the cycle of birth and death. To learn Buddhism, one must possess the merits accumulated from past lives. Buddha-Dharma can not certainly to be heard or learned only as your wish or your liking. If we still have no reverence towards Buddha-Dharma and to the Three Jewels, there will be a high possibility for us to make evils with disesteem or carelessness.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not need an impressive scene. In fact, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche liberates more sentient beings of other realms than of Human realm. It is said in the Sutras that the hardest to liberate in the Universe is the human beings on earth “who are stubborn and obstinate, difficult to tame, and difficult to subdue.” Especially, in a later time, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will gradually transmit the distinctive Dharma of Drikung Kagyu. It will not take effect for those who do not want to take refuge even they hear it. They will just waste time. Hope that you can tell your relatives and friends that learning Buddhism is not like the thing that they can hear at anytime they like. There may be some other Buddhist center run in that way, but not here with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche recalled that when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche took refuge under his Guru of Exoteric Buddhism, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not say much, unlike you who ask Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to help you solve your problems first and then you start to feel Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is efficacious, worth following, able to protect you. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche first time saw his Guru of Exoteric Buddhism, the first question Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked was just “May I take refuge?” not as you who have so many thoughts. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not have as many thoughts as you have when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche met His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche. It is exactly the pure and simple heart that makes Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche makes a big progress in a short time on the Buddhist path. On the contrary, your heart is too complicated, with too much needs and thoughts. Those will cause you hindrances to both mundane dharma and supramundane dharma.

There is only one kind of Buddha-Dharma, not more than one. In India this time, the disciples heard the enlightenment given by the Dalai Lama and they found the content was the same as that of the enlightenment given by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Because there is only one kind of orthodox Dharma that will not be different even told by different people such as His Holiness, Dalia Lama, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche or any masters with different wordings. The Dharma will not be especially different either when it is told by some one who practices Buddhism well.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche ever met a 52-year-old woman who misunderstood the texts of the Lotus Sutra “if one reverently makes a bow to the Buddha statue, is Buddhist path will have be made” by saying that she already attained Buddhahood. Here “making Buddhist path” actually means that you reverently make a bow towards the Buddha statue, and then you start to walk on the Buddhist path. What’s the reason? It is because your reverence toward the Buddha statue arises, your reverence towards sentient beings arises, and therefore you will not make evil deeds naturally and start to learn the Buddhist teachings, on the way to attain Buddhahood.

A master of virtues in ancient time said that to explain the Sutra by words will cause “the Buddhas of three times will claim its alleged injustice” The Sutra can not be explained in words. The content of Sutra is very profound and wide. In Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s experiences, each year Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche red the Sutra, the meaning changed. Actually it was not the wording changed but because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche understood more the meaning of the Sutra. The so-called “deeply enter the sutra treasury” is actually referring to that your heart can truly realize the meaning of the Dharma taught by the Buddha, that is, you truly enter into the state. It does not refer to how many volumes of sutra you can read or hear. It is also the reason why from ancient time till now one has to rely on a guru to learn the Buddha’s teachings.

A guru is not the one who just learns Buddhist teachings for several years in this life so that he is able to preach Buddhism, but it must have something to do with his causes and conditions of the previous lives. The Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center is not going to drift with the tide of common customs. If Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche wanted to look for disciples, just need to post some advertisement through mass media, tell some of your true stories of getting help from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, and these will be enough to make famous and popular. Why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not do that? It is because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche let everything take its own course and liberate sentient beings according to their conditions. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not force anyone who does not possess proper conditions, nor does Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche earn a profit through Buddha-Dharma.

We can give some convenience to the sentient beings, but we can not let them do whatever they want. If one’s thought is not right, we, as Buddhist disciples, have to correct and help him. Therefore, we have to correct ourselves bad habits first.

In Tibetan Buddhism, the way of making prostration toward Buddha is kind of different from the way in Exoteric Buddhism. The Tibetan way is to join your palms together, and place them in front of your forehead, your throat, and your heart, which represents that making prostration to Buddhas and Bodhisattvas with your body, speech, and mind. In the Dharmalaksana School, with the body is to prostrate to Buddhas completely with all consciousness, not only acting but also the thinking. From the medical view, it is the brain that controls everything about us. However, from the view of Dharmalaksana School of Buddhism, brain is merely a commander-in-chief to take action, and brain just take effect to give orders to the other parts of body after brain receives some instruction from the king of heart. Therefore, “body” here can not be explained simply as a physical body. “Body” here includes all the virtuous roots planted in our field of the sense-consciousness accumulated from past lives. With that we prostrate to Buddhas, to make offering and repentance.

Offering includes the offerings of wealth, Dharma and fearlessness. Besides, in Tibetan Buddhism there is inner offering and secret offering. The offerings of wealth, Dharma and fearlessness are just the parts of outer offering. The inner offering is to reverently prostrate to Buddha with your consciousness and your physical body. The offering of speech means to praise the merits and virtues of Buddha and guru with our all languages. It is mentioned a lot in the Sutra about praising the merits and virtues of Buddha and practitioners could help us accumulate many merits and virtues, as well as help on our oral karma of past lives. In Tibetan Buddhism, speech offering refers to secret offering. It is not necessarily to speak from your mouth to make speech offering. When you have a thought to offer, it is speech offering. The last one is mentioned about the offering of mind. Normally the offering of body is to offer with Six Consciousness, namely the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind. The offering of mind includes offering of manas consciousness, Alaya-Consciousness and the utmost pure nature. If we continue to talk on, this is a secret offering and also an extraordinary offering mentioned in Tibetan Buddhism by making prostration to Buddha and Guru with your body, speech and mind altogether. Therefore, if you prostrate with your utmost reverence, your karma accumulated from past lives and the heart of self-esteem and arrogance will change fast.

When our joined-hands are on the forehead during our homage prostration, we can recite the syllable of “Om” in our mind or mouth; when they are in front of the throat, we can recite the syllable of “Ah”; when they are in front of the heart, we can recite the syllable of “Hum”. The syllables of “Om Ah Hum” are the seed characters of all Buddha and Bodhisattvas’ mantras. All Buddha and Bodhisattvas’ mantras are derived from these three syllables. “Om” represents the wisdom of all Buddhas in the ten directions and the three worlds. “Ah” represents the void of nature. “Hum” represents cutting off all worries. “Om”, if we visualize it with colors, is white; “Ah”, if we visualize it with colors, is red; “Hum” is blue. No matter what dharma we practice, they are all inseparable from the syllables of “Om Ah Hum”; even if when we practice meditation, we use the syllables of “Om Ah Hum” as well. This is a special method of practices in the tantric section of Tibetan Buddhism. In Zen Buddhism, practicing meditation uses the method of counting breaths. The method of counting breaths is not suitable for people in the Dharma-Ending Age. Although many Zen Buddhist think that this is the method passed down by Buddha and should be able to be used by every beings, because the karma of the sentient beings in Dharma-Ending Age are especially heavy such that their channels of Qi are not smooth, they cannot hold their breath when using the method of counting breaths. If you do not believe this, you can try counting slowly from one to ten while holding your breath; you will realize that you cannot hold your breath. When you cannot hold your breath, you mind will start to be in disorder. Why do we have delusions? Because we do not understand how to adjust our breathing such that our Qi moves inside our channels and our mind moves along with the movement of the Qi. If we can control our Qi, then we can naturally control our mind.

“Om Ah Hum” are three simple words, but they have great effects. Since “Om” represents the wisdom of all Buddhas, we can get Buddha’s blessings when visualizing “Om”. “Ah” represents the void of nature; in fact, it is the voice of the universe. Before when the first astronaut was on the moon, he did not hear any sound except the sound of “Ah”. He returned to search that voice, and therefore took refuge under Islam. Islam use the word, “Allah”; Catholics use the word, “Amen”; and we, Buddhists, use the word, “Amitabha”. Hence, “Ah” is not a unique sound only for Buddhism; it is the only sound in the universe from the beginning of all things to the ending. Regardless what sound is produced, they are all started from the sound of “Ah”. When a child learns to speak, he will first produce the sound of “Yi Yi Ah Ah”, also starting from the sound of “Ah”. The syllable of “Hum” sounds like the sound of an explosion. Modern science has proven that the universe was generated from the big bang. Therefore, the sound of “Hum” can eliminate our troubles and karma accumulated from past lives. When we practice the ritual of the ferocious Yidam deities, there must be the sound of “Hum”. If a person has heavy worries, practicing the sound of “Hum” can gradually reduce the worries in his mind. If a person has especially many thoughts, practicing the sound of “Ah” can reduce these thoughts. If a person does not have good health, feels dizzy, or feels floated in the head, practicing the sound of “Om” can also reduce those discomforts.

The reason that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche could understand the meanings of “Om Ah Hum” was because His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche had personally transmitted these three characters and taught Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to practice meditation using these three characters. But His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche had not explained this much, just asked Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to understand them by himself, and just to do what was taught. You all like to hear explanations but did not do a thing after listening to them. When practicing the sound of “Hum”, one should recite it continuously. If one can practice this sound well, one’s sufferings of illnesses can be eliminated during his lifetime. When practicing to the highest state, that is what we called a non-dying body at the time of death, one will change into a rainbow body and reborn in Buddha’s Pure Land.

Why can Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enter the meditative state so quickly? It is because of these three characters, just that simple. Some people think that Tantra is very complicated and will write down a lot of mantras in their notebooks and recite a lot of them everyday. Can there be so complicated? In tantric practice, the more advanced one’s practice is, the simpler it will become.

The white color represents the dharma of cessation; the red color represents the dharma of conciliation; the blue color represents the dharma of execution. There is another type of dharma. Since you are not qualified to hear it, it will not be brought up here. In fact, in Exoteric Buddhism, many actions are related to channels and Kundalini. For example, why must one do the action of pointing one’s fingers to the location between the eyebrows when one bows? And why must it be done with a fixed two fingers? In addition, when doing homage prostration in Exoteric Buddhism, why must one do the left, right, and left movements and turn one’s palms up? But these were not explained by the Buddhist masters in Exoteric Buddhism. In fact, in Buddhism, every action must have its meaning and will not be made casually. The bowing gesture is related to channels and kundalini; and the left, right, and left movements represent the speech, the body and the mind; turning one’s palms up represents turning from black karma to white karma. To turn one’s palms up correctly, one does not open the fingers together at once, but opens the fingers one after another. It represents the Dharma Realms in ten directions. So when moving up, why must one close the fingers of the palms one after another? This represents that we receive the virtues and wisdoms blessed by Buddha before we get up.

After you know the meaning of each action, you then realize that you have to do them. And Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knew all of those because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had practiced the tantric section in Tibetan Buddhism. The Buddhist masters in Exoteric Buddhism have not practiced Tantra so they do not know the meaning of those actions, just treat those actions as rituals. In fact, every homage prostration, regardless of Exoteric or Esoteric Buddhism, or Tibetan Buddhism, is related to channels and kundalini. That is why there are such movements and actions, including full-body prostration as well. These actions are certainly done without no reasons, or only has the purpose of paying homage to Buddha. After we know this today, we should understand that practicing Buddha dharma is not learning outside behaviors and appearances. The meanings inside Buddha dharma are attained from true practices.

Although Buddha had enlightened Buddha dharma for forty-nine years and had spoken many Buddhist scriptures, there had been many things happened at the time which were not written down by Buddha’s disciples. It all depends on our true practice to understand those and only after we gradually attain enlightenments can we understand Buddha’s great compassion and great wisdom. So why must one take refuge, must one practice Buddha dharma immediately without any delay? Because no matter how good the guru’s speech is, how powerful the guru is, how much wisdom the guru has, you still cannot understand without your own practices. It is the same for His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche transmitting Buddha dharma to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Even if a guru like His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche who has reincarnated for eight times has transmitted Buddha dharma to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche still needs to practice by him himself. His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche cannot give Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche anything, but just teach a method for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to practice. If the method has been taught and you are not willing to really practice it, it will be useless even if you listen to the method one million times. What Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had said is the Buddha dharma in Exoteric Buddhism which is the theory of Buddha dharma. So after listening to it, you should have some actions; do not just hear without doing anything; do not revolve around the Buddhist text; do not revolve around the aspects of outside behaviors and appearances. Doing those things certainly will not help your practices. Hence, for practicing Buddha dharma, the method of understanding is important, but the method of practicing is even more important; one must truly practice Buddha dharma in your daily life.

Last time, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had enlightened us the sufferings of the Animal Realm within the Six Realms of reincarnation. Not only those who had loved to enjoy luxury but also those who had broken their precepts will fall into the Animal Realm. Actually, there were many Buddhist practitioners who fell into the realm of animal if they had broken their precepts. If Buddhist practitioners fall into the animal realm due to the breaking of their precepts, some who have enough virtues will be reborn into the race of dragon; these usually are people with heavy hatred. And some who will be reborn into animals with large bodies are those who have broken precepts but once practiced virtues, that is, who have made offerings and done charities. The defect of falling into the animal realm is that the beings cannot listen to Buddha dharma; even if they can listen to Buddha dharma, they still cannot be liberated from the cycles of rebirth and death. Therefore, we must be very careful and pay attention to all of our actions and thoughts.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche continued to enlighten us the faults of the human realm. Being reborn in the human realm, we have three major sufferings, namely pervasive suffering, suffering of suffering, and suffering of change; in addition, we have eight sufferings, namely suffering of birth, suffering of old age, suffering of sickness, suffering of death, suffering of separating from loved ones, suffering of meeting with those who are not dear, suffering of not finding what we desire, and suffering of five aggregates; we have, as well, the suffering of protecting what one owns and asking for what one doe not have. Someone has always asked Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche when he will get promoted. Actually, he would naturally get promoted if he had had enough life and virtues. If he had not had enough life and virtues, he might be killed even after getting promoted. For example, a few days ago, there was a family who met Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. The parents had cancers and their only son suffered drug abuse. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, at the time, visualize that their family had taken ill-gotten fortune before that should not be gained by them. They immediately asked whether that money were gained by corruption; and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said yes. In our lives, for seeking certain things, we did evil deeds without knowing them.

We experience suffering of change when our happiness of good days turns into the suffering.  For example, lost of esteem position, or becoming impoverished. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did encounter such suffering before, who had a luxury Jaguar motor and two body gurards. When in Hong Kong those friends who know him or could say his nick name, would be allowed for the meal in a hotel in which for long time he used to have lunches. But it turned out when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was collapsed, those who knew him simply walked away when they had seen him. However, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche could live with the hardships. Many people feel miserable when they encounter such hardships. They try by all means to turn to good side. When collapsed for the first time, Rinchen Dojree Rinpoche did not consider how to reverse to the good but think over his own mistakes. When collapsed for the second time, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche completely perfected the Four Common Priliminaries since in that year he was seldom visited. Therefore when facing with the hardships in worldy life, take them as good chances for practicing Dharma.

Some people complained that their family members get illed, their son had trouble in business, and they had sickness. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would congratulate them on having the hardships to pay back the karmic debts. When the son asked money to them, they could have clean the karmic debts and thus he could be free from the cyclic effect in fure lifes. Many people could not endure change from happiness to suffering. Thus they do bad things such as robbery, cheating, corruption, suicide, or homicide, because they do not endure the suffering and therefore commit to evils. Some people’s money is taken away by thieves. Their house might be destroyed in a fire. Their families might die in accidents. In the sea of samsara, we must be mindful of these things, must be aware that joy, happiness and fame always changes. They are impermanent.

There is a guidance taught by a Rinpoche time ago. That is, be upright and unafraid when out of luck or in adversities, while you shall be humble in favorable circumstances. In difficult situations, one shall be upright and unafraid to keep one’s spirits positive and avoid turning to negative and declining. In the first time of collapse, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche experienced how friends would leave because the Rinpoche was that arrogant at that time. Therefore, we have to learn that in human life gain and lost is a union. Lost is gain; gain is lost. Lost does not equate to “have not”, while gain does not equate to “have”. The dynamism is impermanence. Never ever be arrogant. If you consider your thoughts are right, your speech is right, and your conducts are always right, you become incorrigible. The consequences are: rebirth in the hells path due to severe negative deeds, and rebirth in the path of animal due to lighter negative deeds. Many people refuse this belief. For example they always say “you don’t know that!” immediately upon conversations with the others. It is an indication of deep arrogance if they say such phrase. People like them could not have any benefit from reciting mantra and reciting Buddha names.

Therefore, we must be fully aware that joyfulness, happiness and fame are of impermance. So long as you accept impermanence, you will be joyful even though those pleasures turn into sufferings. When collapsed for the first time, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche endured large painfulness as the wife left, the business disappeared, and money ran out. In the second time of his collapse, it was not painful because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had become a Buddhist, beared in mind the impermance, and accepted the law of causes and effects. At that time, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had a firm belief that all of those adversities would change. It was merely a matter of time. It would not be big deal even if the change might not happen in this life, but wait for the next life. To sum up, as long as we understand everything of pleasures turns into sufferings, we have a clear and loath mind towards this life.

Next is to explore what pervasive suffering is. It seems adversities often come one after another in the meantime. For example, the first time when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche collapsed, the business collapsed, getting divorced, and the son getting illed. The situation is in pervasive suffering. Under such circumstances, many people can’t stand with it. They would think the life is useless, despairing, and even try to abandon themselves. In fact, pervasive sufferings are not peculiar to anyone, it would definitely happen to anyone some time in this life. The only exception is if one practices Buddha Dharma, realizes causes and conditions and accepts impermanence, one could endure the sufferings. All the things in this life is transient and dynamic; it always changes. Therefore, those people who consider they are good enough could not stand with pervasive sufferings so long as such arrogance remains in mind.

At the 3rd visit to the Drikung Thil Monastery in Tibet, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was escorted by the lamas to the living room for the reception. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche always exercises great caution when walking but it was an unusual day. Upon entering the room, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche bumped into the door frame on the forehead and felt dizzy. After the bump, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche turned around and told the others that it had been stupid of himself to bump into the door frame. Nonetheless, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche turned himself back only for another bump. This time, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche became sober-minded and realized that one should lower his head. If one is unwilling to lower his head and considers himself having great capacities, he will have two bumps on the head just like Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. The lineage gurus knew about Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s shortcomings and postponed the lesson until Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche returned to the Drikung Thil Monastery. As even Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, who had conducted much more practice than you, had shortcomings, how dare you say that you are free of shortcomings?

Most ordained practitioners dare to tell such stories, but Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is not afraid of so. It’s because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was full of flaws like you; some of the shortcomings are still obvious. However, the difference between Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and you lies in the fact that he has kept correcting his behaviors, but you haven’t, which enable you to reincarnate in the six realms. As soon as the thought that you’re correct surfaces, you ought to check it over. Before you accomplish any enlightenment, the self-righteous thoughts indeed stem from the attempts to keep your interests, face, and arrogance. That’s why you have to examine them at once. Thus, many people can’t accept suffering of suffering. In their entire life, they live in a fake image about themselves: “I am capable of controlling everything.” When suffering of suffering manifests, these people would become pathetic.

The last kind of suffering is pervasive suffering. Such suffering arises from your arrogance, pride, and present enjoyment. Those who suffer from diabetes are usually gourmets. Why do they get diabetes? It’s all about their pride that leads them to think all they do is right. Their mind is already ill; it’s poisoned. They love delicacies which have to be made of quality fish and meat and cooked with various ways. This kind of people is more likely to suffer from diabetes or cancers. The diseases are originated from their pride. They rarely listen to or accept others’ advices, suggestions or ideas. That’s why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche often reminds you that advices are just advices. There are not good or bad advices. When you think they are good, it’s only because they are in accord with your ideas; when you think they are bad, it’s because they don’t satisfy you.

There are sufferings of birth, ageing, sickness and death.

Twenty-five hundreds years ago when there still had no anatomy, Buddha Shakyamuni had already told us the changes of the fetus at each month during the ten-month pregnancy: For the changes in these ten months, the feeling of every development of our hands, feet and the door to our senses were equally stingy, gloomy and disgusting. It felt like in hell. The fetus could feel whenever its mother eat something spicy, cold and hot or his mother is full, hungry as well as her mother walks, sits down or lies down. The fetus had the feeling of coldness, hotness, wind-blowing, drifting and even felt like falling down the cliff. When giving birth, the fetus turned upside down due to vomiting and edema of legs during pregnancy. It felt as if someone is pulling both its legs and throw it on to the ground. It felt like being hardly pulled from an opening of an iron pipe when it passed through the birth canal. During delivery, the mother and fetus maybe both killed or maybe one lived and one killed. Even both survived; they both suffered the pain of near death. Master Padmasambhava had said that both mother and the fetus felt like nearly being in hell. Except her lip and teeth, all her bones and joints felt like falling apart. When the baby was just born and its afterbirth peeled off, the pain felt like someone is peeling off its skin. Therefore, why baby cries when it was just born? In addition to the existence of the consciousness from past lives, it knew that he will be unlucky and come to suffer in this world again. Secondly, it cried painfully because it felt like someone is peeling off its skin when the afterbirth peeled off.

In fact, we have started to die gradually since the day we were born. Throughout our life, we all busy making a living. Many deeds happened in this world are all related to the bad karma. Basically, we never have enjoyment from our birth to death. All material enjoyment that we seek is temporary and not eternal. It is also temporary and unrealistic seek for material wealth. All our life, we are busy going to work, working, coming off work, eating, cooking, taking care and educating kids. Some people are grumpy the whole day even when they are old. When one loses his temper frequently, it will damage the kidney and of course his eyes can not see clearly.

The symptoms of ageing are emerging gradually since it would be unbearable if they appear all at once. For instance, there is a disease causing a child to become old suddenly, which makes him suffer horribly. Milarepa once said when people grew older, for them, standing up would take much effort as if to pull out a post, walking becomes awkward like roosters, sitting down would be like the falling of mud and stones. As the three symptoms appear, the elderly would become upset by their decaying bodies. And then comes the following: “the skin dulls and wrinkles; blood and energy is exhausted; muscles get arid and flat.” No matter how much make-up they put on, nutrition they take in, or even placenta they inject, they must experience such ageing process. Men’s health very much depends on their energy level, whereas women on blood. When menopause approaches, it’s the beginning of ageing for women because it’s indicative of less blood remained. In addition to depending on their seminal fluid, the energy level for men also depends on hormone. So those who overuse their brain would be ageing earlier. The lower legs of newborns are full and round because it’s when their energy and blood is to the fullest. The legs of the elderly become flatter and flatter for their energy and blood has already been worn out completely; only bones, skin and flesh are left. The saying “Expressionlessly staring at the air and stubbornly confused to the life” can best describe the conditions of the elderly. Practicing Esoteric Buddhism can help postponing the ageing process so that our faces and bodies might still look young. It’s because the operation of our energy and blood is different than lay people. If one overexploits his brain and obsesses with sex, he’d become old much more quickly than others for the exhaustion of energy and blood. Both Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease are resulted from the exhaustion of one’s energy and blood. Even for Buddhism practitioners, it’s almost impossible to cure these two diseases in that very little energy is remained and too many evildoings have been done.

The observation of Milarepa is extremely detailed. He said when people got older, they would “be reluctant to change clothes, hardly differentiate warm from chilled food, prefer lie in bed with four layers of mats.” They are too old to feel or move. How would they want to change clothes, if they are too old to hang on? The elderly often are too confused to tell warm from chilled drink or food. Even when their tongues are burned to blister, they would not say so. Even when they sleep on the bed with many mats, they still don’t feel comfortable because their bones have been hardened. If such three symptoms occur, Milarepa said, these elderly are like an old dog which gradually will lose its consciousness and go into a coma.

A human being has to go through the suffering of sickness: when one is sick and lying on bed, any kind of food is tasteless for him, aching all day long, sleepless, wandering in his mind, undergoing a surgery operation, etc. followed with several kinds of unhappiness. Then, he will be startled and scared when facing the suddenly coming death. He might exhaust all his wealth for medical treatment. Many people are ignorant in thinking that they are willing to pay more than million dollars for medical treatment, but they do not understand how to make use of that money on charity. Those people will not die fast since they still have money, and they only die and suffer until the last minute when their money are used up! The one who knows the Buddha’s teachings will donate all of his money when he gets ill, not to exchange that for his life or ease and happiness, but for that he does know the fact that spending money on medical treatment could not necessarily cure his disease, he would like use it to do the charity instead!

Kyobpa Jigten Sumgön has ever enlightened that the four elements are getting weaker, the health is suddenly turning into a lie, and the time is just like the duration of the flower in autumn. Do not consider you will be always healthy. In fact it is nothing but a lie since aging, death, and sickness come to you at anytime! It is just like the flower in autumn wither and fall all of a sudden! Everyone is afraid of the suffering of death. Many things in a life can be shared with other people, but only death can not be shared with anyone no matter your partner, relatives, Buddhas, Bodhisattvas or your Guru. When you are to die, you have to face and accept it alone. Doctors will be helpless to your fear and pant prior to death. The courage and arrogance you always have will die out as well. Any kinds of disorders gradually appear.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche often said that you have to tell your family member the truth if he does have cancer. Many people have tried to hide and prevent their family member from suffering by not telling him his medical condition. It’s wrong! If you prevent him from the suffering of knowing his own condition, he will definitely know the truth on the verge of his death and will most likely blame you: “You have set me up! If you had told me earlier, I would have sought advice from someone and taken some measures and wouldn’t have to die now.” Therefore, we don’t have any right or reason to keep someone not knowing about his own medical condition. Before one dies, he will absolutely be clear about the incoming death. Even one who appears unconscious knows that his time of death is coming.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has bestowed blessings upon many vegetative patients and has been able to tell these patients’ concerns to their families, who then verified Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s findings. The consciousness is still active in a vegetative patient and knows clearly when death comes before he draws his last breath. Just like you will wake up from sleep when someone suffocates you by covering your nose and mouth in the middle of the night, you will have such an experience and great suffering when you can’t even draw a breath on the verge of death. It doesn’t mean that the consciousness will leave the body when one is declared brain dead. Thereby, euthanasia is not acceptable in Buddhism because it is a murder! Only practitioners like Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche know whether one’s consciousness has left the body. There were times when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche summoned a departed consciousness because it would have been useless to conduct any practice or assisted recitation and to transfer the person if his consciousness had not been in the body. Why would consciousnesses depart while their bodies remain living? It is because the person is taking revenge on his family members. For some, their consciousnesses had to leave the body and stand aside, suffering immensely from watching their own bodies pay off the remaining karmic debts.

Those who are incapable of knowing the issues of the sentient beings will cause an undesirable result by considering himself compassionate while rushing to help transferring others’ consciousnesses. When giving blessings to the deceased, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s power of meditative stability calms the deceased’s agitated heart and thereby enables him to be helped with the Buddhist teachings. Meditative stability practiced in retreats is not for oneself, but for the benefit of sentient beings. Even those who are stricken with sudden death in traffic accidents still know that they will die right before drawing their last breath. Hence, never hide the truth from anyone when it comes to the matter of his own death. If you hide the truth, he will thereby blame or even resent you. He might suffer greatly for a few days after you tell him. Nonetheless, he will accept the matter as it is after a while as long as he realizes that it is an established fact.

With family members keeping the truth away from the cancer patients, these people suffer a great deal because they keep thinking that the doctors will cure them. They are left with nothing but sufferings after having great expectations for each treatment. In such a repeated painful process, their hatred grows along the way, thereby bringing them down into the hell. Therefore, after knowing about the truth of death, you know that your family members and you will share the same experience. As to practitioners, they will undergo the same experience as well but they will be able to control the chaotic situation in which one’s courage completely vanishes and a fear of death arises. The purpose of the Buddhist study is to understand the origin of such a fear. If one doesn’t fear death, what else will frighten him in this world? We do not feel fear and agitation for the possessions and family we will lose, but for the notion of death acknowledged in the deepest of our hearts. Nevertheless, no one wants to talk about this matter and wishes this wouldn’t take place. In order to console our frightened hearts, we seek fame, wealth, and family with constant desires in hopes that the fear of death may be substituted. Practitioners who have achieved accomplishment in the practice of Phowa do not fear death because they have experienced the process of death at their successful practice of Phowa and have understood that the matter cannot get any simpler. When one learns to practice Phowa, he should not consider himself powerful or able to perform the practice of Phowa for others. Practicing Phowa for oneself is different from doing that for others. If one doesn’t have the right heart, the practice will not be transmitted to him. It takes more than a Dharma text and an ability to contemplate when it comes to Phowa. One must be guided personally by his Guru in such a practice for a period no shorter than 108 days. In the text of Phowa, there is a paragraph that is dedicated to pray for the gurus. If one shows a single sign of disrespect to the guru, he will never achieve accomplishments even with the study of Phowa.

The reason why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has been making great progress lies in that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has attained achievements in the practice of Phowa. Only 2 out of 42 learners of Phowa in the same class were able to get an opening in the crown chakra and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was the only one in the class to be capable of performing Phowa for others. Many people in Taiwan have learned the Phowa in the Drikung Kagyu Lineage, but few have gotten an opening in the crown chakra, let alone conducting the practice of Phowa for others. Nonetheless, it doesn’t mean that anyone who is able to get an opening in the crown chakra can practice Phowa for others. In ancient times, practitioners who perform Phowa for others are highly revered, for this practice is difficult to come across, to practice, and to accomplish!

When one passes away, he will feel himself blown by karmic winds without any company and be concerned about his possessions which have not yet been distributed. Why does the Sutra of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s Fundamental Vows state that we should make offerings and practice charities with the deceased’s favorite possessions such as jewelry, antiques, and wealth on his behalf? Firstly, it is to eliminate the deceased’s concerns. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche once witnessed a deceased father refuse to leave no mater how much supportive recitations were performed due the arrangement of his sons or daughters, because he was angry with his four sons who fought over his possessions. Therefore, if you don’t make offerings and practice charities with your possessions before you die, you will be upset unless prior arrangements have been made. In particular, you will say harsh words if your favorite jewelry is worn by someone you are not fond of. Hence, recitation will be wasted if one doesn’t know what is on the deceased’s mind. If one accepts the gift money, he will still accumulate karma because he hasn’t solved the deceased’s problems. In the past, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche wouldn’t help others transfer their consciousnesses until His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche gave the permission to do so. It is because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche saw a lot while learning Taoism as a child under his father, who advised not to transfer other’s consciousnesses in a casual manner. Don’t consider yourself having compassion because you might bring harm the deceased even before you know it. So, anyone who regards money as something important, refuses to give before his death due to ignorance and greed, or regrets after making an offering will have such a problem and will even try to gain control over the matter after his death. Thereby, he will fall into the Realm of Hungry Ghosts.

Those with heavy evil karma will beat their breasts and stamp their feet before death. They would become ferocious and blame this or that, showing their unwillingness to accept. Such a person, who has accumulated heavy evil karma, will then fall into the Realm of Hells. Do not think that one can escape the Realm of Hells if he has ever listened to the Buddhist teachings. It depends on your own behavior. If you have heard the Buddhist teachings, you may become a ghost soldier after falling into the Realm of Hells. Your situation might be better off but you still have to go to the hell. In particular, one who takes pleasure in scolding and blaming others even after listening to the Buddhist teachings will fall into the hell faster than all the other people because he has knowingly violated the rules, especially someone who has criticized his guru. If you see any friends or relatives under such a condition, you should find a virtuous friend immediately so as to enable them to eliminate their karma before death by means of accumulating merits (making offerings) and thereby prevent them from falling into the lower realms. Some people have cramps in their limbs and shake uncontrollably before they die. It shows that they either have gotten heavy karma of killing or have taken hold of immoral and unlawful wealth, so karmic creditors in their body cause cramps, asking them to meet the debts. If you face such a situation, do not force the person to take an injection of tranquilizers, which would have no effect anyway. Thereafter, one may become mentally deranged. Some people are seen to wave in order to drive something away, a gesture regarded as either having illusions or even seeing the ghosts in the hospital. Neither is correct, though. This occurs because the person becomes mentally deranged and sees his karmic creditors from previous lives coming at him so he tries to drive them away. Some would see their grandfather come to take them and feel happy about it. Be cautious! It is actually one’s karmic creditors who have transformed into his favorite relative so as to take him to the three lower realms. When you see such a situation, be sure to ask a virtuous friend to help the person at once.

If a dying person takes in his last breath with his mouth slightly opened and shows the whites of his eyes, it means he had done numerous evil deeds. Milarepa once said the most vicious person would demonstrate, as if he’s our mentor, the law of causes and conditions while dying. No matter how one boasted his Buddhist practices, we can tell his evil doings from how he died, which would indicate how much malicious karma he had accumulated. As we perform Buddhist activities such as reciting sutra or reciting mantras, we shouldn’t get angry because such anger is even more malicious than killing. While we are doing all those activities, a great many of sentient beings are looking forward to them. When our minds are like those of Bodhisattvas’, sentient beings can be benefited from it. But if your have hatred minds and mistake others, which represents the minds in the three evil realms, the deceased will fall into the three evil realms because of your mindsets. Definitely, the deceased will be always behind your back. That’s why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche often discourages us from reciting mantras for any deceased, unless the deceased had learned Buddhism before his death and understood the use of holding mantras being for the sake of strengthening his mind. Thus his consciousness would follow Buddha Amitabha. As one is dying, reciting mantras for him can be genuinely carried out by dharma brothers who have practiced Buddhism in the same center as the deceased. When the person is already dead, it’s fruitless to recite mantras, unless any Esoteric Dharma is conducted by an esoteric practitioner. Do not have the superstition about the custom that reciting mantras for the deceased can help him be reborn in the Pure Land. The Three Sutras of Pure Land Buddhism have not depicted such things like this. Even Ying-Guang Master of Pure Land Buddhism didn’t attest such task of reciting mantras could help the deceased to be reborn in the Western Paradise; it’s effective when one is alive. Many Buddhist practitioners are busy everyday at reciting mantras for the deceased, which not only is not effective but also does harm to sentient beings. If you think you have been compassionate to do so without any true understanding of the conduct, it’s a mistake.

Not everything is gone after your death. If you are not a Buddha dharma practitioner and have not done great virtuous deeds, the servants of the King of Hell will appear in front of you and show you all fearful phenomena to let you fall into the three Evil Realms. Venerable Podowa said that he hoped you could often think of death and impermanence, and be certain in your minds that “death will definitely come”. Do not hypnotize yourself into believing that your have long life and do not deceive yourself. It is not difficult for one to break off from doing evil deeds; one should often practice kindness and compassion; one should tirelessly benefit all sentient beings and always contemplate the reality of void of nature in the future. It is not difficult for one to break off from evil deeds; it is hard, however, for one to realize that one is doing evils. The definition of evildoings is doings that is not for benefiting all sentient beings and is for one’s own selfishness, and to satisfy one’s own desires; it is evil if one does not accept the guru’s teachings and advices; it is evil if one does not accept the Buddhist teachings and does not live one’s life according to Buddha dharma. Simply speaking, carrying out one’s deeds according to the guru, Buddha and Bodhisattvas’ teachings is the beginning of all virtues and the ending of all evils. So practicing Buddha dharma is not difficult, stop doing evils is also not difficult; it is hard, however, for one to believe in the law of cause and effect. Those who believe in the law of cause and effect can absolutely stop doing evils. You need to cultivate more your compassionate minds and to work hard for benefiting all sentient beings; however, since you cannot do those now, making offerings and doing charities is your only choice. It is not that the guru wants so much money. Many people think the guru spoke casually that Buddhist sutra stated that one needs to make offerings and charities with one fourth of one’s salary. And they think that money is the most important thing and they cannot live their lives without the money. If you think Buddha and the guru would deceive you, then you do not need to come here to practice Buddha dharma. His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche has also publicly said that making offerings is the most important method for practicing Buddha dharma. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has also witnessed personally that in order to listen to a Buddha dharma, His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche let Khenpo, on behalf of His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche, make Mandala offerings. For one to listen to Buddha dharma one must accumulate one’s virtues; and virtues come from making offerings. Although now you have not attained any achievement to benefit all sentient beings, you can benefit all sentient beings by working hard at work everyday. In fact, each work of each individual in society involves many sentient beings directly or indirectly; doing one’s job well can benefit many people; on the other hand, only thinking how to advance one’s career or to increase one’s wealth can harm many sentient beings. Performing your work diligently and well is a way of benefiting all sentient beings.

If we do not often contemplate death, our mind will be very confused and give rise to the three poisonous thoughts, namely greed, hatred, and ignorance, towards our relative, our enemies, and strangers. If we do not contemplate death, we will want to control certain things and make our mind in disorder such that we will not be able to listen to the Guru’s teachings and have greedy thoughts towards our friends and relatives such as desiring them to be filial piety, to be good to us, to listen to us, or wanting our wives to be obedient, etc. All of these are the beginnings of the poisonous thought of greed. With our mind in disorder, we will have angry thought towards our enemies, think that we are surrounded by hostile and bad people, and want to retaliate with a few unkind words to upset them. With our mind confused, we will often not care about anyone we do not know. The public bathrooms in where Chinese live are all very filthy since we think that we do not know the next person who will use the facility and this stranger will not know whatever we did to the facility. This is the origination of the poisonous thought of ignorance. This is caused by us not accepting the truth and doing things regardless of right or wrong.

One is not considered as a practitioner if he does not think of death. Therefore, he will definitely put his heart on the worldly phenomenon. The heart of the three poisons: Greed, hatred, delusion will then appear. He will have a unlimited desire toward his wealth, food and drink as well as things to use. In order to accumulate wealth, protect and increase these three things, he becomes confused everyday and feels endless panic and pain due to the fear of losing everything. Venerable Milarepa also said that when will people ever be satisfied with their wealth? In order to fight for wealth, our greed tighten our hearts so that we become too stingy to do good deeds.

Even though one accumulates his wealth diligently in this life, he will eventually die. Therefore, we should be clear that wealth and family are baits which make us remain in the reincarnation. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche once said that an old woman had hateful thoughts towards her unfilial son and unaffectionate husband. Had it not been Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s Phowa, this old woman would definitely fall into the hell. If you have done a great deal for your children, who nonetheless fail to meet your expectations, you will have lots of hateful thoughts, thereby falling into the hell, and will come back to them to collect the debts next life. As Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche constantly explains that filial piety of one’s child has everything to do with the law of cause and effect and cannot be bought. It doesn’t mean that your child will be filially pious as long as you give him money, help him with his business, or purchase a house for him. If that’s the case, you may well spend several million dollars hiring a person to show filial piety towards you. Why bare with all the hardships? Just because he is your flesh and bone? How easy it is to make someone show filial pious to you. You can make a contract offer on a yearly basis and loads of people will be willing to show their filial pious to you. With so many unemployed people in Taiwan, why do you have to go to your sons and daughters? People are foolish and think that wealth and family, baits for the reincarnation indeed, are important.

In addition, Lord Jigten Sumgon, the lineage founder, once said that wealth is nothing but an illusion when you run out of it, no matter how greedy or painstaking you are to try to save it in this life. It is like the dew on the grass, and you should contemplate over this! Without taking death into consideration, our heart will be distracted in the midst of mundane affairs and will have attachment to our relatives, enemies, and strangers, thereby generating the three poisons of greed, hatred, and ignorance and living an empty life. Living an empty life from the Buddha’s perspective refers to having a life without any learning in Buddhism or being liberated from the cycle of birth and death. Therefore, this life is lived in vain. Do not consider that your life is well lived with career, children, family, and health. In the Buddha’s eyes, these matters are all fake and impermanent, just like flashing dreams and illusions. All your wealth, fame, and family come from the causes, conditions, and effects in your previous lives and are not created by you in current life.

At around twenty-one or twenty-two years of age, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche worked as a manager for a jewelry company. Once Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche brought with him a parcel worth of his two-year salary and took a taxi home. But Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche left the parcel in the taxi. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche ran back for a full circle to find that the taxi just parked there, explaining to the driver that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche left a package in the car. The taxi driver said it’s impossible because he had taken another passenger to a nearby place. The parcel, however, was still in the taxi, meaning Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche shouldn’t lose such huge parcel. Thus, the coming and going of our possessions is already determined. This is not fatalism; rather it’s the law of cause and effect.

Human must die eventually; no matter how well preparation you can arrange, you have nothing to the end. You ought to contemplate the truth that humans must die and vow to practice Buddhism for the rest of your life. So Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche consistently urge and extort you because how long your rest life will be is uncertain. If you keep wasting your life, you can’t do anything when death comes. You might not be able to find Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Therefore, with our limited time, we should now solidly learn Buddhism.

Milarepa has ever enlightened that all dharma the Buddha has taught is in order to cut off the Eight Winds. All Buddhist learners have to ask themselves whether or not they fall into the Eight Winds. All precepts mentioned by the Buddha are to cut off all of our constraints from the world, but not to be as punishment or reward. Ask yourself if your mundane things increase? It is the mundane thing to being on the rush everyday to attend repentance ceremonies and sutras recitation. It is the mundane thing to deal with your personal affairs in a haste everyday and forget Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. It is also the mundane thing to serve your children everyday and forget the teachings given by your guru. If you think you already observe the precepts, ask yourself whether or not your mundane things still increase? If you do not constantly think about death and impermanence, how can your practices take any effect? The purpose of learning Buddhism must be clarified. It is not for your benefits or for you to turn better in this life. Most important is you have you think about death.

The ultimate purpose of practices no matter what kind of dharma one practices in this life is for the point of dying. Most important is to know how to avoid one self from being in the cycle of birth and death. All the matras and sutras we recite in this life is also for the short period of dying in seconds. What we practice is also for that time. Do not misthink that Buddha-Dharma is for you to change the bad things into the good things in the world. If Buddha-Dharma can change the bad into the good in the world, there will be no law of cause and effect. If you think that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche only can help to cure your diseases, make your children show filial obedience for you, make you successful in your job, this kind of thinking is also wrong! Your Guru is who help you to know clearly about the real situation of death and how to control your future life.

You should set aside some time everyday to quietly ponder on the questions: What I have accomplished in my whole life? What have I contributed to the society? How would it be like the day I die? How would it feel during the few seconds I die? And then you should also think of the following questions: Whether I won’t die because I’m still young? Whether it’s more painful when I die at old age? Such exercise is your lessons, your home work. You need to think about it everyday. Contemplating these is nothing to do with death, it is not ask you to think that you will die immediately. Even when you think about death every second in 24 hours, your will not die if your life is not supposed to be ended.

Therefore the truth about death can teach you how to courageously confront those matters you don’t understand or can’t solve now. You can only find resolutions of these problems with Buddha Dharma. Your life is full of fears because you don’t understand death. As long as you can understand it, no fear will be left; instead, you will feel your life is hopeful and bright since your future is under controlled. Pondering on death means to first accept the fact that such natural phenomenon surely will happen to everyone. This is the most important and difficult problem to deal with. If we can cope with this problem, all other problems in life can be solved as well. This is not passive, but to handle the most difficult matter first. When you are capable of dealing with the most challenging problem, what can’t you solve?

The true purpose of the Lord Buddha’s teachings in 49 years is to liberate us from the real suffering of birth and death. In light of the Lord Buddha’s wisdom, the rest of the sufferings in the world can’t be viewed as the most distressing. The most distressing is to reincarnate incessantly.

The Buddhas are able to teach us how to be liberated from the cycle of birth and death in future lives once our current bodies become unusable. Those with greater capacities are able to refrain from getting into the cycle of birth and death in this life without going through the death process. With lesser capacities, all of our bodies need to experience death, and, therefore, we need to make a lot of preparation for that day before our bodies collapse. Never ever take chances and think that our guru might perform the Phowa for us when we pass away. Do not rely on your daily recitation of long-life prayers for the guru to live on, for it is not necessary for the guru to live on in the Saha World. The guru may live on in any corners of the universe and does not have to reside in this world. Why would Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche put so many efforts to learn and study Buddhism with such great determination? It is because the death of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s father gave Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche a significant message: Why can’t a human being understand his own death? What on earth does it matter to be a human if one can exercise great influence and power in life but fail to control his own death? In face of his father’s death at the age of 18, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche already told himself to get a clear answer to the question in this life. Being able to say that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche himself now understands and is able to control this matter, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche wishes to pass this experience and knowledge to you. Nevertheless, one’s willingness to follow the instructions is a basic prerequisite. It is a reality that one won’t learn anything if he doesn’t follow the given instructions.

October 31, 2009

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened believers with Buddhism and helped them to relieve all kinds of suffering in the world at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center, Taipei.

Updated on November 5, 2009